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Posts Tagged ‘others’

Ever notice how some people have to make a comment about something no matter what, you know the type, you give a presentation and they have to tell you how they can do it better, or where you went wrong. You write an article and they have to comment on it, even if they have no understanding of the article. It’s like a disease, one that forces them to prop themselves up by pushing others down. I have dealt with people like that, worked with them, have been friends with them and been in meetings with them. To me it truly is a sickness, and I pray that I don’t have it and will never get it.

People like this would tell God himself that he needed to work on his communication skills a little. The fact that they have to find something, anything really be it real or made-up to complain about, some way to belittle you is just odd to me. Now I will give my honest opinion concerning someone, if they ask me, but I would never make something up nor would I offer it with being asked, and depending on whom it is, and the time and place, I may not offer any insights. But others seem to think it is always the correct time and place regardless to whom they are talking to.

Now please understand that I see nothing wrong with stating where someone may have failed, were they may have slipped up, but only if it is useful to them. Why bother to state a failure if it will serve no positive outcome? This has always bothered me, from elementary school until now, and will most likely until I die. But now I feel a little better, I have gotten it off my chest, for the time being…

So the next time you feel the urge to let someone know they did a bad job on that report or speech, stop and ask yourself the following questions:

1.       Did they ask me to comment?

2.       Will it serve a positive outcome?

3.       Am I “just looking for” a fault, or is it real?

Before you speak, stop, think and take a deep breath… Remember one day it may be you that is getting the same treatment…

Paul

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Forgiveness has the power to change not only you but also the one you forgive. It is a powerful force, forgiveness, it can change hearts, minds and souls, nations can be changed and the world can move on, all because of forgiveness.

Who would have thought such a simple word could do so much.

If we look at the major religions of the world, forgiveness is a key teaching, Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of our sins, and in doing so, He has changed the world for all times.

Can we have that big of an effect? I would say yes we do, and we have proof of it in our world.  Gondi had to forgive his persecutors in his peaceful protest or the protest would not have been peaceful, his heart would have been too heavy with hate.  Nelson Mandela had to forgive to be an effective leader, and Pope John Paul II forgave the man who tried to kill him. Each of the people represents just a few examples of the power of forgiveness, and each has changed the world we live in today.

We each carry the same power; the power is there for us, if we choose to use it.

So how do we forgive others? The word is simple to say, but extremely hard to mean. The words “I forgive you” have a deep meaning and extreme power, but that power is only seen or felt when the meaning is true and deeply spoken.

To forgive others we have to start someplace, and the place to start is with yourself, we must be willing to truly forgive ourselves before you can even think about forgiving others. We cannot give to others what we do not have already. So if you have no forgiveness for yourself, how are you expected to give forgiveness to others?

Think about that for a few, take your time, let your mind get around that concept, let it sink in to the deepest parts of your heart, and feel the truth of it. It may take some time, minutes, hours, days or even weeks.

How can our forgiving ourselves affect our ability to forgive others? It can and it does. If we hold forgiveness from ourselves we are not free to give it to others, we lock our hearts down and chain up our souls, and keep forgiveness not only from ourselves but others.

I cannot tell you how to find forgiveness in yourself, nor can I tell you how to forgive yourself, but I can tell you it will take time and a lot of self searching. I would recommend you look for and read books on forgiveness and self discovery. I would also recommend any book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, his books will force you to look deep with and to take responsibility for your actions. Start there and work up to self forgiveness, than forgiveness of others.

It’s a long process, one that I am still working on, and most likely will until the day I die.

Paul

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As a Catholic I am getting ready to start Lent, a time of reflection and fasting. Lent offers us chance to look back over our life and reflect on what we have done and what we have become. Lent also offers us the opportunity to look forward to reflect on what we want to do and become. Lent is a time of reflection, a time to make new, to be reborn. Lent leads up to Easter, the resurrection of Jesus, It is a time for Catholics to prepare for a new life. As I think about lent, I thought that in truth all of us, Catholic or not, Christian or not, we all can us a little lent in our life. So I thought I would use this blog space to talk about the power of reflection, both back and forward.

Reflection, like seeing an image in a mirror, we have the opportunity to view ourselves as we are, and how we want to be. A little like playing dress up in front of the mirror, like you did when you were a kid, we all did. Put on mom or dads close, look in the mirror and pretend to be the parent, the one in charge. Well reflection can be sort of like that, it allows us to try on new selves, and it allows us to look at past selves.

As I stated above, the Catholic Church sets aside 40 days every year for us to do just that, to reflect. What wisdom the Church had in doing so. And what wisdom we all have gained from it. Weather we do this personal secular lent now or when the Church does it matters little, what matters is that we do it. We set the time aside and we reflect, we take stock in who we where, who we are and who we want to be. We try on new selves, see how they fit, mix and match old with new and reflect on what we see.

This process is used everywhere, from the Church to major corporations to small family run operations. Families do it as well as individuals. This is not a new concept, but one that I feel needs to be restated every now and then. If you are a reader of my blogs you will know that I often return to the idea of reflection. I often call it by different names, but the idea is the same. Take time to look at yourself, take time to learn from your past to create your future. If you are a Christian, use the time of Lent to reflect not only on God, but also on yourself, your relationship with others and God. If you are a non-Christian, set aside some time to reflect, follow the Christian calendar and start on February 25 and continue until Easter Sunday, or set your own dates. But do it, allow yourself the opportunity to reflect, to look back and forward.

Journal about it, keep a record, start a blog, track you progress. It is important that we know we are moving, that our efforts are not stagnate. Lent, a time to prepare for a rebirth, yours and Christ, and a time to reflect on what was and what will be.

Paul

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Communication is the key to almost all of our inner and outer issues. If we fail to communicate our concerns, issues and needs, be it to others or ourselves, then how is it we expect others or ourselves to fill them?

Communication is the key.

Most of us are not comfortable communicating, we shy away from it, we find reasons not to do it, “They look busy” “I don’t want to bother them” “It’s nothing, really” and so on. The ability to trick our minds in to thinking our needs are of no great value is staggering. The lack of communication is deafening.

We are silencing ourselves in to epidemic proportions. We are a society that leans on no one and allows no one to lean on us. We, as a whole, do not communicate, we may disseminate the information, the feelings and issues, but we do not communicate them. We dump them, on ourselves or others and wait for the fix.

Communication is a two Way Street, the verbalization aspect is only one part, the listening to the words, feelings and emotions are the second and most important part. Communication cannot happen in a void, it cannot be a selfish act and it cannot be one-sided.

We most open ourselves up to be heard and to hear, regardless of who is doing the verbalization. The sender must be willing to hear their voice and the voice of the other, the receiver. They must be willing to open up and hear the words that they themselves are saying. They must feel the emotion and integrity of what is being communicated. And the receiver must open up and push aside any preconditions they have. They must hear in the words not only the intended speech but also the under speech, that which is not spoken but inferred.

Communication is an act of active participation on both parts; once again, it cannot be done in a void.

The same principle applies to self-communication; you must be able to play both the sender and receiver. To discern what you are saying and what is the under speech, what you are meaning.

Often times we speak in riddles, we dance around the issues, and we hide the true problem under several layers of non-issues. The ability to peel away the layers, to find the true issue in the job of the receiver and the sender, active participation is required by all parties involved in the communication process. It is a skill set that the human race as a whole needs to work on and one that I personally need to hone in on still. I study and practice and learn, in the hopes that one day I will be able to communicate with the best of them, Until than I will keep practicing.

Paul

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As a fellow human who is trying to make my own life better, along with trying to help others through this blog, I sometimes forget that I to need improvement. It’s like a doctor forgetting to get their own check up, I know that I need to work on myself, but sometimes the idea of helping others gets in the way.

The last few months have been such a time, I have been looking outside of myself, and forgetting to look inside. And now it is causing issues for me.

As many of you know I am a youth minister, and also part owner in a company, STATIC Solutions, LLC (www.staticplace.com). My partner and I also work together at the local parish were she is the Director of religious Education. Our friendship is about 4 years old, and as of late it has been hitting some bumpy ground. I think the stress of the job climate here in Michigan along with some personal family stress has added to my lack of wanting to deal with issues. Now I have a natural tendency to not to want to deal with “Adult Issues”, I seem to look at adults and think “You should know better” or “Grow up and deal with it”. I have a hard time with issues or self esteem or lack of it. I have no time to try to understand issues that I feel should have been dealt with long ago. The funny thing is, that I do have “Adult Issues” and yes I do tell myself “I should know better” and yes my “self esteem” sometimes is lacking.

At this time in my life, as I try to keep my job, provide for the young man that was placed in my charge, worry about the welfare of my sister and brother, who both are out of a job and now add to the list dealing with the death on my nephew, the last thing I want to add to my plate is what I would consider “Adult Issues”.

Knowing all that, and knowing myself, I know that it is at this time that I must look inward and find the courage to face the issues head on.  Sometimes it is hard to do that, sometimes I just want to chuck it all in and say that it’s not worth the effort. And in truth sometimes it’s not.  But I will never know unless I try, that’s the hard part.

It’s hard to put effort in to something that your really not sure will last, or is really good for you. Over the last few months I have been feeling like my roll has changed in to one that is one of moment to moment.  My role is always in flux, one moment I am being asked to give my opinion, in the next I am told to stop trying to fix me. I go from being seen as a good friend to being seen as the enemy, in a matter of seconds. From moment to moment I am told one thing than the next. From I can do this too I can’t from I want too, to I don’t want to.  From you know me so well, too stop reading my mind.

Now please do not miss understand me, we have had many good times as friends, and I do consider her a friend, but… I don’t know, but sometimes it seems my friendship is conditional, that I must always be what is needed in the moment at all times or I am not a good friend. Now I do understand that she has some very legitimate issues, and yes I am very proud of her, and all the battles she has won over the past 4 years of our friendship. But in truth they are her battles, not mine, and sometimes it seems that I must take them on, that I must battle them for her, or worst yet, sometimes I become the battle front for her. It is not a fair place to put me, I cannot win the battle, nor can I replace the fallen worriers caused by the battle.

Now back to what I started to say, I know that this is an issue that I need to learn to deal with, I need to learn to be more understanding and learn to accept that “adult issues” are real and yes we all have them. But I also need to remember that they are my issues, no one else’s.

Friendships take work, but they also take understanding. Sometimes friendships need to end, and other times they need to continue on. Like life, friendships are born, grow and die and like life each friendship has a purpose. The key is to know what stage your friendship is in and then allowing it to take its natural course.

That is where I am currently at with this friendship, trying to figure out what stage of life is it in, is it on its death bed, or just going through a growth spurt. I am not sure, I need to look deep within and listen to my heart, but first I need to deal with my own “adult issue” and get a clear understanding of where I am at and where I want to be. The road I walk will not be easy, but it is one that I must walk. It is my time to create the new me, it is a process that is always there, but for a little bit I have to bring it to the forefront of my mind.

The sudden death of my 23 year old nephew has affected me in ways I never thought it would, it has awakened in me a renewed spirit of life, and an understanding of how one should live life.

It is time for me to take stock in my life, to catalog it and clean it out, last year I started the process of simplifying my life by cleaning out my house, this process is still going on, but now I feel I must do the same with my soul. It is time to clean it out to open the windows and let the fresh air in.  It is time for me to look at all aspects of my life, and determine what I need in it. It is time to renew family and make the effort to heal old wounds.

I have lots to do, and most of it can only be done by me, but that is what the process is all about, itsa about me fixing me.

Paul

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I found this article, and thought I would share it with you… I hope you like it!

Paul 

10 Easy Ways to Be a Better Person
By R J Licata

 

R J Licata

RJ Licata is a young professional who enjoys furthering his knowledge base as often as possible. Recently his interest in personal development, and reaching one’s … …

 
 

Sometimes we get caught up in the grind of living and overlook some of the basics regarding personal conduct. Certain behaviors or habits can go a long way in how we portray ourselves to others and have a direct effect on the quality of our lives and that of those around us. While we all know (or knew at one time) the difference between right and wrong, and manners and rudeness, I think now is as good a time as any to name off ten easy ways to be a better person.

Hopefully, this list will reiterate some of the simple things that we can do to make the world a more pleasant place. Sometimes we all can use a little reminder.

1. Say please and thank you.

Simple, yet so often overlooked. When you want something, you say please. When someone does something nice for you, you say thank you. These phrases should be programmed in your mind, as automatic response mechanisms; you should never have to think to say them.

Maybe because I always try to say please and thank you I am more sensitive to this than some, but whenever I come across a person who blatantly doesn’t, it’s extremely obvious to me. This may sound like a minor thing, but by letting people know you appreciate what they do for you, they are more likely to do it in the future. It’s humorous to think that someone who is so selfish that they fail to express gratitude would miss out on an opportunity to secure services for themselves down the road. But now that I bring it up, I bet you’ll notice this happening quite often.

2. Be courteous.

This can be applied in a number of different ways. Most generally it means to see things from another’s perspective and if there is something you can do to make their situation easier, then do it. Even if it requires you to go a little bit out of your way. Kind deeds done in the name of personal sacrifice have a tendency to repay themselves many times over. It may not happen right away, but there is something to be said for maintaining positive karma.

Try to keep aware of what’s going on around you, even when you are most preoccupied. No matter how busy you are, there is no excuse for not holding the door open for someone who has both hands full, or helping to pick up the stack of papers that was just dropped in front of you. You’re right, it isn’t your problem that they’re clumsy, but it is your opportunity to do something nice for someone else. And if you want to be considered a decent person, it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up.

3. Follow the Golden Rule.

Most religions have some form of this phrase in their scripture. In case you’ve never heard of the Golden Rule before it goes something like this:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

The exact wording varies depending on which religion you’re asking, but the concept is consistent. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. The beautiful part of the Golden Rule is how straight forward it is. Think about how great things would be if everyone followed it. There would be no crime, no war, and no murder. Now we can’t control the actions of everyone else, but we can control how we behave.

Unfortunately, in the cutthroat society that we live in, more and more people are having a difficult time following the Golden Rule. It is almost considered necessary to shortchange others to get the things you want, which is far from the truth. You’ll be much better off working together with others rather than knocking them down. I encourage you to resist the temptation to step on others so that you can inch yourself ahead.

4. Work with others.

Speaking of working with others, just the other day I was driving on the highway and noticed something very pleasing. There were quite a few cars on the road and I was coming up to a merging area where the road bends and intersects with another highway. It could have been either very dangerous or very time consuming to navigate through the cars. Instead, it seemed as though all 7-10 cars involved understood that the best way for them to make their way through the junction was to cooperate with the other drivers. People slowed or sped up, changed lanes or stayed put, all in an attempt to make things easier for the other cars on the road. What happened as a result was a very smooth merger with absolute minimal time wasted. Had a driver here or there possessed a “me-first” attitude he or she may have snuck in a car or two ahead, but ultimately it could have taken more time to do so. Because everyone was on the same page and worked together, the entire group benefited.

This example of cooperation and teamwork is applicable in all areas of life. It has been proven time and time again the the whole is most definitely greater than the sum of all its parts. Twenty people working together can achieve more than that of twenty individuals. However, all too often people assume that what’s immediately best for them is ultimately best for them. Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. Sometimes the best move is one step backward in order to take two steps forward. I urge you to obtain the help of others whenever possible and to offer yours as well. The potential of those who work in unison is limitless.

5. Smile

Never underestimate the power of a smile. The effect is two-fold. It tends to lift the spirits of both the smiler and the “smilee”. If you don’t believe me, try this experiment. For an entire day before you say a word to anyone, smile first. If you’re walking past them, smile wide and say hello. Notice their reaction. A great majority will smile back and those that don’t are either preoccupied or generally unfriendly. But that’s okay. Smile anyway. Those that aren’t preoccupied or unfriendly will feel uplifted, even if they don’t realize it. And when they smile back at you, you will also feel good. It’s difficult to measure the benefits of such actions, however, there are certainly positives that arise. One or more of a variety of things tend to happen. The person whom you smile at might:

Smile at the next person they see also, beginning a chain reaction (think Pay It Forward).
Be more internally motivated and inspired to go about their day. Shift from a depressed, angry, or hopeless mood to one of satisfaction, joy, and calm.
be more willing to help you with anything that you may need. There are dozens of other things that a smile can bring to someone’s day. And the best part about it? They don’t cost a thing. I’m not sure that it’s true but somewhere I read that it requires less facial muscles to smile than it does to frown. Whether it’s true or not, I choose to believe it. Because I like the thought of it. More effort is required to be rude to someone than to be polite. So laziness is not an excuse. Simply find something to be happy about and smile.

6. Say I’m Sorry.

This is one of the first lessons we learn in life, yet some of us quickly forget it as we get older. The principle is very simple. If you wrong someone, or if you make a mistake, or if you hurt another person (intentionally or unintentionally), apologize for it. Say you’re sorry and do your best to remedy the situation. Sometimes, even if you didn’t do anything wrong the right thing to do is to apologize. By accepting the responsibility you speed up the correction process. Now that we know who’s fault it is, we can move ahead with a plan to fix it. This takes some courage, especially if you’re apologizing for something you aren’t responsible for, but in the end, you’ll come out the better person.

I don’t know about you, but I am much quicker to forgive someone who has done me wrong if they show genuine sorrow or regret for what they’ve done. Not only that, but if they apologize and then attach an explanation I will most certainly hear them out. If they tried to defend themselves first, my anger and frustration would probably cloud up my thoughts and they would have a difficult time stating their case.

Ultimately, one fact prevails: it takes a brave and secure person to accept responsibility and express sorrow for their mistakes. But the truth is, the reward is far worth the risk. Those who apologize are respected and thought of as genuine, caring individuals, who despite their actions, do not always think only of themselves.

7. Be Honest.

Tell the truth, even when it isn’t in your best interest to do so. There is alot to be said for the person who can admit they’re wrong (see above) and come clean with their mistake. It should also be noted that telling a lie is a temporary fix it. The problem or issue is still there, under the blanket of the lie, and it will stay there until properly disposed of. Granted, it may stay there indefinitely, but it is never put to rest until it’s approached face to face. The more you avoid the truth, the longer it takes to get ahead.

Honesty is a reflection of one’s self-dignity or self-respect. Don’t risk either of those on a failure to be honest, especially at the expense of a lie regarding a trivial matter. Remember, most things that seem extremely important at the time aren’t nearly as big a deal a few weeks or months later. Value your reputation and protect it.

8. Listen.

Although it is typically our first instinct to talk first, listening can actually be an advantage. Let’s say you’re negotiating on buying a new car. The most important thing the salesman will want to know is how much you’re planning to spend. Then it’s his job to find you a guy for slightly more than that. The more you talk the more likely he is to extract that information from you. And from there his training is specifically aimed at getting as much money from you as possible. However, if you’re able to turn the tables slightly and let him do most of the talking, you may be able to get a better idea of what they’ll be willing to let the car go for. Then you’ll be able to direct the sale more towards what you’re hoping to pay.

Another benefit of listening first is the amount that can be learned. If you spend most of the time talking then you won’t learn anything, because it’s assumed that you already know the things you’re talking about. But if you can position yourself in a situation where you’re able to listen to a knowledgeable person, the sky is the limit on what you can learn. The next time you find yourself in this position, take note of which situation offers you most. Sometimes having the self control to quiet down is your most advantageous move.

9. Be Complimentary.

Have you ever received an unexpected compliment that just brightens your day? It felt pretty good didn’t it? If you’re like most people you enjoy receiving compliments. Even the smallest most simple comments fill the recipient with joy. So knowing that, why would we ever be stingy with compliments? Pay them generously, but not so frequently that they lose their effect. People will enjoy your company because they know that you won’t miss an opportunity express your admiration.

There are really only two reasons why someone would refuse to compliment another. The first is lack of consideration. They simply don’t think to tell you they like what you’ve done. This is probably the most common reason, and this article will hopefully fix some of that. The second reason is less frequent, though most disturbing. Jealousy. People are hesitant to compliment others when they feel a sense of insecurity about themselves. They feel as though bringing another’s accomplishments to light will magnify their own failure to produce similar accomplishments. A sense of self-confidence and security in their own abilities will increase the likelihood that they will compliment others.

We develop an appreciation and for those who compliment us because they boost our confidence and make us feel good. And since there is no cost for compliments there is no excuse for not handing them out.

10. Laugh.

Make it a point to have a good laugh at least once a day, preferably in the morning. Laughing releases endorphins that make you feel good and relaxed. Creating this mood as early in your day as possible increases your mood and as a result your productivity. It’s very easy to do, yet the benefits are extraordinary. Let’s face it, laughing is fun. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t recall a time when I’ve laughed and gone into a bad mood immediately after. It’s therapeutic. And contagious. So while you’re finding ways to make yourself laugh, you could also be encouraging laughter from others.

It shouldn’t be very hard to find something to make you laugh, but if you’re having trouble, look up some jokes on the internet or put on your favorite funny movie. However you create the mood, don’t underestimate the value in laughter.

Conclusion

I hope that this list of ways to become a better person is of use to you. They are simple and even generic concepts and ideas, I know, but in my opinion that is what makes them easy to implement. And the sad truth is that many of them are forgotten or ignored by a majority of us. So although we all should be aware of the ideas on this list, putting them into practice is where we’re sometimes lacking. Reading this article is your first step towards implementing them.

RJ’s Blog – http://www.rjlicata.com For more articles like this one, check out RJ’s personal development blog!

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Serve Self

Do we have an obligation to ourselves? What do we owe ourselves? When does self override others? Lots of people I know take care of self first, I would not say they are totally selfish, but they make sure self comes first, then others if time, money or talent permits. I will say that the people I hang with the most are not that way; most of the people I hang with are servants of others, whether it is their job, or just who they are. Then I also know others who only serve others and ignore self. Somewhere there has to be a happy middle; a place where serving others and self can live together. I know I try to live that way, and sometimes it works out, and other times, not so well.

Why is it we find it hard to do so, could it be what the bible states “You cannot serve two masters”, I always thought of that passage as one referring to God and money, or God and rock stars, you know always referring to a replacement to God. But it just occurs to me as I write this blog that maybe; just maybe it also can apply to you and others. Could that be why we have a hard time serving others and self, do we feel that doing so is then neglecting the other? If we concentrate on self, then we are placing ourselves above the others we are to serve.

In truth I have heard this argument, and I for one have never been of the point of view, I for one, have always argued that you must take care of self, before you take care of others. Truly how helpful can you be if you yourself are not healthy, what words of hope can you offer if no hope lives within you. Have you ever talked to a friend who is down and out, and looked to them for words of encouragement? Won’t really get any of great value, Sure they may say all the right words, but the words will be empty, hollow inside. They will echo with the despair of the one who said them.

We are obligated to care for ourselves, we are created to live life to the fullest, and to do so we must care for self. Now that does not take away the fact that we are also called to serve others, in fact just the opposite is true, the healthier we are, the happier we are, the more we will want to serve others, because it is fulfilling  for both body and spirit. We are created to serve, but we must serve with a healthy mind body and spirit.

So stop, take inventory, and start today caring for self, with the goal of serving others tomorrow. You do not have to stop serving others to care for self, but you do have to stop feeling guilty about it, you do not have to feel selfish for it, rather feel great joy in the fact that you will become an even greater servant, you will gain greater joy from the service you offer.

Paul

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