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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Two of Diamonds

This is the time of year when people make lists.  There may be columns for who has been naughty and who has been nice.  Lists can be helpful tools for all types of activities.  Examples include grocery shopping, party planning, and gift giving.   The Two of Diamonds will be representative of  your 2-do list this week.  Let's examine how some common words or phrases that contain the word "do" can be used to remind us of certain things.

I Do - This response is commonly used during wedding ceremonies, trial witness testimony, and swearing in events.  It symbolizes commitment to an established set of criteria.  You don't have to get married, go to court, or win an election to make a promise and keep it.  When you make a vow, be aware that honoring it may require sacrifices.  You may also have to renew it periodically to remind yourself of the significance of the pledge.  Stick with it when you become discouraged and remember why the venture appealed to you in the first place.  You can try many things.  However, it is good to limit your serious pursuits so that you will have sufficient time and energy to focus on them.

Hairdo - This is the "do" that requires consideration of your thoughts and your audience. You have probably heard the expression "bad hair day".   It is used to describe what happens when you cannot get your hair to conform to the desired style.  Similarly, your ideas do not always turn out the way that you would like.  Once you have come up with a concept, it is necessary to communicate it properly (style it) so that others will understand what you are trying to accomplish.  Comb it to get the tangles out so that you have a clear message without a lot of room for snarls.  Brush it so that it will shine and attract the necessary attention and support. 

Just Do It - You may remember this old Nike slogan.  Although the company began using a different phrase in its advertisements years ago, this one is still associated with the brand.  It is a great motto to help you put your potential and plans in motion.  At some point, you have to act on what you have thought about, talked about, and written down.  That is the only way you will know what works and what needs to be changed.  You can't track and measure progress for something that has not been launched.  Get off the sidelines and join the game.  

Leave a comment and share which of these 2-do categories you will focus on first.  

This will be the last post for Card Connections.  I appreciate the support that you have shown this year.  I will be starting a new blog, Hair, Heels, and Hearts, in January.  I look forward to continuing our weekly dialogue in the new year. 

Have a safe and happy holiday season!            

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Two of Clubs

Last week was about sequels.  You were asked to think about things that you want to repeat.  This week, let's take a look at the other end of the spectrum.  What are the things that you want to discontinue or eliminate?  Maybe there is a bad habit you want to break or routine that you want to modify.  In employment situations, it is common to give two weeks notice when you plan to leave the organization.  This allows time for the transition of your responsibilities to others and gives you the opportunity to exit in a professional manner.  Since there are only two weeks remaining in the year, the Two of Clubs will represent your N.O.T.I.C.E. to those things that will not move with you into the new year.

N = Negativity and Nonsense
Look for the lesson in each disappointment and don't waste your time dealing with distractions that will only frustrate you.

O = Obscurity and Obstinacy
Step out of the shadows and showcase what you are doing.  There is a fine line between conviction and stubbornness.  Check yourself periodically to make sure you are on the right side of that line.

T = Tantrum and Tension
Display maturity and wisdom when things don't go your way.  Actively manage your stress so that it does not overwhelm you.

I = Inconsistency and Impatience
Find what works for you and stick to it.  You will encounter issues along the way.  Know that sometimes the best move is to be still.

C = Cynicism and Confusion
Don't be so quick to dismiss what is unfamiliar to you.  You may be ignoring something that can help you.  Do your homework to find out the facts and minimize the uncertainty. 

E = Excuses and Enmity
People don't want to hear why you couldn't do something.  When providing a valid reason for a delay or setback, focus on what you are doing now to deliver results.  Don't hold grudges or burn bridges.  It takes energy away from more productive activities.

 Leave a comment and share what you will give two weeks notice on before the year ends.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Two of Hearts

What did you do so well in 2010 that you wish you could do it again in 2011?  Maybe it wasn't something that happened this year.  It could be an activity or accomplishment that you want to duplicate or improve from 2000, 2005, or 2008.  The year doesn't matter.  The point is that you had success and want to repeat it.  The Two of Hearts will symbolize sequels, or second parts, this week.  Do you want to do a continuation of a comedy, drama, or action feature?

A healthy sense of humor helps you recognize opportunities for laughter.  When was the last time that you laughed so hard that you cried and your sides ached?  Duplicate the environment, participants, or timing of the occasion to enjoy the next installment of the event.  Maybe it was a holiday gathering or a phone conversation with a friend you hadn't talked with in a while.  Sometimes looking through old photos and sharing with others what was happening at the time can help you relive hilarious moments.  Everyone might have different examples, but the common denominator is the sound of laughter. 

Dramas are those experiences that incorporate the ABCs:  Anxiety, Biography, and Commentary.  When there are several unknown variables, it is natural to feel anxious about what is going to happen.  That heightens the anticipation of a favorable outcome.  Of course, you only want a sequel of a drama that taught you valuable lessons and ended well for you.  Inevitably, someone's life story, or biography, will be impacted by their interaction with you.  You are the star of your own show, but often play a supporting role for family and friends.  If they are ready for a new chapter, be prepared to help them draft it.  There will always be dialogue, or commentary, regarding what has happened, what is going on now, and what will occur in the future.  Contribute to it when you have something of substance to add.  Take from it what is applicable and of value to you.

When you think of action scenes, there is movement involved.  Somebody or something may be chased.  An explosion might remove an obstacle.  This means that you need to pursue your dreams.  Get up and do something.  Make a phone call or do some research on the web.  If your last effort blew up in your face, look through the rubble to see what can be salvaged.  Don't be distracted by the noise of people who tell you what you cannot do.   Opposition makes the action heroes fight harder in the movies.  There is usually an obvious opponent who must be defeated.  In real life, this may not be the case.  Challenges will always be present.  When you overcome one, there will be others.  That's the purpose of the sequel.  There will be new victories for you for you to celebrate.

I will end with the same question that started this post.  What did you do so well in 2010 that you wish you could do it again in 2011?  Leave a comment and share your sequel plans.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Two of Spades

Are you starting to feel overwhelmed with the stress and chaos that is sometimes associated with the holiday season?  Don't get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that you forget to take time for yourself.  It is great when family and friends do nice things for you.  However, you can schedule your own rewards periodically to make you smile and focus on happy thoughts.  The Two of Spades will represent a pair of identical letters to give you some ideas.  You can eat some M&Ms getting some R&R (rest and relaxation) at a B&B (bed and breakfast). 

M&M - While the chocolate candies are quite tasty, the letters can also represent other ways to treat yourself.  How would you like a Manicure and Massage?  Doesn't that sound nice?  It is okay to be on the receiving end of pampering.  What about a nice Meal and Movie?  Enjoy your favorite foods and then escape for a few hours to the fantasy world of an entertaining film. 

R&R - What is the last book that you enjoyed?  Reading and Reclining are two activities that work well together.  When you curl up with a good book, it is your opportunity to take a break from the hectic activities that may be part of your normal routine.   The phrase Rinse and Repeat is used to describe the steps associated with washing hair.  However, you can apply the same philosophy to a nice soak in a bubble bath.  Put your favorite track on repeat on a CD or MP3 player, close your eyes, and enjoy the warmth of the water.

B&B - When the colors Black and Blue are used together, they are usually describing a bruise. You might also think of the colors of the sky at dusk and dawn.   As the sun goes down each evening and comes up each morning, choose the time that works for you to reflect, recharge, and regroup.  While you are striving to be among the Best and Brightest, remember to choose a path that allows you to Blossom and Benefit.

What M&M, R&R, and B&B have you done lately?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Three of Diamonds

Labels make it easier to identify things.  When you know what to call something, you have some insight into its purpose.  You can also get information regarding how to handle items from their labels.  For example, for clothes you can find out cleaning instructions.  Food containers may provide cooking or storage directions.  You have a label that describes you.  It is your name.  You may actually have three components to your name (first, middle, and last).  The Three of Diamonds will represent the symbolism of names this week.  Even if you do not have a middle name, you will still be able to identify with the discussion regarding the first and last names.

First Name - Unless you are a celebrity, you probably did not get to choose your name.  Someone else gave it to you for reasons significant to them.  Maybe you were named after a parent or other relative.  The name may have been chosen out of a book or just randomly selected because someone liked it.  Regardless of how it was assigned to you, it is yours now.  You own it and the actions, relationships, and signature attached to it.  You make a "name" for yourself by the things that you do.  When people mention your first name, do they do it with joy, pride, or dread?  Sometimes people know you by your name before they even meet you.  Make sure that things credited to your name are accurate.  Your first name may be the first impression that people get of you.

Middle Name - Your middle name is often represented by an initial.  Usually, only your family and closest friends know your middle name.  It is not common knowledge.   Of course, there are always exceptions.  In some regions of the country, people use their first and middle names together and celebrities may do it also.  Some people choose to use their middle name because they like it better than their first name.  But for most people, the middle name is a bridge between the first and the last.    It differentiates you from others who may share your name.  Jane Elizabeth Doe can be distinguished from Jane Renee Doe.  Let your unique characteristics, or hidden talents, emerge to show what is special about you.

Last Name - Your last name completes the identity formula.   It is often attached to your role, or occupation.  Dr. Black, Senator Green, and Detective White are the normal references for a physician, elected official, and police officer.  Teachers, coaches, and military personnel are other examples of jobs that utilize a person's last name when addressing them.  Your last name will be used to highlight the impact that you make.  It may be on a building, or monument, that is associated with something that you support.  For some of you, it may not be an actual brick and mortar structure.  Your last name may be attached to ideas, processes, and products that you develop.  Since you share the name with other family members and may pass it on to your children, it is important to focus on adding value to it.

Leave a comment and share the meaning of your name, http://www.meaning-of-names.com/.  You may also want to assign descriptive adjectives to your initials to create an alias.  For example, the initials T.T.P. may stand for Terrific Thoughtful Producer.  What do you want your initials to say about you?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Three of Clubs

Have you taken any pictures lately?  Maybe you will pose for some photos over the holidays.  Hopefully, they will be clear and in focus.  Professional photographers often use a 3-legged stand called a tripod to hold the camera and keep it steady in order to get good shots.  You can also use a tripod to hold a camera with a timer so that you can take self portraits.  The Three of Clubs will represent your mental tripod this week.  The way that you view situations and experiences can impact how you recall and share them with others. Three common camera settings are panoramic (wide angle), zoom, and shutter speed.

The panoramic mode will enable you to see the big picture.  It is most effective when you need to see the background and surrounding environment of  the target, or end result.  The image can often be so grand that it is intimidating.  Remember that the horizon represents limitless possibilities.  You  have plenty of space to grow and try different approaches to develop the picture that you want to display.

The zoom functionality allows you to monitor your progress from a distance.  Sometimes when you are too close to the activities needed for a successful outcome, you can lose your objectivity.  It can be good to step away periodically to reassess what has been done, what is currently underway, and what the next steps should be.  You are able to get a preview of potential problems and recognize what decisions have produced positive results.

The shutter speed needs to be adjusted to accommodate the subject being recorded.  When you are dealing with information that is unfamiliar to you, keep the shutter (analysis) open longer to allow enough time for you to understand how to best use what you have learned.  If you are able to meet regularly with an advisor or expert in your field of interest, be prepared to receive the maximum benefit from the encounter.  Increase the frequency of the shutter operation (questions and responses) so that the other person feels you are paying attention and absorbing what they are sharing with you. 

Which setting have you used lately?  Is there one that may help you this week?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.