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Thursday, November 8, 2012

An Honest Cheater

I want to share a story that will forever stay in my heart. One that has grown my appreciation for honesty and courage, and lastly.... one that has helped me find forgiveness.


A few years back, I had a boyfriend who I will call Fred in this blog. Fred and I were in a relationship for about 1 year in college. Our relationship was filled with love, laughter, great memories, and getting to know each other's culture and family. I'm not saying we were truly "in love," but I definitely will say we had a strong connection where we loved and appreciated each other as individuals. Fred treated me so well, honestly. He was caring, inclusive, bought me a bike for Christmas, welcomed me into his family, let me boss him around when I was in a spoiled mood, and supported me in every way possible. I became very close with his little sister, who eventually called me "big sis." Fred turned into a best friend, not just a boyfriend. I trusted Fred, and Fred trusted me.

About a year into the relationship, Fred and I eventually started growing a part. Inevitably like most college relationships, Fred and I broke up. There was no major heartbreak, but rather us just naturally growing a part and moving on with our lives that were going in two different directions. I was at peace with the break-up because like I said, I viewed our relationship as one with trust, honesty and  laughter... who could regret something like that? Fred and I remained friends, and I still stayed in touch with his family for awhile... but we eventually all just moved on with our lives and very rarely spoke.

About a year later, I got a phone call from Fred asking if I had some time to talk. A bit surprised because  I hadn't seen his name pop up on my phone for a long, long time, I said of course I have time to talk. I asked if everything was okay, and he said it was and that he just needed to get something off his chest. Fred told me that he had written a letter that he wanted to read to me. He said he wrote the letter to make sure he didn't forget any details, and also to make sure he said everything right. At this point, I was confused as hell. Fred wrote me a letter!?

Fred began to read the letter he wrote to me. I wish I remembered his exact words, but it started along the lines of how he enjoyed the time we spent together, and that he appreciated the person I was when we were in a relationship. He started telling me what he had been up to since he and I broke up, especially about his journey in becoming closer to God and his Christianity. Fred said by becoming closer to God and Jesus, he's realized so many things about himself, life and the world. In becoming closer to his spirituality, Fred told me he felt strongly compelled to confess all of his wrongdoings and ask for forgiveness. He told me that he wanted to tell me the truth about something that happened when we were together. My heart started beating a little faster... What was Fred about to tell me?


Then he hit me with it. "Kristin, I cheated on you.... twice."


My heart sunk. My eyes started filling with tears. My heart ached. It had been 1 year since Fred and I had broken up. Why did it hurt so much when he told me he cheated on me? Because I trusted Fred. Even after we had broken up, I always praised Fred to others... "Fred was the best, most loyal boyfriend I've ever had." "Fred treated me better than any one."


Fred continued reading his letter, his voice shaky because of what he was admitting to -- something shameful. Fred said he was so sorry for hurting me, but that he wanted to be honest. He said that he made stupid decisions which lead him to being unfaithful during the time we were together. Crying, I asked him when he did it and with who... and he told me everything. Fred told me that I deserved to know the truth, and that what he did when we were together was hurtful, unfair and not right. He said that he wanted to make things right by being honest.  Fred explained that he was trying to connect with everyone he's ever done anything wrong to and apologize for hurting them... and I was at the top of his list.

And then, his letter was over.

I got off the phone, and felt so betrayed and angry. Who did he think he was? I sat in bed for a long time... thinking, remembering, and wondering. Several hours went by, and I eventually fell asleep.

The next day when I woke up, I found myself immediately remembering the conversation I had with Fred the day before. But now, I wasn't angry. It dawned on me --- Although what Fred did when we were together was not honorable, he was probably the most honorable man I knew after that conversation... a person who was truly trying to become a better person. He admitted that he cheated twice. He admitted to his wrongdoings. He was trying to do what was right not just with me, but everyone else he's ever hurt. How many people really do that? How many people self-reflect and do something about their self reflections, especially the negative ones? How many people own their faults and try to make things better in the most honest way possible... which sometimes means simply, being painfully honest?


Fred is someone I will always respect. He cheated on me twice, but admitted to it and took accountability. We are human. We all make mistakes. We all have deep dark secrets. We all make poor choices that can cause pain to others.

BUTYou know what we also have? We all have the ability and capacity to own our mistakes, admit to our wrongdoings, make changes, and then be forgiven.








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Thank you, Fred. I've forgiven you.



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Just don't do it again.


:-)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Making it Happen.

 At any moment in time, you can stop in your tracks and decide you want change. You may not be happy with where you are. You may not be satisfied with what you're doing. You may not feel like you've reached your maximum potential.
 Good news is, you can change that... but only if you really want to.

A couple things to dig into and think about..

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First, how much do you honestly love yourself? Seems like a simple question, but it's really not. Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. Do you absolutely love, appreciate and cherish your mind, body, and spirit? What do you value about youself? Before you can change anything about your life, you got to love yourself first. And if you don't, this is the very first step you need to acheive before moving on to anything else.
Make a list of every single thing you love about yourself, and keep this list on you at all times.
 --- Humbly own the characteristics you love about yourself ---

Second,  what do you dislike about yourself? What do you want to work on? What are things you want to master to become a better person? Loyalty, passion towards something, honesty, communication skills, leadership.
Make a list of every thing you want to become.
--- You must know what you want in order to truly strive for it--

Third, make a plan with who you want to be as your end goal, create deadlines for yourself to get there, and....execute. Making things happen, aka execution, is tough. It's not easy - it takes work. It takes dedication, commitment, discipline and a whole lot of accountability. But if you want true change in your life, you will make it happen.
 --- You're the only one that can Make it Happen ---

Fourth, what brings you down? Unhealthy friendships, drugs, alcohol, procrastination, drama.... Get rid of all the things that are getting in your way. These things must go... this is a non-negotiable. Don't allow anything to get in your way... and if there are things getting in your way, hold yourself accountable to making those things disappear. Put your foot down and take control of your life by making the decision and acting on it to not be involved with negative energy. This is hard to do, especially if you've been living through negativity your whole life. Letting go of the negativity may be the most difficult thing you'll ever do, but it is the most necessary... if you want true change, that is. --- Surround yourself with positive energy... Make this one of your non-negotiables ---

Fifth, find mentors: one to nurture and cheer you on, one to smack the heck out of you when you're taking big steps backwards, one to advise you, and the most important one of all....
--- one you want to be like --- 

Sixth, hold yourself accountable to your plan.
 --- Don't let yourself, the most important person in your life, down ---

Seventh: Be proactively patient.
--- Enjoy every minute of this journey of becoming the person you want to be --- (See blog entitled "proactive patience")

 

Last but not least....
watch yourself become the best damn person you can be.



You got to make it happen.
You're the only one that can.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Your Story.

Everyone has their own story to tell. Our stories describe who we are and why. Our stories are made up of all memories and experiences (both conscious and subconscious) starting from the day we were born. As we grow older, our stories will become longer, deeper, and more complex. 


 The more you live... truly live... the more valuable your story becomes.  


Our lives are stories because they are meant to be shared. They are not meant for us to keep to ourselves. Our stories are meant to teach, guide and mentor others. This is what makes life so interesting.... every single one of us has something different to teach, to inspire. We each come from different places and we each have gone through different obstacles... and as a result, we each love differently, give differently and perceive differently. 

A lot of times we tend to form judgment towards others when their perspectives and views do not match our own. The reason we form judgment is because we do not stop and learn the other person's story first. If we first learned their story, we would understand their perspective much more... and therefore we would not be so inclined to judge because we now understand where they are coming from and why they perceive something the way they do.  


Do you believe that co-habitation is okay?  What experience do you have with co-habitation? Have you personally seen a couple live together first before marriage, and have witnessed it be a successful marriage? Or have you seen the opposite? How did that affect your perspective on co-habitation?

Do you believe in abortion? Have you ever had an abortion or know someone close to you that did? How did that affect your perspective on abortion?

What do you think about homosexuals? Are you homosexual? Do you know someone who is?  How has that affected your perspective on homosexuality?

Do you believe in religion? Were you raised a certain religion? Do your parents practice a certain religion or do not they not? How has that affected your perspective on religion?

Do you believe that divorce is okay? Are your parents divorced? How has that affected your perspective on divorce?



By learning someone's story, you're learning the whys behind their perspective. Not one person on earth has the right answer... not the president, not your mom, and not you. What we each DO have is our perspectives and what we've learned from what we've been through, what we've seen... and what has personally affected us.... our story.




Share your story and teach.
Listen to stories and learn.  




Sunday, July 22, 2012

Winning Sometimes Means Losing

Think back in your life.... what experiences have made you YOU?

The times you've won first place?
The times you've been happy?

The times you've been recognized as being the best at something?
The times you've received exactly what you wanted?



I personally LOVE winning first place.... I LOVE being happy.... I LOVE receiving recognition... And I love getting what I want. Through out my whole life, I've been pretty fortunate to experience all of the amazing feelings accompanied by the above. And I know as a result, I have grown and learned from these gratifying experiences. 

But you know what has truly created me? ... what has shaped my opinions, beliefs, values and perspective? What has taught me humility, appreciation, respect, true ambition and charisma
Those times I did not win first place... the times I lost.
The times I was not happy.... the times I felt sad and lonely.
The times I didn't get what I wanted so badly... the times I felt aggravated and mad at life.
The times I was not recognized.... the times I felt left out, not appreciated, not important.


In other words,

Winning sometimes means losing

When we feel defeated, we have to pick ourselves back up. We have no choice. We become STRONGER human beings when we go through a loss. We then work harder, dig deeper, think more critically, and challenge ourselves to step outside our box. When we are at low points in life, we are forced to pick ourselves back up and learn what we will do differently next time.



If we can look at "losing" as enriching and life-changing, we are not really losing! We are WINNING, because we are pushing ourselves to be stronger, wiser, and better



Be a winner, even if you lose.


(NOTE: If you continue to "lose" over and over at the same thing, the above does not apply. That's a whole other story. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Secret to Becoming Rich

The secret to becoming rich is no real secret at all.

It's not about working longer hours. It's not about marrying a rich man/woman. It's not about winning the damn lotto. It's not even about getting a better education.

It is simply about.. giving with genuine, selfless intentions

The key to giving is selflessness. Please, do not donate to a charity with the intentions of having good karma and becoming rich later on. The people I know who are truly rich, financially and emotionally, are the ones that give all they've got... money and love... for the purpose of truly helping others. These people do not even think about what they will get back in return later on. They give because they want to. It's these people who are the richest I know. They are happy, whole, at peace, full of love, and have just enough money they need to live how they want to. They've been blessed with money because they use it to help others.



Work hard and give selflessly. Love hard and give selflessly. And then, become rich.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Sweetest Revenge

 "Try to make him jealous... trust me, he'll come crawling back to you." "Screw her! You deserve better than that &^%$." "She's too immature and unappreciative for you, you deserve better." "Just go hook up with someone else, it'll help you get over him." 

I hear people all the time giving each other "this" type of advice on how to get revenge on an ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend. And, well....

I can guarantee that the above statements will not help you get over someone. If anything, that way of thinking will only put a band-aide over the wound... and on top of that, it's no way of working towards being the best person you can be. I don't care if someone has cheated on you or a friend has betrayed you... never wish someone bad. The sweetest revenge is doing the exact opposite -- it's sincerely wishing them the best and then bidding farewell.

I'm not saying this is easy... In fact, this is extremely hard to do. We are human, we are not perfect... When we are hurt, rejected or betrayed by someone else, our defenses automatically come up and we want the other person to feel what we are feeling. We become angry, resentful, and revengeful.

It takes maturity, faith, a damn good heart, and a wise mind to wish someone the best even if they hurt or betrayed you. 

You want to get over someone with dignity? You want to get the absolute sweetest revenge? 


 Wish them the best, truly... and then...

 move the hell on.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Balance... is the best.

It's easy to become addicted to something that makes you feel good in the moment. Food, a hobby, a person, exercising, friggin' FACEBOOK, even work sometimes (damn workaholics... I'm one of them), alcohol, partying.... Too much of anything can turn into being too much of really.. nothing.

Too much exercise can hurt your body.
Too much work can affect your social life.
Too much of someone can just make you annoyed of that person.
Too much food (even if it's healthy) can cause you to gain weight.

Too much of something, no matter how "healthy" it may seem, is not good for you.

That's why finding balance in life is so damn important. A lot of people have so many wants and desires.. but for some reason they feel like they "do not have time" to do what they want to do (get in shape, have a relationship, make more friends, see family more often, etc). One possible solution to this is finding a balance so you're not doing too much of one thing... and as a result, you'll make time for the other things you want to accomplish.

For my workaholics (like me!): Work only 8 hours a days. This way, you'll have time to work out a few times a week after you leave the office, you'll be able to go out to a social event one night a week and meet new people, and you'll actually have some time for yourself.

For my party people: Go out and party (and drink) only once a week. This way, you'll feel more energized everyday (because you'll be going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier), you'll have time to find activities that are more purposeful (not that partying isn't! :)), and you'll be limiting the amount of alcohol you're drinking (and cigarettes if you smoke). 

For my salsa dancers!!: As hard as this is (trust me I KNOW!!), go out dancing only once a week. This way, you'll actually be able to have a life outside the scene!!! I know first hand how hard it could be to resist the urge to go dancing. But, remember... too much of something is not good for you. Try to limit yourself to one night of dancing a week so you can have opportunities to do other activities to diversify yourself, meet other types of people, focus more on work, and focus more on yourself.

For my relationship people <3: Try to spend only 2 (maybe 3 but that's pushing it) days a week with your bf/gf. This will help you maintain your social life outside the relationship because you'll have more time to spend with friends, it will give you a chance to actually miss your bf/gf which will keep your relationship alive and passionate, and it will allow you time for just yourself.


(I'm not saying you should literally follow the limitations I listed above as far as amount of days/week for a certain activity. I'm just throwing examples out there to illustrate my point.)

If we overdo a certain activity or spend a ton of time being around someone we like, a lot of times we end up not feeling good about the activity or the person.. Why? Because we eventually start taking it/them for granted. Having a balanced life helps you appreciate what you love to do the most and who you love to be with the most. It helps you not take these things and people for granted.

Find balance in your life so you have time to do everything and anything you want to do.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Proactive Patience

What motivates my actions today is my faith in what's to come tomorrow.

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There is something about people who are patient. They are collected and calm, and they command this sense of respect. What I admire the most is when a person is proactively patient

Proactive patience is doing all that you can do to be the best person/employee/friend/parent/sibling/partner today, in preparation for amazing results tomorrow. Proactive patience is finding the balance between maximizing the present, enjoying the present and being thankful for what you have in the now, and planning, preparing and driving your future.

For example, your goal is to get to senior level management for a corporate company. Many people focus too much on just wanting to get that title and pay grade rather than maximizing their experience and journey it takes to get there, and the relationships made along the way. On top of that, while focusing too much on the future, they do a half-ass job in the present. On the contrary, proactively patient people become experts at what they do in the now... because they understand that the knowledge and expertise they gain in the now will be the driving force to what elevates them to the next level.. say, senior management level. They know that without becoming experts at what they do now, they will never be able to become experts at what they do at the next level in the future.

Proactive patience applies to all areas of life.. not just the professional world. It may be even more important in your personal life..

For example, you want to find the man/woman of your dreams. You want a relationship, you want to give yourself to someone, you want to fall in love. So many people go out of their way and search for that person, sometimes even making themselves believe that they are "in love" with someone when they really are not.  The most successful couples I've witnessed, however, are the ones who focused first on making themselves, individually, the best they can be in the now, so that they can be the best partner to someone else in the future. They were being proactively patient in "the now".

 By being proactively patient, you are deliberately planning and executing daily routines, activities, and challenges, and working as hard you can in the now... with the intent of reaching a certain goal in the future. 

In other words....

Proactive patience is deliberately setting yourself up for future success... but enjoying every minute of the journey you take to get there.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Leadership... a Blessing and a Curse.

Being a leader is a blessing and a curse. It's a blessing because we are given the opportunity to be in a position to change people's lives.. It's a curse because sometimes we have to be someone we are not.

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As a leader, we have to do whatever it takes to motivate, push, inspire, coach, and develop our team... to bring them to places they've never been. To push them outside their comfort zone. To show them the way to greatness. How do we do this?

There are 3 sides to a leader - who we are. who we want to be. who we need to be. 

The most important of the 3 sides of a leader is who they NEED to be. This is why being a leader is so challenging-- a lot of times, who we NEED to be is not who we naturally are. A leader who is naturally relationship-oriented sometimes needs to be more of a driver when put in position to fix a process that is broken. A leader who is naturally a strong driver for results needs to be more relationship-oriented when put in a position of addressing culture/morale problems. A leader who is naturally more hands-off sometimes needs to be more micro-managerial when they are given a team that has never been held accountable.

This is why leadership can be a curse - it's hard to alter our natural style/approach to fit what a team needs... But, the best leaders have the ability to do it.

Take a dialed, solid team. The leader of this team doesn't need to be micro-managerial, but instead be more of a cheerleader and guider. The leader of this team can take a step back and allow the team members to flourish, create and implement ideas, be innovative and creative. This team is self-directed.

Take a team that has been struggling and unaccountable for quite some time. The leader of this team needs to be micro-managerial, needs to over-validate, needs to be more aggressive in driving results, and needs to be extremely close to each team member's development. Even though the team may totally dislike and feel annoyed with how close the leader is to their work, in the end when the team becomes dialed and the team members find themselves so much stronger, on point and better leaders themselves, they will thank their leader for being so involved and hands-on. And the ones that can't take the heat will eventually walk out of the kitchen anyway (which is a good thing). Once this team becomes solid, it is now on the right path to become a self-directed team... and the leader can now start taking steps back into a cheerleader/guider role.

One goal of leadership is to develop teams so that they can function just as well (if not better) without the leader present... to develop their team so much that they can say.."shit, who needs a leader when we got our team?" 

We know that we, as leaders, have done all we can do for our team when they are now the leader of the team. And before you know it, the entire team is made up of leaders... Who needs followers? I don't. I need leaders.


And it's my job to create those leaders. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

The One and Only, You.

Single and ready to mingle? In a relationship with someone? Currently dating? In an open relationship?  Hmmm.
<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3


What about this one...

Single and, happy being with just yourself? 

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There is nothing wrong with being alone. On the contrary, there's everything right in being alone. I think that a lot of people miss out on being just with themselves.. chillin' with just yourself.. going to the movies with just yourself... spending weekends with just yourself.. and relying just on ... you guessed it... yourself.

In order to be fully and completely happy in a relationship with someone else, you gotta be fully and completely happy in the relationship you have with yourself first. It's so easy to get distracted or preoccupied by the gifts other people bring into your life... happiness, laughter, pleasure, attention, affection, love, nurture.. these are all wonderful gifts that we are privileged to receive from other people, and we should cherish and value these things.

But what happens the moment these gifts are taken away, discontinued or just one day stop happening? I can guarantee that while unconditional love from other people does exist, it's absolutely nothing you can depend on. You can only depend on one thing... and one thing only.

Your own unconditional love.

Before you can have any successful relationship (platonic or romantic), you have to first work on and perfect the relationship you have with yourself.

It's funny though, because being with just yourself is a friggin' hard thing to do for a lot of people, including myself (but I'm working on it). It's so much easier to be around other people and feed off their energy, to receive compliments that make you feel good, to go out and have fun with friends... this is easy to do! What's hard is being with yourself in solarity and feeding off your own energy, giving yourself compliments that make you feel good, and going out and having fun by yourself. This is hard because it's scary being alone. There's no one there to distract you from things you might've been hiding from from a long, long time.

The cue that tells us we can be happy and satisfied with someone else is the moment we realize we are able to live happily, comfortably and satisfied alone. And watch, once you are able to get to the point where you are best friends with yourself, you won't yearn so much for the presence of someone else. Don't ya love the irony here, people!

Being single and ready to mingle is fun (trust!!), and relationships (platonic or romantic) are fulfilling and wonderful, but all are almost a waste of time if, at the end of the day, you're not totally secure, happy and comfortable with just...




yourself.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Angels on Earth

She raised 5 kids in a 3 bed, 1 bathroom home in San Francisco. She's gone to church every Sunday for the past, well actually, her whole life. She sings in the choir every Sunday. She keeps a kitchen that always has tons of home cooked Arabic food ready to eat. She won't be happy until you are completely, overwhelmingly stuffed with her food. She has the most beautiful smile and caring eyes. She is probably the most popular senior citizen I know, as her telephone line is always busy (she has a ton of girlfriends from church). She loves watching her soap operas, especially Days of Our Lives. She loves to dance. She won't go to sleep until she knows that each and every one of her children are safe. She is the glue that keeps my family so tight. She is charming, warm hearted and a wonderful human being.

She is my Teta.





It's so important to treasure and appreciate the people in our lives who have been there for us.. the people who love us and the people who would sacrifice anything for us. The individuals in our lives who protect, love and guide us are, in other words, our angels. This is what angels do... love, protect and guide. Many times we don't realize that we have many angels here on earth.. whether they are our parents, grandparents, friends, a co-worker, mentor, professor, neighbor or a significant other.

Teta is one of my special angels here on earth. And there's nothing, and I mean nothing, I wouldn't do for her.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

If it wasn't for you.


If it wasn't for you... what would it be?

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There's always talk about companies and organizations mission statements and reasons for being. But what about our own, individual, personal mission statement or reason for being? Our reason for being is the one most important thing we own.  And the cool thing is, we can chose what that is... and then make it happen.


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Why are you here?   What is your purpose in life? What mark are you going to make on this earth? What are your goals, desires, passions?

When I ask people these questions, so many of them have said, "You know..I don't know, I never really thought about it," or "To be happy," or "To become a millionaire" or "To live until I'm 100" ... I can't help but think, "That's it?" Being happy and wealthy and dying old are things we all want -- that's a given.. we should all strive for happiness, health and wealth. But, a "life purpose" is so much deeper than to just achieve that.

To me, a life purpose is bringing something to this world that otherwise would not have happened if it wasn't for you.

It could be really tricky sometimes figuring out what your purpose here on earth is. And for a lot of us, it could take years to figure this out. These are the steps I took to figure out my life's purpose... Maybe it will help you too.

Find out what you are truly passionate about... for example, dancing, helping others, the environment, medicine, therapy, music, sports, etc.... and then, figure out a way you can make an IMPACT on whatever it is your passionate about. Figure out a way to create positive change towards your passion... change that would not otherwise happen if it wasn't for you

After you figure out how to create this change (keep reading to see examples), re-create your life to where your life's purpose is aligned with your daily habits and actions. Once you do this, you'll be so much happier... because you're living a life based on what you're passionate about. What can really be better than that?

We can change some aspect of the world by simply being that change. Want to stop world hunger? Start an organization that feeds the homeless. Wish the earth was cleaner? Start a group that picks up trash through out your city, or even take a walk everyday down your street to pick up trash. Wish that more minority youth would attend college? Become a mentor to one. These are just a few examples of being that change you wish to see, even if it seems small. Small things taken together can and will have a HUGE impact. 

By pursuing things you are passionate about and contemplating what you want our world to be like for your kids and grandkids in 50 years, you can formulate your life's purpose.

Create change that otherwise would not have happened if it wasn't for you.

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If it wasn't for you, what would it be? 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Genchi Genbutsu.

What the ______ is Genchi Genbutsu?? Don't worry, I thought the same thing. Read on :).

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I never realized until recently how much we are influenced by what others have to say. I'm not saying it's necessarily a horrible thing to be influenced, actually. Hopefully, you surround yourself by intelligent, honest and good hearted people.. so if you were to be influenced, it's coming from the right place. On the contrary, the worst is when we allow ourselves to be influenced in the wrong way.

Regardless of who is influencing you, how you are being influenced, or if it's a "good" or "bad" influence.... I encourage you to genchi genbutsu. Always.
(Pronounced: gen-chee gen-boot-sue)

What the hell is genchi genbutsu? Good question! That's exactly what I thought when I heard the term. Genchi genbutsu is a Japanese term that translates to "actual place, actual thing." In other words, it means "go look, go see." In my words, it means "go find out for yourself."

Don't let yourself be influenced by what others say, even if their intentions are good. Don't allow your mind to form judgement, opinions, or most importantly, make decisions based off of what others tell or share with you. Don't fall into this trap. To me, genchi genbutsu is the way to go, always, when it comes to solving problems, finding out information or forming opinions.

If Mary thinks Joe has a problem with her, she should go straight to Joe to find out (instead of asking 3 different people if they think Joe has a problem with her). If the problem exists on the sales floor, it'll be most effectively understood and solved on the sales floor (instead of in a conference room at some corporate office hundreds of miles away). If your friends are saying that Sarah is annoying, go find out for yourself if you think Sarah is annoying.

I'm not saying that we shouldn't welcome other people's views, opinions, arguments, etc. I am definitely not saying this. If you know me, you'd know that I love to share and hear other people's ideas, philosophies, viewpoints, etc. (Oooh and how I love to debate.) What I'm saying is to be conscious, aware and proactive. Always genchi genbutsu and encourage others to do the same when you share an opinion about something.


Lastly, and my favorite part of all...:

On top of everything else, genchi genbutsu proves that gossiping is useless, pointless, dumb, a waste of time, and totally unproductive. (In fact, to me, the only thing that comes out of gossiping is bad karma... but that's a whole other subject.) If you understand what I'm talking about with genchi genbutsu and why it's so important, you'll see that gossiping is completely counter productive.. You're basically asking for others to form opinions for you. Do yourself a big favor and stay away from gossip. And if YOU ever find yourself gossiping, you have my permission to slap yourself, gently and purposefully, in the face. Crap, did I just say that?

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How do I know genchi genbutsu-ing works? Because after hearing about it from one of the most inspiring professors I've ever had, I genchi genbutsu-ed the genchi genbutsu process to see for myself if it works. And yes, it works. :)


Now, you know what you got to go do.. Go genchi genbutsu.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Don't lose your GUT.

Contrary to popular belief, I think that you should keep your gut instead of trying to lose it. Having a gut is good for you!

No, no, people people!!! I'm not talking about your TUMMY gut... I'm talking about your MIND gut.
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We are so much smarter than we think we are. Our brain is such a powerful instrument that can do some crazy cool things... We just need to learn how to use and embrace it.

We have something in us that can produce magical things, if used correctly...that's our intuition. I highly respect and admire individuals who allow their gut feelings to guide them in their decision making. This type of individual is confident in themselves. They understand that while gathering information and asking for others viewpoints is important, keeping their intuition at the forefront is just as powerful. Sometimes, they even make decisions based solely off what their gut is telling them. And they are okay if their intuition turns out to be wrong because they know that their intentions were sound.  How freaking awesome are these people? Pretty freaking awesome.

In school, we are taught to analyze facts, gather data, conduct experiments, and do research.... all great things, but do you notice a trend? None include using your own brain power, your own conscious, nor your own intuition. How easy is it to pick up a book and read? How easy is it to do research? To read what other people have come up with? To write an essay based off of factual information? Or shoot, to write an essay about someone else's intuition? Yeah, it might take a lot of time to do all the above, but it doesn't require using your conscious.

Do you think think karma exists? Why do you think the divorce rate is so high? Is your girlfriend/boyfriend cheating on you? Is there really a God? Is so-and-so telling the truth? All evidence and theory aside, what does your gut tell you?

Something we don't learn about in school is the adaptive unconscious, which Malcolm Gladwell talks about in his book, Blink. The adaptive unconscious is a fancy shmancy word that describes intuition. It is basically our capability of making very quick judgments based on very little information. This rapid cognition is real and is happening to us 24/7, but we have learned to ignore it. We have learned to not trust our natural instincts unless there is hard evidence/lots of information to support it. The irony is that a lot of times our snap judgments and first impressions can make much more sense of the world than anything else.

My gut tells me that I'm supposed to be home in northern California (even though I miss Long Beach so incredibly much). My gut tells me who are good guys and who aren't. My gut tells me that I made the right choice in choosing to work for Target (even though I was job offered by a few other good companies). My gut tells me who I should and shouldn't trust.

My gut hasn't always been right though. And that's okay. Intuition is not a guaranteed telling of something. No one can tell the future, see through walls, read minds, etc. Intuition is simply having trust in your own spirit. To some people, intuition is God talking to them.

The coolest thing about intuition, I think, is that it's yours and yours alone. Following your intuition is a solo move - you act on what you are telling yourself to do, without anyone else's influence. The more you embrace your intuition, the more and more self-confident and self-dependent you become. Pretty awesome stuff. My gut tells me that I should trust my gut... not even sure if that makes sense, but I have a gut feeling that it does.

What is your gut telling you?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Present is a Gift.

The present is a giftIt really is.

If you pay close attention to your thoughts, how many of them are of the past or future? Driving to work, laying in bed trying to fall asleep, showering, getting ready for the day... If you were to take inventory of your thoughts, how many times would you check off thoughts of the past or thoughts of the future? I know I, personally, would have lots of checks next to those two categories.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the past or of the future. We ponder about what happened yesterday, last week, last month, last year. We think about the rest of our lives - where we will be, what we will be doing, who we will be with. And we analyze why things have happened the way they did. Don't get me wrong, it's always good to think about the past to gather what we learned from certain experiences. And, thinking about the future is a good thing too - we should be strategic in our everyday decisions in order to get to the places we want to get to.

But, we can't forget about the now, which is probably just as, if not more, important as bringing closure to past experiences and dreaming of our future.

Ever just sit for 5, 10, shoot, 15 minutes and just... look around? Okay, okay. I know you might look kind of creepy just sitting and staring. But, well... just try not to look creepy. Anyway, what I mean is... sitting, feeling, and being in the present... appreciating your present state of mind, the nature around you, your ability to breath, the air, the sky, the clothes on your body that keep you warm, the lamp that is on to provide you lighting, having freedom. When we focus our energy on the past or the future, we forget about the blessings we have been given in the now.

"When one door closes, another door opens." Yes, cliche and probably a tad cheesy, but it's true. What I realize is I can't move on from something until I let it goMany times we hang on to things that are no longer a part of our present. I think that we hang on to things because sometimes we are scared to let them go. By letting something go, we open the door to the unknown and unfamiliar... which really, are just new opportunities, new experiences, new people. If you want to meet new people, experience new things, and receive new opportunities, but for some reason it's not happening... try letting go of something (or everything, but baby steps!!) you are hanging onto from your past and start focusing your energy on the now, and I betcha you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Appreciate and learn from your past experiences, and by all friggin' means be excited about your future... But most importantly, live in the present.

The past is gone - we can't do nothin' about it. The future is out of our hands.. shoot, it's not even guaranteed. But the present is here and now. And we should cherish that.


Live this, and you'll receive new gifts every moment of your life... because the present is a gift.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mean girls finish last.


Disclaimer: This post is directed towards the men who are NOT obnoxious assholes that are just trying to see how many numbers they can get in one night. Ladies, you could go ahead and knock those guys out. This post is for the gentlemen out there.

Also, what I talk about in this post really goes both for dudes and chicks, I just see it happen way more often to guys.

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Girls piss me off sometimes.. The ones that don't appreciate the courage it takes for a man to approach her. Time and time again, whether at a bar, a club, a coffee shop, school, or wherever, I've seen guys get turned down, rejected, or straight up ignored. I mean, of course by approaching someone you are taking the risk of getting rejected... that's a given. But what I don't like is when chicks rudely and ignorantly turn someone down, when they take for granted that someone thinks they are attractive, appealing in some way, interesting... or that someone is willing to take the risk of getting rejected just to talk to them.

I give major props to the guys out there who have the courage to try to spark a random conversation with a woman, ask for a dance, or shoot, ask to buy them a drink. I mean, come on! Someone is wanting to spend money on you... someone is asking you if they could buy you a drink! Be thankful and appreciative that someone wants to do this for you. Don't act annoyed or rude. By no means am I saying fake it and accept their approach, let them buy you a drink, dance with them or give them your number. If you're not interested, that is totally fine! All I am saying is act, and more importantly, actually be, appreciative, honored and flattered. If you aren't interested in them... all you have to do is so say in a nice and humble way. You don't even have to make up an excuse for not being interested. All I am saying is... be thankful and act/be gracious to whoever is willing to take the risk of getting rejected... for you.

I have a few guy friends who refuse to approach a female. I always tell them, "who cares, just go talk to her. Be cool and a gentleman and it's all good!" They'd say that girls get approached all the time and all they do is turn guys away, and that they refused to be one of them. They'd say, "if a girl wanted to talk to me, then she could come up to me." I, honestly, don't blame guys for feeling/thinking this way. I think we've all witnessed men getting ignored or rudely rejected.. so who really could blame them?

Women don't realize how much power they have over men. Or how easily they could make a guy feel humiliated, not good enough, not attractive enough, etc. Knowing this, we could find ways to make a point to tell them that we are not interested, but in a way that doesn't ruin their night or make them feel insecure about themselves.

And ya know what? The people who are mean, rude, unappreciative... they will get theirs.

In the long run, mean girls finish last. In the long run, nice girls finish first. 


Cliff Note Equations:
Bitchy girls= Bitchy karma
Nice girls= Nice karma
(It's that simple)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Bucket List


This list keeps on growing and growing..

All the things I want to do before I die (in no particular order):


Black Belt in Jujitsu
Become fluent in Arabic
Run a Half Marathon
Learn to horseback ride

Buy a horse
Become a millionaire (by 35, crossing fingers)

Become fluent in Spanish
Learn how to Salsa dance
Start an organization to help build confidence in others
Win a competition
Go on a cruise
Start a blog

Write a book
Write and Publish Teta’s cookbook
Travel to Palestine
Travel to Italy
Travel to at least one country in each continent of the world
Start a company
Ride on a hot air balloon
Live in a 3rd world country for at least 3 months
Buy mom and dad each a bad-ass present
Create and publish my own font
Buy a house in full cash
Be on television
Live as a homeless person for a week
Live in the wilderness without any supplies for 3 days
Go to Las Vegas
Graduate college
Masters in something
Become a doctor of something
Be the valedictorian of masters program
Live in another state
Road trip across the US
Save someone’s life
Make HeadSTRONG world-wide
Be swept off my feet
Go to the airport, pick a random flight and travel there
Learn debka
Find Tiger Woods and Arnold Schwarzenegger and slap them
Find Angelo Mozilo and slap him
Donate $1M to charity
Visit my birthplace, Connecticut
Stand underneath a waterfall
Go skinny dipping
Ride a camel and an elephant
Meet the Spice Girls
Cliff dive
Ride a gondola in Venice
 Salsa dance in New York
Swim with dolphins
Learn how to sail
Pet a lion
Attend a gay pride festival
Stomp grapes in a vineyard
Visit Lucille Ball’s gravesite
See the Phantom of the Opera
Marry the man I’m head over heels for
Learn sign language
Have a big family
Go zip lining
Buy Michelle and her parents an awesome present
Visit all 50 of the United States
Fire a pistol
Be at Time’s Square on New Year’s Eve
Visit Dubai
Have a star named after me
Be in a music video
Become a bad ass in poker (first, learn how to play it)
Discover what makes me truly happy

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Going out of your way goes A LONG way.

Too often we take the easy route. We choose to stay in instead of making it out to a friend's party, we have to do laundry which means we can't go to the networking event, it's too far so we don't go because we don't want to make the drive, there's so many people going to the graduation party so it doesn't really matter if we show up or not... In other words, we don't go out of our way because it's easier not to.

Making acquaintances is easy. But creating and building relationships and true friendships is not... it takes work. It takes energy, time and a genuine interest in getting to know someone and in letting them get to know you. So many times I've made excuses not to go to certain events or call a certain person back just because it means I'd have to go out of my way. But I have done so at a high cost.

Have you ever went to someone's birthday party and the following day they let you know how much it meant to them that you went? Or when you went to support a friend's fundraiser and a year later in conversation they told you that they'll never forget that you came. Or when you stayed an extra 30 minutes on the phone to let your friend vent to you... and then they let you know that because they were able to talk to you, their whole day turned around.

Going out of your way goes a long way.

Once I started going out of my way, so many great things have happened to me. I have gained an infinite amount of genuine relationships with wonderful people. I continue to learn more about myself and life. I have supporters in whatever I do. I also have "contrarians" that always challenge my opinions. And I always have someone to call.

I have become, and continue to become, more than just an acquaintance with so many different kinds of people, which in turn, gives me a more diverse perspective on life. Some people think that having only a handful of good friends is better than having lots and lots of friends... I 100% disagree. The more people you get to know on a personal level, the more you learn about diversity, life, and about yourself. I am the person I am today because of the tons of amazing individuals I have gotten to know on a personal level.. Before I became friends with lots of different people, I was pretty sheltered in the way I thought about things. 

The more people I get to know, the more I learn and grow, and I know that they learn and grow from knowing me.

Go out of your way to build friendships and relationships. It'll go a long way, trust me.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Choices.

Choices... We have so many of them. So many that it could drive us crazy! It's pretty incredible how our lives are literally shaped by the choices we make, isn't it? We have the power to create any life we want simply by making choices... and acting on them.

We can wake up in the morning and choose to make it a great day. And then, make it a great day.
and
We can wake up in the morning and choose not to make it a great day. And then, not make it a great day.

We can make our days great regardless of what happens. There will always, always, always and... you guessed it... ALWAYS be events that will occur that may make it a little difficult, or sometimes very difficult, to make days great. Getting fired, broken up with, in a car accident, or injured are just a few nice little examples of events that can, scratch that, will occur.  These events are "conveniently" inevitable. Let's face it, this is life.

My friend's car got broken into last week, and my purse was stolen. Two days went by, and I still found myself so livid and frustrated with the situation. But then I realized that I was choosing to react that way. I snapped myself out of it, and then chose to take it as a lesson learned and move the heck on. I made choices and then acted on them.

I had planned for over a year to leave this August for the Peace Corps. I even had turned down a few job offers. Then, just a few weeks ago I find out that my program was cut because of budget cuts. I was SO heartbroken. For about a day. And then I made a choice to move on and grab another great opportunity by its balls. I acted on this choice, and within a week I secured a great job at a killer company. Why? Because I made choices... and acted on them.


It's up to only you, as an individual, to make choices. 

Make positive choices that make days great... no matter what convenient event may occur.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The one question..

I haven't been asked another question more in my life than the one I've had to answer in the past few months by family, friends, classmates, professors, etc... "So... why are you joining the Peace Corps?" It's funny, because although I've had to answer this question tons of times, I still don't know exactly how to answer it. How do you explain intuition?? That feeling deep down in your heart, mind and soul? I know that sounds cheesy, but it's so true! There are the obvious reasons -- to help in another place on earth,  experience a life changing adventure, to grow and learn, spread awareness, to learn about a different culture, to take part in positive change, etc... But really, there are tons of different avenues to fulfill those reasons. When others ask, "Can't you just particpiate in one of those volunteer programs that last a few months instead of 2 years??" Well, yes I can. But, since I'm a big believer in following your intuition... I'm following that gut feeling about PC that puts a smile on my face every time I feel it. I am excited, happy, and anxious for my departure (which is tentatively scheduled August 2011). I am also nervous and scared shitless! This is something that I've heard so many crazy stories about, something that, when I was younger, never ever pictured myself doing, and something that seems so far away, yet is approaching so soon. Right now, I need support, guidance and  wise words... (oh, and some cash would be nice!)


I've been nominated for Latin America, Business Advising, August 2011. I'm patiently waiting to receive my medical forms so I can start the medical review process. I had to complete a "pre-medical evaluation" first before starting the "regular" medical review. So, that's what I'm doing now.. waiting to pass the pre-medical review part, which should be fine. Also, I've heard that several volunteers that were initially nominated for Latin America ended up serving else where. So, I'm crossing my fingers that my region nomination, Latin America, won't be changed.. but who knows? Leaving it in God's hands.

I got my nomination letter in September 2010 for my departure of August 2011.. At that time, Aug 2011 seemed SO far away! I thought to myself, "I have almost one whole year before I leave." Well, let me just say that since then, the months have never gone by faster. I graduate from CSULB in May, move back home in June.. then, depart in August... Life is so unpredictable though, isn't it? I may be typing all of this, setting my heart and soul on it, planning for it, and truly believing that is what I'm going to do. But who really knows what'll happen tomorrow? So, for now.. I'm going to leave it at this.. PC is something that I have an amazing feeling about and that I do have my heart and soul set on... If it's meant to be, I'll be leaving in August to a third world country for 27 months  as a PC volunteer. If it's not meant to be, then wherever I end up and whatever I end up doing.. it will be meant to be ....

..........

(But please cross your fingers for the PC :] )