value

365 Challenge: Day 163 – Inventory

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Inventory: a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building or container

 

 

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People who own or run a business often take an inventory to understand how much product they have available at any given moment. Sometimes it’s weekly or monthly, others at a random interval or annually for determining a true financial picture of the business. As I lay in bed this morning, I wondered why people don’t more frequently think about doing an inventory of their life. We have many ‘products’ around us that are essential to our survival and happiness. Sure, we take inventory of toiletries or groceries, so that we can purchase whatever supplies we need on a fairly regularly basis, but I’m pushing the limits here with my definition of inventory. Life is important. Valuable. Why wouldn’t we want to know where the important things stand on a more frequent basis?

Most of us would agree that apart from whatever reasons we as humans exist, a major component of our life is to be happy and pursue goals to help further the planet and society. To do so, we should want to have the best plan or approach in each of our individual lives. So why not keep a running inventory of the things that we need to achieve such goals? When I think about the areas of life we could apply such logic, it includes friends, hobbies, keepsakes, dreams, passions and feelings. When you take it down a level lower, perhaps it’s volunteer programs, books, movies, flowers, foods or vacations. Most of this seems obvious, given we all do these things informally without realizing it. But when I took a moment to think about the inventory of my life this morning, I wondered what it really said about me. Am I maintaining stock in the appropriate places to have inventory at maximum levels?

In the world of friends, have I surrounded myself with the people who I enjoy being around and want to socialize with? Or have I retained people in my life who I feel almost forced to continue a friendship with? Do I have friends in each of my passions or hobbies? If I answer no to these questions, then there’s something wrong with my inventory. If I enjoy reading mystery books, shouldn’t I have a few friends who love those things too, so we can bond and grow and have fun together? If I want to be friends with people who have done things I want to do, but I’m stuck seeing people out of some odd sense of duty, maybe I’d be happier if I reorganized the deck to align things in a more proper manner.

I would suggest the same approach for all the rest of the things in my life. Or your life. Knowing where you stand in comparison to where you want to be is essential to forward momentum, positive change and ultimately happiness. While I’m not suggesting we embrace anything too formal in our approach, or even throw out the baby with the bath water, I am saying it might be time to prepare our own inventory of where we are today and where we want to be in regard to all the things that make us happy. In my world, I tend to comb through these things in my head every so often, which is helpful for a large guiding force towards my end goals. But I’m not actively measuring it or verifying at proper intervals that other people or unexpected consequences didn’t get in the way or throw things off balance.

An example for me lately is reading. I love to read. I have too many books in my TBR. I have too many sitting on my physical bookshelf waiting to be picked up. But I haven’t prioritized it among everything else going on in my life. But I could do a quick inventory and set some goals for myself and get to at least one of those books each week, as in the end, it will make me a happier guy. Completing an inventory can be hard. It can be easy. But it starts with two things: (1) what do you have and (2) what do you want. With those two items, you can solve the puzzle. My initial thought was to treat it like a plan, a path or a line of sorts. There is a start and a finish point. As I drafted this post, it occurred to me, more from instinct, that it’s not a line. There isn’t really a true start and end when it comes to pursuing things in your life. Life has a start and end, but in between, it’s rather continuous.

It’s a circle. There may be a point on the circle where you begin, then you travel 360 degrees until you get back to that same place you began; however, the cycle doesn’t end. You can keep going around and around as much as you need to tend to your inventory while you are still on the planet focused on achieving your goals. Let’s not make this effort something that feels like work or a difficult task. Let’s make it something we feel helps lay the next few steps on our path towards the future we want as opposed to the one that just happens based on how the day progresses. I will start next week with two things:

(a) Cozy mystery books

  • I love to ready cozy mysteries, and I have tons in my TBR but no one to share them with. A few online friends I chat with enjoy them, but we don’t spend a lot of time talking about them. So if any friends want to participate with me, let’s pick a few books to read together for the rest of the year and have fun talking about them.

(b) Meditation

  • I am generally a very relaxed guy. A few things will set me off, but underneath the calm exterior lurks the jitters over not being able to accomplish all that I want to. I have no tools to help navigate those nagging reminders. Exercise doesn’t always help. Food does temporarily. But I don’t have any other tools to find a way to expel those nerves. I need to find a few things to place in a bag of tricks that will help relax me, provide a calm retreat or learn how to meditate. I’m open to suggestions.

How about you? Any thoughts on how you’re managing the inventory of your life? Areas you want to participate with me during this little re-adjustment in our life circle?

 

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.

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Review: Jane Eyre

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Jane EyreBook Review
3+ out of 5 stars to Jane Eyre, a wonderful novel written in 1847 by Charlotte Brontë. I read this book on Spring break just prior to my 21st birthday, perhaps not the best time to take this beauty on. At 21, being a guy, and English major and forced to read a few books I didn’t think I’d like, this came at a time where although I liked it, I wasn’t as in love with as most others are… hence the 3+ rating. I believe if I read it today, it’d be a 4+. But I have 1200 books on my TBR and simply can’t afford to take on any re-reads without losing my mind. Perhaps I should watch a TV or Film version to renew my interest? It has all the right parts… young woman suffering at the hands of the conventions of time and family (two things I enjoy in books)… the love of a ‘good’ man (meaning you see a relationship grow high and low)… and drama (will she escape it all?). Society was harsh nearly 200 years ago. I would not have survived. I am not vocal about my opinions of people’s behavior or societal limitations, but I believe anyone should be able to do anything they want without hurting someone else or the world we live in. If you want to marry your cousin, go ahead… not my business. If you want to sleep with a new man or woman every night, more power to you. Doesn’t affect me. If you want to wear revealing clothing… go look your best — just don’t do it where someone may cause an accident as a result! 🙂 Point being…. I struggle sometimes with books that cover these conventions because I want everything to be free and open. And when it isn’t, I can enjoy the battle to get there, but it’s a bit difficult when I combine it with 200 year old setting and guides. That said… I adore Jane. I empathize with her. I could be her on some levels. The words and language are great. It should be read. But know what you’re getting into!



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.

View all my reviews

365 Challenge: Day 79 – Authentic

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Authentic: of undisputed origin; genuine; real

When I picture the word “authentic” in my mind, for some reason, it tends to be cultural or based on one’s heritage and ethnicity. I understand how food can be authentic with proper tastes and ingredients. I recognize people want authenticity when buying original paintings and books. I see objects as being from older civilizations as authentic. But I’ve not ever delved into what makes an individual authentic. I’ve said someone is a genuine person or that they feel real, but what exactly does that mean?

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As always, when I’m looking for a general consensus, I search the Interwebs. I stumbled upon a list of 11 signs that a person is truly authentic and provided the link below. I cannot vouch for who this person is, or whether they are qualified to provide such input; however, in general, from a quick read, I thought it was a good explanation. But as always, I have a few things to add, which will come towards the end of the post. Before diving into this little exercise, I would have said I’m a very authentic person, basing this purely on some key facts:

(a) I always do what I say I am going to do,

(b) I am open, honest and fair with everyone,

(c) I hopefully come across as genuine and real — never a fake attitude or action,

(d) what you see is what you get with me.

Let’s dive into the article’s eleven key points to determine if my initial views were accurate or off base. You can read the full article at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/11-signs-of-a-truly-authentic-person_b_9462220.html

  1. Recognize emptiness in material things
    • I love materials things, and I recognize how bad that sounds. What I mean is that I truly enjoy having books, art, clothes, culinary items, furniture, etc. They make me happy to look at or use, share with others or just be around. It’s not a reflection on how I value them above/below people. It’s purely that I do find an importance in having them in my life. I understand how that can appear empty or insufficient; they are inanimate objects, whereas people and animals can share an emotional experience. But I believe you can have an authentic experience with someone else via a material object that brings you both positive feelings and memories, e.g. buying a book and reading it together. I’d say 50/50 on this one for me, since I absolutely do need material things, but I know enough to say people are more important.
  2. Recognize experiences make things richer
    • Yes, I agree with this one, as it is one thing to read a book about going on a first date versus going on a first date. Forgetting about social awkwardness or finding the person to go on a date with… once it happens, that is a powerful experience, hopefully for the better and not the worse. To be authentic tho, it has to be something special between the people involved — not ordinary and repetitive. I have had lots of positive and rewarding experiences and fit this one well. As I’ve settled down into a committed relationship, it’s more moment-in-time rather than large group of constant new things. A moment early in the morning over a cup of coffee watching the sunrise, or a quick look at each other while playing with the dog together in the park.
  3. Truly listen to others
    • I’m a really strong listener. I try to understand everything from words to expressions, both physical and emotional. I tend to ask deeper and more probing questions, not usually content with surface discussions, especially when someone wants to talk with me about something important. I’m very strong with this element.
  4. Express true thoughts, feelings and views unapologetically
    • For the most part, I’d agree with this statement. I definitely express all of this, but I often choose not to share my thoughts and feelings — not because I don’t want to stir up trouble, but because I wouldn’t be adding any value or difference to whatever is already being discussed. If I think someone is doing something wrong, and there is an impact, I will definitely bring it up. But if someone says blue is the best color, I’m not going to argue why I think grey is. So… I’m probably 50/50 on this one since it contains the word unapologetically, as my opinion isn’t necessary in every occasion.
  5. Not out to please people
    • Major fail here for me. I am a people-pleaser. I know it. I accept it. However, on big things, I am not. I will say what I want and push my agenda or opinion. I tend to prefer collaboration and agreement over confrontation. I go with the flow if something isn’t important enough to me to fight over it. I can see how this is important to being authentic, as if you do things just because you feel like you have to please someone, you are not being authentic. Unless you say aloud, “I don’t want to do this, but I will because you want me to do it.” Then maybe you are authentic.
  6. See value in giving love to others
    • I’m probably 50/50 on this one, too. I absolutely see the value and respect the value; however, I’m very distant in some respects when it comes to love. I have different levels or versions of love. There are people whom you see regularly that you enjoy being around, but it doesn’t mean you “love” them. We’d need to agree on a proper definition of love. I’m not talking about a religious believe of “love thy neighbor.” To me, love is something you share with people you are extremely close with… could be family, friends or significant others. I reserve those deep connections for very few; however, I am a much closer friend to my friends, as I don’t believe in “surface-level” friendships — those are just acquaintances you see from time to time, even if you’re out at a bar having a drink to catch-up once a year. To be authentic, you have to acknowledge these different types of relationships.
  7. Love themselves
    • Depends on the day! As I grow older, I learn to love myself more and more. This 365 Daily Challenge has had an interesting impact on how I feel about myself. In general, I think I fit this example pretty well; however, there are parts of me I do not like and would want to change. I accept it, don’t fight it, nor do I let myself get upset over it. This is important to being authentic, but not necessary. You can be a jerk and not like yourself, but admit that to people. You are authentic even when you are not a good person if you acknowledge it.
  8. Willing to see and acknowledge their own faults
    • Yes, I’m good with this. I acknowledge and admit everything I do incorrectly. I embrace faults as it is an opportunity for me to learn and change. This is critical to being authentic in my opinion. If you can’t look at yourself and admit what it is good or right or wrong or bad, then you aren’t being fair to yourself or anyone in your immediate circle of relationships.
  9. Understand that we’re all unique and it’s OK
    • Yes. I think this is important to being authentic. You need to be you and no one else in order to be authentic. You can be similar to others, and that’s OK. I am definitely unique — and average — all at the same time. I believe I fit this one well and think it’s important to being authentic.
  10. Take responsibility for their lives
    • I definitely line up here. I rely on myself too much — always thinking everything should be 50/50 split so that I am 100% taking care of myself whether it’s in splitting responsibilities, costs, time, etc.  I make my own choices and do not ever blame anyone else. I am my own keeper and I choose how and when to let others take the lead. And if I let someone else take the lead, and it’s the wrong decision, I also made that wrong decision because I allowed and/or wanted the other person to take the lead.
  11. Connected to their own inner guide
    • I fall in the middle here… I do have a connection that is quite strong with my internal body and mind; however, my guide is still deciding what should happen for the rest of my life… so the connection is working overtime and sometimes doesn’t want me too close — as it needs time to figure it out on its own, I believe.  For the most part, it’s a continuous cycle, but I have some work to accomplish in this area.

be self

After a review and reflection on my responses, it appears I meet approximately 2/3 of these guidelines. I admit, it’s lower than I expected. But I also just picked an article off the Interwebs based on a ten-minute search, so I’m not too worried. For the most part, I’m definitely in the authentic category, but I have a few areas to consider improving. And I’m OK with that… after all, isn’t accepting improvement one of those guidelines?

What do you think of when you see the word “authentic,” specific to people and not things? Would you consider yourself authentic?

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.

Review: Pembroke

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Pembroke Book Review
4 of 5 stars to Pembroke by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, a classic of American literature. I read this in college a few yeas ago and wrote a paper on the influence of religion on books. A snippet is pasted below.

Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s Pembroke was written near the turn of the century and towards the end of the realistic period when naturalism came to light. The realistic qualities of the novel really worked together to show what life was like for the Puritans of the late nineteenth century. Pembroke revolved around the small town gossip of a few core families, particularly highlighting the strict religious aspects of life for most people. In fact, Freeman based the novel on her own home-life situation in many ways. Freeman took the Puritan’s tragic flaw of exerting a force beyond recognizable limits and used it to show the results of Puritanism gone wrong. However, the ending of the novel showed a sign that things were changing. Puritanism in society was coming to an end. One of the leading philosophies of Puritans at the time was that they believed that if one committed a sin, (s)he would face the wrath of God and be paid back (like an eye for an eye) with equal measure. In Pembroke, Barney was considered to have done wrong by Charlotte and her family, so he deserved to suffer. Towards the end of the book, Cephas, Charlotte’s father, learned that Barney had the “rheumatiz.” Cephas told his family that, “There ain’t no need of havin’ the rheumatiz, accordin’ to my way of thinking. . . If folks lived right they wouldn’t have it” (V, 245) Cephas was a strong Puritan believer who took his beliefs to such a high level that his actions made Charlotte’s fiancee, Barney, leave her never to return (until the very last minute). This was similar to the life of a Puritan in society during this time, which is why the novel was considered realistic. Through this, Freeman was saying that “there is some freeing up and changing. The wasted times are over.” Every character was explored deeply in the novel and it was almost as if someone was watching people play out there lives – “like looking at ants in an ant farm.” Pembroke showed what life was like in small town America including all the quirks of the people and all the details of a highly religious Puritan family. Freeman accurately showed America what America was doing, and how it was looked upon by the people. Her realistic views opened the eyes of the people and began a transition into the new century.

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.

View all my reviews