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If you’re familiar with growing up, you know it wasn’t easy, especially the pre-teen and teen years. You may have felt a little peculiar, different, uncomfortable, out of place and out of sorts and totally in a daze about the world around you.

Over the past few months, multiple friends and family members of mine have been dealing with their issues, questions and concerns about life, about God, about faith, about purpose and calling and the list goes on.

Much like Christian and spiritual growth, it is a lot like puberty for many of us. We struggle with the WHY rather than accepting the fact that we are going to suffer. We struggle with the WHY of financial troubles. We struggle with wondering if everything will either stay the same or change. We even struggle with the question of why we don’t look like the other person.

We often can’t wait to be better.

Much like puberty, some of us couldn’t wait to be taller. Some of us couldn’t wait to look and sound like grown men and women. Some of us couldn’t wait to just get passed all of the embarrassing moments of stumbling stupidity that seems to befall all of us as we were transforming into young adults.

But, perhaps that’s the point.

The point is, all of us are going to suffer. All of us are going to go through. All of us are going to have moments of pressure and problems.

Some of us, not all of us of course, were fortunate to have that teacher, that parent, that coach or that leader or that one intelligent and wise adult who was filled with grace and mercy for us and understood that we needed to be told and shown that it really will be alright.

The church, for many of us, is health class. And in health class, you had some giggling. But other times, you had some getting a little weirded out. Confused even. But, if you were fortunate, you were taught the basics (which, by the way, expect a post on ‘going back to the basics’). Once you got the basics down and got wisdom behind it too, you understood what to do the minute you walked out of health class…or, the church.

You knew you were capable of doing a LOT of good or doing a LOT of evil.

Our Faith in God and Jesus Christ should move us to growth, to maturity and to action. Oh sure, our voices in our community will crack from time to time. And yes, we will have a bad break out of something ugly, and yes we will stumble and fall…especially if our equilibrium spiritually is still one to be reckoned with.

But, that’s part of the growth process, isn’t it! And know what, you’ll look back and probably laugh a little and say, “wow, been there and done that.”

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In everything you do, in everything you hope to achieve and hope to accomplish, communication is key.

Communication can lead to great resolve or incredible disillusion. It can mean the difference between clarity and confusion.

Whether it is business, a professional or personal relationship, it is always important to express your thoughts, your concerns, your ideas and your vision in an effective and productive way.

While all of this sounds incredibly elementary, it is still very much amazing to me how often we fail at communicating. The simplest and yet most complex thing that we do can often be complicated by mere human minds and hands.

A text message can be misunderstood. A tweet can be misunderstood. A Facebook post can be taken out of context. Your message can sound like an attack when it may be harsh truth.

I love using my laptop, my iPad, my iPhone and my social media pages to communicate with individuals, but, I firmly believe that it is very important for me to connect with individuals face-to-face. Needless to say, for some around the world, that might not be possible and even if it were the closest possibility would be the use of a video service site like YouTube.

You get the idea!

I love the field of Broadcast Journalism and communications in general because it is incredibly versatile when it comes to the many different ways of communicating information and messages to people.

And don’t get me started with cartoons!

The subject of communication is so extensive and expansive, it can be quite intense. You have to think of not only language, but also tone, delivery, intent, the intended audience as well as the style and way you deliver it.

That’s why for most people communicating in any format and in any way takes a LOT of practice. I got my start from when I was just a boy. I remember pretending to be on the air as I talked in front of a mirror and acted as though I was on a TV show. When I rehearsed for speeches I would stand in front of a mirror or on the elevated step in my living room as though I was giving a speech to a live audience.

Ultimately, I learned three basic things that helped me to perfect my communication skills:

  1. Be Myself
  2. Listen
  3. Pay Attention

Being yourself is so key! People, on average, can tell if you’re faking and if you’re absolutely not genuine. It is annoying and its unappealing…well…to me anyways.

Listen to what is being said and also to the people around you. Get an idea of what the environment is like and how the person you’re communicating with is reacting to the scene.

Pay attention. The more attentive you are to the person you’re speaking too, the better the conversation and the more respectful you come off.

 

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if you’ve ever tried a new electronic device, a new kind of food or a pair of clothing, you’ve from time to time may have had that thought, “wow, this just works.”

Lately, that’s how I have been feeling about a large part of my life lately. In particular, my career!

As you know, I do a lot of media work and I greatly enjoy it. Their is just something about connecting with people, handling media and news information, that just excites me and keeps me going as far as work is concerned.

It’s work, but it doesn’t feel like a chore. It doesn’t feel like something you’re forcing yourself to do. It just fits!

You won’t like everything about it, but, when push comes to shove, you just enjoy doing the work!

When you’re walking in your purpose, it is very much like that. You have a feeling of that nearly “perfect fit.”

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Are you making a difference even while you’re behind the computer and notepad?

Is what you’re sharing uplifting people and helping people become better citizens of society, better Christians and better individuals in their personal life?

Whatever you type and share, whatever you post online, whatever you send out to individuals via text is a direct reflection of who you are a person if you really think about it.

People know if you’re a fan. People know if you’re a believer. People know if you have a specific type of belief or idea and people know if you’re just incredibly negative or unbelievably positive.

Depending on what you share, people will make the decision on whether they want to put value on what you share or avoid it like the plague.

Over the years, I learned that what I share should be something that others would and could value too, NOT just me. It has to add value to their daily lives because, frankly, people are too busy and don’t have time for junk.

Also, I learned that if you’re going to share something, have a call to action (something I’ll explain in detail later). I’ve had back and forth arguments with friends about this and I still stand by this.

A call to action is something you tell your reader to start considering and doing. If their is no call to action, don’t expect them to take action. You can NEVER assume that people will DO something with what you share.