Archive for the ‘Hot Topics’ Category


By Vernalee

Does power breed confidence? I think that the answer is yes. Many experts agree. “Whether it’s a political leader, high-ranking military official or successful startup founder, there’s a common thread that ties these powerful individuals together. While timing, hard work and passion are all prevalent, powerful people also possess the following 11 habits.
1. Confidence.
Powerful people are confident — which is a skill you can work on — and people are naturally drawn to confident individuals. Because they are confident, powerful people aren’t afraid to tackle risks and challenges head-on. Additionally, confident individuals can appreciate small accomplishments, work on their communication skills, let go of the past and realize what’s most important.
2. Don’t seek fame and fortune.
Do you think Pope Francis seeks out fame and fortune? Of course not, and like Pope Francis, powerful people aren’t looking to flaunt their success. Instead, they focus on what matters most to their customers, company and community.
3. Take up more space.
A 2010 experiment conducted by psychologists Dana Carney and Amy Cuddy found that subjects who stayed in a position that took up more space for longer than one minute actually felt more powerful. This was caused by a biochemical reaction that increased testosterone and decreased cortisol.
4. Know when to speak.
Think of someone who doesn’t talk a whole lot but what they do say is useful, powerful and insightful. Powerful individuals know when to talk and what exactly to say at the right time. Also, by not speaking that much, it decreases their chance of saying something foolish.
5. Break eye contact.
You’ve probably heard that the best speakers and leaders make strong eye contact. It turns out that this isn’t exactly the case. Based on research by psychologists Frances Chen and Julia Minson, it was found that eye contact can actually be counterproductive because it lessens persuasion. Instead of looking into someone else’s eyes, leaders should look at their audience member’s mouth.
6. Aren’t afraid to endure criticism.
When you’re in a position of power, some of your decisions will be unpopular. Powerful people are not afraid of the backlash. If they were they could not take charge and do what’s best for their customers, company or community.
7. They look the part.
If you look at most leaders, what do they wear? Most wear professional clothes, not sneakers and hoodies (Mark Zuckerberg is one of a few exceptions). Powerful leaders set themselves apart from others by constantly dressing, speaking and acting like a distinguished professionals.
8. Team players.
Powerful people realize they’re part of a team with a designated role. While their role has more impact and responsibilities, they never undervalue the hard work of other team members.
9. They’re flexible.
Life is unpredictable. Powerful people are able to make the right adjustments to solve the problem at hand. Being flexible doesn’t mean they’re pushovers. They just seek to handle situations.
10. Ask better questions.
Tony Robbins once said “Successful people ask better questions and, as a result, they get better answers.” In fact, John Maxwell has written entire book on the subject. Powerful people ask astute questions to determine what’s best for their customers, company and community.
11. Pick a hard seat and carry heavy objects.
According to study published in Science, people who opted to sit in an uncomfortable chair become tougher at negotiating because the rigid sensation seems to lessen a shift in decisions. In the same study, it was also discovered that the subjects who were carrying heavier objects appeared to be more important.”
The list continues. Powerful people do the following:
1. Plan their day out.
2. Are focused and are in the moment.
3. Wake up early.
4. Read a lot.
5. Exercise regularly .
6. Take time for self.
7. Keep a journal.
8. Understand the importance of prioritizing.
9. Communicate clearly.
10. Possess Interpersonal skills.
11. Are proactive.
How powerful are you?
How powerful is your thinking?
Think about it!
Powerful thinking yields powerful results!
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By Vernalee

It seems as if that lick came out of no where.
It was so hard that it knocked me down.
I lost my balance and fell!
I am curiously baffled.
Where did that punch come from?
I’ll tell you where!
It came from life; from living.
Yes, that’s right.
We are not insulated from troubles.
Our lives can be easily bruised with anxieties from varied issues. They run the gamut – Pain from the loss of loved ones, betrayals from friends/family, jealousies, upside down finances, job losses, health issues, wayward children, infidelity, disloyal friends, among other things. You name it and someone can claim it!
Our lives are not problem free.
Quite the contrary.
We are also not born as warriors.
We have to condition, equip, and prepare ourselves to deal with the problems that accompany living.
Sometimes, we think that we can rely on our own intelligence to solve our problems.
Sometimes, we think that we can do it all, be everything to all people, and win all the battles by ourselves.
Silly you!
We need to keep God front and center in our lives.
Reliance on the Lord will help us with our balancing act.
It will also give us the needed confidence and strength to pick ourselves up when we fall!
We can then see clearer who is with us and who is not.
Nothing is worse than being knocked down and expecting someone to help you up when instead they desert you.
So often, do we hear, “it’s not my problem!”
If you have heard those words, raise your hand.
We have to gird our loins everyday … that’s for sure.

I leave you with several quotes that have inspired me. Maybe, you will find inspiration from them as well.

1. “Sometimes it takes a good fall to really know where you stand.” Hayley Williams

2. “It’s not up to you how you fall. Its up to you how far you let yourself fall and how long it takes you to get back up and stand on your own two feet.” Sr. Tac Jeffrey Mitchell

3. “Keep on going, and the chances are that you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I never heard of anyone ever stumbling on something sitting down. “. Charles F. Kettering

4. “Being defeated is often temporary, giving up makes it permanent. “ Marilyn von Savant

5. “Fall seven times. Stand up eight. “ Japanese Proverb

6. “It’s hard to beat a person that never gives up. “ Babe Ruth

7. “ A Quitter never wins-and-a Winner never quits. “ Napoleon Hill

8. “For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. “ Mary Kay Ash

9. “Success in life is the result of good judgment. Good judgment is usually the result of experience. Experience is usually the result of bad judgment. “Anthony Robbins

10. “In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time.” Anthony J. D’Angelo

11. “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”Confucius

12. “Everyone falls down. Getting back up is how you learn how to walk. “ Walt Disney

13. “When life knocks you down, try to land on your back. Because if you can look up, you can get up. Let your reason get you back up.” Les Brown

14. “No matter how many times you get knocked down, keep getting back up. God sees your resolve. He sees your determination. And when you do everything you can do, that’s when God will step in and do what you can’t do. “ Joel Osteen

15. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. “Winston Churchill
Keep living! Keep the faith!

Photo credit: www. Learning


By Vernalee

Loyalty is defined as the quality of being loyal to someone or something.
It is a strong feeling of support or allegiance.
Synonyms for loyalty include allegiance · faithfulness · obedience · adherence · homage · devotion · steadfastness · staunchness · true-heartedness · dependability · reliability ·
Knowing that definition, how many people can you honestly say are loyal to you or that you are loyal to – 100%?
Before you answer too quickly, remember that “being loyal to those around you can be a challenge, as it requires patience and generosity.
Loyalty is the ability to put others before yourself and stick with them in good times and bad.
You can show loyalty to friends, family, and significant others by being honest, trustworthy, supportive, and generous. You can maintain healthy boundaries with those around you so you can be loyal to them in a productive way.”
Here are three ways to be loyal:
Method One: Being Honest & Trustworthy.
1. Express how you really feel.
2. Don’t engage in gossip.
3. Follow through on your commitment.
4. Stand up for others when needed.
Method Two: Being Supportive & Generous.
1. Support the goals, ambitions, and dreams of others.
2. Be a good listener.
3. Offer positive solutions and ideas.
4. Resist judging others for their choices or actions.
Method Three: Maintaining Healthy Boundaries
1. Choose to give your loyalty to others.
2. Do not let others take advantage of your loyalty.
3. Maintain your independence.
4. Allow time for self care.
Knowing that someone is loyal to you unequivocally is comforting.
Loyalty is priceless!
To have a loyal friend is worth is weight in gold; pure gold at that.
If you are challenged with who is and isn’t loyal, you are not alone.
Many of us wonder; some of us are not sure.
The key is to find out, hopefully without injury.
Otherwise, it can be a high price to pay.
One that can bring us down in more ways than one!
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By Vernalee
Years ago, I attended a seminar and a demonstration left an indelible memory. It involved a person falling back with another individual catching her. Brilliant!
Thought provoking!
That illustration became my model for what I felt people should want in a relationship, namely someone to catch them before a fall.
That is a simple request to ask, but a huge compliance responsibility for the chosen partner to grant!
The catcher has to be 100% committed; 100% dedicated.
He is your safety net. Your reliance on him has to be met with his reliability, commitment, and performance.
Don’t assume that because you have his back, he has yours!
It has to be a heart-felt and a mutual covenant between the two people.
You have to really, really trust that individual; blind trust at that! Will his presence, heart, mind, and hands be there to catch you?
How confident are you?
If something goes wrong, the ground will be your new home. Peeling yourself up off the concrete is not an easy task.
Besides the fall hurts!
A fall is more than a physical bruising, it is an emotional scarring that stings; a fracture that may depending on circumstances last a considerable period of time!
Know for certain to the best of your comprehension who has your back!
It is no guessing game; the repercussions of error are too great.
In the interim, keep your safety net handy … just in case!
Hopefully, the person doesn’t fail you which would be a bomber. However if that happens,
the up side is that – you can get back up…Again!
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By Vernalee
Without question, life and living are not without troubles or its accomplice, worry. Sooner or later, they walk through your door. Sometimes we worry about issues that do not directly concern us, but if they affect people that we love, they naturally becomes an extension of our lives.
Flowers, particularly roses can be calming / soothing. Although they don’t wash our troubles away, roses brighten up our space.
They are such beautiful flowers and come in an assortment of colors. Often, I think that roses, particularly red ones, have magical powers. A dozen delivered to my door can heal emotional wounds and bring instant joy and jubilation. A delivery of two dozen once made me jump through hoops.
To its recipient, roses show thoughtfulness from the giver. They can definitely liven up your day and spirits with their fragrant delight.
As beautiful and fragrant as roses are, rose bushes have thorns. The piercing of a thorn against our skin hurts. When that happens, we have God’s healing hands to give us relief.
Sure, life is not a bed of roses, but thank God for his mercy, love, grace, protection, and covering.
Thank God for continuing the breathe of life in us and our loved ones. Thank God for a tomorrow!
As we feel the smooth petals, smell the fragrant scent, and adore the beauty of red roses, we can digest God’s words and take in the beauty of his garden of life that is filled with many flowers along with life’s varied assets.
As we stand, sit, and walk in God’s rose garden, we are provided with all of the necessities that we need in this life. Oh yes, we are truly blessed! James 1:12 tells us – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
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By Vernalee
I awoke this morning listening to my favorite singer, Aretha Franklin.
Nobody can touch my soul in song better than the Queen.
As I listened to the best selling song ever for Columbia Records originally recorded by Simon & Garfunkel in 1969, my soul was filled with Aretha’s rendition.
You see, she and I have been on first name basis for years though we have never physically exchanged pleasantries.
Songs have always been life’s rhythm put to words accompanied by music.
So, “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” was written to provide comfort.
That it has done for me this morning!
I trust that its therapeutic effects are comforting to you as well.
Be inspired by Matthews 6:34.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Be blessed.


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
For those who study numerology, it is known that the number 12 symbolizes completion or perfection.
Interestingly, the number 12 is used 187 times in the Bible.
Not to overload your circuits but just for the fun of it, let’s review 12 Things to Remember,
12 Processes of Successful people
and a few tidbits about Happiness.
Read along.
Shall we?
12 things to always remember:
1. The past cannot be changed.
2. Opinions don’t define your reality.
3. Everyone’s journey is different.
4. Things always get better with time.
5. Judgments are confessions of character.
6. Overthinking will lead to sadness.
7. Happiness is found within.
8. Positive thoughts create positive things.
9. Smiles are contagious.
10. Kindness is free.
11. You only fail if you quit.
12. What goes around comes around.
After you remember those 12 things and if you crave success, you need to know the composition of successful people:
Successful people do these things:
1. They create and pursue focused goals.
2. They take decisive and immediate action.
3. They focus on being productive, not being busy.
4. They make logical, informed decisions.
5. They avoid the trap of trying to make things perfect.
6. They work outside of their comfort zones.
7. They keep things simple.
8. They focus on making small, continuous improvements.
9. They measure and track their progress.
10. They maintain a positive attitude as they learn from their mistakes.
11. They spend time with the motivational people.
12. They maintain balance in their life.
No matter what we try, whether we succeed or fail, we want to be happy. The Happiness Rules are simple and they do not number 12. Take a look.
1. Make peace with your past. Don’t let it disturb your present.
2. What other people think of you is none of your business.
3. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.
4. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
5. Don’t compare your life to others and don’t judge them. You have no idea what their journey is about.
6. Stop thinking too much. It’s okay not to know the answers; they will come to you when you least expect it.
7. Smile. You don’t own all of the world’s problems.
Are you tired of reading?
I know that it is a lot to absorb, but if we integrate a few, some, most or all of these things, we will be happier campers.
Sometimes, we have to keep reminding ourselves that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Thus, we didn’t get where we were over night. It is imperative that we keep our eyes focused on our journey and stop overly watching other people. It can become too distracting.
Keep pursuing positive things; your actions will reflect them. Remember the good not the bad. I close by saying when someone does something wrong, don’t forget the good things that they have done.
Keep a opened mind and an aura of equilibrium. They will provide balance. Sometimes, you have to step back and ask, “Will this matter in a year?”
And by all means, if nothing else – remember the frog!
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By Vernalee
Building trust is a hard task. Of course, we know how difficult it is to trust in our personal relationships.
Elevating that same trust factor to business associations takes us to another level. Without question, the average person likes dealing with someone that they like and can trust.
When in your business relationships, trustworthiness affect your bottom line, it becomes a very serious matter.
When it determines how much money we make and how much is directed elsewhere, it takes on a completely different meaning. When money is involved, so is seriousness. It becomes a different ball game; totally.
There are seven concrete actions that build trust in a business environment. “These actions build trust primarily through sincerity, reliability, communication, commitment, consistency, and competence. Let’s take a look.

1. Demonstrate that you trust others.
One way to do this is to be generous and forgiving when someone else makes a mistake or disappoints you in some way. People who always jump to the worst conclusion about a person’s competence or motivation inspire wariness, not trust.
Most people don’t set out to be mean or stupid, so give them the benefit of the doubt until you have contrary information that proves you wrong. You’ll feel better about them, and they’ll trust you for your generosity.

2. Create relationships that are mutually beneficial.
Customers, coworkers and employees all want to believe that they are making the right decision to work with you. This takes a lot more than clichés and platitudes. Customers should clearly understand the value of your products and services to them. Likewise, employees should feel good about taking ownership, which introduces an added measure of accountability and demonstrates the level of trust you have in them.
In other words, trust is about showing people that you care about them. In turn, they will care about and trust you.

3. Directly address issues.
Ruffled feathers are inevitable in any relationship. How you deal with concerns and problems is what instills trust and loyalty. In the course of a busy business day, it’s easy to get distracted and become disconnected with what’s happening on the front lines.
Customer trust develops from the first contact and extends through service delivery, implementation, care and support. At each step, you can either damage or enhance this experience for your customers. That’s why it’s so important to deliver on promises if you want to be trusted.
If you want people to trust you, you have to care. Address complaints fast. Share information. Gain their confidence. Exude pride and passion about your business. Resolve conflicts quickly. These actions separate you from the pack, while also building and maintaining trust.

4. Tell the truth.
Let’s say that one more time for good measure — tell the truth.
Never assume that certain people can’t handle the truth. Be as honest with your employees and customers as you expect them to be with you. If you get caught in a lie, no one will trust you. You don’t often get a second chance to make a first impression, so don’t count on it.
Keeping your promises is also a part of telling the truth. Don’t commit to a promise you can’t deliver. Think about what’s realistic, and do your best to live up to your word.

5. Be flexible and patient.
Be tolerant of mistakes, and don’t be an inflexible judge. Meet the other person in the middle. Be considerate of events and negative experiences that may have affected one’s ability to trust. Make exceptions to the rules when common sense dictates. Consider unusual alternatives for problems that can’t be resolved by typical methods.
Remember, trust is built over time, especially when you deal with someone who isn’t fortunate enough to have experienced trust in his or her own life.

6. Respect their time.
I believe that people in our society are losing their sense of civility, courtesy and respect. To get people to trust you, you will be well-served to raise your awareness of other people’s time, personal schedule and needs. This means you should:
Promptly return phone calls
Promptly reply to emails and thoroughly address all points raised
Be on time for meetings, and log on to a scheduled call two minutes in advance of start time
Hold fast to estimated call end times, and inquire if attendees are free to keep going.

7. Deliver the unexpected.
The best way to deliver trust is to surprise and delight clients and customers. Give them what they asked for, but on top of that, deliver more — more service, more time, more convenience and more sensitivity. Delivering more than they expect goes a long way and adds real value and trust. As a bonus, customers will tell others about how you delivered more. This should net you more business.
George MacDonald, the nineteenth century Scottish author and poet, said “To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.” In business, that’s the kind of compliment you can take to the bank.”
Now if you can master these business trust factors professionally, you can exercise many of the same forms of engagement in your personal life. I’m sorry. That may be more challenging since you find it hard to trust anyone! So I close with this question. Where is the balance when you expect others to trust you when you will not allow yourself to trust anyone? Just asking!
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By Vernalee
In 1978, as I was having my car serviced, I caught the bus to work. I ran across the street and fell. Oh my goodness! Although I knew no one on the bus, and I wasn’t physically injured, I was totally embarrassed. I remember another occasion during my teenage years when my Mother furiously walked across the street in her apron publicly chastising me in front of my peers. Embarrassed I was! I have other incidents that I could relate as I’m sure you do. Most of us have had those embarrassing moments that we will never forget. Take a look at some of the top ones.
“Embarrassing Moments that we never want to happen
1. Swiping, waiting and having your debit card come up declined is one of the most stomach churning moments you’ll ever experience. When this happens it’s a lose-lose scenario because if you don’t have the money in the bank, you’re now exposed – and even if it’s your account that’s malfunctioning, defending yourself and appearing bamboozled will still be greeted by funny, judgmental looks.
2. Pushing doors that are built to be pulled and vice versa. It enrages me that I have a 50/50 shot, yet I consistently guess wrong.
3. Slipping and falling in rain. I don’t have an official statistic, but this has to occur like, 94% of the time at store entryways. Seriously, next time it rains, kick your feet up and enjoy the show because at least one person will take a tumble. I’ve done it myself, take a step, slip, suddenly you’re staring at the sky for a moment, then splat — you greet the pavement.
4. Being out and unexpectedly having your flip-flop/sandal break. This is probably karma for laughing at the folks who stumbled in the rain, so just deal with it. Besides, it’s nothing a little super glue, or a lot of Elmer’s can’t solve.
5. Making awkward eye contact with someone as they enter a foul-smelling bathroom, because you know they think you’re responsible, whether you really are or not.
6. Silent room stomach growls. You know how your stomach is. It always waits until the quiet part of the movie, the silence at the table or any moment of stillness to let its rumbling roar be heard at an opportune time.
7. When someone else’s actions are beyond ridiculous but they don’t have the social awareness to sense that they should be embarrassed, so you have to feel humiliated for them.
8. Going to the wrong classroom and sitting there for a lengthy period of time before realizing that the topics of discussion don’t fit and now you’ll look like a bad-mannered student, exiting class just as it began.
9. Accidentally mentioning something to someone that was never actually told to you, but was discovered via your lurking social networks.
10. Confusing a person for something they aren’t. E.g. thinking that someone’s wife is their daughter, or mistaking a beer belly for pregnancy.
11. Falling on a treadmill. If this hasn’t happened to you, feel blessed. Not only is this terrifying, but it’s equally painful on your body and ego. One second you’re running, the next you look down and you’re further back then anticipated. The machine’s speed is too fast for your steps and suddenly you’re slammed against a hot, moving conveyor belt that swoops you off of it like a humiliating ride on Aladdin’s magic carpet mixed with a mechanical bull.
12. Locking yourself out of your car because not only is it embarrassing, it’s a ginormous hassle that we’d rather not deal with. And neither would the unlucky holder of your spare key.
13. Playing DJ and having your iPod land on one of many humiliating, guilty pleasure songs that occupy your gigabytes.
14. Talking to yourself on the road and realizing that the people in the car next to you are staring, terrified of and amused by the nutcase next to them. (A good save is to make your phone visible and pretend to be utilizing speakerphone.)
15. Being scared by ninja runners. When you’re on a peaceful jog and the music blaring through your headphones sucks you into your own little world, you completely forget about your surroundings.
16. Eye boogers, nose boogers, food in the teeth, stains on clothes – any type of visually off-putting monstrosity that you unknowingly wore all day. Especially terrible after a long day of coming face to face with a lot of people who you just know saw it up close and personal.
17. The unique ringtones set for special people in our lives going off in quiet settings never fails to warrant some shame. From the confines of my own home, I love having “Me So Horny” blare when you call. But in the library? Not so much.
18. Doing something odd when you’re all alone, then thinking “what if” you’re currently being recorded? It’s even more embarrassing when you realize that you seriously considered the possibility that a camera was taping your solo shenanigans.
19. Spilling your alcoholic beverage whether in a bar or at a friend’s home. Either way people are going to cry “party foul,” and make a spectacle of your clumsiness.
20. Accidentally “liking” a Facebook status or double tapping an Instagram image. The moment directly after doing so feels capable of inducing a heart attack. I’ve reconsidered mobile social networking because that’s typically when it happens. We just want to undo what we’ve done hastily, without anyone actually noticing.”
What’s your most embarrassing moment? Stop laughing! It may be funny now, but it sure wasn’t funny at the time! Ha ha!
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