19Aug 2015

It’s been a stressful summer, dealing with a multitude of issues that required my full attention. It’s kept me away from writing and I must say I have missed it!

 Regular blog posts will start up again next week, but in the meantime it’s time to get back to Quote of the Week mini-blogs!

 This week’s quote comes from Anna Quindlen one of the first three Op-Ed writers for the New York Times who said:

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

 Those words hit home for me BIG time. For most of my life I lived in such a state of fear of making a slight misstep in anything I did that it kept me from really experiencing life the way most teenagers and college kids did.

I obsessed over trying to do everything perfectly that I completely neglected the beautiful human being inside of me. What I have found over the past 5 years, is that the more I allow myself to be imperfect and to show my flaws… the person I REALLY am is finally getting to shine.

Take this week’s quote to heart, give up trying to be perfect in the eyes of your friends, family or society. Instead begin working on being the unique, vibrant and imperfect YOU!

That person is one who will be happy, healthy and alive… mayhaps for the very first time.

So go forth today and seek out the person you are inside!

22Jun 2015

Today’s Quote of the Week comes from an anonymous source. It is also the official announcement of something very special to my heart.

It isn’t big to make others feel small

I selected this quote because growing up I was the victim of bullying. I was made to feel less than the person I was and it scarred me for life. Because of those experiences I am very sensitive to any activity that may cause another human to feel bullied.  Continue reading

20Jun 2015

Fleas, those annoying little creatures that can make your pet’s life an itchy hell, have one truly remarkable trait. They can jump 100x their own height, to put that it human terms it would mean that Lebron James would be able to jump 680 feet in the air. That’s an INSANE statistic.

Every single flea has that ability at birth. A few years ago scientists conducted an experiment where they took a small cardboard box, placed some microphones in it, put in a number of fleas and then closed the box.

The scientists immediately began listening and all they could hear was Thwack, Thwack, Thwack as the fleas jumped and smacked their heads into the top of the cardboard box. As time went on eventually the noises began to decrease. Once they stopped the scientists opened up the box expecting to find all of the fleas knocked unconscious.

What they found, surprised them. The fleas were still jumping as fast as ever but they had stopped jumping at there full capacity. They had capped themselves in order to conform to the reality of living in the box.

The fleas were capable of jumping 100x their height, they maintained all of that ability, but they consciously chose to NOT live up to their potential because they were put into a box. A decision they had no control over, it was a matter of survival to cease jumping at their full potential.

In life we are born with a beautiful set of abilities and gifts. They may not be as obvious as the fleas ability to jump 100x their height, but there are just as remarkable. As we grow up, even though we 100% retain our ability, we don’t 100% use it. 

Just like the fleas we’ve been put into boxes that cap our potential. Unlike the fleas we can make the choice to leave the box. It may take some hard work and making some really tough decision but you can take the CAP off of your life and LIVE it to the fullest extent of your gifts and talents.

The world needs more of YOU living a life of your own dreams and not subjugating yourself to the whims and desires of others. Don’t willingly accept the box life has placed you in to this point. 

Decide to ESCAPE it. RIP the cap off of YOU and let it shine for the whole world to see!

 

15Jun 2015

Today’s quote of the week comes from American novelist, poet and playwright Gertrude Stein who said:

Let me listen to me and not to them.

Short, sweet and to the point this quote resonates with the base message I started Beyond Quarter Life in my first blog post, which focused on the typical life blueprint or what society tells you to do.

In this quote Gertrude is granting herself the permission to listen to her own heart. To value what she is saying about her life and what she wants to do more than what others will say.

It’s a great remainder to give credence to our own voice, for it knows better than anyone else on the planet what truly matters to you. Too often in our lives we get bogged down by conventional wisdom or the sage advice of respected friends and family, and neglect to listen to what is going on in our very own head and heart.

There is an intrinsic knowledge of what feels right or what feels wrong for our lives that we have all been gifted with at birth. It stays with us forever, but what are not gifted to us are the skills to listen to those feelings. That is a skill that needs to be fostered and trained.

The key component to building that skill is giving yourself permission to listen to YOU. That is the crux of Gertrude Stein’s quote… permission to listen.

Who have you been listening to this month? This year? This decade? Look back on the decisions you’ve made and see if they were made because of what other people told you or because of what you told yourself?

Reflect upon your answers, explore them fully and listen to what YOU have to say. You may just find some answers that you’ve been looking for, for a long while.

12Jun 2015

For those of you who know me, I proudly wear the mantle and title of being a Geek! When I sit and reflect on what that means to me, how it has defined me? I come to realize that being a geek can teach you some of the best life lessons imaginable… for FREE.  Welllll almost free, it may cost you a movie ticket and popcorn, or the price of an entire Series box set… but for the most part it’s FREE!

Being a geek isn’t just watching Star Wars and playing Dungeons and Dragons… don’t get me wrong those are two amazing aspects of it, but that is not what it is all about.  The reason why we are geeks is because something within our Fandoms, be it Star Wars, Doctor Who, Star Trek, our favorite fantasy novels, or Firefly, resonates with us.

It strikes a chord within our souls.

One day, I hear my Dad call to me from the family room of our home.

“Patrick, come in here and watch this movie. You have to see it”

When you are 7 years old, sitting down to watch a movie just you and your dad, is one of the best moments in the world. So I excitedly bound into the room and hop on the couch. For the next two hours I sat mesmerized by the flying spaceships, colored lightsabers and the allure of Jedi Powers.  The movie Dad called me into watch was none other than…

Geeks love Star Wars

Those two hours spurred an urge within me to ravenously read Star Wars books and spawned conversations with new friends. It drew me out of my comfort zone, teaching me how to read better and how to socialize with new people.

These conversations with my new friends led me to read fantasy books and participate in roleplaying games (RPGs). This sounds innocuous by itself, yet as a child people bullied me. By reading fantasy books or pretending to be a character in an RPG allowed me to escape reality for a few hours. It allowed me to safely express the person deep within me.

The person that society (albeit kid society) tried to stifle and shut down. Playing Dungeons and Dragons taught me about morality and how being lawful good is no fun but chaotic good can allow you to achieve some pretty remarkable things.  It taught me that normal dies are boring and that not much is better than rolling a critical hit!

 

 

 

 

 

Living in those worlds, reading all those books, and watching so many science fiction shows provides great life lessons. Here are a few highlights of what some of my favorite novels, TV shows and movies taught me.

The Sword of Truth

Taught me:

a.)    The Wizard’s First rule which states that “People are stupid. They can be made to believe any lie because they want to believe it’s true or because they are afraid it is true.” When I sat and thought about that I began to realize how many “truths” I believed without ever investigating to see if they were true!  It taught me to stop blindly accept things as presented to me and to instead challenge/investigate everything… to be inquisitive at heart.

Doctor Who             

Taught me:

a.)    That curiosity counts; life is long and if you aren’t curious, it will be BORING!!! So go out, find something, and as the Doctor says “poke it with a stick”

b.)    That people and Life are amazing; the world is full of joyous wonders.  Thru the relationships you make and the things you do.  You just need to be unafraid to go against the status quo (see Wizard’s First Rule and Curiosity counts!)

c.)     To embrace new experiences; when life presents you a new experience GO FOR IT!  It will take you places you would never imagine or at the very least teach you something brand new about yourself.

d.)    That you can always recreate yourself; the future can be re-written and you don’t need to be a Time Lord to do it.  Remember that your future is wide open.  What you have done doesn’t define what you will do.  You don’t need to be on the cusp of death to regenerate your life… if you feel like you’re stagnating. MAKE A CHANGE! Go get curious and embrace some new experiences.

Firefly

Taught me:

a.)    That you Can’t Stop The Signal; you have a purpose beating inside your soul and no matter what society may try to do and force upon you. You can’t… you CAN’T STOP THE SIGNAL!  You are you and you are valuable and wonderful and nothing can stop you

b.)    That just because you were on the losing side, doesn’t mean you were on the wrong one; in life you may fail.  You may go for broke and lose.  It doesn’t mean you were wrong.  It means you had the guts to fight for what you believe in and that makes you mighty.

c.)     That “When you can’t run anymore, you crawl… and when you can’t do that you find someone to carry you”; life is a long journey.  You are going to get banged up, beaten down and a whole slew of generally unpleasant things will happen.  You don’t have to go thru it alone.  Find a crew to help you out and you’ll keep flying.

Star Wars                

Taught me:

a.)    “Do or do not, there is no try”; in life trying won’t get you anywhere.  You either have to do the work to achieve your goals or you do not do the work and stay where you are.

b.)    “Don’t tell me the odds”; when you look at what successful people have accomplished in life… the odds were almost always stacked against them.  Nobody believed they could do it.  So don’t listen to the odds… don’t even look at them.  If you want to do something just DO IT.

c.)     “I can’t believe it”-Luke “That is why you fail”- Yoda; if you are pursuing a goal, a dream or a passion. You need to BELIEVE in it, with all of your heart.  If you’re not 100% committed to the actions you take in life you will fail.  No amount of intelligence or hard work will ever be able to compensate for believing in yourself and that you are doing.

Being a geek taught me to embrace myself for who I am, to learn that ordinary people are capable of EXTRAORDINARY things, that my future is mine and can be written to my exact specifications, and that anything is indeed possible!

May you find inspiration in these words and the courage to be unafraid to let out your…

Geek

 

08Jun 2015

This week’s quote of the week comes from the British penologist (a person who studies the science of prisons) and former Commissioner of Prisons Sir Alexander Paterson who said

When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself.

This quote struck a chord with me as the past two weeks I have really been exploring the concepts of willpower, motivation and discipline. Two weeks ago I had a health scare, that thankfully turned out to be nothing, but it gave me a crash course in the interconnectedness of those three disciplines. 

I’m lucky enough to be a person who over the past few years implemented a number of strong habits that promotes a positive mental attitude. In addition over the past few months I implemented a new set of eating habits, one that requires some discipline to stick to.

 When my health scare came up I freaked out! Yet I took some deep breaths and harnessed every single tip, trick or hack to stay positive. On top of that I made sure to keep to my health eating habit. It took EVERY single once and fiber of my willpower to not lose it.

The next day when I got the news that there was nothing wrong with me, I let myself be the normal me again and all the fears and feelings I’d fought off yesterday hit me… and I realized JUST how much I had been freaking out.

The end result is I expended SO much of my willpower to be disciplined and STICK to my positive habits to avoid freaking out because I was MOTIVATED to keep a level head as I dealt with this issue.

You are capable of AMAZING feats when properly motivated. A motivated person can overcome countless hurdles in their pursuit of excellence. If you are struggling to accomplish your goals, ask yourself what motivated me to pursue this? 

My guess is that if you have to ask that question, it can be improved! So find your A+ Motivatior and GO LIVE AN AMAZING LIFE!!!