Problem Solving

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One of the things that I feel separates people in the area of competence is the ability to think on your feet. In other words the ability to solve a problem when one randomly occurs.

Before you think this is a rant about people, it is not. I am not going to use any names or situations but I will just be helping you get strategy for when problems arise.

Thinking on your feet doesn’t mean you’re the smartest person in the room but it does require you to be logical with out the fear of failure. There is this show I watched on Netflix and it was called “The IT Guys” they were the computer technicians of some corporate building. When ever someone would call with a problem they Answered the phone saying “IT, did you check of it was plugged in? Have you tried turning it off and then on?” Computers are exciting, sometimes getting a new computer is so exciting you forget to plug something in then you think something is wrong with it.

Precision is more valuable than speed. Be precise about the things you do and the projects you take on. This is a crucial thing because the more precise you are means that the chances of problems occurring are cut down.

There is always a solution. We live in a time where we have access to an infinite amount of knowledge. We have smart phones that are more advanced than some computers. We have data plans which are faster than any coffee shops free wifi. And most importantly, we have google. Google is a verb it is the act of someone using google. Google also owns YouTube and between those two resources you can find articles about anything in the world and watch a video about anything. All your problems can be solved if you google it.

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Debut

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Today my wonderful kelsie had her debut. This is a giant celebration in the Filipino culture for when a woman turns 18.

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First, I’m so proud of her! From being on the volleyball team to leading worship on Sundays she manages her life well and I am excited for her future.

During a debut, the debutant will have a father daughter dance similar to ones in a wedding. In a wedding the dance often says “this is my last dance with my daughter before she is released to be the completion of another mans life.” This dance on the other, until now had little to no meaning in my heart.

During Kelsie’s dance with her father I watched then my watching became one of those zoned out blank stares (this is often how I think). While I sat there thinking about the dance and it’s importance I thought about how significant this dance is. This dance between the father and daughter is significant because first it’s an assurance of love. If a daughter does not have the assurance of her fathers love then her loving people will be hindered. Second it’s an assurance of trust. A trust that says “you’ll always be my daughter, I’ll always be your father.” It used to be when you turned 18 you were old enough to be your own person, these days in society that is not practical. But this dance represents a special trust to be that person.

I remember when this all came to my mind I was brought to tears. If there is one thing I’ve learned from her father is to talk less and listen more. I’ve gotten to experience all three sisters be debutants and with all three I’ve seen their father remain the same kind, loving, and thoughtful dad. I’ve seen him sternly discipline them as well as sacrifice his sleep so that they can have friends over. He truly represents the Father well and is definitely a role model in my life.

Lost

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I’d like to first apologize about not posting yesterday for those who consistently read my posts. I planned to write this out on my iPhone but before i could make out the first word I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night, 11pm, and I attempted to write but my efforts were futile and I was only awake for what seemed to be 1 minute. I remember getting a phone call but I had no idea what was said or if I had agreed to anything I’d regret. With all that said, here I am! Ready. 

Since Wednesday I feel as if my brains engine stalled. I’ve noticed that my level of motivation has been on the negative side and I’ve yet to find out the reason. I almost feel lost in a way. I feel as if everything I desired I no longer do. I feel like these situations in which I’d planned to go in my favor and take me places have taken negative turns. 

Through this slump I know there is much to learn. Tomorrow is always a new day and I know that my best days are still ahead of me. Every day will be better than the last. If any of you are feeling similar to how I’ve been feeling i want to encourage you to take a step back and see from a birds eye view the situations of your life. Your problems are never too big to overcome. 

For me, rest, I feel like my mind has not been at rest or at peace since i left those interviews. I remember praying this prayer before my interview on Wednesday, “God, what ever you have for me I want, this (interview) does not define who I am.” Always remember, your situations don’t define who you are. 

Isn’t Your Face Red?

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Today’s daily prompt is a fun one. I am prompted to describe a time when I was embarrassed and how i reacted to it.

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It was freshman year in High School, I was in the JROTC Drill Team with Arms. If you’re unaware of what that is, google Cadet Kelly, add Liam Neeson, and The few scenes in Captain America before he became buff. In drill team with arms we spin rifles with excellence and we are also judged on the creativity of the routine, the execution, and our military baring. I joined the squad late in the year but I was still able to join. My first routine was not in a competition, it was for the school rally. 

When I am nervous my palms get sweaty. In DTA, your hands are very important to execute the precise movements that this requires. Some of these movements involve being in two lines, parallel but walking towards each other while grabbing the stock of the rifle and spinning it in between the people of the line. It is really intense and one slip up could cost you your nose. 

I remember how nervous i was because one, I am a freshman, two, the whole school is watching, and three, in ROTC any slip up results in a consequence where 100 push ups is the least of them. As we walked into the gymnasium we started our routine, it started flawless up until the point when we had to spin the rifles and spin them up into the air. I remember as I threw the rifle up it was a perfect execution, but as it came down the sweat had consumed my hands and the rifle slipped, In all performing arts, you’re told to continue and play it off as if you never messed up, DTA was not different. The problem here was that my slip up was obvious, but I stayed in formation picked my rifle back up and continued to the end of the routine. As we marched out of the gym, I knew that was it, disappointment overwhelmed me, i was ashamed and afraid of what my commanding officer would say.  

During the debrief to my surprise it was not as bad as i assumed would happen. it was just a talk and them building me up and encouraging me. As far as the rest of the school went, the next day at lunch, “HEY! You’re the guy who dropped the gun!” I embraced it. As a way to cope with the embarrassment, I would joke along with them. 

Inspire the Uninspired

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A core value of mine is to leave a positive impact on every persons life I come across. This became a core value in my life when I realized I love people and that through my love for people I’d never want to see someone in a place they don’t belong or in a mood that isn’t theirs.

Today I was able to sit with a coworker and simply talk. We had a great conversation about our new store and how we feel our team quality is growing and quantity is shrinking. Through out the conversation I would analyze the way she talked about herself and the way she feels she’s being treated by our manager and fellow partners. The conversation took a really sharp turn with it ending at me wanting to help boost her self image and to renew her mind from the negative thoughts she has in her head about herself. I am really excited for her future and how much of life she is going to be able to enjoy without the burden of self hatred.

The reason it’s so important to me for people to have a great image of themselves is because to the extent you love yourself is the extent you’ll love someone else and allow someone to love you. When we have negative thoughts about ourselves then through those negative thoughts we will interpret any interaction with any human being.

I want to challenge you, for one whole day, to not agree with any negative thought you have. Meaning not allowing yourself to think negative of yourself to proclaim the truth about the awesomeness you were created to be!

Difficult

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The best way you can tell that you’re on the right path is when the easiness of the path begins to decrease. You’ll notice this be more real the closer and closer you get to break through. Trials were designed not to keep you away from your ultimate goal but to help shape you into the person you are destined to be. They are moments where your character is tested and there are two solutions. First, you can face the problems head on, the benefits of this are, you’ll be a lot stronger when you exit, you’ll have experience that’ll add value to your final destination, and your character will get an upgrade. Or the second option, you can turn around, lose all the progress you made, and still be the same person you were. 

Today I was faced with a most difficult and discouraging time I’ve had in a while. It was a mock interview. One of the perks of having a friend who is a manager is that I have extra help when trying to develop for the next position or even in my current position. My friend started the interview by asking me “Why do you want to be a shift supervisor?” Immediately I froze, I drew a blank in my mind and I had no idea what to say. I knew this isn’t right because 5 months ago, I could answer that question at the drop of a dime. Today, it felt almost too real. One of my struggles is that i desire to answer questions correctly so the thought that attacked me was “make sure you say exactly what they want to hear” and I had no idea what that was. 

Twenty minutes later, I came to my senses, stopped pouting and sucked it up. I knew that pouting wasn’t going to get me anywhere nor was it going to bring me any closer to answering any questions. I remembered that in all things in my life, the times i feel the most discouraged and defeated are the times when I actually am not defeated, I’ve spent the last 6 months working toward this promotion, there is nothing that can stop me from getting it. I continued to help shape and mold my answers. Pray for me! All blessings from the Holy Spirit are welcome!

Words Create Worlds

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Life is beautiful. 

One thing that breaks my heart is when people are so full of self-hatred that any compliment given to them cannot be taken but often times it is translated as an offensive gesture with the common response “why would you say that?”, “No I am not, I am hideous.” And I don’t believe these people are to blame for the way they translate what their eyes see and what their ears hear. For me, growing up was not a walk in the park. I was never told I’d be great at anything, I was never told I was worth anything, and most importantly I was never told that I was loved. My heart had a void, and it misinterpreted every kind gesture given to me. The voice is the most powerful instrument in the world and words are the most harmful weapon. While a bullet will kill you, negative words will consume you leaving you in a constant state of internal suffering. It breaks my heart when I see children in public being called “stupid.” An anger stirs inside of me wanting to punch the father or mother doing it. Words create worlds. 

I had an uncle one time call me stupid three times in the course of 2 minutes. I’ve had teachers call me “smart but lazy.” I’ve had co-workers call me slow. These all created how my mind interpreted the world around me. When ever I’d enter a class the only thing i knew how to do was to sit there and beat myself up internally saying “why even learn this if I am just going to fail?” I got to a point in my life where i believed I was lazy and stupid until one day at community college. There was a prayer tent that went by the name of “carpe diem” and I talked to a woman under that tent and asked for prayer. Her and this other man prayed for me and what she told me next was how my life turned around. She said that she saw a word over me, “intelligent” and she began to pray over me and break off word curses from my life. That day when i went to class I felt purpose. I started to see a turn around in how I did in my studies and i was amazed at how much I actually learned in school. 

As for my coworkers calling me slow, in my job, speed of service is a major factor in the full aspect of customer service. My coworkers never believed in me and my first few bosses didn’t either. I remember one time the phrase being said “Oh Jon is here, yeah we aren’t getting fast times in drive thru today.” And i began to be angry. I believed i was slow and never tried at my job until one day when my fourth manager, Jason, asked for me to go to the back room, sat me down and asked, “why have I had a super barista working for me this whole time?” I didn’t know what he was talking about, he had my file in his hand and he opened it to a section where all our awards are kept. He started reading some of them and even a major award of recognition from our district manager and he said “You’ve been hiding under my radar, now that i know this I want to see you show it to me when all these new people begin to work.” From that moment on I began seeing a shift in my work, I began to believe i was good, I began to pursue bettering myself in my job and now I am on my way to promotion. 

To a person who’s primary love language is words of affirmation, negative words do ten times the damage. There are still wounds in my heart that I am healing from all from words being spoken over me. My goal of this post tonight is to make you aware of the power of a word in hopes that you’d share a positive word with someone. Life is to beautiful to cloud it with negativity. Take time to tell you peers how much you appreciate them. Take time to honor someone in a position above you by complimenting his/her work. Most importantly take time to tell yourself how great you are and the great things you’re destined to do.