Tag Archives: social media

Make Your Mark…Then Move It

“I think that the power is the principle. The principle of moving forward, as though you have the confidence to move forward, eventually gives you confidence when you look back and see what you’ve done.”– Robert Downey Jr.

“We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”– Joseph Campbell

Neat stacks and tidy rows. Organized uniformity. Controlled outcomes and throttled variables. Just the sound of the phrases evokes a soothing sense of inner peace.

Unfortunately, that’s not the game, and those aren’t the rules.

We live in a perpetual Indiana Jones boulder chase world, and the only constant is a complete lack of command over where and when those pitfalls break free from their hiding places to surprise us with a spiky slip into an unlucky situation.

Instead of a laser-locked focus on permanence, maybe the best we can hope for is a clear footprint, created from a confident plant of our boots in the mud, ready to be washed away with the next day’s rain. We don’t necessarily need ownership of a name remembered for generations, but making a mark is an important pursuit, even if it’s a daily one.

Navigating social media scoreboards and spinning inside a constant comparison culture can diminish individual victories and discount incremental gains by shining a brighter light on the checkered flag than the gravel on the ground. But reaching any finish line is accomplished by first taking one step, and then another.

Humans exist inside the center of a dynamic tornado. We spend the majority of our waking moments dodging the debris. There is only here and there is only now.

Celebrate your wins. Recognize the effort required. Take stock. Plant your flag…and then move it.

Adolescence Interrupted

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Dropping a Rope Ladder into the Dark

Sometimes the loudest cries don’t make a sound.

Sometimes a helping hand gets slapped away.

Sometimes the reluctance to engage should be ignored.

Sometimes people just need to feel heard.

Sometimes it gets dark…very dark.

These days I have found myself at the base of a conundrum. There are a few vitally important individuals in my life who appear to be struggling with weighted shoulders and bleak prospects, whether concrete or concocted, and I’m not exactly sure how to be of service.

Everyone possesses a unique web of mental wiring, and this is certainly not a “one-size-fits-all” situation. Whatever has caused the drop—situational/lifestyle circumstances, chemical shifts, etc.—is something specific to the individual and should be approached with care, concern, and respect.

It is difficult to see the light when you’re drowning in the dark, and no amount of positivity or forced perspective about future prospects does much to impact the present. There’s no value in describing the colors of a sunset to someone wearing a blindfold. The goal must be to meet them where they’re stuck, grab some shovels, and start digging. Eventually, a few rays of sunlight will penetrate the cracks.

It hurts my heart to know that my friends are suffering. We live in a world where it’s easy to feel bombarded by expectations or to sink in the mud of unrealized aspirations. We are shown a picture-perfect, Photoshopped world of flawless smiling faces and successful peers knocking one feat or adventure after another off their carefully curated bucket lists while we look at old photos and wonder where the last decade disappeared. But when feeling bummed becomes feeling lost, it’s time to intervene.

There is not a manual for this sort of thing, and it may take stubbing some toes into bedposts before we find the clearest path. But our loved ones who have drawn the curtains and pulled the shades are not being subtle…even if they think they’re wearing a good disguise. We see through the slits on the side of that molded mask and we know it’s not your face.

I’ll bring the shovels. Please let me help you dig.

Adolescence Interrupted

The Consequence of Inaction

As we race to outrun imaginary deadlines set by our own unbending need to measure achievement and self-worth against an arbitrary yardstick, I can’t help but think of the mountains of wasted minutes that sit in a heap at our feet.

We’re always late, rushed, cramming far too much into far too small a window, and wondering how morning seems to sneakily turn into afternoon. We complain that “there are never enough hours in a day” and we lament an adjusted project deliverable date like it’s the end of life as we know it.

But how much of the blame sits on our shoulders? If we factor in countless distractions, daydreaming, social media addiction, and procrastination, how much more time would be available for real productivity? Is it simply a part of the human condition to crave a focus reset or soothe an overworked brain with mindless activity? Or has a society that’s built on the backbone of a dwindling collective attention span created manic little monsters who feel like they’re tackling task after task when they’re simply spinning circles in the sand?

As eye contact, basic social skills, and the English language continue to die a speedy death, I’d probably go with the latter. On a macrocosmic level, that’s pretty terrifying. But maybe the demands of a modern workplace are simply setting the foundation for a technological future in which we all function like poorly programmed robots, unable to attend meetings, complete assignments, or even arrive on time without megadoses of psychotropics buzzing in our bloodstreams.

Evolution? Hmmm…

We’re hurtling toward The Singularity, and I’m sure all these tendencies will be wildly useful when we merge man and machine, but there’s still a piece of me that thinks there’s something pretty special about a handcrafted wooden table, and the skill and focus required to start and finish.

Adolescence Interrupted