Just Do You

Because we always have choices…

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Intentional Acts of Kindness

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on June 7, 2013

I was recently reminded about the big impact a small gesture can have on others. Often we take for granted the way our actions and words affect other people, particularly if you are in a position to be influential in an outcome for them. This is true for work, for home and with our friends. These are not the random acts of kindness that I ALWAYS encourage. These are intentional opportunities to do something good for someone you know.

act of kindness

If someone asks you to make a phone call for them, and you can do it and you have no concerns about the person who has asked this of you, then why not do it? What if they ask you to send an email or write a letter? Sometimes it is as simple as remembering an important event in their life. Yes, some of us cheat with that one. With Facebook, Google calendar and all other kinds of constant reminders that someone has a birthday, anniversary, or other event in their life, it is difficult to miss an opportunity to say or do something thoughtful.

These small actions have an impact on how people feel about you, how they perceive you and how they will respond to you when you make a request of them. I am not suggesting you do it because you will get something out of it. I am suggesting that if you open yourself up to being good to others that you are then putting positive energy out to the world. If you believe in karma, this is a good thing.

One other important note, your actions should come from a genuine place or that will also show through. So why not take time to do something good today? Need a suggestion? I have a friend who often shows up for coffee or a lunch date with me with a small gift (thanks JM), something that told me she thought about me before coming to hang out. It is random and it is nice. Another suggestion is to keep a box of greeting cards/note cards handy and forever stamps. Send snail mail notes of hello, congratulations, birthday etc. This is something we don’t do nearly enough. How many of us smile when we get a card in the mail?

Anyway, I don’t have the answer, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?


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Diversity Matters, Bravo Cheerios & Wake Up Ad Industry

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on June 1, 2013

Some of you may have seen the new Cheerios commercial that features a beautiful family talking about the heart healthy quality of the cereal. It is a total feel-good commercial, right up there with the mushy commercials that make me misty-eyed.

Here is the clip from YouTube:

Is there anything that stands out about this commercial? It is a scene that is familiar to me, so at first, no, nothing in particular stood out. But then, this is not everyone’s “normal”. It seemed perfectly natural to me that a brown child have parents who are two different races. My parents have an interracial marriage, my mother being White and my father being Puerto Rican with tan skin. My children have me and their father who is a different race from me and both of my parents.

Has anyone read the 2010 census? Have they looked at the numbers of families/individuals who identify as multi-racial? Well, someone at Cheerios did. BRAVO to the ad team that presented this idea to Cheerios and BRAVO to Cheerios for embracing it, airing it and standing up to the backlash of racist feedback that resulted.

The ad industry is finally venturing into the real world where families look…well, like this family and lots of variations of races. I couldn’t bring myself to read the comments. I didn’t want to give my energy to the bad behavior. So I am giving my energy to the good behavior. I will put my money where my mind, and my family are…I am going to BUY MORE Cheerios and other General Mills Products. I am going to campaign for others to do the same. To show businesses that people do care about how they are portrayed, they do care about responsible and healthy representations of reality. Diversity matters. Embracing diversity matters and it DOES have a positive impact on your bottom line when you are responsive to the community you serve…to your clients.

I only have so many dollars to spend, but spend them I will, on products and services that are responsible and responsive. I am not saying we have arrived. As someone on a Facebook post wrote, we will know we have made progress when you have an interracial, same sex couple with a child of a different race from either of them…possibly with a disability? This is the real world. Families do not look the same. If you want to appeal to us, represent us.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Choices | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

It’s Not Personal…

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on March 23, 2013

Do you ever struggle with giving someone feedback about their performance at work? I am talking about someone on your team that you are responsible for supervising, leading, managing, etc? What is it that makes it so challenging to just say it? Who are you helping by not giving the feedback? And who are you hurting?

Sometimes, we get in our own way because we make it personal. I am not saying that you should be impersonal, in fact some of my favorite direct supervisors have been my favorites because they seem to care on a personal level.

That said, I also appreciate honest feedback delivered with consideration. The more direct, the better it is to digest. If I could be better at something or if I have overstepped, I would want to know. Not knowing means I will repeat the pattern of behavior that could get in the way of my moving forward. If I am being careless or reckless, then chances are, I know that too. It’s possible I thought no one was noticing and I was sliding.

Having been in a position to give feedback to others in a variety of roles, I can say it gets easier over time, especially when you realize that you are helping the other person have a chance at being more successful in their role. It also helps your team be more successful. It sometimes feels hard to give the feedback because you don’t want to offend the person, hurt their feelings, have them be mad at you, have them talk bad about you, have them argue with you, and the list goes on.

When you get in this place, remember, it’s not personal. In fact, giving the feedback could be helpful to you both.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

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Importance of a Filter…

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on March 4, 2013

There is nothing like a good cup of coffee.  Whether you buy Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, it would just not taste the same if it came with the grains swirling around in your cup.  Thank goodness for the invention of the F-I-L-T-E-R.  We like our cleaned up version better.  It makes it easier to swallow.  

It’s no different than the way we would like to receive feedback, particularly when it is critical in nature. I’m not kidding…most of us have “foot-in-mouth” disease.  Even when we spend the time to think about what we say, our filter is often broken.  It doesn’t mean that we are not articulate, smart individuals.  It might mean that we are too close to a situation to be objective even when we think we are.

This holds true for emails, letters and voicemails.  This applies to our professional and personal communications …
This is a lot like the advice yo get to sit on an email before you send it for at least a day, particularly if you are upset. The next day may change the way you see the situation as well as your words. The difference is that someone who is not affected directly by your feedback can give you a perspective on how it sounds to make sure that it is the message you want to send.

The point is that a lot of our bad communications come from an emotional place.  It can be anger, frustration, sadness, fear, and even happiness.  We are so caught up in our feelings that we often cannot filter well for ourselves.  Present company included in the need for a filter.

I recommend that you find someone you trust with your emotions that is also good with words.  Someone who can help you boil down to what your point is and what you are trying to accomplish with the communication.  While letting someone know how you feel about something they have done may be satisfying in the moment, it may only be self-serving and in the long run can come back like a Boomerang and knock you down.  It is particularly tricky in situations when you are communicating with a person who has power over you, like an employer, a professor, an official, etc.  Upsetting someone who will evaluate your performance in any situation and then reward or punish you through grades, compensation or recognition could be a big deal and have a significant impact.  So with a filter, you have a chance of turning something around and make it work for you.

Any of you have situations like this that you care to share?

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts.  Won’t you share yours?

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Pep Talk

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on February 3, 2013

From the mouths of babes comes some of the best stuff.

Check out this video on YouTube:

Pass it on…

Posted in Inspirational, Motivational | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Straight Talk Is Not Rude

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on January 10, 2013

Would you ever go to the store to buy something specific, get to the register and let the cashier charge you for the item but give you something different? Probably not. Likely you would insist that you were there to purchase the specific item, and not half of the item or some replacement of their choosing. In other words, you are able to clearly advocate for yourself. If the cashier refuses to comply, you could simply walk away without making the purchase. It’s not emotional, it’s business.

How often do you do business with someone who does not produce what you contracted them to produce? Sometimes you have a relationship with them – like they are a friend, neighbor, someone you go to church with, etc., and that relationship gets in the way of your ability to be direct with them. Sometimes someone offers to do something for free and doesn’t produce, how do you address that? It’s truly very sensitive…but get over it. Business is business and in making your agreement, both walked into the arrangement with an understanding.

Being transparent and direct is important so that people know where they stand and where you stand. If you are feeling it and thinking it, but not saying it, the noise is present in your interactions with them and can create an uncomfortable dynamic for you, for them or for both of you. Sometimes it is a misunderstanding, and sometimes it is not. You won’t figure that out unless you address it.

It is important to not make a big production out of the straight talk, but be sincere in addressing it. Remember that anger and frustration are emotions and don’t have a place in the conversation. You put on your big girl or big boy pants and deal with it. You can then reduce your own stress levels and add clarity to the situation that allows you to make changes that you need. This could mean they step up or they step out, either way it allows you to move forward.

I learned to do this by watching other people that were good at it and seeing that the result was way more positive than I would have ever guessed AND that the recipient of the straight talk often responded just as matter-of-factly. People often respond to the energy YOU put out.

Do any readers have examples you would like to share?

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

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2013 Happiness Jar

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on January 2, 2013

I saw a great idea on Facebook and I thought I would try it. I am challenging you to join me. It’s called a “Happiness Jar” or you can call it whatever works for you. The idea is that you get an empty jar (or box if you prefer) and every time something good happens or you achieve a milestone, you write it down and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, you take out the notes and read them.

Life is filled with challenges and tragedy. We often put too much emphasis on only part of the story that makes us who we are. If we are going to do that, I would like to shift to putting an emphasis on the things that lift us up and give us hope.

Won’t you join me? Here is my jar… Feel free to share yours!

Christmas 2012 045

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Changes, Choices, Inspirational, Motivational, Self-Care, Self-Reflection | Leave a Comment »

Facebook Fiction – The Story of You

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on December 31, 2012

..or is it? I have seen many posts by FB friends lamenting the glorious, fabulous, blessed lives of others. Some even say how tired they are of hearing about everyone else’s perfect lives. Can everyone really be that happy all the time? What really goes on after the deliriously happy log off??? Real life happens.

I am not saying that it is not possible for people to be as happy as they portray online. But not everyone treats their online presence in the same way. For some it is the Newsletter for their life…they share only the highlights and only the things they really want people to know. I have talked with friends who have very strict rules about what they will or will not post. One of my own rules is that I NEVER EVER write anything about my ex. For other people the online presence is a way to “out” their ex or even current partner to the world. I have my reasons, and they have theirs.

My point is, the online presence is a snapshot of what the person wants you to see, some of it real and some of it fiction. It would be dangerous to compare your own real life to the snippets of life shared by others. Just because someone might share only the good and only the highlights, does not mean that they don’t have significant challenges or fight with their partners, or have heavy crap happening in their lives.

Facebook and other online tools are a way for people to connect with each other, and no more. It is not an unabridged autobiography of the lives of the people using them.

Chin up for 2013! Compare yourself to your own goals. Take steps closer to the ones you want to achieve. JUST DO YOU in 2013!

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Choices, Self-Reflection | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Perspective Can Be Joyful

Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on November 1, 2012

I recognize that changing the way you look at things doesn’t always fix the situation. That said, in some cases, it can make the difference between a good day and a bad day. I came across this quote on Twitter and now it is my new favorite: “The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster.” -Oscar Wilde

Hilarious and yet grounding. What a happy place he has found for himself. On the same day I saw an interview with Taylor Swift where she talked about not reading reviews or stories about her, good or bad. She talked about how hurtful it can be and dangerous to her self-esteem. It was important to her to develop her own perspective. There are always going to be people who love you and people who don’t. She is focusing on her quality of life. She welcomes the joy.

Perspective is a powerful thing. You can look at a situation and get angry and stay in that space. When you do, how many people want to be around you? How productive is it and how does it help you? Is it healing? You can look at a situation and laugh, or be understanding or even try to take a high road. Even when I am having tension with my hubby, I am sometimes able to diffuse it by laughing or by looking at the big picture. The small moments do matter, but not as much as the bigger picture.

If I can go through my days thinking the audience was a disaster and appreciate my contributions, I think I will be happier if a little delusional…whatever makes me joyful.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

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Posted by georgiannasaysjustdoyou on October 27, 2012

You are probably sick and tired of hearing people telling you to vote. I know I am tired of the attack ads that do nothing to help me chose a candidate, no matter which race or which candidate. They all do it. That doesn’t mean that we don’t still have a right and a responsibility to participate in choosing our representatives in government.

Top five excuses I have heard for folks not registering to vote or being registered and not voting:
1) They are all corrupt.
2) None of the candidates stand for anything I believe in.
3) They never do what they say anyway.
4) The system is rigged.
5) My vote doesn’t matter, X candidate is going to win anyway.

We can tell ourselves whatever we want. The reality is that each voice makes other voices louder or quieter. The more people who say what they want and demand it, the more that message gets heard, one person at a time. You do not have to be college educated, run in political circles or even have a job to participate in your own life. You are either at the table, making your voice heard, or you are on the table. Someone else will decide what is best for you. And you can be mad about it, but it will be your own doing.

Voting is one way to make a difference and sometimes that means choosing the lesser of the evils, or picking the one issue that means the most to you and making sure YOU at least count in that vote. Once the election is over, your role is not done. It doesn’t matter if the candidate you voted for wins or not. You have the right and access to write letters, make phone calls or show up at events and let the elected official know your needs and expectations.

It’s true, life will go on if you never vote and never make a phone call. And the freedoms and access you take for granted can and will disappear.

No matter who you plan to vote for, I urge you to show up and be heard. Participate and be a driving force in your own life. Do not let life happen to you.

I don’t have the answers, but I always have thoughts. Won’t you share yours?

Posted in Choices, Motivational | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »