Flexibility is Key

This week, I found a poem that really got to me. From the poem I deduced that the message was “Flexibility is Key”. Let me explain this more. I mean flexibility as in of the mind but if you can do like the splits or something, that’s cool too. Flexibility of the mind means that you are more open to new ideas, different opinions, and you have the ability to adapt to these new ideas and opinions. I think flexibility is extremely important because if you go around always believing one idea or one opinion, you are not getting anywhere. Other kind of flexibility wise, if you were stiff and stubborn, you would not be able to do any of those flexible things that flexible people do. You may think your way is the “right” way or that it’s how it’s always been done. This is basically how you do not win at life. Let’s face it. The world is always changing. There are new ideas, new opinions, new everything everyday. You can not stick to the same routine everyday and expect to rise up in the world and conquer it. To win, you have to be flexible.

The poem talks about the weak or bendable being the ones who rise up and conquer the stiff and breakable ones. For example, small companies that are open to new ideas and new opinions become successful because they are innovative and adapt to the ever changing world while the old tradition loving companies tend to shut down anything new. These big companies have trouble adapting because they are inflexible.

The message throughout this poem also alludes to those movies with the classic popular jocks and cheerleaders. These jocks and cheerleaders are super strict about who can hang out with them. They will only except those who are “cool” or like them. Basically, the have to be a cheerleader or a jock. If you’re below them, you’re ignored and probably treated like a peasant. But this would probably be the worst mistake they could make because those people that they ignored and did not even try to get to know will rise to success. Then, those “cool” kids would probably feel regret about the girl or guy they didn’t want to get involved with because they weren’t “cool”. The tables turn and the people who were ignored are too busy celebrating their success while those once cool kids are filled with regret. This is all because the jocks and cheerleaders were not open to different types of people. They wanted to stick to tradition which obviously did not turn out well. If they were flexible, they could’ve been up there celebrating with those successful kids. Flexibility is key. Tradition kinda sucks.

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Be Water Not Fire

Recently I ran across a poem and it described the characteristics of water. It showed how water gave to all living things itself, and every time, asked for nothing in return. Water is always relied upon to be a source of survival for us. It comes when it isn’t wanted like in floods or disasters, but is also there when you need it, during rainfall in a dry land, or in a cup for a tired athlete. The thing that remains in all those situations though, is that every time it gave, it never required something to be given back. So i thought to myself, was the author trying to show us the characteristics of water and in a way demand that we be more like it? Well that was he exact connection I made when I had read the poem. Be better in life and in society.

What I view people and society now as is fire.I know not all people are like this but in general we are like fire. Fire destroys, it takes everything it sees, even if it doesn’t need it. It takes things that it knows it doesn’t want just for the sake of having it. Fire is destructive. We are destructive. But not for long. Although I believe we are as a society, fire, I also know we can be water. One at a time we will learn to love, to give, and to appreciate, without ever asking for anything in return. That’s world I dream of living in and that’s also a world I believe I will, sooner or later, get to live in.

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Now completely unrelated to society and being water b y giving, I also remembered a quote from Bruce Lee. I can’t remember it exactly but he told his audience to be like water. Water becomes anything. Anything that holds the water the water becomes. If it is in your hand it becomes your hand, if it’s in a cup it becomes the cup, if it is in the air or on the ground, it becomes the air and the ground. I took this to mean be like water, be like water by being able to become anything you want to be. So overall, I think it’s safe to say being water is always beneficial. Water will help you become a better person, develop a better society, and have the ability to become anything you want to be. I challenge you to be water. Unless you can find anything better to be. 🙂

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Success and Failure

Some people dream of success, nothing more, nothing less. They say they want it so bad and that they won’t accept anything else. When they faced failure they couldn’t accept it, they failed and never got back up.. I was one of those people. I used to be one who believed in perfection in execution from the moment you start your task to the moment you finish. If you did it wrong you’e an idiot and you aren’t meant for the job. Now as you can see these thoughts were not very positive or intelligent in any way. They were just thoughts of a young kid, too blind to realize there is beauty in failing. There is an anonymous quote out there that says, “Give me a guy who doesn’t fail, and I’ll give you a guy who doesn’t have high expectations.” What it basically means is success is great, yeah of course, BUT if you never fail you aren’t challenging yourself and if you aren’t challenging yourself you will never get better in anything you do whether it’s sports, school, or just life in genera you will never get to the next level without failure.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying fail as much as you can because it will make you successful. I’m saying FAIL WITH A PURPOSE. Fail with the desire to get better. Fail with the desire to get back up. Fail as if you’re trying to succeed, couldn’t, but chose to get back up and give it a second try again. It’s really not about your first try at something, its all about your last try at something. Your first try at something will be the second most important thing while your last try is the most important. That’s because after you succeed you look back and compare how much you’ve improved, how high you’ve elevated yourself, and you use that knowledge and apply it to anything else in life that you may face in the future.

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I have failed so many times in life, but I have also succeeded because I chose one day to think, “What if I kept trying?” or “Is failing really that bad?” Just one thought took me to believe in myself a little more, purposely set the bar a bit higher, and then try to go after my goals with such desire that even if I set the bar a bit too high on purpose, I’d still eventually get to my destination. So yes success is nice BUT failure is too because failure is needed for success. I’m not saying you need to fail but I am saying that it is definitely okay to do so. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

The “i” in Society

Social media is a great way to communicate and share cool things we find. Don’t get me wrong. I love my social media as much as the next person. What’s not to love about it? There’s pictures of super cute animals on there and FOOD. I think the problem with social media or rather the problem with society currently, is that not many people know when to stop using their social media or they don’t use social media for good reasons. I’ll elaborate on these good reasons later.

In my opinion, social media is used for communicating with people who are not with us at that moment. You just want to talk to them and that is totally cool. BUT. It’s not cool when you are hanging out with your friends. It makes you look really rude and gives off the vibe that you would rather be with the person you are texting than be with the friends who are hanging out with you at that moment. It makes the other person feel like you don’t have the PATIENCE to have a normal CONVERSATION with them. That you would rather be texting, snapchatting, or whatever it is  with other people. Let me remind you that you do not make memories through SCREENS. You make them through EXPERIENCES and actually doing something as opposed to just being sat all the time and staring at that tiny box when there is a whole world out there if you would just stop, look, and interact with it. You would be missing the whole point of life. You would not be able to experience as much and you would make the people around you feel kinda crappy at the same time.

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Another reason you should stop, drop, and look at that amazingly beautiful world right in front of you is it will improve your health!!! It’s a weird fact, I know, but if people weren’t so immersed into their phone so much all the time, their attention span would actually be better. I actually have friends who use their phones excessively and I found out that it actually does affect most of their attention spans. I would have to call friend’s name about three times for her to hear, but if I call my other friend who limits his phone use he turns around almost right away. It really hurts me when I can’t have a good conversation with my friends because they are always on their phones. I feel really annoyed because they become extremely dull and I can’t make them stop using their phones. They become really slow as well. I’m not sure if this makes sense. Uhm, well their speech becomes really slurred sometimes and they sound sleepy and disinterested and boring.

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This is my final reason. This is probably the one that explains the whole point of my blog post. We live in a society that is extremely and ultimately obsessed with the ego. In our society there is the IPhone, the Imac, the Ipad, Ipod, Selfie….It’s all about the “I” or the “self”. Too many people our obsessed with themselves. It makes me really sad and irritated that we interact like this now.

I found this video and it really inspired me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-xk7YunVhc

I’m not sure if there’s any solutions other than to stop staring at your screen and live in the moment.

This was kind of a rant sort of blog. Please comment if you found it relatable or if you want to add or correct something!

Books/Movie Life vs. Real life

This is a bit of a random fun blog that I decided to do and as I do not have a lot of time, bear with me! Okay enough of me rambling, let’s get to it! Hope you guys like it!

Just admit. We all wish our lives could be like those in movies and books. Where the girl gets the guy who also happens to be some sort of supernatural creature and then they both save the world. Or the super quiet guy happens to suddenly attain magical powers and save the girl of his dreams while defeating weird clown faced villains.

Although this would be totally cool, there’s that one annoying thing that just messes this up for us.. oh yeah. It’s called REALITY. Most of us know that reality is not a happy little fairy tale. Here are some instances where the fictional life clashes with reality.

DROPPING YOUR THINGS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET, HALLWAY, ETC.

I’m going to just use books for the “things” that you drop as an example. The totally cool thing that would happen in a fictional movie or book would be

1. You gracefully drop your books.

2. Your dream guy pops out of nowhere and reaches down to help you with your books

3. YOur hands touch as you reach for the books and BAM you guys fall in love then proceed to live in a gigantic mansion together.

Meanwhile, in reality, this is what really happens.

1. YOu ungracefully drop all your books, making a noise loud enough for aliens in different galaxies to hear it.

2. (This part has two possible outcomes.)

a. Your dream guy stares at you all weird and you die of embarrassment.

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b. Your dream guy doesn’t even exist because there has been no proof explaining the existence of vampires, werewolves, superman, etc.

ATTENDING A MAGICAL SCHOOL OF WIZARDRY

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This is basically every Harry Potter fan’s dream or any body’s dream. Who doesn’t like magic, Daniel Radcliffe or the inspiring Emma Watson?

So, in a books/movie life, these things would happen if you attended a magical fantastic school of wizardry.

1. You inherit magical powers but don’t know that you have them until your in your teens.

2. You go to this wizard school and find out that you are the chosen one. (*O*)

3. You are then caught in a love triangle between two other wizards who end up dating each other later.

4. You find out who your real parents are.

4. A huge battle happens!!!

5. You manage to defeat the villain that has been terrorizing the wizard community for years and everyone loves you.

Here’s what happens in real life:

1. None of the things in the book/movie happens to you because Hogwarts or any schools of wizardry don’t exist. (Or does it?)

That is all guys! It was a bit short and I didn’t have a BUNCH of scenarios but I wanted this to be quick. I hope you enjoyed this and comment if any of these things are relatable or if I should talk about other scenarios next time!

The Key to Knowledge and Understanding

The key to knowledge and understanding is quite simple. But first let’s see what the benefits of knowledge and understanding are. To be knowledgeable a person must have understanding so one cannot be without the other. I find that sometimes I have trouble understanding something yet I keep trying to learn. Well usually this doesn’t work out because in the end how much do you know? Well most likely, nothing much. Without understanding there really is no knowledge and vice versa like I mentioned before. Well what do you think is a good way to develop skills of understanding and knowledge?

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So.. what is the key to knowledge and understanding? READING OF COURSE. What you read a lot of the time defines who you are as a person. Not only does reading give you knowledge on what your reading, it also connects you to others with the same interest as you. In addition, what you read may even affect the way you act and your moods and personalities. Books can have many effects on you but at the same time, withhold the power to unite everyone together as a community.  A great example would be Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling wrote these amazing books in her series and it created a bang in the world as readers fled to meet and greets for her and events made to celebrate the books. What all the fans of these books are showing by doing those things is unity. They no matter how far apart and how different they are have come together as one through BOOKS and through READING. Whether it was something huge like a worldwide fan club or something simple like inside jokes about the books, they still united as one through reading.

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What I challenge you is to find a book you like and read it. Then find more books you like and KEEP READING. It will be great. Soon you will be able to look at books and know they’re gonna be interesting rather than reading it a bit and then not liking it. Reading is great. Take the challenge. Unite as one and read what you enjoy. Relax and let the world of books and stories guide you through to parts of your mind you’ve never explored before. Have fun. 🙂

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Curiosity vs. Ignorance and Fate vs. Free Will

Which is better? Being curious or being ignorant?

Curiosity is often thought of in positive light because as the saying goes “The more you know, the better.” Many accomplishments have been made because of curiosity. Several human advances in technology could not have occurred if certain people did not have the sudden drive to ask questions and learn about things. Curiosity is all about looking straight into the face of a mystery that could be potentially dangerous and overcoming it.

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Now, here comes the tricky part. Ignorance means that you’d rather not look straight into the face of a potentially dangerous mystery and explore it. Ignorance holds the promise of not getting hurt by the truth while curiosity is impulsive and can lead you to progress or trouble. Choosing between curiosity and ignorance is tough, but I think there could be a balance between the two. It is necessary to have curiosity to make progress, but ignorance can protect you from dangerous things that you do not want to dive head first into. Probably the most important goal for anybody is to live their life whether it is to be successful or experience everything. To live your life, I guess you need to be curious and take some risks because being ignorant is not going to take you anywhere. You’ll be stuck in the same place. Curiosity allows progress so it should be the better of the two. Even if you crash and burn because of your curiosity, you at least tried. Sometimes, it seems like being curious about something is fated to happen. Like when you go to check the score for a test you took. You want to know how you did but you’re risking the danger of your score being a bad score as well. You feel like you just need to know. Currently, I am reading the play, The Oedipus Cycles, by Sophocles and it has the perfect example of curiosity being related to fate. In the first play out of the trilogy of plays, Oedipus is the king of Thebes. His state drastically changes in the next chapters. He is ordered by the greek gods to exile or execute the murderer of the previous king, King Laius, in order for the plague in Thebes to end. Little does he know, he, himself, is the one to blame. Oedipus takes every chance he can to find the criminal, but to his horror, he  discovers that the criminal to blame is Oedipus himself. He then makes his eyes blind and exiles himself. In the end, he who chose to see the truth was in the end blinded. This instance shows that curiosity is harmful, but this could arguably be due to the fact that fate bound Oedipus to this curiosity. Oedipus’s curiosity may have ruined him for a little while, but Thebes was saved and he would soon accept his sins because he sees the real side of him for the first time.

Is ignorance really bliss?

Everyone has probably heard of the saying, “Ignorance is bliss.”, but I question: Is ignorance really bliss? Ignorance, I think leaves you with a feeling of uncertainty like something is missing. For example, when the scores to your last test has just been posted and you decide not to check for your score because there is the possibility that you did not do so great. So, you decide to believe the saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” Could it really be bliss when you are always worried about not knowing your score? Whether it is good or bad? The uncertainty can drive people mad. You would constantly wonder about that test score.

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It seems natural for people to want something to be complete or be absolutely finished. It gives a sense of peace. Most people like the closure or certainty that curiosity brings. People worry about not knowing about something. Some even find the closure in knowing that they do not know some things. Using the Oedipus Cycles as another example, imagine if Oedipus decided not to press on the mystery revolving his birth parents. Oedipus would still have his family and vision, but Thebes would still be plagued. He would have been absolutely lost and uncertain about what to do to rid Thebes of the plague. The city of Thebes was only saved because Oedipus was brave enough to be curious about his mysterious birth parents. He suffered soon after saving Thebes from the plague, but he also got closure on his birthparents and Thebe’s safety. Oedipus also later accepted his sins that he uncovered from that bit of curiosity and died peacefully.

Fate vs. Free will

The idea of fate is usually associated with religion. Do the gods/god dictate awful deeds or is it just the person’s own fault? In The Oedipus Cycle by Sophocles, Oedipus discovers that he murdered his father and had children with his mother. Was this tragedy planned by the gods? Was it Oedipus’s fault? Back in the ancient greek times, where these plays took place, they strongly believed in their greek gods and fate. The ancient greeks would journey to the Delphic priestess that served Apollo and ask about their fate. The question is why would they ask the priestess if they knew their fate was already decided? It wouldn’t even matter because they would eventually find out what lay in their fate. Or the ancient greeks believed there was an alternative to fate, free will. There were many ancient greeks who defied the fate of the gods. Creon, the ruler after the banishment of Oedipus, did not allow burial for the fallen soldiers who marched against Thebes. Burial was a sacred ritual decreed by the gods as a lasting tradition. Now, in modern times, we’ve likened more to the idea of free will. It seems that as individualism increases in societies, the idea of free will becomes even more likable. People begin to live for themselves and think for themselves as well. They begin to think that they don’t need gods to do things for them, they’re fine on their own. I would define this as free will. Free will means that the people are deciding for themselves. Free will means that they will not be pulled under the strong current of fate and destiny and that they choose their own fate. This also brings in the possibility that they are creating their own fate.

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If the ancient greeks were to see the angry modern teenagers insisting that they can “do what they want with their life”, they’d probably freak for sure. I think the idea of free will depends on how close you are involved with religion. Overall, free will has become more and more apparent as time progresses bringing with it the progress of individualism and the action of thinking for yourself.

Beauty of Meditation

Recently my trainer taught me about meditation and how helpful it can be. He said that people who meditated were usually some of the most chill and relaxed people you’d meet. But when it was time to get serious they were serious. Completely in the zone and nothing could distract them.

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Meditation gets you into a zone where you can either focus on one thing at a time, or nothing at all. It was an extremely hard experience to keep my eyes closed, and use a special breathing method for even just 3 minutes! I kept reaching for that itch on my nose or wondering how much time I had left. But after about a minute I understood and got used to the routine and slowly I breathed in, held it, and then breathed out and my mind was completely blank. I heard nothing, I saw nothing, and I thought nothing. I felt peace for the first time. It was as if I was sitting alone on a raft in the ocean. It was amazing.2

The whole reason I agreed to meditate was so I could better focus on one thing, in my case, basketball. I liked basketball. Basketball gave me peace so I wanted to excel at it, so when I was given the option to meditate and belief that it would help me, I took the chance right away.Untitled

I had no idea that meditating would be as good as it actually was, especially for life purposes rather than basketball. Not only am I improving focus, but I’m also learning to relax, accept emotion, and think clearly. It’s not only a good stress reliever but its also a great way to let loose and become your own person. What I loved most about meditating though, is that the more you do it, the easier it gets. Then at the end of learning how to meditate, you’ll be able to clear your mind and no longer stress and worry with ease. That’s my goal and I’ve experienced meditating get easier and easier by the day, after starting exactly one week ago.

With meditating, I’ve also found it easier to be happy and stay happy, even in the most unhappy places. For example waiting in traffic this morning on my way to school, I found myself to not be frustrated of how slow the car was moving but instead, smiling, and noticing everything around me and getting lost in the cars in sight. Overall, meditation is a great method of relaxation and stress relieving and even if you aren’t stressed out very much, meditating is extremely awesome and everyone should at least try it to see what its like. Meditate! Get lost inside yourself, get lost inside the world!

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Stars and Constellations

I really wanted to make my first blog post about something amazing like Emma Watson’s feminist speech or the news on Ebola, but I just could not decide what to write about. I’ve come to the decision that I suck at making decisions. So that’s what I’m going to talk about I guess. Personally, I am extremely indecisive and will never know what I want. My mind is so cluttered with bits and pieces of ideas that I can rarely grasp them all to form a single acceptable answer.

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This quote from my one of favorite authors, John Green, accurately describes my inability to make decisions. When I was assigned to make this blog for my English class, I was super excited at the idea of just talking about whatever I wanted, but when I actually went to make this blog, my indecisiveness struck again. I sat at my table, staring at my laptop screen in the hopes of somehow coming up with an extraordinary username and url. However, this did not happen at all. It did not help that all the usernames and urls I came up with were taken as well. In the end, I just wanted something fantastic for my blog so I kind of mashed them together and came up with blogtastique for my url. Blog+fantastique=Blogtastique.

Anyways, back to decision making. There are many ways to make a decision. You can make a decision based on what you think works for you. You can make a decision that you think will make other people happy. You can make a decision solely based on the amount of time you have. You can make a decision based on the risks. You can make a decision based on the benefits. Like Green’s quote, these reasons can be stars as well. You’re expected to make a constellation out of them. I haven’t exactly perfected the task of decision making, but I can share what has helped me so far.

Tips for decision making:

1) I know you’ve probably heard this about a trillion times, but this has always helped me. Just breathe. That’s the advice. Just focus on breathing for a bit and nothing else. I find that this helps clear up my thoughts a bit.

2) Stop and maybe ask others for help. Two brains(or more) is better than one! Hear out their views on the subject and ask what they would do. It would be great to ask someone with experience.

3) Make a list. Write out the pros and cons if your decision requires you to.

That’s all for this post. I hope some of you were able to relate to this post or found some of the tips helpful!

The I’m Great Challenge

How many people in the world do you know, in your life, that are 100% happy? The majority will think around zero to one percent. I was one of the people who thought zero to one percent as well. Which leads to the next idea. Why is it that nobody is 100% happy. Well the simple answer is that we as humans must love each other and learn to elevate ourselves and bring others up in the process. But how is it possible to do this?

Well one day one of my coaches, the head varsity basketball coach, gathered the basketball team into a room, sat us down, and told us, “I challenge you to the I’m great challenge. I challenge you to do at least one thing to make someone else’s day everyday so that the love is shared and they go on to make someone else’s day, and so on.” What the I’m Great Challenge basically is is a challenge where you learn to be grateful for everything you have, to love yourself, and to love everything about this world. When someone asks “how are you doing” your reply should not be “good” or “could be better” but instead it should be “I’M GREAT.” You should always be great because whether we know it or not we always have so much but are never grateful for any of it until we no longer have it. It’s important to be grateful and to love yourself because if you don’t, who will. By loving yourself you will learn to love others as well and through that the world will become a better place with happier people. It takes one person to cause a chain reaction as great as this. All this I learned from my coach during that meeting on a sunny afternoon.

We are taught to be different and awesome and by accepting this challenge from coach I believe I am definitely finding a way to be awesome. So far I’ve managed to share my lunch with a person who didn’t have theirs, volunteer at a marathon for cancer, and even volunteered to babysit for my neighbors for no charge. Little things like this can cause a huge reaction and spread the world with love and happiness. The I’m Great Challenge will elevate you as a person and I’m thankful for learning about this challenge. Now I challenge you to take the challenge. Be GREAT!!shaking hands