Wednesday, June 26, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: "10 Mistakes Unhappy People Make" 


If you've never checked out the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog, it's pretty cool.

Today, I read an article entitled "10 Mistakes Unhappy People Make". It's quite relevant.

It's a straight copy and paste:

Here are ten happiness mistakes to avoid:

Thinking that you have already missed your chance. – Your life, with all its ups and downs, has molded you for the greater good.  Your life has been exactly what it needed to be.  Don’t think you’ve lost time.  It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the current moment.  And every moment of your life, including this one right now, is a fresh start.  If you have the courage to admit when you’re scared, the ability to laugh even as you cry, the nerve to speak up even if your voice is shaking, the confidence to ask for help when you need it, and the wisdom to take it when it’s offered, then you have everything you need to get yourself to a better place.  Read The Power of Habit.

Using failed relationships as an excuse. – Life doesn’t always introduce you to the people you WANT to meet.  Sometimes life puts you in touch with the people you NEED to meet – to help you, to hurt you, to leave you, to love you, and to gradually strengthen you into the person you were meant to become.

Changing who you are to satisfy others. – No matter how loud their opinions are, others cannot choose who you are.  The question should not be, “Why don’t they like me when I’m being me?” It should be, “Why am I wasting my time worrying what they think of me?”  If you are not hurting anyone with your actions, keep moving forward with your life.  Be happy.  Be yourself.  If others don’t like it, then let them be.  Life isn’t about pleasing everybody.

Putting up with negative people and negative thinking. – It’s time to walk away from all the drama and the people who create it.  Surround yourself with those who make you smile.  Love the people who treat you right, and pray for the ones who don’t.  Forget the negative and focus on the positive.  Life is too short to be anything but happy.  Making mistakes and falling down is a part of life, but getting back up and moving on is what LIVING is all about.

Focusing all of your attention on another time and place. – This day will never happen again.  Enjoy it.  Cherish your time.  It’s often hard to tell the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.  Someday you may discover that the small things were really the big things.  So learn to appreciate what you have before time forces you appreciate what you once had.  Read The Power of Now.

Overlooking what you have, to focus on what you haven’t. – Most people end up cheating on others and themselves because they pay more attention to what they’re missing, rather than what they have.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, think about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Dwelling on the things you can’t change. – If you hadn’t fallen down, you would never have learned how to get back on your feet.  If you hadn’t been forced to let go and move on, you’d never have learned that you have the strength to stand on your own.  If you hadn’t lost hope, you would never have found your faith.  The best often comes after the worst happens.  You can either move on, or you can dwell on the things you can’t change.  Either way life does move on with or without you.  So learn from the past and then get the heck out of there.  You will always grow stronger from the pain if you don’t let it destroy you.

Constantly sacrificing your own happiness for everyone else. – Never let your own happiness wither away as you try to bring sunshine to others.  Life is not about making others happy.  Life is about being honest and sharing your happiness with them.

Losing track of your own goals and ideals. – Knowing who you are is one thing, but truly believing and living as yourself is another.  With all the social conditioning in our society we sometimes forget to stay true to ourselves.  Don’t lose yourself out there.  In this crazy world that’s trying to make you like everyone else, stay true to your awesome self.  Read The Art of Non-Conformity.

Dealing with the stress of deceiving others. – If you say you’re going to do something, DO IT!  If you say you’re going to be somewhere, BE THERE!  If you say you feel something, MEAN IT!  If you can’t, won’t, and don’t, then DON’T LIE.  It’s always better to tell people the truth up front.  Live in such a way that if someone decided to attack your character, no one would believe it.  Live so that when the people around you think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.

Not keeping your word is a form of deception. (Matthew 24:4). Whew!

Oh and "negative people" aren't people who tell you *the truth*, by the way; they are people who *hinder your progress*. There's a BIG DIFFERENCE between the two. A lot of people live in patterns and denial because they put "truth" and "negativity" into the same categories (for shame, for shame).

OK. That's the "ounce" for the day. I'm out.



Monday, June 24, 2013


An Ounce of Prevention: "10 People to Avoid When Dating"

There's some good stuff right here...

Thank for the wisdom. I'm going to copy and paste excerpts but I recommend clicking here and reading all of it. There's some real gems in it:

Most folks tend to marry people they date. So, your grandmother may have advised you, “Don’t date anybody you wouldn’t want to spend the rest of your life with.” There’s a certain truth there. So, ask yourself -- if you’ve decided the one you've been dating “is the one!” – whether that person is really Mr. or Miss Right. 

Beware of the desperate dater: "Anything less than a year of dating is too short," advises Arterburn. "Desperate daters want to rush the process, trying to lock you in quickly with expensive gifts or cheap sex so you will have great difficulty backing away."

Beware of the non-recovering dater: Anyone consuming vast quantities of something or compulsively performing some compensatory act like work or exercise is highly suspect. That date is most likely a person who needs to be in recovery rather than in a marriage. There is nothing wrong with dating or marrying an addict as long as that person has shown at least two years of consistent involvement in a recovery program and the program has helped produce some character and integrity. Another red flag is the person who avoids a substance altogether.

Beware of the under-grieved dater: Grieving takes time. At least a year and often two. And that is with the help of a counselor who can help you grieve properly. If you are dating someone who is still angry and bitter of a loss they have not yet entered into the sadness that is needed for grieving to be complete. This does not mean that this person is not dating or marriage material. It just means that they are not eligible at the moment; Mr. or Miss Not-Right-Now is the best way to look at them.

Beware of the hard-luck dater: The personal impact of the failure is subjective to the individual, of course, and the sicker the person, the greater the sense of devastation he or she feels over seemingly small tragedies. One way this person will compensate for feelings of failure is to find some success in some area such as dating.  And what better way to prove you are not a loser than to have you on the arm when walking into a party or the old hang-out.

Beware of the "OK-but-not-great" date: Marriage is meant to be a lifetime commitment between two people, just you and your partner. That is hopefully what both of you are signing on for. It is not the kind of commitment that should be in place until you find someone great to replace the person what was just OK. 

Beware of the parentally enmeshed dater: This is a show stopper or at least it should be. They always say you can tell a man by the way he treats his mother but this situation is the exception to that. The bottom line is that you do not want to spend your life with a Mama’s boy. If you do, you will be 'the other woman' all your life, interfering with two people who are umbilically attached. You are not his Mama and everything that is not his Mama must learn to relinquish all dreams of being anything but number 2.  

Beware of the financially upside-down dater: It is obvious that when you marry and it’s the real thing, you marry everything about that other person, including the financial status and history and credit score. Your assets and debts become the other person’s assets and debts, and vice versa. That’s why those vows read, “For richer or for poorer or for in poverty or for in riches. You sure do want to consider that poverty part. A shiny car to date in is not the cure all to avoid poverty and in fact may be a sign you will be headed that way. So, before you leap, look at the financial realities of the other person. 

Beware of the dater under obligation: A marriage arranged under any kind of pressure is a marriage that will likely crumble beneath that pressure. If your parents are pressuring you to get married or to marry a certain person, or if you pick up that the other person is under a similar type of pressure, its time to knock that pot off the burner until you can make your own decision.

(GREAT POINT) Beware of the deceived dater: If you say to me, “I have real peace from God about marrying this person,” I would probably say, “yeah, right!” Sounds like blasphemy, doesn’t it? After all, if you have real peace from God it’s a slam-dunk and you can move forward. Right?

Wrong. "Now don’t get me wrong," writes Arterburn. "God can and does give you his peace about a lot of things. You seek him, you feel his presence, and everything aligns and creates peace. But you have to be careful when it comes to huge, emotion charged decisions like who you are going to marry.

What you think is peace might be you in a state of denial. Your peace may come from your refusal to or inability to see the truth about this person. You might have peace because you have a real blind spot about people in this particular area. You just don’t see it. Or you could have a real peace because you are emotionally unstable and this person is one milligram more stable than you so you feel great when in reality you are both in the same boat. It is very easy to mistake terrible for not so bad and it is easy to be very confused when you are in love. So, if real peace is your number one criteria for moving forward. Please step back and at least be willing to consider that there might be a degree of sickness or silliness in your real peace."

Beware of the angry dater: Anger, rage, bitterness and animosity can all come to the surface after being covered up successfully. If you don’t believe how bad it can get watch one of the reality shows like Bridezillas. If you see this out of control behavior before marriage I shudder at the thought of what you might see after you are married. It can only get worse and often ends in physical abuse. So when rage and anger surface it is time to lace up your Nike’s and race to the nearest exit. 

I know, right? Well said and well done. If you want to cop the book that references this wisdom, the info is below:

You can order it here.



Saturday, June 22, 2013


Cheers (yes, the Ted Danson and Shelly Long show) is great!

Anyway, I caught an episode that actually was one of my favorites back in the day that I wanted to share (a clip of). It may be a reminder to some and it will sure to be new to others---either way, I hope it serves as a confirmation that whether you grew up with a father or not, remember that you do have a Heavenly Father and *no daughter of his* should settle for less than God's best of a husband out of low self-worth or fear. *Love casts out fear* (I John 4:18), remember?



Wednesday, June 19, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: "20 Signs Your Relationship Is Going Nowhere Fast (Sorry)"


As I was pulling up some info for an "On Fire" sistah, I "happened upon" (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) on an article from iVillage entitled "20 Signs Your Relationship Is Going Nowhere Fast (Sorry)" and while *of course*, the fornication point doesn't apply, *a lot* of the rest of these are *stellar*.

For some, I'm just going to list the initial point (click here to read the article in its entirety) but some of them that really caught my attention, I will add some of the sentences that the author used to support the final resolve or my own points. Heed warning signs. They're there for a reason. And a purpose:

1) You never talk about the future: It’s great to live in the moment, but if you don’t make plans for what's next, your relationship could end up being short-term.

2) He’s told you that he’s not the marrying kind.

3) You’re keeping other guys on the back burner. (Shellie excerpt: Y'all know I discern that too many people "date like they're married" and that's not healthy or biblically supported; however, if you are keeping other guys in your close emotional space so that you can "piece together a complete man", that's not good either. Plus, it prevents you from really seeing the strengths and weaknesses of the "main guy".)

4) You have nothing in common except sex. (Shellie excerpt. Good sex does not a stable relationship make. Remember, married folks don't "make love" via helps them to *celebrate love*; the love that is already there.)

5) You have lots in common, but no sex life. (Shellie excerpt. For the "Hebrews 13:4 supporters", let's say you have lots in common but no physical attraction. When you *do* get married, your husband needs to feel like you desire to "one yourself" with his mind, BODY and spirit.)

6) You live together. If you’re already doing all the stuff that goes with married life without the formal commitment, there may be no motivation to move things to the next level.

7) His parents are divorced. Sometimes parents can give us a negative idea of what marriage is or instill a lack of trust in us through their actions. “Our relationship role models are often our blueprint,” says Levine. “It may be all he knows.”

8) None of his friends are married.

9) You’re both acting like you’re single. (Shellie excerpt. You both act like marriage is not on the radar. You're *single* until you're *married*.)

10) You don’t make time for the relationship.

11) You haven’t made your desires clear.

12) You keep things casual. Because you’re afraid of scaring him off, you’ve given him the idea that you could take him or leave him. This relationship will go nowhere fast until you come clean.

13) You’re settling. You know he’s not the one, but you’re keeping him around as a backup plan. But this is one plan that will never lead to a happy ending.

14) You’ve skipped over traditional 'steps'.

15) You haven’t traveled together.

16) You don’t have your own life.

17) Your relationship exists online.

18) You haven’t brought him into your world. 

19) You avoid fights.

20) He’s not financially stable. (Shellie excerpt: AND NEITHER ARE YOU.)

Good stuff. Run the list down before you proceed...


Thursday, June 13, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: "7 Common Dating Myths" 

Now y'all know I love me some Jews...

This is a good article on the "7 Common Dating Myths". What I appreciate about it is that it's so *practical* (Proverbs 2:6-8-Message). After all, fairytales are for children (I Corinthians 13:11, Hebrews 5:12-14). It's a straight copy and paste from a popular Jewish website (Aish) and so that's why there are some of their terminologies in there.

Anyway, I did a straight copy and paste:

1) Every person has one special someone.  Actually, everyone has many more than just one person with whom he/she can marry and establish a loving, happy and enduring relationship. The mentality that in a world of more than seven billion people there is only one person wandering about that is meant for me – my twin, my soul mate – who, if found, will provide me eternal happiness and who, if not found, will doom me to despair and misfortune for the rest of my life, is a dangerous illusion. There is a gigantic field of hundreds, and maybe even more, of appropriate and worthwhile mates. A successful marriage depends less on the identity of the person chosen and more on one’s ability to conduct himself/herself in that marriage on a daily basis. Therefore, the task before you is not to decide “is this the one?” but rather to choose a person with whom you feel you can build a home together that is filled with love. This transforms the quest of choosing a spouse into something that is much more logical and attainable.

Many years ago, I heard Rav Ahron Soloveichik zt”l explain that bashert guarantees only one thing: God arranges that you encounter that person. Bashert does not guarantee that you will marry that person, or that the marriage will be a happy and fulfilling one; those depend on our free choice and good character traits. And even what we do after that initial encounter – pursue that person or ignore him/her; look for the good or obsess over flaws – also depends on our free choice. As such, it is probably best to remove the bashert issue from our calculations, as it obfuscates instead of clarifies. It should remain in the realm of divine secrets to which we have no access, and which plays no role in our deliberations.

2) When it is the right time, it will happen. This statement is somewhat true but also conditional – the condition being that you don’t interfere with what should happen. From G-d’s perspective, He has long desired to see many of his sons and daughters standing joyously under the chupah (marriage canopy). He is even prepared to assist in this process. But the problem is that there are those who, with their own hands, sabotage the process. How? Through their patterns of analysis, their manner of searching for a spouse and their conduct while dating. The central question becomes: is what stands between you and the chupah a lack of information or options? Do you need more and more advice, and more and more recommendations – or is a change in approach and a removal of [self-imposed] obstacles most desirable? If the latter, then a proper match is already available and waiting.

3) I simply haven’t met the right one. How do you know? Maybe you have and you told her/him “no!” Maybe the right one is in your vicinity – even a meter away – but you ignore her because you are focused – obsessed – on some model who is unattainable [or on an ideal that is a fantasy] and therefore you are uncertain if the person you are with is the right one. Maybe you are looking in one direction, and he/she is standing in the complete opposite one?

4) Without you, I am half a person; without you, I am nothing. A single is not a “half-person.” A single person is not a broken vessel or a worthless wretch. A single is a complete personality, productive and generous. Sometimes people forget that singles have lives outside of dating, and that they have other objectives in life aside from finding a spouse. Thus, aside from the questions that sound general and interesting but actually imply something else, like “Nu, what’s new with you?” and the encouraging but ultimately tormenting words “soon, by you,” it is permissible to ask a single, “How’s work?” or, “How do you like your new car?” or, “How about meeting for coffee tomorrow night?” or, say “That new blouse is stunning!”

Before you are a “single,” you are a human being. If everything in life hinges on dating, then perhaps it is time for some soul-searching. There are other substantive things in life – study, work, family, service of God, hobbies, etc. And God-willing a relationship will also be part of that life.

5) Men disqualify women based on superficialities like appearance. But this is true not only of men but also of women. It doesn’t happen all the time but it does occur too frequently. What does this say about us – the culture of the “pose” and the “show” in which we live? What does it say about us that visions of fashion models dance in our heads, drawn from the mass media, movies and advertisements, which clutter our minds and complicate our choices and the process of choosing? These are good questions for which each person must find an individualized answer. (Note: Be careful what pictures you post on Facebook. You have no idea how many potential dates are lost because of this.)

6) When it is “the one,” then you will know. It is clear that you have watched too many romantic dramas, but…real life does not work like that. Most couples arrive at this most momentous decision when something in their heart trembles, when everything does not seem perfect. Moreover, if everything seems perfect, check again. Maybe you have been blinded and are overlooking something important. In relation to other significant choices in life (where to attend school, where to work, etc.) the matters are complicated and there are pros and cons for each side. One has to have confidence and faith in the person with whom you wish to take the next step – but one who expects to hear a “divine echo,” or to feel butterflies in the stomach, or the sensation of burning love in his/her fingertips, will keep waiting and waiting.

7) Meeting on the Internet is for the pathetic and the desperate. Friend, you are passé. Even if there might have been something to this in the past, those days are long gone. Today, it is possible to find on the relationship websites many pious and exceptional individuals who understand that it is mistaken to categorically reject any option that God has afforded us in order to achieve our destiny. Of course, one has to exercise caution before an actual meeting takes place, but it would be a shame to discount any avenue to the sacred goal.

A debunking of many, if not all, of the aforementioned myths will lead to a healthier dating process and more satisfying marriages.




Wednesday, June 12, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: "10 Ways to Improve Your Marriage While You're Still Single" 

This is a *really good article* published on Essence's website.

It's a straight up copy and paste...

Stop Falling In Love With Potential: Having a healthy relationship with your partner means loving them for who stands before you today, not the hope of who they will become tomorrow. Falling in love with potential is a mistake.

Love Yourself More: I’m not talking about looking in the mirror and saying, “I look good.” Loving yourself is about respecting what you put in your mind, your body and your spirit. The more you love yourself, the more emotionally healthy people you will attract.

Get Some Identity Capital: I learned this from an amazing TED Talk by clinical psychologist Meg Jay. She articulates "identity capital" as something that adds value to who you are. It could be an internship, getting your start-up launched, going for that trek around the world — any initiative that builds character will later be desired.

Work On Your Vulnerability: The bottom line is, you can’t love without first being vulnerable. Putting yourself in positions of vulnerability in other areas of your life will help exercise this “muscle."

Be Intentional: Approach your love life as intentionally as you do your work. Choose who and what you want in a relationship rather than just making it work with whoever chooses you.

Understand Your Personality: The top reason blamed for divorce is money, but that’s incorrect, it’s actually the inability to problem-solve. Working through issues is solely based on communication skills. Effective communication stems from our personality. In my book, I explain in detail how to determine personality compatibility.

Know Your Values: Creating your "values list" is the most important exercise you can do when thinking about compatibility in a partner. Your values are your guiding principles, akin to your personal rulebook. If you try to live with someone who has a different set of rules, it’s not going to work. Spend time fully understanding what you value most (and why.)

Expand Your Social Circle: Adding what is called “weak ties” (friends of friends of friends) to your social circle is documented as the most effective way to realize new life opportunities, including jobs and a significant other. Focus on expanding your circle now. Here are proven ways to meet someone new.

Strengthen Your Belief System: I preach to my clients constantly that our belief is our reality. If you know your belief system (about marriage) needs support, I suggest beginning with monitoring what content you intake (via TV, blogs, etc.) and whom you surround yourself with.

Get a Mentor: I can’t say enough about the growth that comes from mentorship, whether it’s for romance, business or just life in general. If you’ve looked for a mentor with no success, you’re more than welcome to join my mentoring group, please join me here.

I also really dig that a guy wrote this...

Anyway, definitely some soul food for thought. ;-)



Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Ounce of Prevention: "It's Not About the Nail" 


My older-than-I-am-married-male-second-cousin sent this to me this morning and when I watched it, I thought about the amount of times I put men through this *and* the amount of times I have watched women put men (and women) through this. A lot of times people are not looking for solutions. You can tell by how much they wallow in their problems.

Sometimes a one-minute video (give or take a few seconds) can say *so much*:

It's Not About the Nail from Jason Headley on Vimeo.