#AtoZChallenge – J is for Joy

My dictionary defines joys as a feeling of extreme happiness or cheerfulness, especially related to the acquisition or expectation of something good.
Joy comes from a lot of things,most especially things we like doing. But most of us end up all stressed out, doing what we think we should do.
My mum once told me that the best career is one that you would do willingly without pay. But the majority of people today do not seem happy ,and I don’t know why.
Maybe I’ll study psychology and undertake research into workplace happiness.

#AtoZChallenge – I is for Innocence and Innovation

In some ways Innocence and purity are interchangeable English words as they have similar connotations.
These days we are constantly bombarded with so much information, that there isn’t really a way to filter everything.
The people I’m concerned about are the young ones, whose minds are like sponges, that soaks up everything around it.
No if we as adults, can’t fully filter everything that is thrown our way, how much less those who haven’t even developed the ability to discern.
Innovation is the driving force of the future. There was a time when it was looked on as pointless or witchcraft or a departure from the Christian faith. But now it is encouraged, everywhere.
And because things like Kickstarter and Indiegogo exist, people who have an idea can source for the ability to bring those ideas to life.

#AtoZChallenge – H is for Honesty

In the words of the greatest thing to happen to the music industry before me “Honesty is such a lonely word, but mostly what I need from you”
(that was a bit of self aggrandisement)
Honesty is simply put, truthfulness. And we all need a bit of it.
Speaking the truth in spite of the consequences is what honesty is all about.
Some people say too much honesty is a bad thing, and I’m not sure where I stand on that statement, but I believe in order for us to progress in our relationships and lives, honesty is very important.
No secret is worth losing a friend or loved one over.

#AtoZChallenge – G is for Growth

Growth in biology is one of the characteristics of life. So if an organism doesn’t grow it is not a living thing.
But there are different types of growth. Whether it be in age, size, mental acuity, emotional range, social grace or tolerance. The point is without some form of growth we are void of life.
But not all growth is good, cancers grow but they are bad. So also are those negative mental constructs we create in our mind. We each have our individual but not necessarily unique constructs that we keep feeding; insecurity, fear, doubt, sorrow, shame, pain. The more you nourish these thoughts the more they grow.
I read somewhere that native Americans had a saying that there are two wolves within everyone, one good and one bad, the one that wins is the one you feed.

#AtoZChallenge – F is for Family

Family according to social studies, is the smallest unit of the community, and it is made up of the mother, father and children. But with recent developments, that definition is obsolete, because there are single parent families and single sex parent families.
Some people will look at this development as a plunge into darkness and that which is against standard social conduct, while others will look at it as welcome.
Because why should a century definition apply to the situation of today. If age old definitions held us back, people would still have slaves, freedom of speech would not exist, oppression would be the norm. But because adaption is built into our genetic code, we have let go of such archaic constructs, so why the anger at the lights of progressive movement seen in the restructuring of the family unit.
Something to think about.

#AtoZChallenge – E is for Endurance

Endurance, my dictionary defines it as
1.The measure of a person’s stamina or persistence.
2.Ability to endure hardship.
I personally prefer the second definition. I have not face the type of things a lot of people might call ‘hardship’, but I believe I have had my fair share of issues.
Recently I was moved by something my best friend told me “just because it took you longer than everyone else does not mean you’ve failed”. This is an example of one of those quotes that make you remember that there is a goal to be achieved, and just because it is taking longer than planned, is no reason to quit. I know this is an overused example but it took Thomas Edison what I believe to be 1000 trues before he developed the first light bulb. If he had given up, we would have used oil and wood for a much longer period.
It’s cliche, but never give up, no matter how hard it seems.

#AtoZChallenge – D is for Depression and Doubt

Once again I pick something I’ve spoken about before. My previous post on depression talks about the fleeting moments of sadness or unexplained wistfulness (if there is such a word).
But depression is much more than that.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health:
Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances, such as:

Persistent depressive disorder (also called dysthymia) is a depressed mood that lasts for at least two years. A person diagnosed with persistent depressive disorder may have episodes of major depression along with periods of less severe symptoms, but symptoms must last for two years to be considered persistent depressive disorder.
Perinatal depression is much more serious than the “baby blues” (relatively mild depressive and anxiety symptoms that typically clear within two weeks after delivery) that many women experience after giving birth. Women with perinatal depression experience full-blown major depression during pregnancy or after delivery (postpartum depression). The feelings of extreme sadness, anxiety, and exhaustion that accompany perinatal depression may make it difficult for these new mothers to complete daily care activities for themselves and/or for their babies.
Psychotic depression occurs when a person has severe depression plus some form of psychosis, such as having disturbing false fixed beliefs (delusions) or hearing or seeing upsetting things that others cannot hear or see (hallucinations). The psychotic symptoms typically have a depressive “theme,” such as delusions of guilt, poverty, or illness.
Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight. This depression generally lifts during spring and summer. Winter depression, typically accompanied by social withdrawal, increased sleep, and weight gain, predictably returns every year in seasonal affective disorder.
Bipolar disorder  is different from depression, but it is included in this list is because someone with bipolar disorder experiences episodes of extremely low moods that meet the criteria for major depression (called “bipolar depression”). But a person with bipolar disorder also experiences extreme high – euphoric or irritable – moods called “mania” or a less severe form called “hypomania.”
The full article can be found here

Doubt in my dictionary means:
To lack confidence in; to disbelieve, question, or suspect.
This definition works perfectly for self doubt.
Self doubt is a stumbling block to progress. It is the inability to believe in yourself.
I believe the only way to end the cycle of quitting that is caused by self doubt, is to start small, begin facing those fears, doing those things that you thought you couldn’t do. Starting small helps you build confidence. But you need to remember that even if you fail you have to try again.
A good thing to have when you have any of the above mentioned issues (i.e., depression or self doubt) is to have a good support system of family and or friends.

#AtoZChallenge – C is for Church, Choir, Competition…..

The letter C is the beginning of 8,036 words (this ignores the start of c in the dictionary) according to Yahoo answers, and I could only think of three to talk about.
Church to me is a gathering of people all interested in worshipping God in a collective, orderly manner and place.
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 talks about us(Christians) being the church. That means the church is not a building but a person, not one person but all who have accepted the message of Christ into their hearts, they are the church. With that knowledge and acceptance there is peace and joy and happiness, to be found in the church i.e in ourselves. And when I say ourselves I don’t mean all the eastern philosophy of finding inner peace, or centering yourself, I mean Christ in us.
I have spoken about the choir before here, and it is one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It truly is a joy to be among all those people. And best of all (after months of begging and pleading and attempted bribery) I manage to convince two of my friends to audition, and I’m just getting news that they got in.
This evening I’m going for an audition (singing obviously) for a competition created by a member of my choir, and I don’t think I’ve experienced jitters this bad. I know I’ve won a competition in my former school, but the talent here is daunting. But I read an article yesterday about how Olympians and Marines train their minds to handle any situation, and the number one rule was always speak positively to yourself. So I’m going to go there confident (albeit shaky but still there) and give the best that God has given me.

#AtoZchallenge – Bullying

My dictionary defines bullying as
1.An act of intimidating  a weaker person to do something, especially such repeated coercion .
2.Persistent acts intended to make life unpleasant for another person.
I am surrounded by bullies (i.e self proclaimed), at least emotionally. Although it is mostly joking, sometimes it hurts.
Right now I and my friends are discussing real bullying, and the many forms it takes. It could be physical, emotional, social or otherwise.
We admit that all forms of bullying are bad, we agree that emotional bullying (according to us) is the worst.
I agree because the signs are, not visible or they could be misconstrued for introverted, while the person is dying inside.
I don’t have the literary grace to wax long about this, but my stand is clear this is wrong and it should stop.

#AtoZChallenge: A is for American Idol

The farewell season of American Idol has just concluded, with Trent Harmon being crowned the last winner over La Porsha.
I as an individual feel both happy and sad. Happy that someone’s dreams came true, and sad that the person was not La Porsha.
I almost bet on La Porsha the night before the final, because her talent was just breath taking (that is not to say that Trent didn’t also have talent, I just supported La Porsha)
This afternoon when I told my friend who won, he asked me “what did you expect?, they can’t let a black person win the last round”
I personally don’t think the winners choice was racially motivated, but we are a historically maligned people, so I can understand his POV.
But through it all I congratulate Trent Harmon on his win, and hope that La Porsha finds her footing because she is just that good.