Gratitude

There is a notebook that I have been carrying with me for a while. This book is a simple note book. Hard cover. Bought from the supermarket for a dollar.

On the outside of the notebook I have placed a felt cover, bought from a craft market in Wellington. Its a smiple cross pattern, but it is special to me. It has a purpose and a reason.

In this notebook on the inside cover I have written the word “Gratitude”. This is my notebook that for a while (on and off) I was writing things that I felt grateful for that day. It could be anything. I wrote 3 things, either morning and night, sometimes both. Even if I had a bad day I wrote 3 things that I was grateful for. I wrote those 3 things morning and night.

I have over the past year have had the notebook with me. Here are some of the things that I have been grateful for.

23 March 2014

-writing the best material that I have at the moment into 5 minutes.

-Cleaning the house and having less things to worry about.

- Realising how long that I have been listening to podcasts and how much they have influenced my thinking.

 

24 March Morning

-The clean and organised house that I have made

-Getting to bed early and waking up at 6am

- Having completed writing my comedy yesterday

 

24 March Evening

-For Tim organising the dinner at my house after I said hey lets do one.

-For my knowledge of the busses. That its best to walk to the further bus stop than wait for one to come, maybe.

-That I have inspiring people and podcasts that make me want to live positively

 

25 March Morning

-For deciding on traveling and changing my situation

-Simpleness that I have made for myself

-The ability to be able to buy things online and get them shipped to my door

 

26 March Evening

-Knowing about fringe things and being able to keep on top of trends

-Calling mum and dad and listening to James, my Nephew.

-Having crazy ideas and taking action in interesting ways

-Having my laptop fixed.

-Games night. Being able to just turn up and play games

-Knowing that I acted childish and know that I need to be aware of when i’m like that .

-That I’m able to keep on the edge of things, on the fringe and find cool things.

 

27 March Morning

-That i’m not afraid to talk to the people from reddit wellington

-That my parents help me with flights and organising things

-The quietness and stillness at the apartment of being myself a lot

 

5 April evening

-That I can finally be honest with myself

-The great weather today

-The great music I listed to on pandora

 

6 April evening

-For finally talking to my dad about all the issues that I have with him

-For the quietness in my head now that all the anger is out

-For cleaning up the house and putting more stuff in the car

 

8 April Morning

-The feedback that I got from Nik-Bruce Smith and Adam Wright.

-The ease of getting on stage and bombing

-The automation of my base line operation that keeps things operating correctly.

 

13 April Evening

-Writing new jokes and working on old material on my chromebook

How short of a time has it been since I have been so positive and grateful. Noticing all the wonderful things that are happening around me.

In life, we are the mirrors of the world around us. Stop reflecting hate and anger on to the people who look to you for guidance and support. Instead however, be grateful and inspiring.

We are more powerful than we give ourselves credit for. If we just let ourselves be ok with being average then we might be able to become amazing.

Where in your life have you been too negative? Where are you not taking the advice that you have been giving to other people? Maybe now its time to start being positive again.

In review of the list I am able to notice where I could have been going wrong. Its not about being ok with just yourself its being ok at the world around you. There was no other way that you could do it. You need to both love yourself but more so love everything in the world around you. That includes your enemies. What ever they are and and whatever form they take. You need to adopt the fighting mentality, the warrior’s ethos (by steven pressfield), you turn and face your death, the creature that is chasing after you. Your mortality.

The mind adapts and converts to its purpose the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way – Marcus Aurelius

The thousands of different ways that you could go. The thousands of different things that you could do in life. Now you needed to chose to become world class in a very short amount of time.

This has been written over a few days. If it feels fragmented and clunky forgive me. Also, I’m average at editing.

Peace,

Mark

Between doing and not doing

The emphasis of it all seems to be on the act itself. There is some weird thing that happens when you actually decide to do something. What changes?

Nothing. You have not done anything yet. Your mind has become so wrapped up in itself that you are now just thinking of all the doing you could be doing and instead do nothing.

What then, does it take to actually do? It takes accepting failure all the time. It takes going out there and knowing that you will die fighting. That you won’t ever make it and that’s OK because all your doing is making it easier for the next person that comes along.

We create off of the back of giants but are we not also to the ones who will be leap frogged off when our children grow up. We will be the inspirations of the next generation. They are the ones that are the people who are spotting the trends. The obvious conclusions that everyone else should have been seeing if they where actually looking.

It its by the process of doing that we learn. We do like a child would. They have no fear. They do not even care if they are doing it wrong. Its a game. Its all for fun. There is no purpose. All of a sudden, there is no performance anxiety that we as adults seem to put upon ourselves.

The act of doing frees our minds of the fear of failure. The fear of failure is just a repeating start cycle, without ever leading to action. It is an infinite loop. The brain identifies this as what it is, a problem and proceeds to tell the conscious part of the person that something is wrong. Why could they not do something about this error?

Not doing is so attractive that we think that its the end goal, the thing to achieve in life. That is why so many of us feel so empty. We have already got what we set out to achieve as soon as we start. There is nothing else that we can get if we do not want to do.

Choosing to do just do one thing makes you productive. You do not have 100 different conflicting things that you would rather be doing, which would force you into not doing. It is what you do that is more important that how you do it.

Doing the things that noone else will do

What happens when you throw yourself into the fire? What are the things that everyone runs away from doing because they are to hard or they reveal to much of yourself. For me it used to be stand up comedy. That was before I tried it and found out how easy it actually it. Maybe it comes naturally, I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t let my ego get the better of me, most likely.

I often find myself now offering to help whenever the opportunity arises. I have come to a point where if anyone asks for help then I say yes. I give my time away because what I gain from giving my time away is the experience and a chance to learn.

Look around you day to day. There are countless times that you could just do something nice that would benefit everyone around you. Often times we forget that just saying thank you is one of the biggest ways that we can help and inspire other people. You give someone a currency that they cannot earn or spend in any other way.

Its often hard to find the ways that you can help but once you start moving you will find a way to get there.

The ramblings of a deranged man in Melbourne

Wow its been a while.

How are you? Whats been happening in your life?

Good to hear. Look I would love to hear your story but this is just me writing. So I can’t.

Intro gag over. Whats been happening? Lot’s. Interviews, working, banks not giving me functional credit cards….

You know what. Lets just talk it out for a bit.

 https://soundcloud.com/jistbug/the-ramblings-of-a-deranged-man-in-melbourne

I will find a better way of doing that in the future. Its something different.

Having fun in Melbourne, Mark Christison

Setting Goals

For the last month I have had this pinned to my wall.

Goals June 2014

I got to see it every time that I was in my room. I was reminded that I wanted to achieve things. They where hard(ish) goals. Here’s a wrap up of the things that I actually achieved this month.

 

No Drinking Alcohol

This one was easier than I thought it would be. Not that I drink a lot normally but it started to become a habit that I would go to a bar and just order a drink. That’s whats done, right?

It was a social norm that I was falling into. Something that I no longer needed to do out of habit. While I didn’t really achieve this because I did have alcohol twice in the month in my food, I did go without drinking any.

It was great to be able to wake up in the morning fresh and with a clear head. I am considering just keeping this up, simply because it was so easy. The number of benefits outweighs the costs of drinking. I don’t know how much money I have saved by not spending money on alcohol. I don’t know the health benefits that will come from not drinking.

Writing for 30 minutes a day

This goal was always going to be a hard one, because it requires action. Every day I have written in some form or another. Whether it is scrappy notes, jokes for my comedy or musings on nothing in general.

I would have to say that it has been the hardest on going commitment that I have made ever. It has required more self discipline than any other task that I have set out to achieve and to the best of my knowledge I achieved it.

Now, I was generous on myself. I knew how long 30 minutes was from timing it a few times and then just writing that long on a page or screen.

I was also generous to myself for writing comedy. I find that I come up with my best idea’s while I am walking. So I would take a notepad and walk around and generate jokes. While this is not technically writing, I gave myself a pass as it is productive and creative none the less.

 

Travel Plans

This was always going to be the big one. I knew that by setting this goal, I would change the course of my life, if I could take action on it.

I bought the plane ticket to Melbourne and I resigned from work. 2 very very difficult things for me to do, and I don’t know why.

I did not however sort out accommodation or work for when I am in Melbourne, that has now moved to this months goals.

 

What I learnt

Setting goals is easy. Its just making a decision on anything. It doesn’t matter what the goal is. Just chose something.

After I finally chose to do a goal, the rest of the process became so much simpler. Oh, I have to do this thing now, lets get started. It became a process of not questioning what I was going to do but how I was going to do it.

Having goals is something that I have read about for a while now, this is one of the first times that I have set them, and followed through by taking action to complete those goals.

Did I complete everything I set out to do? No. Am I ok with the fact that I failed? Yes, because I accomplished so much more than I thought that I would have been able to.

Now its time to create new goals for this month, and get working on those. Stay tuned to find out what they are.

More on eggs

It turns out, eggs are quite a complex topic. Here are some useful facts that I have added to the memory banks.

Cracking an egg

The often overlooked step of eating eggs is that you need to remove the shell (unless your boiling them). How do you go about cracking the egg? Americas test kitchen has the answer.

Scrambled eggs

Seems simple enough, and as Gordon Ramsey explains, it is very easy. It just requires work, and not burning the toast.

2 simple things for the morning. Have a great day.

Free writing

I am surprised every time that I sit down to write. Its often quite hard. I mostly do not want to be there. Something weird is always trying to push me away from the page.

Inevitably, 1 of 2 things happen. The first is that I am defeated. Instead of doing work I go and watch a youtube video or read some blog post. I never take any action doing this. Its purely about content consumption. And it sucks.

The second thing which is very rewarding but very very hard to do is to just start writing. Often you simply have no sentences in your head that you want to write about. What the hell are you supposed to start with?

And that is where the trick is. You just start with a thought, write that thought out and go from there.

Now, this is such a invigorating process that you will often be swept with words or ideas at a point. Too many things will come to the front of your mind to write about. There is to much to do. So many words will come at once.

Then, they wont. They will slow down and almost stop. You will have a internal story that slows down enough for you to focus on the words that you are writing. You start to pay attention to why you are using them. You become aware of minimalism, that you should use as few words as possible to convey an idea. 

However those words now have to carry a meaning.

They have to be heavy enough to transfer the meaning and beauty of a story through to the reader with minimal effort. The reader must be able to see the writers mind exactly.

Then you awake. You have written words for a certain amount of time.

How long? Who knows. Is any of what you wrote any good? Who cares.

Why would you then do the practice of free writing? Simple really. The performance anxiety that we put on our self to write is very high. When you want to start to write for a purpose you are afraid that you wont be able to deliver content that is of high enough quality. When you write for no purpose you allow yourself to be like a child and have fun. You remove all pressure to preform.

I have been surprised how easy it was to pick up and how mind altering practicing writing for 30 minutes a day for the last month has been. Problems seem to resolve themselves around you when you give yourself time to think over ideas enough. Its a practice that I will take forward into the future. I encourage anyone now who will listen to me to do it. 

A question for you is, What are you going to create for no purpose today?