Category Archives: Effective Communication

Choose to Defeat the Darkness Inside

A couple weeks ago I was sitting in a room with my 13 year old daughter, my 10 year old nephew, and a group of my daughter’s friends.  My daughter was in a foul mood, sulking like an angry cat. She said her cousin called her fat, and this made her very upset.

Like a big woman, her 13 year old friend decided she needed a serious talking to. She said something like:

“You’re not fat. Look at you, tall, with your nice flowing hair. You should be flicking that hair and showing everyone how good you look, instead of listening to baldy [my nephew just got a short hair cut]. Get rid of that sulk! I wanna see a smile.”

My daughter smiled, and I laughed. Everyone laughed, even my nephew.

The point is, life is too short for us to be making ourselves ugly because of an unkind or silly comment from someone else. We all should be focused on letting the world see the light in us (both our physical appearance and our spirit). That is how we bless the people around us.

Each day, we can choose to keep or to give away the goodness inside of us.  How are you choosing?

Loving Hard

If I work hard so that I may live well, when do I stop working hard and start living well?

I finally found the answer to this question, which has haunted me for what seems like forever. That is:

Living well is not about working hard, it’s about loving hard.

When I love hard or deeply, I can overcome whatever limitations I see in myself, my family and my world. When I love the people around me deeply, work is a privilege, and I get more done than I can ever do by working hard.

I needed to have a crisis to see what it is to love hard, and to have amazing results in my life. What about you, is your life about working hard or loving hard?

Could some of us be missing the purpose of life?

It is a new year and many of us focus the purpose of our life on achieving things. We concentrate on things like being more successful in business, getting a new job, losing weight and a whole host of other things. Yet all these things are useless without something much more important; something which is the true purpose for life and the foundation of our happiness.

Let me give you an example. I grew up being told by others, and noticing my own awareness, that my sisters were prettier than me. So I turned my attention to my brain. I became known as the one who did the best in school. What I didn’t understand was that it isn’t important how pretty, how smart, or how accomplished any of us are.

character
What really matters is how virtuous, loving, kind, and peaceful we are. I thought I could use my brain to become more accomplished or make better decisions than my sisters, my mother, and many others. Yet, this thinking allowed my ego to run away with me; until I had a stroke. Then the only meaningful part of me that was left to heal me and guide me through life was the love, positivity and spirituality within me. This is true with regards to all the things we consider important; such as profession, employment and relationships.

Buddha said:

Just as treasures are uncovered from the earth, so virtue appears from good deeds, and wisdom appears from a pure and peaceful mind. To walk safely through the maze of human life, one needs the light of wisdom and the guidance of virtue.

When we have a character focused on love and doing good deeds for others, our ego is shut down. Therefore we cannot help but become better and better at being who we are, and doing the good we are meant to do. This is the foundation for whatever we want to achieve.

What will you do to strengthen your character in 2015? Consider the following.

character

The Deaf Speaking to Us Without Words

I was recently privileged to write a wonderful story about Anya, a 21-year-old Deaf young lady, which has been posted on Good News Toronto. Just a couple years ago, Anya was lost and depressed  in her isolated world. Today she is an award-winner and creator of a fun exercise and sign-language education program, called “Hearing The Deaf”. It is partially done in complete silence, teaching what it’s like to be deaf in a hearing world.

The program is a ground breaking addition to Mentoring Junior Kids Organization (MJKO), which includes mostly hearing participants. Check it out. 

Online Dating and Professionals

onlinedatingI told one of my best friends that I had signed up on a dating website. She too is divorced and would love a second chance at a relationship. However, as a professional, she found it embarrassing, and was afraid that people she knew might see her. I understood what she was saying for I felt that way, until I decided to live in the 21st century.

In my single yesterday world, years have gone by and I have not meeting any potential partners. I therefore chose to add to my comfortable normal hang-outs (church, the gym, and various professional places), and go where there are many potential partners waiting to meet me.

I had to go on-line, where I personally know of four professional women who met their partners.

It’s been a few days since I reluctantly signed up, and I am learning how to be real. This is not an easy thing, for I have a limp and limited income. Nonetheless, my supposed weaknesses have turned out to be my greatest blessings, for they are guiding me to myself and to my ideal partner.

Will I succeed in finding what I want? I have faith that I will, on the web or off.  Either way, just looking and talking awaken something in me that has been sleeping for far too long.

I truly believe, if we go for what you want, we almost always find some great blessing.

Why and How to Remember Names

don't forgetThis past Sunday my pastor announced the name of a lady who was about to address the church. I looked around for this stranger to emerge.

The lady in front of me got up. “Me backside,” as my Jamaican grandmother would say when she was shocked. I had been sitting behind and speaking to this lady for 2 years and didn’t know her name.

She thanked the pastor and others for their support related to the recent death of her daughter! I was shocked again. I had not even expressed my condolences, all because I didn’t know her name.

I decided that would never happen to me again. So I did some research. Here is one video that will help many of us who have gotten in that awkward place of forgetting names.

I will practice, practice, practice. The main strategies I will use are to tell myself several times I am going to remember the name, find opportunities to repeat it several times once I hear it,  and associate the name with some picture. Do you have others you would like to share?

 

Do you know what makes you special?

majesty roseYesterday, my favourite contestant on American Idol, Majesty Rose, got eliminated. She left us all with a powerful lesson about remembering what makes us special.

When she first came on the show, she showed off a quiet and angelic voice. Her sweet tone, which was like no other, was memorizing. As a result, she was listed among the favourites.

Three weeks ago, she must have decided that to win, she had to compete with the big voices of the other contestants. Each week I would go back, hoping to hear her angelic gift, once again. She would show it for a little; but never stopped trying to match everyone else. While everyone else got better at being who they were, she got worst at being who she was. She didn’t know the value of her special gift. As a result, her journey on the show ended.

I too forgot my specialness, and tried to be like everyone else. As a result, I nearly lost my life. Now I focus on doing what I love, and with love. I write, speak and lead from my heart, regardless of what others may think. It was knowing what made me special, that enabled me to write my book. Check out these comments from my editor.

What about you, do you know what makes you special? Are you sharing your specialness with the world?