Category Archives: Education

48. Find your creativity.

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This can be hard to do at any age. So often, by the time we’re in our late teens and early 20s, theCreative expectations of others get in the way of who we are and who we want to be. Some of us go to college and get a degree in something we’re not that excited about, or some of us drift through our 20s, trying to find a sense of purpose. A few will follow their dream and get knocked down or succeed. The beauty is, creativity is there for the taking, no matter where you are in your life. I believe we are all creative people and there are many ways it can be expressed. Here are a few things creative people have in common:

They see inspiration in everything. Creative spirits become inspired by anything and everything, from an unusual pattern on a leaf to the bright lights of a city at night. They see the world as their oyster, and have a knack for finding inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

They practice self-development. Imaginative people know that a foggy, unproductive, negative brain will block their creativity and not allow them to express themselves fully. They read self-help books, practice mindfulness, meditate, do yoga, and say positive affirmations. (See https://wisebefore25.com/2014/12/31/46-resolutions-can-be-daunting-affirmations-are-self-empowering/)

They have a “yes” mentality. They say yes to life, because they know this will create more opportunities for them. They do things even when they’re scared or unsure – they realize that momentum coupled with a positive attitude create the perfect mixture for exciting things to happen. If you’d like to see more traits of creative people, read this enlightening article:         http://www.powerofpositivity.com/25-things-creative-people-differently/

I for one am going to get started on another entry for this blog! And make a new recipe from the “Cooking with Everything Trader Joe’s” cookbook http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-With-Things-Trader-Cookbook/dp/0979938481 – the Chicken Marsala Casserole on page 156 looks tantalizing.

Word to the wise: Whether it’s visiting a museum, making your favorite recipe or writing the Great American Novel, do something for your soul today. You know, just walking through a store like Urban Outfitters or Anthropolgie makes me feel more creative. Of course, writing this blog helps, too!

What inspires you? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

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40. If you want something, visualize it, although you may find you don’t want it after all.

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I was having lunch with a very mature 23-year old the other day and as humbling as it was, she seemed to knowdreamstime_s_26320973 more than me about many things. I think it was Aristotle who said, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I was fascinated how, at such a young age, she knew how old she wanted to be when she got married, that she wanted to have children and that she will easily be able to balance her career with family. She also wants to live on the beach in a beautiful home. She described how she could see herself on the balcony and could feel the ocean breeze at night. She said she saw all of this for herself and is confident it will happen. And strangely enough, I believed her. I’ve heard over the years about visualization, that you have to picture something you want in your mind and that you will get it.I always thought of this as mumbo jumbo – I am a bit of a cynic. But the more she spoke, the less sure I became of my stance on this subject. She said that if I couldn’t visualize something, it meant I wasn’t ready for it. Damn, that girl was smart. She got me to really start thinking about what I want. Some of us have the extreme fortune, like my 23-year old friend, of knowing early on how to pave the path to their dreams and desires. But even if you don’t, there’s no harm in trying. So if there’s something you think you want, try to see it. And if you can, then maybe you’re ready for it. 

Word to the wise: It doesn’t hurt to visualize. All that’s required is you and your mind, which turns out, truly is a powerful thing. Here’s a little something to help you get started: http://www.qualified-lifecoach.com/Visualization.html

What do you think about visualization? Has it ever worked for you? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

39. Starting a good yoga practice now will result in a killer mind and body for life.

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I really wish I had begun my yoga practice much earlier than I did. I think it would have helped to keep me moredreamstime_s_15683581 focused and grounded through my terrible 20s. Because as hard as my life was back then, I would have realized that yoga is way harder. For one thing, it requires commitment and concentration. It also requires practice. And it can be frustrating as hell – especially if you’re not naturally flexible and can’t do the splits while standing on the palms of your hand. But the benefits, and there are many, outweigh the challenges. One of the main things I like about yoga is that there’s no loud music. In fact, as much as I love it, I find that no music is even better. There’s also something to be said for silence and the sound of your own breathing. I think one of the most important elements, and one that will get you into it for life, is finding a good instructor and the type of class you like. For me, that’s a Vinyasa (Ashtanga) flow class, which is a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. The class I take is 90 minutes of constant movement. Yet it focuses on finding peace in the poses. As one of my instructors says, “The pose should feel like a happy puppy.” Many of us laugh when we hear this because we feel more like tortured puppies, depending on what we’re doing. But maybe one day, after many more years of practice, I’ll have that experience. Perhaps if I had started in my 20s…

Word to the wise: “Warning: Yoga has been known to cause health and happiness.” For a few more words of wisdom about yoga, check out https://www.pinterest.com/pedrovalmeida/yoga-quotes/. Oh and, Namaste.

Have you ever tried yoga? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

36. Be a good host.

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While knowing how to be a good guest is important, learning how to be a good host is essential. And it’s not as hard as you might think. Whether it’s the holidays or any day, it’s fairly easy to make your guests feel special. I tend to find that mostdreamstime_s_16853082 people are just glad to be invited. If you keep that in mind, you can minimize your stress and entertain with ease. Also, you don’t need to bust your budget. Here are some things I always keep on hand, which gives me the pleasure of inviting anyone over at any time:

Salami, cheese, crackers, frozen hot appetizers (cocktail hot dogs, artichoke dip, taquitos, quiches, etc., you get the idea), apples, a bottle of red and white wine

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure you have:

Toilet paper in your bathroom(s), tissue in your bathroom(s), hand soap, guest towels – just large napkins (hand towels can make people squeamish – ok, well maybe that’s just me)

I think the most important aspect of being a good host is being a generous one. Giving freely what you have (even if it’s just cheese and crackers) and opening your home and heart. Here’s to being a good host in 2014 and beyond!

For some really cool tips on all kinds of parties, nobody does it better than http://www.bhg.com/party. And if you’re paranoid about red wine and other food stains, like me, check this out: http://www.bhg.com/wedding/recipes/tips-for-cleaning-emergency-party-spills.

Word to the wise: It’s fun having people over and you really don’t have to do too much to make them feel at home. Your family and friends will always appreciate the effort and the more you do it, the better your hosting skills will become.

What was the best party you ever gave? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

Special note: It’s been a crazy year and I look forward to being back up online regularly in 2014. Thanks to everyone for your support and comments.

23. Online banking is da bomb and you should use it daily to keep your budget on track.

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I apologize for my use of the phrase “da bomb.” I’ve been told never to use that expression. Or “Gettin’ jiggy with it.” Apparently, ????????????????????????????????????????I’m not convincing when I say either of those things. Regardless, online banking is not only da bomb, it saved my financial life. Really, when it gets down to it, it saved me, too. Back in the days when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, a.k.a., my 20s, I had to balance my checkbook the old fashioned way, which often took hours. And adding insult to injury, I was always off. Usually by at least $100, which might explain the amount of bounced checks I had back then. Because balancing my checkbook was always so frustrating, I stopped balancing it altogether. I never knew how much money I had, or in most cases, didn’t have, and this made me very anxious and worried. Paying bills was a drag, too. I never seemed to have enough stamps and writing checks that had the potential to bounce was pretty depressing. Then online banking came along and I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. I could check my balance every day! And it was always right! I even get email alerts when my balance falls below $200 (like today). This has had a profound effect on how I spend and save money. Online banking made taking control of my finances easy. The power it’s given me is immeasurable. You should be tapping into this power, too.

Word to the wise: Take advantage of everything online banking has to offer – and besides, it’s free! And check your balance every day. Pay all your bills online and you’ll know how much money you have left over for everything else the minute you hit the “Submit Payment” button. Look at your spending habits and see if there’s a way for you to save or to save more. Most banks have these cool charts that show on a monthly and yearly basis the stuff you spent money on and how much. You’ll find that if you totally get into it, online banking really is da bomb and you’ll feel like da bomb because you won’t be as worried about your money.

Has online banking changed your life? How does it help you with your finances? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

21. Pets are a huge responsibility and they deserve to be treated well.

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Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m an animal lover. And they might even tell you about my cat, Mr. Chew-Cha. ???????????????????????????????????????Because he’s a big part of my life. What I can tell you is that I really wasn’t ready for the responsibility. But my mom decided I was, so right about when I turned 38, she dropped Mr. Chew-Cha on my doorstep (whose shelter name was “Hobo” by the way). Immediately, I tried to get rid of him. Because I liked to travel, be footloose and fancy-free and I was single and had no ties. After putting up flyers with the clever headline “Hobo Needs a Home” and emailing all my friends, it was clear that Hobo and I were stuck with each other and that he needed a new name. But at no small price. I love him more than life itself but I do miss my freedom. You see, I’m the kind of person who knows that he misses me when I’m not there. And that he’s always home waiting for me. And most important, that he depends on me for everything. I don’t think I got that as much when I was in my 20s. Fortunately, I really didn’t have pets back then and my roommates never really wanted any. So some poor animal didn’t suffer because of our late hours and lack of responsibility.

Word to the wise: Think long and hard before getting a pet. Do you really have the time or desire to give them the love and attention they deserve? You need to be fair to yourself and fair to them. Pets can bring great joy into your life, but you need to be at a place in your life where you can bring them great joy, too. Here are some thoughts for college students considering getting a pet: https://vet.osu.edu/education/responsibilities-pet-ownership, which unless you’re a complete hermit, I wouldn’t recommend.

Do you have a pet? Ever seen some of your friends who have them and wonder why they do? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

Why do you need to be wise before 25?

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Let me start by saying at my age (which let’s just say is old enough to know better), there’s still a lot I have to learn. But boy, there are sure some things I wish I knew before I hit the half-century mark. I think my life would have been a lot easier. That’s the inspiration for my upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.” Because ladies, let’s face it, it’s tough out there. That’s why making good decisions about your life now will totally make your life better later.

I trust there will be plenty of comments and discussion about the things I think you need to know. And I hope to publish some of your posts anonymously in the book. If you’re older and wiser, I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. And of course, I want to hear from those of you who are younger but wiser. Because you already had to learn some of these lessons the hard way.

Here’s to getting smarter!