Lotta stuff in my brain right now. The biggest things are thoughts of my Uncle who suffered a major stroke last Wednesday night. You won’t meet a more sharp-minded, curious, energized, happy, and intelligent person than he. He’s everyone’s favorite person. I think that’s the right way to put it . . . everyone loves him. When he enters a room, everyone and everything in that room is suddenly just a little better. I could go on and on and on . . .but for now, be you theistic or atheistic, if you have spare prayers or good thoughts, please use them for my Uncle. He’s four days into what will be a long, long journey to a new and unknown reality. And while praying for him, pray for my Aunt (his wife) and my cousins, as well.
Now with that seriousness out of the way, any time something tragic happens, I can’t help but take stock in my own life, my path, and my attitude. Am I unnecessarily negative when I shouldn’t be? Am I taking advantage of all the gifts I’ve been given? Am I approaching life and every situation in my life with joy and curiosity? Do I fully express myself and tell people how much they mean to me?
May this Monday be different. I can tell you this – the weekend was.
I hit the gym (Planet Fitness, my new favorite planet) at 5:30 this morning.
I spent a few minutes training my dog, this morning, based on the lessons I’m learning from the book The Dog Whisperer written by the “original dog whisperer”, Paul Owens. I always complain about my dog, but I don’t do anything about it!!! My boss, J.L., is famous (famous to me, anyway) for using the quote that, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” I’m halfway through the book and the first half was spent entirely on the philosophy behind non-violent dog training and what I’ve picked up is this – my dog and I are not friends. I can’t simply expect the dog to be love me and listen to me. I need to make the dog my friend. Train a little every day. Play a little every day. Make the dog love being around me and making me happy. Until now, that damn dog has been an annoyance. And the more annoyed I get and the less time I spend with the dog, the problem multiplies. And the thing is . . . she’s a good dog even with a complete lack of training. It won’t take much for me to make her a perfect walking companion, to stop her from jumping on people and peeing on the floor when guests arrive, and she might even be up for some tricks.
Next up, I watched this from Darren Hardy. He challenged me the right way I needed to be challenged today.
How can you master the mundane? How can you turn it into a game, a personal contest or give it extra passion, effort or mastery to gain some joy from it?
His challenge echos something my boss challenged me with last week. Bring myself (personality, strengths, special gifts) to my work. I’m “Don”. The good and bad, it’s who I am. Perhaps I was getting bogged down comparing myself to everyone else, but only to those achieving more, and was talking myself into failure and convincing myself I was failing.
With everything that happened last week and this weekend, to one of the happiest and most joyful people I’ve ever known, I owe it to him and myself to wake up and live with passion and purpose. I remember I asked him one time about happiness at work and finding a job that makes me happy (a very Gen X thought-process) and I assumed, as a career Engineer, he’d be able to relate about having a ho-hum, mundane job and could offer some tips on rising above the daily grind. But you know what he told me? He said, “I’ve always kinda liked my job. I enjoy being presented with a problem and then working to find a solution. And isn’t that really the basics of every job? So, because I like math and science, this job is always new and challenging, and perfect for me.”
I need to pin that quote to my shirt. No. I need to live and work like I heard him and understand.
Let’s have a great day. Let’s have a great life.
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