If you Google “rules for life” you get 863 MILLION returns (in under 2/3 of a second). There are whole books written on the subject. You can find lists with as few as three rules and as many as 75 rules. Every now and then as I surf the Internet (and life), I come across something having to do with “rules for life” that catches my eye. This one – Seven Rules of Life – was a meme I saw, read and thought about. I was compelled to share a few thoughts.
NOTE: This blog isn’t being written, or even approached, with journalistic structure or professionalism in mind. The topic is suicide: awareness and (hopefully) avoidance or reduction. The statistics and data listed are gleaned from various sources and listed at the end. The rest of this is the result of input and comment from family, friends and coworkers along with a huge subjective filter that runs from my brain to my fingers – with a detour through my heart. It’s my hope – throughout the process of researching, gathering comments, collating and writing all of this – that it has some positive impact on the readers. I hate to think it, but some of the readers may be in a dark place and contemplating suicide to resolve their problem(s). Other readers may know someone who is thinking about committing suicide (statistically speaking, that’s almost guaranteed). HOPEFULLY, some of this… any part of it, will help. Last item: Some of this, because so much of it is just my articulated outlook, might aggravate you, anger you or insult you. None of that is my intent and I beg you to continue reading past anything that you don’t like to see if I suitably explain myself. Continue reading
Just this morning (as I type this) I enjoyed a quick back-and-forth conversation on social media and then via email with a man I consider of reasonable wisdom and maturity. He is a hard worker, husband, father and motivated employee of the same company I work for. He has a quick wit and a good sense of humor. The conversation we shared reminded me of the difference between being critical and being a mentor. The one thing that stands out most in my mind is that a mentor (or coach) has to be critical; he has to be capable of evaluation and judgment as part of his skill set, but he also has to be able to communicate what he sees as deficiencies in a way that offers solutions and recommendations for improvement. That add-on to the critical skill set is the difference between being someone who is negative and just complains and someone who offers a solution to an observed problem. Continue reading
One of the most important parts of communication is understanding or at least attempting to see and understand the point of view of the person you are interacting with. The ability to do this makes the difference between taking everything literally or taking things as they are potentially meant. The same statement can have a variety of meanings but only one intended – and that one depends on YOU understanding the intentions of the person making the statement. To prevent misunderstandings and to help us minimize the times we negatively impact someone’s day, it’s imperative that we remember this one thing: what is trivial to us, can be traumatic to another. Let’s take a look at an example of how one statement can mean different things, and work on from there. Continue reading
I remember being a little kid… maybe six or seven years old, and my parents were “old” to me. Of course, my parents were 35 years older than I, so they were in their early forties; hardly what I would call old these days. Then again, I know a couple people today who are in their early and mid-forties and I do consider them “old” based purely on their outlook and behavior. This dichotomy caused me some wonderment and I had to give it some serious thought: Is there an age where someone is suddenly “old” or is it more about attitude and approach to life? In case you don’t already know my answer, it’s the latter. Continue reading
A long time ago (in my lifetime) a Drill Sergeant told me that every day I woke up above dirt was a good day. It was hard for me to appreciate that when I was cold, tired and miserable doing morning exercises and preparing for a run in the rain. After some years I realized that even such a morning was better than the option: being beneath the dirt in a coffin. “Above Dirt” took on a new meaning for me; so much so that I wrote a book (with the help of a gentleman named Steve Forgues) called “Above Dirt: Motivational Thoughts Supporting A Positive Outlook.” (http://amzn.to/wIhKaT) This morning (as I type this it’s April 2017) I had opportunity to have conversation with a gentleman who is facing some challenges in his life. His statement was, “I just wish I could skip the days until this was over.” I was relieved that he didn’t just want life to end but confused by his desire to skip days… to essentially give up time until his current challenges pass. To me, every day is a blessing, even if the day is full of challenges. Challenges come and go, but life is only ours to enjoy for a given time – and none of us knows how much time that is. Much like nature which faces cyclical challenges but comes back every spring: stronger, healthier, bigger and reinvigorated. Continue reading
From dictionary.com, the definition of “Warrior:” A person engaged or experienced in warfare; soldier. A person who shows or has shown great vigor, courage, or aggressiveness, as in politics or athletics. I would submit to you that all too often in today’s society the term “warrior” is too narrowly applied to a profession and inadequately used to describe individual outlook. However, the value of seeing one’s self as a warrior and acting accordingly is grossly undervalued and that’s what I wanted to discuss today. Continue reading
How many times have you been out in public some place – it could be the mall, a city street, a restaurant – and you see those folks who are so busy looking at their cell phones that they are completely oblivious to what’s going on around them? How many times have you seen someone walking along and you can tell they’re not really there? That mentally they are somewhere else; they are “day dreaming?” How many times have you caught yourself doing the same? All too often we disconnect from the real world in ways that lull our mind into a sleep-like state; at least where our awareness is concerned. In doing so, we cost ourselves the potential experience of seeing beauty or blessings. Continue reading
As happens with most thoughts we consider to be deep or memorable – worthy of remembering – this one came to me in the middle of the night, as the result of a dream I had woken from. In the dream I had been discussing religion with an older gentleman and he had been sharing his insights on the human soul. Given that he was both a priest and a psychologist, I felt it was worth paying attention to. Part of what you read here is what he shared with me and the remainder is a question, begged I think by long held beliefs without consideration. Continue reading
Fork: an instrument having two or more prongs or tines, for holding, lifting, etc., as an implement for handling food of any of various agricultural tools. The point or part at which a thing, as a river or a road, divides into branches.
All of us have heard, and used, the term, “a fork in the road.” We use it to give directions. At the fork in the road, stay to your right. The common usage of this term quite often leads to the impression that a fork in the road has only TWO choices: left fork or right fork. But that’s not the case and when we think about the path of our lives, it is imperative that we not limit our thinking in such a way. Continue reading