Category Archives: Career & Success

Book Review [A Book For Creatives]: “Show Your Work!” by Austin Kleon

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Show Your Work: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered by Austin Kleon is a quick read, you can probably sit down and read it in an hour. However, don’t let the size fool you, this book is filled with a lot of great informationfor creatives trying to make a living out of their art. Show Your Work gives tips for the “starving artist”; it also is a great guide for people who are passionate entrepreneurs. The book is inspirational, but without the fluff, it is very to the point. The chapters are two or three pages long, with drawings and photographs, which makes reading the book go by so much faster. Definitely a must-read for creatives, or anyone who is passionate about branding themselves and starting a business. It is not a necessarily a step-by-step road to success guide, somethings will apply to you and some may not. Yet, the book is like a great pep talk, Kleon gives 10 easy tips on why and how you should share your art with the world. Kleon really understands the struggle of creative artists, because he is one. Reading through the book, I often said to myself, “How did he know I was thinking that?!”.

I will definitely keep Show Your Work on my bookshelf and refer to it often as I try pursue my side passions. It is also a great book to give as a gift to a fellow creative!

My Grade: A+

 

“Thank God for the Bad Ol’ Days!”

​”​Like a plant that starts up in showers and sunshine and does not know which has best helped it to grow, it is difficult to say whether the hard things or the pleasant things did me the most good.​”​ ​–​Lucy Larcom

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Have you ever heard someone say “thank God for this horrible day/week/month”?

Or someone refer to Monday as their favorite day of the week?

It’s in our nature as humans to complain.

It’s normal to not be grateful when something bad happens to us.

Yet, we can change our perception and the way we go through a bad time in our lives.

It’s beneficial to change one’s perspective on bad days because they are inevitable. So your mindset is the only thing that will limit bad days.

Here is my guide to turn “bad days” into “growth days”:

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1. FIND REAL “PEACE OF MIND” 

People think being at peace means a comfortable life with no worries. However, life never calls us to be comfortable. We are never promised a life with no hardships. Everyone has struggles or moments of discomfort. It is actually in that discomfort that change, growth and greatness happens. We are pushed to take risks and go outside of our “comfort zone” in order to be great.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us –they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation.” – Romans 5:3-4

People often preach that they enjoy being pushed out their comfort zone, but do they really? We are pushed outside our comfort zone often, but people usually complain about it instead of embrace it. The truth is getting pushed outside of comfort zone is not that inspirational, it’s annoying, it disturbs our definition of peace, which is a stress-free life. Living “stress-free” is an illusion. But we can live a less stressful life–and that begins with YOU.

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Francesca Reigler 

REAL PEACE OF MIND is trusting yourself, and trusting God, that everything will work out in your favor despite discomfort, despite your hardships and turmoil. When you build a better relationship with yourself and a better relationship with God, you start to take the right risks, you believe that the bad days will one day work in your favor.

“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.” – Unknown

2. EMRACE BEING OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Risks are uncomfortable. Taking the right risks are those which may not bring you peace at the moment, your intuition might even be in turmoil– but the right risks will bring your heart, mind, and soul peace in the long run.

“Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord, your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9

It is easier to take risks when we are young. The older we get, the more comfort we desire. We live our lives chasing comfort– the perfect job, dream house, and the perfect husband or wife, not realizing that life will throw you curve balls in order for you to grow. We never stop growing, therefore we will always have new challenges and obstacles.  Growth is essential for greatness. Growth is what brings a fulfilled and purposeful life.

“Life’s challenges aren’t supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”- Bernice Johnson Reagon

3. BE FEARLESS

You can’t fear. You can’t fear death. You can’t fear love. You can’t fear hurt. You can’t fear having a bad day. Because all these things are inevitable so why fear them? Fear only hinders you from living.

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” – Hellen Keller

The day you become fearless (not YOLO kind of fearless but nothing can stop me from being great type of fearless) is the day you start to live a full life. 

“My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” – John 10:10

4. FIGHT THE FEELING OF SELF-PITY

Loathing in self-pity, makes you miss out on the good opportunities. When we drown in self-pity we block things like love and happiness, which makes us miss them when love and happiness do come along. Trusting that God is working in your life is like finding new self- confidence and strength.

“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” – Isaiah 40:31

5. HELP OTHER PEOPLE WHEN THEY’RE HAVING A BAD DAY

How can you make someone else’s life a little better?

It often makes us feel good when we do good to others. A lot of people suggest to volunteer when you’re having a bad time. Because GIVING makes you feel good. Put your heart in it. Positivity has this ripple effect that comes back to you.

“We rise by lifting others.” – Richard Ingersoll

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SO SMILE! YOU’RE HAVING A BAD DAY!

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Embracing the bad days does not necessarily mean be happy that you’re having a bad day, it’s having the peace of mind by knowing that your struggles will bring about something great. We can’t live life playing it safe. We can’t go through life numb. We have to experience life. Enjoy both the highs of life and the lows of life. Live passionately. Be humble. Be bold. Forgive those who hurt you. Learn from your bad days. And you’ll see that it is easy to be thankful for the bad days. Enjoy every. single. moment. of every. single. day. Life is teaching us many lessons. 

“Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12

#The100DayProject – 100 Days of Doing Something You’re Passionate About

This blogpost is to invite you all to participate in the 100 day challenge starting Monday April 6th!

What are you challenging me to do exactly?  The project encourages everyone to participate in 100 days of making, creating, or doing. It can be something you are passionate about or like doing. The challenge is to show up day after day and dedicate time to something you enjoy. It is not about the end product as much as it is the effort and the process.

Why? Because I love a good inspiring project. It really motivates you to think and act outside the box. And as we all know, great things come from outside of one’s comfort zone.

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More about the project. The creators of the challenge are artist/author Elle Luna and magazine The Great Discontent. I first found out about this 100-day challenge from Elle Luna’s Instagram page. Elle is a painter and author. I first started following Elle after she shared her inspiring story at a Millennial’s Wisdom 2.0 conference at NYU. You can read her talk here. (It is worth the read). Check out Elle’s new book too “The Crossroads of Should and Must”, where Elle expands on her ideas. The book is very visual and is great for recent grads, creatives, artists, career changers, dream followers, etc.

So are you up for the challenge? #100daysof_______

This may be a jump start to something great!

Sign up for the project’s official newsletter and find out more details on The Great Discontent’s page.

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Why You SHOULD Make Your Goals Visual: My 5 Tips on Vision Boarding.

Vision boarding may seem like a task to some (too complicated, too time consuming, too artsy) but I’m here to tell you it is definitely worth your time! It’s something that has become very valuable to me over the past three years. And the whole process is relaxing, creative, and fun (we can all use a little fun creativity in our lives)!

The best part is, that it can actually help you achieve your goals, instead of forgetting all about them come April.

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So why should you make a vision board?

Because Oprah makes vision boards.

Duh!

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No but seriously, I first heard about vision boards through Oprah. Since then I’ve heard many life coaches, therapists and psychologists say it helps to do a vision board at the start of every year, but why?

Because..

– It helps you focus on your life and your future.

-It gets you back in touch with who you are and what you desire.

– It inspires you. It makes you believe in yourself. You’re taking charge of your life by outlining what you want.

– It’s a daily reminder. Every morning I wake up and see my vision board, and if I have a free second during the day I can actually put energy into one of my goals.

Manifestation: “What you think about, you bring about.” You are speaking things into existence and recognizing your own truth.

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5 TIPS FOR CREATING A VISION BOARD

(I like to call it: My Inspiration Board)

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1. Before you start setting your goals for the new year, reflect on your past year, then set resolutions based on growth and becoming a better you. Any mistakes you’ve made or things you want to make sure you change? What do you want to improve? How do you want to improve? Reevaluate your life and the direction you want it to go. Know what you want, what you need and what you deserve. If you don’t know what you want to gain out of life, you better work on knowing. Life is too short to not live with purpose. When you know what you want, you get it faster.

2. Next write out your goals. Write down what you want (and in some cases how you want to achieve it). You can make deadlines. Set numbers. Be as specific as possible. If you want a car, what kind of car do you want? What model? Four-door, two-door? Think visual when writing your goals down.

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*I set my goals in categories. “Love goals”, “Health goals”, “Career goals”, “Personal goals”, “Travel goals”, etc. Add as many categories as you want, it helps you organize your thoughts. Even if it’s not a goal for this year but you can work on it this year include it. (I included a house on mine, but I’m not currently on the market for one.)*

3. Time to get creative. BRING OUT THE MARKERS, SCISSORS AND STICK GLUE. Collect old magazines (You can throw a “vision board party” and have friends bring magazines too!) cut out phrases, words, pictures. Use the markers to write goals you want to put on the board, or to write out inspirational quotes you love.

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Men: you don’t have to go overboard designing this thing. I hope the glitter in the picture doesn’t scare you away!

Examples: A kangaroo can represent a trip to Australia, pictures of healthy foods and a yoga pose if you want healthier lifestyle.

*If you want to put specific things like your dream car on your vision board, google the image and print it out.*

*I also included pictures of my family and famous women I aspire to be like!*

4. Design the board. I bought a big cork board from Target for $9 and fabric and ribbon for less than $3. But you don’t have to go all out creative like me. Some people use a poster board or use their blank wall and tack photos togther. (Be as creative as you want to be!)

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Here’s my vision board!!! Large plain cork board, green fabric , gold ribbon for the border, tacks, construction paper, markers, a lot of photos, postcards, quotes, lists, and old magazine pictures.

*I used a cork board and tacks for most of my goals because if goals change throughout the year or I want to add more later I can easily make those changes.*

5. Make the vision board visible and in your face. Hang it in a place where you’ll be able to see it everyday. You want to be able to see it and be inspired by it as much as possible. Take a picture of your vision board put it as your phone lock screen background or as your wallpaper on your computer.

Your vision board will be an awesome representation of YOU. Enjoy it! Make 2015 a great year!

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4 Things I Learned Working for a Global Company

A global perspective  is growing to be so important in business, with new markets in Europe and Asia on the rise.

It was always a dream of mine to work for a global company.

Here are four things I’ve learned since interning for a global communications firm in Barcelona.

1. GLOBAL NEWS IS NOT BORING

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It’s not fun reading about the tough situations around the world: the natural disasters, bombings, politics, corruption–but being abroad it was good to read the news, and I gained a new appreciation for it. I would read the New York Times and New York Post online every morning to know what was going on back home. I would also pick up a newspaper here in Spain and read their local news. It was especially fun for me, because I was in Spain during the 2014 World Cup! Reading world news is pretty cool!

2. LITERAL TRANSLATIONS DO NOT  ALWAYS WORK (Don’t let Google Translate Fool You)

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Although I’m fluent in Spanish I still use translation sites to automatically translate long emails because it makes my life easier. That was when I realized just how horrible most of these translation resources were. EEEK!

Context is key.

While interning abroad in Spain I was given a task to write a press release in Spanish. At first I was so excited, a new challenge! Then as I began writing, I second guessed everything I wrote because I realized I’m not well-versed in Spain’s culture. It’s not easy trying to write a captivating press release in a market you don’t know much about.

For example I would say “alquilar un apartamento” they would say “alquilar un piso”.

Knowing the culture is key.

So for all the global business junkies like me, the lesson here: 

It’s important to know the language but it’s equally (or more) important to know the target market’s culture.

3. HAVING COWORKERS FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IS AWESOME!!!!!!!!

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Making new friends in a different country is great. You learn so much about countries, customs, and religions. You really get to see how different we all are, and in some cases how similar we all are. ❤

4. PREPARE TO BE SHOCKED AT SOME CULTURAL DIFFERENCES, BUT ALWAYS REMAIN RESPECTFUL 

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  I remember my ethics professor telling our class, “if it doesn’t feel right to you ethically, you shouldn’t do it.” I was researching potential events for one of our European clients to attend. One event that took place in UAE had a disclaimer stating: “No women are allowed to attend the event.” The feminist inside of me raged. I thought it was unethical, and I did not want to add this event to the list. BUT this was a norm in the UAE, and I had to respect it, even if I personally did not agree with it.

When it comes to cultural differences you may not always agree, you may think they’re weird, but then again, they may think you’re the weird one.  When working for a global organization you have to keep an open mind, and have mutual understanding and mutual respect for different cultures.

❤ Best experience ever.

Thank you Barcelona!

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Why every woman should read #GIRLBOSS

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Day One: Got my book in the mail through Amazon.com. Look how excited I was.

 

I turned the last page of #GIRLBOSS last night and thought, why did it have to end?! YEAH, IT’S THAT GOOD.

The book is written by Sophia Amoruso, founder/CEO of Nasty Gal. An e-commerce site founded by Sophia in 2006 that has skyrocketed into a billion dollar business.

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Grade:  A+

I laughed, I cringed, I smiled, but most importantly I gained valuable advice from a self-made woman.

Sophia’s story inspires you, but it’s her transparency and honesty that make the book so great. It’s easy to brag about how awesome you are (because Sophia is pretty awesome), but it’s admirable that she chose to be vulnerable and open about the “not so great “ things she has done in life. Not everyone has experience as a shoplifter or hitchhiker growing up, but I’m sure we can all relate to Sophia when it comes to having not so proud moments that have kicked us in the butt.

Sophia helps you appreciate your mistakes and the journey you’re embarking on.

It’s not easy, but it will be worth it.

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With  personal stories, business advice, inspirational quotes, and the ins and outs of being a CEO, I was engaged throughout the entire book and could not put it down. I felt like I was hearing a big sister tell her horror stories on her journey to success.

Sophia Amoruso, you are my big sister.

I am proud to declare myself a #GIRLBOSS in the making. I will always keep this book by me to motivate me on my journey to success!

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Amy Schumer’s Powerful Speech About Confidence

Earlier this week at the Gloria Awards and Gala hosted by the Ms. Foundation for Women, comedian Amy Schumer gave a speech covering issues all women go through, including regrettable sexual encounters, crises of confidence, and tips on being one’s own fairy godmother.

Powerful and inspiring.

Here’s her speech in full.

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Here I go, and if it doesn’t go well, please just don’t blog about it.

Right before I left for college, I was running my high school. Feel it. I knew where to park, I knew where to get the best chicken-cutlet sandwich, I knew which custodians had pot. People knew me. They liked me. I was an athlete and a good friend. I felt pretty, I felt funny, I felt sane. Then I got to college in Maryland. My school was voted number one … for the hottest freshman girls in Playboy that year. And not because of me. All of a sudden, being witty and charismatic didn’t mean shit. Day after day, I could feel the confidence drain from my body. I was not what these guys wanted. They wanted thinner, blonder, dumber … My sassy one-liners were only working on the cafeteria employees, who I was visiting all too frequently, tacking on not the Freshman 15, but the 30, in record-breaking time, which led my mother to make comments over winter break like, “You look healthy!” I was getting no male attention, and I’m embarrassed to say, it was killing me.

But one guy paid me some attention — Matt. Matt was six feet tall, he looked like a grown-up von Trapp child, and he was five years older than me. What?! An older boy, paying attention to me? I must be okay. Uff. I made him laugh in our bio lab, and I could tell a couple times that we had a vibe. He was a super senior, which is a sexy way of saying “should have graduated, but needed an extra year.” He barely spoke, which was perfect for all the projecting I had planned for him. We grew up in the same town, and getting attention from him felt like success. When I would see him on campus, my heart would race, and I would smile as he passed. I’d look in the mirror and see all the blood rise to my face. I’d spend time analyzing the interaction, and planning my outfit for the next time I saw him. I wanted him to call. He never called. But then finally, he called.

It was 8 a.m., my dorm room phone rang. “Amy, wassup? It’s Matt. Come over.” Holy shit! This is it, I thought. He woke up thinking about me! He realized we’re meant to start a life together! Let’s just stop all this pretending that we weren’t free just to love one another! I wondered, would we raise our kids in the town we both grew up in, or has he taken a liking to Baltimore? I don’t care. I’ll settle wherever he’s most comfortable. Will he want to raise our kids Jewish? Who cares? I shaved my legs in the sink, I splashed some water under my armpits, and my randomly assigned Albanian roommate stared at me from under her sheets as I rushed around our shitty dorm room. I ran right over to his place, ready for our day together. What would we do? It’s still early enough, maybe we’re going fishing? Or maybe his mom’s in town, and he wanted me to join them for breakfast. Knock-knock. Is he going to carry me over the threshold? I bet he’s fixing his hair and telling his mom, “Be cool, this may be the one!” I’ll be very sweet with her, but assert myself, so she doesn’t think she’s completely in charge of all the holiday dinners we’re going to plan together. I’ll call her by her first name, too, so she knows she can’t mess with me. “Rita! I’m going to make the green bean casserole this year, and that’s that!” Knock-knock. Ring ring. Where is he?

Finally, the door opens. It’s Matt, but not really. He’s there, but not really. His face is kind of distorted, and his eyes seem like he can’t focus on me. He’s actually trying to see me from the side, like a shark. “Hey!” he yells, too loud, and gives me a hug, too hard. He’s fucking wasted. I’m not the first person he thought of that morning. I’m the last person he called that night. I wonder, how many girls didn’t answer before he got to fat freshman me? Am I in his phone as Schumer? Probably. But I was here, and I wanted to be held and touched and felt desired, despite everything. I wanted to be with him. I imagined us on campus together, holding hands, proving, “Look! I am lovable! And this cool older guy likes me!” I can’t be the troll doll I’m afraid I’ve become.

He put on some music, and we got in bed. As that sexy maneuver where the guy pushes you on the bed, you know, like, “I’m taking the wheel on this one. Now I’m going to blow your mind,” which is almost never followed up with anything. He smelled like skunk microwaved with cheeseburgers, which I planned on finding and eating in the bathroom, as soon as he was asleep. We tried kissing. His 9 a.m. shadow was scratching my face — I knew it’d look like I had fruit-punch mouth for days after. His alcohol-swollen mouth, I felt like I was being tongued by someone who had just been given Novocain. I felt faceless, and nameless. I was just a warm body, and I was freezing cold. His fingers poked inside me like they had lost their keys in there. And then came the sex, and I use that word very loosely. His penis was so soft, it felt like one of those de-stress things that slips from your hand? So he was pushing aggressively into my thigh, and during this failed penetration, I looked around the room to try and distract myself or God willing, disassociate. What’s on the wall? A Scarface poster, of course. Mandatory. Anything else? That’s it? This Irish-Catholic son of bank teller who played JV soccer and did Mathletes feels the most connection with a Cuban refugee drug lord. The place looked like it was decorated by an overeager set designer who took the note “temporary and without substance” too far.

He started to go down on me. That’s ambitious, I think. Is it still considered getting head if the guy falls asleep every three seconds and moves his tongue like an elderly person eating their last oatmeal? Chelsea? Is it? Yes? It is. I want to scream for myself, “Get out of here, Amy. You are beautiful, you are smart, and worth more than this. This is not where you stay.” I feel like Fantine and Cosette and every fucking sad French woman from Les Miz. And whoever that cat was who sang “Memories,” what was that musical? Suze Orman just goes, “Cats.” The only wetness between my legs is from his drool, because he’s now sleeping and snoring into me. I sigh, I hear my own heartbreak, I fight back my own tears, and then I notice a change in the music. Is this just a bagpipe solo? I shake him awake. “Matt, what is this? The Braveheartsoundtrack? Can you put something else on, please?” He wakes up grumpily, falls to the floor, and crawls. I look at his exposed butt crack, a dark, unkempt abyss that I was falling into. I felt paralyzed. His asshole is a canyon, and this was my 127 Hours. I might chew my arm off.

I could feel I was losing myself to this girl in this bed. He stood up and put a new CD on. “Darling, you send me, I know you send me, honest, you do …” I’m thinking, “What is this?” He crawled back into bed, and tried to mash at this point his third ball into my vagina. On his fourth thrust, he gave up and fell asleep on my breast. His head was heavy and his breath was so sour, I had to turn my head so my eyes didn’t water. But they were watering anyway, because of this song. Who is this? This is so beautiful. I’ve never heard these songs before. They’re gutting me. The score attached to our morning couldn’t have been more off. His sloppy, tentative lovemaking was certainly not in the spirit of William Wallace. And now the most beautiful love songs I’ve ever heard play out as this man-boy laid in my arms, after diminishing me to a last-minute booty call. I listened to the songs and I cried. I was looking down at myself from the ceiling fan. What happened to this girl? How did she get here? I felt the fan on my skin and I went, “Oh, wait! I am this girl! We got to get me out of here!” I became my own fairy godmother. I waited until the last perfect note floated out, and escaped from under him and out the door. I never heard from Matt again, but felt only grateful for being introduced to my new self, a girl who got her value from within her. I’m also grateful to Matt for introducing me to my love Sam Cooke, who I’m still with today.

Now I feel strong and beautiful. I walk proudly down the streets of Manhattan. The people I love, love me. I make the funniest people in the country laugh, and they are my friends. I am a great friend and an even better sister. I have fought my way through harsh criticism and death threats for speaking my mind. I am alive, like the strong women in this room before me. I am a hot-blooded fighter and I am fearless. But I did morning radio last week, and a DJ asked, “Have you gained weight? You seem chunkier to me. You should strike while the iron is hot, Amy.” And it’s all gone. In an instant, it’s all stripped away. I wrote an article forMen’s Health and was so proud, until I saw instead of using my photo, they used one of a 16-year-old model wearing a clown nose, to show that she’s hilarious. But those are my words. What about who I am, and what I have to say? I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, “All right! You got it. You figured me out. I’m not pretty. I’m not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I’ll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see.” But then I think, Fuck that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and shit to say. I say if I’m beautiful. I say if I’m strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and fuck and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you.

Source: Vulture.com

NYU #FindSpark Conference Recap: 3 Ways to Find Your Passion

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“If there’s a dream job you want and it doesn’t exist, create it. Don’t settle for the traditional jobs. Find your passion. Dream big and live it out loud. Hold on to it relentlessly. Be fearless and reimagine life.”

-Nusrat Durrani, MTV

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It’s easy to tell someone “follow your dreams”, but what if he or she isn’t quite sure what that dream is,

or what it means,

or why pursue it?

The struggle of deciding whether or not you should pursue a career based on purpose or practicality. Sometimes it’s hard to follow our dreams.

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What path shouldtake, the path that makes the most money or the path that makes me the happiest?

I get it.

I was once there.

I am actively pursing my dreams, and sometimes I get scared.

But if your dream is worth it, if you can’t go a moment without thinking about it,

follow your heart.

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I attended a conference at NYU, hosted by FindSpark, called Find and Follow Your Passion. The speakers were very inspiring, companies ranged from numerous different industries; NBA, Def Jam, MTV, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and more. The three things I took to heart from all the speakers I heard was:  1. personal branding, 2. living a wholehearted life, and 3. it’s okay to achieve your goals in unconventional ways.

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1. Personal Branding

The first step is to know who you are: What are your strengths? What are your likes, dislikes? What gives your life meaning?

Most of us are not awake or self- aware. YOU will find your passion, no one should tell you what your passion is. Most of the time our passion is obvious, we are just scared to admit it, to pursue it. Sometimes we have more than one passion and it’s hard to blend all of our passions together–that’s when we have to think, which one do I want to turn into a career?

Your other passions can stay active as a hobby. But never let go of any of your passions. The unique blend of your passions makes you unique. It’s what makes you, YOU. It is part of your personal brand. Cherish them all.

The story of your reinvention should never end.

2. Live a Wholehearted Life

Your life outside of work should be a happy one.

You can’t find a passion if all you want to do is make money.

Lawyer, Doctor, Engineer?

You can follow a list or you can follow your heart. Your dream might be unconventional but that’s okay. It is extremely important to do what makes you happy. Insecurities make us scared to pursue our dreams. Past failures scare us; learn from the past and leave it there. Focus on now, and always know that there can be a bright light in the future.

3. Achieve Your Goals in Unconventional Ways 

You have to take risks. Nusrat Durrani, the person I quoted above, was the keynote speaker at the FindSpark conference. He told the audience his story about pursuing his love and passion for music, eventually landing him a big role at MTV.

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 Nusrat Durrani‘s story: His siblings were engineers and doctors, and Nursat was trying to pursue a career in entertainment with great disapproval from his parents. He flew to New York from Dubai during his spring break from school, marched right up to the doors of MTV and inquired about a job. He was rejected. The HR woman told Nursat he needed to have a Communications degree and some years of experience. (Sound familiar?). In the next couple of years he took her advice quite literally and got two masters degrees while working for a company managing projects with a team of people. When he went back to MTV she still was not fully convinced, but admired his dedication and offered him an internship. An internship was not what he wanted at 35 years old. After much thought, he said something felt right, this was his opportunity to prove himself, so he swallowed his pride and took an unpaid internship at 35, with two masters degrees. Eventually working his way up and becoming General Manager/Senior Vice President of MTV World.

The Science of Happiness: 4 Science Experiments That Will Make You Smile

Hap·pi·ness noun \ˈha-pē-nəs\:

a. A state of well-being and contentment; joy.

b. A pleasurable or satisfying experience.

via Merriam Webster Dictionary

We all have our own definition of happiness. I spend a lot of time reading books, blogs, etc. on what other people think happiness is all about. I came across these videos on a religious account I follow on twitter and thought how ironic that they would tweet about science experiments, but these videos aren’t exactly scientific, they’re humanistic. A fun and interesting way to see how difficult it is dealing with simple emotions like love, happiness, kindness, and forgiveness. These words require us to dig deep. Most people hate to dig deep, but digging deep gives us a sense of happiness and freedom. All your insecurities go out the door when you feel stronger emotionally. Watch the videos all the way through, I promise it is worth your time.

Hope this brings a smile to your face today! =]

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1. The Secret to Happiness is… What?! REALLY?!

This video gave me reassurance about my definition of happiness. I’ve read many books on whole hearted living and happiness, and the common theme is gratitude. If we simply take the time to see how wonderful life is, thank people often, be grateful for the people and things in your life, happiness grows inside of you. I’m a strong believer that outside influences do not always determine if you live a happy life or not. It is you who determines that. Your way of thinking, your mindset. So count your blessings, be grateful and you’ll discover all the reasons to be happy.

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2. Benefits to Being Happy

We’ve all heard it – the more successful you are, the happier you are. But what if it was the opposite? ….. What if being happier, actually made you more successful?

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3. I’m a Nice Person. Some Say I’m Too Nice. But I Think Kindness Wins.

I want to do some of these acts of kindness. Like now. Anyone willing to join me? 😊

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4. Forgiveness is Hard. But Living A Bitter and Unhappy Life is Harder.

I saw this video and thought wow I need to try this! Another example of digging deep. We aren’t perfect. We are not going to like, or get along with everyone. People will annoy us, people will hurt us, some people will hurt us so deep that we are scarred for a while. With any extreme of pain I always tell people that it’s good to talk about it, or write it down. It has always made me feel better to try to understand why I felt the way I felt. We aren’t wrong for holding grudges, we just have to learn to let go. Do it for YOU. So you won’t be scared to trust someone again. You grow emotionally stronger, brave enough to trust someone, or love someone, because you’ll know how to deal with hurt. You’ll be happier once you learn how to forgive.

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Any comments? Feel free to comment below! I would love to know your thoughts on HAPPINESS.

Thanks for the videos @SoulPancake http://www.soulpancake.com !!

Click on the picture below to see a Soul Pancake segment on Oprah about Love. 😍

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