Monday, November 30, 2015

Gratitude, A Good Way To Roll.....

There are a few things in life that make me wildly uncomfortable. Number one on my list would have to be flash mobs, the thought of organized-impromptu dancing or singing in a large crowd makes my skin crawl. Second but not far behind flash mobs is the moment at Thanksgiving dinner when everyone goes around the table and declares what they are thankful for. As to not be misunderstood, now more then ever I am extremely humble and grateful for what I have experienced, the people I consider friends and family, as well as the life I have been able to lead to this point. What causes me to avert eye contact and socially shut down is the verbal expressions of these feelings. So here it comes F'ers, things are about to a bit awkward for this kid but first let me explain how I got to this point.

Over the past two months I have been getting up early and doing about 20 minuets of yoga and around 5 minuets of mediation (one of these days I will write an entire post on this but for now, namaste and inner peace). Through this process, I first discovered I was extremely inflexible and second there is a virtual treasure trove of  yoga classes and guided mediation sessions available on youtube. The resounding theme that seems to be repeated over and over during my daily online morning contortion is, "you are exactly where you need to be." This simple statement really got me thinking about my life and as well as conscientiously taking stock of  just how blessed I am. This realization made me grasp that I have been guilty of searching the horizon as opposed to enjoying the ride.

There are subtleties in our quest for living life to its fullest that may only occur once in or mortal existence. For example, as parents we may look at our little kids and long for the day that they are big enough to remove excrement from their own orifice. Only to wish years later they were still babies. The finish line is a glorious sight, but I declare the true prize dwells within the journey. Live big and dream big, just make sure to drink in what is around you during each step of the process.

So let me express my gratitude in all its awkward glory.... I am grateful for my life and all of those who have helped to shape me into the person I am today. I am grateful for my wife and kids and the joy they bring me daily. Now more then ever I am grateful to have been raised by such great parents and siblings. I am forever grateful for the experiences that cause me to laugh or smile when they play back on the stage in my mind. Last of all, I am also grateful for the experiences I have been through that really, really, I mean really sucked (the education of life is not cheap, but it has caused me to learn a thing or two). Geeeeezzzzzz,,,,,, that was uncomfortable but necessary. F-word nation,
take the time this holiday season to enjoy exactly where you are at today, I promise it will make tomorrow all the more delicious (especially if left overs are involved).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

London's Calling

This past week I had the unique opportunity to meet with my family and a surgeon to discuss  the upcoming surgery to remove my Dad's esophagus due to cancer. While sitting in the room at the cancer center, and going through a myriad of emotions, I noticed a Jack London quote on the wall. I typically take an annual  spin through  Mr. London's, "The Call of the Wild" but had never read nor seen the quote below.  I was moved by both the words and the relevance of the situation I found them in. After reading and re-reading the lines, I experienced a "right-on" moment.  Not only did I feel that everything was going to be OK, but I also felt blessed for the time I have. Live your life, take it in, and above all share it with others. Enjoy the quote and the ride we call life.......

“I would rather be ashes than dust!

I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.” 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ear Candy

“Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible.” 
 Richard Feynman

I drive a lot for work, so much that at times I question if I am truly a salesman or if I am just moonlighting as an over the road trucker.  The 30,000 plus miles that I log each year makes me empathetic to Eddie Rabbits tune, “Driving My Life Away.”  Being a music snob in the worst sense of the word makes listening to music nearly impossible for long stretches of time (I realize this makes no sense, so I will not even try and explain it). For an alternative, I sometimes gravitate toward talk radio or the Spanish stations for both education and mild entertainment. With the amount of time I was spending on the road, I realized that what I was audibly ingesting did not equate to a net positive gain. After a day of driving around I would end up being upset with the state of politics or utterly confused (and rightfully so) by the fact Ranchero music relies on a tuba to hold down the bottom end.

 It’s been said that your actions and your level of motivation are the direct result of the 5 people you interact with the most. Realizing my radio buddies and my radio amigos were not the folks I was looking to emulate, I set out on a quest to learn. Right around this time a good friend of mine said; “Hey dude you ever listen to podcasts?” I sheepishly mentioned that I had not, and asked for some recommendations. The next day the once ignored “podcast app” on my phone became a treasure trove of incredible and insightful information and entertainment. I was learning how to become a better salesman in the morning, and being absolutely transported in time back to the vast reaches of the Mongolian Empire in the afternoon. Not to mention, all of this was being accomplished as part of my working day.

I instantly became the guy who prefixed the majority of my conversations with, “I was listening to the best podcast the other day.” The medium of the podcast fell right in line with my creed of purposely investing my time into things that I can impact or that can have an impact over me (see my blog post on Fight the Power). The podcast medium of audible feasting has presented me with the opportunity to grab the subject matter I choose and transform otherwise idle hours into a virtual classroom. This discovery and subtle change to my day has made a huge impact on my personal development …not to mention an improvement in my overall mood. Through this process, I exchanged political rants for self-improvement and Latin grooves (still a guilty pleasure) for the history of the world. All in all, I would say it has been a good trade.

It has been so nice to cut out all the negativity going on the world and replace it with a cornucopia of knowledge. Here is my challenge for you F’ers, find something you want to improve, work on, or learn about. I am fairly certain what every that subject matter is you will find a podcast on it. Below I have listed a few of my favorite podcast.  Although none of them can compete with Tito Puente grooving a Mambo, I bet you may learn a thing or two. (I listed links from itunes, but you can grab these through the stitcher app as well @ )

Work and Motivation

Dream-Think-Do (Kid Safe)

Entrepreneur on Fire (Kid Safe)

The Tim Ferris Show (There are some F bombs, so not the best while carpooling to soccer)

Stuff you should know (Kid Safe)

Becoming Super Human


Dan Carlin’s Hard Core History (History may be a bit too real for a small ear, no language… just reality). This may just fry your brain; start with the history of the Mongolians.

The History or Rome


The Adam Carolla Show (Not for the easily offended, not kid safe)

Happy listening…….. Provecho….

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