Chocolate anyone?

I don’t know about you but I love chocolate. I remember going to the countryside on my relative plantation and picking cocoa to eat. I also remember as a child I used to enjoy cocoa tea. You don’t see cocoa stick anymore in Trinidad, I don’t know for Tobago. I wish I could see one now. For those who don’t know what I am talking about please look at the picture below.saint-lucia-cocoa-tea

Image taken from:   https://www.oasismarigot.com/how-to-make-st-lucia-cocoa-tea/

This used to be my favorite tea (cocoa tea) oh how I miss those days. From the cocoa you get this other amazing eats- chocolate. Just saying the word makes my mouth water. Chocolate is one of the best snacks that was introduced to the food industry.

Cocoa tea anyone?!!!

Let me give you my recipe to this amazing drink

  • 2 cups of water placed in a pot to boil
  • Grate your cocoa stick to your delight in the pot
  • Grate some nutmeg, add some powered cinnamon
  • Add the condense milk and stir.

Get your mug out…Mmmm! Enjoy the tea…

 

 

The BEE you are

Be the BEE you are- Brilliant, Eager and Enthusiastic. Why should you stop from enjoying the benefits of  your brilliance, the improvement in your enthusiasm and the active energy displayed in your eagerness?

I would say such buzz dispersed from anyone will take you to your destination of success. Of course it comes with the  disadvantage of others thinking you don’t know anything because you move so quickly it would seem you missed the action, but really moving quickly means you just want to get to the destine point without distractions. Not that you did not observe or know what is happening around you. Rather the knowledge is there but the interest well it is not always there, once it is not in sync with the plans.

Watch the actions of the BEE.

They are well organized. They are very adaptable. Honey bees prepare for the future by keeping storage of food that will last for several years. They  behave defensively to intruders.

So Are You A BEE?!!!

 

 

 

 

http://www.orkin.com/stinging-pests/bees/honey-bee-behavior/

Making a switch in life

How do we change things when we realize that a situation is going down hill?

It is hard to make changes to situations in  an instant BUT- my all favorite word to indicate there is always a solution to situations. Change comes in three stages: change of behaviour, change of thought, change of influence, will lead to change of situation.

Change is a small word with hard requirements but success is enormous when steered by the right attitude. Chip and Dan Heath in their book entitled, Switch: How to change things when change is hard, states there is “a bright spot philosophy: what is working and how can we do more of it? Usually we ask ourselves “ what’s broken and how can it be fixed?”, but that is wrong. Big problems are rarely solved with big solutions. Instead, they are most often solved by a sequence of small solutions.

I completely agree with Chip and Dan Heath because I have tried it and it works. Find out always what is working, what is not. Take the time to apply corrective solutions to those things that creates big problems. Sometimes those things just need small and simple solutions as also mentioned by the Heath brothers.

Multi-tasking

Can we really multi-task? A question that constantly circulates my cognition.  All too often we see employment advertisement indicating, ” you must be able to multi-task” and that seems like a joke to me, since I am well aware that humans (except if they have some special powers we don’t know about) cannot multitask.  Psychology Today  has a couple interesting articles on this matter. Multitasking has a great disadvantage to it and it is indeed a misleading term.

Here is what Dr. Susan Weinschenk had to say in her article, The True Cost of Multi-tasking.  She calls it task switching, here is what she said:

  • It takes more time to get tasks completed if you switch between them than if you do them one at a time.
  • You make more errors when you switch than if you do one task at a time.
  • If the tasks are complex then these time and error penalties increase.
  • Each task switch might waste only 1/10th of a second, but if you do a lot of switching in a day it can add up to a loss of 40% of your productivity.
  • Task switching involves several parts of your brain: Brain scans during task switching show activity in four major areas: the pre-frontal cortex is involved in shifting and focusing your attention, and selecting which task to do when. The posterior parietal lobe activates rules for each task you switch to, the anterior cingulate gyrus monitors errors, and the pre-motor cortex is preparing for you to move in some way.

Hmmm…and here I thought I was wrong for thinking that we are just fooling ourselves when we believe that we can multi-task, but in reality we are fooling ourselves to think such. We can switch back and forth with task not fully getting either done until we actually settle down to focus on one task at a time.

Don’t Criticize

Well its your autobiography you write. I can formulate your psychological stance when you decide to criticize. Criticizing is destructive to the criticizer and the ‘criticizee ‘ -if that is a word I can use. Criticizing is a failed attempt to control and devalue others and should be avoided if it is not done for corrective purposes, what we normally call positive criticism.

When tempted to criticize think about how you would feel if someone chose to say something nice. Think about the benefits of uplifting someone who might be going through a difficult moment, that moment when you decided to add to their troubles by making harsh remarks. Say something good to someone and don’t criticize. If you can’t help someone up don’t pull them down.

 

Are you a great team player?

How do you know when you are a great team player? What factors or characteristics are needed for this project of team playing. Have you ever had to complete something really important, maybe on the job or at school or maybe some social event for family and friends, only to end up with slackers on the team who just annoy the life out of you?

Many of us, I am quite sure have or had that moment of slackers in our group but lets look at ourselves for a moment. So do we contain “teamwork competence”- the knowledge, skills and attitude needed to perform a task as a group effectively.

According to Dr. Susan Whitbourne in her article posted on Psychology Today, there are 15 qualities that makes you a great team player.

Identity

1. Having goals consistent with that of your team.
2. Feeling that you belong in the team.
3. Being able to adopt and perform in your role.
4. Having the ability to adapt to your team.
5. Contributing positively to the teamwork climate.
6. Feeling committed to the team.

Communication

7. Being able to ask and provide information.
8. Getting along well with others.

Performance

9.   Being able to identify and plan the tasks that need to be completed.
10. Reaching consensus with your fellow teammates.
11. Doing what you’re asked to do and letting others know when you can’t.
12. Monitoring your own contributions to the group’s effort.

Regulation

13. Detecting conflicts and collaboratively trying to resolve them.
14. Negotiating strategies and reaching agreements.
15, Suggesting, and then contributing to, improvement.

Looking at these four dimension of contained qualities for a good team player, makes we wonder if I lack any of these qualities.

 

Emotions—Emoji

Emotions!!! where would we be without them? A world with no care, no affection, coming to think about it-I imagine boredom. Why even our whatsapp and facebook conversations would be “blah” nothing of passion or reaction to respond to without emojis. Do you see what I see? How can this world become so cold and heartless for each other? We need to appreciate, respect and have good quality relationship with others.

We were made with emotions for a purpose. It is the only way to express how we feel as humans to reach to a level of empathy with others. If we cannot in anyway display emotions, them we would automatically function like robots and the worst stage of that means we will all send ourselves crazy, simply because, we are not able to express the way we feel in a good humane way.

So emotions anyone???

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This entry was posted on February 7, 2017. 1 Comment

If Today Was The Last Frontier

If today was the last frontier 

I would be determine to conquer my fear 

I would do all that I desired to do 

And make sure  I did it excellent for you 

 If today was the last frontier 

Please remember not to shed one drop of tear 

For I would have achieved 

The essence of all that you now receive 

If today was the border line 

I wouldn’t ask for any more time 

But rather enjoy the moment with family and friends 

And let them know that they have been my heaven sent 

 If today was the periphery 

I would say we have to hurry 

For I need to ride a bike, hike five miles, climb a tree 

And oh my gosh!  I would have to go bungee! 

Judy James

 

 

This entry was posted on February 3, 2017. 1 Comment

A Feeling of belonging

A feeling of belonging begins with uttered words such as ‘we’, ‘our’, ‘together.’ Words that indicate inclusion of others or inclusion of more than one. When we include the persons in our lives or even in the workplace, when we include co-workers and employees in what we do, a sense of belonging emits within the environment and creates a chain of other reactions such as empathy, trust, safety and cooperation.

When we can build a positive circle, the generated effect is enormous. People feel good knowing that others care and that their individuality matters. The world we live in is constructed on differences in shape, color, size and species. I call it beauty in a ball – the earth that includes all.

In our homes we can change our ‘me’ to ‘we’ in our work place we can change our ‘I’ to ‘us’ or ‘we.’ Try to become more conscious of creating a place of belonging to family, friends and co-workers, see what benefit it brings in building good relationships that propels cooperation.

The Sound of Music

Does anybody remember this old  1965 film, ” The Sound of Music” with acting cast Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer? Oh my! how as a child I did enjoy that movie, with songs such as: Climb Every Mountain, So Long, Farewell,Something Good, My Favorite Things. Those were the days of music that made the mind think,the enchanted instrumental and soothing  vocals gave a sense of serenity.

When my daughter was able to understand the beauty of such music, I bought the DVD for her to watch and although she is now twenty-one she is still talking about how much she enjoyed that old movie. I still sing the words to “My Favorite Things.”

 

 

Philosopher

How did the “philosopher” come to be called that? It is my “wonder moment” today, so I decided to check out how they came up with this word-as I would usually do when I am concern about things.

Would I call myself a philosopher? Yes, because I enjoy knowing things that matters and things that would make people understand about the world around us.

The sages of Greece were once called sophos but it is said that Pythagoras thought the word was too arrogant so they added the word philos, meaning “lover.” Hence philos-sophos or philosopher, is therefore a “lover of wisdom.”

Get involve with knowing things, it is fun and relaxing. It becomes the norm within your life and keeping positive with information helps you to stay alert, stay energized and full of knowledge.

Oh my! I sound like a librarian.

 

Embarrassing moments

Embarrassing moments, who can get away from them and what do you do when it happens to you? It is the moment you just wish that the earth would take you in or  that you could snap your fingers and disappear. We all experience it in our lives sometimes more than once or twice. The awkward moment comes without warning and you wonder what others think about you after that experience. Well people will talk, no doubt about that but they will also have their own embarrassing moment and then the talk will be on them.

According to Psychology  Today a study by John Jay College professor Joshua Clegg (2012) which provided some guidance. Defining a socially awkward situations as “problematic instances of social affiliation,” Clegg bases his work on the theory that most people have a need to belong. This desire for affiliation leads us to engage in self-regulation, in which we are constantly on the lookout to see what other people think about us. When we think that people are evaluating us negatively, our sense of self takes a huge hit.

There you go information from the people who knows about the human thought, behaviors and feelings. It is because of this desire to belong we allow embarrassing situations to give us that “oops! I just want to go somewhere far,” feeling. Because the situation was just too humiliating and humans don’t make it any easier on our ego.

I think personally if we can control our emotions when we are faced with unplanned moments of awkwardness,

it would help to overcome the awkward situations, so, if at the moment you are embarrass try to think about something else that is fun and happy or positive and immediately change the environment by acting normal. When we act normal or nonchalant to situations even when it is so humiliating, others will feed from that energy and also move on. Taking you out of the spotlight, which is what you want. I know, it is easy to say but hard to apply.

What would you do in your embarrassing moment?

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Laugh

 

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Wonder

 

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Cry

Focus on the Positive

Looking around the world from country to country by reading and watching the news; What can be said positively amidst all the negatives? Well, despite all the heart shattering news, there is still hopeful information. People are still trying to give in whatever little way they can, good things are still happening and thanks to goodnewsnetwork.org we can get all the good news we want if you are tired of hearing and seeing negativity. So the good news for 2017 is:

We have life, the earth is still standing still, the sun still give us magnificent light and the moon never cease to display its radiance in the night. We still have air to breathe and water to drink, and many scientist are working over time to ensure good solutions to things gone wrong are found. Doctors are still trying to find the “break through” for illnesses. We still have brilliant people with ideas worth sharing and thanks to TEDTalk those ideas are conveyed as often as possible to millions.

The list of good can go on and on like a recurring decimal, what makes it worth the while is acknowledging the morality of excellence exhibited in a world filled with mistrust, hurt and anger. We all occupy this earth, it is safe to say not forever but for a short term and nobody knows how short their term will be, so why not make it a rewarding moment that in the end we can truly say like Charles Dickens in his novel , A Tale of Two Cities,  “it was the best of times… it was the epoch of incredulity…it was the age of wisdom…it was the spring of hope.” I know I left the negativity out of the quote because I am trying to focus on the good. Yes we know we have bad times but the point to my writing is to highlight the good times not the bad.

Gossip

It seems harmless. The little idle moments we spend speaking  about somebody who has done  no harm, never spoke a dirty word of discouragement, never found wasting time in and out of office doors, never said bad things about anyone not even those who deserve it. Yet many seem to think it OK to deface the character of others unintentionally or intentionally. Let me highlight the dangers of organisational gossip. It is non-profiting to the organization, there is no growth within productivity and creativity and it literally makes the communication walls higher than usual. What does that mean? It means that the people who never really treated the person with trust and appreciation now treat them with speculation and mistrust adding to the wall  of skepticism red flags of further mistrust. Why do people do this and if the information was true would they go to that person and say it in front of them?

 I would tell you my own thought but I would like to share the thoughts from the experts.

According to  Dr. Shirley Vandersteen, a consulting psychologist,  it is very true that whatever can be used for good, can also be used for evil. Gossip has a dark side and the dangers of gossip are always lurking. Most of us are all too familiar with the hurtful and destructive characteristics of gossip. Gossip can be used as a weapon for workplace competition, conflict, or even for a personal vendetta. It can destroy a person’s self-esteem or assassinate their character. Gossip can isolate a person from the group or divide the team. When people gossip, they often inadvertently make assumptions and convey more information than they know to be true. Misunderstandings are frequent because the spoken word is easily misinterpreted. A person who gossips might exaggerate to build his or her own sense of power as they convey very personal or key information. A gossiper may even downright lie to get a leg up on the competition, to sabotage an individual or project, or to destroy the credibility of a co-worker. Once a lie is told, it is very hard to replace it with the truth; the impact lingers for a long time. Dr. Vandersteen certainly stated in a better way what I needed to say. It is very important to think before trying to destroy someone’s character for the sake of power and authority. If in doubt always ask the person. When we drop feathers along the road and the wind shafts it away like a boatman shafting a boat through a tunnel, we can never take back those feathers. When we give false information about someone it is not easily dismissed by others.

Habits

We all have habits that are sometimes detrimental to our everyday functionality. Habits can build an individual or organization or it can break you! it is as simple as that. So what are our habits, are they good or are they bad? How can we change them and make a better life for ourselves, is usually the big question. It is not all that hard but like anything in life we have to put a lot of effort into making the change of habit happen. As a child I used to “fold up” my clothes and suck my tongue. I don’t know how I got rid of that habit but one thing I know, I got up one morning realizing I was getting older and I didn’t want to do that anymore. So every time I began to suck my tongue I made myself conscious of it and I would stop immediately, the same procedure was applied with my clothes, every time I rolled up my clothes , I became conscious and I immediately let it go. It worked like a charm, I was in charge of my habits. To this day I am very mature and I do not suck my tongue or fold up my clothing.

The point of all this is, anyone can change the things in their lives, that they don’t want or like. Any organization can change from having poor success or ethics to habits that will breathe prosperity. Set a goal, make it known, it is not always easy to get people to see the vision you see but you can make it easy by taking the steps necessary to make it happen. People or businesses can be transformed by paying attention to habits but don’t take my word for it do some reading and be sure to take a look at Charles Duhigg book, The Power of Habit : why we do what we do in life and business. 

Being Fulfilled

I recently had  a paragraph to write for a course  and the topic was about being fulfilled; this is what I believe:
To be fulfilled means finding something which brings joy to the heart and elevates the mind in such a way others will definitely benefit from the passion emitted. To be passionate about something means to be fulfilled by what we do. It becomes important to our heart and mind while accomplishment hinges on the very essence of its existence. We all feel a sense of passion within the career path we choose. Listen to the rhythm of the heart and fulfillment becomes the song.

This entry was posted on April 25, 2016. 1 Comment

Real Beauty

Real beauty starts within the mind and extends to the outer parts of the body. My pastor used to say “all that glitter is not gold” indeed he was right. So right, until I am older and wiser and therefore realize his words have become a reality to me.

Positive attitudes starts in the mind, moves to the heart and blossoms on the outside.

      Hope                                                 Love                                                    Joy

Faith                                                          Kindness                                           Forgiving

Merciful         fireworks                       Loyal                 fireworks           Trustworthy                                                      Peace        

WISDOM

Wisdom is a principal thing, therefore get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding (Prov. 4:7)

We all crave after wisdom but what makes us wise?

Knowledge is knowing, wisdom is applying what you know, therefore wisdom comes from reading, observing, life experiences and communicating with others.

Wisdom expands as we engross the desire to learn and as we learn we reflect on the information to help promote our understanding of the experiences gained. The benefits of wisdom draws us to a spring of life. Life in a whole different concept.

Wisdom allows the mind to become stabilized and free from making rash decisions.

Why write?

Why do I write? What profit does it have for me? Hmmm…

I write when my soul is sad, when the atmosphere precipitates a gloom within my space of happiness. I write to nourish the mind, it is a moment of escape into a world of realism. It is where I find peace among the walls of truth, built within me. Honesty sets aflame when pen and paper connects and the sadness that bombards my space disappears, allowing my mind to feel freedom again.

Most people don’t understand or sometimes appreciate the gift of a writer, they think it is just crazy but writers takes reader to where the world says they can’t go. History, mystery, adventure, happiness, faith, motivation, inspiration, laughter, victory, love; all bound up in the heart of a prolific writer.