Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pro-Choice or No Choice?

With over one hundred stations available on the radio, I spend more time listening to the comedy stations than the music stations. It’s similar to the grocery store where there’s a wall of cereal options—and we choose corn flakes. Consider the customer who chooses vanilla at the ice cream store, ignoring the other thirty exotic flavors.
A magazine survey reported that the majority of people (36%) only want around ten TV channels, and 22% want five or fewer. So why are we drowning in hundreds of choices?  We didn’t ask for them. Companies offer them. Here’s what happens with too many choices:


If two choices confuse us, imagine what hundreds will do. We hate confusion! So we take short-cuts by eliminating options and focusing on the necessary few. That’s fine for radio stations, cereal, and ice cream, but not for important decisions.
Graduates, life-changers, seekers, we owe it to ourselves to thoroughly explore decisions that matter. Rather than blindly following the advice of family or friends, dig in to find the answers that matter. What decision do you pledge to give careful consideration?            

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Best Things in Life

Some of the best things in life cost us less than we might imagine. One of my favorite things is wrapping up in a warm blanket from the dryer, and you can’t beat the dryer sheet aromatherapy.  It feels like a relaxing cup of hot chocolate, without the calories. This works year-round, even in the summertime when the air conditioning blows too cold.    
Unfortunately, the great feeling lasts about two minutes. Once the heat fades away, everything’s back to normal. For many of us, “normal” isn’t healthy or restful—not if it’s anything like this:


It can happen any moment. It’s the brief opportunity to exhale and savor our blessings. Rather than planning an expensive week-long vacation attached to a work laptop, seek out times to  relax as you go. You probably have your own little ways to withdraw from the fast-paced life. What interesting or unique ways do you re-energize during the week?         

Friday, May 8, 2015

It's all Illegal

Are you bored by routines?  When I’m bored, I find small ways to make changes. For instance, I usually eat a slice pizza by starting from the point and finishing at the crust. During a meal last week, I took a bite of the tip and then bit the side near the crust. You should have heard the protests from my family. “You can’t do that!” Who knew there were rules for eating a slice of pizza?

You’ve probably heard that ignorance of the law is no excuse.  To avoid trouble as you travel, you’ll want to know this:

This rule probably originated because somebody in Florida ignored the parking meter, tethered their animal like a dog, and thought it was okay. Not so. Next time, if they want to use the space, they’ll need to feed the meter, too. The smallest, oddest disputes can become law. Most laws are passed with general agreement, but when opinions vary, the debates seem endless. Which law do you wish everyone supported?

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Not the Time, Not the Place

Have you noticed the similarities between animals and people? While watching “mommy TV” (which is what the kids call my TV show preferences), I saw part of a show about lions. While male lions protect their pride, female lions do most of the hunting. Once they take down an animal on the prairie, they all rush in to enjoy the feast. Normally the King of the Jungle eats first, and the rest of the pride follows his lead.

The show revealed how the cubs and females tried to share in the meal as the males ripped away chunks of meat. At one point, one of the babies did something to earn a gentle swat from the massive paw of its papa. The baby, in all of its miniature cuteness, had the gall to swat back! Maybe the pair wrestles when things get slow on the prairie, but returning daddy’s swat during dinner is a dangerous no-no. Here’s another daring decision:   

Can you say, “playing with fire?” The narrator said he was defending his territory, but it looked like playtime to me. I’m not sure his “playmates” enjoyed the fun. One slip of the hand and things could have turned deadly. Sometimes we head out in a direction that makes sense, but by the end of the road, we wind up on an unexpected path. In daily life, how do you know that you’re making the right choices?                       

Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Public Wow!

A couple of months ago, I spotted a terrible sight on a busy expressway nicknamed “The Surekill.” A car, traveling about four vehicles ahead of me, crashed into the concrete median and popped up into the air. Within seconds, the driver regained control of the car, and stopped in the left hand lane, with significant front-end damage. As several other drivers negotiated around the wreckage, I got stuck behind it and watched the elderly driver emerge from the  accident uninjured. He indicated that another car had switched lanes and cut him off.
How unfortunate. While the aggressive driver zoomed away scot-free, this elderly man faced a huge repair bill. We never can tell what the day will bring. The best we can do is to expect the unexpected. Watch the major surprise one young lady received:


What a perfect finish to a great day! It’s hard to tire of those videos, especially when we consider the sacrifices made. With May less than a month away, expect to see more surprises like that one. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be part of the fun. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received?     



Thursday, April 16, 2015

Are We That Smart?

Since my friend’s tablet operates like my cell phone, she demonstrated a couple of new features that I didn’t know existed.  I discovered that my camera has voice –activated technology, so we took a selfie by saying, “capture!” Amazing!

When I shared my fantastic discovery with my husband, he asked if I had read my phone’s directions.  Of course not.  I rarely read product directions, unless it’s for electric appliances or medicines. Here’s my motto on the topic: Life’s too short to read technology directions. If I have a smart phone, shouldn’t it tell me what it does?

Companies already make a smart home and a smart car that parks itself. If this trend continues, we’ll be a society of dumb people ruled by smart technology. Could technology rule the world? It sounds like Phil's Al’s preparing for it:

Watch out if Al Phil enters the next presidential race. He’s prepared, charismatic, and has a stinging sense of humor. Notice how he started off friendly, then things got creepy. Where’d he pick up the zoo joke? Not funny Phil!

We love our smart technology, but let’s not leave everything to the “Phils” of the world. What do we stand to lose due to technological advancements?  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Practicing Fobulous Habits

Our mechanic recently installed a new battery in my vehicle’s key fob, so why does it take  about five clicks to unlock the door?  I click and click until I’m standing alongside my vehicle, waiting to get in. Opening a car door with a faulty key fob is frustrating. I stopped using the key a few years ago and I guess I forgot that the key still works!

Habits develop faster than we realize, but they can take a long time to break. Nearly everything we do on a frequent basis could evolve into a habit. I wonder how long it took to form these tendencies:  


If we believe our performances hinge on how we put on socks or the number of times we tap  the ground, we’ve crossed over into the realm of ritualistic habits. They’re entertaining and raise our comfort levels, but I’m not sure they’re dependable. What habits give you confidence to do your best?