Have you ever watched someone begin a personal program? Whether the program is exercise based or diet based; whether the program is a newly acquired position at work, whether the program is a new relationship or a new schedule designed to create life changes, in the beginning, have you ever noticed the way some approach the starting line and how they blast off out from the gate?Continue reading
More and more, I see the world changing, which is fine because change is a natural act and no amount of pretending will ever change this fact. I see this in business and in personal interactions.
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone has their own system of beliefs. Everyone has their own political view, their own passions, and their own rights to each. You have your way and I have mine.
More and more, however, I see a great imposition between others with conflicting opinions. I see fights and division. I see hatred and frustration and people pointing fingers at this one or that one, quick to say which one is right or wrong, but never daring to listen to an opposing view because it my disturb their system f beliefs
I used to speak with a salesman on a somewhat regular basis. He was good to speak to. And I will tell you why.
Business is business and life is life. But sometimes the two intertwine. Sometimes life bleeds into business and sometimes business bleeds into life. We are human, which means life happens.
Things happen in our personal life or something can happen in our work life that weighs us down.
Maybe we lost a sale. Maybe our boss decided to go on a shouting spree. Maybe something at home went wrong.
Maybe the love life went south or something happened to the kids or a family member.
Life happens to everyone, but yet, professionalism is expected, which means we cannot allow this to distract or deter us from our path.
We live and we learn. Somewhere along the way we form habitual paths. We are a system of daily routines and unvarying ways. some are more crucial and some are less concerning. Some are subconscious and some are more outwardly.
I have seen people try to quit smoking by changing their brand. I have seen people switch the hand they hold their cigarette with to break their habit and lose their usual fluid motion.
It is said that nothing changes of nothing changes, which means even the slightest change can perpetuate the ultimate change.
My Dear Old Friends,
It’s been a long time since we were all together in the same place at the same time. It’s been even longer since we were the kids from the town, the kids we were, the kids we used to be, and doing the things we used to do.Continue reading
There are times when I am scrolling through my phone to find a number. I come across a word that means more to me than almost anything. Sometimes, I begin dialing a number and due to the technical intelligence of my cell phone, the dialing screen shows suggestions of whom I might be calling. Every so often, I begin to dial a similar number and the word pops on the screen.
The number I come across is not titled with a name of a client or a friend or anyone else.
The word that comes on the screen is Mom.
I was never sure what love is or if love could be defined or be distinguished by one true definition. All I know is that as I’ve grown, so has my definition of what love is or what love should be.
never the same. It changes and evolves.
Love expands and contracts. It has peaks and valleys, good times and bad. Love does not come without mistake or flaw or pain.
I say life is math. I see us all as a mathematical equation. I believe we are all this way. I think we are the sum of our past. We are a compilation of memory and a combination of circumstance. I see our personal factors as a mixture of events; some of which, we swore would never happen again, so obviously, we behave in a way to prevent past events from ever occurring again.Continue reading
One of my first jobs was a door to door sales job that paid cash at the end of each day. I sold small impulse items like calculators and little things like pens and other catchy knickknacks that people buy on a whim.
None of the items were high priced but in sales like this, volume is key.
In all honesty, I hated this job. I hated the network marketing aspect and the fake promises of owning my own distribution center, which is literally promised to everyone in their interview.
I knocked on doors. I sold most of my products on factory settings. In fact, lunch time was best because all the workers would stop by and buy what I had. But most days were uphill days. I heard no more than I heard yes. And the abuse was terrible. The rejection was unmatchable. At the end of the day, my feet were tired from walking all around throughout different parts of the city. At the close of business day, I went back to the home office with the balance of my goods and paid what I owe to receive what I earned.
Everyone has a dream . . .
The way I see it
there is only one thing between us and our dreams.
That is the beast within.
And everyone has a beast within them
Everyone has that inner monologue
That inner demon
That’s the beast I was telling you about
My beast speaks too
He whispers . .
But I know it’s him,
which is why he changes his dialect.
I swear this is to trick me,
My beast changes the way he speaks,
always disguising himself,
always trying to make me guess myself,
and always looking to maintain my attention
so I won’t look anyplace else.
And sometimes . . .
Sometimes I listen to the crazy laugh of my inner animal.
Every wonder why the devil never dresses himself in anything fancy?
It’s so you never see him coming . . .
Today is the third day after my Botox treatment. I can feel the physical differences in my shoulders and at the base of my neck. I have a better range of motion and with much less discomfort.
I can clearly see how Botox injections help with pain management. As far as the mental aspect, I am someone that lives with frequent battles of insomnia.
This is a tough thing because like most of the working world, I have a schedule to keep. This is difficult to keep on a full night’s rest, let alone a night where sleep is this thing made for other people. However, after the injections, I can see an improvement in my sleeping patterns. Although I still wake up in the middle of the night to make a bathroom trip or two, I am able to fall back asleep, which is miraculous for me.
Nothing fills a room like emptiness. There may be a chair, or a hard wooden bench or a place to sleep, like a narrow bed, there is still nothing but you an bricked room.
There is a hard floor and a flat ceiling, walls, and a door with a small window at eye-level with wire mesh that intertwines within the glass.
I sat in a chair, nervous as ever, because of an old subconscious fear about visits to doctor’s offices that resulted with needles and date back to my early childhood memories. The procedure itself is simple. The anticipation, however, was my biggest hurdle. The rest was nothing more than a few pinches of the skin. And here’s why.Continue reading
Back when I was a little kid, I remember when I had headaches that were bad. Mom used to break up little tablets of baby aspirin and put it with a teaspoon of water. I’m not sure why she delivered the aspirin this way. I suppose I struggled to take the pill itself. Maybe Mom gave me the aspirin this way because it tasted better. I can’t say why she did this.
Unfortunately, Mom is not around to ask but I do remember the teaspoon trick. The medicine was delivered delicately and with love. This was good for me. Also, the aspirin would do its trick. And I understood the exchange; therefore mentally, I knew something was going to help me. I knew that if I felt uncomfortable, I could take an aspirin, wait about 20 minutes, and then I would feel better.
I think of that chicken or the egg theory and which one came first. Was it the chicken or was it the egg?
In all honestly, I never really think of the chicken or the egg. At least, not exactly. More to the point, I think about this when it comes to situations in the mind.
I think about me and my own dilemmas. As far as I know, nobody ever asked to have bad things happen. They just happen. But if in some cases, there is a reason
There is nothing so healing to the world like a laugh during a hard time. I swear in the most impossible of settings, a laugh, say like from someone you love, can be the most redeeming thing in this crazy world.Continue reading
The word just is nothing us. We’ve talked about this before. I love this word because I love the reaction I get when doing presentations.
Just don’t do that anymore . . .Continue reading
There is buried treasure somewhere in a backyard of small home located five houses north of Front Street in a town called East Meadow. I know this because I buried it there, long ago, at a time when youth was made for the young. I’m sure I drew a treasure map, just in case I forgot where I buried these things.Continue reading
I think hard and then I laugh when you tell me how you see me. I laugh because of your inaccuracies and I think hard because I wonder about the way I see myself, which is different from the way you or other people see me.
I suppose this is the way life is. (. . . Isn’t it?)
We are three people. We are who we think we are, who say we are, and then we are who people see us as.
Something went wrong. I was not sure how this happened. I was not sure what took place or what would happen next. I just knew I was about to die. I knew the paranoia had overwhelmed me and I swore (if this were possible) that I was beginning to see the sounds I swore I could hear.
I felt my heart beating through my chest. There was a sensation of pins and needles going down both of my arms, which were numb for some reason.
I was wet and cold.
It was wintertime and I was hiding (like usual) away from the faces, the places, and the people in my town. I was wired and caught up in the aftermath and desperate.
There was a conversation I had not long ago about my opinions regarding the problems we face as a society. What I mean by this is the epidemic we face.
I’m talking about addiction, alcoholism, and mental health, all in its entirety. A while back, I entered my opinion to which I was challenged to do one of two things: I was told to either put up or shut up.
I was told to stop talking. In not so many words I was told that if I don’t like what I see then I should do something about it. Otherwise, shut up because the world is already filled with too many opinions.
Something I realize now is that we teach other on a daily basis. We learn from each other every day. I swear this is true.
We learn what we accept and what we don’t. We learn what we appreciate and what we admire.
We teach other what to do and stay away from. This is how we learn. We watch each other.
We interact and we adapt. When it comes to new people, we learn about them. We learn about their qualities on both ends of the spectrum from benefit to deficit.
I spent decades trying to perfect my personality, only to realize that I was perfect all along.
I spent so long trying to find myself. I wanted to find my place in the crowd and find where I fit.
We’ve talked about the tooth fairy, I’m sure.
Or haven’t we?
I was a kid (of course) and this happened somewhere around the wintertime in second grade. This was a day after a snow day. I was at the bus stop with the other kids.
Everyone was throwing snowballs, which was fun to some degree. I never had much of a throwing arm and besides, I had little hands with little mittens, which meant my snowball-making ability was sub-par. I never liked wearing mittens but this is what Mom gave me.
I used to ask for gloves, —but instead, I had mittens. I had big fluffy, stupid little kid mittens, which caused the older 6th grade kids to pick on me.
It always goes this way before I speak. I feel a rumble inside. I’m scared. I’m worried that I might not say all that needs to be said. I worry that I might leave out an important aspect of my story.
I’m afraid I won’t be impactful. I’m afraid I won’t be invited back and worse, I have that old, childhood fear of being laughed at. I’m afraid of all these things and more but it’s too late not. There’s no turning back and showtime is about to begin.
There was a morning when I was at my wit’s end. This was during the warmer months. I took a walk at sunrise and found my way up the blue trail at the base of a nearby spot known as Cobus Mountain. The sun was on its way but the temperature was already high.
I made my way up around and through the trails. I climbed the elevation and bled my sweat that drenched my hair and dripped down the bridge of my nose.Continue reading
I remember when I was young. I was bedridden with a stomach problem that caused me to be hospitalized. Keep in mind, entertainment was different back then. This was before cable television made its way into my household. Back then, all we had was basic television and basic television shows.Continue reading
There will always be someone out there looking to take a shot at your dreams to knock you down and keep you from being who you want to be. And they do this to weaken your knees.
They do this to loosen your grip, so you let go, and so you slip and fall.
So don’t do it.
Don’t prove them right.
I see there is an issue with our interpretation, which is not to say that we are right or wrong. In fact, this is not to take a side at all.
All I’m saying is that we interpret information differently. You have your way and I have mine.
You and me, we have our way of doing things. And we have this for a reason. You have your way and I have mine because we come from a different background with a history of different experiences.
We come from different places and we’ve lived different lives. We also have different connections and different stimulation.
A word to me might be just a word, —but to you, that same word might mean something else.
And the moon was full. The air was cold, like the kind that makes your breath smoke when you breathe in and out. The farm was quiet and the hour was early, —it was the time before the rest of the world wakes up. I recall these early morning runs. I recall the moonlight beaming down across the pastures. I remember the mountains around me and the sight of the bog old red barn.Continue reading
There is a place in our mind where we store our memories. We keep our experiences here. We store opinions here.
This is where we keep our regrets. We keep our hopes here and our dreams. We also keep our doubts here and our insecurities. We keep our emotions and feelings here too. We log them away like old files and store them for reference in case a similar situation should arise.
I stayed up for a while to watch the snowfall last night. I love it like this. The house is quiet. I can hear the noise of the hot water as it moves through the radiators.
The snow-covered ground illuminates the dull gray sky. And it’s nighttime. Everyone is sleeping. The roads are mainly empty and the world is mostly quiet.
I love it this way because there are absolutely no intrusions. There is nothing but me, the quiet, and my own true self. I don’t have to think or say or do anything. All I have to do is look through the window to watch the snowfall.
The problem with having a habit is it’s a habit.
And that’s it.
The body already knows what to do without needing any input.
The problem with being habit-minded is you’re habit-minded. To be any other way becomes unthinkable. And that’s the problem. The mind simply cannot conceive it living any other way. Whether the habit is smoking; whether the habit is food, drinking, smoking, sex, or whether the habit is working too much, sleeping too much; whether the habit is an addiction to say, emotion, depression, codependency or if the habit is based on self-harm, cutting, or any compulsion, which delivers a moment of gratification but the satisfaction is only fleeting, when it comes to the habitual mind, it becomes unbelievable to consider that life could be lived any other way.
Every so often, I have this recurring dream of a place from I childhood. I see this as a sign of change. I have these dreams when something is about to switch and either a new chapter is about to begin or an old chapter is finally about to end.
The dream I have is of an upstate place in a little town called Ellenville, New York. I went to camp here when I was somewhere about 10 or maybe 11 years-old.
I didn’t want to go here. At least, I never asked to. This was sleepaway camp, which meant I would be someplace with kids I didn’t know that came from from places I never heard of.
It’s not the pain you’re afraid of.
It’s not the tragedies.
It’s not the outcomes either.
All of them are predictable.
After a while, the pain makes sense. Throughout time, you become comfortable in your discomforts because at least these things make sense.
So you breathe . . .
. . . you breathe because breathing
is the one thing
no one can stop you from doing
You breathe because
your breath is your proof
It’s the one thing that says,
“You’re still alive. Now go”
Your breath is your proof
This means you haven’t stopped
This means you have life in you
no matter what is said or done— just breathe
because your breath is the one thing
no one can steal
I received a call on a Monday night from a nurse about my Mother. I was at work at the time. I was on an overtime shift. I was tired in every sense of the word. My mind was tired. My body was tired and so was my soul. I had life things going on. I had responsibilities that needed my attention and list of bills that needed to be paid. Work was busy and life was busy. Everything was busy at the time.Continue reading
I was at the tail end of a crazy night.
All of the powder was nearly gone and my usual running partner was missing for some reason. This had altered my usual routine. Instead of commiserating with my partner, I found myself home alone with a substantially large amount of cocaine that was either shoved up my nose or cooked and smoked in a glass-tube pipe. This was early summer, 1989.
June if I’m not mistaken.
There are two branches of government here. The first branch is anxiety and the second is Panic. The two interact.
They create a sensory overload and mental chaos. The chest tightens, and it’s hard to breathe.
The heart races like a thousand angry horses, charging fast, and you can’t escape. You can’t get away.
Suddenly, it’s like the whole goddamned world is closing in on you, which becomes more frightening because you are vulnerable; you scream or you cry, and more than anything, you just want to jump out of your own skin. More than anything, you want everything to stop so you can calm down. The only problem is the harder you try to recover, the worse the symptoms become.
The hardest thing was to sit in a classroom and see everyone with their eyes on their paper, pencil swirling around from the tops of their hands as the other students wrote their answers—but me, even the so-called simple problems were far from simple.
Nothing was simple to me. I could never grasp the lessons. I had no understanding of what I was doing. I needed help but I never knew how to ask.
Besides, kids that needed help were seen as “Kids that needed help.” And me, I didn’t want to be that kid. I never wanted to be that kid. I never wanted to be pointed out because I was “Special,” or taken to a different classroom and segregated because I had a learning disability.
I have been walking around the city for decades now. I see different people from different places doing different things. I see the changes we’ve made as a society and the changes I’ve made within me. I see the Kamikaze taxis weave down the avenues and watch the mindless tourists along 42nd. St with their eyes wide open, looking up, and totally amazed by the tall building and the lights from Times Square.Continue reading
The depth of my commitment equals the level of my success. I know I have said this before. And I say this again because it is true. Success and achievement are always equal to our level of dedication. There is no compromise or easy way out.
If you want something then you have to go all the way. There is no halfway or half throttle. There is only forward. No reverse.Continue reading
There was a time that seems so long ago.We were young and we used to do things outside. We were free to live and free to be kids. More importantly, we were free to explore. We were free to play, which above all was our best freedom ever.Continue reading
There has to be a way to overcome.
There has to be a way to get away from the thought process.
There has to be a way to feel better.
There just has to be a way but you just can’t find it—
and since you can’t find it, you can’t believe it.
There I was
. . .
lost in a field of tall grass
I was out of my head
and drifted in a field that stretched
beyond anything I could ever imagine
So with nowhere else to go,
I sat for a while
and slipped into the warm cocoon
of an afternoon rush
A man threw a stone inside his glass house yesterday.
He stood around for hours, wondering where the draft came from.
But me . . .
I applauded his abilities to make matters worse.
I laugh because we live in a world of pots and kettles. Everyone points. Everyone wants someone to blame.
And why not blame someone else, right?
I mean, why be accountable (If you can void it) am I right?
Did I ever tell you why I like the rain?
The reason comes from a memory I have from when I was a small boy. The Old Man was in the backyard trying to build a shed. It was the kind of day when I could tell The Old Man had something on his mind. He was quiet in times like this. His eyebrows crunched downward and his head pushed forward.
I was somewhere around 19 when I landed my first the first suit and tie job. I was an entry-level salesman in the garment business. And when I say entry-level, I mean the I was at the lowest of the low of the industry.
I sold identification items, which, in less-than-fancy terms are the little labels sewn in the collar that irritate the back of your neck. This was my first real job. Although the item was necessary, it was still at the bottom of the priority list. I pitched the production managers garment manufacturers to sell them and create a new relationship, which was tough at best.
There are things I believe in life and I believe them, not because I was told to but because I have found them to be true. I believe music is essential. I think at one point, everyone needs to dance or at least drive a long drive with the windows down and the volume to a favorite song turned all the way up. I think we need to scream the lyrics in our best out-of-tune pitch.
Back as a kid, The Old Man used to have a Ford, Mustang fastback. He told us sometimes, you just have to open up the gas and let her rip. I feel this way too. Sometimes, we just need to open up and belt out a scream. Sometimes, we need to know we’re alive.Continue reading
It all begins now—
It starts right now, as if today is the first day of the rest of your life.
In a short while, I am going to bundle up and put on sweats, a hat, pull up my head, and then I will step out into the January air and walk the hills in my town. I will look at the scene around me and take in the first fresh breath of the year. And then it all begins . . .Continue reading