Monday, October 13, 2014

Being prepared: Give yourself the opportunity to walk through the ‘door of opportunity’

Being prepared is an essential element of success. Being prepared has allowed me to walk through so many doors of opportunities that were opened for me. Some times I get asked the age-old-question, “how did I become successful?” My response to this question comes in many forms, but one of them is inevitably I was prepared. A lot of times, we wait on some one to tell us how to prepare e.g., how to answer interview questions for a job, which areas of a subject we should study, etc. However, I think we should make up in our minds on how to prepare for the opportunities that may not be as straightforward as studying for a chemistry exam. This way of thinking takes a level of strategic foresight, creativity and self-discipline to accomplish a certain level of success in any particular field.

Strategic foresight allows one to see the future and adjust to the upcoming changes. Creativity allows you to make those changes in a way that may not pop-out at you at front glance. Self-discipline allows you to stay the course regardless of the last minute changes in life such as the real-estate market, declining health changes, etc.

All in all, being prepared gives you the opportunity to walk through the “door of opportunity.” Here is a parable given during the movie, Facing the Giants, that I used in teaching an international course.

Prepare your Fields for Rain

I heard a story about two farmers who desperately needed rain. Both of them prayed for rain, but only one of them went out and prepared his fields to receive it. Which one do you think trusted God to send the rain?

Which one are you? God will send the rain when He is ready. You need to prepare your field to receive it.

I like to take this parable a step further by asking the question, which farmer will receive more at the end of the season? The answer would still be same. Focusing on the positives and preparing for the opportunity will help you reap greater benefits than some one who isn’t prepared. For me, this analogy was simple mathematics. If you prepare a resume for a job interview months ahead of time, you don’t have to worry about creating one at the last minute in which we all know last-minute projects aren’t all that well put together. So take the time out now to revamp yourself for the successful opportunities to come.

~ Dr. Ronnie O'Brien Rice

Self-Discipline: ‘Challenge’ your ‘challenge’

Self-Discipline is something that should be celebrated and not frowned upon. I think if we learn to embrace the reasons and consequences of self-discipline more, we will find our selves in a better place each day. I know it may be hard to stick to a work out plan, study for school or even save money when there are so many enticing distractions. However, if we learn to look at the overall goals, those distractions become less enticing each time we are faced with them. From personal experience, the areas and instances I have failed were when I was heavily distracted with something major in my life e.g., a college exam, a financial issue, etc. But, the point I realized that has kept me on the winning side of life thus far is to handle those issues at that specific time without loosing focus of the overall purpose of my life. For example, I had a difficult professor who was very strict on the type of books we needed to have for class, and the time we were to show up for class. For a lot of students, including myself, I found it very difficult to be in his class and every time that class was coming up on my schedule for me to attend, I absolutely dreaded it. But, I had to change my mindset in regards to the purpose of me attending the class that was to broaden knowledge on the subject, graduate with a degree, obtain better opportunities for financial wealth and be a better person for those around me. As I focused on those long-term goals, attending this professor class and adhering to his strict rules wasn’t as difficult as it was earlier. Others continued to have issues and began to drop out of class. I find this way of thinking a method of being self-discipline meaning to stay the course regardless of the issues that come into play. I continued with my positive overarching purpose for attending and actually began to love the course. All in all, this class example can apply to any area of your life because we are all faced with challenges that make us want to turn the other way or just give up on the dream all together. I challenge you to ‘challenge’ your ‘challenge’ through self-discipline and staying the course. Don’t let your dreams die out because of some obscene obstacle in your life, but let your self-discipline skills turn your dreams into reality. I promise you that it is much better on the other side of the challenge rather than the fearful side. 

~ Dr. Ronnie O’Brien Rice

Sunday, September 21, 2014

How words make the difference in achieving success

Many times, you hear that a picture is worth a thousand words. For me, this statement gives power to both pictures and words. Examine, how much power words have. If we were to measure one thing by using something else, both items have some significant amount of power. It suggests that at the foundation the comparing item is worth a lot from the beginning. Many people ignore words and the power they have regardless of being verbal and written. Some people talk about obtaining success through positive thinking and attracting wealth into your life, but another way of obtaining success is by using words. Specifically, this post is about the importance of being careful of your writings and verbal communications.

In some instances, what you say and write can be used in the court of law. (Now, this is not any legal advice by any means.) I’m just stating that a contract made verbally or written can be used as evidence in a courtroom. So if words can be used in courtroom, there must be a high degree of power in them from start.

The simple fact is that people lives’ can be changed by simply what someone says or writes. The same belief can be implied throughout one’s life. More importantly, this post emphasizes the point that what you say or write determines your level of success. I tell a lot of people to write out vision/dream boards to remind them on a daily basis the reasons for them working hard everyday.

Of utmost importance, be careful of  what you say and what you write, it determines where you go from this point moving forward. I think one of the ways you can control your success and motivate others to be better people is to encourage them through verbal confirmation and various writings. Various writing could include great performance critiques on annual employee evaluations; thank you notes, etc.

Also, what you say and writes depends largely on how you think.  An old saying a good friend of mines taught me states, “what doesn’t come out in the wash, comes out in the rinse.” This simply means that you can only hide your personality, thought patterns and behaviors so well. At some point, your true self comes out and is introduced to world around you. So be conscious of the things you are thinking and keep you your goals in front of you through writings and positive verbal communications.

~ Dr. Ronnie O’Brien Rice

Monday, September 15, 2014

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…. James 1:19 (ESV)

I rarely post from biblical scripture, but I think this particular scripture is something that I’ve personally dealt with at times. And I was reminded of it when a good friend of mines talked with me late last week. Essentially, it is important to listen quickly, speak carefully and hold back your anger. For some time now, I never really understood why so many people had something to say about your life, but had little to no control over theirs. The answer was simple. Folks didn’t adhere to this scripture or at least didn’t understand the reasoning behind it. I think it is important to listen to what others are saying through verbal communication and actual behaviors. A friend of a friend passed away recently through suicide and looking back on my interactions with this person, I would have listen more to him. At a glance, he was out going, funny and witty. However, he was covering up a lot of hurt and mental issues inside. I think if we pay more attention to others and not our own situations, the world would be a better place. Secondly, this scripture refers to speaking slowly. This one hits home with me because I have seen first-hand where others quickly speak about situations or others without full knowledge of an accident. And with this quick speaking, it caused a lot of hurt. Don’t get me wrong, I think is cool to have a great conversation, but I am learning to curtail my topics on subjects of usefulness and sustenance. Lastly, this scripture speaks on being slow to anger. I’ve witnessed great people with a lot of money and education become irate because of something that a person may have done wrong just because of their status. Recently, I have come to experience those same high society people treating others in the direct opposite manner. The difference between these two groups was the fact of longevity in wealth and in good relationships. The first group was those who were only concern about their wealth, but were new to it. The second group was those who were accustomed to their wealth because they had it for a long period of time. I have found that being slow to anger not only helps you be a good person, but also keep you being successful. All in all, I think this scripture helps a lot of people achieve greater levels of success regardless of your religious background.

~ Dr. Ronnie O'Brien Rice

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Doing what you can with what you have

I just got off the phone with a friend of mines talking about another business idea and I think it is important to discuss business opportunities with others’ resources. But, I think it is more important to know what you can do with what you have. I think too many times, we fail in certain areas in our lives in which we are trying to do more with resources we don’t have. Don’t get me wrong; I think it is important to have a vision and make efforts to obtain goals beyond your current situation because that’s one of the reasons why America has thrived. Conversely, I mean using the resources that you have at your disposal to get to the next level. Some of the thought processes that have helped me to get to this level of success are engaging the people around me, using my current skills and trusting in God.

One of the steps to success is engaging those around you to become more knowledgeable and fluent in your business or life. Surrounding yourself with others who are doing the same thing who aren’t even trying to attempt to become more success is counter-productive. Don’t think of this as being better than others, but simply fulfilling your needs to become a better person for those around you. Find out who are the gurus in your in your field and reach out to them. Secondly, take the lessons they are teaching you with a grain of salt, meaning not everything they say is going to be golden, but a lot of it will help you obtain the next level of success. Learn to sift through the fluff.

Also, learn to use the resources that you currently have at your disposal. It will gradually increase over time, but learn to maximize your opportunities and minimize your threats. For example, use the space in your home for office space until you make enough money to pay for an external office. Lastly, trusting in the One Above to know that he has you. Some times in business or life in general, it is hard to determine which next move is the best one. For example, Blockbuster was making a ton of money in the video industry until online streaming came upon the scene. I guess the lesson to be learned is trust God and not your own strength to get you to the next level.

~ Dr. Ronnie O'Brien Rice

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Being you means not being inferior or superior to any one

I’ve learned recently that being you is about doing what makes you feel good and is morally right. When you turn on the television, you may find many people who are flaunting their bodies, money and fame. The reasons for doing this may be many, but one of the reoccurring themes I find with people like this is that they have either an inferiority complex or a superiority complex. Either complex is not good for the soul. I think in the age of having Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, some people may get caught in others’ perceived lavished lifetime. It is definitely understandable, but I think there are several things we can do to make sure we don’t fall in to envy, hatred or doubt because of what some one else has: knowing your worth and not looking down on others because of their current situation. Don’t put yourself below anyone to make someone feel good about himself or herself while not doing the opposite either. You may become complacent. I think there is a place for the meek in the world. But, I wouldn’t confuse meekness with the inability to do something better or being someone’s footstool.

One suggestion to live a successful and joyful life is not putting yourself above others. Yes, many of us have terminal degrees or have received high accolades, but that doesn’t give us the right to disregard others for the work they do in this world. Simply acknowledging the small things that your spouse, supervisor, subordinates or family members do in life will always keep you humble and understanding of your place in the world. Simply put, without these folks, a lot of things that you are able to do wouldn’t be possible.

Also, I suggest you not put others above you to live a successful and joyful life. Yes, a person may have a Mercedes, a huge house and a beautiful spouse; however, it doesn’t mean you don’t have those things either. Some times we have a tendency to look at other’s places in life as a slice of heaven while looking at ours as a slice of hell. However, everyone is dealing with some type of issue whether you think it is a big one or not. But, keep in mind that no one goes through this life unscathed.

Dr. Ronnie O. Rice