This blog’s alternate title was: Stuff You Don’t Want to Hear but that Everyone is Saying.
Yesterday, after working out, cleaning up the house and doing the dishes, tidying up the bedroom, posting a few witty comments on Facebook, taking a walk, stopping at Whole Foods to ogle and drool over the energy drinks of theirs that I was wanting to perform scientific experiments on myself with, sampling the free pineapples, cherries, and grapes they have strewn about the store, lying by the pool and gathering sun rays upon my exposed limbs, masticating like ten snacks of carrots and rice cakes….I STILL had some time left before work. So, I did what any young, self-respecting individual with nothing else to do would do…I scoured the web for interesting articles, brain stimuli, and crossword puzzles. I watched some fascinating Ted Talks, including one in which the man suggested we alter the sex metaphor from one of baseball to one of a pizza. Then I watched about three more Ted Talks on the same riveting topic, Ted Talks now has a reel of their favorite picks on any given subject, it’s like you’re own personal Ted Talk playlist of whatever subject you choose. In a word: Awesome. In a better word: Well-played. Was that technically one word? Hush, hush, because it would be if this were a crossword puzzle.
After the Ted Talks, I read my friend Toni’s blog, who provides valuable information on the child-rearing experience, spiritual insights with a catchy (and sometimes snatchy) and edgy voice that I just LOVE! Plus, she is my good friend and so I will promote her with every chance I get.
Following Toni’s blogs, and I know what you’re thinking (as I always do), you’re thinking that I have no life. I actually am able to keep myself quite busy and active usually by running circles around the lake by my house, but not when it’s 90 degrees out folks, I leave it to the cicadas in this weather and I resume my internet activity by finding some great articles on Thought Catalog, my other guilty, yet slightly educational pleasure.
Last but not least, all of THAT, brought me to a site I had never seen before. Cracked. This site features dumb videos like “Why Disney Princesses Make the Worst Roommates” coupled with factual, yet crudely written articles including, “5 Horrifying Secrets Supermarkets Don’t Want You to Know About”.
Amidst my research, I found a recurring theme on blogs, in videos, and basically scattered like pixie dust magical nuggets across the internet. People are seeking better lives and self-improvement, and much of the written content is focusing on just how you can make that possible for your very own. It basically consists of things that my sleepy-eyed, bath-robed, tea-sipping, slobby self does NOT want to hear. Self improvement (ie. coming to the point in your life where you don’t hate yourself everyday and you are actually more HAPPY than you are PISSED) requires an individual possess and utilize the following components:
1. Time and Patience
2. Effort and Motivation
3. Intention and Focus
4. Self-Control and Will Power
5. Perseverance and Determination
This is where I start to get annoyed? Aren’t I just supposed to be “Me” and good things will fall from the sky? Won’t my good heart be rewarded with all the good karma that there ever was? Why can’t I become better by just having a beer at 10am, thinking some good thoughts towards my mom and falling asleep to take a nap. Is that how your shower walls get cleaner? Is that how you land the job of your dreams? Find your dream romance story? No. That is, however, how it happens in the MOVIES. But that’s not real life. Thought-provoking writers are taking a new approach to helping us readers realize that in order to make your life happen you have to let yourself AWAKEN to your heart’s DESIRE and then PURSUE it with EVERYTHING that is INSIDE of YOU. ASAP. NOW.
I work with a woman who is terminally ill, she is fighting through pain everyday and it’s a rather silent and secret battle. She however, is not simply sitting away in a room WATCHING the world around her go by, she is actively engaged, pursuing dreams she has always had, and more importantly contributing in real causes that are helping real people on a daily basis. It’s rather inspiring. This woman is not focusing on what she does not have and instead focusing on improving herself and the lives of others on a regular basis. She is GIVING despite circumstances which would have most of us, in this generation of laziness and pleasure prevalence paralyzed by.
Simply being inspired by this, is not enough. What am I doing that is fighting for any cause? I mean what am I TRULY working towards or striving to?
For example, if I say I want to become a writer, yet I am not writing anything except love notes on the foggy mirror in my bathroom…how can I ever expect to pick from the apple blossom tree of book tour fame and fortune? Can you learn to ride a bike without getting on, strapping your brain into a helmet and pedaling off? No. Is your resume one, big, blank or a bunch of vague descriptors like “friendly, generous, team-player, motivated, savvy…”? Good luck with that.
Something people have always told me is that people the only person I have to worry about is myself. But at the same time, people are telling me to care, contribute, and have compassion towards others. It’s like a dichotomous balance: We have to worry, care, and find confidence within ourselves, but we have to be doing something with these feelings, or it’s all rather meaningless. Perhaps the best way to see it is to realize that EVERYONE is on their own journey and path, and that includes you. And it’s not a journey unless you’re actually WALKING on the path. So, while sitting back, relaxing and watching the flowers grow, so you have something nice to smell along the way is all fine and dandy, what you really should be doing is cutting back the brush so that the path can become a slice of the Appalachian Mountain Trail.
What good is cultivating skills and harnessing self-improvement if we do nothing to contribute to the big picture?
What kind of contribution can one single individual REALLY make? A tiny drop in a giant ocean.
Speaking of the ocean, where is the nearest beach? I need to contribute to my self confidence with a suntan or two.