Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Immoral Minority: President Obama to cut his vacation short in order to deal with "fiscal cliff." Right Wing unimpressed, accuse First Lady of wasting taxpayer money by staying.

The Immoral Minority: President Obama to cut his vacation short in order to deal with "fiscal cliff." Right Wing unimpressed, accuse First Lady of wasting taxpayer money by staying.

Falling off the #FiscalCliff

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff and Your Money Blueprint

Since the close of the 2012 presidential election, the media has beseiged us with doom and gloom surrounding the fiscal (FC) cliff [crisis?]. If you recall, I recorded an episode entitled, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? My thoughts and feelings about FC are heavily influenced by my learning experiences at the Millionaire Mind Intensive [2008 and 2010]. While the Executive and Legislative branches "duke-it-out" to a stalemate, potentially millions of Americans may see higher taxes as well as a potential loss of unemployment benefits. [Click on the HEADLINE link above to listen to the rest of my commentary...]

Friday, December 14, 2012

My Five Cents Worth on the Fiscal Cliff

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Pearl Harbor Day Texas Veteran Naval Salute to Doris Miller

Doris Miller -Medal of Honor Recipient
Petty Officer Doris Miller, USN
Medal of Honor Recipient
Pearl Harbor Day is celebrated in the United States of America on December 7th. Military historians would argue that the bombing of Pearl Harbor Naval Base [Hawaii], by the Japanese Imperial Government was the spark that ignited America's entry into World War II [WWII]. President [FDR] Roosevelt described December 7, 1941, as "a Day that will Live in Infamy!"

To be clear, the Pearl Harbor attack was a sucker punch; with response to the element of surprise, Petty Officer [Doris] Miller performed a military action that merited the awarding of the Medal of Honor (the military's highest combat award). Miller, a Negro seaman, was a cook [mess attendant] in the Navy galley. Petty Officer Miller was a Waco, Texas native.
On December 7, 1941, Miller awoke at 0600. After serving breakfast mess, he was collecting laundry when the first of nine torpedoes to hit the West Virginia was launched at 0757 by Lt. Commander Shigeharu Murata of the Japanese carrier Akagi. Miller headed for his battle station, an antiaircraft battery magazine amidship, only to discover that torpedo damage had destroyed it. Miller fired the gun until he ran out of ammo, when he was ordered by Lieutenant Claude V. Ricketts along with Lt. White and Chief Signalman A.A. Siewart to help Miller carry the Captain up to the navigation bridge out of the thick oily smoke generated by the many fires on and around the ship. Bennion was only partially conscious at this point and died soon after. Japanese aircraft eventually dropped two armor-piercing bombs through the deck of the battleship and launched five 18 in (460 mm) aircraft torpedoes into her port side. When the attack finally lessened, Lt. White ordered Miller to help move injured sailors through oil and water to the quarterdeck, thereby "unquestionably saving the lives of a number of people who might otherwise have been lost." Heavily damaged by the bombs, torpedoes and following explosions, the crew prevented the ship from capsizing by counter-flooding a number of compartments, and the West Virginia sank to the harbor bottom as her crew—including Miller—abandoned ship. [Source, Wikipedia]
Navy Officer Doris Miller (1941)

Doris Miller's legacy

Miller survived the Pearl Harbor attack; he did not survive the war. He perished aboard ship...a result of a Japanese submarine torpedo attack. Petty Officer [P.O.] Miller's naval service is a testament to duty, honor, and country. He did not accept the reality that Negroes [Blacks/African-Americans] were part of a separate yet equal era...military forces were not integrated at that time. Yet today, America's Military exemplifies, epitomizes, and encourages affirmative action and diversity of forces. Transcending race, our military sees women, minorities, and orientation as characteristics rather than as identifiers.

The Doris Miller legacy speaks clearly to me. His legacy reminds me of the overcoming of micro and macro challenges. Personal challenges, career challenges, economic challenges -- and yes, National and Geopolitical challenges. How could a "lowly cook" become a war hero and a Medal of Honor (MOH) awardee? Perhaps the answer lies within interpretation. A "lowly cook" has a responsibility higher than that of a general [flag officer] officer. Miller provided bodily nourishment to the naval forces via his service as a cook. Miller's service as a cook transcended that [mis]perceived lowliness (as a cook).

Could it be that Miller was a Navy Cook with a MOH mentality? Or perhaps a MOH hero bodily-amoured as a Navy Cook? I don't believe that P.O. Miller focused on the role-splitting...he simply did-what-he-had-to-do. Whether it was frying eggs...or shooting down Japanese warplanes. Miller did what he had to do.

How will you remember Pearl Harbor day [this year]? Will Doris Miller occupy an area of your thoughts? Will you appreciate the sacrifice of this country's war Veteran (or war veterans of any country)? May I make a simple suggestion to you? Just be the best that you are...and after that, take one additional step of greatness. Greatness equals Service...Serving Others; that's what Doris Miller was. He was a Great Servant!


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Celebrating Thanksgiving with Native Americans

Eagle Point Group of Texas
I celebrated Thanksgiving (2012) with Native Americans, U.S. Army Service members, and fellow Veterans during a Native American/Alaskan Native Heritage Observance ceremony at Fort Hood, TX. It wasn't my primary choice to celebrate Thanksgiving in tandem with a diversity celebration, yet my focus changed once I was seated and in attendance for the 10:00 am ceremony.

What I lost sight of--was the fact that Thanksgiving was first established and shared with the English Settlers from the Old World. It was the Indian that saved the remnants of the early colonists; they blessed us with perhaps the most relevant commemorative holiday short of either Christmas, Easter, or the Presidential elections. I found that I knew very little about Native American heritage. For instance, John Woo's 2002 film Wind Talkers (starring Nicholas Cage) was an actual portrayal of the contribution of Native American (Navajo) Soldiers --their use of tribal languages--to encode military intelligence that was unable to be deciphered by Hitler's Nazi officers.

History of Native American Heritage Commemoration

Presidential Proclamation
 of Native American Heritage
Dr. Arthur Parker, a Seneca Indian, persuaded the Boy Scouts of America to adopt a First Americans Day; Congress and President Coolidge [officially] followed suit on September 28, 1915 [some three years later]. Fast forward to 1990--President George Herbert Bush designated November as Native American Heritage Month. 

Today, President Barack Obama proclaimed November 23, 2012 as Native American Heritage Day. The President has acknowledged the longstanding legal claims, of the American Indian, against the United States. He supports the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
In partnership with tribal nations, my Administration has addressed injustices and built new avenues of opportunity for American Indians and Alaskan Natives. As we celebrate National Native American Heritage Month, let us move forward in the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual trust, confident that our challenges can be met and that our shared future is bright.
As we practice our annual ritual of giving thanks, let us also adopt an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude for our Creator and our creation. The ULTIMATE sacrifice of our Military [as well as the service of Veterans]. The blessings of family and friends. Meaningful employment; thriving businesses...surviving tragic consequences of natural disasters. And let us remember our Native American Brothers and Sisters for their great gift...

The Gift of Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

This Too will Pass

This Too will Pass
Today is full of stressful and awful news. Scandals related to the military, national security, and all things Washington, D.C. But know this: This too will pass!

Listening & viewing to CNN this week, I was inundated with negative news, political scandals/infighting, and an attack(s) upon the Institution of Family.


Dealing with the Storms of Life

In previous weeks, I blogged about the 2012 Presidential election, Honoring Veterans, and Money management for the Military. One recent area of interest was the FRANKENSTORM of NY/NJ. Talking about storms...it goes without saying.

As I've watched the images and ravages of Hurricane Sandy on television, the faces of the affected residents struck me in a very profound way. One would expect utter despair...but no, I saw hope and optimism. Not one, not two, not three...but multiple citizens emphasized Resilience. Hardiness and toughness and grace.


Personally, I can't offer any sageness of words or magic blue pill bullets for overcoming adversity. Really, it's a question of how long can you or I hold on. One prescriptive recipe that has helped me to weather the storms of life, is the 23rd Psalm.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What the 2012 Presidential Election means for Veterans

Honoring American Veterans
What does 2012 Presidential Election outcome mean for Veterans? During the campaign, Governor Romney suggested that the Pentagon was budget-cutting too deeply. The (reelected) President, Barack Obama, replied that the cutting were reviewed and approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Two opposing viewpoints, yet the fiscal budget became a hotbed issue for both sides. Here is what we know.

The economy moved to the forefront of the political landscape. In my opinion, this is a good thing for Vets. Why, because the unemployment rate for Veterans is above the national average. "Bayonets and Horses," said POTUS. A decade of war; at what cost?

Medical Treatment

The Department of Veterans Affairs' Healthcare services has the primary responsibility for Veteran medical care. These services include: health care information overview, prescription services, mental health services, and medical care (inpatient & outpatient). However, not all health care may be covered. Without being too specific, the VA uses an eligibility rating system for Veterans that is governed by Federal law. C-Span recently weighed in on this issue of Health care reform (aka ObamaCare), the election campaign, and Veteran call-in response(s). One Disabled Veterans responded that he was switching his vote to Mr. Obama because ObamaCare will cover certain medical conditions that were not part of his VA covered benefits.

Jobs

President Obama signed Executive Order 13518 - The Veterans Employment Initiative - in 2009. Rather than summarize the gist of the E.O., the first & second sections of the order are listed below.
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 301 of title 3 of the United States Code, I hereby order as follows:
Section 1Policy. Veterans have served and sacrificed in defense of our Nation. When they complete their service, we must do everything in our power to assist them in re-entering civilian life and finding employment. Government as well as private employers should play a prominent role in helping veterans who may be struggling to find jobs. As one of the Nation's leading employers, the Federal Government is in need of highly skilled individuals to meet agency staffing needs and to support mission objectives. Our veterans, who have benefited from training and development during their military service, possess a wide variety of skills and experiences, as well as the motivation for public service, that will help fulfill Federal agencies' staffing needs. It is therefore the policy of my Administration to enhance recruitment of and promote employment opportunities for veterans within the executive branch, consistent with merit system principles and veterans' preferences prescribed by law. The Federal Government will thereby help lead by example in promoting veterans' employment.
Sec2Council on Veterans Employment. There is hereby established an interagency Council on Veterans Employment (Council), to be co-chaired by the Secretaries of Labor and Veterans Affairs. The Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) shall serve as Vice Chair of the Council.  (a) Mission and Function of the Council. The Council shall:  (i) advise and assist the President and the Director of OPM in establishing a coordinated Government-wide effort to increase the number of veterans employed by the Federal Government by enhancing recruitment and training;  (ii) serve as a national forum for promoting veterans' employment opportunities in the executive branch; and  (iii) establish performance measures to assess the effectiveness of, and submit an annual report to the President on the status of, the Veterans Employment Initiative described in section 3 of this order. 

Financial Reform

Who recalls the 2009 U.S. economic meltdown. Housing foreclosures, small business failure, massive job losses, and bank insolvency. The theme that is most remember was "Too Big [Banks] to Fail!" We couldn't allow the big banks to go out of business...hence, the Great Bailout!

As a result, the President along with Congress, passed the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on July 21, 2010. A major component of this Act, was the creation of a Federal agency dedicated to the financial education and regulatory enforcement of issues related to the commerce of consumers. The agency created was the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The central mission of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is to make markets for consumer financial products and services work for Americans — whether they are applying for a mortgage, choosing among credit cards, or using any number of other consumer financial products.         
Moreover, The CFPB added a dedicated department, The Office of Servicemember Affairs, headed by Holly Petraeus. The OSA sees its consumer finance education efforts for Veterans as being smart about accessing your VA benefits, and the solution as:
Information and access to all your VA benefits are available online through the Department of Veterans Affairs. You can also obtain your Certificate of Eligibility for your VA Home Loan Guaranty through the eBenefits portal. All military personnel and veterans can register for access to a variety of information to assist in understanding all your benefits.
If you don’t register until after you separate from the Armed Services, you may need to visit a VA service location to validate your credentials before registering. If you register while you are serving, you can save a trip and keep the same account for life.

Bottom Line

Nations that neglect to honor, remember, and serve their Veterans (alive or dead) do a disservice to itself. Most U.S. Presidents realize this truth...perhaps because they serve and wear the title of Commander-in-Chief. One of the most famous Presidential quotes, regarding Veterans, is that of Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln said:
Abraham Lincoln: “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” 
This Veterans Day, honor a Vet by saying, "Thank You for Your Service!" 


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Obamacare v Romnesia

Obamacare v Romnesia --how does one decide? All the hype -- all the negative ads -- all of the fact-checking. Again, how does one decide?

If you thought that by reading this blog post, your decision would be any easier, you will be sadly disappointed. Today, there will be no discussion regarding the merits and advantages of endorsing one candidate over the other. No promotion of Democrat versus Republican versus Libertarian versus Independent versus...

This about the State of the Union

Our Nation has endured wars, protests, civil disobedience, and spilled blood in the pursuit of democracy. Whether a reference to the 1776 Revolutionary War of Independence to Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech; this Nation has endured. No doubt it will continue to endure...regardless of the 2012 Presidential election outcome.

My purpose is to persuade you to focus on the main thing. What is that? you ask. The privilege of voting. The Right to Vote!

Voting is an Honor

Ask any immigrant about the rights of citizenship. They will answer with their right to elect governing official via the power of voting. For many, this was not an inalienable right. Speak with Military War Veterans...listen to their stories of sacrifice. Survey world politics...

Of course, I could go on and on. But I won't! Simply, I want you to VOTE! for a candidate on the ballot on November 6th. That candidate(s) is a Sheriff, Judge, Constable, Mayor, Congresswoman, Senator. Have I left off any other significant political positions? Oh yeah, right...President of the United States of America.  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

3 Vet Tips for 2012 Veterans Day

Service to the Nation is the highest calling a citizen can offer. Our U.S. Veterans have answered this call...again and again. Veterans have answered the call-to-duty -- World War I & II; Korean & Vietnam Conflicts; Iraq Operations Desert Shield/Storm and Enduring Freedom. Our Vets are special...hats off to you on this 2012 Veterans Day!

Many of our Vets are struggling -- physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially. Last week, I blogged about my early years as a junior enlisted soldier (make sure click the link and download my free eBook). In light of this, I want to offer these 3 helpful tips.


Tip #1: Recognize Your Greatness


Sure, you've served; now, you're back home. Big Deal, right? Wrong! Yes, you're home...life goes on. yet, please realize that you are not the same - average - civilian that you were prior to enlisting [officer commissioning]. Many of you have performed duty and executed missions under the most adverse of conditions. Adverse weather -- adverse safety -- adverse isolation.

You have discovered that courage is not something that one is born with...it's earned after the fact. You've gone through the fire and come out on the other side. You have been changed -- Changed into Greatness!




Tip #2: Watch Your (Money) Back


Veterans...because of the enormous [well-earned] monetary (money) benefits that you command, you are vulnerable to money-loss pitfalls. Hear this: not all legitimate merchants and financial arrangements are geared to your advantage. Of course, we as Americans believe in capitalism and earning profits. Yet, the scales may be tipped against you. For instance, why should a Veteran pay a 32% interest rate on a signature loan?

Too many times, Vets must wait an extended time period in order to receive their benefit payments (G.I. Bill reimbursements, etc.). During the wait, our Veterans are approached via media advertisement or telephone solicitation to trade-in their deferred VA benefit so that they can receive an instant and immediate [private equity] benefit. In the end, the Veteran gets shortchanged.


Tip #3: Seek Support


No (Wo)Man is an island. There is no 'I' in the word Team. Hey Mister/Miz Vet; you were part of a team while serving on active duty. Now that you have separated and returned to civilian life, you are still a member of a vital team. Your team is the Community of Veterans. The main question here is: Who are the members of this "community"?

Your Vet community, in addition to other Veterans, are Uncle Sam [United States Government], Military Service Organizations (MSO), and State [Government] Veteran service agencies. Uncle Sam offers G.I. Bill benefits, Veterans Administration programs, and small business resources. MSOs [Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), American Legion, etc.] can educate you about program offerings that are not widely promoted or advertised. I strongly recommend joining one of these MSOs. State agencies will round out your mix of support by adding benefit programs that are state-funded.


The Bottom-line


Veterans: Recognize Your Greatness! This is your most important gift. By recognizing and paying homage to ourselves, we are able to tap into that tremendous inner strength and peace. After all, wasn't it that very same [greatness] energy that carried us through those Warrior challenges that we faced in the military.

 "Thank You for Your Service!"

Thursday, October 18, 2012

I Remember My Military Paycheck

My Early Years as a Junior Enlisted Single Soldier

Military Personal Finance
Military Personal Finance eBook, Andre V. Milteer, M.A.
Once upon a time, there existed a naïve 17 year old U.S. Army single soldier. Although
intelligent and full of promise, he was TERRIBLE with money. But he wasn’t alone…many single soldiers, sailors, and airmen shared a similar problem. Simply, personal financial management –are some military personnel doomed to spending failure? I think not!

As this soldier progressed along his military career, he received lots of help. His NCO support chain (non-commissioned officer) stepped in to provide leadership (wanted as well as unwanted). He also had a government-issued meal card. Meaning: after he spent all of his pay, the Army provided him three square meals per day.


Fast Forward to Year 2010

It has taken me +30 years to admit that I haven't always been the in-charge money manager that I am today. Across the board, the Military has wrestled with the question of why Junior Enlisted Soldiers, Sailors, Reservists, and Airmen struggle with personal finance management.

With a spirit of paying it forward, I wrote a small [free white paper] eBook about this subject. It's an easy read, yet I held back from mass marketing it. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.

To stretch my comfort zone, I'm going to share the 11 page eBook with you all. Certainly, this won't be seen as earth-shattering for you all...yet, this is HUGE for me. After (free) downloading and giving it a quick read, please post a comment here or post a comment on my Twitter or Facebook Fan page. Here is the link... Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Timing is Everything

Whether we whether we realize it or not, time has a great effect upon our success. Yes, time is only an estimate of measurement, yet can hold the key to success. That key is knowing when the [perfect] time is right.

It’s a fact that it takes nine months for a human fetus [baby] to grow to full maturity. This is no accident; because the gestation process involves a nine month period. The trimester time series of natural events must run its course – even though the mother desires for the baby to be born earlier. If this mother’s wish were to be granted (early arrival), it would be undeniable that the baby would be born premature. This imperfect of time (or timing) would then lead to medical complications…denying the baby to reach its fullest potential.


Universal Timing

And so it is with life.  Whatever we wish for -- our careers to blossom, the right time to purchase that perfect stock, or even the right time to speak up in a meeting. It’s all about timing! If we are too soon, then all will be wasted; too late, and the opportunity passes us by. Perhaps it’s no accident that our constitutional fathers of the United States ordained that a President could not be younger than 36 years of age before taking office.

So now you’re wondering: “When is your perfect time?” I’ve often wondered this myself; that’s why I’ve decided to engage in a short study of [the perfection and knowing] when the right time is about to occur for life events. To really get a grasp of this, I went back to the study of philosophy, religion, and world history. If we look back to the time of Napoleon, historians write that Napoleon would not have been able to be such a military success had it not been for the just-in-time patterns of the seas.

These waterways cooperated in such a way that his ships were in the right position for its battle strategic impact.  The same can be said for 20th century Battle of Normandy. Had it not been for a certain [time] alignment of moon, stars, and tidal water levels, the beaches would not have been able to be breached. Allied Forces Marines and Soldiers could not have launched an offensive from the beach. 


Now is the Time

Often, we as humans want everything to happen right away. We ask and demand with hope…praying for our dreams come to pass immediately. We then come to understand that everything occurs on his own time. We live in a pushbutton society. This pushbutton existence includes everything from instant potatoes to movies-on-demand. Newsflash: some things aren’t always intended to work with immediacy.

Consulting the writings and teachings of the Holy Bible, I see that many of the biblical writers and prophets actually talked about time in great detail. The Book of Solomon records, “there is a time for everything. A time of war, a time of peace; a time for love and a time for hate. Even the last book of the Bible, the Book of Revelation, is a book that is prophetic in nature -- yet refers to a time of the end of times.

The main thing to understand about time is that we only have a certain amount of time on this earth. As humans, we should cherish this time and not waste it because of the shortness of time [within the grand scheme of things]. Some things that we need to be aware of are that we should take responsibility for our life experiences. Also, remembering that there is a time to realize that we have to face our fears. We must face the realization that we are part of something that is bigger than us all.

The most important thing of all things [with regard to time] is to remember that we all have an appointment time…whether we realize it or not. Everything happens in its own time. If we were to take grapes and make grape juice, the fermentation process dictates the fact that there will be no wine before its time. Everything takes time.

Whether it’s looking for a new job, waiting for the medical diagnosis, or hoping for a cure. Everything happens [reveals itself] in an appointed time. If we relate this to a spiritual sense or a philosophical point of view, we come to realize that everything has or everything will occur within the universal time spectrum. Once we accept that everything happens at the set point of time and space, we can begin to relax and stay calm. We can work on our patience and know that we have the ability to wait for results within the grand scheme of things.  Waiting is actually part of the process of time -- in which we mature into human beings of greatness.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

All You Need is Love


All you need is love! The Beatles of the 1960's had a hit song entitled, all you need is love, love. How true that statement is. Love is often referred to as the universal language. Whether it’s spoken in Spanish with the word, Amor; or in French -- pronounced, Je 'taime,  love means everything.

But love has gotten a bad rap. The word love has become twisted. Love is often referred to as sex, or power, or even worse – dominance. Within spiritual circles, the universal God – the Almighty God –  is often referred to as love.

Referencing the holy Bible, love can be found in excess of 100 examples. Referencing the Book of Proverbs, it is written, ”For whom the Lord loves, he corrects, even as a [human] father corrects the son he delights..” Within the Mosaic law, Moses received the 10 Commandments from God atop of Mount Sinai. The first of the 10 Commandments is,” thou shalt love the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”


Love and Medical Science

Even today, medical doctors are beginning to see that love and the emotions of love have deep biochemical markers and effects upon the body. Today, it is widely accepted that persons that experience bitterness or negative emotions -- such as anger -- experience medical ailments that are often treated with prescription medications.

Within the practice of preventive medicine, patients are encouraged to work through their negative and distressing emotions in an attempt to eliminate the love-less emotions that trigger to these physical ailments. Thus, love does conquer all…at least as far as medical science is concerned.


What is Love?

Although love is often symbolized as softness, love can also hold its own. Love can be cruel. Love can be harsh. Love can be tough. This is not a contradiction of love, but simply all of the behaviors of love as is needed. Love is actually an energy of spiritual forces. Perhaps the most powerful spiritual force of all! Love's necessity to be harsh, tough, and cruel is related to the necessity for love – or rather the spirit of love – to be so.

Love is often associated with femininity. Yet love should also be associated with masculinity as well. Because love is neither feminine nor masculine. It is neither female nor male. Love is a spirit that is completely balanced. Therefore, the World goes around and around because of the energy and actions of both male as well as female beings [animal and human kingdoms]. Using a worldly view, males could not exist nor function without femininity; vice versa, females could not function or exist without masculinity. The universe requires the energy of both male and female influences.

In conclusion, love is the universal spirit that needs to be embraced for human existence to continue. As God loves; and as God is love  we as human beings are not to be loving beings. Rather, we are to embody beings of love. Why? Because as the Beatles said, ”all we need is love, love, love. Love is all that we need.”

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Real Reason Why Speaking could be Killing You

Do you talk, or speak, and converse? Of course you do. All human beings talk out loud...we are a world of conversationalists. But can talking be fatal to our health? Yes, it can...


It's All About the Words

The words that we speak are very powerful. As I've said before, thoughts leads to words leads to actions. James Allen wrote, As a Man Thinketh. Simple everyday expressions:
I'm gonna call out sick from work today; I don't feel like working.
I never get a break -- life doesn't smile on me.
Rich people are evil...they don't give a care about us little people.
Do any of the above expressions sound familiar? Even I have uttered one or more of these expressions from time to time. Because I (now) recognize the power of words, I'm very careful of my utterances.


Affirmations

An affirmation is a purposeful and vocal expression of an intention...spoken within the present tense. In the most literal sense, an affirmation means to affirm -- being firm. Some laugh at affirmations as a comical waste of time and energy. Others (mistakenly) see affirmations as machinations of magic, the supernatural, or even an act of blasphemous evil or dark powers. I disagree with this assessment.

For me, affirmations are acts of repetition. An exercise of personal mental trickery. Yes, I trick my brain. By speaking a positive phrase over and over, my brain -- rather, my subconscious mind -- begins to react biochemically. Neurons and neurotransmitters are secreted by our brains in response to mental stimuli that originates within our subconsciousness.

The reverse of an affirmation is a put-down. Many adults battle unconscious obstacles to success due to the messages that they received during their childhood. Parents, teachers, and/or authority figures have spoken mentally-crippling words to impressionable youth. You're never gonna be successful...I wish I never gave birth to you. Recall the article title, The Real Reason Why Speaking could be Killing You!

Join with me, now, to be aware of our words. What do I say to others? More importantly, what are the words that I repeat to myself? Thus, choose wise...choose life...choose power. Speak Greatly Always!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Only Man in a Killeen Texas Women in Business Seminar

Andre V. Milteer"The Encouragement Guy!"
Yesterday, I attended the 2012 Killeen (Texas) Women in Business Seminar. The event was low-cost, included lunch, and showcased 6 female businesswomen speakers. One of the speakers was BG Laura Richardson [first female assistant general officer of the Army's 1st Cavalry Division].

Much to my surprise, of the 200 [female] persons in attendance, I was the only male. After initially feeling like a fish-outta-water, I began to embrace my rare awkwardness. 'Wow, what an incredible opportunity I have here...all of these amazing professional and smart business females,' I said to myself.

There were 3 things that really jumped out at me from my 6 hours of seminar attendance. The first was that women are fiercely competitive -- in a covert way. The second: female business owners face inner as well as outer challenges that leads to... And third: Businesswomen Rule! Let's explore these 3 aspects of my seminar learning experiences.

Women are Fiercely Competitive -- Covertly. Men are aggressive. We [men] tell the World: This is Mine; I'm gonna; Winning is Everything! On the other hand, my lessons learned [from the 200 businesswomen] was that women quietly exercise their efforts and actions. They hear voices that, "You Can't!" Thus, they drive themselves to succeed. No shouting -- no bragging -- no wolf-ticket selling. Just getting it done. In a secret agent sorta way, businesswomen succeed. Call it what you want, but I call it Fierce Competitiveness.

Killeen CVB - Special Events Room

Second: Businesswomen hear voices -- naysayers -- inner and outer. You know the ones; they speak the universal language of nay, no, and cannot. "You Can[not]'t do That! Girl, You Crazy? Hell No [nay] you gonna lose your..." With all of the external naysaying, it is quite easy for the businesswoman to internalize these naysaying prophecies as real and/or true. To succeed in the face of these voices, the businesswoman must conquer these obstacles to begin her path to success.

Lastly, I learned that Businesswomen are great, creative, and thorough. In short, They Rule!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Surefire Cure for Anxiety without a Medical Prescription

Do you suffer from anxiety?

Does your heart race when you face a difficult challenge? Once upon a time, anxiety was just a normal part of daily life. Going back to caveman times, this was referred to as a fight or flight reflex. When dinosaurs were coming to attack us, we knew that we needed to get into flight mode lest we be eaten.

Maybe we were hungry; going out to attack an animal or some other dangerous [animal] source of food. As time went on, we began to see anxiety -- rather than natural reflex -- but seeing it as malady or something that was wrong with us. That old familiar feeling of sweaty palms and headaches and heart palpitations was just too much to bear. Some of us needed to seek medical attention via a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Perhaps we were prescribed some type of pill regimen. Yet the majority of us simply experienced a difficulty with coping with daily living activity. This normal difficulty with daily living became disguised as anxiety.
Eventually, anxiety became a disease. It found its way into the American Psychological Association’s diagnostic statistical manual [DSM-IV]. With various degrees of anxiety, every human being on the planet has suffered some form of anxiety from time to time. 

Anxiety is nothing more than a feeling. Our bodies and minds uses this anxious feeling to let us know that we need to produce a higher level of hormones or biochemical [adrenaline or some type of neurotransmitter uptake] to meet the needs of the situation or event. 

Anxiety has taken a life of its own. Today, television commercials suggest different types of medical prescriptions or treatments to combat this feeling or overactive emotions of anxiety. For the purposes of this article, I submit that anxiety is a natural phenomenon.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is nothing more than excessive or out-of-balanced heightened spirits. I did not say that this is abnormal, but that this is just a level of emotion. When our mood becomes low or blue, we become depressed. Anxiousness or depression, in and of itself, is a natural part of human existence. Once human behavior, as dictated by extreme anxiety or depression [mood disorder], goes out of balance, it takes on an abnormality or medical necessity.

Anxiousness can give us that desire or motivation to achieve our desired goals. This anxiousness will come or will manifest itself in the absence of grounded thinking. The brain or the mind will fill itself with solutions and practicalities in the absence of clear and concrete instructions. When we’re stuck in traffic and we were unable to find out the cause of the traffic jam, then our mind sends out anxious messages to our central nervous system (CNS). “We will be trapped in this traffic jam and may be late for dinner.”

Our anxiousness is often created by our own undoing. We can create anxious states or moods. This is referred to as jumping to conclusions. The mind wants order and concrete ideas and thoughts. It wants solutions -- in the absence of those solutions -- it will create solutions.  These floods of thoughts give rise to anxiousness or anxious thinking. I submit that anxiousness or anxiety is nothing more than faulty thinking.

How Come I can’t make it [anxiety] leave me alone?

Now we’ve established the roots of anxiety, we can begin to recognize it for what it is. Simply, anxiety within its cloak of faulty thinking, is a bad servant. In many times, we think that our thoughts are our masters. Yet, thoughts are servants. Thoughts are not ourselves but are our servants for practical solutions.

As a result of its inner circle of counsel, our own thoughts lead to feelings -- leads to actions -- leads to things. These things can become our masters or our friends or our servants. Faulty thinking does not serve us, therefore it is important to recognize it and see it for what it is. To accomplish this, we need to have a sense of detachment. We can form thoughtful detachment by adopting a helicopter-up approach.

We rise above ourselves and look down to analyze the different moving parts of these thought patterns. We can recognize the situation -- we can look at ourselves in the context of past, present and future -- and we can look at what’s feeding our humanness. By examining the thoughts through an impartial field of vision, we can determine if they [our thoughts] are our friend, our master, or our servants. We can even begin to analyze whether or not our thoughts are our enemies or foes.

As interesting, or as uninteresting this may be, we can now begin to understand the power that we have over our own anxiety and how this powerlessness is nothing more than the power we have given to the anxious state(s). Thus, anxious states are our own self-creation. Many thought leaders, psychologists, and philosophers have concluded that our destinies are a result of our own creative thoughts. Philosopher James Allen wrote, As a man thinketh, so is he. William James, Ph.D., wrote, We become as we think. Even Christ Jesus (as written in the New Testament) spoke, Be Ye Renewed, by the Transforming of your Mind!

The Permanent Cure!!!

To become anxiety-free, we must go back to the source and the center of this anxiety or anxious state. At its core, anxiousness is a manifestation of us. The smallest piece of this manifestation of anxiousness is our thoughts and mindfulness within any given moment. Yes, our mental images are the core of the anxiety issue.

What we need is a new mind. Notice that I said new mind rather than new brain. The question is, ‘how do we gain a new mind’? It requires a conversion…a converting to a state of mindlessness. Mindlessness is a single term to describe mental quietness. The quiet mind…one that is free of thoughts. To gain a quiet mind requires real work and practical commitment. Meditation make offer such a solution to achieve mindlessness.

An anxious mind or state can also be calmed and soothed via encouragement. An encouraging word fitly spoken is more precious than apples of gold (Solomon, Book of Ecclesiastes). Encouragement leads to hopeful thoughts in the face of a perceived fearful outcome. When faced with unease and/or anxiety, the solution [cure] is quite simple.

Empty the mind and [then] go quiet.

**Author’s note: This article is not meant to replace sound medical advisement from a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, and/or master social worker. Persons that have a diagnostic mood or social phobia disorder should first consult with their practitioner before adhering to the advice in this article.**

Monday, September 10, 2012

Does Positive Thinking Really Work?



I am a student of positive thinking. I first began my study of positive thinking about 10 years ago.  I was introduced to the power of positive thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Founder of Guidepost Foundation along with his wife, Ruth. I was most amazed to find that Dr. Peale, an ordained minister, spoke openly about self-actualization, positive thinking, and applying that concept to different situations.

So does positive thinking really work? I would say it depends on your ideas, expectations, and desired outcomes. First of all, positive thinking is not simply wishing, dreaming, and hoping that things will be better. Positive thinking is a systematic approach to examining all of the pieces of a problem and looking for solutions -- by concentrating on the most beneficial parts of the problem itself. Another way of looking at the problem is to poke along all of the areas of the hardball in order to find the soft spot.

In his book, the “Amazing Power of Positive Thinking”, Dr. Peale  gave numerous examples about people struggling with real problems and how they overcame their issues. Many of the people in  Peale’s book experienced issues of divorce, job loss, loss of a business, health issues, and loss of self-esteem. [almost every known problem that could be exhibited by human being]  Peale  wrote that: “as human beings on this planet, we can never expect to just have roses (of life) without thorns. Life itself is the training ground to help us to build endurance.”

The key to being a positive thinker is to focus on three strategies as simple keys to success. Keep in mind that success does not come quickly or overnight without a struggle. Dr.  Peale’s three keys are: 1) Trying, 2) Thinking, and 3) Believing. These three simple keys are part of the great solution to overcoming any problem. They are the foundations of positive thinking and having been an ordained minister, Dr. Peele always believed that all positive thinking should be anchored in a connection to a higher consciousness -- a higher thinking -- and in his mind, that “Higher” would be a connection to an Almighty God.

Dr. Peale  referenced the three keys as to try… Really Try! He said to think… Really Think! And to believe [which is perhaps the hardest]… Really Believe! Once we get to the third key – believing -- we have to know that what we hold true will actually happen. We have to ignore naysayers, do-gooders, and people who have our best intentions at heart. Positive Thinking is tapping into that of Almighty God and coming to that place where we come to a belief. Purified and tested, enduring is not a simple process. Some people believe that by simply clicking their heels and snapping their fingers [and thinking positively] that that is all that there is to positive thing.

To really exercise the power of positive thinking we all must apply its power by living it – as promoted by Norman Vincent  Peale  – rather than exercising the fallacy of wishful thinking and dreaming.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Why I Prefer to Always Be Positively Optimistic

Lately, I've been debating the benefits of being positive versus negative. It's often said that Optimistic people walk around with rose-colored glasses. On the other hand, realists are seen as naysayers.

Those of you that follow me, know that I preach encouragement--a spiritual word for optimism. Optimism--healthy optimism is beneficial for our mental health. Being negatively realistic is a downer; who wants to associated with a downer? Certainly not me.

I talk about the push/pull between being optimistic versus realism, this week, on my podcast radio episode. Click here to listen to the full audio version.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Deconstruction of the Letter D

We all know that Words have power. Did you know that Letters have power as well. The letter, 'D', is one of the most powerful letters...but in a negative way. Think about it! Here are some examples: disappointment, disillusionment, discouragement, depression, debt, divorce, disease...Get the picture?

I believe that things happen to us in the most simplest of ways. My results or situation is a manifestation of my actions. Now, let me ask: where are my actions born? Answer: My Thoughts...

Returning to ground zero, I'm attacking my negatives by launching this crusade against Letter   (=D ...

Join Andre the EncouragementGuy! as he picks apart the letter D and builds his case for eliminating the letter D from the English language alphabet system. Click here to listen to the rest of the story...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Big Fat Job Interview


Andre V Milteer, M.A.

This week, I had a once-in-a-lifetime job interview opportunity. Truly, this was my Big Chance to compete for my dream career. To make it happen, I used my [unpatented] 3Ps formula.

The basics of the formula is 1) Plan, 2) Prepare, and 3) Prayer. I recorded a [free] radio podcast about my panel [telephone] interview experience. Click here to listen in...

I hope that you enjoy, benefit, and learn from my words. May you enjoy both personal and career success/ ~Andre, M. aka The EncouragementGuy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Do Lawyers Rule the Universe?

I once thought that physicians ruled the world. Not so...it's the lawyers that are in charge. Why? Because they write, interpret, and administer the laws that govern our everyday life. 


Although a seemingly boring topic, this one area is one that all of us can plead ignorance...legal stuff ain't sexy. The EncouragementGuy! Podcast peels back the sheets on the ins and outs of the legal professional. And Why! you need to pay attention...


Click here to access the show--->



Saturday, June 2, 2012

3 Easy Lazy Ways to Job Search


What are the 3 or 4 Easy and Lazy Ways to Find a Job in the 21st Century? Job Boards (digital), Newspapers and Networking, Unemployment Office,Know Thyself. Are you looking for a job? Do you know someone that is looking for a job? I bet you know someone right now that is either between jobs and/or is looking for a job opening to change jobs. Maybe that person is actually you!
I happen to be an expert on this topic. Not because I have any advanced schooling or certifications, but because I have lived through job changes and job dismissals and job reinventions many--many times over the last few years. I am actually a magna cum laude graduate of the school of job-searching Hard Knocks. My purpose is to pass on some of the knowledge and experience that I’ve gained from this. Maybe I can help someone, that you know, with their job search journey.
A few years ago I started going through this job search process. I decided to record my thoughts and experiences via a website. That website is www.eResumes4Vips.com and it was there that I started not only creating content for the general public but also started to use my own advice. Many times I refer back to the website when it comes to questions of how-to-interview, what to wear or eat during an interview, and how to get my resume out there to people that I want to connect with.
What I found was that connecting and networking in the 21st century was nothing like what I went through in the in the 90s as well as in the 80s. It was a totally different animal. Sure, of course we’ve got job boards Monster.com, and CareerBuilder.com and all those other giant websites. But it’s almost harder than ever now, to touch or get intouch with people. In many cases not only are people busy but they also concerned about their own careers as well. Many people have insecurities and are afraid to even share their knowledge with others because they believe that by sharing that will deplete them of the resources that they need for continued success in their own careers. How silly and absurd…Right? I found this job board tip information via a podcast on iTunes. Their podcast is called CAREER TOOLS. They also have a free membership site, www.manager–tools.com and the people that run the show and the site is Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstmann. It’s a very good site. I thought all job boards were the same, but I had no idea. I learned a lot by listening to their episode topic about job boards. The other job boards out there are called Aggregates because they pull in information from other sites. The Big Two are Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com. I learned that we need to create profiles on these search engines so that recruiters can find us. I did one profile creation yesterday…it took me two hours. The next piece takes us into a really nice smooth transition because there is another job board is out there called LinkedIn.com.
Andre the EncouragentGuy! discusses easy and lazy ways to find a job the 21st century. If you enjoy the show, please write a review oniTunes  or email me, Andre@Encouraging-People.com
--->Click here to listen to this radio episode or use the media player below...