Worker Bee or Wannabee…Which Are You?

A few days ago, I was listening to a training call from one of my mentors, and one of the things she spoke about was worker bees vs wannabees.  I’ve heard this topic many times in the past, but for some reason, it stuck with me this time.

What are some differences between worker bees and wannabees?

Worker bees dowannabees think.

Worker bees keep going untilwannabees keep going unless.

Worker bees understand success takes time and is long-term…wannabees quit when results don’t happen quickly.

Worker bees help others reach their goals…wannabees only help themselves.

After listening to some of the examples of what separates worker bees from wannabees, I started thinking…have you ever had a friend/co-worker, etc. who always found the negative in things?  Thought their world was always coming to an end? Made excuses or wouldn’t do the work? (“Oh, no one wants to work iwth me”“Oh, you don’t understand what I’m going through”; “Oh, it’s easy for you because…”; “Oh, you’re part of a great team, that’s why you’re successful”; “Oh, you didn’t help me reach my goal”; “Oh, I don’t have anyone to work with/you didn’t put any great people on my team.”)  It’s always a never-ending cycle of woe-is-me.

Do you know ay of these people?  Are you one of these people?

Sometimes we have to be willing to take a good, hard look at ourselves and have that keep-it-real conversation and ask are we worker bees or wannabees?  Have you fallen into a rut and blame everyone around you for your failures?  Do you sit on the sidelines because things have gotten tough or you’ve hit a rough patch?

Remember, the only person who can change you is YOU.  You have to do the work in order to see the results.  It’s going to take time; you’re going to hit some roadblocks and for many, it’s a matter of hitting the “Refresh” button.  No matter what, keep doing the work; keep going until.

Be a worker bee; not a wannabe.

A Word (or Twenty…) on Parenting

Parenting…It’s Not For Everyone.

The other day, I was chatting with a friend, and one of the things we talked about waparentings life as a parent today.  We talked about child angst and how our kids defy us and test us every single day.  From the back-talking to meltdowns to the many attitudes, being a parent is the toughest job out there.

This is always such a heated topic because everyone seems to have an opinion, especially when it comes to discipline.  For me, I have strong feelings on this and for those who do not agree with me, that’s fine.  Growing up, my maternal grandmother (I called her MaMa, may she rest in peace)  helped to raise me and my cousins when I lived in California.  I grew up in a strict, traditional Jamaican household.  She was the boss and ruled her house with an iron fist.  She was the LAW.  You didn’t DARE cross her, or you would feel her wrath.  MaMa was not someone to trifle with, and she was someone who could stare or take you down, if necessary.  As a kid, I saw her as a beast.  She was tough, she was strict, she didn’t allow any crap and when you defied her, you  learned very quickly what happened when you don’t listen.

We had rules in her house.  We had the obvious, say “please” and “thank you.”  One of the major one was to ask before you take something, especially from the fridge.  Another was if you were at a friend’s house, you make sure you were home by the specific time that she told you.  Well, one day, I was across the street at a friend’s house and MaMa told me to be home by a specific time.  I didn’t leave by said time, and my cousin had to come get me.  Mind you, we lived in a cul-de-sac and you could literally see in my house from my friend’s house across the street.  So, my cousin’s at the door, and he says, “MaMa gon beat you!!!”  I barely got my foot in the door, and she let me have it.

I deserved it.  I was told to be home by a certain time and I didn’t listen.

MaMa was a tough woman, but she took care of all of us as if we were her own.  Every day when I got home from school, she would have Milo, toast and hot dogs (or “weenies” as we called them) waiting for me at the table.  If it rained, she was waiting at the curb for me with my favorite clear plastic umbrella when I got off the bus.

MaMa and me in 2002

Fast forward to 2002.  MaMa and my 3 aunts had moved from California and had been  living in Florida for quite a few years.  I was in town for a Convention and was staying with them.  It had been quite some time since I had seen everyone, and I was especially excited to see MaMa.  When I saw her for the first time in so many years, this grand woman who I thought was bigger than life was the same height as me.  I couldn’t believe it.  A little bit of that 5-year-old crept up when I first saw her, but it was so great to see her.

This was also when I noticed how times had changed.  I watched how the cousins spoke to MaMa, and it was as if they were the same age as her.  I heard somebody drop an F-Bomb and the things that came out of their mouths made my jaw drop to the floor.  And MaMa did nothing.  I remember asking her about it and she said it’s how it is today.  I couldn’t believe what I saw.  I was shocked because if I DARED try something like that as a kid, my face would spin like a basketball on Michael Jordan’s finger.

She taught me a lot and I learned a lot from her and my Mom.  Both women taught me how to cook, and I mean really cook.  The other day, I was making Curry Chicken and I had the pieces in the sink, cleaning, gutting, skinning and all I could think of is how I would watch my Mom and MaMa in the kitchen doing the same thing.  Most people would probably look at what I do with chicken as primitive and barbaric, but let me tell ya, it comes out tasting awesome EVERY time.

Thinking back to when I was younger and how I was raised, I have definitely brought a lot of those lessons into raising of my 3 boys.  In a lot of ways, I feel that there’s not enough emphasis on discipline, where most parents want to be “best friends” with their child(ren).  My boys can make lots of friends as they grow up.  I’m not here to be their friend.  It’s not my job to be “one of the guys” with them.  They are my responsibility and it’s my job to prepare them for the world.  They don’t like a lot of the rules we have for them, and although we don’t rule our home with the same iron fist I grew up with as a child with MaMa, my boys get a little of that discipline I received as a child.

Does everything run smoothly in our house?  Absolutely not.  Have I made mistakes?  ALL THE TIME!!!  Just the other day, my youngest was playing and got hurt.  I still feel guilty about what happened.  But, he’s fine;  he’s all over the place and is in good spirits.  It’s part of the job, sometimes it’s the unwritten rules that we have to remember when things get hairy.

My boys are loved.  My boys are taken care of.  My boys know that they can always come to us about anything – good, bad or ugly.  We encourage them to tell us the truth about everything, even if they think they will get in trouble.  We tell them that we get angry when they’re NOT honest with us.  We pray with them every night before bed; we say grace at every meal.  We hope that all we’re doing will help them grow into amazing gentlemen.

As a Mom, I am always going to worry.  It’s hard NOT to worry.  When they get hurt, I worry.  They go to sleep, I worry.  They go to school, I worry.  Sometimes I worry too much and I make myself go crazy, which ends up being funny when I look back on things.

Parenting is a tough job, and we’re going to hear chatter everywhere we go.  As long as we know that what WE are doing benefits our child(ren), the chatter doesn’t really matter.  For those who aren’t parents, there are things we do (or don’t do) that you may or may not like.  That’s okay.  I was one of those people before kids.  I thought I had all the answers.  That all changed once I decided to become a Mom.  When we can come together and understand one another, things can run a little smoother.

As I write, I realize there are lots to share.  More blogs to follow on this topic, so I hope you come back for more.  In the meantime, please share any thoughts you may have or if this piece spoke to you in any way.  I welcome feedback.  Thanks for reading.

How Honest Are You?

The subject of honesty was posed to me on two separate occasions this weekend.   My husband had some money coming his way that I went to pick up on my way to a meeting.  I called him to tell him the amount, to which he thought was more than he eHonestxpected.  It turned out to be quite a bit over, so he called to let them know of the error.  He contacted his boss to verify and it turned out he forgot to deduct the advance.  For me, I was at an event where recognitions were being announced.  One of the organizers thought I was missed in the recognition for a prize, and I told them I didn’t meet the qualifications.

This got me thinking…how honest are you?  If you knew an advance on your wages weren’t deducted, you didn’t qualify for a prize, etc., would you fess up or keep it to yourself?  In both instances with my husband and me, we could have looked the other way and kept quiet about it.  However, we both knew that wouldn’t be the right thing and the fallout would backfire.  I knew I couldn’t claim a prize I didn’t earn because my credibility would be at stake, my fellow partners wouldn’t trust me and personally, I would feel really guilty about the whole thing.

But that’s me.

What would you do?  Have you ever been in such situations?  Would you be honest or would you “take the money and run?”  Would you be okay with the deception, is it no big deal or would you feel guilty?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic.  Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.


OneWord365 Challenge – Purpose

This year is all about change; challenging myself and creating a better me.  A friend shared with me a website  Instead of making resolutions that end up getting shelved after a couple of weeks, choose one word and let that word Featured imagebe your focus for the year.  I was drawn to it immediately, and decided to join in the challenge.

My word is PURPOSE!!!

I thought about why purpose is the perfect fit for me and here are some reasons.  Ever since I decided to challenge myself, I made the decision and will not look back.  With that, I realize that everything I do from here on out will be on purpose; with purpose; for a purpose.  Everyone I come in contact with will be on purpose; how I live my life will have purpose.  My goals for the year will be on purpose.  I will do it on purpose.

Are you up for the challenge?  What one word would you choose as your focus for the year and how will it impact your life?  I can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.  I can already see the changes happening and the steps I have to take to make things happen.

This is my purpose, because I will do it on purpose.

Stay tuned, and enjoy the ride.

This is MY Time!!!

Go TimeThis image speaks volumes for me.  The past two years have been a roller coaster, to put it mildly.  I’m not gonna lie, I played the victim role and had quite the few pity-parties.  Granted, there were a few challenges I faced last year, especially during the last half.  These challenges/changes in my life hit me with a one-two-punch, and I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to get back up.  At the time, it felt like my world was coming to an end and I went into quite a downward spiral.  I let things fall to the wayside and I really didn’t care.  I was so ready to give up.

Thinking back, I wasted a lot of time, and I also learned a lot about who I was and who I want to be.  Although it felt as if all was lost, I survived and I overcame those hurdles.  One thing is for certain, that drab, Debbie-Downer is not welcome in my head anymore.  She has been shut down and handed her eviction notice.

So, I am starting fresh and making headway.  Today was a really good day.  I accomplished quite a bit and am on my way to creating greatness for my family me, and others who choose to come along.

I had a conversation with a mentor today and was asked what am I willing to change to make 2015 the best year ever for me.  That was a no-brainer:

1.  My attitude – My attitude was in the toilet.  There are a lot of things I can’t control, but my emotions and how I react to things are always in my control.  I let things get to me that I should not have let get to me.  I also think about all the time I wasted because of my poor attitude.  If I see that attitude come my way, I’ll have to give it a, “Girl, you better check yourself” speech.  As another mentor friend of mine likes to say, “Just get over yourself already.”  Believe me, I am so over myself.

2.  Talk more (get out of my comfort zone) – This overlaps a bit with my attitude and getting over myself.  If I’m going to surround Couragemyself with positive people, I better open my mouth more and make my voice be heard.  Getting comfortable with uncomfortable will be one of my new mantras from here on out.  I lived in my comfort zone far too long and it got me nowhere fast.

3.  Less thinking; more doing– Oh, the thoughts that ran through my head about the things I was going to do and how I was going to do them.  I had so many great plans and continued to think and think and think.  I spent more time thinking about things instead of actually getting out there and DOING them (going back to that whole comfort zone area –  nowhere fast.)

I’ve already taken action and it feels so good.  The start stopped me quite a bit, but not anymore.  It’s go time.  Watch out world, you better be ready for me, ’cause I’m comin.’

Out With the Old; In With the New – Making Changes in 2015

It’s January 1, 2015.  Wait a secFeatured imageond, where did 2014 go?  Talk about gone in a blink of an eye.

So, it’s the first day of a new year, and as always, many of us will be making “resolutions;” vowing to be better, do more, change our habits.  What is it about the new year that gets so many people wound up about change?  What makes today different from yesterday, 2 days ago or even 2 years ago?  You hear it all the time:

“I’m going to go to the gym more and get rid of this extra weight.”

“I’m going to read more books.”

“I’m going to get out of debt and FINALLY rid myself of all this worry and be financially free.”

“I’m going to be a better person.”

And so on and so on.

Hey, I’m no different.  In fact, I’ve said all those things (and more) every year, and more often than not, by March, I’m back to my old habits.  It’s not that I’m a bad person or I suck at resolutions.  The fact is, I, and many others tend to lose focus.  I can’t speak for anyone else, but there are times when I get scared, lazy, act the fool and follow the crowd.  I know bchangeetter than that.  I know what I am supposed to do.  If I want a better life, to lose weight, to get out of debt, and all the other things on my list, I need to CHANGE!!!  That’s it and all there is to it.  If I continue to do the same things I did last year (and the year before,) I’m going to be in the same spot I was last year (and the year before, etc.)

So, what does it take to change?  It takes a driving force within me that’s so deep and profound that regardless of what’s going around me, I cannot stop!!!  It’s like the Nike slogan says, “Just do it!!!”  It certainly doesn’t take doing anything drastic.  By just taking small steps every day, I’ll be that much closer to tackling all the things on my list and moving forward.

It’s the start that stops us.

Take blogging, for example.  I love to write.  I think I’m pretty good with expressing myself though words.  Plus, I really, really enjoy writing.  Yet, time and time again, I will get into a blogging groove, then just stop.  It’s almost sad, when you think about it.  What is wrong with me?  Sometimes, I just need to smack myself in the head.

So, with this being a new day, and a new year, I am going to be that cliche and go for the change.  I am challenging myself to do the things I said I would do and put my best foot forward.  It’s going to be hard; I’m gonna wanna quit; some days I’m gonna cry and may even wanna smack somebody.  But I owe it to my family, my kids, MYSELF to do the things I set out to do.

What do I have to lose?  Nothing.

What do I have to gain?  EVERYTHING!!!

It starts now.  Onward to a better life and great things ahead.