Archive for July, 2011

A Truth Serum Called Selfishness

Yesterday I wrote the following status on Facebook, “Selfishness is funny in that it can truly reveal what’s in the heart of those who you think you already know.”  I wrote it as a reaction to something that was happening at the time that was truly selfish on the part of someone I know, but at the same time, the more I thought of it, the more I began to examine the truth behind these words.  I learned last night that someone that says they really care about me is truly more selfish and self-centered than I thought. While the natural reaction for some would be to criticize this person and talk trash about them, I began to really feel sorry for them and at the very moment while I’m typing this decided to pray for them.  There are many “truth serums” out there that will show you what’s inside a persons heart.  Some of them are obvious like alcohol; anger; illegal drugs and Sodium Pentothal to name a few, but selfishness isn’t as obvious because let’s face it, when you know or feel that someone is being selfish towards you (or anyone else for that matter) it can, more often than not, become a turnoff.

But the thing is, most people that are prone to selfishness are simply hurting people trying to either protect something that they don’t want to lose; get attention that they’ve never received, hide the jealousy they have towards what you are accomplishing, or shield themselves from hurt they think they are going to received from those that they truly hold in high regard (although you would never know that’s how they feel about you).  If you are listening, selfishness will not only show you the truth as to how someone is truly feeling about their own self; it will also, in some cases, show you how they perceive their relationship with you.  So you it would be advisable for you to be careful how you handle the selfishness in your midst.

Is this an endorsement of selfish people, no it’s not!  Regardless of the why, selfishness is not a behavior or habit that is okay, but it is a caution to pay close attention when you see selfishness because it may be the only way you’re going to find out the truth about someone close to you sometimes.

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Relentless Root Cause Analysis

What do you do when you find your back against the wall?  Do you start to panic?  Do you go into a spiral of self-pity talking about how impossible everything is for you?  Do you look to blame other people for the position that you find yourself in?  What do you do?  I’m finding myself in this position right now in a particular area of my life, and in the past I would have done everything that these questions are suggesting, but now, I have a different approach.

My approach is simple.  Discover the true root of the problem and then find a solution that will help you fix it.  In the Aerospace and Power industries, when an issue is discovered with a product that is manufactured by one of the companies in these industries Engineers commonly go through what is called a Relentless Root Cause Analysis (RRCA).  These engineers won’t stop digging until they find the “root” of the problem because they know that like an invasive species of plant, you can’t fix the problem without dealing with the root, or in this case the source of the problem.  The funny thing about an analysis like this is once you discover the root of the problem, you may find that there are a few solutions that are “right” for solving it, but you usually only find 1 solution that is the “best” for truly fixing the problem.

Yet some of us when dealing with our own real life problems forget that if we don’t discover the root of the problem and treat it there, we’ll never get a permanent solution.  At best we may experience temporary relief. Often, to perform an RRCA on our own problems we’ll need some objective help because we don’t always see or hear (sometimes by choice) what our problems truly are as we don’t always want to face the truth about ourselves and our own deficiencies.  Yet if you are truly going to change and have permanent solutions to real problems, you must face up to the truth of who and where you are right now so that you can see the reality of your situation as it stands.  Once you do this, you will be able to see and embrace if you so choose, the truth of who you can (and will) be once a solution is discovered and lived out.

But be patient, it took time to get to the place of seeing the problem for what it is, and it will take time for the symptoms to get better.  Just know that as long as you keep moving positively forward in the direction of the best solution then everything will work out the way it truly is supposed to; not because of some pie in the sky ideal, or because it’s a nice thing to say, but because you have discovered the root of the problem, found the best solution, and are living it every day for the rest of your life.

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Overcoming Setbacks

Wednesday I discovered that I was not going to get a business opportunity that I had been pursuing for the past 2 months.  At first I had the attitude of “it is what it is”, but as they day went by it really started to bother me and make me feel really bad.  After all, I’d been pursuing it for 2 months, it would have put my family and I in a better position financially and helped us recover from the financial setback we suffered when I was laid off almost 2 years ago, and it would have gotten me closer to the achievement of a particular goal of mine sooner than I had anticipated.  This disappointment carried on throughout the rest of my day.

When I woke up this morning I realized one thing, a setback can only put you back if you allow it to and you know what, I’m not allowing this to set me back.  And it is the basis of that thought that I want to share with you today.  If you feel like you have experienced a setback, you really need to examine what it is that you believe has set you back in relation to your goals, because chances are it may not truly be the setback that you thought it was.  I say this because most of what stands in our way in life is not people, places, lack of resources, and the like; it is ourselves.

You are and always will be either the greatest obstacle in your way of achievement or the one thing that will propel you into what it is that you have worked and dreamed for.  This is not to say that a person never experiences a real setback, but it is to say that most of what we think is a setback is more of a mental perception issues than an actual issue.  So if you really want to overcome a setback that has gotten in your way, you should really:

  1. Identify if what you are experiencing is really a setback or if it’s a mental block due to disappointment.
  2. Make a decision that any setback that occurs will not discourage you from your goals.
  3. Make a deliberate, calculated eff0rt every day to get you closer to your goals.
If nothing else, you will see that setbacks, to paraphrase Bishop TD Jakes, may indeed turnout to be setups for something better than you could’ve possibly imagined.

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Be Productive!

Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with no clouds in the sky and lots of sunshine and I spent most of it working.  Now on an ordinary basis, I’d be very mad at the fact that I spent 8-9 hours of my Saturday working during such beautiful weather, but yesterday was different.  The difference was that I was productive in everything that mattered yesterday.  The power of being productive at what matters is that not only do you get what you need done and see tangible results, the power is that the more you do it, the more you build a habit to not only be a productive person, but to truly identify what is important in your life that needs immediate attention (i.e. family, dreams and goals, work, etc.) you also begin to see where some time has been wasted on things that you may have once felt were important but really are not (i.e. TV, Internet, Video Games, etc.).

Get your first things done first, and you will find yourself in an increasingly better place to not only relax, but enjoy what it is you are setting out to do.  I can’t tell you enough how happy I was yesterday, and still am today that 100% of my day was productive yesterday.  This is a habit worth keeping!

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Being Grateful

When you are in the middle of turbulent times it becomes very easy to not only forget about all of the good that is in your life, it also becomes easy to take it for granted; and that is a dangerous situation . It becomes dangerous because once you start taking one thing or person for granted, you open the door to do the same with everything and everyone else in your life in the good times as well as the bad and the most dangerous part is that more often than not, you aren’t even aware that you are doing this.

This taking things for granted quickly can turn into a sour attitude which can grow into a root of bitterness which then turns into an outlook of pessimism. If you’ve ever been around a pessimistic person you quickly learn that you really don’t want to be around this type of person. If you don’t want to be this way then the easiest (and sometimes the hardest) thing to do is to be grateful for the good that you do have no matter what is going on I’m your life.

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Random Thoughts

One of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life is to move away from home and move to a place that I really never wanted to be in, but I knew I had to be.  This was hard because I had to leave everything that I ever knew and that was comfortable to go into a series of unknowns that I never had to face.  There would be no running back to my mom’s house if I had a bad day as that was a 2 1/2 to 3 hour drive.  There would be no going over to see my brother or father for the very same reason as my mom.  Yet and still I wouldn’t have my comfortable spots to hang at either because I moved away from them.  I didn’t know it then, but what I was truly moving away from wasn’t just my home and the familiarity that came with it, I was moving away from my past in order to mature and make room for my future.

Sometimes when you are truly pursuing something with great passion, your past victories can turn into your present day defeats.  That happens when you choose to live in your victories that have already past instead of using them as a reminder that you can achieve victory here in your present and in your future.  There’s nothing wrong with a trip down memory lane from time to time, just don’t live there.  This is a lesson that I get reminded of on a daily basis.

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