Archives for June 2012

Is It Intuition Or Desire?

There are moments in your life that you never forget. Some are good and some are bad. Some are neither.

Twenty-nine years ago I was a fourteen year-old boy who was racing at breakneck speed down the halls of my synagogue. I was in pursuit of a friend who had taken my glasses.

I don’t remember how it started or what made him to decide to take my glasses and run but I do remember the frustration I felt as I chased him. He was just barely faster than I was. Time after time I would almost catch him and then he would slip out of my grasp and keep going.

He didn’t mean to upset me but he did. He didn’t know that his laughter just made it worse and that the longer we ran the angrier it made me. If he had known these things I am sure he would have stopped. We were and still are good friends.

Eventually he stopped running but I didn’t.

When I saw he was stationary I launched myself into the air and laid a hit upon him that would have made any NFL coach proud. I didn’t intend to do anything to him other than make sure that he didn’t take off running again.

Instead of wrestling my glasses out of his hand I felt hands pull me off of him and arms wrapped around me.

That was a mistake.

I was 150 pounds of anger.

I was 150 pounds of frustration.

I was 150 pounds of fear. I didn’t know who had picked me up and was restraining me, but I knew that there were two of them.

We were close enough to a wall for me to imitate a move I had seen in the movies. I picked up my legs and pushed off the wall. Since we were in a small hallway there wasn’t much distance between the two walls.

It turned out that a 17 year-old boy had wrapped me up in a bear hug. He was a bit taller than I was, but really didn’t weigh much more. He wasn’t expecting me to push off of the wall and consequently when I pushed off we flew backwards into the wall behind us.

We hit hard and both went down. I scrambled to my feet and turned around ready to pummel whomever had been holding me, but he wasn’t so quick to get up.

Instinct and Intuition

I am not really sure what made me think of that moment but I have learned to listen to these thoughts. I have learned to try and sit in the quiet of my mind so that I can try to identify what I am thinking/feeling.

Things are happening now. Good things. Big things. Changes.

I feel a bit like I am in one of those crazy Kung-Fu movies the boys and I used to watch as kids. I am Bruce Lee and there is a circle of men around me. They keep attacking and I keep finding ways to beat them all.

Whirling, turning, jumping, bending and dancing all around I avoid the blows and hand out my own. They can’t stop me. They can’t contain me. All they can do is slow me down.

English: yosemite national park mirror lake 20...

English: yosemite national park mirror lake 2010 winter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I take a deep breath and try to figure out why this is the image I see and not something more tranquil. So I close my eyes and take a few deep breaths. I am going deep this time.

I am lost somewhere inside my head. A parade of images is passing before my eyes. I see people and I see places. I am back in Jerusalem. I know it because of the smells.

My middle sister and I are sitting at a cafe and I am telling her that I don’t plan on coming home. I want to know if she is going to stay in New York. The scene changes and I am hiking a trail in Yosemite with a friend.

Another flash goes off and I am holding my infant daughter like a football. Her big brother is pointing at her and asking if she is going to live with us.

What I Think Will Happen Versus What I Feel

I have this feeling about the future. It is a very strong sense of knowing that certain things are going to happen. There are multiple pieces to it.

Some of these pieces make perfect sense to me and I am certain that they will happen. Some of the details may be adjusted somewhat, but I am confident this is going to be.

But there are other things that I feel quite strongly and they are…confusing.

I want to say that it is intuition, but I wonder if perhaps it is just desire.

Time will tell. I am doing my best not to worry about it. I am just letting some of it unfold and watching the fruits of my labor come to be.

Some time ago I thought I was bearing witness to something unraveling and now I see it differently. It wasn’t unraveling, it was unwrapping.

It is time to go deep again. Time to go further than before and to push harder. Into the stillness and into the deep to find the answers that must reside within.

Check out the Yeah Write #64 hangout grid.

The Joy Of Air Travel

If you listened to the audio post above you heard me chuckling about having shared a seat with big, large and stinky the inconsiderate man from the plane.  I suppose it is only fair to admit that I wasn’t laughing on the plane.

I wanted to. I tried to. I made up funny stories inside my head and even played around with different angles I could use to blog about the experience but I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around it.

It wasn’t solely because he smelled like he had taken a bath in an outhouse but that certainly didn’t help. He smelled so badly I considered vomiting on myself. You might see that as being crazy but I saw it as being a MacGyver like move where I would make the air smell sweeter and provide encouragement for him to do a better job of sharing the armrest.

MacGyver

MacGyver (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Confession, I haven’t ever seen MacGyver. I have seen bits and pieces of it, but mostly I am relying upon you and I sharing a common pop culture reference. It is like when I am traveling in my friend Jon’s car and I say, “Punch it Chewie!”

He knows that I am encouraging him to step on the gas and accelerate so that we can get onto the freeway safely. I will never understand why he insists on flying up the freeway on ramp at the blazing speed of 19 miles per hour.

It is the freeway and anyone who understands how to drive the freeway recognizes that you need to be traveling a little bit faster so that you can safely merge with the other cars.

Hmm…I wonder if perhaps Jon has trouble understanding that two people have to share the arm rest on a plane. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

The Airport

I find the airport to be endlessly fascinating. Some of it is because I love to people watch and there is no better place to do it than the airport.  I can’t think of a place that provides a more diverse cross section to study.

There are endless stories floating through the terminals and I wish that I had time to stop, learn and listen to them all. That is not really an exaggeration either.

I like watching the security staff. I find it interesting to see who looks bored and who looks awake. I wonder what made them interested in this line of work and whether it is a career or something to do right now.

Most of the time I don’t stop to ask those questions. I don’t want more attention when I am going through the line. It is not because I have something to hide but because I want to get through so I can sit down and relax before my flight.

Sometimes that doesn’t happen and I find myself running through the terminal and onto the plane. It is not a horrible thing, but since they started charging for checked baggage it has become much harder to find overhead storage on the flight so I prefer to be their earlier so that I have a better shot at getting it.

Headphones and conversation

I never fly without my headphones and my cellphone or iPod. That is because I like to listen to music. It relaxes me and helps me fall asleep.

But it is also because you never know who you are going to sit next to. Sometimes your seat mate is fascinating and sometimes they stink. Sometimes you like talking to them and sometimes you wish they would suddenly go mute.

Those headphones help me manage the conversation. If I don’t feel like speaking I can put them on and get lost in my world.

I usually try to supplement my music with a good book and or movie. It is an easy way to pass the time.

But I never miss an opportunity to read the Skymall magazine on the flight. It is one of my goto moves on every flight I take. I never buy anything from the magazine, but I like looking at all of the crazy gadgets, gimmicks and gizmos they show inside it.

What about you? Do you like flying? Do you have any rituals you engage in when you fly?

 

Click Here For Free & Useful Information

I just sent out the latest edition of my newsletter which is chock full of free and useful information.

If you haven’t signed up you ought to consider doing so or risk being among the almost 2 billion people who haven’t subscribed yet. You don’t really want to be among those people, now do you. Be a leader, think for yourself and join those of us who swim upstream against the current.

If you haven’t already accepted that you are a rebel in need of a cause consider this your call to action. Sign up and stop worrying about whether you have the guts to walk up the down escalator.

Or do what I do and tell people that the guy in the white Nikes stole your wallet. If they ask you for more of a description say that you got a quick look at him but you are convinced that he is kind of short/tall and skinny/fat.

Alternatively you can always describe him being sort of in between milky and mocha about Venti tall. By the time they finish scratching their heads you’ll have finished you stroll up the escalator and will be well on your way to your next destination.

Never Do This

But you musn’t ever do one of these things:

1) Wait until you reach the cashier to get out your credit card or checkbook. You knew long before that you were going to have to pay. Waiting isn’t rebellious, it is just stupid.

2) The same rule applies to those who wait in line to fill their tanks at Costco. You should have your card out before you hit the pump or risk having your tires slashed by the Costco pump genies.

Stop shaking you heads at me. My blog, my rules.

Do I Have Your Attention?

Do I have your attention now? By now it must be obvious that I was am trying to get it.

That is because I am not always a silly and insouciant man. I really did unsubscribe to a number of newsletters because they didn’t serve a useful purpose for me. They just added noise and clutter to my life and I already have plenty of that.

When I looked at them I didn’t see any personality or passion in them. There was no attempt to try to build a relationship or establish a connection.  Nor did they provide any new information that I hadn’t seen a million times before.

Granted some of you will say the same thing about my newsletters and or my posts. Some of you won’t relate to my sense of humor and instead of thinking about “That clever fellow Jack” you will use some other less endearing term(s) to describe me.

That is ok, I don’t expect or need everyone to like or love me.

What I Am Trying To Do

What I am trying to do is simple. I am working on becoming a better writer who one day will be the publisher of many books that you and others enjoy reading. I am working on learning how to use social media more effectively than I do now.

Part of the reason that I started the newsletter was to see if I could build one from scratch. I wanted to see if I could take nothing and turn it into something.

It is possible that I will fail.

It is possible this newsletter won’t ever gain any traction and that nothing will come of it.

I am not worried about that. It is not because I doubt my ability to build and grow it. I have more than a few ideas about how to make this mother do more and be more than it is.

Time is my biggest adversary. I don’t have as much to use as I want to.

But that is not stopping me either.

Right now I am playing around with it. Right now I am experimenting with times and formats. I want to see what works and what doesn’t.

Once I get that sorted out things will begin to take shape and I will start to implement some of the more concrete ideas.

Eventually I will be in a position where I can provide more useful information about what I learned and how I did it. Ultimately I see it all as a learning experience and that has an awful lot of value.

Your Call To Action

Here is your second chance to see what my newsletter looks like and to sign up. Click on the link and take a look at the latest edition and those that came before it. If you like what you see please sign up for it.

It is free and if you decide it is not for you it is just as easy to unsubscribe as it was to subscribe.

Don’t wait to sign up because I am not going to give out any Ginsu knives or cool stuff from Ronco.  Go on now, point and click your way to free and useful information.

Everything You Never Needed To Know About Blogging

Typewriter

Midnight has come and gone and I am still awake. This is not good because it means that I have broken another promise to myself.

Broken promises distress me. I don’t make promises because I don’t like being obligated to do things unless I think they are truly important. But there is nothing that irks me more than when we fail to keep the promises we make to ourselves.

A smarter man than I would simply stop typing and go to sleep but I won’t. That is because I have this feeling that if I keep writing something good is going to happen. I have this feeling that every time I sit down and start tapping and slapping these keys that I am going to solve this crazy puzzle and that life will change.

Not that it isn’t changing right now. Change isn’t coming, it is happening right now.

I have heard the echoes of the future and agreed to go meet them and maybe that is why I am still typing. Maybe that is why I keep writing and rewriting this particular post.

Maybe it is why I have listened to Springsteen sing Happy and Thunder Road four or five times tonight. Those words have meaning and I feel magic in the night air.

Lurkers and former commenters

I am always fascinated by the lurkers. That describes most of you. When I look at my stats I see there are tons of you who swing by here on a regular basis but rarely comment.

You intrigue me. I always wonder about who you are and what you are doing. Can’t help but make up stories inside my head about your lives and why you visit but don’t speak.

Those of you who have been around a long time know that sometimes I will push you to shed your cloaks of invisibility and reveal yourselves. I am intrigued by all of you but those who hang out here and my “story” blog really catch my eye.

But the people who I wonder about most are the regulars who used to be among the most visible members of the community but have since disappeared. I run into some of you around the blogosphere and wonder if you have become bored with the words you read here.

It wouldn’t surprise me. It happens. There are blogs that I stop reading because I have gotten all that I could from them. There are blogs that I stopped reading because they managed to offend me.

That could happen here too. I don’t really have to know what happened to the old regulars, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t curious.

 

That video catches my eye because it is another reminder to me to focus on the people that are important. There are one or two who used to be a part of my life who I need to reach out to. I need to tell them a few things and then see what happens.

I want them to know these things because they are important to me and I will regret not trying to make sure they know how I feel.

Life is short and I don’t want any more regrets than I have. I really don’t have many, but those that exist are enormous.

Courage and newsletters

I have made a point to step outside of my comfort zone. That is part of how I recognized that the echoes of the future are calling me. That is not as hokey as it sounds. Those echoes are the visions I see of the life I want to lead.

Why shouldn’t I try to meet them. Why shouldn’t you.

Fear and uncertainty have sometimes prevented me from doing what needs to be done to make them more than wisps of imagination. But those days are gone, or so I have promised myself.

I may slip up from time to time. I may break a few promises to myself here and there but I think blogging can help me stay on track. I think blogging can help me be accountable to myself.

The newsletter I started is one example of a promise I made to myself that I have kept. Now I just need to finish writing the book and the ebook.

But I suppose that if I am going to do those things I ought to get a little shut eye. Sleep well my friends and I shall see you in the morning. With a little luck those whispers I hear in the back of my mind will become a bit clearer and I will have news to share with you.

69 Reasons Why Social Media Platforms Don’t Matter

wordsandmeaningLet’s cut to the chase immediately: I am not going to provide you with 69 reasons why social media platforms don’t matter. That is not because I can’t come up with 69 reasons because I can, but it is unnecessary.

What is necessary is gaining your attention and now that I have it here is what you need to know and remember.

The most important part of social media isn’t the platform but the people.

It is not complicated but some people need to read/hear messages several times before they sink in so I am going to repeat it.

The most important part of social media isn’t the platform but the people.

I love blogging and I love Twitter but neither one of them is worth a damn without people. If people didn’t matter Facebook wouldn’t use a body part  as part of its name. Pinterest is exciting to its users because of people.

The reason I mention this is because we are inundated with posts that provide guides for how to be successful in social media. Most of those guides offer a tiny section where they say that content is king and that you should provide value to your readers, but that is not enough for me.

The most important part of social media isn’t the platform but the people.

People remember how you make them feel. If you make them feel valued and special they will spend time with you. They will form communities and help support you and the others in the community.

I am not a saint. I won’t try to portray myself as one. This isn’t an attempt at self deprecation or me saying “aw shucks, I am just a dad.” I am a man who has lots of good qualities and plenty of bad ones.

Some of the negative ones are things that you love and some are things you hate. That is really neither here nor there. What matters though is that I recognize that people make social media run.

What matters is that I am teaching my children to look at the world around them and give back. I want them to know that they live magical lives where they might not have as much as others but a hell of a lot more than many.

They never go hungry or worry about where they are going to sleep. Their clothes are clean, they aren’t thirsty and they get dirty by choice.

One of my responsibilities as their father and a dad blogger is to teach them to give back. I do that in person and I remark about it here so that in the future they remember.

The most important part of social media isn’t the platform but the people.

This blog isn’t solely about trying to build a platform for work or to secure an agent for books. It is not solely about chronicling the lives of my children or sharing my thoughts.

It is about doing the right thing in a general sense and today it is a reminder that social media is about people and so is life.

When you give back good things happen. Every now and then we need to go out and help people. I don’t care if you volunteer or give money solely because you think it gives you good karma because if do it you might help improve a life and that is worth doing.

This isn’t me trying to be profound or insightful. It is just my attempt to weave together two things under one roof. Social media isn’t about the platforms, it is about the people and so is life.