Wednesday, February 28, 2007

No Worries ...

Remember when you were a kid and the biggest problem you had to worry about was how much longer until recess?

If someone asks you to do something or asks you for something and it takes little or no effort to comply, and after they give their thanks, chances are you reply, "No worries."

How many of you really take that saying to heart? Guys, in general, not to mention mothers, try to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. This should not be the case. Why, you ask. I am glad you asked.

Everyday things happen, well, everyday. How much should you worry about it? Here is my rule of thumb. Whatever happened, is it going to matter 5 minutes from now? How about 5 days from now? Or 5 months or even 5 years from now. If the answer is no, particularly to 5 days or more from now, then it should not worry you. The most you should give credence to the issue is 5 seconds and then you take back control or better yet, just give it to God. Yeah, yeah. I know it is easier said than done. But you do have to start somewhere. If you can just start asking yourself how much this issue is going to matter X amount of time down the road, you will start putting things into perspective and after time, you will find that your worries are much fewer. You might not ever get to no worries, but you at least you will have fewer worries that really don't matter in the grand scheme of life.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They might say thanks, and you can truly say, "no worries."

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My Lessons - By Pamela Morrison

This original poem was submitted to Rex Barker and seemed appropriate today.

by Pamela Morrison

They say that beauty is only skin deep
and that promises are meant to keep
and I have to crawl before I walk
and I have to think before I talk

and I have to laugh to keep from crying
and when I fail I must keep trying
They say we can not all be winners
and the world is full of saints and sinners

and don't put the cart before the horse
and before the journey map the coarse
and to always look past the end of my nose
and to be sure to take time to admire a rose

They say treat others as I'd have them treat me
and to always try hard to be all I can be
and not to put off what I can do today
and to not be upset if I don't get my own way

and when leaving a room always turn off the light
and to talk to God every morning and night
They say always remember say thank you and please
and to cover my mouth whenever I sneeze

and there's a time for work and a time for fun
and don't play with fire and don't touch a gun
and at the end of the rainbow there's a big pot of gold
these are all of the lessons in life I've been told

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness today.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Bloom Where You Are Planted

Seldom do we get to really choose the hand we are dealt in life. Bloom where you are planted. No matter where life leads you or where you might land, you always have the opportunity to be an inspiration to someone.

Whether a seed is dropped in nursery or along side of the road, its purpose is to bloom. You are the seed. No matter where you are you always have the opportunity to bloom and bring happiness to someone's life.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It is your opportunity to bloom for someone who just might need it today.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Are You a Morning Person?

It seems that people are either morning or evening people. I have never heard anyone proclaim themselves to be an afternoon person.

I am a morning person. Sunrises in and of themselves should be able to make people morning people. As I blog, the sun has not even come close to showing itself. On the flip side of the coin, sunrises can be an awesome way to end a day.

In being a morning person, I can get a lot of things done before most people even consider hitting the snooze button the first time. At work, you have no idea how much more I get done prior to anyone coming into the office. At home, I can generally take care of some chores before anyone else gets up or catch up on current events or sports without getting interrupted by the phone.

I figure that any morning that I wake up is a pretty good morning. I've decided that this is a good morning. My worries from yesterday don't seem to as much of a concern yesterday. My troubles are not as many as I thought before I went to bed. My problems are not as big either. The morning has a way of making things better than they were the day before. There is no need to carry any extra baggage with you into the morning; I assure you that you will be busy enough during the day that you won't need any of yesterday's baggage.

Here's to this morning and each new morning and all the new that they bring.

Make someone's day this morning and perform a random act of kindness.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is Your Glass Half Full?

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? An optimist looks at the glass as being half full rather than half empty. Life is a journey. The trials and tribulations of life are all just a small part of the journey. When something does not come as easy to you as you had hoped it would, look at it as an obstacle that you overcame and will do so again, should it present itself again and how much easier it will be the second time around.

Enjoy the things you have. Don't worry about the things you don't have.

If you can't tell, I am a glass half-full kind of guy. Life is too short. Try to enjoy what you have. Don't put off till tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy, you can do it again tomorrow.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness with a glass half-full kind of attitude. It might just brighten their day enough to make them look at life as half full.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Timing is Everything

We live in a day and age where we want everything right now; we hate waiting even a few seconds. Drive-thru restaurants are more the rule than the exception. Our computers are never fast enough, no matter how fast they are - even when compared to a top of the line computer from just 5 years ago.

Just because we want it right now or think we need to have it done, fixed, ready or whatever, does not mean that it should be done right now. Sometimes the best lessons we learn in life are from waiting for that certain something to happen. We may learn how to do something while waiting on someone or figure out that we don't actually need that whatchamacallit that we thought we could not do without.

God's timing is perfect, seldom is ours. Even when our timing is right, don't get too caught up in yourself and think that you made it happen. It is not too likely. It is more likely that your timing and God's just happened to be the same on this particular occasion.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Your timing could be just right for someone else.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Only Constant in Life is Change

There are very few certainties in life - death, taxes, and change. The first two we can't do much about; when God calls us home, it's time to go and we all know about paying taxes. Change on the other hand we can either embrace or choose not to embrace it.

A few years ago a good buddy and coworker of mine Brent handed me a book to read and said it would truly make a difference in how I looked at change. The book is entitled Who Moved My Cheese? The book is an easy read and really does make it easier to embrace change. The reason that I am blogging about change is because my employer is in the process of being acquired. After getting over the initial surprise, my memory of reading Who Moved My Cheese? came to mind and reminded me that change is not a bad thing. Without change you don't grow.

Here's to many wonderful years of success! If you are stuggling with embracing change, please read the aforementioned book. Thanks Brent for making me read the book.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It might change their life for the better.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

If You Must Work ...

Unless you won the lottery, are independently wealthy, or recently lost a rich uncle who left you an inheritance that dreams are made of, you probably have to work for a living. You are gonna have to pay the bills.

Since you probably have to work, you might as well do something you enjoy doing. What a concept - getting paid to do something you like doing.

For those of you who know me, I proudly where the title of Computer Geek. Does that mean I can solve every problem. No it doesn't. Does that mean I want to try to solve every family member's computer problems. I have to answer no to that as well, but I will generally give them some ideas on what they need to try to solve their own problems. I digress.

Being a self-proclaimed computer geek, people would hope that I would have a job that somehow relates to the computer field, which I do. I get paid to do work that I truly enjoy. Life is not so bad.

What is in your salary? A whole bunch of stuff. Most people think it is just the money that shows up in your check or account on pay day. I must disagree. If your company provides you medical benefits, you need to include that as well. The company that employees me provides medical, dental and optical. Try buying these on your on from insurance companies. See how much it will cost you; add that to your salary, because it is included. Does your company offer a 401(k) plan? If they do, do they match any of the money that you contribute? If they do, that is part of your salary as well. The pretax breaks you get on your 401(k) are also part of your salary. How about any other perks, such as pretax payments on your medical cost - add that to your salary as well, because that means you are paying less money to the government. Any other perks such as an ESPP? Cha-ching - more money to include in your salary. MSDN license or discounts to book stores or Microsoft - you got it, add it in there if you use them. One of the biggest things you need to add into your salary, which does not increase it financially, but nonetheless is included is the group of people you work with. Even the casual full-time worker is at work more than 1/3 of the day - 8 hours of work, plus either 30 minutes or 1 hour for lunch. If you have coworkers even half as good as the ones I have, you need to add that into your salary, because chances are you are not going to find a better bunch of people, unless you find yourself working at the same company that I do. A couple of examples of how good the group of people I work with are: 1.) This past Christmas, we adopted a family that lost everything in a fire shortly before Christmas. Not only did my coworkers give "stuff" for Christmas, but gave things for getting through every day life. They gave so much, it took three days to deliver everything to the family. 2.) My wife Yvonne is a breast cancer survivor. She has had more surgeries than I can count on all my fingers and toes. When Yvonne had to have a radical bilateral mastectomy, my coworkers provided meals for several weeks until we were back to some resemblance to normalcy.

To reiterate, if you have to work to pay the bills, get paid to do something you like. When you look at your paycheck and wonder if you are getting paid what you think you are worth, don't just look at the dollar amount on the bottom line as what your bottom line value is worth - there is a lot more to it.

Make someones day and perform a random act of kindness.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Doing the Right Thing ...

First things first, you should always try to do the right thing. Doing the right thing is not always easy. Life is not always fair, but that does not exempt you from doing the right thing.

Faith in God is what makes it easier to do the right thing. People can make it easier to do the wrong thing. Sometimes it is easy to lose your faith when things don't seem to go your way or people who do the wrong thing seem to go unpunished. At other times, you can lose your faith when things go right, because you are handling things fine all by yourself. That being said, God never gives up on you, no matter who you are or how things are going in your life.

As a kid, doing the right thing can get you teased by your friends because everyone else is "doing it" and you choose not to do it. As an adult, doing the right thing can get you ostracized. Still do the right thing. Until you are comfortable doing the right thing, surround yourself by other people who try to do the right thing. It's a lot easier to do the right thing when your friends have your back.

Once you are comfortable doing the right thing, the next right thing to do is help other people do the right thing. Pay it forward, just like the movie of the same name. If you have not seen the movie Pay it Forward, I recommend watching it.

I repeat, doing the right thing is not always easy. Doing the right thing will pay dividends in the long run even if it does not feel like it will "right now". Don't give up on God. Even if you do at some time, He won't give up on you. He will always welcome you back.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It is the right thing to do.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Calling Off the Dogs

My 6th grade girls basketball team had a game last night and believe it or not, they won. Granted, it was against the only team that we have beaten in the past, but it was still a win.

We are in what is called a competitive league, which is different than a recreation league. A competitive league is one in which the goal is to try to win, as well as develop the talent so the players can move up to the next level.

I take my job as coach seriously and part of my job is to develop the mentality of the player as well as the physical skills. Part of the mental aspect is winning gracefully. We have lots of experience in losing, so we kind of have the lesson on how to lose down pat.

At halftime, my ladies had a commanding lead over the competition, so I had the squad that had done the majority of the scoring on the bench for almost the entire third quarter. They were all wanting to go back in to play, but I told them that I did not want to run the score up on the other team. The obvious question came back, "Why?" I explained that it was the right thing to do. Most of the girls in this competitive league are still trying to figure out whether they like the sport of basketball. Losing by lots of points all the time can be a bit demoralizing. If you continually lose by droves of points all the time, you are not going to want to play any more. So, I called off the dogs to make sure that we did not demoralize the other team.

My ladies don't win too often, but I want to make sure that when they do win, that they do so with grace. Last night they did. Cudos to the ladies.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could make your day as well.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Sometimes You Make Lemonade

Have you ever had one of those days? Sure you have. Nearly everything you touch ends up being a lemon - meaning nothings works. You can normally tell the minute you get up. Things just are not running on all eight cylinders. Those are the days you just want to crawl back in bed and wake up next week. Those days generally happen on Monday; I like to call them Lemon days.

Lemon days are not too frequent, but when they come the flood gates are normally wide open. A lemon day makes you really appreciate the mundane days when things just seem to work; they are rather boring and you take them for granted.

The good thing about a lemon day is it normally does not last all day. The bad normally comes all at once. All you have to do is survive the rush and the rest of the day will be fine. When the lemons come, it is time to open your lemonade stand. If you are at work, there is generally something else for you to do that you have been meaning to do, but just could not find the time. Lemon day arrives, it's time to open up your lemonade stand and get that task done that you have either been putting off or just couldn't get around to it. If you are playing basketball and your shot is off, it's time to play defense and rebound. There are always ways to help your team. Sometimes it is not the most glamorous job doing the grunt work, but every team needs the hard worker that does the work that leaves you with bumps and bruises.

Just because the day is not going how you originally planned, does not mean the day is a total waste. Open up your lemonade stand and make the most of what you got. Lemon days make you appreciate the mundane days and really help you appreciate the good days.

Make someone's day today and perform a random act of kindness.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Does the Final Score Define a Win?

My 6th grade girl's basketball team played a game this past Wednesday (31-Jan-2007) and the final score was 23 to 12 - my ladies had the 12 points. Even though the final score showed the other team as the winner of the game, I contend that my ladies had a winning day. They started the game like a lamb, but played like lionesses throughout. I will take their hard work and effort any day. When they do their best and improve from the previous game, I define that as a win.

In life, almost everything has a final score, bottom line or some kind of metrics to determine the ends. Sometimes the metrics used don't show the real score.

In basketball teams, if you are able to make a pass to a teammate that ends up in a score, not only does your team get points, but your teammate feels good that (s)he was able to score and becomes more confident and you get an assist and become more confident in your teammates so you don't have to do all the scoring. Making your teammates better makes the team better and that is the real win.

In work life, people call it delegating. The same principle applies, you don't have to do everything, a co-worker either learns a new skill or contributes to the project, you don't have to do everything yourself and you have a much better chance of meeting your deadline. It is a win-win situation for everyone - including the company. Helping or teaching a co-worker to do something that you know how to do on a project that you are not directly working on often pays higher dividends than jumping in and doing it yourself or saying you are too busy. Helping your co-worker makes them feel better in a couple of ways. Helping them can make them feel good in the fact that you are comfortable enough in their abilities to have them do the set task. Secondly, once they complete the task, they feel a sense of accomplishment.

I contend that if you can make people better, the team, whether at work or in sports, gets better and that is more important than the final score of this one game or project. Again, the final score should not be the only measure in life. I know that I feel better when I can make someone else feel better. Sometimes the only cost is a few minutes of your time.

Make someone's day today. Perform a random act of kindness. You'll feel better for it too.


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