Goal Setting Resources for 2013

Alright guys, goal setting time is upon us!

Resist the urge to go all hipster/ironic, or emo/anti everything, when it comes to goals. Yes, I know that only capitalistic robots who have been brainwashed by corporate America would even dream of doing something so cliche as setting goals that begin on January 1st (heaven forbid). But stop trying to be unique for just one second so you can realize that, guess what? You need to do it SOMETIME, and since most of us don’t remember the rest of the year, now is a perfect time!

To help you with your 2013 goal setting, I’ve come up with a list of resources to give you some direction!

 

Goal Setting Resources:

Discovering who you are…

Rare Existence Posts:
1. Finding a valuable identity
2. Give them something (good) to remember you by
3. Discovering who you are

Outside Resources:
1. Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath
2. Myers Briggs Personality Test

 

Dreaming about what you want to do…

Rare Existence Posts:
1. The Discipline of Dreaming
2. Your ideal life
3. Your entire life in one word.

Outside Resources:
1. 5: Where Will You Be 5 Years from Today? by Dan Zadra

 

Setting goals and making a plan…

Rare Existence Posts:
1. Baby Steps… yes that’s a real thing.

Outside Resources:
1. Your Best Year Yet  by Jinny S. Ditzler (I apologize, it’s a little boring, but it’s the only one I know of that gets the job done!)

 

Encouragement…

Rare Existence Posts:
1. John Mayer is a Liar and Peter Pan is a hero
2. Do Epic Shit
3. Remember why it’s worth it
4. Patience Grasshopper
5. You can do it my dear
6. Manifesting your manifest friend

Outside Resources
1. The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson *
2. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller *
*FYI: Both of these are Christian books, but still very encouraging even if you don’t agree with everything in them.
December is going to fly by, so I want to hear sounds of goal setting screaming from your computers now! Go, go, gadget goals!!!!

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Why you should watch a movie that might make you want to kill yourself

“Who made these rules anyway?” screams a frustrated, 11 years post Titanic, Kate Winslet at Leonardo Dicaprio (who looks about the same a decade later, except that his tux and tails have been replaced by late 50’s era swanky suits).

If you haven’t seen Revolutionary Road, see it.
You may hate it, many people do. I mean REEEAAALLY hate it. It does have the depressing factor, but to me it is full of truth and beauty. Yes, there are some morally questionable scenarios that I’m not sure which side of the fence I’m on and there are many different ways to interpret what happens and who’s to blame… but the multidimensional factor of the story and the characters is what makes a good movie (or book as was Revolutionary Road’s initial form) right?

My take on Revolutionary Road?
It’s a story about what happens when you choose to live a life you are NOT meant to live. It’s what happens when you choose comfort over risk, when you choose to believe the lies, when you choose to see problems and your own fears as insurmountable. It’s the story of what happens when you let life win. Basically you rot from the inside out… and your rot spills over onto the people around you until you and all your loved ones are completely miserable. You are dead inside and eventually, you die on the outside. This is Revolutionary Road. Wonderfully uplifting, isn’t it?

If you are currently in a marriage that makes you feel trapped…
…DON’T see this, it may make you suicidal. In fact, the people who I know who truly hated this movie with a bitter, burning anger, were people who were in that situation. So in that case, I don’t necessarily recommend it. I could be wrong though, so see it at your own risk.

If you feel trapped in any other way…
…then maybe you should see it or read the book. It will show you what at least one of your potential outcomes could be and it’s probably something you need to see, as painful as it may be.

If you’ve already seen the movie or read the book and you hated it…
Then maybe give it another shot with the perspective I’ve offered in mind. Or maybe not. Maybe you still won’t like it. I do, but you don’t have to and I would totally understand why you might still hate it. It’s disturbing no matter how you spin it and it really is a very complex movie with lots of different ways to interpret. My early apologies if you end up wasting yet ANOTHER 2 hours of your life on a movie you hate the second time around just as much as you hated it the first!

A couple of my favorite quotes from the book by Richard Yates:

“If being crazy means living life as if it matters, then I don’t mind being completely insane.”
-April Wheeler

“No, Frank. This is what’s unrealistic. It’s unrealistic for a man with a fine mind to go on working year after year at a job he can’t stand. Coming home to a place he can’t stand, to a wife who’s equally unable to stand the same things. And you know what the worst part of it is? Our whole existence here is based on this great premise that we’re special. They we’re superior to the whole thing. But we’re not. We’re just like everyone else! We bought into the same, ridiculous delusion. That we have to resign from life and settle down the moment we have children. And we’ve been punishing each other for it.”
– April Wheeler

“I want to feel things. Really feel them.”
-Frank Wheeler

“I wanted IN. I just wanted us to live again. For years I thought we’ve shared this secret that we would be wonderful in the world. I don’t know exactly how, but just the possibility kept me hoping. How pathetic is that? So stupid. To put all your hopes in a promise that was never made. Frank knows what he wants, he found his place, he’s just fine. Married, two kids, it should be enough. It is for him. And he’s right; we were never special or destined for anything at all.”
– April Wheeler

“We’re gonna be okay.”- Frank Wheeler
“I hope so. I really hope so.”- April Wheeler

See the trailer or rent the movie here.
Buy the book here.

A Voluntary Book Report: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

That’s right,  A Million Miles In a Thousand Years: How I Learned Live a Better Story by Donald Miller, changed my life and I don’t think your life is immune to it’s powers either.

It’s a book about his life… about a book about his life.

Specifically, Don wrote a New York Times Bestseller called Blue Like Jazz awhile back and some guys came to him wanting to make a movie about it. So he was like, “sure, that’s awesome”. I mean, what else are you gonna say when someone asks you that question, right?

As they began working on the movie, Don began to learn a little more about the concept of story in relation to script writing. And being the self- reflection obsessed kind of guy he is, it didn’t take long for him to apply the concept of story to his own life…. especially because the story they were currently working on WAS about his own life.

The thing that was getting to him was that they were having to re- write his life a little bit to make it into a better movie. I mean I guess that’s to be expected and doesn’t sound like a big deal. Well, until some guy starts telling you that the way you handled an important problem in your life was wrong or that what you thought was a moving, epic moment is really just a snore fest. I mean this was his life they were talking about! But I guess it just didn’t have enough car chases and naked girls to make it in Hollywood.

So that’s the premise of this book. Don sets out to live his life as if he really is the main character in a story. He talks about developing himself as a character, setting a good scene in his life, pursuing epic adventures, and “the inciting incident” -which is the point in the story that forces the character to progress forward. Like when the main character of a story finds out they’re dying of cancer, losing their farm, or in Don’s case just living a boring life that people wouldn’t want to pay to watch for 90 minutes.

Unlike Don however, I knew my life would make a stunning blockbuster feature!

So I’m sitting there, on a rooftop patio overlooking the ocean, on our summer adventure in Venice CA, reading this book and thinking, “I’m so awesome. Look at me. I took a big risk, have a great setting, I’m living an adventure, and pursuing a dream. I deserve to have a movie made about MY life. And then I deserve to win an Academy Award for it!”And right about the time that I was running low on suntan lotion, I got to the part where he talks about how you can’t have a good story unless your character faces and overcomes conflict. Oh $#*!. Unfortunately, dropping my margarita all over myself when I read that part, doesn’t count as character building conflict (it totally should though because I was sticky for at LEAST an hour after that)!

The Reading Rainbow part (aka why Levar and I think you should read this).

1. Don is real and this book is real.  I should tell you that Donald Miller is one of my all time favorite authors. He is a Christian author so take note that some of you might not agree with everything he says, but this book is so good I don’t even think you’ll mind the stuff you don’t agree with! I like him because he’s gut wrenchingly honest and often incredibly deep,  yet somehow he’s able to do it in a way that’s almost…. well, cute. I’m sure he wouldn’t be too happy that I described his heartfelt writing as cute, but too bad because it is and that’s what I love about it.

2. It’s just really really really good. I honestly sat bawling for hours while reading this book (and I cried when I finished it because I was so sad it was over). I also found myself laughing out loud while reading it despite being in public places by myself and having people scoot their chairs further away from the laughing maniac in the corner.

3. It gives some of the best examples of extraordinary living EVER. I’m not kidding this book gave me several new heroes, and those come very far and few between for me. And if you are trying to figure out how to live extraordinarily with kids, then you DEFINITELY have to read this. Most of the incredible people he knows happen to also be living out some of the most unique family lifestyles I’ve ever heard about. I would type all of those stories up for you here and now if I wasn’t pretty sure that was on the plagiarizing no- no list. And anyways, you should read the whole book to get a better picture of it.

If my description hasn’t given you enough reason to one- click Amazon order this book or to at least check out Don’s magnificent blog, then maybe these last quotes from the book that I’m going to leave you with will…

 

Quotes from A Million Miles in a Thousand Years:

“Nobody cries at the end of a movie about a guy who wants a Volvo. But we spend years actually living those stories, and expect our lives to feel meaningful.”

“I realized how much of our lives are spent trying to avoid conflict. Half the commercials on television are selling us something that will make life easier. Part of me wonders if our stories aren’t being stolen by the easy life.”

“Nothing against a nice condo, but I privately wondered whether I was a protagonist telling an exciting story who happened to live in a nice condo, or whether I was a protagonist telling a boring story about trying to pay off his nice condo.”

“You become like the people you interact with. And if your friends are living boring stories, you probably will too.”

“While I could not control my happiness, I could control my misery, and I would rather have had control than live in the tension of what if.”

“But fear isn’t only a guide to keeping us safe; it’s also a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life.”

 

I believe in this book so much that…

I am going to give away a copy of “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” to the first person who shares the Rare Existence Facebook page with 3 people. Seriously, just 3! And they don’t even have to actually “like” the page. For once I’m going easy on you guys and having low expectations… mostly because I really want someone to win this book! So tell your friends and email me once you’ve done it! First email I get, wins!