1. Never Ending Pursuit for Happiness


    A question we all ask at some point is the meaning of life. What purpose does our fleeting existence serve?I don’t believe there is an answer. In fact, I believe that life is no different than a hammer or car. Life is not dependent on what we do, in fact it couldn’t care what we do with it. The only thing that matters is if we believe life is worth living. This is why I push the topics some “simplists” such as Zen Habits. Too often we pursue giving our lives goals and rewards. We measure our happiness with the stuff we have, the money we have, and the experiences we have.

    TV AddictWe as humans are weak, and it takes very little to get us caught up in our own devices. Our thirst for input can lead to non-stop TV or movie watching or an internet addiction. We work ourselves to the edge, only to spend our money on pointless spoils. These things take our time, and energy from pursuing who we are. We convince ourselves that without these things, we are worthless (literally worth less). We set our traps for when we lose our security, and can no longer maintain our “necessities”.

    That is as much philosophy as I will state today. Right now I look at the uphill battle I have to wage to get back on top. My struggles have no one to blame except the circumstances affecting me and my choices. I could try to blame others or some deity, but in the end ultimately I am the only one who get myself back on top. My happiness comes from being able to plan, and knowing that I will continue to move forward.

    The next few months are to be difficult. I am in my last month of job searching, I have to find a new car, and I have to find a decent living situation. Without these things my year’s goals are unattainable.

    Ideally at the end of the year I will find myself back making $45K a year, in a house shared with 4 or so other people, and back to participating in LAN parties, game board nights, and star parties. My trust is not in these goals, but the knowledge I already have that I will have my happiness.

    Originally published at Calimartin Progettazione. Please leave any comments there.

    Crossposted at Tumblr and LiveJorunal.

  2. Temporary Migration

    A key domain of mine failed to renew, so now I have to migrate everything from calimartin.com to calimartin.co. In the brief time, I will be pulling posts onto here that seem to have not crossposted correctly. 

  3. Hoarding vs Minimalism

    As I have covered before, there is several positives to living a simple, minimalism life. Minimalism puts life into prospective, goods have a real tangible value, and time has meaning. We get an improvement in our life and the lives of those around us. It seems, at times, there is no downside, but there is.

    I own a vehicle for travel, a bike for nearby travel, 2 weeks of normal clothes, 2 casual suits, 1 fancy suit, 3 jackets (1 light cloth, 1 heavy leather, 1 light hide) 2 swimming outfits, 2 towels, a projector (for a TV) 2 1’x2’ boxes of papers (financials, for the most part), a couple game systems and 1 1’x2’ box of video games, a couch/bed, and 3 computers (1 that is just a file server, 1 for programming, and 1 laptop for travel/meetings). Everything I own fits in the vehicle I own, and it is seamless when in my room. I am happy with this, as I am not stressed declutteering, or dealing with space. I waste no time finding stuff, because it’s all easy to find. I don’t worry about money, because I don’t spend frivolously as that would clutter my life.

    Not everyone is that way. In fact, my family is quite the opposite. I returned to a relatives over the weekend. The house is 2000 sq. ft, more than enough space for all the persons living there, and far more space/person then my residence. Yet, there are walkways everywhere lined with papers, toys, junk and more. Their 2 car garage is stuffed to the brim, minus a small walkway to the washer/dryer. There 2 cars sit outside, as there is no room in the garage.

    I should stop and clarify a key point, minimalism is good, no questions asked, and is a good thing to strive for in every respect. This means we must accept, but not give in, to “fixing” the downside. In any debate, minimalism always wins, hands down. However, once you’ve learned to be minimalism in life, seeing others who are not will be hard. Unfortunately, you can’t change the mentality that causes clutter  in any short time. The person has to desire it for themselves, which is like a drug addict wanting to go off of drugs.

    You have to learn to handle the feeling of shame, disgust and more of this lifestyle, and accept that others may not choose this path. It is difficult for everyone to see, but there isn’t much you can do other than hope. Only when it become life threatening, will an intervention even work, since it takes rewriting almost all thinking to change the underlying behaviors. The best thing to do is pay attention, but also numb yourself to the surroundings. If there is a small chance or opportunity to give even a small amount of minimalism training to the person or persons, act immediately, and in small amounts.

    One day, I hope these persons will accept that the things they are holding onto are costing their livelyhood. Thinking such as memory attachment or will-need-sometime are just excuses that ultimate cost more then is gained. Memories exist in our minds, and we can write them down. Although keeping a few trinkets is not a problem, when we clutter our lives with these relics, we torture ourselves. We don’t deal with the feelings behind memories effectively, and therefore we are not honoring ourselves.

    No matter how tempting it might be, be firm in your stance. It only takes a small beginning of adding some unnecessary clutter before we junk our lives. And this isn’t just physical things, but habits like entertainment choices, activity choices and others. Be strong in your position but be understanding to others. For example, if you are given a gift of something you neither want nor can support having in your life, be okay with being honest. It might seem disrespectful, but you are telling the giver “I am me, a person who choses to live life not of material wealth but of life wealth”. It might even be a chance to teach the merits of minimalism.

    Originally published at Calimartin Progettazione. Please leave any comments there.

    Crossposted at Tumblr and LiveJorunal.

  4. New post on personal blog, excerpt below:

    Not having a lot of clutter has been a huge relief. It lets me keep things organized, and that makes my life more organized. I can quickly do a mental inventory to tell what I own. It makes me responsible for makings sure I have exactly what I need, and to meet needs with as little stuff as possible. It helps me save time and money by focusing over function rather than glamour.

  5. image: Download

    Dunham has nothing on this. Also, I might be crazy. 

    Dunham has nothing on this. Also, I might be crazy. 

  6. 5 Simple Answers of Why You Are Here

    We spend our lives answering the wrong questions, fighting the wrong fights, attacking those who are not attacking. The simple answers you need is:

    1. You have a purpose, and it’s yours, and yours alone. Don’t look to others for your answer, this is not a test, and it’s not copyable. Ask yourself what you enjoy in your life. Don’t worry about next month, next year, next decade, or your next life. Fate will change any plans you make. Focus on what you need that moment, hour, day or week. If you believe in a religion, listen to the source, not the repeaters. Live simple and pure; both to yourself and to the world.

    2. Before all else, simply try to understand what is right, what is wrong, To test right or wrong, ask ”does this bring hope or hate, love or strife?”. World peace, freedom would be possible if everyone simply asked this question before every action. Once you do this, you can live life day by day in peace, and you’ll bring peace to those around you.

    3. How you expect others to act towards should match how you act to others. If you expect others to be compassionate and honest with you, then you should do the same. Anything outside of this is hypocrisy, which is a lie to oneself. Lying to oneself means you do not know your purpose, you aren’t trusting what is right.  Live to be nice to others.

    4. Judgement of others, for race, religion, gender, orientation, age, or creed is rude, hurtful, and leads to seperation. Passing judgment is inherently hipocritical. Talking down, blamming or attacking a group simple because of one of these personal choices spreads only hate, and causes strife. Neither of these are right, since they create conflict in the world.

    5. If you feel lead to act on bringing peace, love, compassion, or joy to others around you, don’t hesitate. Would you hold back food from a starving child? Would you not encourage someone who has achieved a goal?  In the same way, when you want to say hi to a long lost friend, tell that person having a bad day how beneficial they are to you, or help the person having a bad day, follow on that feeling. Worse case, you tried, and run up against their wall. Best case, you spread peace, love, compassion and joy, all which can save a persons life.

    These 5 things I wish for everyone to follow, but I do not make these a rule for who I can interact with or show kindness towards. If you chose to follow these simple answers, then you should have the same wish for others. 

  7. Heart Strings

    Here i am, between the worlds,
    A world of madness ruled by men,
    A world of love ruled by the heart,
    Torn, battered, by the impossible choice,

    A game this has become,
    A neverending tug of war,
    To one side, lies the beauty of her,
    To the other, the toils of life,

    They say there is victory in life,
    a goal that can be obtained,
    but what does that triumph cost?
    what must one give away?

    Away with life, it’s empty promises,
    the alure of riches, comfort, power.
    they are empty, pathetic, unfulling,
    a hole for which one has no escape,

    No, the heart is what i seek,
    a rich for which there is no rival,
    a calm for which no storm resides,
    a power for which none can crush

  8. Current State of Affairs (and other ramblings of a madman)

    The last few months have changed a lot of my outward perspective. I’ve been stuck in a circumstance of failure with the repair business, but success with the design business. I have seen a decline in the quantity of friends, but an increase in the quality of friendships. I have been a part of a verbally violent shakeout, but have seen an amazing rebound by some hard-working persons. These events have made it clear what lies ahead for the next year, although obviously the details are unkown.

     Entrepreneurial Efforts
    A good starting place on updates is probably the design business. Three years ago, when I started working on websites to supplement the declining Fine PC clientele, I had no idea if I would be successful or not.This year, I realize (more specifically, this month) that the future for the business will be a push of web hosting. I’ve gotten used to CL navigation agains, as well as relearned my tricks with Linux, so the transition from design focus to hosting focus has proven to be minor. My goal is to sign up more resellers for this hosting, to provide a long-term, steady income flow.

    Fine PC suffered the largest blow this year, linked to a declining economy. Two years ago, new client requests declined sharply, so the business income was dependent on current clients and past clients. In March, two of those  clients have dropped Fine PC services, the first of which was a customer who was dependent on work from Borders bookstore. The other is a client who’s need to expend, but also scale down expenses have sought a different type of support then Fine PC can operate. The company will continue, but is by far not a revenue generator.

    Playing Nice with Others
    Life with with my friends has been a roller coaster as of late. I lost a lot of friends the last year from moves, life changes, and other reasons. At the same time, this has given me an opportunity to focus on the remaining friends I have, and strengthen those relationships. This next year will most likely be dependent on this new strength in those relationships. Given the odds of moving this next few months, whether it is just down the street or across state, or across the country, I have a feeling that will be a need-dependent event.

    Career (again)
    I’m trying to enter back into a career field this year, even if it is jut part-time, my hope is to have a steady base income.

  9. Why I Help Others

    You’d never believe how many times I get asked why I never say no to helping others in a day. It’s one of the funniest questions I hear people ask these days. What’s so intriguing about the question, is no matter how much time I explain my personal reasons, it just doesn’t soak in. Except for other people like myself, of course.

    Today is 1 1/2 years since I got laid off from Pacific Capital Bancorp. I still reflect on my experience from there, and, to be honest, I still wish I was part of that company. The job I had there offered a large amount of growth and experience that I couldn’t easily get elsewhere. The pay was good, too. Compared to Home Depot, PCB was such a better opportunity for me. But they choose to lay me off, and so I’ve had to move on.

    Since then I’ve had to answer a lot of questions about what I want to do in life. I learned last year, early on, that I love helping others. I’m not even sure why, but it’s the best drug I know. I’ve always driven for challanging myself, and the resourcefulness required to be helpful is a outlet for that challange.

    That summer, immediately after I got laid off, I tried to find other work. Previously, I held a track record for nailing job interviews. I had, had 7 interviews by then, and all of them hired the same week (most the same day). However, after I got laid off, the job market was so flooded with workers that it became clear I could not easily get employed. When the Red Cross was needing volunteers to help with a major disaster, I didn’t hesitate (at least more than a few hours) to jump in.

    I only helped periodically over the next year, mostly because I was still trying to make it in the working world. Then, around march, after several temp jobs lost, no consistent work, and the only saving grace being a growing amount of web design work, it hit me. I realized that I wanted to help others, and see everyone built up. I only knew of one organization that really meet that desire, with a focus on just helping others in their time of need. Many others have some agenda, or aren’t fully neutral. So I started looking at my needs, both financially and time wise, and determined how much I could donate in time to the chapter.

    Currently, I spend about 40 hours in the office, working on various projects. I manage to get by because my expenses are very low (you know, that simple living thing), and I have sufficient amount of work from my business clients on weekends and evenings. Yes, I work a lot, but it doesn’t feel like it. With my business, I’m usually doing things I love to do, creating/designing sites. And the rest of the time, I’m doing something that feels so good, helping an organization, that in the end run, is helping people in need. Because I’m not tied to a commitment for hours, I can take time off to focus on the business, and vice versa.

    In summary, the why for my life of volunteer-ism is it’s my life, and my focus, to help others, and that is more important then money or things.  There’s nothing else to get. No motives, no agendas, just my desire. If you’ve every enjoyed doing something, it’s the same concept.

    If you can’t understand that, or worse, if it  bothers/concerns you, you might want to look at your own life. What are your priorities, and why do you do the things you do? I will never judge you or condemn you based on your life, because we are all human. Even if you don’t understand why I want to help people just like yourself, I still will help others. It’s that simple.

  10. 11:56 2nd Nov 2010

    Notes: 246

    Reblogged from lessonsinromance