If you’ve been following Make A Shift for a while I’m sure you’ve been wondering where I’ve been and why I haven’t blogged in a while. Or maybe not. haha. But for those that have, well, I took a break for a while and though I’ve had so much to say and write, life has just taken over. Well, I’m back but I’m back in Audio form with the “Something Neue” Podcast. I discovered an awesome audio podcast app called Anchor and it’s a great platform for anyone wanting to podcast and get their message out to the world. Download the app and tune it. Let me know what you think of this first podcast in a series called “Doing What You Love”. Enjoy.
Archives For Resources
WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SAY, SAY NOTHING
I love writing, as it’s one of the most therapeutic things I can do, and aside from my 14 year old chihuahua named Squirt, writing has helped me get through some really tough times over the past few years. Just a year ago after a very bad break up, I found myself writing everyday for almost a month, many times doing so at like 3 or 4am, knowing that if I didn’t write out what was in my head I would never be able to sleep. This stint of unloading my thoughts into my 13″ Macbook Pro eventually turned into a small book, one that no one will ever get to read.
My last blog post dates back to March 2016 which was titled “Make More Mistakes” and it was around that time that I felt that I had nothing else to write. It was almost like the end of a very long several months of therapy, with my last blog post being the last visit to the doctor’s office. If you read back through my posts before that you’ll see that the overall theme was the result of being hurt from the breakup and working through the after math and a broken heart. This blog exists as a place for me to share my thoughts, my life, and lessons learned in hopes that it will help someone else, so if you come through here regularly then I hope it has done just that.
There have been many times since March where I say to myself “Hmm, I need to blog about something, it’s been so long” only to find myself sitting in front of my computer with nothing to write. I won’t write and make up some bull shit just for the sake of blogging, but today I felt the urge to write about nothing. Haha.
I have a lot of “blogger” friends that work to keep their blogs fresh and updated with new content, hoping to increase their following and website traffic, etc. There are entire blogging communities that work to help each other do the same, but that doesn’t really interest me. This is an outlet for me and I’ll write when I feel like I actually have something to say and today the only thing that I have to say is “Hello” and share that I haven’t really had anything to write lately. LOL.
If you have a blog or some type of online presence, write what you feel and every time you write, be sure to feel what you write. Let everything that you write have purpose and don’t be afraid to admit the times that you simply have nothing to say. You’ll find your writing to be much more powerful and enjoyable when it comes from your heart.
I’ve learned a lot about myself this past year and I have tons to write about, I just haven’t felt the need to share it. I think that over the next few weeks I’ll take time to share the many lessons that I’ve learned and provide some insight and tools that have been life savers for me. I have an entire series that I could devote to therapy and how valuable and life changing it can be. Maybe I’ll start with that in a few days. Maybe.
Till then, have an awesome day, or week.
HECTOR’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS: PART 4
Today is the last day in the series that I’ve been writing called Hector’s Search for Happiness. I hope you guys have enjoyed it and that somewhere in this stuff you’ve found something to take to heart and chew on. My ultimate goal in this and in anything that I write is to encourage and build you up. My life isn’t awesome everyday by any means and I have my share of daily struggles, but just like anyone else I want to be happy and I want my life to matter. Your life matters and I believe that every person on this earth has a purpose. Figuring out that purpose should be your daily mission and in doing so I feel that you will learn a lot about yourself, which brings me to my first list for today which is Loving Yourself.
HAPPINESS IS LOVING YOURSELF
I’ve traced my life back as far as I can remember and I don’t think that I ever really struggled with self esteem issues. I don’t feel like I’m a great looking person and I do have about 10 – 15 lbs to lose around my waist line, but my confidence doesn’t come from how I look, it’s just the way that I’m wired. For some, self confidence will come naturally while for others it has to be taught and developed.
If there was one ultimate source for happiness I feel that it will come from how you feel about yourself. This can come from how you view yourself physically to how you feel about your purpose in the world. This morning the comedian Amy Schumer was on the Today show and she talked about how walking in self confidence has not always been easy but that she has found her stride and she is doing what she can to encourage others. In Amy’s words she’s not a “skinny” person and in one of her comedy bits she describes what goes on under her clothes as a lava lamp, where everything just moves around all lazy and slow, waiting to be released with the unzipping of the back of her dress. It’s great that she can make fun of herself through her comedy and she does a great job of using humor to lift people up.
If we can learn anything from Amy it’s that size doesn’t matter and it’s all about what’s in your heart. Who you are as a person is more about what’s going on in the inside that what the world sees on the outside. I have encountered some very shallow people in my life who are beautiful people physically, but unfortunately lack substance and heart. While on the other end I know people who some may say are overweight and not that physically attractive yet they have hearts of gold and are making a difference in the world. Those are the people that I want to know and those are the kinds of people that we can learn from.
Focus on finding your place in this world and surround yourself with “beautiful” people with “beautiful” hearts. Build one another up daily and in doing this it will undoubtedly help you with your own self confidence. Also, don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others on social media, which can be one of the biggest confidence killers. Know that everything that we see online is not the real world and your friend’s photos of how awesome their life is and how happy they are on vacation or at the beach is not the whole story. If you’re not careful you’ll find yourself comparing your life to others and beating yourself up because you can’t post amazing before and after fitness photos from your bathroom.
HAPPINESS IS RIDING MY BIKE
When I was 12yrs old and we moved to Spring Branch into some huge new apartment complex called Afton Village. I give the apartment name because I would love to hear from anyone who lived there as well back in the day. That place was seriously it’s own little city and I have some great memories from that one year of living there. One of my fondest memories was seeing BMX freestyle in person for the first time in my life. I remember walking through the complex and being stopped in my tracks as I saw someone playing around on their bike about 100 yards away. I was mesmerized by what I was seeing and it changed my life forever. Not long after seeing this my mom bought me my first BMX bike and I rode the hell out of that thing. I slowly began trying to do whatever tricks I saw that guy do at Afton and by ninth grade I become one of about 20 other BMX flatland riders in Houston.
I can truly say that my bike changed my life. I loved riding and it was my passion throughout high school and I feel that it kept me out of a lot of trouble. Me and my friends spent hours and many late nights on the weekend riding in parking lots and learning new tricks. I remember coming home from school, not being able to wait to get on my bike and hit the park tennis courts to master that one trick that I had been trying to learn for the past 2 – 3 months. I had found a passion and something I truly loved and it made me happy.
There were several years in the 90s where I abandoned my BMX bike and got into mountain biking and even had a short stint as an aggressive inline skater. LOL, yes, I skated and I would have to say that I became very good at it, buut by 1998 I caught the BMX bug again and picked up where I left off in 1990. Since then I haven’t slowed down and riding my bike and being involved in the cycling community is a passion of mine that makes me happy. I’m sure I’ll be riding around this weekend so keep an eye out for me and don’t run me over.
Friends, love yourself, love others, find your passion and run with it, do what you love and do whatever it takes to be where you’re supposed to be, don’t settle for anything less than what brings true happiness and change the world around you. And if you don’t own a dog or a bike, get your ass out there this weekend I find both. That will be your homework for the weekend. Trust me, you’ll be a very happy person by Monday.
HECTOR’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS: PART 3
I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s list. If you’re just now jumping into this series, please be sure to start from the beginning, which you can do by visiting Part 1 of the series. This list and series is fun and it stems from my love for a movie, but in the end I want everyone to know that the items in these lists that will have true impact and value in your life are the ones that have to do with your heart. In yesterday’s blog I talked about forgiveness for example, and if you’re walking around with unforgiveness in your heart, you shouldn’t even waste your time with anything else. That heart issue needs to be taken care of first and foremost, and until you do, everything else that you do is an attempt to fill a void. Yes, I started off deep this morning. Just wanting to keep you on your toes.
HAPPINESS IS GIVING
You can tell a lot about a person by two things: One, by their love for dogs / animals, and two, how generous they are. You may have all heard the phrase, “It’s better to give than to receive”, which stems from Christian teaching, but this very simple instruction is so true. And I’m not talking about giving your loose change to a homeless guy on the corner, I’m talking about real giving that comes from your heart that has the ultimate goal of making someone’s life a little bit better. I’m talking about giving that takes effort, that causes you to step out of your comfort zone and truly impact a person’s life.
About 10 years ago I remember gathering a bunch of friends over with the idea of hitting the streets of downtown and feeding the homeless. A few of us had the idea of doing something good and making sandwiches and giving out water sounded like a great idea, especially if we did it on our BMX bikes. We spent some time making about 50 or so awesome sandwiches, loaded them up in our backpacks, and at dark all 10 of us hit the streets. We split up into teams and had a great time bringing smiles to some very hopeless faces. We weren’t handing out $100 bills but that little sandwich and water was sure to brighten up someone’s night. It felt good to know that we were doing our part and from my perspective, watching these younger teens taking time out on a Saturday night to give back made me happy.
There are needs all around us and we don’t have to wait until Christmas to give back. One thing that I learned years ago was that if you’re having a hard time or feeling down, one of the best things you can do is take the focus off of yourself and look for a need and meet it. Even if it’s for a brief moment, your act of giving will make you feel awesome, especially if it’s something that will evidently make someone else happy.
HAPPINESS IS BEING WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE
One of the first points I shared in yesterday’s post was “Happiness is doing what you love” and part of doing what you love is enjoying where you’re at. You don’t have to work for yourself to “do what you love”, and you can be one of the happiest people on the earth while working for someone else. The key is to be where you’re supposed to be and thrive there.
Many people wake up everyday and show up to a job that they hate or don’t feel is where they want to be. They have to put food on the table however, so some have no choice but to continue showing up, and simply “showing up” everyday can’t be a happy situation. Where you spend 8 hours of your day can make all the difference in how happy you wake up in the morning or how happy you are when you come home. And if you can’t get up in the morning and look forward to those next 8 hours of your life, then I suggest you change it. Figure out what will make you happy and go there. Find it. It’s out there.
The same goes for relationships. Many people will stay “stuck” in a relationship that doesn’t feel right, but out of a desire for comfort or security they will stay in something that really isn’t a happy place for them. You hear about these situations all the time, and we see this played out in movies even more. One example is the 2001 movie Serendipity, starring John Cusak and Kate Beckinsale, a story about couple that reunites years after the night they first met, fell in love, and separated, convinced that one day they’d end up together. After a few years of first meeting, both characters find themselves unhappy in their relationships, longing to find one another. There’s a very evident desire to go after love and not settle for anything less and after realizing that they are “not where they’re supposed to be”,they eventually find each other at a New York ice rink, a place they hung out at when they first met.
You would think that people would “get it” but many don’t. Many people don’t know how to follow that natural feeling inside that says “Hey! You’re not supposed to be here, and you will continue being unhappy until you make a change”. If that’s you and you feel this going on inside of you, please head that “little voice”. It’s there for a reason and I believe that it can be trusted when it comes to this. No one will ever be happy being where they’re not supposed to be, so don’t be there.
HAPPINESS IS PUPPIES
To end on a lighter note, one place that I will always want to be is chillin next to one my awesome little dogs. One of the newest members of my family is a little MaltiPoo named Pups, which is short for Pupsicle. I adopted her over a year ago and her original name was Biggie Smalls Smalls, but over time it changed and the name Pups stuck. She is an amazing little puppy and without fail, she cracks me up everyday. All she has to do is look at you and you can’t help but smile or want to pick her up and squeeze her. The photo above is Pups when she was just a few months old.
One of her favorite things to do is steal socks and every morning I will find 3 or 4 socks laying in the living room. Once my socks hit the floor in my bedroom, she grabs them and takes them away. I’m not sure what her fascination is with socks but seeing them all over the house makes me smile. Her and my other two awesome dogs really do make me happy.
I hope you all have a great day today and that what I shared resonates with you somehow. We have 100% control of our lives so remind yourself of that today and know that you can dictate your happiness. Figure out what makes you happy and go after it. And if you have a dog waiting for you at home, be sure to squeeze the hell out of him or her when you see them later today.
Until tomorrow. Be Happy.
HECTOR’S SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS
You’d have to read yesterday’s blog post to understand what my plans are for MakeAShift this week. It all stems from my love for a movie I watched a few weeks ago called Hector and the Search for Happiness, a very inspiring and powerful movie, at least for me it was. My name is Hector of course and what better topic to cover this week than that of Happiness.
Unlike the character Hector in the movie, I haven’t taken a journey around the world that provided me with some crazy life changing revelations or anything like that, but I have had my share of challenges, some recent and some not so recent. As a 43 year old man who has lived as full a life as possible, I can say that I’ve been through enough to be able to write on the topic of happiness and I hope that my insight can help you find yours today. My list isn’t in any particular order so know that it’s all coming out as I write. Enjoy.
HAPPINESS IS DOING WHAT YOU LOVE
I’m a fairly happy person most of the time and it’s very rare that I wake up grumpy or upset. I’m usually ready to go and look forward to that first morning cup of coffee. I work for myself and for the most part I’ve been doing so since college. I of course have had some full time jobs over the years, but the longest I ever worked for someone else was for about 5 years in the 90s. Some might say that being my own boss is the reason I can wake up and be happy, but no, this is my disposition for the most part.
Trust me, working for yourself isn’t always easy and there can be many reasons to want to quit, but I love it. I’m not rich by any means and being my own boss is great but that’s not the part that I love the most. I could be my own boss doing anything, but I don’t think I’d be happy running my own landscaping business or owning a kiosk at the mall, not because those aren’t great, but because they’re not my passion. If you’re going to be your own boss then do so by doing something that you actually love and enjoy. I own an ad agency and I get to create and design every day. Sometimes the work and clients are great and sometimes it’s challenging, but in the end I’m doing what I love and enjoy.
By working for myself I’ve also been able to turn other passions into businesses with two of those being a love for cycling / bikes and dogs. Two very successful festivals have come from this and 2015 marks 4 years for each fest. This November 7th will be the 4th Annual HTX Bike Fest and this past Spring the Puppies for Breakfast Dog Festival was the largest yet.
If you have a passion for something, whether it makes you a lot of money or not, jump in and do it. You don’t have to get up and quit your current job today or tomorrow to make it happen, just take baby steps and start doing something that you love that will increase your happiness everyday and make waking up all the more better.
HAPPINESS IS COFFEE
I love coffee but I’m not what you call a “real” coffee drinker. I stick to the basics, just give me a good cup of standard brewed coffee and let me add some cream and sugar and I’m happy. My ritual every morning is to heat up some water and then poor all of that hot water goodness over a one cup pour over system that is usually filled with some Dunkin Donut brand coffee grounds. I’ll usually just sit out on the porch for a little while and sip on that cup or I’ll do what I am doing this morning and I’ll write or work. I usually only make it to cup #3 before I realize that I have the shakes and then it’s time to stop. I’m sure there’s an addiction by now, but it’s ok, I’m happy.
HAPPINESS IS FORGIVING
Remember, I said that this list would come in no particular order, which is why i can jump from loving coffee to now talking about something deeper such as forgiveness. Working for yourself is great and can be awesome, especially if you do it each day with a cup of coffee in one hand and a donut in the other, but if you’re walking around with unforgiveness towards someone you might as well quit and go work for someone else.
If there was ever anything that could affect a person’s happiness it’s the decision to carry around unforgiveness. We’ve all been hurt by someone at some point in our lives and I’ve seen first hand how destructive unforgiveness can be to a person. It can be a huge weight and there are some people that will carry this weight for years and never deal with it. Forgiving comes easy for some but can be very difficult to do for others. I’m wired to forgive fairly easy and quickly, to a fault, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. I would hate to be walking around with the burden of that huge weight, stunting my growth and disabling me from moving forward. Forgiving someone can be so freeing and life changing. If you’re carrying around one of these weights, please, let it go today. Lay it down, give it to God or allow friends or family to help you remove it and take it off.
I found this image online of the donkey that is suspended in the air, still attached to an overloaded cart that he was pulling. It’s hilarious, but the only way to safely get that donkey back down on the ground is to begin removing some of the weight from the cart. Only then can his legs touch the ground again and he can be detached from the cart. I’m sure that donkey was scared as hell being suspended in the air like that, and he was probably the happiest donkey in the world when they brought him back down.
Take the weight off of your cart. Lighten your load and in doing so watch how much room you can make for happiness.
Until tomorrow, enjoy your 3rd or 4th cup of coffee and get back to work. Thanks for reading.