25 Things you didn’t know have names

Head on over here and see how many of these things you call “things”.

I personally already knew the first one.  I learned it literally a week ago, from White Space is Not Your Enemy.

…And that’s all I knew.

Its interesting to think how certain people would know some of these, depending on their profession.  For example, a manicurist probably knows the second one.  A carpenter might know number 6.  A shoe salesman might know number 12, and maybe 25.

I myself am no stranger to number 20 – although I had no idea it had a name.

Which ones did you already know?

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Things About Asia (Thailand and China)

Interestingly enough, I came across a few Asia-related things all in the same day or two.

Thailand

Heath and I are thinking of going to Thailand.  We’d be there for at least a month, maybe more like 3 if we like it.  My biggest concern is that it will be hot and humid.  And I kind of hate hot, humid weather.  Like, a lot.  (I’ve spoken with multiple friends who have gone and they haven’t been able to convince me otherwise.  So if anyone reading this can, please feel free to chime in, as I really would like to go.)

Anyway, I took interest in this post by Cody McKibben.

Which led me to this – always good stuff to know beforehand.

I’ll also share this guy‘s videos, which I find hilarious and packed with real info.

China

My new friend over at HealthyFrenchie directed me to this informative and humorous article.

And @IrishPolyglot also posted this incredible video the other day, proving his insane language learning progress.  Seriously.  You have to check this guy out.

Have any of you been to Thailand and have any tips for me?

Don’t Settle for the Guru Effect / Motivation Tips from Peter Shallard

Came across a new blog today.  Peter Shallard writes some very interesting posts.

Take for example this article on what Peter calls The Guru Effect.

I love the line “The tiny percentage of ultra achievers – the Oprahs, Bransons, Hsieh and Jobs of the world don’t publish how-to guides. They publish autobiographies.”

I myself am no overachiever and have no credibility.  Yet.  But I do plan to achieve both personal and business success.  And then I plan to write about it; make videos about it; make money from it because I’ve already made money from it.

But this post made me question why that’s my plan.  It seems like easy money.  And it could get my name out, which in turn would drive even more business to my hypothetically-already-successful company.  Its a win-win.  But then what?  Then I can relax knowing that I’ve built a little empire for myself that at this point will just bring in more and more cash passively?  At this point I can just stop working?  Stop creating?  Stop thinking?

No.  I thought that my business plans (vague as they may be) were ambitious and would bring me great things.  I still think they can bring me a bunch of money, sure.  But after reading this article, I don’t know if I consider cash to be “great things”.  As Peter says in the post, “When you take the easy, comfortable road and rest on your laurels, everyone loses.”  You lose because you’re no longer challenging yourself.  The world loses because it misses out on all the greatness you could have offered it.

—–

I should probably try this.  (How to force yourself to succeed without using willpower)

I most definitely ask myself all the ways I can fail or all the ways the task at hand will be no fun.  And it totally prevents me from doing the task.  Ridiculous.  I need to take control of my thoughts and stop sabotaging myself!  It’s actually really good timing that I read this today, as I’m starting a new workout regimen today that I plan to maintain for 30 days.  I’ll try reshaping my thoughts and see if it helps motivate me. 🙂

Joyce Meyer – Leaving the City of Guilt, Part II

In Part 2, Joyce makes gives commentary on how we do something wrong and hold on to that guilt, and then do something else wrong and hold on to that guilt on top of the other guilt, and continue in this pattern until we’re dragging so much guilt behind us where ever we go.  What a burden.  What a waste of time and energy.  It wastes our time because we spend time thinking out it, and worrying about it, and what does it accomplish?  Nothing.  We expend all this effort, trying to sort it out in our heads to make sense of it and get some sort of closure so we can move on from it, but yet it never happens.  This is not the way I want to live anymore.

“Perfection involves growing.  I’ve not arrived but thank God I’m on my way… So stop thinking about what you’re not, and think about the progress you’re making.”  This could probably be applied to everyone.  We all spend time thinking about what we’re not.  A little of this is a good thing, because self-awareness is important if we ever expect to grow – we need to first know where we are and what we are and what we are not.  Its only when we dwell on this and acquire guilt from this that leads us to problems.  So instead, think about the progress you’re making.  Think of where you were a year ago – are you in the same place?  Some of us may be tempted to answer yes – I still live in the same town, I’m still at the same job, I still live with my parents, I’m still the same person.  But if you look harder, you will probably see that you’ve grown.  Well, I did learn a few new skills.  And I’m more compassionate now than I was then.  Being in the same place on the outside is not the same as being in the same place on the inside.

After reading Romans 6:10-11, Joyce says that we should put aside our lists of what we think we are and aren’t allowed to do – ie that which we fear God will get angry with us for doing – and that the closer you are to God, the more you’re going to instinctively know what is right and what is wrong, and, the more strength He will give you to do the right thing.  This, she says, is how to be victorious over sin.  So basically, don’t dwell on sin itself but rather live a holy life through God, thus getting the strength to overcome sin in the first place.  And you will grow.

When Joyce was living in guilt, she not only worried about her past but also what sins she might keep doing.  I really related to that because I have a lot of fear about potential future mistakes I might make.  I feel like I for some reason wont be in control of myself later in my life.  Like somehow I’ll make a decision I know I shouldn’t make, yet I wont be able to help myself when the time comes.  I don’t know.  Its not a very rational fear, but then, most fears are irrational.

Here are some of my favorite lines and concepts from part 2:

“When we go to God in prayer, we don’t go in our name, we go in Jesus’ name.”

Pray confidently, fearlessly, and boldly in your time of need.

The Bible says that we shouldn’t sin, but that just in case we do, Jesus has covered it.

To Paul: “You need some of my tapes.”  LOL.

And again she reminded me that God wanted to form a relationship with me despite already knowing everything about me.  Which is always encouraging to hear.

What did you think of this two part video?  In what ways have you grown in the last year?  In the last 5 years?

Joyce Meyer – Leaving the City of Guilt, Part I

This video was immediately appealing to me because I often find myself feeling guilty, which is often accompanied by depression.  Its not that I’ve done anything particularly horrible –  I just feel really, really badly whenever I do something even remotely horrible.  And I don’t let myself forget it.  It keeps coming back.  This is due in large part to the fact that I don’t control my thoughts (something that I’ve been researching more lately and trying to work on, as I think it is one of the biggest benefits I can give myself right now.)

I don’t know much about Christianity and have never been a religious person, but there is something undeniably appealing to me about Christians and their faith.  In the last 6 months or so I have been researching Christianity and reading blogs and articles by Christians, especially women.  I like what I read but there is so much more to learn.  I’m currently reading the Bible (do you know how big that thing is?!) and I’m following Joyce Meyer on twitter which is how I found this video today.

For me, my guilt isn’t so much because I feel I’ve disappointed God; its more that I’ve disappointed myself.  Or my parents.  (Which feeling is worse?  I couldn’t tell you.)  But I still found tremendous benefit in this video with respect to guilt, and also just to learning more about God and the Bible.

“God is not the least bit surprised by you or your behavior…  He knew everything about you when he invited you to come into a relationship with Him.”  This thought is comforting because having a relationship with God seems like a big deal and like something that should be earned or deserved.  And if we aren’t perfect (but who is?) then we can feel like we’re a disappointment to Him or not worthy of a connection.  I’m not sure if that’s how I feel or not, quite honestly, but it’s nice to know that He already knows everything about me, because in that is a sense of acceptance.  Because He knows me, and yet still chose to form a relationship with me, He must accept who I am and what I’ve done and where I’ve come from.

Joyce points out that if we keep the burden of guilt, we have no energy to learn and grow and serve God.  Now, even for those who aren’t religious, this can apply.  We have no energy to grow and learn, and do what we should be doing (whether its serving God or serving yourself or serving others).  The feeling of guilt holds us back from living our lives and accomplishing goals and experiencing joy.

Joyce goes on to share a humorous story about going on a “guilt trip”, which is a pretty universal experience.  The author went on this trip knowing it wouldn’t do any good.  How many of us actually think feeling guilt will do some good in our lives?  Yet does that stop us from doing it?

“Jesus has done everything for us that he’s gunna do – he’s waiting for us to believe it.”  This line really spoke to me because it made me realize that I’m waiting on something more to happen before I cement my feelings on Christianity.  What am I waiting for?  Jesus has already done all that he’s going to do.  And yes, there is much more of the Bible that I can read, and I can continue to form opinions as I do so.  But this line really calls people to action, which I love.  There comes a time – and the time is now – to make the decision to change your life.  The Bible is right there. If you want to go with it and change your life in that way because it will bring you positivity, then what are you waiting for?  If you want to go in a different direction, then what are you waiting for?  The point is, pick something and take action.  Stop wasting your time feeling guilty or doing whatever else it is that’s holding you back from being awesome.  Fear?  Fear of failure or rejection?  If its depression, that can be hard to kick.  But fear can be just as hard to kick.

“Guilt enters as a thought, creates a feeling, and we live by that feeling… If you’re smart you’ll say, ‘I don’t care how I feel, this is what I know’.”  That right there is the key, I think.  Right now I am letting myself be controlled by my feelings.  I need to change what I know so that I can have something better to stick with instead of getting stuck in a bad mood when negative thoughts come up.  And that is why I need to finish reading the Bible.  Hopefully it will have some answers for me :).

I also liked the point about asking and receiving forgiveness.  It’s easy to ask for it, but the real strength in that kind of prayer comes from trusting God enough to actually receive His forgiveness.  Because in that, you are completely letting go.

Note: This video was part 1 of a 4 part series.  Look forward to her other videos on fear, insecurity, and worry – which I plan to watch and write about soon.

Now, here’s some non-Christian-related words that I feel convey the same message to stop holding yourself back with guilt:

Believe in yourself.

Ready.  Fire.  Aim.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t – you’re right.

The only thing that makes it a part of your life is that you keep thinking about it.

*A few of those came from the pins I have collected on pinterest – feel free to check them out and many, many more that relate to this very subject.  And please share in the comments some of your most inspiring!

What I learned from my restaurant job

I recently quit my job of almost a year.

I worked at a coffee house, slash restaurant, slash bookstore, slash gift store.

I mostly took customers’ orders at the cash register but I also made lattes and the like.

Here are some general and specific things I learned:

  • Most of the customers were regulars.  They came in literally every day at the same time and ordered pretty much the same thing.  Its primarily these people who kept us in business, I’d assume.
  • Some customers, even if they come in regularly and always get the same thing, will complain about their food, every time.  And its not that it was made wrong – they just don’t care for it.
  • There are a lot of different kinds of milk (organic whole, organic  2%, regular 2%, skim, soy, almond, coconut).
  • Most people probably wont taste the difference (with the exception of the last three).
  • There are only subtle differences between all the major espresso drinks.  For example, a latte is espresso and milk.  Add chocolate and its now a mocha. Take out the espresso and its now a hot chocolate.  Add flavored syrup instead of chocolate and its now a milk steamer.  Ever wonder how a barista can so easily remember something as complicated as a “skinny half caf double iced mocha, with half the chocolate and sugar free caramel”?  Because its really just a slight variation on what the drink normally would be.  And yes it was rare that someone would order something that specific.  But once you know a few key terms, even the complicated things aren’t that complicated anymore.
  • There are a few different roasts of coffee: french (the darkest), vienna (in the middle), and city (the lightest).  In terms of caffeine level, its the opposite: city (most caffeine), vienna (in the middle), french (least caffeine).  At first this is always counter-intuitive.  You’d think that the darkest coffee would also be the strongest.  That’s probably because you’d assume it meant it was brewed more strongly or something.  But no, they’re all brewed the same way.  Some coffees are weaker on purpose.  The reason is, the caffeine in a coffee bean is on the outside.  So when the beans are roasted, the caffeine gets burnt off.  The longer it roasts (making it a darker roast) the more of the outside (the caffeine) gets roasted off.  Thus, dark beans have less caffeine left, whereas lighter roasts have more caffeine preserved.
  • People working for minimum wage bond by complaining and gossiping.  Bad, I know.  But oh-so fun.
  • Its pretty much the same, every day.  People would always ask me how my day was, or if we had been busy at lunch time.  “Good, how are you?”  “Yeah, it was kinda busy.”  I felt a little awkward always saying the same things to people.  But I guess I shouldn’t feel too awkward because they always asked the same questions.
  • If you steam too much foam, it becomes too dry, and it does not blend well into the drink.  The key is to steam less foam, thus keeping it wetter, and then you can more easily swoosh it around with the milk. It was only towards the end of my time at that job that I really started to get the hang of latte art.  Kind of unfortunate I left before mastering it.
  • If a drink has a [thin] layer of foam on top, you can practically sprint it out to the  person’s table without spilling it (exaggerating).
  • People like their drinks full, even if it means you spill it a little.  If I didn’t put enough foam on top and the drink started to spill over as I carried it out to them, I’d just say, “It’s a little full” in a somewhat apologetic voice as I handed it to them.  To which they responded with a smile and wide eyes.
  • One of the funnest parts of my job was referring to customers by their order (when talking about them with coworkers, that is).  “You know ‘Large salad, add carrots, sprouts, and tuna, Large decaf latte in a to-go cup’ guy?”  “Oh, yeah.”  Or, “You know, she always comes in and buys a bottle of water and like half an avocado?”  “Oh yeah.  Sharon.”  It was a fun game to see how well we knew everyone :).
  • As hard as it may be to trust employees, micromanaging is not efficient.  Honestly if I owned a company and had employees, I would be tempted to oversee everything and make sure it was perfect.  Must be hard not to do that.
  • When you order a drink and I ask “Small or Large?”, please don’t say “Medium.”  If we had medium, I would have offered it to you.
  • Things aren’t as clean as you’d like to think.  I learned that one in my previous restaurant job.  That one was even less clean than my second place.  But yeah.  Going to a restaurant after having worked in one requires a certain level of denial.
  • Free food is a very nice perk.  At my first restaurant job (I’ve had a total of 2) we didn’t get food.  We didn’t even get a break.  (Labor laws, anyone?)  So at my next job, getting a 15 min break AND free lunch was like the most generous and chill thing I had ever heard of.
  • I can eat lunch at the same place 5 days a week for a year and not get sick of the food.  I guess that’s how we had so many regular customers.
  • Being on my feet all day wasn’t that hard.  But the right shoes were everything.
  • In a big restaurant (5 rooms spanning 3 levels) with a boss who everyone knows and has questions/business inquiries for, it would be great to have a walkie-talkie system.
  • Some of our soups (and probably other things) were made with peanut oil.  And it wasn’t mentioned anywhere.  I’m kind of surprised no one died.
  • Working in a food-related job in a town where people are health-conscious and have a million different diet restrictions is frustrating and time consuming.  And repetitive.
  • You see a person’s true colors when you serve them lunch.
  • If they haven’t hired anyone new for awhile and half of the current employees are “sick” all the time, and you decide to quit, be prepared to be hated.
  • This was a fun job but its not my career nor my life.  At times it seemed like it was both, but really, now that I’m gone, I realize that everything that went with it – my daily routine, my stress, the people I would see every day – is all gone.  And in a year from now, none of it will matter.  Except I’ll still have all the things I learned from working there.

Twitter Wisdom

I am following some really interesting people on twitter.

Backpackers, digital nomads, businesses owners, celebrities, dogs, and of course my own friends and acquaintances.  Twitter is probably one of my top sources for information now – and yes, some of that “information” is a picture of @MissAmyChilds in a dress or @Bentleythegrey taking a nap.  But a lot of it is not only informative, but also educational and beneficial to my life:

@AlexIkonn posted this article by Tim Ferriss called Reinventing the Office: How to Lose Weight and Increase Productivity At Work

And I learned from it that even if I start exercising regularly (as I have been for the last 3 days) the fact that I still sit for more than 6 hours daily makes me more likely to have heart disease than someone who sits less than 3 hours a day and gets no exercise.  Great.  A little tempted to freak out.

But I also read this article and this article and have since concluded that I shouldn’t be worried.  I move around quite a bit during the day, even though I am usually sitting.  And, I rarely sit for 6 hours in a row without getting up, which seems to be their main area for concern.

So it seems the idea here is two-fold: 1) be aware of how much time you spend sitting, and 2) balance is key.  Even though they say that exercise alone is not the antidote for sitting, the point is to sit and move intermittently, and that will at least help you more than a solid 6 hours of sitting followed by a solid hour at the gym.

– – – – –

Another thing that caught my eye in that article was these shoes, which I started to check out but haven’t done enough research to form an opinion on them yet.

– – – – –

My friend Olivia shared this, Is Independence the Key to Happiness?

One line stood out: “Everyone has a unique definition of themselves, so it makes sense that every person needs to follow her own path to a full life.”

Even though I’m still learning and most definitely don’t have everything figured out, I often find myself judging other people’s lives and assuming I know what’s best for them.  Sometimes I act on this and give my two cents, but other times I just silently wish that they’d find a different (ie better) path.

But who am I to judge that?  “Everyone has a unique definition of themselves” – meaning a different definition than the one I have for them.  Who’s definition is more likely to be right?

“So it makes sense that every person needs to follow [their] own path to a full life.”  I know that if I spent my life doing what other people wanted instead of what I wanted, I would not be happy.  (Remind me to tell you sometime about my experience in college.)

Reading that quote has most definitely given me a new perspective and will most definitely make me question the next time I feel high and mighty enough to judge someone else’s life choices.

– – – – –

And here’s a great quote from @IrishPolyglot:
The difference between a stumbling block and a stepping stone is how high you raise your foot.

– – – – –

Something not found on twitter:

From the book White Space is Not Your Enemy, I learned that “people read words, not letters” and that typing in all caps makes the words lose their shapes, and thus they aren’t as easily readable.  If you’re typing something in all caps in an attempt to communicate your point more strongly, think again.