Monday, August 13, 2012

Mean what you say and say what you mean

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Written By: Sophia Reed MSHS

In this blog we will discuss meaning what you say and saying what you mean.  It is self-explanatory, and is something that sounds so easy, but often times as women, or people period, we do not follow this policy.  Before we turn to self-reflection, I would like us to think about others that we know in our lives.  We all know that unreliable person that always tells us that they are going to be somewhere at a certain time, but never shows up.  We all know that person that makes plans with us, but never follows through.  We all know that person that we will never trust with important stuff because although they say that they are going do it, they always manage to forget, say that they are busy, or come up with some excuse as to why they did not follow through on what they said.

Think for a minute of that person and your opinion of them.  Do we think that person is a bad person, not necessarily; we just think that person is unreliable, untrustworthy, and many times we may laugh at them for being this way.  Sometimes we may even lose out on friendships, romantic relationships, or professional relationships because a person is that way, because we feel we cannot trust them with the important stuff in our lives, and will never stick or neck out for them because doing so may turn out to be a bad reflection on us. 

Now let’s turn to self-reflection, what person are you?  Do you make a habit of giving your word and not following through on it? Saying that you are going to do something but don’t?  And then make excuses as to why you didn’t do it, and make excuses and feel like this is sufficient.  I would like you to reflect on the importance of your word.  When you think about it, your word means a lot.  It’s your credibility as a person.  It determines if people think you are a liar or think that you are a truthful person.  It determines whether people feel they can trust you are not.

A common term that people say is that actions speak louder than words.  But I would beg a differ; I would like to think that they go hand and hand.  Because if your words were followed by actions, that is a way that we become a more trustworthy person.  Let’s examine each aspect of the relationships so you can see in detail what I am talking about.

First I would like to begin on how our words can affect romantic relationships. In a relationship, let start in the beginning. Think how do you begin to really trust someone?  It all goes back to their word.  If you meet a man and he says that he will call you the following day, and does, then that begins to build trust.  On the flip side, if it doesn’t then that begins to build distrust.  If while in a relationship a man says that he loves you and goes out and cheats on you, then that builds distrust.  Although he did not directly say that he would not cheat on you, it is implied that if someone loves you, then they would not want to hurt you, and that cheating on you would hurt you, therefore you feel like they don’t love you and they broke their word.  In essence although it may not seem like it, a broken word always seems like a lie to us.

 I think that this is especially true for women, and that is why men and women often have a misunderstanding to trusting one another in a relationship.  Women value words and what a man says, and when they don’t live up to that word for whatever reason, then women feel betrayed…… and then they feel like  the man is a liar.  Often time, when doing couples counseling, men will say “She keeps calling me a liar, and I didn’t lie to her.”  It’s not that he directly lied to her but that he did not keep his word and therefore she feels betrayed and lied to as a consequence.

Let’s take it to another aspect in a friendship. We all know that unreliable person that we cannot count on for anything because they never follow through on what they set out to do or follow through on their word.  Often time this causes conflict in friendships if we are counting on someone for something and them not doing it.  Examples of this are, them always being late, always being unreliable, always putting a man over a friendship.  All that goes back to someone’s word.  If your friend says “Yeah we are going to have to go out sometimes” and is always going out with her boyfriend or making other plans and never seems to make time for your friendship then yes their word begins to mean nothing to you because you can never count on what they say, and you began to feel like they don’t understand the importance of your friendship.

The same can be said in a professional relationship.  It determines if you can be a trustworthy employee versus and untrustworthy employee.  Examples of this include, if your boss is going to give you a second chance when you mess up versus no second chance.  Weather a boss if going to consider you for a promotion versus no promotion.  That is because if a boss gives you a deadline and you commit to doing it, that is the same as your word.  If you miss deadline after deadline, then you are making yourself as an untrustworthy person. If you  have a job, then call in sick a lot of time, then that goes back to your word.  When you take a job, you made a commitment to do the job to the fullest of your ability, therefore not following through on your commitment is like breaking your word, by calling out sick excessively you are deeming yourself untrustworthy.

A person that can’t keep up on their work, a person that cannot handle additional responsibilities on the workplace, because you are known around the office as being the slacker, goes back to not following through on what you committed yourself to, on what you gave your word to, and that is not something that you want to be known as.   
I bring up all the above to say this.  Your word is your bond, it is what you are known by, it determines if people will trust you are not.  Even if you look at the issues of credit, anytime you sign a receipt using a credit card, it says I agree to pay this amount.  That is another form of your word.  Having bad credit, speaks about your word.  It speaks about whether you agree to pay your debts off or not.  There are unforeseen circumstances that happen that may affect your credit, but when you do get money or another job, then pay off the amount because you have agreed previously to do so.  Filing for bankruptcy is a cope out, and another example of how your agreement (even if it was not verbal but written) was broken and how you are not a trustworthy person.

At the end of the day, what I want you to see is that it is not okay to go around saying you are not going to do something but don’t do it.  It is not okay to tell your children something, and then not follow through on it.  It is not okay, to tell people that you will do something, be somewhere, or not follow through.  It may sound like something so minor, but it affects the way others see you.  It affects weather someone is willing to enter into a romantic relationship with you, weather someone is willing to put their neck on the line for you, weather someone is going to give you a promotion, weather someone will co-sign for you.  For myself, I am a good person on my word.  If I say that I am going to do something then I do it, if for some reason I can’t do something, then I offer an explanation as to why, and it is often a very good explanation.  In previous chapters, I speak about building yourself up and making yourself a better person.

Doing what you say and saying what you mean is a large part of that.  If you as a person do not have your word, then no one will trust you, no one will even care what you half to say, no will have any positive things to say about you or your character.  Do not be that person.  Make a practice every day to follow through on your word.  If there is something that you can’t do and you know in your mind that you have no intentions of doing it, then don’t say you will.  Because the only person that it is a bad reflection on is yourself, and as you read thus far, a positive perception of yourself inside and out, is what you want to have… and preserve.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

You only get one life so use it wisely

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You only get one life so use it wisely.
Written By: Sophia Reed

This  is something that I make a habit of saying to clients quite often. Especially when I see them wasting, or not being productive with their time.  When I say that you only get one life, that is exactly what I mean.  I ask you to take a moment and think about this….Really think. The life that you are in your only going to be in it once.  The moment that you are in, you are only going to be in it once.  Although we know that it is impossible to maximize your time every day of the week. We all want “fun time,” but that should only take up a portion of your time and your whole day should not consist of nonsense.

I would say that when you go throughout your day, a large part of it should be productive.  I think that this is an easy way was to why people’s goals tend to get lost fairly easily.  People have goals and aspirations but they don’t know how to achieve them.  Or sometimes, people are lazy and they talk and talk about what they want to be and never put any effort to be anything, and then blame the world as to why they have not gotten farther in life.  I think that the best advice to give someone is that each and every day that you wake up…Do something that allows you to move toward your goal or being the person you want to be.

To give specific examples, I can recall a session or in fact several sessions that would illustrate this perfectly.  Many individuals step into a depressive mood, because they may be 30 plus and realize that every dream that they had when they were 16-25, their life is nothing like it.  All of a sudden they realize that they are 30 plus/ 40 plus, and that life has just washed them by and they have no way of regaining what they lost.  I hear them say, at 40 do I really want to go back to college, and now it too late to join the military, or the FBI, or this or that.  And for some client’s dreams are something that they can still achieve.  But they get into the mood of thinking that it’s too late.  Or that they are way to off track to go back, and don’t know where to start?  Well I can say this, take one step at a time and do something that moves toward your goal each and every day, even if it is small.  Do you want to start a business, then go the library or book store and get a book on how to start a business, and day by day begin to apply those steps.  Go to the library at the free grant writing classes, and find a way to fund your business.  Technology is way too great for you to sit around doing nothing and not living up to your potential.

Life is not all about fun and games.  Can you have fun and games, sure?  But you also want to have a healthy balance, and that is to realize that you were put on this Earth for a purpose.  The hobbies, desires, and talents that you have were put in your heart and brain for a reason and it is up to you to figure out how to utilize them to achieve whatever it is that you feel you were put on this Earth for.  I hear people say, that I make things sound so easy, and perhaps that is true.  And realistically speaking, you are not going to succeed at everything that you do 100% of the time.  But what do you think would be better? Is it okay, to say even though I failed, I still tried to pursue something that I really wanted to do, as oppose to looking back and saying that you never even tried.  Besides, you never know where even a failed dream may take you. Who you might meet? What other hobbies it may lead to that you will succeed at?  The main phrase that I like to remember is that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. 

Therefore, live each day lie it is your last.  That does not mean to be reckless, doing drugs, and drinking and driving.  Its means that you should strive to put your mark on this world one way or another.  Make your life matter, to somebody in this world.  Put a positive impact on this world.  It would be better in my opinion to have somebody change in a positive way because they knew you and because they meet you, then it is leave this world and people feel sorry for you, because you never did anything significant. For nobody to care if you were around or not, or being remembered for having a negative attitude all the time, or that you were the miserable pscyho that everybody hated and everyone talked about your behind your back (mild joke).  So imagine your life, what do you want it to be, don’t set limits on yourself and even though others tell you that statistics are stacked against you and there is no possible way that you will ever succeed….then defy the odds and try it anyway.  That’s what makes every day ordinary people into extraordinary people, because one day they took it upon themselves to stand out, and succeed when all the odds are against them.  For me, I can speak about this personally, when somebody shuts me down or looks at me weird saying I can’t do it…it makes me want to work harder and prove them wrong, and no matter how longs it takes, you will see that I will succeed at the end.  When that happens I guarantee that is one of the best feelings in the worlds.  So in short, you only get one life, it’s your life and you choose what you want to do with it.

 Do you want to be that somebody that at your high school reunion,  that still looks good and is successful at the things you set out to do….Or do you want to be that person that was the popular kid in high school made all F’s (because you thought popularity and good looks would carry you through life) and at your reunion you’ve have no job, no life, no skills, and everyone is laughing behind your back because you turned out to the less likely person to succeed, as oppose to that nerdy chick you used to make fun of in high school and she is making $100,000 a year making computer programs….Think about it.