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Firm Foundation

Throughout life, there will be various and, at times, unexpected sharp turns and transitions. In order to stay steady, it’s important to have a firm foundation. To not be easily moved by what’s going on around you.

So I’d encourage you to ask yourself these questions now so that when the “going gets tough” or you’ve forgotten why you started, you can rediscover your roots by reminding yourself of the answers to these questions.

1.Core Values

What are the core values that you learned growing up?

Have you strayed away from them?

2. Nonnegotiables

If put in a life or death ultimatum situation, what are the things that you would never compromise on?

Are they worth dying for?

3. Aspirations

What are your visions, goals, dreams and desires?

Are you still pursuing them? Or have you lost sight of what sets your soul on fire?

4. Mentor Relationships

What does your mentor always tell you?

How are you incorporating their wisdom into your life?

5. Spiritual Relationships

What has God promised you for you life?

Are you trusting Him completely or living like He doesn’t follow through on His promises ?

6. Relationships with Others

Are you helping others pursue their passions? 

How can you better love and help others?

7. Personal Relationship

What are your talents and strengths?

Are they being utilized to their fullest potential?

8. Familial Relationships

What do your family and friends say about you?

Sometimes other people can see things about you that you can’t.

 

The answers to these questions are most likely the things that hold you together – they are your foundation. Hold close to these truths about yourself. Make sure that they are firm, reliable pillars. That way, when the storms come your way, and I’m sure they will, you can’t be shaken.

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15 Ways To Make #Adulting A Little Bit Easier

#Adulting will never be easy. It’s a transition that we all have to go through – some earlier than others. Although it’s not always fun, it can be made easier if you heed to these keys.

1. Save yourself some money.

Steve Madden shoes are uncomfortable anyways. If you put the same amount of money you’d spend on 5 pairs of Steve Madden’s into your savings account, you will thank me later.

2. Own your professional confidence and network.

One way to build confidence in your abilities is to network. You can start off by reaching out to two people you want to have coffee with a week and before you know it, those people will suggest for you to meet their colleagues. Knowing the people in your workplace will make you more confident to share your ideas and make you stand out in your workplace.

3. Find out who your true friends are.

Discover a community that supports you, makes you better and intentionally reaches out to you.

4. Create a budget.

There are simple Excel templates online that will help you break down your rent, loans, electric bills, groceries and even your coffee intake.

5. Write down your short-term and long-term goals.

A five-year plan is simply not necessary. Instead make some specific goals that you want to reach by a reasonable deadline and some general goals for your future. Share these goals with people who will keep you accountable.

6. Read books for pleasure AND personal development

Nicholas Sparks is great for a rainy day, but Lean In: For Graduates by Sheryl Sandberg or “The Goal” by Eliyahu Goldratt are examples of good reads to expand your professional knowledge and develop personally.

7. Start your day off by having some quiet time to get your head straight. 

Quiet time has so many different forms. If you need a few ideas for your quiet time, take a look at this post.


8. Take the time to call and reach out to your family.

Family is probably the most constant source of support that you’ll find. Although this #adulting stage of your life can be confusing and difficult, make sure that you do not neglect those closest to you.

9. Draw your circle of action

In the midst of all the new to-do items that now concern you, take a step back and draw a circle around the few things that you can immediately control. That will be your “circle of action.” The “circle of action” gives you breathing room so you do not feel like everything is your responsibility.

10. Keep a notebook by your bed.

A bedside notebook would be helpful just in case you remember something from earlier or get an idea in the middle of the night. We don’t want the next million-dollar-idea to be lost into oblivion, now do we?

11. Always have a stash of thank you, congratulatory and birthday cards.

You just never know when they will come in handy.

12. Learn to enjoy your own company.

Even in public spaces. Not as many people are watching you when you reserve a table-for-one as you think.

13. Sometimes you have to look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a pep talk.

Because why not? You’re pretty darn awesome and deserve some encouragement.

14. Make Pinterest your new best friend.

I’m sure there are other great apps out there, but if you use Pinterest correctly, you will have an organized method of collecting cheap yet doable recipes, home decorations, and other life hacks in no time!

15. ReadAdulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown.

This book has provided me with the most in-depth crash course on #adulting. From getting the right pots and pans for an apartment to figuring out whether it’s okay to decline a calendar invite,  Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps  has it all!

There may not be a rubric to #adulting successfully, but these 14 steps should at least give you a head start. Good luck!

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Listening & Embracing the Ugliness

As this election season quickly approaches, there are some things that are important to consider. Although everyone has their freedom to vote as they choose, there are some issues that transcend political lines – they are human issues, not political issues.

A lot of people are so busy defending their party that they don’t take the time to hear other perspectives. They forget that every decision, every policy, every action step affects real humans and real families, in the states or abroad.

I’ve witnessed the power of dialogue. A lot of people think that talking through issues is a weak initiative. However,  it is one of the strongest moves anyone can make, especially if all parties are genuinely listening to the heart of what’s being shared and an action plan to move forward is explored after the conversation.

When people come together, share their opinions, and most importantly, listen to “the other side,” progress can be made. A lot of the time, people from differing parties are saying very similar things, but are shouting so loud that they never take time to listen and hear the other out.

When you choose to listen,  it’s important to embrace the ugliness and messiness of all perspectives.

In other words, as decent human beings, we should all agree that there is something beautiful that happens when someone can own up to their imperfections. However, somehow that has not translated into politics. People refuse to admit the wrongs and flaws with their respective political party or with America as a whole. Nevertheless, the bigger picture, flaws and all, is essential for a holistic and well-rounded narrative.

For example, you can admit that both Israel and Palestine could make better decisions and  still be pro-one country or the other. You can admit that #blacklivesmatter could use a more central leader to bring greater clarity to the movement and  still fight for racial justice. You can admit that both Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton have some major issues and  still vote. You can admit that America was founded on genocide and slavery and  still be patriotic to a degree. And heck, Jesus knew that we were all sinners and  still loved us to the point of death.

It’s not always “either or.” Issues with this country are not nearly that simple. It’s healthy to acknowledge the complexities and  messiness of it all without oversimplification.

That’s when real change can be made – when you embrace the ugliness, own up to it, broaden your focus to human lives and not just political parties, and still stand up for what’s right to you. That’s maturity. That’s beautiful. That’s what can happen in the weeks leading up to November 2016 if America chooses to intentionally listen.