Posts tagged "self improvement"

Racing Against The Clock!

(Photo via Tumblr)

Time Management…oh how I love the thought of doing it successfully. The reality is that many of us are struggling. We have so much to do but we have little time to do it.…scratch that. We have so much to do and we aren’t aware of all the time we have to do it.…That’s better. School has begun. Many of us are entering a new stage in our lives. Becoming a freshman…becoming a senior. Though we are diving head first into these new experiences, there are a few things we can keep in mind in regards to managing our time.


Assignment written. Assignment complete! Many of us are guilty of pushing back work with the hopes of completing it at a later date. This can be problematic because realistically we find that the time spent watching YouTube or on Snapchat, could have been spent starting, and possibly completing, a paper. So I advise you to complete your assignments when given.  This leaves you with more free time later.


Shut it off and Tune in! As briefly mentioned before, many of us are active on various social media platforms and some of us have a small addiction to it. Your ability to shut off your device and tune into your work is a challenge but I believe you can do it. When you think of time management think of discipline. Your ability to control your bad habits not only helps with time management but also in life.


Charts. Calendars. Timers. Timing is key. Literally. If managing your time is spent complaining about lack of time, it is time to get a planner and calendar. You can track all your assignments and put them in time slots. This is where discipline is needed. Though you will not receive penalties for going over the time you’ve given yourself, the stress that will result will be punishment enough.


Help me! Help me! This one is simple. If you spend your time looking confused at your homework-get help. Work in friend groups, get tutoring. There are many different methods one can use to get help. You are never limited in your resource when you have access to the internet. The time spent will help you greatly in the long run. The key for time management is staying focus.


Written by teen blogger, Brynn Hutchinson


As women, we are emotional creatures. Our emotions help us to be skillful nurturers, make us more intuitive, and help us to empathize with others. Being so emotional is one of the key characteristics of our femininity, but when we don’t keep our emotions in check, they can wreak havoc on our lives. Therefore, I believe that we should embrace our emotional nature while learning to control those emotions that are such an integral part of us.

Emotions are very powerful tools. They are so powerful that they are abstract things that can produce a physical reaction. Just think about it. When you experience certain emotions, your body often reacts physiologically to that feeling. When you’re sad you may cry. When you’re nervous you may sweat and have an increased heart rate. If you just think about that for a second, that’s something to marvel at. That’s why I say that emotions are such powerful tools. Consequently, living with unchecked, out of control emotions is almost like walking around with a loaded gun without the safety on – someone can get hurt!

Often, when we think of emotions and their effect on our lives, personal relationships come to mind. I plan to discuss that with you eventually, but today TVI want to take a quick minute to examine how our emotions affect our ability to grow as an individual.

I believe it’s  safe to assume that most of us have areas in our lives that could use some improvement. If you don’t think any aspect of your life needs to be enhanced, then your emotions are getting the best of you early on in the self-improvement process. Believing that we are always right is one of the pitfalls of unchecked emotions. We can get so caught up in pride or other emotions that we’re oblivious to our shortcomings. The first step to checking your emotions is getting them out of the way so that you can see where you need to make some changes.

Making personal changes is hard work because you’ve been who you are for a long time. It’s habit. It’s what’s natural, so trying to do something outside of that is just tough. When you start to walk the path of self-improvement and the road gets rough, your emotions are going to kick in and remind you how easy it would be to just stay how you are.  For me, it’s usually feeling overwhelmed by the seeming enormity of the task or frustration by not seeing progress as quickly as I would like that makes me feel like quitting. If we quit there, then we’re letting those emotions control us when we should be controlling them. Just like those emotions make you want to give up, there are emotions that you can call on that will motivate you to keep going. Determination, pride, accountability to yourself and others can all inspire you to push forward.

In order to be the best version of ourselves, we have to exercise control and balance in every arena. Our emotions are no different. As powerful as emotions are, they are also very fluid. The smallest thing can make them change. You can’t let something so flimsy be the thing that determines your behavior. You can’t let them control you. Exercise some discipline and learn to control them. Use them to fuel your success. Being a woman is an awesome thing, and having strong emotions can be one of the biggest perks of having two X chromosomes when you know how to make them work for you.

-Tiffany Vicks

You Wanted It, Now What?


Relationships, Latest | by — February 11, 2013

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I have a two year old nephew who is one of the cutest and sweetest little boys you ever want to meet. All of that cuteness is masking a serious character flaw. He is stingy. He’s the type of kid that will play with a toy, put it down to play with another toy that he likes more, but will forget all about the better toy if he sees someone start to play with the first toy that HE WALKED AWAY FROM. He runs over and snatches it away from whoever has it, but then he just stands there like he doesn’t know what to do. That’s probably because now that he has it he realized that he didn’t really want it in the first place. So he goes to look for the toy that he really wanted, but it’s gone. I don’t get it. He had the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things – actually had them in his grasp – but he missed out on them because he was too concerned with what was in his past. He’s two, so he’s got some time to get himself together, but what about the 22, 32, or 42 year olds who do the same thing?

TVMy nephew does this because he’s stingy and doesn’t want anyone else playing with his toys. I believe older people do this for a lot of different reasons. The two that I encounter most often are fear and laziness. I have been in a lot of situations where I have hoped for something better. Sometimes it was something as simple wanting new clothes or shoes. Other times, I’ve prayed for a different job, or some other opportunity that I felt would move me up to the next level in my life. Here’s the thing, though. Every time I have been blessed to receive something that I asked for to upgrade my life, it required more of me. I buy new clothes, shoes, or some big ticket item; I have to put in work to pay for it. I get a promotion, it comes with more responsibility. I get a great new job that pays more; I have to move.
Sometimes, I get what I ask for, but I’m so intimidated by what it requires of me that I consider putting it down and running back to what I left behind. My most recent example of this was a bout with laziness, not fear. I love music, especially hip hop. For a very long time, I have wanted to learn how to DJ. Not long ago, the opportunity to learn just fell into my lap. I was so excited about it the first few weeks, but it started getting a little rough to work a full day then go spend another 4 or more hours at DJ training. I was thinking about not going one day a few weeks ago, but it hit me that this was something that I asked for. It’s an opportunity to move things in a different direction… to step up to the next level. Who do I think I am to ask for something then turn it down or squander the opportunity when I actually get it? I had to check myself.  Since then, I’ve been making it to every class and really enjoying them. A few hours ago, I was on the phone with a friend. She was saying that she wants another job, a better job, but is a little afraid to leave the company where she’s comfortable, even though she doesn’t like her current position. If she let’s fear keep her stagnant, who knows what she’ll be missing out on.

The Bible says that to whom much is given, much is required. Sometimes in order to reap the benefits of the things that we asked for and were fortunate enough to receive, we have to give more of ourselves. Don’t let excuses fueled by fear and laziness keep you from the greatness that you’re meant to achieve.

From College to “Casa”

It isn’t a hoax or a myth that one changes when they go to school. The transition of college to “casa” is even harder than the college transition itself.

With transitioning into college for example, you are from one stagnant location. The culture, people, and ways of life aren’t greatly changing at a rapid pace. You can visit Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, and Oakland and in 30 years you can feel as though nothing has changed. Yes, people may have grown taller and a neighborhood may have grown wider but those cities did not progress to the extent in which an active, young, mind can expand to. Because of this fact, when learning at a college out-of-town and especially out-of-state, you will exceed your hometown, or rather, the people in it.

Once you’ve gotten into college, you will begin to be yourself; you find people who look like you, think like you, share more than one interest, or simply are attracted to you just for being different! All out-cast find an in-crowd in college… too often are we subdued or perceived to be or act a certain way with hometown friends and fam. We are expected to always do something or take care of something that has been made routine for your life even if you haven’t felt that it was right for you to take on this responsibility. Someone may have always been the “mother figure” while at home but preferred to be the college student once they’ve gotten back. Some dynamics of the household totally change! Someone may also dislike the over-protective parent(s) who act the same way after their daughter has come back home. After we have lashed out in a suitable manner, partied hard, hung out late nights, stayed up till early mornings, slept over at a friends dorm or house, we don’t want to circum to the same boundaries, curfews, and restrictions we respected back in high school. Our parents are NOT understanding, NOT willing, and NOT RIGHT!

So you know what you do? You run way!

Ok, not literally, but you engage yourself into projects. If staying at home for any lengthy amount of time seems detrimental to your emotional, physical, and psychological well-being, you have the ability to stay away completely. Finding an internship with an organization, company, union or old high school allows you to stay busy and active. Simply studying abroad or going to your best friend’s house in another state can give new experiences, fun, and a big break from your fam. Do something to stay sane and satisfied.

9 times out of 10 if you do these things, including getting involved with sports in order to travel, compete, and stay fit you will A) gather the emotion you need in order to miss your friends and family at home or B) stay busy and leave maybe a cleared week where you spend time in your home town before going back to your internship or job and increase the power of your absence; allowing people to spend time with you which they will essentially value more. People love high maintenance.

Even if your situation is like mine: you get to leave the house at any time, drive, club, party, sleep over your friend’s house, speak freely, and date freely, college will still alter the connection you have with your friends, siblings, and parents.

If you’ve taken a course on “African Appreciation” with a friend, for example, you can come home, tell your mom, sisters and brothers and they will never learn to truly appreciate the class as you have. The connection between the people you love and your new friends for life, then, fall under the category of understanding. Your friend who has taken the class with you has partially gotten the same experience and digested the same concept of the classroom that you received. Therefore, they are more likely to connect with you as you both work towards intellectual progression. While our parents, siblings, and friends may grasp all you can tell them about a certain subject, at the end of the day they haven’t experienced your learning, trips, and environment for themselves.

The lack of experience is what tears all of us apart; jealousy, boastfulness, rude comments, advice, hate, joy, acceptance, denial, all come from specific experiences in our lives. The one’s who don’t go through the same thing or recognition of the same journey will ultimately grow apart from you out of disconnection.

This change and  expansion is something we all must respect to be true and real.
College to Casa can be a challenge, but always remember, home is where your heart is.

Iyanna James-Stephenson