I’d like to think that every day could be considered a new adventure. You never know what surprises lay in store each day and that precisely is what makes me wake up in the morning. It’s not always about the money for me. I’m driven by looking to see what each new day will bring to my life.
Life’s adventures can be the simplest of things—a drive with family and friends, a nice dinner out, or even taking the time to learn a new skill. Believing that every day is an adventure is a core belief of mine and I think it’s a good reason to keep on living. I’ve had my share of psychological issues but from what I’ve learned over years of therapy is that every day is a new tomorrow and that even when bad things happen, good things are still waiting on the sidelines.
Take the time to savor each sunrise and sunset and think about what your life’s motivation is. What is your passion in life? Could you simply be a great life coach and mentor who enlightens others on the wisdom you have gleaned over the years? I believe that finding your passion in life is crucial as it adds a sense of meaning and purpose to your being.
Try to avoid the negative influences in your life and those who will try to bring you down. They will only sap your energy and make you less motivated to get through each day. You will feel much better once you are rid of them because your self-esteem and sense of self-worth will improve.
Remember that you are a special person who can contribute so much to society. Dream big and shoot for the stars. Stay close to the people you hold dear and never let them go. They are the ones who will always be in your cheering section and inspire you to keep going. I want you to believe that you are worthy of positive things and that even when things seem to be really bad, you won’t give up on yourself. Find an outlet to express your feelings as this will cleanse away the demons that seem to haunt you.
I want you to not plod through each day and think of your days as meaningless and mundane. Try to do something exciting and out of your comfort zone. Take classes and learn how to do things you’ve always wanted to do. Go for a walk and see what you discover during this break in your routine. There is so much out there waiting to be discovered.
Remember most of all that every day is a new adventure. I can’t say this enough. Go somewhere you’ve never been before if you have the time. You will be glad that you did. You will marvel at the world around you and maybe even consider trying to change what you don’t like about your environment.
Never stop believing in yourself and your potential. You are someone who will be great and do amazing things. I’ll be rooting for you each leg of your journey. I’ll never stop caring for you and thinking that you are someone special. Don’t let someone get you so down about yourself that you forget what makes you beautiful. You are important to the world and I know that you are extraordinary.
I hope that whoever reads this will realize that they are beautiful inside and out. My one wish is that people who read this find a sense of self-validation and come to the realization that every bad day leads to a new and brighter tomorrow. This is something my mom told me years ago during a dark period in my life and it still resonates with me today.
Take the time to reflect on your life and see what needs to be changed or improved. Do one new thing every day and I promise that you will not regret it. I’ve taken the time to contemplate my life lately and I’ve come to realize that change is indeed possible. I’ve grown up so much over the past few years and tried to cut myself loose from anything holding me down and stopping me from living the life that I’ve always imagined for myself.
Life is certainly one of the most epic adventures you can ever go on. It is full of action and excitement. It is stimulating and amazing. Your journey through life can be quite powerful and perhaps even change the world. I want you to believe that this is possible and don’t give up on living.
My plea for you is to think about what makes you wake up every day and what your motivation for living is. If you’re really down and thinking about hurting yourself, please try to get help. Help is available and there are people out there who can help you to cope with the feelings of negativity that seem to pervade your existence. I’ve received support over the past few years from therapists that have made me feel better about some of the bad experiences I’ve had.
Stop for a moment or two each day and think about the positive attributes of yourself that make you unique. This is a very cathartic exercise that will enable you to feel so much better about yourself. I journal on a daily basis and this has helped me express my feelings about what has made each day good or bad.
Maybe this piece will help you to go out and live a life that is beautiful and meaningful. I hope you know that I will always be rooting for you. I think that reflecting on the meaning of your life is something that is worth considering and will help you power through each day. Wake up every day and think about all the good things on the horizon. You will feel so much better when you consider each new day a blank slate.
29 Sep 2015 Leave a comment
I’d like to think that every day could be considered a new adventure. You never know what surprises lay in store each day and that precisely is what makes me wake up in the morning. It’s not always about the money for me. I’m driven by looking to see what each new day will bring to my life.
20 Sep 2015 1 Comment
Writer’s block is a problem that has plagued writers for years. I am almost positive that even the most successful and prolific authors have had bouts of writer’s block over the years. The issue though is how to handle this when it arises. I’m still figuring out my strategies of coping with this but here are a few tips when you’re lost for words:
• Put the difficult piece you’re writing aside for a bit and focus on something else. You may come up with ideas for the harder piece when you’re writing or doing something else.
• Do some writing exercises or writing prompts. These may trigger a burst of creativity and lead to some unexpected writing from you.
• Write when you’re most alert and awake. This will allow you to have more creative energy and be able to really focus on the project at hand.
You have to realize that every writer at some point will struggle with a piece that they’re trying to put on paper. Words don’t always come easily and when they finally do come the words may not be the ones you envisioned in your head. Sometimes the words you do end up writing though may be even better than you imagined they could be.
There is nothing wrong with admitting that you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to your writing. No one will think any less of you because you can’t expect to churn out words all the time. I know I certainly don’t. When the time is right the words will come to you and you could end up writing something quite beautiful and powerful.
Believe in yourself and your ability as a writer and come to terms with the fact that writing is a craft. It takes practice and creative and mental energy to compose great works. Try not to become overwhelmed when confronted with a writing project as this will only hinder your productivity and ability to write.
Other writers have provided advice over the years for coping with obstacles writers face including writer’s block and here are some of their strategies for confronting this issue:
• Maya Angelou wrote: “What I try to do is write. I may write for two weeks “the cat sat on the mat, that is that, not a rat.” And it might just be the most boring and awful stuff. But I try. When I’m writing, I write. And then it’s as if the muse is convinced that I’m serious and says, “Okay. Okay. I’ll come.”
• Neil Gaiman agreed with some of the strategies I wrote earlier and added: “Start at the beginning. Scribble on the manuscript as you go if you see something you want to change. And often, when you get to the end you’ll be both enthusiastic about it and know what the next few words are. And you do it all one word at a time.”
• Anne Lamott, author of writing books such as Bird by Bird, stated: “I encourage my students at times like these to get one page of something written, three hundred words of memories or dreams or stream of consciousness on how much they hate writing—just for the hell of it, just to keep their fingers from becoming too arthritic, just because they have made a commitment to try to write three hundred words every day.”
• The legendary Mark Twain had good advice for struggling writers when he said: “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks and then starting on the first one.”
• Orson Scott Card had some great advice for those coping with writer’s block and stated: “Writer’s block is my unconscious mind telling me that something I’ve just written is either unbelievable or unimportant to me, and I solve it by going back and reinventing some part of what I’ve already written so that when I write it again, it is believable and interesting to me. Then I can go on. Writer’s block is never solved by forcing oneself to “write through it”, because you haven’t solved the problem that caused your unconscious mind to rebel against the story, so it still won’t work—for you or for the reader.”
These writers are some of the successful writers around and their advice is incredibly helpful for those who wish to pursue writing as a profession. Writing is a communal exercise and with the insights these authors have provided, you may find the will to keep on writing and get your creative juices flowing. You may not become the next Hemingway or Twain but you may surprise yourself with what you’re able to produce when you’re in the right frame of mind.
I hope that the advice I’ve provided has enabled you to continue working on the more difficult writing tasks in your life and allow you to forge ahead. You will be grateful that you did because the world needs to read your work and wants to learn from your life experiences. Whether you are writing for fun or for profit you will want to be able to keep on writing the best things possible for your audience. Writing can truly be one of the most cathartic activities around which it has been for me and I definitely struggle with it but I believe that eventually I will power through and write something poignant and meaningful.
Writer’s block will never completely go away but it will improve the more you write. You will be able to dream up new ways to express yourself creatively and be eager and enthusiastic about the writing you’re about to do. Most of all you will be creating a sense of pride at what you are able to accomplish with your writing. It can be one of the most rewarding things that you can ever plan to do in your lifetime. Never give up and remain determined to write things that will mean something in the long run.
12 Sep 2015 Leave a comment
I still remember vividly
The day the towers came down
Filled with youth and innocence
Had no idea the world had changed
Thousands of lives were lost
Sacrifices were made
Life would never be the same
Patriotism was rampant
The American spirit remained true
We all knew what was necessary
And what we had to do
It was an unforgettable day
When the skies were gray with ashes
The day was full of horror at the three plane crashes
That day was one that no one can forget
We will always remember that day
It made us stronger as a nation
Memorials were erected
Names inscribed in stone
Services were held
To mark that solemn date
September 11 is now a day of remembrance
For the people taken too soon
Their names will not be forgotten
Respects will always be paid
Differences between us could be mended
A country united by name
That day could not break our country
Though our lives were never the same
So take a moment today
To reflect and commemorate
That unforgettable day
So our memories will remain
10 Sep 2015 2 Comments
I was born with physical and learning disabilities and struggled in some respects both socially and academically. I had a very hard time making friends in school and thought that there must be a reason why my classmates were able to form new friendships with one another so easily while it was so difficult for me. While I had a good stable family life at home, not having friends was something that really hurt me emotionally. Even today I still don’t have any friends and I can honestly admit that it still bothers and frustrates me to this day.
Everyone always liked to teach normal behavior and social skills and it just seemed like no matter how much effort I put into it I could never be considered “normal.” People could just tell that something was off with me and as I progressed into my teen years my idiosyncrasies were even more evident. I was talking to myself and starting to develop some tic-like behaviors.
Things came to a head when I started college at my local community college. I began to develop friendships with two classmates and another student and it was just overwhelming trying to grasp the social nuances that they understood so easily. I didn’t realize what topics were not generally acceptable to be discussed and that I was actually so desperate for friendship that I would attach myself to people who were really “toxic” friends.
Ever since then I have been friendly with others around my age but with my fear of rejection I have been more withdrawn and reserved with others. I do try to fit in but still find it to be very anxiety inducing to remain engaged socially with others. I have strived for normalcy in many ways but have come to realize that there is no such thing as “normal”.
Everyone has their quirks that make them unique individuals and I am one of those quirky persons. I do things that may not seem interesting to other people like take online classes on topics that are not always the most mainstream and wear clothes that may at times may not reflect the current styles and trends.
You may be left wondering at this point how my disabilities affect my quest for normalcy in other respects. Some ways that my disabilities impact my life include the fact that I am incapable of driving; have difficulty understanding nonverbal cues; have trouble seeing the “big picture”; and have poor spatial sense. While a few of these issues have been remediated over the years, the fact that I cannot drive and my ability to understand nonverbal cues hinders my ability to obtain desired jobs in my field and succeed in job interviews.
Do I wish that I didn’t live with disabilities? In many ways I admit that it would be great to have more independence but my disabilities have also helped to make me into a personally stronger person. I have overcome challenges that others may not have had to cope with and have found that I am capable of doing more things than I ever expected.
Now I spend my time helping other individuals with the same learning disability I have—a nonverbal learning disability—by interacting with them in Facebook groups and acting as sole administrator of a Facebook page that provides resources and support to individuals with this learning disability. I have come to realize that I can truly make an impact in the world by changing the perception of individuals with disabilities. I am a living example of a disabled person who has had their share of success stories to relate to the world.
My wish is that people with disabilities can be treated as an important segment of the population. While some disabilities are more obviously noticed than others, it should not impact the way that we treat more severely disabled individuals. I am a firm believer in disability equality as I feel that people like me should not be discriminated against when pursuing job opportunities and other opportunities in life. I think that we must come to the realization that everyone has a story to tell and the potential to do great things in life. Will everything you wish to attain come to you easily? I don’t believe so as it takes effort, perseverance, and determination to accomplish what you want in life.
Just remember that if you are disabled, it does not make you less of a person. In reality it makes you into someone who people can look up to and admire due to your resilience and personality. You may not always feel comfortable disclosing your disability to others, and that’s perfectly acceptable, but just acknowledge the fact that having a disability is something that makes you unique. Sometimes you need to let potential employers know that you have disabilities so that they can provide accommodations that will enable you to succeed in your job.
One important thing to note though is to never use your disability as an excuse for getting out of doing difficult things. I definitely have used the disability card before, but have come to realize that if I simply try doing something that has proven to be a challenge I may be able to actually do it. You may surprise yourself at how much you are capable of doing and then will see that you’re very competent at doing what you set out to do.
Striving for normalcy may appear to be a worthwhile endeavor but to reiterate my earlier point, being normal is a myth. No one is really normal as everyone has something that makes them unique. If someone tells you to try being normal, remind them that they aren’t normal themselves. It may offend them but it’s a fact of life. I feel that being perfect is not the best goal in life and embracing your imperfections is something that will make you into a better and more confident person.
08 Sep 2015 1 Comment
Did you know that your personality type can influence how you live your life? There are three different personality types—Type A, Type B, and Type D—that individuals can be classified as and the personality type that suits you the best can often impact how much fulfillment you gain from living your life. Let us explore these personality types in depth so that you will be able to determine what your personality type is and what this means for your lifestyle.
Research has indicated that individuals with a Type A personality have the following traits among others:
• Time Urgency and Impatience—People with this personality characteristic tend to get frustrated while waiting, often interrupt others, walk or talk at a fast pace, and are very cognizant of what time it is and how much time they have to spare.
• Aggressiveness—People with this personality tend to be impatient, rude, easily upset over little things, and have a short temper
• Strong Motivation for Achievement
• High degree of conscientiousness
• Tend to be anxious about the future and the worst case scenarios of any problems or failures
• Difficulty falling asleep at night
• Focus more energy on your career than on your relationships
• Low tolerance for incompetence
• Sensitive to stress
The term “Type A” originated in the 1950s when a cardiologist, Meyer Friedman, observed a relationship between the presence of heart disease and personality type—to clarify, those most likely to suffer a cardiac incident tended to have more driven, impatient, high-stress personalities. Type A theory became a popular term subsequently after the publication of the book he co-authored with Dr. Ray H. Rosenman, Type A Behavior and Your Heart, in 1974. This book led to the characterization of people who fit the mold of a “Type A” personality as highly competitive. John Schaubroeck, professor of psychology and management at Michigan State University, stated:
“Type A is a shorthand way of referring to a predisposition that people have. It’s not like there are “Type As” and then there are “Type Bs”, but there is a continuum that as you’re more on the Type A side of the spectrum, you’re more driven and tend to be impatient and competitive and get irritated easily by impediments to your progress on things.”
Ten questions that can help determine whether you are a “Type A” personality are:
1. Are you short on time before and after work?
2. Do you take work home with you often?
3. Do you eat quickly?
4. Do you have a strong need to excel?
5. Do you have a hard time finding time to get your hair cut and styled?
6. Do you feel or act impatient when you have to wait in line?
7. Are you easily irritated?
8. Are you a domineering person?
9. Did you have an uncontrollable temper when you were younger?
10. Do you walk or talk at a faster pace than others and often have to slow down so others can catch up with you?
You can definitely enjoy life though if you are a “Type A” personality though. Some methods include trying to make your job less stressful, more rewarding, and less demanding by changing factors in your work life; using positive “self-talk” to talk yourself through negative experiences and make your thoughts more positive; consciously attempting to slow yourself down and become more patient with others; and keeping a journal where you write about your feelings and about possible solutions to the problems you encounter in your life.
The Type B personality type differs from Type A personalities by the following respects:
• Individuals with a Type B personality tend to live at a lower stress level.
• They work at a steady pace and enjoy achievements but don’t become too stressed when goals are not achieved.
• They do not mind losing during competitions or games and can find enjoyment in the game despite losing.
• They can be creative and enjoy exploring different ideas and concepts.
• They often are contemplative and reflective and think about the outside and inside worlds.
• Calm and easy-going
• Work without getting anxious or agitated
• Remain carefree and cheerful most of the time and are fun to hang out with
• Do not mind waiting in line and are not compulsive about meeting deadlines
• Rarely display aggression or frustration
Ten questions that can help you determine whether you are a “Type B” personality include:
1. Are you slow to anger and feel less stressed about life?
2. Are you more likely to delegate responsibilities in high-pressure situations?
3. Are you a creative thinker with a good “big-picture” worldview?
4. Are you more poised, calm, and easy-going?
5. Are you calm when confronting failure?
6. Do you see others as potential collaborators or partners?
7. Is your mind focused on creating new products and solving complex problems?
8. Are you able to enjoy the journey of life rather than focusing on getting to your destination?
9. Are you more satisfied with your situation in life?
10. Do you find it easy to connect with all types of people no matter how much they differ from you?
The Type D personality type describes someone who has a negative outlook on life. Individuals who fit the description of a Type D personality tend to be reliable but lack motivation or creativity. They may experience a lot of stress, anger, worry, hostility, tension, and other negative emotions. This personality type seems to relate to those who have low self-esteem and social inhibitions and have a tendency towards depression.
Research has indicated that individuals with this personality type may have an elevated risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems. Some ways to overcome the negativity associated with this personality type include regular therapy sessions with a psychologist or psychiatrist and trying to create a structured life with an emphasis on social interaction and healthy relationships with others. But how can you tell if you are a Type D personality? The following questions may help:
1. Do small failures or not successfully completing daily chores or tasks make you feel down and lead to you thinking of the event the rest of the day?
2. Do you have problems taking initiative and orders at work or at school?
3. Do you feel you are one of the most emotionally affected individuals in the world?
4. Do you want to talk and interact with people but worry they may not accept you?
5. Are you worried most of the time?
6. Do you repress your emotions and not open up to others?
7. Are you prone to negativity and feelings of rejection?
8. Do you lack self-motivation and drive?
9. Are you inclined to avoid facing problems or delay confrontation over issues?
10. Are your thoughts not productive and lack creativity compared to others?
People can certainly be a mix of personality types but often do have a dominant personality type. What must be realized though is that your personality type does not necessarily have to decide how your life will play out. You must remember that you are truly the compass that directs your life. No matter what your personality type is, you have to remember that you can always live a fulfilling life when you seize the day and focus on the present rather than the past and future.
08 Sep 2015 3 Comments
Online learning has become a significant factor in education in recent years. Students of all ages can be enrolled in e-learning programs and learn on the same level as their peers or even at more advanced levels. It is truly an innovation that I feel will continue to be more popular as time goes on.
I have been enrolled in online classes since my freshman year of college and while it requires a good degree of self-discipline, it is an investment that you won’t regret. You can do the class on your own time at your own pace and if enrolled in an online class through your local college or university you can still ask your instructor for assistance if necessary. There are discussion forums where you can engage in conversation with your fellow students and discuss topics that have been brought up in the class you are enrolled in.
Some may feel that online learning may affect the idea of the traditional learning environment. I can agree with these detractors in some respects as there is a benefit to learning in a physical classroom that can be both academically and socially advantageous. Some students are only able to learn in a classroom where there is enough assistance for them to succeed in the class.
I can attest that online learning has become one of my favorite ways to learn. I love the challenge it brings to my life and the ability to take classes taught by professors at prestigious colleges and universities. There is a wealth of free online courses available from reputable institutions of higher education that cater to every interest. Some popular websites to find online courses are http://www.coursera.org, http://www.academicearth.org, and http://www.edx.org. These websites offer free online courses from colleges such as Duke University, University of Virginia, Harvard, Yale, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania among others.
While the idea of taking an online class can be daunting to those who have never tried this type of academic experience before, there are ways to overcome your anxieties and fears about e-learning. Some helpful tips include:
• Finding a comfortable quiet environment free of distractions where you can take time to focus on what is being taught to you
• Setting a daily schedule for yourself so you can arrange your time to keep up with the class and its assignments
• Taking the time to connect with fellow students for assistance in discussion forums
• Discussing topics that have been presented to you with family and friends
While I would highly recommend online learning I do understand how it may not work for everyone. However, I feel that courses from the websites I previously referred to make higher education free and accessible for everyone regardless of their financial situation. That is something that makes this type of learning experience a beneficial one.
Tom Snyder, the president of Ivy Tech Community College, wrote an article for the Huffington Post about the benefits of online learning and stated:
“I believe that online learning has the potential to revolutionize higher education. Students will be able to learn at their own pace and problems as simple as finding a place to park on campus will be eliminated. Public colleges and universities simply cannot build new facilities to accommodate all those who need credits in higher education.”
There is a professional benefit of being enrolled in online classes as well. You can earn academic certificates that can make your resume more attractive to potential employers and make you an asset to their company. Snyder commented on this when he said, “Lifelong learning must now be a part of everyone’s career plans. In today’s job market, taking online courses help workers remain competitive and they don’t need to take time off from their jobs to do this.”
He added, “Online learning not only trains the workers of the future, it can also provide a career path for someone employed, who needs to learn new skills. Employers should recommend online courses that will help with career advancement and, if possible, offer tuition reimbursement.”
The Open Education Database enumerated advantages of taking online classes and I can agree with some of them. In a 2012 article they mentioned benefits such as a variety of programs and courses, lower total costs, more comfortable learning environment, and convenience and flexibility. With online classes you are able to learn whenever it is the best time for you and do not have to worry about commuting to a physical school. You can enroll in one of the hundreds of free massive online open online courses (MOOCs) that can help fulfill general education requirements in a more affordable way.
Is online education a good choice for everyone? I would have to say that it is not. Some students may not feel like they have the discipline to handle an online class on their own. They may need to be present with instructors and classmates so that they can stay motivated and focused on the coursework. Some segments of the population such as individuals with disabilities may need to have access to services that are simply not available in online programs such as extended time for tests and one-on-one help from teaching assistants or learning assistants.
However, I feel that online education is a phenomenon that will continue to grow and improve as time goes on. Colleges and universities have dedicated support teams to assist students enrolled in their online classes so that students can turn to these teams for technical assistance. New tools and applications are being added to these online classes to make them more interactive and accessible for different types of students and learners. I have learned so much from the online classes I have completed and it has enlightened me on topics that I can apply to the professional world. Online education is an innovative way to learn and allows even economically disadvantaged students to enroll in college classes from institutions they simply could not afford to physically attend.