All posts by leanaqishbendi

I'm a 27-year-old student at Skyline College in San Bruno, Calif. and a student in life. I am constantly learning from my challenges and obstacles- real and imaginary, and being a journalism major I am working smarter than harder on myself, utilizing tools I'm learning class to grow as a person. When I'm not thinking too much I like to have fun, be silly, watch and play sports, and be with the people I love.

Don’t let nerves hold you back

When it comes to performing publicly–at work, school, or even in groups of more than one person– nerves can sometimes discourage us and hold us back. Social anxiety isn’t always something that accompanies negative experiences, but more often than not comes up when we are about to embark on something new and exciting. The thing is, it can be uncomfortable. So much so that it’s tempting to let excuses get in the way of giving whatever it is you’re interested in a shot. This even happens with dating! However, nerves are natural. It’s all part of the song and dance. The good news is with practice, you will become more comfortable taking a new step.

My schoolmates who are involved with theater at my school remind me that at the end of the day, grueling practices, and those uncomfortable butterflies, that going after what you want despite the awkward feelings is worth it. I put together a little video with them talking about this after their last performance. Hopefully, you’ll be as encouraged as I was.


Top 25 Motivational Songs

It’s been said that music is one of the best outlets for aggression, but in my experience it’s also been great for self-reflection and motivation. In article published online by Psych Central, author Jane Collingwood noted that “Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones.” I know that for me, being overly stressed has thwarted my plans of achieving goals in the past because I become so stressed it’s like i’m paralyzed. So, to keep stress levels at bay I like to counteract it with positive music from the onset. I put together a playlist of songs I’ve heard over the years that has been motivational in some way. Songs that encourage me to try, have hope, or be thankful for what I got right now. The songs I chose have also helped to remind me of the hope I have for myself on days I might be feeling like I want to give up. I lean more towards rock and pop, so a majority of the songs to make my playlist are of that genre, including artists like Jimmy Eat World, Journey, Van Halen, Steel Pulse, Bob Marley and Drake. If that’s your interest, you might dig these songs. If not, consider making a go-to playlist for when you’re feeling down and need to re focus. Try to chose songs that will remind you too of your true attitude towards life rather that will enhance your anger, anxiety, or depression. For example, if you are grieving the end of a romantic relationship, you might try to guard your heart and avoid sappy love songs. In any event I hope you enjoy!


Giving back is more rewarding than you might think

One of the best ways to get out of your head, over depression, or even combat social anxiety is with volunteering. Volunteering allows you to get into action and out of your head. By serving others you are given the opportunity to not only bless others with a positive experience, but it gives you a break from your own problems so when you return you may do so with a fresh perspective. It just feels good too.

Every year my church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, volunteers at our city’s festival that invites organizations to come together to raise money for their cause. The Pacific Coast Fog Fest has been allowed for my church to make ends meet financially as the garlic fries and sausage booth it runs brings in a lot of money. Its helped my church to remain active and alive, as well as been a joy for the community and the members of my church who Volunteer. The volunteers desire to be a positive addition to the people in the community’s day. Having worked side by side them each year, I’ve seen it really happen, bad days turned around.

And there really are some perks to helping out.  Volunteering provides the opportunity to meet new people and establish connections for the future, as well as it provides you with experiences where you can learn more about yourself. A peer of mine from college, Latasha Washington, is an example of this.

Washington she began volunteering within her community while going to school and within a few years of her doing so she got to do what she loves most–travel–and was in South Africa building dozens of homes for an oppressed community. The experience not only help change the lives of many families, but she gained personal and profession connections, as well as clarity around her place within the world, and discovered some of her hearts hidden desires. Volunteering can be a rewarding experience on many levels.

Having trouble defining who you are?

Imagine you’ve died. People have come to your memorial service, and are seated in wait of the eulogy. Take note of how many people are there, and who is there. Are people crying? Who is giving your eulogy? What will this person have to say about your character, what mattered most to you, your attitude and life? Imagine, realistically, your eulogy. How do you feel about what has been said? What would you like this person to say?

This is an exercise I came across several years ago when I asked Google, “Who am I?” I had decided to change my lifestyle at the time because it wasn’t benefiting me, the problem was I had no idea what to do instead. I had trouble defining who I was and what I would now like to do because I use to tie all that this to the lifestyle I was no longer living. One of the websites I came across (which unfortunately I can no longer find) suggested thinking about the above questions could help me figure out what was important to me and what I could strive for. I then had an idea of what new habits to take on.

Which would you rather be known for?

Think about the legacy you would like to leave behind. That is your true you. If you want to be known as someone who was always laughing and smiling, begin doing the things that allow you to do that. Eventually, u will kick it, literally, so live your life doing those things you’ve loved according to your imaginary eulogy. Build habits to encourage your true you to emerge.

10 Great Quotes To Motivate You To Just do it

Over the years I have heard some great quotes about getting in there and doing it, and putting into action the things you say you want to do but have failed to take the risk of beginning the journey to do so. Sometimes, even though I have heard the same wisdom from relatives or friends, these quotes happen to be what helped things to click and get me started. Short as well, these quotes we a mantra to me at times when I need to quit thinking and get into action. times of anxiety or depression, times when there was something I wanted to do but felt the itch of an excuse coming on to not take that first step, or times when I was just lazy. U can kick it and you can start it too. I hope that if you are on the fence about achieving your goals that these 10 quotes will help give you the nudge to do so like they did for me.

1. “The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it.” –Jordan Belfort

2. “It is hope, not despair, which makes successful revolutions.” – Hudi

3. “I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done.”- Lucille Ball

4. “We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.The amount of work is the same.”- Carlos Castaneda

5. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” –Tony Robbins

6. “Beware ‘education’ that’s all preparation. The only form of education is experience; all the preparation in the world will only teach you how to prepare.”- Das Energi

7. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”- Walt Disney Company

8. “The best way out is always through.”- Robert Frost

9. “In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty.”- The Holy Bible ESV, Proverbs 14:23

10. “I don’t make excuses, I make results.”- Nike

Life lessons from my dog

These days things get so dog gone crazy, it’s easy to desire the life of a dog. Dogs more than less are happy, and seem to have the simple life down to an art. What I’ve come to realize after paying close attention to my dog Nino is that there is a method to his puppy madness. Nino is a healthy dog with structure and routine, but his routine includes far more activities than just eating, sleeping, playing ball, and going for walks. I’ve learned quite a few life lessons from my dog that when I apply them to my own life I’m left feeling more pawsitive about my future. Check out some of Nino’s tricks to see if they do the trick for you too.

Best advice about kickin’ it

Over the years, talking with friends and family, I’ve picked up on some good advice. Life altering advice. Advice that changed my perspective on achieving my dreams and goals. Sometimes, the same advice can be given to you over and over again, and whether it has to do with wording or timing, eventually something clicks. These 5 tips did just that for me.

1. “Edit and let go of scenes that don’t go with the overall movie of your life.”

Easily disappointed, I would often find myself thinking about what didn’t work out. Past relationships, jobs, opportunities. What is so interesting about this is that those people, places, and things that I was afraid to let go of didn’t even come close to what I truly desired for myself. My uncle, a film maker, told me once that life is like a movie. Though we may spend hours trying to film one scene, when it comes to the editing process, we may find that that scene really has nothing to do with the overall big picture. Though you invested your time on this scene, maybe more so than any other, you have to be willing to let it go. In real life, we have realize that though we may have invested our time in people, places, or things, it may not go with the big picture of our life movie, and that is OK.

2. “Don’t focus on what you don’t want to do, do everything that you love instead.” 

After attending my best friend’s memorial, I met his son’s mother. Through our grieving we became good friends. Once when she asked how I was doing, I told her I was frustrated. I knew all the things I wasn’t supposed to do, but little about what I should do instead. I knew so little about what I would like to do that i would revert to thinking about what I didn’t. It was a miserable and painful process! She gave me a two week challenge: Do everything you love to do. Think about thoughts that make you feel warm, eat your favorite food, listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite T.V. show. Do all and everything that favors you.

3. “If you were taking a trip, and several miles into it you took a wrong turn, you wouldn’t go all the way back to your house and start over, would you? So why do you have to start over every time you take a wrong turn in life? Just get back on the right track.”

How often is it that we won’t try that last time because of all our failures to arrive to that destination goal? For me, giving my dreams one last shot was close to not happening. I remember telling my uncle ,”I wanted to give up, what was the point of trying? My life has been a repetitive cycle of ‘starting over.'”  When he responded with the metaphor about driving, it made sense. Who really would go all the way back to their house and begin driving again after making a wrong turn 10 miles into a trip? That’s when he explained to me the importance of not throwing out the baby with the bath water. It’s not about starting over but getting back on track, building on what you’ve learned in between.

4. “If it was meant to be, nothing that you do will stop it from happening. If it wasn’t meant to be, nothing that you do will change that.”

A bad habit that I’ve struggled with is trying to control the outcome, especially in relationships. When insecure, which if applying the 10/90 rule my insecurities may have absolutely nothing to do with the relationship itself, I begin to act out, creating pressure and spinning my wheels trying to get the outcome I want because I’m afraid it won’t happen. A friend once told me after beating myself up about my behaviors that if it was meant to be, there was nothing I could do to stop it from happening. Likewise, if it wasn’t meant to be, there was nothing I can do to manipulate it into existence. Knowing this relieved me of the pressure to take forceful actions when it would be best to go with the flow instead. Everything works out as it should.

5. “Keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart.”

Part of the country rock song “Even if it breaks your heart” by the Eli Young Band, this lyric hits the nail on the head. Because success includes times of failure, the risk in not achieving success has to do with the temptation to give up when it looks like your goal is out of reach. The ability to continue and persevere in spite of those times has a lot to do with whether or not you dare to dream. After years of heartache, it can be painful to dream about what you want out of fear it may not happen and you are letting yourself down by doing so. But the truth is, what you want is important and possible, always. You need to keep on dreaming, even if it breaks your heart, because the only way your desires can come into existence if if they remain alive. Sometimes, it’s not the right people, places, or things, or that you’re desire is wrong. Be patient for that perfect fit, and don’t give up in between.