Superficial vs. Substance: the Swimming Analogy

Picture 2

It’s not how big a splash you make in life – it’s how well you swim, how strong you are and how many laps you can endure.

The splash is over in two seconds. Afterward, you either sink or swim…”

The good news is that we are not stuck with our current “swimming ability.” We can improve, as long as we’re willing to do the work.

And remember, you are not alone…

Life is Like a Tinfoil Ball…

IMG_0445-BI’ve got a silly story to share about something I do at work. Well, at least it might seem silly.

I have been making a tinfoil ball out of the foil I wrap my bagels in. Let me tell you, that ball started off small. But as time went on it grew in stature, ever so slightly, day by day.

Goals are the same way. If you try and “build the ball” all at once, it could easily be overwhelming — not to mention near impossible when we’re talking about larger life goals. If we try and tackle too much, we might get tangled up in all the tinfoil.

IMG_0443-BBut if you take it one layer at a time, one step at a time, over time you can build something magnificent.

And remember, you are not alone…

If you like this post, Stumble It!

Spare the Rod: Don’t Hit! (Part 3)

In this final installment of my discipline and The Bible series, I’d like to ask the following question:

Could you imagine if we only did what our forefathers (and foremothers) did?

Just because our forefathers did things a certain way does not make it the best way, or the right way. If we only did what our predecessors did, we would have no plumbing, electricity, cars, TVs, cell phones, computers, indoor toilets or eye glasses. Slavery would still be legal, women wouldn’t be allowed to vote, and we’d still believe the world was flat — you get the point.

There was a time when builders stuffed walls with asbestos as insulation. Then, someone discovered (I’m paraphrasing), “wait, that’s bad stuff! It’s making people sick and it could kill you!” So we stopped using it. Until the 1970’s lead was in paint, that ‘s just how it was. Then one day someone realized it was bad, especially if kids ate it, and we stopped using lead paint.

What if we’d just kept using these things? Wouldn’t that be stupid, especially once we learned they were unhealthy choices?

Then why, in the name of God (no pun intended), do some people still hit their kids when there’s so much evidence that it’s harmful? (Click here for evidence, and here, and here.)

Times change, things change. We learn and adjust.

Yet some people insist on being literal about what The Bible says concerning discipline, instead of putting it in a modern-day context.

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why do these people take Proverbs’ words on discipline literally, while “overlooking” other things in the Bible they could take literally — like Solomon having 700 wives? I doubt there are many women out there that would be OK with their husbands having one extra wife, let alone 699!

So it’s OK to beat your kids, but not have 700 wives. Hmmm. Sounds like picking and choosing what’s convenient to me.

Simply heeding the word of the Bible when it comes to discipline is the easy way out. It’s time to stop the literal translation and take responsibility for our actions and our children’s future.

The last I heard, “turn the other cheek,” was not an invitation to take another whack of the paddle on the OTHER butt cheek.

If you haven’t already read them, here are links to Part 1 (quotes from The Bible, plus modern opinions) and Part 2 (which questions if the word of God is being misinterpreted). 

And remember, you are not alone…

If you like this post, Stumble It!

Related Links:
– Spare The Rod: Don’t Hit (Part 1)
– Spare the Rod: Don’t Hit (Part 2) 
– Never Hit a Child
– Equal Rights for Kids: Don’t Hit (Part 1)
– Equal Rights for Kids: Don’t Hit (Part 2)
– Equal Rights for Kids: Let Your Kids Decide 

How You Pack a Grocery Bag is a Reflection of Who You Are

Grocery%20Bag-2How someone packs your groceries says a lot about who they are.

One day on the way home from work, I stopped at Super Target for some food. My check out experience was surprising for two reasons. (1) My bags were incredibly well packed; (2) I realized something insightful about people.

Before I go any further, I have to confess that I am a real stickler about how my bags are packed. I am very much like Mr. Monk about the whole thing (meats separate, frozen & cold stuff all together, etc). If you want to live, NEVER put Comet in with my milk, or a half-gallon of juice in the same bag as my eggs.

So, it’s no small feat that I was greatly pleased with how my cashier packed my bags. The most surprising thing of all was that I didn’t have to say a word. She just did it well.

I thanked her. Then I said, “you can tell a lot about a person by how they pack your groceries.”

Her response to my compliment was, “well, I just try to treat it like it were my own groceries, how I’d like them packed.”

What kind of a world would we live in if everybody was this conscientious about one another? If everybody were aware and thoughtful, even in situations that did not require it. My point is, this woman had integrity. It was part of who she was, and in my opinion her attitude could empower her to accomplish just about anything in life.

In my experience, many, many people (especially male grocery packers) do not take the time to put such care into what appears, at least on the surface, to be a mundane task.

How you pack a grocery bag is a reflection of who you are. It may sound ridiculous, but you either care or you don’t. You’re either mindful or you’re not. You either strive for greatness, or settle for mediocrity.

The good news is, no matter where you are on the “integrity scale,” you can improve.

This reminds me of the saying: treat others as you would like to be treated. It’s a simple, age-old concept, one that’s worth its weight in gold (just don’t pack it on top of my veggies).

And remember, you are not alone…

Daddy Brain Classics: Was Buddha a Schmuck?

I’ve been thinking about having a Daddy Brain Classics series for a while now.

Some of the posts I wrote way back in the beginning of Daddy Brain didn’t get too many hits, because not too many people knew the blog existed. Although I always want to provide fresh material, a few of these classic posts deserve a larger audience. So I’m finally jumping off the fence and giving this series a try.

Today I’d like to present one of my favorites a post that questions Buddha’s decision to abandon his family in order to find enlightenment…

Was Buddha a Schmuck?

And remember, you are not alone…

Give Your Kids One of the Greatest Gifts of All: Their Own Voice

This holiday season, many of us are facing tough economic times. With little or no “spending” money for holiday gifts, what’s a dad (or mom) to do?

Fortunately, you can give your kids one of the greatest gifts of all. It doesn’t cost a dime, but it lasts a lifetime. And its positive effects are immeasurable.

You don’t even have to wait for Christmas! You can give this gift on a daily basis (hopefully many of you already do)…

Give your kids one of the greatest gifts in the world: their own voice.

No, I’m not talking about a lovely singing voice. I’m talking about something far more important. Every time our kids’ share a thought, opinion or feeling with us, it’s a moment filled with potential — the potential to support their voice or to undermine it. If we’re able listen, we show them respect — acknowledging that what they say (and who they are) is important.

This gift is as simple (and as difficult) as taking the time to really listen to what our children have to say. They might be telling us something that seems completely trivial, insignificant and unimportant. But it’s important to them. If we disregard what they’re expressing to us as unimportant (either verbally or non-verbally), what are we really saying to them? The situation becomes ripe for feelings of rejection and disapproval.

This is not to say that we always need to agree with our kids. It means that we need to hear them out. Not when they reach a certain age, but now.

I firmly believe that honoring our children as human beings is one of the major ways we can help them fulfill their potential in life. I do not want my boys to become “cookie-cutter kids” that fall onto the conveyor belt of life. My job is to support, nurture & love them for who they truly are, and do my part in giving them the tools to discover just who that really is.

Just because someone’s little, doesn’t mean his or her opinion is any less significant than ours. We all deserve the right to be heard. Kids deserve the same basic human rights as us.

Like it or not, we are the ones who play the largest part (at least while they’re little) in bestowing these rights upon them. In doing so we’re shaping our kids’ sense of self worth & self esteem. We are responsible for making sure they don’t grow up to be directionless, opinionless lost adults who are always seeking approval from others because they lack it for themselves.

If we teach them to believe in themselves now, empower our little buggers and let them know they are worthwhile people, I’m hoping this will make them more resilient to the unyielding grind of life. Hey, maybe it won’t even feel like a grind if we do our job right.

Our children are superstars. It’s our business to help them shine.

And remember, you are not alone…

Daddy Brain Needs Freelance Copywriting Work

My wife was laid off today because the spa she worked at (she’s a massage therapist) closed down. Just like that — no notice, no severance, not even an apology.

So I’m reaching out to my readers, looking for any leads or recommendations for freelance copywriting work (I currently work full time as a senior copywriter at a major catalog company). I need freelance work on nights and weekends so I can help my family through this.

If you happen to need, or know somebody that needs a copywriter with over 12 years experience, could you please let me know? I have worked for years with companies across the country — mostly offsite — assisting with copywriting services, company branding and more. I am available for writing, proofreading and/or editing assignments. I would be happy to provide references upon request.

Please click here to view my resume. You can also visit my Website for writing samples at:

www.penguinscribe.com

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to provide.

And remember, you are not alone…

Can You Let Go of Resistance? The Sedona Method, Part 2

In Part 1 of this series I introduced the Sedona Method, a powerful & easy-to use program that helped me learn to let go of negative thoughts, emotions and behaviors that were holding me back in every aspect of my life from health, to career, to relationships.

As you might have guessed, this installment focuses on resistance. Here’s an excerpt from the course on the subject:

“What is Resistance?
Have you ever started a project really gung ho and lost enthusiasm somewhere in the middle? That’s resistance. Resistance is quite insidious. It’s one of the main things that stop us from having, doing and being what we want in life. In fact, we often resist things we really like and care about.

And if someone tells us to do something, that’s a sure-fired trigger for resistance. It may come up even if we would like to do what we’re being told to do. Resistance can be self-sabotaging and counter productive, and it’s operating constantly because we live in a sea of “shoulds” and “have to’s” and “must do’s” and other imperatives.

When you are told you should do something, or you have to do something, what do you feel inside? “No way! Don’t tell me what to do!” The exact same thing happens when you tell yourself what to do… That’s just the nature of our minds. We simply do not like being told what to do. Yet we are continually “shoulding” on ourselves and then wondering why we are not having fun and why things are not getting done.”

As I worked on letting go of resistance, I was surprised by some of the things that came up. I found that I was resisting things like love from my wife, success in my career, better health and better eating habits.

Here’s an exercise, straight from the Sedona Method, that will give you a feel for what it’s like to let go of resistance. It might feel hard to do, or you may find it easy. Either way, it’s OK just the way it is. Remember, this is only one “slice” of the program. There’s a lot more to it than I am able to explain here.

Take a deep breath and focus inside.

Think of something that you resist, or resist doing.

Could you welcome the feeling of resistance? (along with any sounds, sensations or pictures that arise with that feeling) Let the feeling fully be here.

Could you let go of the feeling of resistance?

Could you allow yourself to accept what is as best you can?

If you repeat these steps a few times, I think you’ll find that at least some of the resistance has been lifted. Remember, this is only a small part of what the Sedona Method has to offer.

The next installment will focus on letting go of the need for control, and includes another practical exercise to help you release it. In the meantime if you’d like to learn more, or try the CD program risk free, click here. To check out the book on Amazon.com, click here.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related Links:
Part 3 is about letting go of the need for control
Part 4 introduces how to let go of wanting approval
Part 5 looks at letting go of the need for security/survival

Family Blogs
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9/11 Remembered

I think about September 11th just about every day.

I always seem to look at the clock when it’s 9:11. I notice when it’s the expiration date for milk and other perishable foods. 

Although I’ve lived in Wisconsin for the past two years, I lived in NY for the first 38 years of my life.

And although I remember the day vividly, that’s not what this post is about. This is about taking a moment to honor the souls that were lost that day, and honoring their families as well.

This is about asking and thanking the Universe for a more peaceful world.

And remember, you are not alone…

Daddy Brain On The Radio

Daddy Brain is scheduled to be a guest on At Issue With Ben Merens
a daily radio show on Wisconsin Public Radio.

When: Thursday, July 24th, 2008
Time: 5 pm (CST)
Where: Wisconsin Public Radio, The Ideas Network

At Issue with Ben Merens, is an hour-long talk show that is “dedicated to current events and hard news, includes expert guests, policy-makers, commentators, and authors.” 

The show gives listeners the opportunity to call in, be heard, and be part of the conversation. Just dial (800) 486-8655.

You can listen to the show live from anywhere in the world with online streaming audio. Click here to hear it through iTunes, Windows Media Player or RealPlayer.

You can also listen on any of the following Wisconsin radio stations:

– WHA-AM 970 Madison
– WERN-FM 88.7 Madison
– KUWS-FM 91.3 Superior
– WHRM-FM 90.9 Wausau
– WHAD-FM 90.7 Delafield/Milwaukee
– WPNE-FM 89.3 Green Bay
– WLSU-FM 88.9 La Crosse

I hope you get a chance to tune in. Feel free to call and talk with us! Please spread the word.

And remember, you are not alone…

Related links:
Ben Merens Web Site: Author, Speaker and Communications Professional
Talk Radio Should be Forum, Not Soapbox, by Ben Merens