Act.

As a young sixth grade student in rural America, I wanted to be a part of the yearly school musical. In fact, little did I know I wanted to be a part of my middle schools first play / musical. I auditioned for and got the role of a cabinet member in the Annie musical. I had exactly one line and I performed that line near perfectly as I can remember. My acting career was off to a good start and a great finish as I have never acted again since that play.

I look back fondly on my time as a cast member in my school play. It was a simple goal to become an actor in a play and I took the steps to join the play and act. That’s the main message of tonight’s writing, think it and start to act. I have always enjoyed being a person who is known to act, to set their mind to something and get it done. These days one of the most important things that we can do is set a goal and get after it.

I was recently listening to a podcast that touched on the best thing we can do is take opportunities to learn a skill and act on that newly learned skill. That is the best way that we can learn mastery of the skill, just by doing it and seeing the outcome we can better learn the subject matter and improve the ability we have to reach the desired outcome we seek. Just by doing we can become masters of the skillsets we desire to have.

Once we feel competent in these skills we can then teach others how to do them and improve our skills as we go. The best way to learn and retain information is to teach others what you know and how to gain results, Whether that is creating a podcast, woodworking, or sewing a skill learned and shared is a benefit that comes around full circle.

Starting today, take the opportunity to act on your vision and get things done.

Dog Bath.

We try weekly to bathe our dog June, there are times we skip a week and there are times when she gets multiple baths. It all depends on how dirty our dog is after playing outside, and how ambitious we are feeling. Today was the day to bathe the beast and help her smell a little better.

Every time we try to trick our dog into jumping into the tub she catches on to what we are doing then tries to evade us at all costs. She runs around the house as if it is a game of tag, with her heart and mind set on avoiding the suds of cleanliness. Once we are able to catch her and talk her into climbing into the tub she sits down in the back of the tub as far away from the showerheads reach as she can.

June hangs her head in defeat while she is bathed and seems to hate every minute of the bath. As soon as we are finished with her bath she shakes twice in the tub, then leaps from the tub and is ready to zoom around the house scattering water wherever she goes. We’ve trained her to run to the living room and roll around on a blanket, which she does with more stoke than a Fin taking a winter swim then dashing back to the sauna. As much as our pup pretends to hate baths she does enjoy the ten minutes after when she rolls around and dries off on the blanket.

The reason I share this story of the weekly dog bath is that many of us are like my dog, we dislike the tasks that will improve our quality of life but are often energetic after we buckle down and do what needs to be done. It’s never easy to dive into a challenge, we have to build ourselves up to the task often playing a little tag till we get there. Yet, once we commit to the idea and just do the thing, we are rewarded with good feelings all around for accomplishing the tasks.

Consumption

It seems that everywhere we go we are faced with ads and marketing campaigns that are designed to do one thing, get us to make a purchase. This buy-in might be to visit a local lawyer if we’ve been injured, visit a local car dealership because they listen, donate to a cause because you care, or purchase a product to change your life. We live in a world that is built around you or I spending money after being advertised to. We are a generation of consumers.

Some are in constant search for the newest item that will make them appear smarter, trendier, and more tech savvy than others. Some build their self worth and esteem based off the brands the shop and use on a day to day basis, this practice can be freeing for many and depressing for some. Not only are we surrounded and influenced by the consumer culture we are built or broken by it at times.

For those who have extra funds to buy the premium products they are easily able to attain their desired status amongst their peers and are often early adopters of the latest fads and trends. For some their path to attain products to boost status can be lengthy and combined with a uphill battle as they attain the products later and they may attain them well after a newer iteration of the product arrives and others mat remind them of how “behind the times” the late purchaser might be.

As consumers, we need to be better at finding satisfaction with the products that we have. I mean do we really need the latest and greatest or will what we have do for another year or so? What does a new product in our hands really change about us? For many it is all about the self confidence and self esteem that comes along with the items, but this is not the case for everyone.

Finding happiness with what we have could pay off in the long run if we are willing to be okay with having things for a long time. It could allow us to be happier in the current moments we have and less focused on the fleeting moments ahead. As a consumer, you should remind yourself that things don’t define your actions and personality do.

Digital Vomit.

When I thought up the idea of writing at least Three Hundred Words a Day every day I thought that thinking of an inspirational message connected to my day to day activities would be easy. Little did I know that this task would be harder than I could have imagined. I have been stumped many nights over what to write that might help others to see life in a better light and be easier on others and be easier on themselves. It is a challenge for me writing something every day that makes sense and doesn’t come out as what I call “digital vomit”.

Digital Vomit is simply defined as posting something just for the sake of posting it. A post that has no real meaning or purpose and posted just for the potential views along with the hope that you’ll keep the algorithm from the internet in your favor. That’s what I do some nights just to get my post up and my checklist checked for another day. This isn’t what I envisioned when I started out this project and it’s been hard to recognize this is what I do just to get by.

What I had hoped was a simple day to day activity for my own personal growth that I could share with others to inspire them. I feel that I fall short of this goal a few nights a week, I hope to change that. This week I will be putting more effort into my posts to see how I feel about my work, as we all know to put more effort into something usually yields increased satisfaction with your output. I’m hoping for a week with less digital vomit and a week of sharing posts that can inspire others in their personal journeys.  

This is a personal evaluation of my progress as a writer, storyteller, and person who shares inspiration. Am I the best at my craft? No, but I am better today than I was January 1st and that is what matters to me. Here’s to a week of improves posts and better storytelling.

Pizza.

Plans can change at any moment and tonight was one of those nights. We were all packed up to head off to visit some family and ended up staying at home instead. At first, I was a little down that our plans had changed then was able to pivot into a few alternate activities that filled the evening with enjoyment and accomplishment. It was especially nice because I was able to spend the evening with my wife and dog, my night was excellent because of our adventures together.

We are new homeowners and have plenty of projects around our house that we are excited to work on. Our first stop was Lowes which is project friendly and dog-friendly too, which makes it the perfect place for us to go. We snagged many yard needs and were able to gather information needed for repairing the pergola in our new yard. We are excited about summer and are excited to replace a few things and get ready for a summer of fun in our home.

After our time at Lowes, we had a hankering for some food and Pizza was the answer to our hunger. After we ordered our pizza we went on a walk around the neighborhood while our food was being prepped and cooked. Our dog is a funny creature as she is always is looking for new smells and will plant herself firmly in one spot with her nose in the ground until she gets enough of the smell that she walks away looking for new smells. After thirty-minutes we returned for our pizza and my wife went for the food and we jumped in the car. My pup jumped in the front seat and took ownership of the spot my wife normally would sit.

My wife laughed when we picked her up and we drove home to enjoy our pizza. Although our plans changed we were able to have an impromptu night of fun together. We talked and caught up on a week’s worth of stories and spent needed quality time we both appreciate.

Shopping, dog walking, pizza, talking, and a movie make for a great night.

Confront.

I talk to heaps of angry people, people who are blindly angry because of the things they do not know and don’t want to understand. There are so many people who would rather stay in perpetual annoyance and misunderstanding than invest a little time to learn something new. I spend plenty of time helping people recognize change and do my best to help them learn the changes and adapt.

This is often met with pushback from the people I am attempting to educate. I often find myself confronting these people with the fact that life and technology are changing and will continue to change. People dislike this a lot, they dislike change because it is unknown and nobody is comfortable going into the unknown. It scares us more than we would like to admit and we allow ourselves to change little by little so we can adapt easier to the change.

I hate confronting people and I have a strong dislike for change. Yet, I know that change is a constant and I try my best to roll forward with the change. Often when I confront people for being stubborn about the change I meet a wall, a wall that has stood in the same place for a number of years and has no plan of moving in the coming years. This wall is called the comfort zone, we love our comfort zones. However, with most walls, there is a gate that allows things in and out. This can be said about our comfort zones, we gradually open up and allow new things in to change who we are and let the old ways fall out.

Accepting the changes that are happening around us is a true challenge. Acknowledging these changes takes time to digest and become accustomed to, allowing ourselves to be willing to educate ourselves on the change will help us to welcome change better. I’d recommend we all think about how we accept change and how we adapt then confront our weaknesses and strive to open our comfort zone to new things.

Discouragement.

Higher education discourages me a lot. I have hated college my entire college career because I have always believed it to be a business rather than a service designed to better the lives of individuals and our communities. I owe no debt to any school for the education I have pursued but I know plenty of others that have. I have also transferred between different universities and had credits lost because once school doesn’t accept the validity of the education I received at the school before. This for me has been a huge source of discouragement as a nontraditional student.

I genuinely have had an array of professors as a college student, some that are invested in their student’s education and others who could care less if anyone in their class learns anything at all. It is a challenge to learn when others lack the desire to teach. A few semesters back I had a marketing professor tell me how ads in newspapers were still all the rage and that social media marketing was a fad that would die out. I tend to disagree with that professor’s views. I wish there were more professionals in residence who taught the fast-moving subjects of the world. My three favorite instructors have been working professionals by day and professors by night.

I write this out of pure frustration for the higher education system because my classes have “expired” and now my school is asking me to retake more classes that I have already taken in the past. It angers me to no end this is the school I have decided to attend and the educational system around us is designed to take money from students and toss them into lifelong debt for a career that might not even pay off their school debt.

Watch this and think a little:

PS I have no student loan debt but I hate the system either way.