Compete with a Purpose

Everyone has a mission specific to the individual. If people would focus most of their time and energy on finding their own purpose in life, then they would not bother to keep up with what someone else is doing. Competing can actually be a major distraction in one’s life. While wasting time trying to stay ahead of the competition, one’s purpose is losing its value.

Unless you’re in a contest, there is no need to be in competition with someone, especially if that person does not know. You will find yourself doing all you can to keep that person out of the race. That is not how you compete with purpose. You compete with purpose only when you have a willing opponent. Your friend, relative, co-worker or anyone you have an alliance with should not be your opponent. You can damage a healthy relationship by being in secret competition with someone.

People who are in competition have one focus, and that’s winning. There is usually some reward or other type of recognition for achieving the winning title. Hard work and dedication to any given challenge or assignment warrant a generous acknowledgement. That is fair and purposeful. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re capable of until you’re thrown into the ring.

For those who fail to offer their effortless support just to keep someone from being one step ahead of them, it is shameful. Opportunities are not scarce because they are created every day by the ones who overcome doubt and fear. People are so afraid of losing that they believe they can claim a position in the economy by keeping someone out of the race. This won’t work for a few reasons: 1) it takes at least two to compete (If you are the only one competing, then there’s no competition) 2) the person has to enter the competition (Once again, the person has to be a willing participant) 3) contestants must comply by the rules (People who are focused and determined don’t play by the rules) 4) a judge has to announce the winners (Winners don’t need confirmation).


You see, while he or she is racing, the other person is pacing. The person who makes it to the finish line wins the race, but the one who makes it to his or her final destination earns the title. In the Olympics, the winner is not determined by winning one race. He or she has to compete multiple times before claiming the grand prize (title). Winning one race does not make you a solid winner. That’s called luck. You haven’t won until you’ve created a track record.

Instead of competing, collaborate. Synergy is created when teams compete, not individuals. Individual efforts can produce money, respect, and recognition, but collective efforts can produce wealth and power.

If you desire to compete, that’s fine. But when it comes to achieving life goals related to finances, you should not compete yet complete what you started in your own time and at your own pace. Take notes from those who are ahead of you, and commend them for their success or good fortune. When you make it to your destination, you will expect others to do likewise.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Submit topic suggestions using the “Contact Me” page.

Photo 1: Flickr. Competition by Mary Beth Griffo Rigby CC
Photo 2: Flickr. Decanation Charlety 2006 by Killeur_Lapin CC

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When You Know Better, You Do Better

It’s easy to criticize and judge the character of a lost soul, when making wise choices come easy for you. People come from different walks of life, struggles, and hardships. How you deal with your pain and disappointment might be different from that of your brother’s or sister’s. I certainly agree that malign behavior should be punishable by law – no doubt. Nonetheless, I believe all people were born innocent before being corrupted by the world. That’s why rehabilitation programs are prevailing across the country. Otherwise, more jails would be overcrowded with people who weren’t given a second chance.

I used to judge people who did not have similar morals or values as myself. I didn’t think I was better than them, but I knew I made better choices. I believe we were all born with equal potential and abilities. I could never assume that I am better than another individual when all it takes is one bad decision to gain a new identity and an unfair stigma. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s just that some of us get caught. Many of us do things intentionally and try to call it a mistake, once we are caught. As long as you grow from your mistakes or nefarious intentions, you too deserve a second chance.

Heartfelt testimonies, stories, and accounts of people’s lives have drastically increased my awareness of behavior challenges stunting personal growth and development. How is a child who has been beaten all his or her life supposed to function normally in society? How is a girl who was robbed of her innocence supposed to have trust in men? What does a boy introduced to drug dealing at an early age know about having a regular job? What does a man born to a pimp know about respecting women? What do the motherless and fatherless know about togetherness?


Some people were born into abuse, misuse, neglect, and dysfunction. Until someone directs them to the light at the end of the tunnel, they are forever in darkness and despair. You do have to make the change on your own, but someone or something has to spark a desire for you to change. Everyone has an opportunity to minister to someone at some point in life. You never know what a short, positive conversation can do for a person. It is okay to criticize, as long as you do so constructively, but don’t just sit back and judge that person as if your past is squeaky clean.

If you have a gift for encouraging, inspiring, or motivating people, use it. Sometimes, that’s all people need. If you have an awakening story or experience that might relate to what a person’s enduring, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to share. Your testimony might lift the burden of fear and doubt. That’s why groups are formed for former alcoholics, battered women, convicts, etc. No one can relate better than a person who has had a similar experience. In groups, ideas on how to cope with certain situations are exchanged and a person’s battles/concerns are heard with considerable attention.

For every sad, sorry, or sinful individual who lost his or her way, there’s a hero just one conversation away. Make it your daily assignment to ignite someone with a positive voice. You might prevent someone from becoming a statistic.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Submit topic suggestions using the “Contact Me” page.

Photo 1: Flickr. Change by Sebastien Wiertz CC
Photo 2: Flickr. Tough Girls, Part 2 by Comrade King CC

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What’s Holding You Back?

There are myriad reasons people do not fulfill their dreams, other than some disabilities or incarceration. The main reason is that people never turn those dreams into goals. A dream is just a dream, until your turn it into a goal. You have to use whatever’s holding you back as an impetus to take the next step. In an effort to trigger the alarm, I will give you a few scenarios and viable solutions for each one.

Scenario #1 – I Have Kids
Kids should never hold you back because they are a blessing in itself. They should be the main reason you grind as hard as you do and make certain sacrifices. I know you’re probably sacrificing your own dreams to make theirs come true. Maybe you’re doing it just to provide for them. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. You should. However, if you have to wait until your kids to get out of the house (which can be a very long time, depending on their ages), you may want to consider a flexible source for supplementing your income.

The most flexible way of earning extra money is by working from home. Turn your hobby into your business. If you like styling hair, start charging. If you like doing party favors, turn that favor into a paid opportunity. If you like talking on the phone, telemarketing companies are always hiring. If you like to bake, sweet teeth are not hard to find. You may be surrounded by them daily.

You don’t have to wait until the kids get out of the house to go back to school. You can take the money you’ve raised with your talent and pay for one class at a time. If you earn a handsome refund check each year, you could use a portion of it to pay for your classes. In that way, you won’t have to feel pressured to attend school full time and incur undesirable debt.

Colleges understand your situation as well. That’s why they offer online courses. By the time your kids graduate, so will you. Geez! I wish I would have thought of that when my kids were little.

Scenario #2 – I Work Full-Time
That’s awesome! Several of the unemployed are seeking that opportunity as well. But how are you using your breaks and downtime at work? Are you Facebooking or Tweeting? Are you smoking or chatting? Those are definitely things you should do on your breaks, but you could be making better use of your time.

If you are going to Facebook, search for groups that have like interests. You could gather much information and network at the same time.

Instead of tweeting, visit LinkedIn for business or career opportunities. You can build a professional profile that might capture the eye of a preferred employer.

If you’re a smoker, then you probably have more breaks than the average employee. Instead of lighting a cigarette, light your torch of intelligence by brainstorming ways to fulfill your destiny. Escape that dangerous habit, and get in the habit of exercising your mind instead of frying your lungs.

If you love to talk, initiate career-focused discussions with people who are a few steps ahead of you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek solutions. You’ll find that many people who have it together love talking about themselves and offering good advice.

Scenario #3 – I Don’t Have Transportation
Ask for it. You call on your friends and relatives for anything else. Fill their gas tanks each week, and they probably won’t mind. With spiking gas prices, that’s not a bad deal. Don’t say you don’t have the money. You would have to put it in your own car, if you had one. If you really can’t pay for gas, then offer a service. Bartering is a good business practice.

Of course, you can always catch the bus or train, if you don’t have gas money. Ride a bike or walk, if it’s close by. I’m sure you could use the exercise.

Scenario #4 – I Don’t Have The Money
Apply for grants and/or loans. If you are ineligible, now would be a good time to use your gifts and talents. You can do anything you put your mind to.

If all else fails, get a second job and save at least ten percent of each paycheck. If you can, you should save it all. After all, it is extra income.

Scenario #5 – I Just Don’t Have Time
Yes you do. We all have time for what we want to make time for. Budget your time wisely, and invest in yourself.

And remember…
“Make sense of what you do, and make every cent count.”

What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear them.

Submit topic suggestions using the “Contact Me” page.

Photo: Flickr. Chain by Kamil Porembinski CC

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