Monday, December 31, 2012

Seasons Greetings (2012)


Image Credit: Lifehack Quotes

Happy New Year friends! We are in the twilight of 2012, eagerly awaiting the dawn of 2013. This year has been great to me. My wife and I welcomed a son and he has been awesome. No, this blog won’t be all about the Benjamin(s), but his impact on my life will resonate throughout. I will warn you - this years post is less about reflection and more about looking forward, because the past is behind us and we have an obligation to make the right decisions for tomorrow.

I am going to omit the section of thanks all together this year. It is sort of self-indulgent and always seems to be taken the wrong way. To the friends and family I see, thank you for being a part of my life and I look forward to spending time with you in 2013.

So if I am not going to waste column space on thanks and inside jokes, what will I waste my space on? Life lessons of course!

[Do Something]

Seriously, get off of your ass and make something happen. Clean your shelves, vacuum the living room, finish that book, take that lesson, take your kid to the park. Do SOMETHING.

I have listened to too many complaints about “person x doesn’t do anything around the house” or “person y makes a mess and then never cleans up” or “I wish person z would spend more time with the kids”... so do it. No more excuses.

I work crazy amounts of hours at my job, but I am very involved with my son, I cook and clean like a champion, and I am involved in many outside activities and projects. I am not bragging because I don't think this is unique or special. How do I do it? I determine what can and should be cut out and I make room for the stuff that is important and you are totally capable of doing the same. No more damn excuses...seriously. I am tired of hearing about it.

[Work on Yourself]

A few years ago I had an altercation with someone I knew and the situation quickly escalated out of control. I realized that I am perfectly okay telling people to f**k off and be done with them. In some circles this works but in others you just can’t do it. So I work at that aspect of my personality. Some days are hard and other days I find success. The point is - I have been successful and have been able to change my approach. A nice bonus is that the universe usually repays me for my temperance (not all the time).

If you know there is something you need to improve, identify it, and really think about how that flaw creeps into every aspect of your life, your relationships, your work, etc. Figure out small ways to change it until it becomes a different pattern for you. This is not easy, but I really think it is worth the effort.

[Take Ownership of your Future]

I work at tomorrow. I constantly look at where my family and I are headed and make course corrections. I always evaluate if the goal that was so important three years ago is still valid today.

Everything in your life requires maintenance: your home, your car, your body, your relationships with other people. It is easy to take those last one for granted. Tending to relationships is a tricky balance, you can’t expect too much from someone because the relationship will fail, but having no expectations will doom said relationship to casual acquaintance territory.

Also - burn facebook to the ground. If you are managing your relationships via Zuckerburg’s empire you fail. I am not saying you have to call, but write an email. Do better than a “like”. Also if you are getting mad because you are not satisfied with the level of interaction you are getting with your friends on social media, seek professional help.

[Conclusion]

Society is at an interesting paradox right now. The technology I am using right now to broadcast this message can be used to menace and terrify people to the point that they never want to turn on a computer again. Plug into any news source and it will probably be served with a health dose of fear: fiscal cliffs, the fall of the American empire, children being attacked at school, arming puppy dogs with machine guns...

The easy thing to do is to tune everything out.

But it doesn’t work, at least not for long. We are social creatures, and while the internet was not a part of our evolutionary design, it is now. Our society is changing how we behave, interact, and think. This is a technology that should unite, not divide. It should be used to streamline services, reduce costs (especially in education), and inform the masses (without spin). There are factions that want people to remain ignorant and fearful because we are easier to control and manipulate when we are stupid and scared.

Fight back. Get involved. Get informed. Participate in creating the future or get the hell out of the way. In 2013, overcome your fears and make your world better.