Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Who or What Do You Pray For?

What kinds of things do you pray for? More importantly ... do you pray? When you do pray do you feel guilty for praying for something selfish or trivial? Most people it seems pray to either 'gain' something or 'eliminate' something. We may pray for the sick, the homeless, the sad, or the jobless in hopes of eliminating the negative aspects of their lives and gain the more positive ones. We may pray for good health, wealth or at least financial stability, relationships, discipline, and a stronger faith.

Whatever you choose to pray for, I think, is good - as long as it's coming from your heart. God knows your needs. I often pray for strength, direction, hope, and sometimes 'clarity'. I can learn to deal with things (both good and bad) in the human world if I have a better understanding of what I am dealing with. I will admit though that I often pray for signs ... a sign that I'm on the right track, a sign that I'm doing the right thing, or a sign that I'm actually moving toward fulfilling God's plan for me. It's easy to get off track or get distracted. For whatever reason we often think 'we' know what is best for us (as if we have any control).

I'll admit I am a work in progress. On a good day I think I have a small glimpse of what my life is actually supposed to look like. More often than not, I'm slightly off course. I know I need to learn to step back and not worry so much about tomorrow or next week or even next year. If I could just learn to take life one day at a time my shoulders would probably be a lot lighter. The load can get pretty heavy when you try to get through everything on your own.

My prayer for you today is one of hope, grace, forgiveness, patience, and mercy.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Misrepresentation: What Do You Actually Gain?

Have you ever felt like something (or someone) was misrepresented to you? Perhaps you leased a new car and the salesman told you all about an exciting new feature, but you found out a month later that because of that new feature your brand new car no longer has a spare tire. Did you feel that the transaction was misrepresented to you all for the sake of the sale?

Today I received an email from a company that I've used in the past informing me of 3 current employment positions they have available in my community. I immediately opened the email because I often share the job leads (if they're good) with members of my church congregation. The company was looking for a 'Full Time Executive Assistant to the CEO'. Sounds like a great opportunity right? I know a lot of people with amazing skills who have YEARS of quality experience and could benefit from this lead. So I read through the job responsibilities. 

  • Execute marketing plans
  • Assist in management of vendor shows
  • Prepare purchase orders
  • Manage donations and contributions
  • Handle travel arrangements
  • Prepare statistical reports for various departments
  • Record meeting minutes
  • Work with and for various department heads
... and the list went on and on. At this point you're probably wondering how many degrees they require. Well guess what? Bottom line is they're looking for someone to do ALL these responsibilities and about 20 more with a high school diploma OR 1-3 months of equivalent work experience for the grand salary of $12.00 an hour. Seriously? How many people with 20 years of hands-on experience, a bachelor's or master's degree in marketing, and a family of 4 to feed just felt majorly lead on?

So what did the company gain by misrepresenting their job lead? The actual qualified person read to the end of the list and said 'I can do all of that but I can't pay my bills for $12 an hour' and the high school graduate that they felt was apparently properly educated for the position never heard of a 'statistical report'.

I'm seriously hoping that this business (that shall remain nameless) that I've personally used for years made an error, because my opinion of them seriously changed after this misrepresentation. Unfortunately I have my doubts because the 2nd of their 3 job openings required some extensive communication and marketing skills for $10.00 an hour.

When was the last time you felt that something was misrepresented to you?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Never Judge A Book ...

There's a saying that says 'never judge a book by it's cover'. It's so true. There's always more to the book than just the first impression you get when you look at the well put-together cover. There's depth, there's plots, there's characters, and there's twists and turns. Now ... think of people as being the proverbial book. We have talents and baggage and lots of opinions, BUT the image we sometimes choose to display to other people is only a small glimpse of what we're all about.

It's when you take the time to get to know people that you find out what really makes them tick, what makes them unique. There's a TV commercial that's currently airing for Domino's Pizza that has a tagline that says 'We want you to get to know the people who are making your pizza.' A young pizza maker explains that her hands don't just make the dough, but they also create art (and then it shows her creating an amazing painting). What a great concept.

My point is that we should never judge people by what we initially know about them (or rather what we don't know). Give yourself time to peel back their layers like an onion. There's bound to be more beneath the surface. For example, you probably never knew that I used to work as an aviation headhunter. I could tell you more about FBOs, charter airlines, avionics, and a variety of aircraft than you could possibly imagine. You just never know what knowledge or talents people have until you take the time to ask. You might be pleasantly surprised or even impressed. Give people the credit they deserve and never underestimate them or their abilities.

Now, tell me something about you that I don't know.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

What Dream Are You Chasing?

Everyone has a dream - at least I sincerely hope they do. What's yours? Is it to be successful in business, a great athlete, an inspiring artist, a musician whose concerts sell out, a great friend, or someone who will be remembered long after they're gone for the work they've done? Do you live your life today achieving your dream or pursuing it? If it's the first, then congratulations to you. IF you're still pursuing it ... then congrats to you as well, because that means you haven't lost hope and that in itself is a good thing.

Some would say their dream is to make lots of money and be financially secure. Others would rather live for today, being content with what they already have. Money will never buy you true happiness. It can't buy you faith. It certainly can't buy you morals or values. Is money good? Absolutely - especially when it helps to relieve some of the stress in your life; the worries and the anxieties. If you manage your money right it can also bring a lot of good to others. People donate to different causes all the time and that's a good thing. But I prefer to think of money as a goal to help you achieve things. I don't think of it as a dream; although Donald Trump may disagree with me.

Dreams are different. They are the things that we wish we could do, the goals we wish we could reach, and the talents we'd like to tap into. I've dreamed on many occasions that I was a phenomenal singer, unfortunately that scenario really was a dream. My dream has always been to make a difference somehow and that dream has been evolving for more than 50 years. It changes shape and dynamic ever so often, but that's what keeps it interesting. Give yourself permission to pursue your dream today - don't put it off. Acknowledge that the dream you had when you were 25 may be different today, and will probably change again in another 5 years. Your dream may have the same core it's always had, but it's o.k. to tweak it whenever you wish based on whatever you have to offer to it at the time.

So, what is your dream? Is it the same as it's always been? Are you still pursuing it and if not, what's stopping you?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

When Do You Give In To Paranoia?

I've noticed that no one is completely immune to feeling paranoid. People may like to pretend they have thick skin and they can handle just about anything, but what do you do when you begin allowing the negative thoughts to creep in?

Have you ever experienced 'knowing' things that people didn't realize you knew and 'heard' things said about you when they didn't realize you were around to hear them? In cases like these paranoia (to some extent) may be justified; but unless you're willing to do something about it - either file it in the 'useless baggage' file (that's when you have to consider the source), let it go, or learn to deal with it you won't be healthy and won't be able to move forward.

I've found that sometimes confronting people doesn't accomplish anything other than creating more tension. You need to ask yourself whether or not it's worth it. If someone (friend or foe) was speaking negatively about you before will putting them on the spot change anything? Probably not. If they thought so little of your feelings before, more than likely confronting them will only give them more to talk about. There's a saying about not being able to 'change a leopard's spots' or 'adding more fuel to the fire'.

Personally, I'm trying to work on the 'learn to deal with it' approach, because truth be told I've never been too good at the 'let it go' theory. When I feel the negative thoughts trying to stronghold my mind I TRY to be proactive (TRY being the key word). In the summer I will work in my garden, I will take a long walk, or I will make a trip to my 'therapy place of choice' - the library. I blog, I think, I listen to soothing music, and I try to talk the negative thoughts right out of my head. IF people are treating you unfairly, for whatever reason, they don't deserve for you to be worried and stressed. It only creates a nasty 'win win' scenario for them.

What do you do to not give in to the paranoia?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How Do You See Yourself?

How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as others see you? Whether it's your height, your weight, your hairstyle, the clothes you wear, your talents, or your knowledge most of us have a tendency to feel inadequate at one thing or another. We often feel too tall (or in my case - too short - at least compared to my 5'10" daughter), too heavy or too thin, or our hair is too wavy or too straight. If we're really being honest I think we all compare ourselves to others - at least sometimes. For some reason other people seem to have the ability to be more objective; they can see things in us that we don't give ourselves credit for. We're constantly underselling ourselves.

I personally know some of the most loyal and caring people on the planet; there isn't anything they wouldn't do for someone else, but don't ever make the mistake of giving them credit for it in front of someone else. They don't think they're special or are doing anything even remotely unique. They clearly don't see themselves the way I do.

So, to shift gears a little ... why do we all hang on to that one piece of clothing in our closets that used to make us feel happy or thin or confident? It clearly doesn't fit us anymore and the style might not be current even if it did fit. There's something about the memory of wearing that favorite pair of jeans or feeling classy in the little black dress. Something makes us want to hold on to the image or feeling we had when we wore it.

What's that one article in the back of your closet? How did you see yourself when you wore it?