According to the meteorologists and all the other weather SME’s (Subject Matter Experts); a massive thunderstorm (with anywhere from golf ball to baseball-sized hail) was going to make its way into north Texas by the early afternoon. Naturally, I tried to plan for the apocalyptic end of the world as best as I could (via toting an umbrella) once I heard the news. Of course today turned out to be a sunny, 92 degree day devoid of precipitation. A thought rang in my head like the cacophonous sound of an exasperating alarm clock at 5 in the morning.
How often do we allow ourselves to fret over things that we shouldn’t?
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!” – Barbara Hoffman
Let’s try our best not to sweat the small stuff or become frazzled by things we cannot control. Life never works out in the exact manner that we may hope, dream, or imagine.
Benjamin Franklin stated “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Worry can become an arduous burden that can crush an individual. Don’t allow worry to steal away today’s joy!
Society today has adopted a “tv dinner” mentality. We want things instantly and right away. We’ve lost sight of the virtue that is patience. When we dine at a restaurant we desire to have our food served to us right away. We sometimes get agitated when we have to stand in a long check-out line moving at the top speed of molasses. We tend to want the latest, greatest and priciest things. As a result we buy things that we probably should not or can’t afford. We choose the more expensive option over the affordable one. I’m no different, I find myself doing the same thing at times. However, I’m trying to do better.
I came across the maxim “Don’t live above your means!” Adhering to those words can prevent one from plummeting in the deep chasm that is debt. So many people have found themselves in the middle of a heavy weight fight with debt and financial instability. I bought a rug not too long ago from Wal-Mart with the phrase “Live Life Simply” printed on it. I’m making an effort to do so. I’m trying my best not to live above my means. Expensive material possessions are nice but it is important remember that we will leave them all behind when we die. We don’t get to take a coach purse, 60 inch flat screen, the latest pair of Jordan shoes, or a 2013 Audi A6 with us. Let’s enjoy the finer things in life like great health, family, friends and all the other things that aren’t defined by the amount of zeros we have to the left of the decimal point in our bank account.
Today I made an impromptu stop into the grocery store (aka Wal-Mart) today to purchase a few essentials. One of the items on my list was a gallon of milk. We all know milk is usually kept at the back of the most stores. This is due to the fact that milk is usually a sunk cost. It is sold at a low price (maybe even a loss) by a store in the hope that it would attract customers to the store. Store owners feel if a customer enters the store to buy milk, by the time he/she gets to the milk he/she will already have picked up a few other items to purchase on the way to the milk (end of the economics lesson for the day). I made the voyage to the back of the store to buy milk. When I arrived at the milk aisle I thought “I wonder how many people just simply reach in and grab the first bottle of milk their hand touches?” “Are there people out there that don’t take the time to check the expiration dates of food?”
Whenever I purchase milk or food items I perform a TSA security screening of the expiration dates on the products. I search high and low for the gallon of milk with the expiration date that is the furthest away. I would stand there and look for however long it takes. If need be, I would single out a few gallons of milk, remove them from the line and perform a more extensive search of expiration dates. I’m sure there are things that you may do that may be deemed weird by someone else. We all have our quirks that make us unique. No two people are exactly alike and that’s what makes this world such an amazing place to live. “Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.” -Johann von Goethe
Continue to be who you are and embrace the quirks that make you an individual!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with a hiring manager in a one on one, face-to-face type of setting. I immediately thought “I need to make a good first impression.” A first impression is truly a lasting one. It can influence whether you land a job, make a new friend, entice a random stranger to perform a random act of kindness for you, etc. However, you only have once chance to make a good first impression. Thus, you must be sure to use the opportunity wisely. There was an occasion in which I was approached by a lady that I did not know. She came up to me with intentions of gaining my phone number in order to start a relationship with me.
Within that thirty-second conversation I was able to generate assumptions that were influenced greatly by my first impression of her. She spoke in an uneducated manner, she was dressed as though she left some type of cabaret, and she chewed gum with her mouth wide open in a similar fashion as a cow chews grass (ok maybe I was being a little nit picky there). Obviously she failed at making a good first impression on me. I didn’t share that story in order to pat myself on the back or toot my own horn. I shared the incident only to illustrate the impact a bad first impression has on future relationships with an individual. A first impression is easy to screw up and takes an abundance of time to repair. So I encourage you to be mindful of the impressions you are making on others. You never know who you are talking you! You could be talking to a hiring manager of Microsoft who will go out of his way to help you land a job. You may be talking to your future spouse. You may even be talking to a celebrity dressed as a homeless person. No matter who you engage a conversation with, ensure that you are portraying an accurate first impression of yourself! Also don’t chew gum with your mouth wide open!
Courtesy is often defined as the displaying of politeness in one’s behavior toward others. The word “common” is often attached to the word courtesy forming the dynamic duo we know as “common courtesy”. Common courtesy seldom exists in today’s society. Society has now shifted to mindset of only looking out for him or herself (often referred to as “Numero Uno”). We experience examples of this every day we choose to leave our places of residence and venture out into the unknown regions of this world. I’d like to apologize in advance for the rant that will ensue in the next few lines you will read related to today’s subject matter.
Let’s not rush through a pink light (a light that’s been yellow for a while and is now turning red) at an intersection and block two lanes, thus causing a bottleneck in traffic. Let’s try to use manners and perhaps acknowledge someone’s expression of kindness towards us with a simple “thank you”. I may be talking crazy but let’s attempt the unfathomable and stop in order to allow a motorist to turn into traffic and proceed ahead of us (this occurs once every blue moon in Texas). Let’s allow the person with one item in their cart to jump ahead of us in line seeing as we have a cart full of items. Also if you have a cart overflowing with items, don’t proceed to check out all those items at the self-check-out kiosks at Wal-Mart.
We’ve all had experienced situations where courtesy was nonexistent. Courtesy is an element which we need to re-implement in society. Just so we are all on page 40 at the same time, I want to make it clear that common courtesy does not involve you allowing yourself to become a welcome mat for everyone to dust their feet on or walk all over you. A simple injection of common courtesy can make a world of difference in the lives of those around us. So I implore you to take common courtesy out for a test drive sometime!
Today was a typical morning for me. I woke up (I felt like I aged forty years due to soreness stemming from my participation in a basketball game at 10pm last night), turned on my tv and flipped to ESPN to watch Sportscenter. Instantaneously a light bulb went off in my head. “I do this every morning!” I’m sure we all have heard some variation of the phrase “As humans, we are creatures of habit.” This is true. I’m not a betting man, but I am confident that you can think of at least one thing you do the exact same way every day. We all have our routines. They may involve ordering the same item off the menu a restaurant, welcoming a workday with a cup of Starbucks, going to the gym at the same time each day, or in my case; watching an hour of Sportscenter in the morning.
We all have specific actions we repeat the exact same way every day. My advice to you is not to allow yourself to become so concerned with always abiding by the law of your routine. I’ve encountered so many people who allow something as simple as not being able to drink their favorite cup of coffee to cause them to be miserable for the entire day. Routines are nice but it’s always a good idea to “switch things up” every once in a while. Get out of the mundane rut of the routine you’ve been involved with for so long. You don’t have to change everything but just make a few small changes. For instance, if you always purchase a Frappuccino at Starbucks; buy an iced peppermint white chocolate mocha next time. If you usually pull your car forward into an empty parking spot, reverse it in next time. You should switch things up to engage your brain, stimulate your creativity and so that you’ll be happier throughout your day. I dare you to try it and see the difference!
An interesting phrase sparked my interest today. The phrase in question was “Be Thankful!” The simplicity of this phrase does not diminish the high level of power behind it. So often we tend to direct our focus on what we do not have. We even tend to become envious of others and their materials possessions. We should not adopt this state of mind. I knew a girl who indicated to her parents that she desired a 2010 Ford Mustang once she got her license. The day arrived when she received her license and her parents bought her a Ford Mustang. The girl saw the mustang and she wasn’t happy because it was a 2008 Ford Mustang and not a 2010. There are so many people in this world that wish they could have a 2008 Ford Mustang.
We should be thankful for what we have. There are so many people in this world who aren’t as fortunate as we are. Many people don’t even know where their next meal will come from. The fact that you are reading this blog entry illustrates how blessed you are. Don’t resort to complaining about not having a Mercedes when you own a vehicle that gets you from point A to point B. There are many things I am thankful for. I’m thankful for my health, a roof over my head, a car to drive, a great family, friends, and the few ounces of Cheerios I have left in my cupboard. Not matter what our situation may be; we can always give thanks to man above for the blessings we have received.
Today I had the opportunity to attend an invite only open house at a great company (I won’t disclose the name of the company). I went to reconnect with a few of the hiring managers I met and connected with at the last open house this company held. I was speaking with one of the hiring managers and I asked the question “Didn’t your company have an open house 6 months ago?” The manager responded by saying “The last open house we held was about a year ago.” Needless to say I was taken aback by his comments. Thoughts like “Where did the time go?” and “Did time seriously screech by me at Mach 3 speed?” started to pulsate in my head.
We’ve all heard the maxim “Time waits for no one.” This statement is true. Time cannot be paused, fast forwarded or rewound as demonstrated in Adam Sandler’s movie “Click”. As I began to contemplate last year’s events I found myself asking questions like “Could I have done more? Did I make a difference? Did I live my life in the manner in which I wanted to? We may not be able to control time but we can control the things we choose to do with our time. So I encourage you to maximize on your time. Be strategic in the manner in which you allocated your time. Time can never be recycled or duplicated. Time should be treated like a lady, NEVER abused or taken for granted. Remember, time can never be gained but it can always be lost.
As I was going through the progressions of my intense workout routine today at 24 hr fitness my eyes were drawn to an interesting object lying on the floor. After the immense rapid fire of information through the sensory nerves in my brain I realized that the object was a dime (US currency of course). The dime had found itself in a non-ideal situation, (somewhat ironic seeing as Valentine’s Day is just around the corner) all alone resting on the middle of the gym floor. An interesting thought immediately popped into head. “I wonder how long this dime has been sitting there!” Then I thought “I wonder how much people saw the dime and proceeded to walk over it because he/she deemed it unworthy to pick up.
The questions I’ll pose to you (hypothetically speaking of course) are “If you were in my situation would you pick up the dime or leave it alone and act like you didn’t see it on the floor?” “What if it was a dollar, a quarter, a nickel, or perhaps a penny? Would anything change then?” It all boils down to the value you place on these items. Some might say it’s beneath them to pick up coins or dollar bills that are just being blown helplessly around by the furious winds of Mother Nature. My sentiments are a little different. To me money is money regardless of the form it comes in. I’m sure that no one in their right mind would turn down a million dollars just because it would be given to them in dimes, nickels or pennies. I personally would drive so fast to Walmart or Target to purchase every piggy bank they had in stock to hold my million dollars’ worth of coins.
I know you are wondering, so I will inform you that I did in fact pick up the dime. I didn’t do the inconspicuous step on the dime and slide your foot closer to you technique to avoid being seen. I simply picked up the dime. It’s your prerogative if you do not or would not ever pick up money off the ground. That’s totally fine. More money for me to put in my pocket!
“Texting and Driving” is a term we’ve all heard about at some point in our lives. I have no qualms that the majority of today’s society is guilty of committing the crime of texting while driving at least once in his/her lifetime. To be perfectly honest I am guilty as well. I don’t like to point fingers (we all know the maxim “When you point your finger at someone three fingers are pointing back at you!”) but technology plays a gigantic role in the texting and driving epidemic. Cell phones have come a long way from the Zack Morris brick cell phone used on the 90’s hit show Saved by the Bell. We all have iPhones, Androids, Blackberries, Samsung Galaxies etc. with touch screen capabilities.
These technologies make it so easy to text to the point where I often find myself texting without even looking down at my phone. This type of behavior has become oh too popular amongst my generation. In my humble opinion we are becoming too attached to our phones. I’ve noticed that an alarming number of people are texting while driving on highways. There have also been countless occasions in which a driver almost sideswiped my car because he or she was too busy looking down at their phone and not focusing on the road. This begs the question “Is responding to that text as soon as you receive it of more importance than your life or the health of your vehicle?” Can’t that person wait the 5 – 10 minutes it will take you to arrive to your destination before you respond? If it’s too hard for you to go “cold turkey” from texting and driving here’s a few ideas you can try to help wean you off your addiction.
Only text at a red light
Turn your phone off when you enter your vehicle
Don’t text while you are driving
If your vehicle is “fancy” use the Sync feature that will convert your speech into a text message.
If your vehicle isn’t “fancy” throw your phone in the backseat of your vehicle where it’s out of your reach.
Not to be redundant but Don’t text while you are driving.
I too have been weaning myself off the drug that is texting and driving. With each driver I encounter that is swerving in and out of lanes in a drunken stagger because he or she is texting I say to myself “Don’t be that Guy or Girl!” So I challenge you to jump on the “I will not text and drive bandwagon” with me.