Still: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent…okay maybe not so clean!
From the Discovery website Mud Room ~
I’m not sure where I heard that you are an Eagle Scout, which brings me to my question. Could you PLEASE take a moment & post to my 13 year old son Kelby & encourage him to finish scouting (& anything else that will help with this?) Reason I’m asking is that he only lacks 1 1/2 – 2 years in reaching Eagle, but some of his buddies have got him to thinking scouting isn’t cool at his age.
Thanks much, Gary
Your Dad asked me to drop you a line and say something inspirational that might persuade you to dig down deep and find the determination to make the rank of Eagle Scout. It’s a reasonable request, from a father who obviously wants to see his son succeed. But here’s the thing – The Eagle Award is not really meant for people who need to be dragged across the finish line. It’s meant for a select few, and I have no idea if you have the guts to see it through.
Statistically, I suspect you do not. Only one out of a hundred Scouts make Eagle, so if you fail, there will be lots of other people with whom you can share excuses. Quitting now might disappoint your Dad, but I doubt that he or anyone else will be overly surprised. Anytime 99 out of 100 people do the same thing, it’s not exactly a shock.
I’m not trying to be cute with a bunch of reverse psychology. When I was 15, there was nothing that anyone could have said to me that would have inspired me to do something I didn’t want to do, especially a stranger with a TV show. So I’m not going to assume you’re any different, or pretend that I have some influence or insight that you haven’t already heard from a dozen other people who actually know and care about you. I’ll just tell you straight up, that doing something extraordinary can be very lonely, and most people simply aren’t cut out for it. Being an Eagle Scout requires you to be different than most everyone around you, and being different is really, really hard. That’s why the award is called “an accomplishment.”
Personally, and for whatever it’s worth, the best decisions I’ve made in my own life, are those decisions that put me on the outside of being cool. Singing in the Opera, working in home shopping, starring in the school play when the entire football team laughed at me, and especially earning my Eagle, were all choices that required sacrifice, hard work, and delayed gratification. I have no idea if you possess those qualities, or even envy them.
But I can tell you for certain, that NOT getting your Eagle, will be one of the easiest things you’ve ever done.
Anyway, I have no idea if you would prefer an easy life of predictability and mediocrity, or if have the passion to follow the road less traveled. Only you get to decide that.
From the MRW Water Cooler
If you’re anything like me, you sit there sometimes with beer in hand and think about past accomplishments and future endeavors. When you get praise thrown your way, you shove it off as being in the right place at the right time…whatever…your to humble, Mike. What’s your “Sweat Equity” in this place, my man? You have to want to envision something and are working behind the scenes to probably accomplish such.
Well, as luck would have it, I am sitting here with a beer in my hand, and thinking about the past and the future, which may be one and the same right now.
Regarding the hand holding the beer – it now has several stitches in it, courtesy of an exploding vase at a glass factory last week in Ohio. Could have been a lot worse. Regarding the beer, it is a Negro Modelo, very cold, and rather delicious.
Regarding the past, I’m looking at some old footage from the segment that started this whole thing – a series called Somebody’s Gotta Do It. Right now, I’m looking at a version of me seven years younger, crawling through a sewer in San Francisco, and shaking my head as I watch this poor, unsuspecting fake host who had no idea what he was in for. The footage makes me chuckle. I’m thinking about posting some of it here. If it makes me laugh, the odds are decent you guys might like it. What do you think? It might be an interesting look at the evolution of an idea, and the de-evolution a TV personality?
Regarding the future, I can only tell you that I my vision for the site hasn’t wavered. I’m hopeful to have a skeleton for the Trade Resource Center up by mid-January. The corporate feedback is consistent and positive, and the activity, considering the preliminary stage and amount of press, has been kind of extraordinary. As for “sweat equity,” well, most of my sweating is done on the road. The equity here is the old fashioned kind…
From the MRW Water Cooler
Over the weekend, in an effort to avoid anything election related, I was watching one of my favorite funny movies, Office Space.
The first questions are how many people here have had similar situations and feelings about your job? And if so, what would you want to do?
The second question: do you have my stapler?
I believe the answer is Diedrich Bader, or as I’ll always remember him, the first guest on the first (and last) game show I ever hosted, “No Relation.”
I love Office Space, and often quote it when I’m impersonating a motivational speaker. Rife with social commentary and fine performance. Aniston’s best work ever.
From the MRW Water Cooler
Mike (and forum readers),
I think the best idea I can come up with is to follow your dreams. Do whatever it is you want to do, not what someone tells you is a better idea. Get the word out that skilled trades are as important (if not more) that white collar jobs.
Hi Bryan, and Welcome
I will do all I can to tell anyone listening that a four-year degree is not the only path to enlightenment and happiness.
But I wonder sometimes, if the best way to achieve a dream is allow it to follow you, and not the other way around. I suppose if my options were limited to following my dream or following an order, I’d go for the dream. But too many people, in my opinion, follow their dreams straight into a mountain of debt or a sea of regret. Dreams can be fickle.
I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I learned from doing this show was the idea that following your passion is not nearly as important as bringing it along for the ride. I’ve talked to more than one entrepreneur who laid out this basic same strategy -
1. Step back and look what direction everyone else is heading.
2. Go the other way.
3. Look for something that no one else wants to do.
4. Start doing it.
5. Get really good at it.
6. Find a way to like it.
7. be happy.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve met who wind up dirty and successful as a result of this approach. It’s a bit mercenary, to be sure. But there are many roads to a happy career, and this is one not often taken.
From the MRW Water Cooler
It has just come to light that you are in People Magazine’s ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ issue (yeah…crazy, I know. That’s what I thought.) .
Do you have any concerns that this may reflect in a negative way on what you are trying to accomplish here or is all publicity good right now?
I really would hate for a brief mention in a magazine that is in essence only cotton candy for the brain, to make a negative impression on the people that you have been spending so much of your time discussing the serious issues of infrastructure and unemployment.
As I’ve said often, there is no accounting for taste.
“Do you have any concerns that this may reflect in a negative way on what you are trying to accomplish here or is all publicity good right now?”
I’ve sold things in the middle of the night on a home shopping network.
I’ve hosted informercials and game shows.
People Magazine can’t hurt me.
“I really would hate for a brief mention in a magazine that is in essence only cotton candy for the brain, to make a negative impression on the people that you have been spending so much of your time discussing the serious issues of infrastructure and unemployment.”
A little sincerity can be a dangerous thing; a lot can be absolutely fatal.
I think grasshopper, that the only people who can be truly offended by People Magazine, and those who take themselves very, very seriously. It’s funny though – I talked to the reporter for nearly an hour, mostly about this site. Should I be surprised or offended that no mention was made? Nah. There is no sensible response other than Aw shucks, and thanks.
What we have here is some select stuff from the Water Cooler that we think you’ll like. But we just want to remind you that the mean lawyer we’re always talking about is counting on the fact that you’ve read the Terms & Conditions and you’re gonna use use your head when taking people’s advice and opinions and you know, all that legal mumbo jumbo. (And we know it’s important and all but we’re hoping they come out with the cliff note version someday.)
Where’d the pride go in a job well done? What happened to the personal satisfaction one takes in them when they can look over the day and actually see something accomplished? When did we turn into this “quickest, easiest, cheapest way” society that takes virtually everything for granted? Those questions were rhetorical, here’s the real question and I think, one of the many purposes of this site, how do we fix it?
Mike was on the Adam Carolla show not too long ago, and though Adam tends to be quite chauvinistic as he is most memorable from the Man Show, he did spend many years swinging a hammer and he and Mike made some great points about this (I’d post a link if I knew how – search Adam Carolla Show, 10/1/08). It’s almost as if the labor industry, from construction to plumbers to trash truck drivers, need a marketing campaign to change its image. It’s a crying shame that most laborers, blue-collar workers, etc. are thought of as unintelligent or are looked down upon because it’s assumed they don’t have a college education which has become so important in this society (for all the wrong reasons, if you ask me). What happened to taking pride in the fact, or in my case, appreciating those who’ve built our cities, keep our lights on and quite frankly, keep the crap out of the streets??
From the MRW Water Cooler
How does Discovery feel about your endeavor here? Specifically that you have a message board, and many fans have come over to post. Are they supportive? Have you had to “talk” to them?
DCI is a big company, and I can’t presume to speak for them. I can tell you that my contacts there have been very supportive. Beyond that, no one has discouraged me from moving forward, or asked me to curtail my efforts here. On the other hand, I can’t be in two places at once, and I’m sure that there is some curiosity as to what the future will hold with respect to my virtual locale.
My hope is that everyone concerned will come to see MRW as a genuine attempt to “move the needle” as it were, and consequently, a good thing for the health and promotion of Dirty Jobs. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to promote the show, than to support the objectives of this site. If I didn’t believe that, I would have never proceeded.
Thanks for answering Mike. I think the “where” you will be is probably the million dollar question right now.
Really? I’m afraid you’ve overpaid.
I think there is a contingent of people from the Mudroom who are afraid (I don’t know what other word to use) that things will change so much they lose how they have identified with you.
There’s plenty in this world to be afraid of. My precise location on the interweb is not one them. (I’m kidding. I know it’s not called an interweb. But fake words kill me.)
Personally, I was intimidated here at first, but I am learning and having fun.
Good. Knowledge and fun are almost always in my top 10. And your contributions, wherever they may appear, are always appreciated.
Whatever direction this road takes you on, can I ask you a favor?
When you do finally clean your boots up and depart the Mudroom, can you make it a clear departure?
Probably not. Big goodbyes feel like parades – all obvious and heavy with sentiment and pomp. And besides, when I leave – which I have no plans to do – why would I clean off my boots?