Charlie’s Philosophy

Sorry about sending a blank post, I accidentally hit the send button just as I was about to write, so please forgive me. Here’s what I intended to send. It’s a note from Charlie Schultz’s darling character , Charlie Brown, and his “Peanuts” gang; I seem to get such valuable lessons from this comic strip and here’s one I wanted to share:
You DON’T have to actually answer the questions.Just read straight through, and you’ll get the point.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world.
2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.
3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America pageant.
4. Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer Prize.
5. Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor and actress.
6. Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

The point is, none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.
Here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.
4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special!!
5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.
Easier?

The lesson:
The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials…the most money…or the most awards. They simply are the ones who care the most
.

-Author: Charles Schultz, “Peanuts”.

Brief Life Instructions

I was so inspired by this message (forwarded to me by a friend), I wanted to share it on my blog. Enjoy!

An Angel says, ‘Never borrow from the future.  If you worry about what may happen tomorrow and it doesn’t happen, you have worried in vain.  Even if it does happen, you have to worry twice.

1. Pray
2. Go to bed on time.
3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
4. Say No to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule, or that will compromise your mental health.

5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
6. Simplify and unclutter your life.
7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.

9. Pace yourself.  Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
10. Take one day at a time.
11. Separate worries from concerns.
 If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety.  If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.
12. Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.

13.. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut).  This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
15. Do something for the Kid in You everyday.

16. Carry a spiritually enlightening book with you to read while waiting in line.
17. Get enough rest.
18. Eat right.
19. Get organized so everything has its place.

20.. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life..
21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
22. Every day, find time to be alone.
23. Having problems?  Talk to God on the spot.  Try to nip small problems in the bud.  Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.
24. Make friends with Godly people.

25.. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good ‘Thank you Jesus .’
27. Laugh.
28. Laugh some more!
29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they can).

31.. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most).
32. Sit on your ego.
33. Talk less; listen more.
34. Slow down.
35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
36
. Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.  GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.

My Year in Review

It’s the Christmas weekend and I’m amazed at how fast it’s come.

A lot happened to me this year, which I’ll briefly recap:

  • January – left my job to pursue a career interest
  • February – couldn’t get unemployment benefits b/c of my voluntary leave, so I had to depend on savings.
  • March – Began my first interview with an Advertising Agency, but something told me to move on.
  • April through July – Got couple more interviews but either I was rejected or I didn’t like what I observed.
  • July and August – Babysat and kept job searching.
  • September – I celebrate another year of life, but no birthday party : (
  • October – landed a job! YEAH!
  • November – Counted my blessings and enjoyed the food for Thanksgiving. (I usually end up washing the dishes.)
  • December – Got accepted into OT School, but am considering Law School instead. I even earned a volunteer opportunity with a wonderful PR team at a hospital.

Now, that 2011 is a few days away, I’m not sure I’m ready for it. 2010 has left me going through so many disappointments and frustrations I feel like 2011 might be just the same. There were times throughout this year I didn’t know how I’d pull through it all BUT my faith in God kept me going. Any time I hear people say, “I hate my job!” or “Is it Friday already?” I’m like, “Don’t you people know how blessed you are to have a job?” STOP COMPLAINING! I’ve been through unemployment for a few months and have been blessed to find something and KEEP IT!

This Christmas holiday is another reminder of how blessed we are to have jobs, families, and the necessary things that keep us holding on to life. If you’re reading and don’t have a job right now, one advice I’ll give you is DON’T GIVE UP! It’s easy to become complacent and give up after rejection, after rejection, but believe me when I say “keep trying” – you’re bound to find something.

Thank you again to Jesus, to my family, to my friends, and esp. my blog readers. As I write this, I just wanted to share this: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.” Cherish each day you have going into 2011 and beyond and I pray that many successes and blessings come upon you.

NOTE: As I was writing, my pent up frustrations (esp. in the first paragraph) began to be expressed. If there’s anything you got from this piece, which will be my last for 2010, you can be sure to expect more in 2011—real, expressive blog pieces : ).

When all else fails…

A) keep trying.

B) give up and think the worst.

C) turn to people you trust to help you through the situation.

D)  _____________ (you fill in the blank)

It’s been nine months and counting since I’ve been out of work. I fill my time with editing papers, helping to do research for professors, babysitting and whatever else I can find to do and earn some money. Do you know how hard it is to convince people you want to do menial tasks even though they look back and say you’re too skilled and overqualified? I wished I had taken a course on negotiation skills, I think they’d come in handy now.

I find also when you’re out of a job for awhile, your biggest critics are those closest to you, which means your family, guardians, or people with whom you live. For the past nine months, I’ve been hopeful of getting something, especially in my field of choice, but since those months have gone, nothing has shown up in my favor. Each interview I’ve been on has turned me down or they’ve selected another candidate and those defeats have made my family members more concerned. One of my aunts suggested I apply to school. To appease her, I decided to apply, but the process is on hold because I’m trying to find the money to pay the application fee. If it’s not one thing, it’s something else, my mom usually says.

So far, they’ve witnessed my strong desire to pursue opened positions and that has proven to them somewhat of my resilience to keep going. Because of that attitude, I have received much support and encouragement, and it really has inspired me to keep trying, though the back up plan is to attend school. 

As luck would have it, I was invited last week for an interview with a well-known company in the field of my interest. From the moment I walked in the door, I just had a pleasant feeling that overcame me. At first, I was nervous because the building was fairly grandiose and looked intimidating on the outside, but my nerves were calmed upon meeting the front desk person. He had a friendly demeanor and greeted me with such a smile, I didn’t think those ever existed. I was to wait for the interviewer and while I stood by the desk, the front desk person and I spoke briefly. I learned he had worked with the company for 15 years and says he enjoys the place because it’s a good place to be. Then the interviewer appears to escort me.

As I walked with the interviewer into the board room, she was so pleasant and conversational, I almost forgot I was only there for an interview. It even helped that the board room overlooked not skyscrapers or tall buildings, but lush green trees spread as far as the eye could see. “I could get used to this,” I mumbled. Then the interview began. It started from 10:30 a.m. and ended till noon. As I was leaving, I saw the front desk personnel again and he asked if he’d see me again (he knew I just came from an interview). I simply smiled back and said, “I hope so.” As soon as I got home that day, I drafted an e-mail thank you note to the interviewer and clicked “send”. Now, the waiting began.

It’s the second week, and I’m supposed to hear back from the company (whether or not I made it for a second interview). You’d think I’d be calm and collected at this time, but my nerves are shot. I keep flashbacking to the interview and thinking negatively about what I did wrong. Of course that doesn’t help me feel any better. Though, as I wait I ponder the possibility of working with the company at the same time. The pros: the company is 15 minutes away from me, the people are friendly, it’s a job I am definitely interested in and capable of doing, and I could seek opportunities for growth.

Times are hard, but I figure I can’t get bogged down by defeat so easily. It would be nice to know I got the job and things moved on from there, and if not, well, that’s another blog piece. In the meantime, I’ve discovered a knack for editing and have been part of some great success stories. My cousin got a full-time teaching job as a result of me prepping her for an interview and tweaking her resume, and recently I heard of a fellow professional who’d gotten a part-time job that he insists I helped him get. (All I did was help clean up his resume and cover letter and gave him tips on interviewing.) It was their turn and now I hope it’s mine. I haven’t given up on my dream all this time, though. I feel like I’m almost there. These past few months have taught me more about myself than before and I’ve learned many lessons I hope I can provide for someone else.

I’m reading a book by Joel Osteen, called “It’s Your Time” and boy do I ever feel it is. (I encourage you or anyone you know who is going through a hard time in their life to read this book.) I’ve come so far, especially in faith, it seems hard to give up everything. I’ll update you on the status of my search and ask for your continued thoughts and prayers. So, when all else fails, I keep trying, no matter how long or how much effort it takes for me to get there, I keep trying. Do you have a story to share about a hard time in your life and how you overcame it? I’d love to hear.

Hidden Talents

“Some people were born with greatness, some have greatness thrust upon them,” so said the Theodore Roosevelt character played by Robin Williams in Night at the Museum.

Ever digged real deep into your soul and figured out what makes you stand out from the rest? Sometimes people have a hard time figuring out what they’re good at and it takes them years, others know right away or were born being told that they were destined with a certain skill and they perfect it as they grow.

Talents are implanted in everyone of us, we just have to tap into it.

Last Sunday, my church organized a Health Fair in the Queens borough. There were so many assortment of products: pineapples, mangoes, soy shakes, water, oranges, cherries, Noni juices, even horsebackriding for kids and Tae-Bo classes for adults. There was also a medical team taking blood pressures and a blood drive.

Before the fair began, I was asked to design a banner. Being budget conscious, I skipped getting a high-end and costly banner and decided to use lots of colored assortments of poster boards. My creativity kicked in on ideas to do the banner, but wanted to capture the health message as it relates to our church’s values (which is a vegetarian diet). I decided to portray the image of a basket filled with all sorts of fruits, vegies, grains, etc. and place that basket on an open green field as it basked under the rays of the sun. (Remember now, this was all made from poster boards.) Below is the result.

It took four days to work on the basket and fruits and four hours to do the meadow and the sun. We spent less than $30 on poster boards.

Months prior, selected leaders were chosen to handle booths. I was chosen to lead one group and was put in charge of selling: pineapples, mangoes, and coconuts. We would also be critiqued and judged as to the presentation of our booths. I worked with two other people. Though we scurried around trying to get all the props and fruits for the day of the fair, we couldn’t have been happier with how everything turned out.

From the picture, you can see how close we were to other booths, so we had limited space, but we used what we had. Everyone who stopped by our booth remarked how it reminded them of being on an island, which was our purpose. We called it “Island Fruit Garden.” As added bonus to our customers, we provided a sheet filled with health benefits and a recipe that included the fruits sold. Our team won first place for the booth and we raised over $200.

I must confess, I didn’t volunteer for the job because I doubted if I could lead a team. But the assurance from my team members combined with the effort and time put in from everyone was outstanding. Our team worked tirelessly to make sure we didn’t skip any detail and I am ever so grateful for the teamwork.

If it wasn’t for the event coordinator realizing my talent, I wouldn’t have been able to showcase what my creativity could do. I am also truly thankful to the coordinator for tapping into my talent box and bringing me out of  my doubting zone. Sometimes it takes another to build another person up.

Some were born with greatness and others with greatness thrust upon them. Don’t let doubt overpower what you know you can do. One can never tell what inspiration they can bring to others if they just decided to get out of their comfort zone and get the job done. I know it’s easier said than done, but at least trying is better than not doing anything.

If you could inspire others using your talents, what would it be?