Pain Knows No Boundaries

Trey Pennington

I was greatly saddened by the news of the sudden loss of Trey Pennington a well-known personality and expert in the Marketing and Social Media World.  My heartfelt condolences go to his family and close associated who knew him well.  Although I did not know Trey personally, his work and expertise  in the Marketing and social media arena leaves a hole nonetheless.  Trey had apparently committed suicide and for what motive I am not certain, but needless to say, Trey was suffering.

The reason I am writing this post is not to dig into the whys or hows, but rather to underline the fact that suffering and pain know no boundaries.  Trey was a successful man, attractive, had many people who followed him, he mentored many and helped them become who they are today.  We all think that someone of his stature, who to us may seem to have “everything”, would be totally happy and extremely confident and full of desire to live. We often liken depression with, lack of material goods, or means to support our family or to carry on.  But we are all very human, and we all in the end have the same color of blood flowing through our veins, we all have feeling, emotions and our own personal battles that things such as success don’t necessarily heal!

The grass can always seem so much greener in our neighbor’s yard.  We tend to compare our lot in life with that of others and we often come up wanting.  This tragedy with Trey has caused me to reflect a bit and realize the importance of being there more for others, seeing their pain whether they be rich, poor, black, white, brown, yellow!  Pain and suffering have no borders, we all experience lows in our lives, and we need others at times to step in and say…I am here! And when others do present themselves to aid us, we need to be willing to open the door.

From what I understand, Trey had a lot of real good friends and family who wanted to be there for him, they must have found it difficult to get in the door.  And at times it takes beating down that door to get in to help someone who may be hitting hard times.  These are tough times for many, let’s be here for one another! Rest in peace dear Trey, you will be missed!

You Wanna Get? Then Give!

Luke 6:38  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

The rule of thumb from the beginning of time for those who hope to receive anything in life is that you have to learn to give first! This is true in any area of your life, a relationship, a job, your own personal wealth, because it is in giving out that you will then receive.  The Biblical verse above goes on to say, with the same intensity that you give out it will be given back to you again!  Wow that is pretty profound and contrary to our natural way of thinking.

There are so many gimmicks and offers saying “how to make money doing nothing from home“.  Sadly there are a lot of people who believe this and end up sending their money away to buy the “magical package” of material that will get them started on a great do nothing adventure to make money. Personally, I wouldn’t  want to make money that way even if it were possible, because when get anything without making the sacrifice, you end up not appreciating it, squandering it or losing it in the end!

The the corporate world has been changing in a big way, thanks to the Internet and Social Media.  They have now understood that in order to sell their goods, they need to start offering things up for free.  Whether that be a service, goods, or even just plain and simple free good advice.  People no longer read a billboard that has “buy this, buy that, buy the other” because they are more skeptical to this approach.  However if the company offers something which attracts their attention to that they like, this then gets their name out there by doing so, and then they are swarmed with customers.

This same principle of giving holds true in a relationship.  If you get into a relationship with the idea of “what can I get out of him/her”, then the relationship will be short-lived.  You cannot expect to be loved if at first you don’t love.  Unfortunately, too many people are afraid to venture out in giving, or committing themselves because they fear that the feelings will not be reciprocated. By not giving however, you then end up losing out, because you fail to follow this natural law of giving hoping instead to get first. The secret lies in giving without even expecting anything in return as you will not be disappointed, sooner or later you will come out a winner!

I hate to tell you, but everything that is worth anything costs something.  In order to get something you have to make the necessary sacrifice, whether that be through investment of money, time or your love.  And if you do happen to get something without the sacrifice, be careful, it may cost you more in the end than what you had bargained for.

As for me, I would rather work for what I get, I would rather give in order to get, it has worked for me my entire life in wondrous ways!  How about you?  Please comment and share how you see it!

Body Language–what are you really saying?

“Body language is a very powerful tool. We had body language before we had speech, and apparently, 80% of what you understand in a conversation is read through the body, not the words.” –Deborah Bull

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and what you wanted to communicate was something very important for you, yet while you were speaking to the person they were looking past you, or checking the time, or fidgeting with their hands?

We all communicate through our body, the way we stand, what we do with our hands and where we train our eyes during the course of a conversation.  Our body exposes us to where we really are when together with someone who is trying to talk with us or share their thoughts or their heart.

Some of us have an ongoing problem with our attention span, but then you might actually have other matters that are pressing and important to tend to.  In this case, when you are approached by someone who has something that they consider important, and you are late for something or really don’t have the time, it is best to let the person know that it might be best to schedule the talk at a different time when you can give them the necessary attention.

Body Speach

When your body is not listening while others are talking what you are saying is they or what they have to say is not important to you. In relationships this can lead to trouble and misunderstandings, and at the workplace it can lead to mistakes or lost opportunities to make the needed  progress in whatever the topic may be at hand.

If you are busy with something else at the time your mate or co-worker come up to you with the hope of communicating with you, it is best if you stop what you are doing entirely and look at them as they are talking.  By doing this you are saying, you are the most important person to me now, what you have to say is important.

The habits that we have with our body language can make or break our effectiveness in our work, and our unity in a relationship.  Others need to feel that they or what they have to say is important. There are great courses that you can take online that teach the different ways that you can communicate positively with your body that are well worth your time.

It has been said that the “eyes are the windows to your soul”.  It is very important to make eye contact with the person you are talking with.  This is a sign of honesty and integrity as it tells the one you are communicating with that you have nothing to hide and you are sincere.

Try paying attention to your body the next time you engage in a conversation..what are your really saying?

Facetime Vs. Facebook

Social media sites, chat, online social sites in general have taken the world by storm and have been a wonderful addition to our life and life style.  I for one, having lived abroad for most of my life and distant from loved ones appreciate the possibility to stay in touch and share news, pictures, video, and to have a less expensive alternative to communicate more freely and regularly with my loved ones at home.  But with every great new invention, there are some definite set backs through overuse by spending too much time or having a false balance in your lifestyle, it can cause irreparable damage, so beware!

While it a great tool that we can use to keep in touch with our distant loved ones, make new friends, share ideas, pics and videos, it could be the very thing that is robbing of us of one of the most important things that we have and that is of most valuable to those around us…our time.

I have personally witnessed and heard many a story of how social media has been the cause of break-ups of couples and families due to it coming between the people involved.  Persons who have lost total contact with the real world due to their over-presence in the virtual world.  Some who have thought to have found their soul mate online (some do but not always the case) leaving behind their husband, wife or kids for another whom they think they know. The same goes for computer games that can be perfectly fine and fun, when not taken to the extreme such as in the case that a father or a mother, a wife or a husband are so into the addiction of playing to the neglect of those who need them now.

Then there is the debate as to how a company can not hire you or fire you due to content that you have put out into cyber space.  This may be unfair in some instances where you may post one or two pictures with a can of beer in your hand and all hell breaks loose at you workplace, but when 95% of your pictures share your party time and boozing it up, well it might be a concern to me as well.

Life is way too short to allow it to be fettered away on long distance relationships, and this is true mainly for those who may be depending on you here and now.  The training of a child while it is still in its tender years are the VERY most important as that time is when his/her personality is being developed and his/her sense of security is all important.  If you miss that, unfortunately there is no turning back the clock. Already adolescence is tough, but just wait until that neglected tot grows up! Your mate may not wait around so long for you if most of your time (love) is spent with others.

Any addiction is a prison! I once heard a story of the prison inmate who passed away after having spent the better part of his life behind bars that when they went into his cell to collect the few items left behind, there on the wall written hundreds of times were some of the saddest words in the English language, “If I only had, If I only had, If I only had”.

Use your time wisely, use these wonderful new and great tools of technology, just don’t allow them to use you lest you too may be heard saying… “If I only had.”

The ME Syndrome

Definition of a bore: One who wants to talk about themselves when I want to talk about myself” –Author Unknown

In response to Jackie Paulson (please see her blog by following the link on the comments menu) I will write about the people who want to always talk about themselves, or be the ones to dominate every conversation.

It is human nature to want to be heard, we need attention but some folks can take this to the limits of making it difficult on others to want to be around them.  Sometimes we can forget that a conversation needs to take place between two or more persons, by excluding others it will then become a lecture.

It is a matter of maturity, as first we a children and we need to be taken care of, we love our parents (especially mom) and are just pretty much happy to be on-board, for the most part.  Then comes adolescence when really we are pretty convinced that the universe revolves around us, or at least it should be, and if anyone has any doubt about that, well then we feel the need to set them straight.  It is the time of life that is usually the most self-centered of our lives.  Everything begins to take a different share or form from our perspective, and adults are pretty dumb, but some silly rule tells us that for whatever reasons we should pay attention to what nonsense they might wish to throw our way.

Once we become an adult, well if we learned something along the way, we should realize that there are a lot of other people that we have to share the planet with that just might have some positive input that could benefit us!  It takes real self-discipline to keep our own selves, and particularly our tongues in check.   It takes a certain bit of maturity and wisdom to keep our mouths shut.  In the book of Ecclesiastes of the Bible it says: “a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words.”  And Abraham Lincoln once wisely said: It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.

There are a couple of reasons why some people talk a lot about themselves: there are those who are truly full of themselves and proud and over bearing, and there are others who have a low self-esteem and so they tend to over compensate in an attempt to be accepted.  So the only advice that I might give on how to have them “stop” as Jackie has asked would be: 1) if the person is someone who you are close to, try being honest with them and explaining how their conversation has made it difficult to be around them, or 2) if you are not particularly close to them, avoid being around them when it is possible.  Should they then sense that you are being distant you can offer an explanation.  Either way, should you decide to talk with the person about how you feel, do so in a moment when you are not emotionally and visibly bothered about it so that you can offer it packaged as friendly advice, not as a harsh criticism, it makes the pill go down much easier.  In Proverbs it says, “faithful are the wounds of a friend”.  And remember, they are most likely talking because they need to be heard, and they too, need a friend…be a true friend.

The Art Of Listening

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”
— Ralph Nichols

Communication is important!  In order to make friends, build a relationship, work, lead, follow, have peace of mind etc.. we need to communicate.  I would say that approximately 90% of the problems that do exist with personal relationships is due to misunderstandings that are borne due to a lack of proper communication.  There could be a number of reasons for this and some of these are: fear of what others might think of you if you say what you think, a difficulty in expressing yourself, or being overly abrasive that you make it hard for anyone else to share their opinion.

In this post I wanted to cover more the importance of being a good listener.  I am sure that when you are full of your subject or you feel strongly about a topic that your emotions are running high to the point that whilst the other person you are “communicating” with is attempting to share their view on a matter you are already formulating your rebuttal to what they are trying to say.  This might be OK if you are participating in a debate, but if you are trying to resolve something, it can tend to lead to nowhere.  By doing so, you are totally unable to know what the other person is saying thus blocking out any chance of finding common ground (if there be any). You are also communicating through doing so that you simply are not interested in what the other person has to say, which leads to total communication breakdown and relationship problems.

I am from Houston but live a good part of my life in Italy and Italians are very expressive and emotional people.  I love Italy, the people are fun, the food is fantastic, the country is filled with history and beauty, but if there is one thing that I find very difficult to get used to, it is that to be heard you have to talk louder than the other guy! I loath talking over someone, and find it rude and irritating when others do it to me. So I know what it is like to feel as though others are not interested in what I might have to say.  It can be very discouraging as we all think that our idea is the very best!  Ha!

The art of listening is a very important one in order to make any relationship work, whether it be marriage, friendship, or work related, you simply cannot pretend that your partners have to hear only what you have to say.  Then, once they are granted a platform to speak, make sure that you genuinely listen, otherwise you just might miss out on some very important information!  No one person is the all-in-all!  Whether you like it or not, you need others and well yes, others do need you!  So be there for them and give a listening ear!