Don’t Call Him Your Boyfriend Until These 10 Things Happen

I know this is not travel related. I’m sharing this post because it answers a great question in a unique way. My wife and I spent a year running a group home for children 15 to 17 in age. I had a lot of conversations about dating. Girls talked about the subject far more than boys. I will keep this post in mind for my next conversation.

I wrote a post called “All the Talk on the Traits of a Real Man“. One of the traits listed was “A real man is a good father…” This goes with the saying, “Anyone Can Be A Father But It Takes A Real Man To Be A Dad.” Well, one of the duties of a father is to teach our daughters what a good man looks like. That question starts with, what does a good boyfriend look like? I like the way this post from The Bolde answers the question.

From the post

“Between being ghosted and the prevalence of almost relationships, it seems more confusing than ever to figure out if a guy is actually going to commit to you. Maybe instead of focusing on him, you should be thinking about how you feel — you have a say in this, too. In other words, don’t call him your boyfriend until these 10 things happen:”

Check out the post from The Bolde – Don’t Call Him Your Boyfriend Until These 10 Things Happen


Ask Yourself; How Much Time, Money and Energy?

time-money-energyAre you thinking about starting a new project, joining a new club or learning a new skill?  Are you constantly being asked to serve as a volunteer, on a board or committee? The first question you should ask yourself is how much time, money, and energy will this cost?  Make sure you have a good idea of the costs before you say yes.

How much time?  How much time does the commitment require?  Are there meetings to attend (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.)? How long are the meetings?  Are the meetings during the workday, after hours or on the weekend?  In addition to meetings, how much time will you spend working on tasks between meetings?  You want to make sure you have a complete count of the time needs vs. your availability. Time is valuable. You only get 24 hours in a day and you still need to sleep. Protect it! Say no if it requires too much time.

How much money?  Are you required to pay dues, fees, make donations or buy equipment? Will you have to buy tickets to anything (an annual gala, conferences, concerts, shows or games, etc.)? Are there other expenses?  Do you have to contribute to a soup kitchen, food drive, supply closet, or team uniforms? Will you have to travel at your expense? Small costs can add up quickly. Can you afford it all?

I served on a nonprofit board once that served a lite meal at each board meeting.  The committees took turns providing the food.  If it was my committee’s turn, I had to share in the cost.  In addition, I had to make an annual donation ($500 or more) plus the cost of tickets to two events each year. Bottom line … it put a big hole in my wallet each year. Try to get a realistic idea of the financial costs for the commitment.  I have seen good people forced to quit volunteering or give up a new hobby due to the financial burden. Say no if it requires too much money.

How much energy?  This is the hardest one of all.  Most people don’t think about energy cost.  Have you heard the saying, “A meeting of the minds but the minds didn’t show.”  Well each of us has a finite amount of mental energy to spend each day.  All commitments require mental energy. Sometimes, a lot of mental energy!  It’s important to show up to commitments with a clear, well-rested mind. When you take on a new project, you want to do more than just keep the chair warm.

Stress counts too. Stress counts more on the scale than mental energy. Why? Stress has both a mental and physical cost! Too much stress over time and you’ll pay the costs in doctor’s bills … which adds to money costs. Say no if the mental (or stress) score is too high.

Note: I first posted this on my old blog back in June 2014. I’m in the process of phasing that blog out. I edited it a little a re-posted here. It has nothing to do with travel but I like the wisdom.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Brent Jackson

It’s Not the Kite, It’s the Air

I love the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams! I can’t help dancing every time I hear it! I like it so much, I bought the song for my iPod and the video for my iPad. Once, the song came over the intercom while I was eating dinner with three friends in a restaurant. All four of us started dancing in our chairs. The song just makes you, well … happy.

I watched an interview with Pharrell Williams on CBS Sunday Morning. During the interview, Pharrell said something I’ve been thinking about a lot. He was asked, “Are you afraid if you give yourself too much credit, it would all go away?”

Pharrell’s answer, “For sure. You see people spin out of control like that all the time. I mean, those are the most tragic stories, the most gifted people who start to believe it’s really all them. It’s not all you. It can’t be all you. Just like you need air to fly a kite, it’s not the kite. It’s the air.”

What a perfe??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????ct metaphor …“It’s not the kite, it’s the air.” Ego check. Happiness and success are rarely achieved alone. Each is achieved with the help, support and patience of the people around you. You should thank them for it from time to time.

I launched a business with a partner about three months ago. I can honestly said I’m happy and making progress toward success. Let me say to my wife, family, friends and business partner … THANK YOU!!! … for your help, support and bountiful patience! If I’m a kite … they’re the air. Thank you to my readers as well. If this blog is a kite, you’re the air!

Thank you for reading the Maryland Travel Stories Blog!

The Underpinnings of Integrity (Quote)

“There are three important underpinnings of integrity; authenticity and honesty, delivering on ones commitments, and refusing to violate the trust others have extended to us.”

— From the book, ‘The Power of Professionalism’ by Bill Wiersma

This is another favorite quote of mine. There are more cool quotes in Bill Wiersma‘s book – Power of Professionalism : The Seven Mind-Sets That Drive Performance and Build Trust.

Thank you for reading the Maryland Travel Stories Blog!

Do You Know Your VP’s?

V.I.P. / V.T.P. / V.N.P. / V.D.P.
V.I.P. / V.T.P. / V.N.P. / V.D.P.

A very long time ago, I worked in the Accounting Department of a hotel. I was given a chance to attend a training class called “How to Set Priorities.” It was a one day class (seminar really), held in a ballroom with 100 or 150 people. It was one of the best classes I ever attended!!!

The speaker covered a number of concepts. I think the most powerful concept was the VP’s. This idea made such an impression on me that I still talk about it to this day! The speaker said that everyone you meet in your career and in your life will fit into one or more of four types (or VP’s). The VP’s are VIPVTPVNP and VDP.

VIP = Very Important Person – In this context, a VIP is not necessarily the president of your company or a celebrity. A VIP is anyone that is helping you in life. It is anyone that supports you or gives you good advice. The VIP has your best interests at heart. Your family and your closest friends are VIP’s. The professionals that back you in life (your coach, accountant, lawyer, and the head of your church) are all VIP’s to you. These are your supporters when trouble hits or your rescuers when you get into trouble.

At work, VIP’s are all the people who help with your career, such as your business advisor or mentor. Any boss that will send you to training or other professional development is a VIP. Anyone that is “in the know” and can supply you with good information. After all, information is power in business and your career. All these people are VIP’s.

My point is this … find and keep as many VIP’s as possible in your life! Your happiness, success and ability to deal with problems are enhanced by the number of VIP’s you have in your life.

VTP = Very Teachable Person – To be a good leader, you must learn to delegate. To be a successful leader, you must learn to delegate to the right people! The right people are the VTP’s. VTP’s are people who are good at getting things done. VTP’s are fast learners, keep their promises and need little supervision. VTP’s are the people you recruit to your team when you get a promotion or call to help get tasks done for a project. Always be on the lookout for more VTP’s.

VNP = Very Nice Person – Everyone has nice neighbors and nice co-workers. Everyone has nice friends you see once a month for lunch. The person who serves coffee at the coffee shop maybe a nice person. These people make life more enjoyable. You need people to talk to about last night’s football game or play card games with or go to the movies. Nice people are good to have around.

The thing to remember is you must have a balance. Most people in life are nice. As a result, nice people can easily take up all your time. If you’re retired, that’s OK. If you’re trying to build a career, be careful here! At work, you can damage a promising career this way. If you spend too much time at the water cooler talking to nice people, you can get labeled as a slacker. Remember, VIP’s and VTP’s get it done and get promoted. VNP’s do not.

VDP = Very Depressing (or Draining) Person – These are the complainers, the drama queens and angry people. Life is negative for them. They come in several forms. The VDP is sad. The VDP is rude. The VDP always has a new problem and wants to talk about it for hours. There is always DRAMA! The real danger is a VDP wants to recruit you as a VDP as well! They want you to be negative WITH THEM. Don’t let this happen! You must wish them well, hope they someday find true happiness and let them go. To live a successful and happy life, you must keep the number of people in this category VERY small. Don’t let negative people rent space in your head. Their negative energy will bring you down and cause you stress! Stay away from VDP’s!

Well that’s it … the VP’s. VIP (Very Important Person) / VTP (Very Teachable Person) / VNP (Very Nice Person) / VDP (Very Draining Person)

Thank you for reading the Maryland Travel Stories Blog!