Tag Archives: happy

Four Ways Millennials Can Be Happier Right This Minute

23 Jun

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So tell me, are you happy?

Like, honestly… happy?

Do you even know what happiness is, really?

Or are you like most of us… stressed out all the time?

Do you spend hours in your room crying because life isn’t working out the way you thought it would?

Because if the answer is yes, I’m going to tell you right now…you gotta stop doing that.

Our twenties are a mess.

A legit freaking mess.

We’re constantly stressed out and confused and don’t really know what to do with our lives.

Then, the real-world welcomes us with an even bigger slap in the face.

We’re suddenly wearing five different hats…

We’re suddenly juggling 700,000 responsibilities at once…

Of course, it’s stressful.

And it sucks.

Big time.

Mostly because we’ve been taught our whole lives that things are supposed to get better as time goes by.

Not worse.

The older we get… the happier we become. So we’ve been told.

Because, you know… when we get older, we graduate college and we get awesome jobs and we get married and we have the cutest kids and everything is wonderful.

That’s the story we’ve told since before we can remember.

But the truth is this…

We don’t just somehow get happier.

We don’t just wake up one day and feel happier.

It doesn’t happen like that.

Happiness isn’t a given.

It takes work.

It takes time.

And most importantly, it takes some serious self-reflection.

So in the meantime, while you’re figuring out what makes you happy and what doesn’t, here are a few things we can all do to make our lives a little bit better…

To make things a little more bearable…

Because we really can be happier.

Right. This. Very. Minute.

And I refuse to accept anything other than that.

1. Stop living in the future  

Today isn’t tomorrow. Today isn’t five years from now. Today is today, so enjoy it. Sure, we should all have dreams, but we need to make an effort to stop living our lives completely in the future. We spend so much time thinking about and planning for the future that we often miss out on so much of the present. Focus on what’s in front of you. It’ll be gone before you know it.

2. Stop buying so much stuff

Money lets you buy things. And sure, things are great. But you know what’s even better? People. Relationships. Experiences. Stop spending so much money on things that’ll end up in the trash next year. You know you don’t need half the things you have in your closet. Instead, save money. Give yourself that peace of mind. Instead, use that money to visit your family. Use that money to travel. But infinite amounts of clothes and shoes and electronics? Such a waste.

3. Stop seeking everyone’s approval

You can’t get everyone to like you. There. End of story. Now stop trying to please everyone. Do things for yourself. I promise you, it’s probably the best thing you can do right now if you ever want to live a happy life.

4. Stop second guessing yourself all the time

Ugh. Should I? Shouldn’t I? But… what if…all these questions ultimately lead to inaction. Listen to your gut. Learn to trust your intuition. If you want to do something, do it. Because if you second guess every move you want to make, you’ll never go anywhere, and how absolutely lame would that be?

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Your Cubicle Doesn’t Have to Be Ugly

3 Mar

So today I’m not writing anything fancy.

Nope.

Nothing soul-crushingly deep.

I just wanna talk about something that’s been on my mind for a while now.

So here it goes…

Your cubicle doesn’t have to be ugly.

Not a teeny tiny bit.

It doesn’t have to be dark and gray and dreary.

And you know what else? It doesn’t have to look like a prison.

Instead, it can be fun.

It can be vibrant and uplifting.

It can be a reflection of your super-awesome personality if you want it to.

There’s been a lot of research lately about office design and productivity.

More and more I’m coming across articles that discuss office design and how it affects our mood.

So I guess I kind of think it’s important.

Probably because we spend more time in our office space than we do at home (sadly).

And I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time making sure that my home is comfy.

I spend a lot of time making sure that my home makes me feel good.

We buy things and re-position objects that we probably don’t even need and we do these things because it’s part of making our environment a positive one.

Our cubicle…our office space…it’s our second home.

So if it’s killing your mood and makes you feel awful, it’s probably time you do something about that.

I recently started making a few changes to my little lonely cubicle. Now it’s kind of cool.

pretty-cubicle-pretty-office-space

First of all, anyone who knows me knows that I’m a quote fanatic, so I’ve got some awesome motivational posters that keep me somewhat sane when I’m having a really crappy day.

Blog Design 2

Then I’ve got these super cute items from UrbanGirl.Com. I don’t know what to tell you… My Jonathan Adler Block Calendar and LoLo Stanley Case… sure, they’re not essential, but they bring so much color to my desk and they just make me feel happy.

*Sidenote: The elephant, even though it’s pink, was bought because I’m a huge Alabama Football fan, so everytime I look at it I get excited for the season to start again.

Blog Design 3

Then I’ve got my shrine to all the important people in my life. Sorry mom and dad, I need to get a picture of you guys too! (Don’t hate me.) But anyway, it just makes me happy to know that outside of work, I’ve got so many positive relationships in my life, and THAT- on its own- gives me even more of a reason to want to work hard. Even though I’m working and I may not enjoy every second of every day, I’m working so that I can have the resources to make more memories with these people. (Because you know, you can’t go out and do awesome super-fun things if you’re totally poor.)

Blog Design 4

And then, finally, I’ve got my vacation corner. This picture of me and my man-friend was taken in Gettysburg, PA. We went up there a while back and it was such an incredible experience. Right under it sits my Panama City Beach snow globe. Again, we’ve vacationed there together and we’ve loved every minute of it. So my vacation corner reminds me that the world’s a lot bigger than my cubicle, and it reminds me to try to experience as much of it as possible.

Now it’s your turn! What do you love about your office space, and if the answer is NOTHING, then what are you gunna do to fix that?

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Millennials: Don’t Be Afraid to Operate Solo

19 Dec

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I think we’ve finally accepted it: being in your twenties can be slightly lonely. Lone-ranger status… a lot. I used to be one of those people who needed to be around 50 other people in order to feel happy. But as I’ve grown, I’ve come to absolutely LOVE the time I spend alone. Because we need it- for our sanity. And I also feel super-cool when I can get things done on my own. Today’s guest post from Jessica is perfect, reminding us that there’s nothing wrong with operating solo. Enjoy!

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What they don’t tell you about your twenties – the decade of late nights, traveling, reconnecting with high school friends and indulging in happy hours – is that it can get lonely.

Maybe you’re moved into your first apartment without roommates, or you’ve felt a creeping sense of self-consciousness at weddings and baby showers. Perhaps you’re newly single and feeling like you’re waiting at a stand-still, trying to navigate “real life” after college whilst friends are scoring awesome industry jobs and packing up for a new city. Regardless of the scenario, you’re beginning to realize that not all relationships – romantic or platonic, The Notebook-esque or General Hospital-worthy – will last forever, and that’s okay.

Because you have yourself to keep you company. And if you’re introverted, maybe that’s something you understood back in middle school the summer after your peers returned in September, extra mean and extra pimply. If you’re extroverted, maybe it’s something you’re only just coming to terms with now.

Learning to be comfortable with yourself and your thoughts is an understated and yet highly important skill. Knowing how to relish in “me time” is a serious benefit to your emotional and physical health. Relationships complicate and convolute your inward perspective, but being alone will teach you who you are and what you want; what gets you off and what makes you tick; what breaches your tolerance level and what fuels your passion. Introducing yourself to solo situations now will only help you to thrive in these environments as they crop up more frequently in the future.

Take Care of Yourself

Sure, you learned how to do a load of wash, use the elliptical and prepare a meal that wasn’t purchased in the frozen food section while in college. But did you ever try exercising without a gym or jogging buddy? In your 20’s, you should warm up to the idea of attending a class, taking a walk, or just hitting the gym without a friend, and create a workout routine that doesn’t require the coordination of two schedules. You should also stock your kitchen with all the basic essentials – cookware sets like these from Belgique are super affordable – and get into the habit of preparing a fancy-pants dinner for one. Bonus points if you eat it without the TV on. Every so often, don’t be afraid to venture out on your own to get your nails or hair done, and chat with your beautician instead of asking a friend to tag along.

Travel and Explore

Learn how to hail a cab, and take a train or public transportation on your own after mapping out your destination. Take a solo day trip somewhere. Hop in your car, or rent a Zip Car for the day, and drive out to some location or attraction a few hours from home, and spend the afternoon adventuring and sight-seeing. Take lots of selfies and just be present in the moment, taking in all of the new sights and sounds around you. One day, you may even have the guts to take a vacation alone with just me, myself, and I. Sound intimidating? Thousands of people do it every year, whether “it” means backpacking through South Asia, touring around with a group, or taking off for a few days to grab a tan and engage with the locals.

Socialize

Going out without a designated buddy doesn’t mean maintaining your solitude. If loneliness is what we’re trying to combat, then optimize every opportunity to go out and meet new friends and networks of people – just don’t be afraid to venture out alone initially. Attend a networking event or conference, or an introductory class just for kicks. It can be yoga, pottery, HTML coding, resume building, beer brewing; whatever floats your boat. And if you get asked to a party where you only know the person who invited you, go anyway! Tough it out for a few hours, or at least until everyone has warmed up with liquor, and see if you can’t have a good time with a new crowd.

Go to a movie. Make it a matinee, though, so you can prop your feet up on the chair in front of you and rattle your candy and slurp your Coke as loudly as possible. Accompany yourself to happy hour: dress cute, and bring a book or watch whatever game is playing. The sooner you become comfortable and embrace the ability to go out single, the more you will be able to experience when work, family, and conflicting schedules get in the way of plans.

Nights spent on the couch watching Netflix are comfortably easy, but too many of them will make you resentful and lonely. It’s important to get comfortable with yourself sans distractions in your twenties to help build confidence and develop self-awareness and efficiency. Don’t miss out on life because you’re afraid of operating solo – as you get older, you’ll be spending more and more time alone, and that can be a wonderful thing.

Jessica Herbine is a twenty-something PR and Marketing professional working in Philadelphia. She loves to read, write, attend theater performances, rock concerts, and go out for dinner and drinks. Find her on Twitter at @jessherbs, and follow her blog at http://www.100wpm.wordpress.com!

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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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Kid Wisdom You Need to Listen to…Now

30 Jan

Just a little wake-up call from a pretty smart kid 😀

Watch this…it only takes three minutes and it’s definitely worth every second.

A Failure’s Guide to Surviving A Crisis

26 Oct

I wanted to murder my cat.

I usually love him.

But not yesterday.

Yesterday, the demonic creature that I share my room with decided it would be nice to knock over the glass of water I left on my windowsill…

Onto my BRAND. NEW. MacBook Air.

I was livid, to say the least.

My computer’s now being soaked in rice.

It’ll stay like that for a week.

And still, I’m pretty sure it’s fried.

So after a morning of pretty much cursing my cat’s existence, I later realized that it’s not worth being SO upset over.

Yes, it’s terrible. That thing cost me a fortune. But still, I’m pretty sure that monthly Botox injections to fix my frown lines are far more expensive than the replacement of said computer.

What I learned from this whole situation is the following:

It’s so easy to get upset about things!

God knows, if I got upset about every freaking failure I’ve ever had…from tripping over myself while standing in place to walking into a glass door…well, I’d be pissed off every day of my life because, well, I do stuff like that ALOT.

And you know what?

At work, you’re going to make mistakes too.

But you have a choice…

Either go crazy and flip out and cry

OR

Be a normal human being and process the situation.

You know that saying… “It’s not worth crying over spilt milk”…

Well, in my case, it’s not worth crying over spilt water all over my beautiful brand new computer.

It happened already.

It’s in the past.

I can’t change it (although I totally wish I could).

But what CAN I do?

Learn from it.

Note to Kayla:

DON’T EVER LEAVE WATER IN YOUR ROOM OR ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOUR CAT CAN USE TO DESTROY STUFF THAT YOU REALLY LIKE.

But really, no matter how much of a perfectionist you are, sh*t’s going to happen.

I promise.

So do your best to fix it. Do everything you can to make it better.

But after that, it’s done. It’s over.

Learn, move on, and in my case, don’t eat lunch for three months to save up money for a new computer.

Somehow, I’ll try to be nice to my cat again.

Generation Y Redefines Success

18 Sep

My senior year of high school, I had the genius idea of taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics, all at the same time.

I pushed myself so hard that year all because I wanted to earn college credits and therefore graduate from college in less than four years.

I did that.

I started working a full-time job at the age of 19 and earned my bachelor’s degree in two and a half years.

I figured that if I got my degree early and had some experience under my belt, I’d be ahead of the game career-wise and would be taking steps towards my journey up the quote-on-quote career ladder. If I did this, I would be a few steps closer to becoming the VP of some great company where my work would consume all of my energy every day.

That’s what success looked like most of my life.

I was taught, growing up, that in order to be a successful woman I’d have to work really hard so that I could one day break through these ceilings that were said to be made of glass. And if I did manage to achieve this, well,  I’d become the much-respected senior executive of some company where I would spend 40+ hours every week.

That’s what I was supposed to want.

That’s what I’ve always been capable of doing.

To not reach that goal, I was told, would be a waste of my potential. It would be a waste of my intellect. I would be a failure.

So all my life, this is the goal that I’ve worked towards.

In doing so, however, I’ve allowed others to determine what success looks like in my life.

A few years later, having been in the workforce, I look at the senior executives of many great organizations and I think to myself…really? This is what I want? This is what I’ve worked so hard for all these years?

To work 60 hours a week? To not have time to do the things that I love to do? To have better relationships with the strangers I go to meetings with once a month than with the people I’ve known all my life?

Something’s wrong here.

I know, in my heart, that I DON’T want that.

But I’m supposed to, right?

I’m smart, I’m ambitious, I have big dreams….OBVIOUSLY that’s what success looks like, right?

WRONG.

You see, success can’t be defined so narrowly. Success, also, shouldn’t be defined for you by anyone else. Success is very personal and it varies.

My definition of success can be very different from your definition.

Likewise, my definition of success at 22 can be very different from my definition of success at 40.

That’s okay.

The point is that today I look back on the past few years of my life and although I don’t regret the way my life has played out, I wish that I had allowed myself to form my own definition of success.

Without the influence of society.

Without the influence of my friends.

Without the influence of my parents.

Success should have been between me and me alone.

Today, when I think of success, I don’t think about working for some multi-million dollar corporation managing all of the best accounts, swiftly climbing the corporate ladder.

Instead, I think about being happy. I think about finding a career that I love, one that challenges me. I think about a career that allows me to help others, that allows me to give back in some way. I think about having time to travel and hang out with my friends. I think about making sure that I have enough time to devote to a relationship and building a family one day. Success, to me, means being inspired and having interesting work to do. Success, therefore, is not being bored.

That doesn’t make me any less ambitious.

That doesn’t make me any less determined.

It just means that I’m working towards something different.

And I’ll never apologize for that.

I think that Generation Y wants to succeed, we want to be successful. But at the same time, our picture of success is very different from that of generations before us. The idea of working 80 hours a week behind a desk with no time to pursue our other interests is not really all that appealing.

That’s why we’re asking for flex time.

That’s why there no longer exists a corporate ladder.

That’s why we’re seen as so demanding.   

We want more to life than just work.

And for that… I’m sorry that I’m not sorry.

Other stuff you might like:

Don’t Wait, Be Happy Now

Relax, Being Lost is a Good Thing

Random Ramblings on Being a Young Adult

How to Not Be Utterly Depressed About the Fact that Summer’s Over

20 Aug

Today’s a very sad day for a lot of people.

Look around you…People are not thrilled about the fact that it’s Monday.

But it’s not just any Monday.

For most of us, school has started.

Summer’s over.

Therefore, this is the worst day ever.

Goodbye, days of sleeping in until 2pm.

Goodbye, days of going to the beach and passing out drunk in the sand.

Goodbye, days where the biggest source of frustration is that moment when your remote control runs out of battery and you have to get up, out of bed, to change the channel.

It’s all over.

All the good stuff‘s over.

Life sucks.

Now I honestly haven’t had a real summer in quite some time since I’ve been doing this thing called working and going to school and having no life. But I can still remember feeling anxious about the school year beginning, trying to cram as much awesomeness into those last days of freedom.

You see, with the end of summer, there always came this inexplicable sense of dread.

But you know what? I don’t feel that way anymore. I actually seem to think that the end of summer is quite wonderful.

There’s a sense of promise that the school year brings.

So much yet to be accomplished.  

So rather than crying about the fact that summer’s over,  how about you embrace the sense of hope that comes from the beginning of fall?

I mean, what do you hope to accomplish this year?

Think about it.

Buy yourself a planner. Set your goals.

Now’s the time to do so.

The great thing about the end of summer is that you get a new start.

Maybe you royally screwed up last year.

Maybe you ended up with a 1.75 GPA last semester.

Maybe you graduated high school ranked 300/301.

Maybe you’ve just been a jerk to people lately.

That’s okay.

Because now you get a chance to make things better.

This semester, actually study.

This semester, really go to the gym.

This year, work on not being an a-hole to people.

Spend this season working non-stop to reach your goals.

And your life will be better.

Yes, the summer was awesome.

But the fall will be too.

Make sure of it.

We Really Have No Reason To Be Unhappy

24 Jul

This weekend  kind of sucked.

First of all, we had that crazy idiot who did what he did in Aurora.

This really put things into perspective for me.

Secondly, I was in a car accident. 

Again, this really put things into perspective for me.

Upon entering the workforce, I’ve witnessed a lot of things, both good and bad.

But the one thing that’s been most noticible during my experience with the “real world” is that people are generally unhappy.

People are unhappy about something and/or everything.

ALL.

OF.

THE.

TIME.

This is unfortunate and it’s stupid.

Through my research regarding Generation Y, I’ve been able to find plenty of articles that explain that my generation is the most unhappy of all. During a time in which we’re trying to discover ourselves, we’re faced with so many decisions that need to be made and we don’t know how to make them.

This makes us sad.

This makes us depressed.

Then we’ve got all the other generations…

It seems that at work, complaining about stuff  is the cool thing to do.

“I can’t believe I wasn’t invited to that meeting”

“I hate my boss”

“Jack didn’t cc me on that e-mail. How dare he?”

Really, guys?

If these are the worst of our worries, I think we’re doing okay.

Let’s stop sweating the small stuff, alright?

I think that’ll make the world a much more pleasant place to live in and it shouldn’t take a tradgedy or a near-death experience to realize this.

We should feel grateful for what we have, every day.

So next time you’re unhappy and you’re discussing one of the following:

  1.  how your life is terrible
  2.  how you want to punch your boss in the face
  3.  how your life is over and you have no reason to live

Stop and think for a second.

Then kick yourself for being so dumb.

If you’re reading this, CONGRATULATIONS!

You’re alive and you have eyeballs!

And that, my friends, is enough reason to be happy.

Just Be Nice. It Goes A Long Way.

25 Jun

 

It amazes me, really, how rude some people can be.

I mean, come on…I know it’s Monday and that most people don’t want to be at work but still…that’s no excuse for being mean to people.

I walk through the hallways and say good morning to everyone, always. And you know what? MAYBE 5 out of every 10 people acknowledge my presence. Like really?

Not. Cool.

And then out of those 5 that DON’T flat out ignore me, maybe 3 of them look at me as if I had told them I was going to stab them (which I’m not, obviously).

Dude, I just said good morning.

I just said hi.

I’m just being nice.

But we’re not used to that.

It seems to me that when it comes to work, people fail to remember how important it is to be nice to others. I know we all have deadlines. I know we’re all struggling with budgets. I know that we’re all working our tails off to get that next promotion so we can feel important.

But stop for a second and think about this…

If you’re mean, you’re not going to get very far. I mean, you can only pretend to be nice for a little while. Eventually, something will happen and you won’t be able to fake it anymore.

If you’re rude, if you’re a jerk, people will know.

And you know what? People tend to talk about their negative experiences a lot more often than they talk about their positive experiences.

So if you suck, people are going to talk about how much you suck, ALOT.

I know we’re at work, but work doesn’t have to be this constant battlefield of backstabbing and gossip and rude behavior.

It’s not worth it.

Go to work. Be nice to people. Make a difference.

It’s not that difficult.

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