Thursday, September 29, 2016

Missing Ingredients

Everyone will tell you to have a plan, to build investments, to expand your network, to try this, try that... but until you have the missing ingredients, your vision won't reach it's full potential. Loyalty, Honor and Support are the missing ingredients to success that you won't hear many people discuss. 



Loyalty


What's your loyalty level? Sometimes we are more loyal to celebrities, dignitaries, characters on shows, movies, books, our pets, even our jobs or worships centers, but is that same loyalty shown to those we love? We faithfully, day in and day out, punch a clock, feed our pets, make sure we record or tune into the latest show, movie or network series but won't commit to volunteering at schools, shelters or outreach programs. If we aren't careful, we'll find ourselves being more loyal to the things that take away from our investments than actually being loyal to our investments. Not your home, car, clothes, etc., but the investments such as family, loved ones, relationships and our character are the things that often times lack our true loyalty because we become distracted. 


Honor 

Honor, seems like a basic principal that many people in our society just don't seem to grasp. Honor is built upon respect starting with self first. I hear many people say that I don't honor this or that because he/she/it didn't . . ., they weren't, ... they never. After a while, the cycle never ends if we continue giving people control over our emotions and not being accountable for our actions. People work so hard to be what they don't want to become not realizing that they become that very thing because they don't own it. We have to acknowledge the elephant in the room. You gain honor by giving it, by taking hold to it and embracing it's reality. Compassion allows you to uphold honor in-spite of what may or my not be given back to you. 

Reciprocity 

Give, Take, Replenish has become take, take, take and when empty leave and take from somewhere else. Where's the reciprocity? People want to obtain success but don't support. They are so many ways to support others. You can't expect your dream to be big when you haven't adequately put in the work to not just build yourself, but to support others in the process. Building your success doesn't mean you don't reach out to help others find their pathway to success. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Social Media Celebrities

For anyone who has played, practiced, specialized in or watched basketball, you've seen that it's difficult getting two balls into one basket at the same time. Many of us face this every day challenge with the pro's and con's of social media. Social Media has afforded us all the rights to "Fame", with acquiring likes, shares and now in various emotions about what you post or share. What we fail to realize is that social media is just one basket. Yet we battle trying to get two balls, one being fame the other integrity into our one social media basket at the same time. There is a balance to everything, including social media. 


Earlier this year, I did a Social Media 101 training for our Christian Education Department. One of the middle aged participants stated that she doesn't use social media because it's too personal. People just put too much of their business in the public. Here's the challenge. She's right! I went into explaining how social media can effectively be used and enjoyed for people of all ages. Here's what we have to remember in regards to not only social media, but life:

1) Control Your Settings 

Once it's out there it's out there! 
I'm not speaking of controlling your account, privacy or page settings. I'm speaking of controlling your emotions. So many people in the heat of the moment write post that don't reflect their best character or integrity and it yields to negative responses. 

2) Practice Makes Perfect

Proof reading your post before posting. Talk to text is very convenient but it doesn't always correctly translate what you're speaking. Take 30 seconds and read what you post. Even if not rushes, just make sure what' you're writing makes sense. I see so many powerful, inspiring posts that I don't share because of misspelled words and bad grammar. 

3) Have Consistent Content 

Don't fake the funk. When people check out your page, it should be truly reflective of who you are not what you want people to believe.  Don't be a Prosperity Preacher but living in poverty. How is what you're teaching working for you?  Don't advocate for _______Lives Matter and you don't treat _________ with respect, love and dignity. When you don't know how to or don't value what you advocate for in your message, it's kind of hard to sell to others. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sunny Day

Even in our storms, the sun is always shining! Finding the sun in the storms of life, taking the high road, doing the right thing in spite of all connected to what drives us...our faith.

Why is Faith so important? To me, faith is the only thing that people, things, situations or circumstances can take away from us. FAITH is the turning point of our existence. It's the internal power connecting us to God which keeps us going each day we're alive.

We've all experienced bad reports from work, the doctor's office, financial lenders, etc that have made us feel "hopeless"! The hope that we'd stay in our nice homes, cars, good health, employment, etc. are all things that as we continue to live can be taken away. Even in the mist of our valley experiences, the sun is always shining.

God is the Light in dark situations. Even as we travel through the valley of the shadows of death, God has already promised us that He will be there. Our valley may not be dark, forest like atmospheres. Some of our valley experience are in the workplace, in the church, in the communities we live in, dealing with unloving family members or dealing with the ugly, not so pleasant, dark areas of our own lives. Regardless of the difficult, dark moments we go through in life, remember that the Sun is always shining and that light shines within and through us. We don't have to look for a way out when our faith shines through every dark situation we encounter and always provides a way of escape.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

When do Black Lives Matter?

"It's war on the streets and a war in the Middle East..." -2Pac

#BlackLivesMatter when elections need us at the polls for them but never for us.

#BlackLivesMatter when the government wants to use tax dollars to support initiatives to fix the things they destroyed but restrict the programs from truly being successful.

#BlackLivesMatter because our people are being targets to be enslaved/incarcerated by the system and killed boldly and unjustly in the streets.

#BlackLivesMatter when more of us support HBCU's like we support our favorite artist, fashion line or gadgets.

#BlackLivesMatter  when we can spend $150 on shoes, $300 on concert tickets and $1000+ at Black owned businesses instead of $0 in supporting our own.

#BlackLivesMatter before our children get ready to go back to school and we call for parents, families and supporters.

#BlackLivesMatter looks powerful on social media, dangerous on the news yet hopeless in the streets of America.

We have mastered posts and forgotten progression. We have degrees in drama but deficiencies in unity. We have excelled in assimilation but still aren't accepted. We are not apart of the American Dream; designed before we were free. Dr. King had a Dream to help us realize that beyond slavery, we're still living in a nightmare.

#BlackLivesMatter only when the corrupt system that governs truly stands by liberty and justice for all. Changing the processes of the system begins with our vote and is followed by our engagement. We can't hold a system accountable if we aren't involved in the process. We have to love, support, protect, educate and empower ourselves first before anyone else will.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Poisoned by American Policy

America, we have a problem. While political candidates and leaders are so worried and concerned about what's happening over seas, rightfully so in some respects, they continue to ignore the issues right here in our own backyards. In fact, they make decisions that are detrimental to the lives of our children and families and don't even effective have solutions to fix problems they created. This generation of children are being poisoned by policy and we are being too silent about it. We can't get those who serve and protect us to follow proper procedures and protocols. We have a problem with our policies! 

Education In America! Education is becoming more and more privatized by the day, having the influence of large corporations and entities controlling donated monies to schools that essentially effect how children learn. Our government does not effectively invest in building the educational system. It's a harsh reality, but the systems of this country were not designed to be equitable or fair. Which is why we are still battling the same issues of class, racism, equity and equality. The question that all Americans should be asking our elected officials, our Educational leaders and ourselves is when will we STOP poisoning our children with policies designed to make profit off their productivity or lack there of? 


We are in a crisis! Presidential Candidates publicly attacked and criticized President Obama for not returning to the states to handle a crisis in Europe and many other things. It's so ironic that Americans are so eager to take on the problems of the world, but ignore the crisis right here in our own front and back yards. Many countries question are motives, are we truly trying to help or take over? As a country, our motives are what's questionable. How can for days we ignore a huge crisis such as Hurricane Katrina, or the drug, gun and gang war right here in our communities. Our children in Flint are suffering from a major water crisis and leaders are still fighting over who should have, who didn't and who isn't doing their jobs. All at the cost of people's lives. We can't begin to heal the world of it's tragedies, when we continue to ignore the ones that are within arms reach of us.