No pain, no gain… KNOW pain KNOW gain

The Daily Post yesterday (I know it’s daily but the time difference gets me sometimes) asked us to think about ‘no pain no gain’ and if you can attain greatness without hardship.

Welllllll it turns out my mind is flooded now since I read this prompt. First I will refer you to my post: Is That Your Guru?.

You almost nearly can’t attain greatness without hardship. Everyone has to work for greatness. Everyone. I don’t care how easy they make it look or how much natural talent and help they got along the way. Everyone has to work hard to be great. Greatness is an achievement. An achievement is a noun that requires an action people … Aka work! You have to work for what you want.

I have achieved a lot of things that I am very proud of. And looking back… A lotttt of them came with a lot of hard work, sweat, tears, stress and motivation and determination. It is not easy to realize a goal. Not easy at all and anyone who says it is basically has either blocked out the process or is in denial.

This summer I danced in a show called Take the Floor. It’s an Irish dancing show and it was my first taste of the professional Irish dancing world. I LOVED everything about it. But it took me over a year and a half to actually get there. I had a long struggle to get to that stage. I had an injury that caused me to question whether I’d even be able to dance again never mind being in a show.

After surgery and a cast, wheelchair and crutches, missing a month of college and endless 630 am physical therapy sessions, along with a ton of grunt work and a heck of a lot of gusto I conquered it and got back to a point where I could dance again. When I got word that I got into the show I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. Actually going through the rehearsals and performances was a dream. Even better than being accepted into it.

That’s just the most recent thing I can think of. But there are many and I’m sure anyone who is proud of their accomplishments will tell you the same.

Greatness never comes without hard work and a bitta hardship. Even things that come easy to people (a job that you are totally qualified for and get right away) wouldn’t come to you without whatever work you had previously done to be prepared for that. You can’t tell me it was easy. Because I know it wasn’t. Anybody who wants to be somebody is probably their harshest critic. So that means constantly challenging yourself. That alone is a hardship.

Pride and success feel that much sweeter as well when you have earned them. Hard work is hardship the way I see it. Or it wouldn’t be hard.

So long story short…. Greatness without hardship? A myth at best.

Ps. The title is from a quote that we used to read every day in my mom’a 6th grade class. Followed by- “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement”- Mark Twain. Thanks mom!

Inspired by The Daily Post: Pains and Gains


7 Habits of Incredibly Happy People

Another good one 🙂


This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published at

By Jeff Haden

Want to be happier?

Great–but don’t just wish for a greater sense of satisfaction, fulfillment, and joy. Do something about it. Take a different approach. Adopt a different mindset.

And then let those beliefs guide your actions.

Here are some of the habits of remarkably happy people:

1. They choose (and it is a choice) to embrace who they really are.

None of us really likes how we look. So we try to hide who we really are with the right makeup and the right clothes and the occasional Mercedes. In the right setting and the right light, we’re happy.

But not when we’re at the beach. Or when we’re at the gym. Or when we have to…

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Loneliness and solitude

Yesterday I volunteered at the Croke Park Classic! For those who aren’t familiar it was a college football game that was hosted in Dublin’s Croke Park, which is a very well known and historic venue for GAA sports. Penn State played UCF in their season opener and it was an amazing game! Because I volunteered there were a few perks… Allow me to explain!

1. I made my TV debut !!! The game was aired on ESPN 2 in the states and so my family were able to see me on TV. Pretty cool right?

2. The rush was unreal! There were 50,000 plus people in the stands all going crazy over their team and we were carrying the flags to orchestrate the opening ceremony. So naturally I felt all of the energy in the stadium because as soon as I walked out carrying my flag, along with the others carrying theirs, the crowd started roaring. It was so cool!

3. Free tickets to the game! We got to stay and watch which was so fun. The game was actually unbelievably entertaining. Sometimes college football and just football in general can bore me but these guys made it interesting. SPOILER ALERT: Penn state won in the last 10 seconds with a field goal. It was amazing and I won a bet lol :).

4. Last but not least: free track suits! If you’re lucky you might get to see me in it again…

Enough said.

So I’m awake this morning thinking about yesterday and it has got me wondering… Why didn’t I want to go? It was a great time! Up until I was actually walking out on to the field though I literally didn’t wanna go. I didn’t wanna be alone. That was why!

Loneliness … It’s a scary thing and it’s almost as bad as homesickness. Loneliness is a hard thing to overcome especially because it doesn’t feel like a choice. Many people fear it and why wouldn’t they? Feeling lonely can be desperate sometimes, I can identify with that for sure. So I didn’t want to go because I was going alone and I didn’t want to be lonely.

But then as yesterday arrived I realized, I was going to be on TV and watch a great game. It was going to be fun! Who cares about anyone else?! So then I made a choice. I was going and it was gonna be great and I would enjoy it alone. I chose to go in solitude. And enjoy my solitude. I didn’t really know anyone apart from a couple of people I chatted to at rehearsal so I was on my own. And making that choice gave me confidence. I ended up spending the whole afternoon with a couple cool people who I definitely consider friends now and my day was made!

So I suppose the point is about loneliness and solitude. Solitude is a choice to me. And I think loneliness is a fear that is realized when you give it attention. Choose solitude it gives you confidence. It’s okay to be alone! Enjoy your ‘me time’ that I mentioned 🙂 it’s important! Don’t fall into the lonely trap. The way we live these days makes being alone a stigma really. So if you find yourself sitting in your room you’re still texting or on Facebook or stalking Will Smith on twitter. Don’t be afraid of being by yourself. Just don’t. Read a book, take a nap, go for a walk! Or go do an activity… By yourself! Yes by yourself. And enjoy it. That is solitude. Always choose solitude.

Where’s the ‘me time’

Why do I always feel like I need to be connected? I enjoy having me time. I really do. Or do I? The second that phone beeps or I have a thought about someone it leads me to Facebook. I probably unlock my phone about 400 times a day and maybeeee… maaayybeee 20 times there is something to actually see.

Honestly sometimes I feel disappointed in myself because I can’t just leave all of that alone for a minute. But then again… that is kind of the world we live in now. I just feel like I can do better. When I have those spaces in time without social media or any kind of technology that “connects” me with other people… it actually is so freeing. It feels great. I feel like the day is mine and I can do what I want with it.

But reality is tough. I have a family back in Jersey and without my social media and iMessage, Viber, Skype etc… well without all of that I can’t talk to them. I’d rather be an addict then have homesickness. Homesickness is the worst kind of sickness. The worst. So I stick to the phone.

There are times though… that I really could just leave it alone. No one is talking to me and I don’t need to be talking to anyone. Every once in a while I make an active choice to recognize that moment and milk it for all that it’s worth. To take time and actually see stuff. And notice things. Like the public library that I’ve passed by 1000 times and never noticed! I actually went in today.

I need to make that choice more often. I know I will be better off. It clears my head. The me time. I need my me time.

Do you ever feel like you just can’t let go of it? I do. I’m going to force myself to just let it go more often. I know I’ll be better off.

Inspired by Me but Catalyzed by Hart Helps-Unplugging – Thanks =)

LOL On Dublin Bus Yesterday… serious LOLs.

Sometimes life is funny. I was sitting on the bus minding my own business and these two guys were sitting a few rows behind me, minding their own business. They were minding it but they certainly were not keeping it to themselves. I could hear, very clearly, every single word of their conversation. They complained about their jobs and how they hated taking the bus because it took ‘a feckin hour and a bit just to get across town’ and ‘feck it, sure we don’t need to take the bus’ and all of this kind of chatter.

So then Guy A starts telling Guy B a story about something that happened in the bathroom at work. Here’s how it went: (please excuse the language)

Guy A- Yeah so I was in the bathroom the other day and the feckin’ thing is just a mess. Just an absolute mess.

Guy B- What was this?

Guy A- Well there are only three ya know? And one is on the left and if you go next to it to wash your hands there would just be a dick there and no one likes that kinda thing ya know so nobody uses it because of the d*** situation. So I said feck it I’ll use it I don’t care. And then you WOULDN’T believe…

Guy B- Maybe this isn’t polite convo eh?

Guy A- Whaddya mean? Cuz I said d***? What should I say… penis?

Guy B- Well really just the nature of it… kind of private. Regardless of the term yanno? Not for a closed public space really.

Annnnnnndddddd headphones in. They weren’t getting back to that story because they were on a serious tangent. So I didn’t get to hear what happened. But I’ll say it DEFINITELY had me wondering. What did happen in that bathroom ya know? Then I wished I wasn’t wondering… so thank god for my music.

Inspired by The Daily Post

6 Rules That Should Be Guiding Your Career

Must read. A MUST READ. Goes along with my view of the world:


Daniel Pink’s The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need conveys a number of principles about the world of work that everyone should take note of.

Why? Though Pink doesn’t bog the story down with academic research, all of his core ideas are backed up by plenty of studies, many of which I’ve posted about in the past.

So what does he have to say? Six simply-stated concepts:

  1. There is no plan.
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses.
  3. It’s not about you.
  4. Persistence trumps talent.
  5. Make excellent mistakes.
  6. Leave an imprint.

So let’s break these down and explore what they mean and why they’re so effective.

1) There is no plan.

As Pink explains, you can’t plan your career too far in advance because there are too many x-factors.

In the world of work we do things for two reasons: instrumental and fundamental. Instrumental reasons are things that…

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The way I see the world

Thank you Write With Warnimount for speaking the ABSOLUTE truth. Why is this a minority view? Why. I have sworn for years that I just don’t see the world the same way everyone else does. But it’s nice to know that there are some people in my corner. Mr. Joe Warnimount speaks up about 5 things we should do while we are young and he is absolutely correct. Why don’t we go out and be more active? See the world! Go places! And write for the loveeeeeeee just WRITE and record and be out there doing stuff that you are able to write about! That is the way to live!

Sometimes I get into these moods where I am totally engulfed in my head. Just so encompassed by it that to other people I appear to be very quiet. That is just because I am so preoccupied that I couldn’t hold a conversation even if I tried. I can’t talk about other things because the things going on in my mind are taking over. And I can’t talk about the things going on in my mind because it would be like trying to tell someone a story without giving them the backstory. In this case the backstory happens to be extremely long and complicated and only I know it in full. SO that leaves me on my own to think and be in my head.

A lot of the times when I find myself feeling like this, I just think about how the world is, my world really because I can’t ever generalize about the actual world since everything that I relate to as the “world” is only what I know it to be through my own eyes and experiences. When I let myself think about it, I feel like an outsider. A complete outsider. I don’t understand why people feel like things should be a certain way. Why is it that we have to go to college? Why do we have to take a great 9-5 job with a pension and a 401K? Why do we need to buy a house? Why buy a car? Why do we have to get married and have kids? Why do we have to be straight?

Why do all of these things, that for most people in the world are must-haves, have to be? It doesn’t make sense to me. I want to love and be loved. I want to do what I love and I know I will have a fulfilling life in turn. I want to seek a change when I feel like I need it and not be forced by the imaginary “they” to be stuck somewhere doing something I don’t want. I want to move and be on the move I want to live freely and do what makes me happy. I want to help others and I certainly DON’T want to be stuck in a boring 9-5 that I hate. I don’t even know if I want to get married or I want to have kids.

I just don’t see the world that way. There is so much to do and see. There is so much to explore and it is up to us to take advantage of it. Just because you feel like you have to do something doesn’t mean you have to. If you look back at your life, what are you going to WISH you did? That is what you need to start doing now. Everything else will sort itself out.

Now I realize that I am in my early 20s with no kids, no house, no car, no dependencies and basically no bills. (Only a few, thank god). So some people might read this and be like… shush little girl you don’t know. And maybe I don’t. Because life does have a funny way of catapulting people into things. So if you have kids and a house and a job that you either love or don’t, if you have a car and a bunch of bills, don’t forget that you are still you. You still have a life that you get to choose how to live. It is up to you to create the best life for yourself. Don’t ever EVER forget that. The universe will always say yes to you. So put things out there that you actually want and that make you happy. The answer will always be yes.

I look out my window and I say, yes, thanks Universe. Thank you for holding my hand through this life. That is my world. And I refuse to let it become tainted by the ‘you know you should reallys’, ‘they says’, ‘why don’t yous’ and criticisms. My world is beautiful, full of promise and inspiration and boundless. Is yours?

September brings…

This will be the second September in my short life that I will not be returning to school. It feels weird but I have to say, September still brings the same kind of feelings regardless of what’s going on in my life. 

September brings a sense of seriousness but not in a bad way. A sense of cracking down and getting back into a routine. September brings a different kind of calm that the summer lacks. The summer has a calmness in the sense that July and August always bring a sense of relaxation and lackadaisical attitudes. 

But September brings the opposite of that… it brings a sense of excitement for taking the routine more seriously again. Allowing yourself to become busier and more focused. The same way July and August allow us to become more relaxed. Yep September again, back to school and work and activities… And the gym^ :). 

As a kid I always looked forward to going back to school. I always went shopping for my first day of school outfit and I have lots of memories of taking a shower the night before school started and thinking to myself about what the next day was going to be like. I always liked school and the end of summer was sad for me but it wasn’t tragic. I liked going back. 

I always looked forward to seeing what September would bring. And I still feel that way. 

This September is about a return to routine and dancing and doing the things I am used to doing; with a lot more dancing, seeing friends and writing. That is what I want. 

We shall see what this September brings… 

Inspired by The Daily Post

My Mind is about to explode

I got 12.5 hours of sleep last night. Woah. I’m not sure what happened in that time, but it feels like my mind is going to explode. Usually sleeping helps people feel refreshed. Well not me I guess. Not every time at least. My body feels much better. I have been pushing myself to the point of exhaustion for about a month now so it is nice to get the extra sleep.

Up in the nogginsphere though? It feels like WWIII. I am used to having a big thing to look forward to. A goal or an event or something that keeps me going and excited. I think I’ve run out again… so I need something. And for me it has to be tangible. Because I have goals and dreams and hopes and all of that ALL the time. I mean constantly. I have a few right now. But it makes me feel crazy when I feel like I haven’t done anything about them or don’t even have a plan to do something. Tons of ideas but what am I going to DOOOO. I am in this in between phase in life because I have just been extremely busy, performing in Take the Floor (best thing EVER, more later) and then with family visiting. This is the first week I have had to myself and nothing is really going on until a couple of weeks from now when I start dancing and rehearsing again. So my brain… instead of taking the much-needed and well-deserved time to relax, has decided to GO CRAZY.

I feel like I have a huge decision to make, without an actual tangible decision to make to be honest. I have been in Ireland since January and I’m allowed to be here for a year on my visa. So what next…? Well I want to be in a professional Irish Dancing show. So that’s next. But how? And which show? That all remains to be seen. But what if I want to stay in Ireland? Cuz most of the time I think… yeah maybe I do want to stay here.

Well I have a job at the moment. Maybe I could stay and get myself a work visa? (TRAPPED.) Or I could go home at the end of it and try to figure out what to do then (TRAPPED. NO PLAN) My brain hurts. It just hurts.

On top of it all… I have a situation where I feel like my opinion is not valued and I am being undermined. I cannot stand this. It makes me feel crazy. I don’t like being asked to do something, spending my time doing it and getting invested in it only to be told that it’s not right and needs to change. I AM INDEPENDENT. I need guidelines and then I need to be left alone to do it and TRUSTED TO DO A GOOD JOB! That is what I do.

So I need that. And when I feel like I don’t have that it is very frustrating and makes me want to move on.

I guess that is all that this freakout session is about really… thinking about moving forward. At least my imagination still works. It keeps me sane and gets me excited. What is life if you can’t be excited about living it right?

I just want to write!

I feel a sense of release… like I’ve been freed or something since I started this new adventure. Writing here just feels so relaxing and cathartic. It is like my journal, but better in some ways because typing keeps up with my mind. Don’t get me wrong I could never replace my journal with blogging because the journal has parts of me in it that this computer screen will never see and these keys will never explain, but it is nice to put thoughts out there into the universe especially because I will have them anyway, whether I share or don’t share.

I like sharing. I also love it and think I have become a bit addicted to this little blog of mine. It’s all I think about all day. I have so many drafts going on at one time because I have a thought and I just write it in a title and save a draft in a matter of seconds, just so I don’t forget! I have been tempted to write while I am at work which is so bad because I am working…. duh.

But I just want to write. That’s all I want to do. It is so addicting to be able to just put my thoughts out there. I have also been blessed with the gift of being able to just write what I want. It doesn’t feel hard because I worked for years to make a habit of writing. Now I just simply love it. It feels like the best use of my time, apart from dancing which is a whole other story anyway.

I would love to just sit down and write all day… I’ve been saying I wanted to write a book for a long time now. Do any of you feel that way? You just want to write a book… you have no idea what it would be about but you have some ideas of what you’d like to write. Maybe you daydream about your life as a writer and getting up everyday to just sit down in your favorite spot with your cup of tea and write. And when you get so into what you’re writing that you just get completely carried away by it, so carried away that you don’t even realize the day has turned to night until you take a split second to look out the window. I fantasize about that life. I think I would love it. When I am ready for it and I have the opportunity to do so, I think I will write a book.

I really have developed such a deep relationship with my writing and a strong love of it. I have so much to share! That’s why it is so exciting. I had to put that down somewhere because I have to admit: I am addicted to my new blog. So why not just accept it. That’s the first step right?

Bianca Smith’s 12 step program: Blog Addiction. Might take a while to develop. For now I’ll just chase after the blog high.

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