Only Winning Matters

I was wandering the Internet, looking for something which wasn’t too important as I have forgotten what I was looking for. While looking, I came across a blog post written by Dan Waldschmidt.

Dan reads very aggressive in and with his life judging by this post. I was struck by the stark contrast between Dan’s life and my own using this post as the focus. Well, mainly the last lines of this post. I wonder if Dan’s thinking for this post is to get us to take responsibility for what does or does not happen in our own life, or only about winning?

“….I say these each day — sometimes several times each day — because I play to win each day.

And I don’t have moments to waste doing things that don’t work.

I want to win.”

What caught my attention is the last phrase, “I want to win”. This phrase stood out because we all, “want to win“. For the ultra competitive however winning is usually most important.

Is always wining, no matter who loses really that important?

Several thoughts entered my mind. Take a moment and see where you line up with Dan’s well targeted, motivational post.

How much do you want to win, and what or who who are you willing to sacrifice to win? Is winning at any cost worth it, all the time, in every situation? What about the people who, “lose” if you win? Do they matter? Do they ever have a chance to win?

Should other people ever be allowed to win if it means you lose? What is the purpose of driving so hard to win?

What are you really winning? Do you need money, self esteem, power?

As these thoughts rolled through my mind, I knew Dan’s post was not for me. I don’t need to drive myself to win for the sake of winning. I do not get satisfaction beating someone else at something, especially when I know they lost before they even began.

I have everything I need and want. The way I see it, in less than a hundred years, which sounds like a long time, but really isn’t, we are born, grow up, grow old, and die. If we are lucky, we die in our old age.

Really, what is there to win in the end, a more expensive funeral?

Purpose of Business is Profit

This is a business story. There are lessons to be learned here, more than about what is and is not the scope of any business.

I had a friend who had quite a good understanding of business, even though he had never gone beyond a high school education. I guess, he was a natural to some extent. I was thinking of him the other day, and something that happened in a little out of way tavern in the middle of nowhere several years ago.

It was about this time of year. The two of us had been traveling for a number of hours for a business purchase. We completed our business and were on the return trip. We were both tired and hungry. As we drove along some back road, a well kept tavern appeared on the side of the road.

We decided it was time to stop and rest. While there we would have some food and coffee, getting rested for the remainder of the trip. The building was very nice for being so far from anywhere.

The walls were paneled wood, and well oiled. The lighting was soft, but no overly so. The only employee present, the bartender, turned out to be the owner. He had owned the place for some years, and he prided himself on everything about his business from the building that housed it, to the paper napkins we would use during our meal.

The food was of course excellent. Nothing fancy, way better than the standard out of the way back country bar usually provides. I remember I had a cheeseburger. It was fresh and cooked to perfection with grilled onions, and cheddar cheese. I can still taste the burger when I think about it. The home made steak fries and coleslaw that came with my burger were also fresh, and very good.

When we finished eating, we asked if there was coffee. The bartender said there was, and it would take a few minutes to make if we would wait. Of course we would wait, the thought of coffee promised to be every bit as good as the meal we finished.

Coffee arrived a few minutes later, and it was very good. Not too strong, not overly hot, not bitter. As with the rest of the meal and surroundings, it was more than we expected.

Unusual however were the cups the coffee was served in. Not elegant, but certainly not run of the mill. They were very tasteful and unique glass coffee mugs. I had never seen anything like them before, and neither had my friend. He wasn’t sure what was better the coffee or the mugs the coffee was served in.

What is the true purpose of Business?

Purpose of business is profit

As we sipped our coffee and discussed the trip, my friend told me how much he would like to have four of these coffee mugs we were holding in our hands. The more he thought about it, the more he wanted four of them.

The bartender/owner came to the table asking if we would like a refill on the coffee. My friend told the man how much he liked the mugs, and could he buy four of them? He was willing to pay a reasonable price.

The bartender/owner remained quiet, and thought for a few seconds. He then told my friend, the mugs were unique to the business, and he purchased them through one of his suppliers. He continued he didn’t have any extra mugs he would sell.

I don’t know if was from being tired, or my friend wanted four mugs so dearly, but after listening he said, ”Would you rather sell me four mugs or would you prefer I stole them?”

I don’t know who was more shocked the bartender/owner or myself. My friend was was as honest as the day was long. I couldn’t believe what I just heard!

The bartender/owner was also quite taken aback, and I could tell from his expression he was on the brink of asking us to pay our bill and leave right now. Before he could continue that thought, my friend broke the silence.

He said, the building was exceptional, the food just as good, and the glass coffee mugs were indeed unique. However was it possible, more mugs could be purchased to replace the four mugs he wanted to buy?

I thought in this moment was to be had a brilliant business lesson. Here is a business owner, who is in business to make a living. Up until this moment he was doing this by operating a tavern and feeding his customers in a pleasant atmosphere. He took pride in everything about his business.

The bartender/owner walked away without saying anything more. I thought in the moment we had overstayed our welcome, and we were going to be asked to leave. He went into a back room for a minute or so, came out and beckoned my friend to the bar.

My friend went to the bar, and they conversed for a minute or so. Some money exchanged hands, and my friend walked back to the table with his four coffee mugs well wrapped and packaged.

The point to all this is what is the business of business? Up to that moment, the tavern owner never dreamed he would be selling his coffee mugs. My friend was obviously not driving across country in search of the lost mug. Yet business had been conducted, a surprise to both parties involved in the transaction with myself more surprised than both of them.

Business does not come naturally to me as it did for my friend. To the detriment of my bottom line, I may have asked us to leave, before I thought through all my options. If you own and operate a business, are you open to all avenues of income your business can generate? If you were the owner of the tavern, what would you have done?

Cracked Skin Relief is Cheap and Effective

I have had problems with cracking skin for a long time. Cracked skin comes on with the dry fall weather and comes and goes over the winter until spring. Cracked skin hurts. Cracked skin hurts more when it becomes infected.

It is not a strong pain. Just a reminder every time you step or pick up something that your skin is cracked. Many people have said the obvious. Use lotion. While lotion helps, lotion does not seem to be any kind of fix. I have also been told to wear plastic gloves. Again not a good solution.

The main problem with cracking skin is thick dry skin I have found. Especially around my heels. The skin gets thick from the summer weather when I tend to go barefoot more often. Also my hand skin sometimes cracks. Usually it is on the tip of my finger on either side of my finger nail. Occasionally a crack will show up on the edge of my hand.

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

The best fix I know for fall and winter cracking skin

After so many years of trial and error, I still do not have a good method in place to prevent my skin from cracking. I have however found a method that helps. When my skin now cracks, I found I can heal my cracking skin faster than normal. This method heals up a skin crack in the fastest possible way. I will share it with you so you can try it out too.

Cracking skin left alone, because it is only an irritant and not real pain often becomes infected. Then a mild irritant becomes a major pain. Then we wish we would have done something about it before the skin cracked.

For feet and hands where the skin is thick, I find a nail file works very well. Often just filing away the dead skin keeps the skin from cracking. I also found an item that acts as a skin rasp collecting the shaved skin for deposit rather than letting the skin fall to the floor.

A nail file works well on its own. Just put a sheet of paper under the area you are going to file to catch the skin dust. The more aggressive the nail file the faster the dead skin build up is removed. I have found the nail file tends to leave live skin alone.

When my skin cracks anyway, I have found a simple solution. Hydrogen Peroxide and lotion that coats the skin, although any lotion will work. Using a few drops hydrogen peroxide on the cracked skin area disinfects the cracked skin. Infected skin does not heal well.

After a few applications of hydrogen peroxide dry the cracked area. I have found toilet paper works fine. Hydrogen Peroxide is like bleach and will bleach a colored cloth, so unless it is scrap material, cloth is not a good choice.

After the cracked area is dry, apply a drop or two of lotion. Some lotions work better than others, although even olive oil will suffice if lotion is not an option. Allow the lotion time to dry.

I have found cleaning with hydrogen peroxide and coating with lotion three times a day promotes the fastest healing. As the cracked skin heals, dead skin around the crack should be removed daily by filing or sanding. This promotes the healing process and allows the skin to mend quickly.

The most effective deterrent to cracking skin I have found is the nail file or skin rasp. Skin that is supple and not covered with callous is much less likely to crack than thick dry calloused skin that is being forced to flex.

This is the best method for managing winter skin cracks I have found. If you have fall and winter cracking skin, I hope my method helps you.

Get Paid to Overcome Your Shyness

If you are shy by nature and want to be more outgoing, an easy way to get there is by working somewhere where you are forced to speak with strangers. Customers come with all types of personalities and temperaments. If you go out and find a job where you are forced to interact with the public, you will become less shy be default.

You will be forced to interact, discuss, persuade, and listen to and resolve complaints. In the interim you will learn how to easily carry on your end of the conversation. Not so obvious you will learn other speaking skills too.

You will learn how and when it is okay to control conversation. How to encourage or discourage conversation with your posture and expression. You will learn confidence because you will learn that some people are just like you, and others are different than you. Generally you will learn that you can hold your own with almost any person, and there is no reason to be shy anymore.

Half of us are shy by nature. You can get paid to learn to not be shy.

Half of us are shy by nature. You can get paid to learn to not be shy.

Once you realize you don’t need to be shy as in quiet, your world can change. You can become more outgoing in your personal life. You can control the ebb and flow of conversation. You will have learned what attracts and what turns off different personality types.

Get a job in fast food perhaps, and you will learn the skills to become the verbal master of your own ship!

Fear Monger No More

I think sharing a smile with a stranger is something most of us have been conditioned out of doing.

When we are little we had to watch out for the Man offering us candy.

As we grew older, we learned to be scared of looking at a stranger because they were probably crazy, a molester, a rapist, or a general purpose maniac.

As we get even older, we see robbers and murderers in every other person, even our neighbors.

We have been conditioned to fear strangers almost since we were old enough to talk.

Our world would be a much friendlier place, if we realize we do not need to live a fear based life.

Once each day smile at a stranger like you mean it, and say, “Good day”. You might even save someone with your smile. More has been done with less.

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be

Smiles are free and make the world a warmer place to be

 

Working With the Hill

Seen from the top, this path looks like a mild climb. Seen from the bottom, it is steeper than it looks. So how best do we climb the hill? We have three real choices.

1. We can run up the hill as fast as we can, and hope we don’t out of energy and breath before we make the top.

2. We can walk very slowly up the hill, which is not optimal, but it gets us to the top.

3. We can let the gill set the pace, moving faster and slower as the trail allows.

How we climb the hill is as important as getting to the top of the hill

How we climb the hill is as important as getting to the top of the hill

Life is the same as the hill. How we approach each day and the hills that come with each day is a measure of our personal success.

We don’t want to run as fast as we can, running out of energy before the day is done. We don’t wish to plod along wasting time on pointless tasks if we do not need to.

We want to speed up and slow down paying attention to the path up the hill, so we climb over the top with enough left to enjoy the view.

Letting yourself work with the hill, instead of fighting the hill and you will find the hills grow smaller and less frequent.

Playing Games in the Neighborhood

I picked these up at a local second hand store. They are a mismatch of course, racquet ball rackets and tennis balls. They didn’t cost a lot, less than $9.00 total. The neighborhood Kids could play with them in the street, or so I thought.

Cheap fun for the Kids in the neighborhood

Cheap fun for the Kids in the neighborhood

I forgot within (far) walking distance there is a tennis court. The rackets and tennis balls got some pretty heavy use during spring break I was told. The Kids were at the tennis courts playing next to people who take their tennis a lot more seriously.

About week and a half later I found two tennis rackets for less than $9.00. Now the Kids are on their way to becoming tennis pro’s! I figure for less than $20.00 which isn’t a lot of money these days, the neighborhood Kids are having weeks worth of fun.

A lot of fun can be had for a little money if you are creative. It was worth every cent to give the neighborhood Kids weeks worth of something fun to do.

Being a little generous with the kids in your neighborhood can have big returns. The kids have something fun to take up their time, and you may get your yard cleaned or car washed for free!

Fish, Fresh and Otherwise

I used to love eating fish. Growing up with lakes and streams everywhere it was easy to have fresh fish quite often. Times change, and fish, fresh or otherwise is the favorite dish  for someone else. I still enjoy a dinner of fresh fish, but like my Cats, I have become more picky about my choices.

This fish a fresh caught Rainbow Trout. The Trout was cleaned and coated with a mix of flour, salt, and pepper. Slow fried in a cast iron pan with enough oil to cover the bottom quarter inch of the pan. Cooked a few minutes on each side. Served with creamed corn and potatoes, pan fried Trout makes for an excellent meal. When I’m not feeling lazy I like to add a small amount of chopped onion.

Fresh caught, and freshly eaten, one of the finer meals if one lives near fishing waters

Fresh caught, and freshly eaten, one of the finer meals if one lives near fishing waters

The tail if you are interested used to be my favorite part. My folks didn’t have money to waste on snacks, so a fried fish tail was the next best thing to a potato chip. Try it, you may like it too!

I have two friends who prefer the head of their fish dinner over the rest of the fish. That’s not for me, but they insist the head and eyes are the best part of any fish. It is funny to go out to a nice restaurant and watch them order whatever whole fish is available. Once their meal arrives, they start on the fish head while the rest of the fish sits on their plate getting cold.

I have a small ceramic Carp on the shelf above me. The little Carp is a little over two inches long, and light blue, fading to white. It was once part of a set of rests for chopsticks. When I found the little ceramic Carp it was alone. I have a second carved Carp, about five inches tall made of soapstone I think. Carp is my favorite fish to catch. If you wander over to my other blog, venagozar.com, I have more than a few posts about Carp and Carp fishing.

My Cat’s thought fish was a wonderful meal, so I would bring home a small Carp for them to eat. Fussy Cat’s who lived indoors for too long, they preferred their fish steamed with a little salt and butter.

 

Cold Hard Cash, er, Dough

Bread dough is a great trout bait in the right place and the right time of year. Of course other baits work better other times and places too.

I went trout fishing about a month ago. This was one of those times and places where bread dough was not the killer bait of the day. In fact I never even opened the can of doughy muffins.

After catching and cleaning four trout, and driving home, I put my fishing backpack away, not remembering I had a can of refrigerated dough still in my backpack. I found the dough today as I was putting away some hooks I purchased in my fishing backpack.

If you were ever curious, this is what canned dough looks like a month after it pops the can open, this is it. A bone colored hard as rock, looking like an odd piece of wood popping out of a can.  With humidity averaging below twenty percent, dry air made the dough hard enough to use as a hammer. Doesn’t smell like the muffins would have been very good cooked either,

Cold Hard Cash

Forgotten Refrigerated Dough, a Month Later

On the bright side there was no mess. A word to the wise…When putting your toys away when tired,  take a few seconds to think if there is anything needing to be taken out first.

Serial Dream Continues, Be active in your Dreams

This is a continuation of my previous serial dream post with a little help for you if you want help with your dreams. I have mentioned this in other posts, but it bears repeating. You can control some of your dreams. Not all dreams but some. The downside is, it takes time and practice to learn how to control some of your dreams.

As you go to sleep, tell yourself that you want to be aware of your dreams. Some people remember dreams upon waking, I was not one of these people. Telling yourself every time you go to sleep to remember your dream helps you remember your dream upon waking.

As you reflect on your latest dream, take a few moments to think about your dream. Generally, in most dreams, you are one of two of you in your dream. You are either the active one or the one watching. Try to determine which of you you are remembering the dream through, the actor or the watcher.

When you can identify which of you, you are in your dream, you are halfway there. Now when you are the actor in your dream and not the watcher, try to do something simple. I have mentioned before trying to look at your hand is a good start.

If you really want to learn this, it may take some time. It took me months before I was able to look at my hand in a dream. Do not be discouraged by any the amount of time it takes. You have your lifetime to practice. Eventually you will wake and surprise yourself because you changed the course of a dream!

Which Door in your dream?

Learn active dreaming where you take charge of your dream

Now on to my serial dream. I was there again in my dream last night. It seems I am there more than I remember dreaming about, as I have been assigned a job in my dream last night.

I am curious if this dream line will continue, and I will have to work in this dream or will it fade away to be replaced by other dreams? Sometimes my repeating dreams continue to some end point, and other times they fade away into memory. I always wish I knew where they were going, so I would know whether to invest energy in the dream or simply enjoy it for what it is.

When I was a teen, I had many repeat dreams. These dreams felt like someone was hitting replay each night. Night after night. My dream would have no ending, only a repeat of the night before. This has happened only a few times as an adult. Now as in this dream, each dream is a new chapter of a long dream.

If you try to remember your dreams, you may find some pattern or repeats in your dreams too. Sometimes you will find your dreams help you, other times they seem to serve some other purpose. Enjoy your dreams either way. They are important.