Destiny – the Shortest Path to Where You Don’t Want to Be

Good morning!  I hope your Monday is starting off well.

Reusable toilet paper.  Can I get an amen?  Yeah, I just wanted to grab your attention.  That was the topic of a story on the news this morning, right after a segment about the resurgence of paper maps.  We’re saving trees on one end, and killing them on the other.  What gives? 

Everything old comes around again.  I’m still waiting for powder-blue leisure suits to come back in style.  Yes, I had one.  And no, I couldn’t get one leg in those pants, much less my whole butt.  Guess that’s God’s way of keeping me from making an even bigger fool of myself.

I still keep paper maps in the RV.  Okay, I also use a GPS.  It’s not like I need the directions, unless I’m trying to stay on I-75 through Atlanta.  Every five seconds – “Be in either of the right two lanes.  Stay on the road.  THIS road.  DO NOT EXIT!  Now cross over all eight lanes and exit left to stay on … you know …”

So yes, maps can come in handy.  But reusable toilet paper?  Folks, I use some pretty good laundry detergent, and that stuff isn’t going in my washing machine.  That’s what laundromats are for.  Of course, my wife is quick to point out that my underwear gets washed.  Don’t think too hard on that.  

Okay, I wanted to start the week on a light note, and it looks like the news beat me to it.  But you know, we take life too seriously sometimes.  That’s one of the reasons I started writing humor 25 years ago.  Okay, it was because I’m not an expert in anything else.  Sometimes, you play the hand you’re dealt.

It’s what some folks call destiny … the notion that we’re born into a certain life, and we’re pre-ordained to fulfill that destiny.  Well, let me just get this out.  Destiny sucks!  Destiny is just one more imaginary thing on which to blame our lot in life.  It means life is plowing forward, and we’re just along for the ride. 

Life is what we make of it, and destiny is about as firm as a pile of mashed potatoes.  You can shape it any way you want.  You just have to accept the fact that you’re in control, and then let your dreams paint a picture of the life you desire.

That’s my hope for each of you as we begin a new week.  We’re all on a path to somewhere.  We may not have paved the road, but we can certainly choose the destination.  And once that destination is firmly in your mind, the rest is pretty easy.  Just be sure to bring along plenty of TP.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Yes, You Really ARE Worthy!

Good morning.  Or afternoon, depending on your time zone.  Hope your day is starting off well.

I didn’t sleep this late, though I did sleep later than normal.  That’s what happens when you sit up watching a movie until the wee hours.  I used to do that all the time.  But I’ve reached that point of equilibrium where cause and effect become one.  In other words, if you’re gonna be dumb, you’ve gotta to be tough. 

There were years in my life when I could party all night and get up in the morning.  But somewhere along the line, my body introduced me to the concept of consequences.  When I woke up with a headache, I could usually admit I had it coming.  And then came the days I woke up with a hangover for no good reason.  What’s up with that?

We all tend to think we get what we deserve.  Okay, just the good stuff.  I get it.  But when I climb the single flight of stairs from my office to the kitchen (don’t be nosey), I can honestly say I deserve all that huffing and puffing.  The pounding in my chest?  Yeah, I’m still looking for somebody to pin that on.

It’s good when we can admit our mistakes and accept the consequences.  But what happens when life throws something really good our way?  “You’re so lucky!”  Yeah, that must be it.  The gods were searching for somebody completely unworthy on whom to bestow a stroke of good fortune, and you just happened to stumble in the way.  What a lucky dog!

And I think that’s what stops a lot of us from pursuing our goals.  Why should good luck fall on me?  What have I done to deserve it?  What’s so special about me?

Well, that depends.  If all you did was buy a winning lottery ticket, that’s luck.  But most of us tend to put a little more methodical effort into our achievements.  We get up a little earlier, go to bed a little later, and work just a little harder.  When others are on the porch enjoying a cold beer, we’re putting in that little bit of extra effort.  So, why not you?

The first step in achieving a dream is realizing you deserve it.  If there’s any nice thing in this world, material or not, you deserve it just as much as the next person.  We are not pre-ordained at birth to a life of mediocrity.  We’re destined to live the life we’ve built. 

Every one of us is worthy of the best life has to offer.  All you have to do is go out and get it.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Life is Too Short for Simple Dreams

Good morning!  It’s Friday again!  Hope your day is off to a great start.

Those of you who know me best know I can conjure up some pretty wild fantasies when I want to.  Not the kind that would embarrass my wife.  I do a good enough job of that just trying to be serious.  I’m talking about the kind that leave people scratching their head and thinking, “Is he delusional?”

Yes, I’m a dreamer.  Dad reminded me of that every time I set my sights on anything people who work for a living could never afford.  Okay, some of those dreams were “out there.”  A waterfront mansion with my own yacht and a helicopter to fly me to my private jet may have been a bit optimistic.  Especially at the age of 17.  Why do you think I wanted to be a rock star?

Over the years, my dreams have changed.  Not necessarily because of my bank account.  That’s a dynamic situation that changes almost daily.  And, while some days are better than others, the years have treated me well.  But dreams change as we grow.  That’s just a natural part of life.  But there are still things I want.

What would your dreams be if you knew you couldn’t fail?  That’s an interesting thought.  It implies two things.  First, that we can actually control what we dream about (we can), and second, that our dreams are usually limited by our current income (they are). 

We’ve all heard that whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.  I love that quote, but in deference to Napoleon Hill, I have to respectfully disagree.  There are things that, no matter how hard we try, we will NEVER be able to accomplish.  Ever wished you could sprout wings and fly?  Well, keep dreaming.

But that aside, there isn’t much we can’t accomplish if we put our mind to it and follow through with deliberate action.  Want a bigger house?  You can do it.  Want a fancy car, or a European vacation?  It’s yours.  Want to retire at the age of 30 and spend the rest of your days on the beach?  Well, if your 30th birthday is next week, you may need a couple more months.

The life you’re living today is largely the life you dreamed of.  If it’s not, now would be a good time to revisit those dreams.  Go to an open house.  Visit a boat show.  Pick up a travel magazine.  Don’t worry about how you’ll do it.  There’s plenty of time for that next week.  But if you’re going to dream, then dream big!  The effort is the same either way.

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome weekend!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Got Twenty Seconds???

Good morning, and happy Monday!  I hope your day is off to a nice start.

While you folks were (hopefully) relaxing, I spent 16 hours on the road Saturday, leaving the warmth of central Florida for the bitter cold of Ohio.  I guess I really am as stupid as I look. 

Let’s just get this out now – I don’t like winter.  In fact, I pretty much despise it.  Oh yeah, I remember years ago growing up in south Florida, longing for the silent majesty of a winter’s morn, the clean, cool chill of the holiday air … Yes, I’ve watched that movie a few times too many. 

When I joined the Navy, my dad told me something I’ll never forget.  “The best two duty stations in the world are the one you just left and the one you’re going to.”  Or, in simpler terms, the grass is always greener over the septic tank.  Thank you Erma Bombeck for that tidbit of perspective.

Our comfort zone is a double-edged sword.  It gets us through the day with a minimum of stress, and it also keeps us from accomplishing much of anything.  For every worthwhile achievement, you had to do something that stretched your level of comfort.  And, even if the goal ended up being a little less than what you’d envisioned, you still grew as a result. 

As most of you know, I was a stand-up comedian for the better part of 16 years.  Believe me when I say that first time onstage was WAY outside my comfort zone.  It took nine years and almost 1000 shows to get past the jitters.  But it was something I wanted badly enough to work through it.  And I’m glad I did.

If there’s something you want that isn’t immediately within reach, you’ll have to step outside your comfort zone.  Matt Damon’s character said it best in the movie We Bought a Zoo … “all it takes is 20 seconds of insane courage.” 

Twenty seconds to embrace a vision.  Twenty seconds to consider an opportunity.  Twenty seconds to post your resume online.  Twenty seconds to get down on one knee and pop the question.  Twenty seconds to sign your name to the contract.  Twenty seconds to trap a spider.  Twenty seconds.

Sure, there’s more to come after that.  But that initial twenty seconds of courage is all it takes to get past the fear and start turning the life you want into the life you’re working toward.  The more you face those fears, the less courage it takes.  There comes a day when it’s second nature.  And that’s when dreams begin turning into reality. 

That’s all for now.  Have an awesome day!

© 2023 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Is “Coffee” Keeping You From Your Dreams?

Good afternoon! I hope your day is going well.

My day already started better than yesterday. Picture yourself at 5 AM, standing in front of the coffee maker, patiently waiting for that first cup, and just as the pot starts to make the familiar sound of water heating to the perfect temperature, the power goes out. What??? Are you kidding me??? Now??? It’s pretty much the way I felt when I had my heart attack, except I wasn’t going through caffeine withdrawal at the time.

Few things can mess up my day faster than missing my morning coffee. And it wasn’t a complete power outage that would resolve itself as soon as the power was restored. This was inside my RV, limited to the outlets along one wall – the wall where the coffee pot is plugged in. I swear I heard God chuckling. “Wanna see something funny? Watch this!”

Worse still, that was also the wall where the appliances plug in. So, not only did I miss my morning coffee, I wasn’t able to make breakfast, either. Yes, I have cereal. I didn’t want cereal. I wanted eggs, and that requires plugging in an electric skillet. You know, in the wall with no power.

Check the circuit breakers, you say? I did. Four times, just in case one was playing possum. I checked the ground-fault plug in the bathroom. I checked the shore power outside. I even fired up the generator, hoping a double-dose of electricity would somehow set things right. Yes, I know better. But desperate times call for irrational measures.

The problem was a breaker on the power inverter. It was nice of the manufacturer to put that in the “owner’s manual.” Okay, it would have been nice if they’d actually written one. They didn’t. And whose idea was it to hide the inverter behind a nondescript panel in an outside compartment where nobody would think to look for it? It was like an Easter egg hunt with NO COFFEE.

I have this image of myself as a carefree spirit who adapts on the fly to whatever is happening at the moment. I guess that’s part of the attraction to RV living. New faces, new places, and new adventures around every bend. As long as those adventures don’t get in the way of my morning routine. There’s plenty of time for that after I’ve had some caffeine.

We all have routines. Some are good, some not so good, and some just are. Regardless, they’re all a part of our day and as much as we’d like to be spontaneous, those routines have a sort of sacred importance. Don’t believe me? Invite my brother to dinner when there’s a ball game on TV. Tell my grandkids we’re out of vitamins. Or ask me to start the day without … well, you know.

Routines are good, to the extent that we know what to expect at a given point in the day. But when we allow those routines to get in the way of other things we want more, they become a liability. Bowling is fun, but is it leading you closer to your dreams or standing in the way? I guess that depends how much you love throwing a 16-pound ball at a rack of wooden pins.

But there are only so many hours in a day, and the question we all have to answer for ourselves is whether we’re spending that time or investing it. And there is no “right” answer, other than how that time fits into our long-term goals. Success doesn’t mean you can never have fun. It just means deciding for yourself what’s more important over the long haul.

If your dream is to become an awesome bowler, there’s your answer. But if there’s something bigger you want out of life, something that will take some time and effort, then you might need to reassess your approach. Besides, if your dream involves extra time and money, you can bowl all you want later.

It’s amazing how many times people have shared a dream, but when you suggest a possible means of achieving that dream, their first response is, “I don’t have time.” Well, we all get the same 168 hours in a week. The majority of that time is consumed with things we have to do. Nothing we can do about that. But it’s how we use those remaining hours that makes the difference.

I doubt your dreams will fall apart if you set aside time for coffee. And I doubt those dreams will fall apart if the coffee maker is broken. But beyond that daily routine, are there things we do just as automatically that really do impact our goals? Spend time or invest it. That’s a choice we all make whether we intend to or not. How important are your dreams? There’s only one way to find out.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Close, But No Cigar!

Good morning, and happy Hump Day! I hope your day is off to a great start.

So, last Thursday my wife and I finally got our first Covid vaccine. Yes, we’re a little late, given our age, but we’re traveling and that adds a bit of complexity. Still, we got it done, without any bad effects, and now I can reassure others that I’ve been vaccinated. Okay, half-vaccinated. We still have another shot to go. But that’s just a formality, right?

Actually, no. It’s not just a formality. It’s an important part of the treatment that more than doubles our immunity to the virus. That doesn’t mean we’ll never get sick. It just means we’re that much less likely to contract the virus and, if we do, it should be somewhat less intense. That’s comforting.

My wife would be the first to say I’m good at getting started, but I tend to fall down before I reach the finish line. Apparently, we don’t entirely agree on the notion of “close enough.” My backyard shed is a perfect example. My grandson and I built it from scratch and it’s beautiful. Well, it will be once I finish installing the trim. C’mon, it’s only been four years!

There’s just that part of my brain that says when something is usable, the pressure is off. I ripped up all the carpet in our house and replaced it with laminate flooring. It looks great! Well, it will once I finish installing the trim. I had to remove the baseboards to get the job done, and half are still missing. C’mon, it’s only been twelve years! Wow, did I say that out loud?

Yesterday we talked about those baby steps, and that any progress toward a goal is something to be celebrated. But we also acknowledged that time is not a completely unlimited resource, and if we hope to accomplish our goal by a certain time, we may need to speed things up a bit. At my age, I need a jet pack.

There are times when “close enough” is truly close enough. The game of horseshoes relies heavily on this concept. Steering a mammoth container ship through the Suez Canal – not so much. That one has to be exact. And they pretty much expect you to finish what you started. You can’t stop halfway through and say, “Yeah, but look how far we got!”

We’d never think of using that on the job. When the boss gives us an assignment, they pretty much expect us to finish it. Trim isn’t optional. And, while they may appreciate the progress we’ve made and how hard we worked to get there, the job still isn’t done. And that’s what they’ll remember when it comes time for our annual review.

So, here’s the question – if you were paying somebody else to accomplish your own personal goals, how long would they be employed if they worked at those goals as hard as you do? That’s a tough one to bite off, because for most of us, the answer is “not long.” But hey, you gave it an honest effort and that’s worth something, right?

Well, it depends. If my goal is to save a million dollars and I only save half that much, that’s pretty respectable. I don’t know of too many people who would hang their head in shame. On the other hand, if I needed the entire million to build my dream house, it’s not going to happen. I can either get back to work or ditch my plans and start over.

Yet, when it comes to our dreams, we allow ourselves a certain amount of leeway for coming up short. “I tried. And in the beginning, I was getting a lot done! But I just wasn’t able to make it happen.” You weren’t able, or you just didn’t follow through? There’s a difference.

Driving through the mountains is rarely up one side and down the other. You reach the top of first hill, only to see six more ahead of you. And there may be a dozen more behind them. Now, if your only goal was to climb one hill, you’re there. Mission accomplished. But if you wanted to reach the other side, you’ve still got some work to do.

That first step is critical, but it’s no more important than every other step along the way. There’s a starting line and a finish line, and you have to cross both before you can take a bow. Sure, goals sometimes change, and that’s okay if your dream has changed. But don’t short-change your dreams because there’s another hill to climb.

Somewhere along that mountain drive, you crest one final hill and see clear sailing ahead. At that point, all those hills behind you are a distant memory. But if you stop too soon, you may never know how close you came. Your dream deserves that extra mile. And you know what? So do you.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

The Thought May Not Always Count, But Baby Steps Do

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

My wife bought some freshly baked muffins a few days ago. According to the label, they were supposed to taste like Raisin Bran. I think they used a little poetic license there, because halfway through I hadn’t found the first raisin. I was just about to complain when I found it. One. It was hiding near the bottom, hoping I’d give up before I got that far.

It reminds me of when my grandson and I tore down my old shed. It was in really bad shape, and a decent puff of wind would have brought it to the ground. Okay, maybe not, because I actually prayed for that to happen. It would have saved a lot of work and, as it turned out, a nasty infection from stepping on a rusty nail.

But as I connected a nylon strap to the inside of the shed with the other end attached to my truck, my neighbor came out and asked what we were doing. “We’re building a new shed!” It felt good saying it. Then I handed my grandson the key and told him to have fun. Ten seconds later, the shed was on the ground. It was a year before the new one took its place.

I heard a story once about a woman who went to her high school reunion and, as others were bragging about their accomplishments, she said, “I’m working on my PhD!” A friend who knew better quietly reminded her that she dropped out of college. She responded, “I’ve thought about going back. It’s called fake it till you make it.”

So, what do these stories have in common? Well, just because the label mentions Raisin Bran, that doesn’t mean they used two scoops. Demolition is the first step in construction, so swinging a sledgehammer still counts. And finally, if you have a vision of something you’re thinking about doing, then technically it’s a work in progress. Right?

Well, let’s throw the first one out, because when I eat Raisin Bran, I expect at least one raisin in every bite. Anything that falls short of that standard is just false advertising. Besides, we bought some lemon-blueberry muffins yesterday and they were the real deal. Strong lemony flavor with fresh blueberries throughout. So, it can be done.

Is tearing something down the same as building something new? Well, that depends where the something new is going to be built. If it’s on the same piece of earth, then yes – you’ve begun the process, and it’s likely you can envision the end result. I know I did. For a whole year. I’m not so sure my neighbors were quite as thrilled.

Is telling people you’re doing something you’re not really doing a lie? Well, maybe. But again, let’s examine intent. Are you thinking seriously about it? Do you have a plan? Have you taken any steps in that direction? If so, it’s not completely untrue. I’m working on becoming a millionaire. I have been for 48 years. These things take time.

But every dollar I save is a dollar closer to my goal. Granted, I may need a few extra years to get there. More like a few extra decades, but you get the idea. If the goal is there and you’re taking steps to achieve that goal – even if it’s just getting up and going to work every day – you’re on a path to success.

Now, how long will it take you to get there? That’s another matter entirely. It’s easy to say I’m on a path to becoming a millionaire, but it’s also likely I won’t live to be 150. So, if I hope to achieve that goal in this lifetime, something has to change. I don’t need to share all those details with everybody, but I do have to acknowledge them myself.

When a lumberjack cuts down a tree, is he clearing the forest or building fine furniture? It all depends on your point of view. But if the tree has to come down first, and then be shipped to a lumber mill, and then to a lumber wholesaler, and then to a lumber store, and then to Joe’s wood shop, it’s all part of the process.

Be proud of the things you’re working to accomplish. Focus on the big picture. Celebrate every step along the way. You may not be there yet, but you’re a step closer and that’s something. Even those obstacles you were destined to face sooner or later are a form of progress, because now they’re behind you.

And if you’re still in the “thinking about it” stage, all it takes is one step to put that dream into motion. Granted, you may have to pick up the pace at some point, but as long as the goal is clear and you’re taking steps in that direction, you’re on the road to success. Throw in a few more raisins, and you’re there!

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You’re Working – But Are You Getting Anything Done?

Good morning, and happy Friday! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

Did you ever hear the story about the magic soup stone? An old woman goes to the door to find a tired traveler offering to share his stone that magically makes soup. All you have to do is put it in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. He’d show her if she’d share the soup with him. It seemed so incredible, she just had to give it a try.

Once the pot began to warm up, he said, “We should add a little salt. Soup needs salt.” So, she did. And pepper. Next, he suggested a few vegetables. You know, just for flavor. She complied and, to her amazement, it began to smell like real soup. Finally, he asked if she had any meat. A soup this good can only be better with a little meat. And he was right. It was awesome.

Of course, the moral of the story is don’t believe everything somebody tells you, and only half of what you see. Yes, the soup started out with a rock and some warm water. But if you put a rock in some warm water and add meat, vegetables, and a few spices, it takes on the flavor and aroma of soup. Then you take the rock out and eat. Voila! Just like magic.

It’s like those diet pills that promise to “melt away the pounds.” Okay, first things first – fat doesn’t melt. Not body fat. It turns into concrete and you have to take it out with a sledgehammer. And after six bottles of those pills, you notice the asterisk next to the weight loss claim … “When combined with proper diet and exercise.” Well, duh!!! I can do that with M&Ms!

How often do we try to accomplish something the easy way, only to find it doesn’t work unless you fall back on the tried & true methods you were trying to avoid in the first place? Or the task itself seems so monumental you never really get started, but realize later you’ve been going through the motions all this time and could have accomplished something worthwhile?

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book for years. Okay, decades. But let’s be honest, that’s a pretty big effort. The thought of putting 50,000 coherent words together on the same topic is daunting, to say the least. First you need a topic. Then you need to figure out an approach and apply your own unique slant. Then you have to actually write it. I need a magic book stone.

But with all these morning posts over the past three years, I’ve written the equivalent of 9 books. Somehow, I found the time to do all that writing and a never-ending supply of things to write about. Okay, if you’ve been reading these posts for three years, you may have a differing opinion.  Still, you get the point. Sometimes it’s not the work as much as the focus.

How many times have you found yourself spinning your wheels, working all day just to stay caught up, when the same amount of effort would have accomplished one of your goals? Or you’ve tried every new gimmick that came along, only to find that none of them work and the same amount of effort would have done the job the old-fashioned way?

My business is a lot like that. It’s simple. Really simple. That’s not to say it’s easy, but it’s nothing that requires any special education or skills. All it takes is to follow instructions – duplicate what others have done. Yet every new person coming in has a “better” way of getting the job done faster. And in all these years, I’ve never seen a one succeed.

We all like to be creative and come up with our own twist on what everybody else is doing. And that’s a good thing, in moderation. Let’s face it, when Thomas Edison got tired of carrying around an oil lamp, our world changed. But in my relatively short lifetime, I’ve seen several attempts at improving on the light bulb. So far, only one has really worked.

It seems like we’ve covered a lot of territory in this post, but is there a point? I think there are a couple. First, nothing is ever quite as easy as it seems. There is no magic soup stone, and success still has to be earned. Also, if we apply a little focus to the work we’re already doing, we can achieve our dreams instead of just working.

Will I get that book finished? Yes. I have no doubt. Will it sell? That’s another story. But anything is possible if we consistently do what needs to be done. There may be easier ways, and some may actually work. But start with what you know works and then experiment from there. You may be surprised what you can accomplish.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Are You Prioritizing Your Dreams?

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a nice start.

It’s April 1, a national holiday for practical jokers and wannabe comedians. It’s a day when great deals really are too good to be true, and everything on the Internet is met with a little extra skepticism. And it’s the one day a politician’s word is as good as anybody else’s. I’m not sure that’s as good as it sounds.

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, April is a symbol of hope. Winter is gone (mostly), flowers bloom, and small animals abound. Oh, they were there before. But now we can see what they’re up to, instead of wondering how much insulation and wiring they’ve destroyed in hibernation. It’s a good thing squirrels are so cute. Besides, one is barely enough for a sandwich.

April is also the time when we start to think about getting started on those projects we dreamed up over the winter. I didn’t say we actually start them – just that we think about it. But Mom always said it’s the thought that counts. Come to think of it, my wife says that a lot, too. I’m beginning to think that’s just a tactful way of saying, “Nice try.”

Planning projects is easy. You dream it up, figure out what it would take to make it happen, and then start listing all the things that are standing in the way. “It’s too cold right now. As soon as it warms up, I’ll get started. As long as it doesn’t get too hot. But I’ll have to set aside time to do the taxes. And then there’s graduation and summer vacation, and then … well, I’ll get to it.”

We all have good intentions. And I’m told they come in real handy for paving the road to perdition. Several years ago, I tore down our backyard storage shed to make room for a new one. But in the process, I stepped on a rusty nail and my foot got infected and then it got too hot to work outside and then winter came and then … well, you get the picture.

It was a year before my grandson and I actually built the new shed, and that’s a personal best for me. Notice I didn’t say we finished the new shed – we built it. I still need to put on the front and rear trim pieces and install soffits to keep the birds out. But it’s reasonably weatherproof, and that was my goal five years ago. Get the lawnmower in out of the rain.

And we haven’t even talked about the missing baseboards from new flooring that I installed twelve years ago, the cracked vanity top in the bathroom, the new faucet we bought for the kitchen, or all the clutter in the basement and garage. I told my wife it’s the thought that counts. She said the same thing about dinner. I guess two can play that game.

Home projects are one thing. Sooner or later, they have a way of prioritizing themselves and eventually you don’t have a choice. But what about all those other things you wanted to do? That business you wanted to start, the trip you planned to take, or the book you’ve been meaning to write? Well, maybe this winter when there’s nothing better to do.

The longer we put things off, the easier it is to do. After a while, it just becomes routine. Dream it up, put it off … dream it up, put it off. The boss has this stuff figured out. They dream it up and set a deadline. Otherwise, nothing would ever get done. Except coffee. They said “take initiative.” Isn’t that when we do something without being told? That’s a good thing, right?

It’s not that we’re lazy. Far from it. The problem is that life doesn’t stop just because we have other plans. It doesn’t even move out of the way. It’s like that old lady in the grocery store who parks her cart in the middle of the aisle as she searches the entire selection of canned soup looking for that one flavor the store doesn’t sell. And I didn’t even want soup.

Meanwhile, we wait for that perfect opportunity to get on with our own plans. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the perfect opportunity doesn’t exist. Sometimes you have to just push the cart out of the way and move on. Or do like the boss does – dream it up and set a deadline. Put it in writing and give it to somebody else so they can nag you till it’s done.

We can’t control life’s interruptions any more than we can control the weather. But unless our dreams take priority, they’ll never get done. Spring has begun. And another one is just a year away. The question is, will you begin the next one living your dream, or thinking about it?

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Dreams Don’t Care Where You’ve Been

Good morning! I hope your day is off to a great start.

A couple of days ago, the container ship that had been blocking the Suez Canal was finally freed. Investigators will try over the next several months to determine how it got stuck in the first place, and attorneys will certainly offer their opinion. But I’ll bet nobody is as relieved as the guy who was standing at the helm when they hit the sand. “Starboard? Is that even a word? C’mon Captain … right or left???”

If you’ve never served aboard a ship, let me share some insight. The Captain doesn’t “drive” the ship. In fact, he’s probably never touched the steering wheel. It’s usually a junior crew member who didn’t have anything better to do at the time, so he got stuck at the helm taking orders from somebody else and will catch the blame the instant something goes wrong. “I told him hard to port!” Really? When?

A few days ago, there was a meme on social media showing a tiny excavator next to this massive ship, digging away handfuls of mud in an attempt to set it free. The caption said if you think there are unimportant people on this planet, remember that 12% of the global economy is in the hands of a guy who shovels dirt for a living. That puts it in perspective.

For every great feat of mankind, it’s the people in the trenches who make it happen. Elon Musk gets a lot of credit for electric cars and private spaceships, but I doubt he’s ever turned a wrench on any one of them. He comes up with an idea, pays others to develop the idea, and then pays even more people to do the grunt work. He may be a visionary, but he’s mostly just the rich guy at the top.

It’s said that 10% of the population controls 90% of the wealth. That’s true. In fact, it’s probably a little optimistic. And if you don’t believe that, look around you. Count the number of apartments you pass on your way to work, and then count the number of mansions. How many dump trucks do you see for every limousine? How many executives are there in your company? How many workers?

That’s why it’s so hard for those of us who spend our days in the trenches to imagine ourselves at the top. “Get an education, go to work, and climb the corporate ladder.” That’s the advice we’re given. And it’s good advice, if you’re a really patient person with dreams of mediocrity. But what happens when you realize your ladder is too short or is propped against the wrong wall?

A while back, I heard the story of a man from Central America who moved to New York City with barely enough money to live for a couple of weeks, and took a job parking cars while sleeping in an abandoned car every night to save money so he could eventually move his family to join him. He was a hard worker, but one of those people everybody overlooked. Until somebody found him sleeping in their car. I’m sure he moved a lot.

Still, he had a dream – he saw his family living with him in a home they owned. It was a simple dream, but one that burned within him every day. It got him up in the morning, prodded him to work hard all day, and gave him a reason to put his trust in a complete stranger who said, “I can help.” That stranger didn’t offer a handout – he offered a plan.

For most people, it would be hard to wake up every day in somebody else’s car and see ourselves living in a mansion. Especially in a strange country where we can barely speak the language. But that’s exactly how this story ends. He took a simple opportunity and applied it to his dream. Granted, that dream was modest at first – a home of his own. But in building that dream, he made even bigger dreams possible.

If you don’t think you have what it takes, you’re not seeing the big picture. Maybe you think you lack the education or skills. Maybe you’ve made some mistakes in the past. Maybe you were born poor, and on the wrong side of town. Or maybe you’ve worked your way up that ladder and think you’ve reached the highest point available to an “ordinary” person like you.

Ordinary people achieve extraordinary results. Success isn’t for the select few – it’s for anybody who has a dream and a burning desire to achieve it. It’s for those who will not be denied, who are willing to go that extra mile when everybody else is watching TV. Don’t define yourself by your spot on the ladder. See yourself where you want to be. Is it possible? Absolutely! Can it happen? Well, that part is up to you.

That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved