Positive Tips #9 – Always go back to your passions

Being in a new place for only a 6-month period of time, I’m not really able to fully develop a lot of friendships that I normally have. It’s because of my personality. It takes time for me to get to know people, get to know my surroundings. It’s just how I am. Because of this, I haven’t had the ability to really come back to one of my passions: Bowling.

It started when I was a little kid. I grew up joining a bowling league at the Naval Air Station bowling alley in Corpus Christi. I bowled there, I bowled at the old bowling alley in Flour Bluff and I even tried bowling at the Ayers bowling alley that was clear across town. Wherever it was, I ended up really becoming passionate with bowling and taking my game to another level. It was something that really helped me develop confidence, discipline, and reward as my average kept going higher and higher. I had the chance to keep in a couple of different tournaments and I continued to have fun playing the game.

I also have fond memories of playing with the Commissary Bagging crew back in the day when I worked at the Commissary on base. We would always go and bowl. There would be multiple trips to the crane machine and we would get into all kinds of chaos and mischief. Some of the best memories I had were simply of being in a bowling alley with those friends back in the day.

Fast forward to sort of present day. I went to college, one of the first clubs I joined was the bowling group in my dorm for intramural sports. That was something that was exciting and although I wasn’t as good as everyone else, I had a great time anyway. My friends also threw me an awesome surprise party with an awesome cake that was bowling theme.

Anyway I’ve digressed a little bit from my main message but tonight was the first time in awhile that I’ve been able to go bowling. It reminded me of these memories and just how much I love bowling. I could literally do this for hours (and I have with my friend Becker who we have a tendency to do 10-12 games when there’s unlimited bowling).

I was also able to take my experience and passion and help a friend gain more confidence and increase her scores at bowling. The simple act of being able to come back to my passion, share the experience with others and get that mindset, it ignited such a positive experience for me and I’m thankful for that.

There are times that I think maybe I should be simple, go bowling all the time and just teach it. Getting back in that frame of mind is the ultimate form of relaxation. It allows you to maintain a healthy mental state and refreshes you. Go back to your passions, they will help you remember what the good things in life are and help you get back to where you need to be.

Bowling is really a passion to me and that passion can be contagious and can at least bring smiles and admirations on people’s faces. Besides.. what’s better than getting a strike? 🙂

-The Lermz

Positive Tips #8: Make a list of life goals

In previous tips I had mentioned that it’s a good idea to dream and to dream big. One of the ways that you can keep track of the dreams and try to get action towards them is to keep a list of life goals. This simple list can be as long as you want but it should be filled of things that you really want to do in your life. Keep the list handy, possibly in your dorm room or posted on your cubicle or in a journal. The point is, refer to your list often, challenge yourself and set timelines to when you think you can achieve these items. To show you an example, here’s my list of 25 things that are on my list:

1. Conquer my fear of heights and go skydiving
2. Run a marathon
3. Run a successful blog with at least 10,000 subscribers
4. Be my own boss
5. Build a school for children in a third world country
6. Discover a new business model
7. Have a bowling alley in my house
8. Be debt free
9. Own a chain of restaurants
10. Go back to the Philippines and meet my real family
11. Construct my own super computer
12. Develop a program so useful it has worldwide adoption
13. Be a father (and a kick-ass one at that)
14. Play in an organized basketball league
15. Travel to Antarctica
16. Visit the Galapagos Islands
17. Have a wikipedia entry about me
18. Travel to space
19. See the Northern Lights
20. Visit the Pyramids
21. Learn Tagalog
22. Own a boat/yacht
23. Publish a book
24. Learn to swim (properly)
25. Be a bartender

As you can see my list seems kind of random but it’s made up of a lot of different thoughts I’ve had over the years. Some are really high goals that would take a lot to achieve but if you don’t set the bar high, life isn’t worth living.

What goals do you want to achieve in life?

-The Lermz

Positive Tip #7: It’s all about confidence

Think about some of the people you look up to in this world. I’m talking about maybe your parents, celebrities, your boss or maybe even your saint. When you think about these role models and heroes, think about their traits. You can usually begin to get some consistent themes among role models and one important one is CONFIDENCE.

We look up to people because we like some facet of their life. Something just fascinates us about them and in a sense we want to model our lives to some extent to what they’ve done. These role models have been able to do something well, excel at it and inspire people in the process. This takes a lot of confidence in themselves and could be from years of experience in a certain field or activity.

For some people, confidence comes pretty easily. These are the charismatic individuals who just always happen to say the right things at exactly the right times. They make good salesmen and great motivational speakers. These are lucky individuals, they have a sort of innate skill that will serve them well.

There are others who take awhile to develop their confidence and it comes from continually and relentlessly pursuing a subject and becoming almost a subject matter expert. This subject doesn’t have to be something technical that other people can’t understand such as programming. It can be as simple as the act of being a father. One cannot be a good father unless one has the capacity to be confident around his kids and bring them up in the best way possible.

Whether you’re a charismatic person or it takes some time to build up the confidence, it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you possess confidence in yourself and everything that you do.

Having confidence in yourself will allow you to keep moving forward. It will allow you to continue having great passion for your area of expertise. Having confidence will inspire others and allow others to be more trusting in your decisions. Having confidence will allow you to pick yourself up when you do make a mistake and say hey, that was a great learning opportunity, now I know how to be better.

I can tell you I fall in the bucket that isn’t innately confident to begin with. There are a lot of things that I can be hesitant about and would rather think first and then make a decision. However, I’ve found since working in the real world that even if you don’t know every single thing, you need to have the confidence to ask questions and get people behind you. Build up support and a foundation and the confidence in your decisions will rise.

Realize that you are going to make mistakes in your life. Realize that sometimes you will fall flat on your face. But also realize that you’ve got to have the confidence to accept these realizations and to better yourself from them. If you have that, you can get through any situation.

Specific tips to build confidence:

Change your mindset to being optimistic. Believe in everything that you’re doing. If necessary, write out reasons why you’re doing a certain thing and show yourself it’s important, you should do it and that you can do it.

When trying to build up confidence for a speech, take a quick look at some of the best motivational speakers. Analyze what they do best with hand movements, body language, and the content of their speeches. Identify one thing you want to work on first and practice that in front of a mirror or to a friend. Practice that in your next real speech or meeting. Then move onto the next identified practice from the speaker.

Get people to back you up. The more people that believe your ideas are good, the more your confidence will be. Try getting more than an affirmation of “Yes this is a good idea” and get them to help you do the activity or spread the word about it.

Power talk. This might seems silly but sometimes if you look in a mirror and do self-affirmations like “I’m going to win this sale today”, it will go a long way to shifting your line of thought. This will give you a good confidence booster since you’ve set the expectation that you are going to succeed today

Adapt to your audience. It’s important that you use different techniques and tactics depending on who the audience is. For example, you don’t want to be the forceful one in a meeting where everyone likes to talk and share ideas. Research your audience and adapt as necessary.

Start a blog or a journal. Sometimes writing it out when no one is looking first is the best way to really think about what you want to convey before actually doing it. Consistent entries will help continue your thought process.

I hope these tips have helped you out. They’re pretty broad but if you have any other situations where you want some thoughts on, I’d be happy to provide some structure for you!

-The Lermz

Positive Tip #6: Don’t Forget to Say “I Love You”

I can’t really think of a three word phrase that can mean more than this phrase. In this short exchange of words, you can show your ultimate affection and appreciation of a person. It really is the ultimate sign of respect and admiration. Why is this phrase so powerful?

As human beings we spend a lot of our time on this earth searching for who is going to be our soulmate. Who is going to be that perfect match and that perfect compliment to ourselves? It’s such a powerful draw and perhaps goes along with theory of the strongest are the ones that survive. This makes sense, and it would make sense that we would spend so much time and energy to make ourselves and the other person stronger.

However, along the way we learn a lot of life lessons, we meet a lot of people and we get help in finding perspective and getting clarity on exactly what we want in a person and who we want to have around us in general. I feel that even though that soulmate, that one person you really will click with and grow old together with is out there, the thrill of the journey can yield just as much satisfaction.

These are the people you are proud to call friends. These can be complete strangers that just happen to give you another perspective. These can be professors that teach you important lessons in the trade of your choice. They come at many different times in your life, when you’re at your best and when you’re at your worse. Whoever and whenever these individuals come, you should make a conscious effort to thank them, give them appreciation and say “I love you”. Every person you interact with in some way is shaping you to be the person you are today.

Think back to how many times people have been there for you. How many conversations have you had that spanned into the early mornings? How many ah ha! moments have you had because of casual conversation or bouncing ideas off of a person? How many times have you gotten a hug right when you needed one? What better way is there to say thank you by saying “I love you”.

Three simple words will go a long way to building a solid foundation of trust and understanding between two individuals. I strongly feel that in this world, you should appreciate every single thing that comes your way, good or bad. To those people that have helped along the way, thank you and I love you guys.

The only time I would recommend not saying the phrase is if you’re on the first date. In that case maybe you should just forget to say the phrase ;D

-The Lermz

Positive Tip #5: Take a walk, take the stairs

For 10-11 hours a day, I work in a typical cubicle with a seat that isn’t exactly the most comfortable thing in the world. Most of the day I stare at a computer and do my programming diligently. I really don’t have that many qualms with the situation, but I don’t think it really helps too much health-wise. Think about it, if you have an office job, you tend to sit for extended periods of time and aren’t particularly active (unless you have a particularly interesting conference call).

I’ve found that a great way to get out of your chair during the day and get a bit of exercise in you is to take a relaxing walk every few hours. You really don’t have to go that far or have a particular destination in mind. Get up from your chair, get your endorphins kicking and watch your stress level drop. Use the walk to clear your head of the current problem at hand. Use it as a social opportunity to get a cup of coffee with your co-worker. Use it as an opportunity to have some kind of activity during the day.

In one of our offices, they run a program where you can record the amount of steps you take and get a small reward for doing so. They measure this through a pedometer. I actually think that’s a brilliant idea and you’ll quickly realize just how many steps you can knock out in a day from just walking around your building a couple of times or walking around the floor.

Another easy exercise opportunity is to take the stairs whenever possible. When I was working in Schaumburg, there were times that I found myself just taking the elevator to my floor. My floor was the third floor. Yea yea I know I’ll get boos for that but what I realized was it’s very easy to just walk that flight of stairs. Instead of passively waiting to get to your floor, you instead have several opportunities to go up or down on the stairs (when you get to work, maybe lunch in the cafeteria, meetings on other floors, and when you go home). Those steps can add up after awhile and it’s more activity for you. I even knew a couple of people that walked 10 flights of stairs everyday instead of riding the elevator. Now that’s a lot of burned calories before they even sit in their cube!

Staying active in a passive type job is key to having variety, preventing you from getting bored and giving you much needed exercise during the day. I’d recommend trying these tactics and see for yourself how relaxing a quick walk can be. Just don’t take a walk off a plank 😛

-The Lermz

Positive Tip #4: There's a reason why laughing feels so good

When NASA first started sending up astronauts, they quickly discovered that ballpoint pens would not work in zero gravity. To combat the problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and $12 billion to develop a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside down, underwater, on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging from below freezing to 300 degrees Celsius. The Russians used a pencil.

Lol. Usually when you hear (or rather see) this three letter “word”, you either hate it, or you’re one that uses it too often. I personally tend to be in the bucket that uses it way too often but there’s a pretty good portion of the time where I actually do laugh out loud. It’s a funny feeling (no pun intended) when you find something that stirs up emotion in you that you just have to laugh. Why does it feel so good?

Maybe it’s a realization that the situation you’re in is so ridiculous and silly that all you can do is laugh. Maybe your friend told you a joke and you can’t help but laugh. Maybe you have a great memory and it was funny. Whatever the case, we enjoy laughing. It gives sort of a warm feeling and somehow if you see a person laughing, you can’t help but cracking a smile on your face.

With every laugh, a feeling comes over us that calms us down. It can bring perspective on a situation. It can point out how silly you’re being. It can cheer up a friend who’s having a bad day. It can communicate in ways that sometimes words just can’t.

So again, why does it feel so good? At its core, we tend to laugh because we’re expressing happiness or joy. A silly joke can bring us a lot of happiness. Usually a laugh builds trust between people even if you don’t know the other person. How many times have you started a retreat or a group activity with an ice breaker? How many times has the purpose been to do something silly and laugh? It seems that once you can get another person to laugh, you automatically connect with them. That person now has some trust, some common ground where they understand each other and can share that understanding with a laugh. Laughter is a very positive thing and it can be contagious.

Have you laughed today? If you haven’t, laugh at me, laugh at yourself, but just laugh. Trust me, it’ll feel good.

-The Lermz

Positive Tip #3: Don't be afraid to ask for help

help

Now I’m not the type of person that usually likes asking for help on certain things. I’ve always liked solving problems on my own and I guess that’s why I like programming so much. It’s the thrill of debugging and solving a problem and getting that ah ha moment! But sadly, life isn’t all about If statements and Loops. Life gets tough.

Every person has their own path to cross and their own destiny to fulfill. I’m pretty sure you would not say that your life is just peachy and you’ve never had any hiccups. To be completely blunt, sometimes shit happens. It could be a loved one passed away, maybe you lost your job, or maybe you’re trapped in depression and can’t seem to be happy again. Whatever the case may be, you might just feel overwhelmed.. that no one understands your situation.. why is this happening to me?

I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to deal with the cards life has dealt me. I will be the first to say I didn’t handle it the correct way. Two years ago, my father passed away of a heart attack. He was the hero of my life and I always looked up to him. That whole month of December was the worst for me and my mom. I kept a lot of my feelings and emotions inside. I had to be strong for my family and for my friends and shoulder a lot of burden. But in the process, I wasn’t helping myself. Keeping things inside was killing me. Literally, killing me. Every day I marched farther and farther away from being happy. I was turning into a negative person. Nothing in life was fulfilling anymore.

There came a point when many of my friends told me quite literally that I had changed and I was a negative person. That’s when it really hit me that I needed to ask for help. I needed people there to talk with. I needed to communicate more with my girlfriend. I needed to quite simply, learn how to find happiness again. It all started with asking for help and getting guidance on life and where I was going. Asking for help has turned life around and has helped me see a new light on things.

Asking for help doesn’t have to consist of spilling your heart out to anyone and everyone you see. Sometimes just having a single person to confide in will make things a lot better. Sometimes, going to a counselor at your school or professionally will help as they can identify action steps you can take. Sometimes reaching out to a professor or just simply talking to your parents about things will help out immensely.

We weren’t put on this Earth to walk alone. There’s a reason why we have social networking and why people like connecting with others. There’s a reason why we like gathering for football games and having family reunions. We all like having the feeling that others are there for us. Why should it be any different when you’re going through a difficult time?

-The Lermz

Positive Tip #2: Dream. Dream Big.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.

~ Mark Twain ~

Everyone has dreams. It comes in all different flavors and sizes. You can dream to achieve a world record, to get through med school and be a great doctor, to own your business one day, or even to just be a father or a mother. The simple fact in life is we all get aspirations and they come and go. How many times have you actually tried to reach out and achieve a dream though? How many times have you thought, oh it’s too much, I can’t possibly do it or oh no this is a stupid idea?

I want you to think about some of the wildest dreams you’ve had. What has stopped you from dreaming big and actually achieving it? Is there a money issue? Something in your life that’s happened that prevents you from getting there? Do your parents not support you? Sometimes it’s understandable that you can’t achieve a dream. It could be one of the reasons above, it could be that maybe you lost interest along the way.

I can tell you that I’ve personally had many dreams and aspirations. There are quite a few people that will tell you that I’m not really one to take many risks and I’m a very safe person. It’s part of my personality but it does not mean that I lose sight of my dreams. I’ve always wanted to have a successful blog. I think with the help of my friends and getting some people motivated, we can really help inspire others. I have big dreams here to make a difference. I’m going to achieve that.

I would challenge you all to think and really pinpoint something you want to accomplish. Something that is so big but drives the passion in you. Think about it and take steps towards making it a reality. Talk to others and get their thoughts. Do research and get more information on how you can be successful. Devote some of your free time towards making calculated steps towards that dream. Build up some capital or take out a loan and take a risk. You can’t accomplish much if you just automatically dismiss things and think you can’t accomplish them. Keep dreaming, keep up your passion and go out there and take on the world.

Dream. Dream big.

-The Lermz

Positive Tip #1 – Just Breathe

For this blog, I thought I’d give out tips on being more positive in life every single day. Hopefully, I remember to post every single day but I thought it’d be a good way to look at things and have something to think about as we go forward in life.

Just Breathe

Tip #1 – Just Breathe

My daily routine usually consists of: waking up, shower, get dressed, walk twix, work for 10 or so hours, come home and take twix out on a long walk, eat a quick dinner, work a bit more, worry about what still needs to be done, relax for maybe 15 minutes and then sleep. Rinse and repeat.

Doesn’t really sound that good does it? Truth is I lead a pretty busy life. I’m constantly either doing work or doing other things and sometimes I just forget to sit and breathe. No this does not include playing videogames.. I literally mean, stop what you’re doing, meditate or just relax for a bit and clear your mind of everything. Even if you take five minutes out of your day to do this, things will be slow down and you will feel a lot better. Go on a relaxing walk on your own. Sit outside on your patio or balcony and just blankly stare out. Watch the stars in the night sky. Whatever you do though, be sure to take that time for yourself. It will help lower your stress levels, it’ll be a much needed break, and it’ll help you think clearly afterwards.

Just remember, take some deep breaths. Enjoy life, don’t let it pass by you.

-The Lermz