<![CDATA[Mike Deregowski - Words For Thought]]>Fri, 25 Dec 2015 20:05:03 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Acceptance]]>Tue, 22 Dec 2015 22:47:18 GMThttp://www.mikederegowski.com/words-for-thought/acceptanceThroughout life, we all find ourselves wanting to be part of groups of people. Different groups that we feel, as individuals, will bring us an ample amount of satisfaction. 
I, myself, have found that I am not immune to the need to be accepted. Whether it be part of the work place as a productive member that everyone wants to work with, as an established writer, or as a close friend. 

Humans are not the only ones to obsess over this need to be accepted. Animals are also known to exhibit such behaviours. For example, dogs and cats, when living together, will sometimes fight over who gets to be the alpha of the household. Once a position is established, any new additions have to try to find their place in the group or be rejected. Even among established groups, animals still jaunt for position and try to better their standings in many social circles. Alpha Lions are consistently challenged by peers, in hopes of attaining their pick of the female lions and the prestige they think that goes with it. The part that I find interesting, especially when it comes to humans, we often forget about the other people and that there are those that want to be a part of your currently established group.

A good friend of mine was having a bad week and we were out doing karaoke on a Monday night. A small group of currently top karaoke people in the city were sitting together and visiting and we were by ourselves. There was a longing to be part of that crowd, and my friend was in a funk. A few days later, the same people that appeared to be ignoring us were out somewhere else, and suddenly we seemed to be a center of attention and things were great again. I recall a time where this same friend, when she was hosting karaoke, had a massive following with her at her shows. Our group expanded from four of us to twenty people in a very short time and we constantly had others trying to join our crowd. To them, I am sure we seemed like the crowd to be around and probably also felt rejected when we didn't seem interested in letting them join us.

My point is, this. It is natural to think the grass is greener on the other side and you may receive some instant gratification by belonging to a certain group. But look inside yourself and at what you have to offer.
  • If you feel that you have nothing, then change it.
  • Draw people toward you and make others want to be in your group.
  • Accentuate the qualities that make you unique and you will attract a crowd that will help you grow into the person that you want to be.
The greatest people I have ever met, march to the beat of their own drum and have taught me to do the same. Everyone wants more, but don't let a few people dictate the way you view yourself. You have the power to attract others, and the power for greatness, whether you have a group or not.

Strive to be the accepting, and not the accepted.]]>
<![CDATA[Finding Inspiration]]>Wed, 20 May 2015 14:53:48 GMThttp://www.mikederegowski.com/words-for-thought/finding-inspirationWritten By: Mike Deregowski
Recently, I had the pleasure of doing a book reading at a local school. Before I began reading, I introduced myself, talked a bit, and then asked if the kids had any questions. During the question period, there was a comment about it "not always being easy to find what to write about." It got me thinking about how one finds inspiration, and how I can possibly help others to find inspiration, as well. To best explain, I want to start with an example of how I came up with a future children's book. 

I was at my job at the airport, working in the cargo pit of a plane, stacking bags. Due to the limited space underneath the plane, sometimes one has to get creative and maneuver the bags in certain ways just to make them fit. Somehow, amidst the many bags surrounding me, I began to think about people and their various shapes and sizes. I personally think it is ridiculous how obsessed we are with looks, and believe we should all just be happy with who we are. This thought, plus having to deal with all different shapes and sizes of bags, led me to create a character out of one of the bags that is struggling with himself and wants to be some other kind of bag. Although it took a bit to 
explain here, this all happened very quickly and it created a new story in my mind. 

Here are a few ideas to help you with your creativity:

1. Let your mind wander. 

When you try to think about something creative, often times, nothing will come. Your best ideas are generally going to be the ones that seemingly come from nowhere. If you are a planner, chance are, you will suddenly have everything you need to get your creative project done and can start your masterpiece. If you are like me, and let the project write/draw itself, this method is equally effective. 

Once you are done creating what your head dictated to you, that is when the fine tuning starts. Just get your idea down.

2. If you are writing, listen to your characters.

I never would have believed the idea of listening to characters in your head. In fact, if you were to say that to a psychologist, you would probably be put on some heavy medication. 

In fact, any writer will agree, the characters do tell you what their story is if you let them. Luigi Pirandello wrote a play about this very subject called "6 Characters in Search of an Author" where characters happened to wander into a rehearsal, and began telling the director their story. I highly recommend this read to anyone interested in drama or writing, to help understand the process. The characters will never lead you down the wrong path.

3. Don't be afraid of change. 

Even the best laid plans can go astray, and writing is no exception. Even though you may think the story should go one way, your characters may have other ideas. You may have a specific event in mind, and you may know how you want it to happen, but sometimes events change and other things need to happen first. Instead of getting frustrated, embrace the change. Trust that everything will turn out all right in the end and go with the flow. 

The creative process is funny and sometimes fickle. If you find yourself stuck on a particular project, take a break and work on something else. If you are open to it, the muses will provide you with the tools you need to create your next work of art. 

Even though I am not the first, or the last, person to share these words of wisdom, I hope I have provided you with some ideas for creating whatever you happen to be 
working on, or thinking of working on.

All writing (c) Mike Deregowski - no reproduction in whole or in part unless written permission is received from the author.
<![CDATA[Expiration Dates]]>Tue, 03 Feb 2015 22:06:54 GMThttp://www.mikederegowski.com/words-for-thought/expiration-datesWritten By: Mike Deregowski
Everywhere we look, we are surrounded by expiration or 'best before' dates. Though food is the most common place to actually see the dates written, they are also present in people and pets as well.


Admittedly, people don't often look at a relationship as having a 'best before' date, but that doesn't mean it's not there. When you first meet someone, if the desire to get to know them is there, things seem great. You talk to the person, maybe go out with them for dinner or to social gatherings, and potentially enjoy your time. Truth be told, nobody begins a relationship with the idea that it is only for a certain time period. At least, not very many people anyways.

As time goes on, you may find yourself in one of two situations. 

  1. Either you would like to continue to get to know this person and possibly further the friendship to a partner, rather than a friend, or you feel it is time to end your relations because you realize this person is no good for you. Thus bringing us back to the "best before" or expiration date. Though these moments are not easy to cope with, they exist and must be dealt with when the date comes up.
  2. Another expiration date or "best before" is when someone you care about is dying. Unfortunately, until science comes up with a pill for immortality, we are all born with a biological expiration date, that has already started from  the moment of our conception. Though it is truly a depressing way of looking at people, and the world in general, it is a realistic way. 

In our time period on Earth, however, we still try to form connections that we hope will last a lifetime. Though, someone somewhere will have to deal with some else's expiration date eventually. 

Harder, and perhaps least logical, of a relationship is the one we form with pets, because some of them have even sooner expiration dates.

Recently, I have lost our family's pet. Though Ludo was technically my sister's dog, he became a big part of our family for the ten years he lived with us. Right from the moment we fell in love with him, we dreaded his expiration date. Two weeks before he actually died, my sister called my parents and told us to come and say our good-byes. He had a horrible night and she feared it was time to put him down. 
After having a good weekend we, as a family, decided Ludo was not ready and would probably pull through to live longer. Two weeks later, after going up stairs from the basement, Ludo took his last breath. His expiration date had come. Though we knew this day was coming, even from the first day my sister picked him out of the litter of pups, it was still devastating. 

We enter a relationship with our pets and integrate them fully into our beings, knowing that we are going to have to say good-bye not long down the road.

Despite prior knowledge to the best before date, we all still strive to make connections and should continue to do so. Growing, changing, and evolving is what every living organism needs to do. We accept that certain foods expire and that relationships expire because there is nothing we can do to change it. We are simply surrounded by expiration and  "best before" dates.

All writing (c) Mike Deregowski - no reproduction in whole or in part unless written permission is received from the author.