The Age of Worry: Smile & Embrace it

It’s been far too long since I’ve written a post — far too long. Life has been busy, and a lot has happened in the past few months, but I’ve missed the therapy–if you want to define it as such–that writing provides.

Recently I jumped on the bandwagon of HBO’s hit TV show, Girls. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “You just started watching it. What’s wrong with you?!” In an episode from season one, Marnie begins analyzing her life, as she has just broken up with her boyfriend and was fired from her job. We’re always moving forward — That’s life. Things are always changing. But I constantly find myself thinking about where I want to be and overanalyzing every situation that presents itself.

Image I’m going to take the words out of Marnie’s mouth. “Sometimes being inside my own head is so exhausting it makes me want to cry.”  Rarely do I find myself crying, but it hinders my ability to enjoy everything I have right now. It stops me from fully embracing these moments because I’m constantly thinking of where I want to go, or where I “should” be.

So, what’s the moral of the story? Stop worrying. Or, try to worry less. Be present in every moment, and know there’s always a lesson to be learned that will help you in future endeavors. And ultimately, worrying and overanalyzing does not help — it only deters you from being your best, what ever that may be.

Do as John Mayer so eloquently put it in “The Age of Worry.” “Alive in the age of worry. Smile in the age of worry. Sing out in the age of worry. And say, ‘Worry, get out of here!'”

Monday Motivation: Follow Your Heart

Imagine this. You have to make a decision, and as much as you try to reason through your decision-making process, your gut is telling you something. How can a decision provoke a so-called gut reaction?

I don’t know the answer to that question. But, I do know, that following your heart will never lead you in the wrong direction.

Recently, I’ve had a few job prospects. But, everytime I feel as of I’m doing the wrong thing — everytime I feel as if I’m signing my life away.

“If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.”

Why do I feel this way? Deep down inside my heart I know that it’s not what I dream of doing — what I know will make me happy.

Yes, these offers are a great opportunity to grow and expand my knowledge. But they will keep me within the limits of my comfort zone.

I want to be pushed out of my comfort zone, challenged beyond my imagination, and it’s time to do just that.

So, stop denying yourself happiness, follow your heart amd step outside of your comfort zone. If you fail, at least you can say you tried. But why not stand up, brush yourself off and try again?

Along the way, you’ll learn the depths of your strengths and weaknesses, and at least the journey will be interesting.

Don’t deny your happiness. Follow your heart.

Monday Motivation: Nothing is Permanent

Nothing is permanent.

As I rollerbladed down the street today, some of the leaves had already transformed into a burnt-orange color. Is it already fall? Or, is it the result of a summer draught? Maybe a combination of both. Either way, it’s a reminder of the transition from summer to fall. And, that life continues on.

“Nothing is permanent in this wicked world, not even our troubles.” – Charlie Chaplin

You can interpret this statement of motivation in two ways. One, as a breath of fresh air because, one day, you will overcome a hard fought struggle. Two, life will never be the same as it is at this moment.

Sometimes we get caught up in the decisions of life. When it seems like we’re about to make life-altering decisions, remember, it isn’t forever. If it isn’t the right decision or the best decision, then you can change it and it will always lead you to a more informed decision. How will you know if you don’t try? But don’t forget, pause and take a moment to celebrate what you have right now and also to assess what else you want in life. Be thankful for what you have and always strive to raise the bar.

Monday Motivation: If Life Hands You Color, Run With It

The Color Run. How can you not be happy after being splashed in bright colors?

On Sunday, July 15, I will be running The Color Run 5k in St. Paul, Minn. For those of you who do not know, The Color Run is a 5K run not about being the fastest runner, but rather about being the happiest participant despite any flaws you may think you have. And, more importantly, it’s about getting bathed in the colors as you run or walk the course.

So, the question is, what makes you happy? Friends? Family? Work? Reading? Coffee? You get the point, but what ever it is, go do it more often.

Often times we know exactly what it is that makes us happy but our heads complicate situations. Don’t over think your happiness. Don’t complicate it. It’s simple. Everyone has something to be happy about. Decide what you are happy about, or what you wake up every day with a passion to do. Now, go do it. Simple.

Do more of what makes you happy. Easy enough, right?Stop judging yourself by the definition of what everyone else thinks you should be. Live for you. Be happy. Build your own path of happiness and enjoy the journey because, after all, you are worth it.

If you don’t want to be happy for yourself, then who else would want to be happy for you?

As you ponder that question, let me leave you with one of my favorite quotes, “Be so happy that when others look at you they become happy, too.”

Smile.

Monday Motivation: Redirected to Something Better

OK — It isn’t Monday, but better late than never and this is quite befitting of my Monday.

While I can’t say I was rejected in any way on Monday, I did have another job interview, which means opening yourself up to the possibility of rejection. The possibility of rejection is a far better risk than not trying at all.

And, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few months since graduation, being rejected points you in a more focused direction. Rejection teaches you about yourself, if you’re willing to learn from the experience. Rejection makes your vision that much more clear.

Sometimes rejection doesn’t feel like it’s pointing you in the direction of something better. Sometimes the moment isn’t one of clarity. Allow yourself to feel the emotions of rejection. But, step back, take it day by day and decide how you’re going to handle rejection.

There’s a Castle quote for everything. Insert here:

“Rejection isn’t failure,” Castle said. “It sure feels like failure,” Alexis, his daughter, responded in a moment of defeat. “Failure is giving up. Everybody gets rejected. It’s how you handle it that determines where you’ll end up,” Castle explained. “My whole life has been about making sure I could get into any college I wanted — What’s it about now?” Alexis asked. “Give it time. You’ll figure it out,” Castle assured her.

Feel the rejection. And, when you finally get what you’ve worked for — everything you’ve ever wanted — you will know what true happiness feels like because you can measure it against rejection.

Remember, while you thought you were being rejected from what you wanted, your direction was becoming more focused, and, in the end, you’ll know what happiness feels like when you achieve your dreams, goals and vision because you’ve felt rejection.

Be happy for what you have right now and learn from your life’s redirection. With time, your new, focused direction will become more clear.

In the end, do you want it badly enough to get over being hurt?

Monday Motivation: Just Be Happy

We wake up. We rush out the door. We head to work. We head in the direction of life. We get caught up in the logistics. But, how often do you pause and acknowledge what you have to be happy about right now?

You have your health, family, friends and knowledge.

During the pursuit of our happiness, we forget to be happy for what we have right now. We’re always trying to get somewhere else — be happier than we are in this moment.

Pursuing your dreams of happiness is not bad but, take a moment, reflect on what you have to be happy about at this point in the journey.

If you don’t realize how happy you are in this moment, then how will you be able to truly measure your happiness once you’ve reached that goal?

I’m just as guilty as the next person. Once again, let’s walk down the road to the corner or college graduation and job searching. My ultimate dream of happiness is quite clear, so I often forget to be happy for where I am right now and where I am going.

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend my cousin’s bridal shower and, to my luck, my aunt has a trampoline, where I spent countless hours jumping after the party.

To quote Manny from ABC’s Modern Family, “Who’d enjoy that I thought? A kid. You were right — I was born 16. I’ve lost my childhood.”

While Manny is a mature 12-year-old boy, I am 23 year and take myself too seriously. Don’t get me wrong — I love to laugh just as much as the next person, probably even more so. But, it’s nice to let your inner child out every now and then.

Moral of the story — be happy for how far you’ve come on the journey to happiness. Do something out of the ordinary. Let your inner child out. I did and it was great.

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