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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Break it Down

          Changing the world is a pretty lofty goal. Some may say too lofty. I can understand.  Let me put it this way: If you’re standing in front of a cleared lot with plans of a skyscraper in your head, the task in front of you may seem quite daunting. The thought of going from nothing to everything can be a bit overwhelming. 
But what if you take your daunting task apart a bit? Picture the first story of the skyscraper. Then build the first story. Picture the second story; build that. Picture the third story, and so on. The fact of the matter is, buildings don’t go from nothing to everything overnight. They need scaffolding to get there. So do we.

          We don’t achieve our goals overnight either. It’s a process that can take months, years, even lifetimes. And our loft goals may seem unreachable if we don’t take the time to plan it out. So do yourself a favor: add some scaffolding to your project. Plan out the steps you want to take to reach the top of your skyscraper. And maybe, you’ll have a higher chance of getting there.

To give you an example of this, I thought I’d add scaffolding to my own goal:

Goal: To change the world through kindness
Steps:
1    1. Be kind everyday
      2. Go on Blahtherapy everyday
      3. Email people who have questions or problems as much as possible
Goal: To inspire other people to change the world in their own way
Steps:
     1.    Blog every Tuesday (well, not doing so hot at this right now, but I’ll get there)
          2. Speak in front of people whenever I get a chance. (hopefully, I have another speech this spring
     3. Get an inspirational speaking mentor
     4.  Learn how to speak and speak for a living :)


           So if you look at the goals before me, they seem quite lofty and even unattainable. But if you look at the steps instead of the goals, they look very reasonable.  Does this seem like something you might be interested in? Giving your brain a rest from wondering how on earth you’re going to complete your goals?  

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What's your life purpose?

Sometimes, I'll admit. I lose my way. I forget what I'm doing with my life. I cannot remember why I even started this silly site. One of those sometimes was today. But this video helped me remember. And maybe, if you don't know your life purpose, it can help you out too



Gotta love TED Talks

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Letter for When You Want to Self Harm

Dear Beautiful,

Close your eyes for a second. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Put down the blade.  Put it down and walk away. Put as much distance between it and you as possible. Think of all the people in your life that would cry if you showed them the marks you were planning on making tonight. Picture the tears running down their faces.   Because, when you hurt, they hurt too. And then make butterflies for them. Cover your body with butterflies if necessary. Let them protect you. Let the butterflies protect you, like your loved ones would if they were here with you.

If you think no one would care if you hurt yourself tonight, I promise you, you’re wrong. Someone would care. Maybe they haven’t voiced that concern, but it’s there. And I would care too. So tonight, draw a butterfly for me too.  

The pain you want to inflict on yourself right now isn’t worth it. You are worth more than the difficulties life is throwing at you right now. You deserve happiness and love. You deserve to smile. Hurting yourself is not going to get you there tonight, or any other night.  Life hurts sometimes. It hurts a lot. Don’t add to the hurt. Don’t let the demons creep in and take over you. You are stronger than them. You’ve been through some much. And I know you can get through this too. Because, you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. Prove to yourself how strong you really are tonight. And let go of the thought of the blade. Let go of the urge. Breathe it out with all the strength you have. And fight its return.  

Ten years from now, looking back on this moment, you can either say two things: “I cut again that night. I wish I had figured out how to fight the demons earlier” or “That night was the biggest step in my road to recovery. I’m so proud of myself for putting down the blade.” Which would you rather say?

If you’d rather say the later, distract yourself tonight. Watch TV, study, write, read, sing, call a friend, email me, hug a stuffed animal, or sleep.  Distract yourself to so the urge doesn’t return.  I know you can do this. I believe in you with all my heart.

And I am so incredibly proud of you for not hurting yourself tonight.

Love,

Sheila

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Most Important Thing

     Since my decision to start changing the world a while ago, my focus has always been directed somewhere other than myself. I would lose sleep, staying up to help others online. I would stress myself out worrying about everyone I cared about. It’s not hard for anyone to relate to loosing themselves in the midst of working at their goals.

     But before you lose yourself completely, hear these words: The most important thing to remember while trying to change the world is to take care of yourself.  Nothing productive will get done unless you, yourself, are in a healthy state of mind.  Your best work occurs when you are happy and healthy. And so to keep yourself in a state that is anything but happy and healthy is a disservice to your goals, and consequently, yourself.

     Here are some of tips to keep yourself healthy while reaching for the stars:

1.      1.  As you can probably tell by now, I’m a huge advocate for lists. Make two. One will list all the stressors in your life and the other will list everything that you will do to realize those stressors.

2.       2. Make a calendar. Plan out your time that you’re going to be concentrating on changing the world and make sure you leave some time for yourself to relax as well.

3.       3. Take a day for yourself once in a while. I’ve been there. I’ve been in so deep and thought that if I took one day for myself the world would come crashing down because I needed to be there for people every second of the day. The world doesn’t work like that though. The word will survive without you for one day, or even just one hour. Live for yourself for a day and allow yourself to smile and remind yourself what life is all about before you try to dive back into your project.

4.       4. Take fifteen minutes out of your day, each day, to smile, and relax. Concentrate on you

5.      5.  Understand that not everything works out perfectly. If, while chasing your goals, life doesn’t turn out the way you thought it would, don’t beat yourself up. Not everyone’s perfect. You’re only human. And humans are allowed to make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes and move on.


Changing the world is a large endeavor. And one does not embark on such an endeavor without being fully prepared.  Fully prepare yourself by taking care of yourself first. Both yourself, and the world, will thank you later.  Like always, feel free to add to my list <3

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Ripple Effect


          “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
― Robert F. Kennedy

          This is one of my dad’s favorite quotes. It speaks to the ripple effect and reminds me constantly of how each and every one of us affect the course of the universe each day.
          I used to be picked on every day in my eight grade health class. I was the new girl at school, didn’t have many friends, and didn’t know how to stand up for myself. One day after health class, I broke down crying at the guidance office, saying that no one liked me. My counselor decided to set me up with a potential friend. I was to give a tour of the school to a girl that was moving in the next week. During the tour, the new girl brought up the fact that she ran cross country. I was never a runner, but she convinced me to give it a try. Through running I found myself, changed a lot, met some amazing people who shaped my life, and so much more. Looking back on my life, everything that means anything to me, besides my family, resulted from joining cross country, which resulted from talking with the new girl, which resulted being bullied in my eight grade health class.
          Sometimes I wish I could go back and find that guy. I’d thank him.  Because he’s one of the reasons I’m typing this today. But more importantly I’d want him to see how much he affected my life. His negative influence happened to have affected me in a positive way, but we can’t be all that lucky. His actions towards other people could have had a negative effect. And I’d like him to realize the magnitude of his ripple before it’s too late.
          He, like most other people, did not realize how big their ripples are, how much of an affect they have on other people, and, consequently, the rest of the world. Ripples start with simple, small moments. Those small moments affect a few other moments, which in turn affect a few others, which affect others.  And soon, one single moment, sentence, or act has affected an entire ocean of moments, people, and lifetimes. The smallest of the small moments in one’s life could quite possibly affect the whole world, and therefore to be aware of one’s ripple is very important indeed.
          Everyone’s ripple is larger than they think it is. We all affect mountains of people every day with both words and actions. Whether you realize it or not, everything you say and do changes a little bit of someone else’s life. And if you are aware of this ripple, you’ll be able to be conscious of how you act and therefore be able to control the impact you have on others.
          So kind of ripple will you make? Will it be a positive one? Or a negative one? Will you be consistently aware of it so you can control its impacts? Or will you forget its existences and forget that you matter as well?
          Whatever your answer may be, think carefully; the ripple effect of this small decision could possible affect the whole world.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

How to Continue


Before you read this post, read the first part, “How to Start”

So here you are; you’re on your way to your own mini revolution. Maybe you’ve just started, or maybe you’re reading this after years of hard work. Regardless, you’re making a difference and that is the single most noteworthy thing you can be doing in this world.  I’m sure you’ve realized by now, it’s not nearly as straightforward as you thought it would be, though.

Sometimes, the plans don’t always work out and you seem stuck in a rut until an extrinsic motivational factor pulls you out.  It happens to me all the time. It seems like I’m not getting anywhere and I loose heart until someone reminds me about my goals. If you’re like me, and wish you could stay on top of your goals and not loose heart all of the time, I’ve compiled some bits of advice that might help.

First, every Sunday, I look back on my week and think. I answer seven questions I found on this great website called Marc and Angel Hack Life:

1.       What pleasant surprises did you discover this week?

2.       What lessons did you learn?

3.       How are your short term efforts aligned with your long term goals?

4.       What could you have spent more or less time doing?

5.       How did fear or uncertainty affect you this week?

6.       Do you have any mental clutter to clear?

7.       What are your goals for next week?

These questions really keep me on track because they make me review how my life goes every week and allow me to change my life if it isn’t going as I’d like it to. I write out all on my answers on paper because writing them down makes it less easy to lie to myself.  I encourage you to do these questions also. And as you complete all your goals for this week, check them off, to give you some satisfaction.

Secondly, I’ve started to wear something every day to remind myself of my efforts constantly.  It’s simply a hair tie on my left wrist. Since I’m left handed and wear my watch and bracelets on my right wrist, I’m not used to having something on my left wrist. It feels strange and I notice it constantly. Therefore, if I notice it constantly, I constantly have my goals on the mind. You could do the same, or just something similar like drawing a star on the back of your hand or posting sticky notes around your house to remind you, etc. Whatever you decide to do, simply keeping your goals on your mind periodically will increase your chances of completing them.

Something I also try to do that you might find useful is journaling for five minutes at the end of each day, just to keep track of how you’re doing or how you could be doing.

Also, every year I sit down with a pencil and paper and answer a set of 38 questions about my whole life. I never look at the questions or answers unless it’s June 10th and it’s time to do my questions again. My goal every year is to change my answers. (So an example of one of the questions I’ve remembered is what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done. Two years ago, it was talking about my sticky notes idea at a small school assembly. One year ago, I one-uped that by talking to my whole school about changing the world.  I’m going to try to beat both of them again this year.) The point of these questions is take advantage of opportunities to better yourself and do new and better things than before. I encourage you to do the same, making up your own questions that mean something to you.

Lastly, I want to stress that getting stuck in a rut while you’re trying to make a difference is normal. Life happens and sometimes there’s just no time for anything but work or school. Sometimes we get depressed and empty and can’t convince ourselves to do something productive with our lives. But as long as we are pulled out eventually, it’s alright. And sometimes extrinsic motivational factors are very helpful. But on the other hand, they don’t always show up when we need them the most. And so intrinsic motivation is a very powerful thing to learn.

 Good luck with your goals! And if you ever are stuck in a rut and can’t seem to find the intrinsic motivation to get yourself out, feel free to shoot me an email. The months of my life I’ve emailed with people about my goals are the times I’ve been the most inspired and achieved the most.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Powerpoint for you

A little while ago I created a Powerpoint for an amazing person that was hurting a lot. So today I realized how much it might help some other people. So here it is. Enjoy :)

Note: I got a bunch of the pictures off of Google. I don't own anyone of them.