Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Don't Quit!

I can't remember how many times I've started and stopped my fitness regimens. At times I start to feel frustrated and even disappointed in myself for not sticking with the changes I've made.

Why can others make these changes a permanent lifestyle while I continue to fall back into old habbits?

Why do I get to a point where real change is beginning to manifest itself only to "reward" myself and ultimately fall off the wagon?

I DON'T KNOW...but I do know this: I keep getting back on the wagon and trying.

I take solice in this. I look at others my age and younger; and see that they have let go, given up the good fight. If I quit, I'm sure I'd be well over 300 lbs and in far worse physical health. I KNOW I would be much less happy, and I know my wife wouldn't be happy about it.

So, here we go again...picking myself up and getting back on the wagon. I have begun a 3 day fruit flush to purge my system, then I'm getting back on the zone diet. I have started back at Crossfit Forever Strong with my trainer, Jason. I am focussing again on my goals and dreams and not giving up!

"Achievement seems to be connected with action. Successful men and women keep moving.They make mistakes, but they don't quit." - Conrad Hilton

I will let the soreness of my muscles remind me of my goals and dreams.

"Don't give up, don't ever give up." - Jim Valvano

Thursday, June 4, 2009

STRETCH---Yawn, am I coming to life?

I don't have much to say yet...but I feel myself coming to life.
My voice had been silenced by stress and fear, making days feel like night.
I can't take solace in knowing I'm not alone in the days that feel like night.
Missery loves company is a phrase I won't condone, so I knuckle down and fight.

I will get back to writing regularly soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Self Talk...It's Not Just for Crazy People!

The greatest problem solvers in the world preach the philosophy of "Self Talk." This is more than just having a positive mental attitude; this is what you actually say to yourself day in and day out. What a man can conceive and believe he can achieve. This is a form of self talk. The following are a few words of self-talk for how to deal with the problem of "Solving Problems."

"I'm good at solving problems. I like challenges and I meet them head on."

"Problems are my teachers. They help me to learn and grow. Without them, I would be going nowhere. With them, I am moving forward in the direction of my own goals."

"There is no problem which I cannot conquer. I am strong in mind, body, and spirit. My will, my strength, and my determination are always greater than any problem I face."

"When I meet a new problem, I do not see the problem as my enemy. I know that finding the solution to the problem will move me forward in my own personal growth."

"Because I know that problems are a key ingredient in my spiritual and mental education and preparation, I recognize that all problems are important to me."

"I do not fear problems, I solve them. I do not ignore problems, I confront them. I do not avoid problems, I conquer them!"

"I know that every problem holds within itself the keys to its own solution. Therefore, the better I understand the problem, the clearer I am able to see its solution."

"Having problems is not a problem for me. I am confident, self-assured, positive and determined. I always know that I am going to overcome any problems I encounter-and I always do."

"I am good at breaking large obstacles down into smaller pieces that are easier to handle. And I never make any problem appear to be larger than it actually is."

"I never worry. I turn "worry time" into positive, constructive, "solution time." I keep my mind alert and open to all solutions and solutions come quickly and easily to me."

"I have learned to recognize that many problems carry with them benefits and potential opportunities which would not have presented themselves had the problem not occurred in the first place."

"I do not seek to live a life which is free from all problems. Instead, I choose to live a life of finding solutions and enjoying the benefits which those solutions create."

"Challenge, conquer, solution, and win are words which I live by daily. "Challenges" are Opportunities. "Conquering them" is the inevitable outcome. "Solutions" are the stepping stones to my success, and "Winning" is my way of life."

I hope that something in these sayings will help you as you navigate the uncertain paths ahead. I know that problems are temporary and depending on how vigilant we are in addressing them often dictates how long we have persistent problems or how quickly we learn from them and move on.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Aren't We All a Little Bit Martian?

I just finished watching the movie "Martian Child" with John Cusak. I watched this movie with my wife and kids on a Friday night. That's something I haven't done enough and plan on doing more. Anyway...about the movie.

So, if you haven't seen the movie, I am recommending it now. The little boy that acts in it does a very good job, even though his soft high voice can get annoying at times. John Cusak was outstanding, as always, and the pairing of his real life sister as his sister in the movie was inspired. Amanda Peete rounded out the ensemble and provided good balance to the cast.

The movie is about a brilliant orphaned boy who has developed a fantasy world to cope with his losses and abandonment issues. He believes, or rather acts, like he is from Mars. It takes a slightly eccentric Science Fiction writer, John Cusak, to adopt him and provide the child with understanding and love he needed to overcome the fantasy world and rejoin we humans in our reality. The idea was that deep down, we all have a little Martian in us...we're all just trying to cope in our own ways.

As I thought about that, I realized that I certainly have a little Martian in me. I do things in my life as a coping mechanism...I act like a Martian sometimes to deal with my own issues. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think everyone does this to some degree. You know what? That is OK!

I think that the Martian in each of us is what makes us unique. The little Martian is what makes life interesting. Can you imagine if everyone acted the same...how boring. It's the little things, the goofy things or the poignant things that we do that make us special and provide texture and color to our lives.

The next thought was that the next time I see my kids acting a little peculiar, or marching to their own drum, I'm going to recognize their little Martian and smile, because I know that deep down inside, we are all a little bit Martian.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blah, blah, blah!

Down in the dumps, depressed, in a funk, a malaise, the BLAHS! Call it what you want, it still means the same thing. At various times in our lives we feel out of sorts, a little out of step and that can be very frustrating or down right depressing.

I'm not a psychologist; I have no idea why these emotions come or how to make them go. I have my ideas about my own feelings and why I have them or don't, but I wouldn't try and figure that out for others. Now that we have my credentials straightened out, on with the blah, blah, blah.

I am normally a very UP person who can see positives when others see negatives. I am not unrealistic and wear rose colored glasses, but I like to take a more positive aproach to things. That attitude and general personality was assaulted throughout the year by the challenges we are all facing. I had a serious blow to my attitude when my largest sales win, Fender guitars, pulled the plug on a program we were awarded. This program was valued at $14,000,000 in 2010. (Big comissions) Back in November, on a Friday, we had a meeting and it was full steam ahead, and the following Monday it was, "This program has been killed due to the economy." Boom, our growth, gone. Boom, financial reward, gone. Boom, looming corporate layoffs because of lower than forecasted sales. It was a huge blow to many of us. I had worked on this deal for years and the company had invested tens of thousands into the project. This was money that we will never see a return on, and in this place in time, WE NEED THAT MONEY. These are VERY trying times. Daily I have customers asking for price concessions, orders diminishing, costs increasing and competition more hungry than ever. Between the daily stresses and the crushing blow of big losses, my attitude crumbled and I caught a serious case of the BLAH's!

Although I was not in a deep state of depression, I certainly was far from positive and up beat. I put on the happy face when I had too. I acted the part in front of clients and coworkers, but deep down I could have cared less what they did or what they said. I was becoming numb. I didn't have the drive to get up early and be on top of my day. I didn't care if I was ready for a conference call; because I thought they were all stupid and worthless anyway. I found myself being rude to people who didn't deserve it. I was snappy and short with my employees when they didn't do what I had asked, or did it wrong. I was REALLY BEING AN ASSHOLE!

Last week seemed to be a culmination of emotions for me. Between home and work everything formed to create a perfect storm. For a couple of days you could have cut the tension in the home with a knife. That does not happen in our home very often...almost never. I could only see frustration, irritation, disappointment and every other negative part of life. I was really digressing fast and didn't even realize it. It wasn't until I snapped at Sue at work that I realized I was the problem and my attitude needed a serious adjustment. I was embarrassed that I barked at her. I called her up at the end of the day and apologized for being rude and barking at her. I explained that I had let everything get the best of me and that I was not going to let that happen again. She forgave me and laughed. She thanked me for apologizing and told me that she understood. I immediately started to feel better. That simple act of making a negative situation right by apologizing started the break out of my malaise. I could feel the heaviness lifting and lightness coming in.

I got up early again, for the first time in a week, and went to the gym. I was there before Dixie that day. I ran fast and felt good. (Fast is a relative term here. For me that meant 1 mile in 8.24 minutes.) I ran two in my requisite 20 minutes then went to lift weights. Dixie and I pumped some iron for a bit before I had to go. Instead of feeling BLAH blah blah; I only felt blah. It was happening; little by little the funk was leaving and I was seeing the positives around me.

I am beginning to think that EVERY DAY is going to bring an assault on my cheery disposition. I saw that interest rates are now at 5% for 30 fixed. I decided it was time that I looked into refinancing my house. I was pretty sure I new my value as I've calculated it based on the percentage drops that they have reported. When I called the bank they told me that their value they showed in their computer was $80K less than what I was expecting. I was floored. I'm not upside down, but I am WAYYYYY off from the equity we had. I have to admit, I was sick to my stomach and could feel the blahs coming back. However, I had experienced enough positives to fight off the blahs, and get rid of the last blah and realize that we are STILL better off than many and for that we are richly blessed. We have jobs and a business that we will continue to develop. We WILL be the masters of our future.

It's amazing how my mind opens up to me when I live with a positive attitude. When I was in my malaise I could not think of anything creative. I had no ideas on how to grow my company or increase sales. I DIDN'T really CARE. But now, Jody and I find ourselves talking about our goals and our marketing ideas and how we're going to grow our company together. These are GOOD ideas and they are flowing. I'm enthused about the challenges ahead of us because they will help us appreciate the success that lies ahead too.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Next Generation

After a week of working and traveling the Pacific Northwest I was thrilled to get home last night. It was a little after 9pm that I finally got home and hugged my kids. Maya ran to me and jumped into my arms. She's just the right size to be able to wrap her legs and arms around me and rest her head on my shoulder. Conner yelled up to me from where he laid and expected me to lean down to welcome ME home with a hug. Both of those welcome home's were typical of each kid. The welcome that surprised me the most was Quinn's. He welcomed me by saying, "hey, remember to wake me up in the morning; I'm going to the gym with you." I was shocked.

I thought about Quinn's request to join me in the gym and couldn't help but smile. Sure, I was pleased at the thought that he ASSUMED I would be going to the gym in the morning, even after coming home from a week long trip, but that wasn't the most pleasing part. I was pleased to see Quinn take a little initiative and decide that HE wanted to get into the gym and do some work.

So, this morning, at 5:50am I woke Quinn up and both of us bleary eyed stumbled out to the truck to go work out. When we got there we saw Dixie running full tilt on the tread mill. (I had originally planned on swimming, but Quinn didn't want to do that.) So, we joined Dixie and ran beside her briefly. Our plan was to get a nice sweat going then lift weights. However, when I put the dumbbells in Quinn's hand, he grimaced and complained about his wrist still hurting. About a week ago he fell snowboarding and sprained his right wrist. With a sprained wrist you can't lift weights. So, we regrouped, and jumped on the stationary bikes. When it was all said and done we had a good work out. I had a pile of sweat below me, and Quinn looked like he was cool and calm. I saw him work out, and he was keeping a good pace, but he didn't sweat. Weird because he certainly stunk!

Anyway, I'm hoping that he'll stick with it and I'll have a new gym partner. It's fun watching him grow up and discover new things in life. Today it was the gym...tomorrow; who knows? I'm just glad that I get to be his Dad and be here to watch his world open up.

Monday, December 29, 2008

So Much to be Thankful for.

I know it's been a little while since I last wrote. I promise, I have not given up on my journey, although I may have gotten a little off track. With the Holidays and a VERY stressful last month of work that was very full of travel, I got lax with my blog. The other reason for the lack of writing was what those of us in the business call, "Writers Block." I couldn't think of anything that I wanted or had to say. (I know that is hard for anyone to believe, but yes, sometimes I just don't have anything to say.) I assure you, I will be back on top of my blog and continue forward on my odessy.

At this point I wanted to put more focus on the end of the year and the blessings I am thankful for. With so much turmoil throughout the world, this year was very difficult for many. I have definitely been affected, but after great reflection I know that the blessings in my life far outweigh the tough times.

I'm thankful for my family. They bring so much joy and frustration into my life. I know that it sounds weird to be thankful for the frustrations they bring, but I honestly am. It helps put things into perspective.

I'm thankful that I'm working, no matter how tiresome and difficult it can get. I have had the displeasure of laying people off this year and it hurt me each time. I can't help but have mixed emotions with regards to work...but at the end of the day, I'm working and able to take care of my family.

I'm thankful for a strong mind. I realize that to many I have a cracked mind, but I know that I have a good mind that is able to think and learn. I am so grateful for the ability and desire to read and learn, and then work to apply my learning's to my life.

I'm thankful for my wonderful wife. Yes, technically she is part of my family, but she warrants a paragraph all to her. Jody means the world to me and I would be so lost without her. She's not perfect, but she's not far off. I pinch myself at times when I sit and watch her do her thing. :)

I'm thankful for parents that LOVE me and continue to teach me. My Dad is great at subtle teaching. He has his way of constantly pelting you with e-mails, articles and the occasional discussion. Mom and Dad never butt in, but they are always there with wise council whenever asked.

I'm thankful for my physical health. Although I'm a far cry from the svelte figure I aspire too, I recognize that I am in relative good health. I walk and run and swim, which is more than many of our less fortunate brothers and sisters are able to do. It's so easy to take this for granted...but I'm trying really hard not too.

Lastly, I'm thankful for good friends. Life is a challenge and sometimes, even with family and coworkers, it can get lonely. It's nice to have others that think you are pretty neat and like to be around you. Knowing that others care and love you sure makes those tough times a little more bearable.

My list could be so much longer. I'm sure I could fill volumes with those things I'm thankful for. In misfortune we can find fortune. Through tough time, we can learn toughness. I am an optimist at heart and believe that the glass is half full, and the clouds have silver linings. It's not always easy to see them or remember the things we are thankful for...but they're there, and there is SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR.