Here’s a Few Things on my “Bucket List.” What’s on Yours?

Years before I’d every heard the term bucket list, I used the term ‘mental resume‘ to describe things I wanted to do one day. Then I’d add them to the resume in my head…as in a resume that no one would ever see, or that’d even be written, but a resume I could reflect on…perhaps sharing some of the stories with friends along the way.

I may have changed my mind on not jotting these things down along the way, as I’ve since grown to be a fan of notebooks/journals. The reality is, we may actually forget some cool things we’ve done along the way if we don’t record them somewhere. But I digress…

Off the top of my head, and in no particular order…here are a few things that I want to get around to doing before I kick the bucket.

Go Diving with Great White Sharks

diving with great white sharksHow cool would THAT be?! Now to be clear, I do NOT wanna go down there without being in a cage. Although I’ve got mad respect for those that go down with no steel cage for protection, I think they’re crazy. My butt’s gonna be in a cage.

While I’m down there, I definitely wanna take some pictures. Hopefully at least one of which would be good enough to enlarge and frame. (I used to be into photography and wanna get into it again. So, for me, getting a good photo out of the shark dive is almost as important as the experience itself.)

I’ve looked into it, and one of the premier areas in the world to dive with great whites is off the coast of Northern California…right around where I used to live.

Although I’m sure I’d get a little nervous right before going down, this is one I’m really looking forward to!

Tour North America in an RV

This bucket list item certainly isn’t an adrenaline-based one, but boy would it be cool! [Read more…]

The Gift of Giving

I hope you’re having a great Spiritual Sunday!

(By the way, Spiritual Sunday is a term I like to use meaning…whatever your beliefs, I hope you’re using today (or whatever day works best for you) to get in touch with your spiritual side. It’s a time to decompress and get away from the hustle and bustle of the world…a time to get in touch something higher than yourself, which ultimately puts you more in touch with your true self. I’m getting all philosophical here…on to my point about giving.)

Some friends recently tagged me in a couple photos on Facebook showing us in action giving out food to local families who are experiencing tough times. I generally have a rule not to post pics of myself doing stuff like this, mention it in a status update, tweet, or anywhere else. Reason being, I don’t do things like this to have them known by others. I do them, in part, to help my fellow human in need…but if I’m being totally honest, I do them because it gives me a sense of joy.

But in my effort to stay humble and avoid seeming like I’m patting myself on the back, perhaps I went too far. After all, if I don’t share with you the joy I get from giving, then I can’t very well encourage you to try it and experience it for yourself. With that being said…

A few years ago I went through a phase where I really began to analyze what things in life gave me joy. By joy I mean a deep-rooted, inner sense of happiness and peace, as opposed to fleeting happiness. One thing I soon realized was that I get the most joy from helping others. Jesus himself said “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” I’ve found this to be the case in my life…BIG TIME!

It’s as if there’s something innate about helping those in need that makes us feel good. Not only that, it helps put into perspective just how blessed we really are and how good we really have it.giving

For example, if you’re not happy with your looks, volunteering at a burn center will help you realize how beautiful you really are. Not happy with your small house? Go take some food and/or clothing to an area where homeless people reside. You’ll realize pretty quickly that having a roof, four walls, and a door that locks is pretty flippin’ sweet!

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ~ Mother Teresa

We all speak the language of love, and that’s what giving is about…putting some love out there into the world. By giving to/helping someone in need, you’re letting them know they’re loved, without having to be all super sappy and coming out and saying it.

“The only way to get love is to give love.” ~ Snoop Lion

My hope is that you’ll find your own way to give to others. And please know, it doesn’t have to be money or things you give to someone, it could simply be your time. I assure you, whatever you give will more than come back to you!

Your friend in Peace, Love, and Happiness,

Clay

Why I Listen to Classical Music While Working on the Computer

Call me a nerd, but I can often be found listening to classical music while working on the computer…both when reading and writing. In fact, I’m listening to some as I type this.

Sure there are some studies that have shown that classical music has positive effects on the brain. The most famous of these studies was done in 1993 by Rauscher, et al. And here’s another one done by JS Jenkins in 2001. But to be honest, I don’t really care about what those studies have to say.

I find that listening to classical music helps me achieve just the right amount of mental arousal, improves my focus and concentration, and helps me be able to work effectively for longer periods of time. classical stations

A lot of my writing – the majority, in fact – is done from Starbucks. Although I love the energy provided by the people and their movement and conversation, it can be a bit distracting. But when I’ve got the headphones in with some classical tunes coming out, it really helps to eliminate (or at least drastically minimize) any distraction.

On the other hand, when I’m working in a really quiet environment – like from home – I find that I could use  a little boost of mental energy. Again, that’s where classical music comes in.

My Classical Music Listening Tips

Through lots of trial and error, I’ve found just the right formula that works for me.

  • the volume shouldn’t be too high – just a tad louder than background noise is perfect for me. If someone walks up and says something to me, I can still hear them. Yet the music is loud enough to minimize, or level out, various types of background noise.
  • it needs to be instrumental only – when the music has words, my brain tends to focus on that. Instrumental works perfectly.
  • it needs to be classical, classical music – what I mean is that it needs to be from, or similar to, music done by the masters like Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, etc.

If you wanna give it a shot but don’t have tons of classical music options on your phone or mp3 player, here’s what I do:

  • check out Live365.com – from there go to genres, then click on classical. Scroll down and choose a station. My two favorites are in the picture above. You can listen for free. If you prefer to not have any commercials, you can get a premium membership.
  • create classical stations on Pandora – if you don’t have the Pandora app on your phone, you’re missing out. I’ve created a Mozart station, a Beethoven station, and a couple of others in the classical realm. Usually I choose the shuffle option and then select each of these to be included in the shuffle. That works great for me.

Alright my fellow nerds…just wanted to share this music/productivity strategy with ya. Have a good one!

Dr C

DrClay.com’s sporting a new look

Perhaps you’ve already noticed…DrClay.com has a fresh new look. I find it ‘cleaner’ looking and hope you do, too. I know, it’s nothing all that major, but when you consider the fact that I’m the one making the tweaks…and I’m untrained and unqualified to do so…any minor improvement is a major success in my book!  :)

If nothing else, the new theme should function better, especially on mobile devices and tablets.

The next thing I’m going to be working on is improving the overall navigation – as in categories, subcategories, tags, etc. It’s evolved (or devolved) to be rather mish mash (aka unorganized), making things, especially older stuff, harder to find. But hey….I guess you get what you pay for ;)  Seriously, thanks for visiting this less-than-perfect site…and thanks for your patience while I make tiny steps toward perfection. ~ Dr C