All posts filed under: Improvement

Resolutions

Believe it or not, I didn’t always believe in self-improvement. But that may have been because I didn’t realize the concept existed. For a long time, I spent my time in the moment. That may sound Zen, but it isn’t. Any given moment was chaos–usually brought on by the aftermath of some kind of self-destruction. There was no peace. Instead, there were brief moments of ecstasy, or what some would call delusions of grandeur, followed by a swift downfall. Those times are behind me now, for the most part. Since chaos was my state, there wasn’t a good deal of planning that went into the future. There were a few exceptions. For example, I had some investments. And I was able to outline and produce an occasional screenplay and make a short film. Things finally changed when I chose to become serious about my passion. This effort required (and forcefully dragged me into) organization and near compulsive-levels of commitment to the craft of writing. This commitment, combined with a deep dive into minimalism, may explain …

Debt

It took years, but I’ve finally worked my way out of student debt. The way I went about it was by paying a little more than 200% of what was due each month. I would have paid more if I could’ve afforded it. While I was doing this, I was working on saving for a home. The student debt was impeding my progress, but that seems to be unavoidable without a socialist in the White House. (And if we do get a socialist in the White House, I’m banking on tax breaks for paying my loans off early.) Either way, it appears that I’ll be going from one debt to another, which makes me feel a lot more like a debtor than an owner. Speaking of ownership, I’m the proud owner of a Toyota Corolla named Dorian Gray (because it’s Slate Gray.) But we’re saving for the family’s next car, and we won’t be able to afford to buy it outright. And we’ll most likely also have a mortgage by then. The problem with debt …

Patience

Not everything in my life is the way I want it to be. In a few cases, my patience has been worn thin, and I’m justifiably frustrated. But, in other areas, I could use a little more tolerance for discomfort. Ideally, I would approach scenarios that test my patience with a cool head. This might require a certain level of detachment, and while that could be healthy, I sometimes fear it can be taken too far. I want to feel free to express emotion–when necessary. And I would prefer to avoid self-imposed despondency for the sake of equilibrium. To further complicate the matter, becoming unfeeling or unmoved by the things that make me suffer seems like an unobtainable goal. Life has brought me (like everyone) obstacles, and I have been able to achieve a level head regarding my plight, for the most part. The problem is that there is one major area of my life that brings me persistent and severe agitation. In this matter, I have no patience for my predicament and very little …

Complaining

I’d like to complain less. Well, it might not be that I want to complain less so much as I want to have less to complain about… But, seriously, I think there are two kinds of complaining. One is completely pointless–just a way for the complainer to vent. But there is another way to look at complaining. Especially when it might lead to positive change. Think about Henry Ford’s first car. If no one had said, “This thing’s kinda slow, Hank,” then he may not have pushed to give the Model T a little more giddy-up. So, if I do choose to complain, I want to complain effectively. For example, I was recently griping to a supervisor about an inefficiency in our system. After the meeting, I went and fixed it. I could’ve just fixed it quietly, but sometimes stating the problem helps me see the solution. It’s good to have a team that allows this kind of exploration, but I would prefer to think through the issues that arise and find the solutions quietly …

Road Rage

In the past week, I’ve been caught in a traffic jam, cut off, and made to wait behind someone just a little too long after the light turned green. In all likelihood, the traffic jam caused my blood pressure to go up the most. I honked at the stoplight because I figured the driver was texting. I didn’t lay on the horn or anything. I just tried to get the traffic flow moving again. I shook my head when I was cut off, but none of these things alleviated my aggravation. Therefore, it might be better if I learned to accept the travails of the road with a little more grace–if that’s possible. But, seriously, I’d like to reach a point when these minor inconveniences don’t agitate me so quickly. The best way to do this, I think, is first to recognize when I’m becoming aggravated. Then, redirect my behavior and turn my attention to something else. Finally, I want to recover by obtaining balance in my overall emotional state. If this were an actual …