Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

Happy End of the Year, interneters!

I'll be returning with new, positive blog posts on Monday Janurary 6, 2014. I hope all of you are taking some much needed relaxing time as 2013 comes to an end.

Take this week to smile more and come up with resolutions for the new year :)

Being happy and prepared is just two of many-many ways to live a positive life.

Be safe, eat your favorite foods, and see you next year,

--Author Jason Jack

Monday, December 16, 2013

Author Jason Jack's 'Year in Review 2013'!

Author Jason Jack here, interneters, with a recap of my posts from this past year.

If you're joining me today, hello!

I'm an author of many books and a positivity advocate. My vision for this blog, since its inception months ago, was to help people smile more, look at the brighter sides of life, and to be stronger. Going forward, I have a lot of different ideas to continue to make this happen :)

Looking behind us, however,  is just as important as looking forward. By looking at the past we can learn from any mistakes we made and improve upon all of our weak spots. The good thing about life is that we have the option to grow from our downturns, and today, I plan to exercise that option by going over my posts from 2013. Ready?

Posts From the Past

9/27/13 Happiness
9/30/13 Taking Control
10/7/13 Success Envy
10/13/13 Excuses
10/21/13 Critiques
10/28/13 Fear
11/4/13 Importance of Positivity
11/11/13 Accomplishing Goals
11/18/13 Over Reliance/Waiting For Others
11/25/13 Warm & Fuzzies
12/2/13 Spend or Save
12/9/13 Risk and Rewards

That's a lot of blogging! And that's only counting my main posts. So, here is what I've learned over the last 12 weeks. I hope it provides those who blog or want to blog with even the slightest of insight :)

What I've learned from writing this blog on a weekly basis is to focus on a single topic. This gives the piece depth, focus, and clarity. It also limits the complexity of any given post.

I've also placed a one hour time limit to write and edit the blog. This ensures I don't ramble on and on, forcing me to be ever more careful with my word selection and train of thought. Restrictions are the lifeblood of high creativity some might say. I say it really helps to narrow in on the topic at hand!

Break up text, create more paragraphs than you feel you need, and bullet point as much as you can for the sake of the reader. This is something I am always aware of while writing. It is something I can approve upon while still being creative with. Large chunks of text are fine for many but for some, it's a tad too daunting. The good thing? Whether the text is broken up or not, there's the same amount of content just easier to read :)

Write about what matters most to you--write about what makes you feel passionate. The easiest posts to write have been the ones that have been closest to my heart. Granted, everything I write about here has meaning to me, but I often find my scheduled blog topic derailed by a situation I find myself dealing with in life.

My Success Envy, Critiques, and Excuses blogs were all formed by real life scenarios and exited my fingertips with passion. My goal moving forward is to find more of these topics. At the very least, I'm thinking about personalizing the blogs with tales from my life where they feel natural. That is, add personal anecdotes when they fit in :)

 And I will always stay true to myself. With that said, I'm going to write about what I want to write about. I have a vision, a mission statement, for this blog, and it's to spread a positive mindset. This blog may not be for everyone, I don't know everything, and I write what I know with an ever malleable mind. I'm open to change and willing to adapt, but I will always try to spread happiness :)

Finally, I've learned to keep on writing with consistency. Every Sunday night/Monday, I write this blog. It may come late Sunday, early Momday or late Monday, but it will come on one of those two days. Keeping a pattern, schedule, rhythm is pivotal in making both good and bad habits. If done wisely, we can all fill our lives with good habits. For me, keeping my writing schedule open but solid is important given my other priorities of life.

So . . .

I learned a lot from my first twelve weeks of consistent blogging. And I plan to only improve going into next year. By looking over my past posts, I was able to pinpoint quite a few elements I wanted to approve upon and others I wanted to continue and refine. Without the past, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes so hindsight and evaluation is vital to growth and happiness.

To all of you bloggers, writers, readers, interneters, thank you for reading me. I hope I was able to add even a little value to your life for that is what I strive to do :)

Have a safe and happy holidays and a happy new year!

Until next year, keep the positivity.

--Author Jason Jack
(I'm an author of adult and children's books, a positive advocate, and lover of sweets [to my detriment at times]. What you just read is a snip-it of my ever evolving, very malleable philosophy of life based on experience, conversations, and years of studying. If you get anything out of reading my words, I hope it is to think and be positive :)

You can visit him at

Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Ways To Have A Positively Warm Winter (2013)

Author Jason Jack here, interneters, with 5 ways to have a warm and comfortable winter. Let's go :)

1. Eat warm foods
The best way to feel warm from inside out is by eating warm foods. There's nothing better than a cup of warm tea, coffee, or hot chocolate throughout the day to keep you feeling warm, so always remember to keep your traveling mug with you (check out your local dollar stores for inexpensive mugs and warm drinks!). You'll also feel less cranky and a few degrees warmer after a bowl of soup for lunch/dinner. Eating warm will go along way in providing winter smiles.

2. Layer up!
During the cold months, it's always better to wear more layers than you actually need. If it gets too warm throughout the day (at work or what have you) you can always take one or two coats off. If you under dress, well, then you're in for a deep freeze.

For the last week, I've found myself going out wearing a long sleeve shirt over an undershirt, a long-sleeved hoodie over that, and a thick winter jacket over that! And when I go out tonight, I'll be wearing two pair of socks and pajamas beneath my pants :) I hope you'll layer up the clothing, too.

3. Blanket cake
There's nothing like a blanket cake in December. When lying down for a nap, for the night, or just for relaxation purposes, grab all of the blankets you can find. Take your blankets and layer than over you one after the other in the fashion of a layered cake with the thinnest first. Tuck the blankets close to ensure maximum heating potential and you're all set for victory! PS: Those with spouses or children, don't forget to share the warmth ;)

4. Move away from the windows
This time of year, you'll want to stay away from these transparent panes. They tend to be the weakest link in terms of letting cool air in. But, with a little Google research, solid insulated windows are easier to find nowadays and "pay for themselves" overtime if they're within your budget.

If you are one with furniture or beds close to a window, you might want to consider rearranging your rooms for the season--think of it as redecorating and have fun with it :)  If not, you can always layer up and blanket cake to keep warm.

5. Heater, heater, heater
Lastly, use a heater. Better yet, use a space heater. If you're simply trying to cool your bedroom at night, slap on that space heater for an hour before you go to bed and turn it off when you're reading to catch those z's. For larger families or for other rooms, you may consider putting the heater on for about an hour or so as well.

Heaters tend to cost more since they're trying to warm a larger space whereas space heaters tend to cost less since they're heating a smaller area. Whatever you choose, you'll stay warm this winter, guaranteed :)

These are the ways I'm planning to stay warm this winter, how about you? What ways do you stay warm during the cold months? Let me know in the comments below! If I had to add a sixth tip, it would be to stay in doors! 

Have a warm and positive Winter, everyone!

Until next week,
-Author Jason Jack

Monday, December 9, 2013

Author Jason Jack on "Risks and Rewards"

Author Jason Jack, what do you think about taking risks in life?

If something in your life isn't working out, try something else.

There is no set path for us whether it concerns our jobs, scholastic endeavors, or way of life. And there is no reason to stay in a belittling situation or one that doesn't emphasize the strong and talented people we know we are inside.

Let's change.

Let's find a new career by searching Google, Yahoo, the Yellow pages, the weekly Classifieds. Let's start spending an hour a night learning a musical instrument. We could even buy new fruits and vegetables we never tried before during our weekly/monthly shopping trip.

And we might like the change. After all, with great risk comes great rewards. True, there is a probability of failure, but even failing is beneficial! When we fail we learn what not to do again. That new veggie taste like dead rodent to you? Well, how else would you know how your taste buds would react unless you tried it? Now you know :)

There is little to no drawback of taking risks for the sake of bettering your life in order to improve your "board positioning". Get your pawns in the right places then check the king by surprise--take those risks in hopes of getting better gains that will lead you closer to your life goals.

Some people may find safety in the life they created but safe does not necessarily equate to happiness. For those of you who have one or two "responsibilities" you might want to keep in mind a few things.
  • Be responsible in your risk taking. If you need to pay rent and have no savings, don't quit your job just yet. At least not until you have that shiny new job up locked down!
  • Do research and be prepared for what's to come. If taking that new dream job requires you to take less pay then alter your spending habits to make it happen.
  • Keep positive and have objective expectations. The type of thoughts we have shape who we are. If we stay positive about our risk taking, then we will have positive outcomes. It might take a day, a month, a year or more for our risks to come to fruition, but as long as we don't expect immediate results (generally, very few things happen at immediate speed in this world) and keep our expectations in check, we will succeed :)
So . . .

Really, there is no reason to live a unhappy life. As long as we take responsibility for our lives and the way we are living, we can make a change. We can take risks and explore new and different paths that'll lead us to a better life.

No one is forcing us to eat poorly, hang around downers, or to stay at a dead end job. And if someone is, take a stand. Educate yourself and go out and search for the life you know you deserve. Use whatever resources and means you have available to you and never be ashamed of what you don't have. Go to the library and use the free internet and wealth of resource materials. Network at local business meetings, art and craft fairs, and tomato festivals. Ask questions. Go. Do. Be more.

Take those risk, reap those rewards, and never stop. You'll be better for it.

Until next week, 

(I'm an author of adult and children's books, a positive advocate, and lover of sweets [to my detriment at times]. What you just read is a snip-it of my ever evolving, very malleable philosophy of life based on experience, conversations, and years of studying. If you get anything out of reading my words, I hope it is to think and be positive :)

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Ways To Have A Positive Holiday Shopping Trip (2013)

Author Jason Jack here, interneters, with 5 ways for you to have a positive holiday shopping trip. Let's go :)

1. Know What You Can Spend (AKA What's Your Budget?)
Stay upbeat by allotting a max budget for your shopping season, and STICK TO IT. You'll save yourself from being disgruntled compared to if you didn't have a spending budget. Live within your means and you won't have to worry about a stacked credit card bill or unexpected payments in the future.

2. Know Where You Are Going
Map your destinations for easy travels. This is especially important during the holiday rush where there are way more people on the roads, increasing traffic and possible accidents, and an abundant amount of shoppers in stores. Long lines and congested shops are things we can't control, but creating a list of stores we want to go to will limit the unnecessary, "Where should we go next?" and kill wasteful trips to places we end up not buy anything at all.

3. Know What You Are Going to Buy
Tying closely in with know where to shop is knowing what you are going to buy. This is arguably one of the most important steps to having a positive shopping experience. Window shopping and perusing is for the rest of the year, being a laser pointed shopper is a must during the holiday rush. More people shopping means more demand which means less product for the majority. If you don't know what you're getting, it may not be there when you do. Always be prepared beforehand.

4. Don't Forget Your Money!
I've done this maybe once or twice before and I tell you, it's not fun. Standing in line, making it all the way to the cashier with your lovely loot, only to realize you left your wallet or debit card at home is the opposite of positive. Always remember to bring your allotted money with you whether it's in card or paper form for the most seamless transaction and upbeat shopping experience.

5. Just Don't Go Shopping
Yes, the best way to have a positive shopping experience is not to shop at all :) If you were to go, I have you covered with the four tips above. But in reality, things/toys/objects are just things and they'll be there next week. Or, a newer model will come out in a couple of months. If you lived without a new electronic, book, or purse yesterday you can live without it today. Why get stuck in long lines, spend money you can put elsewhere, and endure the hostile crowds when you can be realizing at home? Whatever you choose, choose what's best for you :)

The holiday shopping season is an interesting time of the year. Just experiencing it is a delight for some, for others it's a lightning storm of bad. But whatever our unique perceptions of this time of year, we can conduct ourselves in a prepared manner and do what's best for us whether we shop or not.

What places will all of you be shopping? Or are you sitting this year out? I've done a little of both :)

Until next time, have a safe and positive weekend!
Author Jason Jack

Monday, December 2, 2013

Author Jason Jack on "Spend or Save"

(Note: Welcome back, interneters! I hope all of you had a safe and fun Thanskgiving. I postponed my Friday blog given the holidays, but we're back today with some more positive advice. Enjoy!)

Author Jason Jack, I really want to buy something--should I spend or should I save my money?

We ought to live like we'll live until we're 100.
We ought to live like we'll die tomorrow.

We ought . . . to do both?

These premises might sound as though they contradict one another (and they may at times) but to better out lives we must find a balance between living for today and living for tomorrow.

Balancing Act: Responsibilities VS Leisure

To find this mysterious balance that'll help us choose between a $1,000 "toy" and a diverse stock portfolio investment worth the same amount, we need to look at prioritization.

  • What needs to be financially taken care of now that'll affect/impact your way of life?
  • Is it objectionably more important than your intended "toy" purchase?

In lamens terms, for example, do we have to pay rent this month? How much is our rent? Let's say $950. Including rent, let's say our total monthly bills are in the range of $1500. BUT, we really want that new purse worth $1500 or both the new XBox and PlayStation worth the same total. What to do?

You must ask yourself are the toys more important? It might sound silly, someone selecting a purse or plaything over rent, but it happens. I've seen people, know people, and given financial advice to people, about their lack of financial prioritization. They select leisure purchase over paying their rent, registration, and even buying groceries for their child!

But it's not always something big that replaces a rent payment or utility bill payment. Purchases add up: a new DVD here and there, an Amazon purchase, a Starbucks trip, eating out now and then.

It takes no time to spend a lot of money, and a lot of time accruing it.

The people I've met wish they had a better life in which they could spend money without thinking of the consequences. The secret? They can have that life now--all it takes is a little bit of consistency and determination until spending within our means becomes second nature.

As the Wise Person Said, Spend Within Your Means!

To ensure a life without regret or anxiety of back payments and late bills, we must live within our means. And spend within our means. Pay the rent, pay those bills, put what you can (if any) into savings, buy some food, and then allot some play money. Living within our means does not mean we won't treat ourselves, buy gifts for friends, or be able to go to that fancy restaurant we've been wanting to go to. It just means we pick and choose what we can given the amount of play money we have left in any given time period.

Have $100 at the end of the month to play with after savings, bills, and groceries/necessities? Go wild! Want to buy something worth $200? Save your play money for two months. It's that easy.

And the fun thing about a majority of purchases--excluding limited releases--we don't have to have them now. And even concerning limited releases or movies, we don't need them either.

Take it all away, all of the toys and distractions, and we'll be fine. They're nice, but we can live without a world of material possessions. Let this be your mantra when you're itching to make that purchase in lieu of paying that phone bill. Just think of the debt and wasted money you'll accrue on late fees or backpayments due.

It's wasted money. Just remember, waste not, want not.

SO . . .

Use your money wisely. Use it however you want, but please understand there is a fine balance between living financially for the present and the future. If we use a little prioritization and foresight, we can have the things we want now while building a bad-debt free, nest egg'd, comfortable environment for the future. We'll also save us cash, but more importantly, it'll save us from a lot of headaches and a handfull of anxiety.

Until next time, be wise and enjoy your week!

--Author Jason Jack
(I'm an author of adult and children's books, a positive advocate, and lover of sweets (to my detriment at times). What you just read is a snip-it of my ever evolving, very malleable philosophy of life based on experience, conversations, and years of studying. If you get anything out of reading my words, I hope it is to think and be positive :)