Tag: Reflection


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!


June 20: Get Lost (Again)

Back on June 6 I talked about turning off your GPS, putting away the map and taking a road less traveled.  Getting lost in your local area to find the parts of your town/city/county/state that you have never explored before.  Today, we explore a different type of getting lost.

This type of lost is more time consuming, yet easier on the wallet and requires no use of GPS or a map.

Take a step away from work, away from the house, away from whatever your normal, daily life entails, and lose yourself in a story that transports you miles/years/worlds away from here.

Relax a little. Read a little.

No work manuals, no tech journals, no textbooks, no white papers, no cook books. Good old fashioned stories.  Stories that engross you.  Stories that envelop you.  Stories that engross you to the point that before you know it you have spent the past 4 hours reading, completely lost in the story, without even realizing it.

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” – Mark Twain

Ever since the advent of the e-Reader, I have fallen in love with reading again.  I used to buy paperback books that looked interesting from the book store, but whenever I couldn’t find the time to make it down there, or Target did not have anything too interesting on their shelves, it seems that my recreational reading fell to only when I traveled, as I would but the books from the store in the airport terminal to read on the plane flight ahead of me.

Now, there is Amazon.

I have found my love of reading again. From fiction to documentaries, novels to short stories, the virtual book stores that can be found online, complete with recommendation engines, ratings, feedback, finding books has never been easier.

It has never been easier to find a story to get engrossed in, a story to lose yourself in.

A story to find yourself in.

Day 20. Way 20. Get lost, again, this time, in a book.  Lose yourself, find yourself and be transported while doing so.

What books have you read lately?

What books would you recommend to others?

Share your favorites, stories and recommendations in the comments below.


3 Months In: State of the Blog (& it’s…

June 1st kicked off a month long project for me as well as marked the 3 month anniversary of relaunching the Get Busy Livin’ blog with a more focused direction.  I also walked over 10.5 miles around New York City with my nephew who was here in vacation.  Pretty strong start to June, if I do say so myself.

Truth be told, this blog is little more than a labor of love.  I knew that going in, but at the same time, I never knew how much labor it would be.  I am a creative person, to an extent, but also an engineer by trade.  The creative side of me wants to write, design, photograph and share it all with you through the blog.  The engineer in me wants everything to be technically perfect.  The perfect photo, the perfect story, down to the detail.

Trying to find that ideal place known as BALANCE.

Striking a compromise between my details driven engineering brain and my free wheeling creative side has proven to be hard work, but I am inching towards that every single day.  Moving slowly from a perfectly planned out attack, complete with project plan, notes and research, to a seat-of-your-pants attack.  While one might be better for business (or battle), ultimately, I have come a long ways from where I started just 3 short months ago.

In the past 3 months:

  • I embarked upon and completed Epic Road Trip 2011
  • I started doing contract work for customers all over the U.S.
  • I completed my 1st phase of Project 333
  • I have grown my brand to over 400 twitter followers
  • I began playing more with HDR photography
  • I have explored all over NYC
  • I converted to using a MacBook Pro
  • I learned to write as it comes to me, and not to force it
  • I become a huge proponent of travel hacking
  • I lost my uncle
  • I posted 23 articles
  • I had just under 6,000 visitors to my site
  • I am slowly increasing my site traffic
  • I launched a newsletter campaign
  • I started a 31 day project in honor of my 31st birthday

Thank you for coming along with me on my journey as I have grown over the past 3 months.  Been a fun ride so far, definitely looking towards the future.

Trey, Me, Sean and Ron

3 months down, here is to another 30 (minimum).





header photo credit


Epic Road Trip 2011: Every Mile a Memory

The last 2 pieces of the Epic Road Trip 2011 story will be personal reflections from Justin and Mike.  The following is Justin’s entry, thoughts from the road, memories and more.

We are now 46 days past the conclusion of our Epic Road Trip 2011 and along with all of the image processing, blog writing, creation, keyword tagging, geo-tagging, uploading and everything else that went into the post-production recap of the trip, really how much fun I did have.

Sure, this update will make 6 total posts regarding the road trip and just how epic it was.  We covered 3600+ miles, took 9 days and 70+ hours of driving to do it.  But what was most important was the fact that we built in time to have fun along the way.  Looking back on that, I don’t regret any decision we made or wish we would have done anything different.

I look at all of the things that we got to do along the way.  This was not as much about as just driving a car back as it was seeing a part of the country we had never seen before and spending time with friends we had not seen in a while.  As much as I tried to detail everything I could in the previous posts, those recaps were more documentation and telling the whole story of our trip.  Documentation aside, here were some of the highlights for me, personally:

  • Got to hang out and spend time with Sean before leaving on the road trip
  • Coffee with Robert
  • Got to spend time taking photos around Disneyland before leaving
  • Spent time with my grandparents in Arizona
  • Passed by Angels Training Camp in Tempe, Arizona (wish we could have stopped for a game)
  • Had time to reflect on the level and severity of the situation in Mexico, just 2 miles from us when we were in El Paso, TX.
  • Went to breakfast with Dave in Houston
  • Got to wander along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana
  • Experienced some of the absolute craziness that is Mardis Gras in NOLA (2012 anyone?)
  • Saw parts of the south that I had only read about
  • Seeing Mardis Gras celebrations in 3 different southern cities
  • Narrowly avoiding a few tornados
  • Spending a day and a half in the Atlanta area with Trey and Katy
  • Seeing the beauty of South Carolina
  • Spending quality time and catching up with Bryan and Alisa
  • Having lunch with Morgan
  • Covering another 3600 miles with my best friend
  • After 12 days of being gone, getting home to see Juliet

I know, quite the list, but so many things stuck out to me, so many stories surrounding all of those events.  The events leading up to leaving on the trip were also very important to me, as from the looks of things in life right now, I will probably only be back in California a few more times in the foreseeable future, so spending time with Sean, visiting Disneyland, catching up with Robert over coffee was invaluable.

The road trip offered so many memories, memories that I have tried to get down in the previous recaps with a combination of tweets and photos, but I know those will never do the entire memory justice.  Let’s just say, “you had to be there.”

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the Epic Road Trip 2011:

The nerves, the anticipation, the anxiety to get on the road

Ready to roll

Spending time with my grandparents

Saying goodbye

Have to love a Texas-sized sunset

Scenic photos outside a gas station

Lived next to the Pacific, been to the Atlantic, now I can add the Gulf of Mexico to that list.

Gulf Coast

Now I can say I have been to Mardis Gras

Mardis Gras staple

Airborne, sunroof splitting, head smacking beads!


Dinner and drinks with some great friends


The serene beach on Hartwell Lake

Lake Hartwell

Dinner with the Watkin clan.

Dinner with the Watkin clan

Knowing I was less than 45 minutes away from being home.

Empire State of Mind

As much as we were not prepared for it, the trip had to come to an end.  Like it or not, just a fact of life for the majority of us.  But, with another great trip in the books, our road trip total is somewhere around the 11,000 mile mark since 2006, and as one trip gets committed to memory, another trip moves into the planning stages.

Having conquered all but a few US states, I think next on the list is a road trip across Canada.

Epic Road Trip 2012 anyone?


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.