Let go of the "Past" Bomb, Spirit of Anti-Progress

The Spirit of Anti-Progress: It is Within Your Control

Have you ever felt as though there were something sinister working against every plan and goal you have set for your life? Does it ever feel like you have gained a step, only to fall two steps backwards?

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These circumstances remind me of an article I’ve read that spoke about the spirit of anti-progress. The article discussed how anti-progress could make a person feel as though their past happenings were better than their present. It is for this (deceptive) reason one must carefully monitor their thoughts, especially when the “past” attempts to make a cameo appearance in their present.

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Examples of “glorying” in the past

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Anti-progress example 1 – Attempting to rekindle a past relationship or friendship that have had a negative impact on your life; your mind usually continues to replay all of the “good times” and “good traits” of that person, while ignoring the bad. If these thoughts are permitted, sooner or later you will began to search out the person, which is quite an easy feat in our digital world. This is an example of anti-progress and will usually cause a serious setback in your life because if the relationship/friendship ended, do your best to remember WHY because surely it was for a reason.

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It is best to leave things in the past and look forward. So please ignore those “Good Times” and remind yourself of the “Real Times.

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Anti-progress example 2 –  Wasted efforts are a huge setback! It consists of wanting something and continuing to do all you can to achieve it, even though it keeps falling apart or not coming into fruition. Eventually this will result in delayed accomplishments, and perpetual stagnation. This is a difficult example to digest because it usually includes our personal goals and can be hurtful when we do not see them come to pass. I am a believer in Christ and in the providence of God, so I know in the bible when someone did not receive some they have been desiring or could not go in a direction they wanted to go, it was because God had a better plan for them. This brings me comfort because I can have faith to wait on His plan for my path instead of trying to forge my own.

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Anti-progress example 3 – Chronic Procrastination! Another example of anti-progress is procrastination. This one may show up in different areas of life: making appointments, turning in school work, meeting major/minor deadlines in a professional setting, signing up to volunteer or making it to church. Whenever there is something that needs to be completed but you keep putting it off to do something else, procrastination is at work!

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Although we are all guilty of putting things off from time to time; the concern arises when procrastination becomes a chronic habit and things start piling up. So when this enemy of progress rears its ugly head, deal with it straight away by conditioning yourself to push forward to complete things on time.

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Anti-progress example 4 – Participating in mindless activities!

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There is not much to say here except that it is quite easy to participate in our fair share of mindless activities especially in this day and age. We live in a digital world, and with that comes a price. We have distractions at our fingers tips, and distraction is an enemy of progress. I have known people to lose their jobs and marriages over their addictions to video games, television and the internet.

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Heaven help us when we talk about cellular devices! Phones have not only ruined relationships, they have also been known to have a negative affect on the health of our eyes from the blue light.

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So take inventory of all of the mindless activities you participate in, and if it ends up being more than the task you need to complete, start reorganizing your priorities.

Anti-progress example 5 – Continual exposure to toxicity. Toxic music, movies, games, peoples and books all create an unpleasant climate. Start being mindful of what you are filling your eye, ears, mouth and heart with, they are the gates to your soul. 

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Toxic People – if you are occasionally around a person and they are being negative because they had a bad day or just went through a tough situation, that is not so bad. If you are around a person and they consistently exude a negative spirit, knowingly or unknowingly, they will began to drag you down. (Refer to my Emotional Vampire post https://schoolspiration.blog/2018/09/21/identify-the-emotional-vampires-in-your-life/)

Toxic Movies/Games/Music/Reading Material – It is NOT just entertainment, these items are essentially feeding your ideas, molding your way of thinking and shaping your world view. After working with people professionally and personally, I have seen a lot of toxic behavioral responses from both children and adults. I cannot tell you how often the poor decisions made, stemmed from the ingenious lyrics of a song, the shocking scene from a movie/book, or a gory video game. This why people must recognized the powerful  influence of these tools and filter them.

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There is a wonderful website that allows you to check your books, movies, and games. It is called Plugged In. It shares the ratings. https://www.pluggedin.com

If you have been feeling like you have not been able to move forward, take out a notebook or digital notepad, and write down if you have been plague with any of the examples above, and make conscious decision to start dealing with it!

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Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the spirit of anti-progress.

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Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue

 

 

Online dating dangers, single town

The Paradox of Online Dating Apps: It is Meant to Keep you Single

I came across an interesting article the other day about how online dating apps were really meant to keep you in “Single Town” and I think the article may of been on to something.

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Nowadays ALL online dating sites are making the claim that they are here to help you meet your soulmate; but their promise of “True Love” seem to continuously miss the mark.

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If you were to simply go on google, type in your favorite online dating app with the word “danger” behind it, and clicked on the news icon; there would be plenty of horror stories for you to read, I assure you.

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For example, I read that a lady met a guy on a certain online dating app. To be safe, she asked him to meet her at a restaurant with another couple she knew. After dinner, she decided she trusted him enough to drive her home on his motorcycle. While driving on the highway, she somehow fell off and was ran over approximately nine times. Her parents are now suing the man for the death of their daughter. It is still in litigation. I know that may sound like an extreme story, but believe it or not, there were a plethora more that also ended just as badly.

I won’t focus on that, the point of this post was to point out that some of the online dating apps have alluded “publicly” that their goal was for you to remain single, because it keeps them in business. I personally think it is awfully poor form to advertise that you “assist people in finding their soulmate” when ultimately the hidden agenda is to “promote singleness”.  There is just something wrong with that picture to me but in their defense, they do not put a weapon to your head and make you participate; they just play on your loneliness instead. *shrug* No difference, right?

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There is truly nothing wrong with being single if you want to be, but there is something a little sinister in online dating apps preying on lonely people, while also providing a place for convicted predators to meet and abuse people.

The articles I read were sad, so I wanted to bring awareness of this topic in order to encourage others to research these online dating apps more, and the crimes that surround them.

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Alternatives to using Online Dating Apps:

  1. Eventbrite – Eventbrite is a site that will show you great events in your area or in surrounding cities. You could type in things of interest, such as concerts, cooking classes, open mike, etc… and it will provide you with some dates of upcoming events. Try going out and meeting people that way, at least you may meet someone with a common interest.
  2. Adventure groups – There is a site called Meetup that allows you to find groups of people that share a common hobby. The groups consist of but are not limited to cycling, rock climbing, hiking, city tours, skiing, bookclub etc… Again, this would place you with a group of people that share a common interest, and even if you don’t meet your soulmate, you may meet a new friend.
  3. Adult Sports League – Join an adult sports league. If you like softball, kickball, golf, tennis or the like; join a league of people your age and start playing. This would be a great way to exercise and meet new people.
  4. Coffee Shop – If you like coffee or tea, why not visit a shop or two and see what happens? You could take some work or read a book, but this could be a great opportunity to run into someone new.
  5. Sports bars – If you like watching sports, sports bars are a great place to eat, hang with friends, have fun and possibly meet new people.
  6. Say Hi to 10 new people a week – I have read that a great way to meet new people is to set a goal to say hi to at least 10 new people a week. I personally have not tried it, but felt it was still worth mentioning.

Godspeed on your dating journey!

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Peep out my three books below!

 

 

 

Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue
Preparing for College, AP vs Dual Enrollment

AP Courses versus Dual Enrollment Courses: Decide for Yourself

I am in an Advanced Placement Workshop in Chapel Hill, NC and boy have I been enlightened. Being a proponent of Dual Enrollment for years, after this workshop, I have changed my mind. FYI: Dual enrollment students are students enrolled in high school while also taking a few community college courses at the same time. AP students are enrolled in advanced high school courses where they could earn a college credit by scoring 3 or higher on their exams.

So I felt it was my duty to share with parents and students of Middle and High school the advantage of AP courses. I mentioned middle school so that they could start thinking ahead because the GPA from 8th grade could help qualify or disqualify students for an AP course in 9th grade.

AP Information

  1. Advance Placement courses provides greater educational outcomes for student. Did you know that when students apply to college, having AP courses listed on their transcripts makes them more competitive?
  2. Ap students who score 3 or higher on exams, are more likely than dual enrollment students to earn a college degree within four years, which could save students/families time and money in the long run. Did you know that when students have a choice between going to a community college to take a basic “core” classes or a high school AP core course, the AP course will provide more rigor? This is huge because AP courses was made to prepare students to think more critically, and complete challenging assignments.
  3. AP students have higher college GPAs than dual enrollment students.  Did you know that if an admission team is looking at a dual enrollment student versus an AP students’ transcript, the AP student will look more appealing because of the level of rigor in AP courses?

What the critics say!

  1. Why should my child take an AP course when they can go ahead and take a core class at the community college and have it count as a college credit automatically? My answer: You should have your child take the AP course because it is more rigorous, it will look better to college admission teams, and statistically AP students will finish college on time due to being able to handle more challenging material.
  2. Wouldn’t a college be more likely to take a dual enrollment student over an AP student, since the dual enrollment student has already taken basic community college courses? My answer: No! There are a lot of admission teams (who wouldn’t admit it in public 😉 and research that shows that most dual enrollment students still has to be remediated once they enter college where as, AP students do not. (This even includes the ones who score under 3 on their exams) because of their rigorous curriculum.

 

AP Student Takeaways

  1. AP Students who score a 3 or higher on the exam will get to count that credit as a college credit.
  2. AP Students who score under a 3 on the exam will get to have it on their transcript which will still help with college admissions.
  3. AP students have a higher success rate to complete college on time.
  4. AP students are more likely to out-perform dual enrollment students their first year in college.

AP Exam and Curriculum Takeaways

  1. Courses and exams are developed by representatives from colleges and universities across the nation and align with standards set by well respected liberal arts and research institutions.
  2. AP teachers’ syllabi go a review by college faculty ensuring consistency in quality and expectations across AP courses.
  3. AP exams provides a standard means of comparison between AP courses nationwide.
  4. AP exams provide external validation of teaching and learning in the classroom. The exams are scores by college professors and expert teachers, not the students’ personal teacher.

AP vs Dual Enrollment Programs

Dual enrollment programs do not have any external measures, such as a standardized assessment to measure and ensure consistency in quality. It is for this reason it is difficult for admission officers and college faculty to gauge the quality of any given dual enrollment course. http://www.ncappartnership.org/ap-research.html

Access to challenging work is essential for college and career readiness. So parents and students, consider AP classes, you will not regret it, it will only benefit you!

It is the belief that students should challenge themselves and take courses for which they are academically prepared and motivated. ~College Board

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
emotional vampires, life hacks, sound advice

Identify the Emotional Vampires in your Life

When you hear the word “vampire” the images that may come to mind is Barnabas Collins from “Dark Shadows”

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or Edward Cullen from “Twilight”.

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But I have come to inform you that vampires are quite real, maybe not in the sense of these characters, but when it comes to certain individuals we have in our lives, they could very well be Emotional Vampires and if they are, you need to run the other way, fast!

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Now in order to run from the Emotional Vampires, you will need to be able to recognize them. So I will list six ways to identify these horrible creatures.

  1. Emotionally Draining – The first thing you will noticed about this type of individual is how emotionally and physically drained you feel after being in their company. I am not talking about the occasional time when a particular family member or friend share their issues with you and you feel slightly tired after listening to them. I am talking about the individual who does it the emotional vampire way. Instead of sharing a small problem, they bombard you a plethora of  them while sucking you dry of advice and emotional responses ALL THE TIME, barely stopping to allow you a word in edge-wise. You may ask, “What is wrong with doing this? Plenty of people do this, even I do this!”  But that is not what I am referring to. I am talking about feeling like your head is literally spinning after you finish a conversation with them. #abnormalfeeling

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2. Negativity Overload – After the conversation is long over with the emotional vampire in your life, you still experience this nagging negativity hangover. It is like taking a Benadryl too late before bed and waking up feeling the groggy brain-fog, after-affect.

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You probably did not realize until now, but that cloud of negativity was not coming from you; it actually came from the words of that emotional vampire you have been surrounding yourself with.

3. You feel better when they are not around – Picture yourself listening to the individual; while listening to them you feel bad, after listening to them you still feel gloomy. It isn’t until you have gone a few days, weeks or months, without talking/listening to this individual that you start to feel somewhat normal again. This is because while conversing with them, they not only unload a lot of negativity on you; they also tend to not actively listen to anything you have to say, hardly ever. So going on a detox from this individual may show you just how good life could be without them. So go ahead and press the “Reset” button, for lighter and happier times ahead. #letitgo

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4. Simplicity goes out the Window – Another sign of an emotional vampire is when having, what you believe to be, a simple conversation with them, ends up leaving you in a ball of confusion.

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What starts out as a simple statement, ends with the emotional vampire taking things completely out of context; leaving you disoriented and wondering what in the sam hill went wrong. Communication gaps happen, yes, but in the case of the emotional vampire, they are inevitable because the vampire is usually busy being negative, playing mind games, refusing to give straight answers or being overly defensive of their “uncalled for” behavior. This is definitely a trait that you should be on the look out for because simplicity is certainly a thing of the past with them. #byebyesimplicity

5. They make you feel deflated – These emotional vampires tend to deflate everyone around them. They cannot stand to see anyone thriving in anything because they are debbie-downers, and want to make others feel that way too. #downerslovecompany

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A true friend would like for you to be happy and celebrate with you when things are good, and comfort you when things are bad. An emotional vampire does the complete opposite, covertly; they do not bring comfort; nor do they celebrate you. They only do it if it serves themselves in some form or fashion. Most of the time they appear to only “tolerate” you being in their lives. They are really not into you or what you have going on but keep you around for their own purposes. So ask yourself again, why do you entertain such a person? Inquiring minds would like to know.

6. You have a sneaky suspicion the friendship isn’t quite real – With emotional vampires, they only put up with you because a) they need a sounding-board b) they need someone to put down so that they can feel better about themselves c) they need emotional responses to what they are saying [in these cases they will have multiple people they run to for this because your response alone will not be enough] d) they need your energy to empower themselves.

Notice how all of these reasons are about them and not the friendship? This is normally the case with these creatures, I mean, emotional vampires. Once they get the energy and attention they crave, you will be out of sight and out of their narrow minds, until they need another energy fix again.

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What to do if you have been bitten by an emotional vampire:

  1. Establish the no contact rule, this is important because they are sly creatures and can usually lure you back into the friendship before you have time to think about it. Cutting ties will allow you to get back to emotional freedom sooner than later.
  2. Do not try to reason with emotional vampires, it will not work. You will just become tangled up again in their web of deceit.
  3. If you work with the person in a common organization, separate yourself and only deal with them professionally. Do not meet up for dinner, or talk on the phone. Keep everything strictly work related, and AT WORK ONLY.
  4. Develop a support system of people who care about you, and who are willing to talk and actively listen. This marks a healthy relationship.

Well Wishes!

Have a peep at my Books On Kindle or Paperback! 
Schoolspiration
The Value of Career and Technical Education in Addressing College and Career Readiness  and the Ill-Prepared Workforce
Bumperstuckle Village: Patience is a Virtue