Category Archives: Articles

Until We Die – A Virtual Reality Short Story

“Is he still in there,” Director Laura Stiles walking into the room, stilettos clicking on the marble floors. Her thick brown hair was drawn back into a ponytail. The assistant director Charles Flint was checking the candidates stats at the medical station. He wrote a few numbers down and join Laura at the viewing glass. There, behind thick glass, a man laid on a gurney with a slight incline to keep him from swallowing his tongue. Leather straps held him in place.

“His heart rate spikes every few minutes before returning to normal. Other than the fact he’s been under for 18 hours, he’s doing fine,” Charles explained.

“We’ll need to get in on an IV, maybe even a feeding tube. Is there a next of kin who’d be able to sign off on this,” Laura has never seen this before. 18 hours in VR stasis was unprecedented.

“He has no next of kin listed and no has sign complete control of his physical well being into our hands,” Charles said.

“Brave,” Laura said.

“And maybe a little strange. I get the feeling he’s not just a thrill seeker. This guy is on his last dime. This might be his way out of a situation,” Charles said, sounding concerned. “Laura,” he said quietly. “I don’t know about this.”

“We need to see what’s going on in there,” ignoring Charles all together. Charles is always so careful. There is risk in progress, she’d told him before. “What’s the word on getting an observer in there.”

“We haven’t been able to get the observer to work properly. We get a few slight images but that’s it.”

“Oh come on. Aren’t we the ones controlling the VR world? We project the images directly into the ocular receptors in the candidates eyes and all him to use his nervous system as a controller to move around. Simply tap into the feedback system so that we can monitor what our voyager is doing in there. What program are we running?” Laura began to sound annoyed.

“It’s the garden program.”

“The garden program. You mean our guy over there has been prancing with the lilies and smelling roses for 18 hours.”

“He’s not like the rest, Laura. There is something distinctly different about this candidate. We were able to few the others, though the VR strain sent them running, we saw them. After the first 45 minutes we’d lost contact with this guy. Laura something isn’t right” Charles hated when she got like this. Laura was entirely too passionate about her work.

“Something, Charles? That’s all you have is something? Charles, we need results. The garden is for beginners. Okay, let’s pull him out and see if he will jack into another program,” she said ignoring him.

“Laura, we’ve tried that,” Charles said more forcefully, getting her attention, but also drawing the attention of the laboratory personnel. “We tried that,” lower now. “when we initiate the disconnect, it is refused.”

“Well, hell, force him out!”

“We can’t do that without severe mental, psychological damage,” he said. Charles knew he had to breech the subject with her, but he didn’t know how. He just had to come out and say it. “We don’t know how to get him out.” Laura’s eyes bulged.

“What?”

“We’ve tried…”

“We have to get in there. We have to see what’s going on. This is unprecedented. This is huge!” excitement written all over her face.

“This is huge.”

Charles stared back with a blank look on his face. He didn’t know what to make of her reaction.

“You know what. I want to go in there. I’m rested and ready to go right now.” Laura started towards her office. The lab coat was already in her hands.

“But Laura!”

“Right now Charles. Get me in there,” she said as she closed the door to her office. Moments later Laura emerged in scrubs and barefooted. She walked with determined steps to the gurney bed and laid herself down. Charles was still getting everything ready and the other little bees in the lab were fluttering all over the place. Laura started attaching cables and wires to her own head. She had no time to waste. This guy might wake up any second. She might never know what really happened in there.

“C’mon Charles let’s go,” she said impatiently. Charles walked into the room. Laura’s gurney was next to Jack’s. All their male candidates were Jacks and females Jills. All the cables were already connect. He placed a VR helmet over Laura’s head. “Count me down.”

“Director are you sure about this,” Charles had gone formal. Reminder her that she was head of this department by stating her title. Nice one Charles, she thought.

“Count me down,” she said calmly, betraying the excitement she really felt inside. Charles pulled a syringe and injected a sedative into Lara’s forearm.

“You won’t have as much control as our friend here, but you’ll be able to explore the world with him. If you find him, you’ll be able to speak with him also. Okay Laura, here we go.10..9..8..7..6..5..4..3..2..and..1”

Laura felt her head swim. The light emitted by the VR helmet seemed to go black. Then, like waking up from a nap, Laura’s eyes opened. She was laying on her back staring into thick stormy grey skies. Strange, she thought Charles said the garden simulation. There should be perpetual golden sunshine and blue skies. The flowers had all wilted. There was a broken down old house off in the distance. That looks so familiar.

“Hello, Mr Woods,” Laura shouted, eyes fastened on the house. There are no houses in the garden simulation. No houses like that in any simulation. The garden was there, but the flowers were dead.

“What the…?”

“Do you like what I’ve done with the place?” A man appeared next Laura.

“Oh my god, you scared me,” Laura hand to heart. “You did this?”

“You like?”

“Why,” she asked confused. “Why change it to look like this.”

“Why? You mean you don’t like it,” his voice crestfallen. “Laura I thought you’d recognize the place.”

Laura swiveled her head towards him. How did he know my name, she thought. “How?”

“This place, I’ve turned into my art work. It’s beautiful. It’s wondrous. I spent hours putting it all together just for you. And to think I didn’t even get a thank you,” Jack said.

Laura was speechless.

“I don’t know what you’re getting at but…”

“Well you didn’t like all my other artwork. So I figured if I recreate your childhood home you’d at least appreciate that. But not even a thank you. I’m so disappointed, ” Jack shouted the last word.

Images from newspapers. Magazines clippings in the mail. Weird phone calls in the dead of night all from burner phones.

“A restraining order Laura, a restraining order?”

“Charles pull me out. Charles, pull me out now.” voice sounding desperate now.

“He can’t hear you. I’ve changed the code of your little world. It was so easy. I just had to crash the code of a single flower and I was in. Laura, we can finally be together. Just you and me, until we die.”

This story was inspired by a writing prompt on Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/WritingPrompts/comments/glunv0/wp_you_work_for_a_company_that_has_developed_the/

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Netflix’s ’13 Reasons Why’ blamed for teen’s suicide attempt

The Change is Here

I’ve recently realized a truly disturbing trend in many of our young adult tv shows and books of today. This is actually not something new but attention to it has been exacerbated by tragedies of rising school shootings and teen suicide. To tell you the truth, I didn’t really realize it until I sat down with my seven year old son and started watching some of the shows he was watching. As he grows, his taste begins to change. Cartoons like, “Go Diego Go” and “Team Umizoomi,” no longer fit the bill. The shows which usually appear on Nick Jr and Disney Jr has been replaced with more preteen oriented shows on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and The Disney Channel.

At first glance, the change seems subtle. But as I sit there consuming the content my son finds enjoyable I begin to feel a bit uncomfortable by the underline message many of these shows portray. My initial intention, was to simply spend time, then an uncomfortable realization crept over me. The parents of these shows are seen as goofy, unrealistic, and often times unlike any parent I’ve ever come across; really not parents at all. The parents are often the comic relief, while the real living and problem solving, crime fighting and healing of hurts are all borne by the teenager or sometimes preteen of the story. Parents are perpetually sidelined, while the teens are left to solve, sometimes adult situations, all on their own.

Orphans Make Good Protagonists

In our YA and Mid-Grade novels the parents often meet an untimely end at the very beginning of the story or before the story starts. That way, the young protag can run off on an adventure without the restricting hand of a guardian.

The Transition

To see this very trend carry from a mid-grade audience into the young adult world is actually quite troubling. A child raised on television would have endured hundreds of hours of programming. I’ve met teens and even adults fresh out of their teens years express their disappointment in their parents. “They don’t understand me. They just don’t get what I’m going through.” It’s hard not to believe that the shows of today play a part in this disconnect in the family. When a child for many years grows up believe parents are incompetent. And to be honest, if my friends don’t have the answer then I sure enough don’t expect my parents to know.

Head In the Sand

Now, I do understand that there are parents who remain aloof as to the well being of their children’s mental and spiritual well being. I understand that a parent is the first line of defense and many of the issues can be nipped in the bud with a mildly attentive parent. All too often, parents leave it up to the child to find their way. They want to allow the child to quote and quote, “FIND THEMSELVES.”

You Can Do IT

Shows like “13 Reason’s Why,” and others tell our kids how to feel, think, and behave. How will they find their way? Parents need to know that their wisdom is valuable. Parents, you have something to give. Even if it’s a different perspective. Even if it’s undying love and support when you’re feeling especially speechlessness. Your input into your child’s life from an early age into adulthood is sorely needed. The teen suicide rate is proof of this. Lead them and don’t just leave your child, new to the trickery of the world, to fend for themselves. I guarantee there are many mediums out their vying for their attention. No…not only their attention, vying for their identity.

 

This article was inspired by this Fox News report on Teen Suicide.

Does the Race of the Main Character REALLY Matter?

I’ve never really thought of race as important. Not that it isn’t, It was just never a concern in my mind.

a bit of History…

I grew up in Jamaica where I was surrounded by people of African descent. So race was never a consideration. I remember the first time I met a Caucasian white girl. She instantly became the most popular girl in our school. Then coming to America, it was often confusing as to why race was of such huge consideration. Why was it that couples were mostly either black or white; never interracial? I remember having white friends and being chided by other black kids. In addition, I spoke proper English and was made fun of as speaking white. At that time I had absolutely no idea how to respond. 15 years old and I was being taught that we are not like them.

I’ve worked with interns from multiple countries and I remember one asking me, “why are Americans so hung up on race?” The answer to which I am a bit ignorant.

This post is not meant to bring offense, yet I want you to know where I am coming from when I ask this question.

who cares?

It never quite sunk in, irrespective of the American history lessons, why race was so important. I remember the editor of my first book, do you think your mother would like me asked me the question why is your main character Spanish. And for me the answer was quite simple, the setting is in Florida, there are a ton of Spanish people in Florida.

here’s my question??? to you

Now that I’m about to start a new book, the question weighs on me. What race should I make my new main character? Does my new character really need to be black in order for me to have a black audience? What about interracial love interests. I want to know your opinion. Please leave it in the comment section below. Thank you.

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3 Powerful Character Themes of Star Wars The Force Awakens

Eagerly await the release of the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I have this persistent desire to revisit the first of the trilogy, The Force Awakens. I read an interview recently which spoke of the overall theme of the new movie, The Last Jedi and I wondered what are some themes in the Force Awakens and will they carry over. I will look at three character themes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and hope to glean something meaningful.

Wait

Let’s start with Rey, our main character. We find Rey on the planet of Jakku. She’s a scavenger who just happens to be Force Sensitive.

From the moment we meet her we realize something subtle yet important. She’s waiting on something or possibly someone. After she meets her new friend Finn, we find out that she was left on this desert planet with the promise of someday being rescued. There is this deep sense of abandonment in Rey’s story and she deeply desires to be found.

Decide

In the battle at Takodana we see Rey facing a decision, one which she finds hard to reconcile. She must decide to abandon her current quest of waiting on Jakku. Is worthwhile to wait to be found or go out and do something which needs to be done, fight with the Resistance. In addition, there is a call to something deeper as she discovers Luke Skywalker’s very own Lightsaber. If you’ve seen the movie, you know the choice she made, if she didn’t the movie would’ve probably ended right there (would’ve made for a bad movie). Underneath it all, we see a young woman who has to forego satisfying her own deep desires to be stand against evil.

Stand

Rey has escaped her passive state of waiting on Jakku and is now entangled in the affairs of the Resistance and General Leia.  Despite the crazy plot to destroy yet another planet-sized weapon of destruction, Rey starts to discover, in greater measure, who she is and what she’s made of. Her raw and untrained ability in the force is pitted against the evil and murderous Kylo Ren. Though quite reluctant at first, the injury of her friend Finn, who helped her in times past, forces her to become greater than she’d ever seen herself. Abandonment issues or not, she must stand.

In All Of Us

The power of a good story comes from how well others are able to identify with the characters in the story. Even if you’ve never gone through something like what Rey has gone through, we can put ourselves in her shoes and somewhat draw conclusions. Whether we’ve been abandoned or not, our imagination can make it real.

In this case, we all must face satisfying quite legitimate desires. Rey’s desire to be reunited with the person she’s waiting for is completely legitimate and a worthy goal. And who could fault her for that? Who could fault a foster child wanting to know who her real mother and father is? Or fault a mother wanting to find her lost child. Rey faced something no one should be without, yet turned her back on it to accomplish a greater purpose. This shows great character and heroism.

As I look forward to the coming of the new movie The Last Jedi, I truly hope the character Rey has shown in The Force Awaken will carry over.

In the next post, we’ll take a look at Finn and his character themes.

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[Short Story] Price of Glory

He is walking slowly and breathing heavily. The moment has come, the time is near. His eyes are red as if He was crying. His heart is burdened as if He was dying. What is this that has come upon the son of the King? The weight of sin and sorrow of imminent death looms before His eyes. A separation from His Father means separation from love, grace, and everlasting mercies. Is this the way He should go? Is this the path He should walk? Is there no other way? Can this cup really be for His lips? The taste of sin is bitter. The taste of sin is death. The taste of sin is the grave.

In His face is evidence of the weight of a divinely appointed time. The moment has come and a sacrifice of love is required. It was ordained that He should be the Savior of the world. He is the Passover lamb. He is that snake on the cross. He is sinless, yet found guilty; blameless yet scourged. He stands before sin, death, the grave, and much torture, so that the beloved children may approach the loving Father once more. In the courts of a pagan government, He stands accused of a crime He did not commit. Rejected by His very own people, He was left to the mercy of Gentiles. All who saw Him, mock Him, shaking their heads saying: “He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord deliver him.” Where is God? Where is the Father at this crucial time? Where is the Spirit of Holiness that He so greatly relied on? It would seem that He is nowhere to be found. The miracle worker is left standing alone, betrayed, and abandoned.

The bitter taste of sin, like that of a fatal poison, left a horrid savor in His mouth only foreshadowing the eventual sting of death looming in the darkness. In a few moments, the poison will seep through his digestive tract and into his bloodstream. Its nature is to kill. It literally chokes his organs, robbing Him of life. Sin separates Him from the mercies of breath, strength, and even rest. Sin separates Him from love and Love himself, who is God.

Secreted through the pores of his skin, was the carrier of life, the blood. The One who had no sin became sin, and it was killing Him. Life was leaving him and death was taking its place. The inner workings of every sickness, every disease, was upon Him. He was bruised with the curse of every generation, the results of sinful man. He was oppressed by every sort of demon; they sought to mutilate him, the sought to mar the image of God in Him. In the streets they spat on Him, in secret, they crowned Him with thorns. In the square they whipped Him, leaving not one square inch of his body untouched. His bones were exposed and out of joint, His blood was poured out, and He was made to carry the symbol of a failed messiah. He made himself subject to everything which sought to dehumanize Him. He walked all the way to Calvary clutching tightly to the symbol of shame; and it was there at the top of the hill, the “Place of the Skull,” they pierced his hands and feet.

The King of Glory

The strength He once had He subdued; the authority He possessed was momentarily relinquished. He was treated like an outcast, a slave of foreign descent. His heart grew faint and the light in His eyes was quickly getting dim. The dogs surrounded Him; the terror of hell threatened His spirit, melting His heart like wax within His chest. The bulls ravaged His body, till His appearance was no longer that of a man. A body made in perfect symmetry was distorted by blasphemers. His image no longer resembled that of His Father. He could no longer speak, His tongue stuck to the roof of His mouth. They took him clothe and gambled for them.

Crucify the King of the Jews? “But what has He done to deserve such a punishment,” Pilate asked? Jesus Christ had to pay the price of sin for humanity, yet He himself knew no sin. Jesus Christ bore the persecution of hell, for the deliverance of those who were dead to the Father.

Although He was innocent, He took the beating of a guilty man. And in all this, Jesus Christ the son of God never once complained, never asked why, and never looked back. And though He was tempted to turn away from this path of torture and death, He drank the bitter wine which was prepared for Him. He did it so that the will of His Father would be fulfilled. Jesus, in all that He did and in all that was done to Him, never dishonored His Father. In His affliction, He praised the Lord. In His time of need, He worshiped. Even in the bowels of hell, Jesus faithfully waited on the deliverance of His Father and He never doubted. Hope was never dull, for He longed for the presence of His Father. In eager anticipation, He waited for the glory which was to be revealed through Him.

Jesus said, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” The resurrection of Jesus was the greatest miracle to ever grace this planet. But how did the Son of God rise when such unimaginable things were done to Him. Hearts of hatred poured out violence, hostility, and murder upon Him. Hearts of lust poured out debauchery, depravity, and all forms of corrupt sensuality. Selfish hearts abandoned Him. Prideful hearts rejected Him. Jesus knows what it is like to be hated, to be beaten, to be laughed at, and to be scorned. Jesus felt what it was like to be raped, to be treated like a piece of meat, to be betrayed, and to be doubted. He can identify with the victims of racism, sexism, violence, envy, and anger.

The darkness of the world tried to creep into His heart by the temptation to become equally self-reliant, vengeful, prideful, and hateful as they. The rulers sneered, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” The soldiers mocked Him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.” Even one of the criminals who hung next to Him insulted Him, “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!” Anger and pride could have motivated him to come down off that cross and with the help of 10’000 angels, He could have severely punished them all. But with one single swipe, He overcame it all. Jesus looked upon each one of them, seeing their ignorance and the lostness of humanity in sin and said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” The victimization he then knew and felt, He accepted. He accepted it without remorse. He will forever live with the memory of what happened during that terrible day, that glorious day. And though the pain lingers, the nail scars still in his hands, he forgave and still forgives.

And so that you know the Son of Man has the power to forgive, rise, take up your bed and enter my kingdom. Jesus spoke with that authority as the Son of God forgiving sins and making the lame walk again. There is forgiveness for all who look upon that bloody gory cross to find that Jesus paid it all.

On the first day of the week, the dawn of a new era, Mary and Martha stumbled upon the empty tomb, the tomb of Jesus, with two angels standing guard. Indeed the death of Jesus was not the end but the beginning of a new age. His death was not one of a failed messiah but one of a King who gave Himself in love to redeem man in glory. Mary and Martha were the first to bear witness to the resurrected Jesus Christ, walking in the glory of God. The resurrection power of God raised Jesus from the dead. Not only that, the resurrection power of God defeated the sin which separated the Son from his Father. God’s resurrection power completely dissolved the chains of every curse, every sickness, every disease, and defeated the oppression of the enemy. No devil in hell could keep him bound. Jesus bore the ultimate weight of sin for all humanity, for all time, and the resurrection power of God raised him in glory. Jesus bore the weight of glory.

 
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The Word

The Word is the only Way

The Way

Do you realize that the entire Bible is inspired by God himself? There are some texts which are direct quotes of God where the author simply copied down exactly what God said. That’s why the scribes of old would take painstaking measures to make sure the text was copied correctly. Even if there were mistakes, grammatical or otherwise, they would copy it regardless. They were very careful to change anything irrespective of their opinion or feels towards the matter. They knew the God who created the universe said it and it was worth their effort to copy it correctly.

In the book of Psalm Chapter 100, the author David says, “enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.” Do you realize that David just gave you the keys to God’s heavenly realm? Let’s take it even further, God gave David the keys, who passed it on to us, so we might enter his heavenly realm. We have the keys to his courtroom. He gave us the keys to his kingdom; access to his personal chamber (found throughout the book of Songs of Solomon).  God gave David the words which gave access. The word of God gives access, it’s the key, it’s The Way.

In John Chapter 1, we find out that the word of God, that which he used to speak the world into being, that which he spoke to the prophets, that which he gave to his people to enter into his presence has put on flesh and became a human being and lived with us here on earth. God gave his word to David to enter into his Holy Bedchambers and now God has put flesh on his word and allowed the same word to live with us here on earth.

God’s Word is spirit and life. His word lives. When God speaks, his word is so powerful that it takes on self-awareness. Whatever is in the heart of God, his word goes out and creates, breaks down barriers, heals, binds up wounds, restores beauty. God’s word accomplishes the desires of God’s heart. The Word has a personality which is completely identical to God, yet separate from Him. The Word bears the same character as God. When the Word was issues from the mouth of God, it went out, moved, and lived, and did and still does what God the Father of the word say.

In fact, God’s word is the only way back to God. His Word leaves a trail which leads right back to him. In everything the Word accomplished, there are signs posts which lead back to One who started it all; the Father and Author of the Word. All that’s required is trust that you trust what the Word proclaimed. Trust that what the Word accomplished is true, because just as David was given the keys, so is the Word the keys. The same trust in Jesus, the Word leads us to the presence of God.

Check back for my second post on truth

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Discover 7 Ways to Capture and Keep Great Ideas

This is a continuation from the previous post, “3 Steps to Making Your Dreams a Reality.” If you didn’t read it yet, please head back and take a look. Otherwise, we’re off to the races.

1. Write It Down

Do you have a dream? Write it down. Make sure it’s on paper (or on some kind of note taking app). There are probably hundreds of products out there to help us write our ideas down. The very app (Evernote) I am writing this post on now is designed to capture your ideas and thoughts on the fly. Whether on my phone, tablet, or laptop I have a note accessible to me to jot down my ideas. I have very dangerously (kids, don’t try this at home), pulled out my phone while driving in order to audibly capture an idea. However you do it (hopefully not dangerously), capturing that idea, writing it down, recording it or even taking a picture of the thing that sparked the idea is very important. Don’t let it escape.

2. Don’t Go to Sleep

For some reason, many great ideas come to me before bed. Because it’s such an amazing idea, I use to think that there was no way I’d forget this wonderful thought. Then in the morning I get up and remember I had a great idea but have no clue of what the idea was. The details of the idea just pick up and leave.

3. Pen & Paper

For some reason, whenever I am writing a song, using pen and paper always seems to help get things flowing. I’ve known writers to actually pull over to the side of the road to physically write down the ideas tumbling around in their heads. Physical writing, in itself, can be a source of inspiration. If you haven’t given it a try in a while, give it a go and see how well it works for you. I heard someone say something of this sort:

4. WARNING: Don’t Starve the Muse!

If you refuse to pay attention to the inspiration flowing into you, you will not only lose the idea, but future inspirations will certainly go without warning. It’s almost as if you’re training your subconscious to not listen to creativity. We need creativity in all the areas of our lives. Our imagination is one of the most powerful tools and ally we have and ignoring it is not a good thing. Even if the idea is rubbish, don’t ignore it. Some of my greatest productions arrived from rubbish ideas being worked until it becomes something useful. A diamond in the rough is a stone like many others, but once shaved, sanded, and shined, its true worth comes forth.

5. Focus

Just as in the previous post, one of the benefits of writing down your dream, your vision, and/or goals is adding greater focus. Focus cannot be overstated here. I read somewhere something of this sort:
Be the river and not a flood
Writing down that dream, idea, or thought helps you to chart the path of your stream. A stream becomes refreshment to the animals, villages, and people around. Do you realize that dams, which provide power for thousands, are powered by rivers? Rivers are pathways which lead you to something. On the other hand, a flood brings destruction in its path. It is not the result of planning, it is not the result of a natural flow. Floods are often the result of natural disasters which only destroy. Hence, it important to focus and write those thoughts down, become that stream or river and flow with purpose; not the unplanned random destruction of a flood.

6. Sort It Out

One little tip I picked up from Michael Hyatt is to sort through those ideas. In my Evernote, I currently have a Ideas notebook. That notebook is full of small sparks that come in like lightning across my brain. Many times at the moment I’m super excited about them and think they are great. But give it a week, go back, and read over those ideas. You’ll realize sometimes that they are not as good as you originally thought.
There are other times I will go back and read the idea over and am floored that I even came up with such a masterpiece. But if I didn’t write it down and simply forgot about it, then I might have never retained that idea.

7. Look at it

There is no sense in writing it down if you don’t actually go back and look at the idea. Set aside a time when you go back and look at the ideas that you’ve gathered. It’s exciting to come up with new ideas, but don’t get hooked on the thrill move beyond it. Weeding through them can be more like a patient treasure hunt.
I really thought this was gonna be short, but please bear with me…
Do you ever think why so many apps have these dang notifications? Those things that drain the life out of your battery and shorten that claimed 20 hours battery to a mere 1.5 hours. Notifications get you coming back to that app for more. Look at your most used apps and see if the reason you use them is not related to the notifications. We have to treat our ideas and those thoughts like notifications. Once you get that prime idea figured out, put it somewhere you can see it. Put it out in the open. Put it on a sticky note on your computer screen. Edit your computer/tablet/phone wallpaper so you see it where ever you go. Keep coming back to it. Revisit it over and over again.
I’ll stop right here. But these thoughts should certainly get you going for the next blog in the Start Something series!

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3 Steps to Start Making Your Dreams a Reality

Start Something

Here’s A Little Motivation to Get That Dream Going

dream biggerDo you have a dream which has been sitting on the back burner for months, maybe even years now? What is that thing you always wanted to do but you keep putting it off? I know, dreaming comes hard when you’re tired and when you already have a day job. But do you still have that nagging thought of writing a book, recording that song you wrote, or starting that business? I want to empower you to start something, even when you think you have no time for it.

1. Daydream
Daydream? Really?
Yup,  Daydream. I am almost sure this is the first time you’ve ever heard anyone tell you to daydream. The point here is to allow your imagination to run wild. If it runs too wild, just make it into a Sci-Fi book. If you want to be a business owner, daydream about what the business would look like in 10 years if everything went your way. If you want to write a book, daydream about becoming a best seller. You might be surprised how possible your daydreams really are. Plus, daydreaming can really give you a great idea as to what you’re passionate about. Don’t get me wrong, not all passions should be pursued (see my video below on the problem of passions). Yet, if you get yourself into a “good daydream” and find that passion then you have a good start to your vision statement.

2. Vision Statements
vision statementDefine what you want!
What kind of product or service will you offer? A vision statement is a mental picture of what an organization wants to achieve over time. It provides guidance and inspiration to what an organization is focused on achieving in 5, 10, or more years.
Sidenote: Family. Many of you desire to have a spouse, get married and have a family, but do you have a vision statement for your family. A vision statement is all about purpose. And to be honest, a family without purpose won’t be a family for long. 
It’s important that when you’re starting something, you think of it down the line. It doesn’t make sense to start a project without knowing the full scope of what you want to accomplish. That way you’ll know how much money you’ll need to get this project started, to its midpoint, and to the point where you consider it a successful venture. In addition, knowing that you want to be a Fortune 500 company will force you to start thinking in the pedigree of a Fortune 500
  • Steven Covey (7 Habits of Highly Effective People) “Keep the main thing the main thing.” A vision statement helps you to establish what the overall “main thing is.” As a result, your decision-making process is simplified.  All you have to find out is which options best serve your vision, then go for it.
  • Seven Lane Highway. Let’s look at one of the most successful businesses on our planet right now. Google! Google’s vision/mission statement as of 2013 is as follows: To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.
Now, this is a vision that is super wide. Just a year before Google was founded, a vision statement like that would have seemed lofty. “Like, what do you mean by the world’s information.” I’m sure people would ask, “what about the main libraries of the world, you want to organize that too?” Simple answer: YES! And now, 21 years later Google has truly done an amazing job of sticking to their main thing and is considered one of the greatest information centers (if not the greatest) in the world. They have one of the most powerful search engines on the net, the biggest video library, the Google maps contain far more information than any other out there, and this is only a small part of what they do. They have gotten extremely large as a company yet they stuck to the vision they had 21+ years ago.
Being as big as Google takes time (or maybe not, you never know). One principle that is important to look at is the space in their vision statement. Their vision statement has the main thing, but it is a big main thing. Their vision statement is a highway, but in Google’s case, it is a seven-lane highway. So even though they started out in a single lane, the vision is singular enough to keep things unified, yet large enough to allow them to grow beyond just being a search engine. We know that they are an information company, yet they didn’t restrict it to the type of information. They allowed themselves to branch out and go loose.
How do you apply this to your life? Dream, find that vision you can be passionate about, write it down, make sure it gives you the main thing to work at, but also make sure that vision offers room for expansion. If you’re dreaming of an international business, then start your journey as though you are already an international business. If you want a best seller, start your journey doing what bestsellers do. This might take a bit of research. It might take going to a place where best sellers and international businessmen hang out, find what they read, see what they do with their time, but if you’re hungry for it, then do it. Better yet, if you can find someone who is already successful in that field, then finding that mentor is by far one of the most effective ways of ensuring your own success.

There is a road to the top, all you need is a map.

3. Be Creative
be creativeHaving trouble Daydreaming?
Get out and do something creative. Go hang out with kids. Play in the yard. Color a book, draw a picture, play some music, go out and do something creative. Get that part of your brain working. Do you complain about being bored? I use to hear it at work all the time. The only reason you get bored is that you’re always relying on other people or things to entertain. You can’t solely rely on others to be creative for you. If we don’t exercise that part of our brain, then we will lose it. When the time comes for new ideas, many of us struggle because we don’t know what it is to tap into our own creativity and find something fresh and new. So do some finger painting, don’t be shy!
Thank you so much for reading.

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