One Step At A Time.

I’m taking a math class online this summer, I have been pleasantly surprised at everything I remember and slightly disappointed by the things I have forgotten. Maths and I have never had a good relationship primarily due to me and my disgust for the processes required that I have struggled to understand. I don’t understand why math has been a long term struggle for me, I am attempting to change my outlook on the subject and my ability to succeed as a math student one step at a time.

One step in my plan to change my outlook is to spend time each day working on a series of problems and assignments. I know that for some this seems pretty natural to do, it’s never been a part of my process as a math student. I have never been able to sit down for longer than thirty minutes at a time without giving up and closing the book for a night or two. This behavior has sprouted a strong disconnect between my desire to learn math and my ability to learn the processes.

For this class, I have decided to rewire my mindset toward mathematics one day at a time. I have worked for the past few months to change my attitude toward my abilities as a math student. I believe I can learn the processes if I invest time each day to work problems from start to finish. Another reason I believe I can rewire my mindset is that I have confidence in the program that I will be using to learn the various steps to complete the variety of questions I need to answer.

Doing these things genuinely seems like something I should have learned when I was younger, I only learned to fear and hate math. This attitude I’m working toward will change the world of problem-solving for me if I can stick with the belief that my mindset toward mathematics can be rewritten one day and one step at a time.

Leveling Up.

A quick follow up from yesterdays post, today I went on an spontaneous adventure with my friend to the desert three hours to the east. It was a great time searching out petroglyphs and walking through dry canyon washes looking at the sandstone features with our dogs. Just a follow up that saying yes a little more pays off, it made all the difference in how today turned out.

I listen to a number of podcasts that vary in topic from personal growth/development, business tactics/processes, food/restaurant development/managment and regular life stories that have a motivational tune to them. Most of them have a common theme about leveling up and doing better at what you do. The people sharing these messages are usually extremely dedicated to one or two things and have become world-class at using those skills to make money from them.

One of the most constant things you hear is taking the next step, leveling up in one way or another and using that momentum to maximize your opportunities to grow your business, brand, portfolio, or influence. After you level up once and you master your new level you seek out new opportunities to level up again. It’s a constant series of leveling up and extended growth so you can reach your ultimate level. The ultimate level might be wealth, successful businesses, or life balance.

For each of us, the end goal is different. We all want different things this is why our paths vary, the way we earn and spend money varies, and the way we look at life is slightly different from the people we spend the most time with. What I have deduced from each of these podcasts and their mentors and guests is that you need to deduce what you want to become and jump feet first into whatever you decide to pursue and become the best you can be at it.   

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.

Rest.

There are days when we need to rest a bit and recharge our mind and body. These days of rest and relaxation are different for everyone, for some these days might involve an activity outdoors getting a little sunburnt and having new adventures in new places. For others, it may involve a comfy spot on the couch a book, movie, or binge-watching session of a new tv series. Life is very different for everyone as rest has a different meaning from person to person.

If you think about it life keeps us on our toes so much that when we finally stand still for a moment with our feet on the ground we are able to recognize that we need a moment or two of rest. For three straight years, I felt that way. I was always running without a break from work to school, school to work, and found a few minutes each week to spend doing the things I am most passionate about, time for adventures in the mountains and a few hours with my wife.

Throughout those years I felt that something was missing. I was never rested, always rushed, and short-fused. I believed I was happy because I’d forgotten what work-life balance was, and how it felt to be rested. After I was dismissed from my employer I decided that I needed that work-life balance back that I had forgotten about. I took a week and rested up and began looking at new employment options.

While I was looking I kept two things in mind Work-life balance was important and that I wanted to work someplace that would allow me to rest nightly and be at my best every day. I interviewed at a variety of different places and found that for many of these places the balance I wanted was not probable and the idea of being rested was also not something that we would be able to come to an agreement on as they would require work from home almost nightly. I decided to review my options and applied at a few other places and found a place that fit my goal better than most.

I currently work less than 50 hours a week and am paid well for anytime over 40 I spend at work. I am encouraged to have a good life balance and to seek opportunities within and outside my company for personal and professional growth. I love that I am able to work hard then go home. It allows my desired work-life balance and allows me to rest up and show up with a mind ready to put my best foot forward daily.

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.

Risk.

Whenever I’m out exploring the great outdoors I understand that there is a general amount of risk that needs to be understood as I seek out places that few see in person. Knowing that risk is an ever-present weight to be balanced and measured is a good reminder to be sure your next steps are in the right direction. Risk can be taken in adventure, day to day transit, business, school, and relationships. By understanding what risky behaviors can be taken appropriately we can do our best to know that the risks we may take can payoff positively for us.

As a natural born risk taker, I’ve always walked the fine line between smart risk and reckless risk. There was a goal I had to learn how to balance atop a fence about five feet off the ground and about 150 yards from my parents home. I understood what could happen if I learned the skill I needed to walk the line, I would be able to brag about my superior balance and have a skill that few have. If I was unsuccessful I could fall and break any number of bones and hurt myself in other ways. I knew I would fall, I expected it and that understanding made the challenge a little easier to start and helped me balance the risk to reward from my little venture.

I practiced this balancing act for years at times only making it a foot or two before bailing off one side of the fence or the other or take a sudden slip and ending up bouncing to the ground without a moments notice. As the years added up so did the number of feet I was able to balance and the number of times I became closer to succeeding at my little conquest to balance the entire fence. I only made the entire fence one time, one time that has taught me countless lessons in life balance and perseverance since.

Along with those two great assets under my belt I also learned how to manage the risk I was deciding to take every time I climbed the fence and began my balancing act. I learned to avoid walking the line if it had just snowed or rained a wet metal bar isn’t so grippy and you will either end up in mud or snow. Watching the weather was key to a good session on the bar, the wind was not your friend either. Wearing the right footwear is key to being able to walk the greatest distance, wearing boots or shoes with bad traction is a bad choice, wearing shoes that are muddy, shitty, or wet are also a guarantee that you’ll fall faster than you’d intended.

This childhood experience is a simple lesson in goal setting, perseverance, trial and error, and risk management. Can the lessons I learned from my years walking the fence from the farm to the house be used today? Absolutely, I can weigh the risk in the actions I take and examine the payout that could take place if my risk pays off.

Together.

We are better together, we do better together, we work better together. I don’t know how else to say it, we need to do a better job at being united together to help each other to become better people. It’s something we all see every day the stories designed to divide and weaken us.

We see this no matter where we turn, the idea that we need to look down on others and unite against them because we do not see the world as others see it. That because some believe in one truth and we believe in another that there isn’t a common ground that we share. Are there bad people out there? Yes, many but overall we can agree that people are good and can surprise us if we give them the chance.

What are we? We are the human race, all struggling everyday with challenges that involve money, relationships, mental and physical health, food, borders, education, and work. We all breathe our way through another day and hope that our days can be happy, each one hopefully better than the last.

Together we can contribute to a better world for everyone if we are a little nicer, at little more patient, a little better to listen, and a little better at understanding each other. Is this the easy road to take? Once again no, but this is the best road to being more people together.