2015 is gone, it was not an easy year, but we managed to pull it off.
Now, lets reflect on this past year and try to understand what are the things we did right and wrong. Did we manage to accomplish the goals that we set for ourselves?
A 'New Year' gives us the chance to begin again. Learning from our mistakes and accomplishments allows us to embark on our next year with great enthusiasm!
This year, follow your dreams and be committed to accomplish them. Do not be afraid of trying, risking and failing. Understand that errors are part of life and your experiences. If you are not failing it is because you are not risking enough; if you are not risking, you are not living…
2016 is another chance to be alive and to get it right!
I constantly repeat to my kids “the most important thing that you have is your pride and no one can take it away from you.”
When I use the word “pride” I do not use it as arrogance, which is a sign of ‘superiority,’ of self-importance − the bad-pride.
I use it for self-esteem, self-respect and self-confidence; as the consciousness of one's own dignity − the good-pride!
“When you believe in yourself, having commitment, enthusiasm, and pride to move onward, you will always be a champion!” − Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld
Accountability is the foundation for any successful existence; it is the thriving key for a person, team, organization, government, nation or our planet.
To be accountable is to be responsible; it’s to be liable for our own actions and inactions.
A person with a strong ethic and solid character takes responsibility for what he/she does. They know that their deeds – good or bad, are a representation of them, a portrayal of their soul.
When people are accountable for their actions, they will do the right thing.
When you wake up ask yourself:
“What am I thankful for?"
I am thankful for my family, for my friends, for my health, for what I have and for what life has to offer me; I am thankful for my being.
We all have plenty to be grateful for, yet too often, we forget, we get caught up with all the things that are going wrong with our lives and lose hope. Our minds forget about all the good things and just focus on the bad.
Gratitude is a mindset; it leads to affirmative thoughts, constructive events and successful outcomes. It generates happiness and satisfaction.
Gratitude is an attitude for life!
_So tomorrow, wake up excited, ready to conquer the world and ask yourself: what is good about my life, how can today be a great day?
Always be mindful of your reality and be thankful for all your blessings!
Yesterday during dinner, while having a great family conversation, my son Gabriel did something imprudent, ‘a silly joke.’
I turned around annoyed and asked him “what are you doing?” he answered, “Isabela dared me to do it.” Isabela is his younger sister.
“Isabela dared you?” I responded mad. Dinner was over and both were punished.
Why did I get mad?
To dare is to instigate. To dare can be negative or positive, depending on the source and the challenge. In this case it was to provoke another person to react and do something inappropriate, something that should not be done. It is to manipulate an individual while planning that his/her suggestions will actually make this individual act wrongly.
When somebody dares you, it’s really about testing you:
Do you really understand who you are?
How secure are you?
Are you willing to do anything, just to be accepted?
Do you have enough confidence in your own worth or abilities?
When I see my kids daring each other I get mad and question:
Are you going to do drugs because of a dare?
Are you going to get drunk because of a dare?
Are you going to hurt yourself because of a dare?
Are you going to do something illegal because of a dare?
Am I going to pick you up from a hospital or a jail because of a dare?
So, next time when somebody dares you to do something stupid, keep in mind that you do not have to prove anyone but yourself who you are. If you need to prove yourself to them to be accepted, just walk away, they do not matter!
You have a long healthy life to live ahead, act smart; live smart!
Today we were invited to a school meeting, a meeting to talk about ‘our responsible and dedicated high school kids.’ During our meeting we discussed their strengths and shortcomings, how to give them support and how to help them improve their grades. Although, we did not receive any awards, the invitation went well; both will finish the year with reasonable good grades.
Anyway, after leaving, a professor’s comment stayed in my mind: 'your kids are not reaching out for help; they are not approaching their teachers for assistance when in doubt.'
I ask myself: Why are these kids so hesitant to ask for help?
For most of us, asking for help is a sign of weakness; it suggests a lack knowledge or experience.
Well, let me tell you something: Asking for help is good.
Always keep in mind:
So, ask for help, it will only make you better!
Today I learned a new term: ‘Generation 1.5’
‘Generation 1.5’ (G1.5) is used for people that were brought to the US at a young age, before adolescence by first generation immigrants; by immigrant parents that never really integrated, keeping close ties with their home countries and always dreaming of the day that they will be able to return to their native countries.
Since these immigrants never saw the US as their home, their kids, G1.5 is a generation who exist in limbo, between two nations, two cultures, with no clear identity.
Nesrin, my wife was a G1.5 kid, she arrived in her early teens to the US when her father was transferred to Washington, DC. Like any other immigrant teenager, her adjustment to a whole new way of life was not easy, trying to conform while her parents still had a foot in there homeland.
The crazy part is that:
For the immigrants that entered in the US as undocumented, their children, their G1.5 offspring have a lot to overcome.
Despite having lived most of their lives in the US, having siblings born in the US and speak fluent English, many can not get working permits, get a drivers license, or vote. Just like any other undocumented migrant they are subject to arrest and deportation. They do not have the right to live in the great America.
What happens if they get deported? Many of them do not speak other than English and have no bond with their countries of origin. For them to be evicted is like being put-away, with no chance for parole.
It is insane to imagine that in this great country, a country built by immigrants, that a young person, even though he/she were raised all their life here, have no rights and could be deported!
So, what can we do about it?
First, we must care! America was and continues to be built by legal and illegal immigrants. They are industrial-entrepreneurial people willing to risk; people that are responsible for creating a resilient-America, an America that strives. Because we care, we should advocate laws and candidates that support ‘generation 1.5’ to get a legal status.
We must speak up against ‘leaders’ that have an irrational fear of people from different countries, cultures or religion; we must stand up to these bigoted honchos that believe that their opinion is superior then any regular mortal.
Most importantly we should view ‘generation 1.5’ as an asset rather than a liability, an investment rather than a cost. The majority are not here to collect social benefits, but are here to learn, to find work and to improve their lives and those of their families.
In the same way as my beautiful ‘G1.5 wife’ did!
Yesterday, my wife and I were having a vibrant debate about the 2016 presidential candidates with some dear friends for over 17 years; although we have been ‘compadres’ for so many years, yesterday we realized that our perception about education, politics and religion are completely opposite.
So opposite that it sounded like the lyrics of a song:
“You say potato and I say tomato,
You say either and I say neither
potato, tomato, either, neither
Let's call the whole thing off”
The funny part is that all 4 of our families are first or second generation Americans, you would think that we would have a ‘similar perception’
So, here is my thought:
First, what is the meaning of perception?
Perception is the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
Everyone’s perception is influenced by their cultural, social, or emotional environment; it’s influenced by what they see, smell, hear or touch. Our perception of the world is influenced by our past experiences, our beliefs and our expectations.
Our perception is our reality, which is different from everyone else’s and it is an altered truth; our mind can only contemplate to what it has been exposed to.
Now, how can we change our reality?
People’s perception of reality is different, yet, by expanding our core beliefs, we can expand the way we perceive the world around; to widen our beliefs we need to step outside our comfort zone.
Our comfort zone is any type of behavior that keeps us at a steadily low anxiety level. Everyday activities that we are used to and won’t make us feel anxious or uneasy, are part of our comfort zone.
At the beginning, leaving our comfort zone would bring anxiety due to the uncomfortable levels of uncertainty we will need to cope with, but when completed, we will feel accomplished and will increase our levels of confidence.
By getting out of our comfort zone more regularly, we will increase the number of things we are comfortable with; and by expanding our comfort zone, it will widen our perception about life.
- At the end, after our squabble, I realized that it is time for me to get out of my comfort zone and expand the way I perceive the world.
Sometimes our self-confidence feels a little bruised; we lack motivation or do not have the confidence to move forward. At times, it's hard to get out of bed; we feel lost or defeated and we do not know how to get back on track… It happens to all of us!
So here is the question: How can I manage to come out of the hole, to build my courage and get my confidence back?
People do not realize that self-confidence works like a muscle, and, like any other muscle, in order to make it stronger, and increase endurance it must constantly be trained.
From my own experience, the best training method to build up self-confidence is by being willing to take action on a daily basis.
Daily-action stands for ‘every-day action.’ Day-to-day you must come up with a small action plan, a plan that you know that with enough effort you will be able to accomplish it. Do not try to solve world hunger or try to run a marathon, just go for a simple plan; something that you will be able to accomplish like making 10 extra calls if you want to increase your daily sales or using the stairs all day instead of the elevator if you want to get in better shape. Everyday, just push your fears aside and go for it, knowing that you will achieve your daily-plan.
Then, next day come up with another action plan, achieve it and the third day achieve it again… By acting on your small daily-action plans, you will be moving forward step by step.
In time, these actions will build a positive momentum; your mind will start to envision successful results and these will re-enforce your confidence!
Be mindful: By taking daily-action, you feel accomplished; as a result, your self-confidence will skyrocket! Just like a muscle, everyone is trainable!
If you want to be an entrepreneur, but you can’t handle a 16 hour workday, then your enterprise won’t make it far. How much sacrifice are you willing to tolerate?
If you want to be a writer, but aren’t willing to accept criticism, then you shouldn’t even start. How much rejection are you able to handle?
If you want to be a great athlete, but can’t stand to lose, then I have bad news for you. How much defeat are you willing to deal with?
Like your parents have told you plenty of times: “Everything worth having involves sacrifice and persistence.” Nothing comes easy; not marriage, not family, not education, not work, not your dreams or passions. Life is not easy; yet, for those who have the strength and courage to follow trough, life is fun and great!
_Now, if you are one of those people with 'big-dreams,' how do you reach into your strength to maximize your resilience?
When you have an aspiration, first you must truly believe in it; you must see yourself succeeding in it, this is crucial! Then, you must have a plan, a plan of action and lastly, you act on your plan! A dream without action will always remain a dream.
So you act on it, yet keep in mind: Almost 100% of the time the initial plan will not work as you expected and you may fail.
Another must, it is vital when your plan fails, that you go back to the drawing board and work on a new plan. Never forgetting your dream, your aspiration, and goal. Then, you take action one more time knowing that your plan might fail once again, and again, and again…
For your plan to succeed, you need to have the determination and the courage to continue in spite of all the difficulties. Most importantly, you need to be resilient and have the ability to bounce back quickly, reinventing yourself. Always aiming towards your goal.
Ultimately when you are dealing with defeat, always keep in mind having the right attitude makes the difference between success and failure. A positive attitude leads to affirmative thoughts, constructive events and successful outcomes; it generates happiness and satisfaction.
The right attitude is what it takes to succeed!
Who I am today as a person is largely due to my failures!