Technology Timesavers

Technology is a fantastic thing. The time it saves us, allowing us to work at a higher level of proficiency, helps to make even newer and more complex timesavers possible. And yet, as with all things new, to get the best use we need to take the time to learn and understand the new tool.

I know that my own blog writing skills have been enhanced tremendously through the use of computerized dictation systems. At first, they were very costly, and now they come is a standard part of Microsoft Word. They allow me to build my stories and blogs faster and saves me over 80% of the time I would spend typing those words.

I have an excellent spelling, grammar and plagiarism checker which allows me to ensure that I have spelled the words correctly and used proper grammar.  It verifies that I have not accidentally plagiarized someone else’s work. It does its job with speed and accuracy that allows me to write with confidence. The whole process of editing a blog takes mere minutes.

To ensure everything reads and sounds correct, word has provided a read aloud button that will read the work back to me. It even gives me a choice of three voices with which I can listen to the writing. 

I wish I would’ve had this when I was working on my Masters in adult education. The time it would have saved me in reading, writing and research would have been remarkable. What this technology does, is allow the user to concentrate on what they are doing.

Whether it is writing a book, learning something new, sharing with friends, or other activities the technologies ensure a correct and positive experience for the audience. The technology also gives freedom to the author to focus on the subject being explored while minimizing the concerns of technical presentation.

Thanks for being with us today and I hope to be with you again tomorrow.

 

Perfect Morning

It is a refreshing and pleasant day this morning, which is an excellent relief from last weeks Weather. We could use more perfect mornings like this.

Trying to find perfection in anything you do is an almost impossible task. Striving for perfection is the best that most of us can hope to accomplish. And yet, it is the striving which is essential.

Sometimes, the harder we work, the further from our goals we end up. I don’t think this is because we get sloppier. I believe we end up further from our goals because we begin to realize the undertaking. Because to do something and do it absolutely perfect, with absolutely no errors, is an undertaking that is very uncommon for the mere mortal. Don’t get me wrong, we all strive for our version of perfection. We just often do not realize that in a multi-dimensional universe, where something is good for one group, and at the same time terrible for another, we have to live with the idea of tradeoffs.

The harder we try to do good for some people, the harder it is not to interfere with others. The people interfered with may not benefit as well and may even be hurt by the intended rewards of our work.

Does this mean we do not try?  No.  It shows we need to understand the entire scope of what we would strive to perfect.  If we work towards a goal, make it a target with the most good.  Not for us, for those affected by our actions.

Hope you have a perfect day.

Tradeoffs

Ever get tired of the city and the rat race and want to give it all up?  Have you ever considered moving to the country? There are positives and negatives to both. Before you choose one in favor of the other, there are some things you should consider.  

In the city, people seem to be stacked on top of each other. Everything costs money. Therefore, you have to work to be able to afford to live. The city seems to carry more stress because you’re bombarded with more information and everyone once a piece of your paycheck.

At the same time, the city offers a certain level of security, your neighbors are closer, medical care in emergency care or both more prevalent and Food is as close is the grocery store or corner cafe.

The country is much more peaceful. You don’t have the traffic you do in the city. You can grow your own food and Enjoy the flora in the fauna.  If you have neighbors, you probably have enough acreage between the 2 of you that you are given some privacy. When you want to have something all you have to do is cook it.

The country life also has some other things you need to consider. Longer trips to a grocery store mean you have to stock up on the things you need for cooking and other tasks. You need to plan in advance, consider the weather, and realize the price of a  peaceful existence is putting everything else further away. In many areas of the country life, the medical staff is further away, and emergency assistance is harder to obtain.

I think the trick is to live far enough out of the city to enjoy some of the country life and close enough to the city that you can actually enjoy those things you desire or need. With the understanding that for some of our desires we need to have tradeoffs with others.

Have a great day.

 

 

Cultural Superstitions

Today is Friday the 13th. As I sit here, I think of all the superstitious theory and thoughts which surround Friday the 13th. I am just amazed. And yet, it is good every once in a while to suspend belief even if for the day and let a little fun to come into our lives.

When I was the Shop manager out in California for a satellite system, the technicians who work for me always got together on a Friday the 13th, inscribed their names into a mirror which they would then break on Friday afternoon. They did this to show that they held no fear of Friday the 13th or any superstitions. I believe they did it to have some fun and build morale.

Friday the 13th was never in my mind a bad day. The dreadful day to be superstitious of, for me, was Saturday the 14th. I always seemed to break my glasses on a Saturday the 14th.

I never meant to break my glasses, that was a huge no-no in the family. Yet, when I was a kid, whether it was climbing a tree or something else if my glasses were to break it was always on the Saturday after Friday the 13th. I try not to be superstitious. I do believe that in large part we are masters of our own fate and that we need to take care of ourselves. Truthfully, I was, and still am, a klutz. Yet there’s not too much I can do about that.

Superstitions are fun because they remind of our culture and our ties to others in our community. Every culture has stories and fables and superstitions. The stories give some sort of a warning that usually goes to kids. Often, a scary tale is told to help keep everybody in line and doing the right thing.

People do it because their parents do it. Their parents did because their parents did it and so on, and so forth, all the way back to the beginning of their culture.

People say that some stories in the Old Testament and warnings about what to eat and not eat were put there to help keep people healthy. There was science, even if it was the science of observation behind the ‘do this’ and ‘don’t do that.’ It is something to consider and think on. 

I highly recommend that a little research into finding out why we believe what we believe helps tremendously. The stories and celebrations of our cultures are not just superstitions.  They are morale boosters which bring us together as a people and help us to feel good.

 

Our Calling as Seniors

I believe I have finally figured out why we slow down as we grow older.  

 As we grow older, we gain more knowledge, we know more, and we can think more clearly. We’ve been around the block once are twice, and because of that, we could do much better at tasks if we put our minds to them. It is only fair that we are slowed down a little, just to give the newer generations who are coming up after us a fighting chance.

We need to give the youngsters a chance to practice making decisions.  They should experience both succeeding and failure.  And, young people need to know how to perform postmortem analysis on a project to see what went right and wrong.  They need the ability to help others so it won’t be a strange concept when they grow older.

As we face the knowledge that change is always going to happen. We need to help them realize that the impossible will eventually, at some point, becomes inevitable.  We do this because everyone needs to know how to handle the new technology and how it changes the landscape.

You cannot learn to fly until you give up the bicycle and put hands on the controls of the airplane.  We need to give the next generations the control of their destinies while helping to make sure they don’t land in a tree.  That is our mission in life as the older generation.

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.

Know Thyself

It is essential that we actually find out what we need to do in life, and to do this we need to research. We need to research not only what is out there that we could do. We need to research ourselves. Sound a little strange? You would be surprised.

When my oldest son was younger, he wanted to be a lawyer. He wanted to study at Harvard Law. And, he was very gifted intellectually and more than able to do so. Up until about his junior year, he was set to be a solicitor as they would say in England. Then something very unexpected happened. Taking the SAT for the first time, he did very well in English, very well. And, surprisingly he almost aced the math portion.

He was so surprised at how easy math was for him that he decided he would retake the SAT again next year and just ace it. And he did. He is now a tenured professor at a prestigious school on the West Coast teaching the various forms of mathematics and calculus and doing pure research.

The change in mindset would not have happened if he had not by chance done well on an SAT and decided to explore those possibilities. Until then, it was a hidden talent. My question to you today is, what hidden skills do you have?

You may have talents you know nothing about. That’s why they call them hidden. How do you find out about them? You have to do a little research on you. You need to take a few assessments, try new things, and maybe try a few lessons online or at your local community college.

Do not over-invest or spend money you do not have to start with. Yet try things. If you’re really interested in something, ask if you can shadow someone doing it for a day. If you’re curious about something, find somebody who does that job, can take that person out for some coffee and talk to them for 20 min. Do not look at just the things that are fun for you about the job, also explore those things that may not be so fun for you. It is crucial that you know all the facets that go into any gem of a job.

Thanks for being with me and hopefully will meet again tomorrow.