I’m creating a Purposeful Life List

“What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.” – Hugh Mulligan

LifeList

When faced with mortality would you be able to say you lived?  I mean really LIVED!  My father gave every ounce of himself to ensure my family had the pleasantries of a happy lifestyle.  He worked, quite often, from 7AM to about 9-10PM and several more hours on the weekends as well.  He later contracted Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma  and passed away at the ripe young age of 51.  There have been many times where I think back and wonder if he ever got to do everything he wanted to.  I believe the answer to that question is a resounding No.

In light of how fragile life can be and the fact that you never truly know when your time is up I have decided to create my list of life experiences that I mean to complete within my lifetime. As I add things to this list I want to picture myself completing them.  If I don’t feel totally awesome for completing it then it doesn’t go on my list.  Some items are on the list that I’ve already completed, however before this list made a physical form these things existed on the list.  I feel it’s still important to have them on the list.

So why the list? Why now?

More and more I’m looking back on the things I’ve accomplished in life and the experiences I’ve had and realized I’m falling into a rut. Everything is becoming routine.  Day in and day out. I’m doing the same things wasting away time I can be spending with my family and friends.  Most of the time I’m chasing the all mighty dollar.  As I come upon my 40th birthday I’ve made a pledge to myself that I would make a change, here and now.  I would make it a point to involve myself more in the lives of my children.  I would reunite with my wife. I will re-engage in life as a whole.  This is the reason for the title “Purposeful Life List”.  My goal is to live with more purpose. To truly enjoy life for all it has to offer.

This list throws all fears, logistics, financial costs, etc. out the window. It is a list of what I truly and wholeheartedly want to do, get, etc.  It’s the things that make me itch, that make me bounce in my seat, that makes my stomach flutter when I know I have the opportunity to get/do “it”.

I encourage you to do the same.

Make your own list. Add to the list the things you said would be “impossible” to do. Just sit down with a blank document or a big piece of paper and start writing. Don’t worry about  how much something is going to cost, how afraid you are, physical concerns or the logistics involved. Just write. There is no right or wrong way to go about doing this.

Make them intentional, not wishes.  Make them ambitious. Dream Big. Go outside your comfort zone.  What do you have to lose? It’s a list. It’ll inspire you.  Doing things you think you can’t do are intellectually seductive.  Give in to it. You might learn something about yourself you didn’t already know.  There’s something inside all of us that is bound by fear. Release those thoughts and feel alive.  Learn what you are capable of.

Share your endeavors with others. The social world has made it so that you can truly make an impact with your experiences without a whole lot of effort. Make it so that when your time is up, you can truly say “I lived!”

Some examples of lists that inspired this idea:

 

The Star Spangled Banner

I am an American.  Plain and simple.  Born and raised American. Son, grandson, nephew of American soldiers.  I buy American when possible. I will always support American military, teams, athletes, artists, people when it is needed.  I am blessed with a job that supports American military and government.  I am not brash and shove it in your face, push my political views upon you or belittle those who are not American. I will, however, defend who, what, when, where I feel America or an American is need of defense.

Why am I saying this or pushing this? In recent times this country has faced extreme opposing views internally (that I will not get into and will delete comments as such as well) and I feel that WE, Americans as a whole, need to re-establish our footing and once again make the forward push we are known to do.

Lets restore than true meaning behind AMERICA – Land of the free and home of the brave!

Sandy Red Cross / Movember Donation Collection

MovemberIn an attempt to raise funds for charity I signed up to be part of the Movember movement.  Movember is a community aimed towards raising awareness and funds toward men’s health issues.  Primarily Prostate and Testicular Cancer.  The idea is to shave clean on November 1st and grow a mustache throughout the entire month of November. I found the idea interesting and to say I couldn’t do something so simple would have been a lie. Just prior to my endeavor into the ‘Mo’, hurricane Sandy came with a punch.  Growing up on Long Island and now living in Virginia left me with mixed thoughts.  First I was glad I was outside of the real wrath of the storm and second made me feel guilty for having those thoughts knowing that family and friends we not so lucky.  The area I grew up in as well as the area my wife grew up in took severe damage. This left me with a new dilemma. I didn’t want to be asking friends to donate to men’s health when most of them were now involved in the Sandy aftermath. So here’s what I’ve come up with.  Below are two links.  One to my Movember page and the other to Red Cross Disaster Relief.

I will now be growing a mustache through the month of November in support of Men’s Health and Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief.

Please donate to at least one of the causes.  Thanks in advance for you donation, every little bit helps.

Movember - Keith Andersen's Donation Page
Superstorm Sandy Web Banner

 

14 Years Later…

14 years have past and where do I stand now?   No different.  Still floundering about trying to figure out what exactly I want to do on my site.

14 years ago I had a coworker tell me I needed to setup a website for myself. Why? Well I was helping a few people learn web development and web design and figured others could learn from it.  I was attending New York Institute of Technology to study computer graphics.  Mainly 3D graphics.  I had a dream to get into movie animation.  How do I get known or at least the word out that I can do the job?  That’s when my coworker says “I can see it now… keithandersen.com.”  About 20 minutes later I owned the domain and had hosting for it.

14 years later here I sit with a website that has gone through iteration after iteration without any real direction. I’ve used it for portfolio work, test sites, data storage, etc.  Once I started digging in WordPress some time ago I started to see more potential in getting towards the original goal I had.   “I’ll create a development/design blog for the masses!”  Nope didn’t get there.

Now is the time for me to get this thing off the ground.  Having climbed through the ranks of several companies starting with regular grunt work to team lead on large web base applications I’ve collected a good amount of information to relay.  I’ve recently started putting efforts towards helping others in developing their web presence.  I hope to be able to continue to grow off those endeavors.

In the coming months I’ll be rolling out a redesign of the site more fitting to my goal.  I’m working to consolidate my multiple websites into a better more robust presence.  I have maintained several domains over the years with many ideas that just petered out over time.  It is time to re-establish my own presence and not thin it out as I have.

I have given up trying to force feed stuff to people.   I’ve learned that if I back off, remain professional and in control people will come to you.  I’ve learned how time management is key in making things happen.  I’ve learned that good things come to those who aim for high goals and remain in good spirits.  Standing here with a bull horn screaming for everyone to look at me and see what I have is in the past.  I’ve learned to stop criticizing myself and my work and scrutinizing every detail down to the Nth degree.  I’ve learned to open my mind to possibilities that I didn’t think about.

So…

I am just a man looking to dump what I have to offer on the table.  If you find something of interest let me know.  If not come back another time.  I hope something I put out there helps you get what you want in some shape or form.  I’m at the where I aim to make a living with whatever keeps me interested and happy.  I have alot of ideas, alot of expectations and mostly alot of hope.

Here’s to a great 2012 and more…

WordPress › Help Stop SOPA/PIPA

Help Stop SOPA/PIPA

Posted January 10, 2012 by Jane Wells. Filed under Community.

You are an agent of change. Has anyone ever told you that? Well, I just did, and I meant it.

Normally we stay away from from politics here at the official WordPress project — having users from all over the globe that span the political spectrum is evidence that we are doing our job and democratizing publishing, and we don’t want to alienate any of our users no matter how much some of us may disagree with some of them personally. Today, I’m breaking our no-politics rule, because there’s something going on in U.S. politics right now that we need to make sure you know about and understand, because it affects us all.

Using WordPress to blog, to publish, to communicate things online that once upon a time would have been relegated to an unread private journal (or simply remained unspoken, uncreated, unshared) makes you a part of one of the biggest changes in modern history: the democratization of publishing and the independent web. Every time you click Publish, you are a part of that change, whether you are posting canny political insight or a cat that makes you LOL. How would you feel if the web stopped being so free and independent? I’m concerned freaked right the heck out about the bills that threaten to do this, and as a participant in one of the biggest changes in modern history, you should be, too.

You may have heard people talking/blogging/twittering about SOPA — the Stop Online Piracy Act. The recent SOPA-related boycott of GoDaddy was all over the news, with many people expressing their outrage over the possibilities of SOPA, but when I ask people about SOPA and its sister bill in the Senate, PIPA (Protect IP Act), many don’t really know what the bills propose, or what we stand to lose. If you are not freaked out by SOPA/PIPA, please: for the next four minutes, instead of checking Facebook statuses, seeing who mentioned you on Twitter, or watching the latest episode of Sherlock*, watch this video (by Fight for the Future).

Some thoughts:

In the U.S. our legal system maintains that the burden of proof is on the accuser, and that people are innocent until proven guilty. This tenet seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to the web if these bills pass, as companies could shut down sites based on accusation alone.

Laws are not like lines of PHP; they are not easily reverted if someone wakes up and realizes there is a better way to do things. We should not be so quick to codify something this far-reaching.

The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it. We have to stand up for it ourselves.

Blogging is a form of activism. You can be an agent of change. Some people will tell you that taking action is useless, that online petitions, phone calls to representatives, and other actions won’t change a single mind, especially one that’s been convinced of something by lobbyist dollars. To those people, I repeat the words of Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

We are not a small group. More than 60 million people use WordPress — it’s said to power about 15% of the web. We can make an impact, and you can be an agent of change. Go to Stop American Censorship for more information and a bunch of ways you can take action quickly, easily, and painlessly. The Senate votes in two weeks, and we need to help at least 41 more senators see reason before then. Please. Make your voice heard.

*Yes, the latest episode of Sherlock is good. Stephen Moffatt + Russell Tovey = always good

via WordPress › Help Stop SOPA/PIPA.