Grit & Gratitude

Month: November, 2014

Go with your gut

What’s one time you wish you had trusted your gut? Why didn’t you?

I should preface this post by saying I’m not really going to answer this question. I’ve surveyed my life thus far and can’t come up with a situation where I didn’t go with my gut. Certainly I’ve made some choices in life that went against what I knew was right, but that was a rebellion against my brain, not my gut. To this point, I haven’t ever decided to go against my gut.

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A very brief word on Ferguson

If you’re reading this blog after seeing the title, you’re either:

A. My mother who reads anything I write, or

B. Someone from outside the US who doesn’t immediately which Ferguson I’m talking about.

If you don’t fall into those two categories and are still reading, I salute you. Chances are you’ve heard just about all you can hear with this story and you’re taking a chance that my small comment won’t be the thing that puts you over the edge. I promise not to be tyrannical.

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Small victories

So, it’s Saturday evening and I’ve been in bed all day. Apparently my body needed sleep because every time I tried to get out of bed today, I  fell asleep instead. But, I’ve made a deal with  myself to post on here regularly, so here are my thoughts from bed.

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What is the purpose of art?

This question from SoulPancake seemed pretty straightforward when I read it the first time. Then I started really thinking about it and the answer became more complicated.

My initial reaction was the purpose of art is to fulfill some of the desires that make us human. I have a very rudimentary knowledge of the animal kingdom, but I am confident in saying that humans are the only animals with such a high-caliber imagination. I would venture to guess that way back when this imagination was used largely through mirror neurons, where we could observe other people and imagine ourselves doing that same act. It’s how we learn to do most of the things we do, including language and behavior. Now days, we don’t rely on the mirror neurons for survival, only as a way to assimilate into our respective cultures. But we still have a biological build up of imagination and creativity that needs to be applied somehow and we’ve all settled on art.

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Let’s hear it for the girls

I’m annoyed. And confused. But mostly annoyed.

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Sunday Specials, November 16, 2014

In this first installment of Sunday Specials, there’s a pretty wide variety of media to consume. Eventually, I’ll figure out how to structure Sunday’s posts, but for now, here’s a cornucopia of crap. The good kind.

You need Off Camera with Sam Jones in your life.  I stumbled upon the podcast by chance really. I was browsing for something new to listen to and this caught my attention because of the format. I love long form interviews – embarrassingly I think it started with E! True Hollywood Stories and Behind the Music from decades past, but it’s an interest that has persevered in my life. Anyway, he had a great episode with Matt Damon, Robert Downey Jr., and my personal favorite, Tony Hawk. It’s on iTunes of course, but you can use this link to learn more.

Another favorite medium for me is YouTube. There are a few dozen channels I think are worth mentioning, but I wanted to show this video in particular, staring Hannah Hart and Grace Helbig. This video in particular sparked an idea in me I hope to discuss tomorrow, so in the meantime, I wanted to offer this for your viewing pleasure.

Finally, just a couple of minutes ago, I finished reading Mastery by Robert Greene. Singing Greene’s praises would probably be redundant at this point, as he’s proven himself over and over. But this book is truly inspiring. The title may be intimidating, but Greene’s research and logic explains how to achieve mastery in a way that seems so simple. Not easy, but simple. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Thank you for coming by. I’ll see you tomorrow.

May you have infinite abundance

Gratitude is a concept I think about often. If anyone ever comes to me for life or professional advice it’s the very first thing I talk about. Although there’s no specific way to practice gratitude – the ritual isn’t the point, the feeling is – I can say one specific thing that has helped me and continues to help me in my life.

About 7 months ago I was really struggling. I was surrounded by friends that I made out of convenience, but not necessarily mutual admiration, I had a job I liked, but definitely wasn’t going anywhere, and I was working 3 jobs just to end up negative $7 every month. To be fair, I was living in one of the nicest areas of San Diego by myself. But I still felt like I was busting my ass and all I was doing was dwindling the savings I did have. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was depressed, but I definitely was not excited about my life.

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The Universal Experience

Like I mentioned in my schedule blog, I want Wednesday to be about books and my reactions to them. I read a lot – and I work in publishing so I’m always drowning in words. And while there are some books that I read simply because I have a few hours to kill, more often than not I want to read to learn something, be it facts or a new perspective.

I’m in the process of organizing all my favorite passages onto note cards and all my favorite ones are in a mess right now. So instead of trying to make sense of that pile, I’m going to answer a question from SoulPancake. I’m feeling a little emotional tonight so I think this will be more interesting anyway.

I opened the book at random and the question that came up was: What is one eye opening experience every person should have? (on page 63 if you’re wondering).

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Don’t do what you love

I’m going to put a disclaimer on my blog from the very beginning: I love Ryan Holiday. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say I love the Stoic principles that he describes in his blogs, books, and interviews – but the way he delivers the information is unique and inspiring which is why I think saying I love him is the correct verbiage. I only mention my fondness because a lot of what I post, at least for now will –  in some way – lead back to him.

To that point,  today’s blog is  a reaction to his article about passion as a problem for this generation. In it, as the title might suggest, he talks about how Millennial’s real problem is they search for passion constantly, but passion is detrimental to progress.  The quote truly resonated with me the most was “Think gritty, not giddy.” Four simple words that really summarized who I am as a person.

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All things in time

On my left arm, there is a tattoo that says “all things in time”. The words are displayed in banners around a pocket watch in the style of old fashioned tattoos. It’s my most visible tattoo and also the only tattoo I have that’s done in color. (If you’re curious, at the moment I have 8 tattoos).

The message behind the words is no secret – I believe that all things will come to me when I am destined to have them and not a second earlier. There are a few other layers, but that’s the lesson I’ve always struggled with in my life. I wanted something to remind me that it is true in my moments of doubt and despair.

People who don’t love tattoos always ask, why can’t you just remember that? Why do you need a tattoo of something you already know? Well, today is a perfect example of why.

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