The Point is Be YOU

This is almost a little bit of an embarrassing post. But I have something to confess…

But sometimes I do things just cause everyone else does them. And really, there’s nothing wrong with that in theory. If it’s working for others, then maybe it’s worth a shot! But it’s definitely not worth sticking with if it’s not working for YOU.

Cause the point is to be YOU. Not them. Maybe your mentor is awesome but you’re not supposed to be them. You’re supposed to be you. Seth Godin is cool and has a lot of good information but you’re not him and never will be. You’re you.

For example, I started drinking coffee because I thought it was cool. I saw people I wanted to be like drinking coffee so I picked up the habit. I didn’t particularly like the taste so I covered it up with cream and sugar. And then started buying cappuccinos and lattes and expensive drinks at Starbucks. Not because I needed it. But because I convinced myself I did. And who with any sense of style would buy a coffee drink from anywhere other than Starbucks??

Now that I have decided a few things about my own life (forgetting what others think about me) I’ve decided for the most part I’d rather sit at the bar in my kitchen with a glass of water (saving time and money. 😉

I also think it used to be cool to get little sleep and push myself to the max because that’s the only way you’d ever be productive (I’d heard that from someone “successful.”) But now I see that sleep and productivity actually go hand in hand (for me anyway.)

It’s always nice to look at other people who are where we’d like to be one day and then try to implement everything they do in their lives into our own. But more than likely we have an entirely different path to take. Learning from others is powerful. My last blog post was even on how Knowledge is Power, but there’s a fine line from learning from others and then trying to be others.

Find what works for you and run with it. Be open to making mistakes and be willing to give it a go again. You can be just as successful as the guy who pays $4 for his latte and stays up all night supposedly “working” if you really want to. It’s just up to you. =)


Knowledge is Power

I love books. When I moved out of my parents house I asked them if they would like to bless me with a new bookshelf for my new living room.

They did.

And it’s full.

It’s not always that I read books twice but there’s something about having them in my hand and readily available to me. To underline and highlight. To write notes out to the side. To flip back through and read the good stuff. Just to know that I own the book and have read it brings me great joy.

But besides all of that I think the reason I buy and keep books is to see with my eyes what I have read. Sure, there are other books I have read but if I really loved it I probably kept it. And there are plenty of them.

All filled with knowledge.

We should never stop learning. It’s what helps us be someone tomorrow that we weren’t today. We can learn from our own mistakes and successes or from others’ mistakes and successes. But regardless, it has to be a purposeful thing. Lots of experiences come and go but many times I think we don’t take the proactive step to learn from them that we should.

We’ll probably find ourselves walking around the same situation later on, and perhaps doing the exact same thing (that didn’t work.) But if we could take that experience and really internalize it, everything could change.

Tomorrow would be a step forward instead of a step backward.

The same thing applies to the books (or blogs or magazines or articles or ebooks or whatever!) that we read. It takes this non-renewable resource called TIME to participate in reading these pieces of information so we need to be kind of picky about what we read.

It’d be easy to subscribe to all the “cool” blogs out there on business, entrepreneurship, health and personal finance but I don’t have that kind of time! So I subscribe to a few and really try to soak up that information.

Knowledge is power. Soak it up. But don’t just read those things and learn from them to be cool or FEEL smart. Instead, learn in order to BE smart.

Goals Aren’t the End All

Today is all we have. Regardless of worries about the past and the dreams we have about the future, today is it. And sometimes I look out that window and want to really live a little bit more.

I want to show my love to my family and my friends a little more. To everyone, really.

I want to be quick to forgive. To go out of my way to be kind.

To do a little more than I did yesterday for the people in my life.

Because regardless of financial, health or career goals what matters at the end of the day is love. And the people in our lives. And that they know they have our love.

Goals don’t have feelings or souls. People do. And those people need us.

Maybe today we should just focus a little bit more on the people around us and a little bit less on ourselves.

Things To Do Everyday

Everyone has different and various goals at different times in life and we usually spend most of our time investing in those goals. But there are certain things that regardless of what our goals are it would benefit us to participate in every single day. Even if only for a few minutes. They are the foundation to the rest of life and will help you live a better life overall.

1. Be quiet.
Whether it’s one hour or five minutes, take time to just be quiet. Listen. Look out a window or close your eyes. It’s in this time that God will speak and you’ll hear more about your purpose and direction for the day.
3. Write it down.
Make it a habit to write things down. Whether it’s writing down what you heard while you were being quiet or just writing things down throughout the day that come to mind you will need to remember lately. Writing things down is such a stress reliever. You don’t have to worry about it anymore–it’s on paper.
3. Get moving.
Personally, I’ve joined a fitness club and try to go everyday. Some days I spend 30 minutes there and other days I spend 1 1/2 hours there. But regardless I try to get myself moving some everyday. It does wonders for your health and well-being and the endorphins released will definitely make you feel better overall.
4. Eat right.
I’m not the expert here, and I definitely don’t do as good as I should some days. But the key is just to be aware. Be aware of what you’re eating and deliberately choose healthier options each time you go to eat. Make sure you’re hungry and aren’t just snacking mindlessly and that what you’re putting into your mouth has some good nutritional value. Apple or cookie? Try to choose the apple more often. =) Same thing as with exercising, you’ll just feel better knowing that you’re eating a little healthier.

5. Do something new.
This isn’t easy because our days are filled with things that are “old.” Who has time for something new?  But just try something. Whether it’s saying hello to someone you’ve never met before or picking up trash you see on the ground or taking a walk in a new park–take a few minutes to do something you’ve never done before. You’ll feel enriched and probably learn something you didn’t know before.

Those are just a few things that came to mind that we can all do every single day to help build a better life.  Do you have any more ideas or thoughts on these?

Creative Destruction

So I am taking my first college Economics course this term and am absolutely loving it. There are so many different economic theories and principles I have heard about and am now really beginning to understand. One of those is creative destruction.

Creative destruction is basically a theory about innovation and progress. In order to continue moving forward and truly create sometimes, if not always, it’s necessary to destroy something that was created in the past. When we make things better sometimes we have to make other things worse.

Creative Destruction in Action

Polaroid cameras. They were awesome at the time. And Mr. Polaroid or whoever invented it surely raked in some substantial profit. But since its invention someone else has invented an even better product that accomplishes the exact same thing: digital cameras. They have now taken over the market, and though Polaroid cameras are still around, they have, in a sense, been destroyed. Why? Because of creative destruction.

Yes, it’s sad. But it’s necessary to keep moving forward.

I think about my own life and where I need to exercise some creative destruction. What worked back then but needs to change now to be more efficient? And what do I use on a daily basis that I could exercise some “creative destruction” on to create something even better?

Sometimes we just settle for what works. Polaroid cameras worked just fine. But if we’ll spend a little bit of time thinking we can create something even better that will save time, energy, money and blow the past totally out of the water.

Have you exercise creative destruction lately? How’d you do it?

Do You Reduce, Reuse and Recycle?

I’m not the greatest at recycling, but now that I’m on my own I’m beginning to see the benefits of it. Not just for the environment but also for your wallet (which I have to admit to me is much more of an incentive.)

I’ve found myself stuffing the trash can more full than normal to save on trash bags, reusing sandwich bags that had chips in them, turning off lights and fans when I don’t need them and cracking the windows instead of turning on the air.

That’s just a few things I’ve found myself doing, but I am sure there are countless ways to reduce my use, reuse certain products and recycle all around. All of these things reduces waste and helps both the earth and you.

So why don’t more people do it? It takes a little bit of effort and this thing some of us don’t like to do all of the time called “thinking.” But it’s well worth it and if we all would take a little bit of time and go out of our way to recycle ultimately everyone would profit. You can recycle almost anything–paper, plastic, glass, food (for compost)–and you can often reuse things around the house.

Here are a few fun facts I found about recycling*:

  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your TV for 3 hours
  • Approximately 1 billion trees worth of paper are thrown away every year in the U.S.
  • Energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours or a compact fluorescent bulb for 20 hours.

Do you recycle? What are some ways you practice this?

*Facts found at Recycling Revolution

Back and At ‘Em

It’s been so weird not blogging for the past several days. But it’s been a whirl-wind of action, and it was definitely best.

I’m all moved into my new apartment, and it’s beginning to feel normal (though I’ll always miss my family!) I actually have spent relatively little extra money during this move because I planned accordingly beforehand. Not to mention family members have been very generous to both myself and the friend I’m living with.

Sometimes we don’t understand the value of something until we don’t have it anymore. For me, blogging is about sharing what it is I’m learning in life in hope that you’ll be able to benefit as well. I didn’t realize how much this kept me motivated and on top of my game until I wasn’t doing it. I’ve been more lackadaisical and probably a little more wasteful with my time. But no more! 😉

I hope and pray you all had a wonderful Easter weekend with your family and celebrating Christ’s gift to all of mankind. Happy Wednesday!

Blogging helps keep me motivated–what helps you stay motivated?