Are You Ready To Make Your Next Decision?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. We all have to make them or at least force someone else to make them for us. One way or the other, it’s a horror we all have to face. Since, it is a necessary evil, which it doesn’t have to be, what becomes important is how well we are at making decisions. Decision making could be one of two ways:

  • Intuitive – Going with your gut instinct
  • Reasoned – Using facts and figures
  • Both – A reasonable combination of each

Each method of decision making has its own use. You can’t make a decision in the stock market for example solely on how you felt that Monday morning. Unless you’re some prediction guru. You’d have to read all the weird graphs we skip through on the news. Same applies to food. You won’t stop eating fast food just because a percentage of people die from it. If you love, you eat it.

One key is to know when to apply each method of decision making.

To make a good decision, you must first know what you’re deciding about. This should be obvious but sometimes we don’t realize the consequences of our decisions which often leads to regret and lots of wishes. The next step is to gather as much information as possible. You don’t want to buy a new phone and discover two days later that the camera is bad and it’s been all over the internet. Go out and get yourself enlightened. Always seek alternatives. Explore your options. Weigh the pros and cons. Then choose and make a reasonable decision.

The best decision is the optimum decision taken after putting every factor into consideration at the time the decision was made.

There are certain pitfalls that arise whenever someone has to make a decision. A few of them are:

  • “Halo Effect” – This is when something is deemed good just because it possesses one or two characteristics you admire. For example, because a person attended your college, it means they’ll make good employees.
  • “Horns Effect” – Just like the halo effect, here, one negative characteristic, makes everything else look bad.
  • Emotional attachments which can cause a lot of bias.

Hasty decisions are as bad as those that take too much time to make. Be moderate and choose wisely.

Decision making is a skill that takes a lot of time to perfect and even then the circumstances may not allow you undergo the right process you may need. The goal is to always make a better decision than the previous time you had to. That way, you can ensure growth and self- development.

Just a few things to remember:

  1. Life is unpredictable, there are no guarantees.
  2. Doing nothing should never be an option.
  3. Never let fear stop you.
  4. When you choose, never second guess yourself.

‘Grown Up’ In Your Twenties

There’s a trend that seems to be very popular among this generation. It’s where ‘grown up’ is synonymous to ‘boring’. I’m not even sure how this came to be but it is what it is. Similarly, being cool is defined as going out to parties at night, drinking, smoking and generally lots of promiscuity and irresponsibility. The worst part is there is no in-between. After noticing these default settings, I became a blogger and found a lot of people especially ladies in their twenties, mostly early twenties, married. This confused me even more. Weren’t they all supposed to be drinking or something? How do they have two kids and have a better beach body than I do?

The worst part is there is no in-between. After noticing these default settings, I became a blogger and found a lot of people especially ladies in their twenties, mostly early twenties, married. This confused me even more. Weren’t they all supposed to be drinking or something? How do they have two kids and have a better beach body than I do? It was then I realized that the only news that travels fast is bad news.

First of all, being grown up when you’re young is not boring. Secondly, irresponsibility is not cool, it’s just being irresponsible.

I don’t like pointing fingers, but a lot of online magazines and ‘advice columns’ have done everything but help the situation. When you have bucket lists filled with ‘get drunk once’, have a one-night stand with a stranger’ and the like. I get that adrenaline is important for youths but if they already have a tendency to misbehave why not encourage them to do different and get the same results rather than fueling a roaring open flame. Maybe it’s just my Christian and moral side speaking but you know what I mean.

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So, what does it mean to be to be ‘grown up’?

  • First, it means you’re more careful with decisions you make and you don’t just act based on your feelings. Sometimes you splurge, sometimes you do things drastically but it doesn’t mean it is the usual but it should be normal. Being careful doesn’t have to mean doing nothing at all.
  • It means caring about people a lot and not just yourself. You always find ways to be of help and other people’s feelings where due, are carefully considered. It’s not an ‘I don’t care situation’ all the time.
  • It also means being open to positive and constructive criticism. Being willing to grow out of your comfort zone at any given time to become a better person you were five minutes ago and not letting your feelings or ego get in the way of your progress.
  • It means being ready to be your own cheerleader when no-one else seems to appreciate your efforts or thank you for the wonderful things you do and you’ve accomplished.
  • It means standing up for yourself and for others when you can and should. It’s knowing your worth and not letting anyone treat you any different.
  • It means knowing and understanding the meaning of compromise and sacrifice. That nothing good comes easy and you can’t always get what you want but you know when you deserve it and then you demand it.
  • Finally, it’s having fun and meeting new people, who may become a permanent part of your life and knowing when to let go of those that won’t be.

 

Adulting, as it is popularly called, doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to fail at it. You can only fail a standardized test because there is a fixed expectation. Everyone grows at different paces. Just because someone has their life together does not mean it’s easy. They probably spent a lot of time making it that way. Couching and reading a lot of ‘failing at life’ memes doesn’t make you that person. At least not when you do it  ALL the time.

Be your own competition and make it a point to be better every day.

When you look back, you’ll realize how far you’ve grown, however fast or slow it may be.

How To Love: Apology Languages

First you love and then you falter. To err is human. If you hang around someone long enough, you must annoy or offend them. Sincerely, if you never have a misunderstanding someone and you’ve known them for a very long time, you may not be as close as you think.

Last time, we talked about the love languages. This time, apology languages. Sincerely, I didn’t know this was a thing until I noticed that even though a particular friend of mine said sorry when he offended me, I always got more annoyed. To me, he wasn’t sorry even though he absolutely was. This was a very confusing concept for me and having taken the love languages test, I knew there had to be something on apology. Thanks again to Dr. Gary Chapman and Google Search I found the apology languages. Continue reading “How To Love: Apology Languages”

How To Love: Love Languages

Love is the language the heart speaks. Since it is not a verbal language that is expressed just in words, it makes communication quite difficult. Conflicts arise despite the love you have for each other. Imagine learning a new language as an adult, especially native English speakers who are almost always monolingual. It’s difficult. I’ve been learning French since my high school years and i still can’t speak it.

As though, to make things even more difficult, love has not one but five different languages. Dr Gary Chapman discovered this after studying and doing years of research. Thanks to him, it is easy to navigate the mystery of love itself which goes against the very selfish nature of humans. As said above, there are five love languages which are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time,
  • Receiving Gifts,
  • Acts of Service, and
  • Physical Touch.

Just like the 16 personalities I spoke about in Discovering Yourself, each individual has two main love languages that apply to them. Love languages here means that it is only when these gestures are made, they are interpreted as acts of love, everything else could be interpreted as just normal gestures or just being nice.

The tricky thing however is that we show people love the way we want to be shown love i.e If the guy, for example in the relationship prefers when his partner spends time with him, he’ll begin to spend lots of time with her. To him, he is showing her love, which in all good intentions, he is, if she interprets spending time as an act of love. However, which is more often than not, she may prefer something very different, like Acts of service.

In this scenario now, she’ll begin to do things for him, such as cook, clean, iron, handle whatever he asks her to and just literally anything because that’s how she wants to be shown love. This would then result in her being to busy or too exhausted to spend time with the guy and he’ll get frustrated. While her annoyance would stem from his ‘ungratefulness’ as she has been doing everything to please him, when the fact is he doesn’t care about that.

This whole scenario is a complete misunderstanding. It’s not that he doesn’t love her or she doesn’t love him, but that they are both expressing it wrongly. What needs to happen is that she should now what makes him feel loved and vice versa and there would never arise another problem again.SAMSUNG CSC

Now, to define the different love languages:

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION

Just like the title says, people who like this, love being told words that re-affirm their spouse’s love for them. These should not be words of flattery but sincere compliments or words of gratitude. For example: ‘ You look beautiful in that dress’. ‘I love the way you smile’, ‘I’m grateful to have you in my life’ etc Simple words everyday or every other day could go a really long way.

QUALITY TIME

In this day and age, spending quality time with anyone has to be deliberate and conscious. Mark me, it does not involve sitting beside each other while on your laptops or in front of the TV. It entails full undivided attention while talking or doing something that involves you two. A board game, a meal, a walk. Just put the electronics down and get creative

RECEIVING GIFTS

Our lovely friends whom you can apologize to with flowers and chocolates or a surprise puppy. i tell you it won’t work on me, but if you’re lucky to be with someone who loves gifts, it shouldn’t be that hard unless they’re very high maintenance. Be careful though not to overuse this to the point where you look insincere.

ACTS OF SERVICE

I think in this category, there are more women than men. Simple tasks like taking out the trash, remembering to pick up something she forgot, locking the doors, doing the dishes and sometimes your own laundry can be interpreted as heaven on earth to someone you love. A word of caution, if you must do an act , make sure you do it exactly as they will otherwise you’d spark anger and some other emotions you were never prepared for. It’ not about you it’s about them.

PHYSICAL TOUCH

Of all, this should be the easiest. I have seen a hug solve arguments that had lasted hours. A kiss, a hug, a stroke on the arm can mean the whole world to the one you love. If you happen to master this art, you’ll discover a whole new side of your spouse.

I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I did writing it.

If you got this far, you may have realized that one or two of the languages describe you but just to make sure, here’s the quiz to find out. Take it with your spouse and be sure. Then, you can begin to practice fluency in your partner’s language. Trust me, you won’t regret.

I’d love to hear your results in the comment section, if you took the test or if you know them already. Share with a friend so they can find out. Have a lovely week!

How To Love

I’m starting off this series with Love because without love, you wouldn’t and shouldn’t even be in a relationship. That being said, you would be surprised to know how many people don’t know how to love and I wouldn’t even blame them. We mimic whatever definitions of love we were brought up with and that causes to act the same way when in ‘love’ and seek those definitions of love. To start of, first of all,

Love is a choice, not just a feeling

If you think it’s all goo-goos and ga-gas, then think again. Now our first model of love is how we were brought up as children. But this is wrong. That love was selfish on our parts and selfless from our parents. It was a one-sided relationship which if it existed in our adult lives would be toxic.  Our parents probably didn’t tell us all they had to go through. Adults wouldn’t do that. Not even Jack from the Titanic.  It has to go both ways ALL the time. The way I see it, if both parties are selfless ALL the time, then no-one has to bother about feeling like they’re giving too much but that’s just fantasy to some extent. Life is less straightforward than that.

You can’t be loved the same way you were loved as a child.

When you realize that it’s so not about you. It’s about that person. Loving them means thinking about their well-being over yours. Putting them first, how they feel and how everything affects them. Even times when you want to be selfish, you first think of them and the consequences of your selfishness. Love requires sacrifice. The kind that you don’t mention every other day. It’s the kind that when they look at you, they know they don’t deserve to even be with you but you chose to be there.

For a relationship to work, you must be ready to love and not just be loved.

Loving someone means giving them time and space to grow. Most of the time, we want ready-made men and women. While, this would make such a splendid concept, most people don’t come that way. You’d think their past relationships have been moulding them. Rather it’s been breaking them into pieces. In the end, you may have to pick them up and build them again. This is the ‘work’ part if it. It requires patience, kindness and readiness to forgive. Growth takes time and if you push too hard, it may seem like you have an idea of them in your head you want them to be and this may cause negative results.

Growth takes time, trees take years to bear fruit.

If you want results, you must be ready to wait. Did you know that psychologically, we don’t want happiness, we just want what we’re used to. So we either find people who mimic those characteristics or we become those people, however bad or good. In our eyes, we’re showing ‘love’ .

Love Valentine Together Happy Affection Concept

To love a person right, perfectly and selflessly, you need a model to look at. Society and the family have portrayed such broken and flawed versions of love that it’s hard to discern which is right. The best model to look at would be JESUS. He came down and died for people who didn’t even care for him one bit. This is the kind of love we should portray in our everyday lives. In the light of Easter, which has become about eggs and bunnies, I hope you remember the real reason for the season.

Loving someone perfectly takes time. You grow into it.

Loving perfectly does not mean suffering in silence. If you’re in a relationship where you’ve loved with all your heart and you are being abused or you’re being hurt. Please find the courage to leave but every chance you get to show love to someone, I hope you do it right. That way, even when you leave, the other party know that you cannot be blamed for what happened, not that their opinion matters anyway.

Small Changes for a New Life

I’m Old. Not like dinosaur old, but I’m far from a spring chicken. The fact that I use the term ‘spring chicken’ just goes to show how old I am.

Ugh.

They say you’re as old as you feel, and for me, I do feel dinosaur old. Well, I did until recently.  As a freelance writer and social media consultant, I spend a lot of time on my ever-growing backside. Sometimes, in life, you get to a point where just have to look at yourself and wonder what the hell went wrong.dinosaur-1430240_1920

For me, that point came when I realized that I was over 250 pounds of all fat, and I’m pretty sure the only thing holding my body together was the tub of ice cream I downed every week. Yeah, things were bad. That was the first small change I made in my life. Actually, it’s a pretty big change and the one that really kick-starts everything else. I had decided enough was enough. I was sick of being fat and the only way to fix it is to work for it. So I did. With kids, family, dog, and life, finding time to sit down and work PLUS do something to stop becoming the Blob was becoming difficult. At least, that was my excuse.

I just don’t have the time.’ Like everyone else had a crap load of time except me.

So, the next thing I did was find a schedule that worked for all (albeit a bit wonky). Unfortunately, this new schedule has me up around midnight, so ouch there. I tend to get up between 12:00 am and 3:00 am to start my day, so it’s still a work in progress to get up and get going.

The biggest part about my change is the addition of a 3 mile walk first thing in the morning. Doing this before I eat help raise and maintain higher metabolism rates in my body, allowing my body to burn off food more efficiently throughout the day. More than that, this early morning walk helps my mind focus and when I unplug during the walk, my mind actually clears and seems to just see things more clearly.

For this walk, I’m not out there trying to run and kill myself, but I am walking brisk enough to sweat and be out of breath at times. That’s very important. If you simply take a leisurely stroll in the morning, your body won’t improve. You need to get your blood flowing and your muscles working to get the true effects of a workout, even if it is only walking. It’s hard. It will be hard. This is where the want comes in to say ‘Get up and get out there, fatty!’ And so I do.pexels-photo-221210 

Do not get down if things seem to slow or be tough. That’s my final little change. I am constantly getting down on myself about everything. To me, it’s as if the entire world rest on my every decision and action – of course, we all know it doesn’t. So, I would tell anyone trying to improve themselves, stop beating yourself up all the time.

Slips happen. Get over it and keep on going. Nobody is perfect. Remember that.

It’s about a month later. I’m getting used to the screwy early schedule and walking first thing in the morning, even before I eat anything, is helping my metabolism stay up and actually increasing my focus throughout the day. When I can, I try to throw a second walk in, but as long as I get my good walk in, I’m a happy camper. My weight has even dropped about fifteen pounds, which makes me want to continue to work.

If you think it’s time for a change in your life, chances are it is. Nobody knows you and your life better than you, and nobody can change your life but you. In the end, it comes down to how much do you really want to change? If you truly want it, anything is possible… Even change.

This is a guest post by Joshua Cook. Please feel free to visit his site below.

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Joshua Cook is a father, blogger, and social media consultant enjoying the beautiful weather in the Pacific Northwest. Recently starting the Cook Consulting and Content Creation firm, Josh is happy to be able to bring his life changing experiences and ideas out to help others.

YEAR REVIEW: 25%

I can’t believe it’s April already. I was going to write a review of each month as I went by to track my progress and see how well I was doing but February messed everything up. That month was so stressful. March just stressed me even more. Anyways I’m grateful for all of it. Here’s all I’ve achieved so far:

1 BLOG

I’m very proud of my achievements this quarter. I started this blog on Dec 13th, 2016 and I started with 12 days of Christmas. I did so because I had put off starting for too long and I’m very happy I did. But I like to count my beginning from January. I didn’t know you could promote blogs in Facebook groups. I just posted and hoped for the best. I discovered you could, last month and I got a whooping 2000 views. I had set a goal for 1000 and I beat it twice over. I feel so proud. I met genuine people I instantly felt connected with. I’ve made new friends in my niche and outside it. I also met ladies that have inspired me and I was finally able to define my niche and target audience. I picked College, Life and Inspiration, as my categories show. There definitely will be personal posts here and there but mainly, these.

2 SOCIAL MEDIA

I couldn’t work on social media s much as I would have loved to. I was doing a lot of trial and error deciding which social media I wanted to focus on and how to do it. Since I started with Instagram, it’s always at the top. However, I had to make some tough choices. I decided that I didn’t just want a random set of followers there, who probably wouldn’t like what i have to offer. Now, I’m trying to find my ideal reader and Lord, it couldn’t be any more difficult. I started using Twitter but I’m looking for good accounts to follow so if you follow me, I’ll follow back. I’m yet to use Pinterest but I am using StumbleUpon and it brings quite some traffic here. I’m also using Bloglovin though I haven’t paid much attention to it. I’d appreciate any tips or ideas to improve my social media.

3 VIRTUAL ASSISTANCE

In an attempt to get some extra cash so I can invest in my blog, I decide to pick up virtual assistance. For years, I’ve been looking at the possibilities of picking it up and now I’m in the world of blogging, I finally got the hang of it. I even got my first client after putting up a post on a Facebook Group asking for VA resources. Isn’t God great? I really like the job because I help people grow something they love and being a part of that is amazing to me. I do mainly social media, but I want to expand to email management, blog management and administrative support and I need clients for that. If you are interested or know anyone who is, feel free to contact me. My services are affordable.

4 ACADEMICS

For someone who loves education, academics never comes first in these lists. Anyway, I’m happy that I’ll complete my basic medical sciences on Friday as I write my NBME exams. Medical school is tough and I’m happy to be halfway through. After which I’ll start my clinicals hopefully and after approximately two years of rotations and some exams, I should be certified as a doctor. I’m keeping n open mind and my fingers crossed. I know God has great plans for me.

5 HEALTH

I completely stopped exercising and checking what I eat because I’ve had so much on my plate. Once this exam is done, first thing Monday morning after prayers is exercise. I added a lot and my tummy is a small pouch now. I really have to burn everything off. By next quarter, I should be a brand new person. I really miss the feeling of exercise and the near-death feeling that comes with it. Spiritually, I’m glad I was able to deal with some really pressing personal issues, never to come up again. I feel free and brand new. I know that by the end of next quarter I would be very far up from where I am now and I’m excited for it.

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Phew! That was quite a read. I hope you enjoyed it. II’m planning to start writing posts on relationships very soon. I have some things I’d like to share so be on the lookout. If there is any kind of post you’d like to see, you can comment and I look into it. I read every comment posted and it makes me so so happy ( I never understood this when other bloggers wrote it till now ). I’m also open to suggestions and tips to help me in any of these areas.

Thank you for being part of this amazing journey. God bless you all and keep you. Have a beautiful day and an awesome month!