Man in the Mirror

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Look in the mirror and stare long and hard at the reflection of yourself. Take a look at yourself.  Think about who you really are. What is on the inside of that soul of yours? Deep down in your inner self is what defines who you are and what makes you unique and different from other people. Everyone is unique and each and every one of us has a different personality that stands out from one another. But now the question stands: What makes you special and how can you use this unique trait to go out into the unknown world and make a difference? Remember: BE GAME CHANGERS!!

Seth Godin, an internet entrepreneur, a leader, and an innovator, explains his claims and ideas on how to approach the world that we live in and make the most of it.

To listen to his podcast, click on the link: here

Godin believes that social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are a huge “waste of time”; however in contrast to his claim, I view social media as a positive good because it plays a crucial role for the purpose of exploring, creating, and communicating. Godin’s message was to inform society, and the next generation of people to be artists. Be innovated, creative, influential, and make a difference in your community. The irony is that by stating that Facebook and Twitter are a waste of time, he is contradicting himself because social media is key to what he previously stated: being innovative, influential, and creative. To reach those goals, social media aids the process of being a game changer in life. Without Twitter, or Facebook, what is a more efficient alternative to share and explore ideas? The traffic of people on Twitter and Facebook, increases the opportunity for your work to be known.

There is a reason why my my last two English teachers urged us to create these social media sites. They allow our work and ideas to be shared to ALL people of the web. By restricting ourselves from using them because they are a “waste” of time, it only makes it harder for our work to inspire others. Twitter and Facebook are like huge files of information about you and others. They will always be there for everybody to read. Your work will always be saved and be read and shared for the future generations that are to come. Twitter and Facebook are a source of inspiration for you and for others. Share to influence others and you will be inspired in return. 

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One of the Mr. Godin’s ideas that really stood out to me was when he said,

I don’t want people showing up and saying, “I read this, I read that…” The point is, will someone come up to me a say, “based on what I learned from you, I taught 10 other people and made something that matters”

I believe that the process of sharing is crucial to the community and it is something that really represents one of my strengths this year.  What is the point of learning if we don’t turn that knowledge into something special, or into something that actually matters? Godin wants us to spread the knowledge, and share what we know. Don’t hold it back to yourself only. We have to play a role in our community, make an impact, and leave a mark as we continue our journey through life. The grand idea of this process is to spread the word. Like Godin said, sharing your ideas will be an ignition to a chain reaction. Tell ten people, then they will ten 10 people, and before you know, it branches off to hundreds or even thousands and then millions will hear about it. But it all begins with YOU telling the story.

Now how is this my strength, and how can I relate this idea to my own life? I share my ideas and knowledge from my experiences through blog posts like these, but then I would SHARE what I SHARED. What I mean by this is that, not only do I write blog posts to share my ideas, I make sure that those ideas are exposed. For example, I wrote a blog post on “Vengeance vs Forgiveness”, but I made sure that this was going to be exposed to the web by sharing on Reddit. You can say that it is a cheap way for advertising or self promoting for my work, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m also allowing people to generate their own ideas.  If you check out my post on Reddit, found here on this link: http://www.reddit.com/r/philosophy/comments/2l3v7l/vengeance_vs_forgiveness/

From sharing my blog post, I also was able to generate about 100 viewers on that blog post alone. That is an audience of ONE HUNDRED different people that just read my writing and my thoughts. Not only that but if you check out the post on Reddit, I also received some feedback from people who have shared their OWN thoughts and claims and contributed to the discussion. This all ties to what I had said about social media: Share to influence others and you will be inspired in return.

Sharing is such a crucial part of building and contributing to the community. Let’s take a look at this feedback that I had received when I wrote the blog post “Make Your Writing MEMORABLE” on my other blogging site:

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Obviously this person had enjoyed my post and gave me feedback that put a smile on my face. She thanked me for writing that post because it “provided for thought.” Knowing that I had contributed to the community, and supplying someone with ideas, generated an awesome feeling.  But lets take a look back. and examine the process of sharing.  How was she inspired by my post? She was inspired by my post because I had decided to write and share. But what inspired me to write about that certain topic? I was inspired to write about that topic because my English teacher had a lecture in class about making our writing original and memorable. Now where did my English teacher get that idea from? The chain keeps going on and on and on… The idea came from an original source somewhere down the line, but the point is that sharing your work and ideas create exposure to a wide audience, and this audience will continue to expand and expand the more people share. This connects to Godin’s example of the chain of events: Share to ten people, then that ten will share to another group of ten people. If we continue to share, then knowledge will always be passed down and ideas can branch off of this.

Godin tells his followers that we, as people of a community, should try to make an impact by being an artist. We should not be following a “manual”, but CREATE our own work in order to be unique. This is one thing that I feel is my weakness and something that I must improve on. The reason being is that I am a person who does best when following a direction. I am the kind of guy that needs steps to guide me. Godin defines an artist as someone who can solve a problem in an interesting way and create something that is bigger than yourself. Creativity relies on the imagination and this is something that I know I must work to improve on because if I allow myself to restrict my creativity, then I am limiting my writing and my ideas. Being an artist and being creative and to have the ability to spark your mind with ideas to innovate and add on the community is significant. To be a valued member of the community, I know that I have to leave a mark; Leave my own print on this universe.

It is easier for a 7th grader or a 1st grader to create than college students because they are afraid of being wrong.

This is a perfect example of my problem. I feel like I am limiting my own imagination because I am afraid of what people will think of it. Are they going to judge harshly? Are they going to laugh at my idea? These are the questions that pop into my mind whenever I have the urge to say something. But I realize that I am only challenging myself if I can’t open up my imagination and use it to create something of value to my society. I have to develop the mentality of learning to ignore what people think and just think freely. My ability to create is something that must be addressed because I know its importance to me down the road.

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The picture above illustrates the time when my leadership youth group CREATED and make posters out of our own imaginations.

Near the end of the podcast, Godin describes a scenario: If he asks if anyone had a question, no one will speak up, but if you wait until 5 minutes after the podcast, then the questions will be rumbling. He says that people raise their hands because they think they have a good question. The reason why people will start asking questions 5 minutes after the podcast ends is because they know that they are not going to be judged. Unfortunately, I too, belong wight he group of people who ask afterwards. This is something that I would l would like to train to improve. Every so often, when my teachers ask the class if we had any questions regarding the lecture, I would hold within myself. But when the bell rings and class is over, I would go to my friends and ask for any clarifications that I may have. This is the exact scenario that Godin was referring too. The reason why I was afraid to ask was because I was afraid that my question might be judged. I know that this is the wrong approach to things, and this is something that I would want to improve. Along with my creativity, I have to learn and develop a mindset to ignore the comments and just ask and think freely and naturally.

The most intriguing thing about the conversation was that all his points and claims connected to one big theme: Make a difference. Godin wants us to simply put our mark in the world before its all said and done. He states that we have to build faith in the community and faith in innovation so that we can add and contribute to our society. The reason why this is important for me is because I believe that I had recently made in impact to my community in several ways. Earlier this month at Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley, CA, my friends and I volunteered as members of the California Scholarship Federation to work a shift during the Christmas Tree Lighting Event. In a team of several others, we helped to make the event happen. We were assigned to work at the children’s snow sled where we would have the responsibility to control the line, pass out the sled, and guide kids down the snowy hill. We were leaders, and we were willing to take time out of our day to come out and make it happen. That is what Godin wants us to do. Contribute to your community, and make a difference by applying your knowledge, skills, and experience to the world.

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Godin tells us to help others and seek opportunities to be leaders. In my blog post “The Happiness in Helping Others”, I describe my recent experience  volunteering at the Special Olympics also held in Fountain Valley, CA. Please read the blog post if you want to find out more, but here’s a brief summary of what we did. As part of our volunteering, we were assigned to be act as fans and cheer on the participants, who are all people with different disorders like Down Syndrome for example. My group and I were the fans and we had to encourage and show support to them as they played a baseball drill. And as each person circled around the bases, we would scream and yell and show our support for them. The feeling that I got when a player reached home base and turned to us with a smile, gave us a the feeling of accomplishment. That was the sign that we had done something special  . It was a sign that we had made a difference in someone’s day.

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Making a difference in our society is the message that Godin wants us to take away with us. Go out, be leaders, be innovators, and add on to the community. BE ARTISTS and create ways that matter to other people. You only live once. So make it count!

First Picture: Credits to Allan Roney.

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