I had an idea to post a few things today for my birthday but unfortunately circumstances have foiled my plans for yet another year. I'll take a few of those ideas and re-jigger them for future posts, some of which will be really interesting for people who know what I've done and some of what I plan to do in the coming months.
I did find a small pocket of time today, though, and thought it would be neat to just free-write some things I've learned or observed in my experiences over my life. (Sorry, no art today, maybe late tomorrow though.) Some of it may be things you can connect with or agree on and some of it may not but I just thought it would be interesting to share from my path in existence.
so, here's 34 thoughts for 34 years:
It takes most people effort to be positive. I've observed this difficulty amongst us. Lives so FULL and BUSY and STRESSFUL that its far easier to focus and state the negatives than to spend time talking about the good, empowering, and uplifting. We usually have to be intentional about saying positive stuff, especially without the comparison to the negative.
There is always hope. Never let any one or thing make you cease believing that. You can always rally back, even if that means changing the game that you are competing in.
You learn more from losses and failures than anything else. They expose you to who you really are beneath your pretenses and dare you to grow.
Some people WON'T actually ever change. When you find people who are like this, handle the situation with grace.
Anger can be a heavy burden so, leave it where you find it. Walk on to the next moment, which is ripe with opportunity to be different.
Make time to be alone with your thoughts. Thinking through stuff without the clatter of other opinions and distractions, will serve you well and allow you to get a better glimpse of who you are and whom you could possibly become.
Find people that GET you. Surround yourself with people who aren't seeking to impose THEIR idea of what you should be onto you. Those who want help you become the BEST VERSION of you that YOU can be? That is the circle you want. They'll encourage you, challenge you, keep you humble, and keep you focused.
Too many people walk through life with the expectations that everyone will notice them for who they are. This rarely happens though. And, even to those whom it does, rarely produces actual satisfaction they crave. I've found that it is best to be thankful, to find enjoyment in the people who do notice and appreciate you. While the circle may be small, it is quality. And quality will always be more fulfilling (in the long-run) than anything else.
Being able to read and making sure you do read, is great for people. Don't sweat the details of how much you read or what you are reading about. Find an interest and read about it. Or read something that someone who shares that interest, has written. Who knows, you may find that reading CAN be your thing. Its worth a good try to see if you can.
For every goal I have ever set, none of them have been a "final goal." I've found that once reached, there is always more I could do, learn, or develop than I realized when I had set out. Each goal is the end as well as a new beginning for what is next on my path through life.
Budgeting is important. Become disciplined at it and see how greatly it serves you with every new year.
I believe that anyone who is not an African American can truly understand the "black experience." On a similar regard, I believe that you cannot ever fully understand any race, religion, or subculture unless it is something that YOU ARE A PART OF. So, when encountering or engaging someone who is "different", LISTEN MORE and DO/SAY LESS. You will come out of it having learned more AND shown more respect that way.
In conversation it is best to not only listen to what is said but also to get attuned to what the vibe of the conversation is. This way, when prompted, you can respond in a manner that will likely end up being more helpful to the person you are communicating with.
The music that I want to make and the music I listen to are quite often NOT the same things. I respect that certain styles of music are best left to professionals who understand the ins and outs of their genre and song writing craft.
The best characters are ones who are capable of being positive. I get the IDEA of characters who aren't happy but I personally can't spend forever with them because of that.
99% of the people I know and have interaction with during the week have never heard of, and/or listened to, the music on my mp3 player.
I have only once been paid to draw in the style of inks/gray tones that I most frequently post online. Almost all of my work in illustration and design is in styles I have little confidence in or that do not reflect my overall interest.
To some degree or another, everyone wants to be respected. Keep that in mind when dealing with everyone you encounter.
Christianity, as in "followers in the ways of Jesus Christ," is a good. Unfortunately, what most refer to as Christianity these days, couldn't be further from the source. When one looks clearly at the origins of this belief system (the life and words of Jesus Christ) you can easily see the stark contrast that modern Christianity has from the man whom it originates.
I have found that you can usually gage a person's belief based on their knowledge of the origins, its core concepts, and how their actions relate back to those two things.
It seems odd to me that the most vocal atheists, seem overly focused on Christianity and next to never rant to high degrees on any other form of belief.
Questions are important. Questions are the key.
People do not like answering questions. I'm sure there are numerous reasons. I personally think that we all dislike answering them because being asked makes us concerned whether our communication is off or not. People prefer stating things once and that being that, not having to restate what they feel was clearly said.
For things that are too large for me to handle, I use prayer. God happens to be a lot smarter and larger than me so, epic obstacles are more his forte. For smaller stress, I utilize a system of breaking them down into parts. A problem can seem challenging when looked at as a whole but if you look at it as a process with numbered steps, it becomes less daunting and (in my opinion) far easier to tackle.
Learn to cook at least 3 different meals. If you ABSOLUTELY can't, find someone who can cook 10 different meals, ha ha. No sense starving or spending too much money on meals out, when it is cheaper and more satisfying to make a it for yourself.
Being right about things is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it can attack and deal with problems that arise definitively. On the other hand, people jump to assume that you're lording over them with your intellect (which I've personally found is not true intelligence, just a clear bit of commonsense and average rationality.)
There will always be, there will ALWAYS be, unkind people.
Find joy in every single day. It is there if you are willing to notice it. If you do notice it, hold onto it. (please note I didn't say "TRY to find joy in every single day", because that implies you may not be able to find it. You can find it every time you ACTUALLY look for it.)
Treat a person LIKE a person. This eliminates the things that make us DIFFERENT and put all in light of how God sees us: humans
Churches are a double-edged sword. Like many other groups of the liked-minded, they can perpetuate stereotypes or exceed expectations. Sometimes both. Enter them with this realistic expectation: human beings will disappoint you and be very difficult to handle...but they can also do all the right things. Don't be judgmental, give respect, expect the same in return and forgive as much as you would appreciate being forgiven. Nobody is perfect and if people there are saying or acting like we should be perfect? THAT is not a REAL CHURCH.
The things that divide us are NOT stronger than the things that we have in common.
The reflection of a regular mirror doesn't lie. But it says nothing about who you really are inside.
If you make it your intention to treat others fairly, be kind, and refrain from speaking ill of anyone, it will NOT bring the same consideration to you. What you will gain though, is a reputation none can speak badly about.
Don't let fear rule over your actions, thoughts, and words. BE BRAVE.
- Conduct Lionhardt