Thursday, April 28, 2011

It's Okay to Have a Life

Greetings Happy People,

On any given day, we see these people at our 9 to 5 jobs.

They want to do the best job they can. They want to make sure others do the best they can. They also want to make sure things go right and nothing goes wrong.

These people want to strive for perfection, but at what cost? Sleepless nights? Excessive worrying? High levels of stress? Thinking about what will happen the next day??

It is one thing to focus on a job during work hours. It is another thing to worry about a job after the whistle blows. There are people out there that think about their jobs 26 hours a day, 9 days a week, and 400 days a year. From the time they wake up to the time they go to bed (if possible), they think about co-workers, a challenging task, and other things that worries them immensely.

While it is true that they get paid for their day jobs, this unhealthy type of thinking can be costly. It can cost one's health, wealth, AND sanity.

I was one of those people that had a job that was challenging. I remember those days of meeting with a boss that was the demanding, demeaning, Napoleonic type. Those mornings where I woke up shaking in stress got to me too many times. It was 150% unbearable. I had to think and worry about that job to the point where it made me literally sick. Thankfully I got out of that miserable rut.

For those people that worry about their jobs, outside of their jobs, all I can say is that it is okay to have a life. If it is possible, find a balance that will keep you and your sanity in check. Find a few hobbies to partake in. Whether it is karaoke, cooking, serving the community, or joining a communication and leadership group, there are many hobbies out there that you can have fun with. Heck, you might even make a friend or two!!

People that have lives outside of their jobs are more likely to have less stress in their lives. For every good time they have, it counters the daily stress they face. The more fun they have, the better off they are physically, mentally, and psychologically. It can also give them a good chance to live a little longer.

Having a life outside of work is okay!! There are people out there that can not only find a balance between their jobs and life, but can find greater opportunites that benefits both sides. It has worked for me pretty well.

If you know someone that is facing the doldrums of worrying about their jobs after hours, tell them that it is okay to have a life beyond work. If they choose to listen to you, that is a good first step. If not, we can only hope they see where they are heading.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Books From Some Fellow Toastmasters

Greetings Happy People,

You can find some amazing people in Toastmasters International.

We not only have great speakers, but great writers as well!! There are books out there that you can check out. Here are some of the literary classics that you can check out for yourself:

1. Greetings Happy People by Jesse Oakley I-I-I

Okay Okay, I know the first one has to be a personal plug for my own book. It is about the positive words and wisdom through the eyes of Mr. I-I-I. Some amazing personal stories and positive lessons from yours truly. It is a great read and you can check it out at either (click here) or (click here).

2. Vocabhallow by Serena Phillips

Lucinda and Theodore are best friends. Lucinda (Luci) is a fun-filled fairy that likes to take risks and gets into trouble. Theodore is a melancholy dragon who is quiet and shy. Luci and Theodore balance each other’s personalities. They are friends with Eddie the Goblin and Ralph the Troll. James the boy wizard helps them when they get into trouble. Sometimes Necromancer, the forest wizard will need to be called on for assistance too. Using SAT vocabulary words and colorful illustrations makes this story fun and educational. Pronunciations and definitions for the italicized words are found in the back of the book.

To check out Vocabhallow, (click here)

3. Engaging ESL Students: Building Background by Linda Evans

Do you have ESL/ELL students in your mainstream classroom? Mainstream teachers have an awesome responsibility. Demographically, the traditional classroom has changed.

Teachers are expected to teach their content area while simultaneously addressing the needs of students who are not proficient in English language. Here is your complete guide for building background knowledge into your lessons.

You will discover how easy it is to:
• Feel successful now, even if you don't speak the language of your students.
• Have solutions at your fingertips.
• Save time by building background first.
• Read a tip and confidently walk into the next class and use it.

Linda Evans is a trusted expert on the topic of engaging ESL and ELL students.

"Ms. Evans presents extremely effective ways to engage students in learning language, whether they are learning a new language or expanding an existing language. All teachers can use this book," says Mary Louise Sena, Ph.D., Albuquerque, New Mexico.

"Linda's book should be included in every teacher induction program in every school of education because it is filled with easy-to-use strategies that make sense," says Danielle D'Avirro, 8th Grade English Language Arts, North Syracuse, New York.

"Building Background is the missing piece we've needed to activate creative communication with English Language Learners," says Audrey Szewc, 6th Grade Math Teacher, Las Vegas, Nevada.

The powerful linking tools in this book have helped thousands of mainstream teachers to be proactive in their diverse classrooms! You can learn more at

To check out Engaging ESL Students: Building Background (click here)

4. The Promise by Sandy Money

It only works if it's open!

I am not telling you what to do or how to do it;

I am just reminding you of the things you already know.

Be grateful for your life, the beauty of the earth, our country, and all other the things you can think of.

Believe you can learn to be great at anything and do anything that you set your mind to.

Change: make that change in the areas that you think are important to you.

Desire, followed by action, is the key to success!

Remember that the universe will give you only what you ask for.

Study, learn, and teach; most of all, have fun!

Be great!

This book is amazing great and detail information how to overcome just about any obstacles that we can face.

To check out The Promise (click here)

5. "Where's My Shoes?": My Father's Walk Through Alzheimer's by Brenda Avadian

Where's My Shoes" demonstrates the joys and awkwardness, fears and uncertainties, responsibilities and outcomes, of caring for one's parent. But most of all, it offers real options and prudent solutions that will benefit anyone faced with this decision. It cannot be denied that "Where's My Shoes?" is a love story. On the surface it tells the true story in real time, as Brenda faces reality and makes hard, yet informed decisions. But between the lines, it's about the youngest daughter taking responsibility for family affairs and the care of her beloved father.

To check out Where's My Shoes (click here)

6. A Victim No More - Coming Summer 2011 from the Professional Women's Network

One of the Authors in this book is my fellow Toastmaster from my home club Starmasters Toastmasters (#3883). Her name is Elizabeth Howard and she is one of many authors that shares there life exeperiences. Something tells me that this will be an amazing book to check out!!

To know more about it (click here)

7. Your Mind Over Habits by Elle Swan

You will never look at yourself the same after reading the formula for conquering bad habits. In this warm and friendly guide to vibrant living, Elle Swan, International Speaker and Coach, shares the fascinating way she lost 67 lbs, defeated substance abuse, and conquered all her self-destructive habits for good. Her expertise is both professional and personal. Imagine what your life could be like if you could say "goodbye" to your unwanted habits once and for all. Elle Swan keeps is real and keeps it simple.

To check out Your Mind Over Habits (click here)

These are 7 books to check out. There are more that are out there written by fellow Toastmasters. If you are a Toastmaster and would like to promote your book to the Happy People, please feel free to contact your guy Mr. I-I-I!! I will be more than happy to pass the word along.

If you would like to be a part of this group of successful people, come to your nearby Toastmasters club. To find one near you, go to the Toastmasters International website ( You will not only have an opportunity to improve your communication and leadership skills, but also become a success in your own right.

If these people can do it, you can too!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Monday, April 25, 2011

Palace or Prison

Greetings Happy People,

"Be thine own palace or the world's thy jail."
- John Donne

For my next example, I am going to introduce you to two people. One is named "Naomi." The other is named "Natalie." They are both similar in nature. They are the same age, background, and starting point in life.

However, one is different than the other because of how they choose to think.

Naomi has negative thoughts in her mind. She worries about living day to day. She fears things that may not even exist in the first place. This excessive way of thinking is eating her life up from the inside. She ages quickly. She relies on drugs and alcohol for comfort. In her eyes, she believes that all is wrong with the world and believes that there is no hope for any good living. The positive people in her lives walk away from her because she drains the fun out of everything. Most of the day she spends her time in her own house feeling trapped and victimized. Little does she know, her life is sinking daily due to her thinking.

On the other hand, Natalie is the complete opposite of Naomi. She lives her life daily. Instead of fear, she chooses to take opportunities and risks on different things because she can learn from them. Natalie does not rely on any chemical dependencies because she is already feeling good and living positively with her life. Instead of seeing what is wrong with the world. Natalie choose to see what is right and possible with her world. She volunteers in organizations, spends time with positive friends and people, and is making the most of life. Most of her days are spent outside of her house because she feels that the world is her's. Little does she know, her life is going to take her places as far as she can imagine. Thanks to her positive thinking and doing, she will continue to have success.

These two examples show how they have the same starting points in lives. They also show the difference in the choices they make. One is negative, the other is positive. One is living in a mental jail, the other is living in her own palace. There is no question who is coming out on top.

Believe it or not, you have a choice on how you want to live your life. Are you going to live a life like Naomi's? Or are you going to live Natalie's life? The choice is yours. You can end up living in your own palace or the world's prison. It depends on how you want to think for yourself.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, April 22, 2011

A Touch Can Mean So Much

Greetings Happy People,

Back in 1982, I was an adventurous kid living in the beautiful city of Seattle. Whether I was at a park, in the playground, or at recess, I found different adventures that took me as far as my imagination could go. At that time, I was living in my own renaissance.

One day, my adventures took me to a pine tree at the front yard of my house. I looked at this majestic piece of wood and knew I had to climb it. Why? Because I wanted to!! As I began my trek to the top, I set foot on each branch while my hands were reaching for the ones above my head. When I got to the middle of the tree, I made one error that prevented me from getting to the top. I looked down. When I saw the ground, I lost balanced and fell from the tree.

After the fall, I did what any macho, daring, adventurous 7-year old would do. I cried like a 5-year old.

Hearing the wails from outside, my dad asked what was wrong. I looked up at him and said that I skinned my leg from that tree. With great care, he took me inside the house and slapped some rubbing alcohol on the bruise. After some excessive screaming, he put a bandage on the wound, patted my leg, and told me that everything was going to be alright. I did not know it then, but a simple touch made things a lot better than what they were. A touch can mean so much.

Almost thirty years later, I find myself living in Las Vegas. One Saturday evening, I got a phone call. It was from my mother. She told me to come to the hospital at once. Something in my gut told me that there was something wrong with the ol’ man. For the last month and a half, he has been in the hospital due to diabetic complications. A few weeks ago, the doctors amputated the toes from his right foot. Everyone thought that things were going to get better, until they found more infections in his leg. Having no choice, they amputated his right leg from the knee down.

Before I continue with this story, this brought back plenty memories of relatives on my dad’s side suffering from this disease. My grandmother and four of my uncles lost their battles to this disease. Unlike the ol’ man, my uncles lost their battles in the mid 40’s to the early 50’s. This is too young.

As I got to the hospital, I found out that my dad was in critical condition at the Intensive Care Unit. His blood pressure was extremely low, and his heart rate was getting weaker and weaker. In my mind, I was not ready for this. I have seen this road many times before and was not ready to see another one lose this battle. The doctors were doing their best to save him. My mother, filled with emotion, started talking to my dad. She told him to stay strong, everything will be alright. She caressed his hand and held it tight. She gave him as much love as she could. My sisters and I had our chance to talk to him and tell him how much we loved him. We touched his hands and arms, ensuring him that everything was going to be alright.

Miraculously, his blood pressure increased. His heart rate increased. And his vital signs started to improve. The doctors may have given him some medicine to make him better, but I knew that a simple touch can mean so much.

A touch of love can do miracles that no medicine can do. It not only shows that people care, but it makes people feel a lot better. It was shown when I fell from the tree years ago. It was also shown at the hospital last weekend. It can be shown at any situation and any moment we have in our lives. Whether it is by words, heart, or hands, a touch can mean so much. We have the power to make people feel better in times of despair. We can make a difference in others, even when we don’t expect it.

Our power lies in us and nobody can take it away. My dad touched my life and I touched his. Will you do the same for others?

A touch can mean so much.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Better Buyer Beware

Greetings Happy People,

In these economic times, we have people that are going through hard challenges.

Whether it is by way of layoffs, downsizing, or anything else, there are folks that are feeling the crunch. Many of them are hoping for opportunities to not only get out of this funk, but come out better than before.

In the same breath, there are also other people that are taking advantage of other's misfortunes. Some are there to help while others are there to make a fast buck by scamming people.

There are people I know that have been down this road before. Some have become successful in their ventures while others were left taken for a ride. The question is how can one be sure about getting involved with any venture that sounds a little too good to be true?

Well, the answer I have for you is to check out the references. Before you leap into a deal that sounds sweet on the surface, go to the different authority agencies and ask about these businesses. No one is going to fault you for being a beware buyer.

How does one go to these agencies? Well, I can provide you with the following links that will help you out:

Better Business Bureau

Federal Trade Commission

U.S. Attorney General's office

Any State Attorney General's office
(example - the one for Nevada is

Any State Secretary of State's office
(example - the one for Nevada is

or just for the heck of it, the Federal Bureau of Investigation

These are just a few links that you can check out if you are unsure about a company. I have used these on occasion and they rarely disappoint me.

So if you are in a rough spot and are wondering about different compaines that offer you a deal that sounds too good to be true, please feel free to check out the references in depth. You have a right to know.

After all, it could be the difference between your ride to success or just being taken for one.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Things NOT To Do At A Job Interview

Greetings Happy People,

Yesterday, I went to a Toastmasters meeting and one of the speakers talked about what not to do at a job interview. He shared his own experiences that had me rolling on the floor laughing hysterically. Some of the stories remind me of certain people I have interviewed. They did not get the job, but were interesting to listen to.

Feeling inspired, I looked for things that people should not do during job interviews. Throughout the internet, I looked for interviewing no-nos that were not only interesting, but just plain wrong.

Throughout my search, I have found the following gems on what not to do. Some will make you laugh, some will make you shake your head, and others will make you say DANG!!

If you are looking for a job and get called for an interview, PLEASE DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING THINGS THESE PEOPLE HAVE DONE....

“Said he was so well qualified [that] if he didn't get the job, it would prove that the company's management was incompetent.”

“During the interview, she chewed bubble gum and constantly blew bubbles.”

“Balding candidate abruptly excused himself. Returned to office a few minutes later wearing a hairpiece.”

“Man wore jogging suit to interview for position as financial vice president.”

“Said if he were hired, he would demonstrate his loyalty by having the corporate logo tattooed on his forearm.”

“Interrupted to phone his therapist for advice on answering specific interview questions.”

“Wouldn't get out of the chair until I would hire him. I had to call the police.”

“When I asked him about his hobbies, he stood up and started tap dancing around my office.”

“Pulled out a Polaroid camera and snapped a flash picture of me. Said he collected photos of everyone who interviewed him.”

“Said he wasn't interested because the position paid too much.”

“While I was on a long-distance phone call, the applicant took out a copy of Penthouse, and looked through the photos only, stopping longest at the centerfold.”

“Candidate said he really didn't want to get a job, but the unemployment office needed proof that he was looking for one.”

“He whistled when the interviewer was talking.”

“Asked who the lovely babe was, pointing to the picture on my desk. When I said it was my wife, he asked if she was home now and wanted my phone number. I called security.”

“She threw up on my desk, and immediately started asking questions about the job, like nothing had happened.”

“Asked if I wanted some cocaine before starting the interview.”

As I shake my head at some of these stories, it goes to show you that there are people out there that are like this. For all of the readers out there, if you are looking for a new job, promotion, or anything to better yourself, for the love of strawberries please do not do these things!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Give Respect to Get Respect

Greetings Happy People,

In order to earn respect, it must be given.

It does not matter if it's by age,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if calm or rage,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if it's by kin, nor does it matter by color of skin,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if it's in a group,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if one is in the loop,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if a position is high, nor does it matter by day or nigh,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if one is great,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if early or late,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter by rank of class, nor does it matter who has the sass,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if one is true,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter what you do,
You give respect to get respect.

It does not matter if by strife, or how you choose to live your life,
You give respect to get respect.

Respect is an earned thing Happy People. In order to get it, you have to give it. There's no way around it.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Grateful Man

Greetings Happy People,

Why should I be upset? Why should I be sad? Give me a good reason.

I write to you all as a very grateful man.

What do I have to be grateful for? Many things Happy People!!

For all the things that have happened in my life, I am grateful for.

For all the things that are happening in my life, I am grateful for that.

For all the things that will happen in my life, I will certainly be grateful for.

Whether good or bad, I am grateful for the people I have met in my past because they have not only made my today, but will also shape my future. Without them, I would not have lived the life I lived.

I am grateful for my family. There maybe certain things that I am not able to agree with, but at least I know that I can still love them. If I were to shed any tears, they will not be of sadness. Instead, they will be of gratitude for the time I have spent with them becuase it was really worth it.

I am gratful for waking up and being able to live the days the way I want to live. If I choose to be active in my hobbies, my work, or anything else, I know that I have the freedom to do so. Not too many people can take that away from me.

What else can I be grateful for? My friends of course!! In my life, I have met friends in the past and present. Whether the live around the corner or thousands of miles away, they manage to make me feel good with laughter, support, and love. Some of them maybe small, but they can turn out to be very big.

I am grateful for the paths I walked in life. Whether they were good or not, I learned from the steps I made.

Additionally, I am grateful for obstacles. If I could go through them I would be stronger. If I can't, then I am able to learn how to improve.

In life we have choices. Some choices are given to us while others aren't. There are things we can control, and others we can't. No matter what happens in life, we should never feel powerless or helpless. Instead, we should look at each point in life and just be thankful for them. It may not be the way we want them to come out, but at least they are there.

With the things that go on in my life, I could feel sad, cry, and be mad at the world. But I choose not to do so. Instead, I choose to be thankful for what I had, have, and will have. Knowing this makes me feel a lot better.

Life is better if one is able to see the things one can be grateful for instead of not seeing them at all. If it works for me, if will work for you.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Insights from an far

Greetings Happy People,

With less than three months in the Toastmaster year, I figure that I would like to share my thoughts with you about the current Toastmaster role I am serving - District 33 Lt. Governor of Marketing.

I have been serving this role since July 1, 2010 and I can tell you that this is an awesome experience. No matter if it is in southern Nevada, central California, and Ventura county, I enjoy serving Happy folks of this District in this position.

This year there have been some challenges. Loss of clubs, hits in membership, and other issues that are either Toastmaster related or personal. Before I campaigned and got elected to this position, I knew about these things. Knowing them and feeling them are two very different things.

I can make excuses on why certain things have not gone too well. I can blame the economy. I can blame people that have a propensity of destroying clubs. I can point fingers at anything that can come under the sun and moon. But I choose not to do that. Why? Because I rather focus on what can be done instead of what could be the undone.

Instead of focusing on the what's wrongs, I choose to focus on the what's rights and what's possible. I believe that this way of thinking has kept me going throughout this year because I know that there are people out there that are looking for different ways and options on how they can grow. Whether it is a person, a club, an area, a division, or a district, growth benefits everyone - ESPECIALLY in these challenging times!!

I would not be surprised if there are folks out there that said I did nothing in this role. My response to them is "really?" As the LGM, I get various phone calls and emails from people in my District asking various questions about Toastmaster related items. Some of the answers I know by heart, others had to be referred to World Headquarters (which have been pretty helpful - thanks guys). My role is helping out the members and clubs in this district and between now and June 30, 2011, that will be remain my intent.

There are also those times where people question my assistance at different areas contest and division TLI's. To that, I say that before I am an LGM, a DTM, or any other alphabet related to this non-profit organization, I am still a Toastmaster!! Nothing more, nothing less. Just because I am in this high district officer position does not mean that I am above helping folks out. I have been in these roles before and know what it is like. If anyone has a question about how stuff is done, I will surely answer them to my best ability.

Beside the negative situations, naysayers and doubters, I still managed to have an awesome time in this role because I choose to. From that, I met great people all over this District, Region, and world!! Some are new Toastmasters, others have been around the block for a while. I have experienced joy in chartering three new clubs and hope to experience more joy as more clubs get chartered.

I am also grateful in working with Area Governors, Division Governors, my fellow Lt. Governor Cheryl Wronski, District 33 Governor Phyllis Tribby, Region II Marketing Advisior Kay Collis, and the Region II International Directors Ken Cawley and Kevin Doyle. These people are awesome and I am very thankful to get an opportunity to meet them all!!

If I were to offer any advice for the next person that takes on this role, it would be the following: Do the best you can and have fun with it. Make this role, your role. Whether it is inside or outside of Toastmasters, any leadership role is a great responsibilty. You have to put into it as much as you want it to come out. That is what I have been doing for the past nine months and it has been paying off in the long run. There will be people questioning things under the sun. Don't let them get to you. Instead, do the best you can with what you got. There are other people that look at this. They will be inspired and want to help you out.

Knowing that it still ain't June 30th yet, I am going to keep on serving this role to the best of my ability. I will also continue to enjoy the rides and adventures that this role has to offer. It is an amazing ride and I am grateful to experience it :o)

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


Jesse I-I-I

Riders On the Storm

Greetings Happy People,

Have you ever rode through a storm?

If you have, you would know that it is not an easy thing to do.

Driving slower, watching the road closely, and praying for an escape are some of the things drivers do when they drive through storms.

I had interesting experiences in riding through different storms. Whether is it through rain, snow, hail, or wind, these storms are never easy to go through. But one can become stronger if they make it through one.

My latest encounter with a storm happened last Saturday. I was driving from Simi Valley to Santa Maria and back. Heading northbound on US 101 between Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, I saw some heavy clouds coming from the ocean. When they made it to the coastline, it brought low clouds, heavy rain, and visibility so low that I can barely see what was ahead of me. Not knowing what could happen, I clinched my steering wheel and drove through as best as I could. With some strong determination and great care, I managed to get to Santa Maria without facing any real dangers.

As I headed back from Santa Maria, I decided to take another route. This one was quicker to get back to Simi Valley and it did not involve having to go on US 101. Was this route any easier than the 101? Not really. While the path was a shorter distance to get from point A to point B, it also involved more clouds, more rain, less lanes, more turns, and driving downhill. This route is CA-154, the Los Olivos-Cachuma Lake route.

When I drove the first few miles on this route, I saw a cloudy haze that was heavier than before. How heavy was it? It was heavy enough for me to barely see half a car length ahead of me. YIKES!! Lots of things can go through a driver's minds when they are facing these obstacles. I not only hoped that I could get through this mess, I also hoped that nobody hit me from behind. As the rain poured harder, my grip got a little tighter. As the curves got sharper, so did my eyes.

When the view got cloudier, I looked for something that would help my drive become a little easier. Luckily, I saw some white mile markers on the roadside. For each one of these I passed, I knew I was getting closer to Santa Barbara and the US 101. As I went further down the hill, the weather started to clear up. When I got to the bottom of the hill, I made it to Santa Barbara safely. As I drove back on the 101, I was thankful that I made it through those challenging coastal storms.

This was a story on how I overcame two different storms in my life. With great determination, carefulness, and lots of hope, I was able to get through them. Do you have storms that you go through in life? If so, how did you get through them? If you got through them the same way I did, then you will become a stronger person.

Many people drive through many storms. Some of them aren't even weather related. There are storms in our lives that come in forms of finances, relationships, and other challenges in life. Unfortunately, not too many people can escape these storms and if they do, they never really escape them. That is not a good thing.

If you are a person that is currently going through a storm in your life, remember that it is only temporary. Whatever storm you are in can be seen as a challenge. If you are able to get through them, you will become stronger than before - because you not only went through it, but rode it!!

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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