Day 33 – The Foundation Of Relationships

“Relationships are born from the things, interests, and people we have in common.”

If you had no friends or a significant other how would you go about finding new relationships? What are the things that you would want in these new relationships? As we look around at the people that are in our lives, those that we have the best relationships with are often those we have so much in common with. We enjoy the same interests such as recreation, foods, hobbies, passions etc. and these commonalities serve as the foundation that we build our relationships upon. When these commonalities don’t exist or change, there is often a loss of interest, less time spent together, or regular disagreements. The beginning of a really great relationship often starts with; I like that too, really me too, no kidding what a coincidence. It is important to know what the relationshipfoundation is for each of our relationships, what we love about our relationships, what the benefits of our relationships are, and what is required to successfully maintain our relationships.

Take a look at one of your closest relationships as ask yourself how much do the two of you have in common. Do you have fifty percent of the same things in common? Or is it sixty, seventy, or even eighty percent of the same things in common. I have learned that my best relationships have at least seventy percent of the same things in common if not more. There is an ease in talking, planning out the day, planning a trip, where or what to eat, life priorities including education, family, finance, health, fitness and more. The relationship has a distinct feeling of happiness, support, encouragement, and an overall healthy disposition. What about the things that the relationship does not have in common? Those things become unique characteristics of each person that make them who they are. It is the individual interests that allow each person time away from the relationship and serves as a healthy reminder of how great it is to experience someone that you have so much in common with. The old saying is that opposites attract; should the new saying be “commonalities not only attract, but last”?

Day 32 – Success is Momentary

“We must not rest on our laurels and instead continue to do things that equate to success.”

Achievement is great and we are bound to do great things as long as we set our goals accordingly. How long do we rely or lean on our past successes? If all we do is talk about what we’ve done last year or five years ago what does that say about us? Are we resting on our laurels so much so that are frontal view is blocked because we are only looking in the past. Janet has a very famous line from one of her more popular songs where she asks the question “what have you done for me lately?” We may need to ask ourselves what have we done lately that is a continuance to our life success.  We don’t get a pass in life just because we had some success. There are singers and groups that get put into a category called “one-hit wonders” denoting that they only had one relevant song and nothing else worth noting after their success. Our lack of persistence to strive for excellence could be the main reason we have not done anything lately.

A sports team wins a championship and they celebrate this momentous achievement which was a result of a collective effort by the coaches, players and the others that Succcescontributed to the team’s success. The great teams celebrate for a brief period and then begin to get ready for the next season. Is this why they are so successful? Success for us as individuals is also only momentary, we celebrate and we must move on to what’s next. Regular life resets, creating goals and expecting more from life are great ways to continue success. A relationship does not last because we were a great catch 5 years ago; however, it lasts because we continue to do things that make our mates happy and feel appreciated. At our jobs we expect the same performance review score each year even though we have not done anything new the next year. With every new goal or challenge we can expect to take a few steps backwards until we grow from our new challenge. The growth eventually propels us forward and with that growth comes success. Our accomplishments should be the triggers to ask ourselves the question, what’s next? Success is not a one-time thing but it is momentary and even more importantly success must be continual as we avoid resting on our laurels and do things that equate to success!

Day 31 – Put Yourself First

“It’s okay to be a little selfish.”

Not putting yourself first may be causing you a bit of unhappiness and you don’t even realize why. Often we give too much of our time to friends, family or even at work. Is it because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or we just try to help too much. When we don’t save enough time for ourselves we tend to lose out on things that we need to do or want to do.  Is our energy being depleted on a regular basis so much so that we feel that we are working for everyone but ourselves? Do we miss out on opportunities or just don’t have the wherewithal to do the things we really want to do. Do you often find yourself making bad choices because you are reluctant to say “no” when someone needs your help? Have you ever been more concerned with someone else’s feelings so much so that you disregard your own feelings? There are times in a relationship that we need to end the relationship; however, we worry more about how ending the relationship will hurt the other person. More importantly, does staying too long in a relationship hurt us or are we just ultimately hurting the other person by not being honest about how we feel.

It’s okay to be a little selfish in order to make sure we are making ourselves happy. We need to balance the time we allocate to help others so that have plenty of time for Me Firstourselves. We all need some “me time” to do things that provide refreshment for our minds, bodies, and souls. There are times where peace of mind, no conflict, and just an easy going experience can make all the difference in how we feel. How we feel is very important to our mindset and disposition. We need to protect our feelings by being a little selfish and not putting other’s feelings before our own. Being selfish with our energy can go a long way to prevent us from being emotionally and physically drained from those that tend to be negative. In fact, we need energy to become healthier, more productive, try new things, and take care of our responsibilities.

Please share your thoughts on this topic by adding a comment, looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Day 30 – Peace of Mind

“Peace of mind may be the most important aspect of our lives.”

We all need a peace of mind in our lives or we can expect a continued rough road ahead of us. Peace of mind is defined as a feeling of being safe or protected. When our relationship with our significant other is on rocky road, there is stress and an uneasy feeling that makes it difficult to endure. When our health is in question and we are waiting on test results to come back our thoughts can be filled with unrest. When there are rumors at our job that there are looming changes on the horizon that include cutbacks, layoffs, or no merit increases. If we are struggling financially and living paycheck to paycheck, in fact most of us are, how we are going to pay our bills may be all too familiar. The things that ensue when there is a lack of a peace of mind can be devastating. There is a lack of trust in almost everything we do and the people we come in contact with. There is a stress level that can take a toll on us that could also make us resort to things that we would normally not do as a way to cope with our current circumstances. Is having a peace of mind that significant?

How can we create a peace of mind for ourselves? It starts with the things in our lives that we are in control of that contributes to creating our feeling of being safe or protected. At our jobs we know that there are many of our coworkers that do just enough to skate by; conversely, we should take pride in the work we do and the value we provide. When uncertainty at our jobs arises, those that have the perception of being a slacker are the ones that should be worried not us. When we live our lives we should do so with both our short and long term health in mind. This should give us a peace of mind with our health if we eat well, incorporate regular exercise and visit our doctor each year without fail. We must be in control of our financial security by creating realistic budgets that allow us to not only pay our bills on time but put us in a position to save a minimum of ten percent each month. When we can establish 6 months of our salary in savings then we have a great sense of security whether some unusual expense occurs or there is a loss in job or income. Being open and honest with our significant other helps to remove any ambiguity on how each person in the relationship feels. With great and regular communication there can be a great sense of security as we tackle life’s challenges. Ask yourself how important is a peace of mind in your life?



Day 29 – Can You Live With IT?

“Are you okay with the way things are or have become?”

Our lives are evolving through the constant change that life brings on a day to day basis, but how are we dealing with it? It’s natural to resist change especially if we did not initiate it or we question the change. So many changes can affect how we feel in so many aspects of our lives. Some changes we made in our lives may have not turned out the way we anticipated but how are we dealing with them? What we do next as change occurs can be crucial to our outlook on life. We can get so comfortable doing what we have always done that it just seems easier to keep doing the same thing even if there are benefits to making change. Is change for us a sore subject or are we kicking and Changescreaming along the way? Does it affect us so much that other people are turned off by the vibe we are giving off? How do we live with “it”, meaning the changes in our life that have happened or are happening as we speak?

We’ve all heard the old adage, when life gives you lemons just make lemonade or your favorite lemon dessert. We can be okay with the changes in our lives and take a positive outlook on them. These changes represent growth for us or can just breakup the monotony of life. Change can open our eyes to new possibilities and experiences that give a new sense of accomplishment. Let’s be okay with the changes that are going on in and around our lives and take time out to explore what the change is and the potential benefits that we can get from these changes. Let’s live with the changes and initiate change more often that suits our life plan as we work to improve our lives on a regular basis.

Day 28 – Divorce Survival Kit

“Why does divorce have to be so painful?”

Divorce is a necessary evil especially with the divorce rate being so high and getting worse year over year. The only people that benefit from a nasty divorce are the attorneys who salivate over any opportunity to add more billable hours as we make things emotional throughout the process. Divorce is physically, mentally, emotionally and financially draining to put it mildly. The amount of energy and time it takes to plan and have a wonderful wedding pale in comparison to the process of divorce. Marriage is an event that a couple can look forward to as one the most memorable times in their lives. Divorce is an experience that no one wants, plans for or looks forward to until there is no other option. Staying in a bad marriage is elongated torture that has lasting effects beyond divorce. Spite is a term that takes over a marriage as it ends and takes each person out of the character that was once so attractive. Why does divorce have to be so painful?

Take on divorce with a metaphorical survival kit and be prepared for the coming years, yes I said years, that will be engulfed with the long process of divorce. The first step should be to do everything possible in order to save your marriage, yes save your marriagemarriage! Look at the person you fell in love with and try to remember that person, not the one that has changed your viewpoint of your marriage. Once you made your decision to dissolve your marriage get all the way out, sever all ties that are not absolutely required such as co-parenting and make sure there is no longer any dependency on your soon to be ex-spouse. Bite the bullet and find a reputable attorney that specializes in divorce not one that does it on the side. If they are not great at divorce it will cost you in the long run.  One of the most important things that you can do is to absolutely, without fail, do not involve the kids at all. They will go through so much as a result of the process and will automatically be part of the collateral damage that will require a massive cleanup project later. Make your divorce a business transaction only, take out the emotions and finger pointing as it will just add to the pain and the bottom line legal costs associated with divorce. This is going to be a long process no matter how amical the relationship feels in the beginning; expect this to change and note this is where the nastiness sets in. There will be some time between hiring a lawyer and the finish line so use your time to determine what life after divorce looks like and plan accordingly. This is a great chance to spin a bad situation into a positive opportunity to make life the way you want it to be. Your new lease on life and the way you envision your life may have evolved over the years as you tried to hold on to your marriage. Both people should expect their lives to change and they should not expect to live life as it were with the partnership that is no more. You are now responsible for your entire life and don’t expect your soon to be ex to play any part in your situation moving forward. Embrace your new independence but also take full responsibility in all that you endeavor in life. Don’t make a bad situation worse, turn the page, remove the emotions as much as possible and make the process of divorce a business transaction. Once complete, divorce could represent a fresh start to a happier well-being in life.

Day 27 – The “F” Bomb

“Do you regularly use the phrase I Forgot?”

Remembering things can be one of the most difficult things we are challenged with on a daily basis. It can be as simple as taking out the trash or it could be as significant as paying the mortgage. Remembering to do the important things in life can be critical to a happy life and when we don’t remember we can certainly cause unnecessary strife for ourselves and others. Using the excuse that we forgot or what I call the “F” word does not go over very well when we have missed something important. Saying I forget is just as bad as a cuss word because not too many people receive it well or they are put off by it. The negative effects of forgetting can be bad on relationships, at work, managing your bills, health and so many other aspects of our lives that we should look to minimize the number of times we use the “F” bomb. Men get into hot water when they fail to remember an important date to their significant other, e.g. anniversary or birthday. How successful are you at work if you regularly forget to do something important or miss a deadline because you forgot. Bill collectors are not very lenient when we are late with making a payment, many charge late fees and are unlikely to wave the fee if we simply forgot. How many of our loved ones are reliant on medications to keep them in good health and when they are under the weather we often realize they forgot to take their medication. How can we be better and remembering?

Our brains are better suited for making decisions and being creative, not so much on remembering deadlines and dates especially as we get older. Many people resort to lists, white boards on their refrigerators, sticky notes and other techniques. An old method of remembering something is tying a string around our finger; hopefully we don’t forget why we put the string on our finger! We live in an age that is driven by technology and F Bombthe vast majority of us have smart phones that we depend on every waking moment. Now our kids have access to technology and smarts phones before they are old enough to drive. If we are not using smart phones which are more advanced than the computers were 15 or 20 years ago, we really are subjecting ourselves to unneeded agony. Our smart phones have calendars that can be used to setup reminders and the only way we should forget something is if we fail to setup a reminder or we dismiss the reminder without taking any action. As our “to do” list accumulates, take a moment and set a reminder so we are more reliable to ourselves and those that depend on us at home, as friends, and at work. Paying that bill before it’s too late or remembering that important date can go a long way towards making us or someone else happier than if we say “I Forgot”.

Day 26 – Aspire to Inspire

“Our aspirations turn into inspirations for others.”

Have you been around people that constantly make you shake your head (smh) because you question what they are doing with their life? None of us are perfect so we shouldn’t judge but we should encourage those around us to be the best they can be. Many people are content with doing nothing that is groundbreaking and they are okay with going in the opposite direction of the flow as oppose to going with it or creating their own flow. If we are not careful we can become uninspired by those around us and it won’t be too Aspirelong before we are heading in the wrong direction. After a while we will probably get tired of being uninspired but by then we have lost so much ground. The negative influences that can surround us can be devastating to say the least if we are not doing things to counteract them and create our own positive aura.

As we look to aspire to be more each day, each week and each year there are positive aspects that will impact our lives. What about those around us or that we come in contact with, how will they be affected? I’m sure there are people that have told each of us that they were either proud of something we accomplished or acknowledged the good work we have done in the past. More people are taking note of our accomplishments and as we strive to do more with our lives than the previous year. The people around us may even be inspired by our own aspirations. As we set out to do something new we tend to get questions from others even if they don’t fully understand our objectives or they just wouldn’t have been interested in doing the same thing themselves. Have you ever gotten upset that someone you know is now doing the same thing you did several months or years ago? Why be upset as they may have just given you a compliment which is that they liked what you did so much they copied you. Don’t look at it as a negative look at it as what it really is, inspirational. We can have an indirect influence on others as they look from a far as they are inspired by our aspirations.

Day 25 – This Too Shall Pass

“Endure the night our joy will come in the morning.”

There are things that happen in life, don’t let life happen to you is a very powerful statement. We have all felt like victims of circumstances at one time or another. How did we handle these circumstances and challenges? Sometimes the circumstances are unbearable or devastating and we get lost in the pain. When we have endured a lot during these times, there were more than likely times where we just felt like giving in or up all together. Have you been through a nasty divorce? Nasty and divorce seem to be synonymous with each other and can go on for years and destroy a family. When we make it to the other side there is a feeling of relief and a new energy to continue on. Losing a significant person in your life such as a spouse, friend, parent, sibling or child can be one of the worst times of our lives. With these insurmountable challenges we must find a way to survive.

Trouble doesn’t last always and we have to continue to fight. We must find hope in the positive aspects of our life and lean on them. We must take a step back and take one day at a time looking for ways to improve our outlook not add to the madness. Every time we go through something that is challenging it makes us stronger both mentally and emotionally. We add survival tools with each day and night that we continue to endure. How can we make life count no matter what the circumstances are? Divorce is an opportunity to find a more appropriate match. Divorce is experience gained and we must take note of the life lessons learned from this experience. We should appreciate the good times and use the bad times as leverage as we raise the bar higher in our next relationship. When someone close passes away, continue to live as though they are with you so you don’t lose the things gained from those relationships that have changed as a result of life changes. These and other challenges can be the period in which we have to pick ourselves up, hit the reset button once more, and endure the night knowing that our joy will be coming tomorrow.



Day 24 – Women Raising Their Man?

“Are you raising your man or enjoying him?”

Men often encounter the scrutiny of women in the beginning of new relationships especially related to whether or not that man has their shit (pardon my French) together! Let me start by saying we are not talking about men in their early 20’s who are still figuring out manhood and all the things that go with it. I am talking about age 30 and over and men that need to be raised by women! Women may take a chance on a man that does not have their shit together but has potential to get their life in order. So the women proceeds to get involved with the man only to find out that several months or years later the man is still trying to get their stuff together. They live with their mothers or their girlfriend, cannot seem to hold down a steady job (good job that is career oriented), does not have their own car, does not automatically reach for the check at Changedinner, or is just not working towards any goals and seems to be in limbo or in a rut. If you are that woman this is trying to wait on your man’s potential and not getting anywhere, why are you complaining?

How would life be if you met or had a man that was the complete opposite and you didn’t need to raise that man? He would be career driven with aspirations and goals that were not just talk but were works in progress. He came with his own car, very good job or working towards one, and had no problem picking up the check knowing that you had the means to pay also. What if he was kind, thoughtful and was genuinely interested in what was best for you? How would you feel if he put you first in his life but knew how to stay in touch with his boys without going overboard? What if instead of you spending your time, money and energy on trying to make both of your lives easier, that your already raised man made it a point to make your life easier? Ask yourself whether or not you should continue raising your man or if you are deserving of a ready-made man in your life?