Will You Grow or Stay Fixed?

Kibosh: put an end to; dispose of decisively

“Lina, you HAVE to read this book. It totally changed my life!”

I was sitting in a friend’s apartment across the street from Howard University listening to her voice frustrations about internal struggles, grueling hours, and glaring shortcomings. Medical school was being a beast and in encouragement, shared a book about the growth vs. fixed mindset I needed to put on my reading list that helped her through her time.

Shortly after returning home, I requested Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck from our local library. The premise of the book compares the growth vs. fixed mindset and why brilliance and abilities are often overstated/overvalued whereas hard work and humility are better indicators of success.

Growing up, school was relatively easy. I enjoyed getting good grades, turning assignments in on time, and learning. I often attributed my success to my “smartness” rather than hard work (which I did lot of), because my intelligence was often the aspect praised, so I began to believe that was the source of my positive outcomes. However, this only supported my perfectionism, so I hardly took risks. Staying in the realm of what I knew prevented me from experimenting and, heaven forbid, making mistakes. I could NOT seem dumb, unknowledgable, or average. And from this sprang my tendency to not contribute dissenting or differing opinions, so my reasoning couldn’t be shredded IMG_20170605_184043apart. Fear is all it was.

Anyway, I start reading Dr. Dweck’s book and saw my old self. Worried about how others viewed me. Risk averse. Lounging in my comfort zone. CEOs, musicians, athletes, and others from all walks of life have never reached their full capacities, ruined companies, and estranged teammates because of the fixed mindset. This is a tragedy.

Today I choose to let go of the fear of making mistakes, looking silly, and not taking risks. Who knows the experiences we miss out on because of our own pride and ego protecting. Life is a work in progress, and it’s through making mistakes, reaching out, and stewarding what we have now that’ll lead to great and unexpected outcomes. We’re not promised comfort and ease. How we react to what’s thrown at us will make all the difference.

~Lina Marie

realIf you are interested in reading Dr. Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, check it out on Amazon here! https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Carol-S-Dweck/dp/0345472322/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1496706431&sr=8-1&keywords=mindset+the+new+psychology+of+success+by+carol+dweck

Passion Planner

Epistolize: to write a letter

If you could compose a letter to yourself dated for December 2018, what sorts of accomplishments and goals would you like to see yourself achieve? What experiences would you like to have? What skills would you desire to acquire? Which relationships would you be delighted to cultivate?

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Back in September, I was enamored with a particular planner a friend had introduced to me. I immediately went online and browsed different options and prices. After some consideration, I realized the brand was a bit pricey and didn’t fully satisfy my wants. I expressed all of this to my mother and in her research, she came across a planner line called the Passion Planner.

I watched the founder’s story. I perused online PDFs at the planner’s format, layout, and purpose. Not only was this planner practical but personal and had lots of space to doodle, plan, and journal. It assists in time management, gives spaces to write down focuses for the months and weeks, and has built in to-do lists for personal and work categories. And at the end of each month are drafted reflection pages for users to ruminate and plan ahead! Amazing.

“I wanted to make a planner that could be the place for all your thoughts by having the structure of an appointment calendar, the potential for creativity of a sketchbook, and the reflection space of a journal. I wanted a planner that not only got people thinking about where they wanted to go, but also help them get there. I wanted to create the planner I wish someone had given me when I was feeling lost, so I decided to make it myself. That’s how Passion Planner was born.”

~Angelia Trinidad (Founder, CEO, and Designer of Passion Planner)

Below are some pictures of the planner and some of the ways I’ve already used it to keep my life organized and purposeful starting this new year!

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My Passion Planner is the Vintage Brown edition. I like that it resembles the color of wood.
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This 20 color pen set did not come with the planner. It’s from the company Staedtler, made in Germany. I love the colors that allow me to color code notes in my planner.
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Here is a glimpse of the founder’s purpose for the Passion Planner.
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I’ve already filled out the one for the beginning of the year, but halfway through the year, it has a place for user’s to rethink their life road map!
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Here is a sample of a the monthly calendar. Aren’t the to-do list, focus, and “not to-do list” neat?!
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The weekly layout is broken into 30 minute increments which is super helpful. Appointments with a particular time are notated, but otherwise, I write down what needs to get done within the general time frame.
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End of the month reflection!
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A sample of my month of January thus far!
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Ironically, the first week of January was not the most productive by any means, but that only means improvements will be substantial and noticeable, right? I love the colors!

real Check out the website! Is it not inspiring or what?! {Happy achieving, planning, growing, and experiencing!} http://www.passionplanner.com/

~Lina Marie

One Small Change

Akrasia: the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment through weakness of will

It used to be whenever I’d get home from work, I’d slip out of my work clothes, throw them out of sight, and slap on some sweats and a comfortable sweater. Usually, I’d flop on the floor in exhaustion, snack on some pre-dinner food, or get straight to studying.

Each day, I’d end up adding to this pile of clothing in effort to “save time” out of pure laziness. On Friday evening, the prime time to relax into the weekend, I’d have clothing strewn everywhere inducing unnecessary stress. I’d grown to resent any sight of clothing, even if it was laundry and not my own, careless doing.

One Monday afternoon, on a call with my college coach, I was venting to her about everything you can imagine. I hardly ever have bad days, but this was the anomaly; I felt zapped of energy and motivation. Weeding through certain issues, she asked what changes I could make in my life to reduce any causes for stress. With pursed lips and mental activity on overdrive, I realized that by not putting away my work clothes immediately, I was giving myself more work in the future, stealing unneeded time and adding to the chore list. I committed to changing this lazy habit and see what effect it would have.

The very next day, after getting home from work and changing, I hung back up my office attire rather than leaving it on my couch or beanbag. After doing this for several days, I realized that it probably took me 30 seconds or less to put away thatHabits Are Merely day’s clothes rather than several minutes (plus my begrudging attitude that made the process longer). It was incredible! That one small change in habit made my life more breezy. I’d come home to a clean room every day and feel no qualms about conking out early on Fridays due to previous piles of clothes.

I began implementing this principle to other parts of my life: throwing out trash from my car rather than letting it accumulate, logging out of social media during studying, tidying up small messes and disorganization rather than putting it off. All around, it’s freed up my time and life to focus on what’s more important.

I’ve realized that habits don’t form with big, grandiose changes, but small ones. In the spirit of the New Year and resolutions, I encourage you to nail down on what you’ve been procrastinating and why. Biting off more than you can chew will make you gag or burn out.

Want to get into the habit of exercising? Start by leisurely walking around your neighborhood.

Want to read more? Pick up that book you’ve stashed on your shelf and read one page.

Want to eat healthier? Choose one meal, once a week that you will intentionally prepare nutritiously.

You’ll realize that overthinking the process makes it longer because you convince yourself it’ll take a long time. What if we invested all that time dreading the process into working the solution? Habits are merely the sum of our choices. It takes effort and purposefulness, and it’s in your power to steer in the right direction.

~Lina Marie