Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Friday Five featuring "The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck"

Five things to take into your weekend....

1.  Quote I'm Mulling Over - “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.”  Mark Manson.

2.  Book I am reading - The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson - this is an in-your-face guide to living that has some really great insights.  It is entertaining too.  And, here is your warning, there are a few F bombs.

For decades we've been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F*ck positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let's be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn't sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is - a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let's-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.

Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited - "not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault". Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.

There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

3.  Song of the Week - Peace Sells by Megadeth.  Mark Manson discusses Dave Mustaine, the lead in Megadeth, in his book. Great video and a great song.

4.  Video of the Week - The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck animated book review. Here is Mark's book reviewed and illustrated in less than 4 minutes. There are lot of reviews out there but this is the best one. 

5.  Health & Fitness Tip of the Week - P90X is the best home workout I have ever used. It is a great way to get started. You don't need to go to a gym, or have the fancy workout clothes or even be in shape. Do your best and forget the rest. Follow P90X for the 90 day program and you will see the results you have been looking for. Click here to check it out.

Have a great weekend!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

OMG! I'm A Manager!!

You just got promoted. You worked hard to get here. But, now what do you do?

If you are new to the manager level there a few things you need think about. Once you become responsible for the results of other people, it's a whole new game.

When you move to the next level almost regardless of what you do, you need to change how you go about accomplishment. As a line person, you are focused on tasks. As a manager, you will be focused on your team.

Here are five things to help you succeed as you move to the next level.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The Friday Five featuring "Genghis Khan"

Five things to take into your weekend....

1.  Quote I'm Mulling Over - "Victory did not come to the one who played by the rules, it came to the one who made the rules and imposed them on his enemy." Jack Weatherford in Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

2.  Book I am reading - "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford. This is a long but very intriguing book. I had no idea how extensive this empire's dominance of the world was or how much it impacted what our world looks like today. The military tactics and strategies used by the Mongols rewrote the rules of war.  And, Genghis Khan imposed those rules on any army that stood in his way. But, even more interesting is the fact the Mongols introduced paper currency and public education way before the so-called civilized societies.

3.  Song of the Week - Best Epic War Music - if Genghis Khan had a soundtrack, it would sound like this.

4.  Video of the Week -  The Rise Of Genghis Khan - the book was 19 hours, you can get a pretty good idea of the story with this video of less than 45 minutes.

5.  Health & Fitness Tip of the Week - Organifi Green Juice. I just tried this recently.  Great tasting and full of the nutrients you need to wage your war.  Whatever it might be...

Have a great weekend!!

And, please share! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Is That A First World Complaint?

Is that a first world complaint?

I heard this question the other day and it stopped me.  What a great way to look at a problem or some other inconvenience.

Stuck in traffic? That's a First World Complaint.

Not enough time to go to your kid's sports activity and catch the new movie? That's a First World Complaint.

People who live in Third World Countries don't have these problems. They have Third World Country problems.

They deal with things like war, disease, famine. They are overpopulated and end up with food and water problems. They constantly struggle with starvation, drought, extreme thirst, hunger and malnutrition.

These countries are dirty too. One out of every five kids under the age of 5 dies from a water-related disease.

These poor kids deal with problems around child labor in mining and manufacturing. Many are forced into slavery which is a $32 billion dollar industry.

In Third World Countries only about 25% of people have any access to the internet. If I lose the Wifi in my house for 15 minutes, fixing it becomes the highest priority over anything else.

So, the next time your stuck in traffic, find your item out of stock at the grocery store or your coffee not made to your liking at the local coffee shop, ask yourself if that's a First World Problem.

You are lucky to have those problems and not the problems they have in Third World Countries. To understand how lucky you are to even live in this country read "Do You Know How Lucky You Are?"

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Do You Know How Lucky You Are?

"Do you know how lucky you are?"

He just sat there. His father stood over him. A look of disbelief on his face. The boy didn't know how to answer. He was stunned by the question. He searched his mind trying to figure out how they even got to this point.

"Do you even realize how fortunate you are?"

The boy had been complaining. He thought the dinner they'd just finished was "boring."

The kitchen table still uncleared had plates with the remnants of the meal. A baking pan had some chicken that would become the father's lunch the next day. There was some leftover rice and asparagus. The father, John, started clearing the table obviously upset with his son, Joey.

John didn't always have full meals when he was a boy.  He started out in very humble conditions. His mother did not always make the best choices for herself and her kids. The choices were immature and selfish at times. These choices often left John and his siblings in less than ideal situations.

Situations that innocent children should not be left in.

But, those days were behind John now. He worked hard and made a life for himself. He credits his success to hard work and being lucky. John always felt lucky.  Which was why he was so upset with his son, Joey.

Joey was complaining like a lot of people do when they focus on what they don't have instead of what they do have.

"Do you know how lucky you are to have been born in the United States and not somewhere else? Less than 5% of the people on this planet live here," John stated. 

John reached into his pocket and pulled out a worn leather wallet and held it out in front of himself showing it to Joey as he continued, "We are the most wealthy nation on earth.  People in the United States are in the top 6% of the world's population when it comes to money(1). We have more freedom and safety than any other country in the world! How lucky is that?"

"God put you here. You could have been born anywhere. You could have been born in a poor and brutal country in Africa. But, you are here and that is a blessing you should be thankful for everyday."

"It is an opportunity you should take advantage of everyday. There are people who risk their lives to get into this country to get that opportunity."

Joey sat up a little bit. It was hard for him to relate to this concept. He'd never known anything else. How could make any comparison? Why would he?

John interrupted Joey's thinking with another question, "Do you know how lucky you are to be born healthy?" But, before Joey could answer John did.

"Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States. That means nearly 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects each year(2). That's a lot."

John's eyes started staring out at nothing as he said, "I feel bad for parents that have to deal with that." His gaze returned and he focused in on Joey.

Joey could sense his father's gratitude.

Joey was a healthy kid in every respect and John knew how lucky he was to have that. But, Joey didn't. 

It's hard for anyone to appreciate what they have when they are always focused on what they don't have. It is even harder for someone to appreciate what they have when they've never been without.

The dinner table was cleared. But, Joey's mind wasn't. The question lingered in his mind as he drifted off to sleep that night.

"Do you know how lucky you are?

(1) - "List of countries by distribution of wealth." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 29 Apr. 2017. Web. 2 Jul. 2017

(2) - "Facts about Birth Defects." 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Update on Overall Prevalence of Major Birth Defects--Atlanta, Georgia, 1978-2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008;57(1):1-5.