The Prodigal Monk Returns

January 19, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured Article


My loyal readers, my fellow monks, it’s been a long while I know. Believe me there are a lot of reasons for my absence. I know, they’re just excuses.

1) Subject matter: This blog has really been about self improvement through books, movies and tv (BMT). Since I didn’t have any real life mentors, I had to do some of my learning from BMT. My other problem was I couldn’t use real life examples because too many of my friends and relatives knew about the blog. So of course I couldn’t write about how my wife’s friend was too shy and embaressed to go on a blind date or how at friend. This limited my list of choices of things to write about as a result the blog seemed more generic and less personal.

2) Not seeing too much in terms of ROI. I know this stuff takes time to build. But not seeing any results is not easy. Especially when you’re investigating other money making models

3) Lack of time. A whole lot of people have time at work to maintain their blogs. I really don’t. I get watched like a hawk over here. When I go home at night, I perform my fatherly duties and when everyone goes to bed, I have about an hour and a half for my work and lately I’ve been working on Affiliate Marketing.

So these are the reasons I haven’t been around. I intend to keep things up around here. At it’s core my blog is more about self improvement. There are humorous posts like my top tens, there are inspirational posts like my clip of the weeks. The rest are really about what we can learn from this movie or that book. John Chow’s blog has an interesting post titled ‘Top Ten Blog Traffic Tip

The way I see it I either have to change my niche completely or at least refocus it somehow. One of his suggestions is to be more personal, talk about my personal goals and dreams. Perhaps that is what I’ll do. And maybe religiously follow my ‘to-do’ lists.

Anyways, I’m back and I intend to stay awhile. So be patient and stay tuned!

Friendships, Rockabilly and a ‘Wonderful Ice Cream Suit’

February 27, 2008 by  
Filed under Featured Article, Inspirational

Rockabilly

Rockabilly

Hello Monks. Rick here again. It’s been awhile since I that first article of mine and I wanted to come back and see what other bits of wisdom or life observations I can impart on all of you. I’ve attempting to write about friendships and how it related to the classic movie, ‘The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit’.

I pondered and wrote it many ways, and I wasn’t too happy with it. The story is about 4 down on their luck men, who have various goals and dreams and band together to buy a ice cream colored suit. They each don the suit for an hour that night and get into their own adventures and step up in life.

In my pondering, I tried to relate how your circle of friends can make or break you. One group may back you up on decision and motivate you to reach your goals or to support your decisions to push your life forward. Where as others will hold you back and take the ‘your wasting your time approach.’

But how do I relate all this stuff in this movie to life? Going through a social climate change and adjustment in the dynamics of my circle of friends, I found that there were many more friends and relationships I had been neglecting and new bonds I am building.

Each group is different and dynamic. Sometimes I am restraint and with others I am care free, and with another group I am very motivated and focused, but still fun.

That last group is a new part of my life. The local rockabilly band, the ‘L.A. Kingpins’ have taken me as one of their own and doing things with them has lifted my spirits and helping the band has only motivated me to help myself. Now this is a group that is interesting, this is a group that doesn’t have to ask me to do anything, I just do it. As if inspired by the growing friendships and the groups unifying goals.

Each person is unique and interesting and unlike some other people I have spent time with, I don’t want to punch any of them in the face, or throw them out on a frakkin Airlock. There is something indefinable about this group of friends that lead us all to do what we have to do for the betterment of the Band and for ourselves. This is not a ‘Whatever, your wasting your time’ group. This is a ‘Lets kick some ass’ group. They have lots of heart; all of them have become close in a short time.

These are the types of friends that can make a big difference in your life. There is no pressure to do anything you don’t want to do. Somehow its inspired by the vibe between each member. Sure there is a fair amount of drama and differences of opinions as there are in every group, but as a whole, it’s worked out and smoothed over. There’s fears and apprehension, goals and dreams, opinions and differences, but the main goal is common and the bonds that bring them together is friendships. Much like the characters in ‘The wonderful Ice Cream Suit’

It’s more than, he is a great Base player or she is really awesome on drums, he’s a great guitarist or that guy has good ideas. Of course these talents are important, but before that it’s the bonds of friendship then what we can do for each other.

It all goes back to my writing teacher Garrick Dowhen told us, it when something like this. That if the person at the top has heart, it will transcend and filter down into everyone involved and lift things to another level.

It’s not just that Steve the lead guitarist has heart, it’s everyone, from Mel the Drummer to Rich the base player and even to me, your friendly neighborhood Reckless Rick. Every member has lots of heart. It’s just that this group of friends just happens to be a band. While another group might be a film production crew. Or maybe your just a bunch of assholes who hangout. What matters is the friendships that bind you together.

I can go on and on, and I am not even sure how coherent all this is. I think the main point of all of this is to choose the people to ‘roll’ with carefully. Friendships can be the thing that lies between a bad path in life or a fulfilling one.

Hope that made sense Monks.

Sponsored by: LA Kingpins

What Most Idiots Don’t Know about Fear of Failure

December 13, 2007 by  
Filed under Featured Article, Inspirational

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain” – Various characters, Dune

I received a special email a few days ago. An acquaintance of mine is newly engaged. She dated the guy for a little over a year. It was happy news. “Wow a little over a year”, I thought to myself. My thoughts drifted to an old friend of mine.

Several years ago, Jack was pining for a woman he worked with. He managed to go out with her a couple times. But the relationship never flourished; to her credit, she was upfront with him and told him she wasn’t interested in him.

Regardless, Jack liked her a lot and he was determined to win her heart. Every time he’d do something to show her how she felt, she’d rebuff his advances. Months passed and Jack continued to be in the same place of frustration. He didn’t understand why she didn’t want him. Most importantly he couldn’t accept it. What made things harder for him, so he says, was every now and then he would see her. They worked for the same company. They were in different departments but every once in a while their professional lives would cross. Every time he saw her, he would tell me about it and his resolve would renew. Over time I realized he wasn’t going to get over her any time soon. We lost contact a little after that because I got a new contract at a different location.

Five years passed. Jack gave me a call. We met up for some drinks and dinner. It wasn’t long before he mentioned her again and how he had overheard from co-workers that she is dating someone else at work. He was severely depressed. I told him this was way long overdue, but it’s about time he moved on.

I remember thinking how sad it was, within the time he was pining for this girl, I had met someone, got engaged, got married and now I have a child on the way. If only he just threw in the towel and tried for someone else. And now my other friend, in just a little over a year she met someone and is now newly engaged. He could have easily have done the same thing four to five times over

It all comes down to one of the most over looked types of fear, the ‘Fear of Failure’.

What most believe think The Fear of Failure is.

Most people think that this kind of fear means not starting something because they think it’s going to fail. That’s only half of it.

It all comes down to an old saying, “Winners never quit and quitters never win”.
We are taught not to quit because by quitting we lose. My friend Jack just didn’t want to quit, his ego couldn’t take losing his objective. By giving up on winning her heart so that he can pursue someone else he could be in a happy relationship by now.

Sometimes, you have to quit.

I ran across another saying, that fits this best, “Winners never quit and quitters never win, but people who never quit and never win are idiots”

Don’t be an idiot.