Archives for the month of: July, 2014

As a speaker, teacher, and learner, it is imperative that I stay *audience centered* when delivering a message. This means that when conveying an idea, I focus on the receiver more than myself. After all, the goal of a message is to be understood by the receiver and that can only be successfully accomplished if the receiver does, in fact, comprehend the message.

From my understanding, there are several types of learners. Of course there are subcategories of each, but I have categorized the ones I plan to discuss below:

Auditory Learners – Learn through hearing and speaking.
Kinesthetic Learners – Learn through the sense of touch, feeling.
Visual Learners- Learn through seeing.

Teachers are instructed to teach material using all learning styles, so not to isolate or hinder a student’s ability to digest the material. Speakers are advised to keep the audience imgresin mind throughout the entire speech-making process. Learners are encouraged to know what method of instruction they receive the best and ask for that form of instruction.

I had a math course and I just could not grasp the new concept. The teacher said it to me, showed it to me, and I even attempted to watch her and duplicate it myself. She tried to dissect the information to me in various ways. After several attempts, my teacher told me, “I don’t know how to teach it any other way.”

After leaving her classroom, I went home and read back through the material. As I was able to reflect on what she had shown or said to me, as well as my textbook and notes, it finally clicked. I had to combine what I saw, heard, and attempted to do to understand the material.

Many times, God is the teacher trying to get us to learn new material. I am a firm believer that if you do not grasp the concept the first time around, God will continue to try to show you the same thing in various ways. He may be telling us the way, showing us the way, or even guiding us on the way. The issue occurs when we are not teachable. When we get upset when we do not understand the lesson the first time. When we get discouraged because we have to keep trying over and over again until we finally get the lesson.

In comparing this to the word of God, I wonder is your learning style hindering your progress?

If you have to see what God has promised you to believe, then you can only reach for what has been done. In his Word, God often makes promises that are nowhere near being fulfilled and it takes faith to believe it despite the circumstances.

If you have to literally hear a pastor, preacher or prophet to believe the Word of God, then you will falter when others don’t affirm what you hear God telling you. Oftentimes, you hear the voice of God in your spirit, not with your ears. God uses people often to speak to you, but let us not forget that he can take it to the source–you.

If you have to literally work on your blessing with your hands to believe it, you won’t begin. What if God gave you a vision to create something that has never been made? You have to start from nothing so you have no blueprint or example to follow. Many times the work is not physical labor but it begins with our minds and a change of heart.

Occasionally it takes us going off on our own, reading the Word of God, applying all that we have heard about God, seeing Him work our lives or in the lives of others, or feeling the experience of his presence in our lives for us to get it. For it to click.

Visionaries go beyond the borders of learning styles to grasp what God has for them to learn.Unlike my teacher, God is not limited in his teaching ability and never says, “I don’t know how to teach it any other way.” He speaks your language and he can break down anything you need to learn and give it to you on your level of comprehension.

Don’t let your learning style block your blessing.

With Love,

MS

*I was introduced to the term “audience centered”  in  The Public Speaking Handbook by Steven A. Beebe and Susan J. Beebe.


Copyright 2014 by Morgan Smalls of mosmalls.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Hey you. Mrs. Know Everything and Mr. I’m Always Right. Have a seat. Let’s chat.

I get it. You’re awesome. You have a long list of accomplishments and accolades. You have more plaques than wall space. You have more degrees than a thermometer. You have more money in the bank than the average. I get it. Congratulations.

You worked hard. You earned it. You deserve it. That’s awesome! There is no problem with your success. The issue arises when you behave as if those accomplishments give you the authority to treat others less than. No, you don’t come out and say, “I’m better than you,” but your behavior speaks louder than any words you utter.

Here’s the truth:

TAOLife-C_S_-Lewis-Humility-is-not-thinking-less-of-yourself-but-thinking-of-yourself-less_

If you do not voluntarily humble yourself, life will do so. Events happen to everyone that knocks us off our proverbial pedestal and cause us to stumble. You won’t be “the big shot in high school” or the “popular girl in college” or the “smartest kid in the classroom” or the “prettiest girl in your circle” or the “CEO of a Fortune 500 Company” or “The holder of the most NFL/NBA rings” forever. If and when that happens, you will need people. Not money. Not degrees. Not awards. But people.

Your lack of humility will make you lose out on relationships and thus opportunities. If you are not humble, you will not recognize when you need help or accept help when offered. Even worse,  based on your prior treatment of them, others may not want to help you.

You have to be humble. You have to know that you are not always right. That you do not always make the best decisions. That you are not perfect.

There is always an “ER” in your life. Someone smartER, fastER, prettiER, strongER, etc. And that does not take away from you. You are amazing. You don’t have to puff yourself up like a blow fish and throw your weight around like a bull in a china shop. We get it. You’re awesome. Be humble. I promise, your light won’t shine any less.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 4.57.00 PM

Definition from Merriam-Webster.com

Copyright 2014 by Morgan Smalls of mosmalls.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

In life we all make decisions. Unfortunately, we do not always make the best choice. Under pressure, with the clock winding down, we miss the last shot to win the game. We have our opportunity. We have our chance. We take the shot. We miss the mark. We lose. And it alters our lives direction.

Unknown-2

I’m sure many of us can relate to giving something our best shot and it not working. The relationship, the job, the business, the class. Oftentimes, we get stuck in our moment of failure. We continuously hear the buzz signaling the end of the game in our ears–a reminder of our lost, what could have been and our reality.  Oftentimes, we live in regret.

When we think of where we could have been if we never met such and such or did such and such or listened to such and such, we question our lives. We mull over the less than stellar choices we have made. We trick ourselves into believing that our past disqualifies us from having a bountiful future. But we must recognize a redirection of our route does not change our destination.

How many times have you used a GPS and made a wrong turn? Your GPS acknowledges the wrong turn and redirects you back to your destination, even if it is not on the same course. We must do the same. Acknowledge and move forward.

Winding Path photo WindingPath.jpg
Copyright 2014 by Morgan Smalls of mosmalls.wordpress.com. All rights reserved.

I was in a long-term, dead-end relationship with my laptop and dealt with a lot of viruses, malware, fan breaking and keys falling off the keyboard. My computer would work well for a while and then it would randomly shut down; it did not matter if I was in the midst of crafting a very important document- when it shut down I would lose all the data I was in the process of completing. I endured all of this for several reasons: One was because I had invested in my computer. It was mine. I bought it. I didn’t think I could afford a new one. Therefore, I reasoned that I would make the best out of a bad situation. I would always have a flash drive– a backup. I also invested time and money to fix my computer; Selfishly and maybe even unrealistically I wanted a return on my investment.

SkySafariOniMacLarge

At my new job, my office did not use PC’s; instead they used the Macintosh operating systems (MAC)–because the prior person who worked there preferred those.  I did not like the MAC; I had never used a MAC. My first day at work, I didn’t even know how to cut the thing on and I was too embarrassed to ask anyone so I called a friend who could aid me.

In frustration, I would leave my office and go into the lobby and use the PC.  But as time passed and I became more comfortable with the features of the MAC, the more I noticed the things I could do with it that I could never do with a PC. Hence, it took a while, but I appreciated the benefits of having a MAC and now I am not too sure if I could go back to a PC.

Often, we treat people in our lives like the PC. We stick with them even though they are toxic; we patch up things we know we should just leave alone. We feel like we have put so much work into a relationship that we want a return on our investment. We selfishly believe that the person owes us something or vice versa. Often, we stay and deal with what we have, and  even if we are introduced to something better- we reject the notion.

Why? Glad you asked.

The Learning Curve:  Like my relationship with the MAC, it’s a lot of work forming  new relationships. It takes mutual time, sacrifice and interest. You have to learn a lot about another person and that can only come through time and effort. It’s easier to go with what you know, but sometimes to get what you need, you have to be willing to learn. You learn through exposure. How do you know what you want or need if you have not exposed yourself to more? That way, you can articulate those sentiments to others.

(Sidenote: I could not ask my MAC to be a PC and I could not turn my PC into a MAC. People are who they are. Take that for what it is.)

The Fear: Many of us leave jobs, situations, relationships willingly, while others of us are forced to do so. No matter the reason for leaving a situation, the thought of giving up what you have (tangible) for something you do not have (intangible) is scary. Particularly, when you do not know when or if that someone/something better will ever surface. It’s hard to give up what you know with the hopes that something better will come along. Do not allow fear to make you settle. Why settle when you do not have to.

The Cost: There is a cost associated with a MAC, that is not associated with a PC. Truthfully, many of us are not willing to pay the cost. And trust, if you think I am speaking in monetary terms,  you probably missed the point of this entire article. There is a cost involved in stepping outside of the familiar and attaining better.  Greater investment. Greater rewards.

I’m not telling you what I think. I’m telling you what I have experienced/ am experiencing.

Love is like a MacBook. Are you settling for a PC?

With Love,

M.S.

*This article in no way is meant to dissuade from the purchase of any type of computer; it is merely a simile*

“NEW JORDANS”

BY

CEDRIC DALE HOARDS

 

I ran across this spoken word and felt compelled to share. It was written as a conversation starter for our society, particularly our youth. The video discusses the importance of material items and how we inaccurately use it to define our worth. It concludes by redefining the scale on which we measure our individual worth and challenges the notions that materialism equates wealth and worth.

One of my favorite lines:

“…I just want to tell them that if you’re walking in the wrong direction, it doesn’t matter what is on your feet. And if you’re not hearing sound truth, no I don’t care about your beats. And if your words aren’t edifying, no I don’t want to see your tweet. Because your desperation to take a seat with the elite will eventually become your defeat. “

Do you wear Jordans? Are you a fan? Watch this!

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 10.52.43 AM

“I wish statuses had a plagiarism check so people would give credit to where the got their enlightened statuses from. Some of yall are perpetuating like these are your original thoughts instead of giving credit due, which is proper when quoting.” -Sharnee Green via Facebook

Coincidentally, I had begun to write a post about this EXACT concept a few days prior and was compelled to continue.

With the onset of social media and reposts, retweets, and sharing of social media, I find that our sense of plagiarism is waning.

For those who don’t know, plagiarism is when you use a person’s thoughts, words, ideas or concepts and claim that you are the original author. For those who desire a formal definition, According to The Merriam Webster Website:

Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 10.39.57 AM

Ironically, I saw a really motivational quote on social media. It had several likes, shares and reposts. The thing about it was it sounded eerily familiar. I heard another person (the author) say the exact same thing in their video. I sooooo wanted to write on their page and say, “hey, did you get this from such and such?” But, I didn’t want to seem like a hater on their “enlightened statuses” so I just let is slide.

Moral of the story:

It’s okay to post other people’s thoughts; it’s not okay to repost them or add a line or two that is different and not give credit to the person.

For example, if I wrote/said: “Today the sky is blue. It has never been this blue. You should look at it and enjoy it.” and you write the same thing, you plagiarized. Or maybe you add a few lines and write, “I just woke up. Today the sky is blue. It has never been this blue. You should look at it and enjoy it. Be blessed”  you plagiarized.

So when I find out that you are basically taking credit for someone’s else’s work, I give you the stank face because I have been deceived.

face

If you are not going to give proper credit, be original. Add to the conversation.Stop plagiarizing and just quote the person directly. You don’t want the stink face.

Be blessed.

With Love,

M.S.

Too often, we settle. Women, Men, Young and Not so Young, for whatever reason we do it. We trick ourselves into believing that our current state of unhappiness and displeasure is where we are destined to be. That it’s the best life can offer to us — so we willingly accept it.

Don’t get me wrong– this is not something we say to ourselves as we look in the mirror in the midst of teeth brushing, hair combing, makeup applying, or face shaving. No, we do this way before our feet touch the floor at the dawn of a new day.images-1

Why?

Maybe it is because we forget that each day is an unique day. Each day is the most important day in our lives, right here, right now for two very important reasons:

1. Today is a brand new day that we have never seen before. It is unlike any other. It is a time to try again, to use past falls, stumbles, and triumphs as building blocks for the future.

2. Today is a day we won’t ever see again once it is complete. We won’t ever get the chance to experience today again. There is no re-do, no rewind button on time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

I’ve learned that time is precious, valuable and we can’t get it back. For that reason, we have to use it wisely–o so wisely.

Don’t settle today, tomorrow or any day henceforth because we are not meant to live like zombies in a state of unhappiness and displeasure–and not even know it. We are meant to live full in all areas– so if you have settled in your personal, professional, familial, spiritual, or any aspect of our lives– pursue better, obtain better, and accept better when it’s offered.

I stand in agreement that your life can and will be better.

images-2

Happy Monday!

With love,

M.S.

 

Have you ever been excited about going to an event? You get dressed, look nice, smell nice and believe it will be a great experience. This event could be a concert, a church event, a forum, a movie, etc. You sit down to prepare yourself for the amazing moment at hand and then recognize your experience has been impeded. Why? Because the person you are sitting beside is one of the 4 people I am about to discuss. These people ruin events and I would like to ask that these types of people are designated to a particular spot in any venue.

1. Talkative Tammy/Thomas-

images-8

This person does not know how to enjoy an event without talking. More specifically, he or she tries to converse with you. They tend to ask ridiculous questions such as, “Did you see that?” “What did he say?” “Oh, this reminds me of a time when….” “What’s the scripture?” “Where we at in the program?” Now, I will answer questions but I will not hold an entire conversation with you about the event or any other random tidbit you feel compelled to share. Stop it! Now, we both lost because I was listening to you instead of paying attention. I once was sitting by a friend and just blatantly ignored her throughout the event. I guess she assumed I couldn’t hear her, so she sent me a text message. And she was sitting less than a foot away from me. Um..no..

2. Eyeing Eunice/Ernest-

images-5

This person has a serious eye problem. Or maybe they got the eye..I got the problem (Ya’ll remember that childhood saying) If we are in church and the pastor says turn to your neighbor, WHY am I the only one turning? Oh, that’s because you don’t have to turn because you have been staring all around the church and at my side profile the entire service. I’m going to need you to participate in the service. Look ahead. Look up. But don’t LOOOK at me the entire service. I want your head to swivel when the pastor asks you about turning to your neighbor.

3. Nosey Nancy/ Noah-

images-6

Okay, I admit. I check my phone while I’m in church. Yeah, yeah, I know I shouldn’t. I should focus. But what we are not going to do is focus on that. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that you’re in my cell phone every time I check it. (red herring) I mean, you are not an usher, who walked up on my friend like a thug in church and told her, “Shut it down!” in reference to her cell phone… Excuse me, whet? Not what…whet? Now I may not have agreed with the usher’s tactics, but I understood the reasoning. Since you are not an usher (because if you were you would be standing beside the door, handing me a fan, passing me a tissue or something like that) why are you in my cell phone? Why are you not focusing on the service? Mind your business. Geez.

4. Critical Charlene/Charles-

Unknown-1

This is the person who always has something to say about the service. They tend to interrupt the flow of service with their mumbles, grumbles, and complaints. “Why they taking up 2 offerings?” “Why the pastor daughter up there singing? You know she can’t sing.” “Why does she have on that club outfit?” I don’t know the answer to any of those questions. I’m watching just like you are. So stop asking!

 

 

Have you had the pleasure of sitting by any of the four aforementioned people? Maybe you have sat by one person who has all of those personalities wrapped into one. If that is the case, may the force be with you and may you have the option to change your seat! What other personality types am I missing? Share your story with me.

With love,

M.S.

Feel free to share, post or comment.

So, I’m sure many of you are familiar with the new passive aggressive form of commenting on social media using Kermit The Frog’s face. Well if not, there has been a meme circulating that has Kermit drinking a liquid beverage, presumably tea (though some say it is liquor/milk/coffee). This meme is usually accompanied with a text of him saying something that may be truthful and partly comical but the underbelly is rude, disrespectful and sad. The meme ends with a statement under the guise “but that’s none of my business.” Kermit

 

Now, let’s be clear. I have nothing against Kermit the Frog. In fact, I hope him and Ms. Piggy have a great life together, but what concerns me is the passive aggressiveness that is being used by many to say things they would feel less compelled to say or post about others. Kermit is saying many things people want to say but have not or do not due to social etiquette or quite frankly because “it’s none of [their] business.” I believe some are posting these memes as a guise for their own feelings and a silent jab at others whom the post may be applicable.

 

I have seen some comments such as: “Some of y’all don’t look like your daddy at all…but that’s none of my business” “You posting naked pics for 100 likes but you afraid to read out loud in front of 20 ppl. But again, that’s none of my business.” “4 of my followers have the same boyfriend…but that’s none of my business” “Ya’ll liking the memes that’s talking about you…but that’s none of my business.” Now, the comments may be true, but have you ever heard the saying, “All truths don’t need to be told.” Truthfully, we all have memes that could be made about one aspect or another of our lives. images-2

 

So what if a person is rocking J’s and living with their Momma? So what if a person doesn’t pay child support but pops bottles in the club? What does that have to do with you? And a better questions is how can you help solve the problem?

In short, my motto: Don’t point out a problem if you can’t offer a solution.

Looking at it from a macro scale, maybe it is OUR business as a society. Maybe we need to discuss the single-parent homes, mismanagement of funds, misappropriation of government funding, and how some folks are just not so good parents, friends, coworkers, or people period.

Many may reason, well the memes are just for kicks, jokes, and giggles and that may be true; however, many jokes are grounded in truth…that’s what makes them relatable and funny. I urge you to go beyond the surface, dig deeper, and think of the message behind the memes. It is saying something. What? I’m not 100% sure. While some consider the memes hilarious, I believe it is pointing us toward some larger issues in society. Now that’s Somebody’s Business!

Food for thought.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. Also, share your kermit memes with me.

Feel free to share this via social media. With love, M.S.