Daily Ramblings – Status

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Hey all!

I’m headed to Canada for a few days and will forego the typical posting schedule I follow. Daily Ramblings will be back up for business on Monday!

Have a great weekend everybody!!

Until next time…

Dave

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Daily Ramblings – Wisdom Wednesday

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“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett

I like quotes like these because they truly reflect reality. There is nothing that you will do in life that will not result in mistakes. Mistakes are what makes us human. If we fear to make mistakes we will never accomplish anything. Those of us that accomplish a lot also fail a lot. Those of us that accomplish a lot are not afraid of making mistakes.

The lesson: Make mistakes. Make many mistakes. Continue pushing forward and make more mistakes. If 10 mistakes result in achieving something—make them and achieve.

Take some time today and look at some of the goals you have set for yourself. Which ones have you put off? I bet there’s a little fear inside of you telling you that you are not good enough, you don’t have the right skills to do that, or you don’t know where to start.

Today, I challenge you to grab one of those goals and think about what your life looks like when you achieve it. Then, once you know where you want to be, put together a rough plan. Don’t do anything else, just put together a plan.

Tomorrow, look at that plan and flesh it out a bit. Get some specifics in place. Set a few milestones (deadlines) for those specific actions you have created for yourself.

On Friday take one of those initial actions and do it. On Saturday look at your plan and schedule execution on another one of your action steps to be finished next week. Try this out. You’ll find that once you’re moving on these action steps you’ll begin to feel better and better about achieving your goal.

One of my major goals is to lose weight. I’m down 28 pounds so far. When I started, I went through the same actions above. Has my weight loss been consistent? Has it been perfect? No, to both questions. I have had to continue to adjust, realize I made some mistakes, fix them, and get back on track.

When you are looking to lose weight, you must do one thing: create a calorie deficit. We analyze what we are currently eating by monitoring our food intake for a week. We don’t adjust yet. We just write down what we are eating every day. Then, once you’ve done this for the week, you know what you are currently eating (calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins). Then we adjust. I’m at 2300 calories per week, but do not hit that calorie goal every day. I lose about a pound a week. That’s all I want to lose. I’m not in a rush, I want to keep off whatever I take off.

My plan:

  • Collect food intake
  • Determine total calories consumed each week by macro (Carbs, Fats, Proteins)
  • Then reduce the calories by 500 (3500 calories in 1 pound of body weight)
  • Stick to the new calorie goals

Assumptions:

  • This is not an exact science
  • My body will react differently over time as it adapts to the diet
  • I will need to adjust as I go, but the adjustments need to be gradual and consistent

You see how simple this is? You can do it too. You just need to take a little time to create a plan, break the plan out into actionable steps, and execute each step. You’ll get there—I promise.

If you are stuck and still don’t know what to do, feel free to reach out. I like helping people with achieving their goals. Simply reply in the comments and tell me how to contact you. I’m not looking to make money here, just help others to achieve what they want to achieve.

Making mistakes is part of being human. Make them. Fix them. Move forward.

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Motivation Monday

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“Problems are not stop signs, they are guidelines.” – Robert H. Schuller

Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/robert_h_schuller_107067?src=t_motivational

I’m still tracking my weight loss. Today’s weigh-in: 217lbs. One more pound. Steady and slow, but steady.

Today’s exercise routine was a Back and Bicep workout, coupled with 26 minutes of Cardio. I’m eating 5-6 meals a day but focusing on minimal carb intake (between 20 and 50 grams). I’ve discovered over the last year that I lose weight when I can keep the carbs low.

We are all unique. What works for me, may not work for you. What works for your brother or sister, may not work for you. It’s taken me a while to understand this concept, but it does apply to the types of foods you can eat and tolerate, the type of exercise your body responds to, the amount of sleep you need, and even the types of supplements that work or do not work.

I used to spend a lot of money on supplements. Now, I stick with just a pre- and -intra-workout powder. My body doesn’t like whey protein but loves meat. I can eat as much as I want and my body grinds through it. I recommend two different brands for pre-workouts that have proven to be effective—JYM Supplements and Kaged Muscle. I’m using Kaged Muscle’s pre- and intra-workout (named Prekaged and Inkaged appropriately). You can find these and other supplements on bodybuilding.com.

I’ll be candid with you. There are some days that I absolutely dread going to the gym. Today was one of those days. The caffeine and other ingredients in my pre-workout provide me with a nice boost and helps me get through days like today. Once I’m in the gym, I’m fine, but getting there is sometimes a challenge—this is when the pre-workouts really help me.

When we are pursuing goals, mistakes will be made, doubts will arise, and our motivation will be tested. These problems are all nudges to adjust our plans or reset milestones. When we pursue a goal, we are traveling over untraveled territory. Just like the settlers of the American West, we too will face challenges we are not prepared for. Like Schuller suggests, we adjust. We change gears. We pick a new route. We do not quit, we reformulate.

My road to weight loss will continue until I’ve gotten off the fat I want to get off. It will not stop. It will not cease. I will persevere.

Keep these things in mind as you pursue your goals of writing a book, creating a business, learning a new language or skill. You will run into problems—it is inevitable. Just remember: problems guide us, they identify something we didn’t think about when we first laid our plans. Keep going, keep adjusting, keep moving—you will get where you want to go—just don’t quit.

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Spiritual Saturday

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“The way to work with Divine Spirit in our daily decisions is to consider quite honestly: What would I really like to do?

One must put aside thoughts of asceticism, thinking that God loves us more if we are poor. A business decision must be made using all input that’s available. What’s good for me, my family? It must allow one to grow.

Any decision is not without setbacks, for that’s the nature of life. What sets you apart is that you give it your best effort and more, staying open to the subtle nudges of Divine Spirit.”

—Harold Klemp The Language of Soul

When was the last time you gave some thought to your life? What are you doing? Where are you going? What goals you have set for yourself? I found this to be the most difficult thing to do—to really understand what I wanted in life and where I wanted to go.

It really comes down to deciding. Decisions commit us to something. They say, “I’m going this way or that.” Sometimes it is easy to second-guess ourselves into believing that we may have decided too quickly, but we must realize we have the flexibility to change our minds. The key: 1) decide and 2) stick with it for a bit to really determine if it is something you want to do. More importantly, is it something you are willing to pay the price for (sacrifice, money, time, etc.).

Once you make your decision, you’ll find that tackling the task at hand will be easier. You won’t have to think about what you are doing, because you’ve decided. The focus this brings is liberating.

With focus, you’ll also gain access to little insights that will help you pursue your goal more efficiently. Make sure you write down any ideas that come through, particularly if you’ve hit a roadblock. This happens from time-to-time as we pursue something new. Expect it.

Steps:

  • Decide which goals you want to pursue
  • Make the best plan you can with the information and skillset you have
  • Execute, adjusting your plan and resources as you go
  • Mission accomplished, next…😊

These steps will help you accomplish anything you set your mind to. You’re probably saying to yourself, “Well, this is fine, Dave. What about multiple goals?”

The same steps apply, but you will have to allocate enough time to planning for each goal and executing toward each goal as you see fit. I would recommend picking the highest, most important goal you have and moving forward on that first. Once you have gained some traction, feel free to add more goals into the mix. One warning: Do not overwhelm yourself by pursuing too many goals at the same time or at least pick goals that contribute to one another.

Here are some examples:

Pursue a writing career (writing books), blogging, and freelance writing (all three goals align with another around the skill of writing).

Lose weight, get in shape, and eat right. Again, you can see the alignment between all these goals.

Each goal must be what is called S.M.A.R.T. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_criteria

  • S – Specific
  • M – Measurable
  • A – Assignable
  • R – Realistic
  • T – Time-related

Example Goal:

S – grow to 500 followers on Daily Ramblings by year’s end (2018)

M – 500 followers on WordPress.com

A – not applicable in this case

R – Yes, it is a realistic goal.

T – Yes, the time for achieving this goal is the end of 2018.

Well, that’s it for today folks. I hope you learned something and decide to pursue a goal you’ve been putting off.

Until next time…

Dave

 

Daily Ramblings – Thinking Thursday

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“Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself.” – Plato

Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/thinking

I’ve really begun to enjoy my reading sessions each day. Sometimes I pick out a string of books that are just not that great, but the last few months I’ve been getting my hands on some terrific ones—books you look forward to reading each day. Have you ever read a book that you enjoyed so much that you took your time reading it to expand the time you could enjoy it? That’s what it has been like with the books I’ve been reading. Kobo and Uncle Tom’s Cabin are two books that I’m enjoying tremendously.

I just started the Mindshift course a while ago. It is a lot of fun. The teachers are the same as my previous course – Learning how to Learn. This course is about different techniques for learning new things, like a language or picking up a skill you do not have any experience with. It is terrific!

One of the things I’ve learned about low-carb diets is my energy level. It is easier to do endurance work, but lifting weights is much tougher than it was when I was eating a decent amount of carbs. I have been getting comments about my trimming down, which always feels good. I’ve adjusted my workout routine to every other day to adjust to this diet. This is a temporary adjustment, but one that should expedite my body’s adaptation to this new eating pattern.

I hope everyone is having a great week so far. Feel free to comment below with any of the things you are doing well, any goals you have set or accomplished, and even course or book recommendations. I’m always on the lookout for the next great online course or book.

Books:

The Shariyat Ki Sugmad, Paul Twitchell

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe

The Spiritual Exercises of ECK, Harold Klemp – Just finished this book yesterday. Boy, what a collection of exercises that can help solve some of life’s little challenges.

Kobo: A Story of the Russo-Japanese War, Herbert Strang

The Thirty Years’ War 1618 – 1648, Samuel Rawson Gardner – Religious differences and intolerance, coupled with greed and vanity and you get 30 years of conflict along with the civilian suffering that followed. Very interesting read if you would like to learn about the 30 years’ war.

Classes:

Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

Public Policy, Hillsdale College

Mini-Habits Course, Udemy

Documentaries:

I’m a Killer (Netflix)

Movies:

Ready Player One (Amazon Prime) – I haven’t watched this yet. My sister recommended it and it is on my hit list.

Fun:

The West Wing (Currently on Netflix)

Keep pushing, only today and tomorrow before the weekend!!

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Wisdom Wednesday – Four Strategies to Improve your Mood

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“Once the Holy Spirit grants us Its blessings, how often do we remember to acknowledge them? Acknowledgment is done through gratitude, which keeps our hearts open to love.” —Harold Klemp The Language of Soul

Gratitude Journaling

Do you keep a Gratitude Journal? I do. I have found over time that it is beneficial to my well-being. It keeps me focused on the good things in life—the simple things—the things we tend to take for granted.

Keeping a Gratitude Journal is easy. Simply get yourself an inexpensive diary or notebook (about $.50 at Staples) and take a few minutes each morning to list out three-five things you are grateful for. That’s it.

A few years ago, I began looking for habits that would benefit me. Habits like meditation, reading, writing, learning, and journaling. Gratitude journaling was everywhere. I figured what did I have to lose? It wouldn’t take long to write down three-to-five things and if I scheduled it on my calendar or in my to-do list as a repeating item it wasn’t much of a sacrifice.

So, I started. Initially, my heart really wasn’t in it. I was going through the motions, so to speak. After a while, however, I began to look forward to my gratitude moment in the morning and really started to “feel” how grateful I was for a roof over my head, good friends, my personal talents that I was born with, my dog, my parents, you name it. This feeling began to carry itself throughout my day. Sometimes, even today, I go through the motions. It’s hard to be in a consistent state of happiness or gratitude all the time. We all have our days and we are changing continuously. We do tend to have more good days than bad, at least that is what I have discovered.

In the success and self-help literature is a common reference to being what we think about most of the time. Focus on the good stuff. The more you place your mind on the things that are going well, the more you will recognize how good life really is. This is the benefit of a gratitude journal. It will help you find a few things that are going right in your life. Once you get in the habit of doing this, you’ll discover, like I did, that life is a treasure, ripe with experiences.

You’re probably saying to yourself, “Wow, this is great. I’m so happy for you, but this is not my life.” I get it. I too have some tough days from time-to-time. When I run across a problem or just feeling a little down, I have a few more strategies for you.

Four Strategies to Improve your Mood

Strategy #1 – Write a letter

Don’t mail this to anyone. Write your letter to Jesus, God, or some other person of importance you revere. Write your heart out, explaining your problem. Ask this entity for help. Write down the problem as you see it and ask, “What is the lesson here? What am I supposed to learn from this?” You’ll find that most of our troubles relate to a spiritual lesson or principle that God is trying to teach us.

Strategy #2 – Help Someone

Some of our challenges arise because we become too focused on ourselves. When we are focused too much on ourselves it causes an introversion to occur. We stop feeling empathy for others because we are too wrapped up in ourselves and “OUR” problem. Take a moment to do something nice for someone else, whether it be a family member, a close friend, or even a stranger. You can volunteer to do some charity work, you can do something nice for your family member like a chore around the house you normally do not do or send your friend a nice letter or give them a call to tell them how much they mean to you. When you focus on someone other than yourself, you’ll find that your troubles tend to be less burdensome and important and your mood will improve.

Strategy #3 – Pray or Meditate

When we pray or meditate we become quiet. Meditation and prayer require it. When you focus all your attention on a chant, your breath, or your creator, the mood you’re in will subside a bit. Ask a question and let it sit for a while. You’ll find that these little sessions of 10 minutes bring great benefits of calm and the answers to your problems will come if you remain open to the answers.

Strategy #4 – Exercise

Working out in the gym is therapeutic for me. It relieves a stress, improves your blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, helps you maintain flexibility, and keeps those muscles working. Exercise will get your mind off things that are bothering you and releases endorphins that create a feeling of pleasure in your brain. When you finish a workout, you’ll also feel some accomplishment and improvements to your self-esteem.

If you’re having a tough time of it, I hope this post helps you in some way. Try out some of these strategies if you are feeling down. You’ll find like I did, that they do help.

Until next time…

Dave

Daily Ramblings – Motivation Monday

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“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” — Confucius

Today’s Monday Motivation is about persistence. Persistence is the ability to continue to move forward despite difficulties, failures, and doubt—it is the ability to continue that is a truly powerful ally, particularly when we run into challenges.

When I volunteered for Ranger School, one of the pieces of advice I received was from a recent graduate. That soldier told me that “persistence defeats resistance.” Boy, was he right. You really have no idea how hard this school is until you’re doing it. At one point in the final phase of the school, my body was so worn out that I was literally thriving on willpower alone. My body was just broke.

This same type of persistence is required when pursuing any type of goal that stretches your limits. I am on a journey to weight loss. I had a difficult back surgery in 2003 and have been struggling with my weight ever since. I’m making progress, but this progress is slow. I’m not concerned. Weight loss should be slow. It took me 15 years to get to the weight I am at, I’m not concerned if it takes me that much time to lose what I put on. I will achieve my goal.

I am also pursuing a goal of writing some books. Again, this is not an easy journey. It is tough work to create something-something that is original and my own. I will achieve my goal.

I am dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle. My physical and mental health is important. I meditate daily. I exercise daily. I continue to study and read all the latest information on improving physical and mental well-being. I will achieve my goal.

A key piece to mental health, particularly the brain is in eating right, sleeping enough, physical exercise, and mental exercise. I have embraced the concept of life-long learning. I also enjoy playing video games, not just because I find them fun and entertaining, but also because they stimulate the brain and my hand-eye coordination. I’m a big fan of strategy games and first-person shooters like Call of Duty.

I have set a personal goal of reading 36 books this year (around 3 a month). I’m close to hitting that goal. Once I achieve it, I’ll set my goal to 48 books next year. I have found that doing a little each day is really the key to achieving these types of goals. Frankly, it works for most of the things I am pursuing. Little things add up to really big things. Therefore, my focus is more on my daily accomplishments, rather than on long-term or even short-term goals. I have goals, but it is the daily accomplishment of critical tasks that build up in the long run. Read a chapter a day and you will read 365 chapters a year. I read much more than that, but you get the point.

Book writing is the same. Working just a little each day will build the book. As I get better at the writing process, writing more books will be much easier. It’s always the first step that poses the most difficulty. It is like taking a step in the dark when traversing uncharted territory. We take small steps initially. Once we gain confidence in the path, our steps are less tentative.

The key point to this posting is the ability to build confidence, by persevering. Each day we do something we get better at that task. Each time we improve our proficiency in something we are unskilled at, our confidence improves. If you have ever read any type of training or teaching material, you’ll realize the wisdom in the four levels of learning. These four levels are: 1) unconscious incompetence; 2) conscious incompetence; 3); conscious competence; and 4) unconscious competence. At each level, we grow in proficiency.

Initially, we must be taught, or we must learn how to do something we don’t know how to do. Then we begin to realize how little we know about a topic or task. After some practice, we become proficient in the task but need to pay attention to what we are doing. When we have truly mastered a task or skill, we can do the task without thinking about it. It is a part of us. This is the unconscious competence level. Authors like Stephen King are like this. This is how he has become so prolific in his writing. Another author that comes to mind that is like this is Isaac Asimov.

Persistence is required when we attempt anything new. Whether it is a new diet, a new exercise regimen, writing, public speaking, or web development. Every new skill we pursue requires us to pay a price. This price involves learning something new, then practicing and practicing and practicing. This process never ends—ever. You can’t master anything if you aren’t willing to make the sacrifice to learn the task and then practice the task until you become unconsciously competent in the performance of the task.

You will make mistakes. You will be frustrated. You will have to change course. This is what persistence is. I hope all of you have a great week!

Until next time…

Dave