Sometimes You Just Have to Do What You Want

You should always spend time doing what makes you happy. Last night, I spent a great deal of time doing something I did not want to do, something that made me ultimately unhappy, and when I woke this morning and thought back on the wasted Saturday night, I was reminded of a point that I always try to aspire to: do what you want to do. Of course, there are situations in which we must attend unpleasant events or participate in less-than-thrilling conversations, but there so many times when we end up committing ourselves to do something we don’t want to do, something we could have easily gotten out of. When this happens to me (as it did last night), I feel anger and resentment not only to the other person/people and situation, but to myself. Afterward, I ask myself, Why didn’t I just say no? Why did I waste time doing something that didn’t bring happiness to my life? I often rationalize that I somehow got suckered into it or I couldn’t get out of it, but this time I am choosing to do something different. After waking and feeling resentment about a wasted Saturday night, I am not going ask why the time was wasted or think about what I could have done with my night. Instead, I am going to prepare myself for the future by taking these steps to make sure that, whenever I can, I am spending my time the way I want to.

1

Just say no. When I come across an invitation or a situation I don’t want to participate in for whatever reason (even if no one else could possibly understand my reasoning), I am going to say no. Of course, this means I will still have to go to work and meetings and do some things I really, really hate doing (like pumping gas and walking down the aisles of a grocery store), but there are also a lot of things I can say no to that I usually don’t. I usually rationalize the event in some way, saying to myself, Oh I haven’t seen this person in so long or I don’t have any other plans set in stone yet. Even if I have nothing better to do, I will still strive to avoid spending my time in ways that don’t feel positive to me.

2

Recognize what things don’t interest me — and don’t do them. Ever. We all have things that we know we don’t like to do. For example, I’m not a big fan of sports games. With the right people and in the right situation they can definitely be fun, but I have spent hours and hours of my life on boyfriend-of-the-moment’s couch watching football or basketball. And I have sat there resentfully, thinking to myself, I could be doing something else right now. I really don’t care at all about this stupid game. What am I doing here? That’s just my example though. I’m sure for other people, there are certain situations they know bring out negativity and resentment in them. My advice? Don’t do them. Yes, if you have a friend or significant other that really wants your support, sometimes you might have to do things you really don’t want to do, but you should seriously consider if participating in an event and feeling annoyed about it is really worth it in the long run. Maybe you can work out a deal with the person or maybe you can find someone who has interests more in line with your own. Either way, settling for a situation never brings about positivity in any relationship.

youwant

3

Set aside time to do what you love. Sometimes it’s easy to remember what we love to do, and to find the time to do it. When you experience a situation in which you feel you have wasted time, often the things you would have loved to have been doing jump to the forefront of your mind. For example, last night I thought to myself, I wish I were writing right now. I wish I was finishing up the book I’m so into reading. I wish I could be in bed, turning off the light, about to get a few extra hours of sleep because it’s the weekend. Right there, I thought of three things that I really enjoy doing (yes, sleeping is one of them). That’s one of the few perks about doing something you don’t want to do — you realize all of the things you do want to do. Once you’ve figured out whatever it is really enjoy doing (which, actually, can be very difficult for some people so really take your time with this), you should set aside time to do it. Not general, maybe-this-weekend time, but actually time, such as blocking off an hour or two in your calender. In doing this, you will be more likely to remember and take time to do the things that interest you. In addition, you can easily say, “Oh, i’m sorry! I already have plans!” when an invitation arises that you are really not interested in accepting.

4

Realize that life is short. Cliche as it sounds, life is short. We only have a limited amount of time here in this life and we should make the most of it. We should spend whatever free time we have doing what makes us happy. It’s easy to get sucked into doing what other people want to do or justifying activities and saying that we “have” to do them, but this is unfair not only to us, but to those around us. People will be able to sense that you are not enjoying yourself (or, at least, people can sense when I’m not enjoying myself because I make it very clear). You will be resentful of the people and situations you spend time with and partake in because you felt you “had” to. You will miss out on all of the fun and excitement and joy you could have had doing what you really wanted to be doing. Our lives are short and we should all be living them the way we would like to.

5

Surround yourself with people who support what you want to do. This can be difficult at times, because not everyone wants to do the same thing and it’s pretty near impossible to surround yourself with friends and family members who enjoy the exact same activities that you do. However, you can choose your friends and you can choose friends that enjoy similar activities. You can also choose to surround yourself with people who make not like to do all of the same things you do, but who support the time you want to spend doing those things. Likewise, you can be the kind of person who, though you may not want to participate in a certain activity, fully supports those who do. People who are unsupportive bring negativity into their lives and the lives of those around them, so try to support the preferences of others and most definitely try to surround yourself with people who support you.
Some may read this entry and think, How selfish! We shouldn’t just go around doing what we want to do without thinking about the needs of others! This is true. I am not encouraging complete and utter selfishness, but I am, as always, encouraging positivity. We have this moment, this life, to live however we want to, and I feel like so often we take this for granted. We think that we can get to something later or, in my case, I rationalize things, saying to myself, Oh, I’ll always have time to read. But will I? What I know for sure is that we have this moment, this single moment, to live. No future is guaranteed so whenever possible I believe we should spend time doing whatever makes us happy. Between work and other commitments that we can’t get out of, we actually have very little time to do the things that make us truly happy. Think about what you really love to do — and do it!

Design Your Own Career: Part Three

“To love what you do and feel that it matters–how could anything be more fun?”
– Katharine Graham

In Part One of this series we learned how to target our dream careers and in Part Two we sussed out the skills required to start achieving it. In Part Three we are going to focus on increasing your appetite and ability for learning, and how this translates into a fulfilling career.

careersm

Never Stop Learning

It is a common, often subconscious, belief that learning stops when you remove yourself from a traditional academic environment – be that school, college or university. But, for your dream career, this is absolutely not the case. You should always look at your career as a path, not simply a destination (if you saw the movie ‘Click’ then you’ll know the danger in that!)

However, this doesn’t mean you should constantly be striving ahead, rather than being content where you are – it is actually quite the opposite, it’s knowing that, when you reach a milestone, it is not the be all and end all, but merely a glorious bonus in a tapestry that stretches far beyond and around it.

When we stop learning, or being open to learning, in many ways we stop trying, we stop feeling challenged, we stop being creative and hopeful in our work, and therefore that work becomes dull, wearing, and a slog. Life is a continuous puzzle, and it should always be that way. The moment you feel you have it all sussed is the moment life becomes monotonous.

When thinking about learning within the framework of your dream career, it is necessary to look backwards as well as forwards – what type of learning got you to where you are now? What is the best direction to take the results of that learning?

Got a conventional education? Fantastic.

Just because you did what everyone said was the ‘sensible’ thing and got a qualification, doesn’t mean you aren’t still destined for a creative and unconventional career path. Standard curriculum education may have its faults, but it also has many benefits.

Take a wider look at your education – what has it taught you beyond the course title? Have you gained confidence, people skills, and a power for problem solving? If you start to look, you’ll realise there may be far more to your education than you thought, and you may start to see how those skills can transfer into a more creative, ‘designed’ career.

Not got a conventional education? No problem!

Learning is a personal journey, and it is certainly not found strictly within the confines of a classroom, or out of a traditional textbook. Find a genuine love for learning and you will find there are many avenues for self-education.

The likelihood is that you have built a wealth of real-life experience in place of a conventional education, and this can be just as much, if not more, value to your self-fashioned career than you think.

What Learning Looks Like

Learning comes in different formats. Learning can be alive and interactive and exciting – not just dusty equations on a blackboard. Learning is a frame of mind and, when you start to illustrate and intertwine your dream career into your life, you’ll realise there are lessons to be found all over the place.

Books – Fiction and non-fiction, books are perhaps the most straightforward way of gaining new insights within your field. Aim to read at least a book a month that is relevant to/impacts your career.
Internet – It’s easy to take the internet for granted, but we have more knowledge literally at our fingertips than we have ever had before. Take advantage of that.
Museums – Our culture, our ideas and our businesses are all built on our history, so educating yourself about the world you come from is a great tool for shaping the world you want for yourself.
Art Galleries – It is important to feel we are learning creatively just as much as it is to feel we are ingesting facts and figures. Gaining inspiration or knowledge from any creative medium can really help to inspire various elements of your career.
Film – Not merely a brain-dead way to pass a Saturday evening with a bucket of sweet or salted, cinema is a powerfully animated tool for teaching yourself about various careers, cultures, continents and more.
Music – Music and its history tells a story, it arouses our creative side and it is a thoroughly pleasurable way to learn about the world, so you’ve got no excuse to avoid it!
Travel and Real Life Experiences – These are perhaps the most valuable ways of learning as they remove you from your comfort zone, challenge you, and ultimately teach you about yourself.
People – That’s right, actual conversation and the ability to listen will pay dividends in almost any career. Always strive to learn from the people in your life, new and old; they have first-hand experiences you may never get the chance to live yourself.
Short, evening or residential courses – If you like the group learning environment then there are courses available within almost any niche. If you haven’t got the time or opportunity to physically attend courses, e-courses are becoming more and more popular.
Community Events – Getting involved in community events is the perfect way to tie together all kinds of forms of learning and, hopefully, build your career.

Putting Love into What You Do

So where does love come into all of this? Well, if you truly love your career, then an inherent hunger for improving within it is a given, and this is just another way of learning. Your dream career should feel fluid, organic and always fresh and exciting; that’s when you keep your appetite for it; that’s when you love it; and that is only achieved when you are open to learning.

The next and final part of this series will be all about making your passion pay – how to earn an income from doing what you love – so don’t miss out.

The Parmahansa Ballerina

At the last moment, I turned right instead of driving straight. “I think we should have some really clean food instead,” I said as I headed down the road to one of our other favorite places. Within a few minutes, we were already there.

The manager greeted us warmly and loudly. You know that comedy show, “Cheers”? Kind of like that, but instead of this place being packed with beer-bellied Republicans, it catered more to the very far Left. Very far.

As we placed our orders, my husband looked at the women on the couch next to ours. “Oh, what a cute dog,” he said. The woman was wearing an almost see-through long skirt, and a knitted hat. “He assists with healing,” she said.

She must have seen the perplexed look on my face, and she began to explain. “He works with cancer patients sometimes, or whatever is needed,” she said. “He takes on the energy of the person he is healing. I named him Buddha,” she added as an afterthought. My husband chuckled and replied, “yes, of course,” half-joking.

I asked the woman about her work. “I’m actually a nun,” she said. “Well, not really – a Swami in the Tibetan lineage, from a specific area in the Himalayas. Soon I’ll be a Parmahansa, and then a Llama after that. Well, maybe. I haven’t decided.”

“Wow, that’s amazing!” I replied. I had no idea it was so “easy” to become a Llama, as it were.

The nun changed subjects somewhat. “I think there may be a big earthquake coming, and my mother is freaking out about that. It’s true, I did predict 9/11 months before it happened,” she said. I kept dreaming about plane crashes. My friends dismissed me as nuts.” She looked vindicated in a way.

At that moment, a friend we knew from our dance class walked in the restaurant. She was in from New York, and we thought we’d missed the chance to say goodbye before she went back. I suddenly remembered my “moment of insight” when I decided to come here rather than the other restaurant, and at the same time I knew this was why the nun’s story interested me so much – life is so much richer when it is lived in the world of possibility rather than the world of the acceptable or “normal”.

While my friend and I chatted, the nun just sat and watched us, eating her food. After my friend left, I told the nun a little about our dance classes.

Her face lit up. “Oh, I dance everyday,” she replied. “I used to be a ballet dancer, you see.” Ha, a Parmahansa ballerina! What a curious mental image that produced.

I asked her about her hair, because I know that many monks and nuns shave as their religion requires. She took of her hat, and she was completely bald underneath. “It’s not required of me anymore, now that I’m a Swami,” she said, “but it’s easier to keep like this anyway!” Hair or not, she still looked nice, which made me wonder something else.

“What about having a boyfriend?” I asked.

“Sure,” she replied, “it’s okay as long as you’re a Parmahansa and he is a priest in the same order. When you teach, your boyfriend must also be a teacher,” she explained. That made sense to me.

As we finished our food and asked for the check, our nun started on a new topic. “I grew up on a cattle farm…” she began, and all at once the absurdity of it all hit me. Here she was, a Parmahansa ballerina, predicting 9/11 but not the big earthquake, with a mother who is paranoid and who raised her on a cattle farm, whose dog heals the sick, and who wears sheer skirts in freezing cold weather.

We got up to leave, and she invited us to come to the temple to see her. “I teach classes there, you should stop by!” she said. We hugged our new friend and then made our way to the car.

As we rode toward home, we speculated what it would be like to create an entire new teaching lineage. Maybe you could begin as a Llama, and then as time went on you would lose rank, let your hair grow, get a boyfriend, and then… eventually you get to enlightenment and completely release from the self! California is amazing!

Visiting Florida the Kitschy Kingdom

Oh my Florida, pan handle! Nearly surrounded by beaches and golden balls of sunshine on orange trees. The sunshine state is also the kitsch capitol of the world. “Florida is the land of pink flamingos, bathing beauties, palm trees, coconuts, and beaches.”

Miami

MIA aka Miami is the city of delicious candy-coated, art deco cafes, shops and hotels on the beach. “Miami is an international city. It’s not only the business capital of the Caribbean Islands, but also a playground for wealthy European, Central American, and South American travelers. Miami attracts more foreign visitors than any other U.S. city.”

Beaches upon beaches!

There are so many fabulous beaches in Florida that you can find something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for a tropical getaway or a party beach, you can find the perfect spot on the sand (or rocks/tide pools) for you.

Key West, Florida Keys

Cat circus, cute-neighborly bars on the ocean, cotton-candy coated homes and kitty cat mosaics hidden within even the drugstore’s architecture. A favorite paradise.

“The Florida Keys are famous for harboring such historical luminaries as playwright Tennessee Williams, novelist Ernest Hemingway, and bird-chronicler John James Audubon. In truth, aspiring artists continue to be drawn to the Keys. They come not just for the spectacular sunsets and stunning wildlife but for the free-spirited way of life embodied by the Keys. That spirit is evident at the many festivals and events you will find listed on our cultural calendar. Here you can visit a tiny gallery, take in a community play, enjoy an open-air festival or attend a symphony orchestra. You’ll find that the Keys are rich in cultural opportunities. ” – Florida Keys

Orange Groves

Mmmm! Do you dig the cirtrusy candy-sweet smell or would you prefer just the taste of an orange grove cookie?

Disney World

You get free admission on your birthday and a bit of special treatment, a definite time to book a trip to the happiest most magical rainbowland (besides my home) in the USA.

Coconut Palm Trees

In Miami the fallen coconuts are layed aside with straws stick within their broken shell, sipped dry of their delicious cocomilk (there is a nut inside of the fruit, filled with a layer of white coconut and sweet watery cocomilk) they are left for useless but create a cute visual memento for passersby.

“Coconut Palm is one of the finest Florida Palm Trees. It is native to the Malay Archipelago or the South Pacific. Coconut Palm is also the most recognized palm in the world.” – Florida Palm Trees. Coconuts??

Tropical Wineries

Florida has a rainbow of wines from every delicious tropical flavor you can imagine. Just think, orange, pineapple, coconut and key lime wines (similar to a margarita). Yum! Take a look at the assortment of wineries and visit the ones that sound tastiest!

Chinatown

The 1st Oriental Supermarket is the hot spot in Chinatown, 42,000 sq. ft., live seafood, fresh bakery and BBQ products, groceries, herbs & medicines, you imagine it and they probably have it hand somewhere. Other shops through the district include a CD & DVD store, beauty & facial shop, hair salon, travel agency, mobile phone store, karaoke, employment agency, realty company, advertising & marketing company, etc. available to serve you.hungry or in need of a tasty treat, just step into one of the delicious and inexpensive specialty restaurants to enjoy a cup of Boba Tea, some Taiwanese food, Chinese take-out, or even a cat-shaped sweet roll. (also hosts a number of special events to celebrate the Chinese Festivals)

Antique & Thrift Stores

Prime vintage kitschy deliciousness can be spotted everywhere here. One of these reasons is because it’s such a sunny, relaxing place to retire, many retirees get rid of their and their collected goodies here. Which leaves for absolute popculture art archeology, as Lala might proclaim.

Cute Architecture & Deco Decor

Cute art deco, salt-water taffy colored wonderland in the sunshine.

Florida Lifestyle

The Florida lifestyle is generally more relaxed than other rural areas, take it easy. Island living~

More Favorite Florida Fun

Dylan’s Candy Bar
Bear & Bird Gallery and Boutique
Carnival Cruise Lines
Everglades National Park — plan a picnic!
Universal Studios
Sanrio Stores SE
Sanrio Stores SW

How to Travel Happy and Care Free

Traveling is Doable- Even On a Budget!

Miseducated girls know that one of the best parts of life is getting out of your every day cycle and exploring what the world has to offer. Unfortunately, leaving your abode and venturing out into the unknown can be a little pricey. Never fear, though, there are plenty of ways you can cut down on the cost of traveling, whether your plans involve a simple (but awesome) road trip or venturing across national territories.

Pack your own food

Airplane food is mega expensive so it’s advised that you avoid it at all costs. Pack yourself enough for 1-2 meals and carry it onto the plane with you. You’ll use up food in your refrigerator (it will go bad anyway!) and save quite a bit of money. Also pack snacks (I promise you’ll get hungry later) for the plane ride and if you have room, enough for the duration of your vacation.

Eat breakfast at your hostel/hotel

Many hotels and hostels offer a free, continental breakfast. Take advantage of this! Don’t feel guilty taking a few rolls or fruits for the road – often times food is thrown out because hotels/hostels make more than what they need.

Don’t eat out for every meal

Don’t get me wrong – going out to eat is one of my all time favorite ways to spend money, but it can get very expensive. Buy your meals like a local would by going to the grocery store. This is especially great if you’re abroad. Many markets and grocery stores are set up different to your own and you’re sure to find some peculiar items!

travel now!

Book at the right time

This goes for plane tickets and hotels. When booking, try your very best to avoid booking during peak season. That would be holidays, the summer and other random events (like the Super bowl, for instance). Not only will you save money, but you’re more likely to find yourself in overwhelmingly crowded tourist destinations. Also, many airlines offer drastically reduced ticket prices for last-minute bookings. This is because the airplane wants to fill their plane to full capacity.

Stay at a hostel (or with a friend!)

Don’t let the movie, “Hostel,” scare you. Hostels used to be more of a European thing, but they are quite popular all over the world, including the United States. Hostels are great because they are drastically cheaper (any where from $10-30 a night), you meet people from all over the world and they come in a variety of shapes and forms. There are upgraded hostels that are very similar to hotels, so if sleeping with 4-10 other people in the same room bothers you, keep that option in mind. Also, hostels provide lots of excursion activities. Check out hostels.com for hostel reviews and locations.

Avoid booking on weekends

If it’s possible for your schedule, book on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. The most popular days to fly are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The most popular days to stay at a hotel are Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You will notice quite a difference in the prices if you do this.

Go to free events

You can often find discounted days and times for various events you have in mind. For example, some museums offer free (or cheaper) admission on certain days that are normally slow. Also, visit parks and other landmarks that don’t require an entry fee. Ask your hotel/hostel attendant and locals for advice. Also do research online before you leave.

Shop around and spend wisely

Depending on where you vacation, you can find a lot of great deals. Avoid malls, where items are often mass produced and over priced. You can find some really unique keep sakes and trinkets (often hand made by artisans themselves) by going to street markets and vendors. If you’re vacationing in a big city that does not have markets like these, save money by window shopping just like you would at home!

If you’re driving…

The biggest way for you to save money is to cut the cost of gas prices. How do you do that? Make sure that your tires are in great shape. Have the rotated and fill them with air if necessary. Also, change your oil. The $30 you spend doing this could save you much much more in the end. Also, don’t forget to pack a lot of your own food. This is especially easy for you!

Exchange Rates

Use your debit card to get money out of ATM’s/pay for items if you are traveling abroad. Since the payment is electronic, you will get the best exchange rate. Also, it’s much safer to travel with a debit or credit card because if it’s stolen you can report it’s missing right away. When cash is gone, it’s gone. Also, I have found that travelers checks are often not accepted and are more of a hassle than anything.

Lastly, exchange money before you go abroad and never at the airport. It’s much more expensive at the airport and you’ll save money if you exchange elsewhere.

Good luck and happy adventures!