Losing My Job: A Blessing in Disguise

I just got off the phone with my job recruiter letting me know that I won’t be returning to work on Monday. Surprise!

Granted, I was still a “temp,” so there wasn’t any firm commitment on either side yet. But regardless, I did not expect that to happen at all.. I also left my super cute mug that said “I just want to drink coffee and pet my dog” at my desk which I will miss. But I know there are more of those mugs at Ralph’s so I might just have to make another trip back there. 🙂

Why did I lose my job? I guess another way to put it is, they fired me. Ouch. But it caught me by surprise, because I thought I was doing just fine. Wherever I worked in the past, I was always praised by upper management, so to get this unexpected phone call was quite humbling to say the least.

I just wanted to share a few things I learned from this experience. First of all, I realized that you can’t always take things at face value at the office – which sounds kind of cynical. Outwardly it seemed like my supervisor was nice, the office vibe was chill, and I was told that I could go into work at any time as long as I work for 8 hours that day.

So that’s what I did. I went to work each day not at any exact set time, and worked for 8 hours. Because that was what I was told I could do. However, when I received this phone call today, the recruiter told me that the company said I was often “late” to work. Very confusing, since there is no specific time that is defined as “late.”

What I realized after thinking back is that when it comes to work, I shouldn’t make myself too comfortable so quickly. And if I’m told that I’m allowed to do something, I actually shouldn’t fully do that thing. Does that make sense?

I also thought that I was doing well in terms of my work, because my supervisor didn’t say much about it. So I assumed everything was fine. I guess it wasn’t fine though. My only real self vindicating argument would be that my supervisor did not communicate to me exactly what her expectations were.

On my end, I guess my mistake was that I didn’t take much initiative to ask her what those exact expectations were. So it’s almost as if we both expected that the other person would already be aware of the unspoken expectations.

So while I thought things were fine, they really weren’t. Now I know that in the future it would be best for me to set more rigid goals and have more of a predictable schedule or plan for myself, even if my boss or supervisor makes everything seem very chill.

Another problem was that although I was very happy with this job in the beginning, as time went on I found myself once again in a situation where I felt that I was not being challenged or stimulated enough. Once I got to that point, my motivation faded away. That’s when I lost the drive to do my very best at work. And I guess that somehow showed in my work, based on the feedback my recruiter got from my supervisor.

This led me to a realization, which I then told my recruiter. I told her that I no longer have the interest to continue down the accounting/finance route, and wanted to venture into more creative jobs or industries. My recruiter was glad I told her that, and since she still thinks I’m a great job candidate she said she’ll let me know of potential jobs that are more “creative” (whatever that means haha) and that pay significantly better than the job I just lost.

Her words to me over the phone was that this looks like it may very well be a “blessing in disguise.” I couldn’t agree more.

I believe that everything happens for a reason, even when things are difficult to experience and understand. However I’ve never gone through insanely traumatic life events (e.g. loved ones getting victimized, parents losing their children.. ) so I don’t want to venture into those types of circumstances. Because if you ask me why someone died in a car accident, I would not be able to answer you. I for sure would not be able to tell you that everything happens for a reason, because I personally think that would be messed up of me to objectify something so deeply personal to someone else.

Anyway…. that being said, in my own life I can say definitely that every trying time turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The devastating breakup with my ex-fiance about 5 months ago is one of the best things that happened to me, because that was the best way for me to press the Restart button and get back on track with my life goals.

That’s how I got my blog rolling, and I love it so much. And that’s how I ended up moving all the way back across the country to sunny Los Angeles and got connected to so many new and old friends who make me so happy. It’s so nice to live for myself again, as an independent person. It’s nice to finally discover what I’m actually passionate about when all other influential factors (e.g. fiance) are removed. It’s like I’m getting to know myself all over again.

Truth be told, my day job was my biggest frustration to getting my blog business rolling, so when the “bad” news came I felt more relieved that anything. And then I started to get really excited about all the possibilities that lie ahead!

A couple weeks ago a blogger friend of mine told me about how she works remotely for a marketing team and that her income has been able to fund her travels all over the world with her professional hockey player boyfriend. I had started looking into that as a way to earn a little extra cash, but found myself once again frustrated by my day job. I was frustrated because the marketing job seemed way more interesting and right up my alley for me.

Sorry, quick side note: I’m not trying to tell you my life story but I find that the best way to make my point more clear and applicable for any of my posts is to draw from my personal experience, even if that means exposing my weaknesses and failures and making myself vulnerable. If what I share can help you, then exposing all my shortcomings is totally worth it.

I had my first marketing team meeting via video conference and it felt so nice to be in that meeting without feeling overwhelmed by everything else I have to do.

I’m super pumped and excited for yet again another new beginning, which I think is actually bringing me closer to my dream goal of working remotely anywhere I want in the world and getting to choose my own hours and be my own boss. The more time I spend on my blog and on my new online marketing job, the more progress I will make.

I also found out during the video conference call that one of my teammates literally lives like five minutes away from me. Of all the places in the country, one of my three teammates for this random online company lives in the same area as I do. Crazy. I think it’s a sign. I’ll have to grab coffee with her soon. 🙂

My plan of attack right now is to open up my Google calendar to get an overview of the whole week, and set my own work schedule by designating specific blocks of time to work on specific tasks at specific locations (probably cafes). I will also be sure to schedule in gym time and “goof off time” to give myself permission to “waste” my time and not have to worry about anything.

I can also finally be fully present and available to communicate and work with my virtual assistant instead of secretly messaging her on my phone at the office when my supervisor was around. Clearly, my heart was not there at the accounting office. I can finally do what I love.

Oh, did I mention I hired a virtual assistant to help with my blog business? Great investment, I recommend it. I’m also lucky enough to not have to worry about rent at the moment while I’m living with family. Life is good. 🙂

I’ve also considered just for kicks to possibly be an Uber driver in Beverly Hills to increase my chances of meeting celebrities. I’m super jealous of my Uber drivers who have picked up Kim Khardashian, Ellen Degeneres, Queen Latifah, and the guy with the curly hair from Boy Meets World. And I didn’t just make that up. Celebrities can take Uber too.

But that is more for fun than for the extra money, and I don’t know if my time will really allow for that with my blog and my part time marketing job.

Life is so interesting and full of surprises. And it’s always possible to have a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th new beginning! This is my 2nd new beginning at the age of 27. Can’t complain.

Perhaps the moral of the story is that it’s easiest to succeed at something when your heart is in it and you love what you do. Or you find that it’s still so worth it to do what you do when times are hard. Because you’re working towards the things you really want in life.

That’s why I honestly can’t see myself with a career in finance anymore, no matter how practical it may be, and no matter how much money I’d make as a financial analyst down the road. If I don’t love what I do, or if my job bores me, or if it’s just so I can pay for my bills, I think I’ll pass and do something that I’m truly passionate about. If I realize I’m not meant to work in a cubicle all day, then I probably should be out doing something else with more human interaction.

I hope my “unfortunate” job loss story gave you some inspiration and perspective about where you currently are right now.

Again, if you need anything (within reason) I am always an email away. I may not respond that quickly but I do for a fact respond to all emails. It’s been hard to keep up with even my personal emails with work taking up my time and energy. So I only expect that my response time will be quicker with my new schedule.

amy@justamyllennial.com

<3

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How to Feel Motivated When You’re Feeling Down and Low Energy [PART 3 of 3]

If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2 yet, reading those first may help give some more context before reading  Part 3. Or you can read this first, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can always refer back to the first two parts of this mini “motivation series.”

Part 1 stressed that motivation is not necessarily a feeling. To accomplish something, you can’t solely rely on how motivated you feel. Otherwise, chances are, your “momentum” will not last forever and you’ll easily want to quit.

Part 2 stressed that on the other hand, sometimes it’s necessary to be a little more forgiving when someone doesn’t feel motivated to do anything, because the lack of motivation might be due to poor mental health, which can often be easily treated or helped with medication and/or professional therapy.

Both of these views are rather “extreme” and “absolute,” and suggest more of an underlying “all-or-nothing” mindset. But in most cases, the average person usually experiences a combination of both self discipline and a motivating feeling. So Part 3 will be called “normal.”

Normal: Somewhere in Between

We’ve all experienced some kind of “I have no choice but to do this anyway” approach (e.g. writing papers in college, picking up your dog’s poop, showering, dragging yourself out of your cloud-like bed to go to work), as well as the “I’m feeling so pumped right now LET’S DO THIS” approach (e.g. signing up for a half marathon without thinking, starting a business after getting majorly inspired, happily doing your first homework assignment after the first day of school, getting up at 5AM to hit the gym on January 1st, 2nd, and 3rd).

I do not believe that you or I have experienced ONLY doing things by means of self discipline, or ONLY doing things based on how pumped we feel. There’s a time and place for black and white situations, but this is not what we’re talking about here.

I myself have fallen prey to such black and whiteness, to all or nothingness. Actually, the situations themselves may not have been so black and white, but rather my way of thinking just did not have much of a middle ground. I believe that this all-or-nothing way of thinking and approach to life is why my life at times have felt so difficult or un-enjoyable.

I am also, right at this very second as I am typing this sentence, experiencing major writer’s block and cannot figure out what it was that I was supposed to talk about at this point of this blog post. My brain feels fried and empty, but I am still typing this.

I cannot say that right now at this moment I am practicing outstanding self discipline, because if I was, I would probably just willfully and unforgivingly tell myself, “Amy, snap out of it right now and use your brain to its full capacity for goodness sake. Just force yourself NOW to give it your absolute all and nothing less, or else you are a failure and your life is meaningless and you will never succeed in life because successful people don’t give in to their lazy feelings so easily so what in the world is wrong with you.”

But a part of me also thinks that this military-like mentality would likely result in unnecessary over-exhaustion by the end of the day. So, on the one hand I somehow am still typing away at this post, yet not beating myself up over not writing the most intellectually stimulating content, and also not fully succumbing to my blank-mindedness or blah-ness.

I guess maybe my current state of being and how I am responding to this circumstance is illustrative of this “happy medium” or “normality” that I am trying to explain here. I’m basically experiencing and practicing an approach that is somewhere in between the two “extremes.”

I would also say that what I am talking about is very much related to the matter of perfectionism, which is one of the top characteristics of people who waver between one extreme to the other, between black and white, between all or nothing.

Perfectionism “brings home” the discipline aspect and the emotional aspect, but not in a positive sense. If I were to let my perfectionism get to me right now, I would probably just keep thinking about how my head is starting to hurt and I have no idea what I’m writing or if my train of thought even makes sense at all, so I give up on writing this post because I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore, and why would anyone want to read this, etc. etc. and then as a result of this approach/way of thinking, aka this deadly perfectionism, I probably wouldn’t get anything done today. I’d rather complete a task imperfectly than not complete a task perfectly.

Meanwhile my eager best friend keeps texting me almost every day asking for a new blog post.. so giving in to my “I don’t know how good my writing is” thought would result in disappointing at least one of my perpetually excited readers. And I hope she feels special that I’m giving her yet another shoutout on this blog. You’re welcome. 😛

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Proof of best friend’s enthusiasm. Screenshot taken by Amy Lo.

 

So how do you feel motivated when you’re feeling down or low energy? Do you just suck it up and forget how you feel altogether? Do you throw a pity party and say that your life sucks, and let your emotions give in to every negative thought in your mind? I don’t have the answers. But both Part 1 and Part 2 have their place and their validity.

I do, however, have a few “tricks” that seem to almost always work for me in terms of motivation, though sometimes it takes longer for the motivation to kick in.

Sometimes, when all the energy is gone and motivation is but a distant memory and all I can do is sprawl on my bed which, by the way, is the most comfortable bed ever, I have found that the hidden inner motivated Amy within knows that anything is still possible with her iPhone 8.

Literally though, I can’t even count the number of times my phone inspired me to get out of bed and get things done. What does this look like? A few different possibilites..

Possibility #1: Text one of my bffs, usually the one in my timezone, and say that I need motivation and can’t get out of bed. But for some reason I can still text in bed.. Then she’ll send me all the cheerleader-like texts and emojis and even record herself saying “You can do it” in a weird voice, or come up with a great convincing reason for me to get up. I’m fortunate to have this kind of best friend, but maybe not everyone’s friends are as weird and quirky as us..

Possibility #2: Open YouTube app, and watch or listen to a personal development video (also while in bed). Sam Brown’s videos will usually do the trick. I don’t know why, but I would say in less than 15 minutes I’m usually “pumped” again because something in those videos always sparks renewed inspiration in me.

Possibility #3: Similarly, sometimes I’ll open either my Podcasts app or Libby app to play life-changing podcasts and audiobooks. I am currently listening to The Magic of Thinking Big. If you listen to or read a portion of that book and you don’t feel at all motivated and/or inspired afterwards… maybe you’re not a real human.

There is an overarching principle in all the above iPhone techniques. If you have an Android that’s fine too. The principle is that when there’s no motivation in me, I draw from others’ energy and motivation to get energized myself.

This “hack” somehow works well for me. It even worked, or at least helped to some extent, when I was miserably going through a rough breakup, in which case the bff technique usually worked best.

All that being said, I will add that if you’re feeling down and low energy, you might just need to take a nap or get to bed earlier. Or maybe you just need to eat a healthy meal, drink some water, or go for a run.

Our bodies and souls are so intricate and complex, for which reason practicing self care is (in my opinion) mandatory and foundational for our well-being. Any little issue with our body, soul, or spirit, can affect a person’s level of motivation.

My purpose in writing these three posts is not to address every possible scenario or solve everyone’s problem. I am just a fellow millennial figuring all this out myself alongside you, and sharing my own insights that could potentially be helpful or thought-provoking for my fellow Gen Y-ers.

You Are What You Believe You Are

The above picture was taken by me during my walk home after work today.

Ever since starting a new job last Tuesday, my schedule has gotten so much busier to the point where I now have a hard time keeping my inbox and notifications at my favorite number zero. And I’m starting to get used to it and even feeling a little bit okay seeing the red numbered circles popping out of a third of my apps.

Guess I’m not unemployed anymore. And there goes all my blogging time..

Or so I thought. The past week I could hardly find time to run errands, and I literally had to schedule in phone calls with friends to talk during my driving times.

In my last job I had a ton of free time that I used to work on blogging or doing personal reading and learning. Now I actually have to do work for all 8 hours at my new job.

So my dream of really working on and growing my blog business kind of came to a halt. Needless to say I was quite frustrated.

But like I mentioned in my last post about taking advantage of whatever your circumstances are, my new schedule got me thinking about how I can still do the things I want and need to do (e.g. showering, calling my health insurance about issues, doing my taxes.. ugh).

Today I’d like to say that you are what you believe you are. Which can also be translated, you can do whatever you believe you can do. And this has been my little epiphany of the week.

I don’t have the time now because I need to run out the door to buy cucumbers to make an avocado cucumber salad for my church small group dinner, which starts in 65 minutes ahh!

Basically my point is that you can literally accomplish anything if you believe you can. It may seem egotistical but I actually really believe that I can accomplish crazy things as long as I put in the work for it.

I believe I can grow this blog into a successful business.

I believe that I could go to Harvard medical school if I really wanted to.

I believe that I can be a morning person and have an awesome daily morning routine.

I believe I can learn any sport and be good at it too. Or become fluent in any language.

I don’t know where this mindset came from and I am surprised by this new unfamiliar confidence.

But do you get the idea?? I hope you do. If you want that dream job, then go do what you need to do to get it and you will get it.

I guess the catch is that you have to actually DO the work to get the results you want. But if you never believe you’re good enough to get your dream job, then you’re never gonna apply for it and therefore you will successfully fulfill your own prophecy.

Recently the New York Times invited college students and recent college grads to submit a writing piece so they can add more future contributors to “The Edit.” So I picked one of their writing prompts, typed up my 500 words, and emailed it to them for review.

Why did I actually go through with that? Well, because there was something in me that believed I had what it takes to be one of their contributors.

I just found out yesterday that they received over 20,000 submissions so they’re increasing the number of new contributors from 5 to some bigger unspecified number.

I still believe there’s a chance I could be chosen. And that sounds pretty insane and cocky. But what I’m trying to do here is to drive this point home for you so you can be inspired and motivated to just go and do whatever it is you’ve been putting off either because of your perfectionism or your self doubt or both.

Now I need to quickly buy and make my salad. Oh and by the way I started writing this post on my phone during my walk home from the train station after work and now I am sitting on my bed.

Don’t worry, I never look at my phone when I’m crossing the street. 🙂

Happiness is a Choice

By the time I hit the “Publish” button it will probably already be the next day, but I still want to say, HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! <3

(Update: I published this post well after midnight not because I’m a slow writer but because I was multitasking.. or maybe I should say, distracted. And yes I am vindicating myself.)

Yes, I emphasize the word “happy” because there is no point in moping about not having a “valentine” on an arbitrary day of the year. There is so much to be happy about if you really think about it.

Sure, you may be single or jobless or living in a small place or all of the above, but guess what? You’re also ALIVE! And if you’re able to read this, then you are most likely literate too because you had the privilege of getting a decent education. It’s a privilege to be living, and it’s a privilege to be educated. It’s also a privilege to own a smartphone and to be able to choose where to go for dinner, even if you struggle with major indecisiveness. Just saying. #firstworldproblems

I’m happy because since I am not employed yet, I had the privilege of catching up on sleep today.. which also means I already failed my 30-day 5AM wake up challenge but that is A-OK because I’ve been able to train myself to have a certain kind of mindset (thanks to one of my favorite bloggers Sam Brown).

What Sam taught me (through her 28-day bootcamp, Dream Habit) was that when it comes to creating a healthy habit, the point isn’t to do the habit perfectly. It’s not about doing it every day, but it’s about doing it MOST days. Why only most days? Well, because life sometimes gets messy and some things are out of our control, such as getting the stomach flu.

So as long as we establish a regular healthy habit and are consistent about it, meaning we do it most of the time over a long period of time, rather than doing it perfectly for only two weeks and then dropping it, that is completely fine.

And I do not want to plagiarize by any means, so for everything I just said about habits, I give all the credit to Sam. 🙂

Anyway, I guess I can use myself as an example of this habit consistency/most of the time thing. Two mornings ago I woke up at 5AM. Today I slept in until late morning. But I didn’t beat myself up over sleeping in because obviously, my body needed that sleep. Okay my body also needs to be in bed earlier at night but that’s besides the point.. I am allowing tonight to be one of the exceptions.

I also feel really stupid because I just tried to scroll up by touching my laptop screen with my finger to swipe up like a touch screen. It’s not a touch screen. #millennialproblems

And lastly, I have good news to share!

Drum rolllllllll………………………….

I got a job offer! YAY! Best Valentine’s Day gift ever! I’m planning to accept the offer which means I will be starting work within the next couple of weeks.. It’s an Accounts Payable Specialist position which is the best starting point job for a career in finance. At least for me.

I know for a fact that it will be very busy at work, like all the time, based on the conversation I had during my interview. But I still want to really work at improving and growing my blog, so I will have to experiment with my scheduling/planning and work-life balance.

Aand I probably wont wake up at 5AM tomorrow, but I don’t plan on sleeping in either. I’m thinking of setting my alarm to 7ish, maybe 8 to transition myself back to 5AM from 11AM. Yup.

Why There’s No Need to Worry About Anything

Recently I’ve found myself telling certain loved ones not to worry, followed by a certain kind of reasoning behind these words of “wisdom.”

Unfortunately this so-called wisdom of mine came out of lessons learned from my old lifestyle of worrying, making my life miserable and unbearable, and wasting a lot of my time being anxious and/or depressed when I could have been doing something much more productive or rewarding.

But we live and we learn. Not worrying is one of the most helpful lessons I’ve learned in life, but I would say though, that it does require training yourself to have this kind of mindset, especially if being carefree has been the opposite of what your life has looked like to this date.

There’s a song written by someone I know that says “To worry is vain.” I can testify to the truth of this statement. I worried myself from childhood to adulting-hood, because I was born with the kind of personality that takes everything too seriously. I guess you can call me a sensitive soul. And for some reason that just reminded me of The Lion King.

“Hakuna matata” – it means no worries. Doesn’t that sound pretty good?

I’ve worried about the kind of birthday present to get for a friend. I’ve worried about the possibility of not being able to find a parking spot in Los Angeles. In high school I worried about what college I would get into. In college I always worried a lot when I had papers to turn in and finals to take. Then I worried about what I would do after college. I’ve also worried about where I would go for Thanksgiving dinners. And I’ve worried many times about what my next meal was going to be. #youngadultproblems #maybeitsjustme #eatallthehotcheetos

I worried about the need for me to get surgery upon graduating college (and turns out it went very smoothly). I worried about offending other people, so I was often way too self conscious to be able to speak to someone normally for fear of saying the “wrong” thing.

I was very worried about what my dad would be doing when my parents were going through a divorce. So much so that I spiraled myself downward into a black hole of depression. All it took was my mind and the thoughts I allowed myself to engage in. Yes, the situation sucked and it definitely hurt, but in retrospect I would say that some of the pain could have been mitigated by even a slight shift in my thought process. All the “what ifs” I worried about never helped with anything.

Then there were the adult things I worried a lot about. Finding a place to live. Finding a job so I could pay for rent. Finding love so I could get married and have a family. Finding a way to make my serious (but seriously unhealthy) relationship work. And I worried too much about how each dinner date would go with my unpredictable ex, whether he would be happy to see me, or whether he would be aloof and not really want to be there… Aaaand I definitely should’ve recognized all the red flags earlier in that relationship.

But we live and we learn.

I worried about how much it would hurt if my ex fiance (basically) dumped me. I worried that I would never be able to open my heart to someone again. I worried that I would never be able to love anyone else. I worried about having a “second love” cause someone else already took the first.

Then I worried about how I was supposed to get rid of all my stuff in order to pack only three suitcases to move back home to be with my mom. Somehow the moving process all worked out just fine.. but I had already used up so much time and energy worrying about what the moving process would be like.

Then I started to worry about having to start my life all over again at age 27, single and unemployed, because I’m already “so old.”

To make a long story short, recently things started to click in me. As I began to find joy in the little things in life, my mental health began to improve, thus improving my entire well-being, body, soul, and spirit. And one day I kind of stopped and thought, wow, I can’t believe I’m happy. And after much reflecting I had a realization that there was somehow a shift in the way I looked at things in life.

I realized that I didn’t have to worry as much as I did about the possibility of breakup with my ex fiance, because looking back I can see that I was rescued from a disastrous marriage. I knew in my mind that what happened really was for the best and that I would eventually heal over time. I seriously believe that somehow, my positive outlook on this difficult life event has had some positive chemical/hormonal health benefits.

By the way, I’m not saying that worrying is equivalent to taking care of your important day to day responsibilities, and I’m not saying that there will be no pain when things are hard. Human life has many ups and downs and complications, and things will not always go our way. But one thing I’ve learned is how to let go and keep on going forward without letting my mind give heed to avoidable pessimistic thoughts.

Worrying is like a thief coming to steal your most valuable possession: time. But really though, worrying about anything just takes away your precious time, and being that person who worries all the time benefits no one, neither you nor the ones around you. I’m pretty sure others would prefer to be around someone who is less stressed out and uptight about everything.

So today, when my mom was describing to me her ongoing difficulties with major T-Mobile complications, I didn’t know how to comfort or help her except to say (lovingly.. I think) that worrying about it will not make the situation better. Rather, worrying only makes your life more miserable. There’s this song I know that says “everything’s the best that it could be.” And I feel that’s the best way to look at any situation.

There really is no need to worry about anything. Your life does not need the addition of unnecessary pain and suffering. Life is too short to worry. I don’t know about you, but I want to be happy and enjoy the time I have here on the earth. And don’t worry, I will still be a responsible human being, just a happier one. Better than being a responsible worrisome human being. 😉

Why There is Always a Way to Success

“Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

We’ve all heard this idiom. It pretty much means that if you really want to achieve something, you can always find a way to accomplish it.

I got A’s, B’s, and C’s in my freshmen and sophomore year of high school. By my senior year I was taking five AP classes and getting straight A’s. Then I applied and got into a very good university. Granted, it wasn’t Harvard or Princeton, but UCLA is not the easiest school to get into either.

I once got a 13 out of 100 on a midterm in a UCLA math class. Yikes. Okay, in my defense, it was an upper division theory based course where all we did was prove theorems and such things as why zero is a real number… Uh.. because it’s a number and it’s real? Isn’t that enough proof???

Sorry, I hope that wasn’t offensive to any math scholars who might happen to be reading this post..

My overall grade for that math class was to be determined by only two grades: the midterm and the final. Obviously I did not understand what was going on before the midterm, but as finals week was approaching I willed to ace that math final.

Once my will was set with no compromise (no matter how I felt), I began to take action by spending a lot more time in the library than I was used to, going to office hours for extra math help, studying with classmates on a regular basis, and finding helpful online resources to help me understand what I was trying to prove (in terms of math).

Within a short period of time of intense and focused studying, things began to click, and before I knew it I was taking the final and acing it. And therefore I passed the class! Whew.

The point I was going to make was that despite my major midterm fail, I didn’t give up because I somehow ended up choosing to believe that there was a way to still pass this class by acing the final, and this also meant that I very much believed in my theorem-proving capabilities. I believed that I was fully capable of acing the final.

Once this kind of decision is made there HAS to be a tangible way to follow through and reach the goal. I know this requires a strong exercise of the will, and this may not come so naturally for everyone. But I hope that no matter what you would still give the strong will and belief of success thing a try. In doing so, I promise progress will be made in whatever you’re working towards.

I started this blog last year and did have some thought of eventually turning it into a thriving business, but I never acted on that thought because of all my self doubt hindering me from making any kind of progress.

Then this month I decided that I will be successful with my blog, and because of this decision, this determination, this choice, I set out to figure out how to bring that to fruition. I will say that this involved a good amount of investing in time, energy, and money.

My point is, I have a will. That’s the “where there’s a will” part. And having that will means having a certain kind of mindset. This kind of mindset is really the source of the “there’s a way” part. It’s the mindset where you see a very specific goal and believe (or decide to believe) wholeheartedly that you absolutely have the potential and capability in you to reach the goal, regardless of how long it will take. You have the full assurance that you WILL get the results you want. It WILL happen.

Since I majored in math here’s a nice little equation to go with the idiom. This “formula” is choice + mindset + action = success.

In case you didn’t notice, yes, I wrote this super late at night. It is now 12:56AM which is way past my bedtime. But I’m here working on my blog because I set it in my heart to publish a new post every day. I didn’t have time today (technically yesterday) until late evening, so here I am.

The Benefits of Early Rising

“Early rising” may be defined differently for different people. If you’re a college/university student who only has afternoon and evening classes, perhaps your regular rise time is noon. If you’re a working professional, you might normally wake up between 6 to 8am, depending on when you get into work in addition to commute time. Regardless of when you may normally wake up, here’s my working definition of early rising that can apply to just about everyone: Early rising means waking (and getting) up at a time that is earlier than what one has been accustomed to.

For most of my life, I’ve been a long-term victim of the Snooze Button (and I bet I’m not alone), because those extra 8 minutes (times 5) of sleep feel so necessary and wonderful in the moment. However, what I’ve found is that EVERY time I do that, especially on weekdays and with some exceptions on weekends, once I’m rushing to eat a bite of breakfast and get dressed and run out the door within 10 minutes, one word comes to mind: REGRET.

If I’m always going to regret pressing snooze, yet I keep doing it, I need to find a great motivating reason to get up the first time the alarm goes off. Well, sometimes we really do just need more rest, but in general whenever I get out of bed earlier than usual, my whole day is better, I become more productive, and I feel happier (happiness is a huge deal when you’ve fought with depression for years). Without further ado, these are the reasons why getting up early can improve your quality of life:

Early Rising Improves Physical Health:
If you get up early, you have time to actually eat a decent breakfast, which makes such a difference in your day, because you’ll actually have the adequate nutrients and fuel you need to make it to lunch time without feeling tired and weak. Getting up earlier also allows you to have time to incorporate healthy habits into your routine, such as going to the gym. Regular exercise can feel like such a suffering sometimes (no pain no gain), but the results are excellent, not just for vain reasons, but even more so for the energy and strength you get from being more active. Exercise is also REALLY good for depression sufferers, and I’m pretty sure that also goes for overall mental health in general whether or not a person has clinical depression. This leads to my second point that…

Early Rising Improves Mental Health:
After starting the day off productively with enough un-rushed time to have breakfast, to get dressed properly, and to do other productive things like working out or reading a book, I can testify that I start and end the day as a much happier and fulfilled person. A morning with adequate time to do what you need to do, in the way that you want to do it, helps boost self-esteem and confidence and makes you feel more motivated and productive. In my experience, whenever I start the day feeling rushed, I tend to feel more discouraged and disappointed for my crummy morning, and it’s also more likely that I’ll be late for work, which gets put onto my invisible list of little failures that have added up over time. Not good for mental health. Of course, there’s also the time and place for having a “new start” in the middle of the day, or at any time one feels it’s necessary. Furthermore…

Early Rising Improves Spiritual Health:
I’m not saying everyone needs to convert to any particular belief system or religion, but I do believe that there’s a part of our being that is even deeper than just our physical bodies and what we think and feel. It’s hard to describe, but I would categorize this area of “health” as spiritual health. If you like to pray, there’s nothing like praying early in the morning that makes you feel more refreshed for the rest of the day. Likewise, if you like to meditate, I personally can’t think of a better time of day to do so than the early morning. If there’s a spiritual activity you’ve been trying to do, I feel the morning is the best time to do it, to take care of that deeper part that often is what motivates us to keep going.

Hope this was helpful! I’m definitely open to suggestions on other topics to write about. 🙂