February Favorites

Happy Monday, and also happy March! Spring is right around the corner and if you know me, you know that my favorite season ever is spring. I miss sunny days and wearing cute outfits, so come on Philadelphia, bring on the good weather!

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This week I figured I would write about last month’s favorites, but before I begin my list of favorites, I want to thank everyone who read my last post on modern love. I loved receiving all your feedback and seeing how many people related to what I described in my post. To be frank, I was quite shocked to see how many guys were impacted by the post, telling me the struggles of dealing with girls in college, and how they can end up in really negative emotional states. Like wow! So much to think about here. However, I’ll go on with today’s post.

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February flew in the blink of an eye, but I loved every second of it. My list of favorites simply shows what helped me grow and improve myself this past month. It consists of articles, videos, places, songs, or anything that I found valuable to my personal development. Feel free to get inspired by it, maybe try some of the recommendations, or even think about your list of favorites. Let’s see!

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PLACES

Elixr Coffee Roasters. My favorite place to do work and have good coffee. First, a little bit of my background: I come from Bucharest, the capital of Romania, which is becoming a world-class specialty coffee city. The coffee scene is so prominent that we preferred skipping classes during high school to go to a coffee shop and do work, while sipping delightful coffee. Coffee shops there are more than a place to go get coffee, they turn into actual experiences: the baristas become your friends, there’s no way you don’t run into someone you know, and the conversations you have are always meaningful. You are surrounded by style, authenticity, and good vibes. That’s why I was so happy to find Elixr, a lovely coffee shop in center city, which became my number one escape if I want to go away from campus and do work all day, or if I want a quick sip of good coffee before going to the gym. Plus, their music playlists are always on point.

VIDEOS

Adam Grant’s TED Talk: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers. For my Communication class that I’m taking this term, we had to analyze a TED Talk. I chose Adam Grant’s TED Talk, mostly because I love his work and I follow him regularly. He is an organizational psychologist at Wharton talking about the dynamics of success and productivity in the workplace. In this talk, he introduces the idea of Originals, those people “who not only have new ideas, but take action to champion them, people who stand out and speak up, who drive creativity and change in the world, the people you want to bet on”. He mentions the good effect procrastination can have on our creativity (thanks God), and the importance of our doubts and fears when it comes to the ideas, products or services we put out in the world. Honestly, it made me feel better about my procrastination, as the way I procrastinate always helps me produce more creative work, and it made me aware that it’s normal, and even beneficial, to doubt our ideas. As he mentioned, instead of saying “I am crap!”, say “The first drafts are always crap, and I’m just not there yet!” Switch the self doubt to idea doubt. Now I really want to read his book, Originals, so who knows, maybe it will be on the list of March’s Favorites.

MOVIES/DOCUMENTARIES

FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. I barely make time to watch movies, and I almost never use Netflix, but people around campus were talking so much about this documentary that I made time to actually sit down and watch it. To sum it up in a few words, it’s basically a story of how misleading the whole Instagram influencer trend can be, the effects of false advertising, and the obsession people have with material things, fame, and trying to obtain overnight success, when, in fact, they lack the strategies and expertise for it (here, I am talking specifically about the so-called genius entrepreneur presented in the film). Give it a try for a quick wake-up call about the hypocrisy of the world of social media.

ARTICLES

How Mindfulness Meditation Can Save America (WIRED). Now this can sound very radical and you might even laugh at the title of the article, but the way Robert Wright talks about mindfulness in relation to the politics of the United States makes a lot of sense. The article presents points about cognitive biases, fake news, effects of mindfulness on how we perceive our feelings, psychology of tribalism, and the benefits of meditation. It also talks about the Buddhist philosophy and psychology, and now I have another book on my reading wish list, Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment. Check in with me next month to see if I read it haha.

HEALTH & WELLNESS

Everybody Fights. Yep, this month I signed up for a fighting gym and I started boxing. Why? Not only I felt the need to step up my fitness game, but I was looking for something that will improve my strength and power. So far, boxing did all of that for me, and even more. It constantly puts me in a growth mindset, as there is no way you step into the ring or the boxing classes without preparing yourself mentally. More than that, the gym has many other beneficial classes, such as Road (intense workouts on the treadmill), Yoga (the best remedy after rounds of boxing), or Train, in which you basically have a full-body workout in different stations (Rowing, Cycling, Dumbbells, Boxing, Battle Ropes etc.). People have been asking me how I do it all, but honestly going to the gym constantly helps me improve my mood and productivity, and makes me want to achieve more. I LOVE IT. Planning to do a Big Climb in support of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, so if you would like to donate to my fundraising campaign for helping patients dealing with blood cancer, you can do it here.

SONGS

This week, I was telling a friend how my music is like my journal. However, there are a couple songs that I’ve been listening on repeat this month and I would like to share with you: Suncity by Khalid ft. Empress Of, Feels Right by Alina Baraz, and Let It Go by Dosk ft. RAWSEY (guys, this is my Romanian friend’s new release – please go and listen to it, I’m SO PROUD of her!!!)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Last but not least, here is some food for thought for you. While I was talking to a dear friend, we had a couple epiphanies. We realized that there is no limit to how much we can evolve as individuals. Our character is never going to be fully developed or defined, as we are constantly changing, growing, going through rough patches, learning lessons and recreating ourselves. It’s a constant process of losing, finding, and recreating ourselves. We are a constant work in progress. There is no destination, all is a journey with a lot of highs and lows. That’s why I believe it’s important to truly feel the lows and not run away from them, because this is how you let the natural cycle of life happen. If you resist it, you will end up more screwed. It’s just part of the process. Ongoing. Process.

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Would love to hear what your opinions are on the food for thought, and I’m curious to know if my list of favorites inspired or helped you in any way. I want to be intentional with the way I post content on my blog (even if I do it merely for pleasure), because I see that I have readers from all around the world. Therefore, would also appreciate if you can comment with what you would like to see more of!

 

Till next Monday,

Tori

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