Are You Looking in the Right Direction?

Thank you for being with us for another throwback Thursday.  This was originally published on February 6, 2017

We are often in search of something. Moreover, there are various types of people out there who are willing to lead us on that search in exchange, in exchange for something they want. They may want money or attention, or understanding or to believe they are doing good or fulfilling some purpose. They do want something.

The question is, do those offering you guidance understand what you are looking for and can they really provide what your needs require?

I find it interesting that our eyes set at the front of our body on the high ground and focus outwards. Unless you look in the mirror, you do not see an image of yourself, and it is hard to see what goes on behind the eyes. If you have to look around behind yourself, again you will need more mirrors with images.

The question I have today is, ‘Are you looking in the right place?’ Or, are you running all over the place looking here and looking there for answers? Do you seek things in many places, yet, never seem to be able to find them? Do the claims of others somehow generally leave you short of where you want to be, feeling somehow less, and somehow again without.

There is another place you can look. The location is one of the hardest to recognize, and yet one of the easiest to get at. You need to look within yourself.

Is there anybody who knows you better than you do? Who knows what you want? You do. Who knows what you like and don’t like? You do. Who knows how far you are willing to go to get something done, and done the way you want it done? Oh yeah, that is you. Okay?

Reach out to the world to collaborate, to communicate, to solve technical issues, and to learn new ideas. Never let others tell you who you should be or what you are and are not.  You are on track to being the best person you possibly can.  Just listen to that person in the mirror.

Would you like to discuss the idea of internal growth?  Please leave a comment. And, You can always reach me at mikeb@reveille.rocks.

 

We Don’t Always Know the Why’s

We don’t always know why things happen. Yesterday it was 75° here. And by this evening we will be enjoying the snow. With 2 – 5 inches due by tomorrow.  Most people here don’t understand why the weather changes so fast. The only thing we can say is, “Welcome to the wonderful world of Colorado weather.” This may be an extreme example, yet the idea behind it is real for more than just Colorado. We see this throughout our lives. We see things happen both good and evil, and can only ask ‘Why?’

We try to attach meaning to events to make them more understandable.  And yet, why a plane ends up in the sea, or a car crashes or anything else happens, is often beyond our understanding.  Many times, I see things, and I can only ask why because I don’t know.  Why did this or that happen? Why?

I do not want to blame everything on random chance.  I also do not want to blame all tragedies on pre-ordained fate.  As a process engineer who believes in continuous improvement, I know that as we understand more, safety and health improve.  And, in this, there is some understanding.  Because someone a long time ago stood next to some shiny leaves and got a rash, we now know to stay away from poison ivy.  Someone had to make the error so the rest of us could learn.

The next time something happens, we could blame it on fate.  We can blame the pre-ordination of man, or we can empathize with the who and what, and learn something that could help us, and everyone else.

It is hard to say why things happen.  I know I do not understand a lot in the larger scheme of things. I do know that time, life, and knowledge are essential.  I feel I need to pay more attention.

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

Balancing Our View

Art and life are a lot alike.  Each will take you wherever you would want to go, all you have to do is add some imagination. I work in watercolors and in aqua oils. Although I’ve done 2 years at the local community college studying watercolor, much of my work in oils stems from Bob Ross and other PBS art shows.

In part, you need to balance your darks in your lights. If you have the painting with all light colors, it doesn’t mean anything because there’s nothing to contrast them against. And if you make everything dark, it means very little for the exact same reasons. And so, you need the dark hues, and the light ones so that each can accentuate the other.

Life is much the same. If you are winning the lottery every week, and always flying from one vacation to another, and everything is permanently just perfect, how do you know how you are doing? If your life is forever dark, with no saving grace, no belief in a future, and no dreams and everything is continually just sad, the same question applies. How do you know how you’re doing?

We have to live life knowing it is not always going to be super bright and smooth all of the time, and it should not be dark and discouraging all of the time. We have to find our balance. In the kaleidoscope of our life, things will drift in and out of focus and in and out of frame. In the revolutions of our hues, there will always be good moments filled with brightness and happiness. And there will be the dark times of sorrow and loss.

We do not wish to dwell on only one or the other, for both are important, and both have meaning. Each accentuates the other. And each, in its own way, makes the other an enhanced experience. It allows us to stay grounded and understand everything in life is there to be lived and respected for what it is.

There is brightness, and darkness in everything. It is up to each person to determine how it is to be viewed. I say that because in truth, just like everything else in this world, what is often seen is up to our own interpretation. That’s true.

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

May I Ask A Question?

Today I would like to ask you a question, and I hope that you take a few minutes to respond to it. I have to assure you that this is not a question that’s going to lead to me trying to sell you something. I am not setting you up for a future email funnel or phone calls. And we can do this, so you don’t even have to give me your email address. I’m just doing a little pure research.

The question is elementary and twofold. If you like your planner and personal appointment system, what do you like about it? The second question is along the same lines. If you don’t care for your planner and appointment system, why?

I talk with people who love their systems, and I spoke with people who hate their systems. Sometimes, both sides can be given to me by the same person. There are a lot of planning and appointment systems on the market, and most of them will have something we like, and many of them will not cover aspect that we wish they did. Many times, we end up picking and choosing and end up with something that is much less than we would really like. This is because we cannot find a system that has everything we desire, or the system we desire costs more than we are able, or willing, to spend.

I find myself in that quandary also. For me to understand this better and maybe discover what I’m looking for, I need to talk to my friends and mentors (You.) If you would, please send back a comment and tell me what you think about the systems you use, and what you find good and/or bad about them.

I thank you very much for your help in considering and answering this. And, as one friend and mentor to another, if there is anything I could do to help you, please let me know. I am always willing to help.

Thank you for considering and doing this for me.

Thank you for being with me today, and I hope to be with you again soon.

 

Maintenance

America has an exciting history. She came from an oppressed society and has grown to be the number one country on the planet. As a republic, it stands as a shining beacon of what other countries may hope to be someday. And like all democracies, America faces growing pains as we face the 250-year mark.

Not all democracies last much longer than 250 years. It depends on the upkeep and care that is given to the country. And, how the nation is used. The second law of thermodynamics is that everything will deteriorate. If we want our democracy to last, we will need to put some work into maintaining America.

Think of America as it started out as a family with a horse. As America grew we added sailing boats, and paddle wheelers. Before you knew it along came the Model T Ford and the Stutz Bearcat. We learned how to fly, dropped our ideas of isolation. And now, we work in outer space. And yet as we go along, we sometimes forget to maintain the system which got us to this point.

You have seen me write more than once about having things and having real estate is nice. But the important things are the people, their thoughts and ideas, and their dreams. Things don’t make a country great. People do.

 Today, it looks as though America is starting to think less about what made us great. It seems as though we have fallen into a rut of name-calling and finger-pointing. If we are going to move past the 250-year mark and go on to survive and grow as a nation, we are going to have to stop finger-pointing and learn to work together.

The only way I know to do this is to stop blaming others and start looking inside to see what we can do better. We can do it. What we face now we have encountered before. And, we did not overcome it by beating the other side down. Instead, we learned to work together. We learn to talk and compromise. We learned that when we came to these’s shores, we set aside our common differences to forge one nation of a pluralistic society with the rights to our own race, color, creed, genders, and abilities.

Today, we are fortunate to have America in the good things that America does. If we want to keep it that way each person who lives here has an obligation to help shine her up and keep all the parts running smoothly.  We do so in honor to those who have come before us and as a duty and a hope for those who come after us.

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

Our True Wealth

Last night we had a drawing in a lottery for 1.6 billion dollars. And today, someone woke up being $1.6 billion richer.  No one knows yet who that person was, although we do congratulate them. It is a beautiful thing to be blessed with life-changing money, and we hope that the money helps people to change for the better.

I would like to mention, money plays a very minimal part in what makes us wealthy. Wealth is measured, not in what comes into a person as far as money, land and other tangibles. Real wealth is viewed as what we pass along and is mostly intangible.

Our real wealth is what we give to others. It is usually those things money cannot buy. A smile or a kind nod to a stranger, a hug to somebody who is sad, or taking time to listen to someone who has something to say, are all internal wealth measurements.

What we have in the bank gathers very little interest in comparison to the little things that we do for others every day. You may not see the benefit you accumulate on your actions, yet I can assure you that as these actions take place in the hearts of many, interest grows. And, you will find out in time, the interest you gather in the hearts of others will be shared from their hearts to even others.

It only takes one or two who are sharing goodness to make a whole block, neighborhood, or even an entire city wealthier than it ever imagined. Please remember that things are only things. Whether it is the school or a city or a state, or just the block we live on, it takes people to make things worthy and wealthy.

I just realized I’m a people. And you know I bet you are one too. I wish us both good health and good inner Wealth.

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

Business Ventures

Books are great. And it’s always wonderful to be able to sit and read and learn from the actions and exploits of others. It is even a good way to save a little. They say that failure is the price of learning. If you can read a book and learn from someone else, you’re actually receiving free knowledge, although secondhand, as based on someone else’s success or failure.

You never really know until you put your own ideas to the test. If all you do is read books, and reading is essential, then you know what the writer has told you. You do not see the rest of the story, parts the author left out. And in those details, the ones you do not learn in books, lay the aspects of success and failure. To truly succeed you have to go forth and try.

I am not saying you need to fail to succeed. Failure is often overrated. You do have to go forth to see what works and what does not. And, you must know when to go straight forward, and when to pivot into a new direction. You pivot when you see you are up against insurmountable odds which would bury you should you continue to go towards them.

What else can you do to mitigate failure? You can watch others. Find mentors and ask questions. Study what happens to businesses and plan for success. Will this guarantee you freedom from failure? No. It will, though, give you a fighting chance.

If you’re looking for absolute guarantees, business is not the best place to be. Business faces too many variables which range from government regulation to manufacturing, to labor and, most fickle of all, to the customer.

I am not suggesting you avoid business ventures. Read books, find mentors, ask questions, study what’s going on, and do your best. When it’s your business, just know that there is no backup. Your business is you, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. Work to make your ventures prosperous.

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