I am always looking for ways to use my digital devices to their fullest potential. Now that I’ve joined the ranks of many before me by switching from iPhone to an Android device, I’m finding just how enjoyable it can be. Rather than it being an over priced mp3 player, I’m finding that the Galaxy S4 is so much more. Along with my newfound love of the Galaxy is my rediscovery of Evernote.
I came across a great blog post by Jamie Rubin called Going Paperless and I’m going to give it a go. I like to do my research before committing to something fully (i.e. big purchases like cars, phones (I heart you Galaxy), computers, etc.), but he makes using Evernote extremely accessible. I plan to go completely paperless in the next year.
I won’t consider this a New Year’s resolutions as I often find that setting that kind of expectation on a life changes leads to failure. Too much pressure! I’m going to put my mind to it and make it happen. It’s important to me to leave a small footprint on this planet and, although a small step, it’s a step in the direction I want to go. You can find all kinds of helpful links, browser extensions, and programs to download for free to make using Evernote super easy. You can download it for your computer (Mac or PC) and phone. It syncs seamlessly with all devices so you can access lists, photos, notes, maps, videos manuals, whatever, from anywhere. Give it a shot and let me know what you think!
The last few days have tested my mental strength in more ways than I can imagine. Moving to a new state always does that to me. It’s trying for everyone, but I never realize how much it wears on me until it’s all over and everything is in it’s new location. I came across an article a few days earlier that rang true with me about mental strength.
While I do many of these things already, it’s a great reminder on how to achieve the things you want in life. Whether it’s in your personal life or in your professional life, keep these in mind. Amy Morin talks about these 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do to keep them going and coping with difficult situations in life. While Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful (as is life in general in my opinion), adding moving to the mix can really test you. Below are 13 things mentally strong people do.
1. They Don’t Waste Time Feeling Sorry for Themselves
Mentally strong people don’t sit around feeling sorry about their circumstances or how others have treated them. Instead, they take responsibility for their role in life and understand that life isn’t always easy or fair.
2. They Don’t Give Away Their Power
They don’t allow others to control them, and they don’t give someone else power over them. They don’t say things like, “My boss makes me feel bad,” because they understand that they are in control over their own emotions and they have a choice in how they respond.
3. They Don’t Shy Away from Change
Mentally strong people don’t try to avoid change. Instead, they welcome positive change and are willing to be flexible. They understand that change is inevitable and believe in their abilities to adapt.
4. They Don’t Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
You won’t hear a mentally strong person complaining over lost luggage or traffic jams. Instead, they focus on what they can control in their lives. They recognize that sometimes, the only thing they can control is their attitude.
5. They Don’t Worry About Pleasing Everyone
Mentally strong people recognize that they don’t need to please everyone all the time. They’re not afraid to say no or speak up when necessary. They strive to be kind and fair, but can handle other people being upset if they didn’t make them happy.
6. They Don’t Fear Taking Calculated Risks
They don’t take reckless or foolish risks, but don’t mind taking calculated risks. Mentally strong people spend time weighing the risks and benefits before making a big decision, and they’re fully informed of the potential downsides before they take action.
7. They Don’t Dwell on the Past
Mentally strong people don’t waste time dwelling on the past and wishing things could be different. They acknowledge their past and can say what they’ve learned from it. However, they don’t constantly relive bad experiences or fantasize about the glory days. Instead, they live for the present and plan for the future.
8. They Don’t Make the Same Mistakes Over and Over
Mentally strong people accept responsibility for their behavior and learn from their past mistakes. As a result, they don’t keep repeating those mistakes over and over. Instead, they move on and make better decisions in the future.
9. They Don’t Resent Other People’s Success
Mentally strong people can appreciate and celebrate other people’s success in life. They don’t grow jealous or feel cheated when others surpass them. Instead, they recognize that success comes with hard work, and they are willing to work hard for their own chance at success.
10. They Don’t Give Up After the First Failure
Mentally strong people don’t view failure as a reason to give up. Instead, they use failure as an opportunity to grow and improve. They are willing to keep trying until they get it right.
11. They Don’t Fear Alone Time
Mentally strong people can tolerate being alone and they don’t fear silence. They aren’t afraid to be alone with their thoughts and they can use downtime to be productive. They enjoy their own company and aren’t dependent on others for companionship and entertainment all the time but instead can be happy alone.
12. They Don’t Feel the World Owes Them Anything
Mentally strong people don’t feel entitled to things in life. They weren’t born with a mentality that others would take care of them or that the world must give them something. Instead, they look for opportunities based on their own merits.
13. They Don’t Expect Immediate Results
Whether they are working on improving their health or getting a new business off the ground, mentally strong people don’t expect immediate results. Instead, they apply their skills and time to the best of their ability and understand that real change takes time.
I’m sitting in the waiting area of the car dealership waiting for my car to be serviced and I’m intrigued by the people around me.
It’s a little bit of a wintry mix outside today and precipitation makes me want to stay inside and watch as the world goes by. But right now I get to watch and imagine the lives of the people around me.
There’s and old woman siting at a table with an unopened book and knitting needles in her hands. I imagine that she’s knitting something as a Christmas gift for a family member. That whatever she intends to give them will be made with love. That knitting is giving her a sense of peace and calm, which I can relate to.
To me knitting is meditative to me. I can tune out what’s going on around me and my thoughts become clearer. It’s not intentional which I think is what makes it so relaxing.
But really me siting here, waiting gives me a chance to just let my thoughts go and relax myself. Even without needles in my hands.
While it didn’t rain today nor was there a single cloud in the sky, I was thinking of rain all the same. It’s effects on my mood are completely calming and soothing. Vermont got it’s fair share of rain this summer, but I still enjoy it when it’s here. Every time it begins to rain I stop and listen to the sound it makes as it hits the roof or the windows. I also can’t help but think about Winnie the Pooh when it rains. It sounds ridiculous, but his song about being a rain cloud always makes me smile. Part of my enjoyment also comes from it being such a little enjoyment in life. It doesn’t cost a thing and I still get the pleasure of seeing it all the same.
“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” ~Langston Hughes
Sunday, I officially joined the ranks of many before me and became a Tough Mudder. If you’ve never heard of this before, Tough Mudder is a 10-12 mile long obstacle course and it was first developed by British navy seals. It’s designed not to be a race, but a challenge. It’s more about team work and camaraderie than it is about trying to get the best time.
I was lucky enough to participate in the New England Tough Mudder at Mount Snow Vermont’s Ski Resort and I now know that mountain like the back of my hand. I chose to participate partly because I love working out and thought that my fitness level would lend itself well to how I did during the course, but also because I was afraid of it. The closer it got to the big day the more nervous I got.
Having completed this for the first time I have to say that I’m a super bad-ass! I’ve completed a course going through ice, water, mud, climbing, running and electric shock.
Two of my teammates wore a a Go Pro camera throughout the obstacles and already made a cool video of the event. Check out the video!
I have been trying to put much of my focus on eating healthier and exercising regularly. While I do exercise most weekday mornings, I know I am not pushing myself to the limits. With regularly training my body can handle a lot more than what I am giving it. I plan on testing my strength and my mental tenacity in August. How? Like many warriors before me, I’m going to become a Tough Mudder. If you have not heard of this before, this is a 10-12 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces. It’s designed to test, “test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.”
The only way to do this is with a team of people or you’ll never make it through. I hav to prepare myself to be covered in mud, scratched by hay bales, dunked in ice cold water (many times), and the fear of jumping from a tall wooden plank into a pool of water. The idea is that you go with a team of people so you’re never alone. It’s not about being first, but about helping each other out and finishing.
Thankfully, I have a many friends who have done this before and they all assure me I am going to love it. If you want to do something fun this summer and tough this summer, sign up for one of these and let me know how you did! A few words of encouragement will do me good, too.
I don’t intend to use my blog as a platform for political views, but as a sounding board for my own views on life and humanity. We live in an age where opinions are thrown around without any thought as to how they develop or how they effect others. Before there was Facebook we used to interact with one another face to face. Now we have this amazing freedom of voicing thoughts as they come to us, but it can be limiting in terms of developing ourselves as compassionate and understanding people. We do not have to see the response of our peers because of technology.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently because of something a friend of mine posted on Facebook. She posted an opinion by first saying, “I’m sorry if this offends anyone…”, which, I feel, is a copout for not taking responsibility for your opinions or actions. To get down to it, she feels that homosexuals should not be able to marry because God is against it. That their “choice” to be gay is wrong.
If you know me at all, you know I have strong opinions about homosexuality. I do not believe it is a choice. I believe in equality, humanity, and equal rights for every human regardless of race, religion, or gender. I believe that if God came down to Earth right now and spoke to all Christians he would not agree that homosexuals should be denied the right to marry. If you believe in God then you believe that he created every person on this planet. Every. Last. Person.
I have many friends that are gay, lesbian, and bisexual and they are no different than any of my other friends. They have jobs, pets, children, homes, they love, have parents, go to church, read, like sports, live in different parts of the U.S. and anything else you could possibly imagine. We have a preconceived notion of how life and family should be that it becomes very difficult to shed those views as we get older. To stand up and say that life is one way, and only one way, is beyond comprehension to me. Life is ever changing and evolving and if you cannot change and evolve with it then you limit yourself.
I never want to stunt my ability to be open minded. As I’ve gotten older I have become more accepting of people who are different than myself and that is all homosexuality is. It’s different. In no way do I believe it is wrong or less deserving of anyone’s consideration.
One of my friends shared a wonderful website with me and I have not been able to tear my eyes away from it. Humans of New York was created by a man that lives in New York City and was attempting to geographically pinpoint all the people of New York through street portraits. What the project turned into was much bigger and more moving than he anticipated. I share this not because I want to advertise his website, but because it opened my eyes a little this week.
We so often get caught up in our own lives and our own personal realities, that we often forget to really “see” the people around us. I know, that’s really deep and all, but it’s true. How often do you notice things about people? I mean, just notice them? Then you notice that you noticed that? Some times that’s all it takes to get a better understand of the people that surround you.
The stories these people share on HONY are funny, brief, moving, outrageous, hilarious, and some times emotional. It brings you back to the present when you read some of the things people share with this total stranger, this photographer. It gives a little peak into the life of a stranger and just how awesome we all are. I don’t mean like, “Dude, that was awesome!”, but more like awe inspiring. These interactions, however small, could be life changing. Certainly, reading about them can be.
Don’t forget to look around you today. Remember we’re all just living our lives. We’re all individuals and we have the glorious opportunity to be humane and kind to one another. Say hello to a stranger today and discover something new.
Today is Memorial Day and I’m thankful for all our service men and women. However, today seems especially important to me because my brother was safely returned to the U.S. from his second deployment, just yesterday. I love my brother very much and I didn’t realize how much I was missing him until yesterday. My parents went to his reintegration ceremony (I think that’s what it’s called) and, to keep me in the loop, my mother called me to tell me they saw him and hugged him. When I asked my mother if she was relieved that he was back on American soil she said, “You never know how you’re going to react.” While she didn’t expand on what her reaction was (as she got distracted and started talking about the weather and dogs and things) I knew what she meant. My breath caught in my throat and I was tearing up right on the phone. I guess I didn’t realize how relieved I felt at knowing he was back. To him I say, “I love you, bro. You’re the best big brother any little sister could have and I have mad love for you. Thank you for being the soldier that you are and serving our country.”
If you get the chance, thank a soldier past or present. No matter what, they deserve your support. Take it a step further and support the wounded and hurting soldiers in our country by donating to the Wounded Warrior Project.