Monthly Archives: May 2015

Just Asking… (How do you feel about yourself?)

Can you look in the mirror and say that you love yourself and really mean it? Can you accept yourself for who you are? Do you enjoy spending time with yourself? Do you engage in something on a regular basis to promote self-development? Do you take care of yourself?

 

At first glance, these questions may seem egotistical, but if you really examine them, they are not. These questions prompt an individual to take a good, long look at himself. It motivates him to slow down and determine how he really sees himself. There is a phrase of wisdom that spans eons. It says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. I used to focus only on loving your neighbor until I examined the entire saying. I started wondering how people felt about themselves. I wanted to know whether people actually loved themselves.

 

As I studied human behaviors, I found that some people did not love themselves. Not only did they not love themselves, they didn’t like themselves. This let me know that they couldn’t truly follow this saying of loving others if they didn’t start with the basis of loving themselves.

 

One may ask, how does one know if he loves himself? If he looks at the way he treats his body, is that love? If he examines what he allows to linger in his mind, is that love? Would he consider the things he allows others to do to him to be love? Are the things he’s exposing himself to love?

 

If a person refuses to take care of himself, no one else will. If he refuses to set boundaries for himself, life will throw him anything. If he refuses to move in positive directions, negative forces will pull him downward.

 

Know that is not a crime to love yourself. Invest in yourself. Encourage yourself. Pamper yourself. Spend time with yourself. If you do these things in moderation, you’re more likely to be able to follow those words of wisdom and extend love to others as you shower love upon yourself.

Books by Levon

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Just Asking… (Do you know you are the only one responsible for your happiness?)

Almost everyone wants to be happy; yet, if you ask many people about their emotional states, you will find that they are unhappy, unfulfilled and miserable. If you ask them why they feel the way they do, some blame their discontentment on their jobs. They claim if they get better positions that their lives would drastically improve. Some state that they are trapped in miserable marriages. They feel if they change partners that they will be satisfied. Some say they hate singleness. They believe with all of their hearts if they find the right mates, happiness will be their norm. Some complain that they never had a fair chance in life. They believe if different parents would have raised them that they would have a better chance at happiness. Some even state that they don’t know what would make them happy; they just roam around in life hoping that something or someone would lift their spirits.

 

It is amazing to watch people waste precious moments waiting for the “what ifs” to happen before they become happy. They refuse to enjoy the present moment, the only one they can experience at a time, and they wait for something that may or may not happen before they decide to change their emotional states. They refuse to look for something in the present that they can be grateful for. They fail to recognize the natural beauty that they are exposed to. They neglect to bask in the fact that they are healthy and can do for themselves. They overlook the family and friends that they are blessed with. They despise their personal blessings, looking for greener pastures.

 

If they change their perspectives about their situations, they may find that pockets of happiness lurk in every corner. They may begin to see that the rising of the sun brings a reason to smile. They may find that the counting of stars brings peace. They may realize that the mates they despise have good qualities waiting to be appreciated. They may find that there are benefits on those current jobs that they have ignored. They may find that in their singleness, they have opportunities that they would not otherwise enjoy. They may come to realize that their parents did the best they could with what they had, and if their parents didn’t, they would do better than their parents did.

 

If a person changes his perspective about his situation, he can change his mood. He doesn’t have to wait for his situation to change in order to be happy. He can allow his happiness to change his situation, and if his happiness is not powerful enough to change his situation, it is powerful enough to change him. And amazingly, once he is changed, he’ll take the necessary steps to change whatever is not working in his life.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you realize great things start from small beginnings?)

Most great things start from small beginnings. Usually, a person has an idea. After getting an idea, he has to develop action steps in order to make his idea work. He may have successes and failures along the way; however, if he refuses to give up, small things can turn into great things with the passage of time.

 

During this slow moving process, the person may have to do things that he didn’t plan to do, especially if he doesn’t have ample funds for every task. For instance, if a person is opening a restaurant, he may have to clean commodes, load the dishwasher, wipe off tables, sweep floors, etc. Even if he hires employees, he may have to jump in and assist with some of the menial tasks until he builds a business where he can hire ample help. If he is opening a shelter for the homeless, he may have to answer phones, check individuals into the facility or serve in other roles until the organization can function with little supervision. The same is true when a person starts most type businesses. In the beginning, the leader may be required to have more hands on experience in order to get things up and running properly.

 

It is essential that a person doesn’t get weary during the initial process. It is easy to understand why many may want to give up and quit during this stage, but if he wants things to grow, he must do what he has to do until he can afford to do better. Every person is not fortunate enough to have adequate funds or help in the beginning, but a persistent person refuses to allow this fact to stop his progress. Just know that it takes longer to build things this way, but with persistence, hard work, fine-tuning and implementing small changes along the way, the person’s small desire can become a successful reality.

 

So don’t despise small beginnings. Know that they can be the start of something great.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you realize that procrastinating may cause you to lose valuable opportunities?)

Many people have good intentions. They set goals and even go as far as setting objectives to meet their goals. They dream big, and they promise themselves that they are going to make it one day. They know that they want more out of life than what they already have, and they vow that they are going to get everything they deserve. All of this sounds grand, but some people have one enemy that stops them from moving forward. That enemy is sly and slick, and it lulls individuals into inactivity.

 

Procrastination is the culprit of many people not fulfilling their dreams. They don’t tell themselves they won’t do something; in fact, they promise themselves that they will. They only tell themselves that they will do it later. They say they will put off taking action until tomorrow. They rationalize why tomorrow would be a better time to start. When the next day arrives, they tell themselves that they are too busy or things aren’t quite right to start immediately. They push the date back even further. Before they realize what has happened, they’ve pushed those action steps they needed to take back a week, month or a year. Sometimes, years have passed and they hadn’t moved one inch.

 

Are you guilty of this infraction? Do you have a tendency to put things off, telling yourself that you will get to it later? Are your agenda items piling up because you told yourself that tomorrow will be a better day to get started?

 

If you have fallen into the procrastination trap, make a decision to come out of it today. Decide to get busy on one of your agenda items. Don’t talk yourself into starting later; start right now. Know that it’s always wise to do what you can do today. Tomorrow brings its own challenges and opportunities. You never know, tomorrow may present an opportunity that hinges on something you should have done today.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you have true friends?)

In these modern times, people use the word friend very loosely. They identify their friends as those who like them on social media, those they hang around with, or individuals who have connections, people who can get them to where they want to go.

 

There are many levels of friendships, but when I examined the definitions of genuine or true friendships, three characteristics emerged. First, a friend is someone you know well. By this, I mean knowing that person’s good and bad qualities, knowing his or her likes and dislikes, knowing his or her ways, values and beliefs. With this type friend, you surpass the superficial, and you get to know the real person, not what the individual portrays to those on the outside of his or her inner circle.

 

Secondly, a friend is someone you feel affection for. By being with this person, you have formed some type of attachment towards him or her. Not only do you spend time with this individual, but you are emotionally involved with this person on some level.

 

Lastly, it is noted that a friend is someone you trust. It means that you can rely on this person. You may share things with this person that you would not share with everyone. In some way, you may depend on this person not to violate the relationship. You have a certain level of confidence in this person, and you are willing to let your guard down around him or her.

 

As you examine your friendships, can you truly say you have genuine friends? Can you be yourself and know that this person will still be around? Can that person tell you the truth without you getting offended? Does this person add value to your life in any way? Do you trust the person you call friend?

 

If you have one true friend, you are truly blessed. If you have two true friends, you are more than blessed, if you have three or more, count yourself as exceptional. Remember, it’s great having true friends, but it’s even greater to be one.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (Do you realize a person can have zeal for the wrong thing?)

Many people possess zeal. When they want something or believe in something, they go wholeheartedly after it. They have a passion for what they are doing, and they do it with fervor. This could be good or it could be dangerous; it all depends upon the belief the person has or the goal he is trying to reach. If the belief is healthy or the result is productive, zeal leads to positivity. If the belief is unhealthy and the result is destructive, that same zeal leads to negativity.

 

History has taught us that many individuals had zeal for the wrong things. They went after their goals mercilessly, and they stood to their guns regarding their beliefs, but their hearts were filled with anger, prejudice, hatred and the like. Because of their diligence, many lives were lost, families were separated, innocent people were imprisoned, certain people were denied opportunities, etc. They may have been successful in their eyes, but because of the devastation they caused, their zeal drove them in the wrong direction.

 

Is there anything that you feel zeal towards? Have you examined whether your zeal is leading you towards a productive or destructive end? You may not have the goal to kill or imprison, but you do you have the goal to slander, ridicule or shame, or is your zeal leading you in the opposite direction, prompting you to edify, encourage or comfort?

 

Examine your motives for doing what you do. If your motives are noteworthy, continue with all the zeal you can muster; however, if you will cause pain and destruction, put your zeal to use on a better cause.

Books by Levon

Just Asking… (What picture are you painting for your children?)

Children are a blessing. Some people believe this while others don’t, but regardless of one’s opinion, not everybody has the privilege to serve as a parent (biological or otherwise). The awesome thing about being a parent is that a person is making an impression on young minds. He is painting a picture of what the world is like. That person is doing so by his words and actions. Even when a parent isn’t aware that he is painting a picture for his children, that person is adding a stroke to the page of life each and every day.

 

As you examine the life you live before your children, what story are you telling? Are you teaching your children that honesty and integrity are important characteristics? Are you telling them that it is all right to violate valuable principles as long as they get what they want? Are you showing them that stepping on others is the way to success? Are you teaching them to be afraid to spread their wings and try new things? Are you ridiculing them and planting words within them that make them feel useless? Are you provoking them to anger by the way you live? Are you nurturing them and showing them they are valuable just as they are? Are you living a life that you want mimicked by your little ones?

 

As it’s been said numerous times, your actions speak louder than your words. When young, your children have the tendency to mimic what you do more than listening to what you say. The lifestyle you live may have an impact on them as long as they live.

 

Knowing this, be cautious of the picture you’re painting for your children. Yes, you have to live your life, but know that small ones are watching, and they will be affected by the story you paint. So paint a picture that you won’t be ashamed to pass on to the next generation, because you are passing a story on, whether you are aware of it or not.

Books by Levon