Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Step Up to the Stage!!

Greetings Happy People,

Yesterday, I sat in a meeting room with a group of people. They were speaking Spanish to each other. While I heard majority of the conversations, I could barely understand what was being discussed. When one person asked me a question in Spanish, I stood up and gave an answer that reminded me how rusty my Spanish was.

As I was about to give the answer, my nerves were shaking, my stomach was churning, and my brain said “huh?” I felt like sweating both internally AND externally. With great trepidation, I gave my answer the best way I knew how. What happened? Did the people laugh? Did they make fun? Did they talk me down? Not really. Instead I got a positive response from the people in that room!! Why did I get this positive response? Because I stepped up to the stage and tried something a bit out of my element.

After I gave my answer, people were showing me the words I was being asked. Some of them helped me out in their own English tongue. It was totally incredible to find this many helpful people in one place. Had I not stepped up to the stage, I probably would not get the same response as I did. Thanks to this act, I knew what to improve for next time.

Whether it is speaking in Spanish, learning to swim, or doing something else beyond our comfort levels, we all must step up to the stage and give our best efforts!! In order for one to be successful, they must take those first steps and grow through the process. Without growth, how can we learn to succeed?

For some people, they fear failing at what they do. For others, they do not want to be embarrassed. For more people, they figure that someone else might do things better than them and just won’t give it a try. When it comes to someone trying something different and about to quit after the first attempt, the only advice I can give to them is to simply not shortchange themselves. If one wants to get better at what they do, they will find many ways to improve.

Successful people have stepped up to many different stages on a repetitive basis. They faced ridicule, embarrassment, and all of the negative things that can happen. Did they give up? Of course not!! If they were to give up on what they want accomplished, they would not be successful at what they do. Furthermore, it is important to know that for every discouragement that takes place, there is also encouragement too!! No one person is alone at each attempt at greatness.

So if you are a person that is trying something outside of you comfort zone, always remember that it is okay to step up to the stage and give the best performance you can!! Who knows, you may be a bigger success than you think!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Ol' Man

Greetings Happy People,

Two years ago, I was coming in from lunch. I get an announcement from one of my co-workers to call my mother at the hospital. She also said to have my co-worker drive me over there. Somehow I knew that this was not going to be good. When we got to the hospital, my mother told me that my dad suffered a massive heart attack and he is fighting for his life in ICU. When I went into the room, I saw him hooked up to lots of tubes and breathing apparatus. When I left that room, knowing that I could lose my dad at any moment. There was not a dry eye at that place.

A few days later, I was driving from one of my sister’s house when I was injured in a pretty bad car accident. I had a few dizzy spells and some injury to parts of the vertebrae. A couple days after that, I was able to walk over to the hospital to see my dad – not in best fashion myself. Knowing that he suffered a massive heart attack, I tried to pretend that I was walking fine. I went into the ICU, talked to him a bit, and let the room. Upon leaving the room, my dad asked what the heck was wrong with me. Did I lose a fight or something? It was at that point, I knew he was going to be alright.

When I was born thirty-four years ago (on October 29th), my dad came from an assignment in the US Navy to see the birth of yours truly. Everybody thought I was going to be born a girl. WHOOPS!! I guess that did not happen :o)

When I was a kid, I remember having those nice talks with the ol’ man. That still goes on to this day. Whatever the topic was, we discussed it. Between him and my mother, he was more the reasonable, level-headed person to talk to. When we were living up in Seattle, I remember going to my first NBA (Supersonics) and MLB (Mariners) game. I also remember playing at a nearby park. Whenever we travel or move across country, I would be in the seat behind him navigating as best as I can. There was also a moment where he saved me from a pitbull attack. He stood in the line of attack and took the bite from the dog. I also remember going to UNLV football games with him. There were many great memories I had with him.

Today, he still remains a voice of reasoning. Throughout the dysfunctional things that can happen, he still stays a strong figure to my family. I still talk to him about different things that are mostly sports related. Even though the effects from diabetes are taking a toll on his body, he still remains a tough man. He knows that when it comes to this disease, he is going to fight it and still come out on top.

I am very grateful to have a man like him in my life. I can honestly say if there are any people that made a real impact in my life. He will be one of those people up on the top of my list – along with my grandmother (his mom). He will always be known to me as “the ol’ man” and I will never forget that when I become an older man myself.

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


Jesse I-I-I

The Turnaround

Greetings Happy People,

Recently, I came across a very negative person. You might say that this person goes beyond the requirements of being a “Perpetual Victim.” As a matter of fact, this person’s personality is so negative is goes beyond any toxic levels known to any human being. How negative you ask? Well, this person would not only be in a constantly negative state, but at times in angry, surly, and truculent moods. From the way things sound, this person has been a “Perpetual Victim” since birth. No matter how many time one tried to reason with this person, negative attitudes, thoughts, and sayings would always spew out.

For a certain amount of time I dealt with this person. I dealt with the loud mouth, the verbal assault, and the quick hot temper. Until one day, I stopped and realized that I really don’t have to deal with it. Therefore, I walked away from that environment for something less toxic.

Ever since I made that move, I feel a lot better. I am now hanging with more positive people and some cool friends. I am taking advantages of different opportunities. I am now doing what I want to do. And do you know the cool part about this? For each positive thing I do or experience, more positive energy will come towards my direction!! You can say that I am creating my own world for the better.

Compare this to the subject I have dealt with - the person full of negative energy. For every act of belligerence this person displays, more negativity will come to this person’s direction. For every bad mouth conversation that happens, more negativity will come along. For every bad thought that happens….well you can guess what will come in return.

While all this negativity is being attracted towards this person, all the positivity is more than likely to go away. It will get to the point where this person will be buried under so much negativity, that it will be hard to escape. Why? Because this person is abysmally deep in it!!

So if you find yourself dealing with someone that has a toxic attitude, get away from that person!! Only you have the power to do that!! Align yourselves with more positive people in your life!! Once you make this turnover for yourself, you will be surprised with your own outcome…..in a good way of course!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

What Goes Down...Must Come Up!!

Greetings Happy People,
It is hard to believe that I took my first Physics class 15 years ago. I remembered the time when I first walked into the classroom not knowing what to expect. I never took this class when I was in high school. So you can say that I was at a real disadvantage. During my first lesson in Engineering Physics I, I managed to learn a few things: statics, dynamics, and Newton’s laws. Additionally, I also learned about projectile movements, forces, velocities, and accelerations. When I finished that semester, I did well enough to take the class again. That’s right, I had to repeat it.

The second time I took the class, I knew more things that I missed the first time. It gave me an advantage on how certain things connect with each other. I passed that class and went on to Engineering Physics III. When I first took Engineering Physics III, I thought I was way over my head. We covered topics ranging from Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Optics, and Phasors (no not the Star Trek variety). How rough was the first class? Well, let’s just say that the average on the first test was 38 out of 100%. The highest score was a 78. The lowest score was a 2. That’s right a 2!! You can say that me and other people had to take that class again.

When I took the class a second time, I thought I was ready. I not only took this class before, but I also took a bunch of engineering courses that were relevant to this class. Did it help me get through this rigid course? It did. Did I have to take it over again? Yes. Apparently it was not a wise idea to take what you learned in engineering class to a Physics course.

When it was time to take this Engineering Physics III course for the third time, I was ready!! I knew the thermodynamic laws. I knew the heat transfer equations. I knew the optics calculations. And by golly my knowledge on phasors were set to stunning. This time I PASSED THE COURSE – WHOOPEE!!

This was just an example on how we can succeed by failing. We go through things many times in order to get them right. Imagine if I were to quit the first time around. Chances are that I would not get as far as I did. For each time we fail, we must never beat ourselves and just learn how we can improve from it. There were many leaders and innovators that went through many failing projects before they succeeded!! We must learn to fail before we succeed. It is the only way we can become better in what we do. If we never failed, we never tried.

So if you have something you would like to accomplish and keep running into that failing wall, DON’T GIVE UP!! Instead, just learn what did not work and take different steps to get to your goals. You will be better off in the long run.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Monday, October 12, 2009

What's My Name?

Greetings Happy People,

Throughout my life I have been known by many nicknames. Back in Virginia, my family nicknamed me Spoogy. On my dad’s side of the family in Arkansas, they called me Spoogum. When I moved to Vegas, I’ve had many nicknames. In junior high, I was known as Smokey. At high school, I was known as Jes-Dog. In college, I never really had a nickname to go by. Sometime after college, I was known as Oakley guy, Oak, and JO3. While all of these nicknames are interesting, there is one that seems to stand out pretty well.

If you are in the Toastmaster circuit, you would know that my nickname is Jesse Oakley I-I-I (or simply I-I-I). How in the world did I end up with that nickname? Well, it started when I was attending my first meetings at Starmasters Toastmasters. As they were handing out the programs, I noticed that my name was misspelled (Jessie Oakley III). When it was time to introduce myself, I would commonly spell out my name. It went something like this….

“Fellow Toastmasters and most welcomed guests, my name is Jesse (J-E-S-S-E) Oakley (O-A-K-L-E-Y) the third (I-I-I).”

Due to countless repetition, the introduction was about to run its course at that club. Somehow that same introduction caught on when I first became an Area Governor. At my first contest, I gave that same introduction and people manage to catch on real quick. Next thing I knew that it went from Area level, to Division level, to District level. It has got to the point where if you were to ask about “I-I-I” at any local Toastmasters club here in Vegas, they would know who you are talking about. Even though there are STILL people who commonly misspell my name, I really like being known as “I-I-I.” You can say that it is my I-I-I-dentity.

Throughout my life, I had the following people misspell my name in many ways. The first way was Jessie Oakley III. There were also other interesting ways to misspell my name.

Jessy Oakley III

Jesse Oaklay III

Jessie Oakaley III

Jessye Oakley III

Jesy Oklwy – yes the smart people UNLV once spelled my name like that!!

Oh the many ways to misspell my name. No matter how many people can attempt to spell your name, it is always interesting to have a nickname. It seems that people know you well by the different nickname you go by. When you look back at your nickname, it reflects the fonder memories of life. That is what I get from the different nicknames I had. I would not be surprised forty years from now I will still be known as I-I-I. And like many nicknames before, this one will also give me fond memories too!!

That is all I have for now. Thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse (J-E-S-S-E) Oakley (O-A-K-L-E-Y) the third (I-I-I)

Monday, October 5, 2009

When Is It Enough?

Greetings Happy People,

For this blog, I would like to take this to a different level and talk about something a little bit out of my element. How out of my element? Well let’s just say that when I am done here, you probably know what’s on my mind.

Like many people, I like to go out and have fun. Sometimes it entails a drink or two. I can only drink what I can handle. If I can’t, I would prefer to have a designated driver with me.

Amidst the good time, merriment, and fun, there are people that just take it way over the line. They would have drinks more than they have meals in a day. I don’t know about you, but I think that is a problem.

Alcoholism is a disease and an addiction that affects a whole environment. The sad part is that so many people that get to this level of drinking don’t know that they have a problem until it is too late. Whether it is a loss of job, home, family relationships, or life, people are affected by this disease.

And the effects just don’t happen on the outside. It can happen inside the body too. Major internal damages are also done by drinking too much alcohol such as cirrhosis of the liver, pancreas inflammation, dementia, brain damage, strokes, heart disease, and in worse cases death. Many alcoholics would keep drinking to the point where they become “perpetual victims” to these ailments.

And like the perpetual victims, you have two types of people that deal with these alcoholics: the people that walk away from them and the people that do not. The ones that do not walk away are often annoyed by the following alcoholic antics – begging for change, creating unnecessary drama, listening to excuses and copouts, and sometimes mental and physical abuse. The people that walk away from it know that enough is enough. They are the “perpetual lions.”

Fortunately, there is help out there for people that drink way beyond their limits. Right now, I will give you the following places that are more than happy to help someone struggling with this addiction:

Alcoholics Anonymous (http://www.aa.org)

Al Anon/Alateen (http://www.al-anon.alateen.org)

Life-Ring Secular Recovery (http://www.lifering.org)

Moderation Management (http://www.moderation.org)

These sites are only to be used if the alcoholic really needs to take that first step. Forcing this information down their throats will do not them any good. For this to work effectively, alcoholics need to make their own steps to this progress.

Why am I discussing something like this to you happy people? You can say that I have some personal experience in this matter. No, it is not me. Let’s just say I have had a few relatives that fell to this addiction. It wiped away their jobs, relationships with family & friends, and their freedom!! Others have also paid the ultimate price with their lives.

If there was a magic wand that can be used to cure the extreme levels of alcoholism, I would use it in a heartbeat. Until that day comes, I can only hope that these people say to themselves that they had enough…..and just walk a step closer to sobriety for everyone.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Don't Quit!!

Greetings Happy People,

Most of you know that I am involved with Toastmasters International, a non-profit educational organization dedicated in helping people improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. For the past 14 years, I encountered many experiences as a speaker and leader. One experience that stood out for me happened at the Spring 2008 District Conference in Ventura, California.

Back then, I was elected to serve as a Division Governor for the 2008-2009 year and met a gentleman who gave me two encouraging words that stuck to me. He said “Don’t Quit!!” The gentleman that told me those words was Don Ensch.

Don has been a Toastmaster for 51 years. He has served in many leadership roles from the club level to an International Director on the Toastmasters International Board. He is a Distinguished Toastmaster and one of a few Accredited Speakers in this organization. He also met the man that told him the same two words he told me – the founder of Toastmasters International, Dr. Ralph Smedley (1878-1965).

Thanks to the words given by Mr. Ensch, I managed to have a pretty successful year as a Division Governor!!

When it comes to achieving any type of goal, these are the two most powerful words that we must hear on a constant basis. Yes there will be those times when we fall down. There will also be those times where we feel the disappointment in not reaching that desired point. While it sounds easy to give up all hope, we must not!! Instead we must replace those feelings of despair with feeling of all out hope!!

Reaching our goals without quitting proves that we can just do it. It also proves that we are more powerful than we actually are. When we choose not to quit, we will come out on top!!

Face it!! If I were to quit on many things in life, I would not be where I am right now. I would not have the career I have. I would not have met my girlfriend. I would not have finished college. I really would not have lived life. When we quit, we shortchange ourselves on different opportunities that come across the horizon. When we quit, we lose not only the respect of the people around us, but also ourselves.

So if you have a goal that you are trying to achieve and are near wits end, remember never to give up. You will be better off in the long run!!

That is all I have for today. Thank you for your time and attention.


Jesse I-I-I

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