Global Connection

It’s a beautiful morning. We are now entering the week for timeliness. This is the week where the deadlines for mailing Christmas presents exists. I know not everybody has everything shipped yet. And I know this because I’m part of everybody and I still have packages to send.

There is importance to staying on top of things, and planning gives yourself a lot of good time in which to act. We do this so that when push comes to shove and everything slides because of a multitude of reasons and demands, we could still get what needs to be done completed just under the deadline.

I saw this morning on the news that UPS will be delivering over 400 packages a minute come Wednesday morning. The most significant cause of this is e-commerce. As a purchasing public, we just don’t go to brick-and-mortar stores as much as we have in the past.

One of the reasons may be is we cannot always find exactly what is desired in a local store or within a community. Those Christmas items that some people have asked me for were not to be located in the local area, I did look and still had to go to the internet to purchase many presents. Shopping online, the desired gifts were quickly found and delivered to my front door within a few days.

I am not saying that e-commerce will take over all brick-and-mortar stores. I really like to go out and look at items and understand what I am purchasing. Quite often in a brick-and-mortar store I can see different things and gain new perspectives based upon what my gift receiver might like.

It is great to know there is a global market which allows us to reach out to a larger community. This is only one of the many good things that the Internet does.

Not only can we purchase more, but we can also keep in touch with friends from long ago or far away. When I was young, my dad was in the Army. As we moved from Army post to Army post, new friends were found, and old friends seemed to be lost forever. When I grew up, my kids went with me from Air Force Base to Air Force Base. The kids met new friends wherever they went, and as the boys grew, they could keep up with old friends through the Internet. After all, your real wealth is found in the friends you keep in the things you share.

Please have a great week.  And, don’t let the rush get to you.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Slow Down

Do you find yourself being a little bit busy this time of year? This is the time of year for being busy. It could be worse because you could be like me. I’m still waiting for the Fourth of July and the fireworks to show up. I vaguely remember Labor Day because that’s when the balloons flew over my house. I live close to a park where they hold the balloon festival.

I find I’m not alone in the feeling that time is flowing too fast. Many others tell me the same thing. I believe that this is either an alien conspiracy, or I’m doing so much that I’m not able to pay attention to any single thing. I am not sure which. Although, I have never met ET.

When the artists of Europe dealt with cubism in the late 19th and early 20th century, they were sort of having the same problems and concerns. They felt that in their new mechanical age things were moving so fast that you could not get the full picture of any one scene. All that someone could see would be a slice of a view as they whisked by it.

I’m retired, and I have this problem. I can just imagine what someone with kids still at home, working a job, and trying to manage everything is facing right now. I can only do one thing for you, and it sounds crazy, it did to me the first time I was told to do it, and I can tell you it does work.

The trick to being on top of things is not to speed up. The real method is to slow down. Rather than pushing to meet an ever-demanding agenda, make your schedule work for you.

You know how much time you have, and what you can accomplish. You also understand if you speed up and only do a mediocre job or come in late with the project, you’re going to be in trouble anyway. So just take on what you can do and do it the best you can. If it is essential for you to do and you don’t have the time, ask for an extension up front. If it is something that will take you from other vital tasks, politely decline the request.

Your supervisors will respect you for your actions. Remember, if pushed, you can always go to your supervisors, show them your schedule and ask for their assistance in what priority should be assigned to which project. It shows that you’re willing to work with management and be sure that your tasks have the time needed to be done correctly.

Of course, this is just an opinion from the mean old Master Sergeant.

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

Finding Your Zest

It is essential to keep moving forward. Just as a shark needs to keep swimming to keep water flowing through the gills to live, we need to keep facing our challenges. Something new to learn, someplace new to go, and something to share with someone.

When we are young, learning, going places, and sharing. We find ourselves with a lot of energy and curiosity. Above all the younger we are the larger our imaginations. And, there are always others to share with and learn from.

As we age, we are given the task of discipline, we keep having to keep our imagination in check. We need to do what others expect from us, and we are supposed to settle down. And quite often as we do this, we lose the zest of life. In losing the zest, we often start to age.

Is there anything worse than a young brain screaming to get out of an old body?  Or,  at least fighting to get the body to work again. Yet, there are some things you can do. Set aside some time each week which is your time and then do what you like to do. Maybe you want to go fishing or possibly take a hike. You can go to a movie or go for a walk. If you go to a Museum, you might be surprised what you learn, and what you think of during the experience.

One of my favorite groups is the Moody Blues. And one of their favorite poems deals with breathing the gathering gloom. If I may suggest, breathe deep and ignore the gathering gloom. Do not do what you cannot handle, yet always be willing to stretch your boundaries a little. As you learn and do, you may find yourself starting to grow again. Maybe not taller, and maybe wiser with a bit more pep and a bit more energy.

I am no doctor I cannot tell you what is best for you. You must figure that out for yourself with the advice of your medical staff. Yet if you are able to stretch the boundaries just a little, you may be surprised at the results you get.

This is just something to think of from the mean old master Sergeant.

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

What Are You Budgeting?

Many of us have to live by a budget. Some people go over their budget. If you are budgeting money, going over budget can be embarrassing. You may not have the money to pay for the bills when they come due. You may have to wait to buy something new, or you may have to negotiate for more payments of less money until the debts are paid.

There are other things you can budget. You can plan how many times you go out to eat in a month. You can estimate how often and how much you drive your car. And, you can budget how many times you bring your lunch from home, and how often you get to go out for lunch on work days. The most important thing to budget is time.

Budgeting time correctly is nothing less than an essential defensive operation and needs to be run like one. The things you have vying for your time are remarkably complex. You have television shows which are designed to be addictive so that you will watch the ads.

There are the books you want to read, and the ones you read while waiting for your favorite authors to write another sequel. Social media wants you to share with others on their site so that you can see the ads. Social media ads offer you the world for free if you give them your email address in exchange for a free PDF about whatever they’re trying to really sell you.

You want to go to some people’s parties, and other people want you to come to theirs. You would like to spend more time with your family, or your extended family is pressuring you to spend time with them. And, I won’t even get started about all the games on the internet!

Pretty soon you have 10,000 emails waiting to be read, your sleeping through the things you really want to watch, and your life is nowhere near that grand vision you once had. What are you going to do?

Well to start with, the realization and the questions have to be sated by your answers and plans and yours alone. To do what others tell you usually will not work because those answers are not yours. So somehow, you have to know, or figure out, what you want and what you have to use to get there.

Can you do everything at once? Probably not. Yet, if you figure out what’s important to you, and you map out a plan you can stick to, you might find some real relief and possibly overcome some of the demands others are pushing on you.

Very rarely are the things that are good, also the things that are smooth and easy to do. Those doing something vital for themselves or others often find the road bumpy and filled with potholes. The work comes in filling the potholes and making the way to where you want to be a smoother ride.

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

 

Mindfulness

We find ourselves as creatures of habit. We can go to our kitchen and without thinking go to the silverware drawer or make a cup of coffee when we are still half asleep. Change the layout, and five years later, unless you’re really thinking about it, you will occasionally go back to the original place the silverware was initially kept. I know, it’s been nine years since we’ve rearranged the kitchen and I still occasionally go to the wrong drawer.

Many of us use the computer. And many do quite well using laptops or tablets. Even someone who can write in HTML 5, design courses and write blogs and write books might have problems when asked to do something simple that they don’t usually do. Exactly how do you copy and repost on Facebook? Yep, that was me also.

It seems as though I have two paths in front of me. I could go back to bed and go back to sleep hoping to awaken and start today over again. Or, I can wake up and do something about the problems.

Although sleep always beckons like a good friend, soft pillows and warm blankets and rest for the weary, you know me, I have to wake up and do something about it. I need to work on my mindfulness. Mindfulness is making sure your mental acuity is there. You’re awake, you know what’s going on. Mindfulness is staying on top of your game and not running on preprogrammed memory.

I am just learning new ways mindfulness helps. Yet from what I see, this is really what I need. The Veterans Administration has an excellent app for the cell phone, and it is free. If you are of the mind, I highly suggest you try it out. There are also some excellent classes out there on mindfulness.

If you’re interested and cannot find the information you are looking for on mindfulness, please write me. I would be glad to help by sending you some materials. Also, write me if you’d like to talk about it. I can arrange to give you a 20-minute phone call to discuss mindfulness.  My email address is mikeb@reveille.rocks.

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

Passion

What drives us to do something? We see people who spend a lot of money for procuring things. Some collect old cars, others collect vintage aircraft. Others collect washing machines or sewing machines, toasters or toys or many other different things. And then, the owners spend a lot of time keeping the pieces of their collections in top shape.

The question soon becomes, “Why?” We have to think about the time and money involved and then try to understand why people would spend so much on relative wrecks from yesteryears. The truth of the matter is there is only one reason to do so. Passion!

Some people have a passion for giving back to others, whether it’s scouts or a civic group, or some other organization. Some people have a desire for a time in history or time in their life. And some people have a love for the machines of bygone eras which helped to move us forward. No matter what the thought or reason is, one thing is for sure, it is our passion for something which often drives us forward into action.

Passion held in control is a positive motivator. It can help teach and inspire others or preserve cultural history. It can save older thoughts and ideas that may not be as prevalent today. It helps to give our society diversity of what has come before.

Passion, though, must be kept in check. Passion run amuck can also be debilitating or disastrous to new ideas, and new ways of thinking. New groups with passion towards old hatreds, defeated warriors, or living with the values of archaic societies could have passions that might lead to potentially harmful interaction with today’s norms.

As we enjoy the thrill of seeing our passions come to life, we must always check and ensure not to protrude onto today’s norms of society, nor upon the rights of other individuals. The nice thing is that as we grow and evolve, we are always finding new and better ways to explore both the recent past and the old.

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

 

 

 

A Scouting Lesson

Lessons come in all shapes and sizes. I remember a lesson that happened towards the end of a campout once. We had a campout to teach our younger scouts about camping techniques, and about the games, we were going to be playing at an upcoming Camporee. The older scouts were there to help teach the younger scouts.

It was just an overnight camp out, and towards early morning, the cars, driven by adults, happened to get toilet papered. When this was seen in the morning, the scoutmaster did a little investigating. He spoke with scouts both individually and in groups.

Although nobody would confess, he could tell that the younger scouts really had nothing to do with the prank. He knew from talking to everyone that the older scouts did, although they would not say so. The scoutmaster put a little wisdom into the mix and came up with a great solution that taught a lesson.

Talking only to the younger scouts, he got them to volunteer to remove the paper from the adult’s cars, and as a good scout deed wash the cars for the adults. By the time the vehicles were cleaned, the scoutmaster had pizzas delivered from a favorite pizza parlor. The young scouts who had done their good deeds and hard work were reworded and got to eat the pizza while the older scouts could only be there and watch.

I probably would not have thought about this action as a resolution. Although, I couldn’t think of a much better lesson to teach both good deeds, and also admitting to your own pranks. I guess this is a good thing about having wise scoutmasters.

Just something for you to think about this weekend and maybe sometimes when you have to teach younger people a wise lesson.

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