Archive | September, 2011

I feel so behind. Help!

30 Sep

Dear Losers,

I feel so behind. I consider myself an accomplished person, an overachiever. But when I see kids doing crazy things- starting companies, getting perfect SAT scores, being a star athlete, I can’t help but compare myself and feel bad. It’s just overwhelming.

Lisa, 18

Dear Reader,

 Oh my gosh, I know.

It is overwhelming. People are doing things younger and faster.  Soon there will be genius zygotes admitted to Harvard because their prenatal SAT scores were just that good.

Hi, Mom! Nice to meet you. Good news. I got into Harvard!

But that’s something the rest of us teens and adults are just going to have to deal with.

Here are some thoughts that might help you.

1. You’re not behind. You’re just at the beginning.

Everyone successful started somewhere. But instead of seeing their journey, you’re seeing their glamorous end result. If you’re feeling behind, it’s probably because you’re at the beginning of a new journey and looking way too far ahead.

I WIN!

Of course you’d feel behind if you’re standing at the start line of a marathon and staring 26.2 miles in the distance. But you can’t jump to the finish line. Look at the journey ahead with promise, not dread.

2. Almost everyone I know feels “behind” in some way.

Really. Even the most accomplished person you know may feel behind. Because when someone is accomplishing something, they often feel like they’re falling behind in something else.

For example,  some people excel at a skill, but feel behind socially.

Some people have a great social life, but think their career is a hot mess.

And some people have it all. Jerks.

Just kidding. If someone does seem to have it all, it’s because they are putting a lot of time and effort into everything. Which brings me to my next point.

3. To accomplish anything, it requires time and effort.

If you haven’t put much time or effort into anything, why are you beating yourself up and expecting these huge results? Give it time and effort. It’s a prerequisite for accomplishing anything.

3. Are you doing something to compete and get bragging rights, or are you doing it because you want to do it?

Hopefully, youre doing something because you want to do it. So stop making it about where you are in relation to other people.


Oprah on Master Class talked about how people have the tendency to make everything a race. When she started her show, everyone was like, What are you doing? You can’t beat Phil Donahue!

And she was like, Awesome.  Then I won’t worry about beating Phil Donahue. Or being Phil Donahue.  So suck it. (I’m paraphrasing, obviously.)

“The way you step up your game is not to worry about the other guy in any situation, because you can’t control the other guy. You only have control over yourself. So it’s like running a race. The energy that it takes to look back and see where the other guys are takes energy away from you. And if they’re too close, it scares you. So, that’s what I would say to my team all the time: Don’t waste your time in the race looking back to see where the other guy is or what the other guy is doing. It’s not about the other guy. It’s about what can you do. You just need to run that race as hard as you can. You need to give it everything you’ve got, all the time, for yourself.” -Oprah

4. Urgency is great. Panic is not.

You don’t want to pursue something in a leisurely, fa-la-la pace.

The hills are alive! But my life's a mess! Fa la la la!

Urgency is great. It displays fire in the belly. But when you try so hard to speed things up that you panic, that actually slows you down. Take deep breaths. Dance around on a hill. It’s going to be okay.

5. Stop worrying about  timelines and tradition.

Neither of these things exist because they are logical.
So you thought you could plan everything out. You can’t.
Or you thought you’d  follow a traditional path. And you didn’t.

So what? Let people judge you. It’s your life. There were gray-haired students in a lot of my classes at UCLA.

Pimpin.

And I thought that was harder and more commendable than every other 18 -year -old like me who followed the high acheiver rule book and got in on time. They had the guts to go back to school, and who knows maybe even a frat part or two. That’s awesome!

So maybe you’re not behind. Maybe you’re just out of order. Or breaking tradition. Even more awesome!

Everyone has their own checklist, so there’s no need to make it a race, or a scavenger hunt.

Appreciate what you have checked off and accomplished, instead of panicking about everything you haven’t yet.

If you like this post, please link to it on your Facebook or Twitter account! Or add it to StumbleSupon or Digg. Thanks!

Related Posts:

Success for Dummies and Smarties

http://stopbeingaloser.org/2011/08/01/success-for-dummies-smarties-and-everyone-in-between/

Tomorrow is Today!

http://stopbeingaloser.org/2011/08/15/motivating-mondays-tomorrow-is-today/

Random Rec Wednesday: TOMS

28 Sep

Do you know the story behind TOMS?

Many of us have seen the signature TOMS shoe, but there is more to TOMS than just a basic canvas slip-on. I’ll admit, I’d seen these shoes for a few years and didn’t know the story behind them. Now I’m a huge fan because not only are they are super comfortable, but I feel like I’ve made a difference. (Cue: standing ovation)

Blake Mycoskie

In 2006, Blake Mycoskie traveled to Argentina. When he saw kids without shoes, he knew he had to do something to help. So he created TOMS, a company that would match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes given to a child in need. A shoe for a shoe!

TOMS is now in more than 20 countries world-wide and over 1 million shoes have been given away through TOMS One for One program.

Why shoes?

Most of us take shoes for granted. In many countries, children grow up without shoes and are at increased risk of contracting soil-transmitted diseases, and getting cuts and sores on their feet that cause infections. And in many countries,  children aren’t allowed to attend school without shoes. No shoes, no school. How sad it that?

Shoe drops

The signature TOMS shoe is a unisex canvas slip on because it prevents the problem of needing to replace broken shoelaces, which many families cannot afford.

TOMS organizes Shoe Drops in countries such as South Africa, Ethiopia, Haiti, Rwanda, Argentina, and even here in the United States where staff and volunteers travel to a country to distribute shoes to children.

TOMS campus clubs

Because so many people want to get involved, TOMS now has campus clubs on many high school and college campuses where students can get involved.  “But, there is no TOMS campus club at my school,” you say. Well dry your tears because TOMS will even help you start one! Just fill out this application.

Start Something That Matters

Blake ‘s #1 NYT bestseller, Start Something That Matters outlines the Toms journey and inspires readers to make a difference.

Hint: Start with your shoes.

Motivating Monday: Evan Moss

26 Sep

Evan Moss has a best-selling book, “My Seizure Dog” and has raised over $42,000.

He’s 7.

Yes, 7.

Evan suffers from frequent epileptic seizures and because his seizures mostly occur at night, they often go undetected by his parents, which can cause irreversible brain damage. To monitor his seizures and ensure Evan’s safety, he will require a service dog to detect oncoming seizures. The only problem is service dogs aren’t cheap. They cost about $13,000. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $13,000 lying around.

To raise money for his seizure dog, Evan decided to forgo the lemonade stand and go straight to the big leagues. He wrote, illustrated, and published a book!

Photo: washingtonpost.com

Evan’s parents hoped to sell 150 books at $10 apiece to help raise money, but popularity for his book has spiraled out of control and he raised the full $13,000 in just two days! At one point, Evan’s book ranked 125th in sales among the millions of books sold on Amazon.com.

Extra money raised will go to other kids in need of seizure dogs, and Evan plans to write “My Seizure Dog 2” after he get’s his canine companion next summer.

Check out this video on Evan from the CBS Early Show:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7378893n

Visit Evan’s blog and purchase “My Seizure Dog” here! 

It’s called Facebook, not Friendbook

23 Sep

Dear Losers,

 I feel like in college it’s a competition of how many friends you can have. I thought this would end in high school! It’s like an Easter egg hunt- whoever gathers the most friends in the quickest time is the coolest. Ready, set, GO!

It’s just weird because your number of Facebook friends are publicized on your page and people really make a big deal about it.

 But how many groups of CLOSE friends can you really have?  When did the need to have so many friends become such a big deal?

 Madison, 16

Dear Reader,

Sadly, I think it’s always been a big deal with the high school and college set, but Facebook made it an even bigger deal by putting a number on it.

You can’t take that number seriously. It should come with a warning.

Mia has 4,459 Friends*

*Friends include :

  • Creepy guys I’ve never met
  • People I met at a party and never saw again
  • Celebrities I will never meet
  • Everyone from my high school
  • All 900 cousins from my Irish-Catholic family
  • Actual friends that would recognize me on the street
  • My dog
  • My dog’s friends
  • and so on and so forth.

Would that qualifier make you feel better? Because for most who have THOUSANDS of friends, that’s what their friend count represents. I have never met someone who has said,

 “Join me and 3,000 of my closest friends to celebrate my 19th Birthday!”

That being said, I have never met Kim Kardashian.

Photo: buzznetwork

Personally, I have no idea what my friend count is. (I’m sure it’s low by modern standards.)Nor do I know the count of any of my friends.

(I’m sure it’s higher than mine. Bitches).

Then again, I may learn their friend count just to annoy them.

Only 2,500 friends, Molly? Well, make it 2,499. I can’t be seen with someone with such a low friend count. Sorry!

(Shrug, pivot, throw hands around shoulders of your more popular friends.)

Here are some tips from my years of Friend Politics that you might find helpful.

1. For a lot of people, more friends = more validation.

Look at me! I have ‘x’ amount of friends…I must be important, right?  RIGHT?! 

Look,  if  having a ridiculous amount of friends/acquaintances works for you and these friendships make you a better person, then rock on. Some people are really extroverted and are good at balancing a million friends.  But if you’re striving to make random acquaintances, I mean ‘friends’, for bragging rights and validation you’re probably wasting your time.

It all sounds completely overwhelming to me. When I was growing up, it was super cool to have a best friend to hang out with all the time, and share a Best Friends necklace with.

I can’t imagine what it’s like now. Instead of a split heart that says Best Friends, it must be a split heart that says

“1,032nd Friend”

Luckily, as you get older, the ‘friend’ obsession subsides for most people. You don’t need to have 1,000+ Facebook friends to feel validated. You have bigger things to worry about. Like paying rent. Or who owns a better house than you.

2. Everything is a competition, but it’s your choice to compete or not.

Everything can be turned into a competition these days -singing, stand-up, number of reality shows your family has, how much weight you can lose. It makes us feel the need to compete all the damn time, so that we can brag about it on Facebook, on our reality show, or on top of a Swiss Mountain with an alpenhorn.

I can eat more maggots than you! I can unroll the TP faster! I can make more Facebook friends in one hour!

Again, you choose to participate in this competitions or not. At least Fear Factor pays. What do you get from having more Facebook friends….except the validation of people who care how many Facebook friends you have?

While I am a big advocate of “the more the merrier,” this doesn’t necessarily apply to your friend count or maggots.

Photo: aceshowbiz.com

3. Just because someone has a million Facebook friends doesn’t mean they have a million friends.

Don’t let Facebook intimidate you.

When I make friends with someone really popular, I am often shocked to find they don’t necessarily have a ton of close friends. They just have more acquaintances than I do.

I too used to assume, if they have ten times the Facebook friends, then they have ten times the amount of friends! They surely don’t have time for me.

WRONG.

Soon, Miss Popular is asking me to hangout all the time. And I’m confused.

Wait, me? Your new friend? Don’t you have 7,000 other good friends you’d want to hang out with?

Miss Popular may be gregarious and know a lot of people. But she doesn’t necessarily hang out with these people or become BFFs with them. I made it to real friend status for a simple reason: we connected on a friend level!

So yeah, I just passed up like 12,000 of her other “friends.” No big deal. (Arrogant hair flip.)

If you haven’t experienced this yet, you will.

4. Popularity is relative. Extremely.

I had friends in college that would say,

Gosh, you just know EVERYONE! ( I didn’t.)

And then I had other friends to whom I’d say,

Gosh you just know EVERYONE! (They did. I swear.)

Either way, who cares? I like my friends for who they are, not for their popularity. I expect the same courtesy from them.

5. Close friends should count as 10 friends. And a best friend should count as  50.

I cherish my close friends.  They are what Megan and I call ‘Qualities’. Qualities are people you trust, who care about you and challenge you to be a better person. It’s great to have acquaintances, really. But are they going to keep you warm at night?

Photo: gawker.com

I’ve collected my “Qualities” over the years and I wouldn’t trade them in for a thousand more friends or acquaintances. Frankly, they pull the weight of a thousand normal friends, which is a great bargain if you ask me.

So if we go by the equation that close friends count as ten, and best friends count as 50, than I think I have you Facebook whores beat! I have the  friend equivalent of a Scrabble triple-word score. Top that!

Photo: bridgethelove.com

I mean, not like I’m competing or anything… :)

If you like this post, please link to it on your Facebook or Twitter account! Or add it to StumbleSupon or Digg. Thanks!

Related Posts:

Get a real life…and virtual ones don’t count

http://stopbeingaloser.org/2010/05/31/get-a-real-life…-and-virtual-one’s-don’t-count/   

Sometimes I just want to say home but my friends are always pressuring me to go out. Is it lame if I just sit it out? 

http://stopbeingaloser.org/2011/05/13/sometimes-i-just-want-to-stay-home-but-my-friends-are-always-pressuring-me-to-go-out-is-it-lame-if-i-just-sit-it-out/

Random Rec Wednesday: Fruit and Veggie Smoothies at Jamba Juice (and coupons!)

21 Sep

Tricia and I ventured into Jamba Juice  recently and decided to ditch our go-tos (Carribean Pleasure and Strawberry Surf Rider, respectively.) It can be hard to stray from the one you love, but in this case our cheating paid off.

I relunctantly tried the Fruit & Vegggie smoothie, Apple n Greens. It was delicious! It tastes just like Strawberry’s Wild, but green.

And Tricia tried the Steel Cut Oatmeal. Also amazing.

And if you haven’t tried their Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits they are the best I’ve ever had.

Here are some coupons to try things for yourself!  Now it really pays to stray.

http://www.jambajuice.com/fallpromo

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