advice

How The Color Yellow Taught Me Psychology

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m pale. I sunburn quickly and somehow just get a shade of red darker. It was always a point of insecurity when I was younger, not in a way that made me unhappy, but in a way of me just wanting to fit in. I saw friends going to tanning beds or use self-tanner lotions or even get spray tans, but it was something I could never bring myself to spend money on. With this in mind, pale people have a limited closet that they can choose from; too light of a color and you blend in with the walls, too dark and you get asked if you’re feeling ill. It’s an odd predicament, but it helped me learn that yellow just wasn’t my color.

No matter what shade I tried on, whether it be the lightest light or a canary yellow, I looked like I belonged in a fruity tropical drink. Not a good look to say the least. However, it taught me something.. I don’t look good in yellow and that’s okay, I don’t need to. Others may dazzle in the color and some may just look eh in it, but for me, I knew it wasn’t something I was meant to wear.

This leads me to my point. Far too often I see friends and individuals try to compartmentalize themselves into thinking they look good in yellow. They’re quick to copy the trends of their favorite celebrities or mold into the exact profession their parents or friends tell them they’d be good at, but then look in the mirror and don’t like what they see. Quite simply, they’re seeing their yellow.

Ultimately, you have to play to your strengths. If you know you aren’t a good writer or speaker or artist, that’s actually okay. It’s great to acknowledge that you have weaknesses or areas you need to improve upon. You have the ability to learn these skills over time, but put bluntly you will never have the ability that a natural may have, or at least not for a while. This is the interesting part, however. You have an innate ability and strength that you may not even realize that you possess. Something that others compliment you on or something that people may introduce you with like “Hey, this is my friend Brant! He’s an amazing singer!”. It’s something small like this that you may overlook, but an interesting strength you may have! (disclaimer, I don’t have an amazing voice… sadly)

You have to be willing to bet on your strengths and willing to go all in on what you know or what others know you’re good at. I’ve learned in my short time of being an alumnus that it’s often difficult to chase your strengths or passions as it may not be as lucrative as the big fancy paychecks from companies, but I also know that it is extremely satisfying to bet on your strengths and continue refining your amazing individuality. My message to you is simple: be the best you that you can be by going all in on what makes you, you. Play to your strengths forever.

 

As always, really appreciate you coming and reading this and if you have anything you’d love for me to write about, let me know in the comments below!

 

“There are no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

B

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How Presence, Not Presents, Changed My Life

Often times, we are shrouded in our own thoughts and stuck with an inability to move forward. I’ve felt this at times and feel it’s especially present when writing or speaking when you seem to be at a loss for words. You consider many factors before you plot your next move thinking maybe I should change the tonality in my voice or maybe I should write in a more professional tone or you know what, maybe I should remain silent until someone else brings up another topic.

Self-doubt is not thinking you are lesser than people, but being stuck in what to do next, whether that’s personally, professionally, or socially. It’s what I attribute in part to the rise of our lives becoming more and more digital and online based. We see the flawless pictures others post and the rich and lavish lifestyles some adhere to and wonder what exactly we’re doing that’s so different than those individuals.

One step of realizing this is understanding your fixations. Just like tobacco and alcohol, addiction cannot be noted quickly by ones own self, but rather can be from others around you. The desire to take a puff or another swig is a tick. This doesn’t mean you’re addicted, but rather your mind is at ease when you’re able to partake in it. One of the ticks I realized I had was my phone. I am all about self-improvement but found my eyes straining just from the amount of time I spent on my phone. Our world is digital now and our focus is on the things that provide us a safety net from reality. It’s so easy to scroll through Instagram and then reach your last point and go to the next platform. The cyclical nature of this is calming because it doesn’t require thinking. Unfortunately, this is just as addictive as any of the things listed above. It’s a heightened sense of dopamine that injects into your mind providing happiness short term.

Now I won’t say stop looking at your phone or delete the apps that cause you to stare for hours on end because that’d be foolish. I want you to keep enjoying your life and everything you do. Rather, what I want for you is to be cognizant of when your fully invested and present in a situation. Oblivious to distraction or personal issues and being involved in what is actively going on around you.

Once I slowly started making this shift, I realized that being invested in the moment and fully submerging myself into every situation gave me a sense of a much more profound feeling of joy. I implore you to be present in every moment and although at first it can be taxing on yourself and exhausting to not look at your phone or fall victim to your tick, in the long run it will make friendships stronger, memories far fonder, and life a whole lot more interesting.

Wishing you all an amazing day and as always,

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant

6 Ways to Grow Your Self-Confidence

 

What I’ve seen lately is that most entrepreneurs and business people were born with great genes that allow them to perform at the levels that they do — that confidence is a natural born skill and if you don’t have the right set of chromosomes, well sorry.. you’re shit out of luck.

I read these things and think how foolish they truly are. The names that you know today as moguls within their respective industry were undoubtedly born with talent and natural ability, but had to refine and focus on personal growth to really capture who they were as an individual. You think the Rock came out of the womb looking like a chiseled Greek warrior? No. You think Elon Musk successfully started every venture he pursued? No, he almost went bankrupt. You think Albert Einstein naturally just rolled into the theory of relativity? No, he spent years and years dedicating his life to his craft and finding new answers to growing problems.

That’s what I want to focus on this week. Self-confidence is not just a born with talent, but something you can improve week in and week out.

Here are my top tips for improving your personal self confidence:

  • Think of the most confident person you know. Could be a person that you’re close to, could be celebrity you may admire, or even could be a fictional character. Take a moment for yourself and think of someone that exudes confidence in their every action or seemingly does. Think about what they do that is impressive to you, is it their vocal tonality? Their stance? The way their words flow together? Just think about what exactly they do that gives them an aura of confidence. From here, what I want you to do is go into a place you frequent, could be a coffee shop, a library, or anywhere with people in public. I want you to think about that confident individual and test out one or two of the aspects I mentioned above. Emulate their confidence in place of yourself.

 

  • Fear can cripple you, so ask yourself “what’s really the worst that could happen?” Someone may snicker when you puff out your chest and deepen your voice by three octaves, but ultimately nothing bad will come from it. Even if you may think so.

 

  • Confident individuals stand CONFIDENTLY. Take your hands out of your pockets when you speak and strike a superman pose or speak with open palms. Many times, people view confidence as your ability to be eloquent in your speech or the way in which you present yourself. Do not hunch your shoulders over – push them back, look at a person when you are directly addressing them, and finally speak a level louder than you think is loud. Don’t yell, but pronunciate your every word with clarity.

 

  • Your past isn’t indicative of your future. Regardless of your past, you have the opportunity and ability to control your life’s destiny and purpose. Think long and hard about what you want your life to look like and then execute on actions that bring you to that point. Execute. Evaluate. Re-execute. Re-evaluate. Over and over.

 

  • The negative voices in your head need to be let go. We are far too often swarmed with inner negativity. Our minds associate what if questions to every scenario we get in and usually take a pessimistic view. Shift your mindset from what if to why not. Be conscious of the negativity and try your best to erase it with positivity and an open mindset for growth.

 

  • The experts in their respective fields are experts because they know the industry they are in back and forth. They’ve studied everything applicable and continue to research to improve. They ask others questions and take on feedback openly from others. The best in the world are overprepared and have studied endlessly to be where they are at. You cannot fear what you already know.

 

You are in the driver seat of your own life. It’s time for you to take what you want.

Let me know what you think in the comments below and share this to those who may need to read it.

Wishing you all the very best and as always,

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant

If Your Life Was a Book, Would Others Read It?

You are the protagonist of your own novel. The main character with ambitions, goals, and intertwined friendships that are unparalleled. Although you have character flaws and lapses of judgement, your book is written solely about you and the personal connections, friendships, and families you’ve accumulated or been born into.

Take a step back now, close your theoretical book and place it on the shelf in front of you. Instead of a shelf, you’re on a busy street in New York City and no one seems to grab at your book. Individuals pass by without even acknowledging you or your story.

This is sonder.

By definition, sonder is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.

This is a sobering reality as to just how small you are. Your tendencies and normal day to day activities are only directly observed by yourself and those with which you come in communication with. More often than not, even those whom you come in communication with at work or passing by in traffic, have no idea about anything you’re facing. No clue on how your ambitions are fleeting as you sit behind your steering wheel. No idea that you still have desires to be an astronaut or a teacher or a firefighter.

I noticed this phenomenon as I’ve been in and out of airports for the past few months and the immediate tendency I exhibit in taking comfort in my cell phone. I deter from social situations because in my mind I want to lay low, but, it’s my excuse to find my bubble to stay safe in. Those that I know, those that know me, those that care about me and vice versa. I find safety and solitude in knowing what is going on around me rather than examining individuals whom I’ve never met nor will encounter ever again.

It’s a strange reality observing that others have ambitions and goals and lives outside of what you are seeing. They travel and visit far off lands for vacations stemming from the same airport you leave from. When you acknowledge that others have individual motives and lives outside of your own, you quickly realize just how small you are. However, regardless of how small you are, you have the innate ability to impact others stories and become a part of their narrative just by being present.

Wishing you an amazing day and an even better weekend.

*Side note short video in the comments below that I love on Sonder

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham

The Best Advice I’ve Ever Received

 

You work hard, but you fake hustle.

I’ll repeat that: you work hard, but you fake hustle. It shook me to my core. It infuriated me internally making my blood boil like I’ve never experienced. I mulled over the 7 words and moped in my own personal sorrows until I came to the realization that it was true. I worked to the level that others put me at. I can honestly say, most everyone does. I was caught up in hearing others say you work so hard and you do so much, how do you do it? I was convinced I was at the pinnacle of my personal ability.

Rather, when thinking more about it, I came to the realization that I was working to the level of what others deemed busy or what others considered hard work. I completely disregarded my personal belief on how much I could accomplish because I took the words of what is perceived as normal.

This statement was like a light switch, a fire under my ass, or the smack in the face of simple reality. My perception of workload was dependent on what I perceive as busy, not what others think. This semester, I challenged myself to work even harder and work until I made myself sick. I took on 15 credits for my Senior Spring, I worked full time with a digital marketing agency managing over 11 profiles at one point executing day to day posts and analyzing the field from a macro sense in ways in which to improve their individual platforms totaling around 60 hours a week of work, and also still held my job as a busboy cleaning dishes and serving food at AOII at UF.

I thought nothing of it until someone noted from the outside what I was doing. Mind this, they are over 30 years old and employed full time by the University of Florida. I was asked “how in the world are you doing all of this while being in classes and still being involved?” and my answer was far clearer than I had ever imagined it would be.

I am a machine. I know and understand that I am destined for greatness, but attribute future successes to my ability to work harder than anyone around me. When I was told I faked my hustle, I’ve had an inner battle against my own mental state and my physical body convincing both that I am able anything I want to accomplish.

At times, it’s lonely. I spend long hours behind my phone and behind my computer typing pages and pages figuring out what to accomplish or do next. It’s cost me time from friends, less time being spent in social scenarios like midtown or downtown drinking the night away, but I understand it is a part of the process.

I want to thank you one thousand times over for being a part of my process and seeing and encouraging what is to come. Here’s to Friday. Crush it.

 

Song of the Week: Bambi – Jidenna

Check out my what I’ve been up to here: (IG)

 

“There is no such things as strangers, just friends we’ve yet to meet.”

Brant A. Wickersham