Lessons From Aisle 9

I’m currently in a graduate program and am about to head out into the “real world” so I figured it was about time that I start figuring out how much it would actually cost to live on my own. So I sat down with my dad and crafted a little budget plan.

Turns out I’m not the cheapest person in the world. Go figure.

When I returned to school, I wanted to see if this budget was realistic so I decided to start doing some real-time tracking. I started at the grocery store and in the first week I already blew by half of my allotted grocery money.  So I was like “shit, I’m going to have to starve.” I call my dad, tell him about my situation, and instead of him saying, “Katelyn, you’re just going to have to starve,” he says “well, you’ll just have to budget more!”

Sounds like a pretty lame story, but it taught me something invaluable: you should always raise your standards to satisfy your wants & needs. Generate more instead of doing less. Focus on raising your own bar rather than staying where you’re at or worse, dropping lower. Don’t sell yourself short. I mean in this case it was only groceries that I was dealing with, but think about all the situations where this mentality can be applied in your life.

If you want to go travel, find the means to do so and go travel. Don’t starve yourself of your passion for seeing the world because of limitations you set on yourself. There is a way.

If you want to learn more and get a better education, raise your standards and start learning. Don’t starve your own brain’s infinite learning potential. Tell yourself you can.

If you want to get into the best shape of your life, start working hard and make sustainable changes. Don’t starve the only body you’ll ever have from being as healthy as it can be. You have to start now.

Now these are all easier said than done, and any time you have to “raise your bar” you are going to have to make sacrifices and will face challenges, but think to yourself… are you worth it? That answer should always be a big YES. If you want something bad enough, you won’t settle for starving yourself from what it is that sets your soul on fire. This one life of yours is not about living in this cloud of “I want to do cool things and have cool things and be awesome but it all sounds too out of reach so I’m just going to sit here and not make any changes and live my normal boring life.” Sounds kinda harsh but seriously its what people actually do with their lives and it makes me sad. Even within your own constraints, there is always room to do more, be more, and live more.

Go be adventurous. Try something you’ve never done before. Set a goal that forces you to raise your standards. Practice self-appreciation and do something for you. Live a little – or a lot.

So next time you’re at the grocery store, don’t starve yourself.

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