Beating The Odds When Everything Is Against You

I’m baaaack!!! And it feels so great! I appreciate your patience and still hanging in there for me. I’ve learned so much the past month with my business challenges, which were nothing compared to other people’s more serious situations. But, if you’ve just recently subscribed I’ll catch you up.

I had serious tech issues that pretty much stopped everything I was doing in the online part of my business. I couldn’t deliver my blogs, I lost tons of material I had already prepared for upcoming social media distribution and I couldn’t even log into the back end of my website.

These issues got me thinking because I felt horrible about myself. I started to beat myself up for not being able to foresee this problem. I started to doubt that I should continue my entrepreneur path and wonder if my blogs or program were good enough.

Then I realized I was being hard on myself because I push myself to do my best. I care about the quality of my work and I always feel like I let people down (in this case, you) when I don’t do what I set out to do on time.

As I was venting to a friend about my challenges, he (thank you Gerardo) told me to create a list of successes where I’d look at my past experiences and write down every negative challenge – personal or professional – that I’ve overcome.

So, I did. And after I finished my list I realized how insignificant my current tech problem was. Accepting this, I allowed myself to relax a little and I became confident that it would all work out. As soon as I did that, things started moving a little faster and I started working more efficiently.

From that moment of self-reflection, I was inspired to write this blog about overcoming challenges. So, I began to think about people who have amazing stories of trials and tribulations that have helped me get over my pity-parties. And I remembered something that I realized I’ve always purposely kept in mind that has helped me make impactful decisions. Continue reading “Beating The Odds When Everything Is Against You”

How To Get Cool Points From Your Kids

Every time someone asks me what I think of parenthood I think of myself before kids and now.

How I Describe Parenting

I remember having the feeling of some sort of a veil coming off from in front of my face. Suddenly, I saw the world in a very different way. It was incredible!

And to be frank, it wasn’t all that great. I’m always honest when people ask me about parenthood. I’ll tell you the good, the bad and the ugly. Parenthood is a wonderful thing, but it’s not all peaches and cream.  

There’s so much joy in knowing that you’re raising a little person to be the best human being possible.

But while you think you’re doing your best, you often wonder how you’re messing up your kids. I describe parenting as internal self-induced torment because a lot of time, parents think of the worse case scenarios that could happen to them and their kids.

We do that because we wish we could control what could happen to them and while we want them to become independent we’re a bit scared to let them slowly go off on their own.

We think of all sorts of things happening, not because we’re crazy (although sometimes parents might question their own sanity), but because we think of how we’d be able to help them avoid bad situations.

I believe this has been happening more the past decade due to public shootings, bombings, the rise in human trafficking and cyber bullying. Continue reading “How To Get Cool Points From Your Kids”

One Of These Tests Can Help You Become Happier

I always knew I wanted to help others and I noticed how naturally it came to me.

When I’d hear people say, “make what you love doing your career” I’d wonder how the heck I’d be able to do that and how to know exactly what my strengths were.

Years later, when I applied to use my military school benefits, I was required to take a personality test to identify what types of jobs I’d be more likely to thrive in.

Then, while in college I discovered what the Myers-Briggs® test was and took it as a requirement of a leadership course I was enrolled in.

Then, when I attended Larry Broughton’s workshop as part of the Entrepreneur Bootcamp
for Veterans (EBV)
program I took another personality test called the Kolby A™ Index and again, throughout a job hiring process I was required to take yet a new personality test I’d never heard of.

Each test was very precise with identifying my personality and it allowed me to feel a sense of security about my own assessment. It confirmed my assumptions of what I thought I was very good at and it also showed me areas of weaknesses that I could work on.

Every time I took a test, I was provided with a printout or email of the results. Over the years, I’ve compared all of them. I must say, it’s amazing that they all have consistent results.

I’ve met people over the years who have taken a personality or strengths test, but they have not known how to read them or what to do with them.

The results are usually pages long. So, I’m not sure if people are discouraged from reading such long results or if it’s simply that they don’t have any interest in reading them and learning how to implement the results.

I learned to do that because Larry did an excellent explanation on the purpose of theses tests and he went over a few people’s results and broke them down.
Continue reading “One Of These Tests Can Help You Become Happier”

7 Tips For A Good Friendship

Friendship is not about how long you’ve known the person. It’s about those who have been a constant in your life. It’s about those who were there for you in good and bad times and about the ones who remain true to you behind your back. Friendship is loyalty and honesty, even when you don’t want to hear the truth. That’s real friendship.

In my early 20s I had a couple of friends who were always around when they’d break up with their boyfriends or when something rough was going on in their lives. But as soon as there was a new love interest or things would improve in their lives, they’d grow distant again.

I wouldn’t hear from them unless I’d call to check up on them, and I did this for quite a few years.

I’m sure some of you have had a friend like this at one point or another. You know, that friend who only comes around when they’re feeling lonely or when things aren’t going so well for them.

Years later, I realized I was giving more to the relationship than I was receiving and it was kind of hard to accept that because I felt that my friends had taken a advantage of my willingness to always be there for them.

The day I decided to start setting my worth was when one of my two friends called me after almost a year of no communication. She sounded excited to speak to me and just as I’d expected, she was going through a break up and wanted to talk to me about it.

She had asked to meet up and I declined. I remember telling her that I wasn’t a seasonal friend for her convenient times and I expressed how hurt I was that she hadn’t taken the time to call to simply check up on me or to ask to spend time together without any of her drama attached to it. Continue reading “7 Tips For A Good Friendship”

Are You Underestimating Your Kid’s Talents?

     This past weekend, I was at my daughter’s 6th grade orientation. It was exciting for her because she’s entering a new phase of her life and she’s been on cloud nine about being the bigger kid and moving onto bigger, better things.

The purpose of the event was to get kids and parents excited about networking and getting involved at school during their middle school years. They were drilled with the idea that their end goal was to go to college so that they could get a great job doing what they love.

The Principal urged the kids to aspire to do something meaningful and productive to society instead of becoming a YouTuber! She kind of mocked YouTubers and it annoyed me.

I was annoyed about that statement because it shows how closed minded schools can be about stepping outside the box and doing something different that contributes to the world.

She mocked YouTubers and judged them as if they were just playing a game. She made it seem like it’s a joke of a job that doesn’t use intellect, technical or very intricate skills. Continue reading “Are You Underestimating Your Kid’s Talents?”

Travel: The School of Culture

When I was a kid, I’d watch shows that depicted families taking long trips during their spring breaks or summer vacations. They’d travel to different parts of the country or to foreign lands. Most of the families were middle class white people who’d get into their minivan or RV and explore amazing places.

The first time I traveled was when I was 12. I went to Florida because my parents were calling it quits and my mother and us kids were supposed to make Miami our new permanent home. After I was there for about a month, they reconciled.

But having flown on a plane was an amazing experience for me because for the first time EVER, I saw people that looked like me and that was eye-opening.

I used to think that people who could afford to get on a plane were super
rich. When I took that flight, I didn’t fly first class, but I was upgraded because the flight attendants knew I was flying alone and they took caring for an unaccompanied minor very seriously.

I remember they kept a close eye on me and I got to eat a HUGE piece of chocolate cake with a glass of milk (1st class perks!). I was stoked!

You see, traveling to nearby places from my home was a challenge for my family of eight (six kids, mom and dad). My parents worked a lot and we didn’t have much money. We couldn’t afford to stay at hotels and we couldn’t afford an RV.

Camping was not something Nicaraguans did. I don’t even know if my parents knew what that was when I was a kid.

Our vehicles were also not reliable, so the summer we traveled from Chino to Silverwood Lake was the highlight of our year…. actually, it was the highlight of our decade.

Then, right after high school, I joined the Army. I ended up at Fort Jackson, S.C. with people with all sorts of dialects, shades and backgrounds.

A few months after I had graduated from training, I was put on an enormous three aisle airplane bound for South Korea (my first duty station) never giving it a second thought about what a big deal it was for an 18 year old who had hardly traveled to go so far from home. Continue reading “Travel: The School of Culture”

How ingrained are your stereotypes?

The recent #DayWithoutAnImmigrant protests have unveiled hidden problems within the education system. Teachers have come out of the closet about their negative stereotypes and biases against their own students. Meanwhile, students fight to be seen as Americans and equals in society despite where they were born. This shows us how much more work we have ahead of us to debunk stereotypes and to create a school system that eliminates bullying by students and teachers.

Over 10% of students who drop out of school do so due to being bullied repeatedly.

Teachers would go to the lunch room and say negative things about other teachers or about their students. So, if we are seeking to teach children to embrace differences, we have to start with our teachers. -Aura, Elementary School Teacher (25 yr veteran)

The above statement couldn’t have been more poignant in the midst of the recent national #DayWithoutImmigrants protests and walk-outs. If you’ve been paying attention, a lot of students who once looked up to their teachers as their allies, now see those very same mentors as hypocrites, back stabbers, and enemies. They’ve been betrayed by the once trusted  people in their lives.

Many Rubidoux High School (in Riverside, CA), students were shocked to learn that their teachers had taken to social media to mock students who participated in the #DayWithoutImmigrants protests by calling them lazy and expressing that the classrooms were better without them. The same thing happened to students from César Chávez Middle School (in Hayward, CA).

Allegations that students received the harsh judgement was said to have been prompted due to riots and improper behavior at the protests. However, regardless of what might have happened, students were outraged and deeply hurt as well as the parents and community members around these two schools.

Students weren’t angry just because their teachers failed to respect their choice of activism, they were furious and devastated to find out that the people they are taught to respect and to trust with their intellectual growth through the worst of them. Continue reading “How ingrained are your stereotypes?”

Bras, Briefs and Your Tax Dollars

While your taxpayer dollars paid for male soldier’s briefs, your taxpayer dollars were considered a misuse of funds if they would have been used to pay for female soldiers’ sports bras and undies.

My first paycheck by the military was only $304.97 every two weeks after taxes. It would have been a little bigger the first month, but because the Army didn’t issue under garments to female soldiers like they did the male soldiers, we had to buy our own sports bras and undies from our own paychecks.

Since we were required to either show proof that we had purchased our own or have them issued to us only if we agreed to have the expenses deducted from our paychecks, we still came out of pocket one way or another. It seemed that protecting men’s jewels took priority over protecting women’s breast from bouncing while running.

The young naive me didn’t really argue with it because the Drill Sergeants’ petrifying demeanor was enough to not give it a thought. Most of the other females and I just went with it. But late at night when all the lights were out and no Drill Sergeants were around, I could hear the loud whispers filled with rage about the inequality of the whole thing.

As I dosed into sleep, I realized that it was unfair, but my body was too tired to allow my thoughts to continue. My deep sleep seemed to last only but a minute because next thing I knew, I was being woken up at 4:30am by a Drill Sergeant banging cymbals in our sleeping quarters. Continue reading “Bras, Briefs and Your Tax Dollars”

Will you join me?

 

Did you know that children as young as the age of FOUR subconsciously learn to stereotype? As they get older, this can turn to bullying. This is why I’m creating a program called EMBRACING DIFFERENCES.

If you read last week’s post, then you’re aware that I have been wanting to create this program for a long time now because it KILLS me when I speak to children who believe bad stereotypes about themselves or about others. So, I WANT TO TEACH THEM TO DEBUNK THOSE STEREOTYPES.

But I can’t do it alone. I’ll have to help some parents and adults to learn how to recognize when subconscious stereotypical words, phrases or actions are being accidently used and how to replace them with positive, accurate and appropriate ones. Continue reading “Will you join me?”

Stereotypes are disrupting our kids’ learning

He kept calling me a dumb Mexican because I have an accent, but so does Jimmy. He’s from France. I just don’t get it. I know English just as much as he does. I’m also not from Mexico.
-8 year old, Ana in Maryland

When adults hear about conflicts among kids such as Ana’s, they’re often dismissed as child bickery, a rough phase of childhood or just part of being a kid. But if this scenario where between two adults, it would be considered harassment or discrimination.

So, why aren’t educators taking the time to teach kids to not use stereotypes in the classrooms? Sadly, schools also don’t strongly consider the effects of stereotyping (such as misogyny or sexual harassment) more seriously-and they should! They know they exist, but they don’t actively focus on this issue.

Subconscious stereotyping is important because Continue reading “Stereotypes are disrupting our kids’ learning”