Live Forever (Again)

Practicing guitar and singing.

Evolving and Growing

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I listened to Abraham and Oasis today as I worked on a Mustang with my dad. My birthday is tomorrow, and rather than plan anything, I’m waiting to see what will happen. It’s all about keeping things simple.

Life continues to evolve and grow. I receive my encouragement and guidance from a higher source than the approval of others, which (I find) gives me more inner strength than I’ve ever had before.

~ GBM

GBM Podcast Episode 10

GBMPodcast

In this episode of the GBM Podcast, I read my article Thanks for Everything and perform a cover of the song Stand By Me by Oasis.

What’s Getting Better, Man?

As part of my initiative to write a new About page, I thought it would be interesting to explain the title of the Getting Better, Man blog.

  • “Getting” represents the journey. We’re always getting and going somewhere in life, and this blog is about being more conscious of–and enjoying–the journey.
  • “Better” implies that there’s always something we can do to improve our situation. It’s all about improving things as we go forward, and never giving up on ourselves.
  • “Man” is partly about my personal journey through life–learning what it is to be a man–and also used in the old school and now unfashionable way of saying “all of us”.

With that said, this is still the real inspiration for Getting Better, Man:

It’s All Part of the Masterplan

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My original masterplan for Getting Better, Man was to make it a personal development blog. I make distinctions between personal development, self-improvement, and self-help, mainly for the sake of convenience, . Currently, my “personal dev” system relies on Getting Things Done (GTD) for its engine, and my own modifications and philosophy. Today, I want to talk a bit about my system, which I’ve dubbed The Masterplan Personal Development System.

This is a very rough sketch of the principles behind the Masterplan system:

  • Personal development is important and responsible (to people).
  • The Universe is a system and made up of other systems (systems within systems).
  • Systems are inter-connected and fractal.
  • All things being equal, simplicity is best.
  • The system needs to be flexible.
  • The system needs to be effective.
  • The system needs to be adaptable.
  • The system is designed to be used by humans (with all of our foibles and fallacies).
  • The system needs to be holistic.

Over the coming days I’ll share with you how I’ve used the Masterplan system to accomplish some of my most challenging goals. I’ve been able to overcome self-defeating habits, low self-esteem, and procrastination (and it slices and dices, too)!

I continue to use and refine it to work on things like Sedone.com, my Clothian Chronicles comic, my art, write about getting better and self-improvement, and my personal self-help journey.

I used the Masterplan system to create my girlfriend Jessica’s website. I’ve been teaching the system to her, but I realized it made more sense to write it out and share it with people. That would help me understand and explain the system better, and also have a greater impact on the world.

Stay tuned for more!

Let me know if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them.

image credits: Puzzle pieces - 4 by yann.co.nz, on Flickr

Genius

People like Frank Frazetta (RIP), Frank Herbert who wrote Dune, Noel Gallagher of Oasis, there are too many for me to list, but they are some of my favorites. I’m inspired by their work. We all have personal heroes. Just from these examples, I see that these men do or did what they did out of passion, wholeheartedly, with total commitment. I’m sure they had their ups and downs like everyone else, but that’s life. But the Muse visited them, and they did the work, and were graced, for however long, with greatness. I approach my life in the same way. I’m not trying to be like anyone. I’m either like someone or I’m not, but that’s irrelevent. The only thing I worship is the Muse, and the only thing the Muse recognizes is creativity.

Most people will never be great at anything because they haven’t made the commitment, the decision, to be great. Try this experiment. Think about something you love to do. Think about doing it so well that people consider you one of the greatest at it. You’re a genius at this thing! Does your heart skip a beat at the thought? Then watch fear rear its ugly head. Watch all the reasons for why you can’t do it, or how unrealistic it is pop into your mind. The excuses that fear uses to stop you from being great are endless. Do you know that fear feeds on itself? The more you run from fear, the stronger it becomes. The fear that’s inside other people feeds on your own, too. Fear begets fear. Do something out of fear, you get nothing but more fear.

The Muse, she knows that we are afraid. Every act of creativity is an act of courage. How do you know when you’re being creative? When your motives are pure, when you do it out of love, reverance, honor, respect, passion, enjoyment, for something more than your ego, these are signs of true creativity. Another sign is that people will know it when they see it. People will know that this has come from the heart, that this is great, that this is genius.

Be Here Now

Not only is Be Here Now an album by my favorite band Oasis, it’s currently my mantra in my quest to become more effective. In a previous post I talked about the power of focus, which I see as the amount of energy and intensity you can channel into a specific action. As I tried to test my power of focus, I soon realized there was an optimal mental state that allowed me to perform better. This is also known as “being in the zone” or “being in the moment”. At the risk of being too (Frank Herbert) Dune-like, I’ll call it hyper-focus. I was surprised by how quickly my mind wandered, sometimes within milliseconds (at the speed of thought). My trick is to think of the phrase “be here now”, which may or may not have anything to do with being in the moment, but it strikes an emotional chord, and that’s what you need. Think of a mantra that instantly snaps you out of the mind wandering trance.

I’ve thought about why I would want to do this in the first place, aside from being more effective. I believe in the concept of intrinsic value, which is when something “is valuable ‘in itself’ or ‘for its own sake'” (Wikipedia). To me, that means slowing down and appreciating the moment, the process and feel of what I’m doing. It means not worrying about what happened before, or what may happen in the future. Of course, there’s a time and place to plan for the future, and you should always learn from your mistakes, but I’m talking about when that kind of planning and learning turns into existential angst. This seems to coexist with some of the concepts in the 7 Habits book. And it’s tougher than it seems! The power of imagination is a wonderful tool, but it can also paralyze you.

    Ideas on how to implement this:

  • Practice the new habit of being in the moment. Slow down and really appreciate what you’re doing. Don’t take things for granted.
  • Pick a phrase that will snap you out of the old habit of letting your mind wander. Daydreaming is fun, but when you begin to worry about the past or future it can lead to procrastination.
  • Think about the intrinsic value of what you’re doing, or what you have. It’s fine to want something better, but don’t take things you already have for granted.

I consider myself a work-in-progress, and I do my best to see if this stuff works. Hopefully it can help you out in some small way. By way of public accountability, I’m announcing here that I’m going to complete a book cover illustration by Tuesday, and a penciled comic page by Wednesday. I should be able to preview bits of it.

Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your comments!