Sunday, July 31, 2011

If You CAN Stand the Heat...

Greetings Happy People,

It's about time!!

The air conditioning system at my house is about to be fixed!! It has been a challenging summer. But through all of the nonsense and all of the mess going on for nearly 3 months, my air conditioning will finally, finally, FINALLY be fixed!! YAY!!

For the people that don't know where I live, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is located in the southwestern part of the United States, right smack in the Mojave Desert!! If you have never lived in Las Vegas during the summertime, all I can tell you is that is H-O-T!!! I have lived in this city since 1984 and experienced many summers before. There were temperatures that went up to 107, 109, 113, and 117 degrees Farenheit!!

These last three months at Casa de I-I-I have been a real challenge, but I came out of this victorious!!

How, you ask?

I have heard people say to stick on the warranty people and the company. That I did do. Despite the frustration of the air conditioning company, I kept going and never let go.

I have heard people tell me to be downright mean with them. That I did not do because I know that if I were to be mean and open fire at them, I will get the same karma in return. It maybe easy to get pissed off, but I decided that something will come to me as much as it will to them. Thanks to this awful service, I would not be surprised that this company will go out of business. Customer service is a two way street, Happy People. If you are bad to your customers, they will pass the word like wildfire. Once that happens, you can kiss your business goodbye.

From this experience, I also realize who I can actually trust in a situation like this. There were people that helped out the best way they could and there were others that talked the talked and have not took any steps to do anything. It gives me an understanding on who I can and cannot trust.

For nights, I have been sweating, taking cold showers, and drinking lots of water and cold beverages. As messed up as that sounds, I kept going. Everytime I go to bed and everytime I wake up, I find enough energy and strength inside of me to just keep going as I stood in this hot house. These days have shown not only my resilience, but also my toughness.

So many people faced adversities that are greater than this. It could be losing a job, a loved one, or their way of living. Everyday we have choices on how we can deal with it. Either we let this get the best of us, or find ways to just keep going and take steps to get things done. It may take a matter of days, months, or years, but no matter what type of heat you are going through in your lives, you do have the strength to overcome them.

There is an old saying that mentions if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. I say that if you CAN stand the heat, you will become stronger once things cool down!!

I am living an example of this. When you face your hot moment, what will you do?

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


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Toastmasters Overkill

Greetings Happy People,

Before I write this message to you, I would like to let it be known that I love Toastmasters. I love the people in the organization and enjoyed the friendships I have made through lots of Happy People. When it comes to this organization, I have plenty of good times, great experiences, and awesome learning siutations that I would not trade for anything. This experience not only goes for the Las Vegas area, but also the rest of the world. I love this organization very much.

With this said, I have a question to ask.

Have you ever asked yourself when too much was just too much?

Two years ago, I finished up a successful term as a Division Governor. The Division was President's Distinguished for the third year in a row. Four out of the five areas were President's Distinguished - thanks to some amazing people (Karyn, Pablo, Jake, Nora, and Adella). I was getting ready to serve as the Chief Judge for the Division. And I belonged to seven different Toastmasters clubs!! That's right!! SEVEN!!

Can you say OVERKILL?

At some point, I cut down the membership of these clubs to a pretty decent number, 3.
When I cut down the club memberships, I felt a good release of tension and pressure that was off my back and was able to join my experience.

Now let's fast forward to today.

I just came from a pretty challenging year as a Lt. Governor of Marketing for my District. Lots of things were riding on the District. It had a chance to become Distinguished for a third year in a row - which has not happened for a long time. Some folks wanted to walk across the stage in Las Vegas celebrating that accomplishment. Others wanted the Las Vegas valley to be their own District.

The last two weeks of that year was even MORE challenging that the 50 weeks before that. When the smoke cleared, the District was 98 members away from being Distinguished - OUCH!! During these last two weeks, new clubs have chartered and some of them were joined by yours truly. Once that term ended, I find myself belonging to seven clubs again!! Can you say history repeating itself?

Before I can go on, I realize that too much is starting to become too much. To enjoy this Toastmasters experience, take on the leadership roles I am currently doing, and keep my insanity, I have to do some more cutting again. By October 1st, I will chop it down again. If I don't, then I won't enjoy the experience as much and it can become very stressful.

This story is an example on how too much of a good thing can not be so good. Within my years of Toastmasters, I have also seen people wanting to become the best speakers they can be only to leave because they took in way too much. This is especially heartbreaking if one is in a contest and forgot the rest of the lines. I have seen this at different levels. It makes me want to shake my head.

Again folks, I love Toastmasters. I love the people in it and am willing to help out as much as possible with filling a role at a club meeting, or a contest, or even get a new club started where folks actually want to start one. As the current Lt. Governor of Education & Training, I am willing to serve the District as best as I can for the whole District. However, in order for me to serve, learn, grow, and do my best, I have to let go of a few clubs that I currently belong to. Some folks may think that eight is enough, but I say that seven is too many!!

Before I end this message, I see people joining 4 Toastmasters clubs as we speak. That can easily turn in to 5, 6, and 7 if one is not careful. I see people overevaluating contestants preparing for different speech contests. I see people take this organization too seriously to the point where it it no fun at all.

To those people, all I can tell them is to enjoy Toastmasters as much as you can. The way YOU want to enjoy it!! There are great experiences on all levels!! Just don't overload yourself with it. This can lead to burnout if one is not careful. Remember that this is still a hobby. And like other hobbies, it can be a fun one, if you choose to make it fun for yourself.

Never kill yourself by overkilling. It does favors for nobody.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Looking In the Mirror

Greetings Happy People,

When you look into a mirror, what do you see?

Do you see just a reflection of yourself, or something more?

What do I see when I look in the mirror?

I see someone that is not fully living up to his potential. I see someone that can be better than what he is. I see someone that can be more than what he is.

On my blog, I write words of wisdom for you - the happy people that read and learn from it. For every post I write, I am as real as I can be. This is not the reality you see on those godawful pseudo-reality shows that's stinking up the TV networks. What I write, think, and feel are really REAL!!

No B.S. Just I-I-I!!

With that said, I look at myself in the mirror to see who I really am. Thanks to an interesting conversation last night, I am looking deep inside myself. As I write to all of you tonight, I can tell you that I maybe a better and changed person since that "wall-breaking moment" three years ago, but there is still more that has to be done.

A good example of this can be as visual as day and night. When it comes to different identities of Mr. I-I-I, there are two sides of the coin. The first side is of respect, love, admiration, unlocked potential, plus finding and living my passions. The other side is the complete and total opposite that is decaying second by second. The more I see these two sides, the more I find them to be nerve racking. How can I be happy and joyous on one side, while discouraged and disappointed on the other?

Somewhere and somehow, something's got to give.

I look deep inside myself and choose to be happy, think positive, and move towards the passions that make me feel good and move better. In the same breath, I still hear those negative words that try to hold me back. I see negative actions done by people that should never have managed in the first place. These are the same words that told me to stay where I am safe. These are also the same words that mock my actions and call me nothing more than a crazy dreamer. There are the same people that think I am high on something because I am not as miserable as they are.

As I write to you tonight, I can see where I want to go. I can see what I want to do. How I am going to get there is up to yours truly - 100% Intention + 0% Mechanism = 100% Results. When I am able to fully live my passion and live the way I want to live, I can truly become the man I see in that mirror.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?

Do you see a person that is truly living up to their potential?

Do you see a person that is truly happy?

Or do you see someone that is not being 100% real?

Whatever you see in that mirror, is the person that has the potential to be, do, and have as much control as one can possibly have. The question is what you are going to do with that person in the mirror?

As for me, it appears that Mr. I-I-I has some more work to do. Oh well, I guess I will take MY first steps. What about you?

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


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Daddy Needs a New Pair of Shoes

Greetings Happy People,

If you want to get to the future, sometimes you got to let go of the past.

Before I tossed my old shoes in the garbage this morning, I took a good look at them. Those things went through many miles. From the holes in the soles to the worn out treading, these shoes have been through many adventures. Now it's time to let them go.

When I bought these shoes, I did not care about the style or which brand they were. I was looking for comfort and color. Something that was black and fit my size 10 1/2 feet. When I found these pair of shoes, I would take them on different journies. The type that some soles dream about.

As I looked at these old shoes, I thought about the different paths they travelled. You can never tell a person's life unless you travelled in their shoes. If shoes could talk, I'm sure that they have something to say.

When you look at your worn out shoes, what words could they tell you? Are they going to tell you about jogs to the park? Are they going to tell you about the time you spent with friends and family. Or are they going to tell you about other things that are worth mentioning?

Sometimes it gets to me when people buy $300 shoes because some basketball or football player wears them. It maybe their shoes, but you are the one that still has to wear them. Instead, I choose to buy shoes that are around a 1/10th of that price range. They maybe a no-name variety, but I am giving them a identity because they are MY shoes!! Plus, I could save some serious money and use it for something else. ESPECIALLY stuff that involves travelling with my $30 shoes :o)

What message could be given about this story? No matter what type of shoes you wear, they become a part of your life. As time passes, your shoes shows many levels of experience as they go through the wears and tears. If that happens, it's okay to get yourself some new shoes. It's also okay to have some good memories of the old shoes you wore, but life still goes on, Happy People.

To start a new adventure in life, you got to get yourself a new pair of shoes. Who knows, you might live through more adventures if you start wearing them!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Friday, July 22, 2011

Message to Washington

Greetings Leaders of Washington,

Aside from the positive messages I have been giving on to this blog, I have something to say that requires serious attention. I really hope that you are listening to what I have to say.

It comes to my attention that both political parties are still pointing fingers about how to fix this debt crisis. Now I hear that folks are walking away from deals because it does not fit to their measures.

I love the United States. I live in this country and am proud to be an American. However, the pointing fingers and blame game is becoming more of an embarrassment. Not only for me, but for all Americans. I am disappointed that our leaders are able make excuses and not find any aggreable solutions. We as Americans should come together and fix this mess, not expose it.

It is also my understanding that if a solution is not met very soon, that this country will go into default. Correct me if I am wrong, but this is the first time this will happen in American history. This country has been around for 235 years and it is the first time that it will go into default? If our founding fathers and leaders from the past were alive today, they would hang their heads in embarrassment and shame. I hope you can sleep at night with this disappointment on your heads.

I don't care what party you belong to. I don't care where you stand on things. My voice maybe one voice, but it is saying that you need to come together and find a solution RIGHT NOW!! Fix America RIGHT NOW!!

If you do not make an agreement in 2011, we as Americans will make choices for you on the first Tuesday in November of 2012.

I am tired of the politics so stop playing them and get this done. If we don't work together, we will ALL fall apart. That is a risk that no one wants to see happen.

It would break my heart to see this nation fall in this matter. In the event that it does happen, we as Americans must pick ourselves up again and move forward. Throughout history, we have been able to overcome anything - wars, depressions, and other crisis. Although this maybe a challenge for us, we can make it through this process. All we have to do is come together as one true and indivisible nation. This can be done not by just the 535 people on the hill, but by the 300 million people living from sea to shining sea.

The future is now and it is in our hands. We can make this better for all!!

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


Jesse Oakley I-I-I

Thursday, July 21, 2011

What's Your Brand?

Greetings Happy People,

Do you have your own type of brand? The type that makes it stand out and have folks recognize it in a split second?

There are many companies that have recognizable brands. From Kentucky Fried Chicken to the NFL, branding is everywhere!! On August 17th, Toastmasters International will release its new brand to the public in my town of Las Vegas!! The purpose of having a brand allows one to standout from the rest. It brings a noticable attraction to a variety of customers.

There are also people that have their own personal brand. For example, I have a personal brand since I was 2 years old. Yes, this was way before the "I-I-I" moniker that I use today. How did I get it? Let me take you back to the late 70's in southern Texas.

My family and I were living in base housing at Kingsville, Texas. One day my mother was preparing some collard greens for dinner. Being the curious toddler, I wanted to see what my mother was doing. Being vertically challenged at the time, I stood on my plastic chair and watched my mom prepare those collard greens.

Within a matter of seconds, the chair gave way and BANG!!!!

I hit my head on the edge of the table. The next thing I knew, blood was gushing from my head. My mother took me to the hospital and the doctors put plenty of stitches on that gash. To this day, I carry this hole on my right eyebrow - my first brand!! Amazingly, I did not cry throughout the whole procedure.

Eventhough it was a painful way to get it, that was my first ever brand. Whenever I look at that hole in my right eyebrow, I feel that it gives a unique look to a unique individual. Some things may come and go, but that 34-year old brand I got on my right eyebrow still remains.

Would I recommend you to bump your head on the edge of your dinner table to create your own brand? Not really. Instead you can have your own brand by your body trademark, clothing, or anything else that defines you. As long as you are able to make or create your own statement, you have your own brand. You don't have to be a multi-billion dollar company to make that happen. You just have to be you and that is all that matters.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Rock Bottom

Greetings Happy People,

What do you do when you hit rock bottom?

Do you stay there and feel sorry for yourself? Do you point fingers and find excuses? Do you figure out how things should have or could have been?

Or do you just go on?

No matter who you are or what you do, you will experience a low point in your life. You might be experiencing a few right now!! While this may not be a fun thing to live through, you got to remember that this can only be as temporary as you want it to be. No other person can put you in greater despair than yourself!!

While it is true that life throws things at us, we must remember that these things are challenges. They challenge our will, patience, and mettle. If we are able to get through them, we will be stronger!! If you are unable to meet challenge, take it as a learning experience and move on!!

I had many days in my life where I hit my rock bottom. Whether it is physical, financial, mental, or anything else, I used to dwell at these points for long periods of time. I felt worthless, hopeless, and useless. I would let the world get on me like bags of weight. Those days were never fun!!

I constantly stayed at rock bottom until I realize something....I did not have too stay there for long!! I had another choice!! Instead of being down, I would choose to pick myself out of the doldrums. learn from it, and keep going!! Creating excuses and pointing fingers can only make things worse.

People that recover from their downfalls have an inner-strength that is beyond immeasurable. They tell the world that you may bring me down, but I am far from being out!! If you know someone that fits this category, use them as an example of inspiration!! If they can do it, YOU can do it.

Just remember that you don't have to stay at rock bottom forever. You can move on with your life!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Greetings Happy People,

Do you have a favorite place to get away?

Can you picture this place in your head right now?

When you think about this place, do all your troubles go away?

I have many favorite places. One of which I just came back from. Yesterday, I drove on US 101 from Santa Barbara to Ventura (California). Everytime I go to this piece of highway, I am in awe of its beauty.

Seeing the waves crash, smelling the wonderful ocean air, and feeling the cool breeze is a great getaway for Mr. I-I-I - ESPECIALLY during the summertime!!

As I drive along this highway, I reflect on many things. I reflect on my life, my directions, and my passions. Some thoughts are shallow while others are as deep as the ocean I see. Yesterday's drive gave me plenty of food for thought.

The foods of thought I have are the passions in my life. I notice that I have lots of them. It always make me feel grateful as I amaze myself with how much these positives outweigh the negatives. I often wonder how far these passions can take me. The only way I can answer that question is to walk through those doors.

However, there are some doors in my life that aren't fully open. Instead, they are blocked by the negatives in my life. These negatives are the ones that can never see the good aspects of life. They live behind the gates facing the doubts and other things that make them feel less empowered. Hanging around these folks and situations can surely drain a person's energy. As I drive along that portion of the 101, I realize how thankful I am that I can live life beyond the gates and appreciate my passions.

As I see where the shore ends and the rest of the world begins, I wish that I can find a way to leave the negatives in my life for good and embrace my passions a little more. Somehow I believe that there are certain means that can do that. One of them happens to be the person I see in the mirror. The others have to be found by that person. Sooner or later, it will happen.

If you have a place where you like to go on occasion, please go there. While you are there, take the time to reflect on your life. You will probably have more answers to the questions you ask. It is amazing how a getaway can change things. As I leave the coastline, I take my reflections with me. Hopefully, they can take me to more positive places in my life.

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


Jesse I-I-I

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The 40 Things I Am Grateful For

Greetings Happy People,

1. Waking up in the morning
2. Having an automobile to get from Point A to Point B
3. Having a beautiful lady I love
4. Having a family
5. Being a Toastmaster
6. Having a job
7. Being a published author
8. Being an alum of BGHS and UNLV
9. Being able to walk
10. Getting out of bed
11. Being able to travel
12. Thinking on my own.
13. Having my own house
14. Being able to speak my mind
15. Having some awesome friends from all over the world
16. Being able to sing
17. Living in the United States
18. Voting for what I believe in
19. Standing up for myself
20. Knowing how to play chess
21. Finding the silver linings
22. Being able to dream
23. Seeing those dreams become real
24. Reading at the age of 3
25. Knowing that life is much bigger than it seems
26. Creating my own blog
27. Keeping my head up
28. Having the ability to walk through different storms in my life
29. Being able to accomplish many things and more
30. Being able to speak in front of people with ease
31. Finding my passions
32. Being able to care
33. Playing the piano (okay)
34. Listening to old school music
35. Hablando Espanol
36. Having a gratitude rock
37. Being on radio
38. Being a little good at Math
39. Writing what comes from the mind and heart
40. Being Jesse (J-E-S-S-E) Oakley (O-A-K-L-E-Y)

These are the 40 things I am grateful for. There maybe more, but I figure I give this a start. Do you have 40 things that you are grateful for. If so, write them down!! You will be amazed to have more grateful things than you think!!

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


Jesse I-I-I

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