A boring-tivity exercise: Doomed to be boring

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The only person who can limit you and your efforts toward success is the same person who knows JUST how much you can achieve.


I was recently given an assignment to select 10 character traits out of 50 I felt best described me. I didn’t know it at the time, but the purpose of this assignment was to assess my degree of creativity. Each word had a different point value assigned to it, and when added up, a “creativity score” was determined.

I was shocked when I looked at the results; I landed in the embarrassing “average” range of creativity! Me? Averagely creative? I compared my list of character traits to those associated with creativity with great concern.

A few of the traits I felt aligned with my personality included:
Determined
Flexible
Polished
Sociable
Tactful
Thorough

A few of the traits that related to creativity (that I did not choose) included:
Absent-minded
Impulsive
Informal
Unpredictable
Restless

The instructor leading this exercise asked, “Is creativity important?” We all responded in the affirmative.

He then asked, “Is creativity important in your line of work?”  Again, yes.

But then he asked, “So if you are not creative, will you be successful?” To which I responded “YES.”

Apparently that wasn’t the answer he was looking for.

“How?” he asked. “Why would you think you could succeed without being creative?”

“Because this is just a quiz.” I answered.

My instructor went on to inform me that this particular assessment has been thoroughly vetted, tested in reputable institutions, and is “very reliable.”

“But don’t worry,” he said. “We need analytical minds to assist those who are creative.”

So that was it. I was doomed to be boring! I listened with eagerness to the rest of that lecture, taking notes on the suggestions made to increase my seemingly unimpressive, average level of creativity. It was a good lecture and I sincerely appreciated the suggestions. Yet I couldn’t shake a feeling of frustration.

But what about my love for free-style rapping?

What about my ability to turn popular songs into ridiculous parodies?

What about my time spent on stage? I’ve become the character of a ditzy waitress, stuck up mean girl, a talking bear, princesses — even a wooden BOY at one point (yeah, I was Pinocchio when I was 11. No, you can’t find pictures anywhere).

AND I’M NOT CREATIVE?

In my professional life, I’ve helped create marketing content for a healthcare market research company, an heirloom clothing restoration company, a 5K running series, performing groups…

AND I’M NOT CREATIVE?!

I once spent a 12-hour ride on a school bus to Idaho creating a pulley system to smuggle snacks and notes to the back of the bus (where the boys were sitting, obviously).

Yet this assessment would have me believe that I am not creative! Or not anything more than the average level of creative, anyway. Just like that, I was put into a box. I am the “analytical type” and not the “creative type.”

First of all, what is the point of this assessment? Why would it be useful to have a trivial creativity rating? (BuzzFeed quizzes I understand — obviously people NEED to know the answer to “Which Disney Prince Would You Most Likely Marry?”)

But why would anyone wish to confine themselves to the limits and expectations of a trivial creativity assessment?

“But it’s very reliable. It’s been vetted by reputable institutions.”

I don’t care if my college professors think I’m not creative based on a trivial handout. I don’t care if my high school classmates laugh when they remember they voted me “Most Likely To Succeed” my senior year (was that a humble brag? Oops). The CEO of a Fortune 500 company could look me square in the eye, tell me “You don’t have what it takes” and I would still know that’s not up to anyone but ME.

We cannot let ANYTHING or anyone limit us. The only limits we have are the ones we choose to put there.

Are we allowing limitations to be imposed on us by our family members, employers, or society? I would encourage each of us to reflect on our goals and aspirations, however lofty or ridiculous they may seem to an outsider, and ask, “what is holding me back?”

The only person who can limit you and your efforts toward success is the same person who knows JUST how much you can achieve.

And that person is you.

The Instagram Effect

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  • “You always look like you’re having so much fun!”

  • “How do you always look so cute?!”

  • “Oh my gosh, you guys are perfect!”

  • “I’m so jealous of your life!”

What do all of these (REAL) comments have in common?

They are all based on incorrect perceptions of reality. Yeah, you heard me. Not a single comment, however well intended, doesn’t capture anything remotely realistic. Remember this photo?

Photo: V-J Day Kiss

If only the rest of us could experience such a spontaneous moment — completely swept away by passion and happiness. Sound too good to be true? It is. Did you know the woman in this iconic photo was grabbed by a drunken man who was too strong for her to push away?

Here’s an example from my own life. Photo: Instagram Photo

I’m sure that people were at least mildly concerned when they saw me on crutches —something had obviously happened. But how could it really be that bad if I’m making that face, all dressed up with curled hair and makeup, acting like it’s no big deal with that fairly nonchalant caption?

Here’s the truth:

  • I was all done up because Noteworthy had just filmed a music video that night– I didn’t do my hair or makeup for a regular school day even once my entire Freshman year.
  • I was on the verge of tears that whole night, hopping on and off my crutches in between takes. Every other girl had to move around to different spots and dance, but I just had to stay stationary the whole time. (And if you know me, that was HARD. I love to dance!)
  • The two weeks following this photo I wasn’t able to walk. I had to leave school. I spent months after that seeing doctors and getting multiple MRIs only to have no idea what was wrong.

Fast-forward a few months later, after an “exploratory” hip surgery:

Instagram Screenshot

Me and a cute guy, posing like we’re just so adorable, all dressed up. Truth is, we’re not clinging on to each other just because we were madly in love — he’s holding me up. I had just finished 3 weeks on crutches and was determined to walk on my own, but still couldn’t do so very well. I had been hopped up on serious pain medication the whole summer (is that why I look so happy?) and not only was it excruciatingly painful to change out of my baggy sweatpants, I never had the energy or strength to stand up and put on makeup, do my hair, or even shower for that matter.

Is it still adorable? (Well, actually, I still think so…)

Am I making a point here or just convincing everyone that I’m a big fake? I’m not— I’m probably a little too comfortable being a complete weirdo. (Seriously, have you seen this picture? I was 19 and using a WALKER!).

People only see what we want them to see. we build up a reality that is perfect, fun, ideal… and not at all realistic.

And you know what? Usually that’s okay. There’s a lot to be said about people who crave negative attention via social media— always complaining about life’s woes and making people feel bad for them. But there’s a lot to be said about people who like to brag and make others jealous, too. Where’s the happy medium?

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves as we post photos, status updates, etc. why we share what we do. I’ve often told my friends that I feel like pictures are a better version of a journal — so I bombard Facebook and Instagram with my memories and photos. And to be honest, whenever there’s a decent picture of me, heck YEAH I want to share it! Those are rare! ;)

I also like social networking to keep family and friends up-to-date about what’s going on in my life and keep up with their lives, too.

In my opinion, those are pretty innocent reasons to post. But too often I’m snapping a picture of a beautiful sunset* instead of watching the sun go down behind the mountains (as my mom says “WOW!! Look at the sky!! Look at those colors!!”).

*I literally only have one picture of a sunset on my Instagram. And technically it’s a sunrise… but whatever, this was a rhetorical example anyway.

Is social media making us miss out on actually being social?

The biggest beef I have with this “age of Instagram” is that for every picture I post that doesn’t quite tell the whole story, someone else is posting a better one. And I become so jealous of their body, awesome relationship, once-in-a-lifetime vacations, perfect family… and I don’t stop to consider that perhaps they’re only posting the BEST photos, however rare they may be, just like I am.

I think we all know what I’m talking about here. We’re all perpetrators, we’re all victims, and we’re all witnesses to this phenomenon on a daily basis. I’d like to end with this thought-provoking video.

I love technology. I love photos. I love sharing and enjoying what others share. 

But I love the MOMENTS more :)

 

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Groundhog Day Reflections

While I haven’t had to relive the same day over and over, I’ve certainly been faced with a lot of the same life lessons time and time again. Being out on my own has caused me to learn some things. The following list is comprised of 25 suggestions or lessons I’ve learned up to this point in my life:

1. Always take free candy.
2. Just always take anything that’s free.
3. It’s important to take the time to just check in with yourself every once in a while.
4. Pain really is temporary.
5.  It’s okay to wear the same clothes more than once.
6. Ice cream cones are so underrated.
7. An experience is worth far more than a good night’s sleep.
8. That being said, a good night’s sleep is worth far more than we think.
9. You’ll never regret being kind to someone.
10. Being alone isn’t a bad thing.
11. It’s fun to get dressed up.
12. Rejection of any kind hurts.
13. The best things can come from second chances.
14. …And the worst things, too.
15. The problems and worries you face now Continue reading

One Thing:

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If I could have all my friends, family, and people who don’t even know me know one thing about me, I would want them to know I have a testimony of a Heavenly Father who loves us and a Savior, Jesus Christ who knows us and our trials and died that we may live again. I have faith that one day we will live again and be freed from our trials, worries, and afflictions. How wonderful it is to know that life truly will get better! I feel so blessed and am so comforted by knowing that. I have faith that everything we experience in this life really is for a purpose and that our Heavenly Father trusts us and LOVES us enough to allow us those experiences. How humbled I feel to know that even in the hardest trials of my life, my Heavenly Father trusts me enough and has faith in me to get through it and come out stronger and better. Wow. I’m so grateful for the people I come in contact with throughout my life– every person allows me to grow and learn and love a little more. Thank you. I aspire to be a light in someone’s life like countless people have been to me. I love the Lord. I love my Heavenly Father. I have a confidence in and a knowledge of the truthfulness of the Gospel that is on the earth today. Please ask me about it- I would love to tell you. Thank you all for your prayers and know that my heart is incredibly full. I love you all!

Diary of a Failure

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“Life is lived forwards,

but understood backwards.”

– Soren Kierkegaard 1813-1855


I started writing this three months ago.

All I had written was the title and that nice little quote at the top. I was prepared to reveal to the world (the one consisting of the few Facebook friends who actually read my blog) every failure and every disappointment I had faced over the course of my first year at college. I felt like every dream I ever dared to dream was stomped on, crushed, swept up, and incinerated in that huge volcano-looking thing from Lord of the Rings (Mordor? Mount Doom? I don’t know..). My point is: I was feeling pretty low. But then I was like Continue reading

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REBLOG: 19 Hard Things You Need To Do To Be Successful

(not written by me)

The Luthas Center for Excellence

My goal is for all of us to be happy, successful and grow together.. you can find much more daily motivational material like this here:

My InstaGram page: @DameLuthas

Twitter: @DameLuthas

Enjoy the list below ;-)

You have to do the hard things.

  • You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
  • You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
  • You have to give more than you get in return right away.
  • You have to care more about others than they care about you.
  • You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
  • You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
  • You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
  • You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
  • You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers…

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Death Doesn’t Care, but Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Do

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I always have a hard time getting started when I sit down to write. Which is actually similar to how I am in person when I need to “talk” to someone– I don’t know how to start. Right now I have so much to say but the words are stuck in my head, jumbled up and not fitting together or making any sense. Kind of like the way I feel right now.

Nothing makes sense.
I don’t understand what has happened, how I’m supposed to feel, how I actually feel.. Am I supposed to be learning something from this? Am I supposed to get over it and move on or am I supposed to dwell on it until I can figure out how to make things right?

Nothing will make this right.
My friend is gone. I will never hear her all-too recognizable voice or see her sparkling smile ever again.

And now I realize that’s the first time I’ve even mentioned her.

My friend Rachel passed away this week. My beautiful, caring, hilarious, close friend.

And there I go again, thinking about myself.

I will never see her again. Why didn’t I keep in touch with her better? Did she know how much I cared? How am I supposed to get through this?

I’ve been thinking about her family. About how hard it must be to lose a child, a sister…

And of course I’ve been thinking about her.

About how undeserving she is of this fate. She was so young– she had just barely

Continue reading

Being ALIVE

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cropped-972775_4839366185387_184816022_n1.jpgMy brother being alive550975_273196696126781_999097654_n

a·live [uh-lahyv]

adjective

1. having life; existing; not dead or lifeless.

Last week in my Bio 100 class– yes, I have to take that course in order to graduate– we identified some of the fundamental characteristics that make something “alive”. The “characteristics of life”, according to my 100-level Biology class, are that living organisms:

  • are composed of cells
  • exhibit organization
  • reproduce in some form
  • grow and develop; adapt and evolve
  • actively take in energy from their environment; sense their environment and respond to it

First of all, if you actually read that, I’m impressed.

Secondly, Mom and other naggy concerned family– Look, I took notes! I really am getting an education here! 

I never was a “science person” (*insert well-deserved snicker or eye-roll at Jordyn for being an arts major*), but the science of biology in particular has always been my least favorite subject. The question I faced during class of “What makes something alive?”, however, made me lean forward from the sunken down position in my seat to truly ask myself what it meant to be alive.

To set the mood, press play on this video (it will literally only play for 20 seconds and seriously who doesn’t want to be serenaded by Neil Patrick Harris):

So what is “being alive” really all about?

(Or my take on it, anyway…)

  • There’s more to who or what we are than just cells — we’re composed of a soul, intellect, feelings,  likes, dislikes, quirks, talents, imperfections… The sooner we realize that everyone is made up of all of these things, the sooner we’ll be able to better understand the people around us. It’ll be easier to love and harder to judge. We all have to deal with this whole life thing Continue reading

The 28 Days of Thanksgiving Blessings

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For the next 28 days leading up to and including Thanksgiving, I am going to take notice of and record my blessings. By making a conscious effort to ponder my blessings every day, I will be able to better show my gratitude to my Heavenly Father and will ultimately feel happier about my life.

Day 28 (November 28th) – I’m grateful for…

I have so many blessings. It’s ridiculous. When I sat down every day this month and tried to come up with something to write about, it was actually hard to choose just one thing! It wasn’t until I focused on one blessing a day because of this blog experiment that I realized how truly lucky I am. Despite all my health problems, I’m alive and can live a normal life. Despite all my financial troubles, I have a roof over my head and food to eat. Despite the horrible things that seem to happen to my family, I HAVE a family. Despite the moments of failure and disappointment, there are moments of success and satisfaction. I am happy. I am loved. I have a testimony of our brother and savior Jesus Christ and of our Heavenly Father. I have so much to be thankful for every single day and will always have something to be thankful for, no matter how hard my life seems to get.

Day 27 – I’m grateful for family vs. friends. Continue reading

Happiness Is a Choice

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“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you.

Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”

– Alice Walker

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I think that most people would assume I am a fairly happy person.

The most common thing people say about me (to me, anyway) is that they notice I’m always smiling. I find this observation extremely interesting. I have ups and downs, good days and bad days just like anyone else– why don’t people notice my puffy eyes after I spent all night crying? Or maybe they do notice– why aren’t they doing anything about it?

I have no idea.

Sometimes I want people to notice. Sometimes I just want to scream “Hey, you there! I’m suffering over here! Don’t you care?”– that would be easier than sobbing while the water is running or pretending I’m asleep so that no one will know I’m hurting. Letting myself act moody and upset would be easier than putting a smile on my face and saying “I’m great! Thanks for asking!” when really I’m not at all great (but sincerely glad that they asked). Sure, that’d be easy.

But life isn’t easy

Duh. We all know Continue reading

every girl wants to be a princess

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perks of being a princess :)

I am living a fairy-tale life. 

I get to do what every girl wants to at some point in her life (whether they will admit it or not). 

I am a princess.

If you didn’t know me, you’d probably be raising your eyebrows at this point and think “Well isn’t she full of herself”. I’ll admit that the eyebrow raise would be deserved, but not the judgement of my ego.   : ) Here’s the deal: I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to bring a little bit of magic and joy to an otherwise boring and sometimes sad world.

‘How?’ you ask? Well, for starters, Continue reading