Posts Tagged ‘time’

Photo Friday: Time of Renewal

May 25, 2018

One of the most beautiful things about Spring time is the renewal of life, in the birth of new animals, like this tiny duckling.

Duckling

Photo Friday: Foxy Fox

June 24, 2016

I have, what I call, dream animals. This is a list of animals I wish to get a good photograph of.  On my list is animals like harbor seals, moose, dolphins, porcupines, and of course the fox.

This past week, I got my chance with a fox.  I was actually shooting a landscape when someone at the bottom of the hill I was standing on told me to look behind me.  The fox was running from a close by group of trees, and heading to a clearing.  I shot several pictures of it running, but the real shot happened in the clearing, where it stopped to enjoy a little treat.

Out of all the shots I took my favorite is today’s picture of the day.

Grey Fox

Know Your Starting Point

April 17, 2014

IMG_0012

 

OK, you’ve expressed your desire, and what you want to do with the rest of your life, and you have the end in mind. This will leave you with just one question. “What next?”
Many people will tell you that the next step is to take action, and that is a very important step, but I believe that even before you take action you have to know where you are, and when you are.
There are two very good reasons for this. One, it shows you where you are starting from, and two, it helps you determine the direction you need to take. Imagine you are driving through a new city, to find a restaurant where you are meeting some friends. Whether you are using a gps, or reading a map, you have to know both where you want to start, and where you want to end up. If all you have is the destination you will never be able to find your way.
Let’s just say your destination is going to Denver. You want the most direct method to get there from your current location. If you don’t know where you are starting from, you will never know which way to go. If however, you know you are starting from Portland, Maine, you know you can hop on Southbound 95 to Baltimore, and head over to 70 heading west. That will take you to Denver. That may not be the most direct method, but the point is, in order to reach a destination, you must first know where you are starting from.
Now, let’s put that in a way that works with success. If your goal is to have one million dollars within the next year, it’s important to know where you are starting from. If you have 10 dollars in the bank currently, (yes, it can be done) the methods you use will likely be different than if you were starting with 100,000 dollars. This information is vital in choosing the correct path to act on.
By this point, you may be wondering why I also say when you are. The answer to that can be easily answered. It’s no secret that in order to reach your goals, you need to focus on the end result, and believe you already have it. By focusing on your past mistakes, and allowing them to haunt you, you can never move forward.
Your past is done, and can be useful in teaching you what not to do, but don’t let it spoil your dreams. Remember, the only place you have to start from is your current position. Don’t let your past ruin your future.
Once you know where you are going, and before you act, first figure out where you are starting from. It will give you a positive direction, and make the road to your dreams much smoother.
Allen
I realize it’s been a while, but my computer has been messing up, and I’ve been trying to learn how to use my Alphasmart word processor. It works great, by the way.

A Life Changing Pattern!!!

July 9, 2012

With the circumstances of my quitting smoking, I started noticing a very interesting pattern.  For those of you who don’t know how I just quit, I can tell you, it was not easy.  I was trying hard for years, and I tried a couple of methods with no success.  I heard of others who tried patches, gums, and other expensive methods, and then ended up smoking more.  On January 1st, at 1:35 in the morning, I was outside having a smoke and once I put it out said “I’m done.”  Since then, I haven’t touched one, or even had the desire for one.

Now, here’s another story that happened to a YouTuber by the name of Shay Carl Butler.  His story doesn’t involve smoking; it does involve weight loss.  From the moment he started his Shaytard channel he had mentioned how much he wanted to lose weight, and he tried several attempts without success.  Then, last year, Shay and some of his friends got together for a weight loss challenge.  His attempt, this time, involved vegetables and exercise and he didn’t stop.  He started at 260, and his current weight is 170.  Not only did he lose all that weight, but he also ran in a couple of marathons, and he continues training.

What do both of these stories have in common?  One, they are both major life changes, and two; it took several attempts before we achieved success.  I once heard someone say that major life changes only happen after a cataclysmic event, or a low point in life; but neither was the case with either one.  The only other common factor in these stories is that they happened at the right time.

This is the pattern I was seeing; life changes will happen at a certain time, regardless of the method; but if this is the case, then why should we try so hard before this point?  The best reason is, we are not given a guide book to tell us when the right time hits.  If we don’t try to change, we may not be in a position to take that opportunity, when it comes.  If we do miss it, there will be other chances, but wouldn’t it be better if you catch it early?

Day 52: I Am An Island

February 14, 2012

I Am An Island

 

It’s not that I don’t like you,

I just don’t know you

And I don’t have the time

To learn about you.

I would apologize for my attitude

But I just don’t care.

If you still want to be like me

Just remember,

The man who acts like an island

Dies alone.

Day 36: Marking Time

January 29, 2012

Marking Time

 

The clock ticked loudly

Marking time there on the wall,

Killing peaceful sleep.

Fight for it!!!

April 25, 2011

Let me ask you something.  Are you tired of being passed up for promotions; or are you part time, and just want to go full time?  The harsh reality is life isn’t always fair, and you always get what you deserve, but you have to look at what is within your power to change, and what isn’t.  In the case of those two questions, there are ways you can make them happen, but you are going to have to fight for it.

One of the things you can do is become versatile.  Be the first to volunteer if another department needs help.  You may not know what you are doing, but more than likely they will train you.  If you apply yourself, listen to what they say, and do the job well, you will be the first person they ask when they need help in the future.  This will have two very positive results.  First, you will learn something new, and that will add to your list of credentials that you might need for a promotion.  Second, it will show your supervisors that you are more than just reliable; but that you are also willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Another thing you can do is adhere to all attendance rules, and when possible, take advantage of opportunities.  What do I mean by attendance rules?    Punch in right at your scheduled time.  If you punch in too early, you may be wandering around looking for something to do, and that just doesn’t look good to any supervisor.  I usually stick to a five minute rule; never more than five minutes early, or late.  As far as breaks are concerned, never punch in early, EVER.  Try to keep your time exact, or if you can’t, try for within three minutes.  This really looks good.  If you can, don’t ever call out sick, unless you really.  Calling out too often will be looked at as indifference to your job, and any sign of indifference can cause your boss to say, “You are the weakest link; bye, bye.”

What I mean by “take advantage of opportunities”, is seize opportunities to show that you want the job, and are willing to do what they need.  If they offer overtime, take it. This will give them the help they need, and give you extra money on the paycheck.  It’s a win/win situation, and you always want to look for those.  If there is any opportunity you don’t want to take, it is the option of leaving early.  When a supervisor says, “Once all the work is done you can cut out early.”  Sometimes they are waiting to see who will stick it out.  Remember, just because you have finished your assigned tasks doesn’t mean there isn’t work that can still be done.  There is always work to do, and if not, you can be trained on something else.

The point is, be reliable, versatile, and seize opportunities when they arise.  This will let your supervisors know you are serious about the job, and are worthy of every chance they give you.

Don’t forget to see my latest vlog http://www.youtube.com/user/apb148

Finding time to write.

April 15, 2009

People, who really know me, and the kind of schedule I have, always ask me where I find the time to write, let alone sleep.  Of course, to this I reply, “When I get around to it.”  About a week ago, I had the grocery manager of the Hannaford I work at ask me the same question.  To illustrate a point I asked him, “How much do you watch TV each day?”

He thought for a second, “About an hour, my kids take up the rest of the time.”

“Well, there you go, get rid of the kids.”  Just kidding, what I did tell him though, “If you have something you love doing, you will turn off the TV more, or at least do it on commercials.”

Enya has a song called “Only If” that I love to play whenever I feel I don’t have time to write.  It perks me up every time.  There is a line in the chorus that says, “Only if you want to, will you find a way.”  This line, more than any of the others, motivates me to pick up my pencil and paper.  I had to break through the excuse, “I don’t have time.”  That is when I took a closer look at what was dominating my time.

According to a study on television viewing habits by country America and The United Kingdom tied at the top with an average of 28 hours per week.  That is four hours every day. (To see where the other countries placed go to this link http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/med_tel_vie-media-television-viewing )  This makes television one of the worst time wasters.  Some writer’s say they use TV for characters or ideas.  There are two ways to respond to this.  If you are a script writer, you are absolutely right.  The best way to learn how to approach script writing is by seeing how other script writers handle a situation.

Of course, if you are a fiction writer, you’re better off reading a book.  If you are using the television for ideas, cut back the time watching to just what you need, like maybe three hours a week.

Another great way to make time is at the grocery store.  Knowing the layout of the aisles, and where each item is, can have a large impact on your time.  I have a good memory for such things, but for those who don’t, most stores have a map with a list of where items are.  Have a copy of the list at home, so that when you make out your list you can base it on location.

When you make out the list, stick to it, and know which brand you are going for.  By doing just these things at the grocery store, you can cut your time tremendously.  As an example, I went shopping on Wednesday and bought 200 (approximately) dollars worth of items.  It used to take me 45 minutes to go through the store before I was in line.  On Wednesday, it only took me ten minutes.  That is 35 minutes of lost time.

I also like to consolidate errands.  It requires a little planning, but if you time them right you can get a number of things done at once.  In addition, on Wednesday, I went to the store first, went to pay a bill on the way to McDonalds for breakfast.  I did it all in half an hour.  It took 5 minutes of planning, and I had extra time to write.

Before I go any further, I just want to point out that I am one of the most unorganized people I know.  Trying to find time to write was no easy task for me.  I have read books, seen motivational speakers, but nothing worked until I sat down and made a list of my day.  The list was very revealing.

I always have a pencil, and paper, with me so that I am ready for quiet moments, which are normally wasted.  Good sources of quiet moments; breaks at work, waiting for appointments, and sitting on a bus, are all great sources of time.  If you have a tape recorder, you can also take down ideas while walking, or even while working without stopping to write an idea down.

The ways to make time can be endless. You just have to take the time to look.

Challenge: Make a daily list of your activities and see where you can cut time.

Enjoy,
Allen

How can I save time doing research for my novel?

March 9, 2009

You’ve finished the first draft of your novel, and started the dreaded editing phase.  As you read your own words, and make notations on questions you didn’t answer on the first draft, you realize that if you want to answer those questions, and still make them credible, you will have to do some research.

Research for fiction will range from fantasy, which doesn’t require much time in a library, (some fantasy does have research) to the truly historic novel which can require as much as a couple of years to do the necessary research.  When he was writing the book “Centennial” James Michener spent a few years at the Denver public library learning about the town of Greeley, in which Centennial was based.

This raises a very important point.  How can you save time on research while making certain your book has the right amount of information?  There are a few ways you can streamline your research, without ruining your credibility.

First, write what you know.  I know you’ve heard that before, but did you ever wonder why people always say that?  As far as research, there is nothing better than experience to cut down on time needed to get the information.  I’m currently starting a project that will involve some paranormal investigation.  I’ve just been spending the past couple of weeks watching and reading whatever I could on ghost hunting, but without experience how can I ever know what it feels like, so I’m going to do an actual investigation in June.

Second, ask the right questions.  This sounds obvious, but people go into research without a true focus and quickly get buried in the mountains of information, most of which will have nothing to do with your story, and you quickly become overwhelmed.  If you know the right question your search becomes focused and you can get only the necessary information.  Save all the other research for another book.

Another great way is to ask an expert.  Sitting in a library and looking through hundreds or thousands of pages to find that one bit of information can be tedious, and for the most part a waste of time.  If you ask an expert in the area of your query, you can get the information you need in a couple of minutes instead of a couple of months.

These are the best ways that I found to save time on research.  Remember, there are no true shortcuts to credibility. These methods are just ways to help focus your search so you’re not bogged down with so much information that your book never gets written.

Challenge:  While editing your book, and asking yourself questions, see where you can focus your search and save time on research.

Enjoy,
Allen

How do you know when your project is a waste of time?

February 23, 2009

This past week I saw a question I have seen, and heard, for years.  “How do you  know when you’re wasting your time on a project?” or “When should I give up on what I’m working on?”  Same basic question.  These are questions that every creative person has faced at least 3,000 times.(I picked a number)  As a writer, and photographer, I wrestle with this all the time.  I call this the anti-conscience.  The anti-conscience is the voice that tells you  “you’re no good“, and that “you’ll never amount to anything, that what you’re doing is worthless.”

Don’t let it win.  Writers have to fight these feelings off all the time, with every rejection slip, with every critique, this voice chimes in.  It tells us that we can’t write and should give up without a fight.  Before you run to the corner, with your head hanging in shame, just remember that even the greatest have had to face this problem.

We all have dreams, and when we persue those dreams the anti-conscience has an opening to shut us down.  Sometimes we can give ourselves the strength to go on, and sometimes we need to look to others for the inspiration and guidance, but in the end we can never give up.  Our dreams give us hope that we can make a difference, our hope gives us faith to believe in our abilities, and faith gives us the strength to see it happen.

As long as we don’t give up on our dreams, we can keep this voice under control, and it will never win.  Only then will our dreams come true.

Challenge: If the anti-conscience is still strong, and you feel you can’t go on, let these publishing statistics inspire you.  Print them and put them where they can help you the most.

1)  Mary Higgins Clark’s first story was rejected 40 times.

2) Alex Haley’s “Roots” was rejected 200 times.

3) “A Time to Kill” by John Grisham was declined by 15 publishers & 30 agents.

4) “Robinson Crusoe” was rejected by 20 publishers

5) “Harry Potter” was rejected 30 times.

6) Zelda wouldn’t marry F. Scott Fitzgerald until he sold his first story.  He used the rejection slips to wallpaper his bedroom.

Enjoy,
Allen