Day Eight: Reinvent the Letter Format

Dear future self,

Hey buddy, how’s it going? Long time no speak, it’s been years (literally). I’m not sure what age you are but I’m your 25 year old self writing you from the past. Just checking in on you to see how things are going.

Congrats on all your recent success and accomplishments! I know you’ve been putting in all the grind and hard work consistently, so I know you’re starting to reap the rewards.

Just be sure to remember your “why” and don’t lose sight of it. Try not to get caught up in all the minutiae and remember to enjoy the journey. Don’t be too caught up and focused on the results without understanding the purpose.

How’s the family? I know you’re probably married and have kids. You’ve wanted to be a father for so long, I bet it’s a roller coaster of a ride, haha. I’m sure it’s tough but I’m hoping you’re loving every second of it.

Good job staying close to our parents and other family. Family is always important, especially your parents. Don’t ever stop making them feel loved and appreciated. Even if there may be times when they might annoy you, you know you’ll always love and forgive them.

I know you’re ultra wealthy, successful, and famous, but don’t forget to keep donating and giving back. Life is a gift, nothing really belongs to you, so always make it a core focus to add value to others. Keep inspiring others to do what inspires them and always strive to make the world better each day.

In case you’re wondering about me, I’m just as young, ambitious, and naive as ever 😁. I’m very optimistic and hopeful for the future. Gratitude is always at my center which I believe is why I’m always so happy, even if I don’t show it.

Sorry for all the mistakes I’ve made along the way. At the same time, I know you’re grateful for them because there are no such things as bad experiences, simply learning experiences. We’ve survived 100% of our worst days, right?

Whatever challenges and struggles you’re facing now, just remember that I believe in you. You got this! #easy, right? Keep going full out, live with no regrets. I know you still have time, but there’s always still so much more to do. You’ll be more fulfilled working towards something that drives you than being complacent and relaxing.

That’s it from me, I’ll let you get back to it. I’ll keep on that grind and keep taking action on what I need to get done. The two biggest obstacles are just fear and procrastination, right? Haha 😊

Take care and have fun!

Sincerely,

Marlo

P.S. Keep being weird and silly. Here’s a reminder in case you forgot πŸ˜‰

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Didn’t know The Broad was an AYCE buffet. #cheatday

 

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Day Seven: Let Social Media Inspire You

For today’s prompt, we were given a choice of 5 different tweets to write in. This one caught my attention the most:

People close to me know that I am a HUGE advocate for education, especially self-education and personal development. I set a goal for myself to read at least 3 books a month that are geared towards helping me grow in some way.

When it comes to our education system (school), however, I have to be honest and say I do have some reservations.

I think the concept of education from elementary to high school more or less accomplishes the goals of getting kids acclimated to a social environment, teach them to follow rules, respect authority, and gain a general understanding of different academic fields (i.e. history, art, math, science, etc).

One big issue with school is that it’s gearwd toward pushing kids through a specified curriculum based on age. It doesn’t take into consideration the different types of intelligence. Each student is expected to score at a certain criteria regardless of their natural strengths or weaknesses. School doesn’t generally cultivate these inherent strengths.

During college, similar issues arise. General education requirements force student to take classes that don’t pertain to what they need to know for their chosen field (given they have an idea of what they want to do). Some see this as unnecessarily prolonging their college journey and subsequently their debt.

But one of the biggest issues I have with school is that everything students do is focused on one thing: passing a test.

As this tweet points out, students spend hundreds upon hundreds of hours studying for an hour-long test. They cram a semesters worth of material over the course of several sleepless nights just to regurgitate it and forget all they learned minutes after the test is turned in. And all for what?

For a grade that makes up a GPA that they can put on their resume after they graduate so they have some shot at standing out amongst a stack of other resumes from their fellow college graduates, thousands of dollars in debt with so much useless and forgotten knowledge.

Dont get me wrong. As I’ve said, I’m not anti-school or education. College for me was an amazing experience where I met many longtime friends, joined several dance teams, learned a lot of interesting things (95% of which I probably will never use professionally), met my current girlfriend of almost 4 years, and learned how to interact in a professional/academic environment, and most importantly learn how to learn.

My stance is, if you don’t know what you want to pursue as a career, don’t go into huge debt. It’s a great experience but every college has the potential to create a lasting undergraduate experience. Try going to a JC and transfer after 2 years. Go somewhere significantly cheaper until you find something you can get behind.

One more thought as I revisit the tweet at the top, it can also mean that the more you learn, the more you learn that there’s so much more to learn. Like the 4 stages of learning:

  1. unconscious incompetence
  2. conscious incompetence
  3. conscious competence
  4. conscious incompetence

Final thoughts: our school system definitely needs to be restructured. Two very important things I believe need to be taught from the beginning are 1) personal finance, and 2) people skills. If these can be incorporated successfully, I strongly believe our students will be in a better position to succeed.

Thoughts? What do you think needs to be taught in school? I’d love to know in the comments! I respond to them all πŸ™‚

Day Six: The Space to Write

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Prompt:

Where do you write? Do you prefer blogging on your laptop in a coffee shop? Are you productive in a quiet room, door closed, away from civilization?
Today, describe the space where you write. Or, if you don’t have a dedicated place, what is your ideal setting?

Personally, I’ve written almost anywhere: in my room, at a coffee shop, in a park, at a computer lab at a hotel, etc.

No matter where I am, I can be productive given I make an attempt to remove distractions. However, I do prefer reading and writing in public spaces like coffee shops with my earphones in and instrumental music playing.

I’m one of the people who loves having the noise and activity around them while they write and do work. I feel like I get energy from my environment. When I’m in my room, I find so many things to distract me, and I have a bad tendency to relax on my bed. Being in this environment has conditioned me to not be productive unfortunately.

In college, I also loved doing work in study groups. While there is a risk for being distracted by my friends, it also keeps me accountable since there are periods where everyone else is working and it makes me feel guilty if I’m not working while everyone else is.

I think having people around me helps give me those refreshing and necessary breaks that reenergize me between work sessions. Study friends are also good for getting input and feedback on what I’m working on.

My question for you, the reader, is: where do you enjoy doing work? Where is your ideal place?

P.S. Do you have any ideas for a future prompt that you would like to see me write on? A future prompt requires that I poll my readers for ideas to write about. Let me know in the comments! πŸ™‚

Day Five: Hook ’Em With a Quote

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At work, I go to the bank to make our daily deposits. When I pass by the mailroom, there’s always one of these signs by the entrance with a new quote or insightful message.

This was the quote from sometime last week:

Leaders get out in front and stay there by raising the standards by which they judge themselves – and by which they are willing to be judged. -Frederick W. Smith (CEO of FedEx)

I love this quote for three reasons:

1. Leaders aren’t managers, they don’t lead from the back. They go out in front and lead by example. This means they’re also assumably one of the best in their field.

2. Life is all about standards. We don’t reach our expectations, we fall to the level of our training. How we do anything is how we do everything. Excellence is a habit.

3. Leaders don’t worry about following or judging by anyone else’s standards other than their own. Too many of us worry about what others think, yet don’t question the validity of the standards other people live by. Live by your own standards.

Be the change you want to see in the world, right?

 

Day Four: A Story in a Single Image

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At many points in our lives, we stand at major crossroads and junctions. Everyday, we make micro decisions that effect our lives on a small scale. However, we don’t see the effects of these small decisions until we’re way down the line.

Think of it like we’re navigating a train station. We might read and follow the signs, we might not. Sometimes we want to just explore. We turn right here, make a left here, stop at a dead end and turn around. We might ask for directions from people who seem like they know their way around. We might find out that they’re just as lost as we are.

Sometimes we get on a train. We don’t know where it’s going, but we go because we see other people get on. Then sometimes we sit on that train and are too comfortable to get off. Even if it’s going someplace we won’t want to, sometimes we don’t know because we aren’t paying attention.

Sometimes we find the courage to get off the train, locate the right terminal, and get in the right train. We’re sad, annoyed, or frustrated that we’ve been going the wrong way for years and years. But we don’t realize that it doesn’t matter how long we’ve been going the wrong way. All that matters is we’re going in the right direction.

So what do we do when we feel lost? How do we find our way to our destination?

First, we need to know where we want to go and what we really want. What we want comes from knowing what we value. Knowing what we value comes from knowing who we are.

Funny thing is, if you know who you are, it doesn’t matter where you’re going. You’re probably already there.

I think the journey is simply finding out who you are.

Day Three: One-Word Inspiration

“Abundance”

I chose this word out of the other choices (hope, regret, home, choice, and secret) because I’m so adamant about the “abundance” vs “scarcity” paradigms that shape our decisions.

Whenever we face a tough decision, we can usually evaluate our decision based on having an abundance mentality or a scarcity mentality.

For example, people who less inclined to share or give away valuable things (food, money, possessions, time, attention) usually operate with a scarcity mindset. People who are stingy are afraid that they might not have enough or get more of the thing they’re scared of losing, so they try their best to hide it or not share with others.

On the other hand, someone who operates in abundance is not afraid of spending money on something valuable or helping another in need because she knows more will be available.

Many people work at jobs where their primary motivator for performing is not losing their job. They’re so afraid of losing their job that they make decision based on avoiding that outcome. They’re scared that job security is low and the economy makes it tough for those in the job market.

Someone who operates from an abundance mindset isn’t scared of losing their job because they know there are always job openings. They’re not afraid of job security because they know they can provide high value wherever they go, and that there’s not a lack of available jobs, but qualified applicants. This is true through good and bad economies.

I think the more we operate with abundance, the less greedy and selfish we’d be. We would give more, share more, help more, cooperate more, and find commonalities.

Life is not a zero sum game. The more we cooperate and create together, the more there is to go around.

 

Day Two: Write a List

10 things I’ve learned this year:

1. Learning to cook and eat more veggies isn’t that hard.

2. “Batching” tasks at work makes me significantly more productive and helps me stay focused.

3. I can do anything for 30 days in a row when I commit (log my diet, run a mile, write a blog post, listen to 30 minutes of an audiobook).

4. Rather than dramatic changes, multiple small and calculated changes could have a more drastic change. This can lead to a tipping point.

5. Automating your finances is one of the easiest and most effective ways to stop worrying about money.

6. When it comes to the average investor, low-cost index funds are the way to go. Take it from the founder of Vanguard, John Bogle.

7. Want to build trust? Just remember to focus on character and competence.

8. Meditating is for cool people, like chess prodigy Josh Waitzkin. Many high level performers engage in some sort of daily meditation practice to up their game.

9. I recently bought new pillows that give me better neck support. I was surprised how much good pillows can effect sleep quality. I knocked out for 8 hours straight the first night without waking up.

10. My new favorite pre-lunch snack: hard boiled egg with salt and pepper, and sriracha drizzled on avocado halves πŸ˜‹

Day One: I write because…

I’m very excited to start this new series of Everyday Inspiration 😁

So last month, I committed to doing 30 days of writing using the daily prompt on the Daily Post. I’m happy to say that I’ve successfully completed that challenge as of yesterday! Today’s posts will kick off with day one of this new series to help me along my writing journey πŸ™‚

Thank you to everyone who joins me on this adventure. As usual, I’d love to hear your comments and insights, as I read and respond to them all.

Day One:Β I write because…

Writing helps me put my thoughts into words. I feel like I have so many ideas in my head, writing helps me organize my thoughts while also being an outlet for the thoughts and emotions I would alternatively bottle up inside.

In some sense, writing for me is therapeutic.

Although I’m new to the blogging scene, I’m not new to writing. I used to be heavily involved in journalism back in high school as an editor for the school newspaper three years in a row. I’ve also been journaling almost on a daily basis for several years now.

For me, journaling not only helps with my mental clarity and emotional release, but also a priceless snapshot into my daily life and thought process for my future self. I think it’s one of those things that you would wish to have when you get older to revisit the past with more rich details than you could remember on pure memory.

The reason why I’m transitioning into a public space like the blogosphere is because I feel like I can add so much value to others. I know that I have certain experiences and insights that could help someone else who might be going through something I’ve overcome. Or maybe I can provide a unique perspective to an issue their facing.

Ultimately, I see blogging as a platform, maybe even one of many stepping stones, to help people on a massive scale years down the line. My hope is to take baby steps and develop my craft of writing, storytelling, and delivering a powerful enough message that can touch someone enough to make a difference in their life. My goal then is to keep elevating those skills and abilities to higher and bigger stages to make an even greater impact on my fellow human beings.

Once again, thank you for those who are and will follow me on this journey. I hope that this will be just as valuable for you as it already is for me, and that maybe this will be a fun and interesting account that I can look back on years from now and see where I started and how far I’ve come πŸ™‚