Thursday 11th of January. A day I will remember forever.
The morning started off well with standard sightings of elephants and buffalo, but we were left frustrated when the lions that we had responded to decided to move off into the bush as we arrived. This meant my guests only vaguely saw the ear of a lion which was rather annoying.
Yet as always, when you’re feeling down Africa will always bring you back up, just as it can bring you crashing down after an almighty high. When I drive, I base it around waterholes, often visiting two or three different water points during the drive. My rationale: every animal needs water to survive. On the way to the first waterhole we saw a herd of buffalo grazing quietly, then out of the thicket came a 7.2 tonne bull elephant in musth chasing the buffalo around. You never realise…
Stress is defined as “a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.” The adverse or demanding circumstances do not occur within you, but are a reference to things which happen around you or to you.
I’ve been dealing with a couple stressful situations lately that are impacting me adversely.
Here’s the kicker: all of the internal stuff I’ve allowed is 100% my own doing.
I view stress as an external thing that I allow myself to then internalize. I have the option to control what my mind dwells on and what it does not dwell. Stressful situations happen AROUND you not inside you. What occurs inside you are the thoughts and emotions about the situation.
What has happened to me is I have allowed the situations in the physical world to get inside my body which then manifest themselves as tight shoulders, headaches, anxiety and stress. And it is 100% my own doing.
To combat this I am beginning meditation. I will sit for 15 minutes or so each day in the middle of my day when I begin to feel my mind trying to enter into what I call “The Fear Zone”. I will then sit quietly until my mind quiets and empties. Then I continue with my day.
I think it is important for us all to realize we are in control, not our surroundings. You do not have to live with a mind that controls you. You do not have to live with anxiety. You do not have to accept that “this is just the way I am”.
You have the option to decide to take control. Or you have the option to continue on as you always have feeling helpless and living as an effect instead of a cause.
So often bloggers email me with these grandiose dreams of growing a blog to have millions of followers and hundreds of comments each day. That all changes when we get into the discussion about the volume of work I committed to in the early years. When I explain to them that in the early years of blogging I would read 500 blogs each day (250 in the morning and 250 at night), the reality hits them and quickly their enthusiasm wanes.
Why is it that people are rarely interested in putting in the work? Wanting the end-result is easy. Wanting to be a CEO is easy. Wanting to fly on private planes is easy. Wanting to travel the world is easy. Wanting to retire at 40 is easy. But the hard work and years of dedication required are not easy.
It is also easy to look at the end result and say “Man, is that lady lucky. Must be nice spending all day at the spa and living in that nice house while driving around town in that Ferrari.” What people don’t see are the sacrifices people make in order to get what they want. Mark Cuban lived in a 2 bedroom apartment with 6 other guys for many years eating ketchup and mustard sandwiches; for years mind you.
There are no shortcuts. Life owes you nothing. There are no guarantees that hard work will pay off, but I know what being lazy produces so I’ll take my chances with working hard.
There is a truth about life that many people have a hard time accepting: life owes you nothing. Your friends don’t owe you friendship. Your family does not owe you support. Your job does not owe you a raise. Your religion doesn’t owe you enlightenment. Bloggers don’t owe you a Follow. Life doesn’t owe you years on this planet. Your dog does not owe you love.
All of the things above require some type of effort are our part. We must work and prove some type of worth on some level.
We are in a constant state of expanding or shrinking. When we work hard we expand. We we don’t work hard we shrink.
You must get what you want the old-fashioned way….you earn it!
One of my favorite things about my blog is the number of people who email me each week to say hello or to provide their story and why they love following my webpage. There are a few who email to complain and troll, but I have learned coping techniques for dealing with those people…I ignore them.
Yesterday I received this email…
It’s always a joy to read your musings, especially the humorous streams of thought. Happy to be a part of this family. Keep sharing! – Uncle G
Thank you Uncle G!
Also, I am so humbled when I get emails like this next one from Jennifer. I’m not going to include everything that Jennifer wrote because it was incredibly personal so I’ll paraphrase and keep the details private. Basically, Jennifer is home-bound and found my posts talking about my life living with MS. She now follows my page and explained to me that she looks forward to reading my posts each day and finds them inspiring.
Her email actually made me cry. I don’t even know how to express how humble it makes me feel having read her email. To think that someone like Jennifer reads my blog from halfway around the world and looks forward to my posts is simply amazing. I’m actually having a difficult time typing this.
Thank you so much for inspiring me, Jennifer!
My email for the blog is firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to drop me a note and say hi. I respond to all emails although some days it might not be immediately. At any rate, I’d love to hear from you.
The world that exists now is so different from the world that existed 5 years ago that it’s tough to even compare them. Then I get to thinking about the world that existed in the late 70’s and 80’s that shaped me into the person I am today and boy it seems like I grew up on a completely different planet.
The glaring differences are how easy it is to get in touch with someone now compared to then and how easy it is to get information. Back in the day you would read the paper in the morning and watch the 6 o’clock news to recap and update the goings-on around the city and world.
Now we are inundated with news updates to the point that it is nearly impossible to know what is true and what is false. Emails come pouring in. Text messages and voicemail. It truly is madness.
This is why I made the decision several months ago to unplug from social media. I don’t have my blog connected to Facebook, Twitter or Google+. I only visit Facebook on rare occasions of boredom, but only allow myself a few minutes then I’m off again.
My only goal for 2018 is to be the best husband I can be for Evelina. Unplugging from all the social media and distractions allows me time and energy to focus on her and us and the real world.
Thus far I am enjoying the journey. I’m curious to know how much social media influences your life. Drop me your thoughts in the comments and let’s chat about it.
The man took the sweatshirt and did as he was requested. He sat there a moment and collected his thoughts, the fibers blocking out the cold, warmth like a slow drip returning to his body.
“Thirsty?” Eric asked, taking a seat beside him.
“Yeah,” the man replied.
“How did you get out here without a coat?” Eric asked, handing the guy a bottle of water.
“Got in a nasty fight with a swarm of corpses,” the man replied, and then chugged the bottle of water. “Lost my coat, weapons, everything but my life. When I was running I had no idea how cold it was or how cold I was. Just collapsed against this car. Not sure what to do next when you showed up. Thanks again.”
“Sure.” Eric let the cat out of its cage and the animal placed its purring frame on Eric’s lap. He stroked the cat…
I’m not sure if you ever thought about it, but we operate every single day on assumptions. We assume we will arrive safely to our destination when we get in our car to take a drive. We assume oncoming traffic is going to remain in their lane. We assume we are going to wake up in the morning after a good night’s sleep. We assume our job site is going to be operational tomorrow. Assumption is a necessary part of life, but it can also cause us to get too casual in our decision making.
For instance, it could be a dangerous assumption to believe one will not die any time soon. This assumption could lead one to make the poor decision of riding a bike on the roads during rush hour traffic. Or walking on the road at night in dark clothing with one’s back to the traffic flow. Assumption could also lead someone to casually operate around dangerous machinery without the proper safety equipment in place.
As I drive around Charlotte each day I see people dangerously operating on the assumption that no matter what their life will be safe. People pull out in traffic leaving themselves mere inches of clearance, when if they waited another 15 seconds all the traffic would be clear. I see women applying makeup in the mirror driving at 70 miles per hour. I’ve seen people eating, talking on the phone while driving with their knee. People are so casual about driving that they have forgotten how dangerous driving can be; in the wrong hands a car becomes a weapon.
Each day I try to be aware of my actions and ask myself if what I’m about to do is the smartest, safest course of action. Life can be dangerous enough as it is, why do things to unnecessarily increase the element of danger?
Today is the 71st birthday of the fashion designer Gianni Versace. His influence on fashion and branding is still as relevant today as it was at the time of his tragic death. The world is a better place because he…