Decide

The other morning, I looked at my vision board and was a bit shocked to see what was on it. I left it in its place even when the world went to shit because I was too lazy to get rid of it – I’m glad I did. My vision board was meant to be a place to visualize my goals, but I unknowingly turned it into a vision of who I wanted to become.

That morning, half-asleep and dreading the day I ahead I got up and went to look at my vision board closely. Something in me jumped a bit and I felt my eyes get misty. I had not realized what was truly in the vision board. This entire situation had made me forget who I wanted to be. Yes, my goals and plans were thrown out the window just like everyone else. But everyday, I wake up and I have a choice. I can choose to be the person I envisioned myself becoming on that vision board or I can pretend that becoming that version of myself died with the rest of my goals a few months ago.

Seeing as how you are reading this, I choose the former. I looked at my vision board and decided that if I wanted to become that person my heart longed for me to be, then I had to make some decisions. I decided to get up, change from my pj’s into actual clothes (not my second set of pj’s), put my hair in a bun and write this blog post. If I am being honest it had taken me all day to write this, and many hours staring at a blank page. But what matters most is that I decided to get up and do something that would make be who I wanted to be.

Deciding is hard, but we make decisions based on fear, rejection, and hatred all the time. So why not make a decision that will benefit you? Trust me, it takes only one small decision to change your entire day. Make the decision to get up and go for a walk (if permitted), cook yourself a healthy breakfast, read for a bit, wake up later, etc.

Start making decisions that will benefit you, its hard and difficult but even the smallest positive decision can change your entire day and eventually your entire life.

Mindset

What is a mindset?  A mindset is the attitudes, beliefs and ideas that shape the lens we use to see the world and ourselves. Understanding the roots and core of our mindsets is the starting point to creating a life we want to live or to change the life we currently live. But before we can start rebuilding or fixing our mindset’s foundation, we need to acknowledge where we currently are at without mindset and decide which direction, we want it to go in. 

Often, people say that their mindsets can never change because that’s how they were raised or because of the current environment they have found themselves in. But I would like to offer a different perspective to that argument. As we are creatures of our environments, we naturally are also creatures of habit. The habits we create and follow, are directly linked to the environments we are in.  But in some circumstances, we can change the environment we are in by changing the habits we create.  By changing the habits, we follow, we can change the environment around us and our mindset.

Here are two examples of mindsets that every single person will find themselves in at one point or another. The goal, well for me at least during certain moments in time, was to go from a negative mindset to a positive mindset. Truthfully, we are humans and our lives are beyond complicated, which is why we are most likely going to be in between a positive and negative mindset. This in-between can be known as the grey zone and its where most of our lives happen. What matters about being in the grey area is that we are actively working towards a positive mindset, not all the time because again we are humans and life is tough, but if you try then you have already made a tremendous difference in your life.

Now, the first category is a negative mindset. These are the type of mindsets that tend to make us hard on ourselves, we become pessimistic and negative, we forget what and who we love, admire and want to become. It’s essentially an unhealthy mindset that leads us to create habits that do not in any way benefit our life. From what I have the experience, the world becomes tinted in black and grey and it feels like I have a personal storm cloud over my head. That isn’t a healthy way to live a life, but in all honesty, it’s a way a lot of us will view life. Now, this isn’t meant to make you feel bad about your life. Please remember that every single person on this planet experiences this mindset for one reason or another and it sucks but there are ways to move past it. But in all honesty, it’s hard and it requires a tremendous amount of work, but you can always get out of it.

In my opinion, creating a positive mindset is about creating a mind where you can take life’s problems and process them effectively to deal with them in a way that will solve the problem for good, or at least attempt to. It’s a mindset where you actively choose to work through problems in a healthy way, seek opportunities, acknowledge the present and find the solutions. A positive mindset does not necessarily mean that your life will be all sunshine and rainbows, it’s just that you’re seeing things in a more positive nature, or at least in a way that allows you to find solutions to your problems.

I understand that this seems difficult, or at the very least, confusing. Life is confusing. I do not want to sit here and guarantee you that your life will flip from bad to good in a day. I still have to work through this every day and it does not necessarily get easier. But the thing that I noticed the most when I am consciously working towards a healthier and positive mindset is that I am excited to see what happens next, I see a challenge and I don’t want to crawl back into bed; I want to get up and tackle it. 

Working on your mindset means you are choosing to see the world through your perspective, not what was created and infused in you. You are choosing to give every day a chance, but more importantly, to give yourself a chance every day. You are choosing to acknowledge a problem and not lament over it for days on end, but to find the solution to it, or at least try to control how you can react to it. There is so much agency and autonomy within us that we forget so often because we get caught up in our heads and these negative mindsets. We are preconditioned to assume the worse and come to a defence, it’s the human nature in us. But we also know that part of our lives can be determined by the habits we create. This is why in the upcoming posts I want to dive a little deeper into positive mindsets and how we can actively work to get started on that path and keep it up. I have found that by creating a habit of gratitude, discipline and shifting our thinking, we can change our mindset from a negative one to a positive one.

*Disclaimer:These are my opinions and experiences and they do not apply to everyone’s situation or circumstances. I am not a professional, please seek out professional help if you need any.*

We Will Get Through This

If two weeks ago you had asked me what the most important things in my life are, I would have answered: school, work and my family. Things are not what they were two weeks ago, and my view of life has changed so much and I expect it to keep changing.

What is important to me now is my health, my family and friends. In this moment, absolutely nothing else matters and I can barely remember what I thought about before the pandemic.

Not leaving my house for more than a week (I still go for walks) has got me thinking about a lot of things. I, like everyone else in the world have been facing tough and unprecedented realities. I have confronted the idea of my own mortality and I have come to realize that the direction my life was heading was not the way I wanted it to go in. I have been confronting my privilege, my ungratefulness and the demons I have created in my mind.

This pandemic has shifted so much in my life and in the world. It has brought out the worse and the best in people and I truly don’t know how to process it all. It has brought out the worse and the best in me.

I wake up scared and have a hard time falling asleep because I’m scared to see what will happen tomorrow. I have members of my family who are working in hospitals and I worry for their health every minute of the day. I am worried about what the new realities will be once this will be all over – which I hope is soon. There is so much changing and so much will continue to change. I can’t put it into words, but I will say that things will not go back to what they were before the pandemic, too much has changed.

But somethings have not changed, and some things will never change so long as we hold onto to what makes us human. As long as we continue to love ourselves and others, to help and give what we can, and care about each other, I know that the fundamental things in life will not change.

What I have come to remember – because I think I forgot that these things were the fundamentals in life – is that love, kindness and courage are the most important things in life. Hold on to love and kindness and have courage.

You are not alone in this dark time; we are all in this together. Stay safe and take care of yourselves and your loved ones.

I needed to get a few things off my chest, and it did not feel right continuing the blog without addressing Covid-19. Since I know many people are probably social distancing, self-isolation or quarantining, I wanted to reach out and tell you that you are not alone. Every single person on this planet will be or has been affected by this pandemic. You are all in my thoughts and I am sending you all light and love during this time. Thank you to everyone from nurses, grocery store workers, janitorial staff, doctors, government officials and workers, etc. for keeping us going and fighting this. Thank you.

If you’re staying at home right now, keep your chin up. Wash your hands and listen to your government and health related authorities, we will all get through this.

Learning Over Knowing

Our society has created this notion that we should know everything, and reprimands us when we don’t know everything. There is more emphasis put on knowing things than learning.

All around us, people expect that we know everything, and we expect others to know everything as well. We expect our leaders to know what’s best for us. We expect our teachers to have all the answers.  We expect our parents to know what to do in every possible situation. But the part that affects us the most, and that affects our own personal growth is the idea that we expect ourselves to know everything. I am sure that we have all been in those situations where we think to ourselves, “why didn’t I know that? I should have known that”. Society has created this expectation and this pressure that makes us blame ourselves for not knowing something. Why does this pressure exist? Why do we get reprimanded by society for not knowing? One could point to the idea of “cancel culture”, and although I do disagree with that concept, it’s the underlying idea that’s what I want to examine. The concept underlying cancel culture is the idea of being politically incorrect. If there is one thing that the millennial and Gen Z will be known for its our emphasis and significance that we put on being politically correct. Please do not take this as me saying we shouldn’t be politically correct; I do believe we should. But what I have a problem with is the thing behind it that says that if you say something politically incorrect then that’s it, you have been “excommunicated” from society. Truthfully, that is not the type of society I want to live in. If someone says something wrong (within reason and limits), why don’t we educate them instead? If I say or do something wrong I would rather someone tell me, help me understand and acknowledge what I did wrong and what can be done to fix it or what can I learn from it. But our society praises the fact that we know. We get this high from knowing more than other people and calling out those who don’t know. That is not healthy and nor is it how we should be continuing to live.

Essentially, we have developed a culture where you are expected to know everything. But how does one even come to know anything? We have to learn it. Not knowing has become synonymous with the idea that we are lazy, uneducated or simply don’t care, when in reality we just might not know. We do not need to have all the answers, we are not meant to have all the answers. Our lives are meant to be able learning and uncovering things and trying to understand what the heck is going on – we should not have to know everything from day one.

We need to change how society views the idea of learning, learning is about communication and re-adjusting what you thought was possible. Learning is about questioning, exploring and taking time with concepts and ideas. We can’t know everything, and we shouldn’t be shamed for not knowing everything. Its time that society changes how we react and act with people, we need to change the culture to one of learning and turn away from a culture of knowing. A culture of knowing only destroys great ideas and innovations, while a culture of learning can spark that. Life should be about learning, and society needs to one that emphasizes learning experiences rather than knowing everything.