Blog #559 A day of Rest!

The Sabbath Manifesto

As I found yesterday’s blog – Unplugged – the idea that on March 1 (at sundown) to March 2 (at sundown), people can try to live without technology (that is – ‘unplugging’ computers, phone (chargers), tablets, whatever) – the same group has the Sabbath Manifesto.

This group writes about the purpose of the sabbath:

“Way back when, God said, “On the seventh day thou shalt rest.”  The meaning behind it was simple: Take a break. Call a timeout. Find some balance. Recharge.”

“Somewhere along the line, however, this mantra for living faded from modern consciousness. The idea of unplugging every seventh day now feels tragically close to impossible. Who has time to take time off? We need eight days a week to get tasks accomplished, not six.

“The Sabbath Manifesto was developed in the same spirit as the Slow Movement, slow food, slow living, by a small group of artists, writers, filmmakers and media professionals who, while not particularly religious, felt a collective need to fight back against our increasingly fast-paced way of living. The idea is to take time off, deadlines and paperwork be damned.”

“In the Manifesto, we’ve adapted our ancestors’ rituals by carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and get with loved ones. The ten principles are to be observed one day per week, from sunset to sunset. We invite you to practice, challenge and/or help shape what we’re creating.”

I do remember when Sundays (for Christians), and Friday night to Saturday night (for Jews) were taken off.  There were not stores open on Sundays. No grocery stores, no clothing stores, not much. There were some restaurants that were open, and (of course) some gas stations for travels going from Austin to Minneapolis to get gas on Sunday.  But, the day was a day of rest – a day to do things with the family – probably starting with a church/religious service in the morning, maybe a big lunch (which our family called “Dinner” – even though during the week, dinner was the evening meal), maybe visit some relatives or friends, play board games, take a walk, go to the parks – in other words – relax.  Somehow things crept into that day of rest. Stores started to be open, activities other than family activities took over. The basketball team could practice on Sunday – after all, nothing else is going on. But then people started to go to the stores – almost as a form of relaxing. (Or as some of my friends say “retail therapy”). In a few years, it became hard for families to do things together.  Teenagers were working in part-time jobs on Sundays (to save for college or to spend on things they “just had to have”!!) Mom remembered that she ‘needed’ something for the upcoming week at the grocery store.. Dad thought – with the rest of the family busy, I could go back to my office and get some things done and caught up on email.

I also remember the concept of the Sabbath spiritually.  If God, the omnipotent, took the seventh day off, we should too!!  Genesis Chapter 2, verse 2 and 3 has this: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

Then from the Ten Commandments (Exodus Chapter 20) “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.  Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”

So, why are we NOT resting one day a week?  Why are we hurrying around like crazy?

Of course, I am retired now – and maybe all days have a bit of rest to them for me.  (Yes, I find that a nice nap in the afternoon does refresh me!!!). But, in reflecting, maybe all of us can take a little time off; maybe all of us can find some time / some day during out busy weeks to rest and create our own concept of a Sabbath (or maybe go back to those easier times and make Sunday – or whatever) a true day of rest!!!

What do you think? Time to back off a little?


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Blog #558 National Unplugged day.

Unplug and grow

National Day of “Unplugging” (dot com)?  Really – a day to unplug?

Why not.  March 1-2 Sundown to Sundown (or from Friday night about 7 p.m. to Saturday night 7:p.m.),

This group, which also links to the Sabbath Manifesto (see: is encouraging people to unplug their devices for 24 hours.  Unfortunately (when I looked yesterday, January 5th) they were out of little cell phone sleeping bags.

The pictures from the main page at National Day of Unplugging say things like:

  • Unplug to “cherish the moment”
  • Unplug to “reconnect”
  • Unplug to “have a life worth living”
  • Unplug to “love myself”
  • Unplug to “course correct/remember who I am”
  • (and a fun one) Unplug to go potty!!

(I have to comment.  I may look at my messages when I’m in the restroom, but I drew the line at the guy next to me talking on the phone at the same time he is using the facility (flushing and all).  I don’t think my friends really need to hear him (ah …) using the toilet!!)

I also see this in restaurants – couples sitting next to each other both staring at their phones, where they should be holding hands, sharing discussions of their days (and lives) – instead, they are on their phones, checking out <whatever> – athletic scores, sales at your favorite store, the latest tweet or text.  There is an ad when the group is deciding ‘where they should go that weekend to stare at their phones!!!’.

There used to be an idea that on one’s deathbed, the person would say “I regret not spending enough time with my family” (as if on one’s deathbed, a person would say “I wish I would have spend more time at work”).  Maybe in a few years, we’ll get a new version “I regret spending too much time on trivial things like my phone”.

Now, don’t get me wrong – mobile/cell phones are great – at the right time.  I was in a minor rear-end accident* last night and I was glad I could call 9-1-1 and also call my wife to say I was okay (*not my fault).

Maybe the 24 hour period from sundown on March 1st to sundown on March 2nd might be a nice weather period, and you can go to a park and go walking.  If I was in Connecticut, I’d be going to Sleeping Giant State Park. In Texas, I’d be going to Brushy Creek Regional Park, or the Blue Hole on the South San Gabriel River. Or in South Dakota, riding my bike to Lake Herman State Park.

And, it the weather isn’t good, you could dig out the game of Monopoly (or Risk or other game that takes hours to fully play) and get the family together.  Maybe you could climb in the car and drive to an old friend’s house and have dinner with your friend (Duane Murray – watch out, I might be coming over).

I probably won’t fully be ‘unplugged’.  I’ll have the phone if there is an emergency, or possibly using my phone for GPS – but if I don’t need it, it will be tucked in its cell phone sleeping bag.

So, what is your excuse?  Are you going to “unplug” for National Unplug day?

What do you think?


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Blog Post #557 – Be Kind

If you can be anything, be kind

I’ve seen the posters “If you can be anything, be kind”.  Maybe you have seen them too?

I’ve thought about the concept “Be kind”.  I started this New Year thinking of being “A better version of yourself”.  Hmmm … how can I be better?” (That statement is not intended to suggest that I am already the ‘best I can be’!!)  Should I smile more? Should I greet people with positive and enthusiastic “Good Morning” (or “Hello”)? Should I take the neighbors trashcan back to her house (since she works all day and I am retired)?  Should I give another neighbor a ride to the grocery store (*willingly*), even though she can be a bit of a crab?

Kindness is defined as: “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.”

The Biblical Dictionary gives Kindness this definition: “The resulting character of someone who is allowing the Holy Spirit to develop maturity in his or her life.”  The “Fruit of the Spirit is given in Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

The Greek word for “kindness” is chrēstotēs. It means “benignity, tender concern, uprightness.” It is kindness of heart and kindness of act.

I do want everybody to know that I am ALWAYS kind!!!  (Especially when I’m in traffic, or when somebody cuts me off, or when I’m having a bad day – yup, that’s me, Mr. Kind!!  [Okay, maybe not].

So, the neighbors had a big New Year’s Eve party and shot off fireworks at midnight (when I was asleep).  [By-the-way, fireworks are legal in Texas, just not in the city limits as this was]. So, I should call the police on them?  Maybe I should have taken them some fresh cookies and knocked on their door at 7:00 a.m.? Or, maybe since this is a once a year occurrence, just let it be – let them sleep in (and sleep it off).  I was in my 30’s once (and maybe was a little loud at times). Would that be kind to let them sleep in?

How about at work – how can I be kind?  Do I say ‘hi’ to everybody – including those that are hard-to-like?  

And, the theme goes farther – practicing RANDOM acts of kindness.  Doing something kind when nobody is watching. I also notice that November 13th is Worldwide Kindness Day – maybe I can drop a friendly note to friends that I rarely see.  

We used to talk about ‘counting to ten’ before speaking when somebody did something mean to you.  Don’t repay meanness with meanness? Be kind. You don’t have to be a wimp, just kind.

So … still thinking – how can I be KIND this year?  How can I show RANDOM acts of kindness – and DELIBERATE acts of kindness in 2019!!  It is an attitude that I need to fully adopt and live!!

What do you think?


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Blog Post #556 Do you really want it – part II

Do you really want it – part II

We have been looking at New Year’s Resolutions.  Yesterday I asked “Do you REALLY want it”. Change requires deep commitment.  

Let’s say you have been diagnosed with diabetes.  You KNOW you should lose weight; you KNOW you can beat this.  But, as time goes on, it is just too hard to do it.

A concept to get motivated to change is to HATE the old life.  In a previous blog post, I said “I hate the word HATE” (that is for hating people).  But, I can HATE my situation, my old life.

I have to really HATE having diabetes; I really have to HATE my body when I smoke; I really have to HATE being an alcoholic; I have to really HATE being fat.

HATE when used this way makes change possible.  If you look at yourself and say “I guess I’m not all that fat”; “I really like smoking more than quitting smoking”.  

In the linked article, the person describes working with a lady and the two of them ‘hate’ working at that particular place.  The author finally hates it enough and leaves that job. Years later, the author meets the lady and asks her if she is still at the same job.  She says ‘yes and that it is worse than ever’. She still ‘hates’ the job, but not enough to quit it. It seems like she likes to complain more than she really wants to change.

It is suggested that smokers who want to quit smoking go visit a hospital with people with lung cancer and with emphysema.  Seeming the result of smoking helps develop the ‘hate’ to stop smoking and to give up smoking.

Others have suggested to ‘pain’ on the current situation – how bad it is to be overweight, how terrible smoking is; how bad it is to be in debt; how miserable it is to not be educated.  Then to make the changed situation to be ‘glorious’.

So, back to diabetes – the website lists these factors: “Nerve damage; increased rates of heart disease, stroke, and heart attacks; kidney failure; damage to the eyes and even blindness; loss of limbs due to circulation problems; and more. So, yeah, diabetes is no joke.”  Is that a good enough reason to hate being diabetic?  Is that a good enough reason to see losing weight and managing our food choices to be ‘glorious’.  

If you are making New Year’s Resolutions and setting SMART goals for yourself, then if you REALLY want to change, then you need to hate the old and embrace the glorious change.  

Can you do that?  Is it WORTH it to you to reach those goals?  Do you REALLY want it?

Yes, it is worth it; yes, you can do it!!


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Blog Post #555 Do you REALLY want it?

Blog #555 Do you REALLY want it (goals)

Yesterday I wrote about goals and SMART goals (and the day before that writing about New Year’s Resolutions).

But, I have to follow it up with this – do you REALLY want it?

We start talking about goals – and sometimes we can really talk BIG.  YEAH, I’m going to get in shape!! YEAH, I’m going back to school. YEAH, I hate this job, and I’m going to quit and get a job I like.  YEAH, I can do this. YEAH, YEAH, YEAH!!!

But, do you REALLY want it?

Do you know what it means to get into shape?  It means getting up and going to the gym – on those COLD mornings, when you would rather stay in bed.  It means forgoing that donut and eating broccoli. It means sweating (until you stink and have to shower).  It means aerobic exercises – like jogging; and anaerobic exercise with high output intervals. It means weight training.  It means an hour a day (at least) working out. It might mean missing out on things you like to exercise. Do you REALLY want it?

In the link, the author has a video of a boxer who REALLY wants it – (even down to pawning jewelry and going to the paid blood donation site).  

She also talks of a friend from the days they worked together at a dead-end job, and how they both talked of quitting every day (she did and the friend didn’t)

Do you REALLY want to play the piano?  It might be less work than getting into shape (or does it)? It means at least an hour a day practicing; it means going to lessons week after week and getting scolded for not practicing enough; it means playing endless scales until your fingers ache.  

Do you REALLY want to be a professor (this one’s for me).  It means education upon education. It means long hours in the library (or long hours online reading scholarly articles).  For me, it meant leaving my family every Sunday night and driving six hours to the graduate school (and then driving home every Friday afternoon.  For me, it meant little income for a year, and big expenses (tuition, living expenses in a town six hours away, plus the angst of pushing myself when the journey got tough and long.

Yes, I talked about SMART goals yesterday – by July 31, 2019 I will weigh no more than 200 pounds, and I will be ecstatic about that.  Yes, the end is great, but in-between there is a lot of work to do. Am I (or you) disciplined enough to get through the work to get the glory?

Or, do we talk of changing and improving and becoming the Best Version of Yourself – but that is only ‘lip-service’.  When ‘push comes to shove’ can we stay the course, or crumple like cheap sheet metal?

Do you REALLY, REALLY want it?  If you do want it, you CAN!!


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Blog #554 New Year’s Resolutions

Blog #554 New Year’s Resolutions – Yea or Nay?

So, it is January 2nd – you have recovered (slept in) from New Year’s Eve; you have watched enough College Bowl Football games to last until late August, and you are thinking about New Year’s Resolutions

The link (from Leadercast) suggests making New Year’s Resolutions is a waste of time.

I’m going to be opposite of that and say “Yes. Make New Year’s resolutions!!”

The article states:

“The issue with New Year’s resolutions comes when we set unrealistic expectations for ourselves—those that demand we magically, somehow overnight, form new habits and adhere to them with perfection. And when we inevitably falter in these all-new habits of ours, we eventually give up on them entirely. In the case of the ‘get healthy’ resolution that tops many people’s lists year after year, setting unrealistic expectations is the reason why gyms are their busiest in January but get calmer as the year goes on.”

Yes, the author is right on!!!  People who sit down this time and year and write up vague ideas of goals will probably abandon them before February.

BUT – the idea of reflecting on goals is a good one.  (And, New Year’s Resolutions are just goals for the New Year).

Goals like: I will lose weight this year; I will exercise more this year; I will save more money this year; I will get up a half-an-hour earlier this year to pray and meditate; I will make at least ten new friends this year; I will <whatever> are almost doomed from the outset – BUT, it does help to reflect on who we are and where we are going.

I have written (in this blog) many times on SMART goals.

S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Timely

Goals like “I will lose weight this year” is really NOT a goal, but a wish.  It so vague. Consider this weight loss goal:

Assuming you weigh 215 pounds as I do

By the morning of March 31, 2019, I will weigh no more than 208 pounds as measured on our bathroom scale.  For that achievement, I will be excited, I will buy a new t-shirt to exercise in.

By the morning of May 31, 2019, I will weigh no more than 204 pounds as measured on our bathroom scale.  For that achievement, I will be enthusiastic about reaching that goal and put our American Flag out for the day.  

By the morning of July 31, 2019, I will weigh no more than 200 pounds as measured on our bathroom scale.  I will be at or below 25 BMI on that morning. I will be ecstatic and will walk around the block holding a sign saying ‘I made it’!!!

These goals are specific “I will weigh no more than <amount> by specific time and date.  The goals are measurable – Yes, I made it; or No, I didn’t make it.

The goals are attainable – they are reasonable and not radical.  A loss of 2 to 3 pounds per month is definitely in my ability.

The goals are relevant – I do want to reach 25 BMI (body mass index).

And they are timely (specific dates, times); and, in this case, they build on each other – not just going from 215 to 200 by July 31, but in steps or stages.

I will be promoted to CEO of our company by August 31, 2019.  For that, I will throw a party for the board of directors. This is NOT a good goal.  It might be specific, probably it is not attainable, may or may not be relevant.

I don’t go overboard and have thirty goals, maybe six or less in various areas, such as physical/fitness; social; financial; spiritual; or family.

I will write these goals on a post-it note that is tucked in my billfold.  Almost every time I go to the bathroom (sitting) I will pull the note out and read it (aloud preferably, but reading it aloud might not be cool in a large public bathroom!!!)

I will have post-it notes on my mirror and on the cabinets in the kitchen by the coffee maker.  Every morning when I shave, I will see the notes; every time I have a cup of coffee, I will see the note.  I WANT these to be embedded in my brain. I want to meditate on these things (see Philippians 4:8). I want them to be part of me; part of my WHO, part of my WHY!!

Can you do it?  (Answer – YES YOU CAN!!!)


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Blog #553 The Best Version of You – finished!!!

Blog #553 The Best Version of you – finished

So here we go – the last seven items on Time Magazine’s list of things to do to be the best version of yourself:

-15 Don’t pretend to know it all!!!  You don’t know it all – and if you want to be the best version of you, you need to learn more (especially for those important things to you), and let Google help you know who won the Battle of Hastings in 1066!!

-16 Failure is okay.  Hey – we all fail, get used to it.  The term “Fail Forward” is that we should learn from our mistakes.  (My old joke: I learn from my mistakes, and that is why I am as smart as I am!!!)

-17 Call your family.  Yes, it is a good time to do; but making up with your family is one of the best things you can do for your mental stability and is also important for you.

-18 Exercise in the morning.  The concept of get up, get out of bed and start your body moving is a good one.  Get up early enough to exercise your body AND your brain!!

-19 Create a side project.  Create something that you like to do – outside of work.  Art? Music? Decorating? Quilting? And, if you find a way to monetize it, even better.  It might become your real job if it pays off!!

-20 Pay it forward.  Help others to become their best versions of themselves.  As Zig Ziglar said, “You can get anything you want as long as you help enough other people first”.

-21 Start NOW.  If you really want to be the Best Version of You in 2019, you have to start NOW – every day work at improving who you are; every day take small (or large) steps to be the Best Version of you.


You will want to be:

– more successful

– doing what you love

-existing as an overall happier person


Don’t you want to be more successful, doing what you love and being happier?  Go for it!!!



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Blog #552 New Years Eve / New Year – eternity!!

New Year’s Eve / New Year

Here we are – the end of 2018, and the start of 2019.  

Some date and time aspects are pretty much the same throughout various cultures in history.  

Dates go back a long way.  Primitive man could see the moon go from being full to a half/quarter/new moon/quarter/half and back to a full moon – in just about one month time.  Early man noticed the seasons. Days were ‘created’ as man noticed a cycle of dark and light. So, days, months and years were created (with months being the least exact).  You could have fixed length months and then have days left over at the end of the year (which was a fixed point/time from when the sun was in a certain position to when it was in the same position).

Hours were harder and were truly man-made.  For most early societies there were days and nights – and you worked from sunrise to sunset.  In summer that would mean longer days and in winter shorter days. If hours had been developed at the time of the invention of the metric system it could be that we would have 100 hours in a day, but hours were developed in Egypt (and other places) as 24 units (or, as 24 hours).  Measuring an hour by day was somewhat easy by noticing the position of the sun on a sundial. Measuring an hour at night was harder without the sun. Water measurements came into play – as it would take about an hour to fill a bucket that would overflow into the next lower bucket.  Eventually, hours were based on hour-glasses – glass devices that would drip sand from one area into another area and take an hour.

So, time was largely set – year orbiting the sun; month for the moon to orbit the early, week made of seven days; days from sunset one day to sunset the next (or from sunrise to the next sunrise); days divided into hours, and hours into minutes and then minutes into second.

But – things were not uniform.  Noon was easy to figure – when the sun was at its peak in the sky.  But, noons were not uniform. When the sun was at its peak in town A, the sun was not quite at its peak in town B maybe an hour ride on the train west.  The trains largely needed to run on time, so it was determined that in a country at precisely X time, it was X time throughout the entire country. And if the sun was not quite at its peak in town A, and was slightly past its peak in town B, the uniformity of time was to be enforced (and train timetables could be arranged.

Now all of the above might be interesting (or not), but by international agreement (and the Gregorian Calendar) December 31st is the last day of the current year and January 1st is the first day of the next year.  (And, even that has slight variations with leap day and even leap seconds). So this is the last day of the year 2018 in the Common Era (or AD – anno domini – in the year or Our Lord – which is nice for Christians – but maybe not so for other religions).  There are still Chinese calendars, Jewish calendars and others that exist. Time is now more officially noted with atomic clocks.

So, today ends one year and tomorrow starts the next (or, if you will, at midnight, the next year will start). And, even that is not quite true as 2019 will have been in effect for several hours in countries of the eastern hemisphere before it becomes 2019 in the Central Time Zone (USA) where I live.

Man has adjusted to time, days start and end; weeks start and end; months start and end; and years start and end.  

As a boy, almost everything had a start and an end.  BUT, then (as a boy), I encountered religion with the phrase “World without End, Amen, Amen” as part of my upbringing.  God was before the world started, and God will be there after the world ends. God is eternal. Even now as I try to adjust my life, I think “So, how did God come to be – since God is eternal.  (Answer – well, Bruce, that is the way it is). But Why is that the way it is?)

Eventually, when growing up, I had to accept “that is the way it is”.  As Maria sings in the Sound of Music, “nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could”, my mind says “Okay, at one point billions and billions and billions of years ago, there was nothing.  Then there was something. How can that be? The answer is “God”. My life is finite – I was born, I have lived and eventually will die. So, how can anything be eternal? (And still, the answer is “God”).  My finite brain can’t handle this – but so what, life goes on.

So, if tonight you are pondering the end of a year and the start of a new year, and wonder about eternity, realize that is one area that mankind cannot really solve or know, and accepting that “God” is eternal (who and whatever you might conceive “God” to be) is the only real way to go.

Hopefully, I was the only little boy that laid in bed trying to solve eternal issues with a finite mind!!

How about you?


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Blog #551 – The Best Version of You – part III

Blog #551 the Best Version of you – part III

We’ve been looking at the Time Magazine about the Best Version of You – leading up to New Years. Today is our third installment.

-9 Don’t count the hours!!  If you have determined that a particular activity is something you like, something in which you can become better (I’ve used golf, quilting, knitting, walking, and art) in the past), don’t count the hours.  Do the activity until your brain says “stop for today”. Sure, keeping a schedule is important, but not so important that the clock determines the lesson. As a teacher, there were times when I almost reached an important point in a lesson when the hour said ‘done’.  There were many times that I kept a class for that extra minute to make that point. We could come back tomorrow and finish that point, but I wanted that point to be in their brain.

Maybe the quilter was almost done with a quilt square – unless there is a pressing time issue, finish it.  (If you have dinner in the oven, that takes a higher priority!!). If you are knitting and just finally got the basics of a particular stitch or method, do another (or two or three or many) to get that concept in your brain.  Maybe on the golf course, you hit a ‘perfect’ nine-iron shot on the 18th hole. You could go to the practice area and hit a bucket of balls with your nine-iron to cement that thought in your brain. Learning and becoming the best version of you may take many hours – but don’t let the hours defeat your lesson.  If you are relearning to play piano, go an extra half-hour in your practice to get that tricky left-hand fingering for a piece.

-10 Accept help from others.  This ties in with the networking point from yesterday.  Get help. It might be the anonymous help of a YouTube video – or the hands-on help of a friend.  Ask somebody that you respect (and trust) to comment on your quilt, your knitting project, or your artwork.  Note, this has to be somebody you trust – and somebody ‘nice’. There are experts that will cut you down and belittle you and your work.  DON’T ASK THEM!! (Find a nice, older and gentle woman who cares about people – generalization). Turn your brain on – and learn. Your traditional learning involved lessons – and practice. You trusted your teachers (in most cases) and then did homework.

-11 The article suggests launching a personal website.  These can be free (like having a blog on Facebook). There are free blogging sites (like Blogger or Tumbler).  I have paid for – worth it to me.  You can also find free websites like Wix or Webs.  For me, my blogging is getting me to think – to improve – and to become the best version of me.

-12 Likewise, this article suggests writing on Quora.  Writing is good, finding a platform is okay.

-13 Ignore social media.  People only post ‘nice’ things on Facebook (and other media).  I didn’t post about depression after my surgery a year-and-one-half ago on Facebook.  Social media is bad for beginners in something. If I want to jog, and I am in a jogging group on Facebook and they are all posting about running marathons, and about their speeds will make me want to stop.  

-14 Celebrate small victories. Again, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  I know a lady that has had a stroke, has diabetes and is obese, has worked on walking a few steps farther each and every day.  

How about you?  What is the best version of you that you want to be in 2019?  How are you going to get there?

Tomorrow a New Year’s Eve thought, then we will finish this in 2019!!!


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Blog #550 the Best Version of You – part II

The Best Version of you – part II

Today I’m continuing a series on the Best Version of you – started by Time Magazine.

-5 Network.  Hey, if you want to be the best version of you, you need to learn what to do to be the best version of you.  In my previous example, I mentioned quilting. If you want to be the best version of you as a quilter – you need to go to the quilt shops, to the quilt shows, watch quilt videos on YouTube, network with quilters.  Find somebody (initially) who won’t laugh at your early efforts and who can gently give you suggestions and positive comments. If you are going to be an artist, find an amateur artist in your gendre and network with them.  Recently I’ve been using MeetUp and finding groups. It seems like there are groups for almost anything. Maybe I need to find a ‘beginning artist group. (I’ve found hiking groups for seniors and a 60 plus for fun group that plays cards).  While I don’t think being the best Hand-and-Foot Canasta player in the world is my goal, the best version of me involved being social, getting out and meeting people, being an encourager (like I ‘always’ have been) and playing canasta with seniors will help me become a better social version of myself (and get me out of the house and involved).

-6 Don’t sweat the details.  If the best version of you is to be a better golfer, get out and play the game.  Find a three-some on the first tee and ask to join them. As you play, you can ask for help (“Which club should I use”). The idea here is to start in the right direction.  The old Chinese proverb is “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step”. If you want to be a better knitter, start knitting. Find some books and challenge yourself to try slightly bigger things.  If you want to be more physically fit, you don’t have to buy the top-of-the-line marathon shoes, but get some reasonable, comfortable shoes (you probably have some in your closet for walking a couple of miles). As your journey continues and you get to be a better you, you can work on the details.

-7 Get free help.  Yes, free (and frequently great) help is available at the click of a button (and typing “YouTube”) into the search engine.  You want to be a better golfer, quilter, walker, jogger, knitter, cook, whatever – you can watch videos. Another alternative is Pinterest.  You want to find a better way to clean the bathroom (hey, that can be part of being a better version of you) you can find hundreds of suggestions on Pinterest.

-8 Write.  The article suggests writing on Medium.  I’ve looked at Medium some, but haven’t written anything (and for a person who loves to write, maybe I need to branch out and put some of these blog idea together.  Writing does cause a person to reflect and to organize one’s thoughts. I’d suggest writing a blog or a journal. In this past year of writing almost every day, I think I’ve gotten to be a better version of myself as a coach, mentor, encourager.  Sometimes that comes as I need to use item #7 (get free help) from Google and other places (like this source today.

I’m sure we will get farther in the next few days, but I want to add a thought.  Your attitude determines almost everything. If you think you can’t write and do even try writing, you will not become a better writer.  Even if you watch every video and follow every link about being a great writer and blogger, but you don’t actually write, you haven’t done much to be the best version of you.

I can remember my first teaching job and coaching.  We could have spend the whole pre-season time in the classroom diagramming basketball plays, and watching videos.  But, if that was the concept, when we put on the jerseys for the first time and walked onto the basketball court, we would have no clue as to what to do.  Theory and practice go hand-in-hand.

More tomorrow!!!


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