self help

Book Review: Simply Does It by Melanie Mole

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Simply Does It           by          Melanie Mole

simply does it

Book Review 
Life can be quite difficult, especially when it comes to working hard to afford whatever lifestyle choices you make; however, it doesn’t always have to be that way. If you’re interested in learning how one woman simplified major aspects of her day-to-day, this is the book for you. It’s not a step -by-step-how-to book, or an encyclopedia of all the things stress does to your body. It’s a lovely tale almost written in the form of journal entries with some tips on how the author, the wonderful Melanie Mole, learned to make the switch from hectic to calm.

I ‘met’ Melanie through my blog, ThisIsMyTruthNow, over the summer, and we began exchanging emails each week to share our thoughts on writing and publishing. When she described her book, I thought it was something I’d enjoy, and probably needed to digest to keep myself from again crossing that line into a world of constant stress. I purchased the electronic version in September and read this ~200 page book over three nights just before bed, hoping its messages would sink in overnight. It was an unexpected read, divided into three major sections, each describing and comparing Melanie’s experiences: (1) staying in a nunnery, (2) bonding with dogs and (3) living on a boat and in a caravan. Within each one, she tells how the connections/events occurred, what she felt about them at first and where she ended up when the experience ended.

This is a different kind of book. It’s one where you can casually read it while also diving into a new novel, balancing your love of stories and your interest in making small changes to your life. The messages are simple, everything from ‘never give up’ to ‘balance your risk,’ each providing a short memory or story to drive home Melanie’s point. The language and writing is clear and simple, too, as it’s meant to sink into your mind now and again as time passes. At first, you’ll hear the words and think ‘oh, that’s hard,’ but then you’ll ponder it throughout the day to see which one of the lessons you could try to incorporate into your own life.

Every once in a while, it’s good to take a chance on a new author or a new book topic. I’m glad I did with this one and encourage others to take a look at the book for their own world. It may just give you a different perspective, one you might have heard before, but always need a reminder of. And if simplifying life is not for you, it’s still a fun tale about three experiences many of us don’t have very often in life. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to visit a convent or a monastery… now I have a good sense.

I hope you enjoy the book and take something away to make the future days even better. It’s on sale via Amazon and for less than the price of a cup of coffee as someone has quickly pointed out to me!

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. 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 85 – Inspirational

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Inspirational: providing or creating the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially something creative

inspire

After 80+ days of blogging in the 365 Daily Challenge posts, I’ve turned to an online list of personality traits as the source to pick the word of the day, at least whenever it’s not a Sunday (pre-determined lists) or “inspiration occurring” as I sit down to write. Today there was no inspiration, so I went to the list and the first word I saw… ironically… was inspirational — I promise you… I have a scrolling issue on my screen, so when I opened the page and scrolled down to get to the letter A, it went to the letter I.

And there you have it… inspiration from Jay on this fine Monday and start of the week. When we think of examples of inspirational people, it’s usually the “self-help” gurus who have books, blogs, courses and TV spots. But I don’t usually buy into those things; it’s not that I don’t believe in the person or their words. It’s that I have a different view of the inspirational: “lead by example.” I am not the type of person to tell someone else how to search for happiness or how to find your nirvana. It’s too subjective. I’m not a psychologist. I’m not really in the business of giving out advice on things that I’m not an expert on. And as you probably guessed, I’m not an expert on anything.

That said, these 365 posts often make recommendations or provide some level of direction and suggestion on things to consider. I’m more about saying what’s on my mind and letting listeners or readers choose to find something of value, laugh or ignore me. BOOM! I can take it… go ahead and ignore me. 🙂

To be inspirational, you need to have great courage, strength, conviction, passion and experience. To provide inspiring thoughts and actions, you need to have accomplished tremendous goals and objectives. Not only do you have to show why you are the person to lead someone to their answers, but you also have to practice what you preach every minute of every day. Once you are safely wandering that road, you are in a position to inspire others to do the same thing. I don’t feel that’s me, nor do I have a desire to walk that path. I much prefer, as I noted above, to lead by example and if someone finds something of value in who I am or what I do, I’m happy to share.

To lead by example means truly just living your life in the way you believe it is best lived. For me, it’s knowing my place in the world. I’m happy and content to have a fair balance of friends and family, a career and hobbies, social and quiet time… to commit to providing good content in my daily 365 posts that is focused on things prevalent in my mind or my day — and not worrying about whether someone reads them or comments… to connect with others from different countries, different walks of life, different personalities and different ages. My 365 goal has always been to help myself; I’m completely being selfish here. But at the same time, it’s enabling so much more to happen than I expected.

Through various people I’ve met online, I find inspiration in a mother who is raising children under difficult conditions, a professor who is teaching students, non-Americans sharing their culture with me, teenagers showing me what it’s like to grow up with so much technology at our finger tips, and people sharing beautiful pictures and experiences. I’m gaining confidence as a writer. I’m learning how to accept differences in other people. I’m speaking my mind more, thanks to the boundaries of sitting behind the InterWeb wall (not that I’m saying anything too controversial). I’m challenging myself to open up about many personal things. I’m finding a voice that maybe is a little bit humorous, despite always thinking I’m not a very funny guy.

And so… picking inspirational as today’s word is a two-way street for me. I find all of you inspirational because I truly get something new and different from each relationship. Sometimes it’s just a connection where someone says “I agree” or “Thanks,” and other times, I’m building online friendships that could grow into offline friendships in the future. At the end of this week, the 365 Daily Challenge will be 25% complete — and that feels a bit inspirational too… for someone who isn’t much of a talker… {Aside: Seriously, if you saw me with my friends, I’m often referred to as the silent mute. I listen much more than I talk. I blend into the walls during conversations.} I’ve certainly had a lot to say on ThisIsMyTruthNow.

Hence… inspirational to me isn’t about finding a guru to help identify the path for your life. It’s about learning a little bit from everyone in your life, interpreting words and emotions within your own mindset and sharing it through being who you are and demonstrating the way in which you think things should be. Inspirational can be spiritual and religious, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be admiration for something or something you feel is a guidepost for your own future as a general approach to life. The impact could be momentary or life-altering, but in the end, there is valuable insight.

As I march toward my conclusion here… the biggest thing that comes to mind is that I don’t have any one individual in particular who inspires me — on a grandiose level, I mean. I’m inspired by little things across many people, as they help me compile ways to consider in how I want to live or who I want to be. There are certainly people who do inspiring things and are considered the archetype of inspiration, and that’s important. But for regular folks like myself, and probably many of you (no offense intended), when I need to be inspired, I want it to come from someone tangible and reachable. I want to see someone I know or often communicate with reach his/her goal, share a rewarding experience or find a welcoming path. It’s not about famous idols. It’s about real and familiar, where I can place my trust and experience it myself.

How about you? What inspires you? Who inspires you? How do you inspire others?

 

About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay and I 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. 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 29 – Pensive

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Pensive: engaged in, involving, or reflecting deep or serious thought

The word pensive brings to mind Hamlet’s question of “To be, or not to be,” a (wo)man in the throes of the unknown and undecided, lost in indulgent analysis and trapped by an inertia, holding on for dear life. OK, that’s quite negative and exaggerated… but it’s not too far off from my truth.

The brain is a willful and strong organ within our body. It runs without its owner even realizing it; yet, at the same time, when the owner focuses, (s)he knows they are deep in thought. Thought is a powerful concept. And when you are in reflection, contemplating small and big things, you are being pensive. Pensive is a state-of-mind, a transfer of consciousness from the norm and reachable, to the distant and preoccupied.

 

I’m often pensive. I am a thinker. I cover hundreds of topics, images, thoughts and questions throughout the day — all willingly and consciously — challenging myself to push the envelope further and further as time goes by. Sometimes the momentary focus is about the purpose of life, and at others, it is whether or not it’s time to re-model the bathroom. I like thinking. I enjoy questioning. I love getting caught up in the process of considering things that are around me.

Though I’ve confessed to being obsessive, I’m not obsessive about being pensive. And I’ve noted that I’m pragmatic, hence not getting too caught up weighing the pros and cons of a decision, taking forever to finally decide. It’s a fine balance between the two, resulting in people often seeing me as “too much in my head.”

And that’s really the definition of being pensive — being too much in one’s head, in the clouds. Instead of actually getting out and taking a chance by following through on some action or decision, your mind critically analyzes and ponders, considering all the options and outcomes. Wondering how to go about something, what it may be, rather than letting it just happen. It means enjoying thinking about something more than actually doing said something. Sometimes it can drive a person crazy.

  • Pensive can be good. It can be relaxing. It’s a form of meditation and energy.
  • Pensive can be bad. It can hold you back, a way to create false boundaries and limits.

While I can be completely lost in a thought, I am not the type to lose my connection with my surroundings all too often. I may not realize someone’s called my name, or perhaps I miss the rain drops starting to fall for a few moments… but the depth or the degree of the lost consciousness in minimal. It’s like the very first and early stage of sleep; you know things are happening around you, but the temptation isn’t strong enough that you can ignore the sensations.

For me, it’s that I rather enjoy thinking and less doing (unless it we’re talking about completing tasks of things on my To Do list). I’m not saying I am lazy. I’m just saying I am more comfortable and in a natural state when I am pondering, rather than acting on ideas like skiing or fencing (eh, seemed like appropriate things). I respect those that are more active in their day, feeling the energy from an intense work-out. My energy comes from processing ideas and emotions… creating images and sounds in my head that drive realizations and memories.

Have you ever watched someone who is lost in thought? Noticed the focus of their eyes? The awkward position they may be sitting or standing in? Watched the circular path they seem trapped by? And then that moment when they realize how far they’ve gone, startled back into reality? Sometimes they recognize where they are. Others, it’s as if they’ve no idea how they got to that place. Powerful. Strong. Intense. Pensive.

I often think I’d like to be a little less pensive, a step or two removed from always feeling the forces that hold me back from just doing something. It happens sometimes, but like the 80/20 rule, and perhaps 90/10 in my case, it is my mind that overworks itself before the action follows through. Inventors are pensive. Poets are pensive. Dreamers are pensive. Creators are pensive.

And so is “The Thinker,” Rodin’s famous French sculpture. See here for more on this statue. I often feel like this bronze creation… and I think I’m good with that. How about you? Are you a thinker? Or are you a doer?  Doer… such a weirdly spelled word… almost seems wrong.

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.

365 Challenge: Day 9 – Envious

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Envious: demonstrating a longing to possess something awarded to or achieved by another

Everyone is envious at some point in his or her life; it is impossible to go about your day without ever thinking “I want this” or “I should have that.” Just doing this daily challenge, I’m noting characteristics I would like to have or change. To me, that is envious.

I’ve always thought of the word “envious” as a bad thing. The green-eyed jealousy monster. Stay away! But perhaps this is where envy and jealousy have a slight difference to them: jealousy implies a negative connotation and denotation whereas envy might come across with a bit more optimism.

You can be envious of how good someone looks or the new job (s)he was offered without seeming to have that underlying bitterness over who should have gotten it first (or at all).

I know I can be both envious and jealous. I have always been a “grass is greener on the other side” kind of guy. When I was younger, I would get angry or upset if someone else beat me (Note, I still can’t stand to lose, especially at cards… I have to win all the time) or got something I wanted. A sort of childish reaction, sometimes accompanied with putting up a wall between that person and myself… even into my late 20s, I think I still had more remnants of that behavior that one should have as an adult.

I really never wanted for anything (life’s staples, you know, things of substance) as a child. I had all the necessities, nothing missing to be able to eat, sleep, drink and be sheltered. Yes, I am lucky and grateful. Perhaps because I never truly needed something to survive, my envy or jealousy of trivial things was that much more impassioned.

When I say that I was envious when younger, I don’t mean in a very obvious and negative way. It wasn’t a regular thing. It wasn’t a big scene where I acted out. It was more a quiet acknowledgement inside my mind and body that I wanted something and I deserved it, and I didn’t like that someone else had it before me. Remember, I’m shy… so I don’t often do things to draw attention to myself.

As I’ve aged, it’s certainly been minimized; however, it’s present enough that I notice it as a general first “go-to” type of behavior when I see someone else got that perfect new job I am still looking for, or someone else received a huge annual bonus and it sounds like it was more than my last one. There are a few of those remaining traces left, generally focused around 2 or 3 topics of truly physical things, not emotional things.

Age brings comfort and happiness to the mind in many respects (I’m ignoring fear of sickness or death), and I’ve been lucky enough to be happy with my life; I don’t envy other people’s lives for those types of things. My mind is content with where I am and who I am; I know the things I need/want to change to be better instead of just because I want them. And that’s a really good thing because it means I’m achieved a great many things thus far.

But… how do you address that envy when it creeps up from time to time? What tools and techniques do you use to control it? For me, I think it starts with knowing what you are truly envious of. If you have envy, it means you want something you don’t have. So start with your list of wants.

Write ‘em down. Give yourself clear goals. Target dates. Check-in points. Figure out what’s realistic. And if it’s not realistic, focus on either (1) being envious in a good way and happy for the other people or (2) removing any trigger points that make you uncomfortable or unhappy about it. Challenge the energy behind the envy into the drive to move the dial on your goals. For instance…

I have always wanted to own and live in a mansion. A huge piece of property with an old-fashioned yet modern building and gardens, a long and winding driveway, and… you get the picture. But why? Perhaps status. Maybe freedom. Could be security. Do I have it right now? No… I live in NYC and do not have $10M to spend. Seriously, who does? And how do they make it happen? Can you help me? JUST KIDDING.

It’s been something I’ve wanted since childhood. But at the same time, I collect things for my current home, draft ideas of what would be good to have in the future, look at places where it may be the right environment to live, etc. And some day, perhaps I will have what ends up being my mansion, even if it’s not a mansion by anyone else’s standards. Note, I love my current apartment and it’s definitely nothing to complain about at all!

Another example…

I want to be a writer. So I write. Then I am a writer. But what I mean, is I want to be a published author. So I write. Then maybe I will become a published author. I am envious of authors. But I am not jealous. If it never happens, it never happens. But I know that I tried. I set out to write a book, which I’ve completed. And I’m starting to shop it with literary agents. I’m doing a lot to make it happen, so I’ve been able to stave off jealousy and replace it with hope and envy.

I’d like to hear from others about envy… how do you handle it? What do you do to control the impulse?

365 Challenge: Day 2 – Honesty

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Honesty: free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere

Being honest is almost always the only proper route in life. On rare occasions will I find it acceptable to be less than honest. It’s innate, at least in me, and I think in most people, that the honest response or answer is the first one (s)he thinks of; however, the degree to which they debate following through on the honesty is what differs among us.

I’m sure I was taught as a child that “honesty is the best policy,” whether it was in school or at home. I don’t exactly remember this conversation other than hearing about it in classic 1950s and 1960s TV shows and the occasional movie where someone is trying to coax a child to tell the truth. But even if I weren’t actually taught this message, it seems like the right thing to do. If not, everything would be more like a treacherous game than a way of life. Let’s all play some Game of Thrones today! Russian Roulette is the new mantra. NOT!

I can recall a few moments when I wasn’t 100% honest; told you in my 365 intro I intend to tell both the good and the bad!

  • I know I was obsessed with Legos and took a few home with me from a friend’s house one time. I claimed I didn’t know what happened to them, but I clearly remember thinking “these aren’t mine” when they “fell” into my Lego box. I’m not exactly sure why, other than Legos brought me great pleasure and offered an escape from other things in my life (no, nothing bad… I was just a very shy kid).
  • I’ve told someone (on a few occasions) I’d been dating that I wasn’t attracted to someone else when I knew I was. And yes, in the past, I did cross a line many years ago that I should not have crossed. I was bad. I admit it. But I learned from it and I eventually confessed. You can choose to dislike it or me, and I don’t blame you. But we all live in a glass house at some point, and we’ve all thrown the stones when we knew we shouldn’t.
  • I’ve made up plans when I didn’t feel like going out with someone else. I truly just needed down time… and didn’t want to offend the person or have them think I didn’t like them. They would be persistent if I just said I didn’t “want” to go out.

OK, so none of those are all that bad (e.g. murder, marital affair, bullying). But I had an opportunity to tell the truth, and I chose not to. Sometimes, I’m afraid of hurting another person’s feelings. Sometimes it would lead to a far worse situation to be honest, and it’s easier to just tell the white lie to end the immediate issue. Are these acceptable situations?

For the most part, I think they are. If the truth will hurt someone’s feelings, but the lie will avoid a problem – and it is short-term and not impactful – it may be the best course of action. Why tell a friend their new haircut looks bad when it will be fine in a few days? Perhaps if they are going on a date or a job interview, don’t let them suffer a longer-term impact. Bite the bullet, tell them it’s awful and deal with the short-term impacts.

If you’re thinking about cheating, hmm… that’s a tough one. Do you hide it until you know you want to, or do you risk saying “I thought about Person X” to the person you are dating and have them prematurely leave you? I choose not to answer that question because I think the answer lies in the strength of your relationship; you should be working towards a solidarity that can withstand admitting you find someone else attractive. It’s when you choose to act on it that the line has been crossed. Subjectivity in this level of honesty in the important message.

But on the good side, honesty is really the only way to exist. It’s an example of how to level-set the playing field. When you are dishonest, everything that happens afterwards will immediately be suspect. Take the example of someone who lies on their resume or in an interview to get a job. Perhaps the less qualified candidate will get the job due to this lie. But eventually, it’s a high probability (s)he will be found out and either lose their job or be reprimanded. That addresses the situation for the liar, but what about the person impacted by that lie? (S)he didn’t get the job, which may have been a career changer for the future. Where does that leave him or her? Note: I’m not getting into fate and sometimes it’s necessary to lose one thing to set you on the path to what you are really destined for… that’s another topic! Yikes… these challenges might be harder than I thought. Morality exists everywhere!

And so, when I look at honesty, it’s a scale heavily waited to 99% of the time, i.e. it is required. Dishonesty should only be reserved for those moments when you’ve weighed the options and the impacts of that decision are not harmful to anyone, or are less harmful than the alternative.

That said, many readers are probably thinking “he’s so wrong… you should never lie… what do we tell our children…” You tell them the truth. You provide examples, you teach them about cause and effect, you explain the impacts with either decision. Not when they are 2 or 3 or 4, but when they are mature enough to understand.

That doubly said, I RESPECT those who ALWAYS tell the truth, no matter the impact. Perhaps they are too blunt. Perhaps they are inconsiderate. Perhaps they are rude. But they are honest and you will always know what to expect from them. And being consistent is one of those really extremely important things to be. And that will be tomorrow’s characteristic!

365 Challenge: Day 1 – Dedication

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Dedication: an act of commitment to a goal or way of life

Dedication is an important characteristic to achieving success. I want to be successful in all that I choose to do. I have goals and I want to reach them; therefore, dedication is necessary.

In the past, I have been quite dedicated at several of my jobs. I usually worked 60+ hour weeks in order to achieve my goals. Some may say I wasn’t organizing my day properly if I couldn’t achieve everything in a normal 40 hour week. I do not agree with this statement as it is too defined; subjectivity is important to consider each of the levers being pulled that alter the course of my day. It was my choice to work more than necessary as I wanted to continue optimizing and moving towards my end goals.

Could (or should) I have called it quits at 6pm to properly balance my day? Would it have been more advantageous to have a mental break from formal work in order to be more successful the following day? Perhaps…

I lack dedication in some areas of my life. Everything is always in order, as I’m very particular and organized; however, I often find myself devoting more time to some things than others, without a fully balanced equilibrium in place. I want to be healthy, in good shape and fit. So I work out often. But I often eat an entire sleeve of cookies (Girl Scout cookies this week that a nameless someone brought home against my wishes… mmm thin mints… plus the new smores!) in one sitting followed by a bowl of ice cream and several glasses of wine. Do I interpret this as lack of dedication to achieving a goal of becoming more physically fit?

I’m more inclined to say it doesn’t really impact my level of dedication on the whole or average. If it’s important to me, and has a long-lasting impact, I follow through on the dedication. But if it’s minor and has little impact, I’m willing to let it go (unless it also conflicts with another strong belief — like not letting someone down). That said, if I let myself eat the cookies and drink the wine every night, I’d need to change my level of dedication. Or decide I’m dedicated to weight gain. No. Not for me.

So what does this mean to me? I believe in dedication. I respect dedication. I want to be emblematic of dedication unless it is something I should be dedicated to but find myself steering in the wrong direction. Then I allow myself to accept that I am not being dedicated.

Where do I go from here? Perhaps I should only allow myself to stray from dedication when it is a conscious acknowledgement of it happening. Don’t let myself eat the whole sleeve of cookies unless I’ve also worked out that day! Ah success…

Yeah, right, not that simple! 🙂

Dedication is about more than staying focused. It’s about understanding the end goal and directing (or re-directing) the path to get there.  Worry less about the individual cookies and more about the most expedient course to the completion of the goal or task. (Eat the whole box once in a single sitting… you know, so it’s done and gone and no more temptation???)

No. Apply dedication on those things that are important to you. Apply wisdom and knowledge for the rest. Balance my food intake. Allow some cheat nights. Allow some plain old-fashioned healthy nights. Enjoy my food but don’t be gluttonous.

But I should pick something I believe I am strong at when it comes to the use of the word dedication… so that when I say I am dedicated, I am clear on why I am certain (1) I am dedicated and (2) I want to improve my dedication.

My dedication:

  • 365 days of reflection and discovery by choosing characteristics I have or want to have as part of who I am:
    • Accept that on a few occasions I will miss a post, but I will make up for it the next day.
    • Acknowledge that I need to invest value in each post and not let them be trivial.
  • I’ve dedicated myself to reading 78 books this year on Goodreads.
    • I already expect to increase it to 104 (2 per week) in the near future.
    • If I increase it, I must dedicate myself to achieving the new goal.

The Challenge: 365 Days of Discovery – Who am I?

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How often do we take the time to truly understand who we are and what we want from life? Some of us more than others, but in general, we exert very little energy and patience devoted to truly touching the surface of each component of our existence.

And so… perhaps because I have a birthday this week… or maybe it’s finding a plethora of free time on my hands… or by chance it’s that my mind is more relaxed and open these days… I am putting forth a challenge to myself:

365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life. I will post a characteristic about myself and reflect on it in a blog post for the next 365 days: a full year of discovery into directing the course of my future.

I suppose some could find this indulgent. Believe I am just talking about myself for the sake of hearing myself talk. But it’s not about hearing; it’s about listening. I intend to cover the good and the bad. The areas I excel and the areas I need help.

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.

And fair for all to comment. Let’s click to the first post.