Consistency and effort… as simple as that.

Yes.  Life is as simple as that.  So are relationships – platonic, romantic or otherwise.

 

When we are younger, a little bit of effort or even small gestures can keep us happy for a long time.  In fact, some of us end up with friends or lovers based on one or two strategically-placed gestures that subsequently taper off and amount to zero effort.  However, as we get older, it becomes apparent that effort has to be applied consistently: to one’s life, one’s friendships, one’s relationships, one’s business dealings, one’s education – to virtually anything worth attaining and keeping.  At the end of the day, the most important pieces of your life won’t be easy to get to and will be equally as difficult to keep – especially if you decide that the effort can dissipate once you’ve gotten it.

 

So yes. Keep being consistent.  Keep putting some effort.

Keep giving it what you got.  Every day.

Show your loved ones that you love and care for them.  Every day.

Be there for your friend in that time of need or in that time of celebration.  Every day.

Push towards your business dreams or scaling up that visionary project you have on that table.  Every day.

Keep striving towards that degree or diploma or certificate.  Every day.

 

Trust me – the rewards are worth it, and if you felt that it was worth attaining in the first place, keeping it is just as worthy of your time and energy.  Delayed, sustained gratification requires consistent effort – take it from the Book of Lessons Learned.

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Milestones should be celebrated, no matter the size.

It happens sometimes.  You feel low – been feeling low for a long time.  Maybe it isn’t a downfall of sorts; it may just be that you just feel like nothing is really happening with you, you’re in a rut long-term, or things in your life have been at a pregnant pause.

 

Suddenly something happens – you get a call about a job interview you’ve wanted, you get into that school programme you’ve been looking at, your certificate from that online course you did comes in the mail.  You don’t really think much about it, but your inner circle – be it mentors, friends, family members, loved ones – make a big deal over it for you.  And you’re still steadily downplaying it.

 

But go ahead – celebrate it!  It’s a milestone, a step in the direction you are meant to be going in, whether it’s diminutive or gargantuan in size.  It might be getting a new job offer, publishing an article you’ve worked on or even just losing that first pound in a weight loss journey.  No matter how big or small, every monument that brings you closer to your purpose in life deserves a celebration.

 

So go ahead – make yourself a nice cup of coffee (or tea) and do your happy dance for yourself – because you earned it.

Friends and True Friends – know the difference. Or learn it fast.

Now this one may need a sour or bitter taste in many mouths out there, but I’m gonna say it anyway – when you know what kind you are, go on ahead and swallow your mouthful, cupful or bowl-ful of sour or bitter and learn how to shape up and be genuine or gracefully embrace your place as one of the fairweather variety, for whatever it’s worth.

 

There is a very stark difference between friends and true friends who become your family.  Some of us take longer than other to learn that difference, but I’m putting it out there in hopes that us slower learners get it that much faster.  Comedian Steve Harvey said it one morning during the first 12 minutes of his radio show, where he inspires only and reminds himself of life’s lessons in faith and other important qualities (forgive the paraphrasing but you’ll get the gist):
“you want lots of friends, go hit the lotto.  you want real friends, go get you in some trouble.”

 

It’s true: you can and will have lots of friends who show their pride when things are going well.  But when you hit your lowest lows, it’s the people who stand in the gap for you – whether it’s just checking up on you with a message, email or missed call – that are your true friends.  Experience the difference – or learn through those of us who already know.

Others’ behaviour towards you is a reflection of them, not you.

A good friend of mine (who also happens to be a fellow Bahamian and citizen of the world), Kendrick D said something very powerful to me recently:
“You should never discount yourself based on other people’s behaviour.”

 

It’s absolutely true: there comes a time when introspection is necessary after the same behaviour is repeated towards you by multiple people around you.  But when you know that you’ve been a positive influence (or at the very least, a source of support) to those people around you and the pattern is the same, there’s no need to hurt yourself and believe that you are the problem anymore. Only you know your true worth and when you are your genuine self, sometimes people will take advantage of that and still mistreat you because of various reasons that usually have nothing to do with you.

 

It is extremely unfortunate that our current society has so blurred the lines between genuine and counterfeit, perfect and real.  But you can’t lose sight of your true you, your true value, the realness that you give to your world around you and the greater world out there.  In gospel singer Donnie McClurkin’s words, “After you’ve done all you can… just stand.”

“What others think of you is none of your business.”

Deepak Chopra first said it as written. Since he put it so eloquently, many others from spiritual leaders like Joel Osteen to pop singers like Lana del Rey to little-known bloggers such as myself have echoed the same sentiments, either verbatim or in paraphrase.

 

Yes, sometimes people’s opinions of you actually get back to you on paper, in sound bytes or in personal conversation – sometimes it’s flattering, sometimes it’s unflattering and other times it’s just plain malicious.  The latter two are usually the hardest to shake away but regardless of what the opinion is, it’s actually none of your concern.

 

The only opinions that truly matter are your own – as long as you can look yourself in the mirror and feel that you and the God that you serve are pleased with you and what you do, everyone else’s opinions are just… white noise.

Mental Workouts? Yes, You Need It. – Part 1.

The great number of us adults born between the late 70s to early 90s know what a busy life looks like and sometimes it can be difficult to even make sure a regular physical workout is built into our already-packed schedules. But here are a couple of my favourite byproducts of mental exercise, which also illustrate why it is a crucial part of your health from a mental and a physical perspective:
Clarity and focus. With clarity comes vision – and realisation thereof. Mental stimulation, in some settings, goes a long way in detoxifying and decluttering the white noise that floods our lives at times and helps us to clear our mind and realign with our own vision and mission.
Strength and flexibility. Exercise brings agility – not just physically. Regular mental stimulation helps improve skills such as multitasking and strategising. The right ones can even help build your vocabulary – after all, you couldn’t possibly think the word later was actually spelled with an “8”. Right?
Increased likelihood of good mental and physical health. A healthy mind is a crucial adjunct to a healthy body. Believing in your own health mentally and physically is the first stepping stone to making it happen. After all, “as [a man] thinketh… so is he.”(as written in the Bible in the book of Proverbs 23:7 and later revisited by James Allen in his book As A Man Thinketh).

There are so many more that I can mention, but these remain the top three victories of mental workouts that make me look forward to seeing another one.
What about you? What results make you look forward to your mental exercise?

New Year, New Look – Same Candid, Same Cool…

Happy New Year, everyone!!!!
I know it’s been a long while since the last post but after a tough (and mentally blocked!) 2016, I decided to change the look of things around here on the blog but I’m still giving the same honesty, the same short but sweet informed content on life as a fit, busy, expat professional naturalista out there as a citizen of the world. You can find older posts through the menu at the top right corner and I’ll be adding new content throughout the year.

Cheers to a wonderful, informed life in 2017!!!!
All Love,
V & S Jade

The risks and complications of adulthood, Volume 8.

Stress over Shock

Pain.

 

Whether physical or emotional, it comes in a lot of shapes and forms – it may be treatable or untouchable or even unresolvable, depending on where it comes from.   People may ask you to rate it on a scale from one to ten, when in a lot of situations the numerical rating isn’t worth a damn.

 

Some of us walk around bearing it with a smile on their face.  Others are crippled by it and are reduced to a human tear drop by it.  A school of thought believes that the absence of pain is the absence of growth.   Another believes that a lack of pain is a sign of disease.

 

Sometimes it’s a sign that something is changing.  Sometimes it’s a sign that something is wrong.  Regardless of why it’s there, it’s usually there for a reason.

There will always be many details, but don’t forget the big picture.

 

It happens to all of us at one time or another.  During this journey we call life, we get overwhelmed by little things, lost in the tiny details or tripped up by the baby steps we’re in the middle of.  Sometimes we realise it and correct ourselves right away, but there are a great many of us that don’t even notice when we’re starting to become engulfed in the minutiae that comes together to form a larger picture in our lives.

 

But remember that:  there’s a larger picture once you breathe, take a few steps back and observe.  So yes, there will always be a million little details that can distract us or tempt us to beat ourselves up at any given time, but never lose sight of your bigger picture.  Because that’s always there, too.

The risks and complications of adulthood, Volume 7.

Living.

 

Something that most adults end up taking for granted from the first heavy workday.  In fact, it’s something that humans tend to take for granted sometime after puberty kicks in as responsibilities grow more and more plentiful and as aspiration and making of a livelihood become more and more of a perceived priority.

 

Bottom line: living is the one thing you have to always be mindful of doing as you become older and more successful and accomplished in your goals.  Plain and simple.