Just Think About Forward

In order to innovate, you have to think forward. Focus on today and what you can do to better yourself tomorrow; dwelling on the past will only halt your progress.  This article is inspired by a quote from Issac Morehouse, “Just think about forward”. He said this during one of our Praxis calls and it stuck with me.

The Praxis mindset is centered on constantly evolving and creating value. Improvement is the key to success — I like to wake up every day and think of 3 things I can do to better my situation. Today’s solutions are to:

  1. Spend 20 minutes on building my LinkedIn
  2. Watch one webinar on building Sales Skills
  3. Create one New Piece of Jewelry for my Etsy Shop

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Are you thinking forward? What are three things you are doing to better yourself today?

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The Status Quo Sucks

A year ago, I was unsure of and unhappy with my college plan — then, I discovered the Praxis program. After researching the program and reading motivated, positive reviews back to back, I decided to drop out of college and pursue Praxis. My life took a 360 after my acceptance. I decided that the status quo sucks!

The Praxis program starts with a 6-month boot camp to build and hone in on your skills. Then, you work an apprenticeship to expand your skills. With Praxis, you learn by doing. This mindset is key to your success with this program

Why should you pursue a degree that doesn’t guarantee a job? Why not expedite the college education and avoid paying off loans for 20 years? With Praxis, you can be creating value and growing with a start-up business right now.

The self-motivated, positive, and value-creation mindset that Praxians share definitely breaks the mold. Without going against the status quo, I would have never found Praxis. Innovation is the key to long-lasting success, you can’t get that with the status quo; be bold, be different and always question.

15 Motivational Mantras For Success

“What is a mantra? Mantra is two words: Man and tra. Man means mind. Tra means the heat of life. Ra means sun. So, mantra is a powerful combination of words which, if recited, takes the vibratory effect of each of your molecules into the Infinity of the Cosmos. That is called ‘Mantra.”

-Yogi Bhajan

Mantras have been used throughout history in meditation. They were introduced by Buddhist and Hindu religions and are associated with spiritual practices. The earliest known mantras were spoken in Sanskrit. However, your mantra may just be a positive affirmation. The following mantras are a collection I’ve thought, heard, or read.

Repeating the following mantras CAN make a difference:

  1. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try
  2. Don’t wish for it, work for it
  3. Always forward
  4. Opportunities don’t happen. You create them
  5. I appreciate the good
  6. No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist
  7. Great things never come from comfort zones
  8. I am open to receiving whatever the day may bring
  9. Persistence is vital
  10. The most satisfying time to take the next step is now
  11. I choose to see the possibilities
  12. Aim for the stars with your feet on the ground
  13. I believe in my future self
  14. I am always attracting abundance
  15. Everything I need is within me

Adopting the Habit:

Start with picking a few that you enjoy. Integrate the mantras by saying them while you drink your morning coffee, on the walk to your car, before bed, or anytime you have a few moments to yourself. Personally, I also keep one on my bathroom mirror and one my phone screen background to say every time I look them— it is easy to squeeze in meditation, it’s not about “having” time, it is about making time.

Improve your Enviornment with these 4 Durable Houseplants

I’ve always enjoyed taking care of plants and the greenery that they provide. In addition, humans and plants have a symbiotic relationship. We breathe out carbon dioxide, plants absorb it and release oxygen. Growing plants in your office and home increases your oxygen levels, therefore enhancing the quality of life.

Here are some plants that are durable and fairly easy to care for:

Jade

I always suggest jade because they are fairly resistant and have a long life-span. They have the nickname of “money plant” and are seen by some as a sign of good luck and prosperity. Remeber these things when caring for your jade plant:

  • 4 or more hours of sunlight/day — perfect for south-facing windows
  • warm, dry conditions
  • room temperature but prefer colder in the night during winter.
  • allow the soil to dry between watering (water around every 1-1.5 weeks)

Tillandsia

Also known as air-plants, these perennial flowering plants are native to the forests, mountains, and deserts of Central and South America. You’ve probably seen them on pinterest or at a craft show; they don’t require soil so many use them for art decor. These plants are also very forgiving, so you shouldn’t stress over their care schedule:

  • bright, filtered or indirect sunlight
  • temperature range of 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • watering once per week but 2-3 times is optimal; I always use filtered water because they are uber sensitive to hard water — to water, mist them with a spray bottle and every 2 weeks give them a nice 2-3 hour soak in a bowl of water.
  • fertilize with organic air plant fertilizer once a month

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last two photo’s credit to http://www.homelysmart.com/10-diy-air-plant-holders-for-your-home/

Spider Plant

Spider plants are known for their air-purifying capabilities; in the early 1980s, NASA’s research proved the spider plant could remove harmful indoor air pollutants. They’ve been widely popular since and you can find them anywhere. In addition, they are easy to care for:

  • moderate, indirect sunlight
  • average room temperature and humidity (50-80 degrees F)
  • they prefer dry soil but in the spring and summer months, keep the soil moist to encourage growth.

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Aloe

Not only does aloe improve your environment, it also is a healing plant. One of my first memories of my grandma was her walking around with a piece of aloe plant bandaged to her arm — she would use aloe for burns, scratches, or any skin inflammation.

Some of my other plants:

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A Quick Guide to Essential Oils

Essential oils are the rage when it comes to natural remedies. They have immense healing properties from pain relief to digestion and cold remedies. They are also replacing pharmaceuticals, household cleaners, and other toxic chemicals.

What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils come from plants or trees- depending on the specific plant, the bark, flower, leaf or seed is extracted and distilled, typically by steaming.

Where to buy?

It is essential to purchase your oils from a reputable buyer. You must buy quality oil concentrates and not perfumes or faux chemical mixes. Here is a list of reputable companies and more about their products.

Starting Your Collection-

I would suggest buying several of the ones listed below to start your collection:

  • Lavender

Lavender has a sweet, floral scent. It is a very versatile oil that can aid in relaxation and sleep, relieves stress and anxiety, is great for hair care, and helps in the treatment of respiratory disorders. Lavender is resourceful and I would recommend it to any beginner.

For a great relaxation blend, mix lavender with one or a few of the following: Geranium, Mandarin, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, Neroli, Jasmine, Orange, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Sandalwood

  • Peppermint

Along with lavender, peppermint is one of the most versatile essential oils; it has an amplitude of oral and topical uses. It relieves stomach aches and helps with digestion, helps clear your respiratory tract, boosts energy, relieves headaches, anti-itch properties (I love mixing it with lavender + a carrier oil, it’s so soothing), and also helps freshen breath and reduces cavities. Here is a great DIY toothpaste recipe.

Whenever I’m feeling sluggish or the oncoming of a headache, I like to mix peppermint, lemon, rosemary, and/or bergamot.

  • Clove

Clove Oil is most commonly used as an antiseptic and for ailments of the mouth and throat; gargling diluted clove oil helps ease throat pain and eliminates bad breath. It’s warm aroma also increases blood circulation, boosts the immune system, and is a great insect repellent. I would definitely have this on deck throughout the winter months.

  • Eucalyptus

The minty, sweet, clean smell of eucalyptus aids in cold and flu symptoms, has antimicrobial properties (makes an excellent household cleaner), relieves pain, removes odors, and helps to treat wounds — I love DIY eucalyptus salves for bug-bights and small wounds.

The next time you are sick, mix a few drops of Eucalyptus +Peppermint +Rosemary Essential+ 2 ounces of Jojoba Oil (or any carrier oil really). Rub this mixture onto your sinuses and affected areas.

  • Tea Tree

Some typical uses of tea tree oil are for the treatment of bacterial infections, fungal infections, acne, hair care, and as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions. I love mixing coconut oil and tea tree oil – it can be used as a local antiseptic, hair mask (just make sure to wash your hair thoroughly) and for the relief of inflamed skin.

  • Lemon

Lemon EO smells amazing and has several benefits:  natural disinfectant, mood-enhancer and energizer, teeth whiter, hand-cleaner and degreaser, and remedy for tarnished silver

Ditch the chemicals and make a natural disinfectant: add 40 drops lemon oil + 25 drops tea tree oil+ 1/4 cup of white vinegar to a 16-oz spray bottle and fill with water.

  • Rosemary

Rosemary is commonly used to flavor foods, it also improves gallbladder function and detoxes your liver. Rosemary oil also improves memory and helps you become more alert — I would suggest diffusing it while you work and study.

How To Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are potent concentrates. You must dilute them in one way or another, here are some suggestions:

Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffusers: Diffusers are easy to use for aromatherapy (if you don’t have one, here is a list of popular ones). You simply put water and several drops of your oils, and voila! It will diffuse your oils for a few hours.

Diffuser Jewelry: The Jewelry is either made with lava rock or absorbing pads. Simply apply a drop or two and the oil will diffuse throughout the day. I make essential oil diffuser jewelry on etsy- I create them with re-usable lava rock; you can look natural, yet glam and get health benefits from it!

 

Baths: add several drops your oils to a hot bath (optional: add Epsom salt) I suggest to use soothing oils like eucalyptus, lavender, jasmine, and sandalwood; this aromatherapy bath will help circulatory, muscular, respiratory, and sleep problems, as well as relax and calm anxiety.

Topical: the typical rule of thumb is 2% dilution or about 12 drops per 1 ounce of a carrier oil (jojoba, coconut, grapeseed, argan, or almond oil). This will aid in relaxation and to alleviate body soreness. I love to use oils when giving/receiving massages! Just steer away from the face and injured or broken skin.

Caution: Keep out of the reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use of essential oils.

5 Things I’ve Learned as a Server 

Although my time in the restaurant industry is temporary, I learned so many valuable skills. I am a firm believer that every experience is a good experience,  it is up to you to perceive the value.

Finding Calm WITHIN the storm

It is Friday night, you have 18 heads currently. Table 56 needs a coke refill, the Manhattan to table 58, table 59 needs entrée orders, and oh, the check to 60. In the middle of the dinner rush, you are multi-tasking while under pressure AND keeping a smile on your face.

For me, it’s a few deep, conscious breaths, focusing on my intentions. This can be done anytime, anywhere. Now, I catch myself doing it habitually. It helps me focus and be more present; therefore, handling the task at hand with ease.

Conscious breathwork actually has many health benefits including increased clarity and focus, lower blood pressure, and may even benefit your immune system — researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina found that the group who performed breathing exercises had significantly lower levels of three cytokines that are associated with inflammation and stress in their saliva compared to the control group. Their findings are published here.

Communication

In order to work in customer service, you have to be personable; your people skills dictate your tips. I have always been more reserved but serving tables taught me the right balance. It is essential to be well-spoken and confident but also friendly and humorous.

Being a good communicator is essential for a lot of careers. It is a skillset worth focussing on and polishing as you grow in your career. Professionalism is always my priority but personality and a little wit can go a long way.

Patience

Patience is very important in any industry and in life in general.

Somedays are going to be slow days, the kitchen may have to re-fire your well-done steak, or your last table camps out an hour after they are finished. Things frequently don’t go as planned.

I like the phrase “good things come to those who wait”. One time, it was a slow winter night. I was just serving my second table. Then, randomly, I got a walk-in 8 top. They were incredibly friendly and left me the largest tip I have received to date. Sometimes we act like a dog with a bone; it is important to savor life and appreciate the journey. You never know what may come your way.

Smiling through the negativity

There are bitter customers and co-workers will have bad days or maybe someone spills orange juice all over you – Laugh it out and let it go.

I keep in mind that we are only responsible for our reactions, not other’s actions. Carrying positive energy with you is contagious and always prevails.

When it comes to a dispute, I always ask myself, will this actually matter tomorrow? What about in an hour? This exercise funnels how you are expending your energy.

Being early is always a good thing

Time is money, simple as that. So many times, I’ve come into work early and BOOM, three tables walk-in; boosting my sales and tips for that night. It also gives you time for a buffer – personally, I enjoy this time to prepare and get myself in the zone. I usually practice the specials for the evening and double check my section.

Taking the extra step is always worth it, plus it looks great to managers. Arriving early to work also sets a precedent for being timely in general. When it comes to growing in your long-term career, being a “Last-Minute Larry” can give you a negative reputation. When you are early, it proves that you are accountable; in turn, it proves that you have value.

The restaurant industry is fast paced and fun, yet it is rigorous and hard-as-nails. Everything I learned made my experience valuable and I’m grateful for everything I learned.

Feburary Blogging Challenge

For the next month, I am writing a blog post every day. This challenge will certainly push my boundaries, but will also help grow my value creation mindset.

Prioritizing is key to this challenge. That’s why I’m disciplining myself to sit down and write every single day—even on crazy, busy days like I had today. Between my day job, Etsy business, praxis boot camp curriculum, and my side hustles, I am always occupied. After it is all said and done, it is now 11:19 pm and I am still going!

With that being said, I’ve also become quite the night owl. Another goal for February 2018 is to regulate my sleep schedule. Month-long challenges are a great way to kick-start your mentality and build a habit. By the end of this challenge, I hope to improve my consistency and discipline. You can do anything that you set your mind to. However, it is up to you to follow- through.