Things are Going to Change

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Ever have that feeling where you can tell something big is on the horizon, that things are about to change. It’s that feeling you get right when you graduate from college or when you accomplish something big. Or in my case when you’ve been pushing towards something for so long but suddenly something rises up within you and you just know that things are going to change.

You don’t know what is going to happen or how or when you just know something is going to happen and when it does it’s going to be big.

Do you know why that change is coming? It’s because day in and day out you have push, strived, willed, and wanted it to come. Success is built one step at a time and a big step is coming. I can feel it everyday.

So get ready because change is coming.

Image courtesy of tratong / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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Friday Fun: A Bike Ride

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Today for my moment of zen and my weekly fun I went on a long seven mile bike ride. No headphones, just me and the sound of nature. It is one of my favorite things to do. It was a beautiful day outside and even though my tire was a little wonky (discovered it had a flat) I still pressed on and enjoyed every minute of it.

Hopefully you are getting a chance to get outside and enjoy the great weather. Take a break. Take in some fresh air and let it clear you senses.

 

Reblog: Catch-22

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One of the biggest obstacles I have in being a filmmaker is finding or making the time to do the things that I want to do. Prior to the job that I have now I would have to get up early to drive an hour to work and after working anywhere from 5-9 hours I would drive an hour back home. Sometimes I would work four days in a row, other times eight. It put a real damper on my creative time and wasn’t flexible at all.

Initially when I was hired I was told that I would have time to continue to work in theater as a stage manager and such, this was a lie. My work demanded a lot of my time with little benefits and eventually not even enough to pay the bills. So I got a new job. Is it better? Kind of. Now I usually work fewer days however the hours are longer and I find myself coming home and have such a lack of motivation to where all I want to do is sleep.

So how do I get around this?

Initially I did nothing about it. However I did leave my days off to work solely on what I wanted. Mainly going to the library to get things done. I also had the flexibility to finally get back into theater as well. However that begin to take up a lot of time and I lost focus of building up myself as a filmmaker in the process.

This is where the catch-22 comes in: I needed time to build myself as a writer and a filmmaker working on projects BUT I also need to pay my bills.

A lot of times I would have to choose between a project OR not making enough money to pay a bills and my numerous student loans. There are many projects out there but not a lot that pays or pays enough as it were. With the down turn of our economy prominent positions are hard to come by and competition is high.

So like many other loan laden college grads out there I find myself struggling between my dreams and reality. Are there enough energy drinks out there to keep me awake to work after a long shift? Can I afford to skip a day of work in hopes of getting my name on a big project? Should I branch out and try to leave the old job behind? Or maybe I should figure out a way to turn back time so I wouldn’t have student loans in the first place?

If you got an answer I’d love to hear it. But I will continue to work the grind and look forward to the day when I don’t have to choose one or the other but instead I can have both.

“Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”

The Businessman and the Fisherman Story

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A great story about the true meaning of happiness and how sometimes we have our priorities backwards.

A management consultant, on holiday in a African fishing village, watched a little fishing boat dock at the wayside. Noting the quality of the fish, the consultant asked the fisherman how long it had taken to catch them.

“Not very long.” answered the fisherman.

“Then, why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more?” asked the consultant.

The fisherman explained that his small catch was sufficient to meet his needs and those of his family.

The consultant asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, have an afternoon’s rest under a coconut tree. In the evenings, I go into the community hall to see my friends, have a few beers, play the drums, and sing a few songs….. I have a full and happy life.” replied the fisherman.

The consultant ventured, “I have an MBA from Harvard and I can help you…… You should start by fishing longer every day. You can then sell the extra fish you catch. With the extra revenue, you can buy a bigger boat. With the extra money the larger boat will bring, you can buy a second one and a third one and so on until you have a large fleet. Instead of selling your fish to a middleman, you can negotiate directly with the processing plants and maybe even open your own plant. You can then leave this little village and move to a city here or maybe even in the United Kingdom, from where you can direct your huge enterprise.”

“How long would that take?” asked the fisherman.

“Oh, ten, maybe twenty years.” replied the consultant.

“And after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that? That’s when it gets really interesting,” answered the consultant, laughing, “When your business gets really big, you can start selling shares in your company and make millions!”

“Millions? Really? And after that?” pressed the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire, move out to a small village by the sea, sleep in late every day, spend time with your family, go fishing, take afternoon naps under a coconut tree, and spend relaxing evenings having drinks with friends…”

Currently Reading: Drive

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What is it that drives you to reach a goal or complete a task? Is is a need like food, shelter, or companionship? Is it a reward like recognition, a material item, or an experience? Or is it something more, something intrinsic?

In the book: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink, Pink explores what truly drives us to do the things that we do.

Pink questions whether or not being rewarded for a task is enough and if perhaps the rewards themselves are what hinder our work and ability to stay motivated.

The monkeys solved puzzles simply because they found it gratifying to solve puzzles. They enjoyed it. The joy of the task was its own reward.

There were two main studies in the beginning that I found really interesting. One was with monkeys. They gave to monkeys puzzles to solve and changes the variables of how they rewarded them. They found that they performed far getter when there was no reward involved then when there was.

In other experiment there were two group of subjects and they were told to solve certain puzzles. Group A was paid to do it while Group B was not. They found that with the introduction of payment for their work, Group A didn’t hold as much interest in the project a Group B.

So what does this mean? That although rewards are nice, if not done properly they can affect our joy for doing a things, or instinctive drive.

Take away:

This book was very interesting and kind of explains how doing what you love can somehow turn into something that you hate. In that moment when your third drive, passion, gets snuffed out due to a rewards based system suddenly you no longer feel the joy of it.

This is a good book for looking to understand what it is that drives you and makes you want to participate in things. From the standpoint of a boss it helps you understand the perspective of the employee and why certain rewards just don’t seem to hold as much weight as you thought they would.

Although this book has a lot of good information, it is a little dry and is sometimes hard to get through the writing. Another way to get the information that he is talking about is the video below:

The Company You Keep

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I remember when I was in the eighth grade and I was miserable a lot. I constantly had issues with self-esteem and my worth. It wasn’t until a certain incident of “he said, she said” that I realized it was due to the friends that I had at school. I suddenly took stock of who exactly they were to me and decided whatever we had wasn’t enough so we stopped being friends. I found new friends and things got a lot better.

I can look back and see all the ways I was influenced by the friends I have made again and again but that was the first time I remember taking a stand realizing that was not the kind of influences I wanted to have.

Where we are and were we are going are indicative of the people we keep around us.

I am grateful to the friends I have around me today to push me and grow with me. I am grateful to the mentors who have come along the way. And I am especially grateful for knowing when to move apart from someone, even if they have good intentions.

As you seek to grow be careful of those you keep around you and the things they speak into your life. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you, teach you, and push you to grow. Know that as you move up you can’t always bring everyone with you and that that’s okay.

Listen to your inner voice. You know when someone isn’t good for you or when things look good but don’t quite match up. Even when you can’t ignore interactions with the person, like a family member, acknowledge them, be polite, and keep it short. People will come in and out of your life all the time but when they leave what will the leave with you?

Beware the company you keep aren’t trying to keep you back.

Signs of an Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneur recently posted an article “50 Signs You Might Be an Entrepreneur” which of course, always looking for conformation I am on the right path, I had to read. Here are some of my favorites that stood out to me ( I left the corresponding numbers on so you know where they fall on the list). Be sure to take a look at the article yourself by clinking on the link above.

2. You hate the status quo. You’re a person who is always questioning why people do the things they do. You strive to make things better and are willing to take action on it. (Always.)

10. You were always a lousy employee and probably have been fired a lot. Don’t worry; you’re not alone. I personally have been fired several times in my life. Don’t take it as a sign that you’re a bad person. Sometimes it’s in your DNA. (Seriously though it’s so true).

21. You see opportunities everywhere. For example, you walk into a building and are curious about its worth or the companies inside.

24. You recognize that the best seats at your favorite coffee shops are those closest to power outlets. (Yes and yes even to the point that if there isn’t an open power outlet I might leave).

*side note: not all of those in the article are what I would say are signs of being an Entrepreneur. Gotta take some of it with a grain of salt.

Keep Your Writing Flowing

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As a writer I come up with stories all the time and frequently keep them in a notebook just to keep them straight. A lot of the time the stories are simply concepts or one liners that come to me, or even lines of dialogue that don’t really fit in anything else. But just because I create what I think are great ideas (at the time) it doesn’t necessarily mean that I follow through with those stories. Sometimes they remain just a line or two in my notebook and sometimes they evolve into something more.

The important thing about story creation is just allowing yourself to create the story. A lot of times I put pressure on myself to get things done by a certain time or try to force the story to come out. But the problem with that is sometimes the story suffers because of this pressure or I just want to stop writing altogether because it not longer seems fun. Writing isn’t always going to be fun and easy for me but if I lose sight of the enjoyment of it, it just becomes monotonous joyless work and that is the worst kind of work.

That’s being said here are some fun ways to keep the creative juices flowing:

  • Eat Something Delicious. Have you ever been upset with your writing while eating cheesecake or strawberries? Didn’t think so. Just be careful not to get those delicious things on your keyboard. Yeah… not fun.
  • Think Big PictureWhen I create a story I start by making index cards or checklist with the main plot points. I create the whole story with this. A lot of times I get frustrated with writing the more detailed stuff of stories like the what the scene looks like and what the characters are wearing. I come back and look at the big picture of the story and it helps me to get grounded again.
  • Reread What You Wrote. I know there are some cardinal rules out there about writing first and rereading once you finished. But sometimes I like to go back and read what I’ve done. It throws me from the writer seat into the reader seat. I get to the end and go “that’s it?!” then laugh because obviously I haven’t written anymore.
  • Take a Walk. There is a park by my house that I love to stroll through. There is something about it that moves my creative spirit. Find that place for you and visit it whenever you need a break.
  • Close Your Eyes. Not to sleep! But to imagine the story as it plays out. A lot of times I get trapped trying to keep up the details of the story. I’ll have five characters in a room and finish a scene only to realize I lost one of the characters in the story. They were there and then they disappeared. To keep track I stop and imagine myself viewing the story with as much detail as possible then translate that to the page.
  • Tell the Story to Someone Else. When you have to explain your story to someone you start to see the parts that are missing, especially when they ask questions about certain things. It’s easy to have the whole picture in your head but telling the story to someone else helps you to realize just how whole the picture is on paper.
  • Listen to Music.  Usually when I write a script I create a playlist of music that is specific to the feeling of that script. When I play the music it stirs emotions in me and I put that toward the script. It also helps me to stay focused in the moment of writing.

It important to find ways that help you keep your writing fresh for you, that way you finish can be just as strong as your start.

Got any other ways you keep creative juices flowing? Let me know below.

Image courtesy of winnond/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hunger and Thirst

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How bad do you want it? How much do you crave it until there is nothing else on your mind? How bad can you taste it that nothing else will satisfy you? How bad do you want to achieve your dreams?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst, for they seek”.

Have you ever had a craving, for a certain food, that was so bad that nothing else could satisfy it? Every once in a while I crave french fries, and not just any fries but the ones from McDonald’s piping hot. I don’t really eat fast food that often, sometimes once a month, sometimes not even that. However there are moments when I just crave those fries and nothing else will do. So I stop and buy some and then all is right with the world.

That is how it should be with your dreams and the goals you want to achieve. You can try to put something else in its place or try to become comfortable with what you have yet no matter how hard you try that insatiable hunger and thirst can’t be dissuade.

Use it to drive you, push you, move you forward into the place you want to be. Dream and drive goes hand in hand. In order to have your dream you must have the drive to get you there. You will not eat unless you are hungry and you will not thirst unless you are thirsty.

You have your dream. You can go after it. But how bad do you want it?