Take A Leap With a New Endeavor

Just because you aren’t awesome at something doesn’t mean you can’t try it.  If you want to try something new, Go For It!  You will never be great the first time you do it.  You will have to work at it to become better.  But eventually you will become more proficient at it.  But you will never know what you could have done if you never even give yourself the chance to get out of your comfort zone and try something new.  Take a Leap of Faith.  Let go of all your worries, let go of what other people will think of you, just take a deep breath and jump in with both feet.  It is actually really freeing to try something new and realize that it wasn’t so bad after all and that it is okay to be who you really are in front of other people.  And the possibilities are endless.  How many things have you been putting off because you thought you might look too foolish or awkward?  Start doing them!  

Remember that trust exercise you had to do where you stood with your back facing everyone and you had to fall back and let them catch you?  Well here is your chance to let the universe catch you.  Trust that everything will work out for the best and it usually does.  Just be open to what life has in store for you.  Many opportunities could be just around the corner, you just have to reach out and grab hold.

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Serendipity at Work

My son is one of the smartest people I know. He is 15 and right now he is failing 4 classes. The truth is I think he is completely bored at school. And, of course, the other problem is that he is in public school and the way they teach isn’t the way he learns. He learns by doing not by sitting in class and having people lecture to him. He’s not Sheldon Cooper smart, but if he put his mind to it, by the time he turned 16 I bet he could pass his GED and start at a junior college.

Since I wrote this paragraph we pulled him out of highschool for bullying and brought him home to homeschool online and that didn’t work out either.  He couldn’t keep up with the work and wouldn’t get help with his teachers.  Which is too bad, because as I said, the kid is amazingly smart.  So he is officially dropping out and getting his GED.

I made him sit down with me and watch Good Will Hunting, with Robin Williams and Matt Damon.  It truly is a moving story about an math prodigy who can do the most intricate math problems in his head but lives in the projects and works as a construction worker who basically is constantly getting in and out of trouble with the law.  But what I thought was amazing was when Ben Afflack’s character told him that he would give anything to have what Matt’s character had.  He could really leave and do something with his life because of how smart he was, and his wish was that one day he would go to pick him up for work and Matt’s character wouldn’t be there.  And at the end that is exactly what happened.

What is serendipitous is that our counselor had mentioned that we should watch this movie and I had recorded it thinking it was a different Robin Williams movie two days before.  I guess the universe works in mysterious ways and knew my son needed to see this movie.

When Andy is interested in a subject he is so much like me. When he likes the subject it comes easy to him, he soaks it up, and he learns as much as he can about it. For example, he loved learning about animals when he was younger.  My mom got him a huge book on animals and he has read that thing cover to cover I don’t know how many times. It’s probably 2 inches thick. And to this day you ask him about an animal in that book and he can  tell you about it. He’s the same way with baseball stats. At least he was, up until a couple years ago when he stopped paying attention to baseball. But you ask him about the stats from four years ago and he would still know the answer.

Right now he is studying for his GED and I hope that he passes and can maybe take a class or two and a community college to get his feet wet in college.  I don’t really know what life has in store for him.  He says he wants to be a veterinarian, but he doesn’t have the grades and would have to really put in a lot of effort and effort in school isn’t his strong suit.  It’s not that he couldn’t do it.  He couldn’t get straight A’s not even trying, he just simply doesn’t try.  And that is what makes it so sad.  Right now Xbox is more important than studying.  I keep telling him that he can’t earn a living playing the Xbox, but eventually he will learn.  Real life always comes knocking.  Eighteen is right around the corner.

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All Roads Aren’t Straight Lines

Have you ever looked at a road?  I mean really looked at it?  None of them are straight lines.  They may seem like we’re cruising along the open highway going 10 miles over the limit shooting straight and narrow, but really, if you were off in the distance looking at the highway you would see the twists and turns.  And every road we take has them.  There are bumps in the road and twists that come up that we never saw coming.  There are forks in there road where decisions musts be made, we can’t just continue on straight and drive through the corn field.  There are hills, some easy to get over and some steep and hard to climb but we keep pushing and we get over them to the other side and are happier for it.  Because of the sheer determination and accomplishment it took to get up the hill.  Sometimes there are detours that take us around the area we want to go, but we come to find out that the detour to us to a much better place; to the place we were meant to be.  And sometimes, especially late at night when we don’t know where we are we get lost.  We may have to turn back to where we got lost in the first place or we may decide to keep going further and see if we can find someone to help up us.  But regardless, on the road of life, we are going to make mistakes.  It’s okay to change your plans and decide to do something else or go somewhere else, but you have to keep moving forward.  If a fallen tree is in the middle of the road, find a way to drive around it if you can’t move it.  Obstacles don’t have to stop us, they have to be managed.  And yes, this was a lot of road metaphors, but it doesn’t make them any less true.  Just don’t be the guy who says “I know where I am”, stop and ask for directions.

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Self Help via the Blanchard’s

I’m big into self-help books.  And the first time I was introduced to the Blanchard’s was through the book A Trip to the Beach: Living on Island Time in the Caribbean.  It’s about the Blanchard’s leaving Vermont and moving to the Caribbean island of Anguilla to open a restaurant and all the adventures that happen to them.  Then came the book Live What You Love: Notes from an Unusual Life.  It’s all about pursuing your dreams, going after them with gusto.  Finding your passion, pursing it, and living it to the fullest.  And then finally to the book I’m currently reading, Changing Your Course: The 5-Step Guide to Getting What the Life You Want.  And that 5-step guide uses the acronym D.R.E.A.M.

Decide what you what to change

Research the course you want to take

Evaluate how feasible your goals are

Act to make your plan real

Maintain your dream

The thing is there is this quote from their book, besides the DREAM acronym that really struck me.  “Fear and lack of money are the primary excuses used for not making a change – but it is the lack of information that usually turns out to be the culprit.”  I mean how crazy is that.  So in my last post I said I was going to take my next two tax returns and go on the trip of a lifetime.  Honestly, I have no idea how much money it will cost me to do it.  So what I need to do is research.  I have to figure out where I want to go.  Obviously I’ll be staying at hostels and not eating at fancy restaurants, but I’ll be seeing things all over the world that I’ve always wanted to see and doing things that I’ve only dreamed of.  So if all it takes is a little research then I can do that.  What I’m hoping is that the total of my tax returns will come to at least $10,000.  And if I can put away 10% of what I make from each paycheck on top of that I should have exactly what I should need.

So don’t let fear stop you.  Don’t let lack of money stop you, it’s just a matter of putting away a portion of your check each pay period.  And don’t let a lack of information stop you.  Do your research.

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Don’t Be a Bystander In Your Own Life

I saw that in a book I read yesterday and it really hit me.  I think we do this a lot.  We just let our daily routines become a daily rut and just go through the motions without really thinking about what we’re doing.  We do the same old same old and watch life pass us by instead of getting out there and living it for all it’s worth.  And don’t be a bystander is just another way of saying Take a Leap of Faith.  We have to break out of those shells, do the unexpected, try something new.  Do you want to look back on your life filled with regrets for all the things you shoulda, woulda, coulda but didn’t?  I don’t!  I know it may not be easy, but sometimes you just have to go for it and believe that somehow, someway everything will work out in the end.  So, I’m saving all my income tax refunds for the next 2 years.  My youngest son will graduate high school shortly thereafter.  When he does I’m grabbing my backpack, and an around the world ticket and taking a year off.  Yeah, I know I’m in my early 40’s and will be one of the older hostel staying backpackers but so what?  It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I’m doing it.  No time will ever be the perfect time, so I’m just going for it.  I know I have to wait until he’s out of high school, but then look out world, here I come.  So what are you going to do so you will no longer be a bystander in your own life?

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Unwanted Time Off

So there has been a little time since my last post, and believe me it wasn’t because I didn’t want to post.  Life got in the way as it usually does, but life kind of exploded on me.  I was robbed at knife point and I’ve had to sell some stuff and pawn some stuff in order to pay bills.  I’ve also been working tons of extra hours trying to make up for what happened.

Get this, I work from home doing customer service, so I need the internet and a home phone, and I have that service through Uverse.  I tried to explain that I needed more time to pay their bill because of what happened and that I needed to have my service on, in order to work, so that I could pay them.  They said if I didn’t pay them by the next day they would turn the service off no matter what.  How does that make sense?  If you turn my service off, I can’t work, so I can’t earn the money to pay you.  So I had only one thing left to pawn.  I saved everything to my exterior hard drive and pawned my computer for 1 1/2 weeks until my pay check came so I could pay to get it back.  I also lost 1 1/2 weeks of pay that I really couldn’t afford to lose plus the money I lost paying to get the computer back.

My iPad is still pawned and I’m paying it off a little a month and miss it like crazy.  I know, I know we get too attached to our gadgets and toys.  It was just so easy to pick it up and use it quickly.  And it was the perfect size.  It was bigger than the iPhone and I didn’t need to keep making the screen bigger so I could read it or see it better.

And with all this going on I have been so distracted and yes a little bit lazy.  But in my defense without an iPad or computer it is kinda hard to blog.  So now that I have my computer back, let the posts begin again.

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Finding Who You Were Meant To Be

We all grew up wanting things.   And I don’t mean that cool xbox game or that special Barbie we just had to have.  I mean we had real wants and dreams as a kid.  I knew as soon as I read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s books about far away places that I had the travel bug.  I wanted to brave the amazon jungle, and find a new species and name it myself.  I wanted to go to the deepest darkest parts of the jungle and meet tribes and stay with them and learn how they live so differently from us.  I want to go on an African Safari and see all the animals, taking pictures as we drove by.  I wanted to go on a dig in Egypt and discover some ancient tomb filled with historical treasures.   I would dream about it; I would write about it. Then writing became my dream.  Of course along the way were the naysayers.  You can’t make any money doing that.  Writing is okay for a hobby, I guess.  You have to be super terrific to get a book published and what do you know about writing anyway?  Only people like Stephen King make any money at it.  What are you going to write a romance, that’s all girls write ya know.

I could’ve let those people stop me from doing what I wanted.  Writing isn’t just a hobby for me.  You know how I know?  It’s something that I’m passionate about. It’s what I was meant to do. And I know this because I want to do it all the time now.  I used to just do it when I had a chance but now when I’m not working I’m writing, or researching, or plotting, or editing.  And it’s something I want to do on a Friday night rather than go out to a movie or a party or a bar with my friends.  That’s how you know it’s something you were destined to do, what you were put on this earth for.  Right now my creativity is at a peak of unspeakable means.  I just had a flash at a Walmart and had to stop in the middle Walmart and write an entire children’s book on my phone.  Now that is serious when you can’t let yourself leave Walmart, or even just go to your car.  It was like this burst of inspiration that wouldn’t let me go and I had to get the whole thing out or I would lose it forever.  Thank God it was a children’s book and not a longer work of fiction!  But that’s how you know that this is who you were meant to be.  And the travel?  Who says I can’t do all those things and write about it?  I don’t have to be some boring old travel writer.  I can talk to people, talk to fellow travelers and people from those countries hear their stories and make up stories of my own.  I can create fantastical stories of long forgotten places where miraculous things happened and adventures abound.  And as for getting published, who cares about agents and publishers anymore. I can publish my own works on Kindle Amazon, and Barnes & Noble Nook, and many others.  I just need to make sure they are ready and then get them out there.  I have to do my own marketing which isn’t easy and I’ve got my work cut out for me, but the more books I write and the more I publish the more chances I have of people seeing what I’ve written.  As far as my children’s books go, I’m trying to find an illustrator to work with me.  I know I could probably do it but it will take a long time, time that I could be writing.  So if you know an illustrator that would be willing to work something out, send them my way. We’re talking 13 books maybe more.  But now you know how to tell what you were meant to do, something you would give up your Friday and Saturday nights for.  What is that important for you?

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