Archive for October, 2012

October 30, 2012

15 Reasons Why You Should Pursue Your Dreams

So not but a few days ago, I was welcomed with a burst of inspiration. I wanted to write a column. Not just any column. A column about culture and education that will be syndicated in newspapers around the country. I’d be the Carrie Bradshaw of my generation, only I’d have columns and books about things of substance. And than it dawned on me. Carrie Bradshaw is a fictional character. What makes me think my life and dreams would pan out to be anywhere close to the made-up life of Carrie Bradshaw? I don’t have the wardrobe. I don’t have the resources she has access to. And I sure as hell don’t have the money she has. The reasons why it couldn’t happen were endless. But then I remembered my favorite words. The words I mention on this blog post repeatedly. You can’t fail if you don’t quit. 

Time and time again, our minds are filled with inspirations and goals that could change our lives forever. Then shortly after, our minds are then clouded with doubt from within ourselves and those around us. Each doubt that pops into your mind is another reason why you should let your dreams die and go on with your life as though nothing happened. That would be the easy thing to do. Just give up. The hard thing to do is to pursue it like your life depended on it. Ignore every doubt that pops into your mind because for every doubt you can come up with there is an even better reason for you to follow your hearts desire. Here’s 15 to get you started.

1. You just might succeed.

2. If it’s something you want, you will find a way to make it happen.

3. Not trying is worse than wondering “what if” for the rest of your life.

4. You are enough. You have enough. You do enough.

5. It’s never to late to be what you might’ve been.

6. You’re already struggling. You might as well take the leap and struggle for something you love.

7. You’re going to be really pissed if someone takes your idea and runs with it.

8. If anything, the experience will at least make you wiser.

9. You’ll have a cool story to tell your kids in the future.

10. It’s only impossible because you said it is.

11. You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.

12. You’re smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.

13. It will give you great material for a book one day.

14. Excuses are never tolerated.

15. There is always hope.

October 23, 2012

The Reason Why I Love Rejection (And Why You May Start Loving it Too)

“Thanks but no thanks.”

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“I’ll pass.”

“Not interested.”

“It’s not right for us.”

These are all words I hear on almost a daily basis. Most people will cringe and sink further into their seat if they saw these in their inbox everyday. But I love every single minute of it. It’s not because my favorite word is no. (It’s not.) And it’s not because I enjoy failure. It’s because every single one of those rejections I stumble upon in my email is a little glimmer of hope that I am getting somewhere.

Let me explain. I work in the media. A majority of my day is spent sending out cold pitches to magazine editors who don’t even know I exist. This happens to be the routine of millions of other freelance writers around the world.  That means editors get hundreds of emails sent to their inbox on a daily basis by people they don’t know. Chances of them actually opening my email are slim. But every once in a while a miracle happens and an editor glides her coveted mouse over to my email and opens it. Now most of the time, I get nothing in return. If I’m really lucky I’ll get a glowing response that says, “I love your idea. How about writing for the upcoming mother’s day issue for $2.00 per word.” But most of the time, if I get any response at all it’s, “I’m not interested at this time, but thanks for thinking of us.”

Of course, I would have preferred to get the uplifting response offering me an assignment. But I’ll take the rejection email too. Although it’s not as obvious, the “bad” email means something too. It means that out of the hundreds of emails the editor got she thought my email pitch was worth opening. And even though the pitch wasn’t worthy of publication she did think it was worth a response. She could of easily deleted my email and went on her way without giving me a second thought. But to that editor, I was more than just an anonymous girl who sent her a failed pitch. I was a girl that took a chance and at least deserved a response. It was proof that I must have done something right. More importantly that rejection was the beginning of a new relationship.

See, I knew that if that coveted editor read and responded to one email the chances of her reading and responding to another one of my emails was heightened. So rather than taking that rejection as a sign of defeat and failure, I flip it and turn it into the beautiful beginning of a new relationship and a dream. It’s my cue to start pitching and emailing that editor as though my life depended it. Even more importantly, it’s a sign to not give up. And nearly 100% of the time, those signs are correct.

It was a few months ago that I got my my rejection letter from an editor at REDBOOK magazine. I didn’t give up hope. I continued to forge a relationship with that editor through consistent emails and conversations. And then one day, a dream came true. I was offered my dream assignment and my article was featured in the August issue of REDBOOK.

Just goes to show you that my favorite words to live by are true. You can’t fail if you don’t quit. And to think it all started with a rejection letter…

When was rejection a sign of better  things to come in your career or personal life?

TERRIfic Quip: When things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place.

October 16, 2012

What You Can Learn from Your 6-year old Self

My parents taught me not to judge a book by it’s cover. As a child, I certainly took that life lesson to heart. When I was six years old, I made friends with everyone. Age, religion, race, social status, sexuality just didn’t matter to me. Chances are it didn’t matter to most six years old. That’s why it shouldn’t have come of much surprise when I made friends with an eleven year old girl who lived in the same complex I did. Not only was she five years older than me, but she was deaf and mute. (That’s where the surprise came in) It didn’t matter that we didn’t understand each other or that we were years apart. All we saw in each other was a playmate and a best friend.

Of course, there were those who probably thought that it was impossible to build a strong a relationship when you couldn’t even communicate with each other. After all, she was a deaf eleven year old and I was a six year old that didn’t understand sign language. But that didn’t matter. We showed each other the world. She taught me how to do cartwheels and things she learned in gymnastics and I taught her how to play card games and things I did in Girl Scouts. We were inseparable and had a strong bond.

As we grew older we started to drift apart and then she moved away. However, our frienship hasn’t been forgotten. I often wonder how she is and look back in awe at how close we had become. Even though, I was the one in the middle of this fairytale friendship it was like one of the eight wonders of the world to me. For some reason, I couldn’t get over the fact that all we had in common was our address and the shared desire to play. I couldn’t help but ask myself, why everything can’t be that simple. And then I realized everything is that simple. Oddly enough, it took my reflecting on my life as a six year old to realize that.

There will always be obstacles, differences, and hardships. However, those obstacles and differences always seem much bigger than they are because we make it that way. Rather than focusing on the obsolete, it would be wise to focus on the greater good. There will always be a solution. And there will always be a way out of the tunnel. If not, there really isn’t a problem. So stop stressing yourself out. And stop making a problem bigger than it is. Chances are there is a simpler route and a solution but you’ve blinded yourself from it.

It would have been easy for my childhood friend and I to refuse to cross pasts because of our obvious dissimiarities. We could have chosen to predict unforseen problems with building a friendship based on something as shallow as playtime and avoided it. However, we chose to build something meaningful based on our shared common ground. It’s a premise that can and should be applied to romantic relationships, professional relationships, family life, etc.

Rather than dissect every situation until there is nothing left, we should accept every situation for what it is and make the best of it. After all, that’s how friendship is made and opportunities are seized. It’s hard to believe that it was a life lesson I understand at such a young age, but took twenty years for me to grasp. Turns out the wide-eyed and innocent children know a little more than we think… Silence the voices and the differences and just let your inner child speak.

What life lessons have you learned from your youth?

TERRIfic Quip: Everything is simple. We make it difficult.

October 9, 2012

Be all that can you can be… on Facebook

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Ok, I’m sure you’ve seen all the reports by now. “Facebook leads to depression.”  “Facebook is used to steal your identity.”  “Facebook can stop you from landing that job.” “Facebook can break up a marriage.”

Yes, all of those can be true… if you act like an idiot on Facebook. Other than those fine perils if I act out of stupidity, Facebook has reaffirmed that I can be anything that I put my mind to. Let’s reflect for a moment. How often do you see a status that totally doesn’t align with the person you know him or her to be in real life? We all know that person who  knows nothing about science but feels the need to update their status about the weather every hour on the hour as though they are a meteorologist. Or you’ve probably had  a run in more than once with someone who is consistently cursing, sleeping around, and always drunk but feels it’s necessary to quote bible phrases as a status everyday. Wannabe preacher? Or what about the girl you went to school with who has no fashion or beauty sense and never wore heels a day in her life, but constantly uploads pictures of herself everyday as though she is a hot new model?

Naturally, when people see things like this on Facebook a few things come to mind. They sometimes run along the lines of poser, wannabe, and faker. I  admit I used to be one of them until I realized those so called “fakers” had the right idea… sometimes.

Basically, I’ve learned that in order to accomplish something you have to believe you can do it. Much more than that you need to see yourself doing it. Fake it till you make it. It’s what we do when you pad your resume a bit when you’re trying to get that dream job. It’s what you did when you created that Youtube account to document all the songs you’ve written and composed througout the years. And it’s what we do when you attempt to win contests in which you have to demonstrate your expertise in a certain subject through a personal essay.  It turns out that’s what those posers on Facebook are doing. They’re faking it till they make it. They just happened to use a slightly more annoying approach. (I’m not going to lie. It still does annoy me from time to time.)

How often have you heard the phrase, “Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have.”? Or what about my all time favorite from Sister Act 2 “If you wake up in the morning and you can’t think of anything but being a singer, you’re a singer.” And we all know that for some on Facebook, the first thing they think to do is update their status with whatever prolific thing that comes to their mind. No, it doesn’t always mean that they have nothing better to do with their lives other than give their “friends” up-to-the-minute weather reports. It could mean that they are taking Whoopi Goldberg’s advice to heart and realizing that they are indeed a meteorologist, motivational speaker, etc.

Those “wise” Facebook friends are simply taking control of their own futures and doing everything in their power to turn their aspirations into reality. Perhaps, we can learn a lot from them… If all their annoying updates, hypocritical statuses, and plagiarizing song lyrics simply means that they are “dressing the part” and/or “faking it till they make it”, I can certainly like that.

In what ways do you fake it till you make it? Has Facebook helped you become all that you are capable of?

TERRIfic Quips: Always wear your invisible crown.

October 2, 2012

11 Free and Quirky Ways to be Happier

Let’s face it- Life is tough. If it’s not one thing it’s another. From the stress of figuring out meals for the week to wondering how you are going to pay bills it seems as though the troubles are never ending.  That’s why it’s important to laugh anyway. The question is how do you find a way to smile in even the bleakest moments?

Luckily, there are tons of quirky and off beat ways to bring sunshine to your life. And I’m not talking about the typical remedies like take a shower or going shopping. I’m talking about off the wall things such as keeping Play-Doh in your purse for spur of the moment playtime. Or having a rainbow colored umbrella to make you smile on even the rainiest of days.

If you couldn’t tell by now, I’m a pretty optimistic and perky person. The below list is the reason why…

1. Chew multicolored bubble gum.

If you are like me, you enjoy satisfying your taste buds with a mouthwatering piece of gum. Not only does that one stick of gum fight bad breathe and temporarily satisfy hunger, it occupies your mind and your mouth when dealing with stressful moments. Think about it. You can’t possibly scream bloody murder at the temp who misfiled all of your important documents when you are too busy chomping away at your chewy delight. You’d be way too enthralled savoring the sticky goodness in your mouth as you chew away. Imagine how much better it would be if you were chewing a bright purple or pink wad of gum and precisely blowing perfectly sculpted  bubble. Dubble Bubble comes to mind…

2. Keep some bubbles in the glove compartment of your car.

Nothing tops pulling up to your business meeting, checking the clock to find out that you are 30 minutes early and realizing you have time to blow some bubbles out the window to kill some time while you wait. Not only will it occupy your mind, but it will relax you for that meeting you are already well-prepared for.

3. Watch Spongebob when you can

To those down and out on life, Spongebob Squarepants is nothing more than a waste of time and excuse to avoid growing up. But to the young at heart, lively, and optimistic its the opportunity to escape into childhood again and leave the problems of the “real world” behind. Besides, every once in a while you deserve to escape from the perils  of everyday life. Plus, you can learn a valuable life lesson from Spongebob. Ever notice how, Squidward, the pessimistic, lazy, and decietful character always ends up with the shorthand of the stick or injured somehow? Meanwhile, the happy-go-lucky Spongebob is consistently faced with new eventful opportunities. That’s no coincidence. It’s merely proof that if you change your thoughts you can change your world. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

4. Sing your favorite song even when in public.

There’s a reason why they say music makes great therapy. Besides, if you have a terrible voice it should put your mind at ease knowing that your life can’t get any worse than your singing. It may even help solve your problems. Ever heard of William Hung?

5. Have Play-Doh in your purse at all times

You can never feel depressed for too long when you go digging through your purse or your pocket and you find a promising bottle of Play-Doh just waiting to be molded into something delightful.

6. Purchase a rainbow colored umbrella

While Starbursts wants you to taste the rainbow, I want you to see the rainbow… at all times. That’s why I suggest you carry around a brightly colored rainbow umbrella on those rainy days. Even though the world around you is damp and gloomy, there’s no reason why your world  can’t resemble that of a beach ball. Seeing the brightly colored shield will certainly help keep your spirits up. Plus, it will prove to be helpful when trying to get the attention of a cab driver in the city.

Carry a rainbow umbrella on a rainy day to brighten your world

7. Hide Post-It notes in random places

For when you need a little pick-me-up, I suggest writing motivational, laugh worthy, and just plain heart tingling notes to yourself. You’ll thank yourself when you find one hiding amongst your belongs at the moment when you’re convinced it couldn’t get any worse.

8. Play with your food

If you gotta eat, you might as well have fun with it. Experiment, taste test and create something new. I bet you’re dying to know whether or not that cayenne pepper will mix well with your latest creation. Try it… You have nothing to lose.

9. Get to know a stranger

Remember when you were a little kid and social status, family make-up, religion and appearance didn’t matter. You never saw any of those things. All you saw was a playmate. As adults, we over think everything. Of course, that leads to people becoming antisocial, judgemental and sometimes lonely. I challenge you to ignore the details and get to know a stranger. If you take the train into the city at the same time every morning, chat up a few familiar faces. If you are a regular at the local coffee shop take a moment to thank the barista for her hardwork and find out if she’s saving for somethng special. Sometimes, it’s the simple smile from a stranger and cordial conversation that makes all the difference in your life and theirs. After all, that’s how friendships are made.

10. Look at the shapes in the clouds

There is nothing more relaxing and thought awakening than challenging your imagination to see how many shapes you can see. Suddenly, there is nothing else in the world that matters other than your thoughts, imagination, and those fluffy pillows floating along. Once you master the cloud thing, move onto star gazing.

11. Actually LOL

How many times have you gotten a laugh worthy text or email and simply responded to the sender with “LOL”? Maybe it’s because you didn’t think t wasn’t appropriate to actually laugh. Maybe it’s because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time to let your true colors come out. Or perhaps you were self-conscience about the way your chuckle sounds. Well, I say it’s about time you stop holding it in and allow yourself to laugh. Smile when your heart sends the signal and your eyes get that twinkle. Don’t  be afraid to let that harmonious sound escape from your lips and soothe your senses. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine.

Bottom Line – Schedule some time to visit your childhood every once in a while.

What things do you do to lift your spirits? Anything interesting, twisted, or just quirky? 

TERRIfic Quips: Take a deep breathe. It’s  just a bad day not a bad life.

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