Film Critics and Life

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

How did the critics grade it? Did it get a high or low score on Rotten Tomatoes?

Do you even care about their critique of the film? Of course not! It’s your favorite movie after all. So, you don’t care that it has a bad storyline, you watch it for the action. Perhaps, it’s the love story you enjoy, despite the bad acting. Maybe it does have great acting and storytelling, but the budget was so small that it’s a B-grade movie. None of these factors matter because it’s your favorite movie, period! You then forget, ignore, or never even bothered to see what the critics said because it would your favorite film no matter what.

Why then can’t we do the same when it comes to critics and criticism in our daily lives? We should and we can if we, Press on!

Steve Jobs said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Continue reading “Film Critics and Life”

Limited Texting: Final Thoughts

Today is Fat Tuesday, which is also the day that New Orleans and Mobile celebrate Mardi Gras since Mobile is where Mardi Gras originated. As many celebrate Mardi Gras, they will also participate in Fat Tuesday before a season of fasting begins. See the day after Fat Tuesday is Ash Wednesday when many Catholics (and now Protestants) choose at least one thing to fast until Easter. Personally, I have decided to “limit” my texting over the month of February. Therefore, today is the final day of my limited-texting lifestyle and here is my last assessment of my exercise.

1. Calling Is Now Preferred Over Texting. – There are times when texting is needed. For example, when my wife says, “Could you get some milk on the way home?” is better than a call. However, for more serious topics I prefer a phone call.

2. Relationships Matter. – By forcing people to call me, I’ve created deeper and better relationships with others. The best part of this is that it’s happened within my family. So the fact that I can say that I feel more confident in some of my family relationships due to phone calls over texts are a value I’ll cherish forever.

3. FLEXIBILITY & BOUNDARIES!!!!!! – Continue reading “Limited Texting: Final Thoughts”

Sticking Through A Tough Job Is Important!

Life is full of transitions. Perhaps one of the toughest transitions is the change from one job to the next. Not only does one have to determine when it’s time to leave a job, one must search for a new one. Such a search can take weeks, months, even years. The process can be exhausting. Then, finally, once the new job is found one must make the transition between the two employers. Since then the process is so emotional it’s important we know when to make changes.

There is both a lot of good and bad advice on job searches. Perhaps one of the worst is, “You start looking for your next job when you start your current one.” The sentiment of this statement suggests one always remain open to new possibilities and advancement. But, the other side of the phrase promotes an endless dissatisfaction with one’s current employment. By “looking for your next job” you’re always working with your focus beyond your current position. Not only is this stressful, but it will be hard to hide your discontentment as you work. Therefore, to contrast this advice, I suggest my phrase: “Run to another job and never from your current job.”

In a job I recently held I saw a very high turnover with the employees. For example, there were around 40 full-time positions. Within a year, only six other people had a longer tenure than when I left. That’s not a healthy organization! However, the sickness was not just the companies fault; no, other employees had a choice: they could have waited to run to a better place than run from their current employer.

Many of us have been in jobs we hate. It’s not uncommon, but there comes the point in our career maturity where we must choose to stick it out. Not to the point where we accept abuse. Rather, we stick it out until we discover a better place of employment. We need to,

“Run to a place than from a place.” Continue reading “Sticking Through A Tough Job Is Important!”

No Texting: Mid-Month Reflections

My month of no texting in February is just about over. As I last reported, my goal changed from no-texting to limited-texting. Since making the change, a lesson I’ve learned is, the ability to say “no!”

We live in a society that loves to please others, even to a fault. Our texting communication is no different. Think about it, how often do we feel compelled or obligated to respond to someone’s text message? In contrast, how did you feel the last time you put off your reply to someone? How anxious were you? If so, then why do we place so much emphasis on texting? All of these questions beg this question: How can we then eliminate these negative emotions? How about saying, No!?”

Saying “no” is a lost art for our society. Personally, as I still struggle with determining who to say “no.” As I prioritize the text messages, I receive, I too am anxious. Still, I have learned to say “no” in a variety of ways: Continue reading “No Texting: Mid-Month Reflections”

Celebrities, Their Opinions, & Culture

United States culture has been interesting in the past few years. Just when it seems the cultural landscape can’t get any crazier, it does. As the crazy trends continue, there is no shortage of people who voice their opinion. Be it a layman like myself, a professional in that area, or a politician, there is plenty of noise. However, there is one group of people who often comment and perhaps should not: celebrities.

In recent weeks current events within America has caused many celebrities to voice their opinion. Some have taken to Twitter; some go on talk-shows, some who are not even American citizens have become very vocal. Each time they speak, we should ask one question, “What is their expertise?” Continue reading “Celebrities, Their Opinions, & Culture”

The First Week Without Text: Relationships & Productivity

In the month of February, I made the decision not to text anyone because I wanted to deepen the relationships I had with people. Plus, I wanted my relationships to be more personal, than convenient. Overall this goal has been reached, while have learned the following:

images1. Relationships Do Improve – On Day-1 I had two people engage me either face-to-face or with a phone call. Each form of verbal communication was fantastic! On one occasion I felt the call produced a quality 10-minute conversation that we would have missed out on if we had been texting. As a result, I want to talk to that person even more!

2. Some Things Are Not Worth It – On Day-3 I received a text from someone who is a friend. He is also someone who wants to do business with me. After responding to him with a text stating that I was not texting, he never followed up with a phone call. His lack of response made me realize that 1. He didn’t want my business as bad as it previously seemed. 2. Some opportunities are not as important as we make them.

3. Mistakes Happen – It wasn’t until Saturday, February 4th that I made my first text. Continue reading “The First Week Without Text: Relationships & Productivity”

Critical Decisions Require Time, Focus, & Facts

Towards the end of World War 2, we saw where Stalin, Churchill, and Rosevelt divided the Eastern European countries and territories. Long story short, their decisions resulted in many of the countries ending up in Soviet Communist control for the decades to follow.

IMG_1655Looking back at the Yalta conference where this decision was made there is a picture that defines the proceedings of their decisions. In the photo, all three world leaders had their aides behind them. Both Churchill and Rosevelt showed their distraction by their posture as if they had other things on their mind. See, both Churchill and Roosevelt would both leave office within months the Yalta conference. Churchill would be voted out as Prime Minister in the summer of that year, while Roosevelt would die two months later.

Stalin, however, looked intently into the camera taking their picture. It was a gaze both he and his aid held together. A gaze that almost communicated that they knew what they were doing. Stalin would outlast both Roosevelt and Churchill. Stalin made a decision that impacted the Soviet Union’s focus when they took control of Eastern Europe. With their focus one has to ask, how did the distractions of either Churchill and Roosevelt affect so many they’d never know?

To be fair, we have to ask ourselves that very question today. How does our well-being or focus impact the lives of others?

Recently a workplace I know about is going through a lot of turmoil. Routinely they often dismiss people. It’s unhealthy at times, and many question the long-term focus of the organization.

This culture makes it for emotion to run high where people make rash resignations. The problem with such reactions is that like Yalta; we must remember others when we make our choices. In the short term, the decision may feel good, but long term the decision may be wrong. As a result; the ultimate question becomes, “when am I making a decision from health than hurt?”

Here are some thoughts:

1. Give it time – Time, space, and distance is best when possible. Like Yalta, some circumstances are not ideal. Time then gives us the perspective we need. Continue reading “Critical Decisions Require Time, Focus, & Facts”