Post by Ricky Camposanto, Registrar
Last week, I thought about all the lofty goals and dreams that I’d had as a child. Out of 82 major aspirations I had before I turned eighteen, I’ve completed just two (graduating from college and traveling to Europe).
You don’t have to do any math to realize that 2 out of 82 is a terrible percentage. Going strictly by the numbers, I’m kind of a failure.
Look beyond the numbers, though, and you’ll find that nothing could be further from the truth. My life is amazing, and I have those 80 unrealized dreams to thank for it. Sometimes, leaving your dreams behind is the best move you can make.
Confused? Read on.
Here are a few of my childhood dreams:
- Age 6: Become a weatherman
- Age 10: Become a software engineer
- Age 17: Live in a cave, alone, forever
In retrospect, all of those dreams sound like nightmares. But at their respective times, they were goals that I genuinely wanted to accomplish. So, I pursued them:
Age 6: Become a weatherman
I wanted to be a weatherman because I used to watch The Weather Channel every morning, and I loved all the fancy maps and charts they used to show the forecasts and storms. It sounded cool to be able to predict something about the future, even if it was something as mundane as the weather.
Then, one day, as I walked home drenched in rain wearing just a t-shirt and shorts, I realized that, even with all their gizmos and gadgets, weathermen still get the weather wrong all the time.
There went that dream.
BUT: Even though it turned out that weathermen couldn’t forecast their way out of a hail-filled paper bag, my interest in meteorological technology steered me towards another interest: computers.
Age 10: Become a software engineer
I still loved gizmos and gadgets in general, so I got into computers. My uncle showed me a lot about how they work, and eventually I got more interested in the software side of things. I started showing up my classmates by doing my homework in the form of web pages and PowerPoint presentations. I taught myself basic HTML and C++, and thought about how cool it would be to make new computer programs.
Then, I read a book on careers, and it described the life of a software engineer as involving “spending countless hours poring over code, often in isolation or with like-minded team members.” Since this was around the time that puberty started kicking in, I didn’t really like the idea of being stuck in a room for days with two other nerds when I could be out looking at all the pretty girls.
There went that dream.
BUT: Even though software engineering turned out to be a little too boring for my tastes, I still occasionally make use of the coding languages I learned along the way.
Age 17: Live in a cave, alone, forever
The mid-to-late teen years are primetime for angst in most people, and I was no different. After having had my fill of listening to emo songs by day and filling journals with nihilistic sadsackery by night in an attempt to get over repeated heartbreaks and disillusionment, I came up with a solution to avoid ever getting hurt again: running away to the wilderness where nobody could ever find me. That way, I could just spend my days hunting and gathering, and spend my nights writing deep philosophical nonsense on the bark of the trees that I had chopped that day. Or whatever.
Then, just as my condition was about to turn from basic teenage cynicism into something more clinical, my friends stepped in and slapped some sense into me. I met a bunch of new people after I moved out for college. I finally began to appreciate the value of friendships, and decided that the hunter-gatherer life just wasn’t for me.
There went that dream, thank goodness.
BUT: Even though I decided not to live on the lam and make my own papyrus, being pushed to that brink brought me back to sanity and made me appreciate everything that I have.
So, what did we learn?
You don’t have to achieve your goals in order for them to bring you value.
Of my three dreams above, none of them ever materialized. Does that mean that they were failures? Absolutely not!
As I said earlier, my life as of now is pretty darn great. Accomplishing all 82 of my childhood dreams wasn’t necessary for it to be great. What was necessary, however, was having those dreams in the first place.
Dreams, ultimately achieved or not, give you the motivation to move forward and grow. They guide you along a path that leads to what (you believe) you want, but you’re free to wander off that path if something better catches your eye along the way. And along every path — main or detour — you’ll pick up life lessons that are forever yours to keep.
Is your dream to be a healer and to make a difference in people's lives? If so, take a look at our Mueller College ebook Health and Wellness: Being a Healer!
Post by Dan Roberts, Director of Admissions
Refresh your memory and reread part 1- Career Advisor: The Myth of Work-Life Balance:)
In the 1989 film Dead Poets Society, Robin Williams’ character Mr. Keating introduced to his young wards the following quote from Henry David Thoreau:
“I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life. To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.”
This quote provides the framework to examine the ever-popular tug-of-war over work-life balance. For those of you who are regular readers, I wrote about this topic a few months ago. It’s an important topic for so many of us who really do spend more time at work than we do at home. And for our students, this too should not go unnoticed.
So, it’s Fight Night here at Mueller Musings, the proverbial verbal smackdown if you please – and in this corner, Nigel Marsh, author and TEDtalk guest, speaking to those of us naive enough to still believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and yes, work-life balance.
Marsh is kind of like your favorite Uncle, who takes a liking to you and doesn’t want to break your heart, saying over and over again, “There’s still hope.” Over in the opposite corner is Jeanette Mulvey, managing editor at Business News Daily. In her article, “The myth of Work-Life Balance,” (http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/work-life-balance-myth-1170/) she’s more like your perfect, straight-A, valedictorian big sister yelling “Wake up, dork! ain’t no such thing!” Observe:
“I recently saw an ad for a company that will turn your humdrum basement into a plush and impressive home theater. The ad said, “Because You Deserve It.” Save the “deserving” stuff for those poor souls trying to stop a nuclear meltdown in Japan. The rest of us need to suck it up.”
You know, of all the sources out there perhaps the most surprising piece of advice that has achieved some clarity on this topic for me is Lou Holtz.
Wait, Lou Holtz?
Yes – Lou Holtz, former College Football coach and current ESPN Analyst. (No, I am not a Notre Dame fan, but I do like the film Rudy.) While coaching at Notre Dame, he made sure everyone of his players knew how to embrace the WIN: What’s Important Now.
If we all could live that philosophy each and every day, then we could prove that the key to work-life balance is not in giving up, or dismissing it as if it were nothing more than the business equivalent of the Tooth Fairy.
By acknowledging, no fervently embracing the importance of right now, whether it is family, friends, work or even some happy solitude – then we can truly achieve a healthy outlook on business and life. And then, perhaps we can follow another one of Keating’s favorites from Walt Whitman, by sounding off our own barbaric Yawp’s from the rooftops of our world.
So tell me – what do you think? Is work-life balance achievable? Or is it nothing more than unicorns and leprechauns?
Post by Lauren Baily, Guest Blogger and Freelance Writer
If you're just starting college, it's a pretty exciting time. Most college freshmen and first time students are experiencing their first time being on their own, and it can feel great to have all that freedom.
On the other hand, with so many new students converging on one college campus, it often takes a while to make some solid friends and the first part of college can get a little lonely. But, that's no reason to hole up in your dorm room or on campus alone. Check out these awesome things to do on your own that will boost your mood and even provide a chance to meet new people:
1. Visit local museums/zoos
A museum or zoo can definitely be fun to visit with a friend, but it can be even better to visit alone. This way, you can see exactly what you want to see without feeling rushed. Try taking your iPod and going on your own to take in the exhibits as you see fit.
2. Get a manicure or pedicure
A mani/pedi can be a once-a-week necessity for some people and a complete luxury for others. Either way (even if you're a guy!) it's a great way to do something relaxing on your own. Grab your favorite magazine or newspaper and a coffee. And go ahead and splurge on the neck massage.
3. Go shopping
Shopping is another activity that can sometimes feel like a chore. But, shopping can actually be an awesome thing to do on your own, especially if you clear your schedule and have fun with it. And make sure to treat buy yourself something you wouldn’t normally spend money on.
4. Take in a movie
The movies are perfect to attend alone. No one really cares if you're with anyone, and sometimes it's nice to be able to just focus on the plot and not the person sitting next to you. Grab your favorite snack and watch something that you would never want to see with someone you’re dating.
5. Try a new restaurant
Even if you hate eating by yourself (which you shouldn’t, because it can actually be relaxing) you can still try out new places on your own. Get a table outside and bring some reading material. Or go somewhere with great people-watching opportunities. (Like across the street from Mueller’s campus at the Fashion Valley Mall!) If you absolutely don't want to eat along, order something that you wouldn’t normally try and get it to go.
6. Go to the beach (If you're lucky enough to live by one!)
The beach is an awesome place to go on your own. You can get some much-needed R&R and that golden glow that only comes from the sun and sand of the beach. If there is no coast nearby, find out where some rivers or lakes are located close to campus. Check out a virtual map to look for some cool areas with water.
7. Go hiking
Hiking is something that some people may think is a great date activity. But, trying to look attractive while huffing and puffing up a huge hill in hiking gear is no fun. Unless you’re an athlete, save the hiking for some alone time.
Lauren Bailey is a freelance blogger for Bestcollegesonline.com. She loves writing about college life and health. As an education writer, she works to provide helpful information on the best online colleges and courses. She welcomes comments and questions via email at: email@example.com.
~Mueller College Student Testimonial~
"My time at Mueller College was life changing. Mueller has given me a new life that I didn't think was possible..."
-M. Brent Mosier
Post by Jessica Muto, Director of Student Services
I am your constant companion. I am your greatest helper or your heaviest burden. I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.
I am completely at your command.
Half the things you do, you might just as well turn over to me, and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.
I am easily managed; you must merely be firm with me. Show me exactly how you want something done, and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.
I am the servant of all great men. And, alas, of all failures as well. Those who are great, I have made great.
I am not a machine, though I work with the precision of a machine. Plus, the intelligence of man.
You may run me for profit, or run me for ruin; it makes no difference to me.
Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will put the world at your feet.
Be easy with me, and I will destroy you.
Who am I?
I am Habit.
- Author Unknown
We all have habits, even if we’re not aware of them. Your habit might be that you leave your socks in the crevices of the couch after work, or that you drink your cream with a little coffee, or that you smoke a pack a day (but you’re trying to quit.) Habits usually sneak up on us, and one day we realize we’re trapped in a routine doing things we don’t even like.
They say (whoever “they” is) that it takes 21-30 days to build or break a habit. It doesn’t happen overnight. You’ve got to know what you want, and want it really badly. While we aren’t usually intentional about developing “bad” or “nasty” habits, building “good” habits takes a lot of work.
We don’t have to think too hard about building habits like cracking our knuckles or leaving our towel on the ground, but how many times do we say phrases like: “I’m going to give up cream in my coffee,” “I’m going to start working out three times a week,” “I’m going to read more books,” etc? These goals are not yet habits; they’re just wishes until we follow through.
So many of us struggles with things like good note-taking, sticking to a budget, eating a balanced diet, and so on. It’s hard at first; it’s not only not much fun but sometimes it actually sucks. It’s easy to give up, and difficult to keep going. The rewards for sticking to it are vast, but in the moments of hardship we forget the end goal and often just say, “forget it.”
If there is something that you really want in your life (such as a good exercise regimen, more fruits and veggies, less sugar, more time for meditation or relaxation, or even something like less cussing,) you’re going to have to work at it day after day, hour after hour, until it becomes natural and normal. This could take 21 days, or two months, or 10 minutes. You’ve got to set yourself up for success though, with good preparation and planning. Think about the pitfalls and temptations that are likely to get in your way.
Some tips for sticking with it: tell everyone about your plans. The more people who know what you’re trying to do, but more they can support you and keep you accountable. On that note, also find a good friend or two who will do it with you, or at least keep checking on you every day while you’re getting used to your new habit. Social media is a great way to keep track of your success and get help and motivation from your friends. Keeping track visually helps, too. I keep track on my monthly calendar of all the days I work out – that way I can see at a glance how many days I’ve been successful, and how many days I missed. You can also reward yourself for each time you succeed with your habit, thereby building immediate results into the process even from the beginning. Make tally marks or something and when you hit a reasonable number (5 or 10 maybe) you can reward yourself with a rest day, a healthy snack, or shorter study session, a nap, etc.
Another important tip for making a new habit part of your life (or getting an old one to leave you alone for good:) Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t start off on day one and immediately freak out about the next 20 days. Don’t even focus on the next 24 hours. Do one moment at a time. Every moment you’re successful gives you strength for the next, and so on.
Breathe. Smile. You can do this.
For more on why building new habits (or breaking old ones) can be so hard: check out these sites:
Making New Habits Stick
Building Strength in the Present Moment
Post by Bob Goodrow, Director of Education
I have had an interesting professional life. I had always wanted to become a physician, the idea of curing illness and helping to alleviate suffering was my ideal life vocation. I worked in intensive care medicine as a respiratory care practitioner for many years and helped take care of critically ill patients and trauma victims. Basically, I worked with people with severe health problems that occurred as results of injury, infection, and an unhealthy lifestyle.
What started to catch my attention was the growing segment of the patient population that suffered from chronic illness such as Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease and Atherosclerosis, which leads to heart disease and stroke. If you look at the national statistics for the types of disease factors that kill thousands of people every year you will not see trauma or infection in the top three. What you will see in the top mortality listing are diseases caused by lifestyle choices.
We seem to want to kill ourselves, choice of diet, cigarette smoking, alcohol/drug consumption, and obesity sets us up for a myriad of degenerative diseases. The question is, if a person choses to partake in those activities and they know the possible consequences – why do they do it?
It could be argued that people smoke because they don’t respect their bodies. Would the nicotine addicts blow the smoke at their pets? I’m pretty sure most wouldn’t, so why do they treat their animals better then they treat themselves? When people are unhappy they tend to overeat, and people who are depressed tend to not be careful in their food selections. Regardless of spiritual affiliation, people do not treat their body as a temple.
So, what is the answer to this national epidemic of lifestyle caused diseases? Allopathic medicine, which is the basis for the Western Medical System, waits for the problem to occur then treats it. We alleviate heart disease by atherosclerosis - major surgery to bypass the blocked arteries. We treat lung disease patients by giving medication which will temporarily alleviate their shortness of breath, and we treat diabetes by giving the patient artificial insulin. There is some movement away from that model but reactionary medical treatment is still the major goal of that system.
What is needed is a whole person approach to result in a spiritually fulfilled, happy and healthy person. That is what holistic practice is all about. That is what a true healer is – someone who helps others be healthy, not just treat ailments.
We strive here at Mueller College to continue a flow of energy from the Spirit to the Mind to the Body. That’s what our trade mark triangle represents. A healthy spirit, regardless of your beliefs, results in a healthy psychology, which has an endpoint in good physical health.
Bob Goodrow, B.S., RRT-NPS, is Mueller College's Director of Education. He has been in the healthcare/health and wellness industry for over 20 years.
For more information on programs at Mueller College, contact our admissions department by clicking here:
Post by Dan Roberts, Director of Admissions
I love it when I see articles like this one on Tips for Work-Life Balance. The term in and of itself is a misnomer in my opinion: there is work-life balance suggests or implies that you can either:
A.) achieve an acceptable and appropriate split between the two (50-50, 60-40…?); or
B.) that you should strive to do so; or
C.) that it actually exists!
Yet, when I read the article, there are some inevitable truths that can be taken away and utilized here. Whether or not you can achieve work-life balance is debatable; however, you can generally speaking, reduce your stress levels and improve your quality of life.
1. Set boundaries
So, for me, this is usually one of the harder things to do. I am way too accommodating, way too nice, and assume the best in, and want to help people. Yet – the power of NO is sometimes the best thing you can do to set boundaries and reduce stress. (One thing I never say NO to is a Great Massage!)
2. Ask for Help
This tip is actually one that I have recently improved upon. I’ve learned that asking for help is not viewed as weakness, but is actually viewed as strength. If this is something that is hard for you to do, start with something innocuous – ask a neighbor to help on a landscaping project for example. When the project is finished, take five minutes to think about what the project would have been like had you attempted it by yourself. Then – move on to bigger, more personal “asks."
3. Nurture the Body
Perhaps the best advice of all … ensure good health includes a variety of things, including proper diet, getting enough rest and a regular exercise routine. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to ask for help in this area and seeking out a great Personal Fitness Trainer. When you are healthy, your energy levels can sustain the day-to-day struggles at work and at home.
Will any of this actually create balance? No. Truth be told, I think Work-Life Balance is like the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. However, will these tips reduce stress and improve your overall disposition – absolutely. After all, it’s much easier to strive for something that is realistic and achievable.