Searching For Blame

Resentment: the unsettling, gut wrenching, choke hold that kept me captive for so much of my young life. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of my 2002 Toyota Camry smoking away my sorrows. Why did life have to be so unfair? Why did I have to live in a world that saw me as less than? A young black man with a chip on his shoulder.

I spent a majority of my latter teen years verbalizing my frustrations with the so called “system” I blamed for my woes. I soaked in the paranoia filled doctrine of conspiracies like a helpless junkie searching for a quick fix, yet nothing could give me the high I was in search of. I was a victim in the truest sense.

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For hours a day, I would saturate my mind with the “mad world” beliefs that were plentiful on the web. I resonated with every new piece of information I found online as they were confirmations for my already skeptical mind. I surrounded myself with those whose beliefs aligned with mine and what we all had in common, more than our love for conspiracies, was the need to point blame outwardly.

Looking back, I could have blamed my insatiable need for conspiracy theories as a drug induced inclination, but, in reality I would have fallen into the same trappings without the drugs. I realized I was always an individual who sought to point blame in the most subtle ways. I wouldn’t tell you something was your fault but would convict the system that created you as the problem.

Not once did it dawn on me that my position in life was my own choosing. I truly felt that I had to take a backseat in life because the greater system was against those of my hue. Nothing held me back as much as that belief.

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It amazes me how we have the ability to create a false reality and live our entire lives on those falsehoods, for the simple reason of not accepting that our lives are in our control. Sure, we may not be capable of predicting or controlling circumstances outside of ourselves, but we do have control of our own actions and reactions to any given situation.

If I had known this in my earlier years, I would have spent much more time changing my circumstances instead of living in a constant state of anger and resentment, which was only a cover for my inherent fear of taking responsibility for my own life.

Tinashe Hwande

Edited by. Tayla Hasselbach

Taking a Mental Shower

Motivation is bullsh**

I’m sure we’ve all experienced the “different person in the morning when the alarm goes off syndrome”. You know when you set an alarm the night before while telling yourself that tomorrow will finally be the day that you wake up at 5am, fly to the gym, eat a hearty low-carb breakfast, and read an entire chapter of that book you’ve been putting off for the last two weeks.

In reality, your alarm rang, you clicked snooze and woke up right before work with a bagel in your hand… what happened there? Most often we set our next day’s agenda with the motivation we have in the moment, but, as soon as the next day becomes our now, the motivation is lost. This is why motivation is a forever process; we cannot expect to bottle it up and keep its potency forever.

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I used to believe that motivation was the missing link between my current position in life and where I wanted to be. I felt that if I just had enough motivation I could move mountains, but the only thing I moved was my butt from the couch in the moment. I thought motivation was some everlasting elixir that would keep me in motion forever. Little did I know that motivation was no more than a mental shower. Yes a mental shower. Motivation is like a shower, it only lasts for a single day, if that.

What I did not realize in my days of “self-help addiction” was that I could not use yesterday’s motivation to fuel me for the present moment; I had to continuously find sources of motivation which became as tiring as a one legged race. It’s important for us to create deep, lasting reasons for our actions. The acclaimed Simon Senec says, “you must find your WHY”, otherwise known as your inspiration.

Motivation alone will never last, however inspiration is the internal source of consistent action. Whereas motivation can give you the courage to do something momentarily, when someone is truly inspired, they will have a fire within them that burns for an eternity. Think of the great artists that are now physically gone, but their work continues to touch this world hundreds of years later; they are often called “inspirations”.

One man’s inspiration can carry forth to the next and so forth. Motivation is important in moments of intense action, but the energy that allows up to continuously reinvent ourselves is inspiration, either the inspiration of another being of the inspiration of nature’s beauty. Whatever our source of inspiration is, the fact that it is greater than our own will power is what gives it its potency.

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You will always be willing to do more for your child or loved one than you will for yourself (i.e. you would save your dog before yourself) this is the equivalent of inspiration. Inspiration is something that moves you internally. A self help book or a pump up anthem may be able to conjure motivation, but the lasting inspiration needed for true growth is something that comes from within and manifests itself outwardly.

 

Don’t Be the “Waiter”

The only thing that comes to a waiter is a tip.

The motivational speaker/guru, Les Brown, once said: “good things come to those who wait, but only the good things that were left behind by the one who hustled.”

We often move through life feeling as if tomorrow will bring us that extra ounce of motivation that we need to move toward our dreams. Most of us feel as if tomorrow has a surplus of energy injected into it, an energy that today we would never dare tap into.

The good news is today has just as much motivation in it as tomorrow does. The bad news is tomorrow has just much motivation as today.

Wishful thinking and aimlessly waiting on tomorrow, “a better day,” to begin that project or start that business will have you in a place Zig Ziglar once called “One Day Isle” which is right next to “Isle Never” in Safeway: as in the safe way to nowhere.

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In a nutshell, living for tomorrow is the most dangerous thing that you could ever do for your future self. In waiting for tomorrow to begin, you are literally preparing yourself for a time and place that does not exist. As pseudoscience or woowoo as this sounds, you truly only have this moment. Right here, right now is the only thing that actually exists. All ‘tomorrow’ is is a representation of another “right here, right now.”

Thus, if you wish to see any sort of lasting change in your life, do “it” now, whatever your “it” is. I wasted far too much time and too many “laters” to ever let myself into such a trap again and it truly hurts my heart when I see those around me doing the same. We act as if our time is limitless, as if we will always be able to achieve our greatest self. We will forgo going to the gym for the third night in a row because Shameless just put out their third season and I means it’s not like the gyms going anywhere right? We throw away precious moments in the morning that could be used for mediation or planning and instead dedicate that time to scrolling and liking.

We love to claim that patience is a virtue but what we practice is far from virtuous. The fact of the matter is patience and waiting are not related, in fact they are not even in the same species. Patience is related to the work that takes place during the period of growth, while waiting is a passive act of “do nothingness.”

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I am by no means saying there is something wrong with relaxation and unwinding to something that will take your mind off of constantly doing, however when it’s time to do, don’t mistake not doing for doing. 

Preparation is a key element to success in any sphere of life but waiting and preparing are again unrelated. There is a difference between studying an industry before you enter it and waiting for the “right time” to get into an industry. Preparing for a test and thinking about preparing for a test are not the same thing, I could not emphasize this point enough. 

Do not take for granted the time that you have been allocated and the visions that have been placed in you. When you are sparked with an idea, you must act on it as fast as possible because the longer you wait the further it fades.

Tinashe Hwande

(edited by Tayla Hasselbach)

What Is Leadership?

Leadership is inspiring. It is taking a stand and motivating others to think, create, accomplish — whatever the task may be. It is creating an open space where effective communication and compromise may occur in order to confidently reach a goal in a timely manner. It is taking on the responsibility of the outcomes of those decisions and facilitating reflection on what could be done better in the future. It is doing all of these things from a pure heart with the sole intention of helping others be the best person they can be in the world.

While pondering who has demonstrated leadership in my life, my sophomore 2 clinical instructor, Amber Quelvog, came to mind. She was one of the best teachers I have ever had and it is through her leadership that I grew exponentially as a nurse this past semester. She was a leader in that she inspired us to be our own leaders, to trust ourselves, and to feel confident and in the right place on the floor in the hospital. She led not by telling us what to do but by guiding us as we used our critical thinking skills to solve the issue at hand on our own. She facilitated our self-reflection as well as gave constructive criticism in a positive manner. I truly look up to her and hope to be a nurse, teacher, and leader like her.

Nursing School Archives (May 2015)

By: Tayla Hasselbach

Why We Love to Overthinking

If you were a prehistoric Neanderthal or a Sub-Saharan bushman, the best weapon you had in your arsenal was overthinking. To remain vigilant throughout your entire hunt while mentally preparing for all the worst case scenarios was essential in 20,000 BC. In this Tesla driving, Chipotle eating modern world, however, overthinking is the curse that keeps on cursing.

When I speak of overthinking, I am not alluding to the strategizing or problem solving powers of  mind. You know the sort of witt or genius that has been displayed throughout history by men and women whose names are echoed in chambers of greatness. The sort of overthinking I am referring to is the type that petrifies the majority of us into non-action.

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We live in an ever increasingly busy world, an environment where the overthinking mind can, and often does, become an affliction. A plague that stops us from living a life of fulfillment, deterring us from necessary actions, all the while killing the dormant dreams of everyday men and women.

Overthinking can be attributed to everything from the restless nights of insomnia to the deepest depths of depression. When fears, worries and doubts take a hold of our minds with no jurisdiction, we tend to find ourselves in a bottomless abyss that seems to have the gravitational hold of the “sunken place.”

The main reason we hold onto our overthinking with such a tight grasp is due to our belief in its purpose. We feel as if overthinking may solve our problems or serve to protect us from the fear of taking action. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Overthinking is the enemy of all actions and brings along more animosity than resolve. This is why the greatest defense for our overthinking is action itself. Tony Robbins, master of the mental shift, is known for his “physical change” to “mental change” approach to habit formation. He speaks on how the simple change of physiology can make the difference between a mind in the state of depression and one that is freed from strife.

Though this may seem contradictory, it is essential for us to step into “massive action,” as Tony refers to it, in order to get out of our heads. Whether this means visiting your local gym to hit the ol’ weight rack or finally sitting down to work on that novel, taking action will show itself as the resolution to the constant mental bombardment.

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This does not mean you will never have an overactive mind again, it just means you will have the ability to chip away at the overthinking by acting upon those things that are truly at the root of your fears and anxieties. Overthinking comes from underdoing. Change your mind, change your life.

 

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Tinashe Hwande

(Edited by. Tayla Hasselbach)

 

 

Why “FOMO is a MOFO

*(Fomo is an anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.)*

Remember back in high school when every party was the last party? Remember your college years when attending the third rage cage and beer pong filled night was more of a priority than whatever boring subject you had to study for.

It never really clicked in your mind that there would be a dozen more parties right after your midterm, but then again….Fomo. It never once clicked that missing that one party would not cause global warming or accelerate the rising of the sea level. As a teen and 20-something year old, it was tough to process the fact that nobody really cared.

An old, wise woman once told me that the older you get the more you realize that nobody cares if you go to the party.

In life, there are more parties than those with keg stands and beer pongs. The party is a metaphor for anything that you may feel obligated to go to simply because everyone else is. The party is the distraction that often comes between you and whatever it is that you are after. For some, the party is hanging out with friends that do not add value to your like. For others, the party might be watching every episode of that one show that everyone else is watching.

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It is normal to feel the need to always be in the know and continuously show up to where everyone is; in fact, it is a social norm for us to stop what we actually want to do in order to do what everyone else is doing. Believe it or not, some people don’t want to watch that game, yet they feel the need to because they think that everyone around them actually cares.

I know this sounds mean but it is true. It’s ironic because we let these things impede our personal growth and prolong our stagnation while simultaneously idolizing those who choose to bypass the social pressures and instead focus on their own growth.

If you internalize the idea that nobody cares if you go to the party then you will liberate yourself from the false obligation of always showing up to things that have nothing to do with your vision. There is a true sense of freedom that comes with knowing how people really feel about you, showing up to another party or another superbowl get together. Yes, some may miss you in the moment but after a few cold ones it will be as if you never existed.

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When you chose to overlook social pressures and instead choose your own destiny, over time people will actually start to care about what you are doing and respect you more for your decision to remain committed to your vision. People are interested in those who do not conform to the norm, those who choose to miss the party in order to record that album or bypass the club to build that new app.

When I say nobody cares if you go to the party, I am not doing so to stop you from a good time, I am doing so to remind you that you are free to make your own choices in this life. Choosing YOU will benefit both yourself and others far more than “going to that party.”

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Tinashe Hwande

Edited by. Tayla Hasselbach

Seek to “INNERstand”

To understand your audience is one thing; but to truly reach into the deepest parts of another individual, to fully comprehend their drives, inhibitions, desires, and motives; this is to INNERstand them. Whether you are an individual with a burning message to share with the world or an organization with a life-changing product to provide to those in need; both cases require a certain level of innerstanding. Much like within interpersonal relationships, understanding the point of view the other is crucial. The best relationships do not form due to similar tastes in movies or music, but by allocating quality time with pure intention to fully grasp where exactly the other person is coming from.

In this new economy, it is essential to treat your relationship with your customers, as you would treat a friendship. For instance, if you had some news that you wanted to share with a friend, would you deliver it to them in a compelling story that is relevant to their own life experience or just give them a generic statement that you kinda, sort, think makes sense? For far too long, advertisers have been talking at their audience instead of speaking with them; and by speaking with them I do not mean some focus group that is being paid to taste your new Acai recipe. I mean a true conversation; a back and forth dialogue that is deeper than “which one tastes better”. Social Media has made it possible for individuals and companies alike to maintain a streamline of communication. There are no longer any excuses for not getting to know the true beneficiaries of your brand. This sort of symbiotic relationship creates a win-win situation; both parties receive exactly what they want while reciprocating the value.

Take the extra time to know your customer. Ask them questions. Know why they buy from you and not the place next door. Ask them why their kids love the place. This may seem self-serving, but for those with a true sense of care for their community, this conversation allows for a greater customer experience and in return you will have a larger community to serve as they spread the word about the wonderful good or service that you so wholeheartedly provide.

-Tinashe Hwande

(edited by Tayla M. Hasselbach)