Saturday, January 5, 2019

The 12 ‘Ps’ to Ensure Peace & Prosperity In Your Life In 2019

It probably seems as if the years are flying by, especially as you get older. With each New Year, you are blessed with the celebration of a birthday, indicating that you are not only getting older, you are still among the living; looking at the grass from the topside, instead of the dirt from the underside. If you are reading this blog you are blessed. You made it through 2018 and you are now among the privileged, endowed with the opportunity to live to see 2019.

By living to see 2019, you also have an opportunity to decide your peace and your prosperity. However, as with everything in life, there is a price. The price for your peace and prosperity is not a monetary one, but a price involving you taking chances, making choices, and making changes.  It’s taking chances to choose to change your attitude, change your thinking, change your feelings, change your beliefs, change your approach to making decisions, change your life direction, change your actions, etc. 

Further, the price you must be willing to pay for your peace and your prosperity are vested in your commitment and follow-through to take chances, make choices, and make changes in your life. You must also be willing to take chances to sit up, stand up, speak up, look up, and put up. In addition, there are twelve other actions you must implement, in order to ensure your peace and prosperity in 2019. They all involve you taking chances, making choices, and making changes in your life. Ironically, all of these identified actions start with the letter ‘P.’ Hence, I am providing you with “The 12 ‘Ps’ to Ensure Peace & Prosperity In Your Life In 2019.”

In order to ensure that you have peace and prosperity in your life, you must have:

1.    A Purpose-Understand why you are here, what you are supposed to do in life, as well as the dreams and legacy you are supposed to fulfill this year and in your life in general. There is a reason for your life continuing beyond 2018. If you don’t know what your purpose in life is, find it!

2.    Preparation-In order for you to move to where you would like to be and arrive at the place God wants you to be and has destined you to be, you must prepare yourself. You must begin t get your mind right, your heart right, and your spirit right. You must prepare yourself to receive what’s yours.

3.    A Plan-Is the recipe for how you will achieve what you are suppose to achieve; with written, specific, realistic, attainable, and measurable goals; objectives, timelines, and resources (human, monetary, and other); preferably in small chunks and not big hunks. Your goals should be written for 3, 6, 9, 12 months, with contingency plans. Be strategic with your plan and your actions.

4.    Priorities-Establishing priorities include you rank-ordering the most important aspects you need to focus on before moving on to other things. You must rank order your goals, your plans, and the actions you need to take.

5.    Positivity-You must think positively, speak positively, act positively, have immeasurable faith, believing that you CAN have peace & prosperity; you CAN achieve your goals; you WILL attain your goals; you ARE achieving your goals. No matter how things seem with you and around you, you must believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and see the glass as half full, instead of half empty.  

6.    Presence-It is essential that people know that you are in the room. When you enter a room, no matter how many people are in the room, your mere entrance and presence let’s people know your importance and what you have to offer, even without you saying a word. Your presence is how you present yourself physically, emotionally, spiritually, and otherwise. It is your walk, as well as your talk. Your presence in the presence of others is essential. It will determine the strength of your internal and external magnet, having an impact on whom you draw to you and how you draw them to you. Be able to present yourself in a positive manner, with confidence, high self-esteem, courage, self-determination, and authority.   

7.    Position-It’s important to always assess and investigate the people with whom you engage and the places where you not only engage, but places where you spend your quality time. You cannot and will not be successful or have peace and prosperity in 2019, or at any time in your life, if you do not position yourself to receive what is rightfully yours. You must be in the right place at the right time to claim your peace and your prosperity. Your position allows investigation and assessment for you to be in the right places at the right time, ready to receive.

8.    Posture-How you speak about what you want and your determination to get there, guides how you will be received by others, as well as your own level of comfort, peace, and preparation for prosperity. Position yourself to stand firm and be still in order to accomplish your goals and ultimately your peace and your prosperity. Where and how you stand has a profound effect on your success. 

9.    Purge-It is imperative that you remove the people, places, situations, and circumstances from your life that can and will impede your progress for peace and prosperity, Clean out the closets of your life, figuratively and literally, ensuring that any thing, any person, any circumstance, and any situation that doesn’t fit your plans and your life directions are removed. Close doors of negativity, allowing doors of positivity to open. 

10. PPGPs-Get with “Positive People Going Places.” Either people are assets or they are liabilities. It’s time for you to rid yourself of slackers, leeches, uninformed, misinformed, directionless, and goal-less individuals. People who keep drama going in their life will bring it to your life. Achieving your dreams might be a nightmare for others. Everyone can't go with you and everyone is not happy about your peace, your prosperity, and your success. Let them go!

11. Prayer-Prayer is always an essential aspect of the recipe to ensure your peace and your prosperity. There should be prayers throughout the day, and they don’t have to be long, drawn out formal prayers. Prayers are your conversations with a higher power I call God. Prayers also come with listening and obedience. Take time to commune with God, petitioning for your peace and your prosperity, while relaxing and opening your heart, mind, and soul, to receive what you need and to attain your goals.   

12. Patience-You must not rush your peace, your prosperity, or your goals. To do so will cause you to remain stressed, confused, and directionless. There is a reason and a season for your returns on your investments. Recognize that that which is meant for you will wait for you and no one can take what’s yours from you. There is a time and a season for each and every one of your blessings. Patience lends itself to peace, allowing you to focus on your goals, leading to your prosperity. Your patience should also come with action, but not with being pushy, overbearing, and sightless. 

Once you successfully engage in ‘The 12 Ps,” you will find an increase in your level of daily inner peace, as well as an increase in your prosperity, therefore increasing your internal and external power. And being prosperous isn’t just monetary; it’s being prosperous in mind, body, and spirit. 

The New Year is an opportunity for you to have new results in your life. If you want peace and prosperity in your life, they come with action and perseverance. You must work to achieve and maintain peace and prosperity in your life. Your practice with and implementation of ‘The 12 Ps’ will keep you on track and focused, not only in 2019, but also throughout your life. Get up, get started, and watch the positive things God has in store for you begin to materialize!


©2019; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, December 1, 2018

How You Started Your Year Determined How It Will End

Yes, you are once again coming to the close of another year. You are probably reflecting on your accomplishments, with much more focus on your failures. It’s amazing that as humans, we find it much easier to focus on and hold onto the falls, falters, failures, and losses that we experience, rather than celebrating the accomplishments and gains that occur within our lives. I am also sure that you are once again scrambling to make right what has been and what might still be wrong within your life over the past year. You would like to rewrite the script of your life experiences during the past year and in some cases start anew. However, whether you realize it or not, the reality is, you wrote the script for this year’s journey at the beginning of the year with each decision, each choice, and each action you took, which determined the ebbs and flows of the year and will also determine the outcome of this year for you.

The script you wrote for the direction, journey, and outcome of each of your life years is no different from the scripts that you have written for your relationship journeys and outcomes. If the outcome of each of your years is determined by how you start them, the outcome of each of your relationships is also determined by how you start them. So too, does the script you write for rearing your children determine their life direction. How you start directing and disciplining your children determines how they will progress or not progress through life. 

If you don't have boundaries and balance in your relationships, no boundaries and no discipline with your children, along with no boundaries and no direction with each of your life years, your relationships are doomed, your children travel down paths of disrespect, disappointments, lack of direction, and each of your years are fraught with a lack of direction, as well as no learning from your falters, falls, and failures. As a result, you keep repeating the negative actions, not profiting from the lessons, while entering and exiting each year the same.

At some point, it is time for you to recognize that you have more control over your life than you think, You also have much more power than you believe you have, and you are also much smarter than you give yourself credit. With this assurance of your ability to be able to plan and to direct your life, it also means that you have the power and the authority to decide the path, pattern, and direction of each year of your life.

Now, don’t get me wrong; there are many situations, circumstance, and occurrences in your life over which you have no control. There is a master plan for your life, controlled by God from on high. However, because you are made in His image, you have been afforded the ability to serve as one of the copilots of your life, lending credence to the strength and power God has given you. You were created with and endowed with the power to decide your present, your future, and your eventual fate in life. With that being said, you can also plan and guide each year of your life. 

The reason why so many people feel like failures and believe that they have not accomplished anything in life by the end of each year, as they frantically strive to once again engage in making the proverbial annual new years resolutions, is because they make decisions on a whim, without assessing their past and current situations, and without planning, with goals and timelines. Often, the reality is that your year will end the way you start it. If you start your year without direction, it will probably end without direction. If you start your year without faith and a belief that you ARE meant to be successful, that you DESERVE to be successful, and that you ARE thus far successful, you will probably wind up being a failure. However, if you start your year speaking positively over yourself, speaking out loud positively about yourself, with a written action plan, including goals and timelines, you will see that each year of your life will end much more successfully.

You must start each year by seeing the glass as half full, seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark things seem in your life and around your life. Instead of seeing your falters, falls, failures, and losses as setbacks, begin to look at them as set asides, as well as setups for your great comebacks! You must take action, be patient and stand against all odds. There will must certainly be bumps and bruises in your life, but you must get up, brush yourself off, stand up, and move on after every bump, every bruise, every battle, every falter, every fall, every failure, and every loss. It’s not so much that you experience each of these disappointments; it’s what you do with the lessons that you are supposed to learn from the disappointments and how you use them to help direct or redirect your life.

If you are not willing to learn and implement your lessons from your life experiences, you are destined to repeat the same mistakes, make the same wrong and negative impacting decisions, and remain a member of the insanity club. As a result, you will continue determining the outcome of each of your years, because you will have started them without thinking of the end in mind, or without considering the outcome of your decisions and choices. 

This year is an opportunity for you to take stock and examine this year in retrospect. You can’t undo what’s already been done; there is no reason to keep kicking yourself in your behind, and no reason to keep blaming yourself for wrong choices and bad decisions. It’s time for you to assess the negative and the positive aspects of your life, the negative and positive decisions you have made, the challenges you are facing, as well as your life dreams. You might not be able to go back and fix the mistakes or erase the past, but you can move forward and prepare for your future.

 Here’s your opportunity to prepare for 2019, but you must decide to move on from 2018, with a plan to move forward into 2019 and beyond. As you assess your 2018, set at least five goals for 2019. You are going to set your goals for three, six, nine, and twelve months. You will begin to take life in small chunks, instead of big hunks, as you have done in the past. The assessment process for 2018 should include you taking a panoramic view of the people you have in your life, including your friends. The assessment process entails you recognizing that everyone who has been with you during 2018 is not necessarily prepared to travel with you into 2019 and beyond. 

Starting your year off in a positive direction in order to ensure that it ends in a positive direction is recognizing who are the assets and liabilities in your life, human and otherwise. It’s having the strength to remove the liabilities and strengthening your assets. It’s forgiving and letting go of any, everything, and everyone who has negatively impacted you. It is also forgiving you.

You can determine the outcome of each year of your life if you start the year correctly from the onset. Purpose, planning, direction, perseverance, and positioning yourself for success at the beginning of the year will most certainly help you to determine your year’s end, each and every time. Remember that although God is the creator and the author of your life, you are the finisher of your life. Start planning for next year this year. Expect the best and plan to receive the best in your life! You deserve it and you CAN and you WILL have a great year every year! Get started now! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


©2018; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Remaining Steadfast & Immovable When the Lights of Life No Longer Shine

If you believe that you were created by God and made in His image, you should also believe that you were created to shine as bright as the stars in the sky. To that end, it must also mean that you were created to let your life light shine. Your life light was not only meant to shine as a part of your inner being, it was also meant to shine on the outer most parts of you. As long as you are alive, there is a light shining in, around, and throughout you as an individual. However, you must behold it, believe it, and bring it full circle within, and throughout your life. 
I am sure that many of you are laughing through your tears as I talk about your internal and external life light. You are also probably asking, ‘what damn light?’ Your life light has been dim for so long, that you need candles, lanterns, oil lamps, natural light, and any other forms of light, just for you to even begin to consider yourself as a beacon of life. And because you believe your life light has been dim for so long, hindering and hampering you from helping yourself, you feel helpless in helping anyone else.
Your life light is your smile. It’s that twinkle in you eye when you are excited; it’s your inner strength that keeps you getting up when you fall; it’s the joy in your heart; it’s that inner motivation that keeps you fighting and moving forward each and every day, even when you don’t feel like it. It’s that light that keeps giving you hope even in the midst of the darkness that keeps allowing you to see the glass as half full, instead of half empty, and keeps you believing that even though there is some darkness, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Do you remember the not so long ago stability in your life and the lives of your loved ones? Now I am not asking you about a time when things were perfect, because there are no perfect times. This was when there wasn’t someone wearing the title of president of the United States residing in the White House spewing hate, division, racism, classism, ageism, sexism, homophobia, lies, deceit, and violence. This was a time when hatred wasn’t the word of the day, and the outward acts of hatred were often the exception and not the rule. This was a time when you and the rest of America began to rebound from the real estate bust, the financial fallout, and one of the most devastating times for Americans in recent history. 
Now, even though negative impacts of the social, economic, and emotional experiences faced by Americans have always been an aspect of the fiber of people in the United States, they were more covert than overt. Somehow, no matter how dark your days seemed, you were always able to let your light shine in the darkness, even at night. I do understand that it is often very difficult for you to see the light within you or around you with all of the mess you and your loved ones are currently having to face. Hence, it must be difficult to ask you to allow your internal and external light of life to shine as bright as the stars. But, for your very survival, the greatest weapon you have against the darkness that seems to permeate your life and the lives of your loved ones is your life light, your love light, and your light of truth.
I am a realist about the importance of finding the core of your internal life light. Not only does your life light need to shine for your success and your existence, it also needs to shine for the success and existence of family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others. You are probably asking, ‘how do you allow your life light to shine?’ Keep reading and I will provide information, inspiration, the transformation, as well as steps to help you to ‘Remain Steadfast & Immovable When the Lights of Life No Longer Shine.’
Your life light is you as a total package. Along with the attributes previously mentioned. Your life light includes your race, your culture, your gender, your age, your religion, your spiritual beliefs, your life choices, your geographic location, your values, your overall beliefs, the truth, and any and everything that allows you to be you!  However, too often, based on your life situations and life circumstances, you many times believe that you have to forsake the characteristics previously cited. These characteristics are the base and the bases for determining your light, the brightness of your light, and the scope of your light, internally and externally. It’s when you choose to forsake or feel pressured to forsake the characteristics of who you are as a total being, along with your attempts to either be like someone else, follow someone else, or behave like someone else, that your life light, your love light, and your truth light enter the darkness zone.It is also when you allow nay sayers, outside forces, along with racial, sexual, political, social, religious, and economic forces to rid you of your smile. When you allow outside forces to dim the twinkle in your eye, when you lose your inner motivation, and when you allow your inner joy to be compromised, that you will find yourself in the midst of darkness. 
Letting your life light shine and allowing it to continue to shine starts with you learning to get up again, as you learn to stand again, in the midst of your falls, falters, and failures. You must remember that you have been down this path before and you will get back up again. Your past experiences, along with the experiences of your loved ones who have faced loss, grief, broken hearts, broken homes, and all-around brokenness have dictated that you can get back up and be grateful. As a result, you will come to see that it is easier for you to recognize your blessings by expressing your gratefulness, rather than focusing on your brokenness. And each time you call up, recognize, and highlight your blessings with gratefulness, your life light will begin to shine or continue to shine, along with your love light and your truth light.
If you decide to forsake your total being by ingesting and digesting daily doses of hate-filled, racist, sexist, homophobic, classist words, you will voluntarily participate in the life dimming process. If you decide to stand for and with the hate mongers spewing negative rhetoric about people who don’t look like you, participate in and sanction voters being denied their RIGHT to vote with voter suppression tactics, and accept promises filled with lies, you will then be complicit in helping to not only cause darkness in your life, but darkness in the life of others.
I have provided you with several ways for you to not allow your life light to be dimmed; here are some other approaches that you can use. Your greatest weapon in helping you to “Remain Steadfast & Immovable When the Lights of Life No Longer Shine,” is your light of love, and your light of truth! 
When you stand for what’s right, love others as you do yourself, treat people right, don’t join the haters, don’t engage in hate-filled rhetoric and hate-filled actions against others; your life light will continue to shine. When you call out those who violate your rights and the rights of others, and not participate in the mess that causes you and so many other people stress, your life light will continue to shine. You must continue seeing the glass of life as half full; continue speaking hope; continue seeing & believing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. As long as you believe in your life light, you will feel it, and come to see it.
I challenge you to reach deep into your heart and into your soul, to allow every ray of your life light to shine. And if you allow it to shine brightly, your life light will shine throughout your life, even from the grave. Your life light, which is your love light, and your truth light, is contagious! It will remain in the lives of your children, your family, your friends, and others you touch throughout your life. Even in the midst of seeming darkness, your light of love and truth will never go dark!!!

©2018; J. Morley Productions, Inc; P. O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Is He or She A Plus or Minus In Your Life?

As you seek intimate relationships with others, you do so with hopes of finding the right person, as well as the best person on earth to serve as your companion. You want to meet someone you will fall in love with, hopefully for forever and a day. You are anticipating engaging in a healthy and positive relationship for the long haul and not a situation for the short haul. You want to be revered and treated as if you are somebody who matters. You not only want to feel needed, you want to feel wanted. You want to be an asset to someone, but you should also want someone to be an asset to you. 

In 2018, it seems as if the quest to find the best and the right companion is quite a challenge. Too often, so many of you work tirelessly to find that one somebody, winding up many times with anybody, who turns out to be nobody. You scan your surroundings looking for the person you would like to consider your ‘soul mate.’ How can you find your ‘soul mate’ when you have not been able to understand the depths of your own soul, in order for you to ensure that whomever you connect with and bring into your life, will be an addition and not a subtraction? But do you know what you really want, what you really need, and what you actually deserve in a companion?

The truth is, you knew what you were getting into with your companion when you first met him/her. The handwriting was on the wall, but you pretended that you either didn't see it or you couldn’t read it. You were so desperate to be with somebody, that you were willing to settle for less. You spent an insurmountable amount of time attempting to fix up and clean up that man or make him over into the fantasy guy you have been seeking. You tried your best to take her out of the strip club, ignoring the fact that the two of you had nothing in common, closing your eyes to the fact that she will eventually strip you of everything she can, including you! 

One of the greatest fallacies you and others often have is the belief that people will change, ‘once they get with you.’ How many times do I have to remind you that people don’t change; they grow, but they can always go back to old negative behaviors they once had! And many times, those behaviors are only hidden by a cover up, in order for them to attract positive and growing people such as you, in order for them to inject their negative attributes.

What does this person have to offer you that is so much greater than the last person you were involved with? Is the sex any better? Probably not! And if you relied on sex to hook him/her, it might have worked because of his/her motives and not your great sexual abilities in bed. The reality is, it won’t work in you maintaining, and sustaining a positive, stable, honest, effective, and healthy relationship with him/her. As a matter of fact, you will probably become another notch in his belt or another hay roller in her bed. The red flags are all around you, but you choose to kick them over, as you sometimes need to kick yourself in your own ass for believing that you can take a minus and make it a plus. It is clear that he/she is not the one, but you consciously, but blindly decided to bite the bullet, eat the apple, and drink the Kool-Aid. The warning was right there in front of you, DON’T DRINK THE KOOL-AID—IT IS TOXIC! He/she is truly a minus and not a plus!

In the world of mathematics, zero has always been known as the additive identity. If you add zero to any number, you will always get that number. As long as you keep allowing people to enter your life without adding anything to your life, you will have the same thing you started with…you and what you brought to the situation. Eventually, the zero will begin to take away from you and diminish you, taking up space, decreasing your value, and the value of what you bring to the table.

You often wind up with a zero in your life because you probably don’t know what you want or should have in a relationship. You have no expectations of a companion, and you don’t believe you deserve to have someone in your life that will serve as a multiplier instead of subtracting from your life. Also, you don't have a clear, written, and comprehensive list of ingredients of what you want and need in a companion, who will add value to your life, instead of taking away from your life. 
You also don’t have a plan of action for reaching to the top of the barrel, the top of the tree, or outside of the barrel to have greater and more positive choices in a companion. You seem to spend so much time dipping and reaching to the bottom of the barrel, picking the fruit that have fallen from the tree onto the ground and exposed to elements and parasites, as you continue to hang with chickens instead of soaring with eagles. And you wonder why you have a minus instead of a plus in you bed, in your head, in your heart, and in your life; you put him/her there! 

You also tend to operate in ‘what has been,’ your losses, as well as doubt, instead of your gains and your hope. You have been so accustomed to having losers in your life that you are afraid to link with winners; so much so that you often sabotage positive, healthy, and good possibilities when they enter your life. Sadly, you allow the outside of the fruit to dictate to you the taste of the inside of the fruit, maintaining what is comfortable for you, rather than challenging yourself to stretch, in order to reach that which is best for you.  

As women, you often make the excuse that ‘the pickings are slim,’ especially when it comes to African-American women choosing African-American men as a companion. However, it’s not so much that there aren’t enough ‘good’ men to choose from, as it is you are looking in the wrong places, expecting the wrong things, if you have any expectations at all. Your willingness to accept the wrong things from the wrong kind of men is paramount. Anita Baker once sang, “He Can’t Do Right ‘Cause He’s the Wrong Man.”

When you set your sights high, you will look high, expect high, and only expect what’s at a higher level and what’s on track to moving you forward to even greater heights. You must have a plan with action steps in order to add to who you are, where you are, and where you are going in your life. However, if you keep accepting minuses in your life, the pluses will remain on the outside of your life.

Wake up! It’s time for you, whether male or female, to wake up, get up, stand up, look up, and step up to the plate!  It’s time for you women to have a Boaz instead of a broke ass, and for you men to have a Ruth instead of a Jezebel. And money doesn’t always determine the plus status of a companion; especially if he/she is abusive in any form whatsoever. An abusive companion with all of the riches of the world is clearly a minus, because he/she chips a little from you each and everyday, rendering you helpless and hopeless.

The hunter always wants to be successful at capturing his/her prey. At some point, you must decide to stop serving in the role of the prey and start being the hunter. It is time for you to set the stage, set the tone, and set the bar for the type of person you desire, deserve, and are determined to have in your life. Just because he/she wants you, it doesn’t mean that you have to reciprocate the want. The choice is yours; either you add to who you are, what you have, and where you are going in life, or you will wind up with someone who will take away from who you are, what you have, and allow yourself to be distracted and sidetracked from where you are going.

Yes, it’s always good to at least be able to make it to first base, but if you can make a homerun, why would you stop at first base? As long as you can clearly identify your needs and wants in a companion, it is easier for you to not accept any wooden nickels, not accept less, and not enter into situations with empty promises that are detractors from your path in life. You will be in charge, allowing only pluses into your life, as you identify and remove the minuses.

  • Here are a few tips to help you recognize when you are embarking upon a minus entering your life, or when you have already allowed a minus to enter your life, instead of a plus:
  •  The conversations from day one, no matter what the topic, it’s all about me, my, and I; you, we, and us are never considered. 
  •  He/she is the number one priority and focus on the first date & continues to be the number one priority and focus; you feel left out and neglected.
  • The two of you are not on the same page. As a matter of fact, you aren’t even in the same book.
  • He/she has no goals and no real sense of direction. As a matter of fact, his/her goals do not include you.
  • He/she has nothing to really offer you, financially, emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, or spiritually.
  • His/her hygiene doesn’t fit with yours, from head to toe, including dental hygiene.
  •  He/she possesses addictions that are hard to beat and sometimes challenging to recover from, such as gambling, cheating, lying, deceit, drugs/alcohol abuse, etc. 
  •  He/she has untreated mental illnesses and won’t seek treatment.
  •  Your family sees/saw the red flags—You turned against them & began to project the truth of what you know about him/her onto your family.
  • There is disrespect, misuse, and abuse, including verbal, emotional, psychological, spiritual, and physical abuse from him/her.
  • You are insistent on making a relationship out of a situation
  •  You have to force him/her down the throats of your family & friends and hold your family hostage if they don’t accept him/her.
  • You are receiving mixed messages
  • There is stalking, manipulation, and threats from him/her.


You must decide if the person you call your companion or the one you are working to have as your companion, is someone you view as an opportunity for growth and development or do you see him/her as a replacement for a lost love or relationship. On the other hand, you can determine what you need as you embark upon or whether you currently have a plus in your life, when the opposite of the above minuses exist. You deserve the best, but you can only have the best and most healthy relationship when you stop accepting minuses.  

Take some time to draft a list of positive attributes you possess. Also draft a list of positive attributes you would like to have in a companion. Compare the lists; they should match with each other. And if you find that there is great discrepancy between who you are and the person identified as your companion, including the companion you are seeking, it is time for you to make some decisions. Use a competent and well-trained psychotherapist to help you to gain an understanding about who you are, where you are, what you desire in life, and where you are going in life. Be honest with yourself; is he/she a plus or a minus in your life?!  


©2018; J. Morley Productions, Inc.; P.O. Box 1745; Decatur, GA 30031; 770-808-6570; www.doctorjoyce.com

Saturday, September 1, 2018

What Defines You—Your Work or Your Deeds? (Dedicated in Memory of Aretha Franklin-“Queen of Soul”)

This blog is dedicated in memory of the greatest female singer of all times, Ms. Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul.” Aretha set the stage and the standards for greatness, truth, fairness, and unselfishness in America and the world as a whole. She did so not only by the work she did as a singer, but also by the deeds/works she performed for others on and off stage. The words of Aretha’s songs impacted my life tremendously. Her songs not only penetrated my soul, they penetrated the souls of people worldwide. Her soulful manner was the stream that calmly hit to the core of my being, soothing me when I was sad, strengthening me as a Black woman, helping me to demand “Respect” from any and everyone, while assuring me of my values and my worth, no matter what others said or did. 

Aretha’s music and her deeds/works will remain with many throughout eternity. What a woman, what a woman! She is truly a legend, who was not willing to stand for just anything, but she was determined to stand for something, especially for what was right, and what was truthful. She stood for the Civil Rights Movement, as well as the hopeless, the helpless, the downhearted, the disenfranchised, and the disheartened. Her actions spoke for her as she used her deeds to help others. I love you Aretha forever and a day!

In the same vein of using great deeds as the defining characteristics of an individual, I would also like to pay homage to Senator John McCain, who has also gone on to be with the Lord. Although a Republican in his work, he defied being defined by his work and allowed his deeds to define him. He had a choice and made it; standing for what was right, instead of what was Republican. Rest in peace Senator John McCain, rest in peace! You made a tremendous impact on the lives of many, not just across the aisles, but also across lives of people worldwide who are different from you. We thank you because you have truly been identified by your deeds (works), instead of your work!  

Although Aretha and Senator McCain have transcended to another life realm, they still stand boldly and unashamed through and by the deeds they performed for ALL mankind. They were unwilling to just stand for anything, but through their deeds they stood for something, whether popular or unpopular! Although their work was public, their deeds were often not seen as they worked to help others, who might not look like them, who didn’t think like them, and those who didn't have what they had. Their work might have separated them from others, but their deeds united them with the world.

It seems as if we work all of our lives, sometimes working ourselves to death. And then, what’s next? We work to be accepted; to be loved, to be recognized, to be the first in so many things, to get with the greatest looking man/woman; to be the first to marry; to rise to the top, to get an education, to get the best and most powerful job position, to own the largest house, to have the greatest looking show car, to have the best looking body, to have the best looking and most expensive clothes and shoes, etc. It seems as if we work and then we work some more in order to be defined by the outcome of the work in which we engage. But in the end, who are you? Are you defined by your continuous and never ending work and the things you attain as a result of your work, or are you defined by the deeds you do for others? What about you as a person?

It's amazing how much time we spend working at our crafts in comparison to engaging in many other positive things with others throughout our deeds. I am sure that you like so many other people, cry each and everyday about work-life balance. What does that truly mean for you? If you were to look at the eight areas I include in my “Life’s Balance Wheel” (work, family, spirituality, physical, emotional, psychological, education, leisure), you would come to see that your life has been all about work, more so than any other area. 

Either you are working for someone else, which is often the case, or you might be lucky or blessed to currently or one day work for yourself. But what does any of it actually mean? In the scheme of things you work your ass of to one day succumb to death, which signifies that it’s all over. You take nothing with you, as a result of your hard work. As a matter of fact, you brought nothing here when you came into existence. What made you believe that you would take anything with you? Nothing belongs to you materially, no matter how hard you have worked. 

Who and what are you working for? What deeds/works have you done to enhance the lives of others? Have you ever really thought about it? On the other hand, the activities and actions you engage in throughout your life to help others will have more power and more promise, not just for you, but also for the people you love and others whose lives you have impacted.

If by chance you happen to be defined by your work, when you do not have a job or you no longer have the job, which you currently hold, you will not have a definition of you! If your job makes you who you are, who are you when you no longer have the job? The reality is, your job is an external state of engagement, many times not by choice, but because you were chosen to hold or to have the job you have by someone else, allowing you to do the work you do. When you are no longer the choice of those who chose you, your job and your work will become a thing of the past. You will no longer exist is that position and if the job defined you, you also will no longer exist as a person.

What about those who are not able to work outside of their homes for one reason or another, or those whose work is never seen because they don’t have jobs of record? Do they not have identities? Although they might not have defined work as you and I might ascribe a definition, I am sure that many of these people have some great deeds that they might be performing to and for the benefit of others. They are probably feeding the homeless, sharing the little finances they have with others to help them up, directing an unwed teen mother, redirecting a troubled young man, attending community events, while lending their voices of truth to help a cause of righteousness for others. You might consider them unfortunate because they have no documented form of work. However, they are very fortunate; they are making lasting and everlasting impacts on the lives of others through their works. As a result, they know who they are; they are defined by the deeds they perform, and not the paid work they do. What about you?

While your job and ensuing work are often a result of an inheritance from or an appointment by others, manifested through external controls, your deeds are manifested through internal drives and divine appointments. No one can unseat you or remove you from your deeds; they are the definition of your passion, your vested interest, and your investment in others. Your deeds supersede me, my, and I, transcending to a state of we and us, recognizing that none of us is as great as all of us. In the final analysis, it’s not all about the work you do, as it is what you do for others that will rise to the top! It’s your deeds/works that will count!

The positive actions that you perform to benefit others might not have an instant return that you can hold or see, but if they are honorable, you shouldn’t be looking for one or expecting one anyhow. On many occasions, you don’t even know the overall impact, benefit, or outcome of your deeds for others. However, when you work, you are not only looking for an instant return, but you are also expecting an outcome, some remuneration, and something that gives you credit for your work. Your deeds might never bring you notoriety, because you didn’t and you don’t do them to be noticed. Your deeds are of your heart, and not out of obligation!

It is not your job or the kind of work that you do that should be a part of your self-identification and self-definition, it’s how well and how much you are willing to reach outside of you to not look down on anyone unless you are helping him/her up through the deeds you provide.  It’s your willingness to stand for and with the truth, in the midst of lies, standing for and with the underdog when it is not popular to do so, as well as you meeting people where they are, respecting them for who they are, and treating them like they matter. It’s being the bigger person and admitting wrong, learning to say I am sorry, and lending a hand to those in need. It’s all about the good deeds you perform, not the work you do. Your work will end, but your good deeds/works will stand the test of time!
In the final analysis, the quote from a familiar song, “May the works I’ve done speak for me. When I’m resting in my grave, there’s nothing to be said; May the works I’ve done speak for me.” Notice, the words of the song don’t refer to the ‘work’ or the job you’ve done speaking for you, but instead, it refers to the ‘WORKS’ you’ve done as being the speaker for you. In other words, the good deeds you’ve done should be your identifier, not your work.  
Here is your opportunity to assess the works/deeds of your life. Are they inclusive of helping others unselfishly, or are they exclusive only to the benefit of you and yours? How are you defined? Is it by a smile or a frown, a kind word or words of anger and arrogance, an open hand of kindness or a closed fist of death, a heart of love or a heart of hate, actions of construction or actions of destruction? Are your deeds/works of you building others up instead of tearing them down? What will the dash between your birth and your death dates stand for? What good deeds will matter as a part of your identification now and when life ends for you? 
Clearly, the dash between Aretha Franklin’s, date of birth and date of death as well as Senator John McCain’s birthdate and death date signify more of the good deeds/works they provided for others, rather than the singing and politics of the work in which they engaged. It was the passion placed in their hearts that lead to the kind of works they provided for others, providing satisfaction, while believing that at some point and somehow, their deeds will benefit others. And they most certainly have benefitted others. Their deeds will last into eternity, because others will pass them on.

Whatever type of work you are chosen to do, always do it well. However, it doesn’t take you working 24/7, neglecting your family, friends, yourself, or the other aforementioned areas of my “Life’s Balance Wheel” in order for you to do your job well. You must recognize that you are dispensable! Try being ill for too long or missing too much time from work. Better yet, try dying and see what happens to your job. You will be replaced as soon as possible. The company might allow one or two people to attend your service, but your work will be over and there will be an end, with no identification of you related to your work. However, your deeds/works will not only last for a lifetime, they will still matter after your death. The benefits of your deeds will live in and through others, and you will still matter. 
In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.,   
 “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”
You have a grand opportunity to ensure that you are defined by your deeds (your works) and not by your work (your job). You will be remembered more by the former, rather than by the latter. What actions have you taken to help your fellow man/woman? And if you haven’t taken any actions to help others, when do you plan to start? Even though your work/job is done, your works/deeds will still stand forever! It’s time for you to start standing, not just for you but also for others; not just for the sake of standing, but for what is moral and what is right! I challenge you to stand and be identified by your deeds (works), instead of your work (job)!


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