I have become judgmental & negative the last few years.
In part because I find many people in today’s world to be self-absorbed and inconsiderate which has created in me a default mechanism to “everyone around me sucks”. But there are good people in the world so I am on a new mission in life to be a better version of myself.
Less judgmental mainly.
I am working to give people the benefit of the doubt and remind myself of 2 key facts…1. I am not without my own faults (those who work with me will attest that I’m not the easiest person to be around sometimes. Don’t believe them, then ask Evelina.) and 2. I don’t know what others are going through at the moment I’m judging them.
#2 is really important for me to remember because I don’t really know what others are going through and being kind could help them in ways I’ll never know.
Is It Imperative To Me To Live An Inspired Life?
In 2014 I began this journey on Dream Big Dream Often. I didn’t have many goals when I first started, other than taking over the world! Seriously, all I wanted to do was build a platform that would allow me to purge my soul and mind. I was curious as to how many people might relate or hold valuable the beliefs that I held as critical for my life.
Along the way this blog has taken a life of its own. People from all over the world read my scribbles and I am still awestruck by the fact that hundreds of thousands of visitors find my site each year. Who would have ever thought a guy living in North Carolina could reach so many people!
The main purpose of me running Dream Big has been to inspire others. To lead by example and try to express to my readers that life might be tough, but humans are tougher. If we aspire to inspire we can do amazing things.
I believe it is so important to live an intentional life. At my core I must know that I’m making a difference. I must know that I am seeking to add value to the world around me. I must know that there are people out there who read something I’ve written and say “If this idiot can do it, then I can do it!”.
I have my own opinion on living an inspired life. A few of the things I believe encapsulate this are:
- A deliberate focus on helping others.
- A willingness to put the needs of the team above the needs of self.
- A willingness to step out of the comfort zone and do something meaningful and long-lasting.
- The courage to stand on principles and have an opinion.
Of all my thoughts on inspiration these are the ones that I believe help drive me.
I’m curious to know if you think it is important to live an inspired life? And what other factors might you add to my short list?
It’s Sad, But I Think Technology Is Making Us Lazy
This past week I sat in a sub shop eating my veggie sandwich and watching people. There was a gentleman sitting in the corner of the restaurant on his mobile device. Another gentleman sat in the opposite corner on his mobile device. A couple sat behind me and barely said 2 words to each other as they scanned their mobile devices. And each of the employees had their mobile devices out on the counter or within reach.
This phenomenon has revealed itself time-and-time again. Ask someone to do simple math without their device and they are stumped. Ask someone to spell without spell check and look at their face…”receipt” or “reciept”? Google tells us when to use “accept” versus “except”. Google gives us the answer to “Who was that guy that starred in that movie that time when I was eight?”
Are we evolving or are we devolving because of technology? One of the simple criteria I use in making decisions is “does it make me better?”. Sometimes I debate in my mind and wonder if technology is making us better. I’m not sure where I stand on this point, but I definitely think technology is making us lazier.
Kids gaming inside for hours and having to be coerced into playing outside and then having to ask “What do I do now?” is a problem. Spending countless hours per day staring at a computer screen has been proven to cause irreversible damage. Mobile device addiction is a real thing. Social media addiction is causing depression rates to soar to an all-time high in young people.
Are we better?
Then I look at the impact technology has had on the practice of medicine and I can say without hesitation we are better. Technology has made the automobile more reliable and we are moving to a more eco-friendly alternative to fossil fuels. Air travel is safer than ever. And in a weird way technology has made war safer. Technology has connected the world in ways humanity never imagined.
And just when you think things are getting good…
…the smart phone enters the picture and begins to create isolation and separation. People just love these devices and I’m a huge fan of my iPhone! I can check the weather, watch YouTube videos, play games, etc. It is a distraction from standing in line or waiting on a friend to show up to an appointment.
I don’t know if we are better off now than 100 years ago, but I am grateful that the chances of me dying from influenza are slim. So maybe in some ways we are better off, but in other ways we are worse off?
It’s Not That I Hate People, I Just Prefer To Be Alone
I am melancholy by nature. Lately I have been a bit more melancholy than usual due to some heavy issues going on in my life. I’ve taken a step back from blogging every day. I’ve taken a step back from a lot of things. I’ve spent more time in introspection than usual over the last few weeks.
Websters defines melancholy as “a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no obvious cause.” I think many who know me might be surprised to hear me describe myself as such because typically I have always been the life of the party; I’ve always been “fun Danny”. The interesting thing is I’ve always felt like I had to be “on” and I really don’t like that feeling. I’ve always been outgoing, but I’ve always felt like an introvert. It’s a strange dynamic and a stressful place to live.
As many of you know I live by a rigid set of rules. For instance, I don’t read fiction, ever, I don’t listen to music with much vocals, I do not own a television, I wake up 3 hours prior to my work day beginning, etc. My rules serve some important functions, but the problem with my rules is they create a tremendous amount of rigidity in relationships. This happens because I put my expectations on others who think differently, act differently and see the world from a different perspective. Others have a different definition of success and they have different goals.
Nonetheless my rules impact my view of people which makes me want to spend a lot of time alone. Other than Evelina I prefer to be alone, inside and away from the world. The perfect day for me is to sit at home with a good book or my tablet to watch Youtube videos about ancient Egypt or Bigfoot/cryptozoology. It’s not that I hate people, but I just prefer to be alone. People complicate things and get in my way of doing things exactly the way I want them done in the time frame I want them completed.
When you combine my view of people with my melancholy nature it creates the image that I’m negative. Or at least that’s how I think some people take me or understand my actions.
Maybe I am negative. Maybe not. As long as people leave me alone I’ll be just fine.
I’m Not Sure What I Believe About God
When I was a young boy we went to church on a regular basis: every Wednesday night, every Sunday and every Sunday night. I had a great youth group to be a part of and we were all pretty good friends. God and Jesus weren’t really pushed down our throats, but the church was a Bible teaching church and believed that life, Earth were all created by God in 7 days, Adam and Eve were the first humans and if you didn’t confess Jesus then you would go to hell. I think these beliefs are fairly typical of most Christian churches.
When I left for college many of these ideologies were challenged and I abandoned most of these beliefs. At this point it has been proven that our planet and universe have been around for more than five thousand years, humans evolved from a primitive form of proto hominins who had limited faculties and it is highly unlikely that the world was created in 7 days.
I look at some of my early beliefs much in the same way humans once believed the Earth was flat. Or that people who suffered from seizures were possessed by demons. Or that witches in Salem existed resulting in thousands of innocent women being brutally murdered.
As I have interacted with people from around the globe and met people from all religions my eyes have been opened to the fact that the world is an enormous place with people who hold differing world-views. My views have been influenced by many people and have become an amalgamation of my experiences.
As the title reflects, I’m not sure what I believe about “God”. I do believe there is a higher power in this world, I just don’t know what it, he, she is exactly. I’m fairly certain God isn’t a person. It is easy for mankind to view a deity in our form as it is the only form we know. Maybe God takes on a human form? I don’t know.
I am always put off when someone pretends to know or believe as definitive fact something that humans cannot possibly know. I have no idea if aliens helped build the pyramids, but I doubt it happened. I don’t have any insight as to Nessie being a real creature living in a lake, but I have my doubts. And I will never state as fact what happens when we die because I have no clue, nor does anyone else. As it stands, we are all guessing.
And we guess about a lot of stuff, but I’m satisfied not knowing. It actually feeds my curiosity and that makes life that much more interesting. Not knowing sometimes is most of the fun. It forces me to dig for information. It challenges me to expand my mind. Not knowing allows me to use my imagination. Not knowing makes anything possible which is exciting and scary all at the same time.
So, what is “God”? I have no idea and I’m okay with not knowing.
There’s 1 Truth In Life, Change Will Absolutely Happen
Every morning I wake up around 4:00-4:30 am. I grab a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and I head downstairs to make my morning coffee. Two creams, two Truvias. I hit the Power button on my laptop and check emails from 3 separate accounts, delete what is trash and add the rest to my To Do list.
Next I select SportsCenter to play in the background while I begin working my way through my To Do list. I like sending emails out early because I imagine no other human is up at that hour sending mail and there are many times when I will get a response back quickly. I usually work until 6:30 am after which I’ll grab a shower, get dressed and head out to begin my day, usually leaving the house by 7:05 am.
The longer I ride this rock around the universe the more I find myself set in my ways. I don’t have to really look at the clock at this point as I can feel the time and sense when it is time to shower. We all have routines and to some degree we all get set in our ways. That is until something happens that rocks us or disturbs our complacency.
We rely on our routines and our minds have to have them to operate. If the mind had to focus on every single task like driving or brushing our teeth or making coffee, it would become completely overloaded which would result in a meltdown. So routines are a necessary thing.
Then something happens that isn’t normal; isn’t usual. Typically change occurs in the form of a death in the family, unexpected pregnancy, getting fired from a job or maybe the shock of an unexpected birthday party. Regardless, change will happen. And ironically change might be the only thing that is consistent in life.
Evelina and I are going through some big life changes right now, some really good and some not so good. I think I told everyone about Evelina’s broken arm and surgery. Then she had kidney stones and a surgery for that. Those 2 events disrupted our life for 4 months. Talk about disrupting routine!
We are now in the beginning stages of building a new house and I’m having to deal with the stress associated with the home buying process.
At my age I don’t like change a lot. My routines have left ruts deep like a motocross track. They serve an exact purpose which is to allow me to get from task-to-task without using much thought or energy.
And now even bigger changes are on the horizon, news that I’ll probably be sharing in the coming months so be on the lookout for an update! I’m trying to be more flexible these days and I’ve been working diligently on being more patient. I’m changing slowly, but surely, but I would hazard a guess that Evelina would say more slowly than anything else.
I hope everyone has a great Sunday!
“Where is that eight track player we used to have? Remember it was a portable we took on picnics? It was plainjane, no phosphorescent filaments needed, or connection to the Internet to use. I was going through my dad’s boxes from the attic and found a large collection of eight tracks. I can’t wait to listen to them again.”
His teenage son rolls his eyes.