Everyday I receive a text with “The Daily Quote”. These quotes are usually rich in substance, so much so that I decided to write a blog about this one.
The quote listed out 5 things to stop doing. 1. Trying to please everybody. 2. Fearing change. 3. Living in the past. 4. Putting yourself down. 5. Overthinking. These 5 things will take away from your progress, your happiness, and really put a dark cloud over any accomplishments you’ve made. Here are the 5 things to stop doing and a write-up on how I deal with each.
1. STOP TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYBODY
There are so many people in our lives that we try to please: family, friends, employers, teachers and the countless others that demand we appeal to them. You chose your career because of your parents, went to that school because of your friends, but what did you choose for yourself?
Five years ago I wanted to study engineering in college because my parents wanted me to. Personally, I just loved technology and computers, not so much engineering. I wanted to be a sports agent or lawyer, but I was deeply infatuated with technology. I took classes in computer science, calculus and chemistry.
After a year of trying to balance this course load and playing football, I decided to choose what I was better at. Unannounced to my parents, I declared to pursue a B.S. in Recreation, Sport and Tourism Management in hopes of one day becoming a sports agent/lawyer.
While completing my degree, my journey lead me right back to technology. Right after graduation I worked as a Technology Services Consultant for our Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. I then applied and was admitted to the M.S. in Technology Management program after graduation. I now intern for Illinois Ventures, an early stage technology venture capital firm.
Not exactly engineering, but I stayed true to myself and believed in what I was good at. Sports have always been a huge part of my life, and being able to leverage that to break into not only technology, but an area within it that prides itself in technological curiosity proved that what’s for you, will always be for you.
2. STOP FEARING CHANGE
First of all, fear is a dream killer. It literally eats you alive from the inside out. You must face it, and control it. If you have two minutes, please watch this inspirational video of Will Smith talking about facing your fears:
Here is the full 30 minute interview:
Second of all, nothing good ever happens in your comfort zone. Whether you like it or not, you are going to be forced to deal with some things that are completely out of your control. Everything around us is changing and we are living in a very fast paced environment. The faster you are able to adjust and adapt to this change, the faster you will be able to conquer this new territory. Forget security, live for the experience.
3. STOP LIVING IN THE PAST
Just go! Don’t look back. Don’t live life staring at the rear view mirror, completely oblivious to what’s ahead. If you did that while driving, people would think that you’re paranoid. I am a big advocate of reflecting and learning from our mistakes in order to move forward, but the most important thing is to actually move forward. You may take a couple peaks at the rear view, but focus on the road ahead. The more we live our lives holding on to things of the past, the more distracted we will in the future.
If you’ve ever been a fan of sports, you’ve heard of the concept of having a “short-term memory”. The meaning of this phrase is that if you have a bad game, play or inning, you shouldn’t let it get to you. You must remain confident in your abilities and take advantage of the next opportunity to display them. We must do the same in our lives. There will always be another opportunity. Your constant preparation for that opportunity is where your luck lies, go get it. As long as you’re alive, the game isn’t over. Get your head in the game and go make a play!
4. STOP PUTTING YOURSELF DOWN
Especially when it comes to comparing yourself to others. With social media and all that we are exposed to on a daily basis, it’s easy feel as if you’re not where you’re supposed to be in life. Truth be told, the people you that you think have it all figured out, probably feel the same. We’re all striving to accomplish great things and live meaningful lives, but allow that meaning come from within.
I believe that I am my toughest critic. At so many points in my life, I wished I would’ve tried a little bit harder, or done a little bit more. I cope with that by continuing to try harder and do more. The moment that you start putting yourself down is when you become less productive. It’s easier to stay at the bottom if you believe that’s where you belong.
5. STOP OVERTHINKING
This is something that I constantly struggle with, but it’s also the reason why I started a blog. I have so many thoughts in my head and I always feel the need to get them out. Sometimes it’s just writing in my journal for more personal thoughts. This is where I write out my goals and aspirations and how I can go about accomplishing them. Other times it’s just sending out a tweet or having a conversation.
Overthinking is something very complicated and I don’t want to overthink myself trying to answer this for every possible scenario (refer to number one). How do you even determine how much thinking is overthinking? From my experience, overthinking tends to happen more when I am alone. When you just are at in state of unrest. In these times, you must get active. My mind tends to clear the more I keep myself busy. Whether you hit the gym or work on a math problem, find what works best for you. Find your happy place.
Thank you to Ms. Peggy for inspiring this post.