I hope 2018 is a wonderful year for all of you and that it gets off to a great start! Hope to see you here often in the new year!
2017 has been a trying year, in more ways than one. So many unexpected things took place and made it a year of revelations in a sense. It brought to light many issues and circumstances that have either been swept under the rug or blatantly ignored. And I suppose that is what made it harder to process, that we have known that there were issues to take care of yet insufficient effort has been put into solving them. As a result, 2017 has felt to many of us as a long year and uncertainty has been in many cases, a constant companion. With such seemingly grim reflections on this past year, it is difficult to find the brighter spots in the year. But though they were hidden, they were there. And I think we all can count at least a few of those moments in the past year, ones that made it so 2017 was better than it first appeared. And even in the harder times, there were lessons to be learned and understandings to be reached. I wish I could say I accepted these things early on but sometimes (more like most of the time) the hard way tends to be the way I go about doing things. Maybe 2018, I'll learn to do better.
I hope 2018 is a wonderful year for all of you and that it gets off to a great start! Hope to see you here often in the new year!
"Remember, we will only end up
what we are willing to work to become."
Duly noted! Well, I would not be completely honest if I said that I invested the time in myself that I ought to. Sometimes, it can be the daunting amount of things to accomplish that make it seem too difficult or just that the hours in the day seem to never be enough. But at the end of the day, I know I am making excuses for myself. My long list is no longer than it's ever been nor am I allotted less than 24 hours each day. But that does not make it any less overwhelming.
While I haven't come up with a foolproof plan yet (let's be honest, that it's pretty unlikely anyway!), I hope to remember the little steps that I take are better than none at all and that in order to achieve any growth, the time and effort investment has to be there.
“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character.
But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”
Leadership is often a position sought out by many, though centuries of proof show it to be trying, difficult, uncertain and very unforgiving. Then why do so many people put all they have on line for just a taste of it?
Define leadership. It is the act of leading a group of people or an organization. Seems simple enough when you put it that, doesn't it? Unfortunately, it isn't. Leadership requires several skills and traits that not all of us have, and sometimes even if we do, it just won't cut it.
To be a good leader, takes skill, experience, patience, persistence, and of course responsibility. Skill and experience come hand in hand, if when given a task you pay attention and learn as much as possible, you'll be able to learn a new skill every time. Patience is hard to come by if you don't naturally have it, it tends to be impossible for many of us. However, with consistent effort and tolerance, it will come to you. Persistence is something essential, no matter what you decide to do with your life. It enables you to continue on with something, even during setbacks and hurdles thrown midway. It also helps build commitment and learn how to stick with something and see it through. Responsibility like persistence is a skill needed to accomplish anything of worth. Responsibility allows you to make the most of a situation by allowing you to see the whole picture and make plans from there. Running away from problems doesn't eliminate them, it only allows them to grow and hurt you later.
Charisma is a trait that makes leadership sail smoothly when communicating with others and boosting morale in a group. Charisma alone can turn a difficult situation into a golden opportunity. Though sometimes genetic, it is also a skill that can be developed. The key to charisma is positivity, and always having an opportunistic and optimistic attitude towards things, planned and unplanned. Taking that attitude and applying rational and realistic measures can turn the situation into an unbelievable chance at accomplishing amazing feats.
"If you can imagine it, you can achieve it;
if you can dream it, you can become it.”
–William Arthur Ward
Why do we dream? Envision a goal or pursue a challenge, when we could just lay back and take life as it comes? Why is something challenging more fulfilling than something easy? There's this feeling, that gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment. It all comes down to one word, motivation.
Motivation is literally wanting to do something. Whether it's graduating college, getting a promotion, or simply getting organized. It is the difference between accomplishment and lazing around the house all day. It's crucial in setting up your plans for the future. But some people seem to be motivated all the time in everything they do, whereas others aren't motivated to anything. Why is this? What causes motivation to come across so strongly in some people?
These questions are ones we all have. However, the answers are hard to find, many theories have been tested and researched, but still come back with too many variables. Factors that affect motivation have been identified though, the most important being genetics, background, upbringing and personality. These factors are what psychologists look into when studying motivation and its causes.
Motivation to do things is often based on our psychological needs. A psychological need is something we need or yearn for in order to function. Achievement, self-esteem and social approval are examples of psychological needs. But unlike biological needs, psychological needs are not always based on deprivation, but rather to reassure and stabilize what is already there. Sometimes, certain psychological needs are emphasized through life experiences and can cause problems if they're not addressed.
Our personality types have a lot to do with how we use motivation and how much we really need. We all have fixed behavior patterns also known as instincts. These instincts are a driving force in how we deal with situations and proceed afterward.
Though motivation is key for most of us to pursue dreams and ambitions, it comes in many forms. There are some who love a challenge, the more challenging the more determined and focused they become. But then there are those who flee as soon as their plans go awry. Those people need more assurance and often reassurance to be able to fully devote the necessary time to accomplish something.
"The capacity to learn is a gift;
the ability to learn is a skill;
the willingness to learn is a choice."
In preparing for a presentation I have this week, I came across this quote and immediately thought it belonged here. As someone who loves to learn and believes any and all opportunities to do so should be taken, I was happy to see that it emphasizes that learning is a choice. One that we have to make in order to make the most of our experiences, chosen and unchosen. Unfortunately, this sentiment is sometimes lost and you often hear people saying that "such and such is irrelevant" or "I don't want to learn that/I can't learn it!"
In so many ways, your attitude towards learning largely determines whether you learn or not. If you believe there is something to be learned and therefore some benefit, you'll make the time and effort to do so. But if you think the opportunity is useless and forced upon you, you likely won't make the most of it.
I think you could liken the situation to that of a good friend, a good friend tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear and likewise a good learning experience teaches you what you need to grow, not just what you already know. The key for success in both situations is choosing to listen and learn from what is there.
"I'm learning to trust the journey
even when I do not understand it."
Well, that's certainly something isn't it? The truth in this statement is comforting; the journeys we take are often confusing and this can trouble the mind more than we'd care to admit. Sometimes I wish I could be the bigger picture just so that I could get a better sense of what's going on. With such major changes and unexpected events happening constantly, it feels as though nothing is quite as it seems. And this is a little scary.
But when I look back at previous times that were similar, I realize that they had a way of coming together and creating a journey that gave me what I needed most. So with that in mind, I am just going to trust that there's so much out there I cannot see and that there's always a silver lining even in the strangest and hardest of times.
with a purpose."
This is what I need to dedicate all the stubbornness too! All jokes aside, this quote as simple as it is speaks to me and is a great reminder as I am going through my junior year of college. (When did that happen?!) It is likely to be the hardest year academically and I think I need as much "stubbornness" as I can muster to make the best of it.
Of course to limit this quote to college or academic pursuits in general, would miss its point. In every aspect of our lives, there are challenges that test our willingness to see something through and there are times I fear such challenges will overcome me. But as reassurance I look to this quote, I am an incredibly stubborn person (ridiculously so at times) and sometimes I forget that stubbornness is one of those traits that can be beneficial or harmful depending on how we choose to utilize it. So if I choose to channel my energy towards my goals and dreams, then I have turned my stubbornness into meaningful way of growing, learning, and achieving my best.
"You have only failed,
if you have given up
Defining failure as something we choose rather than something that happens to us is the key in overcoming obstacles and building endurance. When this is done, we not only take responsibility for ourselves but also prove that we are (at the end of the day) our most important investment. This serves as an important reminder when things do not go as planned and setbacks seem to start piling up. While no one wants to hear that such events are great learning experiences (even when we know they are!), it is important to note that the state of "failure" as many call it is in fact a voluntary and temporary one and cannot be permanent if we do not choose to make it so.
For anyone going through rough times or difficult situations, I am aware this post may seem over simplified and maybe a bit heartless as no one can truly understand the troubles that others face. Which is why I think it is important to acknowledge that comebacks usually take longer than setbacks to happen and have effect. And this time does not mean someone is necessarily weak or indecisive but rather is taking the time needed to fully learn from their experiences and grow as a person. These experiences are often more bearable with the support of loved ones, but at the end of the day are extremely personal too because only we have the power to choose what we do next.
"Don't despise what
you've been through.
You needed the lessons."
I wish I could say I am someone who looks back at the past and quickly remembers its lessons. Unfortunately, I haven't gotten there yet. More often than not, I grumble and wish my past was something else, something other than what it has been.
But as time goes on, I've grown to appreciate more of my experiences. the good and the not-so-good. While not all of them bring back the pleasantest of memories, they do bring reminders, ones of strength, gratitude,hope, determination, love, and faith. These things are invaluable and to despise the lesser than lovely experiences would be to disregard everything they've gifted me. They've taught me to look beyond the surface of the water and the clouds in the sky and realize there is more than one side to every story and that each relationship you have is unique and different as the people you have them with. Nothing can be taken for granted and everything matters. For this, I am grateful for everything I've experienced because it has taught to appreciate everything I have today.
"Interrupt anxiety with gratitude."
With everything that is going on right now, I found this quote to be a powerful reminder of how to live in times of tension, uncertainty, and pain. For anyone who feels anxious right now as I do, I think the essence of this quote helps to stem the intense shock, disbelief, and sorrow from being too overwhelming. In times of hatred, ingratitude, and selfishness, we must invest even more time into actions of appreciation, words of gratitude, and moments of kindness.
For every negative thing we see, we must acknowledge, if not do, something to counterbalance it. If someone is rude, be especially kind to someone else, if someone ignores you/doesn't appreciate you, appreciate those who are there for you, and if it is one of those days where goodness isn't apparent, think about all the struggles you know that others have that you do not, as a reminder that even in our darkest days, someone out there has it much harder than we do.
Hope you all had a great week and a wonderful weekend!
P.S. I hope this post wasn't too somber. The events of this past week (and really this past year or so) have been so upsetting that I felt I had to talk about in some way. Let's hope that with the little things we can turn the page to a better time in history and leave the world a better place than it was when we entered it.
So, there's really not much to tell. I'm a person of many interests, and talking to others about theirs.
So, I guess that's it for now!