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Friday, January 22, 2016

YOU Control the “Narrative”

Narrative is defined as “a story that is told or written; something that is narrated; the representation in art of an event or story;”

You can’t prevent what is said about you. BUT…you can influence HOW it is revealed.
The natural inclination is to “not tell anyone” or “keep it private.” Sometimes, this works. Oftentimes, it doesn’t.

“When people don’t know what’s going on in your life, they SPECULATE. When they think they know, they FABRICATE. And when they do know, they just HATE.”

If you put it out there first…you have rendered the “haters” powerless.
I am reminded of the phrase: “Let the air out of the balloon.” If you let the air out yourself, it doesn’t get to inflate and rise.

However, in a day of Social Media, instant access and news “going viral,” anything good or bad can be exposed very quickly.

Cases in Point:
#1 - During the 2015 Christmas Holiday, former boxer Mike Tyson took a big fall off of his daughter’s hover-board. Instead of waiting for the media to “Put its spin on it” and reveal it, he immediately posted a video of the incident on Instagram, laughing at his own mishap. Further shaming averted…

#2 - Although I got diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS in April 2012, I didn’t talk about it publicly until November 2013. I just needed time to “wrap my own mind around it.” I was too vulnerable to handle the questions, the pity, the speculations and the unsolicited advice.

I finally realized that it was consuming me. So I decided to “go public” about it on Facebook in a game called “Things You May Not Know About Me.” I now realize that by my controlling how I wanted to talk about it, it put the power back in my hands.

#3 - I am very active on Social Media. However, it does not intimidate me. I CONTROL THE NARRATIVE.” I deliberately post what I WANT everyone to know. I minimize gossip or speculation by either being the one to discuss my issues or allowing silence to be my answer.

A USA TODAY article by Michael Wolff titled “The Importance of ‘Controlling the Narrative’” explains:
Among the most prevalent and up-to-date phrases in business, politics and savvy American life is "controlling the narrative."

That is, telling it YOUR WAY, before someone else gets to tell it — and possibly tell it better — their way. And getting the public to relate to you on a more intimate level: In a social-media world, being impersonal is being out of it.

Last week, (December 2013) in a breakthrough example of this new communications form, Bill de Blasio, New York's mayor-elect, released a video of his daughter explaining how and why she became a drug addict, and how sorry she was about it. 

This was an example of "getting out ahead of the story" (another term in the art of modern communication), as well as controlling it. The de Blasio camp both owned up to this potentially negative revelation and, with their video treatment, owned it. So, a big win for controlling the narrative.

The Bible says:
1 Corinthians 9:11-12 (NIV):
11 If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? 12 If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ.
Romans 16:17 (NIV):
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.
James 1:19 (NIV): Listening and Doing
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

Memorable Quotes:
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words." - Philip K. Dick
 “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”  - Dita Von Teese
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt
"Don’t worry about what I'm doing. Worry about why you're worried about what I'm doing."
 “Live your life in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you, no one would believe it.”

We all must learn to “be kind” to our own selves. Sometimes, issues can be minimized by you “controlling the narrative.”  Other times, silence can eliminate issues as well. Wisdom and Trust in God will help you know the difference.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

“Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”

"Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing" is a hit single by Stevie Wonder, taken from his 1973 album Innervisions. The song's lyrics convey a positive message, focusing on taking things in one's stride and accentuating the positive.

A few of the lyrics are:
Everybody's got a thing
But some don't know how to handle it
Always reachin' out in vain
Just taking the things not worth having but
Don't you worry 'bout a thing
Don't you worry 'bout a thing, mama
'Cause I'll be standing on the side
When you check it out
They say your style of life's a drag
And that you must go other places
But just don't you feel too bad
When you get fooled by smiling faces but
Don't you worry 'bout a thing
Don't you worry 'bout a thing, mama
'Cause I'll be standing on the side
When you check it out

Oftentimes, we are so mired in our past and focused on our future, that we overlook the present. We worry about things we have no control over and things we “think” may happen.

The Lord wants that type of relationship with you. He wants us to FROG:  Fully Rely on God.  He tells us that if we trust Him and obey Him, He will give you all you need.

The Bible says:
Matthew 6:25 (NKJV):  Do Not Worry
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Matthew 6:34 (NKJV):
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV):
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Psalm 37:4 (NKJV):
Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Philippians 4:6 (NKJV):
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV):
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV):
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Memorable Quotes:
“Worry is believing God won’t get it right.” – Todd Wagner
“Don’t Worry. Be Happy.” – Bobby McFerrain
“Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do, but gets you nowhere.”
"Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength." - Corrie Ten Boom
“Worrying will never change the outcome.”
“Don't think too'll create a problem that wasn't even there in the first place.”
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes, you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.” – Mandy Hale
“Love more; Worry less.”
“Don’t let the silly little things steal your happiness.”
“I don’t know what my future holds, but I know who holds my future.” – Tim Tebow
If we place our trust in God, we can all follow Stevie Wonder’s advice: “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing…”