Points to Ponder

Joan Marques - Ed.D., MBA.
Burbank, California

This is a compilation of the most essential messages from my recent articles, from patience as a virtue, to the perception of freedom as a target that is harder to achieve than many seem to think!

Patience is a virtue, especially when facing the everyday tackles of life. Therefore, once you made your choice to establish yourself in one location, go for it, even when things get a little tough. Don't forget the cumbersomeness of your previous environment, so that you start over-romanticizing it, and encounter the irresistible inner-desire to go back. Giving in to that impulse as soon as the slightest setback occurs will turn you into a yoyo, restlessly moving back and forth, and never obtaining peace of mind.

Failure is not just for losers. We all fail regularly. We just don't admit it, and part of the reason for that may be that the world has taught us not to see regular failures as such. They are generally accepted as the way to go: catching people making mistakes in order to show off on our skills; waiting for opportunities to prove their merit before jumping into them; following trends instead of setting them; focusing on our victory at the expense of another's loss; running a one-man show when others should be involved: these are all failures that we can correct. All we have to do is tuning into our spiritual awareness, and we shall be alerted.

Mentorism is an asset, so find yourself a mentor. And keep in mind, that he or she does not have to resemble you. In other words: women can (or maybe even should) have male mentors, and a minority member can have a non-minority mentor. Also, don't think that you, the mentee, are the only one benefiting from this relationship. The mentor will experience great advantages too, as a mentee is usually a devoted person who will make him- or herself available to-, and speak highly of the mentor. And what is better for one's reputation and self-esteem than a walking advertisement?

Nurture your emotional intelligence. So far it seems that every time the quality of our life progresses, our mentality regresses. At the same time that we develop our great inventions, we also cultivate master-skills in making each other's life impossible. Worse: we refuse to make the progress we obtain in one part of our planet available to other parts, thereby directly contradicting our religious teachings that we are all brothers and sisters, and that we should share with one another. The bare boned truth is, that we don't trust one another, and, sadly enough, have allowed our civilization to descend to a level where we don't have any reason to!

Scrutinize your behavior regularly. The leaders who will be most successful in modifying co-workers' behavior are the ones who don't mind modifying their own. These are the leaders that enhance the learning mentality in their workplace. They try to lay their hands on every release of knowledge, whether it's a seminar, a book, or a movie, and as lifelong learners, they inspire others to do the same.

Success is nothing more than doing what you like: executing your passion. So, do what you like most, and do it in a setting you feel comfortable with. If you can achieve that, you are successful. And happy! And if others call it selfish, that's fine.

Happiness is strongly linked to flexibility. When, for instance, two people are striving for a single, indivisible goal, the one who finally reaches it will be successful and happy. The other will then have to be flexible and redirect his or her focus onto something new. If one goal turns out to be unachievable, most of us fortunately have the suppleness to redefine our desire and go for the newly formulated goal.

There is no all-encompassing success formula for raising children Therefore, if you want to do a good job as a parent; the best way is to listen and to communicate. And to tell your children that you want to be their friend, but that you are their parent as well, and that they cannot expect the impossible from you, which would be: shrugging when they make the same mistakes over and over again. Yes, you will not turn your back upon your child under any circumstance, but the perspectives have to be set straight. Period.

The crab bucket mentality is very much alive. Everywhere: it is not just limited to larger environments, such as countries and cities, but it exists in work environments as well. An example? No matter how good your intentions are; if you leave your old environment, gain knowledge and experience, return as a changed person, and try to share the knowledge you gained with your old friends and relatives, they will have a hard time accepting it. People are generally more willing to accept instructions from strangers than from old acquaintances. Just make sure you are not one of the crabs…

Outsourcing is today's reality. Deal with it responsibly: invest in yourself. Learn as much as you can, and stay abreast of developments. Make yourself multi-applicable, and try to maintain more than one source of income. If you have the choice between a raise or training, choose for the latter. It will turn out to be a lucrative long-term investment in the organization called: You

Most of the lemons that life throws at us were initiated by our own choices. So, learning to make lemonade should be one of our basic skills. However, we should also develop the sensitivity and astuteness to first detect whether a lemon is really a lemon, or just looks like one: many opportunities disguise themselves as troubles at first sight. The art is to see through them.

Adhering to one single ideology is silly. Real success is only achievable when all mindsets are in harmony with each other. Spirituality in the workplace, for instance, is the very epitome of sprinkling a socialistic dust in a capitalistic environment: moderating competition, while enhancing cooperation; valuing individualism, while enhancing team performance; being unique, while feeling interconnected…

Hope is a powerful phenomenon that, no matter how often ridiculed, can never be discarded as insignificant. There are many emotions underlying, surrounding, and radiating from hope: attitude, action, success, endurance, patience, resilience, postiveness, risk-taking, goal setting, strategizing, and belief, to name a few. Hope is the driver behind our actions, the fuel in our pipes, the wind beneath our wings.

Freedom is only possible when you get rid of over sensitivity toward the actions of others. Remember: if you want to be free, you have to grant others the same. Suing left and right is no sign of freedom, but a concerning token of increasing mental, emotional, and spiritual captivity. It enhances fear within society, and it confines spontaneity to robotic levels. If we want to live and work pleasantly with each other, we will have to be willing to give and take. Otherwise, we are only fooling ourselves with our cries for more connection. For being connected means: opening yourself; being vulnerable; and risking the chance of being hurt.