Sometimes Your Freedom Is Found In Forgiveness

Danny

Sometimes Your Freedom Is Found In Forgiveness…

One of the easiest things to do is ignore or neglect a relationship in which you need to demonstrate forgiveness.  I can think of one immediately that I’m kind of doing this.

Forgiving someone can be easy if the person has not perpetrated something devious and if the person has a long track record with you.  But if someone does something awful or spiteful, then forgiving them can be really difficult.  And forgiveness doesn’t always happen if the offender does not apologize.  So there we are, offended, hurt, angry, upset, sad.  No one says “I’m sorry” and no one says “I forgive you”.  Now life moves on and the offender might not think twice about the occurrence.  You, however, think about it for a while and eventually kind of move on; so you think.

But every time you see said person you instantly recall what they did and you instantly relive the event with all the emotional side dishes.

Here’s the crazy thing…most of us have tons of these types of occurrences happen to us over the course of our life.  We relive a lot of happenings like the one I described.  It makes me wonder what the long-term impact is of holding all these events inside instead of exorcising these demons and letting them go?

Why do we hold on to these things?  Family disagreements that result in estrangement for years and years.  Lost friendships over an argument  that we cannot recall the original reason we started arguing.

Anyway, my point is to say it might be time to forgive; even if the other person hasn’t asked for forgiveness.  Why hold on to the emotions?  Why should you be the one to carry the emotional baggage?  It doesn’t make sense to me that most of us do this.

Forgiveness is a two-way street and is not contingent on an apology.

Danny

Rainy Days Make Me Contemplate Life

Danny

Rainy Days Make Me Contemplate Life…

It is interesting that rainy days force me into deep introspection.  Maybe it is the changing of seasons from winter to spring?  I’m not sure, but today it is rainy and I can’t get my brain to shut down.

I have a lot of change going on right now.  I am about to begin a new MS medication.  I have an upcoming procedure for an on-going medical issue.  My role in my job is changing.  I am in month 3 of therapy which brings its own challenges.  And the combination of all these things happening at the same time has my head spinning.

Rain feels refreshing.  It washes away the dirt and the pollen and brings about growth and life.  Rain represents new beginnings and a chance for a fresh start.

Sometimes I would like the option to hit pause.  I’d like to be able to stop life from happening so quickly and take a moment to breathe; collect my thoughts before other events cause new thoughts and worries.  But, alas, it isn’t an option.  Regardless of how overwhelming things can seem, this rock keeps on spinning and I have to find a way to work through problems while maintaining my composure.

Maybe I could clone myself and use my clone like a stuntman in a movie?!  Every time I need a break I just call in the clone to take my place for a day while I relax on the couch?

Now that is a solution I could get behind.

Danny

You Don’t Get Big Bucks For What You Do, But What You Know

Danny

You Don’t Get Big Bucks For What You Do, But What You Know…

I might be late to the table, but I had some recent thoughts on the fast food workers versus $15 per hour wage debate.  For those of you who might not be familiar with the debate, the fast food workers in the United States have been demanding a pay increase to $15 per hour.  My thoughts began when Evelina and I went on our New York road trip and a McDonald’s location had a ton of self-serve kiosks.

Listening to the fast workers argue for more money reminded me of something a friend of mine told me many years ago.  He said, “You don’t get paid big bucks for what you do, but what you know.”  At that time he was a pilot and I was a golf pro.  He made a great salary and I made an average salary.  His point was that he got paid big dollars not to fly a plane, but to keep it from crashing.  He had knowledge that the common person didn’t have; that being how to fly and land a jumbo jet full of passengers.

I on the other hand was a golf pro and golf pros are a dime-a-dozen.  There was no particular knowledge that I possessed that any other golf pro didn’t possess.  And when you work a job which isn’t based on specialized knowledge, you put yourself in a position to have your pay limited.  And you shouldn’t be surprised when it is.

Most jobs have a pay ceiling.  If I walked into my bosses office tomorrow and asked for twice the going rate for my position I better be one heck of a sales person or get prepared to have my request denied.

Once I recognized the value of specialized knowledge I dedicated myself to developing specific skills in my current role and voila, an opportunity presented itself.

I have recognized that if I want to make 4, 5 or even 10 times what I make now, that I must know something that others don’t know; especially something my company wants that I possess particular knowledge about.

No offense to fast food workers, but there is no particular, specialized skill set needed to perform their duties.  And because of this fact, their pay will always be capped.  Even if they get a raise to $15 per hour, how long will it be until they demand $18 or $20 per hour?  At this point we are talking simple economics; the pay will eventually exceed the value of the job.

Don’t make the same mistake, make sure what you know is incredibly desirable and sought after, not ordinary and commonplace.

Danny

When Did I Become the Old Guy?

Danny

When Did I Become the Old Guy?

There is the funny thing that I have noticed in my life lately: youngsters are calling me “sir”.  Now some might be shocked that I have been around young people who have manners, but that isn’t my point.  I can’t believe I’ve gotten to a place where I’m not viewed as being young by someone who is young.

You see, in my mind I still view myself as an energetic 28-year-old.  Barring a few aches and pains I see myself as being instantly ready for full-court basketball.  Or possibly a wrestling match.  Or even 54 holes of golf.  I’m ready to conquer the world.  Jump in a car at any moment for a last-minute road trip.

And then my mental self-image is crushed with a “Thank you sir.”  or “Sir, would you like XXX.”

And it is at that moment that my mind begins to compare and it is in that moment that the comparison falls woefully short.  I am no longer 28 years old.  I can no longer play 54 holes of golf in one day.  I cannot play full-court basketball.  And I’m okay with that.  I’ve adjusted over the years to my life and I have peace with my life and where it is headed.

I guess it is a little difficult to admit that I am no longer young and cannot do the things I did in my youth.  I don’t have a problem with not being young so why does it sting a little to be called “sir”?

“It takes a long time to become young.”  Pablo Picasso

3 Things That Have Dramatically Changed My World

Danny

3 Things That Have Dramatically Changed My World

I remember the days of calling and waiting on a cab.  The process of calling a cab was incredibly difficult and required one to know the cab dispatch phone number and required you to be where they needed you to be or they would drive off and leave you.

The thought of calling a cab these days doesn’t exist in most people’s minds.  The cab is the modern-day newspaper or Yellow Pages phone book.  It is antiquated.  It is not user-friendly.  It is a thing of the past or is becoming a thing of the past.

Uber changed all of that a few years ago when they took advantage of the ride share concept and took paid transportation to a whole new level.  The fees are half the price of a cab.  The wait times are one-tenth the time.  The entire process is simple and convenient and effective.  I can open the app, enter a destination and I instantly know how many minutes it will take my ride to arrive and how much it will cost.  From that point on all I have to do is wait a few minutes and joila….instant ride.

The same thing happened when Apple introduced the iPhone in 2007.  They took the Blackberry and made it user-friendly which opened the smart phone concept up to the entire world.    I cannot remember what the world was like prior to having an iPhone and for most people now days, their entire life is stored on that device.  I can access the internet anywhere and any time.  I can find directions instead of using a map.  I can settle trivia disputes at dinner with friends.  I can listen to music and take phone calls and watch YouTube videos; all from one easy-to-use “phone”.

And can you remember your life prior to bottled water becoming popular?  I can’t imagine going to a store and not having a bottled water aisle with 100 selections of water!  The thought of popping in a convenient store and only having sodas as a selection is hard to imagine, but it was like that 25 years ago.  Now clean water can be shipped across the world to any person in any country.  I see hundreds of people every day with a bottle of water in their hand.  The bottle of water has changed us and changed our world.

There have been amazing inventions introduced to the world and many have changed the way we live life.  But few inventions in today’s modern world really change the world that we know.  Changing the way people live their lives is really, really difficult.  Ride sharing, smartphones and water have done just that.  Nowadays these 3 things are commonplace, but their significance should not be undervalued.

Innovation is the modern-day currency; to come up with a concept that takes something that already exists and transforms it into a world-altering reality.  Companies are paying millions of dollars in research to try to do what Jobs did at Apple.  Everyone wants to invent the next iPhone for their industry, but few will do so.

What invention do you recall changing your world?  Leave me your list in the comments!

Danny

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