Tag Archives: change

2015 is Welcome

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We have officially welcomed the new year and are starting a new time in our lives.  This is mostly a time of reflection on the past year and an opportunity to set goals for the year to come.  And, although I believe change can be initiated at any time as long as the motivation is there, I also believe the new year serves as a good marker to indicate each person’s progress.  In terms of reflection, I have learned two things during the past year… perfection is nearly impossible and welcome change because it is inevitable.

As humans, we don’t like to accept the flaws in ourselves, in our environments, and in our lives, but, as soon as we stop expecting perfection, we will be much happier with our situations.  For example, as we enter a new year, we set our resolutions and look forward in the hopes of a perfect year, but, as the year goes on, things happen that don’t fit into a perfect year plan.  However, imperfections are natural.  It is how we react to these unforeseen “bumps,” which will determine how good your year will actually be.  Mortality, break ups, disagreements, and rejections are all bound to be a part of the new year.  They are all bound to evoke change and change is inevitable, but it is not always bad.

When a person dies, we who are still alive mourn their death.  We miss them, we’re hurt, and, sometimes, we’re surprised.  These are natural responses to death, but they are also selfish.  Though we must grieve and take time to cope with loss in a healthy manner, eventually, we must understand that our loved one was in pain.  They were suffering and, although no new memories will be made, we can be grateful for the memories we do have.

In break ups you must think “is it possible that two people are better off apart than together?”  Was the relationship positive and productive?  Break ups are most difficult because the drastic change scares us.  You are single again, you’ll eventually need to date again, and you’ll need to trust in another person all over again.  Essentially, all of the “progress” you’ve made seems wasted and you’re back to square one.  However, a lot of good can come from a creak up.  It can be an end to what was actually a toxic relationship, it can be a chance for you to explore a relationship with a more compatible partner, and it can force you to mature into a better person.

With these examples, my point is to welcome change because there is always a plus no matter how low this change make you feel.  The same goes for disagreements, rejection, pressure, and anything else that may have forced a shift or some kind of change in your life.  Your perspective may have changed, you may have learned something new, or you may have reached something you never thought was possible.  Simply embrace the change.

The past year been a rocky one with plenty of highs, lows, and overall change.  Can I say I had  perfect year?  Absolutely not, but I can point out enough great things that happened in the past 365 days allowing me to say 2014 was still a good year.

As for this upcoming year, I can’t say it will be perfect (and I can’t expect it to be either), but I can say it will be a good year filled with positive change.  I have my goals set and I know the direction I would like to move toward (which is mostly driven by positive thinking), but I will welcome whatever comes my way and will do everything I can to make every experience a positive one.  I hope you all will do the same and I hope 2015 is good to you.

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Hello Autumn!

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The nights are getting colder, the leaves are changing color, and pumpkin season is here.  Yes, Fall has officially arrived.  Honestly, I don’t have a problem with this season.  I just dread the cold, short days of Winter that immediately follow the colorful months of Fall.  However, Fall has plenty to offer.  I love the layered fashion that is now fair game and I like seeing the leaves change colors.  I enjoy dressing up on Halloween and I adore cooking a feast on Thanksgiving.  It’s the beginning of the holiday season.  How can I not appreciate Fall in some way?  To me, Fall is also a good time to re-establish your goals in your life and make changes.  It’s almost the end of the year, the season is changing, and the world is starting its major natural makeover during this time, so why shouldn’t you, too?  Take Fall as a symbol for the changes that you’re going to make this upcoming new year.  (Yes, it’s almost here!)  Shed the negative energy that is decaying away and you simply don’t need.  Find a place within yourself that can serve as a better foundation for your future.  Even if you’re feeling good about your life right now, there’s always room for improvement.  Enjoy Fall and make the most of it!

Changes

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Throughout my life, I’ve encountered many different people and they each have played different parts in my life.  Some of those people were only in my life for short spurts of time.  They were temporary.  Passerbys I guess you could say.  Other people stuck around for quite some time.  They were a big part of my life and it’s hard to picture my life without them.  Now, a few people have been in my life since the get go and they’ve managed to continue to play a big role in my life.  The interesting thing though is that all of these people are different.  They come from different backgrounds, are of different ages, have different personalities, and played different roles in my life, but they all taught me that change in a person is inevitable.

Every person goes through life.  They have experiences everyday and those experiences, no matter what, impact their lives.  For some, the change is conscious.  It’s the result of a person’s decision to make a change in their life… most of the times for the better, but sometimes for the worst, too.  For others, the change is subconscious.  It becomes routine and before we know it the changes are engrained in us as if we had been born with them.  Mostly, these changes are positive or, at least, we hope they are.  People grow, they mature, and they learn.  People experience happiness, sadness, and pain.  This inevitably creates changes.  The fact of the matter is that you are not the same person you were ten years ago.  Yes, you still have some characteristics and tastes that are never going to go away, but you’ve still undergone some big changes in your life.

The problem is how do we distinguish the old you versus the new you?  Or should we even distinguish them at all?  You’re still the same person, but should the present you face the consequences that the former you earned?  It’s tricky, isn’t it?  Say the old you did some not so nice things, but the new you is making a conscious effort to be a better person.  Is it reasonable for others to judge you for what you once did and assume that you still have those traits within you?  Honestly, I don’t know.

I know of some people who have done some horrible things in their lives, but now are truly trying to better themselves.  You wouldn’t even believe the things they once did if you met who they are today.  However, I do know that these people’s pasts still weighs heavily over their heads.  They can’t seem to shake the negative stigmas they associated with themselves so long ago.  Others assume that they’re still who they used to be and that they shouldn’t be trusted or respected, but I think this is where second chances come into play.  People have to be given a second chance to prove that their positive change is genuine.  There are people in my life who have wasted their second chance and may never get another one from me.  If anything, they’ve shown big changes in their character, but only negative ones.  On the other hand, there are quite a few people in my life who have used their second chance to prove my first impressions of them wrong.  They’ve shown me how positive they’ve become and I’m honestly proud of them.

Like I said before, all of these people are different and they’ve taught me a lot.  They taught me that change is going to happen whether we like it or not.  Sometimes the change is bad.  It creates distance and maybe even pain, but it isn’t always like that.  Change can be a good thing.  They taught me that change is not only inevitable, but that sometimes it is even better than what you ever expected.  However, sometimes to be able to experience that positive change second chances are sometimes very necessary.

Tupac Taught Me to Change the World

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“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.”

–Tupac Shakur

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I’ve found that creating a meaningful life is one of the most important goals to strive for during your years, but how do we go about doing this?  You do it by contributing something positive to the world.  If you add something to the world that leads to progress, positivity, and enlightenment, then you’ve done your part.  We, personally, have goals for ourselves.  We want to be writers, artists, successful, happy.  And we will be as long as our goal contributes to the well-being of everyone else.

Five years ago, I assure you that I had no idea of this notion.  I didn’t know what having a meaningful life meant and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  Back then, I had never given any thought to bringing the world more positive energy.  I wasn’t a horrible person and I don’t think I didn’t consider this idea because I didn’t want to, but because I thought that the world was too big of a concept for me to understand.  How could my actions influence the world?  What difference could I make?

But then Tupac spoke.  He enlightened me, allowing me to understand that the seemingly small ripples a person makes throughout their lifetime will grow with the years, leaving an impression throughout the entire body of water.

You may not always see who you positively affect.  You may never experience the results of the positive vibes you created so long ago, but trust that they are doing their work.  You have to understand that change is happening and it is accelerating so fast that one day your ripples will be the ones who molded tomorrow’s leaders.  You may never understand this.  You may never be able to grasp the idea that what you do matters, but it does.  You may never be able to wrap your head around the concept that you helped change the world, but it’s true.

Even if you never see it, you’ll feel it as soon as you send that positivity into the world.  You’ll know that you matter and you’ll know that you’ve done your part.  From that point on, the experience of feeling your effect will make you crave for it more and more until your life is filled with meaning and those around you have been given meaning.  Trust that the spark will happen and that you will help change the world.

Accept the Changes

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Change is natural.  We as individuals have to evolve, so don’t expect a person to be the same individual they were five years ago.  It’s unrealistic and would actually be quite worrisome, if a person lived their entire life with no growth in character.  People will always be different no matter how small the change is.  Now, I’m definitely not saying that people should become unrecognizable throughout the years, but I am suggesting that growth should be evident as time passes because, after all, that’s what living is all about.  Of course, there are parts of a person that can withstand the events of life and remain almost completely in tact.  This can be anything from a person’s humor or good heart all the way to their favorite food or home.  These kinds of things can be so engrained in the individual that they will always be true to them.  They are consistent throughout a person’s lifespan.  However, other traits are more malleable and subject to change.  As a person meets new people, lives through new experiences, and learns new things, they grow, evolve, and, hopefully, progress.  They absorb this newfound knowledge, reforming parts of themselves to adapt to the new era of their lives.  They change in order to make sense of where they are in life, in the world, and in themselves.

Change is a part of growth and, although negative change is possible, positive change is the goal.  As a person, you always want to aim for better.  You want to make sure that your live with an upward trend, not hitting your peak too early.  On that note, keep in mind that a change can be just as positive or negative as you want it to be.  If you understand the ways that something negative can better you and your life, then it may not have been such a bad thing to begin with.  It all depends on how you choose to react to your evolution.  The important part is accepting it and embracing it until the change is positive.  Also, don’t be so concerned with what others might think of your changes.  Yes, it is important to not be abrasive and careless toward the significant people in our lives and you never want to try to devalue others, but people who knew you way back when must realize that change is inevitable, while people who are just meeting you won’t even be able to tell the difference, so their opinions shouldn’t affect you in the first place.  As long as the changes made are positive and true to your character, then nothing else matters.  No one can tell you what your style is and no one can tell you what you’ve experienced either.  Change is a part of life and everyone must accept that.  You just have to make sure that this change is natural and beneficial to your life.

Continuing the Trend

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There’s something particularly satisfying about knowing that what you do actually means something to people. As some of you may know, I spend a lot of my time working with high school students to help them graduate and prepare for their post-high school life. These are students that are usually overlooked by their teachers and are considered too far gone for help, but, honestly, that’s not what I see at all. One of the schools I work at has one of the worst reputations in their county, but this school has quickly turned into one of our best! The kids at this school are some of the most loyal, loving, and helpful teens that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. Simply said, I love them to death and I can’t get enough of them at each meeting we have.

Last year, I shared with you all the great experience of seeing all of my seniors from this school walking across that stage and graduating in their red cap and gowns. This year, I’m happy to share that the graduation rate for our target group at this school went from 35% to 70% in just one year. Sometimes it’s hard to realize how much of a difference you’re making, but I definitely see glimpses of it when I see my students asking questions, showing me their report cards, or simply showing their appreciation. Knowing that the graduation rate is reflecting this positive change solidifies the importance of what I do and shows the county the importance of what my organization does. I just couldn’t be more proud!

It Doesn’t Define You

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We all make mistakes in our lives.  We’ll say things we wish we could take back and we’ll do things that we wish never happened.  There will always be moments from your past, no matter how distant or recent, you wish you could erase from your memory and the minds of others.  There is no doubt that these occurrences have shaped a part of you and there is no denying that they exist in your history; however, it is important to not let them define you.  These not so glorious times should serve as stepping-stones and learning experiences to help you grow as a person.  Like I said before, they did help shape who you are today, but they do not determine who you are.

Today, you may not be the same person who cheated, got into a fight, or made that stupid comment, but you once were.  It’s just the truth, but, once you accept that part of your life, learn from it, and move on, you and others can’t bind you to those past acts. We have to accept the changes we’ve made as individuals and forgive ourselves for our mistakes.  Most importantly, we have to practice this with others.  Just like how there are things about your past you would rather forget and not have held against your present self, others are going through the same situation.  I, for one, know that there were several people who I couldn’t look at without seeing their mistakes and the pain they caused, but, through time, they’ve proven to me that they are much more than those dark memories. Now, I can look past their history and appreciate their positive growth.  I have to recognize that people make mistakes that they may never do again.  I have to recognize that people change and that it is possible to change for the better.  I have to recognize that nobody can be defined by the actions of their past.

The best way I can explain it is by comparing a person to a word.  A word can’t be defined in one word because that word is only a synonym.  A definition consists of an explanation, which doesn’t include just one word.  Thus, a person can’t be defined by one action, one moment, or one time period, so don’t judge them by the errors of their past, especially if a change is trying to be made.  A person can change for the better just like how you can change for the better.  There just needs to be some faith and support for that change to happen and continue.  It doesn’t start to define you and those around you until you let them.