Never Say Never

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It is often said that everyone has a price. Money has been known to persuade even the most upstanding citizens into making foolish decisions. We hear about bribes given to judges, police officers, and witnesses for the sake of overlooking the truth, but bribes only hurt the victims more. By accepting a bribe you penalize the truth and reward those who oppose it. Our obsession with money is often responsible for the mistreatment of others. It may not appear so on the surface, but it happens in subtle ways. For instance, you decide to dine out for the evening without making a reservation and upon arriving at the restaurant, you are placed on a waiting list. After waiting for a period of time, another patron enters the restaurant. They also don’t have a reservation, have inquired about the wait time, and have the same number of people in their party. Next thing you know, they are being seated before you. More than likely, a monetary incentive was offered. The staff member accepted the money to his/her benefit, the solicitor used it to his/her advantage, and the restaurant stands to lose a displeased patron (and get a bad review) for the actions of an unscrupulous staff member. These types of transactions happen every day whether subtle or glaring. We don’t think we are doing any significant harm but in reality, someone is experiencing the impact.

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When You Look For Trouble, It Will Rear Its Head

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Sometimes curiosity can cause us to stumble. There are times when we dig for answers to only discover our suspicions were unfounded. The lack of trust revealed by taking such measures creates a divide that isn’t easily repairable. No one likes to be accused of wrongdoing when they’re making every effort to do what’s right. Oftentimes, our past experiences or guilty conscience can cause us to be overly suspicious of others, questioning every move, and second-guessing motives. While we should be cautious and wise in our interactions with others, we should not assume that every action is ill-intended. On the other hand, you may search for something and what’s revealed may be more than you bargained for. Ultimately, you have to be prepared for the consequences of your actions.

 

Self-Control

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Self-control may be limiting, but it is very necessary. So often we flirt with temptation, rationalizing that we are technically refraining from the act itself. It’s wise to identify your weak spots to avoid these temptations versus falling victim to them. When you become so preoccupied with something until it affects your perspective of anything else, you have moved from restraint to recklessness.

Message in the Music

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Music evokes emotion and conveys messages in various ways. Almost everyone has a song they can relate to that lifts them up, makes them sad, brings back memories, relaxes them, and sometimes annoys them. You can listen to the same song at different times and have a different experience depending on what you are going through at that moment. Music is also a tool that can be used to make remembering something much easier. Consider:

  • The teacher who delivers a lesson through a catchy beat.
  • The artist that sings a song in a different language, without speaking that language.
  • How companies brand their product or service with jingles or popular songs.
  • How lyrical references in songs can inspire change, influence what we buy, and how we treat each other.
  • How incorporating the element of music into a film helps the audience emotionally connect.
  • How rhythmic chanting invites cultural healing.
  • How music elevates your mood when working out.
  • How music uplifts you spiritually.
  • The therapeutic benefit of music for those with physical disabilities and the list goes on.

Whatever your pleasure, there’s music to fit the occasion. Now imagine a world without it.

What Would You Do

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After leaving the gym this morning, I decided to stop by a nearby Kroger to pick up a few items. I arrived at the store around 7:10 am. During this timeframe, the only lanes open are self-checkout. I was the first one in the self-checkout lane and opted to use the register in the very back. After I started scanning my items, two men with separate transactions, proceeded to the two front checkout lanes which were across the aisle from each other. During the time this was taking place, the attendant who is charged with monitoring the self-checkout lanes, was away from his post having a lively discussion with a vendor not too far from where I stood.

After I finished scanning my items, I selected the option for entering a coupon which immediately triggered an alert for the attendant to assist me. Due to the lively discussion, the attendant was engaged in, he was unaware that an alert had been signaled. Shortly after my register froze, one of the gentleman’s register triggered an alert, followed by the other. By this time, we are all looking in the direction of the attendant who must have felt the heat on his back, because he turned around with a surprised look.

He commented, “Oh, everyone needs help”. In that precise moment, I could tell he was processing who to help first. This is where the plot thickens. My register signaled the alert first. The attendant would also have to walk past me to assist the other two gentlemen. In an instant, his decision was made, and he proceeded to help the gentleman then backtrack to help me. Could this have been a result of him being an older white gentleman and the other two gentlemen were also white? Could this have been because they were men and I was a woman? Could this be because they were at the front registers and I was at a rear register? Could it be that he felt he would get pushback from the gentlemen if he helped me first? Could this be because I was in gym attire and they weren’t – which gave an impression that I didn’t have any place to be? I patiently waited for him to assist the other two gentlemen, paid for my transaction and kept it moving.

What would you have done if you were the attendant?

Having Prejudices Limits You

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Great potential is wasted because of prejudice. Prejudice grows out of personal pride when one considers himself to be better than the other and refuses to look beyond ill-conceived stereotypes. We are all on different paths and have different levels of understanding, but that does not make any one of us less human. Mankind is a family that shares one flesh and blood. It is destructive to hate, so don’t let your prejudices get in the way of those you are to set an example for nor those that are designed to lead you.

The Importance of Organization

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Having systems in place creates structure, structure supports organization and organization helps keep systems operating smoothly. Disorganization, on the other hand, kills productivity, fuels missed opportunities and results in money down the drain. Disorganization starts from the top. If the leader is disorganized, the likelihood of staff being organized is slim to none because talented staff will not stay around a disorganized leader. Organization helps people work together in harmony and ensures that the desired goal will be reached. In the highly competitive business world, a disorganized company, shortage of talented staff, and upset consumers lends itself to a non-profitable company.

Get to Know You

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One of the easiest ways to get to know you is by spending time alone. This period of reflection will help reveal your behaviors, your outlook on life, what makes you happy, and what needs improvement. It’s difficult to discover who you are, searching outside of yourself; it must come from within. Also, searching for yourself through the eyes of others increases the odds of losing your own perspective and adopting theirs. If you don’t know who you are and what you represent, how can you expect others to know? Working on self is an ongoing process, and your needs will change throughout your lifetime. You can’t change the things that have happened in the past, but you can change your attitude towards it.

The Power of “Re”

 

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Our experiences in life are often a Reflection of our thoughts and closely associated with a past Revisited and Repurposed to justify the present moment. The Refusal to see the err in our ways Results in the Reoccurrence of learned behavior that is Resistant to growth and the Relinquishing of the ego. The beauty of life is that it offers daily opportunities to hit the Reset button and to Recalibrate the frequency we are emitting to the Universe. Remember that moments of uncertainty affords us an opportunity to Reprogram our thought process, Rediscover our life’s purpose, and move forward with Renewed energy.

Entrepreneurship

Vice President Joe BidenSecretary SebeliusSecretary Anthony FoxxSecretary Sylvia Burwell 7

Greetings Friends!  In light of my many professional endeavors, entrepreneurialism runs through my veins. I realize that entrepreneurship can be a risky undertaking for many, but applied knowledge is power. I have developed teams that have soared to great heights by keeping these four principles deeply ingrained in their psyche:

  1. Put GOD first!
  2. If you do not GO after what you want, you’ll never have it!
  3. If you do not ASK, the answer will always be NO!
  4. If you do not step FORWARD, you will ALWAYS be in the same place!

My mission is to help others take charge of their lives by uncovering their motivation and helping them reach their fullest potential. Experience doesn’t matter.  I HELP CREATE WINNERS!!

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” Mark Cuban

The Journey

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Your travels create your life story.  It’s a lifelong journey of asking questions and seeking answers, seeing things more clearly, listening more carefully, embracing change and ultimately learning how to walk with the Creator each step of the way.  It isn’t our job to understand the Creator’s direction, but to understand the journey we are in.  Regardless of whether you’ve been turned around for a while or made some wrong turns along the way, where you are now, is where you are meant to be.

We are to trust and be grateful for each set of circumstances we encounter along the way.  When you focus on the blessings that emerge from your trials, you gain the strength and courage to continue moving forward.  Each blessing becomes a stepping stone toward the vision you have been given.  It’s important to reflect on how far you have come versus how far you have to go and live out your purpose each day.  Look for the Creator’s way in each moment and in each decision and enjoy the experience…

Choose Your Mate Carefully

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Be cautious in your choice of companion. The person you choose to settle down with will have a significant effect on your life – physically, spiritually and emotionally. It’s best to align yourself with people demonstrating characteristics you would like to develop in your own life, versus characteristics that raise concern. It’s also important that you exemplify the things you desire in a mate if you expect to have a fulfilling relationship. It takes time to get to know someone and most often you meet their representative first. After peeling back the layers, you sometimes discover that your selection wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be.

Consider the following: if an irresponsible parent blames someone else for their lack of responsibility, this is not someone you rush to have a child by. A person who mismanages money should raise concern with your financial stability. A couple practicing different religions must identify how this will affect their household and their future. Someone with an abusive past or addiction may require special care and support. Someone that can’t maintain employment may create more pressure for you in the long run. Someone with a selfish perspective may have difficulty respecting your opinions and belief.  Remember, respect comes from mutual regard and appreciation for one another, not by forced obedience.  At the end of the day, your well being should be the primary goal when choosing a mate. This is not to insinuate that a person can’t change, but it would be wise on your part to assess if you are willing to take that chance.

Self Esteem Is Derived On Self

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Our experiences have a lot to do with the mental picture we create of ourselves and how it influences our attitudes and behaviors throughout life. Having a healthy self esteem is an integral part of happiness.  You are entitled to feel good about yourself.  We have the tendency to give others more credit than we give ourselves, instead of taking inventory of our own personal strengths and value. Low self esteem is self imposed and often linked to emotional states such as depression, paranoia and anxiety.

Basing your self esteem on external factors such as the amount of money you have, your physical appearance or other’s opinion, broadly affects your emotional state whenever these variables change.  Relying on external factors to make you feel good about yourself also makes you codependent upon them.  Discovering your own truth and developing peace within is the foundation for attaining all that your heart desires. Envision yourself as the best you can be, to create the reality of your life that will be true to your most sincere self image.

Meditation

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If you take an objective view of your mind, you’ll find that many thoughts drift through it.  When you feel certain emotions for no apparent reason, it stems from stray thoughts passing through that you may not have been consciously aware of.  Meditation is an effective way to clear the mind and gain focus.  There are many things you can focus on, various ways to meditate and no time restraints as to how long you do so.

It’s difficult to hear what needs to be said during the daily hustle and bustle of our lives.  Stepping back from the noise and activity allows us to listen humbly and quietly for guidance.  When you have something troubling you and desire to gain more clarity, say a prayer about the subject matter and meditate on it.  The answer may not come immediately, but meditating on it will help relax you and release negative energy within you.

Setting Standards

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When you desire to perform at a certain level with someone you measure yourself against, you must first figure out how this became the best standard for you to follow, and what you may have to do to get where they are.

If this person had to lie, cheat and steal to acquire what they have, are you willing to adopt the same behaviors or identify with someone who outwardly appears to be at the same level, but did so through hard work and personal integrity?  They may both be packaged differently in perception, but one worked smarter in the long run and the other in a way that will have them looking over their shoulder for years to come.

Whatever choice you make, be sure to consider the long term effects of the standards you set for yourself.  Accomplishing a great feat in the wrong way can set you up for future failure.

Humanity

Living in a developed country that has a system of order and plentiful resources, shields us of the reality that most of humanity faces. It’s not until you travel to a poverty stricken country and witness for yourself, the hunger, violence and disease that signifies a normal life for its inhabitants, that you realize the artificial world in which we live.
 
While some countries are rich in resources, the income derived from those resources, rarely reaches the poor. The inequalities prevalent in these countries include: unclean water, inadequate medical care, deadly viruses and limited education. Furthermore, the children in these countries are most affected; oftentimes succumbing to death due to hunger and malnutrition.
 
We have a moral obligation to be more appreciative of the opportunities and resources afforded us, while finding ways to give of ourselves for the greater good of humanity. “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Leadership

Many people want to be leaders, but the majority of us are followers. We may be good followers in following a good leader, but no leader is perfect. Many people fail to realize that leadership can appear glamorous at times, but it is often lonely, thankless and sometimes filled with pressures to compromise your values and standards.

The essential quality of leadership is credibility. If people don’t trust you, they won’t follow you. The most effective followers understand their role and follow the ideas and beliefs of their leader. However, there is a difference between following an order in which you don’t agree and following one you know is wrong. It is never ethical to carry out a wrong act, no matter who gives you the order or what the consequences may be for not executing the order. If a leader goes against moral practices, you must be willing to stand alone.

Good leaders are created through a never ending process of education, training, experience and self-improvement. Those who lead best, lead by what they do, as well as by what they say. As we rise to leadership positions, our priorities should be finding productive ways to serve people versus our own praise, prestige and power. Although many seek recognition for their accomplishments through these channels, they are poor substitutes for the substance gained in serving someone other than ourselves.



Blaming Others

You cannot run away from yourself, so blaming others is worthless. You are responsible for your thoughts and actions, as well as what unfolds before you. As long as you blame others, you will continue making the same mistakes. It is not uncommon for us to shift the blame to someone else in an effort to avoid feelings of guilt. Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve the underlying issue. When you encounter trouble, take inventory of your attitude and behavior and see if that could be the source of the problem.

Sacrifice

People tend to place greater value in the things they sacrifice for. In fact, many consider sacrifice a part of their daily regimen. Whether it’s obtaining a certain level of education, losing weight or winning a competition, the end result justifies the sacrifice made to achieve the desired outcome.

Although sacrifice may be inevitable, it isn’t always viewed in a positive light. Sometimes relationships are forfeited for an alternative that doesn’t appear to be any greater than what was left behind, or money is spent on luxury items that may not perform any better than those of a lesser cost. However, the person making the choice, feels the sacrifice is worth making.

As with everything else in life, there must be a balance with sacrifice. You may have to give up something today for a better tomorrow, but giving up everything that’s happy and good in your life can be taking it to the extreme. Our time on earth is short and we cannot take anything with us upon our departure. Therefore, don’t live a present life of misery for a future life you may not be able to enjoy. Ask yourself, what your true motivation is. Sacrificing for the wrong reasons, could be worse than no sacrifice at all.

Superstitions

Human knowledge is far from perfect so our brains are hard wired to look for cause and effect in the world. If one thing seems to happen before another, we may find ourselves linking them together to create superstition.

Almost every person in the world has one superstitious belief. Many people regard Friday 13th as an unlucky day, but the Universe doesn’t go on hiatus on this particular day. The mind is a powerful tool. What we focus our attention on expands and lends itself to the law of attraction. The law of attraction is more than a mystical belief; it is purposeful thought. Superstitions can put expectations in your mind that the law of attraction delivers on. Therefore, you can consciously choose positive thoughts and create empowering beliefs, or allow negative superstitions to give way to unlucky scenarios. Happy Friday!

Stress

Indirectly, stress is probably our number one killer. Not only does stress lead to health related issues, but stressing over something doesn’t always solve the problem. It’s important to evaluate your overall lifestyle when encountering significant stress. For many people, stress is so commonplace that it has become a way of life. Some people have the ability to face monumental stress with relative ease, while others are overwhelmed by minor nuances. 

We may not be able to remove the stressors from our life, but we can find ways to reduce their affect through careful thought, prayer, rearranging of our priorities, discussion and good counsel. As the old adage goes “Manage your stress or your stress will manage you.”

Self Pity

Self pity is a self-destructive emotion that presents a warped sense of reality. Feelings of self pity typically arise out of specific situations. Emotionally, we are most vulnerable to self pity after a great effort or when faced with real physical needs. Feeling sorry for yourself and/or your circumstance doesn’t help the situation, it only dilutes the good you may be doing. Self pity is a perspective that can easily be changed. Once you acknowledge what you are dissatisfied with, it is your responsibility to work towards changing your predicament. You will experience a number of highs and lows throughout your lifetime. The goal is to get through the lows as quickly as possible and seek support if necessary to aide you through the process. Playing the victim causes you to lose sight of all you have to be grateful for and the fact that you have it better than someone else in the world. Remember, people are not as willing to help someone that is not taking necessary measures to help himself.  

“Self-pity will parch your attitudes, it will paralyze your abilities, and it will put off your achievements. It prohibits excellence and prevents expansion.” Anonymous

Character


People are not born with good character and good character is not defined by one noble act. Building character is a lifelong process that requires strength, purpose, and action. It’s essentially the sum of your habits and what you take with you to eternity. Character is established by conscientious adherence to moral values, not by lofty rhetoric or good intentions. Character is revealed by your response to the unexpected and what you stand for when no one else is watching. 
Your character contributes to how you live your life. It either makes you happy or miserable based on your reaction to life’s experiences. In order to maintain consistency in character, you must remain aligned with your moral values; in spite of overwhelming pressures and temptations. It’s not uncommon to take action based on short term gain, but that often results in long term consequences. By remaining dedicated to ethical principles and having a genuine concern for others, you will attract loyal followers and create lasting success.

Motivation

Motivation is greater than temporary stimulation that lasts up until the moment someone stops speaking or inspiring. It is a personal belief and desire to accept responsibility for your own life and take the necessary action to achieve the things you seek. Periods of frustration often reflect an urging to succeed in some area of your life. By understanding what frustrates you, you’ll better understand what fulfills you. The message behind your frustration is priming you to make a difference in your life by creating new and meaningful value. That’s embedded motivation…

Think Before You Speak

Effective communication can be a challenge even when clearly stated or written. Additionally, social media, text messaging, and email, increases the likelihood of your words being misinterpreted. So how you deliver your message is just as important as what you state, if you expect others to respond constructively. 
 
While it’s good to have something to say, it is equally important to weigh it first. When we talk too much and listen too little, we communicate to others that our perspective is far more important than theirs. In our hastiness to get our point across, we risk not understanding the message being conveyed and forfeit the opportunity to listen and learn. You are what comes out of your mouth so be cognizant of what you speak.

Dreams

The meaning of dreams has drawn plenty of controversy. Some view dreams as our higher self – healing, advising, encouraging, and sometimes warning us of impending dangers. Others view dreams as nothing more than a vision pulled from our memory and shaped by our imagination. Whichever you choose to believe, pay attention to them because this broadened sense of awareness lends itself to multifarious meanings and new possibilities. Dreams are a divine gift that many often take for granted; not realizing that the dream state is actually an expanded state of consciousness. Stephen LaBerge sums dreams up well…not all lucid dreams are useful, but they all have a sense of wonder about them. If you must sleep through a third of your life, why should you sleep through your dreams, too?

Human Life

Human behavior falls into patterns. Still, no one particular person can produce enough knowledge or insight to explain the totality of the human experience. The ultimate interpretation of life regarding who we are and where we are going must come from outside and above our precarious life.

All human accomplishments will one day disappear, so it’s better to live your life wisely. Failing to do so can cause you to become too proud or self sufficient as it relates to your successes and greatly disappointed with your perceived failure(s). It’s easy to value material possessions and frivolous things over human life, but life is your greatest gift. Everything else pales in comparison, for without life, there is no other experience to speak of.

Doubt

Some people must doubt before they’re able to believe. Yet, you can doubt without living a doubtful way of life. Doubt affords you the opportunity to think things through. It’s a way of responding, not a permanent condition. It can be used to pose the question, get an answer, and push for a decision. 

If doubt leads to questions, questions lead to answers and the answers are accepted, then doubt has done good work. It is when doubt becomes stubbornness and stubbornness becomes a lifestyle, that doubt harms faith. Don’t settle into doubts, but move on from them to decision and belief. The purpose of doubt is to sharpen the mind, not necessarily change it. 

Stop Complaining


Sometimes we complain without even realizing we are doing so, but rarely is it helpful. It can be something as simple as commenting on the weather conditions outside to a passerby. As hard as it may be to digest, you chose the life that you have right now; directly or indirectly. It’s easy to overlook personal accountability and blame others for your problems. Unfortunately, that doesn’t solve the problem. Where you are today, is a direct result of a decision you have or have not made. If you are unwilling to change, then there really is no need to complain. In other words, stop criticizing your circumstances and change your conditions. 

Control Your Anger

Losing something of great value or dealing with someone who conspires against you can easily elicit an angry response. Unfortunately, anger is a dangerous and destructive emotion that always threatens to leap out of control. It pushes you to make hasty decisions that result in bitterness and guilt. There are times when anger is appropriate, but most often it is futile. You will face countless opportunities in life to lose your temper over minor inconveniences, but making a conscious effort to channel your anger in a constructive manner is what incites change. When you feel like you’re ready to explode, remember that losing control will not solve the problem, it only fuels the fire.

Lead By Example

You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. Leading by example earns you the right to be heard because your actions reinforce what you speak. Those closest to you often emulate what you do, so if you desire for someone to behave a certain way, don’t be the double standard. Francis Bacon once remarked “He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down the other.” 


Don’t Assume

Wrong assumptions lead to wrong conclusions and as the old saying goes, “when you assume, you make an Ass out of U and Me”. We have a tendency to make assumptions about everything, especially as it pertains to people. That’s why it’s important to engage in a little fact-finding before drawing a conclusion. Don’t automatically assume that someone’s motives are wrong, even if it initially draws suspicion. Assuming the worse about the intentions of another, can cause you to overlook the good they may actually bring into your life.  Healthy skepticism is not wrong in itself, but exercising wisdom goes a lot further.

Skeletons In The Closet

Sometimes we mistakenly believe we can get away with our wrongdoing if no one witnesses or catches us, but sooner or later, what was done in the dark will eventually come to light. When a crisis occurs, we soon discover that our misdeeds have been quietly breeding into serious consequences. In a world dominated by social media, it becomes incredibly easy to be exposed in some manner. While all skeletons are not damaging, a skeleton is still generally defined as a guilty secret you’d rather not share. In order to avoid such instances, its better to live each day as if your actions will one day be known to the world.

Fear

Fear is a dark shadow that envelops you and ultimately imprisons you within yourself. Fear becomes the expression of doubt and lack of self-confidence that gradually eats away at your motivation and paralyzes you so that you don’t act at all. When you are driven by fear, you’ll find yourself searching elsewhere for comfort and advice, hoping to find an easy way out of your troubles. Continually looking for visible signs are not necessary if they only confirm what you already know to be true. Instead of looking for more confirmation, take action. Getting started is often the most difficult and frightening part of the task. 

Use Your Natural Talents

Everyone is born with his or her own unique talent so don’t minimize your skills because you don’t think they’re as valuable as someone else’s. Rather than focusing on the talents of another, make good use of the talents already afforded you. You can always develop your natural talents into something greater through careful study and practice. If you have difficulty recognizing your talent, consider how others describe you. They often see what you overlook or fail to give yourself credit for. Once you understand what your natural talent is, you’ll come to realize how easy you were doing something that others struggle with.  As Mark Twain quoted: “We are always more anxious to be distinguished for a talent which we do not possess, than to be praised for the fifteen which we do possess”.

Bad Habits

There may be a tendency in our lives to allow what we believe to be harmless habits, manifest into dominating forces if left unattended.  For example:
  • Mismanaging money can lead you to the poorhouse.
  • Experimenting with mind altering substances can create a dependency.
  • Telling one lie can lead to more lies to cover up the initial lie.
  • Being consistently late in life can lead to missed opportunities.
  • Having a negative outlook can lead to negative outcomes.
  • Gossiping can lead to lost relationships.
  • Taking shortcuts in life can cheat you in the long run.
  • Consistent misspellings, punctuation and grammatical errors in your method of communication can make you appear less intelligent.
  • Laziness can lead to poor health and lack of self-development.
  • Speaking without thinking can lead to compromising situations.
  • Lack of manners can lead to the appearance of ungratefulness.
  • Failure to follow directions can lead to disastrous end results.
  • Lack of self-confidence can lead to being taken advantage of.
  • Resisting change can lead to greater implications.
Take inventory of your bad habits and work diligently to improve upon them. What may initially appear harmless, can have a tremendous affect on your day to day living.

Product Of Your Environment

You can live under your circumstances or above them. You don’t have to become a prisoner of them. There are circumstances in which you have no control of such as your heredity and others in which you do, such as the decisions you make. You must resist the temptation to think about the limitations your family background or environment creates for you. Regardless of how you were raised or who influenced your life, you can move beyond those limitations by making a conscious decision to be proactive.

People who are proactive, live life prepared and make the most out of a situation. It’s not until you desire more for yourself and take the appropriate action towards advancement, that people and opportunities are revealed to you. You either let your environment influence you or you influence it.

Negative People

Negative people are often short sighted and lack something within, and if you allow yourself to become one of their victims, they’ll drain the life out of you. These depressed spirits always seem to have a perpetual cloud looming over them. When everyone else appears happy, they maintain a gloomy disposition. They speak negative words into existence and then wonder why the world doesn’t appear to be smiling upon them. Word of advice…get out of their path quick! 

One of the biggest determinants of happiness is the absence of negativity. Negativity robs you of better outcomes by making you a quitter. Those who are able to extract the positive in negative situations are the ones who prosper in the long run.

Revenge

There is a Chinese Proverb that states: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”.  Revenge is an uncontrollable monster. Not only will it ruin your own piece of mind, it increases the chances of future retaliation. If you applied the principle “an eye for an eye,” you stand the risk of fueling revenge that doesn’t offer finality to a problem.

While it’s necessary to punish those who break the law, a punishment applied appropriately weakens the revengeful nature and creates a systematic approach to handle similar threats. In essence, the revenge cycle can only be halted by forgiveness. It takes more courage to lay aside hatred and hurt than to take justice into your own hands.

Delegate

Proper delegation can multiply your effectiveness while giving others an opportunity to grow. People in positions of responsibility sometimes feel they are the only ones who can perform necessary tasks, when others are capable of handling part of the load. Give someone an opportunity to prove their worthiness. If that requires you taking the time to train them in a specific area, then it’s well worth doing so in an effort to maximize your performance.

Admit When You Are Wrong

You don’t always have to be right in order to feel good about yourself. That’s why it’s easy to admire those who openly admit their mistakes. Those who do, exhibit a strong self image by taking ownership. Something in us strongly resists when we are wrong. Our initial reaction is to respond angrily and defensively rather than acknowledging where we went wrong, apologizing for our mistake and diffusing the situation. When we have wronged someone, it may require going beyond what is expected, in an effort to make things right. Rather than compound an error through defensiveness, ask for forgiveness and reconciliation. You will save yourself and others a lot of undue stress in the long run.

Seek Wisdom

Wisdom is gained through a constant process of growing. While society has a propensity to honor wealth, attractiveness and success above wisdom, wisdom is a greater asset than all those combined. Wisdom gives us the ability to make sound decisions derived on experience and proper discernment. Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living, the other helps you make a life. Although knowledge is a mark of wisdom, wisdom means far more than simply knowing a lot. It’s an attitude that affects every aspect of your life. Regardless of how much you think you know, there will be some things you never understand and believing otherwise, reveals a lack of true wisdom.

Kids Often Follow In Their Parents Footsteps

Parents help shape the world’s future by the way they shape their children’s values. Children learn values, morals and priorities by observing how their parents act and react every day. Consider the effects that abuse, alcoholism, selfishness, and/or greed has on a child. Once children are exposed to these negative traits, it becomes a challenge to get through to them and redirect their course. What you do and teach your children can profoundly affect them and last a lifetime.

If you sit in a room full of children and observe, you will be amazed by what they say and the behaviors displayed. We initially think it’s funny when we see children repeat something they’ve heard in their immediate environment, but when you acknowledge the behavior they emulate isn’t so cute anymore, the damage has already been done. It’s our job as parents to be the positive influence they need, so they in turn, can pass down to their children the values we’ve instilled.

First Impressions

First impressions are the images planted in one’s mind until otherwise corrected. Unfortunately, you rarely get the opportunity to redeem yourself if a negative image has been projected. How we think we are perceived and how others actually see us are totally different. In a matter of seconds, your first encounter with someone will set the tone for future interactions. So whether it’s a two second smile or frown, your actions affect
others you come into contact with. One of the best compliments one can
receive is for someone to say that they are better off for knowing you, no
matter how long that might have been. 

Wealth

Wealth gives the facade of power and control, but often does not deliver. It can be lost instantly through uncontrollable factors and those who seek it obsessively never find the happiness they think it promises.

We often want more than we have and then lose sleep over the fear of losing it. Ultimately, you leave it behind when it’s time to depart this earthly world. Regardless of how much you earn, if you try to create happiness through the accumulation of wealth, you will never have enough.

Money is not wrong and in reality, a necessity in our society. However, loving money too much leads to all sorts of problems including the attraction of freeloaders and thieves. Whatever financial situation you are in, don’t depend on money to make you happy. Instead, learn how to use what you have wisely and constructively. 

Sex

Sex is often undervalued because it comes easily and frequently. Whether one has sex for money or pure pleasure, this form of exploitation treats sex as an isolated physical act rather than an act of commitment to another. It erodes a person’s ability to love and often degrades others by turning them into physical objects. When you choose to have uncommitted sex, you confuse and tear down the climate of respect, trust and credibility that is necessary to develop a solid relationship.

We live in a world filled with suggestions to commit immorality. However, sexual immorality threatens family life; leaving spouses devastated, children scarred and partners themselves unable to build healthy relationships. Even if one escapes sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies, someone always ends up getting hurt as a result. The mark of a real man and woman is self-control.

Marriage

How unfortunate it is to be married and not appreciate the enjoyment and companionship that marriage affords you.  Outside pressures and distractions are at an all time high, the sanctity of marriage is at an all time low, and complacency has become the norm.

It’s not uncommon for a marriage to lose its initial spark with the growth of familiarity and the passing of time. Intimacy and passion declines, emotions run rampant and conflicts creep in. That’s why it’s of paramount importance for partners in a marriage to continually strive to refresh each other through encouraging words, a change of pace and unexpected surprises. Given the appropriate attention, marriage is where complete union of mind, heart and body comes together.

Agree to Disagree

The idea that “I’ll believe what I want to believe” and “you believe what you want to believe” can sometimes lead to the avoidance of truth. You should seek to understand the viewpoints of others whether you agree or disagree. Getting to know someone better provides you the opportunity to build upon the things you mutually share or agree on, instead of putting all your energy into disagreeing.

Many conflicts are created to make people look good. Whenever you see people arguing as if it were intellectual combat, the nature of the argument can be grossly misunderstood and/or overshadowed by the person with the loudest or most convincing delivery. Don’t take someone agreeing or disagreeing with you personally, but be willing to keep an open mind if the argument has good merit.

Don’t Become a Pawn to Someone

You can either take control of your life or let someone else do it for you. People become pawns when they allow themselves to be used by others for selfish purposes. This could be through the use of your name, children, employment, political agenda, money, physical makeup or connections with others. 

It’s not always easy to detect someone’s true intentions, but a telltale sign is when your ongoing involvement with them doesn’t produce anything respectable and ultimately interferes with your destiny. Life is too short to live another person’s dream, so live your life for you and the rest will follow.