Category Archives: Facing Fears

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Why it really matters

There have been mixed reactions to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos. Some people find them gimmicky, some people find them cute, some people don’t care at all.

First of all, what is ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND), Charcot disease, and, in the United States, Lou Gehrig’s disease—is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. It is characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.Roblox HackBigo Live Beans HackYUGIOH DUEL LINKS HACKPokemon Duel HackRoblox HackPixel Gun 3d HackGrowtopia HackClash Royale Hackmy cafe recipes stories hackMobile Legends HackMobile Strike Hack

Anthony Carbajal (the man in this video) not only participates, but has something else to say too. I will warn you, this video gets very serious, but I think it’s important to not forget the reality of this disease.

As Anthony points out, ALS afflicts a small portion of the population, so drug companies aren’t as inclined to try and develop a cure because it won’t be as profitable. But people are still suffering, and dying, from ALS, and they absolutely deserve any support you can give them. Consider sharing this video, not to scare or upset people, but to remind them that for all the “cute” ice bucket challenge videos, what are we really trying to address.

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Director : Morgan Simon.
Writer : Morgan Simon.
Release : January 25, 2017
Country : France.
Production Company : Kazak Productions.
Language : Français.
Runtime : 91 min.
Genre : Drama.

Movie ‘A Taste Of Ink’ was released in January 25, 2017 in genre Drama. Morgan Simon was directed this movie and starring by Kevin Azais. This movie tell story about Vincent, still of tender age, has already tattooed most of his body and hoarsened his voice with his post-hardcore band – his way of venting his frustrations and desires. Ever since his mother died, he shares his time between Porte de Clignancourt and Bastille, between a piercer job he is unhappy with and his fishmonger father, Hervé, who is trying to start a new life with a younger woman named Julia. Vincent is initially appalled by the woman, with whom his father has ‘betrayed’ his mother, but the more they get to know each other, the more he becomes intrigued by the beautiful and empathetic woman. Unlike his father, she shows interest in him, even attending one of his gigs. What starts out as a potential way of reconciling with his father soon implodes.

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Director : David Moreau.
Writer : David Moreau.
Producer : Abel Nahmias.
Release : February 8, 2017
Country : France.
Production Company : StudioCanal, Echo Films, Scope Pictures.
Language : Français.
Runtime : 76 min.
Genre : Drama, Fantasy.

Movie ‘Alone’ was released in February 8, 2017 in genre Drama. David Moreau was directed this movie and starring by Sofia Lesaffre

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Daily Habits That Will Make You Smarter

Business Insider has an article,  which was culled from a Quora thread .

Here is the list they distilled (check out the thread or the article for the meat of each point)

1. Come up with 10 ideas every day.
2. Read the newspaper.
3. Play devil’s advocate.
4. Read a chapter in a fiction or non-fiction book.
5. Instead of watching TV, watch educational videos.
6. Subscribe to feeds of interesting information.
7. Check in with your favourite knowledge sources.
8. Share what you learn with other people.
9. Make two lists: a list of work-related skills you want to shadowsocks教程 learn now and a list for things you want to achieve in the future.
10. Make an “I Did” list.
11. Write down what you learn.
12. Stimulate your mind.
13. Take online courses.
14. Talk to someone you find interesting.
15. Hang out with people who are smarter than you.
16. Follow your questions.
17. Use a word-of-the-day app.
18. Do something scary.
19. Explore new areas.
20. Play “smart” games.
21. Set aside some time to do nothing.
22. Adopt a productive hobby.
23. Apply what you learn.

How many do you feel apply to you?

Some of these I do on a weekly basis, but not daily. If I count both daily and weekly, I give myself 19/23.

Listen to a Conservative Republican mother tell the story of her transgender daughter

You know, often the most compelling and convincing stories are ones that are truly personal and genuine perspective changes. I’ve been fortunate enough to have several in my life, and when I come across them, I try to share for the benefit of others.

Here’s a really beautiful story from a mother defending critics of her Transgender daughter. Politics be damned, the phrase “unconditional love” comes to mind.

For your convenience, I’ve typed out the transcript as well:

I’m the mom of a little girl called AJ, who was recently profiled in the Kansas City Star. As surprised as I was to find my family in the paper, I’m also incredibly proud.

My daughter is six years old. She transitioned, which means she changed her outward appearance from male to female, and started living full time as her true gender, when she was four.

Until that point, she was quite a rough and tumble little boy with a buzz cut and a shark tooth necklace. But when she was three, she asked her dad and I if we could buy her a princess dress.

We didn’t buy the dress.

We thought she might be going through a stage of liking bright or sparkly things, and didn’t want to waste money on something she would grow bored of in a week. But she kept asking, and I found out that she had a favourite princess dress she wore at daycare.

What the heck we thought, and we took her to the store to pick one up. Things didn’t stop there. Over the next few months she started to wear that dress every single minute that she was at home. And then she asked for more. Dresses, nightgowns, headbands, sparkly pink shoes. And eventually, even girl’s underwear.

We allowed some of those things, but we drew the line at the undies. There were just some things we weren’t comfortable with during this phase.

But then I noticed her pushing down on her genitals a lot, and I asked her what was wrong. Not having those parts, I assumed she might have a rash and was itchy, but her answer shocked me.

She said that they bothered her, and were in the way. She wanted them gone.

Thank god for google, because I immediately jumped on the computer and typed in a search “four year old boy says genitals should be gone”. What came back was a very short list of results, but they all pointed to one thing. My child might be transgender.

I had never even heard the word transgender before and really didn’t know what to think. We made an appointment with our pediatrician. She recommended a child psychologist. But before we could even get an appointment, my daughter, then my four year old son, said these words to me: “Mom, you know I’m really a girl right? I’m a girl on the inside”

That moment changed my life.

In the following months she became more insistent. We saw the psychologist and an endocrinologist just to make sure there wasn’t a hidden medical issue. She became more determined to express herself by wearing those pink sparkly shoes to daycare. She wanted to go out for ice cream in a fairy dress and wings.

Eventually we couldn’t hold her back. She was showing signs of depression and refused to leave the house dressed as a boy. The day I let her go to school in girl clothes she was happier than I had seen in a very long time. The kids were great, and the teachers were awesome.

But then the kids went home and told their parents, and they weren’t so great after that. Adult bigotry had influenced them.

We lost most of our friends and some of our family. We basically went into hiding for about a year while my daughter grew out her hair to look like the girl she is. When we emerged again, it was with a very happy and confident daughter.

When I share our daughter’s story, I hear the same uninformed comments over and over again, so I’d like to address a few of those now.

One. We are liberals pushing a gay agenda.

Nope, sorry, I’m a conservative southern baptist republican from Alabama.

Two. We, or at least I, because they always blame the mom, wanted a girl, she we turned our child into one.

Again no, I desperately wanted boys. The idea of raising a girl in today’s world scares me to death. I’d *much* rather be responsible for raising a good boy who knows how to treat girls well, then to be responsible for raising a girl who might only be interested in dating bad boys.

Three. Kids have no idea what they want or who they are. My kid wants to be a dog, should I let him?

Well, that’s up to you but I wouldn’t. There’s a profound difference between wanting to be something in imaginary play and declaring who you are insistently, consistently and persistently. Those are the three markers that set transgender children apart, and my daughter displayed all of them.

Four. Kids shouldn’t have to learn about sex at such a young age!

Well, I agree, so it’s a good thing that being transgender has nothing to do with sex. Gender identity is strictly how a person views themself on the inside and is completely separate from who we are attracted to.

Five. Transgender people are perverts and shouldn’t be in the bathroom with “normal people”.

I don’t know what you go into the bathroom to do, but I know what my daughter goes in there for and it isn’t to look around. It’s to go into a stall, lock the door, and pee where no one else can see her.

Six. God hates transgender people. They are sinners and going to hell.

My God taught us to love one another. Jesus sought out those who others rejected. Some people choose to embrace biblical verses that appear to say transgender people are being wrong. I choose to focus on verses like verse Samuel 16:7 which 嘉盛集团 says “what the lord said to Samuel, do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him. The lord does not look at the things that people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.

My daughter is a girl in her heart. She knows it. God knows it. And that’s good enough for me.

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Title : Fifty Shades Darker
Release : February 8, 2017
Language : English.
Runtime : 118 min.
Genre : Drama, Romance.
Stars : Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Eloise Mumford, Bella Heathcote, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes, Victor Rasuk, Max Martini, Bruce Altman, Kim Basinger, Marcia Gay Harden, Andrew Airlie, Robinne Lee, Amy Price-Francis, Fay Masterson, Carmen Dollard, Bill Dow, Ashleigh LaThrop, Julia Dominczak, Shiraine Haas, Paniz Zade.

When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.

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“I’m just handing out sticks, you’re the one surviving”

Came across this via social media recently (original), and loved it so much I had to share it. Having been to see a therapist/counsellor during a couple of rough times in my life, I am 100% in favour of seeking help when you feel you need it, and not being ashamed of it.

giving-out-sticksI don’t like the phrase “a cry for help”. I just don’t like how it sounds. When someone says to me, “I’m thinking about suicide, I have a plan: I just need a reason not to do it,” the last thing I see is helplessness.

I think: Your depression has been beating you up for years. It has called you ugly, and stupid, and pathetic, and a failure, for so long that you’ve forgotten that it’s wrong. You don’t see any good in yourself, and you don’t have any hope.

But still, here you are: You’ve come over to me, banged on my door, and said “Hey! Staying alive is REALLY HARD right now! Just give me something to fight with! I don’t care it it’s a stick! Give me a stick and I can stay alive!”

How is that helpless? I think that’s incredible. You’re like a marine: trapped for years behind enemy lines, your gun has been taken away, you’re out of ammo, you’re malnourished, and you’ve probably caught some kind of jungle virus that’s making you hallucinate giant spiders. And you’re still just going, “GIVE ME A STICK. I’M NOT DYING OUT HERE.”

“A cry for help” makes it sound like i’m supposed to take pity on you, but you don’t need my pity. This isn’t pathetic. This is the will to survive. This is how humans lived long enough to become the dominant species.

With NO hope, running on NOTHING, you’re ready to cut through a hundred miles of hostile jungle with nothing but a stick, if that’s what it takes to get to safety.

All I’m doing is handing out sticks.

You’re the one staying alive

Mike Rowe gives life advice far better than I do

I’m not intentionally posting so many life advice posts lately, it’s just one of those periods where the patterns converge and I go where they tell me.

In case you aren’t familiar with the name, Mike Rowe is most famous for hosting the TV show “Dirty Jobs”, where (you guessed it) he works some of the toughest, dirtiest jobs around, and shows/tells us what it’s like.

Apparently he got a question from a fan recently, and it really made me stop and think about my own life, in a way that not even the INFJ dilemma post had.

I generally try not to re-post entire articles from other sites, but in this case I feel I must, but I will of course link to the original: “A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Life Advice… His Response Is Truly Brilliant”.

So, the post starts with the fan’s question:

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

– Parker Hall

Mike’s response is elegant and simple. It can resonate with a wide range of people. He weaves it all together so well I’m honestly jealous.

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

The beginning. We’re just warming up.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”
“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”
“Not my type.”
“Really? How do you know?”
“I just know.”
“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.”
“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”
“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”
“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”
“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”
She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Boom. That one got me right in the existential gut. This “Claire” is also true of me. It used to be both in the romantic and professional sense, but now I’d say it’s moreso just in my work life. I love the city I live in, I want to travel a bit, but I don’t want to move somewhere else and stay there. Mainly because I don’t know if they will have the same things there that I enjoy here. But maybe that means I’m too comfortable. I’ve learned over the last few years that when you go out of your comfort zone is when you learn the most, and when you rediscover what it truly takes to be happy (often it’s not things either). I have gone out of my comfort zone a lot more, but maybe I need to do it locationally again soon.

Lastly:

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck –
Mike

In other words, “no excuses”. Thank you Mike, you’ve given me a hearty bone to chew on.

As always, I post it here if I think it’s interesting or helpful.

“Should a scanner run their own business?”

Someone found my blog by using that search term, and I was admittedly a little sad that I don’t really have a good answer for that here. For those not in the know, a scanner is a modern name for a “polymath” – someone who has a lot of interests and skills and isn’t content to do just one thing with their time.

I tried to start my own business in college (a low-maintenance recording studio in my mom’s basement), but I didn’t realize that at that point I completely lacked the necessary social and business skills to be successful. I folded the business 3 months later feeling like it was one of the stupidest things I had ever attempted, and told myself I would never do that again. That was in 2007.

In the last couple of years, as I’ve been “working for the man”, there have of course been times where I’ve longed for a bit more freedom and have felt my entrepreneurial spirit be rekindled enough that I’ve questioned whether or not I might actually want to try again. I feel like I know much better now, and have many of the skills I lacked back then.

Can I be my own boss? I kind of am, right now. I give myself tasks and projects and prioritize and execute as I see fit. Kind of like “I want all these things to happen or get done. I don’t care how you do it, self, but figure it out”.

But I feel like I am bad at freelancing. I was a freelance bookkeeper briefly a few years back and it was one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever had. I find that working style of always running around between clients and having to remember details for so many different projects very stressful and draining.

But it’s weird because but in a way I am freelancing between my various unpaid hobby projects, and while that can be tiring, it generally isn’t stressful. And I guess it’s not hard to remember the details of different projects when they are my projects. There’s also a big difference between freelancing in an admin role and freelancing in a creative role. At least I think there is, and I think I could be a lot better at one than the other. I think I could be a great contract maintenance guy (if I had the skills).

To be honest though, now that I’ve once again rebooted my interview podcast, I do feel like I would enjoy being a freelance radio interviewer/journalist (except I am pretty sure I would never get paid for that without some actual credentials). That’s the closest thing to true freelancing that I do presently. I decide who I want to interview, I reach out to them, I schedule and facilitate the interview, manage the tech, moderate the conversation, make production notes, edit and produce the episode, upload it, update the feed and promote. I really enjoy that I am part of the entire process, it really makes me feel accomplished.

So part of me wants to freelance (or rather, it would be awesome to get some kind of compensation for my labours of love), but I think I am only capable of functioning in that style/routine under certain circumstances/in certain fields. And of course there’s the issue of “real-world” deadlines. I do have some deadlines – I recently volunteered to help host and moderate a monthly discussion group for a non-profit, so for that I have to do research and prepare a topic with questions and supporting information. But it is a loose/soft deadline, and maybe that’s why it serves more as a healthy motivation than a stressful deterrent.

I also admit I still do a lot of things last minute, despite being one of the most punctual people you’ll ever meet. That’s sort of a way to trick myself with a self-instituted deadline, but the result is the same – when I need to I can produce the output on short notice. I guess this allows me to relax more between those pockets of crunch?

For the moment, I am still avoiding taking on too much responsibility by not trying (very hard) to turn any of my scanner projects into paying projects. I think as soon as money is involved, the stakes get much higher and it stops being fun (thus I no longer want to do it). I’m conducting my life as a freelancer/entrepreneur to trick myself into functioning like one, but without the financial reward. I do consider myself very fortunate that I don’t hate my day job, and that I have found a very good balance between it and all the things I do for fun but free.

So I guess I can’t really answer the question posed, I can only answer it for myself, because I know me and what works for me. However, to attempt to answer, I would say you should definitely try. Read some books on entrepreneurship (for instance, “The E Myth”, which is pretty good, though I do have a couple issues with some of the wisdom/advice presented in that book), and you could always go request informational interviews with someone who does what you are interested in doing (that’s pretty much why I started my podcast last year).

If I hadn’t tried and failed so hard back in college, I wouldn’t have the hindsight to realize all the gaps in my skillset that I’ve filled and all the totally new skills I’ve picked up as well. I have a really good idea of how I am useful and what I am capable of. I believe I have the necessary skills to be a freelancer, the question is more can I find an area of work where it gels?

So reader, I’m not sure if this answers your question, but I hope it helps at least a little bit. Some people start businesses before they’re ready, and the pressures force them to learn fast and get good enough to make it work. Others will try and fail several times before they find the right thing that works. It’s funny I’ve heard more than one artistic friend say they are “broken in just the right way” to do the thing they love to do, even though the pay isn’t great, the hours are long and it’s physically challenging sometimes. So in part, it comes down to “how bad do you want to do X thing?”. I want to do my various hobbies bad enough that I do them regardless of financial gain, I just happen to be fortunate enough to have a “day job” that I don’t hate, that can pay the bills.

UPDATE – April 13, 2014. I was just reading a discussion on Quora called “As a startup founder, do you ever think you might have had a happier life as an employee?“. The top answer (As of this writing) is “Yes”. Several reasons are given, but here is the part that struck me:

Being a successful founder rewires your brain.  It makes you far sharper, far more insightful, far more able to understand the whole of how a business works.  But it does change Happiness.  If you aren’t ready for that, don’t do it.

I find just being a scanner/polymath has had the same effect. I feel much sharper, I learn quickly… and I notice problems, flaws and deficits much faster as well. I would suggest that for each thing I “fix”, I find at least 5 more things that are broken or need to be tweaked. If I started my own business, I would probably become forced to specialize more, and that is really what I am trying to avoid.

This is part of why I love reading other points of view on some subjects, because they may provide me with the perspective I need to really make the choice that is best for me.

There’s socially awkward, and then there’s creepy. It’s an important difference.

I was recently turned onto a blog called Dr. Nerdlove. That latest article (at least as I write this) is titled “Socially Awkward Isn’t An Excuse”. I think this is a fantastic article for anyone who isn’t so great with the social skills. It may help your self-awareness and learning to better moderate your behaviour and interactions.

Believe me, I was one heck of a socially awkward duck as a teenager (I have some seriously embarrassing stories I could tell). It took me 6 months just to build up the courage to talk to a girl I thought was cute (this is not an exaggeration, I swear). I would start classes in September, get a crush on a classmate, and if I was *lucky*, I’d manage to say more than “Hi” to her by April. In fact, I asked out one of my best friends when I was in college, and I was so awkward about it that she had no idea that I was asking her out. I told her later and she was like “you asked me out? when?!“. In her defense, “I’d like to hang out with you more often” is definitely not the same thing as “I like you romantically and would like to go on a date with you”.

As guys, I think we are given the impression by TV and movies (and the often sleazy and creeptastic “Pick Up Artist” movement) that men have to be direct and aggressive (and not take no for an answer, and be really degrading), but when you honestly don’t know what to say or how to say it, it’s easy to make some really epic screw-ups. I have chased countless women away and got really frustrated, until I just forced myself to slow the heck down, and try to be honest (and a little bit of humility can go a long way!). It was definitely hard at first, and I wasn’t sure if it would work. As my friend Heather puts it “make a clear statement of intent, giving them the ability to easily opt out”. Oh, and don’t freak out or be deflated if they say no!

Anyway, this article basically sums it up like this:

Here’s the thing about the socially awkward: they don’t want to trip over people’s boundaries. You can almost always track the exact moment they realize that they’ve done something wrong by the way they desperately try to backtrack, apologize and generally try to reassure the other person that they didn’t mean to and they’re so embarrassed and are kind of freaking out and, and, and…

You know what you don’t see? You don’t see them justifying their behavior. Or turning it around and making it about the person whose boundaries they just blew past.  They don’t rely on social pressure – either through making a scene or through other people justifying their actions for them – to make the other person submit to their demands. They don’t argue that the other person is obligated to forgive him, to give him a second chance or otherwise pretend that the awkwardness just didn’t happen. Creepers and predators rely on other people insisting that their social awkwardness is a mistake because it gives them cover. When the “socially awkward” exception is in play, other people are less likely to call him out on his creepy behavior .2 It becomes a way of isolating somebody from potential allies and tricking others – people who might otherwise object to his bad behavior and assist his target – into being complicit in his actions. The Awkward Exemption teaches other people to tolerate, even expect creepy behavior… and to forgive it because hey, “he means well.” It gives the creeper cover and allows him to continue being part of the community; he’s not “Johnny the creepy predator”, he’s “Johnny the decent guy, a little weird sometimes but harmless.”

Basically – genuinely awkward people are genuinely sorry when they realize they screwed up. Creepers are not, they will try to justify their behaviour and hide behind a fake excuse. They may be a little bit awkward too, but they’re certainly not trying to fix that.

The article goes on to basically say “hey, some people are genuinely awkward, it’s a thing, but it’s a thing you can work on and improve, and you should try”. And that’s absolutely true. I’m living proof!

On a related note – The difference between introversion and shyness.