Our Potential

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Earlier this week, I went with a group of friends to the cheap theater here in Rexburg to see The Lego Movie. One of my friends told me how the movie focused on each individual’s potential to change the world, no matter how normal they are. The movie focuses on an ordinary Lego construction worker by the name of Emmet, and how, despite multiple setbacks, he saves the world because of specific skills he possesses.

  

The Lego Movie got me thinking about how some of the greatest heroes we know today started out as simply ordinary, and after much opposition became extraordinary. You may feel ordinary and just another face in a crowd. But remember that out of the ordinary came heroes like Jackie Robinson, Albert Einstein, Malala Yousafzai, and J.K. Rowling. Each of them had to face opposition before becoming legends. All of them have had to endure taunts, abuse, and some even death threats. Yet despite the opposition, they overcame and changed the world because of the skills they developed.

 

You have the power to change the world like heroes do today. Develop worthwhile skills and character traits. Don’t let your past or insensitive people in your life crush your potential. Show them who’s boss! I have found in life that the most opposition comes before doing something great. We may never understand why people treat us the way they do. But remember this. You are special. You can change the world just like Emmet, the Lego construction worker did. All you have to do is believe in yourself and show the world you cannot be knocked down. 

The Mark of Sacrifice

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On April 16th, 2014, the South Korean ferry MV Sewol departed out of Incheon headed for the resort island of Jeju. A majority of the passengers were excited Danwon High School students looking forward to an island field trip. For reasons still unknown, the Sewol suddenly capsized. Many of the passengers were entombed inside the ship as they were told by crewmembers not to attempt to escape but await further instructions. For most, those instructions came too late.

 

Jung Cha Woong, a sixteen year old student on board the capsizing ferry, gave his life jacket to a petrified classmate. Jung insisted he would be just fine and felt he was a capable swimmer. He was last seen helping other passengers escape. Woong’s classmate survived. Woong did not. He would have turned 17 the day after the sinking.

 

I personally feel that true love doesn’t have to apply only to dating and marriage but also to those in our circle of acquaintances. Woong could have easily hung onto his life jacket but instead was looking out for the another.

 

Are we willing to sacrifice for others, even complete strangers? Are we willing to put other’s interests first even when it hurts us on the inside or outside?

 

Earlier this week, I was talking with a good friend of mine from church. He said, “The mark of a true knight is when you are willing to put that individual’s interests above your own and respect them, even if their choices tear you apart.”

 

I personally feel that a test in life that God wants each of us to pass through, is the test of sacrificing for those we care for and for those we’ve never met. It is truly selfless to ignore our own needs and to put others first, even if our lives are directly impacted. This South Korean student was a perfect example of that. He was directly putting his life in jeopardy for his classmate. Be ready to sacrifice for those you care for even if it’s not being recorded on a cell phone or you have a large audience. Oftentimes, the greatest acts of love are not seen but are done privately and are frequently unrecognized. The greatest acts of love, I feel, are the ones done without complaint and with a smile, even if inside the individual is scared beyond belief of the future. Start today to be such a silent hero.

How To Nail An Exam

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Test anxiety is a plague that is infesting itself in many college students as the semester draws to a close. You may be one of them. Test anxiety can make students perform poorly on their exams, lose sleep, affect their health, and other negative factors. Here are some effective ways you can reduce test anxiety according to eHow:

 

  1. Prepare and study long before your exam opens.
  2. Balance studying time over several days before your exam.
  3. Have a good night’s sleep and wake up on time.
  4. Think positively when walking into the testing center.
  5. Take short naps in between exams to prevent burnout.
  6. Take deep breaths when anxiety mounts.
  7. Avoid talking to people while studying as this can throw one off track.
  8. Be confident.

 

Eating healthy food also helps with your test anxiety. Foods to avoid are coffee, fried foods, and alcoholic beverages. Foods that that help with anxiety according to the CalmClinic include:

 

  • Whole Grain Foods

  • Seaweed

  • Blueberries

  • Acai Berries

  • Almonds

  • Chocolate

 

These steps aren’t a guarantee for eliminating all anxiety but following them can drastically lower the anxiety in any individual. This is a time that can be highly stressful for thousands of college students all over the country. By following the right steps, the test anxiety plague can be reduced in our society.

 

 

The New Epidemic and How To Avoid It

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There is a new epidemic that is now affecting more people than the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention label it the “public health epidemic”. That epidemic is none other than sleep deprivation.

Sleep deprivation is something every individual experiences, sometimes on a daily basis. Sleep deprivation can lead to inability to concentrate, retain information, and poor driving. How can one avoid sleep deprivation?

According to www.sleepcottage.com ways to fall asleep faster include:

  • Read a peaceful book before turning in
  • Cut down on sweets
  • Don’t exercise before turning in
  • Take a nice bath before going to bed
  • Don’t veg at the PC in the evenings
  • Have a light dinner
  • Avoid afternoon naps
  • Think of a loved one while falling asleep
  • Practice deep breathing in bed.
  • Spray lavender in your room
  • Avoid high caffeinated beverages
  • Pray for things that you are grateful for and don’t focus on stressful situations in your life
  • Stretch while in bed
  • Don’t watch scary or violent movies before going to bed
  • Count backwards

This list isn’t a solve-it-all for everyone but can be beneficial to those who are in high demand roles in their day-to-day lives. By improving our habits before and during bedtime, the epidemic of sleep deprivation, which has gripped this society for so long, will slowly begin to dissipate.

What are some ways you have found that help you fall asleep?

To Save A Life

In Daraa, Syria, a young boy lugging a small brown backpack was caught on video running down a street. Snipers from the Syrian Arab Army had just begun firing into a crowd of Syrian rebels. One sniper took careful aim at the boy. They missed. A Syrian man ran down the street towards the terrified boy seconds after the missed shot. The man scooped up the boy and ran with him to safety. What makes this story most remarkable is that this man wasn’t the boy’s father or brother. In fact, he had never met the boy.

 

What does this almost unknown incident in the Syrian Civil War have to do with you? We live in a society where charitable acts can be rare. Such acts have the power to change or even save lives.

 

It can be easy in life to get caught up with our busy lives. We have so much to do and so little time! It’s in times like that where we can miss those who are struggling and could use that extra pick me up.

  

Never forget the power you have to change the world. Your actions may not be caught on video but they can save lives, no matter how small. Think of who and how you can save today.

 

Who are some people in your life that have come to your rescue?

 

To see the video mentioned above, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b0e5WFbeaw

To Conform Or Not To Conform?

Imagine that you were asked to participate in an experiment designed to study memory. You volunteer and are taken to a room where an experimenter awaits. In a different room is another participant strapped to an electric shocker. You are instructed to quiz this participant and if the participant answers the question wrong you deliver a small shock to them. As the experiment goes on, the experimenter tells you to increase the voltage and the participant begins banging on the wall complaining of a heart condition. Do you continue for the sake of science, or do you defy the experimenter?

This is what participants of the Milgram experiment had to face in 1961. The experiments began in July 1961, three months after the start of the trial of German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem. Milgram devised his psychological study to answer the popular question at that particular time: “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders?” The purpose of the study was to find the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Remarkably, 65 percent of the participants agreed to inflict fatal “shocks”. Thankfully, no shocks were actually administered.

Stanley Milgram, Yale psychologist and author of the experiment suggested, “The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act.”

Do you agree with Dr. Milgram?

It can be easy to conform or give into pressure in a situation you may not approve of. We can be ready to stand up for our values like the current protesters in the Ukraine or go with the flow like those asked to hurt loved ones in North Korea. You may not have to participate in such events but you will have to be ready to leave a socially pressured situation. Be ready to stand up for beliefs you treasure and not be the one that moves with the flow.

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Used with permission from KPVI News 6.

For more information on the Milgram experiment please see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

http://psychology.about.com/od/historyofpsychology/a/milgram.htm

Doing Your Fair Share

On Nov. 11, 1928, the overcrowded, leaky steamship Vestris ran into a severe storm on its way to Argentina. It began to list due to the strong waves and the shifting cargo. Stokers down below struggled to keep the ship afloat and the chief engineer, James Adams, believed that with their combined effort they could keep the Vestris afloat till help arrived. Yet crewmembers down below began to lose heart and deserted in groups. These groups laid around on deck and did nothing to help the situation. When threatened by the captain of the ship to go below, they only pretended to go and then came out another way. Because of these crewmembers, the ship sank faster and took with her 111 souls.

Can you relate to what it’s like to be in a group where individuals aren’t pulling their fair share? Unfortunately, you probably know what it’s like to deal with those type of people and to try salvaging a project before it sinks. Evaluate yourself and the groups you are in. Are you putting in your fair share or contributing the least amount of work possible? Think of those you work with and how much you actually contribute to a project. Don’t be that team member that procrastinates a project and hurts others because you were lazy. Life does get in the way at times, but strive to contribute during all of those times so there are less “Vestris’s” in the world.