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.
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.
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
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.
I’m about to head out to the Outer Banks tomorrow with my best friend Jen and her family, plus another one of my best friends, Allie. They rent a place every year down at milepost 18 on the Beach Road. I went last year and it was a lot of fun. Anywhere on the Outer Banks is great if you ask me. The area is basically my second home. The best part is I get to go back with my family two weeks after I get back with Jen’s family!
I’ve been working every day for most of the day, and it will be great to get some time to relax (I know, I know, some of you who are reading this are saying, “Yeah, so? I work 9-5 every day!” Well, I’m new at this whole adult work week thing). Anyway, I’m trying to get a break from technology for a bit and will not be blogging (I’ve post-dated entries for the coming week, and they’re really going to be insightful). They’re gonna be all about my life goals.
Leave your comments and encouragement for me to come home to! Everyone have a great week, and I’ll be posting live again next Friday (June 13th).
So I went out to a meeting of the Henrico County Historical Society yesterday. I’m one of the youngest members. Most, but not all, are over the age of 60. I really love local history, though, and am trying to recruit some younger members. Either way, I realized something big at yesterday’s meeting.
I was talking for a few minutes to two of the most elderly members, both of whom happen to be 84 years old. They’re two of the most interesting people I’ve met, mainly because they’ve been through and seen so much. I can’t even begin to imagine all the experiences they’ve had. They have lots of wisdom to share.
Anyway, the one thing I heard over and over yesterday was how they don’t feel like they’re as old as they are. They said it feels like they were just my age a short time ago. How scary is that? The common theme seems to be that life is really short. That notion inspired me to make the summer goals list that I posted last night. I’m gonna live it up to the best of my ability while I’m young. It already somewhat panics me that I’ll be 20 in less than a month. Seems like I just became a teenager, and I can only imagine that time goes by faster and faster the older you get.
This next span of years I’m about to head into, the twenties, seems to be the prime years of life, and I’m going to milk them for all they’re worth. Watch out, I’ve got some living to do and a plan to accomplish all I want to. Don’t stand in my way. I’m out to achieve my dreams.
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.
- Lose ten pounds (This is roughly what I’ve gained over the past year; probably more, but it’s a start)
- 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)
- Read two books (Hey, I got my library card renewed; that’s a start, right?)
- Meet some new people (Can’t go wrong with this)
- Finish Downtown Short Pump (I’m well on my way, I just need to sell some advertising!)
- Change my ways of thinking (Attitude, etc.)
- Be more authentic (We all have room to improve on this one)
- 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.
No, I’m not using a cliché here in preparation to tell you about some negative thing that always happens to me. The title of that post would be something like “A Day Late And A Dollar Short.” But seriously, I really am writing the story of my life. Over the past few weeks, when I’ve had the chance, I’ve written a few pages at a time in reflection of my life thus far. I started at age 3, which is as far back as I can go with any sort of tangible memories, although obviously they’re vague. 50 pages later, I’m at 5th grade.
Why am I doing this? Well, several reasons. First off, I just really like to write. Secondly, I’m a very nostalgic person. I like writing and thinking (but no, not living) in the past. It’s kind of theraputic personally. Of course I realize no one would want to read it. That’s not at all the point. In fact, even though I’m pretty darn honest and open here on my blog, I held absolutely nothing back when it comes to filing through my memories, so there are very few people, if any, who I’d probably ever let read this anyway.
I know another common cliché goes something like, “If your life was a movie, would anyone want to watch it?” Honestly, probably not. And I’m okay with that. I’m doing this for me. I’m sorting out memories, dealing with past regret and conflict, and just want to remember every little detail of my life. Maybe my kids or grandkids will enjoy reading it someday. It’ll also be interesting personally to see my perspectives of things and the way I think today, decades down the road.
One year: With certain things, it seems like an eternity, and with others, it seems the blink of an eye. A year ago this month, I was finishing out my last days of high school. It seems like forever ago. I’ve changed and grown so much in so many different ways over the past year since I left Deep Run. More than anything, I’ve gained a true sense of identity for the first time in my life. I know who I am and am on the fast track to determining my purpose in life.
One of the biggest things I’ve discovered is what defines a true friend. Looking back on my high school days, I had many people in my life who kept me around simply because I was always there and someone to use as a backup plan for everything. I was always someone who was at everyone’s beckon call. I was way too available and never too busy to give anyone some time. I guess I’ve just always been a nice guy. Too nice. I was played like a fiddle.
I was always the one who someone would call when there was nothing better to do, and I was always fun to be around until someone better came along. I was the victim of one-sided friendships in which I put in all the effort and made all the plans. Now that’s not to say I didn’t have a group of real friends, because I always have. However, there were many people in my life who completely took advantage of me.
In recent months, I’ve kind of segued into a new core group of friends. They’re some of the most caring, compassionate, genuine, and sincere group of people I’ve ever met. It seems a lot of the people I put myself around in the past, and even some who are still friends to this very day, are just complete downers, are negative, or just hold me back in general. I find more and more after being around this positive, spiritual, forward thinking group I have now that some of the other people in my life are just dragging me down.
A true friend is someone who is genuinely interested in what’s on your mind and in your heart. They’re excited for you when you’re excited. They’re there for you when you’re down. They support your endeavors and dreams and build you up. That’s what I’ve found in this amazing group.
However, this has also given me great hindsight to see all the things true friends aren’t and to see all the negative influences that I’ve had in my life. They’re not just someone who sits impatiently as you’re speaking, thinking about what they’re going to say as you talk. They’re not someone who cares only about themselves or what you can do for them when they do nothing for you (oh I could write a book of stories on this one). They don’t get mad over things that don’t make sense and then choose not to talk to you when you make a genuine effort to resolve the so-called problem and even understand what silly thing they’re upset over in the first place (that’s immaturity if I’ve ever seen it). They don’t just expect you to be around at times of their choosing and then aren’t ever available themselves when you want to hang out. They don’t belittle you, constantly mock you, or talk behind your back. These are actual examples of some of the people who have been pulling me down in recent days. This post is just the beginning, too. I have some stories, going back to fifth grade, that I’d like to share with you in the near future that will really give you some insight into what happened that year that shaped me into the person I am today. Simply put, it was moving to Wyndham that year. Oh, the stories I have to share.
I have big dreams, goals, and plans for my life that I’m actually coming to the realization of. One long-time dream of mine is already coming true. It’s amazing to see it in reality. I guess you could say I’ve just started to realize what matters (and what really doesn’t) in life. It started a few months ago and I really feel I’ve entered a new chapter in my life. I’m so happy to have found friends who fit the new productive, goal-oriented lifestyle I’ve chosen to live and who build me up, not tear me down like so many people have in the past.
I’d say it’s time to weed out the garden, so to speak, in terms of who matches up with what I want my life to be and who just drags me through the mud. Sorry, those of you who I’m speaking to have done it long enough, and I refuse to live my life that way and be such a blatant fool any longer. I’m finally truely happy with where and what I am in life, and man it feels good to be in that place for once, after being beat down and defeated so many times in the past.
Have you ever stopped to think about how you got to where you are? I’m a firm believer that there are no coincidences in life whatsoever. The people we meet, the things that happen to us, the experiences we have, they all happen for a reason. They’re all part of God’s plan for our lives. But do you ever think about how many small things could have lead to big things in your life?
Most people never think about this, but the thought struck me today. Suppose you’re going down the road. You reach a stop sign. You can go left or right. Think about all of the different implications that could have. I’m just fabricating scenarios here, but if you turn left, you could end up going to a gas station and meet your future spouse. If you turn right, you might be in a car accident and die. It’s just so interesting how the smallest decisions that we don’t even process as even being decisive things can end up changing so much.
The decision to open your mouth and say something before you think could end up costing you your good name and reputation. Choosing to exchange small talk with the person behind you at Starbucks could lead to making a new friend, which in turn could lead to meeting other people, new opportunities, or even a different lifestyle.
Once again these are just random scenarios, but you get the idea. It’s just so amazing how the smallest of small decisions can change your life in such dramatic ways. Isn’t life funny?