Showing posts from July, 2013

You are not alone

Maybe you feel marginalized. Maybe you feel alone in your challenges, in your thoughts, in your convictions. Maybe you wish someone else understood what you experience. Maybe disagreements with others make you feel negative or even angry.

Always remember that you are not alone. And neither is the other side.

Someone is on your side.
Someone else is not.
While we're seeing our side
Maybe we forgot
They are not alone.
No one is alone.

Remembering this will keep you happy. It will increase your respect for others. It will increase their respect for you. Other people value their formative life experiences just as much as you value your own. Rarely do we know what other people have been through. Even then, we can't understand how it affected them.

Remember, you will never get anywhere in resolving differences until you understand the other person's point of view so well that it makes good sense to you why they think what they do.

No one says it better than Stephen Sondheim in Into th…

Three things Mormons do not understand about their own doctrine

1. The Atonement of Jesus Christ
If you associate living the gospel with stress, self-loathing, shame, or perfection anxiety. If you think others must believe the way you do or be damned. If you think people who espouse other belief systems will be miserable in eternity. If you think the unrepentant will be miserable in eternity. If you think you deserve to hold a grudge. If you lose faith because of something another person has done.
Jonah 4Doctrine and Covenants 19; 1 Peter 5:5; 2 Peter 3:15-18; Jacob 4:6-7, 12; Alma 36:17-20; Ether 12:27; Doctrine and Covenants 88:78; Doctrine and Covenants 93:12-13; Doctrine and Covenants 106:7-8; The Peacegiver
2. The role of the Church
If you think the Church should teach you the gospel. If you think the Church should teach the gospel to your children. If you wait for Church leaders to tell you what to do. If you think the Church is responsible for your spiritual, emotional, or temporal welfare. If you expect the Church to not change. 
Moroni 6;

Eleven reasons why they will never hire you

A few months before I graduated from college, I began applying for jobs at an astonishing rate. I wrote so many cover letters and created so many customized resumes that I began to question my true identity! After all that effort I managed to land a job working at a call center for a multi-level marketing company (oh, sorry, "direct marketing"). For those of you blessed enough to be unfamiliar with such jobs, I will tell you that it was a $10/hr dead end.

Now, click through these slides and perform a short self-evaluation.

Congratulations Graduate! Eleven Reasons Why I Will Never Hire You. from Mark O'Toole
It took me until the middle of my first year of graduate school to internalize these principles. When I began to apply them, doors started opening faster than I could peek through and see what waited inside.
So to all you college students preparing to graduate in the next few years, take time out of your studies to practice doing the real work at hand. As you develop t…

For the fun of it

Just last night I had a conversation with my roommate +Jory Woodis. I had been experimenting with how I might make content for YouTube and come to the realization that it's just not possible to be good at everything.
"Why make a video no one will watch? Why write a blog post no one will read? Why take pictures if I'll never be a professional photographer?" I complained.
"Aren't we at a time in our lives when we can do things just because we like doing them?" 
He had a point. 
Today I participated in a discussion about how to best use Google+. +Tonia Addison-Hall made a great comment. "I'm not here to attract people by doing what they want. If they like me, they'll add me. If not, no biggie."
She had a point.
I have a career and enjoy my job. I don't need to make videos, blog posts, photographs, and music for money. I can do those things simply because I enjoy doing them. Those activities improve my talents and help me become a be…

Спустя 6 лет (6 years later)

Six years ago last month I returned from the mysterious and wonderful land of Russia. You don't survive two years of relative isolation in the Russian Far East without undergoing some major life changes. Looking back it's hard to believe just how much that experience has affected the course of my life.

Why Russia?
I didn't really have a choice. When I was 17 or so I made up my mind to prepare for missionary service with +The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I knew that part of the deal was to accept an assignment--to pick up and go wherever the Lord asked me to go. I was basically ok with this idea, as long as I didn't go to Brazil or anywhere near the equator (I'm notoriously averse to heat). Imagine my joy upon finding out I would be living in the frozen wastelands of Siberia and my horror when I arrived during August and promptly sweat right through my suit coat in 90+ degree, extremely humid weather!
What changed?
I learned to think for myself and ho…