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Month: August 2017

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number Baby!

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number Baby!

You’re being a bit too literal Kevin Heart…

To be more specific, it is NEVER too late to do what you have always wanted to do…

Let me tell you a fantastic story that might make you change your tune about it “being too late.”

My Aunt Carol has been taking my cousin Michael to Taekwondo lessons for many years. She always sat on the sidelines cheering him on and loving every minute of it. But throughout those years, she began to develop an interest in the sport beyond her sons. Could I do this? She wondered. Am I too old? Well she answered her own questions by just doing it

(This is my Aunt Carol holding a certificate for receiving her brown belt!)

Aunt Carol put her age aside and is quite literally kicking ass! So what is stopping you from your dream? Are you in the wrong career? Does it suck the life out of you and make you just live for the weekend? Are you actually Peter Gibbons from Office Space?

Well let me just say it again…it’s never too late!

I have another fun story for you about someone you can actually relate to. My friend Kelly is an amazing person who was really good at her job and actually enjoyed it. But it came to a point where she was not fulfilled in her career. She decided to take a huge risk, leave this awesome job, and totally switch careers! Her words are better than mine when explaining her situation…

Something in me woke up when I turned 30 and told me it was time to grow a set and go for it. Science always scared the shit out of me, so I put a dream of mine in my deep subconscious and went for the easy way out. No regrets though, I’ve had fun and made some of my most solid friendships and relationships out of it. But I’m terrified and excited to announce I’ve been accepted to Holy Family’s accelerated nursing program, starting in January. I’ll have a BSN in my hand in March 2019 and I have never been more excited. And petrified. I can’t wait to save people, to learn and this program just seemed to be the perfect fit.”

Congrats Kelly! I support you and your dreams!

My point of telling you these stories are because they are relatable. I could tell you a million and one stories about famous actors or athletes that never gave up, but could you personally relate to Michael Jordan or Oprah? It’s amazing what they have done, but I’m not trying to be the best in the world at anything….

I personally feel as though some of the reasons we aren’t living our dreams is because we think we should have arrived at them by a certain time.

But why do we feel this way? A great example is that most of us feel like when we graduate high school, we have to go to college, get a degree in 4 years,obtain a career, and we’re set. Sounds easy right? NOT!

(I took the alternate path and didn’t graduate until I was 27)

We are all supposed to know at the age of 17 or 18 what we want to do for the rest of our lives? Some do, and that is freaking amazing! I have a ton of friends who always have known what they wanted to do and have successful careers and I am so proud of them. But at the same time, I felt slightly envious. I’ve always known I was creative, loved to write, and make people laugh, but never really felt like I had pinpointed a career, nor did I feel like I had any kind of path to follow.

But maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t have a specific path, so I could create my own. I mean, my path was full of potholes, red lights, and waiting for ducks to cross, but hey it was a path. And maybe if I had forced myself to follow a specific path because I felt like I had to, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I remember when I went back to school I had posted something on Facebook about getting an A on a test, I was super proud of myself. Later that day, I saw someone I had graduated high school with post something along the lines of “Why are you guys still bragging about grades, we all graduated college years ago!” At first, this made me feel small, silly for posting my grade, and slightly ashamed for being back in school so late. But why? Why do we have to all graduate at the same time? Get jobs at the same time? Accomplish our biggest goals at the same time?

Isn’t it kind of fabulous to learn through this thing called life, so when we do shoot for the moon we actually get there? And WE are the ones that discover that it is made of cheese? And not those who made fun of us who are still sitting around their boring jobs watching us discover that the moon is made of cheese? 

When you think about the time we are living in right now, we have so many opportunities at our fingertips. We can teach ourselves things from watching YouTube videos, we can educate ourselves through Ted Talks, we have access to all kinds of fascinating information. So what are you waiting for?

Stop making excuses, you’re as young as feel, you can do it put your back into it 😉

 

 

Don’t Call It a Comeback! You’ve been here for years.

 

Don’t Get Bitter, Just Get Better. The Constructive Criticism Saga

Don’t Get Bitter, Just Get Better. The Constructive Criticism Saga

 

OH. YES. I. DID

 Hearing constructive criticism feels awful.

It doesn’t matter if you ask for it, if it’s well deserved, or if it’s of the smallest detail. It never feels good to hear your hard work criticized, because you did in fact work hard. I read a quote by Norman Vincent Peale recently that really resonated with me, “The trouble with most of us is we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Hm…you’re telling me that it is so unbearable to hear that you made a mistake or that there is room for improvement that you would rather fail…

You’re damn right Louis CK!

If you are NEVER criticized, how in the hell do you expect to get any better?

As weird as it sounds, listening to the “bad” things people tell you can actually turn into something incredibly good! Do you think no one ever criticized Beyonce? I’m sure now they are more hesitant, but Beyonce sure as hell didn’t become Beyonce without a little constructive criticism…

So, not only did she get criticized, but on national television no less? AND it looks like she also lost a “who wore it better” contest. Damn, Beyonce. But, because of listening to that constructive criticism from those “Star Search” judges..DAYYYYYYYYUM BEYONCE! SLAY!

Speaking of constructive criticism, I actually received some immediately following my first blog…from my DAD!

Which brings me to my next point, in my opinion it’s more difficult to hear these things from your closest family and friends. But they want to tell you first to help save you from any heartache. They are saying this with love, try to listen knowing that. Wouldn’t you rather be a little butt hurt with the truth, than comforted with a lie?

But, there are always those that take it just a little too far.

Sometimes people approach this constructive criticism the wrong way, and it becomes destructive. These are the people that may have ruined how we take criticism in the first place. Telling me I suck isn’t constructive, it’s just criticism. It’s important to know the difference between someone that is just being mean and someone who is actually trying to help you and that we don’t confuse the two.

Embrace the help of those who have your best interest at heart and kill with kindness those who are trying to dim your light…

So now that we know the difference between those who want to help us and those who want to hurt us, let’s move on to asking for this very helpful constructive criticism shall we? If you are really interested in being successful, you won’t be shy about asking for help to get there. Unless you think you’re perfect, which you’re not…but hey if you think you are, good luck with that…

I watched a Ted Talk recently by Kathryn Shulz where she said something that really hit me, ” Trusting too much in the feeling of being on the correct side of anything can be very dangerous.” It can be dangerous for that person as well as everyone around them. It’s important to be confident, but be realistic also.

An example of asking for help to get better, is me asking my husband to proofread my blogs before I post them…

I remember when he first pointed out the flaws in my writing, it was slightly devastating. I certainly knew there were mistakes, but I immediately felt upset because I thought my mistakes took away from the message I had worked to hard to relay. But I quickly understood that he only wanted to help make it the best it could possibly be, and I thank god for his proofreading..trust me! But that doesn’t mean there will never be a mistake in my blog posts…

Great, we discussed the importance of asking for help! This may be something you want to work on, or you may be someone who has no fear of asking for help or advice. If you are one of those people, also ask yourself this…

Don’t be an Askhole.

This does not mean that you always to have to take someones advice, but you should try it every once in a while. Those who give you advice are looking out from an outsiders perspective, it could help. If you get stuck thinking your way is always the best, you will drown. Remember the definition of insanity? I mentioned it before…

Try a different way and get a different result!

Maybe this new way is risky and something you wouldn’t normally do. But without risk there is no reward right? In my experience, it can be disastrous to go through life worrying you will make a mistake. Mistakes are how we grow and become better, let go of that fear and welcome the mistakes as well as people helping you find them!

Yes.You.Can!

Take my advice, listen to the constructive criticism people give you. Figure out if it is helpful or hurtful and use it wisely. Do you think when Eminem got booed off stage he went home and cried in his moms spaghetti? NOPE! Do you think when Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for lacking imagination he threw in the towel? NOPE! Do you think when Drexel University denied me the first time for acceptance into their school I gave up on getting my degree? NOPE! I called and got advice on how to improve to get in, worked it out, tried again…and boom…I got accepted. I’m not nearly on the level as the other two examples, but you get the point 🙂

Do it for yourself. Do it for those who are watching you, lead by example. Show them how you don’t get bitter, but get better!

 

I will leave you with these powerful words written by a brilliant man….

“Don’t stop, get it, get it!”

-Ice Cube.