It’s Been Awhile…

When I first started this blog/website way back in 2006, my intentions for it were for it to be some sort of online business.  Seven years later and I have not earned a red cent from this blog.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t really tried that hard, but that’s mostly due to my various medical conditions stemming initially from a brain tumor I had about 10 years ago.  I get bad eye strain from typing for too long, and writing 1000+ word blog entries just didn’t seem appealing at times, and I didn’t really have anything valuable to share, at least nothing original.  But then again, there are hardly any original ideas out there anymore.  Everyone is a collection of everyone else’s ideas and thoughts.  I’ve heard from someone that most people go through their entire lives without having an original thought.  Isn’t that pathetic?

For the past six months or so, on and off, I’ve been going through Steve Pavlina‘s archives.  I started way back in 2004, and now I’m somewhere in the late 2008 phase of his blog.  That man is a true legend in the blogosphere and in the personal development field.  For me, he’s the person who started me on the right path after I was expelled from college for doing things that I would describe as bullying and passive-aggressive behaviors.

Now I’ve got a job that pays decent enough, I’ve saved over $26,000 in the past 4 years, and I can genuinely say that I’m happy where I am in most aspects of my life.  Sure, I may work the graveyard shift, and I may not always feel my best, but I definitely feel my life is far more under control than it has ever been before.  I enjoy the one person I work with each night, and there have been many that I have worked with.  I’ve accepted my disabilities and my limitations, and people who know what I have been through consider me a miracle, an inspiration to others not to give up.

For those of you who do not know, I had a pineal gland malignant germinoma, which resulted in me going through a very traumatic brain surgery, where the surgeon actually separated the two halves of my brain in order to pull out a piece of my tumor to see what kind it was.  It was a 9-hour affair.  I’m just glad I was out for all of it.  They took the back of my skull off my head and went all the way into the center of my brain to pull out what I believe was a few pieces of my tumor.  I certainly wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have to go through it.

After that ordeal, I had 30 days of radiation treatment, 15 days which were whole brain radiation, and the second 15 that were targeted radiation treatment to specifically melt the rest of my tumor.  I was 16 years old when I had the surgery, and 17 when I had my radiation.  It was one of the hardest challenges of my life, and it has affected me in oh so many ways, both positive and negative.  Sure, I might not have a college degree or a high-paying job, but I can say for anyone who is going through a similar experience that I never, ever gave up.

I am in no way perfect, but that’s not the point, now is it?  I’ve simply done the best I can with the cards I was dealt.  At least I have a supportive family who will stand behind me.  And I’ve got tons of interests in various things, including the nature of reality, reading (audiobooks mostly), writing from time to time, music, comedy, David Icke’s material, healthful eating, meditation (to the degree I can focus my mind), raising my level of consciousness, personal development, and others I can’t really think of right now.

Mama always said that God only gives people the things they can handle.  I guess God thought I could handle brain cancer.  I’ve only met one other person who has ever had a tumor in a similar part of the brain, and he had a far worse cancer than I did.  My type of cancer and its location were one in a million.  And I was born with it, and it slowly grew up until I was about 16, and that’s when it started pinching off a ventricle in my brain, causing headaches you can’t even imagine.  It’s been a long journey getting back to where I feel like I found a job I can do and have been doing for close to 4 years now.  As for making money from this blog, it’s not a pressing issue, although the extra income would be nice.  I’ll have to give that some consideration in the near future.

Peace out, world.

How to Build a Low Traffic Blog

I’m sure I can write a coherent article about building a low traffic blog because I’ve had one for around 4 years now.  Let’s not play dumb and pretend that my traffic is sizable.  It is not.  Check out my Alexa ranking.  Right now it is in the 5 millions.  I was actually surprised to see that because before it was in the 6 millions.  So I guess I’m moving on up.  My website is viewed not very often, I assume.  If there are 5 million other websites getting more traffic than me, then perhaps I’m doing something wrong.  Or maybe it’s just that people would rather read more established websites.  Perhaps my content has not been constant enough for the average reader.  I’ve talked about way too many different things on here, but that’s who I am.  I’m not a robot who only wants to write about one topic and stick to it.  I like to mix it up and go through phases, such as my anarcho-primitivist phase where I blasted humanity big time for probably about a year.  But I always said there was a better way to live and there is.

Let’s take a look back at the history of this blog.  I started this blog sometime in 2006 to make money and eventually be able to live off of it.  That was my primary intention.  I wanted to help people, too, just make money as well.  I figured that I’m a pretty good writer, and I have ideas about things, so why not offer them to the general public?  So I did.  Within a year, I bought my first domain name and went from Blogger to WordPress.  I did okay with traffic for a little while, mostly because I was posting on topics that people actually wanted to read, like Personal Development and comedy.  It was a time when I was starting to truly build a small, but sizable following, and my ranking was somewhere in the 1 millions.  I still hadn’t made a dime from this site, but at least I was getting somewhere in terms of success.

Then I started really enjoying nature and started reading stuff about simplifying my life and how we humans are destroying the Earth, which is still true regardless of how few people want to hear it.  I got my inspiration from people like Dave Pollard and Ran Prieur, both who run pretty successful websites, at least compared to mine.  Dave Pollard has been running his blog since 2002 and Ran Prieur’s website has been up around just as long.  I totally resonated with what they were saying and jumped on that bandwagon pretty quickly.  And I still feel this way today, to a point, but the more I rant about it, the more people don’t want to read it.  I know the old adage that people will listen when they are ready and only when they are ready, but the planet is dying, for God’s sake!  And there isn’t much being done about it.  But that kind of talk still falls on deaf ears I guess, or maybe, just maybe, people are so entrenched in their current way of life that they would rather die than give it up.

Finally, I started talking about stuff like who are we, and what is reality?  I guess that’s what caused my traffic “spike.”  I’ve been steadily increasing in traffic for the last few months, although it is a small increase.  I’m still not an A-list blogger, nor do I think that will ever happen with this blog, mostly because my past entries are way too chaotic and I don’t have a good framework for high page views.  I tried installing plugins like ‘Related Posts,’ and it ruined my site until I was able to remove it.  It caused all the blog entries to become incoherent lines of code.  I have no idea why all the sidebars disappear when I click on just  one entry and read it.  I am clueless when it comes to computer programming and I hate it with a passion.  I’ve never been a fan of programming, and I don’t think I ever will.  It’s just so tedious and exacting.

I wish I had the work ethic or the programming skills to make this website better, but I don’t.  I wish I had someone to do it for me, but I don’t.  I am thinking of creating another website so I can start over from scratch, but without my name attached to it, so that way maybe I can rebuild some traffic and have mostly articles I know people want to read.  Not only that, I want to create a website that is much more technically sound than this one, and I have to learn all these skills before attempting this.  I want to still keep this website, but as a secondary one.  I’ll still post here semi-regularly, as I have for the past 4 years, but it will be less of a disappointment if I can get another blog off the ground where I can actually build sizable traffic.  It will be a whole new format, a whole new platform for me.  I won’t be linking to it from here.  I’ll be promoting it elsewhere, far far away from the stigma of a low traffic website.  It is going to be completely original because I know exactly what it is I want to do with it.

I’m going to have a central theme on that website.  It will be unavoidable.  But I’m not ready to actually create this website yet.  I might just create a free blog and post there for awhile until I figure out exactly what it is I want to do with this new direction I’m taking my blogging.  I’m going to learn from the mistakes I made on this blog, albeit 4 years later.  I’m going to market it better, have a bigger following, and create truly meaningful content.  Maybe I’ll even make some money from it.  That would be nice.  Because this website has made me nothing, even when I had ads on it, and I’m so anti-advertising that I would balk at even placing an ad in the corner.  I won’t make a dime without traffic, so that should be my main concern, and creating and delivering unique and valuable content.  Content that has high social value and high personal value.  I’ve often thought I mostly blog on here for myself and whoever might want to read it.  But perhaps I’ve been doing it all backwards.  I don’t know, but I sure as hell have a great example of a blog that hasn’t really blossomed the way I hoped it would and it is nice that this failure of a blog will be here for years to come.  It will be a good example of what not to do with a blog if you want to make money from it.

Here is a list of things I have done that I suggest nobody does if they want to build a successful, high traffic blog:

  • Not having any central theme whatsoever
  • Not posting with any regularity
  • Creating content that you know is not your best
  • Ranting and raving about the same thing for over a year
  • Not knowing how to make your website have all the neat blogging gadgets
  • Being afraid to offend anyone
  • Taking all negative feedback seriously
  • Writing about things most people aren’t ready to hear
  • Not optimizing anything or marketing whatsoever
  • Thinking that blogging will be easy
  • I hope you get the general idea…

I know that some people like this blog, while most either don’t like it or don’t know about it.  I’ve received tons of feedback, most of it positive.  My next website will not allow comments.  Why?  Because I don’t want to spend my time moderating them.  I still like this blog, I’m just admitting that it isn’t successful.  And that’s okay.  I’m not willing to say that it has been 4 years wasted.  I have shown flashes of true brilliance on this blog and I can’t deny that.  I just didn’t always have brilliant posts and some of them were simply too similar to the previous posts and that is where I think I lost a lot of people.  But that’s fine.  I’m going to start fresh soon with a whole new blog and do my best to correct the mistakes I am aware of and try to find the mistakes I am still unaware of.  Just scan the archives to see what the progression of a long-term low traffic blog is, because I am a prime example.  At least I admit it and at least I am trying to learn from it.  My next blog will be at least a little better and I can move on from there.  Maybe by 2020 I’ll actually be earning money from a website, or maybe from a book I write.  Who knows?

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Brain Tumor Experiences and Inspiration

Brain cancer sure takes a lot out of you.  I’ve been cured for seven years and I still can’t exercise without having to take pain medication afterwards.  My eyes and head flare up at the first sign of cardiovascular activity.  That is what happened today.  I figured I would go for a walk for about 30 minutes.  I hadn’t gone for a long walk in awhile, but I just wanted to see if I had progressed at all in the exercise field.  Sure enough, about halfway through my walk, which was not a brisk walk, just a garden-variety walk, I noticed pressure behind my eyes and a general overall headache.  I had to keep walking or I wouldn’t get back home.  So I kept walking and now my eyes feel really stiff and strained.  I guess I should really get to accepting my limitations.  But I want so badly to be able to exercise.  It seems we have a catch-22 here.  I don’t have problems if I walk a short distance slowly, but any strenuous activity puts me feeling much worse.  I guess it is the price I paid for having brain cancer and this has been a constant for seven years.

Being a brain cancer survivor comes with positives and negatives.  There are things I probably will never be able to do again.  And there is wisdom that I have gained from this experience.  I no longer sweat the small stuff.  The small stuff is inconsequential to me.  It has made me into more of a big picture type of guy.  It has made me think all the questions of why we are here and what consciousness itself is.  I’ve had a lot of time to think about so many things concerning the nature of this reality.  I’ve been able to read online via ReadPlease2003 (to prevent any further eyestrain) thousands of articles about a variety of topics that I have an interest in.  While it is extremely difficult for me to read pages of a book without experiencing pain and eye strain, I have the whole Internet at my disposal.  Life has not been easy, but there is always some way to adapt.  I’ve heard stories of blind people using the Internet using a program called Jaws.

I’ve maintained a full-time job for about a year now.  I have benefits and vacation time.  I work the night shift, mostly because it is easier for me on so many levels and I don’t always have to be 100%.  It’s easy to fix up shelving and take care of the occasional customer even if I’m not feeling my best.  It is a job that I can do with the conditions that I have and it has worked out very nicely for me.  I always get great reviews from my boss and supervisors.  I am even en route to becoming a supervisor.  So, I’m making decent money and working full-time, which is a hell of a lot better than I thought my life would turn out after all the problems I’ve had after cancer.

I have had periods of months where I was in severe pain in my eyes and head 24 hours a day with no relief in sight.  I have been discouraged, depressed, and frustrated to no end.  But I always seem to come out of those periods to a functional existence.  If I push myself too hard, I will pay for it for at least a couple of days with severe headaches.  My tumor is gone, but for some reason, my brain never healed completely.  I have a dural leak in my brain that is very vulnerable to opening after any strenuous activity.  Life has not been easy for me these past 8 years.  But I’m still standing.  I’m still strong.  This has to be the best year I’ve had since I was 15, which is saying quite a lot.  That was before I had the tumor.

Now that I’ve got all this positive momentum going, a lot of times I want to push myself harder, but every time I do, I pay for it.  So I just ride the wave I’m riding.  I wish I could do more, but unfortunately, unless I want to totally destroy what I’ve got, I need to play it safe when it comes to doing things.  I need ample time for relaxation.  I need to get good sleep.  If I don’t, the same rules apply as when I overwork myself.  I feel kind of fragile for someone so young (24).  But, like I’ve said, I can’t change what happened to me and it has afforded me benefits as well.  I inspire others by my actions.  I overcame something that was potentially fatal to become a productive member of society.

I just thought I would write something that shows how I live after brain cancer.  It may not be all roses, but at least I still have my mind and for the most part, my overall health.  I could have had a relapse and more radiation or even chemotherapy.  I can say that for what happened to me, I’m pretty damn lucky.  I could have ended up in a nursing home if they botched my 9 hour surgery.  The surgery where they actually separated both halves of my brain to get to the pineal gland to extract a piece of the tumor.  My headache seems to be subsiding now due to Fioricet.  Thank the Lord for that.

I think somewhere down the road I’d like to become some sort of motivation speaker for cancer patients.  Of course, being humorous in my speeches is second nature for me.  I’ve got plenty of material.  I want to show people that yes, there is life after cancer, even if it isn’t always easy.  The fact is that you survived.  You beat the odds.  You are living proof that cancer can be contained.  It may be hard to eradicate cancer, but the rewards are timeless.  Your perspective will change dramatically.  If you’ve beaten this, what else can you overcome.  What else can you accomplish?  Your fear should no longer hold you back.  If it isn’t life threatening, then what are you so afraid of?  You’ve beaten cancer, so you can do anything.

My speeches would go somewhere along those lines.  I know that my calling is to raise people’s awareness and allow them to become who they feel inspired to become.  It may not always be possible to become what you most want to, but to not even make the attempt is foolish and cowardly.  I know that we all could become greater than we are just by committing to becoming a better person each day.  Small steps or large steps, you decide.  We can all move away from fear and towards love just by deciding to.  And what an amazing world we will have once everyone is on the love side.  Imagine a world without fear.  Imagine how wonderful such a world would be.  That is my ultimate goal.  It would be paradise.

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Hope

Is hope inherently dangerous or is it helpful?  Well,we could start by looking at the definition.  Hope means to cherish a desire with anticipation.  I’m not sure that is entirely accurate, though.  Hope is more of a wanting of something that you have no or little control over, such as “I hope the war comes to an end,” or “I sure hope I get that promotion.”  It places the outcome on external events and not in your control, so is it empowering or disempwering?  To hope for something is to divert control away from yourself and to place it on something that is not you.  I find hope to be incredibly naive and childish, but it is helpful to those who truly believe they have no control and have to rely on all these external things going right to have what they hope for come true.

You can spend your time hoping or you can spend your time creating.  When you are creating the life you want, hope is not a part of it.  You are taking the steps to create what it is you want.  You aren’t sitting around, waiting for things to snap into place.  Even if your attempts are not perfect, you can calibrate them later.  The most important step here is action, not hoping something will just happen for you.  Hope is almost like a wish.   “I wish I won the lottery.”  Hope is a fleeting emotion, always in the back of our minds, but never fully present.  It is always fixated on the future, and what may happen.  It is a fantasy for the most part, simply because it hasn’t happened yet.  You are far better off with certainty than hope.  Certainty is king when it comes to actually getting what it is you want.

On the other end of the spectrum is hopelessness.  Is that better or worse than hope?  I would say that hopelessness can either be truly realistic or completely false based on your experiences.  If you are living in a third world country and live on less than $1 a day, it makes perfect sense to be hopeless when it comes to your future life, because what are the odds you will instantly become a millionaire or start your own business?  Very low.  But if you are given tons of opportunities every day to excel and succeed, why would you ever be hopeless?  Sure, the world may be going to hell, but that doesn’t mean you have to as well.  You can still live your life with purpose and find plenty of meaning in life.  There is no law that says you can’t.  You can have a little hope, but no more, no less.  A little hope is slightly better than having too much or no hope at all.

But having a little hope has to be rooted in reality.  You have to actually believe what it is you are hoping for.  You have to be on the right track towards who it is you hope to become.   None of this sitting around, hoping something will just happen for you.  You need to be an active participant in your life in order to actually attain what it is you are wanting.  What bothers me is that most people choose to remain stuck in Fantasyland.  They are not actively pursuing what it is they want, so how in the world could they still expect it to come to them?  You have to put in the work and be committed, otherwise the universe will conclude you don’t really want what it is you say you want.

Like I’ve said before, you are the author of your own life.  Nobody else is going to solve all your problems for you, attain all your goals.  Hope may serve as a motivator, but don’t use it as a goal-achieving mechanism on its own.  Just hoping some situation will get better on its own is pure delusion.  You have to, at some point, put in the work to make things the way you want them to be.  You are simply a creative being that was placed here on Earth to create whatever it is you desire to the extent of your beliefs and the world around you.  You are capable of doing great things, doing bad things, or doing nothing.  It is all your choice.  Every action we take is a choice.  Every inaction we take is a choice.

I’m not slamming hope here, just putting it in its proper context.  When you are truly on the right track towards your goals, you don’t need to hope for them to happen, you realize that the achievement is an inevitability.  You know deep down in your heart that you will achieve whatever it is you set out to do because you have actually put in the work to achieve your goal, not just sat around visualizing what it would be like.  You may have done that in the beginning, but you knew that action was required.  For those of you who think visualizing a million dollars in your bank account is going to make you an instant millionaire, I have news for you, stop sitting around and find a way to make that money actually get there.  Otherwise, the only way you’ll have that much in your account is through a bank error.  Which means it won’t be there for long.  If you truly want to lose 40 lbs., do you really think it is going to happen overnight because you imagined yourself at your ideal weight?  Or you hoped it would just melt off in the shower?

Instead of the word hope, let’s replace it with want.  If you want something to happen, you make it happen.  You intend for it to happen.  You take the necessary steps for it to happen.  You don’t sit around and hope it will happen because you’ll be waiting forever if you don’t actually do something about it.  Even if the problem is large, like world hunger, you can take steps to better the situation and keep moving up the ladder.  Even if you don’t solve the whole problem of starving people, you will have fed thousands, maybe even millions by the time you leave this Earth.  That will be a gigantic net positive effect on the Earth.  It won’t come from hoping the problem is solved, it will be from you taking direct action towards creating what you want.

This may take some time, possibly even your entire lifetime, to work hard at your goals in pursuit of achieving them, but think about how you will feel about your life at the end vs. how you would feel if you spent your whole life hoping these things would happen for you.  Even if you fail at every goal you try to achieve, at least you gave it your best shot instead of wondering what could have been.  You learned much more about yourself than you could ever from visualizations and journaling.  You actually went out into the world and lived.  You’ve lived a life they make movies about, not a life where you’re simply an extra.  Become what it is you truly know you can be.  Don’t just imagine who it is you want to be, get up and make it happen.  And even if you don’t fully succeed, you will still find the experience far more rewarding than doing nothing.  Believe me, we are nothing without our experiences.

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Impossibility

I’ve been writing on here a lot lately and honestly, I still have a lot of questions about everything.  I guess I’m only beginning to scratch the surface of reality and it will take a long time to truly get to the other side.  I am not going to say that anything is impossible because I don’t know that for sure.  There are millions of things we don’t know about the world, possibly orders of magnitude more.  But if we don’t know that we don’t know them, then we are completely unaware of them.  In 1491, we knew the Earth was flat.  In the early 1600s, we knew that Earth was the center of the universe. In the early 1900s, we knew that it was impossible to put a man on the moon  But we were wrong about those things, so just imagine what we’ll know tomorrow.  Anything that is quoted as a scientific fact is suspect to the creative nature of our being.  Just because someone or something says something is impossible, that does not make it so, unless you also believe that it is impossible.

Whenever someone tells you something you don’t quite believe, do not shun them as wackos because most of the time their beliefs come from something that they’ve experienced.  If someone tells you that they’ve had astral projections or out of body experiences, who are you to tell them that they are wrong?  If someone says they talked to God or some other spiritual being, how do you know they are telling the truth?  The answer is you don’t.  You can’t prove them wrong.  Even if they are lying, how could you possibly know, except if you could read minds.  But even then, how could you know your readings are accurate?  What we believe, we create.  The stronger the belief, the stronger the creation.

I’m not saying that your creation will happen immediately because you actually have to believe it as true.  You can’t half-believe something and expect it to show up in your life.  For example, let’s say you want to believe you will win the lottery or have won the lottery.  You do visualizations and imagine yourself winning, what it would feel like to win, and what you would do with all that money.  But you don’t win, because you also happen to believe in the laws of probability.  And not only that, you have a belief that says, “What if everyone did this?  The world would be a mess.  If everyone has this power, it will make everything chaotic.”  All these conflicting beliefs muddle up your intention to win the lottery.  Sure, it could happen, but if you do not clean up these contradictory beliefs, beliefs that are instilled in us from an early age, the vast majority of us will not win the lottery.

It is possible to do anything we please, but the whole notion that it is easy and fast is not the truth.  At least for the most part.  It takes a committed, disciplined individual to accomplish any big goal or act of creation.  You have to live, eat, and breathe your goal, whatever it may be.  You have to be so committed that some people think you should be committed.  You have to take the steps to become what it is you want to be or do.  Otherwise, you’re living in Fantasyland.  You also have to prepare for the likely consequences of accomplishing your goal(s).  If you do not prepare for what will happen after you win the lottery, you’ll end up broke like the majority of lottery winners.  You have to be a vibrational match for what you want to receive, otherwise you will lose it or never get it.

You have to feel what it is like to have whatever it is that you are wanting.  It has to feel real to you, almost normal.  If you imagine yourself looking at a bank statement with $40,000,000.00 in it and just see it matter-of-factly and believe it to be true, you are well on your way.  You have to feel it like it is real, but not go bananas because it will throw off the way you will actually feel when you have all this money and are just living your life.  You have to act like a millionaire would act.  You need to feel wealth and abundance inside you.  And you have to follow your opportunities towards your goal.  If it feels right, do it.

If you truly believe that nothing is impossible, then that makes everything a possibility.  If you believe, truly, that you can fly and teleport, then you can make it so.  But you have to deprogram all the contradicting beliefs that disallow these manifestations to take place.  That is a job in itself.  I’m sure there are plenty of contradicting beliefs about those two abilities in your mind, such as, let’s say, the laws of physics.  Gravity.  Newton’s Third Law of Motion.  And so on and so forth.  So there is a lot of work to be done here.

These are just examples.  With every intention comes some limiting beliefs to work through.  For starters, I wouldn’t recommend trying to fly, but perhaps manifesting some money, a small amount to start, a comfortable amount.  It is something you can easily measure as manifested or not manifested, so give it a shot.  Even if you don’t manifest the money at first, be patient and believe it is coming.  Don’t try to control how it gets to you, but just believe and accept the inevitability of it.  And when opportunity knocks, take it.  It will be well worth it.

Just open yourself  up to the possibilities that are out there.  Don’t shun other schools of thought just because you don’t think they are useful.  Allow yourself to consider them because they can teach you new ways of living and thriving that you may have never considered in your little box of thoughts.  It’s better to be open than closed.  It’s always better to consider a possibility than an impossibility.  Think of all the things that were once thought impossible that we have today.  That should be proof enough that our minds and bodies are capable of much better than we believe ourselves to be.  We just need to believe.

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