Here are some things we should always remember

The most useless thing to do_______WORRY

The greatest joy is in___________GIVING

The greatest loss is the___LOSS of SELF-RESPECT

The most satisfying work______HELPING OTHERS

The ugliest personality trait____SELFISHNESS

The greatest thief of time________PROCRASTINATION

The most endangered species________DEDICATED LEADERS

The greatest shot in the arm__________ENCOURAGEMENT

The greatest problem to overcome_______F-E-A-R

The most effective sleeping pill_______PEACE of MIND

The most crippling failure disease___EXCUSES

The greatest teacher _________ OUR MISTAKES

The most powerful force in life_____L-O-V-E

The most dangerous pariah___________A GOSSIPER

The softest pillow is a _______CLEAR CONSCIENCE

The worlds most incredible computer__The BRAIN

The worst thing to be without__________H-O-P-E

The deadliest weapon________________THE TONGUE

The two most power-filled words___I CAN

The greatest asset______________F-A-I-T-H

The most terrible human emotion___JEALOUSY

The most worthless emotion__________SELF-PITY

The most prized possession____________INTEGRITY

The most beautiful attire_________________A SMILE

The most contagious spirit________________ENTHUSIASM

The most powerful channel of communication__PRAYER

The most important thing in life is_____G-O-D.

*Source unknown

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Sunshine Diner

The last time I remember working at a restaurant was 20 years ago during my college years, fresh out of high school where I worked for tips and had no financial worries whatsoever.  Ah, those where the years! Fast forwarding time to today and facing a tough economy, I had to come to reality and look for any means to make ends meet since my inspection business came to a halt during the housing meltdown. Enter: Sunshine Diner, a country kitchen.  My good friend who owns the diner asked me to help him for a day; the diner gets busy over the weekend and he was short on people. I didn’t hesitate a bit to say yes, because there was nothing immediate in the horizon for me and thought it would be a good opportunity to get some extra cash and  work for a change.  So there I was, a mature version of me going back to the restaurant business and wondering if I still got what it takes after two decades. Turns out I did!

Working at the diner for the first time was a wonderful experience.  As I was getting a refreshment course, which felt more like a crash course on all the aspects of the diner, I was surprised to remember things after so many years. It felt like riding a bicycle; the things I learned were never forgotten and I pick up very quickly to my younger co-worker’s amazement.  Memories from the old times came back to life and I started to apply them on the dining floor. My old style of serving the tables and taking orders came to me like second nature and I was in my element as if I never left.  I did such a great job that I was “hired” permanently on the spot.  Over time I have come to work both on the dining floor and helping in the kitchen.  I learned that one becomes a “jack of all trades” when working at a restaurant so I helped anyone and everywhere to get the job done, taking care of the customer’s needs. I quickly became fond of dish-washing in which I found the activity a relaxing therapy, like gardening. I enjoyed the “dishwashing confessions” between co-workers talking about things or venting out  frustrations about unruly customers. Yes, those kinds of customer still exist! The dining area has the peculiarities you will find in other places if you have a keen eye of recognizing them. There is the crooked table, the squeaky chair, the salt-pepper combo right along with the jelly and creamers. The folding of utensils in a particular way, the regular customers whom you get to know them by name and know what they like to eat and how. Odd requests such as one half biscuit, the type of eggs they like, chocolate milk with ice, ordering breakfast at 1:30 in the afternoon, all that part of the dining experience at Sunshine Diner.

I feel very grateful to be given the opportunity to do humbling work and very satisfied when I leave the place knowing that the day was worth my efforts.  I know that things will turn around for my business but in the meantime you will find me at the dining where I will greet you and take your order with a smile.

A Check Up from the Neck Up: Counseling

I always thought that I could face my problems alone; name what’s wrong and work out a plan towards a winning solution. That is the way I am used to deal with problems. I am a self-proclaimed problem solver.  However when external circumstances clashed with my internal self my world, as I knew it, came crumbling down. No matter how much I tried to anticipate and prevent problems to happen by doing what I thought was right based on my experiences, they presented themselves unexpectedly and with no reservations. One after another, my troubles kept adding up. I lost several business contracts due to the troubled economy so my finances took a turn for the worse over time and even my marriage was starting to struggle. Despite my positive attitude towards life and being pro-active to whatever life throws at me, I was taken completely off guard. I must confess that even though I knew times were hard as they are now, I’ve never saw it coming, not so bad like this.   I felt frustrated and helpless to the point of hopelessness.  I went out seeking the help of others. I talked with family members and friends. They gave me a fresh perspective based on their own experiences and points of view. Yet, things were not getting better and I, overwhelmed with everything happening all at once was starting to feel depressed.

One night though I came to realize that  It was time for me to accept that I cannot deal with my problems alone and have to ask for professional help.  I have done counseling in the past but my intentions were not so clear like they are now.  I knew that if I want things to get better and consistent with my thinking and the things that I want in my life, I need to do a different kind of “check up from the neck up” for good.  I needed to find a person, one that can help find underlying issues that I don’t see or acknowledge myself.  A trained therapist that can help me to face my fears, express my feelings better, ease my anxiety and depression. One that can  give me the tools to deal with my emotions, my behavior and my thinking more effectively so I can achieve my goals and create the life that I want. More important is getting the help I need to improve the relationship with my wife. I didn’t have any trouble finding  my counselor and started therapy right away without missing a beat. I am so glad that I did and I am so coming back for more.

When things don’t do the way you want or expect in your life and don’t know why or how to deal with it, it’s o.k. to ask for help and there is no need to feel ashamed. Not asking for help and pretend that life will change for you…now that’s a shame.