Archive | June, 2013

Procrastination In Our Twenties & Why We Need To End It

27 Jun
ayearfromnow
 
I save EVERYTHING for the last possible minute.
 
And so the award for world’s biggest procrastinator goes to…ME!
 
It’s a terrible habbit, I know.
 
But I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re all kind of procrastinators. It almost seems as if society’s making the very act of procrastination quite acceptable.
 
Especially for us twenty-somethings.
 
We’re told a lie repeatedly…here it goes…
 
There’s plenty of time!  Don’t be in a rush!
 
We’re in our twenties…we have our whole lives ahead of us…no need to be in a hurry.
 
But here’s the thing…
 
When we think that we have plenty of time, we tend to do nothing.
 
Think about it…when we know that we have a week before that paper is due, we sit at home watching 100 episodes of How I Met Your Mother. Imagine what happens when whe think that we have our WHOLE LIVES to do something, with no deadline in sight. At what point do we actually get up and write that paper? At what point do we actually start?
 
Think about all the ideas you’ve ever had.
 
How many of them have you actually made happen?
 
When I graduated college, I had so many dreams. I had so many ideas.
 
 I had so much that I wanted to accomplish.
 
And even today, there are still so many things that I say I want to do.
 
Write a book.
 
Take a month-long vacation to Europe.
 
Change careers.
 
But for how long have I been saying that I want to do these things?
 
For a LONG TIME.
 
And yet, nothing’s happened.
 
Because I keep convincing myself that I have my whole life to do these things.  
 
***
  
So at what point do we stop with all the talk and actually make things happen?
 
I really hope it’s soon.
 
Meg Jay, author of The Defining Decade, argues the same principle in her book, which I highly recommend to anyone in their twenties. Basically, she argues that people in their twenties have been convinced by society that it’s okay to delay adulthood. 30 is the new 20! 40 is the new 30! So does that mean that we get an extra 10 years to do nothing? Because I’m not a fan of that.
 
We’ve been programed to think that we don’t have to make decisions. Not now, at least. We don’t have to start thinking about marriage. We don’t have to start thinking about a serious career. We don’t have to start thinking about buying a house. And why? Because we have our whole lives to think about those things!
 
Well, how about we actually start living our lives? How about we actually start making decisions?
 
How about we actually start making things happen?
 
Because yes, it’s a lot easier to procrastinate.
 
It’s a lot easier to relax, and watch How I Met Your Mother.
 
But if you don’t start making moves now, you’re going to regret it later.
 
You’ll wake up 10 years from now and you’ll realize that all those things you wanted to do…you haven’t done them.
 
And that trip you wanted to take… you haven’t taken it.
 
And you’ll be sad.
 
Because you’ll feel like you’ve wasted a whole lot of time.
 
Then, you’ll get discouraged.
 
Then slowly, and sometimes even without realizing it, you’ll give up on your dreams.
 
Then slowly, you’ll accept that you never accomplished those things that you once wanted so badly.
 
So let’s not let that happen.
 
Stop procrastinating, and get to it.
  
Those things that you want, you can have them.
 
What’s stopping you?
 
makethingshappen

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Be The Little Fish! (Why It’s Good To Be Around People Who Are Better Than You)

10 Jun

do better

I’m kind of a failure sometimes.

Like today… I wanted to work out.

So I went to CrossFit only to remember that the class I was planning on joining had been changed to an advanced session.

For ADVANCED CrossFit athletes.

No…let me rephrase that.

For ADVANCED ninjas that can somehow lift 300 lbs and make it seem ridiculously easy.

And that’s just their warm-up.

Now, I am NOT a ninja.

I just want to work out so that I can keep eating all the time.

Because eating makes me happy. And I like being happy.

So I decided to join in on the class despite the fact that I was obviously the LEAST advanced person in the room.

I mean, one of the coaches came up to me and asked me specifically…

“You’re doing this class?”

To which I responded…

“Ummm…yea…unless you kick me out.”

But he’s nice and I like him so he didn’t kick me out.

And  I started the workout.

And the workout was harder than anything I’ve done in a really long time.

And it was embarrassing because while everyone was easily lifting 150+ lbs, I was lifting like, 75 lbs.

It sucked, because I wasn’t the best.

And I really like being the best.

At everything.

I mean, I really thought about leaving more than once. I knew this class was way out of my league and I hated feeling like the weakest one in the group.

I was super intimidated.

But then we attempted back squats. And since we had to partner up, I kind of just tried to keep up with the weight that my partners were using.

Normally, I would have stopped at 100 lbs.

Because that’s the most weight I’ve ever successfully back squatted.

But today, I wanted to push myself.

Because everyone else was doing so awesome.

So by the end of the movement, I had reached my personal back squat record of 125 lbs.

And it felt amazing.

I felt so accomplished.

Driving home, I thought about how happy I was that I didn’t  leave the class early. I was glad that I pushed through. Because even though I wasn’t the best in the class today, being surrounded by athletes who are much better than I am, made me strive to be better. And I WAS better. Better than I’ve been in a long time.

In life…in our jobs…in our careers…we have a tendency to want to be the best.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

But sometimes, we tend to put ourselves in positions where we’re the “big fish in the little pond”, so to say.

We’re comfortable in our environment, it’s familiar, and we’re the best at what we do. There’s no longer any competition.

We’ve reached the top and it’s time to move on to the next level.

Only, sometimes, we don’t go to the next level. We stay where we are because we know that going to the next level means that we’ll be at the BOTTOM of the next level.

And that’s uncomfortable. Because we’ll be out of our comfort zone and we’ll have to work harder to be the best.

It won’t be easy.

I PROMISE you, it won’t be easy.

Because we’ll be surrounded by ninjas who can lift 300 lbs just warming up.

We’ll be surrounded by people who are better than us.

But that shouldn’t scare you. It should excite you, actually.

Because being around those people will motivate you.

Being around those people will give you a reason to push yourself harder.

And ultimately, you’ll be better.

At least, I really think so.

There’s a famous quote that I love that goes like this:

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” -Unknown

But wait…if we’re the smartest person, isn’t that a good thing? Why should you look for another room?

Because you should ALWAYS be looking for rooms with people who are smarter, brighter, more experienced, or in my case today, much stronger. Because in those rooms, you’ll grow. And in those rooms, you’ll learn. And in those rooms you’ll challenge yourself and push yourself  harder than you ever have before, and you’ll come out better than you were entering them.

So don’t be afraid to be the little fish sometimes. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Be the little fish in the huge pond and swim against the current as if the quality of your life depends on it.

Because it does.

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Prepare For Career Success

4 Jun

Prepare2

This weekend I went shooting.

Surprisingly, I wasn’t that bad.

I didn’t shoot myself by accident…so pretty much, I did much better than I expected.

It’s not something I do every day, but I’m glad I did it.

Because for a long time, I’ve been scared of guns. Terrified, really.

And for that reason, I never thought I’d actually pick one up and shoot it.

But I figured that if I ever (God forbid) find myself in a situation where I DO need to know how to shoot to defend myself, I’ll be a lot more successful if I’m comfortable with the basic concepts, having practiced a few times at the shooting range.

I figured that I’d feel a bit more PREPARED.

And that being prepared would ultimately give me a huge advantage.

Because that’s the thing about preparation. It DOES often give you a huge advantage.

And it can make a world of a difference.

Observing people, I’ve seen that there are way too many college graduates that enter the workforce completely unprepared.

However, every once in a while you’ll find a few who are prepared.

Not ENTIRELY prepared, because let’s face it…most of the time we have no idea what we’re doing.

But some graduates know better…some graduates enter new jobs with a basic understanding of work.

How to dress…

E-mail etiquette…

Professional behavior…

How to deal with people who are different

How to deal with people who are mean…

These are all concepts that I guess some people just tend to take for granted.

Because these days, most universities offer ONE HUNDRED MILLION THOUSAND courses and classes all aimed at helping college students prepare for the real world.

They’re all aimed at making sure that college graduates are successful in the workforce

And well…that’s kind of nice.

But unfortunately, a lot of people think that these sessions are stupid.

Confession: I used to be one of those people who thought the sessions were stupid.

I used to think…I’ll figure it out when I get there.

I used to think…Why waste my time in college preparing for my first real job when I have a million other things to deal with?

But the value of these courses shouldn’t be overlooked.

And if they’re offered to you for FREE, I’m going to punch you in the face if you don’t take advantage of them.

Because you’ll ALWAYS learn something that you didn’t know before.

ALWAYS…as long as you’re willing to listen.

And at the end of the day, that preparation will give you a huge advantage.

That preparation will set you apart from the rest.

That preparation will ensure that you’re successful.

Because just like me and my ability to shoot a gun…you’ll be more comfortable with certain concepts if:

a. you’re familiar with them

b. you’ve practiced, and

c. you’re not caught off-guard.

So if you can, give them a shot. What do you have to lose?

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