Be Excellent at Being You

Think of how you feel when a person goes above and beyond for you.  Think back to a moment when a stranger paid for your meal or held the door open, even when you were walking slow.  Reminisce on a time when you received excellent service and how that made an impression on you.  Then think of all of the missed opportunities you had to change the trajectory of someones day or life by simple going the extra mile.  Many of us operate in mediocrity, but expect excellence from others.  You attract who you are and too many of us are operating below our capabilities.  There is so much more that we could be doing, but we are waiting for someone to tell us each step to take.  We are looking at everyone else’s material blessings and wishing for their life, without ever thinking about the sacrifice that they had to make to obtain those things.  We focus on getting more without giving more.

“Excellence is a continuously moving target that can be pursued through actions of integrity, being frontrunner in terms of products / services provided that are reliable and safe for the intended users, meeting all obligations and continuously learning and improving in all spheres to pursue the moving target.”  This summer was a life changing experience for me.  I woke up and realized that if I wanted more and if I expected more that I had to give more.  I had to step outside of my comfort zone and stop holding onto the things that I had accumulated over the years.  I had to release what I was cherishing as my current accomplishments and reach higher.  I realized that I had reached a level of mediocrity, but I still wanted a greater return.

Relationships are constantly evolving and even if the growth is not happening at the same time, one person cannot stop growing while the other person catches up.  I realized that I had to step up in my relationship and give more even if I felt that I always gave more.  It is easy to exalt our perfections while we magnify another person’s flaws, forgetting that we have things to work on ourselves.  Operating at a level of excellence means that the bar is always being raised, no matter how high you have gone.  I have to work on being a better mother, wife, friend, and family member.  Even where I am strong, I can be stronger.  Where I am weak, I can build and one day add that to my strengths.

Dream jobs are not always obtained but many times they are created.  Instead of seeking the perfect position, be excellent where you are and either continue to look for the next opportunity or create the opportunity in a place you love.  We are constantly disappointed by unrealistic expectations.  We expect our next position to be “the one” that leads to a magical experience and constant promotions.  We go in with a sense of entitlement, instead a willingness and openness to learn.  Even after being in a position for a significant amount of time, you still have to work excellently in order to show your consistency.  Never feel that you are above learning or beyond teaching.  People follow those who desire to learn more.  They follow those who have an ambitious spirit that is greater than their personal aspirations.  Be an excellent follower to show how you can be an excellent leader.

Never underestimate your value.  Many times we feel that we need to do more in order to have access to the perfect opportunities.  That is usually not the truth.  Many successful people simply get an opportunity and make the most of it.    They are calculated and strategic with their moves and leverage the opportunity to maximize its value.  Networking and connections will lead you to your dream job before obtaining all of the degrees in the world.  We have to believe that we have the capabilities to be the best and never doubt our skills, experiences, or our drive.  Strategy + patience + willingness to learn = success.

If you think that you are ready for the next level then keep learning, honing your skills, and showing how driven you are.  Make the connections and be ambitious, but never get too far ahead of yourself that you lose track of where you are going.  Let people know how talented you are, but never boast or become egotistical.  Stay humble through this process and watch the doors fly open.  Your time is coming.  Be patient and learn from those who are where you want to be.  Do not envy or question others success, but use their mistakes to guide you away from any future pitfalls and as a blueprint for your moment.

Be strategic. Be patient. Be willing to learn.  Be successful. Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

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Don’t Be The Hold Up To Your Blessing

Desiring to be at a certain place at a certain time, prevents us from being at the right place at the right time.  When we are not where we want to be at a certain point in our life, we turn and begin to point fingers at everyone and everything that could have possibly prevented us from accomplishing our goals.  We complain and validate ourselves instead of taking time for introspection.  We waste time defending our credentials instead of yielding ourselves to the process of being humbled and learning patience.

The time we spend refusing to listen and learn is time that could have been used to get through and to where you are supposed to be.  Our posture is preventing us from passing through this phase.  We refuse to be broken down, we refuse to cry, we refuse to scream, we refuse to get on our knees and pray, so we suffer.  Our strength becomes a barrier to our heart. We want the blessing but we do not want to change who we are, how we think, or increase our faith.  We feel as if what we have been doing is good enough and anything more is simply icing on the cake.  But if you want to get more, you have to give more.

You can’t move higher in any area of your life without increasing your sacrifice, your skills, and your stability.  Many times we give just enough and end up with more, but there comes a point where you can only exude excellence and your sacrifice to get there, remain there, and grow from there is great at all times.  You cannot be running around wasting money, time, and your talents and expect to get to the level that many others never even get to see.  You can want more but if you do not give more of yourself and invest into your dreams, you will continue to gain but never achieve your ultimate goals.

Many people are very talented.  Therefore, when you proclaim to be talented and want to be recognized for your talent, you have to continuously refine your skills, take notes from the greats, and increase your value.  People are not going to simply see your talent and elevate you, but they must see that you are passionate, progressive, and punctual.  Timing is everything.  If you don’t see the urgency in being better than other people won’t rush to ensure that you are given that crucial moment to prove yourself.  Once you set yourself apart others who SAY they are great, you will be recognized as the one who can stand among those who you have looked up to your entire life.

Being stable has everything to do with being able to focus on the prize and not being swayed by the popular or easy choices.  Being stable has to do with being mentally prepared to go through some anguish, lonely nights, and potentially a road of many failures before achieving success.  Being stable is not selling yourself short because you want more now instead of the grand prize later.  You have to possess the fortitude, patience, and drive to keep going even when people stop believing in you, stop supporting you, or start to talk about you.  Your mind has to be prepared to not begin to be consumed by doubt, fear, or negativity.  You have to be stable and be able to steadily walk the road to the end.

We are the only person that can get in the way of our blessing.  We think that it may be others that hindered us but we are the ones that allowed those people to be in our lives past their expiration date.  If someone is weighing you down, no matter who they are, you have to separate yourself from them or they will drain or deter you from getting to that next destination.  Many people don’t even know they are being used by the enemy to prevent you from reaching your goals, but it is not their job to recognize their role, but yours and you have to be prepared to remove them from your life expeditiously.  The longer you allow those to leach on to and drain you, the longer it will take for you to be able to focus on what matters.

When we look back at the mistakes that we have made, we have to be ready to see ourselves for who we are and not what others tell us we are.  People may say that you are strong, driven, and passionate, but only you know where you have fallen short.  You know where you are weak and although your strength, drive, and passion may have been good for the level that you are on, the next level requires more.  I have learned to stop allowing my past to be my reason for not having great credit, for being so deep in debt with student loans, or for not being where I thought I should be.  If I did not go through those things, I would not have met the many angels that God has used to assist me along the way.  If I would have had a different life, then my compassion, empathy, and outlook would be different.

So I am learning to embrace my past and present and use it as my stepping stone instead of my shackles.  I have got out of my comfort zone and become okay with being uncomfortable.  I have decided that my path to greatness may not look like everyone else’s but I will get there when I am supposed to be there.  I have learned that the only person that is hindering me from receiving my blessing is me, myself, and I.  I no longer desire to be at this level, so I have decided that increasing my sacrifice, refining my skills, and working on my stability is what I am going to focus on until I get there.

Stop pointing fingers at others or your circumstances.  Instead focus on you.  Do not be the hold up to your blessing.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Health Care Providers Must Ask the Difficult Questions

There is a common thread that is running through many of the conversations about mental illness and domestic violence; the failure of health care providers to properly assess and ask the important but difficult questions.  I have asked questions about a patient’s mental illness in a routine questionnaire, but I was never trained on how to start the conversation without that form or how to be prepared for those who said yes.  I asked the question with the assumption that the person would say that they did not have any mental health issues or suicidal thoughts.  If a person would have responded differently, I am not sure what my response would have been.

After seeing this video (posted below) this morning, I was disappointed in myself.  Personally and professionally.  One of the survivors discussed how she went to the hospital because she had a black eye and no one took the time to ask her how she got that black eye.  She said that if anyone would have asked her, she might have opened up and received the help she needed to escape from her abuser.  Her words struck me right in my own heart.  It reminded me of all of the times that I had suspicions or could have asked more in-depth questions, but failed to go that extra mile and discuss those things with my patient.  I have failed professionally at the bedside but that does not mean we cannot change this conversation.  Healthcare professionals have to continuously remind ourselves that we are providers of holistic care, not just symptomatic care.

A patient may come to you with symptoms of high blood pressure and obesity, and the only questions that may arise are those that focus on their eating and exercise habits. We never stop to explore any underlying mental issues or emotional problems that may trigger overeating, depression or stress.  All of these factors could lead directly to these disease processes and their resolution could in turn fix the overarching issue.

Many times we enter into a patient-provider relationship with preconceived notions that block our natural interactions with our patients.  We do not pick up on the subtleties because we are focused on our agenda.  Quality health care is effective care.  We can only be effective if we are asking the right questions.  We can only ask the right questions if we are listening to the actual responses that are being given.  We have to open our ears and eyes to see more than the primary issue but all other issues that could possibly be connected.

We have to ask the difficult questions about child abuse, sexual abuse, rape, drug abuse, mental health, suicide ideations, depression and domestic violence, to list a few. It may be hard, uncomfortable or may be offensive to some but that one person who needed to hear those words will thank you.  We may be the only outlet or opportunity that they have to get them the help that they need.

Healthcare providers are angels on earth. Our work is never done.  We have to continue learning and expanding our skills through traditional and nontraditional means.

Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

http://shine.forharriet.com/2014/08/nbcs-tamron-hall-shares-heartbreaking.html