Posted in Uncategorized

What’s your obsession?

Obsession is broadly defined as a persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling. Don’t get this confused with a preoccupation with a reasonable idea.

If your son plays basketball 24/7, sleeps with his basketball and dreams about playing even when he is not. And of course your son happens to be 7’1, this is reasonable. If he is 5’2, it’s probably unreasonable.

Because we don’t want to smash anyone else’s dream we avoid commenting. So we allow people who haven’t had any college experience say they want to be a superintendent of a school district — they have no plans to go back to school.

We have people who can barely sing hang on to the dream of being a singer. We put up with pastors in pulpits that have no oratory ability nor knowledge of scripture but they want to preach.

When a teenager who is failing math wants to be an engineer or a student who is failing science wanting to be a doctor, we smile and think it’s cute.

Honesty is still the best policy.

One of the things that we loved about American Idol was Simon Cowell because he could be brutally honest about what he saw and heard. So we watched each week to enjoy the talent but hear what Simon thought about the act.

Can you imagine throwing your life away on an obsession? I mean just think about an obsession that takes you into your 40s with no return on the investment. Many people followed your dream knowing that it was not going to happen but hoping that it might — this is a very tragic fate.

Broken lives collide with reality and in the rubble is a lost soul who had higher expectations than his talent could take him.

All types of mental health professionals offer diagnosis after the fact and everyone has an opinion, but in the end all you are left with is a broken heart and that damn obsession!

Posted in Working together

Whose team is it anyway???

You ever been on a team with less than faithful team members?

Then you have members that challenge every direction you try to take the group and the really sad part is they never have an alternative and all it seems they want to do is veto your direction.

Clearly the group is not on the same page and can’t be because some have already decided that they don’t like you. So that means anything you like, they hate. Anything you think is good, they think it’s bad.

If we could freeze time in place we could go backwards and start looking at where things went wrong. Where did the misunderstanding begin? What made teammates keep records of wrongdoing or maintain a level of unforgiveness? When did the overall mission of the team get scrapped for personal reasons?

Personal reasons. Oh what a sense of entitlement it takes for one persons view to go before or ahead of the mass group.

Personal vendettas. Why in the world would someone get so entangled with revenge that you can’t see the bigger picture?

You have to ask yourself would you rather see something destroyed before you will allow someone else to get credit? Would you choose to tear up something just because you can?

Would you be petty enough to destroy the lives of many to pay back a few?

Ok. I’m done asking questions but the leadership qualities were definitely not handed out to everyone and many are in positions of leadership who don’t belong. There is no speaking the truth in love nor forgetting the past to move on to a better future.

A bad seed in a group is like mold on fruit — it reaches a point where it can not come back from mold so it must be cut off. So instead of wondering if you have the knowledge to be a great leader, ask yourself do you have the gall to cut away the mold for the sake of the fruit. Or will you just leave the whole thing and allow it to rot the whole thing??

Posted in Accepted, Achievement, Change, Confidence, Determination, Faith, Fear, Forgiveness, God, Greed, Grief

Failed expectations

There are people in this world that imitate animals. You have the Alpha Male who figures the Lion. Gentle giant men have the image of the grizzly bear and then there are the people who love to act like snakes, rats or chameleons. These are the people who have no problem betraying others. There is no level of consciousness that is disturbed by their distrust.

Betrayal comes from expectations that are not met. It’s the breaking on trust and the vengeance from misunderstanding.

In Greek Mythology Jason was with Medea and they had kids together and everything. All of a sudden he decides to leave her with the kids stating that they were not married anyway. Jason was off to marry a local king’s daughter. To pay him back Medea kills the kids.

Benedict Arnold fought side by side with George Washington and had his trust. He was considered a trusted soldier and friend to Washington until he defected to the British in 1780. Arnold went down in history as a symbol of betrayal.

The question this blog asks is how does it feel to betray someone? How does it feel in your heart? How does it feel just before the betrayal is realized? How do you live with yourself? What kind of person do you have to be to overcome the negative feelings of betrayal? What will your conscious allow?

It’s clear that your spirit has to settle into being a rat or a snake, but is there any coming back from that? Mr. Arnold would probably tell you no, there is no coming back. The anger towards those that betray always seems to be met with death — whether that be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. Hopefully, we can avoid this concept and realize the opposite is greater. Let loyalty ring!

Posted in Uncategorized

When Superman isn’t super

We live in a society that props up certain individuals for their talent, wealth, success, looks and other attributes. There is a need to create superman because psychologically we need to know/see the best version of ourselves.

Many of us desire to either be superman or be his sidekick. We cherish this superman version of ourselves and it gives us hope.

Idols are created.

There was a choice involved in that creation and there was an obsession. When these “supermen” show that they are not so “super” we tend to forget who made them. We forget who elevated their gift to a god-like level and why. This never happens without coveteousness. Something to be had or obtained by the admirer that makes them blind to the dangers of idolizing mankind.

Once idolizing starts, abuse is imminent. The only thing necessary at this point for abuse is access. When access is granted, abuse is possible.

From the other direction, superman believes he is superman. He believes he can fly! He believes that the laws cannot contain him. He believes that his money and power will protect him. He believes his sins are forgiven. He hides behind his gifts and other idolaters stand ready to replace the former. Literally people are rushing toward abuse and with every victim, there is a new one in the back awaiting their turn to be abused.

Onlookers who are not caught up in that version of superman always want to judge. It’s easy for them to say, “how could they be so stupid!” “How could they not know?” “Who in their right mind would do that?!”

And it’s never that simple.

We underestimate our need to see and be the best version of ourselves. We struggle with the pursuit of success and we have been told to dream big and reach for the stars. In the hunt for that elite status we are able to minimize the warning signs. And then when we become a victim, we want others to be outraged with us. Then we seek great revenge and want to see the now debunked superman destroyed so we turn to social media.

The problem with social media is that just about everybody has an opinion and everybody has their own idol. The only way to stop this blood cycle of horror and eliminate the need to create a caped crusader is to recognize the one and only true superman — Jesus.

Posted in Uncategorized

Planning success

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With a strong gust of wind 2018 is leaving and as normal it seems that just yesterday we were trick or treating and now it’s the eve of the New Year.

With the New Year most of us are challenged by resolutions that normally die before Valentine’s Day of the new year. These were improvements of some kind that need to happen, but could not be conquered by our will power.

For some reason we could not quite get these resolutions to “stick” or work into our current schedules. But that did not mean that we didn’t need to lose the weight, eat more vegetables, get more sleep, save money, exercise or be nicer.

One of the things I have learned from living a half a century is that success is planned. There needs to be in most cases a road map and some other visual to get us there. We need a real plan that we can see unfold. The winner’s circle needs to be clearly noted and we need to create a victory dance.

We need to know who our cheerleaders are and where we can rest and get replenished. Most of our resolutions do not have such elaborate plans — but they need to.

To me, the best way to spend the last week of December is to head to Staples and collect poster boards and lots of colored markers. You need to create a war room in your home that has plastered on the walls several poster boards that outline a new plan to be or do better for 2019.

I have set several goals in 4 different categories: Spiritual, Mental, Emotional, Physical. The various goals cover exercises that start off very easy and gradually build over the course of the year. For example, I have not worked out in 3 years so the first 3 weeks of the year, all I am required to do is break a sweat each day. I can do it anywhere I want but every 24 hours I must break a sweat. I can do more if I want but I must break a sweat during the first 21 days of 2019. It increases to breaking a sweat and then walking for 30 minutes, 3 days per week and I have just gradually added more activity every 3 weeks. By April I will be working out with a personal trainer but I have some very reachable goals to start.

Mentally I wanted to make sure my mind was stimulated daily which means that daily I will be reading. I will read for pleasure, education and stimulation. This does not include social media nor surfing the web. Right now I have planned to read 28 books for 2019. I will add to that. In 2018 I was supposed to read 48 books and I only read 33 of them but my goal of stimulating my mind was reached and I continued my enlightenment. I also watched 40 percent less TV in the evening and I believe I was less stressed in 2018 than 2017.

Daily meditation has been added back to my life and a plan for being debt free by Labor Day is also in the works.

I have been working on 2019 since December 1 and it has been a joy to do it. I am really looking forward to 2019 because of my recent plans. I even added meal prep this year which doesn’t begin until MLK weekend but I am excited about that. I have met several new friends that I’ll be working with and several friends have been purged, as those relationships proved to be unhealthy for me.

These plans can be as large and elaborate or very small and concise but either way you owe yourself a change and no one else is supposed to make that happen but you.

So don’t ring in the new year without a plan. Make positive changes for a better you! You deserve it!

Posted in Uncategorized

For the sake of old times . . .

Some time in the late 1700s a poem was composed about friendship. It started in Scotland and has been sung all over the English-speaking countries for centuries.

We know the song as Auld Lang Syne and all though the words may escape most, its rhetorical opening and folk lore melody is very familiar.

This song is not just used to close out the old year, but at funerals, weddings or any occasion that signifies an ending and a new beginning.

It is always good to go into a new year knowing who your friends are.

You can make all the plans you want, but when there is no one there to share, tell, laugh, cry or whatever you need to do with, it doesn’t matter.

As the new year brings to light gleanings of a better version of ourselves, it would be equally important if we examine the type of friend we have been.

Do you know why your “best friend” likes you? Are you proud of this reason? Have you every betrayed a friend? Are you a person worthy of friendship? Do you really know what it means to be a good friend?

Life is not worth living if our interactions with one another don’t move us to desire to be better. Great character, integrity and scholarship mean nothing without good people around to share in it.

Friendship is always a pleasant, safe space you enter into with another human and through this union you are able to exchange energy, share thoughts, strengthen each other and have fun. There are rules which are not written. Loyalties that should never have to be spoken and feelings that synchronize through sharing.

You should never have to utter the words, “I thought we were friends?” There are some people from 2018 who are definitely needed in the New Year and there are some from 2018 who are not — do you know the difference?

Posted in Uncategorized

The Psychology of Waiting

Heinz ketchup had this series of commercials back in the day that showed someone holding the bottle and their ketchup slowly coming out and the music would start playing and you would hear a group singing the word anticipation in a syncopated rhythm. It would be over a hamburger, hotdog or fries and I have to admit, it was very effective. You got the idea that this ketchup was thick and rich and definitely worth waiting for. It also said that you don’t eat this type of food without Heintz ketchup.

Life is full of waiting. It is said that the average person throughout their lifetime spends five years waiting in lines and queues where roughly six months of that is waiting at traffic lights. Yikes!! That’s a lot of waiting. But what would be harder to calculate is how much of the waiting was beneficial or a waste of time.

Is waiting 2 hours for a 7 minute rollercoaster ride worth it? Or how about waiting 24 hours to buy tickets to see your favorite musical group? Or what about 12 hours in the cold for a “Black Friday” deal?

There are some people right now waiting on a marriage proposal; waiting on someone in hospice to die; waiting on results from tests; waiting to hear back from a job interview; or waiting for military personnel to come home.

Probably the greatest wait of our lives would be the times where we find ourselves between a tragedy and a triumph. All you can do is wait. And in that time period where the news reports that the earthquake, hurricane or open shooter is in the direct area of your loved one and you are trying to find out how bad this outcome is for your family. Will we be planning a funeral soon or did I have nothing to worry about. But all you can do is wait. So the logical question is what do we do during the space between a tragedy and a triumph?

Some pray but is God really intervening in issues like this? How do we know? What if this tragedy is the time your loved one was supposed to die? Do we believe God is extending time for some folks? Or others meditate which does nothing for the person in the storm but helps with the waiting. Others worry themselves sick only to find out there was nothing to worry about. Still others become so angry because waiting gives us a cold slap in the face to remind us that we are NOT in control. Waiting helps to develop patience, trust and character. And there are those times when waiting just flat out sucks!

So when you are waiting, spend more time seeing what lessons are in the act of waiting that address your issues. Are you a control freak? Well this may be your lesson in patience. Are you selfish or self serving? Waiting is your way of giving back. Or do you go 100 miles an hour all day for others to the point where you are not taking care of yourself? This may be your time to slow it down and see what you have missed. Whatever the case, waiting is one of life’s favorite venues to teach. Don’t miss your lesson. Embrace the wait!