MOTIVATION MONDAY: Give All You Have to Life

Quote taken from Goodreads. Photo taken from Unsplash. Edited using Canva.
Quote taken from Goodreads. Photo taken from Unsplash. Edited using Canva.

Some of us are optimistic that we will have a good week ahead. But there are others who are worried about the challenges they will face this week, whether it’s exams (like my brother), a huge meeting at work, or something else they have been worked up about. Whichever category you belong to, give it your best shot; don’t hold back. Good luck, and I hope you all have an amazing week.

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Live your life, or live to repent it

Quote from Goodreads. Photo from Unsplash. Designed using Canva.
Quote from Goodreads. Photo from Unsplash. Designed using Canva.

In the 21st century, nobody–neither man or woman–has an excuse from finding their happiness. This week, start that project that has been on your mind for a while now; go where you have always wanted to go; do not be afraid to ask for what you want. There is no promise of next month, next week, not even tomorrow, so start living.

HOW ABOUT YOU: What are you going to start this week?

Late Writing Prompt #2: How To Deal With Boredom

If you could slow down an action that usually zooms by, or speed up an event that normally drags on, which would you choose, and why?

The Daily Post, 1 November 2014

Because I have a short attention span of 5 minutes, I easily get bored with almost anything. But there are some events and tasks that I can barely endure, like:

Writing the first paragraph. Whether it’s starting a new blog post or a feature article, I take too long in actually starting it. When I wrote this particular post, I spent half an hour debating on whether to put up the writing prompt in quotation format or make a graphic for it. Then I spent the next half hour making the graphic, and when I finished, I decided to just quote the question instead. My next problem was how to start my answer, and so I gave myself a few minutes to try it, but I ended up just staring at the screen.

Washing dishes. Even though I know that it takes me less than 20 minutes to finish, I still hate doing it. As much as I can, I try to pass this chore to someone else, but it almost never works.

City traffic. Here in the Philippines, the traffic situation in Metro Manila is a disaster. Major roads are constantly congested by private vehicles, jeepneys, buses, and trucks. So many of these drivers do not follow traffic rules, resulting in accidents and traffic jams. To make things worse, the MRT, which is a rail transport along EDSA, is in a state of disrepair. The trains often break down and they are far behind on their maintenance schedules. Instead of benefiting from faster travel, commuters are more inconvenienced by such neglect.

I try not to travel farther than Makati City, which is a 30 minute- to 1 hour-drive from my house. Thankfully, everything I need is in my city, so I don’t always have to go as far to run errands, get a pedicure, or go shopping.

Even though I wish for a fast-forward button to get through these trying tasks, I have learned to cope with them.

When I’m having a hard time writing, I set a 5-minute timer and write anything I can think of, whether they are random sentences or words that do not make sense together. When time is up, I give myself a 5-minute break before going back to see what I wrote. Most of the time the stuff I write are what I really wanted to say, so I just choose which ones I like most, then I continue writing based on these. While this is still time-consuming, it helps me stay on track.

In doing menial tasks or being stuck in traffic or long queues, I listen to my favorite podcasts. Since I have something else to distract me, time doesn’t seem to go as slowly, and my day is not ruined.

HOW ABOUT YOU: How do you cope with a boring task or event that seems to drag on? Does it help speed up the time?

MOTIVATION MONDAY: Two Ways Of Spreading Light

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it.

I saw this quote on Facebook once. I forgot who posted it, but what I remember was the comment she added. It was something like: “Let’s all choose to be the candle!”

While it’s awesome to be the source of light (or kindness, or creative ideas, or delicious recipes), what’s wrong with being a mirror? What’s wrong with being a metaphorical mirror, when it helps spread the light, whether it’s emulating the acts of kindness you have seen, supporting the creative ideas you have heard,  or trying out the delicious recipes you have found and sharing what you made with others?

It’s great to aspire to become a leader, we are all encouraged to dream big. But what if you’re not there yet? Are you going to give up? Are you going to stop trying? Are you going to try putting out the light just because it didn’t come from you?

Remember that there is always another path to get to where you want to be. I believe that we are all destined to be leaders, but in different ways that we may not expect or imagine. So when you feel unfulfilled, try to reframe your mindset and ask yourself:

How am I spreading the light today?

What would your mental checklist look like?

This post is a (late) response to the writing prompt Connect the Dots from The Daily Post:

Open your nearest book to page 82. Take the third full sentence on the page, and work it into a post somehow.

The book I am taking the sentence from is 344 Questions: The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide To Insight, Survival, And Artistic Fulfillment by Stefan G. Bucher.

Photo by Nelle Z. 2015.
Photo by Nelle Z. 2015.

What would your mental checklist look like…

I do not trust my memory, so if I had to make a to-do list in my mind it would only say one thing: “TYPE WHATEVER YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT ON YOUR PHONE.” If you check out my phone’s Notes app, you will see it filled with random stuff that were important to me when I logged them but makes no sense to me now.

I like how the quote fits in with today's theme.
“Funny how sometimes you just find things.” – Tracy. I like how the quote fits in with today’s theme. By Nelle Z. 2015.

However, I do not rely on my phone for my daily to-do list. Despite being technically inclined, I still prefer to write by hand all of the important stuff, such as schedules, meeting notes, ideas, and checklists in my notebook planner.

Even though putting all of your notes in your phone is more portable, my writing on a paper is more about experience:

  1. I love the smooth texture of high-quality paper;
  2. I love the soft scratching sound my pen makes while it glides on the page;
  3. I love marking my notes with colorful markers for annotation ; and,
  4. I actually like my teeny handwriting.
A sample of my writing, also weak evidence that I may have mild OCD. By Nelle Z. 2015.
A sample of my writing, also weak evidence that I may have mild OCD. By Nelle Z. 2015.

So no mental checklists for me, thank you, unless you want me to forget what I need to do after 5 minutes.

…with no budget?

Keeping myself organized with lists is one thing, but with budget, it is a separate issue. Since I am currently unemployed I do not have any source of income, but I still have bills to pay. Fortunately, I still have some savings that can tide me over for up to six months, but I hope to have a new job (part-time or full-time) before my balance reaches zero. Without a budget, it is no longer a matter of staying organized; it becomes an issue about surviving.

But this question is about work…

I am not an artist, nor have I had any clients that give me a budget to finish a project for them. Right now, my client is myself, and my project is to get a job that can pay my bills or, even better, I can stick with for a long time.

Do you make mental checklists? How do you envision them in your mind?

NEW Motivation Monday: Challenge your doubting self–and win

Photo taken from Unsplash.

My dad smokes one pack of cigarettes a day and drinks at least 3 bottles of beer every night, sometimes an additional glass or two of scotch during the weekend. Given his job and status among his peers, he attends a lot of social functions (hello food and alcohol) and receives a lot of gifts (which most of the time are food, cigars, and alcohol) from his boss, colleagues and friends, and people who want to gain his favor. Just knowing these facts about my dad, what is your impression of him? Unhealthy? Sickly? Neglectful of his body?

While I do agree that he has to quit his vices, I do admire how he tries to make up for it. You see, my dad maintains his weight–and he does it well. When he notices that he is a little overweight, he will immediately cut his food portions and he will put on his running shoes in the morning to jog several kilometers. Sometimes, he will even go back home, get on his bicycle and go around several more kilometers–all these in one morning before he heads to work. Then one week later, poof! He’s back to his ideal weight. My dad doesn’t just do this when he puts on a few pounds. He also gets back on track (literally) when he feels weak or easily tired.

But what sticks to me about my dad’s fitness non-routine is what he says–mostly to me, his lazy-ass daughter–when he gets home after his morning workout.

I beat myself. When I woke up this morning I thought I can’t run [or bike], but I just did and I proved to myself I can do it.

Wonderful, isn’t it? Somebody said that we are our own worst critic. For most of us, we are our own worst heckler, too. But what should you do if a part of you is saying you can’t do something–whether it’s to lose weight, or craft something, or lead your own team? Should you listen to him/her, or should you prove them wrong?

I hope you choose the latter option.