Sunday, June 08, 2008

Cleaning up so Well

Hey, happy Father's day. I've got a post I could write about my dad, and I think I might sometime soon. But for now I just want to free-write a little bit, like I usually do.

My computer is in the basement now, since I'm going to be working for my brothers. This has its ups and downs. Last time I had my computer down here it changed my computer habits significantly. I spent less time on the computer because it was in a more remote location and there wasn't enough room for me down here. We've rearranged, so things are nicer this time around. I'm still set up so I can migrate my computer back upstairs with relative ease if I want to. I haven't decided if I want to commute with my computer or not. The moral of the story? I'm in a new location, and it always feels a little different typing in a new location.

I got back from PLC on saturday. PLC is Priest Leadership Conference, and it's pretty intense. I could go on for a really long time about what happened there, because it was pretty cool, but I don't think that I'm going to. The important thing to know about PLC is that it's something that is very inspiring to me. I've been to PLC three times- once as a participant, and twice as a leader. My participant year changed a lot of things for me. I was already a good kid and a hard worker, I felt, but it did a lot to motivate me to work harder in a lot of things, specifically cross country and blogging. I credit PLC with making me love cross country that summer between sophomore and junior year.

One of the biggest and most important parts of PLC is the flight plan. We have lessons about setting effective goals using the SMART method. It's the same method that's taught in adult roles at Taylorsville, but it's taught with a lot more power and practicality at PLC. We're then asked to think about it, and establish five or so goals that meet the criteria of SMART. They've got to be checked off by an adviser before they're signed off.

Now, this year we didn't do a good job as a staff at pushing the flight plan. When I write up my post-PLC report for the bigwigs, I'm going to be sure to mention it. The important thing to note, though, is that my flight plan for my participant year legitimately changed things for me. No questions about it, my flight plan made me a better person.

And so I'm working on writing my flight plan for this year. I didn't want to do it at PLC because I wanted more time to sit and think about it, to really establish what I want to do.

See, I know that my life is a sine graph. I've got ups and downs for everything, as I think all people do. Motivation is one of those things. At this point, I feel very motivated and capable of moving forward. I want to ensure that I am moving forward in the right things, however. I have a bit of a fear of commitment, and I know that making these goals is a pretty big commitment. I'm ready to work very hard at whatever I decide to work hard on, so I'm making sure that I make good choices.

I'm at a stage in my life where I can do a lot of things. The actions I take now will affect what happens in the future. The field is wide open here. This realization means two things. The first is that I'm in charge of my own destiny. The second is that action now means reward later, whereas inaction means nothing. Any action, even if it's not the perfect choice for me is better than no action.

And by action I mean taking steps to learn a new skill, to get better at something, to make some money, to work at anything. I'm thinking about investing in myself here. That's what I mean by action.

So I've had some ideas tossing about. I'm really thinking about committing to being on time to work every single day. I'm terrible at being tardy, and it's something I'd like to work on. Things are in the basement, so it's not hard to get here. The trouble is that my big brother is my boss, and things have been pretty lax in the past. It would be very easy to not worry about being strictly on time. I think that being on time so consistently would send a good message though, and bring quite a few benefits to the company. It's hard work that's not essential, but it might be a good idea. I'm not one hundred percent that it'll make the final list, but it's definitely a good contender.

I've thought a lot about public speaking lately too. I spoke in church the other day, and afterwards one of the guys in the ward invited me to go to toastmasters with him and one other guy. He's a motivational speaker/trainer, and so I listened up when he started talking to me about it. Apparently toastmasters is some nationwide not-for-profit organization that teaches public speaking stuff. I did some research, and it looks pretty cool. It's all group-run it looks like, and wouldn't cost me much. The guy I talked with told me that as a professional speaker, that's the best training he's ever got, and that's how he gets better. So I'm looking into going with them whenever I get the chance. I figure I'll always be speaking, just by the nature of the person that I am, so I think refining the skill would be a good idea.

So that's what really started me thinking about refining my skills this summer. Toastmasters is entirely out of my comfort zone, but it's something I feel like I want to do. I think I might set the goal to get out to toastmasters every chance I get. It'd be a weekly commitment, and I'd have to take a few hours off of work to be there (not a big deal). Toastmasters is a pretty good contender for the list.

One of the biggest things I've been thinking about has been blogging. For as much thinking and writing I do about blogging, I don't do as much blogging as one would expect. I made it a goal on my first flight plan to post once a week during that summer. I hit that mark, and I continued that minimum for a long time. Before my senior year, it was rare that I'd miss posting at least once a week. I've been much more spotty lately, but I'd be interesting in setting another goal like that. I don't want my personal blog to die.

I've been thinking about starting a professional blog as part of my skill refining work. Being able to write effectively is something that I've always been interested in doing. For a really long time, I've seen having an effective blog as a big part of what I want to do in order to be successful in the way I want to be successful. It really just seems to fit with my personality and current career goals.

So I want to start a professional blog, and I think it'd be good for a few reasons. The first is that blogging and writing professionally is something that I'm not that good at, and I'd like to start practicing now so I can gain the skill. The second is that I could learn more about a certain topic if I chose to blog about it. If I chose to blog about personal fitness, for example, I'd obviously have to research and experiment in order to make it work. Gradually, I could become an expert on what I wrote about. As a third reason, I think that having a blog would increase my net worth. I think it could help me career wise. It'd be a good way for me to market myself, I feel, and it could potentially help me make helpful connections.

Now, all of that is just incredibly wishful thinking, I know. I'd probably have a pretty terrible blog at the start. A professional blog is a whole lot different from a personal blog like this one. The fundamental ideas are the same, I suppose, but the writing style and relationship with the audience would be a lot different. It'd be something I've never done before, and so it'd take some practice to make it work out. I'd have to find a topic, and then experiment with lots of stuff to try to make things fly. I talked with my brother Michael about it, as well as Nickmo, and I've got a few ideas that I might want to try.

So it's not a guarantee, but if I do decide it's what I want to do, I feel like I'm ready to give it a serious shot. If it makes the flightplan, you can count on me working at it for at least the summer. Serious blogging is a skill I'd like to develop, and I feel like this is the best way for me to do it.

If I do go for it, I'm thinking that the blog will focus on my quest to understand business. I use business as a filler word for a lot of things, "That pizza was good business!" but this time I actually mean business. Like, "I'm majoring in business!" business.

So, yeah, that might just be forthcoming in the near future. No matter what happens, I'm going to be doing a better job keeping up with the personal blog. It's important to me, like I've always said. Me and James talked about the blog for a few moments at PLC, actually. He said that my posts lately haven't been as fulfilling, because they are lacking the insight that my sophomore year posts had. I interpret this to mean that I'm talking less about ideas and feelings, and more about solid business. I think that my writing had value because I was really trying to understand the world around me, pondering and all that. So I'm going to make an attempt to come here and write more often, and to write with a little more quality.

Life's a little different now, but the basic principles that have always governed success are going to continue to govern success.

I'll be honest- I'm always very wary of success. There are things in my life that are very important to me. My spirituality is one of those things. I always worry that as I strive to be successful in this world of men, I'm going to forget what is really important. I'm going to write in the near future about success. But, well, I don't want to be one of those guys that chases something his whole life and isn't fulfilled. I know what brings me personal fulfillment, and success isn't it.

But that's not to say that success shouldn't be pursued. It just means that I need to work hard to remember what's really important. It's something that I don't want to lose sight of this summer, or anytime for that matter.

As things change, like they're doing now, it's important for me to keep that focus. I feel very motivated right now to move forward with my life. I just hope that this stuff doesn't distract me from what's important.

Anyways, that's my freewrite for the evening. I'm going to work to post more often here, like I said. Let me know what's going on, friends. I'll catch you all later, I hope you're doing well.