Archive for December, 2016


By Vernalee
Integrating Steve Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” into our personal lives is not a bad idea. Habits eventually form our character.
Though written from a managerial point of view, – Independence, Interdependence, and Continuous Improvements – are the pillars of Covey’s approach.
They also work marvelously personally.
1. Be proactive.
2. Begin with the end in mind.
3. Put first things first.
4. Think win, win.
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
6. Synergize.
Continuous improvement
7. Sharpen the saw.
This professional / management philosophy has found a personal home with me.
It adds up; it makes sense; it is effective; it works!
Ringing in the New Year with these habits in my back pocket is not a bad idea.
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By Vernalee
“Until the lion learns how to write every story will glorify the hunter” is an
African Proverb which refers to the “unknown part of the struggle between the lion and the hunter because as we know a story is never complete until one hears from both sides. The one who does not have the voice is often the loser. It is in these circumstances when one voice dominates the other that this proverb is often heard.
The world only know about the truth written by the hunters since they are in authority.
The hunter’s story may not be 100% accurate as people tend to slant their story from their point of view.”
The lion has no voice. It is no secret that people tell their side of the story to favor them.
The moral of the story lends itself to who will you believe.
Who is telling the truth when it’s one word against the other?
Do people tend to believe the more influential person?
Many do!
Stop it!
Don’t sell the lesser person short.
Prominence, power, and wealth are not synonyms for the word – truthful.
It is not always how it looks!
Looks are deceiving.
It may be wise to hear both sides, weight the facts, gather the evidence, and reach a probable conclusion.
My thoughts …
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By Vernalee
imageBeing broke is not a good feeling. Raise your hand if you agree! Can I get an Amen? But being broke can be your greatest motivator. Just ask Daymond John who started selling his home-sewn t-shirts on the streets of Queens on a $40 budget that later became the incubator for the $6 billion dollar global phenomenon FUBU (For us, By us) brand. John had a stand by your side Mother, “a heart full of hope, and a ferocious drive to succeed by any means possible.”
So, FUBU founder and star of ABC’s Shark Tank shows that being broke may be your “greatest competitive advantage as an entrepreneur. It forces you to think more creatively, use your resources more efficiently, connect with your customers more authentically, market your ideas more imaginatively; and finally, it forces you to be true to yourself, stay focused on your goals, and come up with innovative solutions required to make a meaningful mark.”
Yes, that’s right. John shows in his book, “The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage.”
“When your back is up against the wall, your bank account is empty, and creativity and passion are the only resources you can afford, success is your only option.”
John in his book covers the below topics:
1. The Power of Broke
2. Rise and Grind
3. Money changes everything
4. What it is
5. Broke isn’t just personal
6. Be the change.
7. Bringing it all home.
Are you motivated yet?
Sometimes, we have to use what we have as John did.
With no advertising budget, he asked his fellow Queens neighbor and rapper L.L. Cool J to wear one of his caps in a GAP commercial in the 1990’s.
Not too shabby; right? Great advertising, I’ll say. The rest is history!
Here’s my take.
Don’t be afraid to ask!
How can you receive if you don’t ask!
Use your available resources.
It shows that thinking out of the box will land you farther than the idleness of not pursuing your passions.
Eliminate excuses.
Don’t give up!
Dream big!
Think bigger!
Be persistently motivated. Motivation can make your paycheck bigger.
Work hard and harder and harder.
Work your passion to achieve your greatness!
Don’t take NO for an answer.
Where there is a will, there is a way!
Don’t let the lack of funds stop you!
Daymond didn’t!
Neither should you!
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By Vernalee
With Stevie Wonder on the harmonica, Elton John on the piano, and the distinctive melodic voices of Dionne Warwick and Gladys Knight, without question – what an unforgettable quartet who lent their musical talents for a great philanthropic cause! Most of us know the “words by heart.” The question is not whether we can sing from memory the 1985 tune, “That’s What Friend Are For.” The real question is whether we can live up to the words! Hmmm … that precept should give you something to think about! And the below lyrics are just the chorus!
“Keep smilin’ keep shinin’
Knowing you can always count on me for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for.”
How many friends do you have that fit that bill? Are you that type of friend? Singing the song is great! It’s music to our ears! Living the words is the challenge …. be the times good or bad!
Of course, the superstars can sing the heartfelt lyrics harmonically better than I can say the words.
Take a look … Listen up!

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By Vernalee
173922446 getty images
Speaking of friends, who are yours?
Crossing racial and gender lines, I feel privileged to call a selected few my true friends.
It is said that you basically need five types of friends. Without calling my friends by name, let me provide you with their descriptions.
The comedian is the friend who makes you laugh and interjects humor into your life.
The risk taker is the adventurer who stimulates you beyond the status quo.
The loyalist will stand by your side through thick and thin no matter what.
The challenger always encourages you to maximize your position.
The life coach is the friend who you can talk to about anything without judgment being passed.
A few of my friends have amazingly combined these five ingredients into one. From Mississippi to Ohio with an extension into multiples states, I am truly blessed as I have these wonderful loving people in my life.
Their professions are too multiple to outline.
Regardless of what they professionally do on their day jobs, my true friends work hard to keep our friendship genuine, caring, and loving.
I believe that they sincerely care about me and of course me, them!
I so appreciate them!
We genuinely want the best for each other and do not begrudge the other. Motivation is in; jealously is out.
Love flows in all direction as does our advice.
I made a basic discovery years ago – The type of friend that you are is just as important as the type of friends that you have!
It is my responsibility to give to them what they give to me.
It is a two way street.
It is what friends do!
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By Vernalee
During the course of our lives, we meet many people. Nothing beats the ones who enter our lives and never leave. There’s a reason why they stay.
You probably are itching to know the answer.
It is no mystery or miraculous finding.
Is it that we share the same values, goals, and objectives? Yes.
Is it that we love them and they us? Yes.
Is it that we need them to make our lives complete? Yes.
There are a number of reasons that varies by individual prerogatives.
I cannot say that I have a comprehensive answer or the right response, but I attribute it to a divine connection.
Your spirits become intertwined.
I have been fortunate to meet a few true friends that only time and distance separate. Whenever we see each other regardless of the time that has slipped by since our last visit, we pick up as if we glazed each other in the eye just yesterday. It’s a stickiness that cannot be erased; a glue that connects; a love that will hold and keep us together.
It is the thought and the reality of knowing that someone is there in your time of need; during those moments when you need to spill your guts.
My Mother always said, “God places people in your life.”
We walk our trail not alone.
Having a true friend on the journey makes the distance traveled worth the measured steps.
When we are fortunate enough to find “true” friends who share our inner spirit, it is a treasure; a glittering diamond of sorts. They are rare, but hopefully you have encountered a few. I have!
I refer to them as the ones that are spiritually connected to us by God.
True friends … are the ones with whom you share your stories of successes, failures, ups, downs, and turnarounds.
Lest not forget the relating of those horror stories (nightmares of sorts) and stupid stuff that even you cannot believe that you did until your wisdom kicked in and convinced you of the dangers.
Often, we discuss subjects that are embarrassing, but we need the advice of someone who cares enough to set us straight without judgment.
Our innermost secrets are tucked inside their soul never to come out.
They have stories that can never be told!
They laugh with us; they cry with us.
They have a nudging bent on their knees from the constant prayers for us.
They too are the ones who encourage and motivate you to do your best, connect you to the right people, and share not an ounce of jealousy.
It becomes a mutual alliance.
They truly want the best for you as you desire for them.
For you to reach the highest height and soar like an eagle is their wish.
Yes, it is unequivocally true that true friends are a rare commodity!
I can testify.
So I feel bless to have these valuable treasures of true friends in my life.
It is a privilege as they don’t come around often.
I don’t take them or what we have for granted.
I thank God for them … and their families for sharing them with me.
I thank them!
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PostHeaderIcon IT’S CHRISTMAS!

By Vernalee
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 homes.
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! Blessings!
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By Vernalee
There have been a number of theories and quotes on the types of friends who walk through our lives. For me, the version that hit the nail on the head is outlined in Bishop T. D. Jakes’ sermon on “3 Types of Friends.”
Bishop Jakes called them, “Confidants, constituents, and comrades.”
The confidants are people who are for you. Your confidants love you unconditionally. Confidants weep with you, rejoice with you, and are happy for you….Confidants will make sure that you reach your destiny.
Your constituents are for what you are for; while your comrades are against what you are against.
Jakes cautions us to not confuse the groups, because constituents and comrades will leave you! The latter two are joined to an external interest/issue of yours, but not you per se.
If you have two or three confidants in your lifetime, you are blessed!
I thank God for giving me the wisdom to discern that a diamond is coal first!
There have been times that I have been wrong and erroneously classified friends. I have been left blowing in the wind. Have you?
It happens to the best of us! We can be fooled because people can theatrically show synthetic traits that make them appear genuine and real.
It’s important to know who’s who in your life! Recognizing and discerning them are critical steps in this identification process.
Bishop Jakes breaks it down better than me. Take a look!

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By Vernalee
Girl Talk: Have you found your Soul Mate?
Have you found that person who makes you feel complete; that you cannot live without; that the thoughts of them wake up with you, are carried with you throughout the day, and go to bed with you. Have you found the person that you only think of on two occasions – day and night? They stay on your mind. You know who they are? Hopefully, it is a two way street in that they feel for you what you feel for them. A soul mate is the person who may infrequently come around; in some cases – only once in a lifetime. So keep your antennas up; don’t miss them. Let’s see how we can distinguish the sweet fragrances that our soul mates leave in the midst of the air that we breathe; in the tantalizing midst of our soul!
Here goes the signs:
1. You can convey what you’re thinking by just looking at each other.
2. You can’t even remember what it was like to be without them — and you don’t want to!
3. They challenge you every single day.
4. They know exactly what to do to calm you down when you’re mad, to help relieve your stress, or to cheer you up.
5. They also know exactly what to do to get under your skin . . . and they at least attempt to not do those things.
6. Even after years of being together, you still have great chemistry.
7. You are completely comfortable in their presence.
8. After spending a few days apart, you both talk a mile a minute to catch each other up on everything you both missed.
9. It feels like you’ve known each other your whole lives.
10. You disagree on some things, but are always on the same page when it really matters.
11. You have a bond that people around you don’t understand.
12. Their family feels like your own family.
13. You don’t feel the need to keep searching for more because you are so at peace with what you have.
14. You hurt when they hurt; you smile when they smile.
15. They are part of almost every story you tell.
16. They think the weird, quirky things you do are adorable, and you feel the same way about them, too.
17. You are a better person with them than without them.
18. They support you and your dreams — even if they don’t entirely understand them.
19. You are a dynamic duo, a perfect pair, a true team.
20. You feel protected by them and secure in your relationship.
21. For the first time in your life, you realize that home is not a place, but a person.
22. In some ways, you have become pretty much the same person.
23. You are your best and worst self around them, and they love you for both.
24. You know, in your gut, that this is it for you.
Questions – Have the pieces of the relationship puzzle come together? Have you found that soul mate of a person yet; a person that you want to live with and not without? Do they light up your soul like a flaming fire? Is the compatibility – sexual and otherwise – present? If not, are you looking in the wrong places? At least be cognizant of who your soul mate is not?
If there is an aura of foreign air when you are in their presence, he or she is probably not the one. No worries – your soul will identify your soul mate. It will talk to you. Your soul may even tell you to move on! Listen! Heed the talk! Take the advice … no one knows better than the soul.
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By Vernalee
imageWho is on your support team? Who will carry the ball? Who will pick you up if you fall?
Before you answer, let me preface by saying that no man is an island! You may not need anyone right now, but sooner or later you will; I assure you! Don’t wait until crunch time to find out who is there; if anyone!
Winning teams put their best players in their starting lineups. So should you!
When players have great chemistry, there is nothing but nets!
Hopefully, you are cultivating a following and unselfishly living your life in such a way that someone will be willing to play ball on your court!
Don’t be a hypocrite – Walk the talk! Give before you take!
It is a huge blessing to have devoted life players that you can call who have the love, time, ability and sincerity to give you solid advice; provide wisdom in decision making; charge your battery when you are down; push you to be your best; encourage, motivate, and challenge you; pick you up and carry you if you fall; be your friend; and be there for you in times of need.
Having someone that you can talk to, pour your heart out to, be your confidante, and listen non-judgmentally is priceless. My heart bleeds for people who have no one!
My Mother always say, “If you live long enough, you will need somebody to bring you a glass of water.” How true!
For the privileged ones who think that they need no one because they are sitting on boat loads of money and assets, please know that there are so many things that money can’t buy! Genuine love, caring, concern, compassion … are among them.
Knowing that you have someone on your team who will provide a dose of love is comforting! It can be just what the doctor ordered! Remove yourself from the company of those arrogant/selfish teammates whose noses are so high in the air that they could care less about anyone but themselves.
Be what you seek; be a sterling example of love and humility … and surround yourself with those who are driven to score wholesome victories in life!
Love, caring, assistance, empathy, sincerity, kindness … are the “balls” that we and those in our lineup should carry.
They will yield the winning combinations. When you have extended your hand to help, hopefully someone will remember and reach back.
No other score matters!
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