Mike Rowe

Why Mike Rowe is a role model.

Whether it’s unsolicited marketing advice or a response to some terrible comment on his Facebook page, if you follow Mike Rowe on social media, at some point you will feel like he’s the smartest man on the internet.

There are few celebrities who have the ability to continually be savvy with their fans the way Mike Rowe is.  It happens on occasion, but mostly on accident.  See the story below about how he responded to a troll trying to get Rowe to bite about how you can be a Christian and a Republican.

Mike Rowe is a role model for several reasons.

1.  He starred on a show that helped us realize how many people perform jobs that 99.9% of Americans don’t want, and he glorified their work.  Showed the importance of what so many people do.  I think that gets overlooked.

2.  He got his hands, and other extremities dirty in the process, which is another thing many American’s are afraid of doing these days.  (Granted it was in the name of good T.V., but if you follow his social media career then I think you’ll realize he’s about as genuine as they come.)

3.  He is one of the most compassionate people you’ll find.  He takes the time above and beyond what would be required with his fans, and he loves every minute of it.

Mike Rowe is a personality who, Democrat or Republican, cares about being an American, and being a good one.   I think we need more of that.

I think it’s also important to note that Mike Rowe is not shy about his opinion, yet when he delivers it, he does so without offending anyone.  Or at least only offending those who will be offended no matter what anyone says because they are easily offended and enjoy being offended.

We are a nation that spends a good amount of time confused.  We don’t understand why certain things are on the political floor, or why the government can’t solve certain problems, or what it means to be a Democrat or a Republican (sometimes it’s not clear which one wants what).  And when celebrities (defined as those who steal most of the media spotlight) are equally as confused or say things that don’t make any sense, it’s not the well informed adults who suffer – it’s our kids.

So, why is Mike Rowe a good role model?  Because he has an opinion, voices it in a well displayed manner, and cares about people.  What more could we ask for, really?

Resilience

Sam Brown and the epitome of resilience

Three years ago I sat in a theater chair as I watched this towering man speak to a room of future Army Officers.

His voice was muffled and soft without the use of a microphone.  But this detail grabbed us even tighter as he told us his story.  Sam Brown is the epitome of resilience.  As a graduate of the United States Military Academy he was commissioned into the Army as an Infantry Officer.

A not-so-long time later Sam found himself in the Kandahar Desert in Afghanistan. There is no way I can write out Sam’s story better than Jay Kirk of GQ, so I decided that today I was simply share a link to this story.

It ran a couple of years ago, right before I met him, in the magazine.

As I sat an listened to his story and what he’d gone through I was both paralyzed and shaking at the same time.  In a few short months from that time I could have been in the same situation.

Sam spent little time talking about his horrific incident and a lot of time talking about how he became the man standing in front of us.  How he had undergone Virtual Reality therapy during his rehab.

He also forced us to think beyond what we had learned in class and dared us to ask questions such as this:

You shouldn’t be asking the questions like, “What are we going to do for the next six weeks?”  Those questions will always be answered.  You should be preparing to answer the question you will get from your Soldiers such as, “Who are we fighting, and why?”

This is not a question I’ve had to answer directly, but when you’re getting ready to deploy half-way around the world to fight a war that a large population of the country doesn’t even know we are still fighting, it’s written on everyone’s face…

Sam Brown is the epitome of resilience.  Not just because he made it through his rehab, but because of what he’s doing now.  He could easily accept his due benefits and find something that makes him happy, never to be heard from again.  But the time he spent in that auditorium, talking about the most painful experience of his life, he wasn’t talking about him.

He was telling us things WE needed to hear and how to prepare us for the most difficult part of my job, leading men and women who are prepared to die for their country.

So, enough from me, take the time to read this article.  It’s worth every minute you spend reading it.

Sam Brown and resilience.

Old Soul - Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd and being an Old Soul

I was perusing through iTunes yesterday and I noticed that Pink Floyd has a new album out…Wait…whaaaat???

That can’t be possible.  Ten years ago, as a shaggy haired teenager, I discovered Pink Floyd for the first time.  I was both flabbergasted and immediately sad because I was informed they hadn’t put out an album as a complete group since 1979.

As I sat in my room with the burned copy of Wish You Were Here I fell in love with the psychedelic sounds.  From the 12-string intro in the title song off the album all the way down to the long soothing intro of Shine of You Crazy Diamond.  

I knew in that moment that my love for this music would be everlasting.  And I was right.

Though I don’t sit in my room and listen to their albums on repeat anymore, I still get all giddy inside when I hear a Floyd classic come on the radio or the overhead speaker in a store.

And now they have a new album out…

It’s a bit bittersweet because they are still an incomplete band.  And as much as I love David Gilmore, there is just something missing without Roger Waters.

Nonetheless, I will be picking up a copy of this album because Pink Floyd’s music is what began my journey down the road to becoming an Old Soul.

I have always been a sort of stoic personality.  Life experiences have created obstacles that not all people have to work around, and I’m thankful for those obstacles.  Ryan Holliday talks about how “The obstacle is the way” in his book of the same title.

Ryan makes the case that those who experience more obstacles in their life have an advantage over those who do not, if they have the right mindset.  He uses the example of Abraham Lincoln, who was stricken with grief basically his entire life, yet he was one of the most influential people in our country’s history, if not the most.

Being an Old Soul is not about how much hair you have, or how many aches and pains you wake up with each morning, it’s about having the perspective to see things in a certain way.  Understanding that know matte how much it may feel like the world is closing in on you, it’s not.

Life can be a brutal ride, I know as well as anybody, but those experiences we label as brutal can also serve us to a certain extent.  This does not mean the won’t hurt, and sometimes they will be a pain that is inescapable, but it means there might be something positive to be extracted from the experience.

That’s what it means to be an Old Soul.  Extracting what can make you better from your experience.

Since starting this blog I have talked about experience being your most crucial asset. I stand by that statement.  Because if it weren’t for your experience you would go around making all the same mistakes over and over again.

As someone who has made many mistakes over the years, some repeat offenders and some not, I know there is generally something to be learned from each day.  And if you want to become someone who takes advantage of that then maybe the idea of becoming more of an Old Soul isn’t such a bad idea.

 

sick and tired

What to do when you’re sick and tired..

Yesterday it hit me.  Sitting in my office, blinds up, sun shining in, I just got sick and tired.

It was a short lived moment, but for about a half hour I wanted nothing more than to just go home, crawl in my bed, and sleep under the covers.

The feeling was almost overwhelming.  Everything from my stomach to my feet ached me and I totally lost focus.  I can’t explain what it was, or why it happened.  But I can tell you that I wasn’t prepared for it.

Generally I can keep pretty close tabs on where I am emotionally at almost point.  I can usually tell when people need to leave me alone because I’m in a bad mood, or when I’m feeling like it’s time to sit down and BS with people for a while.  But as of late this has become more difficult.

I think there are a few reasons for this problem, but I’m only going to talk about two of them.  Mostly because I have deemed these reasons to be the most important as of late, to me at least.

Consistent Rest

There’s a good chance, if you’re like me, that you have a difficult time going to bed early (and when Say early I mean before 10:00 pm).  I’m usually in bed before 11, but before 10 has been difficult.  But I wake up at 4:15 so I can write these articles.

So on a normal night I’ll only get about 5-6 hours of sleep.

News Flash!  That’s not enough sleep for a sustainable lifestyle.  I have done it for about six months now and I think I’m really starting to feel the effects.

So, solution numero uno – SLEEP MORE!

It’s hard to do, but whenever you are debating whether or not you need to go to bed remember that sleeping is like investing.  If you don’t do it now it’s going to catch up with you…

Proper Diet

This one is huge because it’s so difficult for so many people (me included).  I also think this is a large part of my recent lack of energy and general give-a-damn.

Eating the right foods is crucial to both your continued ability be a critical thinker as well as the amount of physical and mental energy you have to focus on the task at hand.

Eating the right foods goes hand in hand with the right exercise program.  Everyone is different and there’s no “catch-all” but there has to be some sense of purpose behind what you eat, and that purpose needs to be something other than “comfort”.

How you walk through any given day is typically determined by what you’ve done to your body the few days before.

So start planning a head a little bit and measuring the results of how you feel.  After all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure.

 

I wish I could give you a magic wand, but I can’t.  Self-discipline and consistency are the only way to make yourself feel better.  So, pick up your pride, do what you got to do, and feel better.

Life’s too short not to enjoy all of it.

 

 

Photo credit: Alexandre Normand

Resilience

Entrepreneurship and Resilience

We tend to think success looks like this:

Work, work, work, succeed!

We are deathly scared of it looking like this:

Work, work, work, fail!

But what success most often looks like for those who are most successful is this:

Fail, fail, fail, SUCCEED!

Being an entrepreneur is not about being the smartest, the most original, or even the one that works the hardest.  It’s about being the one who fails and perseveres in the right direction.

You can fail and fail and fail, but if you never learn anything then that doesn’t teach you resilience.  It simply teaches you to continue doing something even though you know it doesn’t work.

Perseverance is about training your brain for resilience.  Looking at a failure and extracting the positive things from it and then applying those positive things to the next attempt.

NaNoWriMo has been a complete failure for me this year.  I have only written 11,000 words and some change.  But there is success in this failure.  I attempted to write a book I didn’t think I was ready to write yet.

Do I know if the book was a success?  Of course not, it’s only a quarter of the way done.  But I at least know I can start it.

Entrepreneurship is about resilience.

It’s about looking at a problem an seeing how you fit into the solution.  Seeing what you screwed up last time and avoiding those same mistakes.

So many people get discouraged when something blows up in their face, but in reality they should be celebrating those times, because that means you are one step closer to becoming the genius you set out to be.

Entrepreneurship is resilience.

Without the ability to bounce back you can never be a successful entrepreneur.  It just will never be in the cards because no matter what the business model is, at some point, you will get knocked down.  And if you don’t then you won’t be able to call yourself the creator.

Entrepreneurship looks like this:

Fail, Fail, Fail, Succeed.

And what is really happening to make this equation balance out is this:

Fail – Learn – Fail – Learn – Fail – Learn – Succeed.

Photo credit: Elade Manu

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