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

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?

What’s the Greatest Thing You Can Do for Others?

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What’s the greatest thing you can do for others?

Become genuinely happy.

Here’s the secret though: becoming genuinely happy takes work. Are you willing to do it?

What habits are preventing you from becoming genuinely happy?

Here are some common habits I am familiar with and have noticed affect others’ happiness as well:

1. Being a pushover

2. Making decisions that don’t align with your goals

3. Not being true to yourself

4. Doing things only for instant gratification

5. Being selfish

Why do these habits affect us negatively? They prevent us from having genuine connections with ourselves which in turn makes it hard for us to connect with others. 

Think of a time when you truly felt good about yourself. Not just in a superficial way, but in a way that went deeper. You were excited to wake up and felt like you were in great alignment. Your conversations were not only great internally, but this alignment allowed for you to have great interactions with others. Every action and moment felt like it served a greater purpose. You felt connected to source. 

So, if you aren’t new to my blog, you know that I love to ask questions. I think asking yourself questions often is so important in understanding ourselves and why we behave in certain ways.

Here are some questions I want you to consider in figuring out how you will become genuinely happy:

How will I spend my mornings?

For me, mornings are sacred. I need time to wake up. If I don’t get this time, it affects my day and mood. The days I’m happiest are when I wake up and meditate. Don’t check my phone. Take time to pick out my outfit and plan my day. 

What will I do everyday to work toward my goals?

No matter who you are, working toward a goal is crucial in finding meaning in your everyday life. My goal is to lead a healthy lifestyle. I walk every single day. Walks are a good way for me to reflect and get in fresh air while getting steps in. I enjoy them too! What thing can you implement that will work with your schedule? Pick something you will enjoy doing and stick with it. Make it essential in your daily routine.

 What is/ will be my creative outlet?

We all need one. Is it music? Writing? Painting? Whatever it is, make sure you have a bit of it at least once a week. Do something simply for the fun of it. 

What will I do to stop myself from going back to old habits that prevent my happiness?

Figure out your triggers and check-in with yourself often. Why are you doing what you’re doing? I used to go out when I was sad or disappointed- not because I wanted to celebrate or have fun. In an attempt to escape reality, this habit only made me sadder. Now before I go out, I ask myself: why am I going out? And if it’s because I’m sad, I will decide to stay in and pamper myself. This has quick reflecting time has changed my life. Realize your own destructive behaviors, why you do them, and what you can do to change them for a healthier way of coping. 

What do you think? What makes you genuinely happy?

Thanks for reading!

XO,

YOUNGCOCO

Finding Deeper Meaning

Like many who come into college, I started my academic career by taking “generals”. These are classes like sociology 1001, biology 1000, and intro to psychology.

In these courses, we skim the various topics that pertain to the overall subjects- like in biology we briefly went over definitions of evolution, genetics, and cell functions. Each topic covered spanned about two weeks long. We took an exam, forgot about what we learned, and then moved onto the next subject.

While these classes gave us a chance to explore the wide range of studies available to us, they lacked an in-depth understanding of why the lessons were meaningful and didn’t give us the ability to have long conversations about what we had learned.

It’s not until 3000-level subjects when we are able to completely unpack and learn deeply a certain aspect of an overarching subject. We take more time focusing on each lesson and usually have one big project that we work on the entire semester.

What does this have to do with deeper meaning?

Have you ever gone to a social gathering and realized you are engaging in surface level conversations with people?

These conversations sound like tape recordings “how are you?” “how’s work?” “what’s new?”

After a while, these conversations drain our energy. Why is that?

We crave connection and meaning!

Social gatherings honestly suck until you get into those unique conversations that you don’t engage with in your everyday life. They excite us and make us feel like we are really getting to know the person we are talking with.

These conversations usually occur once we get more comfortable and situated in an environment.

If you are like me, you want to give everyone attention at an event. You want to say hi to everyone, but sometimes engaging with just a few people allows for more memorable conversations plus once you have a really good conversation it makes it easier to engage in more.

Not only do I enjoy depth in social settings, but I find when I work on just one or two projects during the day, I feel much more satisfied. Focusing on finishing a book or an art project instead of doing small bits of everything is much more rewarding. Trying to pack too much in our day makes for a chaotic life.

So what I’m really trying to say is that engaging with more in-depth content is so much more interesting and fulfilling. When my day has at least one deep interaction or lesson, I feel peaceful and whole. When my days are full of lots of superficial content, I feel like something is missing. In some ways, this deeper meaning is achieved by simplicity. Less can be more.

What do you think?