decision

365 Challenge: Day 307 – Instinct

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Instinct: (a) an innate, typically fixed pattern of behavior in animals in response to certain stimuli or (b) what your gut says

instinct

There are moments in life when you tell yourself to push beyond the instinctual behavior that generally guides your actions. Sometimes you can accept a different feeling or approach, but not always — and even when you do, you may not fully engage to see a different result. It is when you reflect back on your decisions and determination that you often see how accurate your instincts can be after they’ve been a natural part of who you are for so very many years. But if you choose to always rely on them, you might not ever experience a necessary revelation.

My instincts have been on high alert in regard to several decisions and trust over the last few months. I remind myself each day to take chances. It might pay off. It might not. If I listened to my instincts today (as in this morning, this moment), and followed through on what they tell me, I might be listening to fear rather than opportunity. I doubt I’ll cater to them right now, as I can see why the voice is louder in the current period — and that’s a good thing. Recognizing the parameters under which you originally developed your instincts is necessary before unequivocally accepting them as concrete guides to evaluating your options and making your decisions.

I’m more vague and philosophical than usual today — it’s something I usually contain in my open words; it’s underdeveloped thoughts, musings of a sensitive soul, a way to ponder what comes next. Nothing’s wrong or bad. It’s simply good to think outside the box (or even forget there is a box, if you recall a post from about two weeks ago) at times… there  should be a balance each day to relying on instinct versus random decisions; we must learn to use it wisely and evolve the process we use to achieve each goal.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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365 Challenge: Day 222 – Goodness

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Goodness: what I’ve found through so many people via this blog

odnewss

Today’s 365 Daily Challenge word and message is another short but very powerful one: Goodness. I have found such incredible honesty, generosity, kindness and strength from so many people via this blog and other social media accounts. Between a few dozen people suggesting new 365 words to those willing to take a chance on reading my first novel, the individual acts of goodness are amazing. I am grateful to everyone and just wanted to say so in a public manner in a very small way. There will be more gratitude to come as I organize my days, plans and next steps with everything going on.

It costs nothing. It provides a smile. It’s the purpose behind all we do. When you have a choice, why not do the right thing? That’s what crosses my mind 99% of the time, and in that 1% when I struggle to follow goodness, it almost always backfires in my face. I’m glad it does because it teaches me a valuable lesson each time. Thank you to everyone who has chosen to be good. You also have permission to smack me if I’m doing or saying something that isn’t spreading goodness. We all need that wake-up call from time to time.

I’m very excited to start using all the new words everyone has provided. I’ve got the next few days planned out between lists, alerts and Ryder Rants, but on Tuesday, it’s time for the first word suggestion! Have a great weekend.

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

365 Challenge: Day 146 – Synergy

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Synergy: the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects

ynergy.gif

Synergy has always felt like one of those buzz words from the early 2000s to me. Corporations attached themselves like vultures to the last remaining object of prey holding on with a determined grasp, pushing employees and customers to find the synergy between everything and anything. I lived through the tail end of it. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Not because it felt like a fake marketing attempt to design a better-sounding relationship than what had actually existed, but because so much effort had been put into something that is way more more simple and only ever required opening one’s eyes to the world around them.

Synergies have always existed. Whether it’s the bond you feel with a friend while watching your favorite television shows, the connection between an author and their editor or a beta reader when falling in love with a plot and character, or fans of a sports team rooting for a big win in unison. They don’t need to be crafted, designed, altered or constructed. Synergies should evolve naturally in order to have the most intrinsic and valuable effect possible. If it takes work, I worry a little about the authenticity of what’s being developed, which is never a good thing to question.

When I first began blogging, I wondered what type of content would feel most natural to me and anyone who perused my words. The answer was simple: book reviews. As I evolved, I pondered my voice and perspective. I’m certainly not very formal. While my grammar and word selection is certainly not poor, I make little effort to ensure I consistently follow all the rules of the Chicago style or whatever the latest trend is at the time. I write like I speak. There are pauses, breaks and silence. I use big words and simple words. I re-appropriate meanings to serve my intended purpose. I poke fun at myself. I am just being who I am in real life with a little more ‘oomph,’ given I feel more comfortable behind the computer or camera screen rather than in front of it. I’m less concerned with how I might look or sound to someone, allowing the words, passion and imagination do the work. And in the end, I feel like that’s what has created a synergy between me and… well… all of you.

Some days I connect over the 365 Challenge. Others it’s the books we’re reading. And at times it’s any of the novels I have written or am writing. I’m building a synergy with people around the world, enjoying and loving every moment of it. This pushed me to think about how synergy actually plays out in the world beyond our blogging platforms. For instance, in our friendships and family. What kind of synergy do we share? Does it evolve as we evolve? Is it part of the momentum when things are prosperous versus when things are downtrodden. How about with our colleagues, supervisors and staff? Do we feel that strong and innate connection when working together, or is it actually what the word “work” means? EFFORT.

When I picture the world I want to be surrounded by, it needs to be full of synergy. Full of people who share things in common with me. I don’t want to spend more time working on the effort than actually living. It’s a subtle difference for me. I’ve had many synergistic experiences in the past in several of my jobs and professional relationships, but many of them felt forced. Almost as if I had to be someone else in order to be successful at the whole game, for lack of a better word. But in the last six months, probably most of 2017, I haven’t had to search for this infamous synergy society tells us is so important. I innately feel it everyday when I have conversations about blogging, writing, reading, publishing, editing, marketing, networking, inspiring, challenging, thinking and organizing. I have this synergy with all of you, and for once, it’s natural.

Yes, there are days where I stress over how much I’ve taken on, but it never makes me upset. I channel it into more drive and focus, which ultimately energizes me each day to continue these efforts. To find my success. To build my future world. And when I stepped away to think about it this morning, I realized there are different ways to interpret synergy between things. Synergy between people. Synergy between experiences. Synergy between our different worlds. Synergy within ourselves. I will not pretend to know why this world of ours was created, and there are days where I certainly don’t follow my own advice, but the word synergy seems to be quite emblematic of what I think I should incorporate in every aspect of my life and my day. Life is not about just breathing and moving around for the sake of breathing and moving around.

It’s finding your connections and happiness in all that you do. I want my decisions to mean something. I want my relationships to have strength. I want my voice to have impact. And I want to know I’m living every moment in the most ideal way that will lead to success. But at the very core, I want this synergy to be natural, which means I have to be me and do what makes me feel good. I’m grateful to have realized it and to have the goals within striking distance, if not already a major component of my day.

Today’s post doesn’t have my normal addition of wit/humor/sarcasm. It’s just a few thoughts about how to find some focus in your life to ensure you’re on the path you want to be on. What’s your synergy? How do you locate it? How’s that exploration going for you?

P.S. Thanks to the faeries from R for motivating me today!

 

RECOMMENDED BLOGGER

  • Today’s 365 Daily Challenge recommended blogger to know is N.N. Light @ Princess of the Light. I chat more often with Mrs. N (at least I believe so!) who has been very gracious and kind in the several months we’ve been acquainted. We first connected on Goodreads where we shared a few books in common, but then found each other’s WordPress blogs. Not only is she an avid reader, but she and her husband have a business where they conduct author promotions and book reviews, among many other things. They’ve a very inviting design to their site with tons of promotional opportunities and inspirational advice. But beyond those great things, they are also published authors with a beautiful story, who’ve taken some time from their schedule to give me a little advice from time to time about the publishing industry. Genuine is the word that comes to mind when I think of these bloggers, which is why I wanted others to know of them, too.  Check out their books and the site to learn more. If you don’t believe me, below is a snippet from their very detailed About Me section:
    • “N. N. Light is the best-selling husband-wife writing team, commonly known as Mr. N and Mrs. N. Mrs. N. has been creating stories ever since she was little. Her grandfather remembers when she was two years old, she would stand at the top of the stairs and tell him a story filled with emotion (and in a language foreign to him) with her hands on her hips. Let’s just say she was a born storyteller. We wrote Princess of the Light in response to a life-changing encounter with a homeless man in our neighborhood. Princess of the Light is an inspiring Paranormal Romance and you can find out more information by clicking on My Books in the header at the top of the page.”

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work as a writer. My first novel, Watching a Glass shatter, is currently in reviews with literary agents and publishers. My second novel, Father Figure, is being written with a target to send to the publisher in December, 2017. But I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

365 Challenge: Day 43 – Mentor

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Mentor: an experienced and trusted adviser, to advise or train someone

A few interesting thoughts occurred to me as I sat to draft today’s 365 Daily Challenge. One, I awoke thinking about something entirely different from the daily characteristic. Two, how many traits are there to describe oneself without being redundant, repetitive or superfluous. Ha, aren’t I funny?

Three, it doesn’t have to always be a characteristic, i.e. it could be a noun that offers certain images or feelings which I’m ultimately trying to represent. And so today, I will veer a little bit and offer up a word that means a lot to me. And perhaps it will be a useful mechanism in the future for these daily posts. I have at least a dozen other traits in mind, but some I’m saving for a certain day or time period.

Back to the word “mentor.” I wrote a post about being a mentor on my professional website (https://jamescudney4.com/the-6-key-elements/mentor/), where I keep pertinent information for anyone who may stumble upon me and consider me for a consulting position. It very much applies to today’s post. That said, in this post, I will try not to duplicate what I’ve already noted, but instead indicate why being a mentor is something I already am on some levels, as well as something I would like to expand and showcase in the future.

What I admire about a mentor is his/her genuine interest in sharing the knowledge gained to those in an inner circle. To me, there is a difference between a mentor and a coach, friend, adviser, boss, et al. A mentor, usually long-term, is (1) someone who has amassed an expansive amount of knowledge and experience in certain areas that demonstrate (s)he is qualified to be a mentor and (2) someone who develops intimate relationships and bonds with the individuals being mentored above and beyond a brief exchange of advice.

A mentor is someone you can talk to who has a well-rounded amount of knowledge about you, too. I wouldn’t classify it a mentor relationship when you’re reading someone’s books or attending their seminar to improve your own skills. It’s not having a conversation with your boss about the next step in your career. It’s not feedback from a more established writer to help you get your focus back on a specific chapter or task when they don’t know anything about your work. It’s about continuous conversation, outside of normal “work-related” activities, where you engage in introspective and enlightening discussions about the topic you are being mentored in and decide on a path together, that seems logical, and focused on your future.

An adviser can tell you about things you need to consider for next steps, but that seems more temporary to me. What I like about the mentor relationship is that it seems more permanent. Sometimes life-long, sometimes only a few years; it all depends on circumstances, need and location. The key is a solid foundation, commitment and depth of connection between the two people involved. Both need to want it to work and not in a fleeting manner. It’s picking up a phone and talking about where you are today and where you want to be in 3 months, 3 years or 3 decades. And then reflecting in that future period how it turned out.

I’ve been privileged to have two true mentors in my lifetime thus far. Both came through my professional career in technology. I still consider myself friends with both, even though our lives are more separate now. I often pick up the phone and chat when I want to discuss something important about me, my choices, my decisions, my options, et al. It’s not like calling a friend and asking for advice, although we also do have that kind of a relationship. But when the format is as a mentor, it’s very clear and distinct from casual friendly conversation about “how was the trip,” “what’s new with the family,” “did you see that play?”

I hope to be a mentor one day. I’ve had the beginnings of this develop with a few people, but not enough that I would call myself a true mentor – yet! I’m on that road tho, as it is part of a cycle where I’ve been blessed with the relationship and want to give back in the same way. It also makes me feel better than most anything else in normal, every day life. To know that I can share common thoughts, goals and dreams with someone else, watch the growth and changes, and see the end results is a very rewarding experience.

NO – NOT LIKE THIS EXAMPLE!!!

I read a post last week about being a mentor, and it reminded me I haven’t been focusing on this as much as I should be. Thank you to that blogger (you know who you are if you are reading this!) for the reminder. You’ve put a spindle back up on the stairway guiding me on this journey. And what I should be focusing on is finding a mentor to help me with deciding my next steps as well as ensuring those around me know I’m open to helping someone else in the same way. Now to figure out what it is I’d be good at…

And while I’m working on both of those options… how about you? Any good examples of a mentor relationship you’d like to share?  How does it make you feel when you’ve been successful? Or even when you haven’t been?

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay. I am 40 and live in NYC. By profession, I work in technology. By passion, I work in writing. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post.