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.
The Relentless pursuit of Truth:
Evil is ruthless so Good must be relentless. Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, where I give the most best, most valuable free advice I can muster. I basically write about my thoughts, my life lessons and my studies of the teachings of those who have come before me.
It is not enough to walk around saying and thinking you are a good person because you are not as bad as the next person. I do believe that being incrementally better leads to exponential increases in your life, but that means you must aspire to be better. The pursuit of truth has to be a relentless pursuit, because those who will do you harm will ruthlessly conspire to hide the truth. One of evil’s greatest lies is that you should be rewarded for doing nothing. Evil’s greatest lie is that evil does not exist. No hell, then no need for heaven. No Devil, than no need for God. We are all equal, so why try to be any better than you are right now?
You were perfectly formed; I do believe this is true. But that does not mean you do not have a duty to do the best you can, whenever you can. Can you love a lie? What’s wrong with a little lie if it helps protect someone’s feelings? What is wrong with a little lie if it keeps me out of trouble? One lie leads to another and another and one more to cover up all the lies. Little lies spread like weeds until it is hard to tell what the truth is, even when the truth is plain as day.
The truth is; I have made plenty of mistakes in my life. There comes a time when you say enough is enough and all you want is some truth, some reality and some clarity; or you just continue to buy into all the lies and just go with the flow. Evil is ruthless so the pursuit of truth has to be relentless.
How much have we really changed over time? With all the technology in the world, with all the resources in the world, we still crave the same things; money, power, love, lust and lies. We still argue over if God is real, and is there a heaven. We know that war is wrong; yet we still fight them. We know that killing is wrong; but we still justify it. We know that lying is wrong; yet people still do it. Even when caught on camera, people will still deny what they have done. When do we say enough is enough?
So I look at little kids and I ask; when are they old enough to know the truth? I want to be that person who has always told the little kids to be good, thank God and do their best. Get their homework done and look out for their friends. I want to be the guy who will tell them the truth. I believe in Heaven and I believe in God and I believe that Love and Truth walk hand in hand. I know I have to make up for a lot of mistakes in my life, but I cannot go back and change time. I can only go forward and change my state of mind, and not redo what I have done wrong but stick to my pursuit of truth with my whole heart. Do you think the world has thrown open its arms to greet me when I make this stance? Well of course not. You can tell when people want nothing to do with the truth. You just have to open your eyes.
Do you think that because one person looks at their life and says, I know I can do better; everyone will stop lying and begin to tell the truth? If it were only that easy; why do we still have wars? Why do we still worship idols? It is easier for some to believe in witchcraft or superheroes or their own intelligence than to believe in God and believe that God is Love and Truth. God is not Love and Lies? No evil means no hell, and no hell means no heaven, and no heaven means no God. Would you fall for this? None of us are perfect, but that does not mean we should not be doing our best. The only good way to die is to know that you gave it your all in life. I will live the rest of my life convinced that God is at the center of our capacity to love and tell the truth. Our pursuit of truth must be relentless. Maybe I cannot prove an absolute truth just yet, but I will live the rest of my life believing in it and trying to find it.
The Relentless Pursuit of Truth:
Treat each day at work like it is your first day on the job.
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. Welcome to my little corner of the internet, where I give the only advice that I think is worthwhile. I try to give the advice that I follow, the advice that I aspire too and the advice that I will give regardless of who is listening. I do all I can to give the kind of advice that I do not change depending on my audience. I give this advice to all, if you are 9 months, 9 years or 90 years old. I give the same advice to those who make more than me and to those who make less. I give the advice that I have learned through my triumphs and failures. I just try to tell the closest thing to the truth that I have learned.
So today I say to you to treat each day at work like it is your first day on the job. Whenever we start a new job, we are excited and we have lots of questions; we have so much to learn. When a job is new it is fun and full of possibilities. Your first day on the job most people what to learn the right want to do things. Today I say, try to remember how it feels when you are new and hunger to learn. Try to recapture that energy every day.
I have been fortunate in my career to have always been able to find another job. Sometimes things worked out pretty good and sometimes things have worked out not so well. I worked plenty of odd jobs while I was in and out of college trying to find myself and what I wanted to do with my life. I made plenty of mistakes, and I still am making mistakes; but most importantly I am trying to learn from my mistakes. Regardless of if a job worked out or if I switched jobs in a year or less, I was always excited on the first day. One the first day everything is new and everything is possible. I think the best way to go to work every day is to recapture that first day on the job energy and attitude.
On your first day on the job, we say “Hello” to everyone we meet. Then that can seem to fade as we settle in to our routine. I ask why? I understand it is easy to become shy or get busy being distracted on other things. I say recapture that first day energy and say “Hello” and “Good Morning” to as many people as possible. On your first day on the job, you ask questions and you explore. Then we settle in to ruts where we are afraid to ask questions and go exploring for fear people will think we don’t know what we are doing. I say, continue to ask questions and continue to explore. Find out what is missing and where you can help fill a gap or void. Find out ways that you can help move things forward that maybe others have not thought of doing.
Do you really think that your job is still exciting and new? Do you think you are going to make a difference? If the answer is “No,” I ask if you felt that way when you took the job. Were you just there, are you just there to punch a clock and trade your time for a paycheck? I looked for jobs that not only filled my need for a paycheck, but also filled my need to believe I could learn, have fun and make a difference. I have begun every job believing that I could take on the world. I say that is the best attitude to take into everyday on the job, not just the first day. Now, I can honestly say I do not always feel this way, but I can also say this is the best way to start each week and each day on the job.
When you get up in morning, on your ride into work; do you believe you are going to have a great day? Do you believe you can make a difference when you start each work day? I say recapture that first day on the job attitude and energy. Try it on Mondays. Convince yourself you will make this week something special. Once you do it every Monday, you will find yourself able to do it every day. Make every week and every day a great week and a great day. Do not allow you self to get pulled into and stuck in a rut. Keep that conquer the world, first day on the job energy! This is the best way to start each day that I have found.
Treat each day at work like it is your first day on the job.