Success Rewards Consistent Effort

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

You know how you go to the grocery store just to pick up that special flavor of ice cream, only to find they’re sold out? That happens a lot at my local store. They’ll have forty-two varieties of cheese puffs, but not the brand I want.  Any more, I just take my shopping list to the Customer Service desk and tell them, “Here’s a bunch of stuff you don’t have. Trust me.”

It’s pretty much the same when you head south to escape the cold and the cold follows you south. Sure, it’s not snowing, but nighttime temperatures have been below freezing almost every day, and the furnace needs an all-night babysitter. Every morning the windows are iced over – on the inside. Manufacturing defect, they say. I have another name for it.

There are just times in your life when you expect things to be a certain way, and anything less is unacceptable. Not disappointing, because that suggests that maybe you expected too much to begin with. You know, like it’s your fault. Unacceptable means somebody, or something else is completely to blame. You got the shaft, and karma isn’t the least bit sorry about it.

Karma … there’s a word we use a lot. It usually means somebody is about to have a bad day. It’s a form of retribution for something we’ve done to somebody else, and we can’t even blame them when it happens, because they had nothing to do with it. You know, other than praying for karma to teach us a lesson. Try proving that one in court.

But karma sometimes works the other way around. Do nice things for people enough times in your life, and somehow nice things will come your way. Help enough other people to succeed, and success smiles on you. Put in a little extra effort every day on the job, and eventually the right people will notice. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it’ll happen.

Karma, if you break it down to basic terms, simply means what goes around comes around. Good things happen to good people. If you live by the sword, you die by the sword. You reap what you sow. I could probably quote a few other tidbits of karmic wisdom, but you get the point. Life’s rewards are usually proportional to the effort we put in. Usually.

That doesn’t mean it you’re a good person, the store will always have your favorite kind of ice cream, or that the sun will break through every cloud just because you deserve it. Nice people suffer heartache and disappointment like anybody else. And just because a person is having a run of bad luck, that doesn’t mean they deserve it.

But success generally comes to those who pursue it the most. That doesn’t mean they work harder or faster, or that they invest more money than the rest of us. It simply means they work with a level of consistent determination that will not be denied. Go to one store, and they may not have the ice cream you want. Go to enough stores, and somebody is bound to have it.

It’s the law of averages. If you do the right thing enough times, sooner or later it’ll pay off. How many times? Well, unless you can give a definitive answer to that question, you need to try at least a few more times. The answer is different for each of us, and for each different goal we pursue. Even with the weather, sooner or later it’ll turn nice. Even if you live in Alaska.

If you have a dream, or maybe even just a simple goal, you know what it takes to achieve it. You know the things you need to do. Sure, you can buy a lottery ticket and hope for the best, but odds are you’ll get there a lot faster if you consistently do the things that need to be done.

Success never comes fast enough when there’s something we want. And “law of averages” is the last thing you want to hear when you keep running into roadblocks. But, as a friend often says, nine out of ten things we try will never work, but that last one will make you rich.

Is ten times enough? Fifteen? Twenty? The only way you’ll answer that question is to keep trying. But if you stop after the first try, or the first store, or the first week at a southern destination, you’ll never know what may be waiting just around the bend. If the dream is worth having, then give it a fighting chance. You may be closer than you think. That’s all for now. Have an awesome day!

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Who’s Keeping Track of Your List?

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

Well, another week is behind us. Almost. I guess there’s still a full day to go. I saw a meme on Facebook a while back that showed a disheartened face with the words, “When you’re ready to go home and the boss reminds you that you still have eight hours to go.” Still, it’s Friday. That’s like telling a kid there’s only a week left until Christmas.

Time drags, except when you’re on vacation. I’ve often wondered how that is for retired people. Several times I was talking to my dad and he’d ask, “Is today Saturday?” When you don’t have to work, you get to ask questions like that. The best I get is waking up on Thursday, thinking it’s Friday. “Yes!” turns to “Damn!” in three seconds flat.

Friday is a day of celebration, no doubt. It’s also the day when we start making a mental “to-do” list for next week. The first five or thirty-six items on the list are easy – just start with everything you didn’t get done this week. “Well, that one will have to wait. But I have to get it done Monday. No excuses!” Famous last words.

I still have an 8-foot mud flap in the RV that I was going to install before we left. But it was cold outside, and I need some additional hardware to install it. At our first campsite, I was going to rearrange all the storage bays. Six weeks later, that’s still on the list. My freelance assignment is overdue, I’ve run out of vitamins, and we still need to get an oil change. And the list goes on.

Okay, in my defense, I do have some valid excuses. We spent four weeks visiting Dad and then planning his funeral. We’ve been visiting relatives we don’t often see, I work during the day, and it’s been raining. For any day of this trip, I can tell you exactly why I didn’t get anything done. Can I just cross off a few for good intent?

Okay, some things truly will go away on their own. Ignore the oil change long enough, and you won’t have to worry about it anymore. Let the car payment slide, and you won’t have one much longer. Procrastinate on your tax returns and … sorry, that one doesn’t go away. But you get the point. Vanishing problems aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

On the other hand, there are some things that just aren’t as critical. If you can’t find time to weed the flower bed, nobody else will even notice. After six years of weeds, I learned my lesson. Don’t plant flowers. It takes a lot of time, you end up dirty and sore, and by mid-summer it’ll all be weeds anyway. So, just let the weeds grow. In fact, water them and they’ll die.

But, when time is running short, those are the tasks we always seem to do first. They may be personally rewarding, but at the end of the day all those other things we needed to do are still sitting there, waiting for a spot on next week’s list. Sometimes we need a little motivation. Run the clippers up the back of your head, and you’ll find time for that haircut. Trust me.

When my mother-in-law moved in, my wife’s sister knew that painting the inside of her closet would be low on my list of priorities. So, she slapped a wide patch of contrasting paint on the closet wall, then left the rest for me. Well, two can play that game. I think it’s about time she should paint her living room.

No, I wouldn’t do that to somebody else’s house. But sometimes, we do need that extra incentive to get things done. My business mentors have suggested getting an accountability partner. Somebody you trust enough to share your dreams, and who knows you well enough to call BS when you’re making excuses.

Share your goals. “By this day, I will (insert your favorite lie here).” Put it in writing, and then slip it into their pocket. Tell them to call you every week to see how you’re doing. You may be able to fake success on social media, but your accountability partner knows better. Sooner or later, you’ll either get on the ball or call it quits.

We have accountability partners on the job. We have them at home. And we have some we don’t even know in police cars and courtrooms. They all hold us to task, in one way or another. Find somebody who will do the same when it comes to your dreams, and you open a whole new world of opportunity.

Excuses make us feel better, but they don’t bring us any closer to our dreams. Make yourself accountable. Get things done. There will be plenty of time to rest when you’re finished.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Winter Blues? Time to Feed Your Dreams!

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

I was watching the news a few weeks ago, and they were talking about a rather odd challenge in south Florida. The local residents were being warned to watch overhead for iguanas falling out of the sky. Okay, out of trees, but when one of them hits you on the head, it doesn’t really matter where it started. You scream like a girl and run. Just me???

The problem is that iguanas are cold-blooded, and when outside temperatures get too cold, they go into a type of coma. Being tree-dwellers by nature, that’s where they go to get cold. And, not that I can speak from personal experience, but it’s a little hard to maintain a grip on tree limbs when you’re unconscious. Hence, the falling lizards.

Winter seems to have that effect on a lot of us. Okay, we’re warm-blooded so we don’t go into a coma. We just complain so much everybody wishes we would. Of all the things that can trigger a state of depression, weather ranks pretty high on the list. We may not fall out of trees, but we can certainly fall off our pedestal of nirvana. You have one of those, right?

Whether it’s too much heat, too much cold, too much rain, too much snow, or too much of whatever makes you unhappy at the moment, it gets old fast. Continual discomfort, of any kind, makes it a little hard to smile. Next thing you know, you’re biting the waiter’s head off for seating you under an air vent.

Depression affects us in a lot of ways. One of the more subtle symptoms is that it tends to wipe out our ability to dream. Oh, don’t get me wrong. People who are cold have no problem dreaming of someplace warm. But those dreams don’t usually involve exotic places like Tahiti. There’s a point where a heated barn looks good.

If you’ve ever seen Maslow’s Pyramid, it’s a pretty accurate depiction of the hierarchy of human needs. Down at the bottom you have basic survival. Take away oxygen, and nobody cares much about the stock market. Their needs immediately drop to the bottom of the pyramid. But as we climb out of that level, we find ourselves looking to increasingly self-serving interests.

Don’t take that one wrong. Self-serving, in this instance, doesn’t mean we don’t care about anybody around us. It just means we’re trying to enjoy a life that makes us feel worthy and fulfilled. And until we climb above all the lower-level minutiae that seems to consume our energy, we’ll never reach the top of the pyramid.

So, where does physical comfort fall in the hierarchy? Somewhere a little below our dreams. And if you buy into Maslow’s theory that we can never climb the pyramid until we resolve any issues at the foundational levels, it’s not hard to understand why we suffer what’s known as the winter blues. It’s not that we’re cold. It’s that we’re so cold nothing else matters.

Ask a person in the winter what they dream of, and they can probably tell you about a resort city somewhere in the tropics. But it’s not really a dream at that point – it’s a wish. Ask the same question in the springtime, when we’re not house-bound in the freezing cold, and they can get excited about it. Why? Because it feels a little more real.

Dreaming isn’t just letting our mind wander to faraway places and a life that’s somehow better than our own. That’s daydreaming. And while that’s a healthy escape from the stresses of the day, it’s not the kind of dreaming that leads to anything other than mindless thought. Dreaming – real dreaming that leads us to action, is a more deliberate process.

It’s not enough to just think about it. You have to visualize it. You have to see yourself in the dream, complete with all the sounds, tastes, and smells that let you know it’s real. Get pictures and put them where you’ll see them several times a day. Pick a place that goes with the dream. Got a picture of Tahiti? Put it on the wall next to the thermostat.

What kind of food and drinks would you enjoy in that tropical resort? You know, you can have them at home if you want. It’s legal. When I eat seafood, rum cake, or Key Lime pie, I’m not just thinking about the islands – I’m there. Can’t fake yourself out with food? Try some suntan lotion. Yes, indoors. In the winter. I dare you to smell that all day without thinking of the beach.

Nothing fights depression like dreams, but you have to feed your dreams to keep them alive. How you feed them is up to you – just do it. Don’t leave it to chance, and don’t wait for summer. Feed your dreams now, and you won’t be able to contain them later.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You Can Only Achieve What You’re Willing to Change

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

I think it was Mark Twain who said everybody complains about the weather, but nobody is doing anything about it. I thought about that yesterday as I drove for six hours through varying intensities of rain, only to arrive at our destination in time for the tornado warnings to go off. And I did pretty much the same thing everybody else does when that happens. I hunkered down and prayed.

And the whole time, I was thinking about family and friends in the great white north, battling blizzard conditions on top of a bed of ice. It sure makes the rain a little more palatable. In fact, if it were a little warmer, I might have gone outside to dance in the rain. I’m kidding. Anybody who has ever seen me dance knows how that would end. “Group, this is Dave. He’s going to be here awhile.”

But, back to the original issue – we complain about the weather, but we never do anything about it. You know, except complain more. “It’s too hot! It’s too cold! It’s muggy! I’m freezing! Who can drive in this stuff?” Whine, whine, whine. And we’re good at it, too!

The point Mark Twain was trying to make is that there’s nothing we can do about the weather. I beg to differ. We can move. Having lived in two completely different climates, I’ll take hot over cold any day. Never once have I had to go outside and shovel sunshine. Besides, that’s why God made swimming pools.

Yet, when you suggest that to somebody who’s miserable in their current surroundings, they can immediately come up with a laundry list of reasons why change isn’t practical. “This is where my roots are. I hate my job, but it pays the bills. The house is too small, but it’s all I can afford. Besides, the kids …” Yeah, if all else fails, blame it on the kids. They’re not listening anyway.

Change is hard. It’s scary. It’s stressful. It takes planning, and preparation, and accepting the possibility of failure. “What if I end up worse off than I am now?” That’s a very real fear, and not without basis. Failure doesn’t just happen on its own. We have to try something first, and sometimes we crash & burn. That’s all part of it.

Would a new job offer better possibilities than the one you have today? Maybe. Could the company decide to restructure and get rid of all the new folks? Yep. It happens every day. The same is true of just about any change we decide to make, whether it’s moving to another state, taking a promotion, starting a business, or buying a car. All you can do is roll the dice and hope for the best.

Change never comes without risk. Get over it. If you want safe & sound, just keep doing what you’ve been doing. At least you can count on that, right? Until the company shuts down, the market crashes, a tornado wipes out the neighborhood, or somebody pretends to be you and cleans out the bank. I don’t worry about that one. If anybody ever steals my identity, they’ll give it back. Trust me.

Sure, change is scary. Almost as scary as staying the same. The most successful people in the world have dreams, things they’d like to achieve or some change that would make life even better. The difference is, they’ve already embraced change, which is why they’re so successful to begin with. Success isn’t a talent we’re born with. It’s a mindset we develop over the course of a lifetime.

Success is nothing more than some level of dissatisfaction with the way things are, and a willingness to do something about it. Every modern convenience was borne of somebody’s dissatisfaction with the status quo. Every job was created because somebody saw a need and did something to fill it. And every beach house was built because somebody said, “That’s where I want to live!”

If there’s something you want, some change that would make life more enjoyable, what are you waiting for? Do something about it! I’m not suggesting you just chuck it all, abandon the house, and go live on the beach. But if living on the beach fits your dreams, then make it happen. Save some money. Start a business. Find a better job. Put the wheels in motion today. That part you can control.

Change makes all things possible. Roadblocks turn into speed bumps and obstacles become launch pads. We may not be able to choose the changes that are required, but we can decide which ones we’re willing to make. Embrace change, and destiny is no longer a matter of fate – it’s whatever we want it to be.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Is Health a Part of Your Dreams?

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

One of the last things I promised my dad, while he was still coherent enough to understand, was that I’d lose weight and get healthy. Granted, we had differing ideas on exactly how that’s done. Dad was always a firm believer that weight is 100% related to what goes in your mouth. I tend to believe it takes a combination of both diet and exercise. Which is why I’m still fat.

Not because I’m wrong – but because that’s two disciplines at once, each a beast of its own and a tall mountain to climb. I can modify my eating. I can exercise. But doing both at once is like standing on my head while juggling chainsaws. Sooner or later, you grab a Big Mac by the wrong end and fall completely off the wagon. And once you do, it’s all so easy to go back to old habits.

Just before he went into the hospital, Dad’s doctor gave him a diet and Dad decided it would be the magic elixir to restore my health, vitality, and youth. The only problem is that diet included no red meat – ever. Okay, I know red meat isn’t the best thing for your health. But Dave without any red meat isn’t good for anybody’s health. Trust me on that.

Years ago, I lost 40 pounds. I was going to the gym most days, and my diet consisted of a modified version of what I’d been eating. By modified, I don’t necessarily mean abbreviated, though smaller portions were part of my strategy. I just made a few small changes, things I could live with for the long-term. You know, until I wasn’t living with them anymore.

I didn’t fall off the program because I got bored with it, or it was too hard to follow. By then, I truly enjoyed working out and didn’t miss any of the things I’d given up in my daily consumption. But life has a way of throwing a knuckleball when you least expect it. In my case, it was the birth of a granddaughter, and all the subsequent evenings in the hospital, complete with fast-food dinners.

It’s been said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, and several weeks to fully accept it. Old habits, on the other hand, can be picked up in twelve seconds flat. That’s how long it took me to wolf down that first hot & juicy (translate – lukewarm & greasy) cheeseburger. Throw in a large order of fries (it was going to be a long night) and I was right back where I started. Four months later, so was my weight.

So, why is a motivational writer talking about health and fitness? Because health and fitness are a big part of a complete and fulfilling life. That’s not to say sick and disabled people can’t be happy – they can, and many have learned to enjoy an abundant life despite the challenges. But I think every one of them will tell you they’d rather be healthy as well.

Dreams, the kind that motivate us to get up and do something, rarely involve sitting in the sand as everybody else is racing into the water. Few people have visions of rolling down the boardwalk in a wheelchair or cruising the campground on a mobility scooter. We want to walk, and climb, and run, and dance. Okay, maybe not so much running. It’s not as fun as it looks.

Does that mean a strict diet with smells and flavors that would make a catfish vomit? Does it mean running (literally) to the gym every morning for a three-hour workout followed by tofu bacon and cream of quinoa? Does it mean celery sticks for lunch and a protein shake for dinner before the evening run? No. But it does mean making a few sensible choices.

Those choices begin in the grocery store, and end on a dinnerplate. They begin with turning off the TV and taking an evening walk instead. They begin with eating healthier foods and supplementing to make up the difference. It’s about habits – things we do without even thinking about them. And the best way to form healthy habits is to make small changes and build from there.

Some habits need more of a big-bang approach, like smoking and drinking where cold-turkey is often the best way to go. But for other habits, especially those that aren’t inherently unhealthy (you know, like eating), small changes can get you on the right track. Once you get used to those changes, add in something new. One step at a time, one day at a time. One win at a time.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Make Money or Make Excuses – You Can’t Do Both

Good morning! I hope your day is starting off nicely.

Well, the verdict is in. Our washing machine has a faulty RF line filter. Unless you’re into electrical stuff, that means nothing. In layman’s terms, it’s fried. And it may or may not be my fault. That all depends who’s paying the bill. I say it was defective, but the manufacturer may have other ideas. All I know is that repairman sure knows his stuff. And the bill reflects it. $523 just to tell me it’s broken. Wow.

The good news is we can get it fixed. Next week. Which means all the dirty clothes that were in it are back in the closet. The nice thing about camping is that people don’t notice smells quite as much. That’s probably due to the multitude of odors that are so prevalent in campgrounds. Like the smell that hit my wife’s nose when I emptied our tanks this morning. Phew! By comparison, I smell fine.

Yes, we’ll have to find a laundromat today. Always have a plan B, right? And a little extra in the bank, because none of these things are cheap. A friend once told me that emergencies have no regard for your dreams, but they know exactly how much you have in savings and the estimate will always come in just a little higher. Can I get an amen?

Thankfully, we’ve got this one covered. Ten years ago, a similar repair would have brought us to our knees. A recent survey revealed that only 39% of adults could afford an unexpected $1000 expense. And for many of them that expense would wipe out their savings completely. Well, guess what? With $250 “service fees” and labor at $135 an hour, you can blow through $1000 in an instant.

Financial experts suggest we should have enough money in savings to cover 3-6 months of living expenses. We’ve all heard that, and we’ve all said the same thing. “On what planet???” You might as well tell us to grow wings and fly. Sure, that looks good on paper. But when you’re barely making ends meet, it’s a little hard to fathom.

Yet, when you ask people why they don’t make more, they pretty much say the same thing … “If I knew how, I would!” Okay, so let me show you how. “Well, yeah, but I don’t have the time for something like that. I’m too busy already. And my brother-in-law said his neighbor’s cousin tried something similar and failed. Besides, I’m up for a cost-of-living raise in a few months. We’ll be fine after that.” Really?

Thankfully for some people, excuses are cheap. Otherwise, they’d go broke just telling you why they’re going broke. If $10 were deducted from their bank account every time they uttered a lame excuse, they’d be overdrawn by dinnertime. And then they’d whine about the overdraft charges. When, all along, they could have used the same amount of energy to actually fix the problem.

You can make money or make excuses – but you can never do both. I didn’t dream that one up. It’s been around a while, but it’s as true today as ever. And sooner or later, we all have to answer this question – which one will make your life better? Which one will make the problems go away? Excuses may buy you some time, but sooner or later you’ll have to pony up. Or give up. It’s your life.

You know one thing you almost never hear? “I make enough – I don’t need any more.” We ALL need more. Things can change in an instant, and what we know today may not be what we’ll live tomorrow. And even if things don’t change, is there nothing else in life you want that you don’t already have? “Sure, if I had the money!” Seems this is right where we started.

We all think our situation will change with time, but it never works out that way. Pay off the car, and it needs repairs. Pay off the house, and the kids are headed to college. Pay off college, and the kids are having grandkids. Get a promotion, and your property tax goes up. Get all that under control, and it’s time to retire. You know, on half-pay (if you’re lucky). And that’s when the medical bills get real.

The question is, what will you do about it? Will you fix the problem, or spend your days in a rocking chair explaining that it’s the best chair you can afford? There are dozens of ways to make more money, and just as many excuses for why you can’t. Take control now, and you won’t need those excuses. Open your mind, and you may find the answer right there waiting for you.

Money can’t fix everything, and there’s something to be said for enjoying what we have. But sooner or later, you’ll need more. We all do. Fix the problem today, and you won’t even have to think about it tomorrow.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Be Proud of What You Do!

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

Yesterday, my wife went to wash clothes and the washing machine wouldn’t turn on. Simple enough. I checked the circuit breaker, and sure enough, it was tripped. Having spent 20 years as an electronics technician, I know tripped breakers are typically a symptom, not a cause. There’s usually something else wrong. I turned it back on and we immediately smelled smoke. Yeah, not so simple anymore.

My washing machine at home is easy to get to. I can pull it out and walk all the way around. In an RV, you need arms as long as Wilt Chamberlain’s, and as skinny as Peewee Herman’s. I don’t qualify on either account. But, as it turns out, there is a third option – somebody who knows how to disassemble the entire back half of the motorhome and set the washing machine in the bathroom door.

There was a time when I did all my own repairs. Rather, I should say, I attempted them. It was a skill borne of necessity. When you can’t afford a professional, you grab a few tools, expose a little butt crack, and make do. If you’re gonna do the job, you have to dress the part, right? Of course, by the time you’re done replacing all the parts you messed up yourself, it would have been cheaper to hire Bubba.

My grandson is at that age where he needs to earn a living, but he’s not quite sure what he wants to be when he grows up. He’ll be 21 next month. And he’s engaged. I’d say it’s about time to start figuring this out. My advice has always been to find something you can enjoy, because you’ll be doing it for a long, long time. Find something that can’t be outsourced, and you can continue doing it a long, long time.

I grew up at a time when there was a little less respect for those professions where you actually need a shower at the end of the day, like mechanics, carpenters, and plumbers. Tell people you spent your days hanging off the back of a garbage truck and you were the life of the party. You know, the moment you left the room.

Jeff Foxworthy once joked that his sister was so proud of her son because he pointed to the sky and said, “Airpwane!” He said, “Well, I would hope so! He’s 13 years old! That boy is gonna have a job with his name on his shirt!” Okay, I’ve had a few of those jobs. At least I used my real name. Not like calling Customer Service and a guy who can barely speak English says, “Hello! My name is Steve!” Right.

Still, there’s always been that stigma about careers that are a little less glamorous than others. But let me tell you, when my drainpipes stop working, a plumber is worth whatever he charges to clean that mess out. Sure, he goes home smelling like whatever was inside those pipes. But ten minutes in the shower, and he’s good as new. Meanwhile, I’m trying to figure out which bills to put off.

I think we put way too much emphasis on how others perceive our chosen profession. I have one of those “respectable” jobs and, thankfully, it’s something I love. But I’ve been a truck driver, a marine carpenter, a carpet cleaner, a paper boy, a bowling alley mechanic, and even a pizza delivery guy, among others. And you know what? The money all looks and spends the same.

I’m in a business that’s often used as a punchline, especially by people who never had the ambition to try it themselves. But it’s something I enjoy, where I’m able to reach my own goals by helping others do the same. I’m not wealthy, but I could be. And at the end of the day, I can go to sleep feeling good about what I do. Do other people get a chuckle out of it? Sure. That’s their problem, not mine.

Be proud of what you do, but for the right reasons. Not because it makes somebody else happy, but because it makes you happy. Be proud because you’re good at it. Be proud because it’s an honest living. Be proud because you’re willing to get up and go to work every day at a job not everybody else could, or would, do. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks – your opinion is the only one that counts.

It’s been said that if you find a job doing something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I’m not so sure about that, but if you have to work anyway, wouldn’t you rather do something you can enjoy? Consider opinions, but don’t let anybody else steal your dreams. They’re too important. And so are you.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Don’t Let Time Keep You From Your Dreams

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

For those of us who work weekdays, this is Friday Eve. Okay, that’s not an official term, but it does offer a glimmer of hope toward the end of a long week. Not that there’s any such thing as a long week – they all have 168 hours, unless you cross time zones. Or maybe there’s no such thing as a short week. Hmmm. Is the glass half-full or half-empty? Maybe we just need a taller glass.

Welcome to the mindless ramblings of somebody who didn’t get enough sleep last night. I’d check my Fitbit’s sleep tracker, but it says I need an update. Yes, I know that. Dave 2.0 is getting slower by the day, and apparently needs some memory upgrades as well. And what’s with this constant shoulder pain? This was not in the book. I think I want a refund.

When I was younger, Mom would always tell me “Stop wishing your life away!” That was usually in response to my impatience waiting for Christmas or my next birthday. Every kid looks forward to those things. But her point was solid. Wishing for another day to arrive is essentially the same as wishing to skip this one entirely. Do that often enough, and you can miss out on a lot.

And to be fair, there are days we’d rather skip. Tell me I have to go in for a colonoscopy, and that’s a day I’d gladly give up. Or Tax Day. Why couldn’t that be on Friday the 13th? Nobody liked that one anyway. Still, Friday is a day of celebration. Except Good Friday. The only Friday with “Good” in its name is the most somber day of the year. Even my preacher stays inside and prays.

Okay, I’m getting way off track here. That’s what happens when you don’t sleep. I should call my grandson and let him lecture me about it. He’d be happy to throw some pay-back my way. Of course, sleep isn’t a problem for him. He’s out of bed by noon every day. Well, most days. At least he has an excuse. I haven’t partied like that since 1983. Friday is a big deal to him as well.

It’s natural to look forward to things we enjoy. And after the better part of a week on the job, a couple of days off looks pretty attractive. Even if we don’t have anything planned, it’s a couple of days to start a little later, move a little slower, and rest a little longer. At least that’s what the boss thinks. For most of us, the weekend is more hectic than the days we actually get paid to work.

But at the end of the weekend, what’s the first thing we say? “It was too short.” Again, it was the same two days we get every week – a total of about 63 hours from clock-out to clock-in. But it seems we never have enough hours to do all the things we put off until the weekend, plus play with the kids, do laundry, mow the lawn, buy groceries, and paint the front porch. Tired yet?

And the problem is, at the end of that weekend, we still don’t feel like we got anything done. A good portion of what was on our list Saturday morning remains for next weekend because a dozen other things crept in and took up all our time. Is it any wonder our dreams go unfulfilled?

Dreams take time. Depending on what you want, it could take years to achieve. Even when we think we could have it done in six months, that’s six months of working at it regularly. Like every day. And that’s what stops most of us from ever getting started. Just carving out 8-10 hours a week can be a real challenge, especially when we focus on the entire 8-10 hours. Who has time for that?

But more often than not, we can put in those 8-10 hours an hour or two at a time. Nobody is asking you to carve out that much time in a single day, or even a single weekend. But if you really try, it’s not hard to find an hour or two in the evening a few times a week or maybe over lunch. Do that, and you’re more than halfway there. Once that’s behind you, finding a few more hours is a breeze.

Unless you prioritize your dreams, they’ll never come to fruition. Life is hectic. We’re all busy. But finding that time now, while you’re still young enough to go on a little less sleep, can make all the difference in the world later. You enjoy weekends? Who doesn’t? Put in a little effort now, and weekends could become a fulltime occupation. That’s what I’m working for. How about you?

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Nice Goal! But What’s In It For You?

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

I need to go shopping. I know, that’s not something men say very often. But I need a suit. One that actually fits. I’ve got plenty of jackets with non-matching pants, but the buttons won’t close and the pants are mix and match. You know, like navy blue against plaid, or vice-versa. Fashion has never been my thing. My wife can attest to that.

I’ve been talking about buying a suit for years. “When I finally lose this weight, I’m gonna buy myself a nice suit.” It finally occurred to me that, if I’d just bought the suit the first time I thought about it, the damn thing would still fit, and it would probably be worn out by now. Can I get an amen?

How often do we do that? We condition one goal on another, as some sort of reward for doing something we know deep down we’ll never do. But who wants to buy a nice suit right before they lose weight? Then you just have to give it away and go buy another one. Boo-hoo! I doubt many women would even give that a moment of thought. “I lose weight AND get to go shopping? Yeah!”

So, as a consequence, I’ve spent the past 20 years going to dressy functions looking like I just stepped out of the Goodwill store. And, for good reason. I think that’s exactly where most of my suit jackets came from. Not that there’s anything wrong with them, or shopping at Goodwill. They’re in pretty good shape. And, according to my wife, thirty years ago they were right in style.

But let’s be honest. Men’s fashions don’t change much. From year to year, they pretty much stay the same. Okay, the powder-blue leisure suit I wore for my high-school senior picture is a little dated, and the white shoes & belt would draw a few laughs. But the jeans I buy today look exactly like the ones I bought in 1976. They’re just a lot bigger.

Okay, back to the original point – conditioning something we want on a goal we may or may not ever achieve. We think it’s motivating. Doctors even feed us that crap. “Promise yourself you’ll buy a new article of clothing for every ten pounds you lose.” Okay, but do I have to return it when I gain the weight back? I’ve lost the same ten pounds a hundred times. Give me a break!

There is something to be said for dangling a carrot on a stick, especially when you’re trying to do something challenging or unpleasant. And let’s be real, dieting is not at the top of our list of dreams. Losing weight, sure. That’s the pleasant part. I tried telling myself that if I’d eat right for six months, I’d reward myself with a lower bathroom scale reading. The scale had other ideas.

Now, ask me if I actually ate right for six months. No, don’t. We both know the answer to that one. I know what I need to do, but doing it takes a little more willpower. And that’s especially true when the reward part isn’t materializing the way we’d planned. “Ten pounds this month, ten pounds next month, nine the month after that, by Christmas I’ll be back in onesies!” Right.

Rewards are an important part of goals as long as the goal is realistic, and the reward is proportional to the effort. A new car may motivate you to make a few phone calls to build your business, but if those phone calls only net an extra $4 profit, that’s not going to buy much of a car. On the other hand, it’s not realistic to think a few extra phone calls will quadruple your income.

But a couple of phone calls a day, over the span of a few months, could set the wheels in motion for something much bigger than you’d ever imagined. A couple of hours each week learning a new skill could put you in line for a promotion later in the year. And, according to my doctor, if I lose a pound a week, I’ll eventually get to my goal weight. Too bad I didn’t start that two years ago.

It’s the small changes that make the biggest difference. But we have to repeat them every day, without fail. That takes patience. It takes faith. It takes constantly reminding ourselves why we’re doing it in the first place. And that’s where the reward comes in. What will YOU get out of this? What will be YOUR reward when it’s all over?

Get a picture of that reward and hang it someplace you’ll see it several times every day. And if you need a suit sooner or your car dies before you reach that goal, do what you have to do. But keep working toward the goal. Find another reward, something even better. Now that you know how to achieve those rewards, the sky is the limit!

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You’re Either Building Your Own Dreams, or Somebody Else’s

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

Yesterday I posted about Groundhog Day, and I made a mistake. I caught it later in the day but decided to leave it there to see who would point it out. Nobody did. So, given that the groundhog saw his shadow today and we all agreed (apparently) that means an early spring, I say let’s make it a decree. Otherwise, we’re stuck with six more weeks of winter.

Now, I know some of you like winter. According to a travel industry survey, 23% of adults prefer to spend their time in winter destinations. That’s almost one in four. I found another statistic that says about a million babies each year are dropped on their head at birth. Coincidence? I think not.

That said, if you like playing in the snow – if that’s what you dream of while the rest of us are dreaming of sunny days on the beach – more power to you. Get out there and enjoy it. Because the groundhog says you only have six more weeks before it’s gone, and the groundhog is never wrong. You know, except those times when he really is wrong. Which, as it turns out, is about half the time.

I read something the other day that stuck in my mind. “If you don’t chase your own dreams, somebody else will hire you to chase theirs.” That may not be an exact quote, but it’s close enough. Most of those people flying north in ski clothing instead of clocking in at the office have one thing in common. You know, aside from being dropped on their head.

Years ago, I spent my days building and refurbishing luxury motor yachts for people who made a whole lot more money than me. My first day on the job, I helped a captain find a box of Waterford crystal that was covered up in a corner. He was frantic. Not as frantic as I was when I found out what was in that box. Ten minutes earlier, I’d been kneeling on it. Total cost for that box – $15,000.

Every day, really expensive boats would cruise past, driven by people my age who apparently didn’t have to work that day. And most of them probably made more money that day than I made in a year. They were out enjoying their dream because they paid somebody else to make it possible. You know, somebody like me.

Now, it would be easy to belittle somebody like that for taking advantage of us poor folks, living a life of luxury while I went home smelling like sawdust and turpentine. But let’s be real. If it weren’t for people like that who can afford to live their dreams, I’d have been sitting in an unemployment line waiting for the next rich guy to come along.

As long as you’re working for somebody else, you’re making them more money than they’re paying you. That’s just the way it is. And if they can get a dozen people like you to make them a little bit of money each, it adds up. Give them a hundred or so more, and they’re making money while they sleep. I tried that once. I got fired.

Okay, I’m kidding. I’ve never fallen asleep on the job. Not as far as the boss knows. But you get the point. Almost 90% of us work for somebody else or are self-employed in a small business that requires our daily participation. And somebody much higher up the ladder is earning a premium on our work. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. But the bottom line is, we’re worth more.

So, it stands to reason that if you want to be on the receiving end of that equation, you need to start a business of your own and build a team of people whose efforts contribute toward your income. In most businesses, that means employees. And who wants the headache of dealing with that every day? Not me!

But what if you could build that same team of people, except instead of making them work to support your dreams, you helped them build their own? Sure, you’d get a small cut, and the bigger your team, the bigger that cut would be. But instead of sending people home smelling like sawdust and turpentine, you’d lead them closer to their dream.

In his bestselling book, Robert Kiyosaki named network marketing as “The Business of the 21st Century.” It’s a business model that works, simply because it’s based on mutual benefit. Do the people at the top make the most money? Sure. Just like in every other company. The difference is the people at the bottom can increase their own income any time they want.

Network marketing is one of many ways you can build an income that supports your own dreams instead of somebody else’s. Is it right for you? Only you can answer that. But it might be worth a closer look if your income continues to fall short of your dreams.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved