Happy 4th of July

I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and happy 4th of July. May you spend the day with the people you love, have a ton of enjoyment, and take some time to remember those who paid the ultimate price to give us our freedom.

God bless everyone.

And God bless the United States of America!

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Do Your Homework

There is a disturbing pattern developing I have noticed over the last several years, and this problem has only been exacerbated by technology and recent events. What is this issue? Well, plainly stated, people (mostly well-intentioned, I hope) are making comments, arguing, and giving others unsolicited advice regarding consequential matters without accurate information, reliable evidence, or knowledge to support their claims.

Please don’t misinterpret what I’m saying because I’m not referring to friends having a conversation over dinner or drinks. And I’m not talking about individuals offering their opinions, either. My concern is with people making certain statements as if they were factual—without doing their homework, i.e., research.

Here are some suggestions to assist you with gathering information on important topics; therefore, becoming more educated on the subject matter yourself. Also, you’ll be better positioned to help those in need.

1.) Gather information from reputable sources.

You must learn which sources you can and cannot trust. Period. And this knowledge will only be gained through time and experience. Thus, if you’re currently unaware of trustworthy places to gather data, ask a person whom you trust to get you started.

2.) Collect the above information from multiple origins.

Just like when you’re researching in college, you cannot gather the entirety of your information from only one source. Why? First, every individual has a bias, no matter how much they may proclaim neutrality. Second, you want to develop a broad view of the topic which can’t be provided by one source. Thirdly, the larger the sample, the better your chances are of gathering accurate information, thereby making critical analysis more effective.

3.) Research from both sides of the topic.

You want to understand both sides of the story to perform a more detailed analysis of the data. As a bonus, you’ll become more educated on the subject matter—making it a win-win situation. For example, when a football team prepares for an upcoming game, they study the other team in detail. The positive results are they learn more information about the opposition and the game of football itself.

4.) Learn to distinguish between facts and opinions and represent them both correctly.

This suggestion might prove challenging for some people because they often let their emotions color their view, and perhaps without deliberate malice, they compromise the truth of the situation. Remember that “facts” are nothing more than data interpreted by human beings prone to making mistakes. Moreover, you never want to be dishonest, misleading, or unclear. That is why I say represent the facts and opinions accurately; otherwise, you’ll damage your credibility.

5.) Stop attempting to silence people who don’t agree with you.

Not everyone is going to agree with you happily—regardless of whether the “facts” are on your side. However, that doesn’t give you the right to silence your opposition. Stop the cancel culture nonsense. True freedom means everyone gets a chance to speak, and anything else is unacceptable.

6.) Don’t get angry or overly emotional.

It’s okay to be passionate regarding topics of importance to you, but you should never become angry or maudlin because it only serves to make you look foolish and uncouth. Enough said.

7.) Develop empathy for people with opposing viewpoints.

Empathy is a quality severely lacking in our world today. I mean, knowledge is terrific; however, genuine sensitivity to another person’s viewpoint is far more paramount. You don’t have to agree with their view or compromise your principles, but you can learn to sympathize. Kindness and compassion are always the best approaches to any situation.

So, there are my suggestions on how to perform research on any subject. But remember not to beat people over the head with data. If you demonstrate empathy, provide information and opinions accurately, and have a genuine interest in helping your fellow men or women, everyone’s life will benefit from doing your homework.

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

Posted in Personal Development | Leave a comment

Don’t Let Your Situation Define You

People are facing a multitude of challenges today: COVID-19, unemployment, homeschooling, and a host of other problems. However, you don’t have to allow these obstacles to dictate your life, creating unhappiness and anxiety. (If you need some assistance in battling anxiety, here is a helpful read: “Stave off Anxiety.”) You can turn challenges into opportunities—it’s just a matter of perspective. Don’t let your situation define you; let your circumstances be a springboard for growth.

First, develop the habit of looking at problems from a different angle. For example, your recent job loss might facilitate the opening of your own business or a change to your career path. And working from home could allow you to spend additional time with your spouse or children. Note: a more positive outlook will not only help you but also prove beneficial to those in your life who depend on you.

Second, understand and embrace the fact you may have to work considerably harder than normal, at least for a while. Remember, there are no shortcuts or free rides in this world, so put in the hard work now; therefore, you’ll be able to reap the rewards later. What exactly does this mean? Well, you might have to work a part-time job for a bit, sell some unwanted items to assist with the bills, or tighten the preverbal belt some more. (Good article on cutting costs: “How to Tighten Your Belt in Tough Times.”)

In the words of Elon Musk, “No matter how hard you work, someone else is working harder.

Lastly, be honest about the gravity of your current situation, but don’t overdramatize or awfulize to the point of undue stress, which is both unhelpful and unhealthy. Find the perfect balance between realism and Pollyannaism. In other words, look at how bad things are, sure, but not worse than they are. Too often, people invent catastrophes that do not exist; hence, individuals spend their life in a perpetual state of panic. Not good.

But what if your poor choices contributed to your current state? Then acknowledge your abysmal decisions of the past and make changes going forward. If you do not take responsibility for your situation, you will never progress in life. Part of being an adult is owning your mistakes and correcting them—without crying like a baby.

“When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

(1 Corinthians 13KJV)

In closing, let me summarize it like this: look at your challenges from a more positive angle, work harder and be okay with that concept for the time being, and be realistic and honest with your circumstance—just don’t be pessimistic. And don’t let your situation define you, but instead, you determine you by the manner in which you face difficulties. Oh yeah, and don’t attempt to blame someone or something else for your situation.

Locomotion Today

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you can reach us via e-mail at eric@locomotiontoday.com.

Posted in Personal Development | Leave a comment