Tag Archives: SIMPLE

The Super Simple Super Treadmill Workout.

The Super Simple Super Treadmill Workout.

Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo.  Spring is right around the corner.  So to celebrate I am going to let you in on a Super Simple – Super Treadmill Workout.

Can you walk on a treadmill?  Do not do this if you are clumsy or do not have good balance.

Can you lift basic weights, 1 pound, 2 pounds or 5 pounds?

OK, this is simple.  Grab some small weights, 1 or 2 pounds.  No more than 5 pounds.  Trust me.

Now, up on the treadmill.  Set the treadmill to a slow pace.  Trust me.

No, while walking on the treadmill, give yourself room, do not get right up on the controls.

While walking on the treadmill, do basic curls and overhead lifts with the small weights.

Do sets of 20, 30, 50 alternating arms and lifts.  Curls, then overhead lifts, and then curls into overhead lifts.

Remember, keep your balance and work at a nice comfortable pace.

You do not need heavy weights or a quick pace to be working up a sweat in 10 minutes.

You will know when you are done if you give it an honest effort.

Remember, easy pace and lightweights.  Trust me.

Happiness is so easy that it’s hard. It is so simple that we take it for granted.

Happiness is so easy that it’s hard. It is so simple that we take it for granted.

Happiness is easy and it is simple. Do you want to be happy?  Really, do you.  It is so easy we make it hard.  It is so simple that we take it for granted.

Do you really want to be happy? Follow this simple steps and you will be happy!  Or you can over think it, debate it, say it does not work and not be happy.  That is your choice.

Step One: Every morning you wake up, say thank you that I am alive.  You can say it to God:  If you want more read Appendix One:  Or you can say it to the wall, or into the mirror, or to the first person you meet.

Step Two: Smile when you get ready to face the day!

Step Three: Find one good thought to hold on to throughout the day.  Don’t let anyone take it from you.

Step Four: Pay it forward a little every day.  Just because you can’t help everyone and solve every problem does not mean you cannot do one little thing a day.  Pay forward spare change, or good news

Step Five: Resist Gossip, Bad News, Anger and Hate.  Now this one is hard read Appendix Two if you need more:

Step Six: Realize, the more “Happy” you are, the more of a target you will become to those who are not happy.  Will you let them knock you down and rob you of your Happiness?

Appendix One: Every morning you wake up, say thank you that I am alive.  You can say it to God:  (Whichever one you worship because in the end we will learn that it all goes to the same place, it was just that people wrapped faith up in politics and traditions, but God is God so just be thankful to God)

Appendix Two: Gossip, Bad News, Anger and Hate are all around you.  Learn to tune it out.  You can be aware of your surroundings without agreeing and spreading gossip, bad news, anger and hate.  Try spreading Good News, Love and Understanding.  Do you want to be Happy?  Happiness is a choice.  You cannot be Happy and continue to choose the most negative energy to spread.

Happiness is so easy that it’s hard. It is so simple that we take it for granted.  Do you really want to be happy?  Follow these six simple steps!

Step One:  Be Thankful for everyday!

Step Two: Smile

Step Three: Find one good thought to hold on to throughout the day

Step Four: Pay it forward a little every day.

Step Five: Resist Gossip, Bad News, Anger and Hate

Step Six: Realize, the more “Happy” you are, the more of a target you will become!

Can you do this, really; can you.

Try it for a week or two. Then try it for a month.  Then a year!  Then why not try it forever?

Happiness is so easy that it’s hard. It is so simple that we take it for granted.

Keep it Simple Simon

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


C.Y.E. – Communicate your expectations.

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.

Simple does not mean easy.

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.

60 Second Super Simple Guide to Fitness:

Ok I got 60 Seconds to convince you that you can be in the best shape of your life in no time.  Really I am convincing myself and sharing my thoughts with you.  I have noticed some people around me who have lost weight, or are in great shape; so I just ask them.  What works for you?  I then take what works for them and I apply it to what works for me.  So I have a goal to be in the best shape of my life by the Holidays, and then stay in that shape for the rest of my life.  Here is my 60 Second Super Simple Guide to Fitness.

1:  Drink lots of water; the more the better.

2:  Take a vitamin everyday.  Make it a habit, right after breakfast or lunch.

3:  Eat Fruits and Vegetables first.

4:  Eat light at night

5:  One Set of Pushups everyday or every other day, as many as you can.

6:  Walk more, run more, swim more, roller blade or roller skate more or bike more.

7:  Break a sweat everyday.

8:  Make your MP3 Player your work out partner

9: Less Weight, More Reps

10:  Stop making excuses

Now notice I did not tell you to stop doing anything until I hit item Number Ten. That is it, plain and simple.  My 60 Second Super Simple Guide to Fitness, just start at Number One and work your way to Number Ten.  Take it one step at a time until it comes naturally.

Now I can go more in-depth into each of the step, but really what is the point?  You can Search out each of these items for yourself.  I know there are thousands of workout tips out there.  So these are mine.  I just kept it really simple.  You have to make up your own mid if you will give them a try or ignore them.

This is what I am going to do.  This is what seems to work for me and a lot of people I asked the simple questions like “How did you lose weight?” or “How do you stay in shape?”  This is my 60 Second Super Simple Guide to Fitness.  Maybe one day I will write a book, for now it is a free blog post.

I want to bang on the drum all day.

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!

Back to the basics:

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.

Just keep living.

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.

Finding Balance, the Little Drummer Boy Part Two:

For the second weekend in a row, I was able to play the drum with a group of musicians.  We were learning new songs and had one day to get it them down.  Finding the right balance was vital to our success.  I am learning to be a leader by being a good follower and servant.

Let’s review my journey as a drummer.  I have never owned a real set of drums.  I did have a toy set when I was a kid.  I have owned various other musical instruments, mainly the Bass Guitar, Six String Guitar and Various Keyboards.  I play the drums because I like the drums and I will play what is needed most to keep things moving forward.  I have been asked to play the drums because a drummer is what is needed most.  So I am taking what I have learned from other drummers and try to apply it to this situation.

Normally, our singer / keyboard player is used to leading a vocal group to pre-recorded music tracks.  Now we are trying to build a band to take the place of the pre-recorded music.  This weekend, we had to learn three new songs in one practice session as a band, and then we got one practice session with the vocal group.  Everything came down to finding balance.  As a drummer I did not want to play to loud.  I did not want to play too fast.  Lastly I did not want to play too complicated and lose the beat.

So first and foremost, I did not want to be too loud, because then I could not hear the two guitar players, the keyboard player or the singing. I would have just been a drummer bashing away.  As a leader, it is very important that we listen to the people around us, and make sure we are all in harmony.  Now the flip side of this is playing too soft.  As a drummer, if I play to soft then there is no definite beat to follow.  As a leader; if the leader is to quite, than you may not be making steady progress.  Both a Leader and a Drummer have to know when to be loud and when to be quiet so that everyone follows a nice steady pace.

Secondly, I had to keep myself from playing too fast.  Sometimes the singers would kind of hold notes and let them linger through changes in the song.  This would change the feel of the song, which would of course change the pace or rhythm of the song.  If I played too fast, I would lose the singers through the changes.  The easy solution was to slow down a little and make sure we are all staying together.  As a leader, it is important to keep everyone moving together. Projects, Programs, Clubs and Companies have to learn to work as a team.  Win together or you will lose together, so it is important to keep everyone moving together.  A leader can not run ahead of the pack so fast that they lose the pack.  Again, the flip side of this is moving too slow.  You have to keep a steady pace.  You have to maintain a level of energy that everyone can follow.  The same is true of being a drummer; if you play too slow, the song will lose energy.  Again it was important to find that balance.

Third was not playing too complicated.  As a group we were listening to the recorded versions of the songs and there was a lot going on.  There was more music than we had players to cover all the parts.  We had to keep things simple.  We had to pick out what parts of the songs were the most important and make sure we covered those points first.  We had to keep things simple and yet put first things first.  If we got too complicated then we would get lost as a group.  I feel leaders need to learn this lesson.  Do not get to complicated, but still put first things first.  As a drummer; I told the group, it is better to play less and stay steady than to try to do too much.  As a drummer and as a leader in the group, I had to listen to my own advice.  I took some very complicated drum parts and kept them very basic.  Keep it simple and stay on target.  As a leader, we should do the same things.  Figure out what are the most important and vitals things and do them first.  Do not get too complicated.  Now the balance is if you are overly simple, everything sounds the same.  You have to be able to switch things up and not get boring without being so complicated that everyone gets lost.  Balance, balance, balance; a Leader and a Drummer have to maintain balance.

Even though it was not obvious to the people in the crowd when we were performing, I was able to play a leadership role in keeping our newly found band on pace.  It is a great feeling to be a to be a leader and a follower and a servant all at the same time.  I hope this thread helps you find balance.  Not too loud and not too quite; a leader has to be heard without drowning out everyone else.  Not too fast and not too slow; a leader has to set a steady pace, and make sure everyone stays together.  Not too complicated and not too simple; a Leader has to put first things first, and know how to change things up to avoid being boring.  A Drummer is like a Leader when it comes time to find that balance.