I enjoy speaking with folks who have more life experiences than I do, because I learn so much from them. One of those folks is Herman. He and I are fellow Toastmasters and members of the same club. I related to Herman that I find my 98-year old grandfather so resourceful, smart and funny; he is this way despite the fact that he only completed the first grade.
Herman turned to me and said getting an education doesn’t equate to intelligence. He jokingly said he has an engineering degree and it didn’t make him more intelligent. In fact, it taught him how to block things out. We chuckled at this statement, but he certainly got me thinking about this. How many of us suffer from the blinders that come when we get a formal education that forces us to color in the box? This happens everyday. We tell our kids “that is not the way” to do a particular project instead of providing guidance to them for the development of their creative thinking skills. We train them to stay in the line.
I remember struggling with my son to teach him a different way to solve his mathematics homework. He would get upset and say that is not the way the teacher taught the lesson. Being one who likes the subject, I thought the method the teachers were using was so long and didn’t make it easier for the students to grasp the concept. For most of his education my son struggled with math, I didn’t push him in order to maintain my sanity.
It wasn’t until his freshman year that he requested my help. I sat down and showed him different ways of solving the problem than was in the book. He was excited that he finally knows how to solve these problems quickly and in a manner he comprehends. You could say that the blinders had come off for him.
So many of us rob ourselves of experiencing life’s gifts and resources because we have been taught to keep the blinders on. We are programmed with tunnel vision. Like my grandfather, we need to think outside the box and continue from various angles. Ditch the blinders! Let’s give ourselves the freedom to color outside the box and beyond our usual boundaries. I bet we will find some nice surprises that we can share with our future grandchildren and others!
If you are like me, working with too many wires can be dangerous to your health. Eventually, you will get tangled up and perhaps injure yourself and possibly break whatever is attached to the other end of those wires. As a speaker, one sometimes has images of tripping over microphone or speaker wires. This past Holiday Season, I treated myself to a couple of gadgets and downloaded a software application (App) that help me in my speaking, seminar and Webinar presentation events.
The first one is the LG (HBS-730) wireless headset that I got at the Sprint store. I know, I could have both it on Amazon, but they had a buy one get one free deal going (I can admit that I’m a sucker for BOGO deals… ask Publix Supermarket). This headset connects via Bluetooth to my droid phone, iPad and Mac laptop. I can speak hands and wire-free to someone on the phone or the computer. Folks on the other end of the call, generally say that the call comes across with great clarity (the call quality, not necessarily my conversation, ha). I also use it to listen to my music and audio files. The charge life, from my experience, has been about three days of heavy use and up to five or six days of light use! Hallelujah!!!
As I tested the headset out while at the Sprint store, I heard music coming from this small round, oblong shaped box. It was a wireless speaker and the output was amazing to me. Have you ever gone to speak or play a video, as part of your presentation, and the speaker was poor or none existent? Guess what my friends, this little gadget is a very powerful tool. JBL makes this neat, portable speaker (JBL Flip) that pumps out sounds that can fill an 850 sq. ft. room, easily. Again it connects via Bluetooth to any device that requires speakers and has the Bluetooth capability. It also has a built in Mic for hands-free calls on Skype, etc. Did I mention that is rechargeable and does not require you to plug it for it to work? Once charged (about 3 hours to fully charge) this little speaker, which fits effortlessly into my business case, works without having to plug it into an outlet! Happy, happy, joy, joy!
After paying for my affordable gadgets, I took them home and played with them. As I fiddled with the JBL Flip on my iPad, I wonder if there is an app that turns the iPad into a microphone. I found that, yes; there are a few out there. The one I selected is Megaphone that you can find in the Apple App Store. It works in that you can use it as a microphone, but I get painful feedback when the volume button on the iPad is set to high. With the volume button turned lower, it is not loud enough for use in a large area. I also wish it would connect with my JBL Flip speaker to project over a greater distance; alas, it doesn’t. Good news, it was free! I don’t feel to bad about its performance.
What gadget or App do you find to be useful to you? Please share it with us!
My son showed me a YouTube video of a woman being interviewed by a news reporter about surviving a house fire. The woman was very animated in her recounting of the event. She told the reporter that she had to put clothes on before getting out of the house. During the excitement of the moment, she began to experience an episode of asthma. She said she told herself: ” Ain’t nobody got time for this.” Then she rushed out to safety.
Her animated recollection of the event was amusing to me at the moment as I watched the video. As I reflected on her words, which I now say to myself often, I realize that is what I, no we, need to do. We need to recognize what is important at every given moment. We should not let the “small stuff” get in the way of accomplishing the greater things.
Sometimes, we allow small things distract us from doing the things that will make us successful in life. Or we let trivial disagreements break up or prevent us from developing relationships with others. We spend too much time stressing over things that truly don’t matter in the overall scheme of living productive and happy lives. Next time you find you are in such a situation or mindset, change it. Say to yourself: “Ain’t nobody got time for this!”
I have a confession to make: I don’t often do what I know is right for my body! At least, that was at the beginning of 2012. It took my doctor yelling at me, literally, to get me to get serious about doing the right thing. After he told me that my test results show that I need to drop a few pounds. He reminded me that I have a history of diabetes in my family. He did not tell me how to correct the issue; he simply told me that I must do so.
Feeling surprised by his frankness and dejected about my lack of attention to my physical well being, I thought about what to do. Then, I admitted to myself that there is no magic to getting back into shape. I have to eat less and exercise more. What I was lacking was the willpower to push myself to do it. I always, put other people, such as my family, and my work before my health. Isn’t this the same for most of our situations?
We know darn well what it is we need to be successful in most areas of our lives, whether it is: saving more and spending less to have a healthy financial status; studying more to achieve a higher grade; or eating less to maintain or lose weight. We know the keys and methods to our success. We simply need to apply willpower, self-discipline, whatever you want to call it, to get us there. It isn’t an easy thing to do. If it is, many of us will not be where we are today. Sometimes, we need a little help to get us there.
After my doctor’s admonishment about my lack of respect for my body, I hired a personal trainer. Yes, I did! By making myself accountable to someone and committing to meet him at an appointed time and date, I feel obligated to be there and get the job done. Raymond Butler has been a great trainer for me. He has helped me build up my willpower to get up on the days that we are not training together to continue my healthy training and living. Ray discusses different ways for me to exercise as well as gives me tips on food that are great for me.
I am now more toned and have more energy. I lost weight in the process and feel more positive about myself. My doctor was so pleased with my last test result, he told me to continue with whatever I’m doing! I even got an awesome report from my dentist and my hair stylist! It seems what I am doing for my body is helping my overall health.
We already know the key to our success is applying our willpower to whatever task or challenge we face. Join me in exercising your willpower muscles today!