RUNNING ON EMPTY: TRYING TO DO TOO MUCH AT ONCE

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“Take it easy people.”


Have you ever had the feeling like you’re operating on fumes. And what do I mean by fumes. I mean people who spend their days running from one place to another; whether it’s running errands for the house or tending to your children. For me, I am pursuing a career as an artist, so I am all over the map. But let me break down the type of artist. I came to New York City pursuing a career in screenwriting/filmmaking in the year 2011. And since then, I have written two books, made two short films, and wrote nearly ten screenplays as a practice to get better as a writer. Oh, and let’s not forget the two blogs I started on WordPress and Medium, with photography and podcasting coming in the year 2018. So as you can see, I am all over the map. But there is more structure to my work than you might expect.

But with the structure comes the feeling of running on empty. That feeling you get when trying to accomplish too much at once. So, you have to sit back and assess situations; come to the conclusion on what needs to be done first. Prioritizing is very important when trying to figure out your task at hand. Knowing what you should be working on, and what will aid you in getting to where you have to go faster and more efficient. Like I said before, you might think I am doing a lot, but I am a very productive person. But for those that are less productive, they could use a little assistance in the areas where I am typically strong. Here are a few pointers for working smarter so you have less stress and more energy.

THE MARATHON METHOD

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When I am working, I utilize my time like someone running a marathon. You don’t run a marathon all out because that is virtually, if at all possible. You must race to stay with the pack, at times putting a little burst of speed to keep the other runners on their toes. But also you’re putting yourself into position as well, not to mention anticipating the strength of the other people around you. And that is how I work; make sure to put enough into your work, then slow down a little bit. Give yourself time to assess the work you have done thus far. And if it’s going to be a long day, I typically go hard early, then coast a little bit; opening up my stride throughout the afternoon. And if I am working through the evening, then I reignite like earlier in the day. People wonder where my energy comes from, it’s because I know how to work smarter not faster. But I also have learned over the years the limitations of my body.

PLAN AHEAD

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Have a plan for what you’re going to be working on the day of. This might be the night before, days, or even weeks earlier. For me, I like to walk great distances to the computer lab at my former graduate school where I contribute to my blog and write my screenplays. This way, it gives me time to think about a particular topic for when I sit down and start. Now what’s interesting about me, is that I don’t think about a topic to write. Thinking about a topic to write, makes writing harder for me. When I want to plan my day for writing, I think about something totally unrelated to writing, so once I sit down to write, I have a topic to write about.

KNOWING YOU MEANS A MORE SUCCESSFUL YOU

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A big, big understanding you must have of yourself is a strong sense of self awareness. Know what your mind and body can take as you work. I am someone who can work all day everyday, and rarely get tired. But that is me, you might work a different way. Now notice I said work all day everyday, but I didn’t say on what I was working on. My day consist of me working on a few chosen projects, maybe even one if I feel I can be more productive with the one. I never try to put too much on my plate at one time. All that does is cause unnecessary stress and tension that you don’t have to have in your life. So only carry a load in which you know you can hold.

POSSIBILITIES: In the end, knowing how to manage your time and stress levels can lead to a more prosperous and satisfying life. Too often, we try to cram everything in at once because we have this tomorrow is not promised to us mentality. And to an extent, we are not promised tomorrow, but on average, we are given another day. So when you try to cram so much in, in one day, you inevitably drain yourself for the next day. You become less productive and less efficient, thus feeling as if you’re running on empty.


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MEGA CITIES: HOW THE AMERICAN LANDSCAPE WILL CHANGE OVER TIME

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“The exodus within a civilization.”


In the future to come, we know that the United States will take on a major cultural shift. But what about the geographical shift that will take hold. Over the next few decades we’re going to see the country move in a direction that is in more alignment with our major cities getting bigger and the small cities and towns shrinking. The reason being is that younger generation are leaving small towns and older generations are dying.  So places with populations like New York City with a metropolitan population of close to 30 million people could see itself rising to as much as 60 – 70 million people. This will cause the wealth will be highly centralized in these bigger cities. Places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Houston, and Washington D.C. could be our new mega cities. Cities that will be nothing but high rises.

But on the other hand, what could this do to the social landscape of America? In New York city, there are so many people of so many different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds, people tend to have conflict. It’s easy to say diversity, but with diversity comes so many other challenges. And not to mention the educational aspects of how America will shift. These universities that consist of 30,000; 40,000; and some 50,000 students could climb into the six figure range. And with the cost of college increasing, maybe in some of these mega cities the cost could decline because of the highly populated numbers already bringing money into institutions. Or , the fact that mega cities exist might make people want to go into the smaller areas for college. There are other issues associated with these mega cities as well.

Well, crime for starters; on top of the already criminal element in these major cities. You will see people moving in that are new to the cities, who want to establish themselves in the criminal underworld. So now there will be an influx of law enforcement because we could see the criminals coming into the landscape. And on top of that, the poverty could increase because with technology moving to scale, now you have a less need for human labor. Coincidentally, this is an aspect of life prompting people to move to major cities in the beginning. Now that people are already here, there is this new element of poverty. So people will basically leave poverty in search of a better life, ending up in even worse poverty. But with all the problems, what would be the benefits of having these major mega cities, a lot.

In the end, there are a lot; a whole lot of opportunities to utilize land more. In America, with these mega cities, you will have more room for growth of crops for harvest because so much American land is not utilized. We could see ourselves becoming exporters once again. We could also see these major cities as a way to monitor more of what is going on in our country. With so many citizens living in one area, and fewer outside, then the ability to contain major problems is efficient. Also, with so many people in one area you’re getting the best of everyone, creating more innovative ideas, which could ultimately grow the country at a much higher scale than now.


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FIGURING OUT YOUR FUTURE: HOW PLANNING EARLY CAN AID IN YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS

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“Cross the bridge now, so you won’t have to worry later.”


We have all been told as it pertains to our futures to plan early on in life. Though planning does not guarantee that everything will go according to plan, but at least you have a template for how to move yourself ahead in life. If you don’t have a plan, you will find yourself in a rut, and can’t seem to get past wherever you’re currently at in your space in time. For example, you might sit down and create a laid out plan for after college while you’re in college. Does that mean once you graduate from undergraduate school you will have this great career. No, but it does mean that once your college years are over you have some type of road map for where you want to be in life. And back to the rut, what do I mean by the rut.

In my opinion regarding the rut, when you have not properly prepared for a future in whatever it is you want to do, you get down on yourself. And then you start to see people around moving in directions toward their perspective careers. Meaning if you want to get a job working for a great company, then you should mostly likely get yourself an internship in college. Connect with like minded people who you feel can aid you in your future growth. And that future growth will mean that you are setting yourself up for things to happen; success being one of those things. And if you are not setting yourself up for success, then I don’t know what you are setting yourself up for in life. Sounds like a lot of work, but that in a nutshell is life. A lot of work, a lot small victories, that will get you in the space where you want to be.

Some still might be a little shaken up regarding how do they move forward in life. Where do you really start when pursuing a career. Put it this way, if I want a job working in finance, and I am college student, the first thing I would do is read up on the economy. Learn to read the market, and also take courses that will aid in you graduating from college. That literally means majoring in economics or finance. But while in college, I would say you try your best to get an internship working in finance. Now does that mean you will be learning finance, chances are no. (Isn’t that a joke, not learning finance in a finance internship). But when you meet people in the financial world, they may refer you to other internships or even recommend you to jobs. Another “ship,” that would suit you would be a fellowship and an apprenticeship.

You want to also prepare yourself for graduate programs by taking standardized testing to get into a good grad school. Now, all of what I have said prior is real, but may not always work out that way. Because me for example, I went to grad school for my MBA, yet I am pursuing a career as a writer. So anything can happen along your journey, but even with my writing I have a plan. So in the end, plan, even if the plan does not pan out that way. Because it’s like the old saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”


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Oops Mom and Dad, Sorry To Disappoint

Graduate from high school, go to college, spend four years trying to figure out what to do. Leave college get a job while working on your Masters Degree. Attain your degree, try to get a better job afterward. Settle into a job, wake up early in the A.M., get to work by 9:00 A.M. Work until your lunch break at 12:00 P.M. Come back form your lunch break, work until 5:00 P.M., then come home. Cook dinner, go to sleep; do this for five days per week. Wake up on Saturday and lounge around, or do shopping. On Sunday, go to church, leave service and go out to eat. Come home and rest until it’s time for you to go to sleep. You do this from your mid/late 20’s until you retire at age 65 years of age. Once you retire spend your days sitting in a rocking chair and then you die. You are expected to live like this and if you don’t, you’re considered irresponsible. But to me, I felt this was not how I want to live my life. I am embarking on my journey of prosperity as well as happiness. I wonder how may people are happy living their day-to-day existence.

My life is something different and sets me aside from the norm. I did all the things up until the point except after undergraduate school, putting myself on a collision course with another path. I graduated high school, went off to undergraduate school, but veered off course once I got to graduate school. Entering graduate school pursuing my MBA, I was still up in the air regarding my future. Finishing my first screenplay during this time period while going on job interviews made me realize my true passion. Filmmaking made me understand this is where I belong as well as writing my books. It gave me the ability to do something that I could not do on a daily job; and that was being honest and open. When you work a day, there is so much censorship that you don’t worry about being an independent writer. You are expected to put on a suit and tie, and conform to the control of a supervisor; who by the way has the freedom you are restricted form having. That freedom they have and control over your life made me realize the construct I would have to work within. It has nothing to do with real structure, but more about a few individuals having a position of control over the majority. And if you even question something you disagree with, you are reprimanded for insubordination for the questioning.

So what do parents have to do with all of this; simple, following your passion is highly discouraged. Parents want their children to go to school, get out, shut up, follow the status quo, get your pay check, and go home. But when you are unhappy regarding your situation, they are puzzled. Everyone expects you to fall in line, but can’t figure out why it’s so depressing. Unlike most, I have decided to follow my passion: filmmaking, writing novels, and photography. You would think people who be behind you, but you receive more discouragement than encouragement. What’s shocking is that your are not hanging around doing nothing, yet you are looked at as some young person wasting your life. Stepping out and creating a career rather than taking a job is seen as some sort of let down. You have not chosen the road most take and because of that you have failed; failed your parents, your family, your friends, and society. How come no one sees your vision? Why is it seen as a waste of life? Because people assume they can’t do it so you can’t, or the difficulty is such that most fail and few succeed.

The reason for the most part that parents are resistant is because taking a job is an easier way out. There is not only a plan, but a process from school to work to retirement. “Play life safe,” they tell you. The only problem with this, is that playing life safe won’t lead to satisfaction in life nor will it lead to higher returns in your career. It’s tough coming from parents because that is what they are suppose to do. It’s their job to be that overbearing because they have been through the greater portion of life. They know what comes with entering the world and what will be expected of you. What’s funny about all of this I have explained, is that in the end, they respect you more when you carve out your future. It’s confusing because not listening to your parents is a sign of disobedience, yet you have to veer off from their guidance sometimes. Why, well they are not living this life, you are. You have to do what makes you happy because your happiness is key to your stability both financially and economically. Trust me, when do succeed at what it is you’re pursuing, they will respect you more. They will know that what you have talked up is not just some pipe dream, but yet a future you have so diligently worked at. And for that they will say I am proud of you.