"I guess that it had to end-the term is irreconcilable differences. You know? I mean it just wasn't really given a chance-it's like the person that screws you over but things end up better, then they expect a thank you?", continuing, #reasonAF (2.5k) - You've Got Hate Mail
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“I guess that it had to end–the term is irreconcilable differences. You know? I mean it just wasn’t really given a chance–it’s like the person that screws you over but things end up better, then they expect a thank you?“, continuing, #reasonAF (2.5k)

“I guess that it had to end–the term is irreconcilable differences. You know? I mean it just wasn’t really given a chance–it’s like the person that screws you over but things end up better, then they expect a thank you?“, continuing, #reasonAF (2.5k)

“You ever fall for someone that you’re not supposed to fall for?”, I ask as I look over at his begging brown eyes.

I continue, “I mean… I guess that I fell for the friendship and they fell in love, and we could never find middle ground between falling in love with friendship and falling in love.  I mean that it took a long time to UNDERSTAND what was going on. Is this making sense to you?”

I look back over to the dog sitting down in the corner of the kitchen. The dog lowers his head and lays down.

“Yeah”, I say as I sigh, “I feel you, man.”

My wife enters the kitchen; opening the pantry, she takes out a loaf of #integralAF bread and sets it down on the kitchen.

“You hungry?”, she asks as she pulls two plates out and seats them on the counter, “I was going to make some lunch.”

I turn my head from looking at the dog in the corner to her.

“Yeah”, I reply as I think of the event tonight to talk about my new book, “actually, I’m famished. You want some #jamaicaAF?”

“Sure!”

I get up and take a step towards the refrigerator.

The refrigerator, in it’s robotic voice, announces, “you seem well, Annette. You may enter me.”

I turn my head to my wife.

“Um”, I say as I turn my head back to the refrigerator, “I thought we changed that.  It really doesn’t sound right, huh?”

My wife blushes.

Turning her head away from me back to the sandwiches, she replies, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about. How strange?”

I shrug.

“Anyways”, I reply as I pull the pitcher out of the refrigerator, “how was your day at work today?”


Harlem

by Langston Hughes

{Link Bit.ly/2yzSDG7}

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?


Up From Slavery

by Booker T. Washington

{Link Up From Slavery}

{Excerpt}

As soon as the plans were drawn for the new building, the students began digging out the earth where the foundations were to be laid, working after the regular classes were over. They had not fully outgrown the idea that it was hardly the proper thing for them to use their hands, since they had come there, as one of them expressed it, “to be educated, and not to work.” Gradually, though, I noted with satisfaction that a sentiment in favour of work was gaining ground. After a few weeks of hard work the foundations were ready, and a day was appointed for the laying of the corner-stone.

When it is considered that the laying of this corner-stone took place in the heart of the South, in the “Black Belt,” in the centre of that part of our country that was most devoted to slavery; that at that time slavery had been abolished only about sixteen years; that only sixteen years before no Negro could be taught from books without the teacher receiving the condemnation of the law or of public sentiment—when all this is considered, the scene that was witnessed on that spring day at Tuskegee was a remarkable one. I believe there are few places in the world where it could have taken place.

The principal address was delivered by the Hon. Waddy Thompson, the Superintendent of Education for the county. About the corner-stone were gathered the teachers, the students, their parents and friends, the county officials—who were white—and all the leading white men in that vicinity, together with many of the black men and women whom the same white people but a few years before had held a title to as property. The members of both races were anxious to exercise the privilege of placing under the corner-stone some momento.

Before the building was completed we passed through some very trying seasons. More than once our hearts were made to bleed, as it were, because bills were falling due that we did not have the money to meet. Perhaps no one who has not gone through the experience, month after month, of trying to erect buildings and provide equipment for a school when no one knew where the money was to come from, can properly appreciate the difficulties under which we laboured. During the first years at Tuskegee I recall that night after night I would roll and toss on my bed, without sleep, because of the anxiety and uncertainty which we were in regarding money. I knew that, in a large degree, we were trying an experiment—that of testing whether or not it was possible for Negroes to build up and control the affairs of a large education institution. I knew that if we failed it would injure the whole race. I knew that the presumption was against us. I knew that in the case of white people beginning such an enterprise it would be taken for granted that they were going to succeed, but in our case I felt that people would be surprised if we succeeded. All this made a burden which pressed down on us, sometimes, it seemed, at the rate of a thousand pounds to the square inch.


“When a man, a business corporation or an entire society is approaching bankruptcy, there are two courses that those involved can follow: they can evade the reality of their situation and act on a frantic, blind, range-of-the-moment expediency-not daring to look ahead, wishing no one would name the truth, yet desperately hoping that something will save them somehow-or they can identify the situation, check their premises, discover their hidden assets and start rebuilding.”


THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE

HABIT 5: SEEK FIRST TO UNDERSTAND, THEN TO BE UNDERSTOOD

{Link Bit.ly/1EgQnlA}

Communication is the most important skill in life. You spend years learning how to read and write, and years learning how to speak. But what about listening? What training have you had that enables you to listen so you really, deeply understand another human being? Probably none, right?

If you’re like most people, you probably seek first to be understood; you want to get your point across. And in doing so, you may ignore the other person completely, pretend that you’re listening, selectively hear only certain parts of the conversation or attentively focus on only the words being said, but miss the meaning entirely. So why does this happen? Because most people listen with the intent to reply, not to understand. You listen to yourself as you prepare in your mind what you are going to say, the questions you are going to ask, etc. You filter everything you hear through your life experiences, your frame of reference. You check what you hear against your autobiography and see how it measures up. And consequently, you decide prematurely what the other person means before he/she finishes communicating. Do any of the following sound familiar?

“Oh, I know just how you feel. I felt the same way.” “I had that same thing happen to me.” “Let me tell you what I did in a similar situation.”

Because you so often listen autobiographically, you tend to respond in one of four ways:

Evaluating: You judge and then either agree or disagree.

Probing: You ask questions from your own frame of reference.

Advising: You give counsel, advice, and solutions to problems.


10 Ways To Help Others That Will Lead You To Success

{Link Bit.ly/2y44z5S}

Helping others should be a natural extension of every business leader’s responsibilities. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come as easy as you would think. As leaders, we often get too caught up in operations or our own problems to give people the help they need. However, in the last year, I’ve realized that most of my best clients, partners and relationships have come from me helping someone. Here are 10 thoughts that can remind you to help others.

Sharing knowledge One of the easiest ways to help others is to simply share your knowledge. You don’t have to be in front of a classroom to teach. Every day there is an opportunity to educate someone about your area of expertise. The key is to keep educating yourself so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Finding out what’s valuable to them The number one rule of helping people should be to find out what’s actually valuable to someone. You may spend time and effort helping someone with something that they didn’t even want help with. Make an effort to ask them where they need help, and keep that in mind when you see an opportunity.

Sharing your resources Think about the resources you’ve invested in and be mindful of whether they can help someone else. Maybe a developer on your team has some extra time and one of your contacts needed some help on a quick job. Or, maybe you have Cardinals season tickets and there’s a game that you won’t be able to attend. Keep those under- or unused resources in the back of your mind and try to connect them to people who can use them.

Making them aware of an opportunity It’s important to keep an eye out for opportunities. It could be good press, a potential partner, or a general business opportunity. Once you see an opportunity, think about who could benefit from knowing about it. One of the ways I like to help my employees is to help their friends, relatives or significant others if they’re looking for a job. A lot of times I can use my business connections to find a potential good fit.

Giving them transparent feedback Transparent feedback can be tough because some people don’t take constructive criticism well.  There is a difference between telling someone that they suck and giving them good examples of how they can improve.  Some people won’t take it well but, in the long run, you will help the people that you want to work with and improve the efficiency and success of your company as well.

Being a brand advocate I was at a conference the other day and an American Airlines employee was going on and on about how she loved her Modify watch. She truly wanted to help the company because she loved the product and wanted to see them succeed. Think about the products and services that you love, and don’t be shy about letting people know about them.

Giving introductions There’s a lot of big talk out there.


The Fastest Way To Achieve Success Is To First Help Others Succeed

{Link Bit.ly/2wRbU3O}

Without a doubt, the fastest way to achieve success is to first help others succeed. Yet, there seems to be a belief in the business world that the only way to get ahead is to only watch out for ‘number one’. That is simply not the case. Brian Tracy explained it best when he said, “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, ‘What’s in it for me?'” The fact is that our greatest successes in life often come through helping others to succeed, and without question, when you focus on helping others succeed your eventual payoff will always be far greater than your investment.

Here are five ways that everyone can help others to succeed, and in turn find greater success themselves:

Pay attention to the details of other people’s lives.

When you make the effort to remember the important details of others’ lives, such as their spouse’s name, their children, their hobbies, etc. your ability to be a positive impact in their life increases tremendously. It lets the other person know how important they are to you. It lets them know that you truly care about their life. The more a person knows that you genuinely care about them, the more they will in turn move heaven and earth to help you with the things you want. And with the contact tracking tools available on our electronic devices today, it is incredibly simple to make quick notes about people so your memory can always be fresh.

Help people connect by sharing your network with others.

Be willing to introduce people to others you know who can help advance or forward their goals. When you have a networking event to attend, invite people to come with you that could benefit from expanding their network as well. The more you open up your network to others, the more you will find your own network expanding, and you might just be amazed at the incredible contacts you end up receiving from the most unlikely people.

Inspiring a person is worth far more than motivating a person.

You can motivate an employee with a raise, or a fancy title, and for a period of time they will feel motivated to work harder to show their appreciation. But after a little time passes they begin to forget the additional money and the fancier title because those have now become the “norm” and you’ll find that, once again, they are back to needing added motivation to take their performance to the next level. On the other hand if you inspire an employee by treating them with respect and frequently letting them know, in a sincere way, just how much you appreciate them and the contribution they are making, you will find that they are constantly motivated to continually increase their efforts on an ongoing basis. Inspiring others is the ultimate form of perpetual motivation.

Give honest feedback in a respectful and constructive way.

This is one of the most difficult things for people to learn to do well. Many people don’t like confronting issues and would rather dance around them, while those who do like confrontation often aren’t respectful or constructive in the way they give it. But those who can learn the skill of giving honest and open feedback in a constructive and uplifting way can have a tremendous impact on improving the lives of others. One trick that has helped me with giving good feedback is to always make sure that I am walking into the conversation with the mindset of truly caring about this person and wanting to genuinely help them to improve. If I go into the conversation with that motivation then my words naturally come out better. The more you give feedback to helps others improve, the more you will find that they will, in turn, open up to you and give you feedback that helps you to improve as well.

You have to be willing to put the needs of others first, even when it means you have to overlook your own wants.

“Marine leaders are expected to eat last because the true price of leadership is the willingness to place the needs of others above your own.” –Simon Sinek.

This particular point can be one of the most intimidating things to actually do because in the moment it feels so counterintuitive to put others needs above your own when doing so appears to require you to set aside your own desires.