From the Blogabout me

What I believe?

Most people have strong looks on life, politics, religion, iPhone vs Android, and pizza. Beliefs of all types mold who you are, and who you will become. Beliefs are just like opinions in that there is no right or wrong belief, but it is great to explore yours from time to time. I as well have my own beliefs, and thought it would be worthwhile to share a few of my own beliefs.

 

Everyone has something to bring to the table; listen.

Maya Angelou - When you learn, teach. When you get, giveWe are all unique, with special skills and talents. When everyone gets a voice, and others listen, great things can happen. Some times you won’t be heard and you may get frustrated, but we cannot control what others are doing. Instead of shutting down, listen to them and offer advice.  Over time, your advice might be heard. If this becomes the case, those people will hear you more often.

Recently when Maya Angelou passed away, I couldn’t help to think about a quote she once said:

When you learn, teach. When you get, give. – Maya Angelou

We are all teachers.

I can usually learn something new from every person I encounter. I believe that everyone has the ability to teach something new to someone else. I love it when that happens, and watching it happen for others. If you are not learning from others, you are not paying enough attention to those around you. Keep an open head and heart, you will learn.

The direction which education starts a man will determine his future life - PlatoI believe in lifelong learning.

Learning continues throughout a lifetime. I love the quote:

“I’d rather know some of the questions than all of the answers.” – James Thurber

What you see is what you get.

I don’t like pretending. I will strive to put myself out there in the most honest, transparent way possible. Even if it’s not the most popular method. And I tend to gravitate toward people who share the same philosophy.

Cooperation beats competition every time.

Exciting stuff happens when we pool our talents together. I love sharing back and forth with my colleagues who are in the same industry. We all have different skills and backgrounds, but putting those different talents together make amazing things happen.

A sense of humor will get you through almost anything.

Laughter need not be cut out of anything, since it improves everything.  - James ThurberLaughing—at myself and at the weird stuff life which can be thrown into my life sometimes is the only way to make it through the times. Laughter is good for the soul, and feels good.  Take advantage of it, and use it often.

It is better to look for what we have in common than what divides us.

I won’t go near the political discussions on social media because I truly believe that it builds walls, because I would rather be a bridge for getting people together. For years I would help others find their own bridges, but I built walls around myself and didn’t really understand. Finally I discovered it was because I was insecure and afraid what would happen if those walls came down.  Over the last few years, I’ve let many of those walls down and opened up more. It feels wonderful, and I wish others would try it more often.

Don’t try to find the division between each other, even though it is extremely easy to do so. Take a little time and effort and see what you have in common with your neighbor, it will be worth it.

People are basically good.

I have found that most people are honest, kind and wanting to do the right thing. If I go into this expectation when meeting a new person, I am rarely disappointed.

 

 

Go. Explore. Learn.

 

One, Two, Three – Words of 2014

As 2013 came to a close, I was spending a bit of time deliberating on what my previous year brought me and what I could expect from 2014. As a person who believes karma is real, I still do not quite have enough faith in it to think you can just slide along being nice without some direction, and all things will just come my way. This year I wanted to approach it by trying to set the stage… This year I am shaping my year using a few actionable words to my vocabulary to help guide me.

This, to me, is not the same as doing New Year’s Resolutions, so don’t think this is just another blog about resolutions. Heck, I don’t trust myself with those any more than I trust myself with diets. Instead, I wanted to at least give myself some guidance, some would say “goals,” for 2014.

When I started making my list of goals guidance tools, I remembered some of my inspiring fellow bloggers (Brian GardnerCooldeb, and Bobbi Klein) words of thought, and decided it was time for me to put things out there.

Here are my Words of 2014:

Fair

For years, I have programmed myself to be dependable and fair to get things done if I had agreed to do those things. You know: being on time for something, getting a project done, helping out a friend when I didn’t have the resources to help. Not that this is a bad thing on its surface, but dig a little deeper.

give-powerSome time during 2013, a weight started to press on me causing me to realize something. Being so dependable for others all the time had caused me to not been very dependable to myself.  I would make sure I bent over backwards to make sure others would have something done or feel a particular way, but it usually meant there was a hardship on me. I didn’t get “my things” done, or my feelings would not be expressed. With that, maybe I would clean up a mess for somebody and delay something of mine, but then afterwards, I would tend to be “humble” about it or not take credit for the hard work I had done. Basically, I would discount my time and my worth.

Wait a minute? This old mindset had to change!  My time and efforts are important and valuable, and others need to realize this.

If I am taking the time to help you – you should appreciate my efforts.

Right? If not, doesn’t that just discount myself just like I’ve allowed others to do to me? I’m not saying I want to get honored for every good thing I do, but I just don’t want others to take advantage of my good heart.

 

Ownership

I’m a nerd at heart, plan and simple. I’ve known that for my entire life. I enjoy sitting around talking about computers, video games, camera specs, and PMS colors (BTW for all of you who know the inside joke: No bi#Ch, stop taking it so personal because I am not referring to a female condition. So shut up!). Even though I have known about my nerdiness for years I still wanted to “just fit in” or be accepted by any particular group instead of being comfortable in my skin. I tried to find comfort through the clothes I wore, people to associate with, or just generally becoming a chameleon as the situation called for it. But why?  Why have I tried to be somebody different than who I am? Why am I putting so much energy into not being true to myself? Not being true to myself only meant I couldn’t be true to those closest to me.

if you cannot love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else - RuPaulIt wasn’t until mid 2013 that I started even trying to do something about this. Now, look around my blog – I’ve really started opening up and becoming much more transparent about who I am. I talk about geeky stuff, I talk about my interests in cooking and doing random Do-It-Yourself projects, and I talk about my medical condition. I have opened up to myself and those around me can see me for who I am.

So, If I want to listen to Trampled by Turtles /Ralph Stanley / Avett Brothers then switch to Crash Test DummiesAC/DC LMFAO, I just will do it… If I just want to dance in public or sing in my yard while mowing, I am just going to do it. If one weekend I want to do something off Pinterest (or God forbid actually make create something just to pin there) like make candles or homemade laundry detergent, but then want to go off and enjoy nature, then I think I just will.

These things might seem random to others, but these things make me feel creative, and happy, which provides much enrichment in my life.

 

Open

This will have many meaning to me moving forward, but the great thing is I can do so much with this word.

  • I will be looking for ways to get out in the “open” more and find the beauty all around me. Enjoy the sounds and sites we are all blessed with, yet take for granted. I am too plugged in most weeks, but love being outdoors. It’s time to open my windows and my mind and get out more. In the last few years I have traveled many places for the first time. Let’s hope I continue to keep my eyes “open” and my mind just as “open”.
  • I have so much in my life, I need to be able to “open” my arms to others and give some of what I am blessed with. It’s amazing when I look around at how much I have, and what I really can give.
  • Be more “open” to hearing and receiving people’s feelings, thoughts, and criticisms. Give opinions when asked, because people who ask think highly enough of you to ask. Just because they may not go with your opinion doesn’t mean anything. It wasn’t right or wrong.
  • Become more “open” about my medical condition. Although this also falls under my newfound “ownership” in being comfortable with who I am, I still need to be more open about things as well. Since I spent the majority of my life running for the conversations, this is going to take a lot of practice for me. I don’t like talking about myself, but there are things I need to say. It may take me a while to get things out, but I will get better about it as time goes on.

Look at situations for all angles and you will become more openLook, in summary the goal I have for myself (and hope you would consider thinking about) moving forward is this:

Be honest with yourself, take credit for your accomplishments because they are awesome, and remember we only live once (as far as I know) so be yourself and do what you love doing… Awesomeness will become you.

Have you thought about:

 

Comments are welcome on this, as always.

Our own Alps – Part #3, The First Step

Time to take your first step

If you reading this, I hope you have taken the time to read my two articles previous articles talking about walking on the best trail, and which trail you should hike on.

 

After traveling on different paths over the last few years, I’ve proven to myself that even though I am starting to be more demanding on myself – the only path worth traveling is not the one you’re supposed to travel, but rather, the one you give yourself permission to go after.

Now that you have given yourself permission, it is time to get out and do some hiking…  What will be your first hike?

  • Maybe your hike is to start cutting back on soda or $5 fancy coffees; putting that money aside just for yourself.
  • Maybe your hike is cleaning out your attic and closets full of mess you will never used, and just clutter your life.
  • Maybe your hike is to start a new business venture to go after something you have a strong passion for, even if you don’t feel ready. btw: you will never be ready.
  • Maybe your hike is embracing your own faith beliefs, not those you’ve been told are correct.
  • Maybe your hike is embracing your sexually, and face those who you fear as being prejudice against you.
  • Maybe your hike is to stop worrying about medical things; instead becoming your advocate to make things better.
  • Heck, maybe your hike is actually getting outside and walking a trail, and stop reading blogs.

Deciding to “hike” requires a bold step. But that overwhelming first step is what separates people who think they can, to people who do.

That’s the thing about hikes (metaphorically or literally). Some are easy, some will kick you in the ass, make you feel like you fell over the cliff and broke all your ribs, but keep you coming back for more. Eventually your conditioning will make you a better hiker, and you will be able to climb the tallest of mountains.

 

So today I ask once again =

 

BTW – don’t forget to take your camera and get memories of those magical hikes.

Our own Alps – Part #2, Courage

[Read more…]

Our own Alps – Part #1, Your Hike

What will your first hike be?

I’ve enjoyed the trails of the Appalachian Trail (The A.T.) and many other locations whenever I get a chance to do a day hike.  I’ve even hiked more exotic places, including the Garda Mountains of Italy.

My love of hiking

  1. gets me back into nature and unplugged from my office chair and the rest of the world for a short period of time
  2. reminds me of the beauty all around us which so many people take advantage of for granted
  3. reminds me of life in general

Although most hikes I walk are fairly relaxing and simple, as I would say about my day to day life, occasionally I run into a hike that of the Garda Mountains.

When I first learned about the Garda hike, I heard it was a slightly moderate trail by my kind, and in-shape,European chaps. Sounded great to me. I mean, why would I turn down a nice trail in Northern Italy on a comfortable sunny day?  But somewhere along the way there was a feeling telling me a different story. While out on the trail, I went from thinking

to-do-list

this is the most amazing feeling…

I am so out of shape but loving this…

man, what if I get too tired to make it back…

(and many other thoughts that I better not put into writing.)

to finally get back to the thought of

this is the most amazing feeling…

Those feelings told me that I must be doing something crazy. But I kept telling myself, I could do this, and those same thoughts turned into thoughts telling me that I must be doing something right.


And this should be how your life journey should be.  It should be challenging. You might think you are doing things that are too hard or possibly crazy to be doing.  Those are the times when you should know you are doing things right.

We all need to climb our own Alps

 

Followers: I will be following up this article in the next day or two.

Until then, I ask to start thinking =

 

When will you be ready?

I always hear people say they are “ready” for a new challenge, job, etc. But I’ve realized over the years that “ready” is just a myth. You keep saying to yourself that

I’ll be ready soon

Telling yourself you will get it all figured out, and then you will start.
today-tomorrow

Note: I catch myself talking to myself about this all of the time; luckily I can remind myself to stop and realize…

There is never going to be a perfect time or place. Everything is not going to fall into place “automajically”, or have a magically neon light to go off to say “hey, it’s your time.”
If you are waiting on this, you will be waiting forever.  Don’t wait until you have found happiness before moving forward.

Take accountably for yourself, and make your own timeline. You don’t have to wait until you have it all figured out, because you will figure it out along the way. Heck, you are as ready now as you will ever be until you start doing whatever it is you want to do.

This takes courage to tell yourself and it is hard work, but that’s the point. It’s hard. It’s scary as hell. As hard as it is, the payoff and things you will learn along the way will be huge and so worth your efforts.

Time to go out and start your journey.

 

My journey of sharing some experiences with my followers and the world is about to start.  As I plan to remind myself there is no better time than now to start sharing, I hope somebody will find one of my future blog articles helpful or enlightening.

What do you do?

Over the course of the last twenty years, I’ve asked myself and seen so many of my friends and family ask “what should I do with my life/career?” For some, they seem born with their purpose, while others it takes much more time. What do you do?

When someone asks

What do you do?

do you find yourself stumbling to answer? Not because you don’t know, but because you’re afraid to own it?

We’re afraid of owning the role(s) we’ve created for ourselves. I’m not talking about what your job description upstairs assigns you, but instead, one’s we proclaim for ourselves.

Entrepreneur. Writer. Musician. Photographer. Programmer. Comedian. Parent. Sibling. Spouse.

I struggled with this early in my teenage years because I went between being a secret agent, backup singer, farmer (due to a highly influential family member), or shrimp boat captain (for a much lesser reason of Forest Gump). The secret agent gig didn’t pan out (or you won’t ever know if it did), farming was a passing phase after cleaning chicken coops and sterilizing Angus bulls. Shrimping would have got me on the ocean much more, but I love eating shrimp too much that it could have been a hazard to my health.

Today, I still struggle between what to say – Developer, Designer, Father, Entrepreneur. Whenever I say anything about the web, most people just gloss over with that “oh boy, another geek talking about some new social media thing” face. If I start off that I am a father in the wrong company there is that “great you are going to talk on and on about your kids and show me a bunch of pictures of your baby” look.

Most days, I am quite certain what I am NOT, but having just one definition for “what I do” seems to hard to define some times.

I believe some of this hesitation to confidently declare who we are and what we do comes from being young and the feeling of being inexperienced. It can also comes from feeling too old and afraid to make a shift in career. It comes from people telling us that we’re just kidding ourselves. It comes from feeling like we can’t possibly keep up with all the awesomeness happening around us.

But as is with anything, practice makes perfect.
No matter who you are or what you do.

So go and declare who you are to a family member, spouse, or friend, your dog. Don’t put this step off. By getting it out in the open, you are obligating yourself to push forward with your declaration. Start building your pose of supporters and believers with the people that matter most in your life. Don’t put this off, because you will continue to find excuses.

Then, stick to your guns and own it. When people ask, tell them. Reach out to your community, church, Twitter followers, social groups, or a complete stranger you meet at the grocery store.

So stop procrastinating and convincing yourself from simply believing you are something/somebody to owning and doing it – and living it.

Will you help build a path, a solid foundation, or walls to the special people in your life?


So – 
What do you do?

Fall Bucket List Ideas

If you know me, you already know I make lists for most everything.  I am also a big fan of traditions because I find some Zen moments from connecting to the past in healthy ways.  Traditions do that for me.

One particular time of year that I enjoy so much, but realized my family didn’t have much traditions based was the Fall.  Of course there has been the Halloween things, and occasionally painting or gutting a pumpkin here & there, but I couldn’t really recall any hard traditions.  Starting a new family I started to think about how our traditions could be formed, so I came up with a concept to try this year.
Fall-BucketList-2013
I thought about all of the things which say

Fall is here

to me, and wrote them all down.  Once I had them out in the open, I decided it was time to make a list with the ones that really stood out to me and could be easily recreated year after year.

As you can see in this image, these are my Fall bucket list ideas.  Over the years, I sure some of these items will be removed while others are added.  Either way, I bet some will become staple traditions hopefully bringing fond memories.

 

I’ve included a blank PDF file for you to be able to print off and make your own list.  If you have Photoshop, you should even be able to have advantaged editing options.

 

Happy Fall to all of you.

 

Download Blank/Editable PDF

wish people tried harder…

Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good.

Do not ever give somebody that much power over you.  You and you alone are the only person who should make you feel good about yourself.  If you can’t rely on yourself to remind yourself how great you are, why would you expect others to do the same?

This comes in friendships, intimate, and co-worker relationships.

 

In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not…… a place that you go to take.~Anthony Robbins