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Archive for November, 2010

Stop, Look, Listen…

We are all seeking answers to something. A better way to do our job. A more efficient method by which we can serve a client. An improved approach to communicate with our children; adult and adolescent.

The old school song by the Stylistics, Stop, Look, Listen has some real answers when one is dealing with affairs of the heart. I wonder how many of us are moving too quickly through our daily lives and miss out on the answers to our dilemmas…

Do me a favor today. Stop in your tracks at a new location. Take a look around you. I mean a real look. Allow yourself to see what is there…look at your environment…listen to the sounds that you miss each day.

You will then notice something, albeit even a small thing, that can make the difference and solve one of your challenges. I guarantee it.

Peace.

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I Quit…

…Making excuses for things I could have done

…Blaming others for things I have control to make different

…Procrastinating and expecting things to get done

…Thinking the old thoughts of lack and failure

…Using my childhood as a crutch for my adult circumstances

…Expecting others to KNOW what I need

…Taking others opinion of me personally

…Focusing on what I don’t want, instead of what I do want

I have so much for which I am thankful this holiday season. My health is good. Though my glasses are not working as well as before, I can still see without the aid of a dog. My ability to earn a living at what I love is growing and improving by the day.

When we bow our heads on Thanksgiving 2010, what will you focus upon? What you have or what you think you are missing. Your bank account or the fact that you are enjoying a meal with family and friends.

My 2011 mindset is taking shape right now. Let’s finish 2010 strong and with serious momentum. The world is waiting for what you have to offer. Why keep them waiting any longer?

Happy Thanksgiving.

Peace.

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Que Sera, Sera…

A very good friend of mine recently imparted those words to me, and reminded me of the way that we must look at the unpredictable occurrences that unfold in our lives. Some of us are old enough to remember the original song by Doris Day, and later remixed by Sly and the Family Stone. Rumor had it that he secured the rights to that song by being more than friendly to Ms. Day. I’m just saying…

Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be. The futures not ours to see, Que sera sera.

That song has been stuck in my head the past few weeks as life for me takes a new, unscripted direction. Just when I thought I had a plan that was solid and secure, life hands me a Que sera sera moment. Marital upheaval. Business downturn. Financial roadblocks. Whatever will be will be.

As we embark upon the coming holidays, and the consumer expectations that are part of the American culture, I wonder how we are all going to respond. Given that many of us are still affected by the global economic resettling, will people still feel obligated to spend money on things that will be forgotten, and likely broken, by March 1? Or try to impress people who won’t be impressed by any gift…

The futures not ours to see…but if we have learned anything from the past three years, it must be that we have gotten the lesson from our past consumer gluttony, in order to secure a different, and prayerfully, a better future. Teaching our children the importance of giving from the heart, and sharing more meaningful gifts; unconditional love, compassion, time spent with one another in real conversation…all things which carry no price tag.

It is my hope that as we dance toward the Thanksgiving holiday, we will all take stock of the blessings we have right in front of us. Reasonably good health. A family who loves us in spite of our imperfections. A roof over our heads and food in the ‘fridge…

And a belief that whatever life presents to us, that our faith in God and ourselves is enough to sustain us until we can get on solid footing once again.

Que Sera Sera, whatever will be will be. The futures not ours to see, Que sera sera.

Peace.

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Blessed Beyond Measure…

In this journey of life there are many seminal moments when we know that “it was nothing but God’s mercy and grace that kept me…”

As I prepare to return to the house I co-own with my soon to be ex-wife, it is with joy and a sense of excitement that I make my re-entry. For the past 12 months, I have been a well cared for resident in the home of my sister and her husband. They have loved me, encouraged me, even chastised me where appropriate, all in the name of love. On numerous occasions I have had to stop and wonder where I might be and what I could be doing, if not for the generosity displayed by my family.

I have long felt a pang of sympathy with the men and women I see on the streets of our cities; living hand-to-mouth, having been reduced to beggars and dismissed as outcasts. We often take little time to consider what life circumstances have pushed them to this current place of destitution. The phrase we Christians use all too frequently, “there but for the grace of God go I”, has a whole new and personal meaning for me. I have replaced the sympathy with empathy…the look of disinterest to one of compassion.

The rebuilding of ones life is no small feat at any stage of life. It is certainly compounded when one is past the half-century mark and in the midst of an economic time that has rivaled the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Yet, I am so much wiser and better because of the time I have had to take an honest look at my thoughts, feelings and beliefs. All of that was made possible because of the loving environment in which I was immersed. Whether a kind word from my sister, a funny exchange between my brother-in-law or one of their grandchildren walking through the house looking for Uncle Mark…I have been shown true love given unconditionally.

This current resetting of the American and global economy has, I hope, given all of us reason to pause and consider what is truly important in our lives. It cannot be the vehicles we drive, the stuff we pack into our over-priced homes or the letters placed after our names or titles. It is really all about the love we share with each other. For as we have witnessed, the wealthy, many of whom obtained their riches dishonestly, being sentenced to prison, and the contraction of major employment sectors throughout the land, it comes back to the basics…God, family and country. In that order.

So, when you see that man or woman, boy or girl, on the street of your city, consider that their plight is likely one not of their own making. And that they may not have a loving and available support system to comfort, encourage and help them rise up once more. Say a prayer for them, ask them how they are doing…and listen to them for a few minutes. I guarantee that you will be the better for the exchange. And you will then be more inclined to not complain about those small inconveniences that daily present to us. Because, like never before, you can utter these words, when asked how you are doing, “I am truly blessed…”

Peace.

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About losing 6 pounds each month?

About saving $300.00 each month?

About cutting your cholesterol by 20 points?

About starting that home-based business?

About giving those clothes away to a charity?

About forgiving your parents. Children. Spouse. Self?

This is just a short list of things I have heard from my friends and family as we begin the descent into 2011. Too many of us have allowed the days, weeks and months to pass without achieving any real progress in the areas of our lives that we determined needed attention in 2010.

Why not start right now, today, and make a short list of the people and things you wish to impact over the next 7 weeks. Ask a friend to be an accountability partner to you, so that it is public knowledge; they can support and encourage you to create the new habits.

Let’s roll into 2011 with real momentum.

I know you can do this….

Peace.

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So, you want to be a what?

I recently read again the story of Mary Kay Ash, founder of MaryKay Cosmetics and Skin Care…how she overcame the glass ceiling in her corporate job by starting her own direct-sales company that brought skin care products for women to women. Her success is an amazing testimony to one persons desire to not be shackled by other people’s lack of vision.

As I continue to talk with business owners around the country, it is still amazing that many of them are trying to build new fences with old wood…meaning that they are still thinking that the traditional ways of marketing their business is going to produce positive growth results in a digital world.

Social media and video marketing is not a fad. It is not brain surgery. Take a look at the success of YouTube and Facebook…dare I say Twitter? Corporate America has gotten on board with their marketing campaigns…why not YOU?

I am looking for the next Mary Kay Ash. It is my burning desire to help women entrepreneurs to promote their products/service via online video. The winds of change are still blowing toward the wealthy and privileged in America…and one way to change that is to create success and wealth in your own life. What is your dream? What is your unfulfilled passion?

Let’s talk about how you can live better. Pass on wealth to the next generation. Teach your family how to sustain their community. The government and corporate America have their own agendas…. let’s build yours.

And if you want a pink Cadillac…so be it!

Peace.

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By now we have all been totally inundated with the negative words and images being thrown at us by the majority of the well-heeled politicians. Imagine yourself being a job candidate, in your chosen field of expertise, and while being interviewed, you verbally slam your opposition. Instead of extolling your virtues, skills and ideology, you choose to impress your likely new employer with your ability to spit venom.

What about your plan to reduce unemployment?

Do you have a strategy for improving education?

What is your position on Immigration? Health care? Financial reform?

Do not allow the stench being generated by the marketing maniacs keep you away from the polls on Tuesday. Too many people have sacrificed personal safety in ways we take for granted for us to have the right to vote. Let’s honor them by showing up in large numbers…and making our voices heard.

It is my opinion that those same bad-mouthed wanna-be politicos will be surprised when we send them the message that we will not be moved…Yes, We Still Can!

Peace.

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