Be A Learning Addict

Teachable experiences are all around you. You can learn from everything that happens to you – every up and every down, every success and every failure by keeping your mind open to new possibilities! Hold fast to the fact that you are never to old to learn.

I sat across the table having a home cooked dinner with my friend, Mrs. Marcia, who happens to be about 20 years older than me. We talked personality traits, the way we handle conflict resolution and how we adapt to our next levels. See, Mrs. Marcia had been watching me navigate an issue and after it had come to a close, she said, “Where did you learn this? Can you teach me? I am not one of those older people that thinks I know everything. I want to learn!” I have adopted a similar frame of mind because I think that everything has the ability to teach me something and I am always looking for that lesson.

Life is a great teacher and over the last 5 years it has made me into a learning addict. In the last year, my career path has taken a turn and I was transitioned to a new position that I knew absolutely nothing about as part of a company redesign. I started to research and even had the opportunity to take a class for continuing education credits to help with the transition. Initially, when I was told that I was moving to this new position, I was terrified but I wouldn’t let the unknown beat me. The more I learned, the easier this transition became. I have been the biscuit absorbing the gravy. Taking in everything and leaving no questions unanswered.

It hit me! Be a good steward of where you are placed and that’s where God will send the increase! Now you can even say that I have employment enjoyment. Learning what this position entails and immersing myself in the new group culture has given me a new spunk. A desire to make a difference in a new position and bring smiles to a group that, perhaps, may have needed a little spunk! It was also important that I learned how this group and the individuals functioned and where I fit in. What a great decision! I could go on and on about being a learning addict, but we can chat particulars another time!

Use every opportunity that you can to learn!

#SDG

Face the Facts

I have been reminded several times this year that I can’t trust my feelings. My feelings are often based on matters of the heart and they cloud my judgement so I must Face the Facts. As twisted as it sounds, the fact is that my feelings have been hurt.

The facts give you a firm grasp of what you are up against so you can figure out how to effectively move forward. When you are building, growing, elevating, transitioning, you often feel delayed, behind, and overlooked. I have found that the Lord gives me ‘Path Pavers‘ and I fiddle to my goals, and over time I have learned to get back to the facts and not make moves based off of my feelings.

We search for feedback as we strive to reach our goals. That feedback is the news or the update on how we are progressing and we have to use discernment to separate the facts and the feelings.

Facing the Facts:

No news is bad news. If you don’t know what you are up against, then you cannot be effective. You need the facts, the root of the situation and an understanding of what the outcome should be. You don’t know where you stand if there is no news, and that’s bad.

Bad news is good news. It’s all in how you view a thing. Once I started looking at bad news as growth and opportunity to do better, increase, learn more… it quickly transitioned into good news.

Good news is no news. Just means you did the thing the right way. That you have a grasp on the facts, and you understood and met the goal.

Our feelings should be acknowledged, tracked back to the fact they are tied to and properly dealt with, but not be the driving force behind our actions. Learn the power in a pause. Watch how things change as you base decisions less off of emotion and more off of facts!

#BecomeAVictor

#SDG

Manage Risks

We all have dreams. Some of those dreams require us to adopt an entrepreneurial mind-set. If that’s your path, you must be comfortable with risk. Granted, as an entrepreneur, you should have a business plan for the road you will travel to get your business up and running, but no detail is risk free. However, the risk should be calculated. Don’t blindly accept risk; deal with it intelligently and always with your eyes open wide.

[Me, talking to me]. Write the blog and actually post it. Personally, baring your soul, sharing your emotions or just opening up about the life path you have traveled is a whole lot. It makes you vulnerable. But, following your passion makes you accountable to yourself. It’s risky. The risk is managed by the frustration and tugging at your soul to complete the action for the the vision that’s been dropped in it.

I’m an open book and if you haven’t already figured it out, I’m blogging afraid.

Even after 2 years.

The fear didn’t go away.

I take breaks, but I get right back to it. I manage risks of judgement, bad grammar, terrible flow, and countless other insecurities, by just being myself.

I can’t be anyone else. When I try, I crash and burn! The crash and burn hurts so bad. I’m afraid to be anyone other than me. Ever. Again.

So, the most common risk management for me these days, is to do it with Jesus Christ. He walks with me. He talks with me. He leads me. He guides me. If He places a word on my heart, I know that He will see to it that it reaches its expected end. I pause before many of my tasks, pray the Lords will be done and then get to moving.

Whenever I’ve included God in the plan, the good always outweighs the bad and I have the stamina to keep going!

Forget the fear. Invite Christ in. Do it afraid!

Car Talk: Manage Risks

#SDG

Be Persistent

In Bible class, PB told us to never stop quitting. What he was saying is, no matter how many times you fail or what the difficulties are, never give up. You must reassure yourself that a solution exists for every problem. It’s your job to figure out that solution and determine the best way to implement it.

Persistence is, at times, one of the most important factors in success. If you have a chance, look at the highlights of 2019 U.S. Open Men’s Championship match between Medvedev and Nadal. I don’t even watch tennis, but on this day, I decided to give it a try. This match lasted almost 5 hours! These guys were in the fight of their lives. This was an on time view of persistance. Nadal won, but they both have been positioned for greatness. On this night in history, Medvedev will be known because he persisted and did not stop fighting.

Now, transfer this lesson to your vision and fight like hell to make it come a reality. The vision is placed in you because something in your soul is not satisfied. For example, in your career, goals are given to you as a part of your objectives for the year. There are a certain set of strategies and measures that need to be taken. Sometimes the strategies need to be altered, but the measures of the goal still need to be achieved.

Faith is the substance. Persistence gets you the evidence. The trick of the enemy to get you to give up on that vision. The more you persist, the harder the enemy will fight you. Especially, when God has favored you and you are working a thing you’ve imagined. Imaginations can see finish lines, but not accurately gauge distances, much like the side view mirrors on your car that say, objects are closer than they appear.

In this very moment I’m being persistent. I’ve set an alarm for 6.5 hours from now to work out in the morning before my work day starts. I can’t imagine how I’m going to make it through the work day, but I have better personal, mental and physical success during the day when I work out before “stuff” takes over. I’ve had this same alarm set for 2 months now. Eventually, I’ll get up and make this happen. My persistence says tomorrow’s that day! All of this practicing getting up and getting to the gym- setting me up for greatness once it happens! #DontStopQuitting #KeepSwimming

#SDG

Hold Yourself Accountable

Accountable. Responsible. Obedient. Believe. These words are all one in the same to me. You must take ownership of your situation in your life. If you are an entrepreneur, or in management at your company, you must take ownership of your situation there. As people, we own the work that we do and the path that we take. You must believe in yourself. If something in your area of responsibility is broken, no matter what it may be, you should quickly take steps to fix it.

We all have dreams. What we have to remember is that the dream is OURS. That we hold the responsibility for making those dreams come true. We can have a support system, but ultimately it is our responsibility to make the dream come true. A huge part of believing in the dream is believing in yourself. You can achieve it, if you believe it.

Often the best and most rewarding decision you can make is to stay the course even when it would be simpler to turn and walk away. You have to find a system that works for you. You also have to have accountability partners. In this 38th year of my life, I finally have that all worked out. My partners are the sweetest, kindest people I know and they softly speak to my soul with encouragement. Words of affirmation and kind acts are my love language, so this system works well for me.

Let’s be honest, it is also a great help to have someone that believes in you while you chase your dreams. Someone that will sing your hearts song back to you when the going gets tough. I have previously posted “Friends?” I am convinced that we are not meant to do life alone. It is not always our qualifications on paper that help us get to the things we want to do, there are people we network with that pull or push us along.

Believe in yourself enough for the impossible to occur. Be accountable to yourself, to your dreams. Don’t let YOU back off from doing the things you want to do, qualified or not. Period!

#SDG

Baby Steps

I am fortunate enough to attend Central Missionary Baptist Church of Detroit, MI where, Robert E. Bolden, I, is Pastor. Currently our Midweek Oasis (Tuesday night Bible class) Series is on the topic of Healthy Habits. One of these nights, Pastor Bolden (or PB as we know him) told us that little changes add up to big changes and that’s how you conquer change and create new habits. Then we wrote down 3 things that we wanted to change on a card and turned them in before we left the service. Our homework was to go home and make a list of what little things we could do to help us achieve the three things that we placed on the card. I have no doubt that PB has been praying over our lists and this teaching has really stuck with me.

Here’s the profound example that PB shared. A plane was leaving Los Angeles, CA heading to New York, New York. If the pilot turned the nose 3 degrees south upon departure from LA, over time it would change the trajectory of the plane to land in Washington DC. Consider that something as small as 3 degrees could do that!

Now imagine, changing your lunch meal on Thursday one week. Then the next week changing lunch on Thursday and Friday. Or, going to the gym one day a week and walking for 10 minutes then increasing your increments each week or each time you walk. Over time you will have made small steps that add up to change over time.

I think we get side tracked like the memes below:

Baby steps are not mutually exclusive to changing your eating habits or working out. It could be about learning something new at work, a new language, a new hobby, arts and crafts, essentially anything! I was so moved by this teaching that I am taking baby steps in several areas of my life and I don’t feel overwhelmed. I feel successful. I feel like I can finally be successful moving forward because all of my baby steps will combine to make great progress!

I hope you count your baby steps as small victories and move forward!

#SDG

Job Long Time

Instant gratification. It gets us in trouble every time. One of my BFF’s, Frenae, has a saying, “job long time.” Whenever she is promoted or receives accolades, she reminds us all that she’s been with her company sharing revolutionary ideas and producing results for over 20 years. She started as an intern doing grunt work. She worked when we were partying. She’s been early to rise and burned midnight oil and all of her hard work has produced some amazing results in the past 5 years because she’s been promoted more times than I can recall. Frenae is the Oprah to my Gayle.

Why am I telling you this? I am so glad you asked. “Job long time,” is a reminder that you have to withstand the process and actually do the work. The day you start the job is most definitely NOT the day you get the promotion. You don’t even get paid on day one. Day one is the day you plant the seed. And don’t show up being a “Debbie Downer” or a “Negative Nancy” or even a “Troublesome Todd!” Have a positive attitude and be teachable. Personally, I am 12 years into Corporate America, and I spend a lot of time listening before speaking.

Frenae is a great example of patience and humbleness. She showed up. She did the work. She took on side projects. She shadowed others. Do not get me wrong, I know that work environments are all different and there are places where people are discriminated against and disrespected. Everything is not smooth sailing. Even in those cases you have to show up with your head on strong and straight while keeping your eye on the prize. We will talk about that later though…

Whew! I always come back to “job long time!” I am not a rookie, I am a vet! I show up every day to do my job, enhance my skills, build relationships and my reputation of being a knowledgeable, dependable team player. I smile at the compliments and accolades. I acknowledge the moving parts and always reiterate that it’s the hard work that makes the difference. Somebody is always watching. I’ve been promoted and offered other projects as a result of my hard work on unrelated projects. People seek you out for promotions and advancement based off of your reputation and results.

Your time is coming! Do not give up! Remember that some seeds take days and others take months, maybe even years to harvest. It’s not a race, it’s a sprint. If you get discouraged remember Frenae was 15+ years in the game before her promotions took off one year after another. I’m sure she’ll be a director in no time and keep soaring! You have to bow your head and stay the course. Remember…. JOB LONG TIME!!!