Life and Stuff

A Day in the Life of a Procrastinator

Procrastination, my old nemesis (sometimes friend), has reared its head the last couple of weeks. I found a video that pretty much sums things up:

In my current procrastinator mode, I don’t know whether I’m giving myself a break to replenish my creative reserves (writing-wise), brewing something great (sometimes procrastination episodes have worked out like that for me), or just plain slacking off (which is a distinct possibility). At the moment, I’m just riding it out.

How’s it going for you? Are you a procrastinator? Do you embrace it or fight it?

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Life and Stuff

There is Always Light

Be the light in the world

Many of us are still reeling in the aftermath of the massacre in Vegas. When something like this happens, we tend to question everything. We’re in pain, sad, afraid and angry. We want reasons. We want fixes. We want to make something like this never happen again. But we know it will. History tells us it will.

It’s so easy to give in to the dark emotions, to look at ourselves and say there’s something fundamentally, unfixably corrupt about human nature. We can point to all the horror we can inflict on one another and say: see, that’s what we are. When the chips are down, and the masks are off, we are the monsters we should fear most.

But I don’t agree. Most vehemently, I do not agree. It’s times like these, in disasters both human made and natural, that we see how good we can be. Yes, we’re profoundly flawed, all of us. But we are good too.

One doesn’t have to look very far to find the stories of courage and sacrifice emerging from Vegas. People throwing themselves over loved ones and strangers to protect them from bullets. People carrying others to safety. Law enforcement running into the line of fire to stop the killer.

And it’s not only Vegas. In any disaster, look and you will find people reaching out to others. Yes, there are the rioters and looters, those who will indulge their greed at the expense of the suffering, but they are not all of us. I would even say they are not most of us.

We can and should mourn evil actions, seek to prevent them whenever we can, but we should never give into the temptation to throw up our hands in despair or give into darkness.

You and I, we can choose to be light in the darkness. We can choose to reach out our hands to help instead of hurt. And every act of goodness we do reverberates, reaches further than the evil. Our actions encourage others around us to do good as well.

Be the light.

Photo Credit
Day 89/365. The light will eventually reach you! by Tarang hirani, on Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

just for fun · Life and Stuff

Filling Your Creative Well A Little at a Time

Creativity is a bit of a mystery to me.

Sometimes, I feel overflowing with creative energy. I’m driven to make something, anything. My writing calls to me, sweetly, begging me to sit down and pour out the words.

Other times, I feel like I’m looking into a dark, dry well. I send my bucket down, hoping for a few drops of creativity to soothe my parched spirit, but there’s nothing to be had.

What drains the well, and what fills it back up again?

I don’t have the whole answer for you, but it’s at least partly a matter of the balance between play and focus. Sometimes, when we’re working on a big creative task, we get so focused on getting it done, we forget to enjoy ourselves, to play around with it. That lack of play drains our spirit, leaving us feeling barren. On the other hand, when we allow ourselves room to play, even if it’s not with the project at hand, we refill that well.

Lately, I’ve been struggling to find the enthusiasm I need to keep going on several goals, especially my novel-in-progress. We’ve had a couple of big upsets in the family. I think that’s thrown me off. But more than that, I think I’ve been too intent on just getting my goals done. I’ve forgotten why I set the goals in the first place and the joy with which I first embraced them. That lack of just plain fun has sapped my creativity.

My friend and fellow blogger, Jay Squires, reminded me that a little bit of creativity just for the heck of it can go a long way toward refilling the well. Continue reading “Filling Your Creative Well A Little at a Time”

Life and Stuff

How Do You Revive Your Motivation?

bridge
You’ve come to that bridge. Now cross it.

Lately, I’ve been wrestling with a lack of motivation. Only, it’s not so much a lack of motivation in the strictest sense. I want to achieve the goals I’ve set. I’m willing to take the steps necessary. What I’m lacking is enthusiasm. Every step I take on the path to my goal has lately felt like just another thing to tick off my list.

So, is that a lack of motivation? A sign that I just need to keep plugging along until my enthusiasm picks up again? Or do I need some time off to replenish my creative energy?

I found two blogs this morning that I think are helpful for anyone struggling with finding their motivation and/or enthusiasm: Continue reading “How Do You Revive Your Motivation?”

Life and Stuff

Sometimes You Have to Risk Looking Stupid

You ever have those moments where you wonder what the heck you’re doing, if your efforts are worth the time, or you’re just going to end up looking stupid?

It could be you’re learning something new, gearing up to talk to someone new, gathering the courage to speak out for what you believe in, or prepping to do something you don’t usually do. And, boom, you’re seized with doubts. Assuming those doubts are just good old-fashioned irrational fear and not some inkling of the potential for serious and unreasonable harm in your actions, I say check out the chicken below:

Now, folks keep calling this chicken (let’s call her Francine…because I like the name Francine) stupid. But who, with very little effort, walks away with not one but two portable snacks? The other chickens just keep pecking aimlessly, but Francine gets her food to go so she can go on being awesome.

Stupid? I think not. 😉

***

Note: No ROW80 check in today. I’ll update on Sunday. I hope all your ROW80 goals are moving right along!

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How do you talk yourself out of the fear of feeling stupid?

Life and Stuff · ROW80 Check Ins

Are You Overthinking It?

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post

Have you ever gotten stuck on something that you feel should come naturally but it’s not coming naturally and you can’t figure out why so you sit around and try to work it out but then you get stuck in the thinking about the thing and that’s worse than getting stuck on the thing in the first place…?

*pauses for breath*

If you overthink things (or just think you do) this video is for you:

Overthink. That kind of sounds like overlord, doesn’t it? Like something outside yourself is thinking for you. Continue reading “Are You Overthinking It?”

Friday Share · Life and Stuff

How Do You Make Love Last?

Have you ever wondered how to make love really last?

The couple below, married 70 years in the first video and 75 in the second. Their advice is sweet, funny and very real.

*They might be the slightest bit questionable for watching at work, just so you know. 

 

Here’s the updated video from this year:

 

What’s your favorite thing about this couple? What advice do you think is the most helpful?

community · Life and Stuff · ROW80 Check Ins

Should We Quit Social Media?

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post

I recently came across the TED Talk by Dr. Cal Newport saying , not only is social media not harmless, it is dangerous and addictive.

 

It’s something I’ve heard before, but Dr. Newport makes a few persuasive points. Perhaps the most persuasive point is that social media sites are designed to be addictive the way that casinos are, that having social media apps on our phones is like carrying little slot machines with us everywhere. He further argues that social media is not an essential technology (see the video for a full explanation), and we don’t need it to be successful or well known. He concludes that, for us to make the choice to use social media, we have to show a compelling reason that the benefit outweighs the harm.

Of course, I did find the video of his TED Talk on YouTube. Continue reading “Should We Quit Social Media?”

Life and Stuff · ROW80 Check Ins

What Would You Do if Money Was No Object?

*ROW80 update at the bottom of the post

Some years ago, I shared the video below. I’m sharing it again today because I find it deeply inspiring and hope you will too.

It asks a question we should ask ourselves on a regular basis:

What would you do with your life if money was no object?

It’s a question about passion and how you want to share your gifts with the world. So often we dismiss our dreams because we’re told they’ll never amount to a “real job.” We don’t stop to think there’s a different way to go about it all. And that we can always find a way, if we look hard enough…even if that way sometimes leads us in a different direction than we imagined. Continue reading “What Would You Do if Money Was No Object?”

Life and Stuff

How to be Great at Anything, Part the Third

*This post is Part 3 of 3. Find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

at the pinnacle

Lately, we’ve been talking about growing greatness.

It seems to me that many folks imagine talent is something a person is born with. You’ve either got it or you don’t.

I disagree. It seems to me that most of what we perceive as talent is really the culmination of thousands of hours of practice and intense passion.

Perhaps there are some individuals who have a special kind of magic we mere mortals will never touch. If so, I expect those individuals are pretty rare. I also expect it would be pretty difficult to tell the “genius” from the person who put in enough dedication and time to achieving greatness.

Furthermore, maybe greatness isn’t all that important in the grand scheme of things. None of us have to be world-class to be good. The amount of time, effort and passion required to be world-class is tremendous, much more than many of us would want to commit. I would also venture to say that most of the individuals we admire in a particular field are closer to pretty good than world-class. And that’s good enough.

We’ve talked about how you need to talk to yourself, set goals and practice. Here are my last few ideas for growing your own greatness (or pretty goodness):

Time

This is where I fall down. Frequently. There are only so many hours in the day, and we all have obligations. However fast or slow you progress is a matter of personal preference, but the amount of time you carve out will determine the speed of your progress.

Lately, I’ve reminded myself of this when I’m tempted to Netflix binge.

Imagination

This has two parts. Continue reading “How to be Great at Anything, Part the Third”