Category Archives: Goals

2 Weeks To Go; Not Knowing What To Feel

Last Saturday  I had my going away party. It was long day for me because not only did I say goodbye to many friends and family but earlier the same day, I also said goodbye to my friends from the local fighting game scene as I attended my final local tournament. So you could say the last weekend was a weekend of goodbyes and I’m not even finished yet!

To be honest… right now I don’t know how to feel. I mean, I’m happy that I have so many who care about me ( as well as finding out who my friends were…. let’s just say a LOT of people failed that test! ) That people are going to miss me but right now, I’m not sure how to feel about it all.

I’m entering the final countdown, so to speak. There is only 2 weeks to go now. I’ve still got a few things to do before I go ( apart from packing, obviously! ) I’ll sort most of that out this week. It hasn’t really hit me that I’m actually going to Australia. A part of me is half expecting some disaster to happen that will prevent from going!

I don’t know why I’m thinking like that. Maybe it’s because it’s such a huge step into the unknown for me that my brain isn’t able to comprehend it yet. Maybe I’m experincing what one may call ‘ Graduation Goggles ‘ at this stage. It could be the negative part of me talking, trying to imagine random crap like how North Korea is going to start World War 3 within the next 2 weeks or some other fantasical reason that I won’t be able to travel!

Then I think about more morbid reasons that could either prevent me from traveling or make me return early like the death of a close relative. I guess I’m not OK and that is OK with me. It’s normal for someone to feel nervous and unsure when they are about to make a big transition in their lives – I’m about to make one myself after all. They think about all the nasty shit that could happen or go wrong. They somehow think that they don’t deserve it and maybe even WANT something happen to prevent them from actually making the transition!

I’ve fought with similar feelings in another area if my life before and was able to eventually overcome them ( that is for another post, though. ) So I can overcome this feeling I’m having right now – It’s a weird one, a happy kind of blues – you could say. You happy that you’re going but you’re sad at what you’re leaving behind in order to do so – a part of you doesn’t want things to change, so to speak.

However, I know that as much as hate it, change is a part of everyday life. I would nearly say it is an ESSENTIAL part of everyday life. Without it, life would be stale and boring. People will endless complain about change – especailly if it’s a large website that likes to change appareance every other week! The human being is a strange cookie, alright; We hate change but in order for u to grow – then we MOST be willing to embrace change in our lives.

I accept that change is a part of life. I’m making a change for myself. Sure it is scary as hell but you know what? That is what makes life worth living. I know that my current life isn’t going to get me anywhere which is why I am making this change for myself.

I’ll leave you with a song that pretty much sums up my mood right now;

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The Australia Adventure Video Diary 1 – 3 Weeks Before

The Australia Adventure Part 2 – The Most Expensive Part

Hello everyone, right now, I am little hyper. You wouldn’t really be able to blame me though. This has got to have being the most hindering part of the whole process so far all because of money issues. It has resulted in this being delayed by several months BUT I had reached the stage, where funds were sufficient AND if I didn’t do this now, I NEVER will as I would keep finding excuses not to say!

Anyway, as you can guess by the title, today I finally booked my flight to Australia! Truth be told, it was almost surreal actually doing this after looking at this particularly set of flight options for quite some time but alas, things are now officially set in stone. In fact, here is a brief screenshot of my confirmation email to prove it;

aus_flight_booked

And with that, I can now officially announce my date of departure – I shall be leaving Ireland for the pastures of Australia on Tuesday, March 12th, 2013! This is a major step for me and I can’t wait for the date to roll around. Also, I booked some initial accommodation for when I get over. Nothing too fancy, just a hostel after all. Then we’ll see where I go from there.

My mother, bless her soul, is concerned that I will be lost without friends over there and is urging me to contact the people I know over there before I leave. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s something I’m going to do anyway but I don’t want to be totally babied either or end up spending all my time around other Irish people! I want to expand my horizons and meet other people as well.

At the same time, I am aware of the challenges ahead but I reckon I’m more than up for it. Stay tuned – a bold new chapter in the life of Adrian Collins shall be beginning soon!

Squandering Potential

Recently, I encountered someone I knew from school. I hadn’t seen this person in quite some time. We both had our things to do which meant we never met up. Fine by me, I have my own things to do, be it college, working on toastmasters speeches or planning my trip to Australia. I guess we just drifted apart. It happens, so they say.

However, one thing occurred that was pretty saddening in my viewpoint. I recently saw this person staggering out of a bar in town, looking like hell. The thing was, this wasn’t the weekend, it was a Tuesday evening.

Now, where I’m from, unless it’s St Patrick’s Day, going out getting that drunk on a Tuesday evening is kind of alarming ( even given the drink culture in Ireland! ) What saddened me is the fact this person seems to have lost sight of thier pontential and have instead settled for a life of mediocracy. A type of souless life that I suspect that drinking is used to escape. I weep for thier offspring.

The point of my story is that is a classic example of someone losing sight of thier potential. These are the same people who spend thier whole lives living in the same town, going to the same places on holidays. They have given up. What happened to the teenager I remember!? They were hyper and energetic! This betrays that person I knew.

I am left wondering why do people fall in this trap. Is it because of circumstances being too much? Maybe it is their idea of ‘ growing up, ‘ one where they discard everything that made them unique and become a part of the borg collective. Maybe people feel this is the only way that they’ll become ‘ normal. ‘ Who knows, it happens and I find it depressing.

The fact that I’m aware of the fact this happens is probably a good thing. I made a promise to myself a long time ago that no matter what, I would NOT become this. It’s being hard, I know that if I stay put, I’ll never reach my potential, which is probably why I’ve got such itchy feet to travel. I’ve learned more about what makes me tick in say, 5 days of travel than in 5 months, for example. I guess I need to be put into situations where I have to 100% depend on myself in order for me to achieve my pontential.

That is just me, though. For other people, it could be different. They use thier circumstances as a motivator to achieve their potential. Some people get dealt some serious amounts of lemons in life. Yet, there are able to overcome these obstables and still achieve their potential ( case in point, the people who compete in the Paralymics. ) Yeah, now that is what I call making Lemonade! 😀

So as the saying goes, if life gives you Lemons, make Lemonade. Given my recent setbacks, it’s something I need to remember as well. Remember your potential, hold onto it for dear life. Fight for it and never, ever let go of it.

The Australia Adventure: Part 1 – Getting that Visa

It’s being a while, how has everyone being? Anyway, last weekend, I was in Dublin to attend an all nighter to watch the finals of EVO 2012. For those of you who are wondering what EVO is, it is basically the world’s biggest fighting game tournament and happens yearly in Las Vegas. The finals happen on a Sunday night and like last year, the Irish scene organised an all nighter in a gaming cafe to watch said finals ( and play some games while we’re watinig as well. ) It was a good night, though to say the least, I was pretty bushed the following day for obvious reasons!

However, with the end of EVO 2012, I now had to follow through on something I said to many people I would do the ‘ Tuesday after EVO. ‘ Well, yesterday was the Tuesday after EVO. So, it was time to finally do it.

For those who follow me on Twitter, I tweeted about this yesterday. Posting the following the image:

I was finally applying for my visa to go to Australia!

I had being all talk before but now I was going to make things more solid and certain. I took my time filling out the form, paid the fee and then sat back and waited it to process, checking it several times before I went to bed later that night.

I woke up to this email this morning;

Yup, the visa had being granted! And with that, the first step has being completed. The next step now is to book the flights and inital accomadation, though I’m gonna leave that until closer to my chosen date of departure ( Mid – November, shortly before the deadline. )

Hopefully, nothing bad will happen between now and then that will prevent me from going. However, having taken the first step, the whole thing is now real with this. Stay tuned for future updates on this.

Failure & Success

I haven’t updated this blog in a while, I know that. The reason being, apart from me completely running out of ideas, I also kind of fell flat on my face in the past 6 weeks or so. It wasn’t a pretty site to behold, if you ask me and it’s only the past week or so that I feel I am getting back up onto my feet again.

Unfortunately, as a result, I have some bad news to report. I have already written about how I broke the year of no drinking thing. Yeah, things went to crap afterwards. It was a bit messy ( no, I haven’t turned into an hopeless alcoholic but still. ) I guess I was too ambitious with the time scale I had set myself. Well, I can least say I went 3 months without drinking, even though it’s a bit of a cop out.

So yeah, it’s being a bit of a failure.. hence one where I was aware of making the choice and as I wrote in my previous post, worrying about letting my audience down too much is a bad sign and is almost peer pressure in itself ( not saying it’s a bad thing unless it starts effecting you negatively. )

On that note, I’ve also got another failure on my part to report. Damn, this is like a double whammy and is making me out to be someone who can’t succeed at anything! Anyway, this failure concerns my fighting games hobby. Yeah, I failed to win a tournament and May is almost over. Hell, I haven’t managed to get past group stages in any tournament this year! What the hell is wrong with me!? Then again, there is only so much online play can do as I live no where close to someone who plays these games like I do. That in turn means practice isn’t as practical as it should be and I just get bored of beating up a dummy in training mode.

Maybe I’m just not meant to be hyper-competitive. I’m more content to hang in the background with the community. On that note, I’m actually going to be running the local tournaments myself for a while as the guy who has ran them to this point is leaving Ireland soon. That in itself will pose some interesting challenges for me. Still, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to win. I followed up and asked others what I did wrong that caused me to lose at the last tournament so that I could improve in future.

However, I actually do have some good news to report; In less than 3 weeks, I will be doing my Stage 10 speech in my local Toastmasters club, thereby completing the Competent Communicator manual and achieving certification as a Competent Communicator 😀 I won’t say any more about that until then but it’s a big deal for me, considering I’ve being doing a speech practically every month since last September ( not including the speech competitions and the time I went to the fond-raising Speakathon event in Marymount Hospice ) I’m pretty burnt out in that department! Well, all I need to do is one more and I’ll be done with the CC manual!

As for Australia, things are still going to plan. Just slowly saving for up towards it. As long as the Euro doesn’t go to crap before I leave, I’ll be fine. Looking forward to it, being honest and it won’t be that long coming!

So that’s an update on me. As the future of this blog, I’m not sure. I’ll keep things up to date but I can’t promise anything. I’ll need to rethink a few things, though. Till then, keep up with whatever good you’re doing!

Reverse Peer Pressure ( Or Why I Drank Last Weekend )

Ladies and gentlemen, I have an annoucement to make: I broke my no year without drinking this weekend just gone and to be quite honest, I’m not all too bothered that I did.

‘ But Adrian! How could you!? You were determined to go through with this!? What happened!? You’re such a cop – out! Traitor! ‘ OK, calm down. This post is to explain my reason why I decided to break it. It ends up being a bit more complex than me just deciding to ‘ screw it, let’s get drunk! ‘

Anyway, as you know, I am fighting game player. This weekend just gone ( 13th – 15th April ) I was in Dublin to partipate in the biggest fighting game tournament of the year in Ireland. Now, I had actually said that I intended not to drink while I was up there and was determined to stick to my guns. However, something can up that took my surprise and caused me to changed to my mind.

I was in the Irish Fighting Game Community chat room a last week and the topic about the weekend came up. I mentioned that I was intending to stay off the booze and when asked why, I explained that it was a personal goal and that I had an audience that I didn’t want to let down if I did drink.

However, what took me by surprise is the fact that while it’s not clear what exactly was said but what was spoken of got me seriously thinking about it to the point I had to braindstorm and do some journalling about it. The conclusion I came to was that it was in fact, a form of peer pressure I was under.

This isn’t the classic direct peer pressure. It was more subtle than that. I felt that if I broke this challenge, I would have let my audience down. HOWEVER, at the same time, I also felt if I stuck to my guns too rigidly, than I might not enjoy the night out and that I would end up feeling sorry for myself. You see, I’ve had problems with being too stubborn in the past and when I was journalling all this, some words of wisdom that a friend from secondary school echoed through my head in regards to my stubborn, rigid nature: ‘ Adrian, there is no point is staying at home all the time, feeling sorry for yourself. ‘

Another fact is that I probably won’t be up in Dublin again before I go to Oz so that could be the last time I see many of those guys before I leave – which also added the idea in that what would be point in being a party popper just for the sake of a goal that in reality, not many people know about? Why should I feel like I am making myself suffer for the sake of what is really a personal goal?

Also an aspect worth noting is that from my journalling, my fear of letting down the audience also led me to rather alarming conclusion: I didn’t want to let anyone down because I was afriad of offending someone! That is what it boiled down to! I was scared someone would take offence! This floored me and helped me realize that I wasn’t making my own decisions, I was letting others ( however indirectly ) make my decisions for me and I was to be frank… rather angry with myself at that.

In fact, my fear of offending others effects other areas of my life. Be it that I don’t want to chat up those girls, I might end up offending them with my advances, I can’t say no to something otherwise I’ll offend the person / people who asked me. Basically, I was a doormat and a yes man and that wasn’t pretty at all, to say the least.

Now granted, I did not make this decision lightly or spontaneously. I thought this over and decided to make an exception for the weekend just gone. I plan on being dry for the rest of the year now. It’s good to know that something good came from all this from me personally. I know myself better and am now becoming more unoffendable and that, if you ask me, is a good thing.

Staying True to My Theme of 2012

I’ve being slacking off lately, I admit this ( well, I DID say that the release Street Fighter X Tekken would effect my posts here for a while ) I’m still nowhere near wanting to wake up at 7am in the morning ( maybe I was being too ambitious with that goal perhaps? ) and other things, like saving for Oz, have slowed down a bit unfortunately.

However, I can that maybe the last few months were meant as a peroid where I was germinating internally. Who knows, I’m the type of person who takes some time to come around but when I do, the progress can be remarkable in a very short peroid of time. For example, If I was given a 6 week project, you can count on me making slow progress until week 4, after that, you will see my productactivity sky rocket which will result in me finishing the project on time.

So, there are a few things in the pipeline but generally speaking, I am doing my best to stay true to my theme for 2012 which is Upsetting the Status Quo. It’s kind of funny really, I could do nothing for ages but then something comes along and causes massive changes with something as simple as pressing the ‘ return ‘ key on my laptop ( I’ll elaborate on this in a future post. )

As for the whole no drinking thing, I’ve managed to stay true to myself and my goal of a drink free 2012 by NOT drinking at all this St Patrick’s weekend just gone. To be honest, I feel like I wasn’t really missing out on much anyway. For one thing, the bars I was in were in absolute chaos, even though I left early as I was sick of it at that stage. Then there was the amount of litter and broken glass strewn around the town. Yeah, I’m glad I didn’t do anything like ( hell, even when I DID drink, St Patrick’s Day was nowhere near this messy for me. )

I guess I can say that changes are happening slowly and maybe it was just the fact that Winter is over and Spring is here now so maybe things will pick up a pace a little. However, I will to those who are in a similar position to me in regards to change and are not happy with thier progress: Don’t sweat it, people grow at different rates, your day in the sun will come.

People Who Inspire Me – Jacob Sokol

No Self Promo ChallengeThis post is a part of a series of posts I will be making every Thursday for the month of February as my contribution to the No Self Promo Challenge. Despite the title, we can decide our level of involvement. As part of my contribution, I decided to write a series of posts about people who inspire me or have otherwise have a positive impact on me and I feel more people should be made aware of.

I am certain that many of you know of a Mr Jacob Sokol. For those of you who don’t, he is the owner of Sensophy and author of  Living on Purpose. Well, there is a lot more to him than that of course.

He is what one may call authentic. I mean 100% authentic. His videos that he brings out ooze with energy and enthusiasm and positive New York spirit. I also have word from a reliable source that it isn’t for show either. He is really like this in real life. I am certain that he would be able to lift up the spirits of anyone who was present with him in a couple of minutes.

He lives what he preaches too, for example, refusing an IT job as he felt it was going against his mantra for living on purpose. Far too often, people give up their dreams in order to be comfortable. He does not wish this for himself or his readers.

Needless to say, I want this wall!

As for Living on Purpose. I actually brought it myself. Its good, damn good. At the very least, it will help you discover what the main principles are in your life and at best, it will mean so much more. He recently released all the video series that came with Living on Purpose on his site, so be sure to check it out.

This Jacob Sokol and he inspires me to find my purpose in life.

People Who Inspire Me – Juicebox Abel

No Self Promo ChallengeThis post is a part of a series of posts I will be making every Thursday for the month of February as my contribution to the No Self Promo Challenge. Despite the title, we can decide our level of involvement. As part of my contribution, I decided to write a series of posts about people who inspire me or have otherwise have a positive impact on me and I feel more people should be made aware of.

Eric Albino, better known as Juicebox Abel, is an American based fighting game player, best known for acting out special moves in the ‘ Street Fighter ‘ series of games. These are called Juicebox dances and pretty funny to watch, especially when you see the reactions of some of the other players who fall victim to them. The way he puts it is that video games should be fun and that game, after all is a silly exaggerated cartoon and he treats it as such.

However, there is actually more to Juicebox than this. For one thing, he strives to help others improve their general fighting game skills. He previously had a podcast called Juicy Bits where he would go over various scenarios that a typical player would find themselves stuck in and provide tips on how to overcome these and improve your game.

He also recently started doing podcasts which are called ‘ Juicy Bits – Straight From the Box. ‘ While he generally just plays various video games ( most notably King of Fighters 13, Street Fighter 4 and various other miscellaneous games when he is bored ) he is willing to dispense some tough love if someone asks him for advice on how to improve. I have done this myself because I knew I could get something truthful out of him rather than some wishy washy bias from my local players.

He also finds it very annoying that the fact that so many players, particularly those who play online a lot, almost always do the same thing over and over, which owing to less than stellar internet infrastructure, results in them wining a lot. This does NOT help them as in an offline setting, these same people will get slaughtered by people who know what they are doing. He merely wishes for a more progressive mindset.

He is also very much himself, he doesn’t feel the need to pretend or put up any fake nonsense to make him look tough or bad ass ( trust me, people who try to act tough and bad-ass just end up looking like ass-holes, which is something I don’t particularly like and also puts off a lot of people. ) He simply himself and a lot of people like him for that, especially when you consider he is more than willing to give advice to help others improve and become better players in the long run.

This is Juicebox Abel and he is my favourite fighting game player, he inspires me to be myself always and to become a better fighting game player.