Monday, December 30, 2013

No need to reinvent the wheel

You know successful people. You have people you admire for their accomplishments. You have people who you are modeling yourself after. You are interested in accomplishing something similar to them. What are the things in common among them? What do they all agree on? The things they all agree on, the things in the center of that Venn diagram — that’s gold. That’s the center of the bullseye. Focus on those things.

Determine where what you are doing is in relation to that map. Determine how far you are from doing those things. Figure out what you would need to do to bring yourself in closer alignment to that profile. Find out how to do them. Make the adjustments in your actions.

It’s true that some things we can’t control. We have no control over our genetics, or our prenatal conditions, or our historical background, etc. But there are many things that we can change. Directed, focused application of time and energy toward smartly designed goals can change lives.

We are all standing on the shoulders of those who came before us. We are the beneficiaries of their knowledge, their effort, their accomplishments, their experience, their discoveries, their wisdom. They have gifted us with a head start. It is our job to continue the progress. Our contribution is to that legacy, and ultimately to all mankind. All our actions in some way impact the entire world. We are the next link in that chain. Our successors will continue our work after us.


Dave Roel.
Our job as adult human beings is to clearly define the path leading to a life of contribution, joy, and growth, and then to walk it.
- Steve Barnes

Friday, December 27, 2013

Romantic Music

When you talk about the history of music you will probably hear about the era's that music history is divided up into. The medieval era lasted from 1150 to 1400. From 1400 to 1600 was the renaissance era . After 1600 came the Baroque period and lasted until 1750.The classical period spans 80 years until 1830 until the Early Romantic period came along and lasted until 1920.

I would have to say that the Romantic period is the best of all. The music was ahead of its time. Beethoven served as the bridge from the Classical to the Romantic era. His later works were harshly criticized because they were just completely different and music was changing. Many pieces of popular classical music were not accepted at the time they were written.

One of my favorite romantic composers is Hector Berlioz who is considered one of the only true romanticists because of his life. Hector Berlioz fell in love with a woman who did not love him back. Because of this he decided to kill himself by overdosing on opium. Instead of dying he fell asleep and had a dream about being marched to the scaffolding because he killed the woman he loved. This dream drove him to write his most famous work Symphonie Fantastique. People didn't believe that someone could have written something so horrible. Some critics are quoted saying that "it was not music".

Music from the Romantic area has many specific characteristics that set it apart from all other music. It tends to contrast the extremes of the keyboard by playing on the lowest octave and moving up to the highest. The pieces are usually written in a minor key. Most romantic music starts out slow and beautiful, but can sometimes turn very fast and vigorous.

I believe in the preservation of classical music and I think that it's great that it is still being played today in concert halls for many people. I think it will take hundreds of years for the classical music that is popular today to be forgotten. 

Individual lines of development

So we have identified our four important life areas. We can now break down the broad categories of the quadrants into individual lines of development.

Individual-Exterior, body:

Health & fitness

Maintaining, enhancing, and restoring our health, vitality, and well-being. 



Diet & nutrition

Learning and practicing the principles of healthy eating. 



Exercise & activity

Learning the principles of effective exercise, and maintaining an active lifestyle.

Collective-Exterior, mind:

Education & skills-building

Obtaining the education and training we need to attain our goals.



Career & calling

Choosing a career, and working to become successful at it.



Finances & investments

Creating and maintaining the financial resources we need to stay comfortable and to support us in our life's path.

Collective-Interior, spirit:

Relationships & marriage

Building intimate relationships that are loving, enriching, and encourage growth. 



Sexuality & sensuality

Developing an intimate, meaningful, and fulfilling sexual relationship. Learning to appreciate the sensory experiences of the world we live in.



Family & children

Creating a strong, loving family and raising children who are happy, healthy, and well-adjusted.



Friendships & community

Developing strong, mutually-supportive communities, and establishing healthy friendships.



Society & culture

Contributing to and helping to create a healthy, just society and an enriching culture.

Individual-Interior, self / shadow:

Spirituality & personal development

Working to grow as a person, become more conscious, and attain higher stages of development.



Emotional processing & psychological health

Establishing, maintaining and enhancing our psychological health and emotional stability.



Values & worldview

Considering our philosophical positions on what is most important to us.

This breaks down the four important life areas into individual lines, so that we can refine our efforts more precisely.

Here's a cartoon.


Dave Roel.

We are the fruit of our past and we are the architects of our future.
- Matthieu Ricard

Monday, December 23, 2013

Interrelating goals

First, understand that you have chosen to make your life happy, healthy and balanced in a self-sustaining and honorable way. Second, understand that there will be fear. Overcome it. Third, get clear on your goals. Fourth, progress on your goals at the rate of 1% per week. Fifth, find others who will help you, assist you in your efforts. Sixth, stay motivated through love and faith. Seventh, teach others your path.

Every one of your goals interrelates with the others. For instance, your physical health gives you more energy to devote to your work and your relationship. A good, stable career contributes to a good relationship and assists you in maintaining your health. A good relationship gives you the emotional stability to be effective at your career, and motivates you to exercise. Every one of our important areas is connected to every other one.

Visualize your goals in each area, morning and night, in this way. Slowly breathe, and visualize them. Implant them in the deepest core of your being. Commit to these goals with every level of your consciousness. Particularly your inner child, and your inner elder, the part of you that is still age five, and the part of you that is the eighty (or ninety?) year old you will be. Connect your promise and commitment to these goals to those parts of you.

You might consider doing a visualization implanting while working out; visualization implanting during a cardio session or some yoga moves can be very powerful. (But be careful; some yoga moves and much strength training require full concentration.)


Dave Roel.
It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not.
- James Gordon

Friday, December 20, 2013

Things to keep in mind

Failure is always going to happen in our efforts. Instead of resisting it, yield to it and allow it, and bounce back from it. Fail upward.

As we progress, we will need resources. Some people try to manage and control the resources they need themselves. This can be done to a certain degree, but it's less efficient than pulling the resources as needed from the existing world.

Take risks. Safety is important, but taking risks is how you learn and grow.

Keep both micro and macro in mind. The system is important as well as the individual objects in it.

A map is best used as an orientation device.

Find others who are smarter than you.

Everyone has something you don't know.

Be ready and willing to adjust what you're doing upon new information, or for a new situation.

The bottom line is always results. Results are what matter.

There are no prizes for following the rules.

Don't confuse education for learning.

Here's a cartoon.


Dave Roel.
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.
- Joseph Addison

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The middle way

One of the best things I’ve ever heard is that life is a balance between too much and too little. The dose makes the poison. Anything can be beneficial or detrimental to us — it just depends on the amount. Too much or too little light, heat, nutrients, human contact, work, money, exercise, etc. Everything can be a cause of distress if we get too much or too little of it. For everything, we need to exist in a medium zone between the two extremes.

That can lead to some crazy justifications, of course. Some things are terrible for you in any amount, and some things you will never have to worry about getting too much of. Don’t be crazy. Be honest in your judgement. If you have trouble with that, find others who are trustworthy to help you with your judgement.

Struggle and effort makes us grow. If everything were fine and comfortable, we would never grow. There needs to be some resistance, in order to encourage growth. But if there’s too much hardship, too much difficulty, the system can be overwhelmed. Defeat is a possibility. Use judgement. Know what is too much and too little.

I wonder if they would ever do a story where they reveal that in every regeneration, the Doctor takes the appearance and brain structure of someone, an actual person, living or possibly dead, adopting that person’s appearance and brain patterns. That would explain the differences in personalities, temperaments, and even accents. I‘m probably not the first one to think of this.


Dave Roel.
We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.
- Helen Keller

Monday, December 16, 2013

Guiding principles

Honesty. Live your life by honesty, starting with honesty toward yourself. Do not fool yourself about how much you've worked out this week, or how much bad food you've eaten. Do not establish dishonesty in your relationships. Very slowly, tiny dishonesties build up, and can lead to miscommunications, resentments, selfishness, etc. Eventually, relationships can be eroded with such abuse of trust. In business, you can usually only cheat someone once. Long-term money can be made by repeatedly dealing with people who can trust you.

Love. Love must start with yourself. If you do not love yourself, you will not maintain the effort necessary to move your life forward. Love is the motivator. Love encourages you to make a happy, healthy, successful life.

Persistence. Every day, work at improvement in career, health, relationships and psyche. Every day, exercise a little, every day, connect with your loved ones, every day look over your career goals and their plans for achievement. Every day is another day of training. The day you stop is the day you die.

Clarity. Be clear about your goals. Be clear about the body you want. Be clear about the relationship you want. Be clear about the career path you want. Find those who have accomplished those things. Talk to them. Learn the price. Decide if you're willing to pay it.

Balance. Don't attain success in one quadrant at the expense of the others. Health, career, relationships and self — all four, in balance.

Adopt these as your guiding principles and you will learn what is true about yourself.


Dave Roel.
Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found.
- Anne Lindbergh

Friday, December 13, 2013

Helicopters on fire

A friend asked me if there was any way to pinpoint the moment of becoming conscious, of becoming awakened. It's true that satori experiences are very much part of the great spiritual traditions. But enlightenment is difficult to define. Becoming aware to the reality of existence can happen in an instant, of course, but mostly it's an ongoing process, less of a linear progression.

Becoming conscious of one's own consciousness is an advanced state for someone to achieve, and takes a lot of self-work. It means being aware and critical of your own biases and assumptions. That's extremely hard work to do, but truly is the core of philosophy.

Philosophy is understanding, understanding self and other. Philosophy is valuing, judging, taking perspectives and attitudes and arranging them in a particular configuration.

If things continue, what is the likely result? What is likely to happen in five years, ten years, twenty years, fifty years? Will things be better or worse? Does the world constantly get better? Does culture, politics, society, technology, etc., always get better? Will 2014 be better than 2013? Is there an app that will make everything better?

Our ideas of what is better are bound to our culture and values. Is every advance of technology better? If I want to send you spam, for me, that is what is better.

Good can become bad, and eventually does. Don't lose hope. Bad eventually becomes good, too. Either way, there's little you can do to affect it. It’s an illusion to think otherwise.

Wouldn't a cartoon hit the spot right now?

Disassembled from Junaid Chundrigar on Vimeo.


Dave Roel.
If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there.
- Robert Kiyosaki

Monday, December 9, 2013

The List

I've decided that over winter break, I'm going to watch TONS of movies and TV shows I've never seen (or finished) before, since we get AN ENTIRE MONTH OFF (I'm not used to this, obviously). When I tell people this, a lot of them seem to think it's topical, or shallow, or it'll rot my brain or whatever, but honestly it's something I'm interested in. Plus, it's only topical if you want it to be. Media is genuinely what you make of it.

Regardless, here's the list, in no particular order:

  • The Alien series (Alien, Aliens, maybe not Alien 3 because literally everyone I've asked has told me to skip it, Prometheus)
  • Taxi Driver
  • Twin Peaks
  • Fire Walk With Me
  • Blue Velvet
  • Mulholland Drive (yes, I am on a David Lynch binge)
  • Rome
  • Carnivale
  • Sons of Anarchy
  • Doctor Who-- the earlier seasons, i.e. 1-4
  • Star Trek: The Original Series
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • Trainspotting
  • 28 Days Later
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild
  • Raising Arizona
  • Fargo
  • Weekend
  • Lost in Translation
  • In the Mood for Love
  • The Matrix
  • The Fifth Element
  • Metropolis
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Melancholia
  • Battle Royale
  • Children of Men
  • Attack the Block
  • Mary & Max
  • Lars and the Real Girl
More suggestions are totally welcome! I have a tendency towards sci-fi and things with well-written dialogue, and sad/emotional movies are not at all a deterrent for me.

Stay classy,

Why bother?

I've had many people resist a lot of my philosophy, saying that there's no point in putting forward the effort to change one's life. Indeed, the amount of effort required is enormous. Why work towards getting oneself fit, why work so hard to get out of debt, why bother putting in the work needed to heal a bad marriage? What's the point?

Without the motivation, our attempts to improve ourselves will inevitably fizzle. It's true, the modern world has undermined many of the traditional pillars people have usually relied on. The modern world has become somewhat untethered to traditional values, where truth and meaning and values are somewhat up for grabs. This can be a good thing in some respects, but can also lead to a certain fatalism. Why bother? What's the point? Under the relentless assault the world gives us, a value-free ethic will be insufficient to maintain the continual forward press needed.

So why bother moving forward, improving, growing? Why bother if the universe is meaningless, if everything is going to end as dust anyway? Why bother putting forward such enormous amounts of work to improve and grow?

Because you love yourself.

And if you can’t say that, then you know what you have to work on.

Your own love of yourself will motivate you to continue to grow, live, improve, get better. It will give you the reason to continue the effort. You love yourself, and you deserve a life of happiness and fulfillment.

That’s why. You’re worth it.


Dave Roel.
You don’t get to choose how you are going to die. You can only decide how you are going to live.
- Joan Baez

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Finals are looming.

And yet I’m finding it really difficult to focus on, you know, actually studying and getting my work done, and all that stuff.

Fortunately, I already took one final yesterday and one online ages ago, so I only have one final this week plus a group project/presentation due Friday. Guess which one I find more difficult.

The worst part is that it’s for a class that’s all about small group dynamics. I’ve learned a lot about them in theory, and it does make sense-- communication really is the key to everything, and most people abhor group projects for that exact reason. This also means that the usual excuses where group projects are concerned won’t be acceptable at all. My dad swears it’s, like, an essential life ability, but it’s difficult for me to take it seriously in a class setting. Since I want to be an urban planner, there’s going to be a lot of “group work” in my future, but I think that’s different. In a professional field, I’m sure everyone will be on roughly the same page in terms of knowledge about the subject and general goals, and that’s definitely a start. I think.

In any case, our project is on media as communication and I’ve sort of taken that in the direction of media representation, since that’s something I’m totally interested in. It’s a subject that’s so hard to break down into a small research paper-- which we, collaboratively, have to write-- because it’s so nebulous and a lot of things that seem basic to me (feminism 101, you might say) have to be explained and put in context before I can move onto my actual argument.

That said, I’ve discovered-- or rediscovered, in this case-- some really interesting documentaries in the process of researching my topic. I’ve watched Killing Us Softly for three different classes now and while I don’t agree with everything Jean Kilbourne says-- she seems to really take issue with plastic surgery and skinnier body types and I think that gets a little weird, but that’s a completely different story-- I think it’s a really fantastic breakdown of how advertising influences us socially. Each time I watch it, it has a different impact on me.

It’s only 45 minutes long, and regardless of whether or not you’re interested in it, you should watch at least part of it! Mainly because media influences all of us in ways we don’t really expect, and it’s good to be aware of that influence.

Here it is, for your convenience:

Stay classy,


Friday, December 6, 2013

Artists in the quadrants

In his book, Making Comics, Scott McCloud created a chart categorizing artists according to four intentions — what artists are most interested in, in creating art. His categories are:


The Formalist is interested in examining the boundaries of an art form, stretching them, exploring what the form is capable of. The Formalist is interested in experimenting, turning the form upside-down and inside-out, moving in new, bold, untried directions, inventing and innovating. Formalists are the cutting edge, the avant-garde, the ones willing to break tradition and established ways. Strict narrative or craft is not as important as trying something new and unexpected, playing with and breaking traditional concepts, getting to the heart of understanding what art itself is.

Individual - Objective - Artistry-first - Revolution-based  




The Classicist is the artist who focuses on beauty, craftsmanship, and a tradition of excellence and mastery. The esthetic experience of the art is what is important. Art is meant to move and affect an audience, deliver an emotional experience. Classicists strive to perfect their craft in order to produce the most effective work possible.

Collective - Objective - Artistry-first - Tradition-based




The Animist is devoted to the content of art, above all else. The Animist's goal is telling the story, conveying the message, as directly as possible. All the craft in art is in service to the delivery of the content. The goal of art is to effectively deliver its content, with as little that distracts from that job as possible.

Collective - Subjective - Representation-first - Tradition-based




The Iconoclast is interested in portraying raw, human experience in as honest and authentic a way as possible. Art is to hold a mirror to reality, and show the audience the hard, painful truths of existence. The Iconoclast resists pandering, comforting indulgences, or diluting the art, considering that to be selling out. Artistic integrity is critically important to Iconoclasts. Beauty, craft, and standard narrative may be cast aside in pursuit of the expression of the truth of human emotion.

Individual - Subjective - Representation-first - Revolution-based

Here are some examples, mapped onto the quadrants:

Here's Scott McCloud giving a talk where he presents his chart. (It's at 5:10 - 6:55.)

Here’s a cartoon!

Planet Four from Andy Martin on Vimeo.


Dave Roel.
All cultures impose conformity. Yet all benefit from the contribution of their marginal personalities — those who do not fit the mold.
- Howard Bloom

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Top 5 Psychedelic Bands

1.Pink Floyd- I am a gigantic Pink Floyd fan. When people think of Floyd they generally are reminded of the cover of Dark Side of the Moon or The Wall. I like to make it clear to people that when I talk about Pink Floyd I'm referring to the old material when the main creative force Syd Barrett was around. They are pioneers of space rock which is a sub-genre that includes many alien and robotic sounds to make the music trippy.

2. The Incredible String Band- This group is my favorite band. My reasoning for this is their very eclectic style was always changing throughout their active years. The band's creative minds are Robin Williamson and Mike Heron. This band isn't considered psychedelic in a traditional sense, but for the people that know psychedelic music, they are considered to have a psychedelic flavor.

3. Spacemen 3- This has definitely got to be one of the strangest names on this list. Spacemen 3 is a group from the late 1980s that specialize in having almost all their songs blend into one another and using very complex synthesizers and electronics to create their sound. The members went on to start other groups such as Spiritualize and E.A.R. (Experimental Audio Research)

4. 13th Floor Elevators- The leader of this band, Roky Ercikson, coined the term psychedelic rock in 1963. They are considered one of the first psychedelic bands to ever have existed. They're from Austin, Texas. They achieve their psychedelic sound by having one guy with a microphone make trippy noises into a bucket. Other groups that Roky Erikson started were, Bleib Alien, Roky Erickson And the Aliens, and he also recorded an album with Okkervil River.

5.Animal Collective- Animal Collective is probably the most mainstream and only band on this list that is still actively making music. They create some of the most beautiful sounds acoording to the psychedlic listeners, but can be considered hard to listen to by people that aren't familiar with the genre.

How can I find the time?

But with all the stuff I have to do, how can I possibly find the time to work on all four quadrants?

You can find the time to do something on your goals in all four quadrants, every day. It might be no more than five minutes for some of them, but you can do something in each quadrant, every day. Every day, tell your friends and family and significant others that you care about them. Every day — just a small note will do. Every day, work on your studies, or on increasing your employment prospects. Every day, do something for your health, maybe as small as a five minute morning stretch, or some very light yoga. Every day, do a small meditation / breathing session / centering routine.

If you do have the time, you can of course do much more extensive work — a full workout session, a full evening out with friends or family, independent reading of a book about your eventual line of work, etc. If you manage your time well, you can accomplish a great deal.

But you can also accomplish much with just the minimum of five minutes in each quadrant. Work towards improvement at a rate of 1% per week. This week, commit to doing 1% better in each quadrant this week than you did last week. This week, become 1% healthier, 1% more loving, 1% further on your career path, etc. And next week, another 1%. It seems like a small effort, but keep at it — those 1%s add up!


Dave Roel.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
- Leon C. Megginson

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Almost There

We're ending the semester and my first semester here could not be better. I love the campus, the people and all the new knowledge I'm learning. I got to sing in a choir for the first time, learned how to write a standard college essay, and was introduced to a great deal of new music.

I hope everybody isn't stressing too much about finals or studying for them. I've developed a strategy for balancing my study time with class. It can be a little difficult, but you do what you have to in order to make it work. I usually study in the library in between classes where it wouldn't be worth it to go home. I get a lot of work done this way because sometimes I have over two hours in between.

Other than the library there is many different alternatives. Sometimes I like to sit in the grass outside the campus and get my work done there. I feel like being in the outdoors helps me get my work done faster. Sometimes I will go to the park across the street from campus and study there. One great thing about Fullerton College is all the great areas they have to study, hang out, and various other activities.

My registration date is on Thursday and I have to come up with something in order to get it done. My registration date and time is the exact same time that my math class starts. My teacher is strict about electronic devices and I don't like bringing my laptop to school for obvious reasons. I have to come up with something like finding all the classes I need and have someone do it for me.

Stay Fly

Monday, December 2, 2013

'Tis the Season

Pointing out the irony of the fact that Thanksgiving and Black Friday occur consecutively has certainly been beaten to death, but the irony is increasingly striking to me as more people actually, literally DIE on Black Friday as a result of the shopping frenzies.

(Of course, when people do point this out, they often fail to mention that Thanksgiving did not go down quite the way most history bookssay it did, but the general sentiment of the holiday still stands.)
Wal-Marts in particular seem to host a pretty substantial amount of fatalities-- every year since I can remember, somebody-- usually a worker-- has died at Wal-Mart during Black Friday. For which I'm sure there are all kinds of explanations, but most stores, at minimum, experience a shockingly rude flurry of customers who treat the retail workers with even more contempt and disregard than usual. And they think it's excusable, or expected, or justified by virtue of the fact that the employees are paid to handle them.

My roommate recently started working at Old Navy, and she considers this past Black Friday to be the worst experience she's ever had. Which says a lot. But I can hardly blame her-- she was barely paid minimum wage to spend at least eight hours attempting to assist customers who screamed demands at her, or deliberately made a mess of the store in front of her with the assumption that she would clean up after them, or, on one occasion, physically tried to pull store equipment out of her hands because she apparently hadn't gotten the customer's clothes quickly enough.

That said, this kind of behavior isn't limited to Black Fridays, but it's certainly more frequent. And egregious.

Considering the literal mobs.

But I think it should make people appreciate service workers even just a little bit more, especially since they're so undervalued despite doing the work nobody else wants to do for barely a living wage.

Something to think about.

Stay classy,


Adding levels to the quadrants

We know that everything progresses developmentally. The progression of development can be broken down into identifiable stages, or levels. There are hundreds of developmental systems in the world, of course. Let's see if we can apply some useful developmental models to our four quadrants of health, career, relationships and self/shadow.
For the progression of physical fitness, I use Steve Barnes's Four Dimensional Performance Pyramid.
For the progression of career, I use William Torbert and Susanne Cook-Greuter's Developmental Action Inquiry.
For the progression of relationships, I use Knapp's Relationship Development Model.
For the progression of the self, I use Jane Loevinger's Stages of Ego Development.
With the addition of levels, we have added a useful dimension to our map, the stage progression of each quadrant — mind, body, spirit and self.


Dave Roel.
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.
- Carl Jung

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday Madness

          I hope you all made it out of there okay. I feel like Black Friday isn't as big a deal here in California as it is in other states, where reports of tramplings and deaths occurred, so I hope you all stayed safe and scored some really good deals! 
         What really helped me this year was this app I downloaded, called Shopular. I downloaded it a couple days before Black Friday, just because the App Store recommended it, but man it was so nice to have around Black Friday. I'm aware I'm telling you guys too late, but this app is beneficial to your shopping lives even on a daily basis, not just for Black Friday! And yes, it is free!
          So when you first download it, it asks you to choose your favorite stores (mostly retail) and so the next time you open up the app, it'll show you all the deals you can find on your favorite stores. Whatever promotion or coupons the store is currently giving away will be right there on your screen. And they'll all be compiled together so it's literally pages and pages of deals! I don't know about you, but I got really excited about it. They have the coupon right there for you to tap and show up on your screen, no retail store mailing list necessary. Yeah, you know how in order to get coupons and freebies you have to join your favorite retail store's email club but you get a coupon like once every 2 months and flyers promoting themselves every other day in your inbox? Yeah, you can save yourself that problem now. No emails necessary with Shopular, which is such a plus for me because I am literally deleting 20 emails of promotions everyday.
          The reason I say it helped a lot during Black Friday was that I knew the deals before I even reached the stores. Everything would show up! I'd open the app, and it'd show me all the stores nearby me participating in Black Friday, and how. I didn't have to walk to the stores to see how good of a deal it would be, I just opened up the app and it told me everything I needed to know. It takes your location and finds all the stores near you and lets you know all the goodies you can score. 
          At first I thought this app was a blessing, helping me get 50% off sweaters and $10 off boots, but then I realized that every single time they notified me of a new "UP TO 70% AT YOUR H&M FOR BLACK FRIDAY" or "TODAY ONLY: BUY 3 GET 3 FREE AT BATH & BODY WORKS" it just made me want to go buy stuff SO BAD. If I were in blissful ignorance of all the deals happening around me, my wallet and I would probably be a whole lot happier. Then again, I bought a $10 sweater the other day and it was originally $22 so............
          Yeah, definitely a blessing and a curse. Anyways, I hope you all had a safe and successful Black Friday! (Next year download Shopular oh man it'll help you so much)

Joy ☼

Friday, November 29, 2013

Conditions for change

Change requires six conditions. First, the potential for change must exist. Not every individual or collective is capable of change. Second, solutions for current problems must exist. Current problems will block change from happening. Third, an individual or collective entity must experience dissatisfaction with present conditions. If the present conditions are comfortable, change cannot occur. Fourth, the barriers to change must be identified and confronted. Barriers that are unknown cannot be addressed. Fifth, there must be understanding of the old system’s failures, and understanding of the new system’s workings. Sixth, there must be consolidation and support.

There are three kinds of change. Horizontal change is rearranging the elements of current conditions, fine-tuning and adjusting, but not changing the core structure. Oblique change is adopting methods and strategies from beyond one’s present perspective, while not changing the perspective. Vertical change is change that alters the perspective of the individual or collective.

Change is never easy. It takes a great deal of directed energy and focus to change one’s life, applied over a significant amount of time. Expect two years, minimum.

If we work on improving ourselves in our areas of career, health, relationships and self/shadow, the likelier it is that change and growth will happen. If we are in an emotionally stable state, if we have a healthy body, a supportive relationship, and a secure income to pay for our physical needs, change and growth is much likelier to happen. In fact, if one does establish health, security and stability in physical health, career, relationships and self/shadow, growth and change just seem to unfold naturally, effortlessly. Given a sound foundation in body, career, and relationships, self grows like a healthy flower.

Here’s a cartoon.


Dave Roel.
The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but reveal to them their own.
- Disraeli

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend

Thanksgiving weekend is finally here and the time has come to start preparing your diner of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and other thanksgiving favorites. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I would have to say because it's just before Winter and I find it beautiful during that time of year.

I would assume that most people living in Fullerton will stay with their families in Fullerton over this holiday, but because I moved from Riverside I have to take the train back there in order to spend time with my family. It's not too bad and I think it is worth it to see my family. 

Thanksgiving is held at my grandma's house every year. And my family keeps growing larger every year. My relatives keep marrying new people and now there is about 50 to 55 people at our thanksgiving gathering.

Every year there is also a bocce ball ( an Italian sport) tournament played before dinner and I am hoping to win this year on the team made up of my brother and I. I hope you all have a delightful holiday.

Stay fly.

Monday, November 25, 2013


         If you are unfortunate (or fortunate if you've got mad cooking skills) enough to be tasked with the role of providing for your family, fear not! This BuzzFeed article has got you covered. Easiest Thanksgiving Ever
         It's Thanksgiving 101! It's great for people that have never done the main preparations before (like me) with the turkey and stuffing and all that great stuff. This article has step-by-step instructions with really awesome pictures and clear directions starting from thawing your turkey to carving it to perfection . You should really get started though, because it's already Monday and according to BuzzFeed, it'll take four days to thaw!
         This article has got everything from literally every single ingredient you'll need--not just for the turkey, but the whole thanksgiving meal--to how to make the perfect pumpkin pie. 
          I would suggest working on this with a partner or the rest of your family. Delegate! While you're working on the turkey, your cousins or siblings can get the pie covered and someone else can get to mashed potatoes and gravy (yup, it's all in the article!)
          So if it's up to you or your immediate family to make the food this Thanksgiving for your extended family, no need to stress! And whether or not you're having a traditional Thanksgiving with your extended family with a giant ceramic turkey centerpiece or a Friendsgiving with your roommates and some pizza, don't forget to have a great one !

Joy ☼

The Mastermind Group

Find others who will help you in your path. One or more individuals who are as committed to a path of growth and development as you are. Regularly meet with them, online or in person, if possible, to go over your goals, both long- and short-term.

The reason for this is to have others to be accountable to. Alone, it’s too easy to let things slide, to be easy on ourselves. If we know that we are going to be accountable to others, it encourages us to accomplish what we need to.

It can be a group of two, if necessary. It would be great if it were your primary romantic partner — that can be a powerful energy builder.

Everyone in the group must be aligned with these success ideas and committed to encouraging everyone else — just one negative voice can derail the energy.

It’s important to have reliable people to get feedback from, to bounce ideas off of. Working alone, it’s too easy to fool ourselves, to go in bad directions. Having others who are capable and knowledgeable to guide us is invaluable. We can’t see our own blind spots. There’s more truth in a bigger view. Two heads are better than one.

No matter what you intend to accomplish, you must do it with other people. Whether you want to establish a career or business, run for public office, create art, recover from an illness, succeed at a sport, have a happy family, make new discoveries, etc., everything requires the involvement of others somewhere in process. What we accomplish, is always accomplished as a group. The Mastermind group literalizes this.


Dave Roel.
What kind of 70 year old do you want to be? Well, whatever it is, you'd better get started working on it.
- Mushtaq Ali

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The most wonderful time of the year?

It’s legitimately insane how fast this semester has gone. Thanksgiving break is already next week, which, thank god. It’ll be a nice respite before finals. But it’s also frankly terrifying-- UC/CSU applications are due in literally a week, and whatever happens in the next few weeks will essentially determine my grades (and probably yours, unless you’re very lucky). Also-- FINALS.

I’m kind of-- okay, totally-- freaking out, but honestly, it’s such a relief to be back on the semester system. UCSD goes by the quarter system. Meaning, three sets of finals a year, midterms often only two weeks prior to finals, etc. Some people dig it, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

Quarter versus semester system is something I’ve noticed most people don’t give much thought to when they apply to and enroll in different universities, which is unfortunate because it can make such a gigantic difference. Primarily it comes down to stress management-- if you’re easily overwhelmed, plan on taking lots of or very strenuous classes, or will be adjusting to a completely new environment (new state, new city, new country? etc.) on top of everything else, it might be best to stick with what’s familiar and attend a school that goes by semesters.

Of course, there are LOTS of other considerations that go into choice of college, and there could very well be benefits that outweigh incompatibilities like systems, but it’s a good thing to think about! I personally haven’t ruled out the quarter system entirely, but I can’t say I miss it.

Stay classy,


Friday, November 22, 2013

Choir Concert

I am in men's chorale here at Fullerton College and our concert date of December 6th is creeping up on us fast. We started learning our music after veterans day and we only have 4 rehearsals left. It can be stressful at times. In the music we have to do everything from singing in latin, to following complex time signatures.

On the day of the concert we will be singing with all the choirs of Fullerton College which include, Women's Chorale and Chamber Singers. One of the biggest challenges of the upcoming concert will be singing with them. We don't get to rehearse with them until the day of the concert, so we have to have our own parts perfect in order to line up with the rest of the vocalists.

We are performing Christmas music because it is our winter concert. We have a lot of interesting arrangements of holiday songs. We're doing all styles of music ranging from a Dave Brubeck influenced rendition of "We Three Kings", to a slow and beautiful arrangement of "O Come, All Ye Faithful".

Preparing for a concert can be stressful, but in the end after you put on a great show and please your audience it is a rewarding feeling. I encourage you to come support the Choirs of Fullerton College on December 6th in the Fullerton college campus theater. Tickets are ten dollars for adults, five for kids, and seven for students and seniors. For more information on buying tickets you can click here here. I hope to see you there.

Enjoy the Weather



A friend asked me if I have met my soulmate. That’s not a term I use. It’s really one of those goofy new age mystical terms people throw around with minimal thought behind it. My girlfriend and I have a working relationship. It works. It works for me, it works for her. It works. And it will continue to work until it stops working. When it stops working, we will acknowledge that, and decide on an appropriate move. I think when people use a term like soulmate, one of the things they mean by it is a relationship that will last until death. I think that’s reasonable to expect if someone doesn’t anticipate changing very much over the course of one’s life. True, most people don’t change very much after age 21 or so. If someone doesn’t anticipate changing very much, predicting that a relationship will work for a large stretch of one’s lifespan is reasonable. But if one is changing, growing, expanding, developing, becoming… gaining and losing attitudes, interests, energies… well, then predicting long-term attachments gets a bit dicier. There’s no guarantees for anything in life, of course. I have no expectation that our relationship will last the rest of our lives. Perhaps it will. Perhaps it will end next week. Who knows what the future holds. I guess we’ll see. I like being with her. She likes being with me. It’s a working relationship. If someone wants to apply the term soulmate to that, well, I won’t stop them.



Dave Roel.
Before you speak, stop, breathe, and consider if what you are about to say will improve upon the silence.
- Allan Lokos

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

It's that time again.

It's midway through November, which means, if you're like me, you've only recently given thought to starting your CSU/UC applications. This the third year in a row I've applied, so much of it is familiar to me, but for someone who's never done it before, it can certainly be confusing.

Mainly, you'll need your transcripts and tax information (yours, if you're considered independent, or your parents if they claim you as a dependent), plus two personal statements if you're applying to UCs. Though I wouldn't call the applications straight-forward, there are readily accessible help screens that deal with common questions that arise while filling out all your information. Still, there are areas of confusion that aren't addressed, but what I've gathered from doing this so many times is that you can either do your best and trust that the advisors will figure it out, or you're completely entitled in most cases to call either a counselor at FC or an admissions counselor at the school in question to get your question addressed properly.

As for the personal statement, FC actually frequently offers workshops to aid in the process. For those who are unable to attend them, here are the highlights:
  • The personal statement IS NOT a dealbreaker/deal-maker in terms of your admissions decisions-- the other aspects of your application are given much heavier consideration, to which the personal statements are like a supplement, as they provide insight into who you are as a person. So of course, do put effort into them, but don’t feel too pressured.
  • Make sure you address all parts of the prompt! Generally, this is a good idea regardless of what the purpose of the essay is. The minimum expectation of a passable essay is that it addresses the prompt, and showing the college admissions advisors that you’re capable of doing so is likely in your favor.
  • Tragic personal statements aren’t necessarily better. If you do choose to write a personal essay centering around a negative event, the admissions advisors will want to see that you’ve overcome difficult circumstances, not that you’ve experienced hardship.
  • Make sure the two personal statements deal with different subjects. This demonstrates well-roundedness and gives admissions advisors a broader sense of your personality and interests.
  • Have somebody else-- or several somebody elses-- read your essays. Ideally, they will edit them and make sure that they’re coherent and understandable.

It seems hard now, but finishing up applications provides major relief once it’s done with. Good luck to all who are hoping to transfer!

Stay classy,


Monday, November 18, 2013

Role models

Find a role model for each area. Choose someone, famous or not, who can serve as a guiding star for you, in your efforts to improve in each of our areas of health, career, and relationships. Perhaps for the relationship area, you might choose a well-known relationship coach or an author who writes insightfully about relationships. (There are many great ones, and reading relationship books or relationship advice columns is a good habit to get into, generally, one I recommend.) Perhaps for the career area, you might choose someone highly-accomplished in your chosen field, whose success you'd like to emulate. Perhaps for the health area, you might select a famous athlete you admire. Of course, they don't have to be famous — you might know individuals in your own life who have accomplished what you would like to in these areas. You can certainly choose them. (You can also choose one for our fourth category of self-work / shadow work, if you wish, but that can be a bit trickier — positive examples in that area are less obvious; tread carefully, when choosing there, but definitely have ones for our main three areas.)

Learn everything you can about your choices. Read biographies of them, if available, talk with them, if possible, study them. Learn how they think, how they move, how they talk, what their attitudes, beliefs, philosophies are, what books they read, who they admire, how they approach things, what they learned and what they did to accomplish what they have. Begin to adopt those elements that you can see will lead you to similar accomplishments. Be sure to distinguish the attitudes and approaches that are healthy from the ones that are non-optimal; you don’t have to adopt destructive patterns. But adopt the healthy ways that they have implemented in their lives, and you’ll be on a path to a successful, healthy accomplishing of your desired goals.


Dave Roel.
You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
- James Lane Allen

Friday, November 15, 2013

Change rates

Everything changes, but not everything changes at the same rate. The natural world changes slowly. Culture changes quicker than the natural world. Infrastructure changes quicker than culture. Governance changes quicker than infrastructure. Business changes quicker than governance. Fashion changes quicker than business. It's good to see the macro-structures of systems; it shows us that we don't have to change everything all at once. The most significant and longest-lasting change on a level is when change is coming from one level down. For instance, if there's a change in governmental policy, new business opportunities open up almost immediately. If there's a change in business, changes in fashion will come from that. If the infrastructure changes, governments can become unstable (e.g. Arab Spring). Looking at the macro-structures of systems, both individual systems and collective systems, allows us to perceive patterns and flows of energies, and allows us to make smart determinations about what’s likely to have a large impact on the world. For example, Miley Cyrus doing something outrageous is not likely going to change things for more than a few weeks. Building the Panama Canal, however, does have an enormous impact on things. If we're interested in changing something, the best way to do that is to change things at the level under the one you want to change. If you want to change fashion, work on changing businesses; if you want to change businesses, work on changing governance; if you want to change governance, work on changing infrastructure, etc.

Here’s a cartoon.


Dave Roel.
If our goals are too low, we get bored. But if they are too high, we get frustrated.
- Richard Layard

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

21 Days

          Sorry for not posting recently, FCers! But I finally have time to settle down and update you guys! Unfortunately, still no word on Chloe, from , but it's okay. I'm confident she'll be adopted soon!

          Anyways, did you guys know that 21 days is all it takes to form a habit? That's 3 straight weeks of repeating the same thing, and it gets turned into a habit. Like say, if waking up early is extremely hard for you and you decide to start sleeping before midnight, try doing that for three weeks straight! Come fourth week, it won't be a hardship anymore, it'll come naturally. You won't even really have to think about it. 
          So a couple weeks ago, my church decided to start the Love 21 Project, a consecutive three week long project where we participated in at least one random act of kindness every day. It could range from a tiny little thing to complimenting a stranger's choice of clothing to donating time and energy to help feed the homeless in Downtown LA. The goal was that once we began our random acts of kindness, they'd stick and we'd all become much more compassionate people and wouldn't have to think twice about helping out a person out or picking up litter on the quad on the way to class. We just finished up the project, but campuses all over the US are still participating!!love21/c247o It's pretty cool, and it comes with a suggestive guide if you don't know what act of kindness to do for the day. Feel free to check it out! (=