What the heck is a DONGLE – and why should you care?

I consider myself fairly versed in the English vocabulary. I mean, I’ve been a journalist since I was 16, and I love to read, so I’ve seen a lot of words.  But it wasn’t until very recently (yesterday!) that I encountered the term “Dongle” – apparently I don’t work in the technology field – and for those of you who do, please don’t judge me!

Dongle by FitbitYou see, I am celebrating my 45th year on this planet – even though (thankfully, surprisingly) I still get carded periodically! (It must be my younger husband and/or the anti-aging skin care I’ve used for a decade that paused time on my face!)  Either way, when I looked at myself in the mirror on the morning of my birthday, I realized that wow! If I live to be 90, I could literally be half-way through my life.  Is this what they call the “mid-life crisis” stage?  It must be, because I got really, really excited about my birthday gift:  a Fitbit.

I was only vaguely aware of this technology (and other brands) that you wear on your wrist like a watch and it tracks your physical activity and your sleep (if you get the model with that mode.)  This wristband communicates with both your smart phone and your computer to create reports of how far you’ve walked, the flights of stairs you’ve climbed, the calories you’ve burned and a few other pieces of data.

This piece of equipment reminds me of the jokes you see on Facebook of what it was like to be a kid growing up in the 70s and 80s – when you had to get up off the couch to change the channel, when music played on tapes, and when you could walk a mile the 7-11 to get a Slurpee without being afraid of abduction.  These days, everything is wirelessly remote controlled, music is digital, and I wouldn’t dare let my daughters walk to the corner store alone.  And nowadays, I can wear a watch that tells me how many steps I’ve taken today???  If it weren’t true, it would be unbelievable.

Just like the word Dongle.  What the heck is a Dongle?! It sounds like a collection of nonsense syllables spoken by a baby.  I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t been trying to connect my new birthday toy to my laptop.  After multiple (frustrating!) attempts to get the Dongle and my Fitbit to communicate, I now have a fascinating way to stay present and engaged with my new fitness goals. (Remember that mid-life crisis thing?)   A Dongle is this little mini-USB device that allows a secured software to run and wirelessly collect data.  (And if you’re still wondering why you should care, stick with me a little longer.)

It still blows my mind to think that a computer used to take up the entire space of huge buildings – and now we can hold a much more powerful one in the palm of our hand.  And how what used to require hard wires to transmit information can now pass through the air and be recorded effortlessly.  If this is what has been created and developed in the second quarter of my life, what does the next half hold in store?  What is the upcoming Dongle of the future?

Now here is why you should care:  You can create your own Dongle!  We all have the opportunity to develop the magic of our own future.  Are you going to be surprised about something that someone else brought to reality – or are you going to be the one to make it happen?  People tend to get motivated about planning their future twice a year:  New Year’s or their birthday.  Guess what?  You can choose ANY day to make a plan.  I invite you to do it right now with these three steps.

Imagine – Give yourself the gift of time to sit quietly and IMAGINE what you would like your life to be like in the next year by answering the 5Ws – Who? What? Where? When? Why? (My journalist side coming out again!)  For example:  Who do you want to be and who would you like to see? What is something you’ve always wanted to do but been afraid to do it?  What would you like to change about your life and what would make you happy? Where do you want to go?  Where would you like to live?  When do you want to go to that new place? When do you want to meet that special someone?  And, Why? Why do all these things matter to you?  Why are you the one to do xyz? Why are you on this planet? Remember to not let current conditions and circumstances prevent you from imagining a life you’d love.  The key is in asking the questions and letting the answers surface.

Action – After you’ve written down all that you’ve imagined, it’s time to take action on those ideas.  It’s one thing to think about them, but unless you take steps to make them happen, they’re just wishes.  Ask yourself, what is one thing I can do today that will get me to xyz.  You certainly don’t have to accomplish everything all at once – that would be unreasonable.  But you can develop a strategy to achieve your goals, one step at a time. (I have a class that helps with that if you’re interested…) What do you need to do first, then second, then third, etc. and before you know it, you’ll have developed your own Dongle.

Experience – Life is what you want it to be.  You have a choice of what your experiences will be like and how you respond to conditions that appear.  What fun is it if we find only the problems and the negatives in a circumstance?  Surely, you can find something to be grateful for in any situation, even if it may seem lofty at the time.  Now, Dongles aren’t made without some effort, some trial and error, some heartache.  But, once they’re in full operation, they’re pretty darn cool.  And what’s cooler is that you get to choose your life experiences – all of them!

So, don’t be a lazy ding-dong(le)! Instead, Make a Choice to use your imagination, take inspired action and enjoy the experiences of life as you build your own Dongle.  I’d be honored to know where you’re imagination takes you – please feel free to share here!





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