It May Bear Fruit

This passage from Luke, chapter 13, resonates.

Don’t give up; try again; there is still hope; take action with care, try a different approach, Good can still result.

Yes. Yes it can.

And he told them this parable:
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.'”


At Capacity

Lots of context for this concept. You might be “at capacity” in any of a variety of ways.

At capacity in learning, a sort of plateau of absorbing new things;

At capacity with activities, not able to fit another event on your schedule on a given day;

At capacity in repetitions, not able to do another pull up or arm curl or plank;

At capacity with projects, every day already full with no room for another thing;

At capacity eating your vegetables at dinner; this affliction happens on nearly a nightly basis at my house.

You get the idea. But here’s the thing.

Capacity is a dynamic quality. It’s a parameter that must always be considered. Capacity might be limiting in the immediate, in the short term.

But in the aggregate, it’s just another variable that must be considered in striving for optimal outcome.

You should always consider capacity, and you should also test its limits. Carefully, thoughtfully, but for sure, test, push, strive to expand the limit.

The outcome?

It will make you better. It will help you reach your goals. It will make things GOOD.

Homework In the Backseat

I was talking to a good friend last night about his two boys — his kids are several years older than my little three.  In particular we were comparing and contrasting the way the two approach school, homework, sports, and…time management.

One tidbit really rang true for me, and I think it will for most people:  the realization (reminder!) that focus is the key to productivity.

My buddy was telling me how his younger son typically will start doing his home work while he’s in the backseat on the drive home after school.  Lots of times, by the time they’re home, he’s finished (or nearly so).  Ridiculously productive kid.


Pick your most important task, and DO IT.  The pick another, and DO IT.  And another, and…wait for it…and DO IT.

I’m going to be like my buddy’s ten year old today.  Give it a try.  You’ll be glad you did.


Friday Faves, Issue #20

This here is the first edition of the Friday Faves for 2016. This year’s already started off like a lion.  We’ll see how that plays as the days tick off. Mean time, ENJOY.

Destination of the Week:   Sharjah.  Another one of those emirates that are big wealth, small on geography and population.  Check it out here.

Quote of the Week:  “He that shall persevere to the end shall be saved.” – Matthew. 

Band of the Week: Not a band, but an AMAZING voice.  Indina Menzel.  One of my favorites?  Here.

Meal of the WeekPuerco Pibil.  DELICIOSO!

Website of the Week: So much more than a classic sport from the fifties. So much more for women in so many ways. Check it out here and here too.


REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome! LOVE to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse via that micro-blogging site:  my handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Making the Most of Time


Last spring I figured I needed a fresh motivator to get more active in my day to day.  My previous running routines have long gone by the way-side. The demands of life with three little kids and nagging injuries have been the main factors in this regard.

I needed a boost.

So I got my hands on a new gadget: a Jawbone UP Move, the entry level unit for devices that track steps, sleep, specific, timed activities, etc.   It’s the baseline example of wearable technology that’s hit the market now with the goal of making our lives more active, and giving us access to the data to motivate.

The UP device is pretty cool.

But it is the device’s clock got me thinking.  Part of why I chose the UP Move actually was because of the clock.  If I don’t have a watch on and am not around a clock otherwise, I like being able to check the time where-ever and whenever I need to. I’ve got the UP Move with me all the time, so it works well.

But if you’re a stickler, the built-in clock isn’t all that great.  You can’t count the seconds, or even the minutes, really. That had me thinking. “Shift from counting every minute to making every minute count.”

Here’s the paradigm:  Life = Responsibilities = Time

Time until work.

Time at work.

Time until I’m off work.

Time until that deadline.

Time for lunch.

Time until the next meeting.

Time to go home.

Time left in the game.

Time until the kids go to bed.

Time to mow the lawn or do the laundry.

Activity trackers are cool stuff to help us to be more active.

Yves Behar & Jony Ive have very successful visions of incorporating cool technology products with the aim of making our lives better.  Behar is the design guy behind the UP products from Jawbone.  Ive is the Chief Designer at Apple.

The more people (consumers) buy in and see results from using devices from Apple and Jawbone (among others), the more successful these guys are and the more successful their companies are.

But it’s the RESULTS that matter. Getting the most out of every minute.  Even if you get nothing tangible from it.

“Time is the most precious commodity we have.  I’m spending a lot of time doing this [whatever ‘this’ is]. That’s serious. But I don’t take myself too seriously.”  That’s healthy. That’s GOOD.  What’s better?  Making the most of our TIME.

Friday Faves, Issue #19


Quicker than you can say, Ho Ho Ho!” here’s a special Christmas edition of the Friday Faves. Bite-size and tasty like a holiday sugar cookie, hot and fresh for you this week.  ENJOY!

Destination of the Week:  The historic birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, in present times a Palestinian town in the West Bank:  Bethlehem

Quote of the Week: “…and they shall call him Immanuel…”

Band of the Week:  Not a band this week, but rather a epic Christian holiday musical work from two hundred and fifty years ago, Handel’s Messiah. Good background music for work this time of year.

Meal of the Week:  Savory, yummy, anytime meal for the winter months in the north, especially during the holidays! Buckwheat Crepes ~

Website of the Week: First there was Jesus, then their was Ignatius and then there was the Society of Jesus and Ignatian Spirituality ~


REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome.  Love to hear what you have to say, good or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse via that micro-blogging site:  my handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend, and Merry Christmas!


We’ve been at it for a while. The oldest is nearly five years old, the middle one is three, the youngest will be two in a couple months.

With all the holiday (and usual weekend) prep activities today, coupled with a particularly needy son today, this mantra came to mind.  I’m going to use liberally.

“I am with you, will support you, and pick you up when you fall, but I am not going to carry you.”

Seems to me this could be useful with a every age person really, not just little people. I sure could have used this notice when I was a kid. Then again, maybe I got it, in so many words.

One thing’s for certain. I want my kids to be resilient, and still loving, as soon as possible. Not sure the measure, but the objective is clear.

Be ready to love, to give, to rally, and get up when you fall. You have a support group that’s with you, but you have to do the work on your own.

It’s the only way live.

Friday Faves, Issue #18

Another edition of Friday Faves, served up to share the muse, and motivate YOU to have a super weekend.  ENJOY!

Destination of the Week:  Zaria is a city in northern Nigeria.  Why should you care?  Because there’s more in the north of that country than Muslim extremists.  Check it out.

Quote of the Week“Never Give Up!” is the simple, profound message of encouragement written in three-foot letters on the side of a church I pass by periodically.  It motivated this piece on overcoming difficulty and finding the spark to move forward.

Band of the Week:  Matchbox 20 was only the beginning. Rob Thomas has a lot more to offer.  He’s worth listening to. And pay attention to the lyrics. QUALITY.

Meal of the Week:  The latest craze in the coffee world.  Not a meal, but more fundamentally, fuel to get after it. Cold Brew.

Website of the Week: One of the many resources out there for dads, motivation to set up and be GREAT. After all, encouragement is something we all need.


REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome. Love to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy Twitter, you can follow more of the muse via that micro-blogging site:  my handle is @jhludlum ~

Have a fine weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #17

Damp and dark to start the day here in California.  Perfect weather for a quick review of the Friday Faves. Warm and inviting, and ready for YOU.

Destination of the Week:  On the west coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia sits Jeddah, ancient way station for traders and pilgrims. 

Quote of the Week: “I have take more out of alcohol than it has taken out of me.”  ~Winston Churchill

Band of the Week: These guys were early adapters in the MTV era, and it paid off:   The Cars

Meal/Food of the Week:  The humble, sneaky awesome cucumber These have become a staple at the house as we kick-start the efforts to snack on vegetables. Good for you too!

Website of the Week: A true pioneer in new thinking about philanthropically-geared organizations, Nuru International is blazing a new trail to end extreme poverty.  Promising results so far – more to come, no doubt.


REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome! LOVE to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse via that micro-blogging site:  my handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!

Friday Faves, Issue #16

Yes indeed, it’s another edition of Friday Faves, for this first Friday in December.   ENJOY, peeps.

Destination of the Week: Bangui, Central African Republic

Quote of the Week: “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters” ~ Pope Francis.  I couldn’t agree more, given this world in its current state of global unrest in ‘the name of religion.’ We need peace, tolerance, understanding and compromise.

Band of the Week:  SRV.  This dude sorta tip-toed up and lit my hair on fire one day.  This song pretty well did it.  Sad that he left us early.  But he lives on in the music he created with six strings.

Meal of the Week:  Peanut Butter is another of those magic foods, in my world.  Makes apples and carrots and bread that’s a little stale (and a LOT more) pretty well awesome.  Great source of protein. Yummy. Lots of benefits.  ‘Nuf.

Website of the Week:  Like seafood?  Want to eat smart and “Love Your Mother”?  This site can give you some great guidance!


REMINDER:   Your comments are always welcome! LOVE to hear what you have to say, GOOD or otherwise.  If you fancy twitter, you can follow more of the muse via that micro-blogging site:  my handle is @jhludlum ~

Enjoy the weekend!