Archives For May 2012

May 10, 2012

Another minute ticks away, and I can’t help but notice the sun’s final rays retreating to lands beyond. The heat that must accompany a warm New Orleans Spring day as such is no consequence to me because of my air conditioned room.

I’m comfortable.

On easy street!

It’s Thursday night. I know I should write another article for my blog, but I just don’t have the energy. From the television, Alex Trebek enlightens me with new tid-bits of knowledge that will soon disappear from my mind like the minutes that tick away from my time.

I’m comfortable.

My legs stretch before me with an acceptable excuse that my left foot must be above my heart to discourage blood from settling in the foot of my injured left leg. If my foot hangs down too long, the discoloration in my toes remind me that my body isn’t working normally. My calf muscle which usually assists in sending the blood back to my heart is blocked from movement by the cast. It’s forced into inactivity to allow healing of my Achilles tendon.

It’s ok though, because I’m comfortable.

The inactivity in my leg breeds the inactivity in my mind. However, the inactivity of my mind doesn’t result in a discoloration of an appendage, it results in lethargy of my being.

It’s ok though because I have an excuse. I have to rest while my Achilles tendon heals.

But why does the inactivity of my body directly result in the inactivity of my mind? That’s it, it shouldn’t! However, our bodies and minds are undoubtedly connected and when we stop one, the other one usually follows.

I believe things happen for a reason. For too long, I’ve waited around in my comfortable corporate job and hoped to someday have something more. This was a hope that was only backed up by inactivity and no pursuit.

My legs have been stretched out before me while I ride my bike with my feet on the handle bars. I haven’t been chasing my dreams because I’ve been comfortable. Things have come easy, and I’ve proven to be a success at work. However, I’ve told my wife that I feel like I could do so much more.

And then my legs are taken out from underneath me. Literally. Many people have experienced this same thing through other methods – layoffs, down-sizing, or other health issues. It makes sense, if I’m not even using my legs to chase, why do I even need healthy legs? I can just continue to ride my bike with my feet on the handle bars and be comfortable!

My dreams of pursuing my mission can wait until I’m not so comfortable! Is the purpose of my life, to not do anything that challenges me to the point that I might fail?!

Can you hear my loudening tone??  Can you feel my intensity as I get worked up about this??  Can you feel me ready to give my BATTLE CRY??

Well guess what, it’s not me creating the excitement inside you right now. It’s not me increasing your heartbeat and increasing your anger for shelving that dream. It’s you.

Ralph Waldo Emerson put it this way, “The youth gets together his materials to build a bridge to the moon, or, perchance, a palace or temple on the earth, and, at length the middle-aged man concludes to build a wood shed with them.”

We embrace inactivity and comfort and are satisfied with our wood shed. If things are going ok with work, and we’re happy with our personal lives, we embrace it. There’s nothing wrong with it. I’m incredibly happy with my relationships, current situation, and I feel very fortunate to have my job. So why can’t I leave well enough alone???

Well, my legs already got knocked out from me once; I’m afraid the next hint will be even less subtle.

I fought the inactivity tonight. One step at a time. I didn’t realize these emotions were stirring in me until I forced myself to start writing. I wanted to watch my TIVO’d “The Daily Show” from last night, but instead I forced myself to write.

In The Call, Oz Guinness wrote, “What is undeniable is that when comforts and convenience sap our energies and idealism, inactivity secretes sloth into our minds like a poison in the blood.”

Take control of your money, use your job as a tool, and continue the good fight!

Football players are usually separated into different positions based on their skill set. If you are 300 pounds and can tip over a car by yourself, you’ll probably be a lineman. If you can throw a football over a mountain, you might be the quarterback. However, there is a very small group of players that are simply called “Athletes”. These are the players that can play many positions and can’t be called just one thing.

In “How to be a Consultant“, I list the five ways to get ahead in your career by working like a consultant:

1. Become self-sufficient by building your network

2. Every time you start a new project you must learn very fast about the client and the work

3. You must keep up with the latest technologies and best practices

4. Project lengths are short; typically 9-12 months

5. Have a skill set that is in demand

One common theme among all of these is the ability to adapt quickly to changing situations and to be able to play many roles. Who does this best? An athlete!

As with most of my ideas, I picked them up from someone smarter than me. In this case, one of my mentors (John L) uses the “athlete” analogy to describe strong performers at work. He prefers to recruit ‘athletes’ to work for him.

So what makes someone a work athlete? John describes them the same as most coaches would describe an athlete. He looks for athletes who can:

1. Run fast = someone who gets sh#t done and moves at a pace that far exceeds his/her peers

2. Jump high = someone who continually raises the bar in terms of goals, results, etc.

3. Throw far = someone who has strength, courage and determination to really put something out there… for some to get and others to catch

It makes sense, right? Who wouldn’t want a team full of athletes? Well, you have to be careful. Just as in sports, you need to be weary of the work athlete who thinks a little too highly of themselves. You know the person, they might be great at what they do, but they drag the whole team down. Unfortunately, most bosses will keep these people around because they’re afraid they can’t replace them.

In addition to finding athletes, John is also great at forming teams who don’t have these ‘cancerous’ players who bring the whole team down. This one is a little harder to quantify, but it’s all about attitude. We need to be team players because most of us are working in group environments.

The good news is that we’re able to increase our athletic abilities and skills. I’m pretty terrible at golf, but if I play enough and try hard, I’m pretty sure I can get a lot better! We can also increase our work abilities and skills in order to become an athlete. Check out my article on how to succeed at work to learn more.

 

April 3, 2012

Thanks Susan Cooper for creating this awesome graphic!!

Time goes by so fast they say.

You turn around, and it’s the end of the day.

A week, a month, a year goes by;

And before you know it, it’s time to die!

So enjoy every moment and treasure every breath,

Because one thing is certain, you’ll never escape death!

– Dan Meyers

May 3, 2012

At least I’ve learned a few things from my latest injury

I never thought I’d enjoy a shower stool so much… I thought pruning is what stopped me from taking long showers… instead, I think it’s just that my legs got tired!

Shower stool

When you have a cast on your leg you’re always allowed to wear sweatpants. Wearing sweatpants can make you seem athletic…

Sweatpants Athlete

Or wearing sweatpants can make you look homeless.

Homeless Guy Sweatpants

You be the judge!

Dan Meyers injured

I totally get life alert now

LifeAlert

All steps look like this (even my the three steps in my house)!

Scary Steps