Millennials

I’m not breaking any news, here, but my sister shared this video with me and I can’t stop thinking about it and, actually, can’t stop thinking about how it applies to my 13, 12, and 10 year old? Hell …how does it apply to me? Based on Simon Sinek‘s observations, I’m morphing into a Millennial. So is my wife. So is my sister.

If you have 15-minutes, watch it.

I wonder if it’s true, or he just makes it sound like it’s true.  My sister showed it to her 12 and 11 year old. I immediately thought, “I’m going to show it to my kids,” and then I thought, well, maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll figure out how to make them undo what they’ve done (or what I’ve allowed them to do).

Is it an epidemic, or just the new reality? I grew up in the 80s in the dawn of cable and MTV and Nickelodeon, and when Atari evolved into the Commodore 64 which evolved into Nintendo and then Sega Genesis. I spent …so …much …time …watching TV and playing video games. I’m sure my generation was labeled an older people said we were ruining ourselves. Is the video an overreaction to something new that will pass? Or should I really think about the irreparable harm that devices and social media might be having on my kids and will they be depressed and suicidal?

Or should I trick them by saying, “only a 1/2-hour of devices at night and NO DEVICES within a half hour of bedtime?”  Should I limit devices on the weekend? I spent the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. almost every Saturday morning watching Saturday morning cartoons. I spend, I’ll bet, and hour or more every day after school watching cartoons. I had a favorite sitcom or show every night of the week and always watched a show before bed.

It’s not just Millenials with that cell phones in meetings – that’s everyone.

Anyway, really, really interesting.

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

The World Revolves Around Me?

No. The world doesn’t revolve around me. Did you see the question mark in the blog title? Sometimes, however, I feel like the choices I make are completely egomaniacal and force the people I love (mainly my wife) to bow to my selfish demands. Like, here’s two things I want to do which will burden her (hmmmm, I guess this entry should be called, “how far can I push my wife until she divorces me?”):

  • Crazy Idea #1: Bedtime @ 10:00 p.m., leading to wake-up time 5:00 a.m. (a solid 7 hours of sleep and a day that begins with a trip to the gym).
  • Crazy Idea #2: Do the Whole30 diet (which will alter how she cooks for the family and shops for the family)

And these are just two crazy ideas out of at least a dozen I have.

Is it selfish? To say, “I want more sleep so I have more energy and focus, and I want to get up early and exercise so I feel better, sleep better, look better, and live longer,” and then say, “I want to revamp my entire diet and all my bad eating habits so I have more energy and focus and so I feel better, sleep better, look better, and live longer?”

Is that selfish? I’m guessing many people would look at this and say, “well, what’s wrong with that? It’s not like you decided you wanted to be an Olympic bobsledder and spend 3 hours a night training and leaving her with the kids.” But those people don’t know how badly I messed-up Valentine’s Day this past weekend. I really f’d up. Maybe I’m just naturally a selfish jackass and that’s the first thing I need to work on. Hmmm. I’ll ponder that in a future blog post: A Fine Line Between Me and Everyone Else.

Moving on ….I have other Crazy Ideas. I want to get back into ghost-writing (including writing a book for M.K.), finish that script* I always talk about finishing (I’m talking to you, K.V.), write more for spunkybean, and listen to more music. Ahem. Yes. I mean simply listening to music. I wish I had more “me time” to do simple stuff …like read a book, or listen to a new CD. And I mean really, really listen. Listen uninterrupted to the lyrics and the subtle nuances that the artists put into certain songs.

Where will I get the time? Well, if I can simply give up all the time I spend with my wife, even though I can partly justify my behavior to being a better version of myself, for my wife, and living longer so I have more years with my wife, what good is it if I slap her a high-give twice a day …once during the busy morning routine of getting everyone outta the house and once in the evening when helping with homework, doing various daily chores, and putting the kids to bed at 8:15, 8:45, and 9:15, and then myself to bed at 10 o’clock.

Oh, and what about quality time with the kids? Where do I get that time?

Or maybe I overvalue the idea of “daily quality time,” and should focus more on planning for quality time. That’s another blog entry: What is Quality Time?

You’d think a guy with a blog all about himself and who loves Twitter and Snapchat and Facebook (except not right now during Lent) is comfortable with the world revolving around himself and that I don’t have much regard for anyone else. But I swear to you, it’s not true.

I guess I have a Crazy Idea #3: Have a Great Marriage (while being a ultra-driven, Type-A, healthy, inspired, exciting version of myself).

* Writing the script for a TV Pilot is Step-1. Once I show Hollywood I can write a story, script, and dialog, well, then I’ll be ready to get the ultimate feel-good movie idea out of my head and onto paper and …bam …I’ll, be famous. Or, it’s not so much famous, but I’ll feel really great and happy because I’ll have done a thing I’ve been thinking about for 8 years. Hell, I’ll just be happy if I write the whole script and get it into the hands of someone who knows something about storytelling and script writing and someone tells me, “no” or any feedback. Because right now, Steve Carrel, Bob Odenkirk, nor Andy Samberg have no idea this incredible, funny, and clever movie role is even available.

Oh, and this is the best song from 2015. Don’t argue.

A Good Ballad Can Still Be a Hit

Sometimes I wonder if we’ll never have crooners and ballads as part of the Billboard Top-40. I remember the ’80s (and early ’90s) when Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Phil Collins, Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, and Boyz II Men clogged up the Top-40 and Top-10 with huge, soaring ballads. Now? It’s all Fetty Wap and Ariana Grande.

Yes, this is the type of thing I “wonder” about when driving in my car alone. And I “wonder” …how much water is too much water and should I buy a book of crossword puzzles to help ward off Alzheimer’s?

But then, a song like Adele’s “Hello” comes along and it’s impossible not to love it. I mean it. It’s impossible. Show me someone who says, “I don’t really like Adele and don’t understand what all the hub bub is about,” and I’ll show you a damn dirty liar. It’s like when someone says they don’t care for bacon. Um. Sorry. The human taste-bud isn’t that complicated and the human taste-bud scientifically and empirically is, via evolution, designed to like salty meat. We homo-sapien human beings have only been reading, writing, farming, and speaking for about 10,000 years (actually, I’m not sure if we’ve had farming technology for 10,000 years, but whatever), and that’s not enough time for evolution to take away our animal instincts of craving meat for survival.

I’m not scientist.

Anyway …the point is …just as all humans like bacon, so too do all eardrums like Adele’s voice. Our ears like birds singing, babbling brooks, lightly falling rain, and Adele.

Ballads still have a place in this world. And sometimes, children’s instruments and Jimmy Fallon have a place in a ballad.

Mind Shift, Sleep Shift

Anyone have any thoughts on shifting one’s entire hours-of-operation? I ask because I seem incapable of sleeping past, oh, 4 or 4:30 a.m. Waking up at 4:30 a.m. isn’t the end of the world, but it means I have to head to bed at 9:30 or 10 o’clock each night so I can try like hell to get my 6 1/2 or 7 hours of sleep.

This means I’m going to bed, during the summer months, earlier than my 12-year-old (and at about the same time as my 10-year-old).

Today I’m going to research sleep hours and adjusting my internal clock.

Here’s something else crazy – now that my kids are getting older, and it’s summertime, most of my mornings will be me, awake, having breakfast, taking the dog for a walk, having coffee, reading some articles on the laptop, maybe watching The Daily Show from the night before, shower, shave, and head off to work and I won’t see anyone in my family (which will be amplified if my mornings keep starting at 4:30 a.m.).

I wonder if I stay up later if I’ll sleep longer (it’s never worked in the past). But if I go to a 1980s adult schedule and force myself to always stay up and, at least, see the opening monologue of The Tonight Show, maybe going to bed at midnight will let me sleep until 6:30 or 7:00 a.m.

Leave a comment if you got something to say.

Time for New Shoes

If you know me, I’m an Adidas man. Always have been. Since I was in my late teens, all my running and athletic shoes have been Adidas, except for a pair of minimal Nike running shoe in the mid-2000s that mimicked barefoot running, and recently a pair of Merrell’s that also are a minimalist shoe given to me by a friend (K.C.) that works at Merrell. Both were great, but as I’m not a runner anymore, I need a new pair of kicks (people still use the word “kicks” in reference to shoes, right?).

Well, I’ve always had a pair of Adidas running shoes on stand-by, but there was an incident Thursday night. While out walking the dog, the dog had an “accident” (not really an “accident” because dogs are supposed to poop while out on a walk, but stick with me). What she did was, well, like poop, but not poop. Looked like some sort of cosmic goo. So I dutifully tried to grab it in the plastic garbage bag but it got away from me and before you know it, the bag was out of my hand and this “cosmic goo” had splattered all over my Adidas. In some J.F.K.-bullet-bending way, it managed to land on and ruin both shoes. It was so bad, and so disgusting, because it was the eve of trash day, I took off both shoes mid-walk and about 300 yards from home,  and threw the shoes right in the nearest curbside can.

Am I that prissy that I couldn’t have cleaned these shoes? Let’s just say …the shoes were four years old and I’m not kidding …they weren’t going to be saved. Thank me for not taking a picture for Instagram.

That story leads to one major decision, now . . . a new pair of running shoes that won’t be used for running. Mostly for style and long walks, with the occasional bike ride and running around a park with the kids, thrown in. They need to look good with jeans (I am not ready to do the stark-white shoe with jeans Dad-Look), shorts and short black or white socks, or with athletic pants.

The issue is, most of today’s running shoes feature loud color schemes or at least one color that glows in the dark. I want grey on black or black on black – and that’s no easy task. I’m also considering changing brands – from Adidas to New Balance (collective gasps, I know).

So, for the next month, I’ll be debating between the following two shoes. The New Balance 1012s or the Adidas Powerblaze M Black Onix.

Decisions, decisions. Great blog entry, eh?

New Balance 1012

Adidas Powerblaze M Black Onix

 

Time to Fix This Year

My Life: Q1 came and went and it’s time to look back, take stock, and implement action items for Q2 and Q3. Like a business, I’m going to review my goals and objectives and re-calibrate.

The bad.

Sleeping – I’m getting about 6 restless hours a night 4 out of 7 nights. 1 night, I’m getting about 4 hours or less. And then for some reason, inexplicably, I’ll get a good 7-hours with vivid dreams and no waking on those other two nights. I’m starting to chalk this up as to what it’s just gonna be like …until it isn’t.

American Ninja Warrior – I’m no closer to auditioning for American Ninja Warrior that I was when I blogged about it back in December. This morning …I walked to the local park and did exactly three pull-ups. I suck. I was supposed to be up to 20 pull-ups by now. And …why aren’t I exercising and pushing my limits? Well …read that post. It’s because of my worry of failure.

Writing – If you count the blog entries written here over the first 13-weeks of the year, you’ll see what’s going on with that. Writing is at a stand still. I have someone begging me to write marketing material for him, another begging me to write his book (and more, future books), and yet … see “American Ninja Warrior” bullet item above.

The good.

Mornings – I’m dominating mornings. Like …total domination! I wake at 5:00 a.m. Sometimes I sleep until 5:30 a.m. I always walk the dog for 20-minutes minimum. Poor thing …any longer than that, and she feels the need to poop even when there’s nothing to poop. That crazy dog wasn’t bread for walking. She’s like a cat that happens to be a dog. It’s a good speed, most of the time, but I’d love a dog that could handle a three-mile walk.

Cold Showers – Another odd thing that I hear is good for me, so I’m doing it. Every shower is like a fight with an enemy, but I can notice the health differences.

Diet – I spent the first 13 weeks of the year on the 4-Hour Body diet. I give myself a B-. I didn’t gain any weight, but I didn’t really lose any, either, and I can’t see my abs …yet. But I’m revising the plan for Q2 and going with an Optimal Health and Energy diet that will be a calorie counting diet and will mix in the right amounts of all the food groups and will not include snacking.

Hmmm. Seems like I should be talking about more. Like success at work. Or how about my kids or my time management. Well, if I was proud of my time-management, I’d probably have a better report on the writing.

Have you reviewed your New Years Resolutions? Taken stock of your goals for 2015?

I still have some big goals for the year …I’ll lay those out tomorrow after I course correct from Q1.