Just focus.

Ever find yourself lacking attention in a conversation, lecture, video, or reading? Fluctuating like a volatile market or the emotions of a 15-year-old girl in high school, the degree of focus pertaining to a matter either captivates with the utmost attention, truly indulging us, or leaves us contemplating everything else surrounding us.

Remember the last time someone or something enlightened you, grasping your attention in such a sheer, absolute manner? Fathom the possibilities if you could control that focus at will. Paramount focus, not only to our greatest passions, but in the affairs of socialization, learning, and the daily business of life, allows immense opportunistic circumstances when applied.

Focus on your job; focus on school; focus on your project; focus on your relationships; focus on your future. There are different remedies for different levels of growth, but whatever the essence, focus in any direction is critical and crucial to progress.

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Have a vision? This is what you need.

We all chase a vision: a luxurious life, riches, self-transcendence, and so forth. What stands in our way? What do we lack? Clearly, it ultimately resides with us; our future unfolds from the actions taken, the demeanor embraced, and the outlook viewed. I cannot advocate enough for others to chase the wildest dreams. Despite falling short there is always something tangible to show for your efforts. In the pursuit of everything we dream of, two things are required—confidence and ignorance.

Every decision takes some intellectual realization that this option proved the best or most logical. You, no one else, idealized an outcome in line with your choice. Embrace that confidence. Chase your wildest dreams with the confidence that what you do proves just with what you strive to complete. Stay rooted, holding your head high, and move forward. Understand this dream resulted solely from you and your insight. Chase it.

Next, comes the equally critical complement—ignorance. What works for you may not supplement your family, your network, let alone the majority of people the same way. Does that mean you are wrong? Societal standards are not necessary, despite representing the commonly-accepted practice. Remain ignorant of people who abstain from offering you support, motivation, or anything else needed. Embrace your vision with confidence; proceed with ignorance—deflecting all that is adverse.

“All you need is ignorance and confidence, and the success is sure.” –Mark Twain

The Great Escape

Life get’s complicated; life get’s overwhelming; life get’s unbearable. With your back against the wall, the beauty of choice proves to be a blessing—you have the choice to temporarily walk away and escape from the havoc. Some use exercise, some use socialization, some use sex… the list goes on. My escape isn’t unique, but it gives me relief—all that matters.

Life gets enduring; I’m constantly on the grind. Personally, nothing brings the sheer satisfaction compared to hearing music and writing a blog entry, personal reflection, or a diagnosis of my emotions of the day. It works for me; no one will ever understand the joy writing while listening to music gives me.

I encourage you to find your own escape. What grants you the serenity to relax and level out emotions? What relaxes you after a day of continuous anxiety?

Find your escape. Indulge in it… You deserve it.

The Retrospective Perspective

Live in the moment– that’s where life happens. An experience nonetheless, but what if you relive the moment a second time? Analyzing, writing about, or explaining gives the opportunity to undergo that moment again– in retrospect– sometimes proving more beneficial than before.

We learn from our decisions and the experiences that result. Exhilarating at the time, some of the moments never receive a second thought. We live in the moment, captivated by the immediate illusion in front of us, but if we take the extra second to reflect, you see the light for what it truly is. From a retrospective perspective you truly grow and mature. Take the accumulation of the high and low points of my life…

High points accompanied by confidence, satisfaction, cheers, and congratulations rebalance the disappointments of low points consisting of shame, defeat, malevolence, and demoralization, living each instance emotionally and thoroughly. Yet, in retrospect, I see the history of me and how I’ve progressed. I see the moments of prevalence; I see the moments of vanquish. Every happening that challenged my ability to either stay hopeful or stay humble, when analyzed in retrospect, tell me who I am. How did I get there? How did I act? How did I grow from thereon? Did I learn from it? Did I mature from it?

“A retrospective perspective grants you the ability to learn once again from preceding experiences– through this vantage you see what was meant to be seen.”

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?

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.