how to, Lifestyle & Culture, technology, Travel, Tutorials, Uncategorized

Tutorial: “How to Open the Gas Cap on a KIA Soul

In case you were wondering…

Books & Reading, Uncategorized

“Once Upon a Time…I Wrote a Book”

Some time ago, I compiled some of my earliest poems into the first of a series of chapbooks, entitled, Stuff Wrote from My Heart. This first chapbook is called, “The Ingenue”, and it is a compilation of some of my favorite poems which I wrote during my high school years.

Download your free copy, and send me your feedback in the Comments section below! Click here, or click the title: Stuff I Wrote from My Heart— Vol. 1— The Ingenue

And, yes… more poetry is coming soon!

life and living, Uncategorized

“Why I’ve Decided to Follow My Dreams”

Do you have dreams? Do you want to follow them? While the demands of life, or even the decisions we make, may alter the pursuit of our dreams, either partially, or entirely, it is important to remember that each person was born with a unique set of gifts, talents, abilities and desires for his or her life— I call these desires dreams. And I believe that at some point in a person’s life, he, or she, should seek to live out those dreams (as long as they are positive and not detrimental to one’s own well-being, or the well-being of others).

It was after my brief stint in the corporate world that I decided that I really needed to follow my dreams. I hated everything about the corporate sector (except my paycheck), and I knew that I needed a change of pace. This decision was also driven by the fact that after I had invested the time, money and effort toward earning a college education, developing my professional skills, abilities and portfolio, building my social and professional networks, and following all the other steps and directions needed to realize the American Dream, I soon realized that I was not fulfilled trying to pursue someone (or something) else’s dream and that I needed to realize my own dreams— the dreams which were birthed inside me.

Also, be mindful that the pursuit of your dreams does not have to involve your job, or vocation. It could be a hobby, or just something you always wanted to do, or traveling to some place you’ve always wanted to go. I always tell people that the best way to follow your dreams is to not live life recklessly and to have a plan— because your dream needs a plan. And your life needs a plan.

So, here are five reasons why I’ve decided to follow my dreams.

Reason #1: I’m good at the things I dream about doing.

More often than not, it’s the things which we are good at which encourage us to dream about doing them as much as possible. And in my own life, I’ve found that the things I’m good at also tend to be the things I would do all day and every day if I could. Moreover, as I work at these things, I get better and better.

READ MORE: Do What You’re Good At, Not What You Love (Huffington Post)

Reason #2: It’s a great pleasure.

Someone once told me to keep the corporate job I hated because somehow, it would make me “better”. And “…by the way…” the person told me, “…most people don’t like their jobs anyway, so it’s life”. But my life doesn’t have to be that way, so I’ve decide to do and be all that I need to do and be in order to realize my dreams— that was a mouthful!

I also want to share that hating your job can add to stress and general discontentment to your life. And studies have proven that stress and discontentment can have a negative effect on your health. It’s understandable that sometimes we have to do what we have to do and take jobs we may not care for, but (and especially) if you don’t have to work in a position you hate, then take my advice and don’t do it!

READ MORE: How Stress Affects Your Health (

Reason #3: It helps me to focus.

Doing what’s necessary to realize my dreams helps me to plan my life in such a way that I apply the appropriate amount of time, ability, energy and resources needed to make my dreams a reality. It helps me to not waste these, and other valuable resources, on unnecessary pursuits.

READ MORE: 9 Awesome Ways to Inspire Others (Entrepreneur Magazine)

Reason #4: It inspires others.

Greatness is radiant. It reflects off the person who committed himself to achieving that goal, idea, or feat, which distinguished him from others. Greatness is excellence. I want the realization of my dreams to influence someone else to pursue his, or her, own dreams. Moreover, I want to realize my greatest potential in every area of my life so that when others look on me, or think of me, they’ll be inspired to pursue and realize their greatest potential, too. (Please note that greatness, excellence and perfection are three different things.)

READ MORE: 19 Reason to Ignore Everybody and Follow Your Dreams (GloboTreks)

Reason #5: It’s time.

I’ve worked enough boring and dead-end jobs, which had little (immediate) financial value to me. But, I do acknowledge that I did gain some social and hands-on skills and experiences which have proven beneficial to my life.)

Moreover, each day I have the privilege to live, I get older. So I have to resist the urge to waste time, and invest my time, talent, energies and resources into the things can benefit me, and which are important toe— like being self-employed, studying dance and martial arts, traveling the world, and supporting local charities and community causes.

If I allow procrastination, uncertainty, fear, lack or worry to delay the progress of the fruition of my dreams, then I would be wasting the time, talent, energy and all other resources I already have in my possession which I could use to realize my dreams.

What are your dreams?

READ MORE: 11 Reasons Why It’s Important to Follow Your Dreams (Lifehack)

Challenges, Goals, Health and Wellness, Uncategorized

Day#1 – The Vegan Challenge Has Begun

Today is the first day of my 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and I’m excited! After work in a previous “career” in agriculture, I learned a lot about how different foods are produced, and the effects which some of the things which are used to produce foods have on our bodies. For example, many foods are produced with pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and nematocides— natural and articifically-developed chemicals which could impact human reproduction, hormonal balance, and so on.

So, why am I embarking on this challenge?

The answer is multi-faceted, so here goes:

  1. Yes, I want to lose weight! I’ve gained a lot of weight within the past few years after suffering from an illness, and I need the weight to go away!
  2. I want my lean, flexible, and strong physique back— and this time, I’m keeping it!
  3. I feel great when I eat fresh fruits and vegetables, so I’ve decided to give my body more of the healthy foods it’s been craving.
  4. The things I’ve learned about food production have caused me to look at food differently. Therefore, I want to produce and consume foods that are as fresh, clean, and natural as possible.
  5. I want to inspire others to be as healthy as they can be.
  6. I want to feel and look my best.
  7. I want to stop eating meat altogether, and be a lifelong vegan— it just seems healthier than consuming meat.
  8. I’m interested in learning about the variety of fruits and vegetables which I can eat for optimal health (and to satisfy my curiousity about different foods).
  9. Foods from the ground are generally full of vitamins and nutrients, and there’s nothing like being nourished with good whole foods.
  10. I like to try new things and challenges can help us to build character and to grow in our walks of life.

So, what do I expect during my 30-Day Vegan Challenge?

I expect:

  1. To lose weight.
  2. To feel and look healthier.
  3. To decrease my desire to eat unhealthy foods.
  4. To inspire others that they can have their best bodies, and enjoy good overall health.
  5. To give people ideas on how they can make small, and simple, changes which can have big and positive results in their overall health, fitness, and life, in general.
  6. To inspire others to lead healthy lives.
  7. To gain an appreciation for healthy eating and living.
  8. To successfully complete this 30-Day Vegan Challenge— I like good challenges every now, and then.
  9. To be an example of the positive change which I want to see in the people I love, and in the community where I live.
  10. To set the tone for how I want to live the rest of my life— a life full of good and healthy habits which can influence others to do, and be, their very best!

So, what about you?

Do you have a challenge which you want to overcome? And, have you ever embarked on a challenge of this sort? Leave your comments below. Be sure to let me know if you are participating in any kind of health, or fitness challenge, and share the details! We can learn from each other.


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American, Communication & Relationships, Communicatios and Media, Education and Career, Lifestyle & Culture, Media, Opinion & Commentary, Social Media, Society and Culture, Uncategorized

A Few Thoughts

The following is a short essay response I wrote as a part of a series of discussions about society’s seemingly increasing dependence upon the Internet. Is it safe? Is it healthy? Have we uncovered a great thing, or is society making a mistake for its ceaseless embrace of technology?

In this response, I’ve briefly shared my thoughts about the issues in about 831 words. Tell me what you think about this topic? Are we too dependent upon the Internet, and other technologies? Share your comments below, and be sure to look at the infographic— you might be surprised at how much information is transmitted via the Internet in one day.

In the “connected” world, it seems that we are increasingly becoming dependent upon the Internet to do basic things which, for many millennia, did not even require electricity. This concept coupled with the ability to complete more tasks faster (with the help of the Internet, of course) is (in my opinion) causing people to develop a greater dependence upon Internet-mediated communications and technologies. Although I have always been a technology enthusiast, and I am always eager to learn how to use the latest technologies, I am also increasingly concerned— especially for the generation following Millennials, because it seems that while they are increasingly being exposed to, and taught how to use, some very sophisticated technologies, I am concerned that when the lights go off, and the convenience of electricity (or, any alternative power source) are not readily available, these persons will (generally) not be able to do basic things like handwrite letters, use a wall telephone,  understand that a “hashtag”, “pound” sign, and “number” sign are all the same thing, in addition to knowing that there is a such thing called a “tablet” which made of paper, and used for writing— and not only the computer device used to play games, watch movies, or to check Instagram. (Today, I had a conversation with 5th grade students about this.)

I am also concerned because I had a childhood which included me playing outside most days of the week. As I reflect on this, playing outside had me interacting with other people face-to-face and helped me to develop social and critical thinking skills. I also got plenty of exercise and even lost my childhood “chubbiness” and became physically stronger and faster. When I wasn’t playing outside, doing homework, or talking with my parents and siblings, I was playing the piano in our family sunroom (or, another one of the musical instruments I learned to create and play as a child). Even when I was studying, it rarely involved the use of a computer unless I was conducting research for a project. When studying, I mostly used books and paper, including dictionaries, thesauri, and almanacs. Although, today, my study tools and study habits have changed, and, now, the project I am completing determines which resources I will use (whether digital and/or print), I’m glad that if the Internet is not available to me, and if the lights go out, I can use paper books to do what I need because Google is only available online.

While I have many concerns about much of humanity’s increasing integration and super-dependence upon the Internet, and other technologies, I do believe that people are increasingly being exposed to information, resources, and other people, whom they would probably never know, or have, if it were not for the integration of the Internet, and other technologies, into society. The fact that citizens can communicate directly with world leaders, and customers can rate and review the products and services they’ve used on a website, are examples of how people and organizations are enabled to better meet the needs of the people they serve. My concern is that there is now an imbalance of technology and the ability to socialize and learn throughout the “connected” world partly because many people don’t seem to know how to properly integrate some new technologies (like social media, for example) into their lives.

For example, some people rely too heavily upon texting instead of using phone calls to discuss important subjects with people (like bosses). I have heard many stories of employees who don’t feel comfortable talking with their employers, and therefore, use the wrong media (like text messaging/SMS) to communicate with their bosses when trying to get clarification for a project, or to handle important transactions. And every day, I read the tweets, posts, and status updates of many teenagers who communicate their ideas through emoticons and acronyms (which are based on the English language) perfectly, but are completely confused when I ask them to write those same messages in the English language using the correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.

I didn’t graduate from high school very long ago. Computers and technology have been a very important of my life. I first started using computers when I was three years old, since then, I have learned countless topics in computers and technology, but equally important, I have learned how to speak, read, write and count— the skills and abilities needed to create the computers and technologies I use. I am concerned that the generation following Millennials (and some Millennials, as a matter of fact) will not be as intelligent as the generations before them because they do not seem to understand the importance of learning by using books, paper, pencils and their mouths communicating and learning. They don’t seem to understand that the human mind learns better when people speak, read and write as a part of the human learning and communication process better than they do (in general) when looking at a digital screen.

Christianity, Lifestyle & Culture, Society and Culture, Thank You, Uncategorized

So, I’m Thankful


I’ve devoted a lot of time to the new direction of TheTDarrisBlog, and I’ve decided that I should start back with one thing that I think about each day: thankfulness. You might wonder, “Why thankfulness?” Well, it seems that a thankful heart is generally a happy heart, or at least a content one. A thankful attitude seems to make complaining uncomfortable, and it seems that thankfulness is the one thing which helps to keep the mind thoughtful all while keeping one’s passions sober.

I’m not as thankful as I should be

A major reason why I’ve decided to blog about thankfulness is because as I read the Bible, I am regularly reminded that I should be thankful. The Bible has many stories in which people who endured some terrible circumstances were able to sincerely tell God, and others, “Thank you”— or, they expressed some sort of gratitude and appreciation either during, or after these hard times. And, they were sincere about it!

Were they thankful for the hard times they endured? I doubt it. But, there seems to be a pattern of thankfulness concerning the troubles they endured because these experiences prepared them for a new phase in their lives, and other times, thankfulness was expressed because these indiviudals knew that their situations could have been worse! Certainly, there are other reasons why people were thankful, but that’s not the focus of this post 🙂

I want to develop a thankful heart

I want to be sincerely thankful for my life, and the experiences, etc., which God sees fit for me to endure. This will require a lot of courage, and of course, trust in Him— but I’m okay with that. Two years ago, I made a daily commitment to find a reason to be thankful, and to express that thankfulness to God during daily prayer time, in addition to living out that thankfulness each day of my life— I’m not perfect, I only get it right on some days, and on other days…not so much.

Thankful people are free!

And, I want to be free! I want to be able to endure life’s ups and downs, and still be thankful! I want to always find and hold on to the good in any situation, and allow it to further teach and mold me into being the person I should be.

I could go on, and on, but I think you get the point: I am dedicating a portion of this blog to thankfulness. Maybe I’ll even post on different aspects of thankfulness, like “how to be thankful”, effects of thankfulness and the need for more gratitude in everyday life. But, all-in-all, I’ll be blogging about reasons why I am thankful.

Some of you might remember the “Thankfulness” blog posts I published two years ago. This is a [better] continuation of that. And for those of you who like to dig a little deeper and read more about thankfulness, I will be adding some links and higlights from other articles, videos, etc., on some aspect of thankfulness. I’ll start with Merriam-Webster’s definition of thankful, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible’s definition article, enttitled, “Thanksgiving“. I hope you find this informative and useful as I have: Thankful and Thanksgiving.

Right now

2016 has been a very difficult year for me, but I’ve learned that I can, and will, endure these challenges. And one day, I hope to look back with even more thankfulness in my heart, and insights to share with others who need them.

So, tell me— why are you thankful?