Category Archives: Other Reading

A spot for all the articles about other topics I’ve written through the years.

12 Secrets of a Happier Life

Every now and then in everyone’s life we get distracted by things that we either cannot change or that shouldn’t matter to us to begin with. The distraction can cost us time, emotional energy, mental fatigue and more. To increase the quality of our life and the sense of serenity in our days, it’s worth reviewing the simplest of lessons so we can keep our mental and emotional outlook fresh. Continue reading

Measuring Life

This is something we all know, but some of us need a reminder about every now and then. You don’t measure your life by how long it is (although that’s no reason to desire less than a long life); you measure it by how much you’ve lived in the time span you’re given. Since none of us knows exactly how much we’re given, it behooves us to live as much as possible, as energetically as possible, with the proper focus on what’s of actual value in our lives… EVERY DAY. Continue reading

Standing In Line

As with so many of the things that inspire me to start thinking around a topic, something popped up in my social feeds. In this case it was about how, as we live life, we are essentially standing in line. Standing in line for what? The person who presented this represented everyone as standing in line for entrance to heaven. The reality is that, depending on your belief system, it really is standing in line to die… and begin whatever adventure comes next. But there were some very relevant and valuable observations made about standing in that line and I wanted to expand on them a bit. Continue reading

Sympathy vs. Empathy

Just the other day I was involved in a very brief virtual discussion about the benefits of empathy over sympathy. For the person to whom you’re expressing either of these, there is a benefit; but which is better or more beneficial for them? The person who originally posted it had the position that empathy was ultimately better than sympathy because you were seeing the suffering person’s outlook from their own perspective. I maintained that you can’t do that because you don’t have their same background, experience, knowledge, etc. Then, like I usually do, I overthought heck out of it and ended up simply making sure I understand the differences, strengths and any potential weaknesses. Then, as usual, I started typing. Continue reading

Is Belief in Karma a Religion?

Nearly every day of my life I hear someone say, “Karma’s a bitch,” or, “Watch what you do; you don’t want Karma visiting it back on you.” Both of these statements indicate a belief in a higher power, even though most of us don’t think of it that way. We tend to talk about karma as if it’s some universal power that builds up and dishes out negative energy based on what we feed into it. The part that is much less discussed or heard about is GOOD karma, but if you take into consideration the possibility of both good and bad karma, and the rewards or punishments visited back upon you based on your actions, you’re really talking about a religious faith… at least of sorts. Continue reading

Recognizing Faith Without Argument

Yesterday evening, in a local cigar shop, there was a conversation held about belief in God. I use the capital “G” there for God, because the conversation started out about whether or not one man’s son believed in God. It quickly morphed into a discussion about the difference between “belief in God,” and “belief in deity.” Like most conversations it eventually morphed into something else (mostly because a lot of people are uncomfortable discussing religion) but it was on my mind as I drove home. As I drove I realized how much I take on faith each day, and how much of that isn’t related to any religion at all. And the realization I’ve had before was reinforced again: “having faith” and “believing in a deity” is such a vast spread of shades of gray that I fail to comprehend how anyone can say they have NO faith. Continue reading

Living Life to Excess

This entry is about living your life in excess but bear with me for a few moments as I share a story with you from my recent past. I was working at The Tiki Tobacco Barn – a name that may not make sense except that it was a cigar shop located on the property of a Tiki Bar. It was an average day when an older guy (about 65ish and we’ll call him Bob) came in with a younger couple (guessing late 20s). While the young couple went into the humidor to pick out cigars, Bob decided to engage me in conversation. I had the shop television on and the series NCIS was on. This was during football season. Continue reading

Where The Green Grass Grows

I will never forget parts of my childhood and one of the things I remember best is my father complaining about how he could never get the grass to grow healthy. He’d complain about weeds; he’d complain about fungus; he’d complain about too little rain, too much rain, not enough sunshine, kids in the yard and more. Then one day he decided to have the entire yard cut up and had all new sod put down. I’ll never forget how carefully he took care of that new sod. He watered it religiously, fertilized it in accordance with the landscaper’s directions and mowed it (or told me to mow it) weekly in season. I’d like to discuss the implications and analogies that my father’s yard care represented in comparison to relationships – which is most often how the green grass on the other side of the fence statement is applied. Continue reading

Your Butterfly Effect

The term “Butterfly Effect” means different things to different people – or many things to each individual. Two movies come to mind when I read or hear “the butterfly effect.”  First is the Ashton Kutcher movie of the same title that came out in 2004. The second is Jurassic Park (the first one) where in Jeff Goldblum’s character, a doctor of chaos theory, makes a statement about how a butterfly can flap its wings in Taipei and we get a hurricane in the United States. That second one is closer to what I’m referring to when I talk about YOUR personal butterfly effect… and yes, we all have one.

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Leadership vs Managerial Accounting

Any time you put an Army veteran and a Marine Corps veteran at a table together in a social setting you will get the inevitable “insults.” They aren’t serious. Every veteran knows the mutual respect that flows and we have a lot of fun with it by picking on each other. For all that, one of the things we know equally well is the value of a true leader. Legendary names get thrown out and discussed. Eventually someone will comment that those people being named had proven themselves as leaders… and that is vastly different from being a manager. What are some of those differences? Continue reading