Doing what you do best, Right Now


I’m starting this post with a fun video.

If you watch any of it, hope it is enough to see Sammy Hagar’s infectious energy and Eddie Van Halen smiling as he plays the guitar. Even if you don’t understand the English language, it would be hard not to pick up on the fact that these artists are enjoying the moment ‘Right Now’.

We don’t all have jobs like singers and may feel like it is easier for people like them to be happy while they work — they make a lot of money, have lots of fans. No one watches most of us at work and if someone does, they probably are not clapping and yelling out our names. So we need to have a different reason to be smiling or jumping up and down like Sammy does in the video, right?Hagarperformjump

Wrong. In my view, I think Sammy is jumping up and down not solely because of his money or his fans, but because he is just being himself in the moment and enjoying it fully. He clearly loves to sing and perform, so he puts all his energy and enthusiasm into it and it shows. Even though I am a die-hard ‘original’ Van Halen fan, I love the Van Hagar days simply because of Sammy’s attitude. Watching VH with Sammy usually made me smile too, which was probably what he was hoping for – for the entire audience to leave the concert feeling upbeat.

So how do the rest of us get the same energy and spirit infused in our present lives? We have to figure out what makes ourselves tick. The neat thing about figuring this out is that our inner drives are not singular – finding one inner driver may lead us to find another one we hadn’t realized yet. Our drivers are not static either, the things that make us jump up and down when we are young can change as we get older (and we may not jump when we’re older – smile). When I was in elementary school, I knew I liked to solve math problems. I liked it so much, my teacher sometimes had me share my enthusiasm for it with others. That led me to discover another inner driver I have, which is to help others. It isn’t surprising that my field requires understanding of technology and numbers and I spend a large portion of my day helping other people who have problems with software. I’m getting to do my own version of Sammy’s stage jumping, even if it doesn’t look that way to the outside world. I definitely feel it inside when I’m getting to use what makes me tick.  If each of us can find a way to use our primary inner drivers every day, there is no doubt we’ll be showing that energy in our daily work and family lives. We may not show it as exuberantly as Sammy Hagar does, but we’ll feel it and our co-workers and family will pick up on it too.

So how about it, do you know what makes you tick ‘Right Now’?

Vacation: Time to do nothing, anything or everything?


It is summertime, so that means time to go on vacation.

Vacations as an adult aren’t the same kind they were when I was a child, having 10-12 weeks off each summer to separate school years. Adults typically take 1 week off at a time, 2 weeks only if something really special (like a trip abroad).

My current vacation is underway, about 5 days total, which feels just right. Five days to meet new people, see things outside my normal day-to-day life, and most importantly, be near water. I’m vacationing in one of my favorite places, Key West. My first time to the Florida keys was to run the 7 Mile Bridge Run, back in the mid-1990’s. One sunset celebration in Mallory Square was all I needed to be hooked. IMG-20120320-00264

I’ve traveled to Key West 7 times since that first trip and I’m certain this won’t be my last visit. My mother, a first-time visitor, pegged the city on the second day, remarking: “Some of the people here are a little odd.” It wasn’t a negative comment, it was an observation that most of the folks here are not your typical Florida vacationers going to Disney World. That’s exactly why I like this place — it is not only OK to be a little odd here, it probably is better if you are.

After all, how many vacation spots boast chickens and cats roaming freely around the streets?  BlackCatWalking  Chickenfamily

In addition to the unusual animal life, the attitude down here is very relaxed and accepting. Our tour guide of Hemingway’s house summed up the attitude well when he was describing the rules to follow as we walked through the house; “I’m going to give you some suggestions, but remember they are only suggestions. In Key West, there are no rules.”

In our day-to-day lives, at work or at school, we feel like we have to ‘follow the rules’ most of the time. Spending time in a place that frees us from that feeling is exactly what vacation time should be about. KeyWest_BeachArt