Leave only footprints

Personal Legend

Ride the Wave


Don’t base your idea of happiness on others and what they have achieved. Life is full of forks in the road and we need to be happy with the choices we have made.

Ride the wave.

 

Recently, I had the opportunity to go down to Costa Rica for about a week. It was a great experience and to risk sounding cliche….it was life changing. While there, I spent a lot of my time just being in the moment. I enjoyed great food, great company and even took a surf lesson.

It was the moments after that first time surfing when it hit me. I was sitting on the edge of the jungle under a small thatch roof pavilion; looking out at the ocean. The conversation had died down and we were all sitting there on benches made from driftwood. It all sort of ‘clicked’ and came together. I felt like I found myself. I understood that what I was doing in that moment was exactly what I was supposed to be doing. It was a little moment of nirvana/enlightenment. I had achieved my inner ‘Dude’

My challenge now is: how do I keep this vibe going while I’m back home in Buffalo?


Sunday, June 2nd 2019 is going to be the first ever Dudeism services in Buffalo, NY! Fellow Dude, John W. and I are starting up a Dudiest congregation. We are still working on the official name, but that will come in time. Feel free to join us! Use our contact form for more info.

 


The Future of Barefoot Buffalo


Recently, there have been a few main distractions in my life. Not really distractions, as these are hobbies. I have been thinking about how I can focus on these more.

I have been performing with the improv group ComedySportz Buffalo and this has been awesome! I get paid to make people laugh which is a great gig. Definitely part of my personal legend.

I have also embarked on a journey of blacksmithing. I have set up a forge in my backyard/shed and I have begun making small items. I feel like this is an avenue for a side gig.

With the good weather right around the corner, I am gearing up for camping, buahcraft and hiking. I would like to create some YouTube videos of this. This too could be a nice little side gig. I have a preview of one here: https://youtu.be/VfS0qBkZfgs

Therefore, I would like to announce that I am going to include Wandering Cat Forge and Long Dog Bushcraft to the Barefoot Buffalo world. These two activities are a large part of me and Barefoot Buffalo IS me.

I’m excited to have a place to share all of my new adventures. Stay tuned for more content!

… finally

Long days and pleasent nights,

ShoelessJoeK

PS I didn’t mention the Diligent Loiter world because that is separate from.the Barefoot Buffalo.


The Power of the Plan


If you are anything like me, you find it extremely hard to know what to do next. It may even get to the point where you say, “Fuck it! A nap sounds pretty good right now…” Well, there is a way to fix this. Instead of waiting for free time to figure out what you want/need to do, how about you make a plan!

There are 3 main phases to how I make my plan of attack when it comes to my “life’s work”. I have just begun this method and it seems to be working out fairly well for me. It would be going so much better if this damn weather would cooperate. -5 air temps are no fun.

*Hint: A large desk calendar comes in super duper handy*

Phase 1: The Monthly Plan

This is where you will plan out what you need to do this month. This can include what days your bills are due, any doctors appointments, etc. The main items that should go on anyone’s calendar. If you are an internet content creator, this is where you would set up your publishing dates. Think of the monthly plan as your Final Step for any projects. This is all of your due dates.

Phase 2: The Weekly Plan

Every week is going to be different. That being said, you should pick a day to plan out your week. I like to do mine on Saturday nights (I know, I’m lame). I usually plan through the next Sunday, that way I have more than a day’s notice to prepare for what I have planned.

For the weekly plan, you should figure out what goals/milestones you need to hit each day in order to make you monthly goals actually happen. These are not scheduled by times, just what needs to get done each day to bring you closer to your goals. For example, on Monday, your task could be to reach out to potential sponsors for your podcast. Then, on Friday, one of your tasks could be to make sure you received a response from that sponsor.

If you have a blog, youtube channel, etc and you know that you want your content to go live on Friday mornings at 5:00, then your weekly plan should include the small steps that will get you there. Some posts or videos will take more time to research and perfect. This is where your monthly plan comes into play. If you have set a publish day for each of your projects, your weeks leading up should include the small steps to get you there. When you have an idea for a project/post you can add to your weekly plan the groundwork phases for what your need to get to the final product. Once you know you are close and you can set a firm finish goal, that is when you enter that into your monthly calendar.

*I know this sounds confusing, but once you get started it seems to just come together. If I was more computer literate, I would have all sorts of diagrams, but I’m not that smart. Yet.*

Phase 3: The Daily Plan

Once you have completed your weekly plan, you need to start scheduling things. For your daily plan, you want to schedule out everything you want/need to get done. I have a full time job so the majority of my day is blocked off for that. I also like to workout regularly, so I need to schedule a time for that. I need to set aside time for what I call my “life’s work” which is all of this stuff; Barefoot Buffalo blog, my youtube channel, my podcast, everything that I am doing that isn’t my “real job”. A typical day for me looks like this:

Calendar

As you can (maybe) see, is that I just block out times where I intend to work on shit. Inside each of those I have a description that tells me exactly what to work on, when that item is due to publish etc. I’m still working out a ton of youtube videos. There aren’t even on my Monthly Calendar because they aren’t even in the recording phase. Once I get the videos/posts everything into the editing phase is when they go on my calendar.


To summarize, the three phases go from the big picture down to the small picture. You plan your main items first, then fill in with what needs to get done then figure out exactly how to go about getting it done.

When you have a plan, especially like this, it becomes extremely easy to not get off track. If you have every little step planned out, you won’t find yourself with free time thinking ‘I know I want to do something, but what do I want to do?’ You’ll just end up wasting your free time trying to figure out what it is you want to spend your free time doing.

Your plan doesn’t need to be as complete as mine. I need mine to be more specific or else I end up taking naps. And naps are not productive. They feel great! But, they don’t really do much to further you along your path.

I use Google Calendar. I have my iPhone calendar set up so that I can see my Google Calendar in the iPhone’s Calendar app. It was a pain to set up, but it’s worth it. Super streamlined and accessible everywhere.

 

If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment and I’ll respond! I like talking with people. It let’s me know someone actually reads these things.

 

Long days and pleasant nights,

 

Shoeless Joe


Personal Journey February 2015 Update


OH MY GOSH! It’s been way to freaking long since I’ve done any posts about personal legends. I have good excuses, but that’s all they are excuses. Nobody has time for excuses.

Here is my update regarding my own person legend. I was let go from my full time job. The company decided that it didn’t want to be a company anymore and everyone got the boot. Shitty. I powered through though! I ended getting a new job, this one is for a better cause. I went from a collections agency to a Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Provider Network. I feel like what I’m doing now isn’t just getting a paycheck, but helping (behind the scenes stuff) to help others get better.

On the 16th, it will be 9 months smoke free. That one is big for me. Nothing helps you move forward like leaving your bad habits behind. While I left smoking (the bad) behind, I also left some good behind as well. I pretty much had to. I had to let a part of me die that day. As a result there were some other casualties as well. I severely injured a lifelong friendship. I wish it didn’t happen that way, but all of my memories with this person had our mutual friend cigarettes in them as well. Whenever we would talk on the phone we would both be smoking. It was our way of staying connected over long distances. That has been hard for me, but it also has been good for me. He has a family now and doesn’t need to be spending time wasting it on hours long phone calls with me. I’m happy for him. He’s doing great for himself and we do still keep in touch. Just not nearly on the scale it once was.

So, I quit smoking, lost my job, didn’t go back to smoking to deal with the stress of that, found a new job, and Barefoot Buffalo came back into my life.

I admit, I had pretty much left Barefoot Buffalo to die. I wasn’t feeling it. How could someone who was dealing with so much shit, write articles about being happy? My dad had just passed away and I couldn’t handle trying to make others happy when I could barely make myself happy. I tried to bring back Barefoot Buffalo, but it never stayed. After all of that though…it seems that instead of me coming back to barefootbuffalo.com, barefootbuffalo.com has come back to me. The ideas about the cosmic energy in all of us and our personal legends all of that shit has come slamming back into me. I now understand that being in hard times is a good place to be when writing articles about being happy, finding happiness and making the most out of your life. I was living the depressed life for over 2 years. I have gained a lot of experience being down and bringing myself back up. I wish I was writing during that dark period. I would have had a lot of unique takes on being happy and how to get there. I was trying some strange ways to be happy. Of course I tried the usual coping mechanisms like stress eating…Yup. Let’s call it stress eating…. Whoops.

That’s where GYM419 came from. I had made the decision to stop being depressed and fat and just be fat. Now I’m getting all happy and shit and it’s time to not be fat too! I realized that this site isn’t really the place for posting workouts. I will be posting on twitter and possibly facebook what workouts I’m doing. I may even make a sister site. Who knows where life will take me!?

I sure as hell don’t know.

I’m just here for the ride.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe


Yo, if you are looking to pass some time, check out Urban Dead (Not a sponsor, I just play this game and fucking love it. If you decide to play, join my group: I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge) Urban Dead is a free-to-play, browser-based multi-player game where you play the survivor or victim of a zombie outbreak in a quarantined city center, alongside tens of thousands of others.

“In death, the city stirs. Its borders still locked down after a sudden government quarantine seven years ago, Malton’s trapped civilians make their way through the derelict buildings, surviving the changing seasons to rebuild their fragmented society from the rubble upwards. Military cleanup squads patrol the empty streets, stationed in the city for the long haul, while embedded scientific groups continue the experiments that brought them here.

And the dead rise up and thrive, trailing through the ruined streets of the city, milling between buildings and clawing through makeshift barricades and diversions, reclaiming the city as their own.”

I suggest joining my group (enter I Am Jack’s Smirking Revenge into the group field of your settings) and checking out these links to help get you started.

Hint: Start with the “Free Running” skill. It makes the beginning of the game soooo much easier.

First Day in Malton

Urban Dead FAQ 

The Wiki

Map

Different Map

Different, different map


Negativity Breeds Negativity with Emapthy


Everyone who has any sense of wonder at the universe has at least heard of the phrase, Negativity Breads Negativity. But why is this? Why is it that when someone is having a shitty day, your day seems to fall apart as well?

I have been dealing with a situation recently where someone close to me has been crying a lot. I don’t feel like I’m in a position to ask what’s wrong. I don’t know this person on a very personal level and I have only known this person professionally for less than 3 months. It was going on for a couple days straight and every time I heard her sniffling begin I was overcome with a sense of deep sorrow. My heart felt like it sunk to the floor and I felt like I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown. Now, why should I feel like this? My day was going splendidly. I was happy listening to a podcast and pounding through my work, then BOOM! super sadness attack.

The only thing I can think of is empathy and the idea that humans are all cosmically linked.

Why does negativity breed negativity? Why do bad vibes fuck with your good vibes? Why do good vibes brighten bad vibes? We all have that friend who can light up a room just by being in it, and we all have that friend who brings down everyone’s mood when they enter the room. Why is this?

Empathy is when you share the feelings with someone else. You understand their emotions and you sympathize with them. You mood actually changes to match the feelings you are around. I believe that everyone is built with this subconscious mechanism to help their loved ones cope with situations. If you are feeling down and someone comes over with that slightly sad look on their face and gives you a hug, you feel better. Knowing that someone else understands how your feeling sparks that fire of happiness. It won’t necessarily make you feel happy and ready to take on the world, but it gives you that jumpstart.

Everyone is linked cosmically. We all have spirits that use our bodies as vessels to occupy this dimension. Our spirits are all linked. We can understand each other just by looking at them. Have you ever stared into someones eyes. I mean actually stared into someones eyes. If you haven’t I suggest you do. Ask someone you are close with to stare into each others eyes. Nothing sexual here, no feelings intended. You’re not holding hands and smiling at each other. It’s best if you are close enough so you can’t even see their mouths. Just eyes to eyes. Hell, you can even just stare into your own eyes in the mirror. HOLY SHIT! It’s the craziest things you can do. Tell me that we are not linked. When you look deeply into someones eyes, it feels like your souls are connecting. You can get lost in your own gaze if you stare deep enough into the mirror. It’s the craziest experience.

What does all of this have to do with negativity breeding negativity? I’ve been rambling, I know. It’s just that it’s been so long since I’ve written on here and there are so many ideas I want to write about. They all seem to be seeping out at once. But these ideas do have a lot to do with contagious moods.

Because we are all linked and our minds like to imitate others emotions we tend to drift towards the strongest emotion in the area. A negative person is typically the complainer. They like to voice their negativity. That is why you always seem to get sucked into that void of ugliness. It’s all around you when there is a negative person there. Imagine negativity as a heavy emotion and happiness as a light emotion. It’s easy for negativity to weigh down happiness.

I’m so excited to be writing that I haven’t thought out a proper outline for this post. I apologize. I got the itch and I don’t want to lose it. I’m back on track with my personal journey that I’m just diving in!

Back to my story. The coworker who was crying. I was being brought down from her “heavy” emotions. I wasn’t sure how to respond as we are not really that close. I ended up letting her supervisor know that she seemed upset and that I though it could be work stress related. I hope that when they met they were able to address the underlying causes of her being upset and frustrated at work. The coworker did end up seeming better later in the day.

If you see someone having a bad day, try to do something to make it better. Even a small compliment could boost someone’s mood. It doesn’t take much.

http://www.ascensionearth2012.org/2013/09/hanging-out-with-my-cosmic-bffs.html


Alright, I’m sorry for the lack of professionalism with this post. My next posts will be more thought out. I just had to get these ideas down. I will expand in future posts. I am also going to be revisiting some older ideas and making them more complete. My personal journey took some crazy twists and detours, but I find myself back at Barefoot Buffalo…that has to mean something……..


Long days and pleasant night,

Shoeless Joe


Taking Back Control


Sometimes you have to make the tough decision of putting yourself or others first. Before you make your decision you need to look at the entire situation. Does what you want to do interfere with what you should do or is it something that you want to do to make others happy? That’s the big question right there. Is this something that makes you happy or someone else happy? You need to remember that this is your life, not someone else’s that you are living. If someone wants you to do something (move to a new area, get a different job, change your hairstyle, your fashion style, anything) and you don’t want to do it you need to ask yourself if this is part of your plan or is this simply a distraction? Sometimes it can be hard telling someone you are close to that you are going to do something against their wishes.

If you have been putting yourself second to others it may be time for a change. You only get one trip on this world so you need to make the most of it. If someone tells you that you need to do something to make them happy but in the process you lose part of who you are I wouldn’t do it. It’s hard to change your lifestyle and even harder to go against others wishes. You need to do whatever makes you happy.  If you’d rather take a job that pays less, but you have more free time to live your life why not take that chance? What if you pass that by and the opportunity doesn’t come back again? Sometimes you need to take a leap of faith and stick to your guns.

When it comes to making decisions you are the only one who decides the outcome. Start putting yourself first. It’s your life so why not take control of it. Everyone has the power to lead. If you can’t lead your own life how are you going to reach your personal legend? We are not children anymore. We are the future and the future is here so let’s make a stand for what we want and what is right!


Yearly Bucket List


Let’s recap: We have learned about the Weekly and Monthly Bucket Lists. These lists are helping us to be more active and bring more excitement into our lives. The planning of these events is half of the fun. When trying to come up with something to do each month that goes above and beyond your normal activity level you look deep into yourself and decide what you can and might not be able to do. Take those might nots and go for it.  

Once you decide what is going on your lists the planning starts. Figure out exactly when you are going to do these events and with whom you plan to do them with. Is it a solo run or a group one? What’s the agenda? If you are traveling, where are you staying? What else can you do on this trip? Planning a bucket list event is half of the fun. You psych yourself up so much for it that you are basically living it while you plan. You’ll see when you begin to work on the next list.

The last list that you will need will be your Yearly Bucket List. This is the list that will most closely resemble a “typical” bucket list. This is where you put the big boys.

  • Sky Diving
  • Free Diving
  • Go to a different country
  • Go to a different continent
  • Go see my sports team play on the opposite coast.

You know what the big ones are and what you want to do. This is where you put them. You will want to make this list for you. If you cannot afford to travel; don’t. You can come up with cheap/free things to do for a Yearly Bucket List. If you like to camp you can try extreme survival camping. Go out with only a tarp and some string (food too, you don’t want to go outside your skill level). Take something you like to a higher level. That’s the point of this list: To take what you’ve been doing with your other lists to the extreme.

Remember. Don’t make a “standard” bucket list. A bucket list is a list of dreams with an untangible deadline (no pun intended). When you make a list of things to do before you die, you can slip into the mindset of, ‘Well…I would like to do this, but I still have time…’ When in reality, you don’t know if you are going to see tomorrow let alone next year. It’s a sad fact but that’s why I’m sharing this with you. Live your life to the fullest. Make everyday an adventure and have fun! This is your life. You only get one chance so why waste it doing shit you don’t like?

 

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe


Monthly Bucket List


After you have started working on your Weekly Bucket List it is now time to move into something a little more involve. This would be the Monthly Bucket List. Your Monthly Bucket List is reserved for things that are more intense and time consuming. Items would be put on this list to get you out even more than your Weekly Bucket List. Some ideas would include:

  1. Go see a musical.
    • Or a concert. Something that gives you enjoyment and gets you out of the house. In the summer you can find a lot of free outdoor events. Just find the website for your cities events and go from there 
  2. Take a weekend trip somewhere.
    • Go somewhere different. Maybe there is a cool state park nearby that you can go to for a day or two 
    • Is there a festival happening nearby 
      • Heritage (Scottish, Irish, German, Hellenic, etc.)
      • Music
      • Town Festivals
      • County and State Fairs?
  3. Do you have friends or family that is a little out of the way that you would like to see? 
    • Go see them!
  4.  Go to a local landmark.
    •  I live near Niagara Falls but I don’t go there at all. I’ve been in Buffalo for 6 years and have seen the falls 4 times 
  5. Go to a Museum
    • Science Museums
    • Planetariums 
    • Art Galleries
  6. Go to a sporting event.
    •  Having the chance to yell at the people in real life that you normally yell at on TV feels great.

Your Monthly Bucket List should be 1-2 items that you will cross off your list each month. Try not to count the same event multiple months in a row. If you are an avid sports fan and go to a professional game every month that doesn’t count for your Monthly Bucket List. The idea here is to get you out and doing something more intense than your weekly lists. Do you see the pattern yet?

Good luck working on your Monthly Bucket Lists. Let me know what type of things you are putting on your list for December.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe


Weekly Bucket Lists


Your life is yours to live however you want so why not live one to the fullest?

Consider making yourself a weekly bucket list, a monthly bucket list, and a yearly bucket list. They don’t need to be a long list of ridiculous things, but realistic things that will make your life more exciting. I don’t like the idea of a bucket list because you never know when your time is up. If you keep putting something off long enough, you will kick the bucket before you have taken the chance to do it.

The weekly bucket list is a list of silly things. This is the list for things that aren’t really life changing but can make you a better-rounded person. Things that would typically be on this are:

  • Watch a movie you normally wouldn’t watch.
    • If you like chick-flicks, watch an action movie.
    • If you like horror movies, try a comedy.
    • If you’re into drama, try a musical.
  • Take a walk to your local library.
    • You don’t need to rent anything, but if you would go to Barnes and Noble to look around, why not go to your local library and support them! Most libraries let you rent books to your Kindle too!
  • Play on a playground.
    • I know, you’re too old for a playground aren’t you? I don’t, I go to my local playground all the time. It’s a great place to work out and relive your childhood. Being outdoors is amazing and it feels great to get off the couch and away from the TV for a while.
  • Have coffee with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.
    • If you have lost touch with a friend who still lives nearby, why not call them up and see if they want to grab a cup of coffee or maybe even hit up happy hour? There’s no reason to lose a friend because you don’t have “time”
  • Join a book club.
    • If you like to read, why not share that hobby with a group of people. Not only are you doing something that you enjoy, you may also make some new friends in the process.
    • It doesn’t need to be a book club; a lot of bars have a beer club. 
    • If you are really enthusiastic, you could try helping out your local scouting organization. They are always looking for more people to help out with events and meetings. Even if you don’t have a kid, you may still be able to be a part of these groups; as long as you have a scouting background (i.e. Eagle Scout, your kid was a scout but moved away. You tried scouts when you were a kid and now you want to get back into it.) Just talk to these groups and see if they could use the extra help.
  • Come up with something of your own. What do you want to try sometime? A new restaurant? A new recipe? Did you find out about a board game that looks awesome but haven’t had a chance to play? The possibilities are endless.

 

Your Weekly Bucket List should be 1-3 things that you would like to try out. These should be nothing too serious, but things that make you be more active and that’s the point. This will help you ease out of your sedentary lifestyle and move into an adventurous one.

Leave a comment with some more ideas for a Weekly Bucket List so we can see what you all are doing!

 

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe


Am I Dreaming? It doesn’t matter…


How nice is it to have a great dream? Not a “I Have A Dream!” dream but the unconscious, sleeping dream. I love dreaming. I love having the freedom to do whatever I want to whenever I want to. In a dream you can talk to anyone you want to. In a dream, you are the one in control. If you can do the elusive Lucid Dreaming, you have even more control. A lucid dream is basically a dream that you don’t wake up from when you know that you are dreaming. If you can figure out that you are in a dream you now have complete power over that it.

Here is an example of a lucid dream. It starts off with you working in a busy downtown office building. You don’t really like your job and want to be away from the office as much as possible. It’s almost your lunch time and your boss comes bumbling in. “I’m going to need you to work late today.” You look at the clock and you can’t seem to read it.* Needed to step away before you go off the handle and quit, you take your lunch break. Since your office is just a short walk to this really nice cafe you decide to go there and grab a cup of coffee.  You walk past shop windows and then you see something that catches your eye. All of a sudden….WamBO!! ‘I am in a dream…I can do whatever I want!’ (And you really can! In a dream you can fulfill all of your wildest fantasies and even the most modest desires.) At this point you start tinkering with your dream. The stop lights all change in your favor, people aren’t bothering you and then…there’s that person you’ve been wanting to talk to for weeks but haven’t had the guts to do it until now (in the safety of your dream).  You and your crush stop to chat about this and that, and then you ask if they want to go grab a cup of coffee. Of course they say yes, (it’s your dream) and when you finally make it to that coffee shop and sit down you wake up, you remember that it was a dream and nothing more. Your crush didn’t really want to go have coffee with you…or do they?

Why can’t we live our lives like we are in a dream? Why do we need to be so scared of rejection? How do you know that the person you like doesn’t like you back? Have you asked them? I challenge you to start living your life as if you are dreaming. Take chances you normally wouldn’t. DON’T BE STUPID! You can’t fly so don’t go jumping off of roofs, you are not Aquaman so don’t go trying to hold your breath for 20 mins under water. Keep things safe. Don’t go out and harm yourself or others. If your dream is to kill someone then you are at the wrong website. I don’t condone harmful actions or support those who do harm others. Do only good and only good will come to you. So, treat your life as if you are dreaming. If you see someone you would like to talk to, go do it! Don’t be afraid of consequences. A “NO” will hurt, I know it will, but how much more would it hurt if you didn’t make that first move and you find out years down the road that it would have been a “yes”???

*When in a dream, clocks and mirrors will have blurry images.  This is a trick to recognizing that you are in a dream.

 Long days and pleasant nights

Shoeless Joe

 

 

Image from: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/meyer769/myblog/writing-2/2011/10/


Weighing Your Options


When you are faced with a new opportunity you may need to weigh your options. The classic list of pros and cons comes to mind here. Let’s say you are in a job that doesn’t treat you the best, but pays fairly well. Now, you are offered a new job that will pay less but be much less stress. What do you do?

You will need to think about how much your happiness is worth. If you will be happier in a different job, should you take it even though you’ll be making less money? Do you need to be making as much as you do now to be happy? There isn’t a cut and dry way to make these decisions. The one question you really need to ask yourself is, “Does this path lead me closer to my personal legend?” If it does…then the answer may already have been made for you.

This is a short post, but time is short these days. I would expect the longer posts to return within the next week or two.  Don’t forget to live each day to its fullest and enjoy what you do!

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe


Stuck in a Rut? Break the Cycle.


It’s like being stuck in a sailboat without a breeze; like wandering through a maze that has no exit. Living your life in a repetitive cycle is not enjoyable. I myself feel like I am “stuck” in my current position in life. I have had the same job for over 3 years now and not much has changed in my life during that time. Instead of just sitting around and waiting for something to happen I am being active in my own life. I am writing for Barefoot Buffalo, I have gotten my old band back together and we are playing shows again. I am doing things that make me happy and trying to find my own personal legend. I think it may be either writing a book, or it may be playing in the band. Only time will tell.

For those who do not know yet, I am taking Barefoot Buffalo and turning it into a book for the National Novel Writing Month competition. I will hopefully get the book done by December!

My plan for my hectic life right now is to take a step back and evaluate everything that’s going on. When one thing starts taking off, it may be time to put the others on the backburner.  This brings me to my point this week. When you feel like the world is falling apart around you and you can do nothing to change it, take a step back and think. Your bills are piling up, your job keeps getting crappier, and you find yourself over-stressed and losing control.  All these things are temporary. These problems have solutions. I know that they don’t feel like they can be fixed, but they can.

I know from experience. I was so far in debt that I was contemplating bankruptcy. I got through it. I’m not out of the hole yet, but I’m a lot farther along than I was 2 years ago. With a little patience and hard work I have made it easier to breath. Right now my job treats me like garbage and my stress levels are through the roof. I’m trying to ride out the current wave of B.S. that’s coming my way. I know that what is being done to me at work is the result of a major change taking place. This I can’t do anything about, but as for the stress? That has always been there, and I finally realized that I need to make a change. I’m working toward that change right now.

It’s been a stressful week so far and I’m started to feel a little overwhelmed. It looks like my personal legend is trying to tell me something. I need to take breath and listen to it. That is how you get through these stressful times; taking that breath and finding your options, figuring your way out of the situation.

You need to step out of your comfort zone once in a while to get comfortable in situations. 

You need to step away from the cycle to break it.

Be adventurous to break up monotony.

Be who you want to be, not what others tell you to be.


4 Hour Work Week


Picking the winning lotto numbers, inventing the next “Snuggie”, finding a fried chicken head in your bucket of wings, these are all ways to get out of the rat race without trying. Sadly, leaving the work force to follow your true passion is harder and scarier than that. Even though one of my missed opportunities is, in fact, that I didn’t sue when I found a chicken’s head fried with my wings back in 2004.

There are ways we can transition from working person to life loving person. There is a theory out there by Tim Ferriss called the Four Hour Work Week. And this is the bridge from working all day everyday to following your true passion and being happy doing what you love.

The four hour work week is an amazingly simple design. Basically it says, cut the crap and do your job. If you cut out all the time you spend on facebook/ebay/twitter/myspace?/google+….(do I need to keep going?) and cut back on the chatting with co-workers you can get your days worth of work done in half the time. Americans spend over HALF of their work day not working. Let’s look at it this way. Instead of wasting half of your work day goofing off and not staying focused, get super focused and get your days worth of work done before lunch. That way, you can take that 4 hours of screw-off time and put it towards your personal legend.

I know this isn’t the popular image of the personal legend. When people hear “personal legend” they think of throwing caution to the wind, quitting your job and just going. Yes, that is one way of following your personal legend, but it’s not the way it’s going to work for the modern American. We need our gadgets, we need our social networks and we need our money. Allowing yourself the extra four hours a day to cultivate your interests and doing what you love to do is much better than not doing anything at all to get to your true calling.

The four hour work week is detailed on Tim Ferriss’ website: www.fourhourworkweek.com His book teaches you how to get out of the rat race and live your life. He has the blue-print to how to finance your personal legend. I highly recommend this book to anyone seriously interested in living their life and being happy while doing it.

Do your best to keep your current position wrapped up and separate from your goal. Think about what you want to do with your life and start making changes to get there. Use the extra time you get from the 4 hour work day to do this. Share if you liked this and subscribe to get emails when new posts are put up. There are new ones every Wednesday and Saturday with the occasional shorty mixed in. The next topic is “How to Find Your Personal Legend”.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe

If you are lucky enough to have a job that is production based this works beautifully, if you are hourly, still do it, that way you can’t get behind.


Negativity Breeding Negativity


One thing I’ve noticed at work is that negativity breeds negativity. If you’re having a bad day, the people around you suddenly have bad days also. On the flip side: if you’re having a great day, the people around you are more likely to be upbeat and happy. Now, I know that this is hard to do, but you need to leave whatever baggage you have at the door when you go to work (all of this applies to school and classes also!). No matter what is happening in your life that day, as soon as you cross the threshold of your job you leave it all behind you. If you don’t leave it at the door you will have a less than ideal day. It will be straight-up crap. The less you are concerned with during a meeting, the more of that meeting you retain.

You can get your entire days work done in half the time if you just stop making personal calls, chit chatting, facebook, twitter, writing blog posts (whoops!*) the list goes on and on. But that’s secondary to the point I’m trying to make here and will be covered in a different post.

You need to stay positive. Last week one of my supervisors was having a not-so-great day. He would grumble responses to your questions; hold his head down as he walked, exasperated gasps every 2 minutes, it was just an overall negative image. The people who sit around me were all joking around earlier that day. I was in a chipper mood and it woke up the office. Everyone was having a great time and getting along until his day when to shit. As it did so did everyone else’s.

In a matter of minutes one person’s negativity caught like wildfire and destroyed the mood of the entire office. I know he didn’t mean for this to happen, but that’s the result of a pissed of supervisor; everyone under him follows suit. It’s a psychological thing. The way I see it is that when your boss is angry you are more afraid to enjoy yourself because you think that they will snap at you, or you start to think about what you did to make them angry at you. It most likely had nothing to do with you, but I know that is what I think every time someone in the office is mad.

It’s easy to have a happy office. It really is. If everyone just forgets their troubles while at work there won’t be any negativity to spread. It just has to start with one person. If you can be extra happy while at work the people around you will feed off of that happiness and hopefully spread it to others until the whole office is happy and no one is having a bad day. OK, I admit, it’s not that easy in practice, but as long as you try and live each day with a smile on your face you will see that more happiness will come your way. Whether it’s at work, school or home, if you keep a smile on your face and try not to let things get you down you will find that your life just got a hella-better.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe

Leave a comment if something moved you or if there is a topic you would like me to cover.

Click Subscribe to get an email from me when my posts come out. The next one is about the 4-hour work day. What is it and how is it possible?

*I write posts during my breaks at work.


Missed Opportunities Are Not Always Bad


If you could go back in time and change anything about your life, what would you change? For me this is a simple question. I’m sure most of you have an answer already. I would change______ I wouldn’t have dated _____, I would have tried harder at _____, and the list goes on and on. Sure, there are things that could have gone differently in my past, but without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. So my answer is: I would change nothing at all.

It’s always fun to daydream about what your life would be like if you made different decisions early on. For me, it was what college I went to. I went to Daemen College (originally for Bio-Chemistry) for Political Science. But that wasn’t my first choice. Originally I wanted to go to college for music composition. And I would have too, if it weren’t for my high school band and choir teachers. They both told me that I wouldn’t do well at a music school. Now, it wasn’t my talent that was the issue, it was actually that I loved it too much. Music just came so naturally to me. During my music theory classes I would spend most of my time doing side work for the teacher; either re-arranging songs, selecting pieces for the jazz band and concert band to perform, or just taking extra time to work on projects.  One project we had to do was write a basso-continuo piece that was at least 12 measures long and we had 40 mins to do it. After the 40 mins, the other 6 people in the class had their 12 measures (about 10-20 seconds of music) and I had a full 4 movement piece. The reason I was told not to go to school for music was because music was my love, not my life. I wouldn’t have handled the pressure of structure in a music college. It would turn from a hobby to a job and music, to me, shouldn’t be work.

I agreed with what they said and backed out of the Music School race and settled on my next top skill, Chemistry. What a job that was, halfway through my first semester I changed from bio-chem to biology, then during my second semester I changed to Political Science and that is what my degree is in. As you can see there was one extremely different path and two less different paths that didn’t work out for me.

One day I sat down and thought about how my life could be different if I actually went to college for a degree in music composition. I thought about where I would be living, how I would be living, who my friends would be…and then I realized something that made all my day dreaming moot: I wouldn’t know anyone that I’m currently friends with. The best part of my life is my fiancé Nicky. If I went to a different school I wouldn’t have met her. I don’t want to think about how my life would be without her in it. We’ve been together 7 years now and she’s my best friend. I also thought about all of my fraternity brothers and all the stories we have together. That would be a huge loss. Right now, this life, this present, I am happy. I can’t say how I would be in a different now, a different life created by different choices, because I didn’t make them.

All of the mistakes you make, all of the hardships you face, all the people you meet make you who you are. Don’t wish you could change something about your past. It’s not worth it. You are stronger from your experiences and the universe will do its best to get you in the right direction. Just listen up and go with it. I really like my friends right now and none of them would be in my life if I didn’t go to Daemen.

The majority of missed opportunities happen for a reason. Yes, the universe wants you to be happy and to succeed, but if you miss an opportunity it’s ok. You learn from your mistakes and gain from your successes. All you did was choose a different path and that path could lead to the trail that leads to your happiness, success and realization of your personal legend.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe


Recognizing The Signs of Your Personal Legend


Your personal legend. Your true calling. Your ultimate passion.  It doesn’t matter what you call it, it will find you and make itself known. Whether it’s a subtle nudge in the right direction or a giant slap in the face, if you know what to look for you will discover what your are destined to do. It may not be clear at first, but it you take that seed of hope and nurture it; it will blossom into a beautiful flower of happiness and content.

People don’t have one calling their entire lives. You’ll have many different paths to take that will lead to happiness. As you grow and change your tastes differ, what you enjoy differs and who you are differs.  So if you are ignorant to the signs of one path, hopefully you will pick up on the directions for the next one. Life isn’t about one straight line; it’s about taking chances, finding a trail that branches off your current path and taking advantage of the lessons learned while exploring new directions. Whether positive or negative, if it is your personal legend you will benefit. Society tells us that we are set up to fail, we need to follow certain rules, act a certain way and be a certain person. But we are not like that. Humanity needs diversity. Without it we would live in a boring world. We need different to be happy. A bad experience is simply a guide to how to try it next time. It’s like the old adage says, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

One of my missed paths was the Alto Saxophone. In high school I was an above average sax player. I could bend my notes a whole step down, play an improvised jazz solo using only three notes (and it sounded amazing) and I could be as technically correct as the next person. I could do all of this without practicing. The only practice I had was during the school day at band practice. I never practiced at home. My senior year, when preparing for Solo-Fest, all I did was read the music. I didn’t play it, only read it. I thought to myself, ‘Well, the beginning is pretty easy, the end is alright…man, this section here is going to be trouble. Yup, that’s a tough part right there…’ but I didn’t practice. I decided to just “wing-it”. And wing-it I did. It was one of the hardest solo pieces performed at this competition and out of 100 I earned a surprising 93. I did better than most people without even playing the piece before that day. No, for those of you who don’t know about solo-fests, you go into a room with a judge and you perform scales, the piece you (hopefully) prepared for, and a sight-reading section. My piece was a 7-8 minute song and there wasn’t enough time to play the whole thing. I started playing, nailed the beginning and when I got to the first hard section the judge told me to stop and start towards the end of the piece. JACKPOT! I nailed it. Did great and had a great day.

That is one missed opportunity I wish I could have back. If I wasn’t a dumbass, I would have realized that this was a sign. I had so much talent and caught so many breaks. The universe was telling me, THIS! THIS IS IT! THIS IS WHAT YOU NEED TO BE DOING TO BE HAPPY! But I didn’t do it. Since graduating in 2004 I have barely touched the thing. I do pick it up every now and then, but it’s nothing like it used to be.

You need to take advantage of those signs. You need to be active in understanding how the universe works. The universe wants you to be happy, it wants to push you in the right direction. Have you heard of Beginners Luck? That’s the universe saying, “Hey! You’ve found something that you will enjoy! Congratulations, here is a few wins to get you started.” I had a friend who had never thrown a Frisbee before in his life, then he plays Kan Jam for the first time and gets the instant win slot. If that’s not beginners luck, I don’t know what is. My major slap in the face was that solo-fest. I should have taken my saxophone talent more seriously and perused it with fervor.  My life could have been so much different. I could be a famous musician or a movie composer rivaled only John Williams (google him). But I didn’t do it. I ignored the universe and now I’m here, living this life, in this present day and that’s alright with me.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe

Subscribe to get email notifications when I post a new article. Keep an eye out for my next post about missed opportunities and how your life will could be different if you had taken a different path.


Working on Leaving the Living


That wonderful day I graduated from Genesee Valley Central School I had this amazing picture of how my life was going to play out. I was going to go to Daemen College, have fun, and earn a degree in “Women and Beer”. After college I was going to be a big shot making that paper (and a lot of it). But, here I am. In that future, and it looks nothing like I expected. The college part was great. I had a ton of fun, met a lot of great people and couldn’t have asked for more. When I was a senior and about to graduate I thought about how much time I “wasted” doing fun things. I thought of all the things I didn’t get to do, then I realized that there wasn’t time to do those things because my time was spent on grand adventures and overall great times. I am not upset with the way I lived my life in college, what I am upset over is the debt I accrued while there. Credit cards are the devil. I wasn’t that far in debt (only around $5,000) but when you miss a few payments here and there, your interest rates go sky-high and then, BOOM, out of no where your 5 grand just turned into 8. Tack on the student loans and you have a horrible situation.

I currently work full-time at a health insurance company and part-time at the College. The money I make pays the bills, not it’s nowhere near what I thought I would be making at this stage of my life. I had to get rid of my car because the insurance and cost of gas were getting to be too much for me. I’ve had to make many more cuts, including not having cable for over a year. The point I’m trying to make here is that I really don’t like how my life is going. If I could take on more responsiblity at my job at the college and work full-time, cut my job at the health insurance company to part-time, I would be a lot happier. I really enjoy what I do at Daemen. The environment there is top-notch, the people are the best you’ll ever find.

The ultimate goal for me is to not work at all. I’m not saying that I want to be a bum, live in my parents house and mooch all my life. I just want to live. Work shouldn’t be work. You should do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. So, I’m working on leaving the living. I’m working on finding my “personal legend” my “true passion”. That’s where this website comes in. The things I enjoy and the things I’m good at all involve the outdoors. I love being outside, walking through grass barefoot, building shelters out of nothing and staying the night in them. Camping, hiking, music, story-telling; that’s me. Turning that into a job is my personal legend. Owning a campground and running an outdoor gym are a couple of things that come to mind. It takes time and faith to find and follow your true calling. You have to power through and trust in yourself. You need to start making moves towards doing what you love.

Changing up my current situation from full-time claims analyst and part-time Daemen staff to full-time Daemen and part-time claims would be an amazing leap in the right direction. Running this website, talking about the outdoor, being barefoot, camping, survival skills and live is a step in the right direction for me. Making YouTube videos to correspond with the website is a step in the right direction. All I have to do is focus!

Focusing is hard. It takes a lot of energy to focus on something that seems destined to fail. But I’m giving it a chance. I’m throwing off the chains of self-doubt that society has placed on me and going for it. Thank you for being a part of it. The more you comment on my posts, the more suggestions you have and the more faith you all have in me, the more focus I can have, the more drive and determination to succeed I will have.

Thank you all again.

Long days and pleasant nights,

Shoeless Joe

F aith

O verwelming

C auses

U ndoubted

S uccess


Reading into Omens


One thing I wish I could do better is reading omens. I know the difference between good and bad omens, but I don’t know what aspect of life they are talking to me about. I had an abundance of good omens just fall into my lap today. I found 3: 4-leaf clovers and 3: 5-leaf clovers today. I can’t wait to see what good thing(s) happen to me. It may not even be that something good is going to happen. It could mean that I’m currently doing something right and I should stick with it. There are so many things that are new in my life right now. I am one week smoke free, I have decided to spend my new free time from not smoking to doing daily vlogs and I have decided to make sure I write a new post more frequently on here. So the omens could be for any/all of those. There were 6 good omens. I have also been trying to win the lottery so I can pay off all of my debt and follow my personal legend, which I believe is to live life to it’s fullest and happiest. This, for me, means buying some land out in the country and living in a house that I build where I can be happy and with the people I love. I will keep you posted with where these omens take me.

Enjoy the nice weather!

Shoeless Joe


Live Your Life To The Fullest


Whatever comes your way, you can get through it. Live your life as if today was your last, because it just might be.


Hot Apple Cider


I am pleased to give you “Hot Apple Cider” by Shoeless Joe and the Philosophical Kid. This is a live performance done at Daemen College for their Musicale.