Blog

If You’re Bad at Remembering History, Read This.

You can teach me about the same war twenty times and a day later I will have already forgotten about it.

Does this sound like you?

Yesterday I was at the airport waiting to board when a woman across from me asked: “so where are you traveling to?” Quite honestly I wasn’t in the mood to chat. I had an early flight that morning and this was my connecting one. Regardless, I told her and we began to chat about our travels. She was around her mid 40s – early 50s. Her shortish golden hair reminded me of my grandmother’s.

After around ten minutes, the plane began to board. Turns out, I was sitting behind her. We talked about how she met her husband on a beach in Spain years ago. She described how they are still madly in love even after having three kids. Although that is nowhere near where my life is at right now, I felt as though we were very similar.

When we got off of the plane, we were going through airport security and she began to tell me about some Dutch history. Before she went any further, I had to tell her: “I’m going to be honest I love history. I think it’s fascinating.. but I never remember it. I’ve seen several castles and battle grounds in Ireland and I couldn’t tell you one fact about them.” She laughed at me. I felt a bit embarrassed. Then she said this:

“I’m bad at remembering history too!”

“Really, so how do you know all of these facts?”

“I read children’s books”

“Do they actually help?”

” Yes, because it’s more important to understand the big picture before trying to remember the small details. I read a children’s book called the history of France before I went there. My friend and I brought the book with us and matched the illustrated pictures to the things we saw while we were there.”

“Where have you been my whole life! Haha”

“Also there’s a lot of movies that can help with that too.”

Our conversation went further, but I had never thought of doing this. Children’s books have to explain things in simple terms. Only once you get something in simple terms can you dive deeper and learn more.

This advice has really and truly changed my life. Time to go buy some children’s books.

Have you tried this before?

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Why You Need to Stop This Mindset

If I lose 20 pounds then I’ll be happy

If I get a promotion then I’ll be successful

If I get this job then I’ll be good enough

If I get 10k followers then I will feel pretty

STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!!

Stop placing your worth, happiness, and success in the achievement of something in the future. When we do this, we basically tell ourselves that we cannot be happy until we get these things.

Think back to when you were a child. You’re in a grocery store trying to convince your parents to buy you a toy. You tell yourself that there is no possible way you will be happy unless they agree to buy you the thing. You have already decided that you will throw a fit if you don’t get what you want. This time you’re lucky- your parents agree to buy you it! Now you feel so happy… for a moment…. but it doesn’t last.

How many times have you placed your happiness on getting something that you look back on now and have to laugh? Turns out the American Girl Doll wasn’t the secret to our lasting happiness after all. Just like getting that new designer purse isn’t either.

How happy you are now is likely to determine how happy you will be in the future. It is fine to look forward to something. In fact, it’s totally healthy, but this is different than deciding you won’t be happy until something happens for you.

We aren’t the best at predicting what will happen in the future. Think about it. Who did you want to become when you were younger? What did you think you’d be doing right now 5 years ago? I can speak for myself and say that these are two very different things.

So decide today that you will be happy. Not when you get that new car or those new shoes. This only lasts so long until you are lusting over the next new thing.

Decide to be happy because you have goals and values that guide what you do. Be happy because you are in this moment right now and have made it this far. Be happy to be authentically you. And be happy that you are on a mission to change your life and the lives of others too.

Interview with a Gamer

I know virtually nothing about video-gaming. A foreign world to me. The other day I tried on a VR headset for the first time and was instantly in awe. It made me eager to learn more about gaming and what it means to people who play often. So, what’s better than interviewing someone I know who is an avid gamer? With out further ado- interview with a gamer.

How long have you been playing video games, when did you start, and why?

I was like 3 when I first started playing video games. I remember playing in my basement at my house in rhode island. I would play Wii bowling and tennis. Then when I moved to Minnesota, I had an experience where I rented a game from blockbuster called call of duty 2 for the wii. It was a three day rental and I accidentally forgot to tell my parents that it was over due. So I had the game for 5 days, but when we came to return it the place was closed. Basically, I got to keep the game so thats really what started gaming for me. Yup thats where it all started it was a big mistake.

After playing call of duty 2, what kept you playing video games? why do you like it?

I kept playing video games after because mostly I found it very interesting with story lines and characters and I like beating games, saving people; its like a movie where you are in control. After a while of having the wii, I got a second-hand xbox 360.. that really started my gaming addiction! It was a kinnect also.

How long would you say it took you to get good and used to the new controllers?

For a while, it was just confusing to me. I would say I caught on quickly though. After 3 or 4 months. I began to understand the controls. Playing with friends made it easier too. By the end of 1 or 2 years, I would say I could play with the controller behind my head.

So now you have been playing with VR, how would you say that experience has been for you?

It’s been very interesting. There’s been hard points like fixing things. We’ve had lots of technical issues with the model I use- the htc vive original. A big part of liking technology is having to fix technology. So we’ve had to fix the controllers and headsets. Both of their warranties are over. If the parts are seriously broken we’re going to have to pay to fix them. Other than that though I think I’ve made good friends through VR which makes it worth it.

What advice would you give to new gamers?

The only advice is if you want to get better.. you gotta put a lot of hours into that game, man. Just keep practicing. If you want to get good, you got to put the time into it. Trying to go semi-pro isn’t easy but it would be a fun way to make money.

On that note, what are your short and long-term goals for video gaming, if you have any?

My short-term goal is to hopefully get better at a game called PubG and to get better with my team for tournaments and stuff. My long-term goal is to get into professional tournaments and stream full-time.

Who are your favorite gamers? What makes a good gamer?

Good question.. my favorite gamer would be people who stream on Twitch a lot of them were professional at one point. My two favorite would be Shroud and Choco Taco- very strange names I know. I like them cause they’re fun and they’re always in a good mood. Not to mention that they’re good! What makes a good gamer is having the ability not to get angry. Not even when you lose. Just be chill.

What’s the most challenging part of gaming?

The most challenging part, if you do online gaming, is overcoming better players, adapting to new environments, and getting a sense for things. Communication is super important with others and yourself. You need to notice things around you. Having a sharp mind is super important in remembering where things are.

What do you think the future of gaming is? Any trends you see?

I see AR becoming a huge thing because I’ve tried it in progress and its ridiculous. You can reach out and truly experience things. Just ridiculous! I feel like first person shooters won’t be a thing anymore there’s a big trend of survival games like “Rust” I would say theres millions of people playing. The servers get up to the thousands.

Are there any computer games you enjoy or see popularity in outside of controller games?

Yes, definitely competitive style games. I don’t think you see as many on xbox or controller games. Like counter strike “CSGO”, PubG, FortNite are very popular. There’s some also some top-down games like World of War Craft. Call of Duty and Halo are on both Xbox and computer but are also pretty popular. There’s money to be made in competitive gaming.. a lot.. and fame!

I hope you enjoyed this interview- I know I learned a lot 🙂

Oh and follow this gamer’s twitch account: RebootFailed

What’s your Life Blueprint?

You can imagine my disbelief when my friend, who is embarking her motivational speaking career, told our friend group that she had never heard of Tony Robbins. Excuse me. What?!

When I was in high school, I discovered Pinterest. This was the beginning of my obsession with motivational quotes which translated into watching motivational videos on YouTube. I remember one of the first motivational speeches I watched on youtube; it was given by Tony Robbins. I remember watching this video and then watching all of his videos and thinking to myself that he truly had life figured out.

Fast-forward a few years and I’m listening to a podcast, called Earn Your Happy, where the hostess, Lori Harder, interviewed someone who was once one of Tony’s interns. Omg I thought. Tony Robbins!

So, the other day I was browsing YouTube jumping around between different TED Talks, and one of the suggested videos was one by Tony Robins that was titled change your life blueprint.

I swear I had seen this video before, but it still resonated with me so much. In Tony’s speech, he explains that the reason why we are unhappy with ourselves is because our vision of what our life should look like doesn’t match what it really is.

We have these ideas of what the perfect relationship is in our minds or the perfect job or our perfect body and we compare this mental vision to our reality. This disconnect makes us feel depressed, unsatisfied, and can cause great amounts of anxiety.

Is this true for you? I know in my life I create ideals of where I should be in my career, what kinds of relationships are in my life, how much money I should have, and what I should look like.

Tony’s resolution? Either change you mental blueprint of what your life should look like or change your life to meet the blueprint. Realize what blueprints in your life are unrealistic and create new ones or alter them so they can match your life.

One person Tony talked about in the speech was an athlete who wasn’t able to play anymore due to physical injuries. This athlete became depressed and hopeless. He said he would never be happy again unless he was able to play the sport again. In his blueprint, the only way he would make his family proud and support them was through playing this sport. It wasn’t until he realized that he could create a new path for himself that he was able to find happiness again. This wasn’t the one and only way he could find success in his life. It was time to create a new blueprint for himself.

Even when we try not to, we are constantly comparing ourselves whether it’s to that vision of what our life should be like or to others. In the end, this comparison rarely does anything for us unless we reflect when we catch ourselves doing it.

I want to end this post with a quote I saw this morning posted by Jhene Aiko:

So, what is your current “life blueprint” what adjustments will need to be made?

Thanks for reading.

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Happiness at Random

I’m sitting on the bus. My commute to class is the same as any other day. I drive to the bus stop, wait in the shelter, smile at those waiting near me. The bus arrives and I jump on. Say good morning to the driver and pick a seat. A normal day in my world. My favorite song comes on and I feel my heart beat fast. I imagine all my goals and ambitions, the friends I will see, the projects I will work on, the lives I want to change. I am so happy.

The next day the same song plays and it doesn’t feel the same.

Happiness is random.

Somedays we feel it in the smallest things- the first sip of coffee and in others we can’t seem to find it even when we know we should.

We don’t need extravagant occurrences to feel happiness.

We can feel happiness through a sound, a thought, a gesture. In the vastness of a body of water or in the page of a book.

What a strange but beautiful thing.

Last Day of 2018

This year feels like it did not happen.

2018. The year my life changed.

Those who know me know that I am constantly changing and finding new interests mostly because I’m a naturally curious person but this year was different. I found purpose.

I don’t usually like to write about myself, but here is what happened in 2018:

– I dove deeper into my major and made great relationships with my professors

– I made new friends who continue inspire me

– I created my blog extremely spontaneously and fell in love with it

– I became genuinely happy. Yes there were ups and downs but through bad relationships and experiences I found out how to truly take care of myself

– I became closer to my sister which has been one of the greatest blessings to me

So this is the time of the year where we look back at the year, reflect, then decide on resolutions, right? I keep thinking of the habits I have already implemented and think these “resolutions” are an addition to everything I’ve already added to my life.

So, 2019… I want it to look something like this:

Focus on growth and giving

– Volunteer once a month

– Eat one vegetable a day. Sounds kind of silly I know. Some weeks go by and I’m like when’s the last time I ate a vegetable? So even if it’s just one carrot or even a piece of an avocado this is my goal.

– Read daily. Hard copy. It can be one page but I do need to read more.

– Have a solid morning routine and learn to enjoy working out in the morning. Read, journal, and exercise. I keep hearing that the most productive days are when you get the hardest thing done first.

– Cook more. I am guilty of buying the same foods every time I grocery shop and not making real food. In 2019 I want to learn new recipes and cook one proper meal a week.

– Blog weekly!

-Love more

What’s your resolution?

Why Being Kind Can Mean Being Vulnerable

Does everyone suffer from some kind of social anxiety?

Or am I the only one who feels awkward when I am alone in a hallway with someone walking the opposite direction and can’t decide where to look and when it’s okay to make eye contact and basically over-think everything?I know in my heart the kind thing to do is look at the person and smile or even say hi, but sometimes I just decide to look down and keep walking.

Being kind can actually be kind of scary sometimes. It can take us out of our comfort zones.

So, story time: A few months ago, I took a trip to California. I checked into my flight before I left- window seat. Score! I got on the plane and the person sitting in my row was a guy in his early 20’s. He had red hair and looked like a slightly bigger version of Ed Sheran. I sat down next to him and immediately put in my headphones; it was a 6am flight and I was tired. Five minutes into the flight, he tapped on my shoulder, “you can just punch me if I’m asleep and you need to use the bathroom.” We both chuckled and then I put in my headphones again. We both fell asleep shortly after.

I woke back up and saw him jamming out. He was head nodding and aggressively playing the air guitar with his iPhone. It was hilarious. Clearly, he did not care if anyone was watching.

I didn’t mention this earlier, but for some reason I was feeling extremely anxious on this flight which is rare because I love flying. I stared out the window and took deep breaths in attempts to rid myself of the nervous feelings. I shut my eyes briefly and then he tapped on my shoulder again, “hey can I share some music with you?”

Is this guy trying to sell me his music? I thought to myself, but I didn’t question him. I put in one ear bud and he had the other one in. Before he started to play it, he told me that he had been listening to this song when he was jamming out earlier and he wanted to share the experience with me. The music started playing and it turned out to not be his music, but religious music.

So this guy went out of his way just to share a feeling he received from this song with me- pure joy. For the first time during this flight I felt some peace. 

Moral of the story?

Go out of your way to be kind. You really do not know what other people are going through. One small gesture can make that difference for them. Your actions affect people more than you think. Be vulnerable and be kind. It matters.