(Spoiler Free)Does The Walking Dead Have You Waking Up Dead?

What you watch before you go to bed may take it's toll on you

What are we doing?

I get it. It’s a popular show. There’s heroes, there’s villains, there’s drama,  there’s tension, there’s conflict, there’s ZOMBIES.

The numbers are huge. People can’t wait to see it each week.

But for a large number of Americans, it’s the last thing that they’re watching before they go to bed on a Sunday night. The last thing they watch before they have to get up on Monday and start their week.

I’ll admit it. I’m not a huge advocate of AMC’s “The Walking Dead”. I think the show has an overall tone of despair rather than hope, though many might disagree. Years ago before it became a television show I had read the graphic novels. I know the television show has taken different paths than the graphic novel series, but so I’m also aware that the stories are not particularly uplifting.

I guess I’m concerned about what’s going into people’s heads before they start their work week. I think it has an effect on people.

Let me be clear: I’m not telling people to not watch the show. Thank God for DVRs and the ability to watch this whenever you want.

I also know that people don’t want to get story plots spoiled by social media. They want to be in the know of what’s going on with their favorite characters.

But at what cost? At the expense of a restful night’s sleep? At the expense of waking up the next morning feeling drained from last night’s show and now having to find the energy to go to a job that you probably don’t enjoy or have passion for?

Guard your pre-bed time. Treat it sacredly. It sets the tone for the rest that your body wants and needs. Be careful of what you are “consuming” before you sleep. You wouldn’t eat a bunch of greasy, hot and spicy food followed by some beer and shots and then hit the hay would you? (Perhaps some of you would, but that’s for another time and another discussion) You’d reap the consequences of those actions.

May I recommend staying away from heavy, tension filled shows just before you go to bed. I’d recommend that with news as well. Your body is physically reacting to negative input and it won’t help you get rest. If you must watch your show before the day is done, try padding the time before you actually go to sleep with something a little more light, a fun fiction book, soothing music, prayer whatever.

The more that you can get the rest you need to refresh your mind, body and spirit the better. If you have to watch Rick and the survivors of the zombie apocalypse, just make sure it won’t effect your health and well being. You’ll want to have a little something left in the tank if you ever need to get away from “walkers.”

What are your practices before you go to bed? Favorite books? Favorite teas? Share your stories here or on my Facebook page.

The Waiting is The Hardest Part

We can turn a moment of waiting into a moment of reflection

Waiting is something I’ve done all my life. I’ve had lots of practice. When I was a kid, my sister and I would order novelty toys out of the back of comic books.

What was promised…

I would send my money (usually dollar bills and coins, I didn’t know any better) in an envelope, off to the Johnson Smith Company in Michigan.

And then I’d wait.

Every day for weeks I would wait for the mailman hoping I could speed up the delivery process. Every day I’d be disappointed when the package never arrived.

Finally it did…and I was disappointed then.

We had ordered a 7 foot glow in the dark Frankenstein. I’d had visions in my head of an intricately sculpted replica of Borris Karloff as Frankenstein standing in our house that would glow in the dark! We’d be able to scare neighborhood kids to death. It was going to be great! There would be a  lined around the block to see it with ambulances standing by.

What came that day was not a 7 foot tall statue. It was an 8 X 12 flat Manila envelope. Inside was a folded white plastic sheet that had an image of Frankenstein.

What a let down!

What actually came… (images from http://www.collectorsweekly.com/articles/sea-monkeys-and-x-ray-spex/)

I still have these moments of waiting. Waiting for residual checks to come for a commercial that I know is playing. Hoping that those magical checks will be the answers to all of my problems.

Ultimately they’re not. I’ve had a few nice deliveries over the years, but they are very few and far between. When they do come, the luster of these checks doesn’t last very long.

There are times that we have to wait, but I think we can fill those times with other helpful practices.

One that comes to mind is reflection. What better time to check in with yourself to see where you are at the moment. What have you been doing lately, what have you been learning lately? Michael Hyatt covered this lately in a recent podcast regarding guarding your more important asset, your heart.

How are you feeling about what you’re waiting for? Are you anxious? Are all of your eggs in this one basket? Check those feelings, if they are on the more negative, then positive side try to find out what’s going on with yourself. It’s all right to have those pre-action jitters, it’s your body getting you ready for action. However, if there is dread in there or you’re hearing a voice that says “if this doesn’t show up I’m doomed” then what’s that about? Talk to someone about those feelings.

Reflection in the midst of waiting  can spark new ideas that could lead you down the path to new action and direction in your life.

Share with me your waiting times, in the comments section or on my Facebook page. What was it for, how did you feel and what happened at the end of your waiting period? I look forward to hearing your stories.

Why Medical Benefits Aren’t Making You Happy

It's time to take a leap and move into the next level of your life

You won’t make progress staying where you are.

It will seem like an odd quote, but I refer to Brad Pitt in the zombie movie World War Z “ Movement is life

I know it’s scary. I know you may be at a job where you are qualifying for medical benefits, you’re working you’re 40 hours a week and it seems like the safe thing to do.

But something’s just not right. You’re probably not making ends meet. You’re not using your talents and your skills to the best of their abilities.

First, I want to compliment you. You are being smart, you’re being logical.

But it’s time for you to take the leap. You can’t stay where you are because it will lead to a long slow downward spiral.  It’s the only way that you’re going to break through to your next level.

Leap

I wish I could tell you that it’ll be easy. I wish I could tell you that there’s an easy path laid out before you and that all you have to do it follow the dots. It’s not how it works.

I remember my early days working for The Walt Disney Company as a part time employee. I was a young man, married and raising children. I was only working a couple of days a week and had no idea how to make ends meet. I was making my “living” as an actor and had to take the scary step of finding money to take commercial acting classes. I had to learn the business to see if I could expand my earning potential. There were no guarantees that it would pay off. Eventually it paid off extremely well. But that never would have happened if I didn’t take that first step.

I want you to remember this: any little positive action is a step in the right direction.

The more action you take, the more things will build in your life. It’s difficult to explain and I can’t show you hard scientific data.

I can tell you this. If your efforts are true and tie into your talents and your passion… when you step out into the scary and into the unknown… you will eventually get to the other side and get rewarded for your efforts. It’s an unbelievable feeling.

You will look back and wonder “How the heck did I do that?”

You’ll have done it with friends and/or family and/or other travelers on the journey.

You will not be the same. You will be different. That will be all right, because you will be becoming what you are supposed to be in the world. You will be getting closer to what the world needs from you.

Where are you in your journey? What’s holding you back? What can you do today to take the step? Share and join in the conversation here or on my Facebook page.

 

85 Percent of What You Worry About Won’t Happen

We waste a lot of time when we get anxious

Worry can stop you dead in your tracks. Something may coming up in the near future and you just can’t shake the thoughts or feelings you’re experiencing. You may think you are just preparing yourself for what’s going to happen.

But what if the very thing you’re worrying about, never happened?

A recent story on Huffington Post explored the science behind worry. In a study, a group of people were asked to write about negative situations or events they were worried would happen over a two week period.

At the end of two weeks, 85 percent of the group said that what they worried about never happened.

Here’s the other interesting stat: the remaining 15 percent that had the event occur, 79 percent of that group said they dealt with the negative situation better than they thought they would.

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We waste so much time worrying.

I’ve done it. Many years ago I was asked by a relative to perform at a company Christmas party as Ebeneezer Scrooge. I was a younger man at the time and had no idea how I could pull this off.

Where would I get the makeup, the costume, what they heck would my act be? Just saying “Bah Humbug!” to a bunch of employees all night as part of the main entertainment didn’t sound promising.

I was given a 6 week heads-up for the gig. And I spent every day worrying about the outcome.

“This is going to be a disaster.” “They’ll call me a fraud”

The day came, I showed up at the venue. I said a few words as Ebeneezer, sang a few carols and then danced the night away with the employees. They had a blast.

As I was getting back to my car that evening I told myself to remember this moment of relief. And remember all the wasted time I spent worrying and fretting about how this would be a disaster. It would have made my life so much easier.

Please, apply this to situations you are going through. Maybe you have a family gathering that’s coming up, a presentation at work or at school that you are losing sleep (or hair) over. Take a breath.

Stay in this moment, because as the studies show, you may be truly worrying over nothing.

What have been situations in your past that you were worried about and they ended up turning out fine? Share your story here in the comments section or on the Facebook page. I think your stories could help others as well.

A Perseverance Lesson from Pac-Man

The world needs you to share your talents

There may be times that you feel you’ve exhausted all your ideas.
“Who would be interested in what I have to say or what I have to offer?”
Don’t sell yourself short. You may have an idea, service or product that no one else has thought of. Or no one else has thought of bringing into the market place.
I like to take a step back and look at history for inspiration.
Arcade games are a surprising example.
PacMan
A very niche idea of creating a game using vector or raster graphics on a video screen and putting it into a cabinet seemed like a silly business idea back in the 1970’s.
Kinda cool, but how could you make a business out of that? But within several years video arcade games were soaring in popularity. With heavy hitters Space Invaders (1978) and Pac Man (1980), by 1982, according to Wikipedia, the video game industry made more money than the combined revenues of pop music and Hollywood films.
That same year video games earned more THREE TIMES more money that the combined ticket and TV revenues of Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NFL.
Think of the social networks we are actively using today.
Facebook started in 2004 and now has over a billion users.
Twitter came from a brainstorming day in March 2006. Twitter went live in July 2006 and as of this writing has 304 million active monthly users.
My point is this: big ideas can come out of nowhere.
You may be met at first with resistance.  Let me rephrase that: You WILL be met with resistance.
“Why would someone want to do that?” or “Why would someone want to hire you for that position?”
Don’t give in to those thoughts. We need you.
We need you to fail dozens and hundreds of times so you can learn what doesn’t work.
We need you to fail so that you can persevere.
We need you to find that hidden diamond that no one saw because they threw up their hands in frustration and went home.
And once you find it, don’t you dare hide it.
Share it and watch as people get that gleam in their eye that says “Wow, how did we never see this before?”