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Thought-Provoking Ideas that Inspire. 

Traversing Through the Storms of Growth

Uncategorized Nov 28, 2018
 ...the only way out, is through!!

I woke up this morning thinking about the challenges I have faced in the last ten years. As I prepared my decaf Chai Tea, I considered my response to every storm that has come in the last 120 months: death, loss, pain, betrayal, financial tornadoes...

I decided to take inventory because I was concerned about my progress; I wondered if I had grown at all. I wondered whether I was responding to every storm in the same way and asked myself if I was avoiding the storms again...

Unlike the physical storms that Mother Nature orchestrates, the "storms of growth" cannot be avoided. For those who feel they have successfully avoided them, they become repetitive patterns in their lives until the lessons are learned...

The "storms of growth," I have found, must not only be faced head on, they must be traversed through

I was speechless as I thought about how the only way I would grow ("survive") after the storm was to go through it - not try to...

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Courage & Growth: The Liberation of Imperfection

Uncategorized Nov 21, 2018
"To courageously shoulder the responsibility of one's mistakes is character." - a fortune cookie

There's something especially humbling about failure; a quality that insufficiency evokes in us. It is at these failure turns, twists, and forks in the road that we discover our inadequacy, where we become fully acquainted with our fragility and develop a heightened awareness of our mortality. The manner in which we view ourselves and the world around us changes in the blink of an eye. We are touched in a way that morphs us into individuals with a deeper sense of purpose and a singular focus - to live life fully and wholly.

I once said to my 'Introduction to Speech Communication' students years ago, that "it is the most liberating thing to not have to be perfect". When we recognize that mistakes are inevitable - that they are part of the learning process - we become less averse to making them. And, when we do, we boldly and courageously shoulder the outcomes; knowing that we have mastered...
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"Handle with Care"​: Discovering the Champions in Our World

Uncategorized Nov 08, 2018
"How we handle our tough times stays with us for a long time..." - Max Lucado in "Facing Your Giants"

I have often wondered what makes an individual great. If you're like me, visions flash before you of individuals you have come to deeply honor and respect. There is an "epitomic" view we each have of what a great individual looks like. We each have what is called an Implicit Personality Theory (IPT) about people; that is, our own sets of hypotheses about what people are like. Armed with our IPTs, we envision what these Champions of Life look like and set our lives against that mold and standard.

The common thread, for the Champions of my world, is tied very closely to how they each handle(d) tough times. That is, what they did when:

  • They stumbled...over and over again
  • They lost things and people important to them
  • They encouraged themselves when discouraged by failure
  • They were disappointed and betrayed by others
  • The machinery of life simply would not cooperate in their favor
...
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Bitter Waters

Uncategorized Oct 18, 2018
“...if you take anger into a second day, anger changes: it morphs into bitterness.” -Kerry & Chris Shook in "One Month to Live"

I had just returned from one of my two monthly blood donations. The team at The Woodlands Neighborhood Donor Center and I have become quite close; constantly teasing and filling the suite with laughter. I have the unique opportunity, twice a month, to give both platelets and plasma; essentials for trauma victims as well as cancer patients (since donating my hair is out of the question). I have been donating blood for some time now, yet I am still intrigued by the process of the machine taking my blood and breaking it down into the needed platelets and plasma. While not a true morphing, there is a wonderful transformation of my blood being separated and divided into constituent parts...

Anger is quite similar to blood, when you pass it through the "Time and Meditation Machine" - it becomes something else. Sadly, none of its constituents are...

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"Mailo"​: Choosing to be Better, Not Bitter

Uncategorized Oct 08, 2018
"Mailo" - Yesterday...or Tommorow

Nyanja, like many of the other 60 plus languages of Zambia, is an interesting language. For most who speak only one language, the intricacies of meaning can be lost because they have only one referent. For those who are bi or multi lingual, language is something to behold. As I thought about what to write this week, I was brought back to our propensity for living in the past...

I know...we've talked about this before, but after working with someone who is fiercely fighting a daunting and haunting past, I thought it prudent to address it again. In Nyanja, the same word is used to refer to yesterday and tomorrow. In order for one to know which it refers to, one would need to pay particular attention to the discussion. 

I find that this attentiveness is the same in that which we are to overcome daunting and haunting pasts...

If you're like many of us, stress and hardships have affected you in some small or significant way – whether...

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The End is (Not) Near!

Uncategorized Jul 26, 2018
"Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you're alive, it isn't."- Richard Bach

Feelings of despair often wrap themselves around us like a warm blanket in the winter. At that point, every decision and motive is filtered through these feelings. We wonder about our worth, our abilities, or if what we have to offer is what the world even desires. Self-doubt becomes our constant companion while we, like Columbus, try to find our way in the vastness of - not the ocean as Columbus - but rather a sea of faces strewn over the earth. And when we make port, thinking we have hit our India, we base our judgments on false information and assumptions that only perpetuate mythical realities...

We've all been there; have we not? Nothing seems to go right. The kids fall ill, one by one; a key account cancels the order that was to make the year for you - and simultaneously significantly alter your net worth; "all of a sudden," you and your significant other take...

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Who's Driving? Taking the Wheel on This Roadtrip We Call Life

Uncategorized Jun 21, 2018
“...it's not easy when the road is your driver.” - Celine Dion, "When I Need You" (1997)

Have you ever felt that way? Like you had no control of anything? No matter what you did, nothing seemed to go your way? If you have not, I applaud you; you are among a very small minority. For many of us, the road tends to be the driver with such frequency, we budget for it each quarter! 

Being in the business of dealing with human behavior and development, it never ceases to amaze me how shocked many of us are when we go through seasons with no maps, no instructions...no direction. Celine Dion, the best-selling female artist of all time, could not have put it more succinctly, nor could she have been more correct, when she prefaced the season with "it's not easy..." As with all posts on this blog, I'd like to shed some light on the role we individually play in the midst of seasons of darkness.

I cannot speak for everyone, but I can certainly speak for myself when I say that...

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Change and Renewal: Adapting and emerging through the challenge

Uncategorized May 04, 2018
re·in·vent- verb (used with object)1. to invent again or anew, especially without knowing that the invention already exists; 2. to remake or make over, as in a different form; 3. to bring back; revive

If "necessity is the mother of all invention", then being "between a rock and a hard place" must be the mother of re-invention. As I watch the reactions and attitudes of those around me, I cannot help but note how it's amazing what can happen when we're faced with no recourse but change...

Metaphorically, people are like the economy. For tax purposes, most businesses in the United States can be considered...people. They have a birthday...and, some, have a death day. They also have a social security number...a tax ID. For these businesses to survive, they must constantly change their orientation, business focus, configuration, etc. In short, their strategic outlook must be well-versed in the times. It makes little sense, for instance, for a metals production company to...

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A Voice in the Choir: Contributing to the Symphony of Life on Earth

Uncategorized Apr 19, 2018
Life takes a bit of time and a lot of relationship- William P. Young in "The Shack"

"The world is your stage," I began. "You have a voice. A unique one. One that will surely be missed if you do not speak or sing your lines."

This was my first lecture to my eager Introduction to Speech Communication students some summers back. I was trying to get them to understand how their unique voice was necessary for the "Musical of the Earth" to be a runaway hit. I wanted them to note how their unique voice, set in the backdrop of the "choir" of the world, was especially chosen to sweeten the melodies and symphonies of life on earth. If they failed to speak or sing their lines, it would be nothing short of tragic, dull, and uninspiring...

And that same challenge, I now pass on to you...

You have a unique voice. You are, as one of my favorite authors put it, "YOU-nique." Your experience on earth will be less than complete if you do not speak or sing your lines. How you raise your children, what...

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Learning to Fly…It’s Not Easy!

Uncategorized Apr 12, 2018
"It's kinda hard being humble in the belly of struggle..." - Busta Rhymes

It's amazing how much we take for granted...our freedom...our ability to breathe "relatively" clean air and drink safe water. However, though simple blessings surround us, we all still encounter hardships and undeniable bumps along the road, as that is just the nature of the life we were given.

In the midst of my own difficulties, I have become acutely aware of the things that some of my friends are currently enduring, and have realized that we all have, or are currently going through much of the same struggles. Not only do we, as a whole, deal with tremendous challenge and pressure, but many also struggle with the reality of disheveled dreams.

This reality tends to blur the vision of our lives and we wonder if we are going to make it. But... "when all you can see is your pain, you lose sight of the most important things...pain has a way of clipping our wings and keeping us from being able to fly...and left...

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