Be a “Yes Man”

“Great stories happen when we take action.” 
— Donald Miller

 

What if you were to say “yes” to more questions from people to do something or go somewhere? Would your life be different from what it is now?

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Most of us enjoy being comfortable. In fact, it’s in our DNA. We naturally want to stay in our comfort zones because we view any sort of change as negative. Being in our comfort zones keeps us safe, away from change, but it keeps us in an idle position… we cannot move forward. We cannot grow in our comfort zones.

We are habit-forming beings, meaning we shape habits that become routines. We like schedules, some for the week, some down to the minute. However firm the schedule, all accomplish the same thing: repetition. Day after day, we keep to our schedule and do the same activities, with the same people. Occasionally, we will throw in a lunch with an old friend or a nice stroll through the park… oh how exciting!

So, why not change? Why not break the cycle? Why not try something new or explore a new destination? The only thing stopping you is yourself. Take the leap of faith.

With this being said, I challenge you to a game…. A game in life. But before we begin, there are a couple rules:

  1. Be open-minded.
  2. Step out of your comfort zone.

Here is the game: Say YES!

Answer “yes” to doing things and going places you would normally turn down. Of course, only do so if the idea is something you are OK with and morally agree to. The whole point is to push you to the point of un-comfortability.

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Try it for a day or a week, maybe even a month. See where this little game takes you. You never know, maybe you will find a new hobby, land a new career opportunity, fall in love!

If you are truly passionate and all in on this idea of “yes,” I promise you that your life will change. And that change is good! Don’t be afraid of this change, embrace it and ride on it.

So on this note… enjoy life! Have fun and take risks that lead you outside of your comfort zone. This is when you will grow as a human being. Nothing exciting happens inside walls of comfort. Break out of your comfort zone and SAY YES!

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Be the One Everyone Wants to Meet

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By: Lia Sbisa

It’s no secret the power and benefits that networking has to offer. We’ve been told time and time again…or not, that creating a network of influential and successful people is crucial to one’s success. At a networking event, or just in a venue full of people, we all want to have that golden conversation with the biggest name in the room. It’s only natural to feel that the more people that know them, the more people they know. Your network does not stop with that one person, it extends to all of their networks as well.

As young adults making our way into the working world, and even those already well established in the workforce, it is important to make ourselves noticed and be the differentiator that radiates uniqueness. Be the person that everyone wants to network with at an event or even just at a casual get together.

 

  • Get Involved

 

Whether you’re seasoned in your extracurriculars or just starting out, being a part of something other than work or school is a great way to a) network and b) have something to bring to the table in an introductory conversation. The more you do, the more you will relate to a broader audience (not saying overload yourself).

 

  • You do not have to hold the highest or coolest position.

 

The status you hold within a company may help your networking reputation, but it does not solely dictate how marketable your other attributes may be. Just as we learn from those top notch professionals, they learn from us. Any influential being is on the lookout for more up and coming influential beings.

 

  • Take time to learn about your own experiences and learn to talk about them.

 

If you’re a college student or newly entering the workforce, become an expert on your experiences (internships, jobs, campus news, extracurriculars). Networking with older professionals can be intimidating, but much less tricky if you can relate to an experience even on the most minimum level. If you are more established in the workforce, know a little bit about a lot of things. Nothing is more attractive than being able to hold a thoughtful conversation over something that excites your audience, even if it may not be your cup of tea. This goes for anyone and everyone: READ THE NEWS. However you choose to keep up on current events, just do it, or start doing it if you do not. It is okay to admit that you do not know much about a topic, you become more interesting when you’re interested.

 

  • Be interested in who you’re talking to.

 

As previously stated, you become more interesting when you’re interested. Just a rule of thumb (whether you want to admit it or not), everyone loves to talk about themselves. Be able to relate to a few key topics during a conversation (talk about a travel destination that you have in common, ask about the company they work for and how they got to their position). People like you more when they think you like them just as much if not more.

 

  • Initiate a relationship that grows beyond your initial introduction.

 

Do not let the relationship end with the end of a conversation. If the conversation allows, briefly share your goals for your near future and give a rough timeline of where you’ll be in the next few months and express your interest in keeping in touch. Find common ground and set up a time to check in if you have established a relationship that will last longer than just one conversation. Grab a business card and follow up the conversation with an e-mail reminding whoever it is that you enjoyed their time and throw in your favorite topic from that conversation. 

Believe that you are worth meeting. Be interested. Involve yourself in things that you enjoy. Make people believe you’re worth meeting.

Life Lessons Working in Athletics Has Taught Me

We  have all heard how much participating in sports teaches us: sportsmanship, hard work, dedication, the list goes on and on. I certainly learned a lot from my days on the volleyball court, but working in athletics has taught me even more.

1. Team Work Makes the Dream Work

I honestly have no idea what I would do without my co-workers! We are much stronger together than we are apart. We all have different strengths and weaknesses, but together there is nothing we cannot tackle (pun intended).

2. Have Tough Skin; it is Impossible to Make Everyone Happy

This lesson may have been the hardest lesson for me to learn, and if I’m honest, it is still a work in progress. Do not take every rude Facebook comment to heart; you will drive yourself crazy!

3. Life is Too Short to Have a Job You Don’t Enjoy

The average person spends over ten years of their life working! Make sure you enjoy what you are doing!

4. Fans are Crazy (But we Love Them)

Sports fans take sports VERY seriously, and it is their dedication that makes our jobs fun and exciting! However, fans are also very demanding! 1,000 things could go right during a game, and one could go wrong, and they still focus on the one wrong! Your team lost? Get ready for comments pointing out every mistake of the game; they say it all! Which leads me to…

5. No One Is Perfect

Mistakes, bad play calls, and off games are bound to happen! It is important to realize that coaches, players, and workers are all humans, and make mistakes just like anyone else!

6. Detail Counts

I can tell if a logo is the wrong shade of maroon instantly! Some people may think I am crazy, but details are crucial! Small details add up to make a huge difference.

7. Own It

Don’t know how to do something? Instead of being scared to make a mistake just dive in, get information, and own your decisions!

8. Life isn’t Always Glamourous

Sometimes you have to carry tables, hand out coupons, or clean out a closet; that’s life. Do everything with a positive attitude!

Thank you for reading! Please feel free to comment, and share!

 

Animals are the Best Teachers

I’m a strong believer that every animal has at least one lesson to teach us on our journey. Here are the lessons I’ve learned so far.

Dogs: Dogs love you on your worst days. Dogs love you on your best days. Dogs love you when you yell, cry, laugh, or a combination of all three. Dogs appreciate every little thing you do for them and are the most loyal creatures we can ask for. Dogs absolutely love unconditionally. If I could change anything about dogs, I would lengthen their too-short life span without a second thought. Dogs unfortunately showed me true heartbreak. They become our best friends and a true part of our families, but they all have to leave us too soon. Dogs taught me that grief is the price we pay for love.

Cats: Cats are complex animals with complex lessons. First, I need to clarify one thing: there’s a huge difference between regular indoor cats and BARN cats. I’ve only had barn cats in my life, so I can’t write about the fluffy, declawed, clean, indoor cats. Barn cats are tough. Tough to keep alive, tough to find, tough to micro-manage. When I was little, I was continually devastated that I couldn’t smother them with love. I had a lot of barn cats. The two toughest were (by far) Luigi and Stereo. There were both black and big and ruthless. They tolerated me. As Stereo grew old, he got away from killing gophers and rabbits. He settled with killing only a few mice a day. After a while, Mom started letting him in the house. He became fond of the fireplace and became an indoor/outdoor cat (my dad will deny this.) Cats taught me that it’s okay to be tough and it’s okay to change your life and it’s definitely okay to be alone.

Chickens: If you read my first blog, you know I believe chickens are the spawn of Satan. They taught me how to run, climb fence at record speed, watch my own back, and how to forever fear something that’s 95% smaller than me. Chickens, (roosters in particular) are mean and I’m pretty sure they take pride in this. They’re pompous, rude, and did I mention mean? However, if you grew up on a ranch you know there’s really no escaping chickens. All of the other animals on the ranch started to seem pretty freakin’ nice compared to the chickens. Chickens taught me (although I was reluctant to learn anything from them) you have to live with the bad to appreciate the good.

Fish: Everything dies, or does it? I’ve had a goldfish for 10 years. 10. I won him at the carnival, but he was kind of a burden on the rides so I put him down in the shade. When I came back a few hours later, he was no longer in the shade. The bag was scalding hot and he didn’t look so good. I took him home and put him in my aquarium. He was apparently fine because it only took him a few days to eat all of my other fish. After about a year, my mom told me I had to get him out of the house because he was weirdly big and creeped her out. After a while of struggling with ethics and personal moral values, I decided to dump him in the horse trough on a really cold day. I remember this because I was pretty sure he was going to get belly-up within a few hours. He didn’t. Unfortunately, he’s still alive and well and won’t die. Ever. He swims kinda crooked and turned pure white, but he seems as happy as if he had good sense. His name is Carni.

Horses: My friend Codi Uecker once summed up the most important lesson horses were able to teach me over the course of 22 years. She wrote, “I think about all of our successes and all of our failures. It never mattered which occurred, just that we did it together. The number of failures we earned only made our time of triumph that much greater.” This is how it always has been and always will be. Always.