30.4.10

Windfalls...

Yesterday, I found out some wonderful news.  My income tax return deposited into my account, and my deposit for a contract that ended this month will now be mailed back to me via check (it was a pretty large deposit at the time since I didn't have much of a credit history).  This was money that I really didn't account for, so I'll count it as a sudden windfall.

I now have some options... and since I'm in my early 20s, I'll be realistic.  I could:

29.4.10

You Are What You Repeatedly Do.

I had a chat with a friend of mine back in Dallas today.  We caught up on each others' lives and our plans for the future.  My mention of the financial benchmarks I had set for myself seemed very ambitious to him.  We proceeded to talk about how expenses change as we get older.  He suggested that I'll spend much more as I grow older;  I countered that they most likely will stay the same, and may possibly lower.

I must warn you that I am in a position very conducive to saving.  In the past few years, I've given up television, sold all of my vehicles, and have cancelled/closed most of my subscription services.  Starting this May, the only bills I will see will come from my cell phone provider (a 2 year contract which will end before I leave California) and credit cards (which are used for most of my transactions and paid off in their entirety every month).  I possess very few things, which makes upkeep minimal and insurance obsolete.  And my rent, utilities, and healthcare are covered through my work.

I believe that at the rate I am going, in coordination with the steps I'm taking, I'll be able to lessen my expenses even more so in the future.  How, you ask?  By working on attaining productive skills while being conscious of the way I spend my time and money daily.

28.4.10

Ah... Kids These Days...

Glad to be back writing posts!  I'll cut the sentimental filler and get right into the good stuff...
Being among many younger workers has given me a little insight on why I had some conflict with older workers in my own past.  Younger people (as well as I) are dumb.  Seriously.  And not in the intellectual sense, book smarts, etc.  The 18-24 year old American population (which just so happens to be the target consumer market most sought out for by American businesses) is a group that just isn't fully developed.

It's not their fault.  The elders are correct in most respects; we don't have much experience, and we play the game of life wrong. 

Dead give-aways of youth in the work environment:
  • Coming in with high expectations and a sense of entitlement
  • Overt highs and lows with emotions (freak-outs) and words (ex. use of the word awesome/amazing at least more than once)
  • Exchanging that new paycheck for the latest gadget/toys/supplies
  • Overly self-conscious about looks
  • Accepting everything without question (having no backbone)
  • Stepping over boundaries (proving to have backbone) at the most inappropriate times
  • "Throwing on the charm" instead of bringing in results
  • Getting caught up in the office drama
  • Looking for that raise without even being in a year

25.4.10

Returning this Week...

Hey supporters!  I will be returning back to posting this week after a 2 week hiatus.  Stay tuned!

12.4.10

Is Your Career Your Purpose?

It seems that people use their careers or jobs as their defining roles in this world.  It makes sense considering the amount of time we spend at our work, with 40 hours being the typical for full-time.  Add in the commute, overtime, and the time we spend thinking about our jobs, and it seems like there isn't much time for anything else...

11.4.10

Why Rocky is a Solid Movie.

While flipping through channels today, I caught myself fixed onto the first Rocky movie.  I've seen this movie maybe 20 times now, and I still always get drawn back to it.  Here are some reasons why I feel it is a prime American movie, in no particular order (if you are worried about spoilers... I feel sorry for you):

Reason #1 - It's a down-and-out story.  And not just normal down-and-out, but we're talking lowest of lows.  Rocky is a blubbering mess of a person.  And the company he keeps all have their own deep issues.  Drunkards, shut-ins, loan sharks, etc., all are trash to the common man, but they all possess one redeeming quality.  Each person tries to help in the only way they know how.

Reason #2 - It's gritty.  This movie is rough.  Rocky is shot rough, with a very low budget.  The dialogue can be grating at points.  The acting certainly isn't textbook.  Hell, Stallone had to write in some scenes due to some errors in props.  But this only gives the movie a stronger appeal.  It brings you into that dirty, uneasy, scrappy environment.

9.4.10

Why Do You Buy? (Link Love)

I've used the Five Why's technique on many occasions when making a decision.  This post expands on that principle.

The 30 Day Trial (Link Love)

This blog actually began as a 30 day challenge for me to see if I could write a post daily.  Now that I've exceeded that and found that I have enjoyed it, I continue on.  I've also been a vegetarian for a month, given up sodas for a month, ran daily for a month, and many other things.  Some changes stuck.  Others didn't.  But I learned a little more about myself with each challenge.  To get some inspiration, read this post on 30 days to success.

7.4.10

The "Yes, And" Rule.

I did improvisational theatre while I was in high school.  It was pretty much the only type of theatre I was decent at; I was horrible at memorizing lines, and my expressions were too over-the-top.  Improv came naturally to me though, and I ran with it.  In participating in it, I learned a valuable life lesson.

To be good at improv, there is one rule you have to engrain into your skull.  It's known as the "Yes, And" Rule.  The "Yes, And" Rule is simple... whenever an idea is brought into a scene, the actors must accept it as true (the yes) and commit to incorporating it throughout the scene.  This builds continuity, momentum, and integrity.

6.4.10

Putting Yourself Out There.

There are times when you will come across a person who says they are lucky to be in the situation they are in.  Whether it is in their job, their mate, their wealth, etc. they feel as though they were in the right place at the right time to receive such great things in their lives.

We can't control luck.  When we wish for it, it seems we never get it.  And when we least expect it, it makes its presence known.  So how do we become lucky people?  We put ourselves out there.

You have to take chances and extend yourself to possibilities.  The more opportunities we give ourselves to succeed, the more chances luck will strike.  We can't control being in the right place at the right time... but we can control the places we are at and the amount of time we spend at each.  Make an effort to put yourself in those positive opportune areas and give it enough time, and something positive will strike.  But it's the risk of putting yourself out there that gives you the ability to receive amazing rewards.

5.4.10

Life Isn't the Struggle You Make It Out to Be.

People think that reaching their goals involves a lot of work.  The truth of the matter is that we get in our own way.  We want to make things complicated because we were conditioned to think that life is complicated.  There's this notion that you have to struggle to be successful or that you have to prove your worth by showing that you've scrapped.

We are born with certain advantages and disadvantages we can't control.  However, we sometimes get into this comparison war with others discussing who has more of a disadvantage like it's a badge of honor.  Some will even take it further by finding struggles to put upon themselves to show that they too know what it's like to live with disadvantages.

Tell me how it makes sense to put yourself in situations that people are trying to get themselves out of.  Yes, we all have issues that we have to get past.  We have to play with the hand we are dealt.  So accept it and move on, instead of thriving on being or becoming a victim.  Use your strengths, take advantage of those advantages, and make the most of your time while you have it.  And maybe the struggles won't be so relevant anymore.

With a Little Faith.

And now... a haiku:

With a little faith
impossibilities turn
into quite-likely's.

3.4.10

The Lost Art of Solitude (Link Love)

I came across this recent post and thought my readers would find interest in it.  There are times when I seem like a loner to some, however the importance of time for my personal self is high on my priority list.  Though the advancements of technology have given us the ability to connect with more people than ever, we must not take for granted our own greatest gift - our time.  Hence, let's take a look at regaining some solitude.

2.4.10

Did You Enjoy Your April 1st?

I hope yesterday's post didn't fool you.  I don't know how else I could have given it away that it was a joke.  If you've been following me at all, you would have noticed that mostly everything I said yesterday was the complete opposite of what I believe.

Critical thinking is necessary for a content life.
My actions help determine my outcomes.
The expectations of others have no bearing on my own pursuits.
I don't miss being chained to a desk job.
I am entitled to nothing... This world does not owe me a dime.
I should be paid for what I produce.
I will never strive to be average or normal.

Ok... maybe this blog is a little dangerous.

1.4.10

I'm Giving Up the Blog... This is Too Much Work.

This was an April Fool's Joke that caused quite a stir... Calls were coming in to find out if everything was alright.  See my response here.
I've been cranking out quite a few posts now, and frankly, I'm sick of it.  This whole thinking business is hurting my brain.  Critical thinking is overrated.  I'm ready to just settle down.  Life will take care of itself.  It doesn't matter what I do as long as I don't get in trouble right now.  Ultimately, I am here to fulfill the expectations of others, because my happiness is determined solely on how others perceive me.

I miss my suits.  I miss my car.  I miss commuting.  I miss my cubicle.  I shouldn't be creating posts... I should be stapling cover sheets on quarterly reports.  I shouldn't be wasting my time reading books... I should be maximizing my efficiency by reading memos and attending meetings.

I am entitled to many things right now.  I'm a decent person who needs things... I should be paid on that basis alone.

Achieving what the average person doesn't is something I don't want to do anymore.  I want to be normal.  Normal is safe.  Safe is good...

This blog is dangerous.  I've been a fool.