Tag Archives: work

Days Like This I Need a Cloning Machine

Life is full of changes.  I’m excited by all of the opportunities coming my way, but there are some days, like today, when I wish that I had a cloning machine.  I’m preparing for a lot of different things all at the same time.  To add pressure to the pot, I’m suffering from a cold.  I earned the name Super Woman because I’m always multi-tasking and I’m able to do it seamlessly.  It’s my dream come true and more than I imagined.   However, there are days when I wish there were at least two more exact duplicates of myself whom I could delegate tasks to.  Since I’m meticulous in my approach and everything I do must be done to the best of my ability, it’s difficult for me to delegate tasks to others who may not treat my ideas with the same sense of priority.  For me everything is a priority – even if it has to be delayed, it never really is.  It’s just re-prioritized to another level to be revisited later after something else is completed.  That’s the method to my madness.

I’m not alone in my need for a cloning device.  There are women like me everywhere who have a ton of things that need to get done and who would also like to have a clone of themselves capable of helping them.  They are mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, counselors, chauffeurs, coaches, teachers, physiologists, referees and chefs; everyday all day long.  Women – we do it all and we do it well.  A cloning device would help a lot of us in our day to day lives.  Unfortunately, the technology has yet to catch up with the need.  Or has it?  That’s the beauty of supply and demand.  If you build it, they will buy.   

I have been blessed to have a tightly knit team of Super friends who are very supporting of my endeavors and they help to keep all of this crazy that is I, in check.  But I can’t take advantage of them because they also have their own families, careers, goals, and endeavors that they need to apply their own energy to as well.  That is the common thread that explains why they are my Super friends. 

On days like this I have to plan, plan, and plan some more to get things done.  I call on those who are able, and have to time to do something for me.  I barter and negotiate to get things done.  I try to remember to eat, squeeze in some meditation and prayer and try to exercise also.  I plug into my mp3 player for focus because I can’t work in dead silence.  I drink my green or chai tea and take by vitamin B12.  I operate on as much sleep as I possibly can get and vow to rest when I’m rich; preferably in the Caribbean.  Then when all is said and done I thank God, get up and do it all over again the next day.  

Until cloning technology is available, and harmless, I will continue to do what I do; put all of myself into my tasks to turn out a good product/service.  I will continue to lose sleep, forget to eat, do too much too often in an effort to do it all.  It’s what I do.  It is who I am.   After all, I am Super Woman and to whom much is given, much is required. 

…but a cloning device would really help. ♥

Prioritizing Love

Priority – somebody or something that is ranked highly in terms of importance or urgency; the state of having preceded something else.

Prioritize – to order things according to their importance or urgency; to regard something as most important or urgent.

Temptation – a desire for something considered wrong; the incitement of desire or craving in somebody.

Necessity – something that is essential; a basic requirement; water, food, shelter, clothing, love and acceptance; the condition of being needed or required.  

Blessing – something to be glad or relieved about; a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness.

Someone recently told me that a relationship is not a priority for them.  I’ve heard this a million times.  I believe that anything that someone wants badly enough becomes a priority to that person.  A person’s lack of desire for something doesn’t make it less important in life, just less important to that particular person.  According to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our human needs are, in order of importance from most to least, (1) physiological, (2) safety, (3) social, (4) esteem, and (5) self-actualization.  Physiological includes what we know as basic human needs; food, shelter, sex, and breathing.  Safety includes security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health and property.  Social includes love, friendship, family and sexual intimacy.  Esteem includes confidence, achievement/success, and respect of and by others.  Self-actualization includes morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice and acceptance of facts. 

If you understand the Maslow Hierarchy principle, then you know that social includes relationships with others both related to us by blood and by emotion.  Our esteem is connected to our achievements and status in society.  If this is true, then why do so many of us look at love as less of a priority than career?  Why do we put our goals and desires to succeed and make money above having someone to share those achievements with?  Why do we prioritize love as the least important element in our day to day life?  Why do we view love as a temptation instead of a necessity? 

The happiest people I’ve ever met are not the wealthiest financially.  However, they are considered very wealthy because they have mates.  They have taken the time to cultivate strong and resilient relationships that include emotional bonds with their mates.  They have families, friendships and great sex.  They have prioritized love into their lives.  Then there are the single people who strive to make more money, gain more position, and obtain more respect from people whom they don’t share any emotional connection with.  They already possess the physiological and safety needs, so they feel that they can overlook the social needs and continue on to the esteem and self-actualization needs.  Do they ever go back and try to capture the social aspects?  Yes.  And sometimes they fail to do so because since it was not a priority to them, they passed on every opportunity for love that came their way.  In their minds when the opportunity arose, it was not the “right” time.  They had other priorities to concern themselves with that took precedence over love. 

Then there are the single people like myself who want everything.  We want to fulfill all five of the human needs in Maslow’s Hierarchy.  We believe that we can have balance, just like many of our married predecessors.  We may have even failed at love previously but we still believe it to be a necessity.  Unfortunately, we often find ourselves in encounters with the single, success-seeking individuals who do not view love as a priority.  They desire the money, status and respect of others, but do not desire to come home to the love and respect of a mate.  One of my biggest fears is being extremely successful, but not having anyone to share my experiences and success with.  Not having anyone to encourage my steps when I’m moving in the right direction.  Not having anyone to catch me when I fall or wipe my tears when I fail.  How lonely life could be with a huge bank account and no one to share life with.  No matter how much money I make, I can’t take it with me when I die [no one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”].  But I believe that I can share a love that lasts an eternity.     

People often throw themselves into their careers as a defense mechanism against love.  They fear love and the requirements of it.  Love requires commitment, focus, decisiveness, self awareness, honesty, and selflessness, among other things.  These requirements are often more difficult for a man, because in society men aren’t always celebrated for the wife they have, but instead for their professional achievements.  Love isn’t leisure, it is work.  You can’t take a vacation from love.  When love hurts, it can be debilitating.  There is no cure for love when it hurts.  When love is presented with problems, you can’t walk away from it, tear it down and start all over.  As a result some people opt to take the easy way out and decide not to include love.  Some people literally choose not to prioritize love into their lives.  They’re afraid of the work more than potential failure or pain.  In spite of our fears about love, under Maslow’s Hierarchy, without love, a human being is not “whole” in life.  A life without love isn’t living; it is just existing.     

So, the “timing” isn’t right when you meet someone.  When did humans become powerful enough to control “time”?  Everything happens for a reason, and it happens when it should, not necessarily when we want it to.  If an opportunity presented itself unexpectedly for your career, you would view it as a “blessing”, not an obstacle or a temptation.  You would do whatever was necessary to take advantage of that opportunity.  You would fear losing the opportunity and never getting another.  You would conquer your fears, travel long distances, empty your bank account, sale your car, change your routine or schedule, you would change your plans, and you would even disappoint others in order to accept the “blessing”.  You would pray about it, increase your tithe offering, burn sage and anything else necessary for that blessing.  Sometimes people are also a blessing in our lives.  They are brought to us for many reasons.  Some people come into our lives for a season, some for a reason and some for a lifetime.  Someone who comes into your life that you feel a connection to may also be the one you are meant to love.  But if you are unwilling to take advantage of the opportunity, it will pass you by.  That person will then become a blessing to someone else who was unafraid of love.  I heard Steve Harvey say that more love songs have been written by men about lost love because men fail to see what they have until it is gone.  They don’t view love as a priority.    

Time waits for no one and some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime.  If you are willing to make sacrifices for achievements and material possessions, why would you not also make sacrifices for love?

Define Your Success

There’s a lot said about money.  [The love of] Money is the root of all evil.  Money can’t buy love.  More money, more problems.  Although all of those things may be true to some degree, money is still a major factor in our day to day lives.  Without it, life can be a lot more difficult; with it, life can be more interesting.  A wealthy person can never tell a homeless person that money isn’t important or rewarding to have.  The homeless person only knows that their lack of money contributes to their homelessness.  A middle class person won’t fully comprehend the isolated feeling that wealthier people have because they fear being taken advantage of because of their net worth.  They only see the opulence that the money affords a wealthier person and believe that wealth brings happiness.  Wealth is wealth.  Happiness is not wealth.  Happiness is a by-product of good relationships, love, self esteem and personal achievements.     

For some people having money is equivalent to being successful.  Although the word successful is synonymous with victorious or winning, not wealthy or rich, ask any teenager through early twenty-year-old to define success and they will include having money in their definition.  This is the society in which we live.  A society where we see money as the definition of success, and we view those who have lots of money, as also being very successful.  This is sometimes true; for a moment.  Eventually the reality comes to the surface.  It’s not the money or how much of it you have that makes you successful; it’s the way you obtained the money and what you do with it that will really matters.

In a world where money is coveted by those who don’t have it, or want more of it, there are individuals who will often sacrifice their morals to obtain it.  They set dangerous agendas for others they come in contact with.  They will mistreat, manipulate and abuse others, for a few dollars.  They behave dishonestly and even maliciously to “get money”.  They take advantage of other people’s kindness, steal and even are willing to kill for money, all along never realizing that their actions will not allow that money to remain in their possession very long.  All ill-gotten gains eventually burn down to nothing.

We need to redefine what constitutes a successful person.  It’s not the money that makes a person successful.  It’s the work and time that the person put forth to become a success to begin with that defines their success.   The money is simply one of the rewards for the work.  Who did you help on your way to becoming rich?  Who did you step on or step over to gain your success and wealth?  When you became rich, did you go back and do for others where your roots grew from?  These are just a few questions that should be answered when a person is considering their wealth and success.  Everyone has the ability to make a lot of money – either legally or illegally.  It’s a choice based on morals, principles and standards and whether a person is willing to sacrifice theirs for linen paper. 

When  person dies, on their tombstone there are two dates; the day a person was born and the day the person died.  The dash in the middle represents life and that’s the legacy that remains that people will remember most.  People will remember if you were giving and unselfish and they will honor that memory of you more than if you were greedy, malicious and calculating.  People will miss you if you were charitable, loving and caring, more than if you had a large monetary will that people fought over in probate.  Which person do you prefer to be remembered as?  What will the dash on your tombstone represent and say about you after the money is gone? 

Consider this when defining your success:

No one’s tombstone says “He made a lot of money”.           

I Want it All

I want it all.  I want wealth, good health, a profitable business, and love.  I want everything.  I want it all.  Does that make me greedy?  Someone else’s perception may be “yes” because they don’t believe a person can have everything they want in life.  Am I selfish?  Absolutely.  This is my world, my life, my goals, my dreams, my effort and my energy.  Someone else’s perception is that I am selfish if I believe that this is my world.  I’ve learned that people perceive based on their own personal experiences, not necessarily yours.  Wanting everything may be equivalent to being greedy to one person, but to me it’s equivalent to being ambitious.  Believing this world belongs to you or that it’s “all about you” may be considered selfish to one person, but it’s being aware of one’s own worth and responsibility to me. 

This is my world.  However, I share it with others.   I’m aware that any actions I take, or don’t take, directly affect me, and then residually affect others.  I am responsible for my world.  This is my life.  It was given to me to live.  If I don’t live my life fully, another human being will not give me a second opportunity to live.  There are no stunt doubles in real life.  When I die, it is very unlikely that everyone else on Earth will die with me.  Others will still remain to continue on without me.  My life is my own responsibility. 

These are my goals and my dreams.  Although other people may have similar goals and share similar aspirations, whether my goals are aligned with theirs or not, if I do not achieve my goals or dreams, it will not prevent them from achieving theirs.  I am responsible for how far I’m willing to go to succeed.  This is my effort and energy.  How I utilize my effort and energy determines what I do or don’t receive from it.  If I fail, who will fail with me?  If I fail, who will fail because of me?  I can’t name one person whose success is directly affected by mine or lack thereof, not even my child.  If I fail to work on my projects, that is my fault alone.  Others can encourage me and support me, but they aren’t responsible for doing all of the work for me.  If you don’t work, you don’t eat, right?  Therefore, if I starve, I am responsible.

That is not to say that we don’t need each other.  Every human being needs companionship, support and admiration.  It’s innate.  But we have to always be cautious not to put responsibilities on others that aren’t theirs.  No one else is responsible for making your dreams and goals come to fruition.  No one else can live your life for you.  No one else can do the work for you and expel the energy required to make your world what you desire it to be.  And yes, God, or whomever you refer to as your Higher Being, is in control of our paths and we must submit to His will.  But God’s will is not for us to fail, or suffer, or go hungry, or be unhappy.  We have to be responsible for our share.  We have to improve upon what we’ve been given.  If we don’t, we don’t have anyone to blame but ourselves. 

Everything you truly need in life to be successful, to be happy, to be wealthy, and to be loved – you already possess.  Even if someone else’s perception is that you have nothing.  Prove them wrong. 

Strive for everything.  This is your world.

Preparedness

Everyday is preparation for something yet to come.  I come from a family that has several members who had illustrious military careers, including my grandfather, who was a decorated World War II Veteran and my uncle who is a decorated Tuskegee Airman.  I’ve been taught a great deal about being prepared.  When I was in high school ROTC, I learned that “pissed-poor preparedness, results in pissed-poor results”.  Preparedness in the military teaches you to be ready, specifically, for battle.  But that’s not the only thing it can prepare a person for.  Many people who have had military careers and experience also become valuable leaders.  Leaders are prepared.

I decided to amp up my workout routine recently, in preparation for the Opera Ball that I’m attending on October 2nd and for a cruise I’m going on early next year.  My workout is HARD; however, I’ve already seen results. Mark England is designing my dress for the Opera Ball and has to alter its size by about four inches.  That’s a reduction in my dress size in only about four weeks.  In addition to my weight loss, I have to prepare for that upcoming black tie event in other ways.  I had to select my make up palette, shoes, handbag and jewelry to compliment the dress, even though I had yet to see the finished product.  This meant that shopping had to be done, appointments had to be made, and orders had to be placed.  I don’t have an assistant (yet) so those preparations had to be done by me.  For the cruise early next year, I’m already considering what other preparations I need to make so that I will have an enjoyable trip, outside of what clothes to pack and how many swimsuits I will need.  I need to purchase my airfare, reserve my hotel in South Beach, arrange for my car service to and from the airport both here and in Miami, decide how best to get to the Port-au-Miami from South Beach for the cruise itself, which night clubs I want to be guest-listed on, etc.  Those preparations are not ones I want to leave for the last minute because other situations could arise that would distract me.  When traveling I like to be able to relax once the date of departure arrives.  In order to maintain that Zen-like feeling I get when I travel, I will need to be prepared in advance.  I also need to consider the possibilities (such as airplane delays) and have mental plans of action at my disposal for those possibilities. 

That’s how life is.  Those who are prepared for the inevitable possibilities can relax and better handle what comes their way, whereas, people who procrastinate or fail to evaluate situations are often left unprepared, confused and miss out on opportunities.  We prepare our children for their future by providing them with educational opportunities when they are young.  We hope they pay attention to what they learn in school, so that they are prepared for what they may encounter during their college years.  We all prepare for work each day, either by checking our schedules and emails, meditating, exercising, reading business articles or whatever your daily routine is.  It’s how you prepare.  It determines the initial response you will have to whatever interactions you are involved in.  We plan and pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.  Murphy’s Law states, “That anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”.  However, if you prepare yourself, even the situations that are “wrong” can turn into something “right”. 

Having faced a layoff earlier this year, what I thought was terribly wrong in my life would have been a lot worse if I had not had a level of preparedness.  I keep my resume updated, I have marketable skills, I had rainy day money in my 401k and my faith is stronger than I am.  I had even decided what I’d do while I was laid off.  That wrong turned a promotion and a raise to replace the position I was being laid off from.  That wrong became a right, even though I wasn’t expecting it, I had preparations in place.  The end result was completely unforeseen. 

Being prepared doesn’t require that you know in advance what the end result will be.  It only requires that you do your best to develop a contingency plane for the events that may be out of your control, but controlled by you after they occur.  How you react to and evaluate a situation, and how much energy you exert, are all within your personal control, regardless of the situation.  It helps to have an awareness of a situation in advance, but that’s not possible the majority of the time.  The only thing you can do is be ready for the possibilities, the changes, and the choices.  This can not be accomplished by sitting in the background to see what others will do.  This can not be accomplished by crossing your fingers and hoping the issue will go away.  This can not be accomplished by “just praying about it”.  After all, faith without works is dead and we’re given free will to make decisions for a reason.  Therefore, you have to be prepared.  

Of course, no one can ever be prepared for every instance in life, but it serves each of us best to make an attempt to be prepared, more than it does not to.

Be You

We’re surrounded by it everywhere we look.  Billboards, mainstream media, including television telling us what the standards of beauty are and how we should be, instead of embracing our ever varying diversity and what we are able to contribute as individuals.  Regardless of what others insist that you mold yourself into, it is very important that you remain true to yourself in life.  Be yourself; only better.  This can be the most difficult task of your life because others will want expect you to be who they think you should be to satisfy their own agendas.  Whatever obstacles you face, you should always have your own agenda that dictates who and how you contribute to this world.  Stay true to your feelings, your vision, your morals, values and standards.  Develop your personal sense of style, love your skin, and hair, size and shape.  Acknowledge your gifts and talents.  If you do these things, you will always be blessed. 

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t embrace positive change.  Change is good; it promotes growth and enhances character.  Be open and receptive to any of the challenges you face in your life.  Challenges that are conquered feed the soul and will bring about a sense of accomplishment for you if you simply try your best.  Whatever you set out to achieve is well within your grasp when you exhibit determination and have focus.  What you bring to this world as an individual is priceless and irreplaceable.  There will never be another you.  You are unique in your design.  Your style is your own, your beauty is unique, your intellect is a treasure.    

Self assess yourself and your personal relationships.  Strive to be the type of person you would want to have a relationship with; a person who is strong, confident and honest.  A person who compliments your best qualities and enhances your existing happiness.  Someone enjoyable to be around who loves and appreicates life and the diversity that it includes.  These are essential elements for the foundation of a healthy relationship.  Embrace your flaws, pet peeves & annoying habits.  They give you personality.  Change only what you want to change about yourself, along with what you should change to improve your health & finances.  You are aware of what those things are, even if you’ve never acknowledged them aloud.    

Be a good friend to others.  You can only receive what you are willing to give to others.   You can’t expect others to live up to standards that you do not yourself live up to.  If you are consistently being disappointed by someone, one of the two of you isn’t a good friend to the other.  Be encouraging and uplifting of others.  Particularly towards other women, both younger and older.  We are each other’s responsibility and we must care for one another.  Putting others down will never lift you up.  Being a hater is an excuse for not fulfilling your own potential.  It may give you temporary satisfaction, but won’t feed your soul or fill your bank account. 

Work to fulfill your dreams and goals.  You may have had to sacrifice your dreams at some point in your life, but it’s never too late to pursue them again.  It takes balance, prayer and perseverance. If you’re interested in pursuing your dreams, network with like-minded people who will encourage and support your endeavors and success.  Working hard and smart have monumental payoffs for those who don’t give up.  Don’t allow people to deter you and draw your focus onto their dreams, when you can spend your energy pursuing your own.  You have a purpose here in this world and you can be a blessing to yourself and to others; you don’t have to choose one over the other. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.  You add more stress to yourself when you don’t ask for help.  Asking for help includes asking for guidance from whichever spiritual entity you worship.  God uses us to bless others.  Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.  It’s a sign of strength and wisdom.  Where you may be lacking in an area of your life, knowledge or ability, others may contribute.  Even a super hero needs a sidekick for assistance sometimes.

Don’t be afraid of trying something different or being adventurous.  The human body needs an adrenaline rush on occasion to preserve our natural survival instincts.  Plan a vacation somewhere that you’ve never been before, go to an amusement park and ride a roller coaster.  Open yourself up and do something you’ve always wanted to do, even if you don’t have anyone to accompany you. 

Nurture your individuality.  Whether you like to wear your hair long or short, like to read or listen to music; whatever makes you different is beautiful.  Embrace it fully.  We don’t all look or think alike and that keeps life more interesting.  What a boring world this would be if we were all mindless clones of some other person.  Learn to appreciate the differences that others have.  All of your friends don’t have to be exactly like you.  If you have friends that always agree with you no matter what you do, you need new friends.  You make mistakes, as anyone does, and a true friend will call you out on your mess.   

Don’t work hard at getting revenge on those who have hurt and disappointed you.  Instead, work hard at getting better.  The better you are, the better you look, and the better you feel about yourself, the more the person who has wronged you will regret not having you in their life.  The best revenge is to be fabulous.  

Live your life to the fullest; you only get one chance.  Be beautiful.  Be bright.  Be powerful.  Be you.

Smooches.