23 March 2008

Easter - The Second Class Holiday

For those that know me, know I'm not a religious person. It's a long story, but in short, I cannot bring myself to alter my beliefs and behaviors based on other people's interpretations and mis-interpretations of a book or just crazy ideas that are found nowhere in said book. Religion is also the most common method to split people up into groups, get them pissed at each other enough that they can use their own religions as an excuse the kill people in the other religion. No religion is free from blame on this one.

I am however, very spiritual, since I consider spirituality a private matter created, defined and refined within the constraints of myself. Therefore, I control it.

Now, with that preface in place, I have a huge issue with Easter. Not that Easter is bad, I really feel sorry for it. It has been relegated to the backseat by Christmas.

Here's my issue, Easter is supposed to be the time to celebrate the fact that Jesus died for a our sins (what a great guy, huh?) and was miraculously risen again (thanks to his Dad). (Don't get me started). If you ask any Christian worthy of calling themselves a Christian what Christianity is based on, they should say 'Jesus died for our sins and rose again, etc.'.

So if this is the primary basis for Christianity, shouldn't this event be HUGE! Bigger than Christmas. I mean being born from a virgin mother (I said don't get me started) is one thing, but dying on a cross and coming back to life, is pretty big too.

OK, think about this and how Christianity has been commercialized. Christmas is more about a big fat guy in a red coat flying around the world handing out gifts (gimme gimme gimme) and Easter is about a bunny that leave eggs (who thought this one up) which is now about gimme more chocolate.

I could go on for a while, but will spare you. I needed to get this off my chest and will continue to look inside myself and reflect on my own personal enlightenment.

16 March 2008

Perception is Reality

Have you noticed that when someone creates an image of someone or something, it becomes their reality? If someone says to themselves "I can not run a marathon", they never will. It is now a reality. If someone says "That person is a jerk", everything that person does is now filtered through that view. Our thoughts are extremely powerful and have very strong control over how we see the world.
What is reality? Dictionary.com states reality is (1) the state or quality of being real; (2) resemblance to what is real; (3) a real thing or fact; (4) real things, facts, or events taken as a whole; state of affairs: the reality of the business world; vacationing to escape reality; (5) Philosophy: a. something that exists independently of ideas concerning it. b. something that exists independently of all other things and from which all other things derive; (6) something that is real; (7) something that constitutes a real or actual thing, as distinguished from something that is merely apparent. —Idiom; (8) in reality, in fact or truth.

But reality is actually what you see or believe you see. Our perceptions are what mold our reality. How many times in your life have you been surprised, stunned, disappointed, etc. because what you thought was real, wasn't? Love, intelligence, the perfect season (OK, that wasn't fair). But you understand my point.

Where am I going with this? Well there are two sides to this. One side is how you view the world will shape your reality. You have absolute control to change your world. This is what goals are all about. Believe you can do it and you can. Buddha said “All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”. Thoughts are powerful, use them wisely and with purpose. The other side is other people's perceptions. You can shape these too. Before you say, "That sounds a bit sinister,' think about this. How many times have you altered your behavior, attire, speech or demeanor to impress that other person so they would like you and go out on a date?

This is an excellent tool to change other people's perceptions of you. If your co-workers or boss think you are lazy, work to change that perception. This does not happen by walking up to them and saying "I'm not lazy." You must show them you are not lazy. Work hard and show them you are not. Gradually, you will force them to confront their perception of you and change it.

Now get out there and change the world.

14 March 2008


Seth Godin has a great quote about Persistance on his blog.

"Persistence isn't using the same tactics over and over. That's just annoying. Persistence is having the same goal over and over."

This is perfect and can be applied to not only Marketing and Sales, but to life. This fits perfectly with my blog. Be diligent with your goals, not what you are doing to achieve it. You need to change your tactics along the way.

So, one of my goals is to spend more time with my family (not easy with my current job and responsibilities). But, when I do something to achieve that goal and fail, I'm not persistant and do the same thing again to achieve it, I change my tactic. I am persistant with my desire to achieve my goal.

So Strive on with Diligence and be persistant with your goals.

13 March 2008

What a Day!

OK, I had a horrible day today. Horrible because I was dealing with the fallout of a situation that I could not initially control. This did not affect only me, but affected many of my colleagues. It was frustrating because a lot of extra work was done by many people at a time when they were extremely busy to begin with.

OK, now that it is off my chest, I want to share my thoughts after the dust is clearing. I did not stay in my zone. I let the situation get to me and allowed myself to get frustrated and even frazzled (is that a word?). Notice I did not say the situation got me frustrated because things do not cause you to behave a certain way or have certain feelings, you choose them.

Well, I chose them and now realized I should not have done that. I came home and got my wife and girls to bed and sat down to meditation on it. I needed only 2 minutes of quiet to realize that I allowed the situation to get to me (hindsight is great, huh?).

I think if I had taken these two minutes in the middle of the situation, I would have come to the same conclusion and adjusted my mental outlook. Well it's in the past and I have learned another lesson - that's growth, right?

I will think about the tools or processes I can use to prevent myself from doing that in the future. I'll keep you posted.

11 March 2008

Losing Touch

The saying goes "The world is getting smaller". If that's so, why is it so easy to completely lose touch with friends and family?

I have tried to keep in touch and lost, found, lost again, found again old friends and family. It actually hurts when I realized I did not do enough to maintain these connections. I don't blame other for not keeping in touch with me since all relationships are bi-directional.

These relationships are a part of me, so I will also use this blog to try an maintain that contact, and have also made it a personal priority to keep in contact. Life happens and will get in the way of the best intentions, but I think my new system (using Todoist.com) to keep track of this will help.

Zen Habits is one of my favorite blogs and reading Leo's posts presents a great inspiration to me to pick myself back up, dust myself off and keep going.

So, to all those I have lost, I will find you again. You are my friends and family and that means quite a lot, so you are worth my effort to keep you in my life.

I hope you will see that too and look for these lost connections. We are humans and we need to be connected to something bigger than ourselves. What can bigger and more important that being a friend and family member. Before I turn this post into a flower strewn love-fest, I will sign off and keep you updated on how my re-connecting pan out.

10 March 2008

Multitasking is a myth

It finally hit me today. I have heard and read others say that, but never put a lot of credit into it, because "Hey, I do it all the time". Well, today that perception came to end. I was on a call with a client connected to their computer via WebEx, doing performance testing via RDP, on IM with 2 colleagues and talking with another in my office. I could feel my stress level rising.

I had the epiphany. "Holy Moly! I can't be doing all these things." And I was right, I wasn't. I was oscillating rapidly back and forth between them all and realized I was not doing any of them well. I was missing key facts/parts of each and having to retrace my steps. I caught myself, stopped and told everyone to hold on a moment.

I told the person in my office, I would talk to her when I was done and she was fine with that. I focused for a minute and answered the question on one IM. I asked the other IM to wait a few minutes and I would get back with them. I put the performance test on hold and finished with the client.

My stress level dropped, I got everything done and I'm sure done better. I need to catch myself more often and be more cognizant of what I am doing, since "trying" to do many things at once is my natural tendency.

Here is a great post on ZenHabits from last year that I went back and re-read with a newly discovered appreciation.

09 March 2008

What a great day

So today was one of those days that I got things done, but it was at such a leisurely pace that I did not feel any stress at the end of the day. I had time to play with both my girls, take care of a few chores around the house and relax a bit. We even grilled some dinner and invited the neighbors over to enjoy a dinner outside with wine and music. The kids ran around having fun and we adults could just sit and talk and just enjoy the day.

This day was made possible by one of my new philosophies: Weekends are about finding time to just be a family and enjoy what we've worked so hard for all week. Everything will get done, maybe not right now, but it will get done. And at the end of my life, what is more important.

08 March 2008

The start of the journey

I've tried to start a blog in the past (twice). Both times I failed for two reasons (1) no clear purpose or direction and (2) lack of follow through to keep it going.

So how is this time different? Well, I have a purpose: To document my thoughts, feelings, adventures and mistakes. I want to share with others and hope they will share with me. Also, I have put in a process to keep me on track. So let's begin.....