Santiago Gomez @iamsantiago
Uber dating! Now that I have your attention, let me ask you a question: Have you heard about people using Uber to get to the ER rather than using an ambulance? I was shocked when I heard that. Who would risk their lives in the hands of an Uber driver when it comes to your health? It was stated on the news that riders said, Uber is cheaper so they are willing to take the risk for illnesses that are not life threatening. I thought emergency rooms were for life-threatening illnesses!
Back to my story about Uber Dating! I didn’t literally get a “real” date through Uber. But for two hours on a recent Friday night while driving for Uber, I pushed aside all my financial concerns as I sat in an Improv Comedy Show downtown thanks to one of my Uber riders. I picked up this couple and her brother who were going to Theatre 99. As I was sharing my conversations about who I am and why I do Uber, I also talked about some of the blessings that I have received as a driver. During our conversation I mentioned that I had always wanted to go to Theatre 99, but for one reason or another had never gotten around to doing that. Low and behold, the brother who was sitting in the front with me turned and said, “I have an extra ticket for tonight if you want to park your car and go. I’ll give it to you for free and you don’t even have to sit with us if you don’t want to.” So, for once in my life I decided to do something impulsive and stop the world so I could get off. The gentleman gave me his phone number and told me to call him after I find a park and he would meet me at the door. In less than ten minutes I was parked and seated inside the theatre with three people who did not know me from Adam. I had the most fun that I have had in a long time. We all talked and laughed as though we had planned to be together. Because of that gentleman’s generosity I will start to enjoy life more and will definitely go back to that theatre: I plan to schedule a date with myself for my birthday next month. Bottom line, it pays to be authentically yourself!
Don’t burn bridges that you haven’t crossed. We get so caught up in deciding who means what to us, that we sometimes miss an opportunity to receive from those we don’t know is watching. We want to rub elbows with people in the higher echelons thinking they have more to offer us, when what you need may be in the hands of the small guy standing right next to you. Everyone passes judgment whether they want to admit it or not. How many times have you said to yourself, or someone else, “that person probably won’t even consider me as an option to do business with,” or “what do I have to offer them?” We never know where our next big idea will come from. The person you think is too big or too small to consider your product or service may be the one who challenges your growth. We network with a purpose, which is not always to build relationships. We size people up based on who their friends are. If someone does the same thing as we do, then we hesitate to spend time with them. There is enough space, time and money on this planet for all of us. No one can do YOU like you do YOU!
Defrag and refresh! The average person nowadays own a computer either for work, fun, or for their kids educational process. If you don’t own one it’s because you don’t care or you are too old for it to make a difference in your lifestyle. This message is for everyone whether you have a real computer or not, because we all have a mind, which serves as our computer that is constantly receiving information from all kinds of sources. This includes daily messages from God along with all the other stuff that is funneled into our brains. Just like a laptop or desk computer, our minds can become overloaded with files that are hindering the speed at which information can be processed. We need to defrag and refresh our computers from time to time to get rid of old files that are no longer needed. It is important that we take stock of what’s going into our minds and what we are putting out into the world. As technology continues to advance, there are so many people who are using technology outside its intended purpose. On any given day you can read about someone who has been scammed or computer hacked.
As you think about who you are and how you spend your days, make sure that you are adding good to the world. It is so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and begin to think that it’s okay because they got away with it. We’ve gotten to the point where we hear about something so much it starts to becomes the norm. Let’s not allow that to happen with our expression of faith and belief in a higher being, who directs and orders our footsteps each and every day. Let’s continue to give credit where credit is due no matter what the world believes about religion and spirituality. In the final analysis you are the one who will suffer or benefit from what you believe. Defragging and refreshing is an ongoing process and it may mean getting rid of some things/people that no longer serve a purpose.
Mind what you think! All of us have probably heard the saying, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste,” and to go even further, we’ve also heard, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” What does those two statements mean to the average person? To some it means absolutely nothing. When you look at the current state of affairs we know that so many minds are wasted. We also know that there are numerous people who never speak life to their situation. Doom and gloom is the word of the day. Their surroundings enforce it. Their home environment confirms it, and their lifestyle adds the icing to the cake. Why do some people hear these statements and grasp them right away, and others turn a blind eye to what’s right in front of them? How is it that two people can be from the same side of the track, yet one make it out and another gets trapped in the madness? Why? I don’t have concrete answers, but I would suffice it to say from my own experience that it’s mind over matter. We have to not only use our minds for good, but we also have to mind what we think. A thought is energy that starts the process of reality. Therefore it is extremely important that we take our own thoughts captive. We often ask God to do that, but it’s also up to us to capture our thoughts as well. Learn how to reign your thoughts in when you feel them taking an avenue that is not becoming to you and your character. Listen to that little voice inside of you that knows right from wrong. No one should have to call you on the carpet for doing something foolish. You already know!
We always feel that we need a reason for everything. We want to set the record straight and explain ourselves away. And since we like to do that we think everyone else should do it as well. When you don’t hear from someone after a certain period of time you wonder what’s wrong. Why haven’t they called or texted? You make a post on social media that you know one of your friends will recognize, and read between the lines and make a comment. But then, NOTHING! It’s not that you were referring to a situation about them, but you did share the situation with them, so they know what you’re talking about. Why didn’t they at least hit “like” or say something to acknowledge that they had seen the post?
And then we have the situations where you bend over backwards to be a good, professional person and something comes along that rubs you the wrong way. After you have made a few attempts at resolving the issue and have decided that it’s not worth the fight, you see something that reminds you of what took place. At that very moment, the silence between you and your situation gets thicker. You assume that that person is thinking about you as well as you are thinking about them. Because we all know that silence is a choice. That’s why sometimes the best answer to silence is silence! And like my nephew told me several years ago, “Everything is not about you. A lot of stuff that goes on in your head is only in your head.” So don’t waste your time trying to figure out how to fill the silent space between you and another. The silence is there for a reason whether you like it or not. Move on!
There are so many general statements that we make every day. Think about it. We say, “It is what it is.” We say, “That’s just the way I am.” We also say, “I don’t do this or that, or that’s not me.” You fill in the blank. I have said them all. Let’s focus on ‘It is what it is.’ That statement is something that we subconsciously tell ourselves, and we speak it out loud without thinking. When you say it is what it is, you are telling the universe that you accept the status quo. You are saying that you have no say over what comes into your life. You are agreeing with whatever circumstances you face. But it doesn’t have to be that way. NO, it is not what it is! It is what you say it is. It is what you believe it is. And most of all, it is what you want, prepare for, and expect. So stop saying, “It is what it is!”
Goals, dreams, and visions play a major role in what shows up in your life. If all you want to do is exist, then that’s what you will get. In order to do better you have to see yourself doing better. You cannot get to a place that you have never visualized yourself being. I have seen myself writing and speaking full-time for over thirty years. It has been a long time coming but I was willing to wait. Today I do what I love: write, travel, and speak!
How many times have you neglected to get something done because you were either dragging your feet or you didn’t think that you were capable? I know that has happened to me numerous times. There have been days when I thought, “Why even give it another shot?” And those are the days that brought about the necessary change that I did not know I was seeking.
Are you a fire starter or the person who needs someone to set a fire under you? I have been on both sides of the fence. However, most of the time I have been the person who gets set on fire. I am thankful for the people in my life who see beyond my belief in myself. This year has shown me that the fire starters in your life can create confidence and give you that much needed push to imagine the unimaginable. Because of the choices that I made to better myself in one area, I received the push I needed to accomplish much more in another area. Thanks to my fire starter, I now have a presence on four social media sites, and I share daily on all of them. Not only that, I learned how to schedule my posts in advance so my time and energy is better utilized. In addition, I am more comfortable with Facebook Live, which has opened another window of opportunity for me to share my messages of inspiration and encouragement. So, your fire starter may be there for a reason other than what you intended, or YOU may be the fire starter in someone else’s life.
Don’t rehearse your troubles! I remember some time back when I had a financial need and all my attempts at finding an income resource were flying out the window. The more I focused on the lack of funds, the more circumstances which needed financing, kept coming my way. The moment I decided to stop stressing over what I did NOT have and started looking at what I had in my hands, that’s when the window of opportunity opened wide. I recall sharing this particular situation with my youngest daughter and having her tell me, “Mom, the more you look to money for your happiness the less happy you will be. You have so much to be thankful for even without money in the bank. Do not allow this moment to dictate your happiness and spoil your whole day or week. Nothing should have that much control over you!”
What a wakeup call that conversation was for me. I immediately changed my attitude about money and how I acquire it. I refused to allow one day to pass without being thankful for what I have. On those days when I did not have funds, I stopped seeing my life as lacking, but instead I focused on the one thing that could bring me joy in that particular moment. In doing that I was amazed at the ideas that God gave me for securing income, one day at a time. Rather than look at my situation from a weekly or monthly perspective of what I needed to make ends meet, I started to focus on one financial goal at the time. This change in strategy took away the overwhelming feeling of not having enough. We all have heard the question, “How do you eat an elephant?” Well, the answer is one bite at a time. Use that same analogy to conquer any elephant that shows up in your life, whether it’s finances, relationships, or career. Inch by inch, it’s a cinch! Don’t rehearse your troubles! You are meant to go through them only when they occur.
We have all been told not to burn bridges because you may have to cross them again. Did we listen? Most of the time we did. I have to admit that I have burnt a few bridges. But the question I want to put before you is this, “How do you go back across a bridge that you have burned?” Let me give you five (5) steps:
First you acknowledge that the bridge has been burned. We cannot solve a problem if we are not aware that there is one. Second, you look at what is now missing from the other side of the bridge. Third, you decide how important it is to get back to the other side again, or if you even want to go back. Fourth, you start rebuilding the bridge on your side instead of waiting for the other side to start rebuilding. And lastly, be careful with the matches once you get back across that bridge. You don’t want to take a chance on starting another fire, which might burn down the bridge again.
How many times have you set a goal and found yourself working so diligently towards it and all of a sudden BAM! You hit a roadblock and you turn the corner to find that there is yet another obstacle blocking your view. So what do you do? Do you turn around and go back or do you change courses? You still want to get to your destination, however you cannot go the way that you planned. I would suggest that you change the strategy, not the goal.
Many of us get caught up in doing things one way. I know because I was that person. If things didn’t go the way I had it written down then it wasn’t going to happen. Whew! What a difference my life has become since I decided to leave room for the unexpected. And believe it or not, I am having so much more fun with this new life. It feels good to realize that you are not in control of everything that happens. I still set goals. I still plan. I still write down my “I Will” list every night before I go to bed. But guess what? I am not governed by that list. When things change I move on to something else, or I create something that is not even on the list. I follow my spirit. I have learned to go with the flow. What a beautiful feeling! Try it.