Happier

I don’t compete. I don’t compare. I’m running my own race now and am much happier.

DogCat_Walking

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Scammed or Anything for Love?

I have a neighbor who is my “go to guy” for questions about things that go wrong at my house, recommendations for repair people, and for interesting and honest perspectives on just about anything. He’s a seasoned, intelligent, informed man and I’m lucky to have him as a friend and neighbor.

One day as I was heading out for a walk with my dog and he was getting his mail he looked at me and said, “I’ve just been scammed.” He proceeded to tell me that he received a phone call from his grandson who lives in Northern California.  His grandson was crying and said that he was in Florida where he had been flown for the funeral of a friend. The story unfolds that the grandson was in a holding cell in a Florida jail. The Uber driver that picked him up at the airport was stopped by police for a traffic violation. In the car the police found cocaine and a revolver. The Uber driver said it belonged to his passenger (grandson).

Fast forward the grandson is allowed one phone call from jail so he called Grandpa, hysterical, with the name of a lawyer. My friend talks to the lawyer and is told the courts are backed up for two weeks and the grandson will have to stay in jail until then and will be booked on criminal charges within the next few hours. My neighbor is told the only thing that can push the case up and get his grandson out of jail is $4000 to be paid in gift cards from very specific retailers. Urgency was stressed over and over again.

What did my neighbor do? He went to the retailers and got the gift cards! He called the lawyer back and gave him the gift card numbers. This ordeal took several hours. (Imagine LA traffic, and standing in line for gift cards in a large amount that have to be purchased in person not online).

Then in a moment of reflection and rational thought, my neighbor decides to text his grandson asking him if he is in California or Florida and does he have a friend that recently passed away in Florida. The grandson replies “I’m in California and no friends have passed away.”

The gift cards were canceled in time.

A scam? A scam that hit an informed, intelligent, man in his Achilles heel, his grandchildren.

Looking back and telling me the story he felt foolish and saw some of the illogical requests in the story…gift cards for payment!

Further investigation uncovered that this is a scam as big as those phony IRS calls we all receive. The scammers get information from the social media accounts of young people and somehow get to their family with a story and urgent requests that will make us do the unimaginable.

Scammed, yes, but not taken.

A demonstration of love for his grandson, ABSOLUTELY.

I will bet you would have done the same!

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“YOU”

I seek out diverse friends who broaden my perspective; they enrich my life, that means YOU!

Nothing-Ordinary-(Mini-Card

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Moments

Moments do not last; it is in the very definition of the word. It’s up to me to make each moment count.

Sweet Deer

 

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Karma

Wayne Dyer said: “How people treat you is their karma. How you react is yours.” I like it!

Gentle Giant

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The Deep Work

I love watching sports. It’s so inspiring to see the results of athletes that have spent their lives training to get to the top of their game.

As I was watching the Super Bowl a few weeks ago there were numerous players that created memorable moments on the field. Those moments will be replayed for years.

I also find the commentators perspective to be interesting as they are former players and their view of what’s happening offers insight for us to bring to our daily lives.

After the first drive on the football field, one of the announcers, a former quarterback, said the quarterback on the field was not mentally focused at the first play and needed time to get his head into the game.

He told us what he used to do before stepping on the field and getting the ball in his hand for the first time. He would do multiplication tables in his head to get his mind focused and sharp. Physically he knew the practice and training he had done the week and months before prepared him to withstand the demanding game on his body. To take the field mentally ready he had to prepare in his own way. He had to do the mental deep work that will make his physical work appear easy.

What a nugget to bring into my life! It encouraged me to be conscious of my deep work, the work I do before “taking the field” on things that require me to be centered and fully present. What do I do? I write down my thoughts at that instant or take out my drawing pad and do a quick sketch to capture the moment that will never be here again. Then I tell myself the presentation I am about to make, the round of golf I am about to play, or the conversation I am about to have requires me to be 100% attentive. Most of the time it has to do with other people watching, listening, or participating and I owe it to them, to you, to be mentally ready, to have done my deep work before engaging.

What about you? What is your deep work? A crossword puzzle? A game of Ken Ken on your phone? Meditation? It doesn’t matter, as long as it works for you and prepares you for your big game.

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Good, Better, Best

Did I do my best today? I ask myself every day.

GoodBetterBest2

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It’s the Not Knowing That Holds Me Back

Last week a pipe burst in my front yard. I happened to be outside at the exact moment and saw the water bubbling up from the ground through a lawn made of rocks rather than grass. It was three o’clock in the afternoon and I immediately called a plumber. I have a few local companies I use that have proven to be reliable and trustworthy. Both were busy and couldn’t make it until the next day sometime in the afternoon. I said “this is an emergency I need someone today.” They respectfully said they can be at my house sometime tomorrow.

I had to call the “BIG guys”, the ones that work 24/7 and have lots of manpower and all the equipment on their big trucks that look like fire engines. The receptionist could hear the stress in my voice and said we’ll have someone there within an hour. The “white fire engine” rolled up to my house and the plumber assessed the situation and shut the water off for the night with a promise to be back the next morning with another guy and more equipment. He showed up as he said he would.

The next day the two other smaller plumbing companies were calling wanting to come out to do the work. I told them the job has been started. They let me know the big company will overcharge me and not care as much.

The job took two days to complete with one night the plumbers staying until 11pm and the next night 8pm.

Did I pay more for the white fire engine? Maybe a little, however I had a guy doing what it takes to get my water turned on and not watching the clock saying it’s five o’clock I have to go and I’ll be back at nine o’clock tomorrow morning.

The confusion came when the plumber started to give me options and say you can do the job “halfway” and just fix the current problem or replace all the pipes and know you will never have a problem again. That’s where the not knowing comes in. Beyond being a plumber is he switching gears and being a salesman and trying to up-sell me, to sell me something I really don’t need?  I don’t know.

I come from a sales background and up-selling is a common practice. We all do it as whatever our work is we’re all selling something. No different than going to a famous fast food restaurant and after you order your hamburger they say “do you want fries with that?”

What do I do? I:

  • Trust, trust that I’m a good person and I’m attracting other good people that will be fair and honest with me
  • Believe, believe that being honest feels better, and this guy who has spent two days with me at my house wants to feel good when he goes on to his next job knowing that he did a good and fair job
  • Focus, focus on all the facts in front of me and make a good decision on my own for my house and my peace of mind

If I consider all of the above I will make the right choice and will not feel ripped off by the company.

Another determining factor was I wasn’t dealing with a company anymore. After two days the plumber was a person to me; one who showed he cared by staying late and making me feel comfortable that he had the situation under control. A situation where I felt vulnerable as this was not something I am knowledgeable about nor did I have the luxury of time to get several opinions.

If I am sincere, open, and honest, and trust others will treat me the same I won’t have to question my choices.

It will work for you too.

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Quiet Time

Take some quiet time to yourself to reflect on your accomplishments and how amazing it is to be you.

Reflect-(Mini-Card)

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Coping Mechanism or Habit?

From you, the people who keep my spirit alive every day, I’ve learned I’m in control of my desires, compulsions, and impulses. It’s up to me to make good choices.

True Story: In a recent episode of the television show, This Is Us, the characters, Randall and Beth, a married couple, were in conflict about a parenting issue. Beth went outside and pretended she was smoking. It looked so real to me that I thought she was really smoking although I didn’t see any smoke nor did I see a cigarette in her hand. Her husband, Randall, came out and asked if she was fake smoking. She nodded yes and he took the fake cigarette from her and took a drag and passed it back to Beth. They talked through and resolved their issue while fake smoking.

I have never been a smoker; however I know people that were, are, or are trying to quit with gum, patches, shots, pills, hypnosis, vaping and just sheer will power of deciding to quit and going “cold turkey”. It made me wonder if quitting is as simple as pretending to smoke or “fake smoke” to satisfy the urge or to cope with the issue that’s giving the signal to smoke.

It also made me think about my own coping mechanisms and what I reach for to deal with unsettling situations. Going forward I’m going to keep it strong and healthy, like going for a walk or a hike. If I still have the urge for a habit I want to break, I’ll fake it until it’s no longer something I have trained myself to believe I need.

How about you? What do you do to cope? Can you fake it if it’s an undesirable habit until you realize you don’t need it?  I wonder.

For me this is a new year’s revelation and an intention, not a resolution to be broken.

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