Thursday, August 28, 2014

Life is difficult.

A friend, who I didn't realize at the time was a friend, gave me a copy of "The Road Less Traveled" in 2007. I say I didn't know he was a friend because, at the time, I was too full of myself to think that anyone could do something really nice for me without a hidden agenda. He gave me the book because he obviously could tell I was full of myself. He highlighted the first sentence of the book.

You see I had (and still have) the best life anyone could ask for. But there was always a reason I was unhappy. Somebody else's fault, I thought. So I threw the book on a shelf and assumed that this was just another dude trying to make my life harder. I really read the book in 2013. I mean REALLY read it. I really enjoyed it and I recommend you read it too. But....if you just want my quick-take on it, here are the main points from the first couple of chapters.

1. We do ourselves no favors when we avoid walking through the painful times in life.

2. There is value in suffering. There is value in facing problems and there is value in feeling pain.

3. Delaying gratification can be almost spiritual. It builds so much inside of us that is of value we cannot understand.

4. (Now this.....this is my favorite one.) If we don't challenge and truly re-evaluate in an honest way what we believe periodically we are....just.....just.......cheating ourselves.

I'd love to talk to you about any or all of these points sometime. This book changed my perspective and thusly changed my life.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First Friday

Many of you know that I feel a real calling to be of encouragement to those that are going through difficult times in their lives. The impact that others have had on me by encouraging me when I was in a rough patch is a deep impact. I appreciate the people that have been there for me. I tell them I appreciate it. I seek opportunities to repay their kindness to me by doing the same for others that I know are in a tough spot.

I encourage others by mentoring younger business professionals. Oftentimes I will also encourage young fathers and the newly married men I know. I believe that "everything we go through makes us more valuable to others" and I certainly have been through my share of stuff that has taught me not only a lesson but what it's like to be in need.

In 2008 I started the East Metro Career Transition Group with some guys in Conyers, Georgia. After a year or two the economy picked up (or maybe everyone just got used to it) and we had a real deficit of people attending so we closed it up. I continued to help people in my network both professionally and personally. Now I'm happy to be starting the group back up in the form of "First Friday". First Friday is a monthly gathering of people that are encouraging, people that are in career transition and people that are hiring. We have coffee and talk. That's it. Sometimes.....we help somebody find a new employee or find a new job. But most importantly we tell people that we care for them during their tough times.

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Come see us at the awesome AWAKE Coffee Community in Conyers!