Ayshah | Victoria

Living my Passion | Living with Purpose | Living in Peace

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My Hidden Agenda: Revealed!

So you want to know why I am helping you.  You want to find a way to ask me what my agenda is? What if I said that I do not have one? Is that inconceivable?  
Well let me help you conceive of the notion that some of us GIVE without expecting anything in return – because we are “wired” that way. 
I help people because I LIKE to help people.  Pure and simple.  It amazes me how many times I have been asked WHY!  It seems that in today’s society it is difficult for many to believe that there are some of us that do not have a “hidden agenda” behind our smile.  It is especially difficult for those whose lives are steered by their own hidden agendas.  
Because I am  NOT naturally materialistically-driven, I have others manage the financial aspects of my businesses.  This is the sensible thing to do.  Because I believe in the values of making things clear and legitimate, I have others manage the legal aspects of my businesses. Basic common sense. But regarding how to HELP others achieve their success through coaching, training and facilitating connections, I do so because it bring me JOY to do so.  I don’t have to have any other reason. Really.
I have found that increasingly, this blatant love of helping others “just because” has left many baffled.  The response is “why would someone want to do something without expecting anything in return?” 
Others express discomfort because they don’t want to feel like they “owe something in return”. Codswallop to that!  To someone who is a natural GIVER these notions can become exasperating. 
When I can give freely, I give.  It’s that simple.  The only time I expect something in return is when my time is utilized on a project for a client.  That is business and though I love my pro bono work, I would not be able to be as accommodating without my fee-paying contracts.
Of course, I have been in situations where my help has been abused.  I have made some blind decisions to help people who had their own hidden agenda. These things happen and thankfully, once  they become evident, I am very comfortable disengaging from such relationships.  I have no problem burning a bridge that is constructed with barbed wire and poison ivy because there are ALWAYS other bridges.  Seriously!
Help others because you LIKE HELPING  not because of what you can get from it.  The reward is is being able to make a difference in another person’s life.  For the true encourager/motivator/coach, this should be enough satisfaction.  Don’t get me wrong,  I am not saying that one should work for free – but the decision to take on the role of helping another person or business succeed should be based on the satisfaction you will get from achieving this goal.  If your decision is predominantly for the monetary results, you will remain unfulfilled and may need to consider spending your time in another field.
keep in mind that in business, especially in this time of social media, your reputation is tied instantly with those you associate with so you want to ensure those relationships are a good representation of who you are and how you want to represent your business.
So, what is my hidden agenda?  it is this and this alone – I get JOY from knowing that I have made someone else feel better about themselves and their lives.  I get JOY in knowing that I am made for this purpose and I get JOY from the revelation that I am being used for the purpose of my existence. 
it’s not complicated. Not to me. So next time you need my help and I help you out “just because I can” – please accept it. Don’t analyze it.

Originally written: 2010 | All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers

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Pretentious Crappuccino

PRETENTIOUS CRAP irritates me no end! Maybe it’s because it requires so much effort for me to pretend or feign affection and/or intent. I didn’t grow up in a culture where people said one thing and believed (or meant) something else.

Lessons In Unnatural Behavior
I first learned how to “do” a fake smile (that is – smiling when you do not want to do so naturally) when I worked part-time at a restaurant during my college days in Lomdon. A valuable lesson for me.  The culture in the UK did not embody pretentious  behavior so you found that people showed their genuine feelings (good or bad) and there was rarely a need to decipher what was real from what wasn’t.

When I first came to the US, I found it very difficult comprehending the notion that “hey, how are you doing?” did not mean “hey, how are you doing?” – but actually just meant “hello”. So when friends and family came to visit, I had to let them know this so that they didn’t think interest was being expressed in their well-being. Seriously! I have had to interrupt an unknowing visitor (or two) from giving a detailed answer about how they actually felt! 😉

Of course I have been in the US long enough now to have assimilated my ways and I find there is much to be said for being able to smile on cue or ask how people are (however – I ALWAYS actually mean it). It makes the other person feel better (even cared for) and for no other reason, I love that. Today, I smile without thinking (which is a GOOD thing) and as far as I am concerned, smiling – or such aimless pleasantries that make other people feel good, are valuable in the overall well-being of our society. Our very humanity.

Political Correctness
I believe that political correctness has its place – in POLITICS! Of course there are a number of things to be said for and against political correctness – but I am not necessarily writing about political correctness here. I am speaking here of Pretentious Crap!

Pretentious Crap – Defined
I am talking about pretentiousness and the one-dimensional relationships built on them. I abhor the JANUS-like behavior that has become prevalent is society and the norm in certain industries and groups. However, this must not be confused with politeness, courtesy and warmth. You see, I believe that any synthetic, surface-only behavior is a cold misrepresentation of what we truly are as human beings.
We are living in the era of the two-faced monster

Relationships need not be pretentious for them to be successful, nor does one need to conform to other people’s preferences when they do not match one’s own. It is okay to be true to oneself because at the end of the day, when there is no one around but yourself, you will be at peace with who you are, knowing that you do not have to wake up another day and walk around with a mask on or pretend to have feelings, values and beliefs that you don’t.

There is peace in being comfortable within oneself when one does not have to pretend to be someone one isn’t – or indeed pretend to like a group/genre/class of people when in reality you’d be very far away from such people PERMANENTLY if you could get away with it!

We walk around judging others based on a pre-conceived understanding of what we THINK they are about and lace that judgement with our own insecurities and sense of self-importance. And all for what?

You will be surprised how much more enjoyable interpersonal dealings (at work or at play) will become when one is able to free oneself from the baggage of “performing” one’s persona.

Don’t be afraid to be authentic

So again, though I am thankful for learning how to smile on cue from my American family, I am grateful to my African, European and Middle-Eastern background for being able to be comfortable enough to BE myself at all times and SHARE my true self in as positive a way as possible in order to MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL GOOD about themselves – because, all the polished smiles and empty sentiments in the world will do nothing when the person on the receiving end realizes that it was never real.

P.S. I actually love coffee. 🙂

Originally written: 3/31/10 All Rights Reserved © A.V.Powers

Follow me on twitter: @StrategicPowers