Posted in Facts, Life Experiences, The Work Place

Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover!

“Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance “. –Jean de La Fontaine

We all go through so much throughout our lives! Not only that, we all go through so much throughout even only one day!  If we go through moments in which we are not at our best, then you can pretty much bet that everyone is on that same boat!  If you have your bad moments then you are in good company, or as I had heard it expressed at one time about a fellowship, it is just a bunch of fellows on the same ship!  We are all in a sense of like passion, and at the same time we all have similar weaknesses, we all have our moments!

Book-Cover-300x271This thought came to mind today as I was been observing a person for past few years, saw again last week and during this time she was always a very cheerful person. This time around, having seen her more recently it is apparent that she is going through a difficult time in her life as she simply is “not herself”.  How do I know that she is “not herself”, well it is because I have met her on different occasions. I came to know she lives alone, she is struggling with her job and her financial status might be not that good. It would be unfair, in my opinion, whether I have to form an opinion about her personality just by having met her at this time in her life.

Sad to say this is what we do over and over in our lifetime!  We meet someone and they may be going through a rough spot and are not the nicest people who have met and we will deduct that they are simply “grumpy people” when the fact of that matter is, they are only going through a temporary low.  You simply cannot judge people on a one time meeting and yet, we are being judged continually based on this one time encounter.  If only we could be more like God who judges our hearts and not by our outward appearance.

Yes it is true, first impressions are the most lasting, but we need to be careful not to get stuck on that first time encounter and give people a break.  Perhaps they need you to give them a smile, an encouragement of some sort, or compliment that could “make their day” and perhaps restore their faith in humanity!

Don’t judge a book by its cover, try reading it through a few chapters and then you can have a better idea of what it is all about!

Posted in Life Experiences

The Compliment of Criticism

“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” –Aristotle

Criticism is truly hard to take no matter how it is given.  There are however different types of criticism, constructive criticism that is meant to help you do your job better, usually administered by someone who would like to see you succeed in your work, and criticism given by a born critic.  Some people are plagued with a negative mindset and pretty much anything and everything will fail on the scale of their opinion.  They tend to thrive on negative thoughts, and if there is nothing bad going on, they are sure to invent it!

It is easy to grow defensive of our own work, after all you have spent a good amount of your personal blood, sweat and tears laboring away to accomplish something and then someone comes along and tears it all down with a comment.  The fact of the matter is, there is no way on earth you will ever be able to satisfy everyone, you can try hard at it, but if that is what you are attempting to do, prepare for great disappointment!  The best attitude to have when working on anything is to be ready and accept the fact from the beginning that you will be met with criticism.

The good news is, being criticized means that you are doing something!  Only those who do not do anything, never try anything, are too afraid to make any move are the only ones that never receive any criticism! So if you are being criticized, this could be a wonderful compliment, it means that you are going somewhere.  Criticizing can be due to many things, perhaps others are jealous of you and what you are able to accomplish, so in order to elevate themselves they will attempt to put you down.  They might just be chronic criticizers who have little or nothing else to do and therefore they have taken on this activity as their “profession”.  And yes there is the true friend who really would like to see you succeed and so he offers you a sincere criticism in order to help you to perfect what you are doing.

Leaders are usually subjected to a lot of criticism.  They are often in their position because of the fact that they are good leaders, but good or bad as they may be, because they are going places and doing things, they are the target of a lot of criticism!  You cannot desire leadership if you are afraid of being criticized, spoken bad about or eventually even hated by others.  This unfortunately comes with the job of a leader.  But a good leader will be open to this fact, be able to wade through the criticism, pick out what might be relevant and learn from it without being offended. If you are affected by criticism, do not seek out a leadership position!

In this Election time, as despite the fact that debate is necessary in order to arrive to the solution in any matter, during the campaign stage there is so much senseless mudslinging  on both sides, what those who tend to do this thing don’t take into consideration that “he who throws dirt loses ground!” Most of the criticism are not constructive, instead it is more of a gutter game that is happening around, Politicians and Leaders are bound to bring solutions but on the other hand we are interested in creating more problems.

So if you are a victim of criticism, cheer up, you may be doing something.  Just don’t let it get you down and to stop moving at all! Look at the criticism and try to evaluate whether it holds any possible point in truth and make any modifications that you deem necessary. We are all subject to the gossip of others, unfortunately that comes with life, just don’t let it be what influences your every decision!

How do you take criticism? Do you use it to make you better or allow it to  weaken you through feelings of failure?

Posted in Life Experiences

People are Interesting–they can never be pleased!–all the time.

I have a favorite little fable that has spoken to me a lot.  I guess that it is only human nature that we would like to please everybody and be everyone’s friend.  But in the end, you really can’t!  Thank the good Lord we are all different, otherwise it would be a pretty boring world!  The diversity that exists on earth in the human race keeps things interesting!  Imagine a world where everyone was exactly the same! Oh my! How boring it would be!  But if we can just allow ourselves to be fine with not pleasing everyone, and at the same time accepting those who may have a skewed view of us, then life may be a lot more bearable.  I want to share one of my favorite fable with you that proves that you simply cannot please everyone.  Someone once said: “You can please most people some of the time, and some people most of the time,  but you can never please everyone all of the time

The Man The Boy and The Donkey–Aesop’s Fable

A MAN and his son were once going with their Donkey to market. As they were walking along by its side a countryman passed them and said: “You fools, what is a Donkey for but to ride upon?”

So the Man put the Boy on the Donkey and they went on their way. But soon they passed a group of men, one of whom said: “See that lazy youngster, he lets his father walk while he rides.”

So the Man ordered his Boy to get off, and got on himself. But they hadn’t gone far when they passed two women, one of whom said to the other: “Shame on that lazy lout to let his poor little son trudge along.”

Well, the Man didn’t know what to do, but at last he took his Boy up before him on the Donkey. By this time they had come to the town, and the passers-by began to jeer and point at them. The Man stopped and asked what they were scoffing at. The men said: “Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for overloading that poor Donkey of yours—you and your hulking son?”

The Man and Boy got off and tried to think what to do. They thought and they thought, till at last they cut down a pole, tied the Donkey’s feet to it, and raised the pole and the Donkey to their shoulders. They went along amid the laughter of all who met them till they came to Market Bridge, when the Donkey, getting one of his feet loose, kicked out and caused the Boy to drop his end of the pole. In the struggle the Donkey fell over the bridge, and his fore-feet being tied together he was drowned.

Moral of the story:  You can never please everyone!  Relax and stop trying so hard and start living your life and do what you can to live at peace with your neighbor!

Posted in Life Experiences

10 Easy & Natural Ways to Reduce Stress

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According to recent data gathered by Statistic Brain, 48% of Americans have reported an increase in their stress levels over the last 5 years.

And while this article isn’t to discuss and pinpoint out the exact causes and common contributors of stress, it is to remind you that we’re living an increasingly stressed society and that it may only get worse.

Here are some tools to arm yourself when you need to reduce stress and you’re looking for a natural remedy:

1. Update Your Home & Office with Plants

Spending time in a green environment can help calm nerves and improve your well-being.

Keep a few indoor plants in the areas you frequent often and spend long extended times in. I am always reminded when I see an indoor plant that I’ve had for quite some time, that it required a nurturing relationship from me.

When your stressed, let your indoor plants remind you to be gentle with yourself. And if need be, take a moment to water your plants, prune them and re-pot them.

2. Take a Moment to Peer Into the Sky

If you’re feeling stressed, maybe even running on overdrive, take a moment to peer up into the sky. Remember when you were a child and you would spend hours upon hours of gazing into the sky contemplating the possibilities of life?

Peering into the sky allows us to sit back and take our minds off our problems. Watch how clouds move seamlessly throughout the sky, appreciate the beauty that the sky has to offer and take a moment to bask in the wisdom it has in store for all of us.

If you’re peering into the night time sky, let the stars gently remind you that in the grand scheme of things, the stress we face right now maybe quite insignificant as we step into old-age.

3. Find Some Moving Water

Since the dawn of ages, mankind has used the serene benefits of moving water to find inner peace. If you’re feeling stressed, find some moving water, or even just a body of still water. Sit next to the water and pay careful attention to what your five senses are registering.

4. Go People Watching

People watching? Yes, people watching. I find that whenever I am stressed, I would much rather be around others than be by myself. Even if I’m not directly interacting with others, just simply watching and observing other people is enough to calm my mind.

People watching can make you laugh and it can put things into perspective. But most of all, the act of people watching gets you outside your head.

5. Pour Yourself a Healthy Beverage

Take a moment to brew a cup of coffee, a cup of tea or press some fresh juice. Get involved with the process of creating your healthy beverage of choice.

By simply being present and involved with creating something to nourish your body, you can move through your stress while you brew and sip your healthy tonic.

6. Listen to Music

If you’re finding yourself easily stressed, or stressed regularly. Take a moment to invest in a stress-less playlist.

Find music that helps you calm down, music that helps you reflect, music that shifts your mood from stressed to energetic and grateful.

If you’re fresh out of music ideas, then simply turn on the radio or tune into an internet radio station that will lively up your mood. Music is a universal language and an effective tool to improve your mood and subsequently, reduce stress.

7. Exercise

I always say: When in doubt, get out of your mind and into your body.

When we’re stressed our minds are like a hamster on a wheel. It never stops unless we interrupt the chatter. Take a five-minute break and get into your body. Go walk up and down a flight of stairs. Close your office door and do some jumping jacks. Leave your environment and go for a stroll.

If need be, take an hour or two for a time-out and hit the gym or go for a run. I don’t want you to run away from your stress, instead I want you to face it head on with a clearer mind.

8. Organize Your Life

When I feel the effects of stress, it can almost be related to being disorganized. Take a moment and look at your work space, your home, your bedroom, your bathroom and car. How organized are these spaces we spend so much time in?

Organizing the spaces we frequent often and spend countless hours in is a great way to de-clutter the mind. What the mind takes in is the energy it puts out.

Reduce the stress and chaos in your life by simply spending 10-20 minutes organizing and optimizing your environment.

9. Cut Down on Internet & Cell Phone Usage

When we’re stressed the last thing we need to do is assault our minds and senses with the internet and anything from our cell phones.

You’re already running on hyper-drive or about to shut down, the last thing you need to do is expose yourself to internet “chatter” and unnecessary communication when you’re trying to de-stress.

10. Sleep

Life is like a rollercoaster. Sometimes we’re going uphill, downhill or just coasting until we hit the next peak. Regardless of where you are on this ride of life, be sure to adequately nourish your mind and body with enough sleep.

When we’re stressed the last thing we need to do is be walking around like we’re zombies just coping with life or acting squirrely because we pulled an all-nighter before. Invest in your health and reduce stress with adequate sleep.

Final Thoughts

Stress is an unavoidable part of our lives, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Untreated stress can manifest in various physical and mental health ailments or even worse.

Manage your stress levels with any of these 10 tips above to help you move through your day with more peace and stillness.

How do you reduce stress in your life? Leave a comment below.

 

Posted in Life Experiences

Take The Time!

We live in a pretty demanding world full of a million distractions and things to keep us pretty busy.  Some of the things are important and demand our attention, others are less important, and then there are the time wasters that suck the life out of you should you allow them to.

This gadget happy, materialistic environment that calls out to us continually to occupy our minds with thoughts and things that are “nice” and “handy” can tend to distract us from the pure simple and natural joys of living, that for some have gone all but lost in the shuffle.  All of these great, new and wonderful commodities are useful tools that can help us accomplish more.  They can bring us temporary fulfillment and happiness because they make our life easier.  But they will never bring us the lasting happiness that  feeds our inner soul and brings us back to the simple childlike joys of yesteryear.

I was thinking about this the other day as I took some off-time from the frantic busy life-style that I now call my “normal”.  This day  I took the time to enjoy the beauty of a flower, watch the sunset and gaze at the stars in the sky brought me feelings of appreciation for my family and loved ones as I remembered moments that I had spent with each one.  That is a joy that lasts on forever.

If you hope to have a great time, put aside all of the distractions, be it work, play gadgets or toys and take the time to feel that inner-peace and joy you experienced as a child. Learn to be happy with the moment, don’t allow yourself to be dependent on “things”.  They are but tools that we can use, just don’t allow them to use you!

Do you take the time?

pansy1

Posted in Life Experiences

When Does Wisdom Kick In?

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Life is a great teacher as we never really ever stop learning from our experiences in life.  There is a quote that goes: “A wise man learns from the mistakes of others, a fool learns from his own mistakes”  I had heard a paraphrased version of this same quote and so I went looking for it online as I actually thought that it went like this: “A wise man learns from his own mistakes, but an even wiser man learns from the mistakes of others”  For the longest time this is how I would quote this and I would add that the world is full of simply “wise people” and not so many “wiser ones”, as we tend to have to learn things through our own experience.

I would agree that if we are really smart, we will the word of those who have had certain experiences and learn to avoid the same mistakes through their testimony.  But unfortunately it just doesn’t seem to go this way most of the time.  Our child-like curiosity can get the best of us and we will just have to see for ourselves if it will work out or not (whatever it may be). This why it is said that experience is the best teacher, in fact, if you run into a brick wall you usually try to go a different way the next time around. ( Notice that I said usually.)

While growing up it seems to be innate to not take people’s word for things and to have a buying desire to prove other’s wrong, especially if they assert authority over us. But then, as time goes on, you start to figure that it might have been a lot better if you had paid attention to the teacher who had “been there and done that” in order to save yourself a lot of time and sometimes grief.  There can tend to linger on a certain pride that battles with having to give in and finally say “uncle” and accept that someone else just might know what they are saying. Weird, but we more often than not want to be right, sometimes even when we are wrong.

I believe that wisdom shines its light on us when we finally realize that we are not actually the “all-in-all” and that we need to pay attention to others on certain topics.  It is wonderful that we can have such a vast array of talent and intelligence around us from whom to draw.  We just need to use this and allow wisdom to “kick in”.