Stop Procrastinating Today

My mind says: Why do you have to be so lazy? Why do you procrastinate so much? Stop wasting time and get going on whatever it is that needs to be done.

I say: I’ll do it eventually but right now I need to do this lesser important thing.

It’s a natural thing that we’ve all fallen victim to and learning to fight it is essential to a fulfilling life. I procrastinate all the time because when the going gets tough, I feel it best to lay off the activity until I can best handle it.

Five reasons why we procrastinate:

  1. Preference for more fun activities
  2. Not committed to the task
  3. Afraid of failure (or succeeding and being expected to produce similar results consistently).
  4. Not enough knowledge of the task
  5. The project seems just too big to complete

I feel the best way to tackle these five pitfalls (and many more) is to take it one step at a time and organize yourself. Learning to accept failure, for instance, will make you a stronger person and able to learn from your mistakes.

Procrastinate, abstinate

Time slips away

Take your time, nickel and dime

Waste another day

Shape Up or Ship Out

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There Are No Cheat Codes

Today is my youngest sister’s 20th birthday. All the kids, including me, are now in their early 20s and it becomes more apparent how close we are in ages when I look at the numbers: 24, 23, 20. We’ve grown up together, have witnessed many events, many triumphs and tragedies. I don’t feel so old myself anymore because we are all in the same pool now. As we march across the threads of time, people around us rise and fall. Relatives we’ve grown to love (and sometimes hate) all of a sudden are gone. It’s surreal to think that I am now about the same age as my former fifth grade teacher was. She’s in her thirties now and it would be perfectly normal for us to date, if the whole teacher-student weirdness wasn’t attached. Of course, I could have aspired to teach that same class I was in but decided to pursue other things. I don’t know what grade she is teaching now or if she would even vaguely remember who I was, but all I can say is that she was the only teacher I knew who gave out “Bonus Points” during the year for good deeds the students did.

Life is all but one big cycle. You are born, grow up, get old, die, and re-fertilize into the earth. The birthdays along the way are like little checkpoints marking your progress in a level. A graphic may flash across the screen saying you have reached “Level X”. You can’t restart the game of life or even pause it to get a breather but you can revisit your past achievements and highlights through the aid of videos and journals. Like the Sims game, you have essential bodily functions like hunger, sleep, bathing, comfort, toilet-time, and social life to fulfill. If you fail to take care of one of those levels and let them drop to zero, a consequence (like missing work or peeing your pants) happens. In video games, you can die and simply restart and try again, but in real life there is only one shot and it is what you make of it.

In the game of life, there is the main quest you follow, associated with going to school and trying to figure out your career path, and then lots of mini-quests. Mini-games and activities like dancing, drinking, sex, and being a total jackass are fun ways to extend the games replayibility. Yes, spellchecker, I know that’s not a word. The correct term for being able to play a game over and over again without getting bored is replay value. Or you could simply say “replay ability”, with the words spaced, but that’s not as catchy or short enough for today’s quick thinkers.

The game I am currently in the midst of playing right now is Dragon Age: Inquisition. It came out in 2014 and received high praise from most of the top gaming companies. This game has much, much replay value because you can play as different characters and build relationships with other NPCs. What you say and do has an effect on the outcome of the game. It is an open world game like Skyrim and is similar in appearance, even down to the Old English sounding town names. The AI isn’t as complex though and you aren’t going to end up having guards chase you across the land after you stole a sweet roll from someone’s stash. This game is in my possession because of a zombie like walk through the store to the games and electronics section in the back. I was browsing the games section and looking for something to feature on my YouTube gaming channel. This game was within my budget and after reading the info on the back and being thrilled by the cover art, I decided to buy the game. The man behind the counter asked for my ID because this game is rated M for Mature, so I fumbled through my wallet for it. After finally fishing it out of my wallet full of cards, I paid for the game, hoping that this was really worth buying and I would enjoy it, which I definitely do, even if the game on a PC can be slow and laggy at times.

Back to my sister. I just want to wish her a happy birthday and the best on her future life a few states away from me. As I told her on Skype “once you enter your 20s, your childhood is forever in the rear view mirror and there is no where to go but forward.” Not actually those words but close. From now on, the road ahead and what you do on is all up to you.

Alma Mater 

Envy Is Evil

I wish I could afford the town

Or all of those fancy cars

Be able to get front row seats at the game

Book a personal trip to Mars

But I am me and don’t have the opportunities

And I realize being envious of others is

Really just a pointless tease

So the real luxury that I should be proud of

Is contained within my own self

The ability to walk and breath

A priceless item delivered so well


Tell us about the one luxury item you wish you could afford, in as much detail as you can. Paint a picture for us.

Gets Better With Age

Clink

I like the saying “it gets better with age”. This is true on a number of levels. The best tasting, and most expensive, wine is one that has been aging for at least over five years. The best cheeses don’t get eaten until many years later. Some marriages get better with age as bonds tighten and divided interests come to be viewed as essential for a balanced relationship. Buildings get better with age as they come to be viewed as historical and significant pieces of architecture. Books, movies, and paintings become historical pieces of work with people continuing to reflect upon them and striving to preserve them for future generations. The most successful brands continue to grow and develop as new and innovative methods are discovered and audience’s needs and wants are taken into mind.

I like to say I will get better with age, even if my knees and other joints don’t agree. The older I get, the stronger the heart will be, with more experiences to dwell upon and write about. There will be new children and grandchildren to have memorable experiences with, more holidays and birthdays to come. Something new and exciting will always be on the horizon, some little tremors and some big seismic waves that forever change how I live my life.  The world will continue to change as new cultural trends come and go. Who knows who the next big music superstar will be by the time I reach 50 or if television will merely be a thing you can project from your hand?

Fun is the one thing that will keep me from becoming a worn out old fart in later life. To have fun is to keep myself busy and my mind working. Exercising and running laps outside everyday will keep my body in shape and me in good spirits. Listening to music will give me inspiration and happiness. If I still am running a blog, this blog, that will be a way of continuing to keep my mind fresh and to continue improving my creative and interpersonal skills. To always have something to photograph and write about will give me an incentive to keep on exploring life, to keep learning and reading. A blog, like anything, can get better with the years as more and more posts are published and more connections are formed. As I add more tools to my toolbox, I discover new and better ways to go about blogging and the overall online experience as well. I feel like this is an essential part of my life now and can’t imagine life without it. This is my creative space, my brand, my online presence.

Getting older should be a fun experience but some people are afraid of it. The people who are afraid of aging and spend thousands of dollars on plastic surgery to make themselves look like young rosebuds again don’t take this one thought into mind: no one cares what you look like when you die. If you are a famous celebrity and are on TV a lot, of course you want to be presentable, but once you pass away, people tend to care less about your appearance and more about your career accomplishments and contributions to society. What will be preserved in the history books is not a shallow description of beauty but an in depth view of an amazing life that helped change the world.

So go out and try to experience as many things as you can. Find a passion that you absolutely love and can grow with. The people who have the most fun in life have found happiness in what they do everyday. They are not burdened by the rules of society or worried about what tomorrow will bring. They live in the moment, the moment of now. Everyday is an adventure, another piece to a long storybook. That’s what I strive to be like. An optimistic soul who will continue to view life as one big dance number well into my twilight years. There will be good days and bad days and in the end they tie into who I am as a person.


Daily Prompt: Young at Heart

What are your thoughts on aging? How will you stay young at heart as you get older?

Ten Year Old Blank Space

My future profession has always been up in the air…this is nothing new. Those “When You Grow Up” songs from elementary school did nothing to plant an ideal image of what I wanted to be doing after high school ended way down the road, in another century. Maybe it was because I was preoccupied with other things or maybe it was the impracticality of choosing a career choice and getting your parents all excited about it while you had no clue what it even involved.

The 21st century began when I was nine years old and I would turn ten later on in the year 2001. So I guess you could say I grew up mostly in this century while my first eight years were in the 20th – I’m a 21st century kid. Most of the events I’ve witnessed firsthand and most of the new technologies have come after 2001. During that year, predictions were being made for 2010, such as having water-powered cars and humans landing on Mars, big NOs. This would be four years before the very first YouTube video would be uploaded, two years before the ill-fated Myspace, three years before Zuck invented Facebook, and at least 11 years before Instagram would become a thing. Back in 2001, I would still be watching the Disney channel and Cartoon Network, when Dexter’s Laboratory, The Powerpuff Girls, and Ed, Edd, and Eddy were still quite new. There weren’t even remote thoughts of becoming a writer and this was before the digital age exploded and made putting the virtual pen to the virtual paper so much easier.

Pinnacle at the ten
The double digit bend
Dreaming of the future
Still playing with imaginary friend
Vaguely an architect
Or carpenter to be
My mind races blankly
Blank space
Floor games and plastic bricks for me
Used to draw and be wildly imaginative
The Travelers on blue sheets
Science fiction lore
Human anatomy interest
Anything would be neat
Not for the worst
Could have been a doctor
But now I’ve become something else
A post-a-day blogger
There never was one thing set in stone
At the tender age of ten
I suppose I let the road develop in front of me
And would connect with the goal in the end

I can call myself an artist
A dreamer, and a theorist
Because I paint by bubbling image
And not one thing goes down
Unless it has a meaning and vision

Of course, I can still become a chef, a dream I had in high school. I can create a number of recipes and know what “mise en place” means.


Daily Prompt: Ballerina Fireman Astronaut Movie Star

When you were 10, what did you want to be when you grew up? What are you now? Are the two connected?

Let It Go?

Tell us about a habit you’d like to break. Is there any way it can play a positive role in your life?

Does anyone remember reading the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Sean Covey in high school? This was a great book that taught me much to know about beginning my life as an adult and learning to be self-sufficient and think for myself. The habits described in that book are what you want to have, the habits we are discussing today are little leaches that cling on to you and won’t let go without a little pain involved.

Will I ever stop using the Daily Prompt to fulfill my daily writing duties when nothing else is there to write? No, because it is my essential lifeline in this high pressured environment (well, that might be a little too much) where your voice must be heard out of the millions out there. Without it, I am very vulnerable. It is like my training wheels I can not let go of. Publishing posts off the “grid” is like venturing out into the wild and hoping someone can find you by the smoke from your fire. If you build a good enough one, someone is bound to reach you, but a smoldering, tiny flame – not really. The only positive I can come up with of not hanging on to this device that should be renamed “Blogging Made Simple” is I would be more able to write about things I care about that are more original and creative. Instead of following the sheep all the time, what if I started to be the wolf that went off and did my own thing? That’s how I started my blog, in fact, but I soon found it difficult to keep coming up with good posts and they weren’t doing zilch for me stat wise. That’s why I’m hanging out with you folks. All my buddies are here.

The habit of using the Daily Prompt as leverage aside, there are a number of habits I would like to break. I’m not just going to name one like the WordPress monkeys instruct me to (I really think the whole panel is just chimps who press a button and a random topic comes up, sometimes repeats).

Watching porn, now that is one of the biggest habits that has consumed almost my entire life in the double digits (I started at 11). It’s not exactly a bad thing but takes away from accomplishing more important matters like finding a job, making friends, or actually meeting someone and getting into a relationship. Some say it’s a healthy way of releasing my urges and refraining from unsafe practices, but the guilt I feel afterward makes it seem dirty and vile though I always go back to it. I’ve always wanted to give this up, to stop it completely, go cold turkey, but it’s like a drug I need to take when I’m feeling lonely and depressed and desperate for some companionship. The few times my mom and other relatives in my house found out about it nearly made me stop completely, the embarrassment so bad, but the addiction and cravings still resided anyway, coming back after all the fuss died down. Letting go of this would make me feel less compartmentalized and willing to be more effective in my life.

I’m not a smoker or a drinker so I don’t have to worry about breaking those common habits. I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life but have been the victim of secondhand smoke many times though I haven’t noticed any ill side effects yet. My drinking habits are very mild, I mean I can drink just one beer or other alcoholic drink and I’m beat.

Twisting my hair – this was a habit I had during the summer of 2003. Really made my hair a knotty mess. It wasn’t until I got a haircut that I stopped because there wasn’t anything left to twist. I still do it sometimes when I’m feeling stressed and anxiety but it’s a bad habit because my head then looks like a tangle of weeds.

Picking at my face/facial hair – it’s just something I can’t help but do. It’s a comfort thing. When I had lots of acne at around 12 years old, my number one habit would be picking at bulbous zits, which was gross. I don’t have acne anymore but the habit of picking at little annoying bumps that pop up every once in a while still resides. I also love to play with my chin and moustache hair, even plucking out individual strands. A disgusting and bad habit because it leaves an uneven mess.

Humming to myself – I believe this is more of a physiological thing than a habit but nevertheless, it bothers me and others. When I am by myself or just feeling under stress, I have a habit of humming weird noises on and off. I started doing this during the first few months of fourth grade and students and teachers were annoyed by it. I finally stopped it for a while but it occurred again during sixth grade and I now have been doing it the last few days of sitting in the library working on my blog. And maybe that’s it. The reason I’m doing it again is because I’m stressed out over not being able to work in the comfort of my home. There isn’t anything really bad about this that would ruin my life, but when people notice me doing it and look at me strangely, I suddenly feel beside myself.

I would also like to say credit/debit card spending is a big habit in my life, because I must have spent 1000s of dollars in the last four years on fast food, groceries, games, computer software, video equipment, website funds, and iTunes music (getting songs the legal way is better). It isn’t my worst habit, always having to buy something when I have money on my CSL Plasma prepaid debit card, but if I could start saving up some cash for the future, for that time when everything really gets tight financially, I would be all set.

Photo credit: chrisc.com


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Breakdown.”

The Meaning of Success

Photo Credit: leadershipidn.com

What is success?

It still eludes me so. I take two steps forward, two steps back, lose my grip, fall down hard, but always get back up and try again. The grass is always greener. There’s always tomorrow. Failure is what makes me stronger, it is not a bad thing, it is an essential ingredient to any success story. And the more I fail the more I learn. The more I learn how not to fail.

It takes patience, skill to reach the plateau. I’m still fighting my troubles, my worries, and my demons. I want to get up there, up to the place where everything’s swell, where all the others bask in the glory, but a door always blocks my way. I try to get in, but am always rejected, being given a good kick to the shins. “Not yet,” a cold hard voice always shouts at me. And sometimes it’s a few stumbles back down the ladder, having to readjust and fix my mistakes.

I mistook success to be instant gratification, an overnight conversion, when in reality it’s a lifetime battle, a struggle against odds. I must perfect my craft if I am to move on. I must seize the dream I desire and start making it a reality. That must be my problem. I’ve never had any goals in mind. Life has always been a vague mystery to me. There’s always been a dark shadow looming over myself. I’m finally seeing the light though, a sense of direction. I’ll get there someday, just with the scars of many battles fought and setbacks experienced. My blogging experience for one has seen many posts trashed, hours wasted to only get nothing in return. Discouragement I get. I start to believe I’m a good writer and the infamous zeros stare back at me. I’m all of a sudden an amateur again, shades of 2013. This post is not just about that in general but about all the failures in my life that I have had to live with. I’ve gone to many job interviews in my life and so far only came back with one yes, which turned out to a total scam because everyone got “hired” right on the spot. My short stint as a sales rep selling knives I’m speaking of.

They always tell you as a kid you can grow up to be whatever you want to be, that the sky’s the limit to potential. Well, I’m just now figuring out what exactly that is. Is it a chef? A photographer? A designer? An engineer? A writer? A profound blogger? I’m taken some of the steps to reach my goals, learning valuable skills and lessons along the way. I’ve gone to college and graduated. I’ve gained valuable skills at an internship. The signs are finally being pointed in the right direction, the words becoming visible in my minds eye. Blurriness is subsiding. That grey matter of the unknown is finally disappearing. I no longer see the world in just black and white. It’s not just a simple yes or no but there are multiple avenues I can choose.

I have a one track mind. When I get to doing something, I can only focus on it and only it and exclude out everything else around me. When I’m in blog mode, it’s full concentration, my thoughts being channeled into my ideal inspiration. Any distractions throw my off completely. When I accidentally erase my entire post 500 words in and it can’t be recovered, I throw my hands up, the love put into all those words moot points then. When I’m deep into reading a good novel, any disturbances upset me and ruin my flow. When I’m in the middle of a tough battle in a video game, my full attention must be on not letting the enemy get the upper hand, not pinning me in a corner. Of course, video games aren’t real life. You can always die and try again. You can also cheat your way to success. A Up Up Down Up B.  In real life you go to jail for that.

So I’m finally figuring out success. Or success is finally figuring me out. It’s not what you gain in life that makes you great, it’s what brings you happiness each day you set about doing what you love. Money = success, yes, but without the joy and happiness that comes along with that wealth, and the friends and family to share it with, it is a cold lonely life for the individual. I would love to make lots of money doing what I love, but I would never want to outcast my family and never speak to them again.


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).