Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Media Fast

I have fallen in love... I've climbed 5 trees in the past few days. I forgot how much fun climbing random things. You are probably wondering, don't I have better things to do.. rather than spending time gazing out at the scenic view that is in front of me? I thought I did until I started this media fast. 
I haven't looked upon a website besides, a guitar tab site, amazon to look for equipment & supplies to start a little show, and to check on my financials via online banking. 
I've realized, within the first 24 hours, that I spent way too much time looking up stupid cool-amazing-articles about space/animals/futuristic inventions/world issues/ etc... and that I have more time than I know what to do with, when I'm not on the internet.
Picked up this old book on my shelf, Tim Ferris' 4 Hour Work Week. Where I received this goofy little trial run of a Media Fast. (Which I might see how long I will last, it seems to get easier everyday) I remember reading this book about a year ago, when I got back from Taiwan... and then I applied absolutely nothing that I read because I was busy slaving away at my retail jail.
This time, with all the "freed up" time why not try some of these abnormal exercises. I just started writing goals for myself within the past year (most likely I'm way behind, since most people have been doing this since High School or before). So obviously one of the first things Mr. Tim Ferris, makes you do is to create a personalized chart of, having/being/doing. 
 So here I am, sitting at my desk making a detailed chart of goals and how I'm going to accomplish this. It's almost a flash-back to high school when my favorite short-tempered and quick-to-kick-me-out teacher, telling me how to plan for the future. (She also told me, I would never graduate college. It was quite the love/hate relationship.) 
The difference in this time, is that I am not such a sucker of influence. I feel, actually I know that I cared a lot of what people thought about me and based what I did via what I think is cool/right/acceptable. I most likely still have that thought, but not as much as when I was 18-ish. Climbing trees and creating a homemade brownie recipe probably isn't the forte' of most 24 year olds. 
 Staring at this short goal list, that contains 15 goals (5 goals per having/being/doing) and adding direction on how I'm going to do it, plus the cost of having/being/doing. (e.g., Being: I want to be flexible ---> survive an Advanced Yoga Class ---> Cost is free, Snap Fitness offers free classes to members) I realize that each goal is super easy to attain. They are all reachable as I actually stare at it and follow the path that I created to each one. 
This is one of those moments, where I look up, think to myself, "I'm an idiot. Why haven't I done this before?" This makes life 10x easier which makes me feel utterly silly for not even trying this back in the day because I was too cool for school. 
The only thing left is to follow this flow chart that I made for myself and not get distracted by more entertaining things that seem to always find me. 

Much Love,

Alastar Swift 


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Reality Break

I've survived an entire year in the so-called, "real world" and it has seemed like an entire blur. To cap this little feat off, I spent about 3 days in the purest form of nature. Camping in the Boundary Waters. 
Sunset (no photo-editing needed)
Seeing that the first night, all those worries that the real world emits just melts away. This trip was a great time to reflect, realize, and renew. Granted, my fellow friends that I accompanied up there with probably wondered why I spent so much time daydreaming most of the day, but that's another story. 
Last September, I found a job with a Nationally Recognized Retailer. I told myself I would find a job that interested me and I found a sense of accomplishment instead of working in Retail. Since then I've had numerous phone interviews and interviews, but to no avail, I'm still climbing the retail ladder. But with all the interviews, I was able to practice being more comfortable with the awkward silence of one-on-one interviews and even the popular, "Phone-Interviews."
 With each job application that I applied for, I find myself learning a little more about how the business world works and how I know absolutely nothing. Thousands of ways to "prep" your resume, create the "buzz-word" central of a cover letter, and use that great "networking-system" to find your dream job. It's all a headache to try and master, but in the end, hopefully it will bring up an opportunity where I can't turn it down.

 One of my proudest accomplishments has been the improvement of my health and fitness over the entire year. I've realized that health & fitness should rather be viewed as a long-term goal, rather than a short term. It wasn't until month 6-8 that it occurred to me that all the hard work I spent investing at the local 24/7 gym was paying off. I struggled with not seeing any results during the first 3-4 months, which I had a self-battle of: Is this working? Am I doing this right? Why aren't I seeing any changes? It must be genetics... (excuse after excuse, I had it all)
 Thankfully, I have a lot of encouragement of friends and other local gym mates that made me not want to quite and pushed me further than I've been. It came to me that to excel and push through all barriers, sometimes it takes an outside element. 
 It's also great to have friends that challenge yourself to workouts or different movements that you aren't used to. I've been blessed with the chance to try various styles of physical activities that range from, yoga, Muay Thai, power lifting, stretching & stability training, cross fit training, Brazilian jiu jitsu, basketball leagues, sand volleyball leagues, strength&endurance building, and the list goes on and on as I get introduced to new forms. 
 It's great to learn and discover that there are several ways to accomplish something and that no particular way is better or worse than the other. They are just different. I think this is a great attitude to have when we face the challenges that run into on our journey.

One of the major things I pondered about on this great nature adventure was how I needed to step up my game. How much time I spend on nonconstructive activities or hobbies that will not get me to where I want to be in the next few years. Tasks, goals (short & long), journals, writings, and challenges have never been a part of how I lived my life. But yet, as I have learned  over the course of the year, those things are very important to developing the path you'll take to achieve your dream.
The biggest fear I have is the presence of those great things called, Student Loans. It's that deep fear of, taking a chance of what I want to do, but facing the reality that there isn't enough financial stability to pursue it and make the monthly payments that are on top of rent, utilities, food, gas, etc... 
It's such a crazy world, that I don't know how some people do it. It may all stem from me having this fear of being in debt that I can't see anything but the negatives or I just see people setting themselves up for disaster later in life and can't believe what I'm seeing.   
Back to Reality
 The best realization I had over this trip was the fact of how much we can accomplish in a year or how little we can accomplish. This must be the difference between the super successful and the mediocre. The hard work, repetitive-boring-practice, challenges and barriers that we must face and overcome through-out our journey on this giant-spinning-slab of space rock. 
It's easy to get down about all the things that I should have, could have, wished I had done this or that. The fact that I let that one slip through my fingers, or let that stranger walk out the door before I had to the chance to meet them. 
A change of view and they all become motivation to capitalize on all the opportunities that will arise in the near-future. Just another small yet quite beautiful life lesson.
Much Love,

Alastar Swift

Ps: The Real World does not work like the sorely missed College World. Time to step up to the new curve.
 *** I picked up a few sponsors. So click the ad on the side to get in shape and dominate this world before Dec 21, 2012!!! Various products ranging from, healthly skin promotion and detox plans, to supplements and workouts that will help you achieve all the gains you want. Shoot me a message for more info. *** 

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Swift Thought

You know one of those things. Moments in time, where you go... "Shit, that actually makes sense." or maybe one of these, "Damn, I finally get it." 
One of those moments. It smacked me across the face.. Or else I'm just uber bored in my hometown.
I've realized I haven't played a single video game for about 4-5 months. Which for you, are probably thinking, yeah. The rest of the world doesn't really play video games, or I don't play video games. That's perfectly awesome. But for me. I have always played video games since I can remember. Growing up watching my brother play Mega Man. I was a little 5 or 6 year old kid running in the background freaking out that he might not beat the boss of the stage.
This shit, is in my blood. Ingrained into my conscience. I remember spending hours playing Call of Duty with my college roommate. I mean, I met most of my freshman (college) friends playing Halo 2, linking up with random people within Prentiss-Lucas. I had received so many death threats and "kid, do you know who I am. I live in the same dorm as you." My reply, "Ah... No shit Sherlock, of course we are in the same dorm." 
I guess the whole cocky-thing from growing up in this small town really gave me some false confidence to run my mouth. But it worked, to this day, I still have never been in a fight. Nor have I even been punched in the face. (Minus the many times I get popped in the face at Muay Thai or Jiu jitsu) 
 In a strange way. Playing video games really helped me understand this whole life scenario. As in, you gotta put a lot of time into something to be good at it. You are going to suck at everything that you first try. Beginners Luck? Quick Learner? Nah, it's all about being focused. When have you ever stumbled upon a quick learner that wasn't focused on what they were being told/shown? It never happens, quick learners are the type of people everyone despises. The kid in the back of the class that always ask questions. I'm always super curious on why I always thought that was annoying. Cause I'm standing at this moment in time, which I am fully aware that I am that person now.  
In this life, it's supposed to be "our story". We control the fate of the world. We control how our ending comes to conclusion. In many Role Playing Games (RPG), which I have personally played a few. (I am a nerd, but I enjoyed the story in all of them.. for my ADD, it was 10x better than reading a book), you play a character and that character is guided by every single decision you make. Just like life. Every decision we make, concludes the next path in this world that is open or closed for us. 
We open one door, and a different door will be shut. But we just have to keep tunneling through without looking back or saddened that one path will never have the option of being taken. 
Its funny how everything that we do in on this flying rock, we can tie back into how we perceive reality or our life. 
No matter what it is, someone somewhere, will always be able to comprehend and input how it will add value to their life, or somehow change their life for the better. While to another human being, it means absolutely nothing... except for a complete waste of time.

I guess it just comes down to... We all have to find that crutch. That crutch that adds value to us. That makes that tiny change in our life, which will make us crash into the perfect ending we had always been searching for.

Just a Thought
Much Love


Monday, March 26, 2012

Just Another Day in the Life...

I found myself thinking everyday is like the one before and rarely differs. My life came to the highs of being boring, somewhat really lame, and a rush of unfulfillment. I guess it came down to me wanting this reason, a sign, to turn my life into something beautiful, something worthwhile.  
I've came to this thought, at one-year before a quarter century that I needed to invest time where it counted, somewhere it actually benefits not only the short, but the long term.
Sadly, I've noticed friends fade away (not because we want it or that it ended badly) but because it slowly happens. I've seen girls disappear, even when there was a time in my life where I couldn't possibly think my life could get any better. 
All these little things from my past to even the present, has made me realize that I really need to take time and invest in myself.
My best friend, Tyler. (who I view as one of my brothers) Who I've had the opportunity to hear his countless number of funny advice statements, questions, and remarks that really help me realize how silly or just a 'wtf moment' that was going on in my thought process. 
I walked away from visiting that dirty states across the Mighty Mississippi with a slight change of perspective. (besides besting Ty in pool 4-1) We had one of those life changing drunken conversations... (or was it one of those super-hung over convos that happen on our way to find food.. That's not really important) but he gave me this way to think about my life/future. 

Small Changes. No one realizes the power of them. You don't even know the power of them. Take a look at your life and think of that small change that you made. Now look where it took you or what you can do. 
Small changes suck at first, because we get absolutely no gratification short term. All the hard work, it seems as if its just pointless to keep trying. But think about 3 years down the line. 
That small change = a huge change. Don't Believe Me? Try drawing a straight line and at the same starting point draw a line that has a small change in the slope. Yeah, what do you see?

I thought about this, probably a little too much on the way back from that dirty state, but something clicked. I realized if I didn't spend all that time being awful at guitar, I wouldn't be able to play a handful of songs, or write my own songs.
If I never kept pursuing to learn another language, I would have never set myself up to be prepared for a short term living experience in Taiwan. 
Things started to click everywhere! One of those moments of, sweet lord, how could I have not seen that before. 
That lead me to really, truly believe in, that we can somewhat control our realities. Not in that "Secret" BS, but in more of a simple, yet subtle change of our perception. I believe that there are so many different opportunities out there, yet we haven't tuned into that frequency to be able to "see them open", awaiting for the taking. I think it really takes a conscious awareness of that certain thing you want from this universe to be able to seize them. 
Sure, you can think, "I want a cookie." and obviously a cookie isn't going to appear from out-of-no-where (unless you have some badass roommates). But with this thought, it's very general (there are thousands of different types of cookies). If you make it more specific, as in "I want a chocolate chip cookie.", you have set yourself to think about where you could get one, long before you even become aware of it. 
I hear people say, "I want to find a job." Well, I'm sorry to say, but there are jobs everywhere! Sure, most of them aren't what you want, but it was stated, "I want to a find a job". General statements lead to no where. If it became more specific as stated before, BAM! You'd already be looking where to find that exact job and be thinking of different scenarios of what you could be doing.
Viewing reality this way, doesn't mean it will always play out to your exact expectations. I think it offers a basic understanding of how your thought process can alter your actions or patterns through this life.
I understand it is only a small change in perceiving this(your) reality, so who knows if it actually is a probable theory/thought. 

Much Love,

PS. Might have gone a little too deep in the rabbit hole this time. But sometimes, it's good for the soul. After that being said, Let's just enjoy this picture.
What are you waiting for?


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lost Memories

Moments in life can stain our memories. No matter how far back they are, it's something that we can re-live like they happened yesterday.

These are the moments that derail us from the tracks that we are following in this life. They are the events that were the game changers that made us who we are in this moment of time. If it wasn't for those moments, would we be the same person we presently are?

It was a sunny day. What a great day for Homecoming. We were driving over to see the TP decorations that we had made the night before. 2 friends in the front cab, 3 of us up against the cab in the back and 1 friend leaning on the back tail. The road was quite curvy and we were passing a car. We take the turn faster than we should and life warps into this slow-motion state. I shout, "Ooohh Ssshhhhiiii...." I don't remember finishing the phrase before I realize that we are going into a barrel roll. 
 Life seemed to freeze. I thought to myself, “This truck is rolling, I am still in this and (I feel the presence of my friend right next to me) shit, so is Matt. I keep envisioning that my head will be the filling of this truck/ground sandwich at any moment now, and I have only one option. Grab Matt, throw him out and hope we survive this. I close my eyes and carried out my plan. It’s weird, I have this feeling of floating. The feeling was longer than expected. When a truck is rolling and your flying in the air, you don’t expect to “float”. I must have blacked out for a bit as I wake up when my body bounces off the green grass. I spring up to my feet fast enough to see the final roll of the pick up truck and yell, “PETER! PETER!” I see his giant arms pulling himself out of the cab and a sign of relief comes over me as everything fades to black.

Over the years, I haven’t forgot a single step in those few seconds, but everything before and after is a complete blur. I have no idea what we were doing before or where we went after. I’m assuming we went to the hospital but I have no clue. I guess the only thing I do remember is a mental picture from overhead. Of the four of us in the ambulance, Peter, Matt, Billy, and I. Which Billy was the only one in the stretcher, bitching about why he had to be the only one strapped down and not any of us. I remember he was more pissed about losing his hat than anything else. 

I bought you the same hat that you lost and was going to give it to you. I was wearing it and you said, "fucker. I like it." And you wouldn't take it. I guess that writes it. I'll make sure to not lose this one in a field. 

Happy Birthday Billy. Miss You Bud.

Much Love

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Toast to Charles Warnke.

I found this quote which I have to share. It's a little long but it is (in my mind) worth reading.

You should date an illiterate girl. Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away.  
Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. 
Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her. Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale or the evenings too long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking.  
Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.  
Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. 
When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.  
Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail frequently.  
Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return or as if you might blow away on the wind.  
Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.  
Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent of a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. 
A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, goddamnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.  
Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie.  
A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on.  
Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived. Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement.  
But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness. Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers.  
You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not.  
But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life of which I spoke at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being told. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. 
Or, perhaps, stay and save my life. 
- Charles Warnke

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My City's Filthy: Minneapolis

Entertainment. The sole provider and destroyer of this small community of humanity this part of the galaxy has seen. Mixing up the needs and wants of the human race as we all desperately find meaning for the reason we breathe.

There we were, freezing our asses off because we were too cool for jackets in the middle of December. Jake and I were waiting in line to get into First Avenue while listening to a sidewalk poet preach a familiar beat when my friend quietly says, "Dude, He sounds a lot like this rapper." Whipping out his phone and plays a youtube clip.

Modern Technology has helped in many ways with benefits ranging from all areas and industries. But yet it's holding most of us back from achieving anything and everything that we've ever wanted.

Some kid shouts, "This is the Will-Call line..." I turn to my friend, "!@#$" Are you telling me, we've stood in this line for nothing. Dashing to the front, we realize we could have just walked in and handed them a ticket. [Not the greatest moment, I've had] 

As technology advances, gadgets become more accessible to the public while creating a "more connected" social scene. While all I seem to come across is the public looking at their iphone, ipad, kindle, nook, etc., indulging in some other place than where they currently reside.

We "B-Line" it straight to the merch table. "Dude! I hope they still have enough shirts left." Thankfully, we both get to experience a sign of relief as we snag a "My City's Filthy Minneapolis" Tee.

As we continue to stay integrated into this internet "life-like" connection, the easier it is to keep up with friends. How cool is it to be able to stay in touch with people around the world, let alone the people that live miles away? I think it's the greatest invention since sliced bread.

Heading up the stairs, seeing the entire general admission was awe inspiring. Just that brilliant positive energy. This is going to be a great show. Champagne, Champagne, kicks it off. Everyone in the room gets to witness the talent the backup man has as he multi-tasks with the laptop, keyboard, guitar, drums, and even a cowbell.

But as we advance through this world, we seem to indulge into the using the easiest form of communication. Texting/Instant Messaging.

"Shit. I just remembered, we gotta get down there to fight through the crowd" I turn to Jake. "Macklemore is almost up. Alright, Game Plan. Let's do it, push our way up to the front. See you on the other-side." 

Using these streams of communication, the phrase, "Lost in Translation" couldn't be more perfect. We no longer hear words, we see words. We can't comprehend the tone when a satellite blasts our phone with a text. We spend so much time laughing, yet we barely ever hear it or feel it. We read it in symbols and letters: "LOL, HAHA, 哈哈 etc."

Mid-set, a humbling-serious tone seems to overcast the room. Learning from past and present, we learn a little about our favorite artist and how much work he has put in. The dedication that it took... No, that was needed to bring his dream to become a reality. He names off a book, Outliers - Malcolm Gladwell. Instantly, I make a note to myself as Malcolm Gladwell wrote on of my favorite books, Blink. Then he blasts a few mad-skilled hip-thrusts as the lights begin to dim on the stage. All of a sudden,  The Loud Speakers Ignite With Passion

This master of poetry and words, simply offers passion, skillfully placed words, and emotion that I can not portray. Marshall "Soulful" Jones - Touchscreen (Thanks, Jake)

Hot and sweaty dancing. How can you not want to dance to this song. This crowd, this scene explodes with emotions. Happiness, Excitement, Passion are just a few that are easily seen from all the pearly-white smiles that cover the #sharkfacegang. Positivity flows through everyone that can hear or witness this performance. This is what we need to be experiencing everyday. (I guess this is where the saying, "I get high off Life" comes from.)

As technology brings us closer together yet farther apart. I can not disregard the fact that technology has brought us so many benefits. It has improved every aspect in this world and will only help this world prosper by spreading the knowledge that this tiny rock has to offer. 

Epic. A very overused word. Yet, there is not a single word that can explain how amazing this concert is. The creativity, the hard work, and the passion this man has put into his music was an awe inspiring experience. 

TED, also know as TED.com, is a site that displays inspirational people who are creating inventions and ideas that will better this planet as the years pass. The best part is that these talented people share a different thought process, explain different psychologies of culture or people, and most importantly, have the ability to introduce people to new experiences that are available in this world. 

Technology can save us or can destroy us. Some say, "Moderation" is key, but maybe... We just have to ponder, Do we own technology or does technology own us? 

Cherrio & Much Love

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hello, Your Doctor Will Now See You...

Twenty-Twelve. Who would have thought, that this may in fact be the last year of existence. Well I guess if you believe the Mayans or maybe some other ancient civilization, who have held the common belief that they built all of those magnificent structures, but yet couldn't understand that man could tame and ride a horse, nor invent a weapon of self defense better than bows and arrows. I will have to stick with my gut and believe that the only thing that will happen on December 22nd will be me waking up with a giant headache from one-too-many-shots.  
With the final year approaching, I thought it'd be appropriate that I spend it somewhere I've never been. Sunny Arizona. With my future student-doctor-friend Kyle. Spending a few days in his luxury apartment complete with scenic view, pool, spa, and enough sight seeing to keep even a young lad like me occupied. Of course, since he is studying to be a doctor, I was lucky enough to meet all his lovely and smart doctor friends. What a change of scenery.  
Ok. Maybe that last sentence was said with a hint... of sarcasm. Growing up, I've always had this perception that everyone that becomes a doctor or even goes to graduate school is super intelligent and that I nor anyone I know, would compete with that kind of intelligence level. My entire life I've never really met any doctor on a social level other than those doctor appointments that I always dread going to. Well for the first time, I met some future-doctors. Smart? Yes. Intelligent? Of course. The problem. I have this fear which is, all they know is their field of study. Am I wrong? Most likely, but... 
I have some people in my life. That may never be credited as the smartest or the most intelligent. But I admire them because I believe they are the smartest bunch of folks I've ever met. Why? They talk from experience. Talk from making so many mistakes that they experienced something. Figured it out the hard way and grasped how this life as we know it works. They don't have a college degree nor do people refer them as Dr.  
They are just normal people like you and I. And that is what I thought of most of the people I met that were studying to be doctors and what-not. They are just normal people that have chosen the path to focus their studies on a certain field for a couple of years. Dedication. It's not always about talent, but how much dedication you have for something.  
But from what I experienced, it's not always the right kind of dedication. My future-doctor-friend, has the right dedication. The one that wants to improve the industry, that is genuinely intrigued by the eye and all it's features, and most of all, doesn't give a fuck about the money nor the prestige. That's the scary part. My friend is few and far between. 
I believe that everyone has the potential to achieve the perceived "smartness and intelligence" level that they hold of doctors but we as humans can only achieve what we believe we can achieve. We, ourselves are the only thing holding us back from reaching what we want most in life. Self-doubt, Ego, hesitation, etc... destroys us from following the path we really want to.  
It all comes down to... how bad you want something. How much you are willing to give up, so that someday you will achieve that one thing you hold dear. Some of us don't want it as bad as we want to party. Most of us don't even want it more than we want to sleep! It's not the smartest people that make it big, it's the people that work the hardest, that don't give up because their opportunity could pass at any moment! 
We may perceive others to be smarter or more intelligent than us, but believe that you can be just as or even more. In the end, this world is all about fighting your own fears and doubts.

Much Love and may your 2012 Resolutions be nothing more than a hiccup in this crazy journey.

PS: You are Intelligent and Beautiful. Please don't forget that. 

"Before you diagnose yourself 
with depression or low self esteem, 
first make sure that you are not, in fact, 
just surrounding yourself with assholes."

- William Gibson -