Tag Archives: challenge

Perception Controls Work Environment

Just last evening I was conversing with a friend of mine who commented on my (bad?) habit of posting photos to my Facebook page when I’m working “in my outside office.” I have a gazebo attached to my rear deck that enjoys views of the surrounding trees, sometimes the lake across the street and quite often the wildlife that comes around. My friend made the comment that when he’s at work (in a machine shop) and he sees those posts he thinks, “Frank… you’re being an @$$hole.” He may be right, but the conversation started me thinking about work spaces and what we make of them. Continue reading

FOCUS: Obstacles vs. Opportunities

On any given day, but a LOT on most Monday mornings, you can look in your social media feeds and see quite the variety of posts about motivation. I’m guilty. I supply some of them. I also look through them and this morning I happened to notice just how many of them focus on outlook. When something that wasn’t part of your original plan happens, do you view it as an obstacle? Or an opportunity? Continue reading

What Does ‘Exercise’ Mean to You?

I recently wrote a piece about the difference in perception caused in most people when they hear ‘diet and exercise’ versus ‘nutrition and fitness.’  Just yesterday (as I write this) I was in my doctor’s office and was proud to see his reaction to the new fitness levels my wife and I are demonstrating thanks to our relatively new regimen of eating cleaner and training more. When he asked what we were doing, I carefully didn’t answer “diet and exercise” but HE used the word exercise in our conversation quite repeatedly. It made me wonder what people think when they hear the word ‘exercise’ because some seem so adverse to it. Some seem to think it means something tedious and unbearable. Some seem to think it means constantly repetitive and boring activity designed for very limited purposes. I decided to take a look at the word and how we use it and see what it really means. Continue reading

Be Thankful for the Darkness

There’s an old joke about how some people are so stupid they would bang on their hand with a hammer just so they could enjoy how good it feels to stop. While none of us can imagine why anyone would voluntarily hurt themselves just so they could enjoy it when they stop, the “joke” does illustrate the process of experiencing a negative event and then having a deeper appreciation for the positive event that immediately follows. That’s the topic of this entry: the necessity of experiencing some “bad” things so that you can more deeply appreciate the “good” things… and how eventually you can learn to appreciate the “bad” things… and then they’re not so bad anymore. Continue reading

Solve Problems Like You’re Dancing In The Rain

My family once owned a dog that we named ThunderStorm and just called Storm. He was a chocolate Labrador from a big family and, full grown, weighed about 100 pounds. The odd thing we discovered about him, from the earliest days we had him as a puppy, was that he loved to go out and play in the rain.  I don’t mean those occasionally warm spring and summer showers… I mean thunder and lightning downpours that created puddles in minutes.  He delighted in going out to play in those puddles. He’d splash and frolic and bury his face in them, shake off and do it again. We hated thunderstorms. They meant someone was going to have to put on a rain coat, hat and boots to leash the dog and take him out. Continue reading

Six Characteristics of the Mentally Strong

Have you ever noticed that some of your friends or family never seem quite as stressed or lacking in control of a given situation as others? Have you ever wondered why? What makes them so special? How come they never seem to sweat when something goes sideways? Here are a few reasons why they might be like that; things they might do that others don’t. Continue reading

Life’s Simplest Lessons

Recently I saw an image through the wizardry of social media and, after having read through it, thought about just how true it was. The title was “Simple Formula for Living,” but that didn’t really describe the list of items included. As I read them, I felt they more described lessons to be followed for a prosperous and spiritually valuable life. I certainly don’t always follow each bit of guidance (because I’m human and therefore imperfect), but I see the value in each and strive to maintain my compliance to them. Let’s go through them and briefly discuss the value. Continue reading

Seven Rules of Life

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.

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Brightest Lights During The Darkest Times

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

A Lesson from Nature

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