Two nights ago I was awaken out of slumber at 2:45am by loud shrills in the form of yelling. I proceeded to peek through the open slates in my blinds to investigate the situation. I saw a guy standing in the pool area and yelling at the top of his lungs at an apartment unit across from mine. This guy was heavily built (pleasantly plump to be politically correct) and he was wearing no shirt, no shoes, just boxers. From what I gathered the scantily clad guy was attempting to get the guy in the unit (located on the 3rd floor) to come to the pool area so they could brawl. Apparently the other guy threatened to shoot the risqué dressed guy’s dogs if he didn’t keep them quiet. These words seemed to be the catalyst that set off the Mount Vesuvius of his emotions.
The promiscuously dressed guy was obviously really drunk and his beer muscles were in a flexed state. After 10 minutes of yelling with no response he starting picking up patio furniture (lawn chairs, tables etc.) and tossing them into the pool while screaming in an incredible hulk like manner (keep in mind that the patio furniture is made of plastic and weighs a whopping 3 to 5 pounds). If this wasn’t enough he then hopped the pool fence (the pool area was locked due to scheduled pool cleaning) to bang on the 3rd floor door to lure the other guy outside. After 30 minutes the police came tackled the guy, placed him in handcuffs and later took him to spend the night in jail so that he would sleep off his buzz. As he was making the walk of shame to the police car he uttered “Did you give them (his dogs) enough water?” Guess he really loves his dogs.
There is no place or a time when this type of behavior! Know your limitations and be considerate of those around you.
“Respect a man, he will do it the more.” – James Howell
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We are privileged to inhabitant the oblate spheroid known as Earth (the only planet known to have signs of life). The surface area of Earth is 510,072,000 square kilometers. Of that, 29.2% is covered by land and 70.8% is covered by water. Is it me or does the world seem smaller each day? A few months ago I was sitting in a hotel lobby in Nassau, Bahamas checking my email, Facebook and twitter (standard protocol for proper computer use). A guy came up to me and we started a conversation. It turned out the guy I spoke with lives 10 miles away from where I live in Texas. He is also a member of the church whose young adult service I attend. Small world?
I’m sure you’ve all had moments in your lives that may have evoked similar thoughts. You may have run into a high school friend that you haven’t seen in 10 years while shopping at the grocery store. You may have bumped into a college acquaintance you graduated with during a layover in a random airport. We connect with people all the time. You never know who you’ll meet, have a conversation with or form a relationship. My college professor was a manager at a company and took the time to help a guy learn a new technology. Twelve years later my teacher lost his job. A few months later he went to a job interview with a company in a different state. The guy who conducted the interview was the same guy he helped 12 years ago. Needless to say he got the job.
The world is smaller than your think. Meet everyone you can and don’t hesitate to help anyone you can! You may be talking to the person that will lead you to your next job!
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I found myself in a conversation with a friend who recently experienced a loss in the family. We have all been impacted by its untimely, unfair and ruthless nature in some way, shape or form. Death occurs in so many forms; natural disasters, illness, trauma, war, etc. No matter how fast we try to run from death, we cannot cheat or escape it. Whenever I receive news of this nature from friends or colleagues I struggle because I never know what to say. I perform several sifts through the frontal lobe of my brain in an attempt to find comforting words to say. What do you say to someone that has just experienced a loss? Are there right words to say?
Of course there is the typical response: “I’m sorry for your loss. I offer my condolences to you and your family”. This response is usually initiated or followed with a hug or handshake of some sort. Those words are of good intent but they won’t automatically or immediately extract the pain one is experiencing from his or her loss. A greater influx of genuine compassion is needed to help these individuals. We also should pray for the person, be supportive of them during the time of mourning, lend them our shoulder if they need one to cry on, and help them any way we can.
“Tis after death that we measure men” – James Barron Hope
We as humans have no clue when our time on this earth will end. However, we have an opportunity while we are alive to do great things and leave an indelible mark in this world. How do you want to be measured?
Define your legacy such that it would be one that would be put on display as opposed to one that would be swiftly disposed.
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Yesterday I was able to complete several lengthy homework assignments, run errands, do some writing and clean my apartment within a very small window of time. Naturally, I was taken aback at the level of productivity I displayed. Sadly, there are days when I am unfortunately not as productive as I should be. I’m sure you all can relate. The world today is littered with an abundance of distractions that can diminish an individual’s productivity. These distractions can adorn the disguise of the internet, television programs, cell phone apps (angry birds, words with friends and draw something are the main suspects), friends, significant others, etc.
“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.” – Tony Robbins
It is imperative that we don’t allow ourselves to constantly fall prey to distractions that divert us away from the path of productivity. One of the most fascinating and underappreciated animals in this world are ants. Ants follow pheromone trails created by scout ants when foraging and gathering food for the colony. They follow these trails for many miles transporting food items up to 50 times their weight with their mandibles. Ants know what tasks need to be done and they complete them. This example may be trivial (I blame my national geographic kids club membership for that) but it is indicative of the mindset we all should have.
Don’t allow an accumulation of distractions to cause to you lose the aroma of your pheromone trail of productivity!
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Has someone ever told you they were going to do something and they never did it? In today’s society it has become a common practice to spew out empty claims or assertions that aren’t back up by our actions. For instance an individual may claim that he or she is going to be a doctor. However, it will not happen if one does not perform any actions that would expedite the process (such as going to school, attaining a medical license, interning etc.). “Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold — but so does a hard-boiled egg.” – Anon.
I’m a big proponent of saying what you mean and doing what you say. I recently had a group assignment to complete for a class. When the assignment was handed out my entire group was enthused. We divvied tasks and everyone assured me that they would get their parts done early and sent to me so that I could put the project together. However, after repeated attempts to contact my group, I was stuck completing the entire assignment by myself the night before the exam. I had to burn the midnight oil due to the fact that my group showered me with torrential downpours of substance less rains in the form of their words. Lewis Cass stated “People may doubt what you say, but they will believe what you do.” Don’t become the guy or girl who cried wolf!
The validity of your words is easily denatured by an inaccurate alignment of your actions!
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“Stereotypes are devices for saving a biased person the trouble of learning” – Author Unknown. In today’s society it has become the norm to stereotype an individual based on factors such as race, age, sex, physical appearance, attire etc. A stereotype is a conventional, formulaic and oversimplified conception, image or opinion. For instance, a person of Asian descent may receive the stereotype of being extremely intelligent. African Americans are often grouped into the stereotype of being an athlete (usually a basketball or football player) or a violent trouble maker. There has been countless times that I’ve walked past a lady and witnessed her clutch her purse closer to her body as I’m going to attempt to steal it from her. These ladies automatically stereotyped me based on my appearance. Had these ladies taken a minute to converse with me they would have been able to properly access my character.
Why do we place stereotypes on others? Is it just an involuntary action of human nature that cannot be controlled? Are they necessary? I do not like to be stereotyped, generalized, or categorized. However, there have been occasions when I’ve caught myself placing an unfair stereotype on an individual. At a group meeting I sat next to a guy with full body tattoos, a plethora of piercings, all black clothing and spiked hair. Twenty seconds into our conversation I was blown away by the individual. He was an extremely education man with vast insight and great character. Since then I try my best to avoid placing unfair stereotypes on others. I challenge you to do the same.
Don’t allow an inaccurate stereotype of an individual’s book cover to rob you of reading the wonderful content found on the inside of the pages!
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Nathiel Hawthorne (one of the greatest fictional writers in American) exclaimed “No man, for any considerable period, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which one is true.” Duplicitousness (commonly known as being two faced) is the term given to one who is deliberately deceptive in their behavior, action or speech. It pains me to say this, but the amount of people that choose to behave in this manner are rapidly mutating at speeds that rival that of an untreated and highly infectious bacteria. I’m sure we all had our own personal encounters with these individuals. The individual may smile at you but slander your name when you aren’t around. This person may act like your friend but constantly lies to you time and time again.
As the maxim indicates it is only matter of time until one becomes bewildered or confused as to which face is true. A duplicitous person’s true identity will be revealed over time. Duplicitousness is a corrosive element that erodes all bonds formed by trust. It is hard to extend trust in the direction of one who has been labeled as being two faced. We all have and may continue to encounter those that choose to and continue to display actions that place them in the duplicitous category. My advice would be to continue to show kindness to these individuals no matter how hard it may be.
Tearing people down with malicious intent is not the right way to climb the ladder of success. It only leads to a swift plummet!
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We’ve all had moments in life in which we found ourselves conjuring up an excuse as a means to justify an action or situation. Excuses can be defined as an attempt to lessen the blame attached to (a fault or offense) in the hope of being forgiven or understood. I found myself doing this very thing recently. I wanted to add a new element to my workout regimen (swimming laps in a pool) however, I found myself continually searching for excuses why I shouldn’t start right away in a similar fashion as a spouse searches for a lost wedding ring. I would like to thank Akeem (a good friend of mine for many years) for sharing simple yet powerful words of wisdom with me. He said “there is no excuse for making an excuse.”
So often we look to make phony excuses that help us to feel better psychologically or emotionally. We may make excuses because we aren’t willing to admit the truth because we don’t want to risk embarrassment. Are you making excuses? Do you fear the scrutiny or family, friends, or co-workers? Are you making excuses to delay doing something you’ve always wanted to do or need to do? Benjamin Franklin once said “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.”
Let’s do the grown up thing; admit our faults and take responsibility for our actions. Don’t wear the mask of excuses during the masquerade ball that is your life!
I know you are probably wondering, so yes I’ve started swimming at the end of my workouts.
Time Management is defined as the act or process of planning and exercising conscious control over the amount of time spent on specific activities in the attempt to increase effectiveness, efficiency or productivity. So often we find ourselves asking the question “where did the time go?” I’ve found myself in this position as well. There have been occasions when I had an important task to complete and I’d find myself doing everything except the very task I needed to complete (some might deem this type of behavior as procrastination). We have a myriad of options in which we can devote our time. As a result we can get confused as to what our proper sequence of priority should be. Time is easily spent but can never be gained. This begs the question, how are we allocating our time?” Are we doing enough with our time? Are we devoting too much of our time to work and not towards our family? Are we wasting our time?
I’m no better or no different from you. There’s always a need to improve one’s time management skills. In order to effectively manage time one should ensure to prioritize his or her tasks in order of most importance. Don’t lose sight of the things that are of the utmost importance in your life. An hour spent watching a child’s sporting event or volunteering at a youth center is far exceeds spending the gains of spending an extra hour in the office.
Do not allow a lack of time to manage to diminish your happiness and quality of life!
Most of us have heard the story of how Jesus died for our sins and rose again three days later. Yesterday I read Luke 24 which chronicles the events in Jesus’ life after his resurrection. Shortly after Jesus rose from the dead he began to walk along with two men heading on a road to Emmaus. Jesus conversed with these men the entire trip but they failed to recognize him. So I began to think. How many times have I failed to recognize Jesus in my own life? How many times have I failed to recognize the blessings he has bestowed on me? How many opportunities did I let slip passed me this week to show kindness towards others? Do people see characteristics of Jesus when they look at my life? What do people see when they look at you?
We take so many things for granted. The air we breathe, the freedoms our country provides, waking up and seeing a new day, being pain free, etc. However, tomorrow is promised to no one! Live your life fully taking no moments for granted.
You can’t change the battery in your clock of life once it goes dead!
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