Choosing To Be Succesful Is A Habit

Choosing To Be Succesful Is A Habit

Success is a habit. Like any other life habits, it is a process that involves hard work, perseverance, and will power. Success is what we should shoot for but before I elaborate on it, let’s define what success is.

Success isn’t money, status, or anything that superficial. Success is a habit! It is a way of being and thinking about the world. To me, success is being able to live a life that you want to live without having to compromise your values and beliefs for the selfish desires of others.

In this life, you will meet people who will put you down and degrade your accomplishments because of insecurities. It part of life. It comes with being successful. It’s the result of making success a habit and being able to live your dreams without compromising who you are.

I find no other way to live my life than to strive to be successful. We live in the empire of the world. In the United States, we pay a big price if we choose to be unsuccessful.

These are some of the side effects people feel by choosing to ignore success.

  1. They die earlier
  1. They live a more stressful life
  1. They grow cynical about the workforce

Just don’t. Choose success! Make the pursuit of success a life goal worth pursuing. Success is a habit! Success isn’t anything superficial like money or status. Success is a way of being worth pursuing. It is living your life without having to compromise your values and beliefs.

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You Need A Mentor Even If You Have To Buy Him

You Need A Mentor Even If You Have To Buy Him

No matter where you were born or which language you speak, you need a mentor even if you need to buy him. A mentor, whether he is paid or not, help you in these unique ways.

  1. He tells you things you need to know, the way they are. We all must live In the moment and have others helping us to see our behaviors.
  2. He listen to what you have to say. Sometimes, you just have to speak your frustrations out.
  3. He is patient with you. In this life, you will make mistakes. Having a person who knows you is key to continuing growing. A mentor can help you with that.

Don’t underestimate the power of mentors. We need them in order to grow. Who is your mentor? Do you need to buy one? You just be prepared to be a extraordinary.

What I know About Millennials That Computers Won’t Ever Know

What I know About Millennials That Computers Won’t Ever Know

The youth is relational, as my buddy Mark used to tell me. What they really value are the many actions and connections that you build with them. Engaging with young people can be exhausting but like any type of human labor, it is worthwhile for those who see themselves as agents for change. I believe and value change, when done right.

There is little doubt that emotionally investing in young adults can be a daunting task but the flip side of it is that it can be quite gratifying and pay big dividends in the long-run. Let me say this: 18-25 year-olds value the few meaningful interactions they have with others before their desire to acquire technological artifacts. They are hungry for relating with people, not technology. I’m convinced about that. How do I know? They tell me half of everything because I choose to invest my emotional time on them.

By smiling, being present and showing your face at events they care about, by surprising them and creating with them, you can earn the privilege to be inside their inner circle and prove to them that you do the things you do because of them. There is no technology out there they can buy that will do this for them. They love that but more importantly, they admire that. You are what they need and want. People.

So, what are you going to do today to be more relational with the youth? Are you going to be more emotionally involved with them? Are you going to engage in more off-line meaningful conversations with them? Maybe what you really need, as Seth Godin would say, is to engage in emotional labor for them.

What I know I’m not going to do is to ask google for an answer. I’m going to follow what my heart is saying that I must do. I’m not looking for any reward — My goal is simply to connect and make a difference. But that’s just me. How about you?

 

 

 

You Are A Tech Gladiator!

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We live in a sort of modern day Rome where those who control the crowd become invincible. The gladiators of the past were poor slaves in the eyes of Caesar but they were the true heroes of the people. They could entertain and temporarily persuade the masses to do whatever they wanted them to say and do in the arena. Although they had no Roman right, as long as they were fighting in the Roman Coliseum, they were free and in control.

The modern day gladiator, or the small guy who now interacts with a crowd on-line in order to make a living with his craft may not be fighting lions in a stadium to entertain Caesar and the Roman citizens; however, technology has empowered them to display their talents to thousands of followers on facebook and truly entertain and influence the masses much like Roman gladiators.   

It is a form of power that can be easily understood by the powers to be. I have to admit — the smartphone has empowered the weak to be seen and valued and that’s good. Let me whisper this in your ears and please promise me that you will only tell your mom about it. Evil doers are short lived in the new age of information. Trying to oppress others isn’t worth the trouble anymore. Like a Roman gladiator, when given access to technology, the slave now has a voice to share in society because of technology.     

In reality, ladies and gentleman, I have pity for those who scheme against the weak and use positional power to oppress the brethren because in modern day America, where most people have the chance to share what they really think to millions for cheap, playing evil against good people with technology access and a crowd will, sooner or later, backfire. Let me explain.

Have you ever heard about the United Breaks Guitars campaign? I bet that most of you never heard about this modern day corporate nightmare because the campaign was targeted at the youth. After United Airlines baggage claim employees mishandled and broke an unknown country artist’s guitar, United refused to admit their mistake and replace the guitar. Uh oh. 

Let me make this story short. YouTube allowed vocalist Dave Carroll and his band to tell 17,877,563 unique YouTube users about how United Airlines mishandled their baggage and broke his Taylor guitar by composing a country song titled, “United Breaks Guitars.” The refrain went like this: “I should have flown with someone else or gone by car… cause United Breaks guitars.” What a nightmare for United!

Almost overnight, an unknown figure became a hero to the masses, like a gladiator.

Here is the reality, folks. People today are empowered by technology. Decision makers need to think twice before assuming that a person is powerless in the new age of information. A simple facebook post can cause tremendous stress to any organization and consequently cause the crowd to cheer. In a sense, we are all modern day gladiators!    

Organizations must be aware that we have democratized technology. Access to technology has given the masses a voice and a large audience to entertain. Social media platforms are now modern day Roman Coliseums where we fight and look for audience support. The crowd is now being entertained, persuaded and influenced on-line as well as in real life.   

The reality is that we live in an evil world where powers aren’t evenly distributed. We have the haves and have nots, much like in ancient Rome. Advancements in technology have allowed the modern man to become a gladiator with a crowd. For very cheap, campaigns can now be made and shared with millions of people per one post. Social media is a weapon my friends.   

The world of communication has changed forever. In the age where sophisticated media users have the ability to control and influence millions of people, the everyday person has a voice too.  Modern day gladiators are uncontrollable warriors with a platform to share their thoughts. Everybody today has a voice and a crowd to entertain. A single facebook post can now make history. Fortunate are those who understand this simple fact.

Hidden Extremism

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We live in a world marked by extremism.

At the time of our grandparents, people used to have two maybe three pairs of shoes in their closets. Back in 2013, according to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, Americans bought almost eight pairs of shoes that year. The average American man in 2017 owns twelve pairs of shoes. The average American women owns twenty-seven. Americans on average own nineteen pairs of shoes these days. That’s a lot! 

When we were young, a birthday party would maybe cost parents $150 with presents included. According to a recent consumer survey, parents now spend on average $450 on their kid’s birthday parties without calculating in the $250 they spend on presents. It isn’t uncommon for families to spend at least $500 on their children’s birthday celebrations in 2017.

According to BBC, kids today spend on average six and a half hours of screen time a day, which is a drastic change from the three hours they used to spend in front of computerized devices back in 1995. We have also seen a widespread adoption of multi-screening practices which has influenced the youth to demand connectivity! Will children own a virtual reality device in the near future? I bet they will own two maybe three of these pieces of hardware if not more.

Why are things so extreme today? It is difficult to isolate one single reason for why this is all happening. I think I have the answer for why so many kids (and parents) spend hours on end on computerized devices in Cleveland, Tennessee or Ohio and anywhere in between the states of New York and New Delhi. Folks are exhausting themselves for the sake of technology because when humans interact with multiple computerized devices on a daily basis, they become more like a “computer” without realizing.

Computer use is maybe conditioning us to be more extreme. We see evidence of the former in how we live our lives in relation to the actual traits of modern computer technology. Computers, even when they are on stand-by mode, are technically active in the background because computer processes have to be operational for the computer to be on stand-by. We seem to have inherited some of these computer traits by being so ingrained with them.

It isn’t uncommon for a number of us to work fifty sometimes sixty hours a week, not from nine to five but from nine to forever. Let’s not forget that answering emails at 9:45pm and waking up at 3:00am to solve a problem that we couldn’t solve the night before is an extreme measure. Our computer use behaviors today are quite extreme and some might even categorize them as borderline irresponsible. The human brain was not made to operate in constant information overload mode yet we are challenging our mental capacity limits by being in front of computer screens for several hours a day.   

Remember: Your family members and friends only have one brain. Overuse of technology is an epidemic, it’s alive and well and is everywhere. Adults are also experiencing the same extreme side effects that kids exhibit, due to the extreme interactions with computerized devices, as well. There was a time when extreme levels of computer use was a “kid” thing. It isn’t anymore. The vast majority of us are now on our computers for too long. We need to break from this habit.

The good news is that we can break free from technology once in a while. My recommendations for temporary breaking from computer use extremism is the following: Join a local church and volunteer your time every week for the Lord. If you like to sing, join a community choir or theatre. If your talent is labor, donate some of your time to a non-profit to help with a remodeling or landscaping project. If you like thinking, take a non-credit class in a local college to met new friends. Read a book, go for a walk, pray! In the end, you will thank the good God for living a life of moderation. It makes all the difference. 

The Expense of Social Media

How can I start writing this article, ladies and gentleman? All right, let me try answering this former question by saying this, “It is highly unlikely that social media will make people famous in any platform without people having a constant budget in the thousands and a group of talented media people to create awesome social media content. I am hearing little Johnie saying out loud on main street near Gardner’s Market, “Dr. A! How can that be? Didn’t Justin Bieber go viral because of youtube back in the day? Don’t people get famous all the time in social media? Well, let me clarify something for you little Johny. Let’s start with Justin Bieber — he became famous after a talent manager discovered him on youtube and then brought him out of the medium to mainstream society to scale his brand. The best way to answer the second question is to ask you the following, fellow compatriot. Who do you know who has gone viral on any social media platform without the assistance from either an influencer or a big budget these days? Probably zero.

Let me make a long story short for you guys. Knowing how to set a social media plan and policy, including the must needed social media tactics and techniques sections, is a must these days. However, just because we can design and develop social media campaigns incorporating tactics and techniques doesn’t mean that these campaigns are free of charge. It is much easier to scale operations for social media for an organization, when people are working with a group of eighteen. The reality, however, is that most people don’t have enough resources, both human and capital, in order to scale their social media accounts to the point of going viral. Can your neighbor go viral on youtube after recording his male cat doing something out of the ordinary in his kitchen? Everything is possible people but the chances of this happening organically is just very unlikely.     

Now, let me ask you this — Do you have a team of three to help you advance your brand in social media? How much money do you have to assist you with your brand on-line? It is no accident that a number of organizations in our region knock on my door asking for assistance with social media related work because, guess what, it is expensive! In fact, it is very expensive. How expensive you may be asking. Well it is $70 per month in order to manage your instagram account; Another 149 dollars a month in order to do analytics correctly… Oops, We are already at $220 a month! Shall we continue? I don’t think so! You got the idea. We haven’t even talked about content.

Dude, even when technology tools are given for free they aren’t really “free.” No wonder why millions of Americans are getting literally sick because of technology as many believe that they can actually do all this work without funding and human resources. Don’t be like them! Nobody can spend seventeen hours a day in front of a machine in order to build the social media presence we all are being asked to do. What the “public” is asking you to do on-line isn’t possible to accomplish without experiencing severe side effects. I am starting to believe that you may be better by not owning a smartphone. Question. Why do you need a smartphone at home if you pay for that internet access? I bet you have a computer at home in addition to your iPhone. Am I wrong about this? If I am right, Isn’t that double dipping?

Social media work is expensive despite the fact that most tools are free. Today, in order for youth to be visible in social media, you need to pay and engage. Engagement is both a lot of work and it demands long hours of work 24/7 meaning that at 3:30am, you may need to wake up to engage with an important follower. Is this how you want to live your life? I don’t. The social media of today is more sophisticated. Spend your time offline getting to know influencers instead. I bet that your chances of going viral will exponentially increase after you practice your human skills more. Just saying…

Don’t Let Technology Limit Yourself

A lot of people live in a state of denial these days. What they think and believe is often a reflection of their own alter egos created by all of this technology. There are so many people today who think that they need to use technology to be known as a good speaker, teacher, and influencer. Let me reveal something to you. You don’t need to use powerpoint in order to deliver a great speech! Let me break this to you, if I may. A star teacher must be student centered not technology centered. Influencers don’t rely on presentation software in order to be influential!

This past Thursday, I went to the Sunrise Rotary Club to deliver a keynote about TechnoModeration with my good old and cool Lee Oskar harmonica, plain paper, a collection of stories and different voice pitches. Okay, I had a few slides projected onto a screen from my laptop in order to make a few points here and there about what I like to call “technology conditioning” to the audience. However, the vast majority of my speech was done in an entertaining fashion without the use of technology.

What was the results that endeavor? My dear compatriots, I think the audience really liked the conversation. They were paying attention, laughed at times, interacted with me and themselves, and more importantly — got the point that we have a technology problem in America. How did they do it? By not looking at their smartphones or following a collection of keynote slides but by focusing on the verbal and non-verbal behaviors of a speaker who wasn’t reading from a powerpoint slide.

Listen to me: The key to communicating with impact isn’t related to how much technology you use or how technological somebody believes you are. Forget this idea that you need to have facebook to persuade an audience or that instagram will made others to take action about the things you say face value because they have an on-line presence. What you really need is to have the ability to tell stories and make your audience think about the topic you want them to think about. This is done better without technology and off-line.

I am getting tired of seeing so many talented young man limit themselves because of technology. We are people and guess what? People are full of emotions! Do you really think that you will be able to persuade anyone on-line without having human contact with them long-term? Think again! Mediated communication has its perks and can be used at times but it will never replace the good old face-to-face conversation. This is precisely why conferences, events, schools, and many other public venues bring trained communicators, speakers… to speak to their audiences. Communication skills are still king in the age of Fedor, ladies and gentleman.

The power of a live speech carry on, I must add. A good keynote speaker, after delivering a killer speech to any audience, without relying on too much technology, is often re-booked by somebody who saw that speech. An influential teacher who puts students ahead of technology will built an army of followers. The consequence of the former is quite predictable. These same students will eventually start coming in masses to the professor’s office hours to learn more. Keep this in mind: People are relational, especially millennials. If you can’t relate, you won’t influence them. Relationship is built face-to-face not with technology! A good teacher understands that.

Influencers are a rare breed. If you got them on your team, don’t let them go. Do what you can to keep them. Treat them with the respect they deserve. This breed usually have choices… Although influencers are often technology literate, they don’t always rely on the latest technological advancements to be influential. Did Billy Graham used powerpoint to influence his crowd during his crusades? Open your eyes to what is important. Technology is second to humanity. 

Digital Appearances Are Deceiving Too

Its virtually impossible to really know what people are up to based on what they post on twitter. In this article, I will explain to you why the former is true with a touch of Dr. A’s personality.

Ladies and gents, let’s get real. People use a mask in public and in cyberspace. If a person is sharing happy looking pictures on instagram all the time, chances are that they are de facto sad not happy most if not all the time. People often share the opposite of what they are really thinking. People may even compensate for being sad by posting happy content. Let me give you another example. If a person decides to engage in a rant conversation with a colleague or a friend online, chances are that this person is probably afraid to engage in a face-to-face conversation with somebody. As you, me and all the Tennessee Titans Fans know, most people put a mask when they behave in public. Do you think that facebook is any different? Please.

We all know that, don’t we? Why pretend then? Or assume one thing and ignore what we know about how we typically behave in public? Listen to Dr. A: Who cares what people think of you on facebook. You must live your life and make these social media networks be subordinated to you. You won’t gain anything by playing Nostradamus based on what people post on instagram. The only thing you will gain are the headaches of gossip which is an activity condemned by God.

  

Let’s get real here. How do you really know what people are feeling or thinking if intonations and variations in voice pitch, for example, aren’t being shared in social media posts anyways? See why it isn’t possible to guess who people really are online? Look, there are so many ways a person can misinterpret another person’s message on instagram that it isn’t even funny. Which body language is a person using when they “communicate” with you on linkedIn? Well, we don’t really know, do we? It is only by speaking face-to-face with somebody that you can be sure of what they are trying to communicate to you and others. I’m convinced of that.

There are so many people today investigating people’s facebook accounts these days and forming opinions about them based on what they post on a blog without having a clue about what their true intent for posting that piece of content was. It’s an epidemic. It is such a common practice that I have a micro system who checks who is actually looking at my profile on a daily basis. I’m watching you! 

It isn’t easy to “know” who people are simply by sneakily going to a person’s facebook page and analyze what they post. People may have an idea who the person is or may be but I’m doubtful that a person can really know who people truly are by doing a content analysis of what people share online.  People post content for different reasons.One of my buddies in Brazil shares jokes on a daily basis on his facebook. Does this behavior make him a social media clown? I don’t think so. Not to me. I know him better.

Remember: Not everything you see is what it seems. Social media isn’t any different. Just because a person posts too many times on facebook doesn’t mean that he or she is self centered. Maybe, they are sharing more content because their parents want to see more photos of their children on their wall. Perhaps, people don’t post as much because they hate technology. Maybe they made a vow to technomoderate that year. How can people really know, right?

Be careful with assumptions. They tend to backfire. I honestly don’t think that anybody can truly guess who people are online without knowing who they are offline. People can try but they will fall short. The complexities of communication and human behavior can’t be diminished to a level of perishable machinery.  We are humans! We are living systems! Knowing how people really are is dependent on other variables not found in cyberspace and that’s a fact.

Good Try Technology

If you have updated your iPhone’s operating system yesterday, you then got a message from Apple notifying you with the following message, “Do not disturb while driving. Your iPhone can silence incoming notifications whenever you appear to be driving.” It is kind of cool but how ironic, isn’t it? It seems that a group of technology gurus have just attempted to use technology to “cure” the massive technology addiction problem that they have created in the first place for the sake of innovation diffusion. On the surface, this is great news for some. Insurance agents are probably loving this new iPhone feature. 

Agents are probably saying, “Hey, you can now control your life and avoid a car accident! You can now choose to whether accept text messages while you are driving or not.” Wow! See? technology is wonderful. Let me help you to save some money because of that. Well, this new “do not disturb while driving” function on the iPhone is good. It serves a small purpose but in the grand scheme of things… its relevance is dismal.

I am hearing someone near Ocoee Street screaming, “What are you talking about Dr. A? This new technology is going to stop us from overusing technology! It has just cured the problem it created with technology.”  By now, you know me. I am skeptical about this new development. Let me explain.

This whole idea that technology can “cure” technological problems is overrated because most of our problems are human problems caused in large part by the technology. What if I told you that this technology will do very little, if anything, to help you with your life pursuits unless you work in the insurance business. If you do, then you probably will profit a bit from it. Managers now expect you to work more and be on call. You now are used to hearing from your family on the way back from work. Your teenage daughter now communicates with you via text message. By the way, do you really think that people will activate this function anyways?

Our society along with the smartphone have created the modern day superhero worker. Most companies today premium these superman-like people in the modern world who put in an average of 60+ hours a week of work, who are able to accept a wide variety of extra responsibilities for little compensation, who perform their job tasks all the time and accepts incoming calls from a client or a fellow co-worker while on vacation for the advancement of the enterprise. Do you really think that the Captain Americas of the new era will engage in self-sacrifice and stop using their devices (not receiving texts while driving) at the price of losing face with their overworked supervisors? I doubt they will.

Ladies and gentleman, in the grand scheme of things, all of this fuss about technology stopping text messages coming in to our phones while we drive will prove to be quite irrelevant to the majority of us. It is undeniably a great tool for insurance agencies as driving while distracted costs them millions of dollars each year in car accidents. What is there for you is nothing more than an expensive function added to your smartphone and maybe a reminder that you should be looking at the road not at your smartphone. Do you really need a tech tool to take your eyes off the road? You may but do you really?

This is what I think — people need to realize that whenever a new technology is infused in any system, changes will inevitably occur in that system. When the smartphone went mainstream back in 2007, the smartphone didn’t just serve as a new gadget on the market in isolation. In practice, smartphone technology has changed the way we operate in society in a number of respects. I honestly don’t think that a computer blocking text messages going to your phone will change your machine habits much in the same way that aspirin will never cure headaches only temporarily alleviate its symptoms. Technology has changed our world because it has redesigned our living systems. This new smartphone function won’t do much for you or me.

Step Back From Techno Side Effects

The answer to stop this technology use epidemic is using technology in moderation not idolizing new technologies and seeing them as a cure to the problem it has created. Don’t even start — I love technology! I am not a TechnoHitler but a TechnoModerator who believes in TechnoReason in this TechnoCrazy world. We may be living a better life today in a lot of respects but in many others, our lives have taken a big turn for the worse. Take for example, the case of anxiety and depression among the youth.   

Heavy use of social media and automation is destroying our kids’ lives right under our noses and we aren’t doing anything about it. This social media madness is negatively impacting our kids as it pertains to connecting to others, quality of interpersonal conversation, illusion of popularity, and the idea that more friends on social media outlets means that they are more social. The number of research studies linking heavy social media use and issues relating to anxiety and depression are overwhelming. “Facebook Depression” is now a variable studied by researchers all over the globe. Why are we allowing these unhealthy, uncaring behaviors to destroy our children? I won’t believe you if you tell me that we need to sacrifice God’s gift to us, our children, for the sake of technology.

Let me say this straight. More technology use, especially those we find in social media, won’t help your kid or mine to be safer to the dangers of depression. Self-Harm and feelings of sadness, self-pity or “beautiful suffering” are real problems that the youth struggle with these days because of technology. By the way, it is well documented that kids who take their own lives, take it to end their pains. Look, there are a lot of benefits about social media including one’s ability to keep in touch with distant family and friends but to say that we need more technology to cure social media anxiety is non-sense to me when we know that more frequency and exposure of social media use increases the rates of depression 2.7 times.

It isn’t that complicated people. Explain to me how any technology intervention will help an envious teenager, who is seeking to be popular on YouNow, to be more popular without this teenager having to spend a considerable amount of time and money in this endeavor. It isn’t possible. This is why, ladies and gents, that many are caught in this illusion that social media will solve the problem it has created. Let me say this loud and clear. We are losing a whole generation to depression and anxiety because of social media use.

There is nothing wrong with acting responsible, people. We don’t need technology in order to communicate or entertain on-line. What we do need is to have a sit down conversation with our kids, listen and explain to them that all this technology isn’t required for them to live a good life.  I believe that is possible for us, responsible adults, to guide our children to have a more moderate life on-line and to realize that social media is simply a tool of communication. We need to do what we can to help our kids where they are so that we don’t risk losing them in the process. Depression and anxiety are real issues that we must deal with nowadays. 

Why should I, as the head of my household, allow anything including technology to influence my family for the worse? It won’t happen. I suggest to you that you take the moderate stance and protect you kids from one of the major dark sides of technology, depression and anxiety. Your kids deserve better. They don’t need anxiety or depression. They need you, not that smartphone. Got it?

“Dr. AI”

I don’t know about you but when I am sick, I like going to see the doctor and speaking with a person. There is something natural about seeking medical advise from a fellow human being. After all, they themselves also struggle with some of the many issues I struggle with like  fighting a cold, having a headache or how to deal with allergies. What if I told you that technology has the potential to make physicians a thing of the past and change the former patient-doctor dynamic forever?

Deep learning, or networks that are capable of learning unlabeled unsupervised data, is already impacting the practice of medicine. Do you know that there are a number of startup companies already able to analyze radiographs and MRi scans with a higher degree of accuracy? Let me say this again — There is a fully mechanical medical system named entilic that is able to detect and classify lung nodes as either benign or malignant in human beings without the consultation of a physician. 

Holy cow! We now have sophisticated self diagnosing medical algorithms that detect early tumor stages. In which world are we living in? Even the untouchable medical field is now being affected by advances in modern technology. Well, I have to admit that I am uncomfortable with the idea that a machine could be my next family physician. Maybe I am just too old school to accept this possibility. I trust physicians much more than any machine. I am not saying that I don’t trust a medical computer system, though. There is room for that, for sure. However, the moment the we start accepting fully automated computer based care I think we have gone a bit too far.

What if the machine is wrong and you die? I am not sure if I can trust a deep learning system that claims to be able to calculate patient’s rates of medicinal drug recovery. It doesn’t seem right to me. How can we really know that these systems are right anyways, I ask. I don’t deny that some computer systems already have the capability of examining hundreds of 3D molecule images and provide quite sophisticated outcomes for a trained physician. What I am not sure is if we should be constantly celebrating advancements in technology from startup heath tech organizations for the sake of advancing technology. I see the value of a machine helping us with detecting cancer from blood samples but at what cost? If physicians are then downgraded to the role of an assistant, I think this is a bad idea.   

The former is the scary part to me. Investors of ground breaking medical technology have argued that the machine will be capable of having the brainpower of thousands of doctors in the near future and should help rather than hurt patients seeking a doctor’s expertise. I bet that many doctors believe otherwise.

Which impact will these upcoming technologies have to our local medical offerings? Is it going to bring better care to our communities? I honestly don’t know. What I do know is that we are going to experience, in our lifetime, a major shift in how we engage in the logistics of medicine consumption in Cleveland and beyond. Many claim that artificial intelligence will never fully replace doctors. I am skeptical about that. AI will replace many doctors because as AI algorithms become more sophisticated, the need for human intervention to work side-by-side with these computer systems will sharply decrease.

Medicine is on its way to becoming a human computer interaction experience for the majority of the people. Many MD’s will be replaced with these AI technologies overtime and the ones who manage to survive the transition will find themselves stretched professionally. I hope that my predictions prove to be wrong. I just can’t see we deviating from this obvious technological trend. Machine learning is here to stay and they will eventually mass infiltrate our system of medicine when we least expect. Be ready!

Bots 1… People 0.

I do action research in artificial intelligence as it pertains to the media. Some of the things I like to investigate include the use of automated systems and its impacts on consumer engagement and social media likability, the impacts of bots for the growth of social media accounts, and the upcoming big data software tools used on the market today by media companies. I am interested in business intelligence and how the former has an impact on how we communicate and advance the business of media. We need to know what is coming towards us in order for us to be able to act and strategize accordingly.

By better understanding innovation, we give ourselves the chance to predict human behavior and corporate response. Understanding where we are in the adoption and acceptance of artificial intelligence tools, I would argue, is critical for our survival in 2017 and beyond. My fellow citizens of Cleveland, Tennessee, we better get on the ball and start paying closer attention to how these tools will impact our lives because we will see, in the near future, an explosion of artificial intelligence artifacts in our communities. Well, it is already happening in the media but it will be more mainstream in your industry, as well.

Let me share this with you — I have been conducting a pilot study on the impacts of what I call hybrid robotic generated content versus human based keystrokes. For about a month or so, I have been working with an artificial intelligence system that is able to co-generate short blog articles for mass consumption. The scary part, or exciting one if you are a TechnoGroupie, is that I am finding no significant differences in engagement and likability between my own articles and the ones I co-write with a robot! With things being fair — I serve as both writer and editor with the robot. Without my inputs, the bot stories are nothing but a non-sense piece. My human touch is still required to make the computer generated artifact ready for media consumption.   

I find the former pretty disturbing because as this technology develops, we run the risk of seeing less articles written by human beings. That means less jobs and less taxes being paid to support local communities. Let me clarify one important thing, though. Newspapers that have a local reach, like ours, shouldn’t be affected by this upcoming era of self writing systems. Relationships and identification within the community can’t be easily replaced by a bot. Big media conglomerates, however, will operate differently. In fact, they are already operating differently. Have you heard about the 100 anchors, reporters, analysts and production staffers who lost their jobs lately at ESPN?

Do you know that the New York Times uses machine-learning technology in order to identify patterns in financial campaign data? The Associated Press is now using Automated Insights, an artificial intelligence tool that generates stories with big data ranging from public company earnings to minor league baseball games. Artificial intelligence will revolutionize the media business as we are going to see an explosion of articles using sophisticated artificial intelligence big data technology which will probably reverse the current societal belief that news is fake. The former will come at the expense of the little man working in these big media conglomerates. Media validity will resurge.

From a business sense, investing in both labor and capital where artificial intelligence serves as both don’t make too much sense to me because sophisticated machines can act “like” a human being if programmed correctly overtime. Because of advances in AI, many media professionals will be forced to retire from places like CNN or ABC which would cause a significant impact on how these organizations operate. Institutional knowledge isn’t something that an intelligent machine can replace with ease. I predict a lot of managerial turbulence in the media industry ahead because of the implementation of artificial intelligence tools. Machines are learning! The use of bots for social media growth will only get more sophisticated. Organizations that ignore the use of big data systems will be left behind. The robots are winning! I am concerned. How about you?

You Are A Tech Gladiator

We live in a sort of modern day Rome where those who control the crowd become invincible. The gladiators of the past were poor slaves in the eyes of Caesar but they were the true heroes of the people. They could entertain and temporarily persuade the masses to do whatever they wanted them to say and do in the arena. Although they had no Roman right, as long as they were fighting in the Roman Coliseum, they were free and in control.

The modern day gladiator, or the small guy who now interacts with a crowd on-line in order to make a living with his craft may not be fighting lions in a stadium to entertain Caesar and the Roman citizens; however, technology has empowered them to display their talents to thousands of followers on facebook and truly entertain and influence the masses much like Roman gladiators.   

It is a form of power that can be easily understood by the powers to be. I have to admit — the smartphone has empowered the weak to be seen and valued and that’s good. Let me whisper this in your ears and please promise me that you will only tell your mom about it. Evil doers are short lived in the new age of information. Trying to oppress others isn’t worth the trouble anymore. Like a Roman gladiator, when given access to technology, the slave now has a voice to share in society because of technology.     

In reality, ladies and gentleman, I have pity for those who scheme against the weak and use positional power to oppress the brethren because in modern day America, where most people have the chance to share what they really think to millions for cheap, playing evil against good people with technology access and a crowd will, sooner or later, backfire. Let me explain.

Have you ever heard about the United Breaks Guitars campaign? I bet that most of you never heard about this modern day corporate nightmare because the campaign was targeted at the youth. After United Airlines baggage claim employees mishandled and broke an unknown country artist’s guitar, United refused to admit their mistake and replace the guitar. Uh oh. 

Let me make this story short. YouTube allowed vocalist Dave Carroll and his band to tell 17,877,563 unique YouTube users about how United Airlines mishandled their baggage and broke his Taylor guitar by composing a country song titled, “United Breaks Guitars.” The refrain went like this: “I should have flown with someone else or gone by car… cause United Breaks guitars.” What a nightmare for United!

Almost overnight, an unknown figure became a hero to the masses, like a gladiator.

Here is the reality, folks. People today are empowered by technology. Decision makers need to think twice before assuming that a person is powerless in the new age of information. A simple facebook post can cause tremendous stress to any organization and consequently cause the crowd to cheer. In a sense, we are all modern day gladiators!    

Organizations must be aware that we have democratized technology. Access to technology has given the masses a voice and a large audience to entertain. Social media platforms are now modern day Roman Coliseums where we fight and look for audience support. The crowd is now being entertained, persuaded and influenced on-line as well as in real life.   

The reality is that we live in an evil world where powers aren’t evenly distributed. We have the haves and have nots, much like in ancient Rome. Advancements in technology have allowed the modern man to become a gladiator with a crowd. For very cheap, campaigns can now be made and shared with millions of people per one post. Social media is a weapon my friends.   

The world of communication has changed forever. In the age where sophisticated media users have the ability to control and influence millions of people, the everyday person has a voice too.  Modern day gladiators are uncontrollable warriors with a platform to share their thoughts. Everybody today has a voice and a crowd to entertain. A single facebook post can now make history. Fortunate are those who understand this simple fact.

I have 10 Life Secrets: Let Me Share One.

Most people don’t get what they want or deserve because of silly mistakes. I have met a number of talented college graduates who struggle economically because of the bridges they’ve burned along the way, experienced professionals who get stuck mid career because of pride, and near retirement employees who are anxious to retire so that their fear of unemployment stops consuming them. Clearly, nobody told these folks that jobs are now partnerships and that burning bridges, pride and fear are only going to slowly transform their true talent into perishable mediocrity. You don’t want to fall under these categories. What you do need is to control your life by maneuvering the game of life in ways that makes you totally unpredictable. By the way, how are you positioning yourself these days? Are you engaging in careful planning?

Undeniably, everybody loves doing the kind of work that they have a talent for. Based on this logic, the million dollar question then becomes, “What do I need to do in order to work on my talent?” Ladies and gentleman, I am going to reveal to you one of the ten life secrets I’ve learned right now. The secret actually comes from Napoleon Hill, one of my “deceased mentors” and author of the book “Think and Grow Rich.” Just realize that his secret has seven steps. Are you ready for this?

First: Decide exactly what kind of job you want. If this job doesn’t already exist, perhaps you can create it.

Second: Choose the company or individual from whom you wish to work for.

Third: Study your prospective employer, as to policies, personnel, and chances for advancement.

Fourth: By analysis of yourself, your talents and capabilities, figure what you can offer, and plan ways and means of giving advantages, services, developments, and ideas that you believe you can successfully deliver.

Fifth: Forget about a “job.” Forget whether or not there is an opening. Forget the usual routine of “have you got a job for me?” Concentrate on what you can give.

Sixth: Once you have your plan in mind, arrange with an experienced writer to put it on paper in neat form and in full detail.

Seventh: Present it to the proper person with authority and he will do the rest. Every company is looking for men who can give something of value, whether it be ideas, services, or “connections.” Every company has room for the man who has a definite plan of action which is to the advantage of that company.

Careful planning is at the core of this secret. Failing to influence others is a capital mistake. Never, under any circumstances, criticize others because the moment you do you lose them. Who knows if you are going to need them in the future or not? Don’t burn bridges! Control your pride. Life is about God, not you or me. Why are you so afraid? Life is full of surprises. You might as well join the team and make yourself indispensable to whoever you work for. Your anxieties will decrease… trust me.

It is all about careful planning, dude. By the way, what are you doing about that? Don’t let others choose what you should do. You should take ownership of your destiny perhaps with the consultation of a close ally. The former can help you tremendously, that is for sure.

 

askfm: Don’t Let Your Daughter Use This One For A While.

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I see the value of asking questions anonymously sometimes as an adult. Timid adults may have a more difficult time asking uncomfortable questions to others face-to-face which makes this app good in this area. That’s the good thing about this app. My issue with this app relates to how children are going to use it. This app can be particularly dangerous to teenagers because of cyberbullying and suicide talk and share. askfm has been linked to suicide. My daughter won’t be using this one until she is much older, that’s for sure. I think that yours shouldn’t use this one, either. My two cents.

PD Rating: High Risk

Hard Work + Talent + Success

Smile! You Will Live Longer.

Success Starts At The Bottom.

You Can Get Out Of The Hole If You Are Determined

Who Cares If You Fail? Just Make Sure You Fix The Problem.

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Who among you never failed in anything? I was a D student all throughout Brazilian education not because I couldn’t learn but because of immaturity. I had to leave a country to fix my life and I did. Don’t define yourself based on your past. Who cares if you failed before? I did. Did I die or took my life? No. I did something about it. I worked my butt off. That’s the truth. Do you want to turn your life around, do the work! Stop making excuses. Be thankful for the opportunity to achieve. #polymathproftips #personaldevelopment #lifelessons #gratitude🙏 #gratitude #graciousliving #gracious #graciouslivinglifestyle #noexcuses #stopmakingexcuses #nomoretears #justdoit #hardworkpaysoffs #gowork #hardworkwork

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Overcoming Obstacles Makes You A Better Person.

Life isn’t easy and success isn’t achieved overnight.

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You must appreciate the process of accomplishment and realize that a big win takes time and a lot of effort. Nothing in my life came easy To me. I’ve endured a lot in my life. I bet that you will experience the same if your goal is to win big. Between the ages of 12-19, I spent 6 hours practicing golf M-F and 10 Hours S-S. In graduate school and for the past 10 years as a college professor, I still work 60 hours a week. People are jealous of accomplishments but they often don’t take into account what it takes to get them. Be ready to work! Long hours… overtime. Wake up! Life isn’t easy. I guarantee you that it will stress you out but by understanding what it takes to win, you should appreciate the process. Failure isn’t an option. #inspiração #lifecoach #accomplishinggoals #failureisnotanoption #winbig #lifelessons #lifelessonslearned #truthhurts #truthspoken #beyourself #struggleisreal #graduated #graduateschool #competition #regalia #graduationday🎓 #graduationcap #effortisattractive #effortiseverything #enjoytheprocess #lifeisagift

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Funny how Bill Gates doesn’t get criticism

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Bill Gates and Steve Jobs raised their kids tech free, according to an article written by Entrepreneur magazine.

Let me share something else with you. Bill Gates didn’t give his daughter a smartphone until she was 14 years of age, fearing the effects of too much screen time.

What I find so ironic is the backlash that sometimes I get for promoting techno moderation in society. Some folks have said to me things like “Luis, you don’t love technology all the time. Blasphemy!”

Or, “Isn’t it hypocritical to have created the @escthemachine movement and use technology to spread the movement?”

Give me a break!

So, the late Steve Jobs said it is OK to use computers in moderation, but when I say it … many people go crazy on me, especially my own colleagues in my field when I attend certain national media conferences.

Maybe I should change my name to Bill Gates and enjoy the perks of being a big celebrity in computing rather than a critic of technology with big aspirations. I kind of like his position. Please call me “Bill” from now on, OK?

Listen carefully: All this technology isn’t good for you, period. All this fascination with smartphones will only make you more dependent on devices. By the way, how much more money have you made because of all of this technology?

Do you remember how fascinated people used to be with cigarettes? The smartphone took the place of cigarettes in this regard with the exception that we are now conditioned to using these tools 24/7. People didn’t use to smoke 24/7, did they? Technology took addiction to a new level of conditioning, and that’s scary.

It is 10:31 p.m. as I write this, and I am receiving text messages nonstop on my iPhone right in front of me. Shouldn’t I have the right to rest from work on a Friday evening prior to homecoming? I need to wake up very early tomorrow and yet … my phone is constantly blinking with new messages.

Of course, I could choose to ignore these messages, but you get the point. Smartphones aren’t always good for us, especially because they can be an intrusion in our lives.

I don’t know about you, but I like to rest a little bit once in a while, especially on a Friday evening.

Back in 2011, I had a different philosophy, I must admit. I made technology first, above my family and above my health, and I paid a high price for it. I got very sick because of my obsessive use of digital devices back then, and ended up walking with a golf club as a cane for almost a year, my body was so stressed out.

I ended up developing a systemic health problem which led to an inflammation of my middle ear, causing severe dizziness and other heath-related side effects.

No wonder the inventors of all of these technologies protect their children or say we should block these technologies from reaching them until a certain age. Good for them!

Now that you know this, what are you going to do to protect your kids? I protect my daughter by limiting smartphone use to one hour a day. She is only 4 years old, I must add. She doesn’t need to be on that smartphone for long. She needs to learn from Daddy about the need to love others, play and treat everyone with respect, not make her life about what is playing on YouTube.

I don’t know about you, but using these technologies in moderation makes complete sense to me.

Bill Gates’ and Steve Jobs’ kids were sheltered against all this technology, but mortals like you and I were not. But, who said life is fair?

I am pretty proud to have taken a stance against all this nonsense. This overreliance on smartphone technology, other digital devices and social media isn’t that great for you, in my opinion. Its side effects are as dangerous, in today’s society, as some would have you believe not using them could be.

The answer to all of this is moderation. As I always say, “Use technology in moderation!”

It is not complicated.

——— (Previously Published In The Cleveland Daily Banner)
(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book, “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at luiscalmeida.info.)

Funny how Bill Gates doesn’t get criticism

Technology makes you boring

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In this life you need to be fascinating. Do you have an accent and come from Greece? Cool! Fascinating! I hope you didn’t choose to live life without taking any risks because in this world, those who don’t take risks live both a boring and a dangerous life. I don’t know about you but unless I am playing with black pieces in a chess game, my best defense is always the offense. I don’t play to lose especially if I have the ability to make the first move. All this technology is making people boring and too cookie cutter in so many aspects.

This past week, I decided to skateboard on campus as a means to connect with our students in a way that they would understand. I doubt that many people my age would even consider skateboarding because our technological society doesn’t often premium those who deviate from the norm that much even though you can be quite captivating when you listen to what your heart is telling you. Who cares if we have all these technologies but we fail to influence? Being boring and old school isn’t always the best way to connect with the youth if you know what I mean.

Some people have said that to be more cool, we have to emulate what Apple does. Yes, they are a tech company but what amazingly makes them fascinating is their ability to take risks and  deviate from what others are doing. They lead by celebrating their differences in contrast to others. People need to simplify, you know? Yet, technology often complicates what we do. Don’t believe me? How complex is your password? Eight to ten characters, which must contain a special character, two numbers and nothing that repeats itself or resembles your social security number? Look man, don’t be boring like everyone else. Be yourself and celebrate your differences because in this technological world, trust me… you will need it.

You must invest in you not always in technology. Will that make some people uncomfortable? Absolutely but hey… life is about dealing with ambiguity and finding ways to control the uncontrollable without having technology controlling what we do. You know what? After 44 years of age, I’ve come to the conclusion that people have to project themselves somehow but not always using technology. In a society where most people tend to make decisions before thinking, many people need to be reminded that being human and perceptive makes us much more fascinating.

I like making myself uncomfortable for the sake of growth. How about you? Please don’t tell me that you get afraid of displaying who you really are for the sake of technology! Remember: Life is about living with enthusiasm in a fascinating way. Live and let die!

You now what, let me say something to you. I am cool, perhaps the coolest professor higher education has ever seen. Hey, I’m not being humble today, all right? I hold a PhD, can bounce a golf ball and catch it behind my neck, can talk with strangers if we were besties and can play mean ping pong! Thank goodness technology doesn’t control me. My life would have been way too mundane if I allowed the smartphone to control me. My recommendation for you is the following. Are you ready?

Life is what you make of it. Don’t allow cheap machinery to control or dictate how you live. Technology is helping us to be more productive and empowered. The irony of the former is that what we gain in production and empowerment we lose in authenticity. I am very concerned that these technologies we have in America today is changing our society to a point of no return where homogeneity will be seen as the norm.

What has made this country what it is today was partly based on the risks we took in order to be more fascinating. Technologies are changing this by asking us all to be more uniform and predictable. How boring! Live and let die or shall we say, carpe diem: Live your lives to the fullest, ladies and gentleman. Say no to technologies and embrace your humanity. In the end, its all you got. 

Talking tattoos? You kidding me?

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It seems that the latest fashion among young adults these days is to get a music tattoo.

Wait, what? Are you serious? Yes, I am. Dude, the world is getting TechnoCrazy.

Soundwave tattoos, as they are called, are an actual tattoo that can be read by a mobile app that will play the sound. They are here to stay, I must add. People now can get a sound wave tattoo and play the song using the skin motion app. Welcome augmented tattoos, ladies and gentleman.

Some people are making the argument that this new technology is awesome because it allows a person to fully express himself or herself using the latest techno art. Others are celebrating this latest development in technology as a means to remember a former girlfriend or to have a quote or a favorite song to be with them forever.

I know, I know. You think that I am kidding, right?

You are probably saying, “Dr. A, that’s enough. For Pete’s sake! Who in the world would be making decisions like these? This can’t be real!”

I wish I could tell you that sound wave tattoos aren’t fashion these days, but they are. Let me make a prediction: The majority of your grandchildren will have one of these or maybe more before they reach 21.

Why is our society silently accepting these kinds of things anyway? Did anyone even question the moral of not having tattoos on their bodies in the first place? Of course nobody is even talking about this old school, dated alternative!

I must admit that I don’t like tattoos of any kind, especially this new strain of app-based tattoos. I wonder what grandparents in Cleveland think about this new TechnoCrazy trend. I’m not sure, but I will ask. I am curious.

Tattooing a music wave on my body would make my grandmother have a stroke, that I know. I can only imagine me going to her house for dinner and saying, “Grandma, look at my new tattoo. It speaks! Isn’t that cool?”

I know exactly what she would have replied back. It would be with a reply like this, “Neuza Neuza (her long-time maid’s name), please get me my heart medi-cine! I think I‘m dying.”

Let me be fair here for a minute. Not everybody has a grandmother like mine. Some of you may be OK with having your grandson’s first cry tattooed onto your son’s forearm. Maybe I am wrong about that. You tell me.

This is really what I don’t understand when it comes to technology. Rather than people using technology for greater things, people use these useless technologies for frivolous things.

Just because we can now tattoo a wave onto our bodies, and play it with a smartphone app, doesn’t mean that this technology is of any major significance to us. I would much rather spend time and money funding better auto-correct algorithms than in creating apps that play sound wave tattoos.

Since I have been typing this column, I had to go back 14 times in order to undo the changes that the computer has made to my writing! Who cares if kids these days can tattoo music waves to their bodies? Which significance does that have in the grand scheme of things? The answer is none. By the way, what happens if the app to read the tattoo is discontinued?

Listen to me carefully: Be a little old school and resist this madness we now call sound wave tattoos. If your grandchildren initiate a conversation on the topic, change the topic. Discourage their efforts, if necessary.

Am I suggesting that you should ignore them for their own sake? Absolutely. Remember: Your grandkids’ brains aren’t developed until they reach the age of 25. Until then, they will be making some of these nonsense decisions. OK, in many cases kids make some crazy decisions after 25, but you get what I am saying.

In 2018, you can be a walking billboard! In order to play your playlist you need an app! Is it a good thing? I don’t think so.

Which benefit would anyone get by being a human full of music tattooed to their skin?

I can’t believe that I’m writing this piece, yet I am.

How can anybody in their right mind think that all things technology are good?

Think about it.

——— (Column published previously in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info). 

Can you spot a manipulator?

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There is a fine line between good leadership and manipulation.

Great leaders are known for empowering and building people. Manipulators are masters of stealing the talent of others for self-proclamation.

Great leaders, after the end of a victorious campaign, say something like, “We did it.” Manipulators typically get the ideas of others to say, “I did it.”

One of the biggest problems with technology in contemporary America is that youth are growing incapable of differentiating between leaders and manipulators.

Life is full of people who manipulate the crowd to achieve their selfish goals. Be aware of them! This bunch often tries to steal what you have or know for their own glory, without giving you any credit for it. Having technology skills is a good thing. Knowing the difference between good leadership and manipulation is a great thing.

Read carefully: Put your computer aside for a few hours each week in order to develop true leadership and political understanding. Learning about leadership and politics is a necessity in this highly technological world we live in today.

How do you learn about these topics, you may be asking? It starts by reading the right literature. I recommend people to start by reading two books: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell and the 16th century classic, The Prince, written by Nicollo Machiavelli. Reading is the beginning.

 Here is what I actually do. Please only share this method with your sister, OK?

In addition to unplugging once in a while from my smartphone, and reading extensively on the topic of leadership, politics and human behavior, I pay very close attention to what people  around me say and do.

Do they treat people equally or differently depending on who they are talking to?If people start treating others drastically differently based on who is around, chances are very high that this bunch isn’t trustworthy. I would even say that they are probably trying to steal something from people, maybe even you.

Pay close attention to human behavior! Are you receiving credit for the contributions you make, or are people stealing your ideas for self-gain under a facade?

 Sorry, technology won’t help you with differentiating between great leadership and simple manipulation. You need to equip yourself with knowledge in order to do that. Our children need to be equipped with skill sets that help them to differentiate between great leadership and manipulation – like understanding non-verbal communication skills and different speech patterns and emotions.

 I also like to operate under the law of opposites. If somebody tells me that he is a great leader, I immediately interpret this message to mean the opposite, because most people are actually the opposite of what they tell you in public. Look at the opposite of what you see. It is magical what you will discover.

You don’t need to look at some screen in order to differentiate between a leader and a manipulator.  Look for consistency in verbal and non-verbal behavior, instead.

The moment you see patterns of behavior that are incongruent with the person’s speech patterns, pay closer attention, take note and investigate. People these days rely way too much on what we call mediated communication in order to get to “know” other people.

Who cares what people post on Facebook? Remember: They are not in front of you making these statements.

 It is so much easier to spot a manipulator in person than online. The same can be said about a strong leader. Some people can fake behavior, but not too many.

By the way, I am not saying that people shouldn’t use technology in order to communicate. There are many cases of manipulation in computer-mediated communication, but what I am saying is that people, not technology, are better able to spot a great leader as long as they know what they should be looking for.  People need to understand that.

A lot of people are lost in the minutiae of cyberspace and are not developing the necessary skill sets they need in order to differentiate between leaders and manipulators.

It is our job to help them to understand that, plain and simple.

 ——— (Column published previously in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info).

Can you spot a manipulator?

We Need To Survive The Transition

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Let me break some news to you: We are approaching the fourth industrial revolution. Energy, transportation, health and communication will change drastically in the coming years.

Get ready!

The life of tomorrow won’t be anything like living how we live today in 2018. Our living systems are evolving at light speed. Isn’t it true that we now have alternative methods for generating energy, new ways of transporting ourselves, receiving health care and communicating? Open your eyes. The future of humanity is already here.

We are going to witness a boom in smart power, or the technology that is able to self-manage, in our lifetime. Don’t be surprised if you get a smart roof next time you change yours.

Some of the ways we have traditionally moved tangible products in the past is already changing. We are seeing a peak in the adoption of labor robots in companies like Amazon and Walmart, and a plethora of self-driven cars being introduced into the market. This trend won’t go away, by the way.

 Telemedicine will explode within a decade, I bet. The technology is already here. Our systems are robust enough to accommodate this obvious trend. Medicine is expensive! We need an alternative to the high costs of health care. Can technology help us with making care more affordable? Probably, but at what cost to the local economy?

 The way we are going to communicate with each other in the near future will make us laugh about how we used to communicate in the past. Do you remember the movie “Superman” back in the late 1970s? Many of the things we saw in that movie, such as holographic images, will be mundane for most, if not all, of us.

Get ready for the idea of wearing third-party mechanical parts in your body. People are going to need them in order to make a decent living in the future. Some are predicting that we are going to increase our economic growth in the years to come, probably because of wearable technologies. I don’t know about that.

Sure, technology in this instance is good because it may help us to make a better living. Would you be comfortable wearing an RFID chip in your arm? I’m not comfortable with that. How about you?

I am skeptical that human labor alone will be a big part of this boom in productivity. We may see an overall increase in our gross national product because of technology advancements, but in an age where the natural and the artificial are merging, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to predict that companies will look for the superhuman employee or the perfect robot.

The employee of the future is going to perhaps be a merge of digital and biological.

Klaus Schwab, founder and chairman of the world economic forum, goes further to state, “The fourth revolution won’t change what we are doing. It changes us.” I concur.

We are living in a period of transition where the unknown will meet innovation. Don’t be anxious about what is about to happen tomorrow in regard to technology and employment in our society. Focus on today’s problems and trust that God will take care of you regardless of how much you may think that technology is taking over. Don’t lose focus on what is important. Everything in life is changing, including you. God is in control. You are not God.

 Change is imminent. Citizens of Cleveland, you will eventually be affected by the fourth industrial revolution and everything that is associated with it. Four of our most fundamental systems we have — energy, transportation, health and communication — will evolve.

You will be transformed in one way or another. You may become a hybrid of man and machine, for your own sake.

The machine is expanding its lead. We are becoming an obsolete commodity in this old world of ours. I am not sure if the future will be necessarily promising for us. It will certainly be a technological one.

 We live in a wild world.

——— (Column published previously in the Cleveland Daily Banner)

(About the writer: Dr. Luis C. Almeida is an associate professor of communication at Lee University and a TEDx speaker. He is the author of the book “Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation,” and a devoted Christian. He can be reached via his website at  luiscalmeida.info).

Three Ways To Be More Patient

Three Ways To Be More Patient

Do you really know who God is? It can be an amazing experience when you fully know who God is and what makes Him so awesome. God loves you and wants you to succeed all the days of your lives. In this blog post, I am going to talk about God and patience.

In Exodus 34:6 we read, “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.”  In Psalm 103:8 we also learn, “The LORD is compassionate and gracious, Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.”

It is worth realizing that the Lord is not only slow to anger but compassionate and abounding in lovingkindness and truth. We need to realize that God’s slow to anger doesn’t mean that God doesn’t get angry. The wrath of God has been mentioned over 600 times in the bible so brethren… let’s follow what God tells us to do!  Here are three ways that we can be more patient in life.

  1. Don’t judge first. Try to understand why people act the way they do, instead.
  2. Put that pride of yours to the side and engage in introspection.
  3. If you lack patience… ask. Patience is a virtue.

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Victory belongs to those who wait. We live in an anxious society that is constantly wanting to get things done in a hurry. That’s not how you should live your life. Be different! Pray and reflect. Remember: Victory belongs to those who believe it the most and the longest! Don’t forget that.

 

 

Music Pleases God.

Music Pleases God.

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“He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.”

Brothers and sisters, we are to pray daily and sing hymns to the Lord. Only God saves! We must proclaim the good news of the gospel to others so that we can advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ. We are called to preach and sing “louvores” to God through music. God loves when we glorify Him. This is our duty brethren! God first — every time.

God bless, Luis.

 

 

Do No Evil…

Do No Evil…

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“Now finally, all of you should be likeminded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:8-9).  

Under any circumstances, do no evil. In this life, we must live a life for the Lord not for men. God is pretty clear about how He wants us to behave and live our lives. Acting evil in either words spoken or behaviors is to be forbidden. Don’t insult others — Be sympathetic, be compassionate, and humble, as Peter has taught us. In every opportunity, do what you can do make others feel good and above all, obey God’s law. The former is our task.

The world is full of injustice, mean spirited people and arrogant individuals who think they are wonderful. Be different today! Be a Christian! Be the salt of the world and by your actions… be a testimony of the love of Jesus Christ to the nations. We need to show others that only God saves and is merciful. Without God, we aren’t anything.

That God be glorified!

Advice: Stick With Your Talent

Advice: Stick With Your Talent

The Lord has given you a gift for a very good reason — to glorify Him with it. We all are good in something and brothers and sisters… we need to make sure that we stick with the talent (or talents) that God has given us. The actual gifts given by God to us are many. So the question is… What is your gift? Seek to find what you are good at and use it! Keep in mind though that the gift that you have received came from the creator of the universe. 


God be glorified, always. Be blessed, 🙂

The Secret To Living A Good Life

The Secret To Living A Good Life
“Our God gives you everything you need, makes you everything you’re to be. You need to know, friends, that thanking God over and over for you is not only a pleasure; it’s a must. We have to do it. Your faith is growing phenomenally; your love for each other is developing wonderfully. Why, it’s only right that we give thanks. We’re so proud of you; you’re so steady and determined in your faith despite all the hard times that have come down on you. We tell everyone we meet in the churches all about you. All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom. You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way. When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with his strong angels, he’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time. His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for. Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message will pay for what they’ve done. Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and his splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when he comes, he will be exalted by his followers and celebrated by all who believe – and all because you believed what we told you. Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time – pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely” (2 Thessalonians 1:2-12). God loves you. 

Words of a Godly Man, Age 92: The Problem Of Self Denial.

Words of a Godly Man, Age 92: The Problem Of Self Denial.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life[a]will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26). 

Only God knows the right way. We just have to follow… Life isn’t about us — Life is about God in Jesus Christ.

Be Kind, Care For One Another — God Loves You.

Be Kind, Care For One Another — God Loves You.

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“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2:4); “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). 

Life is about following God’s commands and glorifying Him. Flee from selfishness, help others as Christ has helped you. Choose kindness over hate, be forgiving and loving. Who can be better than God, I ask? Nobody can, that’s for sure.

In this Life, we need to lose our lives in order to gain it, as God has instructed us. Be on the lookout for others, always.

They Say, “Minimize your Weaknesses…” I say, “Wrong! Maximize your strengths!”

They Say, “Minimize your Weaknesses…” I say, “Wrong! Maximize your strengths!”
“Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines” (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). 

…They say, “Minimize your weaknesses…” I say, “Wrong! Maximize your strengths!” We all have weaknesses and strengths. Some of us are great communicators with a high degree of energy but possess a low tolerance for inefficiencies. Others are excellent in the art of managing people but are too rigid when treating others. A few are geniuses in the science of making money but sometimes can be heartless. Your goal is to get better at what you do best, not to bring your weaknesses from a D to a C grade. You won’t be a perfect employee because perfection is only achieved by God. Since you (and I) aren’t God, we can’t be perfect. You might as well be known for what you do best. Makes sense?

By the way, you can be outstanding in what you do, have weaknesses, and still have a successful career in 2017 — Celebrate! As long as you focus on your strengths not your weaknesses. Let me make something very clear for you. In the professional world, excellence is expected and required for maintaining long-term employment. There is no room for mediocrity. Attempting to minimize your weakness at the expense of shaping your biggest talents is a deadly strategic error as “B” and “C” employees are often the first ones to go, if ceteris paribus of course.

So, the million dollar questions then are — what is your biggest strength? What are you great at? Or better yet… what do others tell you you are great at? Finding the answers to these former questions can make or break your career. Salaries and positions come and go but your ability to perform at your very best stands and transcends organizations. You need to know the answers to these former questions. In my career, I have helped over 800 students to answer these former questions which is why they have gotten tremendous job offers after graduation ranging from being a media producer at the Chicago Bears to a leader at Lockheed Martin.

Let me be redundant but caring. Chances are high that others (not yourself) will find what you are truly great at. Listen carefully: Don’t dismiss what others say about you especially if they approach you with a caring voice. Their assessments are often right on. Put your pride to the side, humble yourself and do what needs to be done to be spectacular.

If your talent is public speaking, learn more about your craft, practice and practice more. Are you a great accountant? Innovate! Do what most accountants can’t do to near perfection quality. Is your talent computer science? My question for you is, “What are you doing to make your coding talent better everyday?” Combine your strengths with God’s will and you hit a home run!

Don’t be satisfied with being mediocre, as a former professor of mine used to tell us back when I was an undergraduate student, it’s how you act, react, do your work and interact with others. I say, “maximize your strengths!” You can do it.

Are you A Great Leader?

Are you A Great Leader?

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Leadership is action not position. You can be a great “leader” simply by acting like one. Great leaders don’t “need” titles, a big salary, a secretary, or a bunch of groupies following them around in order to do what leaders do best — to lead and solve problems. A great leader understands that actions speak much louder than any given title especially when the topic is influence. They also understand that compensation is a consequence of great and consistent work done overtime not as a result of having the title, “Director of Operations” necessarily. When given administrative support, great leaders never delegate tasks that they can’t complete themselves because asking someone to complete their own work is evidence of their own hidden incompetence. Great leaders are also aware that groupies tend to be more interested in advancing their own agendas at someone else’s expense than to truly listen to what a great leader has to say. Therefore, great leaders don’t always cater to groupies’ self-centered tactics of self-advancement due to their known and predictable behavioral nature. Before I go any further, let me summarize what I just told you so that you never forget…

Just because an individual is placed in a position of leadership doesn’t automatically turn him into a “great leader”. Authority is part of leadership but leadership that works isn’t always authoritative.

By the way, just because some leaders are given the authority to make decisions over a person or a team of people don’t mean that they have the “right” to scream at or belittle them. A great leader doesn’t need to scream at others in order to have his voice heard. The moment that an authoritative figure starts screaming at you and your peers, or make you feel small, its time for you to start looking for another opportunity. There is nothing worse than working in a toxic working environment long-term. It ain’t worth it, trust me.

I am not saying that a leader shouldn’t have a distinctive job title, be well compensated or lack administrative support. I am not saying that a leader shouldn’t have people interested in following in his footsteps during his tenure at a particular position, either. Leaders can (and often deserve) having such benefits. However, one of the main jobs of a great leader is to hire and retain talent. Without talent, the leader is dead… or shall we say, “Alone.” Great leaders need to be very careful to not abuse their own “benefits.”

Again: The job of a great leader is, among many things, to hire and retain talent. If a leader acts like a follower or is too self-centered, then they won’t be able to retain talent overtime. The former is, de facto, evidence of leadership incompetence.

You might be asking, “How do you act like a great leader?” Let me share with you a few tips on how to act like one.

1) Be a man (or woman) of integrity: If you say that you are going to do something, do it.. It is plain and simple. DO NOT gossip about anyone. If a work relationship isn’t working, don’t pretend that it is. Always tell the truth.

2) Be loyal to your company’s brand: As long as your company is writing you a paycheck every month, be loyal to them. Here are my ways to show loyalty to the universities I’ve worked for: First, I share posts on social media about their events, accomplishments, recruiting efforts… for thousands of people to see. It shows them that I care about them — which I do. Second, I immediately buy a school’s t-shirt, take photos with it, and make sure that my colleagues, family and friends see me wearing the t-shirt in public and in social media. Lastly, be yourself and be creative. You only live once so you might as well have fun in the process and do what you like.

3) Do the work yourself with the assistance of others: The moment that you need others to do your work, its time for you to retire or look for another career. Great leaders work very hard and often work alone with the input of others in order to complete challenging tasks. If your plan is to be a great leader, do the former.

4) Don’t be afraid to listen to the ideas of others: It is impossible to do everything as a leader no matter where you work at. Listen to your team, put your ego aside and make well thought decisions taking into account the opinion of others. The former builds trust and leadership klout. You are going to need both in order to be a great leader.

5) Trash the idea that title and popularity equals leadership. Just because a person is given the title of a Manager, Director, VP, or Trustee doesn’t mean that they are a leader per se. The same can be said about folks who are well know in their communities… Popularity isn’t synonymous with leadership. Although a great leader knows how to communicate with constituents, and can be charismatic, he knows that popularity by itself won’t make anyone into a great leader. In fact, pretending that popularity and charisma equals great leadership can be quite destructive overtime. Jim Collins, in his best selling book, “From Good to Great” talks about the former in great detail. I recommend you to start reading his book today, if you can. It is a great resource to have without a doubt.. if your goal is to be a great leader.

Leadership is action not position. You can be a quite influential “leader” simply by acting like one. Leaders don’t “need” titles, a big salary, a secretary, or a bunch of groupies following them around in order to do what leaders should do best — to lead and solve problems. A true leader understands that actions speak much louder than any given title especially when dealing with influence. In this article, we spoke a bit about great leadership. Hope that the content written in this article was useful to you. What is great leadership to you?

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

Never Let Anyone Mistreat You.

Never Let Anyone Mistreat You.

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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.