How To Be Positive Without Feeling Fake

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The “fake it ’til you make it” technique when it comes to positivity is total BS. Plastering on a smile when your lips want to naturally curve downward. Posting an overly uplifting quote on Facebook when you don’t fully believe it. Telling yourself that everything is great, when in reality, everything is falling apart.

All of these things are only temporary solutions to long-term issues. You’re not going to become a genuinely happy and upbeat person if you do these things. You’re going to feel like a fraud.

However, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to become positive. There are many things you can do to transform yourself and your thoughts without feeling fake. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Create realistic goals. Have a list of both short-term and long-term goals that you know are achievable. Make sure your goals are things that will help you grow as a person. Personalize your goals as much as possible to assure that you’re not copying general goals that people have. Having things to work towards will help you build up your mental strength and it will change your whole perspective on life. Additionally, once you reach a goal, the feeling of euphoria is a feeling that no fake smile can obtain.
  2. Have full awareness of your problems. Many people believe that ignoring a problem will make it go away, or it will make it seem like the problem just isn’t there. Ignorance is not bliss at all. If you are constantly lying to yourself and claiming that nothing is wrong, you’re doing yourself more harm than good. Sit down and take a moment to identify anything on your mind that is bothering you. You can either write everything down on paper or just sit there and think. Sorting out everything that is wrong will help you to add to your list of goals and it will help you figure out productive solutions.
  3. Remove negative people from your life. If a friend is having a negative impact on you because of his/her attitude, you should reconsider having that person in your life. It’s pointless to have a person in your life who just provides drama and stress, rather than comfort and happiness. It can be difficult to cut a friend out of your life, but in this case, you need to put yourself first. You need to truly think about the negativity this person is bringing to your life and how much it’s affecting you. In the end, it’s not worth it to stay friends with someone for his/her sake. Only keep those in your life who lift you up.
  4. Engage in “feel good” activities. You have to figure out exactly what activities make you feel happy. Exercising can naturally make everyone feel happier because of those awesome endorphins. Engaging in your favorite hobby is important because doing what you love will give instant gratification. It’s also fun to explore new hobbies and activities in order to maintain personal growth. Search the Internet for a new, unique hobby that looks interesting to you. You can even find something new to do with a significant other or a friend. It can feel great to be doing things you want to do outside of things that you have to do. Live your life the way you want to and you’ll be a lot happier.
  5. Accept failure. It’s easy to feel down after something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to. While it’s perfectly OK to let yourself feel sad about it, don’t let that feeling last forever. You have to realize that no one is perfect, and that things will not always work out. Sometimes you’re going to fail at a goal, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Obviously we all crave success over failure; however, if we never accept failure, we will never accept ourselves. The good thing about failure is that it will force you to work harder. It will make you want to change the way you do things because you don’t want to see failure again. Once you are able to accept failure, you’ll be able to have more faith in yourself to keep persevering.
  6. Allow yourself to feel every emotion freely. If you’re only forcing yourself to feel happy, all of your other emotions are going to be trapped inside you. If you never let those other emotions out, you’re going to feel even worse. It’s OK to feel negative emotions. If human beings were only capable of feeling happiness, we’d be really boring and stagnant creatures. Just imagine you’re watching a movie and the characters were always smiling and nothing ever seemed wrong. Do you know how lame that would be? Allow yourself to fully embrace every emotion that you feel, even if you aren’t used to it. If you are able to adapt to expressing all of your emotions, it’ll help you become a stronger person in the end.
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An Interpretation Of One Republic’s “I Lived”

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“I Lived” not only consists of a catchy beat and beautiful vocals, but it also has incredible lyrics that are stated simply, yet contain a lot of meaning. This song can speak to anyone of any age, because it reflects the importance of going through the hardships in life, and growing stronger as a person. Here are my interpretations of a majority of the lines in the song:

“Hope when you take that jump, you don’t fear the fall”

You shouldn’t be afraid to take chances/risks in life; you should just go for it.

“Hope when the water rises, you built a wall”

When life gets hard, you should be able to find a way to protect yourself and get through it.

“Hope when the crowd screams out, they’re screaming your name”

Do something that will make a difference in the world and that you’ll be admired for.

“Hope if everybody runs, you choose to stay”

Never follow the crowd no matter what; always do your own thing.

“Hope that you fall in love, and it hurts so bad”

Experience heartbreak at least once in life because it will help you grow stronger in order to prepare for a better love.

“The only way you can know is give it all you have”

Always try your hardest in any given situation.

“And I hope that you don’t suffer but take the pain”

Don’t let your hardships bring you down completely, but accept the obstacles that come your way.

CHORUS:

“I, I did it all
I, I did it all
I owned every second that this world could give
I saw so many places, the things that I did
With every broken bone, I swear I lived”

I lived life to the fullest, and even though I had to deal with difficult times in life, I still survived and made it through. I had to go through these hard times in order to live.

“Hope that you spend your days, but they all add up”

Make the most out of each day so you can look back and see how much you have done.

“And when that sun goes down, hope you raise your cup”

At the end of each day, be grateful for what you have accomplished and celebrate everything you have done. Also celebrate life, itself, because it’s worth acknowledging.

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Why You Shouldn’t Make New Year’s Resolutions

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So every year, you make a pact to yourself to do everything on your list of resolutions, and then at the end of the year you realize that you have barely accomplished anything on that list. So why do you keep continuing that cycle? New Year’s resolutions are so overrated. You don’t need to make a list of things like “lose weight” or “use my phone less” because you know that you’re more than likely not going to get things done that way. Instead, you should cherish every single thing you DO get done during the year of 2015.

It was on a BuzzFeed article that I saw this great idea of decorating a mason jar, and filling it with notes of every great thing that happens during 2015. I decorated a mason jar myself, and I can’t wait for 2015 to begin so I can start filling it up. The idea is to write down all the wonderful things you do or feel during the year and put them in the jar, and then by the end of the year you can look at everything you’ve done, and ultimately feel accomplished.

I think that this is a great idea because it will make you realize how much you have actually done instead of things that you haven’t done. I believe that this is a great way to stay positive and feel good about yourself. Just imagine how much all the little things can add up over the year. It doesn’t even matter if you write down something small like, “got an ‘A’ on a paper” or something big like, “went on a trip to Australia”. Big or small, anything that feels like an accomplishment to you personally, is amazing.

You need to let yourself see that you are amazing, and everything you do is amazing. Sure, you’re going to make mistakes, and you’re going to have your ups and downs, because after all, you’re human. But, despite these rough times, you’re also going to have exciting things happen to you. Like I said, it doesn’t even matter how small these positive things are, just write it down each time something awesome happens. You’ll feel stronger and happier if you do so.

Let 2015 be your year. Let it be the year of breaking out of old habits of any negativity, or any sense of doubt. 2015 will be better than 2014 simply because you will let it be better. So instead of making those resolutions, take 2015 day by day, and make sure you let things happen as they are meant to happen. I promise you that it will be a lot more satisfying that way.

Here’s to a Happy New Year!

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7 YouTubers That Are Inspirational

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1. ShayCarl

Not only is Shay always positive and upbeat, but he also is living proof that hard work can truly pay off. His passion for video production has brought him into a very successful life. He shows us that it’s important to work towards your dreams and never give up. He also embodies the importance of family, as well as living life to the fullest. If more people in this world were like Shay, I can’t even begin to imagine how much happier this world would be.

2. Shane Dawson

Shane’s humor may not be for everyone, but he truly is an inspirational person. He has spoken many times about his struggles from his teenage years and how he overcame them/is still overcoming them. He has faced a lot of body image issues in his life, and he likes to take time out to talk about it in his vlogs, in hopes of helping others who may have similar problems. He also has worked hard to live out his dreams. He even recently released a movie that he directed and produced, which has been a long time dream of his.

3. Jenna Marbles

Jenna may be the funniest chick on YouTube, but she is also a huge inspiration. She always reflects that she doesn’t care what people think about her, and that she will always be herself no matter what. She has been through a struggle of figuring out what she wants to do in life, and even said that she still isn’t sure, but she continues to make YouTube videos because it’s the one thing that she truly loves to do right now. She shows how important it is to do what you love and go for what you want.

4. Tyler Oakley

Tyler is always a smiling ray of sunshine in all his videos, which brings positivity to everyone. Like Jenna, he isn’t afraid to just be himself and doesn’t care if people don’t like him. His main goal is to make people smile and laugh at his videos, and to show people that it’s completely okay to be different. He loves to make people’s days better because he believes that everyone should stay positive.

5. Connor Franta

Connor likes to make a lot of relatable videos in order to make people feel better. He also enjoys making people smile and laugh and likes to assure people that they’re not alone in any issue they are facing. He is completely real with people which reflects that he loves himself for who he is. He wants others to know that they should feel the same, no matter how different they are from others. He really is a great role model for people of all ages because he always speaks the truth.

6. Lisa Schwartz

Like her boyfriend, Shane Dawson, she also mainly makes goofy and funny videos, but there’s something beneath the surface that makes Lisa inspirational. Every once in awhile, she will make a serious video just talking to her audience about the problems that she has had to overcome in her life. She recently talked about her anxiety attacks and how she is still struggling. But she also said that it’s important to believe in yourself and believe that you can get through anything. Through her humor, she shows that it’s important to look at life in a positive light and keep pushing through no matter what.

7. Charles Trippy

Charles is a lot like ShayCarl in a sense, that he makes daily vlogs and always likes to stay upbeat and positive. He has overcome many huge obstacles in his life, and he has shown that you can only overcome these things if you never give up. He even had a brain tumor, which put a huge toll on his life, but he stayed positive through it all, and eventually overcame it. He also had to deal with a divorce from his wife, but again, he stayed positive and found a way to move on. He is another person on YouTube who is very real with his viewers because he wants them to know that they can get through anything as well.

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30 Ways To Change Your Life in 2015

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This is the last month of 2014, which means a new year is coming soon. While some people create lists of resolutions that they never even end up looking at ever again, I decided to reflect upon the different ways that anyone can change their life for the better in 2015. While this isn’t necessarily a list of specific resolutions, this is instead a list of actions that you can take and apply to your own life. So make it a goal to achieve some of these things (or maybe all of them!) in the upcoming year, and see how much your life shifts towards positivity.

1. Leave the past behind you. If you’re constantly living in the past, how are you ever going to reach the future? It’s okay to reference the past once in awhile, but never ever let it hold you back. Keep looking forward.

2. Turn all negative thoughts into positive ones. “I can’t do this” is never an option. Once you start thinking positively, you will soon start to feel like a more positive person. In turn, you will find yourself accomplishing more than you could have ever imagined.

3. Think outside the box. Stop being stuck in your old ways of thinking. Think about things from a different perspective and your life will become a lot more interesting.

4. Do something that scares you. If you never face your fears, how will you ever grow? Start off with something small, like maybe talking to that boy or girl that you like. Eventually you can face a bigger fear, like going bungee jumping, or something totally insane and out there.

5. Don’t put up with people who don’t treat you well. If you’re in a relationship with someone who isn’t treating you with the respect you deserve, either leave them, or talk to them about it. If they aren’t going to change their ways, you need to get yourself out of this situation because you’re better than that.

6. Treat others with kindness. We all know the saying, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. We all need to live by this saying because the world would be such a better place. Be nice to everyone, even to those people who might not be your best friends. It’s better to greet an enemy with a friendly, “Hello”, than to throw a bunch of hateful comments at them.

7. Do good deeds. Volunteer your time to someone in need. Whether it be a charity, or a family member, it’s important to help those who are less fortunate, or who are struggling with something. Not only will you feel good doing it, but you’ll make the other person feel amazing as well.

8. Believe in yourself. Stop telling yourself that you’ll never amount to anything. Stop telling yourself that you’re not good enough. You are the first person who needs to believe in you, so you better get on it. You will have a bright future if you do so.

9. Stand up for what you believe in. Stop letting others lead you in directions in which you don’t want to go. You don’t have to agree with everyone just to be on their good side. Don’t be afraid to go on your own path with your own thoughts. You have your own mind, use it the way you want to use it!

10. Actually work towards your goals. Don’t make a list of goals and cringe each time you look at them. You can achieve any goal as long as you keep working hard. Don’t try to take the easy route. Work harder than you ever have in your entire life and you’ll be surprised by how far you will go.

11. Dream big. The difference between incredibly big dreams and realistic dreams is that if you go with the latter, you’ll be playing it safe. No dream is outside of your reach as long as you believe in it.

12. Be grateful for the people who have stayed in your life. When all is lost in life, take time to think about everyone who has stuck by you through everything. Those people are your true friends/family, and they care about you a whole lot. Be grateful for them, because you’re incredibly lucky to have them.

13. Never doubt your abilities. Stop comparing yourself to others, and realize that you are actually amazing at what you do. You’re the only you that exists in this world, so with that in mind, do what you do best. You are talented in your own way.

14. Stop procrastinating. Whether it be work for school or your job, or starting a fitness goal, you need to stop saying “oh, I’ll do it later”. DO IT NOW. If you wait until later, you’re just wasting more time. You’ll feel a lot more proud of yourself if you start everything right now, instead of holding off.

15. Fix broken friendships. Are you and your best friend falling apart? Instead of letting it happen, try to communicate with each other about what has gone wrong. If you are meant to be in each other’s lives forever, you will find a way to work things out. Don’t let yourself lose the people who are most important to you.

16. Fall in love with the world. With all the terrible things that occur in this world, some may find it nearly impossible to have positive thoughts about the world. But if you find at least one thing you love about this world, or even just your country, it will make living life that much better.

17. Let things happen on their own. Stop trying to control every little thing. You cannot always make things happen or prevent things from happening, sometimes they just have to happen on their own. Almost everything happens for a reason, which is why you need to just let things be.

18. Appreciate your family more. Even if you’re not very close with your family, you should be incredibly grateful that they are in your life. You’re connected to them in a way that is different from everyone else, which is a special bond that no one can take away. They will always be there for you no matter what.

19. Don’t stress out too much. If you spend all your time stressing out about every tiny thing, then you’re missing out on life big time. Relax. You are capable of anything and everything. If you take some deep breaths, and try to calm down, you will actually have better success. So try not to freak out.

20. Acknowledge your strengths. How often do you sit down and think about everything you’re good at? Probably not very often. This is important to do because it will ultimately give you a lot more motivation. Everyone is good at something, so it’s important to take the time to realize your abilities.

21. Also acknowledge your weaknesses. It’s also important to think about things that you need to work on. It’s okay to have weaknesses; that’s what makes us human. But it’s always possible to work on turning those weaknesses into strengths. You can always become a better version of yourself.

22. Smile more. A lot more. Smile the moment you wake up in the morning because you have so much to smile about. Even if you’re going through a rough time, you can find a positive in the sea of negatives. Smiling is important because this simple gesture makes you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically, and it’s very contagious in public. 🙂

23. Go on adventures. Stop sitting in your living room watching movies with your friends or going to the same mall every weekend. Go on a road trip, go to a different town, or even just go  to a different mall. If you change things up, life will be a lot more exciting and fulfilling.

24. Sing in the shower. This may seem like a goofy one, but trust me, it’s crucial to sing in the shower. It’s been proven that singing in the shower releases stress! Plus, everyone is a superstar in the shower, so go ahead and give yourself your own personal concert. You sound amazing!

25. Get more sleep. Going to bed at a reasonable hour might not sound fun, but it’s important in order to be healthy. If you get a good amount of sleep every night, you’ll feel a whole lot better, and you might not even need to chug all that coffee in the morning.

26. Eat healthier and exercise. I know that most times, chocolate sounds a lot better than carrots, but you have to take care of yourself. It’s okay, to indulge every once in awhile (hey, you can’t deprive yourself!), but remember that every healthy choice you make leads you to feeling better overall. You also don’t need to have a gym membership in order to exercise, so don’t make that an excuse. Exercise in your room, or the park, or wherever you feel comfortable, and again, you’ll feel a whole lot better.

27. Stop being lazy. This one sort of goes along with exercise. Long story short, stop being a couch potato. While it’s important to let yourself rest sometimes, try not to make it a habit. Go out and do something instead of laying in bed and watching TV all day.

28. Don’t give your time to someone who doesn’t deserve it. Stop wasting your time trying to make someone see the good in you. If they don’t already see it, then they’re either blind, or lying to themselves. Only associate yourself with the people who want to be in your life because you are you. Authentic people are the best kind of people.

29. Meet new people. Meet at least one new person every week (or everyday if you’re feeling ambitious!). This new person doesn’t have to become your best friend, or even a friend at all, but it’s always a good idea to communicate with others, especially people whom you may have never thought about talking to. By being a friendly person, you’ll make yourself and others feel better about the world.

30. Do what you love to do. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Even if your talent is something that typically doesn’t give you great money, still do it. It’s better to be poor and doing something you love, than to be rich by doing something you hate. (Yes, I know, we need money to survive, but hey, you can have a side job that makes the money, while you continue to do what you love). You’ll be a happier person if you happily do every single thing that you want to do.

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Why It’s Possible For Everyone To Find A Silver Lining

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This post is inspired by a recent BuzzFeed article (http://www.buzzfeed.com/carolynkylstra/silver-linings-are-real) that talks about the silver lining theory.

According to researchers at NYU, the silver lining theory, in basic terms, means to develop a strength from a weakness. Finding a silver lining means to find something positive about yourself that originally develops from one of these weaknesses that you have. I think this is an amazing theory that applies to every single human being out there (hey maybe even some animals too!). It just takes a little determination and believing in yourself in order to find your own silver lining.

Think about your biggest weakness. What does this weakness prevent you from doing? What does this weakness help you do? Now, you might be wondering how in the world a weakness can help you do anything in life, but I believe that you can find at least one positive that can come out of it. By doing so, you will be able to change your outlook on life and the way you look at yourself as well. This will allow you to live a happier and more satisfying life.

Think about the movie Silver Linings Playbook (the movie starring the ever so dashing Bradley Cooper and super spunky Jennifer Lawrence). The main character, Pat (played by Cooper), has bipolar disorder, which has negatively affected his life. He claims to have caught his wife cheating on him, and he also had to experience some other events that tore him down. But the after effect of these events prove that it’s possible to find a silver lining. He did everything he could to keep pushing through to find the positives that lay within those terrible times. His extreme situations reflect that no matter what you’re going through, it’s always possible to discover something great out of something bad. The silver lining, people!

When I read about this silver lining theory, I decided to think about it as compared to my own life. One of my weaknesses is getting overly stressed when I have too much on my plate. While I see this as a negative trait, I realize that it can also translate to the fact that I’m a hard worker and will never give up when work is given to me. Through that realization, I came to find how easy it was to find my silver lining and I would definitely apply this theory to any other weaknesses that I may have.

Like I said, anyone and everyone can find their own silver lining(s). Think about it outside the box first; take a dark room, for example. The negatives of a dark room are that it’s impossible to see anything, and it’s essentially useless because you cannot get anything done in a dark room. So what is the silver lining? Well, you need the room to be dark in order to fall asleep at night, so there’s a helpful aspect! Also, a dark room (usually) contains a light switch, in which, with the flick of a finger, you can instantly light up the whole room; an instant gratification received through an unfavorable situation.

So think about the different ways you can transform your negative thoughts into positive ones. If your greatest weakness is being too emotional, it means your strength is having a big heart. If your biggest flaw is spacing out and daydreaming when someone is trying to talk to you, your great feature is that you’re a big dreamer. Apply this theory to your own life and I promise you that you will find your own light switch even in your darkest of times.

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The Importance of Self-Reflection

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As individuals, we have each learned a lot from ourselves and from our own personal experiences. The problem is that we don’t always take the time to think about what we have learned. Each person learns valuable life lessons over a long period of time in their life, and it’s something worth reflecting about.

It’s important to think about everything you’ve gone through in life and see how much you’ve grown. Everyone grows up in their own way and at their own pace, but through this growing process, each person learns from mistakes, and learns from other people. Whenever you make a mistake, you tend to feel terrible about it in the moment, but after awhile, you look back on it and realize that it was a learning experience instead of something to be ashamed about. That is how everyone should view life because otherwise you’ll be sitting there with tons of regrets and you won’t be able to live life to the fullest.

As you get older and more mature, you begin to realize that everything in life happens for a reason. You begin to see what these reasons are and you are able to accept them. You should look back on the past and recognize how much you’ve changed since then. If you don’t take the time to think about it, you won’t get the opportunity to see how much you’ve grown and how much stronger you’ve gotten.

I’m currently a senior in college, so I spend a lot of time thinking about my years in college and how much I’ve changed. When I think about myself from freshman year, I can see a huge different in my maturity level, and the way I handle things that are thrown at me. I’m truly proud of how much I’ve grown since then and I’m proud of the way I’ve gone through my college years. I’ve made mistakes, but instead of feeling poorly about them, I smile, knowing that I won’t make the same mistakes again. I’ve also had people come and go from my life and it’s made me realize that they were never meant to be in my life. It’s interesting to think that during the span of 4 years, you can mature so much.

Self-reflection doesn’t have to take up all of your time. You don’t have to sit down and think about your whole past, but every once in awhile, just take at least five minutes out of your day to think about it. Once you see how far you’ve come, you’ll feel stronger than ever, and you’ll realize that you’re only going to get stronger as time goes on.

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