Have you experienced a hurricane or tornado? I have. In fact, several. The threat of a hurricane or cyclone strike is as much a way of life for those of us in Florida, China and the Caribbean as the threat of twisters in Kansas, Texas or Oklahoma. What’s more, social media and news stories share the experience with the world.
Right now I’m having to stay inside as Hurricane Sandy leaves her footprints throughout my community. Gale force winds rush through every opening it can find and the trees outside move like a disorganized Olympic rowing team. While most of us know of the destructive power of a storm, earthquake or tsunami, we may not as quickly consider the “little” things we do or say that may damage or potentially destroy our lives or someone else’s.
Poor eating habits, consuming or abusing substances (not all of which are illegal), conversations and associations that undermine good character and integrity, thoughts that move our minds to self-defeating attitudes, condescending remarks to others (even those we say we love), viewing and reading material that blur the line between right and wrong and the list goes on. A few days go, a mechanic told me that a car is like a human being. What you put in (fuel, oil etc) is what comes out (performance and reliability). Invest your time, talents and resources in building the best you and those around you. What you do matters.
Over the weekend I met Ashley and Casey, a lovely couple from Iowa. They were in town for their wedding and brought about 20 cheerleaders. They were actually family members but how was I to know the difference? You should have been there. They were all very friendly and obviously excited. Like a skilled photographer, I saw their first dance, cutting of their wedding cake and the throwing of the bouquet under a cabana on a beautiful beach resort just yards from the crystal clear waters of the Atlantic in The Bahamas. Anyone who enjoys a sappy love story would have thoroughly enjoyed being there.
What about You? What makes you happy? Is it attending or participating in a wedding, traveling, your career, community work, your spiritual life, family time, your beau, your baby or your personal time? Whatever it is, make time for your happy place. What you do Matters.
Who would have thought that pursuing a dream could sometimes feel so hard? It is nearly two years since I left the comfort of my last career and decided to launch my own media, marketing and training company. What a great experience. I now see the world differently and it’s even more rewarding than I thought. Admittedly though, there have been times when the demands of business ownership felt overwhelming. Like jumping out of a bathtub into the Pacific Ocean. However, a steady hand and a steady head makes the difference. My growing success has taken business strategy, faith and pepto-bismol (lol).
Most of us have a dream job, dream home, the ideal lifestyle or family situation. Yet, having a goal is no guarantee of achieving it. Research has shown that about 49% of new businesses fail within the first five years. Which means, at LEAST 51% succeed! That’s the percentage I’m leading in. Today, I remind you of that deep wanting in your soul. Review your situation, consider wise advice and make use of the power of prayer.
Popular world figures Dr. Myles Munroe, J.K. Rowling, Steve Jobs and Oprah Winfrey all had/have dreams. They beat the odds and so can you. Keep your dreams alive. Stay Determined: Switch lanes, switch gears but don’t tap out. What you do Matters.
Today, my fiance unexpectedly had to travel to an island in The Bahamas. We had plans for our date night but an emergency came up that needed her immediate attention. I took her to the airport and even waited for a while after she checked in. However, our time together was a little strained. Honestly, my logic fully understood her having to go but my feelings weren’t so cooperative. It was our date night and after two very busy weeks for us, I was looking forward to us sharing some quality time.
Nonetheless, she was about to leave for her trip and my attitude could’ve been better. She even gave me a kiss on the cheek as we waited. We hugged and said our goodbyes just before she left the main terminal but I was still withdrawn. As she turned to leave, I was already missing her and knew that my pride had gotten in the way of making the most of our time together.
Life comes with twists and turns, pleasant surprises and disappointments BUT we must DECIDE to make the most of every moment. What’s more, we must talk about what’s going on inside. It can help to relieve a tense situation. It’s said that attitude determines altitude and today my attitude sucked. Still, I can’t turn back the hands of time. It’s a lesson I won’t repeat. The mind is a terrible thing to waste and so is time spent on negative feelings (smile). There are some things we can change and others not so much. I can’t change what I should have done but I’m going to apologize, work to better communicate and to look for the good in a “bad” situation. What you do Matters.
Today I spoke with Melissa during my weekday talk show. Her doctor had told her that she had a rare form of cancer and could possibly die in 3 months to a year. And to think that I thought I had things to stress about! She had cried constantly for about four months as she tried to wrap her mind around her mortality. Then, with the help of those around her, Melissa packed her bags and traveled to Texas for treatment. Despite the days she felt discouraged, she kept her hopes high.
Thankfully, it’s now more than 5 years since that first diagnosis. Melissa fought to stay alive and won! She credits the treatment, a loving husband, a praying family and the healing hands of GOD for her life today and now reaches out to the community with her story of hope.
We’ve all had reasons to cry. I certainly have. Men, it’s ok for us to cry. Ladies you too. Crying has a cleansing power and laughter a rejuvenating benefit. Let us all be willing to drop a tear or two but still keep hope alive. Let us remember that even with the long Winters of the Arctic and constant rainfall in England, a brighter, warmer day does come. It must! Expect it, anticipate it and share it with someone who needs a little sunshine. What you do Matters.
Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” is one of my favorite songs. Today I reflect on my own quote, “The world is looking for its next hero but your child only wants you. Are you that hero?” Once I posted it to my FB page, I realized that my message wasn’t just for the world but first for me. How often do we think about the depth of responsibility and privilege of influence parenthood brings? While I’m not a biological parent, my responsibility to father, protect and guide are no less pressing. After all, I am a father figure, a godfather and an uncle. More so, I am a human being. Whether you are a woman in France, an uncle in Canada, a hubby in the USA or a father in the Caribbean, we all have a role to play in the healthy development of the children around us. What You do Matters.
This is where the journey begins.