What friendship means

  • Being trustworthy.
  • Trusting.
  • Knowing when it’s safe to butt in, and when to leave them be.
  • Being a part of the journey, not a face along the way.
  • Forgiving.
  • Forgetting.
  • Saying sorry.
  • Knowing you’re crazy and not caring.
  • Knowing they’re crazy and not caring.
  • Taking the time to listen not just to what’s said, but what isn’t said.
  • Understanding, as opposed to judging.
  • No gossip. About you to other people, or other people to you.
  • Sharing in the bad as well as the good.
  • No unnecessary drama.
  • Caring.
  • Inspiring.
  • Encouraging.
  • Patience.
  • Epic dance parties, whenever and wherever.
  • Keeping you at heart though you may not be in touch.
  • Seeing each other after years and it only feels like a day.
  • Acceptance.
I hope you’re noticing a common theme among these posts. Every human interaction is based on love. Not the emotional, head-over-heels Hollywood love, but the kind of love endures. It’s the kind that parents have for children, friends for each other, husbands and wives, grandparents, aunts, uncles, anyone. What love boils down to is the ability to see the best in someone else and inspire the desire to reach that potential. No guilt. No shame. No blame. No pride. No gossip. No lies. No cheating. No backstabbing. Just looking forward to the future and working each day to make tomorrow better. Progress.

Being Happy Today

Reasons not to procrastinate:

  1. If you care about your grades at all, you will miss out on wonderful, spur-of-the-moment activities with friends. If you don’t care about grades, you will fail all of your classes.
  2. Even if you don’t think you get stressed about the things you procrastinate, you do. That stress carries over into everything you do, and impedes you from fully enjoying the moment, whether it’s a movie, marathon run, making banana pancakes, mountain climbing, or whatever else happens to be you hobby. Fact is, it sits there, gnawing a little hole in the back of your mind, and you can’t focus 100% on the now.
  3. In the end, you will not succeed in procrastination.
  4. Avoiding the problem is as good as trying to stick an elephant in the fridge. Sure, you might get lucky and have a fridge with alternate dimensions inside, or maybe it’s even a fridge of holding, but most of us don’t walk around having those in our homes now, do we?
  5. No matter what you may think, you can’t make more time in a day than there already is. There are 24 hours, no more, no less. Once each second is gone, it’s gone. There’s no getting it back. Why waste what little time there is in a day being boring, mediocre, and underachieving? Do something awesome.
  6. You can’t do anything awesome if you have a lab report, homework, or a paper due.
  7. No really, you can’t.
  8. Everyone has something they really want to do, and the only way you’re going to be able to get to what you want to do and enjoy it is if you
    • Get through all the things you have  to do
    • Do so in a timely manner, and
    • Have extra time due to good planning
  9. Life is to be enjoyed, not endured. If you’re going through every day afraid of getting out of bed, you’re probably doing something wrong. It may well be procrastinating something you know you should do, which is just stressing you, and you don’t even realize it! Do the things you know you have to so you can stop beating yourself up about how big of a failure you are – which you know isn’t true, so just stop the negativity altogether. I give you permission to.
  10. If you’re not married, you’ll have more time to date, meet awesome gals/guys, and eventually get married. If you are married, you’ll have more time to spend with your wife/husband and kids, who should be the center of your world. If they’re not, you’re doing it wrong. (Besides, who wouldn’t want to spend time with this little guy?)
  11. Putting off ’til tomorrow what you can do today is essentially deciding to put off your happiness ’til tomorrow. You may think you’re happy, but unless you’re getting rid of your stressors along the way, it’ll be hard to keep that level of happiness in the long run, and the crash will be much, much worse.
  12. You have much better things to do than worry about what you’re not doing.

Today could be awesome. It’s your choice.

Your choice is simple: happiness or sadness.

You can complain all you like about your situation. That won’t change it. You can think about all the things you wish you were. That won’t make you them. You can compare yourself over and over and over again to everyone you know — and everyone you don’t know — and always find yourself coming up short. You can live life relative to everything else, measuring distance relative to the landmarks around you, relative to the distance traveled, the miles covered, the milestones achieved, and the monuments left behind. You can live looking back in the rearview mirror, seeing everything disappear, or staring at the horizon ahead, always afraid of what’s coming. You can live paralyzed by insecurities and doubts, internal and external, and let yourself get caught up in perceptions of the truth, living vicariously through the criticism and negativity, letting it determine who you are. You can let your future be determined by everyone else and what they expect from you. You can be the loser. The drug addict. The drunkard. The failure. The lazy one. The fake. The melodramatic. The jerk. The quiet one. The loud one. The paranoid. The overly busy. You can let the world tell you what makes you happy. You can spend your whole life chasing the dreams you’re fed from others’ imaginations, invented so they can make a quick buck, and find, after years of chasing, that you’re nowhere near anything that matters, anything recognizable, or even anything remotely beautiful. You can live your life and be acted upon, like a prop. You can be the tool, the chump, the manipulated, the gullible. You can watch the television, day after day, channel after channel, and find that after all you’ve seen, you really aren’t any better for it. You’re still just as empty.

The choice is yours.

The only thing we really have in life is our ability to choose. To choose what we do, what we wear, what we think, and, ultimately, who we are. Some choices really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. What color of umbrella you buy is probably not going to determine the outcome of your life. But there are choices that matter.

The first thing you need to do is understand that you can’t control everything. In fact, there’s a pretty limited scope of what you can control: your actions, reactions, thoughts, and feelings. Can you control somebody else? No. Don’t even try. Can you control the weather? Good luck.

Things will happen. Some of those things will, well, suck. Some of them will be totally awesometastic and make everything worth it and make sense. Not every day is going to get a 0 out of 10 or a 10 out of 10. Face the facts. Most days are probably somewhere in the 5-7 range. At least, for me, that’s where they fall. They’re not awesome, but they’re not terrible. They’re just days.

So what are you to do? Make excuses as to why today can’t be awesome? “It’s raining. I hate rain.” “I didn’t get my homework done, so I’m mad.” Think of it. How often do we qualify our moods on things that we have absolutely no control over? What’s the use in wasting your already short life by purposely making it worse and wasting time complaining about something that you’re never going to be able to change? Really, there isn’t. So stop complaining about things you have no control over. Be it, “So-and-so doesn’t like me! WAA!” or “I hate the cold!” or “I hate it when people do/don’t do such-and-such!”

You control your reactions. If there’s something to be done about a problem, instead of wasting time complaining, DO SOMETHING.

If you’re really bothered by people who don’t recycle, start a recycling campaign. If you wish people wouldn’t complain, start a positivism movement. If you want people to be happy, give them a reason to be happy!

You define your life. You. Yourself. Nobody else does. Not your mom. Not your dad. Not your brother or sister. Not your uncle, aunt, cousin, grandma, or grandpa. Not the bullies at school. Not your defects. Not your insecurities. Not your fears. You. You are so much more than what you think. Don’t limit yourself. Be  different. Make a difference. Make a decision. Don’t be afraid of failure. Everyone fails. Every day.

What separates the happy ones from the sad ones is that they pick themselves up and keep going. They have a dream and they stick to it. They decide they want something – something good – and they go after it with everything they are.

When’s the last time you did that?

Make the choice. Choose what you think about. Focus on what matters. On what’s good. Surround yourself  with it. Dive into it. Get away from what drags you down. As far away as possible. Choose your words wisely. Build, don’t break. Would you rather be remembered for the kind words you choose to say, or the unintentionally rude words you unthinkingly utter? The choice is yours. Today could be awesome.

What good does us reason if we fail to see?

Today I’d like to talk about absolutely nothing at all. I don’t have anything in mind (it’s literally empty), and to be honest part of the reason I’m writing now is to avoid doing homework. This past weekend was General Conference, which, of course, means that I had zero time to do anything other than that. In the end, though, everything worked out.

To explain, most of my posts are just going to be rants about what I’ve been thinking about. Maybe they’ll go somewhere, maybe not. I’ll try to get some sort of point out of everything though.

I’ve been thinking about love. A lot of people seem to have it in their minds that love is something you fall into. Like a hole. Some gaping chasm that you’re just moseying along and suddenly you slip on a banana peel and whoosh! there you go out of control down a black hole.
That’s dumb.
I read a really interesting book over the summer called The Five Love Languages. Here, Gary Chapman points out that real love has a lot more to do with fulfillment of a psychological need than anything else. The emotional rush is a part of the process, but it wears off, and when it does, if the psychological need isn’t met, things fall apart. This is not exclusive to romantic love – for a developing child to feel loved the basic need to feel loved must be filled, and this is one breakdown that I’ve found useful.
So here’s a rough breakdown:
  1. Physical touch – these people are touchy-feely. They love hugs, holding hands, kissing, being close to the ones they care about, etc. Not feeling close to the ones they love physically can be devastating. Think of the little kid who always wants to be held or hugged.
  2. Words of affirmation – these people thrive on words of approval. Need to hear the good they’ve done. Need to know they’re needed, wanted, appreciated, and that people around them are grateful for what they do, their presence, their efforts and hard work, etc.
  3. Quality time – these people need time. They need one-on-one time spent just doing nothing. Chatting, watching the stars, road tripping, no distractions, no agenda, no nothing. Just spending time together.
  4. Receiving gifts – these people feel loved when they receive gifts. They don’t have to be expensive, fancy, or even overly thought out. Simple things like a cookie, a flower, a card, a letter, a thank-you note, or even a photograph can mean the world to them.
  5. Acts of service – these people feel loved when others help them in their work. Doing the dishes for them, making food, washing the car, shining your shoes, walking the dog, or any one of a number of things can really brighten their day.
It’s a good book if you’re interested. I recommend it.
Love is not so much a hole we fall into as it is an attitude we cultivate towards those around us. Those who best know how to love have learned to recognize what language their friends and family speak and specifically use that language to communicate their love with them.
Imagine what would happen to a person whose language is words of affirmation who, instead of getting compliments from their parents, often got hugs, but their parents always criticized them. They aren’t likely to feel loved. Each word of criticism is like a slap in the face to them.
A child who conversely speaks the language of physical touch, and often receives compliments but never hugs, handshakes, high fives, or anything of the sort from their parents will not feel loved either.
We live trying to fill our need for love. Once we start to understand that and understand the languages the ones we love speak, we can learn to speak the same language as them. It’s a simple choice, not some sort of magic equation that just works out in the end or doesn’t. Once you understand, it’s obvious.