Category

Motivation

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I ran 10k for the first time and I liked it

I am not a runner, and have never run 10 kilometers consecutively before signing up for this 10k race. My body had always given in after 5, 6 or at most around 8 kilometers. But then something interesting happened on the day of this event.

If you’ve ever run a few kilometers/miles long, you would know that the first part of the run can oftentimes be the hardest. Your body is just warming up, your feet are getting used to the speed, and your heart is still adjusting to the new pace. For me, those first few hundred steps are always unfamiliar and uncomfortable.

On the day of the race, I was not feeling my best self. My legs were a little sore from the previous day’s workout, and my stomach was jittery with nerves. Unsurprisingly, the first half of the race was gruesome; I was counting the kilometers as I passed each marker and thinking to myself, “I won’t be able to make it” over and over again. Having my dad run alongside me – motivating me each step of the way – was very helpful as always, but it couldn’t ease the discomfort that had already taken over my body.

My iPod decided to go dead nearly halfway through the race – something that has never happened before. I gave up trying to revive it after a while, and this surprisingly made my run more… bearable. I had prepared a pumping music playlist specially for this day, but I realized that I was actually better off without it.

Running is usually such a lonesome activity, and I usually rely on music as my companion. But having thousands of people running behind, beside and in front of me was the best companion of that day. Yes, I could hear people’s steps akin to the sound of fat raindrops – incessant, notorious and all around me. Occasionally, we would pass by someone gasping heavily for air, and at several points we were in par with a guy whose keys jingled exasperatingly in his pocket.

But that didn’t matter. We were, after all, in this together. The people in front of me were the ones showing me the way; those beside me kept me company and urged me along; the ones behind showed me how far I had come, pushing me to keep on going. This was enough motivation to keep me going, regardless of how slow my pace was.

But something curious then happened after hitting the 5k mark: I started gaining momentum. It was as if my body had rejuvenated itself, and I found myself running more vigorously than before. My breathing came under control, my steps became wider, and I felt stronger. Like I said before – I am not a regular runner, so I don’t know what exactly happened at that moment. Basic research on the internet tells me that I might have experienced what is called a runner’s high – a rush of endorphin. It was a great feeling that spread all over my body physically and emotionally, enabling me to get a glimpse of why long-distance runners do what they do.

The feeling of power and control over your own body. The sense of accomplishment even before you finish the task. The genuine pleasure that comes from inside you while you’re still running, your mind free from any burden. You hardly get these feelings of triumph while doing other (healthy) activities.

I have never experienced this in any cardio exercise before, because I have never challenged myself to such extent. I am curious to see whether my runner’s high will continue to kick in the next time that I run the same distance, or how it will change as I (hopefully) run longer distances. As for other sports, it’ll be interesting to see if this ‘high’ happens too!

-Michelle

how to procrastinate less

We are all masters at procrastination, this resistant force that prevents us from finishing our most impending tasks.

It’s frustrating, oftentimes uncontrollable and evil, but it’s not an invincible force. This is your 101 guide to battling procrastination:

start your mornings right. (productive morning routine video)

A key to reducing procrastination during the day is by starting the day right. Small things, like waking up feeling refreshed (given that you have had enough sleep), drinking water, making your bed after getting up, and changing into comfy clothes will create the productive momentum that you need to propel yourself towards a productive and successful day.

Make sure that your first morning tasks aren’t too mentally exhausting, and are rather mere healthy habits that you have cultivated over time. You want to save that mental energy for the big, important tasks later in the day!

set monthly goals, and review them whenever you feel demotivated (april goals video)

I already have a list of goals that I want to accomplish for this year, but I review them every month depending on what tasks I want to focus on. I normally keep my goals on a Word document so I can modify them whenever I want to, and for April I decided to fancy things up and made a spread on my bullet journal (which you can see on my April goals video!). It’s very helpful to have this list, as whenever I’m making my daily to-do lists, I can remind myself of what I’m working towards, and not lose sight of the big picture.

amp up your work environment

It’s your space: change it or clean it however you want to. Your work environment is usually your desk or the place(s) where you spend most time working. I love keeping my space clean and aesthetically pleasing as it allows me to get straight to work, instead of fussing over a mess that I should’ve cleaned up before.

This is such an obvious fact, but when you have a clean desk and space, your mind will most likely be clear and set to work too.

or find aesthetic inspiration elsewhere

Who doesn’t love going to a beautiful library, bookstore or coffee shop? In my video, I feature El Ateneo Grand Splendid, which I got to visit on my recent trip to Argentina. It. Was. Amazing. Of course, there are probably no breathtaking places like such everywhere, but a cozy coffee shop or bookstore is always a nice place to step into and get your head in the game.

Personally, I love visiting bookstores and libraries because it allows me to go on an adventure in a place filled with knowledge. Whatever I get distracted with, it’ll be with books. No technology, no phones – just me and the books.

make a to-do list, and break it down into mini tasks

I always write down my to-do list every morning in my planner, and note my tasks down on the Reminders app of my phone. That way, I never lose sight of my important tasks of the day.

When it comes to complicated tasks that require more planning and dissecting, I break the steps down on my planner so I have an idea of what I’ll have to do later on. This also ensures that I don’t forget some sub-tasks or details. Keep in mind that you don’t need to have a fancy planner or fixed place to jot down your tasks, especially if you’re not a heavy planner. But it’s important that you plan somewhere to get your ideas and tasks down.

schedule (and limit) your playtime

Without a proper schedule to follow during the day, you’re more prone to getting distracted with your guilty pleasures. What I do to combat this is to schedule my playtime. For instance, I give myself 30-60 minutes of watching YouTube videos after I’ve accomplished my morning routine and tasks and eaten lunch. This motivates me to get on with my morning tasks, and it has become such a great part of my schedule that I rarely fall prey of YouTube videos or distracting stuff in the mornings.

The key of scheduling your playtime is so that you schedule enough of it during the day, and don’t try to squeeze in extra playtimes when you’re supposed to be working. And, gradually, your body will understand that playtime only happens at certain times of the day.

tell others about your impending task

There are many ways you can use your friends to help you get your work done. For instance, you can put yourself in the debt of a friend (by owing them a Starbucks coffee, or boba) until you finish your most important task of the day. It’s fun, and I bet your friend will be thrilled to help you. Or, you can simply ask a friend for a study session or help with a homework. Having someone else account for your progress is always helpful – as long as you don’t rely on them to do your work. Only you can be responsible for your work and yourself.

or make a public declaration

If you’re like me, and would rather not get your friends involved, I suggest going on Twitter or some other form of social media, and make a public declaration about what you’re supposed to do during the day. Personally, I pretty much use Twitter to promote my stuff and rant about whatever I’m feeling that day. I’m not a fan of Twitter and I rarely post ‘good stuff’ on there, so it’s the perfect platform for me to just post anything.

By making a public declaration on Twitter, I get a false sense that I’m being accounted for, which in turn makes me more prone to completing my task. You should give it a try 😉

remove distractions from your field of vision

Put. It. All. Away. I guess it’s safe to assume that our biggest source of distraction for many, if not most, of us is our phones. What I do is pretty simple: put it on Airplane mode, throw it on my bed with the screen facing down, and forget about it. I usually don’t need my phone to work, except for checking off my tasks.

If you find it hard to get away from your phone, put in on Airplane mode and hide it somewhere hard to reach. Just do it, and forget about it. Check it during your playtime, or the few minutes that you switch into your next task, but not when you’re working. The more you practice this, the easier it will become to remove yourself from your distraction.

do productive procrastination

Is all procrastination bad? Not really. I particularly remember watching a TED talk by Adam Grant, who talks about procrastination as a source of creativity. I agree. When we procrastinate, we physically put off a task, but we subconsciously work on it. And when we do eventually get down to work on the task, we are most likely gonna have more and better ideas and solutions that task.

But it’s crucial to not spend too much time procrastinating, as time is fleeting and precious. What I recommend doing (if you’re feeling like procrastinating) is to procrastinate on creative things: painting mandalas, organizing your desk, practicing calligraphy, or doing any hobby of your choice. Get creative, and get excited! By gradually getting yourself more productive, you’ll eventually find it easier to get ahead with your actual task.

forgive yourself if the day doesn’t go as planned

You’re human, and you make mistakes. The sooner you embrace this idea, the easier it will be to relieve yourself of any mistake  you make along the way. I think it’s important to reflect upon what you could have done better, but not to dwell on the actual decision.

Acknowledge, let go, and move on.

-Michelle

ways to destress [in your room]

some days, we just need to unwind from our chaotic lives, and spend time for and with ourselves. we all have those days, and the best thing you can do is distract yourself with other relaxing and enjoyable tasks.

here are 18 ways that you can destress in the comfort of your own room:

  • listen to soothing music.
  • meditate.
  • organize your space.
  • photograph the little things.
  • dump your thoughts on paper.
  • or bullet journal.
  • stretch to relax.
  • blog, or create one.
  • practice (faux) calligraphy.
  • hone your favorite skill(s).
  • color your stress away.
  • listen to a TED talk or podcast.
  • let fresh air in.
  • drink & snack.
  • watch a film.
  • lose yourself in an adventure.
  • or listen to one.
  • rest.

and, when you’re ready…

  • take a walk,
  • a bike ride,
  • a jog,
  • or roller skating.
  • be with nature.

-Michelle

what living with water scarcity feels like

Recently, several cities in the northern parts of Peru, the country where I live in, were hit by heavy rain that caused catastrophic floods for many people. Dozens have died, and tens of thousands of people have had to flee because their homes have been destroyed. This event has been denoted as “coastal El Niño”.

I live in the city, far from where these floods occurred. But water supplies in the whole country were cut unexpectedly more than a week ago. It came so suddenly that we all had to make do with what we had. My family and I have a cistern (water tank) in our home, so we were okay, but there are many other families with no such convenience in their homes. But the cut in water supply wasn’t what created the major angst within the country.

The angst revolved around the instability that had been created around a basic need. We were told by the largest water supply company (Sedapal), that water would be restored gradually. Day after day, we were told that advances were made, but the unpredictability of the weather and conditions prevented such advances to be put into effect immediately. We would wake up everyday without water, without knowing when it would come back. It was heartbreaking to see people asking about the water supply, sharing news about the disasters, and so on. For more than a week, my Facebook page was filled with saddening news about my country. Everywhere I went, everyone was talking about water. I couldn’t read or do anything without thinking about what was happening around me.

As of now, water supply has been restored in the city, and so has the panic (which I wrote about) surrounding it. But it breaks me to see that what I experienced in this one week is minimal compared to what thousands of other people in the northern sections experienced. So, here’s what I learned from this experience:

One cannot live if one cannot survive first.

I was a wreck during the week when water supply was cut. Not because I had to use as little water as possible, but because I knew that what I was going through was nothing compared to what others living in even the same city were going through. Most of the news I read online typically concern other countries far from me.

When you see natural disasters, shootings or any other heartbreaking news, it’s easy to show your empathy but hard to feel empathetic. And on the back of your mind, it’s hard not to feel relieved that the event didn’t happen close to you.

This is the first time that I have ever been really impacted by a natural disaster. It has made me reconsider the things that I do now, and for the future. It makes climate change so real, because you can actually feel it. I’m creative-oriented, and I live by the belief that teaching people how to live instead of just surviving is key to our progress.

But now, I wonder if the way we are living is harming the way we survive.

Water is precious.

Like other things that we have in abundance in this world, I treated water like whatever. I have always had more than enough water to drink, wash and use whenever I wanted to. I never understood what ‘water scarcity’ meant. But when you’re struck by an unexpected shortage, it’s hard not to realize how precious it is.

I have learned to take 5-minute cold showers without shrieking. I try to use no more than necessary when I’m cooking. I think about every drop I use, because there are people who can only dream of having clean water like I do. I don’t take water for granted no more.

There will always be someone with less than what you have.

In my world, I can easily feel like I have less than what my friends, acquaintances or social media people have. There’s always more that you can buy, travel, and be. And that can be socially and emotionally crippling, as we’ll never feel complete living that way. But when you look at things from the perspective that you have more than what you need, your world shifts. Instead of feeling like you’re not good enough or don’t have enough, your uneasy comes from knowing that you are privileged in some way or another.

I believe that it’s healthy to have a continuous feeling of dissatisfaction. As humans, without it we wouldn’t be able to make progress. But it matters a whole lot the way you look at it. If your fixation is on not having enough, you will strive endlessly to have more for yourself. If your focus is on what others don’t have enough, you will work towards making others’ ends meet. It stops been about you, and it starts being about others.

At the end, we are all in this together.

-Michelle

does your job matter? | daily thoughts

We’ll inevitably ask ourselves this question at various points in our lives.

What it means to have a job

I believe that… your our job matters, regardless of the scale of impact. Whether you’re a doctor, programmer, salesperson or cleaner, your job matters. You may see how your aid helps your customers directly, or you may only see the result vaguely. Whatever the outcome,I believe that your attitude towards your job oftentimes matters more than the job itself.

When you think about all the people risking their lives working in clearly-dangerous factories, children working in sweatshops, and countless millions of people working menial jobs because they don’t have many skills to pursue other careers, the world seems like a really cruel place.

And yet, it’s unbelievable how many of these people are able to work in these jobs for so many consecutive years. Back when I was in high school, I befriended two cleaners that had been working at my school for more than a decade. They stay at work for much longer than our school days, and oftentimes have to stay a bit more due to school events. But the thing is, they always greeted me cheerfully.

The few times that I talked to them, they asked me about my circumstances and plans for the future. I would tell them, and when I asked them the same, they always told me about their families and the children that they had brought up. I believe that’s the main motivator for them. Knowing that they have a very important role to fulfill, not for themselves, but for someone else. And regardless of how monotonous, dissatisfying or tiring it can be to do intensive cleaning every day, they are willing to do it because they know that it will be worth it.

You may not have children or a family to work for, but I think it’s so important to be aware of how your job affects other people. And yes, there are always going to be jobs that help people the wrong way. You could be trafficking illegal imports to take care of your newborn, or deceiving your customers by selling overpriced products just because you want that extra cash. The world will always be a twisted place, but your world, the world you choose to surround yourself in, doesn’t need to be.

“Does your job matter?”

I ask myself this question all the time, because I believe that my job encompasses more than my future career. I believe my job is to be as knowledgeable, creative and helpful as I can be. It is not to be dictated by the income that I receive or the status that I gain in my profession, but by my thirst to become a better person than I was yesterday. Sure, I’ll probably have a job that others will define me by. But I don’t need to let that limit myself.

I believe that the way you spend your time is what defines you. Your job is a (big) part of it, but so is what you do outside of it. What you do in your free time – spending time with your family, delving into creative outlets, continuing to educate yourself – will be what shapes you within your workplace and everywhere else.

-Michelle

when fear strikes near you | daily thoughts

Failure. Flying. Rejection. Heights. Public speaking.

We all have fears, some more than others, some worse than others. Currently, I fear the world that is changing before my eyes. It’s not as if it suddenly hit me, but under the current circumstances, these sudden feelings of unease and guilt have hit me particularly hard.

The abnormal climate changes have led to a massive flood in the northern sections of Peru, the country where I’m currently residing it, and it has affected the whole country on different levels. This phenomenon has been denoted as the “coastal el Niño” and the whole country is in a state of emergency. Personally, I’m only affected by the sudden water cut in my area, but my family and I can survive on the cistern (tank for storing water) at least for a few days, so we’re all ok.

However, this phenomenon has been going on for several days now, and it’s the first time that I’ve felt the disturbances so close to me. You read on the news, every once in a while, about some disaster that destroys a city or town completely, whether it be a flood or earthquake, and you try to help and/or donate as much as you can to the cause. But when the disaster hits so close to your own home, it’s such a different scenario.

You can actually feel the panic if you go outside, especially to the poorer districts. You read on the news online about the government doing everything it can to stabilize the situation, but no sense of stability comes to you. I am typing this post sitting on a comfortable chair at my desk, but I feel so unstable and guilt-ridden. I donated to the cause a few days ago, but was that enough? Should I be doing more? Or should I be making sure we have enough water to last us more days? What is going on?

I am scared, but the thing that I’m worried about is not what’s happening right now. I’m worried about whether the things that I do and the career(s) that I intend to pursue are aligned with the world’s current events. Should I change my lifestyle to become as environmentally-friendly as possible? Should I choose a career that concerns people, or should I focus on a career that concerns the very world we live in more?

I was at a friend’s birthday party yesterday, and on the way there, I could see people clustered around ‘supply points’ to collect water back to their homes. And there I was, heading to someone else’s house where my friends and I would binge on food and drinks. Should I have gone there to celebrate despite what was going on right outside the doors?

We can always do more, but what about situations like this? Am I a bad person for taking real notice of this when it just so happens to be so close to me? Things like this happen every year; the only difference was that this year’s events were more notorious and catastrophic. I am usually involved in other philanthropic activities, but they are usually unrelated to the environment. But suddenly now the tides have turned.

Am I a hypocrite for caring so much now, just when things are starting to hit near me?

-Michelle

health, work, play and love | designing your life

We can’t live without passion. Without it, we are merely existing. I also believe that we need to find our balance in passion in all areas of our life. A way to divide our life is by classifying them into the components of health, work, play and love. Health, play and love are all mainly part of our personal life, while work is usually considered more as part of our professional lives.

I believe that to discover your passions, and essentially yourself, is to strip you down of all the communities that keep you on a rut. If you didn’t have school, college, an office, an organization, or a specific place to be every day, what would you do then? How would you use your time?

I feel that only when you’re left as an independent and vulnerable self, without clinging on to the belonging of a community, when you learn to prioritize your life. When something like this happened to me a year ago, I completely restructured my life to adjust to my current circumstances.

I realized that I hadn’t truly taken care of myself during my last years in high school, so fitness, health and trying out different sports became a priority. I also realized that in being so focused on academics and school activities, I camouflaged my innate passions for reading, blogging, learning languages, photography and all things creative. I even used these hobbies to connect to my academic and work interests; these include reading books about psychology, my intended major, and learning ASL and other languages as I currently hold a job at an NGO in this field. Finally, I dealt with my emotions and social circle, trying to understand their influence on my life. I spent more time with both my immediate and extended family, and I chose to let go of many acquaintances why strengthening the ones that truly mattered to me. Luckily, the one thing I didn’t have to worry about was finance, as I still live with my parents.

But in essence, I feel that I have come to understand my health/work/play/love dashboard independently. I know my place in this life at this present moment, and was able to connect each of these seemingly diverging factors in my life into one cohesive whole. My dashboard will change – maybe even every year. But at least I know that I’ll find my way back, because my ‘way’ is not determined by college or work anymore, it’s determined solely by who I am.


I wrote this post in reference to the book Designing Your Life, which is a popular course (in university and in life) by two college professors. I am just starting it, but it’s a book that triggers ideas in the reader/student, and writing about it is a key component in further understanding myself using design thinking. I talk about passion and design thinking without defining either of these terms because I am not entirely sure of them myself. I know what they mean to me and the role they have in my life, but it’s up to you to designate them in yours.

-Michelle

a week in my life

This isn’t so much about what I did this week but more about my thoughts as I did these things. These don’t include the ‘social activities’ which I’ll be starting again next week, but this is pretty much what I do if I could organize my week around the things that I personally want to do and enjoy doing.

what I’m working on…

My bucket list. How to challenge myself in the months leading up to college. Keeping busy lest my anxiety over college admissions takes over my actions. My days consist of reading (a lot), blogging, learning languages and researching about my future travel(s), doing all kinds of exercises and workouts, playing the cello, practicing my skills on photography and calligraphy, and work-related things.

I try to stick to a weekly schedule so I spend more time doing than thinking about what to do, but I always try to revolve my activities around creativity so it never gets dull.

what I’m reading…

Finished 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. It’s one of those books that is so twisted, mysterious and luring that makes you  want to sacrifice everything else to read it. I finished it in 6 days, and this is possibly the longest novel I’ve read (new record?).

I usually read several books at once. Currently, I’m enjoying Books for Living by Will Schwalbe; in each chapter the author relates a personal experience and a specific book that has opened his eyes further. It is due to this book that I picked up Gift from the Sea by  Anne Morrow Lindbergh, which I’m absolutely loving.

For languages, I’m reading Italian Short Stories For Beginners and Chineasy Everyday. I’m trying to learn basic Italian and improve my Chinese through extensive (instead of intensive) reading and, so far, I’m quite happy with my progress.

what I’m listening to…

Music-wise, I listen to most of my music on Spotify, to the playlists that are recommended to me, like “Discover Weekly”. So far, my March playlist includes The Cloud Song  by Meiko, Classic by MKTO, and Yesterdays by Ricky Smith.

From time to time, I love listening to this Studio Ghibli Cello Collection. It has several pieces from some of the most popular anime films, cello version.

I hope to get back on Audible, as I have a few paid books unread, as well as other motivation podcasts. I usually listen to these while I’m doing things that allow me to multitask, e.g. working out, simple things like making a collage or practicing my writing, etc.

what I’m watching…

Switched at Birth, an American TV series, just aired Season 5 a few weeks ago, and so I’ve been watching it since then. I love the show because it deals with all kinds of social issues, struggles and disabilities. It prompts us to question our moral code by challenging our current beliefs. I don’t agree with its portrayal completely, and it’s a bit too dramatic for my taste, but I feel that it generally evokes a pretty good effect on the audience.

Films:

  • Last night I watched Manchester by the Sea, and it’s probably the most depressing film I have ever watched. If you haven’t watched it yet, here’s a tip: don’t watch it when you’re moody/sad/depressed/not well. It’s a somber film.
  • I saw Pawn Sacrifice earlier this week and… it was dense. A biographical drama film, I was astounded by the strong personality of Bobby Fischer (protagonist and chess grandmaster).
  • I also watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and I felt a bit let down. I knew that this would happen, as my loyalty for a Harry Potter-related film are unsurpassable. It was good, though. Good.

what I’m thinking…

Will I go to college this year? Trying really hard not to think about it, but after going through this ordeal last year, it’s hard not to let that experience influence my current mood.

-Michelle

being a multipotentialite

A multipotentialite is a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.

A few months ago, I watched a TED talk about having too many passions to just settle on one. I immediately identified with the speaker, Emilie Wapnick. I identified with her rationalization that not all of us have that one true calling, and that it’s okay to not feel like we have to specialize in one thing.

I highly admire the musicians, artists, doctors and other people who know, from a certain age, that that’s what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Having studied music allowed me to mingle with deeply devoted musicians, and I admired them for their passion and perseverance in their career. Most of these people were my age or younger; they were barely in high school when they knew that they wanted to pursue music (cello, in my case) for as long as they could. And that really amazed me, because I knew from an early age that I wasn’t like one of them.

I think many of us are able to identify with this, as there are increasingly more things to learn and be in this world.

“Realize that everything connects to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Multipotentialites are not specialists; they don’t settle for one thing to focus all their energy on. While this may mean that they don’t become as good of a musician as someone who dedicates his life to music, for instance, a multipotentialite has the possibility of merging all his knowledge and discover something even bigger and more novel.

As a self-proclaimed multipotentialite, I believe that we should specialize in a field that sweeps us away, but I also believe that that specialization shouldn’t be fixed.

What I mean is that we go through different stages in our lives, and in each stage we prioritize different things. This means that while we may be more suited to be an athlete during our adolescence and/or early adulthood, we may be more suited to be a businessperson later in life, and a philanthropist even later in our adulthood. These are extreme examples, but it means that we have the opportunity to dedicate to different things at each stage of our wonderful life cycle.

me, a multipotentialite?

At 19, I consider myself a multipotentialite because I believe that the sum of my passions will allow me to blossom in the one field that I choose to specialize in my careers. And I say careers because I know I’ll have several careers and pursuits throughout my life.

Right now, I am a polyglot, bibliophile, blogger, cellist and fitness enthusiast. Not all of these are ‘serious’ skills, such as being a bibliophile (I mean, anyone can be one as long as they can read) and a fitness enthusiast (note the word ‘enthusiast’). But somehow, naming these particular skills that define my lifestyle makes it more concrete and real. I know that these are five things that I know will make me happy, and that I will continue pursuing irregardless of the level I reach in each of them.

i’m also an amateur photographer and fashionista, and I call myself these names to remind myself that these are other hobbies that make me happy, and just add to the creative persona that I’m trying to be.  They also complement the five skills I’ve named above, so yay!

Finally, there’s also other things  that I aim to become when I’ve gained the experience and wisdom to be. These include being a psychologist, author, entrepreneur, activist and humanitarian. Not necessary in this order, but it seems like a reasonable sequence. I aim to major in Psychology, so that’s first in the list. The following ones simply professionalize my current interests and align with my moral values and intentions in this life.

what this means for you

I know I probably went off topic at the end. I went on talking about the things that I aim to be in the future, big dreamy goals *sigh*. But, so what? Being a multipotentialite means that there are no limits to what we are and aspire to be. It’s a way to denominate this bursting feeling to learn and create without feeling like we don’t fit among others. And I like it.

-Michelle

on making this year great

This year is going to be great. I love setting myself high goals – sometimes as a continuation from last year, but I always try to make them as realistic as possible. Because, let’s face it – we’re not superhuman. We have high expectations, we are flawed, and we will be disappointed. You may not lose the amount of body fat that you hoped; you may not travel as much as you want, and maybe you’re not exactly in the place where you hoped you would be.

That’s why it’s so important to always be kind to yourself no matter what, and to enjoy the small things each step of the way. The following are a list of (small) things that I think will help me make this year great. These don’t necessarily involve my ‘bigger’ goals in life, but I know they will help me in becoming a happier person, so 🙂

I hope you can find some of these useful, too!

On self-love: 

  • sleep, eat and exercise well – remember that how you feel is always more important than how you look
  • meditate daily; just 5-10 minutes each day is all you need
  • stop looking back, you’re only hurting yourself
  • pamper yourself one night every week. you’ll feel all refreshed for the upcoming week!
  • become more independent and happier with solitude (more than you already are!)
  • improve your EQ through reading and understanding others
  • continue volunteering and giving to others, no matter where you are
  • go out more!

On learning: 

  • go on more adventures – in your hometown, other countries, or through books
  • journal as much as you can; this is the best way to learn how to tolerate yourself
  • read, read, and just read
  • never let go of your cellist self, please
  • stick to the good habits you have developed before, and get rid of the old
  • become a better writer and blogger

On being creative: 

  • always have at least one creative hobby at hand
  • paint in an adult coloring book; it’s easy, soothing and therapeutic
  • go roller skating at least once a week; I know, you suck at it, but you will get better
  • learn as much about photography as you can
  • improve your handwriting and faux calligraphy!
  • what you do in your spend time defines who you are, so make sure your hobbies represent who you want to be

These are my simple reminders on leading a better and more creative life. I fervently believe that our passion and creativity is key to our happiness, as it’s what and how we chose to do things that defines who we become.

-Michelle