No Left Turn


A strange thing happens when you’re in a hurry.  You end up making compromises.  For example, I drive my kids to daycare and school each morning before I go into work.  When I get to the school, there are signs along the driveway carefully ensuring you navigate to your destination without causing undue traffic.  One sign is a “No Left Turn” even though you see that you can turn left to drop kids off at the secondary school.  The reason for this is the school would rather you drive forward another 50 feet to the roundabout, come back and turn RIGHT into the secondary school entrance.

Makes sense, right?  Well…it does unless you are running late, then that left turn looks SO tempting.

I know this….because almost every day as I am leaving the school grounds, I get stopped at that same exact spot when a secondary parent has turned left before the lane was clear, thus blocking my exit. 🙁

Now, I get it.  I’ve been late more times than I would like to count.  I have made the same type of decisions that ultimately impact others while not actually gaining any real benefit.  I THINK there will be a benefit.  However, when it is all said and done, I have not gained anything, but I have negatively impacted others.  As I was negatively impacted in the above scenario.

Ironically, I have multiple situations during this same drive that create the same cause/effect scenario.  When I drop my son off, he likes me walking him into school.  So, instead of pulling up to the curb and dropping him off, I go to the side parking lot, park, walk him in, then walk back, get in my car and go on my way.

Funny thing.  By the time I leave, there is a line of parents waiting to drop their kids off at the curb.  Important note:  the line to the curb is a LEFT turn….in order for me to exit, it’s a RIGHT turn.  Now, take your DOL handbooks out…who has right a way?  Yep…the right hand turner, me.  🙂  Who ends up waiting for someone who is turning left to let me through, me. 🙂

Again, it’s not costing them anything to let me pass, they won’t lose their place in line.  They won’t even be delayed, because they can move up the line after I pass and still have 30-40 feet to go before they can actually drop their kid off.  But they PERCEIVE that they will benefit from turning and not letting me in, when instead they are only delaying my departure.

What’s the point?  Am I just ranting?  Well….maybe.  HA!  Just kidding.  Honestly, I don’t even mind.  It’s not a huge drain on my time frame.  I’m either already running late and a few more minutes won’t cause me harm, or I’m on-time and still have the freeway to delay me.  Either way, I’m going to be late!

The point is that perception will beat reality.  I’m sure that while reading this, you’ve probably recalled these scenarios….both being the delayer or the delayed.  But, let’s be honest, how many times have you been the delayer and actually realized that there was nothing gained by delaying others?  Probably none.  I know I hadn’t realized it…until I did, and decided to write this post about it.

It’s all perspective, right?  And what better time to try and gain it than when you are sitting in traffic or waiting in line.  Try to put yourself in the other side, the other mindset, and that might might make things easier to digest.  Yes, running late is not a great feeling, but is it worth making others run late as well?  Maybe by working on NOT being the delayer, you will end up not being the delayed.



A Motherly Perspective

A Motherly Perspective

A friend of mine, Molly, posted the following on Facebook:

I’m in the bathroom sans kids so here comes another moment of enlightenment since that’s the only place I seem to have clarity: The older I get and the more things I put my body through (traveling, mountain climbing, marathoning) the more I am amazed at what these bodies are capable of. But it has been the 2 pregnancies and the endless caring of my children that has afforded me a new found grace and awe of this temple I reside in. And it is the unconditional love and support of my partner and husband that allows me to add to it confidence. My wobbly bits are multiplying like rabbits, but the 3 most important people love me more with each passing day and that makes me so proud of the journey that has gotten me even closer to a love of myself and a reason to smile when I catch a glimpse of the newest gray hair or saggy spot – I am truly, wholly loved by them, so I want in on it, too! I wouldn’t be me without any of them and without any of them I wouldn’t be this better version of me!”

With this quote, she fully expresses (whether she meant to or not) the best parts of what this site tries to preach.  It’s not what you necessarily believe about yourself or what other’s believe about you.  However, with the right combination of the two, gold can be found.

It’s about surrounding yourself with love and giving it in return.  It’s about recognizing that you aren’t alone, that you have support, if you know where to look.  With that support, the possibilities are endless.

The people who you choose to surround yourself with play an important part of who you are and it is important to ‘want in on it, too!’

I want to thank Molly for sharing the above quote and hope that any and all mother’s out there can relate and remember what amazing people they are.  To all of you, a Happy Mother’s Day!


Sights and Targets

Sights and Targets

Bruce Lee once said:

“Don’t fear failure.  Not failure, but low aim, is the crime.  In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

I love this quote because it sums up the way goals and priorities should be set.  I’ll further promote the idea by saying that it’s not the failure that matters, but what you do with that failure.  Learning from the mistakes, recovering and moving on is the only way to succeed.

We don’t live in a black-and-white world.  It’s not all or nothing.  It’s not just success or failure.  Every failure has the opportunity to be a partial success if you let it.

This post may be short, but sweet.  There’s not much too it, because it’s simple.  Set high goals and succeed.  If you don’t succeed…well, try try again.


The Key to the Future

The Key to the Future

The notable quote is that “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” That’s what we remember it, but the true quote is “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” For the sake of this post, I like the second a bit better.

Let me tell you a story.  A few years back, I went back to school and got my master’s degree.  My intent was to educate myself and work my way into a management position.  A couple of years later, I got that chance and became a manager for a company that I had worked for previously.  Since I had no real management experience, I knew it was a very fortunate circumstance and put all of my effort into making it work.

Fast forward to a couple of months ago.  I was recently laid off from that position.  It was heart breaking.  I’m not going to sit here and make excuses.  I will admit that I failed.  I failed my employees.  I failed my boss.

It was hard, but what it did was force me to reflect on the time I had there and determine what my next steps would be.  I ended up being hired within a couple of weeks, and again with today’s economy I am grateful for this fortune.

In my reflection, I came up with a couple of revelations:

  • I wasn’t up to the expectations of my previous employer, thus I failed.
  • I do give my all to the success of myself.
  • I have confidence in my skills and abilities.

Even though it was heartbreaking to lose my job, I took heart in the 2nd and 3rd revelation and this allowed me to pursue a job search and interview with complete confidence.  I ended up getting an offer that was higher than the job posted (both in position and salary) and I attribute that to being sure of myself when presenting why I would be an asset to the organization.

Now I sit in a position, that isn’t management, but is of seniority and look to the future.  It is bright because I can look back at my recent failure, see what I did wrong and not repeat the process.

This is the combined power of reflection and looking back.  I did not dwell on the past, but turned it to my advantage for a brighter future.  What I learned most was that I should do this, not only in times of crisis, but on a semi-regular basis to make sure I am still aligned.  Examination leads to enlightenment, enlightenment leads to success.


You are…You Could Be!

You are...You Could Be!

Before I start, I must disclaim. I saw this quote on Facebook and it is from scripture.  I try to stay as neutral as possible, so don’t stop reading or be offended because I bring up a quote that originates in religion as this is not a religious post.

Here is the aforementioned quote:  “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way.”

Now, to spin it to our topics, is change it to this:  “Love yourself the way you are, but refuse to never change.”

This is a ‘self’ centered post…that sounds wrong, but it’s right.  Everything about that above quote centers around your Self.  There are few constants in this world, but one of them is that EVERYTHING can be better.  It’s a simple 5 step process:

  1. Examine your self.
  2. Love what you see and accept who you are.
  3. Decide what would make you more happy.
  4. Determine why #3 would make you more happy.
  5. Put in a plan of action to change #3.

Let’s step back…this is not necessarily (but could be) a physical ‘see’ and ‘change’, but mainly a lifestyle/thought process change.

The strongest and most important step above is #4.  This is the hardest part, because any changes need to have a good reason.  Without reason, change is meaningless.  Meaningless changes are wastes of time and energy.  They usually result in steps back rather than steps forward.

Why is this important?  According to current studies (take those as you will), only 1 in 3 Americans consider themselves ‘Very Happy’.  That means the other two need to make changes in their lives to become ‘Very Happy.’  Are you one of the ‘1’ or one of the ‘2’?

Figure it out, take the steps and start moving toward becoming a ‘1’.


A Dad’s Wish Fulfilled

A Dad's TaleA couple of weeks ago, the fair came to town.  This is a smaller version of the big fair that comes around in the Fall.  However, my wife and I have not missed either version for the past 7 years.  My son is now 3 years old and he has gone to each instance of this fair throughout his entire life.  Watching him take more and more of the Fair in each visit is a wonder in itself.  Every time we go, he experiences it more fully and enjoys more and more of it.

Last fall, his highlight was the farm animals and the petting zoo.  So, this year we thought it would be a quick trip and just hit some barns and get the required ‘fair food’ and go home happy.  Then we turned the corner and saw……the RIDES.  My son immediately wanted to check it out as my wife and I exchanged the ‘oh no, is he tall enough?’ look.

Well, we get up to the roller coaster and see the measure line.  From 6 feet away I could tell that he wasn’t tall enough, but man was he excited.  He kept asking if he could do the ‘rorer coaster‘.  So, I explained to him that he needed to be tall enough and showed him the black line that marked how tall he needed to be.  Looking up at me with his big brown eyes, he says ‘Dada, can we measure?’  Of course we can…so up we walk and….

HE WAS TALL ENOUGH.  What?!?!  There was no way he was tall enough until we got right up to the measure stick and sure enough, he was good to go.  So, after forking over a small fortune, I bought a series of ride tickets and off we went.

So, where’s the wish, you say?  Well, 14 years ago, I met my wife and we started dating and I bought tickets to an amusement park for us to go to when she dropped the closest thing to a deal breaker in our relationship on me….she didn’t like RIDES.  WHAT?!?!  How could we be compatible…how could this happen?  Well, it did and we persevered.  Obviously.

So, by and large, after 19 years of being a thrill seeker, I went into a roller coaster hibernation.  Now my son, wide-eyed and excited, was asking his daddy if we could ride the ‘rorer coaster‘.

So, here we go…we strap in…Mom’s armed on the sidelines with a camera (which didn’t do much good because he was ‘just’ tall enough and could not be seen behind his behemoth of a father) and AWAY WE GO!

When we go around the corner and up the track, he’s smiling and giggling…when we go down for the first time, he loses….his….MIND!  I’ve not seen the kid smile so broadly, it was like a whole new world had been opened up.

Watching him have so much fun, reminded me how much fun these rides could be.  Furthermore, he reminded me what FUN really is.  It’s different for everyone, but for me, in that moment, it was able to show him a new experience and remember all the fun I’ve had in those situations.

Before the ride was over, there were a few times when he would just look up at me and smile.  In that smile, I could see him ‘thanking’ me for showing him this amazing experience of the ‘rorer coaster‘.

Sometimes, it takes a moment like that to remember.  And remembering his a good way to examine your perspective.  For me, personally, it has been a trying few months.  And all of that melted away with my baby boy’s simple smile.



MagicA couple of weekends ago I watched “Now You See Me”, which if you don’t know is a movie about magicians.  I have always been fascinated by magic, illusion and sleight of hand.  I haven’t been to a lot of magic shows personally, but if there is one on TV or I have the opportunity, I take advantage.

There are usually three kinds of people when it comes to “magic viewers”.  The first kind are the indifferent, take-it-or-leave-it, “that’s quasi-interesting” type of people.  The second kind are the people who watch solely to debunk the trick.  The third kind are those who WANT to believe and get enraptured by the illusion.  I fall squarely into the third kind.

The design of magic is to make people believe what they are seeing, but it only works if the audience makes the decision to suspend reality and believe what they are seeing.  As children this is very easy to do.  As adults, it’s a bit harder.  We are too jaded by the world, too cynical to get caught up in the moment.  This is too bad.

Imagine if we all suspended reality for a few short moments each day, what sort of wonders we might experience.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting going through the entire day believing you have wings on your feet and can fly.  However, the ‘land of make believe’ is still out there.  Go find a good FICTION book.  Watch an old favorite movie or tv show.  Go to Disneyland!  (Yeah, I wish!)

Remember that life can be hard and unyielding, but that just around the corner, there might be one more trick up its sleeve waiting to take you by surprise.  Don’t walk through life hardened or that surprise might break you.



Problems and Solutions

Problems and SolutionsSometimes when problems arise, it is the first instinct to run.  Run away from the problem until eventually it goes away.  However, a very wise person said “Running away from your problems is a race you will never win.”  They are always there and will be there until you face them.

Then how about this?  Instead of running AWAY from your problems, run TOWARDS a solution.  I mean, heck, you are still running in a metaphorical sense, right?  At least, this way, you are making productive use of your time and energy and life is too short to waste either.






Do you remember when you were a kid and had so many hopes and dreams.  Remember what it felt like to think about ‘what you wanted to be when you grow up’ and ‘all the places you want to see’.  More importantly, remember that feeling of ‘anything is possible’ that would wash over you when you thought about those hopes and dreams?

Driving to work the other day, listening to Pandora, I had a flashback to that time.  In my very eclectic music channel, between Evanescence and The Beatles, a Harry Chapin song came on.  It was a song that I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard, but I know Harry enough to know when it’s him singing.

Immediately, I was sent back to when I used to listen to Harry Chapin in my parents car when we would go places.  I would be sitting in the back seat, staring out the window and would always start to daydream about all sorts of stuff.  It would always put me in a good mood.  Driving to work that day, listening to Harry Chapin, made me realize that I usually turn to his music if I need a pick-me-up.  It always reminds me of that ‘feeling’ that I would have when dreaming.

A lot of us, as adults, lose sight of dreams and goals.  We get jaded by life, knowing that NOT everything is possible.  Therefore, we stop dreaming and hoping and wishing.  Worse, we stop feeling that ‘feeling’.  Furthermore, we don’t necessarily realize we’ve stopped doing that or stopped looking for hope until we get reminded, like I did on my drive into work.

The realization that I came to, is if I can start finding that feeling again on my own, I can regain the motivation that at times may have seemed to be lost.  We all have those moments in life, in memories, of when we thought the sky was the limit, we just need to find that again.

The seasons are changing, the sun is shining more, what better time to improve our outlook on life.  Go out and find your ‘feeling’ and make today (and tomorrow) better!


The End…

tyberonn_mayanCalendarWell, I’m sure you’ve heard this before.  The End of the World is coming.  Sometime in the next couple of weeks I suppose.  The asteroid is coming, or the zombies will rise.  The seas will flood and the earth will open spewing forth its molten core until the only things that survive are cockroaches and Twinkies….

Wait, what?!?  You’re telling me Twinkies are already on the endangered species list!  Maybe those Mayans WERE on to something.

Anyway, let’s say for a minute (or maybe 5, I haven’t decided how long this post will be yet) that those Yokels from the Yucatan were correct.  We only have 8 more days to live.  How do you spend them?  Do you turn to your deepest darkest desires and give in to the evil that lurks in each and every one of us?  Or do you turn to your….shallowest…lightest…ahh, never mind that’s a bad metaphor.

How about this.  What would be the last thing you want to do in this life?  What statement do you want to make to end the story that is you?  Are there things that you’ve always wanted to do and haven’t?  Well, 8 days isn’t THAT long, but I’m sure you can get some of those things accomplished.

The deeper question here is why haven’t you done them already?  Money?  Time?  Both very valid reasons.  Also, both of those reasons are able to be met.  You can make time and money.  Maybe not very fast, but it can happen if you really want it.

Do you really want it?  Why wait for the end of the world?  Take charge now and make it happen.  Make a plan and see it through.  Don’t wait for an ultimatum to make your wishes come true.

There’s still time!  Maybe 8 days, maybe 8 years, maybe 80 years.  But it all starts today.  The day you start making plans is the day you start realizing your dreams.  Stop waiting, start doing.  Make that your motto for the new year.  You’ll be amazed at how many things you can accomplish.