To Give Thanks

Day 30: Jot down a list of all the things you’re grateful for. It could be as simple as “Family, Job, Home…” or as detailed as “The bacon I had for breakfast, the weather being warm today, the chance to sleep in this weekend…” When we aren’t feeling chipper, thinking about what we’re thankful for can help get us in the right mindset. No matter how down and out you may be, there is always something to be thankful for.

What I’m grateful for… Alright then!

Family, Faith, Home, Friends, Mistakes, Nerdfitness.com, ArtofManliness.com, Finding Balance, Chocolate, Hope, Music, Wisdom, Science, Nerdy things, Nubuo Uematsu, WordPress.com, Fire, Sentimentalism, Philosophy, Energy, Training, Laughter, Adaptability, Unexpected moments, Food, Life, Self-Improvement, Video Games, Anime, Time spent with friends and family, Christmas, The Wind, The Rain, my Culture, Opportunity, Time, Human Anatomy, TV, Movies, Inspiration, Sib-Ring, Courage, Human Nature, Mother Nature, Medicine, Determination, Kindness, Balance, Art, Prayer, Light, Warmth, Helping others, Guidance, Redemption, Meeting New People, Pets, the Sun, the Moon, The Stars, Travelling, Introspection

Hmm… I think that’s about it, although I’m certain that I’ll be thinking of new things to add to this list, heh, even as I’m writing this piece down, more things come to mind. Oh and of course, I’m grateful for this 31-day Journal Challenge

Red’s Manifesto

Day 29: Try writing out your own personal manifesto. I’d describe the benefits and the how-to, but this short post does it much better than I could.

GOD

GOD is first in all things, no matter what the situation or how dire, I will not trade my soul for anyone or anything. I am he who calls upon the name of the LORD for strength. Faith will echo in my footsteps all of my days! GOD saved my life and I will dedicate my life to serve Him and all of His children.

“What man is a man who does not make the world better?”
Quis est homo, qui non in melius?

FAMILY

FAMILY will always be in my heart, “Blood runs thicker than water” has always helped me find the answers to questions. I will always defend, help, and side with my family, regardless of joys and betrayals. I will always help my family with whatever they need, even at my own expense.

KINDNESS

There are two kinds of people in this world: Those who CAN help, and those who NEED help.

RESPECT

Only to those who show respect, will respect be given, I will display respect to everyone, Friend or Foe, not to receive it but so that I have reason to respect myself.

BALANCE

Yin & Yang, both of these and all of their counterparts are necessary for a satisfied life. For every action, there’s an equal and opposing reaction. I will balance my life so that I can adapt to any and all situations I will come across.

Location & Equipment

Day 27The importance of where you live: our home and environment have a tremendous impact on our lives. Take a look at the eight factors that should be considered when choosing where to live. Maybe you’ve never actually chosen, and you’ve just ended up where you are by default. Take the time today to think about the idea and importance of place. You may determine that where you are is perfect, or you may realize that you belong somewhere else.

Alright, so I think I’ll just lay out the eight factors and reflect on each one.

  1. Professional Opportunities: My current location has plenty of Professional Opportunities, doctors to shadow, places to volunteer, heck, the only thing I’m missing is a research lab, and I can get that at the University which is like less than half an hour away.
  2. Aesthetics: I have mountains in my window and outside my front door, all I’m missing is really an ocean to the side and I’d be set.
  3. Recreational Opportunities: There are plenty of local parks around me, as well as theme parks roughly an hour plus away. Although I’d have to usually travel quite a bit for something interesting, it’s not so bad from where I’m at.
  4. Climate and Geography: The clean open air and sunny days often make me long for snow, for the most part, I’m content.
  5. Available Mates: Despite my shyness to talk to a random cute girl, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of them around me. Just saw one in Michael’s earlier today. I need to overcome my shyness first.
  6. Proximity to Family and Friends: At the moment, I’m still living with most of my family, and my friends are quite a bit away, but not so far as to lose track of them.
  7. Environment for Child Rearing: I have no kids, but if I did, I wouldn’t mind having them grow up where I’m currently at. There are plenty of good schools around and they can still get in touch with nature.
  8. The Cost of Living: I’ve no idea how much it cost to live here, but I’m aware that it’s was quite expensive, if I could afford it, I’d live here.

I’m not sure if I really got all of the priorities that a Homeowner bears, but for now, these are what’s important to me.

Day 28: Finally in this three-day journey, you need to gather the tools necessary to make your life a masterpiece. Take a look at the article, and define the various tools that you will need and use to work towards those purposes and goals you laid out a couple days ago.

This article talks about tools of life that a man should have in order to make life complete as a man. Which are listed is as follows: A Mentor, A Mastermind Group, Journal/Pocket Notebook, Online Tools, Some suggested reading, and Discipline. So I guess, I’ll break them down to see which ones I have and don’t.

  • A Mentor: I have my Bro-in-law, My sister, My Mom, but while each of them are full of wisdom and bear traits that I admire, I wouldn’t consider any of them my official mentor. I’m grateful for their wisdom that they offer when I ask of it, but they specialize in the personal matters of my life being family, and don’t really know much about my academic or professional world, so they can’t really offer me guidance in those fields.
  • A Mastermind Group: I’ve been going to this Young Adults Ministry that my church has, and it’s full of people around my age, and so far, it’s rather too soon to give that this particular label. The purpose of this group is “to discuss and debate, and receive both criticism and inspiration.” the closest thing I have to that is Nerdfitness.com, hardly a ‘group’ but it’s the only thing I got.
  • Journal/Pocket Notebook: Well, this is my journal, albeit a public one, and I don’t have a pocket Notebook, but the concept of it was something that intrigued me before, I need to look into it again, or maybe make my own.
  • Online Tools: a LOT of these look REALLY cool, and I think look into them later on down the line.
  • Suggested Reading: These books are meant to guide you, I’ll write them down and if I see them in a bookstore or somewhere I’ll try to get them.
  • Discipline: Heh, this is something I’m going to be constantly striving to obtain. This is really a trail by fire tool, some days I’ll be like a Marine, other days I’ll be like a couch potato. I need to be more Marine than Potato

So that’s it. I’m really missing a Mentor, which can probably be a doctor; a Mastermind group, which can be formed later on; a Pocket Notebook, which I can make; and more Discipline. I have some tools, but I need to get more.

Blueprints for Red’s Life

Day 26: For three days, we’ll work from AoM’s “Craft the Life You Want” series. While many things in life are out of our control, there are more things than we often realize that are in our control. Most often, we simply don’t realize that we have the power to change things in our life when we aren’t happy. Today, work on crafting a life plan. It can be a long process, so if you’re short on time, start by defining your various roles as a man, and your ultimate purpose and goals within those roles, including specific action steps.

Since I don’t have a lot of time at the moment, I’ll do the condensed prompt…

Red’s Roles as a Man:

  • Student – I’m currently doing nothing towards this role, save for the random curiosity search, but my Ultimate purpose is to be someone who’s always learning new things, sometimes because I want to, other times because I’ll need to. Being a doctor, I’ll be forced to learn about new diseases as well as new medications or procedures, I need to maintain the drive to constantly learn new things. The plans for these will be to review notes, and actively learn, or re-learn things until they’re stuck in my mind.
  • Son – Still living at home, I’m trying to remain a good son I offer my time when I can, trying to remain respectful and compassionate. My Ultimate purpose with this is to simply remain as good a son as possible until, I become the Parent. For now, it’s staying the course, and making sure I don’t lose my temper or become aggravated.
  • Brother – Being the Youngest, I have little expected of me, but I want to prove myself as an adult as well as a friend, and this to me, defines a brother, at this point in my life. My Ultimate purpose is to extend this to those who aren’t my kin, but to be a brother to everyone who comes to me. Specific actions of these, require me to have a LOT of patience, and to earn the respect of others, by being respectful. So maybe learning how to stay calm, or how to become friendly with all persons of all backgrounds.
  • Uncle – Being a parent when I’m not the parent, that’s what being an Uncle is to me. My Ultimate purpose with this is to try to be someone the girls (and whoever else calls me ‘Uncle’) can trust and love. Specific actions are to pretty much be there when the girls need me, and to give them what they need without spoiling them… too much.
  • Friend – I’m an introvert, but I do have people I like to talk to and hang out with. My Ultimate purpose is to become a trusted individual to all those who call me ‘friend’. Specific actions required of me are to actively hang out with other people and have a good time.
  • Disciple – Catholic, learning the ways of God and Christ. My Ultimate purpose is to have religion as the center of my moral compass and reflected in who I am, and what I do. Specific actions required of me are to be more present in church, volunteering, and actively learning more about my religion, reading the bible and whatnot.
  • Athlete – What good is it to tell others to be healthy when I’m not healthy myself? My Ultimate Purpose is to learn a martial art, or two, and become proficient in self-defense as well as being strong enough to help other people should a disaster strike.

These other roles aren’t important to my life as the previous ones, so I don’t have an ultimate purpose for them, they’re simply roles that I take on throughout my days.

  • Tutor –
  • Mentor
  • Writer
  • Volunteer
  • Nerd
  • Handyman
  • Babysitter
  • Driver

Switch On the 25th Day

Day 25: There comes a time in every man’s life where he just feels…meh. He’s not happy about things, but he’s not depressed either. In fact, it’s probably a place where many men spend most of their lives. Take a look at the 5 switches of manliness — the things that ignite passion within us to live fully. Which of these is missing from your life? It’s not likely that all five are fully present, so take some time to jot down ideas on how you can better integrate these switches into your life so that you can have the motivation to seize each day as it comes.

It took me about 2 hours, but I’ve read through the entire series in one sitting. and here’s what I’ve got for my own life:

  • Switch #1: Physically – This switch is pretty present in my life, I’m running and I regularly exercise with BW exercising and just recently have decided to go to a gym with Greggy. I’d like to take up a Martial art, or learn Parkour, but I need to meet some requirements first. So this Switch is definitely “ON”.
  • Switch #2: Challenge – This Switch is definitely in the “OFF” position. It’s also the reason for the my stagnation, I don’t have much to challenge me. Mentally, I have no classes, no textbook to try to learn, nothing really academically there to pressure me. Spiritually, I pray every night, and I’m starting to read the Bible, I really need to volunteer again, and I’ve no money to donate to church. Physically, all I have is exercising regularly, but I don’t have something to exercise towards. No Tough Mudder or anything that will test myself physically. Socially/Emotionally, I’m really lacking here, I’ve got plenty of friends that I haven’t spoken to, in a long time. I’ve always had some problem talking to strangers, especially beautiful girls, and ultimately, I say “should” a lot more than necessary. So this is evidence all pointing towards this Switch in the “OFF” position.
  • Switch #3: Legacy – For this Switch, I don’t have any children to sire, but I do have a “blog/journal” that will last longer than I will, but that’s about it, I don’t have any people to mentor, no Bible study group, and no business to start of on my own. So this blog/journal is pretty much the only thing I’ve actually “created” to pass down to the ages. Switch is “OFF”.
  • Switch #4: Provide – This is all about planning ahead. And I used to have a plan, but it fell through and I’ve never had a new one since. There are a lot of triggers on this one, that requires me to sit down and think about it. So I’m definitely going to be trying to find ways to get this one fulfilled. Switch in the “OFF” position.
  • Switch #5: Nature – Heh, ironically enough, this Switch is “ON”. My morning view is a beautiful landscape that’s full of mountains, right outside my front door is a rocky hill that I can hike up at any time, and it seems like all around me, there’s some form of nature that does more than make this Switch in the “ON” position.

So that’s it. Three of the five Switches are OFF, these are the three aspects of my life that need to be activated in order to help me feel more like a man, and not so stuck. I’m going to have to come back to this post and review it later on, so that I can fix these Switches.

Distractions and Creations

Day 23: Make a list of things that distract you. Every man deals with distractions, whether at work or at home. It could be the internet in general, it could be a specific website, it could even be something that’s actually beneficial, and yet distracts to some degree from something that’s important to you. Making a list creates awareness, and you can better slay those distraction dragons.

  • Nieces
  • T.V.
  • NF Chat
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Brave Frontier
  • Stumbleupon
  • Youtube
  • Random Googling late at night

Day 24: In modern times, men have become more spectators than doersmore consumers than creators. Yet one of the marks of a mature man is being someone who doesn’t just consume the culture around him, but actually helps create it. Think about all the ways you consume the world around you, and the time you spend doing it. Next, think about the ways you can reverse that, and start to actually be a creator. That’s an intimidating word to some, so come up with ways that you can get off the couch and do something productive instead of just mindlessly intaking.

The ways I consume the world… Hmm… Well, at this point, I’m going to probably think that I’m something of a leech, because I have no job and I have my own room, car and I eat food. Throw in all of the electricity I’m taking up having a laptop and cell phone and I’m almost a black hole of consumption. But then I think about what I did earlier today, I gave up exercising at the gym today to build my mom’s armiore/closet. I’m going to be driving Greg to the gym to exercise with me, I help take care of my nieces when their parents need the assist, homework, projects, and even the occasional tucking them in. I drive anyone who needs a ride, and I’m willing to go far for whatever they might need. I’m always open to listening whenever it’s needed, and whenever someone asks me for something, I don’t hesitate to offer my helping hand. So although I don’t actually create anything, I think I’m finding way to make up my consumption of resources, and I’ll eventually get a job so that I can find more ways to create!

Archetypes and Activities

Day 21: Take a look at our excellent series on the four archetypes of the mature masculine. Read the descriptions, and think about which archetype you most strongly resemble, and that which seems to be your greatest weakness. Write about how you can achieve better balance between all four archetypes and identify the specific ways in which you can strengthen your weaknesses and harness your perhaps overpowering strengths.

Alright, it’ll take WAY too much time re-reading all of the series of the four archetypes of mature masculine, I’m going to base my answers on this chart and what I can remember.
OK, in my current place in life, there’s not going to be much that I’m strong in, but we’ll see.

  • Lover Archetype: I believe that I’m fairly strong in the Lover archetype, the concept is that you love life and everything in it, and I do. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, or who I’m with, I’m always looking at life with happiness or optimism. Heh, in the truest sense, I’m a Lover.
  • Magician Archetype: OK, this is the constant striving to learn archetype, and due it’s broad spectrum covering just the general desire to learn on any level, I’d say I’m also a Magician, I’m always trying to learn new techniques, ie. Handstanding and now the Typewriter Pull-up, I’m seeking to learn more about my faith, and just broadening my horizons on several levels. So I’m not a complete Magician, I’m well within the high end of that triangle.
  • Warrior Archetype: Although I’m not really a warrior in any sense, I’d put myself right at the end of the Hero archetype, I’m still searching for a Purpose, trying to still be Mindful, and all of the rest of the traits that would make one a complete Warrior. So although I’m not a Sadist nor a Masochist in any sense, I can’t in complete honesty call myself a complete Warrior either. So I’m in the middle of this Triangle.
  • King Archetype: In this archetype, The Divine Child is a man who’s young at heart. Based on Isa’s labelling me as a “Halfa” (Half adult, half child) I’d say I’ve achieved the Divine Child and am somewhere in the King Triangle. I’m not ruler of anything except myself, and I’m no where near independent enough to be. So for this, I’d put myself as still the Divine Child, I’m not even in the triangle of the Mature Masculine spectrum yet.

Day 22: Imagine you’ve been provided with a livable income for the rest of your life. You have no need to work, but aren’t rolling in money either. How would you spend your time? Your answer will say a lot about you and what your passion may be. Perhaps this discovery confirms your career choice, or maybe it makes you realize you’re not actually where you want to be in life. If it’s the latter, think about how you could make money with that passion, and even draw up a game plan for getting to that point. As much of our lives are spent at work, to dislike what you’re doing will not only drain you of energy and willpower, but also leave you looking back and wondering why you didn’t do anything to change it.

Heh, if I have livable income, then I’d find a way to start saving some of that for a rainy day by restricting myself of some luxuries and then after I have something of a sufficient back-up, I’d, while still living restrictively, would make some purchases of things that I’d like to have: Gaming Consoles, Movies, etc. But in the end, I’d like to go out and make the most of my time, doing something productive, or creative. With sufficient income, I’d go to school, get another degree, or resume my attempts to get into med school, and one thing I would like to do is travel, and see the world, expand my horizons and live a good life full of experiences and interesting people. I always said that if I become a doctor, I’d help people for free if I could. All I need is that one chance! I’ll get in! “Positive thinking”, my sister always tells me, “Positive thinking.”