Thursday, May 28, 2009

double standards or money well spent???

i have been reluctant to post about this (and give this guy more pr), but i saw this article earlier this morning and couldn't resist pointing to it. i am as big a t.i. fan as they come (i can remember back in my second year of college when no one in atlanta would play his records but greg street.....shout out to greg street and thanks for coming back to atlanta a few years back). however, i am totally perplexed at how this guys did it. double standards? money well spent hiring the proper expertise? i don't know, but here is the article (it compares t.i. to mike vick).

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

no internet in 2009 is like...

not having running water or electricity!!! you should have seen the reaction on people's faces when i told them that my internet was down at my crib for the last few days. it was pretty funny (their reactions, NOT not having

luckily, internet is back up and should be ready to go when i get home. i' m back connected to the world. who would have ever thought that you could feel so out of touch with the world in only 10-12 hours of being disconnected!?!?!?! how far we have come.

first citation of my work found!!!

in a very surprising collection of search results, i found the first citation of my work published back in september 2008. the work referencing my paper was actually just published earlier this month, so the timing is crazy. more importantly, the work that referenced my work turns out to be extremely relevant (and helpful) to the work i am buried in at the moment. and the only reason i stumbled upon this new publication is because i had forced myself to continue to push and work even though i did not fully know how to complete what i was working on (i was basically starting the write up for this current work). doing just a little bit of what you do know is always the way to go. however, it can be discouraging to start knowing that you can only complete 1% right now. well, that 1% you do not have to do later!!! and, you may even come across some information in the doing to help you understand what that other 99% is. this is exactly what happened to me today. 2 positives came from it all: (1) seeing my work referenced and (2) finding a relevant publication to help me with my work. you have to love the journey.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

make it routine

on the walk to work this morning, i was thinking of how i could possibly incorporate waking up early in the morning and jogging to get into better cardio shape for basketball (and wishfully, flag-football and any other sports of interest i can find pick-up games of). i thought to myself: 'how can i get into shape without running'? i had to laugh at this stupidity and laziness of this thought.

if you want the results, you HAVE to make it a point to do ALL the activities that bring about the sought results. the activities have to become routine AND habit. that's the only way. there are no shortcuts. the problem for most people that KNOW EXACTLY what they need to do to reap the desired outcomes is that they are not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to ensure the goals are achieved. that is, people don't want to give up television. people don't want to wake up at 5:30 am. people don't want to work a few hours later in the evening. don't get me wrong, it is difficult. BUT, making it routine (which comes from forced execution for a time window) will incorporate it into your daily habits, and it will no longer seem like a big deal.

make every hour count.

i have purposely omitted the fact that you have to find out what activities bring about the results you seek. this is a totally separate topic for another post potentially. essentially, just as people don't want to give up television, people don't want to do the research to find out how to achieve their goals.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the perfect equation...

1. deadline + time limit = pressure
2. pressure = extreme focus * intensity * motivation * dedication
3. deadline + time limit = extreme focus * intensity * motivation * dedication

success is the only outcome with these ingredients. 1 month and counting.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

super grind mode

feelin' great today. can't really explain it, but i have an insatiable appetite to accomplish tasks. it's great because i have a lot to do. is the feeling because i have a lot to do? who knows. been very productive up to this point and i don't see any signs of letting up. it's going to be a very powerful and productive day.

*in the soulja boy - turn my swag on rhythm*...
hopped up out the bed, turned my swag on....turned the dial up to super grind mode.....yea, we goin' hard!!!

p.s. - i saw this, and although it is super hilarious, it is super TRUE!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

and we are back in the game

had an awesome day today! i have a clear direction for my deadline next month and am diligently working to get the work done. i know what experiments i need to run. i know the data i need to support my claims. and i even can begin writing in the meantime while i wait for experiments to run.

it must be something about springtime and the sunshine here for me. it really seems to get me going. last year (about this time) was when work really picked up. if only i could learn to fabricate this _feeling_ all year round.'s here, and i plan to take advantage.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

the power of a smile (cont'd)

when we have a negative outlook on life or when we are simply not smiling, we tend to focus more on negative things. and, as i have said before, your body follows the direction in which you are looking. when we focus on negativity, we are essentially looking for it; AND, you are ALWAYS gonna find it. what we may perceive as "when it rains, it pours," is actually a "sun shower" (sprinkles of rain in the beaming sunshine). too many times, we choose to ignore the beaming sunshine. we are not necessarily experiencing a succession of negative things , we just may be preventing ourselves from seeing anything positive and think there are only bad things happening to us.

the same thing can be said of having a constant smile and happiness that is unshakable. yes, we all experience setbacks. BUT, we wield the power not to allow something external to affect our internal state. as kanye says in his book (thank you and you're welcome), "life is 5% what happens to you......and 95% how you react"!!!

i'd rather think it was raining blessings than curses. and, that is what i CHOOSE to think. it's that easy. the rest is done.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the power of a smile

it's no coincidence that when you are in a good mood, things seem to "go your way," and when you are having a bad day, you may find yourself thinking "when it rains, it pours."

the ONLY difference between these two outcomes is one's state of mind or emotional state. you manufacture what you receive. you get back what you give out. that's it. make sure you are using the right bait!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

broadening your perspective

throughout our lives and our daily tasks, we are often faced with opportunities to view situations and circumstances from different angles and perspectives. too often at these junctures, we allow our focus to hinder our sight; that is, we are so focused with our heads down churning away at the task at hand that we forget to look up and survey the vast openness that lies ahead of us. lately, i have really been struggling with my own vision. does it exist? how good is it? what is clouding it? am i looking too hard? *shrugging my shoulders*

growing up, i used to hear sayings such as "you can't see the forest for the trees" and "you can't see for looking." i thought i understood them, but i am learning that there is a bit more to the sayings than the initial message. they really speak to being able to maintain a focus on the "big picture" while simultaneously focusing on the tasks at hand. with my research, this has been a constant hindrance for me as, too often, i lose sight of what in the heck i am working towards while solving the little problems to get there. as a result, i am constantly looking back and making sure i know where i am going. is this normal for research? *shrugging my shoulders* i have no idea. however, i do feel that certain individuals have natural skills in keeping sight of the goal.

the analogy of the ostrich with his head in the sand is a great illustration of this. when we raise the altitude of our line of sight, we not only see where we want to go more clearly, but we are also given the opportunity to survey what other options (relevant or better) exist. this whole phd thing is not only intense training at managing a research project on your own, but it is also intense training in developing and using your vision and creativity.

Friday, May 08, 2009

the definition of indexing.......a computer scientist's definition

an index is defined as "a reference table that contains the keys or references needed to address data items." indexing is the act of using an index to retrieve information. this has been on my mind lately as i have been amazed at the ability of human beings to recall the most random and minute memories from the vast information store that is the human brain. it's unbelievable. too, i think about how google has managed to organize the world's information and use its index to present relevant results through a simple google search. perhaps this last though is due to me having recently finished reading jeff jarvis' 'what would google do' (a great book btw if you are interested in how google has changed the way business and marketing and customer relations work in this google age).

this afternoon, i began to think about some of the lessons i have learned during my phd, and what struck me was how much of a phd is coming up with new and cool and relevant ideas. yes, you have to go and do the work too, but, as with most things, coming up with the initial idea is the hardest part. think about business ideas for example. for most, coming up with the killer idea is the hardest part. there is no recipe for how to come up with ideas. it varies from person and some are more gifted at this than others. however, practice does help. what i have found to be my struggle is that i seem to come up with ideas out of sequence or order. that is, ideas that may be a few steps ahead of where i am currently. because of the randomness of my thinking, a lot of potentially good ideas get tossed out of my brain instead of stored for later indexing. i saw this first-hand today as i came across an idea (which happened to be step 1). it just so happened that i needed to flip back through my notebook for another piece of information, and i just so happened to stumble upon step 2. a great idea i had a month or so ago that could not have fit more perfectly with step 1.

i guess this is some indication or artifact that i am still not sold on my ability and need to have more confidence that what i say has meaning, even if it may not have meaning that very moment!!!