Virtuosity 11.11

Where words become worlds…

Archive for the month “February, 2017”

Revisit your goals

aaeaaqaaaaaaaajzaaaajdy1mjiynwziltbhnjktndaznc05yjvkltfimjmym2riodvknwTomorrow will be March. In March, the nights get shorter, the days get a little warmer, and many parts of the world get ready for the spring.

To me, I view winter like flowers. Beneath the snow, everything is cold, and quiet. It’s a time for introspection, reflection, and inner growth. Winter is a time for sleeping, for regenerating, and for preparing for the days ahead.

How did you do on your yearly goals? Today, write a reflection on the state of your progress. Be honest with yourself, but let go of any guilt, if you felt you did not progress as quickly as you thought you would. Think about the reasons for why you are where you are with your progress.

Then, revisit your plans and smaller goals. Plans are not set in stone. Instead, they are flexible and adaptable, according to changing conditions. Make the changes that you need to, let go of the things that keep you back, then, when you are ready, we face March together!

 

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Burn down your enemies

As you’ve probably noticed with many of my posts, I speak figuratively. Each day, when I sit in front of the computer, I set my goals, I think about my strategies, then I burn down my enemies. On some days, those enemies are chapters in my thesis, they are data that I must analyze, or they are insights that I must record. Wars are won by conquering little battles, and these little battles add up to success.

What is your battle, today? What are you going to use as the fuel to spark the fire? 

Think about your passion, your fury, and your enemies. Remember them and then burn it down. Become the change that you want to see in the world, and don’t let the resistance stop you!

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Did you exercise, today?

Remember that balance between your mind, body, and heart?

What did you do for your body, today? Did you work out? Have you gotten some fresh air, and moved around?

Here is a 30 minute workout that you can do indoors. I also recommend the Sworkit app. Your workout may not be that wonderful, leisurely 3 mile jog through the park, due to winter, but that is no excuse not to balance and take care of your body! So something, even if it is just a little bit.

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Take a meditation moment

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Meditation is not something mystical or difficult to do. Like most things, it just takes practice. However, PhD students are workaholics, and it’s hard to escape that persistent, “I should be writing,” mantra constantly echoes in your head. Meditation is a way of teaching your mind to hush, even if it just for a moment. However, your mind, like the rest of you, needs time to rest and recover, too.

I share a very short video that may help you get started with meditation. The key is to tell the monkey mind to focus on breath. Simple, right?

It will be!

 

Fail better

Failure only happens when you quit. Otherwise, it’s just like any other step toward progress and success. My colleague and blog co-writer, Aubrey, has written two posts on failure that say a bit more on the subject.

When you fail at something, you must reflect on three things: (1) what do you do differently to fail better, (2) what does it take to try again, and lastly (3) should you try again. Failure is a wake-up call that the things you are presently doing are not working. However, it isn’t a sign that you should quit. Instead, it may be a sign that you’ve got to do things differently. The question is, what are you going to do that is different?

Speaking from personal experience, failure is a bitter pill to take. It implies that you are not good enough. However, my many attempts and failings have also taught me that failing is one of the best ways to learn. You learn, you fail, you stand up. Repeat. Eventually, you will be good enough and better than before. That’s the ultimate point.

In graduate school, be prepared to fail a lot. It humbles you, it tempers you, it teaches you how to persevere and persist. More importantly, when you fail enough times, you stop being afraid of failing, and getting up becomes a little bit easier. I won’t lie, though. It still hurts, but it is necessary.

Take a deep breath, and get back up. GET UP. Shake out the sting, and brush yourself off. Then, take a deep breath and begin again.

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Get started

It doesn’t have to be a big step. But, you must take a step.

Just one.

Just get started. You can do this. I know you can!

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Black dog days

A few years ago, the girls from East High decided to make a video on depression. The experience gave me more understanding and empathy – I had no idea that so many people suffer from it. Today, I want to share a video that, in my eyes, describes depression pretty accurately. It is not an illness that you can see on the outside. Yet, depression deeply affects millions of people every year.

The thing is, depression is not something people should be ashamed of. If you suffer from depression, and that black dog seems too big and overwhelming, you can get help, and people DO want to help.

And, if someone you know has depression, read about ways to help and be supportive. This is one of my favorite articles on that subject.

You will get through this. I know you can!

 

 

Not broken, but beautiful

In order to become a tree, a seed must break. For a while, everything looks like chaos, until we see the tree emerge out of the ground, and sprout its first leaves. Until then, nothing may look familiar.

Our society often tells us that we are broken. We have broken hearts, broken minds, and broken souls. I disagree. We cannot grow, and we cannot shape ourselves to be the people we aspire to be unless we break the structures that hold us back. Even with broken hearts, if they are given permission to heal, they become stronger and more resilient.

Breaking is identity work. The difference is whether we choose to stay broken, or we grow from the experience. In either case, we will never be our old selves again. Let go of the things that tie you down, and grab your destiny. It is waiting for you!

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Find your fury

The best sort of motivation is revenge. By revenge, I’m not talking about the negative kind, that harms another person, or poisons and eats you up inside. You can get stuck in a repeating loop of reliving past events and past pain this way, and it helps no one – not even yourself.

I’m talking about a different kind of revenge. You can “rememory” the events that made you feel so angry or so small. Take that anger and use it to fuel yourself in powerful and productive ways. Use it smartly and motivationally to build you up and get you to your goals.

The best revenge is the power of success by being bigger and better than you ever thought was possible.

I share one of my favorite videos that may help you unleash your fury:

You will see me, and I will be a force to be reckoned with. I will be a force that you never saw coming. I am the force that is unstoppable! YOU NEVER STOPPED ME.

Get enough sleep and rest

Some of my posts are just daily reminders on ways we must take care of ourselves. Like most things, success is about balance, persistence, and moving forward. Sleep is part of that balance.

Sleep is essential for us to think clearly. It keeps our emotions in check, and our bodies need the rest. Make sure you are sleeping enough, and if you aren’t, please try to get a full night’s sleep tonight. After all, you have a busy Monday coming!

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