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Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Sunday Serial: Passing Judgment on Mojitos and Negative Thinking

Sunday Serial is curated list of the best blogs and articles that I’ve encountered over the past week. Sometimes there’s a theme, but most times there’s not. My goal with these posts is that I introduce you to at least one new idea that you may not have otherwise been exposed to. Enjoy!

Illustration of Ernest Hemingway and his favorite drink, the mojito

10 Things to Do Even if They Judge You

by Marc on Marc and Angel Hack Life

Read this because: The hardest thing in life is to ignore what others think about you and do everything that you want to do. But you know what? It’s OK to ignore what others think about the choices you make (and it’s sometimes fun). Marc gives you a healthy list of 10 things. Here’s a challenge: choose one item from this list and try it out for thirty days. Here’s mine:

5. Adjust your goals and dreams as life changes. – A great deal of pain in life comes from having a specific dream that you’ve fallen in love with, and when it doesn’t work out exactly as planned, you become angry that you now have to pursue a different path.  If you want to tame your inner demons and make the most of life, you must not become rigidly attached to just one specific dream, and remain open to there being an even better, equally as happy path ahead.  Life is unpredictable, but it provides plenty of opportunities to make dreams come true.  Just don’t forget that sometimes taking a positive step forward requires you to slightly adjust your dreams, or plan new ones – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.

Editors note: I originally chose #10 but changed after re-reading the Power of Negative Thinking (below).

The Bartending Stand Against the Mojito

by Jen Doll on The Atlantic Wire

Read this because: There’s nothing that makes you feel like a literary legend like Ernest Hemingway and refreshed like a sprig of the freshest mint crushed into your rum. Plus, it’s incredible fun to shout loudly in a bar with your best friend from high school (“Mo-heee!-to!”).

But did you know that bartenders everywhere have a vast hatred against this drink? According to the Atlantic Wire, it’s true. And while reading this article makes me want to weep, after hosting a party where the signature drink was hand-shaken (not stirred) mojitos, I can solemnly agree. The mojito, as wonderful and amazing of a drink that it is, is an outcast.

If you are lucky enough to be at a bar where mojitos are on the menu and made for you with pride, enjoy it, for your fellow countrymen may not be as lucky.

The Power of Negative Thinking

by Oliver Burkeman in the New York Times

Read this because: The very concept is baffling. If you want something, shouldn’t you exercise positive visualization? Yes, except that in some situations, visualizing that you achieve a goal may make you feel as though you’ve already achieved it and therefore will be less likely to actually do it.

Is your brain spinning yet? Here’s where the research comes from:

Ancient philosophers and spiritual teachers understood the need to balance the positive with the negative, optimism with pessimism, a striving for success and security with an openness to failure and uncertainty. The Stoics recommended “the premeditation of evils,” or deliberately visualizing the worst-case scenario. This tends to reduce anxiety about the future: when you soberly picture how badly things could go in reality, you usually conclude that you could cope. Besides, they noted, imagining that you might lose the relationships and possessions you currently enjoy increases your gratitude for having them now. Positive thinking, by contrast, always leans into the future, ignoring present pleasures.

If you want something really, really badly, think about the exact opposite and then work hard towards doing everything you can to not make it happen.

This concept sounds really, really weird to me. I mean, that’s like saying if you’re riding a bicycle and you don’t want to think about hitting the tree, think about hitting the tree. Perhaps that’s not the time to think negatively…

But when it comes to something like your relationship, thinking that you and your partner are amazing, strong, and solid may lead you to stop working on it and cause you to miss something huge that could bring about it’s demise. Whereas if you are think about your relationship falling apart (and that’s not what you want), then you will work hard to make sure that it does not.

Okay, I think I understand it now.

What did you read this week?

Illustration via felipson

Am I really a writer?

Am I really a writer?

My husband shared this picture with me today and it speaks to me too much not to be shared.

This is something that he and I have been struggling with for our entire lives but only embraced last year (it was the secret I was talking about in this post actually). The challenge for me is declaring and ‘owning’ that I am, indeed, a writer. For John, it’s that he is an artist.

The difference between a writer and an author

As someone with a background in the book publishing industry, I hold the titles of “writer” and “author” to high regards. Just because you write does not make you a writer.

And it all comes down to something that my first college writing professor said –

Next time someone you meet at a party introduces themselves as a writer, ask them what they’ve written. If they say, “Oh, nothing you’ve ever read,” then they’re not really a writer.

Last spring I had a conversation with Simon Salt about this topic and he pointed me to a very good blog post he wrote on the topic: Author, Writer, Blogger – it’s all the same write?

Here’s how I define it:

To be an author, you need to write something that is published by someone who is not yourself. This means your writing is in a book, a journal, or in a magazine (though periodicals usually mean you’re a journalist) and it was edited and endorsed by someone else, usually your editor and the publisher. Again, not you.

To be a writer, you should have some level of formal training and be paid or endorsed by someone to write. In other words, the transaction of a payment means that someone else has endorsed that you truly are a writer. Can you be a ‘writer’ if you’ve never been paid? Sure, just like I’m an athlete though I’ve never competed in a competition but I’m not going to carry around business cards that declare that.

The point is this – you are what other people say you are and what other people validate you to be. If you’re a writer, like that quote is inferring, people will start to label you as one.

Is that fair? No, not really. So that means you better self-promote the hell out of your work if you want them to notice your writing and call you a writer. 🙂

Am I really a writer?

I have been writing since I was seven years old, since before I knew what a paragraph was. In spiral bound notebooks, using colored felt-tipped pens at recess. I did not play kickball or foursquare, I wrote. Harriet-the-Spy-style, but instead of writing down what I was seeing, I wrote stories. And I kept them to myself because I was not brave enough to share them with other people.

It wasn’t until I read blogs like Damsels in Success (which is no more), Penelope Trunk’s Blog, and a year later Matt Chevy’s Life Without Pants that I decided I, too, had shit to say and was brave enough to say it.

And it wasn’t until the evening after publishing my first blog post after seeing the positive response on Twitter and reading my first comments in my friend’s kitchen that it hit me – people wanted to read what I had to say.

I almost threw up.

About ten months later I got my first job as a paid writer based on the writing my client found on my blog. She was the first person to call me a “writer” and it wasn’t until December that I started adopting that title to my friends.

Malcom Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours or approximately 10 years to become an “expert” at something. While I still have a lot to learn and every thing I write is hard to produce, it’s safe to say I’ve crossed that mark.

Am I really a writer? I have no idea. But I know what I’m doing.

And, yes, I’m scared to death that people will find out that this is exactly who I want to be.

I Have a Confession to Make

Born to be wild, Vauxhall tubb

I am starting my own business.

That’s right, a business and I have no idea what it will be yet. I’ve mentioned this to a few people, how I want to start a business but I haven’t had that idea that strikes like a bolt of lightning and makes me say, “holy shit, this is it!”

Actually, that has happened, but I’m still ruminating on it.

There are two things I’m obsessed with: 1) building things, and 2) movements.

The first I know quite a bit about from positions I’ve had over the years. And the second is a relatively new passion that was born out of the love I have of being the voice that connects brands with their customers and from watching organizations like the Girl Effect and Movember harness their communities and ignite a wave of action.

It’s pretty incredible.

So while I research and learn what exactly those two things mean – What do I enjoy most about building things? And what exactly is it about movements that totally draw me in? – and how they’ll work with each other, today, I’m officially coming out as an entrepreneur in training.

I don’t know when I’ll land and settle with an idea that I will want to build, execute, ship, and implement, but it will happen. It’s going to happen. And it will probably happen way sooner than any of us think it will.

And I’m bringing this blog (and you!) with me along the way.

Photo credit: tubb

A Secret, Part 2

Eat the world!!_by_Beatriz_AG

I have a thought that’s been on the tip of my tongue and in the back of my mind for years. It’s been there, this passion, this desire. But as years move on, priorities shift, and concentrations change, things upon things have been piled on top of it and this idea gets buried deeper and deeper. Now it’s crawling to the surface, cascading through my thoughts like a snowstorm, gaining speed like a typhoon, and consuming me like an avalanche. It wants out.

The evolution of an idea

This idea has an identity all of her own. She’s defining herself based on her actions and celebrating her silent victories. Her voice is gaining momentum and she wants the spotlight that she deserves.

She smells so fresh in the secret little box I keep her in, and I’m nervous to let her out. I’m afraid to let her voice ring from the rooftops, roar louder than thunder, and serenade mightier than my favorite rock band ever could, because that’s exactly what she’ll do. I am anxious about the person she’ll turn me in to.

Truth

I am so close to breathing about her and so uneasy about the force voicing her into existence will mean. It’s one thing to think it and another to speak it. I mentioned it to my sister today, just barely. She said she’s never understood why I haven’t embraced it. I have yet to voice it to John, though I know it won’t surprise him either.

This is something I’ve always wanted, always identified with. It’s so obvious and yet something I’ve kept so far away. It’s holding me back. The only person I’m fooling is me.

Photo Credit: Beatriz AG

What Can You Learn from Training to Become an Elite Athlete?

They say it takes 30 days to form a habit and 90 days to change your life, especially when it comes to health and wellness.

Eleven weeks ago I started a new habit of going to CrossFit 3-days-on, 1-day rest, which meant I was working out 5-to-6 times a week, showing up to the evening classes during the week, and somehow making it to the 8am classes on Saturday and Sunday. My non-gym social life was on probation, but my gym life had never been better.

Laura Handstand 24HoursOfLeMons by Doug Chase
Learning how to do a handstand in a skirt, however, is extra. (Struting my stuff at “Goin’ for Broken” 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill Raceway in California)

Last weekend was the CrossFit Regional Competition, which was the reason for the crazy workout in the first place. I didn’t make the affiliate team for my gym, but here’s what I got out of the competition:

How to establish a goal, and meet it

A year ago I met a woman who competed in a weightlifting competition in Canada, which technically made her an international competitor. This woman was probably twenty years older than me and did not have the body of a stereotypical athlete by any means. But she was strong and humble about her accomplishment. I don’t know if she placed, ranked, or even finished, but she showed up and competed (in spandex nonetheless). At that moment, I had a fleeting thought―I, too, want to be a weightlifting competitor. I race cars, so why not add this to the list?

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