Posted by: smortimer | 2009/04/21

A New Outlook

The last few weeks I have spent my time actively trying to think of ways to push myself, try out new activities and just generally get out of my habits.  I work from 8 AM or so (I usually get to work about 7:30) until 5 PMish (more like 6:30 the last few weeks) and then I head home on the subway.  I get home, spend a little bit of time with my daughter, we figure something out for dinner, watch TV and/or surf the net/play video games and then go to bed to read for an hour or so before finally falling asleep.  Of course we repeat this 5 times a week.  Weekends could be doing something with my mother or brother’s family, or quite possibly hanging around the house.  We do like to entertain, I will bar-b-q or cook in the kitchen some friends will come by, we play some games or watch a movie/the hockey game.  All in all not a bad life, I get to spend lots of time with my family, and we do have some great friends.  This past year or so though I have had these feelings that there should be something more.

I don’t remember when I stopped looking for new things to do, to learn.  I used to be constantly coming up with ideas,  goals and dreams.  Somewhere along the line I became complacent I guess, it was enough to work, come home, sleep and repeat ad nasauem.  I realized, during the second half of 2008 that I don’t like this way of thinking.  Life shouldn’t be about reacting, or just getting by.

I have started meeting with a friend who is a successful entrepreneur.  Of course the first time I met him he was a friend of one of my brother’s friends.  I think we were all between 14 and 17 maybe, they were all at our house.  I had an electric bass guitar that I was trying to learn how to play and this friend insisted he could tune it for me by ear.  I didn’t really want him to mess around with it, but I was too polite to tell him no and he ended up breaking one of the strings.  Now he is one of the most successful people I know and he has this great outlook on life.  So I asked him a couple of months ago if we could meet up for a beer and discuss some things.  Initially I really just wanted to pick his brain about some possible ideas I had for starting a business.  But over the last couple of months it has kind of turned into an evening where we discuss different ways that I can try new things.

That’s how this blog got started.  He basically challeneged me the last time we met to stop talking about all the things I’d like to try and to actually just do some of them.  Since that night I have totally changed how I view things.  Now instead of always coming up with ways that I need to have everything perfect before actually doing anything, I look for ways that I can just do it and see what happens.  This blog, my work bench are two great examples of this.

In the past I never would have built that bench.  I don’t really have any tools, I have never built anything before,  I don’t even know what to buy at Home Depot.  When I was buying the wood to build my garden frames I saw a magazine at the checkout, it’s about starting woodworking, there are plans for a sturdy workbench, an adirondack chair, a very nice book case and suggestions on tools for a starter woodshop.  From that magazine I started doing google searches looking for plans for an simpler workbench to build.  The bench in this magazine would have cost considerably more than the $30 I spent.  I am going to build it some day though.  Now I am looking for plans for things I can build for my daughter, things I can build for around the house, a desk for my home office.  I never would have seriously considered building things for myself and my family before.

I am happier these days, not so tired in the mornings, and more eager to do things.  It’s amazing really how just changing the way you look at thing can have such an impact on your day to day life.

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