Monthly Archives: November, 2013

Racing Airplanes with Bicycles.

I remember when I was a kid.  I remember learning to run and learning to ride a bicycle.   I remember falling many times before learning how to ride that bicycle; and once I learned how to ride a bike I felt that it was worth every cut, scrap and bruise from falling off.  Learning to ride a bicycle felt like learning to fly, even though I did not know what flying felt like.

Welcome back to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  Today I call upon my childhood memory of racing airplanes with bicycles.  Do you remember that perfect summer day when you were a kid?  Do you remember the sun shining in the deep blue sky?  I remember looking up into the clear blue sky and seeing airplanes flying over head.  I remember trying to chase them, and race them on my bicycle.  I remember riding my bicycle and wondering what it would be like to fly away in an airplane.  I would try to keep up with those airplanes to the end of the block or down the street until they were gone out of sight.  I remember racing airplanes with bicycles.

I remember dreaming of flying.  I remember wanting my life to be full of jet planes and limousines.  At the time I did not know why but I dreamed being rich and famous.  Now I dream of helping others.  Now I dream of helping others live their dreams.  I lost my dreams and had to find them again.  Now I dream of helping others find their dreams again.  I dream of racing airplanes with bicycles.  It is my crazy belief that if people will work together than we can live our dreams.  Have you ever tried to build a platform that will help others before you help yourself?  That is part of my new dream.  To find a way to help others pull together, so that if everyone pulls together than everyone wins together.  I want to be a part of that victory.  I want to be a part in helping others win.  Sometimes it feels like I am back on my bicycle, racing with airplanes.

Many times I have gotten on airplanes and traveled halfway around the world and back.  Many times I have gotten on airplanes to travel hundreds of miles per hour.  Every time I sit next to the window, I look down at the ground and see the world passing by below.  To think every time I am looking down from that Airplane, their may be a kid out there riding their bicycle chasing and racing the airplane I am riding in.  In many ways I am still just a kid on a bicycle racing with airplanes.  I am racing airplanes with bicycles and you can also.  Have you ever believed you could fly just by riding a bicycle?  Do you remember what it was like to dream the big dream before someone told you to be realistic and aim for a lower goal?

If I can help people recapture their dreams, if I can help people help themselves; then I can still race airplanes with bicycles.  I can still ride like the wind and feel like I am flying.  You can too.  Stop worrying about what other people are telling you and start listening to the inner voice inside of you.  Start listening to that inner voice that has been there since you where a child.  Listen to the voice that told you that you could run faster and ride faster and spread your wings and fly.  The one that has been there before you fell victim to the cares of this world.  Listen to the voice that leads you and guides you, not the one who pushes and pulls and tugs at you.  Listen to the voice that brings happiness and peace, not the voices that causes you worry and pain.  Recapture that dream you had when you were a kid.

Dare to Race Airplanes with Bicycles!

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Give Back to Give Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!  No I am not late with this greeting, I believe we should give thanks everyday or any given date, not just one fixed day on the calendar.  I think we all have something to be thankful for and the best way to give thanks is to give back. 

You may be reading this post during the holiday season, or you may be reading this post on any given day at any given time.  Do you have any reason to be thankful?  If you do, and I think you do; than I also think the best way to give thanks is to give back.  Get involved in community service.  Help the people who have less than you. 

So during the holidays people give money to good causes which is great, and people give gifts to family and friends which is also great.  Why not also give your time to help others?  Why not use your talents to help others?  I am always putting money in the change jars at the corner stores.  I leave my pennies instead of taking them.  I may not have a lot to spare, but I am always pitching in my spare change, and a couple of extra dollars for good measure.  I have debt, but I also try to give back because I am grateful for what I have.  I give back and it does make me feel good, but giving your time to help others is even better. 

Given your time shows you care.  Giving your time also helps you appreciate what you have.  It makes you appreciate more than just your money; it makes you appreciate the gifts and talents you possess.  Hopefully it also makes you appreciate your health and the fact that each new day is another chance for you to use your talents.

So I am not late for Thanksgiving, I think you can give thanks any day.  I don’t want anyone to lose sight that the holidays are more than just giving money or gifts, it is also about giving you time.  Give your time to help others.  Give your time to help further the causes you support.  Don’t just throw your money at a problem; help be a part of the solution.  It may help you appreciate the things you have been given.  No matter where we are in life, we can always help others.  Helping others makes the world a better place for all of us.  Give back to give thanks!

Two Years of Blogging.

Two years of Blogging.  It goes quick, and it goes slowly.  Two years of 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  So many words typed and so many typos.  Thank you for sticking with me.  If it made sense to you then I did something right.  If it did not make sense, back to the drawing board.  No not really.  If it did not make sense to you, maybe it wasn’t supposed to make sense to you.

This blog, 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo was never meant to be perfect and it never will be perfect.  It is not written to a formula.  I do not have proof readers and editors.  Maybe it is just meant to be what it is… it is my stream of consciousness and my observation on this life we are passing through.  I am learning by doing and I hope you will do the same.  If I had all the answers I would be a best-selling author by now.  I am looking for answers and sharing my thoughts along the way.

I am convinced that each of us have a gift.  I believe each of us have a talent that we did not earn, it was given to us.  We can argue over where the gift came from, I say if came from God.   I think the best way to honor you gift is to practice your talent, get around people with whom you can find common ground and let your talent show.  Let your light shine.  Put yourself on display in a positive way, where you are hurting no one and helping those around you.

So I blog, and I work and I try to learn and mentor and coach others.  I try to have a positive impact when doing the things I love.  It seems I drive the people I love crazy, but it is because I am convinced even when those around me are not.  Give it a try, spread good news and tell people to chase the big dream.  Some people will call you crazy.  Some will call you a dreamer (which is a compliment.)  Others may talk behind your back (ask yourself if you really want friends like that?)  Some people will actually be happy for you, and some may actually help you live your dream (those are your real friends.)

Who am I anyway, I am just some guy on the internet trying to spread good news.  Pretty much a few times a week for the last two years I have posted on this blog.  It went fast, but it was also a grind.  Sometimes I would get ten posts ahead, other times like lately I have struggled to post once a week.  Time flies when you are having fun and life will get in your way.  You may not get paid a dime to chase your dreams; will you let all those things stop you or will you learn by doing?

Two years of blogging and I am still at it.  I haven’t been paid a dime to chase my dreams, but I will still chase them.  And I will ask you to chase your dreams.  It is what I do.  Hopefully that if anything has gotten through, that has gotten through.  Maybe that is all I was ever supposed to do, all typos aside.  If you can’t get past a typo here and there you are really missing the point.

The First Class Upgrade:

All of us have dreamed about it.  Who hasn’t wondered about Limousines and Private Jets as their mode of transportation?  What would it be like to live like the Rich, the Famous and the Powerful for just one day even?  Today I was lucky enough to get the First Class Upgrade.

I know what it is like to not have a car, and to walk to work or ride a bicycle in the rain.  I know what it is like to work two jobs and drive a late-model car that is reliable but has no flash.  I know what is like to be broken down on the side of the road to and from job number one or job number two.  I know what it is like to ride the bus, and I know what it is like to fly back and forth on business trips.  No matter what way I travel I still see a world that needs hope.  No matter if by bus, plane or car I know there are people who are trying to better themselves and people who are down on their luck.  I know there are people who appreciate all that they have and people who don’t appreciate anything.  I know this exists on all levels; those who walk, those who bike, those who ride busses, those who drive and those who fly, even here in First Class.  I know that no matter where you are the world needs hope, and people should appreciate what they have and continue to strive to make things better.

Don’t just try to make things better for yourself by taking advantage of others.  No, I am talking about trying to make things better for everyone around you.  Spread Good News and the best advice possible.  Go the extra mile, volunteer, coach and mentor.  Be the best you can be no matter where you are at this moment in time.  Yes, the First Class Upgrade is nice, but my day-to-day life will not change because of it.  I will still go back to the same car, same family, same job and basically the same life.  That does not mean I will give up trying to better myself and help anyone who asks for my help. 

Yes, it would be nice to be able to afford First Class all the time, it would be even better to be able to take my loved ones on trips with the First Class Upgrade.  So the upgrade, though earned by many miles of flying coach does not make me feel entitled, but does leave me inspired.  Can I help make the world a better place, so that I can pamper the ones I love with First Class Upgrades?  The key to it is treating people in a First Class way no matter where you are at the time.  Pay things forward.  Leave a penny instead of taking a penny.  Give your spare change to that charity.  Volunteer once a month or more.  Coach, mentor and train others in areas that you are strong.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help in areas you are weak.  Always try to find ways to make things better than you found them.  Be the First Class Upgrade in someone else’s life.

How do you know you are on the right path?

What does it take?  How do you know you are on the right path?

I guess it takes faith.

I guess it takes patience.

I guess it takes understanding.

I guess it takes love.

I guess it takes truth.

So I am seeking truth.  I am seeking not only knowledge but wisdom.  I am learning how to love on a less conditional level.  I am not well enough equipped to love unconditionally, but I can be happy for people as long as their pleasure is not the cause of my pain.  I try not to be the cause of others pain.

I am trying to be a better listener and I am trying to understand where others are coming from.  I am trying to look at things from more angles and more perspectives.  Some things I still do not understand though.  If you say you love someone, would you and should you not do everything you can for them?  It takes patience so it seems.

I am not the best with patience.  I am trying though.  I am trying to believe in something bigger than myself.  I am trying to believe in something bigger than you and me.  I believe in the power of us.  I believe that everyone working together can get a lot more done than everyone working separately.  So let us work together.  I think that is what God wants us to do anyway.

So the right path is the best path for everyone.  The right path is that path that makes things better for everyone.  The right path harms none.  The right path is grounded in patience, understanding, love and truth.  So it takes truth, it takes love, it takes understanding and it takes patience and faith.

I guess that is what it takes.

The E.C.R. of Leadership

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  I would like to take a minute to come up with a new Acronym, or at least change an Acronym that is familiar to me.  I am an Engineer, and in the Engineering world E.C.R stands for Engineering Change Request.  I would like to retool that Acronym for the Leadership world and state that the New and Improved E.C.R stands for Engage, Challenge and Reward.

For me having and Engineering background and trying to learn to become a better leader is a natural fit.  Some people may not understand what Engineering has to do with Leadership.  Engineering is basically applying science to solve a problem.  Leadership is as art and a science to help people reach their goals.  Leadership implies there is a team and a goal and vision and maybe a deadline that needs to be met.  So I think the term E.C.R – Engage, Challenge and Reward is a great little system and a great little acronym all leaders should remember.

Engage the team.  A leader should learn how to engage their team members.  A leader should be able to not only communicate a vision, but also be able to take input from their teammates.  A leader needs to establish open lines of communication.  A leader should try to make a good experience for everyone on the team.  Learning how to engage people is step one in becoming a good leader.  A good leader must engage the team.

Challenge the team.  Set a goal that is not a give me, automatic, no way you are going to miss it goal.  Set a goal that is going to take some effort.  The first time you do this it should be a small goal with a short time frame.  It has to be a goal that is in plain sight, but will take an effort to reach.  See if the team will stretch out of their comfort zone to reach a goal.  A good team likes to be challenged.  A great team loves to be challenged.  A good leader knows how to challenge their team.  I great leader knows how to break a big challenge into a series of small challenges.

Reward your team for reaching their goal.  It is ok to reward good effort, it is better to reward accomplishments and effort.  If you fall short of your goal but your team gave it’s all reward them.  If you team gives it all and reaches it goal, reward them a little more.  No individual reward should out weigh the efforts and the accomplishments of the team.  A great leader understands the system of balance that is required to keep a team motivated and also feel appreciated.  All reward with no effort will lead the team to feel entitled.  All effort with no reward and the team will lose moral.  To keep a team fully engaged, the challenges and rewards must go hand in hand.

Step one.  Engage your team.  You may find some people do not want to head in the same direction as you are heading.  It is better to part ways early than to waste each others time.  No hard feelings; just wish them the best and move on with people who want to head in the same direction.  Open, honest communication is the key to go engagement.

Step two.  Challenge your team.  Some people will not want to be challenged.  Again, it is better to find out early who wants a challenge and who does not.  If people do not fit, it is better to let them go before they damage the spirit of the team that does want to be challenged.  Try to work with everyone, but not everyone will want to grow and stretch themselves.  Again, it is better to part ways with no hard feelings than to try to head off in every direction at once.

Step three.  Reward you team based on efforts and accomplishments.  Again, find balance.  The reward for reaching your goal combined with good effort should be great than the reward for great effort alone.  Try to find that balance that keeps your team in engaged, but still is a challenge.

This is the E.C.R. of Leadership; Engage, Challenge and Reward your team.  Yeah, yeah it is all just a theory.  If you have read this and it makes sense to you, maybe you will give it a try?