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  1. Spend time with yourself. I think a lot of people go through life scared to be alone; society has created this ideology that finding a significant other to spend your life with is the end goal. The flaw in this perspective is you exert all of your energy searching for qualities and characteristics in other people, that we neglect our own self discovery. I find that isolating myself from other people and social media allows my thoughts to wander and my perspectives to become more clear. When you remove external distractions, you are left with yourself… the only guaranteed consistent aspect of your life. Learn what makes you feel most at peace when you are alone. Learn what makes you feel most anxious. Learn how you talk to yourself when no one else is around. 
  2. Find opportunities for YOU, don’t wait or they may never come. It can be intimidating to follow your dreams, because you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone… and sometimes, you have to do it alone. As you grow older, it is important to seek out opportunities that will benefit you. In order to do this, you need to know yourself, your passions, your goals, all as an individual. This highlights the importance of spending time with yourself so you can determine what is important to you. Oftentimes, we seek others’ opinions and advice on what is best for us whether it be a job, a school, a trip, etc. Although these suggestions can be beneficial, they are coming from someone else who has their own perspective of who you are and what is best for you. Something that no one will ever be better at than you, is knowing yourself. So use that to your advantage, and stop waiting for opportunities to come to you.
  3. Know the purpose of everything you do, then decide if you are doing it for the right reasons. It is easy to go through your days marking off tasks like a checklist. Take some time to reflect on what you are doing and the purpose of it. Maybe you are working out to clear your head, or maybe it is to lose weight, or maybe it is because someone made a comment about your body that made you insecure. Notice that the same act of working out could serve multiple different purposes. This is a simple example that occurs in peoples’ everyday lives. Now consider the act of applying for graduate school. Maybe you are applying because you need a graduate degree to get the job you want, maybe you are going because that is the “next step” after undergraduate school, or maybe you are going to make your parents proud because they both went to graduate school. This example shows the difference between internal and external motivators that lead us to make a decision. Consider what is motivating you to do something, then determine if you are doing it for the right reasons. 
  4. NEVER compare yourself to anyone. One of the worst habits almost every person has to some capacity is comparing themselves to others. For some reason, we measure a lot of successes by comparing the results of different people. Every person’s mind and body works differently, and for that reason comparing yourself to others is ineffective. As soon as you stop comparing yourself, you will be able to grow so much more as an individual because you will have a fair competition to make yourself better physically and mentally.
  5. Stop finding excuses, anything is possible. Nothing in life is going to be easy – so remember that now. There will always be challenges testing your perseverance; it is up to you whether you turn that challenge into an excuse or a motivator. Sometimes, the “impossible” challenges will lead you on a different path that is more realistic and beneficial for you. Excuses will hold you back mentally, but your mind is a lot stronger than you think. Instead of thinking why something can’t work, try to keep the mindset that you are going to make it work.
I am majoring in business administration and minoring in leadership at NC State University. I enjoy writing in my free time about my life experiences. I started my website and included a personal blog with some of the pieces I have written.
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