Archive For The “The Real Mann Way” Category

My Trip To The DMV

I recently had the pleasure, I mean displeasure of going to renew my licence at the Department of Motor Vehicles. What I hope would take about an hour turned into a 4 hour nightmare. I have seen some disorganization in my day, but nothing compares to the lack of efficiency  I experienced during my wait.

One would think that getting to the DMV at 10:00 am in the morning would result in a fairly quick in and out process.  Boy was I in for a surprise!

It all started at check-in.  As the entry line wrapped from inside to outside, I noticed that there was only one person conducting the actual check-in to see where you needed to go next.  But for some reason there were two unmanned terminals that if manned would have cleared up the bottleneck at station number one.  The killer was that senior citizens were allowed to bypass the longer line and be serviced immediately.  Not that I’ve got it in for senior citizens, I just knew I needed to get in and out of this process as quickly as possible.  But of course that would not going to be the case.

Step two required me to go over to the get my picture taken for the new license line.  Holy S&*) was there another bottleneck of slowness created.  What caused this, another line with a lot of people was being serviced by one person. Not only was the line extremely long because it was serviced by one person,  but once again the senior citizens were allowed to pass in front of us.  After another hour in line, I had the honor of getting my picture taken. Oh did I forget to tell you when the second person arrived to man the other terminal, they had forgotten their log-on.  Once the other person decided to help them, that resulted in another 15-20 minutes of wasted time.

Once I moved into the mass of people sitting in the common area where they call your assigned number, I counted the stations available to service all of the people waiting.  The count was 10 stations.  Here’s the kicker, instead of staggering their lunches, 6 of the 10 people manning the stations left for lunch at the same time.  Which meant that 70-80 people waiting now had their wait extended.

My number was 253-B, and based on the number of people there and the speed  at which they were moving…my wait was going to be for a while.  It could not be further from the truth.

Because I’m not a sitter when I wait for the something I have a tendency to pace.  And boy did I pace a lot.  One person asked how many laps I had done, but the kicker was when one the DMV workers came out and asked me if I was alright.  I’m sure his question was centered around whether he thought I was ready to blow or not.  Once I shared with him that I am just not a sitter when I’m waiting he retreated back to his area once he knew the potential threat was compromised.

After the long wait and bottlenecks totaling four hours was over…I finally completed my renewal.  Holy S&*1@ what a crappy process manned by people who truly don’t give a rats pa-tutti about how long we have to wait.

I’m sure other readers would love to hear about your experiences about your trip to the DMV.  So please feel free to share?

 

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Is The Glass Half Full or Half Empty?

I would guess that many people in the world are of two mindsets – the glass is half full, or the glass is half empty.  The half empty people focus on the things that they are missing in life, and quite honestly what they don’t have. They’re mired in how bad things are and trapped in a should have, could have, but didn’t way of thinking.  How awful would it be to spend your time thinking about the open capacity of the glass rather than the water in it.

This type of thinking leads me to believe that your conversations and interactions would tend to be on the negative side.  And we all know that misery loves company when it wants to be happy.  So for one to be happy, you would need to surround your self with other half glass empty people.  Because I’m sure they just revel in hearing that negative talk.

Now the glass half full people are generally of a positive mindset.  They are pleasant to be around because they always bring something positive to the party.  Since their focus is on the filled part rather than the open capacity of the glass, they spend their time quenching their thirst with what they have.  They are positive magnets that attract people, and that others truly enjoy sharing time with.

Guess who doesn’t like them – correct, the glass half empty people.  Neither of the two can coexist in a fruitful relationship because neither has tolerance for the other.   When one focuses on sharing why this is bad, and the other focuses on why this is good…that conversation won’t last long.  Not to mention those types of relationships let alone conversations can be draining to them both.

Oh did I forget to mention the third mindset? That’s the one that only focuses on where do I get more water if the full half does not quench my thirst.  These are the innovators and leaders of the world.  And guess what, they make up such a small percentage of it.

My guess is that the world needs all three of them to actually function properly.  So here’s the million dollar question, are you the half full, the half empty, or the where do I get more water if this won’t quench my thirst person?

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Happy Memorial Day!

I’d like to wish everyone a Happy Memorial Day!  To all of you who’ve served in some capacity for our country, and sacrificed your life in doing so…We honor you.  Because freedom never has been and never will be free.  If you know someone who has served, please take  moment to acknowledge them and thank them for that service, they’ve earned.  Finally, without them – there could possibly be no you.

Happy Memorial Day!

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You’re The Only You – You Get!

Regardless of where I travel and who I meet along the way, I’m always happy when I get the chance to build a new relationship.  After all, isn’t life about the lives we touch, the engagements, and the exchanges.  In some cases those interactions may be for a minute, a day, a week, a month, or a even a life time.   But when I feel that strong connection with someone I will often ask a simple question.  If this were a true statement would you live your life differently?

Now please read this very carefully – if you only had one mind, one body, one spirit, in this life, at this time with these people…if that were true would you live life differently?  Surprisingly enough most people answer yes to that question. Well guess what, it is true!  What most people don’t understand is that even if God recycles souls, you are not coming back as the you – you are now.

When I was posed that very  same question I thought deeply before I responded.   I knew there had to be a trick to the answer, or least the yes or the no had some hidden meaning to life – and I was right.

The Yes meant that you are not living life to the fullest, and you wished that you could be given a mulligan at life.  It further illustrates that you believe in destiny, but that destiny defines itself rather than you having any control over it.  By choosing yes you’re really saying, I wish I could  change the path I’ve taken, go back and not make a decision that was hurtful, choose a different career, not allow a significant relationships to lapse, and of course much more.

The No meant you understand the importance of every relationship your vested in.  It also means that you love and play hard as if each moment makes an impact.  You never fail to say simple things like, “I love you.”  Because you truly understand that each time you say it, it could be your last.  It’s important to you to make every engagement and exchange memorable, because you recognize those relationships are a gift.  You also understand that the true gift is in giving and not receiving, and the fact that they accepted it…is the thank you you were looking for.

So I pose the question to you –  if you only had  one mind, one body, one spirit, in this life, at this time with these people…if that were true would you live life differently?  I await your response.

 

 

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The Value Of What You Do

Have you ever wondered how what you do impacts others?  Or do you get lost and create a mindset that your small part doesn’t impact the sum of all the parts together.  The value of what you do somehow and often fits into something much bigger.

As a parent your time with your children out of the gate is the information that goes into their empty central processing units.  And as they grow those interactions become their actions, so the value of what you do as a parent has a direct impact on the sum of all the parts together.  For some reason having this knowledge does not stop parents from using the proverbial time clock with them.   Which means they punch in and punch out while parenting.

This traditionally starts with one’s inability to balance work and family life.  So your children are not getting the necessary time with their parents like; some simple play time on the ground, assistance with homework, uncensored television viewing…instead they get time with your instant pocket baby sitter…your mobile device.

I mention this because of a situation I watched unfold at a youth baseball game the other day.  Our friendship with one of the other baseball families has grown enough to where we sometimes enjoy the benefit of ride sharing to games for our children.  On this particular day, I was running a little late so my son rode with them to the game.  As I approached the ball field I was met by the other family’s son.  He being around 3-4 was running around with his mother’s pocket baby sitter…her mobile device.  And what to my amazement did I see, but him playing a shot the deer and antelope game.  Needless to say, it did keep his attention…but for the life of me I don’t understand why you would want your son practicing killing something at that age.  Hey, here’s an idea why not give him something educational related to play with rather than a killing game?

My final vision of course is that he’ll be atop a bell tower somewhere picking people off, because he understands killing at such an innocent age.   Which brings me back to my original point, as a parent your time with your children out of the gate is the information that goes into their empty central processing units.  And as they grow those interactions become their actions, so the value of what you do as a parent has a direct impact on the sum of all the parts together.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!

I want to wish all mothers a Happy Mother’s Day, and thank them for all that they do to keep their family’s strong.  Even though my wife is not my mother, I thought it fitting to prepare and serve her breakfast in bed this morning.  And after giving it further thought, here are some of the other things that our children have enjoyed as a result of her being their mother.

I also want to thank you for the following:

  • For every hug you gave and will give
  • For every bandage you applied and will apply
  • For every cake and pie you’ve made and will make
  • For every dinner you’ve prepared and will prepare
  • For every birthday party you’ve planned and will plan
  • For every ride you’ve given and will give
  • For every sporting event you’ve attended and will attend
  • For every concert you’ve attended and will attend (even though some of them are brutal)
  • For every time you’ve told them they did alright…whether they did or didn’t
  • For every diaper you’ve changed
  • For all the love you have and will have for your children
  • For all the worry you’ve carried and will carry for your children
  • For carrying your children in your womb
  • For enduring the endless hours of labor to bring them into world
  • For carrying your children on your lap
  • For carrying your children on your heart
  • For listening while they grew, and while they’re still growing
  • For figuring it out when they could not speak
  •  For every ounce of homework you’ve helped with (You should have more than one high school diploma – because you’ve earned them.)
  • For every bed time story you’ve read, and the ones you will read
  • And if your in this position, for balancing being a great wife while your a mother

I may have left a few thing out, but a real man knows how to acknowledge his mother – and certainly the mother of his children…Happy Mother’s Day!

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The Importance of Attending the Game

Even though my parents are from a different era and culture, I from time-to-time think back to how many of my sporting events they did not attend.  Now first off I am from a family  with 10 additional children, so expecting them to make many of those events would have been out of the question.  With so many mouths to feed at one time, and their extra working schedules…attending all of our sporting events would have kept them busy from sun up to sun down!

Of the few they did attend, I can tell you I was one of the proudest kids on the field.  While other children’s parent’s attendance was a regular practice, ours was few and far between.  Now I’m not griping by any shape or means, but it would have been nice to have my parents sitting in the bleachers cheering me on.  In addition to them not being there, I also missed not having that cooler of food and cold drinks.  I often relied on other families to feed and of course support me.  Even though I fully understand the reason why they weren’t, there’s still a little piece of me that wishes they had been.

Now that were’ parents, we want our kids to have that support in the stands…and have someone there to cheer them on.  I have to admit not getting it from my parents made it difficult for me to understand it in the beginning.  It’s not that I didn’t want to be there, I was just more focused on being a bread winner.  The wake-up call came when my daughter said, “You love the boys more than me, because they play baseball like you did.” There of course could be nothing further from the truth.

During that moment of sharing her truth I realized I did attend more baseball games than soccer games.  It was not because I didn’t enjoy the sport or seeing my daughter play, it was because I knew very little about the sport.  Regardless of whether I did or not, my daughter wanted me to see her perform, and to be one of the people cheering for her in the stands.  And I have to admit that’s not a lot to ask.  So I became one of her biggest, loudest, and most obnoxious fans – and may even have embarrassed her a bit.

I have since learned as a real man, that bringing home the bacon is nice, but the support you provide your children is a slice of it too.  They want and need for you to break away from being just that wage earner father, and step into the dad role for them.  That is a part of the balance needed to help them become balanced adults.

 

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How worrying affects your body

I thought this would be a good topic to pass some on information.  With so much of our lives being consumed by worry, here’s a better understanding  of its impact on us.  This article was written in WebMD.

Worrying too much can lead to physical problems, and can affect appetite, lifestyle habits, relationshipssleep and job performance.

Anxiety can also lead to unhealthy choices with comfort eating or binge drinking.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Ongoing anxiety, though, may be the result of a disorder such as generalised anxiety disorderpanic disorder or social anxietyAnxiety disorders are common and according to the NHS, approximately 1 in 20 people is affected by generalised anxiety disorder at some stage in their life. Anxiety manifests itself in multiple ways and does not discriminate by age, gender or race.

Stressful events such as an exam or a job interview can make anyone feel a bit anxious. Sometimes a little worry or anxiety is helpful. It can help you get ready for an upcoming situation. For instance, if you’re preparing for a job interview, a little worry or anxiety may push you to find out more about the position. Then you can present yourself more professionally to the potential employer. Worrying about an exam may help you study more and be more prepared on exam day.

But excessive worriers react quickly and intensely to these stressful situations or triggers. Even thinking about the situation can cause chronic worriers great distress and disability. Excessive worry or ongoing fear or anxiety is harmful when it becomes so irrational that you can’t focus on reality or think clearly. People with high anxiety have difficulty shaking their worries. When that happens, they may experience actual physical symptoms.

Can excessive worrying and anxiety cause a stress response?

Stress comes from the demands and pressures we experience each day. Long queues in shops, rush hour traffic, a constantly ringing phone or a chronic illness are all examples of things that can cause stress on a daily basis. When worries and anxiety become excessive, chances are you’ll trigger the stress response.

There are two elements to the stress response. The first is the perception of the challenge. The second is an automatic physiological reaction called the “fight or flight” response that brings on a surge of adrenaline and sets your body on “red alert”. There was a time when the “fight or flight” response protected our ancestors from such dangers as wild animals that could easily make a meal out of them. Although we don’t ordinarily encounter wild animals we need to run from today, dangers still exist. They’re there in the form of a demanding co-worker, a colicky baby or a dispute with a loved one.

Can excessive worrying make me physically ill?

Chronic worrying and emotional stress can trigger a host of health problems. The problem occurs when fight or flight is triggered daily by excessive worrying and anxiety. The fight or flight response causes the body’s sympathetic nervous system to release stress hormones such as cortisol. These hormones can increase blood sugar levels and triglycerides ( blood fats) that can be used by the body for fuel. High levels of another stress hormone, adrenaline, have been shown to be directly toxic to cells of the brain and immune system. The hormones also cause physical reactions such as:

What is the moral to this story? Worry less, laugh more, and just find a way to let go of what you cannot control! After all sometimes the responsibility has to rest in someone else’s hands.

 

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Want to…Have to…Not interested!

In the communication styles of men and women I’ve always found it interesting in the way that we speak to each other.   We all know that there are numerous books that speak to it, and the one that comes to mind for me first is, “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.”  Now ain’t that the truth (just kidding).

The real difference lies in the fact that men think and communicate in bullet points, and women think and communicate between the lines…and they like to provide the bullet points along the way during the conversation.  Well, I’m here to help you define, understand, and hopefully help put words to the way we communicate  and hear our others.

A Want to Conversation:

A want to conversation is something that we’re both engaged in.  And guess what, it also requires the two of us to provide input back and forth. During those conversations we are not only active listeners, but also active participants.  And just to let you know, if we’re going to have conversations these are the ones we most prefer.

How do I know this?  First because I’m a man.  Second, it does not matter what’s on television or what work responsibility we have left…you have our undivided attention. And if you didn’t notice, those are the best conversations you generally have with us.

A Have To Conversation:

These are the conversations that we need and have to listen to, but in some cases they require only one speaker. If it’s us, we want to deliver our message and then move on. Why, because we said what we needed to say and are generally done with it once it’s communicated.  Unfortunately if it is them, they expect it to turn into a conversation.  What’s the problem with that?  We haven’t been given enough time to apply our inherent problem solving skills to what has been presented to us.  This of course upsets the other person…because they are expecting some ongoing dialog. We’re trying, but our capacity of wanting to fix something takes over.  Not to mention, those conversations generally require one person speaking, and the other listening.

So if we’re involved in one of those conversations, get to the point fast.  Because I am certain you will lose us after 2-3 minutes, because our minds will travel to a different space.  It’s not you (actually it is), it’s just that we’re trapped in a space of what truly matters to us…regardless of it matters to you.

Not Interested:

When we’re approached with a massive amount of details without giving us the facts first, or when someone assumes it is alright to just cut into our time – you have lost us.  We want to be approached similar to how we’re approached at work, “Do you have a minute?”  When that’s not done we have a tendency to continue doing what we were doing before we were interrupted.  And that happens mentally or physically.  And believe it or not that is really easy for us.  Men want you to know that it’s not because we’re trying to be rude, it’s just the simple fact that we were engaged in something else.

When we’re approached as if everything is a Want to, it will not change the way that we think or how we interpret information.  And adding a simple ask of, “Can I talk with you for a moment” is worth it’s weight in gold.  That way we commit to giving you our attention rather than assuming that you have it.

 

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The Experiment…To Write or Not to Write

One way to measure if something works is to track its activity, and another way…is to simply stop doing something.  During my time authoring Real Mann I committed to posting two times per week.  I thought I’d gotten a true sense for the likability of the blog itself by its growing numbers of subscribers.  Now of course I needed to weed through some Spam, comments that were meant for the trash, and those troublesome links that were attached to some of the comments.

Once I was able to navigate around all of those potholes, I really did get a good sense of people actually enjoying the blog.  Like most people the angel sits on one shoulder and the devil sits on the other.  And of course my little devil won the battle!  In order to get a better sense of whether subscribers really like the blog I decided to stop writing for a few weeks to measure the reaction.  So as not to get enticed to write again…I didn’t even log onto the blog.

To my amazement and appreciation…There were over 3,000 comments wondering where the heck Guy Mann had gone.  Needless to say your stuck with me now.  I want to thank all of you who took the time to comment on the Blog, and sharing what value the information has been for you.  One always wonders if they’re making some kind of difference or are they impacting someone’s life in some way.  This little experiment has taught me that this is my voice, and it appears to have been heard (read) by a lot of ears.

Please keep your comments coming, because  I am back on the regular schedule of posting.  I just love being a Real Mann!

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