Focus. Focus. Focus. Organize. Organize. Organize.

Do you, like me, often feel like you bite off more than you can chew? How does a normal person manage it all?

I think it’s about focus and organization. It’s about being honest about how many hours exist in a day and in a week, and using them to your full advantage.

For example. Here I am at work at 8:03 a.m. and I’m firing off a quick blog entry. Should I have done this at home? Well, at home, I got up at 5:40 a.m., was out walking (with the dog) at 5:45 a.m. saying the Rosary until 6:10 a.m. Then it was a quick cuppa coffee, a shower, and then some morning chores (empty dishwasher, make breakfast for the kids, wake the kids, make my own breakfast, make my bed and pick-up my side of my bedroom, floss, and brush teeth).

I want to write my own book. I want to ghost-write another book. I wish I still had time to write for spunkybean. I want to chillax with my kids in the evenings and help them with homework. I like coaching their soccer teams. My billing at work isn’t where I would like it. I should be working 10- and 12-hour days to make up for that. I want, and need, 7 hours of sleep each night and would do better with 8-hours. I worry about EVERYTHING and, then, I wake up at 4:00 a.m. in a near panic.

It starts with focus.

To Agree or Disagree, Which Do I Notice?

I wonder if I notice quotes because they fit in with my thoughts at a certain time, or do I notice quotes because they conflict with my current state of mind? This is a bad example, but if I’m thinking, “I’m going to exercise more,” but I don’t really want to exercise more, subconsciously, will I be more apt to notice quotes about injury and fatigue?

I’m having trouble with time-management and getting things done. I want to do deep, meaningful work, but there’s too much work. I’m not “perfect” by any means, but I like my work to be quality. I like my work to impress others because I think that will have an impact on securing future work (and sales). It seems to be a formula that’s worked? Or has it?

Am I fooling myself that my attention to detail and creativity mean as much as I think they do?

So, I see quotes like . . .

… or . . .

… or . . .

Did Mark Cuban really say that?

Maybe this is why we have a Fox News and an MSNBC which, if you watch their biggest shows at 10 o’clock, pretty much report totally different news stories. And I watch the one that, at any particular moment, fits in to what I want to hear.

Where am I going with this? I’m questioning whether my current state of being, current financial situation, or current level of success, are reflective of the messages I listen to and notice, or do the messages I see and hear appeal to me because of where I’m at in my career, life, and age? It’s like this, and I use this analogy all the time. I worked for 15 years in jobs that required zero travel. I never noticed a commercial for a hotel or airline. Then, one day, I took a job where I’d travel for full weeks at a time, every other week, and suddenly, all I saw were ads for hotels, rental car companies, and airlines. And those commercials mattered to me. Then, I quit that job and lo and behold, I never notice hotel, rental car, or airline ads.

Which comes first? The chicken or the egg? The message or the state?

Kaizen Improvement of the Day: Get rid of all paper notes on my desk

#22Kill 22-Day Push-Up Challenge, Day 6

I missed a couple of days, but my daughter asked, “aren’t you still doing the push-up thing,” and I was like, yes, and so what if I missed a day or two. Right? I’m doing it to inspire others and maybe spread the word that many Veterans are struggling with depression and anxiety and we should be sensitive to that and help wherever we can. For goodness sake. They sacrificed alot to defend our wonderful way of life full of Wifi and cable and freedom and opportunity.

I’ll say it again, the fact that it’s #22Kill and we’re doing #22 push-ups, and this isn’t #12kill or #ZeroKill . . . well . . . it makes me said. My daughter joined the push-up fun. She did better than I thought she would. Go, Ada!


Kaizen Way, Day-2


Am I bragging? No. Do I hate writing where someone writes a question and then answers it in the next sentence. Yes, I do.

Everything about this article is me. How many times have I (have you?) started over, or made promises to myself, made a plan, started a journal, and said to my self, “this is it!”

It’s embarrassing I don’t even know the answer, but my start-over moments must number in the hundreds.

And how, with the hundreds of self-help books I’ve read, have I never heard about the Kaizen Way? It speaks to me. One little improvement daily. That’s it. I’ve been digging around the Internet this morning and it appears Robert Maurer is sorta the founding father of this movement (and I won’t hold this 2009 video against him, even though it looks like it was recorded in the mid-70s).

The bottom line – improve yourself a little (1%) each day. One thing. Day-1 I committed to always emptying the dishwasher before bed. Day-2, lay and meditate for 10-minutes after my first alarm goes off and the snooze alarm goes off. Use that time to breathe, meditate, and reflect but not try and fall back asleep. Get it? See how it works. Just two things in two days. Seems small, but that’s the point. I had a happy evening and I’m having a happy morning.

#22Kill 22-Day Push-Up Challenge, Day 5

I’m a little envious of my man H.F. who’s not only doing the #22Kill 22-Day Push-Up challenge, he’s doing it in a much more entertaining way than I am. He’s doing push-ups in the back of a moving pick-up truck. On the roof of a Ferrari. He’s on top of a wall. He’s doing it while tennis balls are launched towards him. But I guess, in the end, it’s all for the cause of bringing awareness to something that I wish never happened – on average, 22 Veterans take their own lives every day.

Below is as creative as I can be and it’s probably way to up-close and personal.

If it weren’t for the push-ups, what would I be doing with this blog? Usually I try to point out something interesting. I try to learn something new every day. Really, I do. Can you imagine if every day for 365 days I actually found something new and exciting, or added a good habit to my routine, or ended some bad habit or behavior? That would mean 365 new things or changes each year. 720 self-improvements over the course of two years. I’d make 4,000 discoveries or improvements over the next 11 years. Wow! That means, by the time I turn 53 years old, I’ll be 4,000x better than I am, today.

So, you ask, what did I learn, change, or fix, today? OK. Don’t laugh. I committed to loading the dishwasher and running it right after dinner and emptying it before I go to bed as part of my bedtime routine. My morning-self will thank my nighttime-self. Do you know who the morning-self and nighttime-self are? The nighttime-self is the enemy of the morning-self. Nighttime-self stays up too late, has a second or third beer, and doesn’t do anything productive. He’s lazy and selfish. Morning-self hates nighttime-self because when morning-self wakes up, he has to clean up after and undo all the damage nighttime-self did. Basically that’s my way of saying that I get made at myself in the morning when I wake up and I have to unload the dishwasher and it starts my day off in a bad mood. And when I wake up tired and can’t get outta bed at 5:15 because I stayed up until 11:30 or Midnight, it makes my whole day worse.

“The greatest danger occurs at the moment of victory.” -Napoleon’s warning

Back to the topic and my day-1 of 4,000-days of improvements. Today, I’m committing to doing the chore I hate doing before I got to bed each night to make my mornings better. I believe this (doing one thing daily) is called the Kaizen Way (1% better every day).

Little strokes fell great oaks.” –Benjamin Franklin

And now …my push-ups.

“When you improve a little each day, eventually big things occur. When you improve conditioning a little each day, eventually you have a big improvement in conditioning. Not tomorrow, not the next day, but eventually a big gain is made. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens — and when it happens, it lasts.” —John Wooden

#22Kill 22-Day Push-Up Challenge, Day 4

Something occurred to me as I took a nice bike ride with my kids to a local park, this evening. It occurred to me that I can safely do things like that, and we can all enjoy that freedom and peace, because whenever our enemies threaten us, our military suits up, heads overseas, and kicks some ass. Save for some very limited and horrific tragedies (when we had to be completely blindsided by cowards), we live in a safe and free society.

I watch dumb reality TV. A minority is currently serving as President. A woman could very well be our next President. I can have any job I want, as can my wife, and while my opinions and religion may differ from many of my friends and neighbors, I’m allowed to have different opinions and my own religion, and you can have yours. It’s amazing. I’m lucky to live in thee U.S.A.

I get to be lucky, and safe, and watch dumb reality TV because our military keeps us safe. And when I hear they can’t handle being back on U.S. soil, can’t always find (or hold) jobs, and that an average of 22 Veterans take their own lives each day, I get mad and sad.

Maybe someday soon the #22Kill 22-push-up challenge will be the #0ZeroKill push-up challenge.

Here’s me with a little message and 22 more push-ups.

#22Kill 22-Day Push-Up Challenge, Day 3


You gotta watch today’s video. You’ll see my dog goes nuts right around my 20th push-up. More crazy than she ever acts. Guess why? There was a skunk waddling across the street. Apparently my dog and I spooked the skunk outta my bushes (I could smell it before I walked outside) when we came outside. OK. So if that sounds crazy, watch it. You’ll see I couldn’t get her to sit-stay.

Now, for my blog post and my philosophical ramblings. I’m working on my morning routine. I wanna be one of those, “I get more done before 7am than most people do all day,” types. I hit the snooze, today. Doh! The snooze is such a silly thing. I know that in my heart. If I’m not in R.E.M. sleep, what’s the point? Nobody ever said, “oh, well, at 5:15 a.m. I was sooooooo tired, but 9 minutes later at 5:24 a.m., I felt incredible!!!” Sleep specialists don’t say, “if you’re struggling with sleep, set your alarm for 3:00 a.m. and then hit the snooze for two hours and you’ll feel rested.”

I’m banning the snooze-button in my life. Oh, snap. The “snooze button” as a business and life philosophy. That could be my book. Would you read it?

Then again, I think there’s a way you can use the snooze. Been reading alot about meditation and prayer. I think the snooze button should only be a safety net. When that first alarm sounds, it’s OK to lay there and think, reflect, and get your mind ready for the day. Tomorrow, I’m going to try this . . . my alarm will go off at 5:15 a.m.

I’ll hit the snooze.

Then I’ll practice my breathing, practice being aware of my thoughts, think about my day, think about my workout, say a prayer or chant over some Chakras, and then when my next alarm goes off, attack the morning.

Here’s my push-ups.