It’s worth a try…

Faced with a choice– yes or no– the opportunity to try something new, pushing ourselves outside our comfort zone, dwells among hesitation. Remain safely within your confinement of comfortability not pursuing the option, or attempt something completely different, perhaps undone before, and receive an experience out of the pursuit.

Risk assessment, thoughts of failure, and fear accompany the choice, but cloud the potential of prosperity coming out of an untried, new endeavor. Rationally speaking, 99.9% of the chances you take, even in complete and utter failure, won’t cause any detrimental, long-term harm. I advocate a new venture every day, seizing every possible opportunity presented. Without doing so, you neglect the experience (which I solemnly believe is the best teacher) of something new and perhaps useful, fun, or beneficial to your wellbeing or goals.

Life begins outside of your comfort zone. Isn’t it worth a try?

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The Illusion of Perceptions

Reality sits unchangeable, figuratively “set in stone”. However, your perception of it remains changeable.

Too much, others strive for an ambitious goal, fall short of it, and harshly fault himself/herself for failure. By changing perspectives, one’s hopes, moods, evaluations, and mindsets will positively (or negatively) be influenced.

The first rule of entrepreneurship demands a bold demeanor, being capable of staring down risk and accepting potential failure. An intrepid personality, always remaining valiant in endeavors, efforts and experimentation, allows the opportunity for a diversity of experiences, with those experiences teaching with failure as the core competency.

Failure at a glance holds the illusion of no success– a defeat without retribution. Change the perspective and learn from the experience, ultimately welcoming failure. Did you die? With a drop of resilience, failure acts ultimately as a blessing. As ambitious as you are, accepting defeat is obsolete, leaving you striving for something better. Moving forward, whatever it may be, that failure plays part to the next success; whatever caused failure originally is taken into account, resulting in better implementation preceding the failure.

An acquaintance of mine, Matt, explained to me his intention to attend Stanford out of high school. Even after filling his schedule with rigorous AP courses, challenging extra-curricular activities, and dragging late-nights studying in pursuit of receiving that glorious acceptance letter, Stanford rejected his application, leaving him broken and distraught. Concurrently, he applied to his second choice, was accepted, and now attends Berekely, holding a 4.0 and laying the foundation of a promising career. He elaborated on his change of perspective a month after receiving his rejection notice. He showed no despair, accepting the unchangeable fact, learning from it, and acting accordingly. He realized his efforts, while although extraordinary, failed to meet Stanford’s standard of admittance, leaving him with the realization of needing to work harder and still strive for something greater at his still-amazing, second choice school– a sun ray of hope in a storm of despair, foreshadowing the spectacle of a brighter day.

An entrepreneur’s change of perspective shows failure as useful experience; Matt’s change of perspective led him out of grief to something better than originally imagined.

Change your perspective. Find your rationale. There’s reason to be content all around us, we just need to find it.

Don’t despair. You’re a genius.

Albert Einstein– a gifted, prodigy of a man to say the least– credited with developing the Theory of Relativity and an immaculate assortment of knowledge and wisdom coined the phrase, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Maybe feelings of worthlessness, envy, or discontent dwell in the mind of a person always wanting something better, but perhaps you haven’t found or developed your great intellect.

Keep an open mind. Expand your horizons. Remain curious.

It’s the little things… (work smarter)

If it’s not recognizable, I fully advocate diligence, persistence, and motivation. Hard works trumps talent, yet smart work dwarfs the efforts of hard work. Progress comes from a constant grind and steady pursuit of something greater, leaving you exhausted, perhaps reaching farther. With one simple trick, I promise you the productivity and perseverance needed on this journey to success…

I find myself putting in honest hours, leaving the desk for nothing less than a bathroom break or to refill my glass of water. Tenacity remains an aspiring quality, yet it masks the illusion of a downfall– not taking the necessary moments to recollect and simply breathe. Last week, staring in the face of a project requiring three strenuous hours of work, I decided to step outside, taking a breath of fresh air. Refreshed, I resumed work and decided to step away from the project every hour until finished.

Unconsciously I worked smarter– allocating time to regain focus by taking a five minute walk to “smell the roses” and realize the beauty in this moment intertwined with this God forsaken project. Since then I’ve applied a similar strategy these last few weeks, with temporary reliefs paying dividends immensely. I accomplish more and find myself increasingly focused, putting in longer hours.

Pause. Breathe. Remember that everything’s okay, and you’ll be fine.

Work smarter, not harder.

Gratitude, we’re doing it wrong.

In the spirit of festivities we give thanks for the array of blessings presented. While I thoroughly enjoy receiving the texts conveying gratitude for me and smiling in the face of abundant thankful Facebook posts, I ponder their absence the remainder of the year.

Why express thankfulness solely every fourth Thursday of November? Morally speaking, show gratification every day, correct?

I challenge you to change your outlook to one perceived in an essence of mindfulness. Rejoice, and give thanks for waking up; thank your mom for making breakfast; let him/her know the happiness from seeing them today; pray and express your thanks for another beautiful day in this wonderful life.

Be thankful for every blessing (most of which often overlooked and forgotten). After weeks of constant gratitude, I promise you’ll see the light differently; you’ll be more grateful, less worrisome. Materialistically, it leaves you craving less, and leaves you recollecting more on your divine fortune.

How’s your balance?

Analytically, literally, and mentally, balance gives you the stability you need; properly utilized, you’ve reached steadiness… When balanced you’re free to move, either in response or by will, in any direction.

Balance, crucial to a harmonized life, requires the art of managing a professional and personal life in synchronization. Easy? No. Accomplishable? With a little discipline and persistence (as is anything else).

The viability of a career that brings as much joy professionally, as does personally, remains extraordinary and rare, allowing me advocation of a healthy balance. Strenuously work and it becomes burdensome to muster a smile; accommodate every personal pleasure and perhaps end up making little of yourself.

Allocate time for work, then time for play. Venture to create something of yourself with the utmost effort, but don’t lose yourself along the way.

The Illusion of Success

Success isn’t an end result, it’s a skill.

Fathom that for a second… Too many peers accept the falsity that if you attend college, study a craft,  and receive a degree proclaiming you “educated,” then the finances, career, and professional stability will align with ease, leaving you comfortable and content. A promising theory, but practically I assure fallaciousness at its finest.

Thousands of dollars to pursue higher education, yet this Accounting major pours my next cup of coffee. Confident she did well in the required courses, I question her investment in the skill of success. What class teaches marketing yourself to prospective employers? What class teaches selling yourself in an interview? What class teaches utilizing a college degree?

Realize that the prior success story of the masses is a lie. Read a book, find a mentor, and invest in your success. Between the skill of success and the art of a craft, which is dependent on the other?

Why you should always strive for progress…

The past– moments in time, due to our absurd imaginations of what-if’s and constant reminiscences of the milestones and falters, sometimes conveys more value in retrospect than in that moment. Hold me accountable for the crime of dwelling too much on past accomplishments and gratification, forever hoping to return to that solace, but examine yourself as well.

Moving forward is challenging when the comfort of what previously worked pampers us or what previously collapsed haunts us. Sorrow not on past failures whether it be relationships, occupations, or experiences, and covet not on prior successes, yet acknowledge the realization that those memories of sorrow or grief resemble  who you are right now. Strive to progress that existence.

“Progress lies not in enhancing what was or is, but in advancing toward what will be.”

What are you made of?

An exam tomorrow, an essay due in three hours, class in an hour, tennis practice tomorrow at 6:00AM, college applications, and all I’ve eaten today is a piece of toast…

Ever find yourself staring face-to-face with a mountain of things to do and places to be, and you just want to lay down, praying that it will disappear? Me too. Occasionally, I question if I’ve spread myself too thin and doubt my continuation. My parents told me, “Don’t bite off more than you can chew.” Sorry, Mom and Dad, but I’d rather choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity.

Perhaps it resulted from procrastination, or perhaps it resulted from ambition, nevertheless, you’re in this situation. Complain? Go ahead. Surrender? Be my guest. But remember…

“If it was easy, everyone would do it.”

The Importance of Creativity

Creativity… the pinnacle of human innovation.

Too long, I indulged in solely my own interests and my own hobbies I matured with. Arrogant, I regarded anything else but what I previously understood. There’s a natural bias we all share, a bias that at first response dictates our selfishness and self-righteousness– we’re supercilious to perspectives different than our own. With that bias, we limit ourselves to our knowledge; our creativity never prospers, yet fades away,  diminishing our personal enrichment and a broad, diverse recognition of life.

Of course it’s human nature, but I encourage you to recognize this bias then act accordingly. The different, unique perspectives and opinions, unlike your own, you familiarize yourself with pay dividends on your personal outlook.

Immerse yourself in something different; see the light while looking through a different lens. Understanding and welcoming this immense horizon of life allows you the opportunity to flourish personally, professionally, and utmost– creatively.