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

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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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How to Be Great at Everything

The crowd was silent, watching on as a player was about to make or break history for his franchise. The player, Sasha Vujacic, the franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers, the year, 2010 NBA Finals. As an eleven year old, this moment was probably the highlight of my life so far. And as he sunk both free throws , the crowd roared, Kobe finally let out his held breath, and the Celtics were heartbroken, as they huddled for the timeout. Then they came out of the timeout, four attempts at a three point shot to possibly save their season, all misses and as the buzzer rang the Lakers were once again champions. Watching it live it was extremely emotional, even for my eleven year old brain at the time. Even as I watch it now it’s emotional, and I can feel what I felt watching it so many years ago. But in the moment all I focused on was the Lakers, the championship, and the celebration. It wasn’t until a long time after that I had realized the greatness of Sasha Vujacic and the inspiration that he is. He is the definition of heart, hard work, and confidence.

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The story of how a bench player, barely in the rotation, could ultimately determine the outcome of the most important game in a team’s season is extremely amazing. It shows all the hard work, the dedication, and the fearless hours he put in off the camera to prepare for situations like that. He was an unsung hero and truly rose to the occasion. What he did just shows how anyone can accomplish anything as long as you truly put your heart into it and work for it. He never backed down from any obstacle or person (not even Kobe) and that’s what made him great.

I truly admire Sasha’s work ethic and I work everyday to try and acquire these characteristics. These characteristics help him in everyday life as well as in basketball. His ability to always work hard, be confident in his abilities, and rise to whatever life throws at him is life changing. Imagine if everyone in the world had this ability. The possibilities would be endless.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the same mindset Sasha does and so not everyone  can be as successful as he is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop these abilities. Developing these abilities will be extremely hard work and you’d have to really push yourself to the point of discomfort to accomplish such things. But as famous quote once said, “In order to be successful, you must get used to being comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I’m not saying following this will instantly make you great but once you have that instilled this in your mind whether you’re working out in the weight room or up at night studying for a test, you’ll know in your mind that you are one step closer to achieving mental greatness than everyone else is, and that if you keep pushing yourself and compete against yourself, you will one day achieve greatness. Remember only you can keep yourself from being what you want to be. Take Sasha Vujacic’s story and remember it next time you face a challenge. You control all things, as does everyone else so always seize the moment, work hard and stay humble. I challenge you to be great.

-Brian

Expect the unexpected

I think expectations ruin everything. I mean look at high school students. They are the prime example of everything having to do with expectations. They go to school where they face the expectations of their teachers and peers. Then, they go home and face the expectations of their parents! It really is sad when the student believes that they don’t meet any standards because of all the pressure that is on them to be this or that. So why don’t people do anything about this? Expectations just hinder a student sometimes instead of pushing them towards a certain goal. Whether your parents pressure you to get good grades or you are pressuring yourself to meet everyone’s expectations, it can all get a bit too overwhelming.

I believe that you’re allowed to grow and explore your opportunities without all this pressure. Wouldn’t it be so great if you could go to school to just learn instead of anticipating when the bell was going to ring? Imagine everyone just going to school to learn. No pressure about grades. No pressure about college. No expectations. Zero. zip. nothing! Of course students want to challenge themselves sometimes with a test or project so … let them! However, the stress on grades is often more stressed than the actual process of creating the project and can actually hinder that process. Imagine being given a project to accomplish. No specific  instructions are given except for the condition that it has to have an effect on the audience. This is a more creative process then because once the rules of the project are limited, it forces the student to be creative. However, if this creativity is put under a time restriction and has the doom inducing feeling that projects usually have, the quality isn’t going to be very good. You’re constricting the thinking process of the student. LIke capturing a natural process and trying to change it to fit the standards of the project. That’s what a project feels like. That’s what pressure and expectations feel like.

On a grander scale, you can say you’re assigned the project of life. Of making every moment of your life worthy of a “good grade”. The pressure is multiplied and some days, you can get crushed by all the pressure.

I used a high school student example but expectations can be found anywhere. They can be found in your parents, your professors, your friends, and even yourself. I agree that expectations cannot be completely rid of, but you can make your own expectations aware. Make them aware with people who normally have expectations of you and tell them “I want to do this, but I might fail or succeed… and that’s okay!”. It’s okay because even if you failed or succeeded, you decided to meet your own expectations and not anyone else’s. When others are disappointed in you for not meeting their expectations, simply tell them to expect the unexpected. And that the unexpected is that you decided to meet your expectations. Sometimes meeting your expectations can satisfy others as well so it’s possible for there to be a win win situation! See what you can do. Evaluate yourself and meet the expectations that you made for yourself. Make people expect the unexpected: meet your own expectations, not anyone else’s.

What Annoys You? Pet Peeves: Library Edition

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It’s 12:15 and students are rushing everywhere, getting in lines for food, looking for friends, and of course… rushing to the library. But what do these  students do in the library? Most people would guess that students would be studying, reading, and catching up on homework but that’s obviously not always the case.

Surprisingly studying and reading are one of the last things on the minds of students that roam the library. A more popular pastime for those in the library is actually to surround tables and talk about games, go on computers to play League of Legends, and surround others while they play League of Legends. These are all huge pet peeves for me, especially the one about people always playing League of Legends. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have anything against those of you that play League of Legends, you guys keep doing what you love, its just not something I appreciate very much.

What the libraries are looking like:

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What I don’t understand is the overall concept of playing League of Legends in the library. The library is usually supposed to be a quiet peaceful place where students can learn, read,  relax, and get away from the hectic drama that comes with going to high school. What it isn’t supposed to be is a hangout cave for people who feel like they need to use the 30 minutes they have during lunch to go to the library and play League of Legends (no offense). Not only are these people extremely loud but they are also taking up the computers that students need to use to do homework, research, and find books. Unfair right? And so not cool.

What the library should look like:

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Any solutions? Well what we can do is not play League of Legends at all. Yeah it may be fun for some people but the library is definitely not a place for that willy nilly stuff. I remember the old days when libraries were quiet and peaceful. Now they’re just a messy place for people to play games in the morning, at lunch, and after school. I’m sure these kids that are playing these games have work they need to be doing as well. This is becoming a crisis and it must stop soon before the library is overtaken by League of Legends players. Please keep your games at home and your studious qualities in the library. Together we can once again make the library a place of peace and education. Anybody can make a difference. 🙂

-Brian

3 Types of Humor

1. the gag
Ah yes, the gag. It’s a classic!! Always guaranteed to get a laugh out of your audience. The gag is a style of joke that focuses on the use of objects or actions with the main goal of humiliating oneself. Clowns do this very often. It’s why there’s the phrase “clowning around”!! They’re freaky though so check out Miranda Sings who is twice as hilarious.

2. the master of lame
Just one word here. PUNS. Pus, puns, puns. Oh boy. These jokes are so lame, they’re funny! It’s where the joke isn’t funny itself but the action of someone telling it is funny. Here’s a bit of schooling on the type of joke. Puns are a play on words that are usually more of a mix of one’s realization of the ambiguous use of a word or phrase. For example, here’s a beauty you might have seen from valentine’s day.

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3. the mixtape
This style of jokery is probably the most popular right now. You see it every where: twitter, tumblr, and other social media sites or blogs. The mixtape is a ridiculous or impossible idea or concept that gets remixed with a real life situation which ends up being pretty darn funny. These “mixtapes” are unknown to some people like how a mixtape should be and people endorse their “mixtape” to everyone who will listen. that’s why there are sites like tumblr. Basically, everyone tries to sell their joke for notes(likes on tumblr). Here are some Crown Jewels from my collection of these jokes:
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The Biggest Argument in Sports: A Battle for the Ages

From his childhood years in Italy to his banner raising ceremonies in Staples Center, Kobe Bryant has become a legend. If Michael Jordan had not existed, he would be a huge candidate for best basketball player of all time. There are never ending debates about Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, and really, Kobe should be on top. He has a drive in him exactly like Jordan and he might even have a better work ethic than Michael Jordan, if that’s even possible. Kobe holds records in the NBA men of this generation could only dream of. He’s earned the respect of greats around the NBA and has become a worldwide role model. He also had to deal with playing against a more evolved generation of the twenty first century while Jordan’s opponents of the 1980s and 90s were much smaller and not capable of half the things he could do.

Although there are arguments that Jordan must be better due to statistical evidence, newer pieces of information could disagree. In addition, although Kobe didn’t win all his statistical battles with Jordan and doesn’t have as many championship rings as Michael, his work ethic and determination to win championships no matter what the conditions are is something to look at. It’s obvious that although both players had that same fire in their games, there cannot be another person on this planet that works harder than Kobe Bryant himself. He is the definition of heart and without him not only basketball, but the world could be different.

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It’s Happening Again…

It’s that time of the year again. If you’re currently receiving any red envelopes full of money during this time of the month you know exactly what I mean. That’s right. It’s Chinese New Year. This time of the year is so important to us people that celebrate it and a lot of the time we’re extremely superstitious about it. Well at least my family is..

Every year I’m expected to clean up my whole house, decorate and set up fruits dot sacrifice and all sorts of stuff. All on hopes of a good new year. In addition to decorating everyone’s also a lot nicer which I’m guessing has something to do with the belief that the way you start off the first week of your new year will determine the way the rest of your year will turn out. I personally don’t know whether I believe these ideas or not but it’s better to believe than not to believe, at least that’s what the famous philosopher Blaise Pascal said.

But putting aside the superstitions and all the work put in during this time of the month, there’s actually a lot of fun involved with this holiday. First off you get rich off of one amazing holiday from all that good luck money your friends and family give you in the red envelopes. Secondly everyone’s a lot nicer since they want to start off their new year right so it’s the perfect time to ask your parents for that pony you’ve always wanted. Thirdly it’s a great time for bonding with family that you might not get to see so much in your daily lives. Overall I enjoy this holiday very much and I’m certainly glad I have the privilege to celebrate this holiday every year with my family and be a part of such a cozy, loving, and cheerful environment.

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-Chinese decorations hung around the house, they include firecrackers that are normally used at midnight of the new year

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-Red envelopes, filled with money and given to friends, kids, family members as good luck for the new year

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-Dragon dancers are commonly seen in places that celebrate Chinese New Year

-Brian