In your greatest victories, remember the people who helped pave your way, the people who supported you, the people who cared enough to listen and nurture you in your trying moments.
Remember them, return the favor, and pay it forward.
This is how you stay grounded.
Your job is to fix yourself, to create yourself, to craft yourself into the best version of yourself. It’s not your job to fix other people, especially if they do not want to be “fixed”.
Within my friends groups, I’m notorious for getting into crazy situations. The reason is, I am a yas woman. If I get into a situation where I must choose to stay or go, I choose go as much as possible (that is, if my intuition tells me I am not in danger).
Saying yes has led to stand-up paddle boarding in the San Francisco Bay, cooking delicious meals with a stranger, grabbing dessert with a “boss ass bitch”, endless nights of dancing, multiple concerts, tours at amazing companies, unbelievable sunset views, and so much more.
Today’s example: I was running through Lake Merritt after my MLK volunteer event and ran into Anthony and his old coworker Nathan. Ant invited me to eat pho for dinner later that night. I gladly accepted the invitation. After dinner, the three of us went to (my first) comedy event at a bar I’ve been meaning to try. I laughed for two hours straight. The lineup was stellar, and the venue was extremely hip. Now, I am exhausted and do not want to talk to anyone, but I am so happy I went. I will definitely come back for Monday night comedy.
Say yes, because why not.
Many of my most memorable moments stemmed from moments of spontaneity.
How could it not when you’re open to what the world has to offer?
It’s heart-wrenching, how one song can transport you back to the moment of great euphoria or pain. How a song can make you feel so alive or so alone. The power that music has in triggering memories is instantaneous. It makes you realize that both pain and pleasure are pervasive as long as you’re aware enough to see it.
It’s how you deal with it that defines who you are.
As an American, you are part of the global 1%. You have your basic necessities of food, water, shelter, warmth, and then some. When you see the world through that perspective, you realize that you have it good, though you may consider yourself “broke”. “Broke” mentality prevents many of us from giving back to those in need or treating your friends or getting your parents gifts. How long do we have to wait until we can start giving back? What income bracket do we have to reach? Or can we start doing it right now?
My father has this lesson I like to call “The Hundred Dollar Idea”. He encourages me to be generous to our loved ones when we can, especially when they have treated us well. He says,
When people treat you right, treat them right. Don’t worry too much about the money. A hundred dollars won’t make you richer or poorer.
Of course there are situations when a hundred dollars do make a significant difference and one hundred is an arbitrary number. However, this idea makes an important point when it comes to maintaining relationships and contributing to society.
Buy a bagel for a homeless person. Volunteer a few hours to a local non-profit. Surprise your friends and pay for the bill. Send a card or letter back home.
Being generous does not require large amounts of money, as giving time, thought, and energy are other ways of providing value.
Many parents teach their kids never to speak to strangers. That strangers are dangerous. That there are many people that can hurt you. Even that most men want to assault women. These parents may teach this due to fears created by their past experiences or from a skewed worldview fostered by the sensationalization of negative news. Regardless of our parents intentions, we begin to learn the truth about the world when we become independent. As we grow older and begin our careers, we realize that not all strangers are threats. That there are more good people than bad people. That most strangers are surprisingly kind and generous. That maybe our parents were wrong.
In my experiences moving to a new city, I have been overwhelmed with love and generosity from the community. When I tell people I had just recently moved to the Bay Area, they light up and are excited to tell me their favorite things about it. People willingly give me advice about how to navigate in the city, my job search, and the marketing field. I have encountered and reached out to countless strangers, only to realize that they can be a crucial resource in your time of need.
Though it is essential to continue to be cautious and aware of your surroundings, there are great advantages in being open to new people from all walks of life.
Strike a conversation with the person sitting next to you in the coffee shop, grocery store, or a local event. You might be surprised as to where it will lead you.
If someone treats you out, does you a favor, or gives up their precious time to help you problem-solve, do it back. If you want to be less overt, then reciprocate the next time you meet with them. Or surprise them with their favorite snack, flowers, or tickets to a sweet show. When someone pays it forward to you, you can either continue spreading the positive energy or let it die with your taking.
You’d be surprised how great you feel after showing your appreciation.
Make it a habit and you will be surprised at how often life works in your favor.