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.
As the new year quickly approaches, I have found myself thinking about my triumphs and mistakes of the past year. It is always an interesting experience to look at your own life and make assessments on where things could have been done differently, but it is never fun to regret chances that were squandered. Looking over the past year I can honestly say that I am not dissatisfied with any of the decisions I made, however I can see areas in which more planning should have been taken into effect. The year 2015 was a year of “safety” for me, I really didn’t take as many risks as I usually do, and I found this year to be somewhat boring. I don’t necessarily think risks need to be taken to have excitement, but when things seem mundane they could represent a lack of planning. I know that most things in life cannot be planned, and that the plans of men often go awry, but when plans do go off without a hitch they usually don’t end up being boring. I have decided that while I know I can not control everything that comes my way, I will make a solid action plan for the major accomplishments I plan to see through in the year 2016. The year is nearly over and everything from the past is now firmly part of memory, the best and only thing anyone can do going forward is to make sure the mistakes of the past are not repeated and the plans of the future are well plotted out. I am eager to see the new things that 2016 will bring, hopefully my plans don’t falter and I won’t be seeing a repeat of the mistakes of yesterday in the story of tomorrow.
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.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
― Lao Tzu
Professing your love for someone is definitely a courageous action, it takes all of your resolve to be able to lay your heart on the line in hopes that the feelings you have will be reciprocated. It is no easier to profess your love in a wedding setting, as now you have the pressure of the festivities to worry about as well. I have been to three weddings already this year, and this year of weddings will finally come to its conclusion today as I will attend my fourth of the year as a guest. Throughout all of the weddings I have attended, as different as they have been, the one commonality is the love the bride and groom have shared. The new families I have watched forming fully exemplify the words of this quote, they are both strengthened by their love, and given the courage to profess it in front of friends and family. Every one of the couples were different, and some seemed more nervous than others, but all of them were able to show how much they care for their new spouse. I know love can be shown in situations other than in marriage, but being a part of seeing something new form is an incredible experience. I wish all the love and favor to these wonderful marriages, may they be fruitful and everlasting.
It is important to surround yourself with people who have a higher expectations of you than you are willing to realize. Often times in life, people form impressions and expectations about others, and these expectations will generally drive all of their future interactions with an individual. A bad first impression and low expectations of an individual can damage a relationship before it even begins, but it also has to be said that having high expectations of a person can also have adverse effects on a relationship. I wouldn’t say thinking too highly of someone is as bad as having low expectations of them, but I would say that having high expectations leads to a higher chance of disappointment. In the case of surrounding yourself with people who expect much from you, it is extremely beneficial to growth and success. If you respect an individual and they hold you to a high standard, you are much more willing to try to live up to that standard in order to avoid disappointing the individual. A valued person has the ability to push their loved ones to better themselves by merely holding them to a high standard. On the other hand, if you are given low expectations by a respected individual, the respect won’t last long. Low expectations are not always a matter of malice, since some project their low expectations of themselves onto others, but whenever a person is faced with external low expectations it almost always seems disrespectful. Even though it is not always intentional, low expectations should be avoided like the plague. It is important to make and keep friends that will hold you in high esteem, and desire for you to continue growing. It is not easy to break friendships, but if a friend expects little of you, and doesn’t understand why that is a problem, then they most likely don’t deserve to be your friend.
Today is the first day of the last month of the year, and I have been writing this blog for over 300 days. I have learned many lessons throughout this year about myself, and though I have not really chronicled the growth I have seen in this blog, I can say that writing daily has helped me to better recognize the things that I have seen change throughout the year. I have definitely noticed that the year is much shorter than it seems, and that things can change quickly over the course of the year. If I could categorize this year into four themes for each quadrant, they would be, new beginnings, taking risks, bitter ends, and fresh starts. Not every year will go like this but as I have seen in this year, things can change rapidly so it is important to stay focused or you may find yourself stuck in a terrible season. In the beginning of the year, I decided to try a few new things, and as I went along in the year I took a few more risks here and there. The risks I took yielded varying results that at times culminated into unforeseen endings. Once I got over those “bitter ends,” I realized that life is full of endings and beginnings, and in order to continue you must always be ready to restart at something new. As I head into this final month of the year I will do what I have done all year, and that is to continue to learn, grow, and get better at whatever I am doing at the current time. Life is full of triumphs and setbacks, and the only way to make it through the setbacks is to remember the approaching triumphs and to continue moving forward.
It is very important to take risks from time to time. There is no safety in a “sure thing,” because as many people have learned throughout time, a failed sure thing can often lead to more disappointment than a risk. Taking a risk is always hard, and those who take risks are always doubted, but the success of one risk can make up for the failures of a million tries. I like to liken risk taking to a basketball game, the higher the risk of the shot the greater the reward, but a failed “easy” shot yields the same result as a failed three pointer. In my opinion, the best way to consider risk taking is to remember that the outcome of failure is no different, but the reward of success is much more splendid. To be honest, I feel as though I have taken far too few risks in my life. I know that I have not been around that long, but I have had my fair share of failures, and it seems like my failures have pushed me to “play it safe” far too often. Playing it safe can still get you where you want to be, but taking risks is what makes life a bit more colorful. I will most definitely be taking more risks in the near future. I know that it is impossible to plan out risks that will be taken, but if you try and take several “calculated risks” per year, you will find yourself extremely satisfied with the results of your successes.
Today is national dictionary day, the most recent in America’s long line of unnecessary national days. October 16th is the anniversary of the birth of Noah Webster, the man who compiled the famous Webster’s Dictionary. Noah Webster was a lexicographer in the late 1700s who decided he wanted to put together a comprehensive dictionary of the English language. It took Webster 26 years to complete his text, and in order to properly map the etymology of each word, he had to learn 28 languages. Creating this massive dictionary was quite a feat to undertake, when you consider the fact that Webster had to learn and decipher all of these words, it is no surprise that it took him so many years to complete. For years, dictionaries were considered purely academic texts, but in recent years with the rapid changes in vernacular and use, the dictionary has become more of a map of common lingo. The English language and all of its various dialects have seen a large amount of evolution in recent years, and with commonly used internet terms gaining steam, it is hard for many to keep up with “real” and “fake” words. The dictionary has become less of a comprehensive compilation of the English language and more of a museum of archaic words and phrases. The growth of information technology seems to have made the paper dictionary almost useless, while leading to a faster growth of online dictionary directories. For now, dictionaries are still being published, and libraries and academic institutions are still more than willing to stock their bookshelves with these massive publications, but it seems like there will be little use for offline dictionaries within the next ten years. In honor of National Dictionary Day, I will end this post with the definition of one of my favorite, scarcely used words, which can be found in your nearest dictionary.
obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree.
“they were served by obsequious waiters”
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.