Goat Trails

Back when I started at the company under which I’m currently employed, we were in five
buildings near each other in a sort of quasi cul-de-sac.

My buddy and I would sometimes walk together between buildings, as was necessary depending
on what had to be done; different departments were housed in separate buildings.

And my buddy would take different paths at different times, and depending on where he was going; at the time,
I remember thinking it was interesting, the diffrent routes. He called them “goat trails”, I think.

I find myself still using goat trails — different routes from A to B — to get around, even though the company is now in one larger building that fits everyone.

I especially like to use the stairs, even though most of my work activities happen one the first floor.

The stairs provide a bit more exercise, which I definitely need. Also adds steps, to help me toward my daily goal of 10,000 steps (and 10 floors).

Walking every hour (necessary to reach to goal) doesn’t take long, gives the mind a little micro-break, and is good for your health all around — physical and mental — nothing better, I’ve found.

Keep going, however you can, I think that’s the message. FORWARD.

Up and Down

Master the skill, up and down. On the golf course, up and down on the green means getting there and sinking the putt in short order.

Maybe it’s similar in life, up and down. Each day, get up and get your work done; pursue the goals of your life, the goals of the day. Whatever that is for you. But get UP, and do. DO.

And then be ok in coming down, slowing down, each day. Let yourself do that. Come down. Rest. Respite. Relax. Slow down. SLOW DOWN.

And then do the whole thing again the next day.

Get good at the up and down.

It will serve you well.

Two Screens By My Side

How I consume and how I create the words I most often share.

Yes indeed, I write long form and certainly complete business work tasks on a laptop – it’s the most practical and efficient way to accomplish those activities.

But then there’s everyday reading, writing, blogging, posting, sharing…and those activities, those are of a different nature, a different thing.

In those moments — like right now — I most often tap the letters to words, words the ideas — those come out through a smart phone, the most immediate channel to you, the easiest way to quickly scribble the words as they tumble out.

Consuming content, I try to shift to a bigger screen, a tablet, where more fits on the page and images are more clear.

And so the curtain pulled back, that’s how jeff goes, that’s how I roll, and let it flow out, and let it flow in.

Most important? CREATE.

And then GIVE. SHARE.

GOOD.

Jerry Rig

Jerry Rig or jury rig, is the practice of making due with what you have on hand to repair something or otherwise solve a problem. Making due, that’s a good life lesson.

Things don’t always go as we’d like; sometimes to get some result close to what we want, we have to make due, make the best of the situation as it is.

Opportunities arose for this practice all the time. It promotes compromise and resilience and fortitude.

Don’t be afraid to jerry rig something if need be to accomplish your goal. Be resourceful. Make it happen.

Oh yea, and if you want to learn more about the term and it’s history, see below.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jury_rigging

Stripped Down Week

Not sure why, seems I’m frequently battling these days. Battling with tasks at work; battling with conflicting priorities; battling my moods, working to keep things on the up.

So stripping down this week, taking the minimalist approach, working on the basics. If grand insight presents itself, you’ll hear about it, no doubt; but not looking for it. Striving instead to as efficiently and effectively as possible, put one foot in front of the other.

Expecting some bumps as the week starts, so one foot in front of the other I think is the best approach. Yes, one foot in front of the other. Here we go…through it all, and all the same though, the same mission:

MAKE IT GOOD.

Lists

I’ve been making lists for a long time. The practice likely parallels my efforts in school, work, and life to be more organized. It’s been a mixed bag of results.

But the lists go on!

I prescribe mostly to the idea that having one (or at least only a couple few) master list(s) is a good idea.

At least, better not to use the backs of envelopes, loose/scrap paper, post-it notes to keep track of things. White board at home? Ok.

I end up making a few lists: grocery; work (at least a couple, different places, tactical, strategic; personal, those tend to be the most stagnant.

But make ‘em all the same, chase ‘em too. Every day. Do so. Let’s GO~

House White Board

Lights Out!

I’m a little too young to have been an active listener to “Lights Out!”, the famous early horror radio show from the 1930’s and 40’s, but I recall my folks talking about it. And I do remember Bill Cosby talking about it in his famous bit “Chicken Heart.” I listened to hat bit over and over, and laughed anew every time. That funny story made my heart sing!

This piece isn’t about that radio show, however. It’s about learning good habits, including turning the lights off when not in active use. It’s a little about how we might attempt to teach our kids these values, how we might instill in them the lofty and also practical benefit of such a habit as turning the light off.

I find myself walking around the house pretty well constantly turning lights off on rooms where no one is.

It’s a simple lesson. Turn off the light if no one’s in the room. Learn that lesson, and apply it regularly. That same mindset can be applied to leaving the water running, and monitoring the thermostat. Using natural resources carefully, thoughtfully, that’s the underlying ideal I’d like our kids to absorb, and practice every day.

Walking around the kitchen this morning, I noticed a piece of broken tortilla chip; when I saw it I remembered seeing it yesterday. At the time I thought, “Let’s see if anyone else picks it up. No one did. So this morning, I picked it up and threw it away. There was a bit of wrapper next to it, too. That went to the trash as well.

That’s another fundamental ideal. If you see garbage, pick it up and throw it away. This approach might well apply only in your home, but on that planet. How much cleaner would things be, how much healthier would nature be, if everyone did that? And the pre-step of course too: Don’t litter.

So the turning off the lights, picking up around the house, and everything in between; do a little more, or at least, do what you should do. I know it’s often more complicated, but maybe it shouldn’t be, influencing our kids. Just do what you should do.

[Disclaimer: I suspect some reading this piece might object to even mentioning Bill Cosby in a positive way, given his falling from grace and crimes for which he’s been convicted. That said, he was also one of the great comedians and entertainers of his era. I do not condone in any way his behavior otherwise, Full Stop.]