Guilty Pleasures? Activities That You Shouldn't Be Embarrassed of Engaging With

We are all familiar with the stereotypes that revolve around activities such as gaming, cosplay, and comics. They often come hand in hand with what has generally been assumed to be a rather negative connotation: the geek or the nerd. But it’s time to reclaim the term geek and everything that may come hand in hand with it! The skyrocketing popularity of online forums and social media has made us realize that those of us invested in franchises and brands such as World of Warcraft, Star Trek, Zelda, Marvel and Warhammer aren’t so alone after all. There’s a reason that the companies pumping out these games and merchandise have stood the test of time: they are popular, and thus they sell. So, if you find that you are labeled a geek or nerd because of your interests, take pride in it. Here are a few stereotypically “geeky” hobbies that you should never be ashamed of engaging in.


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When people think of gaming, the image of an isolated, socially inept teen spending hours in their room with a headset on often springs to mind. But the reality is that individuals of all ages, interests, and habits engage with gaming. It’s not all too surprising seeing as this market covers so many genres. There are a whole host of options out there, so it’s almost guaranteed that there’s a game that even the starkest anti-gamer would genuinely enjoy. For those who want pure escapism, there are role-playing games such as Final Fantasy. The latest edition can be easily downloaded at and started up in a matter of minutes. This game allows you to assume the role of a protagonist in a fantasy world, completing a whole host of tasks, quests, and battles. For those who are more social, there are MMO games. MMO stands for Massively Multiplayer Online. You can play against other gamers from around the world, engaging with people you would have never otherwise met and collaborating to succeed and move up levels. Alternatively, you can battle against one another, testing your skill against other real-life players. If you enjoy riddles and quizzes, you can try out puzzle games. These range from the traditional and simple (such as Tetris) to the more modern day and specialized (such as Big Brain Academy). Whatever your interests, there will be something perfect for you.


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If you are unfamiliar with cosplay, it is simply the act of dressing up as a character from a film, book, or video game. Most people opt to dress as someone from Japanese anime or manga in particular. Cosplay has experienced a huge explosion in popularity since people are now more capable of sharing images of their brilliant costumes on social media feeds. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are constantly awash with individuals cosplaying common characters (such as Link from Zelda, Deadpool, and Harley Quinn) to the more obscure (such as Miranda from Legend of Dragoon or characters from much smaller fandoms). Cosplay is extremely rewarding, as it allows you to live and breathe your passion. You can also meet up with individuals of similar interests at conventions, being able to bond over your outfits. What’s more? You get to express your creativity freely.


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Comic Books

Comic books. If you’re into them, chances are that you are already fully aware of your interest and have piles and piles of common and rare copies filling your home. But if you’re new to collecting comics, here’s a quick debrief. A hobby is essentially the telling of a story through sequential art. They’ve been around for years, but the most commonly acknowledged and successful type are those telling tales of superheroes and anime characters. The Marvel franchise is perhaps one of the most recognized around the world, with rare copies selling for millions of dollars. An original copy of Action Comics #1 (which introduces Superman to the World) sold for $3.2 million. So if you get your hands on the right collector’s item, you really can be in to make a profit. Go to specialist stores, root through wares being sold at car boot sales and keep an eye out at local auctions, just in case something astounding comes up.


As you can see, there are plenty of benefits of engaging with stereotypically “geeky” hobbies, and there are hundreds and thousands of others out there who think that these activities are just as great as you praise them to be. So never be ashamed of your interests and embrace what you enjoy.

Why It Pays To Be A Geek Later On In Life

“Blessed are the geeks, for they shall inherit the earth.” It’s a slogan you’ll find on many t-shirts or kitchen item, and never has it been more true. You might have felt like being the class geek or school nerd was a bad thing in high school, but once you’ve left school and gym class is far behind you - there’s a whole world out there for you. Being a geek in later life is no bad thing, and could help you to push yourself further than you could imagine.


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Learn a language, enjoy better career success

Learning a language will benefit you for many reasons, and one of the most important could be your career. Did you know that Mark Zuckerberg has been learning Mandarin? He’s just one example of the many successful businessmen who are bilingual. Learning a second language could boost your career and open up a whole new set of doors for you. As something you can do at any age to widen your prospects, why not take some time each day during your morning commute or lunch break to start learning another language?


Making the most of that thick-skin

If you were a geek in high school, you might look back on your younger years as some of the worst of your life - and who can blame you? From being rejected by the opposite sex to verbal taunts - you were probably counting down the days until school was over. A lot of what we go through as kids can help shape who we are as adults, and if you had a particularly tough time then it’s likely you’ve developed a great thick-skin. Being able to rise up against the setbacks and the rejection will make you more determined to succeed in your endeavors, an important quality to have when setting out to achieve your goals.


Achieve your career goals

If you want to go far in life, you’re going to need to keep learning new things. You may not be ready to complete a masters degree at 22, but these days it’s never too late or too difficult to start learning again. You could decide to master lean manufacturing at any age if you feel that it’s the next step in your career by completing an online degree. Being able to continue to learn and push yourself to achieve new things will help you to achieve your career goals and put you ahead of the rest.


Having interests that make you happy

A lot of being a geek is having interests in things that others might not understand or find bewildering, but embracing these things will make you a much happier person. Whether you love to watch geeky TV shows or have a favorite computer game, having a passion and an interest in something will make your life much more fulfilled.


Wanting to better yourself through learning is a fantastic way to help you progress in your career and fulfill your ambitions. Even if you’re not your typical geek, it’s not a bad personality trait to have to help you reach your goals. What do you want to achieve in life? Geek out and go get it.

Book Review: The Niche Movement

8gnwvxVb This past weekend I finished reading my digital copy of the new book from Kevin O'Connell, The Niche Movement: The New Rules to Finding the Career You Love. I'm really excited for this book to finally be out into the world, since I've been a long supporter of Kevin's and also proudly donated to his crowdfunding campaign last year to help publish the book.

Simply stated, this book is great. It excellently captures the frustrations many (myself included) feel with the status quo of job searching and workplace culture and gives some fantastic insights as to how to control your own destiny and do work that is fulfilling, whatever that may mean for you. Kevin weaves his career advice with unique stories of people from all over the country working in all sorts of fields that help send home and support his points. To top it off, he sets you up for success by giving out contact info for everyone mentioned in the book, so if you want to keep the discussion going with someone who really intrigued you, you have the means to do so and are even encouraged to reach out.

While I supported the effort to get this book published, I had no creative input in the production of it, but I trusted Kevin to create a superb product and he delivered tremendously, and that is my objective opinion. Many of the points he mentions I've heard before, which only further provides credibility to his work here. It has helped inspire and motivate me to get some things ramped up for my life, and I know it will do the same for you.

Check out The Niche Movement site for more awesome stuff, and reach out to Kevin to connect about the book. He's a pretty cool dude!

Thanks for stopping by!

What I Was Geeking Out About: January 2015


Welcome to this monthly wrap up of my weekly geek outs!

I’m always getting excited about a lot of stuff. Every Friday I share what I’m into and this is an attempt to serve it all up together in one place. Check out everything and hope you find something you like!

Thanks for stopping by!

Book Review: The Good Creative


"Be bold and brave with your art. Venture courageously with it into the unknown." - Paul Jarvis

I discovered this book through a promotional effort by the author, Paul Jarvis, for his recently launched podcast, Invisible Office Hours that he does with fellow cool person Jason SurfrApp (AKA Jason Sadler). He was giving away digital copies of The Good Creative for those that listened to the podcast and gave honest reviews, good or bad. I was intrigued by the podcast through recommendations of some awesome folks on Twitter so I listened, left my (positive) review, and got the book to check out. I got to it after I finished some other reading projects, and I blew through it in a day. I say that as a good thing.

The book, which reads more like a collection of blog posts than a dense tome, is a straightforward, concise collection of 18 tips from Jarvis about how to find personal satisfaction with the content you create. Your definition of success and whatever you make is up to you. He just helps you get there.

The book came out recently in April, and one in a series of other books by Jarvis about working freelance and creating a life as a "good creative". I found this one to be very applicable to my work running this blog (and where I hope it will eventually go). The writing is authentic, light, engaging, and actionable. Some of my favorite tips were about not feeling like you're "selling out" if you get sponsors or get paid to do your work as well as his advice about being authentic and telling your story. Something cool and unique about the book too, there are some really neat illustrations in the book to go along with all the tips.

I highly recommend this book! You can get it as a digital copy, a physical book, or an audiobook all on Paul's website.

If you read it, let me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by!

Book Review: Geek Wisdom


“What was your religion when you were growing up?” And my answer was: “Uh, science fiction, pretty much.”

I've been wanting to review this book for a while now, as I read a few months ago but I just haven't gotten around to it. This 2011 book is by a collection of author who curate awesome geeky quotes from movies, television, and literature to explore the morals and lessons that make up the nerd lexicon.

Everything from Princess Bride, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Spider-Man, The Twilight Zone, and much, much more is covered here. Each quote has a short page or two's worth of extrapolation where the real world lessons are found. The writing is fun, light, and engaging, with a lot of great life advice woven in. The writing is broken up by broad topics; quotes about the self, conflict, the future, the universe, etc.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes:

"With great power comes great responsibility."

"Not all those who wander are lost."

"No matter where you go, there you are."

"Ideas are bulletproof."

"There are weapons that are simply thoughts. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy."

I take my entertainment seriously. I look into the symbolism, character arcs, lessons, morals, quotes, and implications of what happens in my favorite stories, no matter what it is. A lot of people are dismissive of geeky pursuits but I've always known that there is power behind what we enjoy. We learn, grow, and create community around what we love and this book helps capture some of that spirit.

I definitely recommend Geek Wisdom for all those geeks and nerds out there looking to find the deeper meaning behind their favorite geekdoms or even those not yet acclimated to all these wonderful worlds. Maybe it will get you excited to check out something new!

You can find it at Amazon, or any of your favorite booksellers.

Thanks for stopping by!

What I Learned From A Night Out & A List Of Great Questions


I had an awesome night out recently...

I went out with a group of my coworkers who I knew to varying extents in my as of that moment, short stint working with them at my new job. Our plans for the night had hit a wall so we all decided to just hang out at a local draft house to chat and relax after a long week. When there was a natural lull in the conversation, I noted how I love great questions and have collected a list over time. This peaked my colleagues' interest and I started rattling off some of the questions to the group. After a few questions (and maybe a few drinks) we were sharing stories and experiences from our lives and bonding over the deep dialogue we were having.

I learned some profound things from evening that I feel like can be helpful to others, especially my colleagues out in the wide world of student affairs. I learned the importance of people feeling safe, the value in self-disclosure, and the power of great questions.

Throughout the course of the evening, I made sure to really listen to the people in my group. They were sharing very personal anecdotes at times so I wanted to really hear them and appreciate their bravery being vulnerable with the group. We all got meta at times where we felt like I was being a group therapist but many of the skills I learned in my counseling courses during graduate school are just great tips for life when listening to people and encourage genuine emotional connections. No one would have been into my gauntlet of questions for us all to get know each other better if they hadn't felt safe in the group. Everyone bought in and helped create a safe environment, even in a public place like a bar, which was an important foundation to build off of for the entirety of the discussion.

Being an unofficial leader of the discussion as the keeper of the questions, I had an important role in the discourse. While people felt safe through my active listening and appreciation of their vulnerability, taking it all one step further was my own self-disclosure. I didn't fancy myself better than anyone else there and would often give my own answers first, if not second. I have a strong feeling the steam of the conversation would run out pretty quick if I was never sharing anything about myself

Lastly, the engine of this fascinating chat I had was my questions. I felt out the vibes of the group and kept my questions to more positive ones that asked about interesting concepts like what would be your desired superpower, your personal motto, the best vacation you ever had, and what profession you'd like to attempt other than your own. People shared as much or as little as they wanted and weren't made to share anything too vitriolic. The questions were some of my own creation, submissions from others, and some from the famous list used on Inside the Actor's Studio. Great questions get people thinking and sharing beyond topics relegated for "small talk". My all-time favorite question was the inspiration for one of my favorite blog posts, and simply asks "what do you geek out about?". I've gotten a wide array of answers to this question and it never fails to get a great conversation going since people are talking about what they love.

I always like to gleam grandiose life lessons from even the most mundane things. This night is a simple example of how personal conversations can create deep connections and allow for great positive change. People learned new things about people they thought they knew and appreciated each other not only for sharing, but for the new things they learned about one another. I hope for more fun nights like this in the future and I hope you can have some of your own too.

If you have any awesome questions you'd like to submit, leave a comment or tweet at me.

Thanks for stopping by!