Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Your Life Is Passing Before Your Eyes

Life is way too short to care what everyone else thinks.
Be you. Do what you think is right. Live the life you want to live.
Forget about the haters, they will always hate.
Surround yourself with people who support you, but also challenge you to be better.
Continue to learn and grow.
Love fully, dream big, live happily, embrace change.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Fear

Fear holds you back from doing everything you want to do
Fear keeps you from trying new things
Fear stops you from doing your best
Fear conditions you into thinking you can't chase your dreams
Fear destroys creativity
Fear keeps you from shipping
Fear breeds perfectionism
Fear leads to inaction
Fear causes you to conform
Fear encourages you to follow the flock
Fear hates change
Fear is what keeps you watching TV every night
Fear is what keeps you in that job you hate
Fear is what keeps you in a toxic relationship
Fear is what makes you follow the "rules" of life
Fear closes your heart to new things

Fuck Fear.
Stop being afraid of life and actually start living life

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Do I Continue?

Ah, my dear blog-

I haven't touched you in years. A lot has changed since 2013, but I am not sure if this is where I need to be or if there is some other outlet for my never-ending need to write. Is it the blog I started many years ago, in a different time and place? Or is there something else I should be doing?

As you can see, I still don't know what the answers are, though I have found solutions to some of the other nagging queries. I know I love to write, but I just don't know if this is the proper forum to put forth my ideas, dreams, fears and hopes. Plus, will I ever be able to come back and give you the time and creativity you deserve?

Though it might be interesting to start up again as while I have many of the same ideas floating around in my head, I am a different person with different experiences than I was when I first started writing to you (hell, I am a different person than when I last stopped writing to you).

Things have changed, ideas have formed, some solutions have been found...in a sense, life has move on far past where we once were. I do love the feel of my fingers slowly typing across the keyboard in hopes that someone out there is interested in my ramblings, my opinions, my dreams and has advice for the tough questions banging around in my head. Or, is my job only to help other people ask the right questions?

Decisions, decisions. My guess is very few folks will actually read this post, but maybe I will come back and start rebuilding you and letting my mind wander in the mornings to help fill the blank page. I don't know. I only know you jumped into my mind as I was sitting here this morning. Maybe yes and maybe no...only the future will tell.

In the meantime, keep showing what has been written and hopefully inspire a soul now and then. I know writing to you definitely helped to inspire mine once upon a time. Maybe you will again...

With gratitude,
Joe

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What If?


Life is full of "what if" questions. What if I try this and can't do it? What if I don't like it? What if I just can't do it? What if no one cares? What if it doesn't work? What if people hate it/me/you? What if they laugh? What if it is the wrong decision? What if...what if...what if.

Everything we do can be preceded with a what if question. Stop. Stop asking them right now. The best answer to each and every one of these questions is "Who cares". Seriously, who cares if people laugh or hate something or if you get it wrong this time. Who cares if you make a mistake or choose a hard path or do something weird.

Each time you find yourself asking what if, instead ask yourself:

Is this something I really want to do?       
                                                                                          
If the answer is yes, do it. If the answer is no, then don't. Stop worrying about the possible outcomes and just keep moving forward. What if doesn't matter. What matters is not letting the fear of what happens next stop you from doing what you want.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What Do You Want?

It can be tough figuring out exactly what you want. We have all these conflicting ideas and feelings floating around in our heads and we have the ability to rationalize in ways even we can't comprehend. All options are available and we can convince ourselves that each is what we really want. When we start to wonder what the right answer really is, many times we just won't know. Too much info going on in our heads...we have to take the time to reflect before choosing.

In nearly every situation, the answer that feels comfortable is often the easy way out (even if it doesn't really look like it). The one that scares you the most is usually the one you should choose. Most likely, it's what you really want, even if your mind won't admit it. Embrace the fear...choose the scary. It's not going to be easy, but it is going to be right. Isn't that what really matters?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Limits

The only limits are the ones you put on yourself. Said another way...you can do anything you want to do. It's not going to be easy. It will take work, often a lot of work, but if you put in the time and energy, you can accomplish anything.

Stop listening to the naysayers. Pay no heed to the soul suckers. Forget about the doubters. Ignore everyone around you who doesn't support you. Believe in yourself, especially when others don't. Rise above the day to day bullshit and follow the path you want to follow.

No matter what you do, there are always going to be people who think you are crazy; people who will tell you no; people who will doubt you; people who just don't understand you. If they are going to be there no matter what, shouldn't you focus on what you want to do? Find people who will support you and surround yourself with them, then hit the ground running. What do you really want to do? What's really stopping you?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Your Life Is Your Life

As you go through your day, what is holding you back from doing exactly what you want to do? If you look around you, how many of the people who work with you are doing what they want to do? How many have settled? How many are just looking for a paycheck? How many are feeding their ego? How many are truly excited to get up in the morning and attack the day? What causes us to work jobs we really don't like to buy shit we really don't need or want?

You are probably sitting there thinking that you aren't one of these people...you love your job and are doing good work to advance a great cause. Are you really? If you were completely honest with yourself, would you be doing exactly what you are doing now? If the answer is yes, then great! You are one step further along than most of us.

Hell, most of us don't even really know what we want to do. So, we settle and work a job we like, but don't love. We do work we convince ourselves is important or make money to help fund the things we think are important. What if we can do both? What if we can make enough money to fund the life we want while doing work we think is important? Is it even possible?

For some, yes, I think it is. It's not for everyone, but not everyone has the need to do this. Not everyone feels frustrated when they are only content. Not everyone continues to search for something more and better. Not everyone has the same urge to continue to push forward. Some people are happy doing whatever will pay the bills so they can have the house in the suburbs, the 2.3 kids and the family dog. There is nothing wrong with this and deep down, I envy these people. I'm just not one of them and since you are still reading, I would guess you aren't either.

What can we do? Keep wandering. Keep searching for the answers to your questions. Keep looking for what you need. Stop following other people's dreams and desires. Be different. Be who you need to be. Stop listening to the fear in your mind. Start following your heart more. Don't settle. Try new things. Don't let others try to mold you into something you are not. Forgive the people who don't understand. Be a nomad, if only in your heart. Know the constructs of society don't have to be followed. Your life is your life, live it as such. Be bold...be brave...be free.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Analyze This

It's a strange feeling, sitting at home on a Monday morning---not having anything to do and not having anywhere to be. It's been a long, long time since I could sit, relax, slow down and spend time on me. It has also been a while since I wrote anything on a regular basis. I have gotten so caught up with work and exercise and I just stopped writing. While I may never get back to blogging on as regular a basis as before, I will be writing more in the upcoming months...

The sad part is it is only 8:00am on the first Monday I have had off this year and I feel like I haven't been productive enough. I have a really hard time slowing down...I feel like I always need something to do. Part of this could be from school...getting busy work to "utilize" time. Part of this could be from previous jobs...the need to make sure the boss doesn't catch you "slacking". Part of this could be because I don't always like where my thoughts go when they wander...questioning why I do or don't do certain things. While reflecting and analyzing are good things to do, they can also be very difficult.

Did I make the right decisions? Did I do the right things? Am I living the life I want to live? What would have happened if I did things differently? Are things going to work out the way I hope? Will they work out at all? What could I have done differently? Did I give it my best shot? Did I give it enough time?

Asking these types of questions is both difficult and important. While we don't want to dwell on everything we do, we should take time to reflect. Some of the questions you aren't going to be able to answer...some have no real answers as we can't know about things we didn't do. Some are questions to help guide where you go next. Some are there to help you learn.

We're going to make good decisions and we are going to make bad decisions. There is nothing we can do to change this. By reflecting on the decisions we make, we can gain knowledge to use as we move forward and make more. The key is to keep moving forward, no matter what. Sometimes we have to just embrace the chaos going on around us. Sometimes we have to jump and get as far away from it as we can. But, more often than not, we have to do both (though doing both will often mean different things to each of us). What chaos do you need to embrace? What will you do today to keep moving forward?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's Never Too Late


It's been nearly three months since I posted anything here and I am not sure how regular my posts will be, now that I have started again. I would love to say I will post three times a week or daily, but I just don't know. I started this blog a couple of years ago as a way to remind myself (and you) of the things that are important in life and how we should be doing them/living in a different way from what I am. I'm not sure if this blog was serving it's purpose or if the purpose has been transformed into something else. Only time will tell...

These last couple of months have been a little crazy. Lot's of things have changed and I have let some of the changes bother me more than I should. Have you ever had the type of change where you felt as if you went from being part of the team to being on the periphery? It's hard not to let this feeling bother you, but the best thing you can do is just let go. Change is always going to happen and it only has the control we give it. Emotion has a place in our lives, but it shouldn't run our lives. Anytime we are feeling frustrated or angry or sad over "little" things, we have to find a way to let go and move forward. These emotions aren't going to help us advance and will only cause us to dwell on things we don't need to dwell on.

I just returned from helping in Oklahoma City after the tornado. Helping with disaster response always reminds me of how quickly our lives can change. How many of us are living the life we actually want to live? How many of us are doing the things we want to do? How many of us are putting up with way too much shit because we are afraid to make changes? If you knew catastrophic change was going to happen in the next day or month or year, would you continue to live the life you currently lead?

Don't feel despair for what you haven't done, but make changes to live the life you want. If the people around you can't help you lead the life you want, then find new people and surround yourself with them. (I guarantee there are already some people around you who can help...you have been surrounding yourself with them without really knowing it). It's okay to change. It's okay to be different. It's okay to do what you need to do to live the life you want. No matter what you do, you aren't going to make everyone happy. Knowing this, doesn't it make sense to live your life in the ways that make you happy?

Change happens. We can't let change drag us down. Embrace the change and use it to live the life you want to live. Find the people who bring out the best in you and hold on to them tightly. Let everyone else go. Life is way too precious to be unhappy. Start doing what matters to you and stop worrying what everyone else thinks. Be the person you want to be and do the things you want to do. It's never too late to start.    

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Think Differently


Happy people are happy because good things continue to happen to them. Or, do good things happen to happy people?

When you are happy, do you notice the good things more than when you are not? Maybe it's not about the things that happen at all, but being happy is based on how you perceive the things happening around you. What would happen if you looked at difficulties and challenges as stepping stones and building blocks towards making you a better person? What would happen if you viewed problems as opportunities to grow? 

What will happen when you change the way you look at the world around you? Maybe trying something new is exactly what you need to become the person you want to be...

Maybe it's time to think differently.



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Some Things Are More Important



Some things are more important than being right. Some things are more important than being wrong. Some things are more important than what other people think of you. Some things are more important than getting credit. Some things are more important than your ego. Some things are more important than the money you make. Some things are more important than your possessions. Some things are just more important than everything else.

What's more important to you? If you have trouble coming up with answers, then you need to spend some time figuring out what really matters to you.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Things Happen


I was speaking with a woman the other day who had been laid off by Sprint in 2009 during a time when they had mass layoffs. Looking back on it in 2013, she said it may have been one of the best things that ever happened to her. I am sure it didn't feel that way when it happened. In fact, I am sure it probably felt like the end of the world.

Off the top of my head, I can think of some times in my life when I felt the same way. When my first marriage ended, I thought my world was ending. I didn't know what to do with myself and I didn't know how I was going to go on. I did continue to live and if that wouldn't have happened, I would have never met the amazing woman I now get to spend every day of my life with.

A little over three years ago, I finally admitted I am an alcoholic and I made the decision to quit drinking. I had no idea how I was going to live my life without alcohol. I was scared and worried and didn't know who I was going to become. It really felt like the world I knew and loved was ending. Three years later, I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions I have ever made and has led me along an amazing path I wouldn't have been able to follow otherwise.

I'm not religious, but I believe things happen for a reason. We can take whatever happens and build upon it. While some things may make it feel as if your world is falling apart, it only is if you let it. You can be sad. You can be angry. You can be devastated. But, you can't let it stop you from living. It may be difficult to get up every day, but you need to get up, nonetheless. You need to keep pushing forward and finding whatever it is in this world for which you are looking.

You see, things happen for a reason...even if we can't see the reason right now. Difficult things are going to happen...you may lose a marriage or a relationship or a job or a friend or any number of things. We can't let these times destroy us, no matter how hard they are. Don't confuse the fact that you don't know the reason something happens with there not being a reason.

Things happen to all of us, both good and bad. There are reasons for everything that happens. Sometimes these reasons are visible to us at the time and sometimes they aren't visible until later down the line. But, the reasons are there. I know this is of little consolation at the time and no matter what you believe, "bad" things are hard to handle. Just know, somewhere in your mind and heart, that things will get better and in a few years, you can look back and point to a "bad" thing as something that was actually good.    

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Smooth Sea


All too often, when the going gets tough, we quit. Think about it...we live in a society where it is easier to give up than work to do something we want to do. It happens around us every day. How many people are still going to the gym, even though their New Year's resolution was to do just that? We are only 66 days into 2013 and look how many people have already given up.

We give up on relationships and friendships and marriages and losing weight and quitting smoking and reading and watching less television and exercising and volunteering and learning languages and going back to school and cooking more and applying for new jobs and changing careers and saving money and organizing and cleaning and honesty and drinking less and doing more and writing and creating and anything else we claim we want.

Lean into the pain. Embrace frustration and difficulty. Cope with stress. Enjoy the challenge. Just don't quit as soon as the going gets tough. There will still be times you should move beyond whatever you are doing, but the reasons should be more and better than it being tough.

The difficult things are usually the most important in life.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tough Days


Some days are just going to be tougher than others. It matters how you handle these difficulties.

No one cares what you can get done when things are going well and everything is lined up for you. People will notice what you can get done when the shit hits the fan, nothing is working properly, everyone is under pressure, the tension is palpable and everyone wants to run away and hide. What you do during these moments really defines who you are. The tough days make us the people we are.

Embrace the tough days. You will learn more about yourself when things are tough than you ever will when everything is working properly.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Simple Questions


What are you doing to make today better than yesterday?

What are you doing to grow in to the person you want to be?

What are you doing to help others reach their potential?

How much more can you do?

What's stopping you?

Simple questions, but not so simple answers. What would happen if you actually answered these?