Archive for June, 2012

When I was ten my dad worked hard at work and my mom worked hard at home. So our summer vacations were not spent at the day care they were spent on west 52nd street at the house with our mom functioning as ou care provider/warden/tv time regulator. I was ten and wanted to spend all summer watching tv and playing video games but mom had other plans. The little tv we did watch though was “The Flintstones”, great cartoon show about two families living in caveman time, the patriarchs of the families get into one misadventure after another. One of the funniest episodes was one were Fred and Barney (those are the names of the two patriarchs) wished for their magic alien friend, Kazoo, to make dummy doubles of them. The dummy Fred and Barney went to dinner with their wives and the  genuine Fred and Barney went to a bowling tournament. The plan was “flawless”, the Fred dummy only said yes and the Barney dummy only said no.

Of course the plan fell apart and everyone was laughing but I was in a meeting recently and realized that it seems every meeting always has a Fred dummy and a Barney dummy. One individual who agrees and promises everything and uses the word yes all the time and another who takes it upon themself to deny everything shake his or her head defiantly and uses the word no all the time. Most people want to help during a meeting by providing input, but let me tell you these two people do not help they are more of a hurt than anything else. In all of our interactions we should strive to do more than provide one word answers. To make an interaction, which is exactly what a meeting is, a worthwhile experience and something more than a waste of everyone’s time, it is important to avoid attitudes and words that are the “all or nothing” type. Compromise cannot be reached through using the words no or yes. Wait a minute! Yes is the definition of compromise right, well not really. The word yes is usually employed as a method of placating the party asking permission. Nothing is simple and clear if it was it wouldn’t require a meeting. So better than “no, no, no” or “yes, yes, yes” would be “maybe contingent on this or that” or “if this and that” any talk that involves thinking and acting and a plan.

Next time you are forced into a meeting and wish to provide some input think about what you are saying why you are saying it and don’t be one of those people.

That was a very funny episode of “The Flintstones” ha ha!!

peace

john3c 

 

write about accommodations and the difference in no and yes

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They say confession is good for the soul and if you have spoken with any of my teachers or mentors from the years, you would know that, my soul needs all the help it can get. So here’s my confession, I like to drive fast. Ever since I can remember I have loved the feeling of fast cars. I am not a “gear head” I mean I like cars alright I can change oil and do minor repairs but I just really enjoy driving fast. Now despite the lack of accidents the local law enforcement has done their best to destroy my love of fast driving and you know they have a point it is dangerous to drive fast, and doing this on the city streets puts other in danger.  So do I still drive fast? No, but there was a guy who used to work with me, he drove his car on a closed race track. I am really interested in this. It sounds like a lot of fun.

Have you ever seen the movie “Gone in Sixty Seconds“. I think the movie is a remake and I know it starred Nick Cage. I love the scene in the movie where Nick Cage is explaining to youngsters at a go-cart race track that speed is a by-product of good racing. It is fun to o fast however you have to know when and where you should and shouldn’t go fast. I imagine it is fun sometimes to be the boss at work and buy expensive dinners and luxury items but you have to know when where and how to do that. Wealth and “power” in business will come as a by-product of doing something you are passionate about and doing it well. Well picking a career path in college many students fall into the trap of choosing a career that will give them wealth and power. These students are usually weeded out in the first few years of their career and end up working in a field they did not major in.

Today are you working in or with your passion? If the answer is yes than congratulations and enjoy the by-products if not take heart. H.G. Wells, before he became the father of modern science fiction and one of the greatest authors to take pen to paper was a failed chemist assistant and a failed draper. He worked as a school teacher and oh yeah, he wrote some books. He was passionate about books reading and writing and it was his passion that made him famous. Fame fortune all by products of working with something he loved. So not to quote the late and great Bo Diddley but I will . “Who do you love?”

 

peace

john3c

 

The number is 150 otherwise known as the Dunbar Number. Is the water still a little muddy? Yeah I figured it would be, so here is what that number is… the Dunbar number is 150, Professor Dunbar, through exhaustive research in anthropology decided that 150 is the limit of stable social interactions someone can have. Now some critics have pointed out their rather large friends lists on Facebook, as proof that the anthropologist professor had no idea what he was talking about. Years of research and school wiped out by the introverted genius that is Zuckerburg. Well not really if you dissect the definition, in this post for the Dunbar Number one cannot help  but notice the world stable shoved in there and this word stable usually zap many of the friends on our vast friend lists.

If you get the chance, click the link in this post it is (of course) a Wikipedia article explaining the Dunbar Number, a short read and interesting. In the article Dunbar suggests that maintain more relationships than this is neurologically impossible. So in layman’s terms working in large groups could make you go crazy right?

 

In an effort to get the most “friends” we may find ourselves doing and saying things we normally wouldn’t do, going places we normally wouldn’t go acting well.. kind of crazy. So not to be a super nerd but I would like to quote some Willam Shakespeare here and say “To thine own self be true”.  For anyone who doesn’t know this quote is from a play (a really good one too). In the play a father is saying goodbye to his son for the last time and this is some of the advice he leaves with him. Yeah it is that important.

So while it is interesting and fun to test the limits of stable social interactions I think maybe the thing about that number is not a question of quantity but quality and honesty in the relationships. How many meaningful friends do you have and you know what there is nothing wrong with only one or two.

peace

john3c

“I like that song” I reply to the beautiful woman in the driveway as I kiss her goodbye. She is actually in a car in the driveway and the song is playing on the radio. I know you want to know so I will answer. The song is called “Springsteen” and is written and sang by Eric Church. Yes it is country and it is a really good song. Eric sings about how a song can bring you back to a certain moment in time and conjure up all the feelings involved with that time and person. You should give the song a listen it is worth your time and even a download to the ol I pod.

As she drives away I think about all the music that does this for me and then, as I often do I think about her and I wonder what music 2, 3 4 or 5 years from now will make me think of this moment here right now. I find it kind of funny that the music that may make me think of this moment could possibly be a song that is singing about music making you think about memories. 

I am not sure what songs will remind me of this beauty, however, I have noticed that when I hear that “Lady Antebellum” song “We own the Night” I picture myself with her at the concert. That concert was the perfect end to one of many perfect days with this woman. I am excited about other song\memories I will make and am making with her and I can totally relate to this song, which is probably why it is currently one of my favorites. I hope all, one,  of my readers learns to enjoy the moment but remember fondly the past with a song or a scent. Here’s to making memories.

 

peace

john3c

lyrics to one of my favorite songs

 
 

Eric Church – Springsteen Lyrics

 

Springsteen

To this day when I hear that song
I see you standin’ there all night long
Discount shades, store-bought tan, flip flops and cut off jeans
Somewhere between that set and the sun
I’m on fire, I’m born to run
You looked at me and I was done, just couldn’t stop.
I was singin’ to you, you were singin’ to me
I was so alive, never been more free
Fired up my daddy’s lighter, we sang oh woah woah
Stayed there till’ they forced us out,
Took the long way to your house,
I can still hear the sound of you sayin’ don’t go.

When I think about you, I think about seventeen
I think about my old jeep, I think about the stars in the sky
Funny how the melody sounds like a memory,
Like a soundtrack to a july saturday night.
Springsteen.

I bumped into you by happenstance,
Probably wouldn’t even know who I am
But if I whispered your name I bet, still be a spark.
Back when I was gasoline, and this old tattoo had brand new ink,
And we didn’t care what your momma thinks about your name on my arm.
Baby is it spring or is it summer,
The guitar sound or the beat of that drummer
You hear sometimes late at night on your radio.
Even though you’re a million miles away,
When you hear Born In The USA,
You relive those glory days so long ago.

When you think about me, do you think about seventeen
Do you think about my old jeep, think about the stars in the sky
Funny how the melody sounds like a memory,
Like a soundtrack to a july saturday night.
Springsteen.

Springsteen

(X2)
Oh woah woahh oh
Oh woah woahh oh
Oh woah woahh oh oh oh

Funny how the melody sounds like a memory,
Like a soundtrack to a july saturday night.
Springsteen
Springsteen
Oh Springsteen

(X4)
Oh woah woahh oh
Oh woah woahh oh
Oh woah woahh oh oh oh

 

You are on your way to work while driving in traffic you are answering an e-mail on your work phone, speaking with the day care on your personal cell phone, in your head you are developing a check list for things you need to do before the Monday morning meeting, as soon as the day care hangs up you jump into a conversation with a family member about some serious family affair. This scene is played out Monday mornings all over the world.

We multitask and feel accomplished because we have finished in the time it takes to do one task many tasks,however one has to wonder about things like quality of the tasks we complete while multitasking. Did we schedule the right time for the day care appointment? We are not sure so at lunch we call back the day care. The e-mail we sent was vague and non – descript, and now we are dragged into a conversation via e-mail, which takes three days to explain, which may not have taken quite as long with a more proper initial e-mail. Then there is the phone call with the family member, about some type of family affair that is going on, in their moment of need did we truly employ the appropriate empathy required and lend to them a receptive ear and “shoulder to cry on”? Or did we treat them like the e-mail that we rushed through? And not to mention the fact that all of this was done while driving in traffic, driving is an action that requires a cognitive full brain approach, despite the feeling that driving can be second nature it is not, there are far to many variables involved with driving to ever make it become second nature. It is good practice to never ever text or answer e-mail while driving. As a matter of fact I am inclined to believe the “older” regime in the office who state that “there is no such thing as multitasking. It is merely doing many things poorly”.

So since there is no syuch thing as multitasking what are we to do? First things first take a deep breath, now prioritize. Some people are list people, they write themselves lists others don’t and still prioritize. The best approach to tasks is to complete as much of a task as you can before moving on to another task. I like to assume that if I do not finish my task after I start than it will never get finished. So what do I do about tasks that I know will take weeks, months or even years? Well I break them done into smaller tasks that I can finish in one session or bites. I call them bites because of an old saying about how one goes about eating an elephant. One bite at a time of course. You will finish long-term tasks one bite at a time.

 

At home and at work everyday we should all make an effort to abandon multitasking and cling to a “task completion” path and the difference we will see in happiness and production will me remarkable. If nothing else abandoning multitasking will make the roads safer.

peace

john3c

Close your eyes and visualize with me. Ok you are 11 years old in a fifth grade mat class and reading over one of your first word problems. Ah you remember those wonderful gems don’t you? Two trains leave Chicago one heading towards New York and the other Las Vegas. Yeah you know how the word problems work. Often times what happens with the recipient of a word problem is not so much a wrong answer but a right answer to the wrong question.

This is an interesting phenom that happens when we lose sight of what the question is. I used to work with a retired colonel on an army base. His name was Ralph Foster, every morning Ralph would ask me a question about a story he read in the paper. One morning I beat Ralph to the punch, and asked him about a local political figure was found not guilty. I asked Ralph what he thought about the highly visible trial in our small town and it’s outcome, his reply was that “the defense did not prove his innocence as much as muddy the waters and confuse the jury.”

Getting “our waters muddied up”  can cause serious problems in all aspects of many situation we face professionally and personally. I think it is easier within our professional life to realize “what the question really is” , than in our personal lives. To realize “what the question is in our personal lives involves weighing out what is the most important in our lives. This is a question which is different for each individual and although it is a tough one you may find it a rewarding and fulfilling journey.

peace

john3c

Do it in the morning

Posted: June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

It is 630am I am one of the hundred soliders running in formation at Fort Sill Oklahoma. “Corrigan do you know why we run in the morning? We run in the morning because if you can handle this run in the morning you can handle anything.” Fast forward 16 years and I am on the beach in Fort Lauderdale Flordia. It is 630 am I have on my tennis shoes and shorts. I am not looking forward to making this run but I put my head down and plow through these brisk three miles.
There was an older article in time magazine that mentioned how some of the most successful people in the world get most of their best work done I am not sure how true this is but I am sure that I feel great about getting this run done first thing this morning.

Peace
John3c