Category Archives: Uncategorized

In a Mirror World

We all have this ideal of how we want to look, what we want our lives to be like, how we want to live etc.  I know that I definitely have this narrow field of how I want(ed) everything to look.  However, the fact of the situation is that nothing could be farther from what I desire.  My current place in life isn’t even remotely close to what I had envisioned at 29.

The first step to fixing a problem is realizing there is one.

I know there is a problem, I know that I have problems that need fixing.  Like I stated a couple weeks ago, I don’t even know where to begin.  Recently, it feels like I am stuck in the hallway of life, surrounded by doors and none of them unlocked.  I have felt like I have supported many in pushing forward and finding their unlocked doors of destiny and yet I cannot seem to find mine. My list of problems is broad but my understanding of how to begin fixing them is limited.

I am writing this from a place of honesty.  Writing this from a place of confusion in my life.  As we look at the mirror of our lives and view the reflection staring back at us, we cannot compare it to others.  Something I still do frequently.  I wish I had/was/could ________ (insert desire here).  We begin to formulate this list of things we find wrong in our lives and forget the list of blessings.  We formulate this list of things we wish we had, could do, were etc and get so blindsided by these things that we prevent ourselves from looking at the positive circumstances around us.

This is a place I have backed myself into, I have cornered myself with what I don’t have and zeroed in on those things and the good around me has become a blur.

Instead of trying to put everything back together at once, I need to take a single piece, figure out where it belongs and go from there.  Take each piece at a time and examine them before moving on to the next piece.  I need to take each area of my life, take that piece,look at it from all angles and find out how to put it back into its place.  And I need to be okay with finding pieces that no longer belong and throwing them out.  It is going to be a painful process where I am going to have to remove shards that have embedded themselves into my flesh.  However, I have to remember that it is all about slow slicing success.  No matter how painful it is going to be.

Hack it up into chunks

I may also need to take pieces and cut them up into separate chunks so that they will fit better as part of the whole.  If I want to lose over 100 pounds over the next year, I need to cut up the weight loss into smaller parts and focus on meeting the smaller goals and quit focusing on the end game.  If I want to move out, make more money, lose weight, get out of debt etc then I need to take the pieces one by one and refit them into the whole picture I have for my life. I need to quit focusing on the shattered image I see of myself and my life in the mirror and change my perspective to see the individual pieces that need fixing.

It is going to suck, it is going to hurt. I have to endure.  I need to endure.  I cannot see the completed picture, I can only see what is in front of my right now and I need to attack a section at a time and quit worrying about the whole image.  It will come together in time, I need to be patient with my future and more importantly with myself.  All things will work out for good in the end.

Let me know what parts of your life you want/need to fix.  Would love comments, thoughts, suggestions.  Thanks folks!

Mirror
Heart

Go go Gadget go!

The man of many talents, Inspector Gadget! (That brings back childhood memories)

Inspector Gadget was a police inspector who was stuffed with gadgets and every kind of thing to help him succeed in his profession.  Anything he needed, he had within himself to accomplish his mission.  Huh! Let me say that again!  Anything he needed, he had within himself to accomplish his mission.  However, if he wasn’t first equipped than he wouldn’t have that gadget and would ultimately fail.

How do I become like Inspector Gadget?

Great question!  We need to fill our toolboxes first and foremost.  We need to get equipped, trained, and informed to become like Inspector Gadget.  An empty toolbox won’t help change a tire, repair a sink or hang those pictures on the wall.  In the same way an empty skill toolbox won’t help secure that job, teach a class or write a song.  Life is full of ample opportunities to learn, grow, and stretch ourselves; this could be in a 3-day leadership intensive, a class on revision and editing, a music teacher for acoustic guitar, or a personal trainer.

In order for us to do the things in life we desire, we need to become prepared.  

You don’t plan on climbing Mount Everest without first going through rigorous training and purchasing the proper equipment that will gear you for success.  You don’t step up into a championship fighting match without going through months or even years of training and discipline (unless you are Tim Ferriss, that is another story).

Through the dozens of books I have read on self-improvement and growth, it all boils down to skill.  Our toolbox isn’t full of only things we have learned or are skilled at, it also has a drawer for who we know.  This drawer is full of people who know how to do what we can’t, they are the socket wrenches of our toolbox. These are the electricians, plumbers, editors, graphic designers, painters, and more; they are the ones that we employ when we don’t have the skill or talent and have no interest in acquiring that information.  They have the necessary training and skill to accomplish those tasks we stare at blankly.

However, we cannot unlock this drawer without connecting and/or asking.  We cannot be afraid to ask for help in places where we know we will be over our heads or we have no clue how to proceed.  Inspector Gadget didn’t automatically know how to use everything he was equipped with, without first asking about its use.  In the same way, in order to grow our skills or tap into those who have the skill, we need to ask.  Growth comes from those things we are uncomfortable with and pushing ourselves to accomplish them. As you grow and learn, that toolbox will become bigger and more useful.  In the beginning though, it will be a simple sewing kit, only capable of completely a few tasks.

What next?

There is even a website called Toolbox.com that does the very thing I have been discussing!  How awesome is that?!  Where do you go to fill your toolbox?  Start with Home Depot or Lowe’s, even Ace Hardware would work.  Oh you mean your skill toolbox!

  • Poll your friends on Facebook
  • Search for knowledgeable professionals on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc)
  • Use a group site like Meetup.com
  • Ask your parents (Shocker!)
  • Search your local library catalog
  • Go to a bookstore and search their database
  • Do a google search (search with a careful eye, scrutinize your search results for the reputable sites. Don’t trust everything you read)
  • Browse the magazine section at Barnes and Noble (there is practically a magazine out there for every topic)
  • Search blog sites for people who write about the skill you are looking to learn (WordPress, blogger etc)

This is a pretty simple list to get started.  Trust me when I say that I believe in you to find the people or resources necessary to fill up and grow your skill toolbox, to succeed in every area of your life and to pursue your dreams, passions, and desires.

Go out and fill your toolbox today Nerds and Nerdettes!  Would love to hear what skills or talents you are looking to grow and expand!

Gadget
Toolbox

Sandworms of Varying Degree

Sandworms!  Two movies come to mind when I think of Sandworms, the hilarious and timeless Beetlejuice and the classic Sci-fi Dune. (1984 and 2003)  Mighty creatures bent on devouring life.  There are times in our lives when we are running from or being swallowed by Sandworms. These worms are emotions, from apathy and hopelessness (Sarlacc), to doubt and apprehension (Graboid), to fear and sorrow (Beetlejuice worm), to the big behemoth of depression and anger (Shai-Hulud).  There are plenty of different size Sandworms in between that represent emotions not listed.

Sometimes there is no running from these creatures of negativity, there is only preparation and facing them head on.  If we only doubt their existence then at some point their lingering shadow will overtake us and swallow us whole.  Of course there are days that we want to give up and let life curb stomp us into oblivion, however, we cannot.

Currently I am wrestling in the jaws of something in between a Sarlacc and a Graboid.  My belief and hope in promises is in crisis.  We all have those days! It is all part of being a human with a soul (mind, will and emotions), we have good days and bad days.  If only, in the midst of it all, we could have a mostly steady outlook like Augustus Waters in The Fault In Our Stars “I’m on a roller coaster that only goes up.”  Even in the midst of all the trouble and hardship he was experiencing in his life, he still viewed himself on a roller coaster going up.  I know he is a fictional character, however, we would be mindful to have an outlook like him.  

I spent a portion of my day lamenting over my current situation, realizing I was allowing myself to be eaten by a Sandworm.  However, I need to dust myself off, kick the Sandworm in the jowls and climb out.  Drop down to solid ground, take scope of my surroundings and trek forward.  I need to analyze the puzzle pieces on the outside and figure out where to apply myself.  How to push forward and where to place my feet to gain ground and not lose ground.  Alas, I look at it all and I become overwhelmed at my fears, doubts, worries, insecurities etc.  There are days that it is hard to shake off the shadow of a Sandworm and accurately assess my situation and calmly sift through the pieces to find my direction.

It is difficult when we each have numerous passions, desires, dreams, and hopes and I know that I tell everyone to follow their dreams and pursue them with all their heart and whatever it is they will be happy.  They will be happy because they are doing something they love.  I should take my own advice, but where do I begin?  What direction do I start in and pursue with all my heart?  I picked acting back up because it is my passion, however, I feel that I cannot continue on that route without money.

As with everything I am passionate about, this bloody world revolves around the possession of a little green bill and without it you are banished to the netherworld of the unemployed and homeless.  It causes panic to rise within when I come to this stage of realizing what I need and then what I don’t have and not knowing how to trek from Point A to Point B.

It is a vicious cycle with those blasted Sandworms, if we are not careful we will become worm fodder and lost to the world in the vacuum of emotions and no good to anyone; let alone ourselves.

The moral of the story amidst this trail of thought?

Take a breath.  Step back from the worry, fear, and the cliff’s edge of emotional suicide and assess your situation.  What step do I need to take first? Who can I talk too? etc Find those that you can bounce ideas off of and get their wisdom and opinion.  Read books on changing your career or doing what you love.  Do something that puts you into position to move forward and not become stagnant in a pool of festering negative emotions.  It doesn’t do anyone good for you to wallow in pity and remorse, let alone yourself.  Kick off the dust and shake your head a few times and go walk in the sunshine, find something that clears your head so you can think clearly and begin the process of moving forward again.

 

Go out and be confident today Nerds and Nerdettes, don’t let the Sandworms of life’s emotions swallow you whole.  Would love to hear your comments or feedback!

Sandworm
Direction

The Bigger Picture

3 Weeks! What has happened in the past three weeks?  A lot that is for sure.  I lost my job a week and a half ago, went from affordable income to zero, lost 5 lbs in weight, a friend is moving back to NY and I began to question my direction in life again.  One thing that is still a constant in my life is no dateable prospects, there is some good news!

Don’t be alarmed, I am not questioning my decision and direction with AMTC, I am confident and firm in that direction.  I know that the situation of how I became fired is shrouded in mystery and unexplained with reasons that I may never receive.  However, one thing I do know is that I shall not give up on the dream and desires upon my heart.  Speaking of which I recently updated my Epic Quest of Epic-ness!  Check it out, I am on my way to Level 4 in life! YAY!

Anywho, I am sitting at Starbucks attempting to find jobs and I cannot seem to focus on the elusive search.   So I sit and stare out of the windows and watch the world stroll on by, aka people watching.  You can thank my Grandmother and Mother for my adept roll at people watching and being super observant.  I am thinking about life, the books I recently read, my current track in life and what I am going to write about.  Then it hits me, an image comes to my mind.

Not exactly this specific image, but you get the point.

Building a Puzzle!  Different thoughts and revelation came fumbling together.  My life has been full of attempts, trials, success and a great pile of failures. (Irrelevant note: type in pile of failures under google images and you get failed architecture and collapsed buildings.)

Our lives are like building a puzzle, the first opening of that box and we look at all those little interconnecting pieces and go “Good Lord how am I going to put this all together?”  We dump the box out and at least for me, you begin looking for the edge pieces to start forming the base work of the puzzle.  During this process of sorting through hundreds, if not thousands of pieces, you find like tiles, stick them together and put them off to the side.

Soon enough you have most of the frame of the puzzle assembled and an assortment of meaningless united tiles that have a piece of the complete image with no clue how it fits into the jigsaw.  Slowly but surely and bit by bit you begin to amass the jigsaw puzzle together like the image on the box and you can see what it is suppose to resemble.

How does this fit into my life?

Brilliant question.  It came to me like this; the base work of the puzzle is us, who we are, our identity, hopes, dreams, passions and desires.  Contained within this wall, that is a interconnected work of atoms (the jigsaw frame), you find an image that must be put together (the rest of the loose pieces). During our lives we try things, attempt new ideas, projects, business possibilities etc.  We have successes and failures, wisdom and knowledge to apply to future attempts.

Those are the pieces that we complete in little groups scattered outside the puzzle groundwork.  Piece by piece we find the bits that connect to the architecture of our dreams and carefully put the image together.  Then revelation hits and we find where a collection of 5-6 pieces fits into the bigger picture and another and another.  All those successes and failures have practical application for our future and in ascertaining our dreams.  Sooner or later we step back and see that that puzzle, that in the beginning was a myriad of pieces and edges, has now come together to form a finished and clear image.

This is a huge revelation for me because I was thinking about where am I going to go next, what am I going to do?  Now I need to sort through those groupings dispersed around my puzzle and find where they fit into the frame.  I have dozens of combinations laying on the outside, i need to begin putting them together and see what skills and wisdom I have learned from my 28 years of experience and apply myself towards my dreams.

I encourage you today Nerds and Nerdettes, don’t become discouraged at your failures, attempts and lack of direction.  Take a step back and begin to analyze where all those clusters of pieces belong and then decide which direction to take from there.  There are times that we stare at a certain piece for so long and our vision gets hazy because we forget that there are oodles of other pieces to put together.  If one doesn’t fit, put the piece down and move on, there will come a time, down the road, that that piece will come back into place and find it’s place perfectly.

I would love to hear your comments, suggestions etc.  Go out and assemble your jigsaw puzzle today nerds!

Hulk Smash

Go ahead and get mad, get really angry at your circumstances, I give you permission.  Get angry at your weight, get angry at your eating habits, get angry at your jealous girlfriend (kidding I wouldn’t recommend that!)  However I do recommend being Bruce Banner at your life!  Go ahead and Hulk Out today!

I say that because that is what I have chosen to do as of today, get angry at my weight, eating habits and lifestyle (habits, time spent, finances etc). I have had enough of looking at others around me who embody what I want to look like and I am getting angry at myself, above all, to go forth and conquer!  Starting today I am aiming my  gamma infused fists at areas of my life that need HULK SMASH.   But I need your help!

For the next 30 days I am going Hulk angry at my eating habits, for starters, and doing intermittent fasting (what is it?). Along with that one meal I do eat, which i am planning on being lunch only, I am eating salads.  The kind and type doesn’t matter, making a smallish change by eating a salad that is variably healthy, not overloaded in crap.  Secondly, I am budgeting myself to certain amounts I am allowing myself to spend every week and only using cash.  When the cash runs out then that is it until my next paycheck.  *working as server and here soon always having cash on hand will cause me to reevaluate this at a later date.* The leftover money from every paycheck will be divided up into my savings and paying off debt.

Third, I have some other habits that are going to be the hardest to overcome.  Habits I will not disclose here but ones nonetheless that I need to eliminate from my life in order to continue with the process of leveling up.  Those are going to take the biggest effort and most of my Hulk Rage to destroy, but totally do-able! And the victory that will come with it will be most warranted!

There are times that we don’t want to make the tough choices or work hard to see a desired result.  Most of the time it is easier to give up and shrug our shoulders and move on.  However, with this great quote it changes things (in my opinion): “A person’s health can be measured by the number of uncomfortable decisions he or she is willing to make.” -Steve Kamb of NerdFitness.( <- take a couple minutes and read the article that inspired this post!)

If you think about the Hulk, most of the time He had no choice if he changed into the Hulk or not.  One little thing could set him off and all of a sudden you had a rampaging, green, rage machine on your hands.  Let us begin to behave the same way towards those things in our lives that we have finally had enough of!  However, from the list of things I have read recently, start off small, getting raging angry (new phrase?) at one thing and when that one thing is destroyed, then do the same at another and another.  Until one day down the road, maybe months later, you can look back and breath a breath of fresh air because the number of things you need to get raging angry at are minuscule from what they were!

Go out and Hulk Smash today Nerds and Nerdettes and Feel the Burn!!

Hulk

Friendly Crowd Control

Today’s post is focused all around this quote:

You are only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with.  So be brave enough to let go of those who keep weighing you down.

I recently had lunch with a friend who is really more of a brother than anything else.  He was talking about some stress he was going through and I brought up the quote above (not verbatim but close enough).  I basically told him that he needs to surround himself with people that are going to support him and push him towards success.  Gather around himself people that will lift him up when down, support his decisions (whether they agree or not, which is very difficult for most people) and even help him out where needed.

I told him that no matter what he has to be himself and not let others (even those that were close friends) bring him down.  He can be no other person but himself, because everybody else is already taken!  It is also, from the books I have been reading, something that I need to do.  There may come a point in our lives that we need to reevaluate those we hang out with and decide if they are worth keeping around. Don’t worry, none of you are currently at risk of being eliminated 😉.

When you have to start compromising yourself and your morals for the people around you, it's probably time to change the people around you.

If you want to be depressed all the time then hang out with depressed and negative people.  If you want to be broke and unsuccessful then hang out with broke and passionless individuals.  If you want to succeed and see your dreams become a reality, then become involved with people who are doing just that.  You are who you surround yourself with!  Plain and simple.  So begin to think about all those that you hang out with the most and analyze how your life has changed, for better or worse and make the conscious decision to either remain friends or choose to spend less time around them.  There may even be those that you need to cut ties with altogether, trust me, you will feel so much lighter when those that do nothing but bring you down are sent out to Lian Yu never to return!  We don’t need to hoard “friends” to feel good because sometimes there are those that just stink up the place and need to leave.

Then again there are those that we need to keep even closer because their very presence is uplifting and clears away that fog of depression.  These are the kinds of friends we need to collect, along with those that push us to dig deep for our goals and dreams.  I am thankful and lucky that I have these people in my life who will push me and are very understanding.  If you are lacking this caliber of individuals then look for community groups that will push you are places like the Nerd Fitness Rebellion. And post there to get acquire the kings of people that you need to keep you going and who will support your goals and changes in your life!

This is a short and quick post but well worth it, I hope that it encouraged you today or gave you the insight and realization of maybe some things you can change with those you hang out with.

Go out and feel the Burn today Nerds and Nerdettes (haha)!

quote
morals

Along came Fear and sat down beside you

“In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night, No evil shall escape my sight, Let those who worship Evil’s Might, Beware My Power- Green Lantern’s Light!”

The Oath of the DC comic book heroes known as the Green Lanterns or the Lantern Corps.  A group of 7200+ humanoids assigned to different sectors of space to “police” that section.

Before the entire emotional spectrum had lanterns (the name for the heroes) there was just the green lanterns and their ability to use Willpower. Along came Fear, or Parallax who was the one weakness to the Green Lanterns.  To fight this weakness and inability to fight against the color yellow, a lantern had to overcome their fears and thus able to withstand the effect of the color yellow and its fear effect.

Fear wants to paralyze us in terror so we will not move or act in the plans and dreams we desire.  We have to overcome this fear!!  Each of us has weaknesses, fears and flaws that keep us from succeeding and preceding in our dreams.  We have to overcome the yellow aspect of our lives that we allow to prevent us from moving forward.  I know that fear is a huge thing in my life, fear of spiders, fear of failure (a good quick read) etc.

However Fear is a choice, that is why we need to have 20 secs of Courage and just take that fraction of time and push to step out of that safety zone and into the unknown and see what happens.  We may fail, we may even succeed, in the end no matter the outcome we have gained insight in how to proceed next time.  This goes along with trying to plan and think of all possible outcomes or situations that may arise, (guilty as charged your honor!) Which very, very quickly becomes analysis paralysis and then you end up doing nothing because none of the predisposed possibilities your limited human mind conjured resulted in a desirable end aka A Perfect Conclusion. This thought process ends up becoming a strain of self-sabotage that initiates the eventuality of you never accomplishing anything because no situational result ever looks desirable enough to make any semblance of an effort. How’s that for non-commital huh?!

I guess that is the reason that the Green Lanterns are my favorite superheroes…not including the fact that I believe that Green is the supreme color and all others pale in the mighty greatness of the color Green. Ahem excuse me…anyways the Green Lanterns really don’t have time to react, they stick to their code of honor and let their minds and the ring come up with what they are going to do in a situation. They do not waste time sitting in a corner precalculating how the fight is going to turn out, they jump in there, do their job and adjust as necessary.  I believe we all can take a page from their books (pun intended) and step forward as a self-proclaimed Green Lantern in our own lives, defeat our personal Parallaxes and no longer be restricted by the hideous color yellow in our lives.

So do you want to continue to remain in the vicious circle of analysis paralysis and never accomplishing any of your dreams or goals? Or are you going to take 20 seconds and take Parallax on one fight at a time and eventually leave him crying in the dust as you take the next exit to success and one step closer to your dreams?  Today is the day to decide, as the saying goes “A year from now you will wish you had started today!”  Make a conscious choice and effort to begin today to overcome those fears that berate you and become the person you see yourself eventually being.

Go Out and Feel the Burn Today Nerds and Kick some Fear Rear!

Photo: Green, Fear, Parallax