by MJ

“It was always me versus the world, Until I found it’s me versus me’”- Pulitzer Prize winner Kendrick Lamar on his album DAMN. I’ve been making excuses for a long time, blaming the circumstances of my life for not living a life that I am proud of. I failed to realize that the way to change my circumstance was to change my mindset. I had to stop blaming others for my current situation, giving power to people who no longer have a say in my life and instead look inwards. If there’s something that I can do to change, I should try to get it done. What is the alternative? The alternative for me is finding myself in my 60s, pushing 70 and retiring from a job that I wasn’t too fond of but needed in order to pay my bills and crippled by debt, probably through years of trying to keep up with the Jones’. Years of being tossed and pushed in a direction I had no control over. The thought of spending most of my life in that situation fills me with fear. There is more that I can offer to the world and myself. My choice now is to make a change towards living a life that I’m proud of. A life where I’m challenging myself, growing mentally, exploring and building strong relationships. Abraham Maslow, who is well known for his hierarchy of needs said, “You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” I’ve been taking steps back into safety for a long time, afraid to venture out on the path of growth. Taking ownership of my life is not going to be easy. There are many parts of me that need to change for this journey to continue, one of which being my tendency to give up when I see signs of difficulty. I think back to the times in my life where I wanted to learn something and worked hard at it on a regular basis. Learning how to ride a bike saw many falls. The scrapes and cuts on my legs were a sign of my effort. I didn’t want to continue falling, so I quickly turned to people who knew how to ride for guidance. I learned from my mistakes, and before long I was cruising around Brooklyn with reckless abandon, feeling proud of myself for my accomplishment. Somewhere in my life, that fire to learn and not being afraid to make mistakes, that I believe is embedded in all of us since birth, somehow died down in me. There were times when I felt as if I was just going through the motions of life and constantly felt like a blunted tool. Chance brought me to someone I now consider a friend, whose words will stay with me for life. He spoke of his desire to learn how to shoot and edit videos and would set a goal for himself to learn something new every day. With that goal, he was able to start a career doing something that is fulfilling to him. After hearing that, the fire that was dying down started to rise again. The idea for this blog came from that conversation. I’ve been wanting to learn how to code for years. I would make efforts to learn but would always give up when things proved to be a little too difficult or when life got in the way. I dedicated time during the week to learn how to code and with the help and guidance of many youtube videos, I was able to get it to the point it is now and in the process learned so much about web development and programming. There is much more that I want to do for my life and hopefully be a benefit to humanity. My intent is to live life by my own terms and not under the whim of someone else. I believe that learning how to code will help me get there. My journey into fulfillment doesn’t stop at coding. I have goals to learn Japanese, to learn how to play the guitar, to take better care of my body through exercise, to become a better communicator and to learn how to be more mindful. I’ll use this blog to keep myself accountable with all the goals that I just laid out. It would be awesome if you joined me on this journey by making some goals of your own and together we can sharpen each other. What are some goals that’d you’d like to work on? Email me at [email protected] Thank you!