Category Archives: success

Say Welcome to ‘No’: A Strategy for Going After Our Ultimate Success

The time has come for us to go after many more opportunities, ask more questions, and take more risks, while welcoming the many instances that we will hear the word ‘no’.

Have you ever talked yourself out of going for a job, approaching ano
person that interests you, or asking for something you needed; all because you feared rejection? Did you know that successful people experience more ‘no’ than others. They experience countless rejection and failures because they take more risks and do far more than others. We all can learn how to get what we want most in life, if we understand the true meaning of the rejecting word ‘no.’

A successful mountain lion catches its prey
A successful mountain lion catches its prey

Let’s consider the example of a mountain lion and its prey.  When the mountain lion goes after a deer, it does not get discouraged, even though the deer says ‘no way!’ To many it would seem as though the mountain lion does not have a single chance of catching the too swift deer. Yet, the mountain lion does not fear. It does not get emotionally hurt. It does not take its failure personally. Instead, it keeps focus on its ultimate prize, which is to catch a deer and not necessarily the one that escaped. It uses all its many failures to become smarter, and looks for opportunities to try again, having no doubt that it will succeed. Eventually, it perseveres and turns an unsuspecting deer’s ‘no’ into ‘yes’.

The successful among us are like mountain lions. However, we all need to be like Mountain Lions and welcome the necessary rejections of life. We need these rejections to develop the perseverance, skill, and confidence of a mountain lion. We need them to test our faith, and develop greater patience and fortitude needed to fearlessly go after our greatest desires.

Rejection often brings a message that says ‘you are greater than that which you seek. You are worth far more than you imagined.’ If you allow it to, it will push you in a direction that promises something much greater that the ‘yes’ you were hoping for.

In 2015 and beyond, I will use this  ‘welcoming no’ or ‘mountain lion philosophy’ to go after many possible rejections, for among this I will find my ultimate success.  Will you join me?

I will say more in future posts.

Blessing Others – Opening Our Selves for Our Blessings

Real winners of the Heart and Stroke Lottery.
Real winners of the Heart and Stroke Lottery.

Thought I would share the Heart&Stroke Lottery piece to which I contributed. Click here to see. I am the fifth panel. I share this and the piece I recently wrote Good News | Our everyday heroes…(Living Life in The Silent World of the Deaf), to support these organization. I do not make money from doing work for these and other charities; I contribute primarily because of the blessing they can provide to others. I also do it because I must give, and I find it difficult overcoming barriers to paid employment as a middle-aged stroke survivor. I ask for your prayers that this work will also be a blessings to me, as I continue to find my purpose and my place after  my stroke blessing.

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.

Single Parenting and A Defiant Pre-Teen

dawnanddaughter2Until I find myself a husband, I’ve got to do my best to raise a  mentally, physically and spiritually healthy child on my own. It’s not easy, especially with a pre-teen daughter (12-year-old), who is the greatest fun, but also feels the need to flex her royal muscles.

This morning I went into her room, as I do every morning, to ensure she was up for school. She was in bed reading!

Flabbergasted, I asked her what she was doing bed.

She answered “I felt like reading.”

I did not feel like responding to her attempts to irritate me. So I said what I often say, “there are always consequences for our actions.”

She shrugged her shoulders and mumbled, “umm,” meaning she didn’t care.

She is normally a good kid except when she wants to test me, and she was certainly testing me.  I, however, was not in any mood for an argument. So I had to think of something good to help her feel the consequences of how she chose to address me.

I went downstairs to the kitchen. After dressing, she entered the kitchen in a nonchalant manner.

“I need tooth paste,” she said.

“umm,” I responded shrugging my shoulder. I was giving her a taste of her own medicine.

“uhh,” she said shockingly, expressing her total confusion.

“You felt this was an appropriate way to address me,” I said. She was not ready to give in, so she said “I’ll just take yours,” and off she went.

Normally I would stay and say goodbye as she goes out the door.  I didn’t this time and I regret that. I went off to my computer in the basement.

She called me. I did not answer. She came downstairs saw me working on the computer, and knew it wasn’t over.

My own behaviour was probably the actions of an imperfect mother, or one who had no-one to bounce her ideas off of. Still, I was and am still determined to teach her a lesson.

She left for school without saying goodbye, and I am sorry for that. I like to always say “goodbye, have a great day,” as she goes out the door. I will try not to let that happen again.

The good thing is that she knows  it’s not over, and will come home, as she has done before, sheepishly ready for her consequence. That consequence will be a good one. I am creating a sheet which will list her disrespectful  as well as her extraordinarily good behaviours. That sheet will be shared weekly with her father, my mother, her uncles, her aunt, and others. It will affect the costume she asked her uncle for as well as her precious Christmas gifts.  It will begin with today’s behaviour, where it goes from there is up to her. I want her to see a visible link between behaviour and consequences.

What do you think. What would you do?

How Healthy is Your Mind

All of us at sometime or another struggle to stay in balance.

As stated by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA):

Mental health is key to our well-being. We can’t be truly healthy without it. It involves how we feel, think, act, and interact with the world around us. Mental health is about realizing our potential, coping with the normal stresses of life, and making a contribution to our community. It may be more helpful to think of good mental health as thriving. Good mental health isn’t about avoiding problems or trying to achieve a ‘perfect’ life. It’s about living well and feeling capable despite challenges.

How healthy is your mind. Take CMHA’s mental health meter. Please share what you see.

Based on my  story, (available on Amazon), If I had taken this test, I would have seen the alarm bells. Thankfully, I now have the mindset and the tools to focus on my mental health and the well-being of my spirit.

Can you play a part in transforming the world from a place of mental health crisis into a mental health oasis?

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?

 

Are you mentally healthy?

Depression, anxiety, suicide, bi-polar disorders, substance abuse, and so on – did you know the world in a mental health crisis?

Some 20% of Canadians and Americans and 25% of British people reported mental health/illness concerns. The correct figure is probably far higher than that – I for one, would never have reported a mental health issue. I didn’t know I was seriously depressed; and even if I did, fear of the stigma of mental illness would have stopped me from admitting it.

What about you? Take a look at the following chart, do you see yourself on one side or the other. Why?

Mental Health-1

Stop! Hear What Your Life is Saying to You

Have you ever had something go terribly wrong in your life? You find yourself in a senseless argument. You feel shattered from the loss of someone close to you. Or you lose a job you desperately wanted.  Did you know that such bad situations are also how life speaks to us, blesses us, and pushes us towards our life purpose? Let me give you an example.

I’ve been working on what should have been a simple article for Good News Toronto. The article features Alicia Vianga, the founder of the After Breast Cancer charity and the Premier Jour Fine Lingerie and Swimwear boutique.

The interview opened up my life, in a way I could never have predicted.  Due to the stroke and my subsequent disability, I am unable to drive. As a result, I felt I had to do the interview from home, using Skype. Perhaps more importantly, the thought of travelling alone for 2 ½ hours by public transportation to do a face-to-face interview, paralysed me with unconscionable fear.

Shockingly, the Skype interview also seemed paralysing; though it began well. Alicia said that when she initially came to Canada, she was a live-in nanny.  I asked her, “What were the obstacles that stood in your way of getting where you are today?”

She responded, “me;” that is, she thought that no one would hire her to do anything more than clean houses.

I questionably responded. “That’s not it. That’s not what I am looking for.” I was thinking that the obstacle had to be something like breast cancer. However, she had no such painful health challenge.

Not yet aware of what was going on, I asked the same question several times. With increasing frustration, Alicia gave me the same answer, while trying to be as tolerable as possible.

The problem was that even though I was listening to her; I couldn’t hear her. I was hearing the thoughts in my head that said I needed to go and see her.

We tried the interview by Skype again, but I still couldn’t get what I thought I needed; and the frustration continued. Interestingly enough, both Alicia and I knew that this was not about writing an article.

It was not long before I just stopped. I then could see that my irrational fear of taking public transportation by myself was getting in my way. I knew that a breakthrough was being called for.  So I reluctantly planned the trip to Alicia’s boutique, which required travel by bus, subway, and street car. I got myself ready to take the long trip by myself for the first time, since the stroke 7 years ago.

I boarded the bus, the train and the street car for what turned out to be a peaceful, sometimes eye-opening trip, to Alicia’s boutique. She was a beautiful and insightful person, who I was blessed to meet. As a result of that trip, my limiting world of stroke, anxiety and disability subsided, and invited greater freedom into my future.

I was reminded that we sometimes have to stop and listen before we can hear that our problems may also be our blessings. Do you have a problem in your life that may just be your blessing? Stop! Listen and hear. What good is your life offering you?