Grit is Great

In a previous blog, I discussed self-control and why it is an important trait to have. The second character trait from the article 8 Ways to  a Happier You, is grit. Grit is another important trait to have that will make you a tougher, stronger person and also a happier person.

Grit is “the raw endurance, perseverance and passion that keeps you going despite obstacles” (Janes). Grit is the fight a person has inside them to push themselves to get going or keep up with what they want to accomplish. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Whatever you’re doing may not be easy or fun but whatever it is that you’re doing will get you closer and closer to your goals. For example, I’m in physical therapy strengthening my ankle and getting ready for my high school tennis season. I want to be ready to play in February and I want to be strong when I train and compete. I’ve been doing squats, lunges, core workouts, some running, and a whole bunch of other exercises that make me pretty sore some days. Yeah, it hurts, but I have to be gritty, toughen up, get through my exercises, and understand that all of the soreness only means that I’m getting stronger and doing good things for my body. I want to be able to play at the beginning of the season this year, since I missed the beginning of last season due to my previous foot injury and that drives me to work extra hard.

Grit requires passion and a person has to be motivated and fired up to accomplish their goals and be successful in whatever they do.

Grit is a character trait that is great to have, just like self-control. Grit motivates you to keep working hard and doing whatever you’re doing despite opposition and obstacles. Challenge yourself to try new things and push yourself to work hard and follow through on the difficult challenges and events in your life whether it’s in sports, school, or work. Grit really is great.

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Janes, Beth. “8 Ways to a Happier You.” 2016. Print.

Did You Know: Colorado

I was born and raised in the state of Colorado, and in my opinion, it’s the greatest state in the USA. There’s so much history, culture, beautiful sights to see, and great people in the state of Colorado. Here are some facts on my wonderful home state.

  • Colorado means “colored red” which comes from Spanish.
  • This state is also known as the “Centennial State”. It’s called the Centennial State because Colorado became a state during the hundred-year anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, 1876. It became the 38th state in the United States.
  • Colorado is home to 222 state wildlife areas.
  • This state is the proud home of the Denver Broncos. United in Orange!
  • The southwest corner of this state borders with Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. This is known as the Four Corners and is the only place in the United States where this occurs.
  • The U.S. federal government owns 1/3 of the land in the Centennial State.
  • The state motto is “Nil sine Numine” which means Nothing Without Providence.
  • Famous actor Tim Allen was born in Denver.
  • People from this colorful state are called Coloradans and also Coloradoans.
  • The state flower is the Rocky Mountain Columbine, the state animal is the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, the state fish is the Greenback Cutthroat Trout, the state bird is a lark bunting, the state tree is a Colorado Blue Spruce, and the state insect is the Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly.

So whether or not this information is new, now you know a few things about the colorful state of Colorado. If you haven’t been to Colorado, I highly recommend it. The snow is great for skiing and snowboarding, hiking is spectacular in the Rocky Mountains, and there are tons of fun and exciting places to visit like Mesa Verde, the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver, the world’s deepest hot springs down in Pagosa Springs, Garden of the Gods, and so many more. I hope you come check out the colorful, wonderful state of Colorado.

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The Importance of Self-Control

Currently in my language arts class, we are reading an article titled 8 Ways to a Happier You. The article summarily describes, explains, and gives tips on how to exhibit eight character traits that will help a person reach their potential and become a happier person. The first trait was self-control which is a crucial character trait to have as a person.

Self-control is the ability to control your own ideas, attitude, and actions in order to reach goals, despite distractions and temptations to stray.

This character trait is important to have because it allows a person to stay on task in work, school, or sports, follow rules or certain guidelines, complete assignments and study for school in a timely manner, get up in the morning and go to bed at a reasonable time (I struggle with this), have discipline, go to the gym, accomplish goals, and so many other things.

Unless you were born a genius or super fit, and strong person, it will probably be impossible to get good grades in school or lose weight and become stronger if you don’t study and work hard or push yourself to run and get to the gym, as an example. Having the self-control to take time out of your day to complete homework, read your textbooks, or run a few miles and maybe work out at the gym will help you accomplish your goals of being a successful student or a stronger, fit person.

Self-control is an important trait to have because it “pushes you to make the difficult choice over the immediately appealing option for a result that will eventually pay off” (Janes). Self-control forces you to work hard, challenge yourself, and make tough decisions. Once you’ve decided to challenge yourself and have self-control in one area of your life, you can move onto another aspect of your lifestyle and challenge yourself there. You’ll already know what it feels like to have self-control in a particular area of your life, so you should have the confidence and mindset that you can actually accomplish your goals and whatever you’re doing will get easier with time.

So if you don’t already have self-control, work towards developing it! Talk about your goals and ideas and follow through with them. You’ll become a happier person in the long run because you were able to set goals for yourself and actually accomplish them.

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Janes, Beth. “8 Ways to a Happier You.” 2016. Print.

Thinking Positive

Whether it’s in sports, school, work, body image, or life, it becomes very easy for people to focus on what they are doing wrong and all of the negativity. People want to succeed at what they’re doing and feel good about themselves and their accomplishments. However, it can be challenging, when one is constantly telling themselves, “This is terrible,”, “I’ll never be good enough,” or “I don’t think I can do this,”. Thinking positive is a way to turn those thoughts into something positive that will help you achieve your goals and feel better about yourself and whatever you do.

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In sports, all athletes struggle with the pressure of wanting to win, not let down their coach, teammates, and parents, and perform with perfection. They also struggle with the ups and downs in their performance and when they are going through a rough period, they tend to think negatively which will only make things worse. Two words that are heard often are “can’t” and “don’t”. There are a lot of coaches out there who will tell their athletes, “Don’t hit the ball out,” or “Don’t lose,” and that causes the athletes to think about what they should not do versus what they should do. Then when athletes have talked themselves into doing the wrong thing, they start to believe that they can’t shoot a free throw, or land their back flip, or hit a float serve. Everything can go downhill if this negativity isn’t stopped in its tracks.

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For example, in tennis, I can be very hard on myself. Now that I’ve been cleared to start running and playing a little bit of tennis again, my dad and I have been playing quite a bit so that I can get back into shape for the high school season. I haven’t played in about six months and getting back on the court for the first time was great, but there was frustration that came with it too. My groundstrokes were definitely not what I remembered them being and I struggled to get the ball in the actual court. My dad would ask me how my groundstrokes felt and I told him, “I’m not getting the ball in the court” and “I can’t seem to hit forehands”. After I told him that my dad told to focus on what I can do right for the next shot. I’m much more successful when I focus on the positive and what I can do to improve versus how bad my last backhand was.

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The idea of thinking positive has been something I’ve been working on for a long time in tennis and life in general but it can be hard. It’s very easy to slip into a negative mindset but when you focus on what you can do to get better, you’re probably going to improve and feel better about yourself.

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These same ideas can be applied to how you see yourself as a person and your goals in life. Maybe you think that you aren’t pretty or you don’t fit in. Those same two thoughts could be turned into something positive. Even in something “ugly” or negative, you could find something “beautiful” and positive to think about. And with the whole “fitting in” thing, isn’t it better to be yourself and discover who you are than fake it and be in unhealthy relationships? If you think that you aren’t good enough to try out for something, too shy to ask a teacher about something in class, or you’ll never be able to go on that trip to Japan that you’ve been dreaming about forever, you’re probably right, if you aren’t doing anything about it but complaining and thinking negative thoughts. If you think positive, you might not reach your goals when you hope you will but you’ll get there eventually. And if you don’t give going for your goals a try, how will you know you could have accomplished them anyways?

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So with those same thoughts up above, you could turn those into “I’m going to make the best of this situation” “I’ll work towards my goals and achieve them”, and “I can do this”. Turning your negative thoughts into something positive, will help you out in the long run. Set goals for yourself, stick to those goals, and think positive. The road to your goals might be rough, but in the end, all of your hard work will have been worth it. You can do this!

Reflecting on 2015

This might be coming a little late but, Happy New Year! 2016 has arrived and it’s going to be another good year. 2015 was filled with ups and downs and there were all kinds of trends and things that occurred this past year. Here are some of the events and trends of 2015.

In January of 2015, the Charlie Hebdou attack occurred in Paris. 12 people were killed and 11 were injured.

In February, the Super Bowl took place and Katy Perry gave a stunning performance and Left Shark, who performed during Perry’s song, “California Gurls” became a worldwide sensation. And there was also the dress. People argued over whether or not it was black and blue or white and gold. The couple that took the picture confirmed that it was black and blue after the photo went viral. Team black and blue!

In March, the Germanwings flight 9525 ended in tragedy when the co-pilot of the plane deliberately flew the plane into the French Alps, killing everyone on board. Dawn of Justice was released in theaters. It was the Batman vs. Superman movie, in case you didn’t know.

Age of Ultron, the second movie of the Avengers series as well as Furious 7 were released in theaters in April. Both movies lived up to their expectations and were successful in the theaters.

In May, the Mayweather vs. Pacquio fight went down in Las Vegas and resulted in another win for Floyd Mayweather Jr. How-old.net is a website where you allow the website to analyze a photo of yourself and it guesses how old you are. This website became well-known and sparked the question of “How is the website able to tell how old you are?” If you’d like to test out how-old.net click here to see if it guesses your age correctly. The biggest trend of May was Netflix and Chill. There were all kinds of variations and parodies of this interesting and well-known trend.

“Just Do It” featuring Shia LeBouf went viral in June of 2015. The video was a motivational and overdramatized speech telling people to accomplish their goals and follow their dreams. In June, gay marriage was legalized in the U.S. Caitlyn Jenner also introduced herself to the world and later on ended up winning the “Woman of the Year” award.

In July, Minions took the world by storm and did well in theaters. “Now watch me whip/nae nae” became a song and dance sensation. I don’t know a single person that doesn’t know how to whip and nae nae. From the flyby of New Horizons, everyone was able to see clear and exciting pictures of Pluto and its moons. The pictures will allow for astronomers to gather more information about Pluto and its moons. In July, the world lost Saturo Iwata, the president of Nintendo and the creator of video games like Kirby and Mario.

In August, Donald Trump officially announced that he would be running for president in 2016 and began campaigning. AND HIS NAME IS JOHN CENA! You’ll understand this if you’ve seen the vine videos. John Cena also made it big this month in 2015. Hundreds of thousands of vines were created using his videos and announcement for the WWE. Some of them are funny and some of them are plain weird.

The supermoon eclipse left everyone in awe in September. It was beautiful to watch and great to take pictures of. Continuing on the topic of space, water was found on Mars. This was a very exciting discovery and we’ll have to wait and see what comes next as far as findings and discoveries on Mars and in the space around us.

In October of 2015, Drake’s hit song “Hotline Bling” made its’ debut. It was on the radio quite often and there were many parodies done of this song. ISIS crashed a Russian plane killing all 224 passengers on board near the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. A gunman killed ten including himself and injured seven at Umpqua Community College in Oregon as well.

Sadly terrorist attacks were becoming quite the trend towards the end of the year and Paris was attacked in November. 130 people were killed and over 300 were injured. Also in November, Ronda Rousey lost her fight to Holly Holm and Fallout 4, the fourth game of the Fallout series was released. And who could forget the release of the final movie of the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay Part 2? Most people believed that Mockingjay Part 2 finished out the trilogy well, others believed that it could have been finished differently, but in my opinion the movie was amazing and the actors all did a wonderful job portraying their characters and the plot stuck pretty close to the books.

Finally in December, the Star Wars saga continued with The Force Awakens I haven’t seen it yet but I’ve heard that the movie was very good and lived up to everyone’s expectations, so far. Not only was the new Star Wars movie big, but so was the Miss Universe pageant. The host, Steve Harvey made an honest mistake when he announced the final results, the wrong girl was crowned, and then he corrected himself as soon as he caught the mistake. After this happened, there was a lot of dispute over the actual results and Harvey’s actions and in the end Miss Philippines was crowned Miss Universe.

I believe that 2015 was a pretty good year even with all of the attacks and losses of wonderful people. We were all able to learn new things about ourselves and the world, experience new activities and situations, and also grow as people. As far as what’s going to happen in 2016, I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Do what you can to make it your own great year. Good luck getting used to writing 2016 on your papers and best wishes in the new year.

Reflecting on 2015