Tag Archives: optimism

Keep Your Starts Fresh

Ever since I was a kid, there’s always been something deeply and profoundly appealing to me about a new, crisp piece of paper. It always spoke to me of possibility and excitement because I really wasn’t limited in what I could draw or write upon it. As long as I could imagine it, I could work towards it. Sure, I wasn’t going to be slapping down a Monet masterpiece first time through… but there wasn’t anything saying I could not get there.

I still feel that way today when I get a new notepad, open a fresh file in a word processor or sit down to craft a new blog post. The thought that beckons me forward is simply “Let’s see where the muse takes me today.”  I mean, I don’t think that exact phrase, but it certainly describes the feeling.

It’s for that reason that my favorite Calvin and Hobbes comic (and also the last comic Bill Watterson ever created of that brilliant strip) is this:

Calvin and Hobbes Comic Strip, December 31, 1995 on GoComics.com
Calvin and Hobbes Comic Strip, December 31, 1995 on GoComics.com

It’s also the perfect comic for the start of this brand and shiny new year of 2014, especially here in New England as the snow falls steadily from Winter Storm Hercules. On a side note… that’s easily the most badass winter storm name I’ve ever heard. I mean… Hercules, for the love of Zeus (mythological puns all fully intended my friends).

I’ve spent time over the past week or so thinking over my own personal goals and resolutions for 2014. Now, a lot of people finding the “resolution” game to be weak and I can certainly understand why. It’s hard to argue with the idea that every day is an opportunity to begin anew without waiting for the calendar to flip to a new year. However, there’s something terribly convenient about using January 1st as a convenient reminder point to take stock in how things are going and what you may need to do in order to point yourself in the right direction. For me, this is partially borne of spending the last 12 years in Corporate America where metrics are very keenly parsed by calendar points in time.

My list of goals is mostly created and I’ve begun the equally important task of creating a system by which I can achieve my goals (which tends to be the shortfall of the resolution crowd – lots of ideas and very little planning to go with them).  I look forward to 2014 with an open heart.

So if you are thinking over what this upcoming year holds in store for you and you have that same feeling as our friends Calvin and Hobbes where you see a year of possibilities… good. Don’t let the cynicism of others rob you of that feeling, certainly not so soon in the year – shake it free from your spirit. But also be sure to remember that hoping and wishing does not a solid plan make. (Must… resist… urge… to make… political commentary…)

But be bold about your optimism and nurture it, beginning today. Even if it’s not the sole thing to carry you through 2014 successfully, it certainly makes for a brighter start and a bit of a glow in your heart… and those are both very good things.

It’s a magical world, ol’ blog buddies. Let’s go exploring.

Bed Blogging: Random Thoughts to Conclude the Weekend

The incredibly clever title of this post stems from the fact that it is a Sunday night and I am typing these words from bed. Sometimes I get creative and sometimes… well… it feels like enough to just state the obvious. Tonight is most assuredly the latter.

A few random items on my mind, none of which felt like I currently had enough mental horsepower to transform into full blog posts.

1) My first New Year’s Resolution for 2012 will be to completely avoid negative people as much as humanly possible. Honestly, I’m not really waiting for January 1st to kick this one into high gear. As a generally positive and optimistic character, my patience for the chronically negative is short and gets shorter every year. See yesterday’s post on “My Worst Day” to get an idea on why the eternally whiny cause me to spin on my heel and head in the opposite direction.

2) I always feel better when I blog consistently. Blogging is now being added to that slowly growing list of activities that I truly regret when not engaged in with regularity. This would include
– reading
– going to church
– cooking my own food
– going to museums (something I am really whiffing on big time and yet I ALWAYS enjoy them when I go… which immediately begs the question of why I don’t go more often and for which I have no good or rational answer).

I don’t include exercise on this list because I do that with regularity anyway. However, this list gives me an interesting view of where I need to spend more focus to reap more benefits.

3) At the end of many weekends when I’ve gone a few blissful days without a razor touching my face, I give thought to letting some matter of beard grow in. You know what stops me? It’s a combination of (a) pure vanity; (b) liking how I look clean-shaven (while hating the actual act of shaving); (c) itchiness; and (d) the fact that growing a beard has suddenly become a “thing” in the lifting community where you are somehow not fulfilling your manhood potential if up are not sporting a full-on Grizzly Adams special.

In the interest of full disclosure, rebelling against (d) should not be a very strong reason to avoid growing a beard, but it is shockingly compelling for me. I hate the idea of doing it because someone is basically challenging my manhood if I don’t.

20111002-223635.jpg

But I do look ruggedly handsome when it starts to come in. I mean, that’s just objective fact. Like gravity… or the deliciousness of Chik-fil-A. Don’t question it.

However

kevin 096

I’ve noticed a few things over the years.  One or two observations on the human condition.

We, as human beings, are inherently flawed.

We are capable of unspeakable cruelty.

We hurt the ones we love the most.

We can be foolish.

We can be ignorant.

We can be cold and unfeeling.

We can be lazy and uninspired.

We make the same mistakes over and over and over again.

However…

We have a capacity for overwhelming kindness, especially in the face of adversity.

We can love to a depth that humbles the receiver of that affection.

We can be completely thoughtful and considerate.

We can be connected and empathetic and understanding.

We can reach out to others with warmth and peace.

We reach dizzying heights of creativity, innovation and utter brilliance.

We can learn and learn well.

In spite of all the ills we are capable of, I focus on the good we can do.  The human mind, heart and spirit soldier_and_child1241048146

Our flaws serve to make our goodness shine by comparison, like a bright white image against a stark black background… and I believe we do well much more often than we do ill.  That’s my philosophy and what keeps me going every single day.  It’s easy to see the problems every day, but if you think of the simple interactions with most people on most days?  The good is there and I place my focus on that.

It’s why my blog tagline is “Relentlessly push yourself forward”… so that’s what I do… the best I can.