Learn Something New

Ever watch kids grow? They learn something new every day. They are excited about it. When they first learn they feel that there’s something that they have learned, which no one else may know about. And they go out to tell everyone.

As they grow, the young learners find out that although what they learned was new to them, it was already well-known by many others. They start to doubt the remarkable vision of the vast world before them. And, as they grow older, they slow in their learning of new things.

The slowing of their learning is not because of a lack of wondrous new things to learn. It is because they are inundated by so much. Also, because they don’t want to look awkward or uninformed by trying to master new skills.

The difference between the third-grader and a mature adult is the ego. In children that ego is not yet developed. In mature adults, the ego is formed, and the ego is also very fragile. Because of the delicate ego, adults are less inclined to try things they know little about.

As I have grown, I have grown out of the belief I know everything about everything. The higher I have gone in education, the more I realize there is an entire universe out there, and then some, of things I know nothing about. And that is okay, because I am curious and interested, and I don’t mind looking the fool if it means I can ask questions and learn new things.

I encourage everyone to reach out and be curious. Learn something new. Do not worry about how others perceive you. Just have fun and feel good about yourself.

If you see me being foolish, that is all right.  Just figure it is because I am learning something new.

Making Luck

Ever wish you had more luck? Ever hope that things would go your way? Ever dream you could just find that edge? The truth is, you can. It is just that the actions to get there are more straightforward and more accessible than you think.

I worked with a great Boy Scout troop in California once. We would go on about three camporees a year where the troops would participate in a set of games to show their camping skills. It was always a lot of fun.

About two weeks before the Camporee, our troop would have a campout of its own. Everyone would train on the skills that would be tested during the jamboree. This was an excellent sharing of knowledge and helped the scouts to know and understand what they were doing. Because of this, our scouts would almost always place well in the competition. I don’t believe it is because they were smarter, or better than any of the other kids. I believe it was merely the fact that they had explored those skills and the best practices to actually make the skills work.

This is a fantastic set of actions I think we can all learn from. If we want something in life, we should explore it. Understanding and knowledge can always go far. I remember once a veteran telling me about a time he was on a field exercise. He was a very young soldier newly enlisted in just through technical school, and he was driving a deuce and a half on the exercise.

During a stop, he was little bored, and he was reading the information plate on the inside edge of the door to the driver’s cab. He closed the door, and within a couple of minutes a general came by and talked to him. Because he had just read the plate from the door, he could tell the General that he was driving a fantastic truck that could do haul up to so many pounds, the type of drivetrain, and even that the tires were self-inflating. The general was very impressed and shook the soldier’s hand before walking on.

I am not sure I would go out of my way to look for luck. There are many positive experiences all around us. Rather than grasping at the intangibles that seem to continually evade us, be curious. Explore things that you want to be known for and share that knowledge freely. For that is when the intangibles will come.

Rules That Actually Help

Good morning.

Last week after writing to you about the need to take care of ourselves in about my Meniere’s, believe it or not, I got sick that very same afternoon. In it did it presented is Meniere’s severe vertigo and all.

After getting back home, I spent the rest the weekend rest and recuperation. Along with the Meniere’s, I was also fighting high blood pressure.  I started reading articles about what successful people do and what leaders do with their morning routine.

I even started doing those things myself. By Friday I felt better. My blood pressure was lower, and the dizziness was gone. What did I do? I made some rules.

Rule one: bedtime is bedtime, not a time to read, and not the time to watch all the shows I cannot view during the day. Not the time to write or plan. I will do all that in the morning.

Rule two: I get up an hour later than I used to in the morning. Instead of five, I get up at six. I always get up at the same time every day.

Rule three: I immediately make my bed. I remember my mom always makes her bed when she gets up in the morning, and she is a person who gets things done. It gives each of us the first accomplishment of the day. And it sets the boundary between sleep and a new day.

Rule four: I take time to be grateful. I am thankful for all that I have been given, and all I have been allowed to accomplish.

Rule five: I take time to plan. I review what I have to do today and what I want to do today. I plan out both ongoing and significant accomplishments to be done, and the todos, which when done makes life better.

Rule Six:  Showering and grooming help to make everyone feel better and can both soothe the and energize for the day ahead.

Rule seven: I enjoy a good breakfast with both carb and protein, and not overdoing it, fuels the body. And, proper hydration keeps everything afloat.

I am not saying that my rules are right for everyone. I just know that since I started following them, I have felt better and grown stronger.

 

Have a great day

Your Time

Thank you for being with me today I don’t know where you are. Here it is beautiful, sunny, with clear skies.

My question today is a simple one, “are you taking care of yourself?”

When we are younger, our parents take care of us. As we grow a little, we find ourselves taking care of our kids. And, as we get a little bit older, we find our kids taking care of us. This must be one of those universal cycles. And, as is true in life, we always look out to help and take care of our family, our neighbor, and those we see who are in need of help. So my question stands, “are we taking time to take care of ourselves?”

I ask this because if we don’t take the time, and we don’t listen to our bodies, the bodies have a way of speaking louder, to a point where we cannot ignore them. It is much easier to take care of a whisper than it is to fix a body when it is screaming at you.

I have been there, and I have done this myself to an extent, so I understand. With everything we have these days and very busy lives, we seem to be continuously running the race for others and saving time by ignoring our needs.

This is just one man’s opinion; however, with all the communication software we have on the market today, we can stay in contact with everyone for very little or no cost. Tie that into calendar systems which will keep track of each of your events, appointments, and meetings. The next thing you know, you have a system of organization.

The next thing you need to do to set up your calendar from the inside out. Start with you, and start with seven hours of sleep minimum, eight hours is even better. Lunchtime is the time to get out from behind The desk or off the construction line. Eat something and look around a little. Taking this respite from work is needed. Your work for the rest of the day will far eclipse anything you could’ve gotten done over lunch.

When you set this up, be sure not to sink the whole program by scheduling your ‘me time,’ at the same time somebody else needs your help whether it is kid’s soccer, your spouse’s ‘me time’ or other events you also need to pay attention to.

This is something each of us has to do for ourselves. And like everything else, it will take time and practice to get it right. The neat thing is it is something everyone can succeed at when we work at it. You succeed for your children, you succeed for your parents, you succeed for your spouse, and now, you can also succeed for you.

Have a great day

Always Be Learnin’ Something New

Welcome back!

Our snow from yesterday has turned into a bright blue sky with temperatures that will reach into the 50’s today and the snow originally predicted is nowhere to be seen. This is the great mystery of Colorado weather.

You’ve heard me talk many times about how knowledge grows at exponential forms. What in 1900 took 100 years to learn we are now learning in about a year. And, as I’ve told you before, IBM has stated that by 2020 knowledge will be doubling every 12 hours.

We also have technology, which I have talked about before, which is taking over jobs in larger and larger areas of employment. Although the first thought of this is shocking, it turns out to be nothing new. If you think back to pre-World War II, or even post-World War II right after the war, the same type of thing actually happened.

There used to be groups of people who were in typing pools (mainly women). Or, worked in accounting pools utilizing a calculating machine that would add or subtract and put the figures on a cash register type paper tape when a large handle was pulled (these jobs mainly done by men). As computer mainframes and eventually, electric typewriters and desk computers came into business areas the need for these different pools was over. Nowadays, in most industries only the president or vice president actually has a secretary. Everybody else does their own work.

If your job is dangerous, dirty, or dull, computers are probably starting to take it over. This affects everything from the transportation industry to manufacturing, and 21 other jobs that computers are presently doing. The question is, what do we humans do about it? Actually, that is easier than you think.

Computers will not be doing everything for a long, long time. This is mainly because people don’t want to have computers do things for them. You go to the bar for socialization, computers are really not who you want to talk to at the bar. Can you imagine going to a barbershop or beauty salon where computers did your hair or manicured your nails? No fun at all. And who wants to order dinner from a robot?

The question becomes how do we prepare? Well, you do that now. You learn a little bit about coding, there are plenty of short free courses you can use on the net. You don’t have to be an expert, just understand the basics. Understand how your basic personal computer or tablet works or even your personal phone knows how to send and receive email, write documents, connect with others, and shop online. As new things come out learn a little something about them. You don’t have to own a massive program or use it continuously just know that it’s there and what it does and how it works.

Just as workers of the past learned and grew as technology changed and found new ways, we can follow their examples and do so now and in the future.

Have a great day, and I look forward to writing for you again tomorrow.

Thank you to juliette leufke and Unsplash for the image.

A New Pilot Course

Many of you who read my blog regularly, have seen and participated in some of the lessons I have posted.  I am very excited today to announce a new pilot course I have developed to help people set and meet their goals. This course is a little bit different than most courses people take.

I have developed this new pilot course from things I learned over the last many years. I have taken that knowledge and set it into this new course which is called Reveille. Reveille, because we are working on new beginnings.

In the pilot, we will learn we can do what we want to ‘IF.’ If we are willing to work and do what it takes, we can go just about anywhere we wish and do just about anything we want. There’s very little that can stand in the way of a little elbow grease and determination

I have written this first pilot to help veterans. I am a veteran myself. I have gone through many of the problems those leaving or retiring from the service stumble on. I would like to help so that others can find a clearer path.

If you are interested in this, please email me mikebalof@readingsticks.com also, if you know someone who might be interested or benefit from a class like this, please pass this blog on to them.

Imagine what a gift this could be for someone. To find their right path and to learn and earn their way in life doing what they are truly passionate about.

Thanks,

Mike

Take Time

How are you doing?  Are you taking time for yourself?

We do so much for so many others, and often we forget to take time for ourselves. Sometimes, we demand so much from ourselves that when we cannot meet a goal or a deadline, we get upset…  with ourselves.

For being out there trying our best, I think we ought to give ourselves a break. After all, the bad news is, Hollywood already cast Superman and Wonder Woman, and we did not make the cut. We tend to give everyone else a break, and often we are much harder on ourselves.

Cutting ourselves some slack is not the same as backing off or giving up. It is the ability to take a step back, rest the body, clear the mind and rejuvenate the soul. If you can take 20 minutes a couple of times a day and possibly an hour or two a weekend, you will be amazed at what it does for you. Productivity you gain from that small time spent will more than make up the time you take to reset yourself.

What can you do in 20 minutes? You can take a walk outdoors and breathe some fresh air. You can walk up and down the hallway and do some stretches. You can sit in a quiet place and meditate. You can go watch a sunrise or a sunset. You could take a quick shower which would rejuvenate the mind and body. There are many things you could do, to take a step back from others, and the electronic world, and recharge a battery, your battery.

You get the idea. The thing to remember is, do not feel guilty to take care of yourself. After all, the good we do for others is important. Although, we should not destroy ourselves doing it.