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Road Noise - Life one mile at a time with business owner, author, and professional artist, Michael Blackston

A life journal podcast from the viewpoint of a Christian husband, father, author, professional artist, and business owner. Topics range from opinions about every day family value issues and spirituality to helpful tactics that help make life easier and beyond. Michael is a southern story teller and cherishes the opportunity to help others through their struggles by sharing his own experiences. You're invited to come on along and join him in learning to live life one mile at a time.
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Now displaying: September, 2016

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Sep 30, 2016
How To Be Self Critical In A Positive Way - RN 051

"One should never criticize his own work except in a fresh and hopeful mood. The self-criticism of a tired mind is suicide." - Charles Horton Cooley

How do you evaluate yourself in a good way?

Critiquing yourself and your performance in any field is a necessary thing we have to do on occasion in order to grow. But most of the time, we are too hard on ourselves and can hinder or progress instead of promoting it.

I’m the poster child for “Don’t Do That” when it comes to being my own worst critic, so I’ve played opposing roles in a critique of Episode 50 to show how-to and how NOT to critique yourself so that you can progress in a positive way.

First, here are 5 points to remember when critiquing yourself

  • Be logical – Consider the facts, ignore emotion
  • Be willing to make corrections
  • Be forgiving – You cannot change what occurred, but you can learn from your mistakes and move on
  • Be constructive, not destructive
  • Think like your audience

 

Here are 5 points of concern I found in Episode 50 (there are certainly more than 5 concerns, but hey, if you prick me, I bleed). I listened as a harsh, negative observer and those critiques are the first in each point. Then I listened again as an objective observer and determined better, more constructive avenues to address the same issue.

  1. I HATE my voice.

No one likes their own voice. I know that as a fact, so I can logically throw that out as a critique.

       2. The audio quality is AWFUL!

I have a new mic and there are still tweaks to be made, but the audio is not, in fact, awful – it’s just different from what I’m used to.

       3. I need to shut up about irrelevant stuff.

I need to try and stay on topic and avoid going off on rabbit trails. Here, there is a sincere area I could improve upon, but this second avenue of critique is far more constructive than the blunt insult of first one.

       4. I’m too long winded.

Short and sweet is good, but don’t sacrifice a good story. This is a life journal podcast, so although I’m trying my best to be helpful, I also have the freedom to wax personal and tell stories. Good advice would be to remember to plan before I hit the record button so that I’m concise and any stories I tell are well placed.

       5. I’m too whiny about feedback.

Perhaps a pre-recorded call to action is in order. Here I see a need for improvement and after some thought, have devised a plan to solve the issue.

 

Berating yourself and being too harsh will get you nowhere - not if, but when - the time comes that you have to be self-critical. Be honest, yes. But be positive. Remembering the 5 points I listed will help you go a long way toward that goal.

This week’s Positive Review: Two movies – Florence Foster Jenkins Starring Maryl Streep/Hugh Grant and Sully Starring Tom Hanks

Sep 23, 2016
Milestones - RN 050
All the work that I do, whether or not it ends up being commercially successful or not, feels like the most important thing to me while I'm doing it. I try to take something away from every project, and so they all feel like milestones for one reason or another. Michael Ian Black
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/milestones.html
All the work that I do, whether or not it ends up being commercially successful or not, feels like the most important thing to me while I'm doing it. I try to take something away from every project, and so they all feel like milestones for one reason or another. Michael Ian Black
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/milestones.html

All the work that I do, whether or not it ends up being commercially successful or not, feels like the most important thing to me while I'm doing it. I try to take something away from every project, and so they all feel like milestones for one reason or another. Michael Ian Black
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/milestones.html

 

All the work that I do, whether or not it ends up being commercially successful or not, feels like the most important thing to me while I'm doing it. I try to take something away from every project, and so they all feel like milestones for one reason or another. Michael Ian Black
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/milestones.html
All the work that I do, whether or not it ends up being commercially successful or not, feels like the most important thing to me while I'm doing it. I try to take something away from every project, and so they all feel like milestones for one reason or another. Michael Ian Black
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/milestones.html

"It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached." - Mike Huckabee

This one is special because it marks 50 episodes of Road Noise – Life one mile at a time. That may not seem like such a big deal, but for a podcaster, it’s HUGE! The reported lifespan of the average podcast is seven episodes. Most podcast hosts begin struggling to come up with new topic ideas after the first few and by the time seven or eight roll around, the excitement has worn off, they’ve realized the work that goes into it, and the show begins the process of what we in the podcast world call pod-fading.

Another reason for excitement is that this show belongs to the Life Journal genre and is one of the least followed type. You get discouraged because there is little to no feedback and it’s hard not to take that personally, even though you know intellectually that it’s because people don’t generally take the time to stop what they’re doing to shoot you an email about something you said.

So in this episode, I wanted to talk about milestones.

We put a pin in the important things that happen in our lives so that we might remember them.

Here are some milestones in my own life that may interest you.

  1. My first solo performance.

This was an important moment for me because it set the course of a lifelong love for the stage. I was five years old and I sang Dead Eye Dick for some group at the local community center.

  1. Getting beat up by the little girl next door.

Yes, I was embarrassed about it at the time, but it happened because I was taught to never hit a girl and this incident supplied the opportunity to put that creed into practice. The neighbor kids were trying to start a fight with me and my sister. I was around six years old and the little girl was five. She came over and started pushing me around, but I refused to hit back. She pushed me down, straddled me, and began hitting me in the face. I could have easily pushed her off, but I liked her. We’d played together as friends and I knew that she was only showing out in front of her older brother and sister. Since that day, I’ve held that beating as a badge of honor and the first time I’ve ever had to turn the other cheek.

  1. Taking my green belt test with a broken arm – and passing.

Around the age of thirteen, I broke my arm badly. I had been taking Tae Kwon Do for some time and had the option of stopping the lessons until it healed. I decided to keep going, even though the teacher warned me that if I continued the training, there would be no leniency. I learned to do push ups with one arm and I sparred (controlled fighting) basically with one arm tied behind my back, although it was actually in a cast in front of me. By the time the belt test rolled around, I was to take it in front of Korean Tae Kwon Do judges to determine if I was ready to move on. I not only performed all my duties with one arm, including the required number of pushups, but I also sparred a student from a different school and won. It taught me that nothing is beyond conquer with enough guts, courage, and determination.

  1. I got married to the first girl I ever dated – And it was a blind date.

Kayla called the radio station where I was working and the rest is history. The interesting thing is that our first date was a blind date and the first date ever for either one of us. She’s the first girl I ever held hands with, the first girl I ever kissed – I mean really kissed - and my first for all of the good stuff beyond that. We were each other’s first for EVERYTHING. Yes, even that. We’ve been married for more than 20 years and it just keeps getting better.

  1. I had a son.

He’s my boy and he’s growing up too fast. You’ve heard him on the podcast and I’m so very proud to be his daddy. He’s a phenomenal performer and before long, his stage craft will put mine to shame.

  1. I had a daughter.

Same thing. She’s growing too fast. She’s showing signs of being a talented artist. She gets that from daddy.

  1. I gave my life to Jesus Christ.

Back to my childhood, I asked Jesus to be my savior when I was twelve. Like so many kids, I fell into normal worldly stuff and forgot about Him into my adulthood until July of 2001. I was behaving in ways I’m not proud of. My wife was telling me at times that she was ashamed of my behavior. Then an old country preacher at my church’s Jubilee revival service reminded us that the word Christian means “little Christ” and that if we were going to call ourselves Christians, then we need to act like Christians. If we were just pretending, we needed to own up to it and stop calling ourselves children of the King. It struck a chord and my heart changed. I haven’t been perfect, as you know if you’ve listened very long, but I strive to live my life as best as I can as a true child of the King. My biggest milestone has been, and always will be, my salvation and the moment my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

 What are some milestones for you? I’d love to hear a story of a moment in time that marked a turning point in your life.

This week's Positive Review: The Sketch Guru App

Sep 17, 2016
Seven Interesting Things About Artists - RN 049

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso

Why are artists odd? We're not that odd.

 

Artists are unique, some may say crazy, people. Get to know us!

Seven Interesting Things About ARTISTS

 

  1. Almost all of us are insecure.
  2. Most of us have difficulty finishing a project.
  3. We use art as a coping mechanism.
  4. We love other artists to a fault. I’m obsessed with Heather Rooney.
  5. We’re jealous of other artists to a fault.
  6. What we’re passionate about shows through in our art.
  7. We’re selfish. Our most cherished works are created for ourselves.

 

Artists are interesting people and usually a little strange because we have all these characters and worlds spinning around in our heads. We’re unique people.

 

This week’s Positive Review: Broadway At the Beach in Myrtle Beach, SC

Sep 9, 2016
Stories From The Stage - RN 048

“Giving voice to characters that have no other voice—that’s the great worth of what we do.” - Meryl Streep

What's it like behind the scenes of a theater?

I love me some live performance, especially theatre. Through the years, I have had the privilege of performing in and directing numerous live theatrical productions and I have LOTS of stories I can tell from both onstage and off. Episode 48 is about my love for the theatrical arts and a few stories about my life in the wings.

This week's Positive Review: Your local Community Theatre.

Sep 2, 2016
How To Handle Adversity In The Workplace - RN 047

“One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered.” - Michael J. Fox

No workplace is immune to the problems that humans can cause. It can make us crazy when there’s adversity in the workplace.

In order to solve the problem, I think you should ask yourself some honest questions.

Am I the problem?

Do I relate poorly with those around me due to:

Social awkwardness

Being too blunt

Being too opinionated

Being too selfish

If I’m not the problem, then am I making things worse by my reactions?

Being too defensive

Being too sensitive

If I'm not the problem, then what can I do to fix, or at least help, the situation?

The following 7 suggestions are not the complete list of things to try, but they are a good start

  1. Consider the cause (There could be underlying factors causing stress at a co-worker’s home)
  2. Be willing to compromise
  3. Be willing to forgive AND forget
  4. Be willing to apologize you’ve accidentally offended (or intentionally)
  5. Always take the high road
  6. Communicate one on one to find a solution together
  7. Mind your own business and do your job

Sometimes you do all you can, but the problem persists

If you’ve done all the right things, it’s probably beyond your control

This week’s Positive Review: Impractical Jokers on TruTV

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