In the not so distant past I was on the infamous #loopholesonlife.com podcast with my pal Stitch and as we concluded thoroughly discussed the wonders of Hot Yoga and the concept of “Everything from Nothing” we caught ourselves in the midst of an unexpected and organic moment of realizing we….like many others…..might just have a little too many clothes, toys and materials than what we really need. We made a commitment that night to do something about it and I hope to challenge and implore many of you to do the same along with us!
The campaign is called #RiseBeforeFall and we are committing to giving away about 1/3 of our closet to a charitable organization of our choice! I have chosen to give my clothes to #goodwill and my shoes to #soles4souls and will be documenting my progress on twitter if you follow me please @stanloopholes. My son is gonna catch the fever and give away his toys that he is now too old for as well!
I got super excited about this when I was talking with Stitch because honestly I thought he wouldn’t be game for such a challenge! For me living in NYC it’s easy to see the upside in downsizing in our shoebox apartments. But even Stitch in his nice sizeable Akron Ohio home was down for the cause! “I am about to go nuts, man!” were his exact words!! So let’s see it Stitch! Follow his path @loopholesonlife; let’s see what you can post along with me!!
What a crazy path this podcast and Loopholesonlife.com mindset brings us each and every day, week and month! You would have thought this would have come up on “The unbelievable life of washing machines, and materialism” which was perhaps one of my favorite pods of all time; but leave it to us to get sidetracked like two dogs chasing a squirrel and find our passion to do something great on our Nothingness podcast.
I thank you for reading along with this blog and following our podcast and I challenge you to join us on twitter and to join us before the summer is officially over by committing to participating….even if a little….in #RiseBeforeFall!
Great to be back writing another article for #loopholesonlife and I’m still loving my role as co-host of The Loop Holes on Life Podcast which I encourage all of you to checkout and enjoy on our website loopholesonlife.com!
I remember once I was back at my alma-mater, The Ohio State University, where I stepped up to the bar with some old friends. One of them told the bartender that me and my pal would love to try this new shot they were offering, the Tsunami, he proceeded to order two of them. The bartender promptly agreed proclaiming “Two Tsunami’s coming right up” and before we could haggle our friend on why he didn’t order one for himself the bartender was already splashing two full cups of water into our faces. We were soaked and speechless, taken aback and had probably about ten different feelings and emotions going through our heads in those ensuing seconds. Anger, frustration, curiosity, stupidity, naivety and then in the end when we realized what really had just happened; we laughed our asses off and humor and even some joy and jubilation set in.
This is what I want my article to feel like when I talk about complacency today. I look back on that moment of getting splashed in the face with water instead of receiving just another boring old shot on another same old day and the way it put me off track and set me back is what breaking complacency is all about! I want us all to take a moment today, tomorrow or this week (can’t wait too long on this!) and check our complacency meter. How would yours read? Is it reading high up above 50% with lots of nervous yet exciting unknowns about what the future holds or is it trickling very low flickering around 10%? What I mean by this is does your life challenge you or make you feel alive in ways that are exciting and maybe even uncomfortable? This meter takes into account all aspects of life; work, family, physical fitness, friendships, hobbies and so much more.
So maybe work is something you aren’t satisfied in at the moment. Each day is a doldrum of unmotivating work that goes in a circular motion day after day. When someone bring up the “ole” work talk at a social event you cringe even talking about it. Well then I say it’s time to do something about it and erratic that complacency!! Maybe you don’t have to just quit….we all have financial obligations and rents to pay and mouths to feed. But ask yourself what can you do? Can you shake up the way things are done? Can you get a promotion and take on more responsibility? Is your boss holding you back and you’ve always said “he/she won’t change…he/she is impossible to work with?” Well guess what you may not want to hear….but have you sat down and shattered the complacency meter and straight up told your boss that you and the others feel that way? It may not go to well but guess what; ❝I really try to put myself in uncomfortable situations. Complacency is my enemy.❞ (Quote by Trent Reznor- yes I’m a big Rock Fan!). I promise you this- if nothing else telling him or her this uncomfortable news will certainly shatter their complacency meter for a day!
I really do want to stress however this isn’t all about work. Many of us have jobs that bring us some financial success and happiness and perhaps that’s what we are destined to do. Even an pro-athlete who we would deem as the most successful of professions must feel immense complacency at times playing the same sport in the same cities over and over. Sure it pays very well but who’s to say they didn’t want to be a Rock star or a Scientist or anything else. What I mean is that we have to check our complacency meter on all of life’s aspect. How’s your family life? Do you let your wife give the kids a bath every night? Shake that up and take your turn; make a game out of it and have a blast! Do you need to take time for a date with your significant other and shake complacency up. How’s your health? Do you eat the same foods and never challenge yourself to get healthier or feel more fit? Fitness is an easy way to shatter your complacency meter and really put yourself in a difficult situation from what your used to that will result in lots of jubilation and happiness in the end; much like that splash of water to the face I took.
Hobbies are a way I have found incredible outlets to keep from being non complacent. Right now my career is very successful waiting for it’s next challenges that I know are forthcoming and I am actively pushing towards them. So to get my complacency meter way up I challenge myself on home life (I travel to keep it exciting!) and I use my hobbies where I continue to get better and learn more about the guitar and try to practice and learn a new language in Spanish! In my humble opinion; Television is one of the absolute detriments to the complacency meter. I try to avoid TV at all costs and put my time into things that make me uncomfortable whether it’s travelling somewhere I haven’t been (even if just locally), eating a food I haven’t tried (ethiopian anyone?!), playing a song I haven’t mastered or trying to say something in a language I don’t know how to say. These are small examples but I love the way they keep my life feeling on it’s “toes” and I challenge you all to try and take a similar approach wherever you can!
So good luck out there on assessing your complacency meter and feel free to drop us a like on this site if you enjoyed this article and give us any feedback you might have as well! Look forward to having this complacency talk with my pal Stitch on The Loop Holes on Life Podcast real soon and wish all of you the best week ever!!
Stan and I can’t wait to keep the intriguing and interesting conversations continued on the Loopholes on Life Podcast! Today I wanted to post about something that really rung a bell with me. I recently got to spend a few working days in Sonoma County sampling and learning all about the Cabernet Wines they produce in this region. The setting was of course beautiful and the amount that I learned about grapes, wine, production and frankly….farming….was really eye opening.
But when I put the subject through the lens of being Stan; co-host of Loopholes on Life, it got me thinking…. Maybe we aren’t all that different than Wine Grapes!! You see to make great wine you need great grapes. One lecturer from UC Davis Enology School said as one of the first things his professor said to him was “You’ll never make a good wine with bad grapes” you just can’t. You need quality to make a successful wine; not all that different than human beings I would say? You will never make a great team with bad players; a great song with terrible music skills or even a great company with terrible employees. It really resonated with me about the importance of the craft of creating QUALITY products in this case in farming but resonated with me in all goods & services and continuing that by saying always trying to improve your product, team, friends or family who whomever you help shape and lead into the best they can be so we can produce the best results!
Secondarily, I learned such an intimate relationship we share as humans with the grape. The wine grape is of the utmost quality and provides the most complex and interesting notes and profiles when it STRUGGLES to live. The grapes that sit on the valley floor getting all the sunlight in the world, all the water they could ever need and all the food, soils, pesticides and anything else they need to be perfectly grown will in fact produce the lesser quality wine than the grape that barely has enough water to hang on or gets just enough sun light in a day to grow. You can’t say the same exists with all fruits making it a very special similarity to us humans! Because I believe you can say that about all humans. The best humans are made by working hard, striving for what they need in life and not getting it all handed to them on a silver platter. Finding a way to live and succeed against all odds. Growing and learning and digging deeper to learn and be educated just like a wine grape digs deeper and deeper into the soils to find it’s nutrients and water picking up character and uniqueness along the way!
You could say that a fine wine an accomplished human being are the perfect pairing! I love that wine brings me into this head space today and I hope you can see some of my points! Perhaps I can drag Stitch into a Podcast all about wine one day; and although it may be a bit one sided I’m sure we could find a lot in common over this topic!
Happy to be back on the writing trail with all of you again after a far too long reprieve of telling myself I’ve been “too busy” to get a post in. Which we all know by now is just a fancy way of saying to ourselves ….accept my laziness and procrastination oh dear conscious….. we all do it far too often. But it’s a great moment like this when we get back on the horse and end those behaviors.
I wanted to write today about a topic I’m going to assume millions if not billions can relate to since we are on the heels of the largest box office opening weekend in history with Marvel’s End Game. Now I am not a movie buff and I’m not even a big comic guy at my core. I got into these movies through my son and together we started watching action comic movies and had a blast spilling our popcorn in excitement together when the good guys won over the evil bad guys!
I guess you could say I am sucker for the incredible characters, the awesome story development, insane CGI and the laundry list of A list stars on the roster. But what I truly have come to find I love most about these films is that I find them to just be somewhat blatant metaphors to our lives and the trials and tribulations we experience. Blatant to me; probably not a clue to my son which is why it works so well!
So for sake of not being a spoiler alert to the couple dozen people left on Earth who haven’t seen this film I will keep this as vague as possible. But basically in the film the non spoiler premise of the Avengers is them going back through time in an effort to try and re-write history. That alone to me was such a metaphor right off the rip. How many of us wouldn’t love to go back in time and get another chance at getting something right? That time you let the one you shouldn’t have slip away…..that moment you knew you could have done more to help a friend or family member…..that time you lied….the arguments you never needed to have…..the moments you quit when you should have kept going. The list goes on and on. I love that this movie challenged me to accept fate and realize that although the “Avengers” might have a way to go back in time- in real life we don’t; at least not yet! (queue my friend Stitch for a time travel podcast!) We have to be responsible for our actions in real time and failures and success are what define us and we must come to terms with that and use those experiences to better ourselves! I think that is what the metaphor was to me!
The movie has a lot of plot to it and it’s 3 hours long….which was not easy at times….lol. But I enjoyed the metaphors. I was taught lessons of Will Power as the Avengers never let go of the attempt to try and win back their lost ones and on the flip side the will power of the evil side with Thanos and their never ending attempt to destroy the spirit of the Avengers. Leaving that movie really motivated me to get moving on my life and get out and accomplish things while I still have time. It gave pause to realize what in my past I would have loved to have gone back and changed and to have to remember those things and accept them again and use the learning lessons to my advantage now. Lastly, it made me feel proud and special to know that thanks to my daily regime and half decent daily diet & exercise (excluding my NY Pies) for once in the history of Marvel films…I had a body better than Thor!!!!
Thanks for listening and reading! Come visit us on the Infamous Stan & Stitch Podcast!
Great to be alive and back to writing another article on the fabulous #loopholesonlife.com! The home of The Infamous Stan & Stitch Podcast! Every week me & my best of pals Stitch love to spend an hour doing a podcast about a topic in life that is giving us pause in our own lives at the moment of that week as we lead up to our one hour podcast. I wanted to take that practice and apply it to my own writing and share with all of my friends today what has been on my mind this week. Well perhaps you could say I’ve been worrying about it………..
Worrying and Stress are such a fundamental part of the human experience. Daily trials and tribulations such as a heavy work load, being late, forgetting something, missing a flight, upcoming major events……the list goes on and on! Happenings such as this are all part of our lives many of which are completely out of our control. So many of us, including myself, sit around and let these unexpected circumstances invade our minds and our thoughts and feelings. They make us unaware of our surroundings and tune out the amazing things and experiences that are going on in our life and put us in this deep dark vessel of thoughtless nothingness where all we are doing is either pulling our hair out, tapping our feet, biting our nails or perhaps a full emotional breakdown! Meanwhile outside our mental doors the world could care less about our small concerns and a symphony of life is happening and we are missing it all.
In all these cases we are completely losing a battle with a guerrilla warfare enemy that is resilient and powerful…..stress and worrying. You see stress and worrying have only two good qualities. (1) You are completely irresponsible and never wake up on time, never meet your promises, miss all appointments, leave others hanging and completely and utterly don’t have your S$%*t together. So stress and worrying hopefully tell you to stop being an idiot jerk and fix it and improve your life making it a good quality to have around for types like this. (2) You have a big heart and stress and worrying are in some ways a kind and almost godly way of proving you have a genuine care and concern for others to the point where you worry and stress more about them than you do yourself! Noble indeed and so many can relate….but does that make it worth it?
Mark Twain seemed to understand this concept so well and he once said “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” He also carried on to profoundly say “worrying is like paying a debt you don’t owe.” How true is that???! You are truly giving up what might be considered the worlds most priceless currency….you’re own time…to spend it on worrying about stupid things that don’t matter. Wake up tomorrow and let your worries go! Give up on the stress you’ve been carrying about at least the stupid little things. I get it you can’t stop worrying or stressing about a sick family member or a trouble friends (as referenced in #2 above); but do you need to be mad for a day or two that your husband or wife forgot to take out the trash or pull the turkey out of the oven? It’s time to let so much of it go & turn that energy into LOVE and as Twain said; you’ll probably look back and laugh that much of it never happened anyway!
There have been a number of things lately in life that have made me ponder the pros and cons of the cellular world we have at our fingertips. Recently my friend, Stitch, from #loopholesonlife podcast broke his phone badly and he is now in “The Cellular Twilight Zone.” The place we all fear as much as death itself!! A place of limited contact & communication to friends & family, lack of text, no social media following or perhaps even more frightening to the masses…he can’t take any pictures or selfies for some time now! Seems like no big deal right?? Couple days without a phone should be easy.
Well my phone is working just fine and perhaps that is what gave me pause to think about this topic and why I wanted to write an article about it. Think of how much your phone is in your face. When I head onto the 1 Train Subway in NYC daily to head to work in a sea of hundreds of people I would bet 85 of them are staring into their cell phone. Hey, that’s ok sometimes! Getting work emails done, catching up on a good book on an app, following up on old text (come on we all do it :). My pause is when we are on that phone in this world and there is opportunity to give that time effort and ENERGY to someone else. When we take a moment in time where another human being is desiring our attention or time and we give it to the cell phone unapologetically instead of the person, place or event. I dare us all to take a day with our children that we only touch the cell phone when they are not in our presence. I challenge you to go to a concert and watch the price of admission song (ie Born to Run at a Springsteen Concert) and DON’T hit record. Do something completely amazing and different…take a sip of your beer…..a deep breathe….and sit back and let your brain and mind absorb everything an artist such as that is giving you in that very special moment in time and savor it. I swear you will go back to that memory in your mind more than you do that video; I know because I’ve done it. On the same note your child will go back the memories of those special days with you where you laughed together & shared special moments in time in unison more than the videos and selfies.
I wrote this article not to pontificate about putting down our cell phones more often but rather to challenge MYSELF and hope that some others might join in on the challenge with me! I am certainly not perfect here and have a mild cell phone addiction especially due to my busy job. So let’s all put down the phones when we can and give that universal energy we put into constant texts and emails instead to those around us seeking our time and attention so badly!! Thanks to my buddy Stitch @loopholesonlife for waking me up to this topic and join us on our podcast #loopholesonlife for more topics like this!!
We’ve all heard it a million times…..Patience is a virtue…..I used to think “how lame” and “what a bunch of BS.” It just has that certain ring to it right?? Sounds like your grandmother is lecturing you from the couch that was on the set of Roseanne with a tea in her hand while you’re trying your hardest to get out for the party while no one is letting you leave! That’s probably because patience doesn’t come in handy as much in our youth. We are young and quick, whimsical and fast pasted. But what we have in being swift we certainly lack in wisdom during those years. Somewhere in the middle of later half of my thirties I found the perfect balance between both. I still live life in the fast lane here in NYC and nothing ever seems to slow down but I also don’t feel anymore like it’s Grandma teaching me about patience being a virtue. Now I know that value…..waiting for things is a very special experience in life. i feel like the world has slowly taught me this lesson through many series of things not going as swiftly as I wanted and I learned along the way. Waiting for a friend, like my friend Stitch who I only get to see in person a few times a year. Waiting for a love as I continue to patiently wait to get an opportunity to love again and be happy. Waiting for a bottle of wine to age and be perfect a few years down the road was an impossibility back in those days! Waiting for yourself….to come around and finally be exactly who you’ve been patiently waiting to be and get to celebrate that moment when you are exactly who you’ve wanted to be as a direct product of your PATIENCE. Don’t get me wrong loyal listeners; patience can be annoying at times and the Department of Motor Vehicles… is the epitome of that! But even then…how good does it feel when you got your license and you’re walking out! Try to embrace patience….try to let it make you grow and know you’ll be strong. Harness the waiting into goodness and make it all the better when you get that sweet reward!
The concept of a New Years Resolution had to be born from the spirit of it being a “good thing.” A time to make some changes and a New Year to signify the right time to let go of the past and those old bad habits and make way for the New. But I think I would dare to say New Years Resolutions are nothing more than a disappointing let down waiting to happen! Allow me to explain…for starters if you are waiting for the New Year to come around to change something you’ve already waited to long. Make the change that you know needs to be made NOW….a random Tuesday in June is just as good of a day to say I will get physically active as is New Years Day; and to be honest you’ll enjoy how much less the Gym is crowded then because of the New Year Resolution people have faded out.
Which leads to the next point; the resolutions always seem to way to big! “I will never have another cigarette,” or “this is the year I loose 40 pounds.” The ambition is noble but I suggest instead of a Grand New Years Resolution we shoot for simply baby steps towards Life Changing Goals- Not Resolutions….If your goal this year is to stop spending as much….lets have a 10% reduction in spending or coffee’s at Starbucks for the first months or two. I have a goal that I would like to re-visit my guitar and my spanish language books this year. I am not calling it a resolution because I don’t know how it will go but I am making it a goal to baby step my way to a life time of being more active this year with practicing my guitar and my spanish language. If by mid to late year I know 3 more songs and can speak a few more sentences in Spanish, then I will be pretty darn proud and that’s a big win for me and my life- Not a chance for such a let down when you think of it that way; right?!
Today I want to write about how can we do all the things we want to do in a life so busy and short. Well….really it’s about commitment, costs and prioritization. If your goals are to be a great employee, workout, learn guitar and improve at Spanish this is a tall order on top of a list that might already include you being a boyfriend/husband or even harder, a parent! So how can you make all this happen? This is a question people need to ask themselves and get results. Life will race away and you will be left in the dust many moons from now wondering why you never sought out any passion other than work or family.
The first is commitment; make sure you are committed to these things and take an honest approach to what you really can and can’t commit to. If your schedule simply won’t let you get away to the gym for any amount of time during the work week due to work and school don’t commit to joining a gym. Perhaps just take runs in the neighborhood at night after the kids are asleep or do in home workouts. Or join the gym for weekends only to get started.
Costs cannot be ignored, learning an instrument, language or cooking can be expensive! Not only the tools to do the job such as instruments; but the teachers don’t come cheap. If you don’t have the costs, I challenge you now; Don’t let that stop you!! get a small loan you can pay back with super low interest; take a second job working one day a week doing something you love. Even simpler, drop something your spending weekly, monthly or yearly to match the lesson costs. You will NEVER REGRET finding time to fulfill your dream to learn something.
Lastly, Prioritize! Whats most important? Well that’s obvious…your family and your job which pays the bills and those commitments which don’t let down family and friends. But sometimes in life it’s all a great compromise. Maybe you need to drop dance class to be able to learn French or drop wine classes in order to get to the gym and be healthy which is high on the list. Many people spend time with a therapist and that too is a priority.
In closing I look forward to you all finding a way to do it all and working towards your goals. I hope this article helped you realize accomplishing your goals isn’t easy but certainly can be achieved. First make a commitment to what you can do! Be weary of your costs and find out if there is a way to achieve a goal without the costs being affected and lastly always be sure to prioritize! Putting the most important issue first is key in life.
Thanksgiving is one of America’s favorite Holidays. I know many friends and family who consider this the best time of the year. I think that it’s important to really enjoy yourself over Thanksgiving and to make the most of this time spent with Family, Friends or even just others who are fortunate enough to spend time with YOU on Thanksgiving. I think that it’s inevitable after such a wonderful meal and perhaps a glass of wine or two 😉 that we take time to re-challenge ourselves to make the Holidays not just one of the most special times of the year but also one of the HEALTHIEST times of year. No; I am not suggesting you don’t indulge on the Thanksgiving Day meal to its gluttonous glory! I am saying that flip the switch heading into holiday cookie and egg nog season and enjoy all those things but keep healthy. Mentally and Physically! Mentally don’t stress about the Holiday season and the gifts you must get; the family you must host; the expectations of cooking. It all really means nothing special if you choose to make it stressful you’ve lost the whole point of it even happening. Let problems and issues that arise this time of year roll off your back. Physically….Pick a few nights of the week to eat a healthy meal and not have a drink. Get to the gym despite the 2 degrees outside and MAKE IT HAPPEN! Lastly, when you are in doubt just remember those days when you were a kid heading into the holidays; the magic, the lights, the stories; Santa! Allow yourself to feel that magic again vs. anything else thrown your way!
Have you ever made progress just to watch it wash away in a mere few days of busy life or fun times? I have….Just when I achieved my goal of being in the best shape of my life in 2018 (which was my NYE resolution 12/31/17) I put a speed bump in place and took a week and a half to eat pizza, drink wine, eat ice cream, stay up late, enjoy bagels, devour steaks and eat burgers & fries. Guess what…it was awesome…I don’t regret it ! But we have to get back on track to our health. Even if FOOD isn’t how you define health bottom line was I didn’t go to the gym, run or even really walk. I was just plain old lazy. So I’m back now and you’ll be pleased to know if you put the time in on yourself in advance a nice week long break actually doesn’t set you back as far as you think! I got some work to do….but I know I’m gonna finish this year meeting my goal 🙂
Good luck to you all! In the trenches with you on life and thanks to #Loopholesonlife.com
It’s not easy getting back into the regime of finding time to keep healthy, happy and successful in your personal goals and being a parent! Whether you are a parent or not we all have a lot to juggle and the upcoming fall/holiday season typically challenges us all with more work and social commitments. I suggest to make the healthy lifestyle choices to eat really well, keep positive, try to exercise (even if for ten minutes!), get as much rest as possible and most importantly be the best parent, friend or family member you can be! I challenge myself and all of you to set some goals set NOW (instead of on New Years Eve 😉 to make ourselves happy & healthy in our busy groove starting today and thru the fall!
Health is not about being sexy or in shape or anything further. It’s about being the most true form of yourself, the form that CARES for yourself.
When you care about yourself you’ll try to work harder to make yourself better. Don’t ever do it for anyone else, anything else or beyond. Do it because your amazing, God-given body, wants to fly and sail on its own.