Monthly Archives: June 2015

Surround Yourself With Cheerleaders

Everyone needs people in their life that believes in them and calls out the best in them. Let people around you know you truly care.

A very important part of every game is the cheer leading squad, they energize the team they are routing for. It does not matter if the team is ahead or behind, they keep cheering them on. There are several sport stories where cheerleaders energize the team to victory at times when defeat was imminent.

Do you have someone in your life that believes in you and encourage you to go be your best?  You might answer no to this question and even go further to say, no one has ever encouraged you in anyway. I have listed some helpful tips below:

1.  Stay away from negative people – You may not be able to change the way people think or talk but one thing you can change is the impact they have on you. If you have people around you that are negative, whose conversation with you consistently leave you discouraged or sad, stay away from them. It is not healthy for you to continually listen to negative conversations. If you stay around people like that long enough you will become like them.

2. Surround yourself with cheerleaders– It does not matter if your friends and family do not see any reason to cheer you on. You can still surround yourself with cheerleaders, create your own cheer leading squad by selecting inspiring people to listen to regularly. Listen to motivational speakers on your commute to and from work. Download apps that allows you to listen to audio books when carrying out your daily chores. Seize every opportunity to listen to people that encourage you to be the best you can possibly be.

3. Become a cheerleader – Every time you get a chance, encourage someone. Let them know you believe in them . Not only are you encouraging them, you are encouraging yourself too. Whenever you encourage someone either verbally or in writing, the first person to hear or read the words of encouragement is you.

As you start a new week, purpose to surround yourself with cheerleaders and be one yourself.

 

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Let Love Reign.

Charleston image by Dave Allen

There are times things happened that leaves you with so many questions that no one has answers for. The recent massacre in Charleston is an example of such. Questions such as: why did those innocent people have to die? How will someone think of doing something so  despicable? There are so many questions that flood the human mind when tragedy strikes that no one has answers to. One important thing I will like to encourage you to consider every time the Charleston comes to mind is: let love reign.

Choosing to forgive:  One thing that was obvious when the family of the Charleston massacre victims  spoke to Dylann Roof was that they chose to forgive him. They set an example for us all to emulate, choose the high road of love and forgiveness . The choice is completely ours...let love reign!

Unforgiveness leads to bitterness and eventually hate.  Hate only leads to pain, loss of lives, regret and many other undesirable events.  It is time to let go of the pain and grievances of the past and embrace a bright future filled with love and forgiveness.

Shaping the future:  As the nation mourns this tragic event, one question that lingers on my mind is: how will this event shape race relations in our nation? Whenever Charleston is mentioned today, one thing comes to mind readily is the tragic event that recently occurred.  Will this event divide us further or bring us all together like never before? What will the story become if we choose to embrace love, and accommodate people that are really different from us? Realizing that it is absolutely okay to be different.  There is beauty in our diversity. I will like to encourage every reader : Let us embrace our physical and cultural diversity and enjoy the richness that comes with it. Let Charleston mark a turning point in race relations in America. Let love reign!

 

Photo credits: By Dave Allen

Let Nothing Hold You Back.

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I recently read an account of a young boy who had an interesting conversation with a man selling balloons. The African-American boy asked the man if a black balloon can float as high as other balloons. The man responded that it is the content of  the balloon that determines how far it will fly not its color.

That account bought something important to mind, what determines how far anyone goes in life is the potential  in them and what is done with it. The following are sometimes considered limitations but should not be seen as such because they are not.

1. Your race is not a limitation: believe you have so much potential in you and can become whoever you want to be irrespective of your race. Choose not to see the color of your skin as a limitation because really it is not. Appreciate the fact that you have so much in you, choose to give expression to that potential in you by developing good habits that adds value to you.

2. Your education or lack of it is not a limitation: While some people believe a lack of college education is a limitation,  some others believe the type of college education prevents them from going after their dreams.  I recently had a conversation with someone with a finance background who feels stuck in finance industry because of his education and experience. You are not stuck, the first step is to stop thinking that way, if you think you are stuck then you are. The next step is to start exploring how you can really do what you want to do on a part-time basis and grow from there. The lack of a college education is not a limitation either, but if you desire a college education go for it. It is  never too late to do what you really want. Mary Fasano graduated from Harvard University at the age of 89*

3. Your family background is not a limitation: You may have had a disadvantaged upbringing. This may have shaped your life so far, do not allow it to shape your future. Let a desire to move past the pain well up in you, and start taking steps to the future you desire. I encourage you to get professional help if you have been through painful or abusive situations in your past. You can’t change the past but you can shape the future and the best time to start is now.

Irrespective of what you may have believed in the past, you do not have any limits except you place the limits on yourself.  Believe you can,  and you will. You can become whoever you want to be. So what are you waiting for? Go for it!

 

* Havard Historical facts: http://www.harvard.edu/historical-facts

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Perseverance a Key to Success

 

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Perseverance, secret of all triumphs.
Victor Hugo

Have you ever embarked on an endeavor that somewhat seemed overwhelming? In the pursuit of your goals, have you ever been tempted to ask ” what have I gotten myself into?”  I can confidently answer yes to both questions. I can also say that perseverance is a choice, a choice that leads to success.

I recently completed a half marathon, my experience preparing for and running this race fully captures the power of perseverance.  Are you going through a rough patch on your journey to dreams? I hope you find the points below encouraging.

1. Persevering  is not pleasurable: Waking up at  5 am to run 4 or 5 miles on cold winter mornings was not pleasurable. It was a sacrifice that requires focused determination to keep up with. There was no way I could run a long distance race without building the stamina required by running regularly. Have you set a goal for yourself that requires making one sacrifice or the other? Keep the goal in front of you, review it on a regular basis. Reviewing your goals regularly will help you stay motivated and driven to continue making those sacrifices you need for success. If your goal is to weigh 170 pounds by October, think about that. See yourself at that ideal weight, let that dream drive you to continue making those sacrifices.

2. Perseverance is a choice: I remember running the first 7 miles of  my half marathon race on a very rough trail. The trail had  lots of rocks and tree roots, for a road runner like me, it was a rough trail to run on. Half way into the race, after running for 90 minutes on a very rough terrain, the trail led to tarred road. The relief was simply indescribable but the relief was also short-lived. I had completed a loop and had to go back  and repeat the loop to complete the race. The choice to go back on the rough trail was completely mine. I chose to persevere.  Sometimes you may enjoy a burst of success on your journey to where you want to be. Will you stop midway or will you stay with it?

3. Perseverance leads to success:  J.K Rowling is the author of Harry Porter, she was asked to speak to the graduating class at Harvard University in 2008. She did not speak about her fortune or success but instead talked about her failures. She was rejected 12 times by publishers before a publisher accepted her manuscript  telling her to get a job because children books do not sell. What if she gave up after the 11th publisher turned her down? What if I turned back after running the first loop?  Or gave up during training? To all three questions the answer is the same, there will be no success story to share.

I will like to encourage you irrespective of where you are on the journey to your dreams or even your goals for the year.  Realize that  if you do not give up success is inevitable.

Photo Credits: Photography by Dr BN Singh