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LiLTweeks: Have your status updates gone uncommented?


The lesson I learned this week [LiLTweeks] came about after realizing my Facebook account’s privacy setting preference for personal information and posts was custom set to [be seen by] “Only Me” for over three months. The setting change happened shortly after Facebook made those privacy control changes for user posts on its platform. I continuously posted links to great online content, funny quotes, inspirational messages, and labor intense notes the whole time. Week after week numerous news updates without one comment response.

Technical difficulties are correctable.

You’ve heard of the term technical difficulties right? There are quite a few book titles on the subject. Facebook friend and The Bond Institute’s Audacity Expert and life coach Tonoa Bond (@tonoabond) even offers her thoughts on the idea in a free eBook. But what I discovered is that my Facebook technical difficulties were an extension of a much bigger life issue.

Do you know someone like this?

From lacking clearly defined goals, to depression, to self-sabotage, there are many reasons for not living your dreams. But this LiLTweek is focused on the “Only Me” button. Perhaps you know someone that feels like no matter how hard they try they just aren’t able to produce positive results. Maybe they feel like nobody out there cares about them or what they have to say. Have you ever felt alone in a room full of people?

Don’t worry about everyone else.

Facebook friend and @websuccessdiva Maria Reyes McDavis and I were discussing her inspirational Proverbs 31 Project (scheduled to launch June 1, 2010). And she mentioned, “I just speak out what I need to hear myself sometimes. . .” Reminds me of a pastor preaching, “Don’t worry about whose not here in church hearing this message. The lesson is for you and me to learn, right here, right now.”

Breathe. Relax. Re-focus on the solution.

Investigating my Facebook problem revealed a solution. And I repeatedly changed the preference every few weeks or so. Mysteriously the preference changed back like a default to “Only Me.” I’m not sure what that was all about, but the bigger lesson learned is that if the only me button is activated in your life there won’t be any connections, comments, or relations, let alone friends. Socially speaking if you feel me.

LiLTweeks (Lessons I Learned This Week) is a weekly observation of some problems I’ve encountered and possible actions for resolve. If you have been inspired from this article please leave a comment and consider subscribing to the RSS (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader [look for Weekend Post].

From Michelle Ryan Lauto’s Facebook to City Hall



The lesson I learned this week [LiLTweeks] was from Michelle Ryan Lauto, a college freshman at Pace University who posted an invitation for New Jersey high school students to take a stand against state budget cuts. The result was an unexpected grass-roots movement that made K12 student civics history in the US.

A lesson in government taught by students

Social media has an organic bend in its DNA. Controlling its twist and turns is as difficult as catching a fish in open stream with your bare hands. Yet when it comes to social media, most schools try to catch it by cutting it out of the classrooms and fire walling it off campus. And that’s not all states are cutting from education. Budget cuts continue to swallow up school employee families. Well, a student named Michelle decided to roll off campus this week with a Facebook campaign that cut deep into educator’s way of doing things.

Social Media v. K12 Education

I was blown away by the limited media coverage of the grass-roots New Jersey story of students by the thousands, more than 18,000 actually, teaching us all a valuable lesson in social media civics. Students from all over the state of New Jersey taking a stance on City Hall for teacher job security and the plight of their education in larger class sizes, limited student services, school without art and music programs, and higher college tuitions is no small headline.

That was quite a show of force for change

This story has been a wake up call to remove this new kind of fear I’ve acquired over the years from allowing others to slowly choke the rebel out of me. Ms. Lauto and a few key peers coordinated one huge voice refusing to be unheard and have taught me reinforced lessons in leadership this week. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo to you all!

Stay focused, stay confident and take action for social change, it’s the civil thing to do.

LiLTweeks (Lessons I Learned This Week) is a weekly observation of some problems I’ve encountered and possible actions for resolve. If you have been inspired from this article please leave a comment and consider subscribing to the RSS (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader [look for Weekend Post].

Chicken Soup for the Soul Submission

I am preparing to submit a short story to Chicken Soup for the Soul for publication soon. I can’t read the entire story, but I want to share a couple haiku poems included in the text.

Please let me know what comes to mind when reading some of my thoughts shared in a story titled, “A Place Called Garden.” Your comments will not only teach me, but will let me know if I’m on course to telling the story of a valuable life lesson learned while tending to a special friends garden the morning of her death.

Now playing:

A Place Called Garden

Nana’s garden breathes
hope of life lived and love sown,
garden weeds be gone.

A place called garden
gives hope to a cracked seed’s bloom,
rooted weed rids gloom.

Best Year Teaching: If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.

LiLTweeks: How to Create Success With Partners That Matter?


Are you surrounded with people just like you or do they compliment by connecting the dots and filling in the blanks?

The lesson I learned this week [LiLTweeks] was spotlighted by The Money Smart Guy Matthew Sapaula on his archived Blogtalkradio Show Making God First Monday | How to pick the right partners and avoid the wrong ones. Matthew Sapaula is one of those men of God I met through clicking on a Re-Tweeted Twitter link to his Chicago based blog, which was quickly added to my Google Reader and then connected on Facebook one year ago.

Three weeks into the New Year I find myself reviewing 2010 goals, celebrating my birthday this week, thinking through my journey from here, and seeking God’s wisdom for the people that will help me along the way. Even as I write this article, it becomes clear that many in my PLN (Personal Learning Network) have been God sent to assist in learning more about myself.

So I’m finally getting around to running one of my catch-up mini Blogtalkradio marathons of new podcast when Sapaula, with his Making God First Monday fellow host John Heerhold, discusses the ins and outs of how to create success with the help of mentors, coaches, and partners when I realized it was time for a reality check. We need an elite team of strategic partners that will help connect the dots and fill deficiencies with wise mortar for this next decade. For me, it’s going to be key to overcoming my own challenges from 2009 and beyond. The Money Smart Guy is quickly becoming one of my strategic partners.

Asking, “What is a strategic partner?” It’s a loaded question. Some key characteristics:

Is a partner that matters directly or indirectly.
Has expertise in the area you need.
Has a track record of success.
Shares your core values, beliefs, and actions.
Will correct you with dignity, but the reality of it maybe uncomfortable.

Some flexible benefits may be:

Can provide intellectual, emotional, or physical assistance to help you win.
Can be local or on the other side of the world.
Can have a high profile or be very important to you and a few others.
Can connect with and meet through social media or Meetup.
Communicate through videoconference, blogs, and smart phone applications.

Use your social media to connect with at least two new people every day that share your interest. Closely follow their content for a few days up front, subscribe to their newsletters and blogs, and monitor the result of hanging around them. Who knows, the connection may turn into a righteous partnership?

How to Contact Money Smart Radio or Matthew Sapaula
Financial Strategist / Speaker / Chicago Talk Radio Show Host / TV commentator

Stay focused. Stay confident. Be wise and keep partnering,
Carter | @laroncarter

LiLTweeks (Lessons I Learned This Week) is a weekly observation of some problems I’ve encountered and possible actions for resolve. If you have been inspired from this article please leave a comment and consider subscribing to the RSS (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader [look for Weekend Post].

LiLTweeks: Facebook Rave, Rut, or Roam Part 1

Do we really have the luxury of allowing social media connections [named friends] dictate how we express our core values?

The lesson I learned this week [LiLTweeks] was developed between two Facebook feeds. First, one of my celebrity friends posted a passionately well-written Note (Get excited with me about being able to leverage Facebook and Twitter for getting around office secretaries to make some amazing personal connections).

I wasn’t familiar with the incident he wrote about, but I did recognize his range of emotions expressed in the text and they were heated. This was one of those social media threads you follow from the bleachers because you’re either not part of the sub-community or you couldn’t speak intelligently on the subject without doing some background investigation at the expense of sounding like the dog ate your homework.

Both celebrity and content created a mini rave for his Note (more than 35 individual comments in minutes) and the discussion was bringing out the best and worst in participants. But, the problem I had didn’t occur until one or two of those emotionally driven comments triggered my man [and I say that sincerely] to anguish over how he might have offended someone or had been misunderstood to the point of posting a revised version of an already well-written op-ed.

Now, I’m hardly a savvy PR guy or a seasoned English major for that matter. I didn’t read above sixth grade level until nearly thirty years old. So I don’t claim to professionally understand how content, celebrity, and spin work together for creating a worldwide rave. But, you better believe I’ve been around the block enough to know when I see a bully and how to deal with them. Note, my actions taken seem to be under ongoing construction, however, the foundation of taking a stance to defend my core values do not have the luxury of allowing social media connections dictate how I express them, especially if I have labored over my content long and hard enough to have modeled an officer and gentleman’s temperance within my original publication, they’re too valuable.

Look at the time. We can still make it over to Vegas and crash another social media party before the Internet shuts down. (To be continued)

Stay focused. Stay confident, live a little, and love a lot,
Carter | @laroncarter

P.S. LiLTweeks is a weekly observation of some problems I’ve encountered and possible actions for resolve. If you have been inspired from this article please leave a comment and consider subscribing to the RSS (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader [look for Weekend Post].

LiLTweeks: How is a master learner created?

The Entity Theorist vs. Incremental Learning

How is mastery created? Do you have a growth mindset?

The lesson I learned this week [LiLTweeks] came from eight times National Chessmaster Champion turned World Tai Chi Push Hands Champion Josh Waitzkin’s book, The Art of Learning. Robert Pirsig couldn’t have said it better, “It will take a furious interruption to make you set this book down.”

Josh’s message is loaded with invaluable life lessons of how one incremental learner journeyed between two competitive sports combining what he learned in deeply reflective observations. I’m slightly biased, because I’m such a big fan of the movie, Searching for Bobby Fisher, based on Josh’s story as a kid, but more than anything I admire his ability to be taught. An effective teacher knows the student learned the lesson because he reflects on the instruction with a strong understanding about what happened and Josh does this very well.

This book left me asking, “Are you teachable, Carter?” followed by, “Do you truly understand how to kick start those neurons, because, you seem to be making repeated mistakes, partner? and “What does this mean regarding my ability to mentor effectively?”

As a K12 teacher for two decades and a student for nearly fifty years, I’ve only been able to dream of easily understanding mastery until sitting at Josh’s literary feet. He has reminded me what it means to wonder with awe during the pursuit of excellence. Josh’s book confirms in very creative storytelling that whether it’s a championship battle or a novice seeking small successes, mastery is accomplished through focused incremental growth processes fortified with performance resilience.

Whether you decide to read Waitzkin’s book or not, you owe it to yourself to learn how being taught as a kid to believe you have something special needed to succeed can be derailed when that special something isn’t enough. There is an alternative. Dr. Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of developmental psychology, calls it entity theory vs. incremental learning. Through focused incremental growth processes fortified with performance resilience, you can pursue and master excellence.

Stay focused. Stay confident. Keep learning and you will win,
Carter | @laroncarter

P.S. LILTweeks is a weekly observation of some problems I’ve encountered and possible actions for resolve. If you have been inspired from this article please leave a comment and consider subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader [look for Weekend Post].

Where to Go When All Else Has Failed to Produce the Answers You Need?

medicant

Photo Credit by Mudeth

When your past experiences aren’t deep enough to provide rules for engaging tough problems you may search Google, Wikipedia, or eHow. But even robust engine optimization and one hundred twenty three comments in the best forums can fail to produce the answers needed to resolve a personal hardship. What answer will matter in an untimely death of a loved one taken home before you got a chance to reconcile your differences?

Some problems simply leave us dumb founded.
Maybe your issue is rapt in the inappropriate behaviors of a child that everything touched seems to blowup in his face. What do you do if your faith and everyone praying for you isn’t enough to reverse the chronic condition of disease that has you feeling like you have nothing left to give? Countless spouses and their children are emotionally traumatized in the aftermath of a divorce gone wild. So, what does a respected mentor say that brings resolve to a problem that leaves you both dumb founded and chanting, “I don’t know what I’d do,” as a better response than unwelcome wisdom?

My grandmother knew what to do.
Nana would often remind me, “Whenever you have looked everywhere in vein to figure something out, you must turn to the God in you for a glory that will out wit, out live, and out shine your problems, baby”. There you will find the answers patiently waiting for you to show up. Always in there, under all the mind chatter banging off the walls of your intellect, wondering how much longer you are going to kick it around like a rejected rock.

Just be the answer.
Now reading this at a glance might have you wondering, Carter, is that all you have to say about where to go when all else fails to give me the answer I need? Yep, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s Run DMC would say, “It’s like that, and that’s the way it – is.” Word. Try getting quiet, separate from everyone, stop all the noise and meditate from within so you can hear how to be. . . one with the Answer. It doesn’t get any more basic than that.

P.S. If you have been inspired from this article please consider leaving a comment and subscribing to the RSS feed (top right column) to have future post delivered to your feed reader. Please send your friends to http://laroncarter.com to connect with me or @laroncarter on Twitter.