Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Planet Earth

I don't care where on the political spectrum you fall, what god you pray to or what you believe, this is just wrong. We can produce and want and need, but if we continue down this path, what happens next? What can you do to help your fellow humans? What can you do to help keep this world habitable for generations to come? What must we do differently? How do we get people to listen? More importantly, how do we get people to care?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I know I have already written a lot about 2012, but for my first day back to blogging, I decided to give you another post leading in to the new year. For many, in just under a week, we will already be struggling to keep our resolutions, be they dieting, quitting smoking, drinking less, exercising more, reading more or anything else of the sort. Many of us make these resolutions and by the middle of January, they often fall by the wayside.

I'm not saying you shouldn't make resolutions, but just deciding to do something doesn't mean it is going to happen. For many, we have to change the way we live our life to keep these resolutions. This is much harder than we think it will be and without putting in the effort, we are doomed to fail for another year. Instead, what if our resolution wasn't to do something more or less, but to focus on actually living life and not just watching it go by?

We need to take control of our lives in a more meaningful way. Instead of looking to the past and wishing you would have done things differently, focus on what you currently have and what you want to do. Plan for the future, but put in to action things today that will help you to accomplish what you want. If you want to write a play, make time each day to sit down and write. If you want to lose weight, learn to cook more healthy and tasty meals. If you want to exercise more, schedule time during you week where you will do nothing but exercise. If you want a new or different job, get your resume in order and start learning what you need to learn to land the job you want.

In 2012, lets take control of our lives and start doing what we need to do to feel fulfilled and happier. No one is going to give us everything we want, we have to go out there and get it. We have a choice to make. We can continue to grope through life, doing only what we need to get from day to day. Or, we can take the reins and start steering towards the life we want. Live with a purpose and enjoy what you do. It's not all going to be fun and games, but when you quit being a spectator and become a participant, you will have some say in the outcome. Make 2012 the year you took control.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I'm heading out in a couple of hours and will spend the weekend off-line (something we should all do once in a while). I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!

Thank you all for stopping by my blog every now and again. I know there are tons of other things online for you to read and it really means a lot to me knowing you have taken the time to read some of my ramblings.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Are You Ready For 2012?

We are quickly coming to the close of 2011. Before we know it, 2012 will be here and ready to go. Besides holiday gatherings and maybe some last-minute gifts to make or purchase, do you have anything left to accomplish in 2011? Do you have goals laid out for 2012? Many of us have goals and dreams that are separate from our professional lives. Shouldn't we do everything we can to succeed in accomplishing them? 

For me, the next week is going to be spent traveling and figuring what I want to accomplish in 2012. I sat down a few weeks ago and came up with some ideas of things I would like to accomplish (and it was a pretty huge list). This coming week, I will narrow down the list (if possible) and put a plan of action together to accomplish these items. I know many of us do this type of thing with work, but this will be the first year where I have one for things I do outside of work. Goal-setting and planning are the only ways I will stop procrastinating and do the things I want to do. Instead of saying it can wait until tomorrow or next week, or next month, I will have a plan in place with deadlines. I hate missing deadlines, so this should force my hand to actually put in the work.

As this year comes to an end, I think about all the changes 2011 brought to my life and how 2012 will bring even more. For many, 2011 was a very difficult year. For others, it was a great year and brought lots of happiness. For everyone, January 1, 2012 is a fresh slate, a new year, and will probably bring it's share of difficulty and happiness. With a plan and some lofty goals, I know I will have a little control over what the year brings. It's impossible to know everything 2012 will throw at me, but I can focus on the goals I have set and make sure I do everything in my power to reach them. Don't we owe it to ourselves to accomplish as much as possible in 2012? 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

How Do You Define Greatness?

Yesterday, I e-mailed back and forth with a dear friend about greatness and what it really means to be great. She had read one of my posts talking about being great and continuing to push until you get there and was interested in knowing how I define being great and how being different can be great. During this "discussion" (as it was via e-mail, so can it really be considered a discussion?), we both agreed great is a very subjective. What I may find as great and what you may find as great can be (and probably should be) two completely different things. We have our own thoughts and emotions and passions, so shouldn't greatness also be our own? Of course we can agree on some aspects of greatness or even both believe someone is doing great works, but even this might stem from differing reasoning.

For some, greatness comes from within. They want to slow down and embrace what they have and amplify themselves. They may believe they are already great, if they can only acknowledge this fact. They are tired of society constantly pushing them to do more, be more and get more. For me, it's a bit of a more meditative view of greatness...looking within and becoming comfortable with who you are and what you do is the way to achieve great works. Loving yourself. Being yourself. Being comfortable and happy with who you are and what you do.

For others, this idea may seem completely foreign. They see things on the horizon and want to keep pushing forward and learning more about the world and doing more. They don't necessarily want to get more stuff, but they want to increase their knowledge. They want to figure out what they can offer the world to help make someone else's life a little better. They are constantly driven to improve, be it personally, with what they do or how they think. They are constantly searching for something, even if they can't quite put their finger on what it is they are looking for. The search, the journey, is as important as the destination (if there can even be a destination).

The thing I learned the most during my e-mail exchange is two people can have completely different ideas of what great means and how to get there. I don't think either of our ideas are wrong, but I also don't think we could exchange ideas and practices and make them work. Greatness is a deeply personal idea and we all have to follow our own path to achieve whatever it is we want to achieve. Yes, we can learn from each other, but copying the success of someone else will bring you no closer to your goals. This life will take each of us in our own direction and to really achieve our goals, we have to do our own thing and get there in the way that makes sense to us. We can't follow others' paths, we have to walk along our own. Luckily, they are often close enough to see each other and discuss ideas and thoughts and motivations.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Treasure Map

Living with passion. Following your dreams. Searching for your happiness. Think differently. Do something. These are all things I have written (some of them a lot) in this blog. As many people can guess, I am constantly trying to figure out what it is I want to do with my life. I have a good job, but I often wonder if there is something more out there. I know there are a lot of people who wonder this same thing.

As a community, I think the most important thing we can do is share our thoughts and help each other. We are all pushing through life asking questions and trying to find our meaning, our life's work, our sense of happiness. We all will struggle. We all will fail. If we keep pushing through these, we all will succeed. Your vision of success and my vision of success can be totally different. We can want opposite things, but the things we learn on our journeys are important and should be shared with others. Each person will not have all the answers, but collectively, we have way more than we do individually.

The things you learn along your journey may not be applicable to where I am in life, but I am sure the insights will come in handy along the way. You see, we are all in different points along our paths and while we will usually walk alone, it is good to have some advice saved up. This advice is our treasure map. While we may not understand everything there, as we continue to move forward it will start to make more and more sense. By all means, keep pushing forward, but don't forget about those of us who got a late start or are just now opening our eyes to the world of possibilities. We all could use a little advice sometimes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Be Different

Be Different by sovata

A lot of people throw around the word creative, but don't really want creativity. In the same way, a lot of people say they embrace change, but if the change is too "radical" they don't even want to try. This causes creative people to keep their opinions to themselves and a lot of businesses lose out on the ideas they have. To really push things forward and become great, we have to try thinks that may not work, we have to take risks and do things no one else is doing. The truly great do not follow a path created by someone else, they forge their own way through the wilderness and leave a path for others to follow.

Doing things because it is the way it has been done before or because similar great organization do it this way will only get you so far. Sometimes, you have to take the really wacky idea, the one that doesn't always make a lot of sense, the really risky one and run with it. If it works, there is a good chance you will be doing something better than anyone else. If it doesn't, then you can always fall back to the way you were doing things, lick your wounds and try something else. In most cases, one decision is not going to ruin your business or close you for good. If you work in an environment where one non-working idea will cause you to lose your job, then you are working in the wrong environment.

To be the best, to be the business or organization everyone wants to work for, you have to do things differently than others. You have to offer different products and services or the same products and services in different ways. You have to embrace creativity. You have to embrace change. Just saying you do is not going to be good enough, you have to actually do it. Try something new, come up with new ideas, do the normal things in a different way. Just try something to push forward. If you continue to do what others are doing, you have to find a way to do it better than everyone else. But, if you do things your own way, then you can set the bar for everyone else. Try something new. Look for new ways to do old things. Shake things up. Be different. Be great!

Sunday, December 18, 2011


We live in a society where we are always hustling around trying to get things done and doing as much work as we can possibly accomplish. Daydreaming has been frowned upon since we were children. We were always told we shouldn't sit idly by, imagining what we want to imagine as nothing can ever be accomplished by daydreams. I disagree. I think we should not only be allowed to daydream, but encouraged to do so.

The world in which we live is changing at a rapid pace and creativity is an important asset for everyone to have. We have to be able to imagine things yet to exist and come up with ways to make them and use them. One hundred years ago, it would be nearly impossible for anyone to imagine the world in which we now live. It took people who thought differently to bring in to our lives the things we now take for granted. We have come forward in so many ways, but we still do not encourage each other to take time and imagine how they would like things to be. Creativity is valued in some circles, but in many still, we want our workers to be cogs, we want our students to do well on standardized tests, we want people to do what they are supposed to do and nothing more.

Is this really the world we want? Or do we want people to dream of a better place? Our imagination is limitless. We can develop amazing things, but only if we can envision them first. Sitting idly by and letting our mind wander can bring new ideas and new products and new ways of doing things. There will always be struggles and there will always be failures, but daydreams help us overcome and see things in a different way. Our imagination can take us anywhere, but only if we let it. Where do you want to go?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

If You Were Waiting For A Sign...

Click here to check out a wonderful website of similar artwork and designs.
We are all waiting for something to happen before we really make change in our lives. We are waiting until we have enough money saved or enough time off or until we can find another job or until we can get something going on the side or until we have the time to sit down and do it or any other excuse in the book. We continue to wait, continue to put off chasing our dreams and goals and slowly slide further and further in to depression and cynicism. When are we ever going to learn? When are we going to make one decision, take that one first step, towards doing what our heart tells us to do?

I'm just as guilty. I put off doing things until I have plans or more money, but the truth is, I am afraid. I am afraid of failing and losing everything and many other horrible things my imagination can pop in to my head (and trust me, I have a very active imagination). I sometimes think if I continue on the same path, things will change. If I can only think about this differently or do that differently, things will change. The truth is, we just keep on coming up with excuses on why we aren't out there doing everything in our power to grab a hold of happiness and never let go. Sooner or later, we all have to realize that without taking a risk, we are never going to really succeed. 

The best piece of advice I have seen recently: "Whatever scares or excites you, go do it." 

Friday, December 16, 2011


Welcome to post 100! When I started here, I wasn't too sure what it was going to be or if I would continue with it. For a while, I stopped posting to it at all and went with a Tumblr blog as I was usually just reposting other people's thoughts and insights. It took a while, but this fall, I wanted to see if I had anything of my own to say. Writing here became a habit and the last fifty-some posts have been in the same number of days. I haven't missed a day since late October and for me, this is quite an accomplishment.

I think writing, but especially blogging, is a somewhat selfish act. The act of grabbing the thoughts flowing through my head and getting them on paper is a type of meditation for me (hence the title of this blog). I write because I feel better when I write. I write because it allows me to work through things and see ideas I wouldn't be able to see if they were just traveling as figments of my imagination. I write because I love to write. I love knowing people are reading what I have to write and this helps to keep fuel in the tanks and allows me to write more. Many of the posts you will find here are deeply personal and many of the topic points are things I struggle with in my life. Writing this blog is a cathartic act, but I hope any readers will walk away with their own ideas or thoughts or musings, too.

I wish I could give you all the answers to life. I wish I could tell you how to always ignore fear or find fulfillment or find happiness or do the work or think for yourself or stand up for yourself or be better than you can dream or do something amazing. What I have realized in writing this blog is no one really has the answers. No one can give you a blueprint for your life. No one can tell you which path to follow or even how to find a path to follow. We are all in this together. We are all spinning round and just trying to do the best we can. We all fear and hope and dream and wish. We all want to be great. We all want to do something important. We all want to take the first step to the rest of our life. We all want to do more. If any of the posts I have written have helped to make you think or dream or hope or try, then I have done more than I could ever wish.

Whatever happens, I will continue to write. I will continue to put my thoughts on paper and will share them with the world. In this blog, you are going to find conflicting arguments and probably ideas that don't make sense. I just hope you can find something of value in all these ramblings. If you do, share them. If you like this blog, share it with others. If you don't like it, then I thank you for stopping by and wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors. Go out and live life with passion and abandon. We only get to try this once, let's make lasting memories and leave knowing we did the best we could.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ten Things We Should All Do

1) Work smarter
2) Play more
3) Spend more time with family and friends
4) Travel
5) Learn something new each day
6) Smile
7) Exercise
8) Find a project
9) Read
10) Help other people

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do Trust in the Things You Love

This video exemplifies why I am in love with Do Lectures. Mickey Smith comes across as a very nervous and unassuming man who has done a lot of interesting things in his life while chasing his passion. He has a great story to tell and shares a beautiful video near the end. His story may challenge you to do more, want more or try more. Life is precious and we should go through it with a smile. As he says in the video, "if I can only scrape a living, at least it will be a living worth scraping."

Take a few minutes, sit back and enjoy this lecture. Think about what kind of life you want and what you feel the need to do. We can learn a lot from the people around us and the internet has made this group of people even larger. We are lucky to have so many people doing so many great things. How can you not help but be inspired?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I recently read Impossible: The Manifesto by Joel Runyon and many parts of it have been stuck in my head ever since. Joel was like many of us, doing what he was told and expected to do and waiting for the payoff that never came. Many of us do what we are expected to do, go to high school and get good grades, go to college and get good grades and then send out tons of resumes to get the job we are expecting since we did the previous two. For many of us (and for Joel) this didn't really happen. Joel's life changed when he asked himself two interesting questions:

  1. Are you telling a good story with your life?
  2. Would anyone want to read it?
Constantly waiting for something to happen to us is a terrible way to go through life. We have to get out there and make things happen. We have to create and challenge and just do as much as we can. Our life is precious and short. Why do we continue going through life bored and unhappy? We are in control of our destiny, we just have to have the courage to grab hold and steer. Life is never going to be easy, but it is also never going to be as hard as we fear.

No one is ever going to give you a blueprint to happiness and fulfillment. These are personal and the direction we take depends on who we are. Impossible isn't going to show you how to tell a good story, but it will challenge you to figure it out for yourself. Take a little time and read the manifesto (and then read it again, if necessary). This could be the jumping off point for the story you want to tell. Stop waiting for things to happen; do what you dream, be it big or small. Start writing a story others will want to read. Start living with purpose.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Complainers and Fixers

Challenges; problems; obstructions; difficulties---these are all things we run up against every day. It is impossible to eliminate them, but how we react is what separates us. No one like to have challenges or problems or obstructions or difficulties, but some people will bitch and moan when they appear and some people will lower their heads and figure out how to move past them. Some of us will wonder why we deserve this and others will wonder what to do to fix them.

There are two different mindsets in action here, one is the complainer and the other is the fixer. There are probably many more mindsets out there, but I think most will fit in to these two categories. The complainer overreacts, becomes frustrated, complains to anyone who will listen and takes things as a personal affront to who they are. The fixer sees the problem for what it is, may become a little frustrated, but quickly realizes frustration and complaining won't solve the issue. The fixer realizes these things happen and knows the only thing they can do is figure it out and move on.

We see these two types of people all the time. There are a lot of complainers out there and one problem with them is they bring the mood down for everyone involved. Their complaining causes a negative environment and makes it harder for others to be positive. They suck the life and energy out of every room and can warp the views of the people around them. Constant negativity and overreaction can cause problems for even the best worker. Surrounding yourself with these people can cause morale to drop and work to suffer. Do we really want people around who are constantly negative?

The fixer may have times of frustration, but they realize there are always going to be challenges, problems, obstructions and difficulties. They know to expect them and take a little pleasure in fixing them. They may not be overly positive all the time, but they aren't running through life thinking the world is out to get them. They realize all problems can be solved and the less complaining they do, the quicker they can get past any obstacle. They help to keep other people calm and they don't overreact to the situation.

Who would you rather have in your company or as a friend?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Take the First Step

I think there are many people walking through each day wishing they could figure out their passion and then start following it. I know I have often floundered in the thoughts of wondering what I was supposed to be doing, what would bring fulfillment into my life and what would give the happiness I often seem to be missing. I have struggled with these thoughts and never made any move as I always wanted a plan in place. I needed to know what I was going to do and how I was going to pay the bills and where I was going to end up. This rarely, if ever, happens.

If you speak with anyone who is doing what they love and making a difference in the world, they will all tell you plans tend to change, focus tends to change and the direction tends to change. Every day brings new challenges, new knowledge, new ideas and new paths for us to follow. We will never be able to plan out the rest of our life (or even the rest of the month) because we will never know what is to come. Everything is not going to work the way we want, just because we want something to happen or events to unfold in a certain way. This doesn't mean we are going to fail; it means we are going to make choices along the way to keep on moving forward.

Of course, make some plans, but realize they are very likely to change. Yes, you may need to think about how you are going to pay the bills before making a radical decision. There are always going to be reasons why you should or shouldn't do something and the reasons why you shouldn't are going to be the loudest voices in you head. This voice loathes risk, hates taking chances and abhors change. This voice rarely has anything good to say and focuses on the worst case scenario (and usually even exaggerates these). We are so used to listening to this voice, we usually don't even realize when it is speaking. This voice may seem very rational, but it is not. We all have to learn to listen for this voice of fear and find the best ways to ignore it.

There is one sure way to start your journey towards finding your passion and allowing your purpose to embrace everything you do. Take the first step. Yes, it is going to be scary, but the other option is to sit back and listen to the voice and continue to hope you will one day be smacked in the face with your passion and everything will be given to you on a silver platter. This is never going to happen. Start searching, start doing, start dreaming and start moving towards something. You don't even need to know what that something is just yet, but for most of you reading this, you know what you have now and what you do now isn't everything. For most of us, we have a lot more to offer the world. We have a lot more art to make and the only way we are ever going to find the courage is to start moving forward. Once you start moving, it will take more energy to stop than to keep going. You will never know what doors will open for you along the way unless you take the first step.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


"What are your aspirations?" An innocent question posed last night as I snacked on some veggies at a holiday gathering. My answer...I have no clue. This isn't entirely true as there are lots of things I would like to do, but I have never been sure where to start. The question of what I want to do with my life floats through my mind at least once a day. In fact, I think about this all the time.

Many of us have lots of ideas and thoughts and dreams, but I can't seem to latch on to just one whenever I try to decide on my next move. I have thought about trying lots of different things, but the more I think about them, the less I actually do. I wish I had an answer for this question each time I was asked. I really wish I could say I was doing it right now. I love animals and I have a passion for their welfare, but I don't think this is where my aspirations end. I am still searching for my true self. I am learning who I am and what I have to offer the world.

There are some people who know exactly what they want to do or who they want to become. I am envious and a bit distrusting of anyone who claims this. I don't understand how someone can be so sure of what they want to do and how this never changes for them. Maybe there really are people like this. I just know I will continue to search, to learn, to try new things and one day I believe I will be able to to figure this out. I just hope I have the courage to jump at any opportunity to keep pushing forward.  

Friday, December 9, 2011

What The World Needs

The world doesn't need more cynics.
The world doesn't need more naysayers.
The world doesn't need more tortured artists.
The world doesn't need more people happy with the status quo.
The world doesn't need more sleepwalkers.
The world doesn't need more takers.
The world doesn't need more doubters.
The world doesn't need more detractors.
The world doesn't need more pessimists.

The world needs more dreamers.
The world needs more thinkers.
The world needs more doers.
The world needs more people trying.
The world needs more risk takers.
The world needs more teachers.
The world needs more questioners.
The world needs more people challenging the status quo.
The world needs more change makers.
The world needs more optimists.

Which list describes you?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Keep Pushing

Our life brings a strange collection of ups and downs, good and bad, success and failure. Many of us strive for more ups than downs, more good than bad and more success than failure. This is a normal reaction to each type of event. But, when we strive for these are we missing out on chances and risks which may pay off even more? If we fear failure, do we limit the success we can have? When we fear the bad, do we limit the amount of good?

Life is about taking chances and trying new things and doing things differently. Life is about figuring out who we are and what we can offer the world. Is it possible to truly find yourself without all of the above? Can we really know success if we have never risked enough to fail? We will never produce great work if we are constantly striving to not fail, to not do bad work. Dealing with the downs, the bad, the failures---these are the lessons we must have. We have to learn how to overcome, how to keep the down times from eating at our soul and keeping us from trying and risking again.

When we push ourselves and really try, there will be times when we don't succeed. Instead of dwelling on the failure, we must learn from it and try again. This is the only way we will be able to do great work. Everyone fails. The world is not against you. Shit happens. Don't let it ruin your day, your month or your year. Figure out why things failed and then try again in a new and better way. Keep learning and pushing and sooner or later you will get the up, the good, the success. When you have dealt with the others, these will taste so much sweeter.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Positivity Breeds Positivity

In this hectic world, it is very easy to become frustrated and negative very quickly each day. One thing can go wrong (the alarm doesn't go off, you're running late, the car doesn't start) and this throws us in to a tailspin of negative thoughts and frustration. This happens to everyone and once we are in this negative mindset, it can be really hard to pull ourselves out. Negativity breeds negativity. Once our mind is focused on the negative, we see it everywhere. One simple occurrence in the morning can ruin our entire day.

I have found a way to combat this and it sometimes works really well. When I start to get frustrated with something happening, I pause, take a few deep breaths, close my eyes and imagine something good. I think about my fiancee or my family or something funny that happened the day before. I try to pull myself out of the funk before it grabs hold. The interesting thing I have learned is positivity breeds positivity, too. If I can catch it soon enough or if I can focus on something positive each morning, I have better days. When I don't, I tend to have negative days. By knowing this, I can work towards having more good days than bad. As with everything we do, it takes work.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

It Takes Work

Some mornings, when I sit to write a blog post, the words come pouring out of my fingers and I have no problems coming up with something to say. Other days, like today, I can sit and think and struggle with the words and thoughts and not know what I am going to write. Either way, I open up this blog and sit with my fingers poised above the keyboard and put in the time to do the work. I love to write and I am thrilled when people respond to or share my musings with others.

Like everyone else, I have my doubts. Many times, I have wondered if I should continue to write on this blog, even though I have only been doing this for a short period of time. I wonder if anyone would notice if I quit writing, if anyone would really care. We all go through periods wondering if what we do is really worth the time. We really are our own worst critic. We doubt and then we feel the fear and then we quit. I know I have followed this path more than I would ever care to admit. We start doing something we love and want to do. After a while, we realize what we love and want to do takes work and we may not be as good at it as we want.

I know this blog doesn't produce a ton of traffic. I know there are many other blogs with better writing, better thoughts and a better style. There is a very, very good possibility I will never have the best blog on the web. Hell, there is a good possibility I will never have a great blog. While I would love to have either or both of these (who wouldn't?), I write because I love to write. I blog because I love to blog. I put thoughts out in to the world to see if someone else can grab hold of them and make them better. Maybe some of the things I write will help people in their struggle towards their goals. Maybe people will love what they read and keep coming back to read more. As I continue to write, I know I will get better. I know I have to put in the work. I know each morning I will sit with my fingers over the keyboard and wait for the words to come pouring out. I hope this blog will help others. Even if it doesn't, I know it has helped me.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Turn Off The Television

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance of relaxing to revitalize your body and mind. While there are some people you know who seem to have endless energy and never need a break, I know most, if not all of us, need to take the time away to recharge and refocus if we want to create beautiful work. We have our own talents and skills and we have to find a way to connect these with what we want to do. Everyone has dreams. Everyone has goals. We start to fall short in reaching them when we don't understand how to leverage our talents for the greatest good.

Many people work in jobs where they are unable to (or have yet to figure out how to) use their talents and skills. They continue to toil away at this job to pay the bills and haven't connected the dots to figure out how to utilize what they offer to create a more lasting impact. In many cases, what we do outside of the daily job utilizes these skills and talents in ways we could never do within the work. We live in a society where we label each other based on what we do for a living. We have titles and ranks that may have nothing to do with what we can actually offer the world if we were using our skills and talents.

Many people feel stuck by their place in life because they are afraid to let go of what they have to try something different. They see their pay or their benefits and wonder if it is worth giving them all up to do something "crazy". This is a personal choice. But, it doesn't have to be the only choice we have. Many people create beautiful things while working a job to pay the bills. It's a good way to start, but requires motivation and dedication because it involves working outside of the work we do to pay the bills. It requires reorganizing your life and giving up some of the things we do after a long day (or in my case before a long day) of work.

We may hear this a lot, but turn off the television. Many of us spend so much time glued to this box watching things that don't really bring anything in to our lives. I used to be this person. I would DVR tons of shows and then spend my downtime catching up on the latest episodes of House or Survivor or anything else that looked good at the time. I would veg out in front of the television and the next thing I knew, I had been there for hours with nothing to show for my time except I could talk to other people who did the same thing about the shows we watched. I wasn't really growing or becoming a better person by doing it. I'm not saying you have to remove television completely from your life, but take control of the remote and spend some time creating instead of watching.

You have the ability to bring some beauty in to the world utilizing your skills and talents. The world deserves your creations. What if we could do something that brings a lasting impact, even if it is for just one other person? How would we feel? We have this ability. We just have to do instead of watch.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


For many of us, we are constantly going. With laptops and smart phones, we are never really able to leave work behind. We are constantly checking e-mails or receiving phone calls or making lists of the things we need to do once we are back in the office. We are not giving our bodies and minds the rest, relaxation and recharging we need to be at our best.

I am as guilty as the rest...I am constantly checking my work e-mail or hopping on the database to see how the day is going while I am away. I receive and return phone calls on my off days and haven't taken a day completely away from work for longer than I would like to admit (and this was only because I was out of cell phone coverage). No matter where you work, there are always going to be coworkers who do not respect time off, do not take enough time off themselves and assume everyone is going to answer the phone when they call. Don't fall in to this trap. There is a reason voicemail was invented.

Instead, make sure you are giving yourself the time off you need. Turn off the phone, kick up your feet and read or listen to music or go out to dinner or go see a movie or do whatever it is you find relaxing. There are very, very few things that could happen at work requiring your attention on your time off. In some situations, this may not be possible, but you have to build time into your schedule for you. We are never going to be able to do our best work unless we give our bodies and our minds a chance to recharge. Take time for you and let things go. It's the only way to continue to do your best work.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Spoken Word

Sarah Kay is an amazing spoken word poet who gave this talk at TED. The Domino Project, in their wisdom, published this poem as their last work. I have to admit, I am a huge fan of spoken word poetry and have loved it for as long as I can remember. Following in the footsteps of the greats, including my favorite poet-Allen Ginsberg, spoken word poets touch our hearts and souls in ways other performance or written pieces can not.

Take a few moments to watch this video and think about purchasing the book, if for no other reason, then to remind people poetry is alive and well. Poetry can help us communicate and can reach out to touch the souls of other people. We all have stories to tell and I can think of no better way to tell them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Stop Talking and Do

Seriously, how is it already December? Life is flying by and seems to fly by at a much faster rate the older I get. It feels like only yesterday we were celebrating 2011 coming in to existence. I look back at the last year and realize I have had a really good year, even if I didn't accomplish or do a lot of of the things I wish I had. For most people, this is true when we examine the year as it comes to a close.

Yesterday, I wrote about goal setting for the upcoming year and wondered how I would be able to accomplish more of the goals I set. Motivation and focus are the two important traits I need to stoke to actually do the things I want to do. With a little more work and a little more organization, I hope to do more in 2012 than I have been able to in other years. As December 2012 rolls around, I hope I can look back at the year and realize I did accomplish more of what I wanted to accomplish, as well as having another great year.

For me, and I am sure for many of you, we push our goals thinking they can be done tomorrow or next week or next month and we never seem to get to the point where we can start working towards them. For next year, one of my goals is to really focus on doing the things I want to do. I need to stop the procrastination and focus on really doing the work. I am not sure if I procrastinate because I am afraid of not being able to handle doing what I want, because I don't want to put in the work and then have the final product be less than I imagined or because I just think there will always be time. It's probably a mixture of the three.

I have to train my mind to realize there is no time better than now to focus on all of the things I want to do. The time is never going to be perfect and pushing off my goals is only going to end with never actually accomplishing the things I want to accomplish. I don't want to look back in December of 2015 or 2020 and wonder how I still didn't accomplish the things I am thinking about this year. There is always tomorrow is a mantra I have to remove from my vocabulary. I want to actually do everything on my list of goals and the only thing holding me back is me. As I look back at 2012, I want to see the year when I learned to do instead of just talking about it.    

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Goals for 2012

As we quickly race towards 2012, I am thinking a lot about goal setting. For the first time in my life, I want to have personal goals defined for things I want to do, learn and experience in the coming year. I have often done this type of goal setting at work, but this is the first time I have done it in my personal life. I know some of the goals are measurable and some are not, but they are all going to be goals. These goals touch on things I have been talking about doing for years, but never have focused on accomplishing. My hope is by setting goals, there will be a little extra motivation to stop talking and actually start doing.

Do any of you set personal goals for each year? These are not New Year's resolutions as I have found these often fall by the wayside before January comes to a close. I have started writing down some goals I have for next year and during this next month, I will add and subtract and figure out how my priorities lie. I will have no problem coming up with the goals, but I do have concerns I will let the year slide by without focusing on many of them. If you are a goal-oriented person, what tips do you have to keep these goals in the front of your mind?

The idea I have come up with, but not yet decided on, is to make a schedule of focus for the coming year. I will take the goals I want to hit and then figure out the best way to fit them in during year, while keeping in mind big upcoming big dates, October 13, 2012, and events happening throughout the year. I can print out this schedule and have it hanging throughout the house to remind me of where my focus should be each and every day. I have not decided how much of my list I will make public, though I know I am more likely to stick to the schedule if other people know what I am supposed to be doing.

Do any of you have thoughts, ideas or tips on setting goals, reaching your goals or keeping your goals a priority?