Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Promotion

Greetings happy people,

“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is frenzied activity. Vision with action can change the world.”

I remembered someone giving me this quote many years ago. At first, I did not understood what it meant. But as time went by, I did. Like many things in life, it is always better to live the message rather than just reading it. The example I have for you today involves a promotion I received years ago. When I started working for my current workplace, I envisioned myself being in a supervisory role. Little did I knew, it was going to take me years to get to that point.

It was early 2001 and I passed two different tests. The first test was an Engineer Intern exam. The second was a Supervisor examination for my workplace. At the time, I felt excited and happy to pass these two exams. However, the celebration was short lived when I found out I had an interview in two days. Talk about an unexpected surprise. With frantic haste, I prepared as best as I could. When that interview took place, I knew that I was not going to get that position. Lack of preparation and knowing in a short time hurt my chances.

Months later, I had a shot at another promotion. This time I was prepared for it. I practiced my interviewing skills, looked at notes, and envisioned being in that open position. When the interview took place, I did a fantastic job. I was confident. I knew the answers and I thought “Hey!! I am going to get promoted!!” A couple weeks later, I found out that they gave it to someone else. My heart shattered and I felt disappointed. I should have known that something smelled funny when they brought in a new hire for a technician position weeks ago. He had the same qualifications I did. Apparently, they thought that he would do a better job. However, their plan backfired. This same guy not only got demoted back to the technician position, but got fired weeks later. That meant that two positions were now open: a technician and a supervisor position.

When they interviewed for that same position, I was cautious – thanks to the “back door” politics. Again, I did a great job but I did not get promoted. They gave it to someone else. After seeing the funk and smelling the stench, it would have been easy for me to just leave that place and find another job. But somehow, I knew that the opportunity was still out there.

Fortunately, it finally came in 2003. A supervisor was promoted to a higher position, leaving his position vacant. With little hesitation, I prepared for the interview and review materials that were relevant to the position. When it was time for the interview, I was fully prepared once again. Did I get promoted? YES!! I FINALLY DID!! After a two year trek, my vision became reality when I finally got promoted!! It was a damn good feeling to get to this point!!

When it comes to goals we want to achieve, we have our visions of making it happen. Heck, I still have a few more I love to see come true!! It does not matter if it is creating a business, getting a new car, or finding that loved one, we visualize what we want accomplished. To think is to create and when we have that vision in our minds, we know we can get there. All we have to do is have unwavering faith and take advantage of any opportunity. For vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is frenzied activity and vision with action can change YOUR world!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time an attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Mirror

Greetings Happy People,

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking if you change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that change.”

Those lyrics were from the song “Man in the Mirror,” a number one hit from the King of Pop, the late Michael Jackson. When I first heard this song many years ago, I thought it was a song with a hopeful message for all. In order to change the world, we have to look in the mirror and change ourselves. The only way this simple message can be more poignant is living it.

When I was younger, I lived with some negativity and insecurity. You can say that I was a magnet that attracted the wrong things in life. I was derided because I talked different. People would tease me because I did not fit in a certain way. Some people even told me that I was not good enough. And others told me that I was neither attractive enough, tall enough, nor smart enough. Heck, I even had people tell that I would amount to nothing!!

When it comes to hearing those horrid words, the only mistake I made was believing what they said. When I believed those words, my self esteem crept deep into the abyss. To make things worse, I looked at those magazines that would show what a handsome person looked like. Seeing all those pictures made me more depressed because I was not like them. Those were not the best of times. This doubtful insecurity may have started at a younger age, but it lingered for years until I stopped and made a change for myself.

One day, I looked in the mirror and realized that my own self view was off. I looked at my own reflection and saw something completely different. Instead of viewing a monster, I saw a person with beautiful brown eyes, a nice skin complexion, and a wonderful smile to share. It took a long time to accept it, but I found a way to not only love myself for what I am not, but for who I am. I can now look at a mirror and appreciate that man inside it. When I see this man in the mirror, I see someone that is not only good looking, but also smart, courageous, and has that sense of style that can’t be matched. Appreciating myself has made MY world a better place.

Today, there are people harming themselves to gain the perfect look. Whether it is through crazy crash diets or excessive cosmetic surgeries, people would go to extremes to just look beautiful. One person said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I would rather say that it is in the mind of the person. When it comes to beauty, intelligence, or strength, we determine our own worth. No one can tell us any different. We all can see ourselves in a positive light.

It does not matter if you start from the top or the bottom, appreciate YOUR beauty!! All you have to do is start looking at the good features of your body, focus on the better ones, and THEN focus on the BEST ones!! Believe me. Once you do this, the view of yourself WILL change your world….in more ways than one!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Magnetic Attraction

Greetings Happy People,

I am having one of the best weeks in a long time!! Within the last days, I not only had great Toastmasters meetings & contests, but I also went to some awesome parties!!

Last Thursday, I went to a social gathering at a PT's Pub on Fort Apache and Sunset Road. At this gathering, I met and had fun with some former high school classmates. There were people I have not seen in 17 years!! We talked, laughed, and had a great time!!

On Friday night, Dana and I went to a B&B Toastmasters social event at the Artisan Hotel and Casino. We had more fun with more people! The socializing, the frivolity, and the good times were all there. Ironically at that same place, I met another former classmate from high school!! This was someone I have not seen in 16 years!!

My wonderful fortunes were not relegated to just those evenings; I also had great days too!! At work, I attended a few meetings. I got a brand new notebook laptop – which is helpful for the times when I am out of town. I received a check from something I overpaid. And after a long stretch of hot days in the Las Vegas Valley, I stood outside my balcony and felt the cool drops of rain.

How in the world could I be fortunate enough to have these great days? Well, the answer lies in two simple words…..magnetic attraction!!

What is magnetic attraction? It is something that you can attract with your own thoughts – like a mental magnet. If you were to think of something positive, positive things will come to you. On the other end, if you were to think of something negative, negative things will come to you.

At first, I thought this idea sounded crazy. But when I looked around, I saw this process at work with different people. You have positive people experiencing positive things (see Positive is a Plus) and you have negative people experiencing negative things (see The Perpetual Victim). There really is no gray matter, whatever you attract is based on your own thoughts.

While you cannot control all the thoughts you have in your mind, it helps to have a thought that is positive. Why? Because the positively powerful thought is WAY greater than any negative one. It is a great feeling to attract this energy. All you have to do this accentuate the positive things in your life and you will be alright.

I had awesome days thinking this way!! I will have MORE fantastic days when I continue this magnetic process!! After all, it is uplifting, empowering, and quite….attractive!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Third Thursday

Greetings Happy People,

It was a Thursday evening in December. I had driven across the Las Vegas Valley to get to this place (30 miles to be exact). Through the biting cold air and slick snowy roads, I finally made it to my destination!

Walking across the parking lot, many questions lingered in my mind.

“Is it a good idea to attend this event?”

“Will it be worth the trip?”

“Will anybody remember me?”

I continued my walk towards the building with trepidation, still wondering if this was a good idea. I had many opportunities to stop, turn around, and just go home. But instead, I kept walking. I saw the front of the building. It read Balboa’s Pizza. I looked through the window and saw many people talking, laughing, and having a great time.

“Wow!!” I thought. “This may not be a bad idea after all!!”

As I approached the front door, I took a deep breath, held the handle, and pulled. As I walked inside, I beheld an amazing sight!! I heard background music; I saw delicious free food, and a mascot that looked like a knight!!

“Welcome to Third Thursday!!” a lady told me. “Please sign in and fill out your name badge and year!! We are glad to have you here!!” With those words, I felt welcomed and happy with my decision to attend. Then just when I thought it was safe, I met people I had not seen in 15 or 16 years!! They were faces I recognized.

To be honest, I was surprised that people still recognized me. We talked about what we were doing, how things were going, and reminisced about the days when we had attended school together. That was my introduction to Third Thursdays!!

What is Third Thursday? In my own definition, it is an event sponsored by my high school where alumni attend to socialize. They have food, drinks, and great times!! This event occurs every month throughout the school year and it attended by people that graduated in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s!!

What were the benefits of attending that first event? I met people I had not seen in a while, I enjoyed the food and drinks, I had lots of discussion mixed with laughter, and I had a great time!! Have I attended these events since? Yes!! Will I attend more!! You bet!! Who could turn down something like this?

Now imagine if I had walked away from an opportunity like this. What would I be missing? What doors would have closed? How long would it be before I had a chance to do this again? One could only wonder.

The important message of this story is when you have a chance to do something – stop thinking and just do it!! You never know when a great opportunity will come your way!! HECK!! There is a good chance that more doors for will open for you!! Just go out there and take that first step. The rest of the path you walk will be worth it!!

That is all I have for you. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gratitude IS Gracious Attitude

Greetings Happy People!!

As I began writing this blog for you today, I had to stop and take a look at a few things: my car, my bed, my computer, a full refrigerator, the living room, and a closet full of clothes. As I look at these things, I feel very grateful to have them. With all that I have, there is one thing that I am even more grateful to have, my job.

While there are some very interesting characters at my workplace, I remain grateful for the job I have today. November 15, 2009 is an important milestone for me. That day will mark the 10 year anniversary of working at my current job. Why is this significant for me? Let me take you back to the spring of 1999.

Ten years ago, I was finishing up my last semester at UNLV. There were plenty hoops of fire I had to jump through during my last semester at that school. Besides the rigorous courses I still had to finish, there were other obstacles that made the path more difficult. I was working as an intern for a guy with a Napoleonic complex, I had two projects to complete before graduating, and a woman whom I admired and loved as a kid - my grandmother in Arkansas - passed away from complications of diabetes. Her passing hit me so hard, I mentally checked out for the rest of that semester. Part of me was happy to graduate, but part of me felt numb after six years of studies.

Things were not easier after graduating from UNLV. When my student status ended at UNLV, so did my internship. That meant that I was without a job. The first place I applied for was my current workplace. I took the exam, aced it, and got on the interviewing list. Little did I know, it would take me about five months to even get an interview. During those five months, I applied for different engineering positions. There were some places where I had to take tests, others I would just send in a resume and take interviews. Either way, I would get rejected. The more rejections I faced, the more depressed I became. I wondered if anyone would hire me. It got to the point where I would apply for something outside of what I studied for. If it was any consolation, at least I knew I could type 45 words per minute – not bad huh?

Then in September of 1999, I got a phone call for an interview. It was for an Engineering Technician position at my current workplace. I went into the interview, answered the questions, and did not get that job. However, one of the interviewers named Marshall was so impressed with me that I got a second interview for a different position. At the time, Marshall was the head of that workplace. He had worked there for 38 years and was a couple months away from retirement. According to my co-workers, he told my current boss “There is this kid from college that you should check out. I think he would be a good addition to this place.” Two months later at the second interview, I did well again. And this time I finally got hired!! After six months of unemployment, I finally got hired by someone!! WHOO-HOO!! It was a complete relief!! What was ironic about the whole thing was that fact that this was the first place I applied for six months ago!! What took them so long?

The good news did not end there. When they found out I had a civil engineering degree from UNLV, they automatically promoted me to a higher technician position within three weeks. After that, I took advantage of other opportunities which led me to where I am now, and will into the future!!

As I type this blog to you people, I realize how important it is to be grateful for what I have. That makes me feel pretty good!! In times like these, we as a people must be grateful for the things we have right now. Even if you only have a dollar in your pocket, be grateful for that!! It is very important to have this gracious attitude because it can make you feel good, as well as attract more positive things to you!! I have and will benefit from this. Chances are you will too!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Power of Happiness

Greetings Happy People!!

Of all the feelings in the human body, nothing compares to pure happiness.

YES!! Happiness is the best emotion because it makes you feel good!! I have been through a variety of feelings (sad, fear, depression, angry, worry, confusion, and disenchantment) and I admit it. There is no greater feeling that happiness!!

When I am happy, the good vibes go all over my body.

When I am happy, my smiles are wider.


People can tell you that they are happy, but saying and feeling it are very different. Through my own understanding, to really feel happy, it must come from within.

That’s right!! In order to truly feel happy, you must first have that happy thought. When you have the happy thought in your mind, it automatically transfers into your feelings.

What happy thoughts can spark this euphoric feeling? Well, any good thought you can think of is a great start!! Whether it is your children, your family, your pet, a vacation getaway, a good song, or a certain red fruit with seeds on the outside (Strawberries), any happy thoughts will work!

Ever since I acquired this elated feeling through thought, I feel more upbeat, my moves became a little swifter, and I notice a sense of freedom from fear, despair, hopelessness and anything that is opposite to feeling good. In addition, my confidence and courage levels have skyrocketed to amazing heights!! Feeling happy is incredibly AWESOME!!

To further prolong this feeling, I would do other active things such as watch less news stories, listen to good music, and partake in a walk outside to breathe in the good environment around me. Laughing also helps power the positive energy!! For every good chuckle comes a burst of happiness!!

Who has a right to feel happy? WE ALL DO!! Face it! All of us have the right to just be happy!! The only person that can make us experience this wonderful feeling is the one in the mirror. Go ahead and give it a try!! You will be surprised in how one simple thought shift makes a difference in your day!!

Once you found your happy feeling, allow it to come into your life! When you are finished, ALLOW MORE HAPPINESS TO COME IN!! There are no complex mysteries to this feeling. When you are happy….YOU WIN!! Enough said.

That is all I have for now. Take care of yourself and thank you for your time and attention!!


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

And Knowing Is Half The Battle!!

Greetings Happy People,

To get things started, I would like to show you a few quotes from “top movie critics.”

“I could load you up with more plot details, but this mercilessly incoherent, galactically stupid movie left me too numb to type.”
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone magazine

“This pricey, juiceless pulp could never have been killed by critics, simply because it was already dead.”
- Manohla Dargis, New York Times

“The only collateral damage is in the audience, where, as you sit through the movie, you can feel your IQ drop minute by minute.”
- Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

What in the world could these top critics be talking about? Well, it is none other than the number one movie in the nation this week, G.I. Joe – The Rise of Cobra. I did see the previews of the movie and being a person who once watched the cartoon with great zeal, I decided to check it out for myself.

Before I went to see this movie with my girlfriend, people at work told me not to even waste my time and money on this “box-office stinker.” This was according to them reading the reviews of the film instead of watching it themselves. Barring any other criticism against this movie, I still decided that I was going to watch it – no matter what anyone else said.

Last Sunday, Dana and I went to the Cannery to see this movie. And in my own humble opinion, I thought it was pretty good! How good was this movie? I would personally give G.I. Joe a "B" grade. Yes the storyline was predictable, and they gave time for the backgrounds of the main characters. But I still thought the movie was good nonetheless…and so did Dana!! At the end, you can tell that they were going to make a sequel just to continue the storyline.

When Dana and I left the movie theater, we did not leave scratching our head. We did not leave angry. Instead, we felt good about what we saw. It was a great way to end a FABULOUS weekend!!

I don’t know about all of you, but I find it funny that the top critics would give bad reviews to a movie like this and give great reviews to something incredibly boring. The only critic that I listen to when it comes to movies (and other things) is me. I know what is good and what is awful because it is my own opinion!!

There is a good message to this story. Instead of listening to what other people say about certain things, check it out first…THEN make a decision for yourself. Whether is it going to a movie, dining at a restaurant, or checking out music from an artist, you have that right to determine what is good and what is awful. No one can take this decision away from you because it is yours! You are your own top critic! When you listen to yourself, you will feel better about it because you choose not to rush to any judgment off of another person’s word.

Just imagine if more people were to think for themselves…..wouldn’t that be interesting?

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.

Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Perfection Through Imperfection

Greetings happy people,

I have a confession to tell all of you today. I make mistakes. In my 33 (soon to be 34) years of life, I have made plenty of mistakes. From the time I was born to where I am right now, mistakes are something that I am used to creating. Whether it is in something I say or do, a mistake is surely bound to happen. If I don’t notice my own mistake, I let people remind me of the various mistakes I make. For me, making mistakes are endless. It may sound like I am hard on myself, but I am not. As a matter of fact, I encourage myself to make mistakes. Sounds crazy? I don’t think so. I will give you a story on why I welcome my own mistakes.

A good example is my own experience of being a Chief Judge for an Area Toastmasters contest yesterday. It was my first time handling a role of this magnitude. Was preparation involved in this responsibility? Of course! Through different club contests, I prepared by either serving as a Chief Judge or helping other people in that similar role.

Thanks to the club level experience, I had a game plan set up for what I wanted done at the Area level. To make things easier for people, I created simple steps on how to fill out a judging ballot, how to start timing a speech, and how to work with the vote counting system. While some things worked at this Area Contest, there were other mistakes that I experienced in the same process. Some I was able to detect myself, others were picked up by people that are proficient in the different aspects of judging (vote counting, briefing judges, timing duties, and vote collecting). Without these people monitoring what I was doing, I would not have picked up on the mistakes I made. This is one reason why I love Toastmasters so much. When you make a mistake, there are people there not only to let you know the mistake you made, but also how to improve from it. Feedback is given in a safe atmosphere of friendship.

Thanks to these mistakes, I know what to improve next time.

Thanks to these mistakes, I will go back to the drawing board and find ways to come back stronger for the next Area contest.

Thanks to these mistakes, I will get better!!

This is only one aspect explaining where making mistakes can be a benefit. There are other things I do in life where the same logic can be applied. It can be applied at work, it can be applied in relationships, and it can just be applied period!!

Despite my own awkwardness, I am not the only one that makes mistakes on a constant basis. We all are capable of making mistakes whether big or small!! Without them, we would not experience certain pleasures we have in life today. We would not experience turning on a light bulb, riding in an airplane, watching TV, talking on the phone, or driving our cars to get from point A to point B. Mistakes played a role in creating these things!!

The people that create the things we enjoy today, made many mistakes in their process to satisfy their goals. Did they give up? Not really!! They just went back to the drawing board to improve themselves. Without that ability, we would not benefit from their creations. Is it okay to make mistakes? YES!! How else would you improve? It is immeasurably better to have perfection through imperfection. That is the best way that every person can overcome things.

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.

Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What's Your Angle?

Greetings happy people,

I have been at my current workplace for almost 10 years. Throughout this time, I have experienced and created many opportunities for myself.

However, there is one thing that I find troubling, That is the fact that there are people I work with that have been in the same positions for the past 5, 10, or 15 years!! If you asked any of those individuals why they would not take the time to advance, you would probably get the following answers or a variation thereof:

“I like where I am at. After all, it IS a stable position.”

“I don’t want to work under someone I am not crazy about!”

“It’s hopeless because they screwed me out of that promotion!”

“Someone would not let me take the tests to advance!”

As interesting as these answers are, I perceive them to be nothing more than excuses. In today’s world, there is no such thing as stability. There are only two pathways on which one can exist: growth or decay. If you are not doing one, you are surely doing the other. Whether these people know it or not, they actually control where they want to go.

To demonstrate this point, I would like for you to imagine the following example. You are walking on a treadmill with a flat incline. While it is true that you are walking on the treadmill, chances are that you are not getting as much out of it as you like. Instead of going up, you remain at that same constant level. You must eventually get to a point where you have to make the following decision: stay on that constant path (decay) or change your position for growth.

Now let’s imagine walking on that same treadmill with a higher angle. After a few minutes, you notice that you are getting something out of it. The further the climb, the more beneficial the walk becomes for you. You become stronger. You feel empowered. You feel that you are actually doing something that will be rewarding at the end. This in turn allows you to grow.

What is the best way to define this type of thinking? Well, it can be based on one of Newton’s laws:

F = ma

(where F = Force, m = mass, and a = acceleration)

As you can see, this is a pretty handy law. After toying around with this equation, an adjustment can be made to further satisfy the equation. Let us replace the “a” in acceleration with the following:

a = g*sin (theta)

(where a = acceleration, g = acceleration due to gravity, theta = your angle).

This means that the acceleration is based on your angle. Substituting the “a” from the first equation will give you the following:

F = m[g*sin(theta)]

This means that the force you exert is based on your angle. Therefore if you are walking on a flat treadmill (theta = 0 degrees), you are not getting any force output. However, if you increase your angle, you produce a greater force that is free of any friction!!

How does this brief lesson in physics portray the path one might take? Well, it displays that if one stays on a constant path for a long time, nothing can be processed (except more decay). On the flip side, if one chooses to elevate their angle, they have a better chance for growth.

For extra credit, we can also add another law from Newton that states "For every reaction there is an equal and opposite reaction". This means that you can only receive as much your output. If you put out nothing, you will get nothing! But if you put out something, you will get something in return.

This and the law mentioned earlier can be applied to more that what is taught in a classroom. It can also be applied to how we see ourselves and where we are going. The greater the force we make for ourselves, the greater the results. So, if someone asks you “What’s your angle?” Be sure to tell that person that it is beyond zero!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Blackjack Exercise

Greetings happy people,

I would like for all of you to do a simple exercise with me. This will not take a lot of time and once you finish, you will probably see where I will go with the message.

I would like for you to write down 21 positive things that have happened to you in the last year. This is what I like to call "The Blackjack Exercise!!" When you are done writing down these 21 positive things, read them.

For example, here are the 21 positive things I wrote this morning:

1. Having a great relationship with a dynamite lady!!

2. Created a Toastmasters club for my workplace - The Silver State Toastmasters

3. Having 400+ friends on Facebook - with more to come!!

4. Having a successful year as a Division Governor - President’s Distinguished Division, plus 4 President’s Distinguished Area, and one Select Distinguished Area

5. New management at my workplace - in Las Vegas AND Carson City

6. After a 7 month disappearance, my 21 year old - little sister returned. See Miracle in a Month!!

7. Had an opportunity for a promotion at work.

8. Took notes for a seminar and establishing connections with DOT agencies from 9 different states

9. Took a picture that made it to the Toastmasters International website.

10. Created my own business cards for work

11. Attending more social events, parties, and concerts

12. Meeting high school classmates - some I have not seen in 5, 10, 15, 16, or 20 years!!

13. Created my own blog site. Yes, the same one you are looking at - HEE HEE!!

14. Attended life changing seminars

15. Focusing and benefitting from more positive thinking

16. Taking a big step to become a professional speaker

17. Started meditation exercises – see Living in the now!!

18. Learning how to swim - see Courage in Water!!

19. Watching, listening, and experiencing more positive things – music, people, travelling

20. Creating a dream board

21. Meeting new people that are pretty cool!!

Are you done writing the 21 positive things that happened to you? If you have more than 21, go ahead and write them down!! If you have less than 21, create more positive things that will get you there!! Go ahead, I can wait!!

Now that you are finished, go ahead and read each of the positive things that happened to you within the last year. Did you notice anything interesting or mindblowing? Well, I notice the following things in what I wrote:

1. I have the power to create, attract, and do these positive things in my life.

2. I have grown from these experiences

3. I feel more awesome now than I did a year ago.

4. I realize that there are more positive things that I can experience in my life.

Face it!! If all this can happen in one year, just imagine what else can happen in the next few years. Oh the possibilities!! Do you have these similar “A-HA” moments? Well, if you do that’s great!! Keep on living them!! YOU have that right to live the way you want to live. No person can tell you otherwise. As long as you can realize this, you will draw more into your life that is positive. Trust me, there are no limits!! Once you hit this type of Blackjack - YOU WIN!!

That is all I have for now. Take care and thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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