So here’s an idea. Everyone knows the old saying, “one step forward, two steps back”, right? Well, I say let’s challenge that. Life comes down to perspective. Let’s break down the saying itself. Who in their right mind has ever taken one step forward and two steps back? No one. Isn’t it more likely for a person to take two steps forward and one step back (maybe to turn in a new direction). That makes sense. Why would you ever believe a saying that doesn’t even make literal sense? It’s a logical fallacy.
The first step – As it goes, the first step is getting started. If we want to get anywhere, we must take the initial step. This step is the foundation. The first step allows us to take the second step. If we only take the first step, we get nowhere.
The second step – In a perfect world, I’d say that the first step is just as important as the second step. That it comes down to perspective and that it really depends based on the situation. It doesn’t. The second step will always be more important than the first step. That said, without the first step the second step would never exist. The second step is what pushes us further. It is putting the decision in motion and giving us a taste of what to expect.
One step back – This is the turning point, the point where you choose whether or not to take the third, forth, five, etc. step. Think of it as a pivot, it’s not really a step back but rather a rotation, a change in priority, even a change in purpose.
So there you have it, a fun little musing of a common saying. I plan to do more of these “common sayings perspective shifts” but until then go take a few steps into the unknown. Learn from your mistakes and you’ll always be moving forward. Thanks for reading!
So it’s summer. Whether you’re on vacation or not, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy some time in the sun. We’re all busy people but are we all that productive? This past year I’ve read some fundamental “business” books. These are great books if you want to reach higher and really build a foundation for yourself. So, without further ado, here’s my reading list:
- 7 habits for highly effective people – I cannot preach this book enough. Helped me get on my feet this year and find success. Why it’s worth your time: The 7 habits give you a concrete framework for you to go from being dependent to independent to interdependent. If you find life constantly out of your control, give this book a try. It’s not a dry book and it has plenty of anecdotes to keep you entertained.
- How to win friends and influence people – Don’t be deterred by the title! This is not a book about becoming a grand puppet master and learning how to control relationships. This is a book that teaches you the techniques for being a better person! Why it’s worth your time: Communicating well can be hard. How often are we actually given a framework for how to be a better communicator? More often than not, we’re left to the wolves when it comes to learning how to communicate. Excellent communication skills are expected, so it can be frustrating when we don’t even know where to start. Well look no further, this is your book. I recommend reading after 7 habits. This book has plenty of anecdotes and is an easy, but thoughtful read.
- The One Thing – The book i’m reading right now. Great book, so great that I’m going to recommend it before I even finish. Why it’s worth your time: This is a book all about focus. It’s all about working smarter, not harder. Another book that gives you a framework for success, I highly recommend giving it a spin.
- The book of awesome – Did I buy this book because of the title alone? Perhaps, but it is still a great book and I highly recommend reading it! Why it’s worth your time: This book is a quick read. It’s not a book you have with a glass of wine next to the fire. I actually heard of this book through a TED talk I watched years ago when I was but a wee freshman in college. I was caught up with all the chaos that is college so I needed a little reminder of all the little things that makes life so great. The story behind the book is amazing and I highly recommend checking out the link. Each “chapter” is a different awesome thing, so chapters can range from a paragraph to a few pages. The author is hilarious, so the book is good, lighthearted fun.
- The Martian – Where do I even begin with this book? This book is awesome (but is not the book of awesome). Why it’s worth your time: This book makes math seem cool. But more than that, it’s a space adventure showcasing the good of humanity and the strength of the human spirit. Mark Watney gets stranded on mars and has to survive. How does he do it? Why does he do it? Does he actually survive? All great questions. Also this book has lots of potatoes! Yay for potatoes!
- Good to Great – Next on my reading list, all I know is my professors love this book and that’s good enough for me.
- TED Talks – I listened to the audio version which was narrated by the author, Chris Anderson, also the CEO of TED. If you’re looking to better your public speaking skills, not a bad place to start.
There you have it, if you’re looking for a great way to start your summer, try picking up one (or all) of these books. I included links to the books, so click away! Also be sure to check out the TED talk if you have the time, thanks for reading!
So, you’ve missed that deadline. Instead of getting the job done you’re stuck in an endless cycle of procrastination. You keep trying to get caught up but it only leads to more stress and procrastination. What do you do? Well, I say, take a step back and breathe. Remember that the world is not coming to an end and there’s always tomorrow no matter how rough today may be. So here we go, proven methods on how to get rid of stress and feel better about tackling your problems head on.
Read a book – If it seems like the world is falling apart, it’s not. We tend to think our mistakes are a lot worse than they are. If you’re about to start kicking puppies, I suggest picking up a good book instead. A book will help take your mind off the problem you’re facing and you can just let the hours float by. By the time you’re ready to stop reading, you’ll find yourself feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever was bothering you head on. If not…
Invest in a stress ball – Simple yet so effective. I’m not talking about those cheap stress balls that companies give away for free. I’m talking about a high quality, 4 dollar stress ball that you can give a good squeeze and feel your muscles tense, then relax. Quality stress balls also have the added benefit of being throw-able if all else fails. Give a stress ball a few chucks against a wall or just throw it back and forth between your hands and it’ll keep you distracted and hopefully will make your mood a little better.
Go on a run – I’m not talking about a treadmill run (those are nice and will help you reduce stress) but rather a run where you set a trail and go on an adventure! Running should be fun, not a chore. Those who say they hate running set unrealistic expectations. Running is a chance for you to take in the scenery and think through your problems while constantly moving forward. Getting yourself to put on your running shoes is the tricky part, everything else after that is amazing. I recommend having a running buddy, but honestly running is just as fun alone as it is with a friend.
Take a nap – I’m a man who loves to nap. Why? Because I care about my health. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to force myself to get work done and only had that lead to further frustration because I just couldn’t figure out that tricky problem. We’ve all been there. Then one day I said “Fuck it, I’m taking a nap” and guess what. When I woke up I went to work on that tricky problem and what took a matter of hours before my nap I was able to accomplish in a few minutes. Yes it seems like the last thing you want to do when you’re crunched for time and stressed, but it falls under the philosophy of “sharpening the saw”.
Do a creative hobby (something that you love) – Whether it’s dancing, listening to music, singing, painting, or photography, just take a step back and rock it. You’re most likely at the point where you’re not going to get any work done anyways, so why should you spend your valuable time stressed. Go work on that painting you’ve been putting off, go sing your heart out. Life is too short, so shouldn’t you spend most of your time enjoying it? I’m not saying don’t be responsible, all I’m saying is sometimes you need to take a step back from the grind and take time to really invest in yourself
So there you have it people. A guide to help you find ways to breathe when the world appears to be crashing down. This is not a guide on how to get work done but rather more of a way to keep your sanity when you loose your way! Thanks for reading and remember to breathe!
So college. A time of pure chaos. You’re either built or broken. Some graduate, some don’t. Old friendships die, new relationships prosper. Scary to think about, that college is a gate to a better tomorrow. But as I’ve found in 4 years, college is very much what you make of it. No other time in your life will you have the opportunity to create your identity, so it’s a shame when people reach their senior year and look back only to realize what they missed. People become obsessed with what they didn’t do rather than what they’ve done. So what’s a great way to ensure you do the most with the time that you have? Well the “simple” answer is to find out what you’re passionate about. Yet I’m in college and many have spent a lifetime trying to figure it out. So here are my thoughts:
- Do as much as you can while you can – You see an opportunity? Seize it. Don’t let it pass you by. If you end up hating the opportunity you’re given, take it as a learning experience and as a way to figure out what you don’t want to do.
- Keep a mental checklist of what you enjoy – No, it doesn’t have to start with the passion! Trust your gut, if you love picking up garbage, take a note. Once you have a good list of what you’re involved with, what you enjoy, sit down and take the time to reflect and find common themes.
- Don’t let others influence what you enjoy – If you like playing video games, great! If someone says it’s a waste of time, does it really matter? That’s their opinion and your experience shouldn’t be dependent on what they say. I, for example, am a comic book geek among many things. If you mention super heroes, I’ll light up and go on and on about it. Embrace every aspect of yourself and try to pull the good from the “bad”!
- Go with the flow – Be open to new experiences! Don’t say no, start saying yes! You never know what you might enjoy until you try it! So be brave and try to think “This didn’t happen as expected, but it ended up being better than expected”! You don’t have to enjoy every aspect of the adventures you go on, but do your best to pick out pieces of the experience you enjoyed. This will help narrow the search!
- Build Genuine relationships with others – Surprise! This may seem out there but it’s true! Make true, genuine friends. Questions you should be asking yourself: “Who do I hang out with?”, “Why do I hang out with this people?” and “How do my friends make me feel?”. The whole is better than the sum of the parts! Don’t forget to ask your friends about their passions as well!
So there you have it! My five tips on how to discover your passions! Hope it helps and thanks for reading!