Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Gratitude Effect

Is it enough to simply reflect on what we are grateful for or should we also express our gratitude? How can gratitude affect our lives and the lives of others?

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pictoquotes/

Gratitude is a positive emotion with positive and lasting effects on you, me, and everyone. According to Teen Health, gratitude matters for many reasons like:

  • It open us up to see more possibilities and take in more information.
  •  It balances out negative emotions making us happier and less stressed.
  • One positive emotion often leads to another. It’s contagious!
  • Gratitude can lead to positive actions. When we feel grateful for someone’s kindness toward us, we may be more likely to do a kindness in return. Your gratitude also can have a positive effect on someone else’s actions. Thanking people can make it more likely they’ll do a kindness again.
  • Gratitude helps us build better relationships.

Expressing your gratitude can positively affect many things and people locally and/or globally. Yes! You have this kind of power. Teen Health offers three ways to practice gratitude. Click here to read more. It can be as simple as saying thank you to someone who you appreciate or offering to help someone with something. Donate food from your pantry or clothes you don’t wear anymore from your closet. Click here for 50 ways to show people gratitude.

Gratitude is Trending! 

Giving Tuesday is December 2nd. Join the movement by clicking here! Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 and it has become huge. Take an #unselfie, and connect with others to learn how tons of people all over the world are expressing gratitude this season. What do you want to give and why?

While we are shopping and eating yummy food with our families and friends it is important that we don’t forget to express our gratitude. This should be a year round exercise and not just something we do in November and December. Make it a habit!

Student Futures helps students develop life skills through academic coaching. We give students strategies to increase self-efficacy, self-motivation, and self discipline. Contact us today for a free consultation. Click here to learn more about academic coaching and how we are helping students in Jacksonville and surrounding areas.

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/

 

Writing Letters to Our Younger or Older Selves

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Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsdkrebs/

Volunteering and being a mentor at yesterday’s Generation Wow Conference at the University of North Florida was a positively inspiring experience. One panel discussion consisted of 4 women, two teens and two adults, who shared letters they wrote to themselves. The teens wrote letters to their older selves and the adults wrote letters to their younger selves. I couldn’t wait to get home and write a letter to my younger self. I encourage everyone to take part in this powerful experience! It forces us to reflect on our life, what we want and what we have achieved. It is a great activity for parents and teens to do together. Parents, save your teen’s letter and give it to them in ten years.

Benefits to Writing Your Letters

  • Enhances your mission and passion
  • You will connect with yourself on a different level
  • You are reminded of your accomplishments
  • You lay out your dreams and goals for the future
  • Gives you evidence to trust your own judgment
  • Promotes self-confidence
  • You can clarify what is important to you
  • You will get motivated!

My Letter

Below is my letter to my teen self. Hopefully, other teens may be influenced by my words. After reading my letter I have some tips that will help you write your letters.

Dear Teen Self,

Have no fear about growing up. It is a wonderful journey. I know that you have been through a lot over the years, but I can assure you that as the years carry on you will become stronger emotionally and physically. You will find all the happiness that you dream about, which at the moment seems so far out of reach. It is important that you figure out how to learn from all your experiences, good and bad. These lessons help you help others.

Stop trying being so concerned with finding love. You don’t need a guy’s love right now.  As you get older your constant search for love will only cause more confusion in your life. Instead, learn to love yourself first. Then, you will find true love.  You will find the type of love you see in the movies, but only after you love you. Be patient.

Focus on your education. It will take you places! Learning is an adventure. Embrace it!

Take the time to explore who you are. You are awesome! Enjoy making your art and having new experiences. Do not be afraid to put yourself out there! Stop being that shy little girl and start talking to people. Find people who are inspiring and talk to them. Seek out as many new experiences as you can. Find your passion and follow it! Let your passion be your drive.

Your health is important. I know your family tried to explain this to you and you’ve shrugged it off. Seriously though. Focus on your emotional and physical health.  Enjoy food and the outdoors! Oh and sweet potatoes are actually really delicious aside from your prior experience with them. Also, curry is part of your family’s culture. Try it more often. You will love it!

Family is a gift. Practice empathy when it comes to disagreements with your parents. Try to understand where they are coming from.  Don’t use hateful words with one another. Remember to reach out and keep in touch with family. I know we are pretty spread out, but it’s important that we stay connected.

Now, go forth and be awesome!

Lots of love,

Your Older Self, Melanie

 

Tips To Getting Started:

Question to Consider from Jeanine Cerundolo

  • What hopes do you hold for yourself in the future?
  • What fears and obstacles do you currently face that you wish to overcome?
  • What internal resources do you inherently possess that will help you, now and always?
  • What goals do you have that you aspire to? Tip: Commit to the vision, but be flexible to the form.
  • What is the ultimate and underlying reason why these goals matter to you? (i.e.: I want to be a public speaker. Why? Because I want to share my knowledge openly!
  • What faith do you hold in your own strengths?
  • How will you remember what you have to offer, and how will you continue to know yourself and your presence as a contribution to this world?
  • How would you react if you met your future self? How would you interact? Create a sample dialogue—see where it goes!
  • And finally: What are ways that you can seek to love your future self no matter how much the future varies from what you expect it would be?

Sample Template for Letter Writing from Simple Kerry

Dear Future Self,

I love you because…

I am proud of you because…

I am sad because…

I forgive you for…

I hope that you…

I am thankful for…

I wish for…

I will show my love for you by…

Have fun and enjoy writing your letters! Student Futures wants to give students experiences like this one that promote success. Student Futures helps students develop leadership skills through academic coaching. We give students strategies to increase self-efficacy, self-motivation, and self discipline. Contact us today for a free consultation. Click here to learn more about academic coaching and how we are helping students in Jacksonville and surrounding areas.

Reach for the stars!