Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This is a bit long for a Blog entry but it came in my e-mail inbox and I wanted to share it since the message is so important.
The older I get, the more I enjoy Saturday mornings. Perhaps it's the quiet solitude that comes with being the first to rise, or maybe it's the unbounded joy of not having to be at work. Either way, the first few hours of a
Saturday morning is most enjoyable.
A few weeks ago, I was shuffling toward the garage with a steaming cup of coffee in one hand and the morning paper in the other. What began as a typical Saturday morning turned into one of those lessons that life seems to hand you from time to time.
Let me tell you about it.
I turned the dial up into the phone portion of the band on my ham radio in order to listen to a Saturday morning swap net. Along the way,I came across an older sounding chap, with a tremendous signal and a golden voice. You know the kind; he sounded like he should be in the broadcasting business He was telling whomever he was talking with something about 'a thousand marbles.' I was intrigued and stopped to listen to what he had to say.
'Well, Tom, it sure sounds like you're busy with your job. I'm sure they pay you well but it's a shame you have to be away from home and your family so much. Hard to believe a young fellow should have to work sixty or seventy hours a week to make ends meet. It's too bad you missed your daughter's dance recital' he continued. 'Let me tell you something that has helped me keep my own priorities.' And that's when he began to explain his theory of a 'thousand marbles.'
'You see, I sat down one day and did a little arithmetic. The average person lives about seventy-five years. I know, some live more and some live less, but on average, folks live about seventy-five years.'
'Now then, I multiplied 75 times 52 and I came up with 3900, which is the number of Saturdays that the average person has in their entire lifetime. Now, stick with me, Tom, I'm getting to the important part. It took me until I was fifty-five years old to think about all this in any detail', he went on, 'and by that time I ha d lived through over twenty-eight hundred Saturdays. I got to thinking that if I lived to be seventy-five, I only had about a thousand of them left to enjoy. So I went to a toy store and bought every single marble they had. I ended up having to visit three toy stores to round up 1000 marbles. I took them home and put them inside a large, clear plastic container right here in the shack next to my gear.'
'Every Saturday since then, I have taken one marble out and thrown it away. I found that by watching the marbles diminish, I focused more on the really important things in life.'
'There is nothing like watching your time here on this earth run out to help get your priorities straight.'
'Now let me tell you one last thing before I sign-off with you and take my lovely wife out for breakfast. This morning, I took the very last marble out of the container. I figure that if I make it until next Saturday then I have been given a little extra time. And the one thing we can all use is a little more time.'
'It was nice to meet you Tom, I hope you spend more time with your family, and I hope to meet you again here on the band. This is a 75 Year old Man, K9NZQ, clear and going QRT, good morning!'
You could have heard a pin drop on the band when this fellow signed off. I guess he gave us all a lot to think about. I had planned to work on the antenna that morning, and then I was going to meet up with a few hams to work on the next club newsletter.
Instead, I went upstairs and woke my wife up with a kiss. 'C'mon honey, I'm taking you and the kids to breakfast.' 'What brought this on' she asked with a smile.' 'Oh, nothing special, it's just been a long time since we spent a Saturday together with the kids. And hey, can we stop at a toy store while we're out? I need to buy some marbles.'
A friend sent this to me, so I to you, my friend.
And so, as one smart bear once said...'If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.' - Winnie the Pooh.
Monday, March 30, 2009
Monday brings us a brand new week. Seven glorious days, each of them twenty-four hours long, each hour containing sixty minutes and each minute sixty seconds. The seconds are too small to keep track of but minutes count. It's now 9:50. That means that 590 of today's minutes have already passed us by. How have we spent those 590 minutes and what can we do with the 850 remaining minutes?
I have decided that this week begins the in earnest quest towards healthy living and good health. I have been following the program and logging my food and exercise but I have not been seriously fanatic about it. As a result, I have been in a holding pattern. I've not been gaining weight which is good but I have not been losing any either and that is not quite as good. Once a year, I enter a phase of fanaticism, increasing my exercise routine and decreasing my caloric intake in an attempt to jump start my metabolism and shed some pounds in a group. It just feels better to see the pounds fall of in 3-4 pound clumps rather than .5 pound baby steps. It is the first of April for all intents and purposes and by the time the green flag drops for the Indianapolis 500 I look to have 25-30 pounds less of me to watch the race.
Sometimes, we need an artificial marker for a starting point. new Years Day is a popular choice when everybody who is anybody goes on a diet and joins a gym. A friend of mine who ran a gym called January "go get'em days". He said if you couldn't make money running a gym in January, you were for sure going to fail in the fall. It is not necessary to wait until New Years Day though, any day will do. I chose March 30 because it is today.
A new week a new you
Sunday, March 29, 2009
The top featured blog entry yesterday was about the power of visualization. One of the blogs last week wes on positive visualization. Dennis Waitley asks in his seminars for the participants to name the most powerful nation in the world. The expected answers usually follow, the United States, Russia, China, Japan, Saudi Arabia. Then the moderator tells them the right answer. The most powerful nation in the world is imagination!
Mike Vance served several years as the dean of Disney University in Orlando where Disney employees are trained. He says that hardly a day goes by without someone saying it is a shame that Walt Disney died and didn't get to see Walt Disney World. His reply is that Walt did see it, that is why it is there!
Some great thinker said that nothing is but that thinking makes it so. That's a bit convoluted but the idea is valid. To achieve a goal you must visualize the goal as having been attained and how you will react to the realization of that goal. if you "act as if" the goal has been attained, the attainment of the goal will happen more quickly.
There are two types of people who populate shopping center parking lots. The vast majority of people enter the parking lot and announce that the lot is full and there is no place to park. They then proceed to drive around the parking lot looking for no place to park. I always enter the parking lot knowing that there is a parking space for me and that perhaps someone is holding it for me until I get there. It irritates my wife when I drive into a parking lot and announce out loud "I am here, whoever is holding my parking space can leave now". It doesn't work all of the time but over 85% of the time I get a parking space near the door, seldom more than ten spaces down the aisle. See the people leaving your parking space as you enter the lot. Your space will be ready for you.
If you can see it you can be it
Saturday, March 28, 2009
It doesn't matter how many times you fall down. What's important is how many times you get up! I don't know who said that originally, it may have been Sun Tsu or Confucius, or Dale Carnegie, or Napoleon Hill or W. Clement Stone or Wayne Dyer, or even George Carlin. In point of fact, they all probably said it at one point in some form. Whatever the task and whatever the journey, it is not going to be accomplished without some pitfalls and roadblocks. If you are the mythical journey of a thousand miles and you stumble after five miles, you have gone five miles. If you get up and go another three miles before you stumble again, you are three miles farther than you would have been had you not gotten up. Take your journey or your task and break in down into smaller components and accomplish these components in order and you will be constantly moving toward the culmination of your journey. Remember, any movement toward completion is success.
When you fall down, get up!
Friday, March 27, 2009
If something has to be done, go ahead and do it. By putting off a distasteful task, you have a chance to worry over it and make it more distasteful. As I said a few days ago, "If you have to eat two frogs, eat the big one first" (Twain) then the small one is no big deal. An added benefit of doing it now is satisfaction. Imagine you have a task to do by noon tomorrow. If you pout it off until 11:30 tomorrow, you have spent a full day fretting over the task and thirty minutes doing it. If you do it now, you spend thirty minutes doing it and twenty-four hours of satisfaction for a job well done.
Do it now!
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