May Experiment

Sheesh! This whole writing daily experiment has been a complete failure so far. I guess I will have to start over.

One of the things about forming new habits, like writing daily or running, is that you have to be careful about how you setup the trigger / response relationship. If you just say you’re going to do it “sometime tomorrow”, you won’t..or at least I won’t.

The beautiful thing with the running habit I’m working on is, I wake up on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning, then I go for a run. That works most of the time. The two issues I have with using waking up as a trigger for a habit is: my wife occasionally has to go into work early and I still have to make sure the kids get up and I have a tendency to stay up too late and make myself unable to wake up in time to do whatever I’m supposed to do. Tomorrow, I’m going to the District 84 Toastmasters Conference, so unless I make myself get up, I won’t run. It’s a hotel thing. The good thing is I’ll be near a mall with a nice perimeter to run around.

But I was talking about writing. I can’t make myself write first thing in the morning because my brain isn’t fully functional until about 10 am. Anything I write before then not usually coherent. I normally produce my best material either mid afternoon or late at night, after everyone else is in bed, if not asleep.┬áThat’s when I did my best work for Comics & Geeks. I’m especially proud of a few of the pieces I did on there.

I’m going to be working on figuring out the proper trigger so I can get myself writing daily. It’s worked for running. It’s worked for eating properly. It has worked in the past for other habits I’ve tried to form.

Then again, I may just need a few nights of good sleep. That’s one of the things about getting actual exercise. I’m tired by the end of the day, even though I won’t be asleep before midnight.

Later folks!

Running

I’m getting ready to go out for my run. I normally run in the mornings. I’ve been doing the Couch 2 5k program. Specifically, I’m using the Run 5k app on my iPhone. I completed week 3 on Sunday. I’ll be starting week 3 again shortly.

Running is hard for me. I have a bad knee. I have a bad ankle and I’m pigeon toed. I’m also flat footed. I weigh 275 lbs.

I have never really run much since I was a little kid. When I was a kid, I mitigated the amount of effort I had to exert. If I could get out of exercising or running as a kid, I avoided it. I was a brain. Running was below me. I didn’t need to be fit because I had brains. That might be why I was 260 lbs when I graduated from high school.

As I was saying, I weigh 275 lbs. Seven weeks ago I weighed 295 lbs.

I went through this same process two years ago. I ran for months. The first time I didn’t last the first 15 minutes of the program. It took me two weeks before I could finish one day of the C25k program. It was two months before I could do the second week completely. Life happened. I stopped running and watching what I ate and need right back where I started. It took me a while to get back to that point, so some of the good habits I formed in that period stuck. For example, I had only starting this past Christmas started buying snacks in convenience stores again. It took over a year for that bad habit to restart.

But I was talking about running. Yes. I needed to exercise. Why would I choose to run? Imagine the stress I’m putting my legs and feet joints through.

I like running. I never knew it before. I get 30 minutes alone with my thoughts. It’s meditative, even when I’m wheezing and gasping for air. I get to spend time listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

It’s a way to exercise that requires no equipment. I can do it anywhere. My kids don’t want to go on road runs.

Since I began running, I am able to get on the soccer field and help coach my son’s soccer team. I have lost twenty pounds. I feel better. My brain gets to reset.

I guess I better get out there. It’s gotten dark since I started writing this.

Man Of Steel

As much as I enjoyed watching Iron Man 3 this weekend, what I think I enjoyed more was watching Alex watch the Man of Steel Trailer. Takes me back to a certain little boy watching a certain 1978 film. There’s something magical about that moment when you begin to believe and feel like a man can actually fly.

The grown man sitting on the other side of Alex was getting just as much of a kick out of watching him as I was. Alex had his arms outstretched and was moving around in his seat silently. His eyes were wide open. He was Superman for that brief moment.

When the 1978 Superman film was released, I was a wee lad of 4. I still remember it well. My mom took me to the drive in to see it. It was amazing. The ending still doesn’t make sense to me, but it didn’t/doesn’t matter. Watching that Superman movie was all about watching in amazement and really believing for a moment that a man could fly.

I guess I’ll be taking the little guy to see Man of Steel.

Oops!

It’s May 5th and I’ve already failed to write two days. Guess what! I can’t do anything about it now. All I can do is get back up and start again.

That’s what happens when we fail. We have to get back up and try again.

Yesterday was the last game of our soccer season. One of the little guys on the team, Jordan, got hit in the stomach by the ball. He fell down and cried. I can’t blame him. He got hit pretty hard. When he came back to the bench, I asked him if he was ready to go back in. He said “no”. I told him we weren’t going to have his last play of the season be him getting hurt and talked him into going back in.

Even if you decide to quit, you shouldn’t let your last act at something you are trying to do be a failure on your part. You have to try once more. You don’t want to create a habit of quitting on failure.

I should write two more pieces through the month so that I’ve still written 31 pieces by the end of the month. Take that Resistance.

Thank You For…

“Thank your for your [comment, email, message, feedback]…”

I’m beginning to think that any email or letter, and probably voice mail, that begins “Thank you” is part of the corporate douche baggery lexicon. It’s right up there with “We apologize”. Is that how you apologize? If I mean it, I usually say “I’m sorry”.

If there is a Corporate Douche Baggery Dictionary, both of these phrases have to be in there.

“We understand” is another one. Any time anyone is so careful in how they word something that they find themselves using any of these phrases they should really ask themselves “Would this make me feel better about the situation?” By the way if you answered anything other than “No!” you need to go back and take classes on being a human.

Instead of “Thank you for your…” you should say “You’re right. We are jerks. Unfortunately for you we have made our decision and here are our reasons for doing so.”

Another favorite and I’ve slipped on this one a couple of times is “I’m sorry I’ve offended you”. I call this the douchebag apology. What that means is “I’m sorry you were offended”. It’s not accepting any responsibility for whatever upset the person. Depending on the particular offense, there are several ways this interaction could go. I personally like, “I hadn’t thought of it like that.”

I may have to write a Corporate Douche Baggery Dictionary.

Partners

I’ve decided to try to write something every day this month as an experiment and to try to form a new good habit. Hopefully I’ll publish something every day. It might be here. It might be elsewhere. If it’s not here, I will publish a link here.

There is a lot going through my mind today.

Best (and most appropriate) tweet I saw today:
@fmetalli: The Best Number Of Partners In A #Company Is Any Uneven Number Below 3

That is a pretty powerful and witty way of saying something. You can have more than one partner in a company, but the ground rules have to be very well defined. There was something that Seth Godin said about everyone in the group has to earn their shares. That doesn’t just mean show up and do a job. It means you have to earn your shares. No one gets a free ride. Not even the one providing the money for the venture. Am I wrong?

Never go into a business venture with anyone without having the exit plan in place. I’ve made this mistake twice. You could even say I made it three times. I may be about to make it a fourth time. On second thought, maybe I won’t.

Then again, maybe it makes the most sense to stick to any uneven number below three.