Posts Tagged ‘yourself’

until it’s over, but it’s far from over

where i come from motivation derives from survival. survival itself is the instinct that you just develop along the way when interacting in very stressful worlds. survival is a test, some win some lose. now that i live outside that type of world i find it difficult to stay motivated. when i have already kicked into high-gear in terms of survival, how do i get that feeling of motivation that i once had?


finding purpose behind a desk and on a computer rather than on the streets trying to eat is very different. previously my mode was survival, success out of spite, but now what is my purpose? well re-purposing is something that is not that difficult. in my particular situation i think of what i went through, and how i can help those people going through similar things.

so my new purpose in saving other people is kind of like saving myself once more. instead of losing focus, eating steak and gaining weight i have an objective in mind; save as many as i can.

the way that i save people is through my day job in education, and re-telling my story through writing.

re-imagining your world

i believe firmly that the sky is very grey when it comes to people’s worth. for instance what i learned from being involved in a drug-centric world was not all negative. while illegal that particular craft has people or dealers who have qualities like being hard working, intelligent, innovative and resilient. these skills seem to be transferable.

so now that i am behind a desk i get to bring those qualities to the table. the mentality is no different, but the world is. i can be all of those things, and more in a world that is centered on the education of others. before it seemed like everyday was a struggle mainly because of the risk, but risk is something unknown. if i center my world on the unknown that does breed hope. so how do i find that behind a desk?

being the best

to find risk behind a desk i simply tell myself that i want to be the best at what i do. this relates to risk because being the “best” implies not being the same. individual behavior change relies on the fact that you do not repeat something that did not work out for you in the first place, you do something different. well the dynamics of the professional environment plays on the same thing, if you want to be the best or improve do something different than everyone else. of course the thing is, being different is taking a risk. people tend to be more comfortable with routine, so trying to be the best is how i create that sense of risk for myself now.


by now you get the sense that i feel that motivation exists outside of whatever world you exist in. so even though no one is exactly like you, or has had exact experiences, motivation has some of the same factors, so why not find those qualities in the stories of others. i often find motivation from film, music, or lectures. when i look to be motivated lately i will play the song “over” by drake.

this song motivates me in the same way that the ghosts of the past do. i think of the things that motivated my grandfather to overcome slavery, to own his own farm. i think of the odds that faced my old man in the korean war, or his journey in his legal and illegal businesses. these stories whether in film or through the past inspire me to do better to improve. so i make use of them, i remind myself of them often to gain perspective on what i am doing now.

when drake says “….that’s what imma do til it’s over, but it’s far from over.” he is speaking on legacy. when it is over what will your name look like, how will your children perceive it. your legacy is something worth exceeding expectations for.  find someone who would like to leave things better than they found it, then you have found one person who is motivated.

“you can look me in the eyes, see i’m ready for whatever, anything don’t kill me make me better.” – t.i. motivation


the modern day walkabout

the walkabout is actually a ritualistic journey native to early cultures of aborigines in Australia. Walkabouts lead young men to live in the wilderness for a period of six months. it is a rite of passage for the culture.

the walkabout is basically a manifestation of solitude and soul searching. for modern day purposes the walkabout does not have to be that intense. the idea should be the same though, getting solitude to find purpose for your present direction.

individuality and autonomy

“i search but never find, hurt but never cry
i work and forever try, but i’m cursed, so never mind”

-lil wayne

we should take notes from this early culture while trying to escape what mc lil wayne describes in this quote. in order to really feel like “yourself,” truly express who you are you must be able to understand yourself in the present. the walkabout may be what you need. feeling as if others drive you is not healthy, nor is it productive.

getting control of your situation is beneficial, people love to feel like they are the captain of their own ship. for instance solitude in some of my social circles seems to be frowned upon, but i need it. if I had no solitude when would i have the opportunity to work on myself? nobody will feel the need to work on you in all facets expect for you. the walkabout will help you as an individual find something inside yourself, that will send you in a new direction.


when was the last time you were spontaneous, doing something substantial that was completely unplanned? if it was a big transition there was some sense of anxiety before it. even if it was suddenly going to have fun in leu of some obligation even if for just an hour, there was still anxiety, but there was also a feeling of freedom.

most often people feel freedom when they bring themselves closer to non-material things. the fact that you walk; something done sense the dawn of time makes you feel power. walking costs nothing, but you are able to do it for entertainment, therapy, and excitement; there is great power in that thought.

i will embark on my own journey shortly and I encourage you to do the same.


“destiny is no matter of chance. it is a matter of choice: it is not a thing to be waited for it is a thing to be achieved.”

-william jennings bryan


one gift from the autodidact

previously i posted about what an autodidact was; someone who is self-taught. one quality of this type of person that i mentioned was the disposition or the willingness to learn. speaking for myself, i have always had a disposition for learning. question is, if you don’t have a disposition, how do you get one?


developing a disposition is possible, but it depends on what you are trying to learn. based on what we know about motivation there has to be ownership involved. you must feel like you have the greatest benefit from what you are learning. starting in a place of interest would be a great idea.

finding interests could be a difficult task so prepare to try and fail. interest is only gaining access to what could potentially make you feel purpose while learning. purpose is the key.

this young man is the prime example of having a purpose. this is william kamkwamba the boy who harnessed the wind. william on his own learned different aspects of physics, and irrigation. going to a library he set out on a quest to make his village better, something he achieved. this is a picture of his windmill which brought power to a village that had little.

william is an autodidact that distributed his disposition into something that gave purpose. people in his village thought that he was insane, but soon realized that he was embarking on something that would change life for their village.

think of the gift that is in this story what does it mean to be self-taught, to direct your own learning? well, it means that what matters to you takes you to new heights of understanding.

devising a world take over could not happen without the disposition for learning.

Categories: autodidact Tags: ,

the lost soul

the toughest thing about being lost is not knowing when you will find yourself. in film today; like the popular tv show lost, and dating back to plato’s republic, finding yourself and finding truth are related to the cave.

of course we all know that the cave throughout history has enlightened people. dating back centuries wall paintings have been found in caves. naturally telling stories that depicted venturing into the unknown (outside the cave).

in order to find yourself you first have to know that you are lost. you have to know what parts of you are lost. the method by which a cave is created takes time, but for most specialists; those who study caves think they are something wonderful, somewhat of a masterpiece. this is no different than man or woman. you have a whole lifetime of experience that people must study, and examine to truly understand who you are. you will never be able to sum yourself up in a paragraph or phrase, nor should people sum you up that way.

why then do most people feel the need to search. i find myself in this place all of the time, just wondering what purpose i have, believing that there is something more. if i wonder then i am lost, am i not?

plato in his allegory of the cave speaks of a set of prisoners who only see shadows on the wall coming from the light outside of the cave. they cannot move, they don’t remember anything before the shadows, then the question becomes whether they are truly seeing the world. some argue of perspective, some defend the idea of the outside world as truly seeing the world.

think of this in your own life, are you truly seeing the world the way it was meant to be seen. does it matter in what way you see the world? well the truth is, that everyone should have a cave, a place they go to in solitude to evaluate what is happening in their world.

and now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: –

behold!  human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light

and reaching all along the den;  here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and

necks chained so that they cannot move and can only see before them, being prevented by the

chains from turning round their heads.  above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and

between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall

built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which

they show the puppets.

i see.

and do you see, i said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels and statues and

figures of animals made out of wood and stone and various materials which appear over the wall?

some of them are talking, others silent.

you have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

like ourselves, i replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another

which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

true, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed

to move their heads?

and of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

yes, he said.

and if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were

naming what was actually before them?

very true.

and suppose further that the prison has an echo which came from the other side, would they

not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from

the passing shadow?

no question, he replied.

to them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

that is certain.

and now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and

disabused of their error.  at first, when any one of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to

stand up and turn his neck around and walk and look towards the fire light, he will suffer sharp

pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former

state he had seen in the shadows; and then conceive someone saying to him that what he saw

before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned

towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision – – -What will be his reply?  As you may

further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to

name them, will he not be perplexed?  will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw

are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

for the full writing of the allegory of the cave go here

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.”

wake up

when i wake up i want to start a new day, and a new view of life. i want to feel fresh, i want to feel like i can take over the world. who would not want to wake up and feel as though the day before they had climbed a montain, and yelled at the top of their lungs.


i embrace the day through music.“words make you think a thought. music makes you feel a feeling. a song makes you feel a thought.” -e. y. harburg

if i have a feel good morning it does not necessarily mean i start that morning with a positive upbeat song, it is anything that motivates me and makes me feel like myself. when i hear a lyric it should sound like something i would say.

“i want it all, thats why I strive for it, i know that it’s coming, i just hope that i’m alive for it.” -drake

it’s a lyric like this that makes me feel that i know myself and i am comfortable with who i am, and i can bottle that up and take over my day as one step of taking over the world. or maybe it’s something by kings of leon, “off in the night while you live it up I’m off to sleep, waging wars to shake the poet and the beat i hope it’s gonna make you notice.” those words make me feel as though all i need to do is be myself and good things will come, some one will notice.


next i hop in the shower and i make it a point to make that a time for relaxation. i start to project out my dreams and my ultimate goals as if i have already achieved them. this helps me think through the short term stressful things and get to the reason behind those things, what i ultimately want in life and what is really important. after you think about that it is a good thing to also think about what you have to do that day, but only how you will successfully achieve those things. this  really puts your day in perspective.

having a good breakfast

usually my good morning will include a decent breakfast, not anything too serious, just something filling, maybe even left overs, or something like a bowl of cereal in the morning will do the trick. but if you really get a prize like the one above, it makes for a great feeling.

self-interview (yeah you heard me)

i aspire to be featured on a late night show, something like letterman, or what used to be leno. i actually think about my responses to interview questions. those answers are usually about something i just accomplished, or  simple truths about my background. this is another way of finding my center for the day, knowing exactly who i am and owning it.

the one thing i must have

out of all of these things that compile my best morning the one thing that i must have is music. it just makes me feel right, take one of the best wake up songs ever for instance, this just makes you feel like holding the world in your palm:

so what is the one thing you cannot go without in the morning:

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: , , ,

comedy and minimalism

March 18, 2010 1 comment

“there is a thin line that separates laughter and pain, comedy and tragedy, humor and hurt.” -erma bombeck

background of comedy

comedy relates to minimalism in many ways. i don’t regard myself as a funny person naturally, nor do i outwardly make that attempt, but either way as life goes on so does comedy and so come the laughs.

you always hear the fact that there are only a few stories in literature or other avenues, and that those stories are re-told and re-invented, but there are only a few originals none the less. take an early philosopher such as aristotle for instance. aristotle in “poetics”suggested that the epic, tragedy, comedy, and the lyric were the four forms of storytelling.

aristotles lists the qualities that form good versions of the arts, and says about comedy and others, “there are, again, some arts which employ all the means above mentioned- namely, rhythm, tune, and meter.” comedy then is an art form that takes on several qualities whereas others may only hold a few.

then it is not that difficult to relate comedy to minimalism. sure the two do not completely merge with one another, but let’s look at the positive aspects of comedy, and relate thoase to minimalism.

how it relates to innovation

“always do whatever’s next.” -george carlin

the comedian as a person is someone who stands out in a crowd. if you think about it the stand up comedy profession is built on one guy in a room doing something that most people fear to their very core; public speaking. as a minimalist you do something that people fear to their very core; loss of possessions. when people fear not being financially stable what does that mean? well it probably means that they can’t afford certain “things,” and for most it means embarrassment.

see most people do not fear public speaking, they fear the potential embarrassment. now most comedians thrive on a rush of defying people’s perceptions. the crowd looks on as a person who should be in a fetal position is mastering a stage. when people think about having to live with less embarrassment set’s in. we all know minimalism is a state of mind, so as a minimalist you are mastering the stage, and you are defying people’s perceptions because you are content with less.

in terms of material the comedian is always thinking about the next thing. as the above quote from a father of his own school of comedy suggests, in order to stay on top you must always think about what is coming. a comedian could just stay up on current events, but in order to make a successful career they must write things that no other comedian in the field is thinking of. i have made several posts on innovation which explained how minimalism inspires innovation. a minimalist has a greater potential to be

how it relates to minimalism

when you think about the comedians job description it lends itself to a minimalist form of entertainment especially in stand up. the comedian is often times, especially at the beginning; the writer, producer, and performer. all of their tools are at their disposal at little cost, and their investment in their success largely begins and ends with themselves. similarly as a minimalist you accept that you are in control of your surrounding world. you are likely able to do without many things and therefore adjust to any situation because you have the tools to do so, and i’m willing to bet you can carry those tools with you everywhere you go.

becoming your own personal  comedian

“you’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” -robin williams


a good quality to have as a minimalist and as a person is the ability to improvise which is accepting whatever comes. the ability of improv assumes that you cannot control anything but yourself. the better you get at this ability the better you will be able to predict the outcomes even those of other people, but you accept that you can never fully control or prevent certain reactions from your audiences.


“my friend asked me if I wanted a frozen banana. I said ‘No, but I want a regular banana later, so… yeah.’” -mitch hedberg

allowing yourself to live without things gives you focus and gives you room for opportunity. a big part of life, and comedy is timing. when opportunity knocks…..well you know the rest. a minimalist lifestyle gives you the ability to sacrifice little to get what you want and need to prepare for the next step. the ability to move, or to accept being without a small convenience. being a minimalist allows you to work on yourself that way when an opportunity comes you can accept it fully.

being honest

“i live in a neighborhood so bad that you can get shot while getting shot.” -chris rock

any good stand up comedian merely makes health observations  and embellish them when re-telling the story. to become a minimalist is to become honest with yourself. we all have flaws, and recognizing a flaw is one of the healthiest forms of honesty. for all of your flaws you are still successful in some arena so those flaws are things to laugh at. think about the good qualities you have and embellish those to no end.