Everyone Can Build a Website

It’s a new year.  And New Years resolutions are flying.  Invariably, two or three people reach out to ask me advice about building a website. I hear people say things like “I can’t do it.”   Or “I’m not technical”. And it’s true.  You do have to be a bit technical.  Being able to click a button.  Be able to purchase a domain name.  You have to gather up photos or images.  Write all the text that your website will need.  You’ll need to decide on the number of pages.  What colors you’ll use. “Maybe I’ll just hire someone.”  You get some quotes.  The minimum thousand dollar price tag intimidates you. So the New Years resolution starts to die before it was really even born. In a conversation with Sherry, I told her I was going to start building out a website for my “Coffee with Cliff” series. [...]

By |2019-01-03T14:45:37+00:00January 3rd, 2019|Impact of the Day, Relationships|0 Comments

The Lessons of 2018…

A pattern I noticed over the last few years is that each year seems to be book-ended by a theme. 2017 was about Extreme Ownership. Taking full responsibility for everything in my life. 2018 was about Self Awareness. So what did my self awareness teach me in 2018? Selfishness is good. Selfishness for good reasons leads to selflessness for others. You can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself. My health is a battle not between my body and myself but between my mind and myself. Some days, victory is swift. Other days, it’s a full on war. Keep fighting the battle until the battle is won. You can’t give people everything, all the time. Because some people will take everything, all the time. Because their lives are empty, they want to fill themselves up with you. Giving sometimes is ok. Giving all the [...]

By |2019-01-02T11:01:23+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Business, Impact of the Day|0 Comments

Status Quo vs. Innovation

I was bored out of my skull. I was an Engineer Level 1.  Working at GM.  Every few weeks, I spend 2 days running tests and collecting tons of data. Then I take that data into excel.  My job was to create 20-30 different charts and graphs. Tedious.  Repetitious.  Time consuming.  It would burn an entire day of me just creating charts. Every few weeks I’d have to do it all over again. One evening, I watch a show that talked about a huge volcano under Yellowstone park.  If that erupts, we are all screwed. I’ve always been curious about volcanos.  How they work.  So I sit down to watch. Scientists take measurements.  Collect tons of data.  Then plot graphs in excel.  Only, they didn’t do it.  Excel did it all by itself.  Charts and graphs appear at break neck speed. The scientist points to the computer.  “Once [...]

By |2019-01-01T10:22:06+00:00January 1st, 2019|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

How Don Knotts Saved Christmas…

I stand in my parents living room, staring at the TV.  I’m frustrated.  Tired.  I rub my eyes, look at the ceiling and sigh. That’s when I knew I couldn’t take it anymore. In the past few weeks I’ve been in Michigan, my parents have consumed steady diet of old westerns.  Western movies.  Western TV shows. Lawman, Cheyenne, Brett Maverick, Gunsmoke, The Rifle Man, The Virginian ... For at least 10, if not 12 hours a day, every episode of every show goes in the same pattern. Someone is murdered. Bad guy does bad things. Women scream. Women get slapped. Good guy shoots bad guy. Bad guy dies. Everyone laughs at the end. In other words, death death death and more death. Every day.  Day after day.  Week after week. And mom wanted to stop me from watching the Coyote Road Runner show because it was too violent? [...]

By |2019-01-01T10:13:19+00:00January 1st, 2019|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

Bento Box

Between text messages, facebook alerts, new emails alerts … even phone calls from our pocket, everything is built to distract us.  Everything vies for our attention. These distractions prevent me from being in the moment.  Impacting my relationships.  My time with the person that I’m with suffers\. The only way I could keep my relationships strong was to create my mental bento box. Some people call it compartmentalization. Compartmentalization is simply to divide or separate items into isolated compartments.  For me, it’s my mental bento box.  One compartment for work.  Another for writing.  A third for family.  One for friends. In my 20’s and into my 30’s, my thinking was the melange of disparate thoughts, each focused on a different activity.  It wasn’t hard for something to completely distract me from whatever I was doing.  Having dinner with friends?  Suddenly I have an idea how to solve a [...]

By |2018-12-31T12:29:56+00:00December 31st, 2018|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

Christmas isn’t Christmas …

It was Christmas Eve. And the trap was set. Other kids told me. But I didn’t believe them. So I decided to set a trap. A trap that would tell me beyond a shadow of a doubt … if Santa was real. My plan was diabolically simple. I arranged the cookies, nicely on the tray. I painstaking wrote a note, letting Santa know that that all the cookies were his. In my head, I figured that as long as Santa somehow touched that tray, I’d have his finger prints. Of course I didn’t work out the details of how to lift his finger prints … but I would figure something out. I knew Santa couldn’t resist mom’s cookies. Everyone loved them. The next morning, all was revealed. On the “Thank You for the cookies, they were delicious.” My mom’s distinctive hand-writing gave away Santa’s true identity. I think [...]

By |2018-12-26T18:18:58+00:00December 26th, 2018|Body, Impact of the Day|0 Comments

The Impact You Have …

We never know who will be impacted by the small, minor actions that we take today. Or how they will be impacted. Many moons ago, a man sat at a desk for the Miami Herald. On the desk in front of him was package after package of submissions for a reporter position. He was in charge of the Life section of the paper. He opens an envelope. Scans the cover letter. Looks through the clippings. Tosses it in the trash. Not a good fit. He opens another envelope. Followed by another. Each meet with the same fate. Into the circular file cabinet. One envelope, which looks like the others, reveals its contents. It’s from a young man in New York City. He reads. Nope. The kid is not a good fit. But he keeps reading. And reading some more. Finally, he gathers the content of the envelope. [...]

By |2018-12-25T09:47:52+00:00December 25th, 2018|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

Unintended Consequences

It’s hard to envision or even understand the consequences of the decisions you make.  Bigger decisions may illuminate some of the consequences.  But it’s the unintended consequences that people always miss. Not all consequences are bad. Some are good. “How in the world did you ever get so interested in Jazz music?” My mom asked. A few minutes earlier, my finger pushes the play button on my iPod.  The piano tunes of Duke Ellington fill my car.  The same car that scoots down the skinny streets of Long Beach. My mom is in the passenger seat.  Dad smiles out the back window as the Southern California sun bathes him in warm rays. I turn the corner, heading towards the ocean.  “Actually it’s your fault.  You got me listening to jazz.” Mom shakes her head, incredulous that she could do that.  “I did no such thing!” “Oh yes [...]

By |2018-12-24T18:29:04+00:00December 24th, 2018|Impact of the Day, Relationships|0 Comments

94,500

Last night, my brain spun like a top. Probably why I slept so bad. Or because I forgot to pop my melatonin. My good friend Ryan wrote something yesterday that triggered my brain. It put things into real perspective. I’ll paraphrase it here, using my own numbers. On Facebook, I’ve written 189 of these posts. Each averages 500 words. 189 posts x 500 words/post = 94,500 words. The average novel is 40,000 … therefore I’ve written 2 books this year. At first, I thought it was pretty cool. I drank my coffee and went about my day. But that planted a seed in my brain. That seed started to grow. Throughout the day, it blossomed and consumed my thoughts. As I stared at the ceiling last night, I thought “Wow! I really did write 2 books! I’m all that and a bag of chips!” From a recent Jocko podcast, [...]

By |2018-12-21T06:31:32+00:00December 21st, 2018|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

The Energy File

Do I ever get tired of writing? Every single day, the blinking cursor on the screen laughs at me. Dares me to write something. Write something that people want to read. Something profound. When I do, I pull out my "Energy File". I can’t explain my compulsion to write. It’s something that I just do. Writing isn’t an end goal. It’s a craft. Something to always be improved upon. Like the blacksmith that pulls the ingot from the furnace. The ingot must be worked. Again and again. Repeatedly struck, bent, folded, re-heated. The more I work on it, the stronger it becomes. Neglect it? Walk away from it? Even for a short period of time, if I leave my writing it starts to rust. It becomes much harder to use. In a conversation with Kamille, she recommended I start an “Energy File”. When people communicate to me, either via [...]

By |2018-12-20T18:49:11+00:00December 20th, 2018|Impact of the Day, Relationships|0 Comments