Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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Tarrador

Ahhgghh! The...grey?... banner of doom!



Entries
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Bid a fond farewell to this site in the old style (read all 6 entries…)
I've Done 239 Things

Since I signed up on this site in March of 2007, I have cleared 239 things off my list. I can’t recall what the first thing was, and some of the things were only “fun” goals (like wish such-and-such a stupendous, amazing, blueberry-eating birthday on such-and-such a date, or exchange Christmas cards). Still, that means on average I accomplished 34.somethingsomethingsomething things each year that I have been here, or nearly three goals a month.

I feel like a bit of a faker or a failure if a goal sets in my list for too long. Even the long-term ones get stale after a while and I wonder: “What am I actually achieving? What am I really getting done?”

“Nothing,” growls the beast in his cage. “You make list after list and you never get anything done. You talk-talk-talk, you drown in your own bullshit, but you don’t get anything done. You fail, and you will always fail.”

Of course that is not true, and I have to move out of earshot from the beast in his cage. Which is difficult, because there is a chain on my leg leading back to him. But when I get far enough out, I can think and I can see that everyday I accomplish something. Every day I drive a little closer to those goals that are really important to me. Every day another item is crossed off or another post-it is crumpled and thrown into the trash – missions accomplished.

It’s easy to write lists and lists of goals. It’s easy to bury myself in bullshit. But what I have been able to do here at this site is to clarify what was really important. By writing it out, by posting about it, by receiving support and feedback, by sharing my experiences and victories, I have thought out what I really want and what it means to struggle for it. Each post forced me to think about the value of what I was doing, and how it fit into my life. If out of 239 things only 50 were really worthwhile (and I mean from a personal growth and accomplishment status), that is still more than 7 things each year, on average. If each year passed and I was able to achieve 7 important things, I think that is pretty damned good.

This wasn’t my place to brag, or to find other people who wanted to “learn to snowboard”, or just talk-talk-talk. It was my place to think about what I wanted. It was my place to bleed and weep and rant and swear and divine and learn how to achieve what I wanted. It was my place to change my mind about what I wanted and how I wanted it. It was my place to admit defeat and start again and to always strive to keep my head up and a whistle on my lips.

This has been my place to start with nothing and form my own reality. So far, I’ve done that… at least 239 times.



Maintain and Improve My Fitness For Life (read all 14 entries…)
In From The Cold

Cold showers has been a hell of a goal to practice. I have not come close to my 8 minute goal, 4 minutes being the closest, and that being done irregularly.

I still believe it is mostly psychological and if I could steel my nerve, the actual practice would be possible. But I am a weak puddle of human pudding. My resolve is no match for the stinging needles of ice cold water coming from the shower. And the excuses that I make… I am a fire sign, after all; cold water is an anathema to my spirituality. This cold lead to hypothermia and pneumonia. This is stupid, why am I even doing this?

Somewhere, in some other Universe, there is a better version of me, showering under an ice cold stream, yodeling and scrubbing my buff body with a pine bark washcloth. This other version of me has a thick wooly beard, piercing eyes, and a penis like a salami, unaffected by frigid water. When he’s done with his cold shower, he’s going to chop down a forest, build an adobe fortress, make love to a harem of women, or saddle a buffalo and roam the praire.

Back in this Universe, it’s just me, finding excuses.



Bid a fond farewell to this site in the old style (read all 6 entries…)
Ha!

Finally, a real use for the “Orange Banner of Doom”!



Read at least 52 books in 2014 (read all 12 entries…)
#7. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher

I blew through this novel over the weekend while visiting the wife’s family. I love my in-laws, but it is also good to have something to retreat to.

This is the fourth novel in the “Dresden Files” series featuring Harry Dresden, Chicago’s only practicing wizard for hire. The novels read like a mix of noir detective fiction and sword and sworcery. There are tons of supernatural characters, from pixies and faeries, to werewolves and vampires. The novel was fairly well paced and a bit of a who-dunit. It also has a kick-ass Armageddon battle scene at the end. For my own preferences, Bob the Skull did not get nearly enough “face time”. One short scene involving him is a bit of disappointment after his larger role in other novels. The book maintained its formulaic format of supernatural battles, wise-cracking sidekicks, and moral delimmas for poor Harry, who despite his best intentions, can’t seem to catch a break. I guess if he had it easy we would be reading his stories, though. The novels are breezy easy, and I can see myself reading more of them, just for entertainment.

I should be further up on this goal that I am, however. 21 weeks in and I’m only on book 7 (8, actually, as I am nearly finished with another one). That is averaging about one book every three weeks. It has more to do with my schedule than my reading speed. If I can block out an hour or two for television (or four or five hours for a House of Cards-athon), then is it really that hard to find an hour or 90 minutes to sit and read? Have to work harder on this one.



Bid a fond farewell to this site in the old style (read all 6 entries…)
It's Not Fair... It's Not Fair... There Was Time Now...

Drats!

Just about the time my schedule slowed down and allowed me time to return to and refocus on my goals and posting… the rumor is that my most effective goal setting and meeting avenue is closing down.

Which, I guess, teaches us not to take time for granted. Just about the time you scrape and save for that once in a life time vacation, the virgin paradise you longed to visit is paved and condo’ed. Just about the time you decide it’s time to work on your relationship, she’s headed out the door, suitcase in hand. Just about the time you decide you’d better do something about this weight and high cholesterol, you get hit with a fatal heart attack. There really is no time for later. All we have is now.

Lots of times my goal list has served as more of a “wish list” or an “observation list” rather than a list of specific things to do or get done. The format of this site has made that possible and it has helped me open up avenues into my own way of thinking and achieving that I never found before. This has not been just a place for listing goals, it has been a place for framing my life.

The people I’ve encountered here have been some of the best influences on me that I can recall. Perhaps not in the way the crafters of this site intended. Rather that join in on their goals, I would just read and watch their own individual developments, be it build a birdhouse, deal with depression, or learn to be whole again. It was like reviewing a bunch of mini-blogs without the hassle of jumping from website to website. And the support and encouragement I received on my own goals was priceless. I have developed very close and deep friendships with people here over the years. Those friendships I am sure will endure past a platform for writing about goals.

If the shuttering of 43 Things means anything to me, it is that time is what I make of it. The very banner that leads each goal makes the philosophy of this site clear: “Tarrador is doing 18 things…” Not, “wants to”. Not, “is thinking about doing one day when all the circumstances are perfect and all the stars are aligned”. Not, “would have done if only”. “Is doing”, every day, with every action, with every intention. I guess I always thought I’d have time to fully embrace that concept; when the work was done, when the bills were paid, when the child was fed, when the house was cleaned…

If 43 Things does, or does not, go dark in the near future, I can do my part to make sure that my goals and intentions are something that are not just a past-time of reading other’s posts or writing occasional, non-concluding updates on my own murky goals. Time and goals are finite, and there is never as much time as we think there is.



Dine at Tarrador's Table (read all 31 entries…)
House Lemon Curd

This is the way I make it, and it turns out really good and functional in a variety of uses.

Ingredients

makes about 16 ounces

3 whole eggs, large
1 cup of white sugar
1/3 cup of lemon juice, freshly squeezed is best
2 oz butter, diced
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons of lemon zest

Process

  1. Whisk eggs, sugar, and lemon juice in a double boiler over simmering water until mixed well, then continue to stir until thick, 7 to 10 minutes. When it covers the back of a spoon or runs off the edge like thick honey, it will be right.
  2. Drain through a mesh sieve to get rid of lumps. Transfer to a bowl for storage. Fold in butter until well incorporated. Fold in sweetened condensed milk until well incorporated. Mix in lemon zest.
  3. Cover curd with plastic wrap. Push the plastic down onto the curd until it touches so that it does not form a “skin” and chill in the refrigerator until it has thickened, about 4 hours.

I have been using this a lot as a basis for tarts, dessert shots, pie filling, and other stuff. I began adding the sweetened condensed milk to help stabilize and thicken the mix.

When I have a sufficient batch left over, I can it to extend its life and have it available whenever we encounter something that would do with a dollop of sweet, sour, rich lemon curd.



Dine at Tarrador's Table (read all 31 entries…)
Dessert

Chocolate cheesecake with Pinot/raspberry glaze and whipped cream, in a mini mason jar.



Celebrate the Magic, Remember Dreams Come True April Scavenger Hunt (read all 6 entries…)
Second Star To The Right

A quick 30 minute spit paint featuring an astronaut on a sailboard, aiming for a swirling nebula.



Make Some Nice Digital Art (read all 6 entries…)
May Inspirations

For the next couple of months I’m going to try and draft out some images in the spirit of artists who’s style I like and admire. I’m not trying to copy their style, only to reflect some of it and try to broaden my skills by taking note of their techniques and use of space, design and color.

It was common in the Renaissance art schools for student to begin by setting up easels in front of the canvases and frescoes of the Masters and recreating the images. Studiously coping the shapes, the values, the hues of the best paintings in the world. Even Leonardo Da Vinci began this way, xeroxing his teacher’s works, until his teacher noticed that Da Vinci’s copies were getting better than the teacher’s originals. I don’t believe my scribbles will come to that, but the practice seems like a sound one.

I’m starting with a piece that I never quite finished, done in a sort of Paul Gauguin style. I admire his broad use of bright and solid colors, his primitive postures, his emphasis on color, design and shape over detail. Nothing he painted looks life-like (as it would in a photo) but it is all filled with life. In retrospect I could have used more bright colors, concentrated less on detail in the face, and gone for a less somber posing.



Get A Few Of My Favorite Things (read all 4 entries…)
Roku 3

I’ve been looking and looking for ways to break the bond with the TV cable company (empire?), and still obtain the programming I’d like to have. While I will never be fully free, it appears, I can go out on a limb with streaming devices that send me on-demand shows, movies, and series on the cable company’s (empire’s?) internet.

I had a steaming feature on my Blue Ray player but it quit working for some reason. It looked and looked but could not find the wireless signal that every other wireless device in the house could find. I think it was a software upgrade that made it incompatible. What it meant was, I lost access to Netflix steaming, Vudu, and other streaming channels. That meant no more House of Cards, and that simply would not do.

(I’ll short-circuit those of you who’d point out that I could still get all my streaming via the internet, Ipad, Iphone, my other DVD player, Tivo, etc., by simply saying: No more House of Cards! Won’t do! Won’t do!”)

I did my internet research (no longer distracted by House of Cards) and found that the overall best choice for what I wanted was offered by Roku 3. It is a tiny box a little bigger than a deck of cards with a purple remote and a HDMI hook-up. It was already under $100, and I got $12 off because I bought a HDMI cable to go with it. It found my wi-fi and didn’t even ask for the password, just accessed it (which I thought was kinda odd). In minutes I had access to all my old channels, plus several dozen new ones. I felt freer from my cable connections already. I did have to spend about an hour going to each account and re-entering the user names and passwords, but I should only have to do that once. It was aggravating to find out that HBOGO is not authorized by my cable company (tyranny?) to play on Roku.

I celebrated by digging up the complete series “Great Chefs”, which I used to watch religiously 20 years ago, when the idea of doing something professional with food first came into my mind.

Power to the people! Roku rules! Sic semper tyrannis cableous!



Do something to improve the house (read all 26 entries…)
Exterior Painting

Much to the delight of our neighbors and HOA, we finally repainted the front of the house. It was looking quite worn and faded. We’d talked a good talk about renting the equipment and ladders, buying the paint, and spending a free Sunday redoing it ourselves. In the end we delegated it out to the cousin of the guy who maintains our lawn. He gave us, if not a fair price, at least a tolerable price. He pressure cleaned the front of the house and made minor repairs on Monday, then waited until Friday to paint. This was because of the rain, even though it didn’t rain most of the week. Seems the cousin was into delegating, because his cousin came out to actually do the job, and the cousin we talked to came by to confirm everything was okay and to pick up the check.

We replaced the muddled brown exterior, which neither of us liked, with a solid, strong Constant Grey. By HOA standards, the trim remained blinding white, which was okay with us. The grey decor-shutters got a recover of lamp black (described on the paint swath as “Black Black”). The house front now looks classic and well-kept again, and we are back in good standing with our HOA and neighbors, except maybe for the family next door who painted their exterior a weird avocado green with maroon shutters. They were probably hoping we’d do a teal and pink combo. Which we didn’t.



Practice the Power of Three (read all 6 entries…)
Three On A Leash

Coming to the conclusion that three would probably be too much right now. If it were the right three, it might be different. But right now I have to concede that having a someone full-time, a someone part-time, and assorted someones to fill in here and there is going to be the best approach, especially over the summer.

Actually, I had someone I was hoping to recruit for part-time, but the more I interviewed the candidate, the more sketchy and problematic the candidate has become. Off-beat and oddball are fun, to be sure. But right now I need more reliable and (dare I say it?) predictable behaviors. Now is not the time for lots of extraneous drama, at least for what I’m looking for.

My full-time will, of course, bring all the drama. That just goes with it. My part-timer was supposed to take a leave of absence over the summer, but not it appears they will be here, and (can’t decide if this is a plus or a minus) will be much more available; and that will bring its own level of drama. The other part-time I was seeking to line up is proving to be incompatible. I was hoping to spin the wheel and try someone new part-time, at least through the summer.

Getting others to fill in from time to time is a tough call, too. So often it is a last minute need or a spur of the moment type thing that selecting someone ahead of time is nearly impossible. Day-to-day demands are very unpredictable. Utilizing someone for a single event can be challenging, especially when they keep calling and calling for additional engagements. But, in all truthfulness, it is easier, more effective, and less complicated to just recruit various persons for single events than to try and train and manage a consistent third person. And it is much less an investment of time, energy and emotion. Reliability is the only issue; matching my schedule to theirs.

Three is the magic number… Which three is the real trick.



Burn Them All (read all 5 entries…)
Burn It All Down

I am soooo off my meds.

For reasons that don’t matter, I have gone cold turkey off the medications that are supposed to keep me calm, happy, and stable. I’ve had some withdrawal symptoms, and a return of some of the old, dark symptoms I used to have, before the medication.

I am short-tempered, I am chronically unhappy and unimpressed with things around me. I feel a near constant itching under my skin. I can’t sleep, but when I do, I dream vivid, emotionally wringing dreams.

Everyone asks me why, oh, why, did I stop taking my meds? Lots of reasons, but I have to say that for the first time in a year I feel like I am looking at situations with a focus I didn’t have. Everything was fuzzy-wuzzy and rose-colored. I was pretty cool about everything and laid back and forgiving and understanding. In the last couple of weeks I’ve come to see that it has been harmful for me to do that with everyone. I have become weak, complacent, understanding, malleable, accommodating, and agreeable. I have given more weight to the concerns of others, and to their interests, than to my own. In my work this has become most clear.

I currently feel like there is a volcano of rage and fury boiling in my chest, readying itself to burst through and blast liquid fire everywhere. I feel the need to wash my kitchen clean of my current staff and start over from the beginning with all new people. I feel the need to revamp and rebuild the structure of my kitchen, to change what I produce and how it tastes. I feel that there is no one there I can trust, and that causes my wrath and anger to surge up like an eruption. I feel that no one cares, that I am someone they feel the can take advantage of, that they are just there because I’m so cool and easy going. And the meds made me that way…

I know I will have to go back on the meds soon. I cannot sustain this level of fierce energy without crashing. But right now I have to say that it feels good to walk around in the raw energy, in the crystal clear mentality of seeing what is going on, to feel like I felt for years and years before someone came along with a little blue pill that made me “better”. I have spent a year trying to regain my sharpness, but I’ve only gotten more dull. I feel like a tiger who has spent years in a cage suddenly confronted with an open door leading to the woods, with a nervous antelope just ahead.

Some people are going to pay for their shenanigans. That much has to come to pass. I’ve tried to build a strong structure with weak materials, and that hasn’t worked. I need to be moving on in my career, and I can’t do that while lackluster performances and the aborted realizations of my concepts continue to hold me back. Nothing cleans like fire, and I have a heart and soul full of it, ready to sanitize the foundations of my half-hearted performers. And some fire is reserved for me, too. I need to burn up things in my life. It is better to start from the ashes than to try and patch and weld and make superficial repairs.



Get A Few Of My Favorite Things (read all 4 entries…)
Om Tattoo

With a day off of work this week, I went to the tattoo parlor and got the om tattoo on my left wrist. I’ve been wanting it for about a year. And if I’m still sold on a design and its placement after a year, then I know it is the right fit for me.

I chose om for om for its cosmic significance. It is the first and last sound, the sound of the universe. It is the imperishable sound, the past, future and present all at once. It is creation and destruction, the endless wheel of life, the note that raises chakras and lowers heartbeats. It is transcendent of all earthly and material things. It is the voice of the soul.

The guy who tattooed me had some chakra training and told me that the way I was positioning it on my wrist was going to block the flow of chi out of my body. I listened and nodded and repeated what I wanted, and the way I want it. I want the symbol in the position it is so that when I look at it, it is upright and correct. Concerns about blocking chi because of the orientation of an ink-stained scar on my arm is the same as putting a sofa in front of a fireplace because feng shui dictates that’s how it should be.

Oh, and I’m wearing my recently acquired Persol PO0714 sunglasses, which you cannot see very well, but believe me, look very cool.



Celebrate the Magic, Remember Dreams Come True April Scavenger Hunt (read all 6 entries…)
It's A Small World

Back when it really was a small world, after all…



Celebrate the Magic, Remember Dreams Come True April Scavenger Hunt (read all 6 entries…)
Grim Grinning Ghosts

No idea what the Disney reference is to this one, but this is the idea I came up with.



Celebrate the Magic, Remember Dreams Come True April Scavenger Hunt (read all 6 entries…)
If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It

A true 30 minute spit-paint. The original idea was to have the figure wearing a pair of homemade wings, and maybe for some color variations. But this is what I had after 30 minutes, so I went with it.



Celebrate the Magic, Remember Dreams Come True April Scavenger Hunt (read all 6 entries…)
Bibbidi-Bobbiti-Boo

My version of Cinderella’s fairy godmother is a bit more of a liberal interpretation. I made a tonal sketch and threw some colors down that I thought would be consistent with the character. The technicolor background was just some colors thrown down to suggest a mood. A rough sketch at best, a spit-paint, trying to give image to imagination.



Change the Energy (read all 51 entries…)
"He Readies My Hands For War"

(Sigh)

Sometimes the battle against mediocrity has to be taken out of one’s own arena and fought on a larger field. Every day I can battle against my own weaknesses, but I don’t live or work in a vacuum. Sometimes the mediocrity of others bleeds into my own sphere. If I’ve spent a lot of energy getting poison out, I can’t really be expected to passively let someone else’s poison seep in.

I’ve always felt that the value of effort is in direct proportion to the resistance you encounter when pursing a goal. Sometimes it seems the first day you determine to go running it rains. You plan to go to the gym after work and you have to stay late, you decided to give up sweets and get invited to a friend’s birthday party the very first week. How you fight through these resistances is a measure of how strong you will become. Truthfully, when I face resistance, I seek to be grateful; it verifies I’m on the right track. The more resistance I encounter, the more likely I am do be pursing the most beneficial goals.

People are the same. When people get uncomfortable with me for pointing out failings, lapses, over-sights, and outright laziness, it proves to me that I am hitting nails on their heads. When people admonish me to “tone down” my criticisms, reserve my judgments, and not make people feel singled out, then I am sure I have found the stream of poison causing the problems. The people always most insistent that we “tone down” the conversation, not try to “blame” people for their mismanagements, or seek to smooth things over as quickly and quietly as possible, are the ones most stung by criticism. When I run into this kind of resistance, I know I have found the biggest challenge to improving and success.

Look, if someone comes to me, or even to a group, and calls me out for lacking or for carelessness or failure to plan, I welcome the discussion. Maybe they are wrong and don’t know it. Maybe they are right and I need to hear and absorb their criticism. But I square my shoulders and I face the challenge. So when I call you out and you dodge and twist and try to spin the criticism back on me by saying my criticism is too bold and hard and condescending (I say it is calling like it is), what that says to me is that you are wiggling like a worm on a hook because you know the criticism is correct, but you don’t want to accept it. You’d rather make excuses and shrug your shoulders. And soon it is washed over and the beach is smooth again, and you’ve slipped through the cracks again, convinced you could do your job better if only everyone around you wasn’t failing you.

I’m tired, so tired, of not being able to take big strides at work because other managers keep tripping and falling in front of me. I’m tired, so tired, of my own staff looking at me and wondering why every other department can get away with being late to work, losing their paperwork, not being organized or ready or on station when an event begins. Why can’t they just say “WTFE” and do as they like? Why can’t the kitchen fail massively and just chalk it up to “Oh well, in the end it all worked out”, only to have the cycle repeat itself?

I got a scolding email from the General Manager about my more vocal observations on how the weakness of some departments undercut ALL our efforts. What good is it to have the world’s greatest quarterback if when he throws the ball down field there is no one there to catch it? What does it matter if the coach sends in a winning play if the team can’t execute it? My GM’s message was that I should bring issues I have to him directly, and not broadcast to the team in general, and to keep my remarks regarding professionalism to myself. And if I would like to discuss this further we could sit down and talk.

So of course, we are going to. You bet your ass we’re going to. And the GM’s arguments are going to have to be pretty persuasive to get me to back down. Enough of this bullshit. Don’t sugar-coat the fact that we just hit an iceberg and tell the band to just keep playing. I’m going in to tomorrow’s meeting with my fist wrapped and hardened for battle. He is the GM; in the end I may not be allowed to openly point out the inadequacies of other departments, even when they affect my own. It is currently my opinion that he is merely seeking to cover his ass, since he’s embarrassed that my observations and criticisms are getting back to the owners, who are now, like, WTF? So he wants to shut me up and reroute my complaints so that they only go to him, where he can bury them.

The most likely result is that I am going to walk out of tomorrow’s meeting with confirmation of what I already know: It is time to move on. My ambitions are constantly smashing into the ceilings of limitations wherever I work. I start a new job, I rebuild the structure, I bring in and train staff, I write menus, I do a ton of foundation work, and then when I push for the peak of style, taste, and creativity, I crack my head on the mediocrity of the environment around me. If I have time to look around and see how other operations are letting our company down and how no one is saying or doing anything about it, then it is time to punch through that barrier and pursue another challenge. Let someone else who cares less, works less, thinks less, and is happy to be pocketed if any remark he makes draws the ire of those who are causing the problems. To me, this is nothing more that resistance training. Resistance is looking to see just how tough I am, how sincere, how committed.

Resistance is going to need some reinforcements.



Change the Energy (read all 51 entries…)
All Of The Good Ones Are Taken

It is perfectly natural for us, as humans, to self-identify with our names. It is how we are called, it is how we are tribed, it is how we are culturally identified. Some of us have cool names, some have dork names, some reach for the Bible, some are begotten from the latest teen drama series.

And some of us are ambitious enough to reimagine ourselves through changing or adapting our names. William Clinton is stately, Bill Clinton is beer-buddy-friendly. Some people have rearranged their names for dramatic effect; apparently Julius Caesar was more badass than Gaius Caesar. We know about marketing changes like John Wayne and Cary Grant. Hemmingway was Earnest on his book jackets, but Papa to those in his circle (or those wanting to be). You called him “Bugsy” Siegel because he was a crazy mofo and everyone knew it, but you never identified Mr. Benjamin Siegel as “Bugsy” to his face unless you wanted a tommy-gun enemea.

Names and monikers can empower us as well. But these days everything has been used, and using it seems like a cheap copy of the original. There’s already been an Alexander the Great, an Ivan the Terrible, a Mad Monk. All the good names are taken: Malcolm X, The King, The Boss, Conan the Barbarian, W, Col. Mustard, Jack the Ripper, Queen Bee, Jesus Christ/Superstar, American Caesar, The Punisher… I’d like a moniker to up my self-image, to be an automatic pep-talk, to be a big S I can put on my chest.

I could adopt a titular label consistent with my personality, but Simpering Weed and Wannbe Jones don’t cut the image I’m pursuing. Lumber Jack is manly, but lacks sophistication. Jack Attack has been used to describe my seduction technique, but again, lacks sophistication (as does my seduction technique). Of the various nicknames I’ve picked up and been given, “Papi Chulo” is the only one I like and “Diablo Blanco” is the only one I use to great effect. They just don’t personalize and identify me as well as I’d like.

The names we call ourselves (stupid, lazy, worthless, cowardly, weak, hopeless, fat, ugly, awesome, fantastic, amazing, smart, beautiful, loving, brave, fit, accepting) definitely have an impact on us, which is why we should always be using the most positive self-talk in our internal dialogues. I think the same goes for the nouns we use as well as the adjectives. What if we approached our challenges with the mental image of ourselves as Dave the Magnificent, or Awesome Audrey, Tall Bill, or Jack Tastic? Not just as screen names or anonymous avatars, but as actual senses of our own identity.

I’m going to find an awesome label for myself, something that would be historical if ever I was to be made historic. A name among names. One that when it is spoken, everyone knows right away who they are speaking of. I never expect it to come to that, but I want to have such a scenario in my mind, changing my thoughts, changing my energy. God Almighty is taken. The Great Emancipator is taken. Grizzly Adams is taken. Hannibal the Cannibal is taken. All of the good ones are taken. But I’ll keep looking until I find the one that fits.



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