My Daily Observation: 1/4/18

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Danny

I am rereading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg for the sixth or seventh time; honestly I’ve lost count at this point.  If you have not read it I highly recommend as I believe it is the most important book ever written that puts habits in layman’s terms.  Most books on habit come across more psychological and medical that I simply cannot keep up.  Duhigg is not a psychologist, nor a doctor, but quite the contrary; he was a writer for the New York Times.  At any rate I recommend you read, but that’s not the point of this post.

My point is that I notice every year when the calendar switches from old year to new year, it takes me almost 2 weeks so stop writing the old year when signing dates and to go into auto mode in writing the new year.  It’s not as if I don’t know it’s 2018 versus 2017.   If anyone on the street stopped me and asked the year I would easily and quickly respond, “Oh, it’s 2018, why do you ask?”

My observation is how powerful habits are in our life.  Although I have the knowledge of the year being 2018, the power of my writing and typing habits is more powerful than said knowledge of knowing the year.  This happens to people when we move from an address we’ve lived at for many years.  It happens when we change zip codes.  I once answered the phone incorrectly at a job and identified myself as an employee of my former employer while standing in the building of my new employer.  Have you ever driven home, but for the life of you you cannot recall how in the world you got home?

The Power of Habit.

My Daily Observation: 1/3/18

Danny

I had my fourth therapy session yesterday with my psychologist, Dr. Kate, and it went well.  We are working through some things that are really difficult.  I’ll just go ahead and throw this out to the universe and let you guys know I have been diagnosed with a disorder called Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder.  It is not OCD, but a disorder centered more around rigidity of thinking, order, scheduling and ridiculous amounts of anxiety.  I’ll drop a OCPD link here for those who would want to educate themselves.

It creates a lot of arguments at home between Evelina and I, which is why I began therapy in the first place.  My goal is to be the best husband I can be and for a lack of better words I thought it just might be that I’m an as*&hole.  Come to find out there is a specific reason behind all of my compulsions and it has to do with the way my brain is wired.

The honest truth is I’m not sure how to feel at this point because the realities are all so new and we are dealing with it on a daily basis.  The good thing is I finally have a name for this thing that lives inside me that rears its head in the form of a 5,000 pound ball of anxiety.  It also explains why I see life mostly in black and white and my way of doing things is the right way and the only way.

I’ll be talking more about it now that I’m more comfortable with it and seeing that there is no recover or cure it will be something that I’ll need to purge out via this blog.

So welcome to my life of learning to live with OCPD: a brand new journey!

Danny

 

My Dream Big New Year’s Eve Observation: 12/31/17

Danny

A few things happened with Dream Big in 2017 that I am extremely proud as the achievements represent a lot of hard work.  That’s important to me because, contrary to popular belief, I am not a full-time blogger; I do this as a hobby.

In 2017 Dream Big nearly surpassed 1 million total views for my 3 years in existence, making up a lot of ground toward that goal this year with just under 600,000 total views.  Wow!  That broke down into nearly 500 unique visitors to the page each day for a yearly total of almost 180,000 unique individuals visiting Dream Big.  Those numbers still stagger me and humble me.

I never, ever thought I would be able to have this many people visit my page on a daily basis and that is one of the reasons I try to say thank you so much.  I love my page and I try to put a lot of thought and effort into what I think you guys and gals might be interested in or might want to read.

Once again, THANK YOU to all of you who visit, like, share, email and comment.  It means the absolute world to me that you would even take the time from your day and read something I write; much less take even more time and comment!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart and if there is anything I can ever do to help you as a blogger please don’t hesitate to email.  I think most of you have experienced that I will always do what ever I can to help you.

What are some of the goals you have for your page for 2018?  I’d love to read about them in the comments!

Cheers to a successful 2018 for everyone!

Your friend,

Danny

 

 

My Dream Big Observation: 12/30/17

Danny

For those of you who have followed me for any length of time you’ll know that this time of year I go into hyper-introspection mode.  My habit is to evaluate my performance from the past year and develop a plan to get better; whatever that means.  Usually this evaluation relates to my work and blog,  but this year 100% of my evaluation and goal setting will pertain to my marriage.

2017 saw me meet all of my goals as they relate to my webpage, which always makes me happy.  I also met all of my professional goals, which also makes me happy.

But the area that I have not put much goal-focus toward in the past is my marriage and I’m not sure why.  My mission for 2018 is to spend the entire year “dating” my wife.  I want to pursue her, impress her, love her as I did when we were dating.  I don’t believe that the honeymoon period has to end.  I believe it ends because we don’t put forth the same level of effort.

So here’s my marriage mission statement for 2018: “In all things, never stop dating my wife.”  It is simple, effective and will serve as a great reminder to me to make sure we are my number one focus.

Do you make an effort to continue to pursue your spouse/significant other?  Should you?

My Dream Big Observation: 12/29/17

Danny

Evelina and I had a conversation last night about some young people with whom she works.  I don’t want to generalize, but when I added her experience to those I’ve had with the millennials in the newspaper biz, I am left with a little fear for our future.  Now before some of you blow up my email inbox, I’m not saying that every single youngster has all the same problems.  But I am beginning to notice that the vast majority of the younger generation display many of the same social issues at work.

In this situation a young man was stressing over talking to his boss at the firm about being uncomfortable with a few tasks he has recently been delegated and confided in my wife for advice.  She explained to the lad that he needed to go to his boss and be honest, explain his situation and talk through the problem.  After many minutes of giving advice the youngster asked my wife to go have the conversation for him.  Obviously she didn’t.

Last night when Evelina and I were talking about the situation she explained to me that this boy didn’t comprehend how to express himself to his boss.  In his view this was conflict and he had no clue how to proceed.  The sad thing is I see this in millennials my company has hired time after time after time.  We’ve had them quit without calling in.  We’ve had them take multiple days off without letting anyone know they weren’t coming in.  We’ve had them crying at work because of a simple reprimand and admonishment.

To make sure I’m not generalizing I reached out to three friends who work in HR for three separate companies and they experience the same challenges.  I’m not sure why, but it seems that this generation has an issue with communication, work skills and basic social etiquette.  One of our papers hired a young man who said “cool” so often that they couldn’t put him in front of clients.  I know the managers attempted to coach him, but he didn’t possess the professional skills required to speak (for lack of better words) like an adult.

And there are countless articles I’ve read that express a similar theme: our young people have been raised in an online world and many simply don’t feel comfortable speaking to live human beings in a professional setting.  And I can confirm that this is 1000% my experience with them.  Most don’t understand the value of a firm handshake.  They don’t feel comfortable, nor understand, how to conduct themselves in a professional business dinner meeting.  They don’t possess the skill set to sit down and speak with a business owner and simply partake in small talk.

And don’t even get me started on time management.

According to my HR friends the problems they most often deal with when working with younger employees are as follows: they give up easily when challenged.  They think  admonishment is bullying.  They show up late and want to leave early.  Many lack the ability to communicate in writing.  They lack the ability to problem-solve.  They struggle when working on projects in groups.  They struggle in interviews.  And they lack the ability to negotiate through workplace conflicts.

When I listened to my friend Donna talk about her young employees I couldn’t help but feel so many emotions.  What is happening to our younger generations?  It almost feels like “internet-gone-wrong”.  What I mean is that we unleashed the internet on a population of youngsters and had no clue what impact it would have on them.  Let’s face it, we know what Facebook has done to productivity at work among adults!  Adults spend up to 8 hours per week on their personal device while on the job.  And if the digital world is having such a dramatic impact on adults, imagine what it is doing to our children!

Industries that rely on skilled labor are struggling.  Industries which rely on inside and outside sales staff are struggling.  Industries which rely on face-to-face, real-life interactions are struggling to find and keep younger employees and I have no clue what the solution might be; and neither does anyone else.  I’ve not read a single industry-related publication that has announced “We figured it out!”.  Quite the contrary.  Industry leaders are perplexed.

One article I read relabeled the Millennial generation as “Generation Lacking” and, sadly, I must agree.  The saddest part of all is none of this is their fault!!  They’ve been raised in a world which puts more emphasis on social media than on social interaction.

My final conclusion is that in 100 years experts will look back at what we did to these kids by allowing them to have smart devices at such young ages much like we now view the use of mercury in making hats so many years ago.

 

My Dream Big Observation: 12/27/17

Danny

Another year and another Christmas gone.  This year it seemed like Christmas flew by like a flash.  I find that sad.

I love Christmas and look forward to every aspect.  I love putting the tree up after Thanksgiving.  I love plugging it in in the morning as I drink my cup of coffee and write.  I love watching as the presents slowly pile up.  I love getting out in the hustle-and-bustle.

And now it’s gone just like it goes every year.  So why am I more sad this year more than before?  I’m not sure.  Maybe because I’m getting older and I realize and appreciate the moments more?  Maybe I appreciate the fact that we are not guaranteed tomorrow?  Maybe because once Christmas is gone the rest of life seems much less magical?  Maybe all of the above.

Soon we will take down our tree and Christmas 2017 will be all but a memory.  Work begins again and new expectations will  be doled out.  People will no longer feel any obligation to give or help or care.  Maybe that is what makes me the most sad is that people will go right back to caring about themselves and focusing on others much less; ignoring those who need help.  Most people pay lip service to helping, but the numbers reveal that the vast majority do not help consistently throughout the year.

And that makes me sad.

 

My Daily Observation: 12/22/17

Danny

 

There are a lot of good things going on in my life right now.  I’ve started eating better and working out.  My job is going well and there are some exciting opportunities coming up in 2018.  My sessions with my therapist are going better than I had imagined they would and I’m learning a lot about myself and will talk about the discoveries when I am more comfortable.  Not that I’m hiding anything, it’s just that some of it is quite personal and I’m simply not ready to talk about it openly.

Blogging is a strange platform.  I’ve shared things on my page with all of you that I haven’t discussed much even with my closest of friends.  My life on Dream Big has been an open book of sorts and I’ve always tried to be honest.  I’ve talked more about my struggles with MS with you more than I have with anyone.  You’ve read about my struggles with my yo-yoing weight, my inner fears, my aspirations and my failures.

I am not always able to convey in writing exactly how I feel nor am I able to always capture exactly what it is that I am thinking.  Trying to express a complete thought via the written word is not easy and I miss my target often.

I feel like I am rambling so I’ll get to the point.

I want to say thank you to every single one of you who have been with me and to those who have recently joined me on my journey.  You read my scribbles and debate with me over my Questions post and for all of the conversations I am so incredibly humbled and grateful.  You tolerate my rambling, you tolerate me pestering you and it means a lot to me.  I just want you all to know that.  It has been one incredible ride.  xoxo

DR

 

My Daily Observation: 12/20/17

Danny

I don’t like working out like I did when I was younger.  I have less energy, less strength and it takes longer to burn fat; or at least it seems it does.  But the one thing I am better at now is discipline and discipline is definitely necessary when it comes to exercising.

Discipline is the art of training oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.  I think of discipline as doing something even when you don’t want to do it.  It isn’t easy to make yourself exercise when you body and mind are saying “don’t”.

I think discipline is something that can be developed through practice and I also believe discipline is what differentiates those who achieve great things from those who do not.  I’m not the best at it, but I’m getting better at it.

My Daily Observation: 12/19/17

DannyI started back on an exercise program yesterday and this morning I am hurting!  I’ve needed to do this for some time now, but have been making excuses.  Let’s face it, it’s easier to sit on the couch than it is to exercise, but sitting on the couch creates a lazy mentality and a fat body.

Because I refuse to allow MS to dictate what I will and will not do, I am back on the Insanity cardio program.  I’m going to do what I can do and take it easy because some of the program is pretty intense and my legs cannot take the beating.  What I did in the past was take lots of breaks while forcing my body out of its comfort zone a little at a time.  I am confident I’ll see great results as I have in the past.

Do you workout?  If so what is your favorite?

My Daily Observation: 12/16/17

DannyPsychologists estimate that the human brain processes between 15,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day.  Stop and think about that for a quick moment.   Then if you ponder the number of thoughts you vocalize you’ll realize there’s a lot of stuff you hold inside.

There are thoughts you’ve had that you’ve never, ever said out loud.

I wonder how healthy this can be.  What kind of impact does this have on a person?

I find it fascinating that the human brain can create up to 60,000 thoughts in a single day.

Have you ever contemplated the number of thoughts you process each day?  Then think about the number of those thoughts you actually talk about.   To say humans live inside their own brain becomes an understatement in light of these numbers.

Maybe it’s time we all start talking more?