Archives for posts with tag: twitter

I posed a question on my Facebook page the other day. I was thinking out loud (which usually gets me in trouble) about all the people on Facebook and Twitter throwing BP under the bus over this explosion and subsequent oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I only have a small bit of understanding – certainly not enough to make any true comment on the situation. I’m a musician and a writer, not an expert on oil. But I’ll bet that most of the people who are throwing BP under the bus have about the same amount of understanding as I do.

Getting to the point, the underlying thought I came up with all the Facebooking and Twittering was this:

How many of these people drive their cars… A LOT?

I had an idea of something we all could do now about the demand in the U. S. for cheap gasoline, and that was to drop one day per week of driving. I received some challenging comments about driving 6-days a week and the BP situation, so the answer in that area is up in the air, even in my opinion. But I started to take the thought further, on an emotional and stress reducing level.

Can you imagine how much stress would leave your body and mind if you took 24-hours to not drive?

I get such a kick in so many ways out of riding my bicycle to work. I was thinking over my plans and being bummed that I might not be able to this week. But you don’t have to ride a bike to not drive.

I’ll be moving to St. Louis next year and while browsing areas to live, being on the Metrolink line is very important in where my family will choose our next home. You can see so much of an area by train, whether it’s long distance or in town.

You could also choose a day off to not drive and all, and God forbid, you could stay at home and enjoy whatever it is you have there. We always seem to forget that we spend more time at work than at home, yet they say “Home is where the heart is.” The next time you take a day off, try actually taking a day off – from everything.

All this is coming down to is that such a simple idea can turn into yet another source of enjoyment out of life. It tells me that by taking simple steps such as leaving the car in the drive way for one day per week, it is truly possible to enjoy life all the time. I really believe that you can enjoy every moment of life, or I wouldn’t have started this blog. Don’t be over-radical in your life, just drive a little less, and find out what good things can enter into your day.

Always Enjoy Life

Zach Ellerbrook

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I know it’s taboo to apologize for not posting in a while, but it’s been a long freaking time since I’ve posted so I’ve decided that an explanation is in order.

Not only will an explanation make me feel better, the entire premise of any blog should be to serve others (unless it’s a journal), and I believe that my struggles can help other bloggers out there.  I love getting advice from ProBlogger and How to Make My Blog, but sometimes learning from less experienced bloggers can have better advice for me, because I’m in the same place they are.

The biggest reason why I haven’t posted in a very long time – I have no clue as to what direction I want my blog to ultimately go.  Here’s why:

1.  I’m Freaking Busy:  Lame, I know, but I’m not just busy.  I’m really freaking busy.  I have a very active life off the computer.  I am proud to be a husband and father, churchgoer, U. S. Navy Band member, graduate student, and part of other personal activities.  It’s not that these roles in my life take up so much time, it’s just that they take so much of my body, mind, heart, and soul that it’s hard to narrow my focus enough to write a helpful blog post.  This post is about a lack of direction, not time.  I am grateful for the thousands of little things that make my life worth living every day, but sometimes they go by so fast that they’re not in my mind when I’m ready to write.  I desperately need to start a journal.

2.  I’m In the Middle of Major Life Changes:  An obvious response is, “Who isn’t?”  I think my life is a little more unsettled than most, at least in the area of topics I can write about that not too many others are.  Seriously, I learn more and more about fatherhood every day, but a search of “Dad Blogs” turned up 22,300,000 hits.  Not exactly a niche I can just jump into and expect readers.  Teaching is a thought, but I’m an education student, not an experienced teacher – yet.  I have recently become a fan of Zen Habits and Simple. Organized. Life., and have been a Catholic for just over a year.  Since I am already into simplicity, I have been looking into some sort of simple, “zen” practice of my religion, but much has already been written on the subject… in the 1960’s.  Of course, I could continue with my current theme, or create blog accounts for all of the major parts of my life, but that puts us back at number 1.

3.  Seeing Lots of Successful Blogs Can Be Frustrating:  An obivious reason why many do not start writing in the first place.  If I want to be motivated to write, comparing myself to Seth Godin isn’t the smartest thing to do.  I have to remind myself that I am writing to practice writing, and success doesn’t happen overnight for anyone.  It sounds obvious and cliche, but sometimes it’s the obvious and cliche that teaches us the most – That’s why it’s obvious and cliche.

4.  I Like Twitter a Lot:  I’m not saying that I would rather stare at my Tweet Deck all day instead of write.  I was raised to speak my mind in the simplest way possible.  So this reason isn’t really about Twitter, it’s about writing less…. Okay, so one look at this post may make you think that writing less isn’t a problem.  What happens is I either write too little, or write too much.

5.  FEAR:  This should really be number one, but I felt it would have more impact at number five.  Fear is the reason why most people do not do most things.  It’s hard to speak my mind in conversation, because someone is bound to disagree with me, and offer an argument that I can’t argue with, even though they did not convince me that I was wrong.  I’m not the best in those situations (yet).  Now imagine that fear when I speak my mind and post it for potentially billions of readers.  The silly thing about fear is that my record day of readers was forty-eight.  Not forty-eight thousand, forty-eight.  Hopefully my writing will be better when I reach forty-eight grand.

Yes, this blog post is a call for help, but it’s also a call to help.  If you’re a frustrated blogger, please know that there are millions out there that have more than these five reasons why it’s tough to really focus on a blog theme.  I plan on getting through it, and being able to help others through my words.  I actually like these challenges I’m going through.  They make life interesting and fun, and especially more enjoyable.  If having a direction to my blog is one of the struggles in my life, I’m in pretty good shape.

Always Enjoy Life
Zach Ellerbrook

I hope I don’t offend any newspaper or television journalists, but I have become much more happy and relaxed since giving up the news.  Looking back, I have no idea when was the last time I watched it.

Let’s see how this has affected me.  My finances are in manageable order.  I am not in danger of losing my day job, and I’m even starting a new career path with hope instead of despair.  I lock all the doors that need to be locked, but I’m not looking over my shoulder worried if I’ll be the next victim of violent crime.  All in all, I actually feel more independent now than I ever did when I was “well informed.”

Don’t get me wrong, I still get news.  Thanks to Twitter, I heard about the Canadian man that stole an airplane, and was able to have a link to the story.  Now that’s news, but all of the tweets were saying, “Why isn’t this on TV?”  I hate to predict the fall of the status quo of news, but I personally get more of the information I want to get from the internet in many ways.

So my suggestion to you, try it.  After CSI, SVU, or that show that’s taking ER’s spot, turn the TV off.  Read a book.  God forbid, talk with your spouse.  It’s just one of the little things I have actually taken away that has made life just that more enjoyable.

Always Enjoy Life
Zach Ellerbrook

Blogged with the Flock Browser

And never take yourself too seriously.

I’m amazed by how serious some people take life, and how grumpy they can be.  I have never, never understood how some people’s general character is that of the ultimate seriousness.  Are they preparing for something?  Do they know something I don’t?  Most importantly, are they happy and content with the life God has given them at any moment?

Maybe I’ve found the secret to life after only 11 blog posts.  Jo Jo Tabares’ Twitter profile (@JoJoTabares) describes herself as a “goofball by nature.”  What a wonderful way to live!  I immediately became one of her followers.  I mentioned how I appreciated her Twitter profile and she explained to me that her daughter has taught her to “embrace her inner wierdness.”  Wow.  Then again, my kids teach me to embrace my inner goofball and they’re only 4 and 1.

As you can tell, wierd may be too strong of a word for some, so I encourage you to embrace your inner goofball.  It may be tough at first.  In fact, it could be a little wierd.  I’m telling you, increasing your ability to be silly can increase your enjoyment of life by a factor of 10 (I have no scientific proof to support this fact, but it sounds like a good number to me).

Do one thing that is goofy today… on purpose.   You’ll be that much closer to claiming with confidence that you enjoy life all the time.  Just like I do.

Always Enjoy Life,
Zach Ellerbrook

Blogged with the Flock Browser

“For a list of all the ways technology has failed to improve the quality of life, please press three.”  -Alice Kahn

Today I would just like to post a short review on the new Flock browser by Mozilla.  I don’t think it’s really new, but I first heard about it on Sunday, so it’s new to me.  At first, Flock is simply a browser that you can browse the Internet on, but it goes so much further.  Upon my first startup I was asked to enter in my login information to my e-mail accounts, plus popular social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, You Tube, Flickr…. and many other sites that I hadn’t even heard of.

After logging in to all these sites and importing my RSS feed into Flock, I was ready to rock n’ roll.  No matter what I am reading on the Internet, there is a toolbar in the upper-left portiion that has icons for my social networking sites, media, RSS, and e-mail.  Every time I get a new message or addition to my RSS feed, the corresponding icon glows.

In other words, I don’t check my e-mail anymore.  My e-mail tells me when I have a new message.  I can recieve e-mail and other messages in real time!

That’s the best part about Flock.  I’m able to act much more quickly to those I communicate with, so my life is made easier in making life easier for the people I correspond with.  Not to mention that they have a blog editor.  In fact, at the bottom of this post you will see that I am writing this review using Flock.

I’m not really the best reviewer, but I wanted to sing the praises of this new browser upon my initial reaction.  Plus, I had been getting really deep lately, so I wanted to come back to the little things that make life worth living.

I have no idea who Alice Kahn is, but she’s dead on.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do a technology review in a blog about always enjoying life, but a new internet browser definitely falls under the category of small things that make life worth living.  You wouldn’t be reading this if it wasn’t for  the Internet, so a new browser is definitely something I can grateful for.  I have recently gotten active on Twitter, and would have not discovered the Flock browser had it not been for one tweet.  Don’t get me started on the usefulness of Twitter (but you can follow me at @zellerbrook!).

Always Enjoy Life,
Zach Ellerbrook

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.  Matthew 5:6 NAB

I know that righteousness is more about right thinking and character, but I say blessed are those who hunger and thirst for knowledge as well.

While on twitter I was recently reminded that the best teachers are the best learners, and it makes perfect sense.  How can anyone learn from someone thhat is not willing to learn themselves?  When I first realized this principle, I immedieately started opening my mind to learning more and more.  I listened more often than I spoke.  I started actively reading more, and actually tried to retain what I was reading.  In fact, I have read little fiction since becoming more teachable.

It’s a shame that I had to “come to the realization” that I would have more joy for life if I became teachable.  I mean, when you’re teachable, you learn more.  It’s one of those scary principles that become insanely obvious when you actually see it written out.

Yes, I am on the computer a lot.  I am trying to read a lot more.  After reading Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I am going to try to get to the point where I read a book per week.  Try it or something similar.  Do you hunger and thirst for knowledge?  If not, how much more do you think you would enjoy life if you did?

Of course like a good teacher, when you learn something new, be sure to pass it on to others, so that they may learn too.  Anyone can be a teacher.

Always Enjoy Life

Zach Ellerbrook