It’s all in your head

Being able to manage multiple goals during your daily routine is a vital part of a successful life. These goals can be anything from improving your tennis skills, learning a new language or improving your grades. The process of pursing several goals requires effort, a reevaluation of plans, strategies, and goal commitments. Learning to deal with conflict by identifying various means that satisfy multiple goals is very important for your psychological well-being.

Many individuals have several different goals and are unsure on how to attain their goals in an effective manner. For instance, I would like to own a house and be able to travel the world at the same time, but I am unsure how to achieve both goals. This may be due to finances, personal relationships, or emotional turmoil. Pursuing one set of goals hinders my efforts at pursuing my other goals because my behavior is directed at one goal which is incompatible with the other. So how are we going to be able to multi task our goals in an effective and positive manner?

Goal conflict is when you are pursuing one goal that undermines your pursuit of another valued goal. Those who are contemplative and hesitant tend to experience goal conflict. The academic journal Motivation and Emotion described that the participants who experienced goal conflict in their study, reported having greater levels of depression, anxiety and hysteria. In contrast, those who experienced goal facilitation reported having greater levels of positive feelings, life satisfaction and were successful in achieving their goal.

Individuals who are action orientated tend to focus on their current task, protecting their goals from challenging demands, and are proficient at achieving their goals. Those who ruminate on other goals or unpleasant emotional states are less likely in being able to acquire their goals. Under stressful conditions, state oriented people have trouble deciding and acting on ways to achieve their valued outcome, which in return makes it more likely to view their goals as impossible to attain.

If you focus on the variable, it will prevent you from achieving the goal.

It is essential to distinguish between your set goal and your personal variables to gain understanding in achieving goal motivation. For example, do you wish to lose 10 pounds by the end of the month before your trip to Miami? You feel uncomfortable working out, but you really want to look good on the beach? At this point, it is important to keep your goal in mind and find ways to lose the weight to attain your goal. Here you have identified the goal, losing 10 pounds. The personal variable is you don’t like working out. If you focus on the variable, it will prevent you from achieving the goal.

Keep in mind, personal variables may be more important in determining the consequence of conflict on goal attainment then the goal variables. The ability to plan for delay gratification and manage stress levels are obvious. What is not so obvious but just as equally important is the ability to tolerate cognitive complexities.

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America taught me what racism and bigotry is.

America taught me what racism and bigotry is.

When I was seven years old, my family and I were flying from Saudi Arabia to New York for the holidays. The flight attendant asked if I was Christian for some reason that I can’t recall and I said yes. My father, who was sitting next to me waited till the flight attendant left,

“Sophie, you’re not Christian,” he said gently.

I remember feeling confused and frantic. All my friends were Christians, we did the same things they did for the most part.

“Are you a Christian daddy?” I asked,

“No, I am Jewish,” he said “you have to promise to keep that to yourself when we get back home. (Saudi Arabia) You can’t tell any of your friends.”

In Saudi Arabia there is no freedom of religion or protection for Non- Muslim faiths. According to the U.S State department, citizens and foreigners were being harassed, discriminated against, and assaulted for religious affiliation, beliefs and practice by conservative vigilantes.

I was shocked to hear of the dangers that came with this religion. Squirming in my seat I asked my father,

“So, am I Jewish?”

My dad turned towards me, while hunching his shoulders,

“No Sophie, you’re not Jewish, or Christian, you can be whatever you want to be,” he said.

Still confused, I asked him,

“So, I can become Jewish?”

My father responded,

“As long as you understand and agree with the religion, you can be a part of whichever religion you want or not follow one at all.”

When we returned from the states, I was eager to learn about every religion there was, with my focus primarily on Judaism. I took my dad’s advice and thought carefully about it and decided to follow my father’s faith.

During my time in Saudi, not once did I ever hear someone speak ill of Jews. A lot of people were supportive towards the Palestinians, students expressing their outrage on what was going on a few countries over, but as far as I knew, Jews were not being used as a scapegoat in those discussions. I had not encountered any type of racism or bigotry until I moved to the U.S.A.

When we moved to Boise, ID. My grandmother gave me a silver necklace with a pendant of the star of David, that I constantly wore. Walking down the hallways of Fairmont Junior High, some kids would stop and ask me if I worshiped Satan. I would hear boys using the word Jew as if it was an insult. It was exasperating, but the first blow I took was when the my best friend’s older brother called me a kike. He was about 16 at the time, and I was 14.

As he was staring at me, his eyes felt like razors beaming through my face, he was waiting for me to react. I did my best to not let him know that his words had cut me as deeply as they did.  I remained silent, Chris, realizing that I was not going to give in, tired to save himself by saying,

“You know I’m just kidding.”

It was difficult growing up in a predominantly white city.  The 2016-2017 census for Boise, ID states that 88% of the population is white, 1% Black and for people like me who identify as other race, we ranked below 1%.

One night I had invited my friends over. We wanted to smoke without my mother knowing, so we went to my backyard and climbed up the apple tree that held my tree house. Sometime during that night a boy named Kieran thought it would be funny to spray paint a swastika on the wall of the tree house, with the word Reich and a number encircling the symbol. Seeing that swastika crudely painted on my tree house by someone I considered to be my friend, in my parents’ backyard was one of the scariest moments in my life.

You just freeze, you forget how to breath, you have a million thoughts going on and yet you feel hallow at the same time. C.J, who lived down the street saw I was upset and came up to see why. As soon as he saw the graffiti he instructed me to get down and get him some supplies so he could clean it up. To this day, I still have never gone back up to that tree house

A few months later, we had a half day from school. I was hanging out with my best friend Mary and a few others when another “friend” called to tell me how much he hated me because I was a chink and how excited he was for me to get home to see the surprise he had left for me. Mary and I rushed to my house.

When we arrived, my mother was crouched over picking up the shattered egg shells, trying to wipe up the egg yolks with the Kleenex she always had in her hand. My entire garage door had been egged and a Chinese take away box was thrown onto my car with food spilling out of it.

Enraged I tried calling everyone I could think of to find out what was going on. Finally, Torren answered, he was laughing. Torren was another person that I had considered a friend.  We had classes together, he was dating my best friend at the time, we shared “deep” conversations over AOL messenger. He proudly took credit for the mess that my mother was cleaning up. I was choking on my tears asking why he did this? Why would he egg my house and what did Chinese food being thrown on my car have anything to do with me? It’s been 11 years and I will never forget how and what he said to me,

“It’s because you’re a stupid fucking Jew. I am going to shove rice down your throat and slit it,” he said with such triumph in his voice.

Only 2 years living in America, and I had experienced my first racial slurs, harassment, and later in my teens and early 20’s I would experience assault and discrimination.

I could not understand why people were so hateful. At 15 I didn’t know how to cope, I was heartbroken. Luckily the punk scene at the time was a supportive group that was against racist and bigots, and I thank god for it. I was friends with teddy rude boys, street punks, and ska kids, who stood up for people like me. I learned about racism hard and quick, but I also learned about solidarity with just as much impact.

That’s what we need now more than ever in America. I hope you don’t ever have to endure what I, and so many other’s in our nation have and are dealing with. This is not news, it’s been going on for at least 400 years in the U.S.  I am speaking to those that are privileged to never have had a cop kick your calf so hard that it bruised right away, simply because they didn’t believe you, when you were telling the truth (I was 17 at that time). Fortunate are the individuals who are unfamiliar with the fear that rushes up your body into your ears, because you see bald headed guys with red braces and laces walking your way. Stand up with those who are being oppressed. Strength is measured in numbers. Even if you stand up against one injustice, whether it feels like it or not, you are making a difference.

This article has be corrected from it’s previous version.

 

Sources cited:
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S. (n.d.). Current Boise, Idaho Population, Demographics and stats in 2016, 2017. Retrieved September 01, 2017, from https://suburbanstats.org/population/idaho/how-many-people-live-in-boise

4 ways to get back on your feet

It has been said that if you were ever to find yourself lost at sea with no floatation device, it is best to not flail about. You need to conserve your energy. When your life has a turn of negative events, do not drown in the misery. Conserve that energy to get yourself out of the water. This is something I have realized I need to do.

I have had a few downs as of late. I have been fixated on how terrible I feel, instead of focusing on making it better. This mindset in turn makes me feel worse. Misery loves company they say. This is not how to deal with life and the problems that occur in it.

Don’t get me wrong, it is okay to feel sad or burdened, but you must move on and continue living a beneficial life. Focusing on what went wrong and the how’s and why’s will do nothing but make you feel worse.

Here are a few examples of what I have done and will be doing to get myself out of the water and running back on land.

1. Excerise

We all have heard that physical activity is good for your whole body. It’s true. Whether it’s walking, running, yoga, or even ping pong. Being active gets those endophrones going and makes you feel better.

2. Diet

According to Harvard, what you eat does affect your mood and behavior. Think about it, if you get hungry, and don’t get to eat, you become unpleasant. I know I do.

3. Encouraging yourself

A few years back I went into a deep depression. Despite seeing a therapist and medication, I was still depressed. I had little hope of getting better. I started doing #100happydays. I would take a photo of something, some place or person that made me happy everyday for 100 days. This encouraged me to focus on the positives in my life.

4. Expression

Another outlet was art. I would write in my journal. I would sketch and paint with no purpose. When I was restless I would turn to my pen or canvas. If there is something that you like to do, crafts, art, music, get to it! You don’t need a subject, just do.

These four different but at least in my experience effective ways can help you get out of the negative space that you have created in your mind. Remember happy mind equals happy life.