Facing Reality

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Sometimes people try to escape their reality by changing jobs, moving to a new city, or even changing partners. This is not to say these measures are not warranted at times, but escapism is only a temporary solution. If you are not willing to face the source of your problems – most often your ego – running away only makes solving them more difficult. Moreover, you will find yourself experiencing the same unhappiness down the road. Problems rooted in us are not shed by a change of scenery. Instead, it requires a change of heart. It’s also useless to look for someone or something to blame when you are part of the problem. By sunrise tomorrow, today’s actions will become a part of the past and if you fail to live in the present, those past actions will begin to shape your future. Choosing to focus on what cannot be changed distracts from fulfilling today’s purpose – being present, leading with the heart, and putting your ego to rest.

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.

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.