Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stability vs. Growth - The Two Laws

Greetings Happy People,

I just ate some food for thought.

Earlier today, someone mentioned to me about job security. How one is thankful to have this type of stability.

In all honesty, that is something I find hard to digest. Why?

As I drive to different places in the Las Vegas Valley, I see businesses that either closed down or moved out of state. These once booming businesses are now a shell of themselves. If you are in the Las Vegas Valley, I would like for you to drive past an intersection that once had a thriving business. That intersection is Decatur Blvd & Meadows Lane.

Years ago, that intersection had plenty of stores, restaurants, a supermarket, and a huge auto dealership. Now most of those businesses are gone. When business was booming, I am sure that some people thought that they had job security that would last them a long time. Thanks to today’s economy, that did not happen.

Years ago, people thought that getting a government job was the fast track to stability and security. Thanks to this economy, many people in government are losing their jobs by layoffs. And for those people that stayed in their position for a very long time, they are not really seeing any type of growth whatsoever.

People are biting into a law that will hinder them in the long run. This law can be seen as comforting in the beginning. But as time passes, and complacency sets in, this law can hurt more people than it can help. What is this law we should look out for? It’s the Law of Stability.

The Law of Stability masks itself as a friend. But when you look underneath the surface, it can be one’s greatest enemy. It wraps around you, makes you feel comfortable, and have you feeling that you are in a safe spot. While you are in that comfort zone, this law weakens your abilities, dulls your talent, and makes you a victim of your own environment. This Law of Stability is a dangerous thing to have. If you carry this law around you for a long period of time, you will decay.

What is one good way to counter this Law of Stability? I have one law for you – THE LAW OF GROWTH!! No matter if it is a business, a community, or one person, when this law is implemented, we have a good chance to live better and go further than we expect!! We cannot rely on others to find methods for our own growth; we have to find it on our own. How do you think successful people became successful, they have the idea and ability to use this law to their advantage!!

What is the Law of Growth? This law is about finding ways to improve what you are doing in life. If you feel like you are staying in one position for a long time, this law will allow you to step out of that comfort zone and challenge yourself to do new things!! This law will allow you to be better in what you can do. This Law of Growth is used by many people that do not believe in the Law of Stability.

At first it may be scary to do. But when we take that first step to the Law of Growth, we will thrive!! Will there be setbacks in our growth process? Yes, there will be. But for each setback we face, we must learn from them – not run away from them. People have fears of failing. But when we learn to rise from our failures, that fear will be nothing more than an illusion.

From this Law of Growth, we can set our sight in whatever we want to do in life. All it takes are just a few beginning steps, keep our focus, and we will be on our way!! There is no telling how far we can go if we use the Law of Growth!! Just give it a try!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Vote For the Person, Not the Party

Greetings Happy People,

I rarely talk about things that annoy me. However, I will make an exception for this topic.

Campaign season is here. The signs are on every corner. The billboards are on the freeways and bus stops. Each of these candidates asks for your vote on the first Tuesday in November. The grandstanding, the politicking, the ad campaigns, the interviews and the debates are the few things we see throughout this election season.

As a Nevada resident, I find this campaign year to be quite annoying and a little nasty - especially in two of the major elections for this state. I receive mail ads from one candidate bashing another candidate on different issues. I hear different people complain about other candidates and the promises they make to the people. It is these types of things that turn me off in who I am going to vote for.

Many years ago, I had a revelation. I have been told by my family that no matter how you feel, always vote Democrat. From the time I was eligible to vote to the time I “woke up,” I had been a registered Democrat. When I woke up, I realize that there were candidates that were on the other end of the party that either had some good ideas or were doing a good job at the role they have done.

My “ah-ha” moment came when I voted for Kenny Guinn. He was a businessman, a past interim UNLV president, and a Republican. He was running for re-election for Nevada governor and I thought he did an excellent in whatever he had done. To show my approval, I voted for the man. It was at that moment, I realized that when it comes to voting, it is not about the party – it is about the person.

Another “ah-ha” moment came for me when a few Democrats were running for key positions in Nevada (Congress, Lt. Governor, and Commissioner). The reputation of these people did not stand out at all for me and I did not vote for them. After the election, they were faced major corruption charges and went to prison for it. At that point, I done only two things: shake my head at these candidates and became grateful that I did not vote for them.

After seeing the two sides of the rainbow, I switch my party allegiance from Democrat to Nonpartisan. I chose to not only be affiliated with two of the major parties, but also focus on just the candidate.

Amidst the political campaign that is going on right now, there is one type of campaign format that brings music to my ears. It is in an organization that promotes the development of communication and leadership skills for their members. It is none other than Toastmasters International.

Toastmasters stay away from the campaign tactics that pollute modern day society. Instead of talking negatively about their opponent, the candidates simply talk about what they bring to the table. Why they should be voted for a certain position. From club to International levels, this organization practices and promotes clean running campaign tactics. They dedicate so much to fair campaigning; it is in their bylaws!!

When I ran for Division Governor and District Lt. Governor or Marketing, I ran as a candidate that was not worried about any negative attack ads. Instead, I ran on what I can bring to the table. There was no mudslinging; there was no backstabbing, there were only fair chances for people to do what they can do. I like that!! Being with positive people like Toastmasters made the whole experience better for me because I am dealing with positive, happy people!!

I can only wish that some political candidates in this state can run on this type of structure.

As I walk to the voting booth in my neighborhood, I can only shake my head at what I have seen in some of these candidates. In some cases, it got to the point where I make a decision by flipping a coin. Someday, the people will get tired of the non-sense. Someday the people will get tired of the attack ads. Someday, the people will say enough is enough. And when that day happens, I am assured that they will not vote along any party lines, but simply vote for the person.

I made that decision many years ago. Will more people make the same?

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finding Your Passion

Greetings Happy People,

Passion is a great emotion to have. When you have passion, you have a feeling that is beyond amazing. You not only feel the goodness around you, but also display it within your environment!! It adds a spring to your step, makes the smiles much better, and allows you to live a happier, healthier life!! People can say that they feel good, but when one has passion, it goes beneath surfaces and transcends all levels.

Unfortunately, there are people that live in a world without passion. They are enclosed in an environment that knows no love, no hope, and no possibility. Enclosed are the barriers they choose to live in. The longer they stay there, the worse they become. Having this type of thinking makes them feel less empowered.

There are also people that are sick and tired of living this way. They want a change in their lives and just don’t know what to do. If I can offer one simple advice to these people, it would be to go outside and live your life the best way you know how. Somewhere in the midst, you will find your passion.

It does not matter if it is by hobby, music, or food, you can find your passion in whatever you do. You also don’t have to have just one passion. You can have as many as you want!! The more passion you have in your life, the better your life will be!! Just write a list down on the things that make you happy. Is it travelling? Is it loving your grandchildren? Is it helping people find their own passion? Whatever you wrote down, you are likely to find that passion in those things that make you happy!!

I have many passions in life. Toastmasters, good friends, karaoke, strawberries, writing, and cooking are a few of my passions. The more I do these things, the better I feel!! Even if I am bogged down on those rare occasions, I look to those passions and realize that there are better things in life to enjoy!!

Would you like to know the cool part about finding and living your passion? IT’S ALL YOURS!! Nobody can take it away from you!! Many people would try, but the only person that can let that happen is YOU!! Never believe that anyone or anything can take your passion away from you!! You have the power to do what you want to do and be happy about it!!

When it comes to finding and living your passion, please remember to keep living your life. You might find more passionate things that you expect!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cow or Buffalo??

Greetings Happy People,

When I attended the Toastmasters International Convention last week, I had the opportunity to meet Rory Vaden. Rory is the runner-up of the 2007 World Championship of Public Speaking. He gave an amazing leadership presentation about climbing stairs. The message behind this is in order to get to where you want to go; you got to put in the effort.

Throughout his dynamic presentation, there was one analogy that stood out for me. It was the comparison between the cow and the buffalo. Picture this. You have a huge pasture. On this pasture you have cows and buffaloes. A huge thunderstorm creeps over the mountains. This thunderstorm has powerful lightning, large volumes of rain, gusting gale force winds, and booming thunder.

Upon seeing the storm, the cows and the buffaloes have different ways on how to handle this rough weather. While the cows run away from the thunderstorm as fast as they can, the buffaloes would stand tall and charge right at the storm. With the different reactions at hand, which animal do you think will come out on top? The answer is…..THE BUFFALO!!

As the cows try to run away from the storm, they would unfortunately get caught by it. Buffaloes on the other hand, charge right at the storm. Once they get through the rain, thunder, and lightning, these fearless animals will come out on top – stronger than before.

In today’s world we can see these two animals in different people. On one end, we see the cows. No matter how hard they try, they choose to run away from different situations. No matter how far and how fast they run away, the situations will always catch up with them. On the other end, we see the buffaloes. Whenever they see a situation, they choose not only to face it, but conquer it too!! Buffaloes get stronger by facing more of these situations.

Throughout my nearly 35 years of existence, I have seen this in many people. While the cows do not gain anything from running, except more strife and negativity, the buffaloes gain experience. This will allow them to become strong leaders in society.

Call me crazy, but this is similar to a couple of posts I wrote several months ago: The Perpetual Victim and Lions. Both personalities are similar to these four legged animals. One deals with negativity, hopelessness, fear, and despair. While the other deals with positivity, hope, courage, and possibilities.

No matter how you slice it, the ideas are still the same!! You have a choice on how you can handle the different situations in your life. You can either be a cow or a buffalo. What do you want to be? The choice is up to you.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Road to Responsibility

Greetings Happy People,

Every few months, I take my car to Jiffy Lube for a standard oil change. The reason why I go there is not only for the good, friendly service, but to keep my car running in good condition. Sometimes I ask myself if it’s necessary to make frequent visits to this place. When I look at my ex-brother in law and see how he runs his car down without proper maintenance, I would often say yes.

A couple months ago, I notice that my steering wheel vibrated out of control as I was driving southbound on US 95. I asked one of my co-workers from my “Clark Kent” job why it acted that way. We looked at the front of my car and found the answer. The treads on the front tires on my car were about to separate. Once I got off of work, I went to my neighborhood Discount Tire Company and they replace the tires. It may have cost me some money, but it would cost more had I kept driving on those bad tires.

Last week, I gave my car a pretty good test. I drove it from Las Vegas, Nevada to Palm Desert, California for the Toastmasters International Convention. For those people that do not know where Palm Desert is, allow me to give you some quick directions:

1. Drive southbound on Interstate 15 for 200 miles (past the California State Line and town like Baker, Barstow, Victorville, and the Cajon pass).

2. Get on I-215 and drive past San Bernardino

3. Drive eastbound on Interstate 10 and drive past Redlands, Palm Springs, and plenty of wind turbines.

4. Next thing you know, you are in Palm Desert.

That was a 300-mile trek from Las Vegas to Palm Desert. During the drive through the rough California roads, my car ran pretty smooth!! It also ran just as smoothly on the way back to Las Vegas.

When I got back to Las Vegas, I realized how simple acts of responsibility can pay off in the long run. If I had not got my oil changed, or my tires checked, I probably would not have left Las Vegas – let alone Nevada. As I walked to my apartment, I looked at my car, pat the roof, and said “Good job buddy!!”

Responsibility is a must in today’s society. If you take care of things, things will take care of you!! There are too many people in this world that are irresponsible with many things. These levels of irresponsibility can not only affect them, but the people around them. This causes all of us to be victims.

Instead of falling into this spiral, we need to remind ourselves to take responsibility for whatever we do in life. Whether it is taking care of the car, paying the bills, making a meeting, or anything else, we must hold ourselves responsible and accountable for our own actions. A simple act of responsibility will allow us to travel to any destination we choose to go. All we have to do is keep driving along – BEEP BEEP!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Conventional Afterthoughts

Greetings Happy People,

Before I lay my head to pillow. I have to tell you about my overall thoughts of my experience last week.

As many of you know, I attended the 2010 Toastmasters International Convention in beautiful Palm Desert, California. Before I went into the conference, I had a mixutre of excitement and nervousness. I did not know what to expect. When the convention was over, I left with memories that will last a lifetime.

I currently serve as the District 33 Lt. Governor of Marketing. District 33 covers southern Nevada and central California. The first two days of the convention brought training to the Top 3 District Officer positions - District Governor, Lt. Governor of Education & Training, and Lt. Governor of Marketing. This training not only allowed me to know more about my role, but also meet with other Top 3 Officers from Districts all over the world!! We are talking 6 out of 7 continents!!

Another amazing thing was the opening ceremonies. They had an amazing flag parade where 106 flags went down the aisle. The 106 flags represent the 106 countries that have Toastmaster clubs. Nothing was more amazing when they brought out the American flag. As the flag stood out in the middle of the stage, the sound people were suppose to play the Star Spangled Banner. When that didn't work, the people in the ballroom sang the anthem. Even people that were not from this country knew and sang the words!! That gave me chills down my spine!!

Another amazing thing about the convention was the training. You had some top-notch people give training on communication & leadership. Some were as big a 7'4", others allowed people to "Sparkle!!" No matter what, they were worthwile. As the training went on, I also had the chance to meet some candidates. These people were running for different positions on the Toastmasters International board. Whether it was for 2nd Vice President, International Director, or anything else, they did their best to campaign by talking to the people, answering questions, and giving their presentations on why they should be selected. All candidates were fantastic people!!

When I am talking about the convention, how can I not mention the speaking contests? For the first time ever, this convention had a semifinals and finals for the World Championship of Public Speaking. There are 81 Districts in the world. Each district has their respective winners from their International Speech Contests. At Thursday's semifinals, they have nine contests (with nine competitors in each contest) give their best International speech at the semifinals. The 9 winners proceeded to Saturday's World Championship of Public Speaking.

I am proud to say that I knew two of the contestants that competed in the semifinals - Steven Hollingsworth and Bryant Pergerson. Although they did not advance to the final round, these guys gave the best damn performances they could. For that, they were champions in my book!! WAY TO GO STEVE AND BRYANT!!

Another thing to mention at the convention were the fancy dinners. The first dinner was the Golden Gavel Dinner where Toastmasters International gave an award to a non-Toastmaster that is making a difference in their community. The recipient was Carolyn Kepcher from the TV show "The Apprentice." She gave a speech on not only her adventures in working with Donald Trump, but also about her own company - Carolyn & Co. This company is about the providing a broad array of services and assistance to career women. To know more about it, go to her website WorkHerWay.com.

The second dinner wrapped up the whole convention. It was the President's Dinner and Dance. It was there where Toastmasters did not just enjoy the food, but also awesome speeches from outgoing International President Gary Schmidt and incoming International President Pat Johnson. Afterwards, we danced and sang to the music!!

Overall, I enjoyed myself at this convention. There were so many things to do and so many people to meet!! I felt grateful about the opportunity and my heart felt happy about the whole experience!! If anyone would like to write something on their bucket list, attending a Toastmasters International Convention would be one of them. For one week, you get to see, do, and experience many things!! This is something that I would recommend for all happy people!!

That is all I have for now. Take care, thank you for your time and attention, and see you at the August 2011 Toastmasters International Convention - in LAS VEGAS :o)


Jesse I-I-I

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