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Think Before Making A Vow To God

Think Before Making A Vow To God

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“When you make a vow to God, don’t delay fulfilling it, because He doesn’t delight in fools Fulfill what you vow. Better that you do not vow than that you vow and not fulfill it” (Ecclesiastics 5:4)

We need to be very careful with making a vow to God. Scripture is pretty clear about it. As children of God, we need to fear God and His commands. We need to obey and keep in mind that the good God is in control. Let’s not be impulsive. Rather, we should be rational and glorify God all the days of our lives. “Do not let your mouth bring guilt on you” (Ecclesiastics 5:6). We need to think before we act. Before making an actual vow to God, pray about it.

God is good, all the time.  

 

 

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The Problem Of Evil. Westmore Church Of God Addresses This Issue Intellectually.

The Problem Of Evil. Westmore Church Of God Addresses This Issue Intellectually.

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The problem of evil is an issue that most (if not all) Christians must struggle with especially when speaking with unbelievers. A number of well versed atheists question the validity of God by constructing arguments grounded in the problem of evil, pain, suffering… The atheist argument often goes like this, “…because if there was a God, why do we have so much evil, pain and suffering in this world.” Some of us, Evangelical Christians, accept the fact that evil does exist in this world because the good God gave us free will. I personally believe that evil and God exist in addition to the former because evil is temporary and living with God is better than living in this world. Let’s not forget that ‘evil is absence of good’ proposition comes from Saint Augustine of Hippo who used this analogy in theological doctrine conversations. Most Christians have no problem with the former statement.

During an apologetics workshop delivered by Dennis Anderson and Jesse Stone at Westmore Church of God, in Cleveland, TN, the presenters made excellent arguments for the existence of God including the following statement constructed by Jesse, “A perfectly good being might desire to accomplish greater goods for his creatures that are only possible if evil exists.” I find the former sentence to be of great value for the discussions regarding the “problem of evil” in our region. But if God is love…

Okay, now we have a logical problem again. How can a loving God allow a poor little kid to be eaten by a crocodile? Great question. I have to think a lot deeper about the former in order to fully answer the question for anyone. An Omnipotent God could have stopped that event. As Christians, we must ground our arguments based in scripture, though. The bible says, “This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25).  Maybe we are not supposed to understand, I don’t know. As of today. I justify horrific tragic events like the kid who was eaten by a crocodile as a divine mystery. My search for a better answer to this question continues and my hope is that your search continues, as well.

By faith we believe.

The Loneliness Of Wealth.

The Loneliness Of Wealth.

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“All labor and all skill work is due to a man’s jealousy of his friend. This too is futile and a pursuit of the wind” (Ecclesiastics 3:4); “Better one handful with rest, than two handfuls with effort and pursuit of the wind” (Ecclesiastics 3:6). “There is a person, without a companion, without even a son or brother, and though there is no end to all his struggles, his eyes are still not content with riches” (Ecclesiastics 3:8). 

Which good do we get by working our bodies non-stop, at the expense of our health and sanity? No good I would say. Riches should not be the reason for why we live in this world. We live for God to glorify Christ to all the nations of the world not to collect gold and silver for our own purposes. remember: Everything passes and is short-lived, brothers and sisters. Life on earth and in heaven is about glorifying the Lord not a seek a blind trip towards accumulating wealth at all costs. What a miserable task chasing the pursuits of the wind is. Be different; Choose God and sanity before earthly wealth. Make your life meaningful.

God must always come first.

 

God’s People Make a Difference in the World.

God’s People Make a Difference in the World.

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“You are salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, how will it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled on by people. “You are light for the world. A city cannot be hidden when it is located on a hill.  No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket. Instead, everyone who lights a lamp puts it on a lamp stand. Then its light shines on everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine in front of people. Then they will see the good that you do and praise your Father in heaven.

We have the duty to make a difference in this world by how we choose to act and re-act both verbally and non-verbally in life. Even if we make a tiny difference at times — we can still be a shiny lamp in a lamp stand for someone. We can then be seen by many as examples of what God has taught us in this evil world that we live in. Making a difference in the lives of others is a critical component of being a practitioner of Christianity.  Our acts have a much bigger impact than what many believe. So the question is: In which ways are you being the salt of the world? Are you that light that cannot be hidden? I hope your answer is yes to these questions. We need to do good so that many praise our father in heaven.

Confront The Jealous and Envious If Necessary.

Confront The Jealous and Envious If Necessary.

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“For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice” (James 3:16); “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot” (Proverbs 14:30); “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). 

We all need to flee from jealousy and envy and to recognize others who are envious and jealous. Always be on the alert for these former bunch and pray for them. The moment you see others jealous of your work or circunstances in order to protect their own using malicious means of communication or any other delivery, confront them is they start bothering you. Don’t let their aggressive tendencies make you uncomfortable. The same should be done about envy. Order can be brought out by fixing disorder. Don’t let jealousy and envious relationships get out of control and as important… control you.

Always, in prayer, live your life.

Sermo In Monte — The Beatitudes…

Sermo In Monte — The Beatitudes…

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The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11). 

He said:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek,
    for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
    for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
    for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
    for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
    for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

If you are getting persecuted because of Jesus Christ, rejoice as it has been written that you and me would be persecuted. The former isn’t to say that we should accept being punished for persecution. It is more than okay to fight back and defend what you believe in. In ceteris paribus… we are to be peacemakers.

Blessed are the pure of heart because they will see God. Let’s be hunger and thirst for righteousness… 

On Judging Others…

On Judging Others…

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“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:1-5). 
Be cautious with judging others. In this world, there is nobody who is innocent or a complete example to be followed. Only God is to be seen as our example to be followed with no flaws. The moment anyone maliciously judge a brother or sister in Christ, malice will be the measure his critics will be using to judge them. Don’t be a hypocrite and focus your efforts on following God’s word. Before criticizing others, take a close look at yourself.
God be glorified.

Avoiding Extremism Is Biblical. A Call For Moderation.

Avoiding Extremism Is Biblical. A Call For Moderation.
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“Don’t be excessively righteous and don’t be overly wise. Why should you destroy yourself? Don’t be excessively wicked and don’t be foolish. Why should you die before your time?” It is good that you grasp the one and do not let the other slip from your hand. For the one who fears God will end up with both of them” (Ecclesiastics 7:16-18).

In this life, we need to focus our attention to God as He is our everything. Trying to be or be seen overly wise will most definitely buy you enemies very quick. Not obeying God and acting folly will most definitely cost you as many enemies and being overly wise if not more. Question? Are you being overly wise in your own eyes? Remember: God is wisdom. We are to follow God’s word. 

There are limitations of wisdom. In this world, we are going to see inequities, injustices, judgements… Why do you want to make your life more difficult that what life already is? God is in control. Humility is how we should live. Avoid extreme measures… Be closer to God today and obey His commands to the best of your ability.

Don’t Be Surprised To See Oppression In This World.

Don’t Be Surprised To See Oppression In This World.

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“If you see oppression of the poor and persecution of justice and righteousness in the province, don’t be astonished at the situation because one official protects another official and higher officials protect them. The profit from the land is taken by all” (Ecclesiastics 5:9).

We won’t fix poverty and the many injustices that we witness under the sun. Those in power will protect themselves at the expense of the oppressed, you and me. Don’t forget that this world is evil and that things come and go. Only our God isn’t evil and is loyal, consistent and secure. Remember: “The one who loves money is never satisfied with money and whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with wealth” (Ecclesiastics 5:10). You will see people increasing in wealth at the expense of others and very little if nothing shall be done about it. All of the former is short-lived and quick passing.

We are to focus on glorifying the Lord and enjoying what he has given us to enjoy. Never forget, “All come from dust and all return to dust” (Ecclesiastics 3:20); “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his soul?” (Matthew 16:26).   

We Can Only Turn To God As A Source Of Truth.

We Can Only Turn To God As A Source Of Truth.

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In the book of Ecclesiastics, we learn about the futilities (short-lived and quickly passing) of life. Some of these include possessions, the relative value of wisdom, and work. Christians are to glorify God and make the Lord the center of our lives as everything including silver and gold, singers, cattle and flocks, our diligent work and many others come and they go. Everything in meaningless. “There is nothing new over the sun” (Ecclesiastics 1:9).

“What happens to the fool also happens to me. Why then have I been overly wise?” (Ecclesiastics 2:15); “The wise man has eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness” (Ecclesiastics 2:14).

Brothers and sisters, “There is nothing better for a man than to eat, drink, and enjoy his work” (Ecclesiastics 2:24). Life without God is futile. Things in life come and go. Most of the work we do will be given to others. The only way to live is to love the Lord and live our lives to Him.

Thanks always be to God.

Working Diligently Is A Good Thing.

Working Diligently Is A Good Thing.

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“Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense” (Proverbs 12:11); “A sluggard’s appetite is never filled, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4); “Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in forced labor” (Proverbs 12:24). 

Working hard and diligently is a great thing. You can’t go wrong with doing your very best for the Lord. It is as simple as that folks. Let me share with you a well known secret: Work hard and you will be compensated for your efforts. We work for God not for men or women.  Do your very best for the Lord and never, under any circunstances, choose laziness over diligence.

God’s peace to you!

Trials And Tribulations Are Signs Of A Godly Life.

Trials And Tribulations Are Signs Of A Godly Life.
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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). 
Trials and tribulations are examples of how the Lord test our faith. By testing our faith, we develop perseverance according to scripture which then makes us stronger and more mature Christians. We are constantly maturing in God’s eyes in order for us to be a little bit more like Him. Brothers and sisters, never forget this: Trials and tribulations are signs of a godly life. Don’t be surprised if you face them in the future. Let’s not forget that they have hated Christ before us… Celebrate — God is with you! Stand firm in the faith! Thanks be to God.

There Is No Room For Egoism In A Christian’s Life.

There Is No Room For Egoism In A Christian’s Life.

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Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else” (Galatians 6:4); “But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6); “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10).

There is no room for egoism in a christian’s life. A true Christian doesn’t spend his or her journey comparing themselves to others or worse — putting themselves ahead of others. We put others ahead of us. Listen carefully: Flee from egoism and embrace a humble and godly life of service and humility. Whenever possible, help kids to laugh so that they have fun, even if you have to sacrifice your weekend for their benefit. God blesses those who help others and put others ahead of themselves. 

We are to glorify God al the days of our lives. One of the ways we can glorify Him is by being a man or woman of service.

  

We Need To Inspire Our Children.

We Need To Inspire Our Children.

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“You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:7); “Arise, walk about the land through its length and breadth; for I will give it to you” (Genesis 13:17); “Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him” (Deuteronomy 8:6).

We are to walk in the ways of the Lord, always giving thanks to His blessings and following his commands. Being with God is a gift — It is only by accepting God’s calling that we start to understand what life is really all about. Life, my friends, is about walking with God all the days of our lives, keeping His commands fearing Him. We need to instill these habits in our children so that they grow up understanding the importance of obeying God.

God bless the children and our abilities to inspire them to better understand God, in Christ Jesus.

Listening Before Speaking.

Listening Before Speaking.

“To answer before listening — that is folly and shame” (Proverbs 18:13).” 

We are to listen first then answer after. This is what God teaches us. Fellow brothers and sisters, before making any assumptions about anyone or anything, make sure that you listen and listen carefully. The good God teaches us to do just that and goes one step further to say that if the brethren answer before listening… it is a shameful and a folly act. So, before answering before listening to a friend, family member or co-worker, remember Proverbs 18:13.

God be with us. In His name…

 

 

Silence Is Golden.

Silence Is Golden.

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“A fool does not delight in understanding but only wants to show off his opinions” (Proverbs 18:2). Be cautious to always want to be heard and share your opinions at the expense of others. God clearly advised us about the dangers of foolishness. There is no room for selfishness and non-sense behavior in the live of a devoted Christian leader.

Excessive speech isn’t appropriate and should be avoided whenever possible, as the bible teaches us. “The intelligent man retrains his words,” as stated in Proverbs 17:27. We have learned in Ecclesiastics 3 that there is a time for everything… “A time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastics 3:7). Clearly, the one who is constantly speaking lacks understanding and isn’t following God’s advise found in the book of proverbs.

Brethren, let’s be different and make God the center of your lives. Keep some of your opinions to yourself. It is worth your time.   

The Secret For Doing Well In School.

The Secret For Doing Well In School.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24); “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38). 

What is the secret for doing well in school? Study, plan, study more, get involved, meet people, collaborate… Pray. The differentiator is prayer. Do you want to do well in school? Do all of the former and before every quiz, test or project — pray. Prayer is powerful and biblical. Prayer was my secret for doing well in school. Let me say this differently — Prayer is God’s secret to doing well in life. Don’t forget to pray. Pray daily. Believe, love God, and pray.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Children Are A Heritage From The Lord.

Children Are A Heritage From The Lord.

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Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court” (Psalm 127:3-5); “Then Esau looked up and saw the women and children. “Who are these with you?” he asked. Jacob answered, “They are the children God has graciously given your servant” (Genesis 33-5); “Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). 

Children are a heritage from the Lord. It is good to have children, people. If you are married thinking about having a kid, pray about it. If you believe that God wants you to have a kid, don’t delay the call. Having your own kid is a joy that can’t be described unless you have and/or raise your own. God is pretty clear about the benefits of having kids. We are to focus on them:  “a stronghold against your enemies,” “silence the foe and the avenger.” There will be challenges, too many of them but it is worth it. In the end, a child makes you quickly realize that life isn’t about you — that life is about others. What an important lesson for all of us to learn. Parenthood is a gift from God, that’s for sure.

When We Decrease, God Increases — A Must.

When We Decrease, God Increases — A Must.

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“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30); “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up” (James 4:10); “Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 11:14). 

Life is about God not us. I must become less and so should you. We all need to ensure through our actions and words that God gets the glory and that we submit ourselves to the most high. Humility, submission, and respect for the only God of the universe is our goal. There are no exceptions to this rule only obedience.

The word of God shall live forever! We should blindly obey and glorify the only God of the universe by being humble. Always remember: God first, we second.

There Is No Room For Evil In The Life Of A Christian.

There Is No Room For Evil In The Life Of A Christian.

 

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice” (Ephesians 4:31); “If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth” (1 John 1:6); “To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech” (Proverbs 8:13). 

Listen carefully: There is no room for evil in the life of a Christian. God has instructed us to choose love, instead. We are to love each other as Christ loved you and me. Anger, slander, malice, arrogance… everything that is evil along with hate comes from the enemy. We need to be the salt of the world and act like it. Flee from hateful behaviors and welcome love in your life.

Remember Luke 6;31, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” God bless.

 

Do Not Be Overcome By Evil, But Overcome Evil With Good.

Do Not Be Overcome By Evil, But Overcome Evil With Good.

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:31); “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Proverbs 27:4); “And I saw that all toil and all achievement spring from one person’s envy of another. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 4:4). 

A true christian doesn’t live a life of envy. He lives a godly life always seeking to follow God’s message of love. Flee from envy! Flee from everything that is evil and focus your efforts in better understanding who God is and what He has planned your life to be. If He talks to you, listen.

Who can be better that God? Nobody can. God is faithful and “he won’t let you bear more than what you can handle” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Remember that we are to do good not evil and show to others our fruits, But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). 

Overcome evil with good, always.

If You See Danger Coming Your Way… Take Cover!

If You See Danger Coming Your Way… Take Cover!

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“A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3). Remember this and never forget brethren — If you see danger coming your way, the very best thing to do is to protect yourself. Don’t wait or try to remediate a dangerous situation because chances are pretty high that things won’t work out the way you planned. In my life, I have seen too much evidence that supports the former.

If you are going to protect yourself by finding a hiding place below a dining table at your house, by leaving your place of employment due to a bad situation, or simply by avoiding and isolating an evil person, it doesn’t matter as long as action is taken. Too many Christian brothers and sisters pay a high price for being naive and thinking that things will change overtime when danger heads their way. The eminent effects of danger often proves them otherwise overtime. If danger is heading your way, pray that God takes you out of that dangerous situation. “A sensible person sees danger and takes cover, but the inexperienced keep going and are punished” (Proverbs 22:3).

Ecclesiastics 3 teaches us that there is a time for everything. Sometimes, there is a time to uproot and a time for refrain… or a time from embracing or give up. If something appears to be, it often is — don’t forget that.

A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.

Remember: “There is a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.” Don’t embrace anything that puts you in danger. If silence helps you to get away from danger, do it. Always, in prayer, we shall live. Glory be to God. 

Who Said That Life Is Easy And Fair? Our Only Hope Is God.

Who Said That Life Is Easy And Fair? Our Only Hope Is God.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. Screen Shot 2017-04-11 at 9.21.56 PMIn the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33); “It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?” (Hebrews 12:7). 

Too many folks out there are operating under the wrong biblical assumption that life gets easy when we get closer to God. No it doesn’t. Life gets better because of Gods grace so that we can deal with the many temporary injustices we see in this world. I’ve seen a number of devoted Christians  who are very poor, excellent brothers in Christ who are discriminated against because of how they look or talk, intelligent people without the means to get a college education without putting themselves into major debt, you name it. Who said that life is easy and fair for the brethren?

Let’s not forget the teachings of Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12), or John, “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15;18), or Peter, “For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17), or Matthew, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10), and many more!

There is hope, which is the good news, “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). We also learn that we should keep course as, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). 

Keep the faith and love what is good despite of what you might encounter in this world. Stand firms in the faith! Never give that up. Our hope depends on it. Remember what we learned in Romans, “God will repay each person according to what they have done” (Romans 2:6). 

Our only hope is the lamb. Patience in a virtue but only God saves.

 

 

Media Addiction Isn’t A Kid Thing Anymore.

Media Addiction Isn’t A Kid Thing Anymore.

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“For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16); “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Titus 2:12); “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:41). 

Do not be tempted to live life according to the world. We are to live life according to the Lord. Say no to addiction, temptations of the flesh, e.g., drinking, smoking, lust, the love of money, and other vanities that won’t help you to see the light. Not everything that feels good or right is in fact good for you in God’s eyes. We need to life a moral life that puts God first and we second.

The case of technology addiction or what I like to call… “Technological Conditioning” these days is a serious issue that isn’t a kid thing anymore. Remember what Matthew 26:41 has taught us — The flesh is weak. Let me remind you — God is stronger than the flesh and we can do anything by Him who strengthen us (Philippians 4:13). Say no to technology addiction and realize that the former can be argued to be a form of worldly passion that can turn into prideful behavior. It ain’t worth falling into the enemy’s temptation brethren. Don’t do it.

Let me share you you an interview I gave in a local NPR affiliate talking about this issue. It might enlighten this topic one step further for our benefit. Here it is.

Remember: God is to whom we must live for not us. Media addiction isn’t a kid thing anymore. Be careful with it.

The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous… Christians!!! Be a Role Model At Work.

The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous… Christians!!! Be a Role Model At Work.

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“The way of the LORD is a refuge for the righteous, but it is the ruin of those who do evil” (Proverbs 10:29). Listen this proverb carefully, brethren. Flee from violence, jealousy, and any life sin that deviates you from God’s overall plan. Seek love and gentleness at all times because brothers and sisters in Christ — you will need it.

“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy” (proverbs 31:9). “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain” (Proverbs 31:30). BE HUMBLE! “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (Chronicles 7:14). 

Only God can give you the life you need for His own glory. Seek the ways of Jesus Christ. Your role in this life as well as mine is to glorify God not yourself. I do realize that the former is a tough concept to process and accept but it is the way… Only God has the ability to help you and I to live a life of meaning. Glory always be to God.

The Lord Will Meet All Of Your Needs — Thank God For Gardner’s Market.

The Lord Will Meet All Of Your Needs — Thank God For Gardner’s Market.

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“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19); “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).  “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

The good God will meet all of your needs if you live your life according to His word and will. Christ gives us water, food, shelter and many blessings from the land when we listen and obey. When we ask, he gives — The Lord blesses His people in a number of ways. One of the blessings you can receive from the Lord is called Gardner’s Market, a very nice restaurant/sandwich shop/deli located in the historic downtown of Cleveland, Tennessee. The food that they sell and serve down there, especially the Cuban Sandwich, is simply spectacular! Their bagels are incredible, the people who work at Gardner’s Market are very nice and to complement it all… the price that we pay for the food that we get is very reasonable. I am definitely going back for round two. My advice? You should do the same!

Perhaps, our next purchase there will be an item from the deli or one of their amazing muffins. Okay… It might be just a cup of tea or all of the above! I can’t say enough great things about them. It is without question a God’s blessing.

 

 

 

Without A Strong a Mentor, You Will Fail To Reach Your Career Potential.

Without A Strong a Mentor, You Will Fail To Reach Your Career Potential.

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One of my favorite books in the bible is the book of proverbs. The main reason why I love this book is because of the many practical lessons we learn by reading this piece of scripture. In the book of proverbs we learn that, “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14); “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future” (Proverbs 19:20); “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice” (Proverbs 12:15); “For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 24:6). It doesn’t take too long for anybody to realize that a Christian leader must have an abundance of counselors in order to bring glory back to God.

In my life, I have had many counselors who have played a critical role in my development as a professional but one in particular has made a tremendous impact on how I see both life from God’s point of view and higher education. His name is Kurt Dudt, a former United States Marine combat veteran who taught me how to lead academic departments with a heart and ways to shoot guns competitively. The immense amount of wisdom that I’ve learned from Kurt can’t be paid back. I am indebted forever to him. During the literally hundreds of walks that we had for five days a week (sometimes more than once a day) for two years, Kurt has shown me why most higher education leaders fail and only a few de facto succeed. In this article, I will share with you some of the many secrets that Kurt has shared with me throughout our daily 2:00pm walk conversations. Are you ready for this? The content you are about to read is pretty revolutionary and critical if your goal is to lead others with success.

Here are twelve (out of the 100) pieces of advices that Kurt has taught me on how to become an academic unit leader.

1) Before any major decision, pray.

2) Let the members of the team have a say but implement your vision. You were elected to lead and it is your job to get things done. Implementing your vision is your job.

3) Before making any major decision, ask faculty about their concerns and prepare for them, to ensure your goal is accomplished.

4) Let faculty teach the classes they want so that you can have your final decision when you need.

5) Be proactive and defend the department and faculty members if necessary, especially if the faculty member is too inexperienced or there is faculty conflicts involved.

6) Make time to speak with students, be available.

7) Speak with faculty on a regular basis. Invite them to lunch sometimes.

8) If a faculty member faults, try to bring him back.

9) Listen to the non-mainstream faculty memberʼs contribution. They often provide wisdom in their responses.

10) Donʼt be afraid to tell you are not happy with something.

11) Recruit talent. Every time “Luis” is doing something well, Kurt Dudt receives praise.

12)  If a colleague is in trouble, help him even if it is 3:00am. If a colleague is in the hospital, go to the hospital… if a colleagueʼs mother dies, go to the funeral/viewing. Address faculty as a body (he is one of us) and defend the faculty member.

Without a strong a mentor, you will fail to reach your career potential. Nobody is born knowing the operation of leadership. The bible provides tremendous help in this regard along with a friend who is willing to coach you. Be aware: A leader canʼt have an evil stream otherwise, problems occur. A leader bring (unite) people together, as much as possible. Remember: Donʼt expect followers to be leaders. The moment you see an organization empowering non-leaders to positions of absolute authority, flee from them quickly because disaster then becomes inevitable and eminent.

When undecided, pray… When in question, ask… When in trouble, resolve… When you know, share. Never under any circumstances, forget that. Pray often! Pray for an advisor! Remember: The almighty God listens to your prayers. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

Rejoice Always, Pray Constantly, Give Thanks In Everything! Work Is Good.

Rejoice Always, Pray Constantly, Give Thanks In Everything! Work Is Good.

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“Rejoice Always, Pray Constantly, Give Thanks In Everything” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). “Don’t stifle the spirit, don’t despise the prophesies, but test all things, hold on what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21). Don’t be irresponsible in behavior and don’t forget that work is good. Laziness should never be a part of you, regardless of what many might say. Brothers, don’t grow tired of doing what is good.

Rejoice my brethren because life is short. Be with God all the days of your lives. Be thankful for the opportunities that others give you. Don’t hate but in love respect and listen as Christ has done it before. “Keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22). 

Make sure to pursue “righteousness, godliness, faith, endurance, and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11) but pay attention eternally. Never cease to work for what is right. God be praised in heaven. Never forget the following, “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Whatever you do, do it with humility.  

Do Not Be Anxious About Anything.

Do Not Be Anxious About Anything.

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“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28); “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7); “So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6). 

Who are we without God? We are nobody. Prayer is the name of the game, brethren. Ask and you shall receive — “Ask and it will be given to you” (Matthew 7:7). There is no need to worry or be anxious about what lies ahead of you. God is in control and we shall live by faith in this evil world that we live in. Fear? Let it flee away from you yesterday. Why? This is why, “Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you” (Isaiah 35:4). 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Live in the moment! Don’t be anxious about anything as you (or me) can’t truly control our lives. Rejoice, pray and keep the faith. God is wonderful and He shall protect you against the adversary. Nobody can be better than God. Thanks be to Him.

 

God Answer Your Prayers

God Answer Your Prayers


Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). “I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me” (Psalm 120:1). 

When I was a PhD student at Penn State University, I prayed to God to work in a Christian University where I would have the opportunity to teach communication classes and coach golf. The good God back then lead me and my family to Waynesburg University where I served as an Assistant Professor of Communication and Head Golf Coach. I asked, God head and the rest in history. Then I asked God, “Please God take us to a larger university so I can teach graduate students and get tenure…” Two years later, the Lord took me and my family to Indiana University of Pennsylvania where I taught graduate students and received a letter of tenure.I asked, God head and the rest in history.Then, my wife wanted to come south; I wanted to be closer to my parents; I prayed, “God, please take our family to the south where is warm and closer to Atlanta, GA.” I asked, God head and the rest in history. Now, I prayed, “I think it is time for our family to leave a research university and go back to a Christian school with a teaching focus where I could potentially study God’s word to one day, perhaps, become a pastor.” In a few days, we are heading to one of the most outstanding Christian universities in the United States! Lee University. I asked, God head and the rest in history.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14); “And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:15). “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24);  “I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.” (Psalm 17:6). 

If you decide to love God, He will lead your steps towards His glorification. The ride, my friends, is a gift.

Humility Is The Answer. 

Humility Is The Answer. 


“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Phillipians 2:3). “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God” (1 Peter 2:17). “So the last will be first, and the first last” (Matthew 20:-6). 

Brothers and sisters, in this life, there is always someone who is better than you in your craft. Be very careful when trying to fiercely compete against others because chances are pretty high that sooner you later you will be beaten. 

Everything you do, do in humility. Honor everyone and love your neighbor. Those who claim to be great, mediocre at best they are. In this anti-intellectual world that we live in these days, it is tempting for many to think they can compete intellectually against intellectuals. Be aware of the risks…

It is like having intellectuals trying to compete physically against a physicalturist. Ok, some non-PHDs are intellectuals but not many; Some PHDs are physiculturists but not many. We all have value, that’s for sure. 

Humility is the answer. Live your life to God not anyone else. Stay firm in the faith… Thanks be to God! Amen. 

You Won’t Convert Anyone By Screaming.

You Won’t Convert Anyone By Screaming.

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Remember to not be overly rough when speaking with non believers! You must stick to the word, though.

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We are called to evangelize and engage in the great commission by Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).  We are to share the good news of Christ with the nations and engage in missionary work for the advancement of the gospel. Without a doubt, life is about God not us. 

We are to conduct ourselves with wisdom whenever you interact with unbelievers. We need to be wise and full of grace with others! Why? Because God said, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6). If you have ears listen.

Obedience my brethren! Following God’s mission is what we are supposed to do in this life. You are to evangelize and “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 29:19).  The way to accomplish the former will vary, of course. Kindness, my friends, is one of the most powerful weapons for evangelism. It is worth your time and practice but remember –God gets the glory.

Amen.

The Poor is Stuck; The Middle Class Moves; The Wealthy Chooses.

The Poor is Stuck; The Middle Class Moves; The Wealthy Chooses.

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Let’s chat about class, shall we? Don’t get excited! We are not going to talk about class as one would chat in a college classroom or anything educational but class as a societal class as it relates to social mobility and strata. For some goofy reason, we Americans don’t talk too much about social class and I would argue that to a degree at least, many consider talking about social class as a taboo. It is kind of a taboo to talk about social strata in American society as many Americans, regardless of gender or ethnicity, think that many of us belong to the middle class.

Don’t be ashamed if you are either born poor or wealthy. God has good reasons to have created all kinds of people and every circumstance under the sun and never forget — God has created you for a reason despite of how much money you have or don’t have or how many cars you drive or not drive. Let me tell you this: In this article, we are going to break some taboos and discuss class classifications. We are going to talk about social strata and the unwritten realities that exist within each one of them.  I will share with you three types of American classes and what do they really mean to people who belong to them.

  1. The poor class. Many would categorize this class as composed of folks who chose to ignore the calling for pursuing formal education. “Individuals belonging to this class tend to be categorized as lazy and hopeless and unable to support themselves in a market economy,” many say. The former, in my opinion at least, is at the bare minimum deceiving because poverty is such a complex construct to define that I find the former a bit problematic to accept face value without being skeptical about it but since a critical mass of individuals think this way, we will include the former definition in this article and consider as a possibility. I would rather define “the poor class” as citizens belonging to a class that can’t literally move — who are stuck. Even when they try to leave their place of dwelling, they often cannot because of financial circunstances.
  2. The Middle class. Too many would categorize this class as “middle class” without looking at the obvious, which is to realize that within the middle class… there are other subcategories of what we define “middle class” to be. A 50K family middle class should not be seen as “middle class” against another family who bring home 39K or 125K. I would say that the middle class has divisions within itself into low, “middle” and “high” classes within the class. You might disagree and that’s okay but to me at least, the middle class is rarely in the “middle.” I would rather categorize the middle class as a moving class — Those who are always on the move for opportunity and can literally move. In 2017, members of this class rarely buy houses, drive luxury cars, consume experiences and are often members of what I call “the excellent” class because to belong in the higher strata of the “middle class,” you have t be excellent in what you do. If the poor class is stuck, the middle class moves. Those at the top move more often.
  3. The Wealthy Class. The wealthy class do what they wish. They stay or go as they wish but they rarely move from one location to another because they social capital is often local. The ca “choose” because of the social capital infrastructure their families have acquired throughout the years making “tradition” a critical variable of their lifestyle. They are much (I repeat) much different than what I call the “Middletocracy,” or those in the middle class who try to look like a wealthy class person but we all know (including the real wealthy) they they are more like a middle “middle” class than a wealthy one. The wealthy class rules and often do what they want. The rules of the system are based on them and they often make the rules in the first place. If the poor class is stuck, the middle moves… the wealthy chooses.

Don’t be ashamed if you are either born poor or wealthy. God has good reasons to have created all kinds of people and every circumstance under the sun and never forget — God has created you for a reason despite of how much money you have or don’t have or how many cars you drive or not drive. The poor is stuck; The middle class moves; The wealthy chooses. Just because the former might be true, it doesn’t mean that you should be sad or happy about these circumstances because in the end, God is in control not you. Never forget, “Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity than a rich man who is crooked in his ways” (Proverbs 8:6); “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God” (Mark 10:25). “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36). 

Be vary careful with loving money, “But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pang” (1 Timothy 6:9-10).  
Love God above everything and be content with the Lord has given you. We are, perhaps, called to better understand our situations in order to better glorify God with what was given to us. Remember: Life isn’t about you or me. It is about God.

Flee From The Angry Man.

Flee From The Angry Man.

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God gets the glory.
“Don’t make friends with an angry man, and don’t be a companion of a hot tempered man, or you will learn his ways and entangle yourself in snare” (Proverbs 22:24-25); “Don’t speak to a fool for he will despise the insight of your words” (Proverbs 23:9). 

No one can deny that the bible is full of wisdom. The verses above clearly illustrate the need for us all to read God’s holy book on a daily basis. The lessons found in the bible are without invaluable without a doubt. I still remember reading my bible at 14 in my parent’s living room and praying to God, “Please forgive me.”

Nobody can do the world of God if he (or she) has hate in his heart. Anger doesn’t produce righteousness ladies and gentlemen. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires” (James 1:19-20). 

Flee from the angry man. Never forget God’s words, Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end” (Proverbs 29:11). Make an attempt to glorify God. There is nothing — I repeat — nothing more important that glorifying the God of the university. Peace be with you!

Do Not Associate With Him So That He May Be Ashamed.

Do Not Associate With Him So That He May Be Ashamed.

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Prophetic! The Lord’s voice is to be heard in peace through scripture. God is celebrating in heaven as the vessel now carries the prophesy. The seal was opened and can’t be closed anymore, ever again. God, not you… is in control. Remember: We must always be thankful to the Lord. Time is in God’s hands not ours, remember that. We proclaim peace. Why? Because Christ teaches, “May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way” (Thessalonians 3:16). The seal has been broken and shame is quickly approaching your doors. Lazy you were and punishment is your middle name. I leave, you stay. The abysm is deep and sorrow is near. “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat. For we hear that there are some among you who walk irresponsibly not working at all but interfering with the work of others. Now, we command and exhort such people, by the Lord Jesus Christ, that quietly working, they may eat their own bread… Do not associate with him” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12).  

God protects the brethren and brings the wicked to justice in His own time. Don’t be revengeful or anxious about the future. God gets the glory! Gossip, malice, laziness, schemes, wicked hearts, and hate I see painted on life’s canvas. God will punish those who are evil doers, soon. You are going to suffer and be ashamed for your vain decisions. The good God is the Lord of the morning and night. He is out of your sight! Good night. You won’t be able to fight. Because of your iniquities. I see the wind blowing the currents of justice and you were not found anywhere near in there. “I called the Lord in my distress and He answered me” (Jonah 2:2). “You threw me into the depths, into the heart of the seas, and the current overcame me” (Jonah 2:3), “But you raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God, as my life was fading away” (Jonas 2:6-7). Goodbye iniquity. You will be judged for your transgressions.

“I am filled with power by the holy spirit of the Lord, with justice and courage, to proclaim to Jacob his rebellion and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8). If you have ears listen. The message has been shared and the gnashing of teeth has started. Thy will shall be done in heaven as on the earth.

God Blesses The Humble — God Gets The Glory.

God Blesses The Humble — God Gets The Glory.
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2); “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3); “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (James 4:10). “Pride brings a person low,
but the lowly in spirit gain honor” (Proverbs 29:23).  

We are to live our lives for the Lord and to always give thanks for everything that He gives us. Remember: Every good and perfect gift comes from above” (James 1:17). We are to live for God not man and to God shall the glory be given all the time. God is worthy of praise. We are to serve Him as his witnesses in this world by being humble and gentle.

As most of you know, I am a media professional who enjoys great conversations about “The media” with others. In my short journey here in Jackson, Mississippi, I had the privilege to speak with a number of very nice “media folks.” One of them, in particular — was Brad Smith! A gentle, nice, patient and above all… humble man who is de facto a quite talented film maker. Ladies and gentleman, this is Brad Smith below.

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Brad Smith

Sure, you can find him at Deville Camera and Video near interstate 55 in Jackson, MS but you can also see him producing cool video clips (and films) around the city, as well. The clip below is just a tiny example of the amazing work that he does. One thing is for certain —“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they will see God” (Matthew 5:8). 

Brad, as we say in colloquial English… is the man. He is the man because he is humble. He has the common sense to realize that God gets the glory for his talent not him, you or me. Brad is nice and wise and above all humble. Listen carefully: God Blesses The Humble — God gets the glory. Be like Brad, be humble and be nice. Never, under any circumstances, be prideful because “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6).  It pays off to be humble and kind. Brad knows it! Now, it is your turn.

#Christianity

Your Greatness Is Judged By Others.

Your Greatness Is Judged By Others.

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“Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him” (Proverbs 26:12). Greatness isn’t measured by the person. Greatness is without a doubt measured by the perception of others. Never, under any circumstances, hold the belief that you can be wise on your own. God, the creator of the universe, is the Wise One. We are mortal sinners in great need of God’s grace and salvation. The former is precisely what we are.

“Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness or you will be like him yourself” (Proverbs 26:4).  Your trust should always be in the Lord. Be a fair man (or woman), full of integrity and show love towards your neighbor. In this life, you don’t need to be the center of attention or be wise in your own eye. Rather, humility should be your norm and others, not yourself, should complement the work that you do. Don’t be a fool and have high expectations about anything in this world. Life isn’t about you or me. Life is about God. All glory is to be given to God, anyways… Be careful to not associate yourself with those who think that they themselves are the center of the universe. “Don’t speak to a fool for he will despise the insight of your words” (Proverbs 23:9). 

“There is a time to be silent and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7) but there is always the need to be more like God by obeying His commands. “For man certainly does not know his time” (Ecclesiastes 9:12). Let me leave you with this advice. Listen carefully: “Even when the fool walks along the road, his heart lacks sense, and he shows everyone he is a fool” (Ecclesiastes 10:3). Your greatness is judged by others. Be very careful to not appear wise in your own eyes. God will surely punish you for it. It is not worth the hassle. Be humble and glorify God all the days of your life.

 

Hire American! There Is No Need To Hire Foreign Labor For Entry-Level Positions…

Hire American! There Is No Need To Hire Foreign Labor For Entry-Level Positions…

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You heard that right. There is no need to hire employees from outside of the United States when 91% of the undergraduate students admitted to the MIT are Americans, 89% of students at Princeton or my alma mater Penn State are Americans, or 88% of students at Harvard are Americans. UC Berkley is 86% national, along with Columbia University and the mighty University of Miami. Yale is 89% American, Stanford is only 9% international. Cal tech is 8%… See? There are a large number of American kids in the available job poll in the United States.

Hire American! You don’t need to hire foreign for entry level job positions. I understand the market economy argument which defends that we should hire the very best at all times so that “the very best” don’t look for jobs elsewhere and eventually destroy our internal companies. The issue with the former, in my opinion at least, is that it assumes that our college graduate population can’t compete with foreign labor and therefore we need to open our doors to external talent. Nothing could be far from the truth! I have taught almost 1300 students in my career and can assure to you that if ceteris paribus, American students are as good of a fit if not better than their international student counterparts, despite of what you might have heard in the media.

I have a very difficult time believing that the very best undergraduate American students at Emory University or Carnegie Mellon can’t compete with their counterparts from the India Institute of Science in Bangalore or the University of Moscow. Why do I say that? Because I have gone to school and/or taught students who came from the Indian Institute of Science (IIS) and the Massassuchess Institute of Technology MIT or Harvard/Michigan. Our American students are often better than these student’s are. With very rare exceptions, there is no need to replace good USA labor with foreign labor for entry level positions.

A word of caution, though — Graduate programs numbers can be deceiving and graduate programs often rely on a larger number of state funded international students in order to survive.  I honestly don’t think that the disproportional number of international students in graduate programs is necessarily a sign that they (international students) are better intellectually for our American kids. It might be a sign showing that American students are graduating college with way too much student debt loan and therefore reducing their chances to go to graduate school on a “paying ride” resulting in an increase in the percentage of foreign international students admitted in elite Graduate schools in the United States. I don’t know…

My recommendation: Give the American kids a chance, work with them and don’t assume that the Chinese kid is so brilliant because he is Asian. Chances are high that they are not. I went to graduate school with many foreign scholars who couldn’t even write their names on a piece of paper. Get real and support your own whenever possible! It isn’t that complicated. 

Teach The Youth About The Way He Should Go.

Teach The Youth About The Way He Should Go.

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“Teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). The former proverb is our goal, indeed. College professors are to serve in this capacity, regardless of whether they teach courses in a teaching or research university.  Our main goal is to show the way to our students, “God’s way.”  

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The kids depend on us to show them our humility and fear of the Lord. We are to inspire pupils to understand God’s word and his generous mission sometimes by applying God’s grace on earth, “A generous person will be blessed for he shares his food with the poor” (Proverbs 22:11). It is by modeling that we teach the brethren and by acquiring knowledge that we are equipped to fulfill the God’s plan for us, “Apply yourself to instruction and listen to words of knowledge” (Proverbs 23: 12). 

The good God has blessed me to help others. He blesses you to fulfill your mission, if you listen to your true talent. Pray, learn, and pray more. Ask God for guidance and you shall receive. The youth depends on you and me. Let’s do our part! it is our duty.

Last Jackson State Graduation: The Nostalgia Has Started Already.

Last Jackson State Graduation: The Nostalgia Has Started Already.

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Aspen Wilson, LCA, Gerald Harris.
I am already feeling a sense of Jackson State nostalgia and semester grades aren’t even due yet. It was my last JSU graduation today and one to be remembered forever. Several of the students I’ve taught either walked or fully graduated today which is in itself is a blessing. DeMarco Morgan, a nice guy which I had the opportunity to speak with in a media banquet last year, was the keynote speaker. The weather was simple spectacular for a 8:00am graduation ceremony. I couldn’t have asked for a better ceremony. It was memorable, indeed.

In these past two years, I have smiled, cried, celebrated, got frustrated, prayed and helped to make Jackson State a bit better than what it was before my arrival in Jackson, MS. I have learned a lot in so little time, I must add. My feelings for Jackson State University still stand — I am very proud to have been a professor and interim chair in this fine HBCU. Sorry Alcorn… You are not a tiger!

Never in my career, I’ve connected so well with every student in an academic department. It is the very first time in my career that I’ve memorized every student’s first and last name in an academic unit. By the way, there were over two hundred and fifty three of them. The former is particularly difficult for me swallow (that I am leaving) as these things often don’t happen all that often as I hear from my senior colleagues and mentors. God has a very good reason for why we are headed to TN.

I wish things would have been different but God knows what is best. Jackson State isn’t a typical university, as many of my JSU colleagues have told me. They were right… JSU has its systems like any other university. We can’t always agree on everything, though. It is simply part of life.

I am looking forward to being a “teacher” again in a teaching university. To me at least, students must always come before scholarship. I would rather teach or travel to publish or perish as we (faculty) exist because of students not because of a research paper or a concurrent session in a conference in Nebraska or another near the city of Chicago, Illinois. Without students matriculated, _T_______ _Is_ _N__ _Aca____________ _De_____________. Fill in the banks! Students must always come first. 

At any rate — Today was my last graduation at JSU. The sense of nostalgia has already begun… There will be more, I am sure.

 

Everybody Is Replaceable — For The Most Part.

Everybody Is Replaceable — For The Most Part.

One of the biggest challenges companies can experience is to lose employee talent. This bunch are often hard-workers, strive to understand the culture of the organization and very often buys into the organization’s vision. They also add value to the body of employees, forgive and are able to listen to others. In addition, they bring team cohesion, hope and above all — they have a heart. In some instances, good people serve in two or more capacities sometimes more within the micro unit. If they are better than “good,” the impact of their contributions are seen and felt systemwide. Very often, without him or her, the unit and the system at large suffer in the short run as stability can then become shortly compromised especially in the subsequent three to five years proceeding their loss, but not always.

In the draconian times that we live in these days, losing a charismatic and competent employee can de facto be quite detrimental to any organization due to the general scarcity of funds. The advent of modern computer technology has caused job mobility to increase while corporate funds allocated to hiring staff have decreased due to automation and changes in corporate philosophy. Corporate re-engineering occurred in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Governmental re-engineering is happening right now, as we speak. There will be furlough in this sector, I bet. We have experienced retrenchment in the private sector before. Why would the public sector be different? It won’t be, unfortunately.

We are not all equal but we all have equal value. “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him” (Romans 10:12). The loss of a well liked colleague is demoralizing for the enterprise, especially to the other associated units within the macro system. Loss of talent serves as a reinforcement for other talented peers in other units to perhaps quit their position. The moment you see the former in action too often, change is eminent.

One of the main jobs of a successful leader is to hire and keep talent. It can’t always be done I realize as there are exceptions to the former but in my book at least, I see the former almost as a law. Don’t lower your guards… Do what needs to be done to keep good people on your team.

So, is everybody replaceable? For the most part. It will depend on the biases and beliefs that exist within a particular institution’s upper leadership. I personally wouldn’t risk losing talent due to trivial matters or vanity. At the end of the day, work still needs to be accomplished and the organization needs to keep moving its mission forward. You will need talent, sooner or later.

A Nice Farewell, Jackson State Style.

A Nice Farewell, Jackson State Style.

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The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way” (Psalm 37:23). “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you” (2 Corinthians 13:11). 

Today was farewell… a farewell from Jackson State University. We talked, shared, and shared more. Great words were spoken — I appreciated them all, thank you. In this life, we simply don’t know what the good God has planned for us. We choose, he guides, we are to blindly obey. Moving north we shall be going under God’s blessings.

It has been almost 10 years of higher education, over 1200 students taught, two letters of tenure, two chair-ships and now… three Associate Professorships.  I am going back to a teaching university where I belong. The Lord has blessed me and I am so thankful for it. God gets the glory! It is because of Him that we breathe and are able to share the blessings of the land.

Lee University, here we come. I can’t wait to sing with you! Sing praises to the Lord at Chapel and keep inspiring the next generation of my fellow Americans. I am thankful for it. “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

“I will extol the Lord at all times; His praises will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1). Thanks be to GOD.

The Humble Will Have Joy After Joy In The Lord.

The Humble Will Have Joy After Joy In The Lord.

The humble will have joy after joy in the Lord, and the poor people will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. For the ruthless one will vanish, the scorner will disappear, and all those who lie in wait with evil intent will be killed — Those who, with their speech, accuse a person of wrongdoing who set a trap at the gate for the mediator, and without cause deprive the righteous of justice” (Isaiah 29:19-21); “Jacob no longer will be ashamed and his face will no longer be pale” (Isaiah 29:22);

Annihilation of the Assyrians…

“Look, Yahweh comes from far away, His anger burning and heavy with smoke. His lips are full of fury, and His tongue is like a consuming fire. His breath is like an overflowing torrent that rises to the neck. He comes to sift the nations in a sieve of destruction and to put a bridle on the jaws of the peoples to lead them astray” (Isaiah 30:27-28);

“Assyria will be shattered by the voice of the Lord. He will strike with a rod” (Isaiah, 30:31). 

YAWEH! YAWEH! Bring justice. The house has a firm foundation and longevity. By little we live and rejoice with much adversity. They bring canons; we have the armor of God. They fire, God rebukes, we win. “The end of all things is near” (1 Peter 4:7).

I am crying for what I see… I pray that God be merciful with you as the ocean’s waters are now dim. The skies have darkened… the waters have risen and the moon is full of blood. The Lord has played the flute and I see your destruction but you don’t repent. The great command I say to you but you chose disdain. You plotted against your own. Now, Yaweh will cease you. Repent! But you don’t.

“The LORD will send upon you curses, confusion, and rebuke, in all you undertake to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, on account of the evil of your deeds” (Deuteronomy 28:20).  

Children, A Blessing And Protection From God. 

Children, A Blessing And Protection From God. 

“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2). 


God will do justice and protect the innocent and the kind of heart. A defenseless kid has the strength and protection of the Lord through their parents.  More hope there is for a fool than to someone who wants to destroy the safety net of children. I pray that the Lord has pity on you.

“As I have observed, those who plot evil and those who sow trouble reap it” (Job 4:8). Your reward will be punishment and gnashing of teeth near your death because you attempted to destroy God’s children. Pride is your name; Iniquity is your trait. In fear you shall live. 

Never, under any circumstances, attack, plot, make schemes against those who support young children. The Lord will punish this bunch very harshly in his own time. Evil doers, listen carefully: You are going to seek the gate but there will be no key. Your own trap will be your demise. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). 

Wealth Guilt And The United States Of America.

Wealth Guilt And The United States Of America.

The world is ignorant about how life really is in the United States. This country isn’t composed of millionaires who have tons of extra cash in their banking accounts. Not every citizen of the United States has what we call “The American Dream,” in fact, it is often the opposite. Debt is the norm around here. Poverty, or a variation of it, is also the norm especially in the south. I find no problem to defend the country’s borders, protect our industries, and do what is best for the people of the United States. Why? Because I am an American, that’s why. I challenge you to look at the policies of other countries like Canada and see if they would not protect their industries if they feel a threat is coming their way. How about France? Maybe Brazil? Check it out! This country can’t afford to help others when 48 million Americans live in poverty. Get real.

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Let me explain — if a citizen of the USA doesn’t have a job and has no wealth, he (or she) is poor. If a compatriot has a job but can’t pay his (or her) bills, he (or she) is poor. If a Mississippian, for example, has a job, can pay his bills partly, but counts on credit cards to survive… he (or she) is poor or near poverty. If you live paycheck to paycheck and your industry is moved overseas or you lose your job… you tell me. Last: If a “magnate” in New York makes millions each year but spends billions in expenses he (or she) is a broken millionaire. The irony of the former is that the world often sees the last scenario on television and assumes that “all” the people of the United States are wealthy and must give money and amnesty to the world, accept refugees without screening, pay for others’ misfortunes unconditionally, and more because we are all wealthy. False! This, my friends, is what I call an exploitation using strategies grounded in “Wealth guilt” or the belief that having money is a source of shame.

It is true that the USA is the largest economy of the world but let me get some things straight in here. Having a powerful economy doesn’t mean that the people living in it are necessarily wealthy. The same can be said about country’s per capita. Qatar has an astronomical per capita GDP but a large segment of their society lives in poverty. Maybe Qatar should embrace the immigration amnesty and accept millions of Christians in their land.

What amazes me sometimes are some people who say, “We live in the most powerful country in the world and we should be thankful for having a car to drive and a place to live. Folks in third world countries don’t have as much as we do.” Do all Americans fall under the former category? Do you have a house to live? Do you have a car to drive? Are they free? Or better, is their maintenance free? And the kicker… Are you wealthy because you have them? There is more to it, of course. The former is precisely why my ministry is in the United States. This country needs our help more than ever.

Often, the folks who say that we have too much are de facto wealthy and have multiple houses in two or more states or often have their own way to sustain themselves with ease but not always. Let’s get real… Living in West Jackson in Mississippi, having a 25K annual salary with a family of 4 isn’t that much money, regardless of whether a person lives in the empire of the world (USA) or not. Try making a living in San Francisco with a 40K salary! Good luck. Money figures are deceiving. 14 thousand dollars might be a fortune in India but isn’t in the United States. Stop thinking that you need to feel guilty for being “wealthy” because chances are high you are not, under the current circumstances of the United States. It is malicious rhetoric, in my opinion.

Don’t feel guilty about it. You don’t have to. It is okay to do what is best for the country first. God takes care of His people his own way. You are not God and I am not God either. Not sure about you but I will do what is best for my daughter and family. What is best for them is to have a country where they can survive and strive. Frenchmen are thinking the same in Europe, I bet. I know Brazilians don’t care about American industries. Why should we be different?

What you do need to do, however, is to live for God and obey His commands and never forget, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). I am not saying that we should’t help others, of course not. In every chance we can we should help as the Lord has called us to do it. However, if our people is suffering, we have an obligation to help them first.  Thinking about that and reflect.

Love Is More Important Than Hate.

Love Is More Important Than Hate.

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“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31). Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good” (Romans 12:9). “The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:31). “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8). 

I lose one — you lose 10. He gets 3 you lose 30. You lost the gold forever because of your vanity. Lack of love, I say. Love wins but never hate. You shall pay a big price for your transgressions. Never forget this: God is in control and will punish you. Whoever does evil, by evil they shall be destroyed. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Proverbs 16:18).    

I say to you — learn to Love. And never forget, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). You are called to love, at all times.

 

God Works In Mysterious Ways.

God Works In Mysterious Ways.

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“You are treasured to God. So consider the message and understand the vision: Seventy weeks are decreed about your people and your holy city — to bring the rebellion to an end, to put a stop to sin, to wipe away injustice, to bring in everlasting righteousness to seal up vision and prophesy…” (Daniel 9:23-24); “The people of the coming prince will destroy the city and the sanctuary” (Daniel 9:26); “You will be covered with shame and destroyed forever because of violence done to your brother” (Obadiah 1:10). 

If you have ears listen. I have heard the message and listened to the Lord. Praise I say to you the most high. Among you lived the just and the unjust. Malice, arrogance and self aggrandizement was found in the fields and the sands of the land. Only ashes I see along with sentiments of confusion and delusion. The time is past and the future is certain and predictable. New horizons we shall see; Old beings in sin you shall never be.  The prophecy has been fulfilled. Only through the glory of the most high that we understand and live. God takes care of His people. Tomorrow is a brand new day…

We shall proclaim the mystery of God as He works in mysterious ways. What is logical to us is illogical to God. “Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21). Who are we to attempt to understand the one who is in heaven?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). Everything in this world happens for a reason. Don’t be mad or sad but rejoice. It is God’s plan after all.  God is just and will always do justice to evil doers in His time. If you have ears listen…

They Will Persecute You — Pray For Them Anyways.

They Will Persecute You — Pray For Them Anyways.

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If you do love the Lord, you will be persecuted. How do I know? Because it is written…

–> “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12); “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18); “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled” (1 Peter 3:14); “Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you” (1 John 3:13).  

Here is the good news, “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11); “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9). 

I say — Pray for them anyways. Sooner or later, the good God takes you out of the lions den and will do justice to them. Sometimes, God will do the former in ways you least expect without much understanding.

If you think you are being persecuted is because you are. If something appears to be it often is… In my life, I have suffered a number of calculated attacks by a number of very evil people. Despite their ignorance and malicious schemes, I have always prayed for them anyways. My reward? The good God has done justice to them all and have blessed me with more than I deserve. I tell you this to you: God doesn’t tolerate evil doers. He does justice in His own time, don’t worry or get angry. Those who are unjust will pay for their transgressions. Don’t be envious of their evil deeds. God will put them in their places. All you have to do is pray.

“Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Psalm 37:1-3); “The face of the Lord is against evildoers. To cut off the memory of them from the earth” (Psalm 34:16). 

They have hated Jesus, first. They will hate you and me. It will happen. You role isn’t to hate them but to pray. It is amazing what happens in your life when you take this kind of stance. God will do miracles in your life, I say.

Encourage One Another, Always.

Encourage One Another, Always.

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11. Life is about glorifying God. One of the ways we do this is by encouraging one another and building each other up. Whenever we do the former, if you have God at the center of your life, inevitably you will give all the glory of you successes to Him anyways.

Never forget one important detail, though — “Do everything in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14.

Say Goodbye To The Job Fat — Be Multidisciplinary.

Say Goodbye To The Job Fat — Be Multidisciplinary.

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For years, people were able to get good jobs by simply fulfilling the requirements for a bachelors degree in any field which meant that college training in egyptology, nautical archeology, popular culture, leisure studies, and many other cool but weird college majors were viable options for employment despite of the skillset students gained in these obscure majors. The system has changed drastically — both inside but also outside of a college campus.  Listen carefully: Say goodbye to the job fat. Are you really ready to compete globally for a high paying position job?

I don’t think you are. Chances are high that you are behind in this quest and is likely to be missing a clear cut path or plan towards contemporary success in the contemporary American job market landscape. How do I know that? Because human beings are creatures of habit. We only change when is absolutely necessary for us to do so. Many graduates or graduates to be are literally sleeping or refuse to accept reality. Let me explain. Yesterday, we were told that the service industry was the future of the American economy. The lack of jobs found in post-industrial cities like Buffalo, NY or Detroit, MI would be short lived as manufacturing jobs were to be replaced with service jobs, anyways. Hmmm… That backfired.

Today, Macy layed off almost 10,000 retail employees. Sears and K-Mart also closed its stores nationwide laying off too many service industry workers. Staples reported a 548 million loss and is closing 70 more stores resulting in more job loss. Where is Circuit City? Where is H.H Greg? They are bankrupt because of the advent of Amazon. I like to add, “They closed because of the advent of an on-line retail giant and their low cost technology driven infrastructure or shall we simply say due to their advancements in technology.” The service industry era is dead. Our country is driven by information not manufacturing or the service industries. 

By the way, the industrial age ended in the year 2000. I honestly don’t know where retail workers are going to work at in the years to come. What I do know is that they will make less per hour due to supply and demand rules and logic. In my opinion, retail workers won’t be the only bunch to make less and struggle to make a living in the United States this century, unfortunately. Not sure if I would recommend my daughter Sophia to study career such as accounting, print journalism, law, or be a sales professional. As Gitomer once said, “We don’t like to be sold but we like to buy.” The former makes the job of a salesman obsolete. With Lex Machima technology, the field of law will never be the same again. The machine is already doing the job of dozens of lawyers for much less. When was the last time that you hired an accountant to do anything to you other than your taxes? By the way, have you head of turbo tax? Journalism, as we understand, is near extinction but the skillsets that a journalist has, e.g., reporting, writing, editing will never die which is the saving grace for folks pursuing a degree in journalism. Print journalism is not dead but it will be near death in a decade, I bet. 

If you major in certain areas of Mass Communications, you will struggle. Radio isn’t dead yet but it has its sentence set. Communication (singular) will be a viable option for students in the social science as speaking interpersonally, across culture, non-verbally and through mediated communication will de facto exist in this new and challenging upcoming job era. Film production will rise as a logical alternative to broadcast media production as the opportunity to create and produce new, relevant, and engaging media artifacts is higher. I am not saying that film in itself will help students to find jobs, necessarily. What I am saying is that film students will have a higher chance of producing a high quality piece of art that could indeed be seen by potential buyers as a true media asset or what I like to call, “an intellectual stock” potentially generating a sizable return over a film producer’s investment of their time and resources. Art will be an important variable in the upcoming job revolution as one’s ability to think critically is already a necessity. Public Relations will not die and shall be seen by many as a saving grace for students of Mass Communicators along with traditional Communication (singular).

The employee of the present is multidisciplinary. If you are in media, for example, it will payoff to know how to deliver a speech publicly, learn ways to talk with people of different cultures and backgrounds, design and develop deliverables, write well, know a bit about modern languages, how business enterprises function and operate, how history connects the economic dots and much more. Trash the idea that mediocrity (simply completing a bachelors degree) will help you and in itself will sustain yourself and your family economically. The former is farther from the truth. Even when you have more education than 1% of the world’s population, if you are not careful… can backfire and put yourself in a vulnerable position which could lead to job unemployment or a severe pay cut. We are seeing too many phd’s jobless out there, especially in the humanities. 

We have no option but to be excellent. We must be eclectic in order to fully contribute meaningfully in the current economy and defend ourselves against the woes of our modern times — uncertainty and unemployment. If you are graduating from college right now, my advise to you is for you to take what I just wrote in this article very seriously and understand that the game has changed. The excess job “fat” is gone. If you are graduating with a degree in Mass Communication, read the former paragraphs closer as some of these examples will definitely apply to you and your future. Under any circunstances, do not think about buying a house anytime soon. Scarce jobs lead to lower wages — extreme competition and advances in technology lead to unexpected layoffs. Unless you can buy a house cash, choose to rent. You can’t afford to lose your credit in an economy where we can only survive long-term on credit. Don’t be tempted. It is okay to buy a nice car, though. It is much easier to trade a car loan in than to sell a mortgage. Well, a car you take with you when you move. You can’t take a house with you. 

Learn to be ready to quit your job at anytime, if necessary. Be prepared to make a bold move to keep going forward. Be alert and observe trends. The over abundance of jobs in America is gone. Our reality is much different from the reality lived by our parents when they were our age. It is much more difficult for us, these days. Never forget that, okay? Be very careful with every decision that you make as our current circumstances don’t allow us to make too many errors without paying a tremendous price for making them.  Be versatile and learn continuously. Be a productive citizen of the USA in 2017 not 1917. You will thank me later — Just do it! 

 

 

 

Carpe Diem — Live Your Life Extraordinary.

Carpe Diem — Live Your Life Extraordinary.

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No matter how you see the world, this life is about living life extraordinary. In everything we do, we shall be stunning for His glory. Phenomenal whenever possible. Remarkable all the time always remembering that God is in control. Our timeless memories are a gift given by the Lord for our benefit. We need to keep in mind that God is in control not we. Our creation is God’s property. The bible is the verbal inspiration of God. We are to live as examples to others in Christ, in everything we do.

What we do, we do in His honor. I am in agreement with the following teachings of the Church of God and I believe that we should all follow the principles listed below. We need to live life extraordinary for the Lord.

The Wikipedia Church of God entry reads…

  • Spiritual Example: Demonstrate commitment to Christ through the practice of the spiritual disciplines (prayer, praise, worship, confession, fasting, meditation and Bible study); demonstrate commitment to the body of Christ through loyalty to God and commitment to his church; and demonstrate commitment to the work of Christ through good stewardship.
  • Moral Purity: Engage in activities which glorify God in the body and which avoid the fulfillment of the lust of the flesh. Sinful practices condemned include: “homosexuality, adultery, worldly attitudes (such as hatred, envy, jealousy), corrupt communication (such as gossip, angry outbursts, filthy words), stealing, murder, drunkenness and witchcraft“. Christians are to read, watch and listen to those things which are of positive benefit to spiritual well-being and not to attend or watch performances of a demoralizing nature.
  • Personal Integrity: Live in a manner that inspires trust and confidence, bearing the fruit of the Spirit and seeking to manifest the character of Christ in all behavior.
  • Family Responsibility: The family is foundational to society and the church; Christian worship and discipleship should begin in the home. Marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman; the only biblical allowance for divorce is fornication. Remarriage after divorce should only occur after a thorough understanding of and submission to scriptural instructions. God created men and women with different characteristics and different responsibilities. Divine harmony is maintained when the husband is head of the home, parents nurture and admonish their children, and children obey and honor their parents.
  • Behavioral Temperance: Practice temperance in behavior (self-control and moderation) and abstain from activities and attitudes which are offensive to others or which lead to addiction or enslavement, such as “abstain from all alcoholic beverages and other habit-forming and mood-altering chemical substances and refrain from the use of tobacco in any form, marijuana and all other addictive substances, and further, must refrain from any activity (such as gambling or gluttony) which defiles the body as the temple of God or which dominates and enslaves the spirit that has been made free in Christ”.
  • Modest Appearance: Demonstrate the scriptural principle of modesty (chaste in thought and conduct) by appearing and dressing in a manner that will enhance Christian testimony and will avoid pride, elaborateness or sensuality.
  • Social Obligation: Fulfill obligations to society by being good citizens, by correcting social injustices, and by protecting the sanctity of life (abortion and euthanasia of aged, mentally incompetent, terminally ill and otherwise handicapped, for reasons of personal convenience, social adjustment or economic advantage, are morally wrong).

Oh God, who can be better than you? Nobody, I say.

 

What The Lord Hates. Flee From Them All! Today Not Tomorrow.

What The Lord Hates. Flee From Them All! Today Not Tomorrow.

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“Six strings the Lord hates; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: Arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers” (Psalm 6:16-19).

It is written that a worthless person, a wicked man (or women) who goes around speaking dishonestly will eventually be struck by the Lord hard and suddenly. We don’t need to be angry about them or anything like that. Trust God because he will do justice. “He (or she) will be shattered instantly beyond recovery” (Psalms 6:15), says the Lord.  There is more hope for a dead men than for a malicious man.  You have nothing to worry about. In reality, I have pity for those who are arrogant in behaviors and actions, verbal and non-verbal because God does justice in His own time. I am sick of malicious people. They think I don’t know them. God shows me everything I need to see. Just because I don’t say doesn’t mean I don’t know…

A lying tongue, a blow to the innocent of heart, wicked schemes and gossip… evil plans and desires and those who bear false witness will be judged. Anyone who stirs up trouble among brothers will perish in a capacity or another, “For a man’s way are before the Lord’s eyes” (Psalm 5:21). “The good obtain favor from the Lord, but He condemns a man (or women) who schemes” (Proverbs 11:2). God is fair and will do justice. Be upright, loyal, and have a pure heart. God will take care of you — not to worry. “You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need” (Philippians 4:19).  

Remember: “I will not violate my covenant or change what my lips have said” (Psalm 89:34).  

Do Not Neglect The Gift You Have.

Do Not Neglect The Gift You Have.

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“Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.” 1 Timothy 4:14. 

We are all good at something. Some of us are fine engineers, others are good with numbers, some are excellent speakers or nurses and a few are indeed awesome photographers or graphic designers. One of our main goals in life is to find out what that “something” we are great at is and go deep so that we can glorify God all the days of our lives with it. Our gifts aren’t to be used for man, like many do in the music industry. Our godly gifts are to be used, without question, for God’s glory.

Who are we without God? We are nobody, I say. Spend some time this week to find your true talent so that you can glorify the almighty with distinction. Remember: You work for God not man. Once you find that special gift, dedicate your life to that talent so that the Lord is glorified continuously. If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31).

A True Believer Don’t Show Favoritism.

A True Believer Don’t Show Favoritism.
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Clarence has a great heart. He helps homeless veterans. What a great brother in Christ.

A true believer don’t show favoritism. He treats everybody the same regardless of how much he has, which clothes he dresses or where he lives. A brother (or sister) in Christ deserves to be treated with respect regardless of how much he has. The color of one’s skin (regardless of ethnicity) shouldn’t determine to which person you should address your speech to first, either. Don’t be judgmental, use good discernments and be fair. Reminder: There will be both white and black believers in heaven. Love them both…

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (James 2:1-4). If you have ears listen… 

Don’t dishonor the poor man. “…Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:8). If you show favoritism, God will judge you sooner or later because it is written He will. Be careful with whom you show favoritism to. God is paying very close attention to your actions and mine.

If You believe, You Will See The Glory Of God.

If You believe, You Will See The Glory Of God.

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“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11: 25-26

Yes, I Do. Being with you is a gift that I do accept and celebrate. Sure, the path has been rough and much persecution has occurred but I do realize that they hated you before they hate me. I don’t live for man but for you, Lord. Scripture has taught me to seek what is best for others many times over what is best for me. God, you take care of us all.

God works in us. We believe and are blessed. Glory is to be given to God, alone. If you believe, you will see the glory of god.

We Are Called To Evangelize.

We Are Called To Evangelize.

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Billy Graham once said that there is a day in a man’s life when he has to make a decision to either live for God or to live for man. There is no higher calling and honor than to spend your whole life journey spreading the gospel to the four parts of the world and defending what is right to God’s eyes. In Daniel 12:3 it is written, “Those who are wise will shine like the bright expanse of the heavens and those who lead many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”

Some of us are engineers and preach the gospel to technical brothers and sisters. Others are good with money or excellent philosophically and serve in the financial and critical thinking ministries. A few are athletically inclined and have a talent to teach youngsters the word of God. Whatever you do, you should do to glorify God.

“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” 1 Peter 1:14-15. 

 

Man Will Not Last — God Will.

Man Will Not Last — God Will.

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“For all can see that the wise die, that the foolish and the senseless also perish, leaving their wealth to others. Their tombs will remain their houses forever, their dwellings for endless generations, though they had named lands after themselves. People, despite their wealth, do not endure; they are like the beasts that perish. This is the way of those who are arrogant and their followers who approve of their words” (Psalm 49:10-13).

Don’t be like them. Valuable possessions without understanding is meaningless. We shall be gracious to everything that the good God has given us and not live to collect gold in this world alone. We are called to love God and not use our mouths for evil or our tongues for deceit. We are to edify our parents and do what is right in God’s eyes. We need to be gracious to God and for everything that He has given us. God will last but not man. Whatever you do, do it for God.

“Do not give the life of your dove to the beasts” (Psalm 74:19).

Where Is The Philosopher? Where Is The Scholar? He Died For Our Sins.

Where Is The Philosopher? Where Is The Scholar? He Died For Our Sins.

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“Where Is The Philosopher? Where Is The Scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish?” (1 Corinthians 1:29). Yes, He did. We also learn in 1 Corinthians that God destroys the wisdom of the wise and the understanding of the experts. Divine mysteries, I say! philosophy ends where theology begins. There is nobody among us who can de facto come near the power of God. The love of the lamb can’t be quantified even when using most accurate mathematical functions. It is only by the equations of God’s unconditional love and grace that we are saved. We can’t save ourselves despite our very own idea of world understanding.

Trust! We are to have the courage to advance God’s word and mission. God’s wisdom is true wisdom. Your wisdom and mine aren’t! Put aside that PhD for a moment. Let coefficients of reliability, ANOVAS and MANCOVAS, alpha levels and the many dependent variables dissipate. Who cares about them in the big scheme of things? Aren’t they meaningless anyway, as we learn in Ecclesiastics 1? Focus on God’s word! Only God has infinite meaning. We, my friends, are dust… flesh and blood. We need God not the philosophers or the scholars to find eternal truth. We need God’s grace first and foremost.

Don’t be immature, proud and rely on human wisdom. Humble yourself and surrender your wishes and life to the Lord. There is no greater mission than the former. The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it! (1 Corinthians 10:26). He was pierced for our transgressions (Isaiah 53:5). He died so that we can live. Never forget that.

Be Humble, Smile Often, Always Forgive.

Be Humble, Smile Often, Always Forgive.

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Be humble, smile often, and always forgive. In this life, there is always somebody who is better than you. In Philippians 2:3 we learn, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” God takes care of His people in his own time, never forget that. “Lord, I turn my hope to you…” (Psalm 25:1). I’d advise you to do this, as well.

Smile! “The humble will eat and be satisfied” (Psalm 22:26). Always forgive! We all mess up! Who among you is sinless? Through the first rock… God takes your fears away if you obey! Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger for you are with me.” (Psalm 23:4).

“Turn away from evil and do what is good and dwell there forever.” (Psalms 37:27) and above all, “Be Humble, Smile Often, Always Forgive. “

Be Very Careful — Many False Prophets Will Rise Up.

Be Very Careful — Many False Prophets Will Rise Up.

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In Matthews 24:11 we learn, “Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Brethren, be aware and cautious. Many will come in the name of Christ and will deceive you. Remember: You know the brethren by their fruits. “We shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” (Matthew 7:16). The bible is clear about the conditions for somebody to be a pastor. Some of these conditions are:

  • “…But hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.” (Titus 1:8).
  • Not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.” (1 Timothy 3:3).
  • “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain” (Titus 1:7).

And many other categories… Think and reflect. Can you see the snake? Be aware… Pray and do what is God’s will.

Money Alone Will Never Buy Your Happiness Or A Career.

Money Alone Will Never Buy Your Happiness Or A Career.

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Money alone will never buy your happiness or a career. There is much more to life and work than money, possessions, material things like cars, houses, jewelry, bags you name it. This life is about God as well as the next. I strongly suggest that you take the former statement seriously now. In Philippians 4:12-13 we learn, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” God will show life to you and protect you in His own time if you are obedient and realize that without Christ, life is in vain. You are to believe and believe in Him alone.

God will tell you how to proceed in this world if you ask. Our caring God thinks about you and empowers you to achieve great things in this world, in His name. It is easy to be tempted by money and possessions alone — in fact, it is very easy. I have seen too many good people become corrupted because of it. Don’t fall into the trap. Flee from the perverse and always look in between the lines. God said in Proverbs 10:9 “He that walketh uprightly walketh surely: but he that perverteth his ways shall be known.” Money and possessions are the fuel that corrupts good folks and turn them into perverse people.

No matter where you live, how much you make or don’t make… what you have or not have — Stick to what your morals and beliefs are in Christ Jesus. You are to pray for your destiny and always keep your focus in God not man. Do what you have to in order to train pupils about the importance of living a life of prayer and obedience to God. If you have ears listen, “Be good, read the bible, repent and always in every circumstance realize that life isn’t about you or me… Life is about God.

Before making any major life decisions, you need to pray and fast. You are to never let anyone chose your life path for you. Understood? God is a gift — pray continuously. The reward is worth the sacrifice.

Pray For Those Who Persecute You.

Pray For Those Who Persecute You.

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Life isn’t about you or me. Life is 100% about the Lord and his kingdom. Give your life to Jesus Christ and celebrate life with a smile on your face always being focused on what God wants you to do. Pride should be the last thing in your mind. Many enjoy revenge and returning a punch to someone who have hurt them before. Don’t be like them. Pray for them! Be slow to anger and if you do lose your temper, be quick to being yourself again. Being with God is a gift, ladies and gentleman. Never forget that, okay? Enjoy the gift!

I say, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthews 5:44. They (enemies) will come hard at you, I guarantee — especially if you are competent at what you do. Be patient, be persistent, be reasonable, be yourself and love God. Never forget to pray and give thanks. Remember: You (and I) don’t deserve the air that we breathe. Keep things in perspective and do what you have to in order to put God first not you. The word “I” should be rarely used in you daily communications. Pray, always pray. Most people are self centered and focused on themselves, only. Don’t be like them and remember…

Is God if for us, who can be against us?

Children Is A Gift From God.

Children Is A Gift From God.

What a blessing having kids is. When you come home, they want to chat with you. When you live the house, they want you to stay and be with them. If you are in doubt… pray about it but don’t hesitate to have one if it is clear that God wants you to have a baby: Get married and have a child! This is what the good God teaches us about children… “Children is a heritage from God.” (Psalms 127:3). You deserve this heritage.  We all deserve it.  

Whatever You Do It, Do It With Enthusiasm.

Whatever You Do It, Do It With Enthusiasm.

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No matter where you are, God is always with you. Things in life happen for a reason and always follow God’s plan. May the name of God be praised forever and ever. Wisdom and power belongs to Him. He takes care of His people and does what is right for us believers. Listen carefully: “Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2-3). 

Whatever you do it, do it with enthusiasm as something you do for the Lord not for men (Colossians 3:23). You respond to God almighty, never forget that. You duty is to do what is right and holy. You are to to use your godly gifts to glorify God in everything you do. Don’t be jealous of wrong doers. They will surely pay their price. Do what is right and fair.

If you have ears listen, “Walk in wisdom towards outsiders, making the most of your time. Your speech should aways be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. (Colossians 4:5-6).  Remember this, “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything.” (1 Thessalonians 16-18). God is in control.

Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger.

Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger.

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“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6. 
The moment we try to guide our lives and “command our destiny…” is when we get into trouble. Christians are to trust God and be obedient to Him never trusting our own understanding. Don’t fall into the “I can control my own future” temptation — Listen to the Holy Spirit when He talks to you. What is to come is God’s call not your call or mine. Remember: Everything in to be done in God’s time and to His glory not on our own time and to our own glory. In Matthew 10:30, the Lord teaches us, “And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered…” Very true, indeed but who among us can count how many hairs we have on our head? See.
Life is a journey, God is the pilot, and we are the passenger. Enjoy the ride and trust. It is my call and yours. Courage! Courage! God is in control. Be obedient and trust. Never forget, “God takes care of His people…” the moment you realize that God (not you) is in control.
“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. 

Read Scripture Daily — It Is Great Food For Your Soul.

Read Scripture Daily — It Is Great Food For Your Soul.

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“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. 

In this life, we need to read scripture so that we glorify God in everything that we do. This life isn’t about you or me, your cousin or the neighbor across the street. It is 100% about God and His kingdom. Fortunate are those who understand the former early on in their lives. When we were younger, we used to think like the young. Now that we are older, we have to think like a man. We are to live our lives to advance God’s will.

My advice? Read scripture, daily. It is great food for your soul. God is the best teacher. He will tell you what you need. We simply need to be His best students and follow.

Praise the Lord, For The Lord Is Good.

Praise the Lord, For The Lord Is Good.

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“Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant.” Psalms 135:3. Who can be better than our God? Nobody I say. Life without God is in vain. Being with God is a gift “It is our duty to speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord.” Ephesians 5:19. We shall, indeed… 

Oh God, you had pity on me. When I ask, you respond. You are all my reasons. What I do… I do for you. Your words are like honey and your grace can move mountains. I don’t deserve the air that I breath. You are too good and merciful. You love us unconditionally. The mystery of the gospel shall be proclaimed to the masses and your kingdom shall come with triumph to all four parts of the world. We are to engage in the great commission all the days of our lives…

The end is near and hope is at bay. But with you… we have life. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9. Yes you did, Jesus…

Trust you said repeatedly… because God loves you.

 

 

 

God Gets The Glory — Every Time.

God Gets The Glory — Every Time.

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“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” James 1:17.

Despite of what many may believe, a talent given by God is to be used for God’s glorification not for one’s self gain. God gets the glory all the time. In this life, we need to use God’s gift to spread the word of God and bring glory to our father in heaven.  Everything else is in vain.

Who are we without God? Nothing.

Do Not Be Conformed By This Present World.

Do Not Be Conformed By This Present World.

“Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2. 

It isn’t what you want to do, where I want to live or they are planning to go… the former is all vanity and self wish. What is really important in this life is obeying Jesus Christ and doing what God tells us to do in His own time.

Living wih the Lord is a gift. What can we do without Him? Nothing I say…

With God, We Are More Than Conquerors…

With God, We Are More Than Conquerors…

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31. 

Nobody… you and me and many others have seen what God does to those who love Him. Always believe, be obedient and be faithful to Jesus Christ. Your life will most definitely change. Love for God is what this life is really all about. 

Never forget that. 

Being A Parent Makes You A Better Teaching Professor. 

Being A Parent Makes You A Better Teaching Professor. 

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6.

Caring professors who have a child train their kid(s) in the way that he/she should go and live life. After professors engage in the former for a few years, they become used to caring for their child which by definition makes them care as much about their future. 

College students need much of the same encouragements and a caring attitude from a college professor in order to move forward with their college career and later on in life. Those who have raised a child can de facto be a great addiction to a college department in any college. 

I truly believe that… 

Life Is Illogical — Get Used To It.

Life Is Illogical — Get Used To It.

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Forget logic… Life is illogical. If you operate under the assumption that you need more common sense in order to better understand your circumstances, think again because the former can in fact be a handicap instead of an edge for you. The moment you think that logic is what you need in order to advance your mission in life, I bet you that you will struggle over and over again pretty bad. The reality of the matter is that most people are crazy and there is nothing that you and I can do that will ever change this reality. It is only by being able to deal with the illogical that you will find sanity in your world.

In my life, I have seen a painter and a nurse buy a three thousand thousand dollar home with a sixty five thousand dollar combined income with maxed out credit cards yet they thought they deserved to have that kind of property and many friends assumed that they were wealthy because of their estate. What do I Say? Craziness! Life is illogical. I have also seen real estate professionals trying to put blame on their own clients for their own misfortunes. Yet, many people believe these ludicrous professionals and blame the innocent. Again… Illogical.

I have seen many blaming others for their own incompetence. How illogical is that? Yet, the former happens more often than you may think. Today, I was told that some areas in central Mississippi will start charging five thousand dollars for a small piece of commercial real estate because developers want to make the region into the next Beverly Hills with huge hotels and such. Illogical, I say. I love central Mississippi but this region will never compete heads on with southern California in wealth.

I have seen too many misunderstandings that could have been avoided due to either unsubstantiated thoughts and biases, people trying to be wealthy when in trueness they don’t have anything, priests treating their own people with disrespect yet asking them to fund their churches, colleges seeking accreditation at all costs without having the funding to recruit enough staff to complete the work, and even people eating in fancy places yet they don’t have a sustainable place to live. All of this? Illogical.

Check this irony out! You live a responsible life according to your means, treat others with respect, do your job with care, respect others, celebrate other people’s victories, make others look good, help others when they are sick, pray for them and in return you get — They try to screw you in every opportunity they can; They lie about you and your family; they elevate their lies and reduce your accomplishments… and in the end? Many people believe these lunatics many times over you without hearing both sides of the story! Isn’t the former so illogical?  Yet these former things happen more often than you may think. Illogical right? I say so.

Human beings are so illogical all over the world. In India, for example, many men work their whole lives, save up what they have made but often spend more than half of what they have acquired in one night at their daughter’s weeding. In Brazil, many have very little money sometimes having nothing or little to eat but during carnival, they go nuts on spending what they don’t have in a costume that they use for two maybe three days. The British system of education (the German, Portuguese…) assumes that by age 18, you are ready to choose what you want to do for the rest of your life. In Brazil, winning what is yours in court may take a lifetime. Don’t believe me? Go ask my family about it! We have been fighting for a piece of real estate we have paid taxes religiously for the past 37 years… Things are just illogical everywhere!

Do yourself a favor — just realize that life is illogical. Get used to it. If it makes too much sense, be skeptical. I am learning to accept this absolute reality. You should do the same.

 

 

Millennials Are Not Computer Geniuses.

Millennials Are Not Computer Geniuses.

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This is perhaps one of the biggest myths of our times — The idea that the millennials are geniuses of technology and that they know everything there is to technology. The reality is that they don’t actually know  the very basics of longitudinal productive technology as this kind of knowledge base requires significant internal rehearsal which is a fancy name for practice through repeated behavior. The Millennials can rarely recognize their own limitations with modern technique which in itself should serve as evidence that something just isn’t right.The former is perhaps one of the biggest problems we face in society today. The idea that millennials know everything about computers. Well, they don’t.

They “know” how to use social media but social media fluency doesn’t equate into being capable of producing an elaborated spreadsheet, C++ programming expertise, or even HTML 1.0 code understanding.  I even argue that the millennials don’t even have the necessary tenets of building a legitimate group of organic followers on social media either as such endeavors require time and effort. I have worked with a number of clever social media students to help promote some of my initiatives and in every instance, even the very best student wizards of technology, couldn’t make anything go viral for me. Why is that? Well, you tell me. Let me tell you…

Most youngsters of today don’t have the “time” and don’t want to put the effort to build such social media empires. They are too busy wasting their time with themselves rather than learning how to produce artifacts or advance any social media initiative overtime as such endeavors require a combination of rest, reflection, and hard word. This is why TechnoModeration and rest are critical elements to meaningful production. Most millennials are consumers of technology not producers of any kind. Most don’t rest to be able to contribute to their highest potentials. Looking for the easy way out under a constant state of frazzle won’t cut and this is perhaps why most millennials simply don’t produce novel artifacts despite the numerous techniques available to them.

This is perhaps why a smart group of entrepreneurs developed a number of smart applications to help the busy generation to get more followers, likes, comments… I like to call them the “industry of fake” who offer a solution to what I call the egoistic me at all costs clientele. I have to admit — these internet entrepreneurs are brilliant! They understand their target audience!  They produced modern media artifacts to satisfy the Millennial hunger of wanting to be popular and as a value added fool their parents with the idea that they are geniuses of technology because they can buy popularity.

The price of fake is decreasing by the year as do most innovations. So, NO! Millennials Don’t Know Everything About Computers. They probably know very little, in fact. They know how to fake what they know. If you take their smartphones away, they know even less and would probably get severe anxiety.

Don’t be fooled by what you hear. If it appears too good to be true… did you remember that phrase? Pay attention, investigate and look for the undeniable evidence that is found out there.  They need as much help as we do with technology.

In This Life You Need To Be Spectacular. 

In This Life You Need To Be Spectacular. 

In this life, you need to be spectacular in what you do. If your gift is playing classical music, your goal is to become the next Mozart. If sports is your gig, try to be the next Pele. Are you talented in art? Your competition is Andy Warhol not the local starving artist living on 3rd street. Never, under any circumstances, be satisfied with being mediocre. You were born to achieve greatness in this life, remember that. Your competition isn’t local or regional — it is definitely global and inter generational. 

I don’t know about you but my biggest competition lies inside of me. I don’t look at others for inspiration or guidance other than looking at true timeless talent to keep me in reality. I have no problem looking at amazing talent to help me to develop my own talent. In a world dominated by excellence, failing to perform at the highest level is capital punishment. Be aware of the fact that it is only by discovering your true talent that you will have the chance to make it big in this life. The irony of the former is that so many people work in so many areas of life that they are not talented in. How can that be? Let me explain.

In life you need to be spectacular, hands down. Too many people, however, believe that in order to be spectacular people need to be a millionaire. Well, these days, too many even think that people need to be a billionaire. The reality, though, is that some industries aren’t made to make most into either of thee categories yet you can be truly exceptional. You need to trash the idea that money equates to greatness today, not tomorrow, next week, or sometimes in the near future. Otherwise, you might end up being a mediocre engineer when you should have been the new Mozart in town. 

Focusing on dollars isn’t the main variable that is going to make you spectacular. Working on your true gift, however, will. Your goal isn’t to be wealthy necessarily. Your goal is to discover your true talent and focus. If you do the former, you will be well compensated over time, I bet. What comes easy goes easy. When you work in what you do best, you win overtime which is the best way to win. Remember: In this life, you need to be espectacular. 

Speaking Your Mind With Reason Is Critical In Life.

Speaking Your Mind With Reason Is Critical In Life.

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Let me tell you this straight: Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in timely professional development. Life, my friends, isn’t about you or me. Life is de facto about others and how we share and learn overtime. Don’t get me started — if you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the near future. Nobody knows everything… not even you. We need to be prepared, thats for sure. We need to keep learning and sharing.  We need lifelong learning! We need lifelong sharing!  Be ready to speak your mind with reason once is a while as the former is certainly critical to your success in life.

All that I ask you is: Be reasonable. We already live in a world that is so unreasonable.  We most definitely need to be vocal about the former because acting without reason is dangerous and always backfire. In fact, being unreasonable is both dangerous and oppressive as it can silence the voices of people who might otherwise change the world for the better. Our goal is to make things better not worse in this world. It is to carry and advance honorable agendas in a timely fashion. Be patient, be kind, be loving and strive to be great in the eyes of others. Speak your mind with reason and defend what is right and honorable once in a while. Remember: Being impartial or overly judgmental of others, especially if your life depends on the same people you criticize, isn’t wise. One thing is for sure — Your goals are not that different than mine. it is to move forwards in life by being a reasonable person. Is it that complicated? I don’t think so.

There are many ways people can speak their minds reasonably. In this life, I will share with you three ways I speak my mind with reason. Here we go.

  1.  I write. Well, the former shouldn’t come a surprise to anybody, right? I write my blog on a daily basis in order to communicate my thoughts to the masses with a tough of reason. Writing allows me to speak my mind in symbolically through language. What is my overall goal you may be asking. My goal is simply to speak my mind to others so that engagement takes place as I believe that sharing what I know and hearing what others have to say is a critical to my own professional development and with succeeding in life. This is my advice to you — You should de the same and write daily. Writing is a wonderful tool to tell others about how you feel, as long as it is done with reason. It is a way to keep yourself sane in this insane world that we live in.
  2. I photograph. Drawing with lights allow us to speak our minds visually. Differently from writing, a well taken photograph is art in itself with no symbolism. We all need art to be reasonable. Life is art and without question… life without art isn’t life as we know it. The whole idea of being critical is tied to the field of photography. Have you ever met a professional photographer who wasn’t critical of his/her photography work? Are you critical of your photography? Tom Petty once said, “Sell your computer and buy a guitar.” I say, “Sell your computer (or guitar) and buy a DSLR!”
  3.  I speak. Speaking in public allows me to speak my mind orally. When was the last time that you delivered a public speech? If you haven’t done one in a while, I would strongly suggest that you make plans to deliver one by next week. In order to speak your mind with reason, you need to be versed in public speaking. I bet Dale Carnegie would agree with me on this one! Get yourself a good public speaking training program and start developing your repertoire of speeches so that you also have the ability to change the world for the better by speaking and being reasonable! We need more people like you, that’s foe sure.

Your end is near if you decide to stop sharing what you know and learning new things due to fear of retaliation or simply because of arrogance. I am not aware of any quality professional who lacks generosity and/or avoids engaging in timely professional development in this world. If you think that you know everything under the sun, you are heading towards imminent disaster and a huge awakening in the future. Nobody knows everything… not even you. Be patient, be kind, be loving… take time to write, photograph, and speak so that you also have a chance to speak your mind with reason. Are you ready for the challenge? I hope so.

The Importance Of Renewing Your Mind.

The Importance Of Renewing Your Mind.

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God has instructed us in Romans 12:2 to renew our minds. Let me clarify this — It is absolutely imperative that we all read scripture on a daily basis as by reading His word, we read His thoughts. It is amazing what you can accomplish in your life when you get closer to God in scripture. The act of reading the bible is both a blessing for those who read and the ones who receives God’s message. We are called to read the bible, pray and engage in the great commission everyday. We might as well do the former often, without regrets… early on in our lives.

Paul said, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed.” As believers, we are from this world but we are not of this world. We don’t need to act and react in “human” terms necessarily and we should most definitely engage in biblical testing. Also, we need to renew our minds by transforming our minds with what God has said and taught us not what we want to think or not think. Life isn’t about you or me — Life is most certainly about God and what God wants us to do, as King and Blackaby eloquently write in their best selling book, “Experiencing God.”

Be careful to not be molded by this world, brothers and sisters. You were born for a reason and the main one is to do great things in life for God’s glorification. Being close to scripture and listening to the word of God is an important and necessary condition for God’s will to be done in this life. You were called to be a part of God’s army. We all need to act accordingly. Let me tell you something: The time for advancing the kingdom is now fellas not tomorrow. We all need to renew our minds for God’s glory. Life is too short for us to be constantly waiting for a divine sign/call given by God so we can start doing the work of God.

I am 43. You might be 27 maybe 37 or 19, I don’t know. What I do know is that we all need to be immersed in scripture and defending the word of God on a daily basis. It is our duty, it is our task — it is most definitely our call. Renew you mind by getting closer to God’s word/thoughts. This is your primary responsibility in life. I am in 100% and won’t abandon God. You should take the same stance, as well. God is counting on your help and mine in order to help others see the light and truth of God Almighty.

What a privilege that we have. It comes down to that.

Keep Calm And Trust God.

Keep Calm And Trust God.

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There is no need to worry, put pressure on yourself, or be constantly seeking approval from others. The former only causes anxiety, frustrations and unnecessary worry which you really don’t need in your life. Keep calm and trust God. Everything in this life happens for a reason. Remember this: The Lord shall fight for you. Therefore, you shall hold your peace, Exodus 14:14. You have no control of your life. I have no control of mine and I bet you that your parents and friends don’t have control of theirs, either.

Live a life of no regrets making your own decisions about your future. People, for the most part, are egoistic and self serving.  Don’t live your life based on how they live theirs. Don’t ever quit trying to make somebody laugh or making a friend smile. Life is too short for anyone to hold anger and wanting to call every shot without the blessings from God. Failing to smile and trust God can make you depressed. Why would you do this to yourself? You deserve so much better.

Keep calm and trust God. Be careful not to let your pride go ahead of the wishes and wants of God. You don’t live for you. I don’t live for me — We both live for God. Remember, the Lord can help you to overcome anything you just have to trust Him. As Jake Provance once said, “When purpose feels questionable, your strength fades.”  What are your reasons? Whatever they are, you will be in a better position if you make the decision to put your faith in the Creator. Why would you make your life more complicated than what it needs to be?

The person in this photo is Ms. Mignon Clyburn, the head of the Federal Communications Commission, a very clever woman from South Carolina. I didn’t ever make plans to meet her yet we met and had a great quick chat. You don’t know exactly what will happen in your life therefore, trusting God is imperative both for you and me. The blessings that God has planned for you will appear when you least expect, as long as you allow God to bless you in this world.

Be slow to anger, be happy and forgiving. Be and act like the salt of the world. If you are a true Christian, this is what you do on a daily basis. By the way, you don’t need to be your worst critic. All you need to do is to be reasonably critical for your own good and trust God. Don’t forget to keep calm. The good God is in control. God loves you and me. Make sure that you love God in return and do what you can to glorify Him. Life isn’t about you and me but about God.

Life can be filled with frustrations and annoyances. You need to learn how to control your emotions and trust that God will take care of you and your circumstances. The former isn’t to say that you shouldn’t work or do what you can to better your circumstances. What it does say, however, is that God will take care of His people , as long as you follow God’s commands. God loves work. Never forget this important truth.

Keep calm and trust God. It is all that you can do, I say.

I Am Average: You Are Also Average.

I Am Average: You Are Also Average.

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Overall, I am very average. I bet, regardless of what you may think, that you are also very average, if that. My reasons for making such a straight forward and realistic life assessment statement is because I have enough common sense to realize that only very few people are de facto extraordinary in this world regardless of what many may think. People can think anything in life but just because they think doesn’t mean that they and you are and I am. Let me go one step further and enlighten you with more practical common sense. I bet that most (if not all) of your friends and family are at best mediocre. Which metrics are you using to justify such “controversial” statements, you may be asking? I will tell you in a bit… stay tuned.

If you were to die tomorrow, how many people would attend your funeral service? Which extraordinary achievement have you accomplished in your life that is worth placing you two standard deviations in the global population mean? Some may say… I have a PhD — Only about 1% of the population have PhD’s. Whoopty do!!! How many people do you think have completed a PhD worldwide? I don’t know about you but the vast majority of my friends have one. The number, of course, is in the millions maybe thousands of millions. I am not that unique; they are not that unique. If you think you are unique because you have one, think again. You are not unique either. Not even a Harvard PhD is that unique. There are a lot of people who have fulfilled the requirements to receive a PHD from Harvard University throughout the years. Does the former mean that they are all geniuses? Give me a break.

I am the first Brazilian in history to ever become a Head Golf Coach in a NCAA accredited university in the United States. Whoopty do!!! Who cares if you are the first of anything that insignificant… Being the first doesn’t make me better or worse than being the second or third Chinese teenager to ever play college basketball on a scholarship in France. What is the overall significance of your accomplishment, at the global level? By the way, greatness is to be measured at the global level not at the whatever level, don’t you think? It is in my book.

This is how I judge whether a person is great or mediocre, “What have you done that has changed the world?” Galileu Galilei, Albert Einstein, Mother Theresa, Martin Luther King Jr, Nicola Tesla, Noam Chomsky, Steve Jobs… have changed the world. I doubt that you have, regardless of what you might think or believe. By the way, I haven’t either… At least, I know where I stand. Do you know where you stand? In this life, is is imperative that we answer these important former questions because the crazy most illogical decisions people make are often related to the false perceptions they have about themselves when in reality they are average at best. Stop and reflect about the former, I say. It is worth spending a few nights critically thinking about it. Do you still believe that you are that great?

Professors are notorious for thinking that they are the best thing that have ever lived in this world. Really? Don’t even get me started talking about university tenure and how wonderful your research is. Professors out there, listen to me — If you think that you are great because you have received a letter of tenure, think again. I have received two letters of tenure in a period of seven years — I am not wonderful. I am not that special because of these tenure letters. What these letters do say is that I take my job seriously and respect/honor the institutions that I work for. Let me tell you something: I don’t work for tenure; I work for God. By the way, I am pretty sure that you are not that great just because you have a letter of tenure, either.  We are all very average… Get real.

Here is my advice: Stop thinking that others won’t respect you because you admit to be average. Be careful to correlate beautiful pieces of clothing with extraordinary brain capacity. There is no direct correlation between a tie and brain cells, by the way. Having the perfect haircut won’t turn you into a freaking genius. I would even argue that “perfection” is often a sign of deficiency. Nobody is perfect. Those who are really good in what they don’t need to show that they are. Did Mother Theresa wear coach? Was Einstein a Ralph Lauren guy? How about Steve Jobs?

Moral of the story — I am average: You are also average. It is the end of it.

Billionaires Don’t Have The Best Interest Of The People.

Billionaires Don’t Have The Best Interest Of The People.

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Let me ask you this — Do you really think that a billionaire really cares about what happens in our lives? Please people, let’s get real. Very few (if any) billionaire has the best interest of anyone regardless of what anybody tells you. Billionaires like money… a lot of it. They don’t like you and I. In fact, most of these people make fun of you (and me) for not having what they have. Life is always about them, not you or me. How dare you disagree! Look, billionaires would rather make investments in robotics in order to replace labor (you) with machines than to invest in you. It is all about the money people. The goal? It is to demoralize you and make your life a living h^#$ so you keep your mouth shut. Why? Probably because billionaires don’t really care about you. Do you really think that they care about your family?

Listen carefully: You might as well give kisses of goodbye to anyone who opposes the billionaire agenda. Billionaires will destroy public education (both K-12 and post secondary, higher education) because the former won’t make them trillionaires. Let’s not forget that college professors tend to think critically about things, much like journalists… especially investigative reporters. What is the best thing that a ruthless billionaire dictator could do to eliminate his opposition? Or shall we say, offer some checks and balances to this whole mess — defund and/or demonize the opponent without any mercy. What can they (the regular people) do anyways, many are thinking these days. The unions are weak, the laws protect the wealthy and strong economically… Reality. The poor have no white blood cells to fight back my potent virus, billionaires know. It is time to attack! Maybe, our commander in chief is simply using Robert Green’s  15th law of power, “Crush your enemy totally, show no mercy.” The time is now — Let’s conquer everything in the world and screw everyone else because we can. I bet quite a few billionaires have had this conversation already. Starve them! Give them houses and an insecure job! Then, take their jobs away and buy their houses for cheap right after! The goal is global domination but it starts at home.

We live in a cruel world full of aspiring trillionaires who really don’t care about you and your family or mine. The scary part is that some now have the authority to literally destroy our lives in a very short period of time. Brothers and sisters, be aware! The world that your your children and mine will grow up in will be very ugly… It will be full of injustice, contrasts, and a lot of poverty. I am seeing a disaster coming to this country because of extremism, billionaire breeds extremism and a sense of self worth.  Billionaires don’t have the best interest of the people, that’s for sure. Don’t be fooled.

 

 

 

Be Thankful, Always.

Be Thankful, Always.

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Be thankful, always. Celebrate what you have and give thanks to God because life in its essence is about the memories that you collect and the moments that you will remember with nostalgia forever. Why make things complicated and make life more difficult than what it should be. I say live a simple life and without question… live your life to the fullest because our days on this earth are counted and temporary. There is no need to build four businesses, working 17 hours a day and taking no vacation. Not even the mighty government cares about what you spend and live for. Be wise: Live small, focus on your job, and be thankful, aways.

My life is much more precious than any award I’ve received for doing professional work. If we deeply investigate our own circumstances, in the end friends… we are all very average and sometimes below average in what we do and how we live. Everything is meaningless in this life as the good God has once said in Ecclesiastics 1. If you die tomorrow, how many people will be attending your funeral? Maybe a couple dozen if you are lucky… At mine, I can tell you, won’t be many and I am fine with it. I don’t live a beat the Jone’s type of life and find elitism to be both fickle and unnecessary but that’s just me.

There are so many ways that we can live a thankful life. In this article, I will share with you three ways I live my thankful one.

  1. I say no to elitism. There is no room for elitism in my life book. It is very difficult to be thankful to God and live life thinking about money and what others think of you. Maybe you can live your life this way. I can’t. When I was 14 years old, I chose to live a simple life, despite of my family upbringings and recommendations. In the end, what a person brings to the table is so much more important than what a small group of preppy kids who think they are wonderful have to offer. Get a life, man. A polo shirt, fine wine and a pair of sneakers will never define who I am. I don’t need to wear or appear wealthy to have value in this world. Life is to be lived for God not men. Elitism is a cancer that often backfires, especially if you want to live a thankful life, always.
  2. Play with your kids. There is nothing more satisfying to me than seeing my daughter grow up. Playing ponies with daddy, cabana at night, reading books and occasionally going to a bouncy place means the world to me.  All these former activities either costs us no money or are very cheap to pursue. Having fun with your kids is a blessing that isn’t tied to monetary power. It is a good way to be thankful, always. Let me share something with you, before I forget — make sure that you marry and have kids. You will thank me later.  Playing with your kids is perhaps one of the very best ways for anybody to grow thankful and happy, I think. Smile at your child before bed. I bet you will enjoy the moment.
  3. Tell others you are thankful for them. You don’t make your life great. Others do in fact with a touch of God. Moral of the story? Make sure you tell others that you are thankful for having them. If you really analyze your life in detail, you will quickly realize that the impact that others have on you are much higher than the impact that you have on yourself. We are members of only one race — the human race. Human beings were made to live in community and celebrate with others. Language and societal symbols are two means that we use to live a thankful life with others. Practice the former every time you can and do what you can to get better at it. Nobody is perfect and we all can improve. Make someone happy tomorrow. This is your duty and mine.

Be thankful, always. Celebrate what you have and give thanks to God because life in its essence is about the memories that you collect and the moments that you will remember with nostalgia forever. I say live a simple life and without question… live your life to the fullest. There are so many ways that we can live a thankful life — I say no to elitism, play with my kid, and tell others I am thankful for them once in a while but that’s just me. Don’t forget… Make someone happy. This is your duty and mine in this world.

The Faces Of The Homeless. How Can So Many People Be So Heartless?

The Faces Of The Homeless. How Can So Many People Be So Heartless?

According to the National Alliance To End Homelessness, there are more than 500,000 homeless people living in the United States today with a large number of them being children. The Housing and Urban Development office estimates that this number is likely to be an under estimation as many homeless men and women (and children) don’t have the means to fill out census surveys. Lack of affordable housing and low pay are the two main variables that contribute to the large number of homeless living in the streets in America. We need to do what we can to reduce this number exponentially and keep helping those who need our help the most. It is the Christian think to do.

By the way, can you spot a homeless man or woman? I bet you can but just keep in mind that they are more diverse than you may think. The Rethink Homelessness campaign has enlighten many of us to the true “face” of homelessness in the American empire.  Many homeless folks are college educated, have played sports in college with a scholarship, and some have even gone to modeling school. There are homeless who can speak multiple languages, including the language of personal training.

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Rethink Homelessness

You might be asking, “What happened to them?” “How can this be?” Well, there are so many answers to these questions. Let me offer some for you. When medicine is so expensive and only a few can afford and if you get really sick… it becomes really expensive for anyone to pay for those medical or prescription bills. What a shame, I say. I have known a number of clever, nice and hard working professionals who had their lives destroyed because of health care. How can the former happen in the United States of America!

In other cases, homelessness might be due to addiction to prescription drugs or sometimes due to financial bankruptcy. Sure, lack of affordable housing and low pay are two big variables that impact homelessness but they are not the only two. In my opinion, we need to do what we can to help each other out and redesign the system to at least give Americans the right to live without having to pass through this kind of hardship. Don’t you think? By the way, if you live in Mississippi, look for Clarence from lovevets.org. He is a nice guy who cares for Veteran Homeless living in Jackson, Mississippi.

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When I see images like the one we are seeing above, I can’t stop thinking about when I thought about going to medical school back in the 00’s with plans to work as a general practitioner in small town USA assisting folks with little funding to see a doctor.  I ended up becoming a different kind of doctor by my care for the poor (especially the homeless) will never go away, that’s for sure. Seeing a man (or woman) being homeless really bothers me especially if the person is in this position because of lack of health care. We can do so much better in this country, I argue.

 

Appearances can be deceiving sometimes, especially within the poor and disenfranchised. Forget gender, ethnicity, places of origin, language, location… the homeless are as diverse as you can think of and can be found everywhere in the union. Some have even created robots and have extensive knowledge of electronics. Surprised? Don’t be. They re everywhere. Next time you see a homeless asking for help, stop and think. You have the power to make a difference in the life of another fellow human being. Don’t forget — Jesus Christ called us to help the poor. Helping those in need is our duty a Christians.

 

The Amite Street Dilemma! Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

The Amite Street Dilemma! Decisions, Decisions, Decisions…

Jackson.pngIn your life, you are going to eventually hit a bifurcation point in your professional career which in turn will force you to make what we call, “A life decision.” It will go a little bit like this — You can’t go right, left deviates from the plan, you may need to hold in order to go forward… Long story short: Many times, the best thing to do is to just wait and reflect. Just remember that the prize awaits you at the end of the tunnel so embrace the unknown adventure and celebrate the journey that the good God has given to you.

RED LIGHT! Two minutes and twenty five seconds of waiting and then going… Calm down and be patient. Life is about giving time to time and seeing what the Lord wants you to do next. Don’t be emotional and make an thoughtless decision. We are all different. Lets celebrate that! I am a college professor, you might be an accountant or perhaps a physician. Some of you might work in real estate and I know that many of you work with your hands on a daily basis. Regardless of how you make a living, never lose track of what is the most important of all — loving God and identifying the “Amite Street” moments you will eventually have in your life’s journey.

Decisions, decisions, decisions… this is what life is really all about! We make them everyday for better or for worse. Perfecting our decisions is a skill set that we all need to master and reflect constantly. Don’t forget: Living is decision making. My day is all about making decisions. I am sure that your day isn’t that different. Our days are both about making the very best decisions we need to make under the circumstances we are in. How many life changing decisions have to made today? I am sure that you have made as many tough decisions as I have had to make. Keep making them! Learn to see how close you are to “Amite Street.”

The beauty of life depends on it.

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

Money Can’t Buy Happiness

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Money can’t buy happiness. I don’t remember where I read this but I have no option but to write it for our own benefit  — between zero and fifty thousand, money might buy happiness. Between fifty thousand and fifty million… it won’t. What is the moral of the story? Never, under any circunstances, live your life thinking that a lot of money alone will make you happy because it won’t. What tends to make people happy are the following: Loving God above anything; Having a supportive wife/husband; your desire to financially help others; your willingness to put other’s needs ahead of yours; being true to yourself and to the things that you value the most in this life… being forgiving and understanding.

The love of money is the root of all evil, as the bible teaches us. Insisting that money in itself will save you from hell is both a dangerous and unbiblical philosophy. Never forget this: You won’t be able to take to the grave all the millions of dollars (marks, pounds, liras) that you have accumulated in your banking account, regardless of what you others may have told you. When I was a teenager, an old and well known Brazilian magnate once told me this, “I would rather be dead and rich than being alive and poor. I am wealthy and powerful and happy” he once told me.” In reality, he wasn’t and both him and I knew it. “Mr. Wealthy” used to drink pretty heavily every Friday, Saturday and Sunday complaining about life and his family. Mr. Wealthy didn’t believe in God. God has pity on his soul.

Look, now that I am not that young anymore and have a mind of my own, I can better measure the level of this fellow’s life miscalculations. What is scary to me is that too many people think very much like “Mr. Wealthy” and simply can’t get away from this idea that money is everything in life. Let me remind you again: It isn’t. If you live for money you are never going to have enough of it and chances are pretty high that money will indeed control you and your actions. Nothing, about the former, is really about happiness, isn’t it? Absolutely, I say. By the way, can money revive you from the dead? Can money alone save you from an incurable illness? Even if you have money and think that money is your life shield… without God, you have nothing, especially happiness.

My advice: Live life to the fullest and enjoy your days in this world. Live a celebratory life where money isn’t a top priority in your life. If you love God and do good to others on a regular basis, enough money will eventually go your way to help you to living a happy life. Life, in its essence, is quite simple. Celebrate the simplicity of life by making God a top priority and be careful to not complicate your life journey with what I like to call the “money scam.” Happiness is about knowing God and loving others. It isn’t about accumulating wealth for its own sake.  Got it?

God Takes Care Of His People.

God Takes Care Of His People.

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If God is with you, who can be against you? Nobody can, I say. Don’t worry brother or sister, the good God is in control and won’t leave you alone in the darkness. Everything that happens in this life happens for a reason and there is nothing that you and me can do about it. The love that God has for us is not only contagious but literally impossible to describe. We all need the grace of God as we don’t deserve the air that we breathe and the food that we eat. Who is perfect among you? Nobody is, I scream! Life is about development, mercy and having a smile on your face. The Lord takes care of His people, that’s for sure. He puts people in your path to teach you lessons and to develop yourself for Godly service. Are you doing what God has asked you to do?

Don’t be jealous of others because God’s people complement them. Be patient because your time of glory will come. Life isn’t about getting attention all the time. Sometimes, God takes care of His people by making them live a low profile life. Nobody is perfect and sometimes, things are not what they seem. Be careful to not hold hate or discord. Most people are self-centered, egoistic and quick to temper.  Be different! Be a true Christian and chose love over hate. It is amazing what God can do in your life when you make Christ your priority not people. It is in fact shocking what comes your way when you don’t even expect or plan for it.  God will open your eyes to the beauty of this world if you ask Him to. God takes care of His people — In the morning, in the afternoon, in November or during the Summer months. Learn to trust God, live a life of no regrets, and make an effort to see the world with positive eyes. In the end, you will quickly realize that in this world, the Lord is in control not you or me.

There are a lot of ways in which God takes care of His people. In this article, I will share with you three ways God does take care of me and you.

  1. He puts extraordinary people in our paths. A caring God takes care of His people many times by showing to His children that only God is supreme. Nobody is always victorious and along your life journey… you will eventually find other people who have more talent than you. Don’t take the former to heart but as an opportunity to better learn about yourself and be humble. Only God is perfect. I am not perfect. You are not perfect either. God cares about you and me. You are to focus on Him not me and you.
  2. He humbles us by making us different. Simplicity is the name of the game, folks. As a young boy, I was trained in a polymath school where we all had to learn art, science, sports (golf and chess), and linguistics. We were trained to excel in these four areas at the highest level. I chose music and theatre, chemistry, golf/chess, and latin. Others chose dance and drawing, mathematics, soccer and greek. I know latin, you know greek; I make the first move and dominate the chess center board… you close the argument using pure Aristotelian thought.  We both complement what we do by doing what we do best. I am not better than you. You are not better than me. We, however, are better than most. I say, “synergy.” A united people can never be divided.
  3. He performs miracles when you least expect. If you are in hell, don’t stop… keep moving. There must be a very good reason for it. God takes care of His people. The miracles that the good God performs many times can’t be described or understood. Life is a miracle. This former fact, in itself, is worth celebrating the mercy and love of God. What are the odds one can get a hole in one in golf? 1 in 12500. How likely is it? Very unlikely. Do you know how tough it is to live and learn in another country whose language isn’t your own? The mannerisms, culture, values, etc… It isn’t that simple but God opens peoples’ eyes to see reality through love and care. God takes care of His people. Look, sooner or later you will experience a miracle. Ok, I say you have a 1 in 12 chance to see a miracle being performed in your life. Why 12? I don’t know let me see — Jesus had twelve disciples; There are 12 inches in a foot; There are 12 days of Christmas; In English, twelve is the largest number that has just one syllable… Thank you the#FACTsite.com. You were my miracle today. Tomorrow, I might be yours.

If God is with you, who can be against you? Nobody can, I say. God takes care of His people. It is amazing what God can do in your life when you make Christ your priority not people. God takes care of His people by putting extraordinary people in your path. He also humbles us to make us different for our own sake. He performs miracles when you least expect it. Keep your eyes wide open. God takes care of His people, all the time.

Do You Want To Succeed? Be Disciplined.

Do You Want To Succeed? Be Disciplined.

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If your goal is to become a successful professional, you need to learn how to be more disciplined. Being able to obey the rules of society and your company at all times, understand the codes of behavior of your community and country, and correct disobedience when necessary will make you into a superstar. We all need to keep course and do our very best in order to be disciplined and above all — fair.

Life is all about being able to be reasonable and doing things right. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to be totally disciplined to start being more disciplined. Be disciplined now and accept the fact that we are we all a work in progress, people. If you think you aren’t, I strongly suggest that you reconsider your thoughts and surrender to the fact that you are not wonderful. Only God, my friends, is wonderful. You are not God — You have faults as much as I do.  So, be quiet and live life to the fullest yet accepting that you are not a saint or the next pope. Life is all about development and understanding. Strive for discipline, though.

There are a number of ways one can be more disciplined in this world. I am not going to attempt to explain all the ways that we can achieve this remarkable goal. However, I will show you three ways that you can become more disciplined in this world.

  1. Don’t think you are God. As I said early on in this article, nobody is God. Therefore, don’t act like or think that you are one. Are you omnipotent, omnipresent? All powerful? The answer is no, obviously. Do yourself a favor, be humble, understanding and forgiving. God is watching over your path and heart. Would you like to be outside of God’s blessing? Not me.  Don’t think you are God, nobody is God. Keep living your life simple and recreating yourself once in a while for the better. Ask God for directions. He will give it to you.
  2. Don’t procrastinate.  If you can do something today, do it. Don’t wait until tomorrow. The former can be a cancer in your developing as a discipline superstar. Those who choose to get things done eventually tend to eventually be fired or be laid off. Don’t be like them. Be yourself and do what you can to keep learning and living. Discipline pays off. Not everybody actually has it. Be a person of character and strive to be more disciplined. I can almost guarantee you that you won’t regret your decisions. Those who have ears to hear need to listen.
  3. Be open to criticism.  If you can’t listen, you will never be disciplined enough to make the required changes to achieving success in this world. There is no way out of this. We all can improve and learn, hands down. If you choose not to, sooner or later — you will put yourself out of business naturally. Consequently, the former would then make your chances of being good or shall we say — great in society very small. Closing yourself off from criticism is likely to screw up your future forever, even if you are good in what you do.   We live in tough times. Don’t handicap yourself by avoiding constructive criticism given by others once in a while. It ain’t worth it.

If your goal is to become a successful professional, you need to learn how to be more disciplined. Being able to obey the rules of society and your company at all times, understand the codes of behavior of your community and country, and correct disobedience when necessary will make you into a superstar. Don’t think you are God, though. Nobody is God. Not even you. Don’t procrastinate. Be open to criticism. We live in tough times. Don’t handicap yourself by avoiding constructive criticism given by others once in a while. It ain’t worth it. Give yourself a chance of winning by being open minded and sensitive about the need to be disciplined.

 

Family Should Always Come First, After God.

Family Should Always Come First, After God.

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We have the duty to live our lives for God and our families. God, above all, is to be glorified and always be made a priority. The smile of a child is definitely something we need to take into account when deciding where you need to live. Is your daughter happy living in the state of Texas? Is your son excited and making friends near the city of Chicago, Illinois? These are important questions that we all need to think about and consider when making a decision where to live long term.

Don’t rush, think and analyze. Be critical and examine all the available options. What do you have to lose by being picky? Nothing, I would say. Family should always come first after God. What is God telling you? Listen, test, and be a leader that fears the lessons and teachings of God. When we were kids, we thought like kids. Now that we are grown men and women, we need to think accordingly. Life is always about others not yourself or me. Life is about loving God and doing what is best for our family, I say.

There are too many ways we can love God and do what we can for our children. In this article, I will share with you three ways in which we can love God and advance the wishes of our kids. Let’s maybe get started.

  1. Make God a priority in your life.  Go to church, choose to lead a bible study, be a man or women of character. If you can help the poor financially, do so. By giving we also receive. By praying we definitely learn to love. In this life, God takes precedence. We need to think about life in terms of what God wants us to do, not according to our wishes. Make God your main reason to live and celebrate. In the end, you won’t regret it.
  2. Listen To Your Family. If you are a father or a mother who loves your children, you can attest that listening is perhaps the very best way of making your family second to God.  What are they telling you? You must learn how to listen to them by asking them the tough questions. Nobody is perfect, including your family. Only God is perfect and we need to accept that. This is why God comes first and we all come second. Learn to critically listen to what your heart is telling you.
  3. Pray hard and often. You heard that right. Never forget that God communicates with us through prayer. Having a regiment of prayer is an absolute necessity in this world as it helps us to better connect with God. Prayer also helps with family bonding. Pray hard and often. Family members, listen carefully: It is only through prayer that God will show his glory to you and your family. Be with God and pray. This is your duty.

We have the duty to live our lives for God and our families. God, above all, is to be glorified and always be made a priority. Life is always about others not yourself or me. Life is about loving God and doing what is best for our family, I say. Here is what I recommend. Make God a priority in your life. Listen To Your Family. Pray hard and often.Go to church, choose to lead a bible study, be a man or women of character.  God comes first and we all come second. Never forget: Be with God and pray. This is your duty.

Focus On Things That Really Matter To You.

Focus On Things That Really Matter To You.

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Life is full of distractions and can be annoying sometimes but in the end, you need to really focus on things that really matter to you. I live my life thinking, chatting, sometimes chatting too much, interacting, accomplishing and sharing. What matters to me probably won’t matter to you as much and that’s perfectly fine. You have to live investigating, testing and observing… living and learning, standing for what you believe and being reasonable so that you live a long and satisfying life. I personally have little patience for stupidity and love to make people smile by giving them unexpected gifts and surprises. We all have our own desires and needs and that is absolutely fine and expected.

Live your life in the moment. Give a hand to someone, forgive often, listen more and be real. There is no need to pretend or act in disagreement to what you believe in. Life is too short to not live in the moment. We all need to find out what we love the most and stick to it. There is no shame in admitting that the future will be better than the past or that the present is to be celebrated forever.  I focus on the needs of my family and what I perceive God to ask me to live for. In my 43 years, I’ve learned not to give up very easily but history has taught me through experience that reconsidering sometimes is the best thing one can do to experience exactly what God wants us to do. At this point in my life, I don’t need to prove the obvious to anyone anymore.

People are unreasonable, selfish, dramatic, emotional, and often times so ridiculous that all that we can do sometimes is to just move on and investigate what exactly the good God wants us to do in the long run. Who cares if today you work and live in Nebraska in the auto industry as a mechanic. Tomorrow, you might as well be living in Bangladesh as an activist looking for another adventure in the far east. Have you ever asked God what He thinks you should do? It starts with understanding which talent the Lord has given you. Do you know the answer to this very important question?

My wife says that I have the gift of exhortation. Ironically, my parents have said the same thing, indirectly. Today, I know that I have this gift from God… The gift of being a cheerleader and telling others that they can do it! No wonder why I became a college professor! I am often the shoulder for others in need. When folks are sick, I visit them. When situations are difficult, I write prayers on a piece of paper and give them to people in crises. When they cry, I cry. But this is just me. The former might be why my career in higher education has been so heavily influenced by communicating during office hours and student advising. This is what excites me. This is what I live for. I focus on what excites me and you should do the same, as well.

A sense of purpose is what you need. Don’t forget to keep trying and giving yourself a chance to win the big prize. Many times, the big prize isn’t money or anything related to finances but a great attitude towards life. I don’t live life regretting my actions or seeking attention from anyone as I think that these two former life decisions destroy who you really are. You need to be yourself and once in a while look in the mirror. Who are you exactly?  Many have asked me to serve as a Department Chair in my career. I didn’t ask for it. We all have our own beliefs and value system. I certainly have mine and won’t give them up. You have yours and we all have to respect that.

Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. Yesterday? Who cares. I will keep moving forward and thanking all the people who believe in my life mission of goodwill and happiness and pray for those who persecute me. I have no time for pride and unreasonable actions. They can be as far away from me as possible. In fact, I hope they are. This world is too complex for us to live life complicating the obvious. I am here to be me. You should be there to make your own mark with reason. My advice to you?  Focus on things that really matter to you and live your life to the best capacity you can.

Understand First — Judge Second.

Understand First — Judge Second.

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Blind judgements are overrated. Understanding is a necessity. A world without reason and goodwill will only result in chaos and misunderstandings. You don’t want to live life this way. The principle behind treating others well is quite simple. We need to understand people first and judge them second. Isn’t that simple? We can agree to disagree. In which ways? In this life, some say tomayto — others, they say tomahto. Do you say Eether or eyether. I say neether do you say nyther? The reality of the matter is that we are very different from each other often and that’s okay. The former is precisely what makes living on this earth so interesting and unpredictable. Despite our differences, we have many similarities.

Forcing beliefs on others is a dangerous practice because we all have our own unique set of experiences. The moment you try to force others to believe what you want them to believe, an eminent defeat is heading your way. Ideas and words can be used to convince people about a topic or a thing. Forcing anyone to see the world the way you do without taking the time to better understanding their circumstances will backfire. Be careful with assuming things about others without really knowing what they know or their circumstances. Preconceived judgements just makes you less noble and more difficult to get along with in the long run. You need to look at life for what life is. Trying to live a life of fantasy or a make believe one will only hurt you in the long run. Be very careful when misjudging anyone who can really help you to better understand yourself.

Listen carefully: Nobody is perfect in this life, not even you or me. Only God is perfect. Don’t forget this: God is paying attention.  Are you giving yourself a chance to be helped by God by being reasonable with others? I am. I hope you are, as well. You can’t always get what you want. That is just a fact. Complaining and blaming others for your misfortunes and lack of luck will not change the fact that we need to work with others in order to operate with distinction. We need to keep trying and believing and avoid judging too quickly. Act that way, if you please.

Be extremely careful to not lose the good people around you because of pride. If someone is helping you out, you have to be careful not to mock them or make them angry — or make left hand judgements directly or indirectly. What am I trying to say to you is that you can’t keep having fun forever without control, judge and think that life will run like a disorganized mess forever. Eventually the fun will stop and reality will be made transparent. Remember: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Never forget that.

Rather than passing judgements, make an effort to understand. Don’t be mean, ever. Be a happy camper and celebrate. Understand first, judge last… don’t judge if you can. Honesty is the best policy. There is no reason to lie. You can gain the world with a happy smile. As the proverb says, “There is no time like the present.” Do it now! Don’t wait until tomorrow to do good and to be understanding. Strive to be a better person now. Learn how to value others as much as you value yourself. In the end, we are all in this boat together trying to make solid societal sometimes educational contributions and glorifying God. We might look different but in our core, we are more similar than dissimilar.  We are all part of one race — the human race.

Why judge? Be sure to understand first. This is my motto.

Only You Can Really Define Who You Are.

Only You Can Really Define Who You Are.

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Nobody can define who you are. In reality, only you can do that. However, if you don’t define who you are to others, they themselves will define you for you. This is precisely why you must take ownership of your own life journey and strive to live a genuine life that is based on integrity, honor, and a lot of “you” not me or they. In the end, what really matters in this world are the experiences that we acquire based on the thoughts, beliefs ad values that we hold. You can’t afford to have others dictating what you should believe in or the things that you should stand for unless you want to be a slave of your own destiny. It ain’t worth it. If your own life is manipulated by others, which life are you living then? Theirs? Living the dream must be based on your dreams not anybody else’s dreams.

The mystery of the future is often based on the predictability of your past. However, those who live in the past, as my friend Tony would say, end up somewhere locked inside of a museum letting life pass by. Your own self-recreation is a condition maybe even a requisite for taking control of your own definitions and immediate future overtime. Remember: You must define yourself not others. Only you can recreate who you are period. Make sure to take charge of your own destiny my friends and know yourself in great detail because if you don’t, then misery will consume the last small dot of hope you have to living the great life and defining yourself .

There are a number of ways in which you can define who you are in this world. In this article, I will share with you three techniques I use to make it clear to others that I define my persona not anybody else.

  1. I go to war once in a while. If you believe that life is always peace and that compromising is a way of life, reconsider. Consensus, not compromise, is the way to go. In order to have real consensus, both parties involved must end the game with a victory. I live by the former statement. The moment you perceive that others are trying to gain a one-up on you, fight back — go to war. Defend your beliefs and make sure that you are in fact part of the decision making process of your own future. The moment you lose the former and give up in the name of peace, you lose the game and the chance to control your destiny and definitions. The act of going to war isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes, going to war is a necessity.
  2. I am truthful and don’t deviate.  Who are you today? Are you who you say you are? You better. Being untruthful is a big violation of integrity. Nobody can afford losing his/her reputation in this life if you plan to control your own life path. When I was 17 years of age, I was a very well respected golfer in my home country of Brazil. When I was 17, I thought like a kid and lived life like a kid. Today, now that I am a grown 43 year old American male living in the United States, I think and live life like a man. Back then, I thought yellow — Today, I think red and that’s okay. I won’t pretend to be what I am not and you shouldn’t either. Be truthful and don’t deviate. Stick to who you are and what you believe in. It is okay to evolve. We all do. Your job is, however, to recognize change and act accordingly.
  3. I live in the moment and smile. The past is glorious. The future? Only God knows… We must live in the present though. We were once young, strong and free. Now, we are grown, wise and full of white hair or no hair. We are who we are. Time flies, things change… we evolve. Don’t forget to live in the moment and enjoy the blessings that the good God has given you. Smile often and be happy. Smile again and reflect. Be careful to not be stuck in past memories and forget that the future is sometimes recreated with new ideas. Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Make sure that you live in the moment and have time to smile. You are gonna need it.

Nobody can define who you are. In reality, only you can do that. However, if you don’t define who you are to others, they themselves will define you to you.The mystery of the future is often based on the predictability of your past. Make sure to create your own definitions not others even if you have to go to war once in a while. Be truthful and don’t deviate. Live in the moment and smile. Never forget this: Only you can really define who you are.

The Secrets of a Great Academic Advisor

The Secrets of a Great Academic Advisor

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Listen to students. Let me repeat it again — Listen to students. If you plan and dream to become an outstanding academic advisor, you must make an effort to listen to what students have to say and want to talk about. The secret to being a great academic advisor is mostly listening and caring. I am not aware of any dedicated college professor who wants to make a difference in college students’ lives yet ignore advising. Be inspiring, be “there” for students, strive to provide the very best academic advising sessions you can possibly deliver to your students. Remember: In the end, education is all about students not you anyways.

In my career as a college professor, I’ve advised over one thousand students and the numbers keep increasing. In my academic advising sessions, I chat with students about classes, jobs, victories, defeats, more jobs and of course… careers. I have to admit that helping kids to succeed has been a great ride for both my advisees and I, that’s for sure. Having placed students in a large number of companies all across the United States has been a blessing to both my students and I. I pray that God keeps blessing me with the necessary enthusiasm and caring abilities that is required for advising college students with distinction. They do deserve our best, every time.

There are a number of ways that you can advise college students these days. In this article, I will share with you three ways that I’ve used, which have resulted in tremendous undergraduate and graduate student success. I do realize that my self-made methods are unorthodox but I promise… they work. Are you ready?

  1. Don’t start your advising in “advising” season. Academic advising doesn’t start in pre-registration.  It starts on day one when you decide to have an open door policy and make an effort to chat with students outside the classroom, sometimes even playing ping pong in the cafeteria informally. The idea that great academic advising is to take 15-20 minutes in mid-semester only is erroneous. What do I mean by that? Sure, creating a schedule for a student regardless of rank shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes per student. However, talking about careers many times can take 30 minutes sometimes longer. The former is precisely why “advising” students throughout the semester should be made a priority if you want to be known as an extraordinary academic advisor. I encourage and recommend that you take academic advising seriously and that you make an extra effort to helping pupils to achieve greatness in this world early on in the semester. One of the ways to accomplishing the former is by taking the initiative and being available.
  2. Make an effort to attend student and athletic events. This is exactly what I’ve said. You need to make sure that students realize that you legitimately care about what they do and what they are involved with. Attending campus events and supporting athletes by attending their home games is a great way to connect with students and attract them to having a longer conversation in your office later in the week. Students do appreciate college professors who they perceive care and are invested in their college life and professional development. It ain’t complicated, ladies and gents. If you think about it, excellence in academic advising is a mix of common sense combined with caring attitudes over and over again. You just have to do it! Listen to me: Make an effort to attend student and athletic events. That’s the right thing to do.
  3. Recruit and mentor a few students every semester. Students love to be mentored. Make sure that every semester you select a few students to work with you in your office. Teach and empower them. I guarantee you that by the end of the academic year, there will be a line of students wanting to be a part of your “advising” or shall we say, “mentoring” program. Empowering students to make decisions and learn one-on-one with a caring academic advisor produces big dividends, e.g., free publicity for the department and many times increases in enrollment. Why don’t we have more faculty-advisee advising experiences and mentoring opportunities in college campuses all throughout the United States ? I honestly don’t get it! We should provide these opportunities to our students. I most definitely do. You should strive to do it, as well.

If you plan and dream to become an outstanding academic advisor, you must make an effort to listen to what students want and have to say. The secret to being a great academic advisor is mostly listening. Do yourself a favor: Don’t start your advising in “advising” season. There is not enough time to do a superb job in advising if your advising starts in April or November. Make an effort to attend student and athletic events. Students do appreciate you making an effort to attend some of their events. Make sure to recruit and mentor a few students every semester. Part of our job as academic advisors is to inspire students. If you are serious about your job and care for your students, recruiting and mentoring students should be part of your operating procedures every semester. That’s what I say.

Don’t Be Upset: Learn To Deal With Ambiguity.

Don’t Be Upset: Learn To Deal With Ambiguity.

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Don’t be upset. Learn how to deal with ambiguity and celebrate the fact that you have a good life after all. Be positive! In this world, you will find in your path to success both uplifting and nagging individuals in which you are gonna have to learn from and live with. It is part of the life that God has planned for you. Somedays, people will make your life heaven; Other days, they will make your life a living hell. It is a rollercoaster. Don’t forget this, though. Stress, celebrations, non-sense frustrations and victories is all good and part of the game. Listen carefully: Most people are self-centered and could care less about your thoughts or feelings. You have to learn how to deal with them and move on. Your days will be many if you choose to live a nonchalant and happy life journey.

Let me tell you something this Sunday before I go to church. It is literally impossible to control people’s mindsets and values or the decisions they want to make in all levels of society. Do your work with distinction and dream big. Be the very best you can be regardless of what might come after you. Believe God and pray often. Dream big then dream bigger. What do you have to lose in order to think big anyways, right? Nothing. Live your life to the maximum without regrets. Smile often, play with your kid, enjoy your wife and have daily chats with your close friends. God is in control.

Don’t let others poison your thoughts by making you believe that this life sucks or that this world is mostly composed of misery and negativity. Remember: God is in control and things happen for a reason. In the book Experiencing God, Blackaby talks about the importance of living a life that God wants you to live and that God should be the center of your life not you. What a great advice that we all should follow verbatim. Life isn’t about you or me. Life is about glorifying God.

So far in my blog, you have read a large number of articles dealing with a wide variety of topics ranging from technology to workforce tips, discussions and reflections. Of course that my posts aren’t necessarily directed at anyone specifically but as a general rule of what I’ve seen in my life both in the places I’ve worked for and in society. This, folks, is what makes me happy. Self reflection and daily chats about workforce topics, along with critical discussions about technology is what I like. What do you like? Don’t be closed minded. Instead, be open minded. Don’t Be Upset: Learn to deal with ambiguity. Life may not be what you think it is.

Smile. Write a book maybe two. You only live life once anyways. Do what you like.

 A Way To Lead Good to Great Teams. The Challenge of Contemporary Higher Ed.

 A Way To Lead Good to Great Teams. The Challenge of Contemporary Higher Ed.

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Leadership isn’t position — it is action as Maxwell has said repeatedly. Leadership isn’t about you, your wishes or your legacy. Leadership is de facto about others and developing them to be better in what they do, unconditionally. A true leader doesn’t use their team as a mechanism to be “known” or “look good” to others. Leadership is about others and what we as leaders can do to make them look better. Of course that along the way… many will end up not being appreciative to the extra efforts that we put into it but this comes with the territory and is part of life. Don’t take it personally, I advise you. In the end, life (and leadership efforts for that matter) is about glorifying God first, as Mother Theresa once said.

If we lived in a perfect world where everybody’s skills and contributions were ranked in the 1%, folks were motivated, reasonable, committed, loyal…  leadership would then be easy and only a small variable in the mix of what makes good organizations become great. The problem, my friends, is that we live in an imperfect world where most people are not motivated to do their best, are many times unreasonable with what they say and do, are not committed to the organization and tend to backstab others once in a while instead of choosing to be loyal and follow when helped. The reality is that the majority of the people we hire doesn’t belong in the 1%. Let’s keep in mind that the bell curve does exist for a reason. You will never have a perfect team despite of how hard you try. We need to be realistic — Let’s not forget that 68% of the population belongs to the mean and that the 1% is in fact an outlier. Your goal as a leader is to find good hires and turn them into great ones.

I am an Interim Department Chair of a research intensive university in Mississippi where I work with good people who seem legitimately invested and interested in the educational development of our students. The former is a blessing that produces fruits every semester. If we were a small liberal arts teaching university, I would consider our team to be in perfect alignment with the mission and goals of the university, a good to great team. However, we work in an institution that is being quickly transformed into the heaviest category of research production and grantsmanship. These types of institutions tend to make teaching secondary and only grant tenure to a few professors who are prolific and bring funding to the department and the university and have a record of helping students to complete doctoral dissertations. Only a small number of tenure-track faculty members actually survive the cut.

Now, this is a dilemma — What would you do if your faculty doesn’t have the academic credentials to fulfill the contract of a true research university yet you really like them? It is quite atypical and certainly very challenging for any department chair to lead a department with a division 1 status planning to operate under the protocols and guidelines of an R1 university with only 25 percent of faculty trained to conduct empirical research studies. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this is a very difficult position for a department chair (and its faculty) to be in. An intervention must be planned immediately and checked often. The hope, of course, is that you don’t have to deal with accreditation along the way because if you do, life will then be a living hell for you.

This is the reality of our times. Higher educational institutions’ Carnegie classifications are changing rapidly. The operational nature of public institutions of higher learning has changed to a more lean model of “getting your own funding,” replacing tenure-track with temporary faculty, and in only committing to a very small number of professors being funded indefinitely. If you don’t have what it takes to be a college professor, e.g., a PhD, outstanding writing skills, and the ability to construct and complete empirical research studies, life will be very tough for you until you retire, pending on you surviving the transition.

I predict that folks who find themselves in such positions will have a very short tenure in higher education. The department Chair must inform his/her team of this reality and can only do so much. Remember: We live in 2017 where the support for colleges and universities are decreasing by the year. Tuition is increasing yearly to offset state funding deficits. Don’t believe me? Go and check the percentage of state appropriation that your state gives your public colleges and universities. In fact let me make your life easier. The American Council on Eduction (ACE) does cover this topic in great detail. Check it out –> State Appropriations overtime. Please refer to the graph below.

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Leadership is tough. Resources are limited and decreasing. Unemployment is sky rocketing. There are no widespread unions to protect you and me. So, how do you lead an academic unit with very little funding to recruit the very best faculty members on the market yet being expected to advance the mission of the university with distinction?  Stay tuned, we are going to talk about this in a bit. Let me say something first. Are you ready? We live in a world of formal protocol. we need to follow the protocol more than ever. This is the reality, are you ready? Listen carefully and take notes : Old friends won’t be able to save you from losing your job because we are heading towards more accountability and frequent school audits especially in higher education.  The powers to be are paying very close attention to both credentials and competence.

Those used to operate in what we call “the buddy-buddy system” will struggle tremendously in this new system and will be forced into retirement by higher ups. I am a retired APSCF union member and learned by training and mentoring how to navigate and operate under a clearly defined set of higher education protocols. I had no option to even consider running anything via the “buddy-buddy system” because APSCUF makes all its standard operating procedures of its universities transparent to both administration and faculty. There is nothing to hide. There is no room for esoteric practices.  You simply learn the protocol and put the protocol into practice.

Back to the discussion of leading an academic unit with little funding to hire the best people for the job… I am still struggling to find the best answer to this question. What I do know, however, is that being a department head in some college departments these days is like having a small subway franchise operating with staff who isn’t trained in making all available subs for sale on the menu. I am not saying that the employees working in that subway aren’t capable of learning how to make subs, of course. With good training and time, many will turn out to be great subway artists but at what price to the manager?

What would you do if you lead a team of talented professionals yet may lack the basic credentials to fulfill their contracts? Some might say, “you need a new team.” Others would say, “You are the leader, do what is right.” I reply… Ok, I will do what is right. We need practical faculty to teach our practical courses! We need to keep them all. To me, this is right. However, the former doesn’t always solve all the problems. In my world, good teaching rarely pays the bills, unfortunately. By the way — Even when we increase tuition dollars, e.g., increase enrollment for both undergraduate and graduate students, tuition dollars rarely cover the cuts in yearly state appropriation. This is why, folks, hiring talented PhD’s is an absolute necessity these days if you want to transform your academic unit from good to great. The reality is that if you can’t generate your own funding, your unit will cease to exist or will be merged into another operation as the last resort to get “sh&T” together.

I do agree that as a leader of an academic unit, I must do what is right under the realities and circunstances of my authority under the recommendations and vision set by the Dean. Of course that doing what is right often means more work on the part of a leader. I am okay with that. So the question then is, “Are you ready to sacrifice your time and efforts for the benefit of your team?” This one I can answer more easily. YES! If you are not sacrificing your efforts for the benefit of your team, resign as the leader of your unit right now. Clearly, you are in peter principle. Just remember that you are not God. You can only do what is humanly possible to accomplish what needs to be done.

There are too many ways a leader can sacrifice his/her time for the benefits of others so you make them look good and give them an incentive to be extraordinary. In this article, I will share with you three approaches I take to transforming good teams into great ones.

  1. I write proposals and put their name on it. If the team wins, everybody wins including the leader. Leaders must help the team and celebrate their successes even if you have to do most of the work. This blog’s photograph was taken at the Mississippi Communications Association, a regional conference in Mass Communications that took place in Pearl, Mississippi… about 20 minutes away from our office in Jackson. Because I care and want to see my colleagues succeeding and having a job next year, I made a self sacrifice and wrote an entire panel proposal for an academic conference using data from my own research studies and included them as panel participants to talk about their specialties pragmatically. My goal was to ensure that the team had the opportunity to attend and present in an academic conference and have a taste of what is required of them to do next year as faculty members of a research university. Sometimes, leaders just have to write proposals and put their teammates’ names on it, pending on them accepting the invitation and with the understanding that next year, they themselves will do what they can do produce their own scholarship. Be inspiring and do what you can to help others.
  2. Lead by committee. We don’t live in Rome anymore. Avoid taking what I call the “Caesar” approach which can be easily spotted —  A leader making all the decisions and stating, “This is the wish of the senate and the people of Rome” when no decisions were vetted by parliament and the people had no say in the decision making process. Lead by committee instead. Team members will appreciate that and if they are reasonable, will be loyal to you. If the team isn’t capable or is unwilling to do the work then an intervention must take place even if it requires replacing people on the team. Leadership isn’t about self. Leadership is about making others great. A great team can only be great if it is already good. Give your team the benefit of the doubt and empower them to come up with solutions. If they prove to be incompetent, then an intervention is the answer. The only exception to this rule is when the department is in a state of crisis and little knowledge exists without the unit. Then, perhaps, having a more authoritative approach is the only answer.
  3. Avoid closed door conversations and despise esoteric meetings. The moment that knowledge in your unit becomes esoteric, it is only a question of time for the unit to be dismantled. It is difficult to empower others and motivate them to do great work by having selective communication. The former, in fact, can turn great working units into unproductive, dividi et impera like toxic environments. Great teams will rarely if ever come out of such places. Typically, constant closed door policies and esoteric meetings are evidence of toxicity in workplaces. There is a wide body of research to substantiate this claim. Business Insider has published a concise article in 2015 on the topic.  Bustle.com has also written on toxicity as well as Forbes.com. Having an open door policy and less esoteric meetings should be the norm not the exception. Never, under any circumstances, use esoteric meetings to plan sabotage against others directly or indirectly. The former always backfires. Be transparent and caring and do what you can to help. Transforming good units into great ones requires both talent and ethical leadership. Be careful to not lose your very best employees by being sneaky. It is going to cost you your reputation and much more. Don’t do it.

Leadership isn’t position — It is action as Maxwell has said repeatedly. Leadership isn’t about you, your wishes or your legacy. Leadership is de facto about others and developing them to be better unconditionally. Please refer to the lessons of Maxwell and his level 5 leadership teachings. If you don’t know what I am talking about, you might want to consider reading his literature on the topic, immediately. If it is too much for you to handle, consider employment alternatives or retirement.

Every leader faces challenges when accepting a position of leadership. If you are in public higher education, your challenges will be many. Transforming a good team into a great one might mean seeing great people leave, for the long term health of your unit. You are going to have to make some pretty difficult decisions in order to do what is best for your unit, that’s for sure. If you want to lead, sometimes you’re gonna have to write proposals and share your victories with your team, lead by committee and avoid having conversations with a few and having esoteric meetings for self gain and aggrandizement. The former is known for destroying teams and resulting in very high levels of turnover.

Losing talent can be deadly for any organization that wants to grow and be great. If you don’t have continuity in vision, there is no leadership. Leader! It is your job to make the team move from good to great. Never forget that. If your goal is to make your unit to move forward. You need to do what is right for the benefit of the organization.  Do your part and be vigilant. You have no choice.

 

If You Can’t Inspire, Don’t Be a College Professor.

If You Can’t Inspire, Don’t Be a College Professor.

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You must inspire if your plans are to become a college professor one day. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to work in a public or private college or university, you need to be inspiring and have a lot of patience in order to motivate students to take action on their own and eventually help them to achieve greatness.  A college professor who is unable to inspire his/her students will struggle tremendously in the industry of higher education anywhere in the United States because pupils these days must be constantly energized sometimes stimulated to learn literally every day. Being inspirational isn’t a skill that everyone or every professor has in abundance naturally. However, you can learn to be more inspiring by putting into practice a number of systematic and predictable steps.

There are a number of ways that you can be more inspiring in this life. There are a number of “inspiring systems” out there, of course. In this article, I will share with you three ways that I know will help you to inspire others. It is part of my system of student inspiration — Are you ready to read these tips? You may like them.

  1. Stop thinking that life is about you.  Start yesterday making others the focus of your life. Reject any attempt to consider putting yourself first against the needs and wants of your students. If you decide to put yourself ahead of them, chances are pretty high that you won’t inspire too many of them. I am not aware of any college student who celebrates being second when it comes to important priorities. You must make students first priority period. Stop thinking that life is all about you — It isn’t and won’t ever be. As an educator, life must be about serving others and making students your top priority not the other way around. Listen carefully: Deviating from this norm will cost your college career. Don’t do it.
  2. Do what you can to be available. You can’t inspire effectively if you are not around. There is no reverse to this important rule. As my friend Kyle once said, “Be there or be square.” Are you there or “are you square” for your students? You need to be able to answer this question frequently and honestly. If you choose to not be there for them too often, you might as well just quit your aspirations of being an inspiring professor. Students don’t get inspired by educators who choose to have their office door closed constantly or who chooses to make an excuse to not talk with them when they really need to be seen. Make sure that you are available to your students more often than you feel is required. You will thank me later.
  3. Develop the initiatives that they want, with reason.  Take into account what your students want to do and develop the initiatives that they ask for whenever possible. By engaging in what some of us call “user-design,” or the ability for students (in this case) to develop their own systems of learning, I bet that you will develop superhero skills in influence and inspiration. You will become a very inspiring and popular professor if you empower your students to achieve greatness on their own, if you legitimately delegate responsibilities to them. I have never seen a student who doesn’t appreciate having decision making power after doing this kind of work in ten years. By giving power you gain power and as a value added… You become more inspiring especially if you make an attempt to legitimately empower others. I know, I know… What I am asking you to consider doing is unorthodox and can be quite challenging to many — There is some truth to that but man, this micro system works wonders.

You must inspire if your plans are to become a college professor one day. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to work in a public or private college or university, you need to be inspiring and have a lot of patience in order to motivate students to take action on their own and eventually achieve greatness. What are you doing right now to be more inspiring? Is life all about yourself? Are you available for your students to ask you questions? Are you empowering them to develop their own systems of learning? In order to be inspiring, you will need to do the former. At least, it has been my experience in three public universities and a private school. Stop thinking that life is all about you — It isn’t and won’t ever be. As an educator, life must be about serving others and making them your top priority not the other way around.

Don’t Complain About Life. Seek Alternatives, Instead.

Don’t Complain About Life. Seek Alternatives, Instead.

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Life is a journey that we must enjoy. It is pointless for anyone to truly plan what their next step is. The former, my friends, is really up to God, not you or me. I live my life to the fullest under the label “Carpe Diem,” which in Latin means seize the day. I love to live my life extraordinary because in this world we are food for worms, people. Who knows what tomorrow will bring and whether we are going to even have air to breathe or food to eat. Complaining about life isn’t the answer to your or my problems, I say. The former only tortures your soul and the psyches of your immediate friends and family members. You need to do what you can to enjoy what you do. If you can’t find happiness in your home, place of employment, church or country club, seek alternatives instead.

There is nothing wrong with seeking alternatives in this world if you don’t cheat or do something illegal, don’t lie and if you treat people with respect. Life evolves, you grow and learn, things change… it is all great. Do what you love and live with no regrets. One day you find yourself in front of a classroom mentoring and inspiring the youth. Tomorrow, your destiny might take you to a small village in south America you never heard of before. You don’t need to hide your dreams but please, don’t advertise them either. Be prompt, and discreet and always honor those who gave you a chance along the way, even if they have mistreated you. I say this because even your worst enemy will teach you important lessons about who you are. Be ready to always celebrate and have an upward and onward “move forward” mentality.

As I said, don’t complain about life. Seek alternatives instead. There are a number of alternatives one can take. In this article, I will share with you three alternatives you can have that should help you to not complain about life.

  1. Choose God over your own wishes. You are to have faith and leave your decisions in the hands of God. God knows more and best. You and I know very little, never forget that.  Be devoted to the pursuits of God and be the pilot of a body whose spirit glorifies and fears God. Trust God… Let me say it again, Trust God! Give yourself a chance of wining big by aligning your talents with what God has called you to do. Don’t be myopic. Don’t be cynical; Be yourself and love God above everything. God will show your way, thats for sure. Don’t be blind and seek. Be courageous and faithful. Choose God over yourself ten out of ten times.
  2. Money comes second: Do what you like first. If you base your life decisions on money and money alone, chances are very high that you will eventually burn out or reach a point of saturation in you life or career. In my life, I have met too many miserable people who were as wealthy as one can be but as poor as a homeless man when the subject is happiness. Money won’t buy you happiness, unless you lack your basic human and life needs. Between zero and fifty thousand, money matters for a person. between fifty-five thousand and 100 million, money doesn’t matter as much as you may think for anybody. Learn to love life, God, your family and yourself and accept the fact that doing what you like is much more important than anything you have imagined.
  3. Spend some time doing real world due diligence. If you have an idea, investigate the pros and cons. Are you thinking about starting a side business? Engage in what I call a demand analysis. Do you want a career in higher education? Look closely at the available PhD programs in your region.  Spend some time doing real world due diligence. You need to go out there and investigate the possibilities with a fine tooth comb and an adventurous spirit. You only live once, don’t forget that. Why are you so conservative when it comes to risk taking? I am not and frankly… I am proud of it. Living an evolving life and measuring the possibilities is pretty exciting and dynamic. Life doesn’t get boring too often and that’s awesome. Is God putting an opportunity in front of you? Celebrate the opportunity, go deep and investigate the available options. Always be prepared to seize the opportunity and change. Due diligence, however, is key.

Life is a journey that we must enjoy. It is pointless for anyone to truly plan what their next step is. The former, my friends, is really up to God, not you or me. I live my life to the fullest under the label “Carpe Diem,” which in Latin means seize the day. Do what you love and live with no regrets. Don’t complain about life. Seek alternatives instead. Choose God over your own wishes, do what you like first and make money second, and spend some time doing real world due diligence. Carpe Diem! Seize the day. Don’t forget to live your lives extraordinary. Don’t Complain About Life. Seek Alternatives, Instead.

Technology Is The New Pacifier

This is Sophia, my daughter. Every morning, she wakes up, immediately runs from her room to ours with her blanket in one hand and a doll in the other. She finds herself a way to crawl into our bed and snuggle for a little bit. Minutes after the snuggles, she approaches me and says, “Daddy, cabana? Let it go? You might not know exactly what these terms mean but I promise you that you won’t forget as soon as I finish writing this blog post. I bet you will tell this story to someone you know because chances as pretty high that one of your friends or family members might have experienced something very similar to what we had.

Cabana is an activity I created to bring Sophia to spend time with me at night and calm her down during her terrible twos’ year. During the early stages of “cabana,” Sophia would come close to me and we would talk below the bed’s sheets. Initially, this activity worked out great as Sophia would then come to see me in the evening, play cabana, get tired and eventually ask to go to her room for nighty night. She would sleep like an angel the whole night. Everyday, my wife appreciated the activity as we both slept like an angel for almost six months straight. For a good while, the word “cabana” meant rest and play at night with daddy in our household. Not anymore.

Daddy! Cabana, Let it go? These are the new words that Sophia uses around 3:30am almost every morning after waking up three times prior to that from insomnia.  She also uses these words at 6:15am, after she leaves for daycare at 7:15am and when we come to get her at daycare at 6:00pm. She asks to play in the cabana at 8:00pm, and of course around bed time. Why are all these activities happening now, you might be asking? Well, it started happening after I allowed Sophia to watch a video on the smartphone while we were in the cabana one day.

I was trying to be a TechnoModerator but technology has back fired on me as now my kid can’t wake up in the morning or go to sleep in the evening without asking to have a smartphone video being played. Of course that in our house, technology isn’t played all the time, regardless of whether Sophia asks for a video to be played or not. But the fact of the matter is that she is constantly asking for technology to serve as a pacifier! At least, this is what it seems to me.

Do you know anybody who has a kid who is constantly asking for technology in order to be entertained? How do they feel about the use of technology in their household? What do you think will happen to the new generation of toddlers being exposed to all these technologies?

American Culture Does Exist.

American Culture Does Exist.

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Yesterday, I heard a blogger say, “There is no such thing as American culture.”  Really dude? In which world are you living? Of course that there is an “American Culture” and you know exactly what it is composed of. I can’t resit — Now, I have to write a blog post about “American Culture” because clearly… there are too many folks out there in a state of denial about their own cultural values and beliefs. Let me help you. Are you ready to learn the obvious and celebrate your culture? The American Culture? Here we go.

Americans are de facto a people of quite unique characteristics who for the most part have come from somewhere. It isn’t uncommon to meet USA citizens who have family roots in Germany, Spain, Ghana, Japan, India… You name it. It is common, however, for many to believe that because the composition of the country is ethnically diverse, culture is then also diverse. No it isn’t. In this article I will share with you evidence to support this former position and perhaps once and for all — prove that America has a clearly defined American culture. So Let’s get started.

  1. Americans are individualistic. I don’t care which color you are, which state you were born in, if you are a member of the low or high class, you name it… American citizens are individualistic. There are exceptions to the rule I am sure. I have to admit that after living in this country for 18 years, I haven’t seen too much display of collectivism around here. The American people rarely if ever value the value of a group over the value of an individual. How do I know this? Look at how depressing federal income tax day is “celebrated” in this country. If we were a collectivist country, we would celebrate paying 30% of what we owe to others in the name of collectivism.  Do we celebrate giving away our returns for the benefit of others and smile?  You answer this one for me.
  2. Americans are very independent. Most Americans I know of don’t rely on help from others to get stuff done. People just do it even at an older age. It is no accident that the country has created basketball, baseball, American Football, and many other games. Perhaps, there is an American culture where individuals look at the act of being independent positively. I have seen 80+ year old employees working full-time at Wal-Mart which to me is an incredible accomplishment. There is no question in my mind that Americans are much more independent than most countries across the globe.
  3. Like to be different from each other. Let me ask you this. Would you like to buy a nice colorful sweater and witness another person using this same sweater in a meeting that you will need to attend? I don’t know about you but I would rather have my clothes be specially done for me. I like being different and it seems obvious to me that you like it, as well. We are different. You are small — I am big. You are short — I am tall. I am a meat person; you are a fish person. I play backgammon in the morning; You play solitaire at night. I do A — You do G. It is cultural.

Let’s not forget that asking “How are you?” is simply a greeting and is not a question about your health. Isn’t it true that when the service is good in a restaurant, tipping is expected sometimes to be 15–20% of the bill? Usually, when buddies meet at a public restaurant they each pay their part of the bill or split the bill in half. Isn’t the former notoriously American? Do you go to somebody else’s house uninvited? Do you give money to a deceased family member in a funeral? No, right?

Yesterday, I heard a blogger say, “There is no such thing as American culture.” Really dude? In which world are you living? Of course that there is an “American Culture.” Americans are individualistic, very independent, and like to be different from each other. Some like to play bridge where others play a great game of chess. I have never seen two people dress the same way with the same clothes since I arrived in this country in 1998. If Americans don’t have a culture, I am the queen of England.

Initiative Means Commitment, Got It?

Initiative Means Commitment, Got It?

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I am not aware of anyone who has a strong drive for developing new initiatives and isn’t committed to the values and overall well being of an organization. Being able to produce and have the stamina to implement a well planned idea is at the core of what we consider an effective emotionally intelligent leader to be. New initiatives bring with themselves the need to achieve, maybe drive and a lot of optimism. It is a required mindset that anyone who is interested in leadership development should pay close attention to.

In order to start any well thought initiative, people are going to need a number of well known EQ skills including influence, content management, political awareness, optimism and adaptability. Self confidence alone won’t do the trick for you, I guarantee it. When crafting a strategy for implementing a new initiative, it is important to be able to adapt in your quest for making your initiative a success but adaptability alone won’t generate the outcome you need to design, develop, implement, evaluate any campaign with distinction. Another caveat — IQ alone won’t help it either. You will need to have people skills, team building capabilities, collaborations and cooperation.

In this article I won’t cover everything there is about planning and running effective new initiatives. There is too much to write in one blog post. I will, however, elaborate on three components of this challenging puzzle that we call, “Initiative.”

  1. Influence. You need to be influential. You need to have the capacity to make others do what you want them to do, without having to pay them a single dollar for it. If you are a master of persuasion you are by definition a man or woman of influence. The good news is that if you lack the ability to influence others, you can definitely learn it by developing emotional intelligence skills. EQ is a skill set that you can legitimately learn and develop. Do yourself a favor — This upcoming week, if you don’t know if you can influence others positively, read a book on persuasion and give yourself a chance to influence others with distinction and discretion by applying the basic tenents of emotional intelligence.
  2. Optimism. Look, if you don’t believe in your organization or yourself, why are you doing the work you are doing today? I know, I know… It is because of the money, right? Is it maybe because of the benefits? Regardless of the reason, make sure that optimism is a priority in your career. You are going to need the former in order to make initiatives to workout for you and your team. Optimism isn’t synonymous with realism even thought realism can be a part of optimism. There will be times when the best thing to do is for you to cut your losses and move one to the next challenge.  Hopefully, there will be only a few of those in your career. Be optimistic and believe that you can do it. You might even convince yourself of who you truly are — an optimist!
  3. Political awareness. Be ready to be a half-politician… Smile and take note about who you know or don’t know. It is well worth 2-3 minutes of your time.  In order to have a great impact on your community, you will need to befriend key political figures in your region. Is it a difficult task to accomplish? I guess that it depends on how many influential people you know and your ability to carry on a great conversation in the right environment. Everyone likes to chat especially about themselves. Be a good listener and seek to better understand the needs and wants of others. This former tip can help you to receive access to attend important political functions.  You must have the capacity to gain public awareness if you are serious about implementing initiatives in any organization.

I am not aware of anyone who has a strong drive for producing new initiatives and isn’t committed to the values and overall well being of his or her organization. Remember:  In order to start any well thought out initiative, you are going to need a number of well known EQ skills, including influence, optimism and political awareness. Don’t wait until tomorrow to start developing the required skill sets you need to develop great initiatives.  Life is too short for giving up strategic thinking and analysis. Do me a favor: Start on them right now! I bet you will thank me later.

Lack Of Empathy Backfires.

Lack Of Empathy Backfires.

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I cannot emphasize this enough. Empathy is at the core of what makes a leader what we call a true leader. One’s abilities to put themselves in the shoes of others and literally care for others as they care for themselves is a skill-set that transcends the conservation on emotional intelligence. A person’s ability to empathize is more than a construct in EQ. It is a duty for anyone who made the decision to work with a group of people or a team. A person who is incapable of putting themselves in the shoes of others, or as importantly, learning how to do so… will eventually be fired by the organization. Making a long story short: Learning and applying empathetic behaviors can literally save your job and your professional career.

It isn’t just the baby boomers who are doing a poor job with applying sound emotional intelligence skills. Several other categorical groups don’t apply the central tenets of EQ, especially the millennial generation. This upcoming group of professionals have, for the most part, what I consider to be a serious interpersonal communication issue. Some scholars would even categorize them as emotionally unintelligent and perhaps a generation with a high degree of what I call EE — Emotional Entitlement. Self validation and recognition are two of the cancers we find in both emotionally unintelligent folks and a large number of millennials. Things are all about them… What a dangerous philosophy to spread and accept.

If you find yourself in an environment where the former are celebrated and idolized, make sure you immediately do two things. First: Take the initiative and try to coach them, directly or indirectly, on how to transform themselves into a more emotional intelligent person. Second: Be willing to help when they ask for help. Remember: A caring behavior can go a long way and can certainly do miracles in any group or organization. Never forget that, okay?

There are a number of issues that when we experience them, we need to do what we can to fight and replace them. These real word challenges are: Taking all the credit accomplished by a consortium; distancing yourself from those you work with, texting too much, and of course… not making enough time to meet other people. In this article, I will explain in some detail how we can fix three of these with examples and techniques.

  1. Taking all the credit accomplished by a consortium: Just don’t. If you completed a task with distinction and accomplished a challenging or ordinary goal or objective, make sure you recognize your team. Your face alone should not be in every marketing deliverable celebrating your success or in an annual report sent to a higher power, especially when the face of others who helped you to be where you are not included in the report. I do realize that sometimes, leaders don’t include the names and the contributions of their individual team members without realizing. It is absolutely imperative, however, that professionals in higher positions be sensitive to the contributions made by his/her group.
  2. Distancing yourself from those you work with. If you want to lead, you must be accessible. A level five leader understands that he/she can’t make him or herself look like a rare commodity because these leaders know that the former approach backfires and only results in the destruction of a unit or high levels of employee turnover. Nobody that I know of enjoys working with anyone who think of themselves to be too good to chat with others. Reason being, of course, is a variable. As an old friend of mine once said, “Caesar’s friends are to be both good and appear good.” Pragmatically, organizational behavior in the the workforce follows the same logic. If a leader is good but is perceived to be bad… problems within the group will be eminent and chances are high that the organization will suffer.
  3. Texting too much.  By now, you know that I am not a fan of the overuse of technology. I am, however, all for automatic technology and gathering big data with technological tools so that more interpersonal communication occurs. Let me be blunt. Most people I know will find it disrespectful if someone is constantly texting when speaking with them. In some instances, folks would even quit under these circumstances. Millennials struggle quite a lot with this. Just because people are busy and receive tons of text messages a day doesn’t mean that they need to answer them immediately. The world won’t come to an end if you don’t immediately reply that text message you have received, trust me. Make sure you make time for yourself to speak with others face to face. Avoid being a slave to your smartphone.

Empathy is at the core of what makes a leader what we call a true leader. One’s abilities to put themselves in the shoes of others and literally care for others as they care for themselves is a skill set that transcends the conversation on emotional intelligence. If you want to have a long and heathy career, do what you can to practice empathy with others. Don’t be at the office grumpy and thinking that people can’t read your expressions. When success is achieved, share the credit with others. Sometimes, a simple act of introducing your team members to others go a long way. Your unit isn’t just you. In fact, I guarantee you it will never be just about you. Therefore, don’t distance yourself from the same people who help you to achieve greatness.  If a leader is good but is perceived to be bad by team members, problems within the group will be eminent and chances are high that the organization will suffer. Stop texting and start chatting. Be empathetic! In the end you will thank me.

What Makes You Great? EQ.

What Makes You Great? EQ.

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I hope you won’t get offended if I tell you that technology use won’t make you or anyone into a great person. In fact, nothing that is technological necessarily has the ability to do the former. No, your smartphone use will not transform you into the next Rockefeller, Washington, or will make you have the heart of civil rights leader John Lewis. It’s just not gonna happen. What can make you move towards achieving greatness in this life is your capacity to be self aware, self regulate, motivate, your ability to develop empathy and communicate socially. Greatness is almost always defined by others so you might as well win them over and treat them right in order to have a good chance of success.

A professional who is incapable of seeing how he/she is behaving towards others is on their way to displaying uncontrolled emotions and consequently losing both credibility and influence within an organization or a particular team. Unless a person is aware of what he/she does, damage occurs which can indeed lead to frustration and in many cases high turn over of both good and bad employees in organizations. By being self aware of your persona, chances are high that you can view yourself more positively and expand your influence beyond a few people. Daniel Goleman and other experts in emotional intelligence (EQ) have proposed the former to be a critical element of success in organizational leadership. I couldn’t concur with Daniel and others more. I wish that behavioral self awareness was the only construct that you needed to master in order to achieve greatness in the workforce. It isn’t the only one.  You also need to be able to do what psychologist John Anderson from Carnegie Mellon University proposes — Self regulation.

College professors and many other professionals are known for displaying bursts of emotions once in a while. Although sharing emotions in public is a normal and expected human behavior, those who are able to control their emotions perform better in the long run as they are able to control their impulses and take responsibility for their decisions. Being able to face reality and self-regulate enhances one’s chances to accept change and develop new ideas, two critical components of success in any industry. The question then becomes — Why isn’t everyone self-regulating more often? Maybe it is because of arrogance or perhaps due to their inability to control their impulses and find ways to justify their decisions without being self aware of their own actions. Self regulation is as critical as self awareness if someone has the goal of becoming great in this life.

If you are not a good mediator, negotiator and motivator, you are in trouble as far as being great in the workforce. Greatness is the cousin of motivation. If you can’t motivate, you can’t improve and consequently can’t meet challenging life goals and truly lead any private establishment or public unit. Are you ready to boost morale for your own sake? You better if you like to have an organization performing beyond its capacity and planned goals and objectives. Remember: Opposition and differences in opinion are likely to occur wherever you work or spend the majority of your time. In 43 years, I haven’t seen too many people out there who can achieve greatness and not be a motivator. Take this seriously and motivate. It is that simple.

Empathy can be understood as ones ability to “see” how others feel and do self analysis on how one’s actions and decisions affects others. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of others is both critical and a gift, I must add. Not everyone was born with the Christian gift of exhortation or was born so naturally gifted in empathy that further EQ training then becomes optional. We all need to develop this important and quite critical skill-set if we are to be truly great in the world. Sometimes you just have to be able to pick up how others feel and be empathetic to them. Listen carefully: One day, you will need others to show empathy towards you to console you. The world goes round and round. Never forget that.

What if I told you that all these former points aren’t good enough until we all develop quite sophisticated social skills? Regardless of the career you choose, you will have to communicate well, especially socially. Great communicators use their social skills to leverage team and conflict management, leadership roles, cooperation. Ones ability to relate to one another, master social rules, both verbally and non-verbally, is the differentiator between those who achieve real greatness or are often stuck in mediocrity, sometimes subpar positions. If your goal is to be great at home, you need to apply these concepts at home. The same can be said if your goal is to be great at work. Is there a way out of this? No, there isn’t. We all need to adhere to these rules as soon as we humanly can and keep practicing and developing them.

I hope you won’t get offended if I tell you that technology use won’t make you or anyone into a great person. Technology is overrated! Human skills are required and necessary. I say, “Work on your organizational behaviors first and foremost.” Develop Emotional Intelligence skills and reflect. Be a source of happiness and sometimes the hero for others. Self Awareness and regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills is what we all need to be great. The alternative is just perishable machinery and propaganda.

Being Born Wealthy, With A Heart, And Happy. 

Being Born Wealthy, With A Heart, And Happy. 

One of the most important qualities a human being can have is to be genuine and proud of his/her past. We cannot choose to whom we were born and where but we can definitely embrace our ancestry and leverage what we got to live a good life. Nobody needs to pretend to be anything if they are secure with themselves, I came to learn and observe.

I was born in a family of golfers in a country where only the top 1 percent and their allies frequent such prestigious and selective country clubs. Because I had such a privileged position very early on, I had the opportunity to be friends and acquaintances with a wide variety of ultra wealthy families which led me to have the opportunity to learn a lot from a selective yet caring few who shared with me important lifelong secrets that I use in my adult life to this day.

Having a heart, being happy, and being slow to categorizing people are among the most important lessons I’ve learned from old money magnates, company CEO’s, and highly successful entrepreneurs. I live by these core values and would go to war to defend them. In this life, we all need to put things in perspective and be who we truly are. Life is too short for us to pretend or deviate from what we are and believe in.

Smile and be happy. Be the change you want to see in the world for the better. Be a man or woman of principles and celebrate that any time you can. Err on the side of kindness and Understanding. Those who live by the former live better and longer lives. Why stress yourselves? It ain’t worth it.

My Advice: Live life to the fullest, live well and to the best of your ability and smile often. Be gracious for having received the numerous blessings that the good God has given you. Pride should be the least of your worries and the need to help others should be made a priority. Our days are counted and remember — Whatever we do in this world will be judged by the creator later. We need to be aware of that and stay course and true to our core beliefs. I choose to have a heart and smile often. I will never stop the former because they make me who I am. Find your true self and don’t deviate from it. Be true to who you are and celebrate. Life, in its essence, is about the great moments that we cherish with others based on what we were born to do. That’s it.

Either you stand for something or you don’t stand for anything.  

Either you stand for something or you don’t stand for anything.  

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Either you stand for something or you don’t stand for anything. If blue makes you happy, don’t tell others that you love red, with reason of course. You might like blue cars and red roses and that’s okay. What isn’t okay is to publicly advance a democratic agenda and privately defend self interest or the interests and wishes of a few. It isn’t cool and only shows a lack of integrity on the part of the leader. Strive to be different, kind, and helpful, loyal and have a stance. You have to believe and defend something if you are to form an army, create coalitions, build support or fight an enemy.  What are you core beliefs? Do you stand by them? You better.

We only live once. Our ability to influence meaningful outcomes depend on how we act and what we believe in. There isn’t honor in being so secretive and dry for political sake as such characteristics only result is discord and disappointments. Stick to what you believe and play the game right. Most politicians are so predictable and so easy to understand. They claim to be greater than the universe, bigger than mars yet truthful. In time, we find them to be less than mediocre, small and fearful. Don’t believe me? Look at Trump.

In this life, there are many ways we can play the game right and stand for something, as Aristotle has once showed us. In this article, I will share with you three out of the many ways I play the game to win. Let’s maybe get started.

1. Make sure you know the rules of the game.  There is nothing more dangerous than taking a position on an important matter without knowing both the intended and unintended consequences. We all must play the game. We all must play by the rules and guidelines of the game. You are to know literally everything there is to know about a system in order to come up with a stance and stick to it. How can anybody craft a stance and live by it if they haven’t investigated the available choices? Maybe a few can craft their strategy and stand for something long term without knowing rules and regulations of a field. I just don’t know who they are. If you don’t know the game, you will dance, sooner or later.

2. Stick to your guns. If you believe that your position is right and you have data to back it up, don’t deviate from it even if you can predict backlashes at first. It is better to stick to your senses 9/10 times and deal with the consequences up front than prematurely adapting to a movable and unpredictable target. In the end, life is like Vegas, the house always wins. Aim straight and keep course. You might as well play by the odds and give yourself a chance of winning 90% of the time by sticking to your guns. If you think you can win every time, clearly you don’t know how to play the game. Just never forget that.

3. Play by the odds. As I just said, “Life is like Vegas, the house always wins.” You might as well play the game smart by understanding — sometimes calculating — your odds of success and qualifying your maneuverability in the game board. The secret, of course, is to match your critical assessment of position against the odds of success and standing firm to what you believe. I don’t recommend ignoring your chances of success for the sake of emotion. The former is, in fact, quite a myopic strategy which will only lead to disaster.

Either you stand for something or you don’t stand for anything. What are you doing to craft your stance?  Remember: We only live once. Our ability to influence meaningful outcomes depend on how we act and what we believe in. It is directly related to how we implement and spread our stance. Make sure you know the rules of the game, Stick to your guns, and play by the odds. Be who you are and have character. The former are two priceless commodities of adult life. That’s for sure.

Things Always Make Sense To Someone.

Things Always Make Sense To Someone.

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Things always make sense to someone. What sometimes appears to be illogical, idiotic or unlikely has de facto roots in systematic reasoning. As I said, “Things always make sense to somebody.” The appointment of billionaire Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education of the United States is a clear cut example of that. Ms. DeVos’s appointment doesn’t make any sense to anyone who works in public education or have a little bit of common sense like you and me. However, her appointment will certainly make sense to many who want to destroy public education and make a buck on your child’s future. In a sense, appointing DeVos for Secretary of Education is like appointing Hitler to take care of the Jews or Lenin to save the Tzars. The whole situation doesn’t make too much sense overall but for the Trump administration and its allies and supporters… it is a dream come true. It isn’t really that complicated to understand, is it?

The facts are the following — Ms. DeVos has no working experience or any interest to advance and/or expand public education in this country. When a person campaigns to defund public education, privatize schools, and reduce accountability for educational institutions with a for-profit educational status, you can imagine what will happen to those who depend on these public funds to operate their public establishments. When Trump got elected President of the United States, I immediately shared on my social media accounts the following, “You guys just wait. This administration will destroy public education as we know it.” Why was I so sure about that then and even more convinced about it right now? Because public education is defenseless. The system has little to no defense against defunding practices initiated by “public” officials. The unions are destroyed, severely damaged and near extinction. The “body has no white blood cells” to fight back against a dangerous and contagious virus.

Don’t be fooled, folks. Let me repeat — Ms. DeVos’s vision and her clan’s stance for public education is for the enterprise to be destroyed in the name of choice and profit. What a dangerous position for anyone to advance regardless of whether one is a republican or a democrat. The long-term sociological side effects that this appointment will cause in our culture will be many. I predict the systematic rise of uncontrolled violence and disorder in this country due to lack of opportunity and political oppression. Write this down: Not every poor or lower middle class kid will have the chance to get educated. American families will end up paying more for education on average. Choice will turn into choice for the wealthy only. I bet that in 10-15 years, we will all pay a big price here in the states. The wealthy will drive bullet proof cars surrounded by first world country’s favelas. Educators will make pennies and the many will consider leaving the country for opportunity. We are going to experience, for the first time ever, mass expatriation.

History has taught us that when no hope is left for the average people, a revolution then becomes eminent. Public education gives hope to the hopeless. We kind of need it in order to control the masses. Order is directly related to chance. Remember history: The Bolsheviks only came to power because the Tzars along with the Russian upper class abused the rights and resources of the common men. Ironically, the United States is on its way to becoming a Communist country, unfortunately. When the people have nothing to lose, the powerful and wealthy loses more. Don’t believe me? Watch Dr. Zhivago. Don’t be fooled and always remember, “Things Always Make Sense To Someone.” Nothing, I repeat… nothing is an accident.

 

 

 

When In Doubt, Hire and Retain Talent.

When In Doubt, Hire and Retain Talent.

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In real estate… it’s location, location, location. In the workforce and in sports… it’s recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. If you lead any team that wants to win consistently and achieve greatness, you can’t afford to lose the opportunity to hire the very best. Don’t be fooled to think that hiring mediocrity will take you anywhere in this world because it won’t. If you are undecided who you should hire for any position, make sure you err on the side of talent. Do yourself a favor. Strive to learn more about what makes people have true talent. The former is a science that can be learned simply by engaging in the act of observation and conversation.

In the vast majority of cases, talented individuals tend to think pretty critically pretty often, help you when you need help the most, are able to craft persuasive arguments to advance and protect your unit, and to complement… they actually do the work when you need it done. It is true that talented individuals have their faults like anyone else but their pros numerically outnumber their cons by a fraction of 10 to 1 ratio, at least. Please be aware that talented people tend to be pretty opinionated, bold, and won’t deviate from confrontation. This isn’t to say that talented people expects to always be heard, always wants to defend a strong position, or is living to fighting others. Of course not — The truth is far from the former.  In some instances, talented individuals prefer to express themselves timidly or even act like an introvert.

If talent heads your way… make sure you grab them! What if you already have them in your organization? Make sure you retain them! You never know where they would land next — You don’t want them to join your competition, do you? I don’t know about you but I am from the stance that if you can’t beat someone, I do what I can to have this person on my team. Hire well, retain often, and don’t regret your decisions. Recruiting the very best is a necessity in this competitive market we live in these days. Recruiting and retaining talent can be the difference between winning big or losing, in the literal sense. There are many ways you can hire and retain talent in any organization. In this article,  I will share with you three ways that I bet will help you to hire and/or keep talent in your organization.

  1. Involve them in decision making. The majority of talented people I know have a good salary or make a good living by working for themselves. However, compensation is rarely what motivates them. Their abilities to influence and participate in decision making, directly or indirectly, is meaningful to them. If you want to hire and retain talent, involve them in decision making. I guarantee you that the former will attract them and keep them around. Money won’t.
  2.  Pay them well and accordingly.  Notice that I didn’t say, “Pay them a lot of money.” Like in any industry, if you choose to pay your employees poorly, they will eventually leave. If talented employees receive a poor series of paychecks, chances are high that they will vanish from you when you least expect it. Make sure you compensate talent accordingly and well so that they don’t have a reason to look for alternatives or put their brains into something extraordinary and leave you.
  3. Treat them with respect and kindness. Treating people with respect will defend your company from losing employees, especially talented ones. Share often; Be social and nice whenever possible. A smile goes a long way — A hug is often appreciated. Admire others once in a while for their accomplishments. Celebrate with them and allow them to celebrate you. Honor personal commitments with talented people and give unselfish particular attention once in a while. These are excellent ways to hire and retain both good and talented employees in any organization or industry.

In real estate… it’s location, location, location. In the workforce and in sports… it’s recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. If you lead any team that wants to win consistently and achieve greatness, you can’t afford to lose the opportunity to hire the very best. Please be aware that talented people tend to be pretty opinionated, bold, and won’t deviate from confrontation. Involving talented people in decision making helps to hire and retain them in the long run, along with paying them well and accordingly and treating them with respect and kindness. It isn’t complicated.

The Underdog Already Has Too Many Sympathizers.

The Underdog Already Has Too Many Sympathizers.

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In this world, we have read, cheered and celebrated the misfortunes of the favorites and elevated the dreams and aspirations of the underdog with unbelievable odds yet showing little mercy for those who dominate or are extremely gifted. It is perhaps the way that the weak and the common man cope with defeat and gets back at those with talent. I’ve seen this phenomenon occur repeatedly in two countries my whole life. I’ve seen little to not even a shadow of remorse for cheering against the top guy. In the bible alone, we have read and came know and appreciate a number of favorite underdog stories that illustrates the former including the story of David and Goliath, Gideon versus the Midianites, Moses against Pharaoh, and Daniel and Babylon. Have you ever heard anyone celebrating the strength of Goliath against David? I haven’t ever heard anyone cheering for the Midianites over Gideon, either… Have you?

I am not sure if always cheering for the underdog is necessarily ethical, fair, or for a lack of a better word… right. Don’t you have pity for those who are talented or have an alternative reality to what you might see if what they have to offer is of value, ethical or right? I do you should have also. Why am I saying this? Because in my life, I have had in a number of occasions been in the shoes of the favorite and man I tell you… It sucks to have everyone on the face of earth going after you because you are using your God’s gift, being successful, and they aren’t. In the 80’s, I cheered for Ivan Lendl in tennis against his arch enemy, Boris Becker. Why? Because Ivan Lendl was ranked number one in the world. Back then, I was ranked number one in my state ranking in golf in my state. You know? I sympathized with Lendl in tennis where everyone else I knew hated him because he was too good. I have always cheered for Mike Tyson not his opponents because I appreciated the myth of Mike Tyson and the history he was making. I also cheered for Larry Bird and became a fan of the Boston Celtics because they used to win big. Celebrating talent is as important as cheering for the underdog. At least, it is in my book.

There are a number of ways in which you can cheer against the underdog and still justify your position with honor and respect. In this article, I will share with you three ways that you can do that with dignity.

  1. Use the favorite’s talents to teach your kids life lessons. I am not aware of too many talented athletes, engineers, educators or therapists who  win games and make fun of others directly. The reason why is because if they choose to be a jackass, sooner or later their talent will dry up and they themselves will pay a huge price for it. In golf, I have always cheered for Arnold Palmer. Why? Because he was very talented and won several major golf championships. Today, I use a number of his well known talents, e.g., being honorable to his family, having a strict regiment of professional practice which leads to perfection, and never giving up to teach students to succeed. I emphasize to many of my students and coworkers that working in your talent is paramount for success. I don’t use underdog stories to teach them lessons. I would rather cite talent.
  2. When a well executed strategy is put in place, winning becomes a consequence. Contrary to what many believe, those who are successful and are leaders in their crafts aren’t lazy and strategize like anyone else, and want to win.  Why is the former a bad thing? Why is seeing Pete Sampras win 14 majors in tennis a bad thing? I see no need to cheer for anybody simply because they are the underdog.  In my opinion, success is rarely (maybe never) an accident. Quite frankly, I think that success is a consequence of a series of very well executed strategies combined with talent. Why should we condemn that in the name of the underdog? We should celebrate victory regardless of whether a person is an underdog or not because in this life, there is always a need to explain to others the importance of starting and ending tasks with success and dreaming.  Sure, if the underdog does his work and wins the cup, great! But wishing for anybody to lose simply because they are great will never fly with me.
  3. In reality, the odds are against both favorites and underdogs, anyways.  I am not aware of anyone who has always won every game or got all the available job promotions.  In fact, the odds of success are quite slim if we put into the equation the the options that we are given in this life. The great American general George Patton was fired, despite his many victories in world war II. The iconic Charles Schwab was so successful for a while in finance but died in bankruptcy. Even Jack Welch, the great GE CEO experienced defeat and got fired early on in his career. Where is Ian Baker Finch? I know, I know… You may not even know who he is which in itself proves my point that in this life, nobody, absolutely no one can win every time and forever. In the end, lads… it is like Vegas. The house always win. Sooner or later, Pete Sampras is faced with a Rafael Nadal, Magic Johnson meets Lebron James, and that good President you had leading your company or school is replaced by the great new incoming President. Today, Tom Brady became the most successful quarterback in the history of the NFL. Tomorrow, I bet somebody will take his crown and he will become more human to everyone. It is just like how life evolves and progresses, I guess.

In this world, we have read, cheered and celebrated the misfortunes of the favorites and elevated the dreams and aspirations of the underdog with unbelievable odds yet showing little mercy for those who dominate or are extremely gifted. I’ve seen this phenomenon occur repeatedly in two countries my whole life. What if I tell you that perhaps, we shouldn’t always be against the favorite or leading authority in a field or sport? There is value in celebrating talent, I must say.  There are a number of ways in which you can cheer against the underdog and still justify your position with honor and respect.  You can use the favorite’s talents to teach your kids life lessons, you should be able to share with others the importance of implementing a well executed strategy, and that in the end, nobody wins all the time and forever. Do yourself a favor — celebrate success regardless of if the person winning is the underdog or not.

We Should Have The Right To Disconnect After 5:00pm

We Should Have The Right To Disconnect After 5:00pm

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Technology use after hours has reached absurd levels of adoption and use in the United States and abroad. It isn’t uncommon for hard-working  professionals living in the United States or abroad to be required to take phone calls, answer emails, reply text messages, update social media sites… 24/7. Even when someone is on vacation, he/she may need to comply with corporate policy of other duties as assigned and work while attempting to rest somewhere in New Zealand.

I do realize and predict that this modern day curse won’t be an easy one to be fixed or broken because our adopted professional operating system depends on its talented hard-working labor to be constantly connected to a machine in order for the system at large to operate and function. Therefore, producing twice sometimes three times more output than what is humanly possible isn’t in our favor. I guess this is what happens to society when technology takes control of human behavior and greed is then imposed on us in the name of productivity.

I bet that you and most if not all of your working family members are experiencing this quite inhumane practice. I wouldn’t be surprised if you know someone who is already experiencing health complications due to the unreasonable demands of the workforce these days. I wish we could just boycott the system but in reality we cannot, at least not initially.  SO, you might be asking… What can we do to alleviate the burdens of technological workplace abuse in 2017. There may be other ways to fight the cancer of working from 9 to forever in society. In this article, I will present to you three ways I do in order to live a balanced technological life in moderation.

  1. Join the @escthemachine movement immediately. You won’t be the only person to support the movement and is quite possible that a close friend of yours or a person you know has or will join the movement in your lifetime. @escthemachine is a movement to end the computer obsession era. The movement is about celebrating technology moderation. What a nice and humane mission, isn’t it?  You can follow the movement on twitter and receive daily updates on its Facebook feed. Who knows? The movement’s staff and partners might call on you to help to spread the TechnoModeration agenda in your community and beyond.
  2.  Be an independent voice for change primarily off-line. If you are a good speaker, consider giving keynotes about the need to create a policy that prevents the intrusion of technological messages into the worker’s leisure hours. Maybe you have the authority or hold an influential vote to decide who to bring and talk about the dangers of technology overuse in your establishment or club. I don’t recommend relying on social media as a medium for promoting TechnoModeration. Many folks out there will be confused and will quickly disregard what you say because you are using technology to talk about the dangers of it. I know, I know… It is idiotic because we are not trying to tell anyone that technology is bad or is always evil. We are in the business to put together a critical mass of individuals who are calling for the need to use computer technology in moderation from 9-5. Trust me. They won’t understand this simple tenet and are likely to get angry and emotional about you and your message.
  3. Be vocal and literally turn off your device after 5:00pm Friday.  I do and you should as well. Why do you need to be on the smartphone at 8:37pm on a Friday solving weekly problems? All right, I do get it. If you are in news, you need to be on standby 24/7 literally because breaking news and the need to produce and report such events happens all the time. You might not be able to turn your device off these days at 9:43pm on a Sunday but what you can do is to be at least vocal about it or do what some have done to alleviate their own unreasonable weekly schedules — Book an expert on the topic for your daily show or invite him/her to your classroom. Sometimes in life, winning is a function of losing less to eventually gain more. I do my part — You should do yours. It pays off, I must say.

Technology use after hours has reached absurd levels of adoption and use in the United States and abroad. It isn’t uncommon for hard-working  professionals living in the United States or abroad to be required to take phone calls, answer emails, reply text messages, update social media sites… 24/7. I bet that you and most if not all of your working family members are experiencing this quite inhumane practice. What can you do to literally @escthemachine? Join the @escthemachine movement immediately; Be an independent voice for change primarily off-line. Be vocal and literally turn off your device after 5:00pm Friday. We only live life once. Don’t waste your precious time in vain. We should have the right to disconnect after 5:00pm. Don’t you agree?

Sometimes Less Is More.

Sometimes Less Is More.

James Meredith

It is easier to start with next to little or nothing in order to be truly great and achieve tremendous success in this life. I didn’t say it is easy but easier… Whenever you have literally nothing to lose and everything to try and gain, a predictable urge to succeed occurs and impetuous behaviors take precedence in your calculated decision making process. Under such guerrilla style circumstances, men or women have a reason to believe in him or herself because the alternative ends in ruin, destruction, or defeat. The great golfer Gary Player is a living example of the self made man who has achieved the pinnacle of success in sports by creating his own way to excellence with next to nothing. Without question: Not having a four time Masters Champion dad with millions of dollars in his banking account has helped Player to craft his own life strategies and training regiments resulting in the one and only, “Gary Player.”

When you have little to no guidance on how to succeed in a particular domain and have a dad who isn’t ultra successful, you can be creative and draw upon your own path to success by observing talent and working smart. The reality is that too many resources and a silver spoon (or golden crate if you were born in Brazil) can be detrimental to a youth’s career progress and achievements. At least, this is what I’ve seen repeatedly: Inheritance and a rich dad often handicaps a large number of talented young men and women as these pupils grow lazy and live a life of leisure due to the extravagant lifestyle that they had their whole lives. In fact, the sons and daughters of wealthy men and women tend to become cowed and often terrified of losing financial face in this world, as Greene would put it. No wonder! This bunch has lived under the shadow of greatness and fine red wine their whole lives. Losing such a privileged position in society can be terrifying even suicidal. After all, who wants to lose prestige and possessions in this vain world that we live in.

There are a number of reasons why the former arguments hold a degree of veracity. In this article, I will present to you three reasons why it is easier to start with little or nothing in order to achieve tremendous success in this life.

  1. When you don’t have anything, you have everything. When you don’t have restrictions in what you can test and try, you will find more than enough space to be creative, make your own world, and achieve greatness. You don’t have to necessarily oppose others in order to deliver an innovative solution. You don’t need to put yourself in the shows of others and limit your contributions by bracketing your available options. You can dream and achieve freely which can be argued to be the pinnacle of freedom and creative thinking. You are free to attain the heights of power and influence. You can do the impossible and share the unpredictable with mobility and strength.
  2. You are more free to change your style. When you don’t have a frame of reference, you can design and develop multiple ones without reprimand. Remember: Over time, one’s inabilities to innovate and adapt tend to result in self destruction and chaos. The act of being truly great isn’t an exact science and it definitely isn’t achieved by static and myopic decision making, planning, and style. Dynamic innovation is the name of the game and always will be. You have to recreate yourself and your strategies once in a while. Napoleon, perhaps the best military general that has ever lived, lost the Battle of Waterloo because his enemies learned his ways. He became too predictable. His opponents learned his moves and were able to corner him and destroy his empire. The same can be said about the great Bismarck and many other great leaders. You need to have continuous originality, as I say. Always innovate if you want to be great in anything.
  3. Underestimating your contributions reduces competition.  Competition is good and required for any capitalist society to function well. I am not against competition. Far from it. In fact, I embrace a good chat with competitors every time I can. It is good for your business or brand to have competitors. There is a lot of evidence to support that. However, having too much competition can be a problem because it might result in market saturation. The fact that some might underestimate your contributions can be quickly turned into a competitive advantage which you can capitalize from. What appears to be a hurtle is in fact an asset. Every time someone underestimates you, you win.

It is easier to start with next to little or nothing in order to be truly great and achieve tremendous success in this life. I didn’t say it is easy but easier. Inheritance and a rich dad often handicaps a large number of talented young men and women as these pupils grow lazy and live a life of leisure due to the extravagant lifestyle that they had their whole lives. It is easier to start with little or nothing in order to achieve tremendous success in this life. When you don’t have anything, you have everything — you win; When you become more free to change your style — you win; When someone underestimates your contributions it reduces competition — you win. It is goofy but it works this way.

The Last Bubble: Collapse is Eminent.

The Last Bubble: Collapse is Eminent.

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If we look back in history and pay close attention to the evolution of both the defeated world war II countries and what we call the industrialized countries of today, we can quickly conclude that the industries they have re-built were for the most part more efficient and effective than the ones we had in the United States during the 1970’s. Well, I guess Japan, Germany and others had no choice but to take the stance of excellence if they were to compete against the only superpower of the post WWII age. They had to step up their game and do things differently.

Back in the 80’s, American industries had to compete against companies that were designed and developed to literally destroy the American industrial park as the hegemony of American enterprises was everywhere. It did its fair share of damage, that’s for sure.

At the same time, the rise of immigrants and women rights along with infusion of technology has caused the job market to become an “Employers Market,” as the workforce then had (and still has) way more people looking for jobs than jobs needing people. The supply of workers became too large for the country’s labor demands resulting in employers not having to pay decent wages to its employees as economist Richard Wolff once stated. The situation we are in today isn’t different from the realities of the 1980’s — Our current situation might be in fact much worse as the levels of technology imposed in our society has reached high levels of ridicule.

The American people is overworked, stressed, without money, in debt, and for the most part… still believing that the economic crisis is temporary. Not sure about that folks. This systemic ghost is here to stay. It might not even be an economical crisis but a crisis of philosophy.

Americans now work more than anybody in the world (including the Japanese), take less vacation days than the British, have less paid maternity leave time than any other nation among industrialized countries. Regardless of whether a mom gave birth through natural birth of cesarian session, employers only pay 5 weeks for full-paid compensation only on average. Stop here for a second…. Can anyone really go back to work after an intrusive C-Session only five weeks after surgery? You tell me.

Americans are suffering from anxiety, stress, syndromes here and more syndromes there due to overwork. On the top of all of that and due to the lack of home operational income, Americans had to borrow money against their houses in the year 2000’s in order to make ends meet. Too many lost their properties dues to foreclosure and in order to survive… Had to borrow against unsecured debt. The population lives on credit card debt because it is the only way folks can live and yet maintain the standard of living of consumption they once did. Economist Wolff seems to be correct about that, also.

Well my friends, let me share this with you. This time is coming to an end as the American credit card debt crisis has reached its limits. Be ready to hear about the crisis in student loan debt on mainstream media more often, very soon. Student loan debt will be the last bubble of our generation (in my opinion) but like all financial bubbles, it will explode and it will be ugly. I predict it will occur between 2020 and 2025. Students will be going to school to defer debt in mass quantities as high paying jobs become more scarce.

I see an ugly future for a lot of us members of the struggling middle class. As a college professor, I am suppose to hold a positive stance on hope but the evidence I see doesn’t give me too much hope folks. I think this whole fiasco will occur in this country in 2023. The country might default on its financial obligations which can result in life changing events never experienced before in the land of apple pie. I honestly don’t see a way out from this mess. The good news is that I am not an economics professor but a professor of media. The bad news is that if I am right…

And they keep telling me, “We need more technology!” I reply saying, “No, we need more brain cells!” We don’t need more technology. Ladies and gentleman, the boat is sinking and we are all a part of it. I encourage you to pray and pray hard because we will need it. Be ready to reduce your standard of living… Be accustomed to living in an apartment not in a house… Stop spending and look for ways to generate your own source of income. We must stick together and be creative.

Sticking together is perhaps the only way we will be able to deal with this whole crisis. God be with us.

Never Let Anyone Mistreat You.

Never Let Anyone Mistreat You.

Self Portrait

In this life, you will eventually be mistreated. Mistreatment might find you by accident, will be initiated by your enemies, sometimes will be revealed by friends, even close friends, co-workers, and often by some of the members of your family. The reason why I am so certain about the former is because most people are egoistic, self-centered and believe that life is all about themselves. Ego plays a large role, if you know what I mean. The bigger someone’s ego is, the higher the levels of mistreatment. It is clear cut.

The moment that people realize that they are at a deficit, be aware, because they will eventually find a way to mistreat you directly or indirectly once, maybe multiples times a week. Be aware: Life is all about them not you. They might celebrate your successes once in a while but in the end, work is about them. Sometimes, you have no option but to leave the environment and let these egocentric maniacs up to their own devices trying to maximize their retirement checks on the shoulders of others. It is an ugly world out there. It happens to us all everywhere. Don’t be judgmental and specific. Stop!

One thing is for sure: Mistreatment is just one of the ways evil people retaliate against others and it can take many forms. Mistreatment is easily observed and felt and can be described systematically. In reality, there are a number of cues associated with grotesque interpersonal mistreatment. People might mistreat you by simply speaking sarcastically towards you, by gossiping against you behind your back to others, and many times by screaming or confronting you head on with mean words, actions, and non-verbal clues. Some even write ALL CAPS WORDS to belittle you.

Micromanaging is a form of mistreatment. Whenever you suspect that spies are sent out there to give intelligence about you to the source, you reached the pinnacle of toxicity and mistreatment in a group, club or organization. Nobody who is truly a Christian, is nice or has any integrity, sends spies out there to gather intelligence on you for self gain. The former is better described by Aristotelian Scholars as manipulative and insecure often incompetent individuals who are often hiding something. It is a learned behavior that is easily displayed and caught. Just because people decide to be quiet about the former doesn’t mean that they don’t know.

Stopping someone from making progress is a well known mistreatment tactic used by individuals with authority to slow talent down. Flooding a unit with unreasonable requests at the last minute is both poor planning and usually a strategy to set people up for failure. Keep this in mind — life is about timing and effort. If you change someone’s timing, many times these changes will be for the worse leading to temporary conquest. No wonder why football coaches often stop decisive games in critical moments in an attempt to disrupt their opponent’s timing leading to error. No matter the form, you will be mistreated in this life. In fact, it isn’t a question of if you will be mistreated. It is a question of when. There are a number of ways you can ensure that you won’t be mistreated long term. In this article, I will share with you three ways to confront mistreatment at the source.

  1. Don’t be political. Be straightforward and firm.  Some people might and probably will assume a lot of things about you and temporarily mistreat you on this basis alone. However, the moment you firmly confront those who mistreat you one-on-one, without being political or being politically correct, mistreatment will flee away from you, you will flee from that person or group of people or both. At that exact moment, you will be able to judge if the mistreatment was a misunderstanding, was an innocent mistake, was mean spirited or an act done by a coward. It is amazing what people revel under stress. Look out for the details and act objectively not emotionally. Don’t be political. You don’t have to. Be straightforward and firm. Be the person who calls the bluff. Give them back a dosage of their own poison. Chances are high that they will think twice before treating you poorly again, at least for a while. Don’t let anyone bully you, ever.
  2.  Create alliances and peripheral support.  As the proverb goes, “The world goes around and around…” If you are being mistreated by a player or a group in a system, chances are high that other members and units belonging to your macro system are also being mistreated as well. The good news is that generalized, or should I say, purposeful systemic mistreatment calls for organized union affiliation. You need to create alliances and peripheral support in order to retaliate back and cause quantifiable damage. Here is the good news: Your opponent grows weaker and weaker when confronting a unified and concentrated force. He/she (or they) will pay a big price for mistreating you because the result of that backfire will cost the coward(s) a high price which often includes his/her (their) reputation. Mistreating others will only result in rash retaliation many times fired by a consortium.
  3. Look for alternatives and leave. There are times when you just have to leave and let others fix their own problems with their own resources. We live in a free and wonderful country that allows us to have choices. Nobody is obligated to stay in any establishment anywhere in the United States if he/she doesn’t want to. I personally don’t believe in quitting any appointment unexpectedly or in bad terms with any organization because life is about building bridges not burning them. The former isn’t to say that you should be married to a bad situation for twenty years or accept unreasonable terms forever. Sometimes, the best and right thing to do is to break affiliation and fulfill the destiny that God has planned for you elsewhere. There is more to life than trying to fix the broken if you break in the process.  Look for alternatives and leave even if you lose some funds in the process. Money comes and goes… You should control your destiny.

In this life, you will eventually be mistreated. The reason why I am so certain about the former is because most people are egoistic, self-centered and believe that life is all about themselves. Mistreatment is easily observed and felt and can be described systematically. The best way to tackle mistreatment is by being proactive.  Don’t be political. Be straightforward and firm. Create alliances and peripheral support. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to look for alternatives and leave. Don’t be afraid to make a big move. I have done a big one before and will do it again if necessary and you should do as well if required. Be a person of principles and stick to what you value and believe. Never let anyone or any group mistreat you. Confront them back accordingly your way.

 

Life Is Short: Do What You Want.

Life Is Short: Do What You Want.

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Life is Short — Do what you want. Do yourself a favor: Don’t complicate:  Instead, simplify. Act with boldness, live your life to the fullest, rock and roll in the process and sing a little along the way if you can. Be the owner of your own destiny. Never, under any circumstance, let others tell you how you should live your life. Remember: you make your decisions not anyone else. Always strive to move forward and don’t move or look back, like a kangaroo or an emu. In this life, you have to follow your dreams and live a life without regrets. Be the pilot of your own destiny.

Do you want to be a musician. Just do it! Are you in your late thirties working as an investment banker contemplating starting a subway franchise or a bed and breakfast business in the south pacific? Don’t think anymore. Make that phone call to corporate and start living your dream of being a sandwich artist entrepreneur. Are you contemplating finishing a college degree in your lifetime, enroll yourself today in a college or university, get your degree and tell the world… “I did it!” Start your dreams today because you never know if there will be a tomorrow.

I have known so many people who are constantly thinking about what others are going to think if they decide to become a ping pong champion. Who cares what others think? What really matters is what you think.  As I’ve said, “Life is Short — Do what you want.” I’ve decided to be a media professor who critiques media once in a while. Odd, isn’t it? Not to me. I kind of like it! Being a critic of technology has been a riot and is something that I don’t plan to stop doing anytime soon. Somebody needs to talk about both the positives and negatives of technology.

I know, I know… sometimes it is tough for people to simply turn on the “who cares” sign and really do what they want to do in this world. In this article, I will share with you three proven ways to be able to live life to the fullest and do what you want.

  1. Be open to losing friends at first. In order to do what you like, you are gonna have to re-define what you mean by friends or friendship and certainly lose many in exchange for doing what you want. When I decided to come to the United States to do what I wanted, I lost a lot of friends… too many. Childhood and club friends; school and gym friends; girlfriends and other friends. You name it! However, by losing them I gained more of them. Maybe a different kind of friend but still. A small tradeoff to be paid to really do what you want. If you are too attached to friends, especially close friends, chances are high that you will do what they want not what you want.
  2. Be open to gaining new friends. This one is a corollary to the former.  The more that you are willing to accept others in your world, the higher the chance you will find someone who will truly accept you for who you are. It is a statistical fact — The more you play, the higher the chance you will eventually win. I am a person who many would consider to be pretty weird. My favorite animal is a Koala. I drive a white VW Passat turbo with a pink kid’s seat in the back and drive golf balls with a Walter Hagen! I am a professor of Mass Communications with a PhD in Instructional Systems and have read more about leadership and marketing than most MBA’s you and I know. I speak Galician fluently and understand a lot of Romanian.  I make new friends easily and constantly because I am open to gaining new friends and replacing old ones when necessary. In order to do what you want, you need to be who you are. Don’t forget that.
  3. Be closed towards others when required.  Negativity must be avoided at all costs if you want to live your life under what I call a “do what you want” philosophy. If someone tries to diminish your accomplishments or tries to make you look small in any way, flee from them. Don’t be emotional about it. Just do it! Remember: Life is short. You know, let me ask you a question. Do you diminish others for personal gain? Do you purposely make others look small so you can appear grande? If you do, shame on you. You shouldn’t. I don’t and never will. I choose to elevate others, instead. If you elevate others, they often elevate you back and reduces the chances you will have to be closed towards others. We are de facto supposed to elevate people not to suppress anyone. Got it?

Life is Short — Do what you want. Do yourself a favor: Don’t complicate:  Instead, simplify. I do admit that living this type of lifestyle is rough and can be quite difficult because letting friends go often is a daunting activity. Who wants to invest in the unknown as a strategy to living a life you want to live. In another words, to do what you want. The irony of the former is by losing you often gain… friends, courage, boldness, action, respect, life. Life is short. Do what you want. Live with no regrets. Don’t complicate. Just do it.

Scatter-Brained, Stressed Out Friend: Not Me and You, Right? You Got It.

Scatter-Brained, Stressed Out Friend: Not Me and You, Right? You Got It.

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One of the secrets to living a great life in our modern technological society is for you to have the ability to balance your on-line versus off-line commitments. There are 8760 hours, 525600 minutes and 31536000 seconds in a year. If you spend 12 hours a day using technology/media devices, by mid-year you would have spent 2190 hours, 131400 minutes, or 7884000 seconds processing information with your only brain. I am not sure about you but I can tell you with certainty that I can’t process a dozen hours a day of media stimuli without repercussions. Not sure about you but I don’t want to experience constant short-term memory dysfunction or display constant scatter-brained behaviors to my family, friends and co-workers.

In all honesty, I don’t think you would benefit from engaging in such digital behavioral choice patterns either because nobody in this race, the human race, can handle to mentally process all this information at once without experiencing a variety of severe cognitive repercussions. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure it out that being on a machine for twelve hours a day isn’t good for anybody. Yet, there are several people across the globe who still believe that they can handle this inhumane technological demand imposed by people. I call the former a result of many today living in what I’ve written — the human robot syndrome; A period where humans behave more like a robot than a human being.

I am not alone in being skeptical about one’s ability to process a dozen hours a day worth of information and be in good health. “Over-use of smartphones and game devices hampers the balanced development of the brain,” according to Dr. Byun Gi-won, a doctor at the Balance Brain Center in Seoul. Thankfully, we have a number of researchers and watch dogs today paying close attention to this very important sociological issue we have in the United States and abroad.

Listen carefully: You need to technomoderate and do what you can to resist consuming too much technology a day. You might be asking, “Okay, but how can I do that?” Here are a few suggestions.

  1. Choose a paper book versus your kindle. You don’t have to read a book on your iPad or kindle. You can still read a book on paperback. Open your book, get a pen, and take notes about what you are reading. Be immersed in your analog book experience when you come home from work. Resist playing a video game, watching hours of television, or gosh forbidden… being on social media for three hours at night. Why are you tying to kill yourself before your time? Don’t do it.
  2. Have an open conversation with you boss face-to-face. Do yourself a favor. Sometime tomorrow, go see your boss’s secretary and ask him/her if you can schedule an appointment with your boss this week or the following. Be open, transparent, and kindly inform your boss about your goal of living a balanced life. Tell him/her that living a life where you exercise your body, mind and soul is important to you and to be able to do the former, you simply can’t work from 9:00am to forever. You are to ask questions, listen but above all follow through with your plan to live a moderate life. In the end, yourself and your boss will thank you. Trust me.
  3. Exercise your body and your brain. Sure, go exercise. Go for a walk, a run, a bike ride, play Marco or Polo or jumprope. Move the great body that the good God has given you! We were made by the creator to live and appreciate nature in this life. Therefore, go outside and appreciate all the nature that surrounds you and celebrate the fact that you are alive tonight. Do an organic self-thinking in the process. Try to memorize non-job related stuff as you enjoy your nightly self-reflections outdoors. I don’t know… maybe you can try to memorize the planets from the sun, the capitals of the world… you decide. Don’t forget this: You never know what will happen to you next day. Appreciate your invaluable moments everyday. Live your lives to the maximum. Carpe Diem! Seize the day. Don’t forget to live your lives extraordinary.

One of the secrets to living a great life in our modern technological society is for you to have the ability to balance your on-line versus off-line commitments. Don’t live a scatter-brained, stressed out life my friend. It isn’t worth it. I’ tried… It sucks. I got sick and burned out. The vicious cycle never ends; it only restarts after rebooting. Be different, be yourself, be in control. Read books on paper; chat with your boos about your plans to control your life; exercise both your body and your brain without technology. Be an agent of change and an example to your children. Be a TechnoModerator! You won’t regret.

 

You Can Do It! Just Be Creative And Dare A Little Bit.

You Can Do It! Just Be Creative And Dare A Little Bit.
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Dr. A Meeting A Group of Strangers (Other than one) At Moving Day In School.

I know that you are probably struggling and questioning this whole idea of having to transform yourself into an extrovert in order to have more influence in social media outlets. Most people would agree that becoming an extrovert isn’t that simple of a task at first. As we discussed in the last blog post, just stop thinking that you are always going to be an introvert is a tough task to accomplish in itself because we are ingrained in a society that promotes the idea that many times things don’t or can’t change. Sometimes and often people fall into the false impression that we have to be confined by our nurtured learned beliefs which only results in putting ourselves into a limited box. Do me a favor right now. Forget the box; don’t think about any box; in fact, think with no box. Just do it now. I will explain it to you later. Being an extrovert is attainable and you are going to be able to do it. By the way, did you register for guitar lessons? Maybe a voice lesson or two? I am paying attention to you and will be asking you sporadic questions like these ones to keep you on your toes.  On another note, did you have a chat with a telemarketer last night to help you with losing inhibition? If you haven’t, make sure to do it tonight. If you have conversed with a telemarketer stranger yesterday, congratulations! You have made a significant attempt to evolve into an extrovert and believe me… you will benefit from being an extrovert. Those traits will be used in your social media campaigns. There are so many other ways in which you can practice to be an extrovert on-line. Today, we are going to talk about three more ways in which you can expand your ability to develop this timely social skill that we call extroversion.

  1. Remember your prior commitments. Let’s start with this one. This series of blog postings are a cumulative effort to help you with becoming an extrovert and dominating the social media realm. Question: Are you still thinking that you will be an introvert forever? Did you really stop by that music store near your house or on-line? If not, maybe you need to call that buddy of yours who is musically inclined in order to help you to buy a six string. Why a six? I don’t know… The Mishnah contains six sections, you can buy a six pack, there are six features in a person’s face, there are six vertices on a hexagram, six is the top number on a dice. I don’t know but make sure you buy your six strings yesterday. You need to start jamming in order to break away from the old you. Before I forget, make sure you engage in a conversation with a telemarketer or two tonight.
  2. Go to the bank and ask for the manager. Give yourself a chance to speak with a local commercial bank manager and start developing your interpersonal skills. Why do you need to speak with a banker? For six main reasons: Bankers help people in moments of crisis; they are able to persuade others;  they tend to be good negotiators, they are good at outmaneuvering people, they like to win and they are available.  You can learn a lot from them and the cost to speak with them is literally zero. Your return over investment after speaking with a banker is extraordinarily high. If successful meaningful conversations with a banker, one-on-one, were a bet category in Vegas, the odds of success of such pursuits would be 1 to 1 success on the side of the introvert. Making long story short, go speak with a banker today or tomorrow.
  3. Work for a week as a dishwasher. Why a week? Because it has one hundred and sixty eight hours or ten thousand and eighty minutes that you can spend with someone chatting for long periods of time. When I was an English as a Second Language (ESL) student, I did just that. You will be amazed how much you will talk and chat with a complete stranger during this time. What I came to learn and realize from my experience, being a dishwasher for a week, was that it is literally impossible for these underrated cleaning professionals to spend eight hours a day without speaking a single word. Do yourself a favor: Put your pride aside, go to a local kitchen and volunteer your time to serve as a food cleaning professional. This experience will change the way you communicate.

I know that you are probably struggling and questioning this whole idea of having to transform yourself into an extrovert in order to have more influence in social media outlets. How can anyone ask and remind you that you need to start playing the guitar and singing, talking with bankers and joining a dishwasher team in order to be more successful in social media. Let me help you with better understanding these series of requests. Think of Mr. Myagi. Do you remember wax on, wax off… I am him guiding you through this difficult yet critical process to transform you into a black belt of social media.  Trust your trainer and start doing. I will check with you again on the flip side tomorrow!

Stop Thinking That You Are Always Going To Be An Introvert.

Stop Thinking That You Are Always Going To Be An Introvert.

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In social media, like in any other living and evolving environment, being strategic is a necessity with the difference that in this new and ever growing area of communications media, you have to be an extrovert or learn to be one if you want to be successful and have lifelong influence in cyberspace. I am not aware of any influential social media strategist and/or new media key player or celebrity who is quiet about his or her participations in the social media arena. Let me give to you some real yet interesting numbers for your review and reflection. Donald Trump has twitted (or shared his opinions, right?) 34.4 thousand times since he started his public twitter campaign in 2009. Oprah Winfrey has shared her thoughts another 11.9 thousand times and growing. In one posting on Instagram alone, Hillary Clinton and her 12.7 million followers have interacted 72,532 times complementing the 659 thousand re-tweets and 29 thousand personal replies displayed on her pin message on twitter today, January 28th 2017. Sean Hannity, from Fox News, averages 400 interactions per posting on Instagram and Andrea Mitchell from MSNBC has probably tweeted more than you and me combined totaling 29.2 thousands times. Clearly, these influential and leading individuals aren’t shy about sharing what they know or what they think you want to hear whether you like it or not. It doesn’t matter if you are a liberal, a conservative, a buddhist, a catholic or a citizen of Belize. You have to be able to connect with people you know and don’t know on-line whether you feel comfortable engaging with them or not. The well established and good strategy of war, “Raising an icon from the past,” which can be understood as using your past victories to justify or influence your present cause or situation won’t work for you in social media alone. As Cantrell once said, “Empires rise and fall in the make of details.” You need to get used to the reality that you must be an extrovert on-line by birth or by training, and understand how the game is really played in this new and ever evolving age of social media interaction. There are a number of ways in which you can be more extrovert and better communicate with others in social media even though you might not necessarily be used to it or comfortable about it. I will provide to you three ways in which you can start developing this important and timely social skill… being an extravert.

  1. Stop thinking that you are always going to be an introvert. I am an extrovert. My wife, many of you and several others can easily attest this fact because I am not afraid of start conversations with people I don’t know quite quickly. I am talkative, sociable, enthusiastic, friendly and outgoing. What if I told you that as a teenager, I was afraid to talk with others, was quite reserved and quiet, non-sociable and able to play chess by myself for hours non-stop. It is quite shocking that these days, I have no problems speaking on television, expressing opinions publicly and in some instances… be attention seeking without feeling bad about it. If I became an extrovert, you can become an extrovert, as well. Please don’t believe others when they tell you that you are always going to be an introvert. It is a plain lie and can be argued to be unfounded. I came to learn and realize that your life circunstances and personality can change based on the many environmental variables you are exposed to and experience. Perhaps, nurture overcomes nature after all, I don’t know. What I can tell you for a fact is that I was an introvert yesterday; I am an extrovert today, and you can also make this transition. In social media, you will need this to possess this kind of personality if you want to influence others effectively.
  2. Buy yourself a guitar and study music. You heard that right. Sell your computer and buy a guitar as Tom Petty once said. The act of jamming your six strings and singing alone but preferably in front of a group of listeners, friends, enemies, groupies… overtime can do miracles for you ad will help you to reach your goal of being extrovert. The act of playing the guitar and being in front of others is one of the first steps you need to take in order to become comfortable when speaking with strangers. Why do you second guess yourself? You can be an extrovert overtime. Yes you can! Let me repeat: Yes you can! So do me a favor now. If you are an introvert, legitimately wants to be an extrovert and have more influence in social media, stop reading this blog post right now and go get yourself an acoustic guitar and schedule some guitar maybe voice lessons. I will be here when you come back. You won’t regret.
  3. Randomly call telemarketers for a chat. A-HA! This one you were not expecting, right? I hope not. In order to be able to communicate like a true extrovert, you need to be a bit crazy sometimes and get away from your comfort zone. It is payback time buddy! It is your time to call these professional salesmen who called you several times during your family suppers on Friday evenings and have random chats with them on their own time. I know that this act can be quite intimidating at first but the repeated act of calling a 1-800 number telemarketer customer service representative inquiring about how you can get a free credit card can be life changing for an introvert. You need to be able to speak with strangers without feeling weird or bad about it. We are going to start this process by using the telephone medium at first because you know… if something doesn’t work right, you can always hang over the phone and start the whole process again right after. Eventually, we are going to engage in conversations with strangers to develop additional extrovert skills but not now. It is to early for that. You have to give yourself a chance to becoming an extrovert so you can then be more influential in social media outlets remember? By the way, how much spam or unwanted credit card application requests did you receive this week? Do yourself a favor: Please check your mail pile and start making some phone calls tonight. Who knows, you might make some friends along the way. I did. In fact, one of these goofy telemarketers ended up being a short term girlfriend of mine in college. It might be your destiny, who knows!!!

You have to be an extrovert or learn to be one if you want to be successful and a have life long influence in cyberspace. Stop thinking that you are always going to be an introvert for life. The former isn’t a death sentence. Buy yourself a guitar and start jamming! Make some random phone calls to telemarketers and break aways that inhibition. Who knows, you might even meet a mate along the way. In fact, it might be your destiny to meet somebody this way! You can do it. Just go out there and do it. Go now, close this book and act, see you tomorrow.

Re-Create Yourself Once In A While.

Re-Create Yourself Once In A While.

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There is a lot of value in recreating yourself once in a while. IBM in 1984 was a much different company than it is today. Steve Martin became a dad when he was 67 years old. Betty White wasn’t a well known person by the public until she was fifty one years of age. Arnold Schwarzenegger was a body builder, then he became a widely known actor, served as a politician and is now a philanthropist. You need to champion the need to innovate and control your destiny by not allowing others to define who you are. This doesn’t mean that you should be mean, treat others with disrespect, turn yourself blue when common sense calls you to be yellow or dreaming of becoming a rockstar without having any talent for music and how to act and react in the entertainment industry. Don’t get me wrong — engaging in creative and continuous self-analysis and advancement isn’t an easy task but is one that is of paramount importance. In 2o17, we all need to be able to maneuver in order to gain or shift terrain and advance our own careers and life campaigns. In many instances, the former requires that we recreate ourselves. Every seven years, our body cells change allowing us to recreate ourselves in the literal sense. Perhaps, the good God has created us that way biologically so that we eventually learn to think about ourselves in terms of re-creation. In reality, there are a number of ways in which you can re-create yourself.  In this article, I will share with you three ways in which you can re-create yourself and advance or change your career or life focus as an outcome.

  1. Be a source of pleasure. No matter which career you are in or want to pursue, don’t be grumpy, melancholic, egoistic or egocentric, self-centered, or arrogant. Be the type of person you and your friends want to be around with. You don’t need to force your new image on others, either. Be a source of pleasure and celebrate creating harmony by making others to celebrate themselves.  Eventually, others will invite you in their circles and will legitimately enjoy being around you for the right reasons not because of  your position or authority. I see too many people today failing to re-create themselves into someone better