This Advice Has Changed My Life

About a week ago, I had a conversation with my mother. I told her that I had been feeling unmotivated and unfulfilled for days.

I believe we share our feelings with people for two reasons: either we just need someone to listen or we hope they will give us a perspective that might change us.

A week ago my mother said this:

“In life, we need to see things as rituals. From the moment we wake up and make our beds to the moment we shut our eyes at night. Make doing the dishes and folding your laundry a ritual even getting dressed in the morning. Make these things sacred to you.”

You know when someone says something to you and you feel sparks? This was one of those moments.

So often we get caught up in worrying about our future or beating ourselves up about the past that we forget to be in the present moment.

We resort to thinking happiness can only be found in large achievements or in the compliments we receive when really we can find it in combing our hair or taking the time to make our beds.

I believe this is why people get addicted to working out. Exercise is a great tool to help us focus. Thats why people call it “being in the zone.” That “zone” is the place where you are truly in the present.

Since you might be wondering, here’s how my life has changed since I received this piece of advice:

I’ve been much more aware and intentional. I find happiness in folding my favorite shirt or in packing my lunch for the day with foods that will nourish my body.

I’ve been less frustrated, anxious, and angry. I will be the first to admit I have terrible road range and can’t stand when people ask me to repeat myself because they didn’t hear what I said. Since I am only here right now, why would I perceive this moment as in my way or annoying when I can see it for what it is and just breathe? There is no real hurry and even if there was, our anxious mental state would not make it any better. Approach situations with a grateful heart.

I’ve added a new ritual. I exercise in the morning. It is now built in my schedule for an hour. It starts my day out with intention and brings me into a focused mindset. I pack my gym clothes the night before and plan my outfit. I lay them side by side so that when I wake up, I am ready to go and I am thankful.

I’m continuing to learn more. Oprah’s Super Soul Podcast has a series right now with Eckart Tolle who preaches about this idea of being in the moment. I highly recommend you take a listen.

Thank you for reading. Please let me know your thoughts.

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Trust the Timing of Your Life

Have you ever broken your phone, gotten rejected from a job, or been late to an important date because of traffic and thought why me god?

Let’s face it- no matter how good of people we are or how much we prepare for our futures, there will always be room for error and disappointment.

What about karma?!

Yes we still must remember that what we do onto others will be done to us in some form or another. Bad things will still happen.

Here’s the thing though- whether you see it now or not, it’s all adding to a bigger picture. There is a plan for you.

We try to force what happens in our lives. Quickly we realize that we cannot. Trust the timing of your life.

What lesson is the universe trying to teach you that is going to prepare you for the next chapter of your life?

So often people tell me stories of what they imagined their lives looking like versus what they ended up looking like. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve been told the same thing- I never really planned for this to happen. My life just pulled me in this direction and somehow the dots just connected.

How amazing is that? If you are going through something right now it could be adding new dots for you. An ability to empathize with more people. A source of motivation to change the system. An idea for a new project.

What does trust the timing of your life mean?

Be patient. Breathe. Have faith. You are not alone. You are connected to a greater purpose. Believe it.

So if you wanted something badly, gave it all you had, yet it still didn’t work out, it just means it’s not for you. Something greater is ahead.

Trust the timing of your life.


Why We Need to Remember to Take Baby Steps

Would you expect a baby, who just learned how to walk, to be able to run a marathon?

I really hope you answered “no.”

Have you ever been at your desk or laid in bed at night thinking about all the things you had to get done? Picturing your to-do list can be really and truly scary.

I need to email ____ …Oh and I have to finish these assignments.. I forgot to call___… The application for ___ is due tomorrow… AHHHH !!!

This self-talk looks almost identical to the one I replay internally nearly everyday. You too?

Usually when I have these overwhelming feelings, I look for inspiration. Sometimes I find it and sometimes I don’t.

Lucky for me and those reading, this time I found exactly what I needed to hear.

I came across a TedX called “How to Achieve Your Most Ambitious Goals.” Please watch it if you haven’t already done so.

The speaker in this video has achieved unimaginable things. He forced himself into the Guinness Book of World Records for something that previously wasn’t a topic in it. He participated in the most difficult half marathon, learned how to speak German, read 50 books, hiked 33 trails in a year, and the list goes on.

This guy is super accomplished, right?

What’s his advice? Little steps.

How can you climb to the top of the mountain if you don’t take the first step?

How can you read 50 books if you don’t read the first chapter, sentence, word?

He suggests that instead of drastically changing our routines and habits that we add small changes to get there.

To learn German, he dedicated his commute time in which he usually listened to music, and switched the audio to the lessons.

What small actions can you make to bring you closer to your goals or to crossing off everything on that to-do list?

Don’t let the height of the mountain intimidate you. Take your next step and focus. Progress is still progress.

You won’t get everything done if you don’t start by getting the first thing done.

Baby steps.

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.

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

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.