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10 Things Only People Who Grew Up In The South Would Know

10 Things Only People Who Grew Up In The South Would Know

The American South is known for a lot of things, from the unbearable humidity in the summer to the classic Southern drawl that is instantly recognizable. There are also a lot of common stereotypes that are associated with the locals, labeling them as fat, lazy, extremists and racists. However, there are some things only people who grew up in the South would know. Being from the South, you know it is important not to clump this region into one definition, since it actually encompasses a diverse cultural landscape.

Here are a few points you know are true and will set the record straight.

1. You know that not everyone is fat

The South may be known as having some of the highest rates for obesity in the U.S. However, this does not mean that everyone living there is overweight. Healthy lifestyles are becoming the norm in big cities like New Orleans, Atlanta, and Nashville. Everything from yoga studios to juice bars are popping up everywhere. There was a study conducted by the University of Alabama which states that Southern people do not hold the highest rate of obesity in the country.

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2. You know there is variety in the climate

There is often a misconception that the South is hot and humid all year around, but this is only true for the summer months, which can seem rightfully unbearable. The winter months are ideal because they are mild, without the typical snowfall that the East Coast and Midwest have to deal with. However, sometimes it does snow, but it is quite rare in the lower elevations.

3. You know that not everyone is racist

Unfortunately, racism is commonly associated with the Southern states. This is not fair because there are also a lot of open-minded individuals in this region. Racist individuals in the media (like Paula Deen) give Southerners a bad rap. Their behavior should not be an excuse to generalize a whole population.

4. You known that not everyone is strictly religious

The Bible Belt may be a commonly used term used to describe the religious influence on the politics of the South; however, this is a gross generalization. There may be a higher percentage of individuals who identify as Christians, but there are also those who are atheists.

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5. You know there is plenty of diversity

People might think of the South in terms of Caucasian and African-American, but there are a lot of other minority communities as well. There is a good representation of Mexicans, Germans, Vietnamese, Cubans, and Puerto Ricans throughout the South.

6. You know not everyone is a Republican

It is a common belief that everyone is politically conservative in the South, but you know this is just not true. You know there are plenty of liberal-minded folk.

7. You know there is plenty of culture

It might be tempting to see the South as having one single culture that includes a lot of country music, fried foods, and whiskey. While all these things are part of Southern culture, there are also plenty of world-class art museums and music halls, like Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and Nashville’s Mercy Lounge. The Museum and Lounge have plenty of art and music from all different genres.

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8. You know that not all the food is fried

Contrary to popular belief, not everything is thrown into the deep-frier. That said, some of the most delicious items truly are. However, there are also plenty of restaurants and cafes catering towards a healthier lifestyle.

9. You know not everyone is dumb

With prestigious universities like Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Tulane, and Duke, there is no shortage of intelligence in the South. The Center for Disease Control (CDC), which plays a vital role in keeping the U.S. healthy, is located in Atlanta. There are also big accounting firms in Charlotte that help keep the American banking industry afloat.

10. You know there are major industrial hubs

The East Coast is known for its banking and economics, while the West Coast is known for Silicon Valley, but that does not mean the South is lacking in important industries. Big giants like Boeing, Delta, Coca Cola, and Home Depot are just a few corporations that have their headquarters in the South.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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