Stress

Why do we get so intimated from this word? Why are we taught to believe stress is a bad thing?

Stress allows us to grow. It allows us to learn and realize our potential. It cannot be avoided. If you want to achieve anything in your life, at some point you will have to bear this feeling.

It’s not the amount of stress you carry that breaks you down. It’s how you carry it.

Jay Shetty

Throughout our lives, we will face numerous problems and situations. Each one may be completely different than the other. However, the feeling will always be the same. We will always have a sense of added weight onto our shoulders. How we carry this weight is what drags us down. We often blame the problems or complain about the situation we are put in. When in reality, it’s the solution we should be focusing on. I have learned that we have little to no control over the majority of the situations we are put in. In the end, we are defined by how we react.

When you change the way you carry that weight, you are changing your perception of stress. Instead of seeing it as a hurdle or hinderance; you start seeing it as an opportunity. Shifting my perspective has changed the way I deal with problems and make decisions.

Another issue I dealt with was being involved with too many different things. I was involved with 6 different clubs and taking over 17 hours of classes. It was rare for me to have any time for just myself. I was involved in things that would have little to no benefit in the career I wanted to pursue. I realized this once I took the time to define who I wanted to be. Understanding myself allowed me to understand what types of loads I needed to be carrying.

I am a victim of overthinking. There have been countless times where I overthink a situation and often perceive it worse than it actually is. This causes me to be stressful and clouds my decision making. Distracting myself by doing things I like usually helps me avoid this issue. Over the summer I had no idea where I would be in August due to immigration. I had just graduated from the University of Kansas having no idea what my future holds. My whole life was dependent on a piece of paper from the government. My family came to visit me for my graduation in May. It wasn’t until after they left, I realized all the stress and anxiety I had of my future. There were numerous sleepless nights and stressful moments. I eventually realized, how little control I had over the situation. Wasting my time thinking about or worrying about what was to happen would only add onto the stress. So, I started reading, working out, cooking different dishes, selling stuff online, watching movies etc.. Anything that would distract me. I had done everything right and trusted that whatever would happen will happen for the best. When we start overthinking, we start adding weight that was never meant to be there.

Every time I face a difficult situation or have a lot of pressure on me, I start reflecting. I reflect on past situations where I had the same feeling and how I overcame it. I use my past accomplishments as a way to inspire and motivate me to get through my present. More often than, we give little to no credit for our past. We have to take the time to appreciate the things we have accomplished to have the ability to appreciate the things we will.

I am constantly trying to improve and trying to learn new ways o dealing with stress. I believe it is important to know that dealing with stress isn’t. It is something that can’t be avoided and it is perfectly okay to have a breakdown. In the end, we are human and we aren’t perfect.

Thank you so much for reading this week’s post! I would love to hear your moethods of overcoming stress! Tune in next Sunday to read about time management.

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My Week without Headphones

We are constantly listening to something. Whether we’re walking, working out, driving, studying, eating, or even meditating, we spend so much time with our headphones and separate ourselves from the present. Music allows us to harmonize and express our emotions. It is a type of glue they can bind us together. However, we have to make sure it does not overwhelm us. We have to make sure that we are still listening to the oldest and greatest composer of all, Nature.

I lost my headphones about a month ago. I am always listening to something. When I’m at the gym, I listen to hip-hop or rock. When I’m studying, I listen to something slower. When I’m driving, I listen to the radio. When I’m walking, cooking, or doing anything that requires little to no effort, I am listening to podcasts. I carried my headphones with me everywhere and it wasn’t until two weeks ago I became aware of the illusion it creates.

We shift our focus to whatever we are listening to. In a way, we start believing what we’re listening to is the true present. The first two weeks I lost my headphones, I didn’t think too much of it. I didn’t realize how dependent I really was. I had backup headphones but I didn’t carry them because they were too bulky. So, the only time I would be listening to something was when I was home. Then, eventually, I started becoming aware of the changes.

Every morning I take about a thirteen-minute walk from my car to campus. My path lies in a beautiful neighborhood with wide houses and serene lawns. I started noticing the smallest details. I started to notice the curved shape of the sidewalk and the way it blends in perfectly with the road. I started to notice the way the sun shines through the branches of the tallest trees. I could hear the birds chirping and the squirrels jumping. I started to realize how heavenly the world really is.

Taking the time to just listen, allowed me to appreciate so much. I was able to become more aware of the present and gain a sense of control.

About a week later, I got new headphones. However, the music I listen to on my morning walk remains the same. It is the one song that I could listen to a thousand times and never get bored of. In a way, I think it is a type of meditation for me. I am able to pay attention to every breath I take whilst, listening to my surroundings. I’m not saying to quit listening to entertainment. I’m simply trying to convince you to take at least five to six minutes out of your day to take a walk outside and just listen. You’ll start to notice things that you had no idea existed. Listen with an open mind and a grateful heart.

Thank you so much for reading this week’s post! I would love to hear your thoughts below! Tune in next Sunday to read about perfection.

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Morning Routine

This is probably one of the most undervalued concepts in our society. The morning is usually the only time that we have to ourselves. Once we get to work, school or even just check your mail you are devoting time to someone else. How we use it plays a vital role in determining the quality of that day.

This is something I have been working on probably for 4 years. Ever since my freshman year in college, I was striving to find a productive morning routine. There was about a week where I would wake up at 5 am and go get a workout in with my friend. This did not last very long due to an increase in workload and simply lack of motivation. Then throughout the summers of my college career, I would try to implement different ways of being productive throughout the day. Due to the sporadic nature of my routines, I couldn’t build a structured regiment.

It wasn’t until this summer when I really took the time and reflected upon my failed attempts. I realized the main reason I wasn’t able to follow through with my routines was due to a lack of a plan. I realized that the best morning routine starts the night before.

Having a plan allows me to be the most productive of my time. Before, I would wake up and think of what I should do. This would cause a lack of motivation in the long run and didn’t build any structure. I also realized that the morning routine you follow has to resonate with you.

When you look up morning routines, you will find hundreds of different things people do. What you may notice is that no two routines are the same. Similarly, you have to take the time to understand and build a routine that resonates with your goal. For example, my routine consists of meditation, push-ups or pull-ups, cold shower, personal reading, and business reading. The combination of meditation, some type of physical activity, and a cold shower allows me to wake up my mind and body. Reading is something that I used to struggle with and would find numerous excuses to ignore it. So I chose to implement it into my routine instead. Your routine should, in a way, be an extension of your personality.

Lastly, it takes time to build the right routine. I have been on my routine for almost 3 months and I am still taking out and adding stuff in. The only thing that matters is that you are consistent.

In the end, I am no expert. This is just my opinion and what I have found best to work for me. I have some friends who work better at nights or strive in unstructured days. So, take the time to reflect and understand yourself. I would like you to use this as inspiration not as a blueprint.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! If you found this helpful, please share with your family and friends. Comment one of your favorite morning activities below (mine is breakfast). Let’s build a community dedicated to self-growth, together! Tune in next Sunday to read about the week I had with no headphones.

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Fear

Fear is something we face every day. At a macro scale, it acts as an ingredient of peace in our society. Individually, it is an impactful motivator for any and all of our actions. I believe fear is important. It is used to keep order and peace in our society. However, when looking at a micro-scale, it does more harm than good. When we take the time to understand this feeling, we will be able to understand where our actions are coming from.

More often than not, we make numerous scenarios in our minds and act according to the path with the least resistance. Why do we let such a feeling control our whole lives?

Fear prevents me from trying something new. Fear prevents me from committing to someone. Fear prevents me from being myself. Humans have the ability to reason. Reason becomes a double-edged sword when thinking about fear. Based on preconceived notions, we create scenarios in our heads that prevent us from doing what we really want.

I have always been afraid of failing. Whether it was for following through on a commitment or simply a test. It has prevented me from trying a lot of things. When I took the time to understand what this feeling is, I was able to gain more control over my actions. I started to understand, which actions I was making out of choice and which actions I was making out of fear.

I have experienced those scenarios coming true. Whether it was me failing at a sport or someone breaking my trust, I realized that I was still better off taking the chance. Everyone says that you live only once. I say that you live every day and only die once. Every day is another chance to make a change. Instead of taking that chance, why should we spend it being afraid?

Thank you so much for reading this post! I would love to hear some of your fears and how you overcame them down below. Tune in next Sunday to read about Morning Routines.

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Perspective

We often have to deal with situations where we believe we have no choice or control over it. We feel we are limited by our circumstances and have to deal the consequences no matter what. Maybe it’s not our circumstances that limit us. Maybe it’s our perspective.

I believe there are multiple perspectives for every situation. For example, there are two distinct perspectives for facing struggles or challenges. You can dread it and keep asking yourself: “why does this happen to me?” or you can use it as an opportunity and ask: “what can I learn from this?” We are defined by the perspective we choose.

Understanding different perspectives can also allow us to understand each other. In a society that is keen on labeling every individual based on a few distinct characteristics, we are often too quick to judge and are never able to understand one another wholly. I made numerous mistakes where I judged someone based on how they talk or dress and didn’t bother to get to know them further. This narrow mindset has prevented me from making numerous valuable relationships. I have realized the best way to overcome judging anyone is taking the time to understand them. Instead of only seeing a few pieces of the puzzle, we need to step back and understand the whole picture.

Even time has multiple perspectives. We can see time as a thief that takes away your days. Or, you can see it as a benevolent giver that gifts you every moment. Whether it’s joyous or despair, understand that it is temporary.

Taking the time to understand different perspectives has redefined my perception of the world. I have realized that nothing can be defined by one perspective; rather, it is a combination.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I would love to hear your thoughts down below! Tune in next Sunday to read about fear.

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Values

We live in a society that strives on rules. Each one has its own set of values and restrictions. We are rewarded for following them and punished for disobeying. It is a vital ingredient for maintaining peace and harmony. Why are we missing this same ingredient when it comes to ourselves?

Just like society, every individual needs to have their own rules. It gives us a sense of purpose and illustrates who we are. These rules are values that you live by and stand for. They are things you have been taught by your past and you want to live for in your future. It is what you want everyone else to remember you as. Even if it changes, your values are something that should resonate with you on a spiritual level.

I am very indecisive. There have been numerous times where I freeze up and simply can’t decide what I want. I didn’t think too much of it until recently. After doing a lot of self-reflection, I realized these moments stem from a much deeper root. I simply did not understand who I was. I had to create a set of rules for myself that would guide me for making minuscule to life-changing decisions. When realizing my values, I didn’t simply think about it and move on. I understood that if I wanted to root these values, then I must take more time in understanding myself and visualizing exactly what these would mean. Essentially, I had to take the time to understand each and every one. I took about a week or so and wrote down seven values that I would strictly follow.

These values can’t be found on the internet or a book. They must come from you! You define your own purpose and visualize the person you want to become. You visualize the type of partner, son, daughter, friend, leader, etc… From that visualization, you determine how you can grow to achieve that.

Defining my values didn’t eliminate my indecisiveness, but it did reduce it. Just like anything, your values have to be practiced. It is still difficult for me to stand by these rules. What helps me is remembering why I wrote them in the first place and my purpose. I look at my list of values every single day. Every time I look I ask my self: “Did I stand by these rules today?” Peace has to be found within ourselves before we can look to find it in the world.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I would love to hear any and all your values down below! Tune in next Sunday to learn about perspective.

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Trust

Trust is one of the most powerful beliefs in our society. It can take years to build, yet, seconds to destroy. Everyone wants to be trusted and thrive on it. That is why it is important to understand how it works. I am currently reading The Speed of Trust by Stephen M.R. Covey and learned that it is built upon four qualities: integrity, intent, capabilities, and results.

Integrity has a very narrow connotation in our society. It is not just being the “nice guy.” It is following through with commitments that you make both to yourself and others. It means to be understanding and open to new perspectives. It is about having the courage to stand up for your beliefs no matter how many people are supporting you. I made a lot of commitments to myself and others that I would either forget or not follow through on. I always agreed with the crowd and never really defined my own values. This made it difficult for the ones around me to trust my judgment.

We judge ourselves based on our intent and others judge us based on our behavior.

Stephen M.R. Covey

Intent is knowing your reasons behind your actions. So many of us continue our lives without understanding our “why.” If you want to gain genuine trust then it has to come from a caring motive. You have to show that your “why” is about caring and for mutual benefit. There also has to be an agenda. We can have a motive for what we do but without a plan, we get nowhere. Having a motive defines your “why” and having an agenda defines your “how.” Finally, we have to take action. We can have the right motive and a great agenda but if we never take action, then we stay the same. There have been a lot of times where I would have the right motive and a detailed agenda but was too afraid to take action.

Trust cannot be achieved if you do not know your capabilities. You have to know your strengths. We are taught that we should focus on our weaknesses and try to improve them. I have realized that you get more benefit from focusing on your strengths and then surrounding yourself with individuals who make up for your weaknesses. Trust is something that needs to be maintained. A programmer this year has much more advanced skills that a programmer ten years ago. So, to maintain trust you have to keep improving. It becomes tough to trust someone to get future results when they are only using the tactics of the past. Finally, it is tough to hit a target if you do not know what you are aiming for. If you don’t know what your end goal is, then it is difficult for anyone, even yourself, to trust you. Having a detailed goal allowed me to better communicate with my peers.

The final quality needed to build trust is results. You can have all the other three qualities but if you aren’t producing results it is difficult for anyone to trust you. There are three actions that can be taken to improve your results. First, you have to take responsibility for your results. Even if it is good or bad. More often than not, we are told to take responsibilities for our actions. However, when taking responsibility for our results as well, we are able to be more innovative. For example, my needed result is losing 2% body fat. Instead of only focusing on the small activities in between- maintaining a proper diet, working out a certain amount of times a weak, reps, and weights- I also focus on the end result. This allows me to have an open mind and understand there are multiple ways of achieving that result. Second, you have to expect to win. It takes the same amount of effort to think about your downfall as it does to think about your success. If you expect yourself to lose, then why are you trying in the first place? Finally, whatever the consequences are you have to finish strong. This concept goes back to the idea of maintaining your commitments. When we face an obstacle we can either use it as an excuse to quit or a chance to pivot and change direction. Whatever we chose is what ultimately defines us.

Trust has always been a difficult thing for me. After reading this book, I have realized why. I understood that if we want to build trust with others, then we first have to trust ourselves. Every time you break a commitment- even as small as waking up at a time you have decided to or not defending your values, you are losing trust in yourself. This post is for those people who may be in the same position. Do not simply read this and move on. I want you to take action!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post! I would love to read your thoughts! Tune in next Sunday to learn about values.

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