Sunday, May 8, 2016

“Communicate Don’t Opinionate ~ LB Dutchess”

     It amazes me these days just how intolerant and misguided we have become as a country.  I say country because while the rest of the world is not necessarily all that much better than us, they don't seem to be wallowing in the murky depths of misunderstanding that we seem to be.  

     Let me explain.  

     Because of social media, text and blogging (not to mention normal face to face interactions) we as a country say ALOT.  I mean ALOT!  We voice our opinions more times in a day that most people eat in a week in the rest of the world and we make one critical mistake...... We think we are communicating.  WRONG MISTERRRRRR!  We are "Opininating".  Yes, that is correct "Opinionating" and yes I made that up.  What is "Opininating" you might ask, well here is my definition ~ speaking, writing or otherwise relaying information about a view or judgment we have formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge without thought of if the information is being received.  

     We as a society "Opinionate" ALOT.  Now this is where I will lose some of you because this is where you get really confused and think your communicating.  

     Define Communication ~ 1. the imparting or exchanging of information or news. 2. means of connection between people or places.  

     Here is the kicker ~ in order to TRULY communicate, the other person has to HEAR you!  
A~HA!  I got you!  A large percentage of us forget to actually pay attention and see if the people we are "Opinionating" to can actually "hear us" and create connumication!  
    Think of it like this, It's like that static on the old black and white TV's when the channels used to go off the air and when poltergeist comes thru your TV!  And it has the same effect too..... all we want to do is turn it off or run screaming from it!  How is that communicating???  

     SO!  When you go to share information or views take a moment to look at why and how you are going about it.  Are you insulting people?  Are you intolerant?  Are you yelling or gesturing like a crazy person?  Can people even get a word in edge wise or respond to your "post" without a national disaster?  Think about it.  IF you want to be heard, you must first learn to listen and second learn to communicate, and THAT requires you to be able to do more that just state your opinions ("Opinionating")

    So, in a nutshell ~ Be Savvy and Communicate.  

     Till next time ~ Make everything better because you are here!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Do you reciprocate right away? Be Part of the Socially Savvy Give & Give movement

     Today I posted this question "Thoughtful question of the day..... When you reach out to people to ask for their help or ask something of them do you take the time right away to see what you can do for them or help them with too?" 

     And it got me thinking.... We have time to ask for what we want or need yet all to often we 'Don't have time right now', or "Will get that for you as soon as I finish....".   Are we really that self centered?  Have we as a culture really gotten to the point where we have time to go get our coffee, comment on social media platforms on mems and photos but can't seem to find the time to follow up with supporting people whom we want are or expect help from?

     It's a small thing and if you use social media it can be a simple thing.  So I challenge you today to check out peoples time lines that you have asked favors, product, $ or support from and see what you can share and support that they have going on.  Be part of the Socially Savvy Give & Give movement.  Someone gives you time, energy, $ or support, give it back to them.  

     Make Today Better Because you are Here!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Socially Savvy Thought "Can we assume the Best?"

     Today our culture is one of the most negative mankind has ever know.  We assume the worst in people and situations and act accordingly, spreading pain, sorrow, misfortune and damage everywhere.  What if we could change just that one thing.  What if we spend a month assuming the best intentions in people?  Do you think we would be better off or worse?          
     What are You putting out there?

     Make everyday Better Because you are here!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Socially Savvy "Are you offended?"

Socially Savvy Are you offended?

     I had this hilarious comedian video come across my Facebook stream last week that, in a nut shell summed up what I identified as one of the biggest problems our culture is facing right now.  It leads to more trouble, anger, fighting and distress because of where it is rooted and how we deal with it as a culture.  Simply put, it is being offended.

     OFFENDED!  OFFENDED YOU SAY?  Why yes, we are talking about being offended.  You look around today and so many people are posting and talking about how “This offends me” or “how that person is dressed is offensive”, and I realized the answer to why so many people are offended about so many things.  

     They have opinions about things that have not a DAMN thing to do with their lives, yet they believe themselves and their life choices to be so superior that what THEY are offended by should be address….  SAY WHAT?!?!? 

      “Did you hear what he said?  That is so offensive!” SO!  It’s none of your business is it?  Is it going to affect your life and where you sleep?  Is it going to stop you from paying your bills?  How about this “OMG, did you see what she was wearing?”,  and you get all butt hurt because you are offended by their choice of clothing…. whats gonna happen?  Are your eyes going to fall out of your head because you saw something that offends you?  STOP LOOKING and move on!  

     I love what the comedian Steve Hughes said ~ “When did sticks and stones make Break my bones stop being relevant”  The Answer….. It didn’t.  What has become more relevant is that we choose to waste our time creating opinions about thousands of things that have abso-freakin-nothing to do with us, our lives and our personal choices.  

     Don’t like the words to a song?  Don’t listen to it.  Don’t like the way some guys talk?  Don’t date them.  

     In a nutshell, If you find lots of things offend you maybe you should take some time to self reflect and decide how much of your brain space you want other non essential people taking up!  And remember to make Everything better Because you are Here!  

Enjoy this guy!  

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Socially Savvy ~ What you Don’t know cost's money

     All to often these days we are so wrapped up in trying to save a buck that we miss the the overall picture.  Buying online affords us what we believe is a great deal, but do you know how to tell if it truly is?  

     Here is a common example.  Contractors.  Everyone thinks they can be one.  Work for a big software company and considered a super brain in your field?  Number one is sales in your region?  World renown writer?  International chef?  All these are great accomplishments but none of them mean you understand that getting and installing a dishwasher is more that just ordering on line and hiring someone to install it for you.  Just because you are highly intelligent, doesn’t mean you know how to install a dishwasher.  Now, you may feel that this is a bit insulting, and if you do, I am probably talking to you.  So if you can get out of your own way for a moment, let me explain.

     The mistake most people make in life these days is trying to second guess professionals in other fields because they are afraid of getting ripped off.  They are letting fear drive them.  Let’s take for instance this example of getting a new dishwasher.  

    Your dishwasher is 20 years old.  It dies.  You talk to your friends.  They tell you to find one online, buy it yourself and have someone install it for you.  You will save so much money!   Well as much as I would like to say that your friends have your back, they simply have no clue.  Let’s just list a few of the things you need to know before you order

1.) What is the size that will fit in your space - now this is probably the easiest of all the points you need to know when ordering, and you can usually measure out and get it right. 

2.) What time of power connection are you set up for - if you have to ask what that is you REALLY should not be attempting this

3.) Is your unit a slide in or framed in piece.  This is a perfect case of where many many people go terribly wrong.  

4.) What is required for the “warrantee” they offer - read the fine print

So, lets say you got ALL the above correct and ordered your dish washer and now its sitting at your house ready to install.

     You call a contractor to come install it for you.  They give you a quote over email, phone or fax.  You pick one and schedule them to come out and install it.

     They get there and the following happens.  You didn’t remove the other dishwasher.  So they tell you it will be an additional x dollars to remove it.  You start to get frustrated because you didn’t know it was going to cost you more money to have the other one removed, but the reality is that these people JUST LIKE YOU, get paid by the hour or bid projects by how long it is going to take them to do the project.  They are not in it to do you any favors!!!  So they remove it, add time to your bid and start to install the new one.

     The dishwasher is there.  But guess what.  You need other pieces to CONNECT the dishwasher up!!!  You didn’t know that either, and because the contractor didn’t purchase the dishwasher for you because you were trying to save any mark up or get the best deal, they have no idea of what it does or does not come with.  They tell you what you need and ask if you want them to get the items for you, and if so the additional cost will be X.  Again you get frustrated, but this is not their fault, and by this time you have used up more time trying to figure it out!
     You either decide to go get the parts yourself to save some money (you think, because they have to charge you to come back or wait on you), or you pay them to go get the pieces.  

     OK! Finally they can install the new dishwasher for you!  And if it was just a slide in and was originally installed after counter tops went in the first time, you have probably now paid for 2 and a half times more labor time getting it installed, all in the name of trying to save money.  

     Worst case senario, you have had to have a contractor come in and cut through your counter top to have it installed and now need new counter tops because they had to remove them to install the dishwasher.  (no joke).  AND you have to find someone to take the old dishwasher away,or pay the installers more to take it, because that costs money too.

     What is the point of this dishwasher story you might ask?  It is simple.  Contractors understand all that is involved in building and installing.  The second you start chiming in you are going to cost yourself more money.  Every change you make will cost you more money.  Trying to save on markup of products ordered, will cost you more money, unless of course you are a contractor.  And Don't EVEN get me started on changing your mind on products.....

     SO….stop second guessing when someone YOU called in comes to do your work and just let them do your work or don’t hire them.  Find someone you trust, check out their work and let them do their job so you can get the results you want and they can feed their family.  

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why FEAR is Socially Savvy ~ Extended version

  It has been very interesting over the last few months to see the word Fear put out there and how it is being used.  Some people use fear to manipulate and control you, getting you to react without thinking.  And many people are threatened and paralyzed by fears... but there are those few that step back, detach from the emotion fear brings and find success and insight.  So how do you do that?  Well here is my perspective on doing just that.
    Fear is the illusion of everything that could go wrong but doesn't need to.  It gives us a hyper link into what to avoid or look to plan around.  It is not set in stone, nor does it hold any control over us.  One of the most amazing definitions of fear I have ever heard came from the Movie "After Earth" ~ 
“Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity. Do not misunderstand me danger is very real but fear is a choice.”  Will Smith 
    So with that said, how do we use Fear as a Hyper link to a successful future?   How do we use it to make great decisions  We look at Fear as a warning sign if you will.  When you see a sign ahead that says "danger, no shoulder" do we drive off the road or simply pay a bit more attention?  When we see a fire engine and smoke, do we douse ourselves with water or look around to make sure the fire can't spread to where we are?  Now onto a more personal perspectives….. When you see a handsome guy or beautiful girl across the room do you hang your head and tell yourself they are out of your class or do you put your best smile on and go for it?  I got you there didn't I!  So what is they key?  Why is it the more personal of an impact something has, the more personal the threat perceived is, we hold tighter to the fear instead of celebrating the possibility of success and looking for answers to avoid it?  Because we have learned to Fear NO, above all.  We are afraid of rejection instead of learning from it and becoming stronger.  It boils down to this…..EVERYTHING we do is a choice and EVERYTHING we do has the possibility of success and failure.  Letting Fear TELL you you will fail instead of using fear to know what to avoid is the key in my eyes.  Analyze, decide and act.  Let life do the rest.  What are a few mistakes to a Life full of fears unrealized because you didn't let it stop you.
Have A Socially Savvy week! And make Everything Better BECAUSE You were there!  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Savvy “Thought” for the Day ~ How do you use your memory?”

     Today is throw back thursday and as I am sharing some of the pictures I took in the past of my kids ~ most of one in particular because he is away and I miss him!  I find my self smiling and laughing at the memories attached to them.  Catching the moments that give you a peak into their personalities was one of my most favorite things ever back then, because I knew that years later I could share those moments and relive the happiness of them when I saw them. 

     It’s one of the great gifts of having a memory!  

     The other great gift of memory is to learn from past experiences that were less than positive.  Taking those experiences, make adjustments and create new happier memories because of the lessons learned.  But far to often I see people wasting their lives hand picking the negative memories they have.  Dwelling on them, festering them into the ugly weights holding them back from moving on, or reaching back to find bits and pieces they can put together to justify being cruel, mean or hateful from times gone by.  These are the memories that are destroying our country now.  These are the memories that hold us back.  The only answer is to Let go of all the hurtful, painful and destitute memories just as you would a hot burning coal and move on to healing the burns so you can move forward and make beautiful memories with those around you.  

     Make YOUR life BETTER BECAUSE you are here……. Happy Thursday All! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Are you as Savvy with your “No’s” as you are with your “Please’s”

     Today it is amazing how many people we can reach out to in moments.  We can communicate with hundreds of people in a day if we choose to.  People reach out with their causes, their businesses, their passions and their interests.  But how many of you will RESPOND to others that reach out to you?  

     I know the first response to this by many people will be “I get so many requests”, yet they will take time to reach out and ask for what they want and need without following up to others reaching out to them.  They are quick to send out their ‘Please’, but non responsive to other’s.  Their time is to valuable to respond.  They were to busy.  And this, my friends, is the saddest “NO” you will ever receive or send.  It is the NO that comes from no response.  It is the NO that they didn’t take time to tell you.  

     So I say….. Take time to kindly respond even when the answer is No.  It shows respect to the people you are responding to.  Kindly give what you expect to receive…. A response to your “Please”.

     And remember to make Every event Better BECAUSE you were There!  

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Be Socially Savvy ~ PAY ATTENTION

     I had a friend I had not seen in awhile come up to me yesterday and say “I miss hearing you do your Socially acceptable and unacceptable blogs”!  I had to laugh, because I too missed them, so here we go with this weeks topic.  PAYING ATTENTION.

     Let me explain.  When your out Socially at an event like a Charity, a Party or even just a basic gathering of people the MAIN thing you have to do is PAY ATTENTION!  Here is why… So you DON’T become Socially unacceptable in your behavior!  Seems simple enough right?  Well, its not apparently.  

     Paying attention requires you to not get stupid drunk or be so self absorbed that you think you and what you want, need and desire is more important than what others want, need and desire.  
     So here are some guide lines to think about when going out.

1.)  Be aware of your surroundings.  I have been to soooo many events where people just dump their belongings where ever, not paying attention to what they are dropping their stuff on!  Things like coats on other peoples purses in seating areas and drinks and purses on vendor display tables at charity events.  I mean REALLY?  What is is about books spread out on a table on display that is in any way confusing about NOT putting your stuff on them?  It’s like you sitting down in a chair and I decide I am going to sit on you!!!  JUST DON”T!  And if you have a Question about if you can put your stuff down.....ASK!!!

2.) DON”T TALK OVER SPEAKERS!  This is the most annoying thing ever.  A Charity chair gets up and starts to speak about the charity and in the front row someone decides their conversation about the neighbors dog is more important. WOW.  Make sure you know the purpose of the event you are at and if their is a cause behind it, BE AWARE of when the cause is being spoken about and shut up.  I get that you bought a ticket to the event, but your their to support the event, so do it!

3.) READ YOUR INVITES!  Paying attention to the details of the event can either make you look like the star or the resident moron.  Little things like specifics of attire or theme to the event are put in place to create the spirit and feel of the event!  Don’t be the ass that thinks they should be able to wear what ever they want.  To quote Maleficent “I Hate you”.  Funny but not, lets be real here a min.  It’s not your event, so just adhere to the attire requests and don’t be an a-hole.

4.) Move with decisivness.  Seriously slow down the more you drink!  Enhance your calm!  Spilling your drinks on people, stepping on their feet, running into them, dropping your food on people is all a result of NOT Paying attention!  Watch where you are walking, be aware and for pete sakes, if you DO run in to someone, APOLOGIZE!!!  The same goes with making ANY of the above mistakes!  Be Gracious and apologize and work to make amends or make it better!  It’s that simple.  

     Think of it this way, IF it was YOUR house, YOUR friends, YOUR event….. How would you want people to act.

     Have a Socially Savvy Week and Make Every Event BETTER BECAUSE You were there!  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

LB Dutchess Socially Savvy: Socially Savvy ~ Back in the Saddle

LB Dutchess Socially Savvy: Socially Savvy ~ Back in the Saddle: Hello!  It's been awhile since I have shared, but I am back!  Today I want to chat about jumping back in the saddle after stepping out! ...

Socially Savvy ~ Back in the Saddle

Hello!  It's been awhile since I have shared, but I am back!  Today I want to chat about jumping back in the saddle after stepping out!  
     So very often in life we get started down a path that fires up our life!  It brings us alive as we move forward sharing our dreams and visions with those around us.  But inevitably, life seems to get in the way and we find ourselves having to step away from those dreams for a bit and many never find their way back or are afraid to dive in again.  And I found myself asking why.  Here's what I came up with.....
     There is NOTHING socially that makes sense to feel like you should not.  I know all to often people will make you feel differently, but you can step back into the ring without explanation anytime you want.  You don't owe anyone anything.  
     I say this, because at several different times across the last 7 years it has happened to me.  I have a family and am still married after 25 years, and sometimes I have to make them a priority over everything else.  I have been called "socially irrelevant" because I had to step back for a time, I have been told maybe I should try something different or to move on.  But here is the bottom line.... Those people have NOTHING to do with my vision so why should I let them have a say in when, where, why and how.  
     So I say to you, Follow your dreams and visions when and how you please.  Don't worry about what others say when you have to step back for a bit.  You don't see the Sun shinning any less brightly because it was behind the clouds for a time do you?  Shine Bright and share who you are!  Get back in the saddle and ride forward!  
     And Remember to make Everything Better because you are here!!!