Thursday, September 27, 2007

Team Work

I don't care how good you are at doing what you do, you can be even better if you work as a team. It does not matter if it is in a sport or at work or school.

Last night was a basketball night. To start the night, I could not hit the ocean with a rock while standing on the beach. Translation, I was standing underneath the basket by myself and I could not put the ball in the basket. I needed to rely on my teammates to score, because I sure as heck could not do it. As the night progressed, I found my touch and was able to score at will. Then the other team decided that it was a bad idea for me to get the ball and started double and triple teaming me. So I needed to get the ball to my open teammates and they were able to score. This made it so the other team could not triple team me, and I was then able to score again. Without my teammates, we would not have been able to win the games.

I work with some stellar people at my work. There are probably less than a handful of people who are go-to people for just about anything concerning our applications. However, there is a least a googolplex [maybe a slight exaggeration] of great people who know a lot about their particular area of our applications. It is all these people that make the teams at work successful and in turn make the company successful.

Whether it be work or play, it takes team work to make a great team.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as letting the person know how important they are to the team.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Be the Change You Want to See Happen

If you don't like the way something is working or just the way it is, you need to either be willing to offer a possible solution or be willing to work towards a solution. No one likes the bearer of bad news.

It does no good to complain to someone who cannot do anything about it. Likewise it does not do any good to complain to someone who has the authority to make a change without offering a possible solution.

Your boss, lead, wife, et cetera, is going to like you a lot better if you identify the problem and bring a solution or your efforts to brainstorm a solution to the table.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Bring a solution when there was only a problem before.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Baby Steps

A baby has to learn to turn over before it can crawl. Then it has to crawl before it can walk. And it must walk before it can run.

I have an amazing grasp of the obvious don't I?

The rest of life runs pretty much in parallel to how babies do things. Breaking bad habits is lot tougher than starting them and it takes baby steps to get to the point you really want to be.

I open the gym at church on Monday nights for the hooligans of the neighborhood. The mission statement of my church for the next few years is Taking Back the Ground. Bringing in the kids from the neighborhood to play basketball is the first baby step of getting them into the church. One of the guys has a vocabulary that would make a sailor blush, but he is working on it. He came by and talked to me towards the end of the night and said that he only cursed twice. He is taking steps to improve. It is a step in the right direction. He also said that he would try to come to church on Sunday with his family. Another step in the right direction.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. If you normally do not, this is your chance to take a baby step in the right direction.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Better than You Found It

Dwayne Wade has a commercial for a car company, Cadillac I think, that shows Dwayne providing a basketball hoop and basketballs to a bunch of kids. He then takes a bicycle out of the vehicle and tosses the keys to the coach and pedals off into the sunset. During the commercial, Dwayne says his purpose is to make the world a better place. This my friends is what it is all about. And it is actually nice to see someone with the means to do it actually do it.

You can start off small, but try making wherever you are better place.

If you are on a team, basketball for example, you might not be the best scorer, but that does not mean you can't make the team better. Become the best rebounder or the best defender. Make the team better than it was before you got there.

At work, no one is irreplaceable, but you should definitely try to make your work place better because you are there. Whether you be a chief architect that makes the place better because of the innovations created while you were there or just an average Joe who has a positive attitude that makes the place enjoyable for 8+ hours, or someone in between, you can strive to make your workplace better.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It is one of the many steps to take in making the world a better place.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rules and Guidelines

Rules, rules and more rules. As a kid, you think your parents just make you follow rules to be mean to you. As an adult, you find out the rules you had to follow as a kid pretty much followed you into adulthood.

You always have to follow some kind of rules, no matter who you are.

I have a couple of favorite quotes that relate to rules.

The code is more what you'd call "guidelines" than actual rules. -
Barbossa, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

You can bend the rules plenty once you get to the top, but not while you're trying to get there. And if you're someone like me, you can't get there without bending the rules. - Tess McGill, Working Girl.

Just remember that rules are generally there for the good of the many. Know what they are wherever you are - if for no other reason than to know when you are bending them or deciding if they are more of a guideline.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person might need some help in figuring out whether or not rule is a rule or guideline.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Remember as a kid, you could not wait for your birthday, Christmas, Friday so you could spend the night at a friend's house?

Then as you got a little older you could not wait until you were 15 so you could get your driver's permit, 16 so you could get your driver's license, 18 so you could be on your own, 21 so you drink. The anticipation for these events felt like it was killing you. Then you finally hit the milestone, and it was seldom as great as you were hoping it would be.

There is nothing wrong with waiting with great anticipation, but don't let the anticipation ruin the journey of getting there or the actual event. And don't let it get the better of you if whatever it is does not happen when you expect it to happen. If it does not happen on a particular day, then you have something to look forward to the next day.

My mom used to always get upset with me because I did not have any patience. She kept telling me to be patient. I would reply, If God meant me to have patients, He would have made me a doctor. My mom never found the humor in it. I digress. Temper anticipation with patience. It will make your life a lot more enjoyable.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. The person won't be expecting it, so there is no anticipation for the person to have to wait through.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Be a Better ...

Have you ever wished that people would [fill in the blank] you better?

For example, do you want people to treat you better? Start off by trying to treat them better. How about, people respecting you more? Try a little more respect towards them? Or how about, people understanding you better? Again, try a little more understanding towards them.

If you know your boss is busy and stressed on Mondays, then Monday is probably not a good day to ask for a favor. If you are aware of his/her hectic/heltic schedule and make your request on a day that is less stressful, you have a much better chance of getting what you want [obviously within reason] than you would by asking on a stressful Monday. This indirectly shows your boss that you are aware of the busy schedule on Mondays and are not adding another item to the to-think-about pile on a day when there is more to do than there is time in the day.

Listen to people, don't just hear them. You can hear someone speaking, but you can only comprehend what the person is saying by listening to the person. It shows the person respect when you are looking eye-to-eye when either of you is speaking. Don't interrupt the person even if you have figured out the answer to their question. Sometimes just listening to the person talk out the problem will give the person the time they need to resolve the problem on his/her own. Even if the person can't or doesn't resolve the problem on their own, you gave the person respect by listening to them.

Give people what they are asking for [again within reason] rather than something you want. If you give your wife the pro football television package for an anniversary or birthday gift instead of the dinner for two at [pick her favorite restaurant], you are probably not going to get the happy look that you have on your face [unless she really loves football too]. If you had actually listened to her when she was telling you what she would like, rather than just hearing her [her mouth was moving but all you heard was blah blah blah], you would have known what she wanted and you could have had her adoring admiration for the night rather than having to sleep on the couch.

Being observant to the habits of your kids could make a world of difference. If you are always running late because your kids can't find this, or they can't carry that because it is too bulky to carry with their other stuff, then it might behoove you to help make their routine easier. Put the stuff that they are always looking for in a central location. Put that bulky item in the car the night before so they or you don't have to go back for it when you are trying to leave in the morning.

It should not always be what other people need to change to make your life easier.

By helping other people with their tasks or issues it will make your life better in the long run. When they are happy they are less likely to try to make your life not so unhappy.

Knowing the boss's busy day and working around it makes you a better employee which should make you get noticed and the rest should take care of it self. Actually listening to your wife will make her happier which should have immediate rewards of making you happier because she is not yelling at you. Making a better routine for your kids in the morning should pay immediate dividends of not running [as] late in the mornings anymore.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. You will be surprised at how much better it makes your life.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Nike used to have a slogan Just Do It. This is where my slogan begins.

Have you ever held the door open for someone and the person didn't even acknowledge you were there, much less say thank you? Then you ask yourself, why did I even bother?

How about if you are driving in traffic and you can tell someone is trying to get into your lane even though they are not using their indicator and you let them in, and you don't receive even the slightest hand-gesture that would indicate a thank you? And you ask yourself, why did I bother?

Well my dear reader, my slogan is Just do it anyway.

Doing the right thing does not require instant reward or gratification from the person the good deed was done upon. Doing the right thing should be done because it is the right thing to do.

So whether or not a person acknowledges you for doing something nice for them, just do it anyway.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Don't worry about whether or not they say thank you. Just do it anyway.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Enjoy Your Family Time

This past Saturday was one of the best days I have had in a long time.

No, I didn't win the lottery. And no, I did not receive an inheritance from a long, lost uncle which made me a multi-millionaire.

The day started with my wife and I perusing the Farmer's market and listening to some local musicians while consuming a snack.

Then we went home for a bit and our teenage daughter dropped by for a visit to see the parental units for a while. Those of you with teenage kids will appreciate this because once the teenage years come around they would prefer to spend more time with their friends. Now parents, I hope you are sitting down, because you are going to have a hard time believing this one - our daughter actually wanted to be seen in public with us without an ulterior motive. We went to a interior home store and she showed us stuff that we actually liked.

When our daughter was done showing us stuff, she went on her way and my wife and I did a little shopping on our own.

To culminate the day, my wife and I went out for dinner. Our meal and service were both very good. The waiter spent the right amount of time and attention with us and gave us enough personal time to talk about whatever.

Make your family's day and spend some time with them. It will one of the best investments of your time.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Next to not being able to pump my own gas, one of the biggest driving differences that I had to modify in my behavior for was not being allowed to do a u-turn unless it was posted that I could; BTW, there are not very many posted places here.

A u-turn allows you correct a wrong turn and go back in the direction you want or need to go.

God allows u-turns. If you have made mistakes in your life, you can make a u-turn and correct most of them. If for some reason you turned your back on God, God wants you to make a u-turn and get back on the right track.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It might be the u-turn you need to make or be the nudge that someone else needs to get back on the right track.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Are You in Control?

Are you in control of your life?

Most of us like to think we are, but in reality, there is very little that we can control.

For example, can you control how your wife is going to react when you tell her "there are just two more minutes left in the game and then I will take out the trash" and then 45 minutes later the game is still going because the game went into overtime? Answer: Most likely not; you will get the if looks could kill look and who knows what else.

Can you control how your boss is going to feel on the day of your review? Most definitely not. You hope that (s)he is going to be in a good mood, but you never know. The best that you can hope for is that you did your best at work and your efforts will be rewarded.

What you can control, more or less, is yourself. You can't control how people are going to react to you, but you can control how you react to them. If you get mad because someone took your parking spot, the person who did most likely was not conscientiously trying to make you mad, but their action was not what you were expecting and you either conscientiously or sub-conscientiously chose to get mad. You let the other person's action take control of you. You can decide whether or not you want to get mad at something trivial. A lost parking spot is not that big of a deal and definitely not worth getting mad about. Take back control of yourself.

You actually control very little of what happens in life. If you do what God wants you to do with happy heart, life is good because God is in control. It is not such a bad thing to not control everything when you know that God will.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. This is one thing you can control.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


It has been six years since the world changed as we knew it.

The best thing I can think to commemorate this date in history is to do nice things for people throughout the day. Even if you normally do nice things for people, make sure to be a little more conscientious of it today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Who You Are?

Do you know who you are?

Sometimes it is easier to figure out who you are by who you are not.

I am not a horse jockey and never will be. I think most horses would protest to having a 6'6" jockey riding it around for a 1 and 1/4 mile run.

I am not the world's fastest or strongest man. Just watch me on the basketball court.

I am not the smartest man in the world either. Just ask my wife.

For starters, I do know that I try to work hard and try to care about people and do the right thing the majority of the time. The rest, I try to figure out as necessary.

So, do you know who you are and who you aren't?

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. This act will show people that you are at least a kindhearted person.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Mundane. Ordinary. Commonplace.

Most of the time people like excitement. They don't care too much for the boring and mundane.

There are certain situations when boring and mundane is just fine. For example, flying on an airplane or having surgery are events that I really hope and pray for ordinary and mundane.

My wife had a procedure done yesterday to remove some infectious fluid from around her pituitary gland. To make a long story short, the procedure/surgery was very mundane. Today she is actually feeling pretty good for the first time in about 8 weeks.

Having a mundane day is not such a bad thing.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. It could be as simple as helping them get through a boring day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Attitudes are contagious.

Control your attitude so it does not control you.

A good attitude goes a long way.

The more positive your attitude, the better chance positive things are going to happen to you.

I'm a big believer in good begetting good.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Your positive attitude could rub off on that someone.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Clean Up

Doo Doo Happens!

You are not special when it happens to you. You are not not special because it happens to you.

What makes you special is how you clean up after it happens.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. They might need help cleaning up after it happens to them.

Be a Better Speaker

Know your audience. Make sure that you speak in a language that they understand.

If you are speaking to a computer geek, you can use as many TLAs (Three Letter Scronyms) as you want and the person will probably understand your jargon. But if you are a computer geek and you are trying to talk to your mom about computers, you better speak in a plain language or else you are going to lose her at "Yo." [Pun on "you had me at hello."]

Also, make sure that you don't speak to a rocket scientist like you would your mom. The rocket scientist will be bored beyond tears.

Know your topic. Make sure you don't talk about things you know very little about.

Know when to be serious and when you can be comical. It takes experience.

Make someone's day and perform a random act of kindness. Share some knowledge with them about something you know a lot about. And speak to them so they can understand and not be bored.


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