Simplify. Prioritize. Commit!

I have been coming across a lot of information lately on how to be more productive & work towards your dreams. I have decided to consolidate my thoughts on that which I find most important & share these tips, as well as one of my own, with you. It is not uncommon to see articles that list “10 traits of successful people” & other such similarities. While I’m sure these articles hold validity, I have narrowed down all of my research to 3 key components I believe must be implemented in order to achieve proper elevation of yourself towards your dreams. 

Simplify. Prioritize. Commit. 

Pretty basic right? After all, 3 things is easier to remember & work on than 10 right? So let me quickly elaborate on each of those topics.

Simplify:

The less trivial decisions you have to make, the more you can focus on the important stuff. From downsizing your wardrobe to meal prepping for the week, you can make small changes to simplify your life. This leaves you more brain cells to focus on bigger decisions. 

Prioritize:

Sit down & write out personal goals. Get rich quick schemes seem to be quite popular these days, but the actuality is that the likelihood of you acquiring your desired wealth over night is entirely unrealistic. It is important to set more attainable goals to work towards. Your goals can grow & change over time as you do. Make a budget, not just for your finances, but more importantly, your time. Write out a schedule, blocking off time for the highest priorities first. Note: you are more likely to get things done earlier in the day before you are worn out & normal daily distractions come into play. 

Commit:

This is the most self explanatory, yet also most difficult in my opinion. Figuring out the steps you need to take to get to where you want to be is often the easy part when compared to living out what is required to get you there. It is easy to say you are going to go to the gym an hour a day, or schedule a time in your planner to brainstorm marketing ideas for your new business. But actually acting out these tasks is harder to follow through with than just making a mental note to complete them. So, make it a priority to commit to your schedule & any goals you set! 

The last piece of advice I will leave you with today comes from me personally. It is something I have found beneficial over the years. Try listening to pure classical or acoustic (but no lyrics) music. Go out into nature, away from street noise, & breathe some fresh air while listening to the sounds of nature. These things help clear the mind & create a sense of peace. We often don’t realize it, but what we hear has a huge impact on us! If everything entering our ears is vulgar or profane, we will have a much different mindset that is not conducive to productivity.

So I challenge you today to create the life you believe is worth living. Set goals, works towards them, & you will find yourself living out your dreams. They will become your new reality. Don’t put off getting started, you never know how much time you have left. Besides, the longer you wait to get started, the longer it will be until you achieve your dreams. So get ready, set, go! ❤

Mental Starvation

Your mind is home base, it is your safe space. But, if you never leave, if you never let anyone in, if you never open the door it will remain the same. If you aren’t happy, or even if you are content, but want something more, you must open the door! This is the only way things will change. Going somewhere new, trying something new, meeting someone new; all of these create opportunities—open more doors. Things will look different behind each door, & that is okay. As Jay Shetty says, you can’t desire something you haven’t been exposed to. You will never know what amazing things this world has to offer if you stay hidden behind closed doors. You will mentally starve yourself to death! No matter what age your physical body lays to rest, do not go down on a spiritually empty stomach! Expose yourself! ❤

3/26/19 Bank of TIME

I work at a private, faith based hospital & I really liked our morning devotional today. I enjoyed it so much that I looked it up once I got home. In short, the devotional said,

“Imagine there is a bank that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. It allows no over draft. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has such a bank. It’s name is TIME. Every morning, it credits you with $86,400 seconds for the day.”

A speaker I heard later in the morning discussed the importance of hard work. She stated that she was not born with any specific advantages, no silver spoons, or downright natural brilliance. She claimed she had to study five times as hard as the rest of her classmates, but she was determined to succeed & so she did exactly that. This trained her to work hard, & by doing so she has now far surpassed her peers in her career. When we use the time we are given wisely, we can accomplish great things! 

There is no denying hard work isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do it with a positive attitude. I’m sure you regularly hear cliche phrases like “your attitude determines your altitude.” As usual, I believe the quotes I mention hold truth & value or I wouldn’t waste my time repeating them. Attitude really does play such an important role in your life. To further expand on this I would like to touch on another idea the speaker gave me today. This being that the more positive your attitude is, the higher (altitude) you will achieve, & as she told us today, the air is better up there. Don’t waste your time disgruntled & complaining constantly. That will only bring you & those around you down, leaving you stuck in the poor quality air. 

Attitude is a CHOICE, as I have discussed so many times before! When you choose to be happy, when you choose to stay calm when faced with anger, when you choose not to let the negativity or laziness of others bring you down, you are only helping yourself & those around you. When you see others slacking, do not be afraid to step in & lend a helping hand. Don’t waste any one of those 86,400 seconds in a day. Use them to make a positive impact. Whether that is covering someone’s shift, teaching your 97 year old grandmother how to send a text, doing someone else’s chores at home or tasks at work, or something as simple as providing a warm greeting to every person you come into contact with—you never know how much making someone smile, even if just for a second, can affect them. Ripples will spread. The more you do for others, typically the more willing they are to offer you assistance in return. The harder you work, the more people will take notice. The less negativity you put out, the more positive response you will receive. So WORK HARD, & do it JOYOUSLY. ❤

You only get one heart, guard it well!

I have previously written about the monologue given by Professor Perlman (Michael Stuhlbarg) at the end of Call Me by Your Name. I quoted the part where he says,

“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of 30 & have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!”

Today, however, I want to focus on a different portion of the monologue. Near the end he says,

“Remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once. And before you know it, your heart is worn out, and, as for your body, there comes a point when no one looks at it, much less wants to come near it. Right now there’s sorrow. Pain. Don’t kill it and with it the joy you’ve felt.”

I love this entire monologue so much, but the phrase out of this portion that stood out to me most was the fact that our hearts are given to us only once. As is everything he says here, this is entirely true. So knowing that, why do we willingly give pieces of ourselves away? So many of us think we have to break our hearts like Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) breaks the tiara in the movie Mean Girls. Her whole goal is to spread the pieces & make everyone feel like a queen. This is a very generous concept & while we should certainly put out love & kindness into the world to make everyone feel like they are important, I do not believe it works the same in love & relationships. 

If we loan out our soul to just anyone who shows interest, our hearts will quickly diminish in size. What we have left to give will be withered away before the right person comes along. It is impossible to prevent a heart from being broken, it will happen to most, as unfortunate as that may be… If we aren’t cautious who we let in, it has the potential to occur repetitively. I’m by no means saying to close yourself off to every prospect who enters your life & put a target on their head. Rather, take your time. 

We live in a society based on instant gratification & consumerism. We want what we want & we want it ASAP. Not to get too religious, but the Bible states that “love is patient.” If we want to be able to provide our partner with the whole heart full of love they deserve, we cannot rush to give it away. When we rush into things, they often don’t last as long, & we leave things behind, which are stolen by the other party as we rush right back out. Taking our time, getting to know people before offering up all we have saves us a lot of heartache. 

I’ve often heard the popular quote, “You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first.” Protect yourself, don’t shatter your heart & pass out the shards to every punk who comes along. Save the whole thing for the one who offers you the same. We are only given one heart, take care of it! 

That being said, if you have been hurt, broken, even shattered, do not fight to wash away the pain. Feeling isn’t a bad thing in & of itself. It shows your heart is still functioning, despite anything it may have endured. When we erase our memories, we will surely lose beautiful moments as well. Use the good times to restore the parts of your heart that need some TLC. &, use the bad experiences to remind you how great the moments of joy were. Don’t look back with disdain. Simply move forward slowly, not rushing, but relishing the process of growing closer to someone. Filling your cup with great moments so that you have more to offer in the end. ❤

Expand Your Mind

The mind is such an amazing thing. We don’t really consider it a muscle, but in all actuality it can, & should, be exercised just like a muscle. I’ve often talked about exercising the mind in terms of building self control & focusing on positivity. Today I would like to add another ability of your brain that I feel deserves a good, consistent workout. 

Your creativity & imagination are just as important as any other aspect of your mind. Now, by this I don’t mean you need to create an imaginary friend, & become consumed with a fake reality. Rather, expand your mindset. J. K. Rowling once wrote about imagination being the ability to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. To see their point of view. Reading is a great way to broaden your horizons & experience different points of view. Yet, as much as I love to read myself & hope others enjoy reading the things I write; we cannot rely on this alone. Reading allows you to peek into the mind of someone else. We can often gain insight in this way, yet those ideas are not original. 

It is important to think for yourself. Read, study, watch the news, do whatever it is that you enjoy doing. Learn about things happening around you, whether you feel they involve you or not. By seeing what is happening in other places in the world or to other people we can often learn how to prevent similar issues happening closer to home. That’s my political input for the day. But, enough of that!

I only say this to make the point that the more informed you are, the easier it is to develop your own personal opinion. It is such a beautiful gift to think for yourself! This does not mean you have to disagree or argue with everyone. It just means you know better who you are. It frees you to be your own person, a nonconformist. Granted, the concept of free thought scares most, as they don’t know how to experience it for themselves. Do not let the close-mindedness of others prevent you from opening your thoughts. 

I have often come to corners of my mind that frighten me. However, recently, when I reach a place that makes me uncomfortable, I just sit there with the thought & allow myself to work through it, instead of trying to instantly switch my brain to a happier place. Through this process I have experienced the unlocking of parts of my brain I didn’t know existed. 

As the meme below states, “You have an eternity to think inside the box.” Choose to be different, choose to be bold. Not just to be obnoxious & prove how smart you are, rather to experience the freedom of control. Challenge your brain, make yourself think, ask questions. Don’t settle, don’t become complacent, don’t be one of the herd. Be YOUnique! Be prepared, as you will be judged when you step outside the box. But, know that regardless how you live your life, people will judge you. So don’t let the opinions of the small minded individuals threaten your ability to be who you are. Stretch that muscle that is your brain! ❤

Self Published… FINALLY

I finally did it! I typed, formatted, & (self) published my first book. A collection of my poetry from the last 10-15 years or so. I am more proud of some works than others, however, it is all a part of who I am. You can now download an ebook version or a hardcopy by following the link below. I apologize for some of the formatting being off. It was my first time doing this & I was so excited to complete the project I probably didn’t focus on that as much as I should have… Please check it out, buy it, share it… Let’s get the word out! I’ll be starting on my next book soon. It will be focused on the power of positive thinking. ❤

http://www.blurb.com/b/9293428-random-bits-of-my-brain

 

 

Musical Chairs

Life is a game of musical chairs. I’m just tired of always being the last one left standing. This week I have once again been struggling with the belief that I am lagging behind in life. I am well into my 28th year of life & still struggling to find a job in the medical field (which I have a degree in) as well as someone to walk through life with. As always, this is a frustrating, disheartening mindset. But as such, it can be controlled. 

I’m sure you have heard quotes similar to the following: “you can’t control the situation, but you can control your reaction.” While this may sound cliche, it is in fact true. I experienced two highly negative issues this week. One affected me more than the other as one occurred to my friend & one occurred to me. As I listened to my friend venting about her struggle it was easy for me to stay positive & encourage her. Remind her how lucky she was & help her focus on better things. Yet when later that evening I had my own aggravating encounter, I was quickly saddened & let my anger take over. I spent the entire following day allowing my emotions to control my thoughts. 

I finally realized what I already knew, that emotions affect your reaction. When something negative is placed in your life, is easy to act quickly based on how the event makes you feel. This is not always a bad thing, sometimes we have an overwhelmingly positive reaction to things. But if we let our emotions run our mind, we will often find ourselves crouched in a corner of disappointment. Even the most outwardly confident person contains self-doubt. I read somewhere that our brain often underestimates what we are capable of. This is why we constantly overthink things. Only a true sociopath can live a life with a clear conscious. The rest of us, while some more than others, will premeditate or ruminate on things we cannot control.

While you are free to make decisions in your own life, so are others. Meaning, despite any decision you may make, situations are not always going to have your desired outcome. This leaves you making follow up decisions. We cannot control everything that happens in life. That is a simple fact. What we can control, is how we react. Emotions are not a bad thing in & of themselves. Yet, they are powerful, & when we act on them without any logic they can take control. 

Next time negativity strikes, take a step back, breathe, & try to organize your thoughts before acting out. Keep in mind that your reaction to a situation will, in many cases, affect someone else. Don’t ignite a chain of negativity. Learn to turn the other cheek, without allowing yourself to be walked on. Most importantly, stay focused. When we set goals in place & work towards those we will continue to move forward. Choosing to control your thoughts & emotions is certainly a difficult task, but it is so incredibly important. I have written before about this self control being a muscle that must be exercised. So do not be lazy! Work on feeding your thoughts into a river of positivity. Sift through, removing all the bad. Only let the good flow through. Your reward will be a happier, more carefree life. Do not rush time, it cannot be controlled. Let go of the need to be in control. ❤

“Forever I feel like a record on repeat

Time is pendulum, back & forth it swings

Yet time only moves forward on this planet that we live

People pressure time & they beg it to give

As my words remain the same

Time is constant; doesn’t change

The older you get the quicker time passes & the less you posses

So when life slips you by, then you begin to stress

Without being God, you can’t slow it down

& all your fun moments swim by & you drown

You’ll rush life away

But you want certain moments to stay

You can’t pick & choose

Time won’t be abused

So try not to wish your short time away

Be fulfilled by each moment; let every second stay

Stretch time out, as long as you can

Marinate in the now, don’t focus on future plans

The present is all the time you are promised

The future isn’t guaranteed, so with yourself be honest

Enjoy where you’re at, don’t return to past thoughts

They can’t be changed, & your present will be lost” ~Kimily Trehern