Archives for : Require Better

Story Time: About that New Format

Remember a few months ago when I promised a new format? Well, after weeks of trial and error, technical difficulties, unfocused writing attempts, and negotiating with the Boss, I finally have it for you! The truth is that writer’s block doesn’t even begin to describe what’s been holding me back. I just went through and pulled up all the active drafts I have saved. There were 6 in the last 3 months alone. It wasn’t so much a lack of inspiration–as you’ll see in the coming week and months of posts–but a short attention span coupled with an unsettled mind.

Now, the other reason I decided to make changes to my posting style is because Someone suggested that actually hearing the passion behind the words might help express my point more emphatically. My first reaction was Exit Comfort Zonean absolute “No.” Where I argued that we have podcasts where I guest or host with other folks participating. Who really wants to hear me rant… [He cut me off] “We read your rants don’t we?” he said. “Imagine a Decorum Deficiency Piece as spoken words… oh the lack of chill!” Of course, this was months ago, and I’m taking several verbal liberties, but that’s basically how the conversation went. The thought seed was planted and barely a month later I stared recording.

So now, you’ll have the benefit of hearing my perspective, in addition to reading itNow featuring sound. Let’s consider this first piece a summary explanation of sorts. Remember that I actually recorded this back in October when I first mentioned the new format of my posts. I even did one for Halloween–which I’ll probably hold it for next year because it should still be applicable–and another for my 2nd anniversary, which will probably just get added to the WDDIJ blooper reel for anyone who wants to hear what I had to say. Each blog piece/podcast hybrid will consist of my written introduction to what should be a more complete spoken thought.

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=true&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”300″ iframe=”true” /]

And there we have it! My first hybrid piece of many. Let me know what you think… because you know, the objective is to Do More, and of course Require Better.

Lesson 3: Control How People Treat You

Sweet Sin it is great to be back on Wednesday where I belong! I’ll try to keep this short because this one is like a dead horse and I’m coming at it with Louisville Slugger… I’m not one much for gore.

Control How People Treat YouSo many have already said the same thing… “Teach people how to treat you…” they’ve said. “People only treat you the way you allow them to…” they preached. So what’s one more voice spouting the same “easier said than done” platitudes?

If people are treating you like crap, it’s your job to Require them to treat you Better. You have to Do whatever is necessary to get More out of your relationships, or walk away from whichever element is diminishing your ability to move forward, and Dig Deeper. We really are the masters of our universe. Not in that dismissive “…everything that’s wrong with your life is your fault…” kind of way because I don’t believe that crap. No, I believe that whatever is in our immediate sphere of control; ie. how we react to situations and circumstances, who we choose to include in our lives, the decisions we make, and actions we take… all are elements of our personal, immediate sphere of control. Our #50percent =)

I’ve always said that we are only responsible for our 50 percent of every interaction. We have no control Control Your 50 Percentover how other people choose to deal with their 50. If you made every effort toward getting a job, improving your relationship, or getting approved for that mortgage, and the people in control of making the final decision don’t rule in your favor, it isn’t necessarily because you failed; it’s because the other party’s 50 percent was not in alignment with yours.

So, when dealing with people, your 50 percent, your responsibility, is to set the tone for your present and future interactions. Every interaction is a chance to change or solidify the terms of your relationship. You set the tone, and they will treat you accordingly. For those who have already become accustomed to a negative dynamic, you have to choose to either redefine the terms of your relationship, or release yourself from the relationship altogether. Your universe. Your terms. Your decision. Your control. The negative dynamic was most likely established at a time when you relinquished control over the situation. Reclaim the control. Reestablish your terms by whichever means you deem necessary.

Sometimes the hardest decisions to make are hard because they require a level of commitment to ourselves that we have convinced ourselves is outside our sphere of control. We have allowed the external element to have control for so long that we can barely imagine what life would be like otherwise. This crippling misunderstanding of your place in your universe is the perception that you must shift in order to change the terms of your relationships, reclaim control of your sphere, and Require the Better level of treatment that you deserve. That’s right; it is exactly as I have always told you…

Do More. Require Better.

Lesson 2: Happiness is Not a Destination

Lesson 2: Happiness is not a Destination.

You know how when people notice that you’re in an unpleasant mood, and say things about having gotten up on the wrong side of the bed? Or how some people seem to have nothing but wrong sides of their bed? That’s because we’ve been misinformed, perhaps miseducated about what happiness is.

Happiness: A good moment amongst a sea of bad ones.Of all the plans I’ve made for my life, happiness was always my goal; like if I had these things, earned whichever title, was about to accomplish this or that goal, I’d be happy. I don’t know many people who don’t have happiness as the result of their best laid plans. Actually, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have happiness as their ultimate destination. Here’s the thing though; what about every minute of every day while you’re chasing dreams and accomplishments? Are you really content feeling everything but happiness in the mean time?

I tried to explain what I meant to a friend of mine, and she didn’t get it. She was like, “of course you can get to happiness. People find happiness all the time…” Which is exactly the point. If happiness was just a destination; an acquirable thing, we could keep it indefinitely. It would be as simple as achieving goals and crossing finishing lines. It wouldn’t be so temporary or fleeting. We’d get the happiness and live happily ever after.

So what then is happiness? Happiness is a lot of things. Ask a million different people and you’ll get a trillion different answers. Although we treat it like the end to all means, it is both the means and the end. It’s the reason we keep trying in spite of how stacked against us the odds are. It’s what we live for. It’s what we die for. An entire world of hurt and suffering, but having experienced even one millisecond of happiness and we’ll keep coming back for more.Happiness Means: Enjoy the Little Things

  • Bad relationship? Well, remember that time he did that thing and you laughed for an hour just because? I guess it wasn’t that bad was it?
  • Crappy job? Remember that time you and your coworkers just sat around for 30 minutes talking about HR inappropriate things? Well that just made an 8 hour work day enjoyable.
  • Dysfunctional family? Remember that time you gathered in the living room after TGIF trying to do your best Urkel impression? You know damn well that’s why you still take their phone calls.

Happiness isn’t just about going through the motions day in and day out so you can start enjoying life at graduation or retirement. It isn’t about holding on to fond memories from your childhood hoping to recreate some of them for your children. Happiness is about living life every day, one moment at a time in hopes of adding another happy notch to your belt. It’s an experience that we can often miss if all we’re doing is hoping to find it at a final destination that we might never reach.

Create Happiness every day… even if its for no reason at all.
And as always:

Do More. Require Better.

Decorum Deficiency Disorder: My Hopeful Audacity

Warning - Dashed DreamsWarning: You may find the content of this post to be so offensive that you forget who I am and think yourself worthy of dropping a scathing comment or two so you can feel like you’ve provided a much needed “talking-to.” Good. I want to offend you. I want to piss you off. I want you to get angry enough to lend your voice to something that matters. If you’re one of those people accepts everything as absolute, this is not for you. Please return to the Real Housewives of where ever, and stay there. Thank you.

. . .

I look at history and wonder if my current sentiment has any valid basis, or if I should even put this out into the verse for fear that my thoughts and ramblings might one day be taken out of context and used against me… Luckily my cojones are huge and hang low so I’m gonna say what’s on my mind and hope for the best.

. . .

Electing a black president for these unitedly now divided States of America was the worst thing we could have pushed for in terms of civil rights, race relations, and equality. Not only did we make it so that the racists could proclaim unabashedly that racism is dead and that we now have a post racial America, but we’ve made a great man suffer for what will be 8 years… As a matter of fact, he’ll have to suffer unimaginable forms of indignity that no other President of the United States has ever had to deal with. But wait, there’s more….

So it isn’t enough that he has to suffer, you mean every Black person who suffers an injustice will have to suffer even more? Yes, yes as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what has happened. Treyvon Martin and Mike Brown were criminalized and dehumanized after their murder. One’s murderer is walking free to abuse and terrorize the people in his life. The other’s murder got a paid vacation, and gets to go back to work and his life, and will probably get a book and movie deal if the Fox News lovers have their way. Why? All because every racist and his racist mother can come out and publicly declare their irrational fear of black people and “Stand their Ground” against their imagined threat of the Negro takeover initiated by the POTUS himself. Guess what… It doesn’t stop there….

In their state of absolute fear and contempt, They’ve realized that America might do the truly unthinkable… because a Black president is one thing, I mean, at least he’s still a man… What if the voters really lost their marbles and elected [gasp, pearl clutch] a woman?!?!? A woman with her filthy ovaries and life giving womb… God forbid! So what do the crazies go and do…? They start going in hard on every woman; on all of our rights, and that demonic ability to lure men away from important things like wars that need waging and gigantic portions of food… that’s right, they went in on the first lady too. How dare she suggest that we push ourselves away from the dinner trough and television in favor of activity and exercise. The nerve! Why, if America votes in a President with lady parts, she might actually get really serious about things like rape culture and equal wages. How will men manage to get laid then?

There are so few days left of 2014. So many mistakes made. So much suffering and sadness… and yet there is still so much to be thankful for. Don’t let them silence you. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what’s right. This isn’t about the politics of it all, its about the injustice and inequity of it all. We keep making the same mistakes. We keep letting ourselves get pushed in whichever direction, and for what? Cable TV and the freedom to go to work for unlivable wages and look forward to weekends that are never quite long enough to enjoy the lives we’re supposed to be working hard for? We turn a blind eye to the injustice and strife of others because acknowledging it would mean facing the reality of our own struggle.

It’s time to wake up.

Do More. Require Better.