Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The little wisdom I've learned by asking elders and getting into crazy situations..............

1. Go with your gut and ask questions. Sometimes, bad situations present themselves behind seemingly nice and respectable people/organizations. Your instincts will catch this before your brain does. Listen to them. They are God's and evolution's gifts to protect you from harm.

2. Settle for a job a little less than your dream job. If you're truly focused on your career, you'll get direction. However, as my dad would say, nobility comes from paying the rent and being independent. Any experience is good experience and you never know who you'll meet. Besides, the really cool jobs often expect you to have a million years of experience and more expensive education, which I'm assuming you'll likely have to pay for.

3. You know you want something when you raise hell to do it. Going after your dreams involves sacrifice, no matter your chosen field. Same with choosing your life partner. You know you want them when you're willing to do the work, no matter how hard it is. If you're that repulsed by the work, you know you're not at that stage.

4. There is no black or white. This is particularly true when comparing non-profits to businesses. Just because a non-profit has good intentions doesn't mean they treat their employees and volunteers well. Likewise, just because a business makes a profit doesn't mean they treat their employees badly or that they hate the environment.

5. Take care of yourself. No matter what you're doing, take a few minutes to exercise, drink lots of water and spend a little more on healthy foods. Your body will thank you for it and you know you never feel good when you finish a box of cookies. Also, keep reading, center yourself spiritually (I don't mean religion, I mean quieting the mind), and take a little bit of time for you. You have to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others.

6. Learn to say no. This goes under going with your gut. You have a right, nay, a duty to say no to things that aren't good for you in a particular circumstance. No to overextending yourself, no to doing something sketchy when your gut says it's wrong, no to being friends with someone who is sucking you dry. You were taught to say no to drugs and tobacco, saying no in personal circumstances is just as vital to both your physical AND emotional health.

7. Claim your beliefs, but tactfully. Many issues in our lives are pretty controversial, especially with regard to political and religious issues. Needless to say, soapboxes do not encourage dialogue and should be avoided unless you're in a setting where everyone is comfortable/wasted (and even then, there may not be enough alcohol). If it comes up, be tactful and respectful, maybe steer the conversation somewhere else if it's getting awkward. However, don't deny what you believe and don't be ashamed of it. If it's right to you, it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks.

8. A sense of humor helps a lot. Life is tough and a little laughter goes a long way in diffusing situations and making things better. If you need help in this department, work with middle school children. You will find yourself laughing even when you want to tell them what they said is inappropriate or wrong.

9. Have at least one older person who isn't your parent. If your parents are good people, talk to them and listen to them-even if you're an adult and may not do everything they think you should do, they do have experience and can see a bit further. That said, it's good to have the other older person (parent's best friend, relative, professor/mentor you're close to, religious leader, etc) to talk about life issues with. They can give you advice about things without having the ,"you're my child" bias and honestly, sometimes certain topics can be awkward to talk about.   Also, when you realize your parents were right, you at least were able to learn it without making a dumb decision.

10. Do something "just because" once in awhile. There's nothing wrong with taking a road trip (if you have the time), buying a new dress (if you have the cash), or just having that Starbucks drink you really wanted "just because." Spontaneity is part of what makes life so beautiful. Work and responsibility will make you regimented enough. Do something simply because it makes it you happy.

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