I’ve condensed to a degree my thoughts on Past | Present | Future. I am studying “NOW”, but I live in the Past – Future. I’m either analyzing my past, or worrying about my future, and if that’s where you live, then NOW will continue to evaporate. My Now is evaporating, god what do you think I should do? Stop analyzing the past, and worrying about the future, I wish it was more complicated than that, you seem to like the complication of all of this, but it isn’t. Can you review the past and learn from it? Sure, but stop “Saving” it, backing up your life just gives you more stuff to carry now. Worrying about a future that hasn’t occurred yet only adds to the burden. I know it seems difficult, if you’ve spent 40 years living an exhausting life carrying your past, and worrying about your future, but maybe you are old enough to drop it and see how it feels to be lighter, and spend some time in the “Now” of your life. You can always go back to your heavy life if the “Now” doesn’t work out. Something to think about…
30 years ago, growing up in Omaha NE there wasn’t a whole lot to do. Like most early teenagers my friends and I would go around and see how much trouble we could get into. My buddies and I would spend the night at each other’s houses, especially houses we could sneak out of. Once we snuck out, the world was ours, quite and dark. We would break in and swim in people’s pools, and throw tomatoes at cars while hiding behind bushes and trees. We were so bored. Nothing spiked your adrenalin like hitting a car and hearing the wheels skid and screech to a stop, when you heard that, you knew the chase was on!
Running through the neighborhood, in the dark with someone who might kill you, or at the very least beat the crap out of you, was the ultimate “bored busting” thrill! We never did get caught, but running from cars, kids and eventually cops was better than any drug. If we stayed out too late wreaking havoc, eventually someone would call the cops and then we had to duck and run in the shadows just to keep away from the cops. If the cops caught you, you would get in trouble for trespassing and destruction of property as well as sneaking out of the house, when then took you home to your parents.
Fast forward 30 years and I have a teenager of my own; I live in a beautiful neighborhood full of kids. My hope is that my generation of completely bored kids is now raising a generation of attention deficit, over scheduled kids that are too tired to sneak out of our houses at night and wreak havoc. To further deny my past and show complete and utter compliance, I now wave at cops who patrol our streets, and each time I do I think to myself, how lucky I am to have them patrolling our streets keeping my family safe. I’m so pathetic…
Some Assembly Required, Brains Optional
OK, so let’s talk about instructions, let’s talk about written direction, I can’t understand for the life of me, what gene I don’t have that forces me to not understand directions and how to put things together? In the end most times after assembly and re-assembly, I get everything to fit and work, but it certainly takes me a lot longer than it takes others. Case in point today, a new air condition unit for our bedroom.
It seems the designer that built our house were going for the “ahhhh” in our bedroom, instead of the comfort factor when they designed and built our house. It seems we also did not think about the “heat” factor in a huge master bedroom with vaulted ceilings and bad windows. The upstairs in general is probably anywhere from 5 to 7 degrees warmer than the first floor, so if the first floor is 75 degrees, the upstairs is 80 to 82, which can be quite uncomfortable. So to combat this issue without setting my whole house thermostat to 72, I opted for a window unit. I figure I only need 5 degrees, I understand it’s still a big room, but the unit is close to the bed, so it’s worth the experiment. My wife picked up the unit, and instead of the smaller unit, the sales person convinced her that if she didn’t get the bigger unit it would run all day to cool down that room, we shall see about that.
I have a history of assembling things the wrong way, similar to driving directions, if I’m unsure about what direction to go when I’m driving, I usually listen for my gut to tell me where to go, and then I go the other way. I thought about my problem with directions today before I assembled the air conditioning unit and I thought to myself, maybe it’s me and the fact that I anticipate where the directions are taking me too often? That sounded reasonable? Then I brought my teenage son up to the bedroom to help me with the installation, and he isn’t any better at following directions, so I thought this will be a good learning experience for us both. I will read the directions out loud, and we will both think about them and it will go smooth.
I believe there were between 10 and 15 actual steps, I did at least 7 of them wrong, despite my conscious effort to slow down and think about each direction. My wife also came up to assist us, and the good news is, no one stopped me from doing it the wrong way, so maybe it’s not just me? We pulled everything out of the box, the directions were awkward to begin with, they started with operation vs. installation? Wouldn’t you find it more appropriate to start with installation? Anyway we laid everything out on the bed and accounted for all parts. The parts list was another confusing issue, it listed the parts, but it did not tell you how many of each you were supposed to have. For example we had two different sizes of screws, but it didn’t tell us how many we were supposed to have? We survived the little landmines before beginning, but the frustration was already beginning, beads of sweat were already forming on my forehead.
It was only 10 mins I would say into our project before we were unsure about how to insert one of the parts, and in classic “Chris Robino” form, I put it in the right way first, then pulled the unit back out of the window and put it on incorrectly, and then put it back on the right way, while having to fix another part of the installation? I put the side panels on wrong, and then put the air conditioning unit mounting brackets on backwards. By doing this the unit was basically being held in place by a combination of gravity and a 14 year old window pane? Only God kept the thing from falling out of the window onto the roof, and eventually two stories below. I would like to apologize to all those affected by real tragedy, because every time I assemble anything, God’s got to keep an extra eye on me!
We pulled the unit, which probably weighed 70 pounds and was very awkward to position in the window, out of the window at least 4 times. First time to fix the side panels, second to fix the fixing of the side panels, third time was to fix the mounting brackets, and the 4th time to add the sash seal to the top of the window pane. Average for any assembly and installation? Especially with air quality devices, last year it took me 3 hours to install a ceiling fan? It probably took us one hour to install the air conditioner. Only time will tell if my quest for air quality in my drafty big house will work. Don’t be surprised if walking by our house you see an air conditioning window unit in pieces in our yard sometime soon. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least!
A Keynote from Seth Priebatsch a 22 year old whiz kid from Princeton raised several great questions. Can we solve big problems if we start looking at game mechanics as a possible solution? Can you engage kids in school by changing the reward system from grades to beating the next level? http://ht.ly/4e0Xh
Just arrived in Austin, TX for South by Southwest Interactive. Energy is up, the weather is great, and for the next few days all is well with the world. I understand that’s a little short sited, there are still Tsunami’s and unrest in the middle east, but there will be ideas and new technologies that will improve Tsunami preparations and allow for deeper levels of communication between people and government. Yes SXSW could save the world!
My goal is to post often throughout the show, the thoughts will be raw, but just like the show, that’s where some of the best ideas come from. Sit back and enjoy the show! I will…
I read the following quote this morning on my daily “Insight From The Dalai Lama” calendar. I enjoy waking up and reading “old school” micro-blogging when I first wake up. Here is the quote:
“If we do not have truth on our side, we will have no alternative but to keep suffering. Having truth on one’s side gives one the pride to be transparent about everything and to speak reason in a face-to-face exchange.”
Who knew the Dalai Lama knew so much about social media! The truth relaxes me, when I can let go of unrealistic expectations, false perceptions, and trying to be something I’m not it gives me more energy to be who I am. The truth shall set you free, they say, and I tend to agree. It hasn’t always been that way, many of us who grew out of any generation before new social media remember being taught that you will never get a second chance to make a first impression, and dress for success. I find it refreshing that social media is more about truth and transparency and less about the perception of perfection. I have always felt that perfection can be my best excuse.
As I have spent the last year navigating through the experience of “GoingSocialNow”, I find it refreshing and relaxing that I can let down my guard and walk out into a digital environment that has been friendly, helpful and understanding. If you are a native of this new landscape, I can’t wait to see what kind of people you become, I think the new age of “come as you are” is going to be one of the most exciting in history. If like me you are making the shift from protection and competition into sincere transparency enjoy the process, I have.
Hangovers come in many forms, when I want to bring more happiness into my life, I consciously work at not doing things that make me sad. If I drink or eat too much today, then my next day suffers. If I’m up late watching TV, my early morning workout or run will suffer. The older I get the easier it is to realize that lack of sleep feels just like a hangover! Any time I feel like a little retreat, I always ask myself, how will this effect what I’m going to do tomorrow? If I eat too much tonight, how will tomorrow’s run feel? If I stay up too late watching TV, how productive will I be tomorrow. Most of my “retreat time” is all about distraction anyway, and nothing helps me through my need to temporarily distract myself more than running or working out. For me the elimination of sadness is a good jump start to my own happiness!
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost
Should Search Engines be regulated for neutrality? Danny Sullivan compares it to regulating NYT Editorial content, nice! http://ht.ly/2cxgX
I find the location based apps interesting, I don’t use any of them myself, I think they will be more useful for the upcoming generation. What happened to simplifying stuff? Wasn’t that one of the “new tech world” sales pitches? I just want stuff to be simple, I probably spend $500.00 more per year on groceries because I refuse to carry around 15 grocery store ID coupon tags, can’t the stores just scan my retina, or give me a simple id number with my phone number? If the location based apps will do something to make my life easier, I’ll be all over them, until they do, they are just another “Kroger Card”.
Today I started a conversation with several different Marketing people I respect. We began a conversation about social media. Ultimately I want to answer the question, “will Social Media help my business”. I believe that there are many ways social media can help a business, but I wanted to play the devil’s advocate for a while, and it turned out to be a lot more fun. Here are my first thoughts on the subject, I will follow up with future posts based on conversations I have with others.
I’m starting to lean back on my business roots regarding social media. I still find it very exciting and I would agree that it is a necessary tool for managing public relations, monitoring trends and brand exposure. But I’m not seeing or sold on the “sales” side of social media, I’m beginning to wonder if social media should be classified more on the advertising side of the “sales and marketing” chart?
For instance if I take Search Engine Optimization, the purpose of SEO is to put my clients directly in front of people who want their stuff (buyers, shoppers, researchers, etc.). That’s what makes SEO so powerful and much easier to qualify ROI. Social Media on the other hand doesn’t necessary put a company or a brand in front of a buyer, more of an interested party. I guess similar to advertising it’s more about getting a brand name in front of interested parties as often as possible. I see the benefit in that, but I will be the first to admit, it takes a lot of time. I use to think I could get lost in email, but now that I’m on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, and I write an occasional blog post, I wish I could go back to just being on email!