Sunday, January 29, 2006 Hold everything Sometimes, some things become important enough to hold off everything else.
This week has become all work and no play. It's not very wise, but necessary. Too much is riding on it.
First off, there are a lot of other people reliant on me finishing up this project. For me to fail would have horrific ramifications for others downstream. I don't even want to attempt that karma!
To add to the pressure, I was also told that I'd be demonstrating the evolution of my video work, kind of like "a year in the life." With performance reviews right around the corner, I can really use good publicity. So being the good performing monkey that I am... I evolved in front of them. My presentation was a hit!
What did that mean in terms of balance? Kaaaaadunk! (that's me falling over). Working until midnight, before grabbing a few hours sleep, then off to the gym at 5am (due to the fact that my building was without hot water for the week).
Yesterday, a Saturday, had me back at the office for another 13 hours... (and I'm only typing this now because I'm waiting for a video to finish rendering). It's a tough price to pay, but providing all goes well, I'm in for a couple of weeks of easy going. In fact my plan is to take the day off on Wednesday... let's see how it evolves.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006 Flip or fall... You can only remain off balance for so long, before you fall down or flip over.
I started getting some balance over the weekend... taking it easy on Saturday, and going to Disneyland on Sunday. It was a nice change of pace from the hectic long days of the week before.
Then this week came by... and the long days have returned.
They are the perfect example of the concepts I'm working into my system.
You see, I let a lot of stuff slide. This "killer" project wasn't really a killer project... once upon a time. It just had the stigma of 'low priority' so whenever something better came along... well, bye bye.
Then the gods of imbalance reared their ugly heads. Ignoring the Time, Energy, Resource and Motivation deficiencies, I let them stockpile... then crash down all around me... so I'm in the muck of it all now. I'm all out of TERM, but I have to make the TERM no matter what.
Saturday, January 21, 2006 A new TERM... The achievement of a goal relies on a delicate balance of Time, Energy, Resources and Motivation.
Last time I mentioned TERM, the M stood for management... sure management of the other three elements is important, but it was too CorpSpeak for me... and besides, it kinda sounded like that game, "one of these things is not like the other ones." It was missing such an integral part of reaching a goal... how badly do you want it?
Oftentimes, motivation is all we have. It's what keeps us going... what makes us try... just... one... more... time. If we have motivation, we have the drive to go after the other three. If we lose motivation, it won't matter how much of the other stuff we have; we just won't use it in the right way.
So there you have it. That's one of the things that came out of yesterday's Power Lunch.
Friday, January 20, 2006 Lean on me... The more YOU and I support one another, the stronger WE become.
Since of number of my colleagues at work have other things they do outside of work, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to start having POWER LUNCHES. They're partly social; mostly supportive. The goal is to share our ideas with each other in order to get a fresh perspective... to give constructive criticism and ideas, so that we can take it into our weekends and be inspired to make progress.
I hadn't meant to monopolize the time, but my calendar system took up a majority of the lunch. I didn't get a lot of answers, but I sure got a bunch of excellent questions! Being only three weeks old, the system isn't quite ready to stand on its own. I have a lot of thinking and planning to do before it'll be ready... but based on the feedback, this is something that's worth pursuing.
We had to speed through the other members' ideas, but I'd like to think they at least got a little something out of the time.
Being that the Power Lunches are new to us, maybe what happened today is a good format... feature one person; updates on everyone else. Who knows? What matters is that we're helping one another and evolving as we go.
At least, that's what I'm planning on :-)
Best places to have Power Lunches in Los Angeles (we just ate at the cafe around the corner from work)
You see, the boss likes to use the saying "Perception is Reality" which translates to her perception is my reality. This wouldn't be the first time that a worthwhile project failed to see the light of day because of it... so as the hours dragged on, I kind of saw it coming.
So I left the meeting disappointed, but not surprised.
An hour later, after showing the project to someone else, he dashed off to tell her how wonderful it was. Perceptions changed, I get a message saying it's back on.
So, as my title suggests... we'll see.
I understand her viewpoint... and I also believe in this project... so I will have no further expectations, and let it be what it will be.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006 Catch the Wave Life can hit you like a wave, either ride it, or get over it.
The long days are back again for me. My project is coming to a close, as long as the software program behaves. Did I mention that the software isn't behaving?
It's been a true test of patience and flexibility. There's really no time to get upset... every moment has to be dedicated to getting it done right. Did I mention it hasn't been going right?
So, naturally, this thing is taking up my time, my energy and my resources... the three things I have said are necessary for achieving one's goals. Did I mention my goals are still waiting?
So my short evenings have not been filled with my own stuff as much as I had planned. Because of that I'll just have to put them higher on my list and make sure to dedicate myself to them once this wave is done. Did I mention this is a really, really big wave?
I do take a moment each evening to center myself. THAT I remember to do amongst all this "stuff." It's pretty much a "One Minute Meditation" -- empty bad, breath in good, done! -- But hey, it's something. Did I mention that "something" is definitely better than "nothing?"
Saturday, January 14, 2006 Hanging in the balance... Balance takes center stage.
The last couple of days have certainly been off kilter. Another important project that has more work than hours cropped up and swallowed up the last couple of days.
15 hours in the office was the short day.
So you can obviously tell that those were not the balanced days I've been speaking of as of late. Which is why I stressed earlier that balance during a single day is nearly impossible. Nice idea, just not something very realistic.
But taking it one-week-at-a-time certainly gives us more opportunities to get it right.
The beginning of the week was more time and dedication to my own projects, and more relaxed. Thursday and Friday were, well, ugh... and today? Ahhhh....
I slept a bit longer and did NOT work. I still did my 'everyday thing' towards my goal (emailing off the last article for inclusion in SelfGrowth.com's upcoming book) but that's not WORK... that's my love, which is different.
Tomorrow I'll be back to my system and the cycle will begin again... but that's why they call it the Circle of Life, right?
Farewell to Winters... I had enough of cold New York winters by 1988 and decided it was time to head out west. Californy was the place I wanted to be... to pursue sunshine and stardom.
I said goodbye to everything I had back east and headed out with very little but a dream.
It didn't take me long to realize that I was in Southern California... wearing shorts and looking at the flowers in January... and experiencing a series of 5+ earthquakes several days in a row.
Then soon after securing my new apartment, I really knew I was in Hollywood. Looking out my window, I had to do a double take. Was that really Shelley Winters in the swimming pool?
I went out to be sure and spent some time with her and her personal assistant who happened to live in the building. I joked with her about how my mother refused to go on cruises because Shelley played "Mrs. Rosen" and died in the Poseidon Adventure.
As she continued to swim laps, I joined in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Occasionally Shelley would stop and we'd ask her a question, only to realize that she LIVED whatever we had on the cards. A question about Bobby Kennedy lead into a story of when she was roommates with Marilyn Monroe during the time Marilyn dated Bobby. She contested all the conspiracy theories... and we totally forgot we were playing a game.
It was surreal... and I wondered if this really was Life in Hollywood (I later stopped at a red light next to Frank Sinatra, then saw Jamie Lee Curtis at the mall). I really hoped so.
But those days faded into years... and the mundane moments of laundry and leftovers took over.
I still smile fondly when I pass by the old place... and today, as Shelley Winters passes on into History, I think back and salute her... for all she did for the medium, for Marilyn... and for me.
Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot his whole life, which created an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him frail, and with his odd diet, he suffered from very bad breath. This made him.... what? (This is so bad it's good...)
A super-callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006 It's about Time It's not about how much time we spend, but how we spend our time.
It's really exciting talking to friends about my ideas. Having to explain them to people whom have not been exposed to the concepts forces me to simplify them even further. Friend Filters.
Tonight, over dinner, I got into an indepth discussion about Time.
You see, the thing is, we all DON'T have the same amount of time as each other. It may seem like we all have the same 86,400 seconds in a day, but we really, really don't.
Time is like a giant swimming pool. We each have the same length to swim, but while we're busy doing the doggy paddle, someone invariably is breast stroking right past us.
Yes, there are 86,400 beats of energy around us... but we travel through them at different speeds.
You ever have one of those days where you sat down to do something at 8am and all of a sudden it's lunchtime? Or... what... about... that.. time... that... it... was... forever... just... to... get... to... 8:15...?
Sure you can say, "but that's just your perception of time!" and to that I ask, "what other day are you living besides your perception of it?"
Monday, January 09, 2006 TERMs & Conditions The ingredients of Life are Time, Energy & Resources; the secret lies in the recipe.
Time, Energy & Resource Management (TERM) In order to achieve our dreams, the first thing we need to dedicate is Time. Each and every one of us has the same amount of time each day (it's only the number of days we have that's different). So what matters while we're here is what we're doing with the time we have.
Success needs just the right amount of time. Giving up just one moment too soon still results in unfilled dreams.
Next is our energy... how much we have; how much we spend. It varies every day... sometimes we're more tired than others; other times we're on top of the world. There are things we can do to increase our energy, such as rest when tired... or become fitter through exercise.
Success needs a balance of energy. Not enough and we don't get there; too much and we burn out. It's all about knowing when to row and when to rest.
And finally, resources. This can be anything... from money to equipment to other people helping us. For most things in Life, we can't do it alone. Involving other stuff and other people makes dreams come true faster.
The "M" I through in... for management... is not cause I like to sound all Corporate-y. Management is how we MANAGE all this... how we do what we do with what we got.
Having the right TERMs helps us to deal with any condition Life has to throw at us.
Friday, January 06, 2006 Balance isn't even Focus on the Focal Point
Refining my system is forcing me to define things in a way I hadn't done before... and that's a good thing.
I often speak about the importance of balancing our lives... but what exactly IS balance? If you spend eight hours doing one thing, do you have to do eight hours of everything else?
Obviously not... there isn't enough time in a day to get it ALL done. So...
It's not about having equal TIME, it's about equal WEIGHT. It's like having a really relaxing, meditative lunch break to balance out a more hectic work day.
There are four elements to our lives - Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual. A harmonious life gives them equal weight, while dedicating the proper amount of time to our goals. If we're planning to run a marathon in three months, obviously thinking about it isn't going to cut it. So when we start to plan around that, Physical takes the front seat, while Mental, Emotional and Spiritual take up the rest.
That doesn't make them less important. In fact, that makes them even more important, because they must take up the burden of equalizing our lives. The QUALITY of the M-E-S must become sweeter, like fudge... where a little goes a long way.
My new system is going after capturing that... and like a marathon, it's going to take some time. If you've got some ideas on how to make my trip sweeter, by all means, come on along.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 Oh, look... shiny!! If it doesn't fit, you mustn't quit!
What could've been an amazing opportunity presented itself the other day. A friend thought of me and asked if I was interested in directing a low-budget horror movie. It wasn't an offer, per se, but rather a "I-have-this-friend-who" kind of thing.
I was flattered that she thought of me... and came thisclose to saying 'sure, put my name in' ... but then I realized something...
It wasn't me.
It wasn't what I'm about... or the path I have chosen...
Sure it COULD lead to this and it COULD lead to that... but no guarantees... and whatever THIS and THAT were, I had to ask 'do I want it?'
No. I like what I'm doing now. I like the progress I'm seeing. I'm on a mighty river right now... and just because something on land looks inviting, doesn't mean I have to go check it out.
I see it... it's nice...
I'm moving on.
But not until I found a friend, who has a friend, who might just say 'yes.' Opportunity is knocking here folks, somebody has to get the door!
I wish them both a happy, prosperous, frightful delight!
Monday, January 02, 2006 Goal Posts Goal Posts are at the end so you can see them.
I used to love Stephen Covey's planner. When he based daily tasks on who you are, it changed my life and the way I looked at planners.
Then Covey got bought out by Franklin... and the concept was lost to an A-B-C form of prioritization.
So this year I decided to do something different... create my own. It's more goal oriented than task oriented, and balances the four elements of your life (Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual)... but that's all I can say for now.
Not that I don't want to brag about it, but it's still in its infancy stage and changing (very dramatically) with each passing day.
I wish I had it for the new year, but I'm not going to rush it for that. Once I've got it all in place, you'll see samples and get some free stuff to download.