Purpose Driven

Everyone takes advantage of something that’s truly FREE. Too often things garnering the label are anything but. In the world of blogging and social networking all a person sacrifices is their precious, valuable time; as much or little as they desire. There aren’t any membership fees or monthly costs associated with Blogger, Facebook, or Myspace. All a person needs is, yes…a FREE email address. Granted, some people’s time is worth more than others, but for the average American, we’re willing to give up a segment or two for nothing aren’t we? Some may be willing to give up hours, others just a few minutes. Either way, I think there’s three purposes to blogging or social networking.

  1. Making Money
  2. Meeting people/staying connected with friends
  3. Getting thoughts/ideas off your chest

The smart ones have found a way to do all three. Seth Godin, Guy Kawasaki, and Heather B. Armstrong have (1) made money, (2) met new people, and (3) released information from their minds with the use of a FREE tool. Ten years ago their conquest wasn’t possible. The rest of us are either content with our purpose or strive to reach that first one…getting paid! I for one would love to make some extra cash, but what I have to say (like most bloggers) is worthless commentary on my surroundings. I enjoy doing it, but you’d be crazy to pay me for my thoughts here (but will you anyways?).

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I won’t be able to say anything you can’t read in a book, watch on a program, or buy a dvd on. Yet I suppose I’m smart enough to find a niche in some field/category people are willing to listen, dare I say, even buy? I’ve seen websites out there making money with zero appeal, zero creativity, and little personality. Surely I can at least match that, maybe even surpass it. Just for fun, I’m currently enrolled in an internship which teaches tactics and strategy to internet marketing. I’m not spending a dime or going in with grandiose notions. I’m simply trying to learn something new. If my ideas (sure, I’ve got a few) are able to fit in with what I learn, why not try?

Cause For Celebration

I suppose any determined group has been at the heart of a celebration or holiday. The Catholics figured chocolate bunnies and colorful eggs were a way to honor the world’s most miraculous event, while women all across America reserved Feb 14th for pampering and guilt trips. Sure, we need a holiday or celebration every now and then. There just aren’t enough birthdays to make a year go by faster.

The International Day of Slayer began on 6/6/06. Oh the irony. Since that date, Metalheads across the globe take off June 6th and rock out. Well, they may do more than that. I think Ronny James Dio is writing the cards for Hallmark as we speak. Today in Anchorage, AK are the World Beard and Moustache Championships. Every year the mightiest beards/moustaches assemble, for what, I’m not quite sure. Certainly there’s a blue or white ribbon awarded to those who’ve spurned their razor best, but if Rollie Fingers isn’t there, I ain’t going!

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In a society that is obviously looking for more things to occupy thier time, it seems anyone can grab headlines by creating their own holiday/celebration. I can’t think of anything I’d personally like to crusade, but business owners take note. What a way to make a buck.

Scott and Will were hawking t-shirts at a Louisville, KY tattoo expo in July of 2002 when the heat took its toll and they began swapping lines from perhaps the best comedy ever written. Lebowski Fest 2009 is now touring 15 cities under the guise, “Speed of Sound Tour”. Genius. The idea of celebrating a movie wasn’t anything new. Star Trek conventions have garnered millions of dollars for pointy ears and orange spandex shirts. And I’d venture to guess Millennium Falcon’s are still being produced next to Chewbacca outfits in some mid-west warehouse.

As I conclude my first year of teaching there’s cause for celebration. My own holiday begins next Friday, May 30th. I’m not searching for some scheme to cash in on my special day (Six Flags has already done that), but I am amazed at the notoriety and income average people can gain by celebrating their passions.

“Pain Equals Wisdom”

I’ve always been told that the only thing we can really control in life is our reaction to a given situation. When a tough time slaps you across the face…how will you react? No one has a problem figuring out their reaction to a positive or good circumstance. Instead, it’s the moments you’re never ready for that test your REAL strength, character, or conviction. And make no mistake about it; life will suck every once in a while.

I read a sad, shocking, and somewhat unbelievable (in this day and age) story about a young man named John C. Odom. Odom was a right-handed minor league prospect in the San Francisco Giants farm system. He wasn’t classified as a rising star, playing only single A ball as a 44th round draft pick. Other major league players on their way UP the ladder played with him for small doses of time, making warm comments about his attitude, personality, and easy-going nature.

I doubt anyone would have known the name John C. Odom if he hadn’t been traded to the Laredo Broncos of the United League (a.k.a. Busch League) for 10 baseball bats! At an estimated value of $665.00, the Calgary Vipers received ten C243 Prarie Sticks, double-dipped and 34 inches in length. They weren’t even Louisville or Mizuno. Mr Odom was sent 3,000 miles to Laredo, TX from Calgary, AB in a trade that sounds as if it came from the 1920’s depression era.

How in the world do you deal with that? Odom embraced the 15 minutes of fame just long enough to pitch a few games. As he marched to the field like Adam West while “Batman” played, the young righty smiled and laughed about the trade every other minor-leaguer thanked his lucky stars he wasn’t a part of. Not long after, he told his coach he was done. He quit.

I’ve been talking about John Odom in past tense because he’s dead now. With a previous alcohol addiction, heroin soon followed, claiming his life in a drug/alcohol overdose last November. Players and coaches agree, “the trade” played a large role in his downward spiral. A pathetic end to a pathetic trade. The bats were never even used. Ripley’s purchased them for $10,000 and the money went to children’s charity. During the autopsy, medical examiners noticed a lengthy scar on the inside elbow of John C. Odom. Above his Tommy John incision read the Latin phrase, “poena par sapientia” which translates, “pain equals wisdom“. Ironic.

In a time of uncertainty and chaos in many parts of the country (and in many industries), I hope people are reacting as best they can. I guess we all wish for wisdom from our past pain. While so many people live their lives as actors instead of directors, no one can be fully prepared for what might happen next. One thing we can all work towards though is ensuring a move in a positive direction when those terrible times come our way.

What a Lovely Photo

For the past five years or so, I’ll sporadically check the latest mugshots on www.thesmokinggun.com

I find it interesting to see which celeb did what, and more importantly…how normal, strange, or just stupid they look in their public shaming. Now, who doesn’t love a list? But instead of the wackiest (because let’s face it…Nick Nolte will ALWAYS win that award) photos, I submit my Top 5 Best Looking Celebrity Mugshots for your viewing pleasure!

#5 – Arrested in 2002 for domestic assault in Bexar County, TX. A freshly shaven head, gaze towards the rafters, and gold chain shining through the unbuttoned polo put Stone Cold in a rare class or good looking arrest photos.

#4 – What a great smile! PrimeTime was picked up in 1996 on charges of misdemeanor trespassing. But this wasn’t an attempted assault or break-in…this was fishing. Even better, this was fishing on waters owned by the Southwest Florida International Airport. After ignoring the posted signs and even a verbal warning, the Dallas Cowboy must have caught what he was looking for. Look at that happy face!

#3 – Closely resembling Uncle Rico, I wonder if Woody could’ve thrown a pigskin a quarter mile? Irregardless, in Columbus, OH of 1982, Mr. Harrelson was nabbed for disturbing the peace. While dancing in the streets, Woody evaded arrest, which was enough for the 21 year old “Cheers” star to open up his wallet and help the city fix some pot holes.

#2 – Arrested by Miami Beach police in 1999 for assault and battery. On whom? Then recent X, Dennis Rodman. A 6’10 black man vs. a 5’6 white woman seems like a pretty evenly matched dual. I’m assuming she won, and didn’t come out looking to bad in the end.

#1 – Ziggy Stardust (David Bowie) wins the top spot for a few reasons. Notice the perfectly greased hair. Notice the pristine suit…with matching vest! Never before have I seen a mugshot look like a fashion shoot. I hope the designer of the suit was happy to have Bowie model this garment for New Yorks finest. It was 1976, and Ziggy (along with Iggy Pop) were arrested for felony pot possession.

* All photos courtesy of thesmokinggun.com

Not Enough Time

It doesn’t matter where you are in life…there’ll always be 24 hours in a day. We’re never wise enough, prepared enough, or ready enough to know just how to use our precious time. I’d venture to guess that as long as jobs, families, and deadlines have existed, the phrase has been uttered, “I just don’t have enough time”.

I’m currently helping 6th graders understand better study skills by teaching prioritizing, time management, and organization while I myself question how well “managed” I really am? Granted, no one can master their schedule or write that perfect book, “How to Get Things Done and Still Have a Life“. The reality is, our lives change, and with it, our down time, priorities, and responsibilities. Your probably saying, tell me something I don’t already know. OK…

  • We can’t manage time (it stays the same)…we have to manage our lives
  • If you haven’t already done so, accept (or adapt to) multi-tasking. In this day and age, you’ll be crushed and left behind by just focusing on one thing at a time.
  • The 80/20 rule (yet again): Don’t give up 80% of your time to achieve 20% results by losing focus on what REALLY needs to get done!
  • Being busy isn’t necessarily being productive (guilty!)
  • Your “high importance” items don’t become as important when NOT written down

It’s a work in progress, and I’m struggling every other step of the way. Some things have to take a back seat or get lost in the bottom of the bag. The necessary evils will rise to the top while the “fun stuff” just has to wait. Sure, it sucks…but that’s what growing up is all about. I remind my kids about it every so often, but instead, I just use the word crummy.