Clear the Fog

Many mornings, as I go over into DC I notice the amount of fog still above the water. But for some reason, the fog frankly caught my eye and I started brainstorming ideas. Lets be honest, all of us know that I can’t take a big breath and blow the fog away but I kept my mind going and tried to find a solution.

To my demise, I realized that I hadn’t just fogged up my own mind with this idea. I want to practice ‘brainstorming’ on a daily basis but the mere fact remains, I am only human. I need to stay focused on the ideas ahead of me. Personally, I keep my ideas to a maximum of five. It is the limit that I can handle and trying to come up with new ideas on a regular basis means I need to use discernment and not let them fog my way.

  1. Where is the fog coming from?
  2. Is it important enough to allow it to fog my original means?
  3. What can I do to rid myself of the fog?
  4. How can I simplify?

Short, sweet, and simple… Things come and go and we need to make sure that we don’t let these quick lasting situations and/or ideas fog our true mission in life. Push the fog out and remember the simple fact, you are only human!

Brainstorming

I was sick over the past weekend and it hasn’t been getting any better. My cough seems to roughen, my lungs seem to fail, and my heart keeps racing. What a joyous situation to have going on in this moment. But why do I share that?

This ‘episode’ has happened to me three times this past year and my wife and I have realized that the way to fix it (medications) has become a short-term fix. So, we have decided to look into homeopathic ideas for breathing / asthma.

Great, great, great… Another personal blog post. You could complain but there is one large thing that stuck out about this scenario, we brainstormed ideas, more ideas, and even more ideas to see what we had on the platter to chose from.

I am sure that I will write more specifically about brainstorming but the thing is, people can practice it in every moment of every day. All we need to do is give every idea a chance because it might be the great idea and/or the best inspiration if we let it. To simplify the world around us, here is the way I begin:

  1. Find the Problem – Sickness
  2. Label the Outcome You Want – Healthiness
  3. Write / Walk / Write – Medicines / Homeopathic / Exercise
  4. Chose & Try – Medicines don’t work (problem) / Trying Homeopathic
  5. Allow Failure
  6. Find Solutions & Ideas

These are six steps to a million ideas and solutions. The truth is, many of the ideas you and I come up with wont work but you won’t know unless you try (even this idea wont work unless you try the theory out).

When someone usually labels a problem there are a million solutions that a team will come up with and for the most part, everyone thinks that it is their idea or the highway. The problem is that we need to capture every idea since everyone has their own expertise and pull these common themes and successful ideas together.

After the problem has been stated and the outcome has been found. The only way to go after this outcome is to write as many ideas down as I can, go for a walk with another person who has the same mindset, come back and write again. I will do this over and over again till I come up with something I semi like. The final solution/idea usually takes the form of a few of the unsatisfying ideas I didn’t care fore earlier on.

That’s where the ‘chose and try’ strategy comes to play. We have to choose what we are going to try and go after it full heartedly and without any reservation. And always remember, it is okay to fail. Allowing failure is sometimes the best advice I was ever given but a hard one to come by.

My goal, and hopefully not to my failure, in life is to creatively execute ideas and I know for a fact that I will have a thousand failed ideas before one successful. But sooner then later we will find solutions and new ideas that will manifest in a great way. I like my odds, do you like yours?

Network Now

The idea of ‘network now’ has been a little thing that I keep in my back pocket but something that I love getting involved with. The basic thought lays on the fact that everyone in every moment is able to network and meet one new person.

Do I do this? Not even close… But it is something that I try to implement on a regular basis so that I know the right people. The whole point of this post isn’t the fact that we should simply network but instead it is the idea that technology is starting to inhibit us from networking while we travel.

Let’s be specific here since we know and believe that the social media realm has furthered networking and communication in huge ways. But, as I travel on daily basis I keep realizing that I use technology as an escape from what is around me. This ‘escape’ is obviously an inhibiting aspect in being able to network now.

As I sat on the metro, I saw two individuals and decide which one would I more like to speak with if I were to immediately take an action forward and meet someone new. One of the men had a cell phone and seemed to be writing/reading. On the other hand, the second individual had a book. Which one seemed more open to conversation? For me it ended on the individual with no technology out.

Simply put, if I needed something and wanted to ask a question, I would be more inclined to chat with the book reader over the cell phone reader. A little harsh but I hope you see the point. For me, wanting to network now involves being ready at any moment. In some ways even looking ready:

  • Smile on the face
  • Engaging eyes
  • And keeping the technology aside
  • Simply Network

All in all, we need to be productive and a lot of times a cell phone helps us do this but if we want to simply network, we need to be ready for a conversation at any moment with anyone. And, having my computer out is inhibiting me from doing that, cheers!

Everyone Will Help

Day after day I see people push and shove, run/cut off others, and get upset with someone who is holding up the line, even if they have a reason. But sometimes, just sometimes, you see that one individual who is willing to help.

A few days ago I got my first “Transit Link Card” which entails the Train, Metro, and Dash (all of which I take for my commute). I realized quickly how much of a money saver this TL Card would be. Though using this at first wasn’t easy and definitely came with a few headaches.

After jumping on a bus late and a few people annoyed with me for stopping the bus to get on I showed my TL Card and the bus driver said “No, that doesn’t work on the Dash.”

To my surprise and financial loss I almost became agitated at his response. If you know something about the bus ‘rules’ you’ll understand that the bus can’t move unless you’ve paid. And, technically I hadn’t paid.

As I stood there and the driver looked at the TL Card closely, I felt the blood pumping to my body with aggravation. And, the driver flowed with agitation in the same moment. Yet I tried to calm myself down and ask for a little help.

I don’t know about you but I had already planned out my attack if he said no. I thought out ever comeback, conversation, and statement prior to his first remark. I then simply asked “Would you mind helping me out, this is suppose to work, I thought?”

He immediately looked at me and said to take a seat and he would call while we drove. His response was a surprise, my ‘worry’ of what I thought would have been said had gone away, and he called his supervisor and found out the card worked for the Dash.

Our conversation didn’t end there. As you know, I love to network and meet as many individuals as I can. The bus driver just helped me and made my day a little nicer with a smile plus a great conversation. The quick synopsis is this: A lot of people will help if we are willing to ask.

Interested & Researching

In one random moment, I decided that I would take a little bit of time on the metro to write. Well, I didn’t think that I would get the views / time from people but the results are quite surprising, to be honest. I can’t believe that some of the posts have upwards of 50 views and that Google Analytics is putting people at 10-15 minutes on the site.

That sounds like boasting, so to the point of this quick thought. I realized that I needed to give ‘information’ and ‘valuable’ information to those who read this. I have followers on Twitter because I have a focus and idea that I constantly write about (Creatively – Executing – Ideas) and that style and simplicity needs to be brought to here as well.

I decided to do some research since this realm is of interest. In the process I found a nice and simple website that pointed out the ten things to make your blog great. Here is the list but I do recommend hitting up the site for a more in-depth look.

  • Stay on topic
  • Be informative
  • Old news is not news
  • Adhere to a schedule
  • Clarity and simplicity
  • Keyword-rich
  • Quantity matters
  • Frequency
  • Spell checking and proof-reading
  • RSS Feeds

Click Here for Article: masternewmedia.org/news/2005/04/26/how_to_write_a_successful.htm

There is no solve all mathematical equation to get a blog to work and yet it is an interesting start to my research. I’ve been watching blogs like Planet5D / PhilipBloom / Etc for their insight and to see how they grew. I have slowly noticed that research and learning are things I enjoy understanding. And, that’s why you are reading this short, unedited little research analysis that I found.  The process is one that takes a lot of time and effort. You can see this by looking at some blogs about photography, business, entrepreneurship, and the list goes on and on. These sites moved up in ‘rank’ by keeping to a process that their readers wanted.

Finally, one process that I should keep to lays on the foundation that I should be advertising every part of my network. Take a moment and check out my Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and join with me in conversation. My next goal is to find out how to make a little extra money off of this idea and the rest of my entrepreneurial ideas.

Will I Make It

Timing is a dimension that boggles most peoples mind. Lets be honest, time goes on if you want it to or not. It isn’t a relative ‘thing’ that stops and starts compared to what you or anyone/anything is doing. So why do we worry so much if we can’t control it?

Think back to post most Change of Plans. I am not by any means saying that we need to start slacking off on being timely individuals but when things happen and Murphy’s Law takes place on our commute, let it happen. When your baby is born an hour earlier then expected enjoy that it will be over early then you thought.

No, I’ve never experienced having a baby or understand much about it but the point remains the same… We can’t control time, or at least I can’t and I realized this as I was having a conversation with a coworker as I was leaving work at Carney.

We were walking out from the front doors of our building when we both saw the bus. For a quick moment I thought that I would run for it and try to get on, but then I had a ‘brilliant’ comment. “I can’t control time, so why rush it”. He and I both chatted about this briefly before I realized the deepness and pressure release from living a life like this.

As I walked, the bus slowed down and picked up some other individuals and hit the red light. We kept walking and I got to the next bus stop and got on without any rush. I wasn’t going to ‘waste’ my time so I rode it but I also knew I couldn’t control the bus so my frustration/rush flew by.

I then came to a nice and quick realization, I will make my 5:34 train to home and meet my wife for a beautiful dinner. Perfection, without the worry that I could of missed it all. And if I had, I couldn’t of done anything about it and would have had to deal with Changed Plans.

The Elbow Rest

Have you ever looked at the most ‘usual’ thing and realized how unusual it truly is? There are so many things that fly by us on a regular basis and yet we never stop and take them completely in. Yes, there isn’t time in the day to take in the paper clip, new vehicle, a child’s smile, or the snicker bar, but they are all extremely usual but when looked at deeply, these usual things can have a whole new meaning.

But the question remains, what type of meaning are you going to get out of an elbow rest on a metro? I have no idea but as I sat here pondering it I started to think back to the process in which it was designed, reviewed, designed again, manufactured, tested, re-manufactured, and then put here on metro car 5095.

There have been so many individuals that have gone before my simple ride on the metro to make an object that would bring more comfort and safety to the train and those riding it. The process wasn’t some ‘random’ act but one that had designers, tester, manufactures’, CFO’s, and others going through a process to bring us the “elbow rest” on the train.

Personally, I’ve never sat down and thought deeply about something so usual. Well, that is slightly a lie, but I haven’t thought of an elbow rest. The point is simple and/or maybe more complex if you truly think deeply. There are millions if not billions of things that we pass on a daily basis that became because of a process that wasn’t simple so that our lives could be simple. It is an idea and thought that is starting to permeate my every moment and fill my mind when I normally just daydreamed.

So, what about the train number 5095? Is it just numerical to the number of cars? Who created the first number in the English language? Why the number 5? Thinking can be a full time job!

Look Around

There are so many types of situations occurring all around you as life is lived out. For me, that is a strange comprehension to think about but one that came to me like an epiphany this morning.

Take for incense my simple train to work like so many individuals in the Washington DC area. We all get on the train like a bunch of sardines, look down the entire time or judge why an individual sat next to us, and then leave the train in the same way a child crumbles a cookie onto the floor.

The fast pace life that is lived and needs to be lived brings light to the fact that I don’t look around and take in those people who are the sardines I wish I hadn’t smelled. But the truth is I need to be around them for inspiration.

Now to the ‘epiphany’ that I went thought his morning…. Here is the thing, everyone on the train is in a rush and yet to notice them may make a world of difference. Think about the smile you received from the worker behind the counter. A simple smile can change the day in a heartbeat. In the same moment though, a harsh word, look, judgment, non-helpful spirit may be a discouragement for many.

Being an idea person, I don’t want to be discouraged but I do want to be inspired and looking around, seeing people going through different situations even on the train can bring to light a new inventions, creativity, thoughts, and give me an opportunity to think outside my little black box.

Every action has a reaction and each person has their own story that could be easier, harder, simpler, and/or more complex then your own. We will never know those stories unless we look around. Why not just look around? These people may I remind you, will be helping ‘layout’ our lives even though they are complete strangers!