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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 September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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