Where do dreams go to die?

Where do dreams go to die.

We create, we believe we plan nad we execute

But where do our dreams die

 

Do they diie in an idea we feel is too outlandish?

 

Do they die because they weigh too much, stacked upon dealing with our life?

 

Do they die because instead we choose a pipe, a bottle, something more carnal, a momentary sense of satisfaction?

 

It is easy to dream, and it is easy for those dreams to die.  

 

It is hard…

To execute

To put dreams before others

To put dreams before yourself

 

It is hard to put these momentary feelings of nirvana to the side to achieve a much higher dream.  

 

Whether 5 or 50, to be Batman or own a business, to lose 50 pounds or to climb Mt. Everest, we all have dreams.

 

But how easy it is to give in to temptation and complacency and forget these dreams.  

 

So, do not have dreams….

Have small goals, fight complacency, and after enough small goals, your big goals will be yours.  

 

-Lil Kevy

When death comes a’knockin

We sit in fear

We sit there in worry

What does tomorrow hold?

What does this next move, next decision make, what does it mean?

 

Life is a funny thing

Many people feel as if they are not in control

However, we are all in control

We make decisions every day, every moment

 

We accept lies and truths

 

We justify our actions to others and ourselves

 

They say there are three face’s

One is who most people see you as

The second is the face with those whom you hold closest hold you

And lastly is you behind closed doors

 

Most people will never truly know the true you

 

Who you are at the darkest hour or brightest light?

 

Who you are in the bliss of day or the deepest dark of night?

 

But who you are is controlled by you?

 

When you are happy or sad, mad or glad, it is controlled by you

 

On this crazy ride of that we call life, remember that we hold the reigns.  

 

A year before my grandmother passed, we had a very frank conversation.

 

At 92 years old, she said she was ready to go.  

 

As a 24-year-old guy, I understood.  For age is an excuse when it comes to life experience.  Some are 19 and understand this world as a 55-year-old and vice versa.  Age and life experience are two very different things.  

 

I looked my grandmother back into her eyes, and said I understood.  She has lived her life to the fullest, and for a long time.  She accepted her life

 

What more can you ask, when death comes knocking?

 

For when death rings your doorbell after a full life, do you huddle behind a door and pretend it’s not there, or do you open the door, allow it to take a seat, and offer it a cold drink.

 

We should not fear death, but welcome it when it is our time.  

 

For one who cannot accept that it is there time, cannot accept the fact that they have not experienced enough.  

 

This crazy ride we call life, if you were to pass tomorrow, what is your legacy.  What was your life.  What was your mark

 

If it was no mark, then make one.  

 

If there was no impact, then strive for one.  

 

We live but one life, so when the devil comes knocking, today or thirty years from now, make sure you are ready to go, and the book of life you live is one worth reading.  

Why do we escape reality?

Why do we sleep

Why do we drink

Why do we smoke

Why do we binge eat

Why do we sleep around

We do these things, to escape reality. We live so much of our lives hating our own realities.

When you sleep, you sleep to recover, but you sleep to make the time go by. So that maybe when you wake up, your life will be better. Maybe you’ll have a dream or just wake up rested, but you are waking up in your same reality.

When you drink, you skew your own reality. Putting yourself in an altered mental state, it makes you feel better about your current situation. It skews your reality into somehow making it bearable for you, as long as you can maintain a buzz.

Binge eating, sleeping around etc are all things that make you feel good….momentarily. It’s a band-aid on the overall hemorrhaging wound. It does nothing in the long run, and is usually more detrimental to you then successfull.

Why don’t you start today by owning your reality?

Why don’t you start to own your reality everyday?

Get after it

-Lil Kevy

Awards don’t make Eulogies, but people do

I don’t care about awards. I don’t care about trophies, plaques, or certificates. It’s fun to go out and bust your buddies for what you have and they don’t *cough-Dan check out my German Armed Forces Proficency Badge* but at the end of the day, it’s a ribbon, or a coin or a plaque that sits on a wall or a rack and slowly wastes away.

Some people are in it for the awards; they want to be known, and they want to display their accomplishments; different strokes for different folks. But awards are trivial, material things. Very few material things hold a lot of meaning. Most we can do without.

If you don’t know what I mean, go live out of a backpack for a few weeks and you realize how much you really need in life.

There is something though, that is better than any reward I’ve received.

As I wrap up my time in Michigan, I did receive a small award for my time here. Coins in the military have been a long-standing tradition, and are still a very cool thing to this day. But the real award I got wasn’t a certificate or a coin; it was from the people I worked with.

It was at 0200 when my eyes were bleeding from reading another training document and working with QC’ing. It was grabbing a co-worker a coffee when they didn’t ask for it, but surely needed it. It was asking what I could do to help, and doing quality work when someone wasn’t able to delegate themselves.

The real reward was that person standing next to you, ready to take on the next task and a silent acknowledgement of “we are in this together, let’s get it done.”

And at the culmination, the person I worked for turned around and said “Sir, you’re good people.”

A simple phrase, but one that carries more meaning and recognition than any material thing.

The acknowledgment of not being a good soldier or officer, but being a good human being. And I would much rather have those who matter realize the good people, as opposed to those who don’t matter recognize me.

When it’s all said and done, although grim, I like to think of my eulogy sometimes and what someone would say. And at that eulogy, they don’t remember awards, they remember the man.

-Lil Kevy

Data doesn’t lie, so don’t lie to your goals.

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The game of telephone, is simply data management. It starts at the source, with quality data, and then, through multiple steps in the process, gets to the end user who has something completely different to say.

Data is simply information, and data management is simply the maintaining of that information.

For years, I have worked in some form of data management. Whether it was in college, working in data collection, entry and sorting, to then working at a hospital in sorting data and maintaining my own database on safety events.

Very quickly, you learn that data runs the world.

With this experience, it now seems trivial when I look back at the goals I have been trying to achieve and how I have not been applying or tracking the data in it.

“I want to lose weight, I want to save money, I don’t know where my money goes, and I have my goal and I don’t know how to reach it”

All these simple goals and questions can be answered by looking at data, and then adjusting your behavior of the data.

Even if you know where things go, such as wasting your money on eating out all the time, seeing the hard data of exactly how much you spend, will maybe help jolt you awake! Even better, it shows you how re-allocating your funds can further another goal you have.

But it doesn’t just work for money, it works for other goals too.

By using the data you already have, and then projecting and tweaking your future decisions based off of this information, will actually allow you to accomplish your goal.

So get out there, lay out your goals, and get after it.

-Lil Kevy

Your life is an investment…..How are you spending?

IMG_3709.JPGThe biggest difference between money and life, is money is replaceable, we are not.

We invest in our retirement, invest in our stocks, our business, in whatever to get that return on investment, that coveted ROI. Real Estate has about a 3 percent annual return, other avenues we try to get 8 or more percent to make it worth putting your money there.

People are so quick to look at all their monetary investments, because its quantifiable. I put in $100 dollars and a year later I get $120 back.

But would you spend that $100 if you knew you were only going to get $50 back? Or if you knew you were going to get nothing back?

No, because it’s illogical.

Now take that same concept and apply it to your emotions, your time, and the people you surround yourself with.

When you apply this to your emotions, you realize that there are things you can and things you cannot control. When you realize and begin to recognize that, then you begin to invest your emotions more wisely. If I know you cannot change the fact that a car accident happened, or that my boss isn’t moving anytime soon, then you realize that wasting your time and emotion on the issue is pointless. Not only is there no return, but there is negative consequences of this. It can not only affect you, but affect your loved ones, affect your job, your goals, and your life. So don’t invest your emotions, in things you cannot change.

When you apply this to your time, you can see how much time you waste in a day. We have 24 hours in a day, if you sleep 8, work 8, and then use 4 hours for getting ready, commuting and eating, which still leaves 4 hours a day of complete white space. 4 hours to do with as you please. Granted, some work more or sleep less, but the principle is still the same. As each day goes by, you do not get that time back. So don’t waste it.

When you apply it to the people around you, you realize who the people who you should keep in your life. If you invest your time and emotions in a friendship, or relationship that is one-sided, or you are constantly being used, then you are wasting this. Now the heart doesn’t always agree with the head when it comes to things like love, but using logic can help you make poor decisions.

In the end, whether you’re 27 or 72, continue to invest wisely, and always make sure you get some sort of ROI.

-Lil Kevy

3 Lessons from Craigslist Cars: Your favorite ride to hate

Turning the key in the ignition, the motor sputtered and quickly turned over to hear the roar of the beast.  Grinning like a kid on Christmas, I turned to my father who came with me and he knew I was sold.  I was 15 and test driving a rusted out 1992 Jeep Cherokee.  Its faded maroon paint and wood paneling just added more and more character to the vehicle, and for $550, what a deal!

I quickly handed the money over to the man with a bull-nose piercing selling it and drove it home, the disappointed look of my father in the rearview as I drove my new found love home.

But, as quickly as I had fallen in love with the car, the quicker I hated it.  After getting it home, I set off the alarm, and didn’t know how to shut it off.  It quickly filled my parent’s quiet neighborhood with its repeated boat horn until the battery died….Strike 1

The next day it rained, and as I quickly hopped in the Jeep to avoid getting soaked, I found the roof leaked more than the Titanic…..Strike 2.

The day after, I drove it across town, to the lake, for a one day lifeguard training.  I got about halfway there, and then smoke began to billow from under the hood of the mighty beast…..Strike 3.

Although she did not last long, as I rode around in my rusty dream for a summer before selling her, I did love that car.  And since, I have bought and sold a handful of cars on Craigslist.

Here are a few tips, so hopefully you fare better than I on your next hoopty car purchase!

1.  Make sure it has a Title!  If you’re buying something used, make sure it has a title and you get the seller to fill out a Bill of Sale (depending on your state).  Not having the proper documentation with your vehicle turns a beater car into a $500 lawn ornament in a matter of seconds.  Also, ensure that the person selling you the vehicle is the one on the title.  It seems simple, but there are a lot of scams out there.

2.  Know what to look for, and if you don’t, bring someone who does!  When I went to look at my first car I knew it had to have a title and 4 wheels, and my father knew about the same.  Do your research on the vehicle you are going to look at, and bring a trusted second set of eyes, and preferably a knowledgeable set too.

Look especially at things like:

-Tires: check to see if they are rotted or dry-cracking.  Also check the tread level, although this may seem like a small thing, this can quickly turn your $500 car into a money pit.

-Brakes: although cars are designed to get you from A to B, make sure they can stop you when                 you get to B!  Make sure that the brakes aren’t soft or spongey, and that they work properly.

– Rust: In New England, rust is a huge problem with the amount of salt that is poured on the       roads every winter.  Bring a flashlight, and make sure you get under the vehicle and look for rust patches, rot and holes.  Just because a car has a great motor and low miles, doesn’t meant that your foot won’t go through the floor one day when its rusted through.

3. The last thing, is negotiate!  There are hundreds of cars everyday that’s sold, from one beater to the next.  Don’t ever feel pressured, or obligated to buy something, and most people never list their vehicle at their bottom dollar price.  Cash is king, and use this experience to hone your bartering skills.

In the end, beater cars are some of the best love/hate relationships you will ever have.  The memories and experiences from cracking them up, to making stupid modifications (I swear ripping the muffler off my 98 Cadillac was one of my greatest life choices to date) and will leave you with some fond memories for when your kid pulls up in a jalopy in 20 years.

-Lil Kevy