This is Why I'm Making Myself a Top Priority

Sometimes I forget that this is my life.  It's easy to let my work schedule and personal to do list dictate how I live day by day.  At times, time goes by so fast in a blur that I feel like I've been on autopilot.

I know that part of it stems from my choice to live for others.  I put my wife and kids' needs before my own.  As an educator, I willingly chose to serve my students by providing them the best education possible.  I need to remind myself more often that if I don't take care of myself, I'm in no place to help others.  If I'm not at 100%, let's say for example 60%, then I can only be 60% effective when I'm working with other people.  By not taking care of myself, I'm doing them a disservice.  Everyone in my life needs me to take care of me.

I always have to remember that this life is mine to experience.  What is all around me is a result of my decisions, actions, and inactions.  With each moment, I'm writing my autobiography.

As a reminder to myself, I'm proclaiming: this is MY life.  Only I get to make my decisions.  No one else lives in my skin.  Only I get the responsibility and honor of defining what my life is.


If You Feel Like You Live in a Cave, This Poem is for You.


Perks of Being a Dreamer

I can't help it; I am undeniably a dreamer.  I dare to dream wildly.  I've challenged my heart to be selfish and tell me what it truly desires.  My dream is my dream, no matter how highly improbable it may seem.

"Impossible" is a flawed human concept.  What is normally considered "impossible" is just highly improbable, but still possible.  That possibility is enough to give anyone hope.

I am the type of person who will go for a goal without knowing how to get there. My determination is the key.  I don't need previous evidence to show me that it can be done.  Believing is enough.  If everyone waited for someone else to reach a goal first before trying themselves, then no one would ever accomplish anything worthwhile.

Being a dreamer has made me illogically optimistic.

There is good in everyone, and I wholeheartedly believe it.  Even if a person seems villainous, I tell myself that this person is a tortured soul who is acting out of deeply rooted anger and pain.  Beneath all that is a good person waiting to be set free.

It's easy to think that the world is falling apart.  Despite all that, I believe that there is so much good out there in the world.  Just when I think I've seen it all or think there isn't any more good in the world, somehow something surprises me.  I get a humbling reminder that I don't know everything and to keep an open mind.

Today and every day, I await adventure guided by my dreams.


Everyone Should Read This Every Morning. Yes, Including You.

If you are reading this, you should be reminded that you are AWESOME. Yes, you.  Know that today you will have a SPECTACULAR day.

You are a BRILLIANT human being with so much to offer this world.  You are more TALENTED than you think you are.  Inside, you have a BEAUTIFUL heart, soul, and mind.

How do I know? It's simple really.  Everyone has the capability of being GREAT and you're part of everyone. Just by being you, you are MAGNIFICENT.

A Moment (poetry in pixels)


When I Write

When I write, I feel freedom flow from my fingertips.  My soul slowly awakens with every sentence I write.  I like to take my pen and make it dance across paper as my words and scribbles create art from my soul.

The time I write, I'm alone with my thoughts.  It's a break specially for me.  It's when I get to sit for some time and mentally meditate.  I get to sort out unresolved thoughts and let my negative feelings melt away.  I must say it's best done with coffee, music, and sometimes a little snack.  

As I write, I imagine my messages beaming across the world making deep impacts.  I want each letter to move and shake everyone it encounters.  This is how I share the unique parts of me. Intellectually. Personally. Seriously. Comically. Honest-heartedly.


Mornings in 3 Simple Steps

Thoughts for every morning:

  1. Wake up grateful. Be thankful to be alive, healthy, and in a career I love.
  2. Look outside at all the colorful beauty as a reminder that the world is not black and white nor dull and gray.
  3. Be as positive as possible.  Thinking positively will result in acting positively.  My positive actions will create positive reactions all around me. As a result, positivity will surround me.


Growing Up, Vegetables Were My Enemies. This Year, They Will Be My Allies.

I'd really like to avoid being an unhealthy old man as much as possible. More and more, the thought of being a helpless senior citizen riddled with health problems sounds a little scary.  I know that I am what I eat, so this year, I plan on eating healthier. 

I said that I'd eat "healthier," meaning healthier than last year, preferably more than ever before, but I'll consider a small victory still a victory. I could instantly turn into someone who instantly and completely eats a 100% local organic food all day every day (that would be cool), but such a dramatic change would be harder to implement and consistently keep up. I know myself well enough to plan in small steps. 

In the past few years, I've drastically reduced the amount of fast food I eat (almost none), cooking fresh food at home, and incorporating more whole grains and organic ingredients.  This year, I need to eat more vegetables.

For most of my life, I've battled with vegetables.  As a kid, I always ate them last.  It wasn't because I wanted to savor it, it was just because I procrastinated to eat it.  My mom would have to bribe me to eat them (aka I was stuck at the dinner table until I ate all my vegetables). 

In college I rarely ate vegetables and I remember one of my friends telling me "You're such a boy" for not eating them.  It was until after college I "occasionally" (once in a few months) ate salads.  

Now that I cook a lot of my own meals at home (it is healthier and cheaper than eating out), I do incorporate a little more vegetables as a side dish. I prefer roasting vegetables in the oven, but I know that my vegetable consumption isn't enough.

So this year, I aim to up my vegetable intake.  How much?  I don't really know.  As long as I consume more than last year, I consider that an improvement.  A few weeks ago, my wife got a high powered blender that can pulverize vegetables and fruits into juice.  So far, I've made melon juice blends and carrot juice both with kale incorporated.  For some reason, adding kale to everything makes me feel like I'm eating healthier.  

I know I could do much more to maintain my health when I'm around 90 (hopefully), but this is my focus for this year.

How do you incorporate more vegetables in your diet?  If you have tips, please share in the comments below.


Waiting…… (a poem)

Sometimes the line can be misleading;
every twist and turn
      may be deceiving.

As far as I know,
      we may never truly know,
      where we're really going to go.

Just when I thought I was almost there,
      I was dead wrong.
            Now I know
            to doubt sometimes
            the images my eyes are receiving.

Here, there, or anywhere,
   it's almost impossible to see the end.
At least for the time being
            I'm with my best friend.


Maybe We're Time Lords After All

In the recent events of New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, I couldn't help but notice that people (myself included) were highly excited about the ideas of "starting over" and "having a new beginning."  On New Year's Eve, people were making amends with the past and making goals and resolutions for the future.  January 1st was the day to start making them happen.

The notion of having a continuous fresh start reminds me of the Doctor from the British TV show, Doctor Who. The Doctor is a space and time traveling alien Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. Whenever the Doctor is close to death, he "regenerates" into a new body.  He is given a new body, face, personality, and another life. Each regeneration of the Doctor is played by a different actor. He (so far) has been played by 13 different actors, each giving him a unique personality twist while still somehow maintaining consistency.

Ever time the Doctor regenerates, not only does the Doctor get a fresh start, but so does the show.  Supporting characters leave.  New friends get introduced.  New villains emerge. New adventures await.      Fans of the show get excited to see what the "new" Doctor brings to the show and how it will change the direction of the overall storyline.  Maybe this formula of perpetual freshness is a reason why the show has been growing in popularity since 1963.  

Outside of the show, we have our own symbolic regeneration every New Year's Eve when the clock strikes midnight.  It's when we grant ourselves a fresh start and "regenerate" to a better version of ourselves.


New Year's Resolution: Be More Illogically Optimistic

This is one New Year's resolution that is probably at the top of my list of life improvements.  This year, I will be more illogically optimistic than ever before.  As silly as it sounds, I seriously mean it.  What I mean by this is that I want to be positive in situations that logically look negative.

I want to look at any overwhelming task/goal and confidently say, "Eh, I can do it."

In history, great achievements came from people who dared to go for what they believed in, even if it looked like the odds weren't in their favor.  Martin Luther King Jr. worked for equal rights in the American South during the Civil Rights Movement.  (His vision was actually much bigger than that.) At that time, any type of victory for civil rights seemed illogical, but eventually African Americans won the right to vote and legal segregation came to a close.  

That's just one of numerous examples taken from history. This year I am to develop that sense of bold vision and determination that King had.  I plan to go for my deepest and wildest dreams, no matter how illogical they seem.  


Happy New Year!

Here's to 2014!

It's time again to begin anew.

It's time to look back at all our accomplishments.

It's time to let go of what's been weighing us down.

It's time to be grateful for what we've been given.

This is the time to reflect back on our cherished memories; and to make more new.