The Blackburn Memoirs Noctis Blackburn February 9, 2020
With the above image in mind, which mindset do you employ?
I have always been fascinated by the mindset each individual employs, as we all tend to decide the lives that we live based on those views. Mindset is paramount, as growth and change are born out of it. And growth is born out of our continual stoking of the fires that feed our soul.
For me, writing is one of the main things that helps feed my soul. Exploring and learning about life also does the same, too. And all of that has helped me grow faster and in more directions than I ever though I would. I wouldn’t be here now doing this if that wasn’t the case.
Whatever happens, make sure you start, or keep doing what feeds your soul continually, no matter what it is. By continually feeding your soul with that which you genuinely Love to do the most, you’ll get an endless well of energy that’ll continually keep you ignited to do whatever it is you wish to do for yourself. That’s how you begin creating those avalanches of growth that make every day like a new canvas so you can continually use to create the life of your dreams.
“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” – Thomas Jefferson
“Comfort kills ambition. Get uncomfortable and get used to it in your pursuit of your goals and dreams.” – Robert Kiyosaki
“Do not worry if you have built your castles in the air. They are where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau
The Blackburn Memoirs February 2, 2020
Earlier today a question occurred to me that I’ve asked a few people, but not as many people as I probably should. The question is: are you doing what you Love doing in life, what you truly enjoy doing, whether for a living, or as a hobby?
It seems like simple question, doesn’t it? And it is simple, in that the answer can only be yes or no. You either are doing what you Love doing in life, or you are not. On the other hand, the answer to the question could be complicated in that many people have dreams and want to do more with life, but don’t pursue those dreams for myriad reasons.
Irrespective of that however, I ask the question because life waits for no one. I’m thankful that I began pushing towards my dreams really early in life, and I kept jumping into the deep end of the ocean of the unknown willing to fail countless times in pursuit of my dreams. Thankfully, although I have failed in many things in life, the first big dream that I pursued and had success with was playing online poker for a living, which I loved doing and taught me a lot about life, people, dreams, focus, mindfulness, mindset, and much more. But when it was time to move on from that, the next dream I had was launching multiple businesses. Pursing those dreams was not easy, particularly poker, but had I not sought what I Love doing then I wouldn’t be here right now doing what I Love doing, and that is writing.
This concept is important because doing what you Love invigorates your soul. You’re always energized, you’re always in a good mood, you’re always getting things done, it it’s all seamless, you just do it. I find that when I am not doing what I Love doing, that’s when I begin to get stuck, that’s when my inspiration just nosedives considerably and I end up feeling like I’m wading through a mire.
These are some of the thoughts that have led me to be more mindful of my time on social media, and shifting that time to doing things I Love doing, except doing them far more often. And the main things I Love doing are reading, writing poetry and blogs, and doing research. I can spend day after day endlessly doing all of that, and I’m right at home, doing what I Love.
While I have not stopped writing at all, what I had stopped doing was reading and research, which I really thoroughly enjoy for many reasons, not the least of which is because it gives me a greater understanding how the world really operates.
In any case, the point is to ask you the reader whether or not you are doing what you are doing. Whether it revolves writing, or any other dreams, it doesn’t matter. It’s a very serious question, and I ask because most of the time we go through life day after day, month after month, year after year, and we end up living the same day, the same week, the same month, the same year, over and over again, as if we don’t have a choice. But all individuals DO have a choice. Just because it’s not easy doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
You can choose to take proactive steps towards your dreams, or not. For instance, some of my goals for this year are publishing a few more books, more than last year, while also pushing myself to review books again like I was doing in the past, while continuing to write poetry as well, while not neglecting the blog.
Some of those goals are easier than others, but the main commonality all of these goals have, and all dreams have is that if you look at them from the right perspective, all they require are baby steps. At times, it can be a lot of baby steps, but ultimately, no dream is ever accomplished without consistent steps, and last year taught me that if I can keep myself mindful about how I employ my time, I will not only achieve my goals but I will do what I Love doing. But I have to be mindful about it. There is no if and or buts of about that.
Thankfully, the option to do what each of us Loves doing is always there. Pursuit of dreams and goals might not be easy, but it’s always worth it.
Now, before you leave, I ask you all one last time: are you doing what you Love doing? Why or why not? What’s stopping you?
Only you can answer those questions, but I hope that whatever each of you is doing in life, one way or another you’re taking proactive steps towards your dreams.
You all take care and have an outstanding evening.
The Blackburn Memoirs Noctis Blackburn January 30, 2020
Life’s incredible in that you get to meet people from all walks of life. The more you expose yourself to different individuals, the more you learn about the range people have, and the depth that cultures have depending on where that person is from and where they were raised.
Be that as it may, for myriad reasons, many people struggle with staying true to themselves. Whether it’s social upbringing, conformity that comes from all directions, or simply trying to fit in, the issue of not being wholly authentic and happy in your own skin plagues many individuals from all walks of life, and it can shackle someone’s soul in endless ways. Not being true to you is like having a box of crayons, and always panting in one color because you are expected to (or may even want to if you are conforming yourself) only employing one color and hence, not employing the full kaleidoscope of colors that are available for you. Worse, such instances zap your spirit in countless ways.
As an example, for the longest time, I struggled with the fact that I was a writer, poet, and love reading. Why? Because one way or another, some people judge you for all three. But I got tired of it, and decided that if I wasn’t being true to myself, I wasn’t living life to the fullest.
How could a person, in any way shape or form, be living a boundless life, if they are only showing a fraction of who they truly are and what they really love? And it doesn’t matter what you enjoy and love doing, if it’s your passion, OWN IT. F**k what other people think.
As an adjunct to the previous example, I still remember the looks I used to get when I started taking books into the gym to be efficient to read and write between sets since I hate wasting time, with some people giving me the look like “Is he for real?” HELL YES I’M FOR REAL! I love reading, I love writing, and I’m not going to cap myself because some people decided to judge me without knowing me.
I also realize why I get judged a lot, and one of my close friends told me this long ago. She said something along the lines of, “You don’t look like a nerd, dress like a nerd, or even joke like a nerd, but deep down inside, you’re the BIGGEST NERD I KNOW!” And that never occurred to me until she said it, but it was true. I can’t help who I am or what I love doing. I just own it now. Or in other words, what I was going through is what is called judging a book, by its cover. How ironic is that?
It’s odd that in a culture that’s supposed to extol freedom, conformity seems to be the prescribed theme most of the time. But there is no growth in that.
And the best part of simply being yourself is that you will begin finding your vibe tribe, those that’ll appreciate you for you without any agendas at bay, without any complications, always authentic in their own skin, no matter what.
You were meant to stand out, so do it. Own it. Become the person you always wished to be, because life’s too short to live only showing a fraction of who you truly are.
“Identify what stops you from being your ideal version of yourself. This is a core part of personal growth work.” – Dr. Zwig
At my current personal juncture, I’m goinge through a serious recalibrating of many habits that do not allow me the growth that I’ve been seeking for quite some time. In the past, I’ve been at various points where I was satisfied with my own personal steps that sought growth in various directions, but of late, I wasn’t accomplishing as much as I would have liked to in life because I steered away from the proactive steps I was taking previously, but wasn’t taking of late.
To solve those glaring oversights, I needed to handle my main problem, which was the amount of time I spent on social media. I wrote about it in the past, but as a quick synopsis, on average I spent well over 100 hours of a month, nigh every single month last year wasting time on social media. That seems outlandish, except some people spend a few multiples of that when it comes down to it. It’s actually a much more serious issue than it seems at first blush, but I won’t delve into that now. The point is that if I was going to get to the self-reinforcing positive habits that I love doing, which are writing poetry and blogs, and conducting reading while also doing research, I needed to quite overlooking main and most obvious vacuum of time, which was social media.
There are other bad habits that I also have and I’m working on overcoming, such as not being mindful about what I eat and so on, but the largest one that affected me the most is social media by far. And while I still plan on using social media as needed, I’m going to be mindful about it and efficient as well. But creating a positive habit is one thing, keeping those habits is the hard part. This is why I need to be mindful about it as I continue to move forward given the goals that I have this year, be them personal, business, writing, and so on.
As I do that, I’ll be able to follow the steps that I’m going to take and was taking in the past, thus bit by bit, continue to achieve the goals that I set for myself. I know many of the goals will not be easy, particularly with writing and so on, but obstacles are something that allows for growth and are part of life, so I shall learn from them every step of the way.
And I hope that in whatever goals each of you are undertaking at the moment, you all seek to take a really proactive approach to achieving those dreams as well.
************************************************ Personal Note:
I’m going to be doing a larger Blog Update soon. I’m in the process of getting another admin or two of my Facebook pages, since I’m also using my old one again, that couples into another Blog I’m also going to be writing on as well, so I will be quite busy. Finally, I know the mailing list has grown overtime even though I’ve neglected this blog quite a bit, but I really want to thank those of you who have stuck around and continued to support the blog when possible. I You all have a stellar evening.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” – Neal Donald Walsch
It’s intriguing when you’re mindset shifts. Not long ago, although I always considered myself strong in certain aspects of mindset, that wasn’t the case with everything. Trying new things, venturing outside of my comfort zones, and steamrolling towards my dreams, was something that always seemed like trying to climb Mount Everest as a snail on crutches. Except, there is no mountain, except those we impose upon ourselves. That doesn’t mean there are no obstacles, but we as individuals need not add complications to those circumstances.
Thankfully, now, I rarely talk myself out of venturing outside of my comfort zones. It does happen at times though, but I do try, and often. Even if it fails, and that’s okay. The feedback of failure is actually something that can lead in separate directions, a positive, and a negative one. And when it comes to failure, what’s the worst thing that happens if you fail at something like a dream or goal? You fail, that’s it. It isn’t death. It’s not a catastrophe. It’s just failure, something we get over, but something that can serve as part of the foundation or growth if you so choose.
But what happens if you succeeded? It changes your life in more ways than you can possibly imagine. And I’m thankful for having gotten over my fear of venturing outside of comfort zones, because had I not, in some capacity I wouldn’t have met most (or even all) of you under varying circumstances. This is because at minimum, I had to venture outside of my comfort zones, and now I’m thankful for everything in some capacity, even failures. Especially since failing at something shows how you can adapt, grow, become something more, perhaps different than you thought, but still, a better version of you. Or not. Just depends on the steps you take. And even if its baby steps, any step forward counts.
So why not keep taking steps forward instead of staying stagnant?
“The echoes of beauty you’ve seen transpire, resound through dying coals of a campfire.” – Ernest Hemingway
It’s been quite a long time since I’ve made an actual campfire, but I do love reading and writing when cozying up by the fireplace, which has been something I’ve done for years, which is a suitable alternative. In fact, there’s a couple of cords of firewood ever-present here, because that’s how much I enjoy that seemingly inconsequential past time. Except it is not, not be a wide margin.
Having the ability to make a small fire at home might not seem like a big deal, bit it is in my estimation. It’s something of substance that one can do at home that allows for a fresh breath of air that infuses inspiration into one’s soul. Fortuitously enough, although a campfire wasn’t on my agenda during the holidays, during winter vacation I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time in North AZ, although unlucky enough to be met by multiple snowstorms.
Now, I don’t regret it one bit, though the snow got intense at times. But there’s beauty in that intensity, there’s beauty in those moments when we have the latitude to spend time in nature, doing something of substance, like writing. That’s one of the reasons I love fires, because not only do I write and read by default, but the process of creating a fire mirrors that of writing.
In varying ways, mindfulness, as homing in on the specific and much-needed steps that are required for the creation of what you wish to do, is something that isn’t only cathartic in both writing and firecraft, but breathes a breath of fresh air into life.
Perhaps, gravitating to the flames by a fireplace might not be for everyone, but for me, that little slice of heaven is my sanctum of solace, my haven of perfection, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Except for campfires. I certainly would change it for that.