Who Are You?

Who are you, concept words on blackboard.“There is a period of life when we swallow knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.” –Pearl Bailey

A few weeks ago I participated in an interesting group activity. The participants were distributed in groups of twos and instructed to face one another. One person was directed to ask the question “Who are you?” The other person would then respond with one word that describes him/her. This sequence would be repeated as much as the 30 second allotted time frame would allow. Once the activity commenced, a cacophony of vocabulary rhetoric ensued that mimicked that of the unpredictable clamor of thunder and lightning during a harsh electrical storm. When my opportunity came I spewed out words like “strong”, “intelligent”, “confident”, “visionary” etc. However, at the end of the exercise the instructor posed a thought-provoking question that hit me like a pillow case full of bricks. He asked, “Did anyone give any negative responses?”

“One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.” – Claude M. Bristol

As humans we prefer to accentuate our positive qualities while neglecting or masking our faults. As we paddle down our river of life we experience feelings of insecurity, fear, confusion, or brokenness.  We choose to leave our weak areas hidden so that we will not be at risk of having to face the brunt of society’s harsh criticism and ridicule. We all have negative traits that could use some polishing, buffing, or a good scrub.

We must first know who we are, before we can make the changes needed to become who we want to be!

So ask yourself, WHO ARE YOU?

Comments are welcomed

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PEN-ta-GONE!

“Sow much, reap much; sow little, reap little.” –Chinese Proverb

Today I decided to pass time in between my classes like I usually do. I sat down at a table and proceeded to jet ski along the choppy waves commonly known as the world wide web. I was casually minding my own business when I was interrupted by a friend with an unusual request. She asked to borrow a pen. I conducted a full scale investigative search of my backpack and realized that I only had one pen. To my chagrin, the pen in my backpack happened to be my favorite pen (yes, I have a favorite pen and I fully accept any ridicule that may follow). After losing the battle of wills that commence in the left hemisphere of my brain I told my friend that she could have my pen. Ten minutes later a different friend approached my table and (in a total act of randomness and for no apparent reason) handed me a pen.

Are you one to give without the intent of receiving? Do your give of your possessions, time, talents, or money to those in need? Do you even give at all?

“The charitable give out the door and God puts it back through the window.” –Proverb

Each day we are bombarded by a barrage of opportunities to give to those that need it most. We can choose a myriad of ways, forms, or platforms by which to give.

“Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9: 6-7

The condition of heart determines the amount of impact your gift will have on the lives of others!

Comments are welcomed

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The Bird’s the Word!

A week ago as I was casually driving away from the gym during the wee hours of the morning when an interesting chain of events ensued. I arrived at an intersection at the exact moment as a guy driving a truck. The guy turned in my direction and motioned to me that he was my number one fan. The guy essentially flipped the bird (as it is commonly referred to as) or to put it in lemans terms, he left all his fingers down except the finger in the middle of his pointer and ring finger. What compels a person to act so grotesque on such a riveting morning? The most befuddling part of the exchange was the fact that the man immediately sped off. Perhaps he felt sorry and embarrassed because of his impulsive action? Maybe he woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Or maybe he realized that he “flipped off” a slightly larger than average size, 6’5” African American male and wanted to put as much distance between him and I as possible?

How often do we allow an impulse reaction to serve a needle that injects a flu shot-like pain and hurt in the lives of those around us?

“All of our actions take their hue from the complexion of the heart, as landscapes their variety from light.” – Francis Bacon

An individual’s actions are a direct reflection of the type of content that consumes one’s heart.

Let your actions serve as the support beams that hold up the house of life you’ve built using the dazzling bricks of character!

Comments are welcomed…

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Here’s Looking at You Kid!

As I reluctantly ambled down the halls to one of my classes today I happened to take notice of the different type of looks I received as I drew closer to my destination. The word look is usually defined as the act of employing one’s sight, especially in a given direction or on a given object. It’s moments like these when we feel as though we are stuck in a petri dish being examined under the microscopic lens of society. There’s the “do I know you’ gaze, the ‘you have something in your teeth’ glare, the ‘what are you wearing’ gawp, the ‘I think you look good’ gape or my personal favorite the ‘I just saw you do something embarrassing” gawk. We’ve all found ourselves in a similar position at some point in our lives where we may have become the object that caught a random stranger’s eye.

“Since light travels faster than sound, people appear bright until you hear them speak.” – Anon

When people look at you what perceptions do they make about you? How would you like to be perceived?

“You are only as wise as others perceive you to be.” – M. Shawn Cole

Let your words, actions, and deeds create the majestic Rembrandt like painting of how others perceive you to be.

Ensure that the perception people have of you correlates with the perception you have of yourself!”

Comments are welcomed.

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Judge Me Not!

In society today there is a virus that is spreading as fast as a juicy gossip amongst high school students during lunch period. The virus in question is the practice of undeservedly placing judgment on others. The word “judge” can be defined as forming an estimate or evaluation of; especially to form a negative opinion about.

How often do we find ourselves judging others without any possessing an ounce of incriminating evidence that could hold up in the court of law? We are often quick to judge an individual based on what we see rather than taking the time to get to know the individual for who they are. We may even judge others in a negative light for the sheer purpose of making ourselves look better via false confidence.

We all plead guilty to first degree count of judging others. I am no different. There was an occasion where I met a guy at a function I was attending. This guy (keep in mind this is no exaggeration) was covered from neck down in tattoos. He had more piercings than a van full of screaming Justin Bieber fans. His attire came straight off page 24 of the Gothic edition of GQ men’s magazine. I placed unwarranted judgment on this guy. However, I was floored by the intelligence by which he spoke. He was a man of great character and full of ambition. I learned a great lesson that day; don’t judge.

“Don’t judge men’s wealth or godliness by their Sunday appearance.” – Benjamin Franklin

We should not be quick to judge those around us. No one wants to be judged, so why do we unfairly judge others?

When you think about judging the speck of dust in an individual’s eye ensure that you have removed the large clump of dust out of yours!

Comments are welcomed.

Self Critically

During one of my past interviews at Company X (I’ll keep the company name a mystery seeing as I still desire to work there someday) I was asked the questions, “What are your 3 biggest Strengths? What are your 3 biggest weaknesses?” Naturally I was taken aback. Those questions hit me with the force and velocity of a Mike Tyson right hook (prior to dining on ear lobes and adorning face tattoos) at point blank range. The answer to those questions can be interpreted a myriad of ways depending on the individual. So do you give three weaknesses and risk diminishing the brand image (yourself) that you are trying to sell to a company in order to entice them to hire you? Or do you provide one or two weakness and hope that your strengths will be strong enough to suffice? My response comprised of three strengths and two weaknesses. Company X indicated “they didn’t feel as though I wasn’t self-critical enough.”

“It’s not what you are that holds you back; it’s what you think you’re not!” – Anonymous

How often are we too critical of ourselves to the point where we begin to over analyze things we shouldn’t? We may take a picture and complain about imperfections that aren’t noticed by anyone else. How many times do we complain about our flaws or qualities we lack? Some individuals over analyze themselves to the point where they chop down their self-worth tree in a lumberjack-like fashion and plummet into a state of depression.

“He who undervalues himself is justly undervalued by others.”- William Hazlitt

Driving along the self-critical highway is a good thing as long as we don’t get disorientated via over-analyzing and lost in the State of Depression!

Disclaimer: If you are approached with the dreaded greatest strengths and weaknesses question during an interview please do not allow my experience with Company X to sway your response in any way.

Comments are welcomed..

A Few Good Men

Each day we are reminded of how cold, and desolate this world is we inhabit. As the maxim goes, “Times have changed.” Our world has become a more violent and deadly version of what it was a few decades ago. Crime in its many atrocious forms is rising faster than a ball of yeast-filled cinnamon bread on a hot Saturday morning.

What caused this swift plummet into this worldly cesspool destitute of the values and morals that shape character?

Despite the current state of our world, we can rest assure that hope still abounds. Though it may not always seem so there are still good people out there.  A few days ago I was reminded of that. While I was knee deep into my rigorous workout routine at the gym I noticed that my cell phone was missing. I immediately scoured every inch of the gym searching for my cell phone as if it was scanning for clues on a crime scene. My phone happens to be an Iphone 4, and those things aren’t cheap. I thought someone found it and claimed it under the notion that “possession is nine-tenths the law”. After countless minutes had elapsed and my search efforts turned up void, I decided to do the unthinkable. I went to the front desk and asked the most idiotic question ever; “Did anyone happen to turn in a phone?”  To my amazement; someone had. My phone was in the exact same condition as I last remembered it.

“You don’t get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.” – Les Brown

There are good people in this world; as long as they exist there is still hope that we can ignite a change that causes our world to shift back in the right direction.

Don’t leave your character at home when you decide to go somewhere!

To the special man or woman that returned my cell phone to the front desk, if you are reading this;  Thank You!

Feel free to comment…

Change of Pace

The last few days I’ve been trying to adapt to a scheduling change that has politely intruded on the workout schedule I’ve had for the past 6 months. My brain is slightly addled as I attempt the uphill battle to become acclimated to a life barraged by this intruder (commonly known as an internship).

“You cannot expect to achieve new goals or move beyond your present circumstances unless you change.” –Les Brown

We as humans are creatures of habit. We usually prefer that things to remain untouched unsullied, or as exactly as we know it. As the maxim goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  We fancy lying across an inner tube and allowing our lives to glide along the lazy river leading to a monotonous and vapid destination.

Change is simply the act or process of becoming different. Changes occur in relationships, on the job, physically, and in every other facet of our lives. Why is there such a resistance to change? Why does the phobia of change reduce so many individuals to a pint sized version of themselves. One can never fully prepare for changes that sprout up like a pesky weed in life’s flowerpot. However, we should put forth our best effort towards to embrace and make the most of changes that occur in our lives.

We need to welcome the unexpected in life and never forget to look for the beauty that comes with change! Change could be the parmesan cheese you need to add more flavor to your chicken spaghetti of life!

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