da Vinci, Mastery

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.” – Leonardo da Vinci

As this year comes to a close, it just felt like the right quote to close out 2016. We have to control our own selves to shape the world into the place we desire to live in. We have to shape our thoughts, desires, passions, and feelings to create our better selves! Start 2017 with a vision of what you want to become and work to master yourself and see that change develop!

Happy New Year!

iron wil

Iron Wil, the Mighty Freight Train

“My brother, William asked me to explain where his nickname Iron Wil, the Mighty Freight Train came from.  This is a two part name and has separate stories combining the name and clarifying who he is.

It all started when we moved to Texas, he was preparing to go on a two year mission for our church, we watched a Disney movie call Iron Will and then we realized that that is what made our brother Wil different from so many others, he would push through adversity no matter what the cost or the reward as long as it was right or the principle true. Determination would growl out of him as he pushed on to be more than he was or to move past an issue in front of him.

Then after his mission we played a friendly game of tackle football on a Thanksgiving morning, something that was a favorite pastime of ours. During one play Wil had the ball and was pumping down the line with three younger men clinging to him, he was a freight train rolling by me. He did finally get taken down when the fourth man came in for the final tackle and the entire group came down as a train would blow off a track.

I remember stopping in the middle of my action to stop and watch him push forward despite the others clinging to him.  I at first was awed, then I remember thinking the others were just hanging on with a hope that they could do something, but my brother defied their desires by chugging forward.

A train with its movement slowed or not must press forward and can only change course by a small change initially, Wil is also like this, but when he changes course know he will keep the same speed and determination he had before. Don’t get in his way because you won’t slow him down.”

Esar, Statistics

Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions.” – Evan Esar

This is my second favorite statistics quote. Seriously, statistics can be manipulated in so many different ways that it should be common knowledge that any one interested in the results should also be looking at the data and premises of those who compiled that data and what their motive it. Where the data comes from should also be taken into account. Be mindful of what you are reading and looking at … do a little work to make sure that those posting the stats are telling the truth.

Yes, I did plan this to be published after that U.S. Presidential elections.

iron wil

Gratitude

As today is the first day of November and Halloween is behind us, many people will do the twenty X days of thankfulness and post about the things they are thankful for. I just wonder how many of us express our gratitude during the rest of the year? I personally have been working on doing better at this for many years. It isn’t that I am not grateful, it is that I don’t express it as quickly as I should. I have a brother that is really good at doing this, for many years he has set a great example for me and our siblings.

I do look forward to the holidays each year with hope and excitement because many people seem to be filled with joy and kindness. The world seems to become a better place even for these next 2 months as the year ends with Christmas and New Year’s. These 2 months seem to rekindle our connection to each other and remind us that not only are we not alone, we are connected. Something that continues to impress me about several homeless people I have met is their gratitude for the smallest kindness or service.

I have a friend that is homeless and so I don’t see him very much, nor do I hear from him very often. Our friendship has made me more aware of the homeless community within my county and how I might be better able to help them as a group and individually. I know that it is going to get colder with fall in full swing and winter coming on soon; the homeless shelter in town recently underwent some renovations and now can sleep 78 (?). Which I have learned in a community of 110,000 people, that is not enough to help out these individuals.

In our nation today, with all the wealth and resources we have, this continues to be an issue. It is also a very complicated issue from what I have witnessed. I don’t have an answer on how to solve this problem … I don’t know if it is a problem we will ever solve in a way that truly helps our fellow citizens. I know that many of them have lost hope and their dignity. I hope one day that we can solve this problem for our nation … especially because we are better than this. We are a great nation and one that has and can do hard things.

Gratitude, such a plain and unassuming word that is filled with love and depth. May each of us allow our hearts to be turned a little more to our neighbor and reach to lift the head that hangs down and strengthen the feeble knees. May God bless our nation that we can again lead the world in goodness and hope for a brighter future.

iron wil

Hustle While You Wait

I don’t know when I first heard this statement, “Hustle while you wait”. It was in college or sometime in my early twenties. It was already something that I had put into practice. I called it don’t waste time. I carried a book and note cards with me everywhere I went, so that I could read or memorize something. I started doing this as a teen because in military life there was a lot of waiting. Get to the docs and wait for your appointment. Get to school and wait for class to start. Wait for the bus to base and for the one home. Wait for friends to arrive or my mom to pick me up.

I learned then that I could use my time more wisely when I had the right tools with me. It is now 0123 and I am working on a blog post because I couldn’t sleep. I have been on FB and Twitter seeing what is going on in the world and checking in with friends and getting updates. I have ideas that I just have to take time to capture so that I can work on them and make them a reality. Sometimes it is as simply as what I will talk about tomorrow morning … I mean this morning in my Morning Motivational video I do live on Facebook. Another time, it is a task that I need to complete sooner than later or a friend that I should reach out to and check in on.

There are a few times when I chose not practice this concept and that is mostly during family time. Family time is precious and much more limited as the boys grow and get into other activities and they start going their separate ways.

I still practice this habit whenever I have some “down time” between other tasks. I keep a pretty full set of apps on my phone since that is where I do 90% of my communication and work these days. My wife once commented on the number of apps on my phone and I was honestly able to answer. Stating that I use the all about once every two weeks or so. Admittedly, there are a few that don’t get opened up very much because they are specialized. I keep them around for that one time I need it.

The point I am trying to make is that we can fill our time more effectively if we have our tools on hand. Many artists carry around a sketchbook so that they can capture an idea when it comes. Whatever work you do and no matter what your field you are in; it would behove you to have those tools to make use of what otherwise would be wasted time.

iron wil