Relationship

Let Them Go

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​The fact  that someone is part of your history  doesn’t  necessarily imply that they must be part of your destiny. Know when to draw the  curtain.

Whether you realize it or not, people who refuse to grow with you simply can’t go with you. So often we get so caught up in our emotions that we seem to think that just because someone has been by our side for years that we are entitled to take them with us to each proceeding level of our lives. At some point in your life you must realize that everyone can’t go with you to the next level and here’s why:

Some People Are Seasonal Tyler Perry put it best in his hit movie Madea Goes To Jail: Some people come into your life and they are like leaves on a tree. They are only there for a season. You can’t depend on them or count on them because they are weak and only there to give you shade. Like leaves, they are there to take what they need and as soon as it gets cold or wind blows in your life they are gone. You can’t be angry at them, it’s just who they are.

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Photo Credit: Alexis Nyal

Some People Will Only Remember You From Your Past “Remember when…” we all have those friends who always begins their conversations with us using those two words.For many of us it’s often fun to reminisce; however, when you’re on your way to destiny you can’t afford to spend time looking in the rearview mirror. Those who constantly remind you of your past, can’t propel you to your future.

Some People Can’t Handle Where You’re Going. Let’s face it. Not everyone can handle where you’re going and once you settle that within yourself you will stop allowing yourself to get bent out shape over people who walked away. Motivational speaker Tony Gaskins put it best: you’re going to lose some people on the way, but remember not everyone is intended to go with you.

As difficult as letting go of some people can be,  it is an inevitable factor in friendship, when the ship gets heavy.

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Motivation, Relationship

Are You Being Too Self-centered?

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“Be kind, everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

This insight is universal because it reminds us that the people in our lives are dealing with their own hardships; that they have their own pain to process.Even with a sage reminder like this, why is it that we only see our own distress when in the middle of hard times? Why do we feel that we have a monopoly on pain?

We first must understand why we become more self-centered in times of anxiety. A recent study found that troubled feelings increase our reliance on egocentric thinking–meaning that we stop seeing other’s perspectives while distressed. We become more self-centered when experiencing unhappy circumstances and this causes us to only see our own agonies because of our agitated, single-focused minds.

Our selfishness is bound to be apparent to others as well. One study has shown that patients who used more first-person pronouns (I and me) during therapy sessions had a higher incidence of depression while other research found that people suffering from social anxiety manifest more exaggerated self-attention. Once we understand the physiological reason behind our selfishness and how it negatively affects us, we have to start combating it.

One way we can minimize our monopoly on pain is to 
listen. Many times we assume we know someone’s struggle without hearing the whole story but we are really just filling in the blanks with our own experiences. If we commit to pausing our assumptions and listening, we can start to see perspectives outside our own.

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Another way is to begin practicing empathy. It is hard when our brains are set on only seeing the narrow scope of our experiences but if we attempt to put ourselves in another’s shoes, we will begin to empathize with them and their troubles. It is difficult when it feels all life’s troubles are aimed solely at us but that feeling isn’t accurate. We must look past our personal pain and see that we are all fighting our own battles and then we’ll gain enough mutual understanding to join forces.


At the end of the day, no one really cares about what award you won, how much money you made, what you spent on your car, how many politicians you know, how great your hair looks, or what grades you got. What they will care about is how good you made them feel, and trust me when I say that self-centered people rarely make people feel good.


Motivation, Relationship

Do you have too many doors open?

“ Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.” says T.D Jakes.

Although it may be hard to believe when we are in the midst of struggle, our deepest pain is the catalyst for our transformation.Yet, healing and growth are not possible if the door is still open to those people and experiences that chip away at your peace.

Are you still allowing people and things that hurt you into your life? Truthfully, we cannot rebuke a devil that we continually grant access to our lives. You know that you don’t want to live in drama, for example, yet pick up the phone when that friend calls. He promised he would never put you down again, yet you’ve turned the other cheek so much your head is spinning.

Protection of ourselves, and our core, is critical. Psychologists have found that slipping into patterns of self-sabotage happens all too easily.  In fact, whether it’s sticking to a health plan, quitting smoking, or removing ourselves from a toxic relationship, 80-90% of us will slide back to what feels familiar and comfortable. We generally do not want to step out of our comfort zone, yet just like a young woman said:

Conviction and Comfort don’t live on the same block.

Yet, researchers have found that we can use what they call “if-then plans” to change our unhealthy emotional patterns.  Simply by thinking, or even writing down, “If (stressor/obstacle) arises, then I will (respond in this way)” gives us a concrete way out. Reframing these stressors will allow us to cut toxic people and situations out of our lives for good.
It’s been said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” 

Closing the door to what hurts you stops this cycle.
Finding the strength to cut people out of our lives does not mean we hate them, but rather that we are striving to build up our respect for ourselves .  We will no longer stand in the way of our own healing and growth. The roadblocks and stop signs are up–this road is finally closed.


Forgive people when they hurt you but also learn from the experience.



Motivation, Relationship

Tips To Keep in Mind When Networking 

According to World Report, over 70% of people land jobs through networking. Networking is key to advancing your career or business. When done correctly, it can result in a new position, contract or worthwhile business deal.

On the other hand, when done ineffectively, though, it can lead to wasted time or –– far worse –– a bad first impression. At the core of good networking is effective relationship building, which means fostering meaningful conversations and focusing on the person to whom you are speaking. In turn, you’ll have the opportunity to share who you are and, in the process, uncover potential opportunities.

Take your networking to the next level by avoiding these common mistakes people make when attempting to build their networks.

1. Don’t Wait To Be Approached
Avoid playing shy. You might not usually approach strangers, but networking events provide the perfect cover for you to initiate a conversation. Start by asking open-ended questions like, “What do you enjoy most about X?” or “Why did you get involved with Y?” And don’t let the conversation stop at the event. Instead, follow up, because most people won’t. Send a quick email thanking your new contact, and if you’re looking to meet up again, mention it then.

2. Don’t Be Inauthentic
Avoid superficial conversations by cultivating curiousity. The wider your range of interests, the more capable you’ll be of staying true to yourself while allowing the conversation to go where it may. The best way to appear interesting is to be interesting. Conversations will only get awkward once you begin overthinking and stepping outside yourself.

3. Don’t Be Self-Centered
Avoid framing every interaction in terms of how you might benefit. Instead, look at the initial conversation as the start of a relationship that you’ll need to water to grow. The fruits of networking sometimes take several seasons to develop. Be faithful in cultivating authentic relationships centered around mutual interests.

Motivation, Relationship

Why  You May Need To Expand Your Network 

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Your network is indeed your net worth. Building genuine and productive relationships that prove mutually beneficial is one of the most crucial things you can do to position yourself for growth and success. While you should never force connections or relationships, your network should always be organically and consistently growing.

Building a strong, reliable network can be a game-changer when it comes to progressing through your life and career. It is important to invest in people and relationships that are as diverse as your interests, curiosity and the opportunities you wish to attract. Fostering an authentic network can change your life, so never be afraid to fine-tune it as you see fit.

If you are unsure as to whether there is a missing link in your network puzzle, here are three signs that it might be time for expansion.

1. You see the same people.

Everywhere you go –– socially or professionally –– you never encounter fresh faces or make new introductions, because you already know everyone in the room. It is hard to make bigger and better moves when you are around the same people all the time. Change your environment and you will enhance your network.

2. You lack inspiration.

You should always surround yourself with people and things that constantly bring value, inspiration and insight. It encourages growth and development. If your environment seems to be lacking in the inspiration department, it might be a sign you need to venture out and explore new things.

3. You’re not attracting opportunity.

When you position yourself with the right people, within the right sphere, you should naturally attract opportunity. If you find that nothing really seems to be moving for you, perhaps it’s time for a new game plan with a different set of players.

The best passion you can develop is a passion for your own growth. To further shape your perspective and become connected to other individuals who share similar interests, be open to exploring different environments and experiences. Complacency can become your enemy if the desire to reach your potential begins to fade. Stay focused on the end goal and make each moment a step in the direction of your destiny.

Relationship

10 Things To Do To Have A Great First Date

So  you have that date with this folk you’ve probably never met before. Current of ideas flowing through our head and ‘what to do’ and ‘what not to do’. Confusion (or anxiety-if you prefer that term) seems to made your mind its temporary residence.Finally the hour comes. You are the agreed venue for the date. At this point you’re heart is probably giving you some nice DJ music (especially if its your first date). Now you’re wondering “OMG!!! Do I like nice? Is my hair looking good? Do I smell nice? What would be his/her first reaction when we meet face-to-face. Wollup (hold up) Dear…With all these confusion, you would probably just mess up this while thing.

Relax, you don’t need to overthink things, just keep on reading. Below are 10 tips that would help you achieve a perfect ‘first’ date night (or could it be ‘date morning or afternoon’-that would be a bit weird-night is just perfect)

Show Up Early
Showing up on time or fashionably late on your first date is a big turnoff. It shows that you didn’t care enough to plan ahead and get to the spot early. Make sure you know the quickest route to the date venue, and that you show up a few minutes early. In fact, showing up before the other person gets there is always a good idea. It puts you on strong footing, and shows your date you care about making a good impression 

Ask Questions

This doesn’t mean you should take a list of questions with you to the date, but you should have questions in mind to ask your date. These questions don’t need to be intrusive, but they should show that you’re interested in learning more about the person. Some good questions are: ‘What qualities do you look for in your friends?’ and ‘What would your best friend say about you?

 Go Easy On the Alcohol

Limit yourself to one alcoholic beverage during your date. Some people try to take the edge of their nervousness by drinking, which can lead to a buzz and disastrous conversation. And remember that your date is taking mental notes about everything you do, and if you’re slamming down cocktails, that may not gain you any brownie points.

Be Honest

One tendency on a first date is not to rock the boat, so people often give canned or safe answers to questions they are asked. But it’s always better to be honest with your opinions, though that doesn’t mean you should intentionally offend. First dates are all about making assessments, and people can tell if you’re speaking from the heart, or just giving standard responses.

No Dirty Talk

Not sure it has to be mentioned, by avoid talking about the bedroom. Unless you and your dates discover that you are freaks, this is not an appropriate topic for a first date. It’s not bold or interesting to reveal your desires to someone who is pretty much a stranger, so curb your conversation about the bedroom.

Dress Well

You don’t have to wear a tux or a suit, but don’t come in torn jeans and flip-flops either. Casual elegance is the name of the game, so show up as if you respect the person on the date and yourself. Anything ripped or stained is out, just keep business casual in mind, and you’ll be fine.

Don’t Check Your Phone

No matter how obsessed you are with your smartphone, don’t check it on your first date. If you take a call or send a text during the date, it’s a sign that you’re bored, or that you don’t respect your date enough to wait to use your phone. And frankly, unless it’s an emergency, there’s no reason to be on your phone during a date.

Smile

Another thing that sounds simple, but is often overlooked is the art of smiling. Smiling is one of the most effective ways to put your date at ease. A genuine smile shows that you’re having fun and that you’re enjoying spending time on the date. 

Avoid Going Somewhere Distracting

What’s distracting? Going on a first date to a place that’s overflowing with beautiful women and hot guys. Your goal is to focus on your date without being tempted by distractions, so going to a club filled with women in skimpy dresses and men with muscles is probably not the best idea.

Do Your Research

Chances are that your first date was generated by another encounter, or by a dating website, so you do have the opportunity to do some background intel on your date. Most people have some kind of social media presence, so going on the person’s Facebook account can yield some information that you can use to generate conversation during the date.

Relationship

5 Possible Red Flags On A First Date

First-date jitters are natural — you’ve probably thought endlessly about what you should wear, how to avoid awkward silences, and if you’re even going to like your potential match. There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic, but remember not to get too ahead of yourself, either. Even if you think things are going well, your date may be thinking just the opposite. And there’s no worse feeling than calling them a week later just to realize it’s always going straight to voicemail. So, we have a few tips to avoid the embarrassment. Watch for these 5 possible red flags on your first date.

They keep checking their phone

We all check our phones more often than we probably should, but when you’re on a date, it’s important to put your phone away and engage with the person sitting across from you. A companion who can’t put down his or her device is hinting how they feel the date is going.

Andrew Przybylski, a psychologist at the University of Essex, tells Live Science turning off your phone during a date “communicates care and compassion, and that the present moment is really important.” A date who keeps staring at their screen more than your face may be looking for some entertainment outside of you and what you may have to offer.

They don’t make eye contact

Body language often speaks louder than words. If you’re mystified as to whether or not your date is into you, take note of how often their eyes are connecting with yours. Relationship coach Toni Coleman explains on The Sideroad that good eye contact is a sure sign your date is interested in you. When your match retains eye contact, they’re relaxed, comfortable, and receptive to what you’re saying — they’re staying present in the situation and want to be there. A date who avoids eye contact is probably uncomfortable or uninterested.

If you can sense your date is shy from the moment you meet, then you’ll have to gauge their other behaviors to tell if they really like you. Someone who’s extroverted but still won’t look you in the eyes probably doesn’t want a second date.

They don’t attempt physical contact
You’re probably not expecting (or desiring) a ton of physical contact with someone you’re just getting to know, but the occasional knee brush or hand hold is to be expected. If your date makes absolutely no effort to touch you in some minor way, this is a signal that they may not be particularly interested.

You should also be wary of the date who will touch you in private but never in public, says eHarmony. This could be a sign they’re only there for a quick fling and don’t want to be associated with you in any serious way. Your date may not be the biggest fan of PDA, but holding, or at least touching, hands in public shouldn’t cause much resistance.

They’re distracted when you’re speaking
It’s frustrating when you’re speaking to a friend who clearly isn’t listening, but it’s even worse when you’re telling a story to your date who seems more interested in the wallpaper than your words. It’s a sure sign you’re not the only thing on your date’s mind. Unsure of if your date is listening or not? Business Insider says fidgeting, finger tapping, or turning their body away from you, means they’ve tuned out.

They don’t share anything personal about themselves

Dating is exciting because you get to know someone new. This is your opportunity to dig into their interests, thoughts, fears, and what makes them truly unique, so it can throw a wet blanket on the date when the other party shoves all of your questions aside. While there are certain topics you shouldn’t discuss on your first few outings together, your date should still be willing to give you some personal information, and they should be asking you questions as well.

If your partner seems lukewarm, analyze what your conversations are about. Psychology Today notes it’s easier than ever to keep in touch with just about anybody thanks to smartphones, but don’t be fooled into thinking your date really likes you just because they text you back. Think about your conversations — do they mention friends and family, or do they keep the conversation vague even after you continue to see each other? Your conversations should naturally get more personal the longer you date.

Relationship

10 Ways To Make Your Marriage Rock

Marriage they say is not  bed of roses. You have to keep working at it to make it work. Your marriage would turn out as beautiful as you make it. Trust, Understanding, Love,etc. are some of the basic ground rules that can make a marriage work. However, there are other activities that you can enagage in to make that marriage to work and rock.

1. Men need three things . Before we got married, a good friend of the family gave me HERfavorite advice and it stuck. From Dr. Laura’s bookThe Care and Feeding of Husbands, she told me men need three things: food, sex, and a girlfriend. In other words, their needs are not usually as complicated {some are, but that’s another post…}. I made sure to remember the first two often, but the “girlfriend” part is important. While you can and will be “the mom” of the house, no man wants to be married to his mom, so don’t be one to him. This thought has stopped me multiple times from turning into that naggy mom that I can be to my 3 year old all day, and causes me to see him as my boyfriend, my partner, who needs attention from me as his friend, and no one else.

2. Pray together every day . when we got home from our honeymoon, and we were settling in for the night that first night back to reality, we climbed into bed, and my sweet husband went straight to his knees. he asked if i would pray with him. that’s the man i married . Lord first, us second, everything else comes after. we rarely sleep without praying together, and that alone has been such a strength for both of us through times that have been difficult.

3. A love note board. The first year we were married, we lived at my husband’s grandpa’s house. He needed a house sitter, and we needed a place to stay. It was cheap, full of their things, and we didn’t care one bit. Love notes were all over the house, hiding in cupboards, on the bathroom mirrors… there was a lot of love there and it was obvious. I was getting to know his family through the love they literally left behind. I found a little magnet white board at target and brought it home and wrote a love note on it for him to find, and the next morning, he had changed it to put his own love note… we still use the same little white board to help build each other up. sometimes he will put a scripture, sometimes it’s a “thank you for….” and sometimes it’s a “good luck drinking all that water!” a smile a day is good for the soul, and very good for the marriage…

4. The 72 hour rule . A while back I read this article that I loved about the 72 hour rule. Yep, you guessed it. It’s sex-related. Not that I think you should be counting the hours to meet a quota, or holding each other to it, “Hey it’s been 72 hours so uh….” But it’s something to discuss and keep in mind. I don’t need to tell you the benefits here, I think you get it. Just have more sex! And be the instigator more than the receiver.

5. Men who do housework have more sex. it’s true. women, especially those who are in full custody of your children most of the hours of the day, are tired, disheveled, and down on themselves about something . i generally like myself, but i am always wishing i had more time. more time to spend with my kids, more time to spend with kids AND clean my house… so when he cleans my house, or offers to make dinner, it’s mom porn. and he knows it.
husbands. you know what she would love??
a super hot and sexy clean house. Try it. she’ll thank you for it.

6. The 15 second kiss . i know you are thinking, “so it’s all about sex with you, huh?” no. {well…}this one we just started recently and it might even be my favorite. we read this sweet article recently on a marriage blog and i loved the idea of reconnecting daily. there are days when we come home, make dinner, often side-by-side, tidy up, hose down the kids, and once they get in bed, we flop on the couch and realize we haven’t even said “hi” yet! after i told him about the 15 second kiss, he grabbed me and kissed me for a good 15 seconds. it was sweet, not intended for anything other than that, but it does cause a reconnect. the whirlwind of the day comes to a hault and the phones get set aside, the tv stays off longer, and we remember what’s important in this crazy life. try it. it’s another smile a day… see #3 above. so easy to do, and brings us back home every time.

7. Give each other “me time” .  Everyone, regardless of what it looks like, needs down time. In my husband’s case, I know he needs time every night to do nothing but sit and watch a show. It’s his favorite part of the day, the power-down. it’s what he needs to de-stress and to relax. Not all men are created equal of course, some men need to get out of the house, some need the other guys… but they need their “time” whatever that is for them. What I need? Thirty bucks and a tap on the butt to go get a pedicure for no reason… same concept. {hint hint…}

8. Speak kind words. We were friends with a couple that whenever he turned his back, she was saying awful things about him. It was super awkward for us, and made us wonder how that worked for them. He was constantly saying how amazing she was: gorgeous, talented, and such a hard worker… She was always telling us what he can’t do, what he doesn’t do for her… it was heartbreaking. I love hearing from my husband’s co-workers what they have “heard about me”. It’s proof he speaks well of me and reminds me to do the same.

9. Brag don’t rag . Without fail, every time we have a girls’ night and the girls and I are up laughing about who knows what… it always comes back to “men always…” or “mine does that too!” we laugh a bit about the silly things they say or do, but in reality, mine doesn’t. My husband has never once said the words, “Gosh, I wish you could actually clean the house!” and he’s never once said, “So what did you do all day??” He respects my role here at home and my efforts to bring in extra bacon. And he knows it’s hard. {Besides that I am constantly reminding him it is…} He knows that it is nearly impossible to do it all and chooses to come home and help rather than say anything negative. Smart choice, by the way. {see #5} Whenever he begins a thought with “Can I just say something…?” I am always bracing myself, sure it will be the time he tells me to get my act together and be better and clean the freakin house and don’t look so nasty when I get home please!… but it is ALWAYS to tell me how great of a mom he thinks I am. When he treats me like a 10, I feel like one. And it makes me try harder at all those things.

10. Planned dates . i know you’ve heard this one, but now, more than ever, we are learning this is vital. a planned outing, actually without kids, and some time to not just talk about kids, is necessary. necessary because remember #1? he needs a girlfriend. he doesn’t have a girlfriend if you’re not dating! so get a sitter if you have to, call and ask him out {or send an evite} , but go on a real, “i have a plan and i know where i am going to take you tonight” date. there, i said it. and yes, i know it’s easier said than done…

Source: bigredclifford.com

Motivation, Relationship

About Being Persistent: How To Be Persistent.

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There are times that you shouldn’t be persistent. For instance, when that guy or girl clearly doesn’t like you and has told you no two or three times when you ask them out, then it’s time to give up and move on. If you are too persistent in that case, you could get slapped with a restraining order! But, in most cases, persistence is something that can pay off for you in your career, health, relationships, and happiness. Before you go off committing to everything in your life, you need to know a few things about being persistent that will help you make the most out of your determination.

1. Negative Emotions Can Arise Unless You Are Laid Back

Highly persistent people tend to have better health and happiness overall, but research published in the Journal of Affective Disorders shows that they can also have more negative emotions and anxiety than people who are not highly persistent, especially if they are not laid back and tolerant of failure, difficulty, or setbacks.

Highly persistent and laid back don’t seem like they should go together, but if you want to avoid the negative emotions from arising, you may want to work on being more laid back in life. Negative emotions and anxiety can take their toll on your heart, digestion, sexual organs, and brain, so it is important to find a way to chill out and become more laid back if you want to be persistent in your life.

How can you be a more laid back person?

  • Find the humor in everything. When you can see the humor, you are more likely to laugh things off instead of feeling angry or hurt.
  • Become more playful. When you are playful, you approach everything in life with a playful attitude rather than a serious and ‘adult’ attitude. This can help you be more at ease when things go wrong.
  • Be joyful in everything you do. Find delight in every activity and the very fact that you are experiencing things in life, both good and bad. If you can find joy in the simple fact that you are alive, then your tension will melt away and life will become much more fun.
  • Develop a positive mindset. When you become optimistic about life, you reduce tension and become much more laid back. Being hopeful and confident in what is to come will help you make the most of today.
  • Believe in yourself. Negative emotions such as being ashamed, nervous, and upset can arise from not having faith in yourself or beating yourself up. Start believing in yourself and your ability to succeed, and you will help alleviate those emotions and be much more laid back.

2. Take Out Time To Reenergize

A lot of people think that being persistent means you have to work 7 days a week from morning to night on what you want to achieve. But, that is the worst way to maintain your persistence in life. It is, however, the quickest way to experience burnout! While it would be nice to have the energy of a battery operated bunny, we are human, and we need some downtime to reenergize and get back on track.

If you don’t take the time to reenergize, then you will start to produce less than desirable results. You won’t be on your game. You won’t be able to concentrate, find solutions, and be creative as well as you could when you are fully charged and ready to go.

You use up a lot of energy when you are being persistent. You need to use physical energy to get you where you want to go and keep you awake. You also need to use it if you are working on health goals or are in a physically demanding job. You need to use mental energy to make decisions, focus, be creative, listen, talk, learn, teach, use willpower, deal with hard things, and stay committed. You use mental energy in almost everything you do!

So, how can you keep your energy up high?

  •  Take care of your body. Exercise and nutrition have a big impact on your body’s health and its energy. If you are not taking care of yourself and feeding it what it needs or giving it the exercise that it needs, you will feel less energetic, more often.
  •  Keep your blood sugar steady for mental health. Your brain uses glucose to do its job, so when your blood sugar is low, your brain doesn’t have the energy it needs to perform properly. That’s not a good thing when you are focused on being persistent.
  •  Don’t dwell on things. It uses up a lot of mental energy that could be spent on being persistent. This includes things about past things that have gone wrong, not forgiving people and situations, and taking a long time to make decisions. You want to let go of those past things that are using up a lot of your energy and figure out a system to make decisions quickly and with the least amount of mental thought possible.
  • Work with your body’s natural ebb and flow of energy in the day. For most people, energy peaks in the middle of the morning and drops in the afternoon, followed by another peak in the early hours of the evening. If you can harness the times when you are most energetic to do the things that you need to be persistent with, then your energy will be used efficiently, and you can recharge during the down times with a nap or by focusing on things that don’t require a lot of energy.
  • Take days off. While being persistent can lead to a lot of health and happiness rewards, taking days off to do fun or relaxing things can help you recharge and maintain the energy needed to be persistent. For instance, most people have the weekend off from their job and should use that time to fill up their soul with laughter, fun, and new experiences. With that kind of recharge, energy will be ready and waiting on Monday morning.

3. Persistence Aids Talent

There are plenty of talented people who are not having any success in life. They simply can’t master the art of persistence, and because of that, their talent is not used in a way that benefits their life. This is important to remember as other people try to tell you what you can and cannot do.

If you want something, then persistence is the key to success. If you know you can get it, and you want it bad enough, your efforts are likely going to pay off. But, you need to stay persistent despite the people giving you the dirty looks or yelling in your ear that you can’t or shouldn’t.

So, how can you ignore the haters and keep going?

  • Remind yourself of how great you are every morning and every step of the way. Your self-confidence and self-worth will shut out anyone’s negativity.
  • Celebrate your successes with a passion. Even small successes will help you maintain that level of motivation to say persistent and get what you want.
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    Photo Credit: Dreamstime Stock Photos

4. Being Persistent May Not Pay Off For Some Goals

Have you ever heard the famous Kenny Rogers song The Gambler? In it, he sings, ‘You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.’ This is something you should keep in the back of your mind as you go after a goal you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you have to walk away and sometimes you have to run!

The truth is that sometimes you have to shift your goals in life. Just like when it comes to dating, not everything and everyone is going to work in your favor. Other people and circumstances play a part in your ability to achieve what you want, and sometimes you just can’t develop the ability to do something, no matter how hard you try.

We all have strengths and weakness, and sometimes people persistently try to make their weaknesses better to no avail. I think life is too short to try to make ourselves great at something we just can’t master, and we should focus on using our strengths instead.

So, when should you stop being persistent on one goal?

  • When your goals conflict with your natural ebb and flow. You may want to get up at 5 in the morning to go for a run and get started earlier on your day, but if your body is not able to adjust to the lack of the sleep, then you are going to suffer during your day from fatigue and a reduction in productivity. I know, I tried to develop this goal for a long time with no luck. Your energy will be drained and you will be unable to maintain your persistence and your productivity will suffer.
  • When you are getting no results. Getting no results is a sign that something is wrong and you need to tweak your plan or goal a bit. For instance, if you spend months eating a particular diet and exercising, but are not getting the results you want, then it may be time to tweak what you are doing. Even though every guru says that it is the only diet that works, it may not work for you while something else will. You are unique, and you have your own path in life, so even if it works for everyone else, recognize when it is just not working for you

5. Persistence and Motivation Work Together         

You may think that working towards a certain career is what you should do, but is it what you want to do? If it’s not, then you are going to lack motivation, and you will have a hard time being persistent!

Motivation comes from a longing to have or achieve something. It gives you the energy you need to move forward and helps you stay committed in times of disappointment. In short, if you are not motivated, you will not be persistent, or you will have a VERY hard time being persistent, which will eventually wear you out.

To find motivation, you need to do a few things.

  • Work on the things you resonate with. Don’t go after something because you feel like you should go after it. Instead, do what resonates with you as exciting, rewarding, and fulfilling.
  •  Figure out what motivates you. It might be giving your family a better life or being around for a longer time. There are reasons that you want to achieve more success, improve your health, and be happier, and those specific reasons are going to remind you why you need to be persistent when you don’t feel like going on.
  •  Share your intentions. When you tell a bunch of people what you intend to do, it’s less likely you will want to give up. Being accountable to others boosts your motivation simply because you don’t want to let them down or be viewed as a failure.
  • Make short-term goals. It’s hard to maintain motivation for years. But, if you make short-term goals, such as weekly goals or even daily goals that help you reach your long-term goals, then you will feel like you are having much more success and stay motivated to be persistent in your actions.

Keep in mind that balance is key to everything we do in life.

Motivation, Relationship

Why You Need To Shut Some Doors

Although it may be hard to believe when we are in the midst of struggle, our deepest pain is the catalyst for our transformation. Yet, healing and growth are not possible if the door is still open to those people and experiences that chip away at your peace.

Are you still allowing people and things that hurt you into your life? Truthfully, we cannot rebuke a devil that we continually grant access to our lives. You know that you don’t want to live in drama, for example, yet pick up the phone when that friend calls. He promised he would never put you down again, yet you’ve turned the other cheek so much your head is spinning.Protection of ourselves, and our core, is critical.

Psychologists have found that slipping into patterns of self-sabotage happens all too easily.  In fact, whether it’s sticking to a health plan, quitting smoking, or removing ourselves from a toxic relationship, 80-90% of us will slide back to what feels familiar.

Yet, researchers have found that we can use what they call “if-then plans” to change our unhealthy emotional patterns.  Simply by thinking, or even writing down, “If (stressor/obstacle) arises, then I will (respond in this way)” gives us a concrete way out. Reframing these stressors will allow us to cut toxic people and situations out of our lives for good.

It’s been said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Closing the door to what hurts you stops this cycle. Finding the strength to cut people out of our lives does not mean we hate them, but rather that we are striving to build up our respect for ourselves .  We will no longer stand in the way of our own healing and growth.

The roadblocks and stop signs are up–this road is finally closed.

Relationship

The Fine Art of Pretence- V

Impedance = Z

Well, you know what they say: ‘Whatever has an advantage also has a disadvantage’? Pretence, as fine an art as it is, isn’t any different. Sometimes you’re not so sure something will work. Scientists call it Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, but here we’ll call it the impedance to pretence. Now, let’s go on to look into some factors that could curtail or impede the workability coefficient of The Fine Art of Pretence.

First on the list is KNOWLEDGE. You know that thing about your not wanting to know something because you can’t face it and yet you can’t hide from it? Or how it’s so hard to hide when you think the very person you’re trying to hide from has already seen you? Let’s face it: knowledge is power. Yeah, I know some folks have become so philosophical with that cliché, albeit expectedly, that they now aver that knowledge is power only when applied. I don’t know what more to say to such unreasonable fellows except that it is wrong to criticize what you do not understand. Science says we have two kinds of energy—potential (passive) and kinetic (active) energy. Knowledge not applied is potential energy and knowledge in action is kinetic energy. It’s that simple.

There is something about knowledge that helps the enlightened mind see through a charade. I used to have a lecturer, Mr. Obinta, back then in the university who would say, ‘Let me help you enlighten your ignorance and illuminate your darkness’. And he would really mean it. That’s really the edge psychologists have. You don’t go pretending before a psychologist because they already read you like the palm of their hand the moment you walked through the door. It’s the same thing with people who have been around you for a long while: very few things you do will ever have them taken by surprise. Any new character you try to invent will be mere theatrics; they’re only waiting for you to snap out of it—as you surely will.

It happens a lot with me. My friends know that I’m not the gentlemanly sort, so whenever the ladies around me see me open doors or draw chairs for them, they know it’s just a show. They would always say to stop pretending to be a gentleman (imagine, they don’t even give me a chance to change). At other times, when I start running the sugar-coated edge of my tongue with flattery, they have learnt not to let it get into their heads because the very next minute could witness the other, caustic edge of the sword characterized by sarcasm. The funny thing is, they seem to love me and multiply their presence around me even as much as I pulverize them. That’s a phenomenon I’ve never fully understood, but I intend to cultivate that love till the end of my days. So help me, God.

Next to knowledge is TIMING. If time is life, then timing is living. I remember the story of a man who, being a fugitive from his own country, fled to take up residence in another. (This story is real life and happened in the Middle East.) He was taken before the governor of the city in which he proposed to dwell, and was just sensitive enough to perceive that the chiefs of the city were not favourably disposed towards him. Right there he began to foam at the mouth and simulate increasing levels of insanity until the governor, in a rage, chided them for bringing a mad man before him and ordered him thrown out. That was how he escaped to another city.

You see, timing is closely tied to sensitivity. Whoever has watched a wrestling match between Shawn Michaels and Yokozuna would concur with me on this. Do you recall how Shawn would exert just enough energy to keep himself in the fight and actually allow Yokozuna the pleasure of throwing him to the ground? The grand moment for Shawn was always when Yokozuna, obese as he was, would climb over the ring and make to descend full impact with his buttocks on the former. Shawn would simply dodge and leave, in his wake, a Yokozuna in throes of pain. Shawn climbs over and secures an easy victory when the referee makes three counts and the big man can’t get up. That’s the spirit of timing and sensitivity.

When prepared sensitivity meets..

Read more at lulu.com

Motivation, Relationship

How To Become Socially Confident

Every day as I pursue different objectives, I realize more and more that technical competence is not enough. Whatever goals you and I set, we are going to need PEOPLE–at every level of the economic spectrum–to bring them to fruition. Perfecting your people skills by becoming what I call “trans-social” is the unwritten rule that will catapult you into the next level in every occupation or endeavor. 

I remember being told point blank by a certain Fortune 500 executive that I had been advanced over another more experienced employee simply because he was “not as sophisticated”. It sounds unfair, but the reality is that such perceptions are advancing or thwarting personal dreams in companies, churches, and common relationships every day.

You may have pooh-poohed social etiquette and professional decorum in the past, but trust me, as the world becomes more competitive, you are going to need this underrated advantage. I’ve written a crash-course book on becoming socially confident entitled Socially Confident in 60 Seconds: Practical Tips for Navigating Any Situation. It is not an exhaustive treatment of the subject of etiquette but rather a discussion of the essentials that you must master if you want to go to the next level of your occupation–or to succeed at a new occupation or endeavor.

social-confidence-kenzecares.blogspot.com

Here are a few essentials that I cover in the book: Do you know the guidelines for making personal introductions? Whose name do you say first when you introduce your boss, pastor, mother, or other? When do you offer your business card at networking events? What do you do with your napkin if you have to leave the table during a meal? What do you say when someone asks you how much money you make? 

Listen, friend, this book is hot and you need it. You will be smart to order it and read a generous number of value-added excerpts at: http://amzn.to/1U69cSg . Be sure to share this link with someone you want to help expand their borders. Now, for a sneak peak at the book… We all know that people judge your intellect most often by how you speak.

Source: Deborah Smith Pegue

how-to-become-socially-confident-kenzecares.blogspot.com

Health, Relationship

8 Types Of Libido That Spouses Have

Why do you lay so much emphasis on sex and sexuality? From my opinion, I think sex is a basic thing; why give so much attention to it?’ This was a question I was asked while I was in South Africa giving a talk on sex and sexual health matters.

The first big misconception many people have is thinking that sex is basic and natural and should not be learnt. It is as a result of this discourse that sex education has long been obstructed as if it is not necessary to understand the mechanisms at which it works. Then again, this has caused a lot of damages to many homes.

In reality, sex is cultural; it is the fruit of a learning process and it is something we all have to learn. Until we start learning, we might not be able to unravel the mechanism behind the female’s sexuality or the way the erection functions.

As such, today, we want to see seven ways couples can enjoy instant raging passion by being able to differentiate various types of libidos. I would advise you read this together with your spouse, so that both of you can find out which area you fall into. So, let us look into the arousal types of libidos.

The Sensual Libido Spouse.
This is a spouse who wants sex to be emotional, connecting and superficially physical. The spouse cherishes love play more than the actual sexual acts. This category of spouses is more of introvert lovers than extroverts. Bu the erotic libido spouses are spouses who want sexto be intense and passionate, at least some of the times. They want to explore all the wondrous varieties of sexual activities that are available. Though they can cope with periods of ordinary s*x, there are regular opportunities for adventurous and sizzling s*x. If you have a strong erotic libido, you get little or no pleasure from low key sex and this might cause problems in the relationship, because your partner might start feeling the pressure to perform at great heights all the time, which is never good.

The Dependent Libido Spouses 
They are spouses who need sex to cope with problems. Sex soothes them and makes them feel better. They are more sexually active when they have to deal with bad feelings such as stress, boredom or anxiety, pressure, loss of loved one, when they are sick or troubled. When such spouse does not have an understanding partner, the relationship is always under undue pressure because in such cases, if your partner doesn’t want to do it when you want because you are in an emotional state, you might tend to interpret it as lack of love and care. It would look like she or he is refusing to give you the medicine you need to… feel better. The reactive libido spouses are spouses who care more about the sexual needs of their partner. They sometimes even end up ignoring their own desires if they feel they are not what their partner usually enjoys. These spouses put a lot of effort into foreplay and can only climax once they are sure their wives have.

The Entitled Libido Spouses
These are spouses who assume that it’s their God’s given right to get whatever they want in their sexual relationship, regardless of the feeling of the other partner. Their mindset is, ‘If I want hot steamy sex, I should be given the opportunity to have hot steamy sex and if on the contrary, I want cuddling, my partner should provide me with just that.’ This category of spouses is very influenced by the ideas of sex in movies and books and they think they are entitled to have the same great sex as they watch on the screen.

The Addictive Libido Spouses

Even though this is a destructive type of libido, spouses with this type believe that until they have sex outside their matrimonial bed, they are not having the best of sex. Their problem is that they can’t seem to resist the urge of having sex outside their relationship. It’s not as if they don’t love and cherish their partners, it is just that they are constantly craving for more elusive sex. These spouses are filled with the mirage that marital sex is boring compared to the dangerous allure of doing it with a complete stranger or animal. Like any addiction, you are the one that controls the behaviours and not vice versa. So, instead of destroying your relationship, family, marriage and life, make up your mind to live clean, have a positive mindset towards the best things in life.

The Stressed Libido Spouses.
Such spouses are always on their toes, constantly worrying about their performance and about whether what they are doing is pleasurable or not. They tend to avoid having sex for fear of failure, even though they might still be very aroused. In fact, they kill their sex life before its actual death. These are the people who worry about no or low libido, erectile dysfunction and so on. But if you can take this unnecessary worry off, you can enjoy the sexual pleasure wholeheartedly.

The Disinterested Libido Spouses 
These are spouses with naturally low libido. They practically have no physical or emotional problem with having sex; they just seem not to be in the mood. If you’re one of those, you might develop feelings of guilt and defence because you’re not able to satisfy your partner. However, you must accept that you have not chosen to be a disinterested libido type. But for the sake of your spouse, you must learn the act of building your libido just as when people go to the gym to build up their body muscles.

The Detached Libido Spouses
These are spouses who usually feel sexual desire but are too preoccupied with other life issues to seek marital s*x. Being overwhelmed by financial or work pressure, you might think that sex is the last thing on your list right now, but be aware that this attitude does more wrong than good to the relationship. The compulsive libido spouses are spouses who have one main sexual body object or image object that triggers their sexual arousal. That is, a particular feature or shape or image in their spouse’s body is the only thing that will arouse them. For such people, just mere looking at the bosom of their spouse or the smell of their spouse’s underwears or the shape of their spouse’s vulva or man-hood or their spouse’s moaning or the colour of their spouse’s underwear, could trigger their arousal.

Zero Libido Spouses
This category may also have spouses who previously had good or enough libido for satisfying s*xual relationship but along the way, some illness or aliment that were either not well treated medically, eventually had an effect on their libido. Such ailments include mumps, which is in most cases, a childhood infection. This infection is usually a virus infection which most of the time, has no medical cure, and as such, treatment is being given according to the symptoms it presented per time. When a male child is not well protected against these mumps infection, the resultant effect is usually that the virus would spread all over the body and would damage the testicle, scrotum of the male child. Unfortunately, the damaging effect is impotency. Sometimes, erectile dysfunction does not usually present itself until when the man is an adult or a young adult. And one of the ways the man feels the effect is when he doesn’t have a feel of libido at all.

Funmi Akingbade

Relationship

5 Types of Friends You Need

Muhammad Ali will always be remembered for being the greatest champ to step into the boxing ring, but he was also a very enlightened and informed man. One of the many personal insights he shared during his lifetime addressed the worth of friendships. He said,“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”

His words reflect an importance that lies in our friendships that’s immense, unfathomable, and can only be understood by being a part of one. Our friendships pick us up, carry us further, and come from some of the most unlikely sources . In order to get the most out of our friendships, there are certain types of friends we should have in our lives to round out our social circles.

1. The Caretaker.
We all need a little help now and again and a friend who proudly plays the role of caretaker will never leave you wanting for more support.
Caretakers are the ones who remember the little things about you, who check in on you, and are the first ones to volunteer a helping hand. These sorts of friends are selfless givers who work towards the happiness of others.
Not only does having a caretaker friend benefit your social circle, it also makes you a more compassionate person. Research into understanding empathy has found that exposure to compassionate people causes our minds to match the same level of compassion we are picking up.
Generally kind and giving, caretakers set a good example for the rest of their circles and are just the type of friend you’d want.

2. The Couple.
This two-for-the-price-of-one friendship has a lot to offer to your group of pals.
Being around a loving and supportive couple can offer a healthy example to follow in your own relationships. Their presence teaches how a caring relationship handles both the good times and the bad in a way that is still respectful to both parties.
You can also use the couple in your life to increase your romantic potential. Research has found that newly dating couples who befriend established couples report feeling more “excited, enthusiastic, happy and closer to their partner.” The love lessons alone that you’ll learn from being friends with a couple will make up for all the lovey dovey behavior you may have to put up with from them.

two-friends-smiling-kenzecares.wordpress.com
Two friends taking a picture

3. The Adventurer.
Having someone in our lives who is good at giving us a push in the right direction is a valuable asset.
The adventurer friend is the one who is always up for a new endeavor and is set on taking you along for the ride. They can motivate you to push your personal boundaries, step up your game, or face your fears and, best of all, they will be right their with your throughout the adventure.
Those sorts of novelty adventures have been shown to be good for our health by encouraging wonder and curiosity, both of which benefit our mentalities and the world we live in.
That friend with a spirit that longs for adventure may pull you into a few unusual situations but it’s all a part of the journey.

4. The Planner.
Unfortunately, not all your friendships are built to last a lifetime, but planner friends are guaranteed to stick around.
The planner is the friend who keeps the group together. Life sometimes gets in the way, sidetracking us from certain priorities, causing friendships to suffer . What makes having a planner in your circle so valuable is that they will make it their priority to keep contact up within the group.
Research has found that not maintaining friendships was among the top 5 regrets that elderly patients reported feeling towards the end of their lives. Having a friend who makes staying connected easier will help alleviate the possibility of that burden.
Planners loyally ensure the whole gang stays together through all life’s moments, especially the ones when those friendships are needed the most.

5. The Honest Friend.
As much as we all enjoy hearing assessments of ourselves, we also require the truth, no matter how ugly it may be.
That’s where your honest friend comes in. We sometimes need someone who will be brutally honest with us in a way that is constructive. Without that honest friend keeping it real for us, well meaning “yes men” will give us the truth we want, not necessarily the truth we need, and disaster can strike from misinformation.
Besides gaining the right info from honest friends, they can also up your physical and mental health. Studies have found that living with less lies simplifies your life and helps personal relationships run more smoothly, thereby reducing unneeded stress.

The truth can hurt sometimes, but when coming from a friend, it’s just the sort of authenticity you need. 
As an old saying goes “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”.

Relationship

How To Apologise

I usually get up early so I can read and think and drink a little coffee before the rest of my family is awake. A couple of days ago, I looked over and saw Tony asleep in bed when I got out of the shower, and my stomach was instantly in knots. I had gone to bed early the night before because I was in a foul mood. We were working together on our new #staymarried group, but our hard drive had crashed. We had minimal programs, no printer set-up, no ink for the printer. It was a big irritating mess and a giant waste of my time. Tony was working through the tech stuff, and of course that irritated me, too. Waste of time, all of it. Bleh. I’m going to bed!

Now, after a full night’s rest, I saw more clearly that I’d been fantastically rude and taken my frustration out on him. I saw him sleeping and I knew I needed to apologize. Bleh, again! I hate apologizing. I mean, why can’t I just be grumpy and even a little mean when I feel like it? Why can’t we all just move on? I mean, he shouldn’t take it personally, right? I was mad about the computer, not about him. Yet, there he was, laying there sleeping, forgiving me before I even muster up whatever it is I need – humility, is it? – to apologize. I hate it.

I slinked into the bed, waking him up slowly, and I said it. “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me? I was a jerk and was really rude to you last night. I’m really sorry.” … and, exhale. Wow, that wasn’t so bad. As I started the words, I began to actually feel them. As I heard myself, I believed what I was saying more and more. I WAS a jerk, he didn’t deserve that. I WAS sorry. I DID hope he’d forgive me.

He kissed my cheek, “I forgive you. I love you,” and that was it. I was relieved. I couldn’t believe how much I was dreading apologizing, how frustrated I felt when I saw him in bed knowing I needed to ask forgiveness. I had just wanted it to go away without me taking any action at all. I was so annoyed with the whole thing in the first place and, now that it was over, I was so light and thankful and even happy. I pranced off to the kitchen to make us some coffee, sat and had a few minutes to myself, and the rest of the day was perfectly normal.

So, I’m wondering, am I the only one that dreads apologizing? I should say, I used to be much worse. I’m the stone-walling silent-treatment type by nature, and it used to take me a minimum of twenty four hours to come around. I would gnaw on my own self-righteousness, getting as much of that bitter flavor in my mouth as I could. I would glare and ignore and even wait for him to approach me in just the right way before I could even fathom apologizing for anything I did, which he probably provoked me to in the first place. Dream girl, right?

Maybe it’s because I hate being wrong. Maybe it’s the pain of humility – though it isn’t actually humiliating. Maybe it’s the lack of self-control I have over my attitude in the first place that frustrates me. I would admit, yes, actually, it is all of these things. I hate apologizing for all of these reasons. When I need to apologize, I can easily think of even more reasons I hate it and even justify why I can’t or shouldn’t do so just yet. But, I’ve done it, and I’ll do it again. When I know I need to apologize, these are the things I try to keep in mind
Funny Apology

Tony’s never been that way. Not that he’s always right… although, I can hardly remember a time when he was actually wrong… but more that he always wants to reconcile as soon as possible. He has no need for grudges, no appetite for bitterness. He wants to move on and enjoy each other as fast as possible. Is that you? Are you quick to apologize? Quick to forgive? Quick to move on?
We’ve learned each other better over time, of course. I have always known it wasn’t the best thing to hold onto my frustration, but knowing and doing often have a gap – or even a chasm – in between. The gap has been narrowing for me over the years. Just think, I went to bed in a huff and woke up and apologized – not bad. Now, if I could have apologized for my attitude before going to bed, that might even be considered “ holy” – but I’m not there yet.

Maybe it’s because I hate being wrong. Maybe it’s the pain of humility – though it isn’t actually humiliating. Maybe it’s the lack of self-control I have over my attitude in the first place that frustrates me. I would admit, yes, actually, it is all of these things. I hate apologizing for all of these reasons. When I need to apologize, I can easily think of even more reasons I hate it and even justify why I can’t or shouldn’t do so just yet. But, I’ve done it, and I’ll do it again. When I know I need to apologize, these are the things I try to keep in mind

man-holding-paper-kenzecares.wordpress.com
As simple as the word sorry is, it could sometimes be a magical word

The DOs and DON’Ts for Making an Apology.
DON’T apologize for someone else’s feelings.
“I’m sorry you’re mad,” is not an apology. It’s condescending.
DO apologize for your own actions and attitude.
“I’m sorry I was rude,” is an apology that takes ownership. Be specific about what you did wrong. “I’m sorry for whatever made you mad” is NOT going to work. If you need some time to think and reflect on what you did, take it. It’s better to come with a real apology than a generic one that will probably end up creating a whole new fight.

DON’T add an excuse to your apology.
“I’m sorry I was rude, but I was really irritated,” means you’re not really sorry. You feel justified for the way you acted and you expect to be excused. One of the most memorable pieces of advice I’ve ever heard: When you say “I’m sorry, but …” you’re really just a sorry butt.

DO ask for forgiveness when you apologize.
“I’m sorry,” on it’s own, is just a statement. It requires no response. “Will you forgive me?” is a humble request that can rebuild a relationship. When you ask your spouse to forgive you, wait. Listen. Be prepared for them to say in response, “I need a minute, I’m not there right now.” When you are in the wrong, you are never owed forgiveness. Be grateful when you receive it.

DON’T expect a reciprocal apology.
Let’s say you were in a fight. You were both rude and hostile to each other and now you’ve decided to be the brave one and apologize first. Do not apologize expecting your spouse to apologize equally. They may not. If you expect them to, and they don’t, you may be tempted to say something like, “Never mind. I thought we were going to work this out together. I said I was sorry, you are obviously not sorry, so FORGET IT!” … Um… yeah… that’s not an apology. When you recognize you have done something wrong, just own your part of it. The end.

DO attempt to make a repair.
Once you get through the brutal, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” it’s wise to make the next step and ask, “Is there anything I can do to make this right?” Then, be prepared to wear your underwear on your head as you head over to the Starbucks drive-through to order your love his apology Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Asking my husband for forgiveness as often as possible has proven to bring us closer together time and time again. My stubbornness and self-righteousness seem to have done nothing for our relationship at all. So, I’ll be wrong again and again. I’ll need his forgiveness again and again. Hopefully I’ll see it sooner rather than later each time. Hopefully I’ll remember not to add excuses on the end of my apologies. I will ask him to forgive me. I will await his response. I will push past the knots in my stomach to say what needs to be said, because I know I can count on a light kiss on the cheek and his arms around me reminding me that with each time we forgive each other we are committing to #staymarried.

by Michelle

Relationship

Single But Not Lonely

APPRECIATING BEING SINGLE CAN BE AS DIFFICULT AS SEEING THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES.

Sometimes it seems like it just can’t happen – especially when you consider yourself to be a “relationship person.” It almost feels like a part of you is missing even though you know that’s absurd logic.
So, instead of beating yourself down for wanting a relationship, focus on taking advantage of the time you have by yourself so you can be 100% ready to roll when you do find your certain special human. Not only will you feel more confident about your current relationship status NOW, but you’ll also be better off LATER.

Here is what to focus on while being single so you can be the best version of yourself once you meet the right person for you:

GET IN THE HABIT OF BEING SELFISH
I said it. Get in the habit of putting yourself first now, because trust me, once a romantic interest comes along, that is going to go flying out the window.
I don’t want you to become some troll who is only out for herself, but I do want you to really focus on asking yourself, “What do I want?” first. When you are in a serious, committed relationship with someone, you have to ask not only what YOU want, but you also have to consider their opinions, desires, and needs. That’s what good relationships are built on. So when you are not in a relationship, take sweet, sweet advantage.

I want you to have a pulse on how you want your state of events to unravel. Instead of “going with the flow” or deferring action to others, take it upon yourself to cultivate some strong opinions. Get a sense of what you like and how you like it. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

If you are already an opinionated missy, then own the fact that you don’t have to put a significant other’s feelings first! This is pure FREEDOM for you. Don’t restrain yourself – get used to speaking your voice and coming into your own. Because once you find somebody you truly love, you will want to soften your voice to let theirs be heard. It’s the considerate and natural thing to do. But for right now, go for it boss babe.

DEVELOP PERSONAL HOBBIES
Other than the dreaded question, “are you seeing anybody?” I would have to say the second most anxiety-provoking question is probably “what do you like to do for fun?”

Ummm. Oh, shit. My life is SUPER boring.
What a buzz kill. It’s mildly humiliating when you don’t have a few go-to answers to this question at your monthly networking events, so now is the time to get going. Everyone needs some personal hobbies. Something to get that creative energy out. Mine happens to be writing (le duh). And writing is a rather solitary activity. It’s all mine. I don’t share the process with anybody, only the results. (This is mostly because editing my work is considered cruel and unusual punishment.)

So what do you like to do that’s all yours?
I want you to come up with a few personal hobbies that you can do all by yourself. It’s ok if the hobby might intrinsically be a social endeavor. For instance, I know a lot of film buffs who proudly say going to the movies is their favorite hobby. Now that is MY kind of hobby! Sitting in a dark theatre and eating popcorn while someone entertains me. None of this hiking bullshit. My favorite kind of people tend to coin this as their favorite hobby, as you can see why.

My only issue with it is when they refuse to go alone.
Have you ever been to a movie alone? It’s amazing. No one wants to sit next to you and no one whispers in your ear “ Oh my God look at Liam Hemsworth” while drooling on your recently purchased faux cashmere sweater. Instead you get pure silence and pure focus. It’s a magical thing.
But robbing of yourself out of that blissful retreat simply because society deems it as a “social engagement”????
No ma’am.
It is beyond me why humans believe that going to a movie should be a social engagement to begin with. Think about it! You just sit there and stare at a screen in silence. Talking to each other during the film is considered to be RUDE. You can literally get kicked out for trying to BE. SOCIAL. It makes zero sense to me. And how people consider that an ok first date is another ridiculous notion, but that’s for another blog.
For right now, let me just say, please do not let being single dictate your hobbies. You are giving way too much power to a society that clearly has some massive flaws.

Point is you deserve to have an individual passion that requires permission from NOBODY to execute. And you will be much better for it when the time comes for you to invite somebody into the space with you. That is, if you want to.

WORK ON YOUR FRIENDSHIPS
This is another negative side effect of relationships: they tend to put a little strain on friendships.
It’s not that your friends all suddenly hate you just because you got a significant other and it’s not because you will start hating your friends, either. It’s because your time will be cut in half.

It starts with the weekends. They’ll bring you to a wedding, you’ll bring them home to meet the parents, then there’s date nights and cuddle nights and Netflix nights…and then, dang. When are you supposed to hang with your friends? You’re still a regular at Bachelor Mondays and Wine Wednesdays, but things just don’t feel the same.
Before I continue, I just have to get this out there:
You are NOT going to lose your friends. I repeat, just because you have a relationship does NOT mean you lose your friends.
You and your friends are going to be pulled apart in different directions even if you were all to stay single your entire lives.

People get jobs and promotions and must move as a result. They decide to go back to their hometowns to settle down. And yes, all of you have a high chance of meeting a special someone. And yes, a lot of you will create an insanely cute yet very time consuming family. Whether those are furbabies or human babies, the time is still stretched. This doesn’t mean that the love you share with your friend group goes away, and it doesn’t mean the time you have together is any less special. But as you get older your schedule will probably get more crowded, so you have to make sure you are spending an inordinate amount of time sealing these friendships for life.
Trap those girls, you hear me? Trap ‘em good.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’D LIKE TO CHANGE
Again, the amount of free time in your life is going to drastically change when you enter into a serious relationship. I don’t care how independent, feminist, or anti-love you are – that is what happens. You are going to be confronted with a person so perfect that you actually aren’t going to get sick of hanging out with them every single day! I know! It’s seriously crazy.
So in the meantime, get your accomplishment ducks in a row.

Look at your life right now and think about what you would like to change. Do you like your job? Have you been planning on going back to school? Are you ready to take that trip you always said you’d take? Now is the time. It is better to change your life before you start dating someone seriously, because when that happens, you will always want to take them into consideration.

And what about their dreams? Their desires? Their ambitions? What if one of you wants to move to LA while the other one of you is dead set on getting licensure in the state of Texas? THEN WHAT????
(I ache for my 25 year old self.)

It’s hard, guys. It really is. You are a superstar and you are going to end up with a fellow superstar who also has an idea of how their life would like to turn out. Spoiler alert: those visions don’t always line up. This is why compromise exists. But my best advice to give you is to figure your goals out as early as possible while you have the freedom to do so.

Don’t wait for someone else to shape your life. Shape it yourself.
Take away: You are free right now. Free as a bird. As much as I know that might pain you, it is the best gift you could ask for right now at your age. You have the time you need to craft the life you want, and then when you meet the right person, it will feel that much better.

DATE
Not to like, find the one . Not yet. You still have to work to do. But don’t shy away from dating just to date.
Here is my take on dating: it is super intimidating, super nerve-racking, it can be incredibly awkward, and it is a necessity of life.
Think of it this way: you probably don’t like job interviews, but you also probably wanted a job.
And it would have even been smart of you to go on job interviews when you didn’t even really want the job. Why? To practice. To get better at your interviewing skills so when a job you actually WANTED became available, you were ready. Game freaking on.
Same goes for dating. In fact, not only does “practice dating” help for the real deal, it also teaches you to become more selective. If you don’t date, then your dating pool is everybody . And if your dating pool is everybody, you are not going to find the right person for you. Trust me on that. You need to be selective with a capital S before you clear the bench. So go out on a few dates! Enjoy your freedom! Take some notes! See what you like!
And…more importantly, see what you DON’T like.
Take this time to explore.

GETTING FRUSTRATED WITH BEING SINGLE?
It’s totally normal. Just remember however that being
single is a choice and a lot of times, it’s the best choice for you in the moment. The more you own your relationship status, the less insecure you will feel about it. Work with a Blush life coach to make sure you are focusing on BECOMING the person you want, instead of FINDING the person you want.

Kali Rogers

Relationship

The Fine Art of Pretence- IV

TRUST: THE CRUX OF THE MATTER

It is a better compliment to be trusted than to be loved. I read that from John C. Maxwell, and ever since Ive wondered what makes trust such a scarce commodity even in places where love is superabundant.

Now, it seems quite ironical that trust should be central to such a concept as pretence because the two seem to harbour mutual animosity. Im sure, however, that even you reading this would, at one time or the other, have dealt in pretence, prevarication, or  even outright lying to someone just cause you knew they trusted you enough to hang on to your every word. Thus, I dont need to remind you that the trust they had in you was the very reason you got away with that act. 

Right, weve established a connection, so lets begin to cut a little deeper. Ill start by telling you something about myself. Basically, Im a lawbreaker; a lawbreaker in the sense that I learn the rules of my environment just for the purpose of knowing how best to break them and recreate them to suit my preference.

I have this pet aversion for rules because they are, by their very nature, made to be restrictive. But Im of the opinion that rules are made to restore confidence and trust. Have you ever heard that Justice must not only be done, but must also seem to be done? Well, it tells you that justice is essentially a psychological feeling. Forget all the idealistic talk of conscience: most people dont listen to the conscience when theyre determined to do something.

If you reason things out, you discover that rules are set to establish standards upon which justice should be premised. There really is no justice without laid-down rules. Thus, if youre able to pretend to keep the rules, then justice is on your side for as long as it takes to deliver the blow you have been preparing.

Now you see why they say that everything is fair in love and war. In conditions of perfect love or perfect war, the rules mean nothing because no one really gives a damn. Rules are made to be broken; that is a standard fact. Else, why is man so bent on defying every law of nature? Take gravity, for example. Man has been on the go trying to make nonsense of gravity. Aerial vehicles were made and are still being made for this purpose. People travel by air with brazen abandon, secure in the power of the aeroplane, helicopter or jet to shut gravity up for as long as they want. Tell them to try letting an eagle take them so far high.


Dont forget where were coming from. Were saying that trust is essential for pretence to work, and that trust works best where rules are absent or not enforced. We are saying that the necessity of restoring trust, for which rules are made in the first place, is the selfsame reason why those rules must be broken. I dont guard myself when talking with my friend cause I know they cant shoot me, but with a stranger or enemy Im on my guard because the rules for safety and security ensure that I should not give myself away. Remember this: Trust is absolute where rules are unnecessary.

Let me tell you a story from my childhood days. We used to have a house-help who was roundly maltreated by my parents, especially my mum. She thus resorted to self-help: she  would steal from them, lie, and also have illicit dealings with men. One day, she persuaded me to take her into my parents room (it was usually locked, but on this occasion it wasnt) to get something. It was my elder sister who gave us away, and I knew two things for sure. One, being labelled an accomplice to a thief would earn me many strokes of cane. Two, my parents would believe anything I said. (That was then, not now; growing up makes you more crooked.)

What did you go to do there? was my mothers inquisition. I was trying to check my weight on the scales, came the equally swift reply from me, with all the confidence I could muster. Now catch the gist. I dont exactly remember what we took out of that room, but I do know that it had to have been incriminating. My best move was to put up as big a show of confidence and truthfulness as they had always thought of me. Instead of answering the question of what I had gone in there to do, I replied with something else which I also did and kept back my mission.

You know why that incident trips me? I could not have been more than six or seven years old at the time, but I was already learning to bend my way around the rules and regulations of the house by taking advantage of my parents trust. (Kids, dont try this at home!)

As I am writing this chapter something else has just happened that I wish to share with you. Dad and I had discussed plans to give me the key to the penthouse so I could get some items downstairs. True enough, I got the key, retrieved the items, and delivered his key back to him. 

The knot here is…

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Relationship

The Fine Art of Pretence- III

HOW NOT TO CROSS THE LINE INTO STUPIDITY

I have met a lot of stupid people, but none worse than those who either don’t know how to conceal their knowledge and emotions or haven’t learnt how to flaunt it at the right time. These two groups of people are, to me, some of the worst human beings on the circle of the earth. Here’s the reason. The former, like brute beasts, are destroyed by the very powers and prowess they possess. For the latter, they want to please everybody and be the beast of burden.

Earlier we had said a little on quiet people being very dangerous. Now, as sweet as that sounds, it’s not always true. I know about the empty barrel that makes the loudest noise, but hey, even an empty barrel can be coated with thick rubber or leather so that it makes little or no noise. I’ll tell you this: if someone is so often quiet, it simply means they don’t think they have something useful to contribute to the pool of wisdom and don’t want to swell the cesspool of folly either. Or it may mean some even more sinister purpose.

You think I’m not making sense with this? You just study them and try to make some trouble or put them on the hot seat. You’ll see that they aren’t able to respond intelligently when upset; the response will usually be more emotional than rational. Just try it.

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It baffles me that some people can be so naïve, especially women. You got married to this man, he turned you into a punching bag, you kept quiet about it and stayed on in his house until he finally knocked you out. It is when concerned neighbours and friends notice that you’ve suddenly gone missing and organize a search party that they discover you either in a hospital bed or under house arrest, your beauty all but finished. Your morale is at an all-time low, and this time they forcefully take you away amid your muffled protests (you can’t speak loudly because your mouth is in excruciating pain from several blows). Meanwhile, you keep saying, ‘He is my husband. What God has joined together let no man put asunder.’

My sister, let me start by telling you the ugly truth: you’ve taken ‘stupid’ to an all-time high. If ever I happened to be one of those people seeing you in that state, I’d not sympathize with you or rebuke your hubby yet. The first thing I’d do would be to paint before you the very ugly picture of the slave you have become, then afterwards I could go on to give your man the rough tackles he deserves.

Of course, the first thing would be to take you out of there; there’s no point condemning you if I can’t give any practical solution to your problem because talk is cheap. You should, the very first time he laid a paw on you to hurt you (paw because beating a woman makes a beast of a man, except in serious self-defence), have gone to report to your family first, and then to his (I’m being very careful about his family because the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree). After that time, be creative with your quarrels such that, the next time there’s one, you have a standby weapon with which to deal him a fatal (but not mortal) blow. Make it fatal so that you have enough time to escape while he’s still weak, but you can’t afford to make it mortal because no one pays for his crimes when he’s dead. If you must make him suffer, let him be alive so that the lessons will endure and you will feel good after leaving the house if you have to. Besides, there’s still chance to reconcile as long as he’s alive; you don’t want to lose that chance, do you?

Whoa, I just said that you may have to leave his house! My dear, if you were truly one flesh with him and he saw you that way, then he’d never do to you what he wouldn’t do to himself. He should love you as he loves himself—save that he’ll not die for you. Oh, what were you expecting? That your man should be able to give his life for you? No way! If he did that, you would get married to someone else sooner or later and all his heroic martyrdom would be but a memory, probably a milestone in your history. For goodness’ sake, let him save his life instead.

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Jeez! I just spent all this time telling you women how to deal with a violent man? You see, gone are the days when we would say, ‘She stoops to conquer’. That was in the era when women had no rights and were simply baby-making machines bought at a bride price and deployed towards bearing and rearing children to continue the family name. Not anymore. In our world today women are prominent in different fields of endeavour. You cannot talk pop without the mention of Whitney Houston or TV talk show without Oprah Winfrey. Here in Nigeria, economic decisions are more or less influenced under the current dispensation by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. So let’s not pretend that the world is still the way it was. No, things have changed and we must acknowledge the fact. Pretence is only fine when backed up with a sense of integrity and it can stand the test of reality.

By special providence I happen to have a lot of female friends, far more than male (and that doesn’t make me a ladies’ man). All of these ladies are intelligent to the core, but sometimes a few of them just get so gullible and you’d think they were under some hypnotic spell when you see them obsequious enough to eat ‘shit’ (sorry to say). I hate it, but I also don’t like it when people become toothless bulldogs. I’ve heard so many people say, ‘You can’t stand it when I’m angry’, and my response is always, ‘Are you the only one who knows how to get angry?’ Such people are so petulant, pugnacious and prone to throwing up temper tantrums, making much ado over nothing because they really can do nothing. These two groups of people are among the weakest and stupidest beings on the surface of the earth.

You must learn to manage your emotions. Be slow to speak and act but quick to learn. Pretence is about having information and using it when necessary to your advantage. You use it to either reveal or conceal something, depending on the demands of the situation. Silence is golden when the silent one has an advantage he’s waiting to unleash at the right time—and he must actively make that time happen, else he would have successfully crossed the line from pretence to foolishness.

I usually tell people that whenever they see me angry or speaking strongly to someone, it does not always mean that I’m really angry and letting words just fall from my mouth. Sometimes, I say things for effect even if I don’t mean them exactly the way I said them, and even the person will have to acknowledge later that I made sense. There are insults I don’t reply because I have a nobler objective in mind. At other times I could leave a stern warning or do something totally uncalled-for (what the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria would describe as replying a toothpick with a javelin) and it will only be an act of deterrence, not anger.

Here’s my point: you don’t have to wait to be angry before you react. More than that, learn to …

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Motivation, Relationship

3 Types Of People You Should Avoid At Work

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In most personal situations, we can try to avoid the impact toxic people have on us by limiting our interaction with them. But how do we do that in an environment where we don’t pick and choose those who surround us?

At some point in our careers, many of us have had to work with a “toxic worker.” This person is a colleague or boss whose harsh personality or devious behaviors make the workday miserable. These behaviors often shift the morale in other employees, create conflict in the work place and can potentially hurt the company’s reputation.

Research shows that up to 80 percent of all difficulties within organizations stem from poor or strained employee relationships. This means that it is more helpful for the overall success of the company to avoid such employees. Difficult work environments can cause anxiety, depression, and in some cases, physical illness.
In most cases, it is very easy to identify the common types of toxic persons in your workplace.
Here are three classic types and ways to deal with their behaviors:

1. The Escalator
There are some co-workers who escalate every issue to a level 10, instead of fixing problems and finding reasonable or logical solutions with the person directly involved. This makes it hard to build relationships where colleagues trust one another, and in the long run, wastes time (as well as money). This toxic worker feels the need to alarm supervisors with trivial issues that could either be avoided or solved among peers. These types of employees waste time, and lack problem solving techniques.

The best way to handle these colleagues is by addressing the issue with them directly and offering solutions in tackling the issue. Ask them to approach you directly so you can discuss and work towards a common solution, and if one cannot be found, then you can both alert your managers to find the best way to fix the problem.

2. The Complainer
Constant complaining can make a work environment toxic. This particular co-worker is always quick to point out the worst-case scenario, and thus changing the mood of others with their negativity.
If you encounter this colleague, either change the direction of the conversation to highlight positive aspects of the situation or project. You can also redirect them to come up with solutions to the issues they are speaking about. If neither of those tips work, it’s probably best to avoid conversation altogether. You may not be able to shift their perspective, but you can limit your exposure to their negativity.

3. The Time Consumer
This person has a lack of respect for schedules and a person’s need to concentrate on his/her work. They often show up at your desk and engage you in long conversations, ask numerous questions, or email/phone persistently, with little regard to realistic time frames. If you encounter this colleague, it’s best to let them know you are working on a tight deadline, and either give them a specific time to return or ask them to schedule a meeting for further discussion.

The most important way to deal with toxic co-workers is to set boundaries with yourself so that you do not allow them to waste your time or cause you to under perform your own job. If at all possible, limit your exposure to them, avoid office gossip, and stay focused on why you are both there: to work.

Don’t surround yourself with people who won’t challenge to be better than you are.