The world we live in is no longer the world our parents grew up in. These days, personal information has been monetized by corporations for myriad reasons, showing the premium than private data has for certain sects of society, particularly the criminal underworld.
In a perfectly moral world, such considerations wouldn’t even taken place, but we live not in a ‘perfect’ world, we live in a world where information isn’t only used against individuals to make money off of them, but sometimes, criminal elements of society will use that information to control individuals into doing whatever questionable acts they deem fit.
Moral of the story, be careful who you share your information with, particularly personal information like your full name, address, work place, personal pictures, and anything else, and also be careful where you share that information, because at times that’s just as important as the information shared, if not more so. All of this might be obvious, but given that much of what’s obvious (i.e. people “should” eat healthy) can often be glossed over easily, I share this as a reminder to hopefully urge individuals to be more mindful of such considerations.
This video is a cursory overview about the fact that everyone should be careful with what type of personal information they share on social media given the fact some people are not beyond using that information against you in myriad nefarious ways.
The above sentiment might seem obvious, but given that many things that seem obvious aren’t really acted upon as such, I find the above sentiment worth noting.
Moreover, since many times it is apparent that individuals end up taking disagreements highly personal, particularly online, the above sentiment is worth noting because, contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with disagreeing with someone. It’s part of being an adult, and/or just simply being mature.
Getting worked up, and risking fracturing a relationship of any type is not worth the idea of winning an argument in my estimation. But those are just my thoughts, and you may disagree, and that would be A-okay. That’s the whole point of this quick bit, realizing that there’s more than one side to every story, and knowing that it’s okay for people to not share the same common ground.
This video meanders around some general considerations in how sometimes the scope of a book grows beyond what you initial thought it might. I touch upon lightly the book that I’ve tentatively called “The Masquerade,” and how that book has grown beyond the scope that I initially envisioned for it. Even so, I will not cap the growth of the book just because I originally envisioned one story and its grown with time. I will remain fluid in how I proceed, but the point is that with most of the books I published this year, the scope grew either slightly, or extensively, and its something that should be considered by neophyte writers since many times you believe a book will take you X amount of time to finish, when it actually could be much longer than that.
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” – Unknown
“A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.” – Denis Waitley
December 8, 2019 Zy Marquiez a.k.a. Noctis Blackburn
Comfort is a feeling that brings myriad moments that allow individuals a moment of rest, familiarity, and even peace. Likewise, comfort also brings about many other positive considerations. But not every aspect that revolves around comfort is to be lauded, for many times comfort is the anchor that prevents us from moving forward and often achieving growth.
Arguably, the most amount of growth an individual will have will take place beyond a particular comfort zone. This type of growth can come about in myriad ways, sometimes being planned, and other times coming wholly unexpected.
In my life, there are four vanguard instances that have spawned endless growth, all of which stemmed from venturing beyond my comfort zones, but in the interest of time and simplicity, I will only touch upon three.
Some of the most resounding growth that I have undergone as an individual came about by pursuing my dreams of playing Poker, starting small businesses, and also publishing books while pursuing dreams with writing. The growth that each of these has imparted upon me is vast and far reaching, but I am where I am due to those three avalanches of growth, coupled with the fourth instance as well.
Before moving forward, let’s take another gander at the backdrop quote above by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow”
The reason this quote resonates so deeply for me is because at the current moment in time, I’m seeing myself not only struggling in many areas, but also growing in many areas as well, and those areas of growth are areas in which I pushed myself outside of my comfort zones.
Beyond those considerations, where I am struggling the most is where I have either developed a new bad habit, or fallen back on old patterns of behavior that do not serve me well. These all stem from my inability to get back to where I was before when I was proactive about moving forward as a self-directed learning individual, and my inability to grow beyond the normalcy that I have for all intents and purposes created in my ill-suited behavior patterns that I have undertaken.
Even so, I do realize that venturing beyond those areas of comfort are something that I not only want to do, but I need to do, because they are incredibly problematic. I must do this because if I do not, I will simply keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, and continue wasting dozens of hours a weeks for example, without having anything tangible to show for it. The point is, if I don’t put my best foot forward, first and foremost for myself, I cannot be the best me that I can be. Moreover, I also cannot be the best that I can for others. This is why it’s paramount to make sure that my every action is as incisive as it is thought out, while carrying those actions out with a foundation of mindfulness in order to have the best chance at succeeding in venturing beyond comfort zones.
Outside of that however, I do find myself in other comfort zones that I wish to venture from. Some of these include but aren’t limited to, falling into the bad habit of not reading as much as before, not going to the gym as much as I was before, which was almost every day, not being mindful to the best of my ability, which translates to every other area in my life, not putting myself first when it matters the most on certain specific personal considerations (particularly health), and a whole host of other issues. The good news is I can make progress in all of those areas. The bad news is, I have not made any progress to any significant extent recently because I have allowed my poor choices, my poor mindset, and my inability to stay focused and mindful to set the stage for my unfortunate mistakes. Regardless of that though, I will not quit, and I also know where I want to go. And that’s the starting point.
Once you realize that comfort zones hold you back, particularly those that are highly noxious to you as a person, then you realize that you’re one step closer in venturing beyond that comfort zone. But to begin venturing beyond your comfort zone, it takes effort, sometimes incredible effort, and significant focus on the task at hand. This isn’t a one-and-done situation by any means, for it is something that’s a lifelong path if you deem it so, and that’s how I see it. I don’t only want to venture out of comfort zones now, but I want to do so for the rest of my life. If I fail in doing so, or fail in even trying, then I realize that I will have only sold myself short, and not lived the life that I intended for myself.
Because of all those considerations and more, I will be more mindful of the choices that I make in order to make sure that every step I take is with purpose, but more importantly, precision. If every step that I take is mindful, deeply thought out, and with purpose, then I am sure to grow beyond the boundaries of my current comfort zones, moving the bar higher for myself, and growing as a person, thus increasing my repertoire in myriad directions. That is why I have chosen to start this mindset series, which I have admittedly had in mind for a very long time, far too long in fact, and I hadn’t followed suit due to overlooking what was best for me.
In the end, this is only one step. But it is useless if it’s the only step that I take. It’s a starting point at least, and that’s all you need to begin stepping out of your comfort zones.
Ultimately, time will tell if I continue taking such steps. I will admit though, I am definitely looking forward to it, that’s for sure. And whenever you yourself begin taking steps outside of your comfort zone, you should look forward to it as well, because once you do, your life will never be the same again.
These are just general considerations that if you are going to wait until the “new year” to start pursuing some goals, to make sure to be as prepared as possible, since many people that wait until such time to make large changes, also become the same people that end up falling of the wagon of focus not too long after. Irrespective of that, the part about “free styling” meant writing without one specific idea in mind, and off the type of your head, rather than working on a specific blog, idea, or book for instance. Lastly, I do believe that not waiting for tomorrow, and seeking to make the best of yourself today, in the now, is the most important thing you can do for yourself because it is a proactive approach, and you seeking to create positive resonant change in the moment, rather than waiting for change (the new year i.e.) to come to you, as is most often the case.
As far as writing is concerned, I have stayed focused on that for the most part. Even so, I find myself failing with the blog because even though I have been writing regularly, I have not been uploading content. Some of this is due to lack of mindfulness, but I have been making poor choices as far as the Blog is concerned, given that it doesn’t take too much time to upload content that’s already been created. Either way, I’m disappointed in myself, and plan on changing that immediately.
Writing has been ongoing, and I’m actually writing in myriad directions, and its rather fulfilling for the most part. I have managed to remain inspired and focused, while also trying some new things in some areas, but overall, making sure that I have written has gone off without a hitch.
Now, I made two decisions for myself within the last few days that have lead me to this very point. These days, unlike the past, I am not reticent about doing what is best for me, which is why I’m writing this blog in the first place.
The first decision dealt with me trying to clear up something for myself, by being direct with myself about a certain matter, and that didn’t go so well. The whole point is that, in the end, although I continually try to do what’s best for me, it doesn’t always work out. But at least I know that regardless of what happens tomorrow, I tried, and that’s all that matters.
Immediately thereafter, I decided to make the second decision given that it was glaringly obvious that what was best for me was not to be on Instagram at the time. And I shut down all my main IG accounts except one, and I even plan on steering away from that one unless I have a significant reason not to.
Irrespective of that, the whole point is that my choices have been incredibly Love based – doing what’s best for me because I care for myself – rather than when I haven’t done what’s best for myself, like overlooking my health, which is a glaring mistake. On the other side of the spectrum, at times I don’t end up doing what’s ‘best’ for me due to fear-based considerations.
What’s the difference? In the former, I am chasing you dreams, because that’s what’s arguably best for me. The latter, would be me staying in my comfort zone, even though some would argue that that’s what’s best for them. And I hold no judgment as to who makes what choice for themselves, as I’m a huge proponent of Freedom, particularly Freedom of choice.
Every single one of us has a choice to make every single day. In fact, we have hundreds if not thousands of choices we make daily, except, most of them come automatic through the day. But still, we make choices, and it’s in the most important choices that we each make in our lives that we see the most massive shifts. And given that I plan continuing to torpedo right through my fears, I can only do what’s best for me because not doing what’s for me would not only selling myself short, but not living my life to the fullest.
One thing’s certain, at the end of my life, I don’t want to have any major regrets, which is another reason why I don’t shy away from trying to do what’s best for me, because in the past I would not try something and know how disappointed I felt in myself if I didn’t try something, like applying for a certain job for instance.
Some of you may be asking, or have asked, “Well if writing is so important to you, why don’t you stay on Instagram at a much more limited time?” That’s an excellent question, and one a few people have raised on Facebook given they couldn’t contact me through IG. The reason for that, as I have covered in past videos, is that I’ve gotten into the bad habit (again) of spending a large amount of time, much more than I should be, on Instagram in this instance, but in the past it was on Social Media in general. And while that might work for other people, as I have quite a few friends, some of them best friends, that are literally on Instagram all day long, that just won’t work for me.
That doesn’t mean I won’t use the platform again, it’s just that given how busy I am this time of year in the businesses, and given how much I want to continue writing, I can’t afford to be wasting one or two dozen hours on social media that aren’t going to anything productive or improving my life. You might be asking, so what exactly do I deem productive? Some of this is writing, interacting with people, supporting others, getting to know people in depth, etc. But a lot of the time I spent was following trails of Memes, or spending lots of time looking at travel locations, or any type of pictures that could serve as a prompt or inspiration with writing for me.
Regardless, I have to draw the line somewhere. I can’t afford to be losing huge slots of time by doing that. And I don’t regret any of the meaningful things I was doing on IG, like getting to know people, or supporting their work, sharing poems, etc. That I could never regret, particularly getting to know people, because unlike the other things, you don’t always have an opportunity to interact with someone one on one, so when that happens I cherish it incredibly because (1) it doesn’t happen often enough I believe, and (2) it might not happen soon or ever again, which is why I always try and remain in the moment when I’m trying to talk to people, find out what they enjoy, and all that jazz.
The whole point is that, I got into the exact bad habit that made me waste over 1000 hours of my life on social media this year, and if I really hope to do what’s best for myself, there is just no way on Earth I could ever do what’s best for me while having Social Media, or specifically in my case, Instagram, siphon so much time from me, particularly at a time of year when time is so precious and at a premium.
With all that in mind, I shall continue to do what’s best for me, and hopefully I can continue to achieve everything I can achieve as an individual, while always remaining open to the fluidity of life and the possibilities that may arise. And although I certainly didn’t plan on detaching myself this much from social media, I know myself and I know if I didn’t do it my health would pay the price with increased stress and so on, as has happened in the past.
Do I plan on using IG again? Sure. But for now, using it like I was using it before just won’t work. I do want to use it in a limited way to post poetry, but time (and my health) will tell.
I hope you are all doing fantastic, and always remember, dreams don’t happen over tonight. You have to be proactive in the steps you take towards them. But eventually, with enough focus, poise and drive, if you want it bad enough, I do believe it can and will happen more often than not. But you can never give up on yourself, or even the dreams of other, no matter what.