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In marketing and advertising, we talk about brands, logos and redesigns all the time. What makes them unique? Will it help the company with this change? Is it worth the investment? Will this change, make a difference and ultimately “change” the ROI to be worth it? We can relate to this in our own lives too, especially those who are on a path to discovering who they are as a person and establishing their own brand identity.
I have literally taken a Break In The Action myself…a couple month hiatus, but now I am back, including having read several sports biz books on my previous post you can find here. I had been thinking of a good post…and there were so many topics I could choose from, ones that I related to and ones that were relevant to right now…I often channel what I am feeling through music lyrics, however, I couldn’t really do that either. I am excited to get back in the swing of things and start writing again. As always, topics are welcome at any time!
Knowing that my main focus of this post was change, I decided to look up the word: to transform or convert, to become different, to become altered or modified, to pass gradually into, a change or exchange, metamorphosis, revolutionize, modification, development; variation… there are a lot of meanings of the word “change”. Even over the past several months there is change all around you. All of a sudden Facebook statuses begin to go from “i am so hung over” to “I haven’t slept, the baby kept me up til 3am”. Still, way too much information to share on a social media website, but yet, it’s a form of change we are seeing more frequently as we get older.
I thought of how I’ve changed, if I have changed at all…I’d like to think I have toward a positive direction. I sat for a few minutes today thinking what has evolved over the past several months. Was I able to control it? Not even a little bit. Several recent “fortuitous” encounters had both fortunate and unfortunate consequences…could I control them? Nope. I have looked at those changes, or meetings or events as “happy accidents”. The recent changes have also made me realize that I need to stop trying to control and just let things fall as they may, obviously with proven effort behind it. Hopefully the good from these encounters will be bigger than the bad.
I’d love to share a quote that I read in a book I have just started to read. I have a feeling I’ll be jotting down a few of these quotes from time to time. This one reads: “Bread takes the effort of kneading but also requires sitting quietly while the dough rises with a power all its own.” How spiritual are we talking here? That’s for each person to decide. But it does give an important message. Not only is there effort to be made to get the result we eventually want, but the patience and resistance of not trying to speedy up the process of change.
While it isn’t exactly bread, although I do love watching Food Network (for hours) and attempting to make my own delicious creations, bread can mean just about anything, but allowing one’s self to do something different or out of our comfort zone while continuing on the familiarity lines we’re used to. I firmly believe life is very similar to the weather; we can predict it and try to expect it and attempt to prepare for it as best we can. Sometimes preparing works in our favor, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes there are disasters that happen so fast there’s nothing left to do afterwards but pick up the pieces and try to move on.
I have also noticed that a lot of change includes identifying certain things that we can see that might not have been there before, perhaps more visible, more vibrant. It is in our nature to analyze, over analyze and over analyze again to reach the ultimate satisfaction, but that too, comes with change. In marketing and advertising, sometimes, change is necessary, a logo here, a revamp of a package design to keep up with the latest trends and bring it into 2012. In sports it happens constantly, some learn to accept it and continue on much faster than others; and some completely are resistant like oil and water. That saying, “actions speak louder than words” emulates into business and the value of life. At some point, changes need to happen and we can either accept it for what it is and roll with the punches and adapt to it, or crawl into a hole and live in a land of sunshine and lollypops (which, actually, would be kind of cool, but only for a couple days).
I try not to be preachy, but I found myself setting goals for myself: for the day, for the week, for the month, whatever. Acknowledge feelings, talk them out. It has helped me and I am sure can help you, too, even if everything is peachy keen. Allowing ourselves to be flexible gives us a chance to grow with whatever changes that are coming our way. In being flexible that also means to express your feelings outside of just talking about it. Working out helps a LOT. Extremely therapeutic. Everyone has something they can do to relieve stress whether it be cooking, writing, sleeping, being romantic with someone else, whatever helps.
Change will happen regardless, it’s up to us to see where we go with it. What kind of bread will YOU be baking? Mine? A lovely braided challah; complicated to make, but delicious and WELL worth the wait. I’d like to leave you with some notable brand logos that have changed/evolved over time, why? Because they are pretty.
It is really true when people tell you, “when one door closes, another opens”. In fact this quote has been modified time and time again to motivate, inspire, or just tell you to keep your head up.
“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
Sometimes…okay, most of the time, situations do not go in your favor, and you can either let it affect you, or do something about it to make YOUR situation better. Sometimes you just need to think of YOU.
The month of August was a stressful one. My international business and operational management classes really broadened my horizons for how naïve I am about the world outside of the U.S. I have always told myself that one of these days I will be throwing on a backpack (or rolling a suitcase) throughout Europe, seeing the sights and embracing different cultures. I’m not there yet, but one day, I know it will happen. Most of you don’t know that I was very close to going to grad school in London, England, but the timing just wasn’t right for me to leave. I’ll have my MBA come January and deciding to stick around was for the best and given me other chances to experience things I might not have been able to if I had chosen to study abroad. Sure it bummed me out at first, but I looked for the silver lining, and found it. It allowed me to work some of the most amazing sporting events and meet some awesome people. It is not often people see me NOT happy because at the end of the day, there is always someone who has it worse…
Who said real life decisions can’t be funny? With that being said…the ups and downs of the past few months have given me the opportunity to travel up and down the east coast during the month of August and…well, starting tonight, I’m EUROPE bound!! I am beyond excited and definitely plan on documenting everything (no surprise there) in pictures.
I’m one to be very organized, make plans months in advance, and to have specific itineraries on what to do or where to go. But sometimes I can throw my stuff in a bag and just go somewhere for three or four days. When I went to Florida last month, I booked the flight on a Tuesday and was there that Saturday, and it was a great trip and much needed break. Toes in the sand and watching the waves of the ocean are nothing short of amazing.
Opportunities come and go but sometimes we need that extra push (or in some cases, shove) to force us into actually doing something about it. It could be a huge intervention, or small enough to seem insignificant, but this reality check is associated with school, work, life, anything. Pick something. It often includes having someone strong enough in your life that will be there to motivate you, but it doesn’t have to be a parental figure or family member, sometimes it is helpful even if it is some random person you talk to on occasion via Twitter.
I often feel like a cheerleader with my friends and I fully take on that role. I feed off the positive energy of others, but shouldn’t we all? This past Labor Day weekend I got to spend in NYC for my best friend’s birthday. Since she was coming from California, I decided to take off work for the weekend and spend it with her and our friends, first time in six years I was able to celebrate it! So. Much. Fun. My mood changed. It’s like with sports… when a team loses, specifically your team, you feel it and often it affects how you treat others around you. When your team wins, there’s no greater feeling of sharing that with everyone you know. (Go Vols, Go Skins!)
Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? They were the best because the choices that are made are ultimately up to us, so why can’t the same apply to us in real life? Well, the opportunity presented itself and so I’m headed to London, Brussels and Amsterdam for 10 days! I’m beyond excited to explore but even more excited to get back to share my experiences and see what new opportunities there are in store for me in the next few months! Be prepared for my return…I’m ready to shake things up!
So another few weeks have gone by, and I have so much to catch you up on, however the sports news throughout the time I’ve been MIA has been no doubt driven into your minds to the point of now you can tell ME the latest. (Just an FYI, its been 132 days since the lock out…will it finally end today??) July has been one busy month!! Classes started back and despite papers and lots of reading, learning about international business is actually pretty interesting.
I also went through ALL of my clothes (and believe me, there were a lot) and donated trash bags full to charity. Getting rid of that clutter really helped. Mind you I haven’t gone through half the stuff at my parents’ house since high school. So I also went through papers, binders and a ton of old photos. I kept what I wanted and got rid of the rest. Long time coming. It helps to do this at least twice a year, if not once ever several months. You’ll be surprised how much better you will feel when you clear your space of things that aren’t needed. Everyone has stress, from work, relationships (both personal and professional) or whatever is going on at home. What about those little annoyances that get in your way? Traffic on the beltway (495 corridor anyone?) What about that one Facebook status that gets under your skin? Or a thoughtless text message from a friend you haven’t heard from in months asking you for a favor? Sometimes the problem isn’t even you; it’s your significant other or the people you live with. It’s time to have that talk.
Believe me, we have all been there. One of the best ways to de-stress is working out. I know, somewhat of a cliché, but it does make you feel better about things when you can take out your aggression on a punching bag. But there are other ways, too. Some people like to read, draw, cook, blast Ke$ha in your car. Hey, whatever helps!
For me, personally, my room is a reflection of what is going on in my mind. If it’s messy, my mind is, if it’s clean, I can concentrate better and the overall feeling I get is just different. You know that feeling when you have traveled a long distance and you first go into a really nice hotel room, bed made, great view? Think of your bedroom or office as a similar space. Clean, organized and ready for you to tackle whatever it is you have to do. Interestingly enough, these organizational skills are learned when we are in elementary school. Writing down tasks for the week, designated cubby areas, setting aside specific “me” time to play with our favorite toys… hello, NCAA Madden ’12! All we need is a nap mat, some graham crackers, a box of apple juice and we’ll be in business!
De-cluttering can also mean organizing all those incoming PDF’s on your computer. Can you see your desktop background still? Sometimes one work week can be more stressful than the next, but if you have some down time, make the effort to organize those files into easily accessible folders (this can be done in an office or at home, too) and keeping bills or papers you need nearby. I threw away game notes from some game back in 2010 the other day…why I felt the need to keep it, I’ll never know.
Once that is done, now what? There are other ways besides getting rid of or organizing your possessions. Take a look at your schedule. Does your personal commitments often parallel your work commitments? Are you happy with the daily routine? If not, make some changes, cut out unnecessary obligations. Change your bedroom furniture around or put your desk underneath a window. Bringing in natural light can cause fewer headaches during the day since you aren’t using a lamp. Don’t have any plants in the house or at work? Get one. It impacts well-being. Check out this article on the benefits of office plants. Do what is right for you and set up a system that keeps YOU happy. The others will fall in line and understand. If your friends are mad at you for not going out on a Saturday night and drinking until 4am after working a 16-hour day on your feet, then its about time you throw them into the bag, too.
You will realize that you are more proactive in getting those tasks done, and can further your goals of success without even realizing it. Still stuck? Here’s a couple of good links to get you started:
Zen Habits on how to “Declutter” via @zen_habits – http://zenhabits.net/zen-mind-how-to-declutter/
Feeling spiritual? Feng Shui your place. I’ve done it and it DOES work! Find out more about the elements theory and color expression: http://fengshui.about.com/od/thebasics/qt/fiveelements.htm