Mo Bro time of year

Movember is upon us. Time to start growing that stash once again … if I can. Yet, it is not about being able to grow the Mo. Movember is about Men’s Health awareness, and not just prostate and testicular cancer but also Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

Last year I had the dreaded exam, and it is about time I called again to setup another physical … so don’t want to. However, it would be the right and safe thing to do.

This year we have the Rad Mo Bro team back together and growing. I have set myself a personal goal of $1500 – though haven’t decided how to top shaving my head from last year. We will have to see. If you have any ideas, please feel free to share.

Stay abreast on my campaign and the November Foundation, by clicking here or visiting my Movember page

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)

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Communication is key

Since the divorce I have noticed a striking change in our communication. We both started a power play, a jostle for control and dominance by being the person who felt they had control of the communication. I would like to say that those days are in our past, but tonight felt like another frustrating example that that aspect of life is not yet behind us…

Things started off not too bad, she contacted me to inform me of what days I had selected for my vacation – due to some miscommunication during the last few weeks I took as constructive and not as aggressive. The situation also gave us a chance to discuss an upcoming school event and allowed us to coordinate in preparation for that. Was a simple conversation started by responding to her initial text in short order. I treated her as if she was important, and the tension was quickly alleviated and forgotten.

Generally, if she texts I respond as soon as I can. With an email I try my best to respond within 24 hrs if a response is required. When she calls, I try never ignore a call – and call her back if I missed it for some reason. We may be divorced, but I still work hard to treat her as a valuable part of the family unit. Because, that is what she is … no matter how upset I may be at times.

Before, during, and after a marriage – communication is key!

This evening felt to be in contrast to that…

Today was the science fair at the school, so I thought I would check in with the kids before bed and see how it went. I called, voice mail. Called the house, voice mail. Ok, maybe they are busy which is completely understandable so I gave it another 15 minutes … called both numbers again … nothing. Sent a text to have them call me, and tried again a few minutes later … now we are bumping up against the kids bed time and my hockey game is about to start. So I have to leave it, they must have just been busy … such is life.

But now it after midnight and I am off the ice and headed home to bed. I was expecting a call or text saying that they just missed it, but nothing – does she not check her phone at all during the evening? Tonight it is annoying as I really wanted to talk about how things went this morning at school, so I know I am being more sensitive than normal. Yet, this is not a one time situation – simple fact is that she doesn’t seem to pay attention to her communication channels and it can be frustrating. Any time there is an email, text, or call that she does not like, she does not respond – she gets them, cause she gets all the others.

Tonight follows on the heals of a recent weekend when I felt respect for my time with the boys was also not shown. My youngest requested to call her and share that they had completed the science project. Simple enough and of course the answer is “ok”, never hold back communication right. Yet, the call went on for a good 30 minutes before I had to call him off to come ACTUALLY finish his work – so my other son got on to say “hi” and they talked for another 30 minutes. There was no big event to share and we had other things planned. I asked to wrap it up (she heard) … and yet the call continued. Eventually I had to become the bad guy and insist my son say good bye so we could keep our nights plans going.

Yes … right now I am feeling petty. In fact, I have tried for a long time to not go negative, but sometimes negative feelings exist. That is just what this is, emotions and insecurities brewing to the surface. I can’t change her, never could. There are a million and one reasons that they were unavailable tonight, and those have to be acceptable. The boys have a strong relationship with their mother, that is something to promote and not hinder. So I go to bed tonight knowing that I will see my youngest tomorrow morning before school and we have a vacation coming up.

All I can do is continue to act the way I feel is right, not always for me – but for the kids.

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Passion for the Purpose – Purpose for the Passion

As I laid there, my head still nuzzled in the soft embrace of the pillows, I could feel the warm glow of sunshine shining through the window. As I opened my eyes I could see it just cresting the horizon and gracing the world with the dawn of a new day. I felt good as I slide off the edge of my bed and headed to the shower. I had been up late the night before, in fact, I only had maybe 4 to 5 hours of sleep behind me but I was feeling great. The previous night had seen me pouring over code of my newly minted project and I had managed to get the core structures in place – I could see it start to come together. In fact this whole week I have been caught up in the project, every spare minute spent sketching, planning, and designing. I have notes scattered everywhere throughout the house; database designs on the coffee table, different UI layouts on the counters … I would not be surprised if you found sketches in the bathroom. I could not sleep, I needed to keep working. This is going to be great … it is going to change the world.

Except, that wasn’t my day today. It is true that I was up late and likely only got 4-5 hours sleep (maybe 6), but I was washing dishes and updating the online stats sheets for our hockey league. I woke up to the incessant beeping of my iPhone alarm and dragged myself from my bed and to the shower. There I stood, water pouring down onto my head as I slowly woke, centered myself, and looked out at my day. I had things to do, tasks to accomplish. As I left the house and started out on my long commute to the office the rain hit, it was only then I realized how dreary the day looked. It was going to be another day of pushing papers and cleaning code of bugs. Yet, I needed to. I needed to pay for the bills, which fed my family, my bed, and the roof over my head. It allowed me to explore several of my inspirations, and I have several brewing currently. While I hadn’t spent the time on them I would like, I put in what I can. My notes litter my desk, counter, and coffee table. Each of the ideas is different and don’t overlap on their own, yet each has a common thread. A singular motivation … a purpose. It is for that I push on. For through that purpose we are going to change the world.

It is during that long commute I was taking the opportunity to listen to Ego Is the Enemy. In chapter 8 of the audio book, Ryan Holiday suggests that we ignore our passion as passions are fleeting and often reckless. In this he is right, passions are often fleeting and can often result in many workshop floors littered with unfinished products. I am not going to dig deep into his point at this time, many because it got me thinking and thus a little distracted.

In fact this topic came up later with a friend, and from that I felt that passion alone can be reckless and irresponsible but that it is also not something to be ignored. Instead, passion needs to be matched with purpose. Without purpose, passion for a project is like a drag car without a road.

Passion is the gas, Purpose the steering wheel.

While passion can be a great motivator and ensure things are done correctly, it can be hard to find somedays. Days when your energy is low and the work seems too daunting … where is your passion? Days when the clouds cover the skies, your muscles are sore, and your brain is tired … the passion seems lost. As the great energizer, it should be Passion that is pulling you from your bed and moving you along … but it doesn’t. That is your purpose. Your purpose is what drags you from the sheets and gets the first cup of coffee into your system. Purpose will keep you going when the tasks are not fun, it keeps you disciplined when you want to throw in the towel. Yet, without passion, purpose eventually loses momentum and interest fades.

To avoid this, it is important to maintain or restore the passion for a project. I believe the best source for rejuvenating your passion is by revisiting your purpose. Explore and discuss your mission, your vision, the very reason WHY you started down this road, preferably with a group of people you can feed ideas off of. This is what those corporate events, those team offsets, those year-end presentations are suppose to do but miss so completely … and it is one thing Apple® is famous for during their keynote addresses. They may touch on the numbers, the products, and the happenings … but they always explain a why, their why. When authentic it breeds passion amongst their fans, their employees, and the general market. The best motivational speakers also look to tap into that same well, specifically getting you to tap back into your own purpose, personal or professional, and extract your passions.

Passion may power you while purpose keeps you going in the right direction and that same purpose then is there to re-ignite your passion when energy fades. Use it to change your world.

I am still only partially through the book, but so far has been chalked full of valuable nuggets on how your Ego impacts your life through how you view others and view your world. If you have read the book I would love to hear your thoughts or any additional recommendations you have.

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