Tag Archives: blogging

Why It’s Okay To Be Excited About the Awesome Stuff You’re Doing

23 Apr

success-baby- graduation- excited

I’m not going to lie…

My life is pretty awesome right now.

Last night, I took my very last exam EVER!!!

And then I cried like a baby because I got super sentimental thinking about how my school-life is completely OVER.

I now feel very old.

Ancient, really.

But I’m also really happy because I can be a somewhat normal and functioning member of society again.

I can sleep and I can read and I can sleep some more.

Again, my life is awesome…and I’m pretty sure yours is too.

So I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’ve been thinking about success and whether or not it’s like super braggy/bragish to tell people about the really cool stuff going on in our lives.

And here’s the conclusion I’ve come to…

People love to complain. People spend hours and hours and hours talking to everyone they know about just how awful things are.

Go to a bad restaraunt? Obviously, you’re going to complain about it to anyone who’ll listen.

Have a bad day? You’re going to complain regardless of whether or not anyone will listen.

And this, apparently, is acceptable.

So if we can accept the complaints and the negativity, then I see absolutely nothing wrong with sharing things that are awesome!

It’s definitely far more productive.

Now, you don’t need to be obnoxious. You don’t have to be like, “Oh, look at me…I’m better than you…you suck.”

That’s never cool.

But if you’ve worked hard and you’re on your way to living your dream and reaching your goals, heck…be proud of it!

Own it.

You’re allowed to be excited! You’re allowed to be proud of yourself!

Because if you don’t belive in your value and your success…

No one. Else. Will.

When it comes to your career, don’t be afraid to tell people about your accomplishments.

Especially us twentysomethings…we get it…we don’t have years and years of experience under our belts.

So for that specific reason, we have to make sure that the things we ARE doing…that we ARE accomplishing, we’re showcasing.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

And the peoploe who do have a problem with it?? Well, it’s probably because they don’t really have all that much going on anyway.

So don’t worry about them.

To all of you out there chasing your dreams, keep on going.

Don’t be shy to share your goals and your success. Who knows…maybe you’ll find that people are a lot more interested in helping you than you ever thought possible.

But how can they help you if no one knows what you’re chasing after?

Don’t be shy…if you’re working on something awesome, let me know!

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Why We Ought to Take Blogs A Little More Seriously

7 Apr

Why- we-ought-to-take-blogs-a-little-more-seriously

For some reason that I’ll never understand, a lot of people in the wonderful world of academia tend to hate bloggers.

Maybe not hate-hate, but they certainly don’t take blogs seriously.

Because apparently, if you’re not published in some fancy-pants journal, your work isn’t  important.

Makes sense, right?!

Well, no. No it doesn’t.

So in response to all the blogger-haters out there, here are a couple reasons why blogs are awesome and should be given all the credit they deserve.

1. They Allow for Thinking at All Levels

No, you don’t need to have a PhD to have a thought process. Brains, people! Everyone has one! So to believe that only those who somehow publish their thoughts in a journal or a book are entitled to USE their brains, is wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

The awesome thing about blogs is that so many people with different perspectives get to provide insight on various issues. I mean, even kids (so long as they know how to type) can give their two cents on any given topic. And we ought to listen to what they have to say. Because blogging allows for us to learn from ANYONE, really.

You don’t need to be rich to blog. You don’t have to be the CEO of a company. You don’t have to have 53,000 Twitter followers. And you don’t have to have 5 diplomas hanging on your wall. If you have thoughts, you’re able to put them out there. And I think that this diversity in ideas and in thought patterns is absolutely invaluable.

2. They Create the Opportunity for Oh-So-Important Dialogue

You know that wonderful little box at the end of most blogs that lets you comment on what you’ve read? Well, it’s kind of the bomb. Because comment boxes allow us to engage in dialogue.

Communication… Something that a lot of people these days are forgetting how to participate in.

While I’m not knocking journals and books, I think that blogs do provide additional value in that they allow for readers to reflect on things that they’ve read, and then engage in that dialogue immediately. Sometimes readers disagree with what they’ve read. Sometimes readers love it! Sometimes readers decide to share their own experiences, and like #1, this allows for various shared perspectives.

So yes, I’m definitely a fan of the comment box!

3. They Provide Real-Time Analyses of Situations

This one’s easy. Things are always happening. There are issues and problems and conferences that people are attending and new thoughts that are being introduced every. single. minute. of every day.

And while yes, it’s great if you can talk about these things in a fancy-pants journal, here’s the problem…

Journals and books take SO LONG to publish.

With blogs, you don’t have to wait.

You can experience/witness something and open your laptop, write, and publish. All of this in less than 15 mins. Heck- you can even do it from your phone these days! You don’t even need a computer.

And in this society that we live in…where we want updates and information 24/7…blogs definitely help us stay up-to-date on recent happenings.

4. Easy, Simple, and FREE Disbursement of Knowledge!

Maybe you catch up on all your favorite blogs first thing in the morning. Maybe you do it on your lunch break. Regardless, throughout the day, you’re bound to come across a post that you absolutely love…something you know is worth sharing.

Now with a book or a journal, you can see something you like and you can recommend that your friends check it out, but it requires time and money and energy…which let’s face it… few people have these days.

But blogs are amazing because you can share thoughts and ideas in like 2.5 seconds! You see something you want to share? AWESOME! Grab the link. Copy. Paste. Post on Facebook. Post on Twitter. Send link via text, etc. Some blogs have made it so easy that you just need to click a button.

So yea, I don’t know about you, but I’m all about free knowledge. And if it’s simple and easy to access, even better.

5. Connections All Over the World

When I’m chatting with someone from New Zealand, that’s pretty freaking awesome! I mean, I don’t travel often (since I’m poor), yet it’s such a great experience to be able to connect with people from all over the world. Not only is it super-cool, but connecting with industry professionals who happen to live on different continents is also a great opportunity to expand your network. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll find yourself in New Zealand, unemployed, and the many connections you’ve  made over the years will provide you with opportunities that may otherwise not have been possible.

So, that’s it! Let’s stop hating blogs. Let’s stop hating bloggers. Because we all have something to contribute. And we don’t lose anything by gaining additional perspectives.

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Why Good Isn’t Good Enough

25 Jan

Good-is-the-Enemy-of-Great

I think a lot of people find me annoying.

Okay… I KNOW a lot of people find me annoying.

You see, I’m one of those nerds who’s always reading some kind of self-help/improvement/learn how to do something better-ish kind of book.

I mean, really, if you’re ever at Barnes & Noble, check out the self-help section…that’s where you’ll find me. ALWAYS.

There…I said it.

Most people are embarassed to admit that. They think that self-help books are just for losers.

But you know what? Last time I checked, wanting to do something better doesn’t make you a loser. Instead, it makes you the kind of person that refuses to settle…you should be proud of that.

How many of you have good jobs?

How many of you are in good relationships?

How many of you are good writers?

How many of you are good friends?

If you are, you need to be careful. Yea, careful. Because the minute that you accept that you’re “GOOD” at anything, more often than not, you STAY good at it.

Now, I hear you…

“What the heck is she talking about?”

“Why is it bad to be good at something?”

Why???? Here’s why…

Because it means that you settle for “GOOD” instead of working your ass off to get to “GREAT.”

If you don’t understand this, you need to read Jim Collins’ book…Good to Great.

Actually, even if you DO understand this, you should still read it. It’s kind of awesome.

Although the book primarily focuses on companies and organizations and their need to strive for excellence in everything that they do, the concept is very much applicable to our everyday lives.

You know, when you’re BAD at something, chances are that you put a lot of effort towards getting better. But here’s the problem…when you get to being GOOD at it, you usually stop trying.

YES!!!! I”M GOOD!!! SUCCESS!!

But why are we stopping at GOOD? Why is GOOD suddenly the best that there is?

In terms of your career, for example, is it good? If it IS good, what are you actively doing to take it to the next level?

Did you forget that there’s a next level?

In terms of your relationship…is everything good?

It is?! That’s wonderful!

But again, what are you actively doing to make it better?

What are you doing to make it GREAT?

If we settle for good, we’re missing out on a whole lot of potential. And if we’re actually aiming for good, well…quite frankly, we’re not aiming high enough.

I’m a big believer in continuous learning…in continuous improvement.

And you know why?

Because the moment you settle for good, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage…especially if you’re running a company in a competitive market.

The moment you settle for good, that’s where you stay.

And meanwhile, overachieving nerds, like myself, are doing everything in their power to get to the next level.

And then, those people surpass you.

And then, you get left behind.

Yea, you’re GOOD…

Congratulations!

But not good enough.

Why Success Freaks Us Out Sometimes

18 Oct

I’m in a ridiculously good mood today which is odd given that I’ve only slept perhaps a total of 7.48 hours this past week.

My hair’s up in a bun today which tells you that I had MAYBE a whole 10 minutes to get dressed today, if that.

But it’s fine because I still look somewhat decent having put in zero effort which is the goal of any sleep deprived grad school student I know.

Not bad for a Thursday.

But anyway, I’ve had some of the busiest few weeks of my life and I feel like a failure because I haven’t had the chance to sit down and write about any of it.

I get home, see my bed, and it practically calls out to me… for me to just lay in it forever. I listen.

But that’s no excuse.

To everyone who reads this blog and to everyone who congratulated me on being freshly pressed, THANK YOU! It means more to me than you’ll ever know.

Ever since I started writing, I thought it would be so cool to have my work freshly pressed on this site.

I never thought it would happen, but still, it’d be kind of awesome.

It WAS awesome.

Then, I kind of freaked out.

I thought to myself…what if I never write anything as good as that again? What if that’s the best I’ve got?

I thought about a Ted Talk by Elizabeth Gilbert that I watched a while back. She talks about how after she wrote Eat Pray Love, people feared that she’d never achieve success again.

Watch it. It’s great.

She says that after her huge success with her book, people would ask her:

Aren’t you afraid that you’re never going to be able to top that? Aren’t you afraid that you’re going to keep writing for your whole life and you’re never again going to create a book that anybody in the world cares about…at all…ever…again?

So why does success freak us out?

Because with every success, we climb THAT MUCH HIGHER up some kind of metaphorical ladder or hill or mountain or whatever.

The higher we get, the harder we fall if we fail.

Think about it for a second.

We spend most of our lives figuring out how to reach our goals, figuring out how to get there.

But what happens when we do? What happens when we achieve what we’ve set out to accomplish?

Is that it? Do we stop there?

Heck no.

When we reach one goal, how about we just keep shooting for another?

Don’t let the fear of failure paralyze you.

Keep moving. Keep doing.

Until you have nothing left to give.

Pretend you’re making lemonade with the last five lemons left on this planet.

Squeeze out every. single. last. drop that exists.

If your lemonade tastes freaking terrible, well, at least you used everything you had.

Same goes for your life.

When you have something wonderful, put everything you have into it.

A job…

A relationship…

A talent that you want to explore…

GIVE IT EVERYTHING.

And if you DO fail?

Well, at least you’ll know you did everything you possibly could.

And if you fail REALLY badly?

Well, just call me up and we’ll go have a drink.

Why Smart Companies Are Using Gen Y and Embracing the Blogosphere

27 Aug

I’m going to get abducted and killed.

Those were the first thoughts that crossed my mind when I was contacted a few weeks ago by the Hilton Garden Inn in Anchorage, Alaska inviting me to stay at their hotel…

Completely free.

After calling a million people to make sure that I wasn’t the victim of some kind of scam, my butt was on a plane to Alaska.

To Alaska, really??? I’m from Florida. What the heck was I doing going to Alaska?

Now, if you follow my blog, you should know by this point that I’m a HUGE advocate of all things innovative. So I’d like to take a second and say that I have a newfound appreciation and much respect for HGI and all of their hotels because their top execs or whoever it is that’s calling the shots over there, well, they’re INNOVATIVE.

And I love that.

I was flown to Anchorage along with 10 other Gen Y/travel bloggers as a part of a targeted Press Trip. The purpose of the trip was to provide us with information about the Hilton Garden Inn and to let us experience the services that they provide. The trip was also intended to enhance the popularity of HGI among younger travelers, therefore moving away from the long-standing image that the HGI hotels are solely for business-related travels.

Gen Y LOVES to travel.

HGI gets it and is actively using that knowledge to their benefit.

Anyway, I had an amazing trip.

The Hilton Garden Inn was very welcoming and their staff was wonderful. It was obvious that at HGI, management truly emphasizes the importance of customer service and provides adequate training for all of their employees.

That, I appreciate.

The hotel had an indoor pool, an awesome gym, free wifi that let me answer all my e-mails (THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS), and provided a free shuttle service to downtown Anchorage where we were able walk around and explore the town.

I found a new boyfriend.

I climbed a glacier.

And I got to see some breathtaking views.

I was beyond impressed with the ingenuity of HGI’s public relations/marketing strategy. HGI is certainly a company that understands the realm of social media and rather than resisting change, they have fully embraced innovation and used it to their advantage.

It’s smart and it makes sense.

By inviting a group of Gen Y bloggers to visit, they got people to talk about their trip, bringing light to the services that they provide.

I  mean, come on, even in the middle of climbing a glacier I was annoying my friends as I:

  • Tweeted
  • Checked in on Facebook
  • Posted pictures onto Facebook
  • Instagrammed

And so on, and so forth.

Point is, EVERYONE who doesn’t live under a rock knew that I was in Alaska and that I was staying at the Hilton Garden Inn.

That’s the new marketing, everyone.

And Gen Y is good at it.

When we’re doing something awesome, we want everyone to know about it.

Smart companies understand that.

Great job, HGI.

Genius.

Other Stuff You Might Like:

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You Don’t Have to Have it All Figured Out

30 Apr

My friend called me last night to start coordinating Cinco de Mayo festivities. Score! As I was thinking about how awesome this weekend is going to be, it hit me, out of nowhere…we’re already in MAY.

Really?!? A whole freaking year passed by already? I’m just baffled.

You see, May of last year marked the beginning of the weirdest year of my life.

But you know what?

The weirdest year of my life has also been the one I’m most thankful for.

To begin with, this time last year I thought I had everything figured out. Then I realized that I knew nothing. And so I began my quest to figure things out on my own terms. This is what’s happened since…

I’ve learned that first impressions aren’t always accurate. I’ve learned that while I’m good at some things, I suck at others. I’ve discovered some of my truest passions. I’ve done things for myself and not for the approval of others. I’ve learned that without faith, things are f*cking hard. I’ve learned that life should be about living, yet we waste so much time complaining about things that don’t really matter. Not even a little bit. I’ve lost some friends. I’ve gained others. And most importantly, I’ve met people that have unexpectedly and quite suddenly changed my life forever.

I’ve hurt people I’ve loved and I’ve been hurt by people I’ve loved.

I’ve been confused and unsettled and yet every second has been exhilarating.

I’ve learned to let go of expectations. I’ve learned to embrace being lost. I’ve learned the value in different perspectives. I’ve watched as all my future plans got thrown out the window. At some point along the way, I forgot who I was, who I wanted to be. Then luckily, I found myself again. I’ve learned to say yes to some things and no to others. I’ve learned to move forward despite every effort to hold onto the past for dear life…Because it’s all I ever knew, and because it felt safe. I’ve learned, as a result, that I don’t want safe. Instead, I want adventure.

I’ve learned to fully embrace this complete wanderlust, this zest for experiencing life and all it has to offer because the world is a beautiful place that we far too often take for granted.

I’ve learned that…

But more than anything, I’ve learned that I’m much more resilient than I ever imagined.

And so, for this year, I’m forever grateful.

You know, being young can suck sometimes. It’s confusing and people expect you to have everything figured out. But life doesn’t really work that way. You don’t have to have all the answers. So experience everything that’s thrown your way- both the good and the bad- then learn from it, from all of it. And I promise, if you do that, you’ll be just fine.

Essential Career Lessons I Learned From Mean Bloggers

19 Apr

One of the things I love the most about blogging is that the blogosphere tends to be this lovely place of encouragement and wonderfulness. If you read something and think it’s awesome, you “like” it or your comment about how great it is. If you think it’s awful, you just go and read something else. It’s really a very uplifiting practice, writing. We share our thoughts and opinions on things that other people might care about. I personally write so that I decrease the amount of time that I spend talking to myself. People usually find this strange.

So yes, I think that blogginig is fantastic. But recently, I’ve had some encounters with REALLY MEAN PEOPLE! I’ve had some really not so nice comments being left on things that I write like here and here. And reading them, it just blew me away how rude people can be. I mean, come on, there’s a difference between having a different opinion and being a straight up jerk. Different opinions rock! That’s why we have brains…to think differently, to share our views, and to work together to make things better. But understand that there’s a difference between voicing a different opinion and attacking someone. Not. Cool.

So to all you mean people, I’d like to say thank you, because here are some things that you’ve taught me that will be essential in my career:

1. How to defend an arguement

In business, you have to know how to defend your arguements, how to defend your ideas. Why? Because a lot of people are going to try to shut you up and shoot you down. So learning how to reiterate your thoughts while taking into account questions that other people pose will help you be much more successful.

2. How to take criticism

Most people don’t know how to deal with criticism. I for one, used to suck at it. I got a B on my paper? What?! *Starts crying* I don’t do that anymore. Instead, I look at the feedback that I get and I take it all into consideration. Sometimes, I see areas for improvement. This is a gift. Because I DON’T know everything and being open minded and willing to listen to other perspectives makes you smarter. At work, you’re going to have projects and assignments and you might think that you did an amazing job on them. Your boss might not. So it’s important that you know how to deal with criticism so that you don’t start crying in front of your boss.

3. How to remain respectful even when you want to punch someone in the face

Punching someone in the face is bad. You can get arrested. You WILL lose your job. So just don’t. Be respectful.

4. That you can’t please everyone

Some people love my writing. Other people don’t. And guess what? That’s okay. Because regardless of whether it’s writing or doing your job or pretty much anything else that you do in your life, YOU CAN”T PLEASE EVERYONE. Especially when you’re voicing an opinion. If I tried to please everyone, I’d be talking in a circle and ultimately, I would please no one because everyone would think I’m an idiot that’s just writing for the sake of writing. So just know how you feel about something and don’t be afraid to let people know. Understand that they don’t always have to agree with you and be open to listening to their thoughts. Maybe you’ll think that they’re crazy. Maybe they ARE crazy. But maybe you’ll see things in a way you’ve never even thought of.

5. That some people are just a-holes

Yes. Some people regardless of what you do or what you say are just bitter and mean and rude and not nice. Don’t let these people ruin your life. It’s not worth it. Just ignore them and focus on being awesome.

So mean blogger people…see what I did here? I took your negativity and I made a blog post about it. Thank you!

Because quite frankly, I’m far too busy to let mean people affect my day. You want to be mean? You want to be rude? By all means, knock yourself out. I wish you a happy life.

Just know that there’s a good way and a bad way to say everything and yes, there’s a way to be assertive and voice an opinion in a professional and respectful manner. If you’re mean, people won’t like you. And in business, if people don’t like you, you die.

So just be nice. Life’s too short and being an a-hole increases stress and chances of heart disease and a bunch of other things that will cause you to die faster.

What Makes Life Worth Living?

29 Mar

I get a lot of junk mail. Days like yesterday remind me how I wish I hadn’t subscribed to Groupon. I mean, yes, they’ve got some pretty cool stuff but it takes me soooo long to clean out my inbox. So that’s what I was doing last night when I read this e-mail from Devon Sampson, one of my readers:

Dear Ms. Kayla Cruz,

I’ve been enjoying your blog, you tell it like it is without sounding bitchy at all 😉 But more importantly, you really seem like an active participant in your own life and I definitely dig that. Here’s my one beef with you though: you’ve been very vocal AGAINST certain things, but not as clear about what you’re actually FOR. So I’m curious, what is the one thing that really makes life worth living for you? –Devon

First of all, Devon, you’re awesome for asking this because you forced me to stop for a second, take the 5234698731 thoughts that are running through my brain, and put this into words. Thank you.

The answer is simple…HUGH JACKMAN.

Just kidding. But he IS delicious.

Honestly, I’ve recently discovered that THIS, this writing, is what makes my life worth living. I’ve been writing for three months and it has completely changed my life.

When I was little, I wanted to be a rock star…

 

Then I grew up and did normal people stuff. I went to college, got drunk occasionally, dated terrible guys, and eventually I found a job in the corporate world where I found soooo much wrong with the system. 

Dude, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that some things are just NOT OK.

You see, I think that life is pretty amazing and I thank God everyday for everything I’ve been blessed with. I live a very fortunate life.

It seems that when we’re young, we’re happy, we’re naïve, we think that everything is awesome.

Look…I was always a happy kid.

But then we get older and we get caught up with (pardon my French) SHIT THAT DOESN’T MATTER.

Then what happens? We become bitter a-holes. Then what happens? We pass on the bitterness and the disappointment to the next generation. And so on and so on and so on.

There is SO much to do in this world. SO many people to help. SO many things to fix. But we can’t do that with shitty management. We can’t do that with shitty leadership. So we need to help leaders become better examples for today’s youth. For Gen Y. For whatever you want to call them.

We need to help young people navigate through this transition between youth and adulthood so that when they get there, they’re not total idiots. Oh, and we need to stop telling them to shut up. Instead, we need to encourage them to use their talents, to speak up, and to make a difference.

In the few years that I’ve been working, I’ve seen some really bad things. Let me repeat: some REALLY REALLY bad things. I honestly don’t know how I’m not on meds. I do have a therapist though and she’s pretty cool. So I can either just complain to myself about how f*%$ed up the world is or I can use my experiences to help other people get through some pretty tough times. I choose the latter.

So Devon, these are some of the things that make my life worth living:

  • Sharing my experiences
  • Teaching and encouraging others
  • Challenging whack, outdated ideas
  • Contributing to something much larger than myself

Every single time that someone reads what I have to say, it makes my day. Every time someone comments and tells me I make sense, it makes my day. Even when they tell me that they think I’m an idiot, it makes my day. Because it’s not about me. It’s about creating dialogue. It’s about learning. It’s about getting people to see things a different way.

Maybe that makes me crazy, but I’m okay with that. And I’m sure my therapist loves it too. It keeps her in business.

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