All Good Things Must Come to an End

This is the seventh edition of Wednesdays with Dorrie.  To read more of this column make sure to bookmark this link: Wednesdays with Dorrie.

Weird. That is the only adjective I can come up with to describe how I feel about Dorrie Prouty no longer being in my life. It may not be the most eloquent description, but it is exactly how I feel right now. It is almost hard to believe how much this amazing woman has changed my life in six months and now its over. Here is how it all came to an end.

The End is Here

I entered the retirement community like any other day last Friday and I went to the second floor. As I approached Dorrie’s apartment/room I noticed the door was close. I asked the nurse if I could go in and she said it was fine. Upon entering Dorrie’s room I quickly noticed a woman I had never seen before. She introduced herself as Dorrie’s daughter. The nurse introduced me as “Jesse, Dorrie’s volunteer.” The moment Dorrie’s daughter looked me in the eyes I knew. I absolutely knew what it meant. I look down and Dorrie and asked her how she was. Her response, “Oh, not so well.” It was a very awkward moment as Dorrie did not even recognize me and I am certain her daughter was thinking, who is this guy? After a brief conversation about Dorrie’s granddaughter going to Wake Forest I explained that I was not feeling well and I would see Dorrie on Monday.

As I exited the retirement community last Friday I honestly thought it was the last time I would ever see Dorrie alive. I was almost expecting the phone call all weekend but it did not happen. On Monday, April 1st, 2013, exactly six afterI met Dorrie for the first time I entered the facility to spend time with Dorrie. As I got on the elevator I just had that feeling that things were not right. I think we have all had that feeling at one time in our lives. As I walked over to Dorrie’s apartment my eyes had to endure one of the worst sights I had ever seen.

I looked in Dorrie’s room and everything had been removed except her bed and a large fan. I did not want to go in without talking to the nurse. I found Delores and asked her if I could go in. She said, “I am not sure but Jesse.” She simply gave the thumbs down motion. I tried to remain as strong as possible and I said, “I know.” We sat for a few minutes and talked. She explained the Dorrie’s daughter left on Friday and she was not going to return until Dorrie passed. Dorrie’s son from Virginia had come down over the weekend and cleaned out the room.

To change the subject we just talked about life. I know she was doing her best to keep my mind off the inevitable. After talking for about 20 minutes Delores had to help some other residents. She said I could go in and see her but she likely would not recognize me. At 11:20 am on April 1st, 2013 I entered room 4211 for the final time. I looked down at Dorrie who was struggling in every sense of the word. These were her last precious seconds of the 88 years of her life. I spoke a little louder than usual and I said, “Hello Dorrie.” For a brief moment that wandering, beautiful blue eyes looked up at me. I know, deep down, that she recognized me for those brief moments. I looked deep into those eyes and I said, “Dorrie, I love you.” I saw her close her eyes for the final time and I kiss her forehead.

I have not received the final phone call telling me she has passed but everyone has agreed there is no reason for me to return to volunteer with her. I have grown so accustomed to getting up every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning and volunteering with Dorrie from 10:00 to noon. I have requested another resident to work with during the same time each week and the volunteer coordinator has said she will find something that works out. One thing is for certain. There will never be another Dorrie Prouty. When I walk by room 4211 there will be only one way to describe it. Weird.

Dorrie Prouty proved so many things to me but I think the most important thing I have realized with this volunteer experience is that time brings out the best (and worst) in people. Coming from a guy that loves to rush everything, I now realize that it takes patience to get what you want in life. I seriously doubt I will every start a serious romantic relationship in my life without know that particular female for, you got it, six months. The amount of time I got to spend with Dorrie Prouty.…

A Change of Scenery is Very Effective for Enhanced Creativity

Does a change of scenery boost your creativity? – Write Now!

Just the other day I mentioned that I rarely, if ever, get writer’s block. I honestly feel that one of the reasons for this is I am afforded a change of scenery whenever I desire. This is not available to most as they have a specific workplace environment. My workplace environment changes on a daily basis. I have worked from Hawaii, San Diego, Las Vegas, Houston, Raleigh and now Chapel Hill all in the last few years. I would like to think that this has been quite the change of scenery that allows my creative juices to flow.

A Change of Scenery is Very Important to Creativity

Many hard working individuals get into a routine. They get up at the same time. They take the same route oo the way to work. Their lunch break is around the same time. They leave the workplace around 5:00 and take that same route back home. Dinner is served at a similar time every weeknight. After dinner they read a book, the newspaper or watch a little TV. As the day winds down they prepare to do the exact same thing tomorrow. Fortunately, I do not live that life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with consistency and coming up with a routine that works for you. I find that when I get into the same routine for more than a few weeks I hit a wall. I can no longer think outside the box and my creativity is shot. This is exactly what I do not want as creative content is a big part of my success. Every single day I take a walk on a different trail. Every day I do my best to adjust my schedule so it is not similar to yesterday. Once again, I am very fortunate to have these options.

If you want to enhance your creativity I strongly suggest trying something a little bit different in the next week. Take a different route to work. Instead of eating at the same restaurant try something different. If you are a baseball fan in the spring consider going to a tennis match. If you read fiction pick up a non fiction book. You will be very surprised how your brain reacts to something a little bit different. If you do this on a consistent basis you will really great the creative juices flowing.

Creative Content Generation is Not for Everyone

There are many jobs that do not require creative content. In fact, most jobs do not. Individuals working in Internet marketing, SEO or social media must be creative to succeed. If individuals are not creative on the Internet they are going to get run over. Trust me when I tell you that I have seen this time and again. You do not have to be the lead marketing director for Apple to be considered a creative mind but it does take a little bit of thinking outside the box every once in awhile.

Some of the most creative content producers use multiple resources. YouTube is amazing for video. Most importantly, it is free. Pinterest, Instagram, 500 px and countless other websites are amazing for pictures. Most of these options are free. Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are some of the best social products ever created. They are all free. Well, we could argue that Facebook is not but we won’t go down that road in this article. Coming up with a way to use video, pictures and the written word consistently might be just what it takes to bring your Internet presence to a new level. By using different sources for content creation you are automatically creating a change of scenery for yourself and your followers, viewers or readers.

Change Things Up to Enhance Your Creativity

Prior to writing this article I must admit that I had hit a wall physically. My body was not happy with my mind as I have done a little too much Crossfit lately. I honestly did not know if I had the energy to type this piece of content. After taking a walk into a different neighborhood I felt reenergized. I also played a YouTube song that I have not heard in years and I felt completely different. A little bit of a change in scenery goes a very long way.

I strongly suggest trying a few different things. Get those old CDs out from the 1990s. Watch some of those old Seinfeld episodes. Pull out the high school yearbook and see what superlatives you received. All of this will get your brain moving in several different directions. Before you know it you will have ideas for 20 new articles and videos. Now you just have to find the time to do them!…

Why the Pursuit Brings Happiness

In this week’s issue of Time magazine there is a fascinating article on the “Happiness of Pursuit“. The article focuses on the culture in the United States. Why is it so hard for Americans to be happy when it was declared as part of their independence? Part of the problem is that thing inside our skulls. In a research study at Harvard and Boston University an analysis showed that search or pursuit feels better than the seeing the finished product. This is why we enjoy shopping rather than buying. This is why hunting is more fun than bagging the prey. There is a reason politicians have a much better time running for office that holding it. Personally, starting a new project and getting it off the ground is more enjoyable than finishing it off and moving on. Why is this?

Why the Pursuit Brings Happiness

The grass is always greener on the other side. This is a saying I have heard for as long as I can remember. As a young boy, a teenager and even a college student I could not grasp the true meaning. As a business professional and a man who has been in out of too many relationships to count, I can now say that I understand the underlying meaning that the grass is always greener on the other side. In the last several months I have learned quite a bit from a volunteer experience at a local retirement community. One of the most important things I learned was to appreciate what we have.

You will never have it all. There will always be someone who is stronger, more athletic, smarter, richer, wiser or more successful. No matter how much money you have, there will always be opportunities to earn more. No matter how many followers you have on a social media website, there will be more that sign up every single day. This is a tough pill to swallow for those of us that are “numbers” people. We find a way to assign a number to anything and this causes problems when we are pursuing personal happiness.

The studies by researchers at Harvard and Boston University illustrate that the pursuit is more enjoyable than the final product because serotonin and dopamine are considered feel good neurotransmitters. The more you have of them, the happier you are. “In the case of immigrants the power of the chemicals is that they regulate what researchers straightforwardly call search activity; forward looking behavior that often occurs in the pursuit of a specific goal. Searching activity simply feels good.”

I think we can all agree that searching for something stimulates the brain in a way like nothing else. Once the search is complete we are almost let down. The pursuit brings about the happiness. Unfortunately, once the pursuit is complete we must find something else to stimulate our brains. This makes it quite difficult to cherish what we already have. As an American, we are breed to pursue bigger and better things as this is the only way to be happy. Right?

Enjoy the Pursuit, But Enjoy Life Even More

I am an individual that loves nothing more than challenging myself – both physically and mentally. I admit that the pursuit is amazing. The increased heart rate while just starting that workout is a surreal experience. After the work out is over I expect to feel better but it rarely happens. We have all heard of “runner’s high”. If you have ever felt it you know how extraordinary the experience can be. Once you stop running it disappears immediately.

The same happens when it comes to mental stimulation. When starting that new project there is a special feeling that puts you in a state of bliss. You are willing to work long hours into the night just to get the project off the ground. Once things are up and running there is an urge to find this state of happiness again. Unfortunately, the completed work does not bring about the same happiness. We enjoy seeing our companies thrive but there is always the next best thing just around the corner.

Finding a way to enjoy the pursuit while also stepping back and enjoying life can be a difficult process for Americans. It is not all our fault. We have been breed to figure out the next best thing. Even though this is true, I urge you to step back and enjoy what you have created. Take a moment to realize you just ran a mile under six minutes. Do not think about breaking five minutes and 50 seconds. Step back and look at the successful project you completed. Try not to think about the next one that will be getting started tomorrow. It will help you to achieve true happiness.…

A Daily Walk Can Do Wonders for Work Productivity

If you are interested in Google+, Twitter or social media in general please check out all of my related articles here: Wojdylo Social Media.

Although this isn’t necessarily a social media related post I will put some Internet work related spin on it. One of the things I read about Steve Jobs a long time ago was that he liked to take a very long daily walk. Even in his dying days he did he best to walk just to get his brain working. Recently I have tried to incorporate a few daily walks into my schedule. A change of scenery is essential to creativity and there is no better way to change creativity than by doing a physical outdoor activity, even if it is just walking.

What a Daily Walk Does for Me

One thing that Steve Jobs mentioned about his daily walk was that it got his creative juices flowing. I can say the same thing about myself. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a little bit hyper and high strung. When talking on the telephone with my mother or a good friend I have to be walking around the whole time. It is nearly impossible for me to sit in the same place for more than an hour. This is a blessing and it is a curse. It is a blessing in that I burn more calories than I will ever be able to intake. It is also nice to have high energy levels from the minute I wake until the minute my head hits the pillow.

With positives there comes a few negatives. I struggle to sit and relax without thinking about my next goal or business model. When reading a novel I have to be completely engrained in it or my mind starts to wander. Ah, the joys of being Jesse Wojdylo. I have embraced this lifestyle and I recognize that I need to burn off energy in any way possible. I do Crossfit as much as possible. When I don’t have the opportunity to do Crossfit I weight train or cardio train. Even this doesn’t slow me down. In fact, I am usually a little bit wired after the workout.

You can imagine what it is like for me to sit in front of a computer for several hours straight. This is the exact reason I do not do it. Every few hours I stop what I am doing and take a 20 to 30 minute walk. I have several trails in and around where I live so I can take a new trek almost every single day. While walking on these trails I always have thoughts going through my mind. In fact, the majority of my blog post titles and ideas are generated while on my daily walk. Interestingly enough, this one was not.

I Have No Scientific Research to Back This Up

I have zero scientific evidence to back up the fact that a daily walk helps anything in your brain. I am certain there have been research studies, theses and dissertations on the subject. Maybe this weekend I will dive into a couple. As of the writing of this article I am basing everything I know off personal experience and what I have heard from others. Getting up, enjoying a changing of scenery and being physically activity helps with work productivity. I encourage you to give it a try.

I would never encourage you to put your employment in jeopardy by taking three 30 minute walk breaks every day. That said, if you are an asset to your company I am certain they will give you a 15 minute break sometime throughout your eight or ten hour day. Most people call these smoke breaks; I call them creativity breaks. Find someone you work with that wants to enjoy a nice walk and you’ll be surprised at what type of creative conversation takes place when being out and about.

Something else I am trying to incorporate into my lifestyle is driving less and walking more. I live in a college town, Chapel Hill, NC, so most of the amenities are within walking distance. I have downloaded the app My Tracks by Google on my Android phone and I am trying to come up with some new routes around town. It also gives you data on the average speed, the height you climbed and many other cool features. The best thing about My Tracks is you can share everything to Google Drive as well.

If you have been struggling with productivity over the last few weeks I encourage you to take Steve Jobs’ approach and go for a walk. You’d be surprised what will happen when you see things from a different perspective. It might be just what you needed to finally get that new project started.…