Mundane

Every morning, my alarm goes off. I get up out of bed and get dressed to go to the gym to work out. I go to the gym and follow the workout on my phone. I finish my workout between 7:30 and 7:35. Afterwards I shower, sometimes shave, get dressed, and go to work. I take the same route to work every day.

When I get to work, I make myself coffee. While my coffee is brewing, I finish my breakfast of two hard boiled eggs, a sliced apple with almond butter, and a banana.

At this point, I have made no decisions nor have I had to apply myself. I have followed the road I laid out for myself, relied on the habits I have and the planning I already put into place. I have spent no mental energy to get to where I am by 8:30 every morning.

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My outfit is pretty standard and unremarkable.

My breakfast is the same.

My workout is preplanned.

As mundane as this sounds, it is incredibly freeing. I am set free to execute predetermined systems and processes while I pay attention to the things that really matter to me. I stew on the ideas of the podcasts I am listening to while I work out. I am pondering the items on my schedule while I “pump iron”.

Even when I get to work, putting together my coffee and eating my breakfast is as much a part of my mental boot up process as it is a habit.

Oh, and did I mention I am significantly physically healthier now than I was 2 years ago?

My entire process has freed me to make more decisions about things that matter while I have systematized the mundane. The mundane no longer has the power to steal from me while I pour my energy into what really matters to me.

Where are you spending energy making mundane decisions? How can you better systematize these mundane decisions? What can you make more reflex based than decision based so you can focus on what really matters?

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Easy as...1...2...3

Shoulders back, head up, and a soft smile.

It has been amazing to see how much it changes my life to walk around with my shoulders back, head up, and a soft smile.

My shoulders being back, does not jut chest out like an arrogant pride-man.

My head being up keeps it out of my phone and focused on the people and objects around me.

My smile is not an intense smile like I won the lottery. That smile would be a lie.

That smile would be a lie.

My shoulders are back, where they should be. My head is up, like an adult. My smile is gentle, as if to say, “I am ok and so are you.”

The more I focus on doing these three things as I walk around, the brighter each day is and the happier the people I cross paths with seem to be.

Every time you get up from your chair, give it a try. Roll your shoulders back. Give a gentle exhale and let the tension out. Pick your chin up off your chest. You have a neck for a reason, let it show. Curl the edges of your mouth upwards, smile because you can. The world needs your smile.

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Death & Taxes

Two guarantees in life.

Death & Taxes

Unless you are Santa Claus.

I mean, I have not heard of Santa’s elves filling out any 1099’s for their consulting. Filing any injury reports for elves who hurt themselves on the job. Or maybe there is an underperforming elf and, the organization decides to make a change and performance manage the poor little elf into a new life role outside of the Santa’s Workshop™.

What would you tax him on? Assuming he does not have an income and his toys are made from naturally occurring products at the North Pole, do we tax him on his gift output and assume he is interrupting the market because he is providing a free service on products that other companies charge for?

Or is Santa financed by playing the market and we should tax the capital gains of his investment portfolio and he uses the proceeds from his investment portfolio to finance Santa’s Workshop™.

How about death? Does Santa live forever?

This is a thought experiment, applying the mundane to the fantasy. What else can you experiment with today?

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Self Acceptance

Every day I wake up in the same set of skin and bones I was born with. I can change and develop who I am through work, both intentional and unintentional. But at the end of the day, I am always me.

One of the the many jobs I have is to appreciate me for who I am. In a reasonable way, be comfortable in the set of skin and bones I have. Accepting me for who I am, not over accentuating my flaws and strengths.

I know I can find the right point of appreciating myself for who I am. Not too confident and not too self-deprecating.

Not too many puns.

Not too nerdy.

Not too quiet.

Not too self conscience.

When I reach that point, what happens next?

I know I will reach the island of Perfect Self Acceptance. But what happens when it starts raining on my island? Or worse, I run out of food.

When I get to my Island, am I ready for the negative comment I hear, meant as a friendly joke? Am I prepared to let it roll off my back?

I know proper self acceptance is possible, but am I preparing for the next step of keeping healthy perspective on myself despite (un)expected negative circumstances?

What does your island of self acceptance look like? Are you ready for what it takes to maintain life on your island in the face of (un)expected negative circumstances?

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Classified

Meyers Briggs. Race. Gender. Marital Status. Political Affiliation. Gluten Free. Dairy Free. Height. Weight. Body Type. Face Shape.

We do not lack for different ways to classify ourselves and each other. I would say I have barely scratched the surface really. These are the few things that came to mind for me off the top of my head.

Having so many different ways to be different and to assess and classify each other. We have tests for everything. Moreover we have plenty of different ways to put a context around who we all are. And yet, I still barely feel like I understand myself, much less anyone else understands me.

The reality is, I do not need more ways to classify myself and others. I need to see other people for who they are and meet them where they are at.

I need to talk with people.

I do not need to talk with a classification.

Addressing the person I am talking with on Twitter as a person, not a classification.

What classifications do you naturally jump to? How can you better address the person you are talking to? Who can help you see people as people and help you catch yourself before you launch into that Facebook tirade?

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Right Weather

When Space X goes to launch a rocket, they have to wait for the right weather. Too windy, and the mission is pushed off until the next forecasted opportunity. Too much rain or too overcast, rescheduled.

There are a variety of reasons one of their launch dates for rockets headed to space will get scrapped. After all, they have to be careful. One of those things tips over or launches wrong, all of a sudden peoples’ lives are at risk. Not just a few people, probably a lot of people.

Can you imagine that much rocket fuel igniting all at once?

I am sure the reason you have not started your next project is equally as difficult. You need the right weather. Probably need better work conditions before you can start that next project at work. The house, garage, yard, and car all need to be cleaned before you can start the side project you have been dreaming about.

Definitely keep rescheduling, I mean you did not start publishing on YouTube five years ago, so you are behind anyways. You did not start writing your blog or book or short story when you first had the idea, you might as well put it off again.

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Then again, if you started today, who knows where you will be in five years. The house, garage, yard, and car will all need to be cleaned no matter what. Why not do something you are excited about now and work on that stuff when you are tired. If you wait, you will be too tired anyways.

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Down and Dirty

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My closest friends are the people who are people who are covered in the same crap I am.

When I am down in the dumps, they get right down there with me and join me in it. Whether I am covered in mud, grease, dirt, manure, blood, sweat, or tears. They join me in the crap I am in and they are on my level.

This is how I know they are my friends, they are covered in the same thing I am.

It is hard to judge or feel judged when you are covered in the same crap the person next to you is covered in. But when someone stands at the top of a chasm tossing down a rope to a me and says, “Climb out.” It is hard to feel like they are my friend. It feels more like they want to be my savior.

Who are your friends covered in the same crap you are? Who are you getting dirty with when they are in the middle of their crap?

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Accessibility Settings

Apple continually works to make their products more accessible to more and more people who would not normally be able to access their products. One way they have done so is their accessibility settings.

These settings can do a ton of different things from reading the screen to you if you are visually impaired or give you a button to perform commonly used functions or commands. You can even hook the iPhone up to hearing aids, zoom the screen/magnify or just plain make the text larger and/or bolder, to name a few.

These amazing settings make the phone easier to use for people who want to use a smartphone but they might need additional consideration.

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In contrast, getting ahold of a company when I need product support, is almost impossible. For instance I was trying to call my cell phone provider recently and it took me multiple attempts and waiting on hold for a representative because they were experiencing ‘longer than normal wait times due to an increased volume of calls.’ Of course, I can give them my phone number and they will call me back later. And of course when they call later, I am in the middle of something and physically unable of answering my phone.

I am now left to call back again and wait. This time spending more time on hold and waiting for a representative despite the ‘longer than normal wait times due to an increase volume of calls’ ... again.

Which way have you positioned yourself? Are you more accessible or less accessible? Are you trying to find better ways for your customers and friends to be able to work and engage with you? Do you push your business and office to be more accessible to your customers?

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Referee For Dummies

In listening to the podcast Men In Blazers where they interview Mark Clattenburg , arguably one of the best referee’s to ever ref the game of football (soccer.)

In his interview, Mark discussed with Rog his methods for being a great referee. The most striking method he mentioned is how he would watch team’s game tape in order to gain insights into their strategies. He would watch to see how they would position themselves and break the rules behind the back of the referees.

Watching game tape, he would watch to see not only the calls made by the ref’s in the game but also the calls they missed because they did not have eyes in the back of their heads. Mark was not there to watch his colleagues’ backs and cover them as the players broke the rule, but he could prepare for the players to do the same thing to him.

As we go to work each day, who covers your back? Who is watching out for you when you are not looking at work? Who is covering the things you cannot?

PS: Do these people know how much you need them? Do these people know what it means to you and the organization to have them covering your blind spots?

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Judas

Judas. In a lot of ways, he is synonymous with Brutus betraying Caesar and Benedict Arnold betraying colonial America. Judas betrayed Jesus according to four of the four gospels. Throughout my growing up years, Judas was always, "...the one who betrayed him." (Matt 10:4b). I don’t know that I have ever heard a positive word about Judas. Everything I heard about, was always about how evil he was.

In general, the Bible has very limited references to Judas Iscariot, about twenty or so. And the majority of them are references to how he betrayed Jesus, him in the act of betraying Jesus, or Jesus’ affirmation that he would betray Jesus. The author’s of the gospels did not give spend much time discussing Judas as a person. They did give us a few hints into Judas though, they gave us some real bread crumbs to understand him and they had a pretty strong understanding of Judas’ actions to then also vilify him throughout the gospels.

Not everyone vilified him. The gnostics glorified him as a great man to be idolized because he triggered the process for Jesus to be killed.  The reality is, Jesus couldn’t have risen from the dead without dying. So, yeah, they weren’t far off, but the betrayal part still gets in the way. Western culture has a hard time with betrayal, for reference Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning (no relation.) We don’t deal well with betrayal. We tend to hold a strong grudge for a long time.

Then again, the _Gospel of Judas_ is a recently discovered and hotly contested document discussing the virtues of Judas and the secret teachings between Judas and Jesus. Given the gospel being dated to approximately 220, at the most liberal earliest assessment, I think it is safe to say it was written much later as a document to support the gnostic traditions and falls down in giving us any perspective on who Judas actually was.

We do know Judas was a zealot for one. One of those guys who were passionate! One of the guys from Galilee who would gladly kill a Roman centurion given the chance. The Romans were a blight to the zealots. We are able to deduce his roots from his last name, Iscariot, being sourced from the Galilee specifically, his last name potentially joins him to be a part of some of the most passionate and violent zealots. Jesus was in the Galilee when he called Judas, and the Galilee is mostly populated by Pharisees (pious individuals passionate about following the letter of the law.) and other zealots like Judas.

After being a zealot disciple, Judas was also the money manager for the group. Which is odd. Why wasn’t Matthew? Matthew was a tax collector. He was pretty experienced with money. You think they would put the money guy in charge of the money. What do you think his relationship with Matthew was like? He being a zealot and Matthew having sold out to the Roman authority to collect taxes, (which was a shady way to live because Matthew being a Jew had to force other Jews to give him more money than the government asked for. He took the extra money from the people to pay for his own food, travel, lodging, his house payment, maybe his boat payment, and a little extra for that condo he was saving up for on the coast in Herodium.)

 The Betrayal of Jesus, Giotto di Bondone, 1304

The Betrayal of Jesus, Giotto di Bondone, 1304

Then there is James and John, the "Sons of Thunder" (Matt 5.) You would think having a nickname like that, they would probably be some sort of zealot too. I mean, "Sons of Thunder" don’t really give me a vision of peaceful, gentle, understanding people. Or Simon, who was eventually renamed Peter. How do you think these three were with Judas? They were all in the same vicinity of the Galilee. They were all from the same area. Would Jesus’ inner circle get along with Judas Iscariot the money managing hyper-zealot? Simon-Peter eventually cuts off the ear of a temple servant. Maybe Simon-Peter and Judas were actually buddy-buddy. We have no way of knowing for sure, but they both seem pretty zealous.

 How about Thomas, Andrew, Phillip, Bartholomew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus. These guys all have very Greek names. The kind of names you might be given after your Jewish parents decide to  adopt some of the ways of Roman culture. They might give you a Roman name. They still give to the temple and take care of the poor. They are also probably hanging out around bath houses. Giving aid and lodging to Roman soldiers. They are a little too comfortable. How do you think a Zealot might interact with those guys? The zealot who is bent on purging the promised land of the Romans. And these people accept Roman names from their parents. Their parents also have adopted the Roman culture enought to name their children Roman names.
 
 Our last disciple is Simon the Zealot. Now, there is a name of a guy Judas can get along with. Another zealot friend. Not a faux zealot friend. A zealot proper. Simon. The Zealot. Do you think Simon and Judas were sitting around the camp fire listening to Jesus and nudging each other with ideas on how they might maim a centurion? Were they chatting about the pious Pharisees and how they are too focused on following the letter of the law not focused enough on taking out the Romans and the mafioso Sadducees. Maybe Simon-Peter might’ve been trying to tone them down or would he join in?
 
Any way we slice this apple, Judas was still selected to be one of the twelve. He was there at the  commissioning of the 12 when Jesus empowered them in Matthew 10.
    "And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him."
Afterward, Jesus even told them to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay."

Judas was called to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons.

How about that for perspective? The guy was given every empowerment and teaching all the other disciples were given. Besides this moment, we have very little about Judas outside of the last supper and Judas’ actions thereafter.

At the last supper, eating and passing the bread and after drinking and passing the cup, according to John 13,  Jesus is troubled and tells the disciples one of them would betray him. And they all have the same reaction, "NO! Who?"  And Jesus replies telling them he is going to dip and hand the morsels of bread in his hand to his betrayer. Then Jesus hands it to Judas, and Satan entered into Judas.

Next thing, everyone assumes, oh, Judas. Yeah, he needs to buy us more food/donate food to the poor. Good ole Judas.

But wait a second.

Why are we ok with Satan entering into Judas?

Satan is, *literally* the worst.

Why do we gloss over it?

Also, why would John say that? I mean, Judas betrayed Jesus. Satan didn’t betray Jesus. Do you think John meant anything by it? It is a pretty weird comment. I don’t usually see people being possessed by Satan in the Bible. There were plenty of demons possessions, but not many Satan possessions in the gospels.

Do you think Satan entering into Judas is anything like that one time when Satan entered into David? You know, in 1 Chronicles 21 when Satan enters into David and incites him to perform a census of all Israel after God specifically told him not to. So because David performed the census anyways, God then sends an angel with a plague across Israel and a lot of people die. Then David knowing the angel’s  heads into the angel’s path, buys a field, and makes sacrifices to the Lord.

Which is all pretty weird when we get right down to it. Because there is also 2 Samuel 24. A telling of the same story. 2 Chronicles is a telling of the same story looking back on history. 2 Samuel is a telling of the story as it happened. And 2 Samuel 24 says the Lord was mad at Israel and **HE** told David to do a census. And after the census, the Lord sent a plague on the people.

Both of these tellings of this story end in David buying a field and then making sacrifices in the field to atone for sins. Eventually, this site becomes the site of the Jewish Temple at the time of Jesus and today it is the site of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Either way, David buys a field from a man to save the nation of Israel and then makes sacrifices in the field for the purpose of staying the plague that was sweeping through the land. Very much like the money given to Judas was returned to the temple because he decided what he had done was wrong and it was blood money. But the priests in the temple couldn’t add it to the treasury because they agreed it was blood money. So instead, they used it to buy a field.

Judas gave the money back to the priests saying it was blood money (Matthew 27). Judas specifically says he had shed "innocent blood." As a good Jewish boy, he would’ve memorized the first five books of the Bible. I would guess, as a zealot, he would’ve had a particular focus on verses having to do with shedding blood or innocent blood. Afterall, the Romans had spilled quite a bit of innocent Jewish blood.

"... but you shall purge the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, so that it may be well with you.” Deuteronomy 19:27.

I am guessing Judas might’be really appreciated this verse. It allowed him to seek vengeance against the Romans. Might it also have led him hang himself?

Killing himself with this law in mind would mean he followed the letter of the law even into death. He paid for his guilt of innocent blood. He couldn’t go home, he had sent another Jew to be crucified by the Romans **AND** he collaborated with the High Priests who had sold out to the Roman oppressors. Oh, and he collaborated with the Sadducee High Priests. A zealot, sworn enemy of those who would sell the promised land to the Romans and oppress the Jews, collaborated with the very people who he hated most.

Judas turned away from the last three years he spent with Jesus and the every year before that where he was raised as a zealot child!

Even though we have no record of Judas’ intentions or his commentary on his own life. He seems like he returned to his convictions. He carried out the letter of the law despite the cost of his own life. I do not argue he was a moral giant in his life. He sold out his family, friends, the disciples, and Jesus. But I do think we need to recognize him returning to his convictions even after his mistakes. He didn’t die a traitor. He returned to his roots and carried out the letter of the law on himself despite the Sadducees turning him away knowing the same scriptures Judas had memorized.

I can think of other people in my own life whom I have known and not given the benefit of the doubt because of preconceived notions formed from other people’s opinions much like I developed my opinion of Judas based on the opinions other people shared with me. I can think of other people who I have been disappointed or hurt by and then tainted other people’s relationships because of my hurt. I too am no moral giant.

Judas made mistakes. He betrayed the people he had spent years with and sold out Jesus. Judas is also dead. We can’t talk to him to find out what he was thinking or ask him about his reasoning. We can talk to the people we know that live around us and get to know them. Find out why they would do things that hurt or annoy us. We can repair relationships with people who have much less nobler reasons than Judas to do what they do and treat them like God’s prized possession before we demonize them like Judas and write them off to be vilified by history.

Who do you know that you are assuming the worst in? Who can you get to know so you might forgive them for past hurts? Who are the Sadducees and Romans in your life that are selling your promised land? Who sits on the other side of aisle from you that is trying to degrade your homeland? Who is too zealous for the wrong things? What are the things you are too passionate for, dare we say too _zealous_ for?

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Do or Do Not

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“I, I don’t believe it.”

“That is why you fail.”

The scene quoted above is between Luke Skywalker and Yoda in The Empire Strikes Back. Yoda levitates Luke’s X-Wing out of the swamp it sank into and that is the exchange following Yoda gently setting it on the ground of the swamp.

Moments before, Luke had tried the same feat. He had that strained look of angst on his face as he tried to levitate this massive spacecraft out of the quicksand like bog it was mostly submerged in.

Luke’s success was limited by his belief in himself.

Now, I am not advocating we all go out and try to levitate our cars using the mind power we have in our heads from the mystical force.

How often is it that you do not try something because you believe it will fail before you try or start? Or worse, you give it a half try and call it, ‘good enough’? What are you not trying because you are afraid? What are the little thing you are not trying because of fear? What are the big things you need help to do that you are not trying?

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Standards

“As an alcoholic, you will violate your standards quicker than you will lower them.”

–Robin Williams

How true that is for all of us with or without alcohol.

When I was in the midst of my own crazy cycle. The moment I realized I was nearing damage that could not be undone was when I stopped, self-reflected for a moment and realized how low my standards were compared to what my behavior was becoming.

The absolute dissolving of my standards was going to have to reach new lows in my life and my behavior was going to spiral out of control. I was going to lose it all.

Where are your standards at? Where are they headed? How do your actions compare to your standards?

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Great Data

Before an entrepreneur starts a new business, she should probably do some market research.

As lucrative as it is to run a coffee shop, she does not want to open one in a college town that already has nineteen.

Or maybe a yarn shop that only sells Bill Murray Ugly Sweater patterns is a little too niche of a market.

No matter what, she should do some research before she launches.

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However, she can also paralyze herself. She starts to research her coffee shop and decides she should launch, but she is not sure what type of coffee to use and starts researching. The different coffees of the world. Eventually, she is flying all over the world to find the perfect coffee for her shop. But before she decides on the perfect coffee, she realizes that she also needs the perfect espresso machine and the perfect drip brew system.

Now she must find the perfect brew system to complement the perfect roast and make sure that they actually go together as the perfect pair. And before she knows it, she has blown her whole startup budget on researching all the perfect elements and has not sold a single cup of coffee.

What about opening her doors with a really good coffee with a really good espresso machine and a pretty good drip brewing system? She needs good data and an informed opinion, but she was trying to open a great coffee shop, not get her PhD in coffee and brew systems.

Where is research holding you back? Where are you letting yourself be hamstrung by your perceived needs versus your actual needs? Who can help you see where you are holding yourself back? Who can you help see where you are holding yourself back?

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Keep On Trucking

Long haul truckers have a special place in my heart.

My grandparents were, for as best as I can remember, long haul truckers my whole life till they started winding down to retire. They bustled all over the US trucking around hooking up loads, hauling them to who knows where, dropping them off, and grabbing a new load locally and doing it all over again.

They were pretty good at what they did and it meant a couple times a summer they would visit us for a weekend or a couple days or a weekend when they had a load that needed to come our direction.

I loved seeing my grandparents.

I so appreciate the many long hours and millions, maybe even a billion, miles they put on their truck bouncing all over the US. Mile after mile, load after load, they dutifully delivered their haul.

Much like any project, they started the load with a full tank of gas and a clear destination. And just the same, the more they worked the gas ran down. They had to stop and refill their tanks. It was not sexy or awesome, but they had to do it to keep going.

They paid attention to the maintenance their trucks needed. Kept food in the truck’s fridge. They kept going and took care of whatever it was that needed done as they went.

They did not get the load on the road and then walk away when the trip was longer than they expected because of bad weather.

They did not give up because they hit traffic and were slowed to a crawl because...rush hour.

They kept going despite being rerouted due to construction.

How are you doing with your life’s goals? Are you still moving forward despite the bad weather you have run into? What about the part of life that is incredibly slow? Are you sticking with it, knowing that it will pick up soon? How are you doing with the parts of life being unexpectedly rerouted? Are you keeping to the new course, knowing it eventually leads back to the road you were on?

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Zooming Out

An ant is tiny. The ant cannot comprehend the size of the continent it is on. It has no concept of the value and purpose it has in the context of the whole. It is digging, carrying, and working for the good of the whole with no any context at all.

Like the ant, a rat in a maze is wandering aimlessly through his labyrinth style prison following his senses looking for his goal.

To the ant, the ant hill is a large and a rocky knoll is a mountain. To the mouse the maze’s walls are the world it lives inside.

Our advantage is being able to stop and take a look down on their situations. We have perspective. There are globes to give us context of where we fit into the rest of the world. Our phones have maps with GPS to show us how to navigate the maze of roads, highways, and freeways we interact with.

How easily still do we find ourselves plowing through life with the same perspective as the ant and mouse?

My goals slowly narrow my perspective clouds from a wide angle at 150º or so down to 90º. Still a decent field of vision and useful to be successful, but not what it was. My vision still then narrows more until I am seeing less and less. At the end I am so focused on my goals I have been sucked into a 2 degree field of vision.

I am focused on my own problems and cannot see the value of my work in the context of the whole. I forget where I am and what my value is. I get my priorities out of alignment. I start to encourage marginal gains and growth sacrificing the bigger picture.

My tunnel vision is now costing us any progress we should be making and instead I cannot see around the biases I have developed. I cannot hear other voices through the noise I make. I are so focused on not tripping and being hurt again we cannot see the cliff we are about to walk off.

When was the last time you zoomed out on your life? When did you last assess your goals? What are your goals? What do you want to say you accomplished? What do you want to have said of you when you die?

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Change

Dimes, nickels, pennies, quarters, fifty-cent pieces, Sacajawea dollar, silver dollar, and Susan B. Anthony’s to name a few.

Change, I have some in my pocket most of the time. It is heavy, cumbersome, and ladening. For the most part it is even on the way out as we transfer to a more digital currency and transactions. Long gone are the days of cashing a paycheck, for better or worse.

All the same, the change once so common and regular is now becoming more burdensome than fireman carrying a human sized sack of potatoes all day. It is dirty, germy, easily lost, rarely do we have enough to cover the exact change we need and more often than not, I end up with my change leading to more change.

And life is no different. Change is burdensome. I do not deal with it well. I especially do not deal with it well when it is brought into my life by other people. I want to be in charge of what I do or do not change.

And usually, if something changes, then something else is going to change too. Or whatever just changed will need to be changed further to make it work better for more use cases.

By the end of it all, there are enough changes to necessitate a full on retooling of the whole system.

Whether we like it or not, change happens. It is necessary. And we need it. We cannot expect the same system to work forever, we can expect to have to work together to make it work well.

How do you deal with change? What changes are going on for you at work? How are you dealing with them? What changes are going on for you personally? How are you dealing with those?

What changes do you need to make, but you have been putting off?

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Being Baby Bear

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Growing up I heard the story of Little Red Riding Hood. The story, as I remember it, is about this girl who stumbled upon a bear’s den, sampled their porridge, ate her favorite, and fell asleep in the most comfortable bed. The bears came home and were displeased with the eaten porridge and then punished the girl.

Obviously, the mom and dad bears were the judge, jury, and executors concerning her punishment. And Baby Bear was the innocent bystander watching the goings on.

Baby Bear did not have a say in the situation. As a matter of fact, he probably went to his Baby Bear bedroom, played with his bear legos, read a bear book, and maybe daydreamed about living in a bear’s galaxy far far away.

Baby Bear, had nothing to do with the situation besides having potentially shared some of his cold porridge with his mom who was woefully without porridge due to Red Riding Hood’s selfish porridge eating ways.

I realized I identify with Baby Bear. You might say he has been my spirit animal. However, the issue with being Baby Bear is that he has no active part, takes no active part, and does not participate in the story. It is time for me to take part, participate, and engage the story.

What is your role in the story? Which character do you identify with? What are the pros and cons of that character? What can you do to better engage your story?


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Moment of Offense

When someone offends you, there is a moment.

There is a decision in the moment to be offended. To react and to engage.

In all these parts and pieces. The moment of offense is lost. You take action and are moving on and making assumptions or decisions. Acting or overacting and being hurt and engaging accordingly.

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The moment of offense is the match.

Your processing of the offense is the fuse.

And your actions post processing is the dynamite.

The entirety of it all started in the moment of offense. But you are only in control of the fuse and the dynamite.

What if the next time you are offended, you decide to remove the fuse from the flame? Take it away from the burning unhealthy flame that is going to set fire. Instead, you investigate.

What caused your friend to make this decision? Why did they strike the match?

These are questions only they can answer, your assumptions cannot answer these questions.

How do you do when someone offends you? What is a healthy reaction? What is an unhealthy reaction? How would you want someone to respond to you when you offend them? How can you do this for people, even when they might not deserve it?

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Assumptions

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I was pacing around the apartment for uninteresting reasons. As I paced I started finding a warm spot in the carpet.

Once I convinced myself I had not spilled warm liquid, my son had not drooled or peed, and the warm spot on the carpet was not about to spontaneously combust. I then decided that spot in the carpet was warm because of my pacing.

Obviously, I kept stepping in the exact same spot over and over again. The friction from my pacing then started to heat the spot, and only that spot, in the carpet. Then reality came crashing down.

The spot I kept stepping was warm because it was right next to the oil electric heater we had been running in the apartment.

This was a quick, 30 second, event. This is only a symptom of what I do all the time.

Convince myself of something completely inane using flawed logic leading to a crazy assumption.

What are you convincing yourself of? What is your thought process to get there? Where have you been using flawed logic? Who can help you sort out where you are using flawed logic?

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