“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” -Paulo Coelho
If you’ve never had a chance to read the Alchemist, you’re already 3 full read-throughs behind. It is the kind of book that has a gold nugget, like the one above, in every paragraph that can make anyone stop in their tracks and grab that bucking bull called life by the horns.
Even if you do not know what it is or where it is at, seeking your life treasure is something you have to decide to do. Like most, I am unsure what mine is yet, but I am choosing to start searching by beginning this blog. I have had far too many preposterous thoughts and ideas swirling in my head for me to not put them into writing and share with whoever will listen.
I am excited to not only have a bank for my ideas, but also an outlet for my creativity and a therapy journal of sorts for when I need to flesh out a mental situation. Throughout this blog, I plan to write about business ideas, life perspectives, pop-culture, sports, relationships, and leadership. I hope you will join me for an exciting ride into the mind of a protagonist, a strange, rare, and wonderful personality type (ENFJ). Read about it here:
One last thing. If you haven’t picked up on it by now, G.U.M.P. is an acronym for “Great Under Major Pressure.” I used this name for a few reasons, not the least of which is the fact that my name is Forrest. For those who know me, you know I am a huge Minnesota Vikings fan. Teddy Bridgewater, to this day, is my favorite player, even though he has moved on to greener pastures with the Saints. His nickname was and is G.U.M.P., which is where I drew inspiration for the name. Teddy is an amazing human being, so be sure to read up on the great things he does for his community at:
Other than it being an A1 name, I will attempt to throw in connections throughout my writings to do it justice. It is more than a name; it is an attitude.
Thank you for reading my first blog! My plan is to post at least once per week on Sundays and then any night of the week when the inspiration hits me. I hope you will continue to read and enjoy what goes on in that big head of mine.
In times of uncertainty, it helps me to look back on past examples of perseverance as a guiding light for the future. The following is a recent survey that my dad, Terry Gottman, filled out and I helped edit. You can see the passion in his words for his business and a glimpse into his personal history. I have learned so much from this man and I am proud to share a small part of his story in business.
Name of Business:
Gottman Electric Co. & Metal Works
CEO/ Founder/ Owner: Terry D Gottman
Owner: Herschel “Dusty” Gottman
Who started the business and why?
“Growing up, I was raised in any kind of family business that my dad, Herschel Gottman, was invested in at the time. We had several different types businesses, such as industrial electrical, electric motor repair and rewind, oilfield, and powerline services. In the 1970’s, we were in the mobile 炫乐彩票网 and RV sales business when personal and economic tragedy hit us hard. In 1974, my mother passed away and, in 1975, the fuel crisis hit and impacted the demand for mobile 炫乐彩票网s. Nobody wanted to buy an RV and we couldn’t even give them away. But the banks wanted their money. We didn’t file for bankruptcy, but we did lose all our assets and money. At the end of the day, the family business split up and everyone went their separate ways. To absolutely appreciate anything in life, I think we must lose everything at least once.
You never know what God has in store for us. In 1975, I got a job with Swanson Nun Electric 炫乐彩票网 as a white card, a dream for me at the time. I was qualified as a journeyman electrician and I worked for them for 3 years until the work slowed down and I would be the first one they let go. I had lost my dream job, which was one of the worst days that I can remember. The next day, a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to do some electrical projects for their barge service. My friend spread the word to other companies in the area that I was doing industrial electrical work. After about a year, I had enough work to support another person, so I asked my father to quit his job at the shipyards and come back to help me. A month or two went by with no reply from him. Then, one day, he called me and said he was coming back to go into business with me. I was so happy. We had one old Chevy pickup, a small box of tools, and $780.00 between us, but away we went. Every other day or so, we would say to each other, “one good thing about today is that it can’t get any worse,” even though it always felt like it did.
But before too long, we were working in every industry along the Ohio River in Mount Vernon. We were also servicing hundreds of oil well leases and several plastic companies in the area. Five years passed and my brother Dusty joined the company. We worked 10 years without a day off and everything we made was reinvested into the company with little take 炫乐彩票网 pay. Once we were established, we continually broadened our reach with a sign business, airbrushed metal art, life-size figurines, and custom fabrication. For me this was all a miracle, and it still is. This is our 42nd year in operation and we still have the same passion from when we first started. Who would have thought this could happen? Without friends, family, passion, faith, prayer, and God, none of it would have. Keep yourself on course and God will find you a way.”
What is your favorite thing about the business?
“When you’re in business for yourself, people will say that you are your own boss, you work your own hours, and you’re rich. That’s not necessarily true. Everyone becomes your boss; you work on projects for others until you get them done. The stakeholders that have schedules, issues, and hurdles are your employees, vendors, and customers. You have bills that have to be paid every month and you have to really work to pay them. The challenge of creating something from nothing and fabricating it into a fully functional piece of equipment or work of art is what gets me out of bed. Every day, I get up and I can’t wait to see what is in store for our company. We are blessed to work for so many other great companies and have the opportunities to do so many great projects.”
How does your business differentiate itself from the competition?
“We fully own and operate Gottman Electric, which allows us to have complete control over the measures we take to have pride of our work. We have forty-plus years of experience, so we will do things right the first time. Finally, we care about the quality of workmanship, and we put our reputation and passion on our sleeves every time we do a job.”
What do most members of the community not know about your business?
“We have made several things for the Mount Vernon, Indiana community, such as the city’s sign, business signs throughout Posey County, and most metal things at Riverbend Park. Chances are, if you see a sign in Mount Vernon, we made it. We have also done business with communities outside of the Mount Vernon, such as Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, the Midwest, the western US, and Canada.”
What are the services you provide at your business?
We offer a broad variety of industrial electrical services, such as:
Conduit, Cable Tray, Powerline, Wire Pulling, Pole Line, Control Panels, Machine Wiring, Service Entry, Indoor and Outdoor Lighting, and Complete System
We are able to use stainless, carbon, and aluminum with the following fabrications:
MIG, TIG, Stick, and Brazing
Plasma CNC Cutting
Platforms, Transitions, Machines, Hoppers, Railing, Prototypes and Custom Fabrications
Oilfield Service and Farm:
Pump Motors and Controls, Electric Motor Repair, Powerline Construction, Underground,
Radio Controls, Variable Speed Drives, Level and Pressure Controls, and Troubleshooting
Industries we work in:
Plastics, Petroleum, Manufacturing, Municipal, Fertilizer,Granary, and Farming
Anything else you would like included about your business?
“We are eager to help with your needs. Please contact Terry Gottman at (812)483-8955 or email@example.com for any inquiries.”
The 4th of July lemonade stand is one of the hallmarks of Americana. For the buyers, it’s cute. They drop a dollar in a jar and sip on either superfluously acidic or sickeningly sweet lemon water (or a cold beverage with only a tinge of citrus for that matter). What’s a dollar to them? It is no more a fraction of a percentage of a paycheck. It’s not going to make this child that much richer or them that much poorer, even though a single glass may only take $0.03 to make (my, what high margins!). But what does it mean to the seller, the neighbor’s child, the innovative youth? Everything.
I still have my first dollar earned. It was more than a decade ago that a child had his neighborhood lemonade stand and boy, it was a sight to behold. On the corner of the family’s lot where the roads converged stood a white table that was usually used for Christmas, a glass lockbox, a bubble-letter sign that barely legibly read, “LEMONADE $.50,” a cooler, and a hoarse voice from yelling, “come get your ice cold lemon-aaa-de!” To me, this is all really funny now because there was no one around to be yelling at, but someone a mile away could have heard the seven-year-old carrying on, and for hours on end too.
4th of July is one of the few holidays my mom and dad were both off because they both worked for the family business, my dad as the owner and my mom as the office manager. I always knew I wanted to be like them, but I never knew how or in what way. They were the best parents I ever knew and, by that time, they had raised a fun, polite, and ambitious child. That child had begged his parents all morning to teach him how to make lemonade and help him put all his things together for his impromptu business venture. Once the final taste test of lemonade had been approved by both the young CEO and the old CEO, everything was carted to the corner. As the final touches were put on the sign, the young one stood back to admire his work, the parents returned to the front of the house to resume yard work, and he promptly commenced yelling.
The fish didn’t bite for quite a long time. The heralds of “Lemon-aaa-de!,” “Ice Cold!,” and “Fitty Cents!” rang throughout the neighborhood for a long hour, slowly declining in frequency until he could hear the echo from the nearby cornfield and water tower. Mom stopped by to check on him and reapply some sunscreen on his shoulders, to much annoyance from the young businessman. Another fifteen minutes passed and, finally! A vehicle passing by! He picked up one of his glasses of lemonade and shook it at the driver, offering a non-verbal contract for the thirsty driver’s consideration. But no, not this time either. The driver kept going and eventually disappeared into the distance.
The disconcerted boy wondered why no one on this hot day wanted to buy lemonade from him. He had spent all morning making the world’s best lemonade and had been outside for more than a full hour! He became angry and introspective. Why I am trying to sell this lemonade anyway? I made sure it was the best tasting I have ever made and I already have been rejected. These people don’t know what they’re missing, and you know what? They’re not going to get any. They don’t deserve it. The boy put the pitcher of the golden liquid back in the cooler and slammed the top shut. He was so blistering that he did not see kind Mr. Koch approaching in his SUV.
“Trying to keep it cool, I hope,” he said, startling the young boy from his aggrievement. “Yes sir! Would you like to buy some ice cold lemonade? It’s only fitty cents!” replied the boy earnestly, as he clambered to get it back out of the cooler and change his attitude. “I heard you from my house, so I thought I’d stop by on my way out. I would love some, but I actually only have a dollar and don’t have any change with me. Are you able to make change?” he asked. “Of course!” the boy replied. Internally, he had always heard his parents talk about making change, but he had no idea what it meant. Assuming it meant changing the price of his lemonade from $0.50 to $1, he graciously took the dollar from Mr. Koch and began pouring him a glass of cold liquid gold. He moved his glass box full of coins that his mother had given him out of the way and produced a cup from the cooler. After spilling some of the sticky overflow on the table, he poured out the top of the lemonade in the dry grass to make sure handing the glass to kind Mr. Koch wouldn’t breach their contract with more unnecessary spillage.
Mr. Koch said thank you and then stood there, waiting for his $0.50 back. But the boy had no clue why he was still there. He had already poured a glass of lemonade for him and changed the price of it just for him. What else could he want? “Well, if you don’t have change, could I get a second glass of lemonade?” inquired Mr. Koch. “That will be another dollar,” replied the boy. Realization dawned on the man that he had been conned by the ignorance of the child of how to do the simple task of making change, so he thanked him again for his overpriced and overpowered lemonade and bid him a good day, without taking a second cup. The child waved him back to his car. What a nice guy, the child thought.
At the end of daylight when all the fireworks were set to begin, the child enlisted the help of his parents to help him count his money. He had made $11 by the end of the day, nearly all in change and with a lone dollar bill. “The first dollar earned is something to be cherished and kept as a reminder,” said one parent. “You are close to becoming a real entrepreneur like your father,” said the other proudly. The child had no idea what that word had meant, so he asked, “what is that word you said?” “Entrepreneur.” “Yeah, that. Wha’s that mean?” inquired the boy. They looked at each other for a moment as if to think for a profound answer. “An entrepreneur is someone who can do anything they set their mind out to. They’re their own boss. Someone who makes the rules and makes things happen for themselves. They see opportunities where others see walls and they always have a particular spirit about them,” they replied, speaking alternatively.
“Hm,” said the boy, “I think I will keep my dollar from Mr. Koch.”
Credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express are excellent manipulators when it comes to making seven out of ten Americans think they must have a credit card. In this article, I hope to expand your mind and make you mad about “what’s in your wallet.” Despite these billion dollar companies’ best efforts, there are still plenty of ways to go through life without a credit card and it is not as hard as you would think. You’ve probably heard all the reasons why you should have a credit card. “It’s good to have credit cards open and use it to build up your credit score.” “It is easier to buy things with a credit card and pay for it later.” “I can get frequent flyer miles with a credit card.” “If I pay it off every month, It won’t hurt me.” “I use credit cards only for emergencies.” “If buying online, it is safer to use a credit card.” “A credit card is the only option to rent a car or get a hotel room.” “My dream apartment needs me to have a credit card.” What. A. Load. Of. Hooey. Gauge what money advice you get from who is giving it to you and, if they’re broke, close your ears!
I am going to break down these points step-by-step and, let me tell you, it is only simple math and logic that will tell you why you don’t need to ever have one again. However, if you are like 70% of Americans, you might have a credit card. Don’t feel bad, I had one at one point as well. It is the job of these companies to make you feel like you need it. But all it really does is make others richer and you poorer. Treat a credit card like a snake in your pocket and you’ll understand where I am coming from and why I refuse to use one ever again.
Myth #1) Using credit cards will increase my credit score, which is important… for some reason
If any of you are familiar with Dave Ramsey, you know that he calls a credit score a “debt score.” You can see above that credit scores are a big deal in our society, as there are several businesses that are completely dedicated to credit scores and they pay a lot of money to be in your face with ads (I wonder where they get their money). But that is exactly what it is: a score to tell lenders how good you are at going into debt. Here are the different aspects of how your debt abilities are scored:
Length of time in debt
Type of debt
A credit score is determined based on how long you have interacted with debt, how much you are in debt, how long you have had your current debt, if you have opened any new debt accounts, and how diversified your debt is. Consumer debt is different from mortgage debt within the baby steps, but you can see why these institutions care about credit scores. But here is why you shouldn’t care: going into debt makes you a slave to the lender and the need for a score does not make sense behaviorally or mathematically. Here’s a new thought for a great deal of you. You do not have to have a credit score. After two years of zero debt interactions, your credit score becomes indeterminable. I am excited for the day mine finally reaches this point, but I am at least two years out from this summer when I plan to pay off the rest of my car with gazelle intensity. This leads into my next point.
Myth #2: I need a credit score to rent an apartment, to mortgage a house, or even to get a job
Again, I am excited for my credit score to become indeterminable. “But Forrest, what about when I need to apply for apartments?!” There are many apartments with landlords that do not require a credit check and, if they do, they need to see your employment history in most situations for final decision-making. If you know someone with less-than-stellar credit currently renting an apartment, you should rest easy in that you will get approved with an “indeterminable-for-good-reasons” credit score. “But Forrest, I am going to need a mortgage and they will have to check my credit to get approved.” This one is somewhat true. Traditional mortgage brokers will need to see a credit score. But we aren’t fans of traditional here. You must simply find a mortgage originator institution that does something called manual underwriting, which is where the institution will manually check if you are able to pay your mortgage based off of your employment history (and not your debt history). It is a fairly simple process with only a little more paperwork than the traditional approach and the bank will be just as eager to take your money in exchange for your house. Lastly, you do not need a credit score for any job, but rather some employers may look at credit reports, as you should from time to time as well.
Myth #3: It’s better to use a credit cardthan cash or a debit card
There is no instance where this is true. On average, you are likely to spend 15% more with a credit card than you are with cash. Even more so, you are likely to spend more with a virtual wallet on your mobile device. Even a debit card removes some of the pain that comes with using cold hard cash, but at least you know that there is actual money coming out of your account. This is important if your priority is to spend less and become wealthier, as is most gazelle-intense people’s goals. The biggest argument for credit cards is that it causes no harm if you pay it off each month. A combination of factors conflicts this notion. As aforementioned, you spend much more with a credit card because of the removal of pain effect. Also, every business that you use a credit card at loses around 3% on that purchase. Businesses are smart, they are not going to lose that much money on every purchase, which is a contributor to generally higher prices within the economy.
One of the most dire reasons people cling to their credit cards nowadays is that they want to spend their money online at Amazon. Their claim is that the internet is an unsafe place and at least they could get their money back with a credit card, but the same does not apply to debit cards. In actuality, debit cards have the exact same protections as a credit card. If two people are suddenly victims of identity theft and one has a debit card and one has a credit card, they are afforded the same FDIC and Visa/Mastercard/Discover/American Express protections. There is also identity theft insurance that is recommended to everyone and it is fairly cheap. Chances are, the person who is terrified of the online threats of identity theft just wants to keep their credit card.
Myth #4: It is better to use a credit card when traveling
Traveling can be a stressful time for some. You have to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and other amenities. A common assumption is that you need to use a credit card in order to book hotels. This is simply untrue, as debit cards work at all hotels, airbnbs, or VRBOs that a credit card would work. Rental cars are a changing industry. Before a couple of years ago, it was true; you had to use a credit card to use their vehicles. The change came recently when many major rental car companies started allowing rentals through debit cards, such as Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and the original debit card accepter, Dollar Rental Car.
Lastly, many like to reap the benefits of using a credit card for airline miles (or other bonus promotional material). Credit card companies are manipulating you into thinking this is a good deal. It’s not. The best deal I could find for a frequent flyer credit card is the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card, which promises 100,000 frequent flyer miles in a year of using the card and a mile per dollar formula for the rest. You can only get some of these miles if you spend enough money with your card, so you will most likely be spending much more than you would if paying in a different way. In addition, these miles will expire if you don’t use them. The APR on this card is a maximum of 26.24%, which is astronomical. It also has a $250 annual fee and enough other restrictions to make this thoroughly not worth it to people who are doing their best to work through the baby steps. “The juice simply isn’t worth the squeeze,” and “If it appears too good to be true, it probably is,” are two quotes about this I saw on Dave Ramsey’s site, but my favorite is that no millionaire ever made his/her money through airline miles.
Myth #5: It is at least good to have a credit card if there is an emergency
No. Wrong. Depending on what the emergency is, you will either be able to cash flow it or use your existing emergency fund to cover the expense. When you are working your way through the baby steps, emergencies will pop up, but you won’t worry because you got this. Also, many people who are not on the baby steps will not know how to define an emergency, so it is likely they will use credit cards for “emergencies” like a 炫乐彩票网 remodel, eating out, vacations, or new appliances. True emergencies happen to everyone but only people who are truly on the baby steps are prepared for them and they will not use credit cards to solve their problems.
It is my hope with this article that many people realize that they have been lied to and manipulated by some of the most cash-rich businesses in the world: the credit card industry. You do not need to fall prey to them. You can use cash or, at least, a debit card. Here’s some final statistics I have learned through my financial coach master training that will shine even more light on credit cards.
The average credit-card-using American has $16,425 in credit card debt.
Total credit card debt in America has reached $764 billion.
The average credit card APR is over 16%.
2/3 of Americans couldn’t afford a $1,000 emergency.
Nearly 8 out of 10 people live paycheck to paycheck.
A financial revolution will soon hit America and it will involve a lot of personal responsibility, which many will not enjoy. But let me tell you, it is the only way to financial freedom and it will affect nearly all other aspects of your life. Personal responsibility, accountability, and freedom are the surest way to financial peace.
Thank you for reading. Have a great week! We are already 12.5% of the way through 炫乐彩票网, so make the days count.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday, Groundhog Day, and Boy Scout Sunday! For today’s post, here is my ranking of the 10 Super Bowl halftime performances of the 2010’s. I hope you do as I did and rewatch them year by year, preferably with a wing platter and bleu cheese. I did my best to remove my prior memories of the performances and see them with fresh eyes for an objective perspective. Some of them are forgettable (see number 10) and some will live on forever in meme history (left shark, I’m looking at you), but all of them are concerts I would have loved to see live in the stadium. I prefer watching the game and commercials, but the halftime show has become somewhat of a cultural phenomena over the years, for both positive and negative reasons. So, without further ado; number 10 on my list of the best halftime shows of the 2010’s:
10) The Who(2010)
Don’t get me wrong, I love The Who and classic rock (it is my favorite genre and I have a fat stack of vintage vinyl in my room), but this performance was more like “The Who Cares?” I understand it started out the decade and is the oldest performance on this list, but I still remember great halftime shows from before this one. Again, I would be lucky to be able to go to a Who concert, but it seemed odd that they would be the choice for a Super Bowl halftime show.
9) Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars (2016)
This halftime show has a major disadvantage working against it; it is the only halftime show of the last decade that was performed in near-broad daylight. University of Phoenix stadium is amazing, but its more western time zone than the rest of the nation did not help the lackluster performances of some of the best musicians of last decade. I’ve never been much of a Cold Play or Beyoncé person, but even Bruno Mars dance moves looked unimpressive. I would have never thought that a backdrop could make such a difference, but no new ground was broken with this performance from 2016.
8) Madona, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, Cee Lo Green (2012)
Oh, Madonna. You really think you’re something, don’t you? Evansville has had a bit of a rivalry with Madonna ever since she stated that she was not a fan of the city after filming A League of Their Own. As famous as she is, I can’t name more than 2 of her songs. The whole ancient Rome theme at the beginning with Madonna as a goddess. Her backup singers screaming Madonna a half dozen times. Madonna trying to act like she knew who LMFAO was. The rest of the performance focused on what was popular at the time and I would venture that not many people are familiar with LMFAO or Cee Lo Green’s work today. And, I have never been a Nicki Minaj fan, but to each their own. Two thumbs down for me, but still memorable.
7) Bruno Mars, Red Hot Chili Peppers (2014)
All I can say about this performance is that I thought Bruno Mars was an amazing dancer and I was bored with the rest of it.
6) Beyoncé, Destiny’s Child (2013)
You know what goes really well together? Enormous mass-marketing events and political statements. Oh wait, those are really polarizing and only make half of the people happy, right? As aforementioned, I am not a huge Queen Bey fan, but I did think she rocked this performance. The reunion was also a rather large deal in 2013, but the show itself makes no mention of it. As Beyoncé’s first Super Bowl performance, it opened the door for her to have a national stage past the dozen movies she had already completed and return to the Super Bowl to have a dance battle with Bruno Mars 3 years later.
5) Justin Timberlake (2018)
People hated this performance! I had my own negative emotions toward it prior to watching. But, you know what? It was fantastic. It can be really difficult to put on a meaningful show when its just one person and their band, but JT did it. Yes, the outfit was crazy to look at, but he was just so good. No other single musician has done such a great job by themselves since Prince in 2007 (the best Super Bowl halftime show in my honest opinion). Speaking of Prince, who had passed in 2016, the touching tribute was well done in his 炫乐彩票网 state of Minnesota. Also, drones!
4) Maroon 5, Travis Scott, Big Boi(2019)
2019’s halftime show was a great case of a missed opportunity. There were so many Atlanta-based musicians who would have made great performers at this show, but the powers of be chose… Maroon 5. Maroon 5 is not my favorite by any means, but I still thought this was a great show with a lot of cool effects and entrances by other performers, namely Travis Scott on a meteor and Big Boi in the back of a Cadillac.
3) Lady Gaga (2017)
Lady Gaga was a superstar before this performance, but I think this opened the door to bigger opportunities, like acting in the sensation that was A Star is Born.I think Lady Gaga is everything Madonna wanted to be, but didn’t have the pinache or couthe to pull it off. This show was awesome. The effects, the music, the dancers, Lady Gaga jumping off the roof of Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This was also the first and last performance to use drones effectively.
2) The Black Eyed Peas, Usher, Slash(2011)
For me, this was the most memorable performance after number 1 for a variety of reasons. The only negative reaction I heard about this performance was how bad it sounded at 炫乐彩票网 and I’m still unsure how it managed to sound as such. The Black Eyed Peas brought the cool effects, Slash showed up and wailed on his guitar, and Usher had a really solid performance as a “secondary” performer. Perhaps the only real unfortunate part of the Tron-like Peas’ performance was that they had to sing Black Eyed Peas songs. I beleive this is the first year that they tried to have a performer for every demographic and it actually worked.
It is hard to not like this performance. Katy Perry’s entrance on the lion puppet, Lenny Kravits being Lenny Kravits, left-shark shenanigans, and the empowering Missy Elliot all gave the performance of a lifetime. Katy Perry is not everyone’s favorite, but it is hard to not sing along to her infectious vocals. Watch the video, the effects in this show were fantastic.
What do you think? Do you agree with my list? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to subscribe!
A little later in the week is better than never I suppose. I am still getting into rhythm with my school year but I think this coming week will be the best one yet schedule-wise. Those awkward gaps between classes are finally being filled and I am looking forward to my school-year paycheck. One exciting thing for Emily and I is that we have finally received our long-awaited engagement photos!
Not to appear immodest, but I love how we look in these photos. I am so happy with how our pictures turned out, that I am devoting this blog to why you should do what we did and SPLURGE (a little bit) on a great wedding photographer. I know, Forrest and the word “splurge” do not usually go together, but I am unashamed to admit that our photography stipend is a large part of our wedding budget (don’t go crazy now). Here’s why:
1) A great photographer is the next best alternative to hiring a wedding planner. Our photographer has sat down with us a few times already and helped us devise a plan for our special day. The thing that separates the good from the great is that the great wedding photographer will have all the experience needed to think of all possible picture opportunities. In having this experience, they will want to know what time every event of your wedding will take place so they can be ready to snap the best picture and suggest fun ideas. For example, knowing that the sun sets around 8 PM in May can lead to the suggestion of awesome sunset pictures. But it is important to know all of the events leading up to that moment, so everyone knows what will be happening preceding that moment. A wedding itinerary might sound like a drag on your wedding, but appropriate planning and help from your photographer/planner will lead to the best possible wedding day.
2) A great photographer will make your special day memorable, fun, and important. I don’t know about the other guys out there, but (typically) we are not such a fan of taking photos of ourselves for hours on end. I was supremely skeptical of going around for so long to just take pictures, but I sure am glad that we didn’t just use the “great aunt who got a camera for Christmas.” What I did not expect out of the day was actually having a lot of fun. Our photographer made what I had been dreading for weeks one of the highlights of wedding preparation. A great photographer will make you laugh, find the big moments, and hold your hand on how to pose and smile for a great photo for your save the dates. In this utterly non-present world that we live in, stopping for 12 seconds to take a photo (scientifically how long it takes to remember a pleasant moment) can have a positive, long-term effect on your memory of your special day and the process it took to get there. Photographers help you be present!
3) In the end, what all are you going to remember about your wedding day? Even though I have yet to be married, I can only imagine the spheres of influence that will try to garner your attention on a wedding day. I’d venture to say that most couples do not remember every second of their special day and likely would want to. A great photographer will capture the essence of the day and, though your memory may fade with age, the one thing you will always have is your wedding photos. Looking back through your wedding scrapbook will bring back the emotions of the day every time you look at them, whether it be 1 or 20 years afterward. A guestbook will only contain signatures, but the pictures of that day will last a metaphorical eternity. There’s a reason that, when we had our house fire, our pictures were our top priority item to get out of the house. Similar to the Mexican Day of the Dead traditions of putting a photo of a deceased relative on the family ofrenda, a person may have two deaths in this world: their actual death being the first and the last living person forgetting them being the second. Let’s face it, no one in the present world may have ever known what your great-grandmother looked like if not for that old wedding picture.
If you are looking for an excellent wedding photographer in the Evansville area, Emily and I’s recommendation is Rachel Mathew Photography. She truly is a great photographer and her website is (maybe we’ll get a discount for the rampant sponsorship in this post).
How are your New Year’s Resolutions coming? Have you already failed in some way to achieve one of your goals? If not, congratulations, you are a high achiever. If you did fail, that’s perfect. Most everyone has. I already failed on some of my goals too. What can we learn from that experience in order to try again tomorrow and do better? The difference between sustained habits and intentional learning-failures is that one motivates through the fear of failure and the other motivates through the promise of self-love and learning experiences. There are 2 major factors that come into play when we are making changes in our lives: our self-evaluations and our actions. True change comes when we find the balance between being happy and content with ourselves when we fail and ambitious and dynamic enough that we never stop improving.
One of the biggest issues that arises when trying to make positive changes is when we try to get into a routine. There is usually a day after the holidays when we “go back,” whether it be to work, to school, or other. When we go back, we often struggle to get into the groove of things and, when we do, it is really difficult to maintain. For example, it seems that every year I try to get up in the mornings to walk my neighborhood. I think my record might be 4 days in a row before that stops in its tracks. When I start, it’s usually the beginning of January and right when I am trying to start going back to school as well. I am trying to do too much at the same time and it is too stinkin’ cold to go for a walk when the sun isn’t out. No matter how much I prepare, I usually fall off of this bandwagon. I think my main issue may be that I am trying too hard to force myself into a routine when I should be cajoling myself with a new rhythm.
Routine and rhythm sound like the same thing and are used interchangeably to most, but I think I may have cracked why there is a difference and why I struggle with maintaining new habits. The picture above is the best representation of what I see as the main difference between the 2. Something as simple as a connotation can turn a humdrum “I don’t wanna” habit into an aspiring lifestyle change. Rhythm is beautiful. It’s what makes music enjoyable. Routine is monotonous. The definition of a routine is “a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.” The same sequence day in and day out is no way to live a life because nothing new is introduces. It oftentimes takes more planning for your life to be unpredictable than it does to do the same thing everyday. And doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. Life deserves to be beautiful. One of my favorite quotes on the subject is from Paulo Coelho:
Routine is dull, constricting, and rigid. Rhythm is melodic, positive, and flexible. There are no perfect or imperfect songs, rather works of art that can make you dance. Wouldn’t it be cool if your life was a source of music for your internalities. Dancing to your own beat is usually used to describe someone who does their own thing, but literally feeling the beat of your life is a rich experience. I do not always feel it, but when I do, I feel it.
So, the next time you are goal-planning, keep this perspective: I want to captivate the rhythm of life, rather than my routine captivate me. Use this as a way to make your goals mentally easier to meet, as there is no perfect way to go about things. You will no longer be planning to work out every other day, but rather become stronger and healthier. You will see your goals as more attainable because failure is an option, as long as you learn from it. You will not grow tired of your favorite song, but a simple note played over and over again along the same time intervals will cause anyone to become discontent. Songs have harmonizing melodies and harsh crescendos, as does life. This is a more realistic approach to becoming a better human being and will help you write the song of your life. Learn about your habits and make adjustments based on them. Get to know the person who looks back at you in the mirror and know why they are the way they are. A brain, ignorant of what the rest of the body does, will cut out the stomach for food. I am a believer in gradual change over time, but the change should both be positive and positively achieved.
I hope this article will help someone with their positive, improving, and goal-setting mentality for the year. For all those starting to “go back” to college this week, know this will not be a perfect semester. Keep in mind, however, that this will be a positive learning-experience the entire way through if you dance to your own beat.
It’s a Vikings playoff game day! Right now, the Vikes are leading the Saints 20-17, so I am going to keep this blog post short and to-the-point. 3 1/2 years ago, I had a house fire that caused a complete demolition of our house. However, many of our possessions made it out unscathed. I have always been a huge Lego Star Wars person, so, at the time, I had several models made. Almost all of them were broken into pieces upon transportation out of the house and I have only recently had the time to put them back together. They were mostly in big chunks with some loose pieces. To me, this made the construction even more difficult because it was completely unknown what was still intact and what would have to be completely redone. Here are 2 timelapse videos of some Lego Star Wars ships.
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