It is stunning to witness the impact of distractions in the world today. When you look at dynamics of everyday life you’ll see that most of us are not bound by hard limitations. Sure, we will complain that we don’t have enough smarts, resources or time. But closer inspection will almost always show that none of that is the real issue. The real issue is focus.
The biggest challenge is to actually allow ourselves to do what needs to be done. As soon as that hurdle is passed, everything becomes easier. Center yourself and start – and most often you’ll just keep going.
If you made commitment, honor it. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve promised something small or something big. What matters is that you stop allowing yourself to stress daily about things you’ve thought through multiple times. Understand that your brain wants to protect you – we are wired to always look for easy way out. But you should be responsible enough to recognize when easy way is not the right way.
Sure, rethink your decisions once a week. Set a time, sit down and see what you can improve. What is missing from your routine? What are the results of your work so far? Can you do something better – eliminate unnecessary tasks? Try out something new you haven’t so far? Ask and answer all the questions that popped in your head when you were about to perform work.
But in the meantime keep doing what you decided to do. Do not challenge. Do not procrastinate. Do not think.
You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do -Henry Ford
It seems this series of mine is starting to get real traction. How do I know? Well – I am receiving lots of emails through my Contact page. Majority is, of course, inquires on when I can feature certain blog (which I encourage). Then, there are compliments for what I am doing – I immensely enjoy reading those. Seems that people especially like the fact there is a prize for winning The Star Blogger Award.
Now, surprisingly, I’ve also started receiving hate mail. The first one was a real stunner… left me wondering – how do you find material to hate on blog roundups? But now that I’ve received second hate mail it seems reasonable to expect this. One negative email for every few positive ones. So, if it makes you happy to criticize – here is my Contact page again. Give it your best shot… and at least try to make it constructive. I really can’t do much with one liners that just say I’m terrible 😉
With that out of the way – let’s go to this week’s nominees.
Blogging the Journey by Ben Garow
I’ve met Ben few months back when I was restarting my own blogging efforts. He was doing the extreme version of that with establishing bloggingthejourney.com. Through his second blog he wanted to fix what he perceived as mistakes made on the first one.
Honestly, after following his writing over last few months I don’t see that Ben is making mistakes. It’s only that standard problem of not getting enough traffic. And thus your work is not properly recognized. Kinda like title of Ben’s post – Everything is Amazing and Nobody is Happy – referencing rant by Louis CK. Blogging is amazing in a sense that so many people invest so much energy into it. But, in the end, one lifeless article buried deep on page 42 of Washington Post will get more attention.
It’s good question if that will ever change. Regardless of answer, for me it’s clear that blogs like Ben’s are superior choice. Much better to read something someone invested his heart into; than to spend time on article that exists only because there was a deadline and free space.
First blog post I wrote was on how to buy a house that’s right for you. There is definitely something majestic about your first home purchase. And it better be that way considering the amount of money you are commiting to spend. One of the categories I wanted to blog about was home improvement. But 3 years later, and 10+ repairs after, I am still to muster inspiration to do so.
Looking at the great work Laura is doing, I doubt I’ll ever get into DIY blogging. It just makes more sense to link her articles and awesome photos than do those on my own. So, Laura, if you ever do a post on deck staining or water heater maintenance – count me in as collaborator! In the meantime I’ll highly recommend visiting what you write both as source of knowledge and inspiration.
Angela is a blogger that helps a lot in the community. She does exactly what header on her blog reads: “Celebrating Inspiring People and Interesting Ideas”.
Also, quality of Angela’s writing really stands out. With my blog – pick any post, start reading it and you’ll quickly deduce that I am not a writer. I obviously do something else for a living… and use blogging as a tool to communicate ideas and express myself.
With Angela – you can tell right away that she is aspiring author. Regardless of whether she is blogging about parenting, inspiration, society… her posts always have great titles, strong intros, with right amount intriguing questions.
Honestly, I can’t wait for her to start publishing books and travel the country on signing tours. Then I’ll get to hang on her blog and comment “I told you so” all the time. It’ll be marvelous.
Please note that voting for The Star Blogger Award will likely open next week. I’ll reach out to all nominees ahead of time so everyone has time to prepare and invite supporters to vote.
Also, some of the past nominees started nominating blogs they like. This is exactly how I want this award to work. While ability to pick whoever I like is nice, it’s also quite lonely. So, I would definitely prefer to collaborate on nominations. There is much more weight in two people nominating.
Tomorrow is the new day. It is a clean slate, a second chance. It doesn’t matter what happened today, yesterday or whenever in the past. Tomorrow is the new day that you can use to start fresh and do whatever you need to do so you can fill your life with happiness.
The only problem is that power of tomorrow is so big and tempting that many of us live in constant anticipation of it. There are few hours left in today’s day, there is energy in us, yet out of laziness we allow ourselves to say – tomorrow. Like dozen of hours will make a difference. Like we will magically wake up feeling ready to do everything we were supposed to be doing for the past year.
You already know that’s not going to happen. Learn from the past and dream about the future. But do your work right now. The only time you can influence is the present. You know you are already equipped to do what you are supposed to do. Stop blocking and lying yourself that you will feel better tomorrow. The only thing that will make you feel better is the sense of accomplishment. Knowledge that you gave your 100 percent, and not some meager output circumstances and excuses allowed you to give.
Tune out the distractions, close your eyes and remember. Remember the plans that you made, the path you are supposed to follow and the goals that are yours to conquer. Understand and accept that you can get anywhere you want but that you must start from your present point. No amount of resting, procrastinating or fooling yourself will move your from where you are. Only good, old, hard work and willingness to stick to it will.
So – do your work. That way when tomorrow comes, you truly will feel better. Not because you magically woke up in a better state, but because you can remember previous day and see that instead of giving up, you conquered the day. And that you are ready to do it again.
Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you -Thomas Jefferson
I promised that I’ll be posting these on Thursday. And it’s Friday… so apologies are in order. What I’ve learned though is that I need to tally votes a bit sooner (Tuesday evening). That way I’ll have more time to contact winner, arrange prize giveaway and write blog post. Let’s see if I manage to do it better in three weeks when we’ll have another poll.
My Instruction Manual, July 2017 Winner of The Star Blogger Award
Here is what Keith had to say when I presented him with The Star Blogger Award for July 2017 and $10 Amazon Gift Card prize:
Wow! I’m so grateful for everyone who voted for My Instruction Manual. It was a great honor to be recognized alongside other terrific blogs. I started My Instruction Manual to chronicle my own journey to be happier and healthier after my kidney transplant. It’s very rewarding that that others find it helpful too! Thanks to the How To Addict for giving back to the blogging community by setting up this award!
Congrats again Keith on your well deserved win! I look forward to reading your blog for many years to come!
Badge for Keith so he can brag about My Instruction Manual’s win
Doodle As I Do by Gemma
I’ve met Gemma through Reddit few months back and have been enjoying her posts ever since. Simply, Doodle As I Do is blog with terrific idea and execution. Instead of doing regular blog posts Gemma crafts a song that she then illustrates. I especially enjoy when she does it for one of her readers.
So, now that Gemma is on doodleasido.com I think it’s great time to feature her work. Plus, definitely try to stop by her Facebook page – she often organizes competitions there for her readers. Whoever wins gets custom poem and doodle! Talk about creative prizes.
Another fellow blogger that I’ve met through Community Pool. Luckily, I must add, as Traci is someone who you can often helping others. She does a lot of blog promoting, all while somehow managing to keep steady schedule of Tarot, Witchy and Inspiring posts.
I’ve joked that I need to nominate her for The Star Blogger Award so she doesn’t throw a curse on me. But in all honesty, she runs great and unique blog. I for sure am intrigued by idea to spark inspiration with a spell. And the weekly tarot readings she does are definitely something you shouldn’t miss.
So, do yourself a favor and check out Traci’s blog. Here are the posts you can start with:
Tagline is: “I’m not insane. I’m a writer”. So – you’ve guessed it – Ida’s blog focuses on writing. But, like me, she often explores other unrelated topics. Thus, you get a chance to read Ida’s thoughts on fathers, hobbies and life in general.
That said I think you’ll benefit immensely be reading Ida’s posts on writing. By describing her own battles while writing novel, Ida helps the rest of us. Now, my writing is nowhere near complexity required by novels. But I still find it very useful to read her thoughts on the subject. Like how she is handling editing process and emotional ups and down of it.
As I said in the first post – I appreciate suggestions that you send through comments. Commenting and pointing out worthy blogs saves me a lot of effort and time. So, if you operate a good blog… or know someone that does – please comment below and let me know.
Related to that I wanted to give special shout-outs to:
You have probably heard some variation of negative life philosophies. They often focus on criticizing life and things you shouldn’t, won’t and can’t obtain. Lacking and terrible; you’ll never be good enough, they say. Then there is also a part about our existence being mere coincidence which can be erased by number of likely scenarios. If humanity doesn’t destroy itself that is. We almost destroyed ourselves in the recent past and as news tells us, some tough times are ahead.
So, looking from that perspective – why even bother? We all will die anyway. Even if we spend every waking hour of our life working and trying and giving our best and struggling against adversity and fighting disappointments, we will essentially end up in the same state as those who decided not to bother at all and went on with distracting themselves.
The core problem with negative life philosophies is not whether or not they are *correct*. The core problem is that they are built as an excuse. People who end up embracing negativity always first acknowledged that it is easier to give up than try. It obviously is. And once that easy choice was made, all that was left is finding excuses to justify the decision.
Don’t let yourself fall into this trap. The same way others pick pessimism you can pick optimism. Will making that choice be harder? Sure – but only for start. After someone truly makes positive outlook part of his character he is unable to let it go. For all those unhappy who need one small reason to get depressed, you have those who you can’t knock off happiness no matter what you try. Throw obstacles, frustrations and problems toward someone who is positively-focused, and he’ll keep evading and crushing them while laughing like a maniac.
It’s inspiring, really. Knowing that a persistent shift to the right state of mind is all we need to become unstoppable. That those unhappy ones laying around and saying “I don’t care” to everything offered are using exactly the same phrase that happy ones utter while facing challenges. So, decide to try and stay positive for your own sake. Ignore or deal with negativity of environment the best you can, depending on situation. And just keep going!
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way -Viktor E. Frankl
Note: This post was inspired by life and work of Dr Viktor E. Frankl. Kind human being who survived Auschwitz and bore no ill will toward anyone. Not even to the neighborhoods who reported him and his family to Nazis. The same ones he treated as a doctor – both before and after the World War 2.
Another week of me writing about blogs I enjoy reading. So far it’s been a great ride. I especially enjoyed last week when Crystal took part in nomination process. I am truly excited for the future and can’t wait to announce the winner next week.
For those that are new to my blog, here is quick recap. Each week I write about 3 blogs I enjoy visiting and present those to my audience. Additionally, anyone is free to nominate their own blog or blog someone they know. That is as long as that nomination follows the process of:
Create a post that includes The Star Blogger Award in the title. Post must contain:
Paragraph that presents the blog in at least 100 words
Links each instance of The Star Blogger Award text back to this page
Nominates another 3 bloggers and links to their blog
Notify nominees about The Star Blogger Award nomination through comments on their blog
Leave comment here and link to created nomination post. I will then verify that 1 & 2 are completed and confirm nomination
If you have any question, feel free to ask in comment section. And now, without further ado, the nominees for this week!
Let the best blogger win!
This blog is a poster child of how good personal blog should look like. Design is minimalistic yet eye catching. Same for tagline: Discover, Motivate, Inspire is short yet communicative. As for the content – Moni has been writing for past 2+ years and produced steady stream of intriguing content. Visit every week and chances are you’ll find new post that’s well written and includes nice media.
I simply love it. And you’ll likely too. Now, when someone is starting a blog and asking you for advice, it’s easy for me. I just point him to Brilliant Viewpoint and say “emulate this”. Posts I’ve enjoyed the most are:
Blogging opens up world of opportunity to meet new people and read their thoughts. I’ve visited JKJ’s blog after he commented on one of my previous posts. And immediately I was blown away by the amount of content he has produced with almost no recognition. That’s the thing with blogging: you could be awesome writer, yet you’ll likely be overlooked in the sea of everything that’s posted nowadays. I hope to change with The Star Blogger Award – link as many overlooked gem blogs as possible. JKJ’s blog is definitely one of them.
Another blog that I’ve visited after owner commented on my post. Daily Flabbergast is one of the blogs that I read when I need change of pace. Most of the content that you’ll find on WordPress is very politically correct. It’s kinda complete opposite of Tumblr – which is madness incarnate. And while I don’t seek controversy for it’s own sake, I do enjoy entertaining unpopular opinions. In that sense I highly recommend visiting Daily Flabbergast. Just before clicking the link be sure that you are not easily offended and are willing to consider floatinggold’s point of view.
Hopefully every new edition of The Star Blogger series will increase clarity on nomination process. But Crystal shows that it’s already easy-peasy to include your blog if you want. Sure, there are few kinks to iron out… like linking The Star Blogger Award text back to this post and not nominating multiple blogs you own.
But for start: it’s pretty good. So, good luck Crystal and I’ll be voting for Daisy Mae blog! Love what you are doing, and I’ve already promoted everyone else much more than you.
Not necessarily related to The Star Blogger Award, but Yoly has been behind my first Thursday post. And she would likely be a nominee, but for better or worse she decided to stop blogging. I won’t get into guessing reasons behind her decision – it’s her life and her choice to make. All I want is to say is: thanks for all your contributions Yoly. I hope you’ll at least keep visiting and commenting here on HowToAddict.com.
It’s time to vote and pick The Star Award Blogger winner
The poll below includes all nominees from this and previous two posts. Voting will be open until Thursday next week and limited to one vote per WordPress account. While you are welcome to invite your friends to vote for you, please no voting with duplicate accounts or through proxies. You don’t want me using my awesome programming skills.
Looking forward to reading your comments and seeing who gets the most votes. And of course, I am especially excited for winner announcement and prize giveaway next week.
It’s incredible how much human beings can achieve when they have a clear plan that they relentlessly follow. When you look at any great achievement there is always sense of awe when you consider the time and effort. It is easy to think that you would never be able to do that. Yet, people whose work you admire are not much unlike you.
We often fool ourselves by saying that we are not good enough. The problem is that we focus too much on the result and not on the process. Nobody is a genius all the time. It is the daily grind over years, millions of seconds spent focusing and doing the work… that results in something that someone at some time may look up to.
And I get it – it is scary to acknowledge the amount of work ahead of you. But you know what is scarier? The possibility that you’ll end up not even trying. That you’ll spend lifetime hiding from everything you should be facing head on. That you’ll be left in a cloud of misery simply because you decided to do what needs to be done – tomorrow.
The best lives belong to those who take challenge head on, the first time it comes. By each action train yourself to perform, the same way someone else trains themselves to procrastinate. Bring habit and momentum on your side by making the right choices.
Embrace your focus and hold it against all doubts. Persistently and relentlessly attack. And stop only once you see that your goal is lying ahead of you, ready for the taking.
Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows with the ability to say no to oneself. -Abraham Joshua Heschel
Here we are for week 2 of highlighting under-appreciated blogs. Comments last week have been overwhelmingly positive, and I can only hope that trend will continue.
To make things more interesting I’ve decided to institute an Award. And unlike others “Awards” that you saw going around in blogsphere recently this one will have a real prize attached. Symbolic, but prize still.
First of all – contention. Any blogs that are linked in this weekly post will be eligible for prize. If your blog is not linked in the article (since we are only doing 3 per week), you can participate by creating a post on your blog with title “The Star Blogger Award“. In that post you need to:
Present your blog in at least 100 words
Nominate 3 other bloggers of your choice
Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination
Link to this post as a source and comment link to your article
Then, every few weeks we’ll organize a poll that includes all nominees. The one with most votes will be declared the winner of The Start Blogger Award and given a prize. I plan on increasing pool prize as often as possible. If you have suggestion on what would be a good prize – let me know.
Well, someone certainly deserves prize…
And now, to this week’s blogs I enjoy and The Star Blogger Award nominees.
The Loyal Brit Wit
I am in awe of daily schedule The Loyal Brit Wit is sustaining so far. Premise is simple: each post introduces “British English” word and builds around it. For example “loo” in England generally means “bathroom” – and sure enough, BritWit has a Loo post.
Here is the list of few posts I’ve particularly enjoyed:
All I can say – keep it up BritWit. And if you ever decide to write in detail on how you manage to keep up daily writing schedule – let me know; I’ll be ecstatic to read that one.
Project Believe In Yourself by Benjamin Ngiam
What sets Benjamin and his blog apart is how much video content he produces. That’s how we’ve met – he participated in Community Pool and reviewed other people’s blog. I’ve found idea great… aside of promoting his own OC he truly adds value by providing other people with in-depth feedback. I really hope he manages to get in rhythm and do video blog reviews every week.
With PBIY I recommend going to YouTube, specifically watching:
As I often say: interacting with community is one of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging. Being able to talk with people from all kinds of backgrounds and beliefs is powerful. Addicting even. Thus I am truly thankful for Community Pool and interaction I had there with Touched2MySoul that got me to visit her blog.
To me, reading posts Touched2MySoul is writing provides all the inspiration I need to write my own. These I would especially recommend:
Same as the last week – when you have visited linked blogs, feel free to comment and share your impressions. And also, do nominate yours or worthy blog of someone you know that’s not getting enough recognition.
We will be having “The Star Blogger Award” poll in next week’s post, so be sure to comment and link your blog in order to be in contention.