Charlie's Dad

TIMELESS ADVICE FOR MY FIRST BORN

Posts tagged Change

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Lessons I Learned From My Parents - “Wish in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.”
That may seem like a harsh lesson for a kid, but it definitely stuck with me into adulthood. Your grandmother was full of little “teaching phrases” like this one. Things she would say over and over again, sometimes meaning it and sometimes just saying it to say something. This one would come when I would complain and say how I wish something would happen, or wish that I would get something.
Now every time I wish something was easier, given to me, etc.; I think about what my mom used to say and remember that I need to stop wishing and do something instead. Otherwise, I’ll be sitting there with you-know-what in my hands. ;)

Lessons I Learned From My Parents - “Wish in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.”


That may seem like a harsh lesson for a kid, but it definitely stuck with me into adulthood. Your grandmother was full of little “teaching phrases” like this one. Things she would say over and over again, sometimes meaning it and sometimes just saying it to say something. This one would come when I would complain and say how I wish something would happen, or wish that I would get something.

Now every time I wish something was easier, given to me, etc.; I think about what my mom used to say and remember that I need to stop wishing and do something instead. Otherwise, I’ll be sitting there with you-know-what in my hands. ;)

Filed under Wishing Hoping Miracle Action Do Create Change Act Go Move Live Pray Parents Lesson

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Forgiveness
I don’t know what to say about Christmas and religion, Charlie. That’s why I asked your mom to write to you this week. I’m glad she did. But Christmas is not only about religion. It is a time of year when we look within to find something better in ourselves, and maybe share that with others. 
That’s why I’m going to talk to you today about forgiveness.
A lot has been said about forgiveness. Some say, “Forgive and forget.” Others say, “Forgive, but don’t forget.” I would say that forgiveness is something that can’t be fully described in a single phrase, and perhaps is something that cannot be fully understood in a lifetime. I surely have yet to understand it myself. I don’t know when one should forgive, or what (or what not) to forgive. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about it even as I write this.
There is one thing I am sure of, however, and that is the power of forgiveness. It is an incredibly powerful thing to forgive someone, for you and for that person … or maybe just for you. It can also be a very painful thing to not forgive someone, even if it feels entirely justified to hold a grudge.
So during this time of year, when in your heart you feel the need to make a significant change or do something important, don’t discount the power of forgiveness.
It’s quite possibly one of the most powerful things you can do (or not do). Which is right … well, that’s for you to decide.

Forgiveness

I don’t know what to say about Christmas and religion, Charlie. That’s why I asked your mom to write to you this week. I’m glad she did. But Christmas is not only about religion. It is a time of year when we look within to find something better in ourselves, and maybe share that with others. 

That’s why I’m going to talk to you today about forgiveness.

A lot has been said about forgiveness. Some say, “Forgive and forget.” Others say, “Forgive, but don’t forget.” I would say that forgiveness is something that can’t be fully described in a single phrase, and perhaps is something that cannot be fully understood in a lifetime. I surely have yet to understand it myself. I don’t know when one should forgive, or what (or what not) to forgive. Honestly, I have mixed feelings about it even as I write this.

There is one thing I am sure of, however, and that is the power of forgiveness. It is an incredibly powerful thing to forgive someone, for you and for that person … or maybe just for you. It can also be a very painful thing to not forgive someone, even if it feels entirely justified to hold a grudge.

So during this time of year, when in your heart you feel the need to make a significant change or do something important, don’t discount the power of forgiveness.

It’s quite possibly one of the most powerful things you can do (or not do). Which is right … well, that’s for you to decide.

Filed under Forgiveness Christmas Holiday Spirit Religion Powerful Change Heart Feelings Important Forgive and Forget Forgive but don't forget Forget

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Dear Charlie, by Blanca
       As a child I “traveled” a lot, and by travel I mean moved A LOT! My mother moved constantly. As a kid I hated it. I had to make new friends over and over. I had to leave friends over and over. Move to unfamiliar cities and states. I HATED it. It was so hard. It came to the point where I wouldn’t make friends because I didn’t want to have to leave them again. But…now that I am a tad bit older I can appreciate it. I have friends from all over! I love it. I can go to many cities and states and no people and feel belonged. It’s funny how that happens huh?
       Now I’m not saying what my mom did was right by any means. And I don’t suggest moving your children from place to place if you don’t have to, but I do suggest traveling! Travel as much as you can, even if it’s to a bigger city nearby than the one you live in.
       Plan your traveling carefully. I know a lot of people will tell you to do all your traveling before you have children. FALSE! Do all of your adult traveling before you have children. Go to Vegas and get drunk and lose all your money before you have kids! Go to Mardi Gras and give away some beads J before you have children. Go to Cancun during spring break before you have children. But trust me wait to do the other traveling until after you have them. Go Disneyworld, Niagara Falls, Hawaii, and all the other beautiful places in the world with your family. If you don’t one day you will say “I wish we could have taken the kids with us, they would have had a blast.
       I know with your parents you will do a lot of traveling.  They go EVERYWHERE! You are so lucky! Growing up I lived in Chicago, Cleveland, Myrtle Beach, Indiana, and San Diego! I have also been to Mexico, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and L.A. I have friends from all of those cities and I love it. My Facebook has newsfeed from all over the country. One place I would like to go is Hawaii! If you ever go you have to promise you will bring me!

Dear Charlie, by Blanca

       As a child I “traveled” a lot, and by travel I mean moved A LOT! My mother moved constantly. As a kid I hated it. I had to make new friends over and over. I had to leave friends over and over. Move to unfamiliar cities and states. I HATED it. It was so hard. It came to the point where I wouldn’t make friends because I didn’t want to have to leave them again. But…now that I am a tad bit older I can appreciate it. I have friends from all over! I love it. I can go to many cities and states and no people and feel belonged. It’s funny how that happens huh?

       Now I’m not saying what my mom did was right by any means. And I don’t suggest moving your children from place to place if you don’t have to, but I do suggest traveling! Travel as much as you can, even if it’s to a bigger city nearby than the one you live in.

       Plan your traveling carefully. I know a lot of people will tell you to do all your traveling before you have children. FALSE! Do all of your adult traveling before you have children. Go to Vegas and get drunk and lose all your money before you have kids! Go to Mardi Gras and give away some beads J before you have children. Go to Cancun during spring break before you have children. But trust me wait to do the other traveling until after you have them. Go Disneyworld, Niagara Falls, Hawaii, and all the other beautiful places in the world with your family. If you don’t one day you will say “I wish we could have taken the kids with us, they would have had a blast.

       I know with your parents you will do a lot of traveling.  They go EVERYWHERE! You are so lucky! Growing up I lived in Chicago, Cleveland, Myrtle Beach, Indiana, and San Diego! I have also been to Mexico, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and L.A. I have friends from all of those cities and I love it. My Facebook has newsfeed from all over the country. One place I would like to go is Hawaii! If you ever go you have to promise you will bring me!

Filed under Cancun Change Children Disneyland Disneyworld Family Fun Hawaii Kids Mexico Moved Niagara Falls Parents Party Travel Vacation Washington D.C.

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Don’t Be Afraid to Change
Whether it’s your opinion, who you are, or who you want to be; the worst thing you can do is stick to something you don’t believe in anymore, just because you don’t want to be criticized for changing.
If others say, “Well that’s not what you thought last month!” Who cares? Would you rather continue something you don’t believe in, just to avoid that criticism?
There’s no value in remaining consistent, son, if you consistently do something you no longer believe in. That’s just dumb. It’s much better to just accept whatever the change brings - whether it be criticism, hard work or pain - and move on.

Don’t Be Afraid to Change

Whether it’s your opinion, who you are, or who you want to be; the worst thing you can do is stick to something you don’t believe in anymore, just because you don’t want to be criticized for changing.

If others say, “Well that’s not what you thought last month!” Who cares? Would you rather continue something you don’t believe in, just to avoid that criticism?

There’s no value in remaining consistent, son, if you consistently do something you no longer believe in. That’s just dumb. It’s much better to just accept whatever the change brings - whether it be criticism, hard work or pain - and move on.

Filed under Politics Religion Change Beliefs Orientation LGBT Opinion Criticism Butterfly

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Work Tip #42 - Take Responsibility for Your Part in Your Company
It’s easy to say your company is screwing you over, but who exactly is your company?
 Is it a group of two or three guys making all the decisions? Is a fat white guy with gray hair smoking a cigar making sure you get the raw deal 100% of the time?
No. It’s not. No matter how convenient it may be for you to think that. In more cases than not, you are your company - you and your peers.
Not following me? Consider this …
As an employee, middle manager - whatever - you likely make up for more than 80% of your company. Let’s say 85%. That means the 15% that’s left is your upper management … a.k.a. the guys you like to blame. How much of your average day do you think they have control over? I’d say very little.
And whether you like to admit it or not, the things you’ll complain about the most are day-to-day annoyances - the things the 85% are actually responsible for.
So, while you alone may not be able to make your company the great workplace you want it to be, you can do your part, and push your peers to do theirs. 
You see, when you realize your place in your company, it makes it possible for you to change it by changing yourself and convincing others to change. It makes you realize the role you play, the important role you play in making your company better.
Once you realize this, you realize “they” are typically not the people failing you. Instead you realize more often than not, “we” are failing each other.
That can be a tough pill to swallow, but trust me when I tell you Charlie, the sooner you realize it the better.

Work Tip #42 - Take Responsibility for Your Part in Your Company

It’s easy to say your company is screwing you over, but who exactly is your company?

Is it a group of two or three guys making all the decisions? Is a fat white guy with gray hair smoking a cigar making sure you get the raw deal 100% of the time?

No. It’s not. No matter how convenient it may be for you to think that. In more cases than not, you are your company - you and your peers.

Not following me? Consider this …

As an employee, middle manager - whatever - you likely make up for more than 80% of your company. Let’s say 85%. That means the 15% that’s left is your upper management … a.k.a. the guys you like to blame. How much of your average day do you think they have control over? I’d say very little.

And whether you like to admit it or not, the things you’ll complain about the most are day-to-day annoyances - the things the 85% are actually responsible for.

So, while you alone may not be able to make your company the great workplace you want it to be, you can do your part, and push your peers to do theirs.

You see, when you realize your place in your company, it makes it possible for you to change it by changing yourself and convincing others to change. It makes you realize the role you play, the important role you play in making your company better.

Once you realize this, you realize “they” are typically not the people failing you. Instead you realize more often than not, “we” are failing each other.

That can be a tough pill to swallow, but trust me when I tell you Charlie, the sooner you realize it the better.

Filed under Work Tip Education Company Leadership Effect Change Management Boss Employee

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Life Tip #10 - The Practical Application of Math
I’ll talk about the true importance of math in another post. For now, let’s talk about the basics.
Working out addition and subtraction the way you were taught in school is not practical. This is why so many people have a difficult time doing math in their head (like some cashiers and shoppers). But despite all the evidence of poor basic math skills in everyday life, schools continue to teach the same old way.
Here’s the way you should do basic math:  quickly. Don’t waste time carrying digits over.
For example, you need to figure out 26+44? Start with what you know … 4 and 6 make 10, right? Put that aside. What’s 20 and 40, 60 right? Good, 10+60=70.
Or pull the 6 away from the 20 and give it to the 44. Now it’s 20+50. Still 70.
Okay, too easy? Let’s say you have 10,589+716 (I’m literally just hitting numbers on the keyboard). Let’s get rid of the 16. So 10,589+700. Well 500+700=1,200. So 589+700=1,289.
Let’s bring the 16 (10+6) back. So 89+10=99. And 99+6=105. So 105+1,200 is 1,305. Where’s that 10,000?
11,305.
Trust me, this works with subtraction, multiplication and division too. It just takes some practice. Get good at it, however, and you’ll find yourself finishing basic math twice as fast as most people you run into in life - especially the “smart” ones.

Life Tip #10 - The Practical Application of Math

I’ll talk about the true importance of math in another post. For now, let’s talk about the basics.

Working out addition and subtraction the way you were taught in school is not practical. This is why so many people have a difficult time doing math in their head (like some cashiers and shoppers). But despite all the evidence of poor basic math skills in everyday life, schools continue to teach the same old way.

Here’s the way you should do basic math:  quickly. Don’t waste time carrying digits over.

For example, you need to figure out 26+44? Start with what you know … 4 and 6 make 10, right? Put that aside. What’s 20 and 40, 60 right? Good, 10+60=70.

Or pull the 6 away from the 20 and give it to the 44. Now it’s 20+50. Still 70.

Okay, too easy? Let’s say you have 10,589+716 (I’m literally just hitting numbers on the keyboard). Let’s get rid of the 16. So 10,589+700. Well 500+700=1,200. So 589+700=1,289.

Let’s bring the 16 (10+6) back. So 89+10=99. And 99+6=105. So 105+1,200 is 1,305. Where’s that 10,000?

11,305.

Trust me, this works with subtraction, multiplication and division too. It just takes some practice. Get good at it, however, and you’ll find yourself finishing basic math twice as fast as most people you run into in life - especially the “smart” ones.

Filed under Education Math Addition Subtraction Multiplication Division Learning Practical Application of Math Cashiers Shopping Cash Money Change

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What Makes Us Who We Are?

What makes us who we are Charlie?

Many would say it’s the decisions we make, every day.

I think I agree with that frame of thought, and I use it to help me be who I want to be. After all, if being who we are is the sum of what we do from day to day, than we truly can be whoever we want to be.

For example, if I want to be a good father, I just have to identify the basics of being a good father and try to do those every day. One day at a time. If I can manage to do that the majority of the days or your life, I think you’ll be happy with what kind of father I was for you.

I think a lot of people don’t get how easy this is. People spend their entire lives wondering how to change who they are, when it literally is just changing one day and then repeating that day over and over. Granted, if you were a horrible person for 20 years, it may take 5 years of being a nice guy before people begin to trust you again. But it’s really the only way to get there.

You can’t go back and change the days you were a jerk, so you really just have to out number them with days of being a nice guy. I think the same concept applies to the decisions we make. A life of bad decisions can literally be reversed in a day, just by starting to make good decisions.

Changing who you are is not difficult. Even if it’s an act, who cares? Even that will eventually feel normal. So what if you are only acting like a nice person in the beginning. Who is anyone else to tell you that you’re just acting? And what’s the difference? If acting like a nice person involves doing nice things every day, then I’d argue there’s no difference between acting like one and being one. Eventually the act will become not an act at all, but who you are instead.

Filed under Decisions Change Identity Personality Mistakes Addiction Judgement Behavior

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Quitting Smoking

Your mother and I don’t smoke, but that doesn’t mean one day you won’t. And if you do, perhaps one day you’ll want to quit.

I smoked in both Iraq and Afghanistan, like a chimney, so I learned a little about both smoking and quitting smoking.

Here’s what I have for you, Charlie:

Once you’re a smoker, you’re a smoker for life. I say this, because I believe that you never lose the desire to have a cigarette. So, don’t think of quitting as going back to being what you were before you started. If you quit successfully, you will always be a smoker who doesn’t smoke anymore. But the chances are you will always want one.

Additionally, don’t set yourself up for failure by telling yourself you’ll never have a cigarette again a day in your life. The reality is you may have a cigarette. If you want to quit, your goal should be to never have another one, but if you do that doesn’t mean you failed. You’re still smoking less than you were, and that’s getting you somewhere.

It may take years, but eventually even though you’ll want to smoke, you won’t. And that’s as close as I think you’ll ever get to being a non-smoker again.

Worst case scenario (and this may be horrible medical advise), smoke a ton of the nastiest cigarettes you can find. This is what did it for me in Afghanistan. The experience was so horrendous, even the thought of smoking today still makes me sick. I want one still, but every time I do the memory of how I felt in Afghanistan suppresses that desire.

Filed under Smoking Quitting Smoking Quitting Goals Health Cigarettes Habits Bad Habits Change Failure Success Tobacco