Writing 100 Articles In 100 Days. What Did I Learn?

Photo by Michael Competielle

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

 — Saul Bellow

Today is day 100 of a 100-day writing challenge. The idea was to attempt to write 100 original articles with original photography and publish them. The topics and context we not of importance. In reality, honesty and self-reflection was the priority of this writing exercise. 

Never having written anything before I was presented with a challenge lacking in familiarity and comfort. What was I going to say and how was I planning to say it? 

Looking Inside Myself 

As I began to look inside myself I recognized I needed to find the voice. Being introspective of yourself and displaying your thoughts and emotions leaves you a feeling of exposure and nakedness. It was the warmth of connection and encouragement I received from my readers and writing partner that kept me on track and forthcoming.

Wild flurries of emotionalism flew out of me as I henpecked away word by word, sentence by sentence formulating subconscious thoughts into tangible content. 

When I was in my comfort zone was when I faded off into a meditative state tapping away words that came out of me like I was telling a best friend an innermost deep story. Hours later I’d reread what I’d written and often questioned who was the author, confident it clearly wasn’t me. I’d plagiarized my own words. Hacking into the databanks of my inner psyche. 

Time and Space

The best time to write was early in the morning. My dogs would be snoring, the outside world is relatively silent and I could immerse myself into this transcendent writing flow.

My photographs were my inspiration as I’d write based on the emotional impact I felt from the experiences of exploration into self-discovery. 

Researching my thoughts and looking for supporting content would leave me exploring rabbit holes of discovery as I learned more from becoming a writer than I had from being a reader. My mind an absorptive sponge ingesting and processing massive quantities of data. I forced myself to go out and find inspiration and everything I found became inspiring. 

Tapping away letter by letter I’d lose myself in the moment. Time would pass often quickly as I transported myself into another place in time. Gravity and it’s holding power diminished as I wrote and explored the outside world. I no longer walked on the ground but on a layer of air, slightly elevated above the surface of the world. Airy and light yet not quite floating. 

Time has become more precious than ever before as I respect every moment, recognizing time as our most priceless resource. My relationships with the outside world have felt a bit removed from those that don’t create or can not absorb. The nonreaders are the nonthinkers. Vessels of lifelessness missing the purpose of life and connection. 

Who Is This Crazy Guy?

My discoveries as I wrote in this meditative style yielded wildly varying articles that began to weave the fabric of my consciousness. Patterns of words and phrases were repeated from article to article with differences in meaning and relevance. Each philosophy and theory cumulatively assembling into an enlightened version of me.

As the articles were published new connections were made with friends that began to read my content. The highlight of the writing exercise was when a brilliant inspirational idol shared one of my better posts on Twiter.

As time passed by day by day, articles were published and readership increased. Topics of creativity were well received as were articles on mindfulness.

As I wrote more and more my connection to my mind and soul was enriched. Self-discovery and self-awareness were constant topics I learned the most about myself.

During the hundred days, I found not only could I effectively write but it was simple to get lost inside my conscious. In the next 100 days, you’ll a new level of exploration and discovery. My connections to myself and my mind’s eye have nurtured my world of literary exploration.

How “Permitted Bootlegging” Revolutionized The World Of Innovation and Creativity

Photo by Michael Competielle

This is not a story written about Prohibition or distilling grain alcohol, this is a story about encouraging people to develop their pet projects into life-changing experiences. 

Most of everyone’s job has requirements that are often narrowly impossible to accomplish. Sales quotas and product yields are designed to increase exponentially based upon increasing profits while often disregarding relevance. Unnecessary stresses are placed on employees following rules and protocols and little thought is placed on innovating or creativity. 

Brainstorming and value engineering resources are often placed on solving existing problems leaving little time or energy to nurture ideas that could potentially rewrite the destiny of a company. 

Failing Quickly Yields Future Success

In 1968 3m scientist Dr. Spencer Silver was developing a super strong and sticky adhesive that quite honestly wasn’t very strong. In fact, the opposite happened when accidentally designed a low tack reusable adhesive. 

Silver felt that his adhesive had a special purpose and he, therefore, spent the next 5 years pitching the product to various 3m departments hoping someone would find a commercial use for the adhesive.

It wasn’t until 1974 when a 3m colleague Arthur Fry who had attended one of Silvers seminars that a potential use was conceived. Fry thought the adhesive would be perfect to use as a sticky yet removable bookmark for his hymn book.

Fry decided to further develop his concept by using 3m’s Permitted Bootleg policy. It was the availability of this policy that helped Fry and Silver to work together in secrecy on a pet project that would soon be the most innovative stationery and design product. 

It took 12 years from the accidental discovery by Silver and further developed with Fry until the commercial release in 1980 of the Post-it Note. Little yellow pads of paper held together with an adhesive that bonds well yet are removable and reusable. 

Encouraging Innovation Through Bootlegging

It’s companies that have developed a mindset that encourages creativity and free thinking that ultimately is most innovative. 3m, Hewlett-Packard, and Google are examples of companies that allow employees a certain percentage of time to work on their pet projects. 

The term ‘bootlegging’ is used because while the R&D happens on company time with company resources, the projects are usually kept in secrecy during this innovation development stage. It’s this acceptance of secrecy that innovation can be nurtured as this bootlegging period of developing is exercised without formalizing the project, sharing with managers and often breaks a companies rules and conventions.

It’s these risky scenarios where development can overcome obstacles. Teams have freedoms and liberties towards their projects creative process and the success of Permitted Bootlegging has yielded additional successes such as Gmail, Google News, and BMW’s 12 cylinder engine. 

It’s from these creative minds that we’ve learned to more innovative. Post-it notes are used by project teams to develop ideas, maintain goals and find solutions. By using permitted bootlegging and post-it notes to visualize your plan we can make great strides in designing our future while encouraged to take risks. 

The Best Articles I’ve Written Are The Ones That Nobody Reads

Photo by Michael Competielle

“There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen.”

Jim Lovell

The world moves around me like a cosmic vat of fragmented debris. My mind requires stimulation and challenges to avoid death by boredom. Television and films have become stagnant of purpose and risk while auteurs struggle to exist.

Music venues have elevated ticket prices to audacious amounts while strangling artists’ abilities to remain lucrative and remain devoid of creativity or taking risks. Boring arena tours with overpriced meet and greets are the norm. Aging has been artists who are echoing their past to the allegiant fans stuck in a proverbial timewarp feels like a money subterfuge.

Stripper anthems and rapper idioms are proven profit makers exacerbating the dumbification of our floundering society. Venues are serving corporate conglomerate beers, soft drinks, and processed foods to aid in declining the health of the patrons while posting adverts for medical centers and pharmaceuticals to help pay the bills.

Why I Suck

I’ve no desire to follow the masses. I’m currently fighting with my blog’s AI SEO algorithms telling me my article currently sucks. I’d guess the algorithm was written by tracking the top 1,000 keywords utilized by top publication rags a clickbait.

As I ponder my future as a successful writer I’m researching some titles I feel are sheerly brilliant that could titillate the herd.

  • 7 Ways Gordon Ramsey Can Teach You Emotional Intelligence
  • How Lindsay Lohan Excels at Defensive Driving Skills
  • How Vanilla Ice Can Teach You To Understand Copyright Laws and Write a Hit Song
  • 9 Ways to Find Love…Again By Studying Zsa Zsa Gabor
  • and the list goes on

Save The Brain Cells

As I work to keep the neurons of my brain enriched by stimulating it with art, well-articulated literature and scientific studies I’ve recognized our societies lacking in autodidacticism. It’s doubtful I’ll gain much traction with this quintessential diatribe of creative expression but I’m certain every time I reread it I’ll giggle to myself on how profound exercising the brain really is. And the fact many will need a dictionary to fucking read it.

Maximizing Your Creativity By Economizing Your Day

Photo by Michael Competielle

How do you know you’ve maximized your day and economized projects to succeed? By prioritizing our day based on establishing small achievable goals while focusing on completing them we can see progress quickly. Morning seems to be a moment in my day where I can be productive and creative optimizing my limited time.

Writing has become easier when I have planned my thoughts prior to even opening my computer. Being I write based on my life experiences, I make sure I document all of them with photographs. When I’m writing about my experiences words begin to follow as I’m describing my recollection of stored details.

To obtain inspiration I love stepping outside into city life to enter into culturally diverse environments. Most cities’ density and mixed uses forsters a culmination of cultural heritage that inspires inspiration. Walking and interacting with diversity help define differences and expands our knowledge.

People watching and focusing on their details

Mornings in a city is a brilliant time to people watch. Window seats in coffeehouses is a favored spot as you can view people candidly observing their body language and movement. As we pay attention to finite details and memorizing them we build attention to details. What makes brilliant writing? Attention to detail and perspective.

When we have clarity and focus on details stored in our memory banks, writing becomes easier. We no longer have to struggle to find words and descriptors to expressive ourselves. As we optimize our writing time while getting into our flow, fully-fledged concepts become paragraphs of precise descriptive narration.

Morning writing lessens environmental influences as we haven’t yet stepped into the outside world. Our thoughts and words are yet to be tainted by the complexities of our day. Allocating morning time towards writing, the compressed availability of free time places pressure on clear and concise phrasing.

Who Wrote This Shit

When I get into my zone, words materialize a rapid pace with fluidity. Minor typos and proper punctuation matter less than getting the words out as if I’m telling a friend a story. Once I get close to what I feel is the end of the article, I’ll reread it to determine how well to flows. When I know I’m writing well the sentences read well. If I’m on track I’ll read the article and question the identity of the author.

It’s in those moments when I’m most creative and thorough that rereading the text makes me question who the author was. It’s that inner voice who comes out and tells the most engaging stories in the briefest amount of time. The economy of time and focusing on small goals have expanded the amount of content I can write about while detail in a focused moment.

Reimagining Landscapes With A Cacophony of Soundscapes

Photo by Michael Competielle

“The final question will be: is the soundscape of the world an indeterminate composition over which we have no control, or are we its composers and performers, responsible for giving it form and beauty?” 

― R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World

As my writing exercise is winding down my experiences from the experiment has charged my creativity. The next 100 day series of challenges is moving into compositional sound recording with the added element of composing to an image and creating visual soundscapes.

The exploration of finding content in which to use to make a connection of our sense of sight and hearing is nothing new. From the days of theater or musicals through talkie films and modern-day media, sound to visuals has gelled together well. We have learned to feel a connection to a character’s emotions by using sounds of music to stage the scene as we are lured into the content.

Our minds can make connections to our emotions independently to our conscious thoughts bringing us to a place where we are immersed into the body of others, feeling what they are feeling. The spoken word isn’t required to toy with sadness or despair. Often a single reverberant piano note will bring us to a place where we feel pain and suffering.

There are many, many nouns for the act of looking — a glance, a glimpse, a peep — but there’s no noun for the act of listening. In general, we don’t think primarily about sound. So I have a different perspective on the world; I can construct soundscapes that have an effect on people, but they don’t know why. It’s a sort of subterfuge -Walter March

Hearing Emotion

The classical composers recognized by varying the connections of musical notes compositions could envoke emotion. By altering the individual notes in a phrase or chord, alters the feeling of the composition as our feelings are along for the ride. 

When we actively participate in focused listening we begin to hear the subtle nuances in sounds. Winds and rain have tonality that can paint a visual painting that takes us to that place. Rolling waves, babbling brooks to crashing waterfalls are all movements of water, however, they all have a unique audible sound that paints the picture. 

Whimsical sounds will place us in a happier mood unlike the dissonance felt from fingernails on a chalkboard. The subtle nuance of sounds of we listen closely is meditative and educational.

Intellectuals favor instrumental music as it will allow the imaginations under the wild as we define space and time. Our minds will listen for the clues and begin to develop a spatial perspective. 

Wind and leaves mean trees. A Forest? Moving water could identity a creek, stream or an ocean. The timber and intensity of the sounds become our clues. Crashing water could be oceans waves or a waterfall. 

As we listen to sounds intently we begin to spark our brain to make connections to the visual. Like an expressionist painter, we paint shapes and colors as we build the landscape from the elements of the soundscape. Our minds make the connection as we visualize the scene like reading brilliant literature. 

Be Yourself, The Rest Will Follow

Photo by Michael Competielle

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.”

 —  Friedrich Nietzsche

It’s lonely in here. My mind races with thoughts and concepts I struggle to explain. Creative ideas take a number hoping to be next in line, a sold-out show it’s standing room only.

A sense of belonging could be warm and comforting if the connection were real and the dialogue reciprocal. It’s the few that understand, those who bend light and medium to create the imaginative. The grandiose experience. 

We feel they are odd, strange and disconnected. Yet it appears we are all engaged with the electronic impulses that energize our flow. Colors and sounds, molten and dark. The embers of creativity fueled by inspiration. Words become paintings and noise becomes art. As we reimagine this dismal place a stomping ground of self-expression.

The rhythm of prose a collection of exacting words, painting the foreground of our creativity. Crazy, wacky, odd and weird, we find solace in our medium. Our emotions left on the canvas as we nakedly shy away, bizarre and antisocial.

Crowds praise and encourage us while we secretly cower in fear. Not to be judged only to be misunderstood.

“ Art and life really are the same, and both can only be about a spiritual journey, a path towards a re-union with a supreme creator, with god, with the divine; and this is true no matter how unlikely, how strange, how unorthodox, one’s particular life path might appear to one’s self or others at any given moment.”

Genesis P-Orridge

We chose who we are and represent ourselves often poorly. Not feeling complete within ourselves we need to express ourselves outwardly. The sounds of our creativity speak volumes in our minds yet sound hollow to the ears of the status quo.

What aspect do others understand we do not know. However, our intellect and judgment is only encouraged by those who understand. 

Trivial matters pain me as I lose irreplaceable time. Infuriated as I see the wasted days fade, filed as history. Tomorrow I shall overcome, stepping out into the light and embrace my struggle to be the only thing that matters. Me. 

Practicing Mindfulness While Exercising Long-Term Thinking

Photo by Michael Competielle

Changing the world for the better begins with individuals creating inner peace within themselves.

Dalai Lama

Circadian Rhythms and Regenerative Thoughts

Every day as I writing I’m researching to find meaning and purpose in my thoughts and philosophies. When words or topics reemerge I’ll gravitate towards the concept and close the loop in my mind. My world has become connected by following the great minds that spent their time contemplating the problems of the present to share in the future.

Last year I was reading an enlightening article by Zachary Crockett The organization building a 10,000-year clock funded by Jeff Bezos. The article explains how a group of brilliant long term thinkers is working to create The Manual for Civilization Begins with a 10,000-year clock and library. The group called The Long Now Foundation established itself to develop long term thinking to solve what appears to be unsolvable problems by thinking long term and planting the seeds for balancing our modern societies’ shortsightedness.

“When I was a child, people used to talk about what would happen by the year 02000. For the next thirty years they kept talking about what would happen by the year 02000, and now no one mentions a future date at all. The future has been shrinking by one year per year for my entire life. I think it is time for us to start a long-term project that gets people thinking past the mental barrier of an ever-shortening future. I would like to propose a large (think Stonehenge) mechanical clock, powered by seasonal temperature changes. It ticks once a year, bongs once a century, and the cuckoo comes out every millennium.”

Daniel Hillis

The Long Now Foundation was developed in 01996 (the five-digit date added the extra zero to solve the deca-millennium bug that will appear in 8,000 years). An assemblage of some of the world’s greatest minds is paving the pathway to thinking and creating for 10,000 years into our future.

Imagine if society had to reset itself within this moment back to the beginning. The Long Now is preparing a library of essential books that will help bring a new civilization up to speed. With donations from many scholars, writers, and artists, it was the donation from Brian Eno, a Long Now board member and my beloved pseudo mentor, that helped me make the connection to the concept of Long Term thought.

With Eno’s philosophies of Generative Music and Art such as 77 Million Paintings we look within the mind of one of our most brilliant thinkers. Brian’s thoughts are often on works that will regenerate themselves or use mathematical analytics to develop nearly infinite possibilities of creations. More so than any artist could ever produce in a lifetime.

As I look at my most treasured inspirations I’m beginning to see the connection to the universe based on their recognition of long term thinking. From Nikola Tesla with Polyphase Electric and Regenerative Power Generation to Steve Jobs‘ Infinite Loop to Ray Kurzweil’s Law of Accelerating Returns and aforementioned Eno’s Generative Art.

An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense “intuitive linear” view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century — it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate). The “returns,” such as chip speed and cost-effectiveness, also increase exponentially. 

Ray Kurzweil

Long Term Thinking Within This Moment

Writing about the present with my focus on being mindful does not mean I’m avoiding the future. Staying present in a moment allows us to maximize the experience and not waste the resource of this moment. By being present we become connected and absorptive to what powers life can present us. Being present in the moment does not mean we are thinking in the short term and can clearly have the opposite effect.

Modern-day life has most of us thinking about life and situations for the short term. As we engage with each other, watch films, or view art we want to feel good at this moment as we are constantly rushing to the next great thing. The future of our experience and decisions is often overshadowed by rush we get within a moment.

It’s moments like this where the practicing of mindfulness comes into effect. How do you feel as you engage in conversation or connect with a film or works of art? As we learn to become emotionally present we often feel as though we are active in short term thinking however that is untrue.

Mindfulness For Our Future

Most decisions I make I feel are for the long term while I keep my mind in the present. The foods I eat and products I’ll consume are each given a conscience review prior to the purchase as I hold sustainability and necessity paramount in the decision process.

My thoughts and philosophy has become fine-tuned as I’m focusing far out into the distance of my goals. I’m continuously pushing the bar farther away as I continue to learn and develop. As literary and artworks are preserved and curated we need to cherish the generous thoughts of those who felt it necessary to preserve our past to learn in the present about our futures.

The Long Now Member 10800

Finding Connection In The Age Of Connectivity

Photo by Michael Competielle

“When wireless is perfectly applied the whole earth will be converted into a huge brain, which in fact it is, all things being particles of a real and rhythmic whole. We shall be able to communicate with one another instantly, irrespective of distance. Not only this, but through television and telephony we shall see and hear one another as perfectly as though we were face to face, despite intervening distances of thousands of miles; and the instruments through which we shall be able to do his will be amazingly simple compared with our present telephone. A man will be able to carry one in his vest pocket. Nikola Tesla 1926

We have never been more connected than we are in the present day. From cellphones to social media our connected world has brought us into the experiences of our friends and peers like nothing we have ever witnessed before. As we read through the Twitter feeds and Instagram photos we feel a sense of connection without having to actually be there. A pseudo world of connection and connectivity. 


We all possess feelings of connection that power us through life. I’m certain I’m not the only one that feels that the spirits of the beloved deceased are watching over us, sharing in every situation we find ourselves in. What is saddening to think is the reality that they really are no longer with us and condensed down to a feeling we have or a hope that the connection isn’t lost. 

As we look back to our connected world we feel that likes and retweets are the same as human connection though we are mostly devoid of the interaction of conversation, feelings, and emotion. Our visual bond as we look into another’s eyes and feel a connection to their mind, body, and soul is lost as we look at the pixels on a screen. Do we still have these connections or better yet do we still have actual human interaction?


The other evening I was in a health store purchasing some supplements. I needed to exchange a product I had mistakenly purchased with another similar product. The cashier understood my mistaken purchase and told me where to find the replacement and then offered to walk and show me. 

I didn’t feel I needed the assistance and walked to the rear of the store to find the correct product. I noticed the price was a few dollars more and assumed we would exchange one for one. As I stood before the cashier she looked at the price tag on each product and did the math to determine the difference of $1.80. She rang me up for the difference and hand wrote on my previous receipt the exchange. 

She explained not only the new product and its benefits but also the exchange process which left me with an understanding smile. The store didn’t have scanners or automated cash registers. It was a retail experience designed to maintain interaction with customers and products. It later dawned on me that being it’s a health food store the knowledge of the staff is essential and the connection to the consumer’s needs is their business. 

Why Are We Disconnected

All-day every day I walk around through my day interacting with people. I make it a priority to connect with people and understand how they are feeling. I manage people based on their emotions more than on the actual work. When they are stressed or anxious the work suffers. Help to remove the source of anxiety and the work becomes simple. 

When people feel happy and confident they can complete tasks easily. They become attached to the work and ultimately me as the manager on a connected level. People don’t like to let me down as they have recognized our connection is based on our connection instead of workload. 

I fight against the use of metrics and focus on accessing their emotions. If you have an angry disgruntled employee you need to find the source of the angst and fix that issue. Focusing on connecting with the issues helps to resolve the controversy. 

Finding Connection

Yesterday was a bright and vibrant day. Issues from the day before had almost corrected themselves and actually be determined they weren’t actual issues but someone else’s lack of following procedure.

Warm greetings from an artist friend lead us into a deeply connected conversation of warmth and interpersonal self-discovery as we each motived ourselves in the engagement of conversation expressing our emotions. An interesting conversation with an employee was had in which he had an empathy and understanding of why I felt it was paramount that he was proud and loved his work byproduct.

Photo by Asia Popinska Copyright 2019 Used by Permission

Later in the day, I met with my favorite photographer Asia Popinska whom I share a close metaphysical relationship with. Our connection is through understanding the science of our emotions and feelings and how we put forth ourselves in our art. Her works inspire emotion and introspection that I’ve connected with.

How To Connect

Lose yourself in the moment and forget the distractions of the outside world. Hang on to every word, statement, and thought you hear in a moment. Show your love and affection for others and remind them that they are indeed special. Be honest and exposed. When conversations are deep and well-articulated you will witness the body language of the other person change and your bond will gain strength.

Practicing mindfulness and emotional intelligence we can enhance our connections to others. Positive and honest thoughts will yield a stronger understanding of not friends and peers as well as ourselves.

I walk on a cloud of air, elevated above the angst and anger of others. I’m focused on understanding how others feel and with each passing interact my connections to the outside world have strengthened. The ambiance of a room feels warm and powerful as I find compliancy is communication and connection.

Today is the Perfect Day to Regain Control of Your Future

Photo by Michael Competielle

“Broken vows are like broken mirrors. They leave those who held to them bleeding and staring at fractured images of themselves.”

― Richard Paul Evans, Promise Me

We all make promises we don’t keep. Sometimes those promises have the best intentions that never pan out but many promises are little white lies we never plan to keep. 

If we look at vows like really big and well-articulated promises such as never smoking cigarettes again or refusing to buy certain products, we can see the importance of our statements. When we are honest with ourselves and take a vow we really should enforce our promises. 

Learn From Wrestling 

My son as he was growing up loved to try out playing new sports. He played baseball, football, basketball, and lacrosse. When he was younger and just learning a sport he would over analyze the game. More like a referee or a commentator than a player he always knew what everyone else was doing wrong. He lacked the ability of introspection and therefore was advancing in his sports at a slower pace. 

After a tough football session where he spent a lot of time on the bench, we talked about him trying a new winter sport. I suggested wrestling as a friend of mine who happened to be one of his football coaches was the head coach of the wrestling team was familiar to my son. 

I explained to my son that we play football and play soccer and play lacrosse but we never play wrestling. We just wrestle. One on one, mono e mono. 

As my son began to learn the sport and began to develop he recognized it was him against his opponent. No one else to blame. His success and failures were something he would have to take full responsibility and action for. 

What we learned

The life lessons he learned from wrestling was the power of introspection and self-assessment. As he learned how to read an opponent and size up a situation he knew how he had to tackle the situation. His confidence improved as he experienced successes in winning and knowledge from his losses. 

He ended his wrestling season not only with metals and accolades but with new knowledge of how to perform self-reflection. He was becoming a brilliant athlete as he understood his abilities, his strengths, and his weaknesses. Hitting the lacrosse field that flowing spring was an entirely new kid. His confidence and lack of fear were clear and evident. 

One afternoon I was talking to his coach who was extremely impressed with his development. He asked had we sent him to a lacrosse trainer in which I responded “Nope. He just learned to wrestle.”

Shocked the coach and I discussed how my son was the second-fastest kid on the team and had become the teams go to when the needed someone to climb into the pack and just simply get the ball. My son could, not once but every time. 

After the game, I told my son about the conversation with his coach and how proud I was at him. The second fastest on the team is a decent statistic. My son’s reply has changed my life forever when he stated “I may be the second fastest in a one-off race but I’m the fastest when you look at how I’m consistent the entire game. I can maintain my speed the entire game. When I feel like I’m slowing down I know it’s only me that can push myself harder”.

Brilliance. He had learned his strong point and was harnessing the power. When he recognized he was losing speed he knew when to push himself into overdrive. 

Mirror mirror on the wall

So our mirrors are our gateway into minds. Standing in front of your mirror who do you see? Is this the best version of yourself? Have you made promises to yourself that you failed to keep? What happened to that diet? How about that run you were going to take? 

Don’t worry they were just empty promises you made just like you promised you’d call the old classmate from high school and would get together again. 

Forget promises. Stand tall in front of a mirror and take a vow. A promise to yourself that under any circumstance you will keep. Don’t shatter that mirror standing in the shards of broken promises. Take a vow to regain control of your future. Small vows that we continue to keep our big accomplishments. The more trophies we win for ourselves the further we will develop. 

We must design our futures. Taking steps by vowing to make our dreams a reality is the first step. Small steps will yield large rewards. Take a vow and stick with it. 

This weekend will be 15 months of being on a plant-based diet. It was a vow I took that is a daily decision and become a part of my lifestyle. April 1st will be 11 years since I quit smoking cigarettes. Every day I look in the mirror and I see that new me I created, one morning by just taking a vow. 

The Time To Start Anything Is Right Now

Photo by Michael Competielle

Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time” is to say “I don’t want to”.

Lao Tzu

One of the most powerful tools we have is our ability to learn through reflection. By learning to reflect we can check in with ourselves from time to time and perform a self-assessment. Are we still on track for our goals? What have we learned over the passage of time and how will we use this knowledge to continue on. 

Life is the journey without a definitive destination. If we feel we have reached the end what makes us continue on? For me, it’s the one variable in which I can not control. The passage of time.

It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time. Steve Jobs

At what point did Steve Jobs recognize our most precious resource? At the beginning of his quest or and the end? Had he relieved he was at the end of the journey and out of time? Was he reflecting back on his life and wishing he hadn’t wasted those precious moments that he will never get back?

Everyday, I perform a self-reflection. Most days I don’t have the time for a full reassessment of my entire life and so, therefore, I perform an abridged daily assessment. Am I still on target to reach my goals? Have I maximized my day and lived it to the fullest? Did I learn anything new and most importantly was I present in the moment? 

Being present in the moment is the practice of mindfulness. The meditative qualities of being present and fully immersed in the moment maximizes the experience. If we are mindful we are focused on this exacting moment in time. Time stands still and it’s only then when we have total control. With complete focus, we can overcome the passage of time. 

By taking a mental photograph of this finite moment and recognizing every detail we can overcome the obstacle of time by forcing it to stand still. Checking in with our feeling and emotions and recognizing what experiences make us feel good we begin to learn how to get ourselves back to this euphoric state. 

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once. Albert Einstein 

Image if everything happened in our lives at once. Every amazing moment was overshadowed by our darkest of days. We would be standing in the eye of the storm watching life’s events whirl around us in a cyclonic fury. 

Which moment do we capture? What photograph do we take to remember this moment? It’s that blurry picture that we have to delete. 

Time is Linear

As the blocks of time pass us by we have the opportunity to learn for the past to design the future. We can’t go back and so therefore as time continues on the separation of events allows us to ride the waves of emotion and experiences. If we don’t use the power of a linear timeline everything will happen in our lives at once as we worry about the future by living in the past while missing the present. 

Stopping time in this exacting moment and reflecting we look to see where we have been and right to see where we are going. Okay, so what happens right now? This is that moment where we have complete control. What are we doing right now?

Right now I’m writing an article about time. Time hasn’t stood still as I just looked over st my clock however I feel as though it has. The past 30 minutes has generated hundreds of words of text that will be about maximizing my time. The past a faded memory and the future is how long can I write before I’m going to be late for work. This moment is the only moment that matters as I furiously type to articulate my thoughts.

This moment in time is mine. The outside world remains outside and that cyclonic fury is a distant blur. For I’m sitting in the eye of the storm like a lotus. Present in my moment and ignoring the distractions. When this moment in time passes so will the storm. The wreckage it has left behind I can not prevent. It’s within that moment I can only focus on how to repair from the damage and continue on my path.

Leaving the Wreckage Behind

When all we have is this moment and we see that the wreckage of the past has poisoned our present and will modify our futures we have to overcome the wreckage by leaving it all behind. Standing up we dust ourselves off and continue on our journey. Destination unknown as we travel on. 

That storm is in the past in which we can reflect on. Learn from the experience as we concentrate on this moment. Time is ticking yet each moment in time matters. Our power of being present and in a mindful state will maximize our life’s experiences. 

Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.

George Orwell

Mindfulness is the total control of the Now. The present moment in time. Our past is behind us and her lessons we have learned and extracted the fabric of our future. We have planted the seeds of our destiny in which we plan to live. The future is in our control when we take control of this present moment. Focused and understanding the meaning of the passage of time and how we can slow it down and accomplish our goals and live our lives to their potential. 

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

Andy Warhol