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message to my newborn

with the entrance of my daughter i think about the power that an infant has, unlimited potential. it is a fascinating thing to think that if power were measured in potential the younger a person was the more powerful they would be. i look at her and i can see into the future what she could be, and as a first time father i would want what she could be, to be her decision. so i dedicate to my daughter a story that reveals the secret of life:

there’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse…

and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful. the boy got a horse”

and the zen master says, “we’ll see.”

two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, “how terrible.”

and the zen master says, “we’ll see.”

then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight… except the boy can’t cause his legs all messed up.

and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful.”

now the zen master says, “we’ll see.”

my little girl has all of the potential in the world, but in the end she will be met by the world, and it will be her interpretation of that world that shapes her as a person. she will come to me many times thinking that she has failed and each time i will say “we’ll see.”




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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…..now 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?