First Practice In Two Months

July 31, 2010

I went bowling for the first time in two months. I struggled the first game but the muscle memory came back. Sometimes it’s good to take time away, recharge your batteries, and as a result we have a renewed sense of appreciation. I find it relaxing to throw a 15 lb ball down a 60 foot lane. It’s not my intent to be the hardest throwing or the biggest hooking bowler- I like to keep my game simple but effective.

I enjoy the time spent with other bowlers. I find that bowling can be a sport that you get the chance to meet people from other walks of life. I’ve been bowling for 33 years, and I’m thankful that my mother and father introduced me to the sport at a young age. They were bowlers in multiple leagues so it seemed that Playaway Lanes was a second home away from home. I learned to keep score, I picked up a ball at the age of 4 and started in leagues at the age of 6.

I’ve had the good fortune to meet many professional bowlers and used their tips to help me fuel my career. From Marshall Holman to Earl Anthony, Parker Bohn III to Chris Barnes, I’ve always enjoyed the fact that you can improve some aspect of your game through the years. It’s physical and mental in the types of activity you have to use. And if you want, you can pass down your knowledge to your teammates and the younger generation to keep the sport thriving.

I know this entry is short. I’ve been active with my family. We have birthdays coming up and I have a vacation on the horizon. I thank you for your continued reading and support of this blog. Keep up the good work in developing your lives. Do not be afraid to ask for help, there’s always someone out there. Be kind to yourself and each other.


Waiting at the RMV

July 29, 2010

Ever feel like you are stuck in an endless loop cycle that you can’t get out of? Yet you know you have to be in the middle of it in order to get things done?

That’s what being at the RMV for me is like. Take a ticket, to sit on wooden benches and wait for your letter and number to be called at one of 11 available windows. At least the computer ticket informed me that my approximate wait will be 34 minutes. There were only 15 others ahead of me dealing with registration or license issues. And the funny thing is, changing out my license plates and issuing a new registration took all of 45 seconds.

I think they should offer some sort of entertainment while you are waiting to attend to your business at the RMV. Outside of the young children who are screaming, crying and generally unhappy about being there, you end up hearing a lot of sighs and discontent about the process. What makes it take so long? We’ve been dealing with cars and all of the licenses, permits and documentation you need for years. I would figure with more of the process being streamlined through online means, you wouldn’t have to make so many physical appearances to your local office to get things done.

At least I got in and out within 45 minutes. When I renewed my license earlier in the year, that took an hour. I never know what the best time to get there is- I’ve been there when the doors open and I’ve been there in the late afternoon. You can never tell when the throng of traffic will be going through day in and day out. I’m open to suggestions to make the process less painful. I brought a book with me (168 Hours) and was able to get through 3 chapters while I waited, so not all of my time felt completely idle or irritating.

In the meantime, I have plenty of fall albums to review for the websites I contribute to. I have 4 new library books to read. And it’s the final day of my work week- with a vacation coming up in a couple of weeks. I have nothing really to complain about. I’ve been walking at least 30 minutes a day, even in these hot, humid, muggy days. I’m over 3 months plus on not drinking and types of soda or caffeinated products. I’m gearing up for more bowling as the summer months wind to a conclusion.

Have an awesome day. Be kind and good to each other. Give a long lost friend a call sometime- let them know how much you care.

What Can We Substitute?

July 27, 2010

So many times in life we complain that we never have enough time to squeeze in all the activities in the day we want to pursue. I understand that between work, travel, often being involved in the activities of your children you have little left in the tank for your own personal hobbies and goals.

You have to remember though: we only have a finite time on this earth. Think about the amount of time you spend in passive consumption with the radio going, the computer on, the consistent buzz of your cell phone and the background noise of television. It’s okay to have a mental and physical escape from the day to day stress, but we don’t want to spend hours on end living a satisfied life in this manner.

What can you substitute if you need to spend more time in another area? Is getting up an hour earlier a better solution if you want to get your exercise in for example? How about shutting down the television for an hour during prime time and starting up a special game night with your children? If becoming knowledgeable in a new skill for work or for personal development is in order, set aside those 30-60 minutes a day if necessary and pick up the books, the audio or video material, or take the courses and seminars you need to for your future.

We don’t want to live the rest of our lives on Someday Isle. We know plenty of people who talk about what they want to do, then fail to take that first step or risk in order to achieve what they truly desire. It’s better for some to stay complacent and complain than to actually get off of their duff, surprise themselves and as a result take their lives in a total unique direction they never expected. Don’t give me the excuses of I’m too young, I’m too old, I don’t have enough education, I don’t know where to start, and so on.

Where there’s a will, there’s always a way. I carve out the time I need to for writing, for listening to music, for bowling, for spending time with my family, for rest and relaxation. If it means I write out daily to do lists, I start the night before and know what I need to accomplish. If you love what you do, it won’t seem stressful or even like work- it will be invigorating, fun and uplifting.

Speaking of which, I’m looking forward to this new summer series with Tony Robbins called Breakthrough on NBC. It’s only a six week series, but I think now is an important time to see what changes we can make and take a look into other people’s lives to see what they have been able to accomplish with a little bit of guidance and proper direction. I’m glad Tony was persistent to get this show on the air as I know it’s been in the cards for a long time.

Have a wonderful day. Praise people in public when you catch them doing something right. Acknowledge people in the service industry who go above and beyond the call of duty. Smile and the world will smile back at you.

Small Numbers Add Up

July 26, 2010

I believe that the biggest events that happen in our lives occur as a result of a build up of small skills or tools that we use that add up. You don’t become a great writer the minute you are born- you have to read, write and study good writers and through consistent discipline and use of your skills, gradually you become comfortable with the art of words and knowing how to best communicate through this medium. When it comes to my bowling accomplishments, I’ve had to study, obtain coaching, execute the new skills on a consistent basis and simulate practice into real league and tournament bowling in order to achieve many of my goals.

It may not seem like it at the time, but the extra hour or two a day you put into something will become monumental years down the road. I concur with Jim Rohn’s thoughts during his 1999 weekend seminar where he states, “Do what you have to now because later leads to more satisfaction. Give your best to the few and you’ll be recognized to help many.”

I love reviewing and interviewing bands for a multitude of reasons. I feel like I can express myself to others and help people make better purchasing decisions with their money. I receive free music and get the chance to go to concerts as a result- but I would still find a way to support the music that I love (and continue to do so) even if I didn’t benefit from these perks. I’ve been able to met a wide variety of people through the years of my involvement with the scene- and I still keep in touch with a large number of them. They’ve become not just comrades in support of music- a lot of them I’m proud to call my friends and we’ve gotten to know each other on a deeper level.

So I want to encourage you to pursue your dreams even if they seem years in the distance. Time is going to pass anyways, so wouldn’t you rather get in the game and start taking the steps to achieve your dreams? If you’ve always wanted to go into a new career field and need the training, find someone already doing what you want to do, take them out to a meal and interview them. Get signed up for the classes, even if it’s online or through part-time night classes. Don’t be afraid to tell others about your dreams, they may be able to help you with resources or the right connection to take the learning curve down quickly.

Small numbers do add up. A little money put away each week in an interest bearing savings account or investment adds up. The 60 minutes a day with positive, uplifting reading material adds up. Audio learning in your car ride to and from work adds up. The continual hugs that you give each day to your partner and your children add up. The risk that you take to pursue a new hobby will add up. Passing on your knowledge and talent to others who show interest adds up. Take the chance and you’ll be surprised at the outcomes.

What Matters Most Now

June 23, 2010

What matters most now is safety and security.

The ability to provide for my wife and my family.

Bringing happiness and joy to those closest to me as well as those I may only encounter briefly in my lifetime.

Wanting my daughters to grow up as healthy adults, and learn that their pasts do not dictate where they will be in the present and future.

That I can make small changes in my life when I am ready and they will add up to better health and better wealth to benefit my family and their lives.

The fact that I can be creative daily and put my thoughts out to the world through my blog entries and my music reviews and interviews.

The release of energy in the right direction whenever I am bowling- and the chance to meet new people who share a similar love for the sport as I have.

The feedback that I receive from people when I share my life and they share similar experiences or extend their kindness to me in my time of need.

The love and affection I receive from my wife and my daughters.

The time that I can spend with each of my children, listening to their stories and sharing in the experience of helping them grow up.

The gift of insight, the gift of reflection, the gift of visualization, the gift to know that imagination can create my reality.

I will continue to challenge myself and become a better person today and learn from the choices that may not have gone exactly the way I envisioned.

To be in control of my emotions matters because I need to model appropriate coping skills for my daughters.

Assessing where I am in life and where I would like to be- then taking the steps forward in action to accomplish everything that’s within my mind that I put on paper.

What Do We Want Versus Need?

June 15, 2010

In today’s market, the consumer has more power than ever. What type of cell phone provider you want to go with along with a variety of coverage needs. Cable- satellite- or stick with the internet and videos/ DVD’s for your entertainment needs? Do we buy new or do we buy gentle used? It’s really an exciting time to sit back and think about what we truly want in life versus what we need.

As a result, my wife and I are working on a step by step plan to really look at our priorities and see where we want to put our finances. The first measure I did today is call my cable company and cut back to the basic local channels. They don’t make it easy for you to do- which I think is a stall tactic on their part so that you won’t really cut back- but I followed through on the phone transfers and repeating of my basic information to get what I want accomplished.

The final customer service representative asked me if I was disappointed at all in the service I was receiving and was that the reason for the cutback. I assured him not at all- I told him I needed to rearrange my budget needs and right now, cable wasn’t as much of a priority as other areas of our lives. He didn’t push the issue, gave me what I wanted and I thanked him for his time.

Right now my wife and I are looking into other areas where we can both tighten up our spending as well as earning more income to apply to our bills. This might include a couple of table set ups at local flea markets, it may entail putting items up on various internet auction sites, we may look for times where we can do an odd job or two for friends and family to earn some extra money- I even participate in a number of computer surveys to earn some extra cash.

I want to spend this summer really thinking about what I want versus what I need out of life- and how many of those things require me to put out a large sum of money to do. For instance, I love to read. Do I need to buy books all the time to feed this passion- or is it just as simple for me to go to the local library? Writing is something that I can do at the drop of a notebook or here on a computer keyboard. That frees up money for something that may be a little more expensive for me that I still enjoy- such as bowling.

Really look into the summer community activities in your local area. Most are very inexpensive, and many are often free. There are local concerts, there can be karaoke, it can be a craft fair, you could go swimming at a local state park- you are only limited by the size of your imagination and where you want to stretch it to.

Your children appreciate the time spent with you- it doesn’t really matter in the long run the amount of money you spent on the experience. The best times I remember with my family relate to cookouts, vacations where my father took me fishing, or just hanging out with friends over their houses from time to time. Reevaluate wants versus needs- and enjoy yourself as the summer comes into the horizon.

What I Can Work On

June 11, 2010

Humans didn’t come out at birth with an instruction manual. We do come encoded with DNA from a set of parents, and then as we grow up we have to learn through trial and error plus guidance and experience how to live, breathe and function effectively. I know I have areas of my life that I need to work on.

My wife is helping me understand that sometimes it’s not the words that I say, but the delivery and tone that matter so much more in conversations with her. Because I’m someone who likes to have a plan the day before knowing what’s going to happen and what I have to accomplish, being flexible and ready to rise to the occasion at the drop of a hat is another area I struggle to wrap my head around. I hem and haw, sigh and get frustrated- and instead of internalizing these emotions, I will often lash out at the person closest to me when I shouldn’t.

I can work on my health- for myself and for my family. I want to live a long life, but if I don’t get enough sleep, exercise and eat and drink adequately and in moderate amounts, I will shave years off of my mortality. I want to live to see my daughters get married, become a resource to them in their adulthood and also spoil future grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

I will work on developing my talents and abilities for the benefit of others. I feel like I have a lot in my head that I can help others with- not just in terms of my writing but also in terms of teaching. Learning all of the tools that are out there on the internet and using them to the best of my ability is a start. Bowling, writing, reading, psychology, and personal development are areas that come naturally to me.

What are areas that you can work on? Think of three things that you want to improve over the next 12 months- and get started on the action steps. Maybe you’ve been wanting to go back to school- maybe you want to start a brand new business- maybe you want to connect more with your family and friends- maybe you want to learn a new skill or play a new sport- maybe you just want to lose a few pounds or get in better shape.

We can all work on something to improve our lives for the better. You don’t have to make a drastic improvement overnight- small, incremental changes will add up over the course of a lifetime. If that means you take an hour or two away from the television to accomplish your new goals, then so be it. Be in the present so you can have a wonderful future. Ultimately you have to care about your own well being or you’ll be at a loss in your golden years.