The Challenge

Write for 10 minutes continuously on a topic of your own choosing, or use one of the thoughts below to spark your creativity.

If you get stuck, pick your favorite line and write it over and over again until the thoughts start to flow.

Post your favorite line or the whole piece to social media everyday with #30DaysofWriting.

Follow along and be Inspired by others!

The Thoughts Spill Out

Day 1: I hope writing shapes my life by…

           I hope it provides me with an outlet to see my growth and transformation over time. I feel as if I have such creativity inside and I am often unable to communicate what my mind is seeing.

           If I can transform my thoughts into something valuable for others I would be so empowered. I can’t wait to see what opportunities are opened. I often feel as if I have a unique perspective, but am too busy to let it out. I can only hope to clarify my ideas further and deepen my ability to communicate.

           If the world could open before me, would I see more deeply? If only we could connect with others through our thinking and help people see. We often think of others as dramatically different and are constantly finding out why we are not like others. These differences give us different perspectives through which we see life. Could we not use those to enhance and add color to our lives? I want to connect and grow.

          I know that the written word can move mountains and I know that it is a catalyst in my life for change. In my writing I can reflect and remember who I am. What a power we are given by the ability to put something down in a move that allows us to solidify our creativity in a way that others can take part in. If we were to join in and create a community where our thoughts were taken seriously and we were open to conversations it would leverage an amazing opportunity. Can we not reach our fullest potential?

          I hope that my writing can help drive and push others to lean in when the going gets tough. There are two ways that we react to adversity. We either withdraw or we push in with an increasing intensity to seek to draw out the best in ourselves. Others will say they want the most for us and some truly do. The other side of that coin is that only we can truly manage ourselves into a position of movement and growth.

        This writing I hope changes me and connects me deeper to those around and to myself. I want to improve and drive deep!

Day 2: I don’t always feel it, but I press on because…

Because I can
Because I want too
Because no one else will
Because I press in not out
Because people need me to be me
Because wrongs don’t fix themselves
Because the world will continue to move with or without me
Because if I can go when I think I can’t then I truly can
Because I shouldn’t waste my time on self doubt
Because there is no try either do or do not
Because I can’t survive failure
Because to not succeed is to travel a different route
Because I have a son, daughter and a wife
Because what others see in me is more than I see in myself
Because my beliefs demand it is not about me
Because serving is what I truly want
Because the support of another is what is truly needed
Because connection is the key to life
Because I believe I live for more than myself
Because my altruism is not mine, but wrapped in my faith
Because it could all be gone tomorrow
Because I must

I am bound to press on when I don’t feel like it. It is the idea that when you feel like no is the answer life give that that is just not enough. We choose what to do. We are in charge of our emotions and our reseliancy. When I don’t want to, I find a way to smile when it is crazy to do so and move harder and faster when my body says stop. Our potential will never be reached by not trying. I can work harder than I think.

To take the next step you can prepare yourself. You don’t have to be the smartest, or the one with the most innate abilities, but you have no choice but to be the most driven the most willing to learn and the most dedicated person. Integrity and hard work towards a passion you have is where the world’s problems are solved.

It is unbearable to think that I had the chance to make a difference for someone else and I choose stagnation over them!

Day 3: It would change my life if…

     I were a bit faster in everything I did. A bit more precise in my memory and thoughts. I have been blessed with the gift of boundless thought patterns, scattering my thoughts up into the stars. If I could pull them back for more than a moment, I could create a labyrinth of light around me surrounding my world in glorious light. Alas, I am left with one bright point after another. I peer into the twilight that shrouds my life. Trying to see the world around me as clearly as I can. What does it mean to think clearly? How does it feel for people to focus deeply and identify every last detail of a thing? Is it possible for them to hold all of their thoughts in their head? To access precise figures and numbers instead of abstract design. I often wonder what it would be like to have a brain other than my own. 

     Inside this dome, let’s not forget, is the power to harness multiple thoughts at once and drive them to a single point of light. With the help of others we can gather the light of the night and build wondrous things. It is the spark that I can draw from another brain. That of memory and creativity that we can put together into something powerful. I don’t have to have all the stars in the sky, I just have to bring many close and show the wonder to those around me. It is in these moments that it sparks the light in another’s eyes and my brain, my poor busy brain blows softly on this light. Then in the softness of the evening glow that spark grows from a dim light into a beautiful light. These ideas and thoughts paint a brilliant tapestry across our sky. Would it change my life if I had another’s brain. Yes, it might, but I want to be the one to cultivate others. I am the curator of the stars. Nurturing and growing the people and their thoughts around me for the creation of beauty and regeneration of talent. Blessed am I. Blessed Indeed.

Day 4: I lose connection with others when…

     The cell reception fades I move into the country and the isolation becomes complete. Well, at least from the perspective of others, but instead I am enveloped by the sounds of nature. Is disconnection all that bad? I often love to be in a place busy and moving while I have music surging through my headphones. This is a place to be alone in isolation in a way that may seem counter-intuitive. 

     The path of isolation does travel downhill moving into the world of negativity. It is in these moments that I realize what connections I must make to truly re-humanize my life experiences.I will reach out, call a friend or co-worker. It is the simple act of listening to others that can build my connections. I don’t have to talk about me. I don’t have to complain or whine. Instead I need to think about others for just a moment to realize that the trials and emotions I may feel are felt by others. Is it not our communication and connections that truly allow us to be a community? A powerful sense of togetherness is what we all desire. These things help make us whole. A sense of society and purpose. This is driven through our thoughts and how we share with others. We are not truly isolated unless we choose to be. 

     In times when I feel as if I am not enough, it is a simple matter to curl up and withdrawal. We must then fight our natural tendencies to pull back and instead move forward. Be the one that draws others in. Notice those in the shadows and bring them into the light. I will not be the face of isolation, but one of inclusion. It will be me who builds bridges between others. The ones that stand the test of time. Make the choice to be the bridge not the moat. When we choose to connect with others it fulfills us deeply.

Day 5: My writing was most influenced by…

I can’t help but feel that it depends. When I write in various forms I am influenced by a variety of people and characters. When writing for kids I am struck by the nature of Dr.  Suess. Who I wish to be like some day and to crown myself with my own doctorate. Why not! The world is my writing oyster. His last name was Geisel anyways. I guess I could choose my pen name to be whatever I wanted it to be. Why not write under the visage of Darth Vader? Now that is a pen name no man can resist. Now, when I am writing for adults I can’t help but reflect on all the great storytellers. I think about the scientific complexities of Asimov drilling through the universe. It winds stories into a great tapestry that spans generational humans. I dig the raw nature of Tom Clancy providing a descriptive world where we can freely put ourselves in the shoes of others. This allows us to travel the world at frightening speed, showing our courage and strength all the while saving the world. When I write for an adult audience I can’t wait to sweep them into a story and draw them into a lens that goes beyond their everyday lives Then when they are so deeply pulled into a story I want to whip out a life -long lesson like Dale Carnagie in How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I can only hope to emulate these greats, but in the end what I must truly do is write from the heart. It is when we take the time and gain the vulnerability to genuinely share from ourselves that we leave  a spot of meaning in this world. Take all the threads you have been given and use it to make a beautiful picture of your humanity to show others. Inside of this opening we are pushing past the resistance that often prevents us from the best work we can create.

Day 6: Reading allows me to…

When the day is just too much, the door of the book opens up. It draws me away in a manner that is unprecedented. Just like when Scotty beams me up I am instantly transported to another world.One where the earth fades always and universes of intrigue, space and the ocean open before me.Why do I not do this more? I dig the travel that in it I get opportunities to soak in in a variety of locations. Why not take a trip in the mind? I can’t wait! It makes me want to stop writing right in the middle and crack open the nearest book Well the nearest book is my iPad, but I look forward to it.

Can I work in a library?! Well, I guess not just to work but to live inside a book for the rest of my days experience wonder and intrigue for the rest of my days. To crack the spine of the nearest book is my desire. We gain knowledge, and progress. Travel in text will lead to travel outside of it. I can read to get the information I need to succeed. We must readily and regularly take reading back into the real world. 

 

To read is to succeed. The biggest readers get the opportunities that many never have. You can have it all for the price of your time. I will pay my time to get what I want.Whether or not that is entertainment, connection to the Lord or information to build my career and the lives of others. The time I spend reading is multiplied in every other area of my life. So, to teach to read. What an honor and a privilege. I bestow it on others… Wow.

Day 7: I most resist…

I am resisting this writing! Not because I don’t want to do it. That is not true. The opposite is true.I think I must just be lazy. Well maybe that is not it at all. I think we all encounter resistance at many different things we try to take on. I just listened to someone speaking about the resistance we feel when we try to do something of chaos. It is the things of value that are difficult. What do we do? Well we can plan like it is not going to happen, but it will. So, we make choices every day to encourage ourselves to do what we need to.I think that when we remind ourselves that we have overcome this for, then we remember that we can succeed again. We have to drive our environment in such a way that breeds success. How in my life do I build the capacity to face difficult things. I must choose to do what I need to do.

To motivate us to do the things we need to do we have to have that grit. The ability to stick into things that are necessary are what allows us to be continually changes and grasping. In my life I resist what I most need to do. In the difficult and uncomfortable I will press in instead of out.

Day 8: A historic moment I most connect with is…

The declaration of war in the second world war is an interesting moment that I identify with. Should the declaration of war be something that spurs anything but intrigue? I think that it should be something that is a catalyst for thought. We should be in the way of thinking deeply about what and how war is formed. The global scale is not to be taken lightly. Though through all of this it is the people’s reaction to the declaration that is so intriguing. To be able to take something and have it be so unifying but dividing at the same time is a moment unto itself. 

To unify a large group of people we have an event, in this case the attack on Pearl Harbour, that is so electrifying that it ignites a passion in all. Then next is the division one side takes hatred to the next level indemnifying anything that is associated with that event. The other side is angry with the event, but recognizes the humanity of all and instead seeks to rectify the wrong. Which side do we take? Are we too quick in our lives to take an event where we feel wronged and destroy all that is associated with it? Or are we willing to step back and right the wrong and bring justice to those to whom it affects. If we can take our emotion as a signal from our body into action and then determine the action that is appropriate then we are truly connecting the mind and body in a productive way. If we only act out of emotion or try to ignore the signals our brain is sending through these feelings, we will always pick the wrong move. Let history remind us to pick a balanced approach that brings results on all the right levels. Then we bring success through our emotions not in spite of them. We can’t deny the feelings, but we can wield them appropriately

 

Day 9: The last thing I Googled was…

 

The last thing googled was angelology. Now that’s an odd thing I know. It is in fact Biblical theology around the angels. I had NO ideal what it was. I go to Bible study to learn about the word, but rarely do I find so much vocabulary. It reminds me of how aware we need to be of our audience and to take the time to begin to speak clearly to them. 

I have to make sure that when I speak I clarify. It is my role in life to communicate specifically about the content I need to. Often I will sit in a meeting and read the people I am working with and it will completely blow the agenda I had away. It is my job to meet people where they are at and move them forward. What point is the best information if it is not acted upon? To bring knowledge and make it into something that is incorporated into someone’s life and routines is a magical thing. We have to engage in the process of looking to help others see things differently.

 

Day 10: Success for my students (or the people I serve) looks like…

 

The goal of my life is the success of those around me . It is the singular focus of my work, to allow others to become better, stronger in moral fiber and knowledge. 

I do have spiritual aspirations for those around me based off of my faith. I hope that I can truly be a light in this world that amplifies my beliefs and allows people to see the truth that I have. In this pursuit I spend my time deepening my knowledge so that I have an answer for those who have a question. It is not in my ability to change people, but I firmly believe a mind shift must come from the influence of the Father. It is these beliefs that fuel my work with others, not only the desire for spiritual change, but also for the movement of people into better practices to achieve their goals.

I know the role of coach is my job title, but it is something that I intrinsically believe is good for all people. We need that interaction and human connection to help us to move to the core of our desires and really reach into ourselves  deciding to do something different. When our beliefs change that is a catalyst for long -term growth. The sustainability of the work we do is grounded in the idea that people solely operate out of their values and beliefs over time. When we seek to pate our system of values onto someone else they only revert back to their core when we move away. When someone has a dramatic shift in their internal thoughts then they can decide that they want to be different than they are. All deserve a chance to change. Will you be the instrument to move others into that place or will you hold people back by your desire for things to stay the same… comfortable?

 

Day 11: The most beautiful thing I have ever seen was…

 

I want to start this off with clarity…EXTREME clarity. The most beautiful person I have seen is my lovely wife Linley. That is no stretch of the word. She knows me and weirdly loves me with all my stressors that I put on her on the regular. The closer we get the more beautiful she becomes as I notice more of what makes her her. 

The prompt here was thing, and now that is something very different indeed. This item of my affection was actually a breakfast buffet. Now, I know we all love food, but the circumstances leading up to this buffet are what makes it all that more notable.

I used to live in Yosemite National Park as a seasonal worker. It is in this state that I begin a very dramatic story. My friends and I were all planning on doing a 14 mile hike in the high country around the valley. So, we prepped our day packs and went to sleep the night before without a worry in our head.

I had a horrible evening. In an effort to maintain politeness I will describe the night before as eventful in the lavatory. This had kept me up most of the night bringing my sleep total up to a grand total of 2-3 hours. It was in this bleary eyed, and slightly dehydrated state that I deemed myself prepared for this trek. Also, to note, in the preparation stage I managed to get directions. Yes, a great set of verbal directions from a guide I knew. So, with everything in place we headed off!

 It was a one way hike so we dropped our ending car off and headed up to the starting point to begin our belabored trek. The day started off well. I mean, my insides had settled and for that I was grateful. We continued along our merry way until at about three in the afternoon we passed a hiker and asked to look at their map. This was merely to inform ourselves that we still on the right track.

 

10 Min

 

Much to our surprise we had traveled much further than we had thought. Our stout muscular strength had taken us to somewhere about 16 to 18 miles. This should land us at the end of our hike. Based off of the information we had just received we had gathered ourselves into a much larger adventure than originally intended. We were more than halfway finished, but the crux of the matter is that in a one-way hike we needed to keep going. In an effort to keep our packs light there was only enough food for the day and a few cliff bars to spare. Fortunately, my kit included a water filter. Our crew would not leave the day dehydrated.

We moved on and on. As the darkness moved in and a chill ran through our bones our thoughts crashed in around us. Could we make it into the night? I was told later that evening that I had been falling asleep while we were walking. A rough situation like this was quickly turning dangerous.  The decision was made to finally stop for the night. We… I was in desperate need of rest. We had not eaten nearly enough food and were exhausted well past a good place.

Thankfully, we had some matches. The temperature had dropped and we were desperately cold. Once the fire was started we curled up in our shorts and t-shirts on the dirt. I have never spent the night just sleeping on the ground shivering in the cold. It was an experience I will never forget. 

As the sun crept over the horizon the next morning, never had I ever felt a more welcome warmth. I looked down at my shirt and saw small burn holes from the embers of the fire. Proof that I was driven to stay warm no matter the cost. We quickly moved in finishing the last 3-4 miles of the hike. 

There it was the white of the buildings and the canvas tents of our destination glinting through the trees. As the door opened it was laid before me the most glorious spread of food! There were omelets, bacon, fruit and waffles piled high. I ate with great abandon encouraged by the success of our endeavor.

 

Day 12: If the zombie apocolypse happened I would…

 

I race through the door and begin to run down my street only to realize that I was doing the worst thing possible. In that moment I would turn in haste back to my house. Then immediately bar the door with the nearest piece of furniture. It would probably by my high-backed pink chair. Though I would be sad to get zombie parts on it, this would be a sacrifice I was willing to make for the safety of my family. 

Quickly in my garage I would make preparations as the pounding begins against the sheet metal of the door. Grabbing my cooking and camping supplies, I would safely strap my family into our CR-V. The white exterior would soon no longer be pristine. As I begin to swing wildly onto the street I hit the zombies as they come at me. They are slow and I am the white lightning on my way to victory. 

The destination looms in the distance. It is the holy grail of an apocalypse such as this. REI the mega store for all the needed supplies lives on. Once we have arrived I quickly level up my supply game. Loaded down with the best freeze dried food, hunting supplies and gear we could never afford we are off again. To the family land in Oklahoma, and if we get half a chance we stop for some solar panels at Home Depot. Then the long wait begin as we see what the world will become in this post zombified state.

 

Day 13: The most influental food in my life is…

 

You take them pretzels and dip them into some ice-cream. Vanilla is the best. It apparently is a Pennsylvania think. I never knew, but it all started when I was a kid. My dad would take some delicious pretzel sticks and dip them into ice-cream. The salt and the sweet is the perfect mix. 

It broadened my horizons and then I began to put pretzels into everything. Take some brownies and crumble pretzels… bam the best ever. The list could continue, but I am not sure I want to fill my time with listing item after item and adding pretzels. Here is the deal, you take something sweet and you add pretzels then indeed you reach the pinnacle of sweet, salty and crunchy.

The next avenue to open up is the pretzel chip. Now, this delicious device could hold more ice-cream and therefore eliminate the need for any utensil. There you have it a short, but sweet and salty reasoning for pretzels.

 

Day 14: I want my legacy to be…

 

Upon land, sky and sea, I want my legacy to be coming in in all directions. A flood of emotions lay low for all to be a part of. In reality a simple knowledge that I had impacted people for the better. That people that came in contact with me would be better for it. I hope I would have been the person in their life that would have said the difficult things when no one else would. To be the one that stood up for them in the midst of injustice. If I could be the reason that more people ended up in heaven that would be an amazing legacy.

That my children would be riddled with disciple, respect and the ability to change their world. We may wish for global impact, but I wish only to benefit those that I see every day. Could these interactions be my last? If they were would I look back on them and be glad for what I have done. 

We can not live purely in the knowledge that we did right all the time. The only way we can live with ourselves is to know that a greater force is at work for the overcoming of all our wrongs. To believe that we are pure or have the capacity to be is faulty. We can only rest in the knowledge that we were built to have an impact on others. What will this impact do for us or the people around. I refuse to drain even when the only position I am in is to give of my mind. The critical nature of me is to benefit others. If this is not true I must go. This is not to say that people will not help or serve me, that would be pure naivety, but in this service am I grateful and noticing them. People are valued by their connection to others and the recognition of their effort. My legacy will be that of human value and of growth. How can I spend my time on this earth not only supporting others growth, but also giving them an internal pathway for continued self reflection and movement forward?

 

Day 15: Today the most impactful thing that happened was…

 

There were two moments today that made me pause and evaluate what I was really doing in life. Often. I think about my impact as a whole and ignore the small moments. It is these small moments that just hit you sometimes and you remember what big events these times can be. 

Today in church I looked over and saw the pool that our church uses for baptism. It is not a regular thing in our sanctuary. I thought about it. And realized that my son may not know the significance of such an experience. In turn how much it has impacted my life. I bent over and whispered to my son in the middle of the service, asking him what it was for. He knew, but did not know why. It was such a powerful moment for me to share something that was so deeply moving and personal.

Later on in the day, this evening, I was finishing getting my daughter ready for bed. She was singing and dancing and I stopped just for a moment and got down to her level. I imagined the world from the eyes of my two and a half year old daughter. I see the joy in her eyes as she moves through her little life. 

To see the world through the eyes of my children drives me to a better and deeper empathy.

 

Day 16: I can’t wait to watch… because…

 

In my life I have begun to dig a lot more TV and movies. Maybe because I am getting stagnant or lazy. The reality is that I sometimes watch things for me even though that reason isn’t what I originally intended. Let’s take a sampling. I am writing this prior to taking myself to the couch for a round of the Cowboys game. If you would have asked my friends 10 years ago if I liked football. They would have said, “Zook does not like football. I mean I think he only watches games that others bring snacks too.” They would be correct. I have children now and some of the things I watch are nostalgic and in practice are a clean thing to watch as a family. I watch the Cowboys because my parents watched them over and over again. In some ways it connects me to my past. 

I watch things that connect me to the past constantly. This ranges from football games to ice skating and golf. Now, granted these are all sports representations, but truly we connect with others through these experiences and I truly want to remember some of that. 

Right Now!!! I want to watch the new Midway movie. I just finished an Audible series on life on the home front in WWII and I am very interested to see how or if some of those realities could be played out in the new movie. War is never pretty, but it is galvanizing. I think there should be unifying factors in our lives. We can continue to celebrate our differences. Though to shape the world that we live in we can find the connections that bind us and make unified decisions around those. We have a humanity that travels through us all and inside of that we can really thrive.

 

Day 17: Tomorrow is suddenly free, I am going to

 

 I would get up at around 9:00 Am then go running for 6 miles. I know that seems excessive, but to be honest I would feel really accomplished getting that business in. Then I would go to the gym and workout. A few pumps of the weights here and there. Then, I would get down on that rock wall and try some stuff out. 

Upon my exit my wife and I would head over to someplace that makes the breakfast of champions, chicken and waffles. So delicious!!! Just the savory spicy flavor doused in syrup and over the breadyness of those waffles. Now that is some flavor. This complete. It would be time to head to the library and get down on some books for a couple of hours. 

The tiredness of my day is washing over me. A nap is the only cure for this ailment. I would not lie down in my bed, it would instead turn on a good round of golf and crash out on my living room floor. The afternoon ends there with a sudden start awake and rubbing the crick out of my neck. It is the start of a stupendous evening. 

Top golf is the order of the night. Two rounds no holds barred. Coming home I would crash out in sweet respite from the belabored day.  

I did not intend for this to be so self focused. I know that I care about others and other things, but in the end time inside my mind is a valuable commodity.  

 

Day 18: The coolest thing I have ever seen in a school was…..

 

 My back was sore from trying to assist a student to stand when the student was not quite ready to stand. It was in my first job as a teaching assistant. I worked for a phenomenal teacher Ms. Dike. She was strong and smart. The way she thought about behavior and supporting students with difficulties was genius. We had a classroom for students with low functioning Autism. These students were non-verbal and sometimes self-injurious. I was specifically hired to support a student that bit others so often that I was advised to wear soccer shin guards on my arms. There was a maximum of five students and four adults to work with that class at all times. 

Quite contrary to popular belief it was not the difficulty or severity of the classroom that was of any concern to me. In fact, it was the very volatile and physical nature of my duties that encouraged me into education to begin with.Up until that point I had zero interest in pursuing education as a career. My mind was intrigued by the skill and depth of knowledge that fully supporting these students took. The challenge was immense, but I was so electrified by the opportunity to make a difference for these children. 

This leads up to one of many instances that has fueled my educational trajectory. One of our students, the aforementioned slow-riser, was a non-verbal nine year old. I was under the understanding that we were not to expect him to speak. In a moment of frustration, the student who was fixated on a blues clues toy said, “Peaze!” to gain back his toy. I was elated to see how a student under the proper and careful instruction of a dedicated teacher began to make progress into a verbal world that once seemed so foreign and inaccessible. This was the beginning of many miraculous things that I saw in the room of Ms. Dike. A strong teacher that has shaped my career. I am forever grateful for those who push for the impossible!

 

Day 19: I am an instant expert on… So, I will…

 

If I were to be an instant expert on anything, it would be flying any type of aircraft. I think I would specialized in flying helicopters. It would be a very awesome event to be able to take something like that. I thin kin working with these aircraft I could have so many options to help and support other people. 

How many rescue operations are performed via helicopter. I could work for the coast guard and take off from ships in the midst of choppy seas. Then in all the turmoil head out to a damaged ship and begin to rescue the people off of it. Then land on the boat and enjoy the rest in labor that in the midst of the storm I would be able to help. 

Instead when there is a raging forest fire, to board a chopper, pick up many gallons of water, and use it to begin to quench the flames. You could fly in forest fire fighters and grab them out of the blaze. 

What about the options of flying to help airlift high risk medical patients out of a bad car wreck. The possibilities are endless. To operate such a massive machine with such intense power and control is a substantial ability. What an incredible skill!

 

Day 20: People should know…

 

I immediately went to a selfish place when reading this prompt, and then I quickly realized that is exactly what people should know. 

Our natural tendency as humans is to move to a place of self-service, and the promotion of our inner thoughts. Often, we believe that if people just knew more about us they might feel differently toward us. This would in turn change their actions around us. The end goal of this process is to be thought of and acted toward in a more favorable manner. Is this truly a crisis we face? Is it about how we are treated? The temptation in life is to focus in on bettering oneself or position.This individualistic mindset can be a dangerous road to walk. In  all my minute knowledge and experience I have found that to be a very different case. 

Those who aggressively seek power sometimes get it, but the long term of their leadership and growth is temporary. Knowledge and support of others is just a means to get what they want. Once they have what they want they will continue to pursue more and more. Darth Vader’s quest to conquer the universe is never ending. Instead I want to be able to seek the success of others in all my work. With this achievement I would never have to truly be concerned with my well-being. This is not to say that monitoring and supporting my own growth and success is not important, but it does not take the place .

 

Day 21: I don’t like to…

 

Sit still for too long

Stay inside too long

Go too slow

Be boring

See the same things

Read the same things

Write negative lists

But I do like to…

 

Run

Walk 

And be active

Get outside

Listen to the rain 

Go until I can’t any more

Push hard

Spend time with my family

Eat

Eat 

And Eat

 

I don’t like to think about things negatively. I might complain, that is true, but a natural progression of that is to commiserate or give ourselves into our negativity. I  prefer to find a positive connection through it all. I think I may relentlessly seek the positivity in every situation. I am not sure that it is in an effort to be positive that I forsake all that is negative. I do think instead that it is necessary for us all to have hope. With hope we can truly push ourselves to accomplish anything!

 

Day 22: The problem I most want to solve is…

 

Functional literacy and the communication that builds drive our society forward. It is through these pathways that we are able to gain knowledge and solve problems that continue to crop up in our lives. When we begin to shut down and shut others out our ability to make impactful changes drop dramatically. It is critical for us to be able to stop and consider others way of life and thoughts. The empathy in ourselves allows us to think from the place of others. All of this allows us to be able to make better decisions about life. 

It is my goal to provide literacy to as many humans as possible. Great and small this is a window that opens up the world to all. On a small scale the ability to read the labels on food are street signs allow us to move throughout our environment. In the greater scale it allows us to fulfill our goals and drive ourselves forward. My life has been shaped by my ability to gain new information through the things I read. I will forever be grateful for those who have given this gift of literacy to me and will always work to pass it forward.

 

Day 23: I respect… because…

 

Respect is something that is earned and sometimes given. Most people say that it is earned and not given. I would beg to differ. I think that to some people, they do not want to give respect to others unless they demonstrate some sort of earning criteria. In the thoughts about veterans day I wanted to think about the defference that I give to the military. I honor and respect the members of the military not only because of my recognition of what has been sacrificed for my freedoms, but also in thanks for the people who have supported my family through these times for us. I am in great awe and respect for my father. He not only served the country, but drove and commanded leadership through his diligence and work efforts. 

The service of my brother, his wife, my father and grandfather will always be a guiding pathway for my work and the respect I hope to show others.

Day 24: In high school I just knew I was going too…

 

It was in my nature. I was going to be an actor and a show host. THis was going to be the beginning of being discovered. I think deep down inside we all want to be discovered by someone else, and then catapulted to a level of respect and responsibility previously undeserved. I think that might crush me actually. Now, that I really wrap my mind around it. 

I have been through some truly difficult times in leadership positions where there is an immense weight of responsibility sitting squarely on my shoulders. The only thing that truly prepares you to make that much needed high-pressure decision is experience with those things before. Today as I was traveling from work There was a podcast on discussing risk. In this discussion there was a line drawn between risk and consequences. Even though the stages of the decision may be high, the risk level for the decision could be lowered drastically through the use of intentional practice and positive risk taking moments. 

In my deepest moment I turn to my previous experiences and knowledge of other’s work that I respect. Then in an instant I make that decision and make the call. 

Back to my desire to be discovered. I still have that deep inside my brain. Instead though, I realize that I can’t always control my opportunities, but I can determine how prepared I will be when they arise.

Day 25: My family life growing up influences me now by…

 

Red, white and blue are the colors that shaped my childhood. In the lives of children who grow up around the military there is a powerful culture that impacts your life in ways that do not reveal themselves. Quite honestly, you begin to think that everyone has the same intense pride in their country. Maybe they do have that patriotism, mixed with a strong sense of duty and work. There are lessons I have learned about sacrifice for the greater good. Even things like the  authoritative practices and command structure of that world are a molding force in my life. 

When I left home to go to college, I experienced a sense of loss that I can imagine must be somewhat how someone feels when retiring from the military. My life was in front of me, but that strong community was behind. I had to ask myself the question, can I serve others in a way that is impactful like if I had joined the military? I am in fact fulfilling my purpose, but I do feel the draw. 

When I see things with the armed forces it touches me in a way that is hard to describe. It has truly placed in my life many things that are crucial to who I am and how I operate. A sense of honor, discipline, respect for those around me and the desire to have a communal cultural around me and not an individualistic one. I do still feel that it may have created some blind spot, or naivety, in the way others experience cultures and our world. I am constantly examining these perspectives intrigued by the wide expanse of cultural frameworks that we work from. How do we view the world? In fact how do I?

Day 26: I am most proud of….

 

I am most proud of the lessons that I have learned. It is the human ability to communicate that fascinates me. In our society change and growth are the critical aspects that we need to benefit the people around us. The reality is that any lesson that I have learned allows me to connect to others and empathize. Then the gift I have been given towards communication takes over. This is not the part of myself that is most prized, though on second thought maybe it should have. Instead it is the failures and obstacles I have encountered in my life. These experiences allow me to empathize with others and take on new perspectives in ways that build bridges of connection. I don’t have to solve things from what I have learned. I might want too. We all want to change those around us. It is not necessary to do that through persuasion. It is the dialogue and discourse that we have inside of emotional safety that allows us to open up and view things from others perspective. We have to remember that viewing things from others point of view does not make us weak, but instead may unlock the doors for us to stand firmly on our side and the opposing force to stand on theirs and still we might meet reach mutual agreement. What we seek we will find. If we are looking for enemies all of the things we perceive about others will turn negative. If instead we seek connection we will look for it and will find it.