Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What is Your Present Today?

Remembering my grandmother, she was a fireball.  I loved her passion.  If she felt it, she meant it and my grandfather loved her for it.  It's fitting her favorite color was red and so would be mine.  Red can mean so many emotions. It could mean love, it could mean madness, it could mean passion. 

It's easy in this world to become complacent; to not do something that would go against the grain; to kick the can down the road.  I am not that person and I will never be that person.  I could live in this environment for the rest of my life and I will never accept that position.  I guess they call that leadership or rebellion; I haven't decided.  Somethings' just don't sit right and no matter how many times it's presented to you in many different packages, it doesn't change the fact that it's just crap in a box.  You can't change the contents no matter how it's presented.  Crap is crap.

I guess that is my ability in this life.  To see things for what they really are.  I am good at reading between the lines, at seeing what others may not see and at coming to the conclusion that it's plain as day in my eyes. Bows, wrapping paper, it doesn't matter.  That is my present.  What matters to me are the contents, so I pray that when you open your gift, you are aware of what your present means to you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My new goal: Lose Weight and Adopt Simpler Habits

In my quest to constantly improve, I've decided to focus on two things:  Lose the weight I've put on over the last 5 years and start to adopt simplier habits.  I'll be blogging about my honest struggles on doing these two things.  My goal is to lose at least 35 lbs within the next 6 months.  I've already bought the Medifast diet after doing research on the reviews.  I've read some good and some bad; especially with how the food tastes.  Because I'm a pretty good cook, I think that can sometimes be my downfall.  When there's good food, it's hard to remember portion size.  The psychological aspect of food will be difficult for me.  I relax with a good meal and some wine.  Portion control goes out the window when you're relaxed.  Also, I love In and Out burger.  I stopped eating beef and pork for three years.  I had an In and Out burger and now have them weekly.  So, no wine, lesser portions and no In and Out burger.  I've set goals that when I lose ten pounds, I can have a burger; but, until then no more burgers.  My eating habits have to change.  So, I will let you know how I feel going through this process.  Going from more to less will not be easy.

As for simpler habits, I've picked up painting.  It's amazing how relaxing it is.  Something so simple as picking up a brush and painting different colors on a canvas.  I picked up a book on how to draw shapes for acrylic painting.  At first, my paintings looked like that of a kindergarden student.  I had no idea how to paint shadows, blend colors, simple stuff.  I'd look at something and think that I could paint it and didn't realize how difficult it is to pick up the most simpliest of shapes, shadows and dimensions.  I painted a Joshua tree as my first test.  Probably not good to start off with a prickly tree that resembles a cactus.  It was a lot more difficult that I could have imagined.  It's easy to look at something and a lot harder to translate it to a canvas.  This past weekend, I painted a bottle of wine, glass, cheese and flower arrangement in one.  I could tell that I moved up to 5th grade level of painting, which means progress; however, everything appeared on the table, except the cheese.  The cheese was not dimensionally in the correct place.  That's okay.  I could probably get away with calling it "Who Moved My Cheese."  It's in the spare bedroom. My simple goal is to paint something that I'd put in my livingroom.  That's all for now.  Be back soon.

Friday, August 31, 2012

An Innovative State of Mind

An innovative mind never goes away.  It challenges, not always accepts the easy answer and tries to find ways to improve or create new ways of doing things.  While suppression might be the natural response because that's the way one might understand and attempt to control the outcome or process, it sometimes lacks the effort of understanding.  Times are faster, and getting even faster.  It requires innovation, and out of the box thinking.  There is no longer the luxury of time to think things through so throughly.  At a time of diminishing resources, expectancy of quick and accurate answers and the human element; how can one reasonably assume that all of this can occur with the status quo.  Truth is, you either embrace innovative minds or you spontaneously combust.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

You Are Who You Are

Ever get the feeling at times that some people around you try and put you in a box?  That you're supposed to think like them, act like them, be like them.  I think we need to be more accepting of who people are.  We are all here for a purpose beyond what we understand and were made exactly how we were supposed to be.  We all have our strengths and all have our weaknesses, and how much better would we be if we leveraged our strengths as a whole to cover the weaknesses?  I feel a John Lennon song playing in the background..imagine all the people...just kidding.  All I can do is my part to get better at accepting people for who they are.  By the way, I don't believe in boxes. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


There are times in our lives when we are offered opportunities to have a new perspective.  I almost feel like life starts off as a blurred lens constantly being polished in order to have the ability to see things clearly.
I haven't been in touch with this blog for a bit because I was in the process of gaining a new perspective.  I don't like to blog while my thinking is blurry or when I'm trying to gather my thoughts in a positive manner.  Truth is, I've allowed distractions to get in the way. 
Distractions can create a bit of a whirl wind state.  Eventually, you start at the bottom of the tornado and then quickly end up at the top and wondering how you got so far off the ground.
My new slogan: "While there may be many influences around, it's always good to keep your feet on the ground."
It's amazing how many things there are in a day to distract us from what we want to do or what we are supposed to do.  So, I've actually started to write it down.  Sounds simple, right?  I mean we're taught this in grade school.  Write down this, keep track of that...as responsibilities get greater and time gets more narrowed, you can tend to forget some of the fundamental things.  Just write down what it is that you want to do and post it in a place you go to routinely. 
The ultimate goal being learning how to step back, look at what it is that you want and stay on the ground while you go after it.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How To Be Successful

One definition of success is "having succeeded or being marked by a favorable outcome."

Seems like a very simple statement for a such a complex subject. I think of success differently, "the understanding that your purpose is to be successful continuously, not just momentarily."

The meaning of success is changing. It's no longer one thing that defines being successful. It's a continuous trend of doing things successfully. Think about some of the athletes. In the spotlight, in the press, in every other conversation that people have. In a moment being unsuccessful in character, they lose everything. Are they still successful? Guess, it depends on who you talk to.

Success isn't a get rich quick scheme or a moment of doing something good that gets attention. It's a way of life and it's a part of a person's character. Some of the most successful people are good at being steady at balancing the most complicated parts of being a human being. Not all can do this. Few will do this.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How to Make Six Figures a Year

People often ask me what it takes to make six figures a year. My answer: When hard work meets opportunity. Notice that I said didn't say luck or falling into things.

True story: I remember the day my world changed. The bus fare changed from $0.40 to $0.75 and I had no idea how I was going to get to work. I didn't have a car and I made $2.13 an hour plus tips. To top it all off, I was a high school drop out that earned a G.E.D. because I knew it was better to have that than be a high school drop out. I mean, my thought process was why even graduate high school? I thought it was a joke. Full of people who fit a mold or category and conformed. Why did I want to do that? They didn't understand me. I was forced to understand them. Why be a part of a system I didn't believe in?

So, there I was trying to make bus fare; deciding my life and what I was going to do. I moved out early in life and after a couple of years had nothing to show for it. I had no medical, no car, no house, nothing. Just my paycheck to paycheck living. How frustrating is that after two years?

Something had to change. I couldn't keep living like this. I couldn't just work and not believe in what I was doing. I decided to go to college. I had to take a placement test where I found out I needed take remedial courses and didn't meet basic education requirements; meaning, I had to take remedial courses that wouldn't count as credit towards a degree. I had a high school freshman education and entered into college as such. It was so tough. I felt so behind. I mean, the pressure was on. I was receiving financial aid and completed almost 38 credit units in one year. To do this, I completed 12 credit units in a single summer. Very tough to complete that much curriculum in that short of a period.

Many of my friends came back the second semester with a tan and well rested and here I was, a sophmore and already exhausted. To add to it, I became part of a student worker program and had to work 20 hours a week to start.

My father was suddenly stationed from San Antonio to California and I made a tough decision to stay behind to finish school. That didn't last long before I realized that life was starting to get harder for me and I needed my family. Nearly four months to the day, I moved to California and started to work on educating myself. I started to work full time in the clerical field (at the time I was making more than minimum wage and thought I had finally made it).

It felt good to start making a steady income. Something I could count on. Something I could hold on to. I worked up the ladder in the financial field, then budgeting, then program management, then contracting. All in all, I spent nearly 10 years of working full time to get an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree and then finally a master's degree in business administration. Some weeks I had to work 60 hours and also had school assignments due. Talk about tough.

Each time I achieved a different degree, I applied for a job that required more responsibility. Soon that paid off when I went to apply to be an adjunct instructor teaching business. Varying view point than what I experienced several years prior. I didn't want to graduate high school, but now I wanted to teach? How ironic is that?

Truth is, I believe in teaching with all of my heart. That is because people had chosen that profession and I chose to learn, which ultimately has led to my success.

I noticed that there was a Director position available at an educational institution and thought to myself, I may qualify, but will they give me a chance?

To my surprise they did and I accepted. I never could have placed myself here, but it fits. I get to collaborate with the smartest minds and value the educational process more than I could have imagined. We are all life long learners and the moment we humble ourselves and realize it, the more we might be able to reach our full potential.

So how to you make six figures year? You work hard, never give up and never settle. Most importantly realize that you determine your potential and your potential isn't what people tell you your capable of. Your potential is up to you.