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Category: Life

It’s Snowing

In the winter it’s always snowing – in inch here, an inch there. We grab our shovels and set to work. But the snow doesn’t leave. We just push it around so it is in a more convenient place for us. It’s not until the rising temperatures of Spring that the snow finally melts and flows off, seeking ever lower ground until eventually joining the vastness of the sea. Or it simply evaporates away for another try at it.

I think our thoughts can act as a similar phenomenon. They constantly rain down, and we have to push them aside to get done what needs to be done in any given moment. But they are still there. Nagging at us from just outside our lines of vision. Or maybe they are too overwhelming to even push them aside at all – ever piling on, one atop the other.

We need a mental Springtime – a time to clear away these worries, thoughts, and fears. For good.

Here’s what works for me. I grab a notepad and find a quiet spot. Sitting there, I focus on my breathing. I count my breaths, one through ten and back again, and I try to clear my mind. One by one those nagging thoughts pop into my head. When that happens, I pause my count, write the thought down on my notepad, and consider it cleared. Back to the breath, rinse, and repeat. Soon the entirety of those noisy thoughts are contained in front of me on that notepad, and now I have something I can work with. I don’t have to worry about forgetting something important because I have it all right here. I can act on it, schedule it, or just throw it away.

Exciting!

“What am I excited about right now?” This is such an important question and one that I don’t ask myself enough. Not only is it important to check in with yourself and your driving forces and emotions, it can be a great hack for networking and small talk. When you discover those things that are exciting to you at the moment, you give yourself a answer to that all-too-common question – “tell me about yourself.”

So take a second to sit and think about what that thing is for you. It changes all the time, so be open to having it jump around from day to day. Most importantly – allow yourself to get excited about things in your life!

Big Things

Dependent upon the day, maybe it’s all the little things in your life that bury you in despair. When this happens it can be helpful to turn to the larger themes. Your family. Your friends. Your loved ones. The positive influences that guide you through your life can be of great help when life comes at you from all directions. Your faith or guiding principles can be a beacon as well.

Close your eyes and think about what the larger forces are in your life. Especially the ones that give you joy or fulfillment. Is it your job? Your volunteer group? Your close circle of friends? Sometimes focusing on the big picture can give you hope when everything starts piling on.

Little Things

So often in life we can get overwhelmed by the “Big Things” in life. Our debts, our jobs, and our personal responsibilities can weigh on us like stones around our necks. It’s times like these where it can be nice to think about all of the little things in life that bring us joy. Maybe it’s the pleasure of listening to music. It could be the joy of speaking with friends. Sometimes for me, it’s just the ecstasy of a hot slice of plain cheese pizza. Find a couple joys in your life. They’re often right there in front of your nose.

Directed by YOU!

I was reading the other day about good ways to start your day, and one recommendation was to start by doing something proactive like a creative project rather than reactive like answering emails. I love this idea. It sets your day up to be directed by YOU, as opposed to others.

That’s why you see me back at it on the blog. As I type this I can actually feel my mood improving (granted, it may just be a product of expecting my mood to improve, but regardless, it is improving). I am also in the process of bringing the podcast back. The piano is tuned, and I already have a couple episodes outlined. It feels good to be proactive.

Try to have your first task of the day being something you direct. Keep up the good fight, y’all! Your day can get off to a good start.

-Josh

Good Morning, Good Morning! – a podcast

Hi everyone! I have started a weekly podcast. It’s all about positivity and creativity, music and stories. I’ve called it “Good Morning, Good Morning!” and it’s main mission is to start your day off right. Take a listen. If you like it, let me know, and subscribe to it. I have some show notes on my Patreon page. That’s at http://goodmorninggoodmorning.com. Here’s episode number one – “For the Love of Ninjas.” Enjoy!

-Josh

Back to the Drawing Board

I’ve been feeling removed from my music for quite some time recently, but yesterday I found myself drawn to the piano. I sat down and wrote a song. It’s been a long time since I’ve put something like this together. I’m happy to be back.

-Josh

LYRICS

Feeling the pain and reeling from shame
The nights are the same as the days were before
Winning the race and beating the pace
The trials we face we needn’t face anymore if we don’t want to

Breathe…

Expanding the light, and breathe into the night
We’re just borrowing life from the ones here before
If we could see through the dark if the shadows would part
We could walk through the park knowing who we were as a person

And I know we’ll find a way
To discover what we were before
We’ll find the door
The rain will pass, and we’ll sail out from this shore

And find ourselves brighter day
With our brothers and sisters from the war
Not in pain anymore
We could close our eyes in peace forevermore

 

Passion

Allow yourself to feel passionate about your job.

Get attached.

Fall in love.

It’s okay to nerd out. It’s okay to talk people’s ears off about the things you like.

It only makes you happier and more of an asset in the future, so find something you like about your job and focus on it.

-Josh

Versatility

Disclaimer – this post is not meant to dissuade you from specializing. Once you find that thing with which you have a fierce connection, by all means, specialize. Go after it an inch wide and a mile deep. But if you are still looking for that magic nut you want to spend your whole life cracking, you’ll have be open to shifting tides and rolling with the punches life throws at you. Follow the course of progress wherever it leads – we all know the technologies we depended upon a decade ago are now the punchlines of jokes. Never stop learning, and you will increase your marketability every day.

Don’t miss opportunities when they present themselves at inopportune times simply because they aren’t what you imagine yourself doing forever.

-Josh

Dependability and Reliability

In times of chaos, people seek out stalwarts. As a reliable leader, you will be where people expect you to be. You will do what people expect you to do. When storms strike, people need a lighthouse to orient themselves to. Be that for them. Invite them to depend on you.

Where there is fire, you are there putting it out. Where there is gold, you are there mining it. Where there is struggle, you are there working to ease the burden of others. And where there is celebration, you are there to revel in your successes, because for a leader, your successes are everyone’s successes – remember to spread them around.

-Josh