Saturday, December 18, 2010

No More Collections?

I was just listening to a podcast and one of the comments was that the transition to purely online media faces a challenge since it goes against the human desire to collect things.

How many of us have at least a small collection of CDs and DVDs. While all are not as compelled to collect things as I am, we all tend to collect some things. With the "pay per use" method, you no longer will have that option.

I wonder how strong this collection desire is in everyone. If it is as strong as I suspect, this transition may not ever be complete, no matter how much the producers and studios want us to change to renting what we watch.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This is my biggest area of challenge these days. Though I suppose I would have to say that in relationship with my life. I can do well at a wide range of things and enjoy almost all of them. That is good in one sense, but it is hard when I face decisions about where to really focus with my life.

No answers here, but perhaps by writing about it some direction will come out that helps me and those who may read this.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

How Have You Improved Yourself Today?

What have you done today to make yourself a better person? This is a key thing all of us should keep in mind. Our most limited asset is our time and we need to use it the best we can.

Make sure you do something each day, however small, to improve yourself. Take a step toward being the person you want to be!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How Certain is "Natural History"?

I was watching a show tonight on the beginning of the oceans (I missed the first part). It was full of tiny bits of facts stuffed with lots of "scientific imagining" at its own admission. (I may have the exact word wrong, but they basically admitted to making a lot of it up.)

It is amazing how certain they are of so many things, without any solid evidence to back them up, just their own guesses.

It was interesting to note their focus on the shift to plate tectonics. They noted the clever "everything fits together" without noting the size differences of the continents. Its kind of like taking the pieces from several different sized puzzles and then insisting they all fit together. Though perhaps they did, that doesn't prove the stories they weave.

Clearly, the plates move, but they were quite far from proving that all we can see can be explained by slow gradual processes. It is ironic that they claimed the alternative was a belief that "God made it static" when that doesn't fit with what even the most hard core Creationist believes. (Check out the Flood of Noah for lots of shifting, for example. See also the Mount St. Helens eruption for fast-forming canyons.)

My wife asks me why I watch these shows. I like true science, yet find little of it. Lots of myth telling though. I am not sure, though maybe she is correct when she says it is so I can argue with the TV! :)


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Today's Election

I have tuned out of a lot of political hype in the past few years. I used to be a lot more concerned about things, truly believing the idea that my vote mattered. I no longer am convinced it really matters, except as much as it is following the overall trend in our culture.

Right now many voters are "mad" about some things and many felt they were sold a bunch of junk with our current president. However, I am not convinced that most of those really want the radical cut back of government that would be required to have a more balanced society.

We rely on government to do to much for us, not realizing that we are ultimately responsible for ourselves. A big danger is that many will step forward claiming they can help us manage things better, in spite of reality.

The only time letting someone else handle things is appropriate is when you are a child. The modern American citizen needs to grow up and stop being a child. We all need to realize that while we should personally help each other out, our own future is pretty much in our own hands. No one can manage it better, nor should we ever give up our freedoms to attempt to reach that.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Droid X

I got tired of my Samsung Omnia phone and replaced it with a Droid X.

The Droid X gets hot, though looks like it will be a great phone, if I can keep the heat away from me. :)

The Omnia had high ratings, but I don't believe it lived up to its hype.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Blaming God for Life's Troubles

I was listening to a PBS show on Mark Twain (via Netflix) while doing some work tonight. The biggest thing that struck me is that on the one hand he blamed himself for all bad things, but on the other he blamed God.

I suspect this is a problem with those who claim to always blame themselves. They ultimately know they are not as wrong as they think, so they have to blame someone. Since God is not there and usually gets the burnt of everyone's blame, they then dump on Him.

This completely ignores their own role in things and also the results of sin in the world. How few of us acknowledge that we are really getting far better than we deserve? It is quite common in the modern world to think we all deserve perfection. Some think that everything should go well, all the time. Ultimately, this is normally just selfishness. I have especially seen this in those who don't work hard for their own advancement, instead thinking someone else "owes them" merely because they "suck air" as Dave Ramsey says.

If this fits you, consider that perhaps you are not seeing the whole picture. Sure you can blame God, but He has already taken action, yet few of us accept His Son and what He has done for us. Then we blame Him because we don't get the good times we think we are due.

While I have faced my own series of troubles, I will never bow to the temptation to blame God for them. Sure, He knows everything, but He has chosen to let us face the lives we mostly make ourselves.

Stop blaming Him and start thanking Him for the good things you do have. Countless stories show that those who do so face better lives, even if they end up going through even worse troubles.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Time Keeps on Slipping into the Future!

I am constantly reminded of the song by the Steve Miller Band, Fly Like An Eagle. Time certainly slips away quickly.

My life is much more flexible now than it has been at times in the past when I was physically "on site" for an employer for 40 or more hours a week, yet I find my time vanishes just as fast now as it ever did. In some ways, it seems like it goes quicker.

Not sure the point of this post, but something to ponder. We need to use our time wisely. It slips away and is gone before we know it. We can never get it back. It will be spent regardless.

Are you spending your time wisely?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tea Party Haters

I am a fair bit behind on listening to my Economist subscription and just came across the Letters section for an issue in early May. One of the letter writers complained that the Tea Party members only complained about their lot in life.

His solution, get more informed instead of just complaining. And what exactly would the point of that be? Or is that just another command to "shut up and get with the program of having the government take over more and more of life"?

Is he as critical of anti-war protesters, those who protest the oil spill and drive to the events in their gas-guzzlers, etc.? I doubt it, since those are more correct causes.

I am not a Tea Party member and I am unlikely to be, since I think politics today is largely a waste of time. We are given the illusion that we control things, not the reality.

Why is the "complaining" against the Tea Party any worse than the complaining Mr. Curcio and others in his party have likely done against Texas governor Rick Perry? They seem to always be complaining about something in the little bit of Texas politics I hear.

Complaining about the direction of your country/state/city/whatever is a perfectly valid use of our right to free speech. How ironic that those who want to "free" us don't want the same rights of free speech for those who disagree with their goals and methods.

Some day we will wake up and realize that a strong controlling government is a very dangerous thing. Unfortunately, that will probably be after it is far too late to do anything about it. It is probably too late now in fact. Too many people have become dependent on all the things that government provides (at a horrible ultimate price and one forceably extracted from others via taxes).

The freedoms we have can be lost very quickly and it is looking more and more like I will live to see that day. Big bummer on that one.

People like Mr. Curcio need to get a life. Instead of seeing their schemes of more Nanny State control in our lives as the only way, they need to wake up and see that shrinking back the power of our rulers would really be a good thing and that protesting against a state that sticks its nose in all things is a good thing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Amazing Variety of Life

I was just watching the first part of the deep ocean episode of The Blue Planet. It is a look at the wide variety of life in the deep ocean. The narrator notes that the attack and defense methods were developed in an "evolutionary arms race". While this sounds good, it fails to note the incredible difficulty of this working in practice. A partial attack or defense method would almost always (if not always) be useless.

We would never look at a computer system that had strong defenses and think it just happened. We also know that those who attack computer systems either use their own intelligence or that of those who designed their tools.

How can we look at the incredible complexity and functionality in life and think it "just happened" with a straight face.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Bought an iPad!

After being intrigued but largely not focusing on it, I got spurred into getting an iPad the very same day they happened to be releasing the 3G version. Naturally, I needed the biggest one they had, a 64GB 3G one.

I love it! While it isn't perfect and learning the controls can take a brief bit of time, I am finding it much more effective at things than either Kindle (I have both versions) ever was. I did get GoodReader based on a recommendation I saw on the web and I love the way it presents PDF files. They are very viewable and it works great for reading them.

Reading PDF files, which I need to do for classes I teach, is a significant motivation for having such a device, but I am also finding that it is a great game playing machine.

I had also noticed the Small World game came out. It is one of the few board games by that publisher that I don't have, but I will note that the iPad implementation is great. I do wish I could toggle off the stupid sound that plays on the screen when you start the app, but that is fortunately not part of the normal gameplay. I had steered away from it because of the fantasy theme, but that is mostly just a mechanic in the game, not a principle focus. It is all about taking territories and collecting residual income.

Highly recommended!

I am looking at getting a Mac now so I can play around with developing some of my own iPad apps as well. Looks cool. I have been "away from the Mac" for almost a decade now too!


Frontline Slams For-Profit Colleges

I just got done listening to the Frontline show "College Inc." It is an examination of the for-profit education business. It is certainly a business and that clearly bothers some people, especially those from more traditional education.

The show did show many good things and probably gave as unbiased a view as they could, given their mindset. I would be most of those involved with the show's production were very used to only the more traditional academic environment.

A couple of things bothered me about the show and I am listing them in the order I think of them, not necessarily their order of importance.

- They continually complained that the cost of a for-profit education is much more than that at a more traditional community college or regular university. In this, they failed to note how it compared to the cost of each student in such organizations when you factored in the money such schools receive from government at all levels. Is it really so different in that case? Perhaps, though I have my doubts. While government money to education is being trimmed in some places, it still amounts to a lot of money. Tuition costs are also rising rather rapidly from what I have seen.

- Many of the "sad stories" they give of people who made poor choices were truly sad. Unfortunately, the real problem is getting too much debt, something that plagues our society in so many ways. A significant cause of the current credit crisis was too much credit for a wide ranger of things. Are the producers really certain that this is the only stupid thing people have done and are paying the price for now? How about even interviewing those who have huge amounts of debt and possibly no degree from a large state school? How about an elite college, like Harvard?

People run up bills for stupid things all the time. We should be actively telling people to not fund an education, or much else for that matter, on debt. Staying debt free is much more important than just picking apart specific examples.

- The regulators on the show seemed no different than the ones in other areas who want to assert their power and ability to rule the area they are over. Does anyone really trust that government regulators are always correct? Maybe they are in this case, maybe not, but where were the questions about how this could be getting spun the wrong way?

- What about the large number of failures in more traditional education? I am sure they could fill a whole show with those. That would probably not fit their anti-business (at least in this area) bias though.

- A question was asked near the end, "Is education a business?" Who can really say it hasn't been for many years? The interviewer needs to go back to school himself if he doesn't think traditional education is a huge business. It is also a monopoly in places, with false shortages, encouragement that "only the elite can make it" and other such "pressure" items to get parents and others to pay the huge costs for such education.


The biggest thing the show indicated is that the traditional establishment doesn't like change and that people need to pay attention before they commit. On the latter, individuals need to realize they are responsible for their own lives. No one will look out for all problems for you. Unfortunately, we live in a society where no one really wants to take ownership and responsibility for their own life!

If someone promises you something that seems too good, it probably is. You should deeply investigate anything before signing on the bottom line.

The fact that traditional education is against this is not surprising at all. They get huge amounts of money from the government now and they have largely been a monopoly for many years. They would definitely not want anyone to step in and interrupt their ability to control all aspects of education as much as they have for the past hundreds of years.

If you want to compare both "education industries," you should compare the full costs on all the parts, not just the money paid up front. Factor in the money colleges get from government at all levels. Evaluate the promises that all colleges and schools make to prospective students.

When they take the same spotlight on so-called non-profit education I will take them more seriously. Though they might also have to start looking at how much "non-profit" non-profit TV really is these days as well, though that would be against their own interests so I don't expect to see a show on that any time soon.

I remember the outcry about the commercialization of the Internet in the early 1990s. Many proclaimed how unfair it was to make money on the Internet and how that would ruin it. I think the naysayers really missed the boat on that one. Could it be the are in the same spirit and wrong on this one too?

I will probably write more about this later.

I do want to note that these thoughts are my own and do not represent those of any organization I may have a relationship with.

Disclaimer: I do some teaching and other work for a well known for-profit university and may do other teaching in this field in the future. My goal is to help people learn, however I can!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dealing with Your Core Traits

Many people want to completely discard their past. They want you to judge them today only by today, not by anything they did in the past. If they had personally harmed you, they usually have a general apology, but one that don't go into many specifics.

On the one hand, I am all in favor of this. No one should have every mistake brought up all the time. We have to be able to work past our past and advance into the future. That said, we cannot completely ignore what we have done in the past if we want to avoid the core of the same problem in the future.

Our basic tendencies and ways of doing things almost always remains the same, even if we change the focus of our lives. Our basic way of responding is likely to be the same. If we were quiet and contemplative, we are unlikely to react quickly and loudly. In the same way, someone who decides not to harm others may still do annoying things if they have an aggressive personality.

We may also find that our decision to "do right" is not built on as firm a foundation as we want to believe. While we may want to do right, we have to change our habits and fill our lives with "good things" before we can be sure to keep the bad habits out.

I find I am knowing that habits and our deep character are different, but I know that many people see them as the same. This is ultimately not correct. I may decide I am not going to try and push you into an action, but I also know that I could push you to "hurry up" if we took a road trip across the country. My desire to not force your decisions would not outweigh my desire to "get moving" when the time to do so came.

I do not see a conflict with this. I am all for people changing and think that is the only way we will find our way out of many modern troubles, but I also know that such change will have to take into account that we are still the same people.

This brings us back to my starting thought. You cannot completely ignore your past. If you try to do so, you will not account for important elements in your own current actions and behaviors. You are still you. This means you must make sure you deal with those core issues, not just ignore them.

All of us want to be past our past problems and mistakes, but make sure you don't set yourself up to repeat them because you never recognize a core personality trait!

A character trait is based on doing good or bad and can be changed. A personality trait will always be with you and must be considered. Character traits can also be more persistent than we realize. Acknowledge the character traits so you can see the warning signs that you are about to repeat them. Acknowledge the personality trait so you can learn to keep it controlled, but realize you will never eliminate it without eliminating who you are.

In the same manner, realize when someone's personality trait is coming up and don't get offended. Work with them to find a way to funnel it properly rather than rejecting them. This will help you all relate in a much more effective manner.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Fscination with the Supernatural

We supposedly live in a modern age where science has proven that we are all just the (ultimate) result of mindless processes over many, many years. No guiding intelligence above us, just cold, hard science. Many of these "scientists" actively devote their lives to slay the "demons of superstition" of those who believe in a god of some sort, especially the Christian One. They find that it is completely intolerable that anyone with such views might influence government, the media or anything else "important". Such beliefs are not even tolerable in the churches, since they ultimately lead to all kinds of bad things (in the eyes of these evangelists).

Yet, in spite of all this, what are the most popular entertainment choices now? Vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural things. The very things many of these religious views oppose have become dramatically more popular at the same time a more "rational" view of the world is supposedly prevailing. The local cable company keeps pushing "ghost story" movies and other tripe, in the same vein.

We need to come to the realization that the elite priest of scientific atheism are wrong. Everything cannot be explained by purely natural processes. Things exist outside what our senses can directly interact with. Close one avenue off and society will seek others.

Man inherently knows the supernatural is real. Some is good, some isn't. We need to instead focus ourselves on learning what really is accurate and building a life in balance with the universe, not one that leaves a huge part of it out. People will seek the supernatural, so we are better off pointing them to the proper things rather than fighting that and only leaving the more dangerous aspects.


I find it very ironic that many things are described as "evolving", especially in the tech industry. Computer interfaces, systems, applications, whatever. Many people associate the growth and change in these areas as proof that nature has Evolved (big E) over the years, yet it is an entirely different thing. The growth and advancement in technology is all guided by someone, normally in response to a real or perceived market need. It is not unguided and just "happening by chance." Yet people equate the two.

Some people need to think a bit more....


Monday, March 08, 2010

People with Half a Brain?

What is it with all these tech people who seem to have a knee-jerk opposition to Bush and Republicans, yet swallow the same line of junk from a Democrat administration? Do they really think that Bush was evil in a way that Obama could never be? Don't they realize that the problem is power corrupting? It doesn't matter who is in charge, power will be abused today. Too many "good things" depend on the abuse of power. After all we have to do ________ for the sake of our country! Fill the blank with whatever good thing you are in favor of and the same actions that are horrible by one person become acceptable by another.

The better approach is to be skeptical of them all. Realize that no one, no matter how good or saintly, can be successful in the modern political climate. Too much is built on secrecy and dong things behind the scenes. It has always been that way and it will continue to be that way.

I wish this left an opening for hope, but I don't see the change. Ironically, many people both mistrust government and want it to do more. You can't have both! We would be far better off with a limited government, but then we couldn't do all the "good things" that must be done, so government grows and grows. What will many of these cheerleaders do when their heroes are found to have clay feet as well? Probably give some good excuse and go on.

No one will cry out that we should not put so much power into anyone's hands. While it sounds great to have a central control, that doesn't work. Only massive failure is likely to finally wake people up, but then it will be too late to do much about it. :(


Sunday, February 07, 2010

E-Book Pricing is Lousy

I have been reading recently that many publishers are fighting with Amazon to be able to price their books at far more than the $9.99 Amazon has for most books now.

I would ask them one thing: Are they trying to hasten their death? I have bought several books for my Kindle (I own the DX and the original), but I have only spent over $9.95 twice. Once was for the CISSP study book and once was for a secure development book. I am not sure I have gotten my money out of either. Ironically, I own both in paperback, but that didn't save me a penny on the electronic purchase. I am sure these same publishers would like to bill me a few more times for the same book as well!

Sure, they may get some readers to pay more, but how many people are actively reading these days anyway? I find that I tend to listen to audiobooks instead anyway, though that is tough with most technical books. Who has the time for lots of reading? Who has the inclination? Most will watch a TV show or movie, or even play a video game, before opening a book. I am the exception, but they are doing their best to push me away.

I don't know the exact margins for ebooks, but I know they were really tight for hardcopy ones when I was looking at writing one many years back. So they would make a whole lot more on an ebook than they would on the hardcopy version. Yet, they don't want me to see any price savings. Ironically, I might even be able to go into a Sams Club and get one cheaper than I could on the Kindle. What kind of logic is that?

Ah well, turn off those customers publishers! We don't need you anyway. I have too much information to read as it is. I just wish blogs didn't cost a minimum of a dollar a month on the Kindle or I would use a whole lot more....

Your Reaction Matters

How do you respond when you are accused of something you didn't do? Do you try to respond calmly, figure out the facts and then provide light on the situation? Do you jump right in, proclaiming your innocence and letting everyone know how offended you are that they even dreamed you might have done anything wrong? If you don't do the latter, do others think you do that?

I would have to admit I have been guilty of the second choice far more often than I would like. in fact, it is one of the things I have to watch myself closely with when my wife is talking with me. It is far too easy to be offended and kill a relationship than to risk being wrong and keeping things much better.

Sometimes I find that I really was right, the other individual just understood. Sometimes they come around and see that, sometimes they don't. Either way, a calm reaction leaves a much better taste in everyone's mouth.

Sometimes I find out that I really was wrong. I may have misunderstood what they were saying at first, something that can happen because I normally will admit when I am wrong. Being right in this case, by admitting I was wrong, is more important to me than trying to cover it up.

No matter what, a calm reaction is much more likely to produce a good response in others. Reacting harshly, whatever the method (anger, sarcasm, something else), is more likely to produce much more trouble than the whole situation was worth.

It also makes others think you really were guilty. "Methinks he doth protest too much" comes to mind!


Saturday, February 06, 2010

Letting Students Earn Their Grades

Other than grading papers (my least favorite activity that takes time), perhaps the worst part of teaching college courses is allowing students to earn their scores. Sometimes this can be great, especially when a struggling student scores a partial or full grade over where they were headed. Even better is the student who earns an A through consistently high quality work and participation.

Unfortunately, these are far outweighed, at least in my mind, with those students who either earn an F or who get caught with material that can only be explained as plagiarism. Some students try to change things at the last minute, often after the course is over. No work can be taken after the class ends if an institution wants to keep its accreditation (except when an official extension was granted of course), so such work can not be evaluated, no matter how good or bad.

A tragic part of this is that every time I have seen had the student skipping very easy to earn points (things like participation, easy assignments, etc.). Thus they made their own shortfall, but found out too late.

A few get very mad about it, but what can an instructor do? The numbers show what the numbers show.

No specifics in this post, I am just venting a general frustration. I am a very tough instructor (or so I have heard), but virtually everyone comes out of my classes having learned something. Most learn far more than just "something". I don't want to just be someone who pushes people through. I want to be someone that has an impact!

This means I have to work past those who fall way short, out of their own choice. I am glad to work with anyone, but I can only do so with those who recognize they need help and then take advantage of that help! Isn't that true of life? How many times have we missed the best because we thought we knew it all and didn't want to take input from others?

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Design -> No Designer?

One of the things that amazes me is that so many people look at the wonders of design we see all around us and can't see a designer. Yet, we search space for designed signals to prove another civilization. Design there would prove a designer to us, but not in nature.

I have yet to find a thing in life that spontaneously produces order, yet that must be what happened.

Why can't that work in my work area sometime? It takes constant outside effort to maintain any order. None comes about on its own, nor would it if I applied a bunch of general energy, like a really strong heat lamp. The most that would bring is to run up my electrical bill and possibly burn the house down when things caught fire. But that is what happened, we are told, as the energy in stars made more organization.

Yeah, right.

We Will Mak It Fit!

Slashdot recently had an article Darwinian Evolution Considered As a Phase that presented a link to the idea that Evolution as we know it (and currently worship) only applied to recent history. Prior to that it is supposed to have worked differently. The reasoning, the best I can tell, is that things worked differently because they must have worked differently. Everything is fit into the "theory" or the "theory" is tweaked to account for what is found.

I read a few of the comments and of course it had to degenerate in many places into slams against those who see design and credit a designer. It is quite ironic that those who claim the most intelligence can lack it so much. Perhaps early evolution didn't work (in the since of a gain in information and changing one thing to another) because it doesn't work. Of course, this is not an acceptable answer, so some way must come to show that the fraud really is true.

Exactly who is the religious one here? The god of Evolution cannot fail. All must bow to this golden idol....

Monday, January 25, 2010

Going Forward

Many people deal with tough situations in their lives. While these can certainly make life miserable in some ways, they can also be used to allow us to have more compassion for others going through their own struggles. After all, it is easy to say, "Just keep your chin up," without a thought if we have not faced our own challenges.

While I am sure I can lack compassion in some areas, my experience in the adoption arena (see Brad on Adoption, my blog on that topic, for more details) has definitely given me more compassion for those going through their own adoption struggles.

An interesting outcome is that I am less tolerant of those who claim to understand what I am going through because they faced (or face) struggles with their own grown children. While some things are similar, many things are different when someone else can be legitimately called "dad" in your place. That changes the equation greatly.

I suppose I need to watch my own compassion in that case. I have been trying to not argue how I am different in those cases and just focus on being friendly, but it can be challenging to not just shot off, at the least. How ironic that compassion gained in one area reduces it in another.

Something to think about whenever you think you are becoming compassionate. Check that your compassion for one thing doesn't become intolerance for another!


Thursday, January 07, 2010

Keeping a Mental Focus

One thing I have found in my own life is that I usually learn better in a live environment if I am doing something relatively simple to engage my mind while I am listening to the instructor. Playing Farmville while someone is speaking usually allows me to get more from what is being said that keeping my whole attention and focus only on the speaker.

This seems wrong in some ways and certainly would concern some instructors. After all, how could I be focusing when I am playing a completely unrelated game? Ironically,. I think the mental activity keeps my mind sharp while keeping it from getting bored and wandering much further.

Unfortunately, such things were not available when I was in college, though I did try Rubics Cubes and other twisty toys, but I never found anything that was engaging beyond a few minutes, at best. I did great in most classes, but paying attention to the lecture was never my strong suite, though I could usually master the material easily in spite of this.

I do have to watch out here. It is very easy to use something that requires too much focus, such as an online game of Bejeweled, so this is not without its hazards. Still, I think the fact I can keep my brain running is ultimately a worthwhile effort.

I do listen to a lot of podcasts and different kinds of teaching as "background music" during my work, so I wonder if this has any impact to things.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Productive Motivation

We all face the same problem. Everyone has the same 24 hours each day, plus or minus an hour on some days when the clock changes. What we do with that time now determines what we will have in the future.

That focus on future reward for actions now is a hard thing to stay focused on in our society. I grew up in a generation that wanted it NOW and we are even more that way today. This aspect of delaying gratification, possibly with hard work now for better results later, is harder to ingrain in when other habits are so common.

We can know what we should do, but we are not going to be well off until we do it. We can read book after book on the topic, but it ultimately does come down the the tired cliche of "just do it!"

A support network that helped us in the process would be very helpful in this, but most of us are missing such support. Even if we have close friends or family, few of them will get in our face and tell us to stop slacking off when we decide to goof off rather than laying a solid foundation for the future.

How do we get that hard support today? I am not sure. Most of us will leave if we don't like what we are being told, making the "kick in the seat of the pants" talk we may need rather ineffective. Most people struggling really do know what to do, they just don't really want to do it. I know I often fall into that camp, even though I want to avoid it.

All we can do is keep pushing forward and trying to find the group of supportive people who will also challenge us to accomplish great things, even if it "hurts" at times.

Are you ready to be challenged? Who do you allow to challenge and truly inspire you?