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It’s OK Not to Dream Big.

Do your goals and ambition control you?

They don’t “control” me, though “control” is a funny word.

My ambitions guide me, and they shape me as I realize them. But they in no way prevent me from enjoying the moment, whichever one that is.

Like any other generation that looks smugly down on the one slightly younger, I routinely roll my eyes at kids and young adults I see on Instagram, Vine and Twitter. The frivolous entitlement, fixation on pop culture (that yes, I share with them) and obsession with selfie-fueled narcissism all make me cringe when I loop that Vine.

But then I am met with the “other” kids who are in a totally different state of mind from their counterparts. These are the selfie kids who just finished school and want to seek wisdom for what they should do next. I love to relate to them because one of my most vivid memories encompasses my first summer after college.

And how absolutely terrified I was.

Life starts with big dreams we haven’t thought through. Life continues on after you’ve realized your dreams will actually take a lot of work (that you may not be willing to do).

My dreams have always been based on values I have. Not fame, and definitely not my career. My dreams aren’t “big” in the conventional sense. I never told myself that someday I’ll change the world. I never promised my family and friends that one day I’ll be the best writer with the best writing job. Mostly because that will never happen.

Instead, I crafted my dreams around what I cherish. My spiritual life. Writing. Changing the worlds of people I love.

I accomplished some of those dreams, and some unexpected things have happened as a result of that.

They didn’t happen because I forced them too. I started a blog because I love to write, not because I wanted to be the next “whoever.” I simply wrote about the things I love and let myself grow.

You’re probably in the same boat, whether you’re a blogger, journalist or just someone with a cool story to tell. Don’t worry about who’s going to read your thoughts. Get over the fact that you probably won’t accomplish every single desire your happiness-starved heart demands of you.

Your passion is way more fulfilling than happiness, after all.

So it is OK to dream big. But it’s also OK to simplify. And it’s way better to dream “well.” You’ll have an easier time weeding out the ones that aren’t worth having.

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5 Things You Need to be Doing in College Right Now

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No matter what year of college you’re in at the moment (freshman, senior, or otherwise), there are numerous ways to prepare yourself for the competitive job market ahead. 

Go on…5 Things You Need to be Doing in College Right Now

Lessons I Learned from the Real World of PR

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What can you really expect from the living the life of a public relations professional?

I gave a speech a few weeks ago to a room full of college students who happen to be PR hopefuls. A lot of the speech covered what I want to talk about here, but the main takeaway for me was how surprised I was by the comments afterward.

Go on…Lessons I Learned from the Real World of PR

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Relationships in College

College is like a big party where you spend time with several different people, some longer, some shorter. Post-college is when we realize just how awkward we were throughout.

Go on…5 Things I Wish I Knew About Relationships in College

What if You Don’t Love What You Do?

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Have you ever had that realization that you hate your profession?

Go on…What if You Don’t Love What You Do?

Leaving “Stuff” Behind

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“Those who save their life will lose it. Those who give up their life will save it.” This is a famous passage from Luke 9:24 that I believe almost anyone can grab value from.

Why?

I’m rapidly learning how to give up the things I have clung to in order to gain something far more valuable. I don’t want to generalize, but it has to be said that a common attitude among new professionals like me is that we need to conserve everything we have and avoid any and all risks that threaten our current status.

Example: I left the town I graduated college from and worked for about 5 months. It was a great experience, but I eventually needed to make the next step in my career. I made what I still believe was the right choice and took a job in the same town I went to school in.

It hasn’t been easy, only humbling. Still, time has passed and eventually I’ll have to leave again for whatever is next. And this definitely won’t be easy.

Life here is comfortable. I have everything I need, and yet I am certain that my ambitions don’t lie here. Rather than cling to the life I know and love, I have to give them up for something that will eventually be better. Something that will be fulfilling.

The hard part is leaving “stuff” behind. I’ve built a life here. I have so many things I’ve invested in here, so the idea of leaving them behind is daunting. But it’s necessary.

Some of you have taken risks in the past. You’ve moved on from them and may find yourself clinging to what you put aside before.

I never realized how easy it is to fall into this trap, so I encourage you to let it go, as I need to.

Claim that confirmation you have. Make the sacrifices you need to make so that you can finally settle on what you want in your life once and for all.

If this seems impossible to you, but you still have that desire, surround yourself with those who challenge you. Talk to someone older about what they’ve learned and accomplished. Find ways to encourage yourself and build a clearer vision.

In short, stuff is stuff. We can gain it. We can lose it. What we won’t always have access to is opportunity. Know the right opportunities from the flimsy ones. Seize the opportunities that are worth sacrificing your “stuff” for.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

Don’t forget to check out New Professional News every day, updated at 8am for a list of today’s main headlines as selected by my editorial team (me) 

Why Our Generation is Depressed

Why Our Generation is Depressed

There are three main things that affect our emotions:

Environment is a big one, since our moods directly correspond with where we are at and our basic sensory concepts.

Events obviously have a lot to do with our mental states, as they typically reflect how we react and interact with the circumstances of our lives.

Well, I want to talk about people. How do people fit into what we’re feeling either positively or (gasp) negatively?

Depression is the topic at hand here, and I believe the onset of negative emotions in relation to people is typically chalked up to very basic suspects. Things like failed relationships and a troubled family life are usually discussed.

I want to go deeper, though! I want to address something I think a lot of new professionals like me go through once college is over and the next chapter of life takes hold. I don’t think I need to underscore how intense of a transition that can be, after all, so just bear with me.

I was a bit of an extracurricular nerd back when I was a sophomore in college. I remember being in a psychology lecture held late at night for no extra credit. It was just a special speaker talking about developmental psychology, and I’ll never forget her key anecdote that addressed the first time she went through depression.

The basic story is that a shift in her environment, moving away after college with her husband, caused her to experience a gradual rise in depression without her even realizing it. It was almost a year before she even recognized she was depressed.

Now, this example involves environment (in this case, a new one), an event (moving), and people (losing close relationships). These factors and more led to her becoming, well unhappy with her life. She talked about how she couldn’t even describe what was bothering her, but it negatively affected many aspects of her life. She couldn’t sleep well, eat right, or even find work rewarding.

I say all this because I’ve noticed to a degree that this is very common, not only because it has in fact happened to me, but also because I see it in the lives of friends I know all over the country. Obviously, the severity is varied, but this problem seems to resonate with a lot of postgrad millennials (I would love to do a study on this by the way).

We can analyze all day about why millennials are going through this. Some great theories have to do with how collective mentality is far more prominent within our demographic compared to more individualistic generations before us. That would explain why social pressures and expectations may impact us more than they probably should.

Of course, my boss would say it’s because the concept of actually working and facing tangible problems is something our generation wasn’t prepared well enough for. Few can argue with me that millennials are lazy. While we may have fantastic, creative minds, a lot of us have more trouble actually executing the work.

I certainly don’t have any concrete answers, but I do have my own experiences to call on, and I am quickly becoming more aware of what societal mood changer affects me the most. People.

One of my mentors left me with this notion many years ago: “Show me who your friends are, and I’ll either tell you who you are are or who you are going to be.” 

I’ll never admit it to him, but I’ve shaped almost every friendship according to this credence ever since he first said this to me. And it rings true. The people we surround ourselves with have a lot more to do with our emotions and mental states than we sometimes realize.

This has definitely been a beneficial concept to live by in the sense that I’ve surrounded myself with good people with fantastic ambitions and morals, but my emotional state has also been greatly impacted by these people over this past year since becoming a new professional.

 

I’m not saying my friends make me depressed or anything like that (not all of them at least), but I have found incredible data relating to my most productive, positive phases in life.

Surprisingly, the best times I’ve had this past year where I was the most driven, focused, and mentally healthy were times when I was investing my emotional energy into close relationships, especially family.

Of course, my most lethargic and scattered phases have been times when my life has basically been an episode of Dawson’s Creek. 

Without getting too personal here, I’ll conclude what seems to work for me when wrestling with these problems. If you’re not sharing your life with people and allowing others to affect your mental being positively, then you’re only letting yourself take in the negative.

It’s not the deepest statement in the world, but let’s hope that at least got you thinking.

Like what you read? Connect with me further via twitter @JonNegroni. I’ll follow back if you seem like a real person. You can also subscribe to this blog by clicking the “follow” button in the top-left corner.

Don’t forget to check out THE JON REPORT every day, updated at 8am for a list of today’s main headlines as selected by my editorial team (me) 

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