Kiki Wongo has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WellYesMoment #CollectiveBias
We’ve all heard the phrase “follow your dreams” before, whether it was from our parents, from an inspirational story, or an Instagram photo with swirly font embedded on a generic picture of a sunset. However, what does it REALLY mean? This was something an 18-year-old Kiki could only superficially grasp.
I was attending the University of California, Irvine as a freshman, aka fresh-meat. Heavily influenced by popular demand as an Asian American in a four-year university, I subjected myself to major in Biological Sciences/Pre-Med. Did I have a genuine interest in science? Yes. Did I know what I was doing? Absolutely not. All I knew was to do what I thought I knew was right and keep persevering towards a dream that was already tried, molded, and shaped by many others.
Although it was mediocrely satisfying to follow the preconceived rules of safe success, my inner creative self was gasping for a breath in the spotlight. I started a modeling career to pay for some of my school expenses, which later led me to the rock goddesses of Nylon Pink.
For the first time in my life, I felt alive. These girls were Asian American girls just like me with a rebellious streak, business “get it done” attitude, and an indisputable passion for music. Finally, I found my calling and I was ready to dominate the world.
However, I found myself in a difficult predicament one April afternoon. At the time, I was working grueling hours at UCLA Medical Center with stroke, Alzheimer’s, and dementia patients and was sapped from all energy reserves. Then, I received an excited phone call stating we booked a full international tour in China! CHINA! It was too good to be true and simultaneously impossible to execute with a full time hospital job.
At that moment, I was faced with a serious decision: say NO and keep on with my stable, predictable future, or say YES and take a leap into the creative unknown full of ups and downs, unprecedented drama, chaos, and creative overload.
Though I felt uncomfortable, fearful, and apprehensive, I said YES and left my job on the spot.
Because I chose to take a chance, this YES moment allowed me to build a career in music, tour internationally, work alongside acts like Taylor Swift, Usher, Bret Michaels, The Misfits, and many more.
I couldn’t be more thankful for my #WellYesMoment, and every day I am full of appreciation and gratitude for these opportunities. However, sometimes showing it can be hard to achieve. So, without further ado, here are the Top 10 Tips on How To Show Appreciation and Gratitude to those who have helped you achieve your Yes Moment.
Send a Personalized “Thank You” Gift
There’s nothing better than receiving something that comes from the heart. With Internet access and technological advancement, many people take advantage of the convenience of sending a message rather than a personalized greeting. One of the best ways to let your appreciation stand out is send something via snail mail that’s made just for your appreciatee.
Some great gifts can include handmade jewelry, art piece, handmade cards, hand painted mugs, or something specific that reminds you both of a memory you shared together. Ultimately, this kind of personalization will truly resonate and be remembered for a long time.
Give Them a Call
In this day and age, picking up the phone to tweet/text/check Instagram is way more common than to use it for it’s actual worth: a phone call. Hearing somebody’s voice can make a huge difference rather than reading an emoji filled statement or a funny gif. Plus, words can be lost in translation in a text message, so hearing a voice can help portray your true feelings of appreciation to your mentor.
So, next time you want to express your appreciation and love, pick up the phone and give them a quick call. You’ll for sure bring a smile and more to their faces.
Pay It Forward
Has someone in your life made you a better person? Have they motivated you to do things you could never have dreamed you would accomplish? Well, it’s time to pay it forward! Positive actions grow exponentially when each individual continues to be good to another. Plus, you never know how much one good action could impact another person; it could trigger them to be the next president of the United States!
In the music community, paying it forward is one of the most important ways for a musician to see success. Without some handouts and good luck, we would have never been where we are today.
Write A Letter
Hey, millennials out there! Have you ever heard of a pen pal? If not, no worries! It’s a thing we old fogies used to do as kids to keep in touch. Simultaneously, it also used to make us feel like we were secret agents in espionage passing classified information about who Stacy was dating or how Johnny looked so cute in gym class.
All in all, the overall effect of receiving a handwritten letter is something that could never be replicated in the internet. Also, it’s super fun! You can pick your favorite stationery and write in different colors that your appreciatee will love.
Sometime, actions speak louder than words. Ever heard the phrase “Clean house, clean mind?” Well, it’s one of the greatest things you can do for a loved one. Cleaning, whether is a small corner of the house to helping clean oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico, can make a difference in someone’s life, small or large.
Living in small quarters in a van on tour is really tough in terms of cleanliness. Every week, we would have time to clean up. It truly made a difference for us all after our areas were clean.
So, pick up that duster and broom and get cleaning! Your loved ones will truly appreciate the small act of kindness.
We’ve all experienced a time of crisis in our lives at one point. Perhaps your mentor or loved one was there to help you out when you experienced yours. This simple action of altruism is volunteered. This is why it is absolutely essential to volunteer and give back to your community.
If you don’t know where to start, pick something within your community. Whether it’s helping your neighbor with groceries, delivering hot meals to the needy, or helping out at your local animal shelter, it’s great to show your thankfulness to those who need help.
In the past, we’ve volunteered to teach music. It was one of the most gratifying experiences and spread so much happiness overall.
Forgive a Friend
Arguments and disagreements happen to the best of us. If we didn’t have them, we would never truly be challenged in life. However, sometimes these conflicts can occur out of your control or for the wrong reasons.
One of the most powerful attributes every human can have is the power of forgiveness. The 90/10 rule explains that 90% of the actions that happen in our lives are out of our control and only 10% are what we can. Because of the little control we have over outside actions, our strongest power is our reaction.
Forgiving a friend will empower you and also set your friend free of any burdens from a conflict. We’ve had many disagreements in our projects. In the end, we always learned to forgive each other since we recognized we all had the same goals and motivations for success.
Celebrate an Achievement
Many times, we experience great things in our lives but may feel too shy or modest to share them. Instead of focusing on your own achievements, celebrate that of a friend, family member, coworker, or even someone random. Showing that you care about their accomplishments harvests a positive environment, which is highly contagious in the best way possible.
We’ve seen many ups and downs in our music careers, but we always made time to celebrate our achievements. This helped us grow stronger as a group and do greater things with our music career.
Hug It Out
Have you ever seen someone with a shirt on that says “Free Hugs?” They totally get the drift. Hugging someone is one of the greatest human interactions that says so much without any words at all. Even if you decide to hug a stranger, you will for sure make their day. Send a random hug to your loved ones or friends and it will bring a smile to their face.
It was tough on the road at times, but sending hugs among our band members kept us alive and happy during the hardest moments of our music career. To this day, I always send hugs as a greeting or good bye.
Make a Nutritious Meal
Though the musician tour life may seem like all glitz and glam, we had seen all ends of highs and lows. One of the toughest parts of being on the road is getting the right nutrition.
By far, one of my favorite foods to eat on tour is Well Yes!® Soup. These soups are designed to provide delicious flavors and a real, nutritious ingredients that challenges the perspective of canned soups with positivity and joyfulness. On top of that, all Well Yes! soups contain purposeful ingredients that do not contain artificial flavors or colors and are crafted with care, providing you with a Soup in the Right Direction®.
Here are my favorite flavors:
Roasted Chicken with Wild Rice
Sweet Potato Corn Chowder
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