Day 43 – A House Is Not A Home

“Do you have a house or a home?”

 A well-known song contains enlightening lyrics that point out the difference between a house and home. The song writer makes it very clear that a home that is missing that someone special is just a house. Relationships can be reminiscent of a house that is devoid of someone special that adds so much meaning to many aspects of life. If you go about life alone and are missing that complimentary person in your life, you in essence only have a house. Characteristics of a house are vacant, without laughter, missing support and encouragement, not containing honest feedback and having a lack of overall fulfillment. We all need uplifting and support through the good and bad times. A house with empty walls and missing the smells of a welcoming place are much less desirable. It’s a place that is just an address with walls and ceilings, just a structure. A house is missing love and enrichment, cold and stark.

When a house goes through the transformation into a home, it’s a very desirable place to be with a welcoming feel. The same is true with a meaningful relationship where there is an obvious presence of love. Smiles and laughter consume every room in which the homecouple resides. Envious and celebrated love exists and those that are part of the relationship are thankful of the gift they have provided each other. Their home is just that, a warm and inviting place where the walls are filled with extensions of their personality. There are reminders and memories of the great times that have occurred and any empty spaces await the addition of items that capture new memories and experiences. A home is peaceful and bright and is a reflection of the persons that have created this home. Women deserve their just due as their influence and personal touch can be seen throughout the home and relationship. Men add masculinity to the home and relationship that represents safety and security to create a peaceful environment. If you have a home, be thankful and be appreciative of its very existence. Work together with your mate to keep your home just that; keeping a home is much easier than creating  one.

Day 42 – Traditions

“Are traditions relevant anymore?”

We are a society of people that have traditions all around us, especially during the holidays throughout the year. Traditions have been passed down from one generation to another or are established by cities, states and countries. Traditions can be a positive experience but can attract commercialism as corporations pounce on the opportunity to improve their bottom lines. Traditions can be such a priority that we may even lose our perspective and make sacrifices to our time and finances for the sake of traditions. Are Christmas gifts that important that we have our lights cut off? Do married couples become increasingly separated as one spouse has traditions that the other is not as passionate about? Many traditions originated so long ago we don’t really know why we keep that tradition going. Have you ever researched the origins of any of the holiday Traditionstraditions that we embrace year after year, you may be surprised what information google has.

It may be time to review the traditions we partake in to see if they are truly valid or are deserving of our time and energy. Many families and friends have created special traditions that have materialized naturally because of a significant evident. Some of the best traditions are just spending time with your loved ones so relationships do not get lost as a result of the mundane things in life. Traditions can be special, bonding and serve as an everlasting connection that keeps us in touch with one another. Traditions often times are started with just a few words, “let’s make sure we do this again, this was great!” The best traditions are those that are still relevant and worthy of our time and sacrifices, if any. New traditions with significant meaning or benefit are worth establishing as we are in need of creating more connections in the times we live in.

Day 41 – NOW

“Reflecting is great, what we do next is more important!”

We all have a regret or two from our past that we wish we could undo so we can rewrite those events. Some of us have been and will continue to be our own worst critics, where we continue to beat ourselves up for the missteps we’ve made in the past. What if we were all celebrities or professional athletes whose missteps become so public and get circulated over our multimedia driven world? The silver lining for us is that our missteps may only be known by a few people but that does not mean it was less impactful to someone else. If we dwell on the past we may be causing more harm because we have not moved on from our missteps. Unfortunately, our lives are not a word document so the undo button does not exist so we have to reflect, learn and do better.

Today, this minute, this hour, the now is when we can do better! What we do next is extremely important as we demonstrate to ourselves and those around us that we are Nowbetter. What we do now is critical to our happiness as we focus on not making the same missteps we have made in the past. It may require us to take it one day at a time until we create new habits or routines or adopt philosophies that improve our decision making. Has someone ever resolved an issue for you but you keep referring back to what went wrong instead of focusing on the solution that was made. It’s next, the now, the new great decisions that we make that are important as we become the best version of ourselves.

Day 40 – Parts Of A Relationship

“A relationship is only as good as its parts.”

We have heard the quote from Aristotle that “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts“ but what about applying this to relationships? The parts or people within a relationship are the components of the relationship and the relationship is as good as its parts. Relationships are more than not likely to succeed if one of the parts is not as strong as the other part.  If you’ve ever been in a relationship where you were not pulling your weight, I would be willing to bet that your partner at some point made it clear that you were not. It would be safe to say that we have all been there at one time or another. When one of the individuals in the relationship is not in a good place in life then there may be frustration from the other person in the relationship. The stronger of the two may feel as if they are carrying the relationship or feel as though the same effort is not being put forth by both people. It could be for a number of reasons such as, one person not physically pulling their weight by helping with the household chores. It could also be related to financial inequity, everyone is not contributing to the kitty. What about efforts related to keeping the relationship fresh with dating ideas? If only one person is planning or suggesting things to do then the relationship could fizzle out. The relationship can certainly be a challenge when things are not balanced; balance is key for most things in life.

If you are in or have been in a successful relationship then this concept is probably not foreign to you. You cannot expect your partner to be in the exact same place as you but if Sum of Partsthe parts of the relationship stick together then it will just be a matter of time before it feels like both parts are on equal footing. If we are encouraging and supportive of our partners then there will be a good sum. If you are looking to begin a new relationship then look for someone that is heading in the same direction as you. Remember that a great relationship is mutually beneficial as each part can help the other part learn and grow as the relationship grows and becomes stronger year over year. Know that it is okay to want and expect more than what you’ve had before with the mindset that if each part continues to get better the sum will in turn be as great as its parts.

Day 39 – The Gift of Goodbye


“Saying goodbye might not be as bad as you think.”

Relationships are so beneficial for both parties when things are great. When things start to go awry or each individual grows apart then the relationship has a dilemma on its hands. Not only is it hurtful but breaking up can certainly be awkward. It’s common that one of the partners in the relationship may want to stay in the relationship and work it out or they just don’t want to deal with the reality of it all. Moving on could be the best thing for both parties as this could represent a positive change in both people’s lives. There may be a tendency to hold on longer just because that is the easy route. Saying goodbye might not be as bad as you think.

The gift of goodbye that is what your breakup is. It is a gift, it is a blessing, it could be just what you need. Everything you are asking for is now making its way to you because your breakup is the blessing. You can rest your head at night knowing that what your hurt Goodbye.jpgwas affiliated with is no longer your problem. No more lies, no more stories, no more hurt and pain, just no more. You have to be able to see the blessing in your breakup. You deserve peace and you definitely deserve happiness. You deserve love and you deserve respect. You are not someone’s other, better than that you are the one. So get excited for all that is coming your way. It’s time to heal; this is your time to work on you. It’s not easy to heal from a break up but it can be done. Relationships no matter how long or short are not guaranteed to last forever. It may be time to say goodbye in order to be the best version of you.

-Thank you L.D. for sharing this learning experience!

Day 38 – Environmental Dangers

“Our environment should not limit our choices in life!”

We are all a product of the environments that we have been exposed to some good and some bad. When you look around the world there are children and adults that are dealing with the negative impacts of the environments in which they live in. We have been taught about peer pressure and the effects of those that we come in contact with each day. There are those that have less than adequate resources such as the disparity with schools for the lower class as compared to the resources afforded by the upper and elite societies. Many of the less fortunate resort to illegal activities as a means to survive when they feel there are no other options available. Most of us are not faced with the extreme circumstances as previously described; however, we still face decisions based on what we are exposed to and influenced by. A negative environment can change who we are as we react to our surroundings instead of being steadfast as to whom we are. Many relationships fail as a result of the feeling that we lost ourselves along the way as Danger.jpgthe relationship turned us into someone we did not like. How can we add alternative options to our lives so we avoid succumbing to the negative aspects of the environment in which we live?

Our environment shows us the options that are present within our environment but does not represent all options. We must first understand who we are as individuals and what we want our life to resemble. Throughout or lives we will be faced with environmental dangers in which our choices will be key to our success and happiness or lack thereof. People teach us more of what not to do or what not to be then we are taught what to do or what to be. Lessons learned based on our bad experiences can take a toll on us. Regardless of our environment we should not only be able to thrive and be our true selves, we should not let anyone or anything transform us into someone that is not an accurate representation of ourselves. Our relationships with friends, family or significant others should be one that allows us to be who we are. If we are not desirable to others for whom we are then we should be okay with that as we move on and look for those the value and appreciate how we are. We are all works in progress and our environment can mold or shape us if we allow it. We should challenge ourselves to remain true to who we are and we should be the determiner of how we grow, develop and the choices we make, not our environment!

Day 37 – Paint Your Life’s Vision

“Do you know what you want your life to look like?”

Have you really thought about how you want your life to be? Do you think it’s too late to paint a new picture and start over? Painting our life’s picture gives us a vision to work towards one that represents some semblance of happiness and fulfillment. If we do not paint our picture or vision it may end up very different than we ever thought it could be. Paintings can tell a story that may require a little imagination to put it all together. Features within the painting may point to pieces of the story within the painting. If your life painting was in an art gallery what do you think onlookers would see within your painting? It’s never too late to pull out a new canvas, mix a few colors and create your Lifemasterpiece. Don’t worry about the critics, it’s your life not theirs. Who would be captured in your painting? Would your painting reflect on your past experiences which can lead to what your future would look like?

If we haven’t envisioned our life painting, how would we start our painting? No matter what point in life that you are in, the idea is to paint your picture of how you want it to be in the short and/or long term. It could be that your painting is mostly complete or you have a blank canvas. Your painting may require mixing of colors which could be the equivalent to experimenting with interests or your career. Once you have tried a few different colors you choose one that you like and put it on your canvas. As you define important parts of your life your painting will start to take shape. Your style, where you want live, who your mate is, what your career focus is and experiences that help shape your life painting. Your vision or painting can be your road map to happiness simply by sketching your outline and then as the months and years take place you fill in your sketch lines with color and substance. If you have not envisioned what your life painting looks like, choose your canvas, you paint colors and your style to produce your own work of art. Let art imitate life that way you would like to see it!

Day 36 – Success How To Achieve It

“Success cannot be achieved without failure first.”

All of us have gone through troubling times in our lives with some much more difficult than others. When I say difficult I mean the type where giving up, quitting, or ending it all seems like the easiest option. We will all go through tough times more than once in our lives and how we deal with these tough times will be critical to our successes. Failure can be devastating to say the least, can damage our egos, or can appear to be a false representation of who we really are. If we make a grave mistake or a misstep, that should not be a determiner of our character or change who we are. It is also easy to succumb to the situation we fell into and let that situation take over our lives. At times we can find it extremely difficult to climb out of the rut; many never recover and stay in Mistakestheir rut. Remember that you are not the only one that has gone through a similar situation and that persevering will only make you stronger and more equipped to handle the next tough time in your life.

Success or the lack there of can be attributed to how we approach each situation and can have a lot to do with the environment we are in. We certainly have to take responsibility for any actions we have taken that had negative impacts to us or others. If our intent at work, school, in relationships or anything we do is good, then we can feel good about what happens next even if we fall short of the mark. Our environment can play an integral part in our success; however, we cannot let our environment dictate our success. If your school does not provide the support you need to be more successful then work harder or go to a better school. If you work place does not invest in your development or does not have advancement opportunities then find a better job. If your partner or mate does not want the same things in life then find one that you have mutual goals with. When we fail, don’t blame it on anyone else or the environment. When we succeed give credit to those that have helped along the way but also give yourself the credit you deserve. Being the best version of you requires learning from past mistakes and coming out as the next better version…You 2.0!

Day 35 – Sources of Happiness

“Stop looking for happiness in the same place you lost it!”

We all go through spells where we are not as happy as we would like to be. Could we be adding to our own unhappiness? The things or people that make us happy are determined by our own choices whether good or bad. The sources of our happiness can vary throughout the year or could be dependent on what we are going through at that particular time. This should mean that our happiness is not always based on the same people or circumstances. We often acknowledge to ourselves or others that we are not happy and we sometimes know the exact cause of our unhappiness. When we have identified the source or root cause of our unhappiness, what happens next? Do we dwell on this unhappiness even if it is out of our control or it cannot be changed? Sources of unhappiness could be in the past or could be ongoing. Either way if we are looking for happiness in the same place that we lost it, we could be adding to our own unhappiness.

The people we choose to interact with are just that, a choice. If we continue to associate with people that have made us unhappy in the past, we should not expect different results. Instead, we should look to associate with people that add to or contribute to our happiness.jpghappiness. These people are encouraging, understanding, provide insight, and are genuinely positive aspects of our lives. We can increase our happiness by removing those that do not add to our happiness and by adding more people that are positive influences for us. Is your environment or home a source of unhappiness? If so identify what about your environment could use a change. For instance, make plans to move to a place that is better suited for you and make it fun. We spend the vast majority of the day at work so it is important that we don’t mind going to our jobs each day. If our job is not a good fit for us, make a concerted effort to find a new company to work for and make sure you know what aspects of your job should be better. If we are looking for happiness in places that are sources of unhappiness then we need to change where we are looking. If we lost our happiness then find a new source of happiness as oppose to looking in the same places.

Day 34 – Find Someone That Matches Your Hustle

“Do you have a mate that matches your hustle?”

Are you dating someone that is out of your league? Does your mate have the same ambition for life that you have? Wouldn’t life be better if you had someone that had similar aspirations as you? These are all thought provoking questions. If you have to talk to someone other than your mate about your goals because goals are just not that important to your mate, you may be selling yourself short. If your mate hinders you from achieving your goals or is just counterproductive, that can be a less than desirable Hustlesituation. Do you want to go back to school, go for that promotion, make smart investments, or save for the future; however, your mate is just not interested? Don’t accept a relationship that is not evenly yoked. How much farther in life can you get to if you and your mate were to progress together?

We all want to be successful and there are many people that procrastinate or just never make goal setting a priority. The old saying that there is power in numbers can certainly be applicable to your relationship and achieving individual and mutual goals. Find your Bonnie or your Clyde and do great things. Be inspirations to your children, to your family, to your friends and show them how to develop their hustles. Make sure you are part of team that wants to win in life, not a team the watches everyone else win. Your mate should be a partner, a motivator, a supporter, and a resource. If you and your mate set and reset goals together you will have someone that matches your hustle.