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Wednesday, June 30, 2004
A cruel twist of fate... 
Murphy was a sadist.

.....................

Today, things started to go wrong; right on schedule.

People who confirmed that they only needed one computer show up with three; then demand they get them all connected, even after being told repeatedly that it could overload the circuits. "I don't understand, the hub's right there..."

Then people who didn't need special equipment when we asked over and over for two months, now walk in and ask "where's my special equipment?" Just the same ole same ole.

Even though the "big guns" had to be called in to settle a few disputes, I know for a fact that they'll be back to their old tricks by tomorrow. If only we had a corporate bookie taking bets...

But the clincher came at lunch...

Running around this morning turned into limping around by afternoon. As fate would have it, I twisted my ankle walking into the restaurant for lunch. I was able to put on an ankle support from WalMart, but still, it was the last thing I needed today.

Hopefully tomorrow is a better day.


10:25 PM


Tuesday, June 29, 2004
The Calm... 
When you're given the gift of silence, enjoy it... a storm might be right around the corner.

...................

Today did seems eeriely quiet, with the TechFair just days away. My guess is everyone is frantically trying to get their act together at the last minute.

Which reminds me, I've got a lot of stuff to do, with only minutes to spare ;-)



9:30 PM


Monday, June 28, 2004
Off balance, on schedule... 
Always plan on going crazy, it makes the trip back a lot quicker...

...............................

Pretty much right on schedule, the people who have to participate in the upcoming TechFair are going crazy. I arrived at work to a phone call where someone exposed their complete lack of understanding of the last four months. "You didn't tell me that" and "you changed the rules" followed by "we're pulling out."

So I pulled out pages 56 and 57 of the "Co-Workers Gone Wild" Handbook... spent two hours with emails and phonecalls and behind-closed-doors meetings... only to end up with them standing at my cubicle wall, with their preverbial tails between their legs.

So Crazy Day #1 is gone... only three more days until the Blame Phase begins.


10:49 PM


Saturday, June 26, 2004
Large view of a small life... 
Life, however small or large, short or long, has a cycle... and we all have to make the most of it.

.......................

Went to see "Bug in 3D" at the California ScienCenter. Amazing how they got so close. They followed the lives of a couple of bugs, from birth to death, and it was really fascinating. I suspect they had a number of stand-ins for the "characters" but I really didn't mind. The perspective was so different when you get down to their level. Bugs really do take care of the planet; just by being themselves. I wish us humans could say the same.

I originally went down to the museum to see Life is a completely different way than Bugs. I thought the Body Worlds exhibit was opening, but turns out that it opens NEXT week. It's very controversial... morbid to some, irreverent to others... but fascinating to me. Through a process of plastination, donated bodies are actually preserved in various forms so as to get a glimpse of the human body in ways never before possible. Geared towards older children and non-squeamish adults, its not for everyone, but it just seems very important. It goes into next year, so I'll be getting over there very soon.


10:22 PM


Thursday, June 24, 2004
Passion plays... 
Passion feeds your soul, but always leaves you hungry for more.

...............................

I've spoken of these people before, but for the sake of today's topic, I'll just call them Positive Attitude (PA) and Negative Attitude (NA). PA prides himself on creating "stuff". He's one of those "I can program that in three lines of codes" kind of guys... kind of a game he plays to challenge himself, if not just to prove to others how good he is. Deep down he gets a kick out of making a difference.

NA, on the other hand, stopped caring some time back. She's bitter about the office politricks, tired from banging her head against the wall. She's even let her original dream die. She now fills her day up with complaints.

I basically talked to each one of them about opportunities of the future. They both seemed teary eyed, but for different reasons. PA looked like a kid.... "you mean I'll actually get to do more stuff?" and NA looked like "you're not gonna pile on more stuff, are you?"

What do you think their tomorrow is going to look like?


11:08 PM


Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Feng Files... 
One of the main "rules" of Feng Shui is to organize your space. Today taught me that its not just a good isea for the "real" world... the cyber world needs it to.

I lost hours of time trying to track down a few simple files. My own disorganization was bad enough, but I had to wade through several other people's "stuff" as well. Folder after folder with names like "stuff" and "miscellaneous" and "Steve." Would "logos for Finance Group" be too much to ask for?

It's always amazing, we all create this shamble because we "don't have time" to put it in the right place in the first place... yet somehow we always manage to find the time to look and look and look some more.

This is a lesson worth taking the time for... now where did I put my book on Feng Shui?



10:47 PM


Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Is it pro or pre-re? 
If you do an action before something happens, is it being proactive? Even when it's reacting to something you just know is on its way?

...........................

Having "been there / done that" way too much, I just didn't want to wait for some backstabbing complaint to work its way through the management grapevine before spending hours justifying myself.

Every note I sent out had a disclaimer and a way-too-detailed explanation that I printed out for my binder... so that WHEN the complaints come in, I can bring out the "evidence."

It's not the way I want to act today, but I'd rather be a "pro" than a "re".



11:25 PM


Monday, June 21, 2004
Knot Necessary... 
A knot cannot be removed by pulling at the ends...

..............................

If I can make "ends meet" this might end up a cartoon, but it's still too tangled for words.

Last week, I worked out a misunderstanding (see this and this), but it was like a horse already out of the barn. Today, I was called into BigBigBoss's office to listen to a message from another SeniorBoss, who was angry from only one side of the story.

OK, I expected it. I was ready and explained my side of the story (again) to B3. Went back to my desk to send yet-another-email to document everything... then waited for the "big meeting" they all said they wanted.

Then the call came... B3 and SB were too busy to have the meeting and we should just work out our differences without them.

Welcome to last week.

Welcome to a meeting that doesn't seem to matter more than the accusations.

Welcome to yet another reason to visit my chiropractor and work out the knots.

Welcome to...

The End of this story.


10:26 PM


Sunday, June 20, 2004
It's an honor... 
Mom's Day is always easier... a bunch of flowers and a phone call and most people are done. Father's Day almost always seems like a second class holiday. A tie or a powertool, maybe a card or a phonecall if they're lucky. Some of my friends did make a bigger deal of it and were lucky enough to see their fathers; others were just reminded that opportunities are gone, since their fathers passed away.

It's a good time to pay homage to the guy who at least did some work to bring you here. If you're on great terms in a loving relationship, really show it. If you're relationship is a bit rocky, maybe this is your opportunity to make it better. If you're a father yourself, now is the time to make room in the closet or tool shed.

.................................

As for me, I waited til later in the day to call. My father sleeps very late every day, so the only way to reach him is to wait patiently. For his gift, I got him something he'll use and has plenty of room for.


10:33 PM


Saturday, June 19, 2004
I can quit anytime I want... 
OK, so I took this Blogaholic Test, and yeah, I scored:

76 / 100 


But I can quit anytime I want. Really. Besides, the test said I was the best kind of blogger, so there!

I mean, it's not like I rushed to blog about it. I waited a minute or two.

How bad are you? Take the quiz. Come on, I dare you.

.................................

Credit: Quiz by WannabeGirl.org project.
Quiz script ©2000 MikeSpice.com


11:34 AM


Friday, June 18, 2004
It's not a spectator sport... 
You can't win the game from the bench...

...............................

After a hectic week of "we-oughta-do-this" and "we-gotta-do-that", and endless meetings of blah-blah-blah and yadda-yadda-yadda... today was the day of commitment. Who's talking and who's walking?

Seems most of them were just talking... and the others are walking... AWAY.

All of a sudden it's "oh that was just an idea, it wasn't for ME to do it" and "what ever would I do that for?"

So the only left for me to do is document the responses and move on. I'm committed to doing my part, and I'm delivering... if others don't want to participate, they'll feel the heat soon enough.

The lesson for today is focus on what you can do, and ignore the rest.

The lesson for tomorrow is.... oh who cares, it's a weekend... fuhgetaboutit!!!


10:20 PM


Thursday, June 17, 2004
For every reaction... 
For every reaction, there is an even bigger, opposite reaction...

.....................

The original saying is "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." It's a Physics thing. It's not my work environment.

Everyone's become some overwhelmed, overworked, overly paranoid. No one seems to do any ACTION any more. Everything seems to be a reaction so someone else's reaction. I don't even think people can remember what the original action was anymore. In fact, people may be reacting to things that happened long before they got there.

Like the story of the monkey and "that's the way it's always been done."

Some of my own reactions today ricocheted several times and I found myself scrambling to settle down the THREE reactions that resulted to each reaction.

The day was crazy.
  1. Breath
  2. Focus
  3. Refuse to react
  4. Decide what ACTION is best to take
  5. Take it
  6. Repeat


10:32 PM


Wednesday, June 16, 2004
Choices... 
You can make someone else's day better as easily as you can make it worse; what matters is if it matters...

..........................

When OldBoss left, it seemed like a "done deal" for AdminLady to come over to my team for a couple of months. It wasn't done, and now that OldBoss is gone, BigBoss is claiming know knowledge of the deal. I wasn't a part of those discussions, so I can't say one way or the other what the deal was. All I know is the Tribe has spoken loudly, but the vote is not yet in.
(Skip the boring details and countless hours of meetings and emails)
People are making it more difficult for each other than they really need to.

Maybe it wasn't presented to them with the right spin, but now they've got us spinning our wheels. It's amazing how much more we could accomplish if we just all stayed on the same team.


10:45 PM


Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Elimination... 
Elimination 1
Everything seemed fresh enough, most of it was from frozen foods anyway, but as soon as I ate it I knew something was wrong. Let's just call it a 'gut feeling.' It settled down by the time I went to bed and I thought that was the end of it. By morning I realized it was only the beginning. There was no way I was going to drive to work.
...and that's why I'm glad I have wireless.

I spent the morning resting, drinking gallons of water, and eliminating toxins from my body.

Elimination 2
I ended a toxic relationship today. No matter how much I needed it at one point, no matter what fleeting pleasure it once brought, it haunted me and brought me down for years. It made me make reactive decisions that only served to put off my dreams. I wrote the farewell letter and enclosed a check. My final payment for a debt I created in the 90's was finally gone. My relation with toxic debt is now gone.

Elimination 3
Since I was closing the chapter on the 20th century, I also decided to eliminate some 20-some t-shirts I wore during my self-employment. I was feeling better by afternoon, so I drove them over to the local Goodwill.

Driving back, reflecting on my new life, I looked up to see the truck in front of me - Fresh Start Bakery. Tastes good already.

Elimination 4
As a total twist of fate, a friend called up with tickets to the Staple Center Executive Suites to watch the Lakers play in the final, on the giant TV screen. Although it made me feel like I was playing hooky all day, I said 'sure.'

Well, the food was good. I just sat there watching the Lakers get further and further behind, not really looking like they wanted to win. Losing this game means elimination from the Finals.

Some good goodbyes today, some bad. Some things worth celebrating, some not. Overall, a day to remember.


9:27 PM


Monday, June 14, 2004
Quiet Chaos Creeping... 
Sometimes you can't see it but you can sense it... each moment seems separate and just a little off from the moment before. The best thing to do is just write it all down in a list ... to act as the glue between the To Do.

.............................

Of course, with three hours of meetings it was a bit tougher to get to my list, but hey, I got my list :-)

Now on to item number one...
1. Make time to finish this list...


10:43 PM


Saturday, June 12, 2004
!Salud! 
Today I went to the Health and Fitness Expo at the LA Convention Center, to watch the skinny kids dance and grown men nearly faint at the first sight of blood. It wasn't an overly large event, but fairly well attended. They had a full size pool put in to demo scuba gear and the local supermarket was there giving away samples of cereals (When did Frosted Flakes become a health food?)

They had a giant mobile home with dentists (though I doubt they've fix the broken cavity) and several stations giving away free health tests, all with lines reminiscent of a day at Disneyland. I passed the test for Stroke... passed up the lung test (I already know I have cat allergy induced Asthma and a cat to tell me the results)... and blood sugar test, where I was the last in line and had to listen to people begging with the attendee to please let them on.

Both my parents have Type 2 Diabetes, so it was important to get that checked. Despite the fact that I exercise 5-6 times a week, take the stairs, park in the far spot, yadda yadda yadda, my blood sugar tested high. Could it be the rice and tortillas I added in my vain attempt to sneak carbs back into my diet, only to watch 5 pounds also sneak in?

This is one road I don't want to be on, so it's going to require follow up. This place also had a 50% coupon for a full body scan. With the recent no show results of my MRI, maybe this could uncover a cause for the Mystery Numbing.

Time and Tests will tell...


10:30 PM


Friday, June 11, 2004
Auditions, Opera and AIDS 
This week we said goodbye to Ronald Reagan, some called him 'great' others called him 'evil'... there was no shortage of opinion this week. Everyone with half an opinion let you know about it.

It made me very reminiscent for that time (Yes, I lived through it). His presidency had a profound effect on me, and that wasn't always such a good thing.

He came to office when I was in college (giving you mathematicians a chance to calculate approximate age). First thing I remember was how many of our programs seemed to vanish over night. Education was one of the first things he cut from his budget. I thought, "but he used to be an actor, why is he cutting out so much of the arts?"

By the time his second term came around, I was on my own and living in New York City. I was trying to find my way in the world... desperately trying to "make it there" in the world of show biz. I auditioned fairly frequently and got a lead role off-Broadway and was a regular Supernumerary (read "Spear-Carrier") at New York City Opera. I got to know quite a lot of people.

And I got to watch a number of them die.

I didn't know what that strange pneumonia was at first, and why only certain people were getting it... it just seemed to be affecting so many of the casts and crews and circles of friends that I had.

I watched as they got angry about this new thing called "AIDS". I watched a militant group called "ActUp" form and wondered why they were sooooo angry. Surely the government would do something. Ronnie was very well connected. Didn't he know anyone being affected?

Silence.


Silence = Death.

Someone recently remarked how that same blind eye came back to haunt him. As his wife struggled to get more presidential support for stem cell research... that could cure the Alzheimer's that was bringing him down... Bush, the son of his Vice-President and Successor, is doing 'nothing.'

We reap the life we sow.

I wish Ronnie a safe and happy journey. Really, I do. He was a man of his convictions and cared deeply for what he believed in. I wished he cared more about the things I cared about; it could have saved lives and given us eight more years of research... but that's just me... and it's all gone now.

And so to Ronnie, I say to you.

Thanks, and rest in peace... and say 'hi' to all my friends who are over there.


11:23 PM


Thursday, June 10, 2004
Show and tell... 
If you have faith in someone, show them... somehow... saying it in words isn't enough. If your actions betray the words, you betray that someone.

.........................

Despite the fact that this TechFair I'm putting together has been moving along smoothly, BigBoss decided to bring in a manager to "coordinate."

TempBoss tried to explain how it spreads the blame through office politricks, but still, the very act of bringing in someone new is a symbol of a lack of faith.

I don't know what's gone on behind closed doors. I don't know what's been said or why but seeing that they felt the need to have someone else around LOOKS like we need someone to look over us.

This constant "changing of the guard" slows us down because we're constantly having to re-prove ourselves before getting back to the work itself.

Of course, I'm not going to let any of this stop me from making the TechFair an amazing event, but the faith and the foundation must come from me.

And I'm not just saying that, either...


10:26 PM


Wednesday, June 09, 2004
50/50 
I took this personality test in the morning. It said:
Left : 50%
Right : 50%
Auditory : 37%
Visual : 62%
So does that mean I'm a balanced mind, or my chances are 50/50?

Visual I could've easily guessed at... I see everything as patterns. Words, numbers, events. I used to write my notes backwards in high school whenever I got bored. It was all because I could take the letters and rotate in my head, in 3 dimensions.

I used to think my ability to spot typos in signs, posters, fancy menus at restaurants was the logical side of me, but someone once told me that because it didn't match the pattern I expected is why I notice.

I'm so good, I was thinking about going for this
Doplima Pgorram
Cteare a mroe prosperous future for yoersulf
Reiecve a flul dmploia from non adcrecited univirsitees based upon yuor real life excerienpe
You wlil not be tested, or intervieewd Riceeve a Masetr's, Bacholer's or Doctotare
Clal 24 hruos a day 7 dyas a week
What do you think my chances are?


10:46 PM


Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Flex plan 
Sometimes to achieve what you want you have to want something else.

Trying to schedule out this Technology Fair event next month and it's just been getting unwieldy. Why? Because we're trying to do too much. We're trying to solve too many issues, feed too many egos, please too many people.

Today we decided to change the way it's going to be done. We know some people won't like it, but our idea solves more than it concedes.

A smaller success is better than a bigger failure.


11:49 PM


Monday, June 07, 2004
Is nothing good when nothing's wrong? 
The good news: The MRI found nothing.
The bad news: The MRI found nothing.

When your body tells you that something is wrong, but years of tests say you're fine, who you gonna believe?

It's important to focus on your health, regardless, 'cause you never know when it's gonna leave. It's disappointing that I have nothing to go on, because I have to keep "stabbing at the dark" for solutions. On a sunny side, at least it's not life threatening. Comparatively speaking, I've got it good, even if it's only a 3 out of 5 rating.

So my plan is to keep heading towards balance (a good thing anyway)... eating right, exercise and basically take life as easy as I can.

So for now, numbingly disappointed, I will move on...

Ouch.


10:21 PM


Sunday, June 06, 2004
Kindness 
The topic of this weekend seemed to revolve around kindness... not a bad thing, after all. But it wasn't all about acts of kindness; sometimes it was about the lack thereof. "Kindness" was just the running theme.

Sample Act of Kindness
A good part of today was spent at a friend's house, helping prepare it for their return. They go back and forth between Costa Mesa and Kauai, where they live and I help check up on their place while their gone. The grass had gotten really brown from the recent heat and lack of sprinklers. I basically flooded the lawn to kind of wake it up by midweek. Wish it luck.
Sample Lack of Kindness
I ran into a friend this weekend, whom I hadn't seen in a while. We asked this "gentleman" (wrong word, but whatever) if he could please take our picture. Perhaps he didn't hear or understand the request. Perhaps he didn't hear or understand the second request either. He said "no" and whispered something to the friend that I gether was just plain rude. Go figure.
Sample Talk of Kindness
I also got into a philisophical discussion on kindness itself, and it's amazing how some people, even though they say they want kindness, balk at selflessness. The thought of giving without judgement, without conditions, without acknowledge or some form of notoriety, doesn't just seem foreign... it just seems wrong.

Not exactly "kindness" then, is it?
Sample "Acknowledgement" of Kindness
One of the blogs I visit thanked me "publicly" for my kindness.

Not that I asked for it or anything :-)



10:52 PM


Saturday, June 05, 2004
A painful twist... 
I kept rolling my neck, trying, hoping to get that "click"... that little snap where the bones settle back into place and the pain stops. No such luck. I even went to the gym to warm everything up. My headache just kept coming with every press.

Sometime around 9-ish, I lied down with my little Shiatsu Massager... and only vaguely remember turning it off and thinking "just a little nap." That part of the night is gone.

So is the headache, I'm happen to report. The only drawback is that it's nearly 4am and I'm wide awake.

Guess it's time to read my ever-growing list of blogs, answer some email and write another article.

Hopefully that won't be a pain in the neck to do.


3:41 AM


Thursday, June 03, 2004
Buffeted by the Buffet... 
Today was like a buffet, full of so many little things,it was just tough to focus on any one thing. I had five projects and 20 windows open and too few hours in the day.

I couldn't fight it, so I just sort of got into an ADD mode and worked on a little bit of each as it suited me. Since most of it doesn't have a crazy deadline, it was good just to make progress.

The key is tiny bites... samples of everything... that's better than getting bloated and bogged down on any one thing.

Oh great... now I'm hungry!


9:31 PM


Tuesday, June 01, 2004
Check please! 
I can understand how claustrophics could really panic... the space inside an MRI is really tiny. I didn't mind it, personally. In fact, I even dozed off a few times.

I'm finally getting the check up I should've years ago. After two chiropractors and a neurologist, without much success, I'm hoping they'll find SOMETHING... anything to explain the bizarre numbness that has plagued me for three years.

This "thing" has affected the quality of my life... not drastically, but noticeably. I don't stand around for long periods of time and I got one of those cushions for my car... but I sure would much rather get rid of the cause.

This really demonstrates the importance of taking care of yourself.

As the sign says in my chiro's office...
"If you wear out your body, where are you going to live?
In an MRI machine, I suppose.


9:56 PM


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