Daily Ramblings – Daily Quote – Hiring up..

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“I hire people brighter than me and I get out of their way.” – Lee Iacocca

I’m a little under the weather today folks. Caught a cold and trying to get rid of it by taking care of myself. I hope you are having a great Monday!!

Until next time…

Dave

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Daily Ramblings – Ted Talk – Listening to the other side

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This is a truly eye-opening Ted Talk. I have been working on this for the last few years. It is really important to understand others, even with diametrically opposed views. We are all here. We are all on this planet. Ignoring or nullifying someone else’s opinion is fruitless. As Zachary points out in this video, we must listen to the other side to learn.

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quote – Forgiveness

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“Forgiveness is the final form of love.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

Have you ever held a grudge? Have you ever felt uncomfortable around a loved one you wronged and haven’t made up with? Have you ever thought about something you did in the past and not forgiven yourself for your actions? These are all deep and heartfelt questions.

When we hold a grudge, we hold onto a past transgression as if it happened yesterday. The grudge mindset is self-destructive. This mindset continually relives a wrong, repeatedly. In most cases, it blows the action out of proportion and sustains the grudge feeling even more.

If we’ve wronged someone else and fail to apologize, the situation festers and gets worse with time. When we see that person again, we either tuck that wrong away or avoid any type of talk about it. We feel guilty, we feel ashamed, but we don’t know how to progress. Instead, we avoid, we ignore, we may even cut off contact with the person we wronged because of the shame that arises inside when we think about them or see them in person.

When we do something wrong, something we know is wrong, a part of us dies. Like the situation above, we avoid thinking about it, we ignore it, we put it aside. We lie to ourselves to keep some semblance of internal peace. But, the thing we did is still there, poking and prodding us whenever and wherever it can.

How do we avoid all this trouble? We can simply forgive. We can forgive ourselves for something we did, realizing we are learning. We can apologize to the person we wronged as soon as we recognize we harmed them in some way. We can forgive ourselves.

Forgiveness repairs. Forgiveness reduces tension. Forgiveness expresses respect for those we have wronged and to ourselves for being human.

If you have someone in your life you need to forgive, do so. If you have that “thing” in your past that you know was wrong but did anyway, forgive yourself. If there is someone you know that you wronged, apologize. They may forgive you or they may not. Regardless, apologize and move on. Close the loop.

In the future, move more quickly to forgive yourself and others. Apologize immediately if you’ve hurt someone’s feelings or screwed something up. Forgiveness is about love. Forgiveness is about loving others despite their shortcomings, and more importantly, loving yourself for your own shortcomings.

Forgiveness is the final form of love.

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Complaint or Solution?

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“Don’t find fault, find a remedy” – Henry Ford

 

It is so easy to nitpick a solution to a problem or a process. It is so easy to complain about other people or something we don’t like. It is so easy to be a complainer.

 

But, like anything easy, it comes with some huge disadvantages. The first is the inability to see anything positive in a situation. Complaining compels us to look for the bad situation, the bad solution, the bad person, the bad in everything. Who complains when things are going good right?

 

The second major problem with complaining is the constant reference to the activity, item, action, or person we complain about. This complaining, particularly if we have no solution, escalates our complaining to a level that brings about a feeling of helplessness, hopelessness, and feeling bad about ourselves (Winch, 2012).

 

We rarely complain to the people that can solve the problem is the third disadvantage. When we lack a solution to a problem we are complaining about we tend to vent to our friends or relatives—people who cannot solve the problem. Why? Because we want someone to validate our emotions. This does bring temporary relief, but does it solve the problem? No. So we move to the next phone call or meeting over coffee and continue to relive our problem over and over and over.

 

Like Ford’s quote suggests, there is a solution. Complain to people who can do something about your problem or issue. If you don’t like a process or program in your company, approach the person who set the process or program. If you don’t like the way you are treated by someone, tell them. If you don’t like the service you are getting at a restaurant, request to speak to a manager.

 

Suggestion: Have a solution. If you don’t like a program or process, design a different one that will benefit the organization—then sell it! If you don’t like how someone treats you, pull them aside and tell them how you would like to be treated. If you aren’t getting the service you like, request to speak to a manager and explain what your expectations are when visiting their restaurant.

 

Will these solutions be effective? Not all the time. However, it is much more efficient to solve a problem and present it, rather than coming up with an easy complaint and talking with people who cannot solve your problem. If your solution doesn’t work, you can work with your manager and perhaps come up with a better solution than you came up with. You can approach HR in your company to help a person who is mistreating you see the light. You can avoid a restaurant in the future that didn’t meet your expectations.

 

Personally, I do not like the feelings associated with helplessness. I believe there is always a solution to a problem. Complaining is ok occasionally. Habitual complaining is unhealthy and an absolute waste of time. For more information, see the article referenced below. It is a good read if you are looking to improve your outlook on life and want to learn to complain effectively.

 

Until next time…

 

Dave

 

Reference

 

Winch, G. (2012). Does complaining damage our mental health? How the way we complain impacts our mental health. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-squeaky-wheel/201201/does-complaining-damage-our-mental-health

 

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quote – Riding the Waves of Life

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“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” – Dolly Parton

Words of wisdom. The metaphors “wind” and “sails” represent life and attitudes. Life is out of our control in most cases. We cannot control the weather or other people. We cannot control world hunger, poverty, or any other of the world’s ailments.

The only thing we can control is the attitude or the way we react to outside circumstances. This response can be one of indifference, one of joy, or one of horror. Name an emotion and our reactions can be measured by them.

We can alter our reactions by focusing on what we can control. We can also limit what comes into us from the outside. Show me a person who is addicted to the news and I’ll show you a person who is paranoid, constantly upset, and a whole host of other mental maladies.

The key to adjusting our attitudes and maintaining our sanity is to simply focus on what we can control. If you have a job you dislike, focus on the things you do like. Focus on the work. Focus on the benefits you are getting from the job, the people you get along with, and let the rest go. You cannot change it. You can only affect how you feel about things.

I’m not suggesting becoming a hermit. There are many things we encounter by default. It’s hard to escape the news when it is on our radios, the Internet, and in most of the publications we read. Nowadays you can even see it on the televisions set up in the workplace.

It is also hard to escape a person you dislike at work, a poorly run company, or inefficient processes and procedures. You can try to affect these things, but in most cases, the hill will be too steep to climb. So, what do you do? Well, you can change companies. Or perhaps you could tackle the work at hand and make the best of your situation. You could find entertaining things to do after work. You could pick up a hobby or start a personal project that excites you.

At work, you do the best you can with what you have. You focus on the parts of projects you can affect. You learn to interact with people who you dislike by learning why they are the way they are and adapting to that. You make a proposal to the company leadership to change a process for the better. This is proactively attacking things you can control.

Or you could digress to the victim. No one likes you. No one gives you the respect you deserve. No one gives you an opportunity. No one cares. No one understands. You become like a paper boat on a pond during a windstorm, tossed and turned, flipped, and twisted with the ever-changing, uncontrollable winds and storms of life.

The choice is obvious right? Act on what you can control. Deal with that part of reality that you cannot control by making the best of it. We can’t control snow in April, but we can look at it differently. We can say to ourselves, what a great day for a nice cup of coffee and a good book. We can notice how nice it is to walk into a warm and comfortable office after negotiating the rain, ice, and cold. We can look out the window and realize we are not a soldier who is more than likely living in those ungodly conditions. We are in a warm office, with a computer, and a warm beverage. You see how the scene changes?

So, adjust your sails to accommodate the winds of life. You’ll find the ride much more enjoyable.

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quote – Finding Peace and Happiness

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“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” – Peace Pilgrim

How do we find peace within ourselves? This is probably a question that has dumbfounded philosophers and scholars alike. I think it is a personal undertaking. The primary way to achieve peace is to simply love yourself. I am not talking about a narcissistic exercise but one of truthfully looking at one’s actions, failures, triumphs, and successes and just getting to a place where you are ok with all of it.

I know in my life I have hurt a lot of people. Sometimes I hurt them intentionally; other times by accident. Nonetheless I did it. It took many years of contemplation and reflection to arrive at a place where I can look back and truly forgive myself for the things I have done that I am not that proud of.

There has also been a great deal of failures. Failures caused by procrastination (not taking the shot when I had it), not taking the time to really plan something out and just sort of winging it, or even situations when everything was in alignment and failed. These failures are what makes me who I am today.

So, I think the best way to find peace is to truly forgive and love yourself. Whether you visualize yourself as an adult or a young child, forgive yourself. You did the best you could in the situation you were in. You acted with the knowledge you had. Even if the actions you made were wrong, forgive yourself. Even if you failed, acknowledge the failure and forgive yourself.

Attitude is another aspect of peace. I find many people who are unhappy with their lives, choose one of two things: 1) they are revolting against reality; 2) they are revolting against change. Reality is what you have. It’s the job you have, the marriage or relationship you are in, the relationship you are not in, the money you have, the money you do not have.

I read a quote a few years back and it still makes sense today. Everything is in its rightful place in the worlds of God. That means everything. Subsequently, the choice each of us must make is whether we are ok with our reality or need to change it. We also must come to grips with the realization that there are some things you will not change, and you have ZERO control over.

If we can change our situation (we have the power and the desire) then change it. If you’re in a bad job, find another one. If you are in a bad relationship leave it and find another one. If you are unhappy with your body, start working out and eat right. If you are unhappy with world hunger, get involved, but do not expect this reality to change. There will always be world hunger, poverty, war, and all the rest. We human beings are just wired to hurt one another. Change what you can change and accept the rest. Truly find happiness within you. Your attitude is what makes the difference.

Happiness is related to peace. When you are happy the world is right, your situation is right, everything is just right. How many of us let outside circumstances dictate our mood, our happiness, our peace? I firmly believe that there are some people that are happy being unhappy. There is always something outside themselves that makes them unhappy. They are always chasing happiness. Yet, they won’t do anything about it, but complain. Complain to their parents, complain to their friends, complain to their siblings. Complain, complain, complain. They are like a broken record that plays the same song over and over and over. Friends, family, and colleagues try to tell them, “Hey, can you play a different song?” They don’t like the song, but don’t want to change the record, because they are so “comfortable” with what’s playing.

I hope today’s post finds you well. If any of this hit a nerve, I hope you decide to forgive yourself. I hope you make the changes to your reality that you can. It will make your life more relaxing and will help you see that peace, happiness, and contentedness are all yours right now—if you realize it.

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quote – Ideas

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“Take a simple idea and take it seriously.” – Charlie Munger

Have you ever had an idea that you just blew off?

I used to do this quite a bit, but then I read about the importance of capturing your ideas and have been doing so ever since. In the old days, we needed pen and paper. Today, with the capabilities of our tablets and cell phones, we can simply record our ideas. Now, if I have a pen and paper I will write the note down because it’s actually more efficient. It’s more efficient because you still have to transcribe the recordings or figure out how you will store them or find them for easy retrieval.

So, what’s the big deal about all of this? What I discovered was that over time, after developing this habit, I got more ideas, and more ideas, and more ideas. It’s like a garden hose with increasing pressure. Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t happen all of the time. This “voice”, if you will, needs to be prompted. You have to ask it a question or present it with a problem. Once you do, particularly if you’ve been doing this a while, it will deliver.

Here are a few examples:

I had to give a public talk a few months ago. I started doing some research and asked, “What are the best things to talk about?” and “How do I organize the talk?” Then the ideas began flowing. I started preparing for the talk about a month in advance and by the time I began finalizing things, I had over 3 pages of notes, quotes, and ideas. As I began going through these notes and ideas, the format for my talk literally built itself.

I had a financial problem. I didn’t know where to turn, so I asked the question. How do I fix this? Again, the ideas and answers began coming. This is almost like an internal brainstorming session. You ask the question and all kinds of ideas come. Write all of them down. Do not judge them. Why? Because if you refute every single thing this inner voice gives you it is the same as not writing your ideas down. Have you ever been in a situation where a friend asks you for advice and then, every idea you pass along they reject? Frustrating right? I think the same applies to this inner voice.

I would also recommend giving this time. Typically, when I ask a question the ideas will come in spurts. Some within a few minutes; others over the next few days. Ask the question and collect. Once you’ve collected a good chunk of ideas, start going through them. Which ones seem to be most aligned with your goals or tasks? Once you’ve decided on which ones are most relevant to what you need to do, then it’s time to organize them in a cohesive order. Like I mentioned before, this tends to take care of itself, once you start reading through your collected ideas. The format or way you organize the ideas begins to take shape and a form begins taking shape. Then you’re off to the races.

Random Ideas

You’ll also get ideas about any number of things. Maybe an adjustment to your diet, a new way to organize your office or home, a better way to track your bills. It could be about anything. Capture them. If I’m on the road and I don’t have a trusty pen and paper, I used the recorder on my phone. If I am at my desk, I grab my journal and write it down. If I’m in my journaling app online, I can even jot it there. The trick is to write it down and remember where it is for capture.

When and where do I capture all of these ideas? My to-do app. I currently use a to-do app called Toodledo. This app is pretty versatile. It has a list section, task section, notes section, outline section, and habits section. All in one. I put all of these ideas into the lists section. In this lists section, I have all kinds of categories, like my bucket list, my someday/maybe list, my next actions list, my projects list, and so on. My to-do list is the area that I put everything new. The key is to process this list!

Well, that’s how I handle the ideas that pop into my head. How do you handle your ideas? Have you discovered the same thing I have?

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Daily Quote – Winston Churchill

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“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill

Back by popular demand are my daily quotes. Over the last few months, I’ve missed this part of my blogging experience, so here we go.

Today’s quote is about pain, difficulty, and the challenges we face each day. This quote reminds me of the time I was enduring the U.S. Army’s Ranger School. The school at the time was 56 days long and was just a tough thing to get through. At one point in the course I passed what is called the “point of no return”. In other words, there was no way I was not going to graduate. I had gone through too much already. If I’d quit, all that pain and suffering would have been for nothing.

You can apply this quote to anything in life. If you are pursuing a goal and you are just beat, or you are dealing with one of any number of life’s problems, remember to keep going. The pain will pass, the suffering will pass, the fear will dissipate. At the end you’ll feel accomplished.

I enjoy working out. It wasn’t always so. The key to establishing a solid workout habit is to literally keep going. If you’re tired out during a routine, keep going. If you don’t feel like going to the gym, go anyway. The key to establishing a good workout routine is to do it until you see a benefit. Once you do, you’ll be hooked like most of the people I see in the gym consistently. We all show up because it is a huge benefit. We sleep better, are less stressed out, our appetite is good, and we get sick a lot less than others, not to mention we enjoy what we look like in the mirror.

Another aspect of this quote is time. We have all dealt with situations or time periods in our lives where everything has gone wrong. Many times, difficulties just pile up and we are just sitting there confused and wondering what else could possibly go wrong? The answer: A whole lot more.

You see good times and bad times arise in our lives repeatedly. It is inevitable. We ride the wave at some points and crash into the shore at others. Remain balanced and realize that each cycle will come to an end. Endure it. Do the best you can, particularly during those “dark” times. It will end just like before. This is the nature of life. One way to deal with these situations is to stop and think. Think about the situation, create a plan to deal with whatever it is you’re dealing with, and take one step at a time.

Well, that’s it for today folks!

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Journal Series – The Nutrition or Eating Journal

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The Nutrition or Eating Journal

This journal is a great one if you are using it in conjunction with an exercise journal. Why? Because most of us are exercising to trim our waste lines and feel better. If you are into bodybuilding, you’ll probably want to be tracking your macros. Macros are literally composed of three items: protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If you are not tracking macros, you may only be tracking calories. Either way, you’ll record what you ate, and the macros or calories in the food you just ate.

This is a tough discipline. Writing down every single thing you eat takes a bit of practice because we are not used to it. It is really important though, particularly if you have a specific goal you want to achieve. When you know what you are putting into your body it follows that you can adjust what you are eating to either continue moving in the direction you are striving for or change up your food intake to curb a disturbing trend.

This has become such a popular idea that there are numerous apps and websites that support this type of activity. The list is too long to give here, but if you search the Google, Apple, Amazon, or Windows app stores you are sure to find one that works well for your lifestyle and needs at a minimal expense. These apps all have calorie and macro counting capability built in, so it makes it much easier than manually looking up all of the foods you are eating each time you are putting it into your journal.

Once you know what you’re allowed to eat, simply add food items to your journal as you go through your day, and then monitor how close you are to your daily goals. If you fail to achieve the results you want, you merely adjust. If you are using a specific diet, you’ll no doubt have access to troubleshooting, which will be provided by the plan’s book, website, or app.

You can also write down things that you are feeling with your diet. Things like, “Boy, I’m hungry” or “that was an awesome meal”. Any of these things will be excellent later on as you review your progress and remember those days you were really hungry and stuck with your diet anyway or fell off the wagon. The key is to find your own specific pulse. Once you know where your weaknesses are, you’ll be likely to avoid those times you are particularly weak with friends who love to eat. You’ll also develop some strategies to curb those cravings or compensate for them.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. I’m not a dieting expert but can point you in the right direction if you need some help.

Until next week…

Dave