Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Positive Experience #1

I'm reading a book called The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. Here's a TED talk by the author. The purpose of the book is to inform that people become more successful when they are happy and not the other way around. I know I've gotten stuck in the mindset of "When [I've finished school] I'll be happy" or "When [we pay off student loans] we'll be less stressed." While those are good, positive things, science shows that there are active, measurable activities that people can do that will make them happier people. Those happy people then proceed to perform better in work, school, and in their personal lives than neutral or depressed people. I'll do a full review once I finish it, but up to this point I highly recommend the book. 

One of the things that improves happiness is to be grateful. This includes take a few minutes to write down three things you are grateful for each day and another idea is to write for 20 minutes three times a week about a positive experience you've had. My wife, Aubrey, and I are already doing the first one of those. We even bought a fancy little journal that we write in each night. I want to start doing the 20 minutes thing too. And it just so happens I have a blog! So for the time being, I'm going to start taking 20 minutes three times a week to just throw something that made me happy down in my blog. I might start to ramble from time to time, but I'm going to try and make it about one particular experience as opposed to just a bunch of nice random things. I'm planning on doing this on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays. Also, they will generally not be proofread because this is supposed to be a quick exercise. Sorry if that hurts your brain.

Positive Experience #1
Today I pulled off my very first blog giveaway! I'm pretty excited about that. Sure, I think I may have only gotten one new reader (if that) but it's exciting to see that people actually notice some of the work you do. And I got to give them cool stuff for free! Maybe I should start practicing to be the next host on The Price is Right. I used to watch that show a ton when I was little (and to a much lesser degree, The Young and the Restless, which came on right afterward) and it turns out giving stuff away to happy people is a blast. One of the DOTA copies went to a good friend of mine, so I look forward to getting to do that with him. Additionally, I might have ended up with three copies of DOTA 2. So I might have another one I get out there to the people who entered. That'd be awesome.

Turns out I might not actually people able to write about that one topic for a full 20 minutes. But I'll keep going the best I can. So yeah, the giveaway was cool. I really enjoy doing this blog. I know most of my page views seem to come from bots or Adsense checkers or whatever but it's still a good outlet. I remember when I was a Freshman in college (7 years ago) and finally learned that the key to being a good writer is not following a highly-structured guide but just putting down whatever you were thinking and making sure your grammar is good enough that people actually understand it. That was a real brain-opener for me at the time. Aubrey teaches high school English and she's always trying to help kids understand that. It's too bad that so many people write off writing (lol) as just a hard, stupid thing they make you do in school. It's actually pretty fun. Not to mention a great way to get your thoughts out there.

Speaking of positive things about the blog. I totally set my mom up a cooking blog that you should check out. She's in her 50's and has raised five very weird children. But we all seem to be doing okay at least. Now that we're all good and out of the house, she's decided to go to culinary school to learn some new skills. She's already a great cook, but I'm super proud of her for making an effort to keep learning. She's way older than the other people in her class, but so far it sounds like she's doing great and really enjoying herself. The website is cathyscooking.com. It's pretty blank at the moment because...well...I keep forgetting to tell her how it all works. It just updates through blogger but she called me with a question like a week and a half ago. I should call her back. (Note: I call my mom and dad every Sunday. This just didn't come up the last time.)

Speaking of things I've mentioned on this blog, I am so super exciting to apply for a full time SC2 casting position with IGN. Sure, I'm totally not going to get it. I casted my first couple games the other day (which I've been putting off a long time. It's really nerve-wrecking to get started!) and they were definitely not professional quality. I'll have to keep practicing on that. But the fact that there really are jobs like that out there is so awesome. I really need to keep practicing so I can get into that one day. I like programming, for sure. But I would LOVE to be a SC2 commentator. Can you even imagine showing up to work and getting paid for that? I can't think of anything else I would want to do more than that. I think that comes from a few different areas of my brain though.

I really like playing video games. Duh. Particularly the kinds that require some thought and planning. And then you get to see your plan pay off. That's a great feeling. Secondly, I really like helping people learn things, especially if it's something I'm passionate about. Commentating Starcraft 2 is synonymous in my mind with teaching Starcraft 2 thanks to watching Day[9]. So getting to have a job where I do both would be freaking amazing! It makes me so excited just to apply and motivates me to keep up practicing and keep up this blog because it might actually amount to a sweet job in the eSports industry. I'll admit I was pretty pessimistic about the whole thing at first. Aubrey convinced me that I should just go for it. She says that because she thinks I'm a lot smarter and more capable than I really am, but it's still nice to have someone believe in you so much. And I figured the "rejection" wouldn't be any worse than the buttheads on the internet now a days that just ask you to send them a resume and you never hear even a peep back. That's totally crap.

Anyway, we're being positive here. My twenty minutes are up and I hope that everyone has a great and happy day. I'll cast some more Starcraft games later. Hopefully I start to improve drastically with practice!

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