Common Sense Tip of the Week: #7

#7 – Know when enough is enough.

Ahh I can hear it now. My parents screaming at me telling me to know when enough is enough. Only fitting that I heard it again last week from my mom regarding these articles. I wrote my previous article this week because she made me realize I had lost track of what this blog was supposed to be. Therefore this will be my last common sense tip. So here goes.

Knowing when enough is enough is such a disregarded rule of thumb nowadays that it sometimes can come off as a talent. Me being one of the biggest abusers of this rule, go above and beyond “enough” quite often. Mainly because I like to stretch my limits and see how far I can take it. However that usually ends in somebody being angry with me or me just coming off as a jerk. Taking things to that length simply creates problems that are unnecessary and, most of the time, stupid. Next time, somebody is short with you because you take things too far, look back on what you did. Chances are you’ll sit there and wonder what you were thinking and why you would do that. Next time you are testing the limits just stop to think what will the consequences be if you keep taking things a step further.

Now that I am all done with these common sense tips there was simply just one reason for these: take some time to think rationally before acting. Not everything you do will be in a rational state of mind so if you need some time to think about the consequences of what you are doing or about to do, just take that extra minute. That and listen to your parents and elders, they know more than you do. So thanks to my mom and dad and my brother and sister for always teaching me these lessons, even though I probably never actually followed them when I was younger.

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Memories and Making them Great

Memories are some of the most amazing things we have and they should not be taken lightly. However, lately we have forgotten how to make them great.

Constantly I am seeing Snapchat stories filled with over ten, yes TEN, minutes of videos while people are at a concert. Why? Is what’s happening on that app more exciting than the concert? Are you too busy seeking affection and approval from others that your forget you are at a concert?

Memories are made through an experience, not through photos and videos. When you take a video or photo of your experience rather than experiencing it, you won’t have as much to reminisce on later. Don’t get me wrong photos and videos can help you remember your experiences better but don’t focus on making the photos your memories.

It comes down to whether or not you want to remember the event or remember what pictures you took while you were there. This is a lost value in our generation as we have great photography tools in the palm of our hands. Combine that with the need to let everybody know what we are doing at all times just to seek approval and affection from them, we no longer make our memories through the experience but rather through a poorer quality version of the event. That is what pictures and videos are; a lesser quality version of what was actually happening.

Starting at a young age my parents taught me the value of an experience and I never truly grasped it until I was a senior in high school. My parents made sure to take us on great vacations, from traveling across the country in an RV with my whole family for a month to experiencing Italy with all my friends and family to going to several sports events. Through these vacations and adventures I learnt that it wasn’t about where we were going but about immersing yourself in the experience. Enjoy being there, enjoy being with those that are close to you, experience the differences to your everyday life and take those memories that you made there back with you.

Compare that to your focus being on capturing a great picture anywhere you go. Again not saying photos are a bad thing, just make sure you have your priorities in order. Experience first, photos second. You will have a much better time looking back at your experience through your own memory than you will looking back through all your photos and videos.

A picture is worth a thousand words and this blog post is only 442 as of right now. So pictures can definitely tell a story and help us relive a past experience, just be sure that next time you’re at some sort of concert, vacation or whatever, to make your experience great with those that are there with you. Do not focus on making your experience seem great to those people that aren’t even there with you because in the moment those people don’t matter.

If you don’t experience life it makes it hard to look back at what you did and say it was worth it. Just live your life and live it to its full potential and do not have any regrets at the end. Focus on living in the here and now rather than living in our virtual world of social media and the internet.

Common Sense Tip of the Week: #6

#6 – Don’t ask, don’t tell.

Such a simple and overlooked rule. It comes off negative sometimes as well which is probably why so many people choose to shy away from it. However, this rule went out the door as soon as social media became a thing and maybe even before that with cell phones and instant messaging. It was no longer don’t ask, don’t tell and instead it was just tell. Go around telling people everything about your life. Why? Sincerely I do not care what you just ate or where you were last night. If I did care about that stuff guess what, I would have asked you about it! See how this works? Pretty simple. This just means that everybody is going around telling their online “friends” things that they do not need to know nor do they care about. This then creates the impression to the posters that people do care because they don’t know any better. I have said this for a while and I will continue saying it: Giving everybody a voice is social media’s biggest strength and their greatest weakness.

 

P.S. Back to the self-awareness post, I know I fit this mold perfectly because of this blog but hey, had people not liked it I would have stopped already.

Common Sense Tip of the Week: #5

#5- Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.” – Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park (one of my favorite movies ever)

I was having a nice discussion with a friend of mine as we were waiting for class to start and this idea came up and I immediately thought to myself “That’s going to be my tip of the week.” So here it is! We were having a discussion about politics at the time and how many young adults choose not to vote. Us being two of them. Now, before I experience extreme backlash from my entire family (which I already have the first time I said this) let me explain. I do not follow anything politics mainly because I am a college student and I spend my time enjoying my last year of freedom before I hit the real world. I watch the candidate’s supporters and observe their behavior because that interests me, I do not follow the actual candidates; I don’t know their policies, ideas, personalities, anything of that sort. So our reasoning was why should we vote if we have no idea what is going on? Just go to the booth and flip a coin? No. Just because I can vote doesn’t mean I should. We went off on this topic for a little while quickly moving away from politics to other discussions yet still revolving around the same idea. We talked about students and the irrational decisions they make because they are in college. When you are out drinking and thinking another tequila shot would be great, remember this.

The American Culture and Where it has Gone

It has been a long time coming but I think it is safe to say we have officially lost sight of what defines the American culture.

We used to be the best. Best athletes, engineers, scientists, politicians, artists, etc. Well maybe not the best but we were some of the best and we had an abundance of confidence as well. Which my statement just encourages more American culture but I won’t go tooting my own horn.

Anyway, in the cultural and ethnical melting pot we call America today there is no single defined culture. We have Muslims shouting out that we need to accommodate their culture, Jews claiming they deserve just as much as the Catholics in America, we even have Americans crying out to change our own culture to better suit their wants and needs. With the onslaught of what we call PC culture, if we start accommodating to every single person we will be comprised of a nation full of spoiled brats that are used to getting whatever they ask for.

This is just a gentle reminder to all of those that would like us to modify our culture to suit your selfish person better that we will not do that. Or rather we should not do that.

With the amount of outcry for equality in all sorts of ways it would not be a surprise to see our government cave to these terrorist-like demands. “We want people to not be allowed to say this word.” “We want our religion to be recognized as a national religion.” So you want us to go against what this country was founded on? Free speech? Separation of church and state?

Listen here, have your beliefs, have your faith, follow your religion but do it by yourself. Don’t go around telling everybody that is what you believe in and forcing everybody to try to conform to you and your beliefs. You were the one that came to America well aware of its cultural values and norms DO NOT try to change them. If you don’t like the fact that we will not change our culture for yours, you are free to leave.

Now I know I am coming off a little strong on this one but I believe in this idea a lot. Every great country is unified by having a culture that they are all willing to accept and conform too. We still have the ideas of what makes a great culture but we do not practice them.

There are many directions our country could head in within the next few years and it is scary to think about many of the outcomes because it looks like one hell of a bumpy road.

We need to go back to the basics. Balance between right and wrong. Focus on yourself and your life. Keep to yourself. Help each other out. Unify ourselves as a people rather than pointing out our obvious differences and trying to shed light on them.

We are America. Land of the free and home of the brave. Founded by great people that fought for an actual cause. They didn’t fight to make sure people’s feelings didn’t get hurt they fought to liberate a people from tyranny. Don’t get me wrong we need to evolve and improve our country according to our world today but it is important not to forget about our roots as a country.

Common Sense Tip of the Week: #4

#4 – Be a leader, not a follower.

A great tip I always heard from every adult I met in my younger years. It usually started with “If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you?” That was always a stumper for me as a child because the obvious answer was no but I wasn’t quite sure what was wrong with that, though I knew there was. Now that I’m older I can see what was wrong: it is too extreme of an analogy for a child. We understand not to jump off cliffs but it was simply to teach us to take the road less traveled. This is something that should stick with everybody especially coming out of college or even going into college. Choose your own path and do what pleases you not your parents, friends, or anybody else. Sure it can be nice to please your friends and family but it is much more rewarding and satisfactory for yourself to focus on your happiness. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t do something just because you aren’t the first one to do it or because other people have done it before, it is simply saying that don’t act on something just because somebody else did. Follow your own path and it will lead to a more blissful life.

Gentlemen or Gentle Men?

There seems to have been a significantly higher number of gentlemen in each of the generations before Generation Y compared to the amount of gentlemen actually in Generation Y. For several reasons of course, a few of which I have outlined below:

  • Not showing respect to those we don’t believe have earned it. Which is terrible. We have preconceived notions of people without knowing their full story. The people we disrespect have probably done enough to earn our respect ten times over but we don’t know that so we go on disrespecting them which does not bode well for us.
  • We measure against ourselves against each other. This is the complete wrong thing to do. In a generation that cries out for individualism it is amazing to see how many of us look at somebody else and say “I’m better than them.” Says who?? There is no way to measure your abilities against theirs because they are a different person. The only person you should measure yourself to is your previous self. That’s it.
  • Trouble giving forgiveness. Simply put, if you’re angry at somebody, get over it. Staying angry at someone or something is a waste of time and energy that could be put to better use. Life is too short to hold grudges. You don’t have to be best friends with them but don’t go around actively hating them because it makes you look immature. Don’t be the guy that only has negative things to say about people when they are brought up in conversation. Which sort of leads into the next point.
  • Don’t talk about people, talk about ideas. See the post “Gossip: The Lowest Form of Conversation.”
  • We let other’s perceptions define us. This is something I have touched on here and there with several of my other posts, mainly in my first post about the value of a like. Letting other people’s perceptions define you shows a lack of individuality and lack of respect for yourself. How can somebody respect you if you don’t even respect yourself? Embrace your individuality and be who you want to be.