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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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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Frog In A Tree

Last week during a conversation with a good friend (Bianca) of many years and interesting cluster of words were formed. The phrase in question was “A frog in a tree”. I remember an occasion while I went out for a leisurely stroll at night. As I approached a patch of shrubbery I was startled by the sound a movement of some kind. I paid no mind to where I was walking and came really close to steeping on a frog. I do not have a phobia of the slimy amphibian. However, I’m not going to follow Princess Tiana’s (from the Disney movie The Princess and the frog) footsteps and lock lips with Kermit the Frog’s distant cousin.

“It is no use trying to sum people up. One must follow hints, not exactly what is said, nor yet entirely what is done.” – Virginia Woolf

How often do we miss subtle clues or hints that a friend, significant other, teacher, spouse, etc. may be sending us? These clues if picked up on can assist in strengthening a relationship (Like most guys, I tend to miss the majority of these clues). These hints may be warning signs or even cries for help that can easily go unnoticed if we are too consumed with ourselves or snuggled to tightly in our cocoon of life.

We all need to make a greater effort to recognize and efficiently respond to the needs of those around us.

“People will teach you how to sell them if you’ll pay attention to the messages they send you.” – Anonymous

Comments are Welcomed..

Golden Achievement!

I’m sure for the last week we’ve all been bombarded by the jaw dropping spectacle of events known as the Olympic Games. If you have been living underneath a smooth, spherical rock on the Galapagos Islands its fine if you didn’t know the Olympics were taking place in London at this very moment. I’m always floored by the manner in which athletes are inspired to perform at a level which exceeds their expectations in order to win a gold medal and watch as his/her country’s flag is elevated to harmonious sounds of the respective national anthem. During this Olympics we are often treated to opportunities to watch athletes squeeze every ounce of will out of their bodies to push themselves to break and set world records. We were also given the opportunity to drink from the cup of inspiration while watching double amputee Oscar Pistorius realize his dream of competing in the Olympics against able-bodied athletes.

“The roots of true achievement lie in the will to become the best that you can become.” –Harold Taylor

How have you achieved? How have you making strides to become all that you can be? Are you even trying to achieve?

We have many opportunities to push ourselves to win a gold medal in achievement as we compete during our Olympic Games of life. An individual doesn’t need to be a finely oiled or sculpted athlete to achieve in the highest field of human endeavor. Achievement blossoms out of your will or desire to beat the odds and become better than you were before.

“Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny spark of possibility inside you into a flame of achievement.” –Anonymous

Comments are welcomed…

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..

Dream Chaser

A dream according to most definitions is a series of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. Dreams mainly occur in the rapid-eye movement (REM) stage of sleep when brain activity is high resembles that of being awake. Unlike most people I lack the ability to remember my dreams (I’m still holding on to the far-fetched or slightly ludicrous theory that I don’t dream when I sleep). No matter how momentous my efforts, I always seem to wake up feeling as though the dream fairy forgot to dump some of her magical dream conjuring dust on me during my slumber.

“The moment of enlightenment is when a person’s dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities.” – Vic Braden

We all possess our own dream of the portrait we desire life’s camera to capture. No dream comes into fruition simply by sitting back and waiting like a patient in the lobby of a hospital. The fact of the matter is that we must chase our dreams. Grab on to your dreams and hold on tight as if you were lying across an inner tube being pulled along the lake by a boat travelling at high speeds.

“If you want your dreams to come true, don’t over sleep.” – Yiddish Proverb

A dream is only realized through hard work, persistence and a dash of gumption. I may not experience the images, emotions or sensations that arise during the REM stages however, I have big dreams (A condition or achievement that is longed for; an aspiration).

Do you have dreams?

Are you oversleeping?

The distance between an individual and the culmination of a dream is either shortened or lengthened by the amount of effort one exerts during the chase!

 

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…

Father Time!

A father is often defined as a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider. In my humble opinion a father is more than a generic definition. There is no monetary value that can be placed on the importance of a father’s presence in the household.

A father goes out of his way to ensure that his kids enjoy a childhood that is superior to the one he had. A father makes time to share in the interests of his kids. A father spends countless hours teaching his child a sport, how to repair a car, or how to survive in the wild. A father takes any moment to teach his child important life lessons that will be involuntarily passed on to the next generation. A father makes time to attend as many of his child’s sporting events as he possibly can. A father in his excitement forgets to record his son’s first dunk with the camcorder in his hand because he’s temporarily suspended in midair yelling at the top of his lungs. I’ve been blessed and privileged to have amazing father. My father has greatly influenced and played a direct role in the man I’ve become today. It is my hope that I too will leave an indelible mark on my kids in a similar manner as my dad left on me.

“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us.” –Umberto Eco

I don’t know nature of the relationship you have with your father. However, it is imperative that you take every opportunity to build your relationship with your father while he is still alive. You can start by calling your father to tell him how much you appreciate him.

Happy Father’s Day!

A very special Happy Father’s Day goes out to my father in the Bahamas!

Comments are welcomed!

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!

Feel free to comment..

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