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. =)

Juggling It All

I remember there was this time when I was young when I found myself whining, “I’m boooooooooooooooored” to my mom and dad. It usually happened about 2 weeks into summer when I was tired of doing all of the “out-of-school-summer-fun” already. But it probably happened on the weekends too. I just didn’t know what to do with myself!

My how things have changed! I can’t remember the last time I said those words now. There’s just so much to do! Always. I am fairly certain I could keep myself occupied for 24 hours out of the 24 hour day if I could. Sometimes I hate sleep.

Our hours are filled with working, playing, learning, relating, eating, sleeping and a thing I like to call bettering. 😉 But whatever our hours are filled up with there’s one thing that is for sure–we don’t want to drop any of these. There may be seasons when we have to focus a little bit less on a certain area but we have to keep them in our lives regardless of how busy we are because that’s why they are there in the first place: they’re important to us.

So we juggle.

I juggle.
Today I juggled the fact it was a Monday with the fact I am moving this Saturday with the fact I had to be at work for 8 1/2 hours with the fact I want to spend time with my family with the fact American Idol was on tonight with the fact that since I am moving this weekend I need to get all my homework done before then with the fact my eyes hurt from already looking at a computer all day with the fact it’s such a beautiful day I just want to go outside with the fact I didn’t write a blog this morning so I want to tonight with the fact I got a new cell phone and I just want to play with it!

It could seem like it’s all so much that something’s got to give. But…it doesn’t. Necessarily. All of it’s possible. And yes, it’s a struggle, but when you set your mind and heart to it you can handle anything. And you can handle it well.

But it won’t just happen. We have to make it happen.

We have to set priorities and plans. Even if that’s a quick jot-down in the morning of what you want to do that day and how you’re going to get it all done. When you get into a routine like this the juggling becomes less and less of a struggle and more and more of an enjoyment. You feel satisfied. Accomplished. Energized. Ready to move forward some more.

We don’t have to give up things we love for other things we love or certain goals for other goals. We can handle more than we think we can…and we can handle it with a smile and with poise. 😉

How do you juggle everything in your life and keep a right heart at the same time?

The Other 8 Hours

Recently I’ve run across Robert Pagliarni. I stumbled across him as I was getting into the personal finance blog world, and I’ve loved the title of his book, “The Other 8 Hours.” The concept is that the “other 8 hours” is the hours you are not working at your day job and sleeping.

What do we do with those hours?

Realistically those 8 hours for me aren’t really 8 they are about about 6. Because here is a typical day. And I bet it’s kind of similar to yours!

6am-wake up and get ready
7am-travel to work
730am-4pm-work
4pm-travel home
430pm-get home

If I started my 8 hours at 430pm I’d be up  until 12:30am. But sleep is important to me so I try to be in bed by 1030 or 11pm.

That gives me 6 1/2 hours to do something with other than sleep and work.

So what do we do with them? We eat, get on the internet, watch TV, talk to our family, go work out, etc., etc. And all of those things are fine. But when you spend time doing one of them be reminded you will never get that time back. Time is a non-renewable resource.

So the point is to make sure our other “8” hours are spent doing what we want to do. They are spent on what is important to us; not on just what “comes our way” or happens to fall in our lap.

For me, there is a lot that I’d like to spend my other hours on. Right now here are some of my priorities:

1. Working out. I don’t go every day but more days than not at least 1 of my hours is spent on this. Usually more than 1 hour.
2. Blogging. This shouldn’t take long but I want to spend some of my other 8 hours blogging and connecting with people.
3. Learning. This is where most of my other hours go. I’m currently enrolled in school full time so this semester I am studying the Bible, economics, biology and history.  It’s a lot of reading. A lot of lectures. And a lot of homework. It takes a lot of time. =P I also include my blog reading here since it is also learning. 😉
4. Family and friends. Ultimately, there’s nothing more important to me than love. Love for God and love for people so I want to spend time with those closest to me as well as spend time reaching out to others. I don’t do this enough but I’d like to do it more consciously.

Of course, there are my dreams of being an entrepreneur and starting businesses and investing money and being a millionaire, but right now, those 4 things take up much of my “extra” 6 1/2 hours. Because THIS is a typical evening after getting home:

430pm-Brief myself on my financial situation (overview budget, look at accounts, etc.), read some blogs and do some homework.
530pm-Help with dinner and then eat dinner with my family
630pm-Watch TV with a friend
7pm-Go to the gym
730pm-9pm-Work out at the gym
9pm-Head home from the gym
930pm-Get on facebook to connect with friends/watch TV/do more homework/sit and talk to a family member/eat a late snack/write blog for next day
10pm-get ready for bed
1030pm-Sleep

Sometimes that schedule doesn’t sound quite as productive to me as I’d like it to be, but really, I’m enjoying my life right now. At the age of 20 and going to school full time and working full time, those extra 6.5 hours are special to me, and for the most part I feel as though I am using them wisely. When I am not doing school (if I take a summer off or when I get my degree) then I hope to make those other hours look different–more concentrated focus on business ventures and such.

Answer in the comments: Do you think I should spend my other hours more wisely? How do you spend YOUR other 8 hours? Is it what you want to be doing?

Art of Planning

So I think I have an obsessive compulsive thing going on with planning. I like to plan. A lot. Probably too much sometimes.

I plan my time. Hours. Evenings. Days. Weekends. Weeks. Months. Years.
I plan my finances. Bi-weekly budgets. Monthly budgets. Short-, mid-, and long-term savings goals. Investment strategies.
I plan my health. (And fail frequently.) Work out routines. Eating habits (that aren’t habits yet.) Sleep cycles. Relaxation.
I plan my career. Positions. Money. Experience. Satisfaction. Passion. Purpose.
I plan my education. Credit hours. Classes. Research. Homework. Tests. Bachelor’s degree. Master’s degree. Doctorate degree.

Of course all of that is hypothetical in a sense because it’s all PLANNING. And if I spent all my time planning I’ll never spend any time LIVING. And from the deepest part of my heart I want to live. Who knows if I’ll ever do everything I’ve planned to do; but what I know for sure is I can live this moment to the full.

So do we plan or not? My short answer is YES. Plan. And plan big. Because if you don’t plan big, you won’t “go big.” Set a goal to reach a goal. So spend a few days a year, a few hours a month, and maybe a few minutes a day planning. But then put down your pen and paper, take a deep breath, and start living.