Sunday, March 14, 2010

Revisiting an Old Post...

After watching the movie “Rent” last night for the millionth time I felt compelled to revisit an old blog and post part of it again.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes...How do you measure a year? by daylights, by sunsets, by midnights or cups of coffee? This is one theme that keeps recurring through the entire show. There are only 525,600 minutes in a year.

To me that was never anything more than a nice way to make a song sound good. I mean did you ever really wonder how many minutes there were in a year? We all know there are 365 days, 12 months, etc... But today I heard more than that. There are many other songs that all tie to this but none that pushes it quite like this new one I found...

There's only us
There's only this
Forget Regret
Or life is yours to miss.

No Other Road
No Other Way
No Day But Today...

I had heard this a thousand times and probably sang it in the car that many times again. Never struck me as anything more than a catchy little tune that sounded nice.

This reminded me of the Latin phrase Carpe Diem which means seize the day. Make the most of every opportunity.

As I watched the movie last night I realized that the characters are all so different. Some of them spend much of their time regretting their past and letting the regret they feel keep them from moving forward. Others spend time dreaming of the future and the goals they want in life but seem to not be able to do today what is necessary to achieve them.

I find that I am most like those that dream of the future and all the things I want to do in life that I have yet to do. I always seem to stay in my comfort zone and never step outside and do the things today that will put me in a position to realize some of those dreams. At times I think that it is a fear of success that keeps me from reaching outside my box. Other times I think it is the fear of regrets…not that I might fail but that I may regret having tried it in the first place and then the dream is gone.

It is good for me to be reminded of this:

It is easy to have regrets. We have to realize that the decisions and choices we made were the best at that time. We need to forget our regret or we will miss our lives. Let's live for today and make the most of each minute of every hour, of every day, of every month, of every year. Or however you choose to measure.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

I look before I leap...

So I felt compelled to expand on the Facebook status message I posted the other night. If you missed it I said: "I feel like I am not doing what I should be doing". I got a lot of encouraging and supportive responses all with great advice. I just felt like perhaps I should expand on my comment a little more.

The statement I made refers to more than just my career. I enjoy what I do and I think I do a pretty darn good job with it. I have always had tons of goals in life, but it seems I have always looked for reasons not to do things. When I was a sales manager I had people that would spend lots of time telling me they could not meet their objective and explaining why. I used to tell them to quit looking for the reasons they cannot do something rather look for the reasons that they can.

I guess really this sort of refers back to an earlier post by me in which I said I was always good at "Talking the Talk", but I really need to focus on "Walking the Walk". Zig Ziglar says: "If you wait until all the lights are "green" before you leave home, you'll never get started on your trip to the top."

I spend time seeing the red lights and never beginning the journey. It is easy to think that we do this because we are scared of failing. I believe differently, in my case I think I am afraid of the success. Where will I go next? What will the expectations be from everyone?

I remember a few years back struggling with a decision on whether to take a leap without looking. I sat with my Dad and talked to him about what was going through my mind and the goals and dreams that I had. This is what my dad said to me...."If you think the grass is greener on the other side, then stand in your own grass and throw fertilizer and water on the other side before you step over there". Heck I never liked mowing my own yard let alone taking care of someone elses. But I knew what he was saying and since that time I have used his advice in my life and with others.

Many of you that know me know that I have always enjoyed performing and being on stage. That has always been a part of my life in fact, it was what I wanted to do. I wanted to get my degree in music and spend my life performing and teaching others to have the same appreciation for music and the arts that I had.

In college I decided that I needed to be more realistic and ended up getting my degree in business administration. I quit performing almost entirely at that time. Then after starting my career I began performing again and became pretty active in a few different theater groups. it was awesome I had the best of both worlds.

Now here I am and it has been almost six years since I was last on stage. Everytime I find something I would like to be involved in I find the reasons I cannot do them. I see the red lights and never start the journey.

It is time for me to stop seeing the red lights, quit finding the reasons that I cannot do things and start "Walking the Walk". It is time to be what I know I can be and do the things I know that will make me more fulfilled in life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Starting Over

I am sure you have gathered from my recent blogs and from my facebook, if you are one of my friends, that this has been a year of change for me. I have been working really hard to lose weight and become more healthy.

The very first obvious thing for me was to begin some sort of exercise program. On Jan 14th of this year, I did just that. I started going 5 days a week to the gym basically walking on the treadmill, riding the bike or using the elliptical (which I hate). Two days of each week I worked out with a personal trainer which meant in addition to the cardio we added in weight training too. It has been awesome, I have loved every minute of it.

The second thing I needed to do was learn to eat better. The fastest and easiest thing for me was to cut out fast food, fried food, make better choices in the things that I could eat, learn portion control and also cut out soda. So I managed to do this as well. I sort of became the new Jared, Subway has become a regular for me. It is convenient, with good choices and easy for me to keep track of what I am eating and how many calories I consume. Other regulars for me are grilled chicken, fruit and raw vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower and carrots).

This is where the starting over comes in...those three raw vegetables are really the only vegetables that I eat. If you must know the truth, I hate most vegetables, especially cooked. But I want to learn to branch out and try more things. I have started doing this but not nearly as much as I would like. I did try eating more in my salads recently I included tomatoes and cucumbers in a salad for myself. This was a big step for me. In fact I think the moment my sister heard that I had eaten tomatoes, my phone rang immediately.

With many vegetables I find them so repulsing that the last time I remember eating them it was almost to the point of making me gag I could not stand them so much. I find that anything cooked so much that it becomes mushy is not going to be something that I will like. I am inclined to believe I need to stick with steamed or roasted veggies.

So I am looking for ideas of different things I can try. If you are taking the time to read this, give me some ideas of something you like that you think I may like as well. If I get any ideas and can figure out how to prepare it or where to get it I will share back how it went. It is funny but I feel like I am 41 years old and learning to eat all over again. Wonder if I can do a better job of it this time?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Semi Contradictory?

Tonight I am going to contradict a post from a few nights ago. I mentioned that I lack self confidence. While this is true, I am an extremely confident person and very competitive.

Allow me to explain....My lack of self confidence comes strictly in my appearance and the way I perceive that people are judging me. I guess in other words I feel people are judging the book, that is my life, by its cover.

As far as what I do and how I live my life....I am extremely confident. I know at work I do a great job. I know that I put my all into everything I do and I feel that people recognize that I am knowledgeable and that I am the right person in the job that I am working in.

During the years I spent as a sales manager I was always very confident, I suppose sometimes I could even come close to cocky. I did not like it if people felt that I was arrogant or cocky but I always wanted to be perceived as the best and wanted to be one that would not back down from a challenge. I also always wanted my team to rally behind me and to believe we could exceed our objectives and be the best. So I felt that I had to be confident in everything we tried to accomplish. In other words....I could "Talk the Talk".

In having this confidence, I found that I did not come across as a humble person but I know that I have always wanted to. I have always felt my success was due to the success of the people that I surrounded myself with. I was only as good as those that worked for me. And I would never want to take away from anything that they had accomplished.

Last night I was reading my Bible and for some reason I read Matthew chapter 6. In chapter 6 it talks about giving to the needy and doing good for those that need it but to not seek recognition for what you have done. If you are giving or doing the good for the recognition then there will be no reward for you in heaven. But if you do these things quietly and in secret, God will see what you have done and you will be rewarded.

This kinda hit me thinking back through my life and career I think I have always been someone that could talk the talk. I always wanted people to recognize my team and the accomplishments that we had made. I was always working to get the recognition for myself and those that worked for me. But this passage last night made me realize that perhaps it is just better to "Walk the Walk" and let our actions speak for us.

It is easy to "Talk the talk". How many people do you know do this. I would say that I have been really good at it. I realize that it is time now for me to start "Walking my walk".

Now that brings me to yesterday in church during the sermon my pastor said it is easy to come to church on sunday and then go home and do whatever it is we do all week then return again the next week. It is simple to just show up and never really become engaged. I have not done a good job of any of that for the past few years I have simply talked the talk.

He equated it to going to a gym when you start a workout program it is something you have to do. Getting involved and serving is no different, it is something you have to do. After you get yourself in this cycle, just like working out, it becomes something you get to do, it becomes a part of your life and what you look forward to. But in the end we come back full circle and it becomes a have to again.

Have To --> Get To --> Have To
This all made sense to me. Right now I have to get involved in the church I have been attending and start being a part of the ministry there. I look forward to the day that I say I get to be a part of this ministry. And even more than that, to the day that I have to be serving so that I am leading a fulfilled life.
I hope some of this makes sense, I know I went through a lot in this but so much came to mind as everything just seemed to go hand in hand. No more talking the talk for me, it is time to walk the walk.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Medical Tests...

Recently I have been having some strange things going on with myself. Basically my body has been talking to me, telling me something is not right but I have no clue what. I don't like to be one of those people that runs to the doctor at every pain or strange feeling but I have twice now been to the ER and now a few different doctors.

If you are on my Facebook you may have seen my status messages that I was headed back to Texas and then later the next day that I was back in Tampa and thankful for loving and caring parents. I had another, what I will call, episode as I was driving just outside of Tallahassee. I punched in my GPS for directions to the closest hospital/ER.

So far after two trips to the ER they say that nothing serious has been happening. I stayed some extra time in Tampa and went to doctors there and they could not find anything wrong and I surprisingly started feeling well. So I jumped in the car again this past weekend and headed back to Texas. I made it back with no problems but have had some more signs of these episodes so I have now followed up with my own doctor.

Tomorrow and Friday I will be undergoing a Nuclear Stress Test. No one things that my heart is a problem but my doctor said he would like to rule it out once and for all and also to help keep me from running to the ER everytime, it really is quite scary.

After these tests there are also some other tests I will be going through to try and figure out what is causing my issues. Your continued thoughts and prayers are always appreciated.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A long time coming....

Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, how many different places can one person keep up with? I have decided that I am going to start blogging again but I am going to use it for different reasons than what I do Facebook. In this blog I will share more things that I am going through in life and a lot of what is going on with myself just in more detail. I will link my blog from my facebook and any of my friends are welcome to follow along.

For instance....I have been struggling with self confidence for a long time. Most of the time this has been because of my weight. I usually can play it off well and people are surprised when I tell them that I am a shy person. It is not so much that I am shy as much as it is I figure people are judging me for how I allowed myself to get out of shape.

I have always wanted to do something about it but could never seem to make it happen. I was not discipline enough or guess I really never had the desire even though I thought that I did.

The last few years I have taken some trips and have wanted to do certain things but was not able to because I exceeded their weight limits. That was embarassing to me but of course I was able to keep that to myself. I also looked at some pictures of myself from last year and realized I was bigger than I ever had been, it literally made me sick.

All along I knew that is not who I was. I have always wanted to be an active person and doing things outdoors and being adventuresome. Things like snow skiing, water sports and many other sports.

I decided I was going to do something about it but was not going to really publicize it as a New Years Resolution, I believe they set you up to fail. I just wanted to change my life and the way I live it and then let people just see the difference.

Today I don't see the difference so much as I look at myself but I can certainly tell it in the way my clothes fit. People are really commenting on how much I have changed and it is a nice feeling to see people that I have not seen in years and they are blown away.

I am not where I want to be yet, but I am going to get there. Since Jan 14th of this year I have now officially lost 60 pounds and it feels really good. I am able to do things at the gym that I would not have thought were possible 9 months ago. It has become a part of my life and just one of the things that I do rather than a chore or something that I have to force myself to do. I just know that each night the gym is a part of my life.

So far this has been an awesome adventure and I cannot wait to reach my final goal. It is exciting to me that I can actually conceive being where I want to be now. 9 months ago I could not have even imagined it.

So there is a little about me and what my year has been about these first 9 months. I am sure I will blog on many other topics as time goes on. You can look through my archives if you want to and see other things I have blogged about or you can just wait and see what lies ahead. Heck I might even start tweeting if I can figure out a purpose with it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Commercial with a Message?

Is it possible? Can a commercial really offer a message more than the product it is trying to sell? I never would have thought so, my assumption has always been the message of a commercial is one to encourage you to use the product being advertised. And I do think that is the purpose of the commercial but I really believe there is more to this.

Stranger than the commercial having a message is that the commercial is for Heineken Premium Light Beer. I do not think it is new for a beer company to offer a message more than the product it is soliciting. I think it was Anheuser Busch that told us "Friends don't let friends drive drunk". It might also be them that uses the slogan "Drink Responsibly". Obviously, those messages are because of how alcohol can cause impairment and they are working to promote their products but not have any liability. I find that idea not quite so surprising, in the litigious society that we have become anyone will look for any loophole to blame someone else for wrongdoing. Companies have to protect themselves as much as they can.

The Heineken commercial is different. If you haven't seen it, or just want to see it again, take a look and see what you think.

Catchy? What did you see? Well what I saw is a commercial that encourages us to do exactly what it is titled, "Share the Good". I noticed this commercial because of the catchy tune but I learned to like it because of the message. In this a beer is symbolic of what is good. Their intent is that you would share a beer. Nothing wrong with sharing a beer and I would be glad to share one with any of you. :-)

If you look beyond the beer and think about the good you see it starts with a guy walking in the middle of nowhere to give a beer to a couple in a hot tub. That couple then shows up at a party handing a beer to someone else. This continues through the commercial, each person that gets a beer shares one with someone else.

The ironic thing is that the person sharing is always taken from their "comfort zone" and into another that would more than likely be uncomfortable. For instance the country/cowboy guy takes it to a ballerina, the ballerina takes it to a steam room at some men's club. At the end of the commercial we see the same guy as the first receive a beer from someone and then it immediately shows him walking again out in the middle of nowhere.

I believe that this commercial challenges us to do and share good. It shows us that it is not always easy to do it and that we should step out of our comfort zones to do it. And in the end it shows us that if we "Share the Good" the good comes back to us.

Recently I have been thinking that I would like to do more to try and help those that may need it. In a time when people are struggling just to buy gas, what kind of impact would it make for me to buy someone a tank of gas? What kind of good could come from random acts of kindness? Or what can I do to make this world a better place? I am going to try to do more to make a difference, I would challenge everyone to do the same. It can be as simple as telling someone thank you for things that normally go unnoticed.

Well there you have it, a deep thought on a simple commercial. Maybe you will want to "Share the Good" too.