Archive for February, 2010

pocket full of dreams

February 25, 2010 2 comments

i interact with dreams all day long, i work on a college campus, and there is no greater pleasure than seeing people pursue better lives. there is no greater pain than seeing some of those dreams not realized, and no longer pursued.

why minimalism leaves you open to pursue the wildest of dreams

a lot of times dreams are not reached not because we are not passionate enough, but because we prioritize other things. some things are definitely worth prioritizing, but others we can do without. a lot of people say chivalry is dead and even though it isn’t completely you get the point. the same way that chivalry is dead i believe sacrifice is close to taking the plunge. what are you willing to sacrifice to realize your dreams, and for how long are you willing to sacrifice it.

when you choose to take a path of minimalism you are basically willing to put yourself in a position where you will sacrifice, possessions and relationships. what things do you need, and what people do you need for the next month, or year, or beyond?  these are questions that you have to ask yourself. one problem with the college students i work with is that many of them limit themselves to sticking close to home, and there is little opportunity if you limit your proximity. hence you may have to sacrifice family for a particular amount of time in order to succeed. it isn’t a requirement for success, but it is an option to create easier and more accessible opportunities.

here are a couple of methods i came across on the zen habits blog

  • Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.
  • Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things.
  • what are my dreams?

    after college and after any turning point many people ask themselves now what? this is more ironic in college because you get handed a degree that is supposed to tell you what to do, and still… what?

    we have answered this question since we were kids whether blatantly or quietly. this question was answered for me long ago but realized only recently. looking back i loved only a few things; my imagination, learning, and growing up on a ranch. now, my goals are to achieve those things at full force. i have defined all of these things and thought about how to achieve them and all of them are multi-layered but for today i will let you in on step one of achieving something that let’s me express my imagination.

    imagination, as a kid my cousin and i would play with action figures all day long, and between ages 4 & into the teen years (kind of embarrassing now, but not really because we loved it) we would create complex feature length events. when i sat down at the drawing board getting my wiley coyote on, if you will, i realized these childhood memories were some of my happiest moments. what could give me the same feeling; film! one thing i want to succeed in is filmmaking. one goal for this year is entering a script into a contest. now all i need to do is sacrifice. and if you are sacrificing something important for a certain amount of time the more ambitious you are the sooner you will get that thing back….positive thing ambition.

    ……so, what will you give up?


    the direction of this blog and my first e-article

    when i embarked on the journey of starting this blog i assumed a lot of things. i assumed that a blog was only a chronicle of something you were doing; like becoming a minimalist. i also assumed that i had to completely know who i was to start it, but i don’t.

    however in the process of working on it , and doing a ton of research i realized that i am more than just a minimalist or becoming one, i am a product of my environment, i am determined to have success and rule the world, i am determined to give to people the opportunities that change lives, and i am determined to be a minimalist while doing all of those things.

    the direction of this blog will be a combination of me posting only a couple of times a week (quality over quantity) and producing several larger works throughout the year.

    my hope is through my soul searching and bravery in revealing my past; my rise, fall, and rise you will be able to find yourself and your direction.

    the first large work that i will provide for free is: Soul Searching A Minimalist Journey In The Art of Knowing Yourself and Owning It So that You Are Successful

    emerson on the self-reliance of human beings

    February 22, 2010 1 comment

    There is a time in every man’s education when he ar-

    rives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imi-

    tation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for

    worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is

    full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to

    him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground

    which is given to him to till.

    -ralph waldo emerson

    through a recommendation to read the writings of nfl/soldier pat tillman it was mentioned that he prized the self reliance essay by emerson. in this quote emerson emphasizes commitment, and seizing opportunity, it made me think of us as people and the way that things (material possessions) drive what we do instead of passion and our true personalities driving us to success. having little clutter agrees with the ability to create and seize opportunities because it promotes optimal focus.

    minimalist definitions

    February 18, 2010 1 comment

    recently i read a post over at becoming minimalist that emphasized customizing being a minimalist to your own style. here is what being minimalist means to me:

    not living in excess

    we live in a world that attributes value to things, even objects as basic as a simple nic nac that only looks good. being a person who has moved and changed living environments four times in the last 3 years excess in the home has no purpose for me. i let things come into focus that are useful and relevant to what i want in life right now; learning, innovation, love, and success if my things don’t contribute to that they don’t belong right now, maybe they’ll make the team in a few years. even my personal style reflects this as i emphasized in my first innovation post.

    quality over quantity (material)

    minimalism emphasizes quality over quantity for example a material possession for me must have a few qualities:

    1. longevity
    2. effectiveness
    3. staying power

    a lot of times finding these three qualities in a product means that i have to go for the upgrade in terms of price. cheaper is not always better, and doesn’t always save you money. i need to be sure that when spending a large chunk of change that the product will last, be relevant, and do what i need it to do.

    quality over quantity (what actually matters)

    a big factor in this world of ours is time, and how you spend your time is important. i like to spend a lot of my time now failing at trying to achieve something great (i’m doing it now). i have to value something like time in a way that doesn’t allow me to spend all of my minutes in front of the television watching something that doesn’t inspire me, motivate me, or engage me intellectually (both fiction and non-fiction can do these things just make sure what you watch is relevant to your goals at the moment).

    i also take inventory of who the people around me are. i don’t take this factor as a friendship ender but i try to make sure that i stay in touch with those friends who are motivated dreamers who i can talk about reaching the stars with without them slapping me back down to earth. negativity from others may breed the type of failure you don’t want the type that stays on you like a bad smell, be careful and stay focused on what is important remember quality over quantity.

    minimalism is positivity

    for me minimalism breeds positivity because it allows me to be concerned with things that are not material, and it takes away distractions. instead of worrying about money i worry about the next big thing i’m always moving forward. i have a lot of room to think clearly and focus, and that takes practice when you begin a minimalist journey.

    being able to give

    after starting on my minimalist journey my bank account rose and i was actually on the side of the minority of americans who had a decent size savings. that gives me the ability to help people that i care most about, or buy a gift for someone at a time where they are not expecting it. doing for others, and being their in a supportive way with no strings attached feels really good, and solidifies that person’s love and trust for you the things that actually matter.

    minimalist valentine’s day solutions

    yes i am one of those people who have a grudge against the commercial form that valentine’s day exists in, and also one of those people who do not acknowledge it as a holiday. however i do think the thought behind it is grand although i feel this should happen at least once a month if not more (affection toward a person to express emotion for them).

    reading an article on the history of what is now valentine’s day you can see that it is a pretty well thought out well marketed day: the article. in order to celebrate the sincere purpose of valentine’s day what about the day makes it special? well in the perspective of the general populous the answer includes:

    1. love: what does love consists of, well for our purposes i think the most important part of love is sacrifice, what could you give up for valentine’s day? time, energy, or a prized possession.
    2. passion: having passion is the thing that drives a relationship in the first few months, but for some reason passion gets transferred into trivial short-term short-sided issues which probably belong more in the business category than lover or passion. how do you get passion back? well think about it what drove passion for the relationship back in the day? was it attraction physical or emotional? what were some of the flirting rituals used, re-create a moment? let them know how you feel in writing, or through song or video.

    that is all i have, what can you think of? as one last parting gift i have a good friend who purposely starts an argument before birthdays, and holidays, funny in a satirical way, but not a good feel.

    the way to success

    February 10, 2010 1 comment

    i have just finished reading malcolm gladwell’s outliers. i could not put it down for three days I was emersed in a theory of: opportunity + timing + 10,000 hours of practice = success. a phenomenal argument was presented that optimal conditions must exist for a person to be successful, if they practice for 10,000 hours.

    as a holder of a philosophy degree this is reminiscent of Michel Foucault who suggested that any change in scientific thinking (the world was flat and now it’s round) has to have the optimal political conditions and such for the paradigm shift to occur.

    what does outliers mean to me as a dreamer, a person that has always dreamed of achieving greatness. many skeptics believe that gladwell gives a realist interpretation of the impossible feat, but this book merely makes me want to log 10,000 hours of practice. if i can quantify things that i have always dreamed of then that makes it a little easier, and i only think of one thing, “i will not lose.”

    new versus old versus leased

    February 4, 2010 7 comments

    i have seen several people cave when it comes to automobiles. for some reason automobiles give a lot of pleasure, i am the same way i love a good vehicle, but good for me is not new. i own a 1994 ford explorer that is perfect, and so i was curious as to any studies that may have been done on the financial benefits of owning an older car. This first study is about owning a car that is fairly new and gives an argument for keeping it rather than buying the latest thing on the market:

    We asked Vincentric, an automotive-research firm, to compare the cost of several new vehicles with their five-year-old counterparts. We assumed that the used vehicles were paid off and the new vehicles were paid for with a five-year, 6.6% loan and 15% down. Based on total ownership costs over five years — including insurance, fuel, repairs and depreciation — the results are firmly in favor of hanging on to your old car.

    For example, a new Chevrolet Malibu will cost $33,064 over five years, or $7,343 more than the $25,721 it would cost you to maintain a 2004 model that’s paid off. Likewise, a new Honda CR-V has a five-year ownership cost of $33,520, versus $24,597 for the five-year-old model. That’s a savings of $8,923 if you keep the old vehicle.

    By Jessica L. Anderson, Associate Editor, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

    June 2009

    here is a graphical view provided by an Edmund’s study of new v.s. leased v.s. used:

    Consumer Info