Giving To Others

Comedian Michael Jr. likes to make people laugh. But one day he realized his big break, and it wasn’t what you would think. Giving to others happens in many ways. Watch this short video to see how Michael does...

Valuing Relationships...

Twenty friends had gathered to celebrate my birthday. What was lovely is that the evening was not all about me, it was about friendships. Some were new friends, some relationships went back more than 30 years. It was good because it was fundamentally human–to love and be loved, and to make connections with...

3 Little Words

Grant James is a well-known actor and friend of mine from Dallas. In fact’ he’s in Dumb and Dumber To with Jim Carrey that will be released in November. Jim recently had a health scare with a bleeding ulcer than landed him in the hospital needed 4 pints of blood. This is a follow-up to his Seek and Serve article from July 19th. Three little words can make a difference. You may have thought the three little words I have in mind might be, “I Love You,” and they are probably a good topic for a future article on sometimes-meaningless phrases. But let me propose the words, “How are you?” can be powerful if there is true interest behind them. Other versions are, “How you doin’?” “You doin’ okay?” and “Howdy” (short for: “How do ye?”). Not too long ago (after I’d spent some time in the hospital) I ran into a maintenance man at our apartment complex. “How you feelin’?” he asked. And then he did an unusual thing; he waited for an answer! He really wanted to know! Obviously, he caught my attention. People ask this question in one form or other many times a day. But who is really interested? In fact, we are so used to others not caring, that we don’t even answer. Do you really care how I am? Did anyone really ask Robin Williams—ask in a way that he could honestly answer? Okay, some people thrive on telling you just how they are. Groan! One of the funniest actors I’ve ever worked with would answer with a full, up-to-date medical report. That’s extreme! I learned very quickly not to ask that person the three little words. But that’s an exception. Almost everyone we know is dealing with some pretty heavy issues—issues they...

Myers-Briggs 2

So now you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs test. If not, click here to take a free online version (also known as the Jung Typology test).

Myers-Briggs 1

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality test to help you learn about yourself and others. You can use the Myers-Briggs to help you understand: How you get energized How you gather and process information How you make decisions, and How you communicate. Generally, it help explains how you do life and how that is often different from others. There are several personality profiles out there. What makes the Myers-Briggs unique is that it is the most researched and written about. It has been tested extensively; there are many, many websites and books about it. The Myers-Briggs is based on physiological types theory described by Carl Jung. It has been used extensively in business, counseling and team building since the 1940s. The MBTI is owned by The Myers-Briggs Foundation and is generally administered by MBTI-certified consultants. However, there are some tests online you can take for free. I recommend the 72-question test provided by Human Metrics. Although the questions are “yes” and “no,” the results rate the degree of your preferences, unlike some other sites. I recommend you take the test. Even if you’ve taken the test before, try it again as your score can change. (In theory your score is not supposed to change. However, I have found that as people mature and find themselves in situations where they have to do less adapting to others, their true self emerges. My score has changed on two of the four dimensions.) If you are married or in a significant relationship, ask your partner to take it too. Learning about and discussing your preferences can be an eye opener into your relationship and help explain many of your thoughts and behaviors. NOTE: Personality test should never be used to pigeon hole a person, put...

Serving

Serving sometimes gets a bad rap. It’s tempting to think that servants are somehow lower than the people they serve. It’s just not so.

DEATH And Taxes

They say they’re the only two things you can count on. We don’t like to talk about either; but they are inevitable. Few of us voluntarily sit down and think about what will happen when we die. It’s just not a comfortable scenario to consider. And yet death is the one certainty we have; preparing our ‘estate’ (no matter how small or big) is the right thing to do. Taking care of all your stuff can be a real pain for others if you haven’t expressed your wishes. I like what Dave Ramsey says, “To die without a will is just plain rude!” Do it for the people who care about you. You don’t have to hire an expensive attorney; you can download a form from Internet sites like legalzoom.com. But making a will is only one thing that should be on your list. At the time of this posting, you can get a will from U.S. Legal Forms for only $15. In preparing for the (someday) inevitable, you might consider the following questions: How will I leave my earthly affairs? Would my loved ones be scrambling to find out know how to handle my physical remains? Would they know how to deal with my bills? Less dramatic than death might be a critical illness or robbery. If I fell ill, would those around me know my doctor and insurance company? If my home was broken into, would I know what items were taken? These are unsettling questions to consider when things are going well. But if we don’t, we end up dumping a huge responsibility and hassle on our loved ones at the time when they are dealing with grief. When my dad suddenly passed away, we were so thankful that he had created a system so we could locate his critical information. So the question then is, What information do I need to gather or create so my loved ones have peace of mind on how to manage my affairs? How old do I need to be to start this process? The answer is NOW no matter what your age; if you start now, it will be easier as your life becomes more complex. (For a little encouragement not to procrastinate, see the article on getting A Round Tuit.) If you have ANY assets, you should at least write up a simple will and sign it in front of a notary public and a couple of witnesses. But there is other information you should collect. Here’s a starting list. It may seem daunting at first but if you get started now with just one item, you will eventually collect everything you need. Emergency contact info Last Will and Testament Durable Power of Attorney Living Will (dictating the kinds of heroic measures you would or would not like to be take for you) Health Care Power of Attorney Primary Doctor and other health care professionals Health/life insurance Donation of body/organs after death Immediate Action Steps after death Funeral/Burial plans/Obituary information Other notifications (work, school, clubs etc.) Investments and banking info Credit cards and outstanding loans Real Estate holdings and mortgages Life insurance/pensions Income tax info Passport/driver’s license and other certificates Family contact information Passwords (see Dr. Deb’s blog of Sept, 14, 2013) Inventory of valuables Contents of Safe box or location of critical information If the list seems overwhelming, just think of how confusing it would be for your family or friends to track down this information without you. If you are married, think about the peace of mind you would have knowing that if something would happen to your spouse, you would know what to do and where to find critical information. I would suggest beginning with things you already have such as credit card and bank information and collect it all in one place. The program I’m using to collect my passwords also has a place...

You Are Contagious

Most of the world has an identity that is tied to their group. Africans, Asians, Latinos and Middle Easterners have a sense of connection; they know they need each other, so effort is put to the common good. However, those of European descent tend to have a very individualistic view of life. Self-identity tends to be self-contained; we like our independence. Science is beginning to back up the non-Western view of life, that we are all connected in ways that we are only beginning to understand. I recently watched the documentary, I AM, that journals Tom Shadyac’s search for meaning. He is a successful filmmaker whose credits include Bruce Almighty, The Nutty Professor and Ace Ventura. After a head trauma that limited his his life, Shadyac set out to find true significance. In searching for what’s wrong with the world, he actually discovered much of what’s right. His film contains interviews with remarkable men and women who work in science, philosophy and faith (including Bishop Desmond Tutu). One unlikely finding is the extent to which we’re all connected. Really. You may think you’re an island, but you’re not. You are connected to other people, atoms, plants, people, and even yogurt. Yes, he showed one experiment that registered the effects of his thoughts and emotions on YOGURT! The thumbprint of a common designer is on everything in our world. And it seems to be our heart that drives us, not our brains. Did you know you have heart intelligence? Shadyac learned that cooperation, not competition, is in our DNA. And the world operates better when cooperation is in full-blown action. The film’s website says, “I AM shows consensus decision-making is the norm amongst many species, from insects and birds to deer and primates.  The film...

Roles

We all have to fit into various roles in our families, careers and life. Here is an article about adjusting and making roles fit you rather just making you fit roles. It is written by Shan Moore. Motherhood is accepted as one of life’s most fulfilling and enriching experiences. We are told over and over again that the day you meet the little life you created, your heart will be overwhelmed with a love so deep, it even exceeds what you feel for your significant other. There is some truth to this. HOWEVER, what we aren’t told is that the authentic, deep love you feel for your newborn will consist of two equal parts; 1) adoration and 2) being scared sh*tless. My first pregnancy was three years ago. I was 28 and couldn’t imagine feeling any less equipped. I remember weeks of random, senseless crying and nighttime bouts of loneliness and fear. “Is an 8-pound child really going to successfully plow through my pelvis?!” These were troubles that I was sure—a self-confident, happily married woman—should NOT be facing. How do other women go through with this and not completely fall apart inside? The formula, I thought, was after you’ve had your share of dancing on the bar for tequila shots, been married for 5 years, and traveled the world, you’d be ready. Right? I did my best at blaming all my insecurities and withdrawn behavior on hormones. But how could this experience be so far off from the tender bliss of motherhood I’d heard all about? The problem was, I’d allowed my peers, society, and silly ideals to determine my expectations for this life-changing event. Life can be like that. People expect us to behave in certain ways. And sometimes we don’t fit the...

Forgiveness

During the Christmas holidays, many of us spend extra time with friends and family. Sometimes we get offended. How do we respond? This is a timely post by Renee Pomarico, a Catholic missionary living in Mexico. Renee has BA in Education and Development from Anahuac University, as well as a Licentiate in Religious Sciences from Regina Apostolorum in Rome. She works with young women who are discerning a vocation to religious life. No matter the particular circumstance, we all face situations where we need to forgive. A spouse backs out of a commitment, a son or daughter lacks respect, a friend stabs us in the back, a brother shames the family, a coworker offends us, or a parent isn’t there when we need them. Forgiveness is more than words like, “I’m sorry,” “I apologize,” and “Will you forgive me?” Forgiveness is an attitude of the heart. Immaculée Ilibagiza suffered torment and three months trapped in bathroom with nine other women during the Rwandan genocide in 1994. Immaculée shared that she could not pray the part of the Lord’s prayer that reads “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who trespass against us,” because she could not really do it in her heart. Yet, she knew deep down that God wanted her to forgive. Immaculée’s prayer became one of asking God for the grace of forgiveness and when He changed her heart, she was able to forgive from within. Words are meaningless if resentment remains. Mother Teresa said, “If we admit that we are sinners and we need forgiveness, then it will be very easy for us to forgive others. But if we don’t admit this, it will be very hard for us to say, ‘I forgive you’ no matter who comes to us. Jesus...