The Meaning of Success

Photo Credit: leadershipidn.com

What is success?

It stills eludes me so. I take two steps forward, two steps back, lose my grip, fall down hard, but always get back up and try again. The grass is always greener. There’s always tomorrow. Failure is what makes me stronger, it is not a bad thing, it is an essential ingredient to any success story. And the more I fail the more I learn. The more I learn how not to fail.

It takes patience, skill to reach the plateau. I’m still fighting my troubles, my worries, and my demons. I want to get up there, up to the place where everything’s swell, where all the others bask in the glory, but a door always blocks my way. I try to get in, but am always rejected, being given a good kick to the shins. “Not yet,” a cold hard voice always shouts at me. And sometimes it’s a few stumbles back down the ladder, having to readjust and fix my mistakes.

I mistook success to be instant gratification, an overnight conversion, when in reality it’s a lifetime battle, a struggle against odds. I must perfect my craft if I am to move on. I must seize the dream I desire and start making it a reality. That must be my problem. I’ve never had any goals in mind. Life has always been a vague mystery to me. There’s always been a dark shadow looming over myself. I’m finally seeing the light though, a sense of direction. I’ll get there someday, just with the scars of many battles fought and setbacks experienced. My blogging experience for one has seen many posts trashed, hours wasted to only get nothing in return. Discouragement I get. I start to believe I’m a good writer and the infamous zeros stare back at me. I’m all of a sudden an amateur again, shades of 2013. This post is not just about that in general but about all the failures in my life that I have had to live with. I’ve gone to many job interviews in my life and so far only came back with one yes, which turned out to a total scam because everyone got “hired” right on the spot. My short stint as a sales rep selling knives I’m speaking of.

They always tell you as a kid you can grow up to be whatever you want to be, that the sky’s the limit to potential. Well, I’m just now figuring out what exactly that is. Is it a chef? A photographer? A designer? An engineer? A writer? A profound blogger? I’m taken some of the steps to reach my goals, learning valuable skills and lessons along the way. I’ve gone to college and graduated. I’ve gained valuable skills at an internship. The signs are finally being pointed in the right direction, the words becoming visible in my minds eye. Blurriness is subsiding. That grey matter of the unknown is finally disappearing. I no longer see the world in just black and white. It’s not just a simple yes or no but there are multiple avenues I can choose.

I have a one track mind. When I get to doing something, I can only focus on it and only it and exclude out everything else around me. When I’m in blog mode, it’s full concentration, my thoughts being channeled into my ideal inspiration. Any distractions throw my off completely. When I accidentally erase my entire post 500 words in and it can’t be recovered, I throw my hands up, the love put into all those words moot points then. When I’m deep into reading a good novel, any disturbances upset me and ruin my flow. When I’m in the middle of a tough battle in a video game, my full attention must be on not letting the enemy get the upper hand, not pinning me in a corner. Of course, video games aren’t real life. You can always die and try again. You can also cheat your way to success. A Up Up Down Up B.  In real life you go to jail for that.

So I’m finally figuring out success. Or success is finally figuring me out. It’s not what you gain in life that makes you great, it’s what brings you happiness each day you set about doing what you love. Money = success, yes, but without the joy and happiness that comes along with that wealth, and the friends and family to share it with, it is a cold lonely life for the individual. I would love to make lots of money doing what I love, but I would never want to outcast my family and never speak to them again.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Dictionary, Shmictionary.”

Time to confess: tell us about a time when you used a word whose meaning you didn’t actually know (or were very wrong about, in retrospect).


Inspiration Walk

InspirationThe clouds are an inspiration, how my thoughts are unwound,

Traveling slowly, slowly, my gaze from the ground;

Recalling spring days, when I was a little one,

When the storms would pass over, the rain relinquishing to fun

I walked that long lonely highway, the cars passing me by,

Felt the air shatter with noise, a great hawk’s cry;

The sun on the horizon, golden yellow tart,

A beautiful blue canvas, white fluffy art

My vision was great, my mind was relaxed

Looking for my inspiration, dullness of my tracks;

Looking through the clouds, for thy shape that is vast,

Darkness of the trees, evening approaching fast

The long stretching wires, electrical eeriness

I’ve found my safe haven, there’s no need to fear this

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Inspiration.”

Invented Is the New Reason

Those were the days…

Why do we always go after the products that are newly released and suddenly see our previous iterations as lesser and inferior? Why is it always “the next best thing” for us? Why do we develop nostalgia for the old things that are sitting there gathering dust as Mr. New gets all the attention?

Because in this world innovation never stops and there always pressure to keep selling and make money. Competition is fierce. Big companies can’t simply rely on their products to keep people’s interest and last forever. Software wears out, new technology is always on the rise. Why would anyone want to buy last years iPhone when the next one always features something better? Unless you’re short of cash, new is better. You want to be part of the in crowd. Trade in your old smartphone, because it sure as hell won’t be worth anything in a couple years.

Is it simply hype or is there a great incentive to always buying new things when they are introduced to the public?

Our many inventions are the reason why we are so far along in history now. Without all of these great innovations through time, we would still be stuck in the stone age, writing on tablets, cooking our food over fires. Without the telephone, we would still be clicking and clacking on a device that you have to learn another language to use. Without Bill Gates, I would surely be writing this blog on a Mac, for better or worse, the thought still in my head that windows are what birds crash into when they are so clean, they look non-existent.

My very first computer at home was a Windows 98 Hotwheels themed PC, targeted for the whole family. I believe it was bought in November or December of 1999 when I was 9 years old. It had a steering wheel and pedal device and an assortment of informative and entertaining games on CD with it. My favorite of those games was Stunt Track Driver but when the software suddenly wouldn’t load anymore, it became Myst, a really weird and mysterious game that I finally completed in 2011 (with cheats). There was also Kid Pix, a widely popular game among kids at the time. The bomb eraser and the undo button guy saying “Oh no!” are memories.

The computer didn’t last very long because of bugs and software issues, but it officially launched my interest into the technological aspects of computers. Now that I think of it, when was the last time I used a screen saver? You know, those images or text that would pop up after a set interval, used to prevent the annoying ghost image effect when the monitor was shut off? I vaguely remember the pipes and weird spinning sentences we would implement, the maze screensaver that I was a little afraid of, the picture of the inside of a computer tower that really peaked my interest and put my mind into imagination as to what made this fantastic machine work.

The machine got old and we had to move on though.

The next computer of ours came in 2001 with Windows XP, which seemed light years ahead of 98. I remember my mom pulling it out of the box and being so excited to see a flat screen monitor (that was innovative back then). Windows XP is where the Internet first became a major player in my life (and nearly everyone else’s). It was still dial-up back then but was fascinating nevertheless, unless someone picked up the phone and cut the connection off. This computer is also where Napster came and went. The screen met its great demise one night when my littlest of two sisters asked how to spell “Because”. When she didn’t get an answer right away, she punched and damaged the sensitive LCD screen, creating a big black spot in the corner with neon squashed pixel lines going down the side. Now I was forced to manuever the windows in order to close or resize them. That little incident always is brought up now and then and my sister and I just laugh like it was the good old days. XP is still kicking it, even after support from the faceless Microsoft gods ended. It was such a great system that still had so much life in it that a next big thing never seemed necessary. But it was and it happened.

In short summary, next came Vista (which I hardly remember except for the games), then Windows 7 (where I was introduced to a great site called YouTube and another thing called blogging), Windows 8 (where I was introduced to effective blogging) , and Windows 10. I’ve been a Windows user my entire life. There has never been the urge to switch to the mighty Mac even if the few times I used it seemed to blow my mind away.

New things keep on getting invented. That’s how human society continues to function and not get bored with itself.

Oh, I forgot one thing.

The best thing I’ve learned in nearly 20 years of computing.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “______ is the new ______.”

My blank space sources were from Angloswiss’ blog, one of my favorite blogs to read.


Welcome to Windows 10

In case you haven’t heard yet (I hope you have, mom and dad)…Windows 10 was officially launched today. As a small token of Microsoft’s appreciation, all or most current Windows 7, 8, and 8.1 users get a free upgrade to Windows 10. Microsoft is acting like this may be the last operating system they ever create, as if it’s the one to end them all and Windows will simply “learn” as you use it in the foreseen future. I kind of hope so. I don’t like the way Windows 11 rolls off my tongue.

But what I’m really excited about is one thing in particular. And it’s not quite dead yet. At least not for people still reliant on ActiveX and extensions. Microsoft has finally dethroned its bumbling old browser veteran of 20 years from the limelight, calling up a new kid named Edge. Move over, Internet Explorer, there’s a new sheriff in town and it looks like it took a page out of Chrome’s book (no pun intended).

Yes, Edge is supposed to live up to its name quite a lot, said to be on the edge of modern internet browser capabilities. You can even write on webpages now, little kids’ dreams finally coming true. Though the team could have had a little more imagination with the logo. It’s like Saturn lost its rings and shed some pounds at the gym:

It looks even happier…

For the actual installation of the system, I had to wait until 6:00 pm to get the email that contained my Windows 10 installation. I had just come back from eating at an authentic Mexican restaurant when the message appeared in my e-mail.

The installation ran all night and I eventually was too tired to sit through the whole thing. I don’t have any pictures of my transition to 2015 computing but I can tell you it was a thoughtful experience. Sit back and relax I was told, but I fell asleep on my way to awesomeness.

Update July 30th: Now I open up my newly christened Toshiba laptop and discover my login page, which looks a little different. The conversion from Windows 8 to Windows 10 is now complete and my first day with it looks very good indeed. I met Cortana today but she’s not quite the scary android assistant I had in mind though I got her to say my name. The feature image is of my new desktop after the transition from 8 to 10. Note about the Apple logo background: I do not at all endorse Apple products nor is it a quiet protest against Windows products.

I am blogging from the brand new Edge browser and just to show you how it is a step above the rest, here is a picture of something I wrote on my blog with it:


Will those words hold up for good? Only time can tell. But anyway, I would like to welcome my blog and WordPress to the Windows 10 world. Happy trails.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Simply the Best.”

The Titanic Sails Again

On the set of James Cameron’s 1997 romantic disaster film Titanic, I presented the beginnings of an alternate script I had worked up overnight. The director looked at it as if it were ridiculous, for which is was, but read it anyway:

A person from 2015 builds his own time machine and sets the date to April 12, 1912, the date of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. Of course, the guy has to look the part, so he researches and looks for clothes from the early 1900s, and is dressed like a dignified Englishman in time to arrive on the dock at Southampton. He even has an authentic ticket produced to reside in first class, for which he certainly is not of, but no one would be able to prove it otherwise.

Narration from the time traveler:

It was one of the most glorious and grandest ships in the world, and in early 1912, I was aboard it. The RMS Titanic, set to embark on a voyage to America. I was to reside in the bottom dorms of the ship, known as steerage, after mistakenly having a third class ticket produced, getting on with just one suitcase and trying to not act too modern (there was a smartphone in my backpocket for taking pictures and maybe wowing the passengers later on).

While walking the deck, I met a friend named Jack Dawson who was an excellent artist. He showed me some of his paintings, including those of women he met in Paris, many of them nude. Instead of waiting for the right moment, I warned him right there that the ship was to sink on its third day. He looked at me in disbelief and laughed and said I was crazy. “What makes you think that?”, he asked. “This is the best ship in the world. It can’t sink!”

“I can assure you that this ship is not built to withstand even a mild collision,” I replied and added, “you all are ignorant of the fact that sailing out on the Atlantic Ocean into the night is as dangerous as ever with communication so far away.”

“You all know that this ship is going to sink?”, Jack later asked during his dinner with Rose and her rich royalty, frightening everyone.

“What makes you think that?”, asked Cal with skepticism. “A friend told me. He says he’s from the future.” Of course, they all looked shocked at this statement.

“From the future? And you believe him?,” Cal said, casting a sideways glance at the person seated next to him, who too couldn’t believe this, his moustache twitching nervously.

“Well, if it means saving all our lives, I would say so.” They all just shrugged and dismissed all of the foolishness Jack said during the rest of the dinner as “hogwash”.

But after notifying the crew, they promptly took my advice to prepare for the worst, even getting a call out to another ship to come to their rescue if needed.

And just as it was to happen, the look out crew spotted the deadly iceberg on the chilly night of the 15th and had enough time to maneuver the ship past it after knowing about it far in advance. They, Jack and Rose, and some of the other passengers, including first class, all looked at me in astonishment. Some thanked me graciously, some patted me on the back, some looked at me as if I was an alien from another world, even if I was dressed like them.

“Is there anything else you know about the future?”, the Captain asked. “Of course. I’m from it,” I said and then added, “You guys really need to learn about Facebook.” And with that, I pulled out my smartphone and took a selfie with me and the Captain together, who looked at the device curiously.

So now the ship has been saved and history changed:

Jack lived and went on to marry Rose in America, raising a family in a Wisconsin log cabin. Cal was thrown in prison for attempting to murder Jack, eventually committing suicide by hanging himself. The Titanic went on a second voyage back to England in 1913, not avoiding the iceberg this time, as fate was angry and sprouted up an array of iceberg blockages. The ship hit one of the blockages head on though and survived the impact, the operators taking my advice to do so. A fire eventually broke out in the boiler-room, damaging but not sinking the ship in 1914. Instead of James Cameron’s movie being about the disaster of the Titanic, it was about a time traveler who goes back to warn the passengers and does the incredible. And about a ship that is cursed and narrowly avoids disaster every time it sails.

“Okay, this sounds great and all, but I’m not producing sci-fi here,” James Cameron said to me. “Please take your script somewhere else, maybe to Joss Whedon or Steven Spielberg.”

And so I did, and way and behold, Spielberg loved it so much (I think he was drinking something) that I worked on the script some more, working it into an official full length script. The movie was produced and was officially named “Back to the Future: Part IV: Saving the Titanic”. Michael J. Fox was even so excited that he agreed to reprise his role as Marty, his illness seeming to be magically cured. Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown even suggested turning the ship into a time machine boat.

And then I woke up. All just a dream.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fourth Wall.”

You get to spend a day inside your favorite movie. Tell us which one it is — and what happens to you while you’re there.

Freedom Rider

Photo credit: William Woodward – wheretowille.com

Unbound by life,
Cool breeze in my air,
Me and the highway,
Unbound, going anywhere

Unbound by family,
Just me and the wind,
Passing billboards,
Vegas: Maximum Win

The top is down,
Ironsides are spinning,
The fire in my eyes,
My true life is beginning

In my blue dream open,
The evening sky calm,
Inspirational songs,
No tension in my palms

And I just want to scream
And I might want to cry
The excitement in my heart
Not wanting this to die

And along that empty desert road
A freedom was found
A king and his car hit the ground

So I’ve always had dreams that I was racing along some road, maybe all by myself or frantically trying to weave through dangerous traffic. I can’t legally drive a car in real life because I still don’t have my license so it is still my dream someday to be able to go anywhere I want without first having to ask someone for a ride (which would help with finding a job in far flung places). God, I just love writing poetry!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This


Cee’s Which Way Challenge: 2015 Week #28

AirOur sharing air, great,
It’s available for all,
Multicycled men
whichway2015aA doorway to learning
Taking me away
Library of mindful freedom
libraryAnd now I leave
Satisfaction is done
Will return for
Tomorrows next mindful voyage
whichway2015The sign tells me so
I obey lofty command
Fire resists inside

Cee’s Which Way Challenge: 2015 Week #28

Stat Pressure

Check the stats! Check the stats!

This is always the thought in my head whenever I open up my laptop and hop onto the account of one of my favorite Internet hobby sites. There is usually a strong resistance to actually do that at first, the fear of being underwhelmed or disappointed coming about, but then the pressure and nagging gets to surmounting so high, the curiosity at a peak, that I must see what has happened since my last update.

The reason for my initial fear of checking my stats everyday is because I’m afraid of being met with either bad results for the day or no change at all. The worst feeling I think I get is the fear of there being absolute silence in my feed, getting ignored completely. This greatly applies to my Twitter where I usually get no retweets or favorites on my tweets, even if I thought I put out a rather humorous and pun filled tweet – but in the world of high stakes social media, you have to think very differently to capture people’s attention. It’s not just about thinking outside the box, it’s about reimagining the box. Is that clever? I don’t know.

I don’t always check the stats on this blog, preferring to not be overwhelmed (or disappointed) by the numbers and pressure to conform to a set standard. Sure, the numbers are a great help in assisting me on my journey through the blogging cosmos, knowing how to avoid the asteroids that deter my path to success and catch a gravitational pull that has me sailing along, but sometimes I like to create posts on my own merit. It’s a lot more exciting to think of ideas that you have no idea will work, just to have some creative experimenting.

I usually go two or three days, maybe even more, without clicking the bell icon in the corner of the screen. I’m usually afraid to click it, afraid to find out how recent posts of mine did. I want that nervous feeling to die down before I actually update myself. Sometimes the icon is clicked by itself, caused by a glitch in my browser when I type on the keys in the visual editor (the HTML tab works fine), to my annoyance but relief that’s it’s over.

I probably should check out the main stats page of my blog every day and check my notifications to stay on track and get inspiration, but I feel like I don’t have to, like it’s not necessary to always have a numbers guide for me to operate. But when I don’t do it, I feel like I’m not using all of the tools available to make me a great blogger, as if I’m crippling myself by cutting corners.

So the real moral of this post is that you have to use all the available tools given to you to ensure success, instead of just relying on guesswork. That’s why there are Stats pages, Analytics, and other things to help you be the best that you can be. Don’t avoid them if you can, because you’ll only be hurting yourself. Success on social media, including blogs, is tied a lot to what people really care about, and that is reflected in the stats that are collected on almost everything. The numbers do not lie. Listen to them.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Shoulda Woulda Coulda.”

Tell us about something you should do…but don’t.