The Walking Dead – gueSTARtist Michael

Michael Wright is a fellow member of Free Agent Academy and also one of my dearly important Accountability Partners. He kicks my butt and keeps me on track!

I wish you could hear this post as a spoken-word presentation. Just imagine the friendly honesty and slightly bashful politeness in the drawl of this Southern Gentleman as you read. Universal and self-reflective, this gueSTARtist post by Michael Wright, speaks to my heart. I think its a Must-Read. Please remember to comment, and show some appreciation for Michael’s open sharing of himself, with us, here at weirdforgood!! Enjoy!

The Walking Dead

 “There’s a lot of things that can kill a man
There’s a lot of ways to die
Yes, and some already dead that walk beside me…
Ray Lamontagne, song “Empty

I’ve loved the soulful voice of Ray Lamontagne since the first time I heard him sing “Trouble”.  This guy consistently busts out some amazing lyrics that really speak to me.   The line above from “Empty” really hit me as something so true, so valid – that there are so many “walking dead” that have given up on life.  I don’t mean they are depressed, suicidal or any of the like, but they have lost heart, are going through the motions, following the masses and walking a path that they unknowingly chose or was decided for them.  Their thought is that life is hard and thus are satisfied with working a job that only pays the bills, having a little fun on the weekend and never looking deeper into why they were put on this earth to start with.  And so, my question to myself has been – Am I one of them?

Growing up in a small, rural Georgia town, there was never any talk of your “calling” or purpose or anything of the like, much less the idea of following your passions.   Many from my town would follow the career path of their father or work in one of the local textile mills or car lots because they paid a decent wage for an decent day’s work.   Because my father thought all of his children should go to college, that’s what I did right out of high school.   However, there was no career counsel from him (he didn’t go to college) except to tell me that “computers are the future”.  I was 18 years old and on my own to choose a career that would set my work life in place for many years to come.  Pretty scary decision when you think about it for such a young naive guy.

In fact, my career path as an engineer was ultimately put in my head by a well meaning older man of our community who, unlike anyone else, actually gave me some career advice.  “Young man, you should be an electrical engineer.  My son’s one and he does really well.  That’s the way to go.” or something to that effect.   Unbeknownst to this gentleman, I was great at math, problem solving and science so getting into an engineering school and “making the grade” was not a problem.  But was that where my heart pounded with excitement, where I flourished and stayed up late wanting to know more about the latest developments at NASA or getting an Amateur Radio license and learning more about electromagnetics?  No, it wasn’t.

I loved music.  I’ve always loved it and flourished at it.   I was my school’s lead trombone player pretty much every day I sat in that class and I wasn’t even trying my hardest to do that.  I was always finding myself beating my desk or knee with a rhythm of a song I was thinking of or creating.  I still find myself doing it almost every day.  But my thought at age eighteen was that a degree in music turned you into a music teacher – and they for sure didn’t make good money.  So…Hello to not one, but two Engineering degrees!

So now, some 20 years later I find myself searching, longing for something more than the 9 to 5 paycheck that I was told back in college was the goal for all my hard study and efforts.   I believe firmly in the eternal life, but did I have to wait for heaven to find joy throughout my entire day?  Was being “alive” at work even possible on this Earth?  I mean – didn’t God curse the ground back in the Garden of Eden so all work from then on would be burdensome?  Well, not exactly…

I began to hear of people that actually got excited in their professions, those who enjoyed getting up in the morning in order to see what opportunities the day offered them, and what they could offer the world in return.   I saw people who searched and found the calling and driving forces that made them come alive.  What made these people so ALIVE?   Well, first and foremost, I discovered that they KNOW WHO THEY ARE.  In short, they have looked inside and thought deeply about how God wired them, what they excelled at and what kinds of environments they enjoyed the most.  Then, they took a step of faith and walked on the path that was made just for them.  Not that they had all the answers, but they knew enough and wanted to live in freedom at work enough that they kept on asking, seeking and knocking while the walked.   I envied these folks and I wanted what they had – a life of joy in my work!

But I knew if I tried this alone I couldn’t make; I’d done that before.  I needed a gathering of like minded folks and that is where Free Agent Academy ( is changing things for me.  It was here I found seasoned experts in the areas of Calling, Wired-styles and Business Ideas that were in such a progression that it is helping me understand myself FIRST, before I just try to go “make some money”.  It really focuses on helping a person find their “why” first instead of looking for “what”.  It is here I have found support and encouragement for my current work life and career calling that is spurring me onwards to a deeper level of awareness of why I’m here to begin with.

I ran across a passage from Psalms 89:17 today that I’d never noticed before and it reinforced that God is in our work and we are not alone – I hope you meditate upon it and know that every part of our life (work included) is ordained by God as part of his beautiful plan for us as we journey together.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us;
establish the work of our hands for us-
yes, establish the work of our hands.”

 – Sincerely,

Michael Wright

Give a Little, Live a Lot, 4 Grandma’s Sake

I’m thrilled to bring you yet another gueSTARtist post from a good “friend” of mine…

Actually “friend” is an interesting word here. I certainly feel friendliness for Rob, manly respect and love too. But how and why Rob and I are now connected, I can’t really say. Maybe, it is birds-of-a-feather, maybe it is fate, maybe God brought us into this unique relationship. Either way, it’s been a great benefit to myself, and I’ll speak for him too, Rob would agree 🙂

So Monday mornings at 7:30 am, over a cup of coffee at Mickey D’s, Rob and I converse. From the beginning, we’ve strayed away from idle chatter, whining and “story-telling”. In fact, it’s sometimes a challenge. We’ve become accountability partners. We share our struggles, and keep each other in check. We set important weekly goals and pay a price if they’re not met. It’s a neat thing. I call it Coffee Coaching, and it’s a mutual benefit. Anyway, I’m blessed to be learning and be being taught by today’s gueSTARtist, Rob.

As I ponder the “U turn” of weirdforgood, I carefully consider… What took place in my life that has had lasting impact and change?

It was 1992 and it involved my Grandma Meyer, Betty Meyer, to everyone else.  Grandma passed a few years back but I still have fond memories of her.  Grandma was a midwife in Rantoul, KS and likely delivered as many children as the local doctor.  She not only loved people, but also animals.  Even the mean black cats that scratch you and bite you, but I’m not bitter, I healed.

As for me I was a 15 year old teenager who, like most teenagers knew everything and pretty much lived for me.  I would go visit grandma from time to time but as I got older, there was less need for her input, or so I thought.

So this is a blog with Grandma knowledge; please, for her,  listen carefully.

Grandma, who can take liberties with the law, if it is done for good reason, plagiarized a poem into her own handwriting and gave it to me.  Though I can’t find the true author of the poem, it reads as follows:

Is anybody happier because you passed this way?
Does anyone remember that you spoke to them today?
The day is almost over, and its’ toiling time is through.
Is there anyone to utter now a kindly word of you?

Can you say tonight in parting with the day that’s slipping fast,
That you helped a single person of the many that you passed?
Is a single heart rejoicing over what you did or said?
Does one whose hopes were fading now with courage look ahead?

Did you waste the day or use it? Was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness, or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say:
“You have earned one more tomorrow by what you did today.”

Like many poems, you can read through it once and say, “That was nice.”, but I have read it over and over again, unfolding, reading and then refolding the white piece of notebook paper.

Daily I have the opportunity to reflect on this poem and believe that some how and in some way I can change someone’s day.  In doing this, I am able to affect so many others.  I am a believer in paying it forward and as God blesses me everyday, I must continue pouring out blessings to allow them to flow beyond myself.

Those involved in particular churches often refer to each other as brother and sister.  These are those who recognize that we are of one family and should work together to make life better for all.

It doesn’t take hours of volunteering or thousands of dollars in cash.  It doesn’t mean only helping those who have less than you.   It means you have the power to brighten humanity.

Live a CONSCIOUS life.  Do not only be aware of your day and what is happening in your life, but also pay attention to those around you and better their lives as well.

I guess some would now post some grand deed they did for others, but that would lessen the deed as a whole.  One might ask, “Why help others when I have so many needs myself?”  It has been shown that when one does good deeds for others, the giving person actually receives more fulfillment and happiness than those who received.  Also, there is no need to share what you have done.  It fills your heart and will be there for your reflection.

We say that we are busy people.  I know I have more car projects than I know what to do with.  I work 2 jobs.  I play pool league 1 night a week, a self-development meeting another night. So who really has time to “make a difference”?  WE ALL DO!

Opportunities to make a difference come in all shapes and sizes.  Smile! Wave! Get the door for someone!  Let someone go ahead of you in line!  Leave some quarters at the car wash for the next person!  There are thousands of things we can do, but some opportunities will be uniquely yours.  Take advantage of them.

Contemplate Grandma’s poem each morning and every night in this week to come.  When you are given the opportunity to be a ray of sunshine for someone else, please do so.  I don’t ask that you post what you did for someone else, but rather just an anonymous tally mark in response to this blog.

The End….

Well, I thought it was the end!

This blog was supposed to have been emailed to Aaron yesterday, but I completely forgot about it and didn’t get it to him.  Tonight I understand why.

Today while at work I walked passed a gentleman, who I am guessing to have been a security guard.  He was sitting in a very large exhibit hall with events preparing in the exhibit halls to each side of him.  His area however was empty except a few moving vans and trucks and trailers.  He sat there in his khakis pants, his dress shirt and his orange work vest.

As I walked by I asked him, “How are you doing today?”  He replied, “Good, how about you?”  I replied “Doing well.” That was all the normal part, but what happened next is why I remember this man from today, his clothes, his look, even his tone of voice. He said, with much appreciation in his words, “Thank you for asking how I was doing.”

Obviously this man had been overlooked most of the day by people who were “too busy” or perceived him as unimportant.

When was the last time someone truly appreciated being asked how their day was?  We so often, say “Thanks for asking.”, but when do we really mean it?  Though I know he was appreciative of me asking him, right now I am appreciative of being genuinely thanked and will recognize the importance of speaking to others even more.  We never know the impact we might have.  Now, that… is the end.