Act.

As a young sixth grade student in rural America, I wanted to be a part of the yearly school musical. In fact, little did I know I wanted to be a part of my middle schools first play / musical. I auditioned for and got the role of a cabinet member in the Annie musical. I had exactly one line and I performed that line near perfectly as I can remember. My acting career was off to a good start and a great finish as I have never acted again since that play.

I look back fondly on my time as a cast member in my school play. It was a simple goal to become an actor in a play and I took the steps to join the play and act. That’s the main message of tonight’s writing, think it and start to act. I have always enjoyed being a person who is known to act, to set their mind to something and get it done. These days one of the most important things that we can do is set a goal and get after it.

I was recently listening to a podcast that touched on the best thing we can do is take opportunities to learn a skill and act on that newly learned skill. That is the best way that we can learn mastery of the skill, just by doing it and seeing the outcome we can better learn the subject matter and improve the ability we have to reach the desired outcome we seek. Just by doing we can become masters of the skillsets we desire to have.

Once we feel competent in these skills we can then teach others how to do them and improve our skills as we go. The best way to learn and retain information is to teach others what you know and how to gain results, Whether that is creating a podcast, woodworking, or sewing a skill learned and shared is a benefit that comes around full circle.

Starting today, take the opportunity to act on your vision and get things done.

Detours.

Tonight on the drive home we took a different route than we normally do. We took a detour that was a little slower than the normal route up the interstate but it was something new that yielded the same outcome meaning we made it home. Life is filled with detours and alternate routes that can lead to the same destination you originally set out on. Many of us have been taught that there is only one ladder to success, there is only one path to follow and this is incorrect as there are many ways to reach the same destination.

I love going on road trips and finding the most unique way to reach the desired destination I had planned. These routes often have a random assortment of stops that can be educational, entertaining, and satisfying. Whenever we take a detour we take every opportunity that sounds entertaining without any debate we just say let’s give it a try and pull over. We’ve had some good, great, strange, and not repeatable experiences that have helped us tell better stories after our adventures are over.

Day to day life is very similar in the fact that we are always able to choose to take the opportunities that are presented to us potentially seeing a different route to success. What holds us back? Our fears of stepping outside the status quo, failing, or embarrassing ourselves. Being able to look at an alternate way of doing things isn’t something to be afraid of, sometimes the detour is the best door. People are remembered for the things they’ve done that stand out and the risks they take.

Looking back on the detour we took on our return home we were presented with less traffic, more wildlife, better views of the mountains, and a new way of getting home. We are grateful for taking the chance on new route home and look forward to taking chances in our day to day lives as we look forward to successful detours.

Barber.

I have strange hair that has multiple cowlicks and tends to act how it wants. When people have cut my hair in the past they have mentioned how challenging my hair was to cut for them. Four years ago I walked into Ray’s Barber Shop in Salt Lake City and had my haircut by my current barber, that haircut has turned into four years of haircuts and friendship.

When I originally selected my barber I asked around the office I was working at to be recommended to the downtown location for Ray’s Barbershop. I jumped online and booked an appointment with a barber with good ratings and drove downtown. My first experience set the bar high with good conversation, good laughs, and a great haircut. After that, I started stopping in monthly and became a regular customer and have since followed my barber to his new shop the Bureau Barber + Shop and continue going in monthly for a fresh cut.

What makes a good barber in my opinion? Someone who can provide a quality experience that isn’t just a haircut. A quality haircut is obviously a key component to the real experience during and after a visit to your barber. The ability to suggest a type of haircut that is stylish and fitting to ones face is a huge benefit to having a barber who knows you as a customer. Finding the right barber and sticking with them pays off as familiarity with the canvas creates better work and consistent quality of good haircuts.  

Another thing is the quality of conversation and the ability to keep conversations flowing without many if any awkward moments. I enjoy sitting down and having a great conversation with my barber, we keep up on the little things family, hobbies, sports, history topics, and much more as we talk monthly. It creates a friendship that isn’t just a exchange of haircut for money, it creates a quality experience that is worth repeating monthly.

If you have hair on your head that needs to be groomed and managed by skilled hands take the time to find someone who can help you manage it. Not just manage it but keep it looking sharp so that you look your best wherever you go.

Blank.

Today I sat down to write and drew a blank at what to write about. My mind shuddered and my thoughts became incoherent strands of incomplete ideas and thoughts. I started glancing at memes, revisiting old ideas, and procrastinating putting thoughts into digital text. Nothing came to mind I drew a blank. I sat here and reviewed my day and wondered what caused my absence of thought tonight?

Was it the four walks I took my dog in today? Where I played tug a war with an eight-month-old puppy who wanted to befriend every dog, cow, and pig we passed today as we walked? Was it my frustration after toiling around the yard today and not feeling that enough progress has been made in my desire to redesign our greenspace? Were the blank halls of thought a side effect of revamping my eBay store and shipping out orders from the weekend? Where was the lack of inspiration coming from? I still don’t know.

Perhaps it is stemming from the change in the air, two major changes are happening this week a new shift for me and a new job for my wife. Both are extremely exciting because they are putting us both closer to where we want to be in our professional careers. Change can be a challenge when there is a lot of motion in a short time, for me this feels like a lot of motion.

Life is a juggling act for most everyone where we are figuring out what is happening, how we want things to happen, and how they actually are happening. Along with a dozen other things tossed into the said juggling act we are often life like a spider in rollerskates, attempting to find our footing as each foot slips out from under us. Life is in constant motion and we know that motion will always be happening around us. Our best option is to join the locomotion and continue doing our thing the best we can.  


Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Variety.

Ever wondered what makes life so good? It’s variety, opportunity to experience the unique differences we each bring to the table. Think about it, can you imagine eating nothing but mac n cheese for every meal, every day for an entire lifetime? Or even eat the same meat and potato meal always? That would become redundant in a short time, and eating would be a dread instead of a delight. Variety enhances life, think about the foods we eat, the clothes we wear, and the people we met, things change and vary anywhere you go.

Let’s think about food(I love food, this is why we’re starting here.), eating should be an experience more often than not. Food is colors, textures and flavors all combined into an experience that can be enjoyed aloe or shared among friends. When the world began trading they opened up new food combinations which have shaped cuisine, the way we grow food, the way we prepare food, the flavors we add to food, and the way we eat food. Food allows us to change up our routine and escape much of the mundane to do’s we live daily.

The clothes we choose to wear share a nonverbal message to those we pass on the street we enjoy band X, we support political candidate Y, or enjoy brand Z. Our clothes speak without words and are often others first impressions of us. I know, we’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover nor a person by their clothes, but who doesn’t from time to time make assumptions about someone wearing a certain type of clothing. Clothing varies from person to person, country to country and culture to culture. How cool is that?

It’s not hard to see how people vary around the world, how different we can be due to the influences around us. If you live in a colder climate you are often involved in winter activities that a person living next to a beach in a warm climate who rarely wears pants. Where we live changes us and shapes us different ways. When you travel you experience these differences and may find yourself interested in adopting some of them into your daily routine. These difference create experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s eating guinea pig in Peru, Balut in the Philippines, Chicken and waffles in the USA, or Blood Pudding in the UK. Yes, another set of food references.

Our differences allow for a bit of mystery that calls us to adventure and exploration. Experiencing new things connects us, helping us see more, know more, an become better citizens of the world. Variety makes life better and makes for a better world.

Risk.

Whenever I’m out exploring the great outdoors I understand that there is a general amount of risk that needs to be understood as I seek out places that few see in person. Knowing that risk is an ever-present weight to be balanced and measured is a good reminder to be sure your next steps are in the right direction. Risk can be taken in adventure, day to day transit, business, school, and relationships. By understanding what risky behaviors can be taken appropriately we can do our best to know that the risks we may take can payoff positively for us.

As a natural born risk taker, I’ve always walked the fine line between smart risk and reckless risk. There was a goal I had to learn how to balance atop a fence about five feet off the ground and about 150 yards from my parents home. I understood what could happen if I learned the skill I needed to walk the line, I would be able to brag about my superior balance and have a skill that few have. If I was unsuccessful I could fall and break any number of bones and hurt myself in other ways. I knew I would fall, I expected it and that understanding made the challenge a little easier to start and helped me balance the risk to reward from my little venture.

I practiced this balancing act for years at times only making it a foot or two before bailing off one side of the fence or the other or take a sudden slip and ending up bouncing to the ground without a moments notice. As the years added up so did the number of feet I was able to balance and the number of times I became closer to succeeding at my little conquest to balance the entire fence. I only made the entire fence one time, one time that has taught me countless lessons in life balance and perseverance since.

Along with those two great assets under my belt I also learned how to manage the risk I was deciding to take every time I climbed the fence and began my balancing act. I learned to avoid walking the line if it had just snowed or rained a wet metal bar isn’t so grippy and you will either end up in mud or snow. Watching the weather was key to a good session on the bar, the wind was not your friend either. Wearing the right footwear is key to being able to walk the greatest distance, wearing boots or shoes with bad traction is a bad choice, wearing shoes that are muddy, shitty, or wet are also a guarantee that you’ll fall faster than you’d intended.

This childhood experience is a simple lesson in goal setting, perseverance, trial and error, and risk management. Can the lessons I learned from my years walking the fence from the farm to the house be used today? Absolutely, I can weigh the risk in the actions I take and examine the payout that could take place if my risk pays off.