Archive for December, 2015
Ready or not, 2016 is on its way! As the earth orbits around the sun in a year, our calendar of time equates to 365 days, 12 months, 52 weeks, 8760 hours, 525,600 minutes, and 31,536,000 seconds. That’s a lot of time to do many things or do nothing! Only we can make that call on determining how our time will be spent. We can maximize it or waste it with the realization that we will never get those moments back. Time waits on no one. Neither does time stand still! On the last day of this year and on the eve of the new year, we can look back at what we did or didn’t do; what we accomplish or failed to implement. We can analyze our successes / failures and determine what we can do better. We can laugh, cry, and regret some steps that we took; be rejoiceful about some of the people that we let into our lives; and be angered over some people that we kept in when we should have let them go! An analysis of people, places, and things can be an eye opening and helpful experience. A candid reflection is very telling. An honest assessment will help us improve and navigate our future. Doing the same things and expecting different results push us farther off the roadway. If we are to make changes, the time is now! For sure, we can’t go back in time. We can’t realistically make up for lost time. We can however move forward. Thus, to reasonably get ahead, it is imperative that we plan our work and work our plan! By doing so, we can set realistic goals and put forth our best efforts to achieve them when the clock ticks in the new year of 2016!
Photo credit: www.venturacountywest.com
Of course, I do not have giant wings and cannot cruise through the sky like an eagle or Superwoman. But, I do have courage, determination, and perseverance. Add those to my skill set, faith in God to order my steps, and the intestinal fortitude to try, I am confident that if I take steps in the right direction, I will end up farther than I started. Action starts with vision and continues with steps. Idleness is not my style. Besides, “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” We all need to be pushed; to be motivated and encouraged. Sometimes, others who believe in us lead the charge; other times, we have to charge our own battery. Regardless of where our stimulants originate, “nothing works unless we do.” I am known from time to time to steal meaningful lyrics, so I borrowed a few from R. Kelly’s, “I believe I can fly!” Words can motivate us. Hopefully, these words will stimulate you and me from inaction to mobility.
“I used to think that I could not go on
And life was nothing but an awful song
But now I know the meaning of true love
I’m leaning on the everlasting arms
If I can see it, then I can do it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it
I believe I can fly
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Spread my wings and fly away
I believe I can soar
I see me running through that open door
I believe I can fly
See I was on the verge of breaking down
Sometimes silence can seem so loud
There are miracles in life I must achieve
But first I know it starts inside of me
If I can see it, then I can be it
If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it
Hey, cause I believe in me.”
Let’s get started!
Photo credit: www.mercilies.deviantart.com
Conducting an experiment, a well-known advertising agency placed an online ad for a Director of Operations. Although it received over 2.7 million hits, only 24 applications were received. The job description, though brief, read in part: Have to stand all day; work at least 135 hours a week; little or no sitting; requires considerable mobility; ability to lift at least 75 pounds; ability to proficiently multitask; receives no vacation or days off; receives no compensation or bonus pay.”
Several applicants unanimously said, “This is ludicrous!” They laughed and asked, “Who would do a job like that; Is this legal?” These tasks and more are performed by us Mothers everyday – rain or shine! Notwithstanding these functions, add in a 40 hour work week to the existing responsibilities. Being a chef, a chauffeur, a housekeeper, and so much more – come with the territory. In fact, interestingly enough, the duties of motherhood never leave. They stay even when our adult children leave the nest. Our motherly love, concern, worry, joy, and all of our emotionality remain but shift as our children move from our laps to our hearts!
Photo reprint: www.organicbabyatlanta.com
I must confess! I cannot get going in the morning without a pick me upper. Join my girlfriends, sisters, relatives, and tons of others who need that shot of caffeine to get them started. I am dragging until I have my Cup of Joe. The world just doesn’t look the same without it. If I wait too long, I get a headache which is my internal signal that I have not sipped my Arabica beans yet. Yes, that’s right! I’m addicted!
Coffee keeps me and others focused, increase our concentration, boost our memories as it keeps us awake. It is one of a few selected products that has no specific demographical following. Old and young folks drink it. All races and nationalities sip its robust flavor. It is indeed a universal drink with an aroma that smells as good as it tastes.
Statistically, there are approximately 100 million daily coffee drinkers in the United States. Most Americans drink 3 cups of coffee daily. Suffice to calculate that $18 million is annually spent on specialty coffees alone.
Geez…The coffee varieties are incredible. It can be consumed hot or cold, with or without cream, with or without sugar; or integrated into specialty drinks like lattes, cappuccinos, and Frappuccino’s. French vanilla is one of my favorite flavored coffees. Do know that a double shot of espresso cures most hangovers! Coffee houses are everywhere. Crowds sit around Panera Bread and Starbucks chatting and drinking for hours because coffee relaxes us as it facilitates conversation. Once I have my first cup in the morning, I showcase a smiley happy face just like the one pictured in the above coffee cup. Most coffee addicts do!
Photo reprint: www.guardianlv.com
Yes! God is in my business! What about you? I wouldn’t dare operate without him! I have learned to pray before I make critical decisions. Years ago as a young entrepreneur, I relied upon my own understanding and intelligence. Sometimes, we think that we can function and survive as a “know it all;” not needing anybody. Bad mistake! Making business decisions with God guiding you is assurance that if you slip or get lost, he will put you back on track. When you step on your business escalator, land your feet in the path that God has directed. Oh yes, I walk with God, and keep him in all of my business – personal, and professional. Keeping God in – keeps the enemy out! As Psalm 24:1 says: “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” He has the whole world in his hands including you and your business! Now then, if you choose to do something different, don’t question me because “it’s none of your business that I run all of my business through the Lord!” Happy Sunday. God bless!
Photo credit: www.workingwomenoffaith.org
Centuries ago, Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Making that first step may not be easy. Often times, the first step is the most challenging of the entire journey. I know this to be the truth all too well! Stop waiting on the opportune time. Too many years may escape. Start your journey now. Sometimes, you have to just step out on faith. Stumbling blocks such as procrastination, excuses, doubts, and fears prohibit progress. They can be conquered. Don’t let temporary deterrents become permanent roadblocks! Worst yet, don’t convince yourself that you can’t do it or talk yourself out of doing it. Once you take the first step, even if they are baby steps, the closer you become to accomplishing your goal. If you keep moving, you will eventually cross the finish line. “Nothing beats a failure but a try!” We all need a nudge every now and then. By the way, this message is my talking aloud to myself; being my own cheerleader of motivation so that I can keep going! If it rubs off on you, terrific! I hope you join me; the journey is always better with company!
Photo credit: www.thenewyouplan.com
It’s here! The day has finally arrived. All of the traditional gentleness and happiness of Christmas permeates throughout the air. Some celebrate the “White Christmas” that they dreamed of having. Peppermint candy canes, yummy gingerbread houses, glowing scented candles, stuffed Christmas stockings are everywhere. The house smells of love! Gift wrapped presents with decorative bows are marvelously scattered under the Christmas tree. Family and friends are displaying bountiful love. Children are thrilled at what Santa brought them. With Rudolph and his reindeer companions parked in a sleigh on top of the roof, some of the younger ones claim they saw Mr. Claus easing down the chimney! Oh my! The kitchen is filled with the aromas of Honey baked ham, turkey and dressing, home made rolls, sweet potato pies, chocolate cake, egg nog, and countless flavorful delectable dishes. “Joy to the World” and timeless Christmas carols – one after another – are being played. (Silent Night, “The Temptations” style is my favorite). A galaxy of colorful scenic lights and nativity scenes are on every street corner and fill every room of our home. Yes, Christmas is a day of giving; a day of love; but more importantly – the day that we celebrate the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is the reason for the season! “O come let us adore him.” Let’s rejoice and give thanks as we pray for our well being and that of our loved ones / families, the less fortunate, the lonely … and for a better world. Let us show immense thoughtfulness, incredible caring, and undying love to one another! Let us remember and never forget the memories of those that we love who are not with us in the flesh, but who are smiling as they watch us from the Heavens! Their love for us and ours for them is forever and a day. As “Hark, the Herald Angels” sing “Glory to the new born king” – “Let there be peace on earth!” Merry Christmas! God bless!
Photo credit: www.brespres.org
When I travel, I prefer to carry only one item on the plane; the lighter, the better! The hassle of being “weighted” down with luggage, though they may roll on wheels is too much! Thus, I always check my bags! Since luggage is a physical object, it’s an automatic process; a no brainer in fact!
But what about emotional baggage? Its internal. We wheel our past around with us wherever we go; particularly in relationships. Consequently, mentally stored in our cerebrum, we formed conclusive opinions on conduct based upon what someone else previously did or didn’t do! Glazing into our relationship crystal ball, we predict the outcomes! History is hard to wash away. It shouldn’t be ignored. In many cases, it serves to protect us. Undeniably, it is predictive; except for distinguishable variables. Most notably in a new relationship, we are interacting with a new person! How different is that? Should we keep our guards up to insulate and protect ourselves from hurt and heartbreak? Do we unfairly send someone “a packing?” Are we better safe than sorry? Are we holding someone else accountable for another person’s deeds? There is a Latin phrase – “tabula rasa.” It means – a blank slate. As hard as it is to erase memories, we should only judge people on their actions. Wiping the slate clean is a necessity. Emotionally, though we may have experienced deep scars, we can’t roll old problems into a new relationship. It”s called fair play. We must check our baggage at the door!
Photo credit: www.cnn.com
Don’t make yourself target practice for other people. If danger lurks, get out of the way. Be cognizant of the signs. Watch your surroundings and associations. Unfortunately, in some circumstances, we have to “be and stay on the lookout!” Though that is an uncomfortable position, it beats the alternative – walking around with a target on your back! Bulls eye is not a friendly term if somone is aiming at you! Stay out of their range! Being a target and dodging attacks are not on most folk’s wish list; quite the contrary! Survival and removal from controversy make up the optimal scenario. The bow and arrow can stay in its case!
Photo credit: www.bobmccarthy.com
Sometimes, in life, you have to deal with a difficult situation by facing it head on. You can’t just keep thinking about it; contemplating moves; you have to eventually confront it! In other words, you have to “take the bull by the horn.” It takes courage as bulls are not necessarily friendly animals. Their appearance is intimidating. Their horns are protrusive – long and wide. Recounting from a first hand experience while driving a red car near a levy in Issaquena County, Mississippi, my crew and I feared the Bulls would attack us because of the car’s color only to find out that Bulls are color blind. They can’t discern color. Nevertheless, we were not getting out of the car to pet them. Smart thinking, right? Problems are no different. We may not react because of what we think may happen; because of our fears. Resistance is normal. Yet, to move ahead, we must deal with our “bull of a problem.” We may have to wrestle with it. We may even get slapped around a couple times or two. Nothing happens unless we step in the ring! If we have the determination and a winning attitude, we can conquer if we persevere and stay in the game. Don’t run away! There are so many lessons that you can learn and pass along to your children and loved ones; if no more than to prevent them from stepping into the same traps! A winning attitude and spirit will take you far. Therefore, deal with it, learn from your experiences, and enrich your life. Don’t let a problem be a stumbling block that prevent you from realizing your highest potential. Although you may not be a professional matador, there are times that you must “take the bull by the horn;” you can even wear red if you like! Just do it! Progress; move forward! Others, particularly your children and loved ones are watching. Don’t punk out in front of them; they are your biggest cheerleaders. Ole!
Photo credit: www.psychologytoday.com