When my car hit 77,777 miles while traveling 77 mph, I had to find some way of relishing the moment. Don’t act like you would have done anything different!
Recently, I went through what I can only describe as a “creative lull.” They come and go for me, as I assume they do for most creatives. I usually just power through them, eventually finding that creative spark I thought I had lost, but this time I tried something different. I started an art project.
I’ve never considered myself an artist in the traditional sense, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I came up with an idea, bought some supplies and just started doing.
The experience was invigorating. It’s been a while since I had lost myself in a project like I did with this one. It took a while–I had to paint the canvas, separate the army men by type and color and meticuously attach them to the canvas with a hot glue gun–but I enjoyed every minute of it.
The result was something that, while not the prettiest or “artsiest” piece of work anyone has ever seen, I put a lot of time and effort into, not because someone was paying me to or because I had some sort of deadline to meet, but because I wanted to do it.
As a result, my creative spark was reignited, and all it took was stepping outside of my creative comfort zone. So, the next time you find yourself in a creative lull, take a step back and try something new. Chances are, you’ll be surprised at how much you benefit from it.
And in case you’re wondering, I named my art project “168.” That’s how many army men it took to finish it. You can interpret it however you like, but to me, each group of army men represents a different societal sub-culture (there are only 2 colors of army men, but each group consists of a different type of soldier), each one fighting for the same thing: acceptance (represented by the red and white dot in the center). Heavy, I know.
Forget your weakest link. You’re only as strong as your strongest link. Let that one sink in for a minute.
I’m not usually one for making New Year’s resolutions–I believe in constant improvement as opposed to waiting until the beginning of a new year to make positive changes in my life–but I’ve been slacking at something that I’ve been aware of for far too long and now seems like a great time to fix it. Starting today, I resolve to be more openly thankful and give more praise where it’s due.
It’s not that I’m not thankful or don’t think others deserve praise. In fact, I’ve had an extremely blessed last few years (2014 was particularly amazing) and I’m lucky enough to share my time with a bunch of amazing people. It’s just that, for some reason, it makes me uncomfortable to express it. Maybe it’s the mushy-gushy response I get afterwards, I don’t know. Either way, it’s a completely stubborn and self-centered internal response that I realize I need to put behind me in order to move forward.
So without further adieu, I thought a great way to kick off my newly declared resolution would be to give some thanks and praise to some important people in my life. Here goes:
I am reluctant to admit that I don’t thank my parents enough for everything they’ve done for me. Not only did they raise me to be, in my own humble opinion, a well-rounded and intelligent individual, but they continue to provide me with endless love and support. So mom and dad, if you’re reading this, thank you. I love you.
If I hadn’t met my wife at the tender, young age of 19, I’d probably still be an unmotivated, overweight chain smoker. She’s been there for me through thick and thin, constantly supporting my ever-changing (and sometimes questionable) endeavors. And for that, I am truly grateful.
My kids are another endless source of love and support. They don’t need a reason to love their daddy; they just do. They are a constant inspiration to me.
I’m a believer that if you work hard and have a positive outlook on life, good things will naturally gravitate towards you. This belief held true when, in August of 2014, I was given the opportunity to pursue a new career endeavor that has exceeded my expectations in every way. I have a job I love, and I work with a team of amazing people, led by a super supportive and genuine boss. I’m so looking forward to an amazing 2015 with this talented group of people. Team, if you’re reading this, you guys are awesome.
I won’t name names (there are too many to mention), but there are a number of people who have helped me get to where I am today. I hope you know who you are, but if you don’t, I hope to have the chance to tell you some time this year. Thank you.
A true friend is hard to come by. To those of you who have stuck by me long enough to still care about me today, I thank you.
I could go on, but I’d rather offer my thanks and praise in person from now on. Here’s to an amazing 2015.
Hey you! #makesomethingcooleveryday http://t.co/TzYIfHADBP
I recently started journaling. I enjoy it thoroughly. What I don’t enjoy are blog posts with long, drawn-out introductions. So without further ado, here are 6 why you should start journaling as well.
1. You’ll be more like me. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Ok, let’s get serious now.
2. Journaling provides clarity. It’s an effective way to compose your thoughts at the end of the day. Not sure why you feel the way you do about something? Start writing about it. You’ll find that, as you write, you can uncover the reason behind your thinking.
3. It’s relaxing. The last thing you need to be doing at the end of each day is staring at your phone while the TV blares in the background. Spend some time in your own head with a few minutes of journaling and you’ll find that you feel more relaxed at bedtime (or any time, for that matter).
4. It doesn’t cost anything. That’s assuming you don’t already own a notebook and a pen, of course.
5. Journals don’t judge. You know that juicy secret you’ve been holding onto? The one that your friends or loved ones would condemn you for? Get it off your chest by writing about it in your journal without the fear of condemnation. It feels good to let it all out, even if it’s just on a piece of paper. Trust me.
6. No rules, no pressure. You’re not writing a graduate thesis. You’re not going to be graded for penmanship and grammar. You get to choose what you write and how you write it. Write about your day. Start a dream log. Hell, draw a picture. It’s up to you.
How to get started
Just grab a pen and a notebook and get writing! You can also type your journal on a computer, but I feel like that defeats the purpose of disconnecting from electronics to really focus on what’s going through your head.
When I first started journaling, I had no idea what I wanted to write about, so I just started writing. At first, it felt weird and unnatural, but after a while I couldn’t get the words down on the paper fast enough.
My current journaling routine consists of spending 5-10 minutes writing about my day and what’s going through my head. When I’m done with that, I make it a point to end each entry with a “life tip”—a quick little message of positivity to keep me confident and motivated. One of my recent life tips is as follows: “What goes up, must come down, so never run out of the fuel that keeps your thrusters burning.”
But you don’t have to follow in my footsteps. Write whatever feels natural to you. Write for you. Happy journaling.
Without change, you can live, but you cannot grow. #lifetip