Lessons Learned, positive


Yesterday, I wrote a post about meme stocks (a post I’ve since deleted). That was my post for the week. Yesterday was Saturday, and I had a really good day. Early in the day, I posted to Facebook about my aspirations for my future and I received a lot of positive and encouraging feedback. As I went to bed in the evening and thought back on the day, I realized that the one blemish on my otherwise positive day was my own post.

And so, I decided to delete it. It was negative and it came from a place of complaint. It was preachy and sought to place blame on a single group for something truly complex. It may have been right. It may have been wrong. Regardless, it’s just not what I want to produce and add to the world.

There is enough negativity. Last year was filled with it. And I don’t need to contribute to it. That doesn’t mean I don’t experience bad things in life. And it doesn’t mean I’m universally positive. In fact, positivity isn’t my default state. But I’m trying to change. I’m trying to help people. And I think I can do more good by being positive than I can by being negative.

In fact, that’s something I’ve seen over the last couple of days. Yesterday, my positive post on Facebook attracted more response than any post I’ve had in recent memory. Many of the respondents were people I haven’t heard from in years. Positivity attracts people, and it attracts more positivity.

Yes, there is enough negativity in the world already. Life is filled with hardships. Positivity won’t necessarily get rid of all of those hardships, but it won’t add to them, and it will help alleviate some of them. I would much rather help people overcome hardships than add to them.

We have an opportunity to help each other in life. We all will struggle from time to time. How great would it be to have friends who encourage us, lift us, and help us through those struggles? That’s the kind of positivity I want to bring to life. And it’s the kind of positivity I want here.

Lessons Learned

Starting Anew

Is this experience familiar? You decide you need to start keeping a journal again. You open up your journal and begin writing. “It’s been too long since I last wrote,” you begin. You continue with a quick catch up of where you are in life. You comment on your desire to improve. And you commit to keeping a journal regularly.

As you finish, you leaf back through the pages to see when you last wrote. It was more than a year ago. Here’s what you said, “It’s been too long since I last wrote…,” And you closed that entry with a promise to keep a regular journal.

Journaling is a habit, and – like any habit – it takes concentrated effort to form at first. It’s a habit that I don’t have. Though, it’s a habit I’d like to establish.

I started this blog several years ago to fill a requirement in a business class. Each week, I was given a prompt to address here, in this blog. I’ve tried to bury those early posts because they no longer fully reflect who I am or what my priorities are. This being the Internet, I’m sure they’re recoverable.

As the class that prompted this blog came to its end, so did my regular upkeep of it. That’s a shame. I pay for the domain. And I think there’s some value to having a “vanity” domain to stamp something of my own mark on the Internet.

In the intervening years, I’ve tried to write here now and then. I’ve tried to establish some identity for this blog. But my efforts have been spurious at best.

The challenge, I think, is that I’ve always tried to scope the blog to some particular purpose or identity. And when I do that, I recognize two things. First, nobody really knows this blog exists. It’s public, so of course people can find it, but they’re not gonna find it unless they’re looking for it. Second, given my inconsistency, virtually any subject I might write on is almost certainly covered more thoroughly and reliably elsewhere.

But I need to create. I need a place to put my thoughts down. I want to have some identity beyond the circle of my close friends and associates. And so, against my own doubt that it will actually go anywhere, I will give this all another shot. And here’s what I plan to do.

Rather than try to tailor my site and my writing to one particular purpose, I’m going to make this more of a traditional blog or journal. In nearly every week of my life, there is at least one day, one hour, or one moment when I have a thought or opinion or experience that I think I’d like to share with others. That’s what I’ll do here. I will strive to write something every week, reflecting on my week, and capturing that opinion or experience I want to share.

Could I write more frequently? Sure. And maybe I will. But my only commitment at this point is to write once a week. Will my thoughts coalesce around a particular topic? Maybe. But that’s not my goal. My goal is simply consistency.

My hope is that, as I write consistently, there will be certain topics or ideas that become natural focuses for my writing. When, and if, there are, then I may spin those off into their own separate sections for this site, or I may redefine this site in terms of those topics. For now, though, consistent writing about my weekly thoughts and experiences is what I am committed to deliver.

Here goes nothing…