Advice for Tomorrow

Always wear sunscreen.
Drink 8 glasses of water a day.
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, three times a week.
Eat more fruits and veggies.
Cut down on processed food.

These are all healthy living tidbits I’m sure you have heard before to help you live a healthier life. They seem easy enough to follow, right? But how many have you actually committed to your daily routine?

More importantly than these tips, simply living to be happy and for yourself should be the most important thing. If you do not life your life with purpose, then what’s the point? What’s your why and why do you get out of bed in the morning?

Positivity and positive living starts from within and beings with yourself.  Find what makes you happy and what you want out of life.

Purge negative thoughts. This may be hard one for most people, I know it is for myself sometimes. Know that when you have a negative thought or feeling if you can do something about, then do it. And if you can’t do anything about it, get over it and move on. Know that this negativity will pass and half of the time it wasn’t even that much of an issue. I have to constantly tell myself this. Recognizing this has saved me from many disagreements, stressful situations and uncomfortable conversations.

Instead of focusing on the negativity in your life, be thankful for what you do have and for others in your life.

Take risks while you can and be thankful for excitement in your life; you never know when it will run out.
Do something that scares you everyday, you’ll be thankful for the experiences later.
Find your true love, it’s out there, you just have to search for them and don’t give up.
Have fun everyday and smile, a lot.
Make mistakes, it’s ok. How else will you will learn?
Know that in the end everything will work out the way it was intended.

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As One Chapter Closes

A chapter in my life is quickly coming to a close and it is much, much quicker than I ever thought it would come. All the emotion surrounding this uncertain time feels like there is a giant question mark placed on top of my head. These are emotions that I never expected to experience, at least not to this extent.

I am graduating from college in a short 4 weeks and could not have more mixed feelings: happy, excited, scared, etc. These are all emotions that I am experiencing about what is to come in the future. I have been extremely blessed to have attended UNC-Chapel Hill for the past four years and would not trade them for anything. The friends and all the memories I have made here will never be forgotten. Each year has its own defining moment that has shaped who I am today and I am thankful for every trial and triumph that I have experienced.

I along with many other close friends face this great trial and triumph called graduation. Fortunately, I have a plan post-grad, for which I am extremely grateful. Yet, the uncertainty associated with these life changes scares the shit out of me and to be completely honesty, being out on my own for the first time is terrifying as well. It may just be all of the emotions centered around the change in my life and the change that is to come that is creating all of this uncertainty right now, who knows. But, what I do know is that regardless of how uncomfortable I may feel regarding the next few months, it is something I must face and must face head-on.

I am slowly beginning realizing that everything will work out in the end for the best for me and my future, whatever that may be. I will not be able to do this on my own, no matter how stubborn I am. With support from those around me, both personally and professionally, I am certain I will find my way. I never thought I would feel this way regarding my future and what it holds. I have always had an idea of what is come, fuzzy at sometimes but it has always been there. Now honestly, I can’t be certain what is to come in the future.

This is one of the most exciting times in my life and I know it will take some time to get used to. The only way to truly find out what will be best is through the process of elimination and trying different things. I’ll change my mind in regards to certain things, there is no doubt in that, and I’m ok with that.

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A little motivation

A little motivation is sometimes exactly what you need, but it may be difficult to find.

A little motivation to get out of bed early in the mornings. Yes, there is that motivation to be at work on time in the mornings, but I’m talking about the motivation to get up on those days when I have the luxury to sleep in. The motivation to see the beautiful mornings on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus. The motivation to get up and log a few miles or ride a quick 20 miles.

A little motivation to prove someone wrong. Prove someone wrong who challenges your ability. Your ability to do anything, whether it be academic, professionally, personally or whatever. Do not let the pressure, anxiety, expectations or confusion someone may be placing on you get in your way. Use the motivation that comes from within to push through and move past these different road blocks.

A little motivation to know what inspires you. Find that motivation that inspires you in life rather than what drives you. Know what what inspires you is what is going to fulfill you in life rather than what drives you. Find that motivation to continue your search. If you haven’t found your inspiration yet, it will come and when it does it that inspiration will carry you throughout your life.

A little motivation to discover yourself. Stop comparing yourself to others, even though we all do it, and I’m guilty of it too. Constantly comparing yourself to other is preventing you from seeing and discovering yourself and your own talents, the talents and unique gifts you can give to the world. Find the motivation to discover the qualities you admire in others and realize those qualities are the ones you need to nurture and realize inside yourself.

Each step you take is a step taken forward, even though at times it may feel like you are moving backward. Do not stress and find your own motivation.

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A day without your phone and what is coming in the future?

April 3, 1973, Martin Cooper made the first real cellular phone call outside Motorola offices in New York City.

That was 40 years ago. Hard to believe right? I vividly remember a time when my cousins from Michigan were visiting us in N.C. and my uncle had a bag phone in their van – that was 16 years ago.

We have come a long way since Cooper’s first cellular phone call. Now we are constantly connected via our mobile devices. We are constantly using our Android or iOs devices for either text messages, internet access, Skype, Apple’s iMessage or phone calls.

In the short six years I have had a cell phone the advances in technology have been amazing. Today there are millions of individuals who can not imagine a day without their iPhones and this is thanks to the millions of apps available on both Android and iOs operating systems. These apps have made our lives easier and more efficient.

But what is coming in the future? Wearable devices like Google Glass and smart watches, to mention a couple. The introduction of these devices are going to change the way we communicate with each other and the world around us. These future wearable devices are going to become integrated into our lives, creating an “always-on” world and extending the connection even further.

How we choose to integrate this connection in our lives will be left up to personal preference and lifestyle. It will also depend on your acceptance of new technology and how quickly you are to adopt innovative technology. The advances technology has made in the past 40 years have been amazing and the future of technology to come will be even more impressive, innovative and forthcoming.

 

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How much money do you need to be happy?

Fortunately, this is a question I have not had to answer yet because I not out on my own yet and still have the financial support of my family. However, in a few short months that is soon to end.

So, how much money do you need to be happy? In a column by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton said the magic number that defines a comfortable standard, although it varies across individuals and countries, in the US, it seems to fall somewhere around $75,000 a year. The column also goes on to say that the beneficial aspects of money taper off after the $75,000 cutoff.

I am most certainly not going to be making $75,000 a year come May, but I am confident that my basic needs will be met. Isn’t that all we need? Our basic needs met in order to be happy? The principle is true: more money does not make more happiness. I am not saying that those who make more money are not happy; it completely depends on the individual and their outlook on life. More money will not make someone who is unhappy, happy.

There are two circumstances that determine true happiness more than money:

  Your Career

Your Social/Personal Relationships

Choose a career where the people are happy. Do not ask yourself, “Does my job make me happy?” And, do not ask someone “Does your job make you happy?” Why? They will have too much invested and may answer yes in order to convince themselves they are happy with their career and love their job – even if they don’t.

Social and personal relationships are the most important aspect in an individual’s life. Keeping relationships close and healthy are what truly define happiness in our lives. Think about it. People who have a lot of money and personal relationships where they are unhappy, generally are miserable, even though they may not seem as they are.

Alternatively, people who have their basic needs fulfilled and great personal relationships are happy and may not be as financially stable as others. And these relationships I am talking about are both friendships and monogamous relationships.

These relationships are the most important factor when determining our happiness. Consistent, healthy and supportive friendships allow for us to confide in others when there may be no one else to turn to. It is so important to have that one person you can trust and someone who is on your side. Someone who will support you regardless of the situation, listen to you vent and be there for you, even at 3 a.m.

Consistent partners are also necessary in life. Regardless of past relationships and experiences, your current partner needs to be supportive, understanding and there needs to be open communication. Talking about everything and honesty are the keys to a happy relationship.

So, I ask again. How much money do you need to be happy in life? Does it matter that much to you?

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Creativity lives inside all of us.

There is a little creativity inside everyone regardless of your field of work; be it sales, customer service, marketing or finance – I mean they even have to creatively tell you how poorly your assets may be performing sometimes to lessen the bad news, right?

After reading a FastComany article I am now convinced, more than ever, this is true and have realized how important it is to express the creativity that lives inside us all. Those who have been able to embrace this have realized, and if they haven’t they will soon, that it allows them to escape from their work and everyday life, even if just for 30 minutes at time.

Some may argue it is ok to have this outlet looped with their work life; I have to disagree. The entire point is to escape, to give you an out. Give yourself time AWAY from work and away from anything work related.

Walk away from your work if you are at a roadblock. Give your brain time to concentrate on something other than strategy or marketing tactics and focus on getting the perfect shot of that couple so in love or perfect the sculpture you have been dying to start.

Although, if you are the lucky ones who have their passion as their JOB then go for it. Let the creativity take over and mix business with pleasure.

Personally, for a second I let my passion project take the form of photography. Regrettably, I have misplaced the actual .jpeg file, so much for the perfect shot.

@maggiecagney will one day inspire me to become a photographer.

@maggiecagney will one day inspire me to become a photographer.

Maybe one day I will let that creative side out again, just so happens I had a dream I was a photographer last night, coincidence?

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Confidants

We all need someone in our lives to talk to, someone who we can trust, our confidant.

Without this person, life’s challenges may become too much to handle. You may think handling these challenges on your own defines character building, makes you a stronger person, etc. and it may, but it also takes away from those invaluable friendships people so desperately need in life.

I have been extremely fortunate in my life to have a few amazingly strong friendships. I would not trade these for the world and know just how lucky I am to have such amazingly true friends who I can TRUST. I have been betrayed by friends in the past and have learned whom I can tell certain aspects about my life, and I am still learning. It is a continuous learning process when it comes to those who you can truly trust.

But admitting I have fallen down on my friendship duties. Two of my best friends have moved away and I have not been as consistent as I should have in keeping in touch and for that I am truly sorry and take full responsibility. I hate myself for it and feel guilty every time I think about you. I think about you all the time, look at our pictures every day, but yet for some reason can’t take five minutes and call and let you know I’m thinking about you. I know we are all so busy with our lives and I am so, so sorry for not keeping in touch more often!

This post is dedicated to you two. I love you two so much and miss you more than you can possibly imagine. (even tearing up right now)

Our countless memories will never be forgotten: The number of times walking the streets of Chapel Hill, the laughs and tears about who knows what, the number of times eating breakfast, lunch and dinner together, the number of times we told each other how skinny we look, the number of clothes we borrowed, the times we consoled (and laughed) while the other cried and so much more.

And let this be a promise, from now on I will call you even if it just for five minutes to let you know I’m thinking about you and a promise to those who are to move onto bigger and better things, I will try my hardest to not let this happen.

Realize those in your life who are important to you and make a concerted effort to let them know how much they mean to you, even if it just a five minute phone call, a voicemail or a text message. It matters. Do not take these friendships for granted. You may not have them one day, the one day when you need them the most.

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Love for Starbucks

One thing you will learn about me, if you do not already know..

I LOVE STARBUCKS

Some may consider it an unhealthy obsession, but I can’t help myself.

But this guy is just insane. He ordered the Worlds Most Expensive Starbucks Drink

This is pretty impressive, but I think I will stick to my grande non-fat latte.

 

Happy Tuesday!

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Passengers and Boy Bands

Passengers and Boy Bands

Passengers and Boy Bands

“When I was little I wanted to be in a boy band.”

Oh, the things you will hear in the backseat while traveling. This weekend I road shotgun from Chapel Hill, N.C. to Salisbury, N.C. and back to Chapel Hill, N.C., within 24 hours too. We made the quick trip to my hometown to see one of our friends home from San Diego, CA. Her birthday was last week so she flew home to celebrate it with those of us still in NC. It is always good catching up with friends, especially those you lived with for two years.

Riding shotgun and being in the car with one of my best friends and her boyfriend of two years can have its side effects. You begin to see how they interact – most of which, I already knew. They are truly themselves around each other. Also, when around those two, nothing is off limits and anything goes. It is a good thing I am so close with both, otherwise there would be some awkward moments. Sometimes, well actually most of the time, I yell at them to tone it down. You know the vulgar comments and what not, neither of them have any sort of filter.

If you are in a relationship and you are unable to be yourself – and I mean completely 100 percent yourself – it will never work. Trust me. Some couples spend the beginning of their relationships trying or pretending to be someone they aren’t. THEN, both partners are confused as to why they don’t get along as well as they did one year later. Or, even worse, married couples wonder where their relationship is headed after their one-year anniversary. Being yourself, honest, real, mature and spontaneous, it is what makes those relationships everyone is jealous of.

Compromise + communication + love + trust + belting out some Taylor Swift and you know you’ve got the right combination.

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