Category: Excitement

Spread Some Joy Today > Excitement

Celebrating POO Engineering and Manufacturing

[New post]

Preface: This is a series of personalized posts celebrating people, skills they’ve learned, things they make, and value they have added to our lives.

Today I want to celebrate what I refer to as Point of Origin Engineering and Manufacturing. Point of origin simply means where in the world it is engineered and manufactured. In some cases, these two things are done in two separate places in the world. For example, something may be engineered or designed here and then manufactured in another country.

When I was young, most table radios were electric and most of them even had electronic tubes in them. The concept of solid-state in these devices was yet to come. Even though the transistor was invented in 1947, it took some time before it got into the marketplace in electronic goods. I remember the very first hand-held battery-operated transistor radio that I had. It said on the device that it was Made in Japan. Being that we fought Japan in World War II, it seemed to me that it should have said, Made in America or Made in the USA. There were now a lot of things coming to the market that said Made in Japan and through prejudicial eyes and thoughts these products were often thought of as inferior to those made here. Yet, Japan kept improving and creating better products.  Even later when Japan entered the sale of Japanese manufactured cars and trucks, they were initially thought of as not as good as our own products. But, they just kept getting better and for many years while I was in the car business, we did the opposite which opened the gate wide for more Japanese manufactured vehicles. Dealerships sprang up all over the United States and people were waiting in line to buy those vehicles. My Stepfather even bought two of the early Datsun vehicles. A car and a little truck.

In today’s world, China is a huge supplier of manufactured goods. In fact, in my home, I burn candles that are outstanding and made in Poland. I also burn votive candles that I love made in Vietnam. I own a guitar made in Mexico which is a well-made instrument, a bass guitar made in Indonesia, a beautiful and well-made ukulele made in China. I also own a guitar made in the United States. I was a Chevy guy for most of my life, but I now own a Honda Accord which was engineered in Japan and assembled in the United States. It is a world market now. There is no turning back. The world gets smaller and smaller.

I am in celebration of all of this. I used to hear that German Engineering was the best, but the reality is that great engineering and manufacturing is an aspect of all countries. China is among the best in the world at this. My iPhone is an example. France is highly skilled at engineering and manufacturing, as well as Canada, Mexico, Other European Countries, Britain, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, just to name a few. I celebrate the point of origin engineering and manufacturing and all of the highly skilled people that are a part of making a world full of products that add value to all of our lives. That includes, of course, the United States. Great engineering is great no matter where it is done or who does it. Quality manufacturing is done skillfully and efficiently no matter where it is done. Point of origin is not really important. I like knowing where things are made, but I celebrate the fact they are made and that I get to enjoy all the fruits of those skilled people and companies. I am blessed to be a part of it all as a consumer.

Celebrating Automotive Mechanical Engineering – Part 1

[New post]

Preface: This is a series of personalized posts celebrating people, skills they've learned, things they make, and value they have added to our lives.

Today I am celebrating automotive mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is such a diverse field that I decided to focus on different aspects of it and since I have experience with automotive mechanics, it is a good choice to begin this celebration. Even the field of automotive engineering is huge, so I'm choosing automatic transmissions for part 1.

I grew up where the majority of cars and pickups that I saw were manual transmissions, or what we called stick-shifts. Most were three-speed with the shifter on the steering wheel column. It was a very sporty upgrade to have the shifter on the floor. I didn't own a vehicle with an automatic until 1973. When I first started selling cars in 1972, even the full-size Chevrolet Impala had a three-speed on the column standard. Over the years, automatic transmissions began taking hold and expanding in the marketplace until now where it is somewhat harder to find a stick-shift except in very sporty cars or small cars.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos because I love to learn and there are so many entertaining videos that are also educational. One channel to point out here is Precision Transmission. It's a family-run transmission shop in Amarillo, Texas, and I have come to love them and the videos they produce. Richard, the owner, likes to teach others how to diagnose and repair transmissions so they last and function better than new. He's been honing his skills for over 40 years. Watching him tear down an automatic transmission is fun and it fascinates me. He has opened my eyes to so much about automatic transmissions, but he also demonstrates and promotes developing skills, the use of good tools, a work ethic that is admirable, and he exudes love for his family, his shop, his life, and his craft. I celebrate their whole family and the time and energy they put into sharing these videos.

From watching so many of his videos, I also celebrate the mechanical engineers who have created all the different automatic transmissions. When Richard at Precision Transmission is taking a unit apart, examining each piece, looking for wear and damaged parts on even the smallest and seemingly insignificant parts, I can just imagine the engineering teams that designed all the parts and how they work together. Richard will point out the changes from one GM 4L80E to another, pointing out why changes were made toward creating better and better products. Some of the parts simply amaze me and how they all are assembled together with precision each with their specific purpose. He knows from experience what kind of modifications he can make and the use of aftermarket parts to improve the longevity and operation of a transmission. I've been watching for almost a year now and I learn something new in every video.

There is much to celebrate in the engineering of the automatic transmission, and yet there is more in how they fit into the vehicle and the importance of regular servicing. It is fascinating how one aspect affects and interacts with the other. In fact, Richard says all the time that mounting the transmission into the vehicle is as critical as rebuilding it.

Today I celebrate all the people who have learned the skills to design and create these transmissions. I celebrate the companies who employ them and the people who buy them. All of it is in motion and all of it serves others components, other systems, other people, livelihoods, and more. When viewed this way it is more like a living organism rather than a piece of engineering. Every time I get in my car now and put it in gear I find myself celebrating automotive mechanical engineering and all the people that are involved in the process. I am blessed by their skills and their creations.

Thank God It’s Friday!

“This is a wonderful day. 
I've never seen this one before.” 
 
— Maya Angelou 
 

[Classic post from 1-8-16]

Yes, today is Friday. It's another Friday. But it's not like any other Friday, because this day is completely new. We have never experienced this Friday before, nor will we ever experience it again fully. We may remember parts of Friday's past, but that is sort of like looking at a photograph that may trigger a thought, but the experience is not static as the photograph is. Today is brand new.

Kent Nerburn said it this way: “Something precious is lost if we rush headlong into the details of life without pausing for a moment to pay homage to the mystery of life and the gift of another day.” A day of the same name is not the same day. Each is new. Finding ways to appreciate the newness and specialness of this new day means enjoying it more fully.

I hope you enjoy your brand new Friday. Thank God It's Friday.

Thank God I'm Paying Attention To The Blessing! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by simply allowing yourself to do that. It doesn't come from effort, but ease.

Mistakes Are Only Stepping Stones Of Progress

“No matter how many mistakes you make 
or how slow you progress, 
you're still way ahead of everyone 
who isn't trying.” 
 
— Tony Robbins 
 

[Classic post from 1-26-16]

As Yoda said so perfectly, “Do or do not. There is no try,” whatever gets done, gets done by doing. And, what does it matter how long it takes. It's not a race unless that is the way you choose to imagine it. It is simply a journey–a journey of our own choosing, to a destination that is of our own creation, and our pace is not an issue unless we choose to make it so. Truly, it isn't even the destination either. It is simply the decision to do and the doing that matters in the end.

Even if we stop anywhere along that journey, choose something else and focus on it, the previous doing becomes a stepping stone on the much grander journey that we call life. There is no place or time that we need to be, only choices from desires of what we think we want. And, because that is in a constant state of flux, enjoying our life is tantamount to enjoying the doing. We call that living. 

Sometimes we get so hung up on where we think we should be, and the only reason we may think this is in comparison to another or others. Comparing ourselves to others is a waste of time and energy, and has a tendency to depersonalize the journey. Focusing on what we want is in our best interest. That is our journey and by that focus, it is the best it can be. As to the others, we thrive by blessing them where they are, inviting some to come along should they have a similar desire, and turn our remaining focus to enjoying the trip.

It's all good. Enjoy your journey. Enjoy your doing. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your life.

Don't Forget To Breathe Deeply. You Might Put That On A Sticky Note As A Reminder. 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving your life as it is on your way to wherever you may be going.

Choose. Choose Again.

“There is no need to accept 
when we can choose.” 
 
— Albert K. Strong 
 

[Classic post from 2-15-16]

Rumi said, “Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again. Come, come.”

No matter what our situation–no matter what–we need not accept it because we always have the ability to choose. We always, always have the ability to choose a thought, and consequently how we will feel at any given time. It doesn't matter if the world is crumbling around us, we can still choose. It doesn't matter how many times we've failed to do what we thought we wanted to do, or what someone else thought we should do. It just doesn't matter. We can choose again. And again. And again. And again.

Of course, accepting is okay. If that is what we choose, and we know many who do, it is just fine. But, we need not accept just because that situation is what it is right now. We don't have to accept illness, poverty, despair, powerlessness, depression, grief, discouragement. When we have the ability to choose, we can choose these, and we can also choose otherwise.

The world has a long list of those who have chosen again and succeeded, changed their circumstances–even dire circumstances for the better. It's all in allowing ourselves to choose again. Edison chose again 10,000 times it has been said. I smoked cigarettes for 38 years and quit thousands of times, then I chose again and it stuck at age 52 and now it has been 14 years of freedom. It just doesn't matter how many times it didn't work. The next time can. There is no good reason to accept things the way they are except one: Because that is the way you choose it to be–that you desire it, want it. Otherwise, choose again.

You're In Good Company! 

Spread Some Joy Today–Whether you're working the President's Day Sale, or having that coveted three-day weekend relaxing, unwinding, having fun, your joy is within not without. Enjoy yourself!

Celebrating Change Influencers

“No matter how much fault 
you find with another, 
it will not change you.” 
 
— Wayne Dyer 
 

[Classic post from 1-22-16]

In my life's past, I spent a stupid amount of time finding fault in others. It might have been people at work, slowpokes in front of me when I was in a hurry, things breaking or going wrong. It didn't much matter who or what, but something or someone other than me had to be blamed for my circumstances. Even if I did a silly thing, I would find ways to justify my actions and choices to exonerate me from blame. I never got the quote above and its truth until the last ten years, and even then it has been a journey of personal change. 

What I finally learned was that none of those people, what they did or didn't do, said or failed to say, or the situations where things were not to my liking, were the real culprit; the reason for my ill feelings. It was me.

As I look back with clarity now, I see that it was 100% me. Essentially, I created it all because all of the hurt feelings, unhappiness, and poor situations were thoughts in my head. And, my ego, who loves to mix it up and always win was having a field day with all of it, stirring it up and swooshing it around, keeping it alive.

There were many factors that came into play to help guide me out of that morass. One book opened the door and began the slow change by encouraging in a very simple and easy way, a fresh point of view for me. This book was published in the 1970s and is still a strong seller today: Love is Letting Go of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky. I've given several hundred copies away and always have many copies in my office for that purpose when the opportunity arises. It is such an easy read, and can be read in about an hour, but is full of power and wisdom.

I think it is important to celebrate the people, or books, or whatever came onto your path that causes a significant change in thinking that helps lead you to a better life. They might be a protagonist or even an antagonist. Sometimes it is a strong negative situation that causes a strong desire to move toward a more positive situation. Quite often it is a decision that is made, and then from that decision, the Law of Attraction lines up other things, people, and situations that cause even more growth and desired change. It may even be difficult to pinpoint who and when, as there may be a host of people or things that are guiding us.

So, I was thinking this morning that, for me at least, and I encourage you just for the joy in it, to take a bit of time today to think of the people and situations that have been significant in a guiding role in your life. They may have been someone who pissed you off to the extent that you finally said, no more! Or it might be someone who just brought such unconditional love to you that you could not resist its benefit.

Whatever, whomever, and how many ever there were, only you know them and how they helped you move on, move forward or get over. Let us celebrate them today. Write some things down, tell the story, let it roll around in your head and heart for a while today. That joy will so brighten your day, and through the ether, those who helped, currently dead or alive will feel you expressing your delight, and it will be of benefit all around. 

Today Is Change Celebration Friday! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by your celebration of your helpers.

They Pay You To Learn!

“They pay you to learn.” 
 
— Garry Marshall 
 

[Classic post from 3-10-16]

In the last month or so, I've listened to the unabridged autobiography audiobooks of several famous comedy writers, movie directors, TV producers, such as Carl Reiner, famous as the producer of the Dick Van Dyke Show among many other endeavors, Norman Lear, most famous for TV sitcoms, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, One Day At a Time, and more, Garry Marshall, great movie director of such films as Pretty Woman and TV producer of Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley, to name a few, Penny Marshall, sister to Garry and a movie director of movies such as Big, A League of Their Own, and many others.

All of these people had fascinating histories, and all of them had one thing in common. They were willing and eager to try things they had never done and acted with a certain amount of confidence in their abilities to have it turn out well. They were all on a path where many have said, the Universe conspired to help them succeed, even in spite of their lack of knowledge or specific skill set. 

Although I'm not famous as they, in looking back, I did the same kinds of things in order to move into positions and businesses that I didn't have any experience in.

Sometimes, I hear people complain that because they have no experience, they are not given opportunities, but that is just noise. They just like complaining. And, it is also true. They are blocked, but not by others. They are blocked by their own thinking.

They might make up all manner of excuses, such as needing a college education, a certain college degree from a certain type of college, or that in general, they need to learn a whole lot more before they can get started. My long-time mentor Jim Rohn talks of that as a builder who is going to build a tall building and keeps bringing materials to the site but never seems to get started building, always needing more materials, more preparedness, more, more, more. Alas, if the building will get built, we must begin building and have confidence in what will be needed will be there when we need it.

The quote above came from the audiobook I just finished by Penny Marshall where her brother, Garry Marshall was encouraging her to direct a movie even though she had never directed a movie. She had directed several TV shows. He said to her that they pay you to learn. That is so true.

They paid me to learn.

They paid me to learn how to be a good sales manager having never been one, paid me to manage tens of millions of dollars of inventory having never done that, start several businesses, having never done that, and more. It's so interesting to look back and see how little I knew and yet figured it out as I went.

So, the message here is to make a decision and get moving. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” I'm pretty sure, no one ever sees the whole staircase ahead of moving forward on it. And, even if they imagined that they did, the Universe would probably guide them in such a way that they could not have seen anyway. So, what the heck? Let's get started! Who knows what wonderful adventures will come?

First Step: Decision. Second Step: MOVE! 

Spread Some Joy Today–by letting go of any tension. Relax. It's all good.

How Would You Know?

“You’re not given your resume
with your birth certificate. 
You create your life 
and you can recreate it.” 
 
— Ken Robinson 
 

[Classic post from 1-20-16]

Last weekend, I reread via audiobook, The Element by Ken Robinson. I love his voice and first met him on his 2006 YouTube viral TED video. Then yesterday, I read the sequel to The Element, titled, Finding Your Element. Both books were read by Ken Robinson, and I have to say that they are both fascinating about how people find what they do best by finding that personal something that causes them to be in their ‘element.’ There are such great stories of how people found that special thing that they were meant to do, so to speak. Some found it early in life, and others nearer the end, and yet each was like an epiphany when found.

Early in the book, Finding Your Element, Ken talks about there being Three Elemental Principles. One is that each of our lives is unique. Number two is that we create our own lives. This is where the above quote came from, and he added this: “As the psychologist George Kelly says, “No one needs to be a victim of their own biography.” Or, as Carl Jung puts it, “I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”

Principle #3 is that life is not linear, it is organic. He says, “My life, like yours, is a constant process of improvisation between my interests and personality on the one hand and the circumstances and opportunities on the other. The one affects the other. Many of the opportunities you have in your life are generated by the energy you create around you.” (That last line is worth rereading a few times!)

I love how he goes on to say, “Of course, the whole process can seem very different when you come to write your resume. You then impose a linear narrative on your life, to make it look as if it was all planned and deliberate. You organize your story around key dates and achievements with headings in bold and italic, to give the impression that your life has been unfolding according to a sensible, premeditated scheme. You do this to encourage yourself and to avoid giving the prospective employers the impression that your life has been the uncertain process of tacking and weaving that most lives really are.”

It’s All Good. How Would You Know Until You Tried?

Spread Some Joy Today–by releasing the seriousness of it all.

Success Is…

“I couldn't wait for success, 
so I went ahead without it.” 
 
— Jonathan Winters 
 

[Classic post from 1-2-16]

Success is such a strange word and has such a wide range of meanings that it is really hard to use with authority. I guess the simplest definition of success would be that things work out. But, I think that less than an end result, success is more like life in that it is a journey, and it is the journey that matters most.

Here are some words on success from Abraham, Esther Hicks to ponder for this brand new year, and for whatever value you may find in them:

“Life will always be working out for me… 

I like understanding that things are always evolving, and while there are many things that could be better where I am, it is not really a problem because “where I am” is constantly changing to something better. I like knowing that as I look for the best things around me where I am, those things become more prevalent in my experience. 

It is fun to know that things are always working out for me, and as I watch for the evidence of that. . . I see more evidence of that every day.” 

What A Great Attitude To Make Use Of, Don't You Think? 

Spread Some Joy Today–by loving yourself.

Difficult. Easy. Great. Small. Everything Is Perception!

“All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy,
and great things in that which is small.”

— Lau Tzu
 
[Classic post from 2-12-12]
 
A highrise office building, a house, a shed, a chair, a table, are all things that are difficult and easy. Which ones are which? They are both easy and difficult. The main difference as to which they are is based predominantly on how I choose to think about them. The largeness of smallness of a project is not the issue. Walking 10 feet or 10 miles is both walking. Building a table is like building a house or an office building in the same kind of comparison.
 
Much of the time we consider that something physically large is more difficult, or that a larger idea is more difficult and so we have a tendency to get hung up on the perceived difficulty of something and find reasons to avoid it, put it off, delegate it, or other methods of avoidance. If, however, we thought about it as easy, we would have no issue with getting going on the project, while fully understanding that something larger may have a tendency to take more time or more help. That doesn't make it difficult unless we consider it so.
 
So, as we look at opportunities that may come up in our lives, we often bring this big and small thinking along with us and it affects our decisions and certainly our activity and/or commitment levels.
 
Why not choose to look at all these things as easy? They certainly can be. The possibilities that change in thinking will open up are larger than the highrise office building and can be as easy as the table. 
 

I Am Coming To The Conclusion That EVERYTHING Is Perception. How Empowering!

Spread Some Joy Today–Make a choice that everything will be easy today. Get your easy button out and punch it whenever you feel the urge. I love my easy button! (Staples.com about $5 and way fun.)
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