Personal Musings - Being Generous...

Personal Musings - Being Generous...

It’s that time of year, where the tree is trimmed and Christmas is in every shop window enticing us to buy, Buy, BUY! Despite the commercialisation of Christmas there is an underpinning of good-will and generosity that permeates the air. So what is generosity and why is it so important?

For a start, people often view generosity as something that involves money. This is only one of the facets of generosity and depending upon your circumstances it is often the easiest one to enact. There is no reason you can’t be generous with your time, your attention, or your love. Generosity is more of an attitude of life rather than doing something at a point in time.

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For example, there is nothing worse than talking to someone that is constantly looking at their phone. They are being a miser with their attention as they constantly tell you that someone else is more important than you are. It’s also just plain rude.

If a person is to be generous then it must be an act of free will. This seems obvious but have you ever been to a restaurant with someone where they’ve waited for you to pick up the tab? They’ve essentially stolen the joy of being generous by manipulating the situation for you to pay…..not cool.

A generous person also needs to be wealthy in what they are being generous with. If you’re time poor then you’re unlikely to be generous with your time…..you just can’t afford it. You may need to ask yourself why you are a pauper in that area of your life and work on how you can bring some flexibility to your schedule that allows you to become time rich.

So many people claim to be time poor but after a few minutes of talking with them you quickly realise they are this way because they consume their time on themselves rather than being generous to others. For example, how much time do you spend watching television, youtube or play games on your phone? Could you cut out just one of these activities and suddenly be in a position to bless others with your time?

For me, there is no faster way to destroy an evening out then when someone pulls out a calculator app to work out how much they should pay. It gets even worse when they ask the waiter for a menu so they can get their numbers down to the cent. But isn’t this fair? What’s the problem with that?

The real enemy of being generous is people who live a life of being fair. Being fair sounds so good until you realise that it removes all generosity. You see, generosity isn’t about being fair, in fact, it’s the polar opposite. Being generous is going above and beyond fair just because you want to bless someone else.

True generosity also means there are no strings attached. I know some people who act like they are being generous but carry a mental ledger of whom owes what to whom. This isn’t about being generous at all…..it’s about balancing the scales so everything is fair…..it’s also a lot how politicians behave.

I knew a couple that would literally keep track of who spent what amount of money on themselves so they could balance everything up. The wife bought some new clothes so the husband could then spend money on some technical gadget. Rather than being happy for the other person’s purchases they had a desire to balance the ledger…..sadly, the relationship broke apart.

One of the sad things about Christmas is it can dissolve into a time of obligations. I must buy a present for so-and-so because that’s what’s expected. The levels of expectations rise up and is one of the contributing factors for why Christmas is not very “merry” for many people.

The fastest way to put a smile on your face is to decide to be generous with your giving…..this doesn’t necessarily mean more money. It could be you spend the time making something. I’ve kept every birthday, Christmas and Father’s Day card that my kids have ever made for me.…..they are more precious than anything Hallmark could have produced. Maybe it’s time you dusted off your artistic skills?

If you ever want to do a “generosity health check” then do something for someone else where there is no possible way you can get anything in return. Don’t be a miser, go way over the top. Buy the groceries of the person in front of you at the store, give your favourite coat to a homeless person, pay for the McDonald’s of the car behind you in the drive through, anonymously donate money to a worthy cause, help a stranger with a broken down car or spend an afternoon with a nephew or niece.

One of the most amazing things about being generous is when you do so you will actually get more from the act then the person you are being generous to. It’s like magic! The feelings of well-being and happiness that envelopes you are worth every penny, second or effort the deed required. It’s only a few weeks until Christmas, decide to bring joy into the lives of those around you by being generous and receive a great gift in return……love.

We can all be a littler more generous.....we just need to practice harder.

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - I'm Exhausted and Loving It!

Saturday Musings - I'm Exhausted and Loving It!

Have you ever worked so hard that you literally fall asleep at the keyboard? Well, that was me this past week. In the wee hours of the morning I awoke to the uncomfortable feeling of the “A” key pressed into my cheek. So what spurred me into this fanatical desire to work myself into a stupor?

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It all began with an idea. Ideas are very dangerous things and normally should be avoided at all costs but in my case I made the mistake of letting my idea germinate. I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I took the next step in my journey into oblivion….I picked up a pen and sketched on a piece of paper how the idea could theoretically be built.

The problem with this stage is the idea was really beginning to take shape. This of course made my singular focus even worse as it became an all-consuming fixation of seeing it come into reality. In some-ways it reminded me of Victor Frankenstein prior to throwing the switch to seeing his creation come to life.

I’ve said this to the ParkLogic tech-team and I’ll write it here. There’s nothing more dangerous than a person (ie. me) with some rusty old tools, a plan, and a vision. So I dusted off my programming skills and got to the work of breathing some life into my idea.

Like any great undertaking everything hinges on the strength of the foundations…..but they are so boring to build. You spend ages mixing the programming cement, belting together functions and working out the overall architecture. The result is more of a Picasso looking house with all of the bits seemingly in the wrong spot.

For me I, I made the fatal mistake of showing off my strange edifice to Roselyn (my wife) so she could fully appreciate the nuances and clever little bits that I’d built. After being somewhat polite she asked a really dumb but however smart question, “And this does what?”

After being somewhat flummoxed with the response towards my brilliance I ushered her out of my study with the promise of a nice cup of tea. I then returned with renewed fervour as I moved the programming bedrooms out of the garage, attached them to the hallway and made sure the toilet flushed downwards rather than upwards. All really important details that I’d neglected to finalise.

This is when I entered that state of being that many programmers only know as “the zone”. This is a point where you have a singular and intense of focus that can only be described as astonishing. The previous chaos of bits and bytes suddenly seemed to gain a sense of order as I plied my herding skills to the code. I glanced at the clock and casually noticed it was 4am…..how time fly’s when you’re in the zone.

I dragged myself away from my desk, climbed into bed and was asleep in about 3 seconds to the comforting feeling of dancing HTML and PHP code in my head. A few hours later I was back working on my regular tasks and at the end of the day I resumed my vision. Things were really beginning to take shape and I had not just a home but a castle!

So it’s now the end of the week and I’m thoroughly exhausted…..but what a week’s it’s been! For those of you that have any programming experience you’ll fully appreciate the euphoric bliss I’m talking about. It’s a wonderful feeling seeing something come into being that wasn’t there before. It’s an act of creation, built from a vision and powered by passion.

I honestly wish that I could show to you what I built…..but that is for another day. Right now I really to reintroduce myself to Roselyn, and then get some sleep that doesn’t involve a keyboard.

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - I've Got a New Job

Saturday Musings - I've Got a New Job

Starting a new job, project or business can be one of the most exciting and most stressful times in your life. It just so happens that this evening I’m about to do exactly that….I’ve decided to take on a new job as a bouncer.

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For those of you that have met me, you will undoubtedly have great concerns about by intended new vocation. My physique is not particularly suited for the job as my fingers are more used to typing on a keyboard than rough handling a few delinquents out the door. But, I know I can rise to the challenge!

At some stage in most men’s life, circumstances thrust you into making difficult decisions and whether you rise to the challenge or collapse under the burden is up to your attitude. Tonight, I intend to be triumphant in my ability to become the best bouncer that has walked this planet….so watch out!

I know this is my first night on the job but I seemed to pass the job interview pretty well….even though I'm a bit stressed knowing the success or failure of the event largely rests on my shoulders. I’ve been told that imagining various scenarios can help alleviate my stress, so in an effort to prepare myself I’m practicing my witty bouncer comeback lines. I'd be interested in your feedback...

Partier: “So why are you throwing me out?”

Me: “Because your domains really suck and you have fraudulent traffic! That’s why!”

Or how about…

Partier: “Who the hell do you think you are?”

Me: (with Dirty Harry’s voice – of course): “I bet you’re wondering just how much traffic I have left? Can I really unleash a torrent of hell down upon your website? Well, feeling lucky punk?”

 Or….and now I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Partier (Bill Paxton whining Aliens voice): “Party’s over man, party’s over.”

Me: “It is for you. I just caught you attempting a domain hijacking. You’re outta here!”

So what do you think? Do I need to improve some of them? Please provide me with any suggestions to help me through my first bouncing job……as time marches forward I’m starting to feel a little nervous.

BTW, I should also mention that tonight is my daughter’s eighteenth birthday party and me (ie. Dad) is the bouncer of choice. So it’s with great relief that it looks like my new job is more of a contract appointment that will be finishing around 1am. Who knows, if I’m any good I may launch another business……I just need to buy the domain for that!

Have a great weekend and thankfully, I'll see you at NamesCon!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

Saturday Musings - A Journey Through Time

When I attended the recent Domain Conference in Florida I had a few copies of my science fiction book, Battleframe, to hand out as giveaways. It provoked a lot of discussion about scifi and one of the members of the Godaddy team ended up telling me about a book called “Read Player One”.

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Ready Player OneBy the time I’d finally returned to Australia I’d completely forgotten the conversation until I received an Amazon delivery with a copy of the book inside. For a start the cover intrigued me, it had a picture of a young man climbing a stack of caravans……so I thought I’d give the book a shot and started reading.

What surprised me was the fact that the central theme running the whole way through “Ready Player One” was everything about the eighties. Computers, board games, computer games and music were all fodder for creating elaborate puzzle clues that the protagonist had to solve.

To be quite honest with you I cared less about the plot (which was a little simplistic) and more for the fact that it was a personal journey through time. Trash 80 computers with 16K or RAM, cassette loaders and Atari 2600 game consoles were carefully weaved into the overall story. I loved it!

My first computer was a Trash 80 clone and it sites under the stair in its box to this day! My second computer was a Commodore 64 and the games the characters played were straight from my childhood. Including Joust, Zaxxon, Defender (I loved that game) and the D&D (Dungeons and Dragons for the uninitiated) module “Tomb of Horrors”. I’d played and loved them all!

In fact, at one point I was desperately hoping the author would actually mention some of the games that I programmed…..but sadly no. The original “Lord of the Rings” and “Mugsy’s Revenge” weren’t mentioned. Maybe in book two JI can only hope!

Was it the best thing I’ve ever read? No. Was it just good mindless fun? Heck yeah! It managed to keep me up to the small hours of the morning which is all you can really ask from a book.

I would like to thank the entire Godaddy team for inspiring me to read “Ready Player One” and to the particular team member that sent me a copy of the book. I’ve already passed it onto my closest friend who is also one of the characters in Battleframe (Bosk).

Have a great weekend!

Greenberg & Lieberman

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Saturday Musings - I've Crossed A Line

Saturday Musings - I've Crossed A Line

Yesterday, I crossed the line of no return. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I could somehow undo what happened but then, with a smile on my face I really don't want to. You see, yesterday was the day when our youngest daughter turned eighteen and in Australia, became an adult.

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I remember like it was only yesterday when I held her in my arms for the very first time. The wonder in her eyes as she looked around the hospital delivery room and then she finally fixed on my own.

We both soaked in each others features, I her father and she my daughter. So yesterday I looked at not a little baby but a beautiful grown women, full of life and excitement for the years ahead. An almost mystical spark of love sprang between us.

When I look at her today, she seems to continue to look innocently around at the world in wonder....and then our eyes meet. Like eighteen years earlier, the bond of love between us is as strong as ever. I'm her father and she's my daughter.

But I’ve crossed a line. I no longer have children who are children but children who are now adults. Somehow, though all of our life’s ups and downs my wife and I have watched as three babies transformed into adulthood…..and now our last is no longer a child.

I'm so proud of each of my children, for the adventures they're going on, devouring life with a ferocious appetite. If life is a theme park, each of them are definitely riding the rollercoaster rather than playing it safe on the merry-go-round. You only get one shot at life, so you may as well enjoy it.

So when I looked at Elise yesterday, I found I had conflicting emotions. Happy for her but sad that those childhood years are now behind us. So rather dwell overly long in the past I begin to think of the future and the possibilities it will bring. Grandchildren! It was then that a smile spread across my face…..the cycle of life continues…..so maybe there was no line after all.

Have a great weekend!

PS. I should mention, that my wife Roselyn and our two daughters will be at NamesCon in January…..we look forward to see you all then!

Greenberg and Lieberman

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