Tag Archives: goals

huzzah

The Best Advice So Far - huzzah

I use the interjection “Yay!” a fair amount, though mostly in text messages.

Then there’s “Hooray!” which I say as well as write.

But far and away, my favorite exclamation is this one:

HUZZAH!

It just … sounds right (pronounced huh-ZAH, with the accent on the second syllable).

It looks right.

What’s more, it feels right, what with that buzzing double ‘zz’ and all.

It’s the kind of utterance that stirs speaker and listener alike, all but demanding a rousing stir of fist.

Aw, go on — say it. (You know you want to.)

HUZZAH!

I believe the first time I heard the word — or at least the earliest association I’ve made with it — was in an early film version of A Christmas Carol. Scrooge turns down his nephew Fred’s invitation to Christmas dinner with his telltale “Bah! Humbug!” After his ghostly change of heart, however, Scrooge shows up after all, upon which Fred exclaims, “Why, Uncle, you’ve joined us! Huzzah!”

And so, Huzzah feels Christmasy to me as well.

Need I further explain my penchant for using it?

Well, today I offer up a hearty Huzzah!

On New Year’s Eve of 2016, I set a goal for myself: to… [click the button below to continue reading this post at the main site]

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i think i can

The Best Advice So Far - i think i can

In July, I completed the recording, editing and mastering of the audiobook version of The Best Advice So Far, right on schedule.

By mid-August, the audiobook had been submitted to Audible, approved and officially released.

From the very start — before I’d ever even penned a word of it — I knew that I eventually wanted The Best Advice So Far released in digital, print and audiobook formats. At long last, that vision had become a reality.

Within days of that milestone, and while still on vacation in Florida, I’d begun outlining my next book. And by September 12, I had completed the preface.

It felt strange, after all that had gone into the first book, to be at the very beginning again with a completely new book. Yet I’m excited about it. I can envision, even from here, what it will become.

Thing is, it wasn’t “becoming” very quickly.

Here we are at the beginning of December, and I don’t have even a single completed chapter to show for it.

All the while, I’ve grown increasingly aware that lots of stuff I’d set out to do — some for more than a year now — also hadn’t gotten done. Instead, they continued to scritchscritchscritch like proliferating mice inside the walls of my brain.

Well, a week or so back, I declared that enough was enough. It was time to figure out why I was stalemated on so many personal goals.

I’m not lazy. In fact I stay quite busy. So that was definitely not the culprit. I’d even go so far as to say that most people who know me would describe me as downright tenacious.

In fairness to myself, I had attempted early on to get somewhere with several of the tech-related tasks (such as getting the “Like” button to function on my blog posts, a feature that has not worked since the site went live). But I’d been stonewalled or left hanging by every representative I’d contacted. Still, I thought during my recent ponderings, I’m smarter than the average bear. I designed my entire website myself, having learned everything I know about coding on my own over the years. So I knew that, ultimately, these problems were not beyond my ability to solve, whether anyone else helped me or not.

I’m creative, as well as clear on what I’d like to accomplish. For instance, where the new book is concerned, the outline is finished. I’ve got plenty of ideas, which often play themselves out in great detail inside my head throughout the day. And, as I say, I’m plenty interested in and motivated by the topic. Yet for all of that, I was still perpetually finding myself with nothing to show for it.

Furthermore, I’m not a procrastinator. As a matter of fact, I’ve said or typed the following statement about myself so often that it feels almost cliché: I’ve never missed a deadline to which I’ve agreed. And that is absolutely true. (Well, except for that one time I forgot to get on a plane for a major event I was supposed to be running — sorry, Steve — but that wasn’t so much missing a deadline as having sincerely mucked up the date somehow).

That’s when it hit me… [click below to continue reading this post at the main site]

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first things first

first things first - The Best Advice So Far

In a recent post, I laid out my thoughts and plan for refocusing my time and energy at the start of this new year. So far, I’m pleased to say that, while I haven’t yet completely extricated myself from previous commitments I’d made, I’ve been clear-minded and steadfast in saying “no” more often in the last few weeks, with the ultimate goal of saying “yes” to some bigger, better and ultimately more impactful things.

Let me just say – it feels great.

On New Year’s Eve, I sent out hellos and wishes to many of the important people in my life, as well as asking what each was up to for their celebrations across the country.  It sure can make a guy feel as old as he probably really is, hearing from most of your friends that they are staying in on New Year’s Eve, watching a movie, and going to bed early.

An exception among the hum-drum was Chad, who sent back a short text with an image:

New Year's Friend with weird stuffed toy

I’ve always said … nothing conveys a fun night on the town quite like a picture of some kid you’ve never met sitting in the back seat of someone’s car holding a radiation-green, buck-toothed, neon-pink-eyed, franken-frog-rabbit plush toy.

Nothing like it, I tell you.

In the next day or so, Chad and I caught up by phone.  He’d read and “LOVED!” that weekend’s blog post; and I, of course, had gotten the gist of his New Year’s extravaganza via the picture of the Franken-Frog-Rabbit Kid. But we had a bit of time and were in the mood to fill such gaps as remained in our stories.

I’m not much of a partier when it comes to New Year’s Eve.  Instead, I’ve made a tradition out of staying home and investing time doing something I’d like to be doing more of in the year ahead. This is not a resolution, per se; it’s just a fun way to reassess and to start the new year off feeling ramped up and ready to go.

This year, while there are many worthwhile things I could have chosen as my New Year’s Eve focus in relation to the book and my goals there, my whole being was set on music for some reason.

For those of you who don’t know this about me, I’m also a singer/songwriter. In fact, I used to record and perform out, writing sometimes two or three songs a week for decades. (I even share some … er … interesting … lyrics from my early teen years in “Chapter 6: Happiness” of The Best Advice So Far.) But as time has moved on, my central focus has shifted to other things. Still, music is and always has been a huge part of who I am.

And so I was telling Chad that this year, music was my siren call. I found myself missing times past when I had friends in the area who owned studios – real ones, not just bedroom setups – and we’d hang out there for hours on end, dreaming, writing, playing with ideas, laying down tracks and, often, walking away with a song we’d created together. Even just thinking about it again now, I get that kind of longing that feels like bubbles rising in seltzer, spreading out through my soul: the longing to create something from nothing.

But those friends of yesteryear have all moved to other states now. It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than a decade since I’ve had the experience of collaborating in the live environment like that over music. So this year, as others were gallivanting shamelessly about with stuffed bucked-toothed companions, I was home searching the Internet for musicians and studios in the Greater Boston area, listening through their music and connecting through email or social media with those who seemed they might be good matches. Not only was this fun and inspiring for me, it was productive. I’ve connected with a handful of cool people and am hopeful that I’ll find myself in the studio creating SOMETHINGS out of *nothings* again soon.

Well, this is all very cool (at least for me). But I’ve not yet gotten to the really important bit – the part where Chad said something so simple yet so profound that it’s stuck with me since, guiding many a choice and conversation.

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