Tag Archives: Ears

Escape From The Steep Gravity Well Of The Mediocre

This is one of those strange sorts of days here at Casa de Dude. By strange, I mean we’re having someone other than Barry or me step in and talk for a bit.

In this case, please welcome Shawn Anderson, author and speaker. Miss-ter Ann-der-son (heh heh heh) sent out an e-mail I quite enjoyed. Instead of adapting it for you dudes, I thought I’d just let the man himself do the talking since I liked what he had to say.

So, take it away, Shawn Anderson.

Wake-up alarm sounds. Hit snooze button. Steal ten minutes more sleep. Groan. Get coffee. Wake kids. Take shower. Get dressed. Yell at kids. Drive to work. Slump into chair. Check email. Check Facebook. Meet deadlines. Waste time chatting. Watch clock. Check Facebook again. Sneak out early. Wait in traffic. Get groceries. Chaperone kids. Shout about homework. Make dinner. Watch TV. Go to bed. Repeat.

Of course, there is no way this sounds familiar. Right? Maybe to our friends, but never to us. Not to worry…this is for them. (The friends.)

To help those “friends” who are stuck in a life rut, motivational guru Shawn Anderson shares three quick rut-escaping tips you can provide to those who need emergency advice and are living the same day over…and over…and over:

TIP #1: Quit living in Mediocreland.

Stuck on mediocrity? Well, look in the mirror at the person responsible. It’s you. You created your average-ness…and you can un-create it, too. Want out of the rut? Quit making excuses, quit pointing fingers, and quit waiting for a miracle to fly you out of Mediocreland. If you’re ever going to leave the world of average, you need to start creating the changes you seek. Cast a vision. Create a plan. Take massive action. Passive residents are not allowed to fly.

TIP #2: Don’t expect an overnight miracle.

It’s impossible to go from “ice cold” (in the rut) to “red hot” (out of the rut) overnight. Massive change just doesn’t happen that way. Don’t expect it. Do expect, though, that you can grow to “red hot” if you hold yourself accountable to take one step a day towards the changes you want in your life. Single steps daily add up to big changes eventually.

 

TIP #3: Don’t wait for perfect.

Waiting for the perfect scenario to unfold before making changes? Your reasons to wait before taking action might sound good in your head now. The problem is that five years down the road those same reasons will probably still exist…and you’ll probably still be in a rut.

Life is too short to wait for the stars to fall into perfect alignment before we take life action. Live and live now. Otherwise, waiting too long for the right risk-taking moment eventually leads to paralyzing fear…which leads to complacency…which leads to “I don’t care” acceptance.

The author of six motivational books, including A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose, Shawn Anderson lives and breathes all things related to “going the extra mile” in order to live a life we love. Last year, Anderson’s Extra Mile America organization led 444 cities to declare 11/1/13 as “Extra Mile Day”… a day recognizing the capacity we each have to create positive change for ourselves, families, organizations and communities when we go the extra mile.

“My feeling is ‘we get one life’ so why ever choose to live it with anything less than our deepest passion and most ardent dedication? We create the life we live…one way or another,” Anderson says.

Shawn Anderson is a six-time author, keynote speaker and motivational success coach. His book titles include A Better Life: An Inspiring Story About Starting Over and Extra Mile America: Stories of Inspiration, Possibility and Purpose. For more information, visit www.ShawnAnderson.com.

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Second Chances For First Impressions Rarely Go Well

What does it take for a dude to change his opinion of someone else?

By that, I mean, if you start out liking someone, getting a good vibe off of them, is it easy to readjust your thinking of that person to consider him to be a jerk?

Is it possible to go from thinking someone’s a jerk to thinking they’re an all-right dude?

Or will the lingering stigma of the first impression still hang around no matter how much she’s proved to be one and not the other?

I asked because I’m in the midst of such a reevaluation right about now. See, there’s this person, I’ll call him Ken and he’s somebody who provides me with a service.

No, not that kind of service. Sheesh, dudes. Get your minds up out of the gutter. I’m only being a bit obtuse because he might be reading this. And he might not even be a he. Or a she.

Moving on.

Anyway, I started out thinking Ken was a pretty all right dude, quick on his mental feet, friendly and a good guy to be around.

But then he went and mispronounced something. Badly. Repeatedly. And now I can’t help thinking he’s an idiot.

Now, before you get all up in arms about me being so very shallow and far too nitpicky, let me explain a bit.

See, I have what might charitably be called a huge vocabulary. I have a large working vocabulary, in that I can extemporaneously call up bit words, use them correctly and actually be able to define them. I have an even larger vocabulary of words that, once I hear or see them, I know what they are even if I couldn’t come up with them on my own.

Now, most of those words I learned through reading that I did on my own time. I didn’t have anyone there to talk to about the stuff I was reading, mostly because none of the kids my age were reading anywhere near what I was reading. Not that I’m trying to brag. I’m not.

Anyway, when I would run across a new word, I’d try to understand it by context and would then sound out the word. I’ve never been all that good at sentence diagramming and those pronunciation guides in dictionaries are gibberish to me. So I’ll find that I will be pronouncing a word one way for years, but realize that I’ve been doing it wrong and never knew it.

With that said, I understand that people can mispronounce words all that time and that doesn’t mean they’re an idiot. But it’s the caliber of the word here that’s causing me difficulties.

See, the word Ken mispronounced was calves. You know, the muscles on the back of your leg, between the knee and the heel. Yeah, those calves.

Ken pronounced that word as kal-vz. That is, the hard k sound, short a and hard l sound, followed by a blend of the v and z sound. In reality, the words is pronounced kavz, with the l sound completely silent.

This wasn’t a one-time thing as he repeated the mistake several times over the course of an hour or so.

I know it’s relatively minor, but I just can’t let it go. Calves is such a basic word and I find my second impression fighting with my first impression.

Oddly enough, in the opposite of what usually happens, I think my second impression (the reevaluation) is winning out over the first impression.

Now that I’ve opened myself up for ridicule, what do you dudes say? Can the second impression win out over the first and, in this case, should it?

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Smoking: Like A Million Punches In The Face

Let’s face it, dudes. Smoking is stupid.

Not only will using it as recommended lead to cancer and possible heart attacks, but it’s going to make you look like complete crap while marching you down that stinky pathway to your grave.

Don’t believe me? Let’s look at the indisputable visual evidence, shall we?

Tell me, which twin was the smoker?

twin smokers

 

Not so difficult to figure that one out, yeah?

Actual researchers decided that it was time people realized that smoking doesn’t just make your insides ugly as sin, but also gets to work on your outsides (where other people can see you) as well. So, from 2007 to 2010, they recruited 79 pairs of identical twins in which one twin smoked and the other twin didn’t.

A professional photographer took pictures of each participant and then judges graded each face on the number and deepness of wrinkles and several other standardized measures.

As noted in one of the most recent issues of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the results were rather alarming.

Smoking twins compared with their nonsmoking counterparts had worse scores for upper eyelid skin redundancy [i.e. lax eyelid tissue, the result of gravity, loss of tissue elasticity, and weakening of the connective], lower lid bags, malar bags [aka “cheek bags”], nasolabial folds [the “smile-lines” that run from your nose to your mouth], upper lip wrinkles, lower lip vermillion wrinkles, and jowls. Lower lid hyperpigmentation [thought to contribute to dark under-eye circles] in the smoking group fell just short of statistical significance. Transverse forehead wrinkles, glabellar wrinkles [the vertical lines that form between the eyebrows, where the nose meets the forehead], crow’s feet, and lower lip lines accentuated by puckering did not have a statistically significant differences in scores. Among twins with greater than 5 years’ difference in smoking duration, twins who had smoked longer had worse scores for lower lid bags, malar bags, and lower lip vermillion wrinkles.

As should be obvious just from looking around, some people look much younger than their age. *ahem* And there are some who look — sometimes significantly — older than their actual age.

There are a number of factors that contribute to this premature visual aging. These factors include exposure to excessive sunlight, drinking, weight loss after age 40, weight gain before age 40, and, as should be stunningly obvious by now, smoking.

It’s sometimes hard to convince young dudes and dudettes that smoking can be bad for them. They can deal with the stink of smoke clinging to their clothing and hair (I guess) as long as they think smoking looks cool. This, however, this right here makes a devastating impact on the whole “looking cool” idea.

Forget the fact that smoking will rot your lungs and make you unable to climb three stories without stopping for a rest. Think about this: Smoking makes you look like 17 miles of bad road.

Not a bad way to start off another round of the don’t-smoke conversation with your young dudes and dudettes.

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