Friday, September 30, 2011
My attempts to start a web magazine about building community through personal development at that address has been waylaid by time and scheduling conflicts with the writers.
I will be looking for a few other bloggers to help share the space, so if you write on topics of personal growth, compassion, community or personal finance and would like to join up with themighty.us drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The content at the new site will not vary that greatly from The Ashes at first. The main reason for the change is the switch to WordPress and the need for a change.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
For me this attitude degrades the human condition. We are unique snowflakes, special, different and living lives with there own triumphs and challenges. And just because everyone is special does not in anyway reduce the importance of our own specialness.
However, with being special comes a burden. We have to live up to who we are. We have to be willing to question the rules of the world that seem to conflict with our values and the supposed values of the community we live in.
If we are special we must live that way.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
When we feel small and insignificant -
When we feel put down -
All those feelings make it easy to shake a fist at the world and say it should be different. When we feel small it is equally easy to turn away and say, 'who am I to question the way the world works?'
The real question is, who are you not to?
We bear a responsibility to question authority, both official and social, when it works to make the world a worse place for people to live.
We have the responsibility to hold the government and the media accountable for the lies they tell and the promises they break.
We also bear the burden of standing up for those who make wise choices.
And we have to look after each other.
We are our community, we are our government, we are our culture. With out us there is nothing.
Who are we to question the way the world works?
We are the only ones who can.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
This is just the beginning. Once we know what we want we have to be able to protect that identity. By this I mean we have to be able to stay true to who we are and what we believe and what we want in the face of the cultural norm.
At the same time we have to stay functional within our culture. In other words we have to be our self if we are going to be happy, but we have to agree to work within the social conventions of the society we inhabit.
This is the tight rope between quirky and ostracized, the balance between unique and unemployable. This is a balance we have to strive for.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
I would like to take a moment today to talk about G+ and Facebook. The two look similar on a first glance but are very different below the surface.
Facebook lets you connect with people you know, and until recently only let you friend people by mutual consent.
G+ on the other hand allows you to watch the public activity of any one you want.
This difference is subtle but it puts a value on being interesting. On G+ if you say interesting things or create good content you get a following.
This encourages people to be polite, engaging, and interesting, and if you are these things you will be rewarded with attention.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Personal growth comes from a balance of comfort and discomfort.
Comfort is important because we are not striving to grow just to make ourselves miserable. But the process of growing can be painful because we have to look at the parts of our lives where we don't feel successful. It is important to make time to feel good, to focus on the things in life we enjoy.
However, when we retreat to that nest of comfort we are not growing. To grow we need to move beyond where we are comfortable and challenge ourselves.
This is the balance we need to seek, the balance between the moments of rest and the moments of work.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
If we expect that we will be treated fairly we will be disappointed. The notion of fair is a fallacy, or perhaps a better statement would be that fair is the social equivalent of the problems given to first year physics students.
In these problems students are told to set aside any factors that complicate the problems such as friction. This is done to allow the student to understand the concept. When we worry about things being fair, we disregard the differences in given situations.
When we see someone getting the things we want we often look at how we are qualified and they are not. Like the physics student disregarding friction, we disregard the other factors. We don't see their skills or connections.
When we worry about the things we are not getting, all we get is jealous.
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Let's take a moment and look at accountability. When we hear that someone will be held accountable for their actions we tend to think in terms of punishment.
This us not what personal accountability is about. Personal accountability involves being responsible for our actions both good and bad. It means acknowledging that we are not perfect. It also can mean asking others to help us keep to the course we wish to follow.
Monday, September 19, 2011
When we have communities that are willing to work together to solve their shared problems, we have people who can change the world. Communities trusting their small local banks can reduce the impact of large corporate banking entities, the ones that are too big to fail. Communities who know their local elected representatives can have a voice equal to the lobbyists. Communities that look out for each other may not be rich but they will be able to meet there needs.
Friday, September 16, 2011
Life is hectic. We run in circles between commitments, job and school, friends and family.
We have to remember to make time for our selves. That is the challenge this weekend: find the time to do the things that let you clear your head.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
We have to be able to give up being victims.
When we get in a bad situation, we can quit and say, "Oh well, the university hates me. Poor me.
Or we can stop making excuses and do something to change our situation.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Some days get away from us. If we do not allow ourselves to have the flexibility to adapt to days like that we miss opportunities.
When we set our schedule in stone and refuse to deviate we cannot adapt. The ability to shift gears and the willingness to take on more are important skills to develop if we want to succeed.
Doing more then the minimum is important. However, we need to remember not to do more just to be doing. We need to make sure we take on projects that move us forward.
We cannot control when opportunities will present themselves, but we can be willing to accept them when they appear.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Yesterday I mentioned I was going to focus more on writing opinions. But what is opinion writing? More importantly, what makes a good opinion?
When writing a good opinion you need to do more then rant. It is not enough to just say what you think.
A good opinion is backed by facts and supported by examples. A good opinion presents an argument.
A good opinion story is a feature story about an idea.
Monday, September 12, 2011
Since the school year has started again that means it is production time at the Oak Leaf. This means my time here today is limited. That said I wanted to let you know I have become bored with Up From the Ashes. In my own journey I am at a point where there is work to be done, but it is the same work I have been doing that I need to accomplished over time. I could keep talking about the same things here but this gets old.
I want to start sharing my views, my opinions and my feelings about things that are going on the world. In journalism opinion writing is my favorite sort of work, and I want a place to showcase that. So look for changes coming in the days ahead.
Friday, September 9, 2011
Find the light no matter how dark things seem.
Find the things that are more than nothing, and look to see how those things can be built into something more. See how they can be the foundation for a plan to build the life you want.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
So I think I may be making progress. In the past I have had a problem with taking on too much. I may have finally figured out how to say no or to save things for latter.
Right now I have a day job that is taking up 32 hours of my week. School takes another 30 (in theory). Then I still have to find time to work on paying writing assignments, get back to work on The Mighty Us, participate in an online writers group and work on a game I am developing.
All this has me balancing on the point of overload. The trick is not adding anything more to the pile.
All I have to do is remember to say no.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
On those days when we feel overwhelmed and sad, we have to find a way to break ourselves free. We have to push ourselves to action or the hole we dug for ourselves will only get deeper.
When we feel like this it can be hard to find the energy to do anything. All we can do is start small, go for a walk, create something, read. Find something to do, something to distract, something to change were our heads are at.
Once we do this we can't allow ourselves to fall back into stress and worry. We can't live where we wallow in despair.
Monday, September 5, 2011
It being Labor Day it is a good time to talk about hard work. There is only one real motivator for work and that is profit. Whether that profit is monetary, social betterment or personal satisfaction, all the work we do is for profit.
When we decide it is time to change our lives we have to consider how much effort is worth how much profit. How much work is the change worth? These are questions we have to consider for each change we want to make.
The questions we must ask ourselves are what do I want? What is it worth to me?
When we are losing more then we gain, we need to know it and cut and run.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
I am a walker. I enjoy getting around by walking and this affects the way I see the world.
I have a job now that requires me to go to a different city. This means I take the bus.
The bus I catch is not the normal route. It makes fewer stops and swings into a neighborhood most times missed.
Every new driver is sure I am getting on the wrong bus.
But I am a walker and this affects my perception. The next city over is not big, no matter were I would be let off, it would close enough for me.
How does who you are affect how you see the world?