Striving for Something More

After coming across numerous Steve Jobs quotes since his death in October I’ve finally found ones that are most relatable to my passion for my current marketing and social media career path – and just because there are not enough blog posts out there listing his quotes already I decided to do one of my own ūüėČ

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” ¬†– Simple enough. Be who you choose to be.

“You’ve baked a really lovely cake, but then you’ve used dog **** for frosting.”¬†– I love this one, it puts things in perspective. You spend all this time and energy into creating something great, but if you don’t add the finishing touch – what’s the point? All your time and effort is almost wasted if the presentation isn’t perfect. Side note – I feel like Apply is kind of guilty of this in a way, they’ve built ‘lovely gadgets,’ iPods specifically, but yet they accessorize it with very uncomfortable earbuds. Am I right?

“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25 and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.” – This one is perfect for me. I have a passion for social media and unfortunately it’s not one of the highest paying jobs. But like Jobs says, I’m not doing it for the money right now – I’m doing it because I’m passionate about it and I truly enjoy engaging and interacting with online communities the way I do, the money will come.

“I make 50 cents for showing up… and the other 50 cents is based on my performance.”¬†– Point made, follow through! Your performance and true colors will begin to shine in the end. Do your job well.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”¬†– Depending on the type of person you are you may be perfectly happy following in someone else’s footsteps. However, there are those out there constantly striving for something more – those are the ones I’m trying to keep up with.

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something.” – So true. Let your mind run free.

“I want to put a ding in the universe.” – Who doesn’t? I hope to start making an impact on those around me and then work on increasing the size of my “ding” from there. ūüėČ

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.” – Focus and conquer one idea to the best of your ability – then you can begin directing focus to your other opportunities. Learn how to do it and then do it well.

“It’s not faith in technology. It’s faith in people.” – Just because you’re using 10 different social media platforms and reaching numerous audiences, doesn’t actually mean you’re effectively connecting with your communities. Make sure your people are¬†communicating¬†not only with you but with others about YOU! The people are the ones that will spread the word more powerfully, not the multiple forms of technology you’re using.

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” – Never lose sight of who you are. Don’t stop believing. ūüėČ

“And one more thing…” – Never stop thinking, creating, building, engaging or connecting – just keep growing.

Clearly Steve Jobs was an extremely brilliant and unique individual, with very few like him. But for some reason I feel like he inspires many and really gives us something to strive for – he encourages you to keep dreaming. Do any of these quotes relate closely to you? Any others I may have missed?

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Goals Will Get you Where you Want to Go

I’ve been writing goals for myself since I was 8 years old – when I first started riding and showing horses. I can’t even begin to express the importance of them. Goals are what took me from an inexperienced, amateur rider to a successful, polished and confident equestrian.

Now relate this to the “real world” and your goals can take you from a young, beginner marketing/PR person, to an educated, reputable and respectable person in the business. As much as I hated doing it, my mom would force me to write down what my goals were for winter training – it prepared me and pushed me to be ready for the show season starting in early spring. The key with goals is that they must be detailed and specific – so in the end you can attain exactly what you were striving for initially.

One of my recent mentors encouraged me to set personal and work goals with a time frame of 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. I’m so glad he had me do that because back when I set these in June: my number one goal for both personal and work was “finding a sense of stability and satisfaction.” As of December 1st, 6 months later, I felt as though I had not accomplished either of those which is why I am now making the necessary changes in my life and career path to help me get where I want to be.

Tips for Goal Setting:

  • First and foremost, write them down (I have mine in a simple Excel sheet).
  • Make a set of goals specific to both your personal life and work life.
  • Set them up in a timely order; 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 5 years etc (timeframe also depends on what you’re reaching for).
  • Set them within reach; don’t make them so outrageous that they’ll upset you when they’re not met. Goals are milestones, you’re suppose to feel a sense of gratification once they’re met – so make them realistic and attainable.
  • Once you reach a certain goal, reward yourself! Order your favorite take out, grab some drinks with a friend or buy yourself a new pair of shoes!

How do you set goals for yourself? What do you find works best?

“People with goals succeed because they know where they are going… It’s as simple as that.”¬†– Earl Nightingale

Gratitude Journal… yes I’m actually doing it.

This weekend’s reading in Simple Abundance suggests that I start a “gratitude journal.” At first I nearly skimmed over this day’s reading as this is not normally something I would consider doing. However, I continued reading and within 10 minutes I had found a blank notebook that a friend of mine had given me and began writing down things I was grateful for that day.

I know my previous post touched on this a little, but I never thought I’d actually take the time each day to write down a few things I was thankful for. It wasn’t until after reading this that I realized how many little things go unnoticed – that truly are important to me. For example yesterday I just jotted down how thankful I was to have my ‘other, better half of me,’ my best friend visit me in Chicago this weekend, and another new friendship that was in the making and the fact that my car finally sold this weekend after trying to sell it for the past 6 months. So as you can see it’s not the big things in life that matter the most, sometimes it’s the smallest things, things you are almost unaware of until you sit down and take time to reflect on the happenings around you.

The author states ‘the more you have and the more you are grateful for, the more you will be given. Two months from now you will be a different person after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists¬†in your life.’ – I couldn’t agree more. How this simple book, with just a few paragraphs of reading each morning is giving me so much inspiration, I have no idea – but so far I am loving it! If your inspired by this post, I recommend finding an unused notebook lying around in your house and accept the same challenge I’m taking on. Take just 5 minutes before you go to bed each night and jot down some of the things you are most grateful for from that day.

My notebook of choice ūüôā

Friday the 13th

In my most recent post I mentioned that I had just started reading a “daily” book called Simple Abundance. I decided to write this post based off of last Friday the 13th’s reading because the message¬†paralleled¬†my current place in life so well, a perfect fit. It was titled “Gratitude: Awakening the Heart.”

In summary, the author reveals her constant desire and want for items that she could never afford, a sense of greed. The more she focused on these things the more depressed she became. It got to the point where she was physically and emotionally exhausted from concentrating on them. As soon as she came to the realization that she was torturing herself with these desires and¬†unnecessary¬†needs, she “surrendered her desire for security and sought serenity instead” and decided to give thanks to areas in her life where she was completely satisfied.

This is when I started relating it all to my life. The past few months have been a huge adjustment for any normal person my age – recent graduate, the move to a big city, searching for that ‘big girl’ job, leaving my best friends and family back home AND then to top it all off I hit the most stressful part 4 months after settling in Chicago – financial insecurity <– worst feeling in the world, might I add!! I struggled with the same issue the author spoke of; I focused all my attention on the negative things going on rather than being grateful and aware of all the positive things in my life.

My health, a wonderful loving mother and family, my amazing supportive friends, a great apartment in a thriving and beautiful city, cherishable and unique memories of my dad, my skills and talents and all the opportunities I’ve been given.. the list goes on with things that I am more than thankful for. It doesn’t matter how awareness comes about. All that matters is that you’re aware – and from there the author experienced an overwhelming amount of¬†gratefulness. You begin to notice and appreciate the smallest gifts in life.

And she leaves off with a few things for you to think about: Be open to exchanging your need for emotional and financial security for your serenity. Open “the eyes of your eyes.” Are your basic needs met? Do you have a home, food, clothes, a paycheck, good health? Can you walk, talk and see the beautiful world around you? The list goes on… so with that I feel I have passed along her message as best as I could, hopefully it has the same positive impact on yourself as it did for me. What are you grateful for today?

“Destiny is made known silently.” – Agnes de Mille

Take Time to Get Inspired

In the frenzy of our everyday lives – it seems we never let 10 minutes go by without checking our phone or computers. Waiting for texts, emails, missed calls, Instagram and Word With Friends updates and countless hours browsing sites like Pinterest (my new obsession), all seem to have forced us to be so wrapped up in our work and social world that it’s really difficult to find time for yourself. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m half tempted to delete my Words With Friends just so I can enjoy the last 20 minutes of my day before I fall asleep collecting my thoughts. Instead, I’m making moves on the 10 games I’m currently playing with my friends, it’s pathetic.

So another habit I’m trying to make for myself – is to avoid engaging in some of these useless games and sites on my phone, in order to allow more “me time.” My mom bought me a few books for Christmas which after opening, were followed by the “oh sweet, thanks mom” thought process in my head – but I’m actually going to start devoting some time in the morning when I wake up and the last half hour before I go to sleep, reading them.¬†I just recently finished reading¬†Dave Ramsey’s: Entreleadership, a book that my mom and step dad gave to me. I have to admit, I thoroughly enjoyed it and walked into work everyday excited to share something new I had read about with my colleagues. Highly recommended! As of January 1st, I just started reading Simple Abundance, which has a short reading for each morning – so far, so good I’ve allotted 5 minutes after I wake up to read each day’s message. Another thing I’m doing with each’s day’s reading is jotting down anything important that happened that day. At the start of every year I plan to re-read this book, going through each day and looking back at what I accomplished the year prior or what things were happening – kind of a like a diary ūüôā

I find that when I’m not distracted by TV, my phone or my computer, I come up with great thoughts and ideas – I become INSPIRED. Although, a lot of my thought processes and inspiration leads to things I eventually want to write a blog post about – ¬†in the end takes me right back to my computer. However, I find that I can easily justify this because in all actuality it’s helping me to create a brand for myself and potentially my future. Do you have a certain time each day where you allot it to yourself and not work? If so, what do you spend it doing?

Ten Years Later, We Will #NeverForget

“…But for those of us who lived through these events, the only marker we‚Äôll ever need is the tick of a clock at the 46th minute of the eighth hour of the 11th day. We will remember where we were and how we felt.” – George W. Bush

I woke up yesterday morning and knew I wanted to write a blog post in relation to the 10th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, but yet somehow I couldn’t even find 140 “characters” to put into a tweet, let alone write a post. It’s so hard for me to even find words to express the sympathy and sadness for a day like that in our history. For two hours I sat on my computer viewing images, watching news footage and reading numerous stories from 9/11, so painful to relive that morning. I recently read the featured story in People Magazine which profiled ten, 9 year old children who lost their fathers that day – whom they never had the opportunity to even meet, literally started crying in line at Kroger. So tragic and so sad, especially when the mothers told of how they explained to their kids, the story behind their father’s heroic deaths.

I think everyone remembers exactly where they were and how they reacted to the news coverage that morning. It was 7th grade for me, class had just ended and I vividly remember the terror and fear in all my classmates eyes as I walked the hallway to my next class. I remember seeing my math teacher in tears as we watched it on TV – I wasn’t completely aware of the Twin Towers – but halfway through the morning I knew that we had faced a horrible, horrible tragedy that day. When I arrived home from school that afternoon I walked into the living room where my dad was crying in disbelief, head in his hands, just sitting in front of our TV. The days, weeks and months that followed consisted nothing of depressing news coverage and continuous mourning over the loss of so many innocent lives. September 11, 2001 truly changed our lives forever. However, on a positive note, I believe it brought us, as a country together and gave us strength, something we’ve always struggled with. It’s unfortunate it took such a tragic event to make this happen but I think the relationships that people have with their neighbors and strangers are forever changed, in a much better way than they were before. My thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected that day and the days following. We will never forget.

“Reflecting Absence” two reflecting pools in place of where the Twin Towers once stood.

3,000 names around the perimeter of the water falls

Incredible skyline

New York Post tweeted this amazing photo of Ground Zero’s reflecting pools lit up at night

Standing next to the reflecting pools is the Freedom Tower, (still undergoing construction) stunning to look at.