Morning Cup of Joe – Right Now!

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Most people live their lives in the future; those same people have a relatively difficult time being organized and focused. This makes sense because if you aren’t living in the present then how can you reasonably focus on it. Meaning most people are so focused on the future they neglect to pay attention to the right now. When we neglect to pay attention to the right now, we allow room for external forces to interrupt the natural ebb and flow of our predestined blessings. Focus on the now.

At times, I am baffled when I hear people say things like “I don’t think I can win” or “Tomorrow is going to be a terrible day”. Every time I hear a variation of those statements I always think to myself, “How do you know?” Those statements relatively deal with the future in that you are, in a way, predicting the outcome of a race that hasn’t even started. People count themselves out of opportunities every single day simply because they think they know what tomorrow brings. Tomorrow may very well bring you all the answers you’ve been praying for. Take charge of the present moment and work feverishly to create the outcomes you desire.

Today is the only thing you have some control over. Being concerned about tomorrow is futile as tomorrow may never come. You cannot control that which you haven’t seen. You must understand the importance of living for right now and not only living for right now but living in the moment. Every second we are blessed to hear and feel the beats of our hearts is a second we should devote to focusing on the present day.

Do not be concerned about a future you cannot control; learn to live in the present.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Surrender

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It happened again. You know how I advised you to pay close attention to messages sent from God? Well, I don’t think I mentioned how frequent those messages can be.

I saw video of an interview with Oprah as she shared how before becoming Oprah as we know and love her, she was an inexperienced actress auditioning for her first ever role as strong willed Sofia in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple. She talked about how she had been calling her agent almost on the hour asking for updates when he finally told her “Alfre Woodard just left my office and auditioned for the same role. Alfre Woodard is an experienced actress and you are not. Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

Oprah was distraught and disappointed because she just knew she didn’t have a chance against a more experienced actress. To take her mind off of it, she decided to go for a run on a nearby track. As she was running, she began to sing the song “I surrender all” and simply asked God to do his will and that she was no longer going to worry about it. She turned it all over to Him. A short while later, someone came running onto the track where Oprah was running and told her that Steven Spielberg was on the phone. We all know what happened next.

The beauty in the story is in the surrendering. The final and perhaps most critical piece to the success puzzle is surrender. If you feel that you’ve done everything in your power to yield a particular set of results and it hasn’t happened yet, it is because you haven’t surrendered. There is no need to worry about a future you have no clue about, turn it over to God. When you surrender, you trust God to guide your steps. When you surrender, you give up all desires of your own. When you surrender, you must be satisfied with however God chooses to bless you.

Choose today to surrender all. Give it to God and watch as His will be done. There is no power in the universe that can interrupt God’s plan. What God has for you, is truly for you.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Victory Is Mine

Every disappointment means you’re that much closer to a victory. The key to claiming victory is to not allow one incident or chain of incidents to veer you off course. Maintaining focus on the end result is critical to you actually achieving them. In your pursuit of accomplishing your dreams, there will be certain things that will happen that are especially designed to throw you off your game; keep playing.

There are literally dozens of examples in my life where I have seen my miracles come in the face of adversity. I have had triumphs after numerous trials. I have been able to claim victory when I didn’t even believe a win was possible. Yet in still, I never gave up and believed in God for a miracle. It truly starts with your belief system. If you unequivocally believe in something, impossible becomes nothing.

When things don’t go as planned, I hear God’s voice telling me “I have bigger and better plans for you.” Trust that after this battle you are fighting that victory will be yours and it shall be. Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Truer words were never spoken. Some people would rather stop at a rest stop, visit the gift shop and spend some time exploring hell instead of going straight through it. Better days are ahead.

You have been through your fair share of problems in your life to not believe that sooner than later, this too shall pass. Don’t worry about a thing because this is just a mere bump in the road and you are equipped with an all-terrain vehicle capable of driving over and through any obstacle.

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Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Eternal Optimist

Is there any good left in the world? The answer to this question is a bit tough to respond to especially when the news outlets tend to focus more on the negative things than they do the positive. If you watch the news, you would think that there is nothing but evil out there. Every day seems like a repeat of the one before; especially when it seems as if the news reports have created an equation with a negative outcome which includes a fire, a murder, a robbery and a kidnapping.

The light at the end of the tunnel suggests that you can do something about it. If you feel sad or down after you watch the news, don’t watch it. It really is that simple. One may ask “Well, how else will I know what is going on in the world?” Before televisions, there were newspapers. I haven’t watched the news in years specifically for that reason. It’s not that I don’t want to know what is going on in the world, it’s more so the fact that I find alternative routes that assist me in maintaining a positive mental attitude. The best way to accentuate the positive is to eliminate or limit your intake of negativity.

I do believe that there is still some good left in the world. I also believe that there are still some good, caring and loving people left in the world. Although it’s not the highlight of the nightly news report, there are people doing good for others on a daily basis. You can join this crowd, we have plenty of room. If you want to see more good, you have to do more good. I have not lost faith in humanity although some events and actions of others cause me to question my faith. I remain faithful and hopeful.

Eliminate the “every man for himself” mentality that most people seem to have adopted nowadays. We must share the world and are responsible for one another. If you see your brother or sister in need, lend a helping hand. It could have easily been you begging for spare change. Some of us are a paycheck away from that reality anyway. There is light in every bit of darkness. There is hope in every bit of despair. Today, choose to be the light of the world by illuminating hope in the lives of others.

I am an eternal optimist. That does not mean that I view the world through rose colored lenses. It simply means that I refuse to give up hope that one day things will get better. Perhaps that day is today.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Always Watching

You may not know this or even believe this but someone is always watching you. Not in the weird or scary sense of being stalked but in the sense that you are being watched to see what type of example you are setting for yourself and those around you. For instance, I worked at a company where I was hired to supervise a team of seven to twenty-one counselors who were tasked with assisting hurricane victims. When I first arrived, the culture was a bit more relaxed than I was used to. Most of the employees wore jeans and dressed down. I had a choice; I could either conform to my surroundings or serve as an example of professionalism. The choice was not as easy as you may think; after all, who wouldn’t want to wear jeans to work every day?

I made the conscious decision to wear a suit daily although my job description and the environment did not necessarily warrant it. Each day I would show up in a suit and tie and never once encouraged others to dress professionally. I simply served as an example. Amazingly enough, after a short while, the people there started to change their dress code without me saying anything. The gentlemen began to wear slacks and tuck in their shirts and the ladies started dressing more businesslike. Gandhi’s quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world” never rang more true. It made perfect sense to me; if I wanted to change my environment, I had to be that change and my environment would follow.

Well, it didn’t stop there. Our program was a pilot program so we were constantly visited by senior officials in the organization. Unbeknownst to me, there was one official who was watching me because I “stood out” from the rest of the people who weren’t necessarily dressing professionally. I subscribe to the notion that you don’t dress for the job you have, you dress for the job you want. About seven months into my assignment I was called down for a meeting with one of the vice presidents who noticed me and they asked me if I was interested in a position with them because they were so impressed with me. This new opportunity would not only be a promotion but it would double my salary and it turned out that it was something that I was passionate about, so I graciously accepted.

You never know who is watching you so always do your very best to be the very best. It was not my intention to look for a promotion or a raise; I simply dressed and acted the way I thought a consummate professional should dress and act and was rewarded for it. There is no need to look over your shoulder if you are doing the right thing. Maintain the understanding that if you want to advance professionally, it is imperative that you start emulating those at the top of your organizational structure. If you want to be a CEO, start looking like a CEO.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – From Mailroom to CEO

Where you start isn’t always where you’ll end up. Don’t be afraid to pay your dues in order to reap the rewards of your efforts. We live in a society today where most people want what they aren’t willing to work for. Even more overvalue their contribution to any given organization or corporation. I researched top executives who started out at the very bottom of the barrel and built their way up the proverbial corporate ladder. Here are a few of their stories.

Wally Amos started working in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency before he developed his world-renown chocolate chip cookie recipe. He attended the Food Trades Vocational High School and was inspired by his aunt’s homemade cookies. Famous Amos cookies can be found everywhere in the world.

Sidney Weinberg didn’t have an Ivy League education and didn’t come from a wealthy family but he lead investment giant Goldman Sachs for almost forty years. He started out as a janitor’s assistant, earning $3 per week brushing hats and wiping mud off from the firm partners’ shoes before he was promoted to mailroom clerk.

This Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Xerox began her career as a mechanical engineering intern and worked her way up. As an African-American female in the corporate world the odds were stacked against her but Ursula M. Burns was not afraid of hard work. She leads more than 140,000 employees of Xerox who serve clients in more than 160 countries.

These are a few examples of how hard work pays off and proves that you don’t have to be ashamed to start from the bottom. If you are able to visualize the future, where you are today becomes less important than where you could be tomorrow. Maintain the understanding that your future is only as bright as your vision for it. Nothing worth having ever came easily so start where you are and work your way TO THE TOP!

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Outside Looking In

No one should know what’s going on inside your house, especially if they’re standing on the outside. When you look at some people you can tell exactly what they are going through. Indeed some people are interested in the attention they may attract and others fall into the category of “misery loves company”. Wearing your feelings outwardly is obviously done at your discretion. The issue comes when you allow those feelings to dictate your actions and/or in-actions for that matter. For some strange reason, the opinions of others matter to us so much so that many of us live our lives based on this premise. That is something you must work on eliminating from the equation. What others think should not matter to you but it still shouldn’t prevent you from striving to be your best at all times. What others think about you is none of your concern.

Wearing your feelings outwardly is only one piece of this puzzle; another vital piece is your appearance. It is critically important that you look the part. Fake it ‘til you make it simply means look like you already have that which you are seeking and it will appear into your life more willingly. Please be clear, I’m not saying “perpetrate” or try to be something you are not. I am saying take pride in your appearance. I remember my father saying; “It doesn’t matter how much money you have in your pockets, you need to look like you have a million dollars somewhere.” Wiser words have never spoken.

The final piece to the puzzle is your words. There is so much power in the spoken word. Your words are so powerful in fact that they can cut deeply and heal a broken heart simultaneously. What you say to yourself or your self-talk dictates how you interact and impact the world around you. Your words are powerful. Speak confidence into your life. Do not wait for others to compliment you, walk in the understanding that all God’s children are beautiful. What you show to the world is exactly what you can expect to attract back into your life.

Understand that you are in complete control and start acting like it.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

Morning Cup of Joe – Why Me?

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Sometimes I ask God why me. I ask why do I face the challenges I face. I ask why does it seem as if bad things always happen to good people. I ask why must I continue to experience constant trials and tribulations. And I ask why have I yet to experience my inevitable breakthrough.

The response I always get in my spirit is simply, if God didn’t think you could handle it, He would’ve chosen someone else to be a testimony of His greatness. I also understand that no matter the adversity, turmoil or trouble you are facing, understand that can and you will make it through. Failure is not an option. Quitting is not an option. Losing hope is not an option. Your only option is to continue to push forward.

The main engine operating your life’s vehicle is hope. Once you lose hope in a better tomorrow, the sun will not seem to shine as bright, a flower loses its natural beauty and the incredible music that birds make fall on deaf ears. You must focus on a better tomorrow no matter how difficult your today is.

You have a choice to make among several different options. You can either choose to cry or run. You can choose to let your problems continue to overcome you. You can choose to continue to let tribulations outweigh the obvious blessings in your life. Or you can choose today to adopt a mindset of nothing is going to stop you from accomplishing your goals and making your dreams come true. The choice is clear.

Thank God right now for choosing you to go through this test. How else can you be a testimony? What you don’t allow to kill you will only make you stronger. You are still alive for a reason. This too shall pass and once it does, you will be stronger as a result of it. Forward progress only.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Man In The Mirror

Some may find this hard to believe but I do not own an alarm clock. In fact, my internal alarm clock is set to wake me up at or before 6:30AM every morning, weekends included, and it never fails. It is a very calm way to arise from a deep slumber and certainly beats the alternative of the blaring and annoying sound of a traditional alarm clock that is meant to startle you out of your sleep. Well, this morning was no different except for the fact that I stared in the mirror for about a minute or so as I thought to myself; “Am I where I want to be at this stage in life?”, “Am I as successful as I thought I would be by this point in my life?” and “What am I willing to do to get what I think I deserve from this life?”.

We all have moments where we contemplate where we are, how we got there and can we go a little further. These thoughts are not unusual and provide for deep introspection and self-examination. It is better to have these types of thoughts than to go about your day in a robotic sheep-like fashion. Unfortunately, contemplating alone never created anything. You can’t think your way to a better physique or health. You can’t think your way to a better job. You can’t think your way into a better relationship. Do thoughts have the capability and capacity to become things? They certainly do. However, you must be willing to do your fair share to make those thoughts become things. Imagine a life where all you had to do was think of something and it suddenly appears. I don’t know about you but to me that is a scary thought based on some of the malevolent minds in the world.

As I stared in the mirror and contemplated about my life and accomplishing goals, I had a moment of clarity. The only person keeping you from accomplishing your goals is the person you see in the mirror. No one else is responsible for your outcomes, successes and failures except for you. If you want to lose weight, stop eating unhealthily and start exercising. If you want a better job, stop complaining about your current one and start looking for a better more fulfilling one. If you want a better relationship, stop complaining about how terrible your significant other is and start finding someone who appreciates you for who you are. Stop thinking and start doing.

It’s really simple, start taking full responsibility for your actions and your inactions. You cannot blame the world for your personal problems. Only you can fix what you know is broken simply because you are equipped with the tools necessary to fix your own problems. You can’t count on anyone else to do it. If you want the best that life has to offer, ask the person in the mirror what they are willing to do about it.

To The Top!
Joe Paul

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Morning Cup of Joe – Timing Is Everything

I have never felt personal pressure to do something simply because others were doing it. I have never been the type of individual to base my actions on the timing of the actions of others. I have always marched to a different beat. While this particular type of mind-set offers clear benefits, it certainly comes with a few drawbacks. Although the drawbacks are temporary, they are still drawbacks. Drawbacks are simply disadvantages. Disadvantages are dependent on how you view your circumstances. What may be viewed as a failure to one may be embraced as an opportunity to others.

It is imperative that you not make major life decisions simply based on the feeling that you are running out of time. Time is a man-made concept. We are often pressured to make decisions, some hastily, because it is a “normal” thing to do or it seems like everyone around that age is doing it. I have humbly served as the best man to three incredible gentlemen in three outstanding weddings yet I haven’t once bought into the adage “always the groomsman, never the groom” or “always the bridesmaid, never the bride”. When it is my time, it will happen.

Some people rush into marriage and having children because their peers are entering that stage and they don’t want to be left out. Then seven years later, sometimes less and sometimes more, they realize that they want to join the staggering statistic of 50% of marriages that end in divorce simply because they rushed into that decision. Don’t base your decisions on what others are doing. Do it because it feels right and because the timing is close to perfect.

Understand that everything happens as it is designed to happen. You cannot rush love and you certainly cannot rush success. Some people get frustrated because they believe that they should have been at a particular place in life by this present moment. I am here to tell you that you are exactly where you are supposed to be at this very moment. The universe makes no mistakes; embrace your current state. If your blessing hasn’t yet arrived, don’t worry. It simply means that you are being prepared for it. Just be ready when it finally happens because it absolutely will, especially if you believe it.

Don’t lose hope as your time will come.

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Joe Paul

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