I’ll Never Forget The Sight….

I’ll never forget the sight. Standing in line more than a decade ago with hundreds of graduates awaiting the march into the ceremony, I saw my mom and dad walking in together a little late. She, with a basket of fruits too heavy for her to bear, but far too precious not to. Him, adorned in a bright red jacket as if to say “nobody is going to make me miss this special occasion when my daughter receives her Masters degree”! I thought to myself…should I acknowledge them or should I shy away from this somewhat humorous sight? I dismissed the very thought and rushed to their side hugging them both. My action was met with admiration, claps, and with sounds of “aww”, as the waiting graduates stirred. Needless to say that this achievement was for both my parents as neither had college degrees. After the ceremony, my mom hugged and congratulated me with the question “when are you going to get the Doctorate?” The nerve! How could she? But her question stayed with me for years, even after the receipt of yet another Masters degree.

Years later, I finally acceded to fulfilling her dream. She couldn’t do it so I decided to do it for her. A year into the program while enroute to a mandated summer conference in Orlando, I received a call that she (with whom I spoke an hour earlier), had suffered a massive stroke!

That was the start of a yearlong journey to be by her side through thick and thin. Ironically both our journeys were paths of learning. Hers being to learn to talk, to walk, to eat, to do life’s simple things, and to learn the basics of living all over again. Me, to face the reality of the situation that my mother was in, and to learn the skills to adequately provide her care. Along with my two sisters (one who was ailing with the ravages of cancer at the time), we brought her to live closer so we could adequately care for her return to ‘normalcy’.

As I reflect on my journey, on one occasion I remember receiving an important call from a professor while attending to her needs. I answered the call, got the coaching from the professor then returned to finish her care. This became a routine.

I remember being by her side at the hospital for hours, days, weeks. She was my morning motivation. I couldn’t start the day without her knowing that I cared. It was the same at nights. I couldn’t end the day without visiting her; without her knowing that I was there for her. At work, the leaders knew that if they wanted my best then I needed an hour to be with my mom which was the fuel for the rest of the day. I happily worked that back during lunch or after hours. This went on for a year but sadly she never recovered. We later discovered that her body was wreaked with cancer unknown to our family. It was too much for her to bear.

After she passed this was my driving force. I had to finish my studies for her. I had to accomplish her dream, something she couldn’t do herself. I had to finish to show my two girls that you can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. I had to finish and leave something tangible behind.  This culminated in a research to track the paths of immigrant leaders and their journey to success to achieve the American Dream. I accomplished that feat two years after she passed away. The research is now published and available here. I now spend my time coaching individuals and entrepreneurs to never give up; to keep going, because with that passion they will accomplish their dreams.

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Cancer. My Sister’s Journey…

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She’ll have my head if she knows I’m writing this but some stories must be told.

That was how I started this story four years ago but don’t think it was ever published. It was the spring of 2003, after experiencing discomfort and a series of medical tests, the news was relayed to my sister. Not only did they find a lump in her breast but it was also malignant. Visits to Specialists left her with two options; remove the breast, or embark on a series of chemo treatment. The option of removal was an uncommon feat at the time, so after engaging family, friends and mountains of prayers, she made the decision to save the breast and embrace the chemo treatment.

Past The Worst

Over 10 years later and different rounds of chemo treatment combined with the usual side effects of hair loss, nervous system changes such as numbness, weak feelings and more…yet she still kept on fighting. Fighting to survive for her children. Fighting to see them “pass the worse”.

Why I Now Share

I write this not to seek sympathy but to share the innate character of my sister – Carleen, a stalwart! A fighter! A survivor extraordinaire! A teacher by profession, she  spent her years in New York, Florida and the Caribbean educational systems molding the youthful minds of countless children. Many were overwhelmed by the genuine care and concern she had shown for her students-many of whom she brought from non-or-minimal performance to the realms of exceeding expectations.

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and for that I choose to celebrate and remember my sister, Elaine AKA Carleen. Yes she passed. 12 years hard battle. She won some. She lost some. But in the end I walk away remembering the fighter that she was. I choose to celebrate the character and personal attributes of someone who has made a difference in the lives of many.

My sister, I love you! I salute you!

Write That Resignation Letter…

Begin with the end in mind. Write that resignation letter. Then begin to plan your escape route.

What are you escaping from? A boring job? Restrictions that immensely tug at your creativity? Doing something that has been calling your name?

Writing your resignation letter is similar to stepping out. Stepping away from something. It’s final. As head of Human Resources, it was hard receiving this letter from a member of the organization. Some should go (e.g. problematic worker) and we smirk when they do. But in the main 95 percent of the team we mourn as in a loss. It means they’re onto the next chapter of their life and no matter what, they go. We too needed to move on.

Move On

That’s what companies do. They move on. That’s what YOU should do. If you are unhappy, longing for more…do yourself a favor and move on.

Write that letter. It will boost you to take the steps to move into your next phase. But remember don’t hand it in until your plans are finalized… Until you have been offered and accepted that new job; or that new opportunity. Because once you do, there’s no turning back (especially if you fall into that category of problematic employee …smile).

Need help? Lets connect

Cheers!

Shucks! I Ran The Red Light…

I ran the red light.

It’s peak hour. Early morning. Light’s green. Bottle-neck. Car turns slowly. Suddenly, driver comes out of nowhere and cuts me off. Oh, I’m going to be late. Late for meeting. Late for work. Disappointed. Angry. GreenLight changes. Turns orange. About to turn red. Late for work. Unnecessary delays. I hastened to not let that light catch me. But then it did …because of the irresponsibility and carelessness of others.

I drove through angrily!

Reflection

Oh what did I do?

Then I started thinking that for sure I am going to have to pay the penalty charge for running-a-red light. The slow driver. The driver that cut me off. None of them will have to pay. Just me. I began thinking… is it worth it? Is it worth it to react in a moment of delay? In a moment of impatience? Just to get to meeting/work on time?

My Practice

It’s my practice to urge my girls and others to be careful on the road. To be patient. To exercise that patience. Yet I ended up doing the exact same thing. I am thankful that I did not have an accident. So often it is the same reaction that causes serious accidents. But I got lucky. Even though I knew better, I did not act accordingly.

Pursuit of Goals and Dreams

How often does that happen to us in the pursuit of our goals. For me it was the distance to get to my meeting/work. For you it may be goals such as further studies, marriage, starting a family, purchasing a car, house, career change, or other. Then things go awry and we think twice. In some cases we give up.

Today, I encourage you to never give up. Hold on. Be strong. Keep going. You will be glad you did. Need help? Lets connect

Cheers!

The Plane. The Sky. The Dive.

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Sometimes you have to do it afraid

I did it Afraid. Yes, I was afraid but I did it anyway. A skydive in Ocean City, Maryland. 14,000 ft. in the air! Here I share the jump, the skydive in pictures.

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Meeting my Trainer – Tandem Jump
The ride. The assent
The Coach. What to expect when jumping 14,000 ft. from a plane in the air
Being reminded to pull the chute during jump…yikes!
And Jump!! Feeling the fear!!
Pull! Then Enjoy the Soar
Amazing view
Wow! I am dreaming
Oh what a feeling!
The Air. The Sea. And finally…The land.

Want to see it live? See it here

Dreams can come through if we let them.

19 Things To Inspire Your Writing…

I sat staring into the distance. Pondering. What to write? What to post? Haven’t we all been there at one time or other? Times when we don’t know what to write-be it social, blog, or book. Jen dePaula shared 40 Things to inspire your writing. I liked 19 and share these below.

  1. Share a motivational or inspiring quote
  2. Share a link to your new blog post.
  3. Highlight a fan with an @mention and thank them for their support.
  4. Share what you’re currently reading and tag the author.
  5. Do a #TBT (Throw Back Thursday) by sharing an old picture.
  6. Share one of your favorite writing tools (whether it be digital or a physical tool).
  7. Share an interesting article or blog post that someone else has written – be sure to tag them in the post.
  8. Share a picture that your child (niece, nephew, friend) drew.
  9. Share some of your favorite songs/albums you like to write to.
  10. Highlight a fellow author and share a link to their website – it’s always great to help and promote fellow writers.
  11. Share a writing tip.
  12. Share a Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram page your followers should check out (not necessarily your own).
  13. Share links to an old (but relevant) blog post – keep those posts alive!
  14. Join the conversation on a trending topic.
  15. Write a Haiku.
  16. Give a shout-out to people who inspire you.
  17. Share a link to your favorite blogs or podcasts.
  18. Share a review or testimonial of a new product or service you’ve had a good/bad experience with.
  19. Recommend other authors or friends others should follow.

Hope these will help to inspire your own writing in whichever form you choose.

Cheers!

I’m Never Gonna Stop The Rain By…

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Raindrops keep falling on my head
But that doesn’t mean my eyes will soon be turnin’ red
Crying’s not for me
‘Cause I’m never gonna stop the rain by complainin’
Because I’m free
Nothing’s worrying me

The lyrics of this song reminds us to Drop worry and fear. Fear of failing. Fear of the past. Fear of the future. Some even fear success.

Today, let’s aim high. Let’s take control and Free Fall. Chances are we will remain in control, just like the Ant who never seem to fear things that appear bigger than it is. Often the fear is just in our mind. Today, let go. Drop the worry. Drop the Fear. As Bob Marley said

“every little thing is gonna be alright”.

Cheers!

How Much Do You Value Your Life?

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One day a young boy asked his father, “what is the value of my life?”. Instead of answering, the father told his son, “take this rock and go sell it at the market. If anybody asks the price, raise two fingers and don’t say anything”, instructed the father. The boy then went to the market and a woman asked, “How much is this rock? I want to put it in my garden”. The boy didn’t say anything but raised up his two fingers, and the woman said “2 dollars? I will take it”. The boy went home and told his father, “a woman wants to buy this rock for 2 dollars”. The father then said, “Son, I want you to take this rock to a museum, if anybody wants to buy it, don’t say a word, just put up your two fingers”. The boy then went to the museum and a man showed up wanting to buy the rock, the boy didn’t say a word but put up 2 fingers and the man said “$200? I will take it”. The boy was shocked, went running home and told his father, “A man wants to buy this rock for $200”. His father then said, “Son, the last place I want you to take this rock is to a precious stone store, show it to the owner and don’t say a word, and if he asks the price, just raise up your two fingers”. The son then ran to a precious stone store, he shored the rock to the owner, “Where did you find this stone? it is one of the rarest stones in the world, I must have it! How much would you sell it for?”. The boy put up his two fingers and the man said “I will take it for $200,000”. The boy not knowing what to say, ran home to his father and told him that there’s a man that wants to buy the stone for $200,000, his father then asked, “Son, do you know the value of your life now?”

“It matters where you decide to place yourself”

You see it doesn’t matter where you come from, where you were born, the colour of your skin, or how much money you were born into. It matters where you decide to place yourself, the people you surround yourself with, and how you choose to carry yourself. You may have lived your whole life thinking that you were a $2 stone. You may have lived your whole life surrounded by people that saw your worth for only $2, but everybody has a diamond inside them, and we can choose to surround ourselves with people that see our value and see the diamond inside of us. We can choose to put ourselves in a market or put ourselves in a precious stone store. You can also choose to see the value in other people. You can help other people see the diamond inside of them.

Choose the people you surround yourself with wisely. That can make all the difference in your life.

Something To Think About…
Beautiful Extract from Sean Buranahiran

Entrepreneurs Share Their Top 3 Skills Needed For Success…

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Tough times don’t last. Tough People do.

Entrepreneurship improves productivity, spurs innovation, and creates jobs. This is the notion postulated by the Center for American Entrepreneurship. Thriving for independence and financial growth, many are the aspirers who long for the zeal of owning and managing their own business. But do you have what it takes to dive right in?

In a Shark public forum the question was asked” What three skills do you think Entrepreneurs need to be successful? Hundreds chimed in sharing both skills and traits.

Entrepreneur Skills

  • Sales, Marketing, Relationships
  • Leadership
  • Selling, Communication
  • Salesmanship
  • Financial Intelligence
  • People
  • Negotiation
  • Ability to Sell Ideas
  • Negotiation, Sales and Persuasion
  • Time Management
  • Delegation of Authority
  • Resourcefulness
  • Creativity
  • Positive Attitude
  • Strategic Planning
  • Market Research
  • Control, Vision, and Sense of navigation
  • Critical Thinking

Entrepreneur Traits

  • Persistence, Self Awareness, Patience
  • Discipline, Resilience, and Faith
  • Work Ethic
  • Confidence
  • Empathy
  • Tenacity, Never give up, Endurance
  • Work Hard
  • Adaptability, Perseverance, Problem-Solving
  • Determination
  • Mindset
  • Foresight
  • Introspection
  • Self Discipline
  • Faith
  • Passion, Drive, Persistence
  • Hustle, Grit, Gratitude
  • No Fear

So there you have it. Excerpts of the skills and traits entrepreneurs believe to be essential to their success. Sure there are more! Do share. We would love to hear.

Cheers!

Move. As Far As You Can. As Much As You Can…

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If I am an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.                                                                                                                                                                              ~Anthony Bourdain