Consistency Counts?

Wow. I get all kinds of crap on line about how to make more money, how to improve your lifestyle, your self esteem, your image, your bank account. Most of it is visibly crap; it is all about how to get something for almost nothing (the almost is always what you have to pay for the larger version of the advice!). We live in this amazing culture where people actually believe that you can become a millionaire doing no work. This is astonishing. When did we become so gullible? When did we decide as a culture that we were entitled to something for nothing? Hard to say, but I don’t know of any real millionaires (other than lottery winners) who got that way without a whole bunch of hard work, and some smarts, and some luck. So as I was reading one of the many newsletters I get from successful people (at least so they say) I read an interesting idea. It was that what counts more than anything is consistency; reliability and constancy. That if you continually show up, suit up and do what you say, you will succeed. Perhaps great success takes more, being willing to take risks and do more than the next guy, but you will succeed by some reasonable measure. If you want to write, write…every day. If you want to lose weight, eat less…every day. Show up for work, volunteer, keep your word…every day. So for this new year, I think this is a worthy goal. I will not resolve to lose weight, get in shape, be more organized, all the usual. This new year I resolve to be more consistent; let’s see where it leads.

Consistency Counts?

Wow. I get all kinds of crap on line about how to make more money, how to improve your lifestyle, your self esteem, your image, your bank account. Most of it is visibly crap; it is all about how to get something for almost nothing (the almost is always what you have to pay for the larger version of the advice!). We live in this amazing culture where people actually believe that you can become a millionaire doing no work. This is astonishing. When did we become so gullible? When did we decide as a culture that we were entitled to something for nothing? Hard to say, but I don’t know of any real millionaires (other than lottery winners) who got that way without a whole bunch of hard work, and some smarts, and some luck. So as I was reading one of the many newsletters I get from successful people (at least so they say) I read an interesting idea. It was that what counts more than anything is consistency; reliability and constancy. That if you continually show up, suit up and do what you say, you will succeed. Perhaps great success takes more, being willing to take risks and do more than the next guy, but you will succeed by some reasonable measure. If you want to write, write…every day. If you want to lose weight, eat less…every day. Show up for work, volunteer, keep your word…every day. So for this new year, I think this is a worthy goal. I will not resolve to lose weight, get in shape, be more organized, all the usual. This new year I resolve to be more consistent; let’s see where it leads.

Technology means I’m Old?

Why can I not understand what a six year old can? I have explained to my teenager that part of the chasm in techno-comprehension has to do with what a person has grown up with. This conversation generally takes place after he affectionately insists I try some “game” or other only to find (for the millionth time) that I cannot manipulate a controller so as to actually accomplish anything; too many things at once. So as I explain, for instance, your current six year old finds i-pods and controllers completely normal. I find my i-pod to be alien. My teenager totally understands his cell phone, and that it is really more than a cell phone. I do not undersand this, I cling to the belief that my cell phone is just that, a cell phone. The problem is that it is just a cell phone, but cell phones do a wide variety of things that telephones did not. This whole “generational” explanation does not explain away those folks that just intuitively understand everything about computers. There are blogs, pings, bits, gigs, downloads, uploads, friend requests, permalinks and what have you. I struggle like crazy to learn about this stuff and then, when someone explains it, it seems so simple – til I try to do it by myself. So this reflection leads me to think……..I must be getting old? I am not acculturated properly to the new technology? True, and I still listen to the Grateful Dead.

Technology means I’m Old?

Why can I not understand what a six year old can? I have explained to my teenager that part of the chasm in techno-comprehension has to do with what a person has grown up with. This conversation generally takes place after he affectionately insists I try some “game” or other only to find (for the millionth time) that I cannot manipulate a controller so as to actually accomplish anything; too many things at once. So as I explain, for instance, your current six year old finds i-pods and controllers completely normal. I find my i-pod to be alien. My teenager totally understands his cell phone, and that it is really more than a cell phone. I do not undersand this, I cling to the belief that my cell phone is just that, a cell phone. The problem is that it is just a cell phone, but cell phones do a wide variety of things that telephones did not. This whole “generational” explanation does not explain away those folks that just intuitively understand everything about computers. There are blogs, pings, bits, gigs, downloads, uploads, friend requests, permalinks and what have you. I struggle like crazy to learn about this stuff and then, when someone explains it, it seems so simple – til I try to do it by myself. So this reflection leads me to think……..I must be getting old? I am not acculturated properly to the new technology? True, and I still listen to the Grateful Dead.

Families are Weird

Although it is still the season of miracles, it is also, without question, the season of difficult family relations. When you are young you have to see all your strange cousins and have your cheeks, etc., pinched by various aunts and uncles. As you get older there is the “bring home the laundry” holiday. When you get married there is the “whose family do we see for this one” holiday. When you have children there is always the “which grandparents get to see the babies” holiday. Because we no longer live in stable long term communities with multi-generational families; because we travel far and wide for college and there meet our mates; for lots of reasons in this global time, the holidays can become very divisive and contentious. And that’s before you actual see any of your relatives. Families are weird. You tolerate behaviors in your family members that you would never tolerate in any other house guest; you actually invite them back! You permit them to abuse your home, your spouse, your children and your good will and you love them anyway. Families are full of secrets. It is where we learn to gossip! Things are told to this one or that one, but kept from others for all kinds of reasons. This behavior is generally not accepted in most other adult groups, like workplaces, for instance. In your adult life you may have a friend or two that you tell your “secrets” to, expecting your confidence will be kept without a warning not to tell any particular other person. In families, you cannot expect your confidence to be kept, you must post a warning and identfy to whom it applies. Your family feels free to tell you all kinds of things, under the guise of love (geniune I’m sure). They can tell you that you are fat, pig headed, ignorant, unhealthy, etc., all for loving reasons. Would you continue a relationship with anyone else who told you these things regularly…..I think not.