Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The IWB: The Mesquite Hugger Guide to Simple-Minded Self Help

I have met a few older guys in my life that I look up to. Most I have met somewhere near a coffee cup. They usually tell great stories from a life lived well and heartily. And when you ask their plans for the day, they usually involve helping a friend or pursuing some new interest. These guys tend to have silver hair, drive old pickups, and there's often a great dog in the vicinity of their lives. They are quick to offer help and occasional advice. These guys have helped me define the IWB.

The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.

I write a lot. A few decades ago, a good friend handed me a blank journal and said, "Now it's your turn." I have been writing almost daily since then.

Unlike Mesquite Hugger, where I try to keep most everything encouraging and motivational, the journal I keep is a place to vent as much as it is a place for positivity. And once in a while - I admit it - I get caught up in the negativity. A little while back, I found the journal was growing pretty dark, so I looked for a way to reverse that.

I came up with the IWB.

If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?

The IWB is an abbreviation of the man I want to be, or I Wanna Be. It is a variation on who I want to be when I grow up, but I am forty-six now, so it needed a bit of modifying. I also decided it's important to look at the IDWB - I don't want to be.

I have been using the IWB system a lot lately, not as a measuring stick, but as a destination.

For instance, IDWB a man who goes home from work each day, pops open a beer, and sits in front of the TV until bed time. Knowing where I don't want to go lets me start looking at where I do want to go. IWB a man who spends that time being productive, building green projects, serving others, or improving my health.

Now, when I get home from work, I ask myself what the MIWB would do with the evening. And I have been making good progress. I am skinnier, I have been serving others, and there have been improvements around the house. And Snagit! - I even like myself a little better.

You rock, Stuart Smalley!

So, Dear Reader, I hope you create some time this week to define your IWB.

And I hope you find some time next week for taking a step closer.

May you find your way to being your IWB!