Tag Archives: happiness

Words That Stick With You

I am guilty of loving and saving an inspiring quote, but never living by it – there are so many out there! But what about those lines that find a way to latch on to you the minute you hear it? The ones that stick with you for years and years?

These sort of lines that stick with us always make life just a little bit easier to handle. Here are the words that have stuck with me, that I apply to many aspects of my life, and those things that I absolutely want to pass to my children when the time comes.

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

(Dr. Seuss)

Sure this is a Dr. Seuss quote, but what made it special to me was that a cashier at a store told me this little nugget of truth when I was young. I was with my dad at the register, and I wanted to buy a teddy bear for my boyfriend, but dad was teasing me about it saying it was unnecessary. Then, after checking us out, the cashier said this to me and winked. It really stuck with me ever since.

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“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

(Maya Angelou)

I’m not sure how I came about this quote, but it’s been written in my diary several times. It helped me to realize that, with a simple change of perspective, you can change your mindset. The mind is a powerful thing. We make our own happiness!

———–

“Reject common sense to make the impossible possible!”

(Gurren Lagann)

Gurren Lagann is an animated show filled with virility. Although it’s centered around battling and mechas, the characters live to “shoot for the stars”. It’s an idealistic and aggressive show filled with daring chutzpah to be the absolute best you can be.

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“It goes on.”

(Robert Frost)

Robert Frost says, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life…” I found this in my book of Robert Frost’s poetry and I have it highlighted, circled and bookmarked. And it’s true, out of all that I’ve been through, one thing has stayed true: my life has gone on.

———–

“This too shall pass.”

(Old proverb)

I first heard this line in a beautiful Regina Spektor song called “I Want to Sing”. Regina’s gotten me through a fairly large hurdle in my life, and I recommend her bubbly, jazzy music to anyone who wants a pick-me-up.

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“Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.”

(Jane Austen)

While browsing for literary jewelry (yes, I’m a huge nerd), I found a necklace charm with this Jane Austen quote. I love the image of “indulging your imagination” as if it has a body and soul of its own, which sometimes I believe it does! Creativity, adventurousness, and so much more seep from imagination. It is the faculty through which we encounter everything, and what a wonderful thing it is.

———–

“Fake it ’til you make it.”

(Tyra Banks and many others)

Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model is a huge guilty pleasure of mine. It’s laced with tiny delicacies of confidence, beauty, and living your dream. In one episode, Tyra was speaking to a broken-hearted girl, on the edge of giving up her dreams because her lack of confidence. Exhausting all other options of motivating this girl, Tyra tells her to buck up and says, “Oh yeah? Well if you don’t have confidence, just pretend you do. You can fake it ’til you make it!”

———–

“Gain momentum in constant self-improvement.”

This was said by yours truly! It’s my own motto, and I live it day to day. We were all given the ability to improve ourselves, and there are limitless small and large ways to do so. So why not do it constantly? I understand the idea of simply being satisfied with who you are, but self-improvement doesn’t always have to mean changing yourself. There is always more for you to learn, more for you to experience and see, and all of this improves who you are. And once you start improving yourself, keep doing it until you gain momentum like a huge, growing, self-improving snowball!

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More personal ones…

  1. “Making something of yourself like I know you do?” – said to me by an old close friend
  2. “Always be an independent woman, and put your school first. No boys, no marriage, until school.” – my mom’s advice
  3. “Trust me – you don’t need rest to be beautiful.” – from my boyfriend
  4. “I like your goals. They seem reasonable and I think you can do them all.” – another from the boyfriend
  5. “You walk like a model!” – one of my favorite compliments from a stranger

All of these lines are very special to me, and I hope that sharing them would stick to some of you as well. I tried not to flood it with too many quotes… just the ones that mean the most to me!

Side note…

Many of my readers have been asking for more content, so I’m going to post smaller, easier ones like today’s while I plan out my more meatier, heavier posts. I hope these can keep you occupied and make you think while I draft up the big ones I have planned.

I’ve got an opinionated post on compassion coming up tomorrow, another “Different Perspective” post, and one later that will look into the psychology of imagination.

So keep in touch, readers! And be sure to let me know what lines and meaningful words have stuck with you throughout your life!

Photo credit: ( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 )

The Sum of My Experiences: My Greatest Life Decisions

Image from we♥it

I haven’t had many experiences, but I’ve still been faced with decisions that changed my life. As the image says above, decisions – right or wrong – stem from and create experience. Be it getting married, going to college, or leaving a bad relationship, decisions can be tough. The change that accompanies them might be difficult to adapt to, but once you’ve made those changes,  you can look back and be proud at what you’ve accomplished.

I’ve been interested in the process of decision making lately, and decided I wanted to make a tribute to the good decisions I’ve made in my life because these are what’s made me who I am today!

So without further ado… I present to you:

My Best Life Decisions (So Far!)

Image from optimism_iskeyxx

Changing my hairstyle up

This may be a  trivial one, but I was never given fashion advice growing up, but one day I visited my mom and she insisted that I get a new hairstyle. So I got bangs and a dramatic cut in length! I adored how they shaped my face and the refreshing new look gave me something I had never felt before: self confidence in my appearance! Ever since then, I’ve been all about styling my hair and being more fashionable.

Taking the television out of my room

Another trivial decision, but a good one. (Especially now that there’s so much junk on television.) Now when I spend time in my room, I do more productive things like writing, reading or painting. It’s more peaceful. I do not want to know what’s going on in the life of Snooki.

Keeping a morning routine

Something about routines gets me stir crazy. However, living a life of complete spontaneity was making me forgetful and unorganized. So I settled for an early morning routine brimming with structure and efficiency.
I get up two hours earlier , eat breakfast, take my vitamins (the most important part of my morning), take the dog out, clean around the house, and read. I’ve gained so much from my morning routine: energy, peace of mind, and preparedness for the day.

Image from Static and Newspaper Print

Putting money in savings every paycheck and keeping it there

I suggest this to any poor college kid. I never have to worry about emergencies because I’ve amassed enough money to acquire a calm disposition in dealing with a potential financial disaster. Laptop fizzing out? Car troubles? A buddy in need? “It’s okay, I’ve got some savings!”

Writing in a journal when I’m depressed

Image from xchancella

This is a big one for me. It wasn’t until my first big breakup that I stopped writing fanciful little nothings and started writing down deep-hearted conversations with myself. My mind spilled everything out on paper desperate for stability.

It was cathartic, and I really found myself through my writing. I learned to forgive, I learned humility, I learned selflessness, and much more thanks to my silly little doodle-ridden composition notebooks and fancy silk journals.

Leaving my stressful job and working at the University

I left my job as a hostess for good when a server cussed me out for seating her while she took an unannounced smoke break. Quitting was a long time coming decision because all the servers were similarly rude to the hosts, and the manger did nothing about it, but this struck my last chord.

I now work at my school as an office assistant and receptionist, and have gained many skills and opportunities. I learned valuable etiquette, presentation, and customer service skills. I’ve been invited to formal dinners, I meet important higher ups and those with the whole-hearted generosity to donate thousands to the school. Networking is a big benefit as well.

Nothing but good things have come from this decision.

Getting the guts to start conversation with strangers

It was orientation day, my first day of college, and I went by myself. I prepared for this day. I came in thinking, “Okay, I am going to start a conversation with at least one person.” I scoured my table for someone to talk to, but everyone was with their parents.

We were given a tour of the school and later ushered back to the reception room and served some bitter lasagna and lemonade highly offensive to my papillae. I saw a guy sitting next to me with the same dish. “I’m going to do it this time,” I thought to myself. I turned to him and asked,

“Does this lemonade taste like toilet water to you?”

We’ve been dating ever since!

Image from sadiemaeglutz

Drinking less caffeine and more water

Water and juice never crossed my mind back then. For me, it was Coca Cola and any other caffeinated products I could get my hands on. When I was 14, I went through a two-week long period of migraines that drove my inner hypochondriac to a panic. I frantically searched a medical book I had lying around and came to the conclusion that I had a brain tumor.

Terrified, I begged my dad to take me to the hospital, and asked for a CT scan. They did it reluctantly, probably rolling their eyes. They found nothing in the scan, and I was relieved to hear that I was just very dehydrated. I was given water through an IV and a long lecture about too much caffeine! Now sipping a coke is an indulgence every once in a blue moon.

Starting Deliciae

The blogging world is full of interesting and smart people, generous enough to share their life and their ideas, and I wanted part of it. I’ve always been a fanciful and flighty human, with tons of ideals and no where to direct them to. So I decided to start a blog. I got into it for a while, then the real tough college courses hit. Now that I’m back, the thing that I truly enjoy most is the readership and getting to know new people. It’s a beautiful way to connect with others.

Going to college (and staying in-state with my family)

It’s the light at the end of the dramatic highschool tunnel: college. It symbolizes freedom, independence, self growth, knowledge, opportunities abound. I got to know my best friend better since college, I cast away my shell and became more outgoing, I’ve been in many organizations, met a slew of different and inspiring people, got a wonderful job there, and realized my passions. What’s not to love?

Image from knows-flower

And many more to come…

Writing this list had me smiling all over. It’s a very nice reminder in how much control I have over the direction in my life. I hope it inspired you to think of all the good decisions you feel you’ve made. Whatever they may be, I’m sure they’re quite the accomplishments, so give yourself some applause!

What are some of  the best decisions you’ve ever made?  Were they also your hardest?

An Exercise in Kickstarting Your Day for the Unenergetic, Unmotivated Dreamers

It’s a bright day, the natural light reveals all the outside world, and the birds are chirping. The world is alive. But you don’t know it, and you don’t care. You slouch on your couch hunched over with the blinds shut so not even a fraction of light shines through to warm your numb, expressionless face.

You have no energy to do anything today, and the meaning of “productive” has long been filed away in the deepest, forgotten crypts of your mind. So you sink into your couch, and hide behind your pillows – a false comfort – rationalizing, “Well, I deserve at least one more lazy day,” but we both know you said this yesterday.

And you know how dogs feed off their master’s energy? Max is sprawled on the recliner as if his muscles turned to jelly, looking around the room with slow, slow puppy dog eyes sighing and wondering, “When is something going to happen around here?”

You haven’t written a single word for your novel in weeks maybe months, and you stopped your small bout of exercising just short of it being consistent. Sometimes, you don’t even feel like going into work. And sometimes you just don’t.

What are you thinking? What are you feeling? You certainly aren’t thinking, “Man, what an amazing day. I feel so alive!” or “I have energy and momentum today! I want to get things done.”

But isn’t that what we should all be thinking?

What I described is a seemingly down, unmotivated, and numb human being. Someone merely existing, and not living. This was me two weeks ago.

I never thought or felt anything truly positive during those times, and I probably didn’t genuinely feel anything at all. There were so many things that I wanted to do, but I lacked motivation. I had no energy, no will, and no inner foundation of thoughts that set the base and mood for my day. But two weeks ago, I started my vacation from work with a purpose. I thought, “Okay, here’s 336 absolutely free hours of my life, what am I going to do?”

Sitting around playing video games and marathoning “Lost” was my first thought, but then the idea of using the 336 hours to do something extremely unproductive, in the biggest sense of the word, was appalling to me. I was ashamed that I had even given that notion a thought.

So what I decided is that I would use these two weeks as a sort of jolting, “Revival Retreat”. I wanted to shake my life up, I wanted to be progressive, energetic, and motivated. (Did any of those words come to mind when you pictured someone slouched on the couch in the dark?)

Of course, I know not many of you have this much free time, I am very lucky to have such a generous and flexible schedule, but I want to share the few little exercises that gave me the perfect kickstart to each day:

Now it’s your turn.

Close your blinds, make it very dark in the room, and get on your couch, your computer chair, or bed (wherever you lounge around). Now slouch over and wipe the emotion off your face, maybe even frown. Your eyes are only half open as you stare numbingly at your computer screen or television. You browse facebook for the fifth time today, and check your email for the sixth, and yet you’ve only been up for three hours.

Now a big, heavy, long sigh. Your energy is draining, and you may even yawn. What are you thinking? Can you honestly think, “It is the most gorgeous and magnificent day out today!” without feeling… weird?

While writing this, I did this exercise and the first thought that came to mind was, “Can I really finish this post in time?” It was negative right off the bat! I had to reassure myself that it was only an exercise.

Now, all of a sudden…

…you rocket yourself off the couch or chair, and make a beeline to the windows. Pull open the blinds all the way, and let the ALL the light shine in. Notice how you immediately feel better?

Your surroundings have an instant effect on your mood. (Especially light!) So now the light is shining on your face, and already you feel more energized.

Now lift up your head and straighten your back in the most perfect posture, your natural posture. Just think: You are an ancient god or goddess, and now you’re showing confidence to your people, assuring them that, yes, you can take care of things.

Channel your inner Nefertiti or your inner Julius Caesar!

Pretend that, in any moment, someone will make a bust of you to capture your confidence, brashness and boldness for years and years to come. Feeling any better? Good posture harbors more confidence. (And it doesn’t hurt to pretend you’re ancient royalty!) More about confidence and posture here.

Last, but not least, give a big, toothy, genuine smile. If it’s difficult to do, think of your favorite delicious dessert or your loved one unwrapping and freaking out over a thoughtful gift from you. Not only are you a confident ancient ruler, but now you are also charismatic, and people eat that up. Don’t worry about giving an inaugural wave or anything, because your smile alone is an instant pick-me-up. Biopsychology theorists call this “facial feedback“.

Me and my little sister.

Practice switching between these two dramatically different scenes, and try focusing on the outlook of your inner thoughts as you do so. Are they pessimistic? Optimistic? Did you feel a difference?

Any time that I find myself having an uninspired, stagnant day, I try to give myself and my surroundings a little jolt. Even if you don’t feel happy, confident, and charismatic, taking in the light, smiling, and straightening up will at least give physical cues to your mind telling it to “Get up and get going!”

photo credit (1) (2) (3,4) (5) (6)

Reviving Your Childhood and Satisfying Your Insatiable Curiosity

At a young age, my brother and I were constantly encouraged to explore. I spent my childhood satisfying my insatiable curiosity and conducting my own little experiments outside during summer days in Texas. Even today, at 18, I still enjoy going outside and lifting up rocks to find a slew of different bugs and creatures. (Only now I look them up online if I want to identify them – which I usually do!)

I still capture spiders in and around my house, identify them, observe their behaviors, and let them go outside. I still pull out earthworms from the dirt and look at them with awe. I still attempt to light fires using a magnifying glass and the sun! I fly paper airplanes and try to create the most efficient one. My brother and I even have fencing matches with the water noodles at the grocery store.

Don’t ever lose this. My childhood curiosity has now blossomed into a strong interest in everything and has given me a strong basis of knowledge. (Plus it was so fun!)

If you’ve never gone outside to play wall ball or TV tag with your siblings, if you’ve never gotten your feet a little dirty, used up your mom’s popcorn to try popping it with a magnifying glass, had water gun battles, or sold lemonade or made paper boats, do it now!

Many of us have forgotten how to do this without guilt or anxiety that, as adults, we must be doing something that is worthwhile. Take some time away from your responsibilities and satisfy your natural human curiosity. If you have kids, share the experience with them!

Some psychotherapists call your inner child the “true self.” Spending some time with your inner child can boost your self-esteem and help you to solve deep-rooted problems that possibly could have followed you through your adulthood. Talk with your inner child as if you were its guardian, reassure it, and uncover any internal battles.

It’s never too late to have a happy childhood!

photo credit: fayebatka | prozac74
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Using Erikson’s Developmental Stage Theory to put your Life into Perspective

The nice thing about Psychology is that we can apply lessons learned to our daily lives, become more aware, and live to our fullest. Being self-aware and creating our own identity is an important, almost necessary concept we should practice every day.

Erikson’s  Developmental Stage theory, is nothing too fancy or complicated. It’s a simple view on eight stages we go through in our lives. According to Erikson, we grow from infancy to late adulthood, and in each stage we must master a new challenge. Once we master a challenge, we gain a certain set of skills. If we do not master a certain challenge, there could be possible psychological consequences. It is not a definitive list, but there are lessons we can learn from his eight stages!

Using this as a guide, identify what you’ve accomplished, what you need to work on, and what you should remember for your future stages.

Stage 1

Infancy (birth to 18 mos.)

  • The challenge: Trust vs. Mistrust
  • What it means: We must learn to trust parents’ care and affection or else develop the beginning of a deep distrust and view world as unsafe.
  • What to take from it: Don’t just take care of your children, let them feel comfortable and safe when you’re around. Let them know, even if they are still too young, that they can trust you.
  • Do you trust the world around you? Do you have hope?

Stage 2

Toddler (18 mos. to 3 yrs.)

  • The challenge: autonomy vs. shame and doubt
  • What it means: We learn to be competent by learning to feed ourselves, use the toilet, and play alone or else we will feel ashamed and doubt our abilities.
  • What to take from it: Encourage toddlers to be autonomous individuals who can begin to take care of themselves.
  • Do you have strong willpower?

Stage 3

Preschool (3 to 5 yrs.)

  • The challenge: initiative vs. guilt
  • What it means: We use our own initiative in planning or carrying out plans or if we cannot live within parents’ limitations, we develop a sense of guilt over misbehavior
  • What to take from it: A child should be encouraged to start projects for their own purpose. Having the ability to take initiative without feeling guilty will allow one to plan and judge accordingly giving one a sense of roles.
  • Have you found your purpose and role in life and are you satisfied with it?

Stage 4

School age (5-11 yrs.)

  • The challenge: industry vs. inferiority
  • What it means: We learn to meet the demands imposed by school or home or else we come to believe we are inferior to others
  • What to take from it: Our responsibilities are what we use to prove to others that we are capable and on equal grounds to others. If we take on no responsibilities, we may begin to feel inferior. Work hard at being productive and responsible.
  • Do you feel competent?

Stage 5

Adolescence (11-18 yrs.)

  • The challenge: identity vs. role confusion
  • What it means: In this stage, we acquire a sense of our own identity or else become confused about our role in life
  • What to take from it: Settle on an identity that you are comfortable with. Ask questions about yourself. Show through your actions, appearance, and achievements what you want your role to be in life.
  • Who exactly are you? Are you happy with it?

Stage 6

Young Adulthood (18-40 yrs.)

  • The challenge: intimacy vs. isolation
  • What it means: We develop a couple relationship and joint identity with a partner or else become isolated from meaningful relationships with others
  • What to take from it: Here, we still want to have an identity with the world around us. If you fear rejection, forming intimate relationships will be difficult.
  • Are you open to new, close relationships? Do you fear rejection and being vulnerable? Erikson argues that:

“Intimacy has a counterpart: Distantiation: the readiness to isolate and if necessary, to destroy those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to our own, and whose territory seems to encroach on the extent of one’s intimate relations” (1950)

Stage 7

Middle adulthood (40-65 yrs.)

  • The challenge: generativity vs. stagnation
  • What it means: We make use of our remaining time developing a concern with helping others and guiding the next generation or else we become self-centered, un-accepting of not being to see the far future, and stagnant
  • What to take from it: Help growing and grown children to be responsible adults, relinquish central role in lives of grown children, accept children’s mates and friends, be proud of accomplishments of your self and your mate. In this stage, we may have much leisure time.
  • Will you use that time to benefit the next generation and yourself or become stagnant?

Stage 8

Late adulthood (60+)

  • The challenge: integrity vs. despair
  • What it means: We reap the benefits of our early stages and understand and sccept the meaning of a temprary life or else we despair over regrets, not having enough time, and not finding meaning in life
  • What to take from it: In this stage, we tend to evaluate whether we’ve reached our goals and whether we are satisfied. From here, we can choose to accept the kind of life we lived and are living now or we can mourn over the past, our loss of time, and our fate.
  • What kind of life have you lived? Did you do what you wanted? Do you have regrets? Would you have done things differently?

By looking at what is to come, we are able to ensure – through every stage – that we are happy with the life that we live. Take each stage into consideration when making choices in your life. Go down the road you feel you will be happy with in the end.

We have long, long lives to live so make sure you enrich it and give it its full potential. If you couldn’t face a certain crises before, it’s all right. We’ve been given the ability to question our lives and behaviors and the ability to change them whenever we can. Use it!

photo credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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trust vs mistrust