Category Archives: Defining the Undefined..

New Domain!

I’ve moved to www.mtlane.net .. Take a look!

ML

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Here’s to 2011

It’s the first of the year..

A time for a fresh start..

A time to be completely original..

A time to turn those thoughts into action into results..

A time to be intentional..

A time to get off the sidelines and into the game..

A time to go BIG w/out fear..

The only thing that is holding you back is yourself

Here’s to 2011 — the most incredible year to date.

ML


Work to Live, Live to Work

Does your career define who you are?

It’s so easy for us to get so wrapped up in our jobs that we lose all identity of who we are. Simultaneously, we can find ourselves beginning to live for our work while working to live. The everday-ness of routine completely narrowing your thought-process, and the next thing you know you are defining your day job with who you are.

That’s what happened to my friend.

My friend has been working for a solid company for 6 years now. Starting at the bottom to where he is now as a supervisor is quite the testament to his incredible work ethic and attitude. I mean this guy is good at what he does!

There’s this other thing in his life though, his family. He’s on his second marriage and has a total of 6 kids (from previous marriage/girlfriend).

His job demands a lot from him. A whole lot. To be exact, it demands 240 traveling days (away from his family) out of the calendar year. When asked “How’s Life?” He simply replies, “Work is good!” After all, he has no choice if he wants to provide financially for his family, right?

Being on the road, waiting in a terminal, finishing up a job — my friend has completely lost his identity through his career. Coming home from his long road trips to his wife and kids has become coming home to his roommate and kids. It’s when he’s gone that his kids/wife are encountering life — and he doesn’t get to consistently be a part of it.

Did I mention that he was married? They actually just got divorced a few months ago, due to the fact that his job was so demanding of his time.

Now, he’s single with child support bills and longing for a redo – all because his priorities as a “breadwinner” got out of whack.

I think we start out in a career with our priorities in line. We think, “I’m gonna work out every day at 5:30am before I go to work, be the best I can be at work, arrive home by 5:15pm, love on my wife, be at all my kid’s baseball games, and start it all over the next morning with a huge smile on my face.”

But as our career kicks off, promotions/demotions happen, location changes happen, strict demands happen, pressure to conform happens, stress happens. We lose those priorities quick if we aren’t careful. In losing these priorities, we put the things we first prioritized on the back burner, in hopes of the “providing-for-the-family” aspect making up for time actually spent with our loved ones.

I want this to be a reminder — don’t let your career define you. Don’t LIVE strictly for your work. Make a list and realize your priorities — then keep them in check. Make sacrifices for the sake of your family and continuously evaluate where your job/career is taking you. Jobs are essentially meant to provide financial stability and satisfy passions(if you can find a job that does that) — but remember, the stability you can provide at home as a husband or a father is 10-times more important than your twice-a-month checks.

ML


Blog Topics — You pick!

Take 5 seconds and do this:


Instrumental Goodness..

What do you focus on when you watch movies?

– The main actor/actress?
– The plot?
– Different camera shots?
– (for the ladies) Ryan Reynold’s abs?

How about movie scores? Not the soundtrack, but the score! Night/Day difference..

  • A movie soundtrack is usually made up of bands that have already recorded records specifically for the movie. Example: Garden State
  • A movie score is simply the lyric-less, instrumental music that sets the mood for a specific scene..  Example: Titans Score

I’ve loved movie scores for as long as I can remember. It’s the first thing I notice in movies. Doesn’t matter how crappy the movie is, if the score is great — all is good. If you ever want to surprise me with anything, just get me a movie score.

Here are a few of my favorite scores:
Friday Night Lights
Pearl Harbor
The Holiday
Avatar
Forrest Gump
Blood Diamond
Invictus

Favorite “composers” of these scores:
Hans Zimmer
James Newton Howard
James Horner
Aaron Zigman

These are good for three things:
– Getting to sleep
– Getting work done
– Running (Saving Private Ryan & Gladiator)

Because of this movie score obsession of mine, it sparked an interest in “Post-Rock” or “Instrumental-Rock” music.

Artists I heavily recommend are:
Explosions in the Sky
Signal Hill
This Will Destroy You
The Album Leaf
If These Trees Could Talk

Really makes for good “pondering” music..

No words — Just instrumental goodness!

What’s your favorite movie score? Favorite Post-Rock band?


Huh?

Who’da thunk?

Texas Rangers would reach the World Series

Brad Childress would get fired following a 12-4 season

Chad OchoCinco & Terrell Owens would play on the same team

Michael Vick would rise back to stardom

Brett Favre would start sucking

OSU would be 10-1

Jon Acuff would give me a phone call

I would use my car to kill Bambi’s momma

Life’s full of moments you just don’t expect ..

What else has you saying, “huh?”


Finding Success in the Workplace

Transitioning into the “real world” from college can be tricky.

I’ve recently experienced that transition and feel qualified enough to mention a few things to consider regarding YOUR career:

Listen!
Be a sponge. Absorb any and every kind of information. That’s all you need to do right now. Slow to speak and quick to listen!

Build your foundation
That first job is your first shot at building your career foundation. Make it count. Work hard and do whatever it takes to gain the confidence of your boss. However, make sure you know the difference between exuding confidence and cockiness.

Be confident!
No one wants to hire someone who is insecure about what he/she brings to the table. Be confident and know that you are highly valued. Speak up when you need to and let your voice be heard. Think creatively and provide a fresh perspective.

Be respectful
The main difference in between my generations (20-30 yr. olds) and the Baby Boomer generation is that we tend to treat each other as peers while they do the opposite. Your boss will most likely prefer being called “sir/ma’am” or “mr/mrs _____” until you get the “ok” to call him by his/her first name. People of the baby boomer generation demand a respect that my generation is not used to giving. Be respectful.

Embrace a strong work ethic
People are watching in your workplace. Every move you make, every project you submit, every e-mail you send, etc. Make sure your representing yourself in a way that nonverbally demands a promotion by your day-to-day work.

– Get organized
Something I’ve found to be the hardest of this transition is being organized with your tasks. This is so key for being successful. Keeping track of your assignments, papers, sticky notes, your inbox is critical to excellent quality of work within the workplace. It’s an art that I’m consistently trying to master.

Embrace opportunities
When opportunities come your way, go 150% at them. You never know if this opportunity is a “test” to see what your made of.

Have integrity
Integrity in the workplace means being honest and doing what is right no matter the circumstance. It requires you to make the right choice, even when you may not receive personal gain from the outcome, and to put your own agenda aside for the greater good of the organization and the people.

With these said, I also want to let you know that COLLEGE does not prepare you for EVERYTHING.

I’d say I was unprepared for:

Emphasis placed on teamwork skills
If you work in a corporate atmosphere, chances are that you are on a team. Staying in communication, understanding each other, and working together towards a solution are essential to building success within the workplace. I never read anything about this in a book.

Personal finances
Accounts Receivable. Balance Sheets — Blah. Blah. Blah. Learning to budget, especially when you decide to get married, is SO IMPORTANT. I think I actually took a personal finance class in High School..Mrs. Watts. However, once you have money and start making a consistent paycheck — it’s way different than reading case studies in books. I recommend going through this for a healthy financial life.

– Having to move back in with the family
I won’t go into this again. You can read here if you’d like to know more about this topic.

Reality of 8am-5pm job
I’d say the closest I learned about this topic in college would be the all-nighters I pulled in college. That was the closest thing to 8 straight hours I can think of — and that only happened MAYBE 4 times. Once again, no book can prepare you for this.

You can read about it in books, but the second you experience a career first hand is when you really get it.

Embrace these things while jumping into a career. Despite the struggles, tedious tasks, interesting co-workers, etc — develop an optimistic, hard working attitude and dominate your day job.

With great work, comes great reward!

ML