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What’s the answer…

I have a training class next month.  Classes afford me the enjoyment of a little intellectual sport.

When conducting class for our resellers I insert a variety of exercises designed to strengthen our problem-solving “muscles”.  A lot is being studied and a lot is being published about how technology is actually reducing our ability to think.  I mean, is artificial intelligence making mankind’s intelligence artificial?

I have contributed to the conversation myself (see http://thequoteguys.com/2015/02/self-obliteration/).  Instant messaging; email; social sites; et al, are contributing to the weakening of our intellectual capabilities; dulling our minds; making us stupid!

Sorry, I inserted that last phrase of hyperbole to catch your attention – odds are you’re reading my little ditty from a cell phone or a tablet while having additional devices and screens open; multi-tasking.  If you are driving – please close my post and keep your eyes on the road!  Please drive defensively against those around you – who are ignoring my plea and reading my post!

But I digress…

As I work with my partners on problem-solving exercises; constantly competing for their intellectual attention in the face of continuous multi-tasking; I get their frustration and their preference – “Gary, just give us the answer!”  In my last class, one participant Googled for the answer to the opening exercise (which was a 3rd grade math problem from the year 2000).  He didn’t even try to think.

I understand.  We’re all busy; we’re all stressed; we’re all distracted; we’re all connected every waking minute of every waking hour.  If you believe that such behavior has very negative impact on our intellect, it begs the question, “So what?”

To me, our value in the workplace of today and that of the future is based on our thinking abilities.  Simple jobs are being automated; employers are hiring robots; employees who can’t think will be left with the leftovers of the jobs machines won’t do, true?

So how do we gain or maintain our intellectual strength while avoiding Donsen?

Donsen’s Law

The specialist learns more and more about less and less until, finally, he knows everything about nothing; whereas the generalist learns less and less about more and more until, finally, he knows nothing about everything.

We are on top of the animal kingdom because of our minds aren’t we?  We can trace this fact all the way back to the invention of the wheel.  But what if they we’re distracted back then?  What if the invention of the wheel was overlooked due to the dulling that comes with technology?                           What are we not inventing today because we’re overly dependent on machines that may decide to overlook solutions to problems that impact mankind, but not machines?

I remain hopeful that we can snap out of our social media induced; cellular technology driven; Siri mind numbing; drone sleep-walking environment.  I believe we can reverse the trend and regain our intellectual strength:

Imagination is stronger than knowledge.

Dreams are more powerful than facts.

Hope always triumphs over experience.

Robert Fulghum

I enjoy Robert’s expressions of hope.  Here are a few more; https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/robert_fulghum

I understand.  Problems are hard; answers are easy; can’t we just get to the easy without going through the hard?  I don’t think so.

In class I try to offer a little fun in the pursuit of the “answers” because getting to the “answer” is grounded on the strength of our “thinking”.  The mathematical solution comes from the accuracy of the formula.  From the caveman days forward, it always has – don’t you think?

GAP

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Vacation…

I just returned from vacation; actually, a “stay-cation”.  Hermited for a few; just me, my wife, our dog and our horses.  No deadlines; no stress – just horse manure; dog treats; relaxing; and recharging!

A vacation is what you take when you can no longer take what you’ve been taking. 

Earl Wilson

We sprint for as long as we can – then rest and recharge via vacation.  And when I vacation, I unplug.  Do you?  I know… when I returned to work Tuesday, I had 289 emails waiting for me, too.  I’m still catching up.  But that’s OK; when I was gone, I was “gone”.

During my vacation from my full-time job, I actually worked in my other job – my wife’s company.  We staffed a booth at Taste of Colorado Thursday through Monday; 7:30 am until 10:30 pm.  15 hour days in 90-degree heat – now she’s ready for a vacation!

No rest for the weary.  One’s heavy workload is due to one’s own choice. 

Unknown Sage

Truth be told, we don’t have a high-stress jobs.  Stress in our world is self-imposed.  We take what we do seriously.  For those of you like us I know you can relate – we are all professionals at our profession, don’t you agree?  Perfection may not be demanded by others, but we professionals believe we should do our best to the best of our ability.

Work for professionals like us is fulfilling.  And for those of us lucky to be in fulfilling professions, we would like to enjoy this fulfillment for as long as we are able, true?  That premise coupled with the start of the football season, brings Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas to mind:

Live today, and every day, to the fullest; with awe and enthusiasm; because when you die, you’re dead for a long, long time.

This time of year, we hear of NFL players who don’t want to retire; still want to play in the lime light; don’t know what to do next.  The problem in athletics is Father Time is undefeated.  We all have to find our “next” in our lifetime.

And now I’m back, I’m rested; recharged; and ready to re-engage with my fulfilling work.  I continue to support my wife and her company – no rest ‘til Brooklyn for her I’m afraid.  Thanks Beastie Boys!

But that’s OK – she loves the company she launched four years ago as her “next”.  She has never been so engaged.  Even at our age, she and I found our wonderfully fulfilling “next”.  Still fending off Father Time; with awe and enthusiasm!

Not everyone though.  According to survey after survey in 2017 employee engagement is at historical lows.  Certain recent research suggests as many as 70% of employees are not fully engaged in their work.  70%!  Did they not take a vacation?  Or when they were gone, were they actually not “gone”?  Didn’t know how to “unplug”?

Can it be as simple as simply unplugging when you’re on vacation?  Or is there more to it?  Do 7 of 10 employees today really hate their job?  Scary!  Maybe we need to lighten things up a bit:

Oh, you hate your job?  Why didn’t you say so?  There’s a support group for that.  It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar. 

Drew Carey

Come on 70%’ers; before hoping for some miraculous “next” without engagement – get out of the bar; take a vacation; unplug; and then get back in the game called life.  Johnny Unitas would if he were here today.

GAP

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Christ’s birthday…

Merry Christmas to all!

Wishing you a day of peace, hope, joy and celebration with family and friends.  Thank you in advance for permitting me to re-post this little ditty – it’s one of my favorites.

Of course, Christmas is more than just one day, true?  Whatever our spiritual beliefs, may each of us find meaning to our life during this season in a way that lasts throughout the entire year.  So here’s to looking back and celebrating 2016; and to looking forward to an even better 2017!

Lest there be any confusion, may we be reminded of that which was important this year, and that which wasn’t.

We are reminded by bankers to be of good cheer:

A little boy received a new drum for Christmas.  Shortly thereafter, his father came home from work and the mother told him, “I don’t think the man upstairs likes to hear Georgie play his new drum, but he’s certainly subtle about it.  “How do you know”? asked the father.  “Well, this afternoon he gave Georgie a knife and asked him if he knew what was inside the drum.” 

Herbert Prochnow

We are reminded by strangers not to lose sight of our common sense:

On most brands of Christmas lights:

“For indoor or outdoor use only.”

(As opposed to…what?)

Unknown Sage

We are reminded by the gospel to be satisfied with who we are not what we bought:

You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are – no more, no less.  That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. 

Matthew

We are reminded by the novelists to remember (and be thankful for) our “fortunes”:

Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some. 

Charles Dickens

We are reminded by the politicians (of all people) to remember why this is a holiday to begin with…

How many observe Christ’s birthday; how few His precepts.  O ‘tis easier to keep a Holiday, than Commandments.

Benjamin Franklin

We are reminded to offer His blessings to you and yours from me and mine.

And to all a good night!

GAP

Just for fun…

Thought I’d lighten things up a bit today after writing a few heavy posts recently.  I mean, I know life can be tough; but it also can get better:

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts. 

Ernest Hemingway

My wife and I went on a weekend getaway with our best friends Steve and Jacquie.  Beer; bear country; and besties – we headed out to mend a few of those broken parts.  We didn’t see any bears but the trip reminded me of my favorite sighting:

A bear who, displaying a $5 bill, had entered a bar and ordered a beer and; the owner of the bar directed the bartender to give the bear the beer, saying that since the bear didn’t look very smart to only give it 25 cents in change.

Having done as he had been instructed, and having watched incredulously as the bear placidly sipped the beer, the bartender finally could no longer contain himself and sought to engage the bear in conversation.  “You know”, he said to the bear, “we don’t get many bears in this bar.”  To which the bear is said to have replied, “at $4.75 a beer, it’s no wonder.” 

Norman R. Augustine

Ah that Norman R. Augustine, former head of Martin Marietta Corporation a huge US Government aerospace contractor.  Talk about broken parts!  Norman shared his sense of humor in his book, Augustine’s Laws ©.  Here’s an excerpt courtesy of Wikipedia:

Law Number III: There are no lazy veteran lion hunters.

Law Number XIII: There are many highly successful businesses in the United States. There are also many highly paid executives. The policy is not to intermingle the two.

Law Number XIX: Although most products will soon be too costly to purchase, there will be a thriving market in the sale of books on how to fix them.

Law Number XXXI: The optimum committee has no members.

Law Number XXXVI: The thickness of the proposal required to win a multi-million dollar contract is about one millimeter per million dollars. If all the proposals conforming to this standard were piled on top of each other at the bottom of the Grand Canyon it would probably be a good idea.

Law Number LII: People working in the private sector should try to save money. There remains the possibility that it may someday be valuable again.

I know it’s not fair to poke fun at our government during an election year.  In the 1930’s America’s leading political wit, Will Rogers, couldn’t help himself:

The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.

If America’s political process doesn’t drive us all nuts, the cost of living certainly can:

It seems that there was a pretzel stand in front of an office building in New York City.  One day a man came out of the building, plunked down a quarter, and then went on his way without taking a pretzel.  This happened every day for three weeks.  Finally, the old lady running the stand spoke up, “Sir, excuse me.  May I have a word with you?”  The fellow answered,I know what you’re going to say.  You’re going to ask me why I give you a quarter every day and don’t take a pretzel.” The woman replied, “Not at all.  I just wanted to tell you that the price is now 35 cents.”

William Schreyer

Grab your besties everyone – let’s head to bear country for a few beers.  I’m buying!

GAP

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April optimism…

Ahh, April; springtime in the Rockies!  What a wonderfully eventful time of the year; snow last week; 70’s this week.  Never quite sure what Mother Nature has in mind for us.  But April has always been my personal demarcation point for the beginning of spring.  And springtime buds optimism, true?

No Winter lasts forever, no Spring skips its turn. 

Hal Borland

According to Wikipedia, the start of the spring season occurs at different times, based on different reasons depending on our different perspectives:

Meteorological reckoning

Spring, when defined in this manner, can start on different dates in different regions. In terms of complete months, in most North Temperate Zone locations, spring months are March, April and May…

Ecological reckoning

The beginning of spring is not always determined by fixed calendar dates. The phenological or ecological definition of spring relates to biological indicators; the blossoming of a range of plant species, and the activities of animals, or the special smell of soil…

Of course, April 15th is the deadline day for filing our income tax returns – now there’s an annual “Taxpayer reckoning” American could do without!

April is a time of reckoning in the sports world, too.  The NBA is winding down their regular season and gearing up for the playoffs; the NHL too.  Winter sports you say?  Well, those winter sports haven’t ended in the winter season since last century.

April also holds optimism and opening days for Major League Baseball teams.  The Colorado Rockies’ home opener is this afternoon.

People sometimes ask me if I am a Rockies fan.  Sadly – no.  You see, I only have a place in my heart for one, bad franchise at a time.  You guessed it – I’m a die-hard Cubs fan!

Now to be a Cubs fan is saying something about optimism.  The Cubs last won the National League pennant in 1945 (71 years ago); they last won the World Series in 1908 (108 years ago).  No wonder we are referred to as “die-hard”!

But mostly, April weather and the spring season remind me of my Chicago roots; warming weather; and optimism:

Life in Chicago

60° above –   Floridians wear coats, gloves and wooly hats.                              Chicago people sunbathe.

50° above –   New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.  Chicago people                    plant gardens.

40° above –   Italian cars won’t start.  Chicago people drive with                        their windows down.

32° above –   Distilled water freezes.  Lake Michigan’s water gets                        thicker.

20° above –   Californians shiver uncontrollably.  Chicago people                      have their last cook-out before it gets cold.

15° above –   New York landlords finally turn up the heat.  Chicago                    people throw on a sweatshirt.

Zero –          Californians fly away to Mexico.  Chicago people                          lick the flagpole.

20° below –   People in Miami cease to exist.  Chicago people get                      out their winter coats.

40° below –   Hollywood disintegrates.  Chicago’s Girl Scouts begin                    selling cookies door-to-door.

60° below –   Polar bears begin to evacuate Antarctica.                                   Chicago’s Boy Scouts postpone “Winter Survival”                         classes until it gets cold enough.

80° below –   Mt. St. Helen’s freezes.  Chicago people rent some                        videos.

100° below – Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.  Chicago                           people get frustrated when they can’t thaw the keg.

297° below – Microbial life survives on dairy products. Illinois cows                   complain of farmers with cold hands.

460° below – ALL atomic motion stops. Chicago people start                           saying, “Cold ’nuff for ya?”

500° below – Hell freezes over. The Cubs win the World Series!

Hang tough, fellow Die-Hard Cubs Fans.  2016 is our year!

GAP

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Is technology making us stupid?

Much is being said about the negative impact technology is having on us today.  For all the advancements and for all the good, many are suggesting there’s a negative side dare I say a “Dark Side to the Force” of technology.

For me, technology has represented an interesting (and amusing) dichotomy throughout my adult life.  On the one hand, from 1979 and literally spanning 5 decades, I have made a living selling the most modern and advanced technology of the time available to the business community.  On the other hand, I am the most clueless “end user” on the planet.

I’ve been guilty of many moments like this over the years; how about you?

The Know-Nothing: 

This is that clueless user who looks in vain for the “Any Key” when his computer prompts him to “Hit Any Key.” 

Lisa DiCarlo

For the longest time, I thought it was just me.  But recently, I have noticed a plethora of evidence that technology is impacting us more than we may want to admit.  Take this sign by the elevators at our local IKEA store:

IKEA_elevator

 “Siri-ously”?  For the elevator?  And illustrated, no less!  Hmmm.

I don’t think I’m the only one noticing how dumb our smart phones are making us.  Here are 8 more examples – can you relate?  I sure can:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/25/technology-intelligence_n_5617181.html

Was it the Internet that put us in the predicament?  Google?  Maybe smart phones are to blame.  Or Siri – yes, that’s it; Siri did it!  Of course, our favorite Unknown Sage suggests it’s actually worse than that:

In case you needed further proof that the human race is doomed through stupidity, here are some actual label instructions on consumer goods:     

On a Sears hairdryer:

“Do not use while sleeping.”

(That’s the only time I have to work on my    hair.) 

       On a bag of Fritos:

“You could be a winner! No purchase necessary.  Details inside.”

(The shoplifter special?) 

On a bar of Dial soap: Directions:

“Use like regular soap.”

(And that would be how?) 

On some Swanson frozen dinners:

“Serving suggestion: Defrost.

(But, it’s just a suggestion.) 

On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert (printed on the bottom):

“Do not turn upside down.” 

(Well…duh, a bit late, huh?)

On Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:

“Product will be hot after heating.” 

(…and you thought?)

On packaging for a Rowenta iron:

“Do not iron clothes on body.”

              (But wouldn’t this save me more time?) 

On Booth’s Children Cough Medicine:

“Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication.”

(We could do a lot to reduce the rate of construction accidents if we could just get those 5-year-olds with head-colds off those forklifts.)

On Nytol Sleep Aid:

“Warning: May cause drowsiness.”

              (And… I’m taking this because?)

On most brands of Christmas lights:

“For indoor or outdoor use only.”

(As opposed to…what?) 

On a Japanese food processor:

“Not to be used for the other use.”

(Now, somebody out there, help me on this. I’m a bit curious.)

On Sunsbury’s peanuts:

“Warning: contains nuts.”

(Talk about a news flash) 

On an American Airlines packet of nuts:

“Instructions: open packet, eat nuts.”

(Step 3: maybe, uh…fly Delta?)

On a child’s Superman costume:

“Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly.”

(I don’t blame the company. I blame the parents for this one.)

On a Swedish chainsaw:

“Do not attempt to stop chain with your hands.”

(Was there a lot of this happening somewhere?) 

 Hmmm –  wonder what will happen when I say “any key” to Siri?

GAP

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How’s your day?

May you feel peace & power today – and every day. 

Have you ever had “one of those days”?  It started with a missed wake-up call; only a few minutes to glance at the morning newspaper.  Bold headlines: “Market Down!”; “Unemployment Up!”; “Cost of Living Highest in a Decade”; “Today: Mostly Cloudy”; and “Cubs Lose Again”! 

Nothing we would want to read about any further.  Besides, we’re already running late for an “emergency meeting” with the boss.  About what – not quite sure. 

Just spilled a McDonald’s coffee in my lap pulling out of the drive-through.  Not only will my stained dress pants look bad in front of my boss, but I don’t think my private parts are burned enough to win a multi-million dollar law suit.  (There’s never a little old lady around when you need one.)  And my wife called to say, “The kids are sick.”  Perfect! 

A little music might lower the blood pressure.  But no – the only thing on the radio is commercials; commercials on all eighteen FM stations and all twelve AM stations.  What?  Are the broadcasters in collusion to run their commercials at the same time?  No station-hopping to find music?  How do they do that?  

The car ahead has been absolutely crawling for the past five miles.  Finally, there’s enough of a break in this heavy traffic to pass.  But the next sign says, “Slow Down: Road Construction Ahead”.  I’m pretty sure I just broke a crown grinding my teeth! 

So – How’s your day? 

There is both peace and power in knowing and understanding who you are, where you’re from and where you’re going.           

Doug Burgum 

Is there any doubt that we could all use a little help in finding that inner peace and personal, self-confident power to carry us through our day?  After all, a positive attitude is priceless, yes? 

I’ve been blessed to have been around rare combinations of peace and power my entire life.  From childhood, to participating in sports; the business world; my family, friends and acquaintances; I have observed and been impacted by great feats from famous, as well as everyday, people. 

In addition to Doug Burgum, former CEO of Great Plains Software, and his quote above, I have collected other quotes and short stories pertaining to living life with awe and enthusiasm. 

I was at Doug’s key note speech to the Great Plains’ worldwide resellers at the 2000 convention in Fargo, North Dakota which they called “Stampede”.  (It was my first, and to-date, only trip toNorth Dakota.)  Doug was the very first person I heard use the phrase “peace and power” when talking about the balance we need in our business (and personal) life.  And by no coincidence, his words were particularly applicable at the turn of the century; remaining so today. 

How about you?  Who do you turn to when you’re have “one of those days”?  Keep things inside do you?  Perfecting the art we call “Cowboy Up”?  As Dr. Phil might ask, “How’s that working for you?” 

Yes, yes, we’ve all read the bumper sticker: 

            Life’s a bitch and then you die. 

But there’s so much more to life, isn’t there?  If we can just find a way to prevent daily challenges from spoiling our enjoyment.  If we can just commit to living each day with awe and enthusiasm. 

So, may you feel the peace and the power of a positive perspective today – and every day! 

GAP 

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Higher Education

Strangely, I find myself spending quite a bit of time on college campuses these days.  This endeavor, next to hanging around with teenagers, has become one of my favorite trips when I want to leave the real world for a bit.  You would think Bill was speaking to my teenage grandkids: 

Excerpts from Bill Gates’ speech to Mount Whitney High School, Visalia, California: 

Rule  1 – Life is not fair; get used to it…

Rule  4 – If you think your teacher is tough; wait ’til you get a boss…

Rule  7 – Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now.  They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were.  So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parents’ generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule  8 – Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer.  This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life…

Rule 11 – Be nice to nerds.  Chances are you’ll end up working for one.   

Ah yes, nerds.  We find lots of them on campuses – have for years.  They have made technology advances I could not even have dreamed of.  Of course, they are highly educated; just ask Daniel Joseph Boorstin: 

Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know. 

Thankfully in our world today, some of the brightest technology minds of modern society had “a little extra time” in between classes to come to know what we didn’t know.  And then they established the powerhouse brands we have all come to rely on – Dell PCs; Windows; Facebook; to name a few. 

And how brilliant was Steve Jobs?  Without his ability to combine vision + technology innovation + attention to the most minute detail, who knows how we would be accessing digital music; watching movies with astounding, computer-generated special effects, or even updating Facebook.  How many are reading this post from your iPad?  Wow!  Here’s a salute to one terrific nerd! 

So there I am a few times each month now, attending a MeetUp for Writers that gathers on Regis University’s campus; driving to Colorado Springs to attend an Air Force Academy football game; returning to my alma mater Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois – the birthplace of Carl Sandburg, a three-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize.  In fact, I’ve spent more time in the Knox College library during these annual weekend visits than I spent me entire four years of undergraduate enrollment.  (That’s why I think I’m working for a nerd today!) 

But education, continuing education, is not only important to our professional pursuits; to me, it is personally gratifying.  And, my passion for learning might be catching – I’m proud to say my 35 year old son has decided a college degree is a good idea after all.  He’s finishing his sophomore studies in pursuit of an electrical engineering degree. 

And although this man from my profession is not renowned for his technology skills (nor would you think of him as a nerd) we can all benefit from the words of the master sales teacher and motivator, Zig Ziglar:

 It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.                              

GAP 

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I am not what I don’t eat

I was chatting with a friend of mine the other day.  He’s a colleague and a mentor.  We were discussing the job climate and the challenges of finding a good position “at my age”.  Not that I’m an ancient relic or anything – but once you’re over 50, some hiring managers think you are. 

One thing we discussed was appearance, especially weight.  It’s no secret that obesity in America is out of control today.  Sales people are certainly not immune to this affliction.  So the battle of the bulge needs continuous attention.  No exception here (although I’m very proud to say that I am within 12 pounds of my 1975 collegiate basketball playing weight).  Getting back to this point reminds me of a quote from Margaret Thatcher:

“You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.”

Lord knows, I’m engaged in a life-long series of battles!  And weight control needs daily attention, don’t you agree?

It’s easy to get caught up in the pursuit of our jobs; our in-box; our quota-performance.  It’s easy to get hooked on working extended hours instead of working out.  Add-in business travel and our eating habits can really take a turn for the worse, yes?  Fast food, airport dining, and hotel room service are definitely not our waistline’s friend.  

There is nowhere to hide and our appearance tells a hiring manager a lot about us.  But our health is much more important than just our job.   To make matters worse, there is a tremendous amount of misinformation about food, diet, and approaches to maintaining a healthy weight.  Let me help you avoid a few pit falls.  Here’s a little “accepted wisdom” I picked up on one of my out-of-town trips (yep, from a person losing their battle of the bulge):

 Question:     How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

Answer:       Well, if you have a body, and you have body fat, your ratio is one-to-one.  If you have two bodies, your ratio is two-to-one, etc.

Question:     I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life.  Is this true?

Answer:       How could that be true?  Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that’s it.  Everything wears out eventually, so how could speeding up your heart make you live longer?  If you want to live longer – take a nap.

Question:     My wife says I should cut down on meat, and eat more fruits and vegetables.  What do you say?

Answer:       Look, what does a cow eat?  Corn.  And what’s corn?  A vegetable.  So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system.

Question:     Is beer bad for you?

Answer:       Look, it goes to the earlier point about vegetables.  As we all know, scientists divide everything in the world into three categories: animal, mineral, and vegetable.  Well, we all know that beer is not an animal, and it’s not on the periodic table of elements, so that only leaves one thing, right?  My advice:  Have a burger and a beer and tell everyone you’re on a vegetarian diet.

                                                                            Unknown Sage

It was actually Colonel Harlan Sanders (yes, that Colonel Sanders believe it or not) who said;

“Make sure you don’t wind up the richest person in the cemetery.  You can’t do business from there.”

Being overweight is nothing to take lightly!  And I mean it’s more important than our next job interview.

                                                                            GAP

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Wisdom from our kids

Wisdom from our kids

“Never tell your Mom her diet is not working.  Never trust a dog to watch your food.  And if your Dad asks, Do I look stupid?, don’t answer.”

Unknown Sage

A year ago, in January of 2010 I responded to a radio ad and signed up for a thirteen week, “Maximize Living Boot Camp” by Dr. Joseph Singh (check out www.MeridianDocs.com).  OK; it was the New Year and traditionally every New Year I make a resolution to lose weight.  (I know, I know – what a novel idea!  Bet you’ve never heard that one before.)

Starting out at 6’3” and 237 pounds, I knew that the last time I weighed 200 pounds was in 1975 – my final year of playing collegiate basketball.  And then I thought, “Why would 2010 be any different”?  Would I go on a strict diet?  Been there, done that.  You, too?  Would it be the workouts?  Probably not; I already work out, and I think I am in decent shape (for someone my size!).  Will I abandon Grande Caramel Macchiatos?  Well, I’ve never actually had a Grande Caramel Macchiato (although I hear they’re very addicting!).  So what would be different?

Maybe it would be a renewed commitment to finish what I start. Unfortunately, we’ve all heard that before too, even say it ourselves, right?  Even received expert advice on it, like:

“My therapist told me a way to achieve peace was to finish things I started.  Today, I finished 2 bags of potato chips, a lemon pie, a fifth of Jack Daniels, and a small box of chocolate candy.  I feel better already!”

                                                                            Unknown Sage

I think regaining control over my weight has a lot to do with my approach to daily successes (and failures).  Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to move from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  Seems applicable to weight loss, or for that matter, any other personal improvement goals we set each year.

Yes I know; I’ve also heard that Churchill was a bit of a kook.  Like the story told of a Woman Member of Parliament who, after an extensive tirade at a social function, scornfully told the Prime Minister, “Mr. Churchill, you are drunk”, to which Churchill replied, “And you Madame, are ugly.  But I shall be sober tomorrow.”  (Ah, I digress.)

Back to Dr. Joe – In 2010, I completed three, thirteen-week boot camps; binged for six weeks on holiday food and adult beverages from Thanksgiving through New Year’s; and finished the year at 212 pounds!   By January of 2012, I will weigh 200 pounds (yes, yes, another New Year’s Resolution.)  How?  Well, I learned a lot from Dr. Joe – nutritional education (it’s amazing how much sugar is in everything we eat); regular exercise; group support (hey, welcome to my blog!).  But mostly I think it will be just about me; my ability to finish things; just staying focused each day; and when I “fall off the wagon” I won’t stay off the wagon, I’ll get back on as quickly as I can.

Brings to mind a thought, a proverb actually, that we can leverage each day in 2011 for our diet, our job, and any other important goals we set:

“Fall down seven times.  Stand up eight.”

                                                                           Japanese Proverb

So here’s to continuing the pursuit of getting to a little less of me in 2011.  How about you?

GAP

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