Infinite Possibilities

Infinite PossibilitiesAs time marches on, so does your path along the road of life.  We’ve talked a bit about fate and predetermination around this site, so let’s delve a bit deeper, shall we?

I believe that one our path, we come across many crossings or forks.  Where we have to make a decision and that then forever alters our future path.  However, I don’t believe in absolutes.  I think that a decision today can lead us in one direction and a decision tomorrow can lead us back to the direction we were normally headed.

Is this a good thing?  Well, yes.  I do believe that there is one beginning and one end.  An absolute?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  The road we travel will vary with all of our influences.  Our decisions, our friends, our families, our schooling and our jobs.  Kind of like a very windy and twisting Yellow Brick Road with a whole slew of Munchkins to lead our way.

So, what’s your Yellow Brick Road?  You don’t know, huh?  Well, that’s good.  If you did, wouldn’t life be boring?  If you knew exactly what was going to happen and when…then what is there to look forward to?  There are very few genuine surprises in life, so let’s keep those that we have.  Like what tomorrow is going to bring.

I wake up everyday with the hope that something new and wonderful will happen to me.  And you know what?  It does.  It may be that I had a traffic free route to work.  Or that my wife gave me one of her “I LOVE YOU” looks or that my son had a “smile explosion” when he saw me.

The point is that if you can look past all the drama or the negativity in life, there is certain to be one bright spot every day.  Take this bright spot and dwell on it.  Make it your focal point.  Let it light your way, light your path for the rest of the day and into tomorrow.

If you can do that, then you will see that anything is infinitely possible.

Friends, Real vs. Virtual

Friends, Real vs. VirtualHow many friends do YOU have?  How many of them have you actually met face-to-face?  If you’re reading this, it means you are somewhat web-savvy and probably have a Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Blogger, blah blah blah….

Yep, I have most of those too…

In fact, I have 294 friends.  One request pending, two requests waiting approval from me….and out of all of those people, I would say I have only never actually met maybe 10 of them.

So, what’s the difference?  Well, let’s not get into physical science here, but let’s talk about the difference in support.  Social Networks are amazing tools and yes, they rule the world right now.  I can post something and immediately 294 people have access to that tidbit of information.  Luckily for my friends, I do not post every time I eat a snack or have a bowel movement, but more about my random thoughts that I like to share…such as this blog.

But let’s get back to support.  I have touted through this site that you need a good, solid support system to get you through this roller coaster we call life.  Is your support real?  Is it virtual?  Is one better than another?  I could make an argument for both….so here it goes.

Real:  If you need a hug, you can get a hug.  Virtual:  You can rant and rave and never see them roll their eyes.

Real:  They can bring you chicken soup when your sick.  Virtual:  They can help you pass the time while your home (time zone pending)

Real:  You can see the empathy in their eyes.  Virtual:  They’ll give it to you straight every time.

Yes, there are pros to each.  There are cons, but let’s not look at negativity today.  The point is, do you KNOW who your support is?  Who is there for you?  Is it your neighbor, best friend, sibling, or your favorite FarmVille neighbor?

Who ever it is, reach out to them today and thank them.  Just thank your friends for being your friends.  Let’s face it, without them where would you be.

Okay, so you may be thinking…I don’t have that.  I don’t have that person.  I don’t have support.  If that’s true…there is help out there.  If you want to rant/rave and just let loose, heck, hit that Contact Us button up in the right hand corner of your screen.  I’ll listen.  I can’t promise to solve all of your problems, but I’ll listen.  See if I can make you smile.  Because, sometimes that is all you need.  A smile.  And guess what.  That can come from a real person or a virtual person.

Find your support.  Fill your circle with greatness.  And thank them.  They are awesome…

YOU are awesome.


BONUSHello all you Examine the Glassers!  Here’s a special bonus post for you about LIFE!

Life is GREAT.  Right?  Well, okay maybe not ALL the time, but it is what we are and what we do and what we work towards.

Have you made your goals this year?  Why not make one now.  Make a goal to improve your life, a little bit, each day for the rest of the year.  The changes don’t have to be big.  Actually, it is better if they are small.

How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!  So, do something EVERYDAY.  Let’s start smaller.  Let’s go to the end of the month!  Post a comment here about the way you have improved your life one little bit at a time.

This could be that you ran a mile.  That you chose Diet Coke over Regular Coke.  Or that you gave money to charity.  Or….you get the picture.  Anything.

I want to hear what YOU’RE doing to make your life better.

Why?  Accountability.  If you post, you’ll want to keep posting.  Others will post too!  And the happiness will abound!

If your glass is half empty, this is the time to fill it up!

I wish you all the best for the rest of the month!  We’ll see how you do and go from there!

Good Tired and Bad Tired

Good Tired and Bad TiredI will be quoting Harry Chapin here, and I will forewarn you that I will probably quote Harry Chapin more than once in this blog.  His music and lyrics probably have influenced my views a lot, so here we go.  Here is an excerpt from a monologue about something his grandfather told him:

“he said, ‘Harry, there are two kinds of tired: there’s good-tired, and there’s bad-tired.’ He said, ‘Ironically enough, bad-tired can be a day that you won. But you won other people’s battles, you lived other people’s days, other people’s agendas, other people’s dreams and when it was all over there was very little “you” in there, and when you hit the hay at night, somehow you toss and turn–you don’t settle easy.’ He said, ‘Good-tired, ironically enough, can be a day that you lost. But you don’t have to tell yourself, ’cause you knew you fought your battles, you chased your dreams, you lived your days, and when you hit the hay at night, you settle easy–you sleep the sleep of the just, and you can say “take me away.”

So, what kind of “tired” are you?  My favorite part of this is when he says “there was very little ‘you’ in there.”  That is how I see a lot of people.  They go to work day in and day out, strictly for a paycheck and not for any sort of enjoyment.  Yes, this economy is hard and yes, you can’t be choosers when it comes to being gainfully employed.  But it doesn’t mean you have to give up and I have seen a lot of people give up.  Or seem to.

Is this you?  Why?  What has happened that makes you lose all hope of becoming your dream?  Bring it back.  Examine the glass and find out what it is that makes you happy.

My cousin (favorite?) recently started baking classes.  She has wanted to become a baker for a long time and she is finally taking the steps to do so.  It makes me REALLY happy.  Whether or not she follows my blog, she has in essence, “Examined her glass” to find a way to start making her dream come true.  It may not happen this year, it may not happen next year, but she has taken a strong step forward and I am proud of her.

As for being good tired or bad tired….well, that is for you to figure out.  If you are bad tired, stop!  Start making the change you want to see in yourself today so that tonight, you can be good tired!

Take me away!

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.


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?


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.