31 Days, 32 Revelations: Striving For Quality of Life

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 17 of 31- Living Simply

A few years of ups and downs, twists and turns and a few failures will whip you into shape emotionally and personally. It is as if hurdles were strategically placed throughout my journey to provide new insights and perspectives. This has been my life the past few years. Even my horoscope speaks about this “period of renewal” I have been dragged through for the past four years. Allegedly, I am at the end of the cycle and moving into smoother waters now. Good, bad or indifferent, I have figured out that I want to live a simple and peaceful life.

I am convinced that the pace here in the US allows for one scenario for us working Joe’s and Jane’s- you work and work and work, pass go retirement and then you die. I know that sounds terrible, but the reality is we live and work in a country obsessed with work, material possessions and money. Don’t get me wrong I have an appreciation for all three. I just think there is more to life than racing around frenetically trying to be the fastest, the best, or appearing to be successful when all you’re really doing is killing yourself.

Before I started working for myself, my schedule was frenetic and unsustainable. My days went like this:

I was up at 5am. Had to bathe and dress three kids. Drop my two little ones to day care (on days when my husband was held over- my trips were in three because I had to get the oldest to morning care), deal with the daily HR headaches, breast-feed, pump additional milk so I kept enough for home and work, leave work at five pick up the youngest two, then race across town to get my oldest from after-care with sometimes a minute to spare before I was charged a late fee. I would get home have to do homework at 6:30pm- while finding out how school was and cooking dinner. After we read, said prayers and everyone was settled, I started my second job which was to continue building my current business- writing blog posts, creating scopes of work for potential clients, taking client calls and working until approximately 2am many days.

To be fair, I knew my first full year in business was going to be rough because I was working two full-time jobs. Ultimately, my intended rise up the ranks at the day job wasn’t worth it and neither was the paycheck. I have not only gone into business for myself, but I am altering my life for simpler joys these days. I meditate, I’m having fun, I’m more alert and attentive where my children are concerned and  I work how and when I want. In return for a simpler life, I made a lot of sacrifices. I never knew that was part of my journey when I left my day job. Apparently, I was due for a complete overhaul.

I am grateful to finally be living and not just existing. I used to feel like I barely had time to enjoy my home (that I pay quite a bit for). Now I’m enjoying it.  Life isn’t a complete bed of roses, but I am finding ways to make things simpler and less frenetic for myself -because I deserve a better me and so does my family. I guess I am striving for a better quality of life.

I know I’m not alone in having experienced this frenetic lifestyle that we all have grown accustomed to. To prove my point, check out the chart below from Social Progress Index to see how the U.S. is lagging on quality of life. Pay particular attention to “Health and Wellness” as well as “Tolerance and Inclusion” along with other indicators .

 

What kinds of things are you doing to make your life simpler? 

 

Czarina’s Lesson: Life should be an inner-body experience not an outer-body experience. Live-don’t just exist.

31 Days, 32 Revelations: Innovation Ego

Image courtesy of EinsteinQuotes.com

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 15 of 31- Innovation Ego

I have heard through the grapevine that nothing being done now is either “unique” or “innovative”, but rather many regurgitated versions of someone else’s ideas. There is certainly evidence to suggest that lots of people go around poaching the work of others. However, for the people who are really dedicated to creating something new or give something old a new spin- you can’t deny them their innovation badge of honor. One idea spurs another idea and then another- that is kind of how innovation works.

Let’s be honest, we are influenced by a myriad of people, places, cultures, circumstances over the course of our lives. If you don’t think so you must have been rushed from your mother’s womb to a bubble in another dimension where no one exists; but then again even that experience would influence your view of the world. I believe we become a mosaic of our experiences. Some are hard-coded and other traits, thoughts and practices are things we select for ourselves-because it favors our trajectory in life and facilitates our survival. Let’s take Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung for instance. Freud was the founding father of psychoanalytic concepts in the early 1900’s until he became acquainted with Carl Jung. Carl Jung became a friend and a student of Freud until he endeavored to propose a slightly contrarian analysis and criticism of  Freudian precepts like the”oedipal complex”. Innovation ego of today would assert that Freud said all there was to say about the “oedipal complex” and that Jung was being duplicitous by merely tweaking already established concepts.

The reality is we received a far more refined proposition for the oedipal complex because Jung studied Freud’s concepts and found areas for improvement or better explanations for that behavior. Was Jung innovative- in my opinion yes. Was Freud innovative? For sure. He started it all, but even he had experiences and influences that led him to develop his theories.

Just because you have created something, said something profound or blazed a trail, does not make you the chief innovator for all eternity. The goal should be continuous improvement of all things as necessity requires it. If someone comes along and takes something you did and improves it-that is the completion of the cycle of innovation. By no means, should any founder or talent feel like someone isn’t studying your craft and finding cracks in it that they will someday improve.

From time to time, I’ve heard people say things like: “I wrote about that back in 2008 why is he or she writing about that now or we were talking about how to implement “x” in 2000 this has already been done.” I humbly pay homage to pioneers, because many things wouldn’t be possible without a few good men and women to blaze the trail. However, ego need not take over. Sometimes things need to be said again and again and maybe with a twist and a turn. Just maybe, that tenth or thousandth instance of discussing a topic or reinventing something is exactly what is needed for others to finally get it. So, next time you gurus, ninjas, experts get the gumption to turn your nose up at something you think is old, trite or lacks innovation ask yourself if it is your ego or if the cycle of innovation has been completed by someone adding a new slant or useful thought.

 

Czarina’s Lesson: There’s no place for ego in innovation.

31 Days, 32 Revelations: Playing The Game Is Played Out

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 13 of 31- Playing The Game Is Played Out

I just read this story about actress and comedian Mo’Nique speaking about how she was blackballed in Hollywood after having success in the movie “Precious”.  Director, Lee Daniels expressed that Mo’Nique hurt her self during the course of the Precious production by “making unreasonable demands and not playing the game”. As far as I’m concerned, she may have been “unreasonable” or even difficult. What I take issue with is the fact that the game isn’t the same for everyone. She was not and will not be the last difficult celebrity to grace a movie stage. Difficult and unreasonable demands of movie stars on set is the kind of fodder that lines tabloids daily. The difficulty doesn’t stop Hollywood from spending millions of dollars supporting projects with some of these people.

This story line is no different to what goes on in Corporate America everyday. I recall just a few years ago being discouraged from filing an EEO claim by an HR person  who cautioned me to “play the game”. I even recall women executives in meetings setting women’s suffrage back several decades by giggling, twirling their hair and flirting through negotiations. My question is: what is the game? Is the game that you “shut up, smile and look pretty” as actress Sheryl Lee Ralph suggests? Why is the advice to women in 2015 that we should bat our eyes, smile when we are displeased and not be heard? If the game is about brown-nosing and/or keeping up appearances, I am out.

I’m not suggesting you have outbursts like a child when the spirit moves you ; but a person should be able to demand and communicate needs and wants without it being tied back to some facade you have to keep up to get ahead. It should be the case that any women can show up to the boardroom or the set as she is. We shouldn’t have to apologize for who we are and why we want what we want, Men do it all the time and don’t have to perform in the manner that we are expected to as women.

Who knows?  Mo’Nique could very well have been terrible to work with. I just wished we lived in a society that treated like instances equally. In this case, that would mean blackballing every actor or actress that is difficult. The truth is money is spent on people that are liked, can bring in revenue and “look” and “act” the part. I wasn’t that person when I worked in Corporate America and Mo’Nique isn’t that for Hollywood unfortunately,

 

Czarina’s Lesson: There are limits to equality and fairness where money is the primary concern.

31 Days, 32 Revelations: What Checks and Balances?

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 12 of 31- What Checks and Balances?

I’m sure many of you have either been following or heard about the Hillary Clinton email debacle. According to a recent CNN Poll, the public seems to be divided on whether or not this is a serious issue or not. In my opinion, the public is right. On one hand, it isn’t terribly damaging at least as far as her run for presidency is concerned. Conversely, it is quite serious and not something that surprised me when I heard about it. I have often found our so- called “checks and balances” to be severely lacking. This email situation is evidence of our inability to dot our “i’s” and cross our “t’s”.

Having previously worked for a government contractor, I witnessed a system that was severely broken and quite antiquated. When I started working in this arena, it was made very clear what my responsibility was for safeguarding company information whether electronic or paper. For all of the red tape and safeguards they put in place there are twice as many bottlenecks and gaps in procedure. In the case of Hillary Clinton, you have to ask how it is that the Secretary of State of the United States of America could think that conducting business on private e-mail out of convenience was in the best interest of the country. Furthermore, when email wasn’t coming from a .gov e-mail no one else in the administration was alarmed enough to insist she had a secure email account?

According to the Global State of Information Security Survey 2015, the most frequent source of data breaches come from inside the organization. If our heads of state seem unconcerned about how information is being transmitted in a time when cyber incidents among employees are up 10% from the previous year- we have a problem. We have only perceived checks and balances. It appears that breaches and other government hot topics of the moment are only serious when they become a threat or media fodder that has to be dealt with.

I’m not vying for a position in government in this lifetime, but it does seem like our leaders could use better discretion, some focus and due diligence as they tend to safeguarding us and this country. If I made decisions based on convenience, I only impact my family and myself. When you are in a position of power, (such as Secretary of State) your “convenient” decisions have larger ramifications. Ultimately, the issue is bigger than Hillary Clinton, but for now let us all sip tea and watch her be berated for an ongoing government problem. I sincerely hope we do better going forward.

 

Czarina’s Lesson: The convenient option sometimes leads to an inconvenient result.

31 Days, 32 Revelations: Knowing When To Move On

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Image courtesy of Flickr.com

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 11 of 31- Knowing When To Move On

Whether it be people, places or things we all need to know when to move on. Moving on is complicated. There’s emotional attachment, complex circumstances that often times impede the process, but nevertheless you have to be able to see when your season is changing or shifting. When I was younger, I saw the signs that let me know it was time to cut something off, but my actions propelled me to hang in there with people and situations that were already moving on. I was outgrowing them and they were outgrowing me and we were essentially trying to make something last past its time.

Case and point, I had a friend in my 20’s that essentially used me. My mom warned me over and over again that she was a user and manipulator. I knew her requests and taking were consistent with my mom’s warning, but I saw my withdrawal from the friendship as me not being a good friend. In time, my life accelerated at the speed of light and she carried on as well, but would pop in and out as it suited her. It was only at the time that I started making room for new people and things in my life-that I finally saw that she was everything my mom said.

So…I pulled back a little and then a little bit more- until suddenly she disappeared completely. In the past seven years, I have heard from her twice. Each time, she has been in turmoil and looking for advice. The moment that I completely knew I was done was when I shared the news of an accolade I achieved last October. I sent a short text to let some of my colleagues and girlfriends know I was in Black Enterprise asking for support. Guess who never had a moment to send well wishes or a congratulations? It’s not important for you to know how I have supported her, but it is necessary that you understand that you must constantly evaluate the people, circumstances and things in your life that are no longer a fit.

I have become more brazen and deliberate in my thirties. The way I manage my relationships and friendships goes a little something like this:  If you are negative, I get rid of you. If you are a taker and never give, I will get rid of you. If I get the sense, that you can only share in my sorrow and not in my joy, I will cut you off. 2006 was the year I started purging my life of people who were no longer a piece to my puzzle. In that time, I have gotten rid of and/or allowed divine intervention to remove approximately 5-6 people who could no longer remain in my circle of trust. In return, I now have a solid group of friends and acquaintances that are aligned with where I am now and where I’m going in the future.

Czarina’s Lesson: There’s a huge world of people and new experiences waiting for you. Don’t hold on to people or situations out of obligation; hold on because they add value.

31 Days, 32 Revelations: Blossoming In Time

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Series Introduction

Every year, I like to find a different way of celebrating my favorite day: my birthday. Since I am turning 32 next month (I know…awww…), I’ve decided to share 32 revelations I have had during the course of my life about everything from life in general to business. Think of it as daily inspiration for you and therapy for me. It is a challenge for me, because I don’t think I have ever published a post everyday in the entire existence of The Aristocracy of HR. Plus, I recognize that while I am fairly generous in sharing on social media and here, I have only just scraped the surface on sharing who I am when I’m not pontificating how HR and Business can do better. Let’s use the month of March to get to know one another better. I hope at the end of the month, you walk away with something you can use in your own life or business.

Day 10 of 31- Blossoming In Time

I am an impatient being when it comes to achieving my goals. The past few years, I have been researching, developing and working tirelessly to position myself and my business for success. Admittedly, many of my efforts have lead to immediate results. Yet, many other efforts seem to need some more time. The waiting and anticipation of what’s to come is something I am still learning to cope with. At times, I feel like Veruca Salt in Charlie and The Chocolate Factory- “I want it now!”. I promise I’m not a “bad egg”, just really passionate about my work. Understanding that things blossom in time is a lesson I am continuously learning.

There are relationships, connections and discussions I had two or more years ago that are finally coming to fruition now. While it wasn’t comical at the time when I was secretly praying for instant gratification, I get a good chuckle when one of my seeds bloom. My internal dialogue is usually something like: “You’re a wild boy, G-d. It was never about my timeline, but more about providing in time- wasn’t it?”

If you garden, you know when you plant things you have a few potential outcomes:

1) What you plant blooms in season.

2) Some of what you plant doesn’t bloom at all.

3) Your garden flourishes but is somehow compromised by an animal, some anomaly in the soil etc.

The same holds true to any of our efforts. Some are realized now. Some are compromised and others never see the light of day. As an entrepreneur and human, I am learning to be patient with the journey and creative process. Everything looks and feels like punishment in the moment as I lay in wait, but in hindsight I am always grateful for how things turn out. We are all blossoming in time- perfectly crafted and poised to share our gifts when the moment is right.

 

Czarina’s Lesson: Trust and respect your journey. 

 

Here’s a little Friday fun with Veruca Salt’s “I Want it Now” from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

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