Monthly Archives: July 2015

Take The Phone Off Your Body

Take The Phone Off Your Body

We are having family visiting from out of town for a little longer than a week. My grandson grabbed two toy tigers out of the toy boxes and asked me if I wanted to play with him. I said “Sure!” I had been stretched out on the recliner with my phone laying on my belly for quick access to all the important things that happen on the phone. <sarcasm>
He said, “Take the phone off your body.”

Phone on the body, C bgoodylose 2015

Phone on the body, C bgoodylose 2015

His wisdom was pretty impressive for not quite being four. He knew that I wasn’t ready to give him full attention if the phone was in easy reach.

Being In The Moment

This is so typical of life. Are we fully involved with what we are doing at the moment, whether we are playing with our kids or grandkids, eating dinner with the family or working on an important project. If we don’t give the activity our full attention we are cheating ourselves, others and the activity itself of our best efforts. How many times have you seen someone focusing on their phone when someone or something is right next to them. I have seen the bored look in someones face when someone the love and admire isn’t giving them your full attention.


  1. Put your phone in Do Not Disturb or airplane mode when you are with someone.
  2. Do the same at the breakfast and dinner table. Make the table a no phone zone. Sit, listen and interact!
  3. If you are at a place where you are being served, be respectful and let the phone ring or the text go unanswered for the few minutes that you are being served. Make the interaction memorable for you and them. You will get better service and maybe make a new friend.
  4. The phone call or text should never take priority over who you are with. Voice mail works great and whomever texted you can wait a bit before you respond.
  5. Always, always be the master of your device, not vice versa. You can control your reactions to the device by being proactive with it. Know how to silence your phone quickly and avoid the temptation to pull it out and glance at the phone when you are with others.
  6. Always ask permission of the person you are with to use the phone. “Do you want me to look that up?”, Gets the other person involved with the phone use
  7. Silence is not a queue to pull out your phone and start using it. Use the silence to observe who you are with. Use it to think of something that you found interesting today or an observation you made. Ask them about their views on the subject or what they would have done and share your own experience. Sometimes it’s enough for me to sit in silence with someone and just enjoy their company. I enjoy being close to some people.

I find myself being tempted to use my phone when I shouldn’t, but when I avoid the temptation, I am usually deeply rewarded.

Hang in there and I will too!

Having Someone in Your Corner

Having Someone in Your Corner

When I was growing up I remember some great fights being shown on television and the audio was also played on the radio. It was the golden age of heavy weight boxing. The self-proclaimed best, Cassius Clay, whom later was known as Muhammed Ali was in his prime. He fought the likes of Joe Frazier and George Forman came on the scene before he started selling his grilles. One thing all had in common was they had someone good in their corner to help them with strategy, handle cuts and bruises and knowing when to throw in the towel when the fighter was under distress and couldn’t make a decision for himself. Remember Mick in Rocky? “Cut me Mick!”

Cut me


We All Need Someone In Our Corner

Yesterday I spent two hours at lunch with my high school buddy Mark. It was non-stop laughs the whole time as we remembered our fun times together. We all need someone we can laugh with.
This morning, my church leader, Bishop Moore, came by to see me. He gave me needed counsel and left me grateful for the largeness of his spirit. We all need someone who inspires and lifts us.
Today was a state holiday where we honor our ancestors who settled this part of the US in 1847. We celebrate with a huge parade, barbecues and lots of fun family time. I watched my good wife work her heart out all day long to make sure we were all having a good time. She has been by my side helping me and being patient. We all need someone who we love more than anything. And it just so happens that they love us too
My whole family is incredible. They are constantly encouraging me and are patient with me. It’s great to have family on your side.
Who is in your corner? Have you expressed your appreciation for them lately?

   Hang in there and I will too!

All About Your Heart

All about your heart. Believe me when I say
It’s not about your scars
It’s all about your heart – Mindy Gledhill

Mindy Gledhill

I’ve been traveling the past few days and I heard a song by Mindy Gledhill. The quote above tells us it’s not are scars that are important, but our heart. A physical example is after my surgery for subdural hematoma and having my skull removed and reattached with titanium screws, I was left with 80 some odd staples in my head.
2 years later I still have six noticeable dents and some pretty good scar tissue around these dents. These are battle scars but they haven’t been the defining point since my surgery. I feel like I had a strong will or heart if you will after the surgery. I couldn’t walk, talk or even use the restroom when I woke up 10 days later. I had to have the heart to face these challenges head on. I told myself that I would do what ever was asked of me. With all of my friends and family cheering me on. I was motivated not to let them down.
One event that sticks out was when I was asked to move from a chair to an elevated mat that I could receive physical therapy on. What would be an easy task for me now, took me 20 minutes to accomplish. I kept trying because I had family in the room and I didn’t want to disappoint everyone by asking for help. It took me a while, but it was in my heart to do it.
The idea I’m trying to get across is that it doesn’t matter what you have been through. What matters is how your heart comes out after struggling hard. Try hard not to let past events define you too much. Keep your good heart and try to hang on to what you know is true.
I am cheering for you and hope you will cheer for me as well. We all go through very hard things in this life. Don’t let the affliction overcome your soul. We are all better than that.

         Hang in there and I will too!

Are You An Optimist Or A Pessimist

Are You An Optimist or a Pessimist

is it better to be an optimist or a pessimist? Are they the only two choices? An optimist by definition sees the best outcome in things. A pessimist sees the worst outcome in things. Is either thinking optimal or is a mixtue of the two the best. Let’s take a look at crossing a busy street. An optimist might look at it like, if I close my eyes and run as fast as I can, I will make it to the other side. Chances of success? Slim to none. A pessimist might say, I can never make it so I won’t even try. Chances of success zero.

Let’s get real!

So what should you be? Sounds like either choice is fraught with peril. How about being a realist? A realist knows that the road is busy and just taking your chances by darting across the street without looking is a sure fire way to get squashed. But a realist understands that not trying will keep you stranded on the same side of the street for the rest of your life. Looking both ways and having patience to wait for the inevitable break in traffic will deliver you safe and sound to the other side. Chances of success, very good.

Half empty, half full

Most of us know the analogy of a glass that is half way full of water.An optimistic person sees he glass as half ful while the pessimist sees it as half empty. A realist sees the glass as being half empty, but realizes without much effort he can fill tthe glass to the top. He also realizes that he can use what is left to quench his thirst or take his pills or whatever task he needs the water for. There is still enough water to get the job done.

Don’t be fooled

Don’t let overly optimistic personaliies talk you into chances and risk that are unneccessary. Don’t listen to pessimist views that’s it’s not worth even trying. Let the realist in you, look at the task at hand, plan out the work and then work the plan. There is usually neither over supply or scarcity but there is enough to get the job done.

Hang in there and I will too!

Jonathan – Mixing it up

Mixing things up
As many of you know, I have been trying to lose weight. Last time I tried this, I lost 110 lbs. This time around, I am trying to lose even more. My biggest challenge this time around is a diet will work for a couple of days and then I will hit a long and frustrating plateau. I’ve decided to try mixing things up. My wife has been doing a juice cleanse. She has been doing it for over a week now and is seeing positive results. I myself have tried many things, Medifast, high fat, restrictive calorie, but keep getting the same results. Lose a few pounds and then hit a plateau where I yo-yo up and down. I read a while back one if
Chris Powell’s books
where he suggest alternating between high carb and high protein. He likes to mix things up. I decided to do something similar except I am adding one more component, juicing.

I use our local community recreation center. They have a big pool, weight room, indoor track, aerobic machines, racket and basketball courts. Another thing I like about the rec center is I have met a lot of good people. I had a lengthy chat today with Jonathan who told me about the benefits of including pomegranate juice along with pointers on how to use the pool as weight resistant training. He spent at least a half hour with me giving me pointers on how to make the most of my pool time. If there is interest, I will post an entry about it. Just comment or contact me via social media about your interest.

Hang in there and I will too!

Chris Powell

Try Something Different

Try Something Different

Sometimes we get stuck on the same thing and won’t let go of it. Even if that thing is giving us diminishing returns. I would like to suggest the power in trying something different.

Diminishing Returns

You are probably aware of diminishing returns. Some proscribe to the fact that 20% of the efforts that we make are the efforts that make the biggest difference. That means we waste 80% of our time working on the same thing. For example, I was getting stuck on putting a header picture on my blog. WordPress wanted it to be a certain dimension. I knew and understood what was needed, but I didn’t know how to get the job done in Photoshop. I spent 80% of my time trying to learn how to do it. I could have finished up in Photoshop, but I got the job done quicker and easier using Canva on my iPad. I got the job done with the 20%. I wish I would have looked for an alternative quicker. It would have saved me a bunch of time.

Find out a different way of doing things

I have suffered with the effects of my TBI caused by a subdural hematoma. I have been blessed by looking at alternatives. I have seen a lot of medical doctors and experts who have tried to help me overcome my fatigue. I have tried taking Nuvigil which is used to treat narcoleptics to stay awake. It was like taking sugar pills at the rate of $100 / month. Nothing has been as effective as working with my sister who practices cranio-sacral therapy. This alternative has helped me understand my fatigue better. I often feel much better after a session with her. I really appreciate all she has done for me!

What can you do differently than you are doing now?

Stop what you are working hard on for long enough to determine if you are doing it in an effective way. Don’t be afraid to try doing it different. You never know, you may find a better way and enjoy what you are doing a lot more. I have been doing my zentangle pictures using Paper 53 app, but I found an app last night which I really like and it has enhanced my drawing enjoyment. The app is called Sketches
My art is not even close to professional quality, but I am having a fun time exploring art. Here is an example of my ineptness

Find the 20% that will make the difference in your life and the particular problem you are trying to overcome.

Hang in there and I will too!

Planning For the Upcoming Forcast

Forcast Prep

Planning For the Upcoming Forcast

30% Chance You’ll Blow Up Your Diet

Decide what to do

  • Binge
    • Feel good for 5 minutes
      • Next meal is a disaster
        • Downward spiral
          • 3 months later, start over
  • Take a mulligan
    • Start over and take another swing at it
      • Weight is back off and your back in a good place

40% Chance You Will Miss A Commitment

Decide what to do

  • Binge
    • Feel good for 5 minutes
      • Next meal is a disaster
        • Downward spiral
          • 3 months later, start over
  • Much like blowing a diet, see if you can get a do-over
    • Negotiate a new deadline
      • Do everything you can to meet your new deadline
        • Rebuild trust

90% Chance You Will Be Dissappointed

Decide what to do

  • Binge
    • Feel good for 5 minutes
      • Next meal is a disaster
        • Downward spiral
          • 3 months later, start over
  • Life is full of dissapointments
    • Something
      • Were you hoping for something?
        • Make do with what you have and think through how to get what you were hoping for?
          • Make a plan, make a change
    • Someone
      • Lesson learned
        • Deal with this person differently next time
          • Explain to the person why you are disappointed
            • Sing “We Won’t Get Fooled Again” by the Who 20 times and keep the commitment

50% Chance Someone Will Make You Mad

Decide what to do

  • Binge
    • Feel good for 5 minutes
      • Next meal is a disaster
        • Downward spiral
          • 3 months later, start over
  • Talk to the person that made you mad
    • Person may not even realize they upset you
      • Come away understanding there was a misunderstanding
    • Person may not care
      • There is nothing you can do to make them change.
        • Do something constructive that makes you feel better after
          • Send time with family
          • Listen/Play music
          • Meditate
          • Laugh with a friend

Never Stop Learning

Never Stop Learning

There is always something out there you need to learn

Are you still working? Don’t sit on what you’ve trained to do, whether through school or on the job training. Things keep changing and if we don’t keep learning, the world will pass us by. If I would have rested on my college experience, I would only be qualified to program in Cobol on a mainframe or C on a 286 pc.

Opportunities Abound

I have learned a lot from books as I am sure most of you have. There are so many good books out there ready to take us from point A to point B. Not only will reading specific and focused books on something we need to become more knowledgable in. But reading others words open out neural pathways to approach life differently than we have before. The avenues to read have opened up in the past few years. We can carry loads of books and read them almost any where by loading ebooks on our devices. A quick list shows how this has blossomed in the recent past.


  • iBooks – You can now listen to audiobooks on the latest update. A great way to get a read in when you can’t put a book in front of you. Trips fly by when you are listening intently to someone read the book to you.
  • Audible has a great selection at what I think are reasonable prices. Did you know you can share your Kindle and Audible books with household members. If you are interested, I can detail the steps.
  • Kindle
    • Kindle Unlimited – for a monthly fee, you have access to many, many books.
    • Prime Membership includes checking out some books for free
    • Overdrive
      Public library access to check out books – I lost a bet and had to read the Twilight series. That’s how I read them without having to buy the books. It made me feel all sparkly not having to buy the books! On the App Store.


It used to be thought that after a certain age, our minds were unable to grow any more. Once we had reached 25, that things started going downhill and there was nothing we could do about it. I have been ready a book called “The Brain’s Way if Healing” by Norman Doidge The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge.
Brains Way of Healing
It contains many remarkable examples of how people with TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) have been able to rewire their brains. It has given me hope I too can recover from my own TBI.

Online Courses

Searching YouTube, I have found people who have posted helpful tutorials from putting my screen protector on correctly to music and drawing tutorials. and (free trial) are also great resources to find courses you might be interested in. Even though some of the courses are expensive, Udemy often sends me discount for courses I am interested in. The place that I work for has a corporate account to Lynda so I have had access to there extensive courses.

Don’t Stop Believing

Don’t think you are too old to start something new. Whether it’s starting a new phase of your life, taking up running, or anything else that you have a dream about. It’s possible and the tools are there to help you do it. Just to show you I practice what I preach, I wrote this blog post using markdown. The why would make a good blog post.

Hang in there and I will too

I Can’t Seem to Get It Right.

What Am I Doing Wrong
Frustration as a Key Motivator Fortress Learning

Do you find yourself feeling like this on your dream. I want to post twice a week, but my record hasn’t been stellar so far. I could blame external factors that are real like losing one of my blog post (I later found it), I posted one to publish in the morning, but that was the post that got lost and it didn’t publish how I thought it should. I have gotten distracted a couple of times. But if I am honest with myself, I can learn from these mistakes and learn from them and get it right.

Nothing But Excuses

For instance, I can use a better tool to help save my post correctly. Hopefully I have found that tool. I can also set up reminders to help me remember to post. I need to make this task one of my “frogs” of the day. It needs to be at the top of the list of things to do.

What Can I Do About It

I do have a stockpiles of blog ideas which will help. I also need to see when I have obstacles coming up. I have family coming into town in July and I need to spend time with the family without missing my post.

I need to learn my toolset better so I know how to publish at a later day.

What’s Holding You Back?

What is keeping you from doing your best? What role are you playing that you need to correct?