Tag Archives: goals

Because There is No Alternative

Things have been going extraordinarily well, as of late. I’m employed at a fantastic company that I love, with awesome coworkers, good pay, and a real chance at learning and growing. I’m grateful for such an opportunity. My home life is also going pretty well. My lovely oldest younger sister is on a mission for our church and is currently in Utah for training before being sent off to Washington State. It’s super cool. I’m very proud of her. My brother is doing really well for himself, working for a pest control company. What was the first thing he bought? A ton of video games and an epic computer for gaming. My youngest sister is in the grip of mid-high school life, so it’s about as good as it could be for her (rough, but manageable). My parents are happy and my dad might even be able to get off insulin in a year. I might have an opportunity to move out sooner rather than later, and I’m starting up a tiny local business-thing to help me make some extra money. (Don’t worry. It’s not drugs. Yet.) Life is simple and good right now.

So then, why am I feeling so craptastic?

The long answer: I’m halfway into a relationship I don’t know will work, my self-image is crumbling, my health is in decline, I’m still nowhere near to releasing my first film, I’m tired most of the time, I get anxious about the dumbest things, yadda yadda.

The short answer: I’m not perfect.

I know, I know. You can’t be perfect. You can’t expect yourself (or be expected by others) to perform flawlessly and shoot to the top of the ladder at your job, relationship, or whatever else is in your life. You just can’t. To do so causes stress, and for a man who is 24 and has to live at home, that’s a pretty normal. I know, intellectually, that I’m imperfect and that I’m not supposed to be perfect. That said, I know I’m not at my best, that my potential is untapped, that I am nowhere near where I would like to be. It’s rough.

I want to be traveling the world. I want to be making movies. I want to be changing lives. I want to be helping people. I want to be independent. I want, I want, I want, but I don’t have. I’m failing to live up to my own expectations. So I came up with a couple solutions. The first is pretty obvious:

Lower your expectations of yourself.

This tends to be the go-to when I asked for advice on the matter. “You can’t be perfect,” and “you shouldn’t try to do too much,” were common responses. “You need to set lower standards,” was also popular. This might work for you, because your standards might be ridiculous. You might think that you have to raise those four kids, balance a check book, and end world hunger all before 8 in the morning. It’s admirable that you want to do all these things, but it might be a little foolish to try to do it all alone. Which brings me to my second solution:

Try harder.

Maybe your expectations and standards are within reach. You’d probably know better than I would. I personally don’t think my standards are that implausible. I want to live in my own apartment/condo/house, travel to a new place every month (even if it’s just to another city), and make enough money to support myself. It shouldn’t be that hard, yet for some reason it is. In fact, in my experience, this is basically impossible. Why? Because I’m not trying hard enough. I haven’t ever been able to completely focus or devote myself to any one thing – goal or otherwise – without assistance. Or rather, I haven’t forced myself to do so. When the going gets tough, the Tay got going. But that needs to change if I want to reach my goals.

To sum up, there are several roads you can take. You can change your standards, change your course in life, change how hard you work; whatever the case may be. You have the power. And I have the power. Believe.

That not good enough for you? The whole “just be positive” speech doesn’t carry as much thunder once you’ve heard it a dozen times. Allow me to present you with another fact:

Do what you need to do to reach your goal. Do it because there is no alternative. There just isn’t. I got home from a walk in the park a few minutes ago and my dad proceeded to lecture me about my eating habits (which are pretty bad). I’m now officially 70 pounds over my personal weight limit. I have plans to live forever and the gunk in my veins is going to clog up my heart before I get the chance to discover the cure for death. I have to be healthy. It’s no longer an option of “Well, I want abs to looks sexy.” Now it’s “I need to be healthy, or I’m going to die at 30.” There is no alternative. I have no other options.

Neither do you.

You want your life to change? You want to reach your goal? You want to be something more than you are today? Do you want to do something but just can’t find the motivation? Then remember the title of this post. Because you have to do it. You have to. THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE. There’s no backup. There’s no checkpoint. There’s no restart. There’s this. This is it. Do not waste what life and time you have. You have to try. You have to do. Because there is no alternative. Humans have proven their resilience time and time again. It’s proof that you can persevere and do it too. It will be hard. It will seem impossible. But you have to. You have no other choice.

Don’t give up! Don’t give in! And always remember to DREAM BIG!

The Color Red

I have two favorite colors: yellow and red. I fluctuate between which one I like more depending on my state of mind. Before I continue, let me define my version of “states of mind”.

For me, I have two states of mind. I have a good state and a bad state. Both of these states of mind encompass every possible emotion. Yes, that means that I can be angry in a good state and happy in a bad state. “How can this be? What kind of sorcery is this?” you ask. Here’s what it means: If I’m in a good state, I am able to shake off negative emotions far easier than not. I am able to see the logic behind why I’m feeling a certain way and I am able to find solutions. In a bad state, I am unable to do these things and become completely debilitated.

You could probably guess which state of mind favors red.

Red is the bad state of mind. Even though I can be happy and have a great time, my mind is unable to control how long that good attitude will last. On days like this, I will deliberately go out of my way to wear red, write with red pens, eat red-colored foods (cherries, apples, red velvet cake, etc.), and try to surround myself with as much red as possible. Again, it’s not that I’m angry or in a bad place, per say. But I’m not in control. Let’s examine that for a minute.

According to colormatters.com, red was symbolic of the primal forces. It represents passion, fury, life, and energy. It is a color of radical choices and behavior. When I’m in love with red, my impulse control is all but gone and I follow my instincts and my whims. Fun and dangerous, the color red represents a less-than-optimal use of my time.

I bring this up because over the last few days I’ve become less and less concerned with the important things and began chasing the things that make me feel good. I went on a real date for the first time since my last ex and I broke up. Had I had my whits about me, I feel like it would have gone a lot better, but I’ll spare you the details. My siblings and I were supposed to a special project for my mother, as Mother’s Day is just around the corner. However, none of my siblings were available for various reasons. Their excuses ranged from “I was going to see a movie with a friend” to “I’m working” and while these are okay reasons to not participate, I couldn’t help but feel abandoned to do the entire project alone. It wouldn’t have turned out nearly as good as I had hoped and it wouldn’t mean as much to my mom. So my rage consumed me. What do I do when I get angry? (Besides complain about it on the internet/to friends)

I change my hair! I shaved the sides and back of my head without really looking and because of that, it’s a bit uneven in the back. I then decided to do something I haven’t done in a long time…

Kinda subtle, right?
Kinda subtle, right?

I PUT RED IN IT. My Scarlet Stripe, my Crimson Coil, my Red Ripple. None of the hairstylists I’ve been do would do it for me, either because we were friends and they didn’t trust my idea of style, or because they didn’t trust themselves to do it right. SO I DID IT! Honestly, I love it. I think it’s really cool. Just a subtle little nod to my insanity for all the world to see.

This change in hair color represents a change in attitude. Whether I am a slave to my emotions or not, I will allow the best parts of the color red shine through; passion, determination, heroism, and life. No longer will the “bad state” be a bad thing. All things can teach you, can help you grow, if you know how to use them. Now I’m driven by the color red to accomplish my wonders. I can’t wait to show them all to you. I love you all, you beautiful people, you.

Thanks for reading. Remember: if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!

The Hour is Nigh

As I approach the date I will be willingly removed from my current residence, many questions present themselves:

  • How will I afford rent, phone, gas, insurance, food, utilities, and personal projects?
  • Where will I be living?
  • Who will I be living with? (hopefully solved)
  • How will these changes affect my dreams and aspirations?
  • Where (else) will I be working?
  • How do I make sure that what I’m doing the right thing?

These questions are stressful enough as it is. Despite my efforts, I haven’t had any luck in answering these questions. Today (or yesterday) I finally figured out why: I’m not trying hard enough.

My sister enlightened me with a paraphrased quote:

“If you want to be successful, you have to do the things that scare you the most.”

I have decided to make a decision that many would view as foolish. I am planning on turning in my two weeks notice at my current job. Why? Why would I give up something stable; something that is helping cover my costs right now? Why would I throw away what I have when the hour is nigh?! Simply put, desperation makes us do things we wouldn’t normally do. And I don’t feel desperate. I feel complacent. And I know a simple attitude shift should be able to help, but it’s not enough for me. I need to feel it. I need to do more than want it. I need to need it.

“You’re a dork,” you say, using polite language instead the other horrible (but true) things you could say. My rebuttal is a simple “um… yeah. Have you not been reading my blog?” I know I’m crazy. I know I’m dumb. I know I’m not using a very safe mentality, but there’s no such thing as an easy way forward. That’s not possible. Not in my life. Everything I’ve experienced that has been the most helpful has come from the most dramatic moments you can imagine; a horrible break-up, a fight with depression, a hike into a perilous mountain, a 50 mile bike ride in a single day, losing a pet of more than a decade of friendship, losing grandparents, etc. All of these things gave me experience and was for my own good.

I would not be who I am today without these experiences and my parents, my wonderful, loving parents, know that. They know I will remain here, unmoved. A lot of people came to my defense when I told them the news or when they read my blog. I felt very loved and supported and I appreciated it. Unfortunately, I think their love for me has blindsided them, or given them “forgiveness filters” so that they don’t think about or judge me for my stupidity and my laziness. My parents are not trying to get rid of me, they are not trying to hurt me. What they do, they do because they love me. And before you guys say “typical. You’re defending them because they’re your family,” let me clarify: yes. I’m defending them because they are my family. They’ve known me since birth. I was fortunate to have my parents remain together for 24+ years and to nurture me through this time. They weren’t perfect, but they did the best they could and now we’ve all realized they’ve done their job, they’ve done all that they can do. It’s my turn.

The Hour is nigh! I am an adult and should act like one. I shouldn’t feel like the universe owes me anything. It doesn’t. What I have is what I’ve been blessed with. Even this, this opportunity to leave, is a blessing. The time has come to spread my wings and crash and burn. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. I am excited to see what the future holds, excited to take the road less traveled, excited to explore the destinies I have access to. I can… no. I will make this year amazing. I will make this year different. I will grow and mature more in this year than I have in the last 4, perhaps in my whole life. I will do it. And I am so excited to get to share that all with you.

Stay tuned! The next post is about my heroes and how they have influenced my decisions, my goals, my dreams, and much more.

I love you all, you marvelous people, you. Remember: if you’re going to dream, dream big!

Milkshakes

Romance is hard. Or at the very least, finding it is hard. I’ve tried many-a-thing; online dating, blind dates, dating exes (not recommended unless you like repeats), asking out friends, flirting at bars, etc. etc. etc. So far, I’ve had some luck, but it normally doesn’t last. I’ve had lots of fun, lots of adventures, etc. etc. ETC.!!!!

I’ve resorted to witchcraft.

Not really, but there is some magic involved. I thought, “Hey. What will bring those that I wish to date to the premises?” That’s when I tried the milkshake. A banana, an ice cream cone, two scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a half-cup of milk. It was delicious. I waited, slurped, and waited some more. Slurped. Waited. Slurped again. Slurped even more. Choked. Coughed. Slurped. Waited. Nothing. I’m disappointed. Ah well….

My Milkshakes DON'T bring boys to my yard.
My Milkshakes DON’T bring boys to my yard.

Chin up, my lovelies. We’re going to find our soulmates, or whatever. Believe in yourselves! And remember that you are worth all the love in the world. Love ya!

Sleep well and dream big!

So Far, So Good

New Years Eve was spent party-hoping, dating, and eating dozens of appetizers and heaps of snack food. Lighting tiny fireworks, seeing old high school friends, and making out with attractive people may or may not have also been involved. Midnight came around with cheers and celebrations. It was a great night.

On New Years Day, two very big things happened. First, I hung out with an old friend, Steve. Last time he saw me, I was jobless, car-less, and wore the same old crappy t-shirts from high school. Three years later, I’m employed, driving my own car (crappy though it is), and wearing fancy clothes (faux leather jacket included). It was great to see him again. We spent the evening driving and laughing and trying food from various places. It was jolly. Even though my car nearly failed to get me home (alternator died at the last possible second), it was a great evening and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

And then I came home…

For those of you who don’t know, my home life is pretty standard. I’m the first of four children (two boys and two girls). My parents are still together and both are working (one from home and one out of home). I pay rent (occasionally). I pay for my own phone, gas, and food (when I can afford to do so). I work a part-time minimum wage retail job and have been for over a year now. My life was lacking the flair I’ve been craving for a while now. I want to travel, I want to make YouTube videos. I want to make movies, write books, and be creative in general. And I want to get paid doing it. I want to follow my heart, live the dream, etc. etc. etc. I want to be financially independent, have my very own place, a better car, and money! Not because I want to live in the lap of luxury or because I want fame and fortune to knock on my door, but because I’m tired of leaning on the support of others to get things done. I’m working on destroying my ego, so your patience is appreciated. Anyway, all of these things were swirling in my head that night when Dad decides to sit me down.

“You have until March 1st to find a new place to live,” he said. This isn’t the first time this has happened either. When I was 19 it was either go serve a mission for my church, or move out. I moved out. More on that later. After living in two places, courtesy of very dear friends, I realized I was too poor, too stupid, and too insane to do this whole “adult” thing. I wound up back home where my family and I rekindled our relationship and repaired the damage done. News Years Day, 2015, however, was a very different conversation. I had been dreaming of having my own place for a long time now and I had complained about it (but never actually done anything about it).

My dad and I are wired almost the same way. He said “I know that when things get comfortable, we get complacent. And you can’t afford to be complacent anymore.” Spoken like the Mouth of Truth itself. The words didn’t impact me in any special way that night. I had been thinking the same thing for weeks. I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t hurt, I wasn’t annoyed. I was excited. I need motivation to do things; to do anything. And it’s true, I was complacent. Comfortable. I wanted this. I wanted to be out of my parents safety net. I wanted to be free.

Free. What a word. We can do a word examination on that later. But right now, I feel it. I feel free. I could pack up and go anywhere. I could leave the city, the state, the country. I could travel the world or settle in the slums. I am no longer bound by the rules of someone else’s house. I can move out! Guys and gals, I can move out! I have never been so excited to move before. I hate moving. But considering almost all of my stuff is already packed, it wouldn’t be that hard.

I need another job (or a replacement) to help cover the costs of living on my own. I need to remember my passions and not let myself get swallowed up by the struggle of establishing myself as an individual in society. It’s my first real step into adulthood and I couldn’t be more excited. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I know this year is going to be full of milestones. I’m going to change my world and I am so excited that I get to share it with you. Stay tuned for updates as I job hunt, home hunt, and man hunt. Wink wink.

What are some things on your plate this year? What does the foreseeable future hold? Comment, follow, subscribe, yadda yadda!

I love you all. Remember: if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!

PS. Listen to Steve’s music! It’s pretty swell!

I Did It

In my last post, I talked about how to remain positive in the face of challenges. I told you guys about how I had to work an excessively long shift for someone like me in a job abounding in negativity. Let me tell you, these last 10 hours weren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be. In fact, they were (dare I say it?) fun. That’s right. Fun. I had fun at work today. For 10 hours. I was really impressed with myself. To be fair, I might have had it easy: our meals were catered for seemingly no reason but the holiday madness, I actually got to take all my breaks, and we even managed to close up shop ten minutes early. Sure I had to deal with a few unpleasant people…. Oh, wait. No I didn’t. So that’s another thing in my favor. Weird.

You know what else happened? I got a cute girl to talk to me. She gave me a website where I can get new frames for my glasses at discounted prices! (Mine are haggard and over 3 years old). I got people telling me funny stories about their families. I related to people when talking about our pets. I even cheered someone up! Guys! The Power of Positive Thinking is incredible! You literally change the world around you. It’s phenomenal! I sang along to the crappy music, joked around with coworkers, and even made my manager laugh. My manager is a really funny guy and doesn’t laugh at my jokes very often. And for the first time since I’ve known him (over a year now), he actually gave me a formal goodbye WITH MY NAME. Unlike his normal “See you later” thing, this was an actual “See you later, Taylor.” and I was like:

We Is Serprized!!!

And here’s the weirdest – and possibly the coolest – part: This day was exceptionally ordinary. Had I now made a conscious decision that I was going to be happy today, that no matter what, I was going to be positive and cheerful, I think this day would have gone very differently. I had to train a noobie today. Someone stole an entire basket’s-worth of merchandise and got away with it. A customer blatantly told my coworker that I was wrong about something that I knew I wasn’t. (She insisted that the tie she wanted was 8 dollars when I literally sold that same kind of tie ((color, brand, and size)) to a different customer for 12 dollars) And you know what? I had every right to be unhappy today. My car… Oh jeez. That’s a whole blog post in and of itself. Not to mention, when I got home, I read through a hilariously long post about how my (and other people’s) methods of trying to surround ourselves with positive influences was the same as being ignorant to the world. (I have a blog post about that coming soon).

But would you believe it? I was happy. I was so happy, and I still am. I am cheerful, blissful, and I am doing great! Have I described the same thing enough times now? Has it sunken in? Yes? Good.

How did your day go? What steps did you take to prepare yourself to get into that happy state of mind? What kept you there? How different was your day? What are you going to do tomorrow?

Comment below. I see all these new followers (Welcome! by the way) and no comments. I cherish feedback and ideas and love a good discussion. I would be honored to hear from you all. What’s something you do to cheer yourself up?

I love you all and I am so grateful to have you in my life. Be strong. Be brave. And remember: If you’re going to dream, dream big!!!


PS. I meant to actually write this as a blog post, not it’s own page. But because I like the message, it’s going to stay there for now. When I figure out how to transfer it over, I will. So… Yeah…. Oops.

How to Raise a Sinking Ship

Over the last few months, I’ve been hitting several barriers in my life. Money, jobs, projects. Everything has been sluggishly moving along. It was discouraging and I started losing faith in myself. Whenever I get in mental states like that, I need to make drastic changes to snap me out of my slump. So this time I did what I’ve never done before: I cleared my social media.

To be specific, I went on Facebook and Twitter and deleted all those “friends” who posted negative, hurtful, or crappy posts that were meant to hurt me or others. People spammed my news feed with news articles about the most depressing things and then went on to complain about how wrong it was that these things were happening. Pages I “liked” and people I “followed” posted rude or insensitive jokes meant to demean each other. I caught myself using words like “moron” and “stupid” which are far from the colorful words in my vocabulary. But I caught myself using those words towards people I cared about and against myself. Wait a minute. This isn’t right! This is not how friends treat each other. And this is not how I should be treating myself. I don’t want to hear about what other stupid thing Congress did. I don’t want to hear about how your cat is better than your babydaddy. I don’t want to know your opinion on the Obama. It doesn’t matter if I agree with all of your opinions. You are deliberately trying to get people riled up. You are looking to get me riled up. And that… That is unacceptable.

Instead of giving warning to these negative influences, I ripped off the proverbial band-aid and deleted, unfollowed, and even blocked a few of these people. That might seem harsh, but here’s my reasoning: giving someone a warning is like giving someone a second chance to change. In this situation, that would have been inappropriate. I cannot control what other people say or do and I shouldn’t try. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I respect that. I will not ask you to change how you think, how you speak, or what you post. If you bring me down, I just won’t pay attention to you anymore. Again, it sounds harsh. But if I’m giving them an ultimatum like, “hey, I know we’re friends and all, but if you want to stay on my Facebook you need to not post these things you’re feeling anymore,” then what’s the point of said friendship. Truth be told, I’m only associated with some of these people because Facebook made it easy to find people I went to High School with.

I purged my social media and even deleted some contacts from my phone. I was very proud of myself and for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel guilty. I have this nasty habit of feeling bad for everything I do, which I will go into that in a future blog post. This time, however, I felt free. I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. When I returned to those apps not two hours later, my entire feed had changed. It was beautiful. I actually teared up. I was now only seeing things that help raise me up, or made me laugh, or that were from people who meant a lot to me. And that’s the way (I think) it should be. It changed how I think, how I act, and how I feel in just a matter of days. After that, I decided it was time to start my blog. While not all of my posts are cheery and uplifting, they soon will be. Or at the very least, they will be entertaining.

So, my fellow pedestrians on this road of life, I am excited to say that I’m still learning, still growing, and I hope that I can become a positive influence on you. If you’re feeling down and you can’t pinpoint a reason, try unfollowing a few things. Try giving yourself a break from social media. Heck, try getting away from a computer for a bit. Take a few deep breaths and realize this one important truth: “It’s going to be okay.” I promise. I can’t wait to share my full story with you. I have so much to say, so much to share. As we get to know each other, we’ll become more open. But for now, I must bid you all a farewell. Hope you are all enjoying your weekend.

Thanks for reading and remember: If you’re going to dream, dream big!!!

PS. I know this is a lot of text and no pictures. I’m working on getting some more images. Thanks for your patience! 😀

Want to Buy Some Magic?

Unicorns, fairies, and Harry Potter. All of these things have (at least) one thing in common. Can you guest what it is? Can you? I bet you can. Because you’re smart. You’re smart people….. Smart people.

Okay, so in case you’re having some trouble, I’m talking about magic. Magic, as defined by Google, is “the power to apparently influence the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.” Telekinesis, weather manipulation, mind reading, and much more at the palm of your fingertips. That’s right. The palm. Of your fingertips. Because magic.

Let’s refine, redefine, and re-something-or-other this word. Simplify it. “Magic is the power to do what otherwise could not be done.” There. That wasn’t so hard. Example time! Magic would allow me to move objects from one place to the next without touching them. Magic would allow me to fly. Magic would allow me to see things no one else can. Magic would allow me to overcome any obstacle.

Now that we’ve seen some examples, let’s look at the real world and see if we can’t get the same or similar effects.

Magic would allow me to move objects from one place to another without touching them: Robots. Remote controls. Servants.

Magic would allow me to fly: Planes.

Magic would allow em to see things no one else can: Travel. Adventure. Exploration.

Magic would allow me to overcome any obstacle: Determination. Passion. Perseverance.

What can accomplish all these wonders? What is the fuel required to cast these spells? What is the mana of the real world? For me, personally, it’s that thing that has caused people to murder each other, caused empires to rise and fall, and caused the world itself to change. I’m talking about MONEY. Money is magic. Money can hire servants, open the door to travel, and it can buy passion. Money is a motivator. Money gives people power. Money gives people shelter. Money gives people security. People say money can’t buy happiness. This is absolutely true. But money can buy a heck of a lot of other things. Money can move mountains. Money can take us to the stars. Money is powerful.

Money isn’t everything. I promise. This is just a testament to what it can do. Granted you need other things to get money, etc. etc. But I’m just making a point here: There is magic in the world. There is magic everywhere you look. With this in mind, I pose a couple questions: Where do you see magic? What things do you consider magic? Comment below. Follow me. Yadda yadda.

Remember guys and gals: If you’re gonna dream, dream BIG!

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PS. If you like the art, be sure to check out b2spiritcat on deviantart for more awesomeness!