How Would You Respond? The Highway to He-Double Hockey Sticks

As my friends and I drove down the 101 freeway (and if you’re from California, I pray that you know what this is), we encountered an interesting situation.  We were driving in my friend’s truck, we saw a few motorcyclists behind us.  In my mind, I imagine people on motorcycles to look like this:

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In reality, they were not the regular motorcycle gang.  They were not intimidating, frightening, or seemingly intense riders.  But that’s not for me to judge.  They did look quite similar to a group of men that are a different type of bikers.  I hope you recognize them as well.  Here are their look alikes:

WildHogs

And yes, I am referring to the Wild Hogs, a great movie in my opinion.  These men on the 101 did not handle things how I expected though.  Apparently, unknowingly, we messed up this gang’s formation.  Although I felt bad about this blunder at first, the next few minutes changed my perspective.  The way that we respond to things, good and bad, can change others’ opinions.

We were blindsided as one of the bikers came up next to us, flipped us off, and screamed, “F*** you!”  After the shock passed, we sat there trying to think of what we did to upset this older gentleman.  We laughed it off and kept on driving.  

30 second later, the gang cut us off one by one, coming extremely close to the front bumper of the car.  Was it worth it?  To risk one’s life over a motorcycle formation?  

Though this is just an interesting and somewhat enjoyable story to relive and tell, it does have a lesson.  In our lives, people and situations will constantly be interfering with our plans, or formations.  How we respond to these roadblocks is a game-changer.  We can respond negatively, with a bad attitude and unhappy intentions, causing us to falter.  We can also respond with positivity, thinking about how lucky we are to even have a bike in the first place.  

The choice is yours.  

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Quite a Night

queen 3

It was a night unlike any other.  I had never been so confused in my life.  I didn’t know how to act.  I didn’t know what to say.  I really just had no clue what was going on.

It was a Queen cover band concert, and needless to say, I was the youngest person there.

They were called Queen Nation and to be honest, I didn’t expect much from the night.  My parents had bought me a ticket, assuming I would attend this wonderful night, so I really didn’t have too much of a choice.  As I parked my car by the hallowed Olivas Adobe grounds, I saw a line that stretched around the corner.  The line consisted of middle aged to older aged people, all with big smiles on their faces.  They were excited, and I was along for the ride.

It was quite an event.  Each group of people brought lots of food and wine and beer for the night, as the 50 and 60 somethings were holding nothing back.  When the band came out, they were mimicking the clothes and hairstyles of Queen.  A few songs went by, and I was pretty impressed.  They hadn’t played any popular songs yet, but they sounded pretty incredible!

When the song Bicycle Race began to play, things changed.  The majority of the adults, who had been drinking enough to have a very fun time, got out of their seats and headed for the dance floor.  I sat there, just confused and unsure of what my next move would be.  As the songs kept coming, the old folks kept dancing, and they were really starting to dance.

As the night was coming to a close, Queen Nation pulled out all the stops, playing classics like We are the Champions, We Will Rock You, and Bohemian Rhapsody.  I couldn’t help, but get up, and dance.  I was in the middle of the crowd, just having a grand time.  Old ladies that were die hard Queen fans began to dance with me as well, and all I could do was laugh.  This was so weird, but so great at the same time.

It made me think just how important music can be.  Music brings the oddest groups of people together (like the old ladies and me).  Music, even if it is just by a cover band, makes people’s days better.  Music is something we can all relate to.  It’s just great.

Now, if you love the classics just as much as me, here are some bands that are almost as good as the real thing.

http://listverse.com/2008/12/12/top-10-most-original-cover-bands/

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The Return of the King

“In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given.  Everything is earned.  You work for what you have.  I’m ready to accept the challenge.  I’m coming home.”  That’s right, folks.  The King is coming home (for the small price of a max salary offer).

Sports Illustrated released an exclusive statement made by Lebron James to their very own Lee Jenkins this morning, regarding his future as one of the best basketball players in the world. LeBron spoke of his mistakes, his time at Miami, and his reasons for coming back to Cleveland. He even said that his “relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball.”  LeBron wants to win a championship for Cleveland.  He wants redemption.

The number one draft pick of the 2003 draft had his humble beginnings in Akron, Ohio, only a short 45 minute drive from Cleveland.  It’s understandable.  He wants to go back to where it all started.  Good for him.  We should be happy for him, right?  Continue reading

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Achieving Happiness: Part 2

lighting-fireworks

Although the 4th of July was 4 days ago, (And I did that on purpose, of course), the idea of how to be happy came to me once again on this quite patriotic day.

As I lit the firework, that might or might not have been legal, with a handheld lighter for the first time, I smiled and thought of all the things I have not done in my life.  I thought of all the things I hoped I could one day do, hoped I could one day accomplish.  It made me smile to try something new, even if I burned my thumb in the process.

How can I be happy?  This is the toughest and most important question that we can ask and hopefully answer in our lives.  I would love to tell you that I have the answer, but unfortunately, like the rest of us, I don’t.  But I am learning every day.  And on the unofficial birthday of my country, I learned something that I have been told so many times in my life.  Try new things, for it will make you happy.  I’m here to tell you that it’s true.

If you want to change a life (like me), get off of the couch and go make it happen.  Don’t wait for things to happen, make them happen.  Stop waiting for things to happen, and just do them.  As motivational as this sounds, it all circles back to happiness.

Sometimes, if you play with fire, you will get burned.  But it’s much better to burn your thumb and feel the heat, then to just feel nothing at all.

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It’s the Little Things

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As I sit here on my laptop with clothes on my back watching the FIFA World Cup in high definition while eating a blueberry muffin, I’m realizing just how lucky I am.  Actually scratch that, I’m not lucky, I’m blessed.  I could be sitting here with no laptop, no clothes, watching something having to do with the Kardashians in standard definition without my blueberry muffin. In all seriousness though, the blessings in my life, and in all of our lives, especially if you’re reading this blog, are countless.

To me, it’s all about the little things.  There are so many little things that make up my life, from the paper plates that I eat on to the keys on the keyboard of my laptop.  Many of the little things we completely forget about, like having a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and a bed at night.  Thousands of people can only wish to have one of those things, nevertheless all three.  Instead of being grateful for these things, we disregard them, and decide to focus on our many problems.  This is what needs to change.

We continually worry about the little things in our lives, whether or not the dishes are done or we have sent an email or text, but we must appreciate each little thing in our lives.  I was blessed to wake up this morning.  I was blessed to be able to walk out of bed, healthy and safe.  And hopefully so were you.  Think about how much you are blessed with.  

Pretty amazing, huh?

What do we need to take from all of this?

  • Count your blessings, not your problems.
  • Don’t forget to appreciate the little things.
  • If you really want to remember to be appreciative, make a wall of gratitude.  Just write or post things you are thankful for on a wall every day for one month, and see just how lucky you really are.

It reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite movies: Dan in Real Life.  Steve Carell, playing a journalist widower who falls for his brother’s girlfriend (smartly written and just enjoyable to watch), is talking to a woman about his wife’s death.  

She says to him, “You don’t have to smile.”  

His reply? “It’s better than the alternative.”

 

 

 

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Achieving Happiness: Part 1

Achieving Happiness: Part 1

A very happy man once told me, “I am the happiest man on Earth. You can’t be happier than me, but you can and hopefully are as happy as me.”

We all want happiness. It is as simple as that. The mindset of this man is something we should all strive towards. We see others’ joy and become jealous. We wish that we had their life, their things, and their joys. What would happen though if we decided to be the happiest person on Earth?

We could smile, instead of frown. We could say “please” and “thank you”. We could be grateful. We could send kind-hearted texts and emails, just for the sake of making someone smile.

This happiness seems unattainable, unreachable, and sometimes impossible. We don’t know how to be happy (I don’t know either) and we (including me) turn towards physical, tangible things, such as money and cars and luxuries of this world. We are all in this pursuit of happiness together though. It seems fitting that happiness can only be achieved with the help of others.

Look towards the intangible. Be loving, and you will feel love. Be joyful, and you feel the joy of others. Be appreciative. Be positive, and don’t forget just how lucky you are to be alive.

Go back to the top of this post and look at the picture of the sunset. It’s beautiful, right?
Now, I want you to do something. Make time to go see the sunset or the sunrise this next week. Sacrifice 20 minutes of your life to witness the beauty of the world.

And if that’s not enough for you, check out this video. It’s a perfect example of people that are doing what they love, and brightening people’s days. These guys are happy, and even if they aren’t (but they are), they are making others’ smile.

It takes more muscles to frown than to smile. A cliché? Yes. The truth? Even more so.

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The Ugly Truth

Five minutes ago, there were 31 million people with blogs in the United States.  Now, that number has risen to 31 million and 1.

Blogging and honesty.  Two things that certainly do not seem to mix.  Honesty used to be required, a simple fact of society and daily life. Now, honesty is something that we can only hope for.  Yet, we expect the most honest information and the most honest answers from all that we meet and all things that we read.  The ugly truth is that honesty is not certain.  It was taken for granted, and it has become a privilege only for a small minority.

Although this is not the most positive perspective, it is the most honest.  The importance of honesty is immeasurable.  Everyone knows the saying, “The truth hurts,” and it hurts so much because we are not accustomed to it.  It is not common, not normal, not acceptable.

Don’t believe me?  See the truth for yourself.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/1654/honesty-ethics-professions.aspx#1

Told you.

 

Posted in Honesty | Tagged | 7 Comments