How do you progress?

Progress is something that’s desired and acquired day after day. Progress isn’t the same for everyone. Something as simple as a geographical destination for each person using GPS the results should be the same right? No it depends on your point of origin and more importantly if you veer off course your path is bound to be different.

So direction is key in achieving most any goal. Speed is not of importance what is paramount is staying the course putting one foot in front of the other so to speak. When we do that reaching our destination or goals is making progress.

Years ago I used to work as a DJ for weddings and at parties and even a nightclub. I had a set of music that was suitable for the clients and of course I did requests. Looking back it was a lot of fun, setting up all the equipment myself was the most taxing part. At a wedding for example as the day or usually night went on I had dozens of people come up and say, “You know, you’re the greatest.” Generally I know it was the liquor talking but it felt nice to be appreciated.

I closed nearly every show with my best wishes for the bride & groom or customers as they imparted on their walk of life. Then I would play Walk of Life by Dire Straights, an awesome song about where you’re going.

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To be or not to be

Are you the kind of person that responds to questions with short, simple, direct answers or do you elaborate on your response with meticulous specific details? Those that try to answer with a yes or no are often asked to then elaborate further. There’s no problem with either kind of response. Typically the answer can reveal a side of your personality.

Those of us that are generally brief and straightforward generalize a lot. The rest of us tend to be very organized and detail oriented. Nothing is absolutely conclusive but this little test can provide insight into who we are.

If you’re detail-oriented you probably have artistic abilities and/or analytical skills. I know curiosity has gripped a hold on you now. If you were ever curious about what kind of personality you are there are different websites like this “16personalities” that can shed light on your chemistry.

We’re all unique but it’s good to know there are others that share some of our tendencies.

Don’t let life pass you by

Life, so they say, is a game but we let it slip away. Seal’s & Crofts got that right, about life slipping away anyway and many would agree that it’s like a game. From our earliest memories, time seemed to stand still compared to today where it rushes by in a flash.

As a child when time dragged we got bored. When is the last time you had the luxury to be bored? Most adults can’t find the time to be bored between work, maintaining a relationship, kids and maintaining the house with regular chores we barely find time for our hobbies and personal goals.

Compared with our parents or grandparents we had the television as our babysitter.  The T.V. consumes a good part of most of our lives. Sure there’s some good information or lessons, but when’s the last time you sat down and read a book?

Moreover, the baby boomers probably have the best understanding of going outside to play as a kid. With the cell phones, computers, tablets and the game programs era, time is spent looking at the blue light emitted by these devices. This does little for physical conditioning.

Someday when you stop and think back on your life you will remember a lot of the simple things in life. The beauty of nature, the marvel of the stars and of course all the special times or trips when you took the time to see these things. It’s really an awesome world that we have here. Make some memories today.

Good or bad is shocking

Since we are bombarded by social media every day we encounter good news and bad news on a regular basis. Either news can be shocking to us depending on what it is and how important the content is to us. Before the advent of social media, before the internet, we got our news in the paper, TV, a weekly magazine or from a friend or neighbor.

Receiving the news in person has the speaker witnessing the expression of shock on our face. The facial expression exchange can be priceless. How do you stay up-to-date with current events? Am I promoting gossip? Heavens no, that’s typically not trustworthy news anyway. If anything I’m just encouraging a little more human interaction.

Haven’t you seen the videos and commercials of people walking down the street so engrossed in their phone that they walk into a pole? If anything I would encourage more interaction with one another. A really old song may be appropriate here by Dionne Warwick’s What The World Needs Now Is Love.

Comfortably numb

Not only is the Pink Floyd song Comfortably Numb one of their greatest hits it has bridged generations. Could it be because so many people could relate to the lyrics? People cozy up next to the fireplace some with headphones on and rock out to it (especially this time of year). We all tend to favor a cozy or stay within our comfort zone.

Your comfort zone is relative to a given situation. For example, let’s say you decide to test the water and look for a new job. If you stay in your precise field of expertise you are staying in your comfort zone. If you branch into a different area that is outside your experience you are truly venturing out.

Sure there are those that have no problem doing something different but by and large, most people like to stay where they are cozy.  Another example is the fact that a majority of folks never relocate out of the state wherein they were born. Even more, never leave the city they grew up in.

Many of your most successful individuals went out on a limb and left their numerous comfort zones to grow. Before you cite examples of the hometown heroes, yes there are plenty of those that have great success in their environment. These are just a couple of the many, many comfort zones we stick to daily.

Have you ever thought perhaps you were comfortably numb?

Safe Holiday travels

Once again the holiday season is upon us. The stores have been decked out in some cases for months already and this year it seems many homes are already set aglow. When you speak of the holidays you are reminded that it’s a time for friends and family with an emphasis on family.

Thanksgiving, actually the day before is the most traveled day of the year but others like Christmas are still on the horizon. As we plot out our trips to see relatives often times around the country we schedule one-way trips to get it done. Depending on the number of relatives and locations we can have a couple or a few one-way flights and/or car rentals.

Round trips are easy in comparison to one-way trips. Airlines typically charge more for one-way flights and car companies always jump at the chance to make more money. In scheduling one-way flights be sure to plan for extra time going through security as the TSA gives out the most pre-checks on round-trips.

Safety is key in your travels and in your journeys be sure to check for your personal possessions as you exit the plane or car as it will be nearly a miracle to find lost phones, wallets and the like later. Have a blessed holiday season and a very Happy New Year!

Plans that Mushroom

It’s always a pleasure to see plans that you set in motion to mushroom to full bloom and beyond. There’s a true sense of satisfaction when a plan comes together. In addition, successful people set goals that enable their success. On the flip side, it happens all too often where some misfortune strikes and then mushrooms into a disaster.

I don’t know about you but physical mushrooms don’t appeal to me, they don’t appear to have any flavor. I’m probably in the minority regarding mushrooms but that’s not the point here. The point regarding mushrooms is in the wild you’ll often find a mushroom patch where perhaps a single mushroom spread like weeds. Typically it’s because the setting is just right for the plant to flourish.

Well conceived plans that are thought out in advance have the greatest chance of success. They are like the perfect environment for you to achieve your goals one after the other until you are like those successful celebrities. Rocky used Eye of the Tiger to motivate him to succeed. What helps you to succeed? Until then we will see you on the news.

Lopsided news from networks

Growing up everybody, for the most part, trusted and believed what you read, heard or saw in the news. Then there was a trust and respect that was earned by journalists and reporters for most of us it was the only source and contact with the outside world. Then things evolved as TV brought us live video from the Vietnam War and from there we’ve been on the technology express.

Now we get breaking news breaks online, we hear about a lot of major events only moments after it happens. As a result for the past ten years or more public trust in the traditional news sources has dwindled. “Public trust in traditional media has fallen to an all-time low as people increasingly favor their friends and contacts on the internet as sources of news and truth”, according to Financial Times earlier this year.

Case in point goes back to the 2016 Presidential election where the media’s reports were the other candidate won the election. The media along with the other party blamed the loss on Russian interference. Mainstream media and celebrities spent a shocking 75 percent of their time since then discussing Russian/Trump collusion theory.

It has now been proven to not only be false but the FBI has revealed that President Obama and Hillary are guilty of Russian collusion. Surprisingly the media hasn’t mentioned this news except for a minute of time and print. Trust is a difficult thing. The saying “fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me” is evident. What does the future hold for the networks?

Very interesting

When you find something is of great interest you continue to observe or read on. If it catches your eye, peaks your interest you are compelled to forge on. As a writer, it’s your key to hold the reader’s interest or you inevitably will lose them as they move on to something else.

Depending on your subject say perhaps current events an insiders perspective could turn some heads. Celebrity interviews are always a hit. For most of us, celebrity interviews are unattainable. Something that most reporters have shied away from in recent years is human interest stories.

I know growing up TV and newspapers did a lot of special interest stories especially the smaller local ones. The interest is the human, personal factor it’s something we can all relate to. If it interests you chances are it will be of interest to someone else but of course, you can never please all of the people all of the time.

What happened to journalism?

This past weekend I opened my local newspaper and on the front page, I saw not one but two glaring typos in the sub-headings. These were words that were irrelevant to the heading and were not caught by spell check. It sent out different messages to me. First I had to guess at what the correct word was they were looking for in order for it to make sense. Don’t reporters review their work anymore? How could an editor allow these kinds of mistakes?

I worked for a newspaper twenty years ago. My editor had words with me on a regular basis about how I didn’t adhere to Associated Press standards. When I wrote for magazines the editors said they didn’t have to change a word. Regardless, it’s obvious that this kind of standards has been thrown out the window in favor of anything to sell a paper. How can you have any respect for those that just do what they want?

AP says transparency is critical to their credibility. Today sources quotes are taken out of context and used to fit their agenda. How many times are anonymous sources used when AP is adamant that those sources only be used if:

  •  The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the news report. That would hinder sales.
  • The information is not available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source. lol
  • The source is reliable, and in a position to have accurate information. LOL again.

Millions of Americans now find other sources for information because the Mainstream Media cannot be trusted. The great Walter Cronkite would be appalled by the media today. Wake up media and report the news, the facts and not just those that fit your monologue.