Batter Up!

Today, I attempted to achieve the unattainable and cook perfectly golden IHOP-like pancakes (pancakes have never been my forte). As I combined the necessary ingredients together in an abnormally large bowl an interesting thought popped in my head (I apologize for the randomness of the inner workings of my brain). The premise I had was “What kind of things am I allowing to enter my body?”

We’ve all heard the maxim, “Garbage In, Garbage Out!” George Fuechsel,  an early IBM programmer and instructor, is the person usually credited with coining the term. In most cases the saying is used to refer to the principle that when you put garbage (inaccurate data) into any given algorithm it will produce a meaningless result. This premise can be applied to our lives. There are so many opportunities for us to allow our minds and thoughts to be polluted by the toxic wastes of certain movies, tv programs, dirty conversations, etc. The more garbage we allow to enter the doors of our lives, the more we will reflect that content. “You are what you eat!” Your thoughts and actions are a direct correlation of the data you’ve allowed to be entered into the algorithms of your heart, mind and soul.

So let me ask, what things are you allowing to enter your body? How are you programming your mind everyday? Are you allowing your inner being to be corroded by acidic nature of the things you are exposing yourself to?

Let’s ensure that we expose ourselves to the things we don’t mind reflecting!

Comments are welcomed.

Seeing the Good in Others!

As humans we often tend to emphasize the bad qualities of a person. The practice of seeking out what’s wrong with an individual has become a favorite pastime of society rivaling that of a Sunday night baseball game or a prime time Pittsburgh Steelers football game. We are so quick to scribble a grocery list of a person’s bad qualities to the point where we can miss or devalue the good in others.

“Goodness is uneventful. It does not flash, it glows.” – David Grayson

I truly believe that there is some good in everyone regardless of the individual’s beliefs, background, race, or past. I took my car to get an oil change today at the Ford dealership. While I was in sitting in the waiting area I decided to fiddle with my guitar and get in some practice time (I’m just learning). A few moments later a guy enters the room and asks “Are you just learning how to play a guitar?” I responded with a “Yes”. The guy immediately proceeded to show me various cords, help me with my hand placement, and he shared various tips to help speed along my learning process. I never met him before nor did I ask him to help me. His actions were ignited out of the goodness of his heart. Everyone has some amount of good inside them. We need to shift our focus towards finding the good in others rather than highlighting the bad qualities.

Let’s broadcast the good found in others on their billboard of life; for all to see!

Let’s look through the lens of life’s sunglasses that allows us to see the good in others while blocking out the harmful UV rays of an individual’s bad qualities that society tends to focus on!

Nonconstructive Criticism

Have you ever been written off by society, or by an individual? Perhaps this individual attempted to shot your dreams out of the sky with a 12 gauge shot gun as if they were clay pigeons. These people never gave you a chance at success. They may have told you “You can’t do this. Or you’ll never be good enough to do that.” Instead of encouraging you to chase your goals they simply tried to pull you back down to their level with the back breaking weight of negativity. I’m sure we all experienced this on some level. I am no different. I’ve had a 4th grade teacher tell me “You’ll never amount to anything or make anything out of yourself!” I’ve had people (often referred to as Haters) constantly chime in my ear “You’ll never make or play for a college basketball team.”

It is imperative that you ignore the negativity so that it doesn’t fester and into self-doubt. Walt Disney hauls in billions from merchandise, movies and theme parks around the world. However, Walt Disney had a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” Disney founded a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He ignored the negativity around him cultivated a recipe for success that worked.

Harland David Sanders aka Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken had a difficult time selling his chicken at first. His famous secret chicken recipe was rejected 1,009 times before a restaurant accepted it.

If you are passionate about a dream, chase it with every ounce of energy you have. To those who tried to bog me down with negativity, I can borrow a line from Chris Brown’s song and say “Look at me now!”

Don’t allow the negativity breeze of others to topple the house of cards you are building to achieve life success!

Comments are welcomed.

A Supportive System

A support system is usually defined as a group of people who are available to provide an individual with emotional, social, and sometimes financial support. As we drive along the road of life we often run into a few pot holes or roadblocks that require us to seek assistance from others. Some turn to close friends when they need support. Others may look to family for assistance. A few pay to lie on a black leather couch and spill their thoughts to a psychiatrist. My support system is comprised of God, family and a handful of close friends.

It is imperative to have a sturdy support system. Having a strong social support system helps people become more resilient in the face of life’s surprises. During a flood fire ants will stay together as a unit and float. In less than two minutes the entire colony will coalesce into a watertight, pancake-shaped raft by grasping onto one another using their mandibles, claws and adhesive pads on the ends of their legs. These rafts can sometimes be composed of thousands of ants linked together and floating sometimes for months. These ants rely heavily on each member of their colony for support and offers support when life throws a curve ball their way.

Ensure that your support system is comprised of individuals who won’t hesitate to latch on to you and offer timely support as you float atop the unforeseen floods of life!

 

Comments are welcomed!


The Power Behind Words

Love, trust, laughter, heroism, relationship, and virtually every emotion we feel as human beings are often inspired by words. Words are defined as a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation that functions as a principal carrier of meaning. Whether within our thoughts, written or spoken, words have the power to transform the world we live in. When used efficiently, words have the power to support, encourage or uplift an individual. However, words can also be used like a serrated samara sword to cut an individual in minuscule shards of their former self.

“A word from the mouth is like a stone from a sling.” –Proverb

I used to beat people down with my words with a 3rd degree black belt precision. If an individual threw hurtful dart-like words to me that I did not approve of, I would quickly retort by launching words in the form of a sharp Spartan spear aimed directly at that person’s heart. It felt good at the time but I felt horrible a few minutes after. I had to learn to use my words to sow seeds of positivity instead of tearing an individual down. I’m still learning and trying to improve in this area. Imagine how much better the world would be if we all choose our words more carefully.

Let your words be the encouragement, support or uplifting that will lead to an individual doing great things. Choose your words wisely!

 

Comments are welcomed.

Listening – A Forgotten Art Form

“No one is as deaf as the man who will not listen.” – Yiddish Proverb

Have you ever found yourself in a conversation in which the other person does 100% of the talking? The individual completely drenches you with monsoon like rains via thoughts and words without taking a meager millisecond to listen to what you have to say or to give you an opportunity to speak. I’ve found myself in this position recently. I have a friend who approached me seeking guy advice. I’m no expert on the subject matter neither have I published any thesis papers on the topic. However, I chose to oblige her request out of the goodness of my heart. During the entire 20 minute conversation I think I may have gotten out a maximum of 5 words. She desired my advice but did not take the time to actually stop and listen to what I had to say.

One must quiet his/her mind to be able to truly hear and understand. How often do people miss out on what was being said because they were too busy thinking of what they should say next? Listening can serve to defuse many relationships before they escalate out of control. Heavyweight yelling bouts between spouses can be easily dissipated or avoided completely if the parties involved would simply take the time to LISTEN to each other. Many people have missed out on great opportunities because they did not listen.

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

We need to place a greater emphasis on listening to those around us. Don’t allow a listening impediment to cause you to miss out on sound advice!

 

Comments are welcomed.

Procrastination

Procrastination is the bad habit of putting off until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday. -Napoleon Hill

We’ve all procrastinated in some way, shape or form. Some individuals procrastinate when forced to make a tough decision. Others procrastinate with completing assignments or tasks. There are some who have a Masters or PHD in procrastination. Studies suggest 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions. Psychologists agree that procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we’ll feel tomorrow, or the next day.

I’m not one to procrastinate with assignments or important tasks. However, I too have suffered from the bubonic plague that is procrastination. Two days ago I did laundry. I placed my clean clothes in a neatly raked autumn leaf-like pile in the corner of my bedroom. I did this due to the abundance of hatred I have towards folding clothes. Folding clothes has always proven to be my arch nemesis, thus leading me to put the task off for a later time (procrastinate).

Procrastination creates higher levels of stressand sends all those stress hormonescoursing through your body, wearing it out faster. We should try our best not to put off for tomorrow what we can do today!

As for the pile of clean clothes in my room; it’s still there. Maybe I’ll take care of it later today, or perhaps tomorrow!

Comments are welcomed!

Technological Dependency!

Do you ever find yourself looking at your cell phone every few minutes to see if a text or call evaded your sensory organs? I find myself doing this at times. We have become so dependent on technology. There have been occasions where I forgot my phone at home and each time I felt so lost without it. I use my phone to read/send emails, as my gps, to communicate with friends, as entertainment when I’m bored (thank you Iphone apps), to take notes etc. Technology has made superman like leaps and bounds since the days of the prehistoric cave man. Gone are the days when we have to visit the library to research information for a project or assignment. Phone books have become irrelevant. Letters have been replaced with emails.

An AOL study revealed that 59 percent of PDA users check every single time an email arrives and 83 percent check email every day on vacation. The International Center for Media and the Public Agenda at the University of Marylandasked 200 students to refrain from using electronic media for a day. “Texting and I.M.’ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,” wrote one student. “When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.”

I am one of the biggest advocates of all things technology but I never want to get to the point where technology to controls my life. I have a friend who went on a media fast for a week. No tv, internet (thus no Twitter, Facebook etc.) and he only used his phone for business related reasons. To some, this may sound like suicide. In my friend’s words “it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be”. He went fishing, read books, played sports, spent more time with his family etc.

Don’t allow that status of your life to take a back seat to reading or commenting on updates of someone else’s status!

 

Comments are welcomed.