Archive for May, 2012

Fear of DOING

Posted by on Thursday, 17 May, 2012

img_1554Fear is the number one contributor to our sedentary lives. Comfort is the second. I realized this over the course of my past few years in Oregon, and was slapped upside the head with it this week as I prepared for a 3k+ mile solo motorcycle journey.

Simple little things began to peak their heads up and wiggle into my world. One of those was this article shared out by my friend Dayle on Google Plus: 6 Habits of Truly Memorable People (note how this is the habits of *memorable* people, not the typical ‘habits highly effective/successful’ people you normally see. Almost makes it more approachable as advice, doesn’t it… I mean heck, we can ALL be memorable in our own ways, and likely even think we already are to some extent… success on the other hand, is always something that we may feel is just outside our grasp and therefore not 100% applicable to us… But memorable? Yes, that is absolutely applicable and attainable!

In the article, there is a deep focus on DOING, and some on failing, but mainly that if you don’t do anything, well you’re not going to be interesting are you? Funny thing is, I’ve taken this idea to heart for different reasons over the past decade… not to be memorable, but rather to enjoy a life worth living. I’ve been trying hard to DO and not just be. I’m better at times and worse at others, but at the least it has always been a nagging motivator. As my friend Kerri would say: “Yes is more fun”.

But it isn’t that easy. And I know you know that too. Fear is a tough thing to ignore as we work out of that comfort zone and shift from *being* to DOING. But it *can* be done, and when it is, we often find that there was nothing to fear in the first place but our own misconceptions and worries (which by the way, aren’t effective for a single damn thing, so just let those worries and preconceived notions go now, we’ll all be much happier). We’re always better off for that new experience, even if it didn’t turn out as hoped or expected.

I can actually trace the beginnings of this shift back to 1997 when I was being interviewed in the third round process for the Orange County Sheriff’s deputy position:
During the panel interview (after the physical test and polygraph, just prior to the psych eval) I was asked what unique skill I possessed to make me successful as a deputy. My answer was driven by the only real experience I had at the time; my knowledge of human behaviour gleaned from voraciously reading and finishing 4 years as an English major. I’m sure you can guess how that answer was received. I was essentially laughed at (admittedly part of the interview process to put a candidate under pressure to see how they react) and mocked for thinking that books could help build skills to be a successful deputy. And to a point, they were right. I couldn’t just read and observe… I had to DO. Ultimately, I was happy to not get the position as a deputy trainee, as I recognized even then that while the training would be an amazing experience, the first five years of working in the jail systems would likely make me into a person I didn’t want to be. The lessons I learned about myself, through the process, however, were invaluable and I’m quite pleased to have had that experience, even if I failed at my end goal.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared of taking off for a week and riding 3k plus miles alone on my motorcycle. But you know what? I can’t let fear dictate my life. So I’ve opted to DO, and become, not just be. Not only does this trip scare me by the scale of it, but I’ve also let go of a lot of planning and left it open-ended, so I can be open and flexible to enjoying adventures as they come my way. Previously, I’d have over planned any trip like this, pre-booked all my rooms, mapped out specific routes and set rigid timetables. But having gone off-the-cuff during my August 2010 ride down to San Francisco and up to Crater Lake, I found that it was not quite as scary as I’d thought, and much more doable and interesting to go with the flow. Of course, this is also a trip into the wild unknown, on roads I’ve not see outside of Google maps (barring one 60 mile stretch of I-84 heading out east…).

Roll that all up together, and yes, I’m petrified. I’ve been petrified before and allowed that to prevent me from doing anything. I’m no longer okay with that safety which my mental paralysis provided. So, in the serendipitous spirit of “being memorable”, I’m going to DO. And take pictures while I’m at it… hopefully… if I can stop by bike long enough to get off and actually snap some. Sometimes my bike just doesn’t like to stop until I can’t go anymore, so we’ll see.

Baby steps, you know… who knows what the future may hold by staying on this path…

Why not join me on this “quest”… read the 6 Habits of Truly Memorable People and start living a little bit outside of that comfort zone. DO more and see what happens…

 

 

A Moo review- Moo.com

Posted by on Monday, 14 May, 2012

Ever heard of Moo.com? I hadn’t until a few years back when two of my colleagues used them for some work related business cards for out support entity to bring to our annual software conference. But, I’m not really ever in need of ‘business’ cards so I didn’t bother with them… (one of the perks to never leaving the house)… until recently.

I’ve been getting out more and more, and talking to people about what they do, what I do, and everything in between. I soon came to realize that, like my on-line life, my real world life isn’t really split into personas. So when I hand over one of my 3DC business cards, I always end up writing more on it to get the person to my other spaces. It just made sense for me to have a card for ME, to cover everything I do.

In comes Moo…. and Klout. And About.me. You see, both Klout and About.me have partnerships with Moo that provide 50 cards for only the cost of shipping (around $5.95 for me) so I figured I could take advantage and test out Moo.com’s service and quality without any real monetary risk.

First off, the ordering process is pretty slick. I was able to go from start to finish in 20 minutes, including registration, building my cards, and checking out. Not too shabby when you consider the REAL selling point of Moo: you can build multiple card images per order. In my case I tested with 7 different designs within my single order of 50 cards. Yup, you’re not locked in to one design per order. This makes for some very easy customization of low volume orders and creates opportunity to do some really nifty stuff with your cards.

The order took exactly one week to show up on my doorstep. I ordered April 25th, in the afternoon and the package was delivered May 2 in the late morning. That’s a pretty decent turn around time for what I’d consider a custom order (they likely don’t).

Here’s what they looked like when they arrived:

Overall, the quality is excellent. Heavy, but not overly bulky card stock is used, and photo quality printing means the images I uploaded were reproduced flawlessly. My one complaint is that some of the borders are slightly off. Likely this is due to the way in which I added the images, but for my picture on the text side of the card, I actually spent some time trying to understand how their border settings would print out and I was obviously mistaken as there is a white strip that I didn’t expect. So, likely some small room for improvement there. Any flaws in the images were introduced by me not Moo.

Outside of that grey area of user/system issue, I am unbelievably happy with the product quality and level of service. The entire process was simple, easy, and resulted in a product I am happy with. If I were to spend a few more minutes tweaking my settings and re-ordering, I am sure I’d be 100% satisfied here. As it stand, I give Moo.com a 95% rating in my book. Solid and highly recommended. Check em out if you’re in need of some inexpensive and adaptable cards. You won’t be disappointed.

Now, I have cards that cover who I am and what I do as a whole. Finally a tangible pointer to my online business card at www.acdntlpoet.com

(Full disclosure, the links to Moo.com above take you to my referral URL, so if you end up signing up, I get a little credit to use for more cards. By no means should you feel compelled to use the link, or even order for that matter.)

A day in photos- whiskies and welding

Posted by on Wednesday, 9 May, 2012

I’ve been a bit heady and word-heavy in my recent posts here, so let’s have some visual fun once again and stop thinkin so hard…

As I noted over on the 3 Drunken Celt’s blog yesterday, Jean and I had opportunity to once again help out our friends at Big Bottom Whiskey and bottle up some of the batch 3 port finish and new Wild Bill warehouse series.

I took advantage of a break between bottlings when Ted had to re-calibrate the filler for both different bottles as well as a different proof dram. Luckily for me it took Ted longer than he’d hoped,which allowed me a decent amount of time to snap off a ton of shots around the warehouse and tasting room. I posted a number of those to the 3DC blog reference above, but I’ll also add them here, along with a few others I’m quite proud of. Once the bottling was done, I helped Ted and another friend Aaron build a base for one of Ted’s new tanks. Since I’m not a master welder, I stepped back as Aaron got to work and continued snapping off some pictures. I gotta say, I’m actually quite pleased with some of the welding images I captured… I hope you enjoy them too!