Monthly Archives: September, 2015

I choose to live: Sometime it feels like staying positive is like fighting zombies.

I choose to live:

Sometime it feels like staying positive is like fighting zombies.  People will just get in your way.  So don’t let zombies steal your joy or your will to live.

220px-Zombies_NightoftheLivingDeadSo I write this post in honor of Halloween rapidly approaching and with it comes the new season of The Walking Dead on AMC and the Release of last season’s episodes on Netflix. And no, I am not getting paid for any product plugs or indirect endorsements.

So a few days ago, I was Rehab Walking with my Five Pound ankle weights on to strengthen my knees and I had a couple of five pound soft dumb bells so I could do my Super Power Walk Routine of lifting weights and rehab walking. After a few laps around our apartment building, I felt like I was just out there battling with my own mind to keep going, keep walking and keep lifting. I was listening to one of my favorite Electronic Music Groups on my headphones, but scenes from the Walking Dead kept leaping into my mind. If you have ever watched the show, there are zombies everywhere and sometimes the main characters just have to fight their way through the crowd of zombies. More than once a fan favorite has had to make up their mind that they want to live, the want to keep going; no matter how many zombies are after them.

The_Walking_Dead_title_cardSometimes that is how I feel when I am out there exercising, that I have to keep going just in case the zombie apocalypse was to happen anytime soon. Now Zombie Movies have been around for a while. Well before Night of the Living Dead. Now depending on which story you follow, Zombies can be slow lumbering creatures or can be so fast there is no chance to out run them, like in World War Z. It seems I am getting sidetracked; I keep working out because I choose to live. I choose to believe that we can make the world a better place. Being positive can be its own enemy because not everyone will change and become positive just because I made up my mind to be positive. So off I go walking and lifting and fooling myself into thinking I could fight my way through a swarm of zombies.

WalkingDeadTop6

On the Walking Dead, there are six characters that have survived since Season 1 till the end of Season 5, at least that I know of… and they all went through the phase between giving up and choose to keep fighting. So for me I choose to keep fighting the good fight and try to find a reason to stay positive no matter what I am going through at the time. So when my mind plays tricks on me when I am working out, I just stay at it. I choose to live, and keep fighting zombies.

zombielandIn Zombieland, Cardio is a key to survival. Michael Jackson was able to teach Zombies how to dance in the Thriller Video, let’s face it; that may have been the single coolest zombie moment of all time. Now for the rest of us, we will more than likely have to choose to fight our way through the Zombie Outbreak, but maybe we can just dance our way through it. So why I am taking the time to type this up and post it to my blog. Well I guess anything short of the Zombie Outbreak should be considered a good day.

ThrillerJust stay at it. Choose to live. Choose to keep fighting. Choose to spread good news. Choose to work out and get strong. Don’t give up, fight every last zombie that stands in your way. Or be like MJ and Moonwalk your way through them, either way choose to live!

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If at first you don’t succeed.

If at first you don’t succeed.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. Today’s obvious observation; if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. So simple, but do we really do this in our lives? I have at times tried and other times given up. Every time I gave up, I never got closer to my goals. The only time I ever got closer to my goals is when I failed and tried again.

Let me tell you three different stories in my life where trying again, paid off. Three things that I am currently going through that keep me convinced that you have to be tenacious to reach your goals. Now these are just a few examples, there are still lots of goals that I have that have yet to be reached, so if I am going to get there; I have to take my own advice.

What do knee injuries, software and job hunting have in common? Let me explain. I am currently recovering from a couple of nagging knee injuries. I also like working with computers and making music, so I have some music software I want to learn. I also have a day job and without it there would be no money for making music, let alone things like food and shelter. So I am constantly trying to further my career and I am trying to stay in shape because we only have one chance at this life. So first things first, I have been strengthening my knees by working out with soft weights and wearing knee braces. I started with leg lifts and leg curls but the nagging knee pains just seemed like they would not go away.   I would also walk a mile or two to keep getting stronger and stay in some kind of shape. One day to try something new, I walked with the ankle weights on. I had to take big steps, like walking in deep snow. My legs ached while I was walking and they hurt the next day even more. A strange thing happened two days after my ankle weight walk. My knees hurt less than they had in a long time. So I figure, why not repeat this every weekend and have the week to recover. So every weekend I would strap on my Five Pound Ankle Weights and walk until my knees and legs begged me to stop. Again, I was very careful not to make things worse; I stayed under control each step of the way.

One day, while at the store, I found some two and a half pound ankle weights. I figure, why not wear them in the between days while I walk around at work, and step up my five pound power walk days to a couple of times a week. Keep trying and trying again until I find the right mix of workouts. I noticed I was recovering faster. Yes, I would have a bad day for every workout day, but I also had less and less pain on each day after the recovery days. Try, try again.

Now I also was trying to make sure I was making the right career moves. I have been lucky and blessed to be moving forward the last few years. I was able to change gears and not take a step backward; all the while, every 6 months or so I would apply to a company that was closer to home. I really wanted a shorter commute. This went on for a few years. I switched jobs not once, but twice; trying to find the right place for me. I could not even get an interview at the company I was targeting.

After Five Years of Trying, putting in my resume online and by e-mail every six months; the company I was targeting called me. I had switched jobs twice and was feeling pretty good about myself. Needless to say all the interviews and jobs I didn’t get, and all the jobs I did get, prepared me for the interview with the company I was targeting. When they called me, I was more than ready to go in for an interview. I ended up getting two different offers within 24 hours. After 5 years of trying, I was finally hired in at the place I had targeted all along. Try, try again.

Now during all of this, I was trying to work with special software that would allow me to make music using a variety of pre-recorded loops, virtual instruments and external keyboards that I had been collecting. I bought a lot of things second hand and on clearance and I wanted one piece of software that would tie everything together. I actually bought a second hand laptop and a second hand keyboard, just to get the software I need for free. I loaded up the software – Ableton Live Version 7 Lite. I registered the software online and also bought a couple of mini key boards that were half off to get more free software to use with Ableton. Needless to say the software was out of date and I had to e-mail tech support. They gave me a free upgrade to Ableton Live Version 8. I loaded up all the software and my laptop started acting strange. The hard drive would spin out of control. I thought I caught a virus from all the free stuff I was trying. I could not get the software to behave on the laptop.

Try, try again. So after buying another used laptop and getting the software and memory upgraded, I bought yet another ½ off clearance keyboard to get a new copy of Ableton Live Version 9. After years of struggles I was able to obtain success. Some of, most of the software I had compiled would not run in Ableton 9 because it was 32 bit instead of 64 bit; but other copies of the software I had compiled ran and ran very nicely. Sorry about the Techno-Jargon Babble, 3 versions of software latter and I am up and running with lots to learn and lots to look forward to learning.

My job, my hobby and my health; I could have given up one either and all of them. I could have said, this is all there is and all there will ever be; but I choose to try again. So now I give to you the only advice I think that is worth giving. I give to you the advice that I am living. Try, try again.

I still have lots more to do. I have to settle in at a new job and make my mark. I have to continue to work out and get stronger. I have many, many hours chasing inspiration and learning new software. But what do I have to lose by trying? I stand to gain more by trying and trying again until I get things right. You gain nothing when you give up. You can gain the world if you will only try and try again.

Good things take time.

Good things take time.

You can’t rush quality. You can’t rush craftsmanship. You can’t rush art. Good things come through a series of inspiration, experimentation, training and time. Some people work hard, some people work smart. Talented people make work seem like fun. This is all part of the process. The process of figuring out what is worth doing and what is a waste of time. Anyway, good things take time. Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, let me explain.

Year after year it seems Professional Athletes make more and more money to do things that started out as games that people played to have fun, pass the time and maybe get a little exercise. Kids play the games for fun. Parents teach the games to their children. Again, people play to have fun and maybe get a little exercise. Great players seem to make the game look easy. Just because they make it look easy does not mean they did not practice long hours to become great at it. The fact they make it look easy almost guarantees they practiced long hours to become great. The great players probably had fun while they were practicing, but they still put their time in to get great. Good things take time.

Nobody looks at Fine Wine and says, wow let me pay money for sour grape juice. No, people look at fine wine and say it was careful aged to perfection. I am sure if you go to any vineyard, the wine makers will tell you how much care was taken in growing the grapes, picking only the best grapes, and carefully extracting the grape juice and the type of woods that were used to store the grape juice until it became the finely crafted wine you are about to taste and pay your hard earned money to enjoy. The best wine is not thrown together overnight in a random manner. No, if you want the best you have to wait for the perfect time for each step in the process. Good things take time.

I have spent many hours of my life making music and entertaining others. It did not matter to me what instrument I was playing or what style of music that I was a part of performing; it did not matter if I was performing solo or as part of a group. All the mattered is that the music sounded good to me, and hopefully good to whomever was listening. Lots of hours were spent practicing the drums, or the bass or the guitar. Lots of time was spent behind a keyboard of a synthesizer or a computer to make the music sound just right. Even if I liked it, sometimes other people did not like it. Sometimes I did not like it and other people did. Either way, it just did not happen. It took time. Time spent practicing, time experimenting and time chasing inspiration that is not always caught. Not every song or performance worked out. But when they did, in that moment, it felt like magic.   Good things take time.

Take the time to get good. People who have never heard of you may think it comes naturally to you. Some if it does. Some of it is a gift. Respect the gift enough to be thankful and practice. Experiment and have fun until you get good. Experiment and have fun until it comes naturally. Experiment and have fun until you make it look easy. Take the time to get good. Good things take time.

D.A.R.E. to be Great!

D.A.R.E. to be Great!

Be Great! I D.A.R.E. you! And of course because the D.A.R.E. is an acronym for what it takes to be great. Actually it is the first Triple Acronym. What is that? More on that, welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo where I D.A.R.E. you to be Great!

What is a Triple Acronym? It is an Acronym where each letter represents Three Words that can be used interchangeably. Not to be confused with a T.L.A. Ok, back to D.A.R.E. to be Great!

D stands for Desire, Dedication and Discipline.

To be Great you must Want to be Great! You must be Dedicated to the cause of getting good and better at what you do until you are considered the Best or One of the Best in your field. This will take practice, study or bottom line it will take Discipline. Greatness takes Discipline, Greatness takes Dedication and Greatness Takes Desire. D.A.R.E. to be Great; D stands for Desire, Dedication and Discipline.

A stands for Action, Attitude and Ability

Greatness takes Action, plain and simple. No one ever became great by doing nothing. You can be born it wealth, fame and royalty; but Greatness takes Action. You must possess the proper Attitude that you can and will be Great at what you do regardless of what others think. A Bad Attitude will not make you Great, a Good Attitude alone will not make you Great; but without a Good Attitude you can pretty much forget about being recognized by your peers as being Great at anything. You will more likely be labeled as “Good for nothing.” Now Greatness also takes Ability. Ability hand in hand with Desire, Dedication and Discipline will go a long way in creating Greatness. Ability, Attitude and Action are not enough though; but without them, give up your pursuit of Greatness.

R stands for Respect, Reflection and Righteousness.

When I speak of Respect I am talking about a two way street that starts with you Respecting others and respecting the chances you have been given. Many people would love the chance to be Great; without giving Respect you will not receive Respect. Without receiving Respect you will not be given a chance to shine. Greatness also takes Reflection. Are you on track or even on the right track? Do you need to make some tweaks along the way? If you want to go from Good to Better to Best, you will absolutely have to make some changes. Without Reflection you will have no clue what changes to make along the way. The surest and shortest path to Greatness is the Righteous path. Is what you are doing worth doing? Will it benefit others or only your own vanity? You could say the only path to Greatness is the Righteous path. Any other path may lead to the appearance of greatness. Greatness requires Respect, Reflection and Righteousness.

E stands for Expectations, Energy and Experience.

What do you call being Great? What do you intend to find when you arrive there? How will you know if you are Great without Expectations? How will others label you great if you fail to meet their Expectations? Walking around calling yourself Great will not get it done. Achieving Greatness means Exceeding the Expectations other have for you as well as the Expectations you have for yourself. Exceeding Expectations requires Energy. Do you think this is a One Horse Race? Do you have the Energy required to be Great at what you do? How will you know if you have no Experience? Have you tried; have you put yourself up against your competition? How will you know when you are ready? Do you at least have a coach who can benchmark your performance and get you ready for the pressure of the competition you are in to be recognized as Great? Again without Experience your chance for Greatness are Slim and None:

D.A.R.E. to be Great! A Triple Acronym. Go down the list in any order and it will work. They all work together!

D stands for Desire, Dedication and Discipline.

A stands for Action, Attitude and Ability

R stands for Respect, Reflection and Righteousness.

E stands for Expectations, Energy and Experience.

D.A.R.E. to be Great!

Desire, Action, Respect and Expectations

D.A.R.E. to be Great!

Dedication, Attitude, Reflection and Energy

D.A.R.E. to be Great!

Discipline, Ability, Righteousness and Experience

I could do this all day! D.A.R.E. to be Great!