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Archive for the ‘Self-Improvement’ Category

Ego

What does it mean to dissolve ego?  I wonder sometimes, and try to understand why we choose to find ourselves attached to such ideals, like superiority, or what it means to be successful.  In my own journey I find that it is hard to admit that I need to learn to understand better.  It’s times like these in your life you find yourself at a point of expertise or seniority that you feel like you have graduated.  I am slowly find out in my years of living and learning that you never graduate from anything.  In essence the growth of understanding has no check points, horizons or finish lines.  To take a step back and try to understand the bigger picture can be such a liberating feeling.  Understanding that it is fine to say that I do not understand, and I do not know the absolute.  It is a signal that in the greater scheme of things, that in the lack of that knowledge, in that depth of which is dark, is where you will find the absolute truth.  The first step to knowing is not knowing, it is the cusp of who we are as human beings, and it is the nature of the true explorer.

This brings me to ego.  Sometimes we may have encountered situations in our life that we have done wrong in either circumstance, of what we say or what we do.  When we recognize these imperfections that our ego sometimes displays it is a chance to improve.  One way I have always gauged myself is when it was too late to take back an offense, I try to understand why it was committed.   What needs to be considered is not what was the nature of the offense, but who suffered and what if that was you.  The ability to see yourself in others, to walk within their shoes, is a skill I am far from understanding.  The only thing I can learn from it is that you are your actions.  There isn’t enough words in the world to describe an action, in any case you can build a volume about one’s action, that is why actions speak louder than words.

I hope one day I can practice this understanding without thinking of it.  Try to subdue my own ego in order to see the bigger picture.  One thing that has been apparent is as I see the bigger picture, it seems to always become larger.  This is the true handicap that an ego can truly steal from a person.  Unfortunately, I feel this type of handicap prevents us from a life worth living, and a journey worth walking.  My only hope, and belief, is that you as an individual can find the happiness you seek, which is in the knowledge of your experiences.  This would be a life worth living.

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Perspective

I know again, it has been a very long time since I have done any blog entries.    This year I turn 30, and quite honestly, I thought this year wouldn’t come for a very long time.  I, like many, had a different idea of where I should of been during this time in my life.  Hell, six years ago I had different plans, and expectations of where I should of been.  So I sat done and thought about my life thus far, and yes, did some googling about it.  So I decided to look back as early as 18 to see some of the expectations I had then, and  compare them to what has happened presently.

Eric Weiss’s Expectations at 18:

  • Travel The World
  • Get in Better Shape (I was a fat boy in high school.)
  • Marry my current high school sweetheart (at the time)
  • Run my own studio (I was actually working in field at the time… it made the career expectation that much worse.)
  • Retire by the time I turn 30 (Ha!)
  • Live in Los Angeles
  • Leave Vegas and never come back (I truly hated that city growing up.)

Well the plan did not pan out exactly to what I expected. It was actually a bit depressing remember that young man with so many aspirations.  Then I took a look at what I truly have in my life and where I am now.

Eric Weiss’s Reality at 29:

Travel The World

Well apparently I did travel the world.  I just did not think it was going to be every place that no one else wouldn’t want to go.  I went into the Army Reserve in 2002, just in time for Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Grant it, I did some sight seeing in some parts of Europe (briefly), but I spent the majority of my time in the middle-east.  So looking back I did get a chance to see the world I just never thought it would be through the sight of an M16 (and eventually an M4).  The war taught me a few things:  For the most part there is no valid reason to sacrifice any life to wage war onto another nation (or for any reason at all).  I have become more of a pacifist because of the experience and have grown to embrace humanitarian action. The war has taught me the importance of living to help others and most of all the beauty of life.

Get in Better Shape

I have to say I did accomplish this when I joined the Army.  I was in awesome shape after my first tour, and it has been a bit of tug of war of keeping in good shape.  One thing I thought was amazing for me, currently, was the fact that I was able to survive the Tough Mudder, which is a 12 mile foot race of with  all sorts of obstacles.  This one part of my life I have definitely have done pretty well, taking in consideration the fat mess I was back in high school.

Marry My Current High School Sweetheart

Ah yes, I remember my first girlfriend Jessica. We dated for two years and I even purposed to her, I was sure I was going to marry her.  This all changed when she broke up with me.  I have to say of all the things good that anyone could of done for me, this break up ignited some of the greatest adventures of my life.  If she never broke up with me, I would never joined the military, and would never had so much fun in my younger years.  All I can say, is thank the universe for letting me dodge that bullet.

Run My Own Studio

For a brief couple of years I did have my own studio built out at my parents house utilizing the third car garage.  I used the studio for my photography and videography during my early years of figuring out my path professionally. I even produced a full length feature film, which was a 119 minutes long. It was called “One Step Behind”, the film title seemed more of a life theme at the time, but during this time (which was from the time I was 21 – 24) I really built myself up as a media specialist.  I did an array of projects from promotional DVDs, to live film sets for concerts and events.  I worked for PBS and even did editing work for various of companies, that I wouldn’t even think I would do work for in my whole entire life.  I eventually did a second tour to Iraq (yes more world travling), and then got into web programming.  I was about 27 when I came to Orlando, and I remember I was hard up for a job.  I started doing IT certifications to get hired in a field that was paying a decent wage during a recession.  At this time, I told myself that I was done with my dream of having my own studio, or even working in video production.  My first job in Orlando was with a web firm and I was a Jr. Web Designer.  I did one website for them, and did ok, to say the least.  Then one day the firm needed someone to edit some video packages for a client.  I did a few packages and my employer at the time was really impressed.  It seemed at the time, no matter what I do, I can never run away from the media industry.  Again in my next job, off a Craig’s List job posting for an IT Assistant, I was surprised to find out that they need someone that had video experience.  Apparently the company did regular video podcasting and need someone to do production work.  I also do their web, and IT support to boot.  So now I am currently building a $60,000 studio for that same company and I am blown away that this is how my dream has panned out.

Retire by the time I turn 30

This is such a stupid expectation. Who the hell wants to retire at 30?  Life is to fun to live, to lay around like a couple of old people this early in life. I have so much fight and energy left in me, I really can’t imagine ever wanting to retire.

Live In Los Angeles

California in general has some very beautiful places to visit, Los Angeles is not one of those places.  If California was a human being, LA would be the anus of the state.  For starters, anyone that lives in Los Angeles can tell you that it cost an arm and leg to live there.  The beaches are always busy, and the people are out of their mind.  Instead, I found myself moved to Orlando, Florida.  One of the most beautiful places I have seen, and the beaches here are the cleanest I have seen in comparison to the west coast.  I can tell you, never in a million years I would ever thought of moving here for any reason and I am sure the hell happy I did.

Leave Vegas And Never Come Back

Most movies are about leaving Vegas, there’s a good reason for that, it’s a bad place to live (for obvious reasons).  I did leave Vegas once when I joined the Army at 19, to only move to Tucson, Arizona (yeah, big improvement).  The only real reason I did this was to be close to Jessica.  It was a good learning experience about people and in the process, I met some really awesome people.  I again came back to Vegas in 2004 to live their for a few years. After my second tour in 2009, I left both the Army Reserve and Vegas all at once to embark onto what is becoming one of the best adventures of my life.

Looking back, I have to say I have accomplished more than I set out to do.  I traveled paths in my life that I never thought I would take.  Pursuing my dreams, I had my moments when I lost faith, but by chance I found myself right where I needed to be, and surprisingly enough some of my dreams did happen, but in the way I did not expected them to happen.  After looking back, I have to say turning 30 won’t be so bad after all.  I am so thankful for everything I have and for everyone that came and gone in my life.  Sometimes when you think you are going the right direction you usually find yourself on the wrong path. Just like an old country road, no matter how lost you get, the road will always bring you where you need to be.

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Learning To Stand

For me, these past couple months have been very busy, which is the reason I haven’t been able to write anything.  A good friend of mine from the past, reminded me why it was important to keep writing. A matter of fact I will tell you a little bit about her.  Her name, to me and always be Jones (It is now Costa, she is happily married with a beautiful daughter, but regardless she will always be Jones to me).   I met Jones in my first year in the Army before my first tour.  A matter of fact we were both attending 88M training for the HET 1020, at Ft. Hunter-Leggett, this was back in 2003 just before our unit deployed to Iraq.   You have to remember, when I was younger, I would considered myself then, a very over-zealous, headstrong, stubborn idiot, with a horrible attitude out on life.  The one thing I credit Jones, is her ability to see the better side of life, the overall picture.  There were times I let things defeat me  in my tracks, (mostly due in part to my foolishness)  and that time was spent sometimes complaining about it to her.  One thing she always would consistently tell me that everything usually, works itself out.  Then I never really understood, nor did I ever saw things as positively as she did, but now it makes sense, seeing where I came from. So about a few days ago, my good friend once again reminded why it was important to keep going with this blog I started.  If anything I have learned in my life that people come and go, but regardless the amount time you spend with them, there is something they can teach you.

In life people get caught up in situations that they may have no control over, or are just made the wrong choices.  We sometimes fall into this “Why me!?” state, that unfortunately, causes people to make rash decisions, or completely give up on an endeavor.  This is because our expectation of success is not what it appears to be once we have reached a point, or maybe you don’t see the results in comparison to prior results before you started this endeavor. There was a saying that my father and older brother use to tell me when I felt I reached the bottom: “To be successful, isn’t the amount of great merit you achieve in life, but rather how well you handle failure is what makes successful.” There will be many times in your life you have fallen, but it is how you stand up.  Looking back almost 10 years ago to the time spent with Jones, I can tell you I have fallen many times.  I have to say, I personally have come a long ways, but that is the beauty of failure.  In those moments when you fail, that is when you define the strength of your will and spirit.  I know this one is a bit short, I’ll leave you with this song I heard on the radio.

Thank you Jones, for helping me get my head out of ass again.

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Solitude

This year has probably been the longest I have ever spent living alone.  I come from a family of five, with two older brothers, and always had a friend that I would see on a daily basis.  Now being alone for so long, I have come to a few new understandings about life.

Some things may seem important, but in most cases, they are not relevant.

Look, it’s understandable that you want a good car, but it is not so important to get a Mercedes over a Hyundai.  Both these cars will do the same thing,which is get you from point A to point B.   Unfortunately, our ego makes some of the worst decisions and usually keeps us out of sight of what is really important.  In the case of most people my age (28 years old), there is an importance to be in a relationship.   Relationships, cars, clothes, are things we use to seek status, and these are the wrong things to concentrate on as you will find these things do not bring happiness.  So are you happy?  What will make you happy?  If buying that Mercedes is that important, are you ready to handle the stress of supporting it?  Maybe the person in your life has relationship with you because of the material need, what if you loose your job, will you still have that person?  Then when you reach that end ask yourself, are you really happy?  The Mercedes looses its relevance in sustaining your happiness because your happiness never existed.  In the end, when you have nothing, the things of importance will present themselves.

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The Fight!

I live for the fight!  It’s the one thing in this world that defines us in the challenges we face.  No one can take that away from you, the feeling of giving everything you have down to the last moment.  There is no pill, powder, that can replace that human will, to strive to be the very best you can be.  The fight isn’t just with another opponent, or against time, but the voice in the back of your head that tells you can’t.  To truly overcome and defeat that voice is the real fight, in those moments you define the very person you want to become!  It’s when you are able to face the flame of opposition, with all the fear, the pain, and those very few seconds when you run head into the flames, there is no divine or poetic inspiration,  that can give you that very feeling.  This is the part of humanity that touches me on a very personal level, and it humbles me to see how much greatness can be accomplished by one person. (more…)

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electronics

Image Courtesy of http://www.edgeofdavid.com

So I finish up one of my most favorite things to do on the weekends, which is to walk the path around the whole entire Lake Baldwin.  I came upon a Subway to have dinner, conveniently located a block away from the lake.  As I was enjoying my dinner, I spotted a father and his son a few tables down, in complete silence looking down.  At first impression, I thought, maybe it’s been not a great night and the mood for conversation was absent.  The boy had to be at least  10 years old, and I’ll venture to say the father must been in his early to mid forties.  As I observed, I notice they both had i-pads and were consumed with whatever they were doing.  In a way I felt bad for the young boy, and a little resentful towards the father.  This could be a moment where this father can enjoy a conversation with his son, or maybe this is an opportunity for the son to better understand his father.  What is so important in small electronics that your time is consistently absorbed with this new infatuation of small media devices that our society has incorporated into our daily lives?  One thing I have learned is you only have your parents once, and that even the dull moments can have a big impact on your life years later.  It seems most people nowadays have to be doing something on regular basis whether, it is checking out the latest news or playing the mindless video game to kill time, it just seems that people have lost the art of just “being”.

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Life Evaluation

Photo by Michael Bina Courtsey of http://www.allamericanpatriots.com

The mirror is the first step in my process to better myself, but knowingly, it wasn’t enough.  In my experience I’ve seen too many people get to the stage of looking into the mirror and do nothing about the problems that have gotten them to this point.  In most instances, I’ve seen many come to the mirror multiple times without making any changes.  The one thing that I know is true, for an individual to want to improve their situation, must actually make the conscious decision to change.   The lack of commitment to change could be result of an overwhelming situation, whether it is your weight, financial debt, or your personal relationships, it makes those first steps the hardest to take when improving any of these areas. (more…)

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