Real Friends

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

As I enter a new season of my life, I am finding it important to evaluate which people are my true friends and which are acquaintances. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed it gets harder to make new friends because people have busy lives. This is especially true if they move away, get married or have some other relationship change, or if they have kids.

 

When I do take the time to meet new people, I like to evaluate whether they might become true friends, or if they will remain acquaintances. There is nothing wrong with having acquaintances. These people can be fun to do things with every once in a while, and you might see them around at events and it could be nice to have people to say hi to.

 

True friends, while harder to find than acquaintances, are totally worth the investment, in my opinion. I recently made a list of the qualities that I am looking for when I make new friends and reconnect with old ones.

 

I encourage you to think about the qualities you are looking for in your friends. Do you want them to be reliable? Is it important that they understand and accept factors of your identity or life situation?

 

Have you made a list of criteria for evaluating whether someone might be a true friend? What happened? How did it help you? I would love to find out, so feel free to leave me a comment!

 

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What I did to Discover that I’m Satisfied with Where I am in Life

Banner Photo

By Katie Corbett

I turned 30 this year, and one of the things I felt as I reflected on my life is that I wished I had accomplished more. I think this comes from not feeling good about myself. I knew one of the activities I could do to fight and disprove this feeling was to make a list of all my accomplishments so far.

I didn’t actually get around to doing this until I read “Girl, Wash Your Face,” by Rachel Hollis. She is an encouraging person who is honest about her faults, accomplishments and goals in equal measure. After reading such deep bluntness, I figured it was high time I sat down with myself and got a little pep talk.

I wrote out my list of achievements by thinking about my life at different ages, stages and activities. Here are some of the fruits of that exercise:

• I realized that most of the time, when I start a project, I see it through to completion. I do wonder whether I could achieve more in some areas, but I don’t wish I had spent more time on any specific achievement in the past.
• There are many things I have done that I am proud of and happy I achieved. It’s pretty cool to tell people that I have seen the moon through a telescope, learned braille shorthand, and have written three novel-length works.
• I want to explore some of my hobbies on a deeper level, though I am not sure how. I want to do something more with music and the 70 songs I’ve written.
• Although I’m blind, I have gotten to have many experiences in spite of – and in some cases, because of – my disability. I won two essay contests only open to people who are blind, got an A in an astronomy class even though others tried to tell me it would be impossible, and had the opportunity to go whitewater rafting while working at a summer camp for blind students.
• These life experiences could give me an avenue to teach others. I could teach someone how to cook Filipino food, how they could go about designing a product, or the ins and outs of being an editor of a newsletter.

I encourage you to think about your life and make a list of all you have accomplished. Writing it all down might help you realize you have achieved more than you thought in your lifetime. It can help you see that you are good enough, and give you the kick of motivation to go after those big dreams.

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The Possibilities List

Katie Corbett holds the book, "$100 Startup."

By Katie Corbett

I love lists. They help me keep track of things I want to do now, in the near future, and in the far-off someday.

“The $100 Start-Up,” by Chris Guillebeau, isn’t the first place I came across the idea of making lists to keep track of ideas. The fact that list-making is suggested in so many books I have read emphasizes the importance of the task.

To open your mind to the possibilities of lists, here is a “list of lists” to give you an idea of all the lists I have created. I have lists of:

• Nine weekly goals.
• Ten things I want to get done every day.
• All the little things that bother me.
• Product, book and business ideas.
• Things I want to learn and do.
• More than 100 marketing ideas.
• Everything I would do if I had a million dollars.
• People I want to stay in touch with or with whom I would like to reconnect.
• Career and business books I have read.
• When I feel stressed or frazzled, I make a list of everything I need to do, starting with the most basic first steps.

It is my hope that this list of lists inspires you to create a list of your own. I typically use spiral-bound notebooks and index cards to jot things down. You can use whatever works best for you: your phone, computer, sticky notes, or a large piece of paper tacked to your wall.

Whatever you do, start creating lists today so your ideas, thoughts and inspirations don’t get away from you.

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Unclutter Your Life: Make a List of the Things that Annoy You

Katie Corbett holds the book "Coach Yourself to Success" by Talane Miedaner.

By Katie Corbett

Sometimes, it can be hard to think, focus, or get things done because there are a ton of little things that seem insignificant, but they add up to equal a pile of annoyance. Whether it is the additional time it takes for you to find papers at your desk, that pesky cell phone charger that still works–if you tilt your phone a certain way while it is charging–or the looming tough conversation you know you need to have with a friend or family member, it can be a good idea to make a list of all these little things so you can tackle them once and for all. Getting the little annoyances taken care of will free up your mind for the more pressing problems in life.

I read this tip in “Coach Yourself to Success,” by Talane Miedaner. I first created my own list in May of 2015, when I was in the midst of my job hunt. I wanted to do everything I could to restore order at a time in my life that felt uncertain.

I created an Excel spreadsheet and made column headings for the life categories that needed work:

• Tasks and Chores
• Home
• Work
• Money
• Family
• Friends and Relationships
• Hobbies
• Pets
• Bad Habits
• Body

In each category, I wrote all my little annoyances down. I began working my way through the list. Instead of crossing off items, I put a star next to them, because that is way more fun. I had a “Totals” column and kept track of the items yet to be handled and it was exciting to watch that number go down.

At the time, I was deciding if I should move to San Diego for my boyfriend, and there were a bunch of little annoying things I would need to deal with if I chose to make that move. If I decided to stay where I was, that choice would eliminate a bunch of worries all at once. Realizing this caused me to see how I truly felt about moving–and about the person I was dating. We eventually ended our relationship–for many reasons aside from the move–and this gave me the freedom to double down on my job search, since I knew where I would be living.

Make a list in any way that works best for you. It will bring you surprising clarity and peace of mind, just knowing all the little annoying things in life have been written down. And if some things on your list can not be handled right away or if you feel powerless to deal with them, just writing them down acknowledges to yourself that you don’t want that thing in your life anymore. Revisit your list six months to a year later–maybe some of the problems you felt like you couldn’t handle took care of themselves.

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