Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo where once again, I am just looking for answers to live a better life and sharing what I find out along the way. Yesterday, I felt like I was letting myself become a little too lazy. I needed to get up and exercise, I needed to get out and get my blood pumping again. I have a collection of soft dumbbell weights and ankle weights. So, I figure why wait? Get out and walk.
So it was a cool later September Evening. I was not going to walk far, so I figured I would use my 5 Pound Ankle Weights and my 5 Pound Soft Dumbbell Weights. I would be carrying 20 Extra Pounds. I put on my walking jeans, my gym shoes and strapped on the ankle weights. I noticed I had to walk very deliberately. No jerking motions, the ankle weights want to keep moving forward when you put your feet down. I grabbed my MP3 player, my head phones and my soft dumbbells.
I walked at a nice steady pace for my first lap around my apartment complex. I could notice the difference 5 pound dumbbells make over the 3 pound kind. It does not seem like much, 5 pounds per hand, but you never put the weights down. I was moving through 3 different lifts while I was walking; biceps curls, overhead shoulder lifts and chest press or shadow punches. Again, I never put the weights down; 10, 20, 30 reps of each exercise and then straight into the next lift.
My shoulders started feeling sore, and I had to walk nice and steady, 5 pounds in each hand and 5 pounds strapped to each ankle. I noticed just walking at a steady pace took more effort and more of my attention. Thank God for my MP3 player and another playlist of my favorite songs. I felt like Robocop, Robo-Joe; so what should I call this exercise? Mega-Power Walking! I had done my Power Walks, Super Power Walks with Hand Grips, Ultra Power Walks with the 3 Pound Soft Dumbbells, so now I am up to Mega-Power Walks. 1st lap down and I am remember the Mega-Powers tag team; Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage. It is amazing the way your minds can wander if you let it.
I began to break a sweat on my second lap. I am not sure how far one lap is, somewhere between a quarter-mile and a half mile I suppose. I usually power walk between 3 and 4 miles, but tonight is more of a test drive. Just get my technique down. I had to step deliberately, don’t rush things. I would never run with ankle weights on, you have to move smoothly; ankle weights tend to jerk around a bit. I also had to pay attention to the way I was lifting the hand weights, I had to keep them under control. It was a cool brisk September Night. I start thinking Body for Life workouts instead of the more tradition Powerhouse versus Planet Fitness Workouts. It’s only the second lap and I am sweating up a storm. I wonder how much more I have in me.
One more lap I say. This is just a test drive, I will be out here all through the autumn and if things go well through the winter also. One more lap. Three laps should do it. It felt like about 30 minutes, it might have been only 15. I did not break any speed records; I was not showing off with tons of weights. I was walking in long sleeve thermals and blue jeans. No one would mistake me for a super athlete, but I felt like I had done the work. I was earning my keep. I was sweating and my blood was pumping and it was nowhere near hot outside. 20 extra pounds made all the difference in the world. Yeah Mega-Power Walking, I need to fit this in at least once a week.
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, where I try to have an interesting take on life and give advice that I think is worth following. So today I want to paraphrase a funny story and give you my tongue in cheek “A-ha Moment” that I took from it. It is not often you will relate a story about 1980’s Rock and Roll Excess with how to ace any interview with only two answers; but this is 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. Give me a minute and let me set up the scene.
Ok, so I was surfing You-Tube and found a documentary on one of the Biggest Rock and Roll Bands of the 1980s. Coming off of their Second Album and First Headlining Tour, this group were about to release their Third Album and go back out on the road. They were looking for a new Head of Security that would be assigned to their very flamboyant Lead Singer. The candidate for the Head of Security job said the interview with the Lead Singer went something like the following. The first thing he said to me was; “We are known for having lots of backstage parties, are you ok with that?” The candidate answered “Yes!” The second question was; “There are always a lot of people around (Remember I am paraphrasing) are you ok with that?” Again the answer was, “Yes!” The third question; “Ok but can you Roller Skate?” To which he answered “I can learn!”
So there you have it, when faced with a Job interview there are only really two answers you need to nail it! “Yes” and “I can learn!” Ok, there may be a little more to it than that, you may have to give more details but it really is that simple. When you are called in for an interview it is because you fit at least two-thirds to three-quarters of what the company is looking for in a candidate. I am not telling you to Party Like a Rock star any more than I am telling you to apply for a job as the head of Security for the biggest Rock Band on the Planet; I am saying you need the confidence to be able to say two things, “Yes, I can take care of this” and “I can learn!” You may have to give an example of how you might handle or have handled a given situation, but you should have the confidence that you are the right person for the job. You don’t have to over-do it!
So, maybe you think I am all wrong with this approach? Ok, let me ask you a question; “How many times have you got the job by saying “I don’t know how to do this and I am unwilling to learn?” Now let me ask you another question; “How many times have you known everything you need to know about a job before you got the job?” If you know everything about the job are you still growing your career?
So I am saying “Be confident and have fun and be willing to learn!” You will work a lot harder if you like what you are doing. Studies have shown this time and time again. Don’t believe me, you know the drill; search it out for yourself, or pass on this advice. It was free either way. So how long do “know-it-all’s last anyway. You may say “Come on Joe give me a break!” (Hint about the band I am talking about in my example) to which I say you only need two answers to ace any job interview! “Yes” and “I can learn!”
P.S. One break coming up!
Dirty Hands and Clean Hearts:
There was a time when the term “Getting Your Hands Dirty” meant to do the work that was needed to get done. Think of a farmer who would be afraid to get their hands dirty. Now “Getting Your Hands Dirty” is a negative thing. Getting “Dirt on your hands,” now seems to mean getting “Blood on your hands.” I think it is the heart’s intention that matters. Can you get your “Hands Dirty” and keep your “Heart Clean?”
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I try my best to find the positive no matter what I am going through, no matter what the situation. So I am trying to see life from the good side. So many people want others to do the work. So many people have been cynical for so long that getting your hands dirty means doing dirty work instead of doing garden work. So I say do the work but keep your intentions honest, keep your heart clean.
A cold heart and dirty hands are not a good combination. We see people who keep their “Hands Clean” as people who don’t get involved in “Dirty Work.” Again, I ask to think of a Farm and think of a Garden. I would like to believe that people who garden, people who farm; that people who tend to crops understand that hard work and good intentions can lead to dirty hands. Some people associate keeping your hands clean to keeping out of the line of fire and having other people do your dirty work. Again, it is a matter of your intentions. Do you have a “Clean Heart” or a “Cold Heart?” If you have a cold heart, dirty work means you do harm to others. A warm heart, a clean heart that nurtures others; when you get your hands dirty, it means you are willing to make the sacrifices for others when times get hard. Lots of people “Talk” about what needs to get done, but “Who” is doing the work?
Dirty Hands and Clean Hearts are the people who will clean up a park. Dirty Hands and Clean Hearts are people who will haul trash out of an abandoned neighborhood. It means you will help paint a house for someone who may not be able to do it for themselves. Dirty Hands and Clean Hearts are the people who will clean up after a disaster and help people get back on their feet. If your heart is clean, do not be afraid of getting your hands dirty; do the work. Be the person who will volunteer on the front line of neighborhood clean ups, or food banks or soup kitchens or homeless shelters. If it means you mop the floors, then mop the floors. It is easier to wash dirt off your hands than off your heart. Keep your heart clean, but don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
Dirty Hands and Clean Hearts:
The 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo Top 40 Countdown.
Over 3 years of Blogging; To celebrate 400 Posts I have decided to do a Top 40 Countdown. The Top 40 most viewed Mojo Posts. I have tried time and time again to figure this blogging out. I have not been able to just post and get a ton of view because of keywords or phrases. I have also taken a look at the amount of spam that is automatically blocked by WordPress, still I can find no patterns. The people have spoken, these are the posts the people have viewed the most:
So thank you for being a part of 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo:
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I do not know what you are going through right now. You do not know what I am going through right now. Depending on the day and time, I may be having the time of my life or facing a struggle that tests the limits of my faith. The same thing is true for all of us. I wish only the best for everyone. So I say Love your Life Now! This moment, right now is a gift. This moment we are here. Hold on to this moment and the next. Love your life!
I know everyone has a lot of self-help programs that involve certain steps. I am not counting the steps before hand; I am just typing what I believe. I know it is a challenge, I now at times it can be a struggle; but we have to learn to love the lives we have been given. Love your life now!
Step One: Be thankful for today. No matter what you are going through, you have today. The present is a gift. The present is right now. The present is a chance to make a difference. The present is a chance to learn and grow and change. Behold the power of right now and be thankful for it. To love your life you have to be thankful for each day. Never take them for granted.
Step Two: Learn to love yourself. Listen, I believe we all have a talent, I believe we all have a gift that makes us unique. Stop looking at the things you don’t have and learn to appreciate and love what makes you. What makes you tick? I am not talking about what you want. I am talking about what you are that makes you special. Learn to love yourself.
Step Three: Learn to love something more than yourself. Is it your parents, or your kids or God? Find something that removes you from the center of your own universe. Loving others is not an easy thing to do all the time. I am talking about love, not lust, not lies and not taking advantage. I am talking about wanting to see others at their best with no strings attached. Learn to care about others more than you care about yourself. Now, you cannot solve everyone’s problems. You may not be able to solve anyone’s problems. You can help. Do the best you can and let the rest go. None of us can do all the work, but each of us can help out a little. If we all give a little, we all gain a lot. Don’t be selfish, be caring and giving. Learn to love the people in your life.
Step Four: Cherish your gifts. Cherish your talents. Each of us can teach others something. Each of us has been through different things and we can tell our story. We can share. We can help others avoid the mistakes we have made. We can teach what we have learned. Your life experience and your talents are your gifts. Share them with others.
Step Five: Smile. You do not have to be the life of the party, you do not have to use drugs or drink to have a good time. Just smile. Get around people who can have fun without needing some kind of fix. Get around people who are naturally happy. Get around people who can have fun without making fun of others. Get around people who can make you smile without a bunch of strings attached. It really comes down to be around people who love you. Get around people who love themselves and love others and smiles will just seem to follow.
Do you need more? I am not sure it takes more than these five things. I did not count them up before hand. I think you just take them one step at a time and you will learn to love your live. You can do Step One today. You can do Step One right now. Learn to love the fact that you have been given today.
Step One: Be thankful for today. Step Two: Learn to love yourself. Step Three: Learn to love something more than yourself. Step Four: Cherish your gifts. Step Five: Smile.
It is just that simple. Love your life now. It means you have to start today. Start today!
From good to better to best: Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. Today is another day of reflection. I have been taking time to try to learn, trying to teach. I try to learn from doing, then I try to teach what I am learning, and then I try to learn from what I am teaching. I am trying to learn to live the advice I give. This means you have to try to follow your dreams, learn from those who are doing; you have to learn to do and then teach what you are doing. Today I want to talk about how to go from good to better to best. Give me a minute.
I have been playing in a Praise Band. I have been playing the Bass Guitar and the Drums. I have spent my time trying to make sure everyone is heard. I try to make sure that we are putting our best foot forward. For a couple of weeks, I have taken a step back to regroup and recharge. I have struggled to figure out what my next move should be; there has been many people saying what we should do to improve the overall sound of the sound system. I have taken a moment to listen.
My place in the band, I feel was appreciated most by the other musicians. I tried to make sure that everyone was being heard, but I was hearing from the stage, a much different position than what you hear from the crowd. The last couple of weeks I have listened from the crowd and not everyone is being heard. I know what is missing, but it seems that others are someone oblivious to what they are seeing versus what they are hearing. When I see someone playing the guitar but I cannot hear them, there is a disconnect in my mind. I am asking myself if I am better off learning how the sound men operate the sound-system? I am asking myself if I should walk a mile in their shoes first? The answer is obvious, isn’t it? The challenge is not so obvious. The desire to play, the discipline to step back and volunteer to learn; it may take a little while longer, but the lesson is greater. I don’t want to settle for good. I am not sure things are getting better if people are playing and not being heard. So I how can I help make things better without coming off like a know it all.
Have you noticed in the movies how things go from normal to bad, and then from bad to worse. As you learn more and more about each character the action seems to escalate. Each passing moment can bring more tension, more suspense, more drama, more action and more destruction. Things get so bad that at the movies climax, they can’t get any worse. When everything is said and done, most times the movie do not even show things back to normal, just the elimination of the threat. Things going from worse to bad may be better but it does not mean things are good, or even back to normal.
We get bored with normal. We accept normal as good not fully understanding that is does not take much effort to make things better, we only need to learn. It is not about working harder it is about learning to work smarter. When people do not know what they are missing they never miss it. If things could be better, but all you know is bad and worse, you accept bad and worse as normal. You accept bad as better than worse so you think that it is good, or good enough.
We live in a world where people connect $300 Headphones to MP3 players that have sound that has been compressed to save file size and computer memory. This compression robs the sound of what it should be. I noticed how clean and crisp cymbals should sound while playing the drums. I noticed how much a 12 string guitar can shimmer over the sound of a 6 string guitar while standing between guitar players. I learned that most people cannot tell the difference between a good bass player and a great bass player and no bass coming out of the system at all by playing the bass. I have also learned that most people never hear these subtle things because the sound system has not been tuned and mixed properly. If you never are taught how good things can be, you never miss what you have never learned.
Can I help out more by not playing but spending time learning what everyone else is going through? Being the sound man is a thankless job. When everything goes well no one notices. But when things go bad, when people cannot hear the person speaking or if microphones begin to squeal and howl, then people wonder why the sound is so bad. I have heard people say what needs to be done, but none of them have volunteered to do what needs to be done. You cannot drive a car from the back seat or from the side of a track. If you want to drive the car you have to get behind the wheel. I am at that place where I believe it is time for me to see if I can learn from those who are doing, improve what they are doing and teach them how to notice the little things they have been missing.
Good to better to best means learn by studying, learn by doing; study what you are doing, then teach what you are doing so others can learn. This is a time for me to reflect to step back from the stage and into the background. This is a time for me to practice what I am preaching. This is a time for me to live the advice I give. I am trying to make sound decisions; I hope others will do the same. You appreciate what you have when things go from bad to worse; but can you learn to appreciate what you have and take things from normal, to good, to better. Can you learn by doing and then teach what you have learned? Can I do what I am asking others to do? Can I make sound decisions? Can I make a difference in the background instead of trying to run out front? I sure hope I can.
Have you heard it said before? Someone in their feeble attempt to defend their bad behavior will say something to the effect of “Well at least I am not a bad as so and so.” Or “What about so and so, they are even worse.” Explain to me how being better than the worst example makes you good? I am trying to be funny and serious at the same time. I am trying to deal with something that is very negative without going negative myself.
“Well at least it not as bad as…” this is almost always the beginning of a lame excuse. Maybe people have suffered for so long they just want to not seem like they have given up, even though they have basically given up. “It could always be worse…” Isn’t that another one? I only have one question that begs and honest answer; “Did you do your best?” If the answer is “Yes” then there is no need for an excuse. If the answer is “No” then I guess any excuse will do.
Think about Automobile Racing. It is ok for the new team that can barely put together enough a budget to qualify for a race to come in last and learn as much as possible from the experience. But, what about the team that has a wealth of experience and even more financing? If they make all the wrong choices and come in next to last, are they ok with saying “At least were not last?” Do we say these things to lessen the sting of the blow so we can sleep better at night?
So another great excuse; “We had the most fun!” Ok, I can go with you on this one, under certain circumstances. If you know you are out matched and you just want to have a good time I can understand, as long as you are doing your best. I know a bunch of amateur Hockey Players who love to play in tournaments together. They put together a team and played in a tournament that was way out of their league. The other teams where younger, faster and played at higher levels than this friendly bunch of amateurs who knew each other from their day jobs. They played to win and had fun losing. I guess I get that, to a point. It is OK to make the best of a bad situation.
I am also saying that this can be a slippery slope for those of us who can do better, but we just don’t try hard enough. I know that I cannot do some things I did when I was younger. A Forty Something aged person cannot take the same risks as a Thirty Something. A Forty Something cannot bounce back as fast as a Twenty Something. But you can still play it smart and do your best. You can still be successful with having adjusted goals. I am still getting over how bad Brazil was overwhelmed on their own soil during the 2014 World Cup. How do you explain it to their fans? Was one player really that important to what they were doing? They did not respond by saying, “We were not as bad as so and so…” They responded by saying the result was un-acceptable, we should have prepared better. At the highest levels you must always be learning and striving to get better.
So why is Ok for those in the middle to think it is OK to not be as bad as those behind them? I try not to be envious of others. I don’t know enough about what they have been through or how they got where they are now. I can only keep track of what I did to get to where I am, and what I can learn to do better the next time. This is why I say, “Not as Bad as…” is a trap. Don’t fall in it. The key take away from every situation is “We did our best and this is what we learned.” Win, lose or draw; fun or no fun, do your best and learn from the situation. Not as bad as so and so, just does not work for me.
Have you heard the popular term, “Fake it until you make it?” I find myself at odds with this phrase. I find too many people have made it by faking it. Now that they have made it, why should they stop? I say “Be the Real Deal!” I challenge “Fake it until you make it.” Will you stay with me for a minute?
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo where I try to give the only advice I think is worthy. I try to give the kind of advice that I will follow. It’s all free so there is no cost, and I always say to double and triple check any advice you are given, so double and triple check mine. You have to follow what you believe; you have to do your thing. This is why I do not like the term “Fake it until you make it.” If you really believe in what you are doing, why would you want to fake it?
Quick, what do you call a Parrot that quotes Einstein? “A Parrot,” It may be a genius Parrot as far as Parrots go but it is still a Parrot. So what do you call and Average Joe that quotes Einstein? “An Average Joe,” I can say this because my name is Joe. It seems lots of people are quoting Einstein and Gandhi thinking their life will change, but at the end of the day; you have to think for yourself. So if I can just “fake it” and memorize a bunch of lines made famous by other people, what exactly have I done that merits making it?
I played Bass Guitar in a Jazz Fusion – Jam Band once. For one summer our trio of Guitar, Bass and Drums could Rock Out with the best of them. We never really wrote any traditional songs. We had lots of bits and pieces that we could fit together and we could play for two or three solid hours without a set list or any set in stone songs. Now each of the members of this Jam Band had practiced there individual Instruments for a long time. Each of us was very good at what we did. One time we were contemplating doing a show and the Drummer told me, he hated “Half Stepping.” I told him “Half Stepping” was better than “No Stepping.” By the way, Half-Stepping means to give a less than adequate effort toward a task. The very nature of our band was to just jam. We weren’t “faking it,” we were doing what we loved to do. Now imagine if we could not play our instruments and we just made noise. That would have been faking it. If we would have made it to the big show, why would we ever bother to learn to play?
Now with things like Leadership and Management, imagine if you worked for a Leader or a Manager who was not open and honest with you? Imagine if they were “Faking it” and you had to get let go to cover their mistake. Would you be alright with that? Wouldn’t it better for everyone if the Leader or Manager was able to say, “This is outside or my area of expertise, but let’s figure it out together.” That is not faking it. That is being up front and honest.
So again, if you “Fake it and Make it” why would you stop faking it? I say do what you love and learn to do it the right way. If you are new or a novice then do not try to pass yourself off as being experienced or an expert. Early in my career, people would call me an expert and then not listen to what I truly believed was the right thing to do. When things went wrong do you think anyone stood up and said, “Yes we were warned but we chose to go another way?” Do you know how hard it is for people to admit they still have things they need to learn? I will admit it right here. I still have plenty to learn, but I don’t think I can learn by “Faking It.” I think the best way to learn is to be honest and real about what it is you want to and need to learn.
Now, listen very carefully. Sometimes the people who run around saying how “Real” they are can be some of the biggest “Fakers” of them all. Be careful either way. The proof is in the pudding. I hate to string together too many clichés, but “Look before you leap.” I say before you follow anyone’s advice, stand back and watch them from a distance. Many people act one way when they know you are watching and act a different way when you are not around. Would you follow their advice if you knew what they were saying behind your back or behind close doors?
So I am not saying that everyone who says “Fake it until you make it” has bad intentions. I am saying I feel that “Faking it” is not the right way to learn how to do something. One last bad memory before I close out. I once saw a band that used a Drummer, Guitar Player, Keyboard Player, Saxophone Player and Two Singers. They were doing a lot of Classic Pop and Motown Covers. I was watching very closely and checking out their equipment. That is when I noticed the Keyboards were not plugged in. Also the Drums were very small, undersized like a child’s beginner set. The Drummer was playing very softly. The Guitar Player was kind of half jamming and just playing lightly in the back ground not really following the songs kind of like the Drummer. The Saxophone Playing and the Singers were giving it there all. The Sax Man and the Singers were really belting it out. That is about the time I noticed the Saxophone Player was switching out a bunch of Mini-Discs and they had a very Big Sound System to fill in what they were not playing. They were basically Jamming to Karaoke Versions of the Songs they were playing. Half of the members of the group were “Faking it.” They put on a good show, but it was an act, it was a con, it was a sham. Not everyone noticed, but I did. So I ask, will you notice who is “Faking it?” Will you notice if you are being conned?
I say “Be the Real Deal!” I challenge “Fake it until you make it.” Half-Stepping is better than No-Stepping, but Full Stepping is the way to go! Admit what you are, what you can do, and learn the rest in an open and honest environment. Be the Real Deal as a Leader, Manager, Musician or anything else you do.
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I just basically relay my life lessons via this blog in hopes to motivate anyone who reads it and motivate myself to live the lessons I have learned. Today’s lesson: Don’t Hesitate.
I was recently in a situation where I was travelling home. I had a flight from a Small Town Wisconsin that connected into Chicago Illinois. We were late getting into Chicago because of bad weather, this was not a major problem because I had a three-hour lay-over before my connecting flight. When we landed in Chicago my flight was listed as On-Time and I had a chance to grab something to eat and make it to my gate. The flight before mine at the gate was delayed so I basically settled in for a short wait until my flight home was due to board.
Suddenly people at the terminal were scrambling to make phones calls. The gate showed the flight before mine was cancelled. Not to worry, I walked over to the Big Board that listed all the departure times and flights all over the country went from On Time to Cancelled; my flight was one of them. No problem I thought, I will walk back to the terminal, get on the phone and re-book my flight. Don’t Panic, but Don’t Hesitate either.
After a short time I hold I was able to re-book my flight for the next day. Now I had a new choice to make. Try to find a hotel, or maybe rent a car and drive home. This was not something I could take a lot of time trying to figure out. You see, there are only so many hotel rooms and only so many rental cars at the airport on any given day. I quickly made up my mind, I will try to rent a car and drive the rest of the way home. It was a short walk through the terminal and a ride on the rental car shuttle to get a car. Upon getting to the Car Rental Office I was informed they had no cars available to rent. I asked very politely if I could speak to a manager, and the rental car agent told me they could see if they could find me a car at a different rental company. While this was happening another customer walked in looking to rent a car, their flight was cancelled also. After about ten minutes and a short walk in the rain I was in line in another rental car agency with a confirmation number. So in less than an hour from the time my flight was cancelled, I had rebooked my flight and was about to get a rental car. I looked around and wondered how many other people in line had also decided to try to drive, try to re-book or try to get a hotel room. I did not panic, but I did not hesitate.
I was lucky, I was able to get in a car, get on the road and refund the last leg of my air travel for about the same cost as renting the car. I was able to get home in about Five Hours instead of trying to book a last-minute hotel room or having to spend the night in an airport terminal. I was one of the lucky ones. I was able to act quickly and get the help I needed. I did not panic but I did not hesitate either.
Life happens; sometimes storms change your plans. Panic clouds you from seeing your choices; but once you see your choice you should not wait around, you should not hesitate. If I would have waited I may not have been able to rent a car or find a hotel room close to the airport. As the saying goes, “He who hesitates is lost.” I say, don’t panic but don’t hesitate either.