Pushing Thirty

and shedding pretentions

Getting Motivated: the Mission

I want to sing the praises of the “motivated life.”

I have come to believe that feeling motivated about my life is the make-or-break sensation that I cannot live without. Feeling a sense of motivation gives me the energy to do things that I don’t feel like getting done in the name of my goals.

I’m going to write a series of small posts on what I’ve found works for me, to get me motivated. I’ve had my fair share of failed attempts at spending time wisely, but I have found a few things that work. Whether you’re pursuing a career in freelancing, or working nine-to-five and trying to maximize your weekend hours, I think you’ll find this helpful in leveraging your free time.

Before I go any further though, I want to lay the ground work by the most powerful principle I have touched about feeling motivated:

Motivation is not a Mood, it is a Mission.

Proverbs 4:23 tells us to guard our hearts with all diligence, for out of the heart springs the issues of life. If my heart is not motivated, that means it is not stirred or roused to action. And that is not okay. For so long, though, I thought that feeling of being moved to action was arbitrary. Some days I’d wake feeling ready to leap from my bed, but most days not. I was rarely excited to face the day.

But then I started paying attention to what was causing that, and I found it was far from arbitrary. Now, I have fully embraced that my emotions are 98% a function of a number of elements in my life that are under my control. It was empowering to find that my life is MY LIFE and that I don’t need to be held hostage by feelings of lethargy. Guarding my heart, guarding my passion, guarding my motivation is a critical part of pursuing a life that lives up to my goals and values.

My friends don’t think of me as one of those people who is a driven go!go!go! always positive kind of guy, a person who more resembles a terrier than a human being. Most people think of me as a rather sedate introvert. I’m not talking about a personality type. I’m talking about how I finally got a grip on my heart and my life, and how I’m continuing to go about that. I want to feel a connect with how I spend my waking hours, a sort of soul-traction, the opposite of living in the daily grind. Its the substance of Motivation.

Motivation isn’t a Mood; It’s my Mission. It is the part of me that I need to keep alive, or else find myself dramatically off course years down the road.

May 6, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Favorite iPhone Apps.

Well, I should be doing some writing right now. I’ve hit a stall. But rather than leave the computer, I thought I’d write a post to help me with the writing I should be writing. Follow?

Anyhow, I’m on day five with my new iPhone and already can’t live without it. I thought I’d run through a few of my favorite applications.

Let’s begin with the beginning: Twitter. Twitter– and if you haven’t at least heard of twitter, then you’re probably not even reading this– did not make an ounce of sense to me before the iPhone. I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to report what they were doing at all times, let alone get updates. I downloaded Twitterfon (after a brief stint with Twitteriffic; what was I thinking) and everything came into focus (the exact same thing happened to me for Pandora, but we’ll save that for another post). I’ll say this: Twitter isn’t about reporting mundane facts of life like eating lunch and doing laundry. It is about what all good writing is about: reporting about mundane facts of life in a way that makes people want to read it. Do it in 140 characters or less, an boom! you’re tweeting.

Next, I want to hit on the task management app, OmniFocus. This app changed my iPhone from a toy into a bonefied work tool. Not only does it have all the contact cross referencing abilities and project groupings you’d expect from this kind of program, but it has one more critical feature: it has a feature called “context” that links up with your GPS. To illustrate, yesterday I was in the grocery store and I checked Omnifocus. It told me that there was a post office in the grocery store where I could drop off the three items on my list that needed to be run to the grocery store. That is, if I had brought them with me. OmniFocus already one step ahead and breathing down my neck. It’s exactly what I need.

Let’s talk about the weather channel app. There’s a lot to love, but I love the video button. What’s the worst part about watching the WC on tv? Right, trying to catch the individual weather for your city as they broadcast for the entire region. With the weather channel app, you can watch the updated video segment for your city any time of day.

Not long into my iPhone experience, I had a great idea for an app. I thought I was going to make a million dollors on an application that helped you find where you parked your car using the gps locator. I was excited. Until I found three different versions in the app store. The one I bought only cost me a dollar and was the exact same thing I was envisioning. And then some. This app not only uses a satellite to help you find your car, but has a timer that you can set so you never over stay your parking meter. Since I’m notorious for forgetting where I parked within ten paces of leaving my car, there will be a worn smudge on my iPhone screen from selecting this app over and over and over.

I’ll give you one more. While I’m thoroughly stoked about how work-oriented my iPhone is, I do have one guilty pleasure. I wouldn’t call myself a gamer at all, but I couldn’t resist one. Its called Glyde. Back when Nintendo made the leap to Super Nintendo (this predates xBox by a good decade), there was a game that intrigued me. It was called PilotWings, and it featured a dude on a jet pack flying through a 3D world. Glyde is way cooler than PilotWings, but in the same vein. You steer a little flyer all over God’s green earth and into his blue heavens and through canyons, and water, and up around mountains, collecting floating crystals. You can dive bomb the ground at breakneck speeds or gently soar over menacing stallagmites. I’m blown away by the grapics, the game play, and the fact that it only cost me a dollar.

All things considered, I’m thrilled with the iPhone.

May 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Puns and other Foolishness

I got into a little Twitter back and forth with a real blog-czar Randy Bohlender today.  With the hype of the swine flu dying down, I guess it was only a matter of time before the flu-jokes started creeping into the twitosphere.  After all, even the title– swine flu– sounds ridiculous.

So Randy, good for a steady stream of chuckles throughout the day, threw out a few tweets all tagged #othertypesofflu.  They went a little something like this:

Flu from bad rappers: Flu Live Crew

Flu only dangerous to male members of the 6th grade choir: Little Boy Flu/ go blow your horn.

This proved irresistible.  So for the next two hours, all I could think of, no matter what I was doing, was Flu puns.  Here are some of mine:

Summer-long flu strain with a cut-rate sound track?  Lollapa-FLU-za

Flu served family style with creepy decor?  FLU-co de Beppo

Walrus flu? FLU-coo-ka-choo

A tenacious Irish flu strain that attacks global poverty? FLU-2

(and my personal favorite)

A strain with impressive pedigree but debatable journalistic merit?  Anderson FLUper
Finally, Randy came back with a response:

@jbmavWRITER, the commitee just got out of their meeting. It’s unanimous: you need to stop.

So it was over.  But its never over!  Can you think of any to add to the list?  The best thing about them is that they easily turn into great “what-do-you-call-a” jokes, or crossword puzzle clues. You get the idea.

May 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment