More food for thought… (Seconds?)

So in keeping with this “thinking positive” vibe, I also stumbled upon another blog entry worth taking a glance at if you’re feeling down and out. It’s called 22 Things Happy People Do Differently by Chiara Fucarino on Lesley Carter’s Bucket List blog. I’ve tweeted (?) about one of Lesley Carter‘s other blog entries that enhanced my perspective on traveling. (For me, the gist was you really don’t need to be rich to travel. If you want to get somewhere bad enough, you’ll do whatever it takes by volunteering, teaching, etc. Read it hereI think, in general, the list is not too difficult to follow and could be another good way to remind yourself to chill out when chaos ensues or stress begins to weigh you down. Of course, like most suggestions or ideas, this whole list is easier said than done. (I mean, we are human after all) But, once the storm clears and you find yourself still alive, it could still be a great quick reference to go back to.

Keep on, keepin' on...
Keep on, keepin’ on…

Speaking for myself, for example, I know I always have things I could improve on. For me, items number one, number eleven, number fifteen, and number twenty-two really stand out to me.

Item number one is, “Don’t hold grudges”. I’ve been one to forgive but not forget. If you’ve ever hurt me or screwed me over in one way or another I’m inclined to remember it. I’m not losing sleep over it but I do absorb my lesson (if, any) from the encounter and move on. But I don’t forget it. Most of the time I like to think if the experience was dramatic enough, it would make a great story to tell later on. I believe in the power of laughter, but time is also a great way to heal.

Item number eleven is, “Avoid social comparison”. For me, this will happen no matter what and will be a constant battle to the end of my days. I believe the key (in coping with this) is to remind myself that everyone is a unique individual with unique lives on unique journeys in this thing called life. To compare yourself to anyone else good or bad is, indeed, a waste of time but we do it. For me, I’m not so much talking about material possessions or wealth but professional accomplishments or even my artistic body of work. I’d like to be the best and strive for it in every aspect of my work BUT there’s always that little voice asking, “What is insert name doing better than you?” Sometimes this helps with my competitive thinking, other times well…

Item number fifteen is, “Nurture social relationships”. This is what our film, American Hikikomori, is about. It’s a film about loneliness and isolation because of an absence of nurtured meaningful relationships. When people get depressed, they shut themselves down and hide. I’ve done it, you’ve done it; we’ve all done it. What helps us come back out is our personal support team through our family  and friends. Some people struggle with this and our film explores that.

Item number twenty-two is “Accept what cannot be changed”. I think this goes hand in hand with the last two and becomes easier to do as I continue to mature. My wife and I are both stubborn people but over the last few years of being together have occassionally noticed how we can let certain things go a little easier now than when we were in our twenties. Maybe that is the true wisdom of maturity and experience.

Maybe that’s the key to happiness; holding on to what matters most to you and letting go of the crap.

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The “D” word.


It’s ugly… but not uniquely American.

If you’re not aware of that, you need to read more of the global news

It’s (unfortunately) human and we all need to talk about it so we can truly get over it.

Blogger Ron Simms Jr. (@blackinjapan) linked a video on his blog called Black in Japan.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 12.25.12 AM

The video he’s refering to is here:

A thoughtful comment from the Simm’s blog:

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Despite death threats and harassment directed towards him and his colleagues, Miki D made a follow up video:

Other Video bloggers (like these guys) have also put in their two cents:

If you’ve never heard of Jane Elliott or her experiment, “Eye of the Storm” google it and learn something.

Broaden your mind.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

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Production Blog #11: Something encouraging…

Growing up, my parents made it a point for me to never take anything for granted. I wore some hand me down clothes, wore my shoes until they fell off my feet, and I damn sure ate everything on my plate. They made sure I knew that anything I wanted I was going to have to work hard for it.

So far in my short, but still promising, life I can’t help but notice an overwhelming sense of entitlement people tend to have from time to time. It’s one thing to take something for granted. We all do it. But expecting something to be handed to us without much effort is out right ridiculous; almost insulting.

The amazing but (sometimes) frustrating thing about making movies is that (in general) there is not one way to do it. Two weeks ago, I was feeling a little frustrated and apprehensive about the next few steps I have to take for this film.

Then, I saw this posting on a PR stream in Facebook and followed the link.

Maybe it's the turbulence on our journey that makes the destination of our goals so sweet and worth this journey.
Maybe it’s the turbulence on our journey that makes the destination of our goals so sweet and worth this journey.

Right after reading it I said, “Damn straight!”

And refocused my efforts; embracing my challenges.

Food for thought?

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Production Blog #10: Tweeting and such…

I still don’t think I’ve gotten the hang of this Tweeting and blogging stuff.

In trying to get the word out about our film, American Hikikomori, I’ve been spending more time on the web reading other people’s personal stories. I’ve been doing that through reading blogs, tweets, and post on the usual social media sights. Today, I’d like to share a blog post I read last Monday.

Click the link to read Mie's story. We all have a story tell. What's yours?
Click the link to read Mie’s story. We all have a story tell. What’s yours?

I’ve never had Eczema, nor would I ever pretend to completely understand what it’s like to deal with this kind of ailment. I tweeted about the posting via Twitter but thought I’d follow up again here. The overall tone of this writer’s entry was, I felt, very optimistic but honest about her physical, emotional, and intellectual journey throughout  her life up to writing that entry.

Her story really resonated with me for some reason. It could be my own haunting feelings of childhood awkwardness, rejection, and insecurity. It could also be that her colorful but restrained details of her lowest points in dealing with her malady really had me empathizing with her.

It’s all there on the page. There’s no happy ending but more of an open ended (but positive) to be continued. It’s human. Not a fairy tale. It speaks to me about our daily lives and our personal struggles that are unique to us individually. A reminder that sometimes we’ve got to struggle through the crap to get to the other side because we have to!

I got a great sense of how incredible she might be as a human being. Strength truly does come from within but can only be supported by the choices you make and the people you choose to keep around you.

I told my wife about it. She thought I was trying to drop subtle hints about a few things she’s been struggling with. As much as I’d like to take credit for being that clever, I’m not. But I’ll let her believe what she wants…

With all the negativity that surrounds us, with all of the ways we may suffer, and all the people who tell you what they think or wait for their turn to talk, you have to start within. You must.

It’s the only way.

Everyone has a compelling story to tell.

What’s yours?

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Production Blog #9: The Website is Up and Running!

Slowly but surely we’re making our way towards our goal of making this film and putting it out into the world.

Our website is live and you cruise through a few pages to familiarize yourself with us a little more.

I have a much greater appreciation for web designers and coders. My hat’s off to you all.

Weeks of learning html on the internet for a humble site to promote our film.

Took me forever in just figuring out the screen shot function on my computer…

There’s more coming, soon.

Stay tuned!

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