Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Focus and Do It!!

Greetings Happy People,

Ah yes!! Today is December 31st. We are nearing the end of one year and about to start a brand new one.

Throughout the celebration, merriment, and good times, we have people making certain promises. Some of you have probably heard the following promises:

“I’m going to lose weight”

“I’m going to stop smoking”

“I’m going to join an organization that will provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which I have the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills which in turn fosters my self confidence and personal growth”

Many people do not usually follow through the first two promises. As a matter of fact, the first two promises would be nothing more than a memory. How can one get towards their goal and stick to it? Thanks to my good friend Kathy Y. in Las Vegas, she mentions the following five words:

“Just Focus and Do it!!”

That’s what one has to do in order to make their promises become a reality. Just focus on what you want to do, and do it!! While it is true that you may have some naysayers, critics, and haters doubt your intentions, nothing feels better than getting something accomplished.

Within this year, I was able to get things done by these simple five words. From speaking at a university rally, to seeing different places, to being on a radio show, to even writing a book (which you can get for yourself – wink wink). No matter what I do, I find that just focusing and doing it helps get things done effectively!! Heck, it really beats sitting around talking and doing nothing.

For those people that are unsure about this process, please do yourself a favor. When midnight strikes tonight, take a good look at where you are and what you are doing. Next, write down the things you want to accomplish for 2011. Put those things in an envelope and keep it in a spot where you won’t forget it. When December 31, 2011 rolls around, open up that envelope and look at the things you want to achieve. If you are able to accomplish your goals, congratulations!! If not, just focus on them and do it!!

So many people are able to become successful in what they do. Why? Because they just focus on what they want and take the steps to get there. Despite setbacks, denials, and rejections, they were able to still focus and do what they want to do. If this can work for them, it can work for you too!! All you have to do is JFDI – just focus and do it!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Don't Count the Chickens

Greetings Happy People,

For my next story, let me take you back to the fall of 1999.

I was listening to the UNLV-Baylor football game on radio. Baylor was up 24-21 with only a few seconds left. Baylor had the ball near the end zone. UNLV had no timeouts left. The smart thing to do in this situation is to take a knee and run out the clock. Did the Baylor head football coach decide to do that? Nope.

Instead, he wanted to embarrass UNLV by running the ball in the end zone. What happened next was unbelievable.

Just when I was about to turn the radio off, the running back from Baylor ran towards the end zone and fumbled the football. One of the UNLV players picked up the football and ran 101 yards for the touchdown. The time ran out on the clock and UNLV won the game 27-24!! This victory moved their record to 2-0. Unfortunately, UNLV finished the season at 3-8. This was a major improvement from season before when they were 0-11.

What started off as a sure victory for Baylor, ended in an embarrassing defeat. It did not pay to be overconfident that night.

Now let us fast forward to 2008. UNLV was about to play Arizona State at Sundevil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Arizona State was the 13th ranked team in the country. They were favored to beat UNLV by 23 points. This team looked past UNLV and was getting ready for their next opponent. Little did they know, what happened that night was going to change their fortunes to misfortunes.

Arizona State had a 10 point lead late in the game. They were ready to celebrate until UNLV came back to tie the ball game. Next thing they knew, they were about to go into overtime. In overtime, UNLV kicked a field goal to take a 23-20 lead. It was up to Arizona State to tie the game and send it to a second overtime. The ball was snapped and the kick was BLOCKED!! UNLV won the game 23-20 in overtime!! The fans in Tempe were in complete shock. At the stadium, you could hear two things: the UNLV fans celebrating and the fans from Tucson snickering at Arizona State. To this day, they have not recovered from that upset loss.

The two stories I shared with you were two of the best victories that UNLV football had. While it is not known for being a college football powerhouse, they can still catch opponents off guard and surprise them when they least expect it. One common rule can be learned from these two games. It does not pay to be overconfident. A little respect does not hurt at all.

Whether one is watching a game, or listening to someone brag too much, any hint of overconfidence can come back and bite a person. While it is okay to feel good about something, one should never go overboard with that feeling. Because you just never know what will happen in the end. Nothing can kill an ego faster than being too overconfident in one's self.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why Do I Write?

Greetings Happy People,

Why do I write?

There are so many answers to this question. After writing 150+ posts on my blog, there has to be some key reasons on why I am still doing this. From all these reasons, they dwindle down to one common factor that is basic and to the point. What is this common factor? Well in order to find out, let’s go over the main reasons why I still write.

REASON 1 – Because I can express myself

This is an obvious reason. Writing a post on my blog gives me a vehicle to express myself in ways I can imagine. Whatever I think about, I bring about on the computer. This really works when I have been through a personal experience that hits home. The posts I write are reflections of what is on my mind. Ironically, many of these posts deliver important messages behind these experiences. This in turn will allow the Happy People to learn the lessons I have – including myself.

REASON 2 – Because I can improve

For this next reason, I would like for you to look at my first few posts from when I started. Now look at my more recent ones. Do you notice any differences? If so, then you can see the next reason on why I write. It is to improve myself. I know that in some posts I have some grammatical errors. I also have some sentences that sound pretty awkward. Nevertheless I keep writing because I want to get better at it. It is a rarity that someone gets something done perfectly on the first try. It takes lots of effort and willingness to get things right. From the words of 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking Darren LaCroix, he can sum the following message in six words:

“Stage time. Stage time. Stage time.”

What does that mean? The more you do something, the better you will become. Everybody has the same starting point. The question is where do you want your finish line to be? You can find out your answer by taking the opportunity in stepping up to your stage. No matter if I write 1 or 150 posts, I improve because I learn.

REASON 3 – Because I can create opportunities

Every time I write a post on my blog, it creates opportunities. Not just for me, but for the people that read it. While it is true that I am able to write and publish my very first book (which is now available of and – wink wink), it gives other people a chance to learn and create their own opportunities. There are people I know that are writing their own words via their own blogs. There are others that using other methods to express themselves – poetry, singing, or even speaking. No matter what one does, writing can create those simple opportunities for everyone.

FINAL REASON – Because I can….

That’s it. The final reason on why I write is because I can. It takes a lot to get these words from idea to post. I could have stopped. I could have said that no one would listen to this. I could have done nothing. But thanks to giving these words a whirl, I am able to write whatever message I can to the Happy People!! It takes lots of dedication, effort, and thought in doing this, but I am here to let you know that what I am doing can be done by anyone. If I can do it, you can do it too!!

Well, there are my reasons on why I am still writing to you Happy People. I hope they were good ones. I am sure that there will be more reasons on why I do this. But until then, I will keep on writing.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Truth Hurts, but Lying Hurts More

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever known someone that was a habitual liar?

The person that constantly tells lies to make themselves look good? Whether it is at work, school, or any other place, we do have people that like to lie. They lie so much that you swear they make great career politicians.

Fortunately, I have known few people that like to lie. Unfortunately, I have known few people that like to lie.

No matter what they say, it seems that they are telling a 4-6 minute Tall Tale presentation. I don’t know if they think their lives are not good enough, nor do I care most of the time, but lying too many times is just unhealthy.

There is one person I know that likes to lie. To protect the identity of this person, let’s call him “Carl.” Carl is a person that can do nothing but lie. He lies to co-workers, family, and the dog. He lies about his home. He lies about building bridges. He lies about working for different jobs. Well, I would believe the one about working for the government, but he lies so much that it just loses meaning. I bet that if you give him some time, he would lie about being from the planet Venus.

One good example of his penchant for lying happened a couple days ago. I was talking to a few of my friends about the upcoming Las Vegas Bowl game between Boise State and Utah. One of my friends was about to brave the elements and attend this game. Another friend had the unfortunate opportunity to ask Carl if he was going to watch the game on TV. Carl said that he had no time and would not even watch the game because he met those obnoxious Boise State fans on the drive from Idaho. He claimed that he drove 6 hours from Boise on Interstate 5.

Can you see the red flag and smell the bovine excrement from this statement? Number one, Interstate 5 does not even touch the state of Idaho. Number two, the shortest distance from Las Vegas to Boise is approximately 665 miles. To make it from these two places in 6 hours, you have to do some insanely fast driving along US 93. I can only shake my head at this point and say “C’mon Man!!”

The next day, I was with the same group of friends and sure enough Carl comes by dressed in Blue and Orange (Boise State colors) and said, “Man!! Have you seen that game last night?” We all gave him a look that said “Really?” One day, you said you weren’t watching the game and the next day you are a die hard fan? Something did not add up here.

Note to you Happy People out there. If one is going to lie effectively, make sure your story and situation matches before you open your mouth. Otherwise one will look like a straight up fool in seconds. Even if one were to lie, it can lead to another lie to cover it up and another to cover up the first two. Believe it or not, it will get to the point where the truth will come out and the liar will end up looking very bad.

The sad part is that Carl got to where he is by lying his way there. Am I worried about him? Not really. Sooner or later, his lies will come back and get him in the worst way. It will only take a matter of time for this to happen.

They say that the truth hurts. However, lying make the pain even worse. Although we may not be perfect individuals, we got to know our limits when it comes to something like this. It is better to tell the truth and get things over with instead of having to use the smoke and mirrors of lying. It is less work and less complicated than one thinks. And when the truth is told, it builds more credibility for that person than any single lie.

And that Happy People is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Goes Around.....

Greetings Happy People,

The last time I was upset, somebody spewed some harmful words at my fiancée Dana. To know more about that story, please the post I wrote entitled Ignorance is NOT Bliss(click here).

Two years after that incident, I can now say that I feel a sense of justice. Not the justice that one can get from a courtroom, but the one that comes from a bigger place – the universe.

“What goes around comes around” is one of my most favorite quotes because it is true. Whether it is good or bad, whatever anybody does in life, it will come back to them. I have been a believer in this before. But after the recent events with the person that made me angry, I am now a stronger believer in karma.

Since that infamous event, I carried a grudge against this person. No matter how ticked off I was against her, something told me to hold my fire. Back then, I did not get the full picture. But now, I do. The person that spewed her ignorance on Dana came across some of her own troubles. What were these troubles? Well, let me take you back to three years ago.

Back then, she moved from Las Vegas to California to be with a married man. Yes, I just said that. According to her, this affluent guy was about to divorce his wife and spend some time with this person. She moved into an apartment in the Los Angeles area waiting to be with this man. She also found a “high-quality” job that was in the medical field. Believe or not, she was one of those people I thought I could trust. After the incident, I found out that I couldn’t.

Let’s now fast forward to a few months ago. Thanks to the economy, this person got laid off from her job, the man she was waiting for reconciled with his wife, and she eventually got locked out of her own apartment by the LA County Court. Feeling ashamed, moved back to Las Vegas with her family. It seemed that she was getting along with her family until the morning she claimed she lost a valuable item. This item was so valuable; she claimed it was worth at least $6,000.

Say what?!! Slam on the brakes Happy People!! If she was able to purchase an item that was expensive, how can she not pay some of the basic needs (bills, car note, groceries)? Either this person was irresponsible about her finances or she was making that story up. When her mother tried to call the police about this missing item, this person told her not to. That incident caused a rift in that household that was so big, she was immediately kicked out.

When I heard about her “misfortunes,” I felt better because karma came back to her – and not in a good way. However I find it very ironic that the rainy weather in Vegas can also bring a sunny sense of justice. I don’t know where this person is, but I hope she is lying on the bed she made. Something tells me that the bed is not as comforting now as it was before.

Lessons can be learned from this moment. However, the biggest one is the fact that karma is still alive and kicking BIG TIME. Whatever you do to someone or something, it will come back to you. There is no doubt about it. If you do good, you get good. If you do bad, be prepared for bad to come your way. It is not rocket science happy people. The good you do today will help make things easy for you tomorrow. I wish that more people can learn from this lesson.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Monday, December 20, 2010

Knocked Down or Knocked Out

Greetings Happy People,

“It doesn’t matter how many times you get knocked down, it matters how many times you get up.”

Many of us have heard this quote before, but does anybody believe it anymore?

Many of us have heard this so many times that it sounds like cliché in nature. Others have not only heard this, but also lived it.

When it comes to this quote, it depends on the individual.

We get knocked down in life. Whether it is emotionally, physically, financially, or spiritually, we have setbacks that knock us down. The question is what are we going to do about it? Are we going to let these setbacks keep us down? Will we let these bad experiences make us feel bitter and turn us into quitters? Or will we get up from them, learn from our knockdowns, and just go on?

It depends on the individual.

Whether great or small, I had many knockdowns in life. I am sure that I will have many more ahead of me. From my own experience I can tell you that whenever I get knocked down, I choose to get up. Some times may take longer than others, but at least I will get up from them.

There were times that I let certain knockdowns drag me down. When that happened, all the negativity seeped into my mind. The questions, doubts, worry, and other things in life drained me to greater depths. I use to let people and things do that to me. It got to the point where I was about to believe them until I asked myself the following question:

“Conquer or be conquered?”

Once I am able to answer this question, it will give me a choice on how to handle my knockdowns. I can get up or stay down. Most times, I choose the former and come out better than before. What will others choose? What will you choose?

Life is a journey Happy People. We learn more about ourselves through our knockdowns. We learn what we can and cannot take. When it comes to that beginning quote, it depends on how we handle it. Are we going to ignore it and deal with our struggles or are we going to get up, learn from it, and move on?
The choice is up to us.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, December 16, 2010

It's Still Important to Be Nice!!

Greetings Happy People,

Las Vegas has lots of important people. You can find them in gyms, nightclubs, churches, work, and any other place.

When you see these important people, you will probably notice them. They walk as if the ground is made of water, their noses are up in the stratosphere, and they extract excrement that does not stink. If you were to come up to them, they will give you a look so condescending, it’s ridiculous. Chances are these looks will give you the following quotes:

“Who are you?”

“What are you doing here?”

“Oh Please!! You are not in my league!!”

“Why bother? I’m just too good for you!!”

Yep. These looks say a lot. To me, they ooze nothing put pomposity and egotism. I am for feeling important and promoting self-worth, but some people can take it way over the line.

Throughout my life, I have met these important people. I have seen them in two different lights. The first light, from many years ago, was not good. Anytime, an important person gives me a glare, I would put my head down and let it eat my self-esteem. The second light is one where I can walk away with my head up, say “whatever,” and realize that these people are missing out on a very awesome individual. Thankfully I choose to see things in the latter light. Hey, it’s their loss.

If you have ever been snubbed by an important person, don’t take it hard. These people will either fall of their high horse or have their egos get so big, they will pop like balloons. Little do they know is that they will meet you again under different circumstances and you will look very important.

While these important people are not worthy of emulating, one can wonder they best way NOT to copy their style. My answer is simple – be nice!! Being nice to people pays off. It not only allows an open door to create a friendship, it can create something more that will last longer and be much stronger. The treatment you give will be the same one you get in return. It is a simple notion and it surprises me how many people still don’t get it.

In the words of legendary saxophone player Sam Butera, “It’s nice to be important, but more important to be nice.” Relationships, businesses, and anything else have prospered through these simple words. I just wish more folks can follow this logic. If so, then it will be a better place to live for everyone. And THAT will be very nice!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Greetings Happy People,

I am sorry, but you have been denied.

One way or another, we manage to hear these words. Whether it is applying for a new job, a home loan, or anything else, these words creep into our daily lives. While it may be seen as a brick wall, denials are not the end of the world. It is only an obstacle. For every “no” that happens in our lives, there is a “yes” waiting for us around the corner.

I can use plenty of examples where I dealt with denials in my days. It does not matter if it involved getting a promotion, a new car, writing a book, or any other goal I achieved. Without denials, the journeys I travelled would not have been fulfilling. Denials may tell me that I cannot do it, but in the end I proved them wrong.

What does one do when a denial pops in to our lives? First and foremost, we must prepare ourselves for that “sting.” For many of us that have been denied of anything, a “no” feels as bitter as a bee sting. Even though this may hurt a bit, we must realize that this is only temporary. Things will get better after the first rejection sting.

Next, we should see any denial as a challenge - a challenge that will get us where we want to be. With the right combination of planning and never giving up, denials can be conquered.

After we see this as a challenge, we need to do the following important step – keep stepping!! It does not matter which path is taken or which vehicle is used, one must continue to move not only to go past the denial, but overcome it.

Many successful people have been through different denials in their lives. Allow me to repeat myself – many successful people have “been through” different denials in their lives. That means that they did not stop. They did not say “I give up” or “I quit.” Instead, they just go through them and find another way to make it to their achievements. At the end, these people are known for what they were able to accomplish from denials.

If they can do it, so can you!! All you have to do is find ways to get past it and be the best you can be. Who knows were a no can take you?

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Appreciation Still Matters

Greetings Happy People,

It’s always good to be appreciated. It’s just as good to appreciate.
Appreciation is the fuel that keeps one going. No matter if it is one drop or one gallon, appreciation can go a long way in life.

I have so many things I appreciate in life. I appreciate Dana. I appreciate being the part of the Blue & Orange Nation. I appreciate the Toastmasters community. I appreciate my automobile. Heck!! I appreciate the way I am living right now. It is not only a great feeling but it just keeps me going!!

To me, appreciation is like a boomerang. In order to get it, you have to give it. In order to give appreciation, one has to make sure that it is real. People can say that they can appreciate things, yet not mean it. When that happens, they are doing no one any favors.

One of the problems in today’s society is that people don’t really take the time to appreciate the people, places and things that help them live successfully. Lack of appreciation and recognition creates grudges, questions, doubts, suspicions, and loss of faith. When that happens, people will go somewhere else for better appreciation. There may be some false sense of motivation that’s keeping them around, but underneath the surface, people will get tired of it. People have left jobs, relationships, towns, teams, and other things due to lack of appreciation. What’s here today could be gone tomorrow.

How can something like this be prevented? The answer is simple. The next time someone does anything that is good or worthy, appreciate that person. It could be a pat on the shoulder. It could be a simple “thank you.” It could be something just as long as you show that you really appreciate and recognize that person’s efforts. A little can go a long way.

The things I mentioned at the beginning of this post are the things I appreciate the most. There maybe more things out there. But with this appreciation I manage to have a strong relationship with these people, places, and things that mean so much to me. Without them, life would be a little rougher for me to live.

Do you have things that you appreciate? If so, let it be known!! Life is too short not to take time to do this.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Not Just a Game, It's Life!!

Greetings Happy People,

Last week, I saw an amazing college football game between the University of Nevada Wolf Pack and the Boise State Broncos. Weeks before this game, I had a strong feeling that this was going to be one interesting game. And boy it was an awesome game.

How exciting was it? Let me take you to the 4th quarter with only a few seconds left in the game. The Wolf Pack came from a pretty big deficit to tie the football game. They kicked the ball to Boise State. After the Boise State quarterback threw a 70-yard pass to the wide receiver. It was time for the place kicker to kick the game winning field goal. He walked on to the field, kicked the ball, and missed the field goal!! The game was about to go into overtime!!

In overtime, the same kicker had another chance to kick a field goal from a very short distance. He walked on to the field, kicked the ball, and missed again!! On the other end of the ball, the Nevada place kicker walked on to the field, kicked the ball and won the game for Nevada!! This win was not only the biggest victory for the Wolf Pack, but a very devastating loss for Boise State because they had a chance to play for a National Championship. My heart went out to that place kicker from Boise State. I can only imagine what he is going through.

Days later, I saw him on Sportscenter – ESPN’s sports news program. He mentioned that he got plenty of threats and negative responses from missing those two game winning field goals. If I were to talk to him right now, I would tell him that better days will come ahead.

This game reminded me of three other games. One took place back in the mid 80’s and the other two took place in the mid 90’s.

For the first game, let me take you back to the 1986 World Series. The Boston Red Sox were playing the New York Mets for the baseball championship. The Red Sox were just one win and one out away from winning their first World Series since 1918. The bases were loaded for the Mets and they were one score away from winning and tying the series 3 games a piece. The Mets batter came up to bat. He hit the ball to first base and a Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner missed the easy grounder causing the Mets to win that game. The Mets also won the next game clinching their first World Series since 1969. After this game, Boston never forgave Buckner for his Game 6 mistake.

For the second game, let me take you to the 1993 World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies were playing the Toronto Blue Jays. Phillies pitcher Mitch Williams threw a pitch that led to a home run. This home run clinched a second straight World Series Championship for the Blue Jays. After this game, people in Philadelphia were cruel to Mr. Williams. He got threatening mail, hateful phone calls, and jeered wherever he went.

While these treatments were not good for the Boise State place kicker, Bill Buckner, and Mitch Williams, it was better than the next person I will mention, Andres Escobar. Andres was a soccer player that played for the Columbian soccer team in the 1994 World Cup. Before the tournament, Colombia was considered one of the favorites to win the championship. Unfortunately, they never got past the first round.

In the second match, the heavily favored Colombian soccer team played against the United States. The game went well for the Colombians until one mistake happened. In an effort to prevent the Americans from getting the ball, Andres accidentally kicked the ball into the team’s own goal. This helped the United States win the match. I remembered watching this game and feeling bad for Mr. Escobar. It was a mistake he wish he never made.

When Andres returned to Colombia, he not only got the negative jeers from the people, he also lost his life. Apparently an angry soccer fan shot him multiple times on the streets of Medellin. Talk about taking things too far.

These stories I shared with you are stories where people made key mistakes that cost them the game. For one person, it cost him his life. One can imagine what these gentlemen were thinking during their moments.

While many of us may not be professional athletes, we made mistakes in our lives. Sometimes it feels bigger than what it is. These mistakes can happen in our jobs, our family lives, and anywhere else. Whenever a mistake happens, we must do our best to move forward with our lives.

This may be easier said than done, but in order for us to not wallow in pity, we must move on. If we don’t, we will be in worse shape than before. Life is too short to stay in one place. If you have to, do something else to pass the time. You will have better days when you move on. You will be a winner in the game of life!!

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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