gurustu's muse the daily thoughts of an every day guru
Daily Guru Thoughts
Friday, January 31, 2003 Caught me by surprise It was quite an emotional afternoon for me. Something I hadn't expected. Instead of going to the gym, I decided to give myself a break, and take my laptop into the park to get some Guru writing done.
It was a great starting point. the weather was amazing (that's why I live in Southern Cal, cause it was in the 80's in January). I just kept smiling as I wrote about revisiting resolutions and answering Guru Stu mail. Then I started on Guru Who, reliving my time in New York. I was all smiles.
Then I talked about AIDS, what it was like to live with it happening when no one knew much about it... and then I listed the names of the people I lost... and I cried. I didn't plan it. I figured I was long past that. I just still miss them.
After a moment to get through it, I packed up my computer and headed back to my car. As I turned the key in the ignition, I looked up and saw a little bunny, eating grass by the side of the park. We caught each other's eye, and I sat there watching her eat...
Thursday, January 30, 2003 I'm a dork, and proud of it At a team meeting today, one of my team members asked me why I kept talking about every project like it was a small one; and why weren’t we going after the bigger projects?
I explained that even though I WAS going after big projects, I was approaching each and every one of them like they were teeny. I said how I want to keep it from seeming to big because either someone would try to come take it away, or it would grow so large that it was impossible for anyone to do; and the project would die like so many others.
“Smaller successes are greater than bigger failures,” I told them, turning into my GuruStu mode. “Even the smallest of pebbles make ripples” and I want to make ripples, not waves.
To be successful in the environment I’m in, I have to make sure my team works in the proper way.
The projects must be:
Doable We have to have the time, the resources and the skills to actually get it done.
Off the Radar It can’t get so big that it becomes a “big deal.” Things die in committee after they become overgrown. It must remain limber and small enough to maneuver.
Reachable We actually have to be able to get to our goals, or what’s the point of doing it?
Kick Some Serious Butt It can’t just be good. It has to be extraordinarily great.
Sustainable We have to be able to keep at it over the long haul, because many small wins over time, adds up to a very large success. We have to be able to repeat what we do over and over again.
So if this makes us a bunch of DORKS because we so this, so be it. I’m one of the DORKS and proud of it.
Wednesday, January 29, 2003 Inspiration through irritation... There's basically three things we can do when someone or something just annoys us. We can get angry and attack, become passive by just ignoring it, or we can use it to propel us forward.
If you've been reading the past several entries, you'd see that there's been a lot of "stuff" going on at work. People trying to butt into (or even take away) my business, rules that can make progress almost impossible, and just too many Dilbert moments to mention. It was enough to drive someone over the edge.
I'm determined to move forward.
I've continue to trudge along with my attempts to get more projects, I've started to look for other ways to things done, and I stay clear of the naysayers whose only intent is to find others to bring down with them.
I'm making progress... small steps, but steps forward nonetheless.
I'm still bugged by it all, but I might be the better for it.
Tuesday, January 28, 2003 Shouldn't shoulda... I wrote an article the other week on how you shouldn't use "should" in any of your conversations. Well, I found a whole bunch of people who didn't read it.
I got a whole bunch of "shoulda's" today. As if my head hasn't been filled with enough "Plan B's" lately. Now I've got the echo of everyone else's ideas.
I only have one "should" I should do now... "sleep on it."
Monday, January 27, 2003 Will honesty be my best policy? In my latest article, I talk about honesty... and today I was tested to see if I can live up to it.
I had to hand in my self-evaluation at work.
While talking to a number of my co-workers, we got into the discussion about what should go into them. Many people feel the need to sugar coat their answers, or just not say anything. They fear retribution, or being exposed, or both. "Put nothing in writing!" they warn me.
But that's not what I'm about; that's not the truth. My self-eval spanned five pages; the good, the bad, the ugly (not "the good", the "not so good" and the "challenged" as corpspeak would have it). I believe I told the truth as I saw it. I'm hoping that the events of recent didn't taint my view too much... but what the heck. This is me, flaws and all...
...and if some of the eval comes as a surprise to those that read it, perhaps it's all for the best. It might open the door to honest communication... and that's what being honest is all about.
Saturday, January 25, 2003 Leave the light on.... I was wandering in and around a bunch of newsgroups this past week. Mostly the ones with "spirituality" in their titles. Pretty much just wanted to see what people were up to; what sort of philosophies of Life people are coming up with. What I found were people being people. Even in a place that thought of itself as a place for All as One, many posts started off fine, but ended up with little pools of in-fighting amongst the players.
The people were well meaning, but many of their responses sounded like Yoda's bloopers. Some people would ask straight forward yes-and-no style questions, only to be caught up with "the answer you seek is within YOU, I cannot tell you what to think." If the question was philosophical, I could understand the millions of interpretations... but one question literally was "do you believe in the article you just posted?" The answer is "yes, I do" or "no, I don't" or "some of it" or really anything that clarified what the poster was saying. To take the discussion into you-are-what-you-believe and why-can't-you-just-answer-my-question arguments, totally reduced the value of the thread (of course the value of the thread was based on my perception of my expectations of what I needed my soul to understand at the moment, so it really wasn't about the thread, but rather my own personal journey in the cycle of life, and what is within me is more important than what the topic was about anyway)
Phew.... anyway, I'll be over here if you need anything.
Friday, January 24, 2003 If your strategy to outwit is taking half-steps, does that make you a half-wit? I stood about half way through the line at my bank, half way through my day... half thinking about work and half about where to have lunch (should I go get half a sandwich and some soup?). I looked at the poster on the wall, of the horses pulling the stagecoach through the mud, and pretty much knew how the horses felt.
Today wasn't THAT much better than yesterday. Every little thing seemed to be difficult. Just making progress was slow and laborious. I didn't want to take on the rest of my day half-heartedly. I really wanted to make a real "go" of it. Even though I was only making half-steps, I wanted to share with anyone who would listen.... that ANY step moving forward is STILL moving forward. It's important to keep that in mind, especially when the going gets tough.
We learn more about our character in adversity, than we do in our safe times... and our success in the end is so much sweeter.
So I'll take any success I can get right about now... even if it's only half.
Thursday, January 23, 2003 People are like plants... They need just the right mixture to grow… the right seeds, the right sunlight, water, and just a pinch of fertilizer. Upset that balance and you ruin everything. Too much water, you drown them. Too much sun and they burn. Pour on too much fertilizer and all they get are covered in... well, you know…
I work at a place that does not promote growth. All day today I banged my head against the walls of failure that surrounded me. (You can’t work on unapproved projects, nor “internal” projects… but you can’t sit around and do nothing. You need to promote your services, but they won’t pay for it.) Let’s just say the climb’s been getting pretty steep lately.
Now it’s still not impossible to succeed… it’s just not exactly easy either. I’m able to create my own opportunities there, and with that, I have a great chance of success. The troublesome part is that no one is going out of their way to make opportunities for me. I’ve seen the same people who could make opportunities for me, actively make them for others. Unfortunately, they’ve done so at my expense. (Another wall to deal with.)
I’m determined to be like a sturdy plant. Over-burned and covered in fertilizer, I still push up towards the sun. My only other concern is what happens when I get through this? I will then have to watch out for predators and vermin… but that’s a story for another day.
Wednesday, January 22, 2003 Lights... Camera... Dream. I saw a couple of things today tied together by show business and Life Dreams.
While at the gym, I saw an interview with the documentary producer of "Bad Heir Day," who is an heir to the Johnson & Johnson empire. His story shows the life of the ultra rich, and how tough their life is. People in the locker room scoffed, saying "I wish I had their problems." What they fail to realize is that the children of the ultrarich DO have it rough... a different kind of rough. For those who don't have it all, we'd LOVE to know what it would be like to have... but here are people who grow up not knowing what it's like NOT to have. Here they have parents, or grandparents, who worked hard for all they have; and they don't have to do ANYTHING. Nothing holds any value because they don't have to work for it. If they don't work hard to make their own way, their whole life could be MEANINGLESS. You can be poor and hopeless... or rich and hopeless. Either way, that can be devastating to your soul.
Another devastating moment to your soul is "American Idol" on TV, which second season just started this week. Not that these non-singers should be coddled, but to see the hopes and dreams stream down their faces, it's tough to watch. Here the dreamers come in, and the hopeless go home.
It just demonstrates how priceless hope really is.
Monday, January 20, 2003 Don't wait for another King Excellent article on Martin Luther King at CNN.com (see my archive if the link doesn't work).
What I liked was the message not to wait for someone else to come along and be a leader, but rather rise up to your own occasions. In just about every culture I've experienced (even my workplace has a culture, though sometimes it doesn't seem like it), I've seen how so many people choose to blame others for their problems, all the while expecting someone mysterious to show up and fix everything.
I wonder how different the world would be had Martin Luther King stayed around. Would he had made a bigger difference in Life than he had in Death? His martyrdom made a huge difference. We can only guess what "might have been" had he not made such a big sacrifice.
For most people, today just means a day off from work... and although I'm enjoying that freedom, I'm also using today as a way to enjoy my other freedoms as well. Thank you Dr. King. You didn't fight just for your race, you fought for the HUMAN race; which I'm glad to have shared that with you.
Sunday, January 19, 2003 You see what I mean? I've been reading a lot of blogs recently. It's amazing how many attitudes are out there. You've got your I'm-angry-at-the-whole-world ones and the I'm-still-a-child-so-I-can-be-silly ones... and each one has a valid point of view.
I think it's a perfect example of how people create their own reality. It's not like you draw all this negative stuff to you just 'cause you're angry. Rather, when you're angry, you just see all this negative stuff. There was a dozen things yesterday that could have pissed me off -- bad drivers, someone saying the wrong thing to me at the wrong time, or the guy behind the counter who never smiles... but there was also an equal number of things that could really make my day -- for one, I live in Southern California where I wear shorts in the middle of January, so that's plenty right there.
The point is this: all this stuff goes on around us every day -- good, bad or whatever. We see whatever our mood lets us, project our moods out to everything else, and just ignore what does fit.
It's always nice to have friends who can remind you of the words you used yesterday, but didn't pay attention to today.
I had lunch with a friend from work, and talked openly about being human and having to overcome those feelings of yesterday. When I talked about getting the job as a possibility. He said "I dare you to just visualize it into existance."
Of course I was planning on daring myself anyway... but now I have to go for it... afterall, I've now been double dared...
For the last two days I have stayed late at work, putting together a proposal for a big project I'm hoping to win for my team. I thought that I'd be getting more excited as time went on... but I wasn't. The more I typed, the more this nagging feeling of depression was creeping over my head. I realized I was living in my past.
To keep the story short... I once had a growing team, with ever-expanding possibilities. Then office politics and unforeseen events sideswiped me; ripping my group apart. Lost people meant less ability to succeed. Less success meant loss of projects. Basically a downward spiral. Yet even though I felt like a fly with its wings torn off, I stayed determined to succeed... DESPITE the system, if not because of it.
But that didn't stop me from feeling human. Writing about the new project, I wondered if I would have the people I needed when the time came... or would this project also be taken from me?
It was the past getting in my way... and if I let it, I would end up quitting... and then I would completely lose.
To truly be empowered, and live in the present moment, I have to forget about the past. Acknowledge that I have human feelings, but look forward instead of backwards. It IS possible that this time will be different; it IS possible to succeed. I just have to keep at it, and always remember...
There is no shame in being knocked down... there's only shame in not getting back up.
Today was excruciatingly ordinary. The tasks of yesterday were the tasks of today. The same people at work were consistent with their reputations... and I even saw the same people at the gym, working on the same old muscles. Sometimes you just have one of those days.
So where's the 'extraordinary' in all that? (Well, it was an extra day, even if it was ordinary.)
But that's not really the point. I was thinking, when my day was approaching the end, "how do you get the 'extra' into the ordinary day?"
My answer for the night is this -- do something special, just for you. Do something, ANYTHING, that moves your life forward... even if it's just a teeny tiny bit.
Let's Do the Time Warp... Right now, doing these blogs are time warping. In "Guru Who?" I'm busy taking about my college days. The articles and letters are being revamped from a lot of work that I did a decade ago; and this is so NOW. It's like being in a hall of mirrors, with images of your life in all directions.
The Net is a Web of Time, and I'm getting caught up in it.
Had a roller coaster ride with Doug's World's web award yesterday. I've submitted my site to a number of awards; not just cause I want the links (links aren't that difficult to come by) ... and not really for some ego thing (though winning them sure feels good) ... I actually do want to get outside opinion on my site; and make it better...
I just don't like being rejected.
I don't think anyone DOES enjoy rejection, but it just reminded me of those acting days when the casting director came out, took one look at me, then asked the guy next to me to come on it, and the rest "thank you very much." It's the old "but you haven't given me a chance!" sort of thing.
Doug initially declined the site because of a horizontal scroll bar issue in 800 x 600. My site is variable width, so I double checked; saw a bar when it wasn't maximized, but not when it was. I figured 'something' had to be wrong, that he just happened to catch. Disappointed, I went into the site to adjust a few things and took note to get back to doug sometime in April.
A couple of hours later, I got a note saying that there was a technical glitch on his side, and that the review would continue... and last night I got notice that my site won a Bronze Award! It felt good that I was given a second chance, and that I really WAS judged, and not given a token award.
It was nice to have a second chance. Now if everything else is Life could be that generous...
Welcome to the new Guru Stu Blog. I've been writing for a long time... back when people actually used PAPER... so I have a lot of catching up to do (I'm staring at three 2" binders filled with material, underneath another five diaries, just waiting to get electronicized)... but then, what's what the rest of gurustu.com is for. This is going to be for my more regular, day to day thoughts... or at least... I think so.