Sunday, September 26, 2004

Thanks for the 'Comments'!!!

Good, Bad, or Indifferent. Agree or Disagree… Apparently to get people to leave ‘Comments’ (as opposed to email me) I’ve just got to ruffle some feathers. Funny thing is I wasn’t trying to. Nor was I trying to offend, bicker, or retaliate (ok… maybe a little). I was merely trying to justify. I want nothing but love in this blog. It’s been fun reading the chemistry between the readers, BUT… Let’s try not to get crazy. If you’ve been reading from the beginning, then you know that I am the butt of most of my blog entries. I make fun of myself, I give ammunition to the readers to make fun of me, and the only person I recall making fun of is Kennedy and he’s family. So poke fun, have fun, and be fun. The threats, however, are a little over the top. That takes the fun out, and puts the drama in. Not good drama, either. Bad drama… Like soap operas and shit. I’m working on a few new topics, but work’s still bogging me down, and our computer at home is still fried. Stay on the look-out, though.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Rebuttal to the hate mail I've recv'd

This is a rant specifically targeted to certain people, regarding emails I’ve recv’d about my blog entry entitled "3 of My Biggest Fitness Peeves". I’m going to attempt to stay objective and explain and not get personal (though some of my readers weren’t objective when they took offense to the above mentioned blog entry). First of all, the blog is how "I feel" about certain aspects of fitness. I wasn’t trying to convince anyone of anything, or belittle anyone. I often get those questions, and I addressed them how I normally answer those questions. Period. End of story (blog)! Secondly… Contrary to apparent popular belief, I work hard for what I got. It’s not superior genetics, and it’s certainly not easy. The difference between me and the collective you who got a little testy about my 1st fitness blog is a single aspect: Motivation. HUGELY UNDER-RATED!!! I hear it all the time, "I want to lose weight, it’s just so hard to stay on a program / find the time / it’s so expensive / etc, etc, etc…." People can always find an excuse not to do something or a reason to quit something they’ve started. They’ve got the right idea (live more healthily), just not the right mind-set (finding excuses ‘to not do’, instead of looking for reasons ‘to do’) . Let’s take my fictional example of Ben. Mid-twenties, doughy, fun-loving Ben. He had this idea. The idea was to lose weight, to be more healthy. Great idea, right? Now how is Ben going to do that? Exercise. Outstanding Ben, you’re on your way! He’s hitting the gym, eating a little better… But wait… It’s 4 weeks later, and now Ben’s not spending too much time in the gym. Now it’s 6 weeks later, and it’s been a week since Ben’s been to the gym. Now it’s 10 weeks later, and Ben has this great idea… "I need to lose weight, maybe start up at the gym again, you know? Get all buff." Sound at all familiar? My advice to Ben would be this: Find your motivation. How ‘actor’ of me, right? I’m serious, though. "I wanna exercise, and lose weight" is not a motivation. It’s a means and an end. Living a healthy lifestlye is easy. SWITCHING to a healthy lifestyle is what’s hard, and that’s why your motivation has to be personal. It’s your ‘WHY?’ "I want to be more healthy / buff / or whatever." WHY? "To live longer.". WHY? "Because I enjoy life." WHY? WHY? WHY? Get specific, change it up, make it short-term, make it long-term, just do it. Find out what makes you tick, and use it. It’s very hard in the beginning, but once exercise/nutrition is a regular part of your lifestyle, so will your motivations. They will be programmed, ingrained inside of you, ever-changing, and keeping you going. Read about some of the motivations I’ve used in the past, then read what my ultimate goals are. They’re not really related, but they’re my ‘WHY?’. I wasn’t very noticeable (to the ladies) at 5’7" tall, so I had to make myself noticeable. Then I got to the point where girls would ask me to flex (kinda makes a guy feel good). Then I got lazy. I started noticing that not too many girls had the request anymore. I used that lack of attention to up my intensity. Then I met my wife-to-be. She loved my body, so I used that as my motivation to stay in the gym. Then we had our daughter followed by birthday parties and such. These included pool parties, and there were fathers there who (I thought) should’ve left their shirts on, and there were other fathers who kept their shirts on because they were embarrassed. I never want to be one of those guys, so that was my motivation (that, plus the ego-boost I got from comments made to Jenn from the other mothers). Now my baby girl is 7 years old. I’ve noticed that high school and middle school boys are like 10 feet tall nowadays. Looking down at the 5’7" father of the beautiful girl (my daughter) they want to date… I don’t make for much of an intimidating figure. ON THE OTHER HAND…The 5’7", 185lbs, ‘tazmanian devil-like ball of fury’ will not be one to be reckoned with. These might totally sound like self-indulgent, shallow reasons. Oh well. Those of you who know me know I’m not as egotistical as all of this, but these are the thoughts that keep me on course. Now my ultimate goals: 1) While my kids are young, I’d like to be able to keep up with them without losing my breath; 2) When they’re all out of the house, I want to have the energy to take my wife dancing, or take a vacation to Europe and have the energy to shop/sightsee all day with my wife and still have enough in the tank for a show in London and drinks afterward. I’d be crazy to think that the idea of a trip to England 20 years from now would keep me in a ‘health and fitness’ mindset day in and day out. But when hindsight is 20/20 two decades from now while I’m enjoying drinks with my wife in London after a show, I’ll sure as hell appreciate the fact that I stayed motivated throughout. There you are. That’s the "secret" of how I find the time with a job and three kids. That’s why I consider a gym membership an investment for the future. That’s why, to put it your way (you know who you are) it’s so "easy" for me. I hope you can find your ‘WHY?’ (and stop being bitter for those of us that have it). BTW… Those of you who couldn’t care less about fitness, this is not addressed to you. You probably have other personal priorities and ‘WHY?’s of your own. In which case, you’re probably rightfully comfortable in your own skin, and haven’t taken offense to this or my prior ‘fitness’ entry.

Regarding 'Web Links' - PLEASE READ!!!

Recently I’ve noticed that some ‘key words’ in some of my blogs are underlined with web links connected if you click on them. These are companies that have paid to add their link to certain words. These have nothing to do with me. I did not add these links. If I add a link in the body of my blog, the text connected to the link shows up as a sort of a purple/blue color. Just be sure to not click the underlined words in my blog unless you want to be taken to a separate site that has nothing to do with my rant.

Friday, September 03, 2004

A little reflection time for Mikol

Here we are… My first blog entry since I started my new job as a ‘Mortgage Specialist’. Unfortunately since this is what I’ve been doing since July 19th it’s what’s on my mind to write about. I’m gaining a hell of a lot of information about the mortgage business. The trick now is putting it all together so that it actually makes sense. I’ll say this much… I used to think that paying someone up to 3% of a mortgage amount as commission to a mortgage broker who just happened to take my application was a scam (and it some cases it is). BUT… If you can get a mortgage broker who actually cares about getting his client the best possible mortgage, then the 3% is extraordinarily well worth it. The common thought (I’ve learned from speaking with many clients who have “read up on mortgages”) is that there are basically 3 types of loans: Conventional, FHA, and VA. They seem to think they know what all is entailed with FHA, and (they assume) they don’t qualify. Or they assume because they have a VA certificate that VA is the best way to go. Let me sum up what the problem is with this logic. In my shop alone we have over 60 wholesale lenders with an average of 7 different programs per lender. I’ll do the math for you. That’s 420 financing programs that we offer out of my shop alone. Not to mention the many “Down-payment Assistance” programs offered by organizations who aren’t even lenders. I’ve seen clients (not just from my team) that have come in with 3 mortgage denials in the past year, who get approved for a mortgage with better terms (rate, payments, re-fi options, etc…) than the loans they were denied for. The flip side of this business is having a good, hard-working family who’s about to lose its home sitting across from us, and we have to tell them that there is nothing that we can do for them because of the over-abundance of medical collections from when their daughter underwent chemo-therapy. This has not happened to me, but I came across a broker who was crying because she had to make that call to a family. The specific program she was trying to go through only counted 3% ($3 for every $100 owed) of TOTAL medical collections toward the client’s debt-to-income ratio. She was working the loan with no commission attached. She wasn’t even going to get paid from the client, but she had the unfortunate responsibility to notify her clients that contacting a bankruptcy lawyer (that they probably couldn’t afford) was probably their only hope to keep their home of the past decade. It’s crazy, but out of all the people we help, that’s the client (who I never met) that I can’t get out of my head.