The Thank You Project: #177 (The Gas Gauge on a Car)

ThankYouIcon_177I was thinking about how we get around on a daily basis and a car is a big part of the equation. We drive it around everywhere and we can get to locations quickly with it. Without a car I think all of us would not be able to move around very efficiently. The biggest thing you need to run a car is gas. I was thinking about it when I was looking at my car’s dashboard. That dashboard gives a lot of good indications of what may be running low or what might need refilling. I think the most important one is the gas gauge and it’s what shows you your ability to get to your destination. For today’s thank you, I am appreciative of this gas gauge so that I don’t get stuck on the side of the road!

Think about a scenario where you don’t have a gas gauge. How would you know when to fill up your tank? How would you have peace of mind to get to the destination that you want to? I know it’s a very little thing and something that you probably won’t think of on a daily basis but gauges and indications like that in our lives are very helpful in order to keep us moving along during our day.

So the next time you step into your car, take a moment to look at your dashboard and to see everything in working order. They’re there for a reason so make sure you take the time to appreciate it!

The Thank You Project: #176 (Having Freedoms)

ThankYouIcon_176Sorry this post is a day late but I thought it was important to write a short thank you around the 4th of July and why it’s so important for us to remember what we have. Every year we celebrate the 4th of July and think about the many people that sacrificed their lives in order to keep our freedoms. These include the freedom of speech, press, right to bear arms and many more. There are many countries in our world that don’t have the basic freedoms that we do. However, every year we continue to have these freedoms and it’s what makes our country great.

These freedoms allow us to go on with our daily lives and be the inspiration for others. Think about it, the freedom of speech allows us to express ourselves for who we are. There are so many of us here in the US and we all have a different story and it’s great that we can tell ours.

To me the 4th of July is just a reminder of all that we have. We fought hard to get the freedom that we deserve and we fight hard everyday to try to ensure other people gain their freedom. To me that’s a great thing and for that I will forever be thankful for having freedoms!

The Thank You Project: #175 (The Perseverance to Carry On)

ThankYouIcon_175We all hit hard points in our lives. It can be from a variety of life experiences. Perhaps you lost a loved one. Perhaps you drifted away from some friends of yours that you really used to be close with. Maybe you lost a job and are trying to find the strength to find another one. No matter the reason, I’m thankful for the perseverance we have as human beings and the spirit given to us by God to keep going and to keep pushing. Without this, there would not be as many innovations or happy people in the world.

For me, this blog has hit some rough spots. I just get really busy with life and sometimes I just don’t have the heart and energy to pour into it. Sometimes it’s just because I’m really tired and other times it’s because I’m not inspired. However, there is a passion that I have to doing entries like this and to carry on with this activity. I often have to remind myself, I’m not doing this so people can see. No, the important thing is that I do this for myself and I do it for the right reasons. That is why I carry on with the blog and update it. That’s why even with lulls in Motivate2Inspire’s history, I will always come strong again and try to keep everything updated.

With other aspects of life as well I’m thankful for that extra push that family, friends, and God has provided me. When times were rough with my dad, I was able to push through. When I was staring at a pretty empty bank account right after college, I still pushed through and am in a much better position. It’s in the human spirit to carry on and survive as best that we can. I am so thankful we have that spirit within us and that we have people around us that can help us grow in our potential.

Just think if we didn’t have that support or drive. We wouldn’t have a lot of inventions in life since people would have just quit after they failed the first couple of times. The next time you run into a brick wall and don’t think you can go on, just think of the people that are supporting you and cheering you on. Dig deep and get the confidence you need to tackle it. I know that I do and I am thankful that I can keep carrying on every single day.

The Thank You Project: #174 (Flash Drive)

ThankYouIcon_174Once upon a time we had devices called floppy disks that we used to store information. These things were massive. They literally flopped around if you waved it back and forth in the air. I remember one of the first games that I had on my computer (it ran Windows 3.1 :D) was Wheel of Fortune and it was on a floppy disk. I had that and this Math Blaster game. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that you could store things on that floppy drive. Fast forward to today and now we have flash drives that store a heck of a lot more. When I compare a floppy disk to a flash drive, I now know why I am thankful for having such a device to use today!

Our world is captured in a lot of ways that require a lot of memory and disk space. Pictures from 102321 megapixel cameras and HD and even 3D videos are now stored in our computers. Devices need bigger and better storage units and flash drives have increased in capacity in the last 10 years or so. Imagine back then, we were only able to hold 1.44 MB per disk! That’s a really small amount. That’s smaller than most pictures nowadays! We can now hold upwards of 32 GB or more on flash drives. That’s a 32,000x increase in storage. Even then, we still need huge hard drives or back up drives in order to fit everything that we need.

I can’t even imagine if the world still ran on those floppy disks still. There were literally piles of them by my dad’s old computer and if we had the same quality of images as we do right now, we’d need a pack of floppy disks just for the data for one picture! I’m thankful that we have such large devices that help us store what we need!

The Thank You Project: #173 (Gaming Parties)

ThankYouIcon_173I know, I know, I’m a nerd. It happens. One of the most entertaining things that I’ve done throughout my life are gaming parties. Now I’m not talking about just videogame parties (I can see you picturing a bunch of people playing World of Warcraft all night long) but also board game parties. These types of parties are very helpful in several aspects including promoting fun, relaxation, and general camaraderie amongst friends. For this reason, I’m giving a thanks for all types of gaming parties!

College was full of nights like these. I’ve probably written in other posts how I played Super Smash Brothers at all nights of the hour with friends, probably most notably with Josh and Jason. This is what we did to entertain ourselves and yes though sometimes there was homework to be done, sometimes having fun and just being with your friends took priority (I know I wasn’t just a straight book study kind of person 😀 ). These nights were very memorable as we’d crack jokes all the time, get competitive and just have fun. I won’t ever forget being nicknamed “SOY” and dominating everyone (at least half the time)

Then there were times that I remember playing Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Those were games that came out during the college years and I remember many times when Krista and I would play that. It was fun because it required some musical coordination with rhythm but it was set to songs that we were definitely familiar with. Differing levels of difficulty and the ability to play as a whole band just added to the experience.

Then you have parties where it centered around a board game. Playing classic games like Pictionary, Trivial Pursuit or other such games provided an opportunity to play in a team and be competitive against others. It always gave good laughs throughout the night and in the end, it’s not a life or death situation where you have to win. It could be as silly as picking two very odd choices for Apples to Apples.

The next time you have a free night, consider trying to have a gaming party. It’s a very fun experience and it helps to increase the amount of time you spend with your friends. It’s good to gather around and not be distracted by technology. Pick up a game today and play it with friends, I sure enjoy it!

The Thank You Project: #172 (Mini-Golf Courses)

ThankYouIcon_172I love mini-golf. It’s the one activity that has the word golf in it that I actually do decently at. I’ve had my tries at real golf (I’m really terrible, just ask Keller or Haji) and at Disc Golf (ok I’m actually decent at this one) but I do enjoy mini-golf the best. There’s something about the silliness of each hole or the strange angles that you have to take that intrigues me in every course that I do. For this reason, I am giving thanks for mini-golf courses around the world.

I’ve been to quite a few courses in the areas that I’ve lived in. Granted, the areas I’ve lived in don’t have very many courses, I still try to visit ones that I can. I’ve done a variety of different types ranging from a challenging one that used to be in Grant Park in Chicago (it’s 18 holes and is actually very difficult) to glow in the dark ones (there’s one in Hoffman Estates, IL and it’s very… weird). Each is a different experience and brings its own challenges.

I think the best courses that I’ve done are the Congo River variety. I thought that it was only one that was specific to the Tampa area but in actuality it’s a chain mini-golf franchise. I’ve seen one in IL and another one in Orlando, FL. It’s got your normal challenges but you do it at different levels and of course it is outside which gives you the glorious sunshine and warmth on a good day.

There was another one in IL (a suburb east of Wheeling, IL which I forget the name now) that was actually featured in a TLC or National Geographic tv show. It was unique because each hole had some wacky thing that was going on. I remember that there was one that had a roller coaster on it and you hit the ball into it and it would run it down to the hole from the roller coaster. I bet many kids have had fun there and quite frankly I did too!

So the next time you don’t have anything to do on a sunny afternoon, consider going to a mini-golf course. I enjoy them, am good at them and quite frankly they’re just a lot of fun!

The Thank You Project: #171 (Easter/Lent)

ThankYouIcon_171Every year as a Catholic we are reminded that we need to be refreshed emotionally and spiritually. We take a journey called Lent in a search to reconnect and be a better person for Jesus who sacrificed himself for all of us. I know that this blog is not a religious one but the Catholic faith is a part of me. This time of the year is really a time for us to give the greatest thanks of all, and that’s to Jesus for sacrificing himself for our sins.

To me I’ve really evolved in the way that I approached Lent. When I was little I thought that giving up candy was the way to go. Much like KristaRose’s post about the real reason for Lent, I didn’t know what it was all about growing up. But with age came the realization that it’s not just about giving something up. It’s about becoming more like we’re called to be. It’s about reconnecting with the church community. It’s about praying and understanding and trying to be more like how we are called to act. It’s about being giving and helping out. It’s about renewing your spiritual sense that a lot of the time gets neglected in the day to day bustle.

This year I had given up being angry. I don’t think that I completely succeeded as I tried my hardest but with the stress of life, things just happen. But each time something like that happened, I remembered why I tried to give that up. I was trying to be a better person, be more understanding and really do something good in this world. We’re not called to be angry with each other, we’re called to be compassionate. That’s the reason why I chose that and that’s what I strived for.

Even though I didn’t quite succeed, it sets a precedence for the rest of the year. Being and acting like this shouldn’t be something that is just constricted to the Lent/Easter season. Yes it’s the time that we really put a focus on it but we should be like this all year long. That is why I am thankful for this time of the year as it’s a gentle reminder of what we are called to do.

The Thank You Project: #170 (Free Wifi Spots)

ThankYouIcon_170I love going to cafes. There is just something so calming that allows me to focus a lot more and get things done. One of the best things about a cafe though is the fact that there usually is free wifi. You can also find this in *select* airports and it is really a great thing to have. Today’s thank you is for these free wifi spots and the great surprises they can give when you find them.

I got an iPad that only has wifi. I didn’t want to get the 3g version because I thought that I could find enough places with wifi (especially my own apartment) and I was right. These wifi spots are everywhere and you just have to be cognizant to find them. When you do, it opens up the door to being able to use your iPad or laptops to check your email, play games, etc. For me, I like to blog in different spots so wifi is definitely a very helpful thing to have.

The only alternative to wifi if you really need is internet is usually just a 3g or 4g signal. It gets expensive to stream a lot of things since they have put limits on most accounts now (I have the unlimited data plan still fortunately!). Sometimes the catalyst to you being productive is a wifi signal while enjoying your favorite cup of coffee. I know it definitely helps me and I’m thankful for these free hotspots so I can relax and get some work done!

The Thank You Project: #169 (Weekends)

ThankYouIcon_169You’ve had a full week of work. You’re exhausted and need to desperately recharge. Perhaps you need to sleep in a couple of days. Perhaps you need to reconnect with your family. Maybe you just need some alone time and time to reflect on everything that has happened. No matter the case, many of us really enjoy having weekends off and enjoying days not related to work. Today’s thank you is for weekends and the relaxation they provide me every week.

In my line of work, I work constantly during the early mornings and during the week. I can easily rack up 55-60 hours in a week without even really noticing. One thing that I really do appreciate is having some downtime. I must admit that I don’t always get it every weekend. I still have to be on call in case some thing needs approval or need to be done. However, for the most part I get to relax and spend some time with Krista. I value that time and try my best to be up for anything since we don’t get that much time together. However, there are many times that I do feel sluggish because of the week and I’m not always that enthusiastic to do everything she wants to. Couple that with the fact that sometimes she has to work and it’s a recipe for very valuable days on weekends we are free.

Weekends are a time for us to just go to the mall and not buy anything (or in some cases buy a lot of things). It’s a time to catch a movie on the big screen or just on the big screen in my apartment. It’s a time to take Twix on a walk and watch as he fails to catch a squirrel (maybe one of these times Twix!).

So whether you use your weekends for family, for sleeping, or just recovering in general, just remember how important it is to have that down time. We can’t work 24/7 non stop at our jobs. We require at least some time to do something fun and I’m thankful that I get weekends to do just that!