Category Archives: Principles

Balance: Start Running Your Life

About a year ago I started running, but I don’t always enjoy it. So lately on Sunday morning I’m inviting my son if he wants to come along. He’s 8 so he can’t quite keep up (one day soon I’ll have trouble keeping up with him) but it’s about having fun together. Here’s what we’ve done to make our routine compatible:

  • We run for as long as he can (I jog) then walk and talk then run when he’s able (he has good speed/stamina for his age). It’s not a full workout for me but I’m spending time with him and it’s fun time for us. Also people say this system of starting and stopping (interval training) may be more effective.
  • I run, he bikes. He’s faster biking than running and he doesn’t have to take breaks. After one round of this I asked him if he wants to do another one (I usually do 2 rounds around the neighborhood) and he was enthusiastic.
  • Maybe next time he’ll try rollerblading while I run.

I turned running time into a bonding experience. Balance is the key- I don’t try to push him because fun is the ultimate goal.

I’m not advocating starting a running routine. I’m advocating spending time together.

Vote for Success

It’s election day. There’s been so much negative talk and misinformation about both campaigns that it’s depressing.

The Solution on Who To Vote For

It would be great if there was a web site that listed the candidates in a grid and compared their positions objectively (in numbers or yes/no answers as much as possible) so you can say “I agree with this candidate” or “I agree with the other one” and you can decide based on the grid: “I choose candidate X”.

Throw Out Candidate Character

Character and personality is important when you have to live with the person. But even Mother Theresa would be shown to have a lowsy character in today’s politically charged environment. So how do you know what’s real or a media fabrication? I’d argue that if someone convinced his party and half the U.S. to vote for him then his personality is good enough- it’s just his positions that will bear out if he’ll be using it to go in the direction you want.

Actions Not Words

Don’t just go by the rhetoric. A candidate may say they are for a certain position but their voting or actions may show otherwise. The grid should reflect this- and hopefully cause the candidate to correct his actions or clarify his position.

Get Rid of the Lies

Every time a candidate mischaracterizes his opponent incorrectly- it should appear on this grid in a box for honesty as a negative point. After a whole campaign if one side is more lopsided than the other you should have some good data of who is more straight and who is fighting dirty. I’d hope that this would compel the candidates to stop this and focus on their issues- not negative campaigning.

In short, vote for who will bring you success and improve the world.

I don’t have any candidate in mind as I write any of this.

That was as political as you’ll see me, now back to work.

How A Dad’s Love Teaches His Son To Read

The other night I came home late so I wasn’t around to tuck my kids in. When I did get home I went to check on them- but I wanted them to know I did (because they ask sometimes). So I left a note.

My 5 year old is learning how to read so I left him a note “DAD LOVES <NAME>” in big bold letters. I purposely made it simple. He learned how to read “dad” recently. He recognizes his name and wrote “love” recently on a few birthday cards.

In the morning my 5 year old bounced out of his room all excited with his note and read it with a drop of help.

Success Through The Ages

Here’s an email forward I recently got:

At age 4 success is . . .not peeing in your pants.
At age 12 success is . . .having friends.
At age 17 success is . . .Having a driver’s license.
At age 35 success is . . .having money.
At age 50 success is . . .having money.
At age 70 success is . . .having a drivers license.
At age 75 success is . . .having friends.
At age 80 success is . . .not peeing in your pants.

The joke above is funny but sad.  At each age it points to external measures. Success should be measured internally- by how satisfied you are (hopefully you don’t have a low bar).

How To Live To 100

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve it through not dying.
Woody Allen

There’s a Jewish blessing “May you live to 120”. For a while I repeated it as part of my birthday wishes to people. But then one day I realized it was limiting- so now I say “May you live to 240”. My grandmothers aren’t sure if that’s a blessing or a curse.

This is the 100th post on this blog. Time flies. When I started it I didn’t know how far it would go and where it would go. Here we are 10 months later with many readers and a bunch of subscribers.

How did I get to 100 posts? Perseverance and trying to improve every day. I would imagine this lesson works in getting to 100 years of life also, keep getting better and living healthier. It also helps to have good genes and be a little lucky (don’t get hit by a bus).

Thank you all for reading. May you live to 120,000 posts!

PS I plan to stop at 119,999.

How and When To Criticize Correctly

It’s easy to give criticism. Watch a baseball game and you can even criticize a superstar star who hits two home runs because he struck out his other two times up. Look over a colleague’s shoulder for a day and you can tell him how to be better. Watch your kids closely and you’ll find ways to improve everything they do. But when you point out some of these failings, even if it’s “constructive criticism”, you will often find that you are just starting a fight, ending relations or creating ill will.

So the correct answer on when to give criticism is “Never”. If you still insist then follow these guidelines.

No one wants it

Let’s face it no one wants criticism. Even if they ask for feedback, the only feedback they want to hear is “great job”.  Think about it, would you like to get criticism on something you worked hard on?

Change your mindset, don’t criticize until you’ve evaluated the following steps.

No one is perfect

Realize that no one is perfect all the time. Sometimes just let it go.


Why are you criticizing? If you don’t have noble intentions it’s likely your advice will be resented. Even with noble intentions your advice may not leave a mark.

Will it help?

Evaluate whether your criticism will help. If you’re sure that it will be ignored (because you’ve said it in the past and it’s been ignored) then save your breath. You gain nothing and stand to lose positive feelings.

Will it be well received?

Sometimes giving advise may help the person improve but will it be well received? Maybe someone else is better of giving it. Try to involve the other person.

Offer a solution

Don’t just criticize. Of course we all know we shouldn’t make mistakes. Offer a fix to the problem.

Focus on one topic

Sometimes it’s difficult not to advise someone but if you’re not helping the best thing to do is to stay close until they give you the opening. If you get criticism,  read The Critical Success on how to deal with it. Realize it’s not always about you.

Where Has All The Quality Gone? And how you can take advantage of it

A waitress takes the order, delivers a few items and disappears for an hour while a group waits at the table with hungry kids.

A handyman installs a bathroom mirror so high that only a 6 foot 2 person (which he was) can see his face.

A programmer makes the same mistake again and again and doesn’t do rudimentary testing before showing it to his boss.

A customer buys a piece of furniture that needs to be touched up.  A month later the customer doesn’t hear back on it. A message is left and finally returned. The saleswoman says “Call me back on Monday to make sure I remember about this.” Since when are customers reminder services?

Unfortunately all these are real stories. Worse still there are many more worse ones.

The lesson: Commit to quality.

You’ll see the more you commit to doing everything with quality the better you’ll get.

The Upside

Word Spreads. People do say nice things, not just negative. This can lead to referrals.

No reworks. By doing it right the first time it saves time on fixing it later.

The Downside

The downside is that as you look around and see people neglecting quality you’ll get more annoyed. You may also become people’s reminder service. People will rely on your perfect quality even when you aren’t. Quality can take time. That’s why it’s important to set up a system.

A Sure Guide to Healthy Life, You Have to Include Exciting Routines to Make Exercise Fun

This is a guest post by Winston Cole a teacher, engineer and web publisher with several sites including a cruise vacation planning website.

Let’s face it most people don’t want to exercise because they see exercise as being a chore. Their lives are already busy enough and they just don’t have the time to exercise. There are plenty of clever excuses that people make, to convince themselves that they really don’t have the time to exercise. However, most of the time, these excuses are just conveniences that people use, to make themselves feel better for not exercising.

Eliminate excuses and start now

Common excuses that people use to justify their reasons for not exercising include, “I don’t have the time to exercise”, “I’m too old”, “I’ll start next year”, as well as many more.

Most people will have spare hours in their day, set a period of time that is reserved for exercising. It doesn’t have to be long. Half an hour is plenty of time for beginners. As far as age is concerned, there is nothing stopping you from taking 30 minute walks each day or even joining up a yoga class, which people of any age can participate in.

The ‘New Years’ excuse, is just delaying the inevitable so that it never arrives. When the New Year arrives, a massive increase in gym attendance is followed by a massive decrease in gym attendance, usually within the first month. You have to start exercising now, not tomorrow, not next week or next year but now, if you want to get fit. With that in mind, below are various methods that can help to make working out more enjoyable.

You don’t have to exercise alone

When people imagine themselves exercising, they see themselves working out alone, bored out of their minds. Although with time, exercising on your own will become engaging, when you first start out you will probably find it hard to motivate yourself or have fun, when working out.

This is where your friends come in, you probably have a good time whenever you’re with your friends (otherwise they wouldn’t be your friends). So why not join a gym with your friends or start exercising with them? Even better, if you have friends who regularly exercises, then start working out with them.

Exercise will no longer seem like a chore, because you’ll be having a good time, which will provide you with more than enough motivation to keep things going. If you are at a similar level of fitness as your friends, you can even motivate one another by competing with each other, after all what are friends for?

Take part in sporting activities

A lot of the time you can get a healthy amount of exercise in, without even exercising. If you enjoy watching sports, then a great way for you to get fitter is to participate in them with your friends. Sports such as soccer are great team games which can improve fitness. Tennis is a great game to build up reflexes and endurance. You should aim to participate in some sort of sporting activity that you enjoy, perhaps once or twice a week to begin with.

You could also take part in other activities, everyone has different interests but walking, jogging, swimming and climbing are all great activities. If you watch sports on TV regularly, then there is nothing stopping you and your friends from participating in these sports, after all you should know all about them if you’re interested in them. Who knows, you might even discover talent that you never knew you had before.

Sometimes it’s the little things that count

Okay, so for whatever reason, you haven’t yet signed up to a gym or got round to creating a workout schedule. However this doesn’t mean that your hopes of getting fitter are over, there are still plenty of small things that you can do.

Do you usually drive to work? Instead why not start walking to work? If this isn’t possible, then park a little further away from wherever you work and walk the extra distance. Do you usually take elevators or lifts? Instead, start walking or even jogging up flights of stairs, this is great for increasing leg strength. When you’re at home, watching TV and don’t know what to do when the adverts are on, why not complete a mini workout? 5 minutes of push-ups, sit-ups and squats is all it takes, if you’re watching a program that has three 5 minute breaks, that’s a very good 15 minute workout right there. There are plenty of little things that you can do throughout the day to get fitter, you’re only limited by your creativity.

The most important thing is to have fun

Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore or extra work. There are plenty of ways to get in healthy amounts of exercise, without even having a specific workout routine. The most important thing when exercising, especially for beginners, is to have fun. If you are not having fun, then change things. For example, workout with a group of your friends and take part in sporting activities that you enjoy. Challenge your minds creativity and your body’s physical abilities. Create an exercise routine that is unique to you and is something that you actually enjoy doing.

About the Author

Winston Cole is a teacher, engineer and web publisher with several sites including a cruise vacation planning website. He is an enthusiastic sportsman, who enjoys cycling, swimming and tennis. In his spare time Winston does engage on various self-improvement activities
Traveling also is another favorite pastime of his. Winston has traveled around the world’s most fascinating places in America, Europe and Africa. His passion for life and learning attracts him to the history, food, and music of other cultures. He says “This is good because I love being with people; I don’t know a stranger! “

The Formula For Success

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SuperbokehtheorieWhen most people discuss success they say you need to work harder or work smarter or both. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a formula for success? Well there is.

Think+Do+Enjoy= Success

Think before you do(working smarter). Do it well(work harder and better). And enjoy it while you’re doing it (enjoyment ensures motivation and conviction).

Do you think you can do better? How do you think the formula can be improved?

photo credit: eriwst.