For Black Women: Don’t Ever Ask For Permission To Live

Spring is coming. Well, up here in the Northeast it’s coming. I’m sure for those of you around the country (or world) the weather is different. Could be blazing hot right now, eh?

I haven’t been pro-active enough lately, or the last couple of months. I think I’ve spent more of it catching up, because I’ve let so many personal things go by the wayside. I’m a procrastinator. It’s true. 🙂

I want to encourage those of you who are feeling a bit blue to look forward to the next few months, or years, of your life. I think the last two or three years have been a wake up call. We’re seeing relatively “young” celebrities, rich folk, public intellectuals and entertainers die way way way before their time. And here we are simple, regular folk, slogging through each day wondering how people with “everything” could pass so easily.

There you have it: even the wealthy, famous and “perfect” can suddenly die.

Oh, I meant to cheer you up. Sorry. 🙂

I want to encourage you. Push you. Gently. To refocus.

Think about what you want. What you want! What you NEED. What you DESIRE. What you feel you DESERVE.

You ain’t here to please nobody. So don’t let any naysayers, toxic people, or the crabs in your life know about your wishes. Only share it with those who really do love you.

And that’s another thing. Please run away, right now, from anybody who makes you feel less than. Who leaves a bad taste in your mouth after every discussion. A “frank” conversation shouldn’t leave you feeling sad, sorrowful, down-in-the-dumps or DISCOURAGED!

I meant this to be short, but I’m asking all of you to think of yourselves. Treat yourself better. Love yourself. Find people who adore you to surround you. And tell the vampires in your life to hit the road. There are people out there who are NOT entitled to invade your personal space or life.

Okay?

Make that list. Follow through. Do what pleases you. Do the impossible. And remember: Don’t ever ask for permission to live.

Take good care of yourself.

Cheers. 😀

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Ladies, Is He Good Enough For You?

As we often see in the news, or experienced based on observation, plenty of men reach powerful positions, have a lot of responsibilities, and will be totally, absolutely morally deficient. They will be amoral, immoral, with a massive touch of egotism. Oh, they’re Alpha Males alright, better known as dogs, not wolves. Dogs are wonderful animals, but you know I mean the two legged kind. 🙂

Ladies, don’t ever let anyone tell you that “everyone does it” or “all men are the same.” Have some standards. The media likes to plate up degeneracy like it’s the latest delicacy. All you’ll get is food poisoning down the road. Imagine the kind of society they are pushing us towards.

Has shame gone out of style? Do we really want to continue lowering the bar until adults have sexual relations with small children and call that progressiveness? Imagine a society where no one shows impulse control, like everybody driving through red lights, or drunk and high. Would you feel safe?

A society without moral codes and mutual trust yields chaos and bedlam. I’ve lived through two blackout with riots. I’m not exaggerating when I say those aren’t fun experiences. Imagine living with that all the time. And we know there are places around the world where this is the case.

I don’t know what it will take to stave off further decay in this society. We need a society full of strong families with honest people. Everyone has flaws. Everyone makes mistakes. But a world where people relish a world without any sort of decency ethos yields a declining standard of living for everyone. Without stability what we’ll get is … well, think of those Zombie Apocalypse books and movies having an element of truth to them.

We cannot predict the future. We cannot always assume what’s in the hearts of people. But you cannot have a decent life with someone who has no shame, feels no guilt, likes to tell a lot of little lies, stealing, bullying or cutting corners. He’s not worthy of you if he’s freely giving everyone around him the shaft. (Pun intended).

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Black Women: Please Yourself First

Note: This is a random rant.

I’m a selfish person. I’m not afraid to admit that. It’s probably because I’m the last child, the only girl, and spoiled rotten. I’m generous, friendly or kind – when it suits me.

Guilt Gets One Nowhere.

I’ve racked my brain to find instances of when I’ve pitched in, because I got “guilt tripped” into something I really didn’t want to do. Outside of my immediate family, and a best friend or two, it doesn’t happen. I will help people, but I don’t make a big deal out of any time, resources, and money given to causes I believe in.

However, anyone who comes at me with a “I gotta do such and such for groups X, Y, and Z”, since I am a woman who happens to be black will get that person nowhere. I’ll just smile at you sweetly, and say softly, “No, thank you.” I will take off. I wont hover around waiting for someone! anyone! to try and persuade me that I need to do something out of obligation to folks or “causes” I don’t care about, and probably never will.

I only worry about things that are of concern and interest to me, or within my control. I don’t apologize for that mindset. People who use guilt tripping are the biggest users you will ever encounter. Their awareness of this particular problem means that they should be organizing and managing it themselves, or if they want your help – they need to suggest a financial – yeah, I’m talking money – benefit you will reap from it.

Ever notice that whenever a celebrity supports a cause – they always go looking for time and money from their fans? Think about that for a second….

Your Time Isn’t Free.

I’m suggesting you be (a nice) mercenary. It wont make you a mean girl. You are simply teaching others how to RESPECT you. It can be done in the sweetest, most polite manner ever witnessed in a black woman. ‘Cause you know how everyone thinks we’re all crazy angry bitches. Right? :)

All that giving you’ve done, which will supposedly enrich you “spiritually” is nonsense. You are being used. If you are being volunteered for something people are usually compensated for – get PAID or get OUT of it. You have other and better things to do.

Another subtle con folks love to run on black women is the implication that helping others for FREE will help others LIKE you, because otherwise no one will. That’s the worst kind of emotional blackmail and sabotage. Folks like people for all sorts of reason, how much they can use you should never be one of them.

Demanding Busybodies Need to Sit Down.

People who spend their free time monitoring the activities of others, followed by demanding that they must fulfull obligations that no one has AGREED to are parasitic.

If you want people to do something that you can do, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

If you want people to DONATE to a cause that you can reach into your own pockets, then DO IT, and leave them alone.

The worse thing(s) I’ve seen online are the number of people who always has a job for black woman to spend HER time, resources and money on.

Yo! Slavery ended over 145 years ago. Let’s not backslide.

Black Women: It Is Okay to Get Paid.

I also want to say this: black women have the RIGHT to be paid, compensated, reimbursed, acknowledged, and thanked for any endeavors they participate in.

If she asks for funds, no one should recoil in horror and claim that this black woman is a hustler, pimp, gold digger, prostitute, or looking to dupe everybody. Let’s cut that nonsense out right now.

If one likes how she performs, PAY her. If one doesn’t, then leave her alone.

Folks love to get up in arms the minute a black woman puts a price on her labor – like she doesn’t have the right to be compensated. They’re stingy paying her – crying poverty – and will take advantage of enjoying her services / products for free, but will doggone find enough money to buy a pair of Christian Louboutins in a heartbeat.

Oy, I exaggerate.

Are people out of their minds? Why should she labor for free? Why is this demand always laid at the door(s) of black women? Economic deprivation is not a sign of spiritual purity anymore than wealth is indicative of a devious nature. If you believe that: you’ve been had.

I say, even if she’s not asking for dough, lucre, bucks, or money – send her some, buy her stuff, and tell her thank you. Otherwise, leave her the hell alone.

  • Let’s start picturing black women with wealth, health, and good spirits as normal and usual.
  • Let’s picture that as a progressive, or conservative if you prefer, trend that needs to be promoted, supported, and endorsed.
  • Let her be selfish for her own sake.
  • Let’s respect her time.
  • Let her earn her monies, and not begrudge her what she wants out of life.

Have a good one. :)

Note: This is a random rant.

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Harvard Business Review: Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Heidi Grant Halvorson writes:

Why have you been so successful in reaching some of your goals, but not others? If you aren’t sure, you are far from alone in your confusion. It turns out that even brilliant, highly accomplished people are pretty lousy when it comes to understanding why they succeed or fail. The intuitive answer — that you are born predisposed to certain talents and lacking in others — is really just one small piece of the puzzle. In fact, decades of research on achievement suggests that successful people reach their goals not simply because of who they are, but more often because of what they do.

The details of each item can be found here: Harvard Business Review.  I didn’t exerpt the entire article, because I don’t copy and paste people’s work. The nine items listed are as follows:

1. Get specific

My response: I’ve assumed that goals I’ve accomplished didn’t require specificity. Yet, now that I think of it, when I was specific (even down to the date of achievement) I got what I wanted. So I will go back to my list(s) and include details.

2. Seize the moment to act on your goals

My response: That is so correct. The years can fly by, especially in my case, when one doesn’t jump on the ball. Even acting on it a few minutes a day gets the goal(s) accomplished.

3. Know exactly how far you have left to go

My response: This is a great project management point: Where am I in achieving this goal(s)?

4. Be a realistic optimistic

My response: So I cannot be a billionaire and master of all domains? Dang. I’ll take off a few zeroes, that should do the trick. 🙂

5. Focus on getting better, rather than being good

My response: I don’t see myself as a perfectionist. Yet I do get into that mindset of “it has to be much much better than this” and as a result nothing will get started or finished.

6. Have grit

My response: I’m a wimp sometimes. Gotta work on that. 🙂

7. Build your willpower muscle

My response: Still wimpy.

8. Don’t tempt fate

My response: No! But I’m different! I’m not like everyone else. I’m special! The rules of reality don’t apply to me. 🙂

9. Focus on what you will do, not what you won’t do

My response: That is perfect. I think a lot of us spend too much time and mental energy on what (or who) we don’t like. I think the hardest thing to do is keep your mind engaged on the positive. Focusing too much on the negative drains your energy, drains your spirit, and then nothing gets done.

Harvard Business Review: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/02/nine_things_successful_people.html

Spring Cleaning

It’s coming! Time to clean out the cobwebs from our mental and emotional closets! 🙂

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The George Costanza Method

One of my all-time favorite shows, when I bother to contemplate and can recall it, is Seinfeld. In the beginning, when it was the Seinfeld Chronicles, I used to wonder how long it would last before NBC killed it. It was incredibly funny in a New York area inside-joke kind of way.

In the beginning, the show had low ratings, and there was an air of a show trying to feel itself and what its niche was. The show came alive once the quartet started to gel. Also, back then, I think network executives were more open-minded about letting an audience find a show.

Today, they don’t have such patience. I used to watch Reaper (online, since I do not own a television set!), and it was so funny. That was a show where nearly every line and situation was damn near hysterical. What made it funnier is that no one ever chuckled at the jokes and the show didn’t have a laugh track.

It was so good. Alas, it was canceled. Today, network executives are looking for instant hits that slowly bleed away their audience as opposed to the opposite track. Good luck with that strategy.

George Costanza

My favorite character was George Costanza.

I once spoke about him with a co-worker, and she loathed him.

I asked, Why?

She replied, He lacked morals, was dishonest, and willing to do anything to get what he wanted.

I replied, That’s what I liked about him.

Psychoanalysis, or Something Like That

It has been years since I read up on Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, psychoanalysis, the Id, ego, and super-ego. Please forgive me for not getting the psycho stuff up to par.

I always saw Seinfeld as a guy, observing himself, in which his personality was split in four distinct ways. He was an introvert, watching, observing, very detached, and critical. He even admitted in one show that he had all the friends he could manage when another person tried to become a friend of his. That is classic introvert behavior.

Kramer was all impulse (id).

Elaine was the only adult in the group (ego). She was the planner, the studious one, and almost always honest.

Seinfeld was a neat and fussy perfectionist (superego). The show took off once it allowed him to date and evaluate what was wrong with every woman he met. The hilarity with the “man hands” woman, the lady with the one dress, the mutterer, and the designer who forced him to wear a ruffle shirt, among others, are instant classics.

Say what?

George was the composite of all these characteristics, warring with each other, and that’s why he was my favorite hot-ass-mess of the show. He seemed to be the only real person on the show.

The show’s most pivotal, and interesting point, came when George decided he was going to change from being a loser to finally winning at life. And how did he do it? He was going to ignore his gut feelings, and act on the facts in front of him.

It may have taken George all of his life, but he realized something about himself. His gut instincts suck. They mislead him all of his life. Every conclusion he had reached about social situations, career advancement, and people were completely wrong.

The light bulb went off when he decided to do the opposite of what his gut told him.

Do I believe it?

Fight or flight is a legitimate feeling in some circumstances, but relying on responding to the same situation in the same way, each and every time, is also known as insanity. Your experience and gut instincts have been failing you for some time now.

I don’t think it has to be a radical switch, but trying the George Costanza Method every once in a while will yield different results.

Go break the mold, you might be pleasantly surprised at the results.

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