Giving Back

I remember hearing or reading somewhere there is a saying, it goes something like, to those whom much is given, much is expected. We could look at this from many perspectives, for today, I am looking at the aspect of helping others.

I have always had a feeling and a desire to help others. When we have money, it is easy to make a donation. We can drop some coins in the kettle, have a monthly gift taken out of the check, attend a gala, or just write a check ourselves. What do we do when we don’t have funding for ourselves?

Working as a member of the military for most of my life and then putting kids through school, there were occasions when I understood the lack of personal funding. And yet, it never stopped me from helping others. Donating money, if you have it, is an easy way to help others. There are other ways which are sometimes a little bit more challenging.

Whenever I don’t have money to donate, I like to give time. Donating money is not cheap, yet you can always earn more money. Money becomes a renewable resource. If you donate your time, you are giving a nonrenewable resource which you cannot replenish. And yet there is a beautiful trade-off here.

When I donate time, I do give a nonrenewable resource which I know I will not be able to recoup. In exchange, though, I received terrific gifts in return. I am able to connect with people and talk with them. I learn new things that I consider important because the lessons come from those who actually live the knowledge they have to share. I may have a chance to make somebody’s day better. Having given this donation of time, no matter how grueling, I almost always walk away knowing that I feel better for the opportunity and the experience.

You don’t have to have something formal or participate through an organization, sometimes helping a neighbor rake the leaves or sit on the porch and talk with a neighbor who might be lonely is all it takes. If you play catch with the kids in the neighborhood and talk with them, you are positively molding the future.

Think about it. Because the real trick is, doing something good for someone else really does something good for you.

Thank you for being here today I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Mondays

Thank goodness, it’s Monday again.

Have I ever explained to you how vital Monday is? Monday is the most important day of the week. If there were no Mondays, there would be no Fridays. Without a Friday, there would be no weekend. I am sure you see where I am going with this.

Actually, days and times became important as the railroads developed routes and started transporting goods and people. You needed to know when your train was going to be at the station so you can get on. You Needed to have your crop to market and in a boxcar on a specific day and time. And, you needed to know where all the other trains were, so you didn’t run into one.

The truth is if you don’t have a job that requires things to happen on certain days, or don’t watch network television where you need to know exactly what day it is, so you could watch your favorite show at a particular time, the day and time doesn’t matter as much.

Day and time are actually relative concepts. Most of the time zones are measured in relation to Greenwich, England. Why there? Because in 1675 the English were trying to map the world. Naval explorers needed to the exact time to know where they were in the world in relation to Greenwich, England.  The time and a sextant could give them both the latitude and longitude of where they were.  It still took until 1880 for Parliament to officially acknowledge Greenwich time.

Today with people working independently and streaming online, the knowledge of time day to day and minute to minute is still good to know, just not as vital as it used to be.  That is unless you are a pilot or an astronomer.

I am still thankful for Mondays.  They give me hope for the weekend.

Getting It Done

Some days it seems hard to concentrate. I don’t know if the lack of concentration is from age, or from too many things pulling me into many directions. I just know that I often feel as though I should be doing something else.

When I am working on the lessons I’m learning, for new projects I am about to undertake, I feel I should be working more on my courses or writing my books. When I’m writing my books, I think I should be marketing. When marketing I feel as though I should be doing something else.

I know that I tend to take on more than I can do. And, I tackle it head-on. I like to stay busy. The fact that I have a lot to do means I can get a lot done.

If I watch television shows of interest, they can give me a real guilt complex. Why am I watching TV when I have so much to do? And we’re not even getting started on iPad computer games. If you want to know what addiction feels like innocently find a game to play. Three weeks later, you can see yourself playing it when you first wake up, and before you go to sleep at night. You will be trying to find time during the day to play it.  Kids hooked on games, never stand a chance to get other things done.  Having multiple apps and playing them when you really should be doing other things is a guilt trip you would not believe.

The thing to do is limit game time. List and rank-order what you must get done, what you would like to get done, and what is just some minutia you can do whenever you find free time. The next thing you have to do is schedule what you can, and then fit the rest of the items in, as they fit.

The trick is to schedule the big things first. Those are the things which will take the longest time. Then I can fit smaller jobs in around the more significant time blocks. Then, add the minutia wherever possible. You can also use computer office assistant, and apps such as automatic bill pay or calendar reminders, to take off some of the burdens and keep you on schedule.

I’m not going to say you have to do this or should do that. There are plenty of great systems and applications on the market for setting something up. The trick is to find what works for you, and the ones that you will follow.

We hope to see you tomorrow, have a great day

Sharing Time

Thirteen young people are alive today because of the ability of others from around the world to put aside differences and come to the aid of those in trouble when needed. This helps us to understand that when push comes to shove we are all one people bound by mutual respect for human life.

No one asked about religious affiliations, party affiliations, leadership beliefs, or anything else. When the need was there, people from around the globe came to assist. We see this a lot in malnourished and underdeveloped countries. Places where clean water is needed, famines fought, and illness or disease is prevalent.

Much of this takes money. In donating money, even a little is a beautiful thing. It shows caring and a wish for a good outcome to a worthy cause. Many small donations collected and used wisely can become a sizeable monetary catalyst towards change for the better. Although this is a useful endeavor, there is one even better.

The even better endeavor might be to spend a little time doing something good for someone. We cannot all afford to fly to a foreign country to help. We may not have the skills required for rescues or providing medical assistance. Some of us even have phobias of heights. Yet, we can definitely do good towards our fellow humans.

How much do they charge you to say hello? What type of investment does a smile take?  If there is something you can do for an hour or two somewhere that helps others, what would you have done with those couple of hours anyway?

You have often heard me say that the most significant and most costly expenditure is time. I must also tell you that a donation of time is often an incredible investment. A smile on the street will usually elicit a smile in return. The look of a good feeling in someone’s eyes. Or, an understanding that no matter where we are in life, we are all connected.

Finding understanding and empathy, and sharing it is what makes us who we are. And, the ripples caused by our interactions, on a human to human basis, spread further than we could possibly have imagined.

Sometimes the smallest of kindnesses reap the most significant rewards. Not in gold or silver; instead, it is given in empathy and understanding.

Hope to be with you again tomorrow.

Learn a Different Perspective

I don’t think it’s a secret that I believe in continuous learning. Right now, I’m taking a course online to become a certified life coach. I have worked with people most of my life, as a coworker, a trainer, as a mentor, and as a manager. I like working with people and helping them to learn new ways and best practices.

I honestly believe you’re never too young to learn; and, you are never too old. Although I have done coaching most of my life, with the new courses I am taking, I have had several aha moments. It is always good to look at what you do in a new way. Taking a different look will usually give you a fresh perspective.

When you look at learning something new or learning something in a different point of view, the question is not money. Instead, the issue is time. I know we’ve talked a lot about time versus money this week. Yet this is very true. I have bought courses for thousands of dollars. I have also taken classes for between $10 and $20 that were almost as good. And, I have enjoyed free courses online which were really able to help me to understand the basics.

Even if you don’t have a computer, that is okay. Your local library is a marvelous place. Libraries have books they will loan you for free as long as you bring them back on time. And, there are often programs and classes at the libraries which could help you to learn.  All you need to do is block off the time you need to meet learning head-on and learn something new.

Have a great day.

GOT TIME?

Do you know what’s worse than a photographic mind? No film. I guess I must go digital. If only I had more memory…

I know you’ve heard me tell you before that time is more important and more precious than money. If you need money, you can always go out and earn money. When it comes to time, we are only given so much on this earth. Good luck getting an extra hour. I just don’t think that happens.

To use your time wisely, everyone tells you to write down a list of things you have to do. Yet, that is only half the equation. You need to know all the things you have to do. You also need to see a list of what is most important to you. Start with a list of what is most important to you.

Although this is a list of what is most important, start by writing down everything you can think of that is important to you. Then, go back and number the items on the list, with one being the most important, two the next most important, and so on. Then you can rearrange that list or rewrite it in the correct order, most important on down.

Now, figuring you only have 24 hours in a day and between seven and eight of those hours should be spent in sleep. The question becomes, ‘what the most important things are, and what can you do for the rest of the time?’ Please remember that paying the utility bill may not be more important than some other things. Getting the bill paid, can be urgent if you don’t want to watch TV by candlelight.

This is just something for you to consider and it may help to make your life a little bit easier.

If you do not think you have more ways you can make money easier than time, please send me a comment with an email, and I will send you some info and also offer you a free 20-minute call where we could discuss some of your options.

Take the Time Needed

Have you ever tried to accomplish a great many tasks, knowing precisely what you wanted to do and yet the harder you worked, the less you achieved?

It sounds like me this morning. Waking up early this morning, I went through my morning ritual, had a good breakfast and could not wait to get to work. Then, the computer took its own sweet time firing up.

You might say, “Not your fault Mate, it’s the technology.” And yes, it would be very easy to blame the technology is slow. And yet it is not always the technology. It is more the way we interact with the technology.

Technology has a very subtle way of doing things, and when firing up first thing in the morning, it has several routines to run. If the operator doesn’t give the technology time to do what it needs, the system will genuinely seem slow. When an operator does not provide technology the time to do startups and then demands more programs to start that requires more processor time, more memory, and more functionality, the technology just bogs down even more.

The smart thing for the operator to do is to fire up the computer and step away for a cup of coffee while the computer goes through the morning rituals of preparing the technology for the day. Then, bring up requests for software in a smooth and orderly fashion.

After all, the operator is actually biological technology. If pressed too hard by too many demands, the operator will suffer the same ‘bogging down.’ And, lose the ability to accomplish his or her requirements for the day.

Just something to consider as the desire to accomplish grows larger.