You can keep things plan and simple.
Yes you can.
Just tell the truth.
Treat others better than they treat you.
Treat others better than you would want to be treated.
Do your best, tell the truth. Play hard, work hader.
Spend less than you make
Give more than you take.
Life get’s more complicated with every lie we tell.
Love God and others more than you love yourself.
Do the best you can for others, but do not let others take advantage or take you for granted.
You can keep things simple.
I starts with facing the simple truths.
Keep it Simple Simon
What should you do when your family does not support your dream?
Keep dreaming, keep going, keep learning and keep growing. Welcome to Impact 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I was just watching the Super Bowl and the whole world saw Eli Manning’s reaction to Big Brother Peyton Manning winning his Second Super Bowl in four tries. You have to wonder; why Eli who is surrounded by his happy family is so sad.
Don’t let your family or your friends kill your dreams. Keep dreaming, keep going, keep learning and keep growing. Family Rivalries are nothing new. Some of the top Movie Stars and Musicians have gone through it; so learn from it, your dreams are your dreams. Your family may not supportive or may not be happy for you. You may have to be happy for yourself. Your friends may try to hold you back, you may have to find new friends; this is all part of learning and growing.
I am not going to go on and on about the fact that you family and friends may not know who to support your dream, they may not be happy for you. They may be jealous of the fact that you have a dream that is different from theirs; or maybe they do not have a dream at all. Keep dreaming, keep going, keep learning and keep growing.
That scene in Fred Claus nails the whole issue. The only problem is that was a movie. You may not be so lucky to have a Siblings Anonymous Support Group near you.
What should you do when your family does not support your dream?
Keep dreaming, keep going, keep learning and keep growing.
“Success means options.” Chris Rock as Paraphrased by Oprah Winfrey
“Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.” Will Smith in After Earth.
Never let fear be your only option. I say this to you because I know fear, and I have to make a choice not to be afraid. I had to make a choice to explore options instead of being afraid. This is why I tell you, never let fear be your only option. Search your mind, find a quite place and learn to consider that you have options. Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, where I try to spread a message of hope.
Many times fear can be a motivator. This is not a good motivator, but it can be used as a motivator by those who crave power in all the wrong ways. I have heard it said “It is better to be fear than loved.” I am sorry, I do not think this way. So I will continue to blog and continue to sharpen my message until maybe I am being quoted one day. When fear is you only option, you will do things you do not like to do, or even want to do to get what you think you need. Never let fear be your only option.
Let me explain in the simplest way that I can. Why do people work jobs they do not like and work around people they do not like? Out of fear of losing their job, people put up with this out of fear they may lose their main source of income and not be able to replace that income. Luckily I have been that person who believes you can always find another job. I do my best to work around people I like doing something that I believe I can do well. That does not mean that I have never feared losing my job, it means I do not like being in a situation where fear is my only option. I am not going to give you some fancy acronym for fear, it has been done before; I am going to challenge you to find a quite place and explore all your options.
Now do not let me down play the fact that danger is real. There are certain places on this earth that are very dangerous. There are certain people on this earth who will put you in danger as a form of control over you. I am not saying I can stop this from happening, I am very much saying that I realize this is a fact. I also realize that you must, must, must not limit yourself by believing that fear is your only option. You must find enough peace of mind to explore all your options. Never let fear be your only option. Peace, Hope, Courage, Love, Wisdom are all strong places where you can find more choices. Fear will do it’s best to crowd these concepts out of your mind. Don’t let it. Keep your mind engaged, and never let fear be your only option.
Now let me take you back to my example. If you are worth what you are being paid, than you can find another job that can pay you as much or more than you are making now; but it is up to you to find that job. The job will not find you; very rarely will a new job just fall out of the sky. You must put forth effort to find your next move; you must explore your options. Are you willing to help others? Are you willing to learn from and teach others? Are you willing to take on more responsibility? If you are than you have options, you only need to find them. Never let fear be your only option, always have faith. Find a quite place where you can train you mind to increase your knowledge and wisdom. Find a way to walk in love of others. Yes; I realize Danger can be very real, but fear is a choice.
So here we are, another 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo post. I try to post what I am thinking. I am trying to post the best advice that I hear. Then I try to make sure I am living that advice. Maybe this blog is more for me than for anyone else. I don’t know. So today, I tackle a topic that is so basic and so simple it should be easy. But simple is not always easy, sometimes the simple things can be the hardest things to accomplish. So today I say that people should simply communicate what they expect.
So we take to very simple topics, communication and expectations. All of us have expectations. All of us think in some way how we would like things to happen. All of us have opinions on how things should play out. All of us have things we hope will happen. We all have expectations. C.Y.E. – Communicate your expectations.
Now just because we have expectations does not mean we let people know what we are thinking. A lot of times we keep what we want to happen to ourselves. A lot of times we do not communicate with each other all that well. We say one thing and mean another; or we say one thing and we do another. Sometimes we do not communicate at all and other times we do not communicate all that well.
So let me say it again. We need to learn how to communicate our expectations. This is so basic and so simple and yet so hard to accomplish. Say what you mean, mean what you say, say what you are going to do and do it, say what you expect and make sure you are being understood. This is the real art to communicating your expectations. Make sure that people fully understand what you are saying. The easiest way to make sure you are being understood is to keep things simple. Keep things as basic as possible when you are explaining what you expect. Keep it simple. C.Y.E. – Communicate your expectations.
The next way to communicate your expectation is to put things in writing. Write down what you expect, they read what you have written back to yourself. Read your own writing. Also, it is good to wait a day or two and read it again. It is easy to think you know what you have written soon after you have it written it, but does it stand the test of time? Also, it is good to have someone else read what you have written; then have them read it back to you. Ask them what they think. Do you both come to the same conclusions? This is a way to find out if what you are communicating and what you think you are communicating are the similar, exactly the same or not even close to each other.
Listen, be careful taking advice from people who are not really paying attention and do not really care about what you are trying to communicate. Also, be careful taking advice from people who are just trying to butter you up or be overly nice to you. Some people will try to get on your good side, because they want to take advantage of you. If people are paying attention and not trying to butter you up, they may have some basic questions or basic suggestions. Take them with a grain of salt. If people are paying attention to you, you should pay attention to them. You see communication and expectations are a two-way street. Respect your part in that process. C.Y.E. – Communicate your expectations.
So again, the best way to communicate your expectations are to keep them simple, put them in writing, read your own writing, then have someone read it back to you to make sure your point is getting across. Don’t be afraid to have someone read them back to you. Respect that part of the process. Respect that communication is a two-way street and that expectations are a two-way street also. To effectively communicate your expectations you must respect both sides of the process.
C.Y.E. – Communicate your expectations.
Do you have a nice simple dream? Do you have a simple little project you want to undertake? Do you have that thing you have always wanted to get done? The best way to get started is to get started, but do not confuse simple with easy. Simple does not mean easy. A simple idea does not mean you get a free pass to snap your fingers and wait for magic to happen. Simple means simple; but if living your dream was easy everyone would do it.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not telling you to make this complicated just to make this complicated. Anything worth doing is worth doing well and to the best of your ability. You can keep your ideas simple, but do not mistake that with meaning they will be easy to attain. Most of the time you still need to be able to build on your dreams, you need to build on your goals and you need to build on your talents. You may have to get around people who have done the things you want to do and reached the goals you want to reach. Don’t be afraid to ask for help even though you may have a simple idea.
You see simple and easy are not the same thing. Surfing the Internet is easy. Creating the internet was very complicated. Also the first versions of the internet and web service and computer hardware and web browsers were complicated. It took a long time for the internet to become as simple as going to any coffee-house and logging into the “Facebook” or checking “Twitter.” Simple does not mean easy. The first mistake people make in thinking simple means easy is not respecting all the work it takes to make things look easy.
Exercising and lifting weights is simple. Becoming a champion athlete is hard. Playing guitar is simple, but learning to play a guitar well is hard. Basic Electronics are simple. Coming up with a new invention is hard. Simple means simple, but to get good at something it still takes practice and patience and persistence. It will get easier over time, but it does not mean it will be easy all the time.
Lots of times the people who make things look easy have practiced and planned and rehearsed until it seemed easy to the untrained eye. Case in point, the most basic simple idea is getting people to work together. Now, is that easy? Have you tried? Getting people to work together can be very rewarding, but it is not always an easy thing to do. Again, have you tried it? People sometimes have a tendency to make things harder than necessary. Sometime people complicate things for any number of reasons. Sometimes people make things complicated just to prove themselves right.
One of the basic ways to keep things simple is to just keep things simple. Do not make things more complicated than they need to become. Find one thing that people can agree on and give it a try. Keep it simple. Keep it basic. Staying on track and reaching your goals is hard enough. Why make things harder than needed? Just remember, simple does not guarantee things will be easy.
What is my point? Don’t think that because your idea may be simple that it will be easy. Also don’t make things complicated, just keep things simple. Give your ideas and dreams the respect they deserve and if they are worth it, they are worth working towards. If your ideas, goals and dreams are worth doing, it is worth it to keep learning and practicing and getting better to reach your goals. Keep them simple, but do not assume they will be easy.
Want to know a super secret way to be successful? How about a not so secrete way? How about a way that is so obvious it seems too simple to be true? Ok, here it is… if you want to be successful; share. Share your way to success.
Step One! Don’t not jump in and throw your money at anything, keep it in your pocket until you get to the end. Share your way to success, but do not share your wealth just yet. Please read all the way through this, take this one step at a time. Step One. Keep your money in your pocket.
Ok, this is supposed to be share your way to success, and the first thing I tell you to do is keep your money in your pocket. So what do you share? That leads us to Step Two, Share your dreams. It is ok to tell people your dreams, but keep your money in your pocket. Why do I tell you this, because I do not want you to get taken advantage of, I want you to learn who has similar dreams to your dream. Do not fall victim to a scam by declaring your dream and then parting with your money. Just declare and share your dream. Now some people may laugh at you, some people may ignore you and some people may praise you; the real question is who will help you? Who will give you sound advice? Who will practice with you? Who will introduce you to people who can help you? Step One: keep your money in your pocket. Step Two: share your dream and find out who will actually help you get in touch with people who can really help you.
Step Three: Once you know who you can trust with your dreams, Share your ideas. Again, keep your money in your pocket. Know if people will not help you with the very basics, getting you in touch with people who can help you chase your dream, they do not need to know your ideas. Do not be afraid of stating you dreams to everyone, but only tell your ideas to people you can trust. How do you know if you can trust someone? Deep down inside there is a little voice that tells you when things seem right and things seem wrong. This little voice should also tell you when you are trying to force things and when things seem too good to be true. Trust takes time, do not rush into trusting people with your ideas; make sure they are who they say they are before you trust them. If people say they will help you and they follow through, trust them with a little more information; but again keep your money in your pocket!
Now, as you learn more and more about the people who are helping you chase your dream, you will notice they have a similar dream or will fit into your dream based on some kind of common ground. It is OK for people who trust each other and have similar dreams to work together. It is not ok to be taken advantage of by scam artists. So, again keep your money in your pocket and follow up on your plans. Now you will notice there are three kinds of people in the world, givers, takers and give & takers. Life is give and take. Success is give and take. Do not surround your self with givers or takers. Givers can be victims; takers are just that they take. People who understand give & take understand how important it is to work together. Share your ideas with people who will work with you, not just take from you or play the victim. Share your ideas with people who will work with you and once again, keep your money in your pocket.
Step One: Keep your money in your pocket. Step Two: Share your Dreams and find out who you can trust, but keep your money in your pocket. Step Three: Share your ideas with people you can trust, but remember to keep your money in your pocket. Step Four: Share your time and learn to work together without throwing a bunch of money at your idea. Now do you see why I continued to say keep your money in your pocket? Find people who will work together before money is on the line. Listen money changes everything, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Learn to work together and work out your ideas before the money starts going out or coming in. Work out all the details before people start putting money on the table. Learn who you can trust and learn who you can work with as a team!
Step Five: Agree on how to divide up the money before you put any money in and before you start making any money. Again, money changes everything, so it is better to have a detailed plan on what to do about and with the money before it starts flowing in and out of your pocket. No one wants to invest in a scam. No one likes getting taken advantage of be a scam artist. Take your time. Share your dreams, your ideas and you time with your team and find out who you can trust. Work out the details on how the money is going to work. Make sure there is balance when the money begins to flow. Are you equal partners? Do everything you can to make things fair and equal for everyone. Surround yourself with people who think and act the same.
Step Six: Share the wealth. When you start making money; share it with those people who have helped you along the way. Listen, no one get’s there alone, and no one gets anywhere by taking advantage of people. So set a great example for others to follow. Once you have a strong team around you and you start reaching your goals, share the wealth. Don’t throw you money in too early, but don’t be stingy when things start to work. Be the person who everyone wants to do business with and people will work hard for you.
Share you way to success. Remember you can not and should not throw your money in early. Share your Dreams and find out who will help you and who you can trust. Share your ideas with people who actually help you. Remember keep your money in you pocket and listen to that inner voice. Do not chase wild ideas or things that seem too good to be true. Get the facts. Share your time and learn to work together as a team before you take any money out of your pocket. You will thank me one day. Work out the details of how to split up the money before the money flows in or out. When the money starts to flow, share the wealth with those who have earned it. It is great to set something aside for charity and random acts of kindness, but you are trying to build something. Work out the money details and then share with those who are putting in the time and effort.
I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day. Todd Rundgren
This is my continuing story of being a drummer, and trying to be a leader even though it does not always seem like a drummer would be a leader. Or how I am a drummer and how I can serve and follow and how that impacts leadership.
I play the drums in a Praise Band. No I am not a lead singer or even a lead instrument. I am a guy who has been in and out of a lot of bands playing various instruments and various styles of music. I have been playing the drums lately and it is a lot of fun. I actually don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
Are we the best musicians? No, but we are having fun, and we are serving others. A lot of the music we play have more parts or instruments than we have people in our band. We have a keyboard player who sings, a guitar player, a bass player and I am on the drums. Some of the songs we play have multiple guitar and keyboard parts. We have to scale things down because we do not have enough people to cover all the parts.
I have one message when we play. I tell everyone to play with confidence. You do not have to try to cover a lot of parts, but you must be confident in the parts you are playing. I listen to some of the songs we play and the drummers are full-time musicians who are playing at a very high level of musicianship. I am a Bass Player who is playing the drums part-time, a couple of times a week if I am lucky. I may only get to play a couple of times a month if my day job gets in the way. I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
I can not play at the level of the drummers who are on the recordings we are copying, but I can play based on my own experience. My experience tells me to keep it simple, play with confidence and have fun. When a musician is having fun, people can tell. It rubs off on the audience. When a musician is playing with confidence, people can tell. You can see it and hear it in the performance. When a musician is playing with confidence the audience can feel it in the performance. The best way to be confident and have fun is to stick to the basics.
I often find myself playing basic drum beats. I keep basic patterns but I switch the combinations of what drums and cymbals I am using. I keep this simple, but I play with power. I call it my Big Lazy Rock Drummer imitation. Sometimes when I play I miss a beat or miss hitting a cymbal. I make a mistake, but it makes me laugh. It makes me laugh because I am having fun. I do not have to be drinking or taking anything to have fun. I am having fun because I am making music and I can tell other people can feel the performance. It makes me laugh because I wonder what it is like to be on a big stage playing for a big crowd. I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day
In my own mind I am one of the Top Ten Bass Players in the world. In my own mind I am the greatest Non-Famous Bass Player you have never heard about in a magazine or have never seen on television. I am not the world’s greatest drummer. I am a bass player playing drums who is having fun. I am having fun and playing with confidence and it rubs off on the people around me. I miss playing the bass guitar, and people tell me they miss me when I am not able to pay the drums. They miss the feeling that a simple, confident and fun performance brings to the table. A good drummer keeps a good foundation not matter how simple or complicated the parts they are playing. A good leader can stick to the basics and keep things simple and make sure everyone is confident in their part.
The best leaders in my mind are servant leaders. The best leaders prepare others to take the lead. The best leaders can follow others. The best leaders provide a solid foundation and know how to keep things simple and fun. This is my approach to playing the drums. I want to be a better leader. I want to be a better musician. I know there are more and better drummers out there. I hope I can help teach others and I hope other drummers will come forward so I can switch to guitar or bass or keyboards and help add more parts to our music. I hope more drummers will come forward so nothing is missing if I can not be there one week because of work. Until then, I don’t want to work; I want to bang on the drum all day!
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo, where I find Leadership in the strangest places. So you may be wondering how Dodge ball teaches leadership; that is my task for today. To convince you that Leadership is like Dodge ball: You can throw it, catch it or dodge it.
So I assume you know the movie, but if not here is a link Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story: So I am not trying to be a disciple of the Vince Vaughn Leadership School. No my Dodge ball observation goes a lot deeper. So you have to read the Dodge Ball Rules:
So in Dodge ball, you have to be good at Throwing, Catching and Dodging, just like in Life and just like in Leadership you have to know when to throw, when to catch and when to dodge. Now most of the time, Leadership is not about dodging, it is about catching. So ok, here we go. Life will throw lots of things at you. Can you throw it back? Can you roll with the punches? Now before you can throw, you have to catch, you have to track down what life is throwing at you and throw it back. Now I am not talking about how much junk life throws at you. I am talking about adding value to the things life throws at you. Work, School, Hobbies all the balancing acts in life. Can you catch everything that life is throwing at you and can you give back your best?
There is only so much you can catch. Now if you have to dodge, don’t dodge the important things. Your values and your family have to come first. Then you work, work is important to pay the bills. Leaders can not afford to dodge the important things. You have to catch the important things and throw them back at life. Keep rolling with the punches. Now the things that are not important, the things that do not add in value to your life or your work, dodge those. Know when to not try to catch everything.
When I was growing up we played Dodge ball on Basket ball courts, we used a different set of rules: “A variation if the dodge ball game is played on a basketball court is that if a player throws the ball and it goes into the opposing basket, the whole team gets resurrected.” That was the game I got used to playing. I was the player who could throw ok, I could catch ok, I was really good a dodging, but I could hit that half-court shot. I was the guy how tried to get my whole team back in the game. That is the kind of leader I want to be. I want to be the Leader who helps get his whole team into the game.
Now some people on your team are going to be great throwers, some will be great catchers, and some will be great dodgers and some will hit that half-court shot. Know how to get the most out of your team and out of your life. Know what is important to catch and what to dodge. Know how to get the most out of every throw. Learn how to keep your team fully engaged and in the game. Hit that half-court shot and improve your odds dramatically. Leadership is like Dodge ball: You can throw it, catch it or dodge it!
Sometimes you can see it coming. Sometimes you can just tell which way things will go. Sometimes if you are lucky, and you play your cards right; you get to help steer the boat.
One of these days I am going to write a book and call it “Leadership Jazz.” Until then I am going to keep blogging about my adventures in my weekend ensemble. I have been playing the drums as of late in an inspirational outfit. But this weekend, I got to switch to my main instrument, the Bass Guitar. Now I am not going to spend a lot of time name dropping top flight Bass Players, this is not what this blog post is about. It is more about the fact that I was playing the drums because the drums was needed most, and how we evolved as a group to the point where I was able to switch back to the Bass.
Ok, our group started with a Singer / Keyboard Player, who added a Guitar Player. I was asked to play the Drums and we also added a Second Guitar Player. To fill out the sound the Second Guitar Player would switch between Bass or Drums if I was out-of-town and could not play.
As the group grew in size, I would help out where ever I saw need. I always tried to have extra cables and connectors and help trying to figure out how to plug everything into the main sound system. Being a Leader is about looking a little ways down the road and making sure you are prepared for the next obstacle. I was not worried about the spotlight, but making sure everything we played sounded right.
We always kept things loose, practicing on Saturdays and performing on Sundays. Things would sometimes sound a little rough around the edges on Saturday, but something magical seemed to come over us on Sundays. I guess you just need faith. After practice I would grab the Bass and play for a few minutes jamming with whom ever hung around, or just running through some warm-up scales before we shut everything down.
This weekend, the Keyboard Player lined up a Drummer and freed me up to play the Bass. Now the first thing that went through my head was how to make sure the lineup would work with the main sound system. So I put together a little travel bag of extras. I had an extra pair of drum sticks. I also had two extra guitar cables, and two extra microphone cables, a couple of converter boxes and two extra nine volt batteries. You know I really did not notice I had everything in pairs until I typed this out.
So I was very excited to be back on the Bass Guitar. People had been telling me they liked the way I play the drums. I just try to keep is basic and let it flow when I am on the Drums. Most of all, I just try to have fun and let the spirit take me. But I have something to prove on Bass. So as much as I want to do things for the good of the group; I have to admit, I was looking forward to being a little selfish.
When we got everything ready; and checked all the cables and instrument levels, everything sounded full and rich. I was pretty jazzed, I had to keep stopping myself and make sure I was on track with everyone else the first time we ran through the songs. I had to stop myself and reminded myself; don’t go over board, keep it simple. I have to admit, I got lost a few times.
We ran through the songs again, adding more singers to the mix. Everyone seemed to enjoy the second time through, mistakes and all. I was having fun, but I had to keep reminding myself to remember the basics, keep it simple. I was having fun and it seemed like it was rubbing off on everyone else. The singer / keyboard player was the first to notice the two guitar players and I were locked in to the rhythm of the drums and bouncing along.
I began to notice how the first guitar player was the most locked in to the keyboard player and was singing along. He was carrying the rest of us through the changes. I also noticed the Second Guitar Player, who had been playing Bass was more confident on Guitar when we had more people in place. I also noticed the subtle difference it makes to have someone who plays drums full-time instead of part-time. I also noticed that I had to keep myself in the moment, play through any mistakes I was making and just get back to the basics. Keep it simple, not flashy.
When we were done, people seemed very happy about the sound. Everyone, the singers, the keyboard player, the guitar players, the drummer and I were all pretty about how we sounded. I did not get as many compliments about how I played the Bass versus the Drums. It seemed like I was making more impact when I played the drums. Maybe this is a lesson in humility. I know I am a better Bass Player than Drummer, but no one really noticed. It is a lesson I will gladly accept to keep learning and moving forward. This was a bigger mix of music and I was happy to be on that Bass Guitar for a weekend.
One day, I want to perform more with my wife, and have a studio and make our own music and lead our own group. This is just another step in my evolution as a musician. To be flexible and do what is needed to keep things moving forward. I want to learn to be a leader regardless of who is in the spotlight.
The lesson I learned by switching back to the Bass is to stick to the basics. Keep things simple.
My mom used to tell me this whenever we would talk about life in general. Just keep living. Why not, it sounds like a good idea. When ever you can’t figure things out, when ever you stop and think about how life is not fair; just keep living.
It is simple advice. When you think you have seen it all; just keep living. When you think you know it all; just keep living. When you feel like you have nothing left to lose, or nothing left to give; just keep living. It is the most simple and straight forward advice I know.
I am happy to be alive, because it gives me another chance to chase my dreams. I am happy to be alive, because it gives me another day to learn something new. I am happy to be alive because I choose to be happy. I choose to just keep living. No matter what life throws at me, I figure; another day is a good day. Just keep living.
Yes everyday you grow older, let’s hope you grow wiser. Just keep living. Hold on to your dreams and chase them a little bit every day. Just keep living. Giving up is easy, but why not try again tomorrow? Just keep living. Hold you head up high if you did your best.
Just keep living. It really is the most simple and most honest advice you can give someone. Speak life instead of death. Just keep living. Spread hope instead of hate. Just keep living. Help others instead of holding them down. Just keep living.
I have given up trying to figure people out. When I think I have seen it all, I have not seen anything yet. Just keep living. I try to give universal advice to everyone. Some will take it, and some will not. Just keep living. When things don’t seem to make sense, you might be right around the corner from a break through. Just keep living.