Do What You Love

I'm not here to ramble off the same pedantic quips and catchphrases you heard before, I've heard them too and I don't really know if I care for them all. But, they are right. It's best to do something you love. The big question is how do you really know what it is you love. That question sounds like a no-brainer but it can be a tricky one. The first assumption you're going to need to get over is that you'll be able to do what you love as a job, or at least your main occupation.

The world's just not built that way. The world would be better off with too many farmers, doctors and janitors, than it would be with too many painters and musicians. As essential as art and music are to a good life, food and health are more important

Just because you may not be doing what you love for a day job, which may be a good thing, doesn't mean you can't pursue your passion in your spare time.

For one thing, if you turn your passion into your meal-ticket you may grow weary of it and begin to begrudge your talent and take no joy from it. Especially if what your doing is bent to the whims of clients and customers. I love to write, but most of my income still comes from working in retail.

Enough of that though. How do you identify what you love. You have to get inside your head and dig through the memories. It's as simple as that. Look through your whole life, and try to identify patterns of things you keep doing, things that don't go away.

There's three things I love to do:
1) I love to write, and I like to think I'm fairly good at this.
2) I love art, I even did graphic design for awhile. I'm above average for this but well below the average actual designer. I have friends who are graphic designers and when I want to feel humble I look at their work and compare it mine.
3) I like to make things and improve on things. In short I like to tinker. I'm quite good at that too but I don't know if I could make a good run of it over the long term.

Now, if we get back to what I was saying. I can look through my whole life and see these three things pop up again and again. I'd take apart my toys to see how they worked, it was awhile before I learned to put them back together again. I can remember writing all throughout my life, sometimes in fits and starts but the memories are there.

But there was also drawing, in fact I used to have trouble writing because my hand just wanted to draw stuff. All in all it came down to the writing though. the drawing has peaked out and I only see incremental gains, but the writing is something I'm still growing at.

So, sit down in your favourite place to think and go through your life and try to find three things you've always loved. You're looking for motifs and recurring themes. These are your real passions, these are the ones that you love because they are inside of you scratching to get out. They are not there because you saw them in a movie and thought it would be cool, or because you think you'll make a whole bunch of money doing it they're there because they are you.

Remember, when you go searching look for something you would willing do for free on top of everything else you have to do to make a go in this crazy world. I used to think I would get into computers because there's money in computers and people need money, but that bored me silly. I used to think I could write the perfect novel and be a millionaire. That was a good dream, but now I know it wasn't the money I was after it was the writing. My brain was just tricking me into following by passion by dangling the money carrot in front of me.

How do I know this is true, because I'll write for free, for the sheer of joy of it. That doesn't mean I don't want to make a living of it, it means I've found what I love.


Empty Yesterdays

"You pile up enough tomorrows, and you'll find you're left with nothing but a lot of empty yesterdays. I don't know about you, but I'd like to make today worth remembering." ~ Harold Hill, The Music Man.

It's so true, too many people shut out life for no reason. I used to be one of those people. Some people have to come out of their shell, I had to come out of three or four. What I write is mostly from experience. I said no to people and experiences alot and sometimes without any reason for saying no.

It becomes our default answer, our fallback. Before we even think about it the word has already left our mouth and is gone. Don't be that person. Think about the offer before you just blatantly refuse. It might actually be alot of fun. 

One of the biggest excuses I hear from people I talk to is "My show's on that night". I get it, I understand where they're coming from, but it kind of warps my brain when I hear it, and here's why. We have one life, just one and people are worried about a tv show. 

Seriously, real life might not be as cool as the people on the sitcoms or crime shows or whatever, but at least you're in it. I've always had more fun going out with friends than sitting in front of a tv. 

Well, I'll level with you, if you've been following for awhile you already know, I'm really busy. I don't sit in front of a tv and there's a reason for that.

There's too much life going on around me. 

Make friends, go out to places, suck the zest out of life. I'm lucky enough to live in a city with an art gallery and they change exhibits four times a year or so. I've seen them all. Go with friends, even better go by yourself, listen to classical music, and go through the art at your own pace.

Just get out there and do. Before I wrap this I want to tell you something maybe no one's told you before, I've told a few people and I'll probably tell a few more. "If you say no to your friends enough, they just stop asking." That's a scary thought, I had a friend ask me why I didn't invite him to stuff anymore, that's what I told him. People aren't going to waste their time if they already know the answer. Start getting out more before it's too late, because once they stop asking, you're sunk.

This has been Bloom and that's my time.


Don't Hold Onto Your Anger.

"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."
~ Mark Twain

"Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned." ~ Buddha

These men lived about 2400 years apart and they both reflected on the exact same idea. You can't really argue with that.

I've had angry days, everyone has, but eventually they got fewer and farther apart. I began to realize that anger really did hurt me more than it hurt the people I was angry at. Sometimes the person I was mad at didn't even know I was mad at them. It really was just hurting me.

I still get angry, but I don't let it sink into my soul. Getting angry is natural, but you have to get rid of it just as quick as it comes. Wash it off yourself just like you wash the dirt at the end of the day. It's when your anger soaks right down into your soul that you're in trouble.

See, eventually you get so full of anger that not only do you hold it but you actually start to radiate it onto others. You radiate it onto the people who made you angry and you radiate it onto innocent people.

One thing I do is I take a few deep breaths and give myself a few seconds to feel my anger. Then I ask myself a question: will this matter in a month or in a year. The answer is usually no. Usually we get angry over trivial little things and perceived slights, if we can see them as trivial things it makes it easier to get over them.

If I can't get over it, I deal with the problem directly. I wait until I'm calm and I have a conversation with the person who I'm angry with. A civil conversation. Usually our differences can be worked out.

Holding onto anger is never worth it, you end up making yourself far more miserable than you make the person you're angry at.

Don't hold onto your anger, the fire inside will consume your soul and only singe the hairs of your enemies.

This has been Bloom and that's my time.


Good Things Take Time. But They're Worth It.

We live in a instant society and we expect everything when we ask for it, right when we ask for it. This is great for us. Unfortunately it also has its drawbacks, we get so many things at the snap of our fingers we expect everything at the snap of our fingers. Some things just don't work like that. Personal development takes time.

 It takes lots of time. But here's the great thing every second you put into is time you're putting into making yourself better and more successful.

Don't worry if you don't see instantaneous results the very first day you set a goal, these things take time. Anything worthwhile takes time. If you want to improve your self confidence, lose weight, learn a new skill, expect it to take time. Expect it to take lots of time. In fact with self confidence and new skills they can take years. But it's always worth it.

When you're slugging along and it looks bleak remind yourself that your getting better and celebrate the small successes along the way. The one thing I've found through my own personal journey is that when you're going forward it's like walking through a dark labyrinth, and you're just feeling along as you go, but when you look back, you see the torches lit and you can trace your development.

Sometimes, something happens and it bums me out, I feel like I just hit a major snag in my plans, but once I'm further on and I look back, I can see that without that snag I never would have been where I am..

For the longest time I had a post-it on my mirror, it said, "Everything will be alright in the end, if it's not alright, it's not the end." Sometimes that was enough to keep me going, and boy am I glad it did.

This has been Bloom and that's my time.


Tone of Voice, and How it Affects Your Message.

So on Tuesday, I posted on the limitations of language, today I want to talk about how tone of voice affects how you're understood.

First, a quick primer. Whenever you communicate with someone your sending them a message. Whatever you say to them is the message. However, and here's where it twists around, beneath your message is a meta-message. A message within your message. It's when people say yes but you can tell them mean no. The meta-message doesn't always have to differ from the main message, in fact alot of times it's used to enforce your message.

Tone of voice greatly affects your meta-message, and it can greatly change how the person you're talking to understands you. If you can control your tone of voice and have it line up with your message, you'll get way further. People respond to how you say just as much as what you say.

 Every time your parents told you they didn't like your tone of voice, it wasn't what you were saying that they didn't like, it was how you presented it to them. This still happens when you get older, except when you're older people don't take the time to tell you they don't like your tone of voice, they just tune you out. You're sunk before you've even started.

The biggest thing to remember is to never yell at strangers. I know I shouldn't have to say this, but I do. People actually think it helps to yell at a person when they want something. It's been enforced that if you complain loud enough you get your way. It's not true.

People who have to deal with this day in and day out go the opposite way. People who yell at service staff generally get less, I, personally will always do more for the person who is kind to me, then the person who yells because I don't believe negative behaviour should yield positive results. Trust me I'm not the only one. Plus, it's just not nice to be yelling at innocent people.

This has been Bloom and that's my time.