Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Breaking the Rusty Cage

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever had a personal goal you want accomplished? Have you had someone tell you that you cannot do it? Have you fell victim to this type of negativity?

If so, you are not alone.

Believe it or not, there are people out there that say that you cannot do it. There are people that will not let you get to where you want to go. They use every measure possible to keep you from getting to your destination. If you let them do this, then you will be trapped in their rusty cage.

If you find yourself trapped in someone’s rusty cage, you have two options on how to deal with it: stay in the cage or get out of it!! If you choose to stay in someone’s rusty cage, you will limit yourself to someone else’s boundaries. If you choose to get out of this cage, you will create your own boundaries. When you get out of someone’s cage, you can experience the freedom to do the things you want to do.

It is possible to go forth with your own intention and live the way you want to live. All you have to do is know how to get out of someone’s rusty cage. How can one do that? Well, there are many ways to get out of the cage. How many ways you ask? All you have to do is write the different ways on a piece of paper. You will be surprised on the ways you can escape somebody’s rusty cage.

When you can grasp this concept, you can feel empowered, wise, and free. It can work!!

In life we have so many people trying to trap us in their rusty cage. It can be through a negative word. It can be through a negative action. Heck it can be through something negative!! No matter the size or structure, any cage can be escapable!! Just believe in that process and you will amaze yourself on the different type of cages you can breakout.

I have been in many cages. At first I thought there was no way to escape them. I felt helpless. I felt overwhelmed. I felt powerless. The more I felt this way, the worse I became. While I see other people outside of the cage, it depressed me because I thought I would stay inside for the rest of my life. Thankfully, that was not the case. One day, I imagined myself being outside the cage. Through visualizing it, I felt the freedom and joy of living without any boundaries. From that vision, I decided to make a shift and find ways to get out of the cages in my life. Once I was able to escape these cages, I felt like I can breathe again. For me, a broken cage equals an open door to a new life. It is such a great feeling!!

How many times are you going to fall into someone else’s cage? How many times are you going to get out of it? It really depends on you!! Are you going to get out of your own cage and be free or are you going to stay inside and not be free? The choice is yours!! If you believe it, then you can quote the following words of the 90’s grunge band Soundgarden:

“I’m gonna break. I’m gonna break my. I’m gonna break my rusty cage….and run!!”

You too can break that rusty cage and run towards a new life for yourself. Just give it a shot and BREAKOUT!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Self Experimentation of Mr. I-I-I

Greetings Happy People,

Do you remember a television show called “The Incredible Hulk?” Do you remember the beginning of each episode? If you do, then you would remember Dr. David Banner performing an experimentation on himself that went terribly wrong. Apparently a little overdose of gamma radiation plus a fit of rage turned this scientist into a green, muscular monster known as the Incredible Hulk. After this metamorphic change, the Hulk would smash everything in sight. At the end of each episode, he turned back to Dr. Banner and hitchhiked down a lonely road to some sad background piano music.

Eleven months ago, I did a little experimentation on myself. Did it have anything to do with gamma radiation, smashing things, and turning into a green Lou Ferrigno? Nope. This was more of a light-hearted experiment.

On May 2009, one year after my wall broke; I decided to try a couple techniques that would give an extra “spring” to my life. What are they? Well, they can be broken down into two different things: meditation and thinking more positively. After doing these things for almost a year, I realized that my life is a lot better now than what it was before.

The first step I will explain to you involves meditation. There are different forms of meditation to do. I have a couple of favorites that I do on a frequent basis. The first form of meditation I do involves closing my eyes, clearing my mind, and listening to the environment around me. When I do this, I can hear the birds chirping, the wind blowing, and the beautiful rings of nearby wind chimes. As I listen to these things for a few minutes, I notice a sense of peace and calmness inside my body. When this meditation ends, I would ask myself three different questions and give myself three answers to the questions.

QUESTION 1 - “What time is it?”
ANSWER 1 – “The time is now!!”

QUESTION 2 – “Where am I?”
ANSWER 2 – “I am here!!”

QUESTION 3 – “How do you feel?”
(Here I would give a big inhale of air and slowly exhale as I say….)

The next thing I know, I really feel awesome!! This piece of meditation was given to me by a good friend of mine and I feel more thankful by doing this exercise!!

Another form of meditation I like to do involves putting on my headphones and listening to the rain and wind chimes on my CD player. There is something about this combination that also puts me a great ease. After listening to this for a few minutes, I would ask myself those three questions that were mentioned before. When I finish with this meditation, I will be ready for my day!!

The second step I will explain to you involved thinking more positively. Before I did this step, I had my doubts. I kept asking myself if this would even work. With some hesitation, I gave it a try. The first thing was allow myself to be thankful for the things I have right now. I became thankful for my car, my friends, my apartment, the job I have, and the wonderful relationship. Somehow, being grateful for these things make my outlook on not so bad!!

The next thing I did in my positive thinking is to cut down on listening and reading any sort of bad news. Before I did this experiment, I would go to bed with the news channel on. Back then, I did not get any good rest. Ever since I stopped putting the news on, I have received better bed rest!! As for the newspaper, the most I ever done was glance at the headlines or check out the sports scores.

I did not read too deeply into the news stories. Why? When my co-workers read the newspaper, they would find stories they can gripe about to each other. Sometimes, the ranting can get a bit intense. I don’t know about you, but that is the type of stuff I choose to avoid. News outlets have a way of over saturating a story.

Another thing I do is hang around other amazingly positive people. Whether it is with my old high school friends or with fellow Toastmasters, being around positive people can increase your own positive outlook by a few points. Heck!! It beats being around negative people that constantly like to wallow in their own worthlessness – ala The Perpetual Victim. Hanging around too many negative people can bring you down. In order to soar with the eagles, you got to stop hanging with the turkeys.

These are the two things I have done within the past 11 months. I will admit to you that after doing this, my life feels a lot better. Although this may not be done in a whole day, these things can be done daily. Are there more things that can be done to improve your life? Perhaps. But this is only a starting point to something better. If it can work for me, I am sure this will work for you too. Just give it a try and 11 months later, you will be amazed on how you are living.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Draft Booms

Greetings Happy People,

Knowing that the 2010 NFL Draft will take place today, I have the following names to share with you:

Heath Shuler, Cade McNown, Rick Mirer, Tim Couch, Brian Bosworth, Ki-Jana Carter, Ryan Leaf, Lawrence Phillips, Todd Marinovich, Curtis Enis, and Tony Mandarich

If you are a football fan, what do you think of when you hear these names? Do you think of amazing talents? Do you think of successful NFL careers? Do you think of future Hall of Famers? If you do, my question to you is “What the heck are you thinking?”

The names mentioned to you were high picks in past NFL Drafts. Unfortunately, their careers were not as stellar. These gentlemen were considered NFL Draft “Busts.” A bust is someone who was a highly touted draftee that did not meet high expectations in the professional level. They received plenty of attention for not what they have done, but for what they did NOT do!! Their lack of playing skills caused plenty of NFL teams to be unsuccessful.

Thanks to various sports shows, these professional failures got plenty of attention for their flailing efforts. It almost seems like they get rewarded for their awful performance. What about those draftees that were picked lower than these gentlemen? I am sure that there were many that had better careers than these draft busts. As a matter of fact, there were plenty of draft “booms.”

For this post, we are going to highlight the careers of those NFL players that were considered draft booms in the past 15 years. To be a draft boom, you have to be either selected in the 4th-7th round of the NFL Draft or undrafted, and you have to have a very successful career in the NFL. How successful you ask? It could be in Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, or any other amazing feat where a player could be recognized. Grant it, I may not mention all of them, but I will give a few examples.

Now let’s get started with the list of NFL Draft “Booms:”

1995 - Terrell Davis RB– 6th round pick (Denver Broncos) – 2 time Super Bowl Champion, 3 time pro-bowler, 1997 Super Bowl MVP

1996 – Zach Thomas LB – 5th round pick (Miami Dolphins) – 7 time pro-bowler

1996 – Adam Vinateri PK – undrafted – 4 time Super Bowl Champion – awesome clutch kicker

1997 – Priest Holmes RB – undrafted – Super Bowl Champion

2000 – Tom Brady QB – 6th round pick (New England Patriots) – 5 time pro-bowler, 3 time Super Bowl Champion, and 2 time Super Bowl MVP

2003 – David Tyree WR – 6th round pick (New York Giants) – Super Bowl Champion, known for a “pretty amazing catch”

2003 – Tony Romo QB – undrafted – 3 time pro-bowler

These draft booms have surprisingly made their teams successful. When they arrived in the NFL, not too many people knew who they were. However, through either luck or a twist of fate, these players got a chance to show what they can do. Some of them are still playing in the NFL. Some of them might get inducted to the Hall of Fame. Either way, they showed that they can play a role to a team’s success.

What is going to happen in today’s NFL draft? Will we see a high draftee become a success? Will we see one become a flop? Or will we be surprised again by someone out of the blue? One can never tell as the 32 teams take a chance to pick that next NFL boom or bust.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Conscience Decsions

Greetings Happy People,

In life we make choices. Some are good. Others are not as good.

Whether it affects one person or one hundred people, the future we create is based on the decisions we make today. Some of them are spurred by our own conscience.

Have you ever made a choice where you first had your doubts, but realized it was the right one to make? I had that type of decision this past weekend. Judging by the end results, I was very happy that I made the right call.

Let me take you back to two months ago. I was running as a candidate for District 33 Toastmasters Lt. Governor of Marketing. This is the third highest ranking position in District 33 Toastmasters – a region that covers southern Nevada, central California, and Ventura County. Back then, I was making plans for different campaign stops in the California portion of the District. I noticed that one weekend had two different Division Contests: one was in Division A (The Lancaster-Palmdale-Bakersfield area) and the other was in Division D (Las Vegas). This decision was extremely difficult because I was also the Chief Judge for Division D Toastmasters. The job for the Chief Judge was to ensure that the contests were run fairly. In addition to briefing the judges, I had to work with the timers and vote counters to make sure contests were run smoothly.

Based on listening to my own conscience, I decided to pass on attending the Division A Contest on April 17th. When I made that decision, I did not know what would happen on April 16th at 10pm……

As I was sleeping in my bed, I received a call on my cell phone. It was my mother. She told me that there was something wrong with my dad. According to her, he was shaking and becoming delusional. I put my clothes on and drove over to my parents’ house. When I got there, I noticed that the paramedics were parking in front of the house. When I walked inside, the medics were taking care of the ol’ man. Apparently he was suffering from the effects of a high blood sugar count. For a diabetic, that is NOT a good thing. The medics took him to the nearby hospital and we followed him there. As my mother, little sister, and I waited in the waiting room, we got word that it was only a blood sugar issue and nothing else. We all stayed at the hospital until 3:30am. The good news is that the doctors treated him by lowering his blood sugar and he was released. When I drove by my parents’ house, I made sure that the ol’ man made it back to his own bed. Once that was done, I went back to my place to get some rest.

When I woke up at 10am, I decided to check in on the ol’ man before I headed out to the Division D Contest later that day. When I got there, he was doing a lot better. He was able to walk on his own, watch the basketball game, and crack a few good laughs!! Thank goodness that ended pretty well!!

As I drove back to my own place to prepare for that night’s contest, I realized the decision I made two months ago. WOW!! Imagine if I ignored my conscience and had gone to the Division A contest in California. What could have happened? Chances are that the story might have been different. I probably would have had a sleepless night somewhere in California wondering what was happening 300 miles away. I felt good making the right call staying here in Vegas. Thanks to my conscience!!

Everyday we make decisions in our lives. Some are as simple as which clothes to wear while others are a bit more difficult. The only thing that helped me make a decision like this was listening to my conscience. As I charted out the campaign trail two months ago, my conscience was strongly telling me not to go to Division A that weekend. Thanks to listening to that voice in my head, it paid off big time!!

Do you have a conscience in your head? Does it scream out to you when you are making a decision? If at any point you are deciding which route you are going to take in life, it is okay to listen to that voice in your head. Who knows? That conscience can help you and your future. In the words of a famous cricket, let that conscience be your guide. The future you can create from it will amaze you!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My First True Love

Greetings Happy People,

I have a confession to make to you happy people tonight.

Before my wonderful relationship with Dana, I met my first true love.

I have been having this love affair for years. Through the good times and bad, this relationship with my true love lasted for plenty of years. Whether I lived in Norfolk, Seattle, or Las Vegas, this love has always been right by my side. I do not know how to explain it, but it is one of those relationships I had since I was young. Heck I still have this relationship with my first true love to this day!!

Now how can an engaged man have a relationship with his first true love and his fiancee at the same time? Well, let me take you back to the early 1980's - when I met my first true love.

It took place at my grandparent's farm in Newsoms, Virginia. It is 60 miles west of Norfolk and only skipping distance from the North Carolina border. I was the little runt tagging along with my older sisters and cousins. In the spring and summertime, we would sample a variety of foods that were grown at the farm. We would try different things like peaches, cantelopes, watermelons, grapes, and plums. As I was talking with my older cousins, I turned around and saw my first true love for the very first time.

Straight from the field, this love looked beautiful from top to bottom. She was wearing something red with white dots and a green top. At first I was shy, then I approached her. She smiled at me and gave me the look that said "Come here." I approached her face to face. We smiled and looked at each other with great passion. I touched her skin. She touched mine. She got closer to me and I got closer to her. We got so close that I can smell her fragrance. Then, my lips touched her skin. And she was....delicious!! My first true love is a strawberry!!

Why strawberries? Well, out of all the produce I sampled as a kid, the strawberry was the best tasting fruit. It was at that point that I took a liking to strawberries. Whenever I get sick, I would like to eat strawberries because it makes me feel good. Whenever I smell strawberries, it gives me a great feeling!! Even to this day, I still relish the sweet delicious bouquet of this small red fruit.

What is your first true love? How did it impact you? Do you still have this relationship with your first true love? Did it have the same feeling as me with strawberries? If so, then no matter where you are and what you do, that first true love will be YOUR sense of paradise and your personal nirvana. Whenever life gets you down, please remember that you can always go back to that true love that makes you feel good. It is an amazing feeling!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Monday, April 12, 2010

Stopping the Cycle of Irresponsibility

Greetings Happy People,

It was a Saturday evening. I was talking to people at a Division contest in Thousand Oaks, California when I heard my cell phone ring. I looked at the telephone number and pressed the ignore button. A few minutes later, my cell phone ringed. Again I looked at the telephone number, and pressed the ignore button. When I called my voice mail, I found out it was my cousin.

He wanted to borrow more money from me. Ever since he arrived in Las Vegas, he borrowed a couple bucks here and kept asking for more. To this day, he still has not paid me back. He also tried the same stunt with other people too.

When he moved to Las Vegas, my cousin always talked about wanting to make a start here in Las Vegas. Additionally, he talked about going back to school and getting a high powered job. Months have passed and the only things he has done was hang out in bars, get drunk, and talk to different women about stuff he does not even have!!

As I made the call to him from Thousand Oaks, I could only tell him something that will end this starting cycle. I told him “No.” I was not going to help someone who is that irresponsible. Had he back his words with actions, it probably would have been different. However, I am not going to put myself through pain for someone else’s pleasure.

Have you ever had someone that was this irresponsible? Have you ever had someone that was worse than the person I mentioned? How did this person make you feel? Drained? Upset? Overwhelmed? Used? If you have an irresponsible person that makes you feel this way, you are not alone!!

There are people out there that are completely irresponsible. They do everything they want AND expect you to take care of things when they are “in a bind.” Many of these people will never learn as they keep doing stuff over and over again. The sad part about all of this is they think they are a step ahead of the person they are milking. Little do they know, their lack of responsibility will only lead them to a hole so deep…..they cannot get out of it!!

No matter if you were tricked or not, you can fall into the same hole as these irresponsible people. What starts off as a helping hand quickly turns into a helpless body. Anyone can be dragged into the mess that one’s irresponsibility can create.

The good news is you don’t have to fall victims to the actions of any irresponsible person. Instead, you can stop your own cycle by saying the following word - “No.”

It may sound cold to some people, but it is very effective. A simple “No” to these irresponsible people tells them they you had enough. It also tells them that you will not be dragged into the hole they constantly dig themselves in. Heck, it also lets them know that they are running out of options. Hopefully this will allow them to see their errors and make them more responsible.

A simple “No” can help you out too!! It will release you of any mess your irresponsible person creates. It will also make you feel stronger because you will not take anymore from these people. It will also make YOUR life easier because you choose to focus on your own life. You will feel better about this in the long run.

If you have an irresponsible person call you up and ask you for something, its okay to tell that person “No!!” Once you say that, you are stopping that cycle AND starting your path!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hot Temper...Hotter Trouble

Greetings Happy People,

One time or another we manage to lose our cool. Whether it is over something small or big, we get upset. It does not matter if we keep it inside or let it out; anger is an emotion that can get the best of us. It can not only hurt the people around us, but it can also hurt us as well.

Within the past year, I noticed different people channeling these negative emotions into something disastrous. These people used anger at work, home, or any other place. They also used different means to communicate their anger (i.e. emails, telephone, letter, or in person). In extreme cases, others use alcohol and drugs to further ignite their spark. No matter the severity of this emotion, it all leads to a common result – the hotter the temper, the hotter the trouble.

What do I mean by this? For any person that displays a noticeable amount of wrath, a negative, damaging energy would return in greater size. This energy can return in different forms. This same energy can also create greater damage for the person exercising the temper. This damage can affect the person physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

To show you what I am talking about, I am going to use the following three subjects. Each has a story where they let anger get the best of them.

SUBJECT 1 – The Worker

Our first subject is someone that does not work to far from where I am. This person was in line for getting a promotion. She thought that this open position was all hers and no one else’s. When she found out that they gave this position to someone else, she was livid!! Before she was in line for this promotion, she had a sour attitude. When she got denied, her attitude became a lot worse. She became hostile towards other co-workers, she became hostile towards guests, and she became hostile towards anything else that walked. She was a walking time bomb. Unfortunately, her self-detonation happened in the form of a massive heart attack. She was out of work for months. She also lost lots of time and lots of energy from her own anger. Fortunately, she returned to work and she is getting better at keeping her emotions in check.

SUBJECT 2 – The Alcoholic

Our second subject is someone that has a bad attitude in the beginning. But when you add alcohol to the mix, you have an instant recipe for disaster. For every drink this person has, her belligerence would greatly multiply. She would become delusional to other people, thinking that they are shouting at her. She would also make angry phone calls to people that would not take her mess in the beginning. She bangs things around the house and becomes more of a hothead for each drink she takes. These fits of rage would turn to either blackouts, bad nerves, panic attacks, or something else that is detrimental. We still have not got to the hangover for this alcoholic. The people around this alcoholic would walk away because they do not want to be a part of this wrath. If they stay, then they will get the full brunt of it. This is not going to have a good ending.

SUBJECT 3 – The Ex-Neighbor

Our third subject is someone that resorts to using his fists after he tried to use his head. On any given night, I heard this person argue with his girlfriend. Usually it was over something frivolous. One night, the arguing between these two lovers became more intense than expected. He accused her of sleeping with another guy. She accused him of not spending a lot of time with her. One thing led to another and I heard a big whomp, followed by a loud, blood curling scream!! Within minutes someone called 911 and the police came. Later that night, the police took him away for domestic battery. Luckily, the girl is alive. Through that fit of rage, he lost his freedom, his girlfriend, his apartment, and his job. I don’t know what he is up to, but I bet he regrets hitting his girlfriend that night.

There you have it. Three different examples on how anger can be a detriment to people and their surroundings. People that resort to this emotion can create more of the negativity they attract. Fortunately, there are other alternatives to counter a hothead. One can meditate. One can start breathing. One can listen to music. Heck, one can do something that is not only productive, but also creative. Face it!! There are many ways not to be angry!!

In conclusion, the next time someone or something gets you upset, ask yourself if it is worth the trouble. Whether it is or isn’t, do your best to avoid resorting to angering tactics. Having a cool head will benefit more than you think.

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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