Category Archives: Personal

50 Questions To Free My Mind

Well, I thought this would be an interesting way to help get the year off right… or not. I came across a blog called Marc and Angel Hack Life, a married couple that talks about finding positive outlooks on life. In a post titled 50 Questions That Will Free Your Mind, which they actually wrote in July 2009, then offered the 50 questions below as a way to, well, free your mind of worry, stress, whatever.

The funny thing is that they must have gotten overwhelmed at a certain point with the comments, about 200 of them, because Marc only wrote one response, though he addressed maybe 10 people in that response. They actually have a pretty cool site, so if you check out this particular post, you should see the new stuff they have to offer.


Anyway, I decided that I would take up the challenge and respond to the questions in my own way, which will probably be a mix of silly, serious and thought provoking because that’s just how I am. On their site, many people answered the questions in their comments while some others answered the questions on their own blogs, like I’m doing, and linked back. For those of you who always ask “where do you come up with ideas for blog posts”, this is one of those ways. Okay, let’s get this party started.

  1. How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
  2. I’d be as old as I was.

  3. Which is worse, failing or never trying?
  4. Never trying.

  5. If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don’t like and like so many things we don’t do?
  6. Because we’re not always in control of every aspect of our destiny.

  7. When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
  8. Probably, with all the writing I do.

  9. What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world?
  10. I wish we were all nicer and more cordial to each other.

  11. If happiness was the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich?
  12. Writing, although I might expand it to musical composition and lyric writing.

  13. Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?
  14. I’m pretty much doing what I believe in, though I wouldn’t be depressed if it paid better.

  15. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  16. I wouldn’t be here so I guess I wouldn’t be living my life at all.

  17. To what degree have you actually controlled the course your life has taken?
  18. I became a sole entrepreneur 10 years ago so I’d have more control over my destiny.

  19. Are you more worried about doing things right, or doing the right things?
  20. Doing things right because doing the right thing seems to come naturally to me.

  21. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire. They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. The criticism is distasteful and unjustified. What do you do?
  22. I speak up very quickly so they’ll stop embarrassing themselves and I don’t have to leave, though I might. Then again, people I admire would know better.

  23. If you could offer a newborn child only one piece of advice, what would it be?
  24. Live life the best you can.

  25. Would you break the law to save a loved one?
  26. In a heartbeat.

  27. Have you ever seen insanity where you later saw creativity?
  28. If seeing how an artist creates a painting, then yes.

  29. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
  30. Make sure the frosting on my cake is to the left before I start eating it.

  31. How come the things that make you happy don’t make everyone happy?
  32. Because we’re all individuals and dance to the beat of a different drum.

  33. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do? What’s holding you back?
  34. Sing the National Anthem at a baseball game. I stopped singing in 1999, so it’s an impractical wish now.

  35. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?
  36. Probably, but I’m not always the “letting go” type.

  37. If you had to move to a state or country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  38. I’m living exactly where I want to live. I’ll say New Mexico because I’ve never been there and hope they have a lake nearby.

  39. Do you push the elevator button more than once? Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
  40. No.

  41. Would you rather be a worried genius or a joyful simpleton?
  42. Worried genius; they eventually accomplish something.

  43. Why are you, you?
  44. Because I’m good at it.

  45. Have you been the kind of friend you want as a friend?
  46. Pretty close to it. I don’t talk to any of my friends as often as I probably should but I’m easy to reach.

  47. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  48. Losing touch with a good friend near you because these days you can always keep in touch with good friends if they move away.

  49. What are you most grateful for?
  50. That chocolate is amazing.

  51. Would you rather lose all of your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
  52. Ah, the Alzheimer question; I’d rather never be able to make new ones I suppose.

  53. Is it possible to know the truth without challenging it first?
  54. Yes; I know no one comes back from dying, so I’d rather not try to prove it incorrect.

  55. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  56. No; I hope I have 50+ more years before it even thinks about it.

  57. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset? Does it really matter now?
  58. Actually I do, and no, it doesn’t matter but I still can’t forget it.

  59. What is your happiest childhood memory? What makes it so special?
  60. The day my dad surprised us by coming back from Vietnam early, although he was in a half body cast. I think the answer to the first answers the second.

  61. At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?
  62. I don’t have any moments in my recent past; now that’s a shame.

  63. If not now, then when?
  64. Soon.

  65. If you haven’t achieved it yet, what do you have to lose?
  66. Nothing; still have to figure out how to achieve it.

  67. Have you ever been with someone, said nothing, and walked away feeling like you just had the best conversation ever?
  68. No.

  69. Why do religions that support love cause so many wars?
  70. Because religions don’t support love; they support themselves.

       

  71. Is it possible to know, without a doubt, what is good and what is evil?
  72. Unfortunately no, because people grow up in different environments.

  73. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  74. Yes.

  75. Would you rather have less work to do, or more work you actually enjoy doing?
  76. More work I actually enjoy doing.

  77. Do you feel like you’ve lived this day a hundred times before?
  78. Yes.

  79. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
  80. Five years ago when I created a website that, to date, hasn’t really worked for me.

  81. If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you visit today?
  82. No one; that would be too depressing to deal with.

  83. Would you be willing to reduce your life expectancy by 10 years to become extremely attractive or famous?
  84. Not at this stage of my life.

  85. What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
  86. We’re all alive; truly living is when you’re enjoying it.

  87. When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards, and just go ahead and do what you know is right?
  88. When you’ve reached that point when you realize you’re ready to take your shot at it.

  89. If we learn from our mistakes, why are we always so afraid to make a mistake?
  90. Because it’s a misnomer that we all learn from our mistakes. We only learn from some of them; others are just nuisances that distract us.

  91. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
  92. Nothing. Anything I did differently I’d deserve to be judged on.

  93. When was the last time you noticed the sound of your own breathing?
  94. This morning as I was trying to sleep.

  95. What do you love? Have any of your recent actions openly expressed this love?
  96. Since the question is “what” rather than “who”, I’d have to say nothing, and thus no to the second question.

  97. In 5 years from now, will you remember what you did yesterday? What about the day before that? Or the day before that?
  98. Depends on what it is I did. I tend to remember dates of things that made enough of an impression for me to remember.

  99. Decisions are being made right now. The question is: Are you making them for yourself, or are you letting others make them for you?
  100. Great final question. Being truthful, I’d have to say others are making the decisions for me instead of my being in control as much as I’d like to be. Such is the life of a consultant. Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2012 Mitch Mitchell

    Five Things To Stop Doing – My Take

    A recommendation I’ve made on this blog when it comes to finding things to write about from time to time is to write about an article you read somewhere else and give your take on it. In this case it works well for me because the blog in question has a comment system I don’t feel like dealing with and yet I have something to say.


    Gonna be on fire in 2012!

    The article is written by Dorie Clark on the Harvard Business Review site and it’s titled Five Things You Should Stop Doing in 2012. I loved the article for the most part, and because I think you should check it out I’m not going to repost everything she wrote. But I am going to post the specific topics and address them in my own words. Remember, these are things to stop doing:

    1. Responding Like a Trained Monkey. I’d have to say that this is the hardest thing for me. I trained myself years ago to stop answering the phone if I didn’t know who was calling, even for business calls, and that’s eased my mind a lot. However, I still find that I have certain online habits that I wish I could break, and other habits I need to create to make a healthier me, such as eating better, resting more, and coming to grips with the reality that I don’t have to try to produce something new every few minutes, or respond to chess moves or any of the few other games I play online, just because someone has made a move. Ridiculous thing to be addicted to; I need to go back to counting things. lol
    2. Mindless Traditions. I’ve been cutting back on Christmas and holiday cards over the years because I can connect with so many of my friends online these days. In the past it was a necessary evil because I might only talk to these folks once a year, that being during the Christmas holiday. As it pertains to traditions in general I’ve given some up that impede what I want to do with my life, while sticking to others because, well, I just have to do it. lol But I don’t find myself stressing over any of them, and that’s the major point here. My mother used to get sick at every holiday when I was a kid; her life is so much healthier now that she’s given that kind of thing up.
    3. Reading Annoying Things. In September 2010 I wrote a post talking about de-stressing my life by not commenting on some blogs and also not reading some things that I knew would irritate me and rile me up. Sometimes you just can’t help reading certain things because they draw you in like quicksand, but for the most part, I’ve been able to stop myself from reading things I knew would either depress or anger me. I don’t like to get into arguments just for the sake of it, but I also know I won’t back down and will offer my opinion when I feel strong enough about the topic. But I also know I don’t know how to let go, so it’s best most of the time to not even go there.
    4. Work That’s Not Worth It. Ten years ago I went into business for myself and celebrated my 10th anniversary in June. I’m not gonig to lie and say that everything has been easy. I will say that working for myself has been pretty satisfying in that I don’t have that daily pressure to perform so someone else can reap all the benefits. I don’t have anyone hanging the risk of being unemployed over my head. I don’t have to deal with making sure I get along with all the other people working at my company. I get to work with whoever I want to, turn down things as I see fit, and all the other benefits that are associated with being independent. Of course I also have to scramble for clients here and there but overall, it’s worth it to me because I get to do what I like.
    5. Making Things More Complicated Than They Should Be. Talk about timing being everything. I had just written an article on my business blog yesterday titled Simple Solutions where I talked about how we tend to look at problems as these major things and spend an inordinate amount of time trying to fix things when sometimes simple solutions are sitting right in front of us. This is one of those things I talk about all the time as it pertains to blogging. Sure, if you have a niche blog maybe things are slightly complicated, but look at how I just got an entire blog post from an idea someone else started. How hard was this?

    Wow, that was interesting for me; what do you think? How would you respond to each of these? Hey, why not make this kind of a meme; give your answers on your own blog and invite people to check it out. Or just respond here; I’d love to know how you feel about it.
     

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    Thanksgiving 2011; Is There Anything To Be Thankful For?

    Wow, what an interesting calendar year. How things have changed or gone from Thanksgiving last year until now. I’m not only talking about this blog, but my life in general. For this blog, I wrote last year and put up an image of myself with a friend, and then had to tell people that wasn’t my wife; won’t make that mistake this year. lol


    This is my wife and I

    I’m finding myself wondering if there’s much to be thankful for this year. My grandmother first got hurt, and then passed away. I had to take a guy to small claims court, though I won. I worked on another project that took me more than 4 months to be paid for. The really big projects didn’t come through.

    Had my first (last?) colonoscopy and then had a second one on the same day. I had to change diabetes doctors after 11 years. I had a few friends pass away that I wasn’t expecting it to happen to. The local symphony shut down, as well as a few of my favorite restaurants.

    I had some issues with affiliates including one, Finish Line that not only didn’t pay me but then decided to drop me and threatened me while they were at it. And this year, for Thanksgiving, my mother is with her friend, my wife is with her friend, and I’m home by myself (at least for now).

    Overall, it seems like it was a pretty hard year to deal with. Things to be thankful for? As I sit here trying to think of things there’s not all that much that comes up. However, one of the blessings of blogging is that you sometimes chronicle things that have happened that actually turned out to be a good thing. So let’s see…

    I actually began the year by not only getting my first gig just days after the new year began, but I was named at a Fabulous 50 top blogger on the same day. Thanks Bev!

    I created two new blogs this year. One is my Syracuse and central New York area blog called Syracuse Wiki. The other is my second business blog on SEO and social media for businesses called SEOX Blog. Both have done relatively well, even if they don’t get tons of comments.

    I got to do some live presentations this year. I gave two presentations at a local library, one at a large conference, and one to my consulting group. I might be forgetting something but I’m not sure. I also got to be interviewed on a couple of podcasts and was in Bev Mahone’s real radio program one day this year.

    I reached my 1,000th post on this blog and I started creating videos as well. According to YouTube I’m not breaking any records, but at least I’m producing something different.

    We finally got Osaba bin Laden, and many other countries are seeing major changes as the people have realized just what kind of power they have… as long as the leaders of those countries decide not to just kill everyone that misbehaves, which also happened a couple of times.

    I went to my first karaoke club this year and found it fascinating, although I doubt I’ll go again. I also got to go to Las Vegas for a conference and got a much different experience out of it than the first two times.

    My online income started to increase drastically, not quite to the level I’d been hoping for but higher than any other year; that is, until this last Panda update, but even with that I’m going to have my best year ever.

    I got personally reacquainted with old friends this year, going first to a reunion at my college, then to a memorial get-together for my friend that recently passed.

    I also celebrated my 10th year in business this year; I never really thought I’d make it this long but now that I have I guess I should really learn how to do it better, eh? lol And I’m about to hit post #900 on my business blog, which is almost a shame for as long as I’ve had it compared to this one but hey, a milestone is a milestone.

    If I have to be truthful, I’ve met a lot of new and wonderful people this year, both online and off. Even though it was under horrible circumstances I got to meet and get to know my grandmother’s brother, Uncle Bill. I’ve connected with relatives and old friends I never thought I would ever have the opportunity to interact with again via Facebook, so I’m not hating on that.

    And finally, even though I continue to battle with diabetes and being tired all the time and vision and occasional short periods of depression and a few other things I won’t mention, when all is said and done I’m relatively healthy, still go to the gym on occasion, still get to go where I want when I want, and still have a lot of people that talk to me via social media, networking events, and just events in general; I even went to some parties this year (actually ate outside once this year at all; that’s Josh’s fault).

    All that and the continuing visits from friends both old and new on this blog and my other blogs. I mean, weighted properly, I’d have to say that other than my grandmother not being with us anymore the year has actually given me a lot to be thankful for. With that, I thank all of you for putting up with me, I thank my wife and my mother (both of whom will never read any of this stuff) for hanging in there, and I guess I’ll thank me for not just quitting and going off into the wild blue yonder, however that would have manifested itself (nothing like suicide so don’t go there, but who hasn’t ever had a day when they just wanted to give it all up and go lay in bed forever?).

    Thank you all, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving (and if you’re not from this country, I’ll just ask you to take some time and think about what you might be thankful for on this day as well). And just to see who actually reads all of this to the end, click on this link and mention what it is because I’m posting it just for you. 😉
     

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    My Colonoscopy Story

    Yesterday I had to have a colonoscopy. For those that don’t live in the United States, it’s recommended that once someone reaches 50 that they have one to verify they don’t have colon cancer and to check for other stuff. I at least got to defer for a couple of years since I rarely go see my doctor for a checkup, but I finally got cornered so it was my turn.

    Now, these are fairly common, but there can be issues here and there. They do knock you out, and you do risk a perforated colon, internal bleeding, and a couple of other things. So you can’t just shrug it off and say it’s nothing to worry about, though for the most part it’s relatively safe.

    My issue is that I couldn’t get any real information from anyone as to just what could happen being diabetic. You have to fast, and with the medications I take, I’m supposed to have food with them. So, what would happen to me going through the process? That’s the main reason I made the video.

    But there’s a few things I didn’t mention in the video while trying to keep it under 15 minutes. For one, By 4PM of the day I was fasting I started getting this massive headache, and that stayed with me almost the rest of the night. I couldn’t take almost anything for it because I wasn’t eating, though my wife did give me an Advil eventually and that took the edge off it.

    I was really hungry all day, but wasn’t so hungry the day of the procedure for whatever reason. I still craved pizza, though we had fried rice instead since it was much lighter. That’s their recommendation, eat light and get used to eating again, so I ate small portions pretty much every hour because I was really hungry; today I’m getting my pizza! 🙂

    They will ask you over and over what your name is, what your date of birth is, the last 4 digits of your social security number and what you’re having done. Initially I worried they didn’t know what they were doing until I realized that it’s a safety procedure that they’ve put into place to make sure that physicians won’t be doing the wrong procedures anymore, what with all those errors in Florida some years ago. They also kept asking me what I was allergic to.

    After the procedure you’ll expel a lot of gas, and that makes them happy. This is one of those “dignity” things I mentioned in the video. There’s stuff we wouldn’t walk around doing in public that they’re expecting you to do. Thing is, there’s no smell because your entire system is cleaned out, and what they’ve done is pushed a bunch of air into your body through your rectum so it has to come out. And be thankful it’s coming out, otherwise you’re going to get cramped and it’s going to hurt. I had that problem during the virtual colonoscopy in the x-ray department, where you’re not under anesthesia and just have to lay there and take it. That’s when you’re on either your side or back; once you roll over onto your stomach, since they take the views from 3 directions, even adding more air wasn’t bad at all.

    One last thing. In the video I said that I came out of the anesthesia pretty easily. Most of that is true. I felt clear headed and knew exactly what I was saying and what was going on. I even felt that if I’d had to I could have driven home, which it turns out is illegal once you’ve had anesthesia in New York for at least the day. However, when I had to get up and get into the wheelchair, I found that I wasn’t okay at all, and luckily I didn’t just try to force myself into the chair because I’d have fallen and the nurse wasn’t close to big enough to have held me up if I’d gone down. So, always respect the anesthesia.

    I also mentioned that I was given propofol, the same stuff Michael Jackson was given by that doctor. Let me tell you, I understand why he would have wanted this stuff. Although I wasn’t happy with the pressure my head felt when it started to take effect, I feel like I slept well in that short period of time, and I ever dreamed; I’ve never dreamed while under anesthesia before. In its proper dosage it’s wonderful stuff, but I can also tell why one should never, and I mean ever, use it at home.

    That’s all I have other than the video below, but if you have any other questions go ahead and ask. This is one of those things that, as younger people we avoid talking about because it kind of scares us, but once you reach the proper age you’re probably going to have to go through. At least I’m telling you what might be coming.


     

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    When Things Get Personal, Part Two

    Last year I wrote a post titled When Things Get Personal On Blogs. That post was about a tete-a-tete I got into with some folks over the topic of Akismet and spam and such. It got a lot more responses than you’ll see if you visit the post because there were a lot of attack comments that came here based on that post that I simple deleted. I knew they were coming, and I knew I was going to delete them. I didn’t need that on my blog, I didn’t trust the people I knew were going to send them (whom I mention in the post), and, as I’ve always said, this is my space, I pay for it, and I get to decide what stays and what goes. Some might call it censorship; personally I don’t care. You behave in someone else’s space or deal with the consequences.


    by Olivier Hodac via Flickr

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately as the last couple of months have been somewhat interesting around here. I’ve had some things going on in my personal life that made me not be as diligent as I should have been. I feel as though I allowed certain behavior to go unchecked around here, and I don’t like myself for that. It’s not behavior that I exhibited either; that’s probably the worst part.

    Not that I’ve always been nice here. For the most part I am, but I will go after someone that goes after a friend of mine or someone that’s done something ice for me or others. Loyalty is one of my big things; I think I’ve said that before.

    Last September I wrote a different kind of post titled De-Stressing Life By Not Commenting. On that post I indicated that when I felt I couldn’t comment on something without getting into an emotional firefight that I just wasn’t going to do it anymore. As I said, some people strive on attack mode; I don’t. I don’t thrive at all on negativity; never have. I don’t expect everything to be Andy Griffith, but I do expect a certain amount of decorum.

    And I expect that here. That’s why I feel so bad that I’ve allowed a few people to be attacked in some fashion here over the past couple of months. And none of it was constructive; it was personal, and that just shouldn’t have been allowed. And none of it was specifically directed to me until last week; that makes what I allowed to happen become even worse, because I should have nipped it in the bud much earlier.

    I can guarantee this won’t be a problem in the future. From actually last week, but since I’m writing today I’ll say today, I will not allow any more personal attacks in comments on this blog, or any other blog I write. If I feel the comment is personal, whether it’s towards me or anyone else, it’s gone, plain and simple. If you want to personally attack someone, take it to a newspaper site since they don’t ever seem to want to censor anyone. Behave or be gone; no one wants to deal with that mess.

    Why am I doing this? I want to encourage people to comment here, and I want it to be a safe haven. We can disagree with each other, but we’re going to treat each other with respect. I can’t change the world, but I can certainly change things here. I pay for this, and thus my rules. In a weird way I was inspired to finally write this post after reading a post by Marcus Sheridan titled The Lie that is Online Transparency and ‘Being True to Self’, where he talks about people that cuss a lot saying they’re just being true to themselves and how he believes they’re lying to themselves. So do I, and this has always been a no-curse-words zone, since I don’t cuss (and yes, I did just interchange ‘cuss’ and ‘curse’); never have, never will.

    So, for those of you that may have found certain posts here with comments that might have put you off, please know that I apologize for that and know that you will never have to worry again. For those of you who had to deal with a personal attack in the last couple of months, that being John, Ken and Chris, I’m sorry I didn’t step in earlier. I’m not putting up with it against me; I’m certainly not ever going to put up with it against anyone else again.

    That is, unless it’s nice; if someone makes a love connection make sure to invite me to the wedding, as I love wedding cake. 🙂
     

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