Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Second Opinion

Greetings Happy People,

I write to you as one very happy man tonight. If you were one of my Facebook friends, then you would know that the ol' man is recovering very well after a successful operation. This is very good news compared to what happened two weeks ago.

Two weeks ago, the ol' man went to the hospital that was a part of the "Valley." The reason why he went to this hospital is because of his foot. It was discolored and simply not looking right at all. This was diabetic-related. The doctors looked at the foot and wanted to take him to another hospital located at the center of the "Valley." They thought that the circulation was so bad that they had to amputate it.


This brought back memories of my grandmother (the ol' man's mother). Twelve years ago this month, she suffered diabetic complication so badly that she had to be driven 90 miles to a hospital in Little Rock. When she got there, the doctors looked at her foot and decided to amputate it. Once they amputated it, her condition got worse. Her circulation was out of sort, she had a massive heart attack, and passed away on St. Patrick's Day.

Now let's fast forward to this story. When the doctors wanted to amputate the old man's foot, my family, the family podiatrist, and I were against it. Instead of listening to our words, the doctors transferred him to the hospital that was at the center of the "Valley."

When I got to that hospital that Friday, doctors were talking about amputation. I told them that we never wanted it and asked if there was a second option. They said no. I stayed at that hospital for 17 straight hours until the rest of my family arrived. After dealing with some bad service, rude nurses, an ambitious doctor, and showing our Power of Attorney paperwork, we finally moved him to a hospital that gave us a chance for a "Sunrise."

We took him to that hospital near US-95. When he got there, he was feeling a lot better. The doctors over there recommended the surgery he went through. No amputation was required. As they were treating him, they recieved an artery from the East coast. They did the surgery on him and his circulation improved!! Talk about a "Sunrise" option that turned out sunny!! He felt so high that he could see things from a mountain view.

It was at that point where I realized a few things:

1. Despite the purpose of these places, all hospitals are not created equal. Which is a damn shame.

2. March is not one of my favorite months of the year (via these two stories and other family bad luck that I will mention sometime down the road).

3. It does not hurt to have a second opinion on things.

If one is not sure of things in life, a second opinion can make things clearer. It can either cement one's decision or allow for other options. If we did not ask for that second opinion, then history would have repeated itself. It can make a difference between life and death.

Second opinions count!! If it can work for the ol' man, it can work for you too!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Positive Words Go a Long Way!!

Greetings Happy People,

Yesterday, I received some interesting quotes from a group of people that shall remain nameless. These quotes say the that I need to be more assertive, I need to be more proactive in what I do, and I need to be a stronger, more willing leader.

Interesting. Very interesting. Believe it or not, these words continue to get worse. Questioning my work ethic, my reliability, the way I communicate with people, and being a "team player." The most interesting part is that I expected these quotes from this group of people. All I can do is shake my head and sigh.

Now, the following words I have for you are actual quotes from different group of people. Please feel free to take a look at them and see if you can tell if there is a difference.

“Jesse is positive, outgoing and supportive of both the goals of the organization and the individuals with in the organization.
He is a team player an proactive.”

“I dare you to find someone with a better attitude than Jesse. Spend just a few minutes with him and you will realize how contagious his positive outlook is. Jesse can and will do everything including motivating everyone around him.”

“Jesse is extremely dependable and reliable. He is one of those people who is extremely busy, which means if you want it done, give it to him. He does what he says he is going to do and more. Jesse has a great personality and loves people.”

“Jesse's work in the professional organization Toastmasters International, has touched the minds and hearts of thousands abroad. He has inspired so many to reach their goals and then go on to motivate others to do as well. He has done a fantastic job as a senior officer in District 33. I am blessed to have him as a friend and he has been a motivation to me as well. He is enthusiatic, very professional, has strong work ethics and would be an asset to any organization. I am very proud to know him.”

“Jesse is an invaluable asset at bringing expertise to a challenging situation. Hie positive attitude and clever approach to the current situation are attributes that are very difficult to reproduce. He comes with hard work, unceasing determination, and a "can-do" attitude that bouys the entire team.”

“Jesse is someone who you can always rely on to come through with whatever task or advice you ask of him. He's diplomatic and handles issues to the best of his ability. If he doesn't know the answer to something, he will find it out through his innumerable resources. Jesse is truly a "happy" person, and brings good will wherever he travels.”

"Jesse Oakley is one of the most influential, positive human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Jesse's work ethic is intoxicating and he strives to be the best at everything he does. I highly recommend Jesse to anyone who wants to be the best, because second place does not ever occur with Jesse.”

WOW!! These are some amazing quotes from a different group of people!!

It is interesting how one group has a certain perspective of me while another has a totally different view. The question is which words I choose to believe. If I choose to believe the words from the people that have issues with me, I would not get to far in what I do. I would not only be unhappy with them, I would also be unhappy with myself. Why? Because I would believe that I am not worth anything.

On the other hand, if I were to choose the more positive words from the different group of people. I would be better off because these people obviously see some good things in myself. These words boost my self-esteem and allow me to be more successful in whatever I do. These words also show appreciation, gratitude, and belief in myself.

I don't know about you Happy People, but I choose to believe the words from the latter group. Why? Because anytime I look at that man in the mirror, I see someone that can do whatever he can do. Anytime I look at that man in the mirror, I see an amazing person. Anytime I look at that man in the mirror, I see a winner!!

Do you have different quotes coming from two different groups of people? One group that says mostly negative while the other group is more positive? Do you have questions in which one to believe? To find the answer, all you got to do is determine which words you choose to believe. Only you can make that decision for yourself.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Behind the Double Barrels of Mr. I-I-I

Greetings Happy People,

I am a person that like to focus on positive images.

I like to feel good and have a smile on my face.

If given a choice to hang with people that are fun and like to have a good time, I would jump on it in a heartbeat.

However, there are times where I realize that no matter how good things go, no matter how well I feel, there are still those moments that really challenge my patience.

Whether it is by poor service, rude people, or blatant acts of irresponsibility and ignorance, there are things out there that get me frustrated. There are those moments where I slip and show a side of me that I don't want many people to see.

It is never a good thing to see me upset. When I get upset, my head gets hot, I start shaking, my blood boils, and my fuse is literally lit. Me becoming angry is not a pretty sight!!

When I get angry, I go on a warpath. When I get angry, I show my brutal side. When I get angry, all bets are off. When I get angry, can you say "Duck and cover?"

Life is too short to be on the wrong end of my double barrels. The after effects of my rage is not a pretty picture. It can create a hurt that is either mental, physical, or psychological. Not only for the person or situations, but also for myself.

Thankfully, it has not got to that point in a long time. However, there have been many close moments. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a cool head in times of adversity.

What are the things I do to keep my fiery temper in check? Well, there are many things. I walk. I drive to different places. I close my eyes and meditate. I think of good times and great people in my life. I also try to find things that make me laugh and be in a good mood. There are things that I can do to counter any foul temper I can create.

When it comes to any acts of anger, nobody wins. You can not only hurt people with the words and actions displayed, you can also hurt yourself too.

There are those moments where things can test our patience. We are human and can fly off the handle. We also have other alternatives to handle these moments. I can only hope to keep a cool head for myself. It is better for everyone. It is better for me.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Driving for Success

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever had one of those moments where you got something right after countless attempts at trying?

Many of us have succeeded because we kept trying to do something until we got the results we wanted. This happens to me many times. No matter what I goal I pursue, I keep trying until I got what I wanted.

One of my most interesting stories happened when I was going for something that would change my life – my own driver’s license. How many times did it take me to get this wonderfully laminated paperwork from the State of Nevada?

Well, it took me I-I-I times.

How did it take me three times to pass this exam? Well, allow me to share the following attempts with you.

ATTEMPT 1 – I went to the DMV office with my father. There we met the person that was going to go over the test with me. I went over the turn signals and started the car. In a matter of seconds, we left the DMV parking lot for a very interesting ride. I drove down Rancho Drive with the greatest of ease as I changed lanes without looking at the right lane. Luckily, that lane was clear. We drove past a school, where I did a rolling stop as a 4-way stop sign. When I got to the corner of Rancho Drive and Vegas Drive, I turned left. Unfortunately, it was toward the island. As I finally got back to the DMV parking lot, I asked the instructor if I passed. She gave me one of those looks and said “Really?” Feeling rejected, I went back home to practice some driving techniques.

ATTEMPT 2 – This time I was ready, or so I thought. As I drove out of the DMV parking lot, I knew I was going to ace this test!! The good news was that I had my hands on the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position on the steering wheel. The bad news was that I had my hands on the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position on the steering wheel. Apparently, that was not so helpful when it comes to changing lanes, parallel parking, or turning on to another street. I ask the instructor if I passed. To no one’s surprise, she said “No.” Feeling rejected again, I went back to the drawing board.

ATTEMPT 3 – This time I was REALLY ready to take this test. I drove out of the DMV parking lot, stopped at the 4-way stop, turned on to a different street without hitting an island, and parallel parked successfully. When I got back to the DMV offices, I asked the instructor if I passed. This time, she smiled and said “YES!!” I was so happy that I hugged the instructor and the next guy that was about to take his test!! I would never forget that day 15 years ago!!

The brief point of this story is no matter how hard you try, there will be different obstacles that will come your way. There will be other time where you will fail. When these things happen, we must remember to keep going forward until we get to where we want to go. When we finally get there, we can celebrate, rejoice, and simply take pride in our accomplishments. Many successful people have learned this and now you are too!! When there are speed bumps, islands, and stop signs in your path to success, always remember that these things are only temporary. If I can become a success through countless attempts, you can too!! All you have to do is never lose your drive for success!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Never Tease a Caged Tiger

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever teased a caged tiger?

For many of us that have at least half a brain, we know that it is not a smart idea. Yet there are people that do it. Whether it is by poking it with a stick, yanking its tail, or kicking it constantly, these people are taking huge risks in teasing this caged animal.

To get a better understanding about this, let’s go inside the mind of a tiger. Imagine the tiger roaming freely in the jungles of Southeast Asia. This four-legged animal is minding his own business as he hunts for the occasional boar, bathe in ponds, or travel in streaks. Everything is going pretty well until the massive feline is hit with a tiny tranquilizer dart. The next thing this kitty knows is that he wakes up in a cage feeling very unhappy. To make matters worse, some “genius” decides to taunt this animal.

With constant teasing, the tiger will soon feel frustrated and either grab the provoker or bust out of his cage and attack. Once this happens, the tormenter will realize that messing with this ferocious beast is not a good idea.

As for the tiger, this animal has a choice on how to react once it breaks free. The animal can either make tracks to become a better beast or remain bitter, hostile, and mean.

Throughout history, this behavior can not only be seen in these four-legged felines, but also in humans too. Dictators, monarchs, and other authoritative figures oppressed their own people to the point where enough was enough. From this, you have revolutions, uprisings, and other rebellious actions.

In order to cement this logic, I have the following examples.

The first example happened two hundred and thirty five years ago. A group of people were taunted, teased, and tormented by an oppressive force that came from across an ocean. With no real representation, these people were taxed beyond belief. After a certain amount of time, they revolted against their oppressors and became their own nation. Judging by the outcome, this nation grew and became one of the best places to live on Earth.

The second example happened fifty two years ago. A group of people lived on an island where they were getting sick and tired of their tormented oppressor. They decided to have a revolt against their oppressor only to have another dictator take control of the island. For many years, people either lived in that oppressive state or left the island by boat, plane, or any other fashion.

The two examples are different ideas on how tigers can reacts against their tormentors. It does not matter if these tigers are located in Europe, Asia, Africa, or the Americas. They have certain limits on how much they are willing to take. Sooner or later, enough will be enough. From our own history to what is happening today, these people are making their statements. Where it will go, I can only hope that it is for the better.

As for the individuals, we have many choices for ourselves. If we see ourselves as the tormented tigers, we have choices on how we can deal with our situations. We can let the tormenters kick us down and step on us or we can stand up and say that we are not going to take it anymore. No matter what choice we make, the person doing the harassing will realize that it is not a good idea to tease a caged tiger.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Dangers of Boredom

Greetings Happy People,

It comes to you without warning.

It strikes when you are doing nothing.

When you come across it, you will feel tired, slow, and sluggish.

If you were to see it, you would have no choice but to yawn at its presence.

What is this “it” I am talking about?

“It” is boredom.

At any given moment, boredom can hit any man, woman, child, and pet. It may look harmless, but it can be very dangerous.

People that live with any amount of boredom in their lives risk a chance of doing nothing!! They risk missing things and events that are considered fun. In addition, they are more than likely to miss something called life. People with high levels or boredom can pass this dull plague to other people causing them to be bored as well!!

In a given clinical research, five out of four doctors agree that boredom is the main cause of laziness, monotony, and the dreaded “ZZZZZ.” In the same research, these doctors also claim that without the right dosage of amusement, exuberance, and merriment, boredom can reach epic levels. In extreme cases, people can either be bored to tears or bored to death. Most people hope to choose the former instead of the latter.

Fortunately, there is a cure for this lethargic affliction. This simple yet action-oriented cure is four letters long and it can be done over and over again. This cure is known as a verb.

Verbs are known for breaking any walls of boredom that exists in one’s life. The more verbs people have in their lives, the happier they become. Whether it is to write, jump, eat, walk, dance, play, laugh, drive, sing, speak, or anything that involves action, verbs can cure any amount of full blown boredom. The more you do these verb-related items, the better off you are.

Life can be a lot better if people can break away from the dull effects of boredom. If you are one of those people that are suffering from the effects of boredom, feel free to do anything!! Who knows?? You might create a chain reaction of action for more people if you put these verbs in your life.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Monday, March 7, 2011

Diabetes - A Battle in the Wind

Greetings People,

For my latest post, I am writing you from a place that I am become accustomed to for the last few years. It is not from my apartment or from Dana’s house. It is from Centennial Hills Hospital in northwest Las Vegas.

Why am I here tonight? Well, I am here because of a battle. This battle is one that is not fought in remote locations. Instead, it is a battle with something that I have been familiar with for almost 30 years. This battle is a part of a war against diabetes that the ol’ man is facing.

When it comes to putting a piece of my life out there to you, the happy people, I am a bit guarded with what I write. I always want to put on a happy face and make others around me happy too. It makes life a little easier when folks feel good.

However, there are some things that are challenging. This is one of those things.

Those that are in my inner circle know about this battle going on in my family. It is not an overnight thing. It has been going on for years. There was many times where I spent hours in various hospitals. Whether it is downtown or in the northwest, the time spent here is not one of my favorites. It can become challenging.

Many diabetic battles were held in different Las Vegas hospitals. Some were minor, others were life threatening. Through it all, he managed to step outside of these hospitals. Whether it is through prayer or knocking on wood, I can only be grateful that my dad pulled through on these ordeals.

Like the battles in the past, I hope that tonight’s confrontation comes out victorious. This is the third visit in the last month and I am not a big fan of this at all. No matter if it is big or small, facing these ordeals is not good.

As I sit here in the waiting room, I pray that somebody finds a cure for this disease. Diabetes has affected many lives all over the world. There are people I know that are either battling this via insulin or pills. There are others that lost a family member.

No matter how one slices it, this disease is a rough one!! If you know someone that is going through diabetes, please keep them in your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes.

The doctors just walked in and the ol’ man made it through another one. He is recovering and will be okay for now. That is good news to hear!! As I end this post, I would like to tell you that never take anything for granted. You never know what can happen when it comes to a disease like this. As for me, all I can do is keep knocking on wood and hope that better horizons come along the way.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, March 4, 2011

Take That First Step - Open That Door!!

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever had an opportunity knock on your door?

Have you taken the time to answer it?

In life, we have many opportunities to do things. Some things can make us successful, while others will allow us to fail. There are also those opportunities that we decide to take a pass on. I have taken passes on opportunities that have me wondering what could have been. Fortunately, there are those opportunities that I had the chance to take advantage of. The following story I have for you is a great example on how an accepting an opportunity is a great thing!!

As I was sitting on my desk at my Clark Kent job, I heard my cell phone ring. It was from a Division Governor in Lancaster, California. He had some questions about who he should select as a keynote speaker for his Toastmaster Leadership Institute (or TLI) function. This is a very important event because it allows officers from different clubs to get effective training for their officer roles. In our District, we have six TLIs that take place – one in the Las Vegas Valley and five in California. My response to this Division Governor’s question is to pick someone that you know will be an attractive draw to your TLI event. In my mind, I remembered past District Governors, World Champions of Public Speaking, and other important Toastmasters giving great keynote speeches for these events.

All of a sudden, he asked if I would like to give the keynote speech for his TLI event. The look on my face when he asked me that was priceless. At first, I did not know what to say. I was shocked!! It was my first ever opportunity to give a keynote speech at this type of event. I could have thought of many excuses why I could not do this, but from my mouth I said yes. When I agreed to step up and give this presentation in Lancaster, I wondered what the heck I was thinking. I am not one of those past District Governors or World Champions of Public Speaking. All I can be is Mr. I-I-I. I could have backed out and said that I was unable to do this, but I made a decision and decided to stick with it.

I thought of a few ideas on what to say, but decided to “take that first step” and give a message that was relevant to this type of training. After going over my presentation, I drove to Lancaster where I met the Division Governor and his wife. We stopped at a Toastmasters club, ate dinner, and had a great discussion about clubs, our lives, and my book “Greetings Happy People.” This was one of the first times where I was amazed that someone actually read my book and loved it. As they dropped me off at the hotel, the Division Governor gave me a gratitude rock. Whenever I hold on to this black rock, I would think of something to be grateful about. I still have that rock to this day!! Thanks David!!

The morning of the TLI arrived and I was getting ready to go to the event. With the keynote presentation on my mind, I kept holding on to the gratitude rock feeling grateful for this opportunity I was about to undertake. When I got there, I saw many happy people from at this event. They came from Lancaster, Palmdale, Ridgecrest, Bakersfield, and Bishop!! At the beginning of the event, I gave my keynote on how important it is to “take that first step” when it comes to achieving your goals. At the end of the presentation, I felt grateful. I felt even happier when the Division Governor gave me a container of strawberries!! Throughout that TLI event, other presenters were using my theme and we all had a great time!!

As I drove back to Las Vegas, I felt 300% awesome!! I felt awesome about saying yes. I felt awesome about taking that first step into something new. Heck!! I felt awesome that I was able to hold on to that gratitude rock and feel grateful that I did what I did!! This could be the start of something amazing!!

That opportunity knocked on my door and I answered it. What will happen when an opportunity knocks on your door? Will you turn it away? Will you start having second thoughts? Or will you simply take the first step and open that door?

The decision 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

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