Tag

change

Summer Goal #8: Stop Trying To Please Everybody And Just Live My Life

By life

“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.” – Bill Cosby

This is the biggest challenge out of everything I’ve written over the past eight days. I always take on way too many projects and try to do way too many things for way too many people. It’s going to end. I can’t say no to anyone when it comes to helping with something, but that’s about to change. It’s driven me nuts.

Summer Goal #7: Be More Authentic

By life

We all do and say things that don’t match up with how we say we are personality-wise. Some call it being two-faced. Others call it not being authentic. Either way, it’s not the right thing to do. We’ve all talked behind someone else’s back, even if sometimes it’s not intentional. I’m not horrible at it or anything, but it’s definitely something I need to work on. Being authentic means that how you say you act and how you really do act line up. I think I’m about 75% there, I just need to keep working on it.

Summer Goal #6: Change My Ways Of Thinking

By life, spirituality

Life is what you make of it. The old saying that life is 10% what happens and 90% what you do about it is spot on. I’ve always thought of myself as a glass-half-full kind of person, but I need to do better. In order to implement all of the self-improvement plans I’ve blogged about this week, I need to change my ways of thinking. I’ve got to set my sights high and reach for what now looks impossible. A little confidence and positive attitude goes a long way, and combined with prayer, God will reveal in my life exactly what I’m supposed to do and what path I’m supposed to take. Everything that’s meant to be will work out in the end.

Summer Goal #4: Meet Some New People

By life

I’ve been stuck in a bubble slash rut for way too long. Why? Simply put, I stay in my comfort zone (as I wrote about already). I’ve been okay with the status quo in terms of friends and not meeting many new people. Sure, it’s all about quality, not quantity, but I could do better in both departments. Plus, I’m done with just being “okay” with how things are. I’m ready for extraordinary, not just mediocre.

I’m not a partier really and don’t go out to those to meet new people usually. But, if you really think about it, people that go to parties to meet new people, especially if it’s the opposite sex, really have a skewed perspective on things. Parties are not “meet and greets.” People are just there to get drunk, do things they regret, and then complain about them to other people the next day. I’m on the receiving end of this all the time, so the silver lining to this is that I know what it’s all about.

Either way, it will be nice to meet some new friends. I have a good core group, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m gonna put myself out there more, in more situations and instances. I’ve also weeded out a lot of friends over the past couple of months who either kept dragging me down with negativity and such, or didn’t line up with what I’m trying to make my life. Sure, it was hard at fi

Summer Goal #1: Lose Ten Pounds

By health, life

I was just looking through pictures from a year ago at my graduation party. Sure, I wasn’t exactly built or anything, but I was a heck of a lot more in shape than I am now. You never really notice you’ve gained weight until it all hits you like a ton of bricks ten to fifteen pounds later.

What can I say? I love food. I’ve eaten a ton of it, and become more busy and have had less and less time to work out. It’s time to turn that around, though. I’ve been running, on average, six miles per day. Three miles in the morning, and three miles at night. I’ve got the will power to change it all around and get back to where I want to be in life. The benefits of doing something like this are tremendous and will have so many positive reprocussions in my life.

This is just the beginning. This, along with my other goals I’m writing about for the next seven days will transform me into the person I want to become.

Summer Goals Series

By health, life

Plain and simple, here’s what the summer has in store for me, if all goes as planned. By the time I head back to school in late August, here’s what I wanna do to change myself and enrich my life (in no particular sequence or order).

I’ll be on vacation this coming Thursday through the Thursday after in the Outer Banks. While I will have wi-fi, I’m gonna try not to spend much of any time with technology because, quite frankly, I need a break from it. I’m going to write myself silly in the next few days and post-date more in-depth entries on the topics below, to show up while I’m gone, one for each goal below, and for each day I’m gone.

  1. Lose ten pounds (This is roughly what I’ve gained over the past year; probably more, but it’s a start)
  2. Get out of my comfort zone (This may mean selling ads for my web business, public speaking, or doing some acting at church in video productions)
  3. Read two books (Hey, I got my library card renewed; that’s a start, right?)
  4. Meet some new people (Can’t go wrong with this)
  5. Finish Downtown Short Pump (I’m well on my way, I just need to sell some advertising!)
  6. Change my ways of thinking (Attitude, etc.)
  7. Be more authentic (We all have room to improve on this one)
  8. Stop trying to please everybody and just live my life (I take on way too many projects and consequently never finish any of them)

It’s going to be an interesting eight days of reading. I’m on the verge of transforming my life into what I’ve always wanted it to be. I’ve felt it for a while, and now I have a plan of action. Sure, it says “Summer Goals,” but really this is what I want to accomplish by year’s end. You could say that 2008 is my year of self-improvement, and 2009 will be the result of this year’s work and reap the benefits.

2000s Music: What Will It Be Remembered For?

By music, opinion, sarcasm

I’ve probably delved a little bit into this subject before, but I’ve actually done some deep thinking about it this time. Every decade since the 1950s has had a few things it’s remembered for musically. But what will people be thinking when they look back in ten or twenty years on the music of the 2000s? (As a side note, does that sound weird to anyone else, saying “2000s,” or is it just me?)

Here’s what I’ve been able to gather just by my own humble listening observations. In the early 2000s, you had post-grunge bands start to emerge, such as Three Days Grace and Nickelback. They’re doing well now, but manufactured pop (some of the stuff being played on Top 40 stations such as Richmond’s Q94 is getting almost unlistenable, cheesy and awful lately) has become more commonplace. I can think of two prime examples of annoying, manufactured pop becoming more center-stage.

The first example is Gwen Stefani. She used to be the lead singer of No Doubt in the 1990s and early 2000s. I really liked No Doubt. A few years ago when she started her solo career, she (in my opinion) regressed severely into the teen/bubblegum pop sinkhole (For a thorough definition of the word “sinkhole” in this context, try and force yourself to get through the duration of her song, “Hollaback Girl”).

Second example? Avril Lavigne. She made her debut in the early 2000s as a refreshing alternative pop rock artist with a unique sound. She, too, has now fallen into the hole (Compare her 2002 song “Complicated” with last year’s “Girlfriend” for clarification).

Punk pop groups (I like some, but others drive me up the wall) such as The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, Quietdrive, and Simple Plan (Is it just me or do all the lead singers of these bands have the exact same high pitch, whiny voices?), also surfaced a lot more throughout the decade.

The urban scene has also seen unprecedented mainstream growth, and with more varieties. There is a clear difference between the urban sound of even the late 1990s and today. There’s a lot more electronic influence and instruments, as well as voice synthesizers  and a lot of resampling.

Singer-songwriters have made a big comeback, too. James Blunt, Jack Johnson, and John Mayer have seen great success in their careers. Their mellow, voice-driven tracks are refreshing in a sea of otherwise manufactured music. I’ll get to that in a minute. Other successful singer-songwriters like Sara Bareilles and Colbie Caillat have really brought us back to earth in the same respect, as well.

1990s favorites such as The Gin Blossoms, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Collective Soul have made attempts throughout the 2000s to put out new singles and have, for the most part, failed. They just don’t have the musical charisma they had in the late ’90s. Don’t get me wrong, these were some of my favorite artists in the mid 1990s, but they just don’t make the same kind of music anymore. I bet that will change throughout the next decade, because it seems as if trends skip a decade and come back.

Emo music (I’m cringing) will be another thing the decade is remembered for. Evanescence started the trend in the early 2000s, and the movement has grown in recent years. They’re not as bad as some other emo-type bands, but they’re still a little to dark and “I-hate-my-life” for my tastes.

So where do we stand? We’re in the midst of a small 1980s revival, strangely enough in urban music, with the use of ’80s sound effects and keyboards. What’s old is new again. It’s only natural. How much more can we really do technology-wise, without having them all sound manufactured and computer-generated, anyway? There’s been a trend of ’80s music being resampled and artists making successful comebacks, such as INXS, Duran Duran, and The Cars (reincarnated as The New Cars).

It will be really interesting to see where things go as we head into the next decade. It was even more interesting to see the musical soundscape evolve throughout this decade. I was so young in the 1990s that deciphering the music of that decade is more like just digging around in the past. This was right before my eyes, and I find it pretty fascinating.

Recent Questions, Ponderings, Discoveries, & Thoughts

By life

I’ve been doing a whole lot of deep thinking lately, especially yesterday. I could write a full-fledged post on each topic, and I might do that with some of these at a later date, but I just wanted to share what’s been running through my head over the past week or so. These are all randomly-ordered questions, ponderings, discoveries, and thoughts I’ve had.

– You can’t change other people. You can only change yourself and be a positive example for others to follow.

– When you put God at the center of your life, everything else just falls into place exactly the way it’s supposed to.

– If you try to do too many things at once you won’t get anything done at all. Focusing on one thing will get you a lot farther.

– Why is it that practically everyone I know is in a relationship now, and all over the course of the past month?

– I’ll be getting to that point in a few years when everyone I know is starting to get married, and man, that seems unreal. When did I get to this age?

– I’ll be twenty in July? Twenty? Two decades down. Wow.

– I finally know exactly what I want and that I am once again ready to be in a relationship.

– Am I only good enough to talk to or does she (come on you didn’t think you were actually gonna get a name, did you?) actually want something more with me?

– Why am I always second best, and how do I change that?

– Sushi from the VCU Commons is great at the beginning of the week, but practically a biohazard by Friday.

– I need to nail down what I’m doing this Summer job-wise, and really soon.

– I need to decide on my major for sure by next Fall. Graphic Design, Mass Communications, Film, or Business?

– The old saying is absolutely right: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

– Running is a great stress reliever.

– Change is constant and life is fluid.

– There are two options: Get in the game or be left behind.

– I need to spend less money on eating out, and that would also help me with my goal of getting in shape.

– I’ve got an incredible group of friends who are more supportive, caring, and genuine than anyone else I’ve ever been around in my life.

– I need to stop making this list and go get ready to head to VCU for my second-to-the-last day of classes.

Glad I got all that out. I feel a lot better now! Comment and share your thoughts.

What’s Bothering Me So Much That I’m Awake At 4:45 AM?

By life, spirituality

It’s 4:45 AM and I’m up writing because I just can’t sleep. Something’s bothering me and I can’t figure out what exactly. I know bits and pieces of it, but not the entire thing, hence my writing it out to try and get a handle on what it is. Part of it is the fact that I just feel like a hamster spinning on a wheel lately. Why? Because I have so many different projects running (web projects, personal projects, etc.) that I just can’t seem to get finished. I can start fifty of them but can’t ever finish one. Two examples I can think of at the moment are my Downtown Short Pump website and the Deep Run Marathon Dance DVD I need to have completed soon (that one will get done because I have a deadline, but I’m having a hard time getting around to it for various reasons).

The other reason I can’t sleep is I keep having these dreams lately that my life is completely stagnant and not going anywhere. I just woke up from one. Well, I suppose they aren’t exactly dreams, but rather subconscious feelings I have as I sleep because I still feel them for a while when they wake me up during the night. It’s hard to describe, but it’s this feeling that my life is two-dimensional and I’m just going through the motions, doing insignificant, meaningless things just because they’re part of a routine or something. It’s driving me insane at the moment trying to figure out the root of these feelings because they’re not an isolated chain of thoughts. I know the fact that I’m going absolutely nowhere isn’t completely true because I have some things going for me right now, but I have this nagging discontent that I just can’t seem to shake. I really need to figure it out.

One more thing is that everything in my life feels so fluid right now. Sometimes it feels like I’m on one of those moving sidewalks, like at the airport. I’m moving on down the line while everyone and everything else goes on by, or vice versa. Either way I feel out of place in my own life and the worst part is I can’t figure out what I need to do to change it.

It’s not like I’m necessarily searching for something of greater meaning in my life beyond the temporary thrills, because I have really focused on putting God at the center of my life more than ever in recent days. It really is true that by doing that, many of life’s problems seem to be less complex. At the same time, however, I don’t think I’m where I need to be.

There are also moments when I have these very satisfying feelings of thinking I’m just a few steps away from being where I need to be and being totally content in my life, but once again I don’t know what it is I need to do or change to get to that point. It goes much deeper in some ways, but as open and transparent as I am about my personal life, that’s as far as I think I can take it on my very public blog. There’s just only so much you can say without unintentionally offending certain people (and that could happen because sometimes you can’t judge someone’s tone by reading words on a screen as opposed to having a face-to-face conversation).

These are all things I’m going to pray about and ask God for guidance with in my life, as well as talk to other people about. I just thought that if I was awake and couldn’t sleep, it might help to write it all out. At the same time, though, if you’d like to offer up any suggestions via a comment, please do so as it would be much appreciated.