Life Isn’t Fair

Life Isn’t Fair

The most important lesson I’ve learned in my almost seventeen years of life is that no matter what you do, you don’t always get what you fell you deserve. In the end, it doesn’t matter how much time you’ve spent perfecting a skill or how nice you’ve been to a person, it’s all up to how someone else is feeling at the given time. If you worked extremely hard on something you love and things don’t work out, sometimes the decision is out of your control and all you can do is use that disappointment as motivation to become a better version of yourself. Don’t let it break you, because that will only give the other person pure satisfaction and they don’t deserve that.
When you first discover that your hard work didn’t get recognized or was intentionally forgotten about, it’s easy to throw in the towel and say forget it. Don’t, trust me it won’t be worth it at all. The regret of not seeing what you can become can be overly consuming. It lets the other person win, which I’m pretty sure isn’t anyone’s intention. Instead let it drive you to be better than ever before. Put in the extra practice or studying, because no matter what anyone else says or does it’s your dream and your dream only, and no one can take that away from you.
It’s honestly so sad that now a days it doesn’t matter how good you are at something, because politics play too big of a role. It doesn’t take a lot to be considerate and let someone know they are doing a good job at something they’ve worked so hard on. If someone is good at a sport or certain talent, a personal preference of someone else shouldn’t effect their accomplishments and what they are allowed to complete. Maybe you don’t know how hard they’ve worked to accomplish everything they’ve done. There are certain instances where who your parents are, how old you are, and how good you are being the coach’s favorite shouldn’t play a large deciding factor, but the sad part is that they do and there isn’t much you can do about it. All anyone can ask is to be treated decently in any situation, but again that isn’t always the case.
The people you encounter in the world have varying levels of kindness, common sense, and consideration. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and not to be blatantly lied to and “forgotten” about. It really doesn’t take a lot of effort to be nice and honest, and I can’t even come to comprehend how people just can’t do that. Lying to someone or treating them poorly just because you don’t care for them and want to be-little them, often ends up backfiring, because they may use it as all the reason in the world to prove you wrong.
Despite a person’s effort to purposely mess with your life, they may end up trying to act nice and respectable when others are around. Be decent back, but remember what they said or did because that shows true character. Everyone else will see the story in a different light. If they make themselves look bad and everyone else knows, then they look like the lesser person, but if you respond just as negatively then you look like the bad guy too, because they are the adult, even if they don’t particularly act like it.
There is no getting around the fact that you don’t always get what you deserve whether it’s respect or anything else. Use it all as motivation to get better and prove them wrong.

Advertisements

The End

It seems like just yesterday I was starting my freshman year, scared out of my mind on what high school was going to be like and now my junior year is pretty much over. Going into freshman my biggest worries consisted of who my potential best friends were going to be, basketball, softball, and golf, and keeping my grades up. I thought it was going to be the hardest thing I would ever experience, but I was wrong. As it turned out that I met some pretty great people who are now my best friends, I only play golf and basketball which was the best decision I’ve ever made, and my grades are pretty good. It wasn’t as scary once I got through my first few days. Now it seems like I can’t get out of high school soon enough.
A part of me doesn’t want high school to end, because I’m watching my friends that are seniors graduate and all of it makes me extremely sad because I know that we won’t be as close when they leave. For me, high school has been a great experience and for the most part I loved everything that it has brought into my life so far. I’ve met some of my best friends and found the sport I love to play, and because of that I don’t want it to end. But I know that there comes a time to move on. Four years in high school is good enough. I don’t want to be stuck there forever, because it truly isn’t my life.
I’ve learned to take advantage of every opportunity and your reputation doesn’t define you as a person. Make friends with anyone and everyone, because who knows they could be the ones that stay forever.
I’m only a junior and can say that high school goes by much faster than expected, but don’t take it all for granted. Anne Capozzoli captured it perfectly, “Senior year is all about taking chances, ones you may never have taken before. Make new friends and step outside your comfort zone. It will definitely pay off in the end. But above all, do not wish your time away in the familiar building. That building has seen your triumphs and defeats, and occasionally has betrayed you, but welcomed you with open arms most of the time. Do not take the comfort you feel when walking into that building for granted because you will have to start completely new in only a couple months.” Wasting time thinking that high school needs to end soon isn’t worth it, but don’t get too comfortable so that the transition to the next chapter is relatively painless.
High school should be an amazing four years full of football games, best friends, school dances, and memories that will last a lifetime. So, when wishing the time away, step back and remember that it only comes around once in a lifetime so make the most of every moment it brings.
Here’s a link to Anne’s full story: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/senior-year-high-school-seniors-perspective

We Reckon, Rumble, and Finally Create a Revolution

We Reckon, Rumble, and Finally Create a Revolution

Rising Strong
By Brené Brown
Spiegel & Grau, 267 pp., 2015

It is almost impossible to tell how a person is actually feeling at a given moment unless they tell you. Most of the time, they don’t want anyone to know. We tend to take our emotions and bury them deep inside us, pretending that they don’t exist and will go away in time. That’s what many of us were taught growing up that emotions are a sign of weakness and we definitely are not allowed to show them if we want to be considered a “strong-willed” person. As this perception is embedded into our minds that is how we tend to live our lives; an emotionless shell too afraid to open up to anyone. Showing emotion was taught to be wrong and a trait of the incapable and unsuccessful.
Part of growing up includes being able to rise up strong from our failures and find the strength to get back up. According to the book Rising Strong by University of Houston research professor, Dr. Brené Brown, we are able to accomplish this difficult process using three steps: The Reckoning, The Rumble, and The Revolution.
The Reckoning is being able to discover our emotions and the meaning behind them; the beginning of our story. It’s all about the emotions we are about to face when a heartbreak or disappointment becomes known. Feeling our emotions is much more difficult than it may seem, because we first have to know what they are before we have any chance of breaking them down and understanding their significance. Once this first step is complete, we can move onto The Rumble.
It is human nature to exaggerate or create stories to make times seem more bearable or to capture the interest of other people. Right now we live in a world with a set of certain expectations that need to be followed in order to be seen as successful. Those expectations and the stereotypes that go along with them can drive a person to construct the “perfect” image even if the stories they tell are anything but the truth. Often the real story is too embarrassing to disclose and it would have the potential to ruin everything that was worked so hard for. The fabricated stories are for our own self-protection, so the world isn’t able to see the person that we really are.
The Rumble is being able to say enough is enough with the lies and have the courage to let the true story come out. This is where we own everything we’ve ever done. Brown’s main point of The Rumble is to give ourselves a reality-check and look for narratives such as: boundaries, shame, blame, resentment, heartbreak, generosity, and forgiveness. She believes discovering these will allow us to realize who we are and set out on the path of change.
All of this leads up to the final step, The Revolution. There are many ways a revolution can take place. In this instance it is all about when the process of rising strong stops being a process and transforms into a practice. Coming this far is an accomplishment in itself. It changes everything, including the way we view the world, each other, and most importantly ourselves. One seemingly small practice has the ability to re-route our entire life, because if we made it this far we have the ability to transform and create the future we desire.
Rising Strong brings the process to a practice and perfectly illustrates how this change can impact our lives forever, but it isn’t so easy for everyone. There is a different story for each person in the world. This means each person has a different problem and potential solution to it. The whole process faces a series of problems including vulnerability being seen as a characteristic of the weak, the fact that our society is becoming more desensitized, keeping keep our lives on track even when someone else close to us is de-railing, dealing with the thought that we are all going to fail at some point in our lives, and learning to accept the emotions we experience during our journey. These problems can appear at The Reckoning, The Rumble, or The Revolution, it all depends on the person, but once the problem can be worked out and you have the ability to continue with the practice, whole-heartedness is sure to come.
Brown focuses on this process in terms of being vulnerable; something everyone has to deal with at some time in their life, but never really wants to. Vulnerability tends to be associated with terms of weakness and fragility. It is understandable why most choose to avoid vulnerability at all costs.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of the word vulnerable is, “capable of being physically or emotionally wounded.” No one I have ever met has intentionally wanted to feel physically or emotionally wounded. The only way to begin to grow and mature is to have the courage to tear down some of the walls built to keep everyone out, and that is becoming vulnerable.
Becoming vulnerable can be difficult now a days, because it seems like as a society we are becoming more and more emotionally numb to all the events that are occurring around us. This is in part due to the fact that the TV shows, movies, and music we listen to advocate behaviors that require little or no emotional stability. Most children and adults tend to mimic the actions of singers, actors, and actresses, even if their actions aren’t realistic for present day society.
According to “The Impact of Electronic Media Violence: Scientific Theory and Research,” an article in the United States National Library of Medicine, these violent movies, TV shows, and videogames have increased the risk of adolescent violence and have desensitized the children watching and playing them. It is important that this does not happen. If we become disoriented from our own emotions, then there is absolutely no way to understand and learn from them. This increased desensitization will no doubt have consequences, because we make sure we are always self-protected and safe from the emotions associated with feelings. This has to stop. We need to be able to feel everything that happens to us or the world will become a ghastly place.
All of the interviewees that Brown acknowledges in Rising Strong have gone through a phase of self-protection and one of trying to discover what they are feeling and why it is happening. Many people struggle with The Reckoning because it is the first obstacle they have to overcome, and it is easy to give up after a couple tries of not being able to work a problem out. The Reckoning is all about becoming curious about our emotions. Curiosity is a huge step in The Reckoning process, because curiosity requires vulnerability due to our uncertainty of what is at hand. There is always a reason for everything; our curiosity will serve its purpose. Brown’s research shows that countless people decide to select, “certainty over curiosity, armor over vulnerability, and knowing over learning.” This can prove to be difficult with long-term consequences, usually ones that never come to mind when we are trying to dig ourselves out of a very agonizing situation. The majority tend to opt for a quick and simple solution to the problem they find themselves in. In hindsight isn’t always the best or most effective it is the one that is going to cause the least amount of pain.
We, as a society, need to be tougher and take the pain head on. This is the only way to know the true strength of the condition we may find ourselves in. At times it is going to hurt, but everyone has to go through a little pain to find the strength to get back up after it knocks us down a couple of times. Lying down may be relaxing for a little while, but soon it will become quite boring and time to get up and move on to the next chapter of our lives.
During the Rumble we need to become honest with the stories we are telling ourselves and others, and not allow outsiders to influence the truth. In doing so, relationships can be salvaged and friendships can stay intact. One single person cannot have the ability to throw our lives off its course, just because they are going through a rough patch. It is necessary to take control of our own lives and not have others play with them like we’re puppets.
An example from Brown would be Claudia. She was a woman in her mid-thirties was struggling with a major family dilemma when she went to Brown for help. Claudia’s sister Amy who had always had problems with alcoholism asked her and her sister Anna to come to dinner during the Thanksgiving holiday, which she was extremely hesitant to do. It didn’t help that her husband had gone away with his family during the holiday break. When they arrived, they found Amy in an abandoned warehouse full of trash and rats, and Amy was extremely dirty with large bags under her eyes. Anna, outraged at her sister’s appearance and living conditions took a cab home, but Claudia was too frozen to move. All she wanted to do was run far away from Amy, which brought her guilt and grief. As Claudia questioned why Amy couldn’t be normal and why it had to be her family that was being affected, she realized that distancing herself from the situation wouldn’t change the fact that it had happened. It will continue affecting her and her family’s lives.
She can’t run away from her sisters problems as that would show them controlling her life. They are going to apart of her family, even if they aren’t wanted. Instead of running in the opposite direction, Claudia and her family should sit down and work out a plan before the disaster destroys everything that’s left and they’re working on it.
Claudia is still in The Rumbling part of the process of struggling with her boundaries of how to be a good sister and still be able to live her own life. She faced her problem and is working on figuring out her emotions towards Amy’s situation and how to deal with them. And with that, according to Brown, Claudia said one of the best and most powerful examples of the rising strong process, “It’s so hard to be face-down on the arena floor, but if you open your eyes when you’re down there and take a minute to look around, you get a completely new perspective on the world. You see things that you don’t see when you’re standing tall. You see more struggle- more conflict and suffering. It can make you more compassionate if you open your eyes and look around while you’re down there.” We should all take a lesson from Claudia and when we find ourselves face-down on the arena floor, we shouldn’t be afraid to open our eyes, because who knows, we may surprise ourselves with what we uncover.
We are all bound to fail at some point in our lives. It’s a fact of life. Yes, even the “perfect” people out there will fail, because in truth no one is absolutely perfect. It is all about how we get up from the tumble that defines us as a person and builds character. Sometimes when we fail we look at it as we are a failure, not ‘I failed’ which can make us stay down when we should be trying to get up. That is what happened to another one of Brown’s interviewees, Andrew, who was the ‘it-guy’ around his office and everyone valued his opinion.
His thoughts and expertise were sought out by others and he was very successful at advertising. There was a belief that Andrew couldn’t screw up a single job, until the time when he did. There came a time when Andrew and his team took on too much, and rash decisions were made that could have potentially hurt the future of the company. It was Andrew’s job to oversee everything that was happening and he got so caught up in all the projects at hand, that he didn’t see the way the clients were treating his team. He came to the realization that he had screwed up in accepting the job and hoped to regain the trust of his team back. This was when Andrew had to confront his wrong-doing and rumble with his emotions. For him it turned out pretty well and his failure taught him a valuable lesson, but that isn’t always the case for everyone.
Sometimes things don’t always play out how we want it to. We are all going to fail because it is inevitable, but it is how we respond to that failure that shows who we are as a person. With the failure that we go through, comes regret. As Brown said, “Regret is a tough but fair teacher. To live without regret is to believe you have nothing to learn, no amends to make, and no opportunity to be braver with your life.” There are trade-offs to consider, but it is impossible to know without trying. The opportunities that were missed are often the ones that we regret most in the end when it really matters. So, take advantage of those opportunities when they arise, because they may end up being the best decisions ever made.
Ah, The Revolution. It is the last step, where the process turns into a practice. It is our place to write the future, one we can live with and accept. It is our accomplishment. A new perspective of life doesn’t just happen with the snap of our fingers, a lot of work is involved. It is about being able to get back up from the hurt we experienced. When that is done, our process becomes a practice and our vision for the future can be written. No one but us has the ability or power to change our lives. It is up to us and only us.
When humans harness their true power they can do anything.
Completing the rising strong practice may prove to be problematic, because it is quite easy to get stuck in one of the three steps. You can see that Claudia was having troubles with The Rumble. Every person will experience their own story and some steps may be less complicated for some than for others.
The quicker we can learn to acknowledge and accept the emotions we feel, the better off our lives will be. Emotions aren’t something that will just go away in due time, they stay forever until we decide we want to confront them or are told to confront them. They love sitting and waiting for us to suffer enough, and get to the point where their presence becomes known. As much as we would love to forget about their existence, we can’t. The only thing that can be done is to figure out an effective way to deal with emotions, one that will have a positive outcome and make life 100x easier than choosing to wait until the last minute to figure everything out.
Drilling into someone’s head that emotions are a sign of weakness is the absolute worst idea. It will just end up making them suffer even more as they grow and mature, because they won’t know be capable of dealing with their emotional problems. Instead, in following the rising strong practice we need to ask ourselves, “Can we lean in to the vulnerability of emotion and stand in our truth? Are we willing to lean in to the initial discomfort of curiosity and creativity so we can be braver with our lives? Do we have the courage to rumble with our story?” After completing this practice and coming face-to-face with our emotions, we should be able to answer a strong yes to all of these questions, with little to no doubt in our minds, and that is how it should be.
Emotions allow us to stand tall and face the world with a confident smile on our face. A smile that tells everyone within miles that we can do anything we put our minds to. It is the little man or woman on our shoulders whispering to keep going, even when we believe it isn’t worth it. The rising strong process becoming a practice may not be easy, and actually it most definitely won’t be. Finding who we are never is easy, but in the end it will definitely be worth it.

Just Tell Him

Just Tell Him

If there was one thing I could tell my best friend and have her listen to me would be to not lie to herself about how she feels. Yeah this is going to be a typical girl post I’m sorry, but it has been going on a lot lately and I feel like it can be easily related to.
Just tell him. I understand that it is one hundred times easier said than done, but nothing can happen if he doesn’t know. You can’t just stand on the side line wishing for something to happen if he doesn’t know how you feel. This is kind of hypocritical for me to say considering that I never tell anyone myself, but I have seen it work so well for some of my friends so it is worth a try I guess.
Not wanting to like someone and actually not liking someone are definitely not the same thing. Not wanting to like someone means that you do, but for some reason or another you don’t want yourself to, but liking someone is one of those things you can’t just turn on and off whenever you feel like it. It sucks, but it doesn’t work that way. Actually not liking someone means exactly that you don’t and if that is the case people shouldn’t push it and you definitely shouldn’t lead the person on. Don’t let whatever is holding you back: another guy, a friend, whatever the reason may be, cause you to not take a chance and regret it later.
Take control of your emotions as Brené Brown would say. That is the only way anything is going to be accomplished. Once you figure out your feelings and emotions, you can do something about them, and the maybe things will go the way you want them to, but like I said before, the only way to know is to tell him. You never know, maybe he feels the same way. I get that fact that it can be extremely nerve-racking, trust me I understand, but if you want it to go anywhere sometimes you have to get over that fear and just do it.
Hanging out with that certain person knowing how you feel, can sometimes be torture, especially if he doesn’t know. So again my advise would be to tell him, it could just turn out great and many doors may be opened.

The Unavoidable Change

The Unavoidable Change

“Change is the one constant in our lives.” – Dan Gilbert
Psychologist Dan Gilbert explained in his TED Talk how we are forever changing, but we tend to think we aren’t. We underestimate the amount of change we think will happen to us in the future. He performed a study that showed people later in their lives found that they observed much more change in their lives than they originally thought ten years prior. They also realized that change wasn’t necessarily wasn’t as big of a thing as they thought it would be when they were younger.
When asked how much they would pay to see their favorite musician in ten years, on average they said one hundred and twenty-nine dollars, but when asked how much they would pay to see their favorite musician from ten years ago, on average they said about eighty-dollars. As you can see your views and ideas for the future aren’t going to be stationary as it turns out.
We have the ability to have a say in how our future is going to turn out. There is absolutely no way to prevent the change from occurring, so we just have to make the best of each and every situation we find ourselves in. If it is one that isn’t desirable, change it or live with it but make it better than it is at the moment. You can’t just sit back and complain about something without trying to do anything to fix it. There is only one person with the ability to change your life and future and that is you.
It is better to just accept the change, because it is forever and there is absolutely nothing to stop it. Personally, I would rather take control and make the most of the situation, than just let everything happen and sit back and do nothing when life throws the worst at us. It is our life, so lets have a say in some of it.
Gilbert is saying that the change we experience everyday is always going to be there. We underpredict the amount we of it we will experience as his studies show. My advise would be to make the most of everything that crosses your path and if you don’t like it, do something about it.
Here is a link to Psychologist Dan Gilbert’s TED Talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_gilbert_you_are_always_changing

Running with Emotion

Running with Emotion

All my life I have been one to turn away my emotions and pretend that they don’t exist. It wasn’t necessarily because my parents taught me that they were a sign of weakness, but more that if they weren’t needed then they shouldn’t be present. It’s kind of weird, I thought that emotions were a sign of weakness and it was easier to not have them than to get hurt in the end. I’ve never been one for emotions to begin with, but as I have gotten older there are times where I have experienced much less than I should and there are other times where I am more emotional or feel more than I ever have before. Some of them are relatively new to me, and I am going to be completely honest when saying that I am not really a big fan of them. Things probably don’t work out so well sometime, because I tend to bury them all thinking that I will deal with them much later, but never really end up dealing with them until they just decide to appear all at once.
In the book I am reading, it explains that we need to recognize our emotions and get in-touch with them, so we can better understand them, because even though we try to forget about them, they still have a way of effecting how we think and behave. The book says, “You may no have signed up for a hero’s journey, but the second you fell down, got your butt kicked, suffered a disappointment, screwed up, or felt your heart break, it started. It doesn’t matter whether we are ready for an emotional adventure-hurt happens. And it happens to every single one of us. Without exception. The only decision we get to make is what role we’ll play in our own lives: Do we want to write the story or do we want to hand that power over to someone else? Choosing to write our own story means getting uncomfortable; it’s choosing courage over comfort.” We don’t have the ability to control when we fall down or why it happened, but once it happens we have to deal with everything it brings us. We get to write our own story from that point on, not have it be written by someone else. We don’t get to have our comfort and luxury when being kicked to the curb, but it’s okay our courage and bravery will take over from there.
Take your emotions by the horns, confront them, and then run with them, creating your own story along the way.

The Juggle of Life

The Juggle of Life

I know this is a topic a talk about a lot here, but I believe that it is a very important one and discover new things about it everyday. It may be because I am a high school student and in various activities and still want to spend  time with my family and friends, but time management is seriously one of the most important traits you need while going through your many years in school while still having a life.

Lately for me, time management has been an absolute struggle. Between my countless hours of homework, golf practice and meets,  wanting to spend time with my friends and family, and get a good amount of sleep, it is hard to do it all and well. I always tell myself that I will get all my homework done after practice or a meet, but it is hard to concentrate for that amount time all in a row, and not get off task or procrastinate. This becomes even harder when I don’t get home until really late at night and still have so much homework to complete.

Procrastination is literally my worst enemy. I always find something else I would rather be doing and tell my self that I will only watch one more episode and then start, but one turns into two, which turns into three and so on. It’s so hard to stop doing what you want for something you know you have to do, especially with a little over a month left until school gets out, but it is now where grades and keeping up my game really counts. Some of my finals are in less than three weeks and regionals are soon after.

“One of the first studies to document the pernicious nature of procrastination was published in Psychological Science back in 1997. APS Fellow Dianne Tice and APS William James Fellow Roy Baumeister, then at Case Western Reserve University, rated college students on an established scale of procrastination, then tracked their academic performance, stress, and general health throughout the semester. Initially there seemed to be a benefit to procrastination, as these students had lower levels of stress compared to others, presumably as a result of putting off their work to pursue more pleasurable activities. In the end, however, the costs of procrastination far outweighed the temporary benefits. Procrastinators earned lower grades than other students and reported higher cumulative amounts of stress and illness. True procrastinators didn’t just finish their work later — the quality of it suffered, as did their own well-being.” This study shows how procrastination can have a serious negative effect on ourselves and the damage they can cause. Some can be hard to overcome, but the one way to fix most of them is to really manage your time wisely.

Here is a video of Vik Neathy explaining why we procrastinate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD440CY2Vs0

 

Forgiveness is Key

Forgiveness is Key

As I’ve gotten older I realized that we eventually get over our problems we believed we never would; the ones that seemed almost unforgivable. You know when you thought that you would never speak to a certain person again, because of what they did to you, but then at times you can’t help but miss them, and it makes trying to stay angry a lot harder.

There are so many people out there with so many stories of how people they thought would always be there by their side, betrayed them for someone or something else. It sucks when you find yourself in that situation or watch a friend or family member go through it, because saying “it’s going to be okay” or “give it time, they’ll come back” isn’t always the right words to say or what they want to hear at the time.

I’ve watched myself and friends go through some of these situations, and one in particular stood out to me and taught me one of the most important lessons of my life, and it is one that most people, including myself take for granted. Family isn’t always going to perfect and a walk in the park, but there are people who have it way better off than others. Yeah maybe you get into a fight with your mom or dad over grades or cleaning, but at least they are there for you to have an argument with. Some people have divorced parents, or some that aren’t there at all. Don’t take any of it for granted it. That argument may make it so you can’t wait for college and get out of your house, but the reason it took place is probably because they care and want the absolute best for you. Not every parent is like this, but if yours happen to be hold on tight, because not everyone has that.

Anyway if your parent happens to be person who did the unforgivable deed, then it can almost seem impossible to get over, but despite everything anyone will say it will just take some time. Depending on how bad it was, eventually maybe you may be able to forgive and move on. Trying to reconnect and forgive will hopefully help you heal.

A study at Mayo Clinic shows that forgiving someone will help with,

  • Healthier relationships
  • Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  • Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Stronger immune system
  • Improved heart health
  • Higher self-esteem

Eventually you may move on and forgive them for what they did.

Rising Strong

Rising Strong

“If we are brave enough, we will often fall.” – Brené Brown.
For language arts, we were told to pick a nonfiction book of our choice published within the past year. For me, that was a challenge because I hadn’t heard of any, so I did some research and came up with a few good choices. After reading the first few pages of each book, I ultimately chose the book, “Rising Strong.” If I could explain it in a few words, I would say that it’s about helping others to get up after they stumble and fall, why it’s important, and how it will prove to be beneficial in the long run.
I’m going to be completely honest when saying that I wasn’t happy about doing this when I first heard about the assignment, but after starting the book, I realized that it wasn’t going to be so bad. “Rising Strong” gives some pretty good advice for people of all ages, and a lot of it can be easily related to in your own life experiences in some way. Brown takes a lot of real life experiences, either her own or from other people she has interviewed, and incorporates them into her book. That allows her points to be more easily understood and engages the audience. It’s laid out in a format that can be followed in a step-by-step process, telling you exactly what to do and what not to do. Here is an example from an excerpt in the book:
“The goal of the process is to rise from our falls, overcome our mistakes, and face hurt in a way that brings more wisdom and wholeheartedness into our lives.
The Reckoning: Walking into our Story
Recognize emotion, and get curious about our feelings and how they connect with the way we think and behave.
The Rumble: Owning our Story
Get honest about the stories we’re making up about our struggle, then challenge these confabulations and assumptions to determine what’s the truth, what’s self-protection, and what needs to change if we want to lead more wholehearted lives.
The Revolution:
Write a new ending to our story based ont he key learnings from our rumble and use this new, braver story to change how we engage with the world and to ultimately transform the way we live, love, parent, and lead.”
Just from reading this, it has allowed me to reflect on my life and see where this can be useful in solving some problems. I can’t wait to read the rest of the book and see what other useful tips and examples it has to offer. Also, Brown gave a TED Talk that I am looking forward to watching. Here is the link if anyone is interested: https://www.ted.com/speakers/brene_brown

What is Art?

What is Art?

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
During our lives we can sometimes get too caught up in one or two hobbies, completely forgetting about everything else the world has to offer. One of the major things we tend to forget about as we get older is art and our creativeness, so in middle and high school we need to take advantage of as many creative opportunities as possible. They can include: watching or participating in a play or musical, trying an art or music class, or going to listen to a speaker.
The other day my school provided us with an opportunity to listen to the cellist Hannah Holman. Going into the talk I didn’t really know what to expect, because music and art aren’t really my thing, but by the end I was seriously surprised by everything I learned. The one question that really stuck with me was , “What classifies as art?” That got me thinking, and the answer I ultimately came up with was that art is anything that you feel like you created or turned into your own, and most importantly makes you happy doing. It’s a vague answer, but the question is broad and I don’t think it is possible to specify greatly.
Hannah Holman is an amazing cellist, a talent I feel like sometimes goes unnoticed. I am someone who would pick sports over band or orchestra, but when I heard her play, I can honestly say I was genuinely amazed by how good she was. She could sit down and play complex songs like it was no problem. I know for a fact that I would struggle hard-core with trying to play a single note. After listening to her, I give major props to anyone who plays an instrument and is extremely good at it, because of all the hard work they must have put into it over the years to make it as far as they have. I am actually really happy I got to see her play, even if it was only for a little bit. If anyone is interested, here is the link to her website: http://hannahholmancello.com/welcome.html
Art plays a vital part in our learning. Here is a list of different ways it benefits us:
Learning to read music and understand concepts like time, rhythm, and pitch have a direct effect on a child’s ability to comprehend math skills. One study showed math scores of music students surpassed those of their non-musical classmates. Students from low socio-economic backgrounds were twice as likely to excel in math if they had musical education.
Studying the lyrics of music can teach students about syllabification, phonics, vocabulary, imagery, history, myths, folktales, geography, and culture.
Studies show there is a direct correlation between continued involvement in theater and success in math and reading.
Non-native English speakers may learn the language more quickly with the use of music. Thematic learning helps children learn in a safe, enjoyable, student-centered environment.
Students who take the time to master a musical instrument learn about hard work, practice, and discipline. While performing in a group – like an orchestra, band, or choir – students learn to work together, appreciate teamwork, strive for a common goal, and develop negotiation skills.
Cultural awareness is achieved through every form of arts education.
As you can see there are so many ways that art will effect our lives, and without it we will be missing out on some necessary skills. Don’t take it for granted and cease every opportunity that comes along, it will not be regretted.
For anyone interested, here is a link to a little bit of Hannah Holman’s work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM8hTmqe_40