Blogpost, self-reliance

Are You Hot Water This Week?

NO! The word “in” is not missing from the title. It is exactly as it should be and you need decide right now, if you’re only going to be HOT water this week. Hot water is useful but it is a few necessary degrees short of boiling. I’m not the first person to use this analogy. Boiling water happens at either 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees celsius. Anything less than that is just hot water. Boiling water gives off steam which has powered locomotive engines in the past. It is a separation point between ordinary and extraordinary. That little bit extra, one degree even can make the difference.

Water has no choice! If it is put into the right environment, it will comply to the demands of heat that is put beneath it. Humans are quite different. We have to give ourselves permission to boil most of the time. Each of us have a set of criteria that will create that extraordinary behavior. It is most likely different for the varied areas of your life. Regardless, let’s revert back to the original question. Are you just hot water this week?

The time to decide is now. If you wait until the moment, there is a good chance that you’ll come up short. You’ll be missing some key ingredient that will give you those all important final degrees. Set yourself up to boil now! You know who you are and what you need to succeed in almost any area of your life. Draw up a plan and then put it into motion. Have the mental, physical and emotional components of extraordinary action put into place. That way when the moment comes, you’ll be ready to boil!

Fire it up!



Delicious Poison

Princess Bride“I’ve spent the past few years building up an immunity to iocane powder!” -The Dread Pirate Roberts/Wesley

It was a strategic maneuver.  Obviously Wesley knew that at some point he would be faced with a situation where drinking poison would save his life.  However since iocane is odorless and tasteless, the experience was not done for enjoyment but rather protection.  If Wesley had been alive in modern or realistic times, he would have had a greater number of choices to kill Vizzini.  It just would have taken years and not moments to kill him using a soft drink, ultraviolet sun-rays, fast-food and stress-laden office job.  If you haven’t understood any of this post yet, stop everything and watch “The Princess Bride” right now!

Now that you’re back or never left, it should be obvious to most that our lives are full of possible poisons.  Some can be instantaneous killers.  Others take years to grab hold and choke the life out of people.  Why are we surrounded by so much poison?  Because we want to be!  We really don’t want the literal or figurative death that they carry but it is usually an unwanted side-effect to some deliciousness.   I use the word delicious to describe some positive feeling sensation associated with a negative action or product.  It does not specifically have to be a food/drink.

The delicious moment trumps the long term poisonous effect.  It is all over our society: food, drink, relationships, entertainment and the list goes on.  I’m sure that it is not impossible but it would definitely be difficult to go “poison free”.  So I would not ask that of anyone.  Since I mainly write this blog to challenge myself, the challenge that I lay before you and I is to give up two delicious poisons this week.  Tuesday (8/25) to Tuesday (9/1).  Leave a comment with your two and be honest with yourself and me if you drop the ball.  It’s not failure, it’s data!  You’ve learned something about yourself.  My two poisons are: Iced Tea and ice cream.  I also promise to leave a comment if I fall short.  People who know me will recognize the difficulty of this.  Can you give up Facebook, unnecessary cellphone use, your anger, that cup of coffee or cigarette?

“Never go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” -Vizzini





The Pizza Delivery Opportunity Cost Dilemma

Other than being a teacher and coach, the longest standing job that I ever had was pizza delivery guy.  I worked for a local place, got paid under the table and worked with some of my best friends at the time.  I’ve learned a lot from the jobs that I’ve had throughout my life.  Some of the lessons that I learned as a pizza delivery guy did not become clear until later.

While working as a delivery guy, I got paid $6 per hour plus tips.  You would think that the tips portion would vary quite a bit from day to day but it didn’t.  On most nights, I would average $11 per hour between pay and tips.  So there was always a simple calculation to make.  If I worked 5 hours, I was bound to make about $55.  Fridays and Saturdays were our busiest nights but those nights are also when everyone else is being social.  There was a constant debate in my head as the weekend would approach.  Do I work and make around $150 or spend time with the girlfriend etc.?  I usually worked.

The opportunity cost was easy to calculate.  I had the opportunity to make $11 per hour or spend that time elsewhere.  These calculations are all around us but most of them are not quite as easy as my pizza delivery dilemma.  The opportunity cost is not exclusive to money.  It applies to health, fitness, relationships and so many other facets of our lives.  The problem is that we are leaving too many opportunities on the table.  There is “cash” that we are just throwing away out of laziness, habit or ignorance.

The Long and The Short

There are short and long term opportunities that we have to weigh.  Related to school, the short term opportunity to take that half an hour each day to study for the test coming up.  If the time is spent wisely, the reward will probably come.  If not, it almost definitely will not.  On  the long term side, things like learning how to read and write create long term opportunities from their short term acquisition.  Long term opportunities usually require some sacrifice of the short term.

For many opportunities, we focus solely on the short term.  The time that it would take to work out.  The fear that we feel about approaching that special person.  The effort that it would take to start that project.  The short term is almost always more real because it is right now and we can’t see past it.  The long term is out there looming but it is so far away that we believe that it isn’t going anywhere.

It is the time of year when one of my favorite films is on, A Christmas Carol.  Scrooge and his ordeal with the ghosts is a perfect representation of the short term and long term opportunity cost.  Scrooge continually overlooked long term possibilities for happiness in favor of short term profit.  In the end he had the spirits to help show him his opportunities lost and fix his future.  Do you have someone to help you?  Or do you need to learn to see past the moment for yourself?  Decide what is important to you now and in the future.  If you don’t know where you are going, you can get there by any road.  But will you be happy when you get there?