Blog #479 – Becoming a better version of yourself – part 1

Becoming a Better Version of Yourself

http://time.com/4479890/best-version-of-yourself/

This article from Time Magazine caught my eye.  I’ll look at 11 of the items today and finish it with 10 items tomorrow.

The article’s first eleven items:

  1. Show up!!!  I remember three ideas from a former professor of mine:  (1) Show up; (2) show up on time; (3) show up on time – ready to work.  We all know people who are habitually late; and then when they do show up they have to get their coffee, talk to other people and gradually get into their work.  Hey – show up a half-hour early, get your coffee and by real ‘starting time’ you’ll be ready to go. (And, your boss will notice that!!!)
  2. Start at the beginning (see also point #4 stop looking for a secret trick).  If you want to be a great violinist (or runner or chef or whatever), you have to start at the beginning – there are no secret formulas or tricks.
  3. And – this is for a better version of YOURSELF – not anyone else.  You can only really change you!!!
  4. Stop looking for a secret trick – see #2 start at the beginning – above
  5. Use Twitter to network (and throw in some LinkedIn as well).  Networking, networking, networking!!
  6. In the beginning, you are not going to be the ‘best version of yourself’ – just get started – the details will come along with your personal growth.
  7. Recognize the opportunity at hand.  YES – you can learn (the internet is great for learning – as well as for wasting time).  Redeem the time – cut back on TV and wasteful habits.
  8. The article suggests writing on Medium.  Since I don’t write on Medium, find a place to write.  I’ve written a blog for years. http://drbrucewhite.com is my current version and is generally a duplicate of my Facebook “Information Education with Bruce White” blog.  Writing is a way to reflect on yourself and on what you are doing to become a better version of yourself.
  9. Don’t count the hours.  This is an investment in you – While it might be helpful in the beginning to say “I’m going to be working on a better version of myself for an hour tonight”; eventually it will become a habit – you will WANT to invest in yourself.
  10. Accept help from others.  While this is like the network, network, network it extends into finding mentors and that that can guide, suggest and help you
  11. Launch a personal website.  You can get a paid website (like my:  http://drbrucewhite.com site) or free websites.  Work on it, write on it, blog on it.

More tomorrow.  All of this goes back to YOU – where do you want to go?  How do you become the best version of yourself? Do you become better by watching TV or by reading and writing?  Can you take classes to become a better version of yourself?

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog 478 – Climate Change may decrease BEER

OH NO!!!  Climate Change may decrease BEER!!!

From:  https://www.wired.com/story/climate-change-might-double-the-cost-of-a-beer/

The article says “Beer Drinkers Might pay more and find less of their favorite beverage as climate change comes for barley. Scientists expect that extreme droughts and heat waves will become more frequent and intense in the regions that grow the grain.”

Of course, the article also states: “The team looked at the areas around the world that grow barley, which is turned into malt for beer, and projected what will occur under five different climate warming scenarios by 2100”

My guess is that I’ll be long gone by 2100 (or, I would be 153 years old!!) – and, to be honest, I drink one (or two) beers a week (during Oktoberfest at Walburg Restaurant).  

The theme song for the Brushy Creek Brass Band is “In Heaven, there is no beer, that’s while we drink it here and when we’re gone from here, our friends will be drinking all the beer”.

(Or for my German-speaking friends:  Im Himmel gibt’s kein Bier, Drum trinken wir es hier. Denn sind wir nicht mehr hier, Dann trinken die andern unser Bier.)

So climate change will affect hurricanes, droughts, floods, tornados – AND BEER!!!  Hey Folks!!! Wake Up!!!

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog 477 The Times they are a’changing

Coaching for Life Success:  The Times they are a’changing

https://www.bobdylan.com/songs/times-they-are-changin/

First, I am 71; second times have changed.

I grew up in the 1950’s with Father Knows Best, Beaver Cleaver, Make Room for Daddy; George Burns, Jack Benny and more.  As I was reflecting, it was very rare to have anybody other than white people on such TV schools (other than Jack Benny with Rochester).  

I heard jokes about blacks, Polish, and more.  Dumb Blonde jokes (and women in general jokes) flourished).  I remember a friend pointing out a car salvage yard (aka “junkyard”) and saying that was a women’s parking lot implying (untruthfully) that women were worse drivers than men.  Men were doctors, lawyers and professional people, women were nurses and teachers. <period>

As America (finally) accepted integration, some people had trouble with that.  My aunt who grew up in eastern Iowa with (generally) little racial problems moved to Alabama where my uncle (her husband) took her high school yearbook and cut out all pictures with African Americans in them.  (by-the-way that was in the late 1940’s right after World War II)

My mother (born in 1913) called blacks “colored people” – which actually wasn’t too bad as the major black organization at that time was NAACP – the National Association of Colored People.  

But, the 1950’s also had something new – a new world perspective.  The people that grew up in the Great Depression and went through World War II have been called “The Greatest Generation”.  The men (since very few women served abroad) bumped into different cultures in the Army. The men from Minnesota mixed with men from Alabama and California.  Then they went to Britain, France, Italy, the Philippines, and around the world. They returned home with a new view on worldly matters.

Plus the Americans as they were become more “Americans” than hyphenated American – like Irish Americans; Greek Americans; Polish Americans; and more.  While still a subgroup on the religious side, Catholics became integrated. In New Haven, there ceased to be Irish Catholic parishes; Italian Catholic parishes; Polish Catholic parishes; etc. and just became parishes for all.

Now – probably almost every American public school had enough diversity to amaze somebody from the 1950’s.  As Bob Dylan sang “The Times they are a’changing”. In my suburban Texas neighborhood, there are several obvious historical groups represented – including (gasp) Democratic Americans (that was meant to be humor).  

My doctors are mostly female (yes, women can become more than just nurses!!).  And, we find subtle changes up-and-down the line. I know gays, lesbians, transgender, and others.  The sign on the Statue of Liberty says: “With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Yes, the times are changing – we can accept or reject that concept.  But, we can’t really reject the actual change. Recently articles mentioned that the birth rate of white Americans is dropping below the ‘replacement’ level.  

For years our nation has been called a ‘melting pot’.  We do need to melt more – and accept each other as made in the image of God.

What do you think?

Bruce

 

(And, tomorrow, “The times they are a’changing” with technology)

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Blog Post #476 YOU

Coaching for Life Success:  YOU

For the past two months, I have written daily blogs for life success.  

In one of the first entries, I had this:

Over 20 million of US students are in college according to the National Center for Educational Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/ )  millions more are in colleges around the world. They all have aspirations, dreams, and goals; they all want fantastic careers and good earnings.  Where do you sit? Unfortunately, as of 20189, there were over 150,000,000 (150 million) college students in the World. Yes, I know that many of you are not college students – but reading between the lines, there are a LOT of people in the world – and many can do what you can do – at a cheaper wage!!!

But the focus on these blogs has been YOU!!  You get to choose your attitude. You can say to yourself “I CAN DO THIS”.  You can put images of your success in your brain, you can speak words of encouragement to yourself, you can set very precise goals for yourself that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to you and timely.  

We looked at Jim Collins book “Good to Great” – that Good just isn’t good enough; we wrote about Seth Godin’s “Purple Cow” where you need to be different, unique and special.  We saw the importance of networking and mentors. We thought outside-the-box and approached critical thinking and problem-solving.

The reality is that YOU can compete against the millions of college students, YOU can compete against those that can do the same job cheaper by having ‘value-added’ skills.  It is YOU – you determine WHO you are and WHY you function. What is deep within you? How can YOU be the best in your field?

While I will bring additional blogs on these topics back over time, I am going to move on to disruptive and innovative technologies that I find interesting.

Are there topics you would like to see?  Let me know!!!

Bruce

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Blog 475 Bloom where you are planted

Coaching for Life Success:  Bloom where you are planted

https://gretchenrubin.com/books/the-happiness-project/about-the-book/

In the past two months, my daily blogs have been about attitude, goals, achievement, BHAG, being great, unique, and more.  I have used (recently at least) the quote: “You can’t discover new lands until you lose sight of the shore”. BUT – there are times when you just can’t go off discovering.

We all know people that ‘cannot break away’ and go sailing the world.  We all know of people with mortgages, car payments, children with braces, elderly parents, tough jobs, not enough income to just get up and try something new.  

The same concepts still apply – but you need to adopt a “bloom where you are planted” mindset.  You can’t just up and leave a touch situation. Life isn’t always fair. So, make the most of where you are.  If you are working, adjust your attitude to LOVE your job (even if you think you can do something else for more money and more satisfaction).  If you are a janitor, be the BEST janitor possible. If you are a fast food worker, be the BEST fast food worker possible. If you are a mother, stuck at home with small children, but the BEST mother possible.  If you are stuck in a dead-end job, be the BEST possible person at that job. Don’t complain, don’t grumble – adjust your attitude.

There is an HGTV show – “Love it or leave it” where the family can have their home remodeled – and at the end, they get to pick that remodeled home (love it), or take a home handpicked with their wants and needs (leave it).  BUT – (again) – there are times when you just can’t pick up and leave.

There is a Bible verse “In everything give thanks” (1 Thessalonians 5:18); another verse (Philippians 4:8) says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

My link today is to a book called “The Happiness Project”.  While slightly different from the “Bloom where you are Planted concept” – you can be happy anyplace at any time!!!  

My prediction is if you do really bloom where you are planted and make yourself happy, you can find and fulfill your goals – eventually.

So, do you grumble about how things are?  Change your mind and be happy where you are!!  Bloom where you are planted!!! (and taking the flower analogy) – be the BEST flower ever!!!

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog 474 Stepping over the edge

Coaching for Life Success:  Stepping over the edge

I LOVE adages.  Things like ‘a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’; ‘if you want to find new lands, you have to lose sight of the shore’; ‘Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life’; “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.’  

I like heroic and romantic concepts.  I like the words enthusiasm, passion, elan (an unused word defined as: ‘energy, style, and enthusiasm’); greatness, ‘big hairy audacious goals’ (BHAG),  I want (on my deathbed in 30 years) to be able to say “I have no regrets”.

Maybe I read too many books about such stories – from the overwhelmed good guys overcoming the evil bad guys (like Star Wars); maybe I have listened to Zig Ziglar or Tony Robbins too much.  

I am now at an age (71) where others want to go fishing and play golf and relax.  I somehow find myself flooded with thoughts of ‘elan’ adventures (within reason – I am not going to climb Mt. Everest).   Can I step over the edge?

I am reflecting on how can I ‘step over the edge’?  What will excite me, and yet is achievable? Should I start a new business?  Harland Sanders started KFC at age 65; Grandma Moses started painting at 76; Tony Randall started a family later in life; Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote Little House stories; Gladys Burrill completed a marathon at age 92.  

Another concept is should I “burn-out” or “rust-out”.  Burn-out comes from too much work (in my humble brain that is good)!!  Rust-out comes from sitting around, waiting to die (no, no no!!!)

It doesn’t necessarily have to be earth-shaking – getting involved in senior ‘meals on wheels’; or volunteering in hospitals (as my parents did), or being a mentor or big brother/big sister to a kid who needs a parent figure in their life.  (My current student is in 6th grade and lives with his grandmother, mom and dad seem to be out of the picture). I just started with a reading program where I’ll be reading to two first grades for the next year. The literature suggests that kids that can’t read by third grade are destined for a life of trouble – gangs, poor jobs, poverty, crime.  

I am resolving not to rust-out – but to keep busy and keep making a difference in others!!!

How about you?

Bruce

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Blog #473 MVV (Values)

Coaching for Life Success – Values

I was a Baldrige National Quality Award Commissioner for a year.  One of the criteria for the Baldrige Award was the entities MVV – Mission, Vision, and Values.  In some respects that is like the company/organization WHY statements. WHY is this company in business?  (And, an answer like “to make money” really isn’t deep enough.) Does this company have a mission (and a mission statement); does this company have vision on where they are going; and does this company have values?  Today I want to look at values – but on an individual level (that it – YOU!!)

What are YOUR values?  

Yes, what are your values? Do your values even come into play in your job and your life?  On Sundays (or day that you might worship) do you profess one set of values and on Monday (back at work) do you demonstrate by your life different values?  

A common religious value is called the ‘golden rule’.  It seems to be a thread in many religious (and non-religious) people “Treat people like you would like to be treated”.  Do you want to be treated nicely? Then treat others nicely!!

If your work has a saying “The customer is always right” – and do you live up to that?  Are you patient with the elderly lady in front of you at the checkout lane when she remembers she needed another item?  Do you roll your eyes, or do you understand? Can you think of that person like your elderly mother and be patient? (Could you even volunteer to run and get her dozen eggs?)

If you have a problem with an item that you purchased and needed to return – are you nice or are you belligerent?  While driving do you inwardly or outwardly yell at other drivers? Do you call the person who cut you off a ‘jerk’ (or even a stronger term)? Are you treating them as you would like people to treat you?  Most of us have been driving on a new (to us) road and all of a sudden realize that you need to be in the right lane and you are in the left lane. Do you cut over to the right in a furious and possibly dangerous manner?  Or realize that you might have to go to the next off-ramp or next intersection to make your turn and come back?

One of my Judeo-Christian values is to ‘love one another’.  I’ll admit I’m not perfect on that, but working on that. I remember the concept that love is patient, love is kind, love is not jealous – do I always manifest that in my life?  No, but I’m working on it.

Whatever your personal philosophy (that is your values) – do they work into your everyday life?  Are you living your values? If not, why not?

Yes, we are ‘works in progress’ – but are we making progress – or staying the same?

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog #472 Friends

Coaching for Life Success:  Friends -good or toxic.

https://brightside.me/creativity-art/10-differences-between-good-friends-and-toxic-friends-252760/

I don’t want to be too crass here, but there are good friends and there are toxic friends.  Who do you spend time with can be important to you and to your career and life.

This link gives some of the attributes of good friends and toxic friends.

In the Good Friends category, they have:

– Good Friends celebrate your success

– Good Friends know the value of ‘you time’

– Good Friends are caring and encouraging

– Good Friends respect you and value your friendship

– Good Friends accept you the way you are

– Good Friends know how to keep a secret

But, the other list is for toxic friends

– Toxic Friends get jealous of your success

– Toxic Friends try to occupied (or monopolize) your time

– Toxic Friends judge and criticize you

– Toxic Friends try to control and change you

– Toxic Friends can get you in trouble

We have talked about networking and finding good mentors.  That would fit into the professional good friends category.  Toxic friends might impose upon you to drink too much or get into drugs or abuse.  

Zig Ziglar’s comment about “You are what you are because of what has gone into your mind” is at work here – find friends that encourage you and build you up.

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog Post #471 Learning is Intrinsic

Coaching for Success:  Learning is Intrinsic

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-intrinsic-motivation-2795385

Now there is a word that doesn’t get used much!!  Intrinsic. What does that word mean? From the web, we get this definition:   belonging naturally; essential. And an example: “access to the arts is intrinsic to a high quality of life”.

Hmm – essential.  Essential!!! What does the word essential mean?  Absolutely necessary. Highly important.

Let’s add something to the mix:  Learning is intrinsic. Or, is you will – learning is essential.

From our blog link today, we have this “Intrinsic motivation occurs when we act without any obvious external rewards. We simply enjoy an activity or see it as an opportunity to explore, learn, and actualize our potentials.”  as well as this: “When you pursue an activity for the pure enjoyment of it, you are doing so because you are intrinsically motivated. Your motivations for engaging in the behavior arise entirely from within rather than out of a desire to gain some type of external rewards such as prizes, money, or acclaim.”.

We need to be lifelong learners – and we need to like to learn for our sakes – not for grades or rewards, but because we LOVE to learn.  In some respects it is like the getting out of our comfort zone – (but gently) – learning something new, stretching our brains, and growing mentally. 

I LOVE to learn – I learn something every day.  Learning is very intrinsic (essential) to me.  I get rewarded internally – not by tests or grades, but by the thrill of learning!!

So, is learning intrinsic for you?  Do you enjoy learning because you LOVE to learn?  When you read something (for fun), do you feel fulfilled? (Like reading this blog?)

What have you read (for fun) lately?  I’m ‘reading’ a Mary Higgins Clark audiobook now, after listening to Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I have two audiobooks on hold from the library.

Yes, learning is essential or learning is intrinsic!!!   WOOOO!!!

Bruce

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Blog #470 Entrepreneurship #2

Coaching for Life Success:  Entrepreneurship Part 2

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488

Let’s look more at entrepreneurship today.  This article suggests eight ways to become a successful entrepreneur.

-1 Take a stand for yourself.  You can’t blame your boss (since it is you), or the economy; or your spouse.  You are you!!! You set the agenda. YOU are in charge. If it succeeds, it mainly is up to you; and if it fails, it mainly is because of you.

-2 Find the right business for you.  What is your personality? What is your style? What skills do you bring to the table?  Do you know technology? Can you code if you need to? Do you know web privacy? Is there a gap in the marketplace.  Do the research. Research business and environments that look interesting to you. Are you warm and friendly? Are you an introvert?  Are you good at sales?

-3 Make a business plan.  What are your goals, your strategies?  What is your mission, vision, and values (MVV – more on that in a few days)?  What are you building? Who are you servicing? Who will be your customers? I have a new business – math tutoring.  Sure, it is a small business, and I’m not doing it for the revenue. I have hands-on tutoring with five students currently (which is really about enough).  They are really appreciating the time and expertise that I am putting into it. No, this is not Sylvan Learning or Mathnasium or similar – it is good old, one-on-one tutoring – and actually relationship building.  One of my students learned about the can-do attitude two days ago (when she said “I hate math” “I can’t do this”). By the end of our session, she was saying (at least to me) “I love math”.

-4 Know your target audience.  You might have a great product, a great idea but if people don’t buy your product or pay for your service, your business is going nowhere.  Is there a niche where you can fit – a specialty that doesn’t step into other companies spaces?

-5 Understand that your personal and professional life will intertwine.  As an entrepreneur (without a traditional job), generally, as you start out, you ARE the business.  You will eat, sleep and be your business. Will your spouse be willing to put up with the business coming first?

-6 Build a support network.  Find personal support (family and friends), develop networking (who can give you ideas?); build relationships with vendors and with customers. Be generous with your time and with a SMILE!!!    (In some respects, they are buying into ‘you’!!! If your supplies, customers, personal support and others like you (respect you, listen to you, value you), you have a great foundation.

-7 Create value.  Does your product or service go over and above other similar businesses?  SERVE your customers, if you will “love” your customers, they will love you and come back to you.  Deliver more than you promise – also with a SMILE!!

-8 Get the word out.  You can do a lot with social media and the internet.  Get a website (like http://drbrucewhite.com); use Facebook, Twitter, email and more.  Write a blog (like I do). Have word of mouth advertising. My students (or really their parents who pay for the service) will be able to tell their friends that are needing some help in math to come to me.

But, down inside – do you want to start out on a new voyage that might be a dead end?  Do you want to be safe (and stay near the shore) or adventurous and explore for new lands (and a new you and a new business).  Not all are entrepreneurs!! It might not be your style. Maybe your entrepreneurial adventure could be a part-time job. Maybe it can be a retirement job?  Maybe it can be a job when you have accumulated enough savings built up to be financially okay and it can be a service to humanity. It will require introspection and a lot of thinking (and preparation) before jumping into it.

What do you think?

Bruce

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