Category Archives: Motivation/Inspiration

We Are What We Consume; Not Talking About Food…

I probably can make the connection to the phrase “we are what we eat”, this post isn’t about food, although as I’m sitting here writing this I’m also thinking “I wish I knew where I could get some good cookies besides heading to the store for some mint Oreo’s”. Such is my life. 🙂

Mamma Mia.  りんご娘のライブ コンサート.  Over  4,500 visits to this photo.
Glenn Waters via Compfight

As I’ve probably stated multiple times in the last 10 months, I’m presenting working a consulting assignment out of town. This basically means that I’m showing up in an office and working at least 8 hours each day. Because I’m not working in a leadership capacity, it’s basically the same thing every day, and, well, my mind doesn’t work like that because it likes diversity of work. Sure, I get to basically create a lot of my own work, but it’s dull, mundate stuff, though necessary.

The lucky thing about living in the 21st century is that we have all these different things we can take with us to work to watch & listen to, although folks frown on your “watching” stuff per se. However, you can listen to a lot of stuff, and I’ve always enjoyed documentaries so it’s a great time to catch up on a lot of things I’ve never seen. YouTube is a lifesaver… or is it?

I was going along pretty well there for a time until I noticed that my mood had started to change. I wasn’t feeling all that happy mentally, and it was extending outside of the office. Frankly, being out of town all by myself is pretty lonely, and yet I was starting to embrace the loneliness as a shield and didn’t want to bother with anybody, even on the weekends. I wasn’t getting depressed, but I was getting a little bit paranoid.

Then I figured it out. The documentaries I was partaking in were, for the most part, about the darker aspects of human life. There are lots of documentaries on serial killers, gangs, drugs, despots and dictators, death, murder… in other words, there’s lots of negativity that looks like information we all need or might crave.

I liked this stuff because I was learning a lot… of useless stuff. Sure, we all need to be careful of our surroundings and watch out for nefarious characters, but we also need to be ready to enjoy life a bit; wouldn’t you agree?

I decided I had to change up a bit. I started looking for comedians and funny stuff. I started listening to more motivational speakers and those TED talks that are pretty popular. I love Neil deGrasse Tyson so I started listening to everything I could find with him in it, as well as a lot of science stuff, mainly astrophysics; I’ve always been fascinated by things like that.

I also decided to go back and listen to some of my own videos on my two channels, something I really hadn’t done much of because, like blog posts sometimes, once they’re written it’s often on to the next thing. A couple made me cringe, but many of them just made me laugh, even the serious stuff; sometimes even I wonder how I come up with the things I talk and write about.

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What happened? I started feeling good again mentally and even the boring work took on a different feel. I found things to laugh about that may have only been funny to me, but it’s a better state of mind than where I was, and truthfully it’s a state of mind that I strive for most of the time.

But I went further than that. There were some people I was following on Twitter who kept up the negative stuff, even if it was stuff I agreed with. I’m a liberal in my politics, but there’s just so much conservative bashing one can take without getting riled up. I don’t follow any conservatives on Twitter, so no problems there.

On Facebook, because of F.B. Purity (come on, y’all aren’t using this yet?), I block a lot of stuff but some gets through via images. If I kept seeing the same thing from certain people I just stopped following them, because my closer friends don’t put that stuff out all the time. I don’t really mind the occasional thing, but 24/7? Who can mentally be in a good place putting stuff like that all the time?

I like this blog, I’m Just Sharing. You know why? Because I vacillate between happy and serious stuff, teaching stuff, opinions and the like, but overall I think the tone of this blog is more towards the uplifting, motivational side. I think that when one’s mind is in the right place, their writing style improves and, hopefully, others can read their words and know that even when there are complaints it’s coming from a place of love and joy, such as my post on commenting courtesies.

Think about your own life for a bit. What types of things are coming into your life on a daily basis? Is it positive stuff that makes you feel good? Are there a lot of things that you deal with that make you feel bad? Are there things you can change to help change your mindset towards more positive feelings, even if they’re small changes? In the long run, doesn’t everyone really want to feel happy at least most of the time?

Do you need more? Then check out this post on ways to reach your own personal Super Bowl that I wrote 2 years ago; just something to think about that may help you on your way to feeling better.
 

The First Story Of The Year Is About… Dessert!

Welcome to the first post of 2014. I know it’s going to seem strange having the first post come one day after the last post of 2013, and yet I felt I had to create this particular article because, even though it doesn’t have anything to do with blogging or writing or SEO or anything else regarding social media, it does have a little bit to do with the article I wrote about focus some days ago. Truthfully this is a story, a true story that probably took less than 10 minutes of my life, but I thought it was a tale worth telling because you either identify with me, laugh at me, or sit there scratching your head wondering why the heck I wrote it to begin with. With that as the preamble let’s begin.

Rice Krispies Treats

As I was leaving Barnes & Noble, where I had gone to buy the DVD of Despicable Me 2, I decided that I wanted some fudge. I wanted fudge because the last video I watched before I left home was one of my online friends Tomeka Haywood making some homemade fudge. Part of me thought about trying that, and another part of me said it would be better if I could just buy some.

One of the problems I have is that, oddly enough, where I live you can’t just find fudge anywhere. Sure, there are a couple of the large candy companies that have fudge, but in my mind that stuff never quite qualifies as fudge. If it was a Saturday I would go to what we call the Farmers Market around here, but it’s Wednesday, New Year’s Day. I decided to check out my favorite grocery store, Wegmans, to see if maybe they had some fudge.

Truth be told, I knew they wouldn’t have fudge because it’s not something they normally carry. However, somewhere in the recesses of my mind I thought that maybe because it was a holiday they would have some on hand. They didn’t, but it wasn’t going to be a wasted trip because I needed more soda anyway.

As I got close to the soda area, I noticed Rice Krispies were on sale, and I thought about making some rice krispy treats. I really love these things, and they’re very easy to make, but I usually don’t have enough discretion to know how to space them out over the course of a couple of days. As a matter of fact, if I start in the morning you can pretty much be sure they’re going to be gone by the end of the day. I decided to wait for a couple of minutes and go get the soda, walk around to see what else there might be, and if I found nothing else then I might go back and get it.

As I walked around, at some point I found myself near the cookies. I took a quick look and found that they had coconut chocolate chip cookies from Keebler. I don’t eat a lot of these cookies, but it sparked a memory in my mind of how much I used to always love making a big cup of hot chocolate, and then taking my bag of cookies and seeing how many of them I could dunk and eat in one sitting. I love the flavor drastically, and you can imagine the smell of the hot chocolate and coconut cookie together, and my mouth was salivating again.

Now I had a mental dilemma. I think I’ve mentioned on this blog before that I have sugar cravings, and they were very strong at this moment. I knew that I needed some time to think about things, so I went into the frozen section where they have a bench, sat down on the bench and started to think. I had planned on calling one of two people, neither one of which was my wife, but the deep recesses of my mind said that would be pretty stupid.

Why did this take so much thought? Because I knew that either direction I went was going to cause some grief to my body. There is no secret that I’m diabetic, but I’m thinking the load of sugar that either one of these would’ve pumped into my body would probably bother anyone my age, or within 20 years of my age. Yet my mind didn’t really care for a while. And often, when I shop by myself, I just grabbed the first thing that comes to my mind, come home and eat it, and then feel both guilty and occasionally sick. I’m not one of those people who only eats two or three cookies and then puts it away, I eat as many as I want to until my body says please stop.

My wife thinks I’m crazy and that this shouldn’t be a big deal, but I’m pretty much of the opinion that anybody who goes through any kind of addiction and is trying not to do something probably goes through the same process, only probably not as long as I did. Knowing that one of the focus points for this year is to be more cautious with my health, I thought through the ramifications of the decision I was trying to make against what I felt was my immediate need for satisfaction. It sounds funny comparing suites to drugs or alcohol or cigarettes, but in my mind the decision I made was going to be very important.

The funny thing about time, when you have enough so that you can think things through quite often you will end up making a better decision than you were ready to make. I decided that I did not want to spend New Year’s Day feeling sick, so I immediately through out the coconut chocolate chip cookies and hot chocolate idea. I then decided that even though I would be starting the treats later than early morning, the process of making them and then eating them while having to clean more things in the kitchen wasn’t quite as appealing as it had initially been. So, instead of either one of those two things, I decided to buy a bag of M&M’s. True, it’s still chocolate, but it doesn’t come close to the hurt I would put on myself with the other two options, and I’m not one to sit and eat an entire bag of that in one sitting.

chocolate cake

After I made my decision, my mind felt light and free. I went to the candy section and picked up the bag of M&Ms I wanted, this time the milk chocolate instead of the peanut butter. As I go to put it in my basket, my eyes got wide as I realized that I had picked up a 6 inch chocolate fudge cake and put it in my basket at some point; I wonder when the heck I did that? 😀 This means I would’ve had a lot of dessert and felt like I had to eat it all before I left town again on Sunday.

Here’s the rub. I’m of the opinion that if one of my goals wasn’t focus for 2014, as well as a goal of trying to be healthier, I would have bought one of those things without a moment’s notice, including the cake, brought it home and ate it without a second thought until I didn’t feel well. That wouldn’t have brought me any type of benefit, although my taste buds would’ve probably loved me.

The decisions we make and the reasons behind the decisions we make can be interesting. In a way, I could make this a topic about blogging because so many people start blogging without thinking all that much about what their intentions are for their blog. Heck, I certainly did it with this blog back in 2007. And our buddy Jeevan is starting his new blog today called Daring Blogger, and he seems focused on what his goals are as he tells us in the first post which I just linked to.

I hope you enjoyed this story, and in a weird way hope you learned something from it, not about me but about yourselves. One of the best things about stories is that often we can see something of ourselves in a story, and stories are sometimes enough to help us decide to make even the smallest of changes.

To close this post I’m going to add a video below that I created talking about how little changes can bring great growth in so many ways; I didn’t know I was going to do this, but I think it’s a good time to unveil it here on the blog. To everyone, let’s have a great 2014, and I hope to have good stuff for you throughout the year.
 


 

What Is The Holiday Spirit Anyway?

This might surprise some of you but I’m not a big holiday person. Over most of my years the only holiday I ever really cared about was Thanksgiving, and that was because the family was together for a very nice meal that I knew I was only getting once a year.

Vin
Glen Scott via Compfight

My dad’s favorite holiday was Christmas, but since Dad’s not physically with us any longer the spirit is gone for me. Mom has never liked holidays. As a child, Mom got really sick at every single major holiday for some reason which, as I think about it, I believe was stress related since she did all the cooking and wanted it to be special. My wife has never believed in holidays to begin with, and my grandmother, who also is no longer with us, was pretty even keeled no matter what the season or day was.

Over the last few days in the office where I’m working, one lady in particular has been pushing out the Christmas spirit on everyone else. I want to blame it on her being a minister’s wife, but truth be told her cellphone’s ringtone is Let It Snow, and it was that when she first came to work in the office back in July. Truthfully I think she’s a little addled, but she’s someone who seems to have this spirit around her that, while not necessarily happy, has a touch of innocence that’s touching in one way, irritating in another, and makes me laugh all day because she’s unintentionally funny. 🙂

I guess it’s this last one that I really want to address more than anything else. On my long post about how to write a guest post, I highlighted an article I wrote on Adrienne Smith’s blog about social networking that ended up getting a lot of responses. However, as I looked at many of those responses again, I realize that most people saw what I wrote in the context of marketing and making money online rather than building up relationships with other people, building trust that might lead someone to ask you what you do and think about buying from you. In my eyes the two things are exclusive from each other, but in the minds of so many the only real reason to be online is to try to make money.

I see that a lot on Google Plus. Most of the sharing is how people can market themselves there and almost everywhere else (Facebook excluded most of the time), how to build up the numbers, how to get more people to sign up for newsletters or voluntarily put their name on email lists, etc. It’s an interesting culture because so many of them use that as an excuse as to why they no longer like Facebook, although it seems the majority of people who officially leave Facebook do so because of worries about privacy, which I can fully understand while also saying that more of them needed to be a bit more perspicacious in their actions up front so that it wasn’t as big a worry as it turned out to be.

With that said I want to get back to my original question because I think it’s of utmost importance, especially since we’re in another holiday season, the biggest monetary holiday of the year. How do you view the concept of holiday spirit? Are your particular beliefs religious, economic, commercial, spiritual, or something else?

To me it’s a bigger question than you might think because I’m of the opinion that holiday spirit means nothing if you can’t find a way to capture that feeling year round, or at least often during the year without the need for a holiday. I believe that too many people miss the opportunities that are abundant for happiness, jocularity, contentment, peacefulness and calm feelings.

You want to know something? If I wanted to look at the week I’ve had to this point I could say that there are a few things that really could have made this one of the worst weeks I could think of. Instead, I rolled with the punches, found some humor in bad situations, and am still feeling pretty good tonight, even though I passed up the opportunity to buy both the glazed cake-icing filled donuts and the mint Oreos, which would have made me temporarily happy but would have probably hurt me on the back end; heck! lol

Is that a pretty good teaser for you to check out the video below? Maybe, maybe not, but I’ll ask this question of you instead, and it’s the question above with a second part to it. What do you believe the holiday spirit is, and how do you find ways to capture it during the year, if you do? Maybe the video below will help you formulate a response; let’s find out:
 


 

How Do You Accept Criticism?

Something different than the norm; that’s what I’m all about. What I’ve done today is what I’m calling a two-fer. You’ll see there’s a video below. I not only recorded a second video, which I actually did first, but I also wrote another post on my business blog on the same topic; kind of. The topic over there was Does Your Criticism Help? On that post I gave some ways that people can offer criticism, or advice, to others that’s helpful and positive. On this post I’m going to offer ways to ask people for advice and how to accept criticism, even when it’s bad criticism.

Angel

 

What’s bad criticism? When there’s nothing positive offered or nothing helpful, it’s bad criticism. Sometimes people don’t know that the criticism they’re giving isn’t helpful, either because they just don’t know how to be helpful or you haven’t helped by telling them what you need. That’s what I’m here to help you with by offering 5 tips you didn’t ask for; hey, you came to the blog didn’t you? 😉
Continue reading How Do You Accept Criticism?

What’s Wrong With Being Nice?

Isn’t that an interesting question? Truth be told it’s nothing new, and yet I’m irked lately by what I’m seeing as people either not being nicer to each other or not liking someone who happens to be perceived as nice.

The kindness of strangers
Ed Yourdon via Compfight

What is this thing against niceness anyway? I remember growing up that there were people who hated that I tried to be nice to others, or that I liked smiling. I remember listening to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar talking about being a friendly kid who smiled a lot and some kids didn’t like him, beat him up for it, and that’s why he rarely smiles even today. What the heck is that about?

As I say in the video, a lot of people are going to say that they like when people are nice but truth be told, there’s going to be people who will say that because it’s the right thing to say, but their actions don’t back it up. There are people who hate Oprah, who’s been nothing but nice to others. There are people who hate LeBron James when all he’s ever really done is be nice, give away lots of money to charity, helped raise more money for charity, and actually took a major pay cut to join a team so he could win a championship. Yet people perceive that as him being selfish; once again, what the heck is that all about?

I’ve talked on this blog about the concept of writing whatever you feel like but being ready to deal with the consequences or your words. I’ve said that on Facebook as well, yet people don’t like it when someone comes back at them for a point of view that, well, isn’t all that nice.

I like to think I’m nice most of the time but I have a mean streak. I don’t like people who are intolerant. I don’t like people who write stupid hateful messages against something where they make it more personal than it has to be. I’ll call people out in my own way on some of the things they say; sometimes I’m not so nice about it, but more often than not I am. And they don’t like it, no matter how I try to put it.

Such is life. Because someone doesn’t like the message doesn’t mean you weren’t trying to be nice. Nice doesn’t mean weak; perceive that and, as The Rock says, you might get the smack laid down… I’ll leave the rest for those who know the line. lol

Please watch the video (I’m expecting only 10 views, per norm, but I’ll ask anyway), and leave a comment on the video after you’ve watched it to prove to me that you’ve watched it. Then, if you have the energy, leave a comment here on your thoughts about being nice, niceness in general, and why you think so many people dislike “nice”. Yeah, I’m asking for an awful lot; come on, be nice!