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