All posts by Jason

I'm a computer nerd by trade, but I have found a second calling as a half- and full-marathon coach. I found that I like to motivate people to do things beyond their initial belief and feel that I help them achieve a better perspective on their natural abilities.

Love…the greatest Unknown

Love...the greatest UnknownLet me tell you a story.  14 years ago, my Junior year in High School, I was set up on a blind date for the Homecoming Dance.  Being the geek/nerd that I was, I searched the AmericaOnline profiles for anyone within the current High School age range, who went to my school, who was in the band.  That was all I knew.

The person I found…well, she wasn’t my blind date.  But that was okay.  We became fast friends, close friends and confidants.  We never dated and that was probably for the better.  Fast forward 14 years, on Saturday she got married to her best friend and I was honored when she asked me to perform the ceremony.  I thought I did alright.  I know I fumbled a couple of times, but only because it actually hit me that I was a part of my great friend’s happiest moment.  It was my honor and privilege to be standing up there.

Story number 2:  I met this girl, the second semester of my freshman year of college.  She was probably 1 of 6 females in the Computer Science program.  We became lab partners.  We also became close friends, she became my best friend.  We eventually did date.  That was definitely for the better, as a few years later we got married.  On Sunday, we celebrated both OUR 7 year anniversary and the 7 month birthday of our son.  Needless to say, this was a very happy weekend.

Two stories, both great, both of love’s success.  However, we all know that love is not always so fortunate.  There are people who when planning their wedding, also plan for what they will do on their 2nd wedding!!!  WHO DOES THAT?!?!  Well, it happens and it’s sad.

Love is the greatest unknown.  As the picture above dictates, it’s a gamble each and every time.  It is the greatest leap of faith one can take.  Because of love you are at your most vulnerable with the person you choose.  Only when you give yourself fully, do you give yourself the best chance at success.

Think about that.  If you go into a relationship (any relationship for that matter), and hold things back, you are not being your true self.  This CAN work out, but more times than not, whatever it is you are hiding will come out and have a good chance at ruining anything you were trying to build in the first place.

Everyone has their own views on love….on life…on faith.  But to me, they are all intertwined and necessary for success.  If you love someone or some thing, have faith that it will work out.  Do what you need to do to make it work and your life will be so much better.

Is it better to love and lose…?  I don’t know.  But if you don’t try to love, you’ve already lost.

Priorities

PrioritiesTime is a funny thing.  No matter what we do, it always keeps on ticking.  How many times have you wished for more hours in the day?  How often do you get to the end of the day and think, gosh I still have SO MUCH to do.

Priorities are also funny.  Because they shift.  How many times did you wake up saying I NEED to get the lawn mowed….but then your baby was awake and needed tending too, a snack needed to be made, a run with the wife and kid needed to take place, a hair appointment had to be fulfilled, a pair of swim diapers and 6 mo. swim trunks needed to be bought, more play time needed to be had, dinner needed to be cooked, baby needed to be put to sleep.  Oh yeah, now you’re exhausted.  Well, that was MY day today.  And here I am writing a blog post….why?  Well, because I MISSED one on Friday.

Why did I miss one on Friday?  Well, it was the second day of my business’ merger AND my wife’s birthday.  Sorry, Examine the Glass…you just dropped on my priority list.  So, here you go, a last-minute Labor Day weekend post about priorities.

Something I do at work is every morning, I assess what I need to get done for my job.  I type it out in my Outlook task manager and prioritize it.  At the end of the day, I see what is left and make those #1 priorities for the next day.  You would think this would be easy to translate over into real life.  Well, it isn’t.  I’ll be the first to tell you (followed closely by my wife who will confirm!) that I am not the greatest prioritizing person.  I try, but I don’t always succeed.  I recognize this as a fault and am trying to improve on it.

That’s what self-improvement is all about.  And if you read this blog, maybe you’re looking for a little advice in how to improve your own priorities.  This all comes back around to finding out what is really important to you and what you need to do in order to advance your station to where you want to be.

So, where do you want to be?  I’ll tell you where I want to be.  I want to be about 25 pounds lighter than I am.  So, guess what I just did?  I joined a Facebook friends’ Biggest Loser competition.  Done and done.  Now I will be kept accountable to something that I have tried and failed to do in the past.

I took the step, are you ready to take yours?

 

Everyone’s doing it

Everyone's doing itPeer pressure.  We all know it.  We all know what it can lead to.  Yet still, sometimes, we succumb to it.  Why?

In honor of all the kiddos out there going back to school, this one’s for you!

I remember back in grade school, I was at a sleep over.  At this sleep over, I had my favorite stuffed animal, Bob the bunny, with me.  Well, me and Bob, we were inseparable…unless that is, someone took Bob the bunny.  And someone took Bob the Bunny.  They took him and through circumstances that I can’t recall, I found myself on the second story of a barn.  Yep, a barn!  At a sleepover!  Where my favorite stuffed animal, Bob the bunny, was being held hostage.  Now, here is where the story gets fuzzy….but I got in my head that the only way I was ever going to see Bob was to jump off this barn.  I can’t remember if the kids who took Bob told me so, or if I just believed it, but that’s what happened.  I jumped.  Landed flat on my back.  Scared my mom half to death.  Ended up, walking away with a sore back and that’s it….oh, and Bob too.

Anyway, there’s a glimpse.  It may not have been DIRECT peer pressure, but it was still there in a ghostly form.  I could have tried to walk out the door….or I could have looked for another way out….or I could have called to help (heck, my mom was still on the property).  But no, I jumped.  I jumped because that was the way I was going to get Bob back from my “peers.”

How many times have you “jumped”?  I know you have…and I want you to know there is no shame in that.  As is the theme around here, the past is the past.  Don’t regret it too much or dwell on it, just recognize it.  Recognized the times you’ve fallen for peer pressure.  Try to find out why you did.  What was the result?

Today, as an adult, peer pressure is still around me.  But I feel that I have a clear enough head to look at my situation and determine if “what everyone else is doing” will benefit me, in the short-term or long.  If it does, then I consider it more deeply.  In the end, only do something “everyone else is doing” if you can find it reasonable for yourself.

Gut check time.  You’re faced with peer pressure.  Answer these few questions:  1)  Does it improve your station for the long-term?  2)  Does it achieve a short-term goal?  3)  Is it legal?  4)  Who’s asking you to do it and why are they important to you?

If #3 is a NO, then there’s your answer.  The other three questions have to be weighed by yourself and be true to yourself when answering them.  The impact must be significant.  Don’t sell yourself out simply for the sake of others.  Sell yourself out…to yourself.  You come first.

I mean really…if everyone was jumping off a barn, would you?

Oh….wait….

Mind over matter

Mind over matterWe’ve gone full circle, now it’s time to bring it back to YOU.  Most everyone has heard of the term “mind over matter.”  Like this blog, it is a simple idea with a more complicated execution.  But the gist of it is to not underestimate the power of the mind.

To be cliché’, whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.

The easiest and most prominent example I have for this is endurance running.  Over the past five years I have worked with some amazing people, helping them achieve their goals of completing a half or full marathon (that’s 13.1 or 26.2 miles, respectively, running or walking).

To the beginner or non-runner, you may think that this is just a feet and leg thing.  And to a certain extent in the beginning it is.  However, feet and legs are just muscles, just part of an overall system that is controlled by the brain.  If the brain is not on board, then it won’t matter how “ready” your legs are.

I’ve done this for the past 5 years because it is an amazing experience to watch the realization set in.  To see people start to believe that they can do something that until very recently they thought was impossible.  And to see them complete their goal and be happy with their results, that is a great thing to see.

From experience, I can tell you that the number one reason someone does not reach their goal in endurance running is because they stop (or never start) believing that they can do it.

Such is with life.  That was one simple, albeit a bit long-winded, example.  But it can be applied to ANY part of your life.  The moment you START believing in yourself is the moment you START to succeed.  The moment you STOP believing in yourself is the moment you START to fail.

Simple, yes.  Easy, no.  But it all starts with one thought, one choice.  Which one will you make?

What you don’t know

What you don't knowA smart woman once told me, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”  How simple, true and scary is that??  I don’t know what I don’t know?  What don’t I know?  I don’t know!  Oh lord, that got confusing quickly.

Here are somethings you don’t know:

  • What’s going to happen tomorrow?
  • Why “they” said or did whatever “they” said or did?
  • Will the market ever recover?
  • Will China take over the world?
  • How much wood could a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

See what I mean?  That’s just a small sample.  But here’s the big secret:  You don’t NEED to know any of that stuff.  Because it is unknown to you, it should not carry as much weight as it sometimes does.  I know, the woodchuck conundrum has been baffling us since grade school, but it might be time to let it go.

If something crosses your mind and you start to worry about it, do a quick check.  Why is this worrying me so much?  Is there something I can do about it right now that will alleviate my anxiety?  Does this affect more people than just me?

If you can’t answer all three of those questions, then it’s time to push that fear away and say, “Hey, this shouldn’t bother me.  I may not be certain about its meaning, but there’s no reason for me to stop progressing fully with my life because of it.”

If there is a reason that this “unknown” is worrying you, then Examine that Glass and figure out what small steps need to be taken to get rid of that worry.  Then START TAKING THOSE STEPS.  Planning is only as good as its execution.  If this “unknown” is affecting other people, then recruit their help.  There is no reason one should stand alone when support is readily available.

So, what do you take away from this today?  You don’t know what you don’t know, so stop worrying about it.  If it is something to worry about, you will know more about it.  Easy logic, not so easy implementation.

But here’s something I know.  You can do it!  That’s a fact!

Time Marches On

Time Marches OnThis past weekend, I went to my cousin’s 17th birthday party.  One of those “you know you’re old when..” moments for me because I remember holding her as a baby.  The last baby I held, in fact, before the birth of my own son last February.

At said party, I traded jabs with my uncle.  He commented on how much I’ve “changed” (sarcastically) because I gave up TV this summer to spend more time with my baby and I couldn’t go to a Seahawks game this Friday because it’s my wife’s birthday.  Now, being the Seahawks aside, I normally wouldn’t have even hesitated, for I am a fan.  A big fan!  One of 10, I believe of the ‘Hawks.  But I digress.  I also commented on how much he has “changed” as in I stole his potato chips….and returned them before he even seemed to notice they were gone.  I claim maturity for my changes, he claims old age for his.

The point is, time, does indeed, march on.  It’s inevitable in its approach and departure, it’s kind in its reliability and harsh in its effects.  Sometimes.  How you approach time greatly determines who it affects you.  There are things you can do to change or alter the appearance of the effects of time, but you cannot reverse the actual effects.  You can’t change the past, you can’t predict the future.  You CAN live in the moment and enjoy what has been given to you and that you have things to look forward to.

If you find yourself without anything to look forward to, you may be looking too broadly.  Examine that glass and find that there are small victories all around you.  Remember that if today was as bad as it gets, tomorrow is guaranteed to be better.  Even if the clouds are out, you know the sun is there just waiting to shine down upon you.  And thanks to the continual drum-beat of time, that sun will come out again.

Today is only as “bad” as you make it and tomorrow will be as “bright” as you want it to be.  Today is your platform to jump from to make tomorrow better.  If you stay complacent and don’t make the moves to improve your situation, tomorrow will just be like today.  Even if that does happen (and I know it can and will) then tomorrow becomes today and presents you with yet another platform to jump to.

So, take a look around you.  Find the next step to take.  Take it.  Tomorrow will thank you.

Do unto others

Do unto others...The Golden Rule.  We all know it, but do we follow it?  I know that there are times when I don’t.  I’ve cut people off on the freeway, then cursed the guy who cut me off 5 miles down the same stretch of road.  The double standard of life seems to be growing in our society, especially with the way the market is treating us.

So, today’s challenge is to actually follow the Golden Rule.  I know there are snarky people out there who want to say “I WANT people to be rude to me, so I can be rude back.”  WRONG.  People may say that, but it’s not true.

Remember that you CAN NOT change the way people think or act.  They must do that themselves.  Also remember that the person who cuts you off on the freeway (may be me!) or the person who is rude to you at the coffee stand may just have bigger things on their mind.  Maybe THEY need to examine their glass a bit, huh?  You just don’t know what’s going on, so don’t assume that you do.

I’ll tell you one thing, it never hurts to smile at someone.  You never know how it might affect them.  More times than not, they may just pass you by.  However, you can’t deny the fact that if you smiled at a stranger today….and they smiled back, that you wouldn’t feel a little better yourself.

Happiness begets happiness!  Spread the love, everyone!  Even if you don’t feel like you have any love or smiles to spread, try anyway.  You may be surprised to see how it affects you.

I write these things and I smile to myself.  I smile because I think, hey maybe this post is making someone smile.  Maybe a chuckle or too.  Maybe a full-out guffaw!  Well, okay, no guffaws, I haven’t even broken out my knock knock joke material yet….just you wait!  Anyway, my point is, I hope I’m making a difference with these posts, and I believe that I am.  That makes me smile.  Examining my own glass, if I can help others (perhaps you) then I am being successful, which makes me happy and leads me to where I want to go.

See how easy that is???

Knock, knock…

Be true to yourself

Self ConfidenceYeah, you are awesome!  Just remember that.  If nothing else prevails today, know that you are in the best position to make yourself the best person you can be.  Today, take a look at those around you.  Don’t compare, just take a look and ask yourself, “Do they have self-confidence?” and then ask yourself, “Do I want to be like them?”

The answer of the first should dictate the answer to the second.  But then again, you don’t want to be someone else, you want to be you.  The best YOU possible.  That all starts with what’s inside.  It really counts, that stuff inside.  No no no, not the cream filling.  Though that is delicious and satisfying…I’m talking about the essence of you.

Having trouble finding it?  Think back to when you were a child.  What made you the happiest?

WARNING: here’s where we get deep and meaningful!!

So, say for instance, swinging on the swings made you the happiest.  Then maybe the essence of you is the part that reaches for the sky.  Always wanted to go higher and higher.  If that’s so, then tap back into that inner swing swinger and see where in your life you can make changes to reach higher….then REACH!

Or, say that playing board games or doing puzzles or reading made you happiest.  Then maybe the essence of you is to keep a close circle of confidants.  Family, friends, whatever.  Maybe that part of your life has gone missing.  If so, reach out to old friends.  Reach out to family.  Try to make the connection again.  It might not happen overnight, but the effort is what will make miracles happen.

Whatever it is, if something is missing, then the first step is to figure out what that is.  Bring it back, little by little.  A happy you is a productive you.  Remember, you are AWESOME….even if that awesome part is hidden, it’s there.  Today, I challenge you to go find it!

Examine the glass, my friends, and you will see that a small change today can make tomorrow brighter!

Welcome to Examine the Glass!

Examine the Glass!

Is your glass half empty or half full?  If you said “half empty,” then maybe it’s time to Examine your Glass!

The logic is simple, the execution a bit more daunting.  If your glass is half empty, get a smaller glass.  Changing your perspective on life, just a little bit, will allow you to get out of that “funk” you are in.

Take a look around the site.  Find out more about The Glass.  Maybe it will help you.

I hope to provide humor and insight with each post.  They will be categorized by the section of “The Glass” that they pertain to.  Daily posts, weekly posts, we’ll see.  Please feel free to comment, as all PG-rated comments are approved! 🙂

Moreover, if you like what you see, PLEASE share it via Facebook, Twitter or other social media.  Help me get the word out, I appreciate it!

You can always reach me by clicking on the “Contact Us” button in the upper right hand portion of your screen.  If you need a little personal motivation, I’m here to help.

Thanks for viewing!