Monthly Archives: August, 2014

Can you solve this?

Have you seen all of the “Are you a Genius Quizzes?”

Can you solve this?

If January = 5; February = 4 and March = 8

What does December equal?


Back to the Basics: August 2014

Do you love what you do? Really, do you? I love to play music. I am not at place where I am able to make a living making music, but I love to play any musical instrument I can get my hands on. I have the honor and privilege to play the Drums and Play the Bass Guitar on a pretty regular basis over the past few months. More and more often I am seeing Drummers and Bass players stepping up as Band Leaders and Musical Directors, so I cannot say that it is rare to see a Drummer or Bass Player as a Leader.

People can tell if you love what you do. I have tried to make things better for the Praise Band that I am playing in; I would say gigging with, but we are not getting paid. Getting paid is not the point. Loving what you do is the point. I have blogged about being the guy who carries extra cables, converters and drum sticks, and working with the sound man to make sure everyone is being heard. I am the guy who tries to make it better for everyone involved. When I play the drums, people say they enjoy the way I play the drums. When I play the Bass Guitar, I get more compliments from Musicians than from anyone else. I have started to notice, people may not be able to tell what I am playing; but they can tell if I am having fun playing.

When I play the Bass Guitar, my sound level and tone is in the hands of the sound man. I run directly into the main Sound System with No Amp and No Monitor. This makes it easier for everyone else to hear what they are doing. I am the last person to hear the sound of the Bass. I do this because it challenges me as a musician and because it is fun. It is more fun when the Bass is louder in the mix. This seems to depend on how many people are playing other instruments.   The more guitars in the mix and the more the Bass seems to get lost. Again, this is not the point. The point is people can tell if I am having fun whether I am playing the Drums or playing the Bass.

When I play the Drums, it is obvious I am playing the Drums and I have control over the volume of the drums. The harder I play, the louder the drums are in the mix. Again, I try to make sure everyone else is heard so I try not to drown everyone out. I play loud enough to set a solid foundation and I listen for everyone else. I have found that when I miss a beat or make a mistake, I seem to laugh. I just love to make music. I get a sense of joy that over takes me, even when I mess up and make a mistake. I love that I get a chance to play.

When I play the Bass, it means we have a Drummer and at the Very least, Someone Playing Piano. It may also mean we have anywhere from 1 to 3 Guitar players in the mix also. I am the guy who makes sure everyone else is plugged in and heard in the mix. I am the guy who asked the sound man to take me out of the monitors so everyone else can hear themselves more clearly. I did this not because anyone can tell, I did this to challenge myself. Can I give it my all and not be a prima-donna while I am playing the Bass Guitar? Playing the Bass Guitar is a thankless job. Most people do not know who the Bass Player is unless they sing or write the songs. Running Sound is a Thankless Job. Most people do not know what the sound man does. That is why I thank the sound man and help him out as much as possible. The more I help others be heard, the more they accept me as a leader in the band even though I am not the lead musician.

I know others can sing better than I can. I know there are better drummers than I am. I am not ready to tell you there are a lot of better Bass players than me; because I have worked very hard to perfect the gifts and talents I have been given. But that does not matter, I will let someone else play the bass and have volunteered to step aside, if something else is needed more. The point is that people cannot always tell what I am playing. People have thought I was playing the Guitar when I was on the Bass. People have thought they could hear me play, when the sound man had turned me off by mistake. The challenge is not being the loudest. The challenge is to love what you are doing.   People can always tell if I am having fun, even if I cannot hear what I am playing. I love having the chance to play anything, the Drums, the Bass Guitar; I would even play the tambourine, if that is what is needed.

I believe that you cannot be an effective leader if you are not willing to help others succeed. I also believe that you cannot be an effective leader if you do not love what you are doing. People can tell who is willing to help others. People can tell who is ready to sacrifice so that others can succeed. People can also tell if you truly love what you are doing. Are you having fun? Do you love what you do?

Do we hunt for time?

Time hunts us all. The question is: Do we hunt for time? Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I try to hand out free advice for what it is worth. I basically try to listen to and follow my own advice and I challenge you to not take it at face value but to put it to the test. So do you hunt for time? Time hunts for all of us.

Time is said to be the Great Hunter. Soon or later time catches up to all of us. So the question is not how much time do we have, but what we do with the time we are given. Time is a gift. So we have a choice, to keep moving forward and do our best to hunt for more time. Or we can kill time and wait around idle and time will eventually catch up to us. Alas, how many times have you heard it said, if I only had more time?

So I have to admit, lately I have not been able to find the time that I should, to collect, type and post my thoughts. So if I am going to make a stand, let me draw a line here. Let me say first hand that I have thought about blogging almost every day, but I have not been so good at the act of blogging. I have let time slip through my fingers. I am not going to make excuses because I challenge you not to make excuses; so I will not fall backwards.

We are either hunting for time or time is hunting for us. We can do all we can to save time, make better use of our time or we are just killing time. We must live our lives moving forward. We must live our lives hunting for time. Time is the great equalizer; we only get 24 hours in a day. We only get 7 days in a week. It is what we choose to do with that time that matters. We cannot pick where we start, but we can have a certain degree of control over where we finish. It is all a matter of time.

So my only point is that I realize every day, more and more the value of the time that slips through my fingers. Every minute I spend thinking about doing but do not follow-up with doing is time wasted. So I am going to challenge myself to find that time again, and couple it with the energy of doing. Yes we all need to pace ourselves, we all only have so much energy to expend in our time, but knowing is half the battle.

Time is chasing us all, the question is; are we chasing time? Time is hunting us all, the question is; are we hunting for time? Are we making the most of the time we are given or are we letting it slip through or fingers? What are you doing with your time? I would hope that because you are reading this post you feel like I do. I hope because you are reading this blog, you are challenging yourself to use your time to chase your dreams. As for me, I will hunt for more time and hopefully I will be back on track in no time!

Make your own cool:

Do you chase trends? Do you do things because you were told they are cool? Do you chase cool or does cool chase you? Do I ask too many questions? Ok, today I say; Make your own cool. Stick with me for a minute and I will try to explain.

It seems every decade has been defined by a Look and a Sound. A Style of Fashion and a Style of Music can readily be associated with the 50’s the 60’s the 70’s and the 80’s. Why is that? Is it our definition of cool? Things that become cool have to begin somewhere. There are many books and movies and magazines and television shows dedicated to doing one thing; to convince you what the next big thing will be so you can be the first to buy into it. The first ones to buy in usually also pay the most. And if that expensive new thing you have bought does not become the next big thing, you have spent a lot of money, but you do not get the “Cool Factor” payoff.

Have you heard the term necessity is the mother of invention? Well chasing trends is not a necessity; to be successful you should want to start trends. You should want to be the person who dreams up the new fashion trend, or the new sound in music. Cool costs more than Creative. Being Creative just takes more guts, it just takes more tenacity. Cool chases creativity in the end. So where do you want to be? Do you want to be chasing trends or do you want to start a trend? Do you want to chase what is being called cool, or do you want to create the new cool? Do you want to chase cool, or do you want cool chasing you?

Beware of Cool Cats, Copy Cats and Parakeets: What do I mean by this? Cool Cats are people who act like they have a monopoly on all things cool. Cool Cats believe they know cool on a first name basis, and they are the ones who check the guest list at the cool parties. Cool Cats are people who are acting cool because they think they are the Royalty of Cool. Copy Cats basically copy Cool Cats because they have bought the “I am cool and you’re not” line hook, line and sinker. Copy Cats just want to Copy Cool. Parakeets basically repeat what they have heard. Parakeets are the ones who spread gossip and rumors and help grow the legend of the Cool Cats. Cool Cats need the Copy Cats and the Parakeets to protect their image. The problem with all of this is Today’s Cool is Tomorrow’s Old News. Today’s Cool Cat is Tomorrows Has-Been. Today’s “In thing” is Tomorrow’s “So Yesterday.” Don’t fall for any of this. Make your own cool!

How do you create your own cool? The first step is realizing that Acting Cool is not Cool! Cool is not an Act. Cool is being confident and comfortable about who you are and what you are doing. Have you heard the term “Comfortable in your own skin?” That is the very foundation of being Cool. The Second Step is basically inviting others to join you in what you are doing purely for the fun of it. This is not about putting yourself above others; it is about saying this is fun do you want to give it a try. Now be careful, I am not talking about comprising anyone’s standards or moral compass. I am talking about not causing anyone else harm or pain. I am not talking about taking advantage of any situation. It is never cool to take advantage of people or make fun of them.

How do I know all of this? Some may say I have been chasing cool my whole life. I learned the hard way that Being Cool means not Chasing Cool. Being Cool means being Confident in your ability to do something new regardless of what others think. Being Cool means putting your time in until you master your craft and until your creativity kicks into overdrive. Being Cool means that you are not afraid to fail and get up and try again. Being Cool means being the best you that you can be; be the only you on the planet. Being Cool means you are not chasing cool. Being cool means you are creating the next new thing and cool has decided to chase you!

The Best way to Manage a Department:

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. Welcome to my little online diary of thoughts on Motivation and Leadership. Welcome to another post in my cyber world. So today, I have something on my mind. Something I have been thinking about for a while now. The best way to manage a department:

How many times have you seen a Manger who seems to use fear to keep people in line? How many times have you wondered exactly what leadership style is at work where you work? Do you wonder why you are being treated the way you are being treated?   Have you wondered what your Managers Motivations was at the time? Does your Manager seem to treat you like you are afraid to lose your job? Well I believe the best way to Manage people is to treat them like they could find a better job at any minute.

Who am I to be giving Management advice? I am a guy who has worked a lot of jobs. No matter what level I was at, I have seen Managers who treated me like I was afraid to lose my job. Does this sound familiar? Has it happened to you? I bet it has happened to a lot of people. Am I right? I bet this could be my most popular post if everyone who feels this way will share this post. Enough, I will say again; I think the best way to manage a department is to treat people like they can find a better job at any given time. Why do I say this? Because you will not manage from a position of fear; if you believe the people you manage can find a better job, you will treat them with utmost respect. You will try to create an environment that is a positive learning experience for everyone involved. You may treat people better than you want to be treated.

When people accept being treated badly at their place of employment, they are working for the money. If people enjoy where they work, the experience will be worth more than money. Also, if you are a Manager who is building people up instead of tearing them down, you will be happy to see them get a chance to move on to bigger and better things. If you know you are helping people become successful, you will have a strong system of mentors training up the next wave of employees. No, I am not a manager, but I have seen many managers in action. Which ones do you think seemed to retain the best workers and which ones do you think were the best to work around? The Managers who treated people like they wanted to see them succeed and move up are always be far the best ones to work around.

Treat people like they could find a better job tomorrow, and you will not lose them today. You will find that you can give them more responsibility and you can grow your department with people who are excited to come to work. Manage from a place of fear and you will only retain people who truly believe they cannot do any better for themselves. If people are afraid to find something better, will you really be getting their best effort? If people are only in fear of losing their job, why would they do anything extra? Why would they give you their best effort? They will only give you enough to not get fired.

I believe the best way to Manage people is to treat them like they could find a better job at any minute. You will have a system in place where everyone is ready to take the lead, and you can be proud of the success stories you are creating. You will find people who want to make things better, if you treat them better than you want to be treated.