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Monday, March 29, 2010

Jack of Hearts

Spring has arrived. Temperatures are rising and flowers are blooming. This season always represents a fresh beginning. The chirping of the birds is music to some people's ears. Do you ever wonder what songs they are singing? This week the Jack of Hearts will serve as a virtual jukebox to provide a soundtrack to help us plant ideas and tend them until they produce a harvest.

The theme from the Andy Griffith Show comes to mind. Although there are no lyrics, most people are familiar with the whistled melody. When you hear the tune, what thoughts go through your head? You may not want to literally go fishing like Andy and Opie, but the whistling may be a trigger for some other activity. It may cause you to think of a train speeding down the track and sounding the alarm as it approaches a crossing. Inevitably, you are delayed at the railroad crossing when you are in a hurry or running late. Stop, take a deep breath, and use the time to think of an alternative route. Don't let frustration and impatience keep you from pursuing your goals.

Another classic song that you probably recognize as soon as you hear it is R-E-S-P-E-C-T by Aretha Franklin. Most people know and sing along with the part where she spells out the word. There is no doubt at that point regarding her expectations. Are your requests sometimes misunderstood? Do people impede your progress instead of facilitating next steps for you? Examine how and what you are communicating. Be clear, concise, and capable of presenting your message in multiple formats. Sometimes you may need to be repetitive to convey what you are trying to say.
Beyonce had a hit song a few years ago called Irreplaceable. One of the most memorable parts of the song was the hook, "To the left, To the left". This phrase was the opening line and was featured prominently toward the end. It provided direction concerning where someone should go or look to find answers. All of us should have a hook. That is what people will remember about you. Use it to provide instruction or guidance about how you most effectively interact with others. This will help you build and sustain productive relationships that are beneficial to all parties. If you don't have a hook, develop one. It should be easy to understand and remember. It doesn't have to be verbal. Maybe your signature is your smile. Whatever it is, make sure it is an accurate representation of you.

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