What a difference a year can make. About a year ago, I decided to write a blog post daily. While it has not always been easy to think up topics, I have definitely learned and expanded my interests during this exercise. I am not sure if I will continue this blog next year or start a new one, but I will definitely continue writing. Often times people wonder about tomorrow, but they never actually think about how long it takes to actually get to tomorrow. Our days can be broken down into hours, minutes, and seconds, and with each second we have a chance to make a change that we want to see for tomorrow. In order to make the future we want to see tomorrow, we must take a minute to begin working on the hour that will become the day of tomorrow. Each day of this year, as short as they seemed, added up to make the year that we are currently ending. As I look back on this year, I can see plans that blossomed well and others that fizzled out, and I have realized that the only difference between the two is the time that was put into preparation and execution. The plans that turned out well were well prepared and the others were thrown together foolishly. In the year 2016, I am going to make sure that I use the time that I have much more wisely, every second counts and I will treat every second like a fraction of my day rather than time to be wasted. This year went by quickly, as does every year, but that is no reason to let another second pass on working towards your goals and dreams. I am excited for this new year, not because it is new, but because I get another year to grow and improve the world that I live in. Happy New Year everyone! Thanks for reading along throughout the year.
A pier is a disappointed bridge.
― Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot
I really enjoy this quote, it is a bit nonsensical but it gets an interesting point across if it is taken a certain way. A pier looks like an unfinished bridge, and something that is unfinished is usually a disappointment. The thing about a pier is that it was made to serve a purpose, it may not go as far as a bridge but that is because it isn’t meant to get you across the pond, it is meant to give a path to a boat. This quote can be seen in two different ways, on the one hand the pier can be a task or a goal, if you set out to complete a bridge and it ends up as a pier, then you will definitely be disappointed no mater what. On the other hand the pier can be seen as a person, we may have our aspirations to be a bridge, but if we end up as a pier we would be so disappointed that we would fail to realize that there is a greater purpose to a pier than to a bridge. A bridge has the ability to get a person or a vehicle to the other side, then its job is complete, but a pier can open up the entire world. A ship at a pier in a large enough body of water can connect to another pier that is miles away, far beyond the reaches of even the longest bridge, so even the disappointment of a pier can be much more than theof a success of a bridge. Life is full of successes and disappointments, but as long as you keep a level head and stick to the plan, even the biggest of disappointments can prove to be doorways to greater success.
Do or do not. There is no try.
This week is unofficially being known as Star Wars Week. The seventh film in the storied Star Wars franchise will be released on Thursday night, and fans have already been lining up to watch it for weeks. I plan to watch the movie this week, so I will save specific movie talk for my review later on. I want to focus today on this quote from Episode V made by Yoda. “Do or do not, there is no try,” Yoda made this phrase when Luke was asked to do something that seemed impossible, and he responded with “I’ll try.” I know this is just a movie but I have said before how much I dislike the term “at least you tried,” saying that you will try is almost acknowledging that you feel like you can’t succeed. “Do or do not,” is the best way to approach any of life’s challenges, if there is a gap to cross, do it or don’t, because trying just isn’t putting enough effort into it. When you try, you give room for failure so you make provisions for a way back to safety, not to say that planning isn’t important, but planning is part of doing. To try is a half hearted and unplanned attempt, to do is a process that is set up for completion. Nothing comes easy in life no matter how it seems, it is important to fully pursue the things that will make you happy and lead to the success you expect to receive. If you plan to get anywhere do it or don’t do it, there really can not be room for a try.
With modern advancements in technology, it is no longer a question of if you can do something on your mobile device, but when. In just a mere eight years, mobile phones have gone from being a luxury device to an everyday companion to over a billion people around the world. I once worked with mobile phones and I have to admit there were several things I believed would never make it to a mobile device, and today I can proudly list the top 5 things I thought would never be doable on a smartphone.
1. Order and Pay for Takeout
I am still getting used to no longer having to dial up Pete down the street when I am hungry for some pizza, but apps like Grubhub and Seamless have made ordering delivery or takeout as simple as a few taps on a screen. I have to admit I never thought my clumsy old blackberry would be able to deliver my lunch, but now we are possibly a couple of years away from it being able to control my entire kitchen.
2. Hail a Cab
Catching a cab in New York City can at times be stressful, but apps like Uber and Lyft have cut out the waiting and given customers like myself a personal car service in the palm of our hands. Now we are able to sit inside our warm offices as we wait for our ride home.
3. Pay for Purchases
There is absolutely nothing better than running out to the store with only your keys and your phone in your hand. Apple Pay has made shopping hassle free and has all but eliminated the need for a wallet.
4. Find a date
I am not big on online dating, but for those who are, smartphones have become a reliable wingman. Apps like Plenty of Fish and Tinder have become a one stop shop for singles looking to meet someone special, and they can both be used without stepping a foot out of the door. I bet you never thought your phone could help you find a wedding date.
5. Travel the World
Apps like Periscope and Meerkat have made our world closer than it has ever been. I am now able to travel to the Pyramids of Egypt without buying a plane ticket. Nothing beats the real thing, but it is amazing that our phones are able to take us to such far away locations at a moments notice.
On this day, as it is “raining cats and dogs” here in the city, I started thinking about which pet is actually the better option. I know the Internet is obsessed with cats, and they can come off as pretty cute, but dogs have been regularly labeled as “man’s best friend.” I have never actually had a pet other than a small creature such as a fish or a hamster, but I have always been drawn more to dogs than cats. I guess my issue with cats is their air of indifference. Cats are great pets for people who have little space, but they seem to walk around like they own the place, and they often ignore the wishes of their owners. I know that cats can be affectionate at times, but I am used to dealing with cats that really don’t care much for people, unless food is involved. Dogs don’t come problem free, they must be trained well to avoid in home mishaps, and they can be too clingy at times. If a dog is not trained well it could be big trouble for its owner, as some poorly trained dogs have been known to bite strangers and ruin important documents. Even though there are negatives to both dogs and cats, the positives of well trained pet ownership far outweigh the negatives. To be honest I don’t think one is better than the other when it comes to cats and dogs, each of these creatures has their separate perks, but they are both known for being solid companions to their owners when they need them most. The great debate of cat or dog has no clear winner, and since it is so hard to look at this topic objectively, I think it is time for us to realize that these animals are equally as qualified to be the perfect pet.
I often find myself thinking about the future, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. It is interesting that everyone has an idea of how the future looks, but we rarely ever consider the extreme changes that could occur between the present and the future. I understand that nobody wants to think about the bad, and that our wishes for the future are often only positive, but change is not always bad. The fact of the matter is things change, and we can never correctly predict tomorrow from the vantage point we stand on today. The human’s ability to plan and visualize for the future is rare, but flawed. Many animals can store up resources for later, and even remember where they left these resources but none have as intricate a thought process about the future as humans do. The flaw in our ability to plan comes with the fact that we don’t plan well for what we don’t expect, but if everything was expected, there would be no benefit to planning. It is important to plan, but the most important thing is to remember that things change. What was normal yesterday is now no longer in existence, so it seems like we may have to work on adaptation rather than on planning since we can not perceive the future. In order to properly plan for the future we have to learn to accept change and to expect the unexpected. I will continue to plan for and think about the future even though my plans and thoughts may be only a past dream when the future actually comes around.
Younger siblings are great, as kids they are playmates and living action figures, but as adults they can be somewhat annoying at times. I am speaking as a middle child, I know how it feels to be a younger sibling as well as an older one. I don’t necessarily hang out with my older siblings often, but when I am around them I kind of expect them to give me stuff, or pay for me, and as an older sibling I don’t mind doing any of that for the younger ones. It is almost as if we are conditioned to always treat the “babies” like babies even when they are older and doing pretty well for themselves. As a younger sibling, I respect the older ones and use them as a reference, I remember their mistakes and I ask them for advice, even though I rarely heed their advice. I am sure my younger siblings don’t listen to me either, but it is always a treat when they ask me for advice so I can see how their situation ends up when they ignore it. Older siblings can be seen as extra parents who often happen to be more lenient, you can speak to them about more than you feel you can speak to a parent about, and you can expect a more practical approach to life’s many issues. A younger sibling is like a “practice child,” it is almost as if you have a hand in raising them, but are less liable for the mistakes they make. I have the joy of being a middle child, and while there are many negative things said about this birth position, I am happy that I have a chance to take a step back and interact with my family in the many complex ways that are only possible when you are born in the middle.
A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.
There is far too common a misconception that it is selfish to desire things, or to work hard for anything, and often times people settle for much less due to the fact that they don’t think they deserve more. Selfishness is an unlearned trait, as children we are inherently selfish, we want all of the food, all of the toys, all of the time from others. Somewhere along the way, as we are trained away from selfishness, we lose sight of self worth. I have seen many people fail to attain a goal due to the fact that they don’t want to seem selfish, while in fact they are being selfish by withholding their talents, knowledge, and contributions from society. As I have grown, I have learned that one of the quickest ways a person can be derailed from their path is by calling them selfish. If a man is working hard to support his family, and somebody ignorantly calls him a selfish workaholic, he may get discouraged and start to question the worth of his work. This quote centralizes the true theme of the idea of selfishness, and in my opinion perfectly defines it, we are not selfish for desiring to go places or do things, true selfishness is when we decide to do all of these things merely for ourselves while disregarding the lives of others. If you are working hard towards a goal, there will be times when you can not be as personable as desired, but as long as your success will lead to the success of your family and community, you are on the right track.
To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
-Thomas A. Edison
Thomas Edison was a brilliant inventor back in the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Some of Edison’s greatest inventions include the incandescent light bulb, the movie camera, and the telegraph. In this quote Thomas Edison discuses the simplicity of his invention, he has an idea in mind and he puts the products at his disposal to use. I’m sure he is not using actual junk, but every component to any invention by itself can generally be considered junk. Thomas Edison is an example of true ingenuity, he thought of things that never existed and in spite of his failures, continued to work until his ideas were a reality. Edison is an inspiration, he had many failed inventions in his life, but he never let them define his legacy. When we look back on the life and works of Thomas Edison we never think about the times he failed, we only talk about his many accomplishments. I hope to be able to look back at my own life one day and gladly reminisce on my successes, while completely disregarding my failures. We all have failures, but I like to say, “don’t let your failures derail you, they are meant to be building blocks to success not stumbling blocks.”
Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Sometimes you never know how far you can go until you have another person pushing you. Even when you set a goal for yourself the biggest obstacle to overcome is your own doubt. In my opinion, this quote hits the nail on the head when it comes to speaking about human nature and motivation. We all have goals, hopes, and dreams, but often times we don’t know where to begin or if we can even start. We like to know that it is possible to reach our goals, that is why we speak to others about our ambitions in hopes that we will be inspired to proceed. To illustrate the importance of having outside inspiration I will refer to the job of a personal trainer, these individuals push their clients far past their “limits” in order to prove that they can do much more than expected. It is not always easy to have someone push you, but it is always more beneficial than quitting a task far too early. I understand that everyone would prefer to be self motivated, but it is important to surround yourself with people who are willing to push you harder than you thought you can go, in order to reach the higher levels that you know you deserve.