Uncategorized

Reminder of The Power of Common Courtesy

Happy Today!

We are in full relocation mode this week but I want to share a post I published on my blog BeingTiff in 2015. The post was originally entitled Operation Common Courtesy. With the state of society and the sadness associated with various situations around the world, I thought it would be a great reminder of the need to demonstrate common courtesy to those around us.

It’s been almost four years since this post was published but I still experience odd looks from people whenever I say “Good Morning” or “Thank You.” But I don’t know their story so I speak and offer a smile of encouragement. If you read this post today and struggle with thoughts of suicide, please contact The National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

Operation Common Courtesy is a repost from BeingTiff.wordpress.com

On Friday I had the honor of hearing the powerful story of a young man who survived what should have been a tragic story of a 19 year old suicide victim.  Thankfully it was the story of a survivor, an advocate, an inspiration and a walking success story.

As I sat and listened to his testimony, I was struck by one recurring theme – “what happened to common courtesy?”  I can’t do his story justice but I am going to try.  This young man sat among and walked among several people of various ages, genders and races and literally cried for help.  

Key word, cried.

Everywhere he went he cried. As he walked he cried. As he rode he cried. People pointed people laughed but no one asked him if he was ok.  And that was the one phrase he needed to hear. “Are you ok?”  

He said to hisself if one person will just ask me if I was ok I won’t go through with killing myself.  Again that thought occurred to me, “what happened to common courtesy?”  I remember a time in which a person could shed one tear and everyone would stop and ask if you needed anything.  I remember when it was unthinkable to walk past a child or woman asking for money for gas or a meal.  “What happened to common courtesy?”

It wasn’t until I listened to his story that   I remembered when I was pregnant and tried to walk in the door at McDonalds, people would push me out of the way.  “What happened to common courtesy?”  I was inspired by that testimony and decided to take up his challenge of giving a smile to everyone I meet because it may be the only one they receive.  That was easy for me so I decided to make it more challenging, I decided to see if common courtesy was still alive. For the sake of my own challenge, I considered common courtesy to be any of the following:

1. “Good Morning”

2. “Hello!”

3. “How are you? Then actually respond”

4. “Have a great day”

5. “You look nice!”

6. “Are you ok?”

I wish I could say that my challenge experience was positive but I was saddened by the number of people that wouldn’t even return “Good Morning” or “Hello.”  I was even more surprised by the odd looks I received just from uttering those words to strangers.  

I guess common courtesy is not as common as I thought.  Now knowing this unfortunate truth, I plan to keep practicing what I am calling OPERATION COMMON COURTESY.  I will model this behavior for my children and put the expectation of a return reply in their minds.  Maybe by demonstrating a little compassion, my family may help another hurting person who is thinking to themselves, “If one person asks me how I am doing, I won’t kill myself.”

What about you? Will you choose to join us in OPERATION COMMON COURTESY?

Til next time,

Give a smile to someone today, it may be the one thing they need to keep them going.

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Uncategorized · Weekly Wisdom

10 Quotes On Embracing Change

Happy Today!

Believe in the power of writing things down to make them happen!

There are a few pieces of advice I give everyone all the time and it takes the least amount of time and energy. I believe wholeheartedly in this practice that I began a new tradition each year of buying myself a new journal and gift journals to others.

Write it down!

No matter how small the goal, thought, perceived pain or idea – write it down. There have been a few things my family has written down on an ordinary sheet of paper and forgotten about it. You see we have a habit of taking photos of items we want to purchase and then creating a budget or timeline for when we hope to attain them.

As part of this process, the photo often becomes a screensaver or included on a wishlist somewhere (usually in a journal). Truth be told it’s often forgotten and then found at the oddest times – but the timing of the discovery is always when we have the means to make the purchase we previously desired.

It’s like our own little version of wishing on a star or throwing a penny into a well to make a wish. There are some who would say we used the law of attraction but I prefer to believe in the principle of writing things down to make them happen. So with this thought in mind and our desire to change the things we didn’t like, we made some plans for 2018-2019 and they have taken off like a rocket.

But while I am eternally grateful for the wonderful progress we have made, it is sometimes like we have been teleported into the future like Marty McFly from Back to the Future. Things are moving faster than expected in some areas and slow as molasses in others. Oh well! So is life!

Thus, it seems appropriate to post motivational quotes during a week in which I have been plagued with daily thrives to my productivity and positive mindset.

1. “A strong, positive self-image is the best possible preparation for success.” Joyce Brothers

2. “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” Colin Powell

3. “Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” Oprah Winfrey

4. “Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.” – Nelson Mandela

5. “Personal development is a major time-saver. The better you become, the less time it takes you to achieve your goals.” – Brian Tracy

6. “Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.” – John Wooden

7. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

8. “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” – Winston Churchill

9. “All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter into another.” – Anatole France

10. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

Quote number ten by Lao Tzu spoke to me and my circumstances this week and it has been added to all of my tech devices and my personal cheerleader. Which of these speaks to you? Do you have a quote to recommend? Leave me a comment.

Til next time,

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” – Steve Maraboli

Books and Words · Uncategorized

What Book Is On Your Essential Reading List?

The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”Dr. Seuss

I recite the Dr. Seuss quote to anyone who tells me I read to much. I mean really – who reads to much? Is that really a thing? If it is, then let me introduce myself..

Hi, my name is Tiffany and I read to much.

Before I got married and had kids, a great weekend would be one in which I read three bestselling books from one of my favorite fiction authors – Iris Johansen , Mary Higgins Clark, James Patterson, Lynette Eason, Candace Calvert, and Terri Blackstock.

I still love fiction and find myself reading at least 2-3 books a week due to my trusty iPhone and my reading apps – Kindle and iBooks. This year, I want to read more personal development books and have given myself a goal of 13 books this year.

Here’s the problem, there are various essential reading lists for personal growth, self help, personal development and self improvement that I am uncertain as to where I want to start next.

Which books have you read or plan to read that would be on your recommended reading list? Please share your recommendations in the comments.

Til next time,

“Reading is essential for those who seek to rise above the ordinary.” – Jim Rohn

Uncategorized · Weekly Wisdom

The Best Pep Talk On Belief

Happy Today!

You can’t just sit there and wait for people to give you that golden dream. You’ve got to get out there and make it happen for yourself.” – Diana Ross

An interesting thing occurred on our daily mommy Uber commute to school. While sitting in traffic and listening to The One Thing You Are Allowed To Borrow episode from The Ken Coleman Show, my Win said – “mommy can you rewind to the part where the man is talking about belief.” I was momentarily stunned! Was my five year old actually enjoying and paying attention to what was being discussed? A quick glance at my husband in the passenger seat and we smiled while rewinding to the part he wanted to hear again.

Ken shared a clip from Fearless Motivation which was a pep talk on belief. Win explained to us that “the man wants me to know that I am great and can do whatever I want to and I should not listen to anyone who says I’m not right.” Now there was more finesse and excitement in the clip but I was and am a proud mama knowing my 5 year old Win had heard and understood a valuable life reality – when we believe in ourselves, others’ perception won’t matter.

My baby boy reminded me that he was a sponge willing and able to absorb every empowering thought we could give him. I want my children to always believe in themselves and understand they have potential which is only limited by their inaction. In fact, not only do we take advantage of teachable moments when they occur, we make a conscious effort to expose them to inspirational materials which will give them a growth and success mindset.

Failure is allowed in our house if you gave it your best and are able to articulate lessons they learned from the experience. We also routinely ask how they can achieve something instead of telling them an action is out of their reach. I guess that is another reason why we enjoy listening to the Ken Coleman Show, he reinforces his callers belief that they can obtain that “sweet spot” career. It’s been a few weeks since we heard the episode The One Thing You Are Allowed To Borrow but Win asked to listen today and we had an opportunity to listen once again to belief by Fearless Motivation.

Take a minutes to listen to this episode or visit the Fearless Motivation Website. I am certain you will find something to appreciate and add to your arsenal of resources.

Til next time,

“Always be yourself and have faith in yourself. Do not go out and look for a successful personality and try to duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee

Uncategorized

Second 5K of 2019 Completed

Happy Today!

5K a Month Challenge #5Kamonth

I am pleased to announce I completed my second 5K race of the year and am now 2 of 2 towards my goal of one 5K per month. The race selected this month was the Atlanta Mission 5K Race to End Homelessness- Run in the cold for those who sleep in the cold.

Race entry fees will be provide one night of shelter to homeless individuals in the Atlanta area. This was another great cause which is dear to my heart and allowed me to give to a worthy group of people in need.

During the race I reminded myself as to the benefits of taking on this challenge and I looked down at the asphalt each time I felt like I wanted to stop and quit. I repeated this mantra- one foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other.

Now this race gave me a little health scare towards the end as my heart rate escalated and I had a little difficulty recognizing that I may have been over doing it. My watch had no such issues with trying to alert me to slow it down but I didn’t pay attention. I did not use my inhaler but I was in need of water to help get me rehydrated. Just in time my hubby came around the corner to meet me and give me a much needed drink (of course he finished the race about 40 minutes before I did since he is a runner and I am a walker).

As I relayed my scare to him, he gave me that dorky look when people are trying not to say “duh” but want you to know the error of your ways. He couldn’t hold out for long and proceeded to remind me of the health benefits to the Apple Watch.

It’s amazing how far technology has come that a thing like a smart watch can help remind you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and remind you of things like breathing, standing and heart rates. Thank goodness for the tech geeks who created wonderful products which make exercising more tolerable.

Oh well it’s time to train for the next race.

Til next time,

5K a month

Uncategorized

Ten (10) Quotes On The Power of Laughter

Happy Today!!

I spent the weather holiday laughing with my baby Win watching a children’s show called Masha and the Bear on Netflix.  The show had minimal words spoken by Masha (a cartoon toddler little girl) who somehow communicates with her animal friends throughout the story.  The animals don’t talk but they always find a way to communicate and laugh together. Those animals helped me to laugh away my frustrations of life and with the negativity gone, it seemed a little easier to return to the tasks on my to do list.

As the week returned to its normal hectic schedule, whenever I needed a mental pick me up, I spent a few moments watching and listening to things which would make me laugh some of my tension away. A massage not bubble bath and wine was available so laughter became my choice of relaxation.

A few times I found myself turning back to kid entertainment shows and laughing until I had to remind myself that I was in fact an adult watching a kids show. Now I find myself looking for opportunities to laugh everywhere I go.

Laughter is after all proven to provide multiple health benefits. Help guide.org indicated a few benefits as:

  • Decreasing stress hormones
  • Increasing immune cells and infection fighting antibodies
  • Triggering the release of endorphins

Mayoclinic.org also details benefits as:

  • Increase of oxygen rich air
  • Relief of pain
  • Improved mood

With benefits like these, no wonder I am enjoying these silly episodes of Masha and the Bear, Are We Adobe Yet, and The Big Bang Theory. In case you need a little more inspiration, below are ten quotes on laughter.

laugh dr. seuss

Quotes about the Power of Laughter:

  1.  “If laughter cannot solve your problems, it will definitely DISSOLVE your problems; so that you can think clearly what to do about them.” – Dr. Madan Kataria
  1. “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” – Phyllis Diller
  1. “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” – Lord Byron
  1. “An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh.” – Tom Nansbury
  2. “Humor is laughing at what you haven’t got when you ought to have it.” – James Langston Hughes
  3. “A day without laughter is wasted.” – Charlie Chaplin
  4. “Laughter is an instant vacation.” – Milton Berle
  5. “Laughter is America’s most important export.” – Walt Disney
  6. “Laughter gives us distance. It allows us to step back from an event, deal with it and then move on.” – Bob Newhart
  7. “A person who knows how to laugh at himself will never cease to be amused.” – Shirley MacLaine

Til next time,

“I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t laugh.” – Maya Angelou

Recommendation of the Month · Uncategorized

The App Which Increased My Productivity

Happy Today!

Today I would like to introduce my favorite and top utilized application on my iPad pro.  This app has revolutionized the way I conduct my business and everyday tasks.  My work routine has become easier and my arms less fatigued thanks to the utilization of this $7.99 app.

About three years ago my family gifted me with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil for Mother’s Day.  Apparently, in their minds, I carried around “way too many binders that you always drop or we have to help you bring them into the house (car).” Direct quote from my daughter.  If it was a decision between dropping my binders or dropping the squirming kid, the binders always lost the battle.  This meant there were many days where everyone had to help me catch the flying loose sheets that were twirling in the wind.

At the time, my Win was still in the stage where he wanted to be carried everywhere and my job required the consistent review and implementation of various rules and regulations. It was my role to ensure we not only remained in compliance but also operationalize the expectations. Thus, I always had a variety of manuals and standards I carried from home to the office and then back again. On the days which found me away and traveling to other agencies, I would check in to the hotel, drop my bags in the room and then return downstairs to retrieve a box of binders with materials which needed to be reviewed before the next day.

tech quote

Binders in front of me, binders in back of me, binders at home, binders at work, binders everywhere and anywhere I could sneak in a little reading time.  The sad thing is – I loved my binders.  In my mind, there was no other system that was better.

Then after being gifted with new technology, I was forced to watch numerous YouTube videos about my new iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the various options for note taking apps.  I downloaded Microsoft OneNote, played with Notability, drew pictures on Pages and finally wrote myself reminders.  Nothing worked the way my binders did.  They were my one thing that made my life easier.

Then I found reviews and demonstrations of the app – GoodNotes.  Can I tell you my mind was blown and my life was simple?  GoodNotes is like a kiss – they keep it simple stupid.  That was me, stupid for waiting so long before I divided in.  With this app, I am able to import and export any documents I choose as well as I have been able to stick my toe into digital planning and note-taking.  Now I believe in the power of paper and pen so I will NOT give up any of by disc-bound notebooks, but I only need to carry around one.

I have created categories for each of my projects and save all notes and manuals associated with each project in that category folder.  In addition, I have uploaded my custom project planning sheets as well as travel itineraries and continuing education handouts.  With the pencil, it is easy to color code my notes, highlight reminders and email this information to anyone I desire.  The app works with external cloud platforms like Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, OneDrive and Box.  Each of my grant application packets has a category along with notes taken during informational webinars and any subsequent documents associated.  GoodNotes, where have you been all my life?

tech and book

Access to these materials allows me to remain prepared for questions from my team and ensures I can review information during unexpected blocks of extra time in my schedule.  What a wonderful feeling it is to have peace of mind and less luggage when I travel.  I consider this app to be one of the best investments I made towards personal productivity.  Now if I can just remember to keep my online and paper files as organized as the documents on GoodNotes, I would remove one of the causes of procrastination in my life.

Do you have an app which you have found to be vital to your productivity?  Have you tried GoodNotes? Tell me about your experience in the comments.

Til next time,

“Please, no matter how we advance technologically, please don’t abandon the book.  There is nothing in our material world more beautiful than the book.” – Patti Smith