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Monday, October 29, 2012

Creative Block

I have tried to make it a commitment to this blog to try and write something at least once every couple of days. Let me just say that it is a challenge to come up with new ideas to write about. I guess every writer has periods of writer's block that they struggle through. My way is to write until I think of something.... nothing yet.. maybe now? nope.

I had a conversation today that might be a starting point for a topic. It was about how people were influenced by others and that it was rare to meet a person that truly did not care what others thought about him/her. from my unscientific observation it seems that everyone grows more and more conservative as we grow older. Fewer people are willing to try new things and go experience something that are a bit cautious of. What happened to the curiousness? I guess everyone is wrapped up in their own little world and there are less opportunities for people to try new things. I believe that the key enjoying life is to always do things that are just out of your comfort zone and always try to push that boundaries farther and farther.

It does not matter how we push out our comfort zone, it is just that we do it. Only then can we see who we really are as a person. It gives us a better look into what we can accomplish only by trying. 
Stay thirsty my friends!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lazy Saturdays

Sometimes I underestimate what a relaxing weekend can do for the soul. I tend always to be in overdrive and most of times I am often struggling to catch a breath in between things that I am chaotically doing. I completely cherish my weekends with full stride. With that being the case I tend not to plan anything specifically for my weeks because I know that it is absolute necessary for me to crash to Earth and relax, whether it is sitting in cafe, sleeping in a park, or blogging.

I can almost correlate my most stressful times with full weekends packed with things that i needed to get done rather than something that I should do at my leisure. I think that for most of us, time off is a luxury that cannot be afforded at the cost of more important things that we should/need to do. I am growing more and more in opposite in this kind of thinking. I have seen people become down right neurotic and depressed with the need to be constantly doing something and unable to cope with any unexpected situations.

For example, if you pack a day completely with obligations with no wiggle room, any small delay or set back can cause stress and frustration. I have worked hard to try and remove as many things that are out of my control as possible in an effort to simplify my life. There is always the danger that I am isolating myself from others and becoming more introverted. I still have to convince myself sometimes that it is in my best interest to maintain this reflective/contemplative lifestyle.

For now I will continue to enjoy my free weekends and stare off into the sunset.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tic Toc Time

All of us could sure use more time am I right? Not just more of it but the ability to control all of it and how we want to use it. I've always hated the fact that for so many years we had to be funneled through a school system that forced us to do a lot of stuff that quite frankly was not worth the time of everyone involved. I remember days in high school English class that consisted of us playing cards and watching movies all day. Hmm maybe that is why I am trying to make up years of writing neglect with this blog. But as I grown older and wiser, I can see that in hindsight I should have done more as a child to learn as much as I can in life. Lots of countless hours were wasted in video games, that could have gone to a musical instrument or a foreign language, or even an early insight into the world of finance.

It is silly to try and think in the past, now that I have been out of school for some time and I have a lot more time to myself, I want to fill it with activities and commitments of my choosing. I love the ability to cherry pick what skills and talents I want to excel in. This life has giving me a extrodonary opportunity to really enjoy what this world has to offer and nay I must grab it by the horn. There is only one catch that I can't seem to be able to shake, time.

86,400 seconds in a day, or 86,164 for a sidereal day. That's all everybody has on this Earth and that is non-negotiable with father time. Time as I have grown to accept and understand it is very precious and very limited. I believe that each second should be respected and held in the highest esteem. Why am I crazy about time? Because life can change in an instant and we often lose sight of what is most important in our lives, either due to ignorance or neglect. I chose to live a life that tries to make the most out of my time here by enriching my life with purposeful activities, although every once in a while I throw in a hedonistic pleasure or two.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Que Sera Sera!

After a string a serious toned post, let's lighten it up!

Singing is pretty difficult, I am always amazed at the talent that performers have. Really good singers can move a person emotional by just their voice and resonance. A piece performed well can inspire the hearts and mind of others. I have always loved to sing and it has always given me a boost by listening to a good song.

I took a voice class to try to improve my singing and try to see how far I can take my skill. My goal is to be able to emotional impact and impress the hell out of people that hear me sing for the first time. Not many people think I can sing and I use that to my advantage. :) I think that in an age where it is so easy to auto-tune your voice and make it sound decent, good music gets lost. My perfect songs to sing are mostly all more than 20 years old and have really strong vocals. It is very rare to run into people who can sing now a days without being in a class for it.

Speaking of the class, we focus a lot of our time on sounding the words out rather than singing. The professor really wants to emphasize the ability to sound out vowels and consonants in our speech and singing. It is interesting to learn how to sound out words again 20 years after you learned it the first time. I found it a bit silly, saying oh, ah, eh again and again. But I guess one can say that by learning to sound out words you can be a better speaker as well.

I will sing "Can't take my eyes off you" and "Beyond the Sea," for my final and hopefully by the end of the ten weeks, I can belt it out like there is no tomorrow. I'll leave you with a song..


Sunday, October 21, 2012

The 10 year plan

I just realized that I have not set a 10 year plan for myself and where I envision being in 2022. It seems like such a long time from now, but as I have been querying other people; time moves faster than we view it. As of today, I had a rough outline of what I thought I would do in the next few years but nothing concrete and substantial. I always had the illusion that I can just "wing it" and be fine with what I had chosen. Although, that might have worked awhile back when I only had school to look forward to and plan accordingly; life planning is a bit more complex and open ended.

What brought about this "10 year plan" was meeting some SF techies that mostly knew what they wanted to do and in about when they would accomplish that goal. Some wanted to be CEO's of companies in 10 years, others wanted to take their start-ups public within a couple of years. All had a optimistic goal and vision of what their future would be like. That really got me thinking about my own plan for the next couple of years. I asked myself, what was my end goal? To be honest, I am not quite sure of what I want to do. There are a hodgepodge of things that interest me, but I can't think of how I can incorporate them into my daily life. Future planning is so murky as there are external factors that you can never account for and predict.

I can't see into the future, yet. hehe. But what I can do is try a lot of different things and maybe one of them will stick and become a part of me little by little. A lot can change in 10 years, only by consistently applying oneself can they make a plan into reality.

Below is a video from Tony Robbins about how tiny changes mean hug results.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Writing for a better tomorrow

I recently have been reading up on this series in "The Atlantic" about writing skills in schools across the nation and the consensus is not good. In an effort to increase writing by various methods, including memoir exercises and creative assignment, it showed that these ways were less effective than simple writing essays and learn grammar fundamentals. Indeed, my own writing ability can be called into question on occasion, as rampant misuse of grammar and creation of my own words have defied standard writing convention. For too long have I used the excuse that because I am an engineer it is okay for me to not write as well or as concise as my English/Creative Arts brethren, but alas that is just lazy thinking.

I want to really start putting an effort into this blog as a way of keeping my skills as fresh as possible and also to gain more speed and clarity of thinking into my words and phrasing. If you look at my previous posts, they are not anywhere close to Shakespeare and it is kind of embarrassing as even in the age of spell check there are posts that lacked proper editing. It is my belief that as I write more on this blog hopefully it will engage the best parts of my creative brain and make it easier to put my thoughts down on paper and electronically.   

Some things to focus on as I write more.

1. Writing and typing faster
2. Have a set goal and thesis
3. Create concise and coherent paragraphs
4. Increase writing stamina
5. Use more descriptive words and phrases

As a future thinker, I want to be able to work without any restrictions, especially regarding my own skill sets. I need to be able to do anything that is asked of me and be able to accomplish those goals to the best of my ability.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Working hard for the money

If it was easy then it would be done already, such is the case of life. I have been thinking a lot recently about how to make some extra money on the side, hopefully it can help offset the massive student loans that I am currently trying to pay off. The search hasn't been easy at all, all of the potential things that I can do requires a lot of initial time and commitment, sounds familiar right? I am trying different ideas in the hopes that I can figure out a way to generate an extra 1k a money tax free. The goal is well defined but the way I get there is a bit murky at best.

Some crazy ideas
1. Start a small tutoring business based on time management
2. Tutor math and science at local schools
3. Blog everyday and have a huge following (this means you)
4. Write a science fiction novel and publish it on amazon or as an e-book
5. Get good at singing and be a wedding singer
6. Start an archery learning class
7. Pan-handle
8. Donate blood
9. Be a test subject for hungry graduate students
10. Take out all my savings, fly to Vegas and bet it on on red

Now, I don't know how practical any of this is especially number 9, as I know those people will do anything to get a paper out. When I start to look into it more and realize the difficultly of legitimate ways to make money, it was very discouraging. I guess that's why it took so many years for me to find a job. It all takes a effort and a willingness to accomplish the goals that I set out to do, but I ask myself is it worth the extra time and stress?


Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Growth Unleashed?

   I've been thinking a lot about growth recently and how I could sustain it in my life. I have been on a tear lately in terms of learning and doing new things with my life. I enrolled in college and have been taking a bunch of classes just for the purpose of doing something new with my life. This leads me to wonder about how I can create a system for myself that feeds upon new ideas and goals in life.

   What I want to do is give myself the gift of knowledge. I often wonder about the times that I wasted as a child and thought about what I could accomplish had I not wasted that time playing video games. It could've amounted to 10,000 hours for the entirety of my childhood, which in Malcolm Gladwell's book, defines as the time it takes to master a skill set. Well I mastered some skills but on a whole, I wished those skills included a keen financial sense and also a mastery of the written/spoken language. These soft skills have had a tremendous impact on my life not only as a way to gain new skills but also as way to move upward. I am only now starting to discover how powerful and influental it can be. For example in engineering, most of the people there have specific targeted hard skills such as a heavy math and science background, but what gets lost in translation is that most of the key essential skills to move forward or upward is the ability to present oneself.

   An engineer with an decent ability to speak and write to others is rarity, often he or she is invaluable to a company, in general, with a growth potential to lead. Here is where I come in, I have a chance to become greater than what I am and all I need to do is to prove that I have the ability to grow and can take on new challenges. I see it as the only way that I can withstand any layoffs and downturns in the economy. I must prove to myself and others that I am not a one trick pony and can only do a certain limited amount of tasks. 

  Now here is the hard part, how do I accomplish this efficiently? Well, for one I can objectively look at my weaknesses and target them one by one. Maybe after that I can create a tree graph and list out some solutions that I can carry out. The big question is, how do I find the time to do all this and maintain sanity....
Growth, I want it... now if only I can grow taller as well.