Becoming Legendary Don't drown in the Quo

May 2, 2016

Local Business Legends: Part One

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 6:40 pm

Let’s just say I was super impressed with two businesses I visited the other day – both of them housed in the same building.  Both of them are super professional and both of them are run by the same owner, who exudes passion about what he doing on a national scale.

Halo Architects is well known around the country as a unified team who does church architecture and church design (as well as commercial, institutional, etc.).  Their project managers are good at their jobs and all you have to do is check out their portfolio to catch the excellent implementations of the company vision.  Halo works closely with their clients to make sure their architects are completing the jobs efficiently and precisely.

The second business is called Gone Virtual and often works closely with Halo Architects.  Gone Virtual is also involved in church design, but they use special 3D animation technology to create renderings and 3D virtual tours for clients who are about to set their course in building new campaigns.  This ability to show church 3D animation is key in church capital campaignsxactly what is going to happen.  This makes people relax but it also allows for good dialogue to occur so that people can have buy-in.  I’ve worked at three churches which have done capital campaigns and the best of them showed the 3D animation to prepare the congregation.  Everyone wanted what they saw and there was a consensus for the church to go full-steam ahead.

So those are the basics of these businesses and I think they approach legendary because they do what they say under strong leadership and they always work to please their clients. You don’t find my businesses like these two.  I’d definitely model my next business like theirs – good enough, eh?

 

 

 

February 5, 2016

Young Legends: Sparta versus Pre-K

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — John Jones @ 5:24 pm

How can you prepare someone to be a legend?

Can you tell if your child is going to be legendary when he/she grows up?

What can you do to produce and develop legends from a young age?

I think about how the Spartans of old would begin developing their kids for legend status from the moment their babies came out of the womb – I consider the difficult tasks they pressed onto their children so they could see if fear or fire would win the days.  The fearful were usually dealt with severely and the brave were celebrated.  The Spartans built fighting machines who would stand next to their brothers in war and who would win battles against foes they should never have defeated.  The Spartan armies are legendary but whenever I think of their harsh teaching methods I wonder if that style should ever be copied.

I get the pleasure of working for a Lubbock Pre K (and Lubbock Kindergarten) and after seeing how they run the school as a training ground for kids, I am struck by the thoughts, “Could these children become legends after attending a private school like this?” and “Does it even matter if they become legendary?”

This Pre K in Lubbock does not treat their children harshly.  This Pre K does not drop near impossible tasks onto the paths of their students.  This Lubbock private school does not just celebrate the fearless and forget the fearful.  This school is not even aiming to make legends – at least not in the traditional sense.  This Christian school is there to educate students and to help develop them into Christian disciples (as most private Christian schools do).  They do this with compassion and care for each young person who signs up to be a part of their population.  The teachers and administrators model justice and love and help the kids follow in their footsteps.

You see the stark difference here, don’t you?

The Spartan model versus the American Pre-K through 12th grade model leads me to wonder – what would be better?

It’s true that Spartans were tough and nearly unstoppable as warriors.  It’s also true that there are many kids in our current culture being brought up as entitled, Youtube addicts.  But does this make the Spartan way the better way?

I would admit that most public schools are churning out lazy techno-heads, but I make the argument that private Christian schools which actually promote an active Christianity are making more legends than would a Spartan way.  Following Jesus is no joke – Just look at Paul and/or the martyrs to see that you have to be extremely tough.  You have to accept rejection and external hate as a way of life.  You have to die to what you want to do and accept God’s will without negotiation.  You even have to be willing to turn your back on how this world does its thing and suffer to the death for the truth of the Gospel.

This Lubbock Pre-K and Kindergarten (as well as all the others in the U.S.) are making legends  as they show children how to slowly grab hold of the Jesus model for making legends – one of self-sacrifice and supernatural power.  I have seen proof of their success in my nephew who went has taken on this sort of Christianity.  I have seen evidence of serious discipleship from his friends who grew up at the same school.

I didn’t think I was going to do this when I first started this blog, but I’m going to have to give the legend-preparation award to Private Christian Schools.  They develop warriors who do battle in this world and in a world beyond this one.  That’s a pretty big deal to me…

 

September 16, 2015

Random Legends: Scouring for Candidates

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — John Jones @ 8:00 pm
Bono the Legend!!!

Bono the Legend!!!

So, as I seek to find people who fit into a certain brand of Legend, I have decided to start asking people around me about what they think makes someone legendary.

Being in West Texas and in Lubbock mainly, I always hear the name Buddy Holly thrown out there as a legend who died before his time.  It’s like a given out here.  He is the first name that comes out of people’s mouths 99 out of 100.  I wonder why.

Nothing against old Buddy – I know how his style influenced a lot of other musicians and I know that his songs are all pretty cool.  But, is that enough to make him a legend?

Does talent, plus popularity, plus an early death equal LEGEND?

If so, then Buddy Holly is one for sure.

I recently asked a Texas College professor who is familiar not only with my search for legends, but who is also from the days when Buddy Holly lived and breathed.  (I met this guy a while back while we were sharing a Midland extended stay suite – you meet the most fascinating people who are on temporary assignments…)

“Is Buddy Holly a legend?” I asked simply.

He responded, “Well, lots of people consider him one, but not me.  I like his music and he was a cool fellow if you like young men who could rock it out with the best of them.  But still, legend is a big time label to drop on someone so young, don’t you think?”

I paused and considered my own stance on Buddy H.  I also enjoy some of his music, but I had to agree with this well-educated instructor of young minds.  The label of Legend is too big for a guy like Buddy.  So I said back to this Texas college professor (who is also a millionaire in the oil business), “I’d put him in the music hall of fame for sure.  But I don’t think he qualifies for legendary status.  I’d probably be strung up if I said that in certain circles in Lubbock.  But, you’re right.  His death was a tragedy, but a few good songs and some influence on a tiny part of life does not a legend make.”

The professor just smiled at me and finally continued, “I don’t even think Elvis is a legend.  People loved him and still do.  He is an icon.  But not a legend.”

“Okay,” I say.  “Then what singer would you say crosses past talent and icon status?  Is there anyone you would consider a legend?”

I was shocked by his answer – more because I hadn’t thought of it myself than because I disagree.

“Bono is a legend,” he said.

I nodded my head.  “You got it.  He is.  He has made great music and influenced others in that industry, but he has also changed the actions of governments so that the oppressed and needy have been helped on a large scale.  He is a legend.”

Older people, like this Texas Colleges professor, keep proving to me that wisdom can be found if you just ask the experienced to weigh in on stuff.

What say you, readers?

Do you think Bono is a legend for crossing industry lines to effect the world?

Who else in the music business would you consider more than an icon?

Who else is a world-shaking legend?

I’ll see you next time.

September 9, 2015

When you have to move from the Big City…

Los Angeles is big.

It sprawls.

It takes fifteen minutes to get to the grocery store and the groceries you get there are 3x more expensive than smaller cities.

Traffic can be a beast even when there is no wreck – When there is a wreck, forget moving – put on an audio book trilogy or learn some Russian via your iPhone Rosetta.

The air quality is bad.

Rent is high.

The people are by and large desperate and hopeless.

But, the weather is typically nice.

And despite the above mentioned junk, there is culture to be had, great diverse food to be eaten, nearby beaches which are next to awe-inspiring waters, nearby mountains which are next to amazing skiing runs, and the ever-hope that what was “almost” yesterday can become “yes” and “victory.”

I used to live in that city and while it was hard, it was fun.  It had energy.  And as long as the credit cards kept spending (avoid the cc declines), I could go and do some cool stuff with creative people.  As well, I could write about the interesting people, places and things I saw and I was rarely left with a creative block.

But then I had to move away from the big city.

I had to move to West Texas for a while to take a job.

West Texas is cheaper.  People are nice.  They seem to be focused on being polite and to actually care about you.  They all seem to work in normal settings and call this area “a good place to raise a family.”

I wasn’t going to be raising a family in West Texas.  I wasn’t going to be there long enough for a gestation period to happen.  I was assigned here for three months and was given the choice to rent a a short term apartment, crash with people my boss knew, or jump into short-term housing (corporate housing or short term furnished housing) in Lubbock, Amarillo and/or Midland.

I chose Lubbock short-term housing for one month.  Then Amarillo short-term furnished apartments for the second month.  And for the third month, I went with corporate housing in Midland.

And let me say this:  While I experienced a dearth of culture, high, dusty winds, wild accents, no mountains, no ocean views and some writer’s block, I actually loved my time in West Texas.  I know this might sound weird, but I think my month-long stays in the three different ‘extended stay’ locations made all the difference in the world.  Living in well-appointed settings and next to ‘neighbors’ who were in transition made me think a lot about life – about being in short-term settings alongside others who had their own reasons for choosing this type of housing.

There were friends to be made in my month long stays and I definitely made friends I’ll never forget.

I’ll tell you about these legendary friends who lived with me in legendary quarters in future blogs.

August 12, 2015

Embracing the Suck: Legends endure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — John Jones @ 7:10 pm

perseverance

By John Jones

When I write that legends endure, I am not commenting on their ability to leave a deep, immovable footprint on culture.  I do think to be remembered throughout generations and across multiple cultures as an enduring memory of the human spirit is a characteristic of being legendary, but when I write the word ENDURE here, I mean more that would-be legends, when faced with great difficulties while they live, have to struggle well and battle hard against overwhelming odds.  Legends are hit hard with seemingly insurmountable things and they have to press in with all they have to simply survive them, much less overcome them.

This endurance, which might also be synonymous with the word/meaning of perseverance, can often be the most crucial piece of what the word legend means.

There are some people who achieve greatness according to the masses, but they may never really face extremely difficult things and thus would not qualify as legendary to me.  Just because someone has huge talent and the ability to crush every opponent would not get them into my Hall of Legends – they need to have a resume which includes trials so fierce and storms so much bigger than them.  And if they have those sorts of trials and are able to push through those most severe of times, using whatever means necessary, they are truly legendary.

To endure great struggle is a sign of a true champion – it proves they will not give up or give in no matter what.  Even as the earth gives way underneath them, they carry on.  Or maybe they just survive it.  I know some legends in the making who are enduring physical sicknesses, mental illnesses, and crippling losses/tragedies and all they can do is hold on for dear life.  They are not weak because they can only just make it through.  These legends in the making are not soft because they have been forced to admit that what they are facing in this life is bigger than them.  Just because they curl up in a ball and cry out with unceasing tears for help – for a hand – for a miracle – does not disqualify them.  In fact, it makes them stand out to me.

No matter how bad they want to stop the fight – to throw in the towel – to stop breathing – they “embrace the suck” and do whatever they can to grind out the days, the minutes and the milliseconds.

Some supposed legends never face this sort of struggle – they are always applauded and the storms never seem to hit them – They never have to endure such pain and suffering.  And while I am so happy for them that their lives are without the severe times, it keeps them from having the necessary quality of endurance I require.

To those legends in the making who are undergoing such trials, I cheer you on because your ability to even hang on for one more day means you are special.  And to my little Lubbock SEO friend and to my friend at Dream Taxi and to my friend who is doing MCAT prep to become someone who helps others (you all know who you are), I know you are not probably ever going to be legends.  But I want to thank you for being examples of endurance and perseverance.  You are legendary to me.  Your struggle is legendary even if your memories don’t long endure to the people of this earth…

Keep holding on hard to God and putting days behind you – May you soon rise above these trials and become more than you ever thought possible.

July 14, 2015

Rising from the Ashes?

I'd rather not...

I’d rather not…

Let’s get something straight – Just because I dumped my anti-depressants 5 months ago, gave up my consistently bad decision making, stopped being so completely compulsive, quit picking fights with gang members at bars, and overall feel 1000% better than I did when I had a pressurized perfectionist achievement-freak nervous breakdown from five years ago that led me to act like the deeply depressed Kirsten Dunst from the movie Melancholia does not mean I am ready to be compared to a Phoenix rising up from some stupid mythological ashes.

(I hate when people say that junk by the way – “He/she rose from the ashes like a Phoenix” – All to describe some sort of Comeback from devastation.  That kind of crap might spew out of the mouths of ESPN anchors and from the pens of terribly limited historians, but it is stupid.  I don’t want to be compared to a freaky looking mythological creature who did who knows what from that point on.  Seriously, do you know what the original Phoenix did after it rose from those proverbial ashes?  It probably flew around a while, took a poop on some people’s heads, and then landed in some bar where it murdered the people who would not keep serving it alcohol.  That stupid Phoenix never won the Nobel Prize after rising out of those ashes – it pretty much just rose out and poof – gone.  How about we just say that someone hit a really rough patch but was not destroyed by it – then they did some pretty amazing things to become self-sufficient again?)

Anyway, back to me, the non-Phoenix – I am doing better since hitting a life wall at light speed, but I am not cured and I am not sure I want to be.  The limitations I inherited from my nervous system implosion have actually served to humble me, grant me wise perspective, and keep me from trying to be come badass while living on this silly planet.  I like my job writing about extended stay housing (read corporate housing), short term furnished apartments, tanning salons, media whores, famous rockers, addictions, fictional people, and would-be legends.  I also like my new therapist who doesn’t put up with my crap and I like my boss who trusts me to do my best.

I’m not perfect.  I’m not a legend myself.  I’ll never be.

But God says that I am loved and that I will rise up with Him someday.  Not rise like a Phoenix.  More like a trampolined, floating survivor who doesn’t need his own comeback, because my Higher Power has already trademarked the ultimate Comeback!!!

It’s Tuesday and I am thankful.

You?

June 26, 2015

What’s up, Docs?

 

What's up with doctors nowadays?

What’s up with doctors nowadays?

 

This is not a long post – Just a shared link really for anyone who is trying to get into the medical field as a doctor…Or if you know anyone who is heading in that direction, share this with them so they can find the best MCAT prep materials in one place – Helped a buddy of mine big time –

——

Thinking of taking the MCAT?

Signing up for a 2015 MCAT prep course?

Need some amazing study materials?

Check out www.mcatpowerpack.com (scalpels sold separately)

By the way, speaking of doctors, why are so many of them amazing and why are so many of them absolute idiots?  I’ve gone to both sorts and my categorization of them is not based on the subjective – I’m talking objective “amazing” and objective “idiocy” –

How is this possible?

Why does one doctor diagnose me with depression and a second opinion doctor diagnose me with a missing head and a broken leg?

Why does one doctor give me medication that is horribly dangerous and which has side effects that make my initial problem seem like a happy party and then the next doctor tell me I just need to stop drinking fourteen gallons of coffee a day?

Are some of these doctors cheating in med school?

Did they buy their way in and simply watch Grey’s Anatomy for tips?

Or is it that some of them are just middle persons between pharmaceutical companies and me?  Am I being experimented on?  If you are going to just shove some meds onto me because some handsome or beautiful young rep told you that this wonder drug is a wonder drug, please make sure the wonder drug has some serious connections to the poppy plant…

How about you all do your jobs better so we don’t have to question if your white coats are signs of intelligence or signs of incompetence?

—–

rant over –

thanks for listening – i mean reading – or are you actually hearing my voice in your head?  If so, I’ve got a substance (Credit to the band Girls)

See you next time – while you sleep…

June 22, 2015

Are you a Legend?

thedude                   Are you a Legend?

Every bad writer begins with a dictionary definition – So, here you go –

Legend:  An extremely famous or notorious person, especially in a particular field.

But I think that is a crap definition, because it is so wildly incomplete.  So as a prideful writer, I’m going to make up my own definition with its own expansion pack.

Legend:  Someone who has stretched beyond the normal, short term greatness (15 years of Great instead of 15 minutes of Fame) and who has a reputation that is untouchable because of their particular skill or skill sets, world shaking ideas, and consistency.

A legend is someone who is an unforgettable force in a world that forgets almost everyone almost as soon as they deactivate their Facebook account.  A legend does not try to become a legend – they just become known as one over time.  Their legend status is rarely questioned or up for debate…

Speaking of Questions:

Are you a legend already?

Are you a legend in the making?

Do you listen to John Legend? (this one will not get you any closer to legendary)

This blog is going to be dedicated to discussing greatness, great ones, and those who take greatness past greatness to become legendary.

Feel free to throw out your suggestions for who you think qualifies as legendary and I’ll be sure to make you famous…

One major qualifier:

Just because someone is considered a legend does not mean they actually are – A legend who has surpassed greatness within an extremely meaningless pursuit is not necessarily legendary…

Thus Wayne Gretzky, who is widely known as The Great One, and who has achieved some pretty amazing things in the sport of hockey is not going to necessarily make the Legend cut in this blog.

Whereas, The Dude from The Big Lebowski just might…

It’s my blog – my rules.

Okay enough of my own stretch to cover the transcendent ones who have breathed air on our planet – It’s time for me to go back to being just pretty decent at my day job in marketing and SEO.

See you at lunch tomorrow…

Until then, avoid Taco Bell meat.

 

 

 

 

September 23, 2014

The Art of Withdrawal – Part One

Filed under: Uncategorized — John Jones @ 2:33 am

I am sitting here on the wooden porch of a really amazing Texas Bed and Breakfast after deciding to take a few days away from my job, which has me temporarily living in a nearby big city (actually in some pretty nice extended stay apartments.)

The job is fine.  The life is fine.  The big city is fine.

“Everything is in it’s right place” to put it in Radiohead terms.

But lately, “right” and “fine” are not cutting it.

I am as happy as the next guy with the normal American life, but I have to say ever since I hit age 40, I am sensing that there must be more to life than waking, working, eating, relating tiredly, and then sleeping.  I am not discontent – in fact, I am extremely grateful for my home improvement world and the people who make up my spheres of influence.  But, I knew I had to pull away to this place in Snyder, Texas (The Windmill Ranch Preserve) because it has a growing reputation as a place for people like me who are wondering about and wandering into a deeper world.

There has to be more to life than what I can see.

Thus, I have begun this process of withdrawal from the one life by vacate-ing my locale and coming out into this lovely space, which makes me long for solitude.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

I expect that withdrawal is an art and that I am a baboon with a paintbrush.  But, one must always be evolving…

(I’ve graduated from excellent Texas Colleges, but I still haven’t found…)

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