Tag: Future

Life

July 1: The Necessity of Pushing Yourself Outside Your…

And here we have it.  The last and final installment of the series.  The last wise and sage bit of motivation and inspirational knowledge I get to impart for this series.

Some have asked me why I went with 31 days when June clearly only has 30 days.  While a completely legitimate question, my intent with this was not to match the number of blog posts with the number of days in the month, it was more closely tied to the fact that on June 4th, I turned 31 years young.  Also, when tackling the initial rush of ingenuity with this series, the piece that solidified my decision was the fact that the 31st entry would fall on July 1st, effectively giving me a final blog to help propel my readers into July and beyond, while offering a solidifying finale to the series.

If you have followed along with the series, I really have 3 running themes to all of these posts, 3 main areas where I believe that you cannot help but feel better about yourself and more alive, just by participating:

Finding Adventure

June 4: Hit the Road, Jack.

June 5: Embrace Spontaneity

June 6: Get Lost

June 7: Spin the Globe

June 9: The Long Road Home

June 10: First Flight

June 11: Blow Off Work

June 20: Get Lost (Again)

June 24: Take a Flying Leap

June 25: Map Your Escape Route

June 28: Choose Your Own Adventure

Embracing Action

June 1: Stop Reading My Blog

June 2: Take a Photo

June 8: Relax!

June 12: Take a Hike

June 14: Make Something New

June 15: Sell Your Crap

June 16: Stop Making Excuses and Achieve Greatness

June 17: Set a Deadline

June 18: Create a Bucket List

June 19: Throw Caution to the Wind

June 21: Dedicate Yourself to Yourself

June 23: Disconnect Yourself

June 30: Draw A Blank

Giving Charity

June 3: Say Hello to a Stranger

June 13: Be Kind, Rewind

June 22: Be Charitable with Your Feet

June 26: Selflessness and You

June 27: Find a New Best Friend

June 29: Go Out of Your Way

 

The underlying theme that I have been trying to convey is a pretty simple one.

It is absolutely necessary to push yourself outside of the confines of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

Far too often, as I have touched on before, Americans, hell, people, strive for COMFORTABLE. We strive to hit that point in our lives when we don’t have to work too hard, yet pull in a decent salary. Where we don’t have to try and constantly impress our wife/husband, but they love us anyways.

We strive to be AVERAGE.  Not for excellence, not to be a superstar. We strive to meet the status quo.  Not to beat it and call it our bitch.

Why is that?  Why don’t you strive to be perpetually amazing?

Each and every day we need to push ourselves to be better, to achieve greater things. We need to push ourselves to achieve what we never thought was possible.  No matter how big, no matter how small, we need to make forward progress each and every day.

Our limits are only defined by our previous shortcomings. We must constantly explore the boundary of what we have previously identified as our “limit” and then push those boundaries further.

Ordinary people don’t make history.

Ordinary people don’t even make the news.

Don’t be ordinary. Be extraordinary.

Day 31. Way 31. Be Extraordinary. Every. Single. Day.

What limits are you going to push today?

Fireworks Photo Credit / Desert Photo Credit

Life

June 26: Selflessness and You

Recently I wrote an article on being charitable with your feet that brought up a number of good points that segue right into this blog that I have been wanting to write.

Charity sees the need, not the cause. – German proverb

So often there is a misconception that in order to help charities you must donate money.  You see it all over the place.  Donate money to help the children read, donate money to help build homes for the poor, donate money to save the rainforest, donate money to a scam that we just made up to get your money but we really are calling it a charity.

Fact of the matter is, there are plenty of organizations that need your time, not your money.  Actually, most every single non-profit organization (NPO) thrives on the time and dedication of its volunteers.  Whether you can donate 4 days or 4 hours, most any NPO can find a need, from helping build houses, to helping sort groceries, to stapling marketing materials.  There are plenty of jobs, some that will use your talents, others that will just use your time.

What is the use of living if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? – Winston Churchill

Here is just a quick list of places and ways that you can donate your time without a penny out of your pocket:

  • Build a house with Habitat for Humanity
  • Assist with pet care and events for the SPCA
  • Staff an event for a charitable organization
  • Volunteer with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to help cure breast cancer
  • ???

One of the best places, besides the internet, to find organizations in need of volunteers is your corporate HR department.  Most times, larger companies are involved in community driven charities and often use company driven recruitment to assist these organizations with their events.

Is money what all of these non-profit organizations need to function? YES.  But the money doesn’t just come in by the truckload, these companies need to operate like a normal, profit-based business and use their events to aid in the fundraising.  These companies need selfless volunteers to donate their time and expertise to run a business whose sole goal is to give back to their communities and their causes.

Day 26. Way 26. Selflessness and You.  You don’t need to spend money to affect change on a large scale.

I left the list above with some question marks at the end.  This is where you come in.  Can you help me finish off that list with a recommendation for groups or charities that need volunteer assistance?

Share your recommendations and stories of selflessness below.

 

toys photo credit / dog photo credit

Life

June 21: Dedicate Yourself to Yourself

Over the past 21 days we have covered a lot of topics surrounding personal motivation and growth.  We have discussed being outgoing, taking risks and even taking time for yourself.  While all of these actions seem enviable, most people will read my blog and start making excuses on why they support what I am writing, however, cannot pursue these actions themselves.

What happens a lot is that we lack dedication.  It happens to all of us, including me.

“Obsessed is just a word the lazy use to describe dedicated.” – Unknown

After I relaunched this blog, I told myself I was going to write a blog twice per week.  Then I embarked on my Epic Road Trip and did not post a blog for over 2 weeks.  When I returned, I wanted to dedicate my first few blogs to the Epic Road Trip recap.  Then life happened.  Work came up, home life took precedence, and my blog schedule slipped more.  It took me 2 months to get all of my blog posts surrounding my road trip online.

I disappointed myself.

If I wanted to make this blog a reality, at least in my eyes, why couldn’t I even get a few blog posts out on time?  I began to realize that while the blog fell down the priority list to me, I lacked dedication to making it a priority, even if it was a priority 3 or 4 on my list.

Back in March, in the midst of my procrastination with my Road Trip updates, I started a series of posts that would teach me to start small with dedication.  I started a Foto Friday post where I would post a photo from my personal gallery along with a short story depicting the background of the photo.  It was quick, it was easy, and it was only once per week.  No Epic Recap with an epic (and unrealistic) deadline, even if it was self-imposed.

Since March 18th, I have posted 13 updates, one per Friday.

The Foto Friday series has taught me that I have the ability to dedicate myself to a project, dedicate myself to myself.

With that in mind, June 1 came around, with my 31st birthday looming on the horizon a few days away.  I was really wanting to do something big for my birthday.  Something that I would be proud of.  Something that would help me set a tone for my blog, more so than I had in the previous few months with my blog.

That is when the 31 days and 31 ways to get busy livin’ your life was born.  For my 31st birthday, I would post 31 blogs meant to inspire my readers (both of you!!) to break out of your routine and start living your life to the fullest.  That would take me from June 1st through July 1st and would require 1 post per day.

I dedicated myself to uphold that goal.

21 days in, I have been 100% successful.  I have not missed 1 day, not 1 post.  I have had to work this around a few small weekend vacations, while keeping up my Foto Friday posts and I am proud to say I have not missed a single one.

Take something small to dedicate yourself to.  Dedicated time to your kids. Dedicate to leaving work on time. Dedicate to calling a loved one each day.  Dedicate yourself to something you know you have been slacking on.  Start small, build confidence, and teach yourself that it is okay to dedicate yourself to yourself and your own success.

Day 21. Way 21. Start small, build confidence, and teach yourself that it is okay to dedicate yourself to yourself and your own success.

Are you invested in your own success?

Have you dedicated yourself to yourself?

Share your success stories in the comments below!

Life

June 3: Say Hello to a Stranger

Yesterday, we talked about sharing a piece of yourself with others.  Now how about sharing something with a total stranger?

A Stranger is Just Someone You Haven’t Met Yet

Most people are scared.  Talk to a stranger?! For so many years now, a good chunk of American society has fallen prey to sensationalist media.  They watch the nightly news which is 60 minutes long and consists of 20 minutes of commercials, 35 minutes of killings, murders, war, terrorism and rapings, 3 minutes of sports and MAYBE 2 minutes of positive, uplifting, humanitarian stories, if we are lucky.

As I am writing this, the NBA Finals game just finished up and the nightly news came on, here are the top 5 stories:

  • Kid walks into a basketball arena and shoots multiple victims
  • Senator John Edwards being sued for misappropriation of funds surrounding his mistress
  • Shooting rampage in Arizona
  • Multiple robberies and stabbing victims in New York
  • Car crash kills 4 people

Not one uplifting story, not one story of victory, acclaim, humanity, nothing. Oh wait, a funny story that included officers shooting and killing… a concrete statue. Case. And. Point.

Not every stranger is this guy

With all of this filling our heads, it is no wonder that we shelter ourselves from meeting new people to our own self-detriment.  We get self-centered.  We are too busy in our own lives to notice the people and the world around us.  Typically, we want a pre-determined set of characteristics in common with someone else before we strike up conversation.  Our kids know each other.  Were fans of the same sports team. We both ride motorcycles…

What happened to just saying “Hi”?

Just the other day, while waiting at a coffee shop for our coffee, my nephew and I had our cameras on our shoulders, ready to head towards Manhattan for some exploration and shooting, when a fellow customer came in behind us and the 3 of us struck up a 5 minute conversation that covered topics from photography to travel, motorcycles to surfing.  We left the coffee shop with a smile on our faces, a map for some great places to see in Little Italy on the lower east side.

How did this all take place?  He walked in and said “Good mornin’ guys!”

Simple as that.

Day 3. Way 3. Meet a stranger.  Say Hi.  Maybe even smile. You would be surprised the power it holds.

Any good stories of meeting strangers?

Any advice for others on sharing a little hospitality and kindness?

Let me know about your experiences in the comments below!

 

Photo 1 credit

Miscellaneous

The Road Beneath Me

Just yesterday I sat here, staring at the same “new blog” page, trying to get the creative juices flowing, trying to find something to write about other than meaningless babble.  I got to wondering what other blogs I could read for inspiration, possibly, what friends of mine maintained blogs as well.

Thank you to Amanda for the inspiration on this topic, as her blog “Caution, Sharp Turns Ahead!” gave me the necessary kick start to get this blog going.  In her blog, she writes about dealing with what life deals you.  It offers a look back, as well as a look ahead at what life holds in store for her, as well as her perspective on how to attack it.

With that in mind, it really got me thinking about the same.  The horizon ahead of me, as well as the road behind me.  The road ahead has always been easy for me, in the respect that I have always been up for an adventure, up for change, whatever it is, bring it on, I will conquer it. The road behind me offers other topics, but for me has often lent itself to a comparison with a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.

But those 2 times, the past and the future, represent things that are out of my control.  What about not worrying about then, what about thinking about now? What about that patch of road beneath my feet.

With the daily rat race that most of us find ourselves in, in that eternal pursuit of happiness by way of more money, I have discovered that often the first thing I lose sight of is enjoying what I am doing at that time.  Too many times I find myself consumed by thinking about the future, how I need to plan for it, how I need to prepare for it, or thinking about the past, and what could have been, what might have changed.  The entire time all of this is going on, I am missing out on the most important part of my life, the part I am living in. The now.

I have come across other blogs that hit on this same point, basically the decision to stop living in the past, or preparing for the future and start living in the now. Now, to each person, that means something completely different.  For me, that is relaxing and slowing down to enjoy the view.  Grabbing a cup of coffee and sitting on the patio, enjoying the coffee, not pounding it as I sit in traffic to work.  That is wearing my cologne to go to the store, not only for a special occasion, or using the good dishes, because it is Tuesday, not because we have company over.

Time to start living for today, because tomorrow is never guaranteed.