Awesome Things

All The Things I've Stopped (Part 1 of 9)

the streak has endedEver since my blogging streak ended, I've thought about all the things that I said I was going to do on this blog. With the exception of one or two, I stopped doing all of them within a few months. Besides the blogging streak, there was only one other endeavor that ended in a matter of days. The others were either intentions that were never turned into action, or behaviors that I stopped doing after several months. I think it would be great if I went over each of these goals and endeavors, going into detail of why I wanted to do the project in the first place and why I ended up not finishing what I sent out to do. Not everyone enjoys going over their failures, or evaluating why they were unable (or chose not to) finish something, but I think the exercise will be valuable to me. I am in the middle of determining what I want out of life and how to get those things, so I think this exercise will show me why I wanted to do these projects at a certain point in time, only to decide later on that I wasn't interested in doing them anymore.

Bullet Journal vs Inferno of Productivity

For the first part of this many part series (the number of series parts has yet to be determined), I'm going to evaluate two similar projects where I've stopped doing one but I've continued to do the other.

The bullet journal and the inferno of productivity are two systems that organize your to-do lists and improve your productivity. The inferno of productivity is a system that I created about a year ago, while the bullet journal is a system that I found online and decided to try. I did both concurrently for about seven months, but I've stopped using the bullet journal system about two weeks ago and have continued to use the inferno of productivity system only.

The main reason why I stopped using the bullet journal is because the journal felt redundant. I thought the system, especially its inclusion of a monthly calendar, monthly task lists, and room for other necessary lists (like planning for a vacation or a separate to-do list for that trip), would augment my daily to-do list that the inferno of productivity specializes in. However, that didn't happen. Using both systems at the same time seemed like I was managing two to-do lists for each day with no added benefit in having both. If there was a discrepancy in the to-do lists, then it was weird and a hassle to remedy that discrepancy.

I found the inferno of productivity to be easier since I like the tangible aspect of using index cards (something that I'd like to make less disposable with reusable index cards. I just need to find something reusable that I can use.) I also found this system much more flexible with tasks that I wasn't able to get done and with organizing my day, since I can put the cards/ tasks in the order that I wanted to do them. In the end, I stopped doing the bullet journal because it wasn't adding any value, and I was crafting my daily task list from what was already set up in the inferno of productivity system.

I'm Starting with a Softball

The bullet journal and the inferno of productivity were easy ones to evaluate because:

  • I'm still doing the inferno of productivity, which is awesome. It's also a system that I'd like to improve upon in several ways.
  • Since I'm still doing the inferno, stopping the bullet journal was somewhat inconsequential.
  • Seven months is a pretty good run, but since the main reason why I stopped was because it wasn't adding value to my life, the bullet journal wasn't tough to quit. The failure was in the system, no myself.
  • Quitting the bullet journal is not the same as not following through in learning how to drive a stick shift or with anything on my five-year plan. I will cover both in future parts of this series. Both of those do reflect a failure on my part.

But, I gotta start somewhere. It was easiest to start with my productivity systems since they are/were a daily part of my life. The others involved more long-term work, dedication, and planning.

One thing that does need to happen: finishing this series.

The Streak is Dead Already

the streak is deadI'm no good at this. I used to be good at this stuff, but I've lost my touch. This is because I kept the streak alive for two days. Two. Whole. Days, and already it's dead. The daily word quota is dead too, as I only wrote 1,667 (qualified) words for one of the two days. It's all dead and I need to start all over again. What happened to me?

I've Done This Before

The breaking of the blogging streak? Yeah, I've done that before with the blogging case study and with the coffee blog and with numerous other ventures. We don't need to detail how I've lost interest in things, or ran out of money to do things, or had something happened that broke the flow of the streak.

By doing this before, I meant that I've previously started streaks that I've kept alive. One of them is Amnesty International. I've been with Amnesty International for almost 10 years now, starting with my freshman year in college (which was way back in 2006) and finishing with the present day. We have a meeting this coming Wednesday, and I will attend. In this time span, I've only missed a handful of meetings because I was sick or I had work to do. When I miss because I had work to do, I always felt like I made a bad decision and that I really didn't have anything better to do than to go to Amnesty. So, unless I'm sick, I go to Amnesty. I don't regret it, even if I have plenty of other work to do. The point is that Amnesty International is a streak that's still alive. It's something that I've started and kept doing. I didn't lose interest, or forget, or run out of time, or have other things get in the way.

Another example is Forward Saint Louis, which is an aggregator of left-of-center news & analysis. It started as a website and is now just a Facebook page. The site was started when the Tea Party was at its peak, and was started as a way to channel the voices, news, and opinions that ran counter to the Tea Party. Although, Forward STL wasn't intended to be a Coffee Party or anything like that.

Anyway, I came on in the summer or fall of 2012 to help aggregate news for them. By then, Forward STL has switched to the Facebook page. There was a group of us aggregating news, and by around September 2013, I was the only one still maintaining my weekly commitment to aggregate news. Everyone else had lost interest, or forgot, or ran out of time, or had other things get in the way. It's been about 18 months since I started, and I'm the only one still going. I can tell because all the posts from the past several months, with exception of one or two, are mine. I'm currently wondering if there's a way to turn Forward STL into something bigger or something more, especially since I'm the last one left. Aggregating news on a Facebook page is great, but it doesn't seem that awesome when that's all the brand does.

So, I CAN Keep Streak Alive

It's taken a while for me, but I don't think the problem is discipline. I've been very disciplined in other pursuits. Besides the two activism, political ventures I mentioned, I did a very good job with my business blog when that was still going. Over the course of 18 months (is that my streak average), I wrote over 200 blog posts about business blogging, content marketing, social media marketing, inbound marketing, and other similar topics. Those posts were excellent at bringing in traffic to the website, although I had a tough time converting that traffic into leads.

Many of my clients have been long-term clients, meaning they've been with me for years. The average for them is two years, and for most of them I did blogging work. Granted, I get paid to do the work for them, which adds incentive to get the work done. But, it also means that I was doing a good enough job to keep going. If they didn't like my work, then they would have gotten rid of me a long time ago. The fact that I stayed for so long isn't just a testament to me sticking with something. It's also a testament of my talents as a writer.

I Am a Great Writer!

I am awesome! Perhaps I can start again?

The Streak Begins Now

Watched an AMAZING video last night on "How to Become a Writing god", and it's a fantastic video. It shows you how to become a great and prolific writer, but what makes this HubSpot presentation really awesome is that the overall message can apply to anything.

The overall message is to do it (whatever you IT is) everyday. Write blog posts every day. It doesn't matter if they are crap as long as you write every day. Change your definition of a blog post so that you can write one every single day. Once you get started, the goal is to keep the streak alive. Do it every day for as long as you can.

Writing two in one day doesn't mean you're off the hook for the next day. You have to write one for the next day anyway.

The point is that if you write every day (or run, or design a coat, or sing a song, or whatever it is), even if it's crap, then you will get better. You will not simply get better at writing crap. You will get better, period. And it will no longer be crap.

I Begin the Streak Today

I will begin my own streak, my own path to writing greatness, or immortality, or religious doctrine, or whatever "god" means. I am restarting my blogging challenge from over a year ago. I will write one blog post per day, even if it is crap, but I will write one blog post per day. What better day to embark on a fool's errand the day after April Fool's Day? This way, all the jokes and pranks are out of the way first.

One major difference this time around is that there will be no time limit. I will not end the streak in a year and evaluate my blogging, which was the plan for the previous blogging challenge. Keep the streak alive! The streak will continue as long as I am willing and able to continue it.

Changes to the Blogging Challenge Rules

Okay, there will be several changes and differences to this blogging challenge. The rule changes and differences are outlined below:

  1. There is no limit or minimum to the word count of an individual blog post. Part of this journey and project is to enable myself to write one blog post every day here on this blog, which means altering the definition of a blog post to make that happen. After all, Seth Godin blogs every day, and some days he might not even write more than 100 words. But, he write every day and each of his posts are very poignant and worthwhile.
  2. There will be a daily word quota, which is set at 1,667 words per day. This daily quota ensures that I write 50,000 words per month. Why do I want to write 50,000 words per month? Because 50,000 words is enough for one novel, and it would be cool to write the equivalent of one novel each month. I also want to do this because I can.
  3. The 1,667-word count is not exclusive to the words on this blog, meaning that I can meet the quota by writing for other sites (including LinkedIn with their new publishing tool), by doing client work, or by other writing other materials that will be posted online (eBooks, white papers, email newsletters etc). My quota cannot include social media updates, updates written for, journal entries for my business coaching, journal entries in my journal, or any handwritten work that has no intention of being published online or in-print.
  4. All words and blog posts must be original. No republished work will be counted toward the daily word count or toward the daily blog post. No previously unpublished works, which weren't written on that day, can count toward the quota.
  5. All other rules that were outlined for the old blogging challenge still apply.

The streak has officially started! Where will this streak take me?

To Remain Productive, Email Management is Key

email producitivityLong gone are the days when work email stayed at work, where the only way to check it was to log into your desktop. With the rise of smartphones and tablets, it’s easier than ever to check email or to respond to that ‘ding’, whenever and wherever. IT solutions provider, GFI Software, sponsored a blind survey of 503 employees in small and medium-sized businesses in the U.S. to gauge work-related email habits and to assess how much email plays into our work and personal lives. It found that 90% of respondents considered email a blessing, despite its ubiquity and the stresses associated with the influx of information.

“It’s a blessing because you fell connected. It’s about being available and having more flexibility in the workday,” said Sergio Galindo, global head of product management at GFI Software, which conducted the survey. “You don’t have to be at a desk and you can still be productive.”

More than three-quarters of respondents (81%) said they check their work email on weekends, 55% check email after 11 p.m. and 59% keep on top of their work email while on vacation. It would seem from these statistics that email is getting in the way of the distractions that may be help us to be more productive when we return to the office, but Galindo says that keeping email productive is a matter of good use and prioritization.

“Giving the volume of email [we receive every day], management is important,” he said. “The iPhone has the ‘do not disturb’ feature. Prioritize emails by subject line, and [letting other emails wait] by setting 'me' time. Our consumption rate of information has gone down because there’s so much.”

Our consumption rates are also at risk when you consider that we aren’t just checking email during our off hours, but during other events as well. One in 10 respondents admitted to checking work email at a child’s school event, 9% at a wedding, and 6% at a funeral. An additional 6% said they logged into their work email while they or their spouse was in labor. Productivity is much tougher when your child is being born, or when a friend or family member is getting married.

Email management isn’t just managing your use and restraining yourself from responding right away, (76% of respondents, according to the survey, said they typically reply to emails within one hour during work hours), but it’s also looking at how email is used to conduct day-to-day activities. It’s here that businesses could improve productivity by looking at how email is integrated into sales processes, finances, human resources etc.

“Email is a huge repository of information,” Galindo said. “You can see how people are interacting. For example, with sales you can see how often emails are sent and how you can improve the process. Are people sending too few emails, and do they need to be more persistent?”

Another good productivity example is from an IT perspective, where those with large inboxes often have the slowest loads times and sync times for their email. These employees complain about the slowness, or waste time waiting or trying to find something, when simple organization would fix the problem.

“Technology has improved. We are more engaged and we can respond quickly,” Galindo said. “As the main communication format [for employees], it’s important to businesses, and it’s important to learn how to use email.”

What You Can Do Right Now to Improve Your Productivity

productivity tipsA lot of times, people want to do something but don’t take the time to do that something or to change what’s necessary to get that done. Productivity is one of those things, where people want to be more productive but never actually do anything to become more productive. Cathy Sexton, a productivity strategist and coach and founder of The Productivity Experts, says that this is the case because people don’t take the time to recognize the benefits of doing something and of being more productive. “People are just overwhelmed today. They don’t see an end and they don’t know where to start,” she said. “There’s value in thinking about what things would look like if they were different.”

Sexton started her business in 2003, coaching and speaking to folks about reducing stress and frustration in order to live productive, peaceful lives. She said that one of the most common problems she addresses with her clients is learning what to control and how to control those things.

“We can only control four things: time, money, energy, and our attitude or behavior,” she said. “People try to control others or try to control the situation, when we just can’t. [Recognizing] this optimizes our time and energy while reducing the feeling of being overwhelmed.”

Sexton said that one of the biggest myths about productivity is that it’s all about time management, when it’s much more than that. Productivity includes emotional intelligence, being organized, taking action, and working naturally. She said that everyone has a productivity style, which is essentially how we make decisions and pace ourselves. By understanding this, we can get more done, have less frustration, and be better equipped to handle what’s going on.

“It’s about understanding who we are and working with that,” she said. “For example, if you need structure, then you need to be in a [work] position where you can follow a structure and go from step A, to B, to C.”

Not everyone is in a place where they can change jobs and find a position that suits their productivity style, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything that can be done to improve your productivity. Sexton said that one thing anyone can do today to be more productive is to make a decision, and then take the next action. This moves yourself forward, allowing you to plan what you are doing instead of reacting or spending time getting the wrong things done.

In fact, there are four things that need to happen in this decision making process to ensure that the process is productive, but also that the decisions made and the tasks completed were also worthwhile. The four things are:

  1. Plan – This is more than just reacting to events, but strategizing what you’re going to do and how you are going to handle a situation.
  2. Eliminate – Productivity is more than getting things done, but getting the right things done. You need to take the wrong things out of your day, those tasks that don’t really move you forward or accomplish anything.
  3. Prioritize – Organize those ‘right things’ that you need to get done.
  4. Take Action – Do what needs to get done.

“Productivity is an ongoing process. You must work at it,” she said. “The time you take to set up these processes will come back 100-fold.”

New, Awesome, Fun Idea for My Blog

awesome news writingSince I spend about 30 hours a week devouring the news, I pondered over how to apply all that news consumption toward the blog. I like the news. I like reading the news. I like writing about the news. But, I don't want to do what others are paying me to do. It's best that I save those task for those who are paying me to do those things. As I said previously, I don't want to just do what everyone else is doing. I don't think that helps anyone, and some behaviors don't need to be replicated. I finally came up with that new, awesome, fun idea. It's based on the idea of "I Statements", where you express how you feel in the form of "I think" or "I feel" versus saying "You do this" or "You say this". I would apply this to various news events, explaining "I hate..." or "I like..." or "I accept..." to the correlating news story. This is a tactic no one else is doing, and I like that this method isn't necessarily constrained by what everyone else is talking about. Although, I could always pull the "I don't care about..." or "I'm annoyed by..." for those types of stories. Anyway, here's an example of what I'm talking about:

I Support: a Bill to Prohibit Employers From Using Credit Checks During the Hiring Process

Earlier this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced a bill that would do just that, citing that the practice disproportionately hurts poor people. The article highlights how this practice could hurt poor people more often, since it says they are used to disqualify people of color and that women are typically hit harder with divorces and given sub prime loans. Specific statistics or anecdotes aren't shown in the article, but this isn't why I support this bill.

I support this bill because credit reports are a horrible factor to use in the hiring process. First, there's no evidence to show that a credit report or score is correlated to a person's employability, or more importantly, on-the-job success. Yes, the research does show that those with higher credit scores also do well with "task performance", meaning that they tend to complete their tasks on time and do them well. But, a good hire is much more than someone who completes their tasks on time and does them well. A good hire is also someone who fits in well with company culture, who is an engaged employee (someone who loves the job as well as the company), who shows initiative and is willing to improve their skills. Finding someone who can do the job doesn't ensure that they'll be a good hire, and they'll be the person who sticks with your company beyond the first few months.

Second, credit reports can have mistakes on them. Credit checks are legal, and under Fair Credit Reporting Act, job hunters are allowed three to five days to fix mistakes. However, when 40 million Americans have mistakes on their credit reports and correcting those errors often takes a lot longer than five days. Of course, job hunters get those extra days to fix errors if the employer gives them a chance. Most don't, simply saying that they aren't going to hire you. Employers may be able to weed out a bad hire, but it's also possible they're rejecting a really good hire based on faulty information. Employers may want someone with a good credit score, but they ought to want someone who will succeed in the position. If that person who will succeed doesn't have the best credit score, then the employer is only hurting themselves by not hiring them.

I support this bill. I will talk to my representatives about this bill when the time comes.

Can I Just Be a News Expert?

news expertIs there such a thing as a news expert? I ask because that's what I want to be. If it already does exist, then that's what I want to be and I want to know what it takes to become a news expert. If it doesn't yet exist, then I'll figure out what it means to be a news expert, do that, and then call myself a news expert. Perhaps expert isn't the best word, especially if I have to create this position or persona. I looked in the thesaurus (cause that's what I do), and I like the sound of "news specialist" and "news master". I think "news artist" also has a nice ring to it, but I do have a little trouble envisioning what the news artist does on a day-to-day basis.

The Mothership is Calling Me Home

The mothership called when I was checking on my application status with I applied to be the guide for the US Liberal Politics section months and months ago. It's so long ago I don't even remember when I applied. I checked on my status, only to find out once again that they haven't gotten around to may application yet. While browsing their list of available topics, I discovered that was also accepting applications for their World News section! It's as if the Internet knows I'm in need of my mothership! I applied right away. I really don't know if I could handle both sections, but I'd love to do the World News section if I had a choice between the two. I'll be happy if I get one or the other.

I'm so glad to be doing news again. That was why I started my business. That was why I stopped freelancing. I didn't want to be stuck covering what someone else wanted me to cover or what other people thought was important. I wanted to cover what I thought was important and what I felt needed covering. I strayed from all that chasing marketing clients and using my marketing training to build an agency, even though I didn't really want an agency and had no intention of going into the marketing industry. I don't think I was really doing that work for the right reasons, and I don't think I ever had the confidence in myself to do marketing like I do to do the news. The news is just absolutely amazing! Each day you learn something new, and you never know what's going to happen next! It's truly a career path where every day is different. No two days on the job are exactly the same.

I'm Wondering How to Turn this Into a Business or Really Good Side Gig

I have two great news gigs right now, one with News Headquarters and another with a news app that's launching in January (when it launches, I can reveal the name of this app). I'm really enjoying the work I'm doing for both of them, and both of them also have room for advancement and additional work. If those opportunities come up, then I plan to take them and to drop some of my other clients if I have to. I'm absolutely happy to be reading and writing the news again. I'm thinking that what I might have to do is slug it out for the next year or two, working in the industry and figuring out where I can fill in what's missing. I'd like to use this blog and/or Stirring Media to do that, but I'm really not sure how without duplicating what's already being done. I don't want to just duplicate. I want to shake up the news industry with an innovative approach to reporting, delivering, and interpreting the news. I'm just not sure what that innovative approach is yet.

What I Need to Be Able to Play Skyrim

playing SkyrimI want to play Skyrim, the fifth game in the Elder Scroll series, so badly! I've been watching Sips play Skyrim for months and months now, and once you see the graphics and game play in Skyrim, it's hard to go back to Oblivion or Morrowind. I've already watch Sips play a lot of Skyrim, and I can only imagine how much he hasn't done yet and how many places he hasn't explored in the world yet. It's makes me so excited to play the game! I want to see all the places I haven't seen yet! I want to build my own house! I want to do all those open quests that Sips hasn't touched yet, even though he keeps picking up more and more quests! However, I might need a whole new computer to play it. My fiance also needs a new computer, and I know that he's planning to get a computer that can handle Skyrim, but I might be in a better position to get a new computer or to get an upgrade first. Here are the minimum system requirements needed to play Skyrim:

  • Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
  • Processor: Intel Dual Core 2.0GHz or equivalent processor (AMD Sempron @ 2.4 GHz)
  • 2GB System RAM
  • 6GB free HDD space
  • Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512 MB of RAM
  • DirectX compatible sound card
  • Internet access for Steam activation

The video card and the sound card are the only two things I don't know how to confirm, unless I can dig up my owner's manual and review the information. I don't really know where that is, and I might have actually thrown it away because my cat peed on it. Although, the fact that I have everything else makes me wonder if my computer can handle Skyrim. I bought it about five months prior to when the game was released. Although, what I could do is perhaps just purchase the right cards, and then get them installed into my laptop.

But, I am Able to Play Hearthstone!

I received my beta invitation to play Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft yesterday, and the game is absolutely amazing! This is another game that I watched Sips and the rest of the Yogscast play, and it looked so much fun even though I don't play World of Warcraft. I only played Magic: The Gathering once in my life, so I know how but I'm not an avid player by any means. I love Hearthstone because there's so much strategy to it, but it's not boring because there's fun sound effects and characters to play.

Right now, I'm still in practice mode trying to beat the AI on expert level. I need to level up each the classes to earn more cards. Then, I'm going to try the Arena and try to play actual people. Once I get some experience playing actual people and choosing cards to play (in Arena, you have to create a deck prior to the match. The cards you have to choose from are giving to you randomly) then I'm going to try to create my own deck. Since I'm not choosing any of my own cards right now, I'm certainly not ready to do it on my own. I only have a faint idea of what needs to be in my deck in order to have something versatile and well-rounded.

Overall, video games are awesome and it's really nice to play a critical-thinking game again. Game Dev Tycoon was the game I was playing before this, and it requires a lot of thinking, but there isn't too much strategy to it. It's just a matter of managing resources and trying to squeeze in as much as possible. I think I might need to play a few more rounds of Hearthstone now.

I'm Thankful for My Less-Than-Spectacular Life

Happy Thanksgiving! As I write this in the early morning hours of Turkey Day, the one thing you have to do is think about the things for which you are thankful. Actually, I've been doing this for about a week now, as my life could be a whole lot worse than it is right now. I could be single. I could be homeless. I could not have anything to eat for holiday. I could have no way of earning an income. Although, in the big picture and on a global scale, my life is probably pretty fantastic. So, I'm thankful for a lot of little things, things that some might not consider something that's worth gratitude, but my life could be a lot worse.

bigger problems in the worldI'm Thankful that I Don't Have Television

I did just write an article about the stupidity of World Television Day, but that's not why I don't have television. I don't have television because my fiance and I were ripping it off from the cable company, until the cable company came and disconnected everyone who was ripping it off. Ever since then, we haven't bothered, and that was almost two years ago now.

It's the holiday season again, and I don't have a television to remind me about Black Friday sales, the gift of giving, and all those commercials that essentially tell me that I need to buy people expensive stuff for Christmas. It's nice not to get bombarded. It was particularly nice during the 2012 election, when I didn't have to bother with any of the political ads. I'm thankful that I won't have to deal with political ads during the upcoming 2014 midterm elections also. Granted, it would be nice to have television so I can watch Survivor when it actually airs, or the live performances of The Voice when they are live. But, those are small prices to pay to avoid commercials and to waste less time getting caught up in new shows and reruns.

I'm Thankful for My Cat Because He Almost Died


About two weeks ago, my cat Flop-a-Set had a urinary tract blockage. He was howling on the top of his lungs, having trouble going to the bathroom, and throwing up his food. My fiance and I were going to take him to the vet first thing in the morning. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), the floodgates opened overnight and he peed in our bed. The next day, he was a completely different cat. He was no longer howling. He kept his food down. He didn't mind being pet. Although, he didn't continue to use the litter box regularly, and went in our bed the next night as well. So, we took him to the vet to figure out if he was still sick or not. My fiance and I were getting tired of the limbo, and it was clear that something was wrong and not entirely fixed.

After a vet visit, some antibiotics (which he does not like), and a new diet (which he eats, but doesn't like as much as the old food), Flop-a-Set is 100% again. He has used the litter box every time and has much more energy than ever before. He's louder. He plays a lot more and is more active when he does play. He runs around the apartment more often. He's on the new diet for life, and the antibiotics are almost done, so I am thankful that I still have a big fuzzy kitty.

I'm Thankful that I'm Never at Income Zero

Income zero is my term for not having any means of making money. Some people fall into that position and its a tough one to be in. I'm thankful that I'll never be in that position because as a freelancer and entrepreneur, I'll always have a source of income as long as I have one client paying on time. One client may not be able to pay the bills, but one client puts me in a position to get two clients. Having one client means that I'll have at least one good reference and recent work to vouch and to demonstrate my skills. Sure, my career choice is much tougher than most, as I don't make a much as I could if I got a normal job. Plus, I have to spend time marketing myself, doing my own accounting, covering business expenses, and make my own sales on top of the work that clients actually pay me to do. But, I'm thankful that I'm capable of doing all that and that I'm skilled enough in writing and marketing that people are willing to pay me to do it. I'm thankful that I am committed and courageous enough to be a freelancer.

9 Empowering Songs for Kicking Ass and Taking Names

I first came up with this blog post idea a long time ago when, in my SuperBetter account, I created "listen to an empowering song" as a power-up. I had a few on my iPod, came across a few more, and decided it would be cool to put them all together in a list post. After all, empowerment is about getting ready to kick ass and to take names, so why not help others be able to do the same? In doing a little research for this post, I found lists and songs that were dedicated to empowering women after a breakup! It sends the message that a man will empower and validate us, so when we are without one, we have to find out how to do it on our own. I also found lists and songs that I didn't think were all that empowering at all, like Adele's Rolling in the Deep (Sorry Adele, but this does more fall into the 'empowerment after breakup' category). Besides, we shouldn't only be looking for empowerment and self-confidence when we're newly single. We should be doing that all the time and looking for ways to channel that energy besides being someone's girlfriend or wife. So, I'm changing that by creating my own list of empowering songs that are actually empowering (I fail to see how Somewhere Only We Know by Keane is empowering) and can actually be applied perhaps when we're in a happy relationships. Here are nine empowering songs for kicking ass and taking names. I know that some of these artists have done more than one empowering song, but I wanted to feature each artist only once.

Roar - Katy Perry

An obvious choice for an empowering song. I prefer the lyric video to the official one. I don't think the jungle theme showcases the message of the song all that well. I don't think Olivia Henken did it justice on season 5 of the Voice.


Hair - Lady Gaga

It's not one of her most popular hits, but this song is one of my favorites from her. I want someone to sing this on the Voice.


#thatpower - ft. Justin Bieber

Not only is this great song, but the music video is awesome too. The choreography is so deliberate, like what it takes to succeed in life.


Feeling Good - Nina Simone

The version by Michael Buble isn't bad either, but I do think the original has much more character and emotion to it. I also think that it would be harder to sing if you had to sing it live.


Counting Stars - OneRepublic

No more counting dollars, we'll be counting stars. Or, in my case, words. I want to be counting words.


Try - P!nk

This song applies to love and relationships, as that's what P!nk is singing about, but you need to try in life also. You can't be afraid of failure or uncertainty. Well, you can be afraid of those things, but you shouldn't let your fear getting in the way of doing things. Let P!nk tell you all about it. Another video with great choreography.


Girl on Fire - Alicia Keys

Around the time this song came out, my cat accidentally lit his tail on fire by sweeping across a lit candle. My fiance and I put it out frantically, while my cat wasn't too pleased that we pet him the wrong way. Now, the lyric goes, "This kitty's on fire!"


Dog Days are Over - Florence + the Machine

Now, Pentatonix did this song justice when they performed it on the Sing Off. They made it their own while keeping the intensity and character of the song.


Walk Tall - John Mellencamp

Not only is this an incredibly inspirational and empowering song, but the music video is beautiful too. Mellencamp may have been singing for a long, long time (although this song came out in the early 2000's), but this song is timeless.