Small Milestones to help me keep going

I have a problem with being consistent with my posts, and well most things to be honest. Although, I have big ambitions, I don’t always and mostly never follow through with my plans. I’ve realized that most of my downfalls can be attributed to the fact that I always become so engrossed in my huge ideas that I lose sight of the small steps and little accomplishments I have made to progressing to my goals. I also feel hopeless when my ultimate goals are so far away from where I am that I just shut down. One thing I’ve decided to do to continue towards achieving my goals and not giving up is to not only celebrate the small milestones, but to also remember that I need to keep taking small baby steps forward even when I tumble and fall backwards in my progression. I logged on to this blog tonight originally to post something but I didn’t really have anything in mind. As I looked through the analytics of the paltry handful of visitors I have (I really appreciate you all! I fall into the trap that social media and the internet brings of likes and shares meaning popularity), I noticed a notification “You’ve received 100 likes on your blog”. For some this might not seem like a lot, but for me at that particular moment, it gave me an immense feeling of elation and gratitude for all those who browse random blogs and have found something of worth or value in this one. My musings are more often than not streams of consciousness that I rarely edit if ever, maybe a word here or there, but that happens on the fly. So I don’t usually see any meaning in what I write, and I’ve stated this before, this blog is mostly for me to have a space where I just muse to myself. I do appreciate all of you people who do take the time to read, like, comment and share (although I don’t think many people share this). I gives me hope that maybe, I am making a difference in the lives of strangers (albeit a really small insignificant one probably). I’ll never know the impact I have on others, or whether I even have any impact on people at all. Maybe that’s how life is supposed to be, just go about doing good, regardless of whether or not you make a difference in the world. Go about chasing your dreams despite any negative thoughts you may come across. Move forward with the belief that you’re being honest to yourself and your God (should you choose to believe in a higher power). As long as you keep taking small steps, celebrating the little milestones, never stopping your journey forward towards whatever drives you and your passions.

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Finding inspiration and staying motivated

I’m sure I’ve written on this subject before but I can’t recall specifically when, so I’ll write on it again as I feel that this is something I should do or else I won’t do it at all. Over the past little while I’ve been struggling with motivation and I feel that all my accomplishments or things I’ve created in the last year or two have been very much uninspired, especially when I compare it to how I felt about my work in the past. I struggle a lot with being consistent and I feel that’s a big part of being motivated. Maintaining consistency seems to be an attribute that all successful people have. I say it’s an attribute because it doesn’t seem that consistency is possessed by the general population, or maybe it is. Some people just have positive habits of consistency like persistence, hard work, etc. Others possess negative habits of consistency like procrastination, laziness, etc.

I think that my struggles have been leaning towards the former as I don’t feel like I am productive and it impacts my confidence. Like most negative habits, it starts slowly but snowballs out of control leading to things like lack of confidence or depression and the like.

One thing that I have noticed that has helped me is to act on a thought, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be, as soon as you can. Or if you can’t act on it right away, write it down, to be completed once you are capable of doing so. This is one of the reasons why I’m doing this blog post right now, as it was a thought of mine to do, as a means to help me work towards doing more productive things in my life.

Motivation can be from outside factors like family, friends, work, etc. But I find that the strongest most lasting motivational factors must come from within. It is a strength that pushes you forward, to keep going when things get hard, and to never give up despite the outward appearance of a situation. Being motivated also is linked with inspiration, as the more motivated a person is in accomplishing something, causing more thoughts to flow freely sparking the creative side of their mind to come up with solutions to problems at hand. This all is probably nonsense and menial ramblings of an uninspired person. My hopes are that this leads me to find what motivated and inspired me in the past so I can bring myself out of this slump and or rut I feel that I’m in. So that I can once again create more freely with confidence and feel that sense of accomplishment that helped me to maintain confidence, motivation and inspiration in my life endeavors.

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Racially Oversensitive?

So this happened to me last week and I’m still a bit miffed by this thing that happened to me last week. I was at work, when a customer came up to me and said “magandang hapon” which for those of you who don’t speak Tagalog means Good Morning in English. Like many of you, I had no clue what was being said because I’m not Filipino. The only reason I know how to say good morning in Tagalog is thanks to Google Translate, so basically I don’t know how to say it. Now normally I would just brush it off to ignorance after I looked at him with confusion, he proceeded to follow up with “oh what are you?” Or something to that effect. I responded with I’m Chinese, and I don’t speak Tagalog. He then blurted out some form of “ni hao” which caused me to be somewhat offended. I’m not sure if it was the manner in which this whole exchange happened or whether it was due to the fact that he just assumed my ethnicity. It just confuses me as to why people think it’s okay to assume someone’s race or ethnicity, then blurt out the only phrase you know in their language as if to say “Hey I can speak your language so connect with me on that level”. Now don’t get me wrong here, I do understand the desire to share what you know of another language with native speakers of that language. However I’ve never, despite wanting to greet Hispanic customers, blurted out anything like “buenos dias” or “que quieres” because I understand that I have nothing to follow it up with other than “sorry that’s all I know because I learned some Spanish years ago but have since forgotten most of it and haven’t kept it up enough to carry a conversation”.

I think the reason this irks me so much is because you’d never see anyone of any other ethnicity just shout random English phrases to Caucasians and be like sorry I don’t know anything else. Or maybe you would and I’m just overly sensitive about the subject matter. Is it just me being racially over sensitive or is this something that we as a society should stop doing?

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Loss of Civility and Increase of Hate

I’ve been very contemplative about a lot of issues as of late. The one thing that I’ve noticed is that people on either side of any issue will have a knee jerk reaction causing things like name calling, immediate disregard for open and civil conversation, and creation of a sort of mob mentality (rallying those supporting their view to a cry for action against the “other”).
 
I’m struggling to understand why people become so hard-line in their beliefs, or why people can’t even fathom coming to some sort of resolution that benefits both parties in some way. We seem to be perfectly fine with open name calling and slanderous behaviour so long as it benefits our cause, but we teach our children that things like bullying is wrong. We teach them in church to love one another, yet in an online forum, we spread rumours and lies to tear down those we view as our opponents in things we are passionate about. We are quick to place blame on others, but never look within to ask “is it I?”.
 
I know that contention over various issues political and non political are more complex than just agreeing with the other side or trying to find a middle ground. I know I’m over generalizing things but it just seems that there is an overall lack of humanity or civility in an ever shrinking world.
 
I suppose it is the prophecy that “For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good”. I know that we are living in those times right now and whether you’re religious or not, I just wonder where we will end up if we continue down this road that we are travelling on…

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Fact checking with Bias

So unless you’ve been in a hole hidden away from media and society, you’ll know that politics is a hot button issue in the social media world. Every few posts I see on my Facebook news feed is either pro or anti Trump, or extreme liberal or conservative. These posts are often met with what I’ll call “radical views” (not actually that radical but somewhat devisive views) and comments. I enjoy reading them from time to time as they sometimes are amusing to hear banter and read the various viewpoints of my friends. The thing that bothers me more often than not is when people debate but back their facts with extremely biased sites. I’m all for debate and discussion and I do see the need to back your arguments with facts but it doesn’t really support your cause if you’re using biased media outlets like Breitbart, the Blaze or Slate and the New Yorker. The reason for this is that the articles and opinions on those sites are incredibly bias. 

Why does this matter? Facts are facts right? Well yes and no. Yes facts are facts, but not entirely. For example, if I’m looking at the world through my blue tinted sunglasses, I could look at something yellow and say it’s green, or something red and say it’s purple. Does that make what I see wrong? Perhaps but let’s apply this to the whole liberal/conservative issue. If I watch the Colbert report and see a clip that says Trump is a moron for appointing Betsy DeVos as the secretary of Education and reasons to show why that’s the case, if I had a liberal bias that would just reaffirm my own personal beliefs and then I would share it and think, that’ll teach those conservatives. Conversely if I as a conservative then saw something on Breitbart telling me that the Colbert report is stupid because of these reasons, I would feel justified in thinking that my views were right to begin with and Betsy DeVos should be secretary of Education because she’s the best suited for it (I personally don’t care – I’m Canadian). Biased views will produce bias opinions and it’s easy to find bias in research and statistics if you’re looking hard enough.

Now you might be asking why should this matter? Well if you care for facts and truth then it should matter where you gather your facts or “alternative facts” as it may be. It doesn’t support your cause in trying to change views or opinions, if that is indeed your point in posting anything like this. Yes it’s nice to be on the winning team from time to time but really when you post something from a bias media outlet you frequent and support it just seems like a huge circle jerk. 

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that there needs to be a way to bridge the gap between the two sides. People need to be more open to understanding and open to civil conversation. I understand that often people go into conversations under the pretense that they’ll be civil but when you go swinging arguments using your biased media outlets articles, you’re not looking for a civil open conversation. You want an all out brawl guns a blaze, because that’s exactly how those outlets write their articles. They hope to incite anger and cause contention because that is the very fuel that keeps them going, taking all of their passengers along for the Blazing ride down Slate road watching the world burn down around them.

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Being gracious in all things

I’ve noticed in the past several weeks leading up to and following the election in the United States, two things that I’ve found to be quite ironic as an outcome of the election.

The first idea, being that there have been a large portion of people on either side of the debate prior to the election have called for civility and to put an end to ignorant name calling if their supported candidate won.

Prior to the election, many Democratic supporters of Hillary would suggest that people shouldn’t vote for Donald Trump because he is a racist, sexual predator, whose methods of garnering support have come from name calling and defaming his opponents among other things. These same supporters also suggested that should Hillary win, Trump supporters should graciously accept the result and not protest in response to the outcome, as Trump admittedly stated that did he not win the election, he would have sought to contest the results of the vote.

Conversely, Trump supporters would suggest that people shouldn’t vote for Hillary because she was a murderer, a thief, a liar and was the epitome of evil. Likewise, I believe they felt the same things as the Democrats believing that should their candidate win the election, they should bow out gracefully.

The second idea comes as a result of Donald Trump winning the future presidency. All the calls for civility, name calling have been for naught, and division in the united states have seemed to not only continued but possibly escalated.

There were violent and destructive riots and protests by many who opposed a Trump presidency. These people were in protest out of fear that they felt would come as a result of a presidential candidate that ran a campaign that focused on some racial tensions that have come out of the war in the middle east. Liberal news outlets reported hate crimes that targeted visible minorities and immigrants. People were physically and verbally attacked for their religious beliefs, and the colour of their skin. Fear among these communities were rising as these reports flooded out over social media. These same people called those who voted for Trump ignorant, stupid and a plethora of other names with negative impact.

On the other side of the spectrum, those who supported Trump were excited to say the least, but the decorum that they called for pre-election was still nowhere to be found. They called for civility among the Clinton supporters, and asked that the name calling and mud flinging stop. They felt justified in their decision as their candidate of choice won. However, they did not exhibit any form of graciousness as they did exactly what they sought the the other side to stop doing. Thousands of posts on social media are vilifying those who supported Clinton, calling them ignorant, unintelligent, cry babies for not “graciously” accepting their defeat. The irony here is that there is need to be gracious not only in defeat but in victory as well.

I admit at the beginning of this post I had a clear direction of where I wanted to go with this, but as I’ve been writing and have begun to think through my points, the more directions I want to take this. So I’ll, try my best to sum up why I started this post to begin with.

There are  high tensions due in part to Liberal and Conservative media outlets. People go to the respective news source looking not for truth, or opinions that oppose their views but to find affirmation of what they already believe. They find exactly that in all the “articles” they read from their respective media outlets. The “truth” they want to find is all there in black and white. What many fail to see beyond this truth is that there are people involved. So wrapped up in being right, that people fail to see the reasoning behind all the protests, name calling and lack of civility. Millions of liberal/democrats are hurt and afraid and they want to know that their world will be safe, but they don’t get that sense of security from the conservative/republican side. All they have gotten were things like “suck it up, you lost”, “protests show your intelligence” and other hurtful things that have fueled their actions. Many conservatives now have a sense of pride from winning, but in doing so have over looked the fact that the other side is experiencing these feelings of hurt, fear and sadness.

While I can only offer what I would suggest to be a call for more graciousness and civility in all things, I doubt my influence or audience would be wide enough to make a change. People will continue to be persecuted for their beliefs, called ignorant for what they feel they know, and vilified for standing up for their own good. This makes me as an individual sad for our collective existence of humanity.While I know this article does not represent all democrats/republicans, or liberals/conservatives, it does represent the loudest voice among those same groups. While they may be the minority, sitting back and allowing these things to happen is (although cliche to say so) just as bad as saying them yourself. We need to remember that there are people out there who need love, who need to feel safe, who need to know that their opinions aren’t ignored and heard. While we may disagree with what the other side said, we need to be civil in how we listen to each other, how we work with one another, so that we may move forward in building up a future we can all be proud of.

I’m probably too idealistic in thinking this, but I will do my best to listen to those who need someone to listen to and spread as much love as I can within my area of influence.

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Life Away From Home

It’s been over half a year since I last blogged so here’s a quick-ish update, since I last wrote, I moved from Toronto to Edmonton and well here’s the rest of the update.

In the past month or so, I’ve been living away from home for pretty much the first time in life. While this may not seem like a big deal for many, for me this was a really big step. My decision to move was made quickly but something I was thinking about for a long time. As the move happened, my excitement rose. I was in a place with new things to explore and experience. I had a job interview for a job prospect that seemed great and exciting. I had settled into my new place and everything was going well. Two weeks in and things were moving along smoothly. Now having had a lot of ups and downs in my life, I’ve noticed one constant being that if things are going well things will inevitably go wrong.

I’ll start with work, or lack thereof. I got a job with an organization that does fundraising for non-profit organizations. My role was specifically “fundraiser”, pretty straight forward, nothing too complicated just ask people to donate. Seems easy enough right? Not really. I’m not quite sure this is the case. If you ever wanted a job where you feel ignored, invisible, and definitely overlooked, this is the job for you. The booth where I work is positioned in front of a Jack Jones store, and I swear it’s the most interesting store in the mall. The reason why I say that is because whenever people walk by my booth at the mall, they see us and then get entranced by Jack Jones. Their eyes just get fixated on to that store, as if it has them locked in a hypnotic trance and they can’t look away from it or they’d die. I’ll probably write more but back to my original reason for writing about work is as followed.

Just as soon as I started working, my campaign coordinator came up to me the second day on the job and told me that the hours would be limited as they would be losing part of their campaign at my specific location. This was an unexpected setback but I was still optimistic about this job.

I have been very blessed to have girlfriend who has been very supportive of me in everything that I’ve been going through, but it seems like I’ve been getting dumped on by life. About 3 weeks ago, I was subjected to the most intense pain I’ve ever had in my life. After struggling to find help, I eventually got to the hospital and was diagnosed with kidney stones. Also another story to be told there in another post.

Life away from home has not been the bed of roses I had expected and I am hopeful that things will get better because that’s what always happens for the protagonist in any story right? In my narrative I am the protagonist but maybe my perspective on things are skewed and I’m actually the anti-hero or even antagonist meant to suffer to get through the story that is my life. Who knows, but I do feel more inspired to blog more, so lets see how long this lasts.

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