Tag: Life

Compassion, Train Tracks, and the Comment Section (+ I Have A Question) | Fourth Friday Fangirling

Less intro, more fangirling. Okay? Okay!

Let’s do this!

In this month’s FFFs, you have compassion, the comment section train, and train tracks. Oh! And I have a question for you at the end :D | Fourth Friday Fangirling

All Over the Blogosphere

Inspiration and Motivation – Valerie of This Vegan Life’s latest post, “Life is Actually Easy,” gave me an interesting perspective on the difference between inspiration and motivation. She also reintroduced me to meditation, which I’m thinking of doing again soon.

{About blog: This Vegan Life is a vegan lifestyle blog by Valerie Cody. Here, she shares not only scrumptious recipes for vegan peeps but also ways to have a more spiritually grounded life. I also love the vintage collage feel of her feature images.}

An Alternative RealityThrough sharing a fun fact about train tracks, Ellie of Ellie’s Blog wrote a thought-provoking post on tradition and how we generally lack the ability to step away from “what works” in “The Distance Between”. It’s brilliant and a must-read!

{About blog: Ellie’s Blog is a personal blog by Ellie, a 23-year-old from New Zealand. She writes about opinions, self-help, travel and poetry. Another great post you should check out of hers is “The Generation of Instant Gratification.” I know right??? You could already tell it’ll be a brilliant post 😀}

“Faith Crisis”In this absolutely amazing post by Kate of Aroused, “Faith Crisis,” Kate opened the door in my head as I thought about religion and politics and how we have lost faith to institutions.

{About blog: Aroused is a creative blog by Kate (aka calmkate. So that’s def not me) Not being biased because we’re namemates here, but her blog is a total gem. She shares photographs of beautiful everyday things and writes thought-provoking posts and poems like this one}

ReflectionA beautiful short story from My Life Online’s Becca, “A Personal Story” will definitely resonate to anyone who is struggling with accepting a part or parts of their selves. As someone with a low self-esteem and has an issue with self-confidence, this shook and moved me.

{About blog: My Life Online is a blog by Becca. She has now moved to a new blog, Becca and Beyond.}

All Over the Rest of the World

Nur HudaYou probably knew about this already because things like these get featured on news real quick. But anyway, in case you didn’t know: remember when authors got together to hold an auction for the victims of the devastating Grenfell Tower Fire? One of the authors who joined is the amazing Philip Pullman who pledged a named character for the second part of his upcoming book series, La Belle Sauvage. It’s an amazing lot to bid, right? Then one James Clements posted this:

James Clements bid on Authors for Grenfell

The response? An amazing comment train of people adding to Mr Clements’s initial bid. It was overwhelmingly good and I got teary-eyed just scrolling through the comments section.

Responding with Kindness In this Twitter thread by Sierra Abrams (@sierraiswriting) she shared a story on how she responded with kindness to a person who deserve it the least. It’s an inspiring story and worth the scrolling, trust me 😉

A Not So Perfect LifeI recently subscribed to Emma Gannon’s podcast, Ctrl Alt Delete. One of the first episodes I’ve read is Episode #58: Sophie Kinsella – A Not So Perfect Life. And being a HUGE Sophie Kinsella fan, I couldn’t just NOT listen to it. And I did not regret it one bit.

This episode talked about how social media has changed our lives and the emergence of our glamorous online lives. That, and Sophie Kinsella’s writing process. Which is interesting to listen. Plus *whispers* her accent and Emma’s accent are wonderfuuuuuul*

*yep, I’m still obsessing over accents. Not ashamed of it one bit.

What I Am All Over

Personal Achievement: I am so proud of this drawing that I finished editing for-web this month. I’m slowly trying to put more effort and attention into backgrounds plus I’m getting better at painting leaves 😀 Still have to work on painting flowers but celebrate the little victories! <3

Music: ラ・ム・ネ (ra-mu-ne) by Snail’s House (Such a happy music! Listen to it below)

Poetry: “someplace silent” by Kiya of Flawed Silence (obviously not being a total fangirling unicorn here mehehe. PS Kiyaaaa I miss you, you wonderful unicorn youuu <3)

Photo:

I found this through Brain Pickings; made by Wendy MacNaughton and Courtney E. Martin. If you want a print, you can buy one through here. All proceeds will be donated to Hedgebrook, a rural writing residency for women.

So I Have A Question:

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. But I’m not really sure how many of y’all use Pinterest. So I’m going out on a limb here…

Would you like to join a Pinterest group board where you can discover new blogs and promote your latest blog posts?

I notice so many wonderful Pinterest-worthy blog images that go with all your amazing posts. And I kept thinking how totally amazing it would be if you could extend your reach to Pinterest. Also, hehe, I want to discover new blogs. I did all the blog-finding tricks up my sleeve—Twitter blog trains, searching for tags on Reader, other blog’s comment section… But I’ve discovered that my best way of discovering new blog is through Pinterest. Obviously, because I’m such a Pinning Wizard™.

Anyway, it’s just an idea that had been simmering in my mind for a while now. Let me know what you think! Or I’ll just crawl back to my cave of awkwardness.

Happy weekend, awesome peeps! <3

8 Artists that Inspire Me to Be Better in Drawing (+ Whose Artworks I Fangirl Over Sooo Hard)

Role models. Y’all would agree that we all have at least three of those in our lives right? I mean, you know what I’m talking about.

Role models are:

+ People you look up to
+ People you hope you’ll become someday
+ People you hold high respect for
+ People whose works and achievements you fangirl over
+ And you fangirl over them so hard, these people basically turn you into this gal,

Image result for saikawa gif

Don’t tell me you don’t have that in your life. Like seriously. It’s totally okay! We can all be a little geeky here, I won’t judge 😉 I mean, how can I?? I practically declared myself a Universal Fangirl™. In fact, I welcome geekery of all forms here with wide open arms!

Having role models will help you to keep on striving for your goals. They give you the motivation to pump your fists and tell yourself, “You can do this! You can reach that level! Just keep on working hard!” Especially at times when you’re about to drown in self-doubt.

In my case, I have my own list of artists that I look up to and inspire me to keep drawing and practice and improve my art. While art isn’t really a top priority for me right now, it will always be an important aspect of my life.

I always try to make time to do a little doodle when I’m free. I especially like it when they share old drawings and you can see how much improvement they’ve had between the two artworks.

So here they are, 8 of my favorite artists and how they inspired me to keep on drawing! 🙂

Jacquelin de Leon

Mermaids. Witches. Beautiful people in all shapes and colors. Tattoos. Badass females. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

I just posted a few new prints and stickers in my shop!! Im really excited to finally have my Kintsugi and Greenhouse pieces from my solo show available as prints! I’m also including a limited edition large hand embellished run of Kintsugi✨ (don’t worry I will be putting the originals up for sale soon) I also added some new glossy vinyl stickers including a mermaid, witch hand, Symmetra, and some new witches! Head over to jacquelindeleon.storenvy.com or click on the link in my bio to check it out! Thank you guys for sticking around and for all of your sweet comments! I’ll have some new art to post real soon☺️💕 . #illustration #jacquelindeleon #artistsoninstagram #artcollective #instaart #artoftheday #witch #stickers #symmetra #overwatch #kintsugi #watercolor #plants #plantstagram

A post shared by Jacquelin de Leon (@jacquelindeleon) on Jun 27, 2017 at 5:33pm PDT

There are times when I doubt myself when I use black ink as linings on my portraits. Often because there are so many artists out there who have non-black linearts or no lineart at all. But Jacquelin is such an inspiration to me and motivates me to just draw whatever the heck I want.

Alisa Vysochina

Pretty people. Cats. Dogs. Other cutie animals. Amazing attention to details. Super cute witches. And most importantly: CACTI AND SUCCULENTS!!!

🍂🍃🌿Greenhouse🌿🍃🍂 Check out my new video about creating and planning big illustrations, link in the profile as always 🍁 #watercolor #artistsoninstagram #illustration #greenhouse #patheticpowers #doggoboyfriend

A post shared by Alisa Vysochina (@alisavysochina) on May 8, 2017 at 9:57am PDT

See, ever since I could remember, I’m no good at drawing plants. My flowers are below mediocre and my trees are still like the kind you draw in first grade. It’s that awful. So seeing the greenery in her works motivates me to practice drawing more flowers and trees <3 <3 <3

*I have a thing with accents, okay??? Also, it’s soothing to hear her talk about artist woes and motivating fellow artists. They fill mah heart everytime.

Maruti Bitamin (aka Koyamori)

Beautiful and bold color combinations. Illustrations that make you feel like you’ve entered into a surreal dream world. SUPER CUTIE CREATURES <3 <3

Bioluminescence ✨

A post shared by @maruti_bitamin on Jun 30, 2017 at 7:30am PDT

Her drawings are always PACKED with details. And she always motivates me in taking more time into my illustrations and putting more details into them. I mean, who could make fishbones look so awesome??? <3 <3 <3

Charlie Bowater

Aghhh! The prints are here! This is my life for the next few days: signing and packaging this fat stack. I also never thought I would say the phrase ‘fat stack’ and yet, here we are. 👌🏻 #acowar #charliebowater #sjmaas

A post shared by charlie bowater (@charliebowater) on Jun 6, 2017 at 5:02am PDT

If you’re familiar with Sarah J. Maas, then I’m willing to bet you know who Charlie Bowater is. She is a bookworm and she creates these AH-MAZING fan arts of characters from novels. I came across her because… well, my Twitter feed is basically 75% bookish community.* And she created the Most Gorgeous fan art for the ACOTAR series and I’m seriously in love with them!!!

*Most likely because of joining in on too many bookish giveaway on Twitter. Hahaha! …haha…ha…I haven’t won anything.

Rebecca Ninig (aka ni_nig)

Beautiful girls and boys. Voluminous hair. That shading tho <3

And here’s another graphite commission. This character belongs to lymerikk (on deviantart)

A post shared by Rebecca Ninig (@ni_nig) on Jul 9, 2017 at 5:37am PDT

Ah,Rebecca Ninig and her super-awesome-I-can’t-handle-this-beauty-ashfjhdkl Instagram account. Have I ever told you how much I obsess over pencil sketches?? Like I’m sure you know how much of an art geek I am at this point but we can go further and let me tell ya: I LOVE PENCIL SKETCHES SOOO MUCH. And the way Rebecca shades her drawings…

 Image result for perfect gif

Meyoco

Another artist whose choice of color combinations I love so much. I notice Meyoco likes to use bright and pastel colors and together with her thin lineart, it creates this fluffy and airy feeling to her illustrations.

Also: I WOULD DEFINITELY BUY THE CLOTHES HER OCs WEAR!!! <3 <3 <3

🍹🍹🍹 (art tools info: @pearlescentpink)

A post shared by meyoコ (@meyoco) on Jul 9, 2017 at 8:30am PDT

Griselda (aka lord_gris)

Pretty girls. Beautiful coloring. Her fan arts are gorgeous especially her version of Beth and Plum from Bravest Warriors.

What I loved most about her though, is that she is so supportive of aspiring artists. I mean, I’m sure other big artists are supportive of newbies as well but man, you should see the captions on some of her photos (you can have a taste of her inspiring goodie-caption below).

I was talking to someone the other day and they asked me if I ever felt pity for people, like if I looked at their art and thought “you’re never going to be any good”. I mean this was a non-artistic person so I think they thought some people blasted out of the womb with a magic paintbrush that they can whack on a canvas and the Mona Lisa pops out. So I said to them “heck no! Hold the phone! Let me get you my sketchbook from when I was 11”. They were shocked as they fllipped through it and said “wow I drew better than you when I was a kid.” Honestly most people drew better than me when they were kids. I just enjoyed drawing, so I kept doing it, and improved as a byproduct. When I say I believe in you guys I think it’s really easy to sort of shake it off and say “well she’s talking to everyone else, not me” but I am talking to you. If you’re making your art no matter what then I absolutely believe in you, because I’ve been through the same journey. I’ve never looked at any persons art and said to myself “well they’re going nowhere fast”. The only thing I look at is people’s attitudes. If they’re always talking about quitting then they’re probably going to quit, and that’s what’s going to keep them from growing. But anyone who is tenacious and perseveres is going to be so amazing at art. And I earnestly think that. And I want people to be kind and patient with themselves during the process because it takes a long time. But don’t ever think to yourself that just because your art isn’t where you want it to be then it’s hopeless. Keep going, never stop :3 #sketch #redraw #drawitagain #drawthisagain #moleskine #copicart #oldart #draweveryday #artsanity #dibujo #practice #autodesksketchbook #pencil #mechanical #doodle #scribble #improvement #fashion

A post shared by Griselda (@lord_gris) on Jul 8, 2017 at 1:09pm PDT

See??? How can you not be inspired by that?? *clutches heart* Her captions really inspire me to be better and keep on drawing <3 <3 and she’s never ashamed to share the struggles she has gone through and are currently going through as an artist.

Sara Tepes (aka sarucatepes)

Gorgeous hair. Victorian/gothic-ish vibe to her drawings; kinda reminds me of Brett Helquist’s style, the artist who made the illustrations for Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.

6 of the princess drawings are up in my shop along with limited edition prints of all 12 of them, link in my bio! Use the code PRINCESS30 for 30% off if you wish to purchase all 12 of them. I will snap some better products pics of the prints tomorrow, it’s super late here ahh * * * #disney #disneyprincess #fanart #shop

A post shared by Sara Tepes | 18 (@sarucatepes) on Mar 24, 2017 at 8:29pm PDT

Sara and her works constantly remind me that your age is never a criterion on excelling at what you do. By the way, she’s around my age so she makes me pumped up to draw more <3


And just so y’all know, these are just like 5% of the artists I follow in Instagram and YouTube. But they are some of the artists that never fail to inspire me with their works. My People Who Inspire Me list is really long. I still haven’t mentioned the webcomic artists, and authors, and bloggers, and just about anyone else who inspire me. Maybe next time 😉

The point here is that: it’s good to have people you look up to, I like to think. You find the motivation and inspiration to do your best and keep working hard on what you do. Also: instead of letting yourself wallow in The Green Monster of Envy™, you could spread the love all around and not hurt your self-esteem, right???

FANGIRL WITH ME: Who are your role models? How do they inspire or motivate you?  Are you a Universal Fangirl™ like me? DO YOU LIKE SUCCULENTS??? (Seriously. I need someone to fangirl over succulents with stat.)

Have an awesome fangirling day, awesome peeps! <3

A Crucial Life Lesson I Learned from a Chicken

Hey everyone! I’m currently hitting the books, studying for my pre-midterm exams right now and I didn’t have any post scheduled for today. Hopefully, I’ll have a new one next Wednesday but in the meantime, here’s a short post I did… *checks the date* whoa, this was last year??? It’s that old?! Whaaaaaat

Ahem. Anyway. If you don’t know yet, I have an incredibly soft spot for chickens. And birds, in general*. I miss my chicken, Maui**, sooo much. And here’s a life lesson I learned from hanging out with them last year. Enjoy! 🙂

*And cats. And fishies. And bunnies. And dogs (so long as they don’t bark at me or bite me. I still have a bit of trauma from a childhood incident)
**I call her that because she has this tribal-like design on the feathers around her neck and Moana was the jam last year. She’s also a human-attention-seeker, much like Maui the demigod.

You read that right. I learned something from Scrabble before, this isn't unusual already, right? | Life Lesson, Inspiration

The chickens in my grandfather’s backyard all sleep in our neighbor’s fruit tree. It is the tallest tree and the one with the most numerous branches in their vicinity. It’s like their penthouse suite. Overnight security and so high up from the ground.

There was the youngest of all, basically still a chick, that I call Tom Hanks* and he wanted to follow the older chickens up in the tree. But he was still too young and his tiny wings couldn’t take him that far up yet. I watched him go farther and farther up. He perched on our neighbor’s wooden fence and tried to fly towards the tree. But he fell.

Later, he gave up and had to retreat to his old nest. He was sleeping on that nest that night.

Observing Tom Hanks made me think of the goals we set for ourselves and the obstacles we had to face in our lives.

I once mentioned that I don’t agree with people who said that you “only think” that obstacles are big. Like obstacles have some weird deceptive power that make them look big. “It’s all in our heads,” they say.

I think not. I think obstacles are big and they’re supposed to be.

Because maybe, when we were facing those obstacles, we were just like Tom Hanks (the chick above, not the actor); still tiny and our wings can’t take us anywhere far.

Maybe we had to fall several times before we reach that treetop-penthouse.

Maybe we still don’t have the strength to overcome those obstacles.

Maybe we still have to grow.

Because really, isn’t that how life is? No one joins the Game of Life and immediately starts at level 99. And not everyone starts the game of life altogether. You could still be at level 18 and you’re already comparing yourself to someone at level 50. Give yourself a break.

If there was something I’ve learned from Tom Hanks the chick, it’s that when you fall down, you don’t give up. You go back and rest. You get to live another day and grow.

Who knows? Maybe by the next sunset you’ll finally reach that branch.

Happy obstacle-conquering, awesome peeps!

*I call him Tom Hanks because among the five hatchlings, he was the only one to survive from getting eaten by huge field rats and cats. Basically the Castaway/Survivor, amirite??

13 Ways to Be Inspired and Pump Up Your Creativity

It is a problem any and every creative experiences at least like ten times* in their life:

Error 404: Inspiration and Creativity Not Found

(Did you mean pizza?)

Frustrating, right???

And so, I share to you 13 ways to be inspired and pump up creativity. These are things I found through the ever-wise Google, most of which has worked for me. Enjoy!

*this didn’t come from any real statistics, just personal experience haha

Are you recently uninspired and are totally frustrated about it? I know no one likes being an uninspired potato so I list 13 ways to be inspired and pump up your creativity. | Inspiration, Creativity

1 | Take a walk

Or if you’re up for it, do regular exercise. Did you know that taking a walk—or, essentially, letting your body move—helps in the improvement of your creative inspiration? Apparently, a casual walk can help you see things in a new perspective and voila! Inspiration!

So fellow non-outdoorsy peeps, y’all have no excuse not to walk, ‘kay? It could just be a walk around your house or pacing in your room or taking the stairs. So long as you give your brain that stimulating effect after a brief exercise, you’re good to go! 😉

2 | Listen to music

And I don’t just mean any music. I mean, listening to music that strikes you and your mind in a positive way.

Image result for metal music monsters university gif

Like has that ever happen to you? You hear a certain song and you’re just struck with this feeling? Like a crack appeared and light went in. The song triggered a gear inside your mind and made it whir into action. Have you ever had that?

Depending on the kind of music that you want when you’re in a particular mood at a particular time, your brain will be able to go into “mind-wandering mode” where most of our creativity happens. It’s like the Pillar of Creation is where stars are born, ya know?*

Here are three musicians that gives me that “struck” feeling:

Owl City – synthpop, experimental pop, beautiful lyrics

AURORA – ethereal music, enchanting voice, amazing lyrics telling stories

In Love with a Ghost – lo-fi indie music, no words but is incredibly soothing

3 | Take a picture of beautiful things

Because of the convenience that comes with owning smartphones, taking pictures of pretty things is something that we all do. But to be inspired, I do something else: I look at ordinary things and try to see the beauty in them. I think it’s a good exercise to have, not only creative-wise but also in my own personal positive mindset practice.

It’s a way to see things in a different, more imaginative perspective. Sharing those pictures to the world and having people appreciate it are all bonuses, to be honest.

4 | Immerse yourself in nature

Related image

It’s something I learned last year: nature can be the most relaxing and best companion you could have. It’s like you could throw anything awful to it, and Mother Nature simply absorbs it and gives you something more positive and beautiful instead.*

If you have a garden or live near a park or mountains or the beach, take a step out of your desk or your room and just bask in the beauty of nature. Take it from me, it’s therapeutic. 😉

*when you think about it, that’s what trees do, isn’t it? Suck all the carbon dioxide and glet out oxygen for us to breathe.

5 | Bring your pet outdoors

And stare at them lovingly until you feel relaxed. No kidding. A relaxed state can help your brain go into that “mind-wandering mode” I mentioned above. And yo, there are reasons why some facilities make use of dogs to help veteran soldiers and patients experiencing post-traumatic stress.

6 | Watch an educational video on YouTube

And yes, I don’t mean vlogs or comedy sketch videos or late night shows. I mean sure, maybe a video of these kinds here and there could spark an idea. But ultimately, these types of videos are usually meant to entertain rather than to educate. And they won’t be able to help you see things in different light and spark an idea and inspire you.

There are plenty of channels out there that aim to educate and share different perspectives. Here are four of my go-tos:

+ TED Talks / TEDx Talks – incredible ideas on almost every topic you can possibly think of.
+ TED-Ed – three- to five-minute videos that aim to educate people in a certain topic with crazy-good animation.
+ School of Life – They’re kinda like TED-Ed and I personally love their videos on psychology and society.
+ Button Poetry – My go-to channel for awesome spoken word poetry.

7 | Listen to interesting podcasts

I’ve had a good amount of blog posts published here that were inspired from a podcast episode. Thing is, whether you’re into business, writing or even the fashion or beauty industry, if you just take the time to search the topics you’re interested in, you’ll be able to find a podcast for it 🙂

Here are some podcasts that I love:

<3 Invisibilia – a podcast about the invisible forces that control human behavior. Narrative storytelling + scientific research = a must-listen podcast.
<3 TED Radio Hour – Because I obviously can’t get enough of TED, each episode is about a certain topic with guests who had a TED Talk related to said topic.
<3 Ctrl Alt Delete – a podcast by Emma Gannon about how the internet and social media has changed our lives.
<3 Radiolab – a show where the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.

8 | Take a break

As Eliza sang to Alexander, it doesn’t do you any good if you’re too hard on yourself. You might end up getting burned out or too overwhelmed which is unhealthy. Getting too focused on a task is mentally exhausting so give your brain the break it rightfully needs.

9 | Read blogs

Because, ya gotta admit, reading blogs written by other people can spark an inspiration, don’t you find? Brain Pickings, particularly, is a favorite inspiration hub of mine. And yes, I love all of you awesome peeps’ blogs <3 I’ve discovered so many awesome blog posts and new blogs and I can’t wait to share ’em to y’all in this July’s Fourth Friday Fangirling! 😀

10 | Be mindful of your thoughts

Remember that “mind-wandering mode” I mentioned above? The birthplace of almost all of our creativity? That involves daydreaming and flitting from one thought to another.

Image result for daydreaming gif

So try to take notice of these moments and when a flitting thought inspires you, take note of it immediately. Remember thoughts can be like butterflies; they’re there one moment and gone the next. Daydreaming usually happens to me when I’m commuting or bored. Speaking of boredom…

11 | Try “Eat that Frog”

Remember the productivity technique where you have to start the boring stuff first? You could apply it to creative inspiration too. Yep, boredom can boost your creativity and I talked about how the heck that works. You can check out that post here.

12 | Take a step out of your routine

I’ve talked about how new perspectives can help you be inspired and unleash your creative awesomeness plenty of times above, right? Now, what easier way to see things in a new angle than to step out of your everyday routine. Maybe you can listen to an unfamiliar song or use a different route than your usual or learn something new.

13 | Be deliberate

Now if you really want to be inspired and pump up your creativity, you have to be deliberate about it. And when I say deliberate, I mean: don’t do things half-assed and flush away your glumness in the toilet. Instead of thinking “I can’t do this…” or “But this is how it’s supposed to be,” ask yourself these questions: “What if…” or “What other way is there?” or “How would *insert different person* see this?”

In other words, keep an open mind. Because an open mind would attract inspiration and creativity more than a closed one.

And remember, awesome peeps: inspiration and creativity are not infinite.

At one point, you’ll use up and exhaust them. So when that happens, frustrating as it may be, know that it’s not the end of the world and it doesn’t mean that you’ll never see them again. The world is large enough to offer us many platforms for inspiration and creativity; you just have to find them. 🙂


Other awesome articles on finding inspiration you can check out:

50 Ways to Find Inspiration – Tiny Buddha
How to Unleash Your Creativity and Find Inspiration Today – Psychology Today
6 Places I Go Online to Be Inspired – yours truly

Your turn: How do you get inspired? Where do you find inspiration? I’m sure there are still more ways out there, so are there any that works on you that I haven’t mentioned? Do share them all! I’d love to hear about them!

Have an inspired day, awesome peeps! <3

Knowing the Creativity-Boosting Importance of Boredom This Summer

Are you the kind of person who’s super excited for summer because you’ve planned on doing absolutely nothing at all? Because, pssh, summertime = recharging time, amirite???

Hey! High five! That’s me too! 😀

Well let me guess: halfway into the break and you’re already letting out undignified wails and gradually melting into a pathetic puddle who has declared yourself Extremely Bored™.

Hey high five me too.

Knowing the Creativity-Boosting Importance of Boredom This Summer | I share what I learn about boredom. Apparently, it boosts creativity. *cue theatrical gasps*

I mean let’s face it, summer boredom is the work of a jealous evil workaholic sorcerer. Some lucky ones avoid it altogether by signing up to summer camps or applying for summer jobs. While the rest of us poor unfortunate souls are left to deal with it in the most ungracious ways possible. You know, like rolling around the bed moaning like a llama.

But you gotta admit, we all avoid it. We avoid summer boredom like the contemporary plague that it is. We keep ourselves busy and we run to the other direction whenever we see it coming our way.

Actually, when you think about it, we avoid boredom, period. Whatever the kind.

But have you ever tried being like the ever-philosophical Hammond* and stopped for a minute and thought: why do we hate boredom?

“Oh pssh, that’s easy, Kate. It’s awful, it makes you feel anxious, you feel like a bum, and you feel awful for being an unproductive puddle of uselessness. Did I mention IT’S AWFUL??”

*Mistborn Series, anyone?

But what if I tell you that boredom is actually important?

And no, I’m not just being a Sunnyside Sunshine Sarah here. I’m not trying to see the good thing in even something as glum as boredom, okay? It’s true! Boredom apparently boosts your creativity. You want proof?

Okay, let me enumerate them in pretty purple diamond bullet-points:

University of Louisville researcher Andreas Elpidorou pointed out that boredom is a “regulatory state that keeps one in line with one’s projects.” Basically, boredom is your brain’s way of warning you that you are not doing anything productive and you have to come up with something more stimulating to do.

In two separate studies, researchers have found the connection between feeling bored and getting creative. Each study had a group of participants do uber-boring tasks such as reading phone books and watching an incredibly boring video clip. And these bored groups outperformed groups who were relaxed or elated on creativity tests.

Oh, and in case you’d think this is some modern finding we’ve only realized recently, you’re dead wrong. Philosophers from way back to a century ago had already mused about the importance of boredom in our everyday lives.

British psychoanalyst Adam Phillips pointed out the adults’ way of making children grow out of boredom by providing them young ‘uns with interesting things. And this is hindering that child’s opportunity to find, on his own, what interests him.

What these pretty purple bullet-points tell us is that boredom exists for a reason. It is that push that motivates us to engage in more creative and fun activities.

Seeing as we’re gradually turning into a creativity-seeking world, it’s no question really that we are also looking for more interesting and highly creative things to do.

Of course, you need to know the difference of a good type of boredom from a bad one

Because much like how there’s a good type of stress and a bad type of stress, according to British philosopher Bertrand Russell, there are two kinds of boredom: a fructifying one (the motivating kind of boredom) and a stultifying one (the boredom that turns you into an undignified wailing llama).

Being able to differentiate between the two can be useful in dealing with boredom in your everyday life.

So here’s what you can do with the good kind of boredom.

Instead of running for the hills or containing it in a glass jar, treat it like… well, treat it like Sadness*. Allow yourself to go along with it. Let your brain experience boredom. Doodle random weird-looking creatures, make an improvised origami, spin a pen. Make something out of being bored.

*I swear, the moral of Inside Out is super applicable to life

And how exactly do we make use of being bored, Kate?

Great question.

You know that famous productivity technique, “Eat The Frog”? Where you do your worst and most tedious task first thing? Same concept.

When you think you need creativity to finish a certain project, try to start your day accomplishing the boring tasks first. In a way, it’s like your brain saving up your creative energy so you could use them at the right time 🙂

Your turn: Do you get bored often? Have you taken the Boredom Proneness Scale Test? What do you do when you’re bored? Share your thoughts!

♦♦ Have a creative day, awesome peeps! ♦♦

Come in, come in. We have PIE! | Fourth Friday Fangirling

I gotta admit, much as I was excited for this feature, I didn’t get to explore as much new blogs as I wanted. But I still got to find really awesome posts and bloggers to share and feature for this month.

Because can you really believe that not much had happened in the blogosphere??? I refuse to.

Gathering all the posts I’ve bookmarked and blogs I took note all throughout this month, I realized that I unintentionally had a sort of theme going on.

PIE!

Perspective, inspiration and energy. Which, let’s face it, are pretty abundant here, don’t you agree?

Ever since I started college, I’ve always wanted to see things in different perspectives. I guess it started out after I watched a video of Hank Green where he said something about people’s differing worldviews and this book I read. Gosh, those were so long ago, I forgot what they were.

Their impact on me remained, though. Both the video and the book made me want to understand and be more considerate of the things and people around me. I became an Anton ego.

Related image

But…you know, a bubblier and happier Anton Ego, I’d like to think. (We both have sophisticated tastes tho hahaha)

When I think about it now, it was no surprise that I went to the blogosphere to find those varying perspectives. I’ve had this blog for nearly three years and I’ve seen so many inspiring and energetic people with opinions similar and different from mine. If that doesn’t make you more open-minded, I sure don’t know what will.*

For this June, I want to share some inspiring and personality-driven blog posts and blogs from bloggers you may or may not know. One thing I can guarantee for y’all lovely peeps: these are packed with perspective, inspiration, and energy.

*Perhaps opening your skull will make you more open-minded, hmm? Get it??? 😀 *crickets chriping* Kfine.

Come in, come in. We have PIE! | Fourth Friday Fangirling | Teen bloggers' impact, regrets, redemption, and telling it like it is. This first feature is kinda packed, if you think about it. BUT SO GOOD I TELL YA! :D

 

Teen Bloggers: Impacting the World, One Blog Post at a Time

I’ve always felt blessed that I spent the last… *mutters and counts* three years of my teenage years skimming through the Teen Tag of WordPress. Through it, I got to meet the most spunky, inspiring, hilarious and purely awesome fellow teenagers who are, honestly, more awesome and opinionated than I was at their age. (Gosh, I sound an old lady. Just so y’all know, I’m still nineteen 😉 )

Two of said awesome teens posted two inspiring blog posts this month that had me so inspired, I think I fangirled over their comment section more than was publicly appropriate.

Elm of—oh gorsh, we can all agree we only have one Elm in this part of the blogosphere, right???

Anyway, if you haven’t read it yet*, Elm shared a few weeks ago about how she was going to speak to a group of students in Dorset, “My Blog in the Real World”. I was beyond ecstatic reading her post and felt completely inspired.

This just shows how we bloggers—no matter how small or big, young or old—have a voice and the capability to impact people. And I’d like to quote Elm on this:

Remember that your words can mean something; it’s words that can change people’s minds and let them understand things which they otherwise wouldn’t.

I may not be able to help everyone or do everything I want to do. However, what I can do is worth it. What I can do is help as many people as I can and speak as loudly as I can.

Don’t be afraid of taking new, potentially scary opportunities. It could change your life, or the lives of others, one day.”

And then there’s Bea of Child of Cynicism.

OHHHMYGOSHHHH HER POSTS AHHHHH!

If you don’t follow her blog yet, I urge you to. Like seriously. Just get out of here right now and go and click follow. (But do come back afterwards, because I still have like two or three more blogs to feature below hehe)

She doesn’t have a regular posting schedule but, I can guarantee you, every post of hers is inspiring and thought-provoking. I am basically a puppy wagging its tail when they see their human companion in the vicinity whenever I see she has a new post. They’re the kind of posts that make you question how the world around you truly works and make you think of certain societal issues.

Her post “To Teenagers, Everywhere” is a short yet straightforward and incredibly inspiring message to teenagers who are struggling with school-works and exams at the time. Because let’s face it, we teenagers have practically spent most of our lives in the classroom. Don’t you sometimes wonder about your self-worth whenever you failed a test or flunked a subject? I know I did, and still sometimes do.

Bea’s post is a helpful reminder that, no, you are more than your grades and your self-worth isn’t measured by your academic performance. Here’s a little snippet:

Please take the time to realise that your grades do not define you. That they cannot measure the content of your kindness, or the vastness of your intellect. They do not determine your intelligence, nor do they determine your future.

An Inspiring Advice on Regrets

I remember discovering Corey of The Nostalgia Diaries a few months back (or was it last year…?) when I joined one of the blog parties hosted by Steph of Scale it Simple. The Nostalgia Diaries has since become one of my go-to places for Internet therapy and I always leave her blog feeling comforted and reassured. Her writing does that to you. (Or me, in my case.)

Her post, “On the Road of Life: Let There Be No Regrets” resonated to me so much despite our age difference. It just goes to show that we all go through similar struggles in life, despite how we may be in different levels in this game called Life. Seriously, I want to like quote the entire-freakin-post because her writing is that good but that would make this feature post incredible long already* so here’s me trying to restrain and sticking to, like two paragraphs instead:

“I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like if I’d stayed back in Ohio. My guess is that it would be very different than what it is like now, but then again, how am I to know? Would I be married? If I was, would we have a perfect little suburban house? Would we have a couple of kids? Would I have a different career? Would I even be working at all? Would I love my life? The only answer I can give to these questions is maybe. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Maybe not.

I could sit and wonder about what my life would be like, but where would that get me? Engaging in that kind of wonder can be a slippery slope, because oftentimes it can lead you down the road of regret. To be perfectly honest, that’s not a road I want to be on.”

*Like dude, I reached the 1000th word here already

Redemption – A Cinematic Poetry (Seriously.)

I just discovered Sarah and her blog, Developing Brakes, this month and I’m so happy that I did. She likes to muse about life in general and share her poetry. One particular poem of hers became this stunning short film with the help of her friend, Sam Neff. You can watch it below.

PLEASE TELL ME IT MOVED YOUR HEART TO PLUTO AND BACK.

Because that’s what it did to mine the first time I watched it. I watched it a second time for this feature post and mygash, I think my heart went for like FIFTY ROUNDS in the Milky Way before it settled back to its place on my chest. It’s so beautiful.

Telling It Like It Is

I read that there had been an influx of new bloggers recently but I wouldn’t know just how many there are because I don’t know where they hang *laughs nervously* So if you’re a newbie over here, please do come and say hi or holler or like contact me via email or through social media! I’d love to check your blogs out! 😀

Anyway, Lisa of Diary of an Average Girl is relatively new. She started her blog last April and already she’s made an impression on me. As in, staring at her no-nonsense and tell-it-like-it-is personality with wide-eyed wonder. It’s refreshing and I like reading blog posts with the blogger’s personality just oozing out of every word.

Her post, “Politics, Blogs and Influencing Opinions” addresses the impact of Internet influencers to politics. She even pointed out how some of these influencers seem to be pushing their own political beliefs into their followers, instead of becoming a guiding light, that person who can help their followers in creating well-informed decisions, politics-wise.

And I completely agree with her. I’ve had the same problem with my generation lately. I mean, it’s good to see that a good amount of our country’s youths are starting to become politically aware and are voicing out their opinions. But in most cases, they are more opinionated yet not exactly informed. And that’s the problem. That’s where influencers could come in and help fill in that gap. Here’s a snippet of her post:

Like I’ve said I truly believe everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but if you take on the title of a ‘social media influencer’ then you need to bear in mind that you are in fact influencing people’s opinions.

(…) Despite this, I haven’t actually found any of these political opinions being thrown at me every time I click on an Instagram’s story, helpful. Quite the opposite, I find it off-putting. The reason being, that none of these opinions are providing me with any helpful information. No facts or figures are being given, no discussions about election manifestos. Instead, just a quick ‘vote this party because they’ll protect the NHS’ or ‘vote that party because they’re better for brexit’, but no reasons why are provided.

I hope you loved all these, bloggers and blog posts I featured. And I hope you’ll take the time to check their blogs out. They are all incredibly awesome. 😀

Of course, I truly believe there are more incredibly awesome bloggers out there waiting to be more known and I’ll do my best in the following months to find them and give them this tiny platform of a feature and spread the lovin’ they definitely deserve. 🙂

Happy blogging, awesome peeps! <3

How to Heal Your Discouraged Heart After a Missed Opportunity

You know how they say you need to grab an opportunity once you see it? Well bugger, sometimes it’s easier said than done.

Summer last year, I was on the ProBlogger Job Board searching for potential work as a freelance writer. I saw this job for a positivity blog and I’m like

this is my moment anna kendrick gif

So I wrote an email to the owner of the website and… completely forgot about it.

At that time, my grandfather was having consecutive nose bleeding and we were all worried. Anything beyond what was happening was shoved to the back of my mind. It was two days later when I got to check my email again. The positivity blogger had replied, interested (like “I think you’d be a great addition to our writing team” interested) but I didn’t respond so he found a different one.

A missed opportunity, among many things, is both discouraging disheartening.

I mean, off the top of your head, what missed opportunity can you think of?

  • That job promotion you’ve been working on for months was postponed.
  • A classmate already submitted a project idea similar to the amazingly brilliant one you’ve formulated just minutes earlier.
  • The only book you still don’t have in a series was on a big sale. AND THE LAST COPY IS IN THE HANDS OF SOMEONE ELSE ALREADY IN THE COUNTER.*
  • And like 96000** other examples that I’m too lazy to enumerate.

How do you feel about them? Discouraged? Heartbroken? Heartbreakingly discouraged? Like you’ve gone total Eeyore mode and thought there’s no use working hard because the opportunity is gone already?

Image result for eeyore there's no use gif

Yeah, that’s how I felt.

In. Every. Freakin. Missed Opportunities.

But I decided to change my way of responding to missed opportunities. I guess you could say it was one of the positive mindset exercises that I did while on a heckuva long break last year. And here are the things I did.

Just so y’all know, these are the things I did for myself. I never guarantee they work the same way for other people. Because as I always say, we are all unique individuals. 🙂 I hope you’ll take something away from this, still 🙂 Enjoy!

*And you just know that person doesn’t need it as much as you do, right?
**Please tell me someone actually knew that?

How to Heal Your Discouraged Heart After a Missed Opportunity | Missed opportunity means a discouraged heart. I share my 4-step cure to heal that heart.

Step 1 | Suck it up and absorb the blow

Let that discouraged feeling settle onto you. Run through it on every angle. Let yourself feel every awful thing that you can possibly think of feeling at times like these. Break down if you must, especially when it’s a huge opportunity. Use up an entire box of tissues or four. Just… let it all out.

I have this mantra, “Absorb everything now, squeeze them out later.” And I do squeeze them all out.

See, there’s nothing good about bottling things up. Bottling up can make you feel physically heavier. I should know: I was once the Queen of Bottling Up*. So if you feel awful or you’re upset, find a channel to let all that out. It’s better to do it now. Kinda like when you’re cleaning fresh wound, you know?

*It was part of my Puberty Angst Package apparently

Step 2 | Accept the loss

After sucking it up and letting the possible waterworks run its course, accept the loss.

It’s called ‘missed’ for a reason. Being glum about it won’t help you in any way. It’s kinda like bottling things up. And hoarding those negative emotions is never good for your health. In fact, it may just affect you badly. One thing that may come out of not being able to move on from a missed opportunity is cynicism.

And I get it, acceptance can be hard to accomplish. Especially when you’re trying to accept something awful like a missed opportunity. This is why I drain out all the awful feeling firsthand. It makes the accepting part easier.

Step 3 | List the bright side

Yes, I know. That is such a cliché phrase. But when I say bright side, I don’t just mean to look at the good things that happened when you missed an opportunity. I really mean list them down. Often, it’s the experience and the lessons that I’ve learned that are the good things. And I’d either mentally list them down or write them.

In the case of the positivity blogging opportunity, here were the lessons and mental-notes I made:

+ Make gmail app notify you of new mails every 15 minutes
+ Create a habit of checking email at least once a day
+ But don’t be too addicted to it, mkay? 🙂
+ Lesson 1: Always know that there are other fishes in the sea, and you’re not the only qualified person for a job. Which is why…
+ Lesson 2: You work harder to be indispensible

Listing down the lessons and the mental-notes you’ve learned also helps you to see the light in an awful situation as missing an opportunity. PLUS! This can also help you move on from said opportunity. #Win

Step 4 | Remind yourself that it’s not the end of the world

The thing is: when we think of opportunities, we instantly assume they are hard to come by. Like one is an extremely rare purple jackalope that you must chase to the ends of the earth to catch. And if you don’t catch them you go:

Image result for sad gif

Yes, opportunities aren’t common. But they aren’t so rare that missing one meant you’ll never see another again. Opportunities are like (hold on, let me think of an analogy—okay I got it!) blue whales.

They’re huge and precious and not something you’ll see every day. Know where to find one and work your butt off to achieve and see them. And even when you’re already there working very hard and you still got zilch, stay patient.

You might just get gloriously splashed.

Your turn! How do you heal your discouraged heart after missing an opportunity? Share your story below!

Have an awesome day, awesome peeps! <3

What I Tell Myself When I’m Hesitant on Moving Forward

What I Do When I Hesitate on Moving Forward | We all have been in that "pause" moment just as you're about to step forward. I share what I do when it happens.

It could be as trivial as taking a shower at four in the morning when the water’s ice cold. Or maybe a step forward to personal development like making the first move at befriending someone (if you’re shy like I am that’s a huge leap).

OR, it could be something monumentally life-changing like changing career paths or being honest with myself.

What I Do When I Hesitate on Moving Forward | We all have been in that "pause" moment just as you're about to step forward. I share what I do when it happens.

There are–and will be–moments in your life when you’re standing at a pause. Maybe you’re standing at the edge of a cliff, or facing a forked path. The gist is: once you take a step, there’s no going back. You won’t be the same person as you were before. Because even the slightest change in you makes a different you.

Believe me, I know. I’ve been there. I’ve been in an edge or a fork several times now; I expect I will be several times more in the future. And I tell myself something when I’m at that “pause” phase. So what’s that?

“You can do this, Kate.”

Just that one line. Really.

I only noticed this recently, like several weeks ago. But I know I’ve been saying it too myself a lot. (Especially at four in the morning :D) For some reason, giving myself a mini cheer is, oftentimes, all the motivation I need. There’s something utterly wonderful at being your own best cheerleader.

I am the one pushing me forward.

Do you have a mantra that helps you move forward?

Happy Saturday, awesome peeps!

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Why Toxic Relationships Are Like Tooth Decay

Hello hello, you lovely person! Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, ey! And I’m continuing onto my love-themed Wednesday posts.

In the past two Wednesdays, I talked about inspiring love and loving others in general. Today, I want to talk about relationships. Particularly, those that hurt you in the same way that Voldemort made Harry’s Hogwarts life miserable every-freakin-year for seven years.

Why Toxic Relationships Are Like Tooth Decay | Combining a friend's story and something I learned in the shower (as expected), I give you this slightly bizarre comparison and an advice.

“Um. We kinda get that from the title, Kate? But what does tooth decay have anything to do with this?”

It’s simple really. Let’s start it with this friend of mine. We shall call her Rose.

Rose was in a relationship for two years. And it was a toxic relationship. I would know because she reached out to me several times. Once she even called me crying about how he hurt her and how pathetic she was.

But I couldn’t understand her.

Why won’t she just break up with the jerk? If he was hurting her too much, then there’s no point working things out, right? But she told me she loved him and she can’t do it. And I decided right then that I’d never understand such thing.

But I was wrong. I did understand, kinda, because I was in a similar position. And what did I likened to Rose’s toxic relationship?

A five-year tooth decay.

My very own li’l Lord Voldemort.

Yes, I know. Maybe you’re disgusted at me right now and thinking why in the world would anyone hold on to something like that for too long?!

Funny, that’s exactly what I was thinking when I listened to Rose’s woes.

The thing is, I had an incredibly sweet tooth that resulted to plenty of tooth cavities when I was a kid. But the toothaches didn’t come until second year in high school.

One part hurt like the devil every time I ate. It instantly ruined both my appetite and day. And I suffered from it for five. Freakin. Years. And it was amazing how I had so many excuses why I wasn’t getting rid of it: I don’t have time, dentist can’t take it out for some reason, too busy with high school then incredibly busy with college. See? Plenty of excuses. But you know what’s the worst and most pathetic excuse I frequently use?

I can’t do it.

I don’t understand why I can’t. It’s not like I loved the little decayed devil or find it valuable to me. But that’s the thing with toxic relationships and long-time tooth decays, I recently learned.

You feel like you can’t do anything to get rid of it permanently.

I’m not really comfortable going to the dentist because, holy macaroni, they can be scary! And oftentimes, I reasoned that the ache was just temporary.

The irony wasn’t lost on me.

I didn’t understand why the heck some people won’t just end their painful relationship–it’s easy and they can do it, can’t they? But here I was nursing my own version of a toxic relationship.

So. What can you folks learn from this?

You have a choice

Whether you choose to stay or let all those hurtful things go is all up to you. But remember to give yourself a little self-respect. I guess, subconsciously, I felt like I was punishing my younger self for being selfish with all the candies–man, I was so horrible I even locked my sister out and gorged on a whole pack by myself!

So see, don’t do the same.

(Both being selfish with your fam and punishing yourself)

Don’t allow yourself to be burdened by pain just ’cause you feel like that’s what you deserve.

I mean, I loved Perks of Being a Wallflower but that “love that we think we deserve” part gives so much room for unhealthy self-deprecation. I think there’s a difference between repentance and self-affliction.

Because things like tooth decays and toxic relationships? If you hold onto them for a long time, they gradually become a part of your life. And suffering from them becomes a sort of habit.

And that’s as scary as Lord Voldie.

Outside these two, there are plenty of other things that can give you pain like abusive and stressful work environment.

And so in the end, I guess this post is also a bit about loving yourself.

It has been three months since Rose finally broke up with jerko. She was miserable at first and the egotistical jerk kept indirectly harassing her through Twitter. But she’s happy now.

It was around the same time when I finally went to the dentist to have the decayed tooth taken out. The first few days felt awkward to feel this gaping hole where the teeth had been.

But now I feel no pain and I don’t feel its absence anymore. I guess gums heal just like hearts do, right?

What would you do if something constantly kept hurting you? Got some advice or awesome thoughts? Share them below!

Have a love-filled day, awesome peeps!

10+ Really Fun Things You Can Do Alone

So, hey. At the time of writing this, next week would be Valentine’s Day.

I’m sure some of you would be spending it with a special someone or with friends or the fam. But I’m also sure some of you will be like me, spending it alone. In my case, it’s just a typical day in the college life of Kate the Stressed Out College Girl. And I couldn’t care less about Valentine’s Day passing by uneventful.

I’m a 100% introvert. Seriously. I’ve taken the Myers-Brigg Test three times and my Introvert-ness is consistently 100%. Which is probably why it’s not shocking to me that I love my alone time.

But I realized not everyone is comfortable in their own company. I know a handful of people who feel so awkward being on their own, they seek refuge in social media.

I guess the problem is some people think of alone and lonely as the same thing.

Friends, they’re not.

10+ Really Fun Things You Can Do Alone

And to prove it, I have a list of things you can do alone and not feel lonely. Because 1) it’s been soooo long since I made a really simple list post and 2) I know plenty so explaining them one-by-one would give you a 583209-word post. That’s more or less trilogy-length. And you wouldn’t want to read something that long, now would you?

Anyhoo, enjoy! 🙂

  • Read your favorite book
  • Take a short hike
  • Photograph things – You don’t have to be an expert and you don’t even have to use a professional camera. Just take a picture of something with your phone or a point-and-shoot camera. Remember that the point here is to enjoy, okay?
  • Watch your favorite movie
  • Draw something – Again, don’t stress over how unrealistic your drawing may look. Just enjoy the creative process 🙂 Better yet…
  • Create something – Any small creative projects are healthy! Not only do they keep your creative juices active, but they’re also quite relaxing. Take your pick!
  • Do some stretching
  • Blast on some good vibe music – And might I suggest to my fellow millennials, Disney songs? 😉
  • DANCE – Whether you want to do it in public or in the comfort of your home is up to you hehe
  • Cook or bake something for yourself – And to my fellow culinary newbies, try something you’re confident you won’t burn
  • Start a journal
  • Go jogging
  • Play an instrument – And if like me, you don’t know any instrument, just belch out some notes with your very own vocal chords
  • Clean your room
  • Play a word puzzle or even try the Rubik’s Cube
  • Go to a (safe) public place like the park or mall or the beach and people watch – I’m telling you this is way more fun than it sounds.
  • Star gaze – Look for a place near you that’s perfect for it, I’m sure there is
  • Stay at home when everyone else is out – Enjoy the quiet. This is my favorite thing to do alone and I’m seldom alone at home so I savor every chance I get.

These are gathered from years of personal experience and I’m someone who’s comfortable in my own company. Still, what works for me may not work for you. But try out a few of these things. Or even think outside the box and do something else entirely! As long as you are enjoying yourself; that is the purpose of this post, anyway.

And also, you never know what you’ll enjoy doing alone unless you do try, yeah? 😉

How do you make time for yourself? What do you best like to do alone?

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PS: You might like to check out 13 ways to be inspired or learn how boredom boosts your creativity.