No need to panic

41FDD60E-FDCE-4405-912E-DC90AE9AC736It’s the second week of March and we’re already in the 3rd month of 2018. As time flies by, you may begin to ask yourself “what type of progress have I made since Jan 1st?” Maybe you’ve made a lot of progress and you’ve reached the goals you’ve created for yourself. But what if you didn’t? What if you only reached half of your goals? What if you’ve reached none of them? Does that make you less of an accomplished person, not at all.

Think of each year as a full NBA regulation game. From January to March, you’ve got your first quarter, from April to June, you have your second quarter, from July to September you have your third quarter, and from October to December, you have your fourth quarter. Right now “it’s only the first quarter, so don’t panic.”

As a player, there may be nights where it’s going to take you a while to put some points up on the board. Maybe the first quarter is not your time to score, and the moment to score is going to come in the second quarter. When April rolls around, you could find yourself beginning to reach your goals. If not, what about those timeouts that occur throughout the game? During this first quarter, you should use a timeout to analyze your situation.

If needed, go back to the drawing board and evaluate the goals you’ve set for yourself. Perhaps you may need to come up with new goals or make your goals more challenging. If the plays you had before are not helping you score, it’s time for some new plays. Create those new goals so that you can start racking up some points. Make this year the game of a lifetime. But in the meantime, don’t panic and remember that you’ve got 3 quarters left to win the game.

It’s okay to be confused

251B8912-0DD1-40D3-91B7-E2F9E3AEDE39

What now? Like me, I’m sure you’ve had an experience that has changed your life and has left you sitting somewhere asking yourself “what now?” Well I’m here to tell you that I don’t know. I have no clue what’s going to happen next. As people, we crave for the moment to know what’s going to happen next. Whether it’s the next episode of your favorite television show, or the aftermath you’re awaiting from a text you received saying “we need to talk”, we all get this urge of wanting to know what’s next.

Now the difficult part about these moments, is the fact that sometimes we don’t get the chance to know. When we don’t get the chance to know, it can leave us feeling confused. Right now, I am in a mental state where I feel confused. Things are going okay for me but I recently had an experience that has placed me in a state of confusion. After hours of just sitting and thinking, I’ve realized that it’s okay to be confused. “If you’re feeling confused, sometimes you just have to spend some time being confused.”

Sometimes you just need that period of time to just “BE”. In my opinion, being confused offers you an opportunity to be happy within the present. When you’re okay with being confused, you don’t have to dwell on the past or worry about what’s going to happen in the future.

Eliminating those two parts, places you in the right now with a chance to embrace where you are. With time, life will bring the answers and clarity that you need. If you believe things will fall into place, then they will. So just sit back, grab your favorite beverage, and enjoy the state of confusion.

Express Yourself Differently

274E4D47-F445-4A0E-83CE-8F2A1B895734

This year along with Inlightenment, I started an online clothing brand called Differential Expressions. When I began to brainstorm what the mission was going to be, I wanted it to reflect the name of the brand and who I am as a person. After going through many words and sentences, the mission for differential expressions is to bring different thoughts to life by expressing them through clothing. After creating the mission I asked myself, what’s a brand without a motto?

After going through the same brainstorming process, the motto that I developed for the clothing brand is: “Express Yourself Differently”. I wanted to create something where people could have a chance and a choice to express themselves in a non-verbal manner. I also created a diverse opportunity where I could challenge myself, to portray different thoughts and opinions people might have about life, their experiences, and the world we live in.

Now if you feel like your life is at a stand still, if you feel like you’re life is to boring and you’re looking to change it up, “stir up the pot of life and express yourself differently”. By doing something different, you can completely change the path that you are on in life. This weekend, try laughing a little more to bring in that positive energy you deserve. If you plan to go out this Friday or Saturday, switch up your color scheme and wear something different.

If your always mixing and matching solid colors, ditch the solids and try wearing some patterns. If you enjoy exercising, instead of listening to music you can create music. Sing a song while running or jogging and have a great time doing it. If your with your friends, bring a different perspective to the conversation. This could easily create a whole new wave of how you and your friends view different topics.

Now those are just a few ideas. You don’t have to do them at all and you could come up with your own way to express yourself. The most important thing is that you define how you’re going to express yourself. I challenge you to start today, because you never know what type of positive chain reaction you can create from just expressing yourself differently.

Be a Lifelong Learner

1B3174E7-AA87-4822-8E69-5D493CE3F07E

School, school, school, school!!! Growing up, you would never hear kids chanting that word. Whenever a kid said that he/she liked school, we all would look at him/her as if he/she was an alien. Kids did not like school so much, that they would do everything in their power, to make themselves sick just so they did not have to go. But of course their mom or dad knew that they were faking and would send them on their way to the land of no return (until 2:30pm).

Now when it came to my mom, she would always say “you need to go to school so you can learn something.” Fast forwarding to right now, I remember going through middle school, high school, and college, learning a variety of things. During those times, learning seemed like it was this thing I had to accomplish or else. Plus after graduating from college, I told myself that I had my degree and I didn’t need to learn anymore. It got to the point where I just wanted to live and not learn at all.

One day while driving, I was listening to this podcast about making the best out life and the experiences you have. The speaker began to talk about learning and how we as individuals should be lifelong learners. As he explained what being a lifelong learner entails, I began to see that I was looking at learning through the wrong lenses.

Learning does not end once school is over. Learning does not have to be boring, dreadful, or viewed as a demanding requirement. Learning can be fun and viewed as a journey that is infinite. Today is the day that you should “be a lifelong learner and make it an experience of a lifetime”

I challenge you to go out and learn something new this week. Learn a new skill that you may find interesting. Try out a new activity that could possibly one day become a favorite hobby of yours. Take a drive with a friend and explore a new city. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go against Bobby Flay on his cooking TV show.

A great way to prepare for that, is learning how to create a dish that you would love and that you think people would love. For students in school, find something interesting about the material you’re reading or learning about. Make studying fun by turning it into a game show.

All these things can be fun if you begin to think about learning with a positive perspective. And once you do those things, don’t stop there. Keep going!!! Even when your hairs turn gray or white, still be that person who is going to go out and learn something.

No more mind tricks

31164C12-4C49-4C43-9F70-1BC45BD203E7

For the past couple of weeks, my busy-o-meter has shot up and has been increasing each day. I found myself constantly thinking about what needs to be done, how I am going to get it done, will I have enough time to do this and that, and many other questions that were floating around in my head. It began to feel like my questions were meeting up for late night hook ups and then they skipped straight to the family portraits of them and their little questions.

My mind then started to tell me that if I go to sleep, my mind will clear up and things will be A-OK. I said “okay mind” and went to sleep. The next day, I found myself with a head full of different lists that were titled: needs to get done, needs to get done ASAP, needs to get done not now but RIGHT NOW.

So I decided to have a conversation with my mind. After speaking with him, he explained that he thought it would be funny to trick me into thinking that sleep was going to solve my problems. I then thought to myself, I have to find something that will get me back into the groove of getting things done.

I then thought of how I always wanted to start meditating and how meditation has helped other people clear their heads and get things in order. I decided to download the app Headspace and began a 5 minute meditation session. After completing that 5 minute session, I felt relaxed and focused. After a couple of hours, I was able to scratch off everything on all of those lists and created a new and more efficient list of things to get done.

So, “If your mind is playing tricks on you, you should give meditation a try”. Even if you only have 1 minute to meditate, use that 1 minute to just see where meditation can take you. Meditation may not only get rid of those tricks your mind plays on you, but it could also provide a sense of clarity and focus for you. Along with that, it’s a technique that can provide a feeling of relaxation.

Headspace was a great app for me, but it might not be your preference. Check out your App Store, type in meditation, and see what pops up. If you’re not into apps, go to Google.com and search for meditation techniques. I’m sure that thousands of ideas will pop up. If your not big on technology, go to your local library and search for books about meditating. Don’t let your mind be a trickster. Use some meditation, so that your mind can be a fixer.