Archive for the ‘100 Things’ Category
A little over a year ago, I felt led to simplify my life in order to bless other people and put myself in a position to give more.
I set a goal that once Jan 1, 2011 rolled around, I would only own 100 things. At the time, I did not think I could do it…but I tried. I gave away more than a hundred tshirts, over thirty hoodies, sold my nice couches for $20/piece, gave away furniture to friends who wanted free desks, tables, lamps, rugs, plates, artwork, and much more. Then I felt the need to move out of my condo that I purchased earlier that year because it was a constant reminder of the materialistic nature of our society. I was constantly thinking of things to buy to fill an empty section of the house or what would be an upgrade to what I already had. The urge to spend was constantly bombarding my thoughts and I realized that the habit of spending was slowly consuming me.
As 2011 neared, I did not think I could get under the 100 item limit. But somehow I did.
When Jan 1, 2011 rolled around…I had given away or sold off most of my belongings and only owned 100 things. I felt somewhat liberated but at the same time very anxious. Could I make it through the year with only 100 items? It was very difficult at first because those old spending habits still lingered. My eyes still looked around for deals or ways to upgrade things that I already had. But my mentality slowly changed as the year went on. Here’s a quick summary.
– Old Spending Habits. I would browse deals websites and window shop or stay updated on tech gear that I ever so love doing. This made it completely difficult as I would tell myself that I was only looking without the intent of buying. After a couple months of struggling with this, I stopped and it was easier to not want things when you don’t really know what’s out there to want.
– Upgrade To Better Things. So one thing I really wanted to upgrade was my camera (and I did). I justified that by saying, well if I only have one camera it might as well be a really good camera. Even with this way of thinking I missed the point of being happy with what I already have. I realized this after I upgraded my camera but then made a commitment to stop buying new lenses and to just finish the year with what I had.
– Desire To Quit. There were times that I wanted to quit the challenge. I tried to justify the fact that I had already cut down to 100 items was good enough. I think the only things that kept me moving forward was my own pride of never quitting on anything I start on and the fear that I would have to make a blog post titled, “Why I Quit My 100 Thing Challenge.” Yea, that would not have been a good post!
It was definitely tough.
But after a while, I did not care for buying new things. I did not care for upgrading things that I had… but instead found myself to be content with the items that I already had. So what if my shirt had a little hole on the side of the seam…I’ll just wear a hoodie over it or put another tshirt on underneath. I found it easier to give and bless others. I started asking people if they were free to grab a meal and would surprise them by paying for the meal. I got to spend time with friends that I had not seen in a long time and at the same time bless them with food. I tried making “care packages” (I found out that this is extremely hard as a guy) for people who were starting a new phase in life…going to university, going on a mission trip, or starting seminary. I made a huge effort to drive long distances to hang out with friends for an evening, even if it meant only a couple of hours. Whether or not they knew that it was a huge sacrifice for me at times was not important. What mattered most to me was the fact that I had an opportunity to give and I took advantage of it.
– Give More. I was able to give more financially to my church, to friends in need, to help fund mission trips, to take friends out to meals. But I also tried to take it one step further by giving more of my time as well to Fill-A-Belly, helping people move or run errands, supporting them at an event they were part of (directing a school play, playing in a show) and other things. It was great to see how appreciative people were.
– Taking Friends to Meals. I love getting together with friends and pleasantly surprising them by paying for the entire meal. It’s something I really enjoy doing and I’m sure it’s something my friends enjoy too. This act of generosity is pretty contagious too. We’d eat as a group and another friend would jump in and pick up the tab for everybody or for my portion and say something like, “well Johnny you paid for it last time, I’d love to pay for you this time!”
– Encouragement For Others. I’ve had quite a few people who said that I inspired them. How? I don’t know. I’ve also had friends tell me that they were going to do a self assessment of the things they own and try to simplify as well. Whether or not they did…I have no idea. The important thing is to realize that living with things that you need instead of living with things that you want are two completely different things. And I think it is becoming increasingly difficult to be content with the things you have because of the world we live in. Consumerism and materialism seems to give a false sense of security and social status among the people you know. It seems as if we’re so concerned with our reputation that we fail on the individual and corporate levels to improve our own character. What I mean is…
Reputation – What others perceive you to be.
Character – Who you really are when nobody is looking.
We are so concerned with self-improving that we fail to look after other people in need, we fail to be content with things we have right now in life, and we fail to give ourselves but instead give to ourselves.
At the same time I am not saying that you should feel guilty for enjoying the blessings you have in your own life or if you have a good paying job that you should feel compelled to give away your salary. I believe these are a gift that you should enjoy yourself and more enjoyable when you can share those moments with family and friends.
18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. 19 Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.
It’s not bad to be rich and enjoy your blessings either.
I am by no means claiming to have a laudable character. All I feel like I did was recognize things that needed to be changed within and these changes definitely made me somewhat of a better person in 2011. Therefore I am very happy that I did this 100 Thing Challenge.
And I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite authors.
Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. – CS Lewis
So 2011 is over and I have not done an items update in a long time. I figured that people did not really give a crap every time I bought a new shirt or got rid of one so I just stopped doing updates to the point where… I completely forgot to do any updates at all.
Because 2011 has already passed us, I figured to go ahead and do a final update now that my 100 Thing Challenge has comes to an end.
Here are the items that I got rid of:
Item 5: Blackberry
Item 11: Canon 5D2 + 50mm/1.8
Item 12: 24-70mm/2.8
Item 13: Domke F3x
Item 40: Backup SLR
Item 34: Hat – I lost it…
Item 78: Polo Shirt
Item 89: Pants (1)
Item 100: Fisheye Lens
Here are some things I gained:
Item 5: HTC Titan
Item 11: Nikon D700 + 50mm/1.4
Item 12: 14-24mm/2.8
Item 13: Tenba Messenger
Item 34: Down Vest (gift)
Item 40: T Shirt
Item 49: T Shirt
Item 61: T Shirt
Item 73: T Shirt
Total Item Count: 93
– Mp3 Player – I lost the charger and stopped using it since the end of September. I haven’t really missed it.
– Kindle – App on the HTC Phone replaces it…so maybe I can get rid of it?
– Blurays – Never even watched one in 2011
– PS3 – Minimal use in past few months. I mostly use it only for Netflix which I watch mostly through my computer
– Nalgene – Can’t find it
– Shorts – wore each one maybe once in 2011…and only to justify keeping the items on the list.
– Neck Buff – Did not even use it this year
My next post will be my summary and conclusion of the 100 Thing Challenge and the beginning of my 10,000 Thing Challenge. Just kidding.
I just wanted to do a quick post to start the year and wish everybody a Happy 2012!
Last night I realized how uncool, unfun, and old I was when me and a few friends were at a bar in downtown Encinitas. I looked at the time and said, “are you kidding me it’s only 9:30PM!??” Then swayed like a zombie on the dance floor for the next two and a half hours watching tipsy people drop their beer glasses and belligerents get thrown out. I felt like a hostage on New Years Eve but that madness is over now.
I will be posting a final conclusion to my 100 Thing Challenge shortly as that is all over now.
My next challenge for 2012 is the 10,000 Thing Challenge where I attempt to get all of my crap back.
I hope everybody was able to spend time with their loved ones this holiday season and I look forward to bigger greater things in 2012. It’s such a beautiful day right now and I’m going to start the new year off with a nice hike with some friends.
We’ll talk soon. Happy New Year!
Last night, I had the opportunity to go to another fundraiser for an organization called Loving Orphans Global.
The group of guys/girls who are part of this team raise money and travel to Indo to support the local orphanages there. They partner with them to expand, raise awareness, raise money and spend time serving and caring for the many kids who are there. All kids deserved to be cared for and to know that they are loved…which is why I love supporting groups like this similar to Children of the Nations. So when my friend called me and asked if I wanted to head down there to support Loving Orphans Global, I couldn’t say no.
The fundraiser was located at Hill Street Cafe in Oceanside…a nice little hipster village where the battle of the bulge is fought before my eyes at every passing teenage boy and/or grown thirty year old man stuck in adolescence. Throughout the night, they raffled off prizes that were donated from all sorts of shops and local artists. The open mic was also interesting as there were lots of decent musicians as well as your share of teenage showfulness. Son, it does not matter how cool you think you look as you play your guitar or sway and shift your weight up on your toes or try to say funny/awkward/quirky things or make sex-faces while you sing…if your music sucks. Just thought I’d like to throw that out there.
Anyway, I arrived early and purchased five raffle tickets and sat in the corner to enjoy my dinner with my friends. More and more people showed up as the evening transitioned into night time.
The only item in the raffle that I wanted was one of the surfboards. And this is when my evening took a turn for the awesome.
I never ever win raffle items. Ever. Of the five tickets I purchased tonight… four of them won me prizes!
I felt like this kid in Willy Wonka…except I found four golden tickets!
None of the items that I won was a surfboard, but I would have been completely happy even if I didn’t win anything because the money was going towards supporting this cause. I started getting worried that a riot would break out and people would start yelling at me. Here are my spoils from the night:
Again, I’ve never won anything in my life so this is either me making up for a lifetime of failure… or letting me know that I’ll never win anything in my life ever again.
But this also presents a problem as I am doing the 100 Thing Challenge. I need to figure out which items are worth keeping and which items should be sold or given away to bless someone else. Hmm… we’ll see. Or maybe I need to brush up on my skating skills after an eighteen year hiatus. I’ll figure it out this weekend.
To say the least, I felt like the champion of all things raffled when I walked back to my car that night. And you too could feel like a champion! (haha cheeesy…), please check out their site and donate and support this cause…or at least gain some awareness of what’s going on in Indo with these orphanages. My friend who organized this event said that this was the second fundraiser of many more to come so be on the lookout for future fundraisers events and go!
Check out their website: http://lovingorphansglobal.com
Until next time, Cheers and have a great Friday.
A few weeks ago, we had a big donation of clothes from a local church and a Boys and Girls club. It was pretty cool but a lot of the homies did not take the stuff.
Lots of clothes, but not a lot of takers
Then I got my brain thinking…and last Tuesday I called up my company’s HR and safety department. I asked if they had any old clothes that they did not want and would be willing to donate and sure enough, they had a couple of big boxes.
I went with the HR lady to our storage facility and found most of the items to be brand new hoodies, polo shirts, long sleeve shirts, and hats. I thought to myself, “man, it’s summer time…nobody is going to grab these and they’re just going to sit there.”
The clothes didn’t even stand a chance
About twenty hoodies, over thirty polos, over twenty long sleeve shirts and about a dozen hats were all gone within thirty seconds! How rad is that? They were
like hobos on a ham sandwich very happy.
Wow. How insensitive am I to use that “hobo on a ham sandwich” phrase that is slightly funny unless you are indeed talking about real live hobo people. I used it because one of the homies told me, “they’re just like hobos on a ham sandwich…”
I felt awkward because I was shocked he would say something like that. Maybe it’s the same situation as black people and the N word. I looked at him and he was laughing his head off. Then I sheepishly asked him, “am I allowed to laugh at that too?” And he said yes so I did. My laugh sounded like, “heh….heh….”
So I guess it’s okay for me to use that phrase. Right? Right? No? Okay then.
This is not a picture of the rich fool…
In fact, it’s my good buddy in Fresno who had the opportunity to speak at his church last weekend and he decided to talk about the Parable of the Rich Fool and all that good stuff. The guy is an amazing worship leader/guitar player… but an even more amazing person when you talk and listen to him as he is always striving for the things on God’s heart and encouraging others to do so as well.
Why am I tell you this? Well it’s has to do with my 100 Things Challenge… that’s why.
Here’s a couple link-a-doodles for your convenience.
He gives me a quick mention towards the end of his sermon and after listening to it, quite honestly I was disappointed. Why…?
Because he said that I am 26 years old.
And yes!… I am going to be a brat about it because I’m 27 years old.
Other than that, we’re still friends. I can forgive him. But only this one time. Have a listen to it…you’ll be glad you did.
When I watched this video the first time, I realized that something did not look right. There was something about my friend that threw me off the entire time… Then I realized that he shaved off his mountain-man lumberjack beard of glory. If I was Japanese and could grow a beard like that, I would. Unfortunately, I’m Taiwanese and it would take me 10 years to grow what he can bless us with in a matter of a few days.
This weekend I took a big step in the DSLR game. I finally upgraded to full frame with the purchase of a Canon 5D Mark II. I felt that I took great pictures with the Canon Xsi previously but half of my photos are taken during low light situations…wedding receptions, concerts, night shots…and I felt that the Xsi was holding me back from progressing in the world of cameratology. I also picked up a Domke bag to hold more of my camera junk and will be getting rid of the old bag. I also found a pair of flip flops in the backyard of the place I’m renting at. I’m pretty sure it does not belong to my landlord and so I’m going to
steal borrow them as one of my items.
Item 11: Canon 5d2 with lens
Item 13: Domke F3x Bag
Item 45: Flip flops
Item 13: Lowepro Nova 160 AW
The Canon Xsi will be moved to Item 40 and be used primary as a backup camera or when I go on vacations/rigorous hikes/Mexico/anywhere I wouldn’t dare take my Canon 5D2.