Archive - September, 2011

Communication

If we are totally honest, we all constantly struggle in the area of communication. It is unavoidable. We are in always contact with family, friends, acquaintances, coworkers and strangers.

There are many different options to communicate. Written notes, phone, text, email, Tweets, and Facebook messages immediately come to mind.

In this constant sharing of information with others,  I have noticed that often you will send an email, text or phone call and never hear back from the recipient. If you do get a response, it could easily take a week or more.

Why is this?

I think it comes down to three things: generational differences, information overload and laziness.

Some generations simply do not like email. Email was forced upon them. One day their boss came in and said you have to use this new type of mail. Email is seen as work, not as way of contacting friends. If you want to get a hold of them, you have to call them at home, usually on a landline.

Many individuals have a very short attention span and get easily distracted. This is primarily due to information overload. Typically there is also no management system in place for communication other than the email inbox.

Let’s look at how this applies to the use of smart phones. If the email or text recipient has a smart phone, they probably will read the message at some point.  I believe that the intent is to reply but then the user forgets as they are distracted by Twitter, Facebook or a shiny passing object. When the recipient looks down at the device a few minutes later, they have more messages. To make things even more complicated, the original message was already viewed. Without a system in place, it is no surprise there is a breakdown in communication with the smartphone user.

Lastly, I think many people are just flat out lazy. I would define laziness as reading an email and replying back to about half of the questions. Skipping a phone call and only to let the voice mail inbox continue to overflow with unheard messages is lazy.  It definitely takes effort to follow up but it is definitely worth it.

I know we can do better. I am certain of it. Now that we know the cause for the problems, in my next post I will give some solutions.

Words Can Be Powerful

Words can be very powerful.

Words can stir something inside.

Words have the potential to change how people view things.

Words can change how people live.

Writing is easy, but getting STARTED is actually very hard.

Resistance attacks like waves rolling into shore.

You have two options, sink or swim.

Fight it or give in.

I choose to fight.

I choose to keep writing more words.

 

Football

Photo by Nightthree(Creative commons)

Football is a fun past time.

Football is a distraction.

Football is an obsession.

Of those three statements listed, one of them will probably resonate with you.  I sincerely hope it is not the third.

If you plan your life around games and don’t focus on what is REALLY important, you will miss so many other things.

Call a loved one just to talk about life.

Write a letter to someone you care about.

Work on something that inspires you.

Read a book and learn something new.

Go live your life. Don’t waste it away.

My Apology to Taylor Swift

Photo by Maroon Surreal (Creative Commons)

I would like to formally apologize to Taylor Swift. I have been a very harsh critic of her singing on Twitter.

First, I would turn on a music awards show on the television. Then after Taylor Swift would perform one of her songs, I would immediately slam the performance on Twitter with negative comments.

In the back of my mind, I told myself two lies. The first lie was that Taylor is not a good performer. The second lie was that she was given all of this success and did not earn any of it.

Millions of fans have seen Taylor perform in sold out shows. Thousands of girls have started playing guitar because of seeing Taylor in concert or in a music video.  As a guitar enthusiast and guitar teacher,  I am excited that more kids are playing guitar. The first lie I believed was definitely false.

In a time where album sales are reaching record lows, Taylor Swift sold over 3.56 million copies of  her last record Speak Now.  In today’s market, that is equivalent to selling 10 million records five years ago. You can’t sell that many records or tour constantly without working really hard. Lie two has been exposed.

I made those lies up to distract myself from the truth;  it is because of jealousy and my own insecurities I deemed it necessary to tear down another artist.  I have been struggling for years to truly express myself as an artist. When faced with adversity,  I found it often easier to tear down others rather than to rise up to the challenge myself.

Instead of taking action and doing the work, I spewed negativity.  I took the easy route instead of the path that is difficult but rewarding.

Again I’d like to apologize to Taylor Swift. It is often easier to be filled with hate than it is to be filled with love.  It is easier to tear down others than it is to build them up.

The unintentional hiatus

Last weekend, I went to Ohio to visit family over the long weekend. I thought about taking my laptop, but decided to just take my iPod. Little did I know, this would lead to an unintentional hiatus of not writing for over four days.

What did I do instead? Spent time hanging out with my nieces, took my daughter for a tractor ride and played some fuzzy electric guitar with my brother-in-law. I even caught some of the Star Wars marathon. Overall, it was a great trip.

I felt pretty unproductive at times by not getting any writing done. I tried to not let it discourage me as I think it was a much needed break. I am currently working on four continuous writing projects: this blog, a guitar based blog called Jguitarnash, several children’s books, and writing for other blogs as a guest blogger.

It is really easy for me to get caught up in something I am passionate about. I tend to lose track of other things that surround me, because I have my eyes set on a certain thing. I need to constantly,and  consistently refocus my attitude and overall approach toward the goals I have set. I’m sure many others can relate. When is the last time you took a much needed break?