New years is always a good time to reflect on what has happened and what one wants to happen... Here'e my list.
- Communication: I recently realized I was not very good at taking my ideas (which I felt were good) and convincing others of their merits. I have made it a bit of a hobby to understand what effective communication entails. I am trying to look at all fronts: body language, tone, the words we use, classical rhetorical tricks and the delicate balance between emotion and reason. I want to finish several books I have started on the subject, to note personal failures and successes in daily life. I want to be able to effectively show others what I really feel/think and to be able to persuade when necessary.
- Mindfulness: Mind mind feels like it is rotting away. I am so absent-minded lately. I drift from task to task without much thought. I need purpose. I need to be deliberate. I need to devote conscious attention to the daily tasks I complete (even simple things like eating or cleaning). I don't want to leave the stove on and burn dinner. I don't want to leave the iron on all day. I don't want to miss exits when I drive down the interstate. My speech is lazy, I use sentence fragments, I slur words, I speak softly, I ramble and go on auto-pilot when I chat with others. None of these things really matter, but what they represent does matter to me. I lack awareness of the life I am living. I need to meditate more, breathe more. Get rid of unnecessary thoughts. Wake up. Open my eyes.
- Work: Along those lines I need to find something more productive to do on a daily basis. Given the current absence of meaningful work, I cannot condone sitting at this desk for forty hours per week.It's probably the main reason I am so mindless. Teaching may be the answer. I finally got around to applying for substitute teaching jobs so that is a start, but not a solution. I don't know what I will ultimately do, but this just has to stop. I feel my days flipping away like the pages of an animated flip book. When at work I need to take more time during the day to break. Go back to reading and working out. Mix up the monotony. Have lunch with other co-workers.
- Personal Development: Self-acceptance. Identify stale ideas that I still cling too. I need to start carrying around my little notebook more and writing more. Don't get so defensive and be less emotional when talking about ideas. Don't be a coward. Speak up. I need to read more. Books are so dense unlike most of the conversations I have on a daily basis. I need more ideas and less facts.
- Passion: I need to find a project to work on so that I can keep my mind occupied in the mean time. I need something that can consume my faculties. I also need a companion who can challenge me. I had a lot of fun this year sowing wild oats (which was my intention), but now it's time for something a little more mature. I want to give back in my own way which I think means bring something sort of idea to life. I am not sure if it will be literature, a documentary film or home building but I need to stop wasting time on Facebook and silly dates.
- Vanity: These are relatively pointless, but are also the easiest to accomplish. They are mainly done for social reasons... I want a more professional wardrobe. While clothes are always silly they help socially and pay for themselves many times over. Nothing fancy, just clothes that fit well and look nice. I also want whiter teeth. Lastly I want to spend the time to develop a body that anyone would say looks good. I only need to gain about 15 lbs. It's within my reach and there is no reason I shouldn't accomplish it. I want to keep working on my house to make it more comfortable. I want to keep working on the back yard and continue to make it a nice place to hang out.
- Travel: Plan a big trip. I have to take two weeks off so I might as well make it interesting. Time to use those frequent flyer miles. Somewhere poor and tropical. Maybe Colombia. I have been talking about this for too long. Maybe I can coordinate something with my old buddy Rob.
- Social: Keep finding interesting people. Host more couchsurfers. Go to more art and cultural events in town. Devote more time to interesting friends and less to pretty girls. When I do spend time with friends stop looking towards the next event or where you could be. Be with that person and be yourself. Learn something from them. Don't give them what they want to hear either. Be real. I play the chameleon too much. It is socially advantageous but not good for my own psyche.
- Self discipline: I need more of it. I need to delay gratification. Set personal boundaries. Don't drink as much. Cut out unnecessary expenses.