Resolutions and failure

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Are you failing at your New Year resolutions? Great!

I say great because, if you are trying and failing, you are stretching toward that goal (resolution). If you are failing to try, why? It is your goal. Don’t let yourself down.

Goals are not about comfort; they are about pushing beyond comfort. So, go ahead and fail. Push for incremental improvements with each attempt.

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Be Plastic

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We humans can change. But, are you willing to change? You likely have some New Year resolutions. Where are you with those?

Many of us want to change. We want to get more fit, learn a new skill, be better with other people. Why do most fail? We put a lot of energy into making changes. We really, truly try.

Then, most of us give up.

Change is hard. Habits and our history have made us who we are. The natural tendency is to fall back to those habits. Habits put us on autopilot. Habits are easy.

We want change now! But, we are not willing to invest the time and effort required to make improvements.

Decide to change, to improve, to be plastic. Then, stick with it.

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How to review your year

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I may be a little late. But, for anyone who has not yet looked back on their 2016, here are some tips.

As part of a former job, I had to coach outside sales folks. These salespeople were selling digital advertising, and digital marketing products. I would ride along on sales calls and observe the calls. After each call I would ask 3 questions about the call. I think these questions are a good way to look back on last year (or, last week, or yesterday).

  1. What did not go well?
  2. What did go well?
  3. If you were able to go back and do it again, what would you do differently?


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Get out of the zone

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In order to improve at anything, you must force yourself out of the comfort zone. Push yourself to improve. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. With abilities at which you already perform well, if you are not improving, those abilities will degrade. Find ways to improve.

Practice pushing yourself out of your comfort zone – you will see results.

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Be thankful

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We humans often complain. We complain about the weather, our jobs, our friends, our enemies, our family, the traffic — any and everything. Why do we complain? For starters, it is an easy conversation starter. Complaining about the weather is an easy way to find common ground with another person. Also, venting makes us feel better in the short term. We complain until it becomes a habit.

As an experiment, try building a habit of gratitude. There is much for which to be thankful. Think about the little things. This morning in traffic, I began the thought process of complaining. Then, I thought about how lucky I am to have a car to be in the traffic. I am fortunate to have a job I enjoy, a job that I have to drive to, in the traffic.

Thanks for reading. I am grateful for you.

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Weekly Review – 08.11.2016

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I want to take a moment to pause and remember 9.11, and to ask you to do the same. Those of us in the U.S. often take for granted the life we are able to lead, and the freedoms we enjoy. Those freedoms were attacked and, likely forever, changed on 9.11. We need to always remember how very fortunate we are.

Has your online account been compromised? Here is a site that lets you check, using your email address or username. I found a few places where my info had been stolen. I, of course, changed my login info at those sites Here it is:

Is your email in-box out of control? Check out . I have been using for a few months, and I have to say, it has made a huge difference in the “cleanliness” of my email in-box.

NASA remembers 9.11 NASA has an interesting article about 9.11, and some images of New York City from space on 9.11.2001. NASA remembers 9.11

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Laracon US 2016, Links to slides

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Amanda Folson ‏@AmbassadorAwsum
Zero to API with Lumen –

Adam Wathan ‏@adamwathan
Curing the Common Loop –

Ben Ramsey @ramsey
HTTP Is Dead, Long Live HTTP2 –

Matthew Machuga ‏@machuga
Tests Should Tell a Story –

Chris Fidao ‏@fideloper
Server Suvival –

Sandi Metz ‏@sandimetz
Get a Whiff of This -

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Weekly Review – 07.03.2014

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I have only a couple of things for you this week.

Science News – On the evening of Monday, July 4, barring any problems, NASA’s Juno will be the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter since Galileo in 2003. Here is a link to an article about the mission. And, for some incredible info from NASA, here is their web presence for the Juno mission: NASA – Juno. It (the page, and space) is worth the exploration.

Interesting quote – (from a character with whom I can relate) Brains first, and then hard work. ~ Eeyore

For my fellow US Citizens – Happy Independence Day! Keep in mind how fortunate we are to enjoy the freedoms that we have. And, remember the price of that freedom. Many have given much to defend it.

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Weekly review 06.26.2016

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Welcome back! Thanks for reading again. I don’t have much for you this week. But, there are three things to, hopefully, initiate some thought.

TED Talk – This week I watched a short TED talk about mindfulness. The talk is by mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe. Puddicombe, a former Buddhist  monk talks about the importance of taking a break – from everything. The talk is worth the 10-minute investment. All it Takes is Ten Minutes 

Interesting study –  Do you think food tastes better with some music? There may be proof that you are right. Professor Charles Spence (Wikipedia) is conducting research on how sound and music affect taste. Prof. Spence is an experimental psychologist at the University of Oxford. Here is the Oxford website for the study of food. And, here is the sound and taste study abstract.

Quote to ponder - “Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of”. Charles Richards., Xplore Inc, 2016., accessed June 24, 2016.

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Weekly Review – 06.19.2016

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Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there. A special greeting and thank-you to my dad, who taught me much and instilled an engineering mindset in me and a curiosity about how things work.

This week I learned – a new way to think about entropy and chaos. This week I read  Spooky Action at a Distance (See note below) by George Musser, a book about quantum physics, and specifically quantum entanglement. In it, the author says that entropy means an increase in variety. This thinking is interesting to me because it brings a new way to look at chaos. The book is a good read, if you have any interest in physics.

Interesting quote – “Most people overestimate what they can accomplish in a week, and underestimate what they can accomplish in a year” – Tim Ferriss

Protect your hearing – I grow wine grapes as a hobby. This fact means that I have a good deal of “yard work” to do. I spend 6-10 hours a week doing work that usually involves some type of power equipment. I am also a musician, and want to protect my hearing. I recently invested in noise-canceling headphones, and found a terrific product – 3M WorkTunes Wireless Hearing Protector with Bluetooth Technology and AM/FM Digital Radio (90542-3DC) (See note below). These headphones are amazing. They block noise, like the drone of my mower or the very loud sound of my string trimmer, to the point that I can listen to books and podcasts while I work. And, I listen at normal volumes. They have bluetooth, AM/FM, and an auxiliary input. Check them out.


NOTE: full disclosure – that link is an affiliate link. I get a small commission, on purchases made through it. These commissions help cover part of the expense of maintaining this site.

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