Pause

I thrive in Go Mode.

Constant momentum and activity makes me feel like I am inching myself closer to goals, dreams and aspirations. When things are hectic, I am at my best. But this is not possible to perpetually operate this. Despite my stubbornness, I have found that I do have limits. There is a point where, if I am not careful, I  break down and my beloved momentum grinds to a halt.

 

It feels as if someone pulled the e-brake when I am trying to step on the gas. I am suddenly  lurched forward and then quickly yanked back into a submissive position by my seatbelt (safety first). I’ve hit this “wall” several times before I finally realized that I needed to introduce and appreciate a balance in my life. As hard as I push myself is as hard as I have to relax and rest. That ebb and flow creates a tide of peace in my life,  allowing for hectic activity and stillness to be welcomed in my life.

 

To reinforce this belief I build in times to unplug and unwind immediately following high-energy weekends and big projects. I’ll go to a movie during the day, visit the spa or do something that allows me to separate myself from my craft and miss it. If I am traveling, I try to export in search of beautiful to get lost in. It is a blessing to press pause.

 

In practicing this, I’ve been able to perform at high levels when it’s time to be “on.”

 

I thrive in Go Mode, but I don’t live there.

A Peak of Mind

Where do you bury your thoughts?

 

Are they safe in the dirt, or comfortable in a cloudy sky?

 

Do they rest amongst your pillows, only to visited your headspace in the absence of night?

 

No I say your thoughts refuse to be buried. They walk swiftly along your side.

 

They ride the wave of your presence. Lending order to the recess of your mind.

 

Do not trouble the resting place of your thoughts. It’s too much to keep in mind.

 

written in the middle of the night

Finish

I had just moved to Austin, Texas (2011) and made friends with a couple of my co-workers. We shared a love for music, creativity and having fun. One day at work, my friend Ben showed me this really cool pop culture video on YouTube.

Super awesome right?

After seeing this, we decided we wanted to remake the video. We picked a day and spent most of it shooting. My video editing skills were (and still are) very amateur back then. I spent hours figuring out how to work editing software to produce some cool effects. I got close to completion but ran into a road block involving a couple tricks and missing clips. I let that detail hold up the project.

 

Cut to: last night

 

I am a firm believer that “done is better than perfect.” Perfection is a process,  if you wait for everything to be just right, you can miss out on the very lessons needed to inch towards that perfection. So I finished it. We can’t call it a remix, but it’s ours.

“We Can’t Call it a Remix,” starring Ben Flores, Jessica Estrada and me (for a minute).

Identity

Picking up from my last blog:

I landed safely in San Jose, gathered my things and took a very thought-provoking Uber ride to the hotel. “Thought-provoking ride” is not an option on the Uber app (although it should be).

 

After normal introductions and questions, the driver began immediately break life down to me. I don’t know what provoked this micro-inquisition and subsequent imparting of wisdom, but I went with it. He really liked that I had been exploring a lot this year, saying it was “good for my mental health.” The conversation contained a lot of insights and cool exchanges. While this was taking place, a thought struck me.

There is power in explaining who you are and what you do. It is an excellent opportunity to check your work.

 

Inside the conversation both me and the driver where proud of who we were and excited at what is to come. That is probably what enhanced the conversation. But there have been so many times in that past that I have run in to someone who is stuck, frustrated with there current state and been that way for a long time. Having to explain that you are miserable to everyone (or most people) that you encounter is demoralizing. It’s not always going to be sunshine and rainbows, but if you find yourself in a stagnant miserable situation, don’t stay there. When explaining yourself to people, don’t let your story suck forever. Keep moving. Progress. Find the smallest of victories to celebrate and build from there. Let that become your introduction. Put yourself in a position that when someone asks who you are, you begin with a smile.

 

I set out to write a blog on a different topic but this came out instead.

Photo by Brian Sullivan 

Special Cadence

I am on my way to San Jose to cover the CrossFit Invitational. It is an honor to be able to step on a plane and go off to cover the Sport of Fitness. I get so excited every time I clear security and settle in at my gate. As soon as I sit down, thoughts of my execution, approach and style race through my head—encapsulated by an overwhelming feeling of excitement.

Boarding the plane triggers the final preparations for work. This entails subject research, reflection and enjoying the final bits of relaxation before the plane lands. As soon as we taxi to the gate “I’m on.”

No I am not competing. My role is not super significant, but it is everything to me. I am passionate about the stories I have a chance to tell, so I give it everything—sometimes more than I knew I had.

I’ve gone through this cadence several times over the past few years, but it has not once been boring. I have not once been underwhelmed. Each journey bring lessons, surprises, challenges, frustrations, disappointment and excitement. At the end of the day, I enjoy it all and take nothing for granted.

Vulnerable Clarity

Every day holds so many lessons. I wonder how many I miss, over look or forget. It’s not something I will lose sleep over but I definitely want to begin to limit it. In response to that, I am again challenging myself to increase my writing frequency.

Writing is the most selfish thing I do. My primary purpose for it is clarity and understanding the things I think about. The desires I have are too big not to document. Some are absurd and some are very possible, but it is hard to decipher which is which on my own.

It is one thing to have a concept float behind your eyes and completely different ballgame to publish it. You can easily convince yourself of just about anything when you are the only audience. But when your thoughts are visible that makes them vulnerable. That vulnerability is something that you can either fear or utilize.

Choose the latter.

Practice sharing your thoughts, dreams and goals. Constantly call-out, identify and describe the things you desire in life. How else do you expect to locate and attain them?

Stolen

I woke up like dih!

I woke up last Thursday in a hurry to begin my day. There was a full schedule ahead of me and I knew I had to be on point in order to get everything done. I quickly got ready and jumped into my roommates car—to head to my first meeting. Backing out of the driveway I noticed that my trunk was slightly open … “that’s weird.” I hopped out of the car and shut it, then I noticed my driver’s side door was open …” Odd.” I closed that too and rushed back to the car to knock out the day. It was a productive and successful day. I came home feeling accomplished and ready for the weekend. As I started to wind down and decompress everything, I walked outside to grab a bag out of my trunk.

 

As I approached my car I thought, “why was my trunk open?” I advanced towards my car—still analyzing the morning. OH SHIT! In a split second it all hit me. Someone had broken into my car. I’ve had things stolen from me before and it is a feeling I don’t enjoy. It’s a rotten and helplessly violating feeling. There was nothing I could do but call the police and let it all sink in for a moment.

 

My car was loaded for a day of media work and old clothes destined for Goodwill. I opened my trunk to see the remains of my belongings. More than $2k in belongs are gone. My media equipment was disappointing to lose but the source of distraught was centered around my gym bag. This thief took my gym bag! That must be some form of blasphemy … Ugh (Imagine a wonderful medley of curse words).

I spent a solid moment being bummed about it.

 

Having things taken from you is not a fun experience, but what can I do? I rarely leave things in my car but for some reason I got comfortable and just a little lax. It came back to sting me. There is no fault to place, but there is a lesson to be learned. Everything lost will be replaced and there is now room for newness—in both possessions and knowledge.

 

It’s not all roses, but I am learning to enjoy it all.

Sudden Change

How do you prepare for things you can not foresee? That seems like a silly question, but it something that I ask myself the most. Throughout life there will be unexpected turnovers—occurrences that immediately changes your circumstances. In the past, these situations have derailed me for days or weeks at a time. It’s a design flaw I’ve been working on for years.

Getting Caught Out of Position

In college, the majority of my studies took place in film rooms at the Bright Football Complex at Texas A&M. Coach Kines, my position coach, was old school and full of one-liners that would occupy your mind indefinitely. I learned to question and examine everything — establishing the importance of well-executed details. The lessons I learned from him have stuck with me beyond my football career and continue to lead my life. One of the most important concepts Coach Kines verbally hammered into my head was to slow down before speeding up or “Read slow. React Fast.” When adversity comes it is common to immediately react. Most of these moves are normally irrational or at least not optimal choices for the given circumstance. In many cases it has landed me in even stickier situations.

When the ball is snapped on a football field small misinterpretations can cost you points. The offense has the advantage of having the ball and knowing where it is going, but they are also burdened with having to act first. The defense can study tendencies and select plays that put them in the best position to stop the offense, but they cannot be 100% certain of the offense’s play. As a rookie, I would take a step as soon as the ball was hiked. This was silly, unecessary and almost immediately took me out of position to to make the play. It took time but I finally began to realize that I had time to understand the play before moving. I began to freeze upon the snap of the ball and assess what my eyes were telling me. After referencing the opposing team’s tendencies — that I had studied in the film room — I would react. As soon as I understood what was happening, think time was over and I took off at full speed to make a tackle. The difference in making a play and being caught out of position was found in a split-second pause that impacted everything. This idea transfers well to many areas in life, especially change.

Read slow. React Fast.

When the unexpected occurs, slow down, listen and understand. Failing to listen and gain a clear understanding of a situation can lead to unnecessary action. Allow time to gather information to select the best option and swiftly act. Speed is so important, but so is taking off in the right direction. Don’t expend double the energy retracing steps in order to get back on the right path. I love to move on things quickly and have been impatient with this tactic in the past. The more I practice it, the more I find it only takes a few extra moments to clear your perspective and correctly address sudden change.

All

There is a desire to do it all, to have it all. Right now. It’s undeniable and ever-present. Is that wrong? Where does that come from? Who knows, but the only logical solution is quench that desire.

So now that destination “Do it All” has been identified, it’s time to begin. But be careful. The path is crucial. Ignore the surround elements and the journey may fail. Attention must be devoted to each decision, the details of each move need thoughtful consideration. Utilize all available crafts and develop deficient areas. Be present—alert in each moment—acquiring all things necessary to continue the journey.

Stepping lively, with care. Being alert and ready to adapt in a moment’s notice. Appreciating each detail for the part it plays. Wait a minute. The journey has become the destination and the desire is now quenched. In a beautiful irony, life brings an unexpected gift. It is focused purpose-filled action to be sought after. Having an identity, a dream and leading the construction of it. That is when we have it all.

Always. Be. Creative

Let me welcome you into my thoughts for just a minute or two.

For years, I have been a hesitant writer. Most of the time I avoid it until inspiration is so potent that I absolutely have to express my thoughts. Stalling like that is not a good way to progress in any arena (oddly enough) and I am determined to make improvements as this year comes to a close.

Creativity is both a gift and a skill that I use far too sparingly.

Volume Control

Taking these initial thoughts into consideration action is required. I want to create more — not just more — but better. That’s the goal. But how? It’s time to turn up my creative volume. The idea that I can only publish something if it’s perfect and polished is not conducive to the sharpening of my skills. Painters continually paint. Writers write. Creatives create. You get the picture. To be better, repetition is required.

This proposed increase creates the opportunity to perfect the process and produce at a higher quality more often. Also known as “practice makes perfect.” Catch phrases and popular sayings need to be unpacked sometimes to truly appreciate their value.

Noticing New Outlets

Time to turn up the volume. I enjoy writing, photography, designing, strategy and many other design related things. That’s a fortunate position to be in becuase that means I have multiple options to express if I get stuck or stalled in one of my outlets. Recently I have been switching between outlets when I get stuck in one. If I can’t seem to organize my words, picking up a camera and going to explore has proven to be a effective cure. I return to my pen and paper with new ideas and approaches that weren’t so obvious just a few moments before. That diversity sparks creativity. Creativity thrives in a state of flow. In that zone comes a direction that needs to be fluid and adaptable in order to produce art. Changing instruments may be the best adaptation for me to remain in flow.

The Glengarry Glen Ross Way

Always be closing. A phrase that has stuck with me since I’ve heard it. The idea of persistence, adaptatation and relentlentless devotion to achieving a goal is something to be absorbed in applied in many aspects of life. However, it doesn’t quite activate me in the way I need it to so I made a small change. Creative is something I always aim to be, in everything. My challenge is to add my own signature touch to everything I do. From my presence in a room to artwork produced, I aim to Always. Be. Creative. The more creative I am, the more me I become.