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In this picture taken yesterday with my wife next to the Gasparilla ship I was actually in the process of looking for the plank in an effort to see if by jumping into the frigid waters of Tampa Bay it would somehow help my overactive mind to stop thinking about “everything”:

* How is my daughter in grad school in NY doing...I know she would love to be here to see this amazing Tampa tradition...she will graduate soon...nothing good comes easy.

* Where in this massive parade is my high school senior daughter right now? Is she still at her friend’s house party close to Hyde Park or is she on the island by now?

* Has my sophomore son moved from the tent to go to another location on Bayshore with all of his friends...why the heck does he not answer his telephone? Poor cell telephone connection reminds me my wife. Yeah right I think!

* Man I feel guilty not being with our other three children that preferred to stay home playing with their next door friends. This reminded me that it was a hard decision to leave home this morning on such a beautiful day since we also had so much fun stuff going on around our neighborhood but Gasparilla is only once a year I thought so here we were having fun despite being mentally scattered.

* This week’s client court hearings, depos, mediations, etc...I need to do some more research on a topic...why am I thinking about this right now during the middle of the parade?!

* Client text messages received while talking to friends at the parade...”you have a second to talk right now?”

* Need to get paint colors for the remodel and measurements for the cabinets by Monday morning...I should be doing this today because I already have a million other things to do on Sunday and then Monday starts and will not have time to even think about paint and measurements.

* Ahhh...!!!!!!!! Where is the plank?

I am currently reading several books at the same time and one of them came to mind as I was walking through the parade (yes I know that I am weird as heck for thinking about this during the parade but I would be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t)...Adam Grant, Wharton School professor, author of Give and Take mentions in his book that “If you want something done, ask a busy person. The old saying rings true, but it also spells doom for that busy person...”. Grant further notes that when you develop a reputation for being responsive and generous, an ever-expanding mountain of requests will come your way. At the same time that I was thinking about Grant, Warren Buffet also came to mind:

"The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.”

The words of both Grant and Buffett that were racing in my mind prompted me to remember how earlier in the week I had to gracefully say “no” to several Gasparilla party invitations that so kindly had been extended to us by friends. I next thought of all the other times that we have had to say no to other invitations from family and friends.

Grant notes in his book, that while saying no is something that we all have to do, the problem with it is that it may lead to others being upset at you or even perhaps thinking that you are rude.

I once had a close friend tell me that he thought I was “pompous” BEFORE he “really” got to know me. When I asked him why he thought that he said that it was because I hardly went out or often said no to social invitations. When I told him that I leave the office around 7:00 pm on average to then be there for my wife and children that this made it very challenging for me to accept all the wonderful invitations. He laughed and told me that “I now know why...”. Our friendship today is stronger than ever because of my candor of why sometimes have to say no.

The point of what I am trying to say this morning is this: Always live in gratitude for the amazing blessings that you have in your personal and professional life. Remember that your family, friends, and clients ask for you and want to be with you because they care about you. When you are with them try hard to “live in the moment” and put aside all the distracting thoughts of your racing mind. Time management is also key because we all live by the same 24 hour time frame so we have to learn to divide our time with others and equally as important you need to carve out time for your own mental health because without it there is no YOU for THEM.

I will close now by repeating what I wrote yesterday right before leaving home to go to Gasparilla:

“Ask yourself, are you spending your time on the right things?...Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think.”—Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

Have an amazing day today with your family and friends as you rest from yesterday’s rich family Tampa tradition. Man, do I love our city of Tampa!

Edgar J. Guzman

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