Are Your Words Hurting or Healing?

Words can be used to hurt or to heal, the choice is usually ours to make. I watched someone deliver a speech today and he had a great story. When he was only 6 years old, his mother told him in very clear words that he would never amount to anything. That was the recurring theme within the conversation between his parents and him until he permanently left the house when he turned 15.

When he joined the army, he was lucky to encounter one of his superior who saw something greater in him and spoke healing words. Those healing words, words of encouragements, created a new vision in his mind. He went on to heal from that abusive childhood and grew stronger and more confident in himself. I can’t imagine the damage such words would do to a child, or an adult for that matter.

Each and every one of us on the planet has experience hard times in one form or another. In every interaction we have with others and with ourselves, let’s remember to always speak words that heal, and never words that hurt.

Can You Wait Long Enough To Get What You Asked For?

There is a gestation period for everything on the face of the earth. Everything comes out of the unseen to the visible, but the process in almost every case takes some amount of time. Einstein is quoted as saying “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” If we had no time between our thoughts or ideas and their manifestations, most of us would be in great trouble. That is considering the fact that most our thoughts have a negative orientation. woman waiting

I remember I was once in a restaurant with my friend Dani and a lady came to ask us (begging) for money. She had an almost newborn baby on her left shoulder and was holding a sign that read something to the effect of “I need money for baby’s food.” I was urged to give her something, and I had a few dollar bills in my pockets.

However, before reaching out to give her the money, I decided to help her change her mood by engaging in a conversation. I asked her the question: “What’s your story? Where is the child’s father?” She went on to tell me something I cannot remember. Following that, in an attempt to make her laugh, I said something that was supposed to be funny. It probably was, because she laughed.

However, because she has asked for money and I was doing everything but showing her that she was going to get it, she disengaged. She interrupted something I was saying with a “Thank You!” and left. If only she had held on a little longer, she would have had what she had asked for. After she was gone, I told Dani: She was not patient enough, I was going to give her money.

There are three steps to get anything you want: 1) Decide 2) Ask 3) Wait.

Waiting is usually the hardest part, especially when what you asked for is bigger and better than what you currently have. In order to make the waiting easier it is important to do the following three things:

  • Remain Faithful

You decided to have that which you want because it is possible you can have it. You asked for it because you started believing it could be yours. You wait because you know it will be yours.

Remaining faithful is about keeping the fire burning. It is about knowing that you no matter how dark the stairs might look, taking the next step will definitely lead you to what you want.

  • Remain Active

Nothing good comes to a Man who has his arms or mind crossed. Imagine for example a husband who decides to be a father. Once he has asked his wife and she has accepted, he has to get and keep busy. There have not anyone else born from the holy ghost’s since Jesus’ birth.

A farmer who has sown all the rights seeds on his farm cannot just fold his harm and wait for a plentiful harvest. He must remain active, working to remove all the weeds and protecting the growing plants from natural threats.

  • Remain Positive

Sometimes what you asked for will show up in a form that you don’t recognize because you did not expect it that way. If you adopt a negative attitude, you will miss it. It is important as you wait for the manifestation of your desires to be positive and always see the good.

The best way to develop a positive attitude is to practice gratefulness. Be grateful for the little things, so much so that the big things are attracted to you.

Next time you have to wait for something you decided to have and asked for, remember to remain faithful, active, and positive.

Lessons From Losing the Area G4 Humorous Speech Contest

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. Learning I did, after losing the Area G4 Humorous Speech Contest last Saturday 10/11 in Irvine, California. The contest is part of the Annual Humorous Speech Contest with Toastmasters International, and I was up against contestant from 3 other clubs. I did not completely lose (took runner up), but nobody remember who came second place. lionnel-at-contest-with-trophy

All we remember most of the time is who came first place, and even first place is soon forgotten, if he or she does not become the ultimate winner at the Toastmasters District or International level of the competition. Buzz Aldrin was the second man to set foot on the moon. You probably have never heard of him. Who is Lance Armstrong? … That’s right, the first human being to step on the planet moon. Need I say more?

There are three key lessons I took away from the speech contest experience:

  • Never Over-prepare For a Speech

I was very uncomfortable in the time leading to the speech because I am not know to have a lot of humor when I speak. Therefore, I exercised a lot of restrain in order for me not to prepare too much for the performance.

My friend and public speaking coach Quinn was more excited about me going there to win than I was. I knew my main stories, my punch lines, and my delivery turned out way better than ever before in front of other audiences. Next time you have an “important” speech to deliver, don’t over-prepare. Practice a few times in front of a live audience where the stakes are lower, that should be enough.

  • Have Familiar Faces in The Audience

Even though I have met and interacted with many people in my District, the group of about 40 people I was speaking in front of had only about 5 to 7 familiar faces. Two of them had already heard my speech. Having them in the audience provided me with a good emotional support. Yes, even champions need emotional support.

Whenever you have to speak to an unfamiliar group of people, arrange for at least one familiar face to be in the audience. That really helps.

  • When in Doubt Go With Your Guts

Because I was speaking at the contest as a representative of my club OC Toasters, I received a ton of feedback and suggestion for improvement. It felt overwhelming and I did not know what to leave and what to take out. It is difficult to incorporate everybody’s opinion about a speech to improve it.

When you don’t know what to leave out and what to take from feedback you receive, take nothing and go with your original message. That way regardless of how things turn out, you can be proud you followed your guts.

Fifteen ways to shuffle your morning routine

The secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine, said Mike Murdock. If you have a well thought out daily routine that is helping you progressively getting to your desire objectives and life goals, thumbs up. Human beings are creatives of habit and it becomes necessary once in a while to get stuck in a routine that needs some shuffling. shuffle-morning-daily-routine

One of the best books I have read with loads of interesting ideas on how to break morning routines is the book Choose Yourself by James Altucher. Inspired by that book which I read a few months ago and after a brainstorming session this morning, I came up with a list of fifteen simple ideas to change up your morning routine. These ideas are fun and I encourage you to try them, each at least once.

  1. Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand. If you are right handed, use your left hand to brush your teeth in the morning. Use your right hand otherwise.
  2. Program your alarm to wake you up with your favorite music and start singing out loud as soon as the alarm goes off in the morning. Sing till the song ends.
  3. Sleep with your running shoes at the bottom of your bed. As soon as you wake up and your feet touch the ground, wear your shoes and get out of your house running at full speed in any direction until you run out of breath.
  4. As soon as you wake up, send a text message to a friend you have not met for a while to wish him or her a good morning and a great day.
  5. Write a letter to your future self. Here is a tool to do that:
  6. Call in sick and tell the office that you will not be able to make it to work. Then show up at work two hours late and tell anyone who asks that you felt guilty staying home and you want to get some work done, on your own time.
  7. Take a shower without using soap.
  8. Look at yourself in the mirror and find five to ten difference good things to say about.
  9. Count from zero to one hundred out loud, five times. For each iteration increase the pace a little bit but do not skip any number.
  10. Drink one liter of warm water before brushing your teeth.
  11. Write a list of three unexpected strange and good things that can happen to you during the day. For example: a stranger will give me a $20 bill today, for free. Or you will receive the phone call of a friend you have not heard from in a long time.
  12. Take a rag and shoe polish, then clean all the shoes in your closet before going to take a shower.
  13. Leave your car at home and take the bus to work. If you don’t have a car, pay the bus fare of a stranger in the bus. If you walk to work, sing your favorite song out loud all the way from home to work.
  14. Ask for and give hugs to 3 to 5 different people in the morning outside your home.
  15. Send an email to the email address of someone you don’t know and wish them a great day.

The list includes items that might sound crazy but you will surely have fun when you do them. Talking about shuffling your morning routine is there any other idea you can add to the list?

Day 13 of 21: 100 words per day for 21 days. 584 words.

What’s your life message?

I was reflecting today about life and death. What’s the meaning of life, and more importantly, what’s the meaning of YOUR life? These reflections were prompted when last week when Paul Walker died in a car. I was prompted and urged to reflect even more when yesterday the World lost Nelson Mandela. This post is an invitation to you to reflect about the meaning of your life. If you leave the planet today, what statement would you have made with your life? What's your life message?

I was recently exposed to someone who defines abundance as “the ability to do what you want to do, when you want to do it.” When I recently wrote about thanksgiving and gratitude, I highlighted the fact that gratitude is when you realize that all you have is all you need, at this very moment. The people who are formulating a message for humanity through their lives are those who are making contributions.

Contributions don’t have to be through financial means like Bill Gates through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Contributions can be in the form of humanitarian work like Mother Theresa, or ideological like Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King.  What contributions are you making today with your life? How will you be remembered when you are gone?

Day 11 of 21: 100 words per day for 21 days. 218 words.