motivational monday: community over competition

Community Over Competition

Did you roll your eyes when you read the title of this post? Sometimes I roll my eyes when I see people using this phrase on Instagram, and you can tell it’s not really coming from their heart, it’s just part of an image they’re trying to curate online.

We all have a secret skill, and mine is seeing through the facades people build. This can make it hard for people that are too afraid to be real with me become my friend. When you build a facade, you are building a lie, and I don’t want to be friends with a liar. What’s the point? If your friend can’t be their real self with you, then you can’t have a real relationship, which to me is a waste of time.

What does that have to do with “community over competition”? Well, if you’re building facades, you’re not having faith in your community to accept you for who you are. Your facade is also something you’ve built to make your life seem better than it is, this means your using your facade to compete with those you think have “it” better than you.

I love social media, but these unreal views that people create promotes more competition. I’m not saying that this is all social media does, though!

Twitter is my favorite social media outlet. I’ve made so many friends, learned a lot, collaborated with people, and have helped people in return. I’m slowly building a similar community on Periscope. These two places seem more real to me than Instagram. I love my Twitter community. There’s no drama in my Twitter community.

I’m also in some Facebook groups, and in most of them there’s a lot of drama (sadly some of the planner groups can be like that). That said, I LOVE the Louis Vuitton planner group I’m in. Some people think less of people that buy “luxury” goods, but this group is so full of positivity! Yes, we all have LV planners, but the inserts range in price from homemade to high-end, and no one judges how much your insert cost. No on makes fun of someone when they have a DIY insert that is not super sleek. We’re all just cheering on everyone and sharing how they were made, or where they were purchased (often off Etsy). It’s a great group to be a part of.

Sometimes I feel stupid for not understanding why anyone would ever choose to not be supportive of the success of their friends or strangers on the internet. If your friend got a raise and is making more than you, celebrate her! Don’t try to knock her down. If your friend has more followers on social media, don’t be jealous, ask her for advice. If your friend’s business is booming, ask her to share steps she took to boost sales. Unless you two are making the exact same product, she is not your competition.

A rising tide lifts all boats

I’m a believer that what you put out comes back to you. That’s not what motivates me to help people, but I’ve seen where selfish people have “paid the price” in their lives. You can’t fake your karma, either, your good actions have to come from the heart. I was recently jealous of someone. It lasted less than 24 hours, and then I decided to get over it, and go back to my normal helpful self. After I made that choice I felt so much better and was no longer wasting time thinking about that person in a negative way. We’re all going to feel jealous from time to time, the trick is to move past it, and keep putting out positivity into the world.

Isn’t there enough bad out there? We have the choice to help people out. If you’re one of the “good guys”, you’re out there raising everyone up and being supportive, try taking it a step further. When your friend or co-worker (you know the one, the one that lives for gossip and tearing others down) starts in, try calling them out (in a positive way). If this person is too difficult, any time they try to bring their negativity around just change the subject. That way you’re squashing the negativity. Every day we get to make a choice on the impression we want to make in this world. We own that choice. Maybe bad things keep happening to you, and you’re feeling angry and like you’ve been dealt a crappy hand. Last year was a very bad year for me, but I didn’t let all the crappy days change what I put out there. When someone is a jerk to you, you can control whether or not you take it out on the next person.

So what’s this “Motivation Monday” about? It’s about motivating you to constantly make the choice to help your community, and spread the energy to get others to do the same. For some this will come easy, for others this will be changing their habits. If you think it will be hard for you, have a buddy help you out. Together we can do so much.



motivational monday: how we rise

how we rise
Someone recently told me “I’m not lucky like you, things don’t always go my way” which was surprising to hear. My mom can be considered “lucky” when gambling, nine times out of ten she’ll at least break even, but most of the time, she comes out ahead. However, her health is not the best, so I wouldn’t consider her a “lucky” person. I feel like social media trends are working so hard to paint these perfect lives, and some people are falling for it to the point of thinking their lives “suck”.

Yes, I am pretty happy with my life, but it’s all about perspective. Let’s start with the cons in my life right now:
Unruly eyebrows
Recently received the WORST bang trim of my life, only thing I can do is wait for them to grow out, I can’t even just pin them back. Sigh.
Very little sleep all month.
House is a complete wreck.
Gained lots of weight this year (I seriously need to return to derby, I haven’t even been off skates a year.)
Super busy and overwhelmed.
Need a tooth implant (thanks to an almond breaking 1/2 a tooth).
On a tight budget.

How I view the cons in my life:
Eyebrows and hair are cosmetic issues, who cares if I look like crap for a month? I’m too busy to let it depress me.
I’m trying to catch up on sleep, all I can do right now is try, and know that this is a temporary thing.
The house can be cleaned, it won’t be this way forever.
I got a treadmill to help me get active until I can skate again. Starting tomorrow I have a set workout time everyday.
I’m super busy and overwhelmed thanks to needing to submit new works to our agent and some licensees, that’s a good thing.
Tooth is another cosmetic issue right now, and will be fixed when I have time/money.
Tight budget is due to needing to have funds for multiple trade/art shows a year that are not less than 2k (upcoming post about that!).

Nobody’s life is perfect, let’s get that straight. We all have our problems, some are just better at hiding it, some completely focus on hiding it. People don’t want to read blogs or social media feeds of people that are constantly complaining, and always focusing on the negatives in life. How we rise after falling is the same as how we view the cons in our life. It’s all about perspective. I think I’m happy not because I’m “lucky”, but because I don’t let the cons in my life drag me down. There will always be good days and bad days, the trick is to find gratitude for the many good things in your life that are easy to overlook on a crummy day. Here’s to silver linings!

motivational monday: do one thing…

Do One Thing
I love this quote, and think it is so important to live by it. Recently a friend of mine chuckled at a big goal I have, Josh thought it was rude until I reminded him that even last year he would have done the same thing. My goals and aspirations often bring about laughter or lead to people calling me crazy, and sadly, I’m used to that reaction. I used to get confused by people giggling at my goals, Josh used to do it a lot, so I started asking him why he was laughing. It took him awhile to really understand why he was laughing, and then he explained to me he just found my goals surprising, and hard to wrap his head around, so he’d laugh. That’s when it clicked!

People weren’t really laughing at me, they were just taken aback. If you talk to me long enough, you’ll see that I live out loud, and don’t let my fears or insecurities get in my way (for very long, at least). Everyone is afraid of something, we all have insecurities we have to deal with every single day. Our lives are just way too short for us to let our doubts keep us from trying to live a free life. A “free life” to me means a life free from fear of failing, fear of trying, fear of taking control of our lives. We all have responsibilities, but we can’t forget that our greatest responsibility is to take care of ourselves. If we sacrifice our happiness out of fear, then we are shells of ourselves. The best thing we can do is be ourselves, out loud, and inspire others to do the same. We all have something to offer, something the world needs, we just cant let fear keep us from sharing our best selves. Life should be about trying anything and everything you want.

I have met so many amazing people in my life, and it always saddens me when I see them hiding their light. I think there would be more happiness in the world if more people would stand tall and say “this is me, take it or leave it” and just be who they are. Sometimes when I tell people this they respond with “you’re lucky”, or “you have it easy”, or “things just always work out for you”, but the thing is, I’m not lucky, I certainly don’t have it easy, and things absolutely don’t always work out for me. It can seem like things always work out me, only because when things don’t go the way I planned, I adapt. I don’t focus on what went wrong, I focus on what I can do better for next time, because as long as I’m still breathing, there will be a next time, and I will be ready for it. I have no deadline on my big dreams because I know they take time, so I just keep working toward them every day. As long as I don’t give up, there’s always hope. Just remember that and don’t give up. Keep trying every day and you’ll make it happen.


motivational monday: effort makes all the difference


Last night my friend Brandon and Josh went to do a Star Wars pub trivia, they invited me to go with them, but I declined with the reason “I know we’re going to lose, so I’d rather stay home and work”. Brandon and I camped out for a week for Phantom Menace, and during that week one of the things we did was play Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. Between that history and having done Buffy and Doctor Who pub trivia (two of my strongest subjects) I had a rough idea of what types of questions could come up.

Brandon was adamant that they would win, but he didn’t prep for the quiz. An hour before they were going to leave I started asking him random questions I thought could come up, and he didn’t have the answers. I told him to study up on anything music related because they always ask music related questions. Josh looked up some stuff, and then Brandon did after I harassed him about it, but he was very confident that he would win. I kept telling him that the type of people that win the themed quizzes heavily study all things related. He still continued to boast his knowledge, saying he couldn’t wait to count his winnings. This is what he posted on Facebook after the quiz:

“Finished the Star Wars quiz. 7th place out of 64. Why didn’t I study?! F$@k!! Sure, I know that “Hammerheads” are Ithorians from the planet Ithor, that the one in the Wookie owned cantina was named Momaw Nadon, and he was a vegetarian with 2 mouths, but I couldn’t spend 5 minutes to learn the name of the Mynok infested space slug in Empire… This is why I’m not more successful in life. I know I’m good, but I never put the effort in to be great. Typical.”

His post caused me to redo my planned post for today, particularly this part:
“This is why I’m not more successful in life. I know I’m good, but I never put the effort in to be great. Typical.”

There are a lot of talented people that create amazing things, but not all of them put in the effort to make a living off their talents. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to make a living off your talents, but if it’s something you really want, you’ll need to put in the effort. As the saying goes…

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”

― Jim Rohn

I miss derby a lot, my “excuse” for not doing derby is that Robo Roku work is what I love most, and this year Robo Roku is taking up more of my time. Given the choice between Robo Roku and pretty much anything else, Robo Roku wins every time. When you truly love doing something, it’s all you want to do.

Sometimes what keeps us from putting in the effort is fear of not succeeding, but don’t we owe it to ourselves to try as many things as possible? We should always be trying new foods, new places, new workouts, learning new skills, new languages, and honoring the life we’ve been given by exploring as much as we can. Isn’t this why we have Pinterest addictions? Every day is a new day to start fresh. What are those dreams you have? Write them down, hang them up, and get moving on them! Put in the effort, because no one is just going to hand you your dreams, and isn’t the reward so much sweeter when you’ve worked for it?

motivational monday: who do you want to be?

Art by Pat Pitingolo

I learned this lesson in 2009 from Laura Roeder. When I hung out with people that weren’t goal orientated, I started to be more lackadaisical about my goals. I worked much slower, and was not as invested in pursuing my dreams on a daily basis. Taking the Creating Fame course from Laura Roeder grouped me in a class with so many people working hard and excitedly on what they love. The passion I was around (even if it was only online) was so contagious! After it ended many of us stayed connected online, but I craved the environment Laura created. I then started looking at the people I was spending the most time with and shifted to spend more time with people that would keep me in an energized environment.

As much as I hate Facebook, it allows me to be in online groups of people working toward similar goals. My friend Meredith and I text each other almost daily sharing (and venting) about our work lifestyle (we both do original illustrations). As I’ve mentioned before, Sierra and I often run opportunities by each other for feedback. She’s currently helping me break my habit of turning down offers all the time. I have meet ups with a group of girls every month to talk biz and support each other in this self-employed lifestyle. They say you need to find your tribe, and I believe that is so key to living a happy, and productive life. If you’re interested in a challenge, try making a vision board of the lifestyle you want, and surround yourself with people that will help you get (and stay) there. Happy Monday, everyone!


art by Pat Pitingolo

motivational monday: love yourself

This Creative Life - Love Yourself First

I love this saying. When I was in high school a friend of mine said “We die alone, so why put other people first?”. It was a confusing idea to me at the time. His real point was he wasn’t going to change who he was to please “some girl”, because this was his life. That’s an idea I can get behind. It’s hard to not want approval from family and loved ones, but the approval we truly need is our own. No one is perfect, we are all works in progress (ideally, we’re evolving everyday). There’s so much in this world to take in, to learn, to love, but we need to love ourselves first. We need to be able to take care of our minds, bodies, and passions. We need to approach life with excitement for the gift of being able to experience so much.

Josh was recently complaining about a client that always has rush jobs, and sometimes complains about pricing, even though he’s giving them a discount. After a week I checked in with him on how he was handling the client, he said “It’s a non-issue” I asked if he had a talk with them, and he said “No, I just changed the way I think about it. They are always going to have rush jobs, and sometimes complain, but I’m choosing to not care about it, so that problem is over.” Just like that, he changed his outlook, and it improved his happiness. We can all do that! (just don’t ever spill water on Josh – that’s his kryptonite)

We don’t know how long we have in this life, so it seems to me that I need to make the most of each day and pour my heart into all I do. I really do the dishes with a full heart. I get excited that I’m going to have clean dishes! If your day job sucks the life out of you, and you truly have no way out, just have something to look forward to after work. Remind yourself that this crappy day job is affording you the money to paint, sew, do roller derby, play video games, whatever it is that you love to do. Take care of you, be kind to others, and everything else will fall in place.

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