I Asked 20 People What Their Life Philosophy Was. Here’s What They Said:

On a Sunday morning, I decided to ask everyone a pretty scary question, that if someone had asked me before this, I’m not sure I would’ve known what to say:

“What is your philosophy on life?”

I asked partly out of curiosity but mainly because I have so many amazing people in my life that I look up to and thought this was a perfect opportunity to learn from them.   

So, here it is. 20 Life Philosophies!

1

Work everyday. Then, there is no time to feel worried or have sorrow. Work and your job becomes your biggest supporter. I work everyday and I think that makes me happy. 

2

Have more than one source of happiness. Have many hobbies. Music, reading, entertainment- things you can lean on. Looking at it in an analytical way: not only does this thing make me happy, but does it contribute to my life? For example: playing guitar versus watching Netflix. Playing the guitar feels more rewarding because many things that feel rewarding require more work, but they are more worth it. 

Have low expectations. Don’t let life disappoint you. So if your car breaks down or your friend shows up late, it doesn’t matter.

Try to live more in the moment. Easier said than done but really just focusing on the now.

Connecting with others is a really good source of happiness. I call my friends on commutes. Listening to stories makes me feel connected.

Simplicity. The best sushi is just fish on rice. It’s about the quality.

I believe that happiness is not success related. In America, success is so rooted in happiness. Success is a biproduct of mindset.

Internal happiness through reflection. Journaling, meditation, walking.

Understanding the nature of human beings and how the world works is important too. Not everything is good. You can still do things to want to change the world for the better, but it is nothing you should distress over. You can understand why the world is the way it is, and try not to add to it (like pollution), but it’s human nature. You’re always going to meet mean people, but realize that’s how they were raised and it’s not inherently their fault. Doesn’t mean you should spend time with them but don’t judge them. 

3

I feel like my philosophy is kindness. So many people are so harsh with each other. Be good to the people around you. You never know what people are going through. We should all look out for each other. There’s so much hardship in the world like natural disasters and you never know who’s connected to what. Wealthier people have so many things they could do to better the world, but it usually ends up being the people who go through stuff who are the ones that give the most. For example, someone I was donating stuff to asked me if there were other people I could give to and handed me back some of the boxes I gave to them. 

4

Approach every situation and person with a clean slate. You don’t know what to expect. Everyone’s experience in life is different.

Find out who you are. It’s a long journey. It took me a few years to discover who I am, but I base my actions off of being a strong woman. 

5

Good Food=Good Life.

6

This one is something I have followed my whole adult life:
Always choose to work where there are people who will inspire you and that you know will make you a better person for knowing them. 
I’ve followed this rule since the day I left college and it has led to a career I have just loved and am incredibly grateful for. 

Another one I value is: Don’t be afraid to be the novice and to ask for help. It’s liberating to learn from others rather than compete with them to be right. 
And finally: When meeting new people, always ask them questions and show interest in them. People are typically flattered and will have a very good impression of you subconsciously as you made them feel so good. A bit sneaky but a good rule of thumb that gives you a simple and harmless advantage!

7

Do everything in life with joy and goodness from your heart. I think the most important thing to me is to do good and be happy while I live. I want to live with a lust for life, sprinkling positivity glitter everywhere I go and I want to be pure in my intentions- showing passion, compassion, and all of the kindness I can muster.

8

So, I know this sounds cliche, but my philosophy is “Live Your Best Life.” Essentially what this means to me is that you’re going to go through life doing what you think is best for you in the moment. What makes you happy at that point in time. Will it be best for you 50 years from now? Who knows. But, you’re always one decision away from a completely different life. So, live your best life. 

9

I would say everything should be guided by mutual respect, so acting in ways that respect yourself and make you feel empowered but also making sure that your actions are respectful of those around you and that you honor other people’s differences and life experiences. I think making big life decisions or even just every day interactions with people benefit from making sure it’s mutually respectful. 

10

For me, goals are important and achieving them are also very important to me. It brings me happiness in a way that’s different from going out or all of that. I feel like my hard work got me there. 

11

Never stop evolving even though you know you’re blessed. There is always room to be a better person and impact people’s lives in a positive way, no matter where you’re at in life!

12

Taking time to relax and recharge opens us up to more joy and meaning in life. 

13

I would say my philosophy on life would be to never give up. Never give up no matter how hard life and its situations might get. I say that because there is no blueprint to life and sometimes you may not know how to navigate and how to deal with situations but it all works itself out in the end as long as you keep trying

14

Life is an opportunity to create a story. Some people defy the laws of life and create great stories. I want to become one of the greatest story-tellers the world has ever seen. My dad always told me “you can only live to be 100 years, but your impact can live forever.”

15

I always try to go into situations with an open-mind and realizing that you are not always right. I know that everyone on this earth has a different mindset and approach towards how they want to live their lives. We each have different identities and cultures and we need to respect that about each other and not shut down other’s ideas right away. We need to make sure we hear them out and think radically about what they are saying.

I love the quote that goes, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” —Stephen R. Covey. But I truly think if we approach situations like this with an intent to understand and work together to fix problems, the world would be a lot better off in the future. 

16

Don’t stress too much about things. Live in the moment. 

17

Don’t be afraid to be yourself because that’s the only way you can be truly happy. Don’t care about what other people think. Treat everyone as kindly as you can because you never know when you will need them. You may have to depend on them some day. Treat everyone equally. 

18

Work hard but never forget to have fun. Create fun memories! As I get older, I realize more and more how important it is to have fun. 

Let things go that don’t matter!  Don’t let things get to you, life goes so fast. Remember to have fun and make memories. Stay in touch with friends, go out, do things you don’t normally do. Remember, you are only as old as you feel!  

19

I’d say mine is to love unconditionally. It doesn’t mean that you let people walk all over you, like boundaries need to be in place for healthy relationships, but loving people as they are and where they are is extremely healing not just for them but for myself too. I want to pour into people so that they’re not alone! 

20

Don’t invest 5 minutes if you’re not willing to invest 5 years. And work hard in silence, and let your success be the noise.


HUGE Thank you to everyone who shared their philosophy and to everyone who is reading. I hope these resonated with you as much as they did with me. I also want to take this chance to say how lucky I am to be surrounded with people who have such positive and thoughtful philosophies. Happy Sunday!

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Interview with U of M Student: Josie Wilde

Josie is a dear friend of mine. We met last year while lost in Murphy Hall looking for our classes- which we later found out we had together. During the class, she constantly inspired me with her design skills and was always stopping to help me with my projects. She has such a fun and bubbly personality. I am so happy we have class together again this semester. 

So, these interview questions were somewhat improvised which resulted in a beautiful conversation that helped me learn a bit more about Josie and what experiences made her who she is today. 

Josie, before college what kind of work were you interested in doing?

In high school, I wanted to be a news anchor and a part of me feels like maybe I’ll go back to that. I’m in the strategic communications track, but I wouldn’t be opposed to going back to it. I love public speaking and ever since I as young, I wanted to be on WCCO.

I could see it. So, how do you stay involved on a big campus like the University of Minnesota?

I am a campus ministry bible study leader. This is my biggest community here at the U. I live with seven girls from this community. I also love my major and what I’m learning which is super important. It makes a huge difference actually liking going to classes!

 So when I first met you, one of the first things we talked about was travel, can you tell others about some of your travel experiences?

Yes! In the past year, I went to Israel. It was important to my faith and to understanding the political aspect of Israel. The culture there was a complete 180 to American culture. I feel like Europe was kind of similar to the U.S., but Israel felt like a whole different universe.

In the spring, I went to Boston to visit a friend- it was beautiful.  I fell in love with the East Coast. It was my first time flying alone and I’d never been there before. It felt so good doing things by myself! I felt like I could do anything.

Then this past summer, I went to Glacier and Banff in Canada. This trip was the first time that I had ever gone camping. It was so different but so awesome. I was nervous for this trip intially. Honestly, I didn’t really want to go but did anyways. I’m so glad I did because here, I learned much more about perseverance. I had to learn to change my mindset. The hikes were difficult. I would begin to think negative thoughts and would have to stop myself.  I realized while feeling bad for myself, I was overlooking all the beauty that surrounded me. Just breathe I would tell myself. One step at a time. Everything was fine. Getting to the top was so rewarding especially knowing how hard I had worked to get there. This experience taught me that mindset is huge in anything I do. 

It sounds like that trip really changed your perspective. On the topic of mindsets and perspective, is there anyone you look up to and strive to see the world in the way that they do?

Bob Goff. I just read his book called Everybody Always.  I also read his book called Love Does. His philosophy is adding love into everything you do and using love as an action. He talks about the importance of trying to love others who are different from ourselves. This has influenced me to think about how I can be positive and love others more- even people I don’t get along with.

His books have helped me realize that it’s not all about me. They help me understand that we’re all different and because of that, I now think more carefully about how I treat other people.

He has also helped me work through differences with my family. They really care, but sometimes we have to realize we are coming from different perspectives. It’s better when we work to try to understand them. When we disagree, I try to think “how can I react positively to this?”  

Life isn’t always going to be easy. I try to keep the mindset of “let’s get it done” and trying to be the best that I can be. 

I truly see this attitude coming through in how you show up everyday. So what’s next for you? 

I’m going on a mission to Paris! For this trip, I have to ask for support letters- which is like my biggest fear. My dad was not super excited about it, so I wasn’t expecting contributions from my family, but they donated over 500 dollars. I am incredibly grateful. I believe this is a testament to the lord and that he wants me there.

I love that. I truly believe that when something is meant to be the universe comes together to make it happen, can you explain this a bit more?

My whole life the lord has led me. It’s so funny because sometimes I will want something really badly. I’m like “lord please!! I want this oh I know this is good for me”- and then I look back and I’m like that would have been the stupidest thing ever. This has been the case for so many things even relationships that haven’t worked out- I look back and just say thank you.

Sometimes not giving us something is the greatest gift the lord can give. So now, I have changed how I pray. If I want something, I won’t just pray for it, but I ask god to give it to me if it is in his will. 

What a beautiful perspective. I feel it on so many levels. Outside of church and mission trips, what do you like to do for fun?

Social media. This sounds bad, but I love communications! I love editing pictures- even decorating my room. I love aesthetic and organization. Weddings too. I love them. My pinterest board has so many wedding pins it’s ridiculous. I love watching wedding youtube videos too. In another world, I would be a wedding planner.

I’m for it! Do you have any specific goals pertaining to your social media? 

Not mine specifically, but I would love to do social for a corporation. I would love to take one that has a horrible presence so I could make huge improvements to it. 

Any other big life goals or places you want to live in the future?

I love Minneapolis! I would love to stay here and work here. Obviously, I want to get married at some point. I love where I’m at right now, but I’m not opposed to going somewhere else.

It’s crazy that I will graduate in a year and have a job hopefully. I am really open and flexible to what happens. Again, I know the lord leads me. I know I will be where I am meant to be. 

Yes. Yes. Yes. I am so excited to see where the future takes you. I believe you will continue to do incredible things. With that, is there a quote you would like to end this interview with?

This quote is from Everybody Always:

“God doesn’t just give us Himself. Sometimes He gives us a few other people in our lives whose voices we can trust.”

Thank you Josie and everybody who read this. 

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Why You Need to Move in Order to Grow

I know- the title is kind of a bold statement.

I believe in it fully.

Here’s why-

Have you ever been back in a place where people only see you as the old you?

The people in this certain place expect old reactions from you and see you in a way that is no longer a present version of who you are. Often times you feel as though you have to resort to old behaviors to satisfy the relationship even though you know you’ve grown from this stage in your life.

No matter how differently you act or what topics you are now interested in, they choose to see you as the person you used to be.

You need to move.

I’m sure you’ve heard this before but you can’t move forward if you keep re-reading the same chapter of a book.

There is no way you can grow in a place that refuses to see you as a book that’s still being written instead of a chapter that is to be re-read.

If someone isn’t willing to see you for the growing version of yourself, they’re only stopping you from reaching that next step in your life.

What do I mean by “moving”?

I think you can move in a number of ways. It all depends on what kind of “move” you think is necessary in order for you to grow and be who you truly are. Here are a few examples-

Live somewhere new

Actually move to a new place! Pick a location on the map and go there. Start completely new. A new house, new job, a new climate.

Sounds kind of drastic, right?

I want to tell you a story. I had a friend who traveled and lived in Europe for a year to work. While there, we would FaceTime occasionally and she told me how distance from our hometown made her feel like a new person. She had new visions for her future, felt she had new purpose, and saw life through a whole new lens. I could see it too. She even explained to me how she felt as though the people in our hometown were stuck having the same conversations that she didn’t want to be a part of anymore. When her job ended and she came back home, she went back to old perspectives and behaviors. She knew better but because of the environment she was put back in, it was hard to change and continue growing there.

So please just move!

If not physically moving your location you can also

– move away from certain types of people

– move jobs

– move away from certain places that don’t benefit you anymore

It can be hard to do these things especially when it’s all you know, but you are not doing any of these people or places any favors by pretending to fit in there.

Move where you need to move.

3 Questions to Ask This Morning

Last night I had a dream.

Not like the ones I usually have. This one was strange.

So, I told you guys that I love asking questions… Well, in my dream I had an event. During the event, I had torn three large pieces of paper and wrote a question on each of them. WEIRD RIGHT?

These were the questions:

Who are you?

Where do you want to go?

How will you get there?

Woah. Was it a sign? In the dream, I had people writing out what they believed was true to them. I was guiding them through and telling them the following things:

“There is no judgement in what you write”

“Don’t base your answers on what other people have said. This is for you and your answers may look nothing like other people’s.”

Right after this, my alarm went off.

What do you think about dreams like this?

Happy Monday!

Interview with an Art Museum Director

Before I get into this, I just wanted to mention how long I’ve wanted to do this interview. My grandfather is someone I have looked up to since the day he volunteered to look for bugs with me in his backyard. His humble and kind presence is admirable- he is an encourager, leader, and a good friend. Although barely touched on during this interview, his resilience when things have gotten tough is something I wish to learn. Without further ado- an interview with an art Museum Director. 

Roger Mandle

Chapter One: College

Tell me what your college experience was like

I went to Williams College. I liked the small college atmosphere and didn’t apply to any big universities. I had a lot of very close relations with classmates and professors which were very affecting.

Starting out, I wanted to become a doctor, but realized the only thing that got me through my science classes were the lab drawings. I finally realized that I was destined to be an artist. So, I decided to take art history courses and eventually had my own student exhibition in my school.  

I was a member of Delta Upsilon which had a well-rounded membership. The captain of football and basketball team were in it and honors society members too, but it also had its share of animals. Every weekend we’d have parties and the animals would tear the place apart!

My junior year, I was an advisor, so I was living with freshmen. At the time, it was an all male school- now its co-ed. We would take road trips to other colleges to meet women. We would see how quickly we could get back and forth to Skidmore. 45 minutes!

My sophomore year, I met Gayle (my now wife) who went to Skidmore. We dated all through college. Because she was an artist, we used to paint on our dates. We did anything to avoid the wild parties at my frat. They called it the “D U Zoo”. Some of the frat members are in jail now.. and never finished.

One year, I was a cheerleader amongst my frat brothers. You know- we would form pyramids and such.. it was really goofy. 

Chapter Two: Career

What was your first job outside of college? How did it lead you into your career path?

I received an Andover Fellowship and took a gap year. I taught photography, painting, three-dimensional design, and coached the football team (even though I wasn’t a football jock). They gave me free housing and food, so I was able to save up money. During the fellowship, I wanted to become an artist and had a couple of exhibitions. The school ended up buying one of my sculptures!

After the fellowship ended, I decided to apply for grad-school. I applied to Yale, which had the best studio art grad program at the time, and also applied to NYU, to do art history. I did not get into Yale- but got into NYU, so I did the art history graduate program.

This was the fork in the road for me. This program led me to become a museum person.

When I was at NYU, in the late 60’s, many of the professors were from Germany. They didn’t believe in colored slides- all of the slides were in black and white and they never brought us to museums. It was odd. So we were learning about art history but never got to see the art for ourselves.

Metropolitan Museum Of Art

During my graduate program, I discovered the MET had a training course and this changed my life. I truly discovered museum work here. If I couldn’t make artwork myself, I could work with other great works made by other people. The MET is the greatest museum in the country! I was an intern at the drawings department. It was like coming home to seeing Picasso and Rembrandt. I could look at them and hold them.

In three years, I got a museum certificate and a graduate degree. I want to mention that throughout my graduate program, I commuted from New Jersey. I hitched a ride into school every day. I was never denied a ride. I would wait with my suit and briefcase everyday and would get a ride to the George Washington Bridge.

By the time I graduated, I was married to Gayle and we moved to London. 

Victoria and Albert Museum

While we lived in London, I worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum- a museum built by Queen Victoria in 1851. It was filled with mostly decorative arts and a few paintings. I was an intern here, and my wife, Gayle, took courses on the furniture at the museum.

Minneapolis Institute of Art

A man I met while in London, who at the time was director of the Minneapolis museum, told me to come out and work for him there. I became the Associate Director at Minneapolis Institute of Art. I was number two associate at my first job! I had a tough boss, but he would actually let us (his employees) try stuff! He constantly encouraged us to invent and design things at the Museum.

While I worked here, I organized an exhibition for Dutch art. I was sent to Europe and was introduced to a bunch of art dealers there. I kept seeing Dutch art everywhere. Little to no publications of it. I wanted to do an 18th century Dutch art exhibition. I met with people who either had the art or studied it. I went through with the exhibition, and then Toledo and Philadelphia wanted in on it. 

Toledo Museum

When the Dutch exhibition was over, Toledo asked me to work for them. My salary was dramatically increased and had promises of becoming director. The director retired and I became next director. He and I remained great friends- he was always super supportive- a mentor and a guide.

A group of people in Toledo made relations with Toledo Spain. Because of our sister city relationship, I wanted to see if they could lend their pieces of art for an “El Greco” exhibition. We asked other museums if they could partner with us as well. I went to the National Gallery in Washington and they said they were interested, and then I went to Spain and they agreed to give us the art.

I found out the exhibition would cost over a million dollars! We cooked up a scheme to go to amex- and told them Dallas would take it if they sponsored us. They did! It was the greatest momentum- it was not only the money we needed but it also gave us great publicity. People were flocking and tourism was huge as a result!!! It was an enormous success, we had articles in Time Magazine and I was interviewed on CNN. It was the most heavily populated exhibition in all of those museums. (Link to Times article here.)

The National Gallery of Washington

This stunt introduced me to all the folks at the National Gallery. Paul Melon came to check out the Toledo Museum and invited me to become the Depute Director of the National Gallery. I was there for five and a half years: 1988-1993. During that time, I did a lot of strategic planning, organized exhibitions, helped with the first capital campaign for their 50th anniversary, and re-installed the entire painting collection while working with the curators. An exhibition with works by Vermeer was the last major show I did there. We had 27 of his paintings for the exhibition.

After the 50th anniversary of National Gallery, the director pointed at me to become next director as he retired, but the trustees picked someone else. The director who was chosen was a friend of mine- I stayed for a bit then left.

Soon after, I was offered an honorary professorship at Williams. I would fly up to Albany and go to Williamstown to teach one class a week. I loved it so much. I began to think that it would be cool to be a president of a college someday.

RISD

I searched and saw nothing. Then, I heard about the RISD presidency. I applied and because the trustees were all looking for a director for the art museum there,they hired me. I only took the presidency, but hired someone else to be the museum director. I loved it. I was there for fifteen years. Happiest time of my life. My wife got her masters in fine arts. And my grandchildren came (me). It was a cozy and wonderful time. 

RISD was glorious. I loved the students, being near Brown, helping build more international experiences. I was able to teach- work with designers, and architects. It was wonderful.

When I left, I was voted to get an honorary degree. During my career, I’ve earned 9 honorary degrees.

Ive had an exciting career.

Qatar Museums Authority

After RISD, we moved to the Middle-East. I was head of Qatar Museums Authority. We had never been to the Middle East before and here we were moving there! Qatar is a very family-oriented place with big ambitions. They are liberal and tolerant of other religions. There’s a Catholic Cathedral there. They are very involved with national politics.

The Qatar Museums Authority wanted to build 12 museums- not just art ones but history, science, children’s, air and space, and media museums as well. I was in charge of all of it!

We started with 350 employees. I hired museum staff from Britain, France to Turkey, Australia, and the U.S. I brought people from all over the world. When I left, we had 1200 employees- in four years that was a lot of people to hire. I had a chance to work with I.A.PEI a chinese architect who designed the Museum of Islamic Art.

Jea Nouvel. Hergzog and De Meuron. All great architects, I worked with all of them.

After four years I was turning 70, and we decided it was time to come home. In January 2012, we came back. I served as senior advisor to Qatar Museum Authority for a year.

Then, I started doing consulting for different universities, colleges, and art schools. I’ve been serving on a lot of boards as a trustee of art museums and art schools. I enjoy it a lot because I’ve worked in a variety of arts institutions. I think I have good and wide experiences to offer as a trustee.   

Chapter Three: Today

DatMa

Today, we are trying to start a contemporary art and design museum in New Bedford.

It’s called: DatMa or Massachusetts Design Art and Technology Institute.

It will specialize in international work and programs. It will show the impact of new technologies on art and design.

It’s having its inaugural exhibition next summer as part of a huge festival were planning called Summer Wind– we’re celebrating the arrival of wind turbines in New Bedford!

We’re bringing in an outdoor installation from LA. by Poetic Kinetics. We have 16 board members and we are currently trying to raise money to fund for this show! 

Interested to learn more about “DAT”? Watch this.

Thank you to my grandfather, Roger, for sharing his story with us all. I believe it is fascinating how life leads us from one chapter to the next. No matter how much we try to plan our lives- in my grandfather’s case- planning to become a doctor, life leads us to where we are meant to be and this is apparent from hearing his story. 

Introducing: Sunday Unwind + Refine

In previous posts, I have emphasized how important Sundays are for me. They set the tone for the week to come. If my Sundays are relaxed and productive, I have a relaxed and productive week as a result. This new segment of my blog is aimed to hold me accountable on Sundays as well as to inspire you as you start your week. 

This week, I will not do a Sunday post (I will be traveling), but I thought I would introduce some of the topics I will cover. I am always accepting feedback and suggestions too- so don’t hesitate!

So… here are some of the topics! —-

What’s Cooking

In this section, I will post one meal prep for the week! (hopefully this will motivate me to cook more. Lol!)

Random Interest

Sometimes it’s fun to share random things… like my new obsession with cheese boards:

Focus of the Week

Focus of the week- essentially goals. I will also posts quotes and other sources of inspiration for the week. 

Like this one-

News/ Insights

Here- I’ll post links and comments to relevant news or ideas.

As you have probably seen in my other posts.. I love to ask questions! Here, I will post reflective, philosophical, thought-provoking questions!

Reflection

While getting ready for the upcoming week is super important, it is also important to reflect on the week before. In this section, I will reflect on goals I had for the week – what was successful – and what was not so successful. 

Excited to start this segment in a week! Stay tuned and please check it out. If you are inspired, do something similar and let me know! I would love to keep updated with your weekly posts.

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Running Out of Things to Blog About?

It is so easy to write when you start your blog.

I remember the first two months of starting my blog, I was writing virtually every single day and sometimes even twice a day. I remember reading other bloggers posts saying things like “sorry I haven’t posted in a while, my new goal is to post once a week” I was like what! How could you not find things to write about?!

Then it happened- I got writer’s block. And the everyday struggle was thinking “What should I write about?”

Last week, I met with a freelance writer. She’s written for MSNBC, Refinery 29, and other very well-known publications.

When we got to chatting, I told her my problem:

“It was so easy writing when I started! But now I feel like writing less and less. I don’t even know what to talk about.”

Can you relate?

Well here’s the advice she gave me-

“Some of my favorite bloggers don’t even write everyday. They pick certain days to post. It’s about the consistency. Find the same day every week to post and find something unique to post about so people will be looking for your posts on that specific day every week.”

She showed me a blogger who literally just creates posts with links to her favorite articles every Tuesday. Like what?! I could do something like this. It sounds doable.

Find something that makes your blog unique and make it a weekly post.

I love this advice.

What do you do to ensure you have things to write about and don’t go MIA for months?

Let me know!

Thanks for reading.