Tag Archives: passions

Life is like…Instant Oatmeal?

Actually life isn’t at all like instant oatmeal.  Although we all wish it was, sadly this is not even remotely the case.  In actuality, life is like a slow cooking pot roast.  As much as we desire to see instant results from eating right for a week, working out for an hour etc it just isn’t going to happen.  It takes dedication and hard work to achieve the results we desire in any area of our lives.

What is change really like?

In reality, it is all about slow slicing success.  In his sermon of the same name, Pastor Levi Lusko discusses slow slicing success in regards to being a creature of habit or changing our habits. He discusses how the chinese used slicing or Lingchi to slowly cut a person to death. (Click the link to read the description of true Chinese Lingchi, rather gruesome.)  However, Pastor Lusko makes a great point, we need to use slow slicing success in our lives to make lasting and effective change.  We cannot expect to hack off large chunks and expect to see lasting change; it has to be done in slow slices, a bit at a time.

To really see change, this poster makes a great point.

day mo 77 Daily motivation (25 photos)

In our American culture of quick service, instant meals, fast food, express lanes, drive thru service etc we have come to expect the same of change in our lives.  We have become an impatient and inconsiderate society, wanting everything now and not have to wait.  With almost everything, we “Want it now!” (<- check out the video! a classic) And we don’t want to work for it.

“She was a bad egg.”

Just as Mr. Wonka states after Veruca falls down the chute. That is what becomes of us as we desire the reward without the effort.  We become bad eggs, selfish, self-seeking and impatient.  And I have to remind myself quite often that it is all about slow slicing success; if I want to see the change I have to stick it out, see it through and wait the weeks it will take to get to where I want to be. I cannot expect to “want it now.”

Slow cooking pot roast

And that is something that is so difficult, I want immediate results. I want to see the calories and inches just fall off after eating a healthy meal, or working out for an hour.  Unfortunately, life isn’t instant oatmeal.  Unfortunately, life is like a slow cooking pot roast, it has to sit and cook for ours in a broth to achieve culinary perfection.  And just like instant oatmeal, you may enjoy the quick results, but they aren’t lasting; instant oatmeal isn’t filling for a long time.  Pot roast is a filling and lasting meal, you are full for hours afterwards.

We need the same results from our eating, exercise, and weight loss habits.  Powders, supplements, and shakes are great as instant oatmeal; however you need to have real and lasting change.  That is why I am big on eating right without all the supplements, powders, shakes etc.  That is the direction I am taking in my life, finding natural and lasting options instead of using meal replacement shakes and all of the other “healthy” weight loss alternatives.  This options require you to continue their use after you reach your goal to maintain that achievement.  Why would I want to do that?  I would much rather achieve my goal through natural means and be able to easily maintain through continual eating right and exercising than continuing the use of shakes, supplements, and powders.

What point are you trying to make?

Good question. Let me sum up everything I am saying.  As much as we desire it, life is not like Instant Oatmeal.  Life is like a slow cooking pot roast.  It takes weeks of effort and dedication to reach our goals for change, weight loss, or any desire we may have.  We cannot expect everything to get better over night.  Look up success stories of people achieving their goals, none of them were overnight sensations.  For some, it took years, even decades to reach their lifelong dreams.  So I tell you this today, continue the effort and push forward.  It is all about the slow slicing success.  Take off little chunks at a time, little slices here and there and eventually you will reach that highly sought after achievement.

Let me know what slow slices you are currently making.

Oatmeal
Weeks
Pot Roast (also a recipe)

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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!

Mining for Adamantium

In the world of Marvel, Adamantium is the hardest metal known, virtually indestructible. Adamantium is not an element that is found naturally in our earth, it is a chemically created metal that must be maintained at a certain temperature to remain malleable.

I think this thought can be applicable to our very lives, being “maintained” so to speak at certain temperature to remain malleable.  aka: Do The Hard Things.  In order to gain the body we desire we have to continue to workout, eat right and motivate ourselves to get to that goal.  To become the best golfer or basketball player you have to work at it day and night to get even remotely close to the skill level of Hall of Famers.  If we allow ourselves to “cool down” or become apathetic then the adamantium can no longer be applied and thus has become useless.

I don’t know about you, but right now never do I want to become useless, a cold piece of unusable metal that can only be tossed out with the rest of the trash.  I want to maintain my temperature to continue to be molded, fixed, shaped and applied to the task at hand.  I want to keep my temp up (momentum speaking, not my core temp, that would be bad), and go at the race set before me, working towards Level 50 in my life.

Becoming proficient at Archery or getting to about 10% in body fat (read my epic quest for more about these).  All tasks, skills and events that I need to apply myself to “mine” for the adamantium underneath, or if you already found that sturdy metal you are then working to maintain that image.

In the beginning it is going to very difficult to continue the work, but the longer you do it the easier it will be to sustain that temperature and keep the metal white hot.  Once you finally reach your temp, the act of keeping that level of success will be as easy as waking up in the morning because the task is so ingrained into your very being that it has become second nature.  You don’t even have to think about the action to do that bodyweight circuit or forgo eating carbs and dairy because it is just what you do now.

Even drawing out your adamantium claws will be second nature! Keep dreaming nerds, not in this lifetime sadly.  Take it one day and one step at a time and soon enough you will look back and be astonished at all the ground you have covered.  You will be so proud at yourself for the effort and how hard you applied yourself towards the victory and attaining those goals.  Remember that some of our favorite superheroes, or villains if you choose, had to work hard to get to where they are today, aka Batman or Iron Man, Lux Luthor even.

That is one of the reasons Batman is an all time favorite because he isn’t “super” by mystical, genetics or space means, he is a billionaire who worked hard to get to the peak physical condition, to maintain his body, gadgets and identity.  Bruce Wayne wasn’t born with powers or abilities, he “acquired” his skills through hard work and training. Although his wealth helped that just a little bit 😉.  As we all need to do, in order to become the superheroes that are hidden deep within ourselves, we have to mine, HARD, for the adamantium and chip away at the layers of “rock” that hold that precious metal that is our superhero selves.

Go out and Mine for the Adamantium today Nerds and Feel the Burn of maintaining that Temperature for success!

Photo: metal

PS: credit for the inspiration for this post goes to my good buddy Phillip Bruce, who is an inspiration and source of strength and motivation for me.  I appreciate you buddy and so grateful that we are friends, cohorts and partners in crime for mischief!  Hope this uplifts you a bit today!