24 March 2011

How to go from the Hood to HARVARD - YES ... HARVARD!!

The following can be found on the Harvard University website's Financial Aid Section (http://www.fao.fas.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do - just in case you don't believe me!):

Welcome to the Harvard College Financial Aid Office.We are eager to help you and your family understand our financial aid programs and to assist you in finding ways to meet your college costs. Given the unprecedented economic downturn of the past year and a half, we understand that the thought of financing four years of college weighs heavily on families. We remain deeply committed to making a Harvard education affordable for all admitted students and invite you to learn more about our financial aid program. All of our financial aid is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need—there are no academic, athletic or merit-based awards, and we meet the full need of every student, including international students, for all four years.

In December of 2007, President Drew Faust announced a sweeping overhaul of financial aid policies designed to make Harvard College more affordable for families across the income spectrum. Over the past decade we have increased our scholarship aid by 163%, and this year we are awarding a record-breaking $158 million in need-based scholarship assistance to almost 60% of our students.

Our new financial aid policy has dramatically reduced the amount families with incomes below $180,000 are expected to pay, and parents of families with incomes below $60,000 are not expected to contribute at all to college costs. We no longer consider home equity as a resource in our determination of a family contribution, and students are not expected to take out loans, which have been replaced by need-based Harvard scholarship. This new program has reduced the cost to middle income families by one-third to one-half, making the price of a Harvard education for students on financial aid comparable to the cost of in-state tuition and fees at the nation’s leading public universities. For a more detailed explanation of our program, please click here.

We look forward to working with you,

The Harvard Financial Aid Office

15 March 2011

Accept Responsibility

"Succeeding in life is 10% what happens to you & 90% what you do about what happens to you. People need to pay closer attention to what they say & do. When you say someone 'makes me mad,' then you are a slave to that person because you have given that person control over your emotions. The devil didn't make you do it. He made you think about it ... YOU MADE YOU DO IT!" ~ HSRjr.

This past weekend I had a long conversation with a young lady whom I've mentored since she was in high school who has been having the damndest time trying to improve her life. She knows that there's a better life out there away from her hometown and she is doing what she can to get out into it by enlisting in the Marines. Unfortunately, due to some administrative mix ups the process is taking longer than she expected.

Regretfully, her major problems exist in her home. Apparently, her mother and (biological) father only got along when they conceived her because her mother is constantly telling her that she hates him and that she looks like him and sees his face when she sees her. Wrong? Absolutely, but let's not get stuck on that point. Let's move forward.

This young lady already has most of her stuff in boxes. That's just how ready she is to move out. Not only does she have the above mentioned problem with her mother, her younger sister is always picking fights with her. When she goes back at her sister, the sister runs to the mother - or if the mother comes into the room, she automatically jumps to the younger sister's side. She has even called the police several times accusing the young lady of being the one responsible for causing a disturbance.

Being a veteran myself, I reminded her that when she gets to boot camp those drill instructors are going to get into her face and say all kinds of things (none of them nice), and there will be nothing she can do about it - so I suggested that she start using her family as "practice dummies." I explained to the young lady that she needs to master the art of silence and the skill of humility. The only time there can be a disturbance is if she takes the bait. Her mother and sister know which buttons to push to get the responses they want. I instructed her to pull the plug on those buttons and stop taking the bait.

You see, if the electric company cuts off your power, it doesn't matter how many times you flip the switches in your house, you're not going to get the results you desire. If you maintain a higher sense of self, and don't allow people to get a rise out of you, then you strip them of the power they're trying to get over you. When you throw your hook in the water, if no fish take the bait then you go home hungry. I stressed to this young lady that she needed to cut the power and swim past the bait.

People will try to get a rise out of you. Let them. That's on them. What you do about what they do is on you. "He dared me to" has never been a legal defense. Neither is "She told me to hit her." People have to learn how to walk away. People have to learn that not every comment deserves being responded to ... but that's hard. Yeah ... it's hard, but the consequences for not going that route are otfen harder.

Man-up and take responsibility for your actions.

13 March 2011

HRJR's "Blunt" Answer to a Question About a Crisis of Faith.

I'd like to share with you a question asked on a friend's Facebook page ... followed by my answer:


My father is a Pastor. I'm 29, been in church everyday of my life. I've prayed with people and for people. Good people. Most of the prayers go unanswered. Why doesn't God answer their prayers? I'm currently preparing for the seminary. But I'm losing my faith. I can't tell my father this. Any suggestions on how to keep my faith

MY ANSWER:It would appear that the person upon whom this thread is originated is undergoing a crisis of faith. This person has a lack of faith because - despite his or her father being a Pastor - he or she lacks a true relationship with God him or herself. Quite frankly, his or father being a Pastor doesn't jack to do with anything. It only goes to lead you to think that this person should have a lock on the game because of who Dad is (Mistake #1).

The person says, "Most of the prayers go unanswered. Why doesn't God answer their prayers?" Well MAYBE because God is NOT an ATM you can just go to whenever you want something (Mistake #2).

Maybe it seems that God isn't paying any attention to the people asking FOR something from Him because He is more focused on bestowing blessings upon those who are grateful & appreciative for what they've already being given and he sees them worthy of receiving more.

In the book of Job, Job was stripped of everything that meant anything to him, yet he continued to give thanks and praise for whatever he had left. In the end he was not only blessed to receive back all that had been taken away, he received EVEN MORE!

Instead of begging and calling it "praying," how about showing some gratitude? Instead of getting on your knees and saying "Please God GIVE me strength," how about you get down there and say "Dear God, THANK YOU for making me strong enough to handle all that I have thus far."

I was just telling one of my Coaching clients to "thank" the man with whom she's ending her engagement.
She said, "THANK HIM?! What the hell for?"

I said, "For making YOU a better woman."

(Her): "HOW SO?!"

(Me): "How long were you with him?"

(Her): "Three years."

(Me): If the next man you get involved with down the line starts exhibiting similar tendencies as this man, will it take you 3 years to recognize the BS and do something about it?"

(Her): "Hell NO!"

(Me): "So as you leave, hold your head up and thank him."

Living with a sense of gratitude will always improve your attitude and your attitude will determine your altitude. If you can't or won't have such an attitude with the most supreme benefactor ever, why should your prayers be answered? Are any of us likely to grant the wishes of a person who only comes to us when they want something? Of course not!

So God being ... well ... GOD, why should God be any different?

12 March 2011

Do We Actually Have Free Will or Is It All a Set Up?"

I'd like to share with you a question asked on a friend's Facebook page ... followed by my answer:

"We believe God is omnipotent, which means he is everywhere, everywhen and knows everything. Therefore, he knows all about each of our lives, ie when we will be born, when we will die and who our mates and children will be. That being said, do we actually have free will or is it all a set up?"

Here's the deal (as I see it): Humans think of God on a human level. Newsflash: GOD ISN'T HUMAN ... GOD JUST "IS." Sure you can ask "What would Jeus do?" Jesus was a man. God incarnate, but still a man. I guess that's where that whole "In the world but not OF it" came from.

Personally, I don't think life is a matter of free will or pre-ordained destiny. I think its BOTH. God knows the answers because He (or she, or they) is God; however, WE don't know the answers. Remember ... God is omnipotent. There are countless outcomes for the things we do, don't do, think about doing ... I think you get the idea. God knows every one of those countless outcomes because only God can count that which is countless. After all God is ... well ... God.

Think of life as an improvisational movie. God is the writer & producer. As the "writer," He designed all that we are and all that is. As the "producer," he provided the "sets" (as Shakespeare wrote: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players"). Some might want to assign Him the role of "director," but naahhh ...

The only time God says "ACTION" is when we are born & the only time He says "CUT!" is when we die. In fact, when that happens, I think he says "That's a WRAP!" Anyway ... everything in between "ACTION & CUT" is up to us.

Again ... remember, God is omnipotent. As such the script He has written has every conceivable action and outcome; however, when we are cast (born) we're not given a script. Now here is where it gets interesting ... We're all cast at different times, and so those who were here before us wrote down a lot of what they thought was going down at the time and then they passed it down. Every generation of "actors" has done this. Many even claim that what they've written is actually God's script. However, they're too many different texts with all kinds of varying inconsistencies.

In the end ... God is God. He's got this. Our job is to do what we do as best we can until our role gets cut. There it is ... Faith, Free will & Destiny ... all rolled into a neat little ball!

Have a nice day!

06 March 2011

HRJR Speaks #13: "ABUNDANCE"

How much in abundance does
the Universe have for each of us?
In this video, I tell you just how much!

Millionaire Brotherhood Success Seminar

There's a chinese proverb that says:
"When the student is ready, the teacher shall appear." On March 31st ... If YOU are ready,I know where some of those teachers are going to be! Keep in mind ...
Success comes only to those who are willing to learn how to succeed.

05 March 2011

7 Things That Can Suck You Into Busyness By Phillip LeBlanc

Phillip LeBlanc & his wife Falesha
Today’s society is littered with things for people to do and ways to remain connected. For most folks, gone are the days of an 8-5 workday with a quiet drive to and from work and an uninterrupted evening at home with the family. Most have replaced that quiet serenity with busy lives and even busier schedules.

The root of such busyness is meaningless action. We live in a world in which we are prodded and tempted to engage in things that are fun, cool, and entertaining (and not necessarily in alignment with what we should be doing). Here are 7 common things in today’s society that most people touch regularly and that can easily suck you into a state of busyness.

1. Online Video – The internet continues to evolve in ways that fulfill right-brain cravings of emotional appeal. For this reason, the rapid growth in popularity of online video should come as no surprise. However, for these same reasons it is easy to get sidetracked in a 60-minute video on a favorite subject or find yourself lost in the land of YouTube search.

2. Blogs / Forums – Reading other people’s blogs can be fun and even educational. Maintaining your position as the most active user in your favorite forum is exhilarating. However, what is your purpose through those actions? Blog and forum posting can be part of an effective marketing strategy. Unfortunately, most people are not using blogs and forums for marketing but instead getting sucked into the busyness abyss.

3. Chat / Instant Messengers – We are now more connected then ever through real-time collaboration and communication. As much as chat and instant messenger solutions can increase your productivity through real-time engagement it is easy for those communication channels to open the door for non-essential conversations.

4. Facebook – With over 500 million users who does not have an account nowadays? But just because everyone is doing it does not make it an ideal platform of choice for getting stuff done. Unless you are in the middle of a well-defined social media strategy for your business, consider keeping Facebook off-limits during the times that you really need to get things accomplished.

5. E-mail – This is another popular vessel in which to communicate with folks around the globe. However, the daily time spent in our email inboxes rivals the time that most of us will spend in one-on-one conversation with our significant other. Personally, I conducted a Return On Action (ROA) study a few years back to find that I was spending almost 2-1/2 hours per day in my email inbox.

6. Phone Apps – No. You are not going to sell me on the fact that playing Angry Birds on your phone is improving your hand eye coordination nor are you going to monetize your ability to get back at those pigs. Most folks have their phones with them at all times. This means that apps (both useful and meaningless ones) are with us at all times, too.

7. People – Even though our technology-embedded world reduces emphasis on one-to-one human communication, it is still a common occurrence to lose minutes (and even hours) per day with others in unimportant talk at the water cooler. Protect yourself. Beware of other people who have zero concern about infecting you with their busyness virus.

Each of these things position you upon the peak of the productivity mountain. On one side is meaningful action; the other side is a steep descent into busyness that destroys your ability to achieve your intended results. Your challenge is to walk the peek in a way that you do not fall off.

HRJR Speaks #12

You only get better when you grow and
accept that change is life's truest constant.