I No Longer Have the Mind From My Youth

Danny

I No Longer Have the Mind From My Youth.

Opening day of the Major League Baseball season was yesterday and my favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, played at 4 pm.   I did not watch the game, but caught up on the highlights on ESPN this morning; they lost 6-4.  Learning that I didn’t watch the game may not have meaning to you, but there is significance in this fact to me.

When I was younger sports was a huge part of my life.  I followed my teams with a tremendous amount of passion, living and dying with every game.  There was a MLB season in the mid-2000s in which I watched 150 of the 162 games.  I was die-hard.

So not watching the game was significant because it highlights how my life has changed over the last 6 years or so.  I don’t watch sports that much anymore as I did when I was younger and I’m okay with it.  I am a casual fan now, watching highlights on Sports Center or fast forwarding through a recorded game on rare occasions.

This morning when I saw the Sox lost it had little, if any, impact on me.  It simply doesn’t matter any more.  I have realized my energy must be focused on other things; more important things.  It is funny how we change in this manner.  Things that were important when I was 20 were not important when I was 33, and things that were “critical” at 33 are not important as I stare 50 in the eyes.

Someone once told me, “When you are young you want a Porsche, but by the time you can afford the Porsche you want to drive a Cadillac.”  This is definitely true for me.

Danny

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

Danny

Is the Way You Manage Stress Holding You Back?

I am going to be completely transparent here and say that I don’t deal with stress well.  I tend to over-analyze and dwell or things that are directly in front of me.  I work through the question tree, anticipating any and all outcomes and what my response will be.  I worry.   And it is not a healthy way of dealing with stressful situations in my life.

How do you manage your stress?

Do you dwell?  Or do you let stress run off you like water off a duck’s back?

If you are the latter then congratulations.  Unfortunately for me my mind does not operate like that.  So because I realize I have “down the rabbit hole” thinking, I must find cues to remind me to control my thinking.  I cannot allow stressful situations to send me into a death spiral of over-analyzing.

Here’s what I do.  When my mind begins dwelling and hyper-focusing on one thing I tell myself the following: “There is nothing you can do right now except what you can do.  Control what you can control and let the rest be what it is.”  This is a reminder to me to let the future go and stop worrying.

For a long time I allowed myself to make excuses to justify worrying and having an out-of-control mind.  “It’s how I’m geared.”  “It’s just how my personality works.”  “I don’t worry, I get my mind prepared.”

All off the following are just a few of the excuses I used to justify my mind.  I am finding that I can change how my mind works, but it takes discipline and a desire to change.  Every day I go through a process check to make sure I am not allowing my mind to control me.

It isn’t easy and I’m not always successful, but I will eventually get this under control.  The key is I acknowledge that I have a problem with handling stress, I have a process to change my behavior and I am committed to changing.

“I cannot control the future, I can only control right here, right now.   The future will be what it will be so let it go.”

Danny

My Friends Are Beginning To Die

DannyMy friends are beginning to die…

There’s this thing that begins to happen as you get older…people around you begin dying.  Each week it seems that I see someone I knew in the obit section of the local paper.  I’ve heard people talk about this phenomenon in the past, but then I was younger I didn’t put much thought into it.  But, now I am in that place in life and it is a bit unsettling.

Last week I saw two updates on Facebook that 2 people I have known for nearly 20 years had both passed away.  One guy was in his seventies and the other in his sixties.  I will admit that it puts life in perspective quickly and has reminded me that I’ll be 60 before I realize.

For those of you who follow my page who are in the early years of life (twenties), don’t take your youth for granted.  Now I understand that youth will always be taken for granted as you cannot appreciate being young until you are older; life has a funny way of being ironic.

Nonetheless I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my mortality lately and I’m not sure how I feel about getting older.  It is a weird sensation reading about friend after friend dying.

Danny

If You Want Change, You Must Focus On New Experiences

Danny

If You Want Change, You Must Focus On New Experiences…

I had an phone conversation with someone many moons ago who spent the entire conversation lamenting how she could not lose weight.  Science tells us that humans who consume the right amount of calories of the right types of food will eventually shed pounds.  It may take some longer than others, but the body will eventually respond.  And some people will have to adhere to a strict eating regimen as well.

This person spent the entire conversation telling me this simply is not true; her experience, as she stated, was that she had tried everything and nothing worked.  So I asked her if she ate vegetables….”no, I don’t eat vegetables.”   Then I asked if she consumed healthy fruits and nuts…”no, I don’t like nuts and I only eat apples.”  Next I asked her if she ate lean proteins…”I only like beef.”  Then during the rest of the conversation she revealed that she ate a lot of processed boxed “food”, fast food, pasta, ice cream, candy and many other junk-type foods; including sodas.

Keep in mind that she also explained to me that she believed she ate healthy and that she had tried everything to be healthier, but nothing worked.  But she wouldn’t eat veggies, fruits or lean proteins and ate tons of junk food.

She said many times she would love to lose some weight and be healthier, but then backed that statement up every time with “but I’m not willing to change XXX.”

Better results will never come from the same actions that produced bad results.

I don’t like fish, but I’m adding a lot of fish to my current eating regimen.  I don’t prefer spinach, but I’m adding it to my recipe book.  I don’t prefer salads, but I am adding green leafy plants to my eating habits.  Why?  Because if I don’t do something different then I will not experience change.

The truth about my friend is she didn’t really want to change.  People who make up their mind to change say something like “I know I need to change therefore I am willing to do whatever it takes to change.”   I have heard every excuse in the book and I simply refuse to listen to those types of people.

“I eat mostly healthy” usually means I don’t eat healthy at all.

Let me hop down off my soap box for a minute and get back to me.

Back in February I decided to get some weight off as I was getting a little pudgy.  Since then I’ve lost weight, especially around my waistline and I’ve done so by cutting out a lot of sugar and making better food choices.  Living with MS restricts my physical activities so it is imperative that I choose my foods wisely.  When I choose better quality foods my body burns fat.  When I choose low-quality foods my body stores fat.  And as the title of this post states I am committed to eating new things so that I get new results.  I simply cannot expect to get great results by committing to poor habits.

It is 100% about the choices I make.  If I really want to be healthier I’ll make better choices.  Period.

Danny

You Should Never, Ever Compare Yourself To Others

Danny

You should never, ever compare yourself to others…

One of the lowest points of my life was around 2005 while I was working in the golf business.  I had a decent job at a good club and I was completely miserable.  I was surrounded by members who had more than me.  They had better jobs, better homes, better cars and more money.  And I spent the vast majority of my time looking at them with envy.  I wanted everything they had, but more importantly I didn’t want what I had.

I spent many years comparing myself to others and feeling completely inadequate.  Those years of comparing my behind the scenes to their highlight reel nearly ruined me.  I drank heavily and lamented my lack of achievement.  It was not a fun time.

What I would eventually realize was that if I continued to compare myself to anyone other than myself then I would always be miserable.  So I changed my thinking.

I began to compare me to me.

I decided that I would focus solely on becoming everything I wanted to be not on becoming what other were or what others had.  I realized that if I wanted something I would have to go get it.  I would have to change.  I would have to leave golf and go challenge myself.  And that is what I did.

But of all the life changes the single most important was the changing of my mind; I changed the way I thought.

Change begins in an instant and that instant is the exact moment when you decide in your own mind that once and for all you are going to take action.

That was my experience when I decided I was no longer going to compare myself to others.

Danny

Let Me Ask You a Question – 3/15/18

gce5rz8mi

Read my post on comparing yourself to others and then…Let me ask you a question:

What do you think is the most damaging thing about comparing yourself to others?

Stephen Hawking Was a Man Way Ahead of His Time

Image result for stephen hawking young

Some of you may not know this, but my early life intentions were to be a mathematician.  In college I worked my way through the ranks and was actually pretty good.  I was accepted to one of the top mathematics programs in the country (at that time) and did so with honors.  During my time studying higher mathematics I became hypnotized by space and time and anything to do with the origins of life and life in the universe.

I read 2 books which would shape and change my life forever: On the Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin and A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.

Stephen Hawking died today at the age of 76.  I find incredible inspiration in the fact that he never allowed himself to makes excuses even though he was confined to a chair due to the effects of ALS.  The man continued to push the boundaries and push to understand more about our world.

When I look at the pictures of Hawking confined to that chair it makes me realize that I allow myself to make tons of excuses.

As I transitioned my studies from math and science and added philosophy and religious history I met a professor, Dr. James Tabor, who expressed to me he had one goal: “to make the familiar strange and the strange familiar.”

Stephen Hawking did that for me with his writings.

RIP Stephen Hawking

Danny

You Should Dare To Be a Rower, Not a Rocker

Danny

You Should Dare To Be a Rower, Not a Rocker…

A friend once said to me “Those who are busy rowing don’t have time to rock the boat.”

For some reason this adage has landed on me hard.  In today’s world you find there are people who are really good at manipulating and they are not always genuine when they make inquiries of what is going on in your world.  They seek out conversations to steal snippets, take them out of context and then use them as ammunition to slander.

You learn who these people are the hard way and I have learned.

So I have a brand new personal policy: I don’t talk about anything or anyone which doesn’t pertain to the exact job I’m doing and the exact person I’m working with.  If anyone ever approaches me about any topic that has nothing to do with me I immediately excuse myself from the conversation.

I figure that if I’m never a part of these types of conversations, then I can never get caught up in other people’s crap.

There are many people in life who are more concerned with other people’s business than they are in being the best they can be.  They invest a tremendous amount of energy in frivolous activities many of which are absolutely counterproductive to anyone being successful.

I work to be world-class at what I do and over the last 18 months I have become one of our best; and I’m proud of the hard work I’ve invested.  I focus on keeping my head down, doing my job to the best of my ability and getting results.

I don’t have time to rock the boat because I am too busy working and producing.

One eye-opening revelation for me has been that there are boat-rockers in positions throughout your life.  People want to talk about others (gossip).  A friend of mine calls it jealousy and I have witnessed it first-hand.  I don’t understand it because it isn’t in my nature to talk about people behind their back.

I have a lot to learn and a lot of people on which to keep my eye!

I guess the question we must all ask is…Am I a rower or am I a rocker?

Danny