Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: goals

Complete Out of the Box – No Accessories Needed to Play

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Photo by Robbin Wong on Unsplash

You know how some toys are kind of boring if you just buy one part and so you have to keep buying accessories? The car, the clothes, the house, the spouse, the kids, the career. It just goes on and on.

There are video games like that too. Sure, you can download it and play for free, but you only get two levels and then you have to pay to upgrade. You play more but now you see that you have to buy a couple extras, charms that help you rack up the points and levels faster.

Humans aren’t like that at all. We’re a whole, functioning human being right from birth. We do need a bit of extra care at first, but we learn and grow quickly with good support and before you know it, we’re out in the world on our own, doing our thing whatever that is.

But lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of people that look like they are searching for their missing piece. They wander from job to job, adventure to adventure, and relationship to relationship, never really getting anything from the experience and lamenting that the whole thing even happened while they transition to the next. They proclaim loudly that they won’t give up, they’ll find that career, place, or person that will complete them and make their lives better. That job wasn’t right for me. This place doesn’t have what I need. This person didn’t give me their all and left, so they suck.

I don’t think you need any of that to be complete. You do have the power inside you to live on your own terms, for your own ends.

Every time we start a new job, try out a new location, or enter into a new relationship, we could be learning more about ourselves and the world around us. We could be using that information to make our lives more interesting and more comfortable for ourselves and for those around us. It doesn’t matter what the job is or how long the relationship lasts. It doesn’t matter what kind of a relationship you have: long or short term, purely sexual or platonic. It doesn’t matter if you buy a house and live there for ten years or rent out a basement and live there for three months. It doesn’t matter if you go to college right out of high school, wait until you’re 45, or ever go at all.

What does matter?

It matters that we learn something about ourselves and that we connect with other humans in as many ways as possible, that we live every day no matter what’s going on.

The Stoics have a decent idea, “Memento Mori.” Remember, we die. We don’t live forever and (as far as we know) we only have one life. We need to stop wasting time.

Nothing is a waste of time if you learn something from the experience. That one night stand you had with that hot babe you met? Not a waste of time if you enjoyed it and look back on the moment fondly. That two years you spent at an expensive university, only to drop out and work at an amusement park? Not a waste of time or money. You gained experience, you met people, and you had fun in ways you never knew existed. And money? You can always make more. Money was created to spend. And what about that “failed” marriage? Did it “fail?” Or did it just serve its purpose and now you’re both moving on to something else? That job you spent five years at and then switched careers gave you fresh insight about your abilities and a set of skills that you can use anywhere.

What exactly do we think we’re working toward? What are we stockpiling for the future? What will we do with all of this shit we’ve accumulated? We’ll die. That’s it. And all your stuff will be redistributed.

So why not stop working toward anything and just enjoy what you have? If you don’t like the job you are in, find another one. If you don’t like the area you live in, move. If you don’t like the relationship you’re in, move on. Stop collecting things and start experiencing things. If you have no friends or family to experience it with, do it alone! Maybe you’d find it more fun or fulfilling if you had someone to share it with? Then blog about it and post pictures on Instagram! Or start dating…anyone, right off OKCupid! Or join a club online or in person!

You are a complete package all by yourself. You don’t need anything to start living and experiencing the world around you. Just live, damn it! Why not?

Success vs. Fulfillment

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What’s the difference between success and fulfillment?

Successful: adjective, accomplishing an aim or purpose.

Fulfilled: adjective, satisfied or happy because of fully developing one’s abilities or character.

Is it that others may decide if you’re successful but only you decide if you are fulfilled?

If someone asks me to do something, they decide if I have successfully accomplished the task. If I decide that I want to learn to play guitar, whether I’m successful at it or not is up to those that hear me play.

On the other hand, I decide if my chosen task fulfills me. I decide if the job I do is fulfilling. No one can answer the question “Is this fulfilling?” for me.

A relationship, a job, a goal can be successful but unfulfilling, or fulfilling and unsuccessful.

In life, I choose to work toward the feeling of fulfillment. I can choose to feel good about an unsuccessful attempt. I can’t choose if I’m successful.

Annual Reading Goals Achieved!

Why is this so fun for me? It’s a sickness.

My annual reading goal last year was to increase my daily reading to two hours a day and I’m proud to say that I almost got there. I was only slightly disappointed to miss the mark though. I really thought I read more than I did.

My habit is to read when I get up in the morning and most days I do. Some days I can only get in about an hour and a half, some days I get in three hours. There are some days, like the days when we need to be somewhere early in the morning, that I don’t get any reading in at all. Those days really can’t be avoided, so this year I’m going to make my daily goal at least two hours and see if I can’t reach an average of two and half hours. Dare I say three hours?! You never know!

To show my exciting progress, here is a comparison of the two years side by side.

2017

 

2018

31 books

49 books

376.24 hours

432.05 hours

10,133 pages

14,309 pages

1.03 hours per day

1.84 hours per day

12.14 hours per book

8.82 hours per book

 

I’ve had some great leads on books this year! I get them from articles I’ve read, podcasts, and suggestions from friends. Sometimes I’m just pulled to books I find on my thrift store tours. In addition to just more daily reading time, I’ve added more fiction to my reading list, so it was about half and half fiction and non-fiction.

There was a lot of classic fiction, Crime & Punishment and Les Misérables being favorites. I also fell in love with a few new authors, like Neil Gaiman and John Fowles. The best memoir I read was by Stephen King. I feel like I’ve reconnected with an old lover after reading his book On Writing. I read lots of amazing non-fiction this year too, some history and a lot of philosophy and “self-help” stuff. Napoleon by Andrew Roberts was my second favorite history book next to Indianapolis by Vincent & Vladic, which left me breathless. Plato at the Googleplex, Quiet, and Sex at Dawn were amazingly enlightening. And Jordan B. Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life was wonderful.

I already have several books on my shelf ready to read and some on their way from Amazon. It’s going to be a great year!

If you’d like to see my book tally post from last year, click HERE!

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