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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Something has been bugging me lately and it is this silly little idea that has existed much longer than I have been alive.

Practically everyone is working towards comfort, but nobody is achieving this goal.  What I mean is that we have made living a completely comfortable life so complicated that nobody will ever really obtain such an existence.  

I have said it before, but everyone who reads pretty much anything online looks at the text from a viewpoint of them being the exception to whatever the subject matter may be.  How about not doing that for a minute and putting yourself on the plane of statistics where you are right on level with the other ninety-nine percent of the world?  Let's be honest, you are most likely not the exception.

People have told me that their goal in life isn't to be comfortable, but they look forward to the day they can leave their lackluster job and be a full-time retiree.  Well, then there is your contradiction - you are working for comfort.  Then there are those who say they are building up a retirement income but have no intention of actually retiring on-time, but are striving to build even more wealth to further their comfort later in life.  They work and work for a venture that usually does not leave a real mark on the world, but instead furthers the effort of someone else's business.  Sure, when you die, you may leave behind a pile of money, but cemeteries are full of people who made the same piles of money in their lifetime and have since been forgotten.

Now, before you go after me for saying I contradict myself for the past blogs I have written about chasing your passions - don't, we're not there right now.  Chasing a goal and having a passion in life is probably the most awesome thing a person can do and I fully support anyone who follows that level of fulfillment.  The problem is that the more time we spend filling our lives with the assumption that "one day" we will be carefree and comfortable enough to live an easy life, the more complicated we make every single moment instead of embracing those moments.  Again, put yourself on level with the majority and ask if you are really running down your passions or just falling in line in the pursuit of comfort.

I just like openness, personally, and that is where this entire blog comes from.  I'm not talking about personal privacy and being an open book, because that isn't for everyone.  What I am talking about is the ability to do something uncomfortable and run with it instead of falling in line with mediocrity to preserve your comfort and stay in that silly little bubble of yours.  

The truth is, the more comfortable you are with everything, the more opportunities you miss in life.  Those who step outside of what makes them comfortable are also the same people who thrive and live the most interesting and fulfilled lives as a whole.  

A popular topic currently is this idea of a missed opportunity.  
We miss opportunities or miss the ability to create our own opportunities when we are too focused on being comfortable or striving for comfort as our ultimate goal.  I really think we should all strive for being uncomfortable because that is what makes us interesting, lets us build upon new ideas and inspirations, and allows us to spend time chasing what really matters and can cause us to leave behind an incredible legacy.

The people who work normal hours and all they look forward to is being away from work so they can light up a joint or drink copious amounts of wine to escape where they have been?
What have they actually done and what will they be remembered for contributing to anything when all they are doing is trying to escape where they spend most of their time?
Their time spent running could be better spent pursuing.
If you're going to run from something, you may as well chase something else in the process, right?

You see, for a few solid years, I was that person when it came to alcohol.  I came home everyday and used drinking as my escape from working hard for someone else's gain.  Getting away from both my chemical crutch and comfortable job has left me on-edge and pretty uncomfortable for the past three years.  In that time, however, I have figured out who I am in a way that my prior vises would not have ever allowed of me.  I'm really uncomfortable, but I am the happiest I have been since I was on top of the world in my late teens.
I only wish I had figured this out much sooner.

Never miss an opportunity because speaking up or making a move caused you to be uncomfortable - you may miss the most pivotal moment of your life.

Be anything you want, but don't be ordinary. 

Grace and Peace,

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

There is this thing I do as a reactionary measure, not sometimes, but all of the time.  Some consider this action a personality flaw and others cannot handle it to the point that certain relationships have ended in my life as a result of this trait.  The truth is, I have not always possessed it and over time I have figured out that less and less people in the world see it as anything important with the way we have "progressed" as people over time.  

What am I talking about?


I spent the majority of my life walking on eggshells every single day, no matter where I was because the culture I was brought up in assimilated being a nice person with being a submissive person.  I'm not talking about being submissive in the context of bending over backwards and letting people walk all over me (though that happened sometimes too) but more in the sense of catering to everyone else's emotional state instead of being truthful to the real circumstances of the given situation.  

"You can't tell him he is a bad singer.  It will hurt his feelings."
"He asked to hang out and I don't want to.  I have to think up an excuse of what else I'm doing."
"I forgot to invite you."
"I didn't want him to come with us, but I didn't want to tell him 'no'."

Five years of my adult life were spent working for a golf management company that made me lie every single day.  The "normal" operations of every job under their umbrella required stretching the truth instead of being straightforward with honesty.  Unfortunately, this is common, not just in business, but also in daily life as I gave those examples of previously. 

After parting ways with my old career, I kept the same mindset of sparing the feelings of others under a mask of dishonesty for about a year - until I woke up and realized the fault in my ways.  I spent some time stepping back and thinking about the way people spoke to me and how I knew certain things they said were just precautionary pleasantries to make them feel better about their dishonesty.  Most of the time, this was nothing monumental or earth-shattering in the grand scheme of human existence, but little things add up over time and when you really think about the amount of lies people tell as opposed to real conversation, it makes for a really jaded lifestyle.  

Eventually I figured out that we don't really identify the difference between being rude and honest anymore.  When I was younger and pushing to make a mark in music, people asked me for opinions about their own talents all the time and I am pretty sure I hurt more than I helped.  I knew a girl who sang in tune really well and could throw down a great harmony in a group, but outside of that setting, her range and tone was very flat and had no depth to it, which is what happens when you are trained to sing in a chorus ensemble your entire life.  She would sing for me and I would try to be encouraging to her efforts by telling her that she sounded great.  "Technically" I wasn't telling a lie because she did sound great in a group, just not in how she had presented herself to me in that moment.  I should have told her the truth.

Don't get me wrong though, I don't go around telling people they suck at anything just because I have some entitled chip on my shoulder.  If you are awful at something and I am aware of it, I will keep my mouth shut... unless you ask me what I think.  You see, there is the difference between being rude and being honest with someone.  Rude people, walk around spouting off opinions and making unprovoked statements about other people and situations.  Honest people answer questions that have been asked of them by others.  

Make sense?

In the age we are in now where nobody seems to know the difference between criticism and bullying and where people would rather lie through their teeth the majority of the time than tell the truth, I made a personal vow not to conform to the downward spiral.  

The thing is, if I ask someone for their opinion on a situation or with anything I am doing, I am opening the door to criticism and expect honesty - positive or negative.  Because I expect this of everyone else concerning my own life, that is exactly what I give to them as well.  I have no desire to be lied to or have my "feelings spared" because all that does is hold me back and give me a false sense of security.  I would much rather grow than be coddled and have the world work for me under false pretenses.  

What does this mean?

If I give someone a compliment, I mean every word of it and that is something I never want to be put into question.  

If I go out of my way to help someone, it means I believe in them and whatever it is they are doing.

Sometimes we need to stop having expectations, stop trying to boost egos, and stop chasing ulterior motives concerning others.  None of that gets you anywhere in life and it certainly doesn't do anything to help anyone grow as a person.

Grace and Peace,