Rain

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When people think of California, they often associate it with sandy summer scenes, the center of the celebrity world, and essentially an easy going state. As a Californian myself, I see the appeal in these things, but my favorite part of California is the rainy season. Sure, California summers shimmer and shine with promises of trips to the beaches and shops, but for me, it can’t beat the rainy season that comes and sprinkles the sky with its fluffy cotton candy clouds. I find that this season, this seemingly genius blend of winter’s end and spring’s beginning, creates this feeling of hope mixed with a good relaxation period. Almost like slowly coming to your senses after a satisfying sleep. The place between the dreamlike state and reality.

As an experienced Californian, I’ve compiled a list of activities to do that will make you avoid any rain on your parade and love this part of California as well.

  1. Surf’s up? More like bottoms up! Make a calming tea, cozy hot chocolate, or coffee.
  2. Watch a movie. I suggest movies that make you think, comedy movies, adventure/ fiction movies, but stear clear of sad movies.
  3. Fluffy armor. Arm yourself with a fluffy blanket, your favorite pj’s, and fuzzy socks.
  4. Learn a new skill. Examples: magic tricks, a new recipe, photography..
  5. Art attack. Go crazy with a coloring book, draw, sketch, scribble..
  6. Find new music. I recommend Spotify and Soundcloud.
  7. The weather calls for a brainstorm. Take out a piece of paper and brainstorm about anything.
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Becoming Friends With the World

There’s few things in the world as great as connecting with people. Whether it’s at school, at work, at a social event, or on vacation in a different country, finding those people who instantly click with you is great. And although all these places are great locations to possibly meet someone who relates with you well, the best place to run into these types of people is actually on the web.

Nowadays our lives have been overtaken by the internet and especially social media so it’s no surprise that many view social media as a huge negative in our lives. Well believe it or not, social media is capable of doing some amazing things. For example one of the history teachers at my school has this program of hers where she recruits sophomores to communicate online through Facebook to a pen pal (student) in the Netherlands. At the same time both students would fund raise money so that the students in Holland can come over and meet the students here. Then after our senior year, we would use all the money we fund raised to fly to Holland to visit our pen pal. We would spend a week in Holland and a week in Berlin, a final memorable vacation to take in order to spend time with some of your fellow students who you may never see again after finishing school. Without social media, once in a lifetime opportunities like this may never be given.

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In addition to great opportunities social media can give us, it has other great causes as well. The main purpose of social media sites like Instagram and Twitter is to actually share yourself to the world. Using key words and hashtags, anything you make or do can be shared to the world. You yourself can become an inspiration to the world through social media or, others can be an inspiration to you.

So here’s my question. Do you want to be the inspiring or the inspired? Do you want to be the one that creates ideas or the one that receives them? I’m working to become he who inspires and I challenge you to as well. I’m working inspire people to help the youth bible school program at my local church through fundraising and social media. What will you do?

-Brian

Fail your way to success

We watched an interesting old movie in english class last friday. It was one of those old western movies with cowboys and random showdowns. So in the movie, a village is suffering from a bandit and his cronies who keep looting the town of all its food leaving not much left for the villagers. In one scene, this man tries to conduct a search for good men to recruit to defeat the bandits that were making the village suffer. One of the volunteers for the task, was your typical young and impressionable cowboy who thinks he’s all that and ready to take on anything. To the young cowboy’s dismay, he is shown as incapable of being all that by the man who tries to help the inhabitants. The interesting thing I found was how seriously that impacted the young boy. I wanted to talk about how the younger population deals with failure. Let’s just talk about failure in general. failure There are many ways to take failures. Failures can be taken as a lesson. They can be taken as a blow to your oh so important pride. You can say that they are due to fate as well. You either had no choice or you could’ve changed it. There’s a line between people who make excuses and those who learn from it. Learn from your mistakes and don’t go signing up for things like taking on a bandit and his large gang if you’re too proud. Because chances are, you’re probably not all that. Anyways, failure can come at the most unexpected times. It can come even when you’re so sure you were gonna be successful. It’ll hit you out of nowhere and you’ll be left with thoughts of “what if i had done this or that..” However, failure is necessary to improvement.

You Won’t Ever Enjoy Life Without It..

“Often we pass beside happiness without seeing it, without looking at it, or even if we have seen and looked at it, without recognizing it.” – Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

In life there are many things that make us happy like friends, family, toys, pets, many, many, things… But how did these people/things turn into such treasures in your lives and more importantly how often do we acknowledge these things? What I’ve come to realize is that these things that make us so happy seem to have been destined to make their way into our lives. Whether it’s by meeting at a bus stop or fighting at first sight and then later becoming the best of friends, these things come into your lives in the most peculiar ways. But after being around these blessed things for so long you soon forget to acknowledge them and all these huge things in your life no longer get appreciated.

Basically, what you’re doing is ignoring the things that make you happy. You stop noticing that these people you’re leaving behind matter most to you, and you act like you don’t even care for them… until they’re gone from your life. That’s something you absolutely can never do, so consider this a warning call for everyone who comes across this. We must learn as people to always appreciate the little things in life because one day when those little things are no longer there, we realize that those little things were the biggest parts of our lives. Without those little things our lives begin to fall… like dominoes, creating one huge crushing result unless you deal with it correctly.

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So you must be wondering, how do I learn to acknowledge the greater things in life and appreciate everything I love? Well again, it starts with the little things. As cheesy as it sounds, that’s as real as it gets. Simply washing the dishes for your mom, or spending an extra 5 seconds of your day to say good night to your family, or even just calling a sick friend to see how they’re feeling is enough to brighten up their day and leave a mark in their life. Moments like these not only change them for a day but over time they shape that person into a person that will create an everlasting mark in your life. Keep loving and when the moment comes, when these important people begin to disappear from your life, you will feel satisfied, satisfied that you did what you could in your life to spread your love to them and to maximize your life around them.  Loving can be the difference between future optimism and future sorrow. The choice is yours.

-Brian

I Bet You Don’t Have What it Takes…

Here’s a shot of inspiration for all you athletes out there:

“The mind beats the body any day. I mean, your body may be weary, but you can’t tell yourself that. I always remind myself to stay confident — to stay humble and keep working hard, and just fight through it.” – Bradley Beal, NBA Pro (Washington Wizards)

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Now this quote goes beyond the words that spoke it. I love this quote because it’s real, motivational, and can push you to the point of giving up… but that’s what separates the goods from the greats of the world. When you’re sitting there at three in the morning working on that project or when you’re out on that field running your 6th and final mile of training, do you fall asleep? walk that final mile? or do you put your thinking caps on and finish that project, become a man and sprint that final lap? Small decisions like this define you.

Obviously if you chose to finish that project even at three in the morning or sprint that final mile as if it was your first you’re what people classify as an elite, or at least on your way to become one. Which is great. The world needs elites. On the other hand, if you gave up, it’s fine. Stay in the trails of others, stay average. Enjoy life being average. What’s that? You don’t want to be average? Oh well that’s great. Going back to that quote in the beginning, this post will apply mainly to athletes. I know everyone’s been at the point of fainting during a practice or has lost their breath after running a set or sprint, and I’d bet anything that most off you would’ve quit if your coach wasn’t there to push you on. Well that’s the whole problem with people they react with their mind over their body yet they don’t take advantage of it. They don’t use this blessing in disguise to become elite, instead they cower down and lose to this beast. Well that’s exactly what you can’t do, you have to overcome things like this and realize that you stop not when your body gives up, but when your mind does.  Until you’re at the moment where you’ve fainted and are lying on the ground, you need to keep going and finish your task. A mentality like this may sound stupid but it’s not.. its rather deadly… for the opponents who will have to face off against the beast that you’ll become. Come on, just try it, push yourself next time you’re out at practice and just see where it takes you. You’ll feel horrible but being great comes with a price. Like Muhammad Ali once said, “[You must] suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.” Will you do what it takes?

-Brian

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Little ways to explore

Get away.

People tend to think that running away or taking a complete break from a situation will help but avoiding problems won’t solve anything. Sometimes you don’t even have the option of running away.

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I often find myself bored and weighed down by my life at various times and a feeling of wanting to flee usually comes into my mind at those times. I want to get out out there, explore, find new exciting things, to get away…

The alternative to avoiding the problem is to deal with it right away. I personally have trouble with this because my homework doesn’t get resolved until the night before it was due! However, all you need to do is take a breath and address the problem as soon as possible because the problem could grow or remain unresolved if you wait. The biggest problem I have right now is reinventing or trying to find new ways to liven up my usual routine based life. I’m guilty of waiting on this problem for too long and I fear that if I wait too long, I’ll soon become a boring person! Change and exploration go hand in hand. I would say they are necessary in life because as humans, we always explore and put ourselves in different situations to learn. By going through this process, we learn to overcome various problems. So I’ve created a small list of small ways to explore or change your life to make it more exciting and beneficial:

  1. Know that you just don’t know some things. Achieving this skill is key to self-awareness and progress for your educational purposes. If you realize that you do not know something, the obvious thing would to then find a way to get to know that thing. If you get an idea wrong, don’t give up!! Try again until you know or get more experience from it.
  2. Excercise. like a lot.

This advice is probably seen everywhere by now, but it truly helps so get off your laptop, get out of your house, and exercise!! Go ride a bike or take a walk!! Personally, I like the take a walk option the best. Taking walks lets you localize yourself, almost feel like you’re becoming more grounded and clear-minded. You have time to think during these exercise moments and your body is probably happy as well. If your body is happy, you’re sure to feel lighter as well.

  1. Read. like A LOT.

Read!! Whether it’s online, a newspaper, a novel, a magazine, anything really, just read. This gives you a sense of how certain things work in the world and makes your mind become familiar with situations you’ve never encountered before. Reading actually, dare I say it, takes you to other places. The stories put you in situations and you understand what is going on behind these situations. You don’t need to go anywhere physically! You can experience the Renaissance in a book. You can experience far off places, daring sword fights, a prince in disguise!

4. Learn a new skill.

5. Find new music.

6. Watch a movie.

7. Write about anything/ brainstorm.

Friend or Foe?

In this day and age, friends could be anyone that liked a post or picture of you on facebook or instagram or any other social media. The factors of friendship have not changed over time; there’s just a couple additions that mainly come with the advances in technology that humans have made over the years. One question that seems to have always existed for friendship is if the friendship is true.

What are the characteristics of a true friend?

1.Trust

A perfect example for friendship is the case of Julius Caesar, made famous through Shakespeare’s tale which told of Caesar’s literal stabbing in the back by those whom he considered true friends. A true friend is a person that can be trusted. Just like Caesar, people are hurt when a friend betrays their trust. Hopefully not hurt literally but there is no doubt that there is a wound in the betrayed person’s pride because they thought they had the correct judgement of another person and now they also lost someone who they thought was willing to support them.

  1. Comfort

A true friend is someone you can be yourself around!! Caesar was always paranoid of the people around him. He wasn’t comfortable with most of them.

  1. Extraordinary

A friend should be something out of the ordinary. Maybe they’re really smart. Or maybe they’re really trusting. Or maybe they’re just plain weird and you find them interesting to be around. There’s gotta be a reason why you like them enough to start interacting with them! Caesar befriended people like Brutus and Cassius because they were high up regarding ranks and it could be beneficial to Caesar.

  1. Stuff in common

Obviously you gotta have at least something in common with this person. Having things in common with another person allows you to talk to them more which will slowly build into a pretty cool friendship. Caesar was high ranking in the social hierarchy and so were those people who stabbed him. Of course, true friendship is always harder when politics and plots on your life are involved but these men had some things in common because they were in the same social class.

Those four traits might no be the only traits to being a true friend, but they are more or less the basis for a friend according to me.