The Cost of Getting Comfortable 

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Janice had this dream to become a great architect someday. She went to a top school and had top marks, and even a really great internship. She graduated, applied for jobs, and then… nothing. She had some great interviews even made it to second and third round of hiring fairs, yet she still couldn’t land a job.

Her six months were coming up and soon she would have to start paying back her student loans, so she started getting desperate. She went to a job fair and just applied to any place that seemed somewhat interesting. She ended up landing a lower end job in a mediocre company but was grateful to be somewhere so she could pay her bills.

Fast forward to six years later.

Janice has moved up several places in the company, she’s getting a really great salary, and she even has money to go on vacations and buy things. At work, her position keeps her busy. She is in charge of a few employees and there is always something to do. Each night she goes home exhausted with little energy to do much else.

Now and again she will stand in front of a construction site and just watch as a new building is being put up. She could stand there for hours just watching but usually she has to rush back from lunch before she is late for work. She doesn’t hate her job, there are actually a lot of moments in which she enjoys it. Yet in those moments in which she becomes really frustrated with her job she wonders why she is even still there. She wonders just what happened to her dream.

What did happen to her dream? Janice became too comfortable.

When things don’t always work as we would hope we come up with a Plan B. In this case Janice got a job so she could pay her bills. That job became her security blanket. She was able to pay her bills, save money, and go on vacations; all basic things we would all like to do. Of course she would take a nice promotion. Of course she would work overtime to get a little more christmas money in her pocket and that nice bonus. Why wouldn’t she? It was the easier thing to do.

But the thing is, the more she stayed in that job, the harder it would be to switch to her dream.  That job had created a nice groove in her life and climbing out would be hard, it would be terrifying. It would take away the sureness of her next paycheck. It could cost her everything.

Why is it that we only welcome change or push for it when we are in discomfort?

Following the normal grind is easier, it’s comfortable because it is what we know. Following your dream is hard, painful, and sometimes feels like you are being torn apart from the inside out. There are moments in which I am building my dream in which I just want to put everything on pause and internet binge for the next five hours. I’ll even suddenly create a busy lifestyle of going out just to avoid doing what i know I should be doing. That is until my introvert spirit begs for rest.

I’m uncomfortable all the time but that is a good thing because the moment I become comfortable is the moment I stop growing, the moment I stop pursuing. Let’s go back to Janice.

Janice has decided to stop being comfortable. Although she is exhausted after work she pushes herself to stay upright and apply for jobs. While she waits to hear back she continues to work on sketches and 3D renderings of buildings. She stops at that construction site again but this time she makes friends with the contractors and GM.

And at work she says no to those overtime shifts and a promotion that will require her to take on more hours. It’s hard because she knows that it is good money she turned down but she knows that her dream will require sacrifice and if she is really going to make this work than she can’t be putting her time into other things. She knows these next few months are going to be hard but in the end it will be worth it.

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My Three Day Juice Cleanse

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So I decided to do a 3-day cleanse in hopes of flushing out all the dairy in my system. I’m lactose intolerant and for a long time I had been ignoring that fact and taking lactose pills to help. The only thing is they didn’t really help and the dairy effects were only muted not stopped.

Thus came eating paleo. I don’t really have an issue with grains but I wanted to cut back in them and I knew that none of the recipes contained dairy so that helped a lot.

I had already started eating a bit healthier the past few weeks but wanted to get rid of the bad stuff I had taken in, in the past. So came the three-day cleanse. Oh boy.

Day 1
So I don’t own a juicer but I had watched some YouTube videos on how I can blend vegetables with a blender. I have a ninja… It turned it into a very delicious salsa. So puréed and thick that there was barely any juice. Yum.

So Plan B: I went to a Trader Joe’s and bought some fresh made juice, enough to last me the three days. I got this low sodium garden one. Low sodium? Holy buckets it was super salty. If that was low sodium I don’t even want to think of what the regular one tasted like.

That being said the hardest part was at night. At work I would keep busy and not really think about food or eating but at night I slowed down and my mind could only think about food. I had read several blogs about this before hand and many of them said the same thing: you will want to eat not because you are hungry but for the sake of just putting something solid in you mouth and chewing it. Which was so true.

Day 2

Less hungry and again because I am at work I can focus less on food. Usually I wake up wanting to eat breakfast but this time I felt fine. The big thing was lack of sleep though. I had not been sleeping well the past few nights and this only seemed to expand this. I would be tired and want to go to bed yet I couldn’t fall asleep.

Tried one of the single juices I had bought (I bought a red and a green one, I tried the red). It was awful I don’t know why I thought it would be good after I read the ingredients again. It was tart and had a serious back bite from the ginger and celery in it. It said it had one apple too but it must have gotten lost on the way to the bottle. Hoping the green one is better.

Still want to shove everything I can in my mouth. Time seems to have slowed down and I am counting the hours until I can have solid food again. It’s weird wanting food so badly even when I’m not hungry. And it really doesn’t help when the other person in the house is cooking corn dogs and smelling up the place, lol.

Day 3 (Thank God!)

So this is the last day. Usually I have two events that go on so I spend sometime at panera or such place writing between events. Since I am not eating food I went to the library instead.

Noticing that my focus is really off and my tongue white and feels really dry even though I am drinking water. I read that these can both be side effects of juicing. It didn’t help that it was freezing in the library either.

Other bloggers wrote that by the third day they felt refreshed, not hungry, and a burst of energy. Some even said they felt they could keep going for days. I felt none of these things. Partly because I had maybe four hours of sleep. By the end of my second event I could barely stay awake. Also really wanted to eat food.

Conclusion

The second midnight hit and the three days were officially done I celebrated by eating a banana. It felt soooo good. Overall I do notice a bit of a difference but I think most of that will come into effect the next few days. Will I do this again? Uh probably not unless ordered by a doctor. It is expensive and a constant struggle of mind over matter.

So if any of you want to try this, good luck, and let me know how it turns out.

 

Photo credited to: FreeDigitalPhotos.net Photo by Apolonia.

Timing is Key

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In the fall of my senior year of college I had taken a course in entrepreneurial business. I was at this point in my life in which I decided I wanted to be a producer instead of a director and therefore needed to learn the business side of things.

From the description of the class we were going to learn how to start an online business and make money from it. I thought it would be cool so I signed up. What it turned out to be was a class on blogging.

You see at the time of the class the only sort of “blogging” I knew about was xanga, livejournal, and myspace. All sites where people just journaled their thoughts and feelings to the world. So right away I was worried about this assignment that would be the whole of my grade.

We were supposed, pick a niche, use blogger and create a website in which we continuously add content, and use google adwords to get money. Seems like a pretty neat class right? Well… at the time not so much. I couldn’t think of a single “niche” to create a website about. Matter of fact I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to put out for the world to see. AND on top of that we had to compete for the best site based on adword clicks and site visits?

So yeah I dropped the class in a hurry.

Fast forward to now where I’ve done a movie blog, a student debt one, and now this. Would that class be a great thing to have now? Yes!

The thing is, timing is key. Sometimes the things that annoy us in the past are the very same things that we embrace later. I mean how many of us hated vegetables as a kid but enjoy eating them now? How many of us hated when our parents would make us stay home or when there was nothing to do on a friday night but now we relish it? Or how about when you know someone (a friend of a friend) but it’s not till years later where suddenly you and that person really click and you wonder why you never clicked before? Timing.

Not everything falls in just like we think or hope it should because sometimes the timing just isn’t right yet.

Communicate How You Would Like To Be Communicated To

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Let’s say you interviewed for a job or you are collaborating with someone on a project. You meet, you hit it off, and you end the meeting with the other person saying they will get back to you by a certain period time. You say “Ok sounds great,” and you part.

Now you are waiting, and you hate waiting, but you understand that the other person is busy, so you continue to wait. After all the designated time in which they said they would communicate by hasn’t arrived yet. Matter of fact it’s only been one day. You know you need to chill out but you can’t help it because you are so flippin’ excited for the possibility of what could come.

Then it happens. The designated time passes and you hear nothing. Not a single word. But you don’t sweat it because, again, you know they are busy and things happen so you just keep waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting, until you’ve gone from excited, to worried, to annoyed, to pissed off, and finally you begin to wonder if maybe it was all in your head and the meeting wasn’t as great as you thought it was.

So you decided to shoot them an email or give them a call to “see how things are going”. But they either don’t respond or they respond with a vague reply that does nothing to alleviate your pain and you are so close to losing it that you express to everyone (even that poor barista) just how frustrated you are with the whole stupid situation. 
But then you calm yourself down and decide to give it a few days before contacting the person again in hopes of getting a more concrete answer. You ask yourself just how many times you can call/email a person before they really hate you? 
Finally, after who knows how many times, you get an answer that says “Oh yeah we filled that position some time ago” or “Yeah I got really busy so…” or “I found something better so I decided not to do it” (yes that is a legit response I was sent). You then proceed to smash whatever digital device you have in your hand into tiny microbial bits so that Sherlock could not even decipher what it used to be.
Here’s the thing: we’ve all been on both sides of this in which we’ve wished someone had communicated more or in which we probably could have done more communicating. Sometimes when we are on the side of the communicator we forget what it is like to be the person waiting to hear back.
Nobody can see what the other side is doing and even if we become busy and are just swamped, it doesn’t mean that the other person knows that. And even if they do know that, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop for a moment to acknowledge that they are waiting.
So if you say you we’re going to do something by a certain time and it’s not done, communicate that. If something is taking longer than you expect, communicate that. If the person reaches out to you and you realize that you have not been communicating: respond promptly, apologize, don’t make excuses, and assure them that you are working on it.
Even if things don’t work out in the end, you will have left a better taste in their mouth, knowing that you were open and honest in your communication with them.

Currently Reading: Pitch Perfect

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Have you ever had a moment where you said something and wished that it didn’t come out of your mouth? Or have you ever walked away only to come up with the perfect response just a little too late? Or maybe you gave a speech and it turned out horrible? That is what this book, Pitch Perfect is about, those moments.

In this BIll McGowan breaks down the how you can effectively communicate in your personal and professional life. He introduces seven principles that you can apply.

What originally drew me to this book was the fact that my communications skills are somewhat lacking. It is not the fact that I do not communicate, it is more about how I come across. Many times I am viewed as cold or blunt when I don’t try to be. Also I have a RBF. Which essentially means that I always look angry even when usually I am happy. Sometimes I think that if I was just born with a happier looking face things would be a lot easier, lol.

The other thing I wanted to work on is pausing before I speak. I tend to stumble over my words, especially when I am excited. This is covered in his book under the No Tailgating Principle.

The speed in which you talk should be directly proportional to how certain you are about the next sentence coming out of your mouth.

He also covers how your posture, stance, facial expressions (especially when listening), tone of voice, and gestures play a part in how you come off either in a conversation or a presentation. And if you need to know how to graciously turn someone down or congratulate someone you don’t like, the book goes over that too.

Overall I think this is a great book to read. Each chapter is filled with funny anecdotes and real life stories that puts the book’s principles in perspective. The knowledge in it is easy to follow and you don’t feel overwhelmed chapter after chapter.

If you are looking to improve your communication skills this is a great book to add to your repertoire.

 

 

 

Make Your Own Adventure

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I am a person who loves to travel, experiencing new things, and try new food. I get excited when something new crosses my radar. Just a few days ago I tried purple squash in a spring roll with mango Habanero sauce. It was delicious.

Then, this past Saturday, I went with a friend to Red Bull Crashed Ice. It was awesome. We were out in the cold and muddy ground (mud in January? What?!?!?!) and drank hot cider as we watched the US go up against other countries.

Sometimes we place such significance on going somewhere big (like Florida or Mexico) when we can easily have an adventure of our own right where you are. I’m not saying you shouldn’t leave your state, because you most certainly should, but when you can’t get away for days at a time or need to save time you can find many things to do right where you are.

But what if you don’t have anyone to go with? No problem, go by yourself. This is another big thing for me. I am always waiting to find someone else to go with me in order to go somewhere. I’ve decided that I am going to let people know when I am going to events and if they want to join me they can and if they don’t I’m still going to go. So should you.

So far I have up the Red Bull Crashed Ice event and look forward to doing much more. And it was seriously awesome cheering on the US. There is something about standing in a crowd, on a cold day, sloshing up mud, and yet cheering loudly that just gives you a sense of camaraderie. Got any cool travels you are doing on our own? Let me know I always love seeing what people are up to!

Currently Reading: Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable

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When I began my new year I wanted to find a book to start off with, something that would get me going and help me to grow. I had gotten a couple of gift cards for Barnes and Noble so I started there. There were two books I got, the One Year Bible (one of my goals is to read it all the way through, so far so good) the other is Get Unstuck, Be Unstoppable by Valorie Burton.

What initially drew me to the book was that I was stuck and I continually get stuck, and I needed to figure out why. It also doubled as a devotional AND it was 50% off, so how could I lose? Turns out I won big time.

You know a book is good when the intro messes you up and calls you out. I was reading it and was like Does this woman know me? How did she get in my head?

“If you ever found yourself avoiding what needs to get done in favor of something-anything-else, even other stuff you’ve been procrastinating on that now seems easier by comparison, then I bet you can relate.”

If that quote sounds like you then you know exactly how I feel. It was like a serious gut check. I ended up super highlighting this passage because it spoke so loudly. In this book Burton breaks down the different ways we can get stuck, in what areas of our life, and how we can overcome them.

She lists three reasons as to why we get stuck: Fear, Overwhelmed, and God’s will and your will don’t match. My reason? I get overwhelmed.

“The project that needs to get done feels so big you don’t even know where to get started–so you simply don’t start. you analyze it, talk about it, and even strategize. But for some reason, you don’t actually do it.”

Boom. That’s exactly it.

The great thing about this book is the realness of it. It has workbook areas where you can apply things learned in the chapter, short chapters so you don’t get bogged down with too much information at once, and scriptural references with prayers.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is stuck and not sure why. This is a great helpful tool and I am sure I will be reading it again and again.

The Easy Way Out

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I once had entered this submission contest where you had to submit a short video and the top five videos would be picked and you would receive a prize, which was to go on a really cool trip. Now when I first saw this contest I wasn’t so sure about. I had heard about it kind of late in the game, three days before it was due, and wasn’t sure if I would get it done in time. So I mulled it over and over and finally decided to submit a video.

Now I have to say the video I did put together was actually pretty awesome and definitely reflected my style and personality. As I submitted I thought “this is it” I thought that I was going to win and that this would start to turn things around for me. However I didn’t win, but what I did do was realize something about myself.

If you notice in the last paragraph I had written that I thought “that this would start to turn things around for me,”. That’s the part I learned about myself, that was revealed to me by my mentor, and that I really need to change.

You see my life up to this point hasn’t been what I wanted it to be. I seem to keep moving but I get nowhere fast. With this contest I was throwing my hopes and dreams at it and thinking that if only I were to win this than things would be better, my life would be better. Would it? Or would I just end up back where I was? And what if I didn’t win? Then what?

You see this is called taking the easy way out. It is throwing your hopes and dreams at one thing and expecting that one thing to turn your life around. But it is also coping out because if that one thing fails you can just say “well I guess it wasn’t meant to be” or put the fault onto the failure of that thing.

Examples of this could be: trying to find a publisher for your novel and not getting a hit, or pitching an idea to your boss or investors and it not taking, or going for a promotion or raise and not getting it, or saying you need a friend to do something with you (like going to the gym) and when you can’t find one you just don’t go. You get the idea, but these are taking the easy way out.
It’s saying “Oh well the door closed on that so there must not be another door,”. When it reality you could publish the book yourself, pitch the idea to someone else or fund it yourself, go for another promotion, and just go to the gym anyways.
We can’t just throw our dreams at a situation and call it quits when it doesn’t work out. When one avenue isn’t the right one, find a different avenue, even if that means creating your own. So then the questions become how much is your dream worth, what will it take, and are you willing to do it?
Like I said, this is something I need to do myself but the first step is just knowing the problem is there.

Eating Better

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One of my resolutions this year is to eat better. I want to cut down all the unhealthy food that I take in (especially after the holidays) and find substitutes that fill me up and satisfy my cravings. The big part of this is cutting gluten down (I eat a LOT of bread, more than I realized) and do very little or no dairy (I’m lactose intolerant so it doesn’t really agree with me). I also want to pack more vegetables into my meals and of course save money!

The big thing to help change my eating habits was to plan out my meals for the week. When I don’t plan my meals, and not just dinner, I would eat whatever was available. Sometimes I would cook, go out to eat, or just eat a bunch of random junk. But I also like to snack and had to find healthy things I can just grab and snack on without feeling guilty about it, usually while I’m eating it.

Now of course there are a lot of “diets” out there that you can try and for every fad there is an article that tells you why it doesn’t work. But ultimately it is up to you and your body needs. So for my “diet fad” I decided to go with Paleo. Mostly because it already offers the big things I’m looking for which is gluten and dairy free.

So far I have found some really awesome places to find recipes (my pinterest if filling up) and discovered new vegetables and ways to eat them. Here are some things I cooked so far, along with my lovely instagram pictures.

Lettuce Wraps

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These are quick and easy. Lettuce is an awesome substitute for bread. Basically anything you can put on a cracker or on bread you can put in a lettuce wrap. Okay well… maybe not peanut butter and jelly, but you get the gist. For this a made fresh mango salsa, pan seared salmon, and turkey bacon. Here is a recipe for the mango salad and the wraps.

Stuffed Peppers

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Delicious and super healthy and colorful. These were stuffed with Italian sausage, cauliflower rice, basil, red onions, tomato paste, and garlic. I had a bit more fixings than peppers but that was okay because it tasted great. Also the recipe I used calls for a crock pot but I ended up starting late so I just baked it in the oven at 400 degrees for 1:15 minutes. Here is the recipe for this. Note: This would have been a lot easier if I had a food processor to chop up the cauliflower. I really need to get one of those.

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Prior to this I had never heard of spaghetti squash before but I found out it is a great substitute for pasta, which is great because I love pasta. This was baked with spinach, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and goat cheese (yes I know, it is dairy but it is more mild and my stomach likes it better). Here is the recipe for this. My only disclaimer was it turned out a little dry for me so I had to add a little oil and vinegar dressing to it.

I already got next week planned out and I am super excited eat it!

 

Video: Why Bother Going Outside

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Sure with our technology today you could make the case that you don’t need to go see or do everything. You can simply experience it from your computer screen. But why should you?

In this video explorer Ben Saunders talks about why you should go outside and be out there more often. There are things you can’t experience just by watching someone else do them. And don’t just do the things that everyone else does. Take on a challenge and get moving! I couldn’t agree more.