Take Ownership

take ownership

Ownership is a huge thing. It implies taking responsibility for your words, thoughts, and actions. Many people are far more comfortable blaming others rather than admitting fault or admitting their role in something gone wrong. I will get back to ownership in a minute. Everyone emits energy. Do you know what I mean? Some people have a very low and negative energy, while some people have a very high and positive energy. There are a variety of people who fit somewhere in between these two extremes. If you tune in, you can feel other people's energy. You can also become aware of the energy you are giving off. I am very calm and mellow, but I am also very positive. So I am way more comfortable being around people who are positive and energized by life. I, also, am very uncomfortable … [Read more...]

Look For Opportunities to Learn and Grow

Learn and Grow

This past week, I found myself in a number of different situations which allowed me to interact with many types of people. I had the privilege of talking with people of different ages, mental states, affluence, education, and social stature. All in the same week, I had the opportunity to substitute teach in a young class of special needs children, I was able to help prepare and serve lunch to over 150 homeless people, and I was lucky enough to socialize with my awesome "Small Group" of friends from church. Talk about all points on the spectrum! As I am a teacher and a positive influence to others, I very often play the "teacher" and "counselor" roles. That is what I do and that is what I love! It makes me happy to no end to see the proverbial light bulb come on. It warms my heart to … [Read more...]

What Is Success?

Success

Everybody has their own idea of what success is to them. How would you define it? Do you think success means having a lot of money and fine material objects? Do you think it means having an education? Do you think it means having a great family or a tight-knit group of friends? Do you think it is defined by how popular you are, or how high you are up the career ladder? I bet if I asked 30 people what success means to them, I would get 30 different answers. This is because success is very personally tailored. There are certain standards by which we judge someone and ourselves as being successful or unsuccessful, but those standards are very personal as well. Sometimes is it easy to judge another person as being unsuccessful, viewing them from what our idea of success is. But to that … [Read more...]

Compassion In the Face of Tragedy

Compassion

I have always known that people are mostly good-hearted. I have seen countless events, which were tragedies or brought heartache, where people pulled together and somehow become one. Differences seem to magically fade to the background, and a mutual respect for life comes to the surface. These situations seem to bare our souls, it strips us of any vanity, and people become real. Their defenses disappear and their motives become clearly humane. It seems that of late, there are more personal tragedies surrounding us. But, in fact, there have always been tragedies in this world…they just appear more numerous and ever-present when they hit close to our hearts. With the media, email, Face Book, and all the immediate ways to communicate, we are alerted instantly and continuously. Think back … [Read more...]

Beauty is Only Skin Deep

beauty

When I was in high school and college, I worked in a grocery store as a checker. I met a lot of people during those 8 years and it allowed me a deep schooling on people. I saw all walks of life, from my "regular" customers, to the homeless and poor who came in with dirty change and recycled can money. I got to know people who were on welfare, I met people who drove nice cars, and I got to flirt with the cute firemen. I talked with old people, young people, pregnant ladies, step-parents, single parents, high school drop outs, con artists...you name it. It was a wonderful time of life, filled with a lot of growth and contemplation. I learned that if you look into the eyes of people, you can read their story. I saw a lot of worry and hurt, I saw insecurities, walls put up, anger, … [Read more...]

It’s Better to Give than to Receive

giving

This phrase, "It's better to give than to receive", (Actually, these words, "It is more blessed to give then to receive" are from the Bible -NIV…said by Jesus) is one of the parenting standard phrases from anyone's childhood. I think we all heard this growing up…especially around Christmas time and Birthday celebrations. Our parents wanted to instill this quality. They wanted us to be grateful for the gifts and blessings we had in our lives. They wanted us to feel good about giving to others in general and others less fortunate. Now, as an adult and a parent, I find myself trying to teach the same life lesson to my kids. I don't think this is an easy lesson for kids to learn, because they are very egocentric by nature. When trying to model and … [Read more...]

Impact and Influence Others

Be

Funny how it is…well, it's actually quite sad…we usually are more concerned about how other's words and actions will affect us rather than being concerned about how our words and actions will affect others. We've all been there, we've all done it. In class, at work, at a party, we think to ourselves or voice to a friend, "OH NO, there's so-in-so! Whether they speak too loudly, drink too much, are negative, are obnoxious, rub us the wrong way, etc…we would rather not interact with them. They make us feel uncomfortable, we have to make small talk, and we can't wait to be released from their presence. We don't like the way their words and actions affect us. We even do it with strangers…if someone looks different or "weird" we don't want to … [Read more...]

Be a Blessing

go-and-be-a-blessing

We've all seen them…dirty, disheveled, smelly…and HOMELESS. As we drive by, we watch them…partly out of curiosity, partly out of compassion. We wonder; how did they get to that point? What is their history? Where is their family? When did it get so bad? Are there drugs involved? Were they abused? Have they been arrested? Are they hungry? Where do they sleep? Do they need medical attention? How long have they been on the streets? Unfortunately, we also are skeptical. Is this a scam? Do they make more money than I do? If I give them money, will they just buy alcohol? Is this an act? Am I being a "sucker"? Why don't they clean up and get a job? Where did they get the materials to write that cardboard sign? Some people hand them money out … [Read more...]

Recognition…Make Their Day!

Great Job

When I was in high school and college, I worked at a grocery store in southern California.  I remember for the first few months, before I became a checker, I was a box girl.  Part of my duties was to go out into the parking lot for an hour at a time (and this was in the heat of the summer…it was hotter than Heck!) and collect the  grocery carts that people left all over the parking lot.  People would leave them far and wide, and I remember sweating and running and hustling.  I was really doing a great job in part because I didn’t want to endure this duty all summer long.  I thought if I worked by butt off and memorized the produce codes that I would soon get promoted to a checker (that meant no more cart gathering)…which I did in record … [Read more...]

Six Pillars of Character

six-pillars

The Josephson Institute, Center for Youth Ethics designed a program for kids called “Character Counts!”  This is a wonderful program many schools have put into practice.  These six pillars are a great reminder of how we should all live and treat each other:   Trustworthiness: Be honest • Don’t deceive, cheat, or steal • Be reliable — do what you say you’ll do • Have the courage to do the right thing • Build a good reputation • Be loyal — stand by your family, friends, and country Respect: Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule • Be tolerant and accepting of differences • Use good manners, not bad language • Be considerate of the feelings of others • Don’t threaten, hit or hurt anyone • Deal peacefully with anger, insults, and disagreements Responsibility: Do … [Read more...]