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Kristin Hiemstra

You and Everyone Else

The need to conform starts early. For me, it was elementary school, when I had to have a powder blue satin jacket with Shaun Cassidy’s picture on it and a comb in my back pocket so I could blend in at the roller rink. I was painfully attuned to the in-crowd, and desperately wanted to fit in and look like everyone else. Then I grew up, but I still struggle in walking the edge between conforming and pursuing goals outside of the box. Those who are living to their full potential are not concerned with the in-crowd or with...

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Slay Your Dragons

Life is a series of challenges. We all have dragons we must confront. In mythology, dragons guard gold and virgins – two things they have no use for. They are greedy and selfish. In life, our personal dragons steal our potential. They are things like addiction, gossip, lying, laziness, unfettered screen time, lashing out at others, toxic relationships – they are things we engage in, but we don’t want to own up to, because we know the way we are behaving is a misuse of our power. There are a few different ways to slay a dragon: Chop off...

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Make Someone Laugh

In life, we are all traveling somewhere. First, we have to figure out where we are going, but the next decision is equally important. That decision is regarding the attitude we want to embrace on our journey. People arrive at their designation laughing, crying, rich, poor, energized, spent, happy, sad, etc. Rest assured that your journey will have plenty of opportunities for you to experience all of these emotions, whether you want to or not! However, it is within your power to pick the dominant emotion. You might as well be joyful, and you might as well laugh a...

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Four Ways To Reduce Holiday Stress

The holidays… they are AWESOME and, of course, incredibly stressful. Our fond memories come from a time when we didn’t have to do any of the work and got all of the rewards. Ahhhh childhood, why did you leave me? Then adulthood somehow set in, and suddenly Bob Rivers’ “12 Pains of Christmas” was a much better reflection of our experience than the classic “12 Days of Christmas.” With the parties to go to, schedules to juggle, finances to manage, and visits from our crazy in-laws, it is no wonder many of us experience an increased need to partake...

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Free Gap Year And Exchange Programs

Going straight to college is not what everyone wants to do. Sometimes you just need a little adventure in your life! Here are some free gap year options: 1. Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange The Congress-Bundestag Vocational Youth Exchange Program offers graduating high school seniors the opportunity to live with a German host family, participate in a training or school program, and gain experience working abroad through an internship with a German company.  – See more here. 2. Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Speak German and learn more about German culture!  The CBYX program provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to spend an...

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Networking For Job Leads

We hear the word “networking” all the time, but what does it really mean? The answer is quite simple: it means connecting. As a job seeker, it is our task to connect with as many people as possible, because each person represents a new friend and a potential job lead. Think of the random funny emails we forward to each other. If we find something to be particularly hilarious, we will forward it to our friends who share our sense of humor. If it is a particularly good email and many people feel the way we do, those people...

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Great Advice For Graduates

With school graduation right around the corner and Spring in the air, one thing is for sure… change. The saying that ‘”only wet babies like change” reflects our resistance to changing the status quo. Most of us would prefer to remain comfortable in whatever our circumstances at that moment but alas, that is not an option. On this week’s Art of Potential show my guest, Brett Derby, 06′ CHHS graduate, shares his approach to creating successful transitions in his life. Brett graduated from USC in ’10 and is currently enrolled in Columbia Business School’s MBA program. In spite of...

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We Are “They, Them and Someone”

“You know what they say…..” “I can’t believe they are doing that!” Mia Burroughs, my guest on this week’s Art of Potential show, is currently an elected School Board member who is now running for Orange County Commissioner. As a young woman Mia made the following comment to her parents about a situation, “Well someone needs to do something!” and her very wise parents asked her who exactly that “someone” was. The realization that she was that “someone” was Mia’s introduction into the concept of citizenship. (Click here to listen to the full interview.) We are “they,” “them” and...

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Launching Your Business

On this weekend’s Art of Potential show, you will hear some great advice about how to start your own company from Alec Guettel, Social-Entrepreneur-in-Residence at UNC. Guettel was recruited by UNC’s The CUBE (Creating University Born Entrepreneurs) program because he has launched five start-ups including Axiom Law and Sungevity, a leading rooftop solar company. The CUBE’s model of pairing students, mentors and resources serves as a business incubator not only for UNC students, but also for people like you and me. They provide great workshops and support for wannabe entrepreneurs with great ideas but lacking experience. According to Guettel,...

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5 Secret Strategies For Planning An Awesome Road Trip

Whether your inspiration is Norman Rockwell or Chevy Chase, a family road trip can be the highlight of the summer. You are guaranteed to create life-long memories. The question is will they be memories of joy, or of your bundles-of-joy pulling each other’s hair out? These few tips can make all the difference. They are things our family of four did on our month-long jaunt across the US. Please note: I have an equally robust list of things not to do. 1. Build anticipation and buy-in. About a month before we left, I gave each daughter fifty dollars and...

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