#MotivationMonday: Failures (well that’s contradictory)

Well hi!

The past two weeks have been a toughie. Do you ever have weeks where you just make mistake after mistake after mistake?

That’s been my life. I feel like people who’ve interacted with me over the last 14 days are like:

And they have the right to be. Right down to the little things like forgetting my keys and putting my shoes on the wrong feet (not joking), my world has been a hubblejubblesnorfblatasdfghjkl;. Know what I mean?

So, usually, I take a nap. Dreaming tends to be the perfect escape from pesky failures. But after I wake up from that somber slumber, it’s Go Time. I don’t have all the time in the world to pout over the things I’ve done wrong– there are too many other things to be done.

I have this thing called an “eternal perspective.” It’s partially faith-based and partially a simple reminder. This moment– whatever you’re thinking, whatever emotional tirade or peak of happiness you may be on, wherever you are– is not the end-all. For some people, that’s the best news in the world, and for others, it’s a bit disheartening. I think that’s why we don’t think about it often and why we seem to be rendered speechless when a moment (defined as any amount of time in one’s life) ends.

An eternal perspective essentially means that I know this isn’t what matters. Each day certainly counts toward the end of our lives, but rarely do moments define it. I say “rarely” because many moments will define our work in the end, but not every moment. Truthfully, will my failure today define me at the end of my life? No. In five years, even? Probably not. Are they disappointing and demoralizing? Of course. Here’s the secret, though:

To clarify, I’m not anywhere near the “Win” trophy yet; but, I believe I’m on my way. Every single failure is a springboard to a better version of ourselves. When you fall flat on your face, nose scraping the concrete, you don’t want it to happen again. So it doesn’t. You grow. Your skin gets thicker. “Mistakes” are actually incredibly necessary if you ever want to succeed. No one has ever become successful without first failing.  They shouldn’t even be called”mistakes”or “failures”– they should be called opportunities. We shouldn’t be afraid of them. Think about it– if you never accept a failure as an end-all, arguably, you HAVE to succeed at some point.

So chin up, because we all suck sometimes. It’s the only way to get to where you want to be. Remember to keep a perspective; right now will affect later, but it likely won’t define it (unless you let it… don’t!).

If you need me, I’ll probably be making 30 copies of a 17-page project with the pages in the wrong order (also not joking).

 

#MotivationMonday: Zach Sobiech

What’s up guys?! : )

Happy #MotivationMonday! I hope you are all feeling extra inspired today. I know I am. Let me share with you something that has been keeping me motivated over the past few days.

Biggest Inspiration on the Planet Award goes to: Zach Sobiech

I was supposed to be doing homework this past Wednesday when I came across a video a friend posted on Facebook.  Now, I usually consider myself a pretty positive person, but after learning about Zach Sobiech, I realized I had been just scratching the surface of positivity. His story is so moving. I know this video is 20 minutes long, but you NEED TO watch it. I seriously believe everyone in the world should be forced to sit in a chair and watch it. I’m not even going to say anything else until after the video.

Okay, so I know some of you guys didn’t watch that. I’m giving you a second chance.

If you still didn’t, I encourage you to keep it in the back of your mind and watch it at some point. Seriously. I am so inspired to live life like Zach. No matter what is going on, he has a smile on his face. He’s always looking for the bright side in every situation, person, and struggle. I want to fight like he does to make every day memorable and full of warmth.

The most important thing a person can do is take each situation as a learning experience, and that’s exactly what Zach and his family did; not once did the family view his situation as a setback. At least in the video, it’s easy to see that they used the situation as a way to learn to be more alive. To love more. To do more.

You can do whatever you want in this life– anything you set your mind to. (It’s a cliche concept, but I think it’s important to remember that cliches are cliches because they hold so much truth.) As Zach says it, “You don’t have to find out you’re dying to start living.”  The ignorance of death is just an excuse people use to stay stagnant. I don’t think we should necessarily think about death every day, but the most important thing we can do with our time on this Earth is remember that it is limited. Not only is it limited, but it is ephemeral. Our lives are momentary. Truly, in the history and future of life on this planet, our little lives are but a moment– a tick mark on an endless timeline. And yet, we have the opportunity to move the human race forward with the voice we’ve been given. We have the opportunity to change even one other person’s life, whether that is a parent, a friend, or someone in serious need. That’s incredible.

There are too many things to be done, too many people to help, too many things to learn, too many adventures to go on for you to pretend like you’re going to live forever.

Because you’re not. Zach thought he was going to go to college; he had things all planned out. Everyone has things planned out, and that’s perfectly normal. We just need to make sure they’re the right plans. If you were going to be told that you had cancer tomorrow, what would change about the way you woke up in the morning? What would change about the way you answered the phone? What would change about the dreams you haven’t chased?

Everyone needs to smile like Zach. Everyone needs to love like Zach. Everyone needs to create, inspire, and relate like Zach. People would be so much more peaceful if they took a lesson or two from his beautiful life. This all sounds a little too serious for my liking, but the message Zach’s life sent to the world is that we do need to take life seriously. If we don’t, the lost opportunities to speak, move, and listen will build up and fall away before we can grasp them.

TAKE those opportunities. Take chances. Learn to see the positive in everything. Because it’s there, and it’s waiting for you to find it.

You can donate to Zach’s Children’s Cancer fund here. You can follow the Twitter account for his cancer fund here. And you can also follow the Twitter account for Child Cancer Research Fund here. Everything you do helps!

Life is too short to wait !!!

Revelations (Part II of Who I am. Why I am.)

Alright, I still have a lot of explaining to do. In my second post, I talked about my best friend and I going to a rather life-changing concert. If you need to refer to that first, please feel free.

Anyway, after the concert, I felt like a new lens had been placed over everything I saw. I felt like I was on one of those Claritin commercials where the little strip gets pulled off out of the corner of the screen and suddenly everything is really clear. I had a clarifying Claritin moment. Suddenly I wanted to change everything. I wanted to touch everything around me and change it. I wanted to touch abstract thoughts and twist them up into little knots of ideas.  I had felt the sincerest form of kindness radiate out of a person (in this particular instance, Alfredo Flores’), and I wanted to pay that forward. At that moment, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life making others feel that way.

Secondly, I felt like I was fulfilling some kind of step in the path I’m on. I felt like I was supposed to go to that concert, and I was supposed to meet Alfredo, and I was supposed to have a Claritin moment. It all felt like I was picking up a line of figurative Cheerios one by one until I was led to something. I thought my journey of pivotal moments was over by then. I mean, what else could have been more influential than that?

Well, I found out. Jacklyn was trying out for The Voice in Chicago (she didn’t make it all the way through, but she got darn close! And has the voice of a sugary angel, I might add), so I decided to go with her. Our pivotal/Claritin moment from the concert had inspired her to move to Seattle to pursue her musical, world-changer dreams, so spending some time together in Chicago was our last hurrah before she left.

We thought we’d be spending our time on the Mag Mile, in that shop-til-you-drop fashion. Instead, we ended up sitting on the cold, January concrete with some people who were homeless. I literally cannot explain how it changed my life on this blog. In fact, I’m writing a book about it at the moment, which will be named something like Homeless or something more creative when I get the chance. There’s probably a book out there by that name already anyway.

Regardless, the concert gave me the notion that I’d be spending my life making people happy, and the trip to Chicago opened my eyes to which people that would be. The people I met were so beautiful inside and out, and had such heart-wrenching stories. It’s crazy how numb we are to those who are homeless or in need. I think sometimes we forget how human we all are. For example, there was Yvette. She was the first person I really talked to. As I got to know her a little more (after her tears dried), I found out that her one true vice was chocolate. She LOVED it and always chose it when we’d offer something to her. It was so adorable how her mood completely flipped when it was an option. I remember thinking that THAT’S how she really was; her true personality came out for that moment, and it was beautiful. Because she had fallen on hard times, that part of her was rarely unharnessed. I want to and will spend my life working to lift people up who have been shoved down.

I think the world is beautiful, but I think we mistreat it. I think everyone is a success story waiting to happen, but sometimes people need a push or some encouragement. I think there’s a lot of unnecessary negativity, but if we all give a little positivity, that can change. I think everyone deserves an equal opportunity, and I’d love to give it (ever heard of Pencils of Promise? CHECK IT OUT. That’s mostly what I’m talking about here… I’m also an English Education Major, so maybe that’s just me nerding out– I don’t know). I want to help change the world. Not in some narcissistic way; in fact, if I could stay in the background for my whole life, I’d really rather do it that way. I don’t need to be seen; I just need to do what I’m supposed to do. The way I see it, I was placed in this time in the history of humankind, and it would be a dishonor to my life to remain unresponsive to my calling. I have a responsibility. I want to help people. I want to hand out smiles. I want to bring a new perspective to others– to give them their own Claritin moment.