Archive for Law of Attraction

Is Your Will Power “Broken”? Here’s Why…

Posted in Life Lessons with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2010 by djvinceadams

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Happy New Year and Happy New Decade!!!  I know that we are now officially several months past the New Year, but this is my first blog of 2010 and I thought that I would start by wishing everyone well. Some people have asked “hey, where is the new blog??” I enjoy blogging because it allows me to share my thoughts and opinions, but it’s always important to me that when I write its something sincere and heartfelt and not perfunctory. I’ve taken the last few months to clear my thoughts, read some books, travel a little (some for work, some for play) and now I’m back!!!

We’ve often times heard that the best way to start the New Year is with resolutions. Some people do them, some people don’t believe in them and some people don’t do them because they know they won’t stick to them. In th[e]is “goal oriented” world we live in, we’ve also heard that the best way to get rid of an old habit is to replace it with a new habit. Additionally, we’ve heard that the best way to start a new habit is to repeat it at least 21 days in a row and then it will integrate into your way of living. Cliché after cliché, we hear them, but for some reason resolutions, good habits and routines don’t always stick. Let’s find out why.

The key to moving your dreams and goals into being is to change your beliefs. It isn’t our will power, it is actually our belief systems that create the focus, discipline, conviction and drive that help us stay on point with accomplishing anything. Far too often people rely on sheer will to create long-term changes.  Whether its going back to college, losing weight, advancing your career or any goal, you will be far better served to take the time to establish new core beliefs about that goal as opposed to simply relying on will power to achieve a goal.

To illustrate, I’ll use something personal. I used to really dislike checking voice mail. I believed that it was a chore, I believed if anyone really needed me they would call back and other things that discouraged me from wanting to check my messages. I genuinely wanted to be more consistent in checking my messages and I tried (through will power) to check my voice mail on a frequent basis. It worked for a few days usually, but it didn’t take long before the messages piled up again. It wasn’t until I shifted my belief to “you could be losing money/opportunities by not checking your voice mail consistently”, that I then moved to a state of checking my voice mail typically every 48 hours (if not sooner), not out of habit, but out of a newly established belief that drives my actions. Now because of my beliefs it’s hard for me not to check my voice mail for the anxiety of potentially losing business.

Whether you want to lose weight, save money, start a business, commit to a relationship, leave a relationship or anything – you have to examine your core beliefs to make sure that they line up with your actions. For example, if you want to lose 20 lbs, but you have a core belief that, “I know some of what I eat is bad, but I could change it anytime if I wanted”, chances are the 20 lbs won’t go away (or may even increase). As a matter of fact, you may join the gym, go many times, but until the underlying core beliefs are changed, chances are you could possibly sabotage any progress made. However, if you adopt a new belief that says, “I owe it to myself to be in my best health and eating X or Y or Z sabotages my progress, so I have to limit X,Y,Z to once every two weeks in moderation or eliminate it to get my desired result”, you are now letting your beliefs take the lead.

In most cases, until we shift our beliefs, it is highly doubtful that any long-term change will come out of sheer will. This can be a liberating discovery to those who just thought that they couldn’t get through the routine of changing habits because of lack of will power. It’s not our habits or even our will that first needs to be addressed; the primary force is our core beliefs.

The trick is that the core belief has got to be a prevailing thought that holds more emotional weight with you than any other thoughts. For example, you may dislike working out, but if your core belief is, “my family needs me to be healthy” or “I refuse to go another summer not looking my best”.  Whichever belief holds your emotional attention the most is the one that guides your long-term actions/results. Just think of the smoker who has tried to stop for years, and then they get bad news from the doctor and don’t ever smoke again (and lose the compulsion to). Their habits didn’t have to change to create an instant change, their beliefs lead the way.

Don’t let the lack of accomplishments from prior goals or a feeling of weakness/inability stop you from making the changes that you want to make.  However, don’t let me oversimplify it either, exploring your inner core beliefs can be an emotional and involved process in itself. The difference is that failed attempts based on “will power” can now be eliminated and you can now begin to work on establishing new, supporting core beliefs that move you closer to the focus, discipline, conviction and drive you need to live your dreams.

I definitely hope this helps you move a step closer to your dreams and as I always say…
Much love, take care of one another and remember – “we all we got”…VA

A Fatherless Child at Christmas Time – The Glass is Half-Full…

Posted in Life Lessons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2009 by djvinceadams

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Not that long ago I thought about the last time that I ever saw my father.  Maybe the partial irony in that statement is that the last time that I saw my father was the first time that I saw my father.  I think that the thought arose because it was around the month of November when I was about 8 years old.  Prior to that time there wasn’t really much talk in my family about my father.  Some may see this as a bad thing, but for me (even as a little fella) it was as if I was the Immaculate Conception.  There was my Mom (who had me a month before her 18th birthday), Grandma, my aunt and myself – we were a team.

Some people may think “oh, how tragic that you didn’t know your father before the age of 8” or “its, such a shame that men abandon their responsibilities” or the other comments that may be said in regards to a father-less situation.  In reflecting upon those times, I think that it’s a blessing that I was born into a family that showed support, guidance and love and I cannot remember a time EVER that anyone in my family (Mom included) ever had a bad thing to say about my father or his absence in my life.  I think that the “matter of fact” nature that it had back then has really helped me not harbor any resentment or ill-will toward not knowing my father or having a relationship with him.

Back to that last/first time that I saw him, it was a cold night in Chicago and he picked me up from karate class and was introduced to me as “your father.”  I’ve had the same demeanor all my life, so even then I was like “hey, nice to meet you.”  No big smiles, no tears, no jumping up and down took place.  The amount of care and compassion that I received in my home, sans a father, never lead me to feel that I was not cared for fully.  We took a trip to Burger King and later while at my Mom’s house he asked me what I wanted for Christmas.  Anybody over the age of 30 can remember having a Sears or JC Penney catalog with all of your favorite toys circled in the catalog.  I pulled out my catalog and we made a list.  I eventually went to bed and that was the last memory that I have of my father.

For some, this may be a sad story, in my case, I to this day feel that it is not possible to miss what you never had unless you choose too.  Although it may have been the makings of a sad story, it’s a story of triumph to me.  I feel that I have matured through the years by being a very masculine, yet caring and secure person by the guidance of my immediate family and the various extended family, mentors, coaches and other people who have had a strong influence in me being the person that I am today.

I am sharing this story because during the holidays there are many people that spend far too much time focusing on what they don’t have as opposed to being grateful and cherishing the things (material and non-material) that they do have in their lives.  Also, there are many women who are raising boys/young men on their own and they are wondering can they do “enough” to raise their child to be a man.  In many instances, it still does take a village to raise a child, but in short the answer is “yes, you do have what it takes.”

I invite all of us to be more conscious of the words that we share with people in all aspects of our lives.  The loving nature and quite frankly, the respect that my family showed my father (although he wasn’t present) is something that has rubbed off on me to make me calm in the face of adversity and see the glass as half-full while many others may view the glass as half-empty (or just empty.)  The strength and communication that they’ve shared with me over the years has helped me show gratitude for what I do have as opposed to bemoaning or begrudging what I don’t have.

Energy is transferred among us, especially when it comes from a parent to a child. As we go into a new decade, don’t let disappointments and situations of the past hold you back like dead weight and stop you from accomplishing your life’s purpose.  Many people feel like they should be able to say whatever they feel, but the thing that distinguishes us from animals is the ability to think before we speak.  Moving forward into 2010 let’s move in a positive, uplifting manner that encourages others to be the best that they can be while exhibiting grace, character and maturity in the process.  Our families need us, our communities need us to walk as the example of what it is we would like to see the world become.

I share my Christmas story of being a fatherless child to say that there is an opportunity in every perceived threat.  There is potential strength in every perceived weakness.  Now more than any other time, we can’t look to anyone other than ourselves to create the social and emotional climate that we want to see in the world.  Let’s treat others as we would want to be treated, forgive ourselves for the mistakes of the past and look to make a better life not just for us, but for all that we come in contact with.

Spread love this holiday and challenge yourself to be a better person to others in the future where possible.  Also, allow yourself to forgive those who may have hurt you in a way either known or unknown to them.  This is your time and it will be what you make of it.

This is by no means meant to absolve absentee fathers in any regard.  Nor is it meant to invalidate the feelings that men or women have regarding anything missing or removed from their life.  What it is meant to do is share that your happiness/fulfillment or disappointment/anguish in life will be a direct result of where you channel your thoughts, feelings and energy.  As I’ve shared in earlier blogs, the “Strangest Secret” is 6 words – “man becomes what he thinks about.”   If you think about being abandoned, a victim or “wronged”, you will be.  If you think about being loved, fulfilled and “whole” those things in turn will come your way.

I invite you to turn as many of the half-empty glasses in your life to half-full, you will soon find that they are totally full and there is little else to worry about.

Much love, Happy Holidays, take care of one another and remember – “we all we got”…VA

Additional information

“The Strangest Secret” by Earl Nightingale – http://www.nightingale.com/AE_Article~i~22~article~StrangestSecret.aspx

I Think Someone Forgot Tomorrow Will Be Better…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by djvinceadams

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bdpic

For me the great thing about writing a blog is that there are no deadlines.  I haven’t written in a few weeks and its given me the opportunity to sit back and observe a lot and then write something that I feel can be of value to those that take a minute to read what I’ve come up with.  Over this past month, I have observed quite a bit.  One thing that I have observed is that there are a lot of unhappy people in the world.  I’m not talking about depressed, just in a funk that seems to last day after day, after day (you get the idea.)

For a number of people things have turned from hope for a better day to the malaise and routine of going from day to day accepting what they feel is their fate (at least for the moment.)  It’s very easy while “stuck in the matrix” to lose faith that there is something better in store for you.  I, for one, would like to encourage everyone to continue to believe that there is a better place in life waiting for you.

It is amazing to me the number of people that are willing to offer discouraging words or people who say the first negative thing that comes to their mind without regard to respect for you as a person.  First, let me make a distinction, just because someone makes an observation or has an opinion that isn’t positive does not automatically make them or their statement negative.  What I am more so referring to is that there are people who offer rude and oftentimes unsolicited comments to people they know or even people that they don’t know.

With all of the negativity in the world and the less than ideal financial/social conditions that we’re living in it may be hard to keep a positive perspective in hopes of having a brighter “tomorrow.”  With that in mind, I would like to offer the following observations:

  • I think that somewhere out there is a person that forgot that they are a beautiful spirit.
  • I think that someone forgot that they are worthy.
  • I think that someone forgot that they do deserve better.
  • I think that someone forgot that with great power comes great responsibility.
  • I think that someone forgot that they owe it to themselves to do more with their God-given talents.
  • I think that someone forgot that their opinion of themselves is more important than the opinion that others may have of them.
  • I think that someone forgot that others often times wouldn’t know what pains them unless they share it.
  • I think that someone forgot how to dream and let the current conditions of their life today not be the parameters that they move in tomorrow.
  • I think that someone forgot that it’s better to give than to receive and didn’t remember that extending themselves positively to others can cure them of ills they may face.
  • I think that someone forgot that sacrificing for others doesn’t mean that you lose yourself and what’s important to you in moving toward a brighter future.
  • I think that someone forgot that thoughts are sown and reaped.  Therefore if thoughts of lack and limitation are sown then the actuality of abundance is almost certain to not come.
  • I think that someone forgot that loving yourself in a healthy way that’s respectful of others is necessary in creating an environment where they will receive love.
  • I think that someone forgot that loving others, as they would want others to love them is the foundation of the Golden Rule that creates reciprocity, only if they initiate the love they want to receive.
  • I think that someone forgot that God’s delays are not God’s denials and that this too shall pass if they are wise enough to grow from the lessons of the current conditions.
  • I think that someone forgot that forgiveness is a blessing that we all have the ability to give.  However, just because they forgive does not mean that they have to receive that person in their life back in the same capacity.  By not forgiving one actually brings more harm to themselves than the person/people they are against.
  • I think that someone forgot that the results experienced today are not just the results of yesterday’s decisions, they are the results of the accumulation of the last 5 years of decisions.  What should be done today to make 5 years from now a better day?
  • I think that someone forgot that there are times that “suffering breeds character, character breeds faith and in the end faith shall not disappoint.”
  • I think that someone forgot that tomorrow will be better than today by declaring I will be the difference maker and game changer needed to make it happen.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA

Are You Where You Wanna Be? – How To Get Out of a Rut…

Posted in Life Lessons with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2009 by djvinceadams

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stuck


I haven’t written a blog in a few weeks.  I fortunately have been busy and traveling as well.  Additionally, I’ve been spending some time assessing where things are in my life and getting ready for a great 2010.  As I make the assessment of where I am and where I want to be I have made some decisions that I think will help to solidify the position of where I see myself going.  However, when I generally observe where the nation is headed or just take the temperature of people at-large it seems like there is a serious case of the “blahs” going around or in general people are stuck in a rut.

One of the decisions that I made was to get back to reading and listening to some of the personal development material that I have amassed over the years.  As I contemplated what to share in my next blog I thought that I would give 5 quick-tips to help people move to that next place in life and get out of a rut in the event that they were stuck in one.  Of course with this being a blog there is no way that I could cover an entire book’s worth of information in this space.  However, these points can hopefully assist in moving a person from where they are to where they want to be.

The interesting thing is that there will be those that feel that what I’m sharing is common sense.  With that being said, I would say that there is a tremendous difference between knowing and doing (very much akin to physically unhealthy people who neglect what they know about living a healthy lifestyle.)  Taking action on these points will create the new progress to take you to new places physically and just as importantly emotionally.

Tip #1 – Maintain a Persistent State of Grace

I think that it can be said that many people in 2009 are in the most stagnant and some even in the worst places in their lives.  However, life does have its cycles and although the current time may be a down swing, there is always something to be thankful for.  Regardless of your religious beliefs, there is an opportunity to look at the positive aspects of our lives and focus on what is going right more than what needs improvement and be thankful for those positive aspects.  The precursor to a new blessing is acknowledging the one that is currently with us.

There’s a saying that “you never miss your water until your well runs dry.”  Whether it’s the love of a parent, love of a significant other, love of a child, gainful employment, shelter, food – there is always something to be thankful for.  Maintain a persistent state of grace and when things seem rough refocus your energy on what’s right in your life as you identify what you would like to improve.

Tip #2 – Let Go Of Disappointment/Frustration

There’s another saying that states “This Too Shall Pass.”  Think back to one year ago.  Can you remember what your biggest issue was in your life at that time?  In many cases people will remember what that issue was and then quickly consider it old news because it is no longer an issue.  In some cases it will take more than a quick minute to remember before you say “oh yeah, I forgot all about dealing with that.”  In probably a smaller number of cases there may be some individuals still addressing that problem.  At any rate, the overwhelming majority of people have moved on from last year’s issue.  In turn, that also could represent that the major issue you are facing today could soon be rectified and will merely be a memory a year from today.  Have faith that this moment of frustration is temporary and that a solution will come soon.

Additionally, try to spend as little time as possible focusing on the undesirable aspects of your life.  This would include spending hours of your day recounting and reliving your frustration of your experiences from a negative position.  Rather than recounting frustrations, continually project the desire to have a new and better situation replace the one that you are currently dealing with.  For example, in sharing a situation about a negative work experience, speak more from the position of “I look forward to moving on to a better situation” as opposed to 3-hours of “this place sucks!!”  It may seem like semantics, but your subconscious mind moves you closer to the things you dwell upon and the more you dwell on the “job that sucks” the more it hangs around.  [There are many books including Dr. Joseph Murphy’s “The Power of the Subconscious Mind” that discuss more of how to use your subconscious thoughts to your benefit.]

Tip #3 – Identify A New Direction

The one positive thing about experiencing what you don’t like is that it gives you a frame of reference for what it is you would prefer.  If you are dissatisfied with your job, major in college, relationship, the number staring at you on the scale, the good news is that all of those things can be changed.  Unfortunately, no one is going to be able to change those things other than you.  Its amazing the amount of time that people spend stuck in unsatisfying relationships, jobs, and other positions in life as though they don’t have an opportunity to do anything about it.

I think the faster that a person realizes that they are not stuck and although change is challenging, it can be rewarding if done properly, the faster they are to apply long-lasting change.   Fear has a way of immobilizing a person from making a change.  There has to be a way to transfer the fear of doing something different to the realization of what would eventually happen if you remain in that stagnant state.  Identifying the new direction again can be as simple as saying that you want the opposite of whatever the state you’re in that could be causing you frustration today.

Tip #4 – Make a Choice and Act on It

Another “amazing” thing are the number of people who instinctively do Tips #1 – #3 and then when it comes time to make a choice, they freeze or “excuse” their way out of COMMITTING to the new direction that they have identified.  Most people don’t realize that if you apply yourself in a particular discipline that you can absolutely change your life in 24-36 months.  I think its safe to say that 100% of the people reading this have lived more than enough to say that 2-3 years is not a long time to devote to a major life change.  The problem is that some people don’t believe this could apply to them and there are others who are too lazy (frankly) to move out of their comfort zone of leisure, routine or other circumstances to carve out the time to apply positive and progressive change in their life.  We’re all given 24 hours in a day and its how those hours are spent for the next 24-36 months that will identify who will be the proverbial winners and losers, who will be happy and who will be frustrated.

While re-reading Tony Robbins book “Awaken The Giant Within” he discusses how many people are in emotional and psychological pain over their present life conditions.  In response to this he says that everyone has the ability to make choices to either focus on their conditions or implement choices that can effectively give them new life conditions.  Therefore, if you’re not happy with your current “conditions”, will you continue to give them your focus and energy or will you make choices that will move you to a new condition that you can feel better about?

Tip #5 – Believe In Your Commitment and Maintain The Courage of Your Convictions with a Positive Attitude

It’s unfortunate how many people allow the opinions and feedback of others to alter the excellent plans that they lay out and begin to implement for themselves.  There will always be opinions offered on things, sometimes it will be presented from a fearful position, sometimes a loving position and sometimes from the “hater” that doesn’t want to see you do something that they either can’t do or don’t have the heart to go for themselves.  At any rate, there is no accomplishment that can properly be achieved without being backed by sustained belief.  Before anything is accomplished physically it has to be completed and accomplished mentally.  Don’t let anybody or anything get you “off of your square.”  Many people discount their past accomplishments (big and small) and don’t take the opportunity to focus on these prior wins as momentum which can be used for accomplishing newer and bigger goals.  Don’t discount those wins and more importantly stay the course in the face of adversity, weariness or discontent.

A mentor of mine once explained to me that many people don’t accomplish the goals that they set out to achieve because they haven’t properly identified “WHY” they want to accomplish their goals.  He shared that in order for any life change to take effect and to “stick” that your “why has got to be big enough to cry.” Simply meaning that if you don’t come up with a substantive and meaningful reason to continue on the path of moving out of your rut, chances are you won’t accomplish life-long change. Therefore you need to establish a motive for the change that doesn’t allow you to quit.

_____

Again, these tips are simply meant to be a framework to start the gears of change.  I have said before that the people who go the furthest are students of life and they read, study and apply themselves in their chosen area of aptitude/change to learn what is needed to be successful.  If you are looking to make a change in your life I invite you to devote at least 30 minutes of “would be recreation/leisure time” to learning/doing something to move closer to your “new direction.” If you’re in a bad relationship read books on healthy relationships to get a clear understanding of where you are and what you want.  If you’re in an undesirable job, spend time on the net researching better jobs or developing new skills.  If you’re not happy with your “body image” get a gym membership or at home dvd/workout system.  Again, excuses are always available to continue to do the same thing.  However, we know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

In the end, we as individuals are the ones that are responsible for the path that we’re on and we all have the same access to opportunity.  Only a few will take that course.  You’ll just have to ask yourself if you’re in enough “pain” to give up the excuses and take a new direction and make the choices required to move out of the rut to a new and better place.  You and only you can make that determination.

It is my desire that this entry comes to someone at a point where they don’t know what to do next or need to hear something to create the momentum to initiate a positive change in their life.  If you’re at a point where these tips don’t apply, consider yourself lucky and feel free to pass them to someone who may be in a rut, have the blahs or at a crossroads.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA

Additional information

“The Strangest Secret” http://www.nightingale.com/AE_Article~i~22~article~StrangestSecret.aspx

Be Careful What You Wish For…What’s On Your List??

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2009 by djvinceadams

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candle wish

Quick Addendum: I would like to thank “Kim” for her early comment.  I am personally not a fan of using lists today.  However, I do believe that its a big part of many people’s approach to moving forward with a relationship that I would address some aspects of designing how to look for your ideal match.  Regardless of a “physical” list or not, everybody has basic qualities that they are looking for and that overall is what is being addressed.  Thanks and enjoy…VA

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since the last blog and believe it or not, it takes a lot of thought and consideration to decide what I would like to share with people related to whatever subject I’m writing about. It has really been interesting sharing my thoughts and ideas regarding life, but it seems that the topic of relationships is definitely one that people are interested in getting more information about.  So, as the old saying goes – ask and you shall receive.

I mentioned in the last blog that I was going to come out with a two-part blog series addressing “The Art of Dating” and “The Art of The Breakup.”  I have given that idea a lot of thought and I’ve determined that there is a step that is missing with regard to moving into a relationship or even being open to a relationship and that is the proverbial “wish list of wants” that people have when deciding who they would like to date.  The list, the damn list – LOL.  Why do I call it “the damn list?”  I think that my list has gotten me in trouble in the past and if you think about your past list(s) you may say that yours has lead you down the wrong path a time or three as well.

I can say that in all of my unsuccessful relationships that I have for the most part (if not completely) gotten what it is that I asked for in the person that I was dating.  The problems/issues in the relationships weren’t necessarily in the items that were “checked off” as completed or attained on the proverbial list.  The problem was in the items that I did not specify that I really should have paid more attention to.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, I am moving more to the position that the list can be a recipe for disaster when it is not developed in the proper way.  Let’s look at the attributes that you may find on a woman’s list.  Now, before we go into the women vs. men thing, I am speaking to each sex equally here – there is no fault, no bearer of ill-doing, etc.  I think it could be said that although men have their “virtual list” of what they want in a woman that it is probably more likely that a woman would have the list committed to writing.  With that being the case, let’s look at 10 qualities that a woman may have on her list for the sake of discussion:

  1. Believes in God
  2. Educated (at least a college degree)
  3. Earns a good-living (at least $XX,000)
  4. Doesn’t have kids
  5. Loves me unconditionally
  6. Is at least 5” taller than me
  7. Has a good relationship with his mother (however, isn’t a Mama’s Boy)
  8. Loves to travel
  9. Will respect me and my family
  10. Will be honest and communicate openly with me

Now, this list was drawn up randomly, but it does encompass many of the things that we “hear” that women would like in a man if not many, many more.  Although this list has 10 qualities it is possible for these physical and virtual lists to have more than 25 items on it and can actually be upwards of 50 items.  Some people may be reading this and presuming that it is absolutely impossible to get all of the qualities on the list or that you have to “settle” for only 80% of your needs being met and 20% of the qualities are things you’ll just have to live without because you can’t have it all, right?  More importantly, some people make “80%” lists and leave off very important qualities with the thought that you can’t have it all.  We’ve all heard about the 80/20 rule and I’m not going to talk about that either.

So what exactly am I talking about?  Let’s presume that you can attain 100% of what you wanted on your list.  I personally believe in the “ask and you shall receive” law of the universe that allows you to attract what it is you say/think that you want.  Although it’s a challenge, let’s again presume that you attained your goal of having your ideal list of qualities in a potential boyfriend/girlfriend.  Does that really, really make you happy? Let me ask this in a different way – have you ever really wanted a job, vacation, car or anything that was a goal and found that you were very underwhelmed, maybe even very discontent once you received it.  If you’re over the age of 18 I am willing to guess that you’ve experienced this at least 3 times in life, if not many more.

So, if I believe in lists, believe that you can essentially get what you want on the list and believe that the attainment can be unfufilling – what’s the catch?  The catch is actually a two-parter:

  1. As I’ve stated in other blogs, but it definitely needs to be addressed within this topic – another person cannot make you happy.  If you are not happy with yourself and by yourself the chances of something/someone making you happy are close to slim and/or none.
  2. The missing piece of the puzzle is this – you have to begin your “Wish List” with the end in mind. You have to ask yourself what feeling is it that you want to have once your have attained your mate and what qualities/items on your list should be connected to that end position.

Let me offer some examples.  Let’s say that you are a man who on the surface feels that you want a woman who is respectable, classy and handles herself “well” in public.  Along with those qualities you feel that it’s important that due to your “status” that your ideal mate should have a college degree. It’s possible that you can date a woman who has these qualities along with other qualities that are important to you.  However, there is a possibility that there is a woman with a college degree that you find very classy in public and you find her to be very “unadventurous” away from formal settings in a way that could be a turn-off.  On the other hand there could be a woman that doesn’t have a college degree, who is very classy in the situations that you find class is needed, however she’s adventurous and the life of the party when the time is right.  The question is, is that guy not going to pursue a relationship with the woman because she doesn’t have a college degree?

The answer to that question should lie in what is his ultimate desire (or end result) for starting a relationship.  If the ultimate desire is to be in a fun, progressive and fulfilling relationship then what place does the college degree have on the list.  This may sound like very elementary thinking, but ask yourself how many relationships you know of or have been a part of that “looked good on paper”, but were unfulfilling for the people in it or even miserable on one or both people’s parts.  That’s the importance of crafting your list from the right place.  This is also akin to the point I’ve made in previous blogs that it’s important to ask the right questions more so than focus on the answers. The end result of what you want from the relationship is the question, the items on the list are the answers.  If you don’t focus on the end result, you’ll come up with a bogus list of unsatisfactory qualities.

Another example is that there may be a “successful” woman whose end result is that she would like to be in a progressive, fulfilling and exciting relationship.  It may show up on her list that she wants a partner who makes as much, if not more money than her because men in the past have been “intimidated” by her earnings/success.  It’s possible that by focusing on the earnings of the guy that she’s missing a bigger picture.  Wouldn’t it be a better approach to want a guy who was taking care of himself financially and was secure with his earnings, as well as hers versus specifying what his earning power was?  Now, if her end desire is to build a “power couple” dynasty that will buy up the world, then her mate’s earnings make a difference.  If she wants to simply be in fulfilling relationship then maybe the focus should shift to his security rather than his earning power.  Isn’t it true that there are men who are insecure regardless of how much money they make??

There are two big caveats for this train of thought though.  It is always possible that there are multiple “end results” that you would want to achieve in your relationship.  Whatever the reasons are a person should just make sure that the items on the list are related to the end desired result for the relationship.  The second caveat is that there are always “deal breakers” for everybody.  I won’t go into what “deal breakers” are because they vary from person to person.  Its just possible that regardless of how the individual list items add up that there can be a factor that makes the situation something that you would choose not to pursue.

Another aspect of developing your wish list is that the list is a “living document.”  There are many times that people set their list in stone from relationship to relationship and they become so committed to their “ideal” of what they want in a person that they don’t allow for modification or adjustments to their list.  Different situations/relationships should call for some amount of human “factoring” that may re-sort the order of importance or weight of qualities from relationship to relationship.  Also, as we achieve some of these qualities in a partner in a relationship, the list should be reevaluated to insure that those attained qualities (or at least how they were presented in that relationship) held the level of importance they initially seemed to have.

The bottom line for all of these considerations is that we really shouldn’t “block our blessings” by “majoring in minors.”  Don’t get caught up on individual “nice to have” items that could prevent you from finding a close alignment with someone more suited for you.  Additionally, don’t focus on items that ultimately may lead to you being in an unsatisfied, unfulfilling relationship by paying more attention to fringe “list items” rather than your core needs.

As with all of my blogs (especially on relationships) the focus here is on you internally and not what other people do to you or for you.  If you properly align your “Wish List” with your needs, the chances of you achieving your true end result grow exponentially as opposed to throwing a bunch of non-tangential qualities on a sheet of paper and thinking the attainment of this collection of “things” will lead to your happiness.  You and your God are the source of your happiness, craft the life and associations that compliment your self-happiness and the rest will work itself out.

How many movies have we seen where the girl leaves the “perfect guy” (the list guy) for the guy that captured the essence of what she REALLY wanted in a man?  I would strongly suggest that you give some serious thought to your core values/desires to create a collection of qualities that speaks to what matters to you in the essence of a mate and not just superficial “nice to have” qualities.  Again, those qualities should ultimately be essential to the desired result.  Before you make a wish and blow out the candle, be careful what you wish for – you just may get it.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA

Open Letter To Men/Women Wanting a Healthy Relationship…Do You Know Where You’re Going??

Posted in Life Lessons, Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by djvinceadams

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Road to Nowhere Color

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Disclaimer: This is the third of a three-part blog series on relationships.  The first was An Open Letter To Men and the second was an Open Letter To Women.  As with all of these entries, they are based on conversations, observations and experiences related to male/female relationships and behavior.  The premise of the letter is to expand the conversation regarding relationships and hopefully serve as a benefit to those seeking positive and healthy relationships.  This entry will not be able to address or account for everything that has ever gone wrong in the history of relationships or totally prepare the reader for everything needed for a fulfilling relationship.  That is totally beyond the scope of one letter, book, seminar, sermon or other aid.  This is just one step in what should be a person’s never-ending search for knowledge, understanding and progression.

This document is geared more toward single individuals that are open to pursuing a relationship as opposed to people currently in a relationship.  Again, it’s just that the scope of this letter can not realistically address all issues related to dating whether in a relationship or open to being in one.  The attitudes and behavior addressed in the Letter to Men and Letter to Women aren’t addressed in this letter because those behaviors need to be addressed if they haven’t before this information can be applied.

Dear Friends,

What’s up and I am glad that you’re willing to take a moment of your time to allow me to share some things with you.  You may have read my prior two letters to men and women addressing different aspects of how “we” can be or how some of us are.  If you have not read those letters I would definitely recommend them for when you have time.  By this point in life you may have had a relationship or two (or three or more) and find the opposite sex to be confusing, frustrating, unpredictable or some other adjective that may not be positive.  If you have great feelings about relationships and the opposite sex then that’s definitely a good thing because I would not assert that all people are disenchanted with the opposite sex.

Before I go any further I know that everyone has their own perspective and this is simply my perspective.  It can’t be all-inclusive of all things, it’s really just meant to operate as a springboard to a better understanding or just something to consider.  Millions of books have been written on love/relationships.  I will share 5 major components/understandings that I think if addressed could significantly improve a person’s chances of achieving a fulfilling relationship.  In addition to these components I will share solutions that can get the ball rolling in getting over the hurdles that are presented.  The good news is that there is a solution in most cases.  The “not so good news” is that there are no quick remedies or instant revelations that move you from Point A to Point B overnight – as with anything worth having, it’s a process that takes work, time, energy and effort.

1) If You Are A Weak Individual By Yourself, You Are Just As Weak In A Relationship

Far too many people view a relationship as crazy glue, as a wonder drug or some magical remedy that will address a void in their lives or their personality.  I believe that it can be said that far too many people do not assess their own personalities or their own offerings prior to entering into a relationship and feel that something or someone outside themselves will fill the void of what’s possibly missing within them.  The first person that you must love in a relationship is the person that you are.  There are too many instances of a person not loving (in some cases not even liking) themselves that enter into a relationship and project their loneliness, their emptiness, their discontent for where their lives are on to the person they’re dating.  Their next step is to load up the figurative “relationship wheel barrel” and they hand their discontent to their new partner and say “you carry the load now – I don’t have to do this by myself anymore.”

That’s where it is first and foremost required that anyone understands that in love/relationships – two halves don’t make a whole. There are an extremely high number of individuals who do not go through the often times uncomfortable process of evaluating “who am I and am I fulfilled with my life independent of who is in it.”  This is a must-do process for anybody for two reasons.  One, it’s the smart thing to do because understanding deficiencies in your life independent of a relationship gets you to the place of identifying that regardless of how many relationships you enter – you won’t be satisfied and its not the other person’s fault for your dissatisfaction.  The second reason is that it’s the socially responsible thing to do because as you lure other people into your “no-win relationship” you drag other people through the process of you being unfulfilled.  How does this happen?  It becomes a situation where you are constantly going to the relationship to address your voids and that’s not the responsibility of your mate, that’s your responsibility.  You virtually become insatiable.

It is absolutely true for anyone to be fulfilled in a relationship that they have to be very comfortable with who and how they are as a person.  That doesn’t mean that people don’t have insecurities about themselves or things that they would like to improve.  The key word in this instance is identification.  Some people understand this next point and some are totally unaware of it.  That point is that if you truly can’t spend time with yourself, be fulfilled within yourself and you constantly NEED other people and things around you to be fulfilled then the chances of you being fulfilled outside of yourself decrease exponentially.

Many people feel that ignorance is bliss and it truly can be.  In this case, ignorance can be weakness as well.  By blocking out the constructive criticism and positive feedback from individuals that are closest to us share about our “ways”, characteristics and behavior that could use some improvement we are consciously choosing to remain a lesser form of ourselves.  Let me clarify what I mean by this.  I’m not referring to “directions in life” type of advice like “you should go back to school”, “you really need to settle down” or “your job is not challenging enough.”  These are life decisions that everyone needs to make on their own and although outside consideration is valuable, its not always the best course for you.  I’m referring to behavior statements like “you’re pretty hard to get along with sometimes”, “its hard for me to communicate with you because you seem to not listen to anyone other than yourself” or “why does it seem that you are never willing to compromise with other people.”  Those around us who actually are of great integrity and have our best interest in mind can be a catalyst for positive change if we are open to receiving what they share.

The basic solution to this understanding is that life is an ever-evolving and progressive learning process.  Many people think that learning ends when formal education (i.e. high school, college, graduate school, etc.) comes to an end.  Puberty is the first stage to adult development, but the true “wonder years” of figuring life out take place when the first bill with your name hits your mailbox post graduation.  The true leaders and winners in life understand that they don’t have it “all figured out” and they seek the progressive advice of people, books and other sources of information to progress their life from where it is to where they want to go.

The true winners understand that you must be a student of life in order to really progress yourself and your life’s conditions. For many people, they would rather “wing it” and take an “I got this covered” approach.  Often times the result is if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll continue to get what you’ve always gotten.  Watching Oprah a few times a week and other casual activities won’t make you the best career person, parent or prospect for a successful relationship.  Value the input of those around you that you respect when they share, but just as important – you have to pursue excellence in order to be excellent.  Many people are content to lean on their own understanding which is an exercise in futility in many cases.  True learning begins after you graduate.  Never stop your willingness to learn.

2) People Often Seek Relationships With Others Who Have Qualities That Are Not Compatible With Their Preferences or Qualities That Aren’t Compatible Period

Many people have a physical or virtual list of qualities that they want in a person.  It has been my observation that far too often this list contains qualities that are dissimilar and incongruent.  That is not to say that there isn’t that magical person out there that fits all of your qualities listed on your “should have” list.  However, the chances of you finding that individual grow far less likely when you are looking for someone whose character traits are unlikely to exist in one person.  Again, it’s improbable, not impossible.

What do I mean by dissimilar, incongruent or incompatible character traits?  Let’s look at women for a second.  I’ll share a story about a good friend of mine who has done well for herself as a lawyer in “the big city.”  She used to date a guy that was a big time real estate investor and they would kick it hard.  This guy would take her on expensive vacations, everything they did was top shelf, dinner for two people would be over $500 many times.  That’s great and they both enjoyed the time and the lifestyle.  Now here’s the issue, sometimes the guy would be an hour or two hours late for dinner.  I can hear women across the country with one collective “aww hell naw – that’s not gonna work for me.”

Let’s look at this a little closer, this guy is a multi-millionaire in real estate.  Anyone who has ever sat in a closing for the sale of property knows that you literally can never tell how long a closing will last, they easily could go over the expected time by one or more hours.  Here’s the bottom line, if you want a man that’s always on time you will have to find a guy who’s career and lifestyle fit the type of flexibility or inflexibility that works for you.  It would be different if the guy was cheap as hell, but if she wants to enjoy the fruits of his labor with him, she’ll have to give him the room and understanding that go along with his career.  Bottom line, your preferred attributes and qualities in a partner should be congruent – if you want someone who is on banker’s hours, date a banker, not a real estate mogul.

Now let’s take a look at the fellas.  For the guy that is looking for a match to his power couple image of a relationship, he may pursue women that are very career oriented.  Along with that woman comes her schedule and responsibilities.  That means that it’s pretty unreasonable for that guy to want this career oriented woman to have dinner on the table everyday at 7pm like his mother did.  She may have dinner on the table at 7pm one day, 9pm the next day, she may pick up the dinner the next day on the way home and you may have to do something for dinner to help out the other two days of the week.  For him to have the expectation that this “compliment” to his “power couple image” will have the same schedule of “household maintenance” that a woman who is looking to be more of a caretaker in a relationship are incompatible traits.  If he wants to date a woman with that ambition, somethings got to give OR if he wants dinner on the table everyday at a certain time then he may need to find a woman who’s career and lifestyle make that possible.

Understand that these examples are only that, examples, they are not absolutes.  I’m not saying that real estate moguls are exempt from respecting a woman’s time and that career women are exempt from providing nurturing and “feel good” esthetics that men like.  I’m simply saying that there has to be a degree of flexibility that tempers your expectations if you have preferred characteristics in a partner that may be more of a contrast than a compliment.

Then there are people that date a person that has traits that are incompatible with their own.  A woman who hates sports may want to date a guy who is a sports nut.  A guy who loves sports may want to date a woman who has never been and doesn’t ever care to go to a football game.  An even better example of this is the person who has a very active social life that falls for the person that has a very inactive social life.  In all of the examples just stated there is often a strong desire to CHANGE the person that you are in a relationship with.

Let me now state this – the only person that you can change, control or exert power over is yourself. If you met a person and they have “undesirable” likes, manner, interest and lifestyle (meaning that they differ from your preferences) you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration by understanding what makes them tick as opposed to getting them to change what they gravitated to long before the two of you were a couple.

If a woman had a lot of male friends before you met her, its not probable that she will stop talking to her male friends now that you’re in her life.  If a guy has “guy’s night” out and likes to hang with his boys – that’s his thing and although prospective shifts in a relationship you can’t remove people from their interests and likes.  The primary result of attempting to change them is resentment and as much as you think you’re helping yourself by trying to change your partner, you’re probably creating resentment toward you and your position if his/her behavior was like that prior to the relationship.

This is not to say that opposites don’t attract or that people can’t expose others to more than they already know.  It is to say that expectations have to be viewed as contiguous qualities and not these disjointed desires such as “I want a beautiful woman with no male friends” or “I want this head strong man who never refutes what I say or has an opinion different than mine.”  The more closely in alignment with one another your desired qualities are, the better chance you have of finding someone who realistically meets your standards.

The solution to this issue is born out of the definitions of disappointment.  My definition of disappointment is “the result of unmet expectations.” Some people are crafting a world of disappointment by creating tons of expectations in another person that more than likely will never be met by them.  Of course you should have expectations, standards and behavior guidelines that work for you in your relationship.  However, it’s important that you align those expectations in a way that you give the person you’re dating the opportunity to win.  Far too often men and women create a set of diametrically opposed traits that will create their own frustration.  The awareness has to be adjusted in their expectations that give themselves and the other person the opportunity to win in the relationship.

3) Many People Tend To Be Reactive and Problem Oriented in Relationships

This issue can’t be any more plainly stated than it already is.  There is a large contingency of people that chronically complain.  It may be that their observations are accurate, but they continuously whine and complain as opposed to create a winning environment.

The words that usually accompany the complaint are “you should already know this”, “why should I have to even tell you this” or “I thought you would have figured that out by now.”  Any iteration of that statement has a certain level of presumption and/or assumption in it.  Although I do agree that there is a basic code of conduct that most people would have toward one another, I would add that “common conduct” ain’t always common.  That just means what’s expected by one person isn’t a “given” to somebody else.  For example, I went on a lunch date with a woman who thought that it was proper for me to get out of the car when we parked, walk around to her door and let her out in order for her to exit the car.  I definitely didn’t do it, but my illustration (though a bit of an outlier) more so is to illustrate that people have different perspectives on what “common conduct” is.

My main point here is to say that people are not mind readers.  There are a lot of cases where people sulk, “blow a gasket” and get bent out of shape when people don’t perform an activity or provide something that they wanted or expected that somebody should or would do.  Additionally, some people are more apt to complain in many instances rather than see this disconnect as an opportunity to grow closer to together.

The solution to this issue is simply open, honest and effective communication.  The key to making the communication effective is to be solution oriented with the issue by creating an outcome that works for not just one, but both people. Additionally, in order to preempt an issue from arising, more people need to communicate what their expected/desired behavior or response from their mate is prior to an issue ever coming up.

Let me go back to the example of my lawyer-friend and her real estate mogul boyfriend.  I agreed with her that her time mattered and that she needed to be given notification of times that he was running extremely late.  I suggested to her that instead of wagging her finger in his face and demanding that she wasn’t going to be disrespected that she present a solution.  I gave her several examples of things that she could do that would create a win-win scenario and she said that what I shared with her was not only practical and feasible for her, but not an inconvenience to him either.  Although the relationship with that guy didn’t work out she found that the general advice of being solution oriented made sense and she put it to use in her next relationship.  I just found out that she and her current boyfriend just got engaged this weekend and she’s happier than she’s ever been.  I’m sure that providing solutions and not just addressing problems has gone a long way to creating a more collaborative environment than combative one for her.  Yes, it takes more work, but most things worth having do take more work.

4) People Show You Who They Are If You Take The Time To Look & Listen

Let’s get real for a second – most people that are horrible in a relationship show you that they’re going to be horrible before you ever commit to the person.  There are a ton of non-verbal and verbal clues that people share with you to let you know that they are selfish, shady, volatile or a ton of other undesirable qualities before you wake up and ask yourself “what have I gotten into.”  How does this happen?  Often times people go into relationships with their “eyes wide shut” looking at the things that they want to see and not the things that are actually happening in front of them.

This is not to say that there are not some good posers, actors and con artist (men and women) out there.  However, I bet in many instances that when people look at situations in hindsight that they can piece together different things that they glossed over that should have been something that was more disconcerting at the time it was recognized than it actually was.  We all have to go through different situations, experiences and frustrations in order to learn and grow.  Part of learning what you want is experiencing what you don’t like.

Volumes could be written on this point alone, but I will share one quick item to address this point.  Simply stated – A RED FLAG IS A RED FLAG!! I can’t take credit for this phrase, its something that I actually got from my Mom, but the truth of it is undeniable.  There are too many people that look at undesirable behavior in a dismissive capacity instead of with the seriousness and importance that it really deserves.  The worse part is that more times than not, by the time a person accepts the red flag as being a red flag they are “time committed” into the situation and then begin to put good time in after bad time as opposed to recognizing that the situation isn’t a fit for them and removing themselves from it.

There are times that a guy will give a woman an indication (hint: maybe a red flag in their book) that he is not the most dependable person as it relates to remembering things that she would feel are important to her (i.e. appointments, dates, things that he said he would do, etc.)  Yet, in many cases this pattern is dismissed in favor of thinking that as the relationship progresses that he’ll get better.  The news here is that often times people are at their best behavior in the early stages of the relationship and this is about the best that she’ll get from him (possibly.)  Many women talk about how guys have “representatives” in the early stage of getting to know the guy that he sheds to reveal his true self at a later time.  That’s well and good, but what about his (or her) true self that is shown to you that you choose to ignore. Many times people are given all they need to know up front still go deep into an undesirable situation where the person is showing who they really are up front.

However, there is a danger that some people have of becoming highly speculative or even paranoid after being hurt by a person that showed themselves to be different than how they were initially perceived to be.  The danger here is that there are some situations where you as the “hurt person” must shoulder more of the responsibility for the caliber of people that you have in your life (friends and lovers) and more importantly for the time that you put into these relationships after you discovered that this person was not meant for you.

Many people may have heard the Maya Angelou quote “If a person shows you who they are, believe them.”  Unfortunately far too many people don’t believe that fire is hot and they have to stand in the flames long after they’ve been ignited before they remove themselves (if they ever do.)  Everybody has their own motivation for why they stay in a situation, so I could never address them all globally.  The one thing that I can say globally is that the object of experience is to not repeat lessons that have already been learned.  No need to be bitter, contrary or vindictive to the next person that you encounter – however, no need to be bitten by a different animal in the same spot you were bitten before.  Learn your lesson and recognize those red flags that you’ve seen or those like them when they present themselves.  Additionally, don’t erect so many walls of protection and create so many defense mechanisms that you cut yourself off from blessings at the time that you decide you are open to a relationship if you choose.  Being a cynic is not a good look for anybody, being aware is your responsibility though.  Knowledge is power, use it wisely, but you have to use it.

As a side note, not all people are bad, messed up, etc.  Sometimes people “just don’t work out”, have different agendas or are incompatible.  That comes along with the process.  I just didn’t want it to be implied that I feel everyone presents red flags.

5) Fear and Love Can’t Occupy The Same Space

This is a lesson that I understood clearly when I got it from The Road Less Traveled by Dr. M. Scott Peck.  There are far too many people that let fear and insecurity not only lead them into a relationship, but rule them once they get there.  A relationship is a process of giving.  However, the person that is constantly in a state of fear/panic/insecurity/gluttony/selfishness becomes much more concerned about what they’re getting (or not getting) that they often times forget (or neglect) to give.

A healthy relationship is meant to be a place where you are not only getting nourished, but you are nourishing someone in return.  Many times in relationships the scales of who gives and how much they give is thrown way out of balance by the fact that people are far more concerned about what it is they are receiving than what they are giving.

The solution to this issue is that there is a certain amount of ego that has to be dialed down (by men and women) and a certain amount of vulnerability that both people must expose themselves to in order to allow an environment of sharing or a win-win scenario to take place. In layman’s terms “it ain’t all about you.”  However, just as important, it ain’t all about the other person either.  Far too many people can lose themselves in a relationship by losing their love/care of self for the benefit of the person that their involved with and to their own detriment.  Either way it goes, when the scales are tipped too far to either side, somebody or both people in the relationship are bound to lose.

There’s no simpler way that I can explain the point that Fear and Love Can’t Occupy the same space than that.  This may seem like an oversimplified explanation, but really how much more difficult is it?  Humility is something that both people in a relationship need to exhibit in order to make it work.  Deferring to your partner because you respect their ability to make a decision is usually needed.  If you don’t respect your partner enough to allow them to participate in the decision making parts of your relationship then you need an entirely different letter written to you.

Let me quickly share something about tolerance in a relationship.  People need people.  You need somebody (not a relationship per se, just the love of people) and somebody needs you.  If you’re in a relationship you have to accept someone for who they are and their desire and ability to give their best (which is relative to every individual.)  We have to be patient and tolerate one another as we strive to be our best (and I’m not speaking financially or career oriented best.) HOWEVER, the word strive is the optimal word in that sentence.  If you are in a situation or venturing into a relationship with someone who is not seeking to live their best life or looking to be their best self, then enter at your own risk.  A person does not have to verbally commit to you that they are living their best life.  Its in their manner, their character and in their way of being.  If you openly choose to start a relationship with someone who wants nothing more than what they have and where they are (i.e. spiritually, mentally, emotionally, communicatively, etc.) then it is not their fault if they don’t live up to your view of who they should be.  More responsibility needs to be taken by people for the decisions that they make, as opposed to passing blame to their partner for doing what they have always done – simply being themselves, not their “best self.”  If you value your time, your energy and your emotions you will take the time to respectfully qualify the people that you have in your life, relationships as well as friendships because you are the sum total of the people you associate with – they are a reflection of you and vice versa.

We all come from different upbringings, different environments and don’t have the same experiences when we’re raised.  In order to balance this difference in all of us, it’s important to encapsulate all 5 of these points that I’ve presented to give you and the person that you’re looking to enter a relationship with the chance to win.  By being a student of life, properly identifying/aligning your desires, being solution oriented, seeing the red flags and being emotionally/mentally capable and available for that relationship if you choose to enter into it, you’re set up for success.

Why don’t people do these things?  I can quite honestly say it’s a lot easier to be lazy, be “about yourself” and not do the work that it takes to prepare yourself for a quality relationship than it is to work at being ready.  No truer words have been spoken than “you reap what you sow.” Identify what you want, but also create a life game plan that gets you where you want to go.  Many people are willing to invest thousands of dollars into their formal careers and academic progress, but don’t take the free time to learn and improve themselves as people when they want to progress outside of their careers.

Again, life is a never-ending lesson if you’re willing to take the course.  Some books that have helped me gain a view of what “matters” to me are:

  • “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck M.D.
  • “What You Think of Me Is None of My Business” by T. Cole-Whittaker
  • “Awaken The Giant Within” by Anthony Robbins
  • “The Law of Attraction” by Esther & Jerry Hicks

To paraphrase the great Jim Rohn “if you’re in the wrong direction you’ll never get to your destination.  If you’re in the right direction it may take you 5 years to reach your destination.  Although you can’t reach your destination overnight – if by chance you find that you’re going in the wrong direction, you can change your direction in an instant.” I pray that you’re all going in the right direction and find your destination.

Take care of one another – “we all we got.”  Thanks for taking the time to grow with me.  Much love…VA

An Open Letter to Women – “The Woman In The Mirror”…

Posted in Life Lessons, Relationships with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 9, 2009 by djvinceadams

TO ACCESS PREVIOUS BLOG ENTRIES USE THE LINKS AT THE TOP OR CLICK “THE BLOGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE” TITLE TO ACCESS THE HOME PAGE…

Black frame with detail mirror

NOTE: THIS IS A THREE-PART SERIES.  TO ACCESS THE OTHER ENTRIES CLICK THE LINKS ABOVE BY THE TITLE…

This is the second of a three part series regarding the Male/Female Relationship.  This entry is an open letter to Women, the first was an open letter to Men and the third is an open letter to Men and Women who want a productive and fulfilling relationship.  This submission is intended to loosely connect with the first letter to Men.  Therefore, issues that were addressed in the letter to men will not be rehashed in this letter.

Disclaimer(s):  I could write an entire blog about disclaimers given that women are very dynamic individuals.  Very much like the letter to men, this entry is the culmination of experience, observations and conversations with men and women about women.  The nature of the blog is very frank and it is not intended to be inflammatory or antagonistic, merely one person’s vast, broad assimilation of information.  If you are a woman reading this you may feel that there are some items, examples and inferences that may not relate to you.  In that case, feel free to look past that as a “does not apply to me” issue.  HOWEVER, it has been my experience that there is quite a bit of denial within some women with regard to how they “really” are perceived by others vs. how they perceive themselves.

Also, this is a “lengthy” discussion to a broad topic.  I do not speak for all men, but I would say that the information is very pertinent.  I thank you in advance for taking the time to read it.  With that being said – here we go…

Dear Ladies,

Hello Ladies, I hope that you’re doing well at the time of receiving this letter.  Many of you had the opportunity to peek at the letter to Men that I wrote and if you have not, I would encourage you to when you find time.  As that letter stated, I don’t know everyone that this letter will reach, but there are some that I have had the opportunity to know in passing, some very well or maybe even “personally.”  I know that some of you are single, married, “unhappily connected” or “happily connected.”  Any way you may be at this time, I applaud you for making it this far and doing so much in a world that is often dominated by men.

Before I get started, I would like it if you as the ladies could do me a huge favor.  As you’re reading this, can you please let go of the excuse of “well if guys would just” or “what about when guys do” and all of the other references that could come up about men’s transgressions or wrong doings.  Two wrongs don’t make a right and men behaving badly in no way removes women’s accountability for the issues that they bring to the table.  So this letter is focused on women, not the things that men do to make women do unproductive things in return.  Ok, thanks for agreeing to that.

I think that there are many, many issues ranging from esteem issues, to insecurity, materialism, prior abuse, self-respect and many more issues that impact women in relationships.  Also, because women are so dynamic it would be impossible to address all of these issues within this letter.  With that in mind I will let ladies know that this letter will specifically speak to why many women attract more “busters” and bad choices in men and many times don’t get a call back or chance to pursue a relationship with the guy who may have been a better quality catch. Plainly stated, the undesirable components of some women’s personality quite possibly attract the buster and repel the guy with good sense.

Today (July 7, 2009) Michael Jackson was laid to rest and one of his more poignant songs is “The Man In The Mirror” which inspired the title of this letter.  I would like to ask every woman, presuming you could meet a single man who possessed your criteria for what a good man is, who wasn’t intimidated by other men or your place in life, wasn’t insecure, who was willing to develop a mature relationship with you that could lead to marriage – would you consider yourself to be the woman that he would want in return??  As much talking that has been done about how trifling, immature and under-developed men are, do you really consider yourself to be the woman that “Mr. Right For You” would want in return??

The origin of this question doesn’t come from my past serious relationships and it doesn’t come from my divorce.  It actually comes from the many conversations I’ve had with women (some dating, some just conversations), the conversations that I’ve had with “good” men regarding their experiences with women and my personal observations of women as a business man and DJ in the 3rd largest city of the country, Chicago.  It certainly comes from the numerous conversations or observations of women when I and other men think “do you even hear the words that are coming out of your mouth??” Unfortunately, if I had to assess whether many women are what I or what other men of good character would want (not referring to physical attraction, purely personality), the answer would be a resounding “hell NO.”

To cut to the chase as to why this may be the point, it is my observation that there are two types of women (for the purposes of this letter), the first is the woman that simply knows herself, the second woman is the woman who not only knows herself, but she is also “self aware.”  We all know what knowing yourself is – it includes your likes, turn-offs, ambitions, desires, etc.  However, being “self aware” means that you not only know yourself, you are also fully aware of how you are perceived by other people.

Again, my observation is that there are many women that exhibit less than desirable personality qualities (i.e. argumentative, uber-passive, over bearing, etc.) and unfortunately, they have no idea that they would run a good guy off in a heartbeat.  I’ve asked several women lately “which one of your girlfriends would you personally date if you were a guy.”  After a pause and some thought, many of them cycle through their girlfriend’s idiosyncrasies, quirks, bad habits and oddities to then say, “let me get back to you on that.”  Of course that’s not true of every woman.  However, the major point that I’m sharing is that sometimes women can be so fixated on “this is me and this is who I am, take it or leave it” that they don’t realize how much of a turn off their personality truly is, especially to a man that they would want to attract.

Its even amazing the number of arguments/squabbles that women have with their women friends during girls night out, girl’s vacations, etc.  You hear comments like “I’ll never travel with her again”, “I hate waiting for her” or “that’s why I like it when I drive as opposed to riding with them” and many more complaints about women friends.  Guess what – you and/or your girlfriends bring that same behavior (and more) in their relationships with men.  Women don’t even want to deal with their girl friends (in some cases) because “you know how SHE is.”  That’s exactly the point I’m making about the same and worse behavior with men.

Again, the natural defense is to say “well, what about the guys who…” – we’re not talking about them right now, this is about you being ready for “Mr. Right For You” in the event that’s what you would like to have in your life.

I know that there are some women that would say “if a guy doesn’t like me for who I am, then he’s not the guy for me.”  Well, let’s take a look at who you are quite honestly:

  • Are you conflict oriented or conflict averse?
  • Are you boring or engaging?
  • Are you open to new things or stuck in your ways?
  • Are you super-stubborn or open to new ways of seeing things?
  • Are you bossy or flexible?
  • Are you abrasive or soothing?
  • Are you clingly/insecure or secure?
  • Are you overly needy or independent to the extent there’s no room for anyone else or somewhere in the middle?
  • Do you appear to be frigid or tastefully alluring (let’s be honest, men do want to be ATTRACTED to a woman?)

I know that times have changed and that women have to assume more responsibility in the home and in the office than ever before.  HOWEVER, one of the biggest things that I’ve seen in the 21st century woman that is a major turn-off is the lack of a brain buffer.  Quite honestly that means that what comes up, comes out.  In addition to the brain buffer issue is women who are theoretically so far on their own page with their likes, dislikes, “this is the way that I amisms”, that it literally turns people (women and men) off or runs them away.  Again, I am referring to the “getting to know you” process.”  These issues can be omnipresent even prior to an actual relationship ensuing.

Let me explain something briefly.  Many times the guy that you are looking for who is sensitive to your needs, supports you in your progression of yourself, wants to carry his part of the load and all those other great things really doesn’t want a sarcastic, “flip”, “say whatever you feel” kind of woman.  This doesn’t mean that he’s not looking for your opinion and doesn’t want to hear what you have to say.  That also doesn’t mean that he doesn’t want a funny, witty woman with a ton of personality.  This is where the old adage “it’s not always what you say, but how you say it” comes in.  We are in a time where far too often women don’t care how they say what it is they have to say to a man.  This may seem unreasonable, but it’s no different than the desire to have a man ask something of you rather than demand it.  The gruff, crass and thoughtless way that some women speak (especially to men) these days doesn’t garner any level of respect, love, courtesy or desire to want to spend time with a woman who doesn’t have enough discretion to think before she speaks.

Some women may say “I don’t want to have to go through all of that, if I feel something I should just be able to say whatever.”  Again, you wouldn’t want some guy coming at you half-witted and quarter-cocked with the first dumb ass thing out of his mouth.  Just consider the feeling mutual.  Too often the lack of decorum and the feeling of “whatever” that many women have will continue to attract the guys who do the same in return and alienate the ones who would offer them the respect in return of thinking before they said the first thing that came to mind.

Many women are under the impression that men are intimidated by free-thinking, motivated and assertive women.  Though that may be the case with some men, there are many men who want a woman with wit, energy, ideas and ambition.  HOWEVER, they want them to still be and act like women.  The same way that it’s a turn off for a man to exhibit what would be considered “girl like” tendencies, it is equally as much of a turn off to a man for a woman to interact with him, have conflict with him and “get at” him the way that a man would.  It doesn’t mean that a “good” man wants a woman to be demure or soft-spoken.  Mature and developed men can receive what you’re saying much better when it’s delivered with grace, class and panache’ as opposed to when it’s being delivered with the subtlety of a baseball bat.  The same way you want a man to be a man, a man talking with a woman, doesn’t wants to feel like he’s “going at it” with one of his boys unless it’s the tone of a specific conversation.  It is cool to feel like you have a woman that can flow between “kickin it” and the serious man/woman vibe.  Unfortunately, I’m not referring to moments of conflict; I’m just referring to typical everyday conversation where women are so raw and at times abrasive that it’s a turnoff.  When I say abrasive I’m not referring to profanity.  More like talking at someone instead of talking to them or just frankly saying anything that comes to mind regardless of how it may be received.

On the other end of the spectrum is the woman that feels that her opinion doesn’t matter or she constantly relegates herself to whatever the man’s position would be.  Included in that is the woman who is not engaging in many regards and doesn’t present any level of allure or captivating quality to attract a man.  The man you want typically only fully respects women that they fully respect themselves.  Good guys typically are drawn to women who feel good about themselves.  It is not my assertion in any way that a woman should “kow tow” to a man in any way.  I feel that the most progressive relationships will always be the ones where the two act as equals (still respective of the man/woman dynamic) and the woman is not relegated to the lesser person in the relationship.  Unfortunately, many woman position themselves in that place are at times taken advantage of because of it.  Much of that was/is her doing.

Again, it is my personal opinion that the right woman can get a man to do just about anything that she would want if she was more desirable (mentally and yes, physically too – this is a desire based connection for both sexes) than demanding in many cases.  There is an old statement that still is  as true today as it has ever been – “you can attract a lot more bees with honey than you can with vinegar” and unfortunately many women have lost sight of that.  On far too many occasions the otherwise desirable woman is driving men away by not being “self aware” and simply being herself.

So how is it that this position assumed by women of not being “self aware” can attract busters and stave off the desirable guy?  Let’s look at the buster.  The synonym for buster is predator.  Busters look at women with emotional issues, super-ego/attitudes, walls, emotionally unavailable and/or low self-esteem as prey or a challenge.  That means that by their very nature they know that your soft exterior or rough exterior, whatever you may have can be broken down by a series of saying and/or doing the things to get past the barriers that have been put up.  The same way that the jackal stalks the lioness, many women are throwing so much of their “this is how I am” nature or their “I have low esteem” nature out there that its literally pheromones attracting the jackal who is willing to “play the game” until you break down and give him whatever it is he wants.  The buster/predator sees you as a project, a thing to do, a conquest and is willing to engage in the game of “this is me” because he wants to destroy you or at least take the parts that he wants and leave the rest behind.

How does being “self aware” help minimize the attacks from the buster/predator?  The same way that the woman that is not self aware can turn her friends off and not care, can rub the right guy the wrong way and say “he wasn’t the one for me” is the same woman that is so far on her own page that she doesn’t see the true intentions of the buster.  It is her bullshit ways that have become the bait that the buster uses because they know that given the right “approach” they can and will break her down.

On the total other hand – the mature, progressive, “willing to grow with you” type guy is the one that typically sees the walls, the issues, the unnecessary difficulty, the low-esteem, the inflexibility or brash disposition and would rather not be bothered with all of that.  All of what you may ask?  All of the posturing, extreme ego, insensitivity, lack of esteem, potential conflict that he will notice very early in interacting with a woman if he himself is “self aware.”  Self aware women and self aware men are not predators.  They don’t have time to decipher the code of what makes you tick or burst through the proverbial walls that have been erected.

It is the law of attraction – those things that are alike in life are drawn to one another.  The predator and the prey are drawn to one another.  It is very much like Job 3:25 from the bible “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.”  Many women, I have to tell you – you are running the desirable guys away with your attitudes, lack of humility, lack of grace, lack of self-anything, lack of femininity (beyond sex appeal) and you are attracting the busters for the same exact reasons.  Then those same women are enabling and supporting the behavior of the predators that they are in relationships with and are looking to place the blame on the man.  Every person’s first order of priority is to love yourself, you can not look for anyone to love you more than you are willing to love yourself.

Men and women have a lot of complexities in relationships and again, this letter can not and does not address all of them.  However, if you are finding that you don’t know where “the good men are” or if you seem to attract predators in your life, it’s possible that you may have the entire male species figured out, so you would like to believe.  My question then would be, how much time have you taken to assess your own quirks, idiosyncrasies and ways about you that may drive your friends or a good man to not want to further a relationship with you?  How happy are you with your “this is me” attitude or disposition if “good” men and women may not want to be around you while you’re being you.  When you look at the woman in the mirror, is that your best self or the person that you’ve resigned yourself to be?

Life should be evolving, it should exhibit growth and I’ve seen and observed far too many women who have tuned out the world so much that the only tune that they hear is their own.  The sad part about that is that they’re the only ones willing to play that song because there’s no room for anybody else to join in.

I was raised by three wonderful women (mom, aunt and grandmother) and they are all very strong willed and opinionated.  The thing that I love about them most is that they speak loud and clear, but they also listen in return.  They taught me to listen, not only to myself, but to others.  That ability to listen is what can allow me to be in a conversation with a woman and be able to detect that the primary tune that she hears is her own, there’s really no place for me in that band.

I would venture to say that given the number of men that I’ve talked to about the state of their relationships that I’m “on to something” with this synopsis.  These good brothers find themselves on bad dates and undesirable situations with women just the same way women do.  Here’s the scary part – the buster/predator guys that are bad dates, really don’t care if they are good to women or not.  The buster/predator doesn’t care how you perceive him, if it’s a failed attempt, he’s on to the next victim.  The women who are bad dates, you can’t tell them a damn thing!!  To say that they are not self-aware is an understatement.  The even scarier part is that the dynamics of some (not all, but some) female friendships is that women can’t even keep it real with their girls and let them know how “out of pocket” that their girl is.  Or if they do tell her, she’s not listening.  Additionally, the women who know that they haven’t taken a good look in the mirror intentionally relay stories (by only telling part of the truth) to their girls to get advice from them that fosters their continuance of their less than desirable behavior.

In the end, it’s not up to a guy, your girls or anybody to police your behavior ladies. In the end it’s you.

Let me take this one step further for the women who do move past the “getting to know you” stage and actually develop a relationship with a “good guy.”  The woman who is “self aware” recognizes that once she has started dating a good guy that the journey is not over, it has just begun while the woman that only knows what she likes and dislikes feels like “mission accomplished.”  Far too many women equate fidelity with being a “good woman.” That is to say that as long as she’s faithful to her guy she can act in any manner that she wants (including driving a guy crazy for no reason) and as long as she’s faithful she’s a “good woman.”  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  If you are not aware of how your moods, outbursts, despondence, “shitty tone”, demands, sometimes insatiable or needy behavior is affecting your man you are not being a “good woman” in his eyes regardless of how faithful you are. This is where it becomes most critical that you are “self aware” because your behavior will push a good guy out the door if you can’t police yourself.

To the women who none of this applies to, congratulations to you.  That still doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues to be fleshed out while in the relationship, but at least you’re one step closer to shakin’ the busters and attracting a winner.  To the women that want to know where are all of the good men and why does this keep happening to me, when was the last time you took a look at the woman in the mirror.  When was the last time you heard and received the positive and progressive advice of the men and women in your life, when was the last time you asked somebody “what. if anything, do you think that I could work on to be the best person I could be for myself and in a relationship?”  I would venture to say that women spend an inordinate amount of time griping about how there are no (or only a few) good men out here, but not nearly as much time is spent on being the best that they can be or pointing out issues to their girls.  Again, sometimes they do that and their girl “knows so much” that she’s not listening to the good advice being offered.

I’d like to share that denial is a lose/lose scenario for everybody.  Its great to love yourself and feel good about who you are and I would never want to insinuate that anyone become less of a person to allow room for somebody else.  As men are to be providers and protectors, women are nurturers and sources of comfort.  I’m not saying to give your “gifts” of comfort and nurture to everyone.  However, allow for others to qualify you as you should qualify them without the “all self-knowing” part of your personality disqualifying you before you even get a chance.

Understand that the notion that the “right guy for you” will love you just as you are, despite your idiosyncrasies, quirks, flaws and attitudes that are a manifestation of “this is how I am” (as opposed to general likes and dislikes) is highly unlikely. What’s a general like or dislike?  Basic things like “I don’t like football”, “I would prefer to go to the early church service” as opposed to “this is how I talk, so deal with it”, “this is how I get sometimes” or “I’ve never had to do XYZ for myself, so I won’t worry how to do it now.”  Its not that only “strong” women exhibit these attitudes, a passive woman who doesn’t form her own opinion or appears helpless or “whoa is me” at all times can be just as much of a turnoff for the mature man looking for a progressive relationship.

The fairytale, the “Notebook” (refering to the movie) love affair, the myth that any person male or female will totally accept and more importantly, be fulfilled with another person without regard to that person operating in their best self is again, high unlikely.  It doesn’t mean that a meaningful relationship can not be had, it more so means that the odds of that relationship being with the “ideal” man that was desired/envisioned is very improbable.

Thesis Statement Ladies: Many women say that they are not settling until they find what they want ideally in a man.  However, many of those same women settle on being their lesser selves as a person and potential mate as opposed to finding their best self that would attract the man they feel would be their ideal compliment.

When I speak of settling within yourself I’m not referring to worldly ambition or being “goal oriented.”  I am referring to character and the caliber of “feminine esthetic” that makes a man want to be around and partner with a woman.  There are many ambitious and accomplished women who develop false-pride (as many men do) and lose a fair amount of humility as they accomplish more and also as they feel better about themselves.  Accomplishment and esteem are in direct relationship to humility.  The more you “are”, the more you “do”, the more you “have to offer”, the more humble ANY PERSON (man or woman) should become.  Far too often women gain a stronger sense of self, attain more “stuff” and lose their humility which in turn may be a turn-off to a good guy.  Women deserve to be proud and feel good about what they have done or who they are as women.  There is however a huge difference in being proud and remaining humble.  The right guy will respect you more and possibly desire you more if your confidence and accomplishments surpass the average man without having the “false pride”, “BIG EGO” (pun intended) and “chip on her shoulder” to go with it.

A quick note to the women who have been hurt by guys in the past, let that burden and frustration go.  It is not the next guy’s job to pick up the slack and remove the hurt of your past relationships.  Yes, I agree – this is true of men, as well as women – I got you!!  Again, we’re talking about women here.

So, let me put a wrap on the letter by saying that of course there is no such thing as perfection.  There is an air of compromise, acceptance, patience and tolerance that a relationship will have to endure on both sides.  However, there is a growing contingency of women who are not “self aware” and have attitudes, insufferable dispositions/opinions who refuse to make adjustments in any relationships male/female and even with female friends and these individuals can not figure out why they’re unlucky in love.  The mirror is only a step away.

I also want to say that if your first response upon reading this is “well about what the guys when they” or “if men didn’t do” or “if men would do”, then basically you’re listening to your own song and missed the entire purpose of the letter.  It wouldn’t be surprising if you never heard what anyone said outside of your own voice in your head.  The subject of this letter is women’s issues in a particular area, not men’s issues.

Go to the mirror, put your song on mute, take a long look with both eyes open and ask yourself – “am I the only person that likes what I see”, your soul and your environment will provide the answer – only if you are willing to listen.

Much love and take care of one another – “we all we got”…VA