Howard Thurman

good-dayThis weeks quote comes from Howard Thurman.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

This is the meaning of life (for the most part). It has been said many different ways, the other you may have heard is: “If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.” If you like taking pictures do it, where would the world of photography be without an Ansel Adams or Annie Leibowitz? Where would the music world be without Mozart or Elvis? Everyone has a dream or something that they love, go do that. I am not saying to quit your job and chase this dream, but work toward doing your hearts desire. For example I changed careers a few years ago, I was a factory worker who was the typical worker bee. I got up, went to work, put in my eight hours, came home and started the cycle over. In retrospect I wasn’t living life, I was surviving. Then my factory position became obsolete and I had to go find a new job. I took this opportunity to do something different. I always had an aptitude for computers and electronics. I took this as a chance for me to start over.  So when I was offered training I jumped on computer training, so I could get a certificate saying I knew what I was doing. So here I am.

That is my story, what’s yours? I have a motto that I live by: “Life is to short to be miserable.” If you are not happy with your job or your life, change it for the better. What’s your story? Please share it in the comments.

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Only one Jimi

Jimi_HendrixThis week’s quote comes from the great Jimi Hendrix.
“I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.”

This is a immensely powerful and important statement. In today’s environment, with the nanny state telling us what is good for us, this statement rings true. New York is passing laws because they want to eliminate sugary drinks. Why must people who don’t enjoy something, feel as though they must legislate what they deem to be good behavior. A good example is smoking. (Full disclosure – I am a reformed smoker) At one time, you could smoke anywhere. Then it was legislated that you can’t smoke in buildings, unless otherwise posted. Then you can’t smoke outside, and now there are states debating whether you can or cannot smoke in your own car. I haven’t even mentioned how these same states are punishing smokers by treating them like criminals, they continually raise taxes on cigarettes, to further punish smokers with the so-called “Sin Tax”. I guess that’s why I would not be a successful politician. I agree too much with Jimi. I think people should be allowed to live their life. This goes back to my primary mantra. “Life is too short to be miserable”. I think as long as your happiness doesn’t impede anyone else’s pursuit of happiness, what’s the harm? Back to smoking analogy, I can understand not being allowed to smoke in an office building, because you are invading someone else’s space. But if they are outside, they should be able to go for it. Now I am not saying to run out and start smoking, but it easily states my point. I think if you want to gamble with your health, that is your right. I don’t think it is the governments business any more than it is your employers business what you do in your free time. As long as it doesn’t impede your work performance, Go for it. So far, smoking is a sin, alcohol and sugary drinks are a sin, what is next? Why can’t we leave people to their own devices? Call it Darwinism. If people do things to harm themselves, that is their choice. That is my point for this entire post. Let’s not try to punish people into acting the way someone else feels is right. What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments.

Skate to the puck

WGThis week’s quote comes from Wayne Gretzky.
I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been – Wayne Gretzky.

This is terribly profound and can be applied to everyone. Everyone that is not focused on the present, is concerned with the past. How many times have you heard “That’s not how we have always done it”. If you are complacent in your life, how can you expect to get ahead? This isn’t to be confused with “Don’t dress for the job you have, but the job you want.” That implies that somehow the way you dress will magically make you better at your job. Wearing suits and so forth is a very east coast idea. If I had a company, I would much rather have a genius working for me wearing jeans and a t-shirt instead of a moron in a nice suit. (Sorry, had to get that off my chest, now back to the quote). For you to evolve as a person, this can be thought of as setting goals. For example I set a goal for myself that once a week I would write something for my blog. Goal set (and so far) achieved.

I understand this is a relatively small goal, but a goal just the same. In your professional career, you could decide to further your self in you current speciality and take some courses. (Especially if you employer has a tuition program.) Or take courses in a field you are interested in.

The bottom line is, life is way to short to be miserable. If you find yourself in a rut, that will tend to make you unhappy. Shaking stuff up every now and then makes life exciting.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Life is about creating yourself

life-isnt-about-finding-yourself-life-is-about-creating-yourselfThis weeks quote is from George Bernard Shaw

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.

Beautiful and on target. There are too many people that are willing to let life happen to them, then complain that “Life is hard” instead of living life on your own terms. What do I mean by “living life on your own terms”. Many people hear this and think I mean you need to be a multimillionaire, jet setting all over the planet. (While this wouldn’t be a bad gig if you could get it) It means follow your bliss. Find that one thing that makes you happy and follow it. Personally, I like writing (as evidenced by the fact you are now reading it.) I know I am not a great writer, but I enjoy sharing my opinions with the world. If someone agrees with me that’s cool, but if they don’t that’s cool too. The point is in writing these blog posts I am making myself happy. It doesn’t cost me a dime. But I am doing what makes me happy.

When was the last time you did something just because it made you feel good? (Get you mind out of the gutter. You know that’s not what I meant). I mean something like taking a day and taking a bunch of pictures, shooting video of an interesting location or subject or breaking out the paints and creating a picture. Don’t allow anyone but yourself define you. Because when you let someone else control the narrative you are subject to the definition of you they have in their mind of what you should be or how you should act.

As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.

Garden Party

Be-Yourself-BrandBe more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are – John Wooden.

There are far too many people concerned what everybody thinks about them. In doing this they try to portray someone “tougher”, “meaner” or some other insane projection, other than what they really are. It is by far more important to develop character instead of a reputation. Reputation is great when you are young, everybody wants a “rep”. However in gaining that reputation, you lose sight of who you are and as you get older you either have to continue to live up to the reputation or spend all of your time trying to repair your reputation. In my opinion neither sounds fun. How about this… Be yourself. You have heard this mantra time and time again growing up. It is some of the best advise you can get. If you are yourself, there is no need to be something you are not. In addition to being yourself I would add, express yourself. If you think you are creative, create something. The trick is do what pleases you, not what you think you can sell or anything like that. If it makes you happy, at the end of the day that’s all that matters. You have created happiness for yourself, what more can you ask for? If others see it and can appreciate it, thats great. If they don’t it doesn’t matter. You achieved your goal in making happiness for yourself.

This is another one of the keys to life. Strive to make yourself happy. Like the song goes:

“But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well
You see, ya can’t please everyone, so ya got to please yourself” -“Garden Party” was written by Ricky Nelson.

Truer words where never uttered. Many people try to be accepted by people in general, where I believe it is more important to be able to be comfortable with yourself. The only expectations you have to live up to are the ones you set for yourself. Once you are comfortable with yourself, being yourself with a group of people is a snap.

Blog Direction

I have come to notice that the things I write about on my blog tend to be all over the place. I have some articles on politics, computers, product reviews and so forth. This has been a long time in coming that I plan on refocusing my blog to be a more positive endeavor. I would write about computers, because I work with them and have a pretty good grasp on using them. But when I write about politics I tend to get angry and it stays with me for a while. But the last article I wrote, made me feel good. That’s when I decided that is the route I want to take. So from this point on I will strive to be more inspiring and less the angry nerd.

How am I planning on doing it? I think the best way would be to take an inspirational quote, then put my spin on it, hopefully inspiring a conversation in the comments. The last article I wrote “Bang into the walls” was based off of a quote from Steve Jobs. While I am a fan of many computer pioneers, like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, however my posts will not be relegated strictly to the world of computers. I will be using quotes from my heroes. Some are Military men, philosophers, Presidents, and you get the picture. So I ask that you give the new format a chance and let me know what you think. If you think this is a direction you would like to see the blog go in, leave your thoughts in the comments.

Bang into the Walls…

SteveI have been doing some reflecting on Steve Jobs quotes I came across. Everyone has seen the quotes “Here’s to the crazy ones…” or “I want to put a dent in the universe”. While both are great quotes, I think my favorite is: “When you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way it is and your life is just to live your life and try not to bash into the walls too much…that’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact—everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you…shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just going to live in it versus make your mark upon it. Once you learn that, you will never be the same again.”

This is basically what life is about. If you are afraid to “bang into the walls” you are not embracing life. What would have happened if “the crazy ones” would have not challenged the status quo? We would not have seen the genius of Rembrandt, Einstein or Jim Henson. Where would we be if these people never existed? The world would be a different place. If everyone lived in their own little world and never tried to improve it, we would have missed out on so many things, without the “crazy ones” you wouldn’t be reading this, because there wouldn’t be electricity let alone computers. Communication would be done through letters and not email, blogs or text messages.

Today I want to challenge EVERYONE, Bang into the walls. Make something. It doesn’t matter if it is a blog, a piece of art, or even improve an existing product the will help people. Those that just exist are not experiencing life, they are just existing and putting in the time waiting to die. Do SOMETHING! ANYTHING! Seize the world around you and make your mark on it. Then when you are gone the world will remember you. This is the secret to life. Live life in this way and you can become immortal.