Category Archives: Personal

12 Things For 12/12/12

This is going to be a strange post, and it’s all China Ya’s fault. On Facebook, she wrote something saying that she’d missed the date 12/12/12, the only one all of us will see in our lifetime (well, anyone that’s able to read now anyway), only to realize later on, after I and a couple other people mentioned something about it, that she had the date wrong. Then she kind of challenged me to write something on the date and have it release at 12:12PM.

12-12-12

What, now I’m a writer? Oh yeah, I am. And I am the guy who wrote about blogging and creativity after all. I decided to take on the challenge. I’m going to write about 12 things, some you probably won’t care about but hey, it’s 12 things; 12 thoughts I have on my mind that I’m going to share. Will they all be popular or nonsensical? I don’t know yet; I’m being creative. Here we go.

1. I’ve lived in this house of mine 12 years now. Officially we’ve owned it since August, but we didn’t move in until October 1st. It’s by far the longest I’ve ever lived in one location; before that it was 5 years.

2. I’m not registered in any political party, though my politics lean left; I don’t think there’s any secret to that second part. Why don’t I belong to a party? Because overall I don’t like being in large groups where people are expected to believe in the same thing in the same exact way. When that kind of thing occurs, very little good seems to come of it long term. And explains why…

3. I don’t trust religion and I don’t believe in any gods. That’s striking to a lot of people because I’ve never drank, cursed, taken any illicit drugs or smoked a cigarette. By the way, how many of those who consider themselves totally pious can say that?

More people have died in this world over religious beliefs than racism; that should be shocking but it’s not. How many people cry for religious freedom and yet when someone disagrees with them they label them a heathen or non-believer, even if they believe. Nope, don’t care.

4. I think there should be mandatory parenting classes for anyone who becomes a parent under the age of 30. These wouldn’t be classes on how to raise a child to adulthood because no one would remember any of that. But I tend to believe more parents should know how to handle the first year and why that year is so important to the lifetime development of a child. I believe it would help every potential parent not only come to grips with what’s coming but also realize they’re not in it alone. Hillary Clinton was right; it does, and should, take a village to raise a child.

5. While I’m at it, I believe in a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have a baby and I don’t believe fathers should have any say in it. However, I believe all father’s should be forced to pay child support for those children, and I believe the dollar amounts should be a standard percentage so those fathers aren’t being hurt to the extent that they can’t have a life if they decide not to be in that child’s life. It took two to have that child, so it should take two to raise that child, and if that means the mother needs to work, then so be it.

6. Though I believe that people often deserve consequences for their actions, I also believe that maybe sometimes we take it to the extreme. Shooting someone in the face because they looked at you wrong is way over the top. Yelling at someone because your child is disturbing the peace of everyone else is way over the top. There’s definitely a lack of responsibility that’s growing in this world, and a lack of common decency as well.

I’m not immune to some bad behavior here and there but I never yell at people and I haven’t hit anyone since I was 18, though I’ve wanted to. I haven’t totally learned to turn the other cheek but I am learning how to be bated into exchanges with trolls, no matter where they are. I’m growing up! 🙂

7. You need to know about your health. Some of you might remember my post on the relationship between health and your dreams. In the past few weeks I’ve had some friends who have just discovered they have maladies they didn’t know about because they hadn’t gone to the doctors in awhile, and one who learned of his malady even though he had been going. He told me that he just figured it would go away, but without taking the precautions against its possibility it became an eventuality.

You know when you’re feeling “off”. Folks, doctors aren’t perfect but they have more training than you, and they know as well that stuff doesn’t just “go away”, even if you don’t feel as bad days later. Don’t become a bad statistic; check yourself out if you’re not feeling up to par.

8. What do you want to do with your life? Who do you admire, and why? Who can help you get to where you’d like to be? Are you ready for success? And what about Naomi? Other than that last question, these are things we all need to ask ourselves on a continual basis if we feel down, depressed, stuck in a nothing position in life whether it’s professional or personal or just want something more and better. There are great lessons out there, people who have already been through it.

Heck, you’ve probably already been through some things that have helped shape who you are that you’ve forgotten. Not that there’s anything wrong with you but if you feel there is, you need to know that it takes little to be better, it takes a lot to be much better, but that every day you have another chance to start anew; you just have to do it. By the way, who can tell me where the line “and what about Naomi” came from? lol

9. This is a quickie because some of you might not realize it yet. There’s a new WordPress update, 3.5, but I’m going to tell you to wait at least a week before you update it. I did it on two blogs before realizing it conflicted with some of my plugins, which is irksome. This only happened yesterday so I don’t have any answers yet. However, it’s always recommended to wait at least a few days or until you read what someone else has to say about an update before you do it. I should have known better; sigh…

10. You may not have heard this but as of the beginning of the year, your cable service, no matter where you are in the U.S., can start scrambling your television signal if you don’t have a cable box. They actually have to give you 30 days notice, so if you’ve received a letter already you know about it. They say they’re doing this because they’re trying to stop cable theft, and Congress passed it; those weasels.

No cable company has yet come out and said whether they’re going to do it but Cablevision got permission to do it in NYC in 2010 as a test. They said they didn’t get any complaints; they’re lying of course because I know at least 5 people who complained and got nothing. How much more will it cost you? No idea, but I have 8 TV’s in my house and only 2 with boxes; I’m scared.

11. Did you know that the song 12 Days of Christmas was actually a Roman Catholic catechism that was created during a period of time when Catholicism wasn’t allowed in England? Each verse had a specific meaning and used code words to represent different biblical references which no one else knew; that’s the power of music. Isn’t that freaky?

12. I don’t specifically hate anyone. I don’t know a person I hate, though I know some I don’t trust. There are groups of people I hate, and some relatively famous people I hate because of their hate. I hate concepts like racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. I hate some groups because they have the capacity for being over the top.

I don’t love a lot of people, but I like a lot of people. I like to laugh. I actually like to smile a lot. I love my music, which of course is disco and classical mainly. I love science fiction, action and cartoon films & TV shows. I like people who comment on my blog and show me the kind of dignity I try to show them on their blogs, even when I disagree with them. Overall, I like people and I tend to believe that even with a few bad eggs here and there humanity has a lot going for it. I believe we’re going to be alright long term. I hope you believe that as well.

That’s all I have and yes, it’s a long post. And I wrote it all in one sitting, no notes, until it was done.
 

5 Lessons Learned In The Last 36 Hours Of The Election Season

Yes I do normally write my posts way in advance, but sometimes I have something to say that’s more timely; this is one of those times. And I have a dichotomy of emotions as I’m writing this. Yes, this is going to be a controversial post so if you don’t want to deal with it, I’d stop now and go read one of my happier posts. lol

Suffice it to say, Barack Obama has won reelection and will be the president for the next 4 years. Yes, I’m happy about that, moreso because I’m happy the other party lost rather than his winning. I think there was a lot at stake and that overwhelmingly people ended up voting for the other candidate for the wrong reason. As a matter of fact, the polls showed that they voted for him for the very reason I wrote this post and accusations against me and my “ilk”, if you will.

In any case, like most things in life, there are lessons to learn that might not be the types of lessons others might see; or maybe they will see them. Let’s find out as I explore these 5 lessons learned in the last 36 hours of the election season:

1. People’s real feelings come out strongly as the death knell is approaching. Some of the things I was reading and seeing about President Obama in the last 24 hours before the results were due to start coming in riled me up so much that I lost my mind. So I got into it on Facebook and, for the most part, people left me alone. There comes a point where things aren’t political anymore, they’re personal, and I was tired of the Muslim, patriot, traitor, “we’re gonna impeach him” and all the other mess that people just kept saying. If you think the link I left above was off the mark, trust me it wasn’t.

2. It seems people can’t filter out truth from hyperbole when it comes to TV political ads. Learn this from me if you need to. When those ads come out saying that so-and-so voted this much of a percentage with other members of their party like it’s the worst thing in the world… folks, they’re supposed to! Most people tend to vote along with their party; that’s just how life is. Now, at the same time every once in awhile someone votes their conscience and goes against their party… well, they used to before the Tea Party folks got there (notice almost no one identified themselves as Tea Party folks this time around?). What’s more interesting is when the number isn’t 100%. That happened locally when one of our representatives backers kept saying the guy who lost in the last election voted with his party 94% of the time, while leaving out that she voted with her party 100% of the time.

Here’s the reality. Unless someone says something really stupid (Akin) or does something really stupid, almost all politicians are decent people. Ads are misleading and vicious; that’s why most of us turn them off. However, in the last hours leading up to the election not only were they more vicious but they just kept coming and coming and coming. And let’s not even talk about the robo-calls; oy!

3. Social media can be both a curse and a blessing. It certainly was for the candidates, but it was for us as well. Every website I went to, and every app I opened on my smartphone gave me an ad for someone who was running for office. On Facebook it started getting really heavy, even after I added the FB Purity add-on to Firefox (you don’t know about this one? Check out this post from our buddy Adrienne Smith; it’s a lifesaver even now, after the elections, for blocking stuff you don’t want to see in your stream). Even on Twitter, where I pretty much only connect with people of “like” values and such, assaulted me with all kinds of stuff. Remember the days when we only had newspapers and the TV news we had to avoid?

And yet, through social media a lot of people learned what was going on, and some people knew what was going to happen early on; not quite sure how they did that. I know I shared the news about the Karl Rove meltdown (it was classic; who knew live TV could be that entertaining?) everywhere. Faux News; never watched it before, was entertaining last night, will never watch it again.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

4. Competition never ends; never. As soon as it was announced that President Obama had been reelected, the politicking began. There was already a discussion on who would run for president four years from now. Both sides were saying they didn’t think anything would happen and each side said it was the other that had to bend; yeah, that’s going to happen. Some people were already trying to figure out how to shake things up. One guy was saying that maybe the Electoral College would change the outcome of the election for Romney (seems that happened once in history; that’s how John Quincy Adams won the presidency without winning the election). It’s like sports now, where immediately after a team wins a championship they immediately wonder if the team can win it again and if not who they believe will be the strongest team the next season. And sometimes it’s all for naught (isn’t it Senator McConnell?).

5. When all is said and done, things usually end with a whimper, grace and class. What makes this country great is ultimately how people accept their own defeat. Former Governor Romney was class last night, as has every person who’s ever run for president and then had to make a concession speech has done (can’t blame Gore since he didn’t learn he wouldn’t be president for about a month or so). This is something about politicians that confuses me and probably everyone else. We get riled up for or against someone, are ready to get into fistfights over all of it, and then these people can walk up to a podium after having lost and say “So-and-so ran a great campaign and I hope they do well” or some such nonsense like that. 🙂

You know what though? That’s kind of a lesson most of us need to learn, but probably won’t. A lot of rhetoric is just that; noise. Often people say things to get us irritated; that’s what trolls do. For me, I stayed out of it for 729 days, only to let myself totally go off the deep end in the last 24 hours. Even as I write this I haven’t gotten it totally out of my system (but I will soon; I promise). But the politicians who participated in the process have moved on and gotten over it, seeing it as business as usual. It’s a strange business but that’s what it ultimately is.

Lessons; I’ve learned a few. Let’s see what I can retain and what I can forget; what about you?
 

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One Month Update On The Dream/Goal

Many of you know that on September 1st I mentioned that I had come up with my dream goal for the year, something I want to reach and will strive to reach by September 1st, 2013. If you don’t, check out my dream post to catch up. I wanted to give a quick update after the first month but I’m not going to make this a regular thing so don’t look for it in November or any other months, though I might mention it again around six months or so; we’ll see.

r☼sita
schaaflicht via Compfight

Why am I doing this? First, I think I’ve proven that I’m somewhat transparent in what I’ll share, though you certainly will never know it all. lol Second, I think it’s important to show you the types of things that occur, even with the best made plans, and how one has to be prepared for altering things or accepting certain things about themselves. Change is never easy, but some changes are easier than others.

One last thing. I won’t be posting updates here, but I have been doing a weekly synopsis of how things are going on my YouTube channel, which I haven’t advertised anywhere so this is the first mention of it. Truthfully, the videos are so I can look back on things to see if and how I progressed, but they’re also there if anyone else wants to see what’s going on. So far they’ve not been seen by many people but that’s okay. 🙂

Let’s begin. I’m going to start with the health thing. I said that I needed to make sure I took care of my body more often. Out of the first 30 days I exercised 21 days, a couple of times twice a day. I found that when I scheduled the time in for my back exercises I did them almost all the time; there were 2 days I didn’t do them because I wasn’t in the mood, but on one of those days I went to the lake for a long walk later in the day. That comes out to 70%, and I have to say I’m proud of that.

I’ve also monitored my eating most of the time but I went off base a few times and that affected me in a couple of different ways. A couple of times I had to sleep beyond scheduled time; that’s never good. One day I didn’t eat properly early on and it affected me later in the evening when I met a friend for dinner, had dessert, and went into overload mode; that’s not pretty and I don’t want to describe it too much because, well, it’s not pretty, and it ended up shutting me down the next day; ugh. Otherwise I was pretty good and even lost a pound during the month.

My mental state was pretty high for most of the month but I went into a 3-day funk, followed by the above scenario a week later, and truthfully that’s a pretty good month for me so I’ll accept that. Positivity does have its place.

Leaving health, let’s talk accomplishments. I ended up having 5 major projects in the month and I accomplished 4 of them. Those are helping me with some of my marketing efforts because one of them is based on my own unique selling proposition (USP) in one of my fields of expertise. I have started putting that out there and early in it’s getting limited hits and activity but any activity is pretty good. In this particular area I don’t need lots of clients; 6 clients for that one particular thing gives me the money for the year that I need to achieve my goal, which is why that was so important.

The one thing I never thought about until near the end of the month was that I didn’t have a real plan for generating any new revenue in the month; oops. Actually, now that I’ve completed the other things that brings me back into revenue generation for this month, even though I’ll be losing a week with a trip to Florida for a conference. But now I can push forward in marketing and hopefully sales.

What else didn’t happen? I didn’t get any accountability partners. I couldn’t convince anyone else to take the challenge with me so it’s me alone; sniff!

I only did defined people in one industry to contact but that’s my most profitable industry so I’ll take that for now.

I almost had a speaking engagement in NYC but it was going to be tight since I’d have had to drive down there the day after I came back from Florida; that would have been rough.

That’s pretty much it, unless you can think of something I’m missing or something else you’d like to know about what’s going on. Yeah, this is a “me” post, but it’s always my hope that in revealing how hard the process is that if you decide to try something like it in the future you won’t beat yourself up when pitfalls come, and that you won’t give up.

However, if you did set a goal but didn’t want to say what it was how are you doing?
 

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Undecided; I’m Not Buying It

This is a minor rant. I’m about to get political, without getting political. This isn’t one of those posts where I declare my intentions as to which presidential candidate I’m going to be voting for. Instead, this is a post that is addressed to that phantom group that is known as the “undecided”.

Have you?
Oliver Hammond via Compfight

Why am I saying that this group is phantom? Because there is no way I’m buying the excuse from anyone that “I don’t know who to vote for the office of president”. I just can’t believe this, and I’m going to explain why.

This isn’t a decision between wanting pizza or pasta? It’s not a decision between wanting cake or pie. This isn’t even close; you’re one way or the other when it comes to what you believe politically; come out of the closet on this one.

Every country that is a democracy has at least two political parties to choose from. Each political party has drastically diverse beliefs on how things should go. If they didn’t have drastically diverse beliefs, there would be no need to have at least two political parties.

The United States is no different in this regard. Sure, there are some minor political parties that have some candidates in the race (Roseanne Barr would be one of those this year), and yes, third-party candidates have made an impact on electing a president here and there (Ross Perot and Ralph Nader as examples), but it’s not the norm.

There are a few people out there who are saying to anyone who’ll listen to them that they’re not sure who they’re going to vote for because they’re not sure who the best person is for the economy. Are you kidding me? With everything else that’s on the line, no matter what party you belong to, you’re really going to try to convince me that you don’t know who to vote for because of the economy?

What I tend to believe is that the undecided are really people who are scared to let anybody know who they want to vote for. I have never met a single person who realistically could tell me that they didn’t know who they were going to vote for until they walked into the voting station. Come on now, let’s look at a short list of issues:

Are you pro-choice or are you pro-life?

Are you for or against gun control?

Are you for or against universal healthcare?

Do you believe the rich should pay fewer taxes because they create jobs or that everyone should pay their fair share?

Do you believe the federal government should stay totally out of your life or do you believe there are some things the federal government should help protect people with such as Welfare, Medicare, and disaster relief?

Now, those are American issues, and major issues when it comes to the presidential election, and I’m sure every other country has issues that are diametrically opposed that are core to particular political parties. Those are also issues when it comes to any of the federal offices up for grabs. Every once in a while you find a candidate that agrees with the candidate on the other side on a particular issue, but you can bet they’re not going to agree on all those issues and any other issue that comes up. And of course you might support the ideals of a third party candidate; no problem there either.

In general though, this means one of two things, at least in my opinion. One, you’re afraid to take a stand because you’re worried that someone is going to hate you. Two, you have no idea what any of the issues mean and you’re probably going to vote for someone based on a stupid reason such as the way they look or what their voice sounds like. Yeah, I said it.

Something I’ve talked about on this blog and my business blog is that we all have to take accountability for our actions while still being brave enough to take the opportunities to improve our lives. If you are wishy-washy in your political beliefs then you’re probably wishy-washy in the rest of your life. How’s that working out for you?

Frankly, even though I believe more people should take advantage of their constitutional right and get out to the polls and vote, I also believe there are some people who should just stay home and leave it to the adults who aren’t afraid to let their opinions be known.

And by being known, I’m not saying that you need to go out on the street and declare who you’re going to be voting for. What I’m saying is that if someone asks you if you’ve made a decision, just tell them the truth, say yes, and if you don’t feel like revealing it to them tell them that as well.

But if you say you’re undecided, you know you’re lying and I’m calling you out on. Now, try to convince me I’m wrong.
 

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100 Things About Me

I can’t say I thought of this on my own. I came across a blog post that Holly Jahangiri, who I interviewed at the link on her name, wrote back in 2008 titled 100 Good Things About Me. On that post she said she felt it would be easy to write 100 things about herself but wanted to see if she could go the “good” route. She’s actually added to it and thus is now at 102 things.


I don’t think it’s all that easy. Well, let me rephrase that to say I don’t think it’s all that easy for most people to do. One of the hardest things for people to do is introspection, which is the process of looking into one’s self to see what you’re made of. In my case, I decided I wanted to chronicle 100 things that, when I was done, would give a picture as to how I became the person I am today.

Frankly it’s a scary process in a way because it takes going back to that thing about vulnerability that I mentioned and had the video to in my dreams post. There’s the phrase out there that says “you can’t know where you’re going until you know where you came from.”

Well, that’s not totally true because there are some people who work hard to forget their past that make it. Most successful people will tell you that there was something in their past that drove them to be better, to become successful and rich and all that other stuff. Almost on one said “my past didn’t influence me at all; I just happened to become rich by happenstance.” Some people have become successful by luck, by being in the right place at the right time, but it’s rare.

I’ve never been afraid to examine who I am or my background. I have some regrets in my life but very few. I like to think that when all is said and done I’ve always tried to do my best, to treat people right, to tell them up front what I was thinking and doing, and never intentionally set out to hurt anyone’s feelings unless they deserved it. Perfection; it ain’t me.

So I sat down and came up with 100 things about myself, and much of it is in chronological order. I was truthful with myself because, well, why lie to myself right? And I decided to share it with you.

But not quite in this post. See, when I was done with it, the sucker came in at almost 5,000 words; ouch! Now, if you’re someone who cares to read it, then you can read the list here, which is on a hidden page that I’m sharing with you. Most of my friends don’t know this stuff; well, not a significant portion of it anyway. At some point I’ll pop the link onto Facebook for my friends and give them the chance to learn more about me, but my belief is that they won’t care, and that most of you won’t care.

That’s not the overall point. The point is twofold. One, do you have the guts to look at your life and chronicle what’s made you what you are today, and will you like it? Two, are you willing to be vulnerable yourself and think about sharing it in some fashion? I doubt it; I double dog dare you! 🙂

I know Marcus Sheridan says we shouldn’t write about ourselves all that much because no one really cares about us as individuals. Well, who says he’s always right? 🙂 Someone go tell him I said this; he’ll get a kick out of it.

And onward we go.
 

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