Here’s another educational installment, courtesy TEDEd. Enjoy!
Until next time…
This Ted Ed talk was inspired by my wife who is taking a test for her teaching credential today. Good luck, dear!
All of us get a little nervous before taking a test, wondering if we studied the right material, will remember what is important, and ultimately do well. Watch this Ted Ed talk to discover what happens in our brains when we are stressed out.
I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday!
Until next time…
Today, we learn about anesthesia. I have always wondered how they determine what to use when we get surgery. Just like this video explains, I did not make it beyond 95, when asked to count back from 100 and awoke 7 hours later with my back repaired.
I hope you like this short little video and enjoy it. These educational videos spurred me to re-title my Tuesday posts to “Thinking Thursdays”. From today forward, I’ll be changing today’s blog post from Ted Talk Tuesday to Thinking Thursday, which will also include videos from other sources or some book or course suggestions for you to take, if you’d like.
I hope you’re having a great Tuesday!
Until next time…
This week, we’ll delve into another Ted Ed video. It is short, but interesting. It walks us through the process of aging. I really enjoy these. If you do too, leave a comment and I’ll continue to do these for a while.
Have a great Tuesday!
Until next time…
My nephew is visiting, and it’s a great time. We are catching up on things that are happening in Arizona and enjoying his company. My Mom and Dad are thrilled he is here and enjoying the time with him.
This week I’ll be writing, exercising, meditating, programming, reading, and learning. I’ll also be doing some stuff with my nephew and getting ready for a religious retreat this weekend. It’ll be a great week!
I was pondering the reasons why I do what I do. I do the things I do because I enjoy them. I like to write because it helps me clarify my thinking, organize my thoughts, and express myself. I like to exercise because it provides a sense of accomplishment and I feel good after I’ve completed it. Exercise for me is a daily battle but one that I typically win. I try to exercise early in the day to get it done. It sets the tone for the rest of the day. Meditation is a no-brainer for me. The benefits of consistent meditation is just too good to miss out on. I enjoy the mental clarity that comes from meditating, along with the focus I am able to achieve. Learning and programming have always been passions of mine. I am currently working through a Python course and taking a writing course. Both are ways for me to improve myself and learn something that I can use for an income. Reading is always a joy. I enjoy reading because I learn from the authors I select and it is entertaining.
I like having a format to my day. I like waking up and looking at my to-do list, the bulk of which is recurring. There are always things that I need to do that pop up now and then but for the most part, my schedule is pretty consistent.
What is your why? Why are you pursuing what you are pursuing? Why do you have goals? Why do you want to achieve them? These are great questions to ask, particularly if you are finding that you’ve lost interest in what you are doing or need to alter what your game plan is for the day. I tend to do an inventory of these things a few times a year. Sometimes I get burned out on taking courses, so I’ll take a break from them. Sometimes I enjoy reading multiple books at once. Other times I enjoy one book. My exercise fluctuates from going to the gym every day to doing a home workout. My meditations use an app some days and do not use anything other days. I keep my days fresh by redoing my inventory of doing things once in a while. I never drop my goals, but I do change what goals I am focusing on, just to avoid monotony.
Most of my goals now are bucket list items. These are the things I want to accomplish before I leave this Earth. Writing a book or two, attaining and maintaining a certain weight, writing a mobile app and a computer app that I can sell are also bucket item lists. These are long-term goals. I have some short-term goals (yearly), like taking so many courses, reading so many books. I also have some indefinite goals or things that I pursue all the time that do not have a finish date or final state of being. Goals like weight loss, eating healthy, and maintaining my financials are ongoing, never-ending goals.
Take a few moments to understand why you have the goals you have. Are you making progress? Are you driven to attain them? If you find yourself resisting goals you want to achieve, try to understand what is driving you to achieve that goal? Maybe your why isn’t strong enough. Maybe you’ve lost interest. That’s ok. Move on to something else and put that goal on hold for a bit. It doesn’t mean you’ve quit, it just means you want to focus on goals you are really driven to achieve in this moment. You can always return to it later.
Well, that’s it for today, folks. Have a great Monday and a great week!
Until next time…
When it is obvious that I cannot reach the goals, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.–Confucius
Read more at Brainyquote.com
How many of you have set a goal, laid out the action steps, and found out you would not achieve the goal after beginning the work? (I raise my hand). This will not be a rare occurrence. The reason it will not be rare is that we are doing something we have not done before. We are traveling in uncharted territory. So what do we do? We take the learning that we have gained and re-apply that knowledge to the original plan and try it out. We continue this until we have achieved what we envisioned to be the goal.
Look at any art. Writing a book? Composing music? Painting a picture? If you take any artistic goal, you find that art is a series of improvements. You write the first draft. It’s ok, but needs a lot of work. The work is where the art is. You change a sentence here, move a paragraph there, change the title or order of your chapters to make your work more readable or fluid. This is yet another example of being flexible with your plans, knowing that you will make mistakes as you go. We make mistakes because we don’t know what we don’t know.
How can we avoid mistakes? Well, I think it’s impossible to avoid mistakes entirely. You can minimize mistakes by learning from others. There are many people on this planet and a lot of them who post tutorials, lessons, and other information that worked for them. Heck, right here on WordPress, you can find articles about anything. Some of them are terrific! For others you may have to find something on YouTube, an online course, or your local library.
You could use this as part of your plan to achieve a goal. Learn how to do what you want to do at some point. Let’s say you want to learn how to write a nonfiction book. You can find books, papers, classes all over the internet discussing this very topic. Fiction writing, writing poetry, or writing a short story are waiting for you to read, watch, and learn.
One of my bucket list items is to write a mobile app. I’m taking courses on Codecademy to learn the basics of programming. Then I can look for classes on mobile programming and I’m almost home. Then it’s just a matter of developing what I want to create for my mobile app and then learning the processes involved for submitting my app to the iTunes and Google Play stores. I haven’t looked yet, but know there are courses and tutorials available for this thing.
If you have your goal set in your mind, the pieces of the puzzle you need to complete that picture are waiting for you. Remember that you will make mistakes. That’s ok. It’s all part of learning how to do something. Once you know how to do something you can do the work and bring it home.
Well, that’s it for today, folks. I hope some of you enjoy this. If you have any stories to tell about how you found out how to do something, post a link here.
As always, have a great Wednesday!
Until next time…
“He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.” — Aeschylus
Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is about learning and growth. Look back over your life for a few minutes today. Think about the time you grew the most, learned the most, or made a life-changing decision. I bet these were times of great pain and suffering.
I don’t know why, but these times, although unendurable at the time, are the times we grow the most. The point this quote makes is that it is impossible to grow or learn when things are easy. When things are easy, the human mind likes to live in its repetitiveness. Why change? Everything is wired, and the brain loves repetition. Then–BAM!! You get blindsided.
The blindside could be a financial problem, a friend or loved one that betrays you, your job goes away, or any number of disasters. Immediately you go into “scramble mode”. At these times of high stress and trouble we become very creative. We reach out to friends, we read, we do Internet searches, anything we can to find potential solutions to our pain. It is these times that we truly grow.
We learn the things we did or didn’t do that caused our problem. Sometimes we learn that the things we just lost weren’t that important to begin with. Maybe the relationship you were in was on its way out months or even years ago and you’ve held onto it, even though in your “heart of hearts” you knew it wasn’t working for you or them and neither of you could drum up the courage to end it. Maybe you lose your job, again, knowing the company was having financial problems and ignoring the signs. You see, we ignore these signals because our brains want things to stay the way we are. As human beings, we just don’t like change, even though some changes are needed. We just let things go to maintain the status quo, only to discover that they will change anyway—normally at the worst time possible.
None of us want pain in our lives. None of us want change, but life tends to have a way of forcing change, even if we don’t want it. We get sick because we don’t want to change our diet or exercise. We get blindsided by a layoff when we knew we should have started looking for a new job months ago. We knew our significant other wasn’t really into us anymore but stuck around, anyway.
The pain we suffer results from our attachment to the status quo. We like things the way they are and we don’t want them to change, even if the change is happening right before our eyes. So why not make the change ahead of time? It’s hard. We are so good at telling ourselves lies and procrastinating. So what do we do?
The only advice I can give is to be decisive, ask the hard questions, learn what the right thing is and do it. You know when you’re putting on weight, your job isn’t working out, or even a relationship that isn’t fulfilling anymore. You feel it in your bones. You just know. We all have this intuition. We also get warning signs in advance of a real disaster.
These warning signs normally start out as gut feelings. Something isn’t right, but you can’t put your finger on it. Then they elevate. They become more blatant. Now you know something isn’t right but you still avoid doing something. Then, it’s a baseball bat to the head or a kick in the gut. You guessed it. You got blindsided again.
Pay attention to these intuitions. They are not crazy or paranoid. We all get them. It’s important to act on these intuitions, even if it is just looking for more information to test them out. Do not ignore them. I’ve learned this hard lesson so many times and it took so many disasters before I woke up and figured it out.
Now I pay attention to all of them. If something happens that doesn’t make sense or I get the feeling that something is going sideways, I immediately begin digging and looking to verify whether this is something real or my imagination is just overactive. More times than not, the intuition is right. By acting on these intuitions we can avoid a lot of pain and suffering. Being blindsided is no fun. It is better to avoid bad situations by circumventing them now instead of letting them fester.
Well, that’s it for today, folks. I hope all of you have a terrific Wednesday.
Until next time…
Thanks to all my new followers this week. I am always thankful for even one new person who follows Daily Ramblings. It is a real treat.
Today I am thankful for my life. I have had so many experiences that have contributed to who I am today. I was thinking about my 20 years in the Army and the opportunity to serve my country in multiple capacities. I was thankful for the places that service allowed me to see. I am grateful for all the people I met, and the friendships made.
I am grateful for the great times I had in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. I am grateful for the experience of living in these places and learning more about the people that lived there. I am grateful for these experiences and how they helped me grow as a human being.
When I look back over my life, I have a deep gratitude for everything that has happened. Each event added to who I am today. I would change nothing. Every single thing that I have gone through—be it good or bad—was necessary. My life has been one grand adventure that continues to bring new experiences every day.
This week, I had my first opportunity to experience jury duty. I have been selected before, but never actually picked to come into the courthouse. It was an interesting experience. The people I met were nice and the experience overall was great. I spent two days there because the previous day was interrupted quite a bit by a previous jury’s deliberations and the judge had to bring us back to finalize jury selection. It was nice hanging out with the people there and getting to know a few of them.
Well, that’s it for now, folks. Have a great week!
Until next time…
What do you have planned this week? I had a great conversation with my wife yesterday. She just placed 2nd and 5th in two different bodybuilding categories at a competition in Las Vegas. I asked her what she did to get into the shape she got into for the competition. Here’s a bit.
Two workout sessions each day in the final 8 weeks. She does 1 hour of cardio (treadmill) followed by 45 minutes in the Sauna. She eats only chicken, rice, oatmeal (dry), protein shake, and egg whites. In the last 4 days, prior to the competition, she ate only chicken with ¼ cup of rice in the evening. Her weight training sessions are an hour to an hour and a half after a long day of work (she’s a special education teacher). She eats about 1.5 lbs of chicken each day. The only thing she can drink is water. No coffee, no tea, no soda, no protein shakes, nothing.
Sounds tough right? Not if you are driven, dedicated, and motivated and love what you are doing. My wife loves exercise and lifting and competing. To her this is not that big of a deal. She inspires me.
The picture above is in Las Vegas this last Saturday. So proud of my wife!!!
So what do you want to do, but can’t seem to get yourself to do? Take a measure of your motivation. Do you really want to do this? Is there something else you would rather do? Find something that really motivates you. Maybe your drives lead you to writing a book, starting a business, learning a new language, traveling, or something else. Find that thing. Find the thing you can dedicate your time to without breaking yourself against your own willpower.
We all need to exercise and eat right. These are a given, but we don’t need to put ourselves into a situation like my wife does. She does it because she loves it. Find that thing that you need to put a little effort into, but is really effortless. We all have that one or two things that we are excited about.
Here are the things I enjoy every day. I love exercising, reading, writing, meditating, and learning. I also love video games, movies, and music. I exercise every day. I read every day. I write every day. I meditate every day (twice), and I love learning (I’m learning computer programming via Codecademy). Initially, I had to figure out how to get all these things into my day. Once I figured out how to get all of these things into my day, I moved to tracking them by putting them on a to-do list that repeats indefinitely. I used Google tasks for this process. Google tasks is available in your Gmail account, can be displayed to the right of Google calendar, and is an app you can download to your phone. Since most of my work is on my computer, I keep track of what I’ve done and what I haven’t done on my computer using the task list in Google Calendar.
Start small, especially if you are trying something new. When I built my reading habit, it was literally reading just a few pages each day. Now I’m up to a chapter a day. I read a few pages in my Bible and then I read a chapter.
What about scheduling you ask? Well, that depends on your life. I’m retired so my schedule is a little more dynamic. I tend to just tackle what I need to in no specific order. My exercise routine used to be first thing in the morning, but that’s tough when either my Mom or I have to be home to take care of my Dad. He has “episodes” where he literally passes out and someone must be here every day with him to make sure we are around to revive him if this happens. So, I have to work around my Mom’s errands and such so one of us can be with Dad. No problem. I can exercise with my exercise bands, I can use one of my exercise apps. The rest is all at my computer, so not a big deal.
You may be working, so you’ll have to look at what you want to do daily and physically schedule this stuff in on your calendar at specific times. Find out what you are truly passionate about and get to work.
Here’s my plan for the upcoming week:
I hope each of you has a great week!
Until next time…
“The only source of knowledge is experience.” – Albert Einstein
Quote provided by: Brainyquote.com
Read about any sport. Now go play the sport you read about. Huge difference right? This is what Albert is referring to. Albert Einstein is well known for his thought experiments but also for his prowess in Math and Physics.
Look at anyone who is gifted in a particular area. All of them practice. All of them do. They gain knowledge of their sport, their gift, or their talent by learning how to do it themselves. Look at any sports hero you admire. Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan started out just as ignorant as the rest of the folks who ever picked up a baseball bat or basketball.
I don’t care what field of study or endeavor you look at. Every person has to start out as a beginner and work there way to expert. Some read about what they need to know to accomplish something, others learn from a coach or mentor, some just grit through it and learn on their own.
Think back to a time you learned to ride a bike, drive a car, or learned how to operate a cash register in your first job. Someone told you how to do it, then they showed you how to do it, and then they let you do it. It took a little time, but you learned. With time, you can now ride a bike, drive a car, and operate a computer or some other complicated machine with ease.
We learn all kinds of things through experience. We learn how to ask a girl out on a date. We learn what it means to be nice or polite. We learn how important it is to keep our commitments to other people. Some of this learning is through trial and error. We ask a girl out on a date and totally flub it up. Then we ask out another girl and it goes a little better. We learn what to say. We learn how to react to the responses a girl gives.
Sometimes experience isn’t so nice. Think about a time you committed to something and couldn’t keep your promise. The person we made the commitment to is upset with us and we feel guilty. We learn that we need to be more careful when committing to something because breaking that commitment hurts worse than the disappointment someone expresses when we tell them we can’t do this or that.
There are so many experiences in a lifetime. All of them teach us something about ourselves and other people. We learn all the time if we pay attention. We learn more if we are willing to get out there and do something. Life is about gaining experience. We need experience to grow. We need to learn what to do and what not to do. Through experience we gain wisdom.
I hope each of you has a great Saturday! The weatherman predicts thunderstorms today. Today will be a day of reading, writing, gaming, and catching a series or movie in the den with Dad. What are you doing today?
Until next time…