Interest.

I’ve mentioned this before but learning new things by reading then applying is one of my all-time favorite past times. I love reading books that have a lesson to be learned and a new way to look at life. There are times when I am constantly reading the same styles of book, ones that promote self-improvement and time management. I get there are people who look at these books and think they are complete folly, but I take the good from them and apply them in my day to day life.

There are plenty of reasons to spend a little time each day invested in self-improvement. First to improve your quality of life, not because you are broken or need improvement but because too many of us fail to see the good we do and the strengths we have. Being honest we are often too critical of our weaknesses, we need to be more kind when we look inward at what we do. Investing a little time into self-improvement can truly make your mental well being better as you are a bit kinder to yourself.

Second would be to learn topics that can help you to be a better friend, primarily a better listener who can respond with better answers and follow up questions. There I said it, often times as friends we are needed as good active listeners who are able to respond with answers that add value to the conversation. These moments when we can add to the conversation will strengthen our friendships and help our friends have someone besides themselves to lean on. Obviously, you don’t want to take over the conversation but add enough value that your friend not only knows you are listening to them but you are invested in learning about their interests too.

You and I both know the list could add up to one hundred different points but that’s not why we’re here. Take a little of your time each day and work on learning a little about self-improvement, take a little more time to appreciate yourself and the good things you do. Be interested in adding to your quality of life and your personal happiness and everything else will follow.

Detours.

Tonight on the drive home we took a different route than we normally do. We took a detour that was a little slower than the normal route up the interstate but it was something new that yielded the same outcome meaning we made it home. Life is filled with detours and alternate routes that can lead to the same destination you originally set out on. Many of us have been taught that there is only one ladder to success, there is only one path to follow and this is incorrect as there are many ways to reach the same destination.

I love going on road trips and finding the most unique way to reach the desired destination I had planned. These routes often have a random assortment of stops that can be educational, entertaining, and satisfying. Whenever we take a detour we take every opportunity that sounds entertaining without any debate we just say let’s give it a try and pull over. We’ve had some good, great, strange, and not repeatable experiences that have helped us tell better stories after our adventures are over.

Day to day life is very similar in the fact that we are always able to choose to take the opportunities that are presented to us potentially seeing a different route to success. What holds us back? Our fears of stepping outside the status quo, failing, or embarrassing ourselves. Being able to look at an alternate way of doing things isn’t something to be afraid of, sometimes the detour is the best door. People are remembered for the things they’ve done that stand out and the risks they take.

Looking back on the detour we took on our return home we were presented with less traffic, more wildlife, better views of the mountains, and a new way of getting home. We are grateful for taking the chance on new route home and look forward to taking chances in our day to day lives as we look forward to successful detours.

Effort.

When you want to accomplish something you have to put in the work or the effort to get the desired task completed. An effort is a hard thing to have at all times, the willingness to put your best foot forward and making things happen can be compared to a wave, rising above the rest, cresting, then falling back lever with the rest of the water around it. Often when we set out to accomplish a goal we are fully invested in seeing it through and can easily see ourselves at the finish line of our desired goal. Yet, after a few weeks of struggle as you find momentum within the challenge the finish line can be hard to visualize.

I am this way when I start out working on different projects, I put forth as much effort and work into the motion as I can and after a few short weeks start feeling the burnout. My efforts began to fall a bit less than desirable and my attitude changes from one of delight while working on my goal to one that has a little drag in the step. I’ve felt this on both personal pursuits and professional work done for different companies I’ve previously worked for. When you realize you are drained and unmotivated to continue with the project your output falls short of your regular quality work as does your attitude in general.

Am I alone in feeling this way? I doubt it. I’d guess that I’m not alone in feeling this way after putting in the effort in full at the start and attempting to sprint to completion and end up sprinting to burnout. We need to set our efforts at a pace that can be sustained and build endurance. Gary Vee has explained it best as he consistently reiterates putting in the work and preparing for a marathon and seeing the long game. I think he is right in reminding everyone that we can be better prepared mentally for the tasks and challenges ahead if we escape the mindset of the sprinter and build the mindset of a marathon runner. We’ll be able to stay on task longer and have a greater output if we do.

So be smart how you use your efforts, set up for the long game and the struggles and add them to your strengths as you grow.

You.

After watching another episode of Queer Eye on Netflix I’ve got to say it and reiterate it, you are great. Yes you, the reader you are great as you are. Many of us are on the receiving end of criticism that is ninety percent self-given and often not uplifting. We are spending too much time breaking ourselves down and not enough time building ourselves up. We need to spend a little more time each day loving ourselves.

I’m not saying that you need to start carrying around a notepad and writing down twenty-five reasons why you are great, worthy, and deserving of your own approval and love but that is one way to do it. What I am saying is that we can talk a little less negatively of ourselves and that starts when we think/talk to ourselves. You know those little conversations that we have when something happens and we replay the scenario in our heads? It is okay to evaluate your behavior and performance but give yourself the credit that you deserve. You do better than you think you do.

A few ways that I have been able to better love and appreciate myself include:

  • Talking about the things I enjoy doing and do well.
  • Smiling at myself in the mirror from time to time.
  • A weekly recap of the things I did well at.
  • Little moments of gratitude to thank, me. (Like this)
  • Belief in my abilities
  • Investing in my personal education and growth.

The list above is just a few things that can be used to look at yourself in a better light. We all know that self-love is a challenge that we battle differently from person to person. If you know someone who needs a little more love, tell them how great they are. Then help them to see that goodness and express the good things they see about themselves. Don’t be afraid to shed a tear or two as you love yourself and help others see the good they do too.

Rant.

Another brain fart has happened. I genuinely am drawing a blank tonight. I have thought about writing about tools, milk, next, and many other options. I wrote a sentence or two then my thoughts just sunk into the depths of nothingness. I attempted to think of what might come next on the writing process and nothing would come to mind. I tried to be a little creative and write up a fable and that fell flat.

So here we are again, your writer has a bad case of writer’s block and you are possibly wondering why am I reading these rambled thoughts again. It’s always a challenge to spew out creative thoughts that might be impactful to someone’s life. I guess a few thoughts on that might go back to my original ideas on what to write about.

Milk has always been used as an idea of comfort in some way. Whether it was turned into ice cream or some other delicacy that has eased the mind of someone having a challenging day. Milk is just an ingredient that can be added to many things to make life better if you are lactose tolerant that is.

Tools are fantastic assets to any task that we might be faced with. Sometimes when we are utilizing our skills to be a better friend we might pull out different skills at different times when we are attempting to be the best friend that we can be for others. Knowing what to do and how to act at different times is a great asset to any friendship.

What’s next? Better days for all who seek to be a better friend, to comfort those we love when they need us, and being the best asset to society w can be through small random acts of kindness.

Pass.

With this challenge, I have been looking for an excuse to skip a day of writing since I began writing a little bit each day. This challenge hasn’t been a terribly difficult one for me either. I just need a spark of inspiration and a small amount of self-control to complete the task. This self-control needed is a key element in me completing this self-assigned challenge. At times I can take up to an hour to type out my three hundred words all because I choose to get distracted by articles on my phone, dog and cat videos, and episodes of my favorite sitcom.

Distractions are one of my biggest weaknesses because I am so easily attracted to distractions. I have had the longest relationship with becoming distracted and veering away from completing tasks from childhood to now. It always seems like a lucrative opportunity to multitask and improve on my skills as a multitasker yet falls flat on the face every time I become distracted. When I allow my distractions to take the lead of my direction I fall short of reaching my desired goal or outcome without delay and often I fail to complete my desired tasks.

As this challenge has progressed I have worked to overcome my distractions better. To remain focused on my writing and accomplish my desired three hundred word outcome. This has been a hard thing for me to do yet as I have become better at it I have found myself more interested in learning new words and seeking a better way to relay a clear cut message that I hope will inspire others to live a better life. It would appear that at times I fail to do this as my writing can feel like a maze with no clear outcome desired.

One of my goals with this project is to become a better writer, a better storyteller, and a better marketer of my opinions in hopes that I will be able to attract a larger stage to share my stories on. This may not happen in a year but I’m committed to testing the waters and seeing where they lead me. Here’s to writing and finding a reason not to pass a day without writing a little better and learning a little more than I knew before.

Internet.

Try as I might tonight I cannot connect my laptop to connect to the internet at my house. I have been unable to connect to the internet on my computer for under ten minutes and have been annoyed with every minute of it. I have been constantly connected to the internet for the past seven years straight, minus a few days here and there but overall the internet has been my constant companion.

I am grateful for the connected world we live in. The internet has opened nearly endless possibilities for the masses to become connected and opened education opportunities wide open for people all over the world. From the poorest countries on earth to the richest we are connected and able to show one another what we do, and teach each other how to do things better. Historically, news of current events was delayed days, weeks, and months but today we are aware of current events within seconds of things happening and often we experience them live as live streaming is so easily available for us all.

We all live connected lives and often forget to disconnect from the digital connection and live in the moment. Life connected opens many doors, living a life connected to reality that is disconnected from the internet opens the mind. That sounds a bit too mindful for these little rants but it’s a real thought that I think more of us could take to heart. We need to be less connected to technology when we are driving, put our phones away and be present while driving. We need to be better at listening with our eyes and ears focused on the person speaking and less ready to click our thumbs back on the screens in our hands.

Living life in these moments is all we’ll really have to look back on. When you look back on life do you want to remember the high scores we had on those games we deleted on our phones or the great moments we shared with friends doing real things and interacting together in person.