Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit. — Aristotle
Marietta, GA – While Bryan is away, today’s article is written by a special contributor, Kasey Eister.
The youth of today are our future tomorrow. How that future looks depends on the choices that our youth make from very young ages, impacting them in their own futures and consequently impacting those around them.
In an article published by Nordstrom and Dackis (2011), there is discussion involving a survey given to 850 randomly selected students ranging from first to seventh grade and asked them questions involving such topics as psychological aspects, substance use, and violence in order to gather a wide range of information related to all three and to see if there was in fact a connection between these issues. After 6 years, the students were surveyed again and the results showed a connection between crime and violence in relation to substance abuse. The study concluded that drug use at an early age may cause violence, in which early involvement in violence might cause drug abuse as someone gets older.
Such studies as the one above seek to understand and research the youth in America in order to prohibit new waves of crime rising up. Young children are often recruited into gangs and then introduced to violence and substance abuse in a never-ending cycle. The youth of today are our future tomorrow and therefore need to be understood and engaged in the right activities as they grow.
For more information on the article where the study was discussed, please review the following:
Nordstrom, B. R., & Dackis, C. A. (n.d.). Drugs and crime. Journal of Psychiatry and Law, 39(4), 663–687
We all know who the cool kids in school were. I remember a guy in my school was just “cool”. I won’t mention his name, I will just call him “Howie”.
Howie had an older brother, who was also cool. Everyone know who Howie was. The teachers all knew him and candidly respected him and the girls all swooned when he walked down the hall. Younger guys like me wanted to be just like him. The coaches wanted Howie on the team roster. Not because Howie was the best player on the team but because the team just performed better with him on the field or court. He lifted the confidence of the best players to up their game.
Years later I understood why Howie was so cool. He had a confidence about him that gave him a certain authority. An air of invincibility that followed him. It was a trait that was learned and practiced. We all have an area in our life where we can practice and acquire confidence in something that will define us. Malcolm Gladwell referred to the 10,000-hour rule where anything that we commit 10,000 hours to will make us an expert in whatever the area of concentration is. Want to be an awesome, world-class musician? It’s easy. Just surround yourself with a compatible peer group and commit 10,000 hours or 5 years of your life.
In business we call this person a Subject Matter Expert or “SME”. What would you like to be known as an SME in? If you could be the absolute best in something, what would you like to be known for? Go ahead, dream big. Begin or complete your path to 10,000 hours now. What better time to begin? Don’t limit yourself. You can be confident and “cool” in whatever field you want. I encourage you to take that step. Just begin. Just do it.
Right now, you are a reader. This label momentarily dictates an action that you are currently fulfilling. Now, what if that label was not so generic? You are a thief. You are a criminal. These are titles given to countless people every day that have an impact on their actions and mental state.
In the 1960s, a theory was formed with the help of numerous sociologists and named the labeling theory. This theory defines that the behavior and character of an individual can become influenced and even determined by the labels set in place to describe that individual. Close cousins with the concept of self-prophecy, an individual is more likely to act out on the label given to them, be it the label of thief, criminal, useless, etc.
The idea that words are powerful has been proven many times. It can influence the psyche and define a person. The labeling theory takes a look at the negative connotations of giving someone a title that they then believe to be true. While maybe a label is not always given in harsh circumstances, the act of being labeled is one that can cause an individual to act out on that label since they now view themselves as being what they have been labeled.
Just like the labeling theory, our own words can impact who we are as a person. The more we work to produce positivity in our thoughts and actions, the more likely we are to achieve that positive growth.
The world is a different place today. COVID-19 has changed numerous lives and situations, from businesses to nations. People across the globe have been faced with the unknown countless times during this pandemic and are still currently staring down an unlit tunnel. Where does the world go from here?
With the pandemic striking worldwide and the media supercharging every piece of news possible, it is sometimes easy to miss debatable discussions about one’s own home. In this case, the United States of America has taken massive measures in the hopes to decrease the spread of the virus. These measures entail strong encouragement to stay-at-home or even to mandate lockdowns on certain cities as is the case in Los Angeles. However, the longer these mandates go on concerning restrictions on leaving homes, operating businesses, and gathering of people, the more people are become antsy.
It is written within out civil liberties that the people hold the right to freedom of assembly. While I do believe that at this current state the government is still attempting to reign in the spread of COVID-19, will they stall their overarching reach once the pandemic begins to die out? This question has started to become more frequent as the quarantining orders prevail nearly nationwide.
As mentioned earlier, there are a vast amount of unknowns. Is the government overstepping their boundaries? What will life look like after the pandemic? While these are important and necessary questions, their answers are not known. Instead of panicking, let us, the people, make the needed changes to be aware of what is happening in our nation to better prepare for whatever the future may hold.
Marietta, GA – Public reputation in government and business
With an election year upon us, there has been plenty of discussion about local candidates and their value and experience that can be offered to the community. One of the biggest ways that the community makes their decision on these candidates, is through knowledge of their background. Past work records, family history, impactful job decisions, these all lead to people deciding their candidate.
However, what about unwanted information? A few terrible reviews on a previous business, ‘tweets’ that may not be taken well- these are all part of what creates a reputation. People are known for thinking in the present, unaware or uncaring for the impact in their future.
While the above may be true for a vast majority of people, it is not without its solutions. Reputation can be re-made and there are resources whose goals are to help aid in reputation management. Such resources as www.fxreputation.com work to repair and re-new people’s reputations with the understanding that defamation and bad online reviews are a hurdle, but one that can be cleared.
While you may not be a candidate running for a local election, your reputation is just as important. It determines future job opportunities as well as current and future peer groups. Don’t wait to start working on your background- seize your reputation now.
Marietta, GA – The coming shift in technology is here.
I have a real soft spot in my heart for middle school students. Edwin Mendoza and I are collaborating on a book focused on the future and why the middle schoolers today are going to change our world tomorrow.
Students that are between the ages of 12 and 15 are coming into their own identity as they enter the time of life when they will be choosing lasting friendships, career choices, and whether or not they want to attend university or stay closer to home and pick a trade instead. Big choices that will shape their future in a short 3 or 4 year time period.
If young people choose good habits and make positive choices, then their path will become bright and less stressful. If poor choices or negative influences are embraced, then life gets more difficult and uncertain. We really do become what we think about and act upon!
One thing that every middle schooler should embrace is the technology and it has shaped our world and will continue to shape our society. Middle school-aged students that embrace technology like blockchain will be ahead of most of their peers and even most college-aged students today. Blockchain will shape our world for the next 50 years in almost every facet of our lives. Incorporating blockchain technology in our government in elections, for example, would reduce fraud and corruption to being almost nonexistent.
We can all follow our passion in whatever path we choose but you can be absolutely certain, technology will be involved in some way. Embrace change. Encourage middle schoolers to change the world. We need them for our future.