Zen of Mortality in Creativity

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I lost a friend today.

Actually, we lost him two days ago as of this writing, and it has totally taken the wind out of my sails for writing and doing anything creative.

This is the wall we hit when we are creative.

Life changes, and it shakes up our regulated world of perfection and desire. It stymies us, makes us frustrated, and leaves us as a husk of our former selves.

Yes, everything is fine, but in reality – you are not the same.

I can hear you now. “I haven’t changed. You changed. I am always the same no matter what happens.”

I believe it is time to capture the Zen of Mortality in Creativity.

Zen of Mortality in Creativity

One thing is guaranteed when we take up the creative course: We will never create everything we want in our lifetime.

Some even refuse to create one thing for the fear they will never match the output they generated.

This shouldn’t be your lot in life. You shouldn’t be afraid of death, and you shouldn’t be afraid to create.

Indeed, it is up to you to express yourself to the best of your ability every time.

Your fear of mortality should never hinder your actions.

Zen of Mortality in Creativity: Doubt is the Suicide of us All

I am a doubter. I doubt a lot of things. I doubt a lot of people. I push back on people who tell me they will come through for me because they often don’t.

It isn’t a reflection on them and their inability to be perfect or loving. It is my fault I am so demanding because I have been hurt far too many times.

I have led myself to the corner and doubted many people. I have killed my creative drive (and revived it) so many times I should be considered a literary witch doctor at this point.


Simple. Kill the thing you love, and no one will ever hurt you.

Does this sound like a joyous and creative life to you?

If you are honest with yourself, you’ll have to agree with me that it is quite miserable and unfitting for someone who writes a blog that almost no one reads for the sheer joy and challenge of it to murder his darlings.

Yet, it is best for those who doubt and don’t trust to ruin their lives because it is harder to accept you did everything you could and still allowed someone to hurt you.

Except they didn’t do anything to hurt you.

You let your expectations and desires place your creative moment on a pedestal, waiting for the moment when it would attract worshippers and develop a massive following.

Creativity doesn’t happen in this manner. Creativity is hard work. It is challenging. It is a labor of love – the true definition of passion (suffering for something you believe in). There is nothing more human than suffering for what you love.

Yet, in this day and age, people often will murder their creativity instead of suffering for it.

Accept it as it is or else know the blood is on your hands.

Zen of Mortality in Creativity: Do Something Joyous

You accept you are in complete control of your feelings and emotions.

I didn’t accept it this weekend, and I can look back at the actions I took to reflect it.

• I let myself wallow in misery by drinking too much
• I chose strange places to be in because I was afraid of being alone
• I didn’t go through my normal rituals
• I lost myself in moments, often not knowing what happened to me

This might require a twelve-step group or it might need more mindfulness. It certainly required not getting too emotional about the loss and letting it lord over me with an iron fist.

“But Matt, that’s a cold thing to say. He was your friend, and now you are blaming him for your productivity loss? What gives?”

I blame myself for being inactive. His loss was my blockade, and his departure tripped me up more than I expected. I accept full blame for what happened to me over the weekend, and I also release what happened to me as far as guilt and anger.

Do something joyous. Get out there and make a connection with nature, your friends, the people experiencing loss. These things are important, not the actual loss itself.

In the end, loss isn’t a reason to lose everything you’ve put yourself into.

Find your inner peace, accept your willingness to move on, and accept the Zen of Mortality.

Now go do and be.

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Your Music Mentality Can Kill You

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My music mentality at times

photo credit: Aura Noir via
photopin (license)

I believe the music you listen to can cause a change, even if you don’t believe it.

I’ve found this out the hard way on my long commutes from my current real-life job to my sad life home.

I used to listen to nothing but metal (black, doom, heavy, light, ambient, etc.) and other music that would set the tune and mood I felt – I’ll give you a guess on what each of these would lead to (you’d know it already if you’ve read my feelings post).

I’d slip into a funk I didn’t understand, and I let this dictate what I felt and how I’d go through my day.

If I had a good doom session, I would feel depressed and have a weight on my shoulders.

If I had a good black session, I would spew hate and anger at the world and at myself.

If I had a good techno moment, I’d get out and dance until I broke things – which, in a factory of glass, is a bad thing.

I didn’t understand I allowed my feelings to be hijacked until I started listening to podcasts over the last five months.

Music and Shapes: Your Mentality can Kill You

I started listening to podcasts after being challenged by a friend of mine. The option was to make a podcast with him, but I wasn’t having anything of the sort. Screw talking on the mic.

Instead, I worked on how podcasts worked and went on a fact-finding mission to discover the magic of what make these things function in hopes I could get my friend off my back.

Instantly, I was hooked. If you’ve read my post about the 3 ways podcasts saved my life, you’ll understand why I believe this was more of a universal moment than some random happenstance.

I discovered more about my listening abilities as well, and how my emotions were dictated by what I listened to.

The Woo-Woo of Moods: Kill Yourself!

If you’ve been around the woo-woo feeling spirituality movement, you’ll understand the one platform they stand on is the ability to keep the mind and body pure of impurities and toxins.

It often bleeds into the older religions too, where the fear of swearing and impure thoughts led to long posts about losing business opportunities* and the ability to be a better business person overall.

* – If you ask me, I don’t have a problem with people swearing at me when I am doing business with them, but then my business is agony and pain, so it comes with the territory.

I’m not one hundred percent sold on their ideas, but I do believe there is one thing we often do when it comes to braining good: Going on autopilot.

It is the brain that makes it easier to slip into patterns and moments to make life easier. If I go through my day and slip into a pattern, it is because I have been there before and constant present thoughtfulness and awareness drain more willpower than expected.

Instead, it takes more awareness to break out of the chain. The nasty side effect? You drain your willpower.

It takes more effort for you to be aware, so instead of letting your mind wonder and making it aware; you might instead end up eating three pizzas and rolling yourself in butter – not…that I’ve ever done that in the past.

Bandwidth Issues and Your Thoughts

Issues with your mental bandwidth really does make this a bigger issue than expected. You can train yourself to have more willpower throughout the day, but to start off; you’ll fall into many traps along the way.

If you are up to it, you can dictate what you think with what you listen to, as odd as it sounds.

If you put something positive and uplifting in your ears, your mind will find a way to be positive and uplifted.

If you are doom kid like I am, you’ll have a harder time to branch out and shake the doom feeling following you are like some grabby handed specter.

Indeed, you can set the tone and save your willpower with what you listen to and how you listen to yourself.

It can be a challenge to do so, but you’ll be far better off in going through with this instead of leaving it up to fate and chance.

If you know someone who has an issue with spiraling into a funk based on what they listen to, share this article with them and let them know people are out there who feel the same way they do.

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You Can’t Control People

I have a companion named Dina. Man, she is a wild party-goer and go getter. She loves the cheevoes and wants accountability from everything and everyone. She never met a list she didn’t love, and she hates it when you want to do something. Actually, she hates it when you think for yourself or even formulate an idea of your own.

Dina isn't here, but these people are too happy for her anyway... photo credit: controlarms via photopin ccDina isn’t here, but these people are too happy for her anyway…

photo credit: controlarms via photopin cc

See, she has this control issue. Actually, when I say “control issue,” I mean she really has the concept of control bound and gagged with a riding crop in one hand and a cigarette butt in the other ready to burn success for thinking it can be anything different than what she wants it to be.

This is where it gets strange…No, seriously, it’s stranger than this.

You see, she is a failure.

When it comes to perfection, the idea of control and process is what paralyzes most of us into staying still. Sure, she might regale me with stories about how it is super easy to do what she does, and she feels like she is stealing from her employer for all of the little effort she has to put into her work, but when I hear her stories, i can’t help but think control (or the lack thereof) is stealing from her.

She has allowed a nasty little story to form in her head. She believes she is a Sigma Six master, follows the five S’s with enough authority that even her chair is wiped down and she leaves no personal mementos behind at work. However, she fails to see the random events as they happen because she believes she can will them into being controlled.

It isn’t her fault she didn’t see a drastic need for an order, even though people told her about it weeks in advance. It isn’t her fault she dropped the ball again on the projection because the computer program just wasn’t complete or correct. And it isn’t her fault no one really talks to her or trusts her, even though she browbeats some of her co-workers into hive-mind thinking because she’s the boss and she should be in charge.

She is all about results, but she’s forgotten two of the most sacred things about being a human: Relationships Matter and Control is an Illusion.

Control is the bane for those perfectionists out there. Sure, they may look like they have control over a lot of stuff, but in the end they can barely keep control of their emotions. They are so stuck in their thinking, they often get blindsided by minor emergencies, turning them into major ones because they don’t apply to their system.

In other words: Perfectionism is the slippery slope into Control, and Control can turn your life upside down until you lack it.

When you feel things are getting out of hand and you look at the perfect little world you built for yourself as it falls apart, remember that sometimes it is better to release control over it and go with action instead.

You cannot will something into becoming obedient, especially when it involves other people and their opinions and feelings.

As for Dina? She’s a good woman, but she has some misguided ideas about what success and control really is. I rarely talk to her as much as I used to, but that’s okay too. I had to exercise my own version of control – the control to walk away and let her little world crumble.

photo credit: controlarms via photopin cc

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You Are Asking the Question Wrong

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Are you asking the question wrong? SPOILER: You are.
photo credit: 311/365 via photopin (license)

Has anyone looked at you as though you might have spoken a foreign language at them after you asked them how they felt?

That’s right, you assaulted them with a question. Off to jail with you, thoughtless human!

Actually, it is more common than you think, and it is due to your experience (or lack thereof) that drives them to their awkward silence.

Those people are just like me: We don’t deal with “feelings,” and the question is moot.

[link]If you’ve read my post about why I won’t accept money for my writing, you’ll understand I have four “feelings buckets.” If the answer doesn’t fall into one of those buckets, I have no idea what you are asking me, and I’ll give you the pat answer.

“I’m fine.”

It drives you nuts when people say that all the time, doesn’t it?

This is because you are asking the question wrong.

Ask the Better Question: What Do You Think?

I swear, it is as simple as that. If you want someone who hedges with the words “I’m fine,” ask them what they think.

Sure, it takes a little effort since you have to frame the question just right. You can’t ask them what they think because there is nothing there for them to think about. If they are a sarcasta-bitch like I am, they might go into detail on how the brain recalls everything and the process of how recollection works.

Yes, it might even be unfair to you to make you think up a more detailed question, but here’s the thing: “How do you feel” is a thoughtless question as well.

That’s right, it ranks up there with “How are your kids,” “How was your weekend,” and “Did you get the thermonuclear device from the grocery store like I asked?”

All right, maybe not the last one, but you know what I mean.

You aren’t putting in any effort on the how you feel question, and the thinkers know it.

What Do You Think: The Key to a Dusty Door

I’ll give you an example pulled straight from my life, and if those fellow thinkers can chime in and confirm if this is right, I’d love you for it.

A friend sits at a table and asks me how I feel.

I say I am fine (which is true since I am drawing in breath, drinking with my friends, and I am at a safe place for the day).

Said friend gets very angry at this and wants me to tell them how fantastic life is, what is going right, how wonderful my career is, what I am frustrated with…

I respond with being refreshingly neutral – it’s sort of like being refreshingly Norse, but only more neutral than that.

This drives my friend crazy and makes him almost violent.

Now, I can chalk this up to him being a feeler (and he is, gods bless him), but I think it is more about the wrong and disinterested question being asked and the assumption the words will unlock a magical and mystical Pandora’s box of feelings.

It is all based on the point of view of the asker asking.

Feelers, you are communicating wrong

Manager Tools often says, “Communication happens with the listener.”

You’ll look at the above quote and believe it is my fault I didn’t hear my friend the way he wanted me to, and thus I am the reason why he drinks.

Trust me, I would be happy if anyone ever lost control of their drinking because of me.

No, instead this points the finger more toward the person doing the communication. If you aren’t framing the question right – if you aren’t taking into account how people think instead of what people think – then you are going to end up frustrated and alone in your efforts.

It isn’t up to me do wade through my friend’s emotional mire called his brain to find the real reason why he asked me the question; it is up to him to extract the question he wants the answer to and frame it in a way I can answer him and give him something he can work with.

Now, if I wanted to be a better friend, I could have stopped him and said I don’t understand the question. I could say he is asking it wrong, and he’ll need to do it again – but this time without feeling.

Granted, I just learned this within the last five months or so myself. I’m far better prepared now than I was when we stumbled through this dance the first time around.

What am I trying to say? Communication is key, feelings are not

If there is one take away I want from this; it is that you must understand there is more to life than just pure feelings. You can’t make someone feel a certain way and hope they’ll give you all the answers you need. You can’t wave your hands and make them understand you through some empathic magic.

As with any relationship you wish you build, it will take effort and time. You can’t snap your fingers and hope the person you are talking to will comprehend how you feel and what you think.

Remember: In the end you are asking the question wrong, and it is your responsibility to change it around to resonate with your audience.

Thanks Tophoto credit: 311/365 via photopin (license)

The people who ask wrong: You give me some amazing things to think about as I go through my day. Thank you for that.

Society: You want to browbeat people into feeling a certain way because it is strange and different if they don’t. I love you!

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Writing with a Purpose: How Goals Must Align with A Reason

photo credit: ScoRDS via photopin cc

photo credit: ScoRDS via photopin cc

Do you write your goals with a purpose, or do you write them because of a problem?

You’ll hear many goals gurus out there today telling you that if you just crank out the goals and accomplish them, everything will be just fine. You’ll hit a homerun, attract the opposite sex, give birth to babies without pain (even if you don’t have the equipment), and religions will form around how fantastic you are.

While this is obviously a pitch line for someone trying to oversell you something, there is a point lost in all of this hubbub. It is the same reason why I had problems accomplishing my goals I set out for myself, even as I give you a helping hand with the emotional side of writing.

Writing with a Purpose: How Goals Must Align with A Reason

I sat down recently after taking a break from my goal writing to “enjoy my vacation,” I struggled with ideas on what to write down. Everything I put down wasn’t a “fear issue” or an “abundance of fear associated with said goal,” but more about what appealed to me and what didn’t.

Sure, the goals I wrote would “fix something” for me, but my heart wasn’t in it. Yeah, I suppose if I changed my career, saved all my money, and had some fortunate breaks along the way, I could get a new apartment, have a more challenging career, and make money from my writing, but what did I really want?

In other words, did any of this fit in with my purpose of being here?

Discover your Writing with a Purpose

Within every reason you do something, it is to provide a benefit to you and what you do. If you want to write about something that gives you joy and you feel will help you express yourself to a wider audience, then you have a great foundation to build from.

However, as with most people who undertake these sorts of tasks, they have their motivation slightly askew.

They are setting goals for the wrong purpose. They are looking to avenge something or fix what isn’t broken.

If you’ve ever attempted goal writing and found yourself struggling to get excited about it because something was wrong, this might be the reason.

The Wrong Purpose for Goal Setting

So, what are the wrong reasons for setting goals? Let’s touch on a few:

    • You are avenging an injustice: While this might work for Batman or Superman, you aren’t either one of those characters. We all have had some injustice in our lives, from our parents telling us to do something more meaningful and worthwhile to our friends being overly critical about our choices in life. Do not let this determine your goals. If you are only proving someone wrong, you’ll never make the right choice.
    • You are copying someone else: We all have people we look up to and heroes we admire, but there is a reason why they are where they are and you are not, and it isn’t because you aren’t doing the exact same thing they are. You are a different person with your wants and desires that differ greatly from the other people you admire. If you end up being the next so-and-so, that’s great, but write for you first.
    • You have grown out of writing this particular thing: As I stated in my Zero Based Thinking for Writers article over at LiveWriteThrive, you often have to come to terms with the fact that you’ve outgrown the project your currently working on. If you don’t do something to reflect what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown, you’ll see writing as a thankless chore instead of the wondrous joy it truly can be.
    • So, as you can see, these are just a few of the reasons why you’ll have problems with your writing goals if they aren’t exactly what you want. Please keep in mind you’ll have many reasons blend in with one another, such as your aunt told you that you’ll never be the next Rowling, and you have decided YA books are no longer “your thing,” then whenever you try to accomplish the goal of being the next YA writer compared to Rowling and hold the bestselling book in your hands to rub it in your Aunt’s face, you’ll fail miserably and complain about how being a writer is thankless and the words are worthless.

Generate Purposeful Writing Goals

So how do we generate worthwhile goals that match our purpose and give us a reason?

It seems complex, but it is rather simple when you get into the swing of things. If you’ve read my previous posts about [goal setting], you’ll already have part of the process down. What was missing (and trust me, I didn’t know about this until today) was finding the purpose behind the goals you set.

Let’s take a look at this example.

I write one novel by writing 1000 words a day whenever I possibly can by December 31st, 20xx

Not a bad goal, right? It has everything we are looking for, and you have some sort of measure to it as well as a deadline.

However, all is not complete with this example. In fact, there is no purpose behind it. Since we don’t know what the novel really is about, we can’t have a real idea what it means to you. Let’s go over some of the things I can see off the top of my head to lend a little more clarity to the situation.

    • If the story is so important that you feel you’ll die without expressing it, then you might have a true purpose.If you are writing the novel to make money only or to be the next whomever it is, you are starting to lose focus.If you are writing the novel because Mom told you that you should be peddling glassware at the local mall because that’s what she did with her life and all you really want to do is prove her wrong on how great you really are as a writer and you have your own life with your own beliefs and people don’t put you in the corner anymore!

Yeah, that last one uncovers some good reasons why you should explore your purpose first before you get into goal setting for you writing career.

Recapping Writing with a Purpose

Writing anything is a long slog that not many sane people go through. There are very little returns for most people, other than matching with their goals and life’s work. It isn’t to say you can’t make a living from something like writing, but it is tough. It isn’t easy. You may hear from people who say it is easy, but they aren’t doing the same thing you are and they aren’t the same person you are.

Goals are important, and everyone should have them handy, but they should go hand in hand with the purpose or reason why you are here having this experience in the first place.

If you can’t match your writing goals with your reason and/or purpose, you might have to change your purpose a bit and refine it until you know what you’re here for, or you might have to look for another avenue to express your creativity.

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Writing Goals are Great, But Community is Better

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It is amazing what happens to you when you reach a goal. Whether it is at the end of the year, the end of the month, or as the sun sets, achieving something on a list – no matter which book you left it in – is amazing to behold.

If you’re reading this, it means I’ve achieved the first month of writing for the blog without melting down and calling it quits.

(emits party confetti and hats)

Now that the celebration is over (hey, I’m a high C. We don’t have emotions, we’re “perfect observers”), I can tell you I’ve learned a lot about myself. I believe I’ve touched on what I can do when and if I keep focused.

Here’s what I’ve learned about me, perhaps this will help you.

• I write well in the morning. “Writing well” means actually writing, not writing perfect.
• I still race to get pieces up without combing them for errors and glitches.
• 4 am comes pretty quick, so I have learned to get to bed and get my rest
• I’ve also started exercising and losing weight.
• And I have done a lot of market research before I head to the keyboard to type.

So, what does this all mean for you, the reader and the writer?

You too can get the instant feedback you need to take action and stay on target to what get what you want.

Writing Informational Action

I signed up with Copyblogger to receive their valuable packet of information for the 2015 questionnaire they released at the end of 2014. Trust me when I say this thing was rather eye opening. Some of the stats were just downright frightening and almost overwhelming when you take a look at it as a whole.

Announcing The 2015 Cost of Online Business Report [Infographic]

Like this infographic? Get proven online marketing advice from Copyblogger Media that will give you an unfair business advantage.

The image feeds into the article on how to receive their in depth analysis for what it means to them, but on the visceral level it means there are a lot of writers out there just starting (or restarting) who are having problems generating content and earning traffic.

In other words, they are just like you or me.

And that can feed into the Perfectionism defenses and get us in a righteous tizzy over what is worth our time and what is a waste of time.

What we can do with information besides worry over it

There’s a lot to glean from the information besides bias confirmation and anxiety. Trust me, I know what you’re thinking because I am thinking the same thing from time to time.

Think of the information this way: The feedback proves to me the market is volatile, but still fruitful. If you know of anyone blogging or writing out there, you know as well as I do the niches are abundant, but the voices aren’t as clear. You can find readers, but you have to focus on what you want to talk about, not about what you believe will sell the most money.

Niche down
This is just to start off, but you have to really get into your mrket and understand what you are trying to shoot for. Here’s what I’m working with:
• A writer – Far too wide since everyone and their dead cat is a writer at this point
• A writer who wants to help – Still too wide, but not everyone wants to help people
• A writer who wants to help people overcome their perfection and take action – Better, it is focused on a smaller amount of people (perfectionists) and gives me an idea on how to stay on target.
• Room for improvement and drilling down further – I could dig further and understand my audience a little more, but then that means I have to earn a larger audience.

Niche down isn’t forever
Unlike the fiction world where they want the selling formula (your proven track record is what you are “encouraged” to write), your niche down doesn’t have to last forever. Sure, if you find the market and get to those readers, they can be your fan base, but eventually you will have to spread your wings and let others into your nest if you want to make a larger impact.

You might lose a few readers from your base, but if they are fans of yours, I am sure they will be okay with sharing the nest a little bit. Just don’t forget them.

Stay on target
This is a lonely world, even more so than writing a book or a short story. You feel bad when you don’t have the instant feedback the internet gives you and you might take it personally, but don’t. There is so much information out there that you can often end up being another voice in the cast of a million voices vying for one person to read your idea for the day.

Keep a card around you to refer to the person you are trying to reach. Make up some goals that will get you over the hump and push harder when you think about quitting. Don’t let the silence disturb you. Make things better for yourself by making these things up now.

Have some fun with it
Good lord, if you are anything like me, sometimes you forget what the word fun is all about. Heck, I’ve boiled out almost all emotional responses to life, but that isn’t the way to live life. You want to go through and at least acknowledge the most controversial thing on your list: You are a human being

I know, right? I’ll wait for you to gather your senses after hitting the floor from fainting.

The only way you can fight through the terror of being alone is accepting the feeling of being alone and having some fun with it. Don’t get a pint of ice cream and weep into it as you lament your blog’s poor readership, but at least have fun with the idea people are reading without commenting (you know how the comment sections on blogs are dying anyway, right?) or at least get out there and be social with the people you think will read your stuff.

Don’t shove it down their throat, but earn their trust by getting to know them.

Again, I’ll wait as you pick yourself up from the floor again.

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Write a Letter of Forgiveness |


| March 5, 2014 No comments

Write a Letter of Forgiveness

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Writing a letter into the sea of forgiveness

We’ve all been there: You watch the cursor blink and taunt you. There is something blocking you, but you can’t figure it out. No matter what you do, you can’t seem to achieve any success with your writing.

Perhaps you are looking for something outside of your writing life. Perhaps you can use your writing skills to achieve this closure you are looking for.

Write a letter of forgiveness to the person who wronged you or the person you have wronged.

That’s right, you need to admit you have a problem and the only solution is to let it go and use the power of your words to give yourself the freedom you desire.

Why should you offer forgiveness?

Let’s be honest for a moment: The only person who is carrying on this issue is you. As shocking as that is to hear, you have better odds of getting hit by a shark riding a lightning bolt than to have the person who “wronged” you still thinking about the problem.

This means you are the problem, as far as you are carrying on with an old wound no one else will care about or remember.

You can look at it this way:

You can carry on with this wound, displaying it to people who care about you and wonder silently when you will let it go


You give up the poison you are holding onto and achieve something you’d never be able to do while holding onto the thought.

Pain is Poison

I’m sure you’ve heard of some great quotes regarding how holding onto this pain is a poison you hope someone else will devour, and it is true. However, you need to take it a step further. You are an amazing person with an ability to express yourself clearly through words. How often do you forget you can do this?

Be honest. I know I often forget about it as well.

Since you are a writer and you have a passion to express yourself, then you can use your words to heal yourself as well as destroy yourself. You don’t have to hold onto the poison to make yourself a better writer or a better expression of what is going on.

You are the only one that is real here, so it is time to live in the reality and give yourself some power.

Forgiveness removes my Safety

You’ve been there, even if you can’t admit it. You use your wound as a shield, and you do so to prevent the injury from happening again. What if I were to tell you that while it might work in the short term, your long-term result is that it attracts more harm than good to you and yours. This is why you must purge this from your body.

Think about it for a moment. The job you wanted? You didn’t get it because you held onto the wound. The amazing piece you believed you wrote? It wasn’t as good as you thought because of the wound you hold onto.

When you forgive yourself, you allow your creativity to flow through with purity and a concentrated effort simply because the vessel it flows from is pure and whole. When you hold onto the wound, you let the creativity ooze out of you.

You play it safe with your creativity. You don’t take chances precisely because you are wounded.

This isn’t the way to achieve your best potential at life. This is what writing a letter is all about.

What if I Write the Letter Wrong?

You have control over this aspect, much like other areas in your life. There is no “right way” to do this, or any other healing out there, just as there is no “right way” to write a short story, a novel, or even a poem. This is up to you. You can’t get external answers, you can only find them inside.

It is time to sit down and write. You can write it on the computer if you wish, but there might be too much temptation to send the e-mail. You might not be ready for it quite yet, and you’ll be on the defensive even if the person deletes your e-mail. This might work out better on a piece of paper.

Yes, I know. I can hear you all groaning about writing by hand. Trust me, it works.

Write out everything. If you start out weak, just keep going. If you start strong, don’t shy away. Let the person have it, whether the pain is because of you or someone else. You must keep going until you reach a calm and rational state with this emotional moment.

It is at that point you have found a healing spot. Finish off the letter, lean back, and think about what it all means.

If you came across something else entirely (which is going to happen), it might be best to write ANOTHER letter until you find forgiveness on this issue.

Keep repeating until you can’t find anything else or you feel you’ve reached a resolution.

Now you can do one of two things:

Send it: Transcribe it to electronic and send it as an e-mail. Fold it up and place it in an envelope to mail it away. This is a hard thing to do, but you will get to a point where you can feel the release of it being out of your control. If, for some reason, they still have an issue, you don’t have to deal with it anymore. If, for some reason, they reply, you don’t have to reply. You’ve already discovered resolution.

Burn it: There is something rather cathartic about burning a soul rending piece of paper. It could be elation, it could be sorrow, it could be simply a symptom of being a pyromaniac. Any way you choose, you’ll have some sort of closure with this. You’ll feel a bit of freedom and can concentrate on what is important.

You have writing to do.

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Would you change your greatest mistakes and lose everything? –


I can tell you taking this picture wasn’t one of my mistakes.

The greatest human trait is making mistakes. As a survivor, I know this all too well. You know it too, as you have survived some of the harder things in life. Mistakes make our lives worth living, though I am sure you doubt the veracity of this statement.

Mistakes make us who we are. When we alter the mistakes, we fundamentally change who we are and assure we are different because of it. When we pine for change, we often forget we lose sight of what makes our existence worthwhile.

Mistakes form our lives more than perfection ever does. Mistakes work in our favor far better than perfection. Mistakes gave us the wisdom to form better decisions and have a greater effect on those around us.

There is a saying from the Manager Tools podcast that I adore. I refer to it often as I trudge through the mistakes I made for the day.

Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment

You might not believe mistakes make you the person you are. I have a concept ready to blast this rebellion apart. It is the rage with all the experts in technology. It is feared by the neophytes. Religions hate it.

I refer to Transhumanism.

Before you click away, allow me to explore this a little further. This concept applies to many things survivors struggle in the “grieving process”. They lament the things they might have acquired or done “if only” they had a fair childhood. It also shows us that such thinking is wrong, and is rather limiting if you allow it to consume your life.

Are you sure you made the best mistakes?

This sounds terrible, doesn’t it? There’s nothing I can do to explain it well without sounding like an ass, but I’ll try. I challenge you to think of your mistakes and ponder if they were the best ones in your life.

Was that the best thing to do at the time? Did you have all the information you needed when you made the mistake? Are you beating yourself up because you did your best. Or because you had better information after you made the mistake in the first place?

There are two more axioms I use when I march through my mistakes.

1. I was as informed as I could be in the situation.
2. I look back at my mistakes with a dual filter of perfectionism and ignorance of the situation.

In fact, I dare say the second entry haunts us the most when we think of our mistakes. We filter out everything right about the situation and only focus on the error. We also have the reactive response when we made the attempt. You never knew what would happen. Yet, you hold yourself to an impossible standard to make sure you’ll never make the mistake again.

When you make more mistakes, you will filter them out again and focus on the error. This feeds into a mistake loop you can’t escape. You don’t have to be perfect from your mistakes. You make sure you acknowledge your mistakes. You keep them handy when the situation happens again. You gather information, but you also don’t want it to delay action either.

The biggest mistake we beat ourselves up for is the lack of action. We need to take action and do something, even if it is a mistake. We must push to fail and accept it is a possibility, even if we know there is no way for us to win in the long run.

The act of action is the most important way to battle the mistake fatigue.

Should you do a massive reset of your mistakes?

Would you make a better life without your mistakes? If I gave you the chance to upload yourself into the perfect scenario simulator, do you think it will matter? If you changed those mistakes, would you be “you?”

These questions rattled around in my brain when I watched the end of the game known as SOMA. The game itself is the statement of transhumanism. It is about saving yourself to a computer simulation. The ending was perfect. It was dark and foreboding, and it addressed a big issue facing the movement thus far.

When you load yourself into the computer, you do not take over the awareness inside of the simulation. You are still yourself out in the real world. You still live with real mistakes and real consequences for your actions. The copy of yourself acts with the same information and inputs you do. The copy will grow and react differently because of it being essentially a new being.

Now, if you put your new you in a simulator and altered a traumatic experience in their lives, do you think they’ll be the same “you”? If you alter enough, are you, in fact, creating a new person all together?

This is where the idea of uploading and changing yourself in a simulation treads into creationism. It touches on the concept of “who is our creator”. There are many who believe we are in a simulation ourselves. We’ve been uploaded from another consciousness to experience something new and exciting.

It is the ever spiraling thought that scares us the most. If I am a simulation, and I simulate something inside, then what is to prevent the simulation I exist in to be inside of another simulation? Let’s think of it as Inception, except with real-world existence instead of dreaming.

We’ll sum this up by exploring the ever branching decision web. How every version of you is still alive and active after you’ve made your mistakes.

Your mistakes are alive, even when you made the right choice

There is a version of you that made the right decision walking around your home right now. You can look around all you want. You won’t find them. You can look in the mirror and wonder if it is your reflection, but I assure the other you is probably doing the same thing. They are you; they just made a different choice.

When you moved left, they moved right. When you decided to have two burnt sausages for dinner, they made themselves a fresh salad. When you made the bad purchase, they decided to hold onto the money for something better suited.

It drives us mad there is another version of us walking around. We’ll envision this person being happier or “better” than we are right now. We’ll belly up to the bar and lament to anyone who wants to hear about the tragic tale of woe. We don’t even realize we’re making another bad choice by obsessing over the previous bad choice.

It is a form of mental masturbation. It is worrying about the other you, the “better” you, and what you could do differently from your mistakes. It feels fine for now, but you’ll regret it later.

When we long for what could have been, we refuse to live in the right now. We can’t possibly see how great things are, even after making our mistakes. Instead, we jump into pointing fingers or dumping it on our limited growth persona. This thought process is even worse when you are recovering from sexual abuse.

I listen to people tell me what a gift it is to lament and grieve the things we never had. I cringe when they pass this along to other survivors to encourage them to visualize something they regret never receiving. I feel awful when these very survivors won’t take action to be in the now and accept what happened.

If you want to be better, be present. You must be here and accept your mistakes and flaws. It is the only way you can improve and make things better for you and the ones you love.

Is this the demise of your mistakes?

Thus, we must conclude your mistakes actually make you who you are right now. You can think of the many different ways you can change your fate, but it will never affect you. This current version of you, reading this right now, is stuck where you are.

The goal is to accept this and move on. It is the quiet resignation and realization you can’t keep mourning what you never had in the first place. It is the determination to overcome the mistakes and keep moving with your life.

If you feel the need to mourn, I can understand. I never believe in making someone do what they don’t want to do. This is your journey, and it led you to this blog post today. Maybe reading this blog post was a mistake in itself. Maybe one or two sentences or words will stick in your mind and stay there.

No matter what you do, the first thing you must do is accept yourself for who you are. You must admit the embarrassing mistakes in your life are based off of the best information at the time. You must know there is no way to alter your mistake and get something better. The only way is to make sure the mistake never happens again.

We get so used to clinging onto what we might have earned that we get stuck. We can’t move around it. We cradle a projected perfect life like a stillborn child. We pour our hope into this idea and will it to be different. We want it to live and thrive.

It is time to release the mistakes and the dead idea of what you lost. It is time to forge a new identity while reveling in your mistakes. It is time to be the best you that you can be, right now.

The world deserves so much more from you than being frozen in time.

Share this post on your social networks and get the word out about accepting your mistakes.


SummaryArticle NameWould you change your greatest mistakes and lose everything? AuthorMatthew E. EatonDescriptionThe greatest human trait is making mistakes. As a survivor, I know this too well.


Why .Sucks is Good for Creatives, but Bad for Brands

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Congratulations, you suck.

You know you suck, and we know it too, of course. You aren’t fooling anyone with all of the lies and deceit you’re putting up on your blog, with your fiction, or your artwork.

Hey, are you okay? I didn’t really mean that, but if you took offense to this statement, then you might have a real issue with what’s coming up next.

While you may think the opening paragraph is a little harsh, just remember people build their entire empires and social brands on how much individuals, groups, or businesses really do suck. Creators look at how people suck and create something better to fill the gap. Groups discover how others suck at certain things and fill in the void to offer a closer knit society.

Why .Sucks is Good for Creatives, but Bad for Brands

Sadly, with the advent of the new vanity URL, the trend of .sucks will be in vogue. I recently received a tickler about it on my RSS feed from Marketing Blog about the new .sucks URL. When I saw it crawl across my feed, I was intrigued. I get the other vanity ones, but why .sucks?

It turns out the whole thing is a scam in and of itself, a marketing ploy and a chance to pray on your fears, if you will.

Screen capture from nic.sucks

Screen capture from nic.sucks

You can buy the extension, but it will cost you an arm and a leg (website URL wise) use it against the brand in question. $249 to hold onto the name and operate a redirect to another brand page. It seems like extortion to me, even if it can be used for bullying and malcontent.

But why is the .sucks a bad thing, and how can it be tailored to be a good thing (if you want to spend all that money to operate it)?

How I see it, the problem with brands and businesses is they often have the appearance of perfection (one of those things I tend to rail against). We already know they are completely flawed, but the .sucks would shine some light on the issue and make things more visible to those who can fix it.

We Suck at Bending Backwards to Appease Those Who Hate Us

Most of us leap at the chance to please and appease the vocal few who are angry instead of being more resilient and agile to our core audience. We give our angry customer more of what they don’t want instead of redirecting it to loyal customers who do want what we want.

Why do we usually do this – as creative types, not as large brands? We are afraid our critic actually sees who we are and will expose us as a liar and a charlatan. We really do believe we suck!

If I wanted to do it, I could buy alien5.sucks and write the rest of my solid theories and reasons as to why the movie will be horrible, but it would do me no good. I am a core fan of the series, which is why I wrote the small article I did on my blog about why Aliens 5 will suck (on ice). This wouldn’t serve me because who knows, maybe the film won’t suck on ice (spoiler: It totally will).

And this is where the trap is the most dangerous for creatives and developers a like: You are too fragile and weak to stand against your anti-fans.

Even I was too fragile to stand against them, as you can see by the multiple blogs I have stared and stopped. Why did I stop them? Because I believed the voice in my head telling me the people out there aren’t commenting or sharing because I am a horrible person.

No, instead, I wasn’t doing my best to reach out and make my readers a part of my life. I wasn’t trying to find a good audience for what I was writing, so I discouraged myself into believing things would be worse. I fell into the trap of being perfect and reaching out to an audience of no one to deliver my message.

I was my own MatthewEatonWriter.sucks.

Yes, the .sucks domain can be used to harm. Yes, it can be used to tear down and destroy individuals and groups. I can only imagine how bad the cyber-bullying will be if a bully truly wanted to take it to the (most expensive) extreme.

However, this is the reflection of the person operating a site like this: They will never be your customer, your fan, or your friend. No matter what you do to please them, they will never be happy with what you do.

In other words, their job is to attract the vocal minority to congregate and be “better than you.”

So, ignore them and move on with your life. If people are willing to make a snap judgment about you because of a .sucks domain, then that’s their problem, not yours. If they don’t buy something from you because someone put up a .sucks domain (either valid or as a massive trolling), it is still their problem.

Are you starting to see the trend about .sucks and the people who go through all the effort in making things more difficult for you? Ignore them.

I know, it’s hard to do it in this social media centric day and age. I understand it is difficult to not have them feed into the self-doubt and anger, and it is hard not to believe everyone in the world knows and cares.

No one cares, and very little (both the amount and the type of) people know.

Thanks To:The wonderful people who created the .sucks URL: Because preying on the weak and uninformed is a great way to make a huge profit…< / sarcasm >

To all my fellow creatives: Get out there and get creative. You aren’t going to please everyone, so just get in there and do it!

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Weight Experiment: My Struggle with Self-Acceptance

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I’ve been going through a lot of changes over the last few months, and I believe it is time to boil down one of the biggest changes on my list: Getting back down to not quite as obese.

After starting an old job, restarting the blog, and getting close to leaving the area I’m living in, I have lost at least 25 pounds by the time I’m writing this (but it could be more depending on how I do in the future when you read this post).

“But Matt,” you say, “You ams no good eatarz! You ams drunkard and what make bad choizes!”

True, but there is more to it than that. I believe my gains and losses can be attributed to one thing: The status of my mind.

Weight Experiment: My Struggle with Self-Acceptance

The way I have been thinking over the last year was very dark and depressed. Here’s a list of things I felt were weighing me down.

  • I wasn’t contributing more than the very minimal stuff to a work environment intended to suck the life out of me.
  • I wasn’t doing what I believed I should be doing – being false.
  • I was eating far too much, which meant I was outgrowing my clothes in the wrong way.
  • Because of the outgrowing of clothes, I was putting them into the closet to hide my shame.
  • And then I had to move out of a place I called my home for the last nine years.
  • And then (and then) I lived with a psychopathic hobo who beat his wife.

In other words, the typical average American life with the typical average American outcome: I was running from responsibility and expecting someone else to come in and alter their world to me.

The first thing I expected was the food. This is where I had a problem. A heavy eater and drinker, this was a problem to my overall happiness. I’d get a huge meal, go out to drink because I felt bad about the heavy meal, and then feel horrible the next day, only to go get a big meal once more to purify my mind from the haze I created from drinking.

It was a vicious cycle.

Weight Experiment: Change Only Comes Through Difference

However, I decided to swim against the current and give myself another chance. I had a goal in mind, but this was my overarching goal. It was an ultimate weight I could reduce to without a problem (as I had done it in the past and then let it go once again).

I needed to overcome two things: My eating habits and my fear of the weight I’ve already put on.

So, in order to fight those things, I stared them straight in the face and dared them to destroy me.

I stood on a scale with a heavy breath and grimaced as I glanced between my legs. The number was 255, only the second heaviest I’ve weighed myself at (the other time was at 268). In other words, I lost control, once again.

You would think simple eating and watching what I am drinking would be the only answer, but there is more to it than that (at least for me). You see; I was more out of control because of what I was running away from.

I was running from the shadows and demons in my head.

Sure, we all have the negative self-talk, and there is nothing more frustrating than keeping people away from those sensitive places, but I knew I had to do something about it. Every single pound I carried was filled with hate and anger.

What was the anger directed toward? Why did I need this instead of being more sensitive and positive to myself?

It turns out, I was playing a game I wasn’t going to win: I wasn’t abstaining from the things I knew were dangerous for me.

  • I was hiding behind a bottle.
  • I ate whatever I felt like.
  • I didn’t care what would happen next.
  • I hated the hunger feeling.

The last one was the hardest one for me to overcome, and it is still a challenge at times. I was always hungry when I was younger when I was in a single-parent household. There were days I ate sugar raw because we didn’t have much of anything to eat. My mother was horrible with money at times, and she didn’t have the greatest paying job either.

So, instead of going through the process of saving and paying for things that were healthy, we would go through our feast and famine, week after week. I learned the only love was from having abundance to eat food, not from the love from within.

Ordering pizza was love, even when I knew I couldn’t afford it, and it wasn’t going to help me with my weight.

Going out three or four times a week was love, even though it was more expensive than staying at home or going hungry for a little bit.

Drinking until I couldn’t remember anything was love because I felt full, even though I was quite hungry (for something else, obviously).

Weight Experiment: I Abstain

It wasn’t until I heard of the concept of being an abstaining personality that I remembered I could actually love myself by being a little more stringent with my weight and what I consumed. I was putting myself into these situations and failing, and then feeling horrible because I wasn’t being honest and true with myself.

I harmed my chances of success.

I believed I couldn’t trust myself.

It was time for an experiment.

Experimenting can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, but I had an idea in mind. I decided it was time to go through and make minor adjustments to what I did and register what happened through the software handy at the time.

The feedback was better than I expected.

I accepted where I was when I started
There’s nothing worse than looking at the number on a scale and believing your value and worth is tied into those digits staring back at you. I understood this time around that it was a process instead of instant success.

I accepted the adjustment
I love lunches. I love going out to eat. There was something quite amazing about being out and away from what you’re doing to get something to eat. I changed that and kept lunch simple. I actually had a clear mind, which helped me improve at work as well.

I made dinners simple
For a little while, the shift of compensation was from eating at lunch to gorging at dinner. This wasn’t the best thing. I decided I would get everything I needed (including dinner) in the morning and stay with it. It has worked like a charm as well.

After all was said and done, I had shed about 25 pounds from my total, and I made sure to keep the loses steady without being too unsafe.

I know, people are going to say a drastic weight drop like this is dangerous, and I am willing to accept that as such. I am still adjusting what I eat and what is going on in my head. I have been down to 195 before, and I believe I can get there again without starving myself.

I still eat, I just eat better. I still eat, I just choose smaller portions. I am still me, but a better educated me.

Again, I understand the risk I take every time I do this, and I would urge anyone who is looking for real help to go consult their physician and dietician before you do anything rash. When I hit 195, I was doing it the rather unhealthy way. I am using what I learned from the last time to do it right this time.

And remember, it won’t happen overnight. One step at a time, one day at a time.

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