How’s that for service?

Blitz. Zip. Blitz – blitz….in quick succession. I was on the phone and observing that the lights were blinking on and off, and my radio was making a noise as if it wanted to be on but was not getting enough “juice”. And then there was silence -Thank God it was daylight. Electricity was no more.

I looked out my window to see the garbage truck attendants all staring skywardly at a now torn down power line. They then sort of shrugged and  got back into the dump truck and left.I took it upon myself to call T&TEC on behalf of my neighbours. I decided to sort through some call cards while I waited for an answer. It seemed as if every 5 seconds this woman’s voice was telling me that “my call was important, and that I should hold to maintain my call priority.” She gave me hope – every 5 seconds. I finished my “card sorting” activity and then decided to read – which wasn’t a very good option however I was faithfully reminded “just how important” my EMERGENCY call was. I figured that T&TEC probably fielded quite a number of emergency calls on any given day.

NINETEEN MINUTES, FIFTY-EIGHT seconds later…a quite disgruntled woman, greeted me on the other end, and before I could complete the pronounciation of my street name, she cut me off and informed me that they were “already aware of the problem” and had dispatched accordingly.

In spite of the rapid brush off (which took LESS than 5 seconds), I felt kinda good. It was now nine o’clock. So I figured they’d be here by about ten – ten thirty latest. Twelve thirty – the truck arrived – which caused me to wonder “where were they dispatched from?”

Fast forward to the evening of the same day and I’m driving past, and looking upwards realising that the power line in question – though now reconnected – is still sagging from a height where “mr garbage truck” was going to come into contact with it again.

So I said to my neighbor who was also looking skywardly in disbelief: “why didn’t they tighten that line or whatever it is they have to do to prevent it from sagging?” She said to me “Oh dey say we have to call TSTT and the cable company to come and do something or the other, before dey could do anything else!

”So I ask you – is that good service or what? The experts (T&TEC) know what the problem is but we (the mere mortals on the ground) – must call TSTT and FLOW to tell them what??? – I have no clue – which roughly translates into “nothing is going to be done”, until of course the garbage truck rips down the power line again and then we can go right back to where we started, waiting our turn, because our call is of “high priority”.

Survival is not enough…in fact it’s painful!

Only painful though when you’re not involved in the work that you should be doing!

Most of us approach the world of work with the same paradigm:

Go to school. Get a degree. Get a job. Perhaps take another job. Work hard. Rise up through the ranks. Become the “head honcho”. Make big bucks. Retire comfortably.

Or maybe it’s:

Go to school. Forget the degree. Get a job. Become frustrated with boss. Decide to go out on your own. Envisage massive future success. Foresee incredible lifestyle.

Your perception might be constant but the world isn’t. The business landscape changes ever so frequently. New technology promises to serve but is sometimes threatening to our very existence. New players enter into the game every minute!

One day you finally acknowledge that the dull pain you’re feeling is disconnection. You are not really in the right place so even though your dreams are still in tact, you doubt whether you’ll actually achieve any of your goals. Of course you are torn between the money you’re making now either in your job or your own business and pursuing something completely new and better suited to you and your personality.This is a hard decision, one without the luxury of any guarantee that what you choose will work.

However you have two choices:

  1. Live with the pain of your present position or
  2. Choose to reorganize yourself for change and start getting prepared to go through the pain and suffering involved in that process – just one more time as you journey towards discovering your purpose.

Criticism and your success…

Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you – Zig Ziglar

When I read that quote it was as if the San Andreas fault shifted in my head. I think that this is the BEST quote on criticism that I’ve ever come across and the one that is most uplifting.

When I look back, because I was so bent on “fitting in”, and “getting approval” I figured that EVERYBODY knew what was best for me. So I took it all in. However when you’ve lived long enough you will realize that this is a VERY exhausting way to live. It is tiring. It is not productive. Before long you’re a pretzel of your true self and you are unsure “which way is up!”

Mind you, there are some people out there that you should listen to – although it takes a while before you know who these folks are. Everyone is well meaning, good intentions – just not always the best for you. The only real rule I have for deciding on who best to take criticism from is: Look at how they are living their own lives. How are they running their businesses, managing their affairs? We all could talk a good talk, but not many of us walk it well.

I don’t know about you, but the next time someone tries to “bite” me, I’ll feel a little more compassion because after all – this might just be their only “taste” of success.

Go Shine!

Taking responsibility

We have just completed our General Elections in Trinidad and Tobago. In the United States Senator Barack Obama of Illinois, is trying to set himself apart from Senator Hillary Clinton of New York on issues including: The Iraq war, healthcare, diplomacy and Iran, in the race for President. [I managed to see Senator Obama on a recent Ellen De Generes show and he is definitely a very good dancer – though I’m not sure that’s going to affect his votes…who knows?]

As we listen we ponder which party has the better policies and how what they are proposing is going to affect us for the better. We must be careful though of relinquishing our power and letting Governments decide what is best for us.

Sure we have to live by rules, regulations and policies but hear me out. Do you feel as if you don’t have the power to make a difference?

Well let me shine a light on you, if you will and magnify your talents and innate abilities:

Are you aware of your gifts? I am here to tell you today that your playing small doesn’t serve anyone. There is nothing impressive about making yourself small so that others could feel “safe” around you and less insecure.

When you begin to allow the light in you to shine you give people permission to do the same.

Today I want you to consider voting for yourself. Take a stand for you. Look at your life – look at ways you could improve and make a difference. Take responsibility and become the change you wish to see.

Politics will be what it is. However do not lose faith in your countries. There is no other that can walk and talk and think exactly like you. You are unique. Take the challenge: Become an island of excellence!

Finding the authentic you

If you truly were to work on discovering who you really were – then perhaps the challenges in life and love would become clearer. Expect however that your life will be sprinkled with difficulties here and there.

In Scott Peck’s book: – “The Road Less Traveled” he opens with the statement

Life is difficult”; he then goes on to say “Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

Know that wherever you find yourself right now is perhaps where you were meant to be. You were not placed in this position entirely by accident. There are lessons for you to learn and your job is to become aware and begin learning.

All too often we get into relationships not fully knowing ourselves. We need to first understand the importance of first searching and discovering our true role in this life. It is vital to discover what is right for you. Your body always tells you when something just isn’t right for you – you get an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach, an invisible red flag goes up in your head or alarms go off. Most times we are so bent and fixated on how “it’s supposed to be” that we receive the signs but choose to ignore them because we simply have not developed faith in ourselves, our intuition and our gut instinct.

As we mature we must follow through with our plans and accept and endure whatever consequences occur. Furthermore we must know when to make appropriate adjustments and have the courage to do so as each level of life unfolds and reveals itself. Above all strive to be true to your life and to your desires.

Everything else will fall into place after that!

Remember…let your light shine!

Self discovery – is this a worthwhile exercise?

In reading a copy of M. Scott Peck’s – The Road Less Traveled and Beyond, in his chapter on Learning and Growth – I discovered this quote by Soren Kierkegaard, who said:

A man may perform astonishing feats and comprehend a vast amount of knowledge, and yet have no understanding of himself. But suffering directs a man to look within. If it succeeds, then there, within him, is the beginning of his learning.

Is suffering and pain some sort of necessary teaching tool to help us become more acquainted with who we are? The learning though only comes when we look within. Most times this is difficult because then we are forced to confront our shadows – which during the light of day we constantly try to avoid.

I always tell people: you are made up of dark and light. However you are not a whole person until you accept ALL of you. The pain comes when you try to disassociate yourself from that part of you that procrastinates, or is full of pride, lacks patience, is unforgiving. Yet it is you and if you don’t accept you, who will?

Of course I am a thinker of sorts and most people are quick to tell you that you are too obsessed with yourself. I believe that there is balance. I feel that you owe it to your very existence to understand why you do things the way you do and most of all when things happen – to ask the most maddening question in the whole wide world: WHY? And while much of life will remain a mystery I feel certain that there are sometimes quiet answers lurking in and around our states of consciousness and unconsciousness. Most times we shrug it off and think we’re self indulgent.

Just remember this is YOUR journey. You’ll be traveling with you for some time yet. Get acquainted – it’s just impossible to run away from yourself!

Who are you?

So many times we think we know ourselves but do we?

In the hustle and bustle of the world we are constantly in motion. In fact we actually think it a “sin” if we find ourselves with nothing to do. It’s no wonder we feel disconnected, fragmented and no doubt weary that we never sit still and get acquainted with our true selves.

The road to becoming a well paid professional first helps to find a way back to yourself. For until you know who you are and what your purpose is it means that you will continue to fight instead of flow with life.