Infographic! Daily Recipe

Infographics!  They’re great because they don’t take long to digest and they can be really informative. 

Yesterday  I wrote about how much your attitude effects your daily outcome.  Today I wanted to bring you a slight follow up to that and let you know what’s really going on when you change your attitude. 

What did you do yesterday to make your day ever so slightly better?  Share below.

Today is Monday – What are you doing with it?

Monday’s are hard.  They are the days that everything seem to go wrong.

Is this really true?

It’s amazing how much our attitude has to do with what happens each day.  When you wake up and realize what you can do for the day instead of what the day can do for you (a la JFK) – you’d be surprised what can happen.

Every behavior conducted by a Tiger such as the one in the picture is done with some specific intent.  Whether it’s to catch prey, or to rest in order to prepare to catch prey.  It’s intentional.  It wouldn’t hurt to take a lesson from the book of Tigers.

Intentionality is something that can allow you to change what your doing.  It’s also the only secret to making change happen.  You will not improve if it’s not an intentional effort.

What would happen if everything in your life was all of sudden based on an intentional basis?

You exercised four days a week like clockwork.  You wrote everyday of the week for 30 minutes.  You read each night for an hour.  You made a list before you went to bed for the next day.  You checked that list when you got to work to make sure it was square.  Then you checked it again at the end of the day.

Being happy is less about luck and good circumstances and more about being intentional with your time.  Take time today to figure out what your can and should be intentional about.

I challenge you to make an attitude adjustment at lunch time.  Spend 10 minutes thinking about what you can do to make the second half of the day better than the first.  Even if you had a wonderful first half of the day.  It can be better.

What is the first step for you?

Louisiana, we will miss you…somehow.

Alligators, Snakes, and Spiders are what will forever be engrained in my memory about Louisiana.  My wife has become the master spider assassin over the last few months, and I’ve become…well, honestly not much of anything.  She tells me when I need to kill the bigger spiders, but she pretty much does it all.  That’s the wonderful reward you get for living in Leesville, LA.

I can’t explain the charm this place brings, because I don’t feel like it has much.  It’s major source of income are casinos and alcohol sales (that may not be totally fact based, but it’s what I have seemed to observe), and the string of seedy gentlemen’s clubs. 

When Layla passed away we did not originally think about the idea of moving back home.  It wasn’t even an option for us until someone brought up that we might be entitled to such a move.  We looked into it and decided it was worth pursuing.  

One thing I cannot leave out is that we will miss some really good people when we leave here.  (If you are one of those people, and you are reading this article.  Then you should leave a comment so everyone else who reads this will know how awesome you are.  Don’t make me name names!)  We’ve been blessed with incredible friends during our stay here.  It’s not everywhere that you live next door to a man who offers to mow your one acre yard because he knows you don’t have a lawn mower and you’re leaving the next day.

It’s not every community where you have people who will pick up your son for you and drive him an hour to see you while you’re with your other child in the hospital.  Or when they offer to keep  your child over night because they know you are exhausted and need few hours to reset.  Or when they bring you Texas Roadhouse into the family room of the hospital on Valentines day. Throwing decorations and sparkling grape-juice everywhere.

It will always be the place where our daughter was born, and a place where we saw her last.  It’s something that brings such dramatically conflicting emotions I can’t even explain it to you.  

When we leave this place with it’s terrible roads and run down buildings, I will think of a few things.  I will think about the times where I laughed more than the times I cried.  Because those times are plentiful.  I will think about what a beautiful daughter we brought into this world in this town. 

I will think about the first time our son, Corbin, learned to ride his bike in our driveway.  And I will think about the people who have made a difference in my life since I arrived here. 

Life is about people, it’s not about places.  Places are simply a catalyst for people to do what they do best.  And while I can think of many better catalysts in this country, I can think of few better people.  They do just fine with what they have.  

We are off on a new adventure to Fort Campbell, KY and I’m both nervous and really excited.  I think there are great things in our near future and we are prepared to tackle them head on.  Hopefully within the next year I will be able to say I’m a published author and can steer my professional ship in a new direction.  But you know what they say about plans – they are wonderful until it’s time to execute. 

I posted the featured picture above last night on Instagram, but I don’t think there is any picture that does this place justice any more than it does.  The sunset was beautiful last night.  It seemed fitting because it literally rained from noon until we went to bed last night and then that sky happened.  There is a little charm to this state, but you have to look a little deeper than most. 

If Louisiana has taught me only one thing, it’s to be open to what something has to offer.  It won’t always be right there in the open, sometimes you have to be patient and observant.  But everywhere you go there will be something new and interesting, and if your eyes are closed then you could totally miss it.  

I’ve been bitter since the first day I stepped into this state, but the day that I leave it’s a tiny bit sad.  We made a lot of good memories here (accompanied with some that sting) and it will forever leave a mark on our family.  

Louisiana – if you can hear me, thanks for the lessons.  I’ll see you on the flip side. 

Café Du Monde, Sandra Bullock’s house, and a wonderful walk.

I am a man who wears anger on his sleeve.  When I am angry about something I am quick to let those around me know about it.  But in most cases it’s the only emotion I wear openly.  Until today I had never really thought about it.

My wife and I decided to make a quick trip to New Orleans.  We had been living in Louisiana for well over a year (she had, I spent 8 months of that in Afghanistan) and never made it to New Orleans.  So, two days before we move back to Kentucky, we checked it off the list.

Café Du Monde

If you’re a coffee or a donut person, and there’s no way those two qualifiers don’t get the majority of the population, then you have to go to Café Du Monde.  They serve chicory coffee and homemade beignets drenched in powdered sugar (the beignets taste like all of what funnel cake wishes it could be).

The café is tucked on a corner across the street from Jackson Square.  With basically all of its seating outside the hustle and bustle of the servers and low roar conversation is very comforting.  It was just busy enough to make me feel like I’d walked into a legitimate eatery, but we also had no trouble finding a table to enjoy our chicory.

The café has been in business, in its current form, since 1862.  Any business that has been around since 1862 is truly impressive, much less a café.  Not to mention their coffee was better than anything that could come from a Keurig, and believe me, I love my Keurig.

Sandra Bullock’s House

With a short timeline because of the move, we didn’t have a ton of time to check out everything.  But we did manage to squeeze in a tour of the Garden District.  And I’m really glad we did.  Our guide started us out in Lafayette Cemetery, which dates back to 1832, and contains more that 7,000 buried remains.  It’s a single city block…

Following the cemetery we moved toward the residential side and the guide began talking about the architecture and the style of homes we would see.  She lost my wife and I when she began talking about Ionic and Corinthian Columns (fascinating stuff the first time you hear it, but it gets old quick).

As we’re walking along Coliseum Drive we come to a home that looks a little different than the rest.  It’s blue and has more gable windows than most of the homes around it.  The guide then proceeds to tell us it’s Sandra Bullock’s house.  The only reason this is remotely interesting is because of how accessible the house was to the public.  I mean, literally her front door was twenty feet from the road.

I may be able to blame MTV for this but I would have expected to see a 12 foot fence and a steel door to guard her privacy.  Nope, just a rod iron fence like everyone else in the district, and some decently high shrubs.  Kind of awesome.

A Wonderful Walk

While there were many really interesting things to see in New Orleans the coolest of all was my wife.  We spent 24 hours together away from everything else and talked about crazy things, and looked at crazy sites.  It’s hard these days to find time to shut everyone else out, if even for just a day, and focus on what you love the most.

We were able to do that pretty well yesterday it was something we needed.  It’s easy to get bogged down by life, especially when you feel like it’s been a rough year.  But if you don’t get back up on the horse then you’ll never have the chance to fall off again.

I like falling.  It reminds me I’m human.

 

Why Hunter S. Thompson is a good role model.

There was a time when Hunter S. Thompson ran for Sheriff of Pitkin County (Aspen), Colorado.  He almost won.  Let the ridiculousness of such an event bounce around in your head for a moment.  Hunter S. Thompson as Sheriff of anywhere.

(If you don’t know who Hunter S. Thompson is, stop what you are doing right now and pull up NetFlix.  Go to documentaries.  Click on Gonzo.  Go!)

Thompson was a man who didn’t follow any certain mold, but don’t believe he didn’t care what people thought.  He did.  He was a writer, he didn’t have a choice but to care what people thought.  That is probably the most normal thing about him.

Thompson is generally seen as a prolific journalist, and someone who writers would do well to be like.  But what about Thompson as a role model?  It’s an interesting thought.

Bare with me for one moment and let’s define role model:

a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people. – Dictionary.com

I didn’t say we had to be like him, but there are aspects of his life that we can study and attempt to emulate.  (He’s also a native Kentuckian…GO CATS!)

Fearlessness

Thompson was’t scared of any one person or thing.  He was who he was and that’s all he had to say about it.  He wrote what he wanted to write, how he wanted to write it, and he is one of the greatest journalists of all time.   When we are teaching our kids what it means to be successful, or how to be successful, fearlessness and Hunter S. Thompson should be a lesson.

Adventurous Spirit

You can’t write about crazy awesome stuff if you’ve never experienced crazy awesome stuff.  This blog is generally about how your personal experience shapes your life.  Thompson was the best at understanding his experiences were good enough, and if they weren’t then he went out and got new ones.  

To be a successful writer you have to have a memory bank of interesting things to pull from.  This is also true for basically anything else.  If you don’t experience what the world has to offer then how can you have a frame of reference for success, whatever definition it may take on for you.

Work Ethic

It’s no surprise someone with his level of quality work would be a hard worker, but Thompson was at times consumed.  All the great ones are.  There are two ways to look at Thompson through the lens of work ethic: passion for a subject creates the desire to work hard, and the desire to work hard produces your best work while doing so.  Thompson worked for what he got, and he paved a way for many others to do the same.

 

Filter What Does Not Apply

Thompson could be a great role model, I am fully aware of the substance abuse, and in no way do I condone such things.  However, it was part of his character, and who knows what kind of Hunter S. Thompson we would have gotten without it.  When it comes time to teach your children what a great role model Thompson can be, filter out the substance abuse, or use it as an example how not to be.  Being a role model can work both ways.

It doesn’t have to be part of the equation when you look at his entire body of work.  (Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga)

Our culture today gets wrapped up in all of the details about other people.  Existence between people is less about what each person does every night at home alone, and more about what we contribute to society.  Thompson contributed Gonzo Journalism.  What are you contributing?

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