All Articles Tagged "lessons learned"
There’s something about going home that is so…interesting. Like a study in human nature, social interaction, annoyance and nostalgia all wrapped up in one. On the one hand, you know what to expect from your surroundings, your family and your close friends; but inevitably something goes down that just… catches you a bit off guard. And that’s what happened to me.
I like to think I learned something about myself, this past Friday. My dad, sister and I all needed to do some last minute Christmas shopping, some more than others, and decided to ride out to the mall after we were finished working. Now, I should note that this mall is the mall where I’m from and being that it was less than a week away from Christmas, I knew I was going to see at least one person I knew from childhood, high school, church, or something. So I made sure to put a little make up on, so my fear of being cast off as a has been that never quite was didn’t come true. I dressed with the intention of having to speak to at least one person. Casual, so as to not look like I was trying too hard; but still cute, so I wouldn’t look like I had let myself go.
As my father, sister and I entered the mall and quickly went our separate ways, I was looking for people just as much as I was looking for merchandise. And sure enough, it didn’t take long before I saw her.
Peaches was my best friend in 3rd grade. We spent practically all of our free time together. Peaches would ride the bus home with my sister and I after school and chill at our house until her mother came to pick her up. We spent almost everyday of the summer together, making up songs and plays, dancing around the house and talking about who we wanted to be when we grew up. We both could not wait to grow up. Little did I know, the whole growing up business would come much sooner for one of us. By the time we were in fifth grade, Peaches and I were clearly drifting apart. Though it wasn’t anything that happened overnight, we were changing into girls that had less and less in common. While I was always a bit boy crazy in my thoughts, Peaches was ready to take the next step and turn said thoughts into actions. She was dressing differently, learning how to flirt and focusing less and less on something that we once both valued, our school work.
Eventually, there were a few events that would let me know that Peaches and I weren’t going to be the type of childhood friends who grow old together. In fifth grade, Peaches convinced me to show up late to class so we could go see a couple of boys we liked on the other side of the school. Keep in mind, this was fifth grade, when children have to be accounted for at all times; not junior high or high school when you have a bit more freedom. When I finally came back to my classroom, my teacher was shocked, disappointed and maybe even a bit angry. School was important to me, so I wasn’t accustomed to getting in trouble, especially over something as stupid as going to see a boy. My teacher told me, flat out, and then again in front of my mother, that I’d have to make some tough decisions about the people I was going to keep in my life and how I was going to allow their presence to positively or negatively affect me. My mother assured her, that I’d figure it out.
Moms has a great track record of being right.
The very next year in sixth grade I wrote Peaches off after she asked me to show her my answers from some homework worksheet she had neglected to finish. Now, maybe if I knew less about her intelligence or if she had used the word “help” instead of “give” then I might not have declined; but since I did and we were already on the verge of a break anyway, I said no and that was pretty much the last time we spoke.
You might have thought that would have been the last I ever heard of her; but just because we were no longer communicating face to face didn’t mean she didn’t send random friends to relay messages. In 7th grade, when an 8th grader just so happened to like me, she sent one of her friends to tell me that this guy had actually liked her first. I guess to make me think I was second choice.
Needless to say we have a bit of a sorted history.
So when I saw Peaches at the mall, all the feelings associated with all those mini fallouts came back to my remembrance and I made the snap decision, since she didn’t see me, not to call her name and speak to her. Instead, I looked to see how she had changed over the years, turned before she could see my face and walked away.
For a while after, I wrestled with my decision not to speak to her. Was it fake? Definitely. Was it rude? Probably. Should I have spoken? Probably not.
Then like five minutes later, I called my sister to tell her what happened. Turns out, she saw Peaches too and, unlike me, decided to speak. The conversation was short and bland. How are you? Good. How’s your mom? Good. How are your parents and sister? Good. Good. Good.
It wasn’t until my sister replayed the whole interaction, that I realized not speaking might not have been so bad after all. What really would have been accomplished by the conversation? Would we have learned anything new about each other, mended our old relationship? Probably not. The whole thing would have been fake and honestly unnecessary.
The second season of Shonda Rhimes’s latest hit show Scandal is generating all kinds of buzz, and that’s largely because of Kerry Washington’s excellent portrayal of the commanding and capable crisis manager, Olivia Pope. Every Thursday, we watch in awe as our beloved heroine make moves and power plays among Washington’s elite. She’s smart, she’s fierce and she’s always impeccably dressed. We love her. We want to be like her. Here is a list of valuable lessons we can learn from Olivia Pope.
Keep Your Friends (and Enemies) Close.
It long has been said that you should keep your friends close and your enemies closer. No doubt Olivia Pope has mastered that. Many times she finds herself on the one side of a scandal, while U.S. Attorney David Rosen is on the other side determined to bring about justice. Olivia is not afraid to convince him to call off the dog, or use her influence to through David off the trail. However, Olivia knows she has to keep him close so she will always gets what she needs.
Say It and Mean It.
The way Olivia Pope seems so sure of herself, you could hardly imagine her fretting over what she’s going to wear every day. She does everything on purpose. When Olivia negotiates with her clients, she doesn’t waiver, she puts reality on the table and tells them what she’s going to do. Olivia Pope takes her promises, threats and decisions seriously, and so does everyone around her. Even when Fitz begged Olivia to keep their affair going, when she hung up the phone, he got the message loud and clear. The next time you find yourself in a situation when you have to make a difficult decision, be like Olivia. Say it, mean it and own it.
Don’t Tip Your Hand…Unless It’s Absolutely Necessary.
Remember when Olivia Pope hired Quinn Perkins? No one knew why, not even Harrison who was sent out to “recruit” her. Even toward the end of Season 1 when Quinn’s real identity was called in to question, Olivia didn’t reveal the truth. She kept Quinn’s secret safe until she felt it was absolutely necessary to tell the rest of the associates. Olivia shows us how we don’t have to put our business out there, but when we do, it should be for a very good reason.
Lead, Don’t Follow.
It’s easy to imagine a young Olivia Pope with pigtails holding things down as the line leader in grade school. She radiates “born leader” in everything she does. We watch her week after week breeze into her office giving rapid-fire orders to her associates, setting the day’s agenda and squashing any opposition. Leaders blaze their own paths. Leaders communicate their vision with clarity. Leaders don’t allow anyone to take over and run things, as they always maintain control of a situation. Olivia Pope as a crisis manager cannot afford to follow the leader. If we channel our inner Olivia Popes, neither will we.
Look the Part.
From the flawless hair to the jewelry to the fabulous jackets, power suits and handbags, Olivia always looks like she means business. When Olivia Pope walks into a room, everyone takes her seriously. Sure we love her clothes and her hair, but for Olivia Pope it’s part of her brand. She can go from the office to the courtroom to the White House, turning heads along the way. If you want the people around you to take you more seriously, take a page from Olivia Pope’s style manual.
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I am the youngest of a large rambunctious family and I have three older brothers. I think it’s a wonderful thing to grow up in a house where brothers are present. My brothers are significantly older than me and watching their maturation, or lack thereof at times, taught me so much about life in general and a boatload about “boys.” My brothers, especially the two youngest, were the handsome, life-of-the-party jocks of their crews. They were extremely popular with the ladies. As I witnessed a barrage of young women flock to and from our home as my brothers got older, I learned some really simple—yet important—lessons. These lessons didn’t reveal profound truths, but they provided nuggets of wisdom that I continue to remind myself of today. You know, sometimes it is so easy to forget that which you’ve already learned, but my interactions with men are always much simpler when I remember the things that I learned while watching my brothers. I offer these same lessons to you, not as new information, but as necessary reminders.
With Mother’s Day nearing and everyone taking the time to express there appreciation for their mom’s it’s only right that we take it a step further and think about who we are, what we represent and how we behave in the spirit of the woman who birthed us. Would our mother’s be proud of the man we’ve selected to share our life with? Would she be pleased on the examples we are setting for our daughters? Are we living up to the full potential we know our mothers have equipped us with? If you can’t say yes to any of these questions than I think it’s time to make a change and begin to honor thy mother.
You see Mother’s day is more than just a holiday in May when we have the chance to shower our mother’s with the best and tell her how much she means to us. It’s also about honoring your mother through exemplifying the lessons and jewels she instilled in you. We know our mother’s are always going to be there for us regardless if we are doing bad or good, but we also know if we want to make her happy and proud we must project the good she has taught us. Living by example is the best way to do that. I know we are all grown and have developed our own sense of self, but let’s not go into the world acting like mama raised a fool. Let’s not do anything that will embarrass our mother or shame our daughters.
So woman to woman, on this Mother’s Day let’s not only give thanks to our mami’s but live our lives in honor of her.
Want to talk to me Woman to Woman or have a topic you would like addressed? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on twitter @rashanahooks
When you were a kid, did you ever complain to your mother that your arms and legs hurt for no apparent reason and her response was always “It’s growing pains!”. Although painful, you secretly suffered with excitement that you were growing up and changing into a woman. While these physical changes may have occurred during our puberty years, there are still some ‘growing pains’ taking place well into our adult life. These changes may not be as easily felt and obvious as physical ones, but they certainly make a difference and change who we are.
As we mature there are a few things that inevitably grow and change right along with us. Mainly our priorities, wants and needs, friendships, patience, opinions, schedules, dress sizes and etc…. hit the top of the change list. These life factors are just a few of the ‘pains’ we must endure as we juggle our other life ailments and complications all the while trying to make sense of what is happening to us. Even though I could probably create a laundry list full of changes that occur as we become grown women, I will share with you the top five for now….
I grew up in the ’90s during the golden age of the Black sitcom: Fresh Prince, The Cosby Show, Martin, Living Single, A Different World and the list goes on and on. You could see all kinds of Black faces and types on TV every night of the week. Over the years, the quantity and, in my opinion, the quality of our Black comedies have diminished. So, I like to reminisce on all the laughs I had and all the things I learned from my favorite Black sitcom characters. Here are just some of the them.
Do you remember this stuff?
Remember when you couldn’t escape J. Lo? Lord knows I do.
(Rohitbhargava.com) — Now that the Round of 16 is over and we are down to the final 8 teams that will be playing in the Quarterfinals of the World Cup – most of the marketing that has accompanied the games has been played out and it’s a good time to try and look for some lessons from the International phenomenon that is the World Cup. To help, here is my round up of 10 of the most interesting marketing campaigns from this World Cup as well as some marketing lessons that they offer…