#1 – Don’t let the negative penetrate.
We are constantly being bombarded with negativity—it’s all around us. In the newspapers, on the news, in the blogs we read, in the attitude of others… In order to be positive, you need to learn to tune out the negative and focus on the positive. This doesn’t mean you have to be ignorant of the facts, but rather, accept the present situation as it is and do something about it. Fired from work? Accept it as a chance to get a better job, not a “horrible” fate.
#2 – See everything as challenges, not problems.
Life is all in the perspective, or the glasses from which you see the world. Just like one man’s trash is another man’s treasure or how beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the difference between “bad” and “good” things is exactly what you make it out to be. Learn to change your perspective on life (a ‘paradigm shift’, as they call it) and it will change everything.
This is part two in a two part series on 10 traits of successful people and how to apply them in your life. Click here to read part one.
#6 – They are always willing to go the extra mile.
Successful people know the value of hard work. For the most part, nothing worth having is handed to you on a silver platter; you usually need to work for it. Sometimes, this means going the extra mile; going above and beyond the expected.
In this day and age, few are willing to do more work than absolutely necessary. Going the extra mile is a surefire way to set yourself apart from the masses and get noticed in your niche or cause, whatever that might be.
Ways to step out and go the extra mile:
- Offer certain things for free. (Read more?)
- Offer more of your time or resources, and expect nothing in return.
- When you see a need that you can fill, fill it. It might be an elderly lady struggling to load her groceries into her car, or a friend’s child struggling to learn a subject you excelled at. Acts of kindness done with no expectancy of repayment have a tendency to repay the giver anyway.
When a person puts in that extra mile with no hidden agenda, it shows a strength of character (see #10) not commonly found in people today. So many are only willing to do as much as is needed to get what they want, but that mentality never leads to true success.
No matter what your problem is, no matter what your situation is like, one thing constantly remains the same: All change begins with yourself.
Successful people cultivate positive and empowering habits and traits in their life. Ask any one of them, and they will tell you that they didn’t just “magically” get to be the person they are today. Success doesn’t just ‘come’ to you; you need to go after it. With forced practice, successful people have developed key traits that have brought them to where they are today.
Best of all, every single one of these things can be cultivated in your life, no matter who you are or what your situation is like. You can start today – right now, even.
So what are they?
01 – They have a defined goal and purpose.
Successful people begin with the end mind. They know where they are, where they want to be, and design a plan to help them get from where they are to where they want to be.
If you don’t know where you hope to be, you won’t know when (or if) you get there, or how far off from your target you presently are. Sit down and take some time alone to reflect on what you want out of life and where you want go by asking yourself questions like:
- What do I want out of life?
- How will I get what I want out of life?
- What steps need to be taken now?
- What do I really want to do?
“I don’t set new year resolutions anymore – they never work, anyway.”
Sound familiar to you?
Too many people set right resolutions the wrong way. They mean well, but without setting and sticking to their resolutions the right way, their chance of success is greatly diminished.
Using the following tips, this article will show you how your realistic, defined resolutions can become a reality by having a plan of action, committing to them, staying accountable to them and kicking them into action now.
#1 – Keep them realistic, defined, and bite-sized.
Too often, we set resolutions that are unrealistic, vague and too “large” for our current abilities. While our long-term goals should in no way be confined to our present abilities, new year resolutions are different. One year is not long-term.
Getting a higher education can be expensive, and if you’re cheap like me, you’re always on the lookout for ways to save money (and not be broke). Here are some tips I’ve picked up along the way:
FOOD & DRINKS
- Bring your own travel mug and get 10-15% off coffee and other hot drinks at most locations at UBC. Be sure to make your own coffee/tea/hot chocolate before you leave home in the morning; you may not need a refill later!
- Go vegetarian. It’s healthier, better for the environment, and cheaper. Bulk foods are your friends: brown rice, quinoa, beans and lentils. Support the UBC farm and get your fresh veggies locally.
- DIY TV dinners: Do some bulk cooking over the weekend – save food into meal-sized portions, put into ziplock contains and freeze until ready to eat. Meal ideas: lasagna (make a huge tray, freeze into portions), soups, stews, rice stir-frys. Re-heat by microwaving at the SUB or your faculty’s building. Will keep in the freezer for awhile.
- Pack snacks if you’re the snacking type, and avoid those moment-of-weakness vending machine purchases they lead you to pay way more for an item. If you’re the candy bar type, stock up on them at the dollar store. If you’re looking for healthier alternatives, consider packing crackers, nuts, fruit, carrot sticks, granola bars and/or trail mix.
- Walk to the UBC village food court (exercise + saving money = win!) instead of eating at more central areas around campus. In my experience, the food is both better and cheaper.
- Eat a free lunch every Friday. Bring your own container to school and visit Sprouts (in the basement of the SUB) for a delicious vegetarian meal between 11:30-1:30. For more info: Sprouts Community Eats.
- Follow free food UBC on twitter. Someone is always giving out something free on campus. Get the details sent directly to your phone.
- Never pay for hot or cold water again. There is no reason to buy bottled water on campus when UBC offers free filtered water. For cold water, look for the big blue stations in the SUB, in the Buchanan A building, in Swing and in many other locations across campus. For hot water, the Arts lounge in Buchanan D has a water dispenser that dispenses both hot and cold water (use the red tap for hot), and I’m told that Abdul Ladha has a couple kettles in their lounge as well.
- Do your research and shop online. Is your textbook mandatory? Is it available online (pdf)? Do websites like AbeBooks and Amazon.com carry it for way cheaper than the UBC bookstore? Ordering online has saved me anywhere from 10-40 dollars on textbooks in the past and can definitely be worth it. Everything adds up!
- Have you checked the UBC used book store yet? They carry a lot of textbooks at discount prices. In my experience, their textbook prices have not been as good as online prices elsewhere, but they’re unbeatable in terms of lab coats and goggles!
- Are your textbooks available in course reserves? If you spend a lot of time studying in the library, consider just using the library’s copy of your textbook instead of buying it. This method has literally saved me over $500 in textbooks over the years.
- Buy used in “excellent condition”. This means no marks, dents, highlights or writing. If you buy used in excellent condition, you can often resell the textbook at the same price you bought it for. Check craigstlist and SaveOnBook.
- Take the bus. You’d think this would be a given, but a lot of people drive to school even though they’re paying $120/semester for the UPass. Unless you live far away, it may not be worth it to drive. Aside from gas prices and parking, it’s also a loss of time – when you bus, you’re free to spend your commute studying for your classes or doing assigned reading instead of focusing on the road.
- If you must drive, park smart. Parking at UBC is astronomical and often, you end up far from the majority of your classes anyways. Try parking anywhere just outside the UBC campus and taking the next bus in. It’s usually only a quick 15 min bus ride in, and the parking is free.
- Carpool to school. If you know people in your area who also go to UBC and have similar class schedules, it can be worth it to carpool to school if you really don’t want to bus the whole way. Bonus points if you guys carpool + park just outside campus!
Do you have any tips for saving money while studying at UBC?
Congratulations on making it to The Week That Is Supposed To Make Up For That Time We Were Forced Back To School The Day After New Years Day, Instead Of A Week Later Like Everyone Else! If you’re hoping to do at least one productive thing this coming week, this list is for you.
For your health:
- Regulate your sleep schedule.
Take this time to start going to bed at a decent hour and catch up on those missed hours of sleep due to late night (or all night) exam cramming and paper writing.
- Start an exercise habit.
If you’re anything like me, the biggest barriers to exercising regularly are not just a lack of time and energy, but also the fact that it isn’t a regular occurrence to begin with. Challenge yourself to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day this week and start a habit of exercise.
For your sanity:
- Do some pre-cooking.
If you’re in the habit of bringing lunches to school, why not take this week to do some bulk cooking? You can separate your bulk cooking into meal-sized portions, pack them away in ziplock containers and freeze them until needed. Saves future time and money.
- Clean your bedroom/dorm/apartment/house.
Because you know you probably won’t have the time or the motivation to do it once classes are back in session.
- Do one thing off your procrastination list every day.
Maybe you have avoided updating your resume, looking for jobs, writing that email, paying those bills, bringing your car in for a tune up, clipping your dog’s nails, etc, etc. Whatever those things are, make a list to identify them, then do one item each day this week.
For your social life:
- Reconnect with friends and family.
Take this time to catch up on quality time with the friends and family you haven’t seen in awhile. (Which is—let’s be honest—probably everyone who doesn’t go to UBC.)
- Try something new.
Hot yoga. Painting. Bike the seawall on a sunny day. Paper journalling. Knitting. Peruse the street carts downtown. Drop-in pottery class. Visit Vancouver Island. Roadtrip to Whistler. Day trip to Washington state. Go the aquarium or science world. Be more bold and get out of your comfort zone. Bonus points if you try something new with a friend, or make a new friend while trying something new!
For your academic life:
- Get caught up on your readings.
I don’t know a single person who isn’t behind on their readings going into reading week, so I guess they named this break well.
- Get ahead of your readings.
Imagine how great it would feel to be sitting in class, already familiar with the material your prof is about to lecture on. How much more would you learn in that class if you did your readings before coming to class, instead of after? Remember that feeling and use it to motivate yourself to read ahead for the week following reading break.
- Do one thing that will set you ahead for next week.
This can be anything from coming up with the thesis for your term paper or completing webwork that isn’t due until next Thursday. Whatever it is, getting a head start on future tasks will help ease your workload when you get there.
How are you planning to spend reading week?
How to dress like a UBC student: The Arts Student Edition
Well, that was short.
It’s no secret that I love school and usually begin to miss it on day 3 or 4 of Christmas or summer break. Not this time – I had an awesome (albeit busy, and filled with studying) Christmas vacation, and I’d be lying if I said I looked forward to coming back to school the day after new years day. While we’re on the topic: Whose brilliant idea was that, anyways? (SFU, you win this one.)
Dec 19, 8AM: Day of my last final. Went hard on the cramming.
Dec 19, 11AM: Last final was cancelled due to snow. Studied anyways.
Dec 19: Wrote & sent 20 Christmas cards, mailed them 2 hours before the deadline. House cleaning, day 1.
Dec 20: House cleaning, day 2. Baked 5 vegan tropical cheesecakes.
Dec 21: Bought a Christmas tree. Hauled it home. Decorated it, part 1. Vespers with the crew.
Dec 22: Day of rest. Game night with the crew.
Dec 23: Studied for finals*. Christmas shopping + tree & house decorating.
Dec 24: More Christmas shopping. Celebrated brother’s birthday with dinner + cake. Sat by the fire and watched the nutcracker on VHS.
Dec 25: Made Christmas breakfast. Chilled out by the fireplace. Watched Santa Clause 1 & 2 while peeling potatoes and turnips. Made Christmas dinner. Ate 3x my body weight.
Dec 26: Studied for finals*. Went to one store for boxing day, remembered why I never go out on boxing day and returned home.
Dec 27: Studied for finals*. Packed for Seattle.
Dec 28-Jan 1: In Seattle for GYC. Saw tons of friends. Celebrated New Years at the Seattle Space needle. Went shopping. Wrote + finished + submitted my article for the CQ. Never ate because I was so excited, and thus, accidentally lost 4 pounds. Arrived home at 11:45pm.
Jan 2: First day of school.
* I actually have two finals and one midterm in the month of January. The two finals are for classes I took last semester that were rescheduled, and the one midterm is from a class starting this semester.
And so here we are. It still feels very foreign to be back on campus, but I know it’s only a matter of time before those longings of “seeing friends” and “having a social life” and “enjoying free time” give way to “hello my name is Chanel, and I live in the Irving K Barber Library, 3rd floor”.
Just kidding. Kind of.
So, something weird happened to me in the SUB today.
It started out the way it always does on Wednesdays: I bought my Wednesday’s Special burger (no pop, hold the mayo, sub for veg patty) at approximately 1:30 PM, then found a seat within earshot of The Burger Bar* so I could study for my calculus quiz while waiting for my food.
* Details provided just in case you wish to stalk me. Next week’s story could be about you!
After about 30 minutes, my number was called, so I left my table to go get my burger and put the fixings on it. Except someone stole the vinegar bottle again, so I had to wait for a new bottle to be put out.
While this was going on, I kept glancing back at my table to make sure no one was stealing my stuff, comprised mostly of one netbook, my water-damaged calculus textbook and my iPhone 3G with the broken home button that runs so slow i’d probably have to pay someone to steal it from me—and that’s when I noticed the security guard.
Neither do I. But I would, if I were up to date with my readings.
Oh yes, it’s that time of year again. Despite the best laid plans of being up-to-date with my readings, I’m already behind in every class besides calculus and my chem lab. By my estimations, I have about roughly 80-120 pages of psychology to catch up on this weekend.
By the way, If you need to contact me in the next three days, I’ve moved. This is my new address:
Floor 2, 1961 East Mall,
V6T 1Z1, Canada
If someone can periodically check in on me, maybe bring by some fresh pens and cookies, I’d highly appreciate that.
But enough about my new residence. What happened to Chanel today at UBC? Why, I’m so glad you asked!
6:30 AM: Woke up while it was still dark out.
This is a sick and twisted activity and I do not recommend anyone attempt it unless absolutely necessary.
6:40 AM: Almost went back to sleep, but was finally lured out of bed with the promise of meeting awesome people and getting free food.
And indeed, the food was free (and yummy!) and the people were awesome. The UBC blogsquad had its first meetup this morning and despite the ungodly hour, it was a lot of fun. The people were hilarious and charming and all very nice. An awesome group. Probably the wittiest, prettiest, funnies group of UBC Blogsquadders ever, in my totally unbiased opinion.
11:30 PM: We found the upside down tree.
After hanging out in the CST, A couple of us left together in search of the infamous upsidedown tree. Conclusion: It really does look like an upside down tree. BUT HOW DOES IT GROW?? We took pictures and probably got mistaken for tourists by fellow students.
1:10 PM: Didn’t eat lunch. Time since last meal: 4 hours.
Instead of eating, I spent my lunch hours agonizing over my upcoming organic chem lab.
3:10 PM: The exact moment I realized my TA probably thinks I’m an idiot for asking if you put the pipet bulb in water, and also the exact moment I was sure this chem lab would be the death of me.
In my defense, he misunderstood my question, but in his defense, I was making a bunch of stupid mistakes on the most basic things, so he had every right to assume i’d be stupid enough to think you could pipet water without using a pipet.
4:50 PM: The moment I realized I might be OK, and that this semester might not be a disaster after all.
Also, the end of my chem lab. Coincidence? Hardly. All disasters successfully avoided.
4:59 PM: Scurried like a man woman across campus because it only just occurred to me that chem labs do not account for the 10 minutes it takes to get to your next class.
Bumped into a friend from Langara, but couldn’t stop because I was late for class. Time since last meal: 8 hours.
5:05 PM: Made five new people hate my guts by being “that person” who comes into lecture late and squeezes their way past a row full of people attempting to take notes on their itty-bitty sized tables.
One guy even had to put his notes on his lap and pull up his table so I could get by. Meanwhile, I was the picture of grace and finesse with my sweaty forehead, messy hair and lack of breath as I unobtrusively squeezed through the tiny row with my bulging backpack.
6:30 PM: It finally occurs to me that maybe I need something more than just intellectual nourishment. Time since last meal: 9.5 hours.
The food at Buchanan B is overpriced and mediocre at best, by the way.
7:30 PM: Finally leave campus.
The sun is setting. I am exhausted.
7:40 PM: Dead asleep on the bus.
12:04 AM: Finally done writing this post, but there is a bee trapped in my room (?!) so I probably will spend the next hour devising non-confrontational techniques to get him out.
There goes all hopes of going to bed ‘earlier’.
First class tomorrow: 3pm. Here’s to sleeping in!