Recently I have decided to work on my positivity. I am a positive person but you can always be more positive. I will let you in on a little secret though, I wasn’t always positive. My positivity is something I worked on throughout my journey. Something that helped me do that was my favorite TED Talk by Shawn Achor. In this talk, he talks about the power of positive thinking and some things you can do to start thinking more positively. So going along with my new motto of making my life extraordinary, I am following through with the 5 positive changes: 3 gratitudes , journaling, exercise, meditation, and random acts of kindness. Although I have been only doing it for a few weeks I can see how these changes are effecting my thinking.
- 3 Gratitudes: Write down 3 new things you are grateful for each day for 30 days. This will cause you to realize all of the great things you have in your life. It will also cause you to start thinking positively because you will need to start looking for things to be grateful for. At first it was easy to think of things like friends, family, and all the stuff most people are grateful for. Soon though, it gets a little harder and you have to really think of new things like the warmth of the sun on a warm summer’s day. This will make you start to appreciate the everyday things we often overlook.
- Journaling: Journal one positive experience you have during the day every day for 30 days. This will make you relive the positive experiences you have and train your brain to look for the positive experiences throughout the day. When I first started this it was kind of hard but as I kept going it got easier. I started to look at my days differently and rethinking about my experiences to look at only the positive aspects. I know I needed to journal, so I make sure to look for a positive experience.
- Exercise: Not only is exercise good for your body but your mind as well. Exercising releases a lot of feel good chemicals in your brain and makes you feel good. It can give you more energy and help you relieve stress. It will also makes you look good and as I always say, when you look good you feel good.
- Meditation: Honestly, I was not quite sure how meditation was supposed to help at first. In the video Achor states that it allows you to focus on the activity at hand and slow down. This is true but I also use it a different way. I meditate in the morning after my workout. While I meditate, I think about the day to come. I envision great things happening and all the positive experiences that I will have. This allows my day to start on a good note and begins my positive thinking process.
- Random Acts of Kindness: Do one random act of kindness a day. Write someone a positive email, give someone a random compliment, or pay for someone in line behind you. This will allow you to make other people smile and smiles are contagious. The happier you make other people the happier you will become.
These are the changes I am noticing after just 2 weeks of doing these brain training activates. They are helping me to become a more positive person. So if you are looking to add some positivity to your life give them a try. You do not need to do all of them. Just do the ones you can fit into your life. Any amount would help. If you change the way you look at things the things you look at will change.
The New Year is almost here. It fills the air with possibility and hope for the year to come. People are busy making New Year resolutions and returning all their unwanted Christmas gifts. As this New Year approaches, it is important to reflect back on the year that is passing. Reflect back on the goals you accomplished and the ones you fell short on. Reflect back on the changes you have made, good and bad. Reflect back on the people who have come and gone. Most importantly though, reflect on yourself. Were you happy this year, did you do great things, or was this an off-year for you? Based off the reflection you make about yourself, you will be able to set yourself up of a successful New Year. You will realize the characteristics you want to change about yourself and the ones you have already improved on.
So many people make New Year’s resolution about things that want to change and improve in their lives. The unfortunate thing about these resolutions is that they fade away with the buzz of the New Year. People have so much promise and potential but life gets in the way. They get too busy to accomplish the goals they set for themselves at the drop of the ball in Time Square.
However there are those people whom, despite the struggle and complications of life, accomplish their goals. Why is that? I have a theory. Most people create goals for themselves under the guise of New Year’s Resolutions. This is an external motivator. It is motivation that comes from an outside source. It is similar to the way you feel after watching an inspirational video or hearing a motivational speaker. While the source is fresh in your mind you are motivated to become the person you have the potential to be. Once that source fades, so does your will to accomplish your goals. This is way as the New Year fades so do the resolutions.
On the other hand though. The people who accomplish their goals are motivated by something far more powerful that an external source. They have internal motivation. This is the motivation that makes you wake up one day and say, “Wow, I need to change my life.” This is the motivation that causes someone to get in shape so they are no longer tired after walking up the stairs. It is the motivation that causes someone to quit smoking so they can see their children get married. This is the motivation that makes some dig deeper while others give up. Yes, these internally motivated individuals may make these goals in the form of New Year’s Resolutions but they are more than that: they are life changers.
Last year I can easily say was the best year out of my life so far. It was filled with great people, good times, and amazing personal growth. I am going to use this as my internal motivation to make sure that I accomplish my life changers. I will make this year better than the last. I will become one step close to making my life extraordinary. I challenge you to do the same. Instead of just making a New Year’s Resolution, find your internal motivation and change your life.
In the beginning of this blog, my aim was to find my passion. Although it turned into something so much more than that, that is still one of my goals. I have come a long way in this aspect of my journey but I still have some work to do. However, I have learned a few lessons along the way that could help in finding passion. These are those lessons:
- Look at what you don’t want: If you are trying to find your passion but it is hard for you to pin point it, try to look at the things you absolutely hate. For example, one of my passions is fitness. This is something I know and can easily identify with. One reason I can see this so clearly is because I hate not being able to work out. If I am injured for any reason bad enough for me to stop working out, I go crazy. Maybe one of the things you hate is when people are suffering. This could mean you are passionate about helping others. Notice some things you hate and think about the opposite and how you feel.
- Look at what you already have: I recently heard that there could be two reasons why you don’t know what you want. The first reason is because you already have it. The second reason I will get to in a minute (time may vary with reading ability). People always talk about finding their passion but maybe it is not about finding their passion just realizing that something they already do is part of their passion.
- Stop doing something: One way to realize if something we are doing is your passion is to stop doing it. Sometime we may do something so much we just assume it is our passion. This isn’t always true. To figure out how important it is to you, stop doing it for a while. See how this affects you. Do you go crazy and feel less happy like I do with working out? Or are you alright not doing whatever it is you considered you passion? How would you feel if the next day whatever it is was no longer an option for you?
- Don’t focus on things that are not important: This is the second reason why we don’t know what we want. We are so spread out doing so many different things that we cannot focus on what we really want. A good way to get around this is to learn to say no. You do not always have to do everything everyone asks you. Really look at your life and the things you are involved in. Are all of them important to you?
- Explore all options: Knowledge is key. This is a way to gain more knowledge. Explore every option that you are even remotely considering. See what it is like and if you really enjoy it. Sometimes we get the idea in our head that we would love this or love that but the idea turns out better than the reality. Explore and see which is better.
- Evaluate yourself: I have found that this one is the most important: understand yourself. Look to see when you are at your highest point and when you are at your lowest point. For example, I began to realize that I was my happiest and most energetic when I was around others and making people smile. This was a good indicated about my passion for people and influencing them. Look at yourself and see when you are at your best.
- Fine Similarities: Review all of the things that are important to you and all of the things you do most frequently. Discover any similarities that they may have. You may have to go beyond the surface to find them but there will be some. This could lead you to the root of you passion.
- Realize things change: You can change, your perspectives can change, and your experiences can change. This also means your passions can change. So if you don’t feel as strongly as you once did about something that is okay. You do not need to commit to one thing for the rest of your life. Well except your spouse, but that is a different story. However, just because it can change doesn’t mean it will and you can be passionate about something for the rest of your life (So don’t worry future wife!)
I am still figuring out the details of where I want my life to go and trying to decide which path is right for me but these lessons have certainly helped. They are things that I need to keep in mind for my future and always remember. Your passion can change you may have to discover it again. No matter what though, never stop the journey. Have you found any helpful lessons on your journey?
So I am back. I haven’t written in way too long but there are a few reasons for that. One of the reasons is that I have been pretty busy this semester. The other reason, and the one that really made me stop writing, is that writing for my blog began to feel like work. It wasn’t something I really wanted to do anymore. I was just doing it because I felt like I had to. It was Monday which meant another blog post. That’s not what I wanted my blog to be. I originally started my blog to become a better me. To have a place where I put my thoughts to help me become the person I had the potential to be. My blog lost that point and recently, I have too.
This is what brings me back to “The Journey that Matters.” Not only meaning my blog but to life as well. When I was thinking of a title for my blog, it was so hard. I could not find one that I was 100% happy with but looking back on it, I know I picked the right one. I don’t believe I ever explained it and seeing how this is a rebirth of my blog (hopefully) now seems like a good time to really explain my title.
I chose “The Journey That Matters” a while ago so I cannot really going into the thinking behind it or the process of how I narrowed it down to this but I will always know the meaning of it. Throughout life, we go through so many journeys. All of these journeys are important, some more than others, because they shape us into who we are going to be. However, the journey that really matters to me is just that: figuring out who I want to be and becoming it.
Both parts to this journey can be difficult. Some people have trouble deciding who they want to become. They may get confused thinking that who others want them to be is who they want to be. They struggle seeing clearly. This was not the case for me. I had a good idea of who I wanted to be in my head and did not let anymore change that.
When I started my journey though, I had trouble actually becoming who I wanted to be, who I had the potential to be. So I began to write. I wrote about the person I wanted to be, the lessons I wanted to teach myself and I changed. I loved who I was, the person I was becoming. However, I become content. I thought I was good enough. My journey halted but it wasn’t over. That is one great thing about this journey, it never ends. Yes, it may also be a bad thing that it never ends but only if you see it that way. I see it as in I can always improve. I can always become a better person. I can always change who I am today from who I was yesterday to get to who I have the potential to be. It is time for me to get back on this path and to get my journey going again. Although I am not promising anything, this will be the first of many more post to come. As I am giving new life to my journey, I hope that you find your journey and give it life for the first time or give it new life like me.
All the time on my blog I talk about pushing your limits. Work harder, get stronger, and reach a little further each time. I still stand behind this 100%; however, sometimes you have to know your limits as well. If you push too hard you will break. It is like a rubber band. Every time you stretch it to its limit, it can go a little further the next time. If you pull it too far at once though, it is bound to snap.
I have been learning this lesson in the past week. When it came to swimming for my triathlon, I have been way behind in my training due to the pool being close for three weeks. So I decided that I would make it all up last week and this week. I would do two a days and be fine in two weeks. In my head I had it all planned out. That is where my body disagreed with me.
After the first few day my body was in pain. It wasn’t just the normal soreness associated with working out. My shoulder, which are already bad to begin with, were given out. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, I could not accomplish my goal. I still have a week before my triathlon and I will continue to work towards my goal but it looks like I will have to switch to the sprint triathlon which has a shorter swim that I can manage.
When I first realized this, I felt like a failure. However, now I realize that I am just understanding what my limits are. Don’t get me wrong I am still pushing myself and have double my comfortable swimming distance in the past week but sometimes you just cannot do something. I know everyone likes to say “never say never” and “you can do anything you put your mind too” but sometimes you can’t. You can only push your limits so far at one time. Yes if you have the right amount of time, a good plan of preparation, and a burning desire; you can do anything you put your mind to. However no matter how determined you are I doubt you will be able to run a marathon after 2 weeks of training.
This is why it is important to push your limits every day. Whether it is running a little harder each day, or maybe putting yourself into an uncomfortable situation each day; push yourself. Not only will this allow you to expand your limits but it will help you figure out what your limits are. Once you know what they are you will be better able to reach your goals. Now I know how much training I am going to need for my next triathlon. I will know to start swimming a little sooner and work a little harder in the beginning. If you push yourself and find your limits, you will too. So go out and stretch that rubber band but make sure not to break it.
As some of you may have noticed I have been missing for the past few weeks. I would love to say it was because I exploring the Great Barrier Reef or cave diving. However, I was busy with Resident Assistant training and getting ready for school for the past month. Do not worry though, because I am back.
My triathlon is in two weeks and RA training did not just mess with my blog schedule, it threw off my training as well. My swimming really is the area that suffered the most and that’s a problem. Swimming is the area where I needed the most work and now time is running out. This means that it is time to work; it’s crunch time.
In the next two weeks I will have to push myself harder than I ever have before. This is going to be one of the hardest endeavors I have ever taken on. It is going to be so hard because it is so different from anything I have done before. Before when I pushed myself I was already experienced in what I was doing. However, swimming is something that is completely new to me. This is not like running where I just have to push my lungs to their limits. I am going to have to be dedicated. It is going to be a challenge but I am up to it.
That is the thing about crunch: you find out what kind of person you really are. When it is crunch time you do not have time to make excuses or take the easy way out. You have to be honest with yourself and figure out if you are going to push it or give up. Are you the kind of person that quits when the going gets tough; or are you the kind of person that gets going when the going gets tough?
As some of you may have noticed I haven’t posted in a while. Lately I just have not been motivated to write. It might be because the weather has been so nice and I cannot stay away from the beach (I have literally been there everyday for the past week and a half) but there is more to it. Sometimes, no matter what kind of person you are, you lose your motivation. Now don’t get me wrong, I am still motivated in other ways such as my triathlon training but whenever I sat down to write a post I couldn’t come up with anything good. That is until I received a text message from my friend the other day telling me my motivation helped him. This filled me with a new-found motivation.
This is when I realized during times where you lack motivation to continue what you are doing you have to look at why you started in the first place. I started this blog to change who I was into who I wanted to be and the first year went great. I made so many positive changes and loved who I was turning into. However, I started to lose sight of that goal and became satisfied with the progress I had made. I stopped helping myself and striving to become better. There is still a lot about myself that I can change to become better and it is time for me to start focusing on those changes.
However, this is not what TJ’s text made me understand. He helped me to remember the second reason I started this blog: to help others become all that they can be. In sharing my journey of self-development, I hoped to help people on their own journeys. I hoped to motivate people push themselves and keep going when they thought they could not go any further. Maybe this is another reason I lost my motivation: I didn’t think I was helping others. This is the last lesson TJ’s text taught me: make sure to show your appreciation.
When someone does something you admire or appreciate, let them know. Let them know that what they are doing does not go unnoticed. Even if they not doing the act for praise it is always nice to receive some. It will help them stay motivated and allow you to keep appreciating what they are doing. You never know when someone is thinking about giving up. You never know how much a simple pat on the back or a simple text message can help someone. So find the reasons that will keep you motivated and let others know what a great job they are doing.