Don’t Stop Now – You May Be Closer Than You Think

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

“Trust me.” Those two words can evoke a multitude of different emotions, largely dependent on who’s doing the talking. “You have nothing to worry about. Everything will be alright.” Are you feeling that little twitch in the pit of your stomach? It usually means one of two things. Either there truly is nothing to fear, or we’ve completely overlooked the most immediate danger. That last one can bite hard.

As I shut down for the day last Thursday, I did so knowing that my employment contract was expiring in a few short hours. I also knew a contract extension was in the works, but not yet formalized. You know how these things go. Nobody is in a hurry until the clock runs out. Unless you’re the one waiting for some reasonable assurance you still have a job. Then it can’t happen quickly enough.

For what it’s worth, I’m planning to continue working this week, with only intestinal reassurance that I’ll continue to be paid. Yes, it’s a leap of faith. But I believe in my managers, even when they utter those dreaded words, “Trust me.” Sometimes, you have to look beyond the obvious and have confidence in what’s waiting down the road. Like dessert. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

I have little doubt most of you came into the new year with dreams for a brighter future. Hopefully you’ve transformed some of those dreams into actionable goals. You know, specific tasks you plan to accomplish by some self-imposed deadline. Unless your goal is simply to pay this months’ bills. In that case, the deadline has been pretty much established for you.

Okay, so let’s assume you have a goal. Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for it to magically happen, right? You know, it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve tried that approach, it never seems to work. I guess I’m just not wishing hard enough. I know what I want is attainable, because I’ve met people who have done it and they’re no smarter than me. Yet, they all say the same thing. Get busy!

Then they utter those dreaded words – “Trust me, Dave. Keep doing the work and the results will come.” Okay, when? Next week? Next month? Next year? And please, while we’re at it, define “results.” Seems to me failure is one of two possible results. Sure, success is another possibility, but between the two there are a whole lot of other potential outcomes. Which one is at the end of my rainbow?

If you nodded your head even once in those last two paragraphs, welcome to my world. Trust is a difficult thing, especially when what you want is pretty far out there and you’re not seeing immediate results. And then, as if you needed any discouragement at all, you can always count on somebody you admire to rub a little salt on the wound. “Are you still wasting your time with that? Get a life!”

Well, the best things in life don’t always come easily. In fact, the greater the reward, the harder you’ll have to work to achieve it. And you may never fully achieve the exact level of success you desire. If you want guarantees, send in a stale bag of chips for a refund. But one thing you can be sure of – unless you’re willing to put forth some extra effort, you’ve already reached the pinnacle of your success.

It was Thomas Jefferson who said that to have something you’ve never had you must do something you’ve never done. What old Tom forgot to mention is that, more often than not, you have to keep doing it. If you’ve ever played a musical instrument, you understand this concept. If you’ve ever allowed your kid to pick up a violin or brass instrument in the confines of your home, your reward is in Heaven.

It’s not enough to just take the first step. You have to keep on stepping. At first, it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels. Nothing goes according to plan. But, as a friend often says, ninety percent of what you try will never work, but that other ten percent will make you rich. And here’s the thing – none of us can control when that ten percent kicks in. It happens when it happens.

It’s hard to keep going when you’re not seeing results. Sometimes you have to work through a lot of failures to find success, and success almost never comes on a linear path. There will be curves, potholes, detours, and roadblocks, but the journey continues as long as you keep trying. Trust yourself and trust your plan. It may not happen as quickly as you’d hoped. But none of that matters once you get there.

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

© 2021 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Invest Your Time Wisely and You’ll Have More to Spend Later

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

I’d ask what you’ve got planned for the weekend, but I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of shopping, cleaning, and laundry. Or, what the boss affectionately refers to as “rest.” I’ve never quite understood that. We work all week so we can take two days off and work even harder? I think somebody’s been spiking the Kool Aid.

I try to do laundry during the week. I work in the basement anyway, so it’s not really any extra trouble. Yes, I said that out loud, with full knowledge that my wife may actually read this. That’s okay. She cooks and vacuums and sprays air freshener every time I walk through the room. I’m beginning to think that has something to do with me.

I don’t see how single people do it. I mean, yeah … there’s only one person making a mess so there’s only one person to clean up after. Half the people, half the mess, right? Wrong! That logic completely overlooks the dust that collects on every surface, upside-down or right side-up. I get how dust settles on tables and shelves. But how does it “settle” on the bottom of the bed?

And while we’re at it, how do windows get dirty when nobody is touching them? My grandkids leave fingerprints now and then, and the cat licks the front door glass. Don’t get me started on that one. But I’m talking about places they can’t reach. Places I can’t even reach. I think it’s the residue from all that air freshener.

Okay, I have absolutely no idea where I’m going with this. My weekend will largely consist of ordering components to attach to the new car so we can tow it behind the RV. Which means taking a set of tools to a brand-new car to install those components. Those tools include a drill and a saw. Don’t ask. My wife isn’t allowed to be home while I do that.

Don’t get me wrong. She knows I can do the work. I’ve done a lot of work on our cars over the years, and never once has she actually hit anything as a result. Still, there’s something about hitching a brand-new car to the RV using brackets that I installed at home, and then dragging it halfway across the country. Hopefully, “dragging” is a metaphor. That could be bad.

So, there’s a really busy weekend in my future. The instructions say it’ll take three hours. That’s three hours for a body shop mechanic with a lift that goes up and down on a whim, and a chest full of air tools that never break. For me, it’s six days. I learned my lesson when I decided to do a bathroom remodel “over the weekend.” That was ten years ago, and it’s still not done.

Thankfully I have another car out front that I can drive to the hardware store fourteen times while the new car is strewn across the driveway in pieces that will inevitably get stepped on or lost. And I’ll end up buying a whole new set of tools by the time it’s finished, one tool at a time. Over the years I’ve collected enough tools to build a space shuttle. I just can’t find them.

I remember announcing a few years ago that I’d never crawl under a car again. Then I saw the estimate to have this done professionally, and that sentiment went right out the window. Besides, there’s something to be said for knowing how it was done. You know, in case I ever need to go back later and fix what wasn’t done right the first time. Like that ever happens.

I’ve had a little fun with this, but you get the idea. Sometimes, a job is the reprieve we get from all that resting the boss thinks we do every weekend. Unless you’re independently wealthy, keeping up a home and car takes work. And even with your best effort, something will come along and mess things up when you need it the least. That’s life.

All we can hope for is to keep the major chores to a minimum and maintain as we go. Yes, maintenance takes time. But it takes less time to polish than it takes to refinish. Mopping is easier than scrubbing, and oil changes are easier than rebuilding an engine. Sure, it’s still work. But it’s less work. And all that extra work gives you more time down the road.

More time for what? Well, hopefully there are some things you’d like to do for yourself. You have goals and dreams, right? But you never have time to do anything about it? Well, now you do. Put in a little extra effort today so you’ll have a little more time tomorrow. Then spend that time on yourself. You’re the one who earned it.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Well, You’ve Got It … Now What?

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

My wife and I just joined an online RV owners’ group. It’s a great way to see what everybody else is doing this summer while ours is in the shop. There’s pictures, stories, and recipes guaranteed to clog your arteries just by reading them. If nothing else, we’re building a fairly sizeable list of all the places we want to go. You know … when the work is done.

We knew with a brand-new RV, things would need adjustment. I didn’t count on the valance over the dining room window crashing down while I was driving, but that’s all part of the experience. So, the dealer says. It woke me up. Every time we hit the road we find something else that needs to be fixed. And with every trip to the shop, we find something else they missed.

Actually, I think they’re probably doing a better job this time. Last time we took it in, the repairs were done in a few hours. This time, I introduced the service manager to Dave. I’m not an overly demanding person, but I do expect things to be done right. Especially knowing that, sooner or later, I’ll be sleeping under the valance that’s hanging over the couch. It’s inevitable.

It’s been in a little over a week this time, and we’ve used the time to pick up a few more items that we need for long-term camping. You know, towels, tools, and an antenna for the satellite radio that was factory-installed without an antenna. Oh, they would have installed one at delivery, but it would have cost more than a month in a beachfront RV resort. I can do it for six bucks.

We’ve also used the time to start thinking about where we want to go next. That’s the fun part of having something that can go pretty much anywhere. Except Hawaii. That bridge still isn’t done. But, within the limits of the AT&T coverage map (I still have to earn a living), we can go wherever there are roads. Paved roads. Reasonably level paved roads. And wide. Really wide.

Handing me a map is like handing a kid twenty dollars and turning them loose in a penny candy store. Okay, I’m showing my age. Penny candy stores are about as common as a Waffle House with no health code violations. But you get the idea. There are just so many places to go, each one better than the last. Until you get there, but that’s why God made RVs with wheels.

I was telling some friends a couple of months ago that the RV has been a dream for several years. But once we got it, I realized the RV itself wasn’t the dream – it was the means by which we can achieve an even greater dream. It’s a vehicle to get us where we want to go, and a bed to sleep in when we get there. All the rest is fluff. Including that dining room window valance.

And the thing is, we dreamed about that motorhome until it finally occurred to us why we wanted it so badly. It’s not enough to know what you want – you have to know why you want it. Once you’ve figured that out, and can put your focus on the “why,” you’re that much closer to making it happen. So close, in fact, that all you have to do is reach out and grab it.

Okay, so there’s a little work involved. There’s work involved in everything, including … well, work. We do it every day, whether it’s around the house or around the office. There’s no escaping work. The key is to find something worth working for.

We’ll always work for the essentials, like food, shelter, and bourbon. But when you find something you want badly enough to do a little extra work, you don’t even mind doing it. In fact, you look for excuses to do more. And isn’t that what work should be? Yes, take care of your job and pay the bills. But come on, there’s more to life than just that!

So, for us, the dream has shifted from buying an RV to getting it out of the shop and on the road. A month ago, I said I wanted to spend more on camping fees than storage fees. After our last trip, I can amend that to say I want to spend more on camping fees than gas. That means finding someplace nice and staying a while. Yes, it’s a dream. It’s our dream. What’s yours?

Before you go to bed tonight, take a few moments to think about the things that excite you. Then dig a little deeper and ask yourself why. When you can put your finger on the reason for your dreams, you’ll find the way to make them happen.

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

You’ve Earned a Break … But Don’t Overdo It

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

I had a really productive weekend. I trimmed shrubs, sawed up branches, set two nine-foot posts for a new gate, and gave the RV a bath. That’s a lot for an old guy like me. I can’t say I did quite as much as my grandson, but I paid him for helping so that counts. Right?

Something I learned a long time ago about home ownership. Things break. Things need adjustment, lights need to be replaced, and there’s always something to clean. And for anything that escapes those troubles, get a bucket of paint. I have twelve almost-empty cans of paint in the garage. I don’t care about saving the paint – I just want the color numbers.

See, that’s something else I learned. It’s good to save the color numbers in case the grandkids do what grandkids are known to do, and you have to paint again. But the empty can is just taking up space. I could just as easily save the numbers in my computer. Besides, by the time it needs to be painted again, my wife will want a different color anyway.

Her motto has always been, “It’s only paint – if you don’t like the color, you can always paint over it.” Loosely translated, that means “If I don’t like the color, you can always paint over it.” Our living room wall started off clinical white. Then it was red, and now it’s blue and tan. I may be missing one or two. After 18 years and all those paint fumes, my memory is a little hazy.

But that’s the way it is. There’s always something to be done. Same with the RV – it’s just a smaller house. I did a couple of repairs on it yesterday as well. Yes, it’s only three months old. Most houses hold up better. But most houses don’t bounce down the road, either. On our last trip, some hardware fell on my wife’s head. Twice. I couldn’t have planned it better if I tried.

On the home front, I’m in the process of building a new gate. The old one is falling apart, and I can’t get into the back yard without a territorial challenge from the dogs next-door. All six of them. And one is a St. Bernard that’s about to topple the fence. So, I need a new gate that’ll open in the middle and keep us a little further away. That’ll work until the fence falls down.

Granted, the gate I’m building costs a little more than buying one at the store, but it’ll look a lot nicer. Besides, setting those two posts in concrete yesterday taught me a couple of valuable lessons. First, posthole diggers suck. That’s a lot of work, especially when you hit concrete from the old fence posts. And second, privacy fences need a LOT of posts. Not going there.

But mostly, I’m doing this myself because I need the exercise. Sure, I could pay somebody to do it for me, but that gets expensive. And meanwhile, I’m getting weak. Not really frail, but those packs of bottled water are getting really heavy. And we won’t even talk about the bags of water softener salt. I don’t carry them down the stairs. I drag them.

It’s all part of the aging process, but it’s a part in which I choose not to participate. There are things I want to do with my life and sitting around in a wheelchair isn’t part of the dream. But, as we age, we have two choices. We can either stay fairly active and maintain adequate strength, or pick out a nursing home before the kids do it for us.

And most of the time, we can get the exercise we need by just taking care of things around the house. If nothing needs to be done, look again. And if you still can’t find anything to do, take a walk. Take the kids to a park. Go swimming. Play a round of golf. If you play like I do, you’ll get a LOT of extra steps in, plus a little cross-country hiking as well. Maybe even a swim.

Gyms are great, if that’s your thing, but all it really takes is a little movement. Just doing the routine things that need to be done – shopping, cleaning, mowing, sweeping, and occasionally building a new gate. Throw in a little recreational exercise, and you’re good to go. Sure, you’ll still get old, and you’ll still feel it. But you won’t feel it as soon, and maybe not quite as much.

Like most things in life, it’s all about small steps repeated over time. Whether your goal is to build strength, improve your health, build a business, or build a house, it all starts with a commitment to get started and keep moving. It may take time – maybe even the rest of your life. But isn’t that really the idea?

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

© 2020 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

The Mood Won’t Strike Until You Poke It

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

Imagine, if you will, a surgeon with a patient on the table, doing what surgeons do. The patient is asleep, the incisions have been made, and the heart is fully exposed. Halfway through one of the most delicate procedures known to man, the surgeon puts down his scalpel, pulls off his mask, and says, “Sorry folks – I’m just not in the groove today. I’m gonna let this one slide. Go tell the family.”

I don’t believe that’s ever actually happened, but it would certainly change the day for several people, least of all the person clinging to life on the operating table. But you have to wonder how many times the surgeon was a little more tired than normal or had an argument with his wife before leaving for work. The patient has no idea, but it’s likely the surgeon isn’t at his very best that day.

No matter how good we are at what we do, there will always be days when we’re just not fully up to par. And it would be easy to just go back to bed until we feel more energized. But we know from experience that, when we put things on hold because we’re not fully in the mood, that mood never gets any stronger. We just waste the day beating ourselves up for not doing anything.

If you do that on the job, you’ll probably be invited to sit down with the boss for a one-on-one chat. The first time may be friendly and constructive, but if it happens too many times you’ll find yourself looking for someplace else to spend your days. Employers are pesky about these things. They pretty much expect our best every day.

But when it comes to your own priorities, those dreams that make you smile and inspire visions of a happier life, you’re in business for yourself. You’re the CEO, the CFO, the Vice President of Marketing, the Production Manager, and the company’s sole employee. Nothing gets done unless you do it yourself.

So, here’s the question … if you were paying yourself to work toward your dreams, would you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth? Or would you call yourself into the office, lay down the law, and issue an ultimatum? I think, if we’re being completely honest, most of us would say we’re a pretty good employee on the job, but not so good when it comes to our own priorities.

There are lots of reasons. After a full day on the job, it’s not easy to carve out time to go to work for yourself. It’s dinnertime, you’re tired, you’re hungry, and the kids need a little quality time as well. Monday night you go bowling, Tuesday is movie night, Wednesday you go out for ice cream, and on and on it goes. Who has time for anything else?

So, pick up the calendar and look for a day when you won’t be doing anything. I dare you. Even if you find one, something else will see that empty day and sneak in to fill the time. Another week goes by, another month, and eventually another year … and still you’re no closer to your dreams than you were to begin with. Yet somehow, we just keep giving ourselves a pass.

At some point, we need to become that grumpy boss nobody wants to see. We need to set goals and demand results. Not from other people – this isn’t their dream, it’s yours. If you want anything to happen, you have to make it happen yourself. Nobody but you will complain if you take a night off. Unless you hold yourself to the fire, nobody else will. It’s all on you.

You don’t have to be completely up to par every day, but you do have to be committed. A little effort is better than none at all, and when you take those first steps, it’s easy to get in the groove and keep going. Success happens when your dreams are bigger than your excuses. Make the time, and make the time count. The reward is yours to enjoy.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

One Person’s Struggle is Another Person’s Dream

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

I always say “good morning” but that’s just from my perspective. For some of you, the workday is half over and some of you are getting ready to climb into bed. That could be due to your work schedule or your location on this planet. It’s nice to know my words reach people literally around the world each day. It’s also very humbling.

As I write each morning, I try to think about the words and phrases I use and remind myself that not everybody in the world understands exactly what I mean. A co-worker from another country once asked me to explain what “Hump Day” means. It’s easy to assume everyone knows it means the half-way point in the week. But I’m sure somebody had to explain it to me once. Then it made sense.

We all approach life from different perspectives. Some were born to privilege and thought everybody had a swimming pool and tennis courts in the back yard. Others were born on the other side of the tracks, and to them, a swimming pool was any body of water bigger than a bathtub. It’s just a matter of what we’ve come to accept as everyday life.

The same is true on the job. To me, a hard day is working through challenging issues and people who don’t respond to email. To another person, it’s coming home with sore muscles from too much physical labor. And, as a comedian once reminded me after I’d suffered a particularly brutal show, to a cop, a bad night at work means he’s got people shooting at him. It’s all a matter of perspective.

I remember once when I was being sent to Chicago to do some work for my company. I had requested a cash advance to cover my travel expenses, because I didn’t have any extra money in the bank. I asked several times during the day, and my request fell on deaf ears. Finally, I told them to make sure I was booked in a hotel with a restaurant so I could charge my meals to my room. I was broke.

The manager who was sending me on the trip said, “Just charge it to your credit card and we’ll reimburse you when you get back.” That’s great for some people, but I didn’t have a credit card. At that point in my life, no bank was stupid enough to give me one. When I told him I didn’t have one, he gave me an incredulous look and said, “You don’t even have a Master Card?”

I found out last Friday that my job may be ending in a couple of months. I’ve known for a while this day may be coming, and I have to admit it’s been a little difficult adjusting to that reality. Then I went to church Sunday and we were asked to pray for two women in a rehabilitation center, and one whose brother suddenly passed away last week. All of a sudden, my problems began to shrink.

It goes along with the old saying about a man who was sad because he had no shoes until he met a man who had no feet. No matter how bad we think we’ve got it, somebody else has it worse. I try to remind myself of that in the morning when traffic suddenly comes to a halt because of an accident. Sure, it’s an inconvenience. But somebody’s day is starting off a whole lot worse than mine.

It works the other way as well. When we’ve worked to achieve a certain level of success, whether it’s on the job, as a parent, as an athlete, or even as a writer, it’s easy to get a little smug and think we’re special. We find ourselves in the presence of others who aren’t quite as accomplished as we are, and we puff our chest out just a little further. Life is good, and we have a right to be proud.

It’s good to be proud of our accomplishments. But if we allow that to go too far, it’s easy to overlook the reality that some who have accomplished much less have worked every bit as hard as we have, if not harder. If effort alone could make a person successful, every plumber and mechanic would be rich, and corporate executives would be sweating out this month’s bills.

Most of us go through life only truly understanding our own perspective. We think we know what it’s like for others, but we really don’t. Even if you’ve been at rock bottom, it’s easy to forget how that feels when you’re back on top. And it’s easier still to assume everybody else can climb up as quickly as you did. And it’s just as easy for them to assume you got all the lucky breaks.

Perspective is an amazing thing. The same rays of sun can tan the skin and damage crops. It’s just a matter of how we look at it.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Don’t Let Up Now – You’re Almost There!

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

Have you ever given somebody a gift, not quite sure if it’s what they really want? You did the best you could and hoped it would hit the mark, but you just weren’t sure. Know the feeling? And then, they open it up and it’s the best surprise ever. Their eyes light up, their face begins to glow, and you know all the searching for that perfect gift paid off. It’s a good feeling.

It’s the same when you’re on the job and you’re just not sure if what you’re doing is exactly what the boss wants. Then you hand over the report and wait for the verdict. Especially if it didn’t take that long to complete, you’re pretty sure it came up short somewhere. But then you get a thumbs-up that says it was exactly what was needed. Whew! Time for a fresh cup of coffee!

That happens all through our lives. Sometimes you get the results immediately, like when the wrapping comes off a gift or you tell a brand-new joke onstage. Let me tell you, that one can be brutal. If its good, the payoff is exhilarating. If not, it can throw the rest of your night into one big disaster. And there’s nowhere to run. You have to finish the job and take the blows as they come.

As a comedian, I quickly learned how it feels to stand in that spotlight and deliver my best material to an audience that’s looking at their watch. If you’re lucky, they keep their opinions to themselves. But you have to work through that to get to the nights when they’re howling at everything you say. In the beginning, you wonder if it’ll ever happen, and if it’s worth all the trouble it takes to get there.

Sometimes, the results aren’t so immediate. You can put in your best effort for years before you find out if you did the job right. Parents, can I get an amen? It’s one thing to watch your kid tie their shoe for the first time and pat yourself on the back for being such a great teacher. But wait till they hit their teenage years or move out on their own. That’s when the real report card comes in.

Thankfully, with most things, we’re able to measure our success along the way. I sit here each morning and hammer out 800 words to (hopefully) brighten your day. Some days are better than others, and it’s usually the ones I’m not really sure of that get the best response. And going back to read it again is about as effective as telling the same joke twice, hoping it’ll be better the second time around.

I see people at work who are unsure of their position, praying they’ll measure up and do the job well. More often than not, they’re a lot more capable than they realize. And maybe it’s that uncertainty making them try harder that makes them so good. It’s usually the slouch who thinks they know it all that gets blindsided when the boss calls them in for a conversation nobody wants to hear.

If we approached everything thinking we can’t get any better, we never would. And, in the process, we’d eventually slide backward into a place of comfort that doesn’t require the extra effort it took to get good in the first place. On takeoff, the plane’s engines are at full throttle. As it climbs, the pilot gradually eases back until the plane reaches the desired altitude. At that point, it just cruises.

Cruising can be a good thing, if you’re happy with your current pace and trying to conserve energy. But sooner or later, another plane will zoom past because its throttles are set just a little bit higher. Then, when you get to your final destination, you find that the best parking spot is already taken by the pilot who wasn’t content to ease back and just cruise.

I find myself in that position a lot. I’ll work hard to get something going, and when I finally get some traction, I pat myself on the back and take a well-deserved breather. And with the throttles set on cruise, guess what happens? I sit back in my place of comfort as the world zooms past. The only way to catch up is to step on the gas and get back in the race. I’m guessing I’m not alone here.

We’ve all read the story of the tortoise and the hare. The rabbit would race to get ahead, then sit back until the tortoise crawled past. Then the race was on again. Granted, there was more than one tortoise in that story, so there was a little deception going on. But the point of the story is don’t get so cocky at anything that you don’t think you have to try.

Whatever you do, give it your best every day. The reward will always be worth the effort.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

It Takes a Single Drop to Begin Filling a Bucket

Good morning! I hope you all had a nice weekend and your day is off to a great start.

Today is my youngest grandson’s birthday. He’s four. To the rest of us, he’s a little boy with his whole life ahead of him. He’s got lots of growing to do, and lots of things to learn. But from his perspective, this is the oldest he’s ever been. He feels all grown up, because he really has no other basis for comparison. Especially if he looks at how grown up his grandpa is. We’re not so different.

And I like it that way. I’ve always said that aging is inevitable, but growing old is a matter of choice. I can’t turn back the clock no matter how badly some of my body parts wish I could. But I don’t have to let the years control my personality. People always like to say “act your age.” Well, I don’t wanna! So there!

Age is relevant only from the perspective of how many years we’ve been on this planet, and how many more years we may have left. It’s a measure of experience. My car insurance company likes my age. I’ve been driving long enough to slow down a little and not make so many stupid mistakes. My health insurance company, on the other hand, isn’t quite so thrilled. They wish I was a little younger.

It’s all a matter of perspective. I remember at the age of twenty, calling my supervisor an old man. He had to be pushing 27 at the time. I laugh today when I think about that because, with 62 only a few months away, I realize that even this isn’t really old. Or maybe I’m just kidding myself. That’s okay. I choose not to be old. I just wish my body would just step up and play along.

Perspective is important, because it’s what allows us to form a basis for comparison. I make a decent living, and we don’t really worry about day-to-day expenses. In fact, according to some, we’re doing pretty well. But we went into an upscale grocery store not long ago and, looking at the prices of “dry-aged” steak, I began to feel just a little impoverished. Do people really pay that much for food?

But to a person making a little more than I do, it’s no big deal. They buy what they want because they can. And here’s the thing – that meat is at least three times as expensive as anything in my grocery store, but I doubt many of those people make three times as much as I do. They don’t have to. They just have to make a little extra.

If your employer offered you an extra $200 a month, you’d feel pretty good. Because, if the bills are paid and things are going well, an extra $200 would let you buy that fancy steak once in a while. It would let you order what you want off the menu instead of what your wallet says you should eat. It might even let you take an extra vacation each year.

Now, what if there was a string attached – you get the extra money, but you have to work an extra hour every day. Hmmm.  An extra hour every day, and there are 22 workdays in a month – that’s not even $10 an hour! Now that extra $200 isn’t sounding so great. It’s all about perspective. You look at the hourly rate and suddenly forget all the extra freedom it could bring.

But what if that extra money was just the start? What if you gained the skills necessary to double that extra income in a month or so? Now your perspective may be changing a little. Because if you can take a little extra and double it, what’s to stop you from doubling that as well? All of a sudden, the issue isn’t how much you get paid – it’s how much you can earn.  

To most of us, a year is a pretty short amount of time. To my grandson, it’s a fourth of his life. To most of us, $30,000 a year isn’t much to brag about. But to somebody already making that much, an extra $15,000 would change everything. And to a person making ten times that much, it may not even be worth the extra effort. Perspective.

When you look at where you are, where you want to be may seem a long way off. But even a small step in the right direction puts you closer. Keep taking those steps and the time will come when the distance you’ve covered is more than the distance that’s left. And one day, it’ll only take one more little step to reach your goal. Same effort, same distance each time. But what a difference it’ll make.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Success is a Series of Last-Minute Miracles

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

The month is a little more than half-over. Depending on your perspective, that can be a good thing or a challenge. For those who depend on a monthly check to arrive in the mailbox, it puts you that much closer to payday. For those of us with monthly goals, it means crunch time is fast approaching. Especially if you haven’t even started. And for some folks, it’s just another day.

I guess there’s something to be said for living one day at a time, with no real burning desires or goals to work toward. It’s a peaceful existence, one that doesn’t take a lot of thought and doesn’t run much risk of disappointment. But you have to admit, it is a little passive. Like riding in the backseat and hoping the driver wants to go the same place you do. Otherwise, it could be a long day.

Goals are what make us get up a little earlier and work a little later. And I know, unless you’re already doing those things, it doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. In talking with people, one of the greatest objections I hear when it comes to working toward their goals is, “I’m already busy enough. I don’t have time for anything else.”

I get it. We’re all busy. And the last thing anybody wants to think about at the end of a long day is getting out and working more. But that’s what it takes. One thing all star athletes have in common is the inner drive to keep going when others would say “that’s good enough.” While others head to the locker room for a nice long shower. They stay out there and give a little bit more. Every. Single. Day.

And make no mistake. They all miss goals on a regular basis. At different points in his career, Babe Ruth was known as the king of strikeouts. During five seasons, he struck out more than any other player in the American League, whiffing at the plate 1,330 times in his career. He also hit 714 home runs, a record that would stand for 40 years. Which do you think people remember?

We all miss goals. All that means is we’re setting goals high enough that it’ll take a little extra effort to reach them. If you never miss a goal, you’re setting the bar too low. Try a little harder. Reach for something that’s a little out of reach and don’t stop until you get there. Swing at the fast pitch. Throw the long pass. You may miss more times than you score, but those wins will be well worth celebrating.

In a CD by one of my favorite motivational speakers, he talked about receiving an email from a protégé who had set an impressive goal for the month but was writing to let his mentor know he wouldn’t make it. He tried to cushion the fall by saying, “I’ll still reach this lower goal, but I won’t be able to do what I said I was going to do.” Does that sound familiar?

And I’ll never forget that speaker’s advice. He simply said, “You set a goal and told a lot of people you were going to accomplish that goal. It’s okay if you come up short as long as you go down swinging. But don’t pull the ripcord at 25,000 feet.” That last sentence hit me right between the eyes. Don’t pull the ripcord at 25,000 feet. I think we’ve all done that more times than we’d care to admit.

We all love the story of a team that goes into the last few minutes of a game they were certain to lose, only to fight back and win in the final seconds. All because they refused to lay down and accept defeat. Failure is never certain until we stop trying. If we pull the ripcord too soon, we may soften the fall. But we’ll never know how much closer we could have gotten to an amazing achievement.

Set your goals high. Get up a little earlier. Work a little later. If what you’ve been doing all these years hasn’t put your dreams within reach, go the extra mile. And once you start, don’t let anything stand in your way. Fight through to the very end. You may come up a little short, and that’s okay. It’s still closer than you were, and with every step you take, your dream is that much closer to reality.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved

Focus Your Effort for Amazing Results

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

So, the weekend is here and hopefully you’ve got something fun planned. After all, it is what we seem to spend all week working for. And I know, for some of you the weekend is when work really heats up. But you get a little reprieve while the rest of us are enjoying Monday, so it all works out. Either way, I hope you enjoy your time off, whenever it comes.

I listen to motivational audios most days, and in some of them the speakers are young people with names that sound even younger. Names that weren’t so common back when I was in school, with youthful voices to match. They’re full of excitement and energy, and don’t appear to have a care in the world. And somehow, they all beat me to retirement. What’s up with that?

These are people who are still sound asleep each day as I begin my morning routine. They get up whenever they feel like it, or whenever their kids wake them up. They take their time with breakfast and get dressed if and when they feel like it. They go to morning aerobics classes, have lunch with old friends, take the kids to the park, and pretty much do whatever they want most of the day.

And best of all, they plan work around their vacations instead of the other way around. Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but that lifestyle sounds pretty appealing to me. And believe me, they’ve earned it. They’re not rock musicians or movie stars. They’re just ordinary people like you and me who decided they wanted something more and were willing to get out and work for it.

And the thing is, they didn’t have to take on another fulltime job to make it happen. A laser is nothing more than a highly focused beam of light. It can travel great distances and, depending on the type of light and how it was generated, it can cut through steel with precision that’s just not possible by any other means. It’s all about focus – putting the energy where it counts most.

And when you can find something that works, something where you can generate a little extra income or pay off some bills a little early, all you have to do is focus that energy to get extraordinary results. It doesn’t have to take up all your spare time, because you’re not trying to do everything all at once. You’re focused on one thing at a time with a precision that magnifies your effort into something incredible.

But it all has to start with the basics. A laser pointer is essentially a battery, an LED, and a lens. None of them on their own are all that extraordinary. But when you put them together in just the right way, the result is pretty impressive. And that’s how it is with the things we do for ourselves. A little extra effort, focused on the right things, can accomplish a lot of work with the precision of a laser.

If you throw enough mud on a wall, some of it will stick. And if the goal was to cover the entire wall in mud, sooner or later you’ll get there. The end result won’t be very pretty, and some areas will be a lot thicker than others. But if you could find a way to spray that mud in a fine stream, you could cover the entire wall a lot faster and with a much more impressive result. Focus.

Put that same premise to work on your personal goals, and you can achieve some incredible results with a lot less effort than you’d imagined. All it takes is focus and commitment – honing your effort to whatever produces the best results and sticking with it no matter what. Lather, rinse, repeat.

So, instead of looking at your goals as a huge job that’ll take up all your waking hours for the next fifty years, figure out how to focus that effort and do the work that produces results. You may need to adjust the lens a little along the way. But once you dial it in, nothing can stand in your way.

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

© 2019 Dave Glardon – All rights reserved