To Be Forever Young

I believe I’m a child at heart, despite always feeling older and more mature as an INFJ personality type. I’m a child at heart just like Princess Ariel, in reference to my post: “Do You Believe in Destiny?” As I mentioned in my last blog post one of my goals in life is to stay young.

How can we be forever young? To me being forever young is a state of always looking for ways to make everyday things fun, and having the energy and excitement for life you would see in a child’s eyes. It’s to be spirited. I can’t stand being bored just like a child. I just want to make anything and everything fun. It’s difficult sometimes with constant chores and responsibilities, but life is too short to not have fun.Image

My husband and I always go grocery shopping on weeknights to avoid the crowds of people. Almost every time we go I jump on the back of the grocery cart and propel myself down the aisles. My husband even pushes me and I just love flying down the aisles like a kid; it’s a fun ride that makes grocery shopping less mundane. Usually no one is around, but sometimes people notice and it usually just makes them smile or they just don’t care. Even though I worry about what other people think of me, I have no problem embarrassing myself in front of strangers. I especially love embarrassing my husband because he gets embarrassed so much easier than I do.

My husband and I also have squirt gun fights in summer and run around the house chasing each other and hiding. We also play pranks on each other, like I take a cup of cold water and pour it over him when he is taking a hot shower. He is usually a good sport about it, because he knows he will get his revenge.

People always complain about getting older and many women like to joke about being in their 20’s when they are usually in their 50’s. If you ask me 22 is that turning point where becoming a year older is no longer exciting with the exception of the gifts, cake, drinks or party that comes with it. We all want to stay young. I look at it from the perspective of whether I’m where I want to be at that stage of my life. I always have my eyes on the horizon, I’m constantly thinking about what I want to accomplish before I turn another year older. Last year, I was bummed about turning another year older due to being unemployed and feeling financially stuck. Nonetheless, it was my first birthday in our new house and I had a lot of other things to be thankful for. Turning another year older is great when you can look back without regret or disappointment.

Age is just a number. You can always stay young at heart. Here is a perfect example. I recently started attending a free Zumba class. Have you tried it? It’s pretty fun. My class has people of all ages, but one lady stood out and I could not help but watch her dance. Every week she is smiling more than anyone else, she seems to be having twice as much fun as everyone else and is bouncing and dancing with more energy than almost everyone else in the room. She is around 65 years old and recently completed a half marathon. Obviously she is in excellent shape, but she also looks great for her age. I could not help to notice how fashionable she was dressed wearing a Victoria Secret Pink shirt and sweatpants. I don’t normally think of old people as cute, but she is cute. I had a conversation with her recently and found her to be extremely nice and easy to talk to as well. I can’t help but smile when I see her, due to her contagious energy and charisma. She seems so content with life and herself. She has the energy and excitement of a young person.

She is my ideal version of myself 40 years from now. In 40 years from now I want to be just as happy, just as friendly, in great shape with loads of energy and still be dressing stylish. How about you?

Before starting this blog I had to listen to the song “Forever Young” by Rod Steward. It’s an older song that I actually quite enjoy. It makes me happy whenever I hear it. It makes me want to be young and spirited. Although he is singing about his kids, the song has a great message. You can listen to it here.

What does it mean to you to be forever young?

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Eyes on the Horizon: Create a Path for the Future

I always dread the question “Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?” If you don’t already know this, I was out of work for several months and this was a recurring question I needed to be able to answer for a successful interview. It took me about 6 months to finally come up with a good answer for this question. You would think I would be the person who has it all figured out, right? Since, I’m constantly dreaming of the future. The problem is life never turns out exactly the way we plan.Image

When I look back at a paper I wrote in high school on where I see myself in 10 years it’s far from accurate on where I am now in my life. Some of the things I’m very glad are inaccurate. Why? Because I have changed and evolved, I’m not the same person and my dreams are very different now. Life, has also thrown some surprises at me throughout my journey. When I was searching for a job I had no plans on applying for a job like the company I currently work at, but I was desperate. As it turns out I love my job and the culture at my current company is awesome. I don’t know if I will be there 5 or 10 years down the road, but I’m okay with not having it all figured out.

I have read in books, articles and heard from professionals that you need to have goals in your life and your goals should be S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). Oh and they must be written down otherwise they are just dreams. If you have SMART goals and they are written down your doing a lot better than me. I’m pretty sure I’m failing at that, but I will explain why later. 

In case you were wondering here is my best answer to that daunting question: “Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?” This is specifically for an interview: “I hope to be working at the same company and I plan on making a significant contribution to the company I’m at. I plan on continuously learning new things and increasing my skills and abilities (here I list a few related to the job, such as my writing skills). If there’s an opportunity to advance within the company that is definitely something I would be interested in, but it’s more important to me that I’m continuously learning and growing with the company I’m working at.” Feel free to use this response, if you think it’s worthy and it suits you. It did work well for me.

I have come up with a list of broader goals or dreams for my future. I think these are more important than SMART goals. 

  1. To be happy: to be positive, to try and make almost anything fun and not let people or life’s unexpected plans for me get in the way of that.
  2. To not care what other people think of me, how I live my life, my dreams or anything else 
  3. To be creative and always write: I don’t care if I’m drawing, painting or creating graphic designs. I just need to be using my creative abilities!
  4. To be the best wife: by not fighting over all the stupid little things, instead choosing to laugh about them. The rest is easy.
  5. To always be a good friend: to be there for my friends despite my own problems, jealously or any other life factors.
  6. To be young and silly: to avoid saying: “I’m too old to do that.”
  7. To be wild and adventurous and always open to trying new things (I have a long list of adventure ideas, but I won’t bore you with them).
  8. To travel: Long list here, but I must see Greece and France for sure.  
  9. To write a book (not sure when or about what, but I think I will figure it out when the time is right).
  10. To make an impact in the world: to leave something behind. Along with giving to charity some of my time and my money.
  11. To always eat healthy without giving up all the things I love to eat.  
  12. To become a better cook: to develop my own recipes in the future that I can share with others, but they have to be perfect first!
  13. To be in better physical shape then I am now.
  14. To be fashionable and feel good about the way I look throughout my life.
  15. To have a home unique to my personality.
  16. To have financial security and be able to retire by 65 (or somewhere around that age) and still have money to travel and have new adventures.
  17. To get a hot tub (Yeah, I know this one is totally not in line with my other dreams, but I live in a cold state and dream about it ALL THE TIME!)

Will SMART goals contribute to my #1 dream of happiness? Can the goals I have written for myself be specific with time stamps on them? Some of them yes, but they don’t need to be. As long as I’m continuously working on ways to achieve or maintain these bigger dreams or goals I know above all I will be happy. I can’t say that I need to be an artist, a writer or a marketing manager, or an entrepreneur to be happy. I don’t know and I think that’s okay. I think life will figure it out for me. As long as I’m constantly “Creating a Path to all New Heights.”

I think SMART goals make sense if you have a very specific plan for yourself. I’m sure I will be writing some in the future. I’m just interested in trying so many different things. My life is like this blog, sometimes I have just a glimpse of a thought in mind and I just dive into writing and see where my words will take me (just as I try new things and see where the road will take me). Right now, I plan on doing some freelance writing as a second job. I can’t imagine it will be nearly as fun as writing this blog. But, I’m excited to try it.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? or 10 years?

Life is a Canvas. What will you paint?

ImageYou can be who you want to be, as long as it’s true to you. You can go anywhere you want to go. You can learn anything you want to learn. The only real limitations you have are the limitations you create for yourself.

I used to be the queen of limitations. I used to feed myself negative thoughts on a regular basis. I mentally beat myself up over just about everything: my physical appearance, my social skills, my mental capabilities, my confusing emotions and how other people saw me. I didn’t realize my biggest problem was internal and not external. Now if you met me and got to know me, I think you would have no idea that I was ever that person. I think..maybe? Except the people closest to me know, that some days I can get caught in that trap of thinking I’m not good enough to do certain things. I still worry sometimes about how other people see me. But, perfection doesn’t exist. It’s more important that I’m growing in the way I view the world.

I recently read “Strength Finders 2.0” and one of the main focuses of that book was that we can’t be anything we want to be, but we can within reason. We can be the greatest version of ourselves by focusing on our strengths. Meaning we can’t be a famous basketball player if we have no athletic capabilities. We can try and maybe come close to achieving those goals, but it’s best to invest our energy into our natural strengths.

What will you use to paint your life canvas? With the internet and all the resources available our ability to learn new things and find information has changed drastically. It’s now incredibly easy to find answers to our most thought provoking questions. We can learn so many new things for free and in the comfort of our own homes. I’ve read many rags to riches stories and the only thing you absolutely need is the drive and determination to make it happen. My last blog post: “Creating a Path to All New Heights” focuses on the necessity of continuously learning and growing.

For some the hardest struggle is figuring out what to paint on their life canvas? What is the right career move for you? Where do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now? What will make you happy? This is where I tend to struggle, not because I have so few goals, but because I have so many (I will share some of my goals in my next blog post). I’m interested in so many things that I struggle to focus my time and energy on a couple very specific goals. Due to the nature of my personality I’m always thinking about the future. I’m always painting a picture in my mind of my ideal life canvas. I want to have it all figured out now, but life is changing and we are continuously evolving. The canvas will keep on changing. We just need to keep on painting with well thought out goals for our future.

“The world is the way it is because we perceive it that way and because we take action in deciding how we want to live our lives.”
-Jen

Creating a Path to All New Heights

Do you feel like you’re continuously growing as a person? Are you always learning and evolving into the best version of yourself? Are you happy?

I personally feel like I’m continuously growing as a person and evolving more into the ideal version of myself. I’m a fairly happy person, but I spend a lot of time worrying about money and security. I spend a lot of time thinking about all the things I want, but I can’t afford at this point in my life.

However, I strongly believe if I’m continuously learning new things in life and approaching life with a positive view I will consistently build a path upward and find myself climbing to all new heights. More and more opportunities will arise for me as I commit to a Imagepath of learning, while also sending off a wave of positive energy wherever I may go.

Fear controls so much of our lives, without us even realizing it. I almost gave into fear last night when mapping out how to get to a location I’ve never been to. You should know I’m extremely directionally challenged. I can’t follow directions and worry about getting lost, having to call my husband and then being late somewhere. I print off directions and follow GPS’s and still fail to find the place I’m headed to 50% of the time. Sometimes, I feel like I shouldn’t even bother.

When I nipped fear in the butt and attended a huge networking event in the big city it paid off with valuable contacts who willingly gave me helpful advice on my job search. When I did sales for my school newspaper and was fearful of talking to people by phone and in person I developed new skills. My communication skills grew stronger which helped me to not only get jobs, but feel more confident in myself and my abilities.

It’s important to step outside your comfort zone every so often as scary as that might be.  You never know what may await you outside of that cozy space that we tend to not want to leave. At some point you need to take the plunge. You need to dive into an activity that you may not necessarily enjoy, because it will be beneficial to you in the future.

You’ve probably heard many times before: “without risk, there is no reward.” A common theme captured in most articles about entrepreneur’s and business successes. Yet, there’s many things we can do that were either afraid of or too lazy to do that might help us to grow as an individual. When I stepped outside of my comfort zone to attend that networking event, the only thing I risked was wasting my time. Even if I embarrassed myself (which I did at some point), most people I will probably never see again in my life anyway.

Whenever I sit and ponder over something I don’t understand or simply wonder about something I make sure to Google it. Any opportunity to learn something new and interesting is an opportunity I’m interested in pursuing.

Since there’s no job security anymore, the only thing I have to cling onto is my skills and my knowledge base. So I strive to continuously learn new things inside and outside of work. I’m continuously reading books and articles that help me to grow as a person or see different aspects of life in an entirely new way. With that and the confidence I have developed in myself and my determination to do what is necessary to be successful, I see myself moving on a path upwards and forwards as opposed to in circles.

Commit to continuously learning, do something outside of your comfort zone and don’t let fear hold you back. Start climbing upwards, you never know what new heights (what new opportunities) may await you in the future.