Monday, March 03, 2014
The photo above is from my dry erase wall in my office. I leave it there as a daily reminder. Over-thinking and worrying about details can get in the way sometimes, especially when relationships are involved. In life there is a large sphere of things you do not, and con never control. Within that big zone, there is a smaller sphere that you have total control over what you can affect. The key is expanding your green circle, so you minimize the gap of what you cannot control.
My firm's former president had a saying about to looking into the shadows to see what is going on in them. People whispering and working against the team goal. He emphasizes walking toward the light, and helping folks walk along with you.
These two concepts are very similar. There will always be folks in the shadows, complaining, pointing out problems without any solutions. You cannot control this, and you should not focus on correcting it either. If people are not strong enough to bring their questions or problems into the light, they cannot be taken to credibly. Maybe work on the trust issues first, and see if that can help. I will never turn someone away that wants to discuss differences, or bring forth issues. But I will not focus on what is going on in the shadows either. Moving forward in the light will be my path, and hopefully I can bring some people along for the ride. The more you increase your affecting circle, the more light you shed. The more light you shed, the smaller the shadows.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Here is the picture, adult male, driving alone, getting all choked up driving in to the office. I'm sure it would look funny from an outside perspective. The song is a well written gaze upon a relationship, and the state of being before and during. It speaks to the ability to see the future and believe in the future. Like my last post, looking forward is not always easy. Having faith in the unknown future is even harder. Today I want to focus on the future, see what I believe will be true. I can do this at work, my faith, my volunteer life, in my family life. In the worst of time keep your eyes forward, in the best of times enjoy the moment and plan the next. Better days are ahead all around!
"I believe and I believe ‘cause I can see
Our future days, days of you and me
When The hurricanes and cyclones rage
When winds turn dirt into dust
When floods they came and the tides they raised, ever closer became us"
- Pearl Jam
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.”
― Johnny Cash
― Johnny Cash
I am not a big country music fan but I do like Johnny Cash, especially his final albums and revival on American Recordings in the 1990; and 2000's. Cash has certain introspection in his writing, and in the covers that really show who he was as a person. He lived a hard life, ruined marriages, got lost in drugs and alcohol, killed his career, and found the Light. My wife sent over the quote above today and it really hit home. No one, not one person has never had a single regret in life, even if a small one. But as Cash points out, failures are what you build upon. The final sentence in the statement is the most important. How does one learn from mistakes, and never devote any energy to thinking back about it?
Focus is one answer. If you have something to stay focused on you can avoid looking back. The simple analogy is just walking. If you do not focus forward, you will eventually stumble into something. By facing forward, you see where you are walking, and leave the rest behind. I have read a lot of business books, that encourage identifying the days goals. I do not always follow these lessons. The goal setting can be simple or complex, but write down some daily goals, and achieve them. Your plan will develop, your scope may change, but you will be facing forward. I have been laser focused on my personal plan for about four weeks now, and I feel very productive. We all have failure, we all want to be better. I want to stay on the path I am on, close the door more often, and give my energy, time and space to the best things in my life. Focus on today, tomorrow is never promised.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
I am traveling coast to coast, almost, today. Nothing worse than leaving so early in the day that I miss seeing my kids in the morning. I did get to hug J before I left, mostly since I woke here up getting ready at 4 am. I hated to leave the family for this trip, this kids are just over the flu, and so is J. She's a real trooper with the kids when she is not feeling well, way more strong than me. When I'm not well, I turtle up and zone out until I'm better. So thanks J for again manning the ship without me, our family is glued together by you.
Lots of things to work on over the next 48 hours. Work opportunities, volunteer decisions and continued focus on my health. I am strengthened by my family in all aspects of my life. Today C$ gets a cupcake for a well earned personal achievement, five straight poops on the potty without an accident. This is huge. Seeing the pics of C&C getting psyched for CUPCAKE TIME while I was sitting alone in an airport were heartwarming. What a sense of scope these kids have. They do not know the big cupcake trip is a five minute journey for J. But this little trip means the world to the kids.
This is a great analogy to life. Little actions can have big outcomes. Smile at people that serve you, make eye contact so they know you respect them. Take a minute to thank someone. Give your spouse a hug when they do not expect one. Let a coworker know you have seen them really working hard on a project and appreciate the effort. You never know when that small gesture could make a real difference to someone. Give someone their own cupcake time today.
Friday, February 14, 2014
Today is a very difficult day for me. For the last few years I have not been able to write anything but a brief note of remembrance. In 2010 my wife and I entered parenthood in one of the most difficult ways. J's water broke early and we delivered our son JDM on Valentines Day, he did not survive. Getting to meet him for a brief moment was a true blessing, but it was the hardest thing I have ever done. This has been the most difficult and evolving day over the last several years. While I am saddened at what could have been for my boy, we have been given two absolutely beautiful children since that day. Each year we are removed form JDM's birthday, the pain is a little less, never gone but less.
I know we should not feel guilty about celebrating with our kids. It was fun to drop Valentines in bags for other kids at daycare this morning. CG even got a special Valentine from her friend, the same kid she made a special one for. This relationship will be cause for writing in 13 years I'm sure. I guess I am learning the transition from the straight grief I have experienced, to a better balanced state of celebrating with my kids, and remembering our first. I do pray every single day for JDM with his brother and sister. They don't understand who he is yet, but they know he's always in the family prayers.
Like the heart tree above, my heart is blessed to have many pieces that fill up my life. One piece was just a little smaller, just a little less tangible than the others. I will never let go of the experience JDM gave me. I will never stop loving and praying for him. I will make sure that C&C always know how much I love them and appreciate the opportunity to be their father. One day I'll meet JDM, and we'll be able to chat about all the thing we missed out on together. I the meantime, I will celebrate what I have in the best way I know.
Just Breathe by Pearl Jam
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
There are some positives, I am struggling to focus on, but here goes. I woke up early, dragged my butt down stairs and worked out. I went after the workout harder than the last week. I slowed to the moderate routine a few times, but made sure I finished each exercise at full intensity, or at least my closest approximation of full. Lastly, I did not stop.
My head got in my way a few times, but that is where I need the most work. Sir Edmund Hilary's quote above has been framed on my wall since college. His quote could not have rung more true to me than when I finished this morning. I was totally gassed and did not want to walk upstairs to get ready for work or take out the garbage. I sat for several minutes just collecting myself, sort of pissed that I felt the conquered by "the mountain."
Take some time today to assess if you are doing everything you can for your goals. Are you getting in your own way? Is fear of failure stopping your from starting something new? Right now I am accepting the fact I worked out as hard as I could today as a win, and not being too hard on myself. Today is only a day, but if you run, walk or inch toward a goal now, you are beating everyone on the couch not trying at all.