If You Could Use A Time Machine To Visit The Past Or The Future, When In Time Would You Visit?

I came across this question two days ago and I kept thinking about this. The conclusion to this was that when you’re happy with your present you don’t really need to travel anywhere in time. However, I can’t say that’s the case for everybody (even for myself). Sometimes we miss the past so much that we live away from our present. Some other times we put conditions on our happiness and then we can’t wait for the future to come and those conditions to be met. Either way, when we keep ourselves away from living in the present then we deprive ourselves from happiness.

So next time you wish to travel in time, think about it. Going to the past could revive mistakes you probably don’t want to revive. Going to the future, on the other hand, will make you older. Instead, try to ground yourself to the present and be happy about the positives.

This was my little rambling of the day. I don’t know why I’ve been so philosophic lately, but I though it was a good idea to share those in my blog because… life.

I’m pretty happy because I’m feeling good, and started my training again, Yay!

I also wanted to share a few favorites, because it’s been a while ever since I talked about my Friday Favorites.

The Love, Happiness and Success Podcast from Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby was what probably hooked me up to think a little bit more about my life.

Vox News Portal has been a long time favorite by now. If you subscribe to their newsletter, you’ll receive the most incredible newsletter from Mondays trough Fridays where news are explained in sentences. Literally.

– This TRESemmé Volume Control Musse is  everything. This is actually a new discovery for me and I don’t think I’ll stop using it in a long time. Dealing with high humidity is not only a pain when running but also when trying to keep your hair at decent volumes.

– Not a huge user of hand creme but this EOS Berry Blossom Hand Lotion smells so good that I use this once or twice a day. That’s a lot to say from me.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

N.

How Valentine’s Day Can Make You Very Unhappy.

I think I’ve mentioned this before in the blog but, how many times do we make our happiness solely depend on our expectations?

Probably more often than we could even realize.

I remember when Valentine’s day was a full day of expectations for me. I dreamed with the chocolates, the flowers and all of that romantic stuff. Sometimes I got them but sometimes I didn’t. And when that happened, I just pretended it was OK when I was actually very disappointed.

Somehow, expectations can be like conditions –> “I’m happy if I get what I’m expecting.” But attaching on happiness to conditions can be a completely insane way to live your life.

With time, I learned that I was not only doing this in Valentine’s day but in many other aspects of my life. The solution I found was to let my expectations go. It takes a little bit of effort to do so (specially if you tend to control everything like I do), but once you achieve it you’ll be more happier.

Having no expectations makes you happier because it lets you focus on the things you’re not expecting to get. Having no expectations makes you happier because you’ll actually get surprised with surprises.

Once I realized about all of this, I started having better Valentine days.

Now, in this Valentine’s Day I really wish you to celebrate real love. Unconditional Love. The kind of love that has no expectations and is just made to give. Give something to your loved one, your family, friends, and whoever you feel like.

Happy Valentine’s day!

N.

 

The Secret To Productivity.

Last year I posted my 5 Tips to become more productive. The post was much liked on Facebook so I figured I’d speak more about it here. This time, I’ll talk in a deeper way about one of the tips I mentioned at that time. Today, I cannot stress enough how important this is to be a productive person all day, every day of your life.

“If you’re engaged in a particular task, concentrate yourself on what you’re doing. Don’t pay attention to anything else. Don’t multitask. Put your cellphone or any distractions away. Most likely, you’ll finish your task in less time than normal, and with lower chances of errors. 

This really takes me back to my last year of college, which was the busiest and craziest time of my life so far. Taking 6 to 7 classes, writing a thesis, having a part time job, and being part of the MUN team, didn’t leave me much time for slacking and then catch up. The only way I managed to get things done was by paying attention, and keeping myself concentrated on whatever task I was doing at that particular moment.”

At that time, I described this as the importance to “pay attention” to what you’re doing. Now I’ve been experiencing this as the “importance to be present”. Being present on where you are and what you’re doing is the opposite of being distracted. Being present helps you ground your mind and concentrate better on the tasks you need to accomplish. Therefore, living in the present is the key for paying attention and being a productive individual.

I dare to say this is actually the secret to Productivity and the secret to Happiness as well. How many times have you found yourself doing something and thinking on another more appealing activity you could be doing? How many times have you found yourself thinking on the “what ifs” without acknowledging the other positive things happening in your life?

By distracting our minds of the present, we’re not only numbing our productivity but also contributing to our own unhappiness. I was so surprised when I heard about this on a TED Podcast called Simply Happy (I love to listen TED Radio Shows during long runs). Then I realized how powerful the present is.

I don’t know about you but I get so upset and unhappy when I’m not productive, so this is like a vicious circle to me. Being distracted = Not being productive = Being very unhappy because I wasn’t productive and also got my mind focused on the wrong kind of thoughts.

I know there’s a book called “The power on Now”, which I guess it must talk about something like this, and I’m certainly looking forward to read it.

But, whenever you find yourself struggling with being productive or happy just remember the secret, and that is being present and paying attention to what is going on now.

Are you happier when you have a productive day?

What is your secret to productivity?

 

 

 

 

Holiday Weekend (part 1) + The Pursuit of Happiness.

Hello! And Happy Thanksgiving.

I came to Texas to spend the holidays with some of my family. I’ve had a blast.

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Yesterday was an amazing day. It started with 3.2 miles at 58 degrees. That’s way too cold for a South Florida Runner.

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Came back home to eat homemade croissants.

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Went out to the city.

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And then my phone died. It wouldn’t turn on anymore so I spent a good 16 hours without my phone. I don’t know how I survived, lol. Luckily the geniuses from the Genious Bar were able to fix it quick.

I’ve been thinking about happiness a lot lately. What is it about it that we all pursuing it?

Have you ever though on what do you need to be happy? Probably the answer to that is having a successful career, meeting the right person, having that handbag you’ve always wished, being pregnant, having kids, and so on.

Goals. Even though they are different for every individual, they are certainly what defines happiness for many of them. Is it your happiness attached to your goals? Think about it.

Sometimes we put so many expectations on happiness, than we end up loosing our lives on the pursue of it. The truth is that the moment to be happy is now, with whatever you have and whatever you’re lacking.

I wish I could say my life is perfect, but is not. As the rest of the individuals of this crazy world, my life is full of imperfections. However, I’ve learned the hard way to see happiness as a choice instead of a goal.

By being conscious of that,  we let go of the huge control we want to have over every single aspect of our lives and we just start mastering the art of happiness.

This doesn’t mean you would settle down with whatever you have without pursuing any goal. This means that you’ll be happy even if things don’t come out as you planned.

Have you ever tried to make the genuine choice of being happy?

If you haven’t, then remember: the moment to be happy is now.

How To Find The Right Fitness Goal For You.

Staying motivated to exercise is probably one the biggest issues I’ve seen in people who’s trying to make a change in their lifestyle. They normally would tell me something like “I wish I could exercise or run as much as you do, but I just can’t.”
There are people who can engage with physical activities without much effort, and there are some others that really have a hard time with this. The problem I normally see is a lack of the right incentives, which might be different for everyone.
If there’s something I’ve learned from my marketing classes, is that before creating a plan that can generate impact you need a strategy conformed by at least one goal. Later on, you’ll figure out how are you going to execute your plan. I think this applies for everything we do on our lives. And if you’re looking to engage in more physical activities or to have a more active lifestyle, then you need a goal. If you don’t have a goal, most likely you won’t have engagement or any consistency whatsoever.
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When it comes to establishing fitness goals most of the people would think that your main objective should be loosing weight or get more toned. The truth is that sometimes we engage with goals that are not causing the sufficient impact for us to execute a change. Because those goals are not fulfilling our genuine incentives. Changing your body might not necessarily be an incentive that really drives you to exercise more.
Everyone talks about loosing weight and growing your muscles. So you might think this should be your fitness goals, but is it really like that?
For instance, I’m not very good when I try to focus my fitness goals on changing how my body looks. I’m better when I stick to goals related to challenges that I genuinely enjoy accomplishing. Running long distances at improved paces are challenges that I like to see as my goals. Every other type of exercises I do, are about improving my running form and technique. The days where I actually have to make myself run are very few, because I’m genuinely motivated.
I could really enjoy a bootcamp class, lifting weights at the gym, or biking around the city. However, I know that those activities would not make me feel like running does. I could run everyday and be very, very happy. However, running is not for everybody. Yoga, Crossfit,  and being in the gym for hours is not for everybody either. You have to find what works for you.
This is where you have to ask yourself, what is it that really moves you? Probably you are looking to loose some weight but this might not be sufficient for you. You need to determine what physical activity gives you that extra incentive you need. Running a race, participating in Crossfit games, or hiking for days in a National Park can give you that extra boost. Having a challenge will increase your engagement.
Finally, don’t underestimate yourself if you think your goal is too small or too simple. Just because you’re not into that Fitness hype of lifting weights for hours in the gym, protein shakes, BCAA’s, and all that jazz, it doesn’t mean you’re lame. After all, if you start exercising your body and overall health will improve anyways.
On the other hand, if your goal is going big on that Fitness Hype in order to transform your body, thats great! But don’t overestimate yourself. Always keep your feed on the ground, being aware that not all days are perfect and neither are the results.
What goal do you think it will drive you to exercise more?
 

How To Deal With Offensive Messages.

Hello! I had a well deserved rest day yesterday and there’s some anaerobic exercises waiting for me tonight. So, I’m not here today to talk about running but to tell you a little story about racism.

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Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University: Martin Luther King Jr. spoke here in October 2, 1962. I took this picture last year on my visit to North Carolina for the Summer Seminar organized by the Institute for Humane Studies.

 

For those of you who don’t know me very well, I’m hispanic and I come from a country that has all the problems in the world except for racism. Even though people there discriminate depending on people’s social class, it is really hard to see a discrimination act by race. Therefore, discrimination by race is really foreign to me. I know it exist but  I didn’t know what it was because I never experienced it until last week.

I don’t like to call myself a “victim” cause I don’t considerate myself one whatsoever. But the point is that last week a crazy lady on the street verbally attacked me and my friends with a racist message. She came out of her house as we we’re walking on the street, pointing her middle finger at us  and with a mocking voice she yielded:

Hey! Do you know how to speak English?“, (we assumed she asked this because we were speaking in Spanish)

As we answered “yes” being completely confused.

Oh yeah? Well then go back to where you come from!” she replied.

I think she even used the F word, but I honestly don’t remember cause I was in shock. Funniest thing is that I’ve spoke to here in the past. We’ve engaged into full conversations in English. So, definitely she must have some sort of a mental disability.

Anyhow, I do think there’s an important lesson in here. When I tell this story and people ask me how I feel, I can’t say I feel humiliated. Yes, I’m shocked. And no, I don’t want that lady to speak to me ever again. But I don’t feel humiliated.

This whole story just make me rethink about what fairness really is. Is it fair for me to feel humiliated when another person was offensive to me for no reason? Of course not. If she was upset with life and decided to retaliate against us to get even, that’s her problem not ours. That’s her crap, not mine.

Having this perspective of fairness has helped me deal with many offensive people in the past. When you learn how to recognize the crap in other people, you acknowledge that is not fair for you to feel bad for a crap that is not even yours. If you feel bad for it, then you’re recognizing. It means that is somehow true to you, and you’re automatically entitling yourself to it.

So next time somebody throws you their crap, ask yourself if you want to catch it or not.

Today I came across with this quote Murray N. Rothbar (If you like political theory I strongly recommend  you to check him out).

IMG_6909And I could only thought that when you live in a country where everyone is judged equally by the law and everyone has the same rights, not even a stupid offensive message should be a reason for you to feel humiliated or less than somebody else. And even if this wasn’t the case and you live in a country where there’s no rule of law, you should still feel free to stick to your rights and make them worth.

You’re the only one responsible for your own reality, and that’s it.   

I know this might sound really cheesy, but God! Love is so much easier than hatred. Try to love a little bit more and accumulate less crap.

Speaking about love, did you know that today is Elvis Presley’s birthday? I’m going to leave one of his songs here, just because I listened it today and it just made my whole morning. So pretty, I love Love.

 

How To Deal With Tasks You Just Simply Don’t Want To Do.

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Last week I wrote about productivity over here. That was my first time talking about this kind of topic and it had a really good response from my readers, which is why I’m taking a few minutes to talk about more of it today.

When it comes to productivity, you can apply many techniques to ensure you get things done. The reality, however, is that often times we have to deal with tasks that we just simply don’t want to do. We keep making excuses in our minds and end up procrastinating them for days, or months. Next time you check, I might be too late to catch up.

As we’re all humans, I’ve seen myself in this situation many times in my life. The good thing is that I’ve managed to get the best out of these situations by coming up with a solution. A solution that will also prevent you to fall in this situation again in the future.

So lets get going.

Make a decision. Fast.

First thing I’d like to do when I know I can’t keep putting a task off, is to make a decision. Is it worth it to proceed with it or not? I’ll usually check the deadline and how much time I have to get it done. If there’s no deadline, then I’ll just go ahead and assign one by myself. For me, being conscious about time really puts my feet on the ground and gets me going.

Being conscious of the resources I have and the resources I’ll need to perform this task, will also play a key role within my decision process. If you have enough time and resources, then you should go ahead with the next step.

Don’t think, and just do it.

Let’s be honest, If there’s a reason why you’ve procrastinated this task for so long, it’s because you just don’t want to do it. And thats completely ok. But now that you’re aware of your time and resources, how are you going to beat that barrier of getting it done?

for this I normally apply an old technique from my Dad. He likes to call it “Beat the momento”. Which consist on not thinking about it, and getting your sh*t done. When I don’t want to go for a run but I know I have too (which is rare), I just won’t think about it. I’ll put on my sneaker and be out the door in a matter of 5 minutes. After all, I know that all of my laziness is just a momento that I need to beat, because I will feel awesome when mi finish my run.

The same thing applies for task you keep putting off. Don’t think about doing it, think about when you finish, and “beat the momento”. This might seem obvious to some people, and not so obvious to others. But if I’m sure of something is that when you start mastering this technique, you won’t even procrastinate on those task you just don’t want to deal with.

What about you? How do you deal with stuff that you just simply don’t want to do? 

 

 

 

 

5 Tips to be More Productive.

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If there’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time, is on how to be more productive. Let’s face it; we all deal with productivity issues in our lives. Especially nowadays, when you have so many means of procrastination like your smartphone, social media, or my favorite ones, running and coffee.

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There is however, some things I’ve worked with throughout the years that have made me become a more productive person. And still get enough time to train for a half-marathon race, use social media, write a blog, or just simply fool around with my friends.

1. Do the prior homework.

Concentrating myself is hard when there is something bothering me. And if I can’t concentrate, I can’t be productive. Of course that I can’t control everything around me, but being hungry or sleepy are things I surely can. So I make sure I do the prior homework of eating and sleeping, to at least remove those two distractions out of they way.

If you know there are some things you can control within your environment to make you more productive, do the prior homework of managing them before. Prepare your music playlist if you can’t work in silence. Clean up your desk if the mess won’t let you concentrate. Do anything you have to do in order to ensure you’ll be effective the next day.

2. Make lists.

I used to be obsessed with making lists to the point that my friends would read them out loud while making fun of me. But at the end of the day, I always received compliments on how I was able to get so many things done. Well, I have to give full credit to my OCD lists.

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This year I’ve been adopting these new rules of putting priorities on each one of the tasks, and also assigning a period of time to finish each one. I know it might sound nuts, but my productivity basically goes to the sky when I do it. Especially if I know I have a few hours to do a number of things.

3. Follow up with the list.

Of course that doing amazingly structured lists won’t drive you anywhere if you can’t follow up with it. It’s like a diet: you won’t see results if you’re not constant. The same principle applies to a to-do list. Every time you finish a task, go back to it and see where you are. Check the one you just did and move forward.

4. Pay attention.

If you’re engaged in a particular task, concentrate yourself on what you’re doing. Don’t pay attention to anything else. Don’t multitask. Put your cellphone or any distractions away. Most likely, you’ll finish your task in less time than normal, and with lower chances of errors.

This really takes me back to my last year of college, which was the busiest and craziest time of my life so far. Taking 6 to 7 classes, writing a thesis, having a part time job, and being part of the MUN team, didn’t leave me much time for slacking and then catch up. The only way I managed to get things done was by paying attention, and keeping myself concentrated on whatever task I was doing at that particular moment.

5. Don’t underestimate time.

We the normal humans have a tendency to underestimate time. We think we could get things done in an unrealistic period of time, leading to a bunch of procrastination and ending up in bad results. We start studying two days before of the final test. We are convinced we can wake up and get ready for work in 10 minutes. And we swear on Tuesday that we would have that report ready by Friday.

We don’t get surprised, however, when we realize we failed the test, or got late to work, or extended the deadline for delivering the report. If we get more conscious about time, we’ll manage our tasks in a more realistic time frame. Consequently, getting the expected results.

Hope these tips are useful 🙂

What are your tips to be more productive?