Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Differences Between a Cold and H1N1 "Swine" Flu

OK, readers. It's time to talk H1N1 again. Apparently this darn flu is spreading more rapidly than the health professionals know how to handle.

Remember the obvious preventative actions:
1) wash your hands
2) repeat #1

I can't tell you how many times I see guys in public restrooms that DO NOT wash their hands after they do their business. Jeez, so you take an extra minute and a half longer in the stinky room. Get over it and wash your hands!

Okay, so let's say you find yourself (with clean hands) coughing and you start thinking, "oh no, I have the dreaded Swine Flu! Oh no, oh no! Head for the hills!" Now stop and think, do I really have it?

Here are the primary differences between a cold and the H1N1 "Swine" Flu (click chart to enlarge):

If you really think you have it, then seek medical attention.
For now, wash your hands frequently. If not for you, then for everyone else you come in contact with. Thank you in advance.

Be safe. Be happy.

The above chart was sent to me by a friend, but it can be found at this website:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Top 5 Qualities to Strive for in Life

Top 5 Qualities to Strive for in Life

While looking out my window and seeing the absolute beauty in nature, I find that my mind wanders to searching for the big picture or the answer to the answered question. Although I will not be discussing Charles Ives “Unanswered Question” at this point, it is an interesting piece worthy of conversation…perhaps later. At any rate, here are my thoughts as I examine ways to improve myself.

I narrowed it, albeit naively, to the top 5 qualities one should strive for in life. These qualities will help you socially, professionally, and probably land you a job if you are true to yourself. In every day life we run across people that at takers and not givers. People that do not value a good day, but rather take advantage of others while the day is good are the ones I’m addressing. I’m speaking of that bum that cuts us off on the highway, or jerkoid who tries to rip you off at the cell phone store, or most recently, the moving company guy who delivers your furniture late, damaged, and dissolves himself of responsibility (long story, but again, another blog for another time).

Here are the 5 qualities to hit that sweet spot in life.

1. Intelligence
No doubt about it, intelligence is important to survive in life. I’m not just talking about book smarts, but street smarts as well. As important as it is to be informed in many areas of life as literature, fine arts, math, language skills, it is also important to have the know how to survive in the urban wilderness. This “street smarts” is essentially modern Darwinism – the survival of the urban fittest. Only the resilient and the wise tend to rise to the top.

2. Integrity
Integrity is one of the illusive words that too many people just do not understand. Truth, honor, and faith are qualities of integrity. Truth and honor are both self explanatory (I hope). With faith, I am referring to that faith you can have in others for doing the right thing and for others to have in you. Faith is that others believe you will complete your task as promised. Faith is that others believe you will pay your debts on time. And, faith is that you are truthful and honorable to your fellow person. This is non-negotiable.

3. Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm = excitement and drive for life. Isn’t always more enjoyable to be around people who are enthusiastic about what they are doing, excited by their project or activity? This is extremely contagious and equally important.

4. Curiosity
If you are always looking for answers to problems or find yourself solving issues, resolving contentions, or even just wondering what’s around the corner, then you have got this one covered. They say that curiosity is the spice of life and I’d have to agree.

5. Diversity
A diverse individual is one that is multifaceted in interests, open-minded, tolerant, patience, and able to see beyond what’s directly in front of them. This is probably the most difficult attribute one can strive for because it calls for a diverse outlook in life. People will judge you by who surrounds you. Only you can choose your friends. Choose wisely. Keep a diverse outlook and remain open to feedback, information, ideals, and even religion.



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The 3 Ps - not 3 Bs

Last night I went to a cocktail party honoring the founding board members of an organization in Houston called Children At Risk. My mother, Betty Oertel, was among the group being honored. The party and conversations were engaging and enjoyable, but one toast really stuck with me. Jim Mickelson, The first CEO of the C.A.R. said he prescribes to the 3 Ps for success. Of course I related that with the three Bs of composers (Bach, Beethoven, Brahms). However, in today's economy and current state of unemployment, this rang strong with me.

The three Ps are a formula for an organization's success.
Policy + Politics + Passion = Power
Power to change the world to make it better...and in this case, make it better for the children in Houston.

How can this be applied to the world of music, business, or even personal success?
If you know the policy - the facts surrounding the topic and you are familiar with the politics or discussions surrounding the topic and you know you have a committed passion about the topic, then this will empower you to success! It is simplified here and I hope I haven't cheapened Mr. Mickelson's statement with this blog entry.

The most important aspect is the passion. Have passion in your work and for your desired outcome. If you are not completely committed to your project, you will have a more difficult time in reaching your goal.

Getting power is typically a political agenda and can have negative implications. Power or empowerment is important to success, not for manipulation, but for giving yourself the confidence to succeed, for creating a positive environment poised for success, for having the knowledge and ability to bring the appropriate people together at the right time and place to achieve the goals at hand.

If the 3 Ps do not fit your world, then give it some thought and create your own formula to reach you or your companies goals.