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Archive for October, 2008

One Man Army

It’s been far too long.

Now that I am hopefully getting back into the swing of things I am going to start this one off with a Plato quote. (I realize that I already started this one off with ‘it’s been far too long’…but humor me.

“For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of victories.”

-Plato

Many of you know me as the person that has the ability for supreme procrastination. I can hold things off until the absolutely last minute. 8 hours. No sleep. And 36 pages later I have finished all of my work. This seemed to be my working motto when I was in college. I was even proud of it. As I have gotten older, and more wise. Yeah, read that one without laughing. I have realized that I am undisciplined. I have been unable to conquer myself, I fall victim to the simple pleasures of daily life and forget that I need to stay focused so that I can be successful in the longterm.

I began realizing this during the summer. Lamely, because of a song. I suppose it is okay to gain inspiration from a song. Actually, it is good to gain inspiration from a song, because then you can just play that song and remind you to get focused and GSD. Or ‘Get Shit Done’ as I like to call it. Either way, the song is ‘Say’ by John Mayer. I suppose you could say it is kind of an emo song as it starts off with:

Take all of your wasted honor
Every little past frustration
Take all of your so-called problems
Better put them in quotations

Say what you need to say (8x)

Walking like a one man army
Fighting with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead
If you could only

The part that I especially want to highlight. Is the “One Man Army”. After doing a great deal of reflecting both this summer and recently I have realized. That (here comes the generic inspiration message) you really can be a bad ass and do anything that you want to. You just have to believe that you can dominate and you can do it. You can be a One Man Army, you can change the world, you can make a difference. In my case I have to stop lolligagging around and get to work. As such, I have started to make a plan for myself so that I can be more successful. Normally I would just put this on 26 sticky notes and put them up around the room to motivate myself. My hope in posting this, is that I am holding myself accountable to the entire world. If I can do these things, then perhaps other people can set their goals as well and ‘conquer themselves’ to become the ‘One Man Armies’ necessary to make this world a better place.

I suppose I should get on to my philosophy then. I believe that we are essentially 4 beings in one. Or rather one being with 4 parts. These parts are physical, mental, spiritual and social. All of these parts are necessary for us to be successful and necessary for us to enjoy our lives. The first three (physical, mental and spiritual) are inwardly focused. Without first balancing and adapting these parts of our life we are less effective in the 4th social part where we have the ability and opportunity to truly make this world a better place. I’ll now move to discuss a little bit more about the three inwardly focused parts.

Physical – without our physical being and presence we are nothing. We need this to move, to stay alive. This is the skeletal system, the muscular system, this is our body our movement. If we are extremely obese we are unable to move and function as would be necessary for us to help other people. If we don’t eat/sleep properly then we are preventing ourselves from having our fullest potential as we are not able to utilize the time that we are awake and surrounded by others.

Mental – a better word would probably be intellectual, but I feel like physical and mental go better with this. By this I mean quick/smart/intuitive. Not just books, but streets everything. You have to be sharp and able to thing things through to solve problems and be successful. Without this people are incapable of addressing issues. This means that you have to be knowledgeable about everything. One doesn’t have to be a genius, but you need to have the information locked away or the ability to access it quickly so that you can help others. As much as people solve problems the trick to keep those solutions in place is programs and ideas that inspire others, we need our minds and our intellect to create those programs so that we can have a lasting impact.

Spiritual – I really don’t know how to describe this other than there is something more to people than mind and body. I suppose others would call this the soul. I just think that you’re mind and body can be absolutely in line, but if you aren’t spiritually stable and happy with your life then it will all fall apart.

Social – Finally we get to the part where we impact others. This is our piece or part where we need contact and support and love from others. We can find this social need without meeting our spiritual, mental and physical needs. But, and this is a big but I think that it is impossible to find truly meaningful social connections and interactions if you aren’t first balanced physically, mentally and spiritually. I believe this, because if you aren’t balanced on these things then you will be thinking about them and trying to make up for them when you are acting with others. If you are doing this when you interact with others then you are not acting like yourself and those others are creating relationships and friendships or enemyships with a person that is not actually you.

To become a better person, and to be more motivated and more successful and more focused and more happy and to help others I have developed the things that I think will help me balance myself Physically, Mentally, Spiritually and Socially so that I can be happy with myself, interact with others and enjoy my life to it’s fullest degree.

Physical Goals:

run 4 times/week
bike 4times/week
swim once/month
100 push-ups/day
200 sit-ups/day
50 pull-ups/day

I am a Triathlete, so part of my life balance is staying in good shape physically. Unfortunately, I live in a place without a pool so some things are lost. Also, I have found that when I am physically sound I am happier, more productive, more confident and more enjoyable to be around.

Mental Goals:

2 Sudoku/day
1 logic puzzle/day
30 minutes reading/night
30 minutes language practice/night
1,000 written words/day

It is important to keep our minds sharp in both math and literacy. The Sudoku and Logic puzzles are for the mathematical/logical side of things. The reading is to stay informed about the world, get new ideas and experience new books as well as keep my literacy up. 1,000 words is simply about putting those ideas down on paper. Without that transition from thought to paper/word our ideas cannot be easily spread.

Spiritual Goals:

3 cups of tea/day
1 yoga/week
cook dinner 3/week
1 tv show/night
2 movies/week
1 hour relaxing by yourself/night

I think that we can find this other piece in many ways. For me, I need to drink tea, watch movies, cook dinner and chill out by myself. That helps me relax.

Social Goals:

3 letters/day
3 emails/day
talk to family once/week
1 hour hanging out with others/night

It is very important that we stay in contact with others. Being that we don’t live with everyone that we know we need to make sure that we exchange letters, email and calls. Additionally, we can’t forgot those people that we are close to geographically.

I feel like if I did this every day. I would not only be far more productive, I would be far happier and well balanced. Much of the time we get caught in the day to day that is life and we forget to reflect on why we are here, what we are doing and what is important in life. We are so incredibly focused on the next step that we forget to focus on walking and instead tumble on the small curb that we didn’t notice.

I want to become a One Man Army just enacting change and providing positive influence and support around the world.

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