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?

Are your actions setting you up to hit the right target?

aimAre you seriously aiming for what you want? I am not referring to what you say you want, but what your committed actions say you’re targeting!

Before my stroke, I would have said I was aiming to retain the comfort and ease of my well-paying job as a training consultant. Yet it didn’t take a fool to see that my intense dislike and sometimes defiance of my boss, were revealing my true aim, which was trouble!!

Becoming a  People Builder

Today, my chief aim is to be a true people builder. Thus every day, I do something towards my book/course, Me and Napoleon Hill, which reveals various laws, practices and processes forpb logo succeeding by truly aiming at creating a life doing what we love. This is my gift back to the world, for I have experienced it all, through my miraculous healing and intellectual achievements over the last 6 years, as I rose from a near lethal stroke.

With gratitude, I can say that a few results affirm that my words and actions are lining up to manifest my true aim. First, I received authorization from the Napoleon Foundation to share significant excerpts from “The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons,” which was a resource for Hill’s timeless classic “Think and Grow Rich.”

Second, and the most exiting reason for me, is that the success laws and practices I share, align with the biblical  fruit of the spirit, which states:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5: 22-23).

Third, as of next week, I will begin to share some easy to apply processes from Me and Napoleon Hill, with the intention of building people up as high as they want to go.

For now, I repeat this truth.

Success requires focusing your actions on aiming to go somewhere, to do something.

What do you say you are aiming for?  How do your committed and consistent actions confirm this?

Making People Wrong

wrongYesterday, I made some people wrong and I am glad I did it!

It started with my niece. I was in a store and tried on a beautiful pair of brown flats. I liked it, but I did not want to buy it. My niece said “I like it better than the ones you are wearing.”

When she said that, I felt really hurt, and became self-conscious. I was wearing a pair of sandals, which not only does a good job of helping me walk with my disability, I love it. So I told my niece that her comments were hurtful. Unfortunately, my making her wrong only served to make the air between us as thick as mud.

Later that day, I listened as a family friend chastised my unmarried brothers, for not giving my mother any grand kids. Like a ferocious predator, I jumped into the conversation and blasted him for not mentioning what I believe should come before kids, which is marriage or a committed relationship. That brought us into a long discourse of making each other wrong.

As a result of these incidents, I have decided to make people right. The alternative is to make people wrong, which kills off loving conversations and friendships in a world where building strong relationships are essential to personal happiness and successful living.

If I had a do-over with my niece, I would say “I like the shoes too but it’s not feasible for me to buy it right now. With your fashion sense, perhaps you can show me how to make my sandals work better with my wardrobe.”

With individuals like my family friend, I will work on keeping my mouth shut, so I can appreciate the value of what they are saying. If I add anything, it would be to ask a question, such as: “where do you think marriage and commitment fit with having kids.”

I used this more positive way of being today. On my way to the gym, my Mobility driver took me 30 minutes out-of-the-way to drop someone off. In my head, I was drafting the complaint letter I would write to York Region Transit, and I was ready to mouth-off to the driver. Then my heart said ‘make people right’. So I emptied my mind, kept my mouth shut, and gave thanks for my ride. As a result, I had the most uplifting spiritual conversation with the driver.

‘Making people right’ works!

Confidence in Our Health and Beauty

ellipticalYesterday I was in the gym working hard on the elliptical machine. Like a Duracell battery, I was full of energy, moving my arms and legs joyously back and forth to the positive reggae music, which was piping through my ear phones.

A guy, who I have not seen for a long time, appeared in front of my machine. With a bright and friendly smile, he said:

I haven’t seen you for a while. You must be coming at a different time. Are you completely better now?

It was a question, but he spoke as though there could be nothing but an affirmative answer. He wanted to know if my limp, and all signs of my disability, that he had seen slowly improve for several years, had finally, or almost completely, disappeared. The question, which I get quite often, triggered my uptight self, and made want to say to him:

I was well the last time you saw me and I am still well. My physical disability remains, and it may or may not go away. Yet I am in as great emotional and physical health as I could ever ask for, able-bodied or not.

My cheeky self wanted to say that, but instead my more God-centred self just smiled as I nodded my head cautiously, to indicate there was some progress, and I was happy. He lingered a minute to chit chat; then off he went , jogging away as happy as a lark.

Why did I choose to respond the way I did?

The guy meant only to be friendly, and bombarding him with my hang-ups would have been a certain buzz-killer. I am the main person that needs to know and be happy with how well I am in the moment; for it is this knowing that pulls people to me and projects a vision of wellness. I am not perfectly able-bodied and I am wonderfully well!