Even Bad Restaurants Serve Hot Food

A restaurant’s best moment

The best moment is when you’re waiting hungrily at your table and the waitress comes out from the back with trays of steaming plates full of cooked food and she’s walking towards you. No psyche this time, you realize it’s not actually someone else’s food but yours! She’s coming right towards you and it looks like what you all ordered! Aaah – unbearable!
That’s even more exciting than her setting the food in front of you because of realized anticipation.
But then there’s food. Aaah!

How does a mediocre restaurant stay in business?
Because they bring you food.

The restaurant expectation

Hot food being brought to you.
Isn’t that why we go to a restaurant?
Isn’t that why we go back to restaurant whose food is only okay?
It’s hot and you didn’t have to cook it.
The bar is low.
Bar food has a higher bar.
If it’s only okay, there’s still the beer.
Napkins are bar rags or a Scott towel ply. That’s like eating in someone’s garage.


And even whelming food is still something you didn’t have to do anything to get, so you’re happy about it.
Also fun is that we all seem to know that one bar where the food is better than the inebriants.


Of course, it’s better when it’s great food for a reasonable price.
The finding of those restaurants is a truly fun venture in any city.
When I travel with my family by car we look up the places from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives or Adam Richman’s ventures like the old Man vs. Food shows, (2008-2012) and we eat at the places we saw there. That’s pretty fun and always at least really good.


How to make this apply to your life?
Well, food is the power for your engine.
Food is also part of the fun of every day.


You can put old, bad gas in your car and it’ll run. It’ll sputter but it’ll run. We don’t often fill up on the big octane gas, cuz it’s more money. Maybe every once in a while, it’s good for the system. But we are an engine that gets to enjoy our decisions. A good meal is good for the engine and for us, the act of filling up at the pump is even a memorable, enjoyable experience. Even if you feel like an economy car most of the time, every so often you can drive like a Ferrari or Bentley and get the white cloth napkins.


Here then, is to the anticipation of what good food will bring to the energy of our day.
May it be full of High Octane Output.


Unifying The Art / Sport Divide


The Process Or The Result?

Sports and art have two different pursuits.
In sports, the competitive nature promotes seeking to be the best. Winning is everything. You’re training is about pushing you to the limits and you are never done. There is only keeping up – with yourself or others. The focus is so much about coming out on top that to win is actually more of a relief then just pure joy, therefor your focus is actually not to lose. You can’t enjoy the process with an unknown outcome.

Andre Agassi said that “the pain of losing an event like Wimbledon far outweighs winning, and lasts longer.” If you win, that’s just what you were supposed to do, if you lose there’s that pain plus the psychological effects you didn’t train for.

With art, there is joy in the creation. There is fulfillment in the process.
The end game is not as important as the journey of creation.
It’s why artists are so often not finishers. They love the process so much that just one more tweak is always possible.

Because they live in the process, artists can afford a built-in spirit of generosity.
Because of their discipline, athletes get results from strong finishes.
Both affect change.

You can’t say that either are more happy as a group than the other.
There is art in sports, that is how the athlete creates. Their pressure is the value judgement of “yeah, but did you win?”

There is regimen in artistry. It’s how the artist has a body of work. Their pressure comes from what it takes to create a vision combined with criticism of their personal works of art – both reasons so many creators seek escapes from reality.

If (imo) the best athletic artist Michael Jordan didn’t finish, if the ball didn’t end up in the hoop, all the moves to get it there would be dismissed as his art getting in the way of the results.
Art must finish but affords more latitude in it’s interpretation.

Finding the artistic expression is a way to enjoy your life.
Finishing is what brings results.
In life, winning isn’t only about being first, it’s more about the process of finishing.
Can you do enjoy the process and finish?

How To Experience Empathy


Gauging Our Depth


I have friend who was going through a situation – a life changer. In talking with them over a few months I thought that I had empathy for them. All these words we use, what do they mean? What do they really do for someone?


I’m listening to them and I’m using words right back. They’re not much help without what those words can push into action. I say that and yet I do realize that sometimes just the right words are everything but that’s not most of the time. More often than I’d like to admit as a talker, just listening is the real value to someone. I hear in my head the old saying about walking a mile in their shoes. Talk is cheap. These are good sayings but they don’t totally cut it.


I can’t have empathy anything close to the degree that someone else is feeling unless I have gone through it too. I didn’t think this at the time I was talking with my friend though. Only after I went to bed one night did this idea of empathy come to me.


That night I had a dream in which I went through the situation they faced. I was forced in the dream to deeply feel what I just went through in a completely made up and different play of the issue. It was horrible. You know how real dreams can be. I was not able to get a good sleep that night. I was also able, unlike my friend, to get up and live my life as before. A power of dreams is in their ability to create a whole new universe and make you feel it as real as a life lived outside your imagination.


I gained insight for my friend. It was a new sense of understanding.
So I questioned myself as to which is the best way to respond to a person in a situation like this  – with sympathy or empathy?
This is the definition given by grammarist.com.
When you understand and feel another’s feelings for yourself, you have empathy.
When you sympathize with someone, you have compassion for that person, but you don’t necessarily feel her feelings.


I contend, after my dream and it’s experience, that feelings have so many depth levels and as a result we very seldom actually empathize with another person unless we’ve gone through that experience for ourselves.
By the definition, if you haven’t experienced it, you can’t fully understand it. Grasping the concept is only one part of it. Feeling it is the depth of real understanding.


My takeaway was that dreams are not only fluffy feel good sentiments that people write about. Follow your dreams, turn your dreams into reality…
They do have the power to affect you in a very real way. Dreams can reflect what you are thinking. They can build a world for you to see, to test drive. If it’s not that then it’s the sort of unplanned dream that hasn’t yet made it to hope.


Hopes and dreams are the often unrealistic, ungrounded, intangible. They are too loose and unaware of the surrounding difficulties. They’re necessary but they are the feel good part of the early work – the motivation that many do not persevere through.


Once you have crafted and considered what it is your hopes are, once you have created a tangible map to follow, even in the roughest form of action, then your mind can begin to construct a world that will be available for you to preview in your dream. If and when you can get to that point you have convinced yourself of it’s depth. There is your free trial. Your mind lives out the empathetic experience within your own life. You begin filling in decisions easily, almost subconsciously that match up with this path. It’s how it can get real.


The crossing of your waking world and your sleep world. Your conscious mind and your unconscious mind. Remember that the power of your unconscious mind breathes for you and regulates all your life functions. Powerful enough?
Building a bridge to connect the two worlds inside you is a very mindful process.
That’s what change is.
You can start working for you.
You can give yourself the experience of some empathetic connection.


The Slow Shift From Force To Connection

A Roar Ignored is Unheard

If a Roar is unheard it’s because what you’ve heard in the past shows that you’ve been misled. The act of consistently being misled leads to no gathering of joined purpose. So it could be spelled unherd as well. Roars should get progressively easier to ignore or work around. Once you realize the roars have no teeth, you just hear a noise that you want to move away from. A pointless attempt at control via the uncontrolled rant.

This is how we are talked to.
We get it from TV, many media sources, work, maybe even at home. There is quite a lot of positional bullying going on –
Do this, here’s what I think, here’s what you do, hurry up, act now.
We are still being sold to as if we have the scarce amount of choices as in the 1930’s.
Of course we have more choice than ever. But old habits die hard. Even the youngest generations are used to being sold in traditional ways. It’s still how we respond to marketing out of social pressure, desire to have what we want or other basic human instinct.

Despite this, we are undergoing a shift in the way we interact. Younger generations are losing one ability and gaining another. They may lose some ability to speak directly to another human and effectively speak their mind in person but they certainly get that we are in a culture of choices and to find what you want in pursuing who you want to be is technologically easy. You can learn anything on You Tube.
They don’t want ads forced upon them. It still happens but not in the same manner or as often because they click away from it. How would TV ads ever been allowed to dominate the culture in American sales if the Skip Ad option was available over the past 70 years?


The roars may have shifted.
From the output of do what I say to the input of listen to me –
the practice of let’s see what’s on, to the search query.
(Culture of TV vs Internet)

The Philosophy of Choice

Communication was changed by the ingestion of media. The methods became an accepted norm. We bring this into our work and home life. We don’t have time for listening, being interested or for solving things with another person, we have to wrap it up and get to the next thing. Even if the next thing is nothing.
Realizing this means you have signaled the dulling of connection. It’s time to reinvest in yourself.

Starting the shift

To speak too loudly brings the opposite response.
Sure, the issue gets heard but the ability to solve it has instant opposition.
If a project doesn’t have alignment, that project is doomed to failure.
When people are vying for position, power is the priority before the project itself.

Focusing on relationships in business brings results that will always be better, it holds the more comprehensive parts of life, more than money can do for us.
This is the best method financially as well, but money is actually the last step. It’s the last part of the interaction when there is work done well. It’s the result of unity on a project done for the ability to serve a need.
The team is cohesive, the product is cohesive.

The days of success by pure force are dwindling. At least en masse.
The progression looked like this: Word of Mouth> Newspapers> 3 TV channels + UHF > Cable> Internet> Streaming+Searching. Could we go back? No way. It went from opinion of the few to the many. Trust went from someone you knew to someone’s review.
Trust is where the actual shift is happening online.
It’s gonna take time because we’re all human.

Short term force will always be there but reason and connection seems to be the slow and inexorable shift. The longer and certainly tougher shift is in our ability to seek out our best with so much choice.
Marketing at it’s best is about connection. Sales come from good, consistent marketing.

Force will be practiced by those unable or unwilling to do the real and difficult work of listening and being honest in their offers.
Force is bullying tactics. The world is onto you and the internet found out how to even the score because it’s best tool is that of connection.

There’s no need to be silent when everything in you wants to roar.
It’s just that a roar isn’t gonna do it anymore. Reason is having it’s day.
These are the moments where your best self gets it’s chance to practice.

What’s With The Bumper Sticker Anyway?

What I want you to know about me fits on an 11″ x 3″ rectangle

The bumper sticker is so analog. It’s such an archaic way to tell us what you think.


First off, We don’t care that much about yours.
At best it’s amusing. At worst, those who don’t agree will give you a look – you know that look too.
What’s with the need to even display such a statement? My dog is smarter than your honor student, or Calvin peeing on Chevy or something political.
That’s the first thing you want us to know about you? Are you out to travel around and spread the word or do you just want to be known for that opinion-above all the other ones you got?


It’s kinda passive aggressive, avoiding any discussion about the controversy you wanted us to see. You’re making some really big statement and there is no discussion available.
Of course, what passers by do with it pulls them down a level too.
If someone doesn’t agree, the look in passing is the entire discussion. It’s about all they can give to the conversation. “I don’t like your bumper sticker. Let’s get a look at you…aaah, well you must be an idiot. We’re done here, also as I pass, I’m gonna have my car give you a little attitude, so be ready for that.”


I’m not saying I have an alternative yet, but I just see the flaws in this particular one.
What if each car’s license plate number could be texted, and the bumper stickers were digital displays of their message but also could post messages from the people in traffic. Now we’re headed into new territory. All the controversial ones would get people texting so often that the owner would just tear it off.
It might end badly.
People are a bit too used to the car being protected environment to spout off in.
Maybe the bumper sticker will be a catalyst for social change?


…maybe not.


Certain cars are more likely to have an opinion rectangle.
It’s usually a Prius or a Subaru.
Bumpers, in fact, the entire backs of these vehicles are very often get to know me space.
It’s the rear window for trucks. Or mudflaps reserved for naked women silhouettes.
You’re forcing us all to talk about you behind your back, and it probably isn’t good.


I guess everybody has their drive-by opinions, some just display theirs.
Come to think of it, that’s what Facebook has become for many.
The repetitive bumper sticker.
I get your political opinion already. Extreme? Nooo, not to you. Other than getting to know you, what are you hoping to accomplish with all your opinions you’re calling facts? Right or wrong, your Facebook page, like your bumper sticker makes me want to know you less.


Opinion vs Judgement

Your Opinion can grow up

Your opinion is a collection of your experiences.
How you feel about them shapes what you think.
Your experiences can include what parents or other influencers
told you out of their opinions.


You move on your opinions, they shape your path and are what people know of you.
Judgements are deeper, more final.
We don’t know what final really is, but it’s definitely bigger than us.
Judgement is not for us to give if we are to live a healthy life.
It places you in the “I’m bigger than you” category.
Judging is opinion taken to fact. A sort of fact we can’t know.
One way is not good for all people. We ‘re too diverse.
It would be stifling and there would be no progress.

Why do we struggle with differences of opinion?


To clarify, there are laws designed to protect us from bad behavior.
There are commandments in the Bible that assert much of the same as what our laws are.
Police and court judges enforce the rules.
There are differences between your opinion, your judgement and the rules for us all to live by.


Much of acceptance comes from learning what things you will not waver from and which you will.
Much of acceptance then is allowing yourself to interact without reserve to those who hold a different mindset.
#Opinion Without Opposition Is Ignorance
To have an opinion without knowledge of it’s opposite, is ignorance. Having an experience with people who live that opposition to your viewpoint is a more informed decision through your observation. It tests your current way of thinking.
You can choose to solidify your thoughts or change them based upon experienced information.
You have a standard your opinion was decided upon. You don’t have to be swayed if you have friends that think differently.
Accept it as their take on life. Connect where you can.
Judgement is left for the courts and your God.
It really can free you up to be simpler and more convinced that you are only working on yourself, not the rest of humanity who will resist you as you attempt to be your best.
Rules without relationship leads to rebellion.


Form your opinions, go live through some experiences to get them.
But do stop short of judgement, if I may suggest.
Nobody likes it, including your own mind.


The Cycle Of Friendship

Are you being a good friend?

It’s not easy to find a real lasting friend.
Friends come and friends go.
Some friendships burn bright and fade, some are because of the group of others around. Some are situational, during short periods of time when you are both teammates or on a project.


It starts from a shared interest or experience.
It lasts when the connection is below what’s seen.
And so we cycle through friendships looking for the qualities that energize us, lift us up, and allow us to share what we love doing with someone else who sees it the same way.


When you have a good friendship, you have given to it and taken from it at different times and in different amounts. If having a friend is in any way rewarding, then you have learned what it means to be a good friend. Being aware of it isn’t the same as the action of it. You understand it when you have received that reward back. Friendship is reciprocal. Fun is too.


If you go a level deeper in that thought, so too is negative reinforcement reciprocal. If you have someone calling you out and doing wrong to you and you stick around for any reason, you are going to engage in some form of negative positioning back.
Friendships assimilate. Friendship could be between two caustic and rude people too. Birds of a feather flock together.


Who your friends are and what you think of them reflects what you are thinking about yourself. Thinking highly of a friend means you are more likely to go out of your way for them, to do right by them and with the rule of reciprocity according to a good relationship, you will get that in return.


Parents, look at your kids’ friends to see where they are in their evaluation of themselves. Encourage good connections. Discourage ones that bring about results in behavior you want to steer them away from. For yourself, if your life is out of sorts in any way, consider who you are spending your time with. Changing that single thing will switch your outlook as the days go on.


Being around productive people is inspiring and brings peace. This is one of the keys to happiness.
Hang around people who can bring out your best and you will have gained something inside to give back to them.


Peddle the cycle of friendship.


You Are Creating Your Own Business


Believe it or not,
you’re an entrepreneur


How you ask?
You are the product.
Your life is your marketing plan.


People respond to what you do and how you do it.
If you consider that you are affecting other people, and you are, understand there is no need to force people into believing what you are trying to do. The attempts to convince them all is wasted energy.
More than that, It’s a disservice to those who are already with you.
You, like your business, are not for everyone.
If you relate to them, they mix their business with yours.


There are you tubers out there with millions of fans (and dollars) and yet most people have never heard  of them. Guess what – they aren’t bothered by that, they’re doing fine just being themselves. This is an obvious example because they truly are the product.
They are especially good at relating and mixing with others who share a similar vision. They team up to introduce each other to their fans. This is today’s version.
Collabs are not a new idea, it’s a new term for an idea that has always worked.
With collaborations the product is the center of attention and you are understood to be moving along in that process.
The others involved will move along too.
Who you choose to share that with, and how you go about it, is the practice of your business.
The more shared vision you get the easier it is to gain momentum.
That momentum creates an electricity that feeds itself.
What you feed, grows.


Working on your own personality traits are at the heart of making great products.
Great products make marketing them easier too.
How many likes isn’t the value. The quality and trust of the likes is.


You are the product others benefit from.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Market yourself long.

Finishing Passion


Nobody will care about your passions quite as much as you

That’s at the heart of why great teams work.
It’s shared passion multiplied.

But before we can get it out to others, we have work to do ourselves. Our challenges are in more than just the project and it’s obstacles. There is the internal processing that moves or halts us. We’re all subject to it.

We can’t expect people to be as excited about what we’re doing as we are. This doesn’t have to be a let down. Getting your project, product, or idea to a more complete state is the first chance to get the experience to the user. We get all the benefits of seeing it come together along the way. We are among the few who could appreciate that. Passion leads to the formation of something great. Once something great is created, only then can someone else appreciate it with the sort of enthusiasm you had for its creation. Before that, an incomplete vision is hard to experience.

This seems obvious, and it is, but for all the ideas out there, for all the projects started, and good ones too, how many got to the point where we could use them?
Why was the obstacle bigger than the pursuit?
Let passion drive you to finish.

Before long you have a completed body of work for others to see.
Finish and move to the next one.
Putting things of value into the world outlives you and is a benefit to your days.
Thank you for doing work you have a spirit for. It lifts us all.

What are you going to do to bring it one step closer to being done today?

College and Opportunity Aren’t Enough


You want to change your life.
You think about more schooling.
That might be a bad idea.


With everything available to us like never before in history, it becomes ironic as to why we aren’t overwhelmingly more content. We have the ability to make our own opportunity in the development of the information age. Only some have taken advantage of that new ability, such as the new breed of you tube millionaires. So one can conclude that opportunity isn’t the big equalizer it was thought to be.


The internet made connection available to a number of like-minded people. People you could not hope to get to before. That power, seen from a time before it happened, would be thought of as a game-changer. And it was, but take a look at what many are doing with the means to connect. Right now – today.
Chest thumping braggadocio, an unrealistic portrayal of how great their world is, or the one-sided force of their opinion ad nauseam. Is that the best way to connect? Yet that’s done by huge numbers of people online. They carefully mold their 15 seconds of daily fame.


Old vs. New

The American ideal was to be able to strive, to achieve if you worked hard. Here we are, free to be able to live the life we aim for. It should be better than ever, and in fact for many who will, it is. There are now those who have taken an easier production process, and their skills seriously and approached their pursuit in a planned, purposeful and businesslike manner. Even if they didn’t purposefully set a business model in place, their actions were the same as if they did. They have cutout the middle man by filling that position themselves. They have said yes to themselves and gone for it – daily, bit by bit. No longer do we wait to be discovered. We have the ability to discover ourselves and get ever better.


But there are two sides.
The internet has information and connection.
That used to be the property of colleges, universities and libraries.
Buyer beware.


2-3 generations ago, college was a big deal. It meant a job. I’m talking about the 1940’s & 50’s. Not everybody was expected to go to college. That’s not that long ago really. Today almost 30% more people are graduating. With so many more enrolled, one of the biggest new national problems is that of student loan debt. It became big business with new colleges being built en masse since that era. In 1940, 3.8% of women and 5.5% of men graduated with a college degree. In 2013, it was 31.4% of women and 32% men. There are far more enrolled and on the financial hook.
But what used to mean a job for your parents and grandparents stopped meaning nearly guaranteed employment – and now we face a crisis in paying for it.
It sure seemed good for a long while. It’s a different era now.
One step forward two steps back.

We have access to all the information to learn about a great variety of subjects, yet the average amount of time spent watching reality shows is on the rise, because it’s just as available, if not more so.


So a college degree isn’t the ticket it used to be.
Neither is waiting to be discovered.
No employer hires based on where you went to school, and depending on the job, maybe not even that you went to college. Can you do the job well? Do you have the best attitude? Those are two major ingredients to your personal success.
The info is out there. Go get some and use it.

“I can’t” doesn’t work.
When someone says “I can’t”, what they’re really saying is “I won’t.”


Information is oversold.
It’s not solely about the information, it’s what you do with it.
It’s not only about the opportunity, it’s what you do with it.

One word holds what is truly the key ingredient.
Desire will always win.
Desire brings you to information and it let’s you see opportunity.
So when you’re looking to change I ask you –
What do you want?
If you answer truthfully, you will do what it takes to make your own way.