For as long as I can remember, I have tried to follow the “right” path and take all the “right” steps. I took school (very) seriously. Never got in trouble. Filled my plate with extracurriculars. Everything society tells you is important was important to me. Maybe too important. This led to a lot of accomplishments but concurrently, a life of anxiety and stress…and not necessarily happiness.
I kept myself busy, always going, always moving forward to the next thing – college (4 years), grad school (4 years), then the next logical step, pursuing licensure…another 2 years minimum. Passions of mine like dance and theatre got pushed aside because they weren’t realistic options and the opportunities weren’t there where I grew up in Florida. Plus, I was good at school.
Upon graduating with my M.A., I was offered an incredible full-time job at Rollins College, my alma mater and dream school. No way I could pass that up. Additionally, I was offered part-time work at my counseling supervisor’s private practice where I could begin accumulating hours toward licensure with supervision included. I’d be crazy to pass that up, right? And just like that, my schedule consisted of a 8:30am-5:00pm full-time job, rushing to see clients at the private practice (almost running over Paul McCartney but that’s a story for another time) from 5:30-9:00pm, shower, maybe an hour tops to unwind…and up early for 7:00am boot camp if I wanted to get a workout in.
It was too much. But I had essentially been working like this since birth. Told that hard works pay off. But when? I had a lot going for me but I was not happy and started to question what I was even working toward anymore. Lost site of my end goal. Pushing forward without asking questions had just become second nature. When I finally stopped to breathe and ask the big questions, it dawned on me…life is short. I didn’t want to get stuck. We only have one life to live and I wanted to fully experience mine.
I started thinking about where else it might be exciting to live. Apart from a small stint in London for a semester study abroad in college and that time my family almost moved to Belgium when I was 8, I’d never lived anywhere other than Florida. I didn’t want to live a life with regrets, never knowing what could have been. That sounded much worse to me than any alternative so, I leapt. I gave notice at my jobs, cleared out the apartment I’d lived in for 10 years (including all the awards I’d racked up and thought were so important over the years), packed up my (small) car with whatever I could fit, and drove to NYC, without a place, without a job, without knowing anyone there. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I made the move with a lot of unanswered questions and blanks to fill in (and spoiler alert, though I don’t want to say too much because there’s a whole book on this to come) but it all came together, one day, one step at a time. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. It was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life and I experienced all of the stages and emotions but it was worth all of the blood, sweat, and tears. People will think you’re crazy. You will start to think you’re crazy. But don’t let that stop you. Grab ahold of your life strongly with both hands. It’s about more than your job, your house, your car, your possessions. None of it means anything if your quality of life isn’t there. Is something missing? It’s never too late. Sure, it’s scary. I get it. But that’s half the fun. You will figure it out, I promise.
Angela is an actor and influencer in NYC. She graduated with her B.A. in Psychology and her M.A. in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. Angela toured the U.S. as bassist and vocalist for alternative rock band SMB Project and is passionate about advocacy and activism. She is a lover of fitness, music, the beach, breakfast, traveling, and thrift store shopping. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @angelabelcamino
4 Less Known Ways How Gratitude Will Change Your Life
Changing your life may be quite a challenge, but the most important step you can make is to try and change the way you perceive the world around you. This modern era has brought us various issues, and it may be hard to focus on feeling thankful while there’s so much more you need to achieve. This may sound a bit corny, but quite a lot of studies have shown a clear link between feeling happy and being grateful.
We’ve done some researching and we’ve made this list in order to help you gain a better understanding of how and why the attitude of gratitude affects your lifestyle. There are various positive effects of this attitude, so let’s not waste any more time and let’s get straight to it.
Try not to get mad, but express gratitude instead
One of the main reasons anyone wants to change is because of the social interactions. When faced with an issue in a social surrounding, like for example your work, it can be very hard to keep your cool. Let’s say your coworker failed at their task. This leaves you with more work, and you’re probably going to get mad. If you manage to change the way you express yourself, you can achieve quite a lot.
In such situations try to calm down, focus on all the positive things you can about the coworker that failed. Think about everything good they might have done in the past, however difficult it may seem. Try to show your gratitude for all the positive things that person did, and it will affect your mood in a most positive way. It may take time to master this skill, but once you do you will improve both the way you perceive the world and how people around you feel about you. You will be able to form stronger relationships and you will gain people’s trust in an easy fashion.
Be grateful for life’s challenges
Facing any major change in life is a lengthy process, and it can be hard to truly understand the approach when your emotions are getting the best of you in such situations. What you must understand is that self-pity can’t get you anywhere. Facing a challenge in life should be another experience that makes you become the best version of yourself, so stop frowning and start being grateful.
Any challenge you may face, whether it’s a move to another city, country, or, in the worst case scenario, the death of someone close to you, can help you build your personality and learn a lot. Try to be grateful for everything that you’ve picked up along the way and you will soon become a person that complains way less. It can help you improve your career and become more popular, and it’s all up to you.
Become an inspiration
Various studies have shown that people tend to build better relationships and motivate one another when they express gratitude and when they show they’re humble. Being perceived as humble and grateful helps people around you elevate their productivity and overall relationships in the team, so focusing on building such character can help you out in the long run. The studies have also shown that even a single expression of gratitude helped increase the overall average time spent helping each other.
Learn how to bounce back with gratitude
Even when it comes to the hardest of times, expressing gratitude can seriously help your overall state of being and the way you deal with your problems. We are all social beings, and we all need at least some of the social interaction, especially in times of need. Being grateful for that interaction and showing that gratitude can help you with your coping mechanisms.
Experienced family lawyers state that the divorce parties that express grateful thinking and positive attitude don’t have many problems with coping and dealing with the aftermath of such a devastating event. With humble and grateful view of the world, you can deal with all of your problems easier than before.
You can get caught up in negative feelings quite easily, and once you do, it’s very easy to forget about the positivity and good people in your life. And while you may think there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to your personality, there is certainly quite a lot you should be thankful for. Gratitude is a skill that needs practice, and you mustn’t be afraid to practice showing it. It will help you live a more fulfilling and overall positive life, so go for it.
Leila Dorari is a freelance writer and self-improvement enthusiast from Sydney. Currently, she is spreading the word on useful tips and tricks that can skyrocket one’s career odds. In her spare time, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.
Entrepreneurship is hot on the streets right now. Everywhere we look, there’s a new business in town. If this has ever been a desire of yours, yet you do not know where to start or if you should even give it a try, here are 5 key things to know before you make your decision.
Know your story. Know your why.
Surveys show that 70% of employees hate their job and many of them want to start a business. It is important to be transparent and honest in knowing if you are in the 70% however that is not reason enough to start a business. Could it be that you just don’t like the current job that you have, and with careful evaluation, maybe changing your line of work could help? Hating your job does not always equate to being saved by entrepreneurship.
What are you truly passionate about?
It is really important to answer this question before ever thinking about starting a business. If there is no passion, there is no successful business, and my hopes are that you want your business to be successful. When there is no passion, you are solely seeking money and that will lead you down a road of stress and many times failure. When this happens, people are often ready to go back into the corporate world. Know your passion.
Be ready to invest.
You are probably great at many things, but being able to invest in your business and yourself will cut out a lot of the stress that comes with trying to wear all of the hats. Attempting to DIY your company is a sure way to fail. You will have to have some means to invest in delegating some of the task out to someone that you know will do a better job so that you can focus on servicing the clients. This is one of the top reasons many new entrepreneurs fail. They want to do it all.
Be motivated by the services that you can provide rather than what your clients are willing to pay you.
You potential clients can certainly sense if you are only chasing money, or if you are truly there to service their needs. When thinking of starting a business, think about what you enjoy, are passionate about or want to introduce a concept that will improve the way in which people work/live. For example, a company like Integrated Air Systems provide a service to businesses, specialising in surveying, design, manufacture, installation, commissioning and maintenance of air conveyance; dust, fume and waste extraction; industrial ventilation and air filtration systems. There is truly a difference and the decision you make will at some point determine your business success. Passion before Profit. Profit will come, but you must remember this should never be your sole reason for wanting to start a business.
Do your research.
Begin to really follow those already in your field and see what they are doing. It is important to watch other success stories. By no means do I mean copy, but watch and see what is working for them and then create something of your own that will work for you. Please ensure that it is as authentic as possible while doing this.
Shermikia Lemon is an entrepreneur, speaker, productivity coach, and Corporate wellness consultant. Through her signature coaching and training company, Peacefully Profitable, Shermikia helps organizations who struggle with retention due to workplace conflict.
As a believer in peace and staying true to your life’s journey, Shermikia’s trainings and resources are always geared toward improving your life both mentally and physically. Known for her calm aura, Shermikia reaches many women and men through her podcast and social media platforms. More information about Shermikia can be found at www.peacefullyprofitable.com
I first met Tetanya at a local t.v. studio. She had been invited, by a local influencer, to participate in a panel that included interesting, impactful women, doing meaningful things in our city.
I was immediately struck by her overall joy, obvious gratitude and personable, engaging nature. She was welcoming, friendly and totally unpretentious. Uncommon; yes.
I learned that she was a local fashion designer and that her craft was born out of love and passion for beauty and creativity. Her creations were made out of repurposed fabric, like old Cavalli gowns. Eco-fashion. Green. I thought it was clever and on trend. I admired the way that she pursued something that she loved doing; something that brought her joy. That quality is uncommon too.
After my initial introduction to her that day, I met her again, a few weeks later, at that same t.v. studio. She was being interviewed and shared her story, which was more amazing than any of her accomplishments.
One of my initial thoughts about Tetanya, was that she lived like no one was watching. No one was judging. People rarely live with that type of abandon and sharp focus on what really matters to them, personally. She just took pleasure in every moment; every interaction with every person, every creation she had sewn. She was utterly humble. She seemed to be motivated by joy and love for what she was doing. There was an absence of detectable ulterior motives. She was very authentic.
As I listened to her interview that day, and in our own subsequent conversation, my observations about Tetanya were proven totally correct, and an incredible explanation of why she lives and thinks the way that she does was given.
An educated, life long career woman, life suddenly changed, when a cough and nasal problems revealed the presence of a brain tumor, just a day before her fortieth birthday. Within a year, the tumor, had doubled in size and while it was not cancerous, it was threatening her overall health and raised the spectre of death. She lost her peripheral vision. With daily changes to her vision, impeding it, and memory loss due to the tumor, she lost her job.
Through the battery of tests that she was subjected to, arthritis was discovered and diagnosed, as was fibromyalgia. These were new and additional burdens, unrelated to the tumor. Related to the tumor, was the possibility of being confined to a wheelchair.
Tetanya, was depressed and living in chronic pain.
Eventually, surgery, to remove the tumor, became inevitable. It was a risk though. The surgery could kill her, but, if she opted not to have the surgery, she would certainly die due to a complication brought about by the growing brain tumor.
On the day of her surgery, scared, Tetanya had her epiphany about how she wanted to live, if she did. She told me that her life flashed before her mind’s eye like a movie. If she didn’t die in the surgery, she would live a life that she loved, simplified, based on love for herself and others, and pure gratitude for life. She would not fear what others thought. She would take risks. She wouldn’t focus on social conformity but on the things that she really wanted and needed to be happy. She would do whatever she wanted to, without worry of what it may look like to others. She would delight herself in life, entirely, unfettered by fear.
Tetanya lived and has adhered to her promises to herself. Functioning on the basic belief that she has been gifted with a second chance at life, she has committed to living like no one is watching, doing the things that bring her true joy. Here is the thing: people are watching. Long before I ever noticed her, others have. As she has said, “yes”, to living a life that she truly loves, incredible opportunities have been given to her!
She has participated Vancouver Fashion Week as a model; the event’s oldest. Her work in eco-fashion has gotten her noticed by Vogue. She has been invited to participate in New York Fashion Week, as a designer. She has participated in numerous pageants representing women over 40; truly an underrepresented segment of the female population. She has entered and won, the Mrs. B.C. Pageant. She has been a featured speaker for, “She Talks”, which got an honorable mention from CNN as an International Women’s Day event not to be missed. In truth, this is only a brief list of her accomplishments and awards.
I think that we all love a success story, especially one that we can identify with because the scope of it is not beyond our own reach. Tetanya’s story is not beyond our own reach. We all can, just like she did, decide to live life on our own terms and no one else’s, focusing on the fact that it is, a gift. Life is a gift, a very personal gift, to each one of us.
Using that understanding as a starting point, there is a lot that we can do for ourselves and others, just like she is, and the result is fulfillment.
Anastasia Anthony Zervos. Anastasia is a realtor and freelance writer, living in Vancouver, Canada. Her latest project contribution, “Remember The Gospel: How to Move Forward in The Christian Life”, is available on, amazon.ca