I Won’t Complain!

7db895312950fe2cff968b845e69a8d6_400x400Of the following things, what is the hardest thing?

  1. Stop complaining about anything, ever.
  2. Write 300 or more words on a topic.
  3. Pick up the phone and call a stranger and ask for their time/money?

Each of my readers will have a different answer. Each of the items on the above list is difficult. The difference? The fear and anxiety are different with each.

I used to call myself a “writer” and then I stopped writing. Yesterday, a co-worker caught me Blogging and said, “I used to write a Blog and had about 3,000 monthly views.” She made me feel “less than.”  I thought, “I never had 3,000 monthly views,” but then again, I don’t have to say, “I used to write,” or, “I used to have a Blog.”

I still write. I have about a dozen people who read my Blog entries. Why don’t I have more? Every day I see some Facebook link or article that promises I can make, “$1,000 monthly writing a Blog.”

Fear?  Self doubt? Or perhaps I haven’t found that million dollar idea that makes my soul burn to keep writing. When I do, I’ll write until my fingers fall off and the world will want to read what I write.

I love this quote pointed out by super writer and coach, Rochelle Melander:

In his book, The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch wrote this about complaining:
If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things can work out… Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.
Over the years (maybe currently), I’ve had co-workers that, I believe, make themselves feel better only by complaining.
Fear of failure won’t get you anywhere. Fear of rejection won’t either. Complaining about what you haven’t done and blaming someone for your current state won’t fix things.
Tomorrow, in my journal, I’m going to list everything I could be complaining about, and then I’ll flip it a challenge or a goal.
Complaint: I can’t lose weight because my workload is crushing me, I have no time to workout, and society is built around white flour and fattening foods.
Complaint: Why is everything so expensive? Ugh. Seems like every time I save a little money, it suddenly isn’t enough to buy the stuff I want.
Goal: Create an exercise and weight loss plan, write it down, schedule it, and lose weight.
Goal: Save $$$ every month, ask a finance expert what to do with even a modest amount of extra income, and leave a portion available to buy that thing. Oh, and start selling the hundreds of things I don’t use, wear, or want that sits around my house collecting dust.
So maybe complaining is good …for creating change and an action plan.

What? Two Blog Posts in a Day?

I used to be funny and clever in my Blogs. Now, suddenly, I’m all about deep thinking and changing lives and hoping I might motivate others while motivating myself.

I like Brendon Burchard (and wish his last name wasn’t so difficult to remember how to spell, but then again, as a guy with the last name “Kowalewski” and who named his blog “kaleidoscopic” who am I to tell anyone about making their name or brand more memorable?).

But let’s face it, Brendon and Brandon are interchangeable and if you say “Burchard”, if you don’t see it written down, you’re putting a “sh” sound in there.

Note to self:  Change my last name and the name of my blog.

OK. This post is posted because we all have bad days, bad weeks, and bad months. They’re called “slumps” and just as you can get into a slump, you’ll come out of it, but only if you keep positive and keep acting and doing.

Brendon says it perfectly in the first 4 minutes of this video (before he gets to his sales pitch).

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’m off to the grocery store for healthy fruit and veggies, and that’s a “power move” because what I really want is a burger from Five Guys …but no! I’m rising above.

Early to Bed, Early To Rise…

I think I need marriage counseling. No, not really, but I wonder – am I the only guy on earth who operates at his peak when he gets to bed around 10:00 p.m. and then wakes at 5:00 a.m. with a solid seven hours of sleep? Am I the only guy who does it in a house full of teenagers and an educator wife enjoying the summer off?

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Why do I point that out? Because when I go to bed at 10, nobody else is even close to being ready for bed. It’s like I’m the child.

It’s a lonely life. Albeit, it’s an optimized and energized day with the good sleep habits, but it certainly makes me feel like I’m avoiding the family. If you know me, that’s the furthest thing from the truth as can be. If I won the lottery and didn’t need to get up for work, I’d absolutely stay up late and sleep in.

Does this early to bed, early to rise, and all the health, wealth, and wisdom that comes with it come at a cost?

I guess it’s about what I do with the time I have between work and bedtime. Gotta approach it with gusto and passion. I gotta pretend when I get outta work and head home, that each day is as exciting as the first days of my marriage or the first days after my children were born when I couldn’t wait to come home and hold those little babies in my arms.

I should (we should) attack everything that way, shouldn’t we? If I took on my to-do list at work as-if it was my first week on the job, wouldn’t I do more and get more out of work? Wouldn’t people marvel at my passion? Then, when the day ends, I could leave work at work and race home with joy.

If we have to do things, we should do them with joy.

Great Quotes to Start the Day

Here’s the quote I’m pondering today . . .

“Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”  –Jim Rohn

Last night, I went to the park with my son and he hit 100 (might’ve been 200) balls. He started the baseball season hitting everything. During the first 5 games, he could do no wrong. Then he went 5 games without getting his bat on the ball. So, I said, let’s forget the last five games and let’s get to the park and remember how to hit the ball.

I want to write my book. I want to write my screenplay. I want to mass produce my salsa. I want to grow my billing.

For, oh, let’s say 24 months, everything was clicking (like my son’s 5-game hitting streak) and then nothing was clicking.

I gotta get to the park and remember what it feels like to hit the ball. I did it before. I’ll do it again.

My guess is you have done some great things and if you’re in a slump, like a baseball player, it’s only a matter of time before you (and I) break outta our slump.

Borrowing this mantra from Josh Hind’s blog: “Today I’ll do my best to leave the path I take just a little better and brighter than I found it.”

Don’t take it from me, take it from UB40 (and how happy am I to discover they released an unplugged best-of?). Yes. I realize this song has very little to do with the daily grind, but I like it and it kinda fits.

Many rivers to cross
But I can’t seem to find my way over
Wandering I am lost
As I travel along the white cliffs of Dover

Many rivers to cross
And it’s only my will that keeps me alive
I’ve been licked, washed up for years
And I merely survive because of my pride

And this loneliness won’t leave me alone
It’s such a drag to be on your own
My woman left me and she didn’t say why
Well I guess, I have to try

Many rivers to cross
But just where to begin, I’m playing for time
There are times I find myself 
Thinking of committing some dreadful crime

Yes, I’ve got many rivers to cross
But I can’t seem to find my way over
Wandering I am lost
As I travel along the white cliffs of Dover

More from Josh Hind.

Alzheimer’s

My biggest fear in life is Alzheimer’s disease. It runs in my family. It took my Grandma away from us. My Dad is involved in an ongoing study and he worries about it (and I think he shows he has a gene that makes him getting it more likely). I obsess about it. Every time I forget someone’s name, or when I can’t remember what the halls of my high school looked like, I start to think I’m suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s.

Hey. It’s my obsession. Give me this one thing (because I rarely obsess over anything …yes, that sentence was meant to be read sarcastically).

Enter the book The Brain Fog Fix by Dr. Mike Dow. I’ve read many self-help books in my day. I rarely read fiction or biographies, but instead I read self-help and self-improvement books, and never has a book spoke to me more directly than this book. Only 2-hours into it, and it’s like I’m sitting with a counselor/dietician/friend who “gets me.”

My early takeaways . . .

  1. Fix what I eat
  2. Fix how I sleep and exercise
  3. Make it my lifestyle

Why do I like this book? Isn’t it stuff I already know? Well, yes and no. I tend to eat in ways that are geared towards athletes or people who need to lose a massive amount of weight and the diets tend to be gimmicky and unsustainable. And I’m not obese or overweight, so eating like someone trying to lose 3o, 40, or 50 pounds is a little silly. I’m not saying to obese people they shouldn’t try silly or gimmicky diets – do everything you need to do to lose weight. My quick thought on being overweight – once I read about being 20, 30, or 40 pounds overweight and the author said, “imagine when you woke up in the morning I handed you a 25 pound bag of sand and told you to carry it around all day.”  The point was, you’d hate it. By the end of the day, your back would hurt, your knees would hurt. You would feel tired. You would want to sit down and rest. You might find yourself out of breath when walking up a flight of stairs or playing in the yard with your kids.

You see where the lesson is, right? If a person is 20+ pounds overweight, this is how they’re living every day. Most weight gain is gradual and we don’t feel much different because the weight gain came a pound or two at  a time, over many months and years, but if you’ve looked at the height-weight chart, lately, you and I both know how many bags of sand you’re carrying and what that’s doing to you.

OK. So “weight” is another thing I obsess about. Two things, OK. That’s not a problem. I could quit obsessing at any time.

I’m not here to scold anyone about their weight, but I wish anyone overweight would help themselves lose a little – obesity is as bad for you as smoking or drug use. Just my strong opinion.

Back to the “brain fog.” I’ll admit. I’ve been in a bit of a “fog” and it’s partly because of some crazy diet and eating pattern I’ve been doing.

Dumb. Well, no more!

And the point of this blog isn’t about “whoa is me”, but the main point it this – if you feel like you’re struggling a little with brain fog, depression, anxiety, and sleep problems, well, I’m not a doctor, but it could be partially (and I do want to make sure you notice I used the word “partially” because I know it’s not a quick fix and one-size-fits-all solution), but it’s a part.

Eating right and exercising isn’t a revolutionary concept, but this book puts it all together and maybe, just maybe, if I was (or am) going to get Alzheimer’s, maybe I can take some steps to delay it (or avoid it all together).

Thanks for reading.

 

Pretty Excited About This Eurolux Stainless Steel Cool Touch Electric Kettle

Do you know how you know when you’re old? It’s when you order a quick-boil electric kettle on eBay and you want to high-five someone. Or, you know you’re old when you talk about the quality of a chair because you can sit in it for a long period of time and when you stand up, your back doesn’t hurt. Or, another sign you’re old is when you start driving about 2 m.p.h. under the speed limit because you’re really not in that much of a hurry, and driving conservatively saves gas and will prolong the lifespan of your engine.

Yup. I’m old. But I’m excited, especially about the 6 temperature settings.

  • 160°F- Delicate Teas
  • 175°F- Green Tea
  • 185°F- White Tea
  • 190°F- Oolong Tea
  • 200°F- French Press Coffee
  • 212°F- Black Tea

And it gets many, many 5-star Amazon reviews.

I also ordered socks for the legs of my chairs to protect my new hardwood floors. Oh, yes. I party on Monday night’s like a mutha!

Keep checking back to my blog as I will be building shelves for my laundry room to custom fit into an odd shaped area. It will either be the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done, or it will make me look like the guy in A Beautiful Mind and while my brain tells me I’m brilliant and saving the world, my wife will be asking me to sit and talk with a counselor.

It ain’t like I’m bragging, but I will have a badass (and organized) laundry room.

Just in case I forget to blog about every last detail, follow me at the following places.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/donkowalewski
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Website: https://kaleidoscopicraygun.com/
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Building 2017 Around Magic #44

44-image2My Dad was born in 1944. I was born on 7/11/73 and if you write that as (7-11) and (7-3) you get -4 and 4 and, well, that’s two 4s in a row.

I want to weigh 144 pounds by the end of the year (or sooner). I want to exercise for 44-minutes a day. I want to write for 44-minutes a day. I want to listen to (or read) something motivating for 44-minutes a day. I want to make 44 new business calls each month (11 per week) and make my cold-calls at 8:44 a.m. for 44-minutes every day. I should dedicate 44-minutes a day to a hobby or passion project. I’ll set my alarm for 4:44 a.m. I’ll turn off all TVs and glowing devices by 9:44 p.m. each night and spent 44-minutes getting ready for bed, journaling, or meditating until that 44-minutes is up. I’ll work up to 44 push-ups a day. I want to increase my billing at work by 44%. I want to grow my income by 44%. If I can fit it into my schedule, I’ll take 44-minutes to have lunch each day. I want to follow Gary Vaynerchuk’s advice and turn my work and my life into quality social media and focus on 44 pieces of social media content each day. (1 Blog, 8 Tweets, 6 Retweets, 2 Personal Facebook Posts, 2 Posts to Kaleidoscopic Raygun’s Facebook Page, 1 YouTube Vid, 2 Instagram Post, 8 Snaps, 3 LinkedIns, and then some other stuff to get to 44).  This social content should be relevant to my passions and my livelihood (but I’ll still post about coffee and some random stuff …I’m only human and I’m still Don). OK. 44 social posts might be a bit much, but if I count Comments, I can do it.

I should build a new Blog and call it “The 44th Parallel.”

I do well when I’m obsessing about something. We all do. Obsessing about a deadline. A project. A goal. What if the obsession became your magic number and you built your year around it?

I don’t care your magic number …just pick one and apply it to some categories.

Why 44?

I turn 44 years old this year. That means I’ve reached the high end of the Adult 18-44 demo. I’m still solidly in the Adult 18-demo, which is considered younger skewing, and I need to take advantage of this youth (as defined by media companies). Because in 2018, I jump into the Adult 45+ demo and by then, I don’t matter to anyone (and everyone will know I got a tattoo because I’m desperately trying to show I still belong among the Adults 18-49, but we all know a 45-year-old has very little in common with an 18-year-old or 24-year old …crap).

Let’s get started and, oh, my next blog is going to be about #WhatsYourStory.