Book Review: The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand | #SmartReads

TheFountainhead
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
May 7, 2017

There are writers.  And then there’s Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand was a very unique individual; an individual that isn’t afraid to stand by her convictions, no matter what anyone said.  That’s what made her so beloved and hated.  Even more so, that’s why people were so bifurcated about her books.

Knowing that, then it isn’t shocking to realize that The Fountainhead was written with her very own ideals embedded within every page, within every character, within every thought.  In that sense, she is rather unique because not only did she create an amazing story, as many authors have, but she went a step beyond and used the book with the essence of her philosophy, which was, and will always be, a  truly daring endeavor for any writer.

The Fountainhead has been described in many ways, but at its core it is about The Individual vs. The Collective; about Freedom vs. Conformity.

With characters that are gripping, settings that are par excellence, and dialogue that displays incredible depth, the book is a well rounded synthesis about the nature of individualism and what it means to be human.

The leading characters all flow through their roles seamlessly, and whether you love them or hate them, you can feel the realism in them, even if at times they are the epitome of Rand’s ideal.

Anyone who values individuality will value this book.  Those that seek to conform will undoubtedly hate it.  That’s the nature of the beast, and always will be.  What Rand did though, perhaps better than anyone else, is show both sides of the coin – Individualism vs. Conformity – in a manner that nobody else had brought about through fiction.  This is why the book is so engaging, because you hate the villains as much as you love the characters you gravitate towards.  It is rare when a book has you personally invested in nigh every character failing or succeeding, but this book accomplishes that in spades.

Ayn Ran went to war for the Individual against The Collective in a torrential manner in a way almost nobody does.  Through her characters, Rand did a salient job of showing the wide range of latitudes within human nature.   All of this was, of course, was to highlight the importance of Individualism.

As Rand herself elucidates in the following passages, the last of the three which is in her own words, the prior two through her characters:

“Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their vision.  Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, their vision unborrowed, and the response they received – hatred.  The great creators – the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors – stood alone against the men of their time.  Every great new thought was opposed.  Every great ne invention was denounced.  The first motor was considered foolish.  The airplane was considered impossible.  The power loom was considered vicious.  Anesthesia was considered sinful.  But the men of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid.  But they won.”[1]

“From this simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.”[2]

“And for the benefit of those who consider relevance to one’s own time as of crucial importance, I will add, in regard to our age, that never has there been a time when men have so desperately needed a projection of things as they ought to be.”[3]

Rand stated those words decades ago, and they apply even more so now.  Given that humanity keeps snowballing down a hill in a world where morality, common sense and virtues keep getting swept under the rug, such statements and their ramifications should be pondered at length.

Whether you love the book or you hate it, it will give you much to ponder about, especially if you value Freedom and Individuality in any way shape or form.

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Sources:

[1] Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, p. 710.
[2] Ibid., p. 711.
[3] Ibid., p. vii.  Written in the Author’s Introduction to the 1968 Edition.

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This article is free and open source. You are encouraged to share this content and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His other blog, BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com features mainly his personal work, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information nigh always ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

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Book Review: Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin

TalentIsOverrated
TheBreakaway | BreakawayConciousness
Zy Marquiez
April 14, 2017

Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin is a discerning book that aims to home in on the salient differences between the very top tiers of individuals in a variety of fields and the rest.  With a rather unorthodox approach, the author poses a new theory about why so many individuals are great,  and what got them there.

Colvin delves into why Ben Franklin, Tiger Woods, The Polgar Sisters, Jerry Rice, and many others rose to become the crème of the crop.  Gleaning from them, the author also shows how individuals can finetune their personal repertoire to gain insights and learn to practice in similar fashion.

In his quest for answers within abstruse subject, the author samples various disciplines in society in his effort to get to the bottom of what ‘talent’ really means given all the talk about it.

Colvin does an reasonable job of arguing the case for deliberate practice and other ideas.  Be that as it may, the book could have used some more scientific evidence or studies referenced just to bolster the argument and bring more fuel to the fire.

Irrespective of that, though, the matter talent might boil down to the individual and their inherent mental faculties and the beliefs they themselves hold.

As the author ponders in his own words:

“What do you believe?  Do you believe that you have a choice in the matter?  Do you believe that if you do the work, properly designed, with intense focus for hours a day and years on end, your performance will grow dramatically better and eventually reach the highest levels?  If you believe that, then there’s at least a chance you will do the work and achieve great performance.

“But if you believe that your performance is forever limited by your lack of a specific innate gift, or by a lack of general abilities at the level that you think must be necessary, then there’s no chance at all that you will do the work.

“That’s why this belief is tragically constraining.  Everyone who achieved exceptional performance has encountered terrible difficulties along the way.  There are no exceptions.  If you believe that doing the right kind of work can overcome the problems, then you have at least chance of moving on to ever better performance. “[1]

That’s what most people want, a chance, an opportunity.  And why wouldn’t that opportunity be there for the taking?  It’s merely a choice.

For those that might wonder if people are really born with talent,  Colvin elucidates:

“…a hundred years later, abundant evidence showed clearly that people can keep getting better long after they should have reached their “rigidly determinate” natural limits.  The examples were not just great writers, artists, business people, inventors, and other eminences producing their best work three or four decades into their careers.  By the late nineteenth century, scientific research was showing repeatedly that ordinary people in various lines of work could keep getting better even after their performance had apparently plateau.  Typists, telegraph operators, typesetters – highly experienced workers in all these jobs, whose performance hadn’t improved in years, suddenly got markedly better when they were offered incentives or given new kinds of training.  This evidence was obviously a big problem for the you’ve-got-it-or-you-don’t point of view.”[2]

Such data is actually quite refreshing, because it shows that this is not merely an issue of being born with talent.  On the flip side, it is also not as simple as merely working hard, because most people work hard.  The main takeaway is that as long as proper practice is designed and undertaken, progress and growth can be developed in countless professions.

Given all the data collated that shows how certain individuals became extraordinary, the information presented by the author is worth ruminating upon at length.  And seeing as Colvin also gave individuals a jump-off point, the book does hold a lot of significance one way or another.

If you wish to read a book that offers value, ideas to ruminate upon which might just change your life, and also want to know what separates the top tier from all the rest,  get this book.

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Sources:

[1] Geoff Colvin, Talent Is Overrated – What Really Separates World-Class Performers From Everybody Else, p. 205.
[2] Ibid., p. 63.
___________________________________________________________
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
___________________________________________________________
About The Author:

Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.

His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.

300 Word Memories #2 – Perseverance

perseverance
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
February 27, 2017

“We acquire strength we have overcome.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.”
– George Bernard Shaw

It seems that no matter where one ventures in life, no matter where one attempt to make berth, there’s always going to be obstacles in the way.  Sometimes, these obstacles can be overcome with perseverance and determination.  Other times, it is not so simple.

Whether it is family, work, business, school, relationships, it seems that each of these areas always has something to offer for growth that keeps us on our toes, although many times we might not see it, or even want to come to terms with it.

Living in a society in which governments overlook freedoms, schools overlook education, businesses overlook quality, the medical establishment overlooks health, religion overlooks morality, it’s no wonder many people disappointed with what life has to offer.  In great part, people’s point of views and virtues are literally molded, from the ground up in clay-like fashion, by these very institutions.

Regarding this disturbing trend, regarding those pulling the strings, Edward Bernays, the father of public relations, once had this today, which he shared in his book Propaganda [review here]:

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard ofIn almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”[1][Bold Emphasis Added]

Such truly is the state of the world, and has been for nigh a century.

If the groups socially engineering these changes were not morally bankrupt, then many significant issues would be a lot simpler and perhaps better.  On the flip side, though, one could also argue that there would be less to learn as a society, and as individuals, if these obstacles opportunities were not available.  Of course, this is not to give silence to evil acts nor to justify them.  This is simply to point out that from every obstacle, there is something to be learned, and we usually learn the most when we are put to the test in keen fashion.

There are times that no matter what we do, it seems like the storm is coming, and we will be in its path, no matter what we do.  When that time comes, we need to be resolute in our character, and realize that facing obstacles, no matter how tough it may seem at the time, will always yield a more robust individual repertoire.

Only by weathering the storm do each of us as individuals end up being forged by the fire, like a sword that is cast ironclad, but in our case, we are cast in the profound lessons of life.

Only by being aware of the door opening, may we find a new path.

And only by walking through the fire will we know that we are immune to the flames.

Stay strong, because you are forged by the very thing that the Universe is made of.  And since we are each a reflections of the Universe, as the Universe is boundless, so is our resolve.

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Sources & References:

[1] Edward Bernays, Propaganda, pp. 37-38.
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This article is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.

Breakaway Ruminations #2 – Imagination Unleashed

Fantasy-1024-768

BreakawayConsciousness
Zy Marquiez
January 11, 2017

“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”
– Edgar Allan Poe

“Imagination is the spark that ignites the fire of creativity.”
– Richard Laurence Peterson

Imagination is an intriguing idea/subject that has resounding implications which rarely gets to see the light of day.

In our youth, imagination was the journey we all engaged in every day.  In those days there was no mountain to high, no catacomb too dark, no obstacle to impervious to be overcome because we knew at that time that nothing could stop us.

But then we ‘grew up’.

We were told that imagination, like a paper airplane, was a child’s play thing.  It’s something “only kids” employ.  Adults?  They don’t need imagination; ‘let’s talk about reality please,’ or, ‘let’s be real’ soon follows.  Imagination is in the past; it’s not needed now.

Such is the brainwashing that we were lathered on with, and it’s worked in spades.  This type of mind control puts the subject of imagination beyond the scope of everyday chatter.

Regarding this type of mind control, Jon Rappoport of NoMoreFakeNews.com once said this:

What is as yet uncreated in the imagination of The Individual is the most potent force in this or any other universe. And to make things even clearer, the failure to understand that fact constitutes the most potent form of mind control in existence.”[1] [Bold Emphasis Added]

Curiously, however, every single thing created was due to imagination being employed in some way shape or form.

The stifling of imagination has dampened individual consciousness and creativity and it’s quite regrettable.  One glaring example of this can be seen in the fact that although everyone living today has more information than ever before, many still need help with things that others knew how to do decades, or centuries ago or more.

People can’t imagine solutions like others could in the past because they’re living within a box, instead of living without the box.  Imagination is shackled through and through.

Having droves of more knowledge than any civilizations past, in conjunction with the employment endless imagination and creativity, we should be the most self sufficient generation of them all.   And yet, the opposite is the case.  The more technology grows and evolves, the less and less we know how to do [imagine] and thus, the less imaginative we become.

Hearkening back to our youth, imagination played a vital role in how we viewed reality.  Obstacles?  Those didn’t exist.  Obstacles were merely opportunities for growth.  Obstacles, like storms, help you realized what you’re made of, and once those circumstances have been conquered, individuals feel like they can take on the world.

That is because there are no limits to imagination.  Implication: there are no limits to the amount of solutions you could envision.

A great aspect of imagination is its malleability, even though imagination is in fact shapeless.

Like water, imagination molds into whatever shape it sees fit and even transmutes itself into something more, something greater, but only when unleashed.

Imagination is non linear.  It may venture in any direction it sees fit, and goes even beyond the beyond.  There is no path imagination won’t take, there’s no venture it won’t embark upon.

Imagination is the road that never ends, offering solutions at every turn.

But without action, imagination, like a starship without a warpdrive, remains stagnant.  Explorations must cease until adjustments are made – until imagination is employed. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, what happens with individuals that use imagination?  These individuals create.  Moreover, they solve, they conquer; ultimately, they grow.

These individuals create, create often, and endlesslyPaintings, poetry, dances, prose, solutions and MUCH more, are all created by those limitless and imaginative individual minds that chose to employ this tool.

Imagination is so important that Einstein once said:

Imagination is more important than knowledge.  For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”[Bold Emphasis added]

Nikola Tesla ultimately said this of imagination:

“Our first endeavors are purely instinctive prompting of an imagination vivid and undisciplined. As we grow older reason asserts itself and we become more and more systematic and designing. But those early impulses, though not immediately productive, are of the greatest moment and may shape our very destinies. Indeed, I feel now that had I understood and cultivated instead of suppressing them, I would have added substantial value to my bequest to the world. But not until I had attained manhood did I realize that I was an inventor.”[Bold Emphasis added]

Imagination is there for individuals to use at will.  If individuals so choose, it will push them; it will drive them.  It will free them from the shackles of normality and help erase the imaginary boundaries [dictated by society] that have been hampering their progress and mental state.

And just like the countless individuals that achieve their dreams even though they were told it would be “impossible”, imagination manifests impossible dreams, because it can.

Imagination will not be stopped, because it cannot be stopped.

Once the box doesn’t exist, the individual is free.  Free to experience or create anything they want, solve anything the need, and ruminate upon the wondrous ceaselessly.

Then, the next chapter begins.

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Source:

[1] Jon Rappoport, The Magician Awakes.

Breakaway Goals For 2017

2017
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
January 9, 2017

“A dream is your creative vision of your life in the future.  You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.”
– Denis Waitley

In the Breakaway 2016 – A Year In Review, a tally was conducted of which goals were met success, and which met failures.

Now it is time to set goals for 2017, which will be both for the blog and some personal ones as well.

Each goal – written in bold – follows with commentary below.

Goal #1: Paint 25 paintings.

Last year, the goal was 50, and 30 wasn’t even achieved.  Although really wanted to attempt the same goal again, it’s more prudent/pragmatic to take a more conservative goal in this instance.  The other reason for not making this goal too large is that the canvases which will be used this year are 2-3 times larger than last years.  That’ll simply mean more time put towards painting, regardless of total goal.

Goal #2:  Write and share 50 poems of any type.

This was the goal for last year, but unlike painting, which takes considerable time, this goal will be achieved this year because we will not sacrifice too much personal time for the blog.  Failure is not an option.

Goal #3:  Write 70 new book reviews for the blog.

Last year’s goal was 50, and it was pretty much crushed by 50%.  This year, although there shouldn’t be any personal setbacks or anything, the goal will be 70.  It’ll still be considerable work, but it’s increased enough to be a challenge, while not overly so that it feels like a finish line that never ends.  Really want to make it higher, but let’s not get overly ambitions.

Goal #4:  Ask more questions of individuals, and listen more.

Seems simple, and yet, it’s a goal that will net more benefits.  It’s not like me to be overly talkative, but, in order to increase mindfulness, being more mentally engaged on the listening side of a conversation will bring to fruition considerably greater aspects of myself.

Goal #5:  Be even more inquisitive than in the past.

This goal is the same as last year, and it was met.  However, its important to me to continue to foster my intellectual curiosity in order to grow as an individual and be able to help others.  What’s not to like about that goal?

Goal #6:  Take more deep breaths.

What!?  Yeah, that’s a few friends told me.  But really, the reason for this is, again, it helps develop mindfulness, and keep my mind intensely focused, which helps in every other part of life.  Plus, it will remind me to meditate more often.

Goal #7:  Meet new people from all walks of life, figure out what makes them tick, and why they are the way they are.

Meeting people is a great goal, and it used to be really hard for me due to being shy, but with time its become slightly easier.  That said, meeting people is one thing, but figuring out what makes them tick deep down in their core is something significantly different, and something that almost never happens due to so many superficial relationships.  That, and it takes time to really get to know people and their drives/passions.  Regardless, if am able to engage with 15-20 folks in this manner by the end of the year, am going to be more than happy with this one.

Goal #8:  Read 100 books, or 20,000 pages from books – which ever goal comes first between those two.

This goal was succeeded last year thankfully.  About 3/4ths of the book read were non-fiction research books of many types, with the rest being fiction of mostly dystopian or horror type.  Would love to up this goal, but this goal requires enormous consistency and everything to go right.  At least having a goodreads account helps track which books – and how many – were read.

Goal #9:  Workout at least 5 hours a week – over 250 hours in the year.

Although the amount of time [hours logged] working out last year was within goal range, not enough ‘days’ were spent doing that.  The days worked out by myself would venture into 1 to 2 hours many times, but would only go about 3-4 times a week, rather than 5 consistently.  That said, from this year on we’re just going to add hours worked out by each week’s end.  If the total hours worked out by the end of the year goes over 250 hours, this will be great.  And my goal is to do it either by doing yoga, cardio, lifting weights, etc.

Goal #10:  Take a lot more time ruminating before carrying out all decisions in life.

This is definitely the most complex, since it requires constant mindfulness and focus to have a highly more deliberate and incisive thought process.  Without a doubt, this goal will probably net arguably the greatest benefits, although it might be the toughest to achieve/implement.

More goals might be added, but for now that seems to run the gamut across most if not all of the core goals that will be striven for in this blog.

What are your goals for this year?  Have put them into action?  Are you already on your way?  Let me know.

Throughout the year, regardless of what takes place within the rollercoaster that is life, please keep in mind this gem that Picasso once intimated:

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success.”

Breakaway 2016 – A Year In Review

Small Business Investing: 2016 Year in Review
TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
January 5, 2017

“When its obvious that your goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust your goals, adjust your action steps.”
– Confucius

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and jupon which we must vigorously act.  There is no other route to success.”
– Pablo Picasso

Okay, we’re going to keep this simple.

Before writing the goals for 2017, which will be blogging and personal goals, we’ll need to see how 2016 panned out.

If a goal was achieved it’ll be preceded with a yes [Y], if not with a no [N].

Some of the goals might seem rather abstract, but they are realistic goals nonetheless.

Each goal will follow with personal observations:

[Y] Continue fostering the great relationships that have helped me grow as an individual.

This one is a pass, but barely.  Have been able to foster some relationships and get to know some friends even more, and have definitely learned a lot from them, but at the same time some older relationships seem to be passing by.

Have met many great people online, but don’t get much of a chance to meet many people in person.  Used to meet folks at the local bookstore in Arizona but ironically enough, although this in Texas area is bigger, and has a lot more people, there’s not many places [or at least haven’t found them yet] where one could just sink into a good book at any time.  There are local libraries, but am more of a fan of bookstores and cafes.  And since had to give up coffee….*cringe*

[Y] Meet new people, and learn as much as possible not only from them, but from the paths that they have chosen to walk, regardless of their reason.

This one is a pass, and brought much personal growth for myself.  Having gotten to know many more individuals in many walks of life is definitely refreshing.  Getting to know new people is definitely something that’s always intrigued me.  Most of my new relationships are of an online basis, and many of these people still mean the world to me.  These individuals are certainly not treated any different simply because they haven’t been ‘met in real life’.  That said, it’ll be great to meet more as the blog grows and my shyness gets worked on.

Although have been fortunate myself to meet many great people online, unfortunately, don’t get much of a chance to meet many people in person mostly due to work.  Used to meet folks often at the local bookstore in Arizona but ironically enough, although am living now in an area of Texas which is bigger, and has a lot more people, there’s not many places [or at least haven’t found them yet] where one could just sink into a good book at any time.  There are local libraries, but am more of a fan of bookstores and cafes.  And since had to give up coffee….*cringe*…the cafes have been a no go.

[Y] Be even more inquisitive than in the past

That goal is a pass, and it’s gotten me in a lot of trouble, but that’s beside the point.  Some people do not like being questioned; they expect people to take their word as gospel.  That’s not how yours truly views such things.  The second someone cannot be questioned, they hold inherent power of you, whether they know it or not. Furthermore, questioning someone doesn’t mean you do not respect them, appreciate them, love them or even look up to them.  Some people though seem to take things personal when you ask them honest questions, as if judging the information means judging them.  Such is not the case.  At least not for myself.

[Y] Follow my instincts all of the time, no matter how big or small the issue might be.

This has become easier, although it should be automatic since it nets the most benefits.  Still, when circumstances in life come up, it’s always intriguing to ruminate upon what the choices and ramifications might be.

[Y] Read 100 books, or 20,000 pages within books [not online or PDFs]. Whatever comes first between those two.

A rather ambitious goal, but a realistic one considering how much reading is part of my life.  This goal was attained

If my addition was correct, there were 75 book reviews written and posted [2 of them were reposts about JFK which pushed the total up to 77].  Through some synchronistic circumstances, read quite a bit of HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and Walph Waldo Emerson, all of which haven’t been finished as they’re large volumes and thus haven’t been reviewed.  Also read a lot of other works of fiction.  Only wrote a handful of reviews on the fiction books, and usually don’t write about those since am pressed for time a lot and have chosen to forgo those.   That said, the goal was attained, but it wasn’t as easy as it could/should’a been.  The rest of the goal was achieved by reading a fiction, particularly of the dystopian variety.  Having an unplanned move into a new house drained a lot of my free time to read and write reviews, poetry and paint, so the numbers could have been higher but hopefully that doesn’t take place this year.  Numbers wise, both numbers were passed, although wasn’t sure which came first.

[Y] 10 of the 100 books in the above goal were to be on Philosophy.

This goal was hit, but mostly from the Eastern Philosophy perspective.  Still, have learned a lot from this and appreciate it.  Having finally read Confucius’ Analects, The I-Ching, and having reread the Art of War, it was definitely great to be able to learn from these timeless pieces, and they did not disappoint.

[Y] Read 1500 articles health, science, finance, history, etc.

This was a pass.  Research and reading is one of my main passions so this was achieved.  Might have to up this goal this year; we’ll see.

[Y] Write at least 50 book reviews for the blog

Having written at least 75 reviews that were verifiably posted, this goal was a pass.  Would like to write 100 reviews in 2017, but that might be overly ambitious?  We’ll see.

[N] Write 50 poems of any type. This goal is mainly to keep fostering my personal creativity.

This goal was definitely a fail, and even cringe at having to check ‘official numbers’; can’t think that more than 2 dozen poems were written in the blog, if that.  In fact, in full disclosure, did end up writing more poetry [not really blog suitable], but a lot of it doesn’t see the light of day.  However, that said, if it’s not posted it doesn’t count, so this goal was a fail.  Really need to rethink goals regarding posting poems in the future.  Moreover, also need to quit sacrificing personal time so much for other ventures since it ends up costing me most of my free time in an effort to try and help others.

[N] Paint 50 paintings

This was another missed goal.  This goal wasn’t achieved for a few reasons, but it was achievable nonetheless.  Part of the reason was that using lower level acrylic paint instead of professional grade paint makes thing quite more complex [didn’t know at a time, still lack experience] and many times what could have been done on the first go using higher quality paint takes a few tries with paint of lesser quality.

That said, we’re upping our game this year [!], and am in the process of getting a bit more professional grade paint supplies and hopefully am able to follow through with my goals.  Big thanks to Linda for this one!  P.S.  If anyone happens to know or have any additional information on where to get quality art supplies for a reasonable price please let me know.  Any art websites would also be helpful.  Have only ventured into DeviantArt and a few others, but the list is small.

[N] Workout for minimum 30 minutes a day at least 5 times a week

This is close, but we’ll log it as a fail.  These are the reasons why:

[1] My workouts usually are 45 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes long or so, sometimes longer.
[2] My workouts were usually only 3 times a week, and not 5 times as originally wanted.

Admittedly, by ‘workout’ what’s mean is going to the gym, and not doing yoga at home, or rebounding, or any other type of workout.

That said, have at least been consistent enough to keep going between 3-4 times a week for months now.  Knowing this helps justify the expense of having a gym membership, but also helps see where progress was made.  This goal will definitely be modified for this year.

A better idea might be a goal in minutes by the end of the year, rather than days gone to the gym?  What say you?

[N] Take a lot more time before carrying out all decisions in my life. This will be the most complex, and difficult,  but it will yield the greatest results.

This particularly regards mainly work, but seeps into every other aspect of my life if used correctly.  Although am admittedly doing better, am still not at the point that am capable of.  Having to make significant decisions in matter of seconds, hundreds of times a day, nigh every day of the year like clockwork is not exactly easy, BUT, it’s the life chosen by me, and it’s another passion.   That said, obstacles were meant to be overcome, and we’ll get there soon enough.

[Y] Continue to add content to the blog and grow the blog up to at least 500 regular readers

This goal was almost doubled, with about 960 subscribers, although it’s been stuck like that for a few weeks now.  Also, there is the issue of some people being unsubscribed a few times even though they didn’t unsubscribe so there’s something rotten in Denmark.   Although it makes me want to vent considering how much censorship this blog has faced, we won’t embark on an endless tirade of expletives.  Trying to keep this family friendly yah know.  We’ll keep this rated G!  Still, the goal was hit, and that’s at least reassuring for what it’s worth.

To finalize, all in all, am glad to have set these goals last year.  Some goals were achieved easier than others, while others weren’t even half-way realized.  There’s still a lot of work to be done, but that’s why we’re here, right?

In hindsight, doing this review definitely helps me prepare for this year, and will ultimately help me grow as an individual.

How did you all fair in your goals for 2016?  Did you achieve your goals?  Why or why not?

Regardless, always remember that:

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.”
– Zig Ziglar

So set them high and set them often.

Breakaway Ruminations #1 – New Year; New Possibilities

future

TheBreakaway
Zy Marquiez
January 4, 2017

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
– Thomas Jefferson

Every year, as the New Year approaches, one can sense excitement building in the atmosphere.  In many instances, this type of emotion/feeling can at times be so substantial it resonates in others.

This excitement takes place in large part due to individuals getting ready to create significant changes in their lives; changes that will be for the better.

However, what seems quite intriguing about these circumstances is that often times many people choose to wait to make changes after the new year begins, even though they know they would reap rewards with those changes now. If change is to take place [positive, meaningful & needed changes at that] why don’t individuals make changes immediately?  After all, if the benefits are to be beneficial, why not venture into the realm of change sooner?

We are all guilty of this idea to some extent, and it seems quite paradoxical that people would see new ‘resolutions’ as positive, but yet hold themselves back from them until the ‘official clock’ changes.  Why not change your own clock?  Why not dance to your own tune?

Regardless of the reasons, when the New Year begins hope is in the air, individuals have an extra spring in their step, and the vibe is totally different.

If you go to the gym, the first day of the year is hands down the busiest day of the year.   In this respect, as someone who shares similar goals and as an observer of this circumstance for many years, it’s great to witness individuals do the best for themselves and starting out strong.  Problem is that, in many ways our resolutions often dissipate into our past habits much of the time.

Still though, every new year, more and more people end up bringing about better change for themselves, and this is quite refreshing.  Be it in search for better health, relationships, personal growth, or other, individuals that keep pushing themselves to breakaway from the conventional box we’ve been offered from youth often keep chugging along relentlessly regardless of time, circumstances or obstacles.  These individuals make obstacles their daily bread.

Moreover, other individuals that get to see positive changes in others that breakaway from the conventional narrative gain confidence and belief in many ways as they see their friends or acquaintances succeed in new endeavours.  This doesn’t often directly correlate into success for these folks, but it sure helps in them seeing what’s possible.

And at minimum, the future will always hold the option to be the jump-off point if any individual ever decides to light off into the horizon.  That’s one great reason the future appeals to everyone, but there’s more.

The future offers us energy, possibilities and wonder.

The future is the untraveled road, ready to be paved by the individual – you.

The future is everything we wished for, and more, but only if we make it happen.

The future is the shining star that’s yet to shine upon a new horizon.

The future is a compass pointing in a new direction; a new course to make berth too.

The future is ultimately a blank canvas, and that’s why we all love it.

And yet, the future is every single day, every new hour and every new minute.  The future doesn’t stop and wait for the New Year just because that’s what we’ve been taught to do.

The future, like a blank canvas, is always ready to be filled in.

Knowing that, why not make every new day your ‘New Year?  Why not make every day your gateway?

The beauty of this conundrum is that it’s only a choice.

Thankfully, the future – our individual blank canvas – is always there.

And always will be, ready for that moment when the choice is made.

That said, let’s end with this gem from Mattie Stepanek:

“Keep all special thoughts and memories for lifetimes to come.  Share these keepsakes with others to inspire hope and build from the past, which can bridge to the future.”