How I Relax

We all have very stressful moments in our lives.  We may not have stress everyday or all the time, but we have it.  It’s okay to have stress, but it’s about how we deal with those stressful moments. Everyone should have a way to release their stress.  Of course we would prefer it not be in a violet way.  I want to share with you some of the ways I deal with stress.  Remember this is me, not you.  You need to find what works for you.

  1. Reading – This is always a great go to for me.  What I read varies depending on my mood and what has me stressed. Typically when I read I’m all the way in the book if the author did a good job.
  2. Write – Writing allows me to say exactly what and how I’m feeling.
  3. Play a game on my phone – Shunting that doesn’t require thought is always best. Leave my mind blank.
  4. Craft Projects – Too many to name here. It could be something with my cricut or just painting.
  5. Sleep – This should have been #1. Enough said.
  6. Call a friend – Having someone to talk is always a great help.
  7. DND – There’s moments when not talking to anyone is best. I’ll quickly put my phone on DND if necessary.

This is a few ways I personally deal with stress. Just remember we are all different and will need to deal with it accordingly. How do you deal with stress. How do you relax??

Product Review (Samsung S22 Ultra)

So I recently purchased the new Samsung S22 Ultra phone. Yes, before you say anything, I’m all android and Samsung has been my go to for years!! That being said here’s my latest review.

I upgraded from the Samsung Note 10+ to this phone after about three years. There are many things I like and don’t like about this phone. Some of the dislikes were surprising. Others don’t bother me as much. One of my favorite things is the fact that it’s very similar to my Note and has a SPen. That’s always a deal breaker if it doesn’t have one because of a lot of the business work I do on my phone.

Speaking of work, the cameras on the phone is amazing. It takes great pictures and videos. As a professional photographer I love how I can use a lot of the same features on my phone on my camera. While I wouldn’t sell those pictures, it does make some great photos for my personal collection as well as practice in general.

The phone is a touch bigger than the Note 10+, but that’s not a huge factor for me personally. What does bother me is how quickly the battery dies, and even more so if you’re using it. On the flip side, it charges just as quickly. Before you ask, yes, I checked my settings, brightness, apps and everything. So I know that wasn’t the issue. Being that I know work from home it’s not a HUGE deal, but it can be an inconvience.

I also hate the fact that it doesn’t come with an actual charger. That’s right ya’ll. No charger. It just so happens that my Note charger is the same size. Yay me. It comes with a USB-C to USB-C cable which can be used for charging, IF you already have an adaptor. If you do great. If not, get one when you get your phone. I guess this is the new thing because someone bought a new iPhone and it didn’t have a charger either. She had to go back out and get one. STORE REPS, please take in consideration of your customers and let them know when they are in the store shopping or ordering over the phone with you. This is important!

For me this last one isn’t as huge, but it can be and probably is to a lot of people. The Spen will not stay connected. Why does that matter? Simple, if you use the air functions with the SPen, and the pen is disconnected, you won’t be able to those functions. It’s a lot of cool things the SPen can do, but it has be connected. Who really has time to keep reconnecting it when you JUST took it out? Fix it.

Overall rating: Decent phone, not as good as the Note’s but it’ll work. ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2

A Them Problem

Yes, that’s what I said. That’s a them problem. So, I love to see people happy and have happy successful lives. Whatever your definition of success is, be happy. Being happy does not include tearing others down because you’re “happy” now. It means being genuinely happy about where you are in life. If you are not happy, do something about it and FIX it.

When I was younger I use to try to be a people pleaser. I use to think it was my fault when things didn’t work out. Like life, some ended quicker than others. One thing that I realized very quickly is the fact that it wasn’t all me. A lot of times it was them or the fact that we had no chemistry. More recently, let’s say the last 10 years, give or take, I’ve come to another conclusion. The last three years confirmed it. How so?

At this point I know what I want and what I’m looking for. The golden standard for me has risen greatly since I’ve left high school. I learned not to blame myself because they didn’t reach the mark. I’ve also learned not blame them when he wasn’t interested. I understand I’m not perfect, but this epiphany and realization is very clear. This isn’t a Mashawn problem. This is a Them problem. My standards are mine and there is no reason to lower them. Not at all. If it’s not what I want, then it’s not what I want. If you’ve been around long enough you have probably heard me say many times that there are things you can compromise with and others you can not compromise. That’s okay. What do I mean? I love tall fellas, at least 6ft. However, that can be compromised. While on the other hand, I don’t do smokers. This not comprisable. If you have things you can’t and will not compromise, guess what? That’s a THEM problem. Not a you problem. Or in my case, not a Mashawn Problem.

I was told I was acting angry or bitter. I promise you this, I’m not angry or bitter. Back in my 20’s you might have been able to say that. Now, nope, not at all. You have to care to get there. I know that sounds harsh, but when you show me who you really are, I believe it until you give me a reason not to. When you show me you’re selfish and self centered, I take that at face value and don’t add any more to it. I saw a TikTok a few months ago and all I could say is, “yes, finally some one who gets it!” The TikTok pretty much said that you don’t get involved with “POTENTIAL” you get involved with “NOW”. So If I want you, I like you for who you are now and not what you can be. Having potential and goals is good, very good, but what I see today will be the deciding factor. So, no, I’m not angry or bitter. Maybe a bit humored that you may think you/they garner that reaction. Other than that I feel nothing. Why? Again that’s a Them problem, not a Mashawn problem.

Things may not always be perfect, but that’s okay because I’m happy. I’m happy about where I’m at now and the things I’m accomplishing now.

Some things you may not know about me

I’m sure some of you may not know me very well.  That’s okay, things may change and we end knowing each other well.  Some of you may THINK you know me well, but not so much.  Others, everything on this list may not be new to you because you actually do know me.  Either way, enjoy and learn a little about me. 

  • I hate disloyal people. If I call you my friend, trust and believe I’ll go to bat for you. Loose my trust and be disloyal, we are done on all levels.
  • I love a good book, but when I read I notice all the errors like an English teacher.
  • I’m the only one in my family that doesn’t need glasses. Just started using computer glasses, mainly for work.
  • I worked in an elementary school in high school.
  • I Love kids, but don’t want to have one. Thinking of adopting.
  • I was never a huge fan of dogs, until all my friend’s dogs started loving in me all the time.
  • I’m a true introvert through and through. I force myself to be semi social and show some extrovert qualities.  
  • I like going to school.  I could be a professional student if I was getting paid to go to school.  Let me see if that’s a job.  I’m just saying. 
  • I study best with the TV on.  I would have to be something I’ve seen or don’t care about, but I tend to retain information better.  I know, that’s backwards, but I’ve tested it.  My mind wanders if it’s quiet.  
  • I go to sleep with the TV playing a movie or a TV series I’ve already seen.  This gives me time to practice my listening skills as I fall asleep.  Yes, sometimes I’ll hear things and open my eyes and rewind because I never caught that before while watching it.
  • I love tracing my family history when time permits.  Between me and my sister we have made pretty good headway on our family tree, especially on my mom’s side. I may need to pick some elders brains on my dad’s side for a few more details.
  • I can’t watch snakes on TV in any form, EXCEPT, anaconda.  Weird I know.  I also know they are just as real as any other snake.  That’s a discussion for another day.
  • I try to read every day, even if it’s just one chapter.  I’m currently at 396 days straight on my kindle and 120 weeks.  I’ve also read 28 books this year.  My goal was only 25.  I supposed to be taking a break.  Might take a break the second half of the year.  I’ll still read, but will probably be some hard copy books here and there and at least one or two days on my kindle per week to keep my weekly streak alive and start a new goal and challenge in January 2023.
  • I still hand write and mail snail mail letters.  I like doing that because it makes it more personable.  Plus I like to handwrite. 
  • I have a very active imagination.  So when I read I see it all as if I’m watching a movie, but I’m typically reading a book or something very descriptive.  If the author/writer wrote it well I should be able to see the characters and picture their actions as I’m reading. 
  • I’ve NEVER been drunk before.  Tipsy, yes, drunk, no.  My friends have tried many times with many techniques over the years, but I wouldn’t let it happen.

Strengths & Weaknesses

As we go through life we learn and adapt. Our strengths and weakness change based on our focuses, goals and life in general. No one is perfect so we all have a set of both qualities. Of course some more than others. Today I want to share some of my strengths and weaknesses currently. They may change in a year or two, but for now, this is where I stand.

STRENGHTS:

  • Good Listener – I’ve always been told I listen attentively when some is speaking or a speaker is presenting. I find it disrespectful to not pay attention. Now if you are just rambling about the same drama in your life, THEN I’ll typically tune you out. So, don’t be suprised.
  • Creativty – I love using my creative side. I also love trying to new things. If it don’t work out, it just wasn’t for me. I love to make things and doing creative tasks and events. The more creative I can be, the better.
  • Don’t mind change – Change can be good, therefore I don’t mind most changes. After all, how do you know it won’t work until you try it. Most major companies don’t get to be where they are without change. If I’ve given it my honest try and it doesn’t seem to work out, I’ll then voice my opinion on the matter. When I do, I typically have a way to improve the situation as well.
  • Willing to try new things – For the most part, I don’t mind stepping outside the box and trying new stuff. Again, how will you know you don’t like it if you don’t try it. You have to have an open mind or you’ll get stuck in the same spot forever.
  • Great Planner – I’m pretty good at planning projects and events. It doesn’t matter if it’s work related, my business, or just for fun. The key to planning projects and events is to have the right people in the right places. Once you have that, you’re half way there. The other thing to have is an open mind and be willing to change some things if they are not working out.

WEAKNESSES

  • Facial Expression – This is something I’ve been working on forever. I think the first time I’ve really been told about this issue was back in 1998ish I believe. I’ve been working on this ever since then. Normally with me you know exactly what I’m thinking when you look at my face. I still have not successfully conquered that.
  • Consistency – Yes, I know, consistency is the key to being succuessful at anything you want to do. All I can say is that I’m still working on it. Just work with me on this one!
  • Sidetracked Easily – Boy oh boy, if this isn’t accurate. It doesn’t take much for me to get sidetracked, unless I’m reading. Not much can sidetrack me from a good book. Other than that, my mind tends to wander to other things rather quickly. This is espescially true if I’m working on some sort of creative project and the conversation and turn at the drop of a hat. I might have a touch of adult ADD. Who knows.
  • Unorganized – Maybe not in all aspects of my life, but enough to through some things out of whack. I’ve been working on that, especially with my businesses.
  • Get bored quickly – Again, maybe a touch of ADD comes in to play here. I do typically have a short attention span. It even gets shorter if I don’t like the task at hand. You can ask anyone that’s attened a book club meeting or one of the club members, a bad book, will take me FOREVER to finish.

Today I’ve shared with you five strengths and five weaknesses. Yes there are more of each, these are the ones that ranked high on the lists. Share with me your top strength and weakness.

Leadership 2

In part one of my leadership blog I discussed some great and amazing leaders I’ve worked with and for. This one will be a bit different.  I will be discussing  poor leadership actions and some basic results of the actions.  I will not name names, nor specific locations, Just the company.

We all know and have worked with poor leadership.  I hope you are not a poor leader yourself.  Then again, sometimes we may have qualities that we don’t realize we have that causes us to be poor leaders. There is hope though.  When we as individuals recognize these qualities and/or actions then we should do better and work on fixing those flaws in order to be better at what we do.  Notice I didn’t say perfect, but better. I have faith in each and everyone of you that you can improve and become a better leader.  Now on to the experiences.

While Wal-Mart gave me some great experiences, Wal-Mart also gave me a few of the worst mangers and leaders as well. Too be perfectly honest, they are equally poor examples of leadership.  No, are not from the same store.  However they had the same poor qualities.  Do I dislike them as a person, no, not really, but we wouldn’t really be friends either outside of work. 

One experience was just awful, and both of them (locations) had the same poor quality of starting drama.  How can you be a successful leader and thrive on having drama in you building.  This just boggles my mind til this day.  You can get so much more accomplished when your team gets along.  Plus, who really wants the added stress of diffusing an argument and other drama?  The aim should have been to have your team, your building get along.  Afterall, one of the ‘core values’ of Wal-Mart is “Respect for the Indvidual.”  That was not seen at all.

Another thing that I have seen a lot also falls into the “Respect for the Individual”. Yelling…Yep, I said it.  Yelling.  I mean yelling like you’re about to spank your child or something.  I get it.  We all get upset and we all get frustrated.  Truth be told, some of the people you work with or work under you can act like a child.  They just don’t listen sometimes.  I totally get it.  However, there is a way to handle things and a way not to handle it.  You give a direction, you ensure they know how to do it. It’s not complete or right, find out why and then take the necessary steps. It maybe reeducation, another solution, or even maybe a write up. BUT, there should never be yelling no matter how angry you are. There are no excuses.

This is just two of the examples that I have to share. Trust me, there are more, just from those two locations. However, this isn’t a post to complain about people and their lack of leadership skills. I wanted to take a moment to show how poor leadership exist and is in many places. It is possible to change your leadership skills for the better, especially if you want to grow in the company you’re in or even in another company. It’s all about understanding who are and you leading qualities. You must take an honest and true reflection of yourself. Then find someone you trust to hold you accountable. Each location I worked at I always had a team member where we discussed our goals and hold each other accountable for our progress. If you don’t see where you are making progress and the results are the same from your team, try having an open and honest dialogue with your team. Really listen and don’t be quick to take offense when they are giving feedback. Most importantly, DO NOT hold it against them or they won’t open up to you anymore. The second most important thing, or equally important, DO NOT betray their confidence. If they tell you something in confidence, don’t share it with EVERY ONE. That is also poor leadership. My favorite motto is treat them how you want them to treat you. It’s that simple. With practice and determination you can be an awesome leader.

Leadership Part 1

There are so many forms and levels of leadership, but they are not equal in quality. Many are in leadership roles to be true leaders, others more so for the power, title and money. Being a true leader involves more than just telling people what to do and writing them up. Before I go any further into this, please note the experiences I’ll share with you are from the companies I have personally worked for. Any other company will be nothing but hearsay. I am also not saying I was the perfect leader, like everyone, I have my faults and things to work on.

This part will be mainly geared towards examples of great leadership. Part 2 will focus on examples of poor leadership and how it could have been handled.

In all of my years of working I must say I have moved into a leadership role at some point. The company I’m currently with, Everise, I haven’t applied for too many leadership roles yet. It’s only been a year, so it’s still early. The major companies I’ve worked for are Wal-Mart, Burlington, McDonald’s and Verizon. When it comes to leadership, I do believe Verizon call center had the best leadership out of all of them. The reason I’m not there isn’t because of leadership.

The actual definition of leadership is “the action of leading a group of people or organization.” As stated before, there are many types of leaderships and many ways to lead. Leading is very different than bossing. When leading, you are helping strengthen and grow the ones you are leading to help reach a common goal. Bossing, you’re just telling them to do what needs to be done. This does not mean leaders are doing the work for them. It means they are doing more than telling. They are training, encouraging, guiding, offering constructive criticism, and helping find a workable solution. If necessary and when needed they offer a helping hand. This typically help boost moral and confidence among those you are leading. How do I know this? Experience.

I worked at a Wal-Mart store where the store manager and co-manager (titles they had at the time) actually led the store in that manner. It was great for so many reasons. I was just coming out of assistant manager training and it was just what I needed. Being in class is a lot different than being on the floor. I believe that helped shaped me into the manager I wanted to be. Was there some rocky patches? Sure. Did we always see eye to eye? No. Until this day, those were some of the best managers and leaders I’ve ever worked for, especially in retail.

Working at Verizon was a completely different. It was my first true call center experience. The job itself wasn’t my favorite. However, the management was was simply awesome. They cared about their staff and wanted to keep morale high. They did activities and had fun with their teams. The company was always giving out free useful promo items. They feed us too. Not just fast food and stuff, but also healthy food and snacks. The call center customers, lets say were just as bad as some of the retail customers I experienced at Wal-Mart. However the atmosphere the management provided made it a bit more manageable. For the most part anyway.

What I truly liked about these two different types of leaders I had was the fact that if there was a question, they answered it. If they didn’t know the answer, they helped you find the answer. If an answer was still unavailable, they helped find a solution to the problem. There were not many problems or situations that were left up in the air. If something was wrong, they spoke to you like an adult, in a civilized manner. It didn’t matter if it was on the floor or in the office, they were ALWAYS professional. These managers respected your time away from work so you always had a nice work/life balance, which made it not so bad when you went to work. Another thing that I always admired were the fact that they took not just you work experience into consideration, but also your hobbies.

I couldn’t always see it at the time, but when I look back now, I see how much of a difference it made. The morale was higher than other places and it also reminded me to take a personal interest in the ones that were under me as well as my team. Yes, everyone is expected to do a job they are getting paid for. However, there is nothing better than your team going above and beyond because they understand that your success is their success. Leading by example and with respect is what makes any business and/or team successful. This was a key factor I’ve learned from each of my work experiences.

Have you had a great leader recently? What made them great?

My Favorite TikTikoers

If you are on Tiktok then I’m sure you have your favorite people you follow for many different reasons. Today, I’ll share some of my favorites!

  • @grooveynannygranny
  • @khaby.lame
  • @ryzehendricksmusic
  • @chef_joely
  • @garyowencom
  • @buttonpoetry
  • @thevibewithky
  • @official_eudy
  • @mrhoward365
  • @hamiltonmusical

These have a wide range of content that typically makes me laugh or just thoughtful content. Who do you follow that others should check out?

Winter Olympics 2022

Figure Skating

I enjoy watching most parts of the Olympics,  but Figure Skating is my favorite.  All forms,  men’s and women’s figure skating.  This year had more drama than I ever recall happening.  Before I get started,  please understand this is not a political or a racial post.

Everything that happened on the final night can squarely be blamed on three groups of people. First,  Kamila Valieva, her family and her entire coaching staff. Second,  the Olympics committee. Third,  would be the media,  as always. 

We all understand to some degree the pressures of participating in competition.  Some on a higher level than others.  Still,  everyone understands the rules of drugs. It doesn’t matter your race or nationality. YOU KNOW. You also understand the consequences.  No Kamila was not the first,  and not the first representing Russia or ROC. No, Sha’Carri Richardson was not the first and I’m sure she won’t be the last either.  If you don’t know the rules to be an Olympian,  then you don’t deserve it. If you know it and do it anyway,  you don’t deserve it either. It’s that simple. 

I understand she’s 15. Guess what? She’s not the only 15 year old to ever participate in the Olympics,  and surely not figure skating.  So that excuse is a non excuse in my eyes.  Do we need to make a list?

Then they had the nerve to quote her mental health! Are you serious? Those falls she exhibited was not because she couldn’t do it (another topic), it was because we were in her head. The media was in her head. The looking down on her was in her head.  How is a 15 year old supposed to handle that when we,  yes myself included,  wanted her to lose? If you really wanted to protect her, she wouldn’t have been put in that situation.

The thing that made me mad the most was her selfish attitude.  I know the team staff was to blame for babying her. Yet here is her teammate who you’re supposed to be close to, winning the gold and standing by herself,  alone for a long while. Why? Because she fell and didn’t medal? Then you’re okay with participating and trying to medal which in turn not only dim the Olympics as a whole,  but your fellow teammates wouldn’t get a medal ceremony. You would have been okay with that? Again,  selfish.  And again, I put that blame on her family and training team.

There’s so much wrong with the staff.  Even though I didn’t want her to win,  the harsh treatment right after coming off the ice was ridiculous. Again all of this could have been avoided to begin with.

Even today we see news about athletes being stripped of their medals from the summer Tokyo events. Help me understand what makes this privileged Olympian, want to be medalist is so much different from all the others before her? Why does she not need to live up to the standards of everyone else? How much money were you paid to overturn that suspension?

No, I’m not an Olympian, nor have I ever desired to be one.  What I understand is sports, sportsmanship and how to follow rules. It’s that simple.  Follow the rules or don’t participate.  If don’t follow the rules,  you suffer the consequences.  Most of us are taught that at a young age. Like toddler age. Am I glad she fell? No. Am I glad she didn’t win? Yes. Suck it up.