Open Minded at the Get-Go

When you take on a project, it’s important to remember that your ideas will grow and develop as you travel through it. Too many times I have visualized the end product of a project before it was time and ended up unsatisfied at the end. When a boss or family member etc. asks us to do something for them, we are filled with enthusiasm, we want a quick product. But would we settle for a quick product if it was for us personally? I wouldn’t. I spend a long time researching cars I want to buy (for example) or themes I want to use or websites I want to make before I set out to make them. The same should be true when we are working for others. Stay open minded and let the project take on a life of its own. I have always believe that life is a journey not a destination and if you know the destination before you start the process, you’ll be disappointed at the end.

This is especially important to remember now with the employment rate being as low as it is. We should emphasize what we can do today and out tomorrow will be better.

Temporarily Alive

Sounds morbid huh? Not to me. I see it as a positive, self-improvement mantra.  Most people have seen a dead person like a grandparent or friend in a casket at a funeral. We know they don’t look real. I remember my grandfathers both looked like wax. It is not their appearance that hits me the hardest it is the realization that they are not animated anymore. Some might even argue (and have) that it is because their soul has left the body. Whatever your explanation, it is undeniable that dead bodies look vastly different than living ones. I think you reach a plateau with the fear of death and you accept that everyone of us will indeed die. At that realistic point you can start to view people you encounter as really just temporarily alive.

You can ensure your words mean more because anyone you encounter, be it a boss or friend, will one day die. This can help with being direct, saying what’s most important only, and attempting to make a long lasting influence as much as possible. Of course it is first and foremost helpful in living a qualty life to accept that you yourself are only “temporarily alive.” This possibly morbid but certainly full-of-impact phrase has the power to change your life for the better. laptop memory is affordable, but when our minds get to a certain age … all we can do is look back. Make the most of the time right now.

How might you view your situation differently with this mindset?

The Greatest Tragedy is NOT

“The greatest tragedy in life is not death; the greatest tragedy takes place when our talents and capabilities are underutilized and allowed to rust while we are living.” AMMA

I added this quote to my crazy quotes page recently. It’s getting pretty serious there now, I have 40 that cycle through randomly. This new one just stuck out to me and begged to be shared.

Make sure you put effort forth to use your talents. In many cases people can make money doing that which empassions them. Work doesn’t have to feel like a dead end. I think this is an important quote so I wanted to give it its own post. I wish I could give you a set of talking watches that repeated over and over what a true tragedy is. Thanks for reading.

Your thoughts on this quote?

Pink Floyd

I’ve loved this band for years. Their guitarist, David Gilmour, has some of the best riffs and chops I am yet to hear. I’ve seen them live twice back in the early 90’s. Yes people were passing joints around and offering small squares of LSD to put on your tongue. I was in my early 20’s and a little TOO open minded. I never really got into that lifestyle though … I just genuinely loved the music. I recently heard that a member of the band passed away and it hit me hard. That’s like the death of an era. Just like the Beatles only have two left, so Pink Floyd now are less. I love their song: “Comfortably Numb.” Everytime I hear it I go into a trance.

Any Floyd fans out there?

Template Your Way to Blog Greatness

Besides the elementary rules of usage, there are some elementary guidelines of composition, or writing, that can make any blogger better.  If you’re reading this, you probably have a great style and just want to make it better.  Let’s face it though, there are a lot of blogs out there that really need some help.  Ironically, I don’t think they’ll be tuning in :(

This post suggests a template idea that helps me every day.  Just to reiterate, I get the ideas for these posts from Strunk and White’s “The Elements of Style.”  Just like there are some technical “constants” of good blogs, so there are constants of writing worth looking into.

Create a template and stick to it. I have gone through many templates for my blog posts.  They have all shared one thing is common: links to other posts on my blog and links to external blogs either in my blogroll or ones I have run across and found interesting.  Stumbleupon is an excellent tool for storing these links and then retrieving them later.  I will share my basic template I use when creating blog posts:

Introduction: A catchy sentence(s) that can serve as a stand alone teaser.  About 160 characters because most search engines don’t pick up beyond that.  It should promote what follows.

Body: 1-5 paragraphs.  Each paragraph should be about something distinct.  They should not be too long.  I’d say no more than 4 sentences max.  Blog readers’ eyes get bored fast.

Conclusion: Try to include a question or request for a response.  This stimulates comments.

Links: 3 internal links, 3 external links

This is a very basic outline, but it gets the point across that you should analyze and create a template and then stick to it.  Your readers will notice and read with greater ease and interest.  With daily serious blogging, templates are almost a non-negotiable.

What do you think of choosing a suitable design for posts and sticking to it?

Space of 3 Minutes

Music is a powerful medium on our psyche.  Specifically, pop music is It is a space of 3 minutes (average). It is amazing and I don’t know why scientifically. It might be due to the fact that people allow their minds to open to ideas in a song while they might not through normal conversation. It can be like a whole movie message in the space of three minutes. Just like walking around on a lazy Saturdy in your Dansko shoes, so the right music can utterly relax and inspire you. I have had many favorites through the years, most of which you can find on my last.fm account. My name there is rileycentral. I have been changed in the space of three minutes. Music has been and will continue to be my primary source of inspiration. Make sure you turn on your radio if you are not regularly. You might be absolutely amazed at what can happen in your head and heart in the space of 3 minutes.

A Great Work Means Great Challenges

I used to attend Saddleback Church in Mission Viejo, California in my early twenties.  I remember being single and praying for a wife (happened),  a good career (happened), and several other things that would probably bore you if I elaborated on them.  Nonetheless, if you haven’t heard of that church, it’s the church that a guy named “Rick Warren” started oh probably 20 years ago now.  He has been on Larry King and other major network shows.  I’m not sure, but he may have even been on Oprah.  Anyway, this isn’t meant to be a post about religion.  I just needed to give you that background for the quote to make sense.

Once I heard him say something that has stuck with me to this day and I wanted to share it in the context of 2008.  He was talking about having small “shepherding” type groups in ones home and a few people had complained about how they had to do extra child care when couples were fighting or feed them extra when they were out of work.  I guess they thought bragging to the pastor would make them look more “holy” or something.  that was when he said the quote to them:

No mess, no ministry.

If you aren’t a Christian, you might insert somthing else: ie; family, writing career, connection, etc.  Anything great undergoes formation and that can be painful.  I have a blogger friend, David Masters, who just got married.  As a result, he’s not posting as much.  I was fortunate enough to write a couple guest posts for him that he published and I hope others will volunteer to step up that way because his blog is an AMAZING VISION the likes of which I don’t run across often.  The title is Be Playful and his posts are about getting real and getting creative and getting healthy through that.  Wow.  I am so behind that vision.  The other day I was making a list with my wife of stuff our baby girls needed.  The normal attitude is to go hrmfff and get the basic stuff they need.  The kind of philosophy David is pushing makes you seek out unique baby gifts that will make them smile.

David’s situation is not isolated.  I know at least 2 other bloggers going through a valley, unable to blog and of course I have written here about my dad’s job situation.  Remember if there were no mess, there’d be no ministry.  If someone wasn’t hungry, you couldn’t feed them.  Whatever great work you step up to do, remember that a great work means great challenges.  If you want it bad enough, you can make it through to the side of success.  Never give up.