Monday, December 28, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Two Christmases ago Santa Claus brought my niece a new laptop -- Dell Vostro 1000 (not that *that* matters). Earlier this year -- about 19 seconds past the end of the warranty -- her computer quit working. Got an ugly error message that basically indicated the hard drive had failed. Took the computer to Best Buy in Salisbury, MD to "The GEEK Squad", who charged me $69 (plus tax) to tell me that the hard drive was indeed dead, and also told me that for the money I'd pay to have them replace the drive and re-install the operating system, I may as well just buy a new computer -- which I did NOT.
So I took the computer back home to my broken hearted niece and said, "Okay, Uncle Kelvin will take it back home with me and see if I can fix it..." Uh... that was like... March. My sister -- her mom -- says to me yesterday, "So what's the deal with Cari's computer ?", to wit I responded, "Darn, I keep forgetting to get a price on it, so... heck I'll just buy her another one for Christmas and we'll call this even." BUT... I decided to look for an authorized DELL repair center anyway. I found one, rang them up; they said it would cost me $80 for the labor (1 hour minimum) and whatever the drive cost; but the estimate was about $200 -- still cheaper than what the GEEK SQUAD said.
The SECOND problem is that my sister or niece --tomato, tomahto -- had misplaced the system CD so I'd have to get a replacement from Dell, but the guy said ..."a hard disk isn't really hard to put it, so if you get the system disc from Dell, you can get a drive from newegg.com and just use the new restore CD and get your pc working and save yourself some money.
So what the heck... I said, okay, I'll do that. I went upstairs, got the laptop, brought it downstairs, plugged it into the wall and turned it on "just for grins and giggles" and... IT WORKED! It's been working for the past 4 hours, doing one heck of a virus scan and running smooth as glass.
So, when I say I've had an awesome week... let's see you top THIS one: my house heals computers :-D Is that positive energy or WHAT ?!
Have an awesome day !!
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Bob was soft-spoken and personable, and as people sauntered into the auditorium and took their seats, he walked around the room and met each one; shook their hand warmly, shared a smile and had a moment's conversation, until attendees were coming too quickly to continue. Later in his presentation he called several of those people by name.
Quietly but passionately, he spoke of leadership, of being a foster child, and how he rose to the pinnacle he had achieved, and he left us with a message: "You are full of promise !"
Somehow I won a CD set that day called "You Are Full of Promise - Life Lessons from Leaders" which I took home and put away to listen to later. "Later" turned out to be nearly 4 years later on August 23, 2009, just 5 days before I was to retire from my day job at SUNY. I was driving to Rochester for my 2 year old niece's birthday party (she's not really my niece, but my good friends Hai and Karen Tran let me be uncle Kelvin) I wanted some different music than was in my car so I looked through my collection and the CD set I received 4 years prior kind of fell into my hands. I decided it was a good time to listen to it, on my 2+ hour round trip to Rochester.
An incredible message -- the perfect message I needed to hear just 5 days before I struck out on my on. I remembered why I was moved when I first heard him, and his words managed to touch me deeply as I listened to that CD all the way there, and all the way back. So touched was I, that I emailed him when I returned home... late on a Sunday night, to tell him what effect his words had on me that day. To my great surprise... he wrote me back. I could hear his voice in his typed words as clearly as if he was sitting beside me, and somehow I was absolutely certain that he remembered me from that auditorium 4 years ago, and had been waiting for me to write.
I tell you this story, because I have come to believe -- or perhaps, to realize-- that there are no coincidences in life. Part of my note to him read, "Maybe it wasn't until today that I truly needed to hear the message you had to share..." and truly had I listened to that CD when I got it, it would not have had the same meaning, and would not have had the same effect. There's even more to the story, but that is for another place and time.
Right now, however, I'd really like to recommend this CD to you. If you are a leader, or you aspire to be a leader, I believe this CD is something you NEED to hear, and I defy you to listen to it and not be moved. You Are FULL of Promise -- near the bottom of the page. $15.95 including shipping.
Here's something you need to know:
- this is NOT an affiliate program, and I receive zero benefit -- other than feeling good -- if you buy the CD or any other product on his site
- all proceeds from the sale of any of his products go to support one of two charity causes -- click this link if you'd like to know what they are.
Have an excellent day.
It was kind of fun, most years. Back then, we kids didn't realize it was WORK going out in the fields to pick baskets of peas or corn or potatoes to bring back to the house for my grandmother to cook. We were under the impression that we were having FUN! We didn't even realize we were getting exercise running through those fields, we thought we were playing :-) It's amazing changing how you look at something, changes how you feel about it. So we played, and had fun, and ate really well, and slept very peacefully each night.
But back then, the farm house -- 1960 or so -- had no running water, per se, but out on the back porch, there was a hand pump, so whenever we needed water, we went "out back" to pump it. But sometimes when we got there, the pump would be dry and nothing would come out, so we'd have to prime the pump. This meant taking some of the water we had left, and pouring it into the top of the pump while we kept pushing the handle. That created a seal around the plunger, which created suction, to pull the water up through the pipe from the well, and we'd pump as much as we needed for the day, or the morning, and life was good.
Later, if we needed more water, we'd go back out and pump more. If it was dry again, we'd prime the pump again to get what we needed (laundry day was another FUN day, as we kids got to pump all that water and still didn't realize it was work! Perspective!)
Did you ever go to tackle a new task or project, and your pump was dry? You just didn't have the energy, or confidence, or maybe even the strength... but somewhere along the line you got what you needed and you made it happen and ended up feeling great about it. All you did, was "prime the pump" and got your energy moving. That's what winners do! Winners constantly prime the pump.
NEW project, BIG project, short deadlines, and you don't know how you're going to do it. The pump is dry! But you know you've done this kind of thing before, so you reach back into your memory and grab some mental water, and your start pouring it into your pump. You think about how savvy you were on the last project you thought you wouldn't get through. You realize that you'll need those same skills and talents for this one, and you pump that handle. You remember how you broke the problem down into pieces and took it step by step and you pump that handle. You recollect the people you called, the resources you're privy too, you keep that going until you remember that victorious feeling you had when you finally got it done, even though you originally thought you wouldn't be able to handle it, and when you get to the point where you are replaying the victory... the pump is primed, the water is flowing and completion is a done deal. At that point you've already won "in your mind" and that's where the real victory takes place! Everything after that is just process. "If you can see it, you can be it "(Craig Valentine)
If you don't remember your last victory, then pre-member your next one :-) Of course you have victories! You couldn't be reading this if you didn't. Replay your past victories and, as TonyRobbins says, put yourself in that winning "state", that state of empowerment. Recount the tools, resources, and processes you used to win last time, take a deep breath, hit replay and step boldly into your next victory. You've already won.
Listen carefully. Can you hear that? Yes...? Sounds a lot like the theme to Rocky, doesn't it? Prime your pump, and go get 'em, champ.
Have an awesome day.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Are you competing with the person down the street or "over there", so you can have what they have?
Or are you competing with you, because you know you can better and are capable of more...
If it's the first, I bet you have headaches...
Friday, August 21, 2009
But at the close of business next Friday -- August 28, 2009 -- I declare Kelvin's Independence Day, because despite how great Bob Shprintzen was to work for, I have a personal dream -- in The Alchemist he calls it a personal legend -- that outgrew the job. As much as I loved helping the people that I connected with through Dr. Shprintzen, I believe I have a greater purpose and can be of greater service pursuing my dream; so... here go, I.
So, although the button says "I fired the boss," it's not strictly true. It was a very tough decision, and a huge chunk of my heart stays with him and his VCFS practice, and the friends I have made over the last 12 years, among both staff and patients. And I sincerely hope that part of my thanks and legacy to him enables me to help raise funds he needs to keep that practice running, because he does a great work at the VCFS International Center for the 1-in-1200 children born yearly with that syndrome.
If you check the VCFS Center link, watch the video. If you watch long enough you'll even see my big head pop up in one of the scenes during a team consult.
"Thank you, Dr. Shprintzen" for giving me the admiration and opportunities you have in the past 12 years, treating me like a member of your family, and for being wholly supportive in my decision to leave, even though you know it cripples your program. (That's the kind of man he is.) "Thank you, world," for giving me the opportunity to be a bigger part of the grand plan. I won't let you down.
Have an awesome day, all.
Monday, August 10, 2009
She and a friend were driving someplace and her friend said, "You know... I've never had a speeding ticket before..." and within the hour she was stopped by a police officer and received a speeding ticket. A little later, they were talking and the friend said, "You know, I was just thinking; I've never been in a car accident before..." and later that night... she hit a dear that ran out in front of her car. Yesterday, I visited a photographer friend and his family. He was bragging that his wife had been using her camera constantly for a year and it was still on the original battery... and within 5 minutes, the red low-battery icon started flashing on the LCD screen.
So, I'm going to see if this works...
You know, I've never had anyone send me a check, made out to me, for $100,000 before...
I'll keep you posted.
Monday, August 03, 2009
My garage door opener decided to go whacko last month. It thought there was something in the way so the safety sensors wouldn't let it close. I ended up disconnecting the door from the motor so I could close it. The maintenance contract was long expired, I dreaded every minute of thinking how much it would cost me to get it fixed. I kept hearing the conceptual cha-ching of SEARS' cash register -- I think it's like $129 for them to get in the truck, then there's parts and labor... So for two weeks or so, I'd drive home, get out of the car, manually lift the garage door, prop it open (too heavy to stay up by itself), pull the car in, go put the door down, etc... Tedious and annoying.
So I finally broke down and called Sears and their automated menu system that asked me technical type questions -- does the door stop and the lights flash 10 times...? -- so it could put me in the right menu. THEN, when I got a LONG recording that gave me troubleshooting tips for all those symptoms. "I've done all that!"
I was annoyed until I realized they were actually trying to save me money by checking things I'd be paying the technician to check on site. But alas, I'd done all they suggested was finally grant phone audience with a REAL person. I wish I remember the man's name at the Craftsman Garage Door Opener Center (honest) in Tucson! Let's call him Dave.
Dave asked for my phone number & verified I was in fact a SEARS customer, then asked what the problem was. I told him. I ALSO told him I'd already done that long list of stuff the recording said to do. He laughed, then sent me into my garage with phone in hand to go through that same checklist, and tell him what I was seeing. Things still weren't making sense. Dave ascertained that I was a pretty technical guy (ha!), WAITED on the phone for me to move my car out of the garage, so I could do some other tests (part of which involved wire cutters and screwdrivers and by-passing circuits to verify where the problem was.) He waited patiently for me to fumble through all of that -- no huffs, no muffled comments -- then figured out where the problem was. Then he told ME how to fix it, and wished me a good day.
No "can I have your credit card number?," no "We'll need to send a technician out, Mr. Ringold." Nothing. NO charge, no ads, no up-sell to another maintenance contract; just pleasant, patient technical assistance, and sent me on my merry way, with my $200 (or more) still in my bank account. THANKS, Dave!
It's been a while since I experienced that kind of service -- especially from a large company. I just thought it was worth mentioning. Maybe I'll go ahead and renew that maintenance contract on my grill -- it's cheaper than the cost of replacing the burners ;-) and I might not get Dave to talk me through that one :-) Yeah!
Have an awesome day.
Friday, July 24, 2009
A lecturer when explaining stress management to an audience,raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"
Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.
The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. f we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won't be able to carry on.
"As with the glass of water, you have to put it down and rest a while before holding it again. When we're refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.
"So, before you go home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow. Whatever burdens you're carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can."
So, my friend, Put down anything that may be a burden to you right now. Don't pick it up again until you've rested a while.
Here are some great ways of dealing with the burdens of life:
- Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.
- Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.
- Always wear stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.
- Drive carefully. It's not only cars that can be recalled by their maker.
- If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.
- If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
- It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to be kind to others.
- Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.
- Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.
- When everything's coming your way,you're in the wrong lane.
- Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.
- You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.
- Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.
- We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.
- A truly happy person is one who enjoys the scenery on a detour.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
For example, I noticed a couple of guitar cases in the corner of his living room, and I made an exceptionally astute observation, "Hey, Josh; you've got TWO guitar cases." Josh, in his Josh-like manner, said "Ya got two guitars, they won't fit into one case." That kind of direct (I smiled.).
When I walked into his kitchen, I was greeted by some very appetizing aromas. He'd prepared an excellent breakfast, timed to serve as soon as I arrived, so after some pleasantries he delivered this feast to the table and we chatted and consumed. I drank the lion's share of his double-brewed coffee, then after clearing away the breakfast dishes, we retired to his living room to finish catching up.
Having been duly informed regarding guitars, cases and the limitations of time and space, I asked whether he played guitar in any of the local establishments, and he said no. "I had a CD in 2003... sold them all and just have a few left." I held out my hand expectantly, saying, "well...what's up? I don't have one" and waiting for him to give up the bounty, and he stated quite matter-of-factly, "No."
"... that music is no longer representative of who I am."
I was stunned! but not for the apparent reason. I was not stunned that he said "No." I was stunned by the elegant simplicity of his statement!
How many people are TIED to an identity that no longer reflects who they are? TRAPPED inside identities they feel they cannot change? How many people do you know who are stuck in "that's just the way I am; I can't change it" or "people know me; this is what they expect of me..." How many people are saddled with an identity that is "no longer representative" of who they are -- or more importantly, who they want to be? Are you?
If you are, perhaps this is your own personal independence day. Anthony Robbins says, "the past does not equal the future." Who you were is not who you have to be!
So, repeat after me:
- "I reserve the right to change."
- "I reserve the right" to NOT be the person I was years ago.
- "I reserve the right" to be someone other than the person you thought I was back then.
- "I reserve the right" to become different, stronger, learn more, grow more, and get better.
- "I reserve the right" to leave behind an identity that does not empower me.
- Dear self: I am not that old self-limiting person I used to be. That image of me is no longer representative of who I am."
That's your first step. Stayed tuned for more.
Have an awesome day.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Secondly, I did a portrait session for my friend and fellow photographer Renee Marquis. I've had people appreciate my work before, but Renee is making me feel like I'm the only photographer on the planet, and I don't mind that feeling either (even if it does leave me a lot to live up to. LOL). I'll defer to her comments regarding the images along with the cool slide show she put together. Thanks, Renee, for making me feel special.
There ya go. Elated... but humble.
Have a great weekend.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
But sometimes, we get so caught up in making our improvements that we forget to appreciate the person we are "today." While keeping our eyes on our goals and where we want to go and be, we sometimes forget to celebrate how far we may have come from where we *were* at one time. I fully believe in Tony Robbins' CANI (pronounced ka-nigh' : Constant And Never-ending Improvement), and like Dr. Charles Jarvis says, it's not enough to be "...yourself. You need to be your best self."
But the best self we are today, is different than the best self we were 5 years -- or even one year -- ago. We've learned more, lived more, realized more, overcome more, grown more. Each of us on the planet is a work in progress, and who and what we'll be tomorrow, will be built on the foundation of who we are today.
So celebrate who you are today! Take a day to relax from the hamster wheel of improvement, and luxuriate in the knowledge that you are a better person today than you were a year ago. Stand in front of a mirror, pat yourself on the back, look yourself in the eye and say, "Hey me! We're doin' okay. Thanks for being you." Then give yourself a wink, and walk away confident that you're the best you that you know how to be, today... and you can learn a little more tomorrow.
But for now, it's Celebrate "You" Day -- and you thought you'd never have a holiday named after you ;-)
Have an awesome day.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
Actually, I'm not just naturally positive -- at least I wasn't in the beginning. I was positive, first, by decision, and by choice. I've conditioned myself over the years to cultivate a positive outlook. Tony Robbins says that nothing in life has any meaning, except the meaning we give it. So you can choose to give life a meaning that empowers you, rather than cripples you. Zig Ziglar says that positive thinking won't let you do everything; but it will be let you do anything better...than negative thinking will.
So here's the short list of what you can do to be more positive, if you want to make this a life philosophy:
1. Make a decision!
Yes. DECIDE to be positive. How many happy, negative people do you know? Make the choice to be positive and uplifting and your life will change immediately. Make the decision to do what you need to do, to cultivate that winning attitude.
2. Turn off the news ! All of it.
I took a challenge many years ago to stop listening to the news -- radio, tv and newspapers. We are assaulted daily with all the bad news there is from around the WORLD -- a constant barrage of negative -- delivered with intensity and emotion -- and, 99% of it, you have zero power to change and the majority of that is not even in your city or state ! Turn off the news, and tune in to your own power.
3. Associate with positive people. Period.
Birds of a feather flock together. It's hard to fly with the eagles when you're surrounded by turkeys. Associate with people who love life and concentrate on the possibilities in life -- not the liabilities in life. Seek them out! If you need help finding some, let me know. I can help :-)
4. Refrain from negative conversation -- especially self talk.
This might sound redundant but it's easy to be drawn into negative conversation and you'll find yourself processing that. When you find yourself in or about to enter a negative conversation... disengage, have an appointment, go to the bathroom or whatever you need to do, to disengage. Gossiping around the water cooler at work... is deadly. More importantly, you spend hours and hours each day chattering to your yourself, in your head. See what disempowering things you're saying to yourself that you don't realize.
5. Read something positive every day -- on purpose! (note: this does NOT include a newspaper)
Especially just before going to sleep at night. Spend 15 minutes reading something positive, uplifting, empowering. Then the last thing on your mind before sleeping is something positive, and when you wake up in the morning you'll have a different mind set, because your brain had that positive to work on all night.
6. Do something nice for someone -- and don't let them know it was you ;-). I don't have to explain that. Y0u felt good just thinking about it, didn't you? Admit it.
7. Lastly... (*this is a bonus) find the song by Rare Earth; "I Just Want to Celebrate, Another Day of Living." It's on their Millennium album. Listen to it first thing in the morning -- on the way to work would be awesome -- and a couple of times during the day. I defy you to listen to that song (fairly loud, too) ... and not feel better. I defy you.
That's enough for now. I've got some recommended reading, but if you want to know about that, check out my web site for the three books that changed my life. Okay?
Follow this prescription for two weeks... and you'll never stop. Experts say, it takes 14 days to develop a new habit. Do this for 14 days. Make a habit of being positive, and I promise you your world will change.
Have an awesome day.
Friday, March 13, 2009
So I got my grumpy self up (as grumpy as I get, at least) from my desk, donned my coat, hat and gloves, and headed out. It was cold so I walked briskly -- picked up the pace. Crossing the street, dodging cars, walking fast, up the hill, jump over that pothole... when I noticed that I was humming a catchy little tune, thinking pleasant thoughts and... and... enjoying the walk -- cold and all! I laughed at myself.
My morning would have been much more pleasant if I had chosen that attitude -- instead of the one I did. You might say, "but you didn't choose" the attitude, but in fact... I did. I didn't want to go to the meeting, I intentionally adopted that attitude, that mind set, and then I fed it... kept reinforcing the feeling, telling myself how much I hated meetings and how silly it was and staying annoyed. Then, during the walk I got side-tracked and forgot to feed it and my natural (habitual) mind set took over and there I was... happy, enjoying the walk and the exercise, the brisk winter air and the beaming sunshine.
Be aware of the attitude you choose, and be aware of what you tell yourself to feed it and keep it going! If you're angry over something, listen to your self talk and see if you're not continually feeding that anger. If you've been sad about something for a while, listen to your inner conversation and you'll discover that you're constantly telling yourself how sad you are and why, and how "whatever your circumstance" is unfair and ... actively blocking any thoughts to the contrary, because... that attitude must be feed, to live.
So, take control of your mind ! It's your attitude -- choose one that's better for you, and and feed that one!
Let me know how you do.
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I received an email, recently, from Nightingale Conant. It read -- in part -- like this:
Well said, Yogi. There are two versions of you that exist.
There’s the “theoretical you” that exists somewhere between your wants and desires and your worthwhile intentions. Perhaps that part of you got up at five this morning and ran six miles or got to work an hour early or made a five-course dinner for your family last night.
Then there’s the “real you.” The one people see every day. The one that produces real results.Your best advice to improve your life: Introduce the “real you” to the “theoretical you.” The more you learn from each other, the further in life you’ll go.
Good advice, don't you think?
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Still? Good news is good news, so... feel free to still pass it on, if you are so inclined.
Monday, March 02, 2009
If you're accomplishment oriented, one of the things you might consider are the daily Lessons in Excellence published on my website at http://www.ringold.net. These little daily nuggets get you going and help keep you focused on your goals... and they're free.
So once a day, hop on over to www.ringold.net and grab a lesson in excellence.
Go ahead. You deserve it.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
As a matter of fact, I just created a new email address. If you have something good to point out, let me know. Send an email to "email@example.com" Make some people happy, point to where the bright side is ! Share some silver linings! Have you found a way to overcome? get past some obstacles? turn lemons into lemonade? Do you know of acts of extraordinary kindess? Something that will warm the heart!? Then you've "firstname.lastname@example.org". Send it to me.
You can write it, tell me about it, give me a link to it, or whatever you need to do so I know it's credible. I'll post as much as I can. If it gets too overwhelming, I'll find another way to share your good news, but for right now... we'll try this.
Also, for the record, I'm not collecting (keeping) the email addresses that send to "email@example.com". So, if you want to see your news published you can sign up for this blog (see the box on the right), or subscribe via RSS feed (also at right), or just check back later / often and see if it gets posted.
Positive, Upbeat, Motivational and Uplifting - ONLY! will be added! You can get your bad news someplace else.
Have an awesome day!