Friday, November 30, 2018

How’s your relationships?

If I were to ask you what this is in this picture I’m sure you would answer that it is a knife and you would be correct. If I were to ask you what this knife does or represents you would probably say it represents something sharp and it’s used to cut things and you would also be right....

But what you don’t know is that it represents something so much more. Let me tell you a quick story.

A few years back I was new in the car business and didn’t really have it all together. Sure I was improving but some days were certainly better than others. One day I met this sweet older couple(older than me) that wanted to look at Highlanders. I went through my process and even though it was a tough deal I sent them home in a new ride. They loved the vehicle and it was so nice getting to know this sweet couple. 

Over the next few years they would come into service and we would visit. They were always together and always doing things together. We always talked about our families and we always seemed to pick right up where we left off.

Well, about 2 1/2 years ago or so I noticed that he seemed to have something wrong with him. I knew he was getting older but he wasn’t super old yet so I wasn’t sure exactly what it was. The symptoms looked familiar but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I did recognize that he didn’t remember me or recognize me and seemed somewhat uncomfortable in the surroundings. She ended up telling me that he was suffering from dementia and it was progressively getting worse.

Every time after that when they came in I would visit with them like nothing was wrong but I could always see the hurt in her eyes. I would always comfort her and try and make her feel good.

One day she came in service by herself and asked for me. As I walked in I knew something was wrong. As she started telling me the story I started balling like a baby. Her sweet husband died and she was broken-hearted. She started telling me a story about his last Christmas and how his face lit up when he heard one of his favorite songs about his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As she told me the story and showed me a video, taken while he sang it, I totally lost it. She left that day and I felt a little sad but also happy knowing where he was spending his eternity and also knowing what true love should look like.

So, what does this picture of this knife have to do with this story?

Funny you should ask!

Today, she, Mrs Peggy, walked in and asked for me as usual. We hugged as usual and I asked how she was and how well was she able to do Thanksgiving this year. She said she did good because she was surrounded by her family. We had a small chat and then she started reaching in her purse. As she pulled out her hand she started saying that her husband had a favorite knife. At this point I was about to lose it. She pulled out the box and said that he had 2 and said that her husband, Jullian, thought a lot of me and would want me to have it. I of coarse said I couldn’t accept it and she then said “yes you can” and handed it to me. I then said thank you and opened it up.

I was speechless to say the least.

After it was over and we said our goodbyes I started thinking that this is what it’s all about. Building good relationships is what life is about. I can’t say that I have great relationships with most of my customers or family for that matter but today helped me see how important and humbling having good relationships are. 

In a time when I’m uncertain about what I want to do and what kind of impact I actually have on people she helped me have hope in people again! Thank you Mrs Peggy for the love and kindness you’ve shown me and others around you. And thank you Mr. Jullian, though I know you can’t hear me, for being the loving man, husband and father that you are and were. 

You may not ever read this Mrs Peggy but I want you to know how much this impacted me and helped me through this difficult day!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

A new challenge can be a good thing!

This week begins a new journey for me in the car business. I decided to take a new position as internet sales manager in the current dealership that I’ve been employed by for the past 8 years. It was a tough decision for me so let me explain what made me take it and what I hope to accomplish through this promotion.

If you’re not familiar with my history let me give you some of it now before I get into the reason I took this new position.

I started working for Walmart in 1992 as a cart pusher at the age of 17 while I was a junior in high school. I really had no ambition in life other than playing basketball, partying and girls. Those were the only things that I thought I was good at back then. I wasn’t the ideal role model for employees back then. I called into work sometimes especially on the weekends. After I floundered through high school I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life since my hopes of playing in the NBA fell through. By the time I was 20 I decided to try to go back to school and enrolled at the local junior college but right before I started to school I was offered a promotion to Support Manager which would soon lead to an Assistant Manager position. I turned it down in the hopes that I would go to school and get a degree of some sort but there was a problem... I hated school. What was I thinking? I wasted who knows how much money going through that single semester of school. 

So, after that debacle, I decided to take them up on the offer of the promotion. Soon after that I was given some keys and had some minor authority as a Support Manager. I held that position for approximately 3 months before I was promoted into the Assistant Manager’s training program at the ripe old age of 22 in 1997. It was a position that had a lot of responsibility and one in which I had no business being in since at the time I was very immature and lacked discipline though I was a hard worker for the most part. I continued in this position while moving to a few different stores on my way to a Co-Manager spot in a supercenter way up in Delaware and then back down to Foley Alabama. I was there over a year and a half or so before I left the company. I thought I had made it then but quickly found out that, even though I held the name of a manager, that I hadn’t quite learned what a leader was. I had some traits but wasn’t mature and dedicated enough at that point to be an effective leader in the workplace.

Fast forward to 2010 and I am now in the car business as a sales professional. I had no intention of staying in this business very long, most of us probably don’t when we first get in, but I continued in it. I became somewhat successful at first but was still somewhat immature in my dedication and effort even though I was always the first one to work and was always the one that finished his training first. I always knew the product and made friends easily and slowly became a mentor in the dealership to some aspect.

I originally had no desire to be a manager in this business. I often thought that it was way too much responsibility for me. I was very content being a salesman though I started growing in my leadership qualities. In 2013 I was offered the position of Product Specialist Manager which I took and held for a little over a year. I decided to step away from that position because it became tiring trying to find good help and found myself spending more time hiring, firing and disciplining than I did actually training and growing. At this point I decided to step back to the sales floor.

I have been able to provide for my family now for a while as a salesman and have really had no complaints other than the amount of hours that we work. I know often times we get a little frustrated with how long we have to work and maybe when we have trouble staying consistent on the income front. I’m not really sure what has been wrong with me but I needed something else and all of a sudden this position came open.

I decided to take this new position to give myself a new challenge. I decided to take this new position because I wanted to feel like I was making a difference in my dealership that I felt I lost. I took this position because I wanted to be in a position that I felt would utilize my skills a little more. I took this position with the hopes that I can grow even more. I took this position because I am a leader and want to be in a position to use my traits more effectively. I took this position because I have been able to have more confidence in what I do and want to be able to share it with others.

I know this may not mean much to everyone but I wanted to write this to let some know... if you’re struggling with what you are doing then maybe you need a new challenge. Maybe you need someone else to share your skills with to help them grow. Maybe you need an opportunity to try and grow even more yourself. Maybe it’s time that you step into a new role to help your dealership or business grow. Maybe you need a new opportunity to use your skills that you may or may not know you have. Maybe it’s finally time for you to step out of your shell and your comfort zone to do something new that can make a difference in yours or someone else’s life. Stop continuing to do something that is dragging you down and do something different if that’s what it takes to try and change the direction that you’re heading before it’s too late. It’s so easy to continue in what your not exactly happy doing because your comfortable all the while becoming more unhappy and less content when maybe what you need to do is make yourself more uncomfortable to become more comfortable and content.

Not really sure if this makes sense to all who read it but I wanted to try and help those that have been in the same position that I was in turn help them make a tough decision that they may be struggling with. It’s always tough to do something new that you’re not comfortable with but you will never know what you’re good at unless you first give it a try.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Are you a Leader or a manager?

Answering this question is of vital importance if you desire to be successful. I agree that many can be successful to some extent without actually being an effective Leader but simply being a boss or a manager can actually hinder your growth as well as the growth of the people you supervise so let’s get into the discussion.

Many people desire to get titles of respect. Being a boss or a manager is the goal of many people but I’m not sure that most people desire those positions for the right reasons and end up suffering long term. What I mean is that if you’re simply desiring a promotion or a title for the recognition and money alone then chances are you’re not living up to your potential and you’re definitely not helping your employees reach theirs either. 

A manager, in most cases, simply manage. They are comfortable barking orders and pointing fingers. They seem to think they have finally “made it” and have no more desire to grow or improve. They like managing from the rear or from a chair in an office. They seem to be able to place blame instead of taking ownership. They want the title and recognition but many times don’t want the consequences when something goes wrong.

A Leader, however, leads from the front. They have characteristics that are honorable to some extent and often have people that want to imitate them. They won’t ask their people to do things that they won’t do or haven’t done. 

Those are just a few examples of what a Leader should look like so I want to offer a few more in a more comprehensive list.

Let’s look at the few that I’ve come up with that should be of no surprise to you.

1) Leadership begins with a desire to help others succeed. This one is the most basic and most important trait in my opinion. It’s the glue that holds all the rest of them together. If you understand this one then you can probably master the other traits as well.
So, where does one begin to do this and how is this accomplished. You will see the full picture at the very end of this post but the first way to help them be successful is to a)get to know your people. You have to know and understand what your employees goals and desires are. You have to be able to b)get them to understand that they need goals to strive for. In getting to know your people and their goals you need to be able to c)help them figure out how to reach those goals and why it’s important to take steps to get to their goals. If you get them to understand that they need goals and how to reach them then you should d)help them become results driven in order to be able to measure their small steps and successes in order to be able to track their wins. And in order to get the goals accomplished it is important to e)hold them accountable. Accountability is an important part of being and effective Leader to your people as well as for yourself.

2) You have to be able to Listen effectively and actually hear what they are saying. Often times we tend to act like we are listening when people are talking and aren’t actually hearing what’s being said. Maybe we aren’t interested in the topic or problem but to be an effective Leader you must be able to just Listen. Just be an ear for your employees to talk to. An effective Open Door can help this particular trait especially if they know that you’ll actually care to Listen to their ideas and concerns. You never know when your next great idea will come from an up and coming employee. Listening doesn’t cost anything but time so what would it hurt to just sit their and show interest in what they are saying. You can’t solve every problem or have a solution to every one of their concerns but sometimes they just want to feel like you’ll listen at the least.

3) You must know that Respect is earned and not warranted just because you have a “title” of importance. It’s often the case that when someone gets promoted that they let it go to their head. They think they’ve made it so they think that they should automatically get the respect but that simply isn’t the case. If anything, you should feel like you have to measure up to a higher level of respect in order to make sure you don’t have the “now I’ve made it” attitude. It’s about being humble and thankful for your new position and not letting it go to your head because, let’s face it, most people don’t what to be “bossed around”. They want to be Lead! 
Also, in order to be respected you must be a man or woman of your word and knowing how to talk to people effectively. If you say you’re going to do something then make sure you follow through with it. Not following through with what you say you’re going to do is a sure way to lose respect in a hurry. In turn you must learn and know how to talk to people in a way that shows them respect.
If you want respect then know that respect is earned!

4) Understand that you set the example! If you’ve been promoted then chances are that at some point you’ve shown some sort of exceptional service and level of job performance. If you can understand that you are the example that others must follow then you can probably make sure that you need to act and perform in a way that you won’t be ashamed of especially if you see others watching you and mimicking what you do and how you act. Think about how you want your children to be. Most likely they will grow up and act like you do since they are with you the most. Your employees tend to be the same way with the people that supervise them.

If you were paying attention as you read then you already know what all this means and possibly what I’m going to say next!

That’s right.... all this boils down to 2 simple words. If you want to be an effective and successful Leader long term then you must go into the position with a simple mindset. You must be Servant Minded! In other words... you must have the want to and desire to help people reach their potential. If you can do that and be an effective Leader then guess what?... you will be more successful too! If you can get them to the next level then, in turn, they can help you get to the next level! You want to make more money? Then help them make more money! If you can show them that you care about making them more successful then chances are they will care about making you and the company more successful! Everyone has to be on the same page in order to help everyone including the company reach their full potential. 

Thursday, August 9, 2018

2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE

Today’s blog post is going to be a quick review of what I think of the new 2019 Corolla Hatchback. I haven’t really ever done a written review of our vehicles because I mostly do video reviews but wanted to do something a little different to gauge the response.

Before I begin let me disclose that I do indeed work at a Toyota dealership and have for quite some time. I have done many videos and a few reviews of some of our products and try to be as objective as I can. I’m sure that not everyone will agree with me on all points but these indeed are my opinions only.

I’d have to say that the fact that Toyota decided to basically rebrand a hatchback back to the Corolla was quite brave since the Matrix had a fairly small following back in the day and the iM really didn’t have the following that it probably deserved. So I was quite excited to see that the Corolla Hatchback was being introduced since we really only have the Prius family of hatchbacks.


I think the overall design of the Corolla hatchback is a very good one. It’s very sleek looking with good body lines. The front and the rear of the car are very aggressive and sporty looking. The Hatchback version of the Corolla looks much better than the regular sedan in my opinion. I’d give the overall design a B+.


The Corolla hatchback features a new 2.0 Direct fuel injection 4 cyl engine and can be paired with either a Dynamic Shift CVT or a 6 speed manual transmission. (At the point of me writing this review I haven’t driven the manual so will only speak of the CVT) The engine pushes out 168 HP and 151 ft lbs of torque making this car very fun to drive. It definitely has quite a bit more pep than the Corolla sedan and the CVT feels much better in the hatchback. The hatchback handles very nicely and accelerates quite impressively from the start or while driving. If you decide on the CVT you won’t be disappointed especially if you like sporty driving since it has 10 shift points in which to use that makes it even more fun to drive. There is also a Sport mode that will kick it into an even more fun drive mode for those times when you want to feel the need for speed. I’d give the overall drivetrain an A-.

Fuel Economy

Though I think the overall car is impressive I am very impressed with the fuel economy. Toyota got the drivetrain right so now the fuel economy is now better than that of the Camry. The CVT will get you an impressive 42 mpgs on the hwy and 36 combined while the manual will get you 37 on the hwy and 31 combined and both are better than the regular Corolla sedan. I’d have to give the fuel economy an A+.


The Corolla Hatchback is loaded with standard features that leaves me impressed. It starts with standard LED headlights and taillights. The SE comes standard with 16” alloys and the XSE comes standard with 18” alloys. I’d have to say the XSE’s wheels are nicer than that of the SE but they aren’t bad either. As you step inside the Hatchback you will notice that it has smart key on the front 2 doors and the hatch and also push button start. All 4 of your windows will be auto up/down for those of you that like that. Looking at the dash it looks sporty. The top of the dash is soft touch as is the front 2 doors. The instrument cluster features a sport design and adds you a 4.2 inch multi informational display on the SE and a 7 inch on the XSE. The radio features an 8 inch touch screen that is very easy to see and use and is the new Entune 3.0 with app suite but that’s not all. This year this Entune system adds you Safety Connect(Toyotas satellite tracking and auto crash alert) and wifi and if you get one with the upgraded Entune Audio Plus you would add Service Connect(A service dept assist service) and Remote Connect along with SiriusXM radio. In addition to those already awesome items Toyota has finally added Apple CarPlay that all you have to do is tether your iPhone to your USB port and begin using some of your favorite apps on the radio screen. Also, Toyota has added Amazon Alexa that can be used in conjunction with your Alexa powered home devices and you will be able to use many voice activated instructions in the car. You will get 2 USB ports and a 12 v power plug as well. 
The driver seat is a 6 way manual seat and the passenger is a 4 way. You will also get 60/40 fold flat rear seats for more cargo area. I’d have to give the overall features and technology an A-.


The 2019 Corolla Hatchback features the new TSS-P 2.0 which is the first of the Toyota lineup to have it. It will still have your favorite features from the 1st generation with some nice upgrades. You will still get the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection but now it has added a low-light Pedestrian Detection and also Bicycle recognition for the daytime. You will still get the Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist but it has an upgrade of Lane Tracing Assist which is used with the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and helps keep you centered in your lane when the cruise is set. You will also still be able to enjoy your Automatic High Beams for night time driving but you will also love the Road Sign Assist that will recognize signs such as Stop signs, Yield signs, Speed Limit signs as well as Do Not Enter signs and will show them on your multi informational display screen up to 3 at a time if you missed seeing them while driving. The hatchback also has 7 standard airbags and though the crash ratings aren’t out yet I’d expect it to be a 5 Star overall. I would give the safety an A+.


I am 6’05” and I have plenty of room in the driver’s seat when it comes to head, leg and shoulder room. I have no problem getting in and out without hitting my knees or my head. The passenger side is also quite roomy for me as well. I have no problem with the head or knee room however I will say that with the way the dash is designed that I wouldn’t be able to give anyone anymore room to sit behind me... but not everyone is as tall as me either so it may not effect you as bad. I will say that the backseats aren’t as roomy as the Corolla Sedan but I can sit straight up in the backseat and could probably ride back here as long as the front seat occupants don’t ride with their seats all the way back. You will pick up more cargo space than the Corolla sedan at 17.8 cu ft vs 13 cu ft(though it doesn’t look like more) though it doesn’t have quite as much as the iM did at 21 cu ft. As a matter of fact I’d have to believe that the Corolla Sedan and the iMs overall passenger volume are a little more than the Corolla Hatchback but it is still a very nice car. I’d have to give the overall score of roominess a B. 

When I review our cars I like to give a few things I dislike so I will do that now. The number 1 thing I think could’ve been better is the design of the alloy wheels. I don’t mind them being a 16” but I think they could have been a better rival to the 18” that comes in the XSE. The number 2 thing I think could have been better is the passenger room. I understand that a hatchback sometimes has less room to give it more cargo but if they could’ve done it in the iM then I think the Corolla hatchback shouldn’t have been a problem either. The 3rd thing is, though I am happy with the overall availability of standard features and options, I would have liked to have been able to see a sunroof at least as an option on this car. Oh and a side note... I would’ve loved to have seen dual exhaust standard but that’s just me!

Having said all that I will say that I am impressed with the overall total design of this 2019 Corolla Hatchback and will give it an overall score of an A. It is a very fun car to drive and anyone of any age would probably enjoy the overall ride and features of this new venture from Toyota.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

How do you measure your goals?

If you were to go into your kitchen and begin prepping to cook you would probably be inclined to get out your measuring cups or measuring spoons. The reason you might want to do that is to make sure that you get the ingredients as close to perfect as possible in order to make sure whatever dish you are making turns out the way you desire it to.

If you were to put too much of an ingredient or spice into the dish it would be harmful to it and you would very likely either have to throw it out and start over or have to find a way to cover up the strong or bitter taste. Likewise, if you put too little of an ingredient or spice into the dish then most likely it wouldn’t flavor it as much as you think it should be. In that instance too little measuring would be ineffective but at least in this instance you could add more if needed.

Let’s say you have a child and you need to give them some medication. If you were to measure out too much of the medicine it could possibly be very harmful to them. Likewise, if you didn’t  measure out enough then the medicine might be ineffective in the purpose in which you are giving it to them.

Why am I talking about measuring and how it can be harmful or ineffective?

I will explain...

In life we may possibly set goals for ourselves or possibly we have a big dream we might want to accomplish. We set this big goal and we set forth after it. In the process we might feel it’s taking too long or maybe something hinders our pursuit of that goal and we get discouraged. We might feel like we’ve wasted our efforts because of the hinderances and decide that we would give up on the goal. So we have this big goal that either seems unreachable now or it may seem like it will take us too long so we decide to set it aside and often times we never try it again. 

My point is this... sometimes we only set the big goal in our minds and it can seem overwhelming. Just focusing on the big goal can make us feel like we may never get there especially if something comes in between us and it. If the big goal figures to be unreachable in the time frame we allot for it then we may get discouraged and give up.

My suggestion is to measure out smaller goals. Measure out and celebrate smaller wins and progresses. If you set smaller shorter term goals then you can actually see the progress as you go and can stay encouraged. You can set smaller marks to hit and when you hit those then you can move on to the bigger ones. 

For example....

We want to build a house. What must we do in order to build the house? Well, for starters we have to find and buy land which we have. Once we found the land now we have to start clearing it in the place where we want to build which we will be doing this week. So building the house is the big goal and buying the land and clearing it are smaller goals. What else do we have to do? Well, since we are currently paying on a house, we will have to sell it before we can begin construction. Well, getting a house ready to sell is a big goal in itself but still part of the bigger goal of building a house. Now, if we were to focus on how much we must do on our house in order to sell it and try and do it all at one time then that could be very overwhelming so we have to set smaller shorter term goals. We have to take each individual room and break it down to smaller and more realistic goals. Once we do that then it actually seems more manageable than simply just focusing on the building of the house since there are many more smaller goals to hit before that becomes a reality. 

Now, so I make myself clear, it is very much okay to have a big, long term goal to achieve. You can have these goals in your personal life and maybe in your professional life but both are okay. I’m simply saying that you must also measure out smaller short term goals so that you can celebrate the smaller wins. 

Remember that if you don’t add enough seasoning then you can always add more but if you add too much then the meal may end up being a waste and you have to trash it. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Are you in the right soil?

Do you have problems keeping plants alive? Does every plant or flower that you buy seem to die in just a short time once you get it home? Would you even be able to keep a cactus alive that needs very little care? If not there may be some things to look for that might could help.

1) Look for weeds. Often times if you don’t clean out the weeds often enough then they may choke out your flowers. Weeds will out grow flowers quickly and steal vital food and nutrients in the process.

2) Too much sun? Sometimes the plants and flowers are getting too much or too little sunlight. Many plants can’t handle direct sunlight and some need a little sunlight. It’s often difficult to get the plants and flowers the right amount of sunlight but could be a main reason why they don’t live.

3) Watering often enough? Many times a main reason your plants and flowers die is because of lack of water. Watering the appropriate amount at the right times can make a huge difference in the life of your plants and flowers. Likewise, too much water can drown and kill them as well.

4) The right climate? Sometimes plants have a hard time growing in certain climates. It’s often through the result of study and research that you can make sure that your plants are in the right climate perfect for them to grow.

5) How’s the soil? The soil is one of the most important parts of a healthy growing plant or flower. If they are planted in the incorrect soil then they may not be able to get the proper nutrients necessary for them to grow. Sometimes you must repot or move the plants or flowers to new soil.

The reason your plants die could be all of these or none of them. There are a variety of things that can affect the life of a plant or flower including themselves. Maybe the plant or flower has a disease or bacteria in it that kills it and possibly kills the plants around it. This one is sometimes one of the hardest to recognize and yet keeps killing your plants and flowers right under your nose.

Why am I giving you a class on plants and flowers?

I want to apply it to your professional life!

There are often times that we grow unhappy with our jobs. It could be something that develops over time or could happen very quickly in a small amount of time. Sometimes we grow unhappy or discontent and have no idea why.

I do have 3 reasons that you may grow unhappy with your job. These may not apply to everyone but often time it’s one of these 3.

1) The culture isn’t good. The lack of a good workplace culture is a leading reason why someone might grow unhappy and want to leave a job. Maybe they don’t treat people well or don’t address concerns promptly. Maybe they don’t desire to help those in the community or they don’t have an open door or at least not an effective one. These are just examples that could describe a job with a poor work culture and aren’t all inclusive.

2) The managers are bad! The #1 reason people grow unhappy and leave jobs are because of bad managers. Most of the time these bad managers aren’t leaders. They don’t know how to deal with people and aren’t good at helping employees grow. Maybe they are only interested in their own needs and desires and seem to overlook the ones they supervise.

3) It’s you! Sometimes the reason we grow unhappy with a job is it’s us. Maybe we stop working as hard or consistently and that has caused our incomes to decline. Maybe we don’t like the people we work with or work for. Maybe we have become less than positive and it has affected our mindset so much that we become discontent and unhappy.

Any of these reasons could be the cause to our unhappiness or maybe a combination of the 3 but either way you may need a change. If you’ve grown so unhappy that your work performance has diminished then you may need to change soils. Much like you might have to repot that plant into new soil to try and help it live you may need the same thing and replant yourself in different soil. It could even be a different position if you can’t seem to get out of the funk. I’m not saying the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence but sometimes it is necessary to try new soil to see if it can get you to growing again.

Friday, August 3, 2018

How do you erase mistakes?

When you were younger in school and maybe in college there was a chance that at some point in time you were required to write a paper of some sort.  The schools would usually require papers to be written maybe once or twice a year depending on the grade you were in and the classes you were taking.

When I was in school there was limited, if any, availability of computers. There were typewriters but most, if not all, of the students actually hand wrote their papers. Nowadays kids benefit from tablets and laptops to be able to type their papers more efficiently and actually have the added benefit of spell check. Either way, when you made a mistake on the paper how did you correct it?

Nowadays it's a little easier to write and correct papers simply because you can write and then save them and once you proof read them then you can go back and make the changes on the saved file. If you see a mistake now as you are typing you can also simply use the backspace button and fix as you go.

When I was younger I didn't have those luxuries. Since we had to primarily hand write our papers there were other ways to fix and correct our writings. Most of the ways involved an eraser. Since using a pencil was usually suggested to use there was always the access to use the eraser to correct mistakes. Another way to correct errors was through the use of whiteout. Now, it would be much more beneficial to use that with a pen than a pencil but could be very effective. The main way I liked to fix my error and mistakes was simply to ball up the paper and throw it away then start all over. In either of these cases there would have to be a rough draft and a final draft to make sure that the paper looked clean and presentable.

I'm sure you remember this but I wanted you to get a visual before I start explaining this in an analogy and relating it to our lives.

So, how does this relate to our lives?

Follow me on this....

If you've lived any amount of time on this earth you have made some mistakes. They could've been some through a lack of proper judgment or maybe just out of plain ole stupidity but they were mistakes nonetheless. Taking the subject at hand... how did you try and correct the mistake usually? Because most of the time we didn't want to admit that we did it. Much like we tried to correct our papers we usually would try to cover it up by any means possible. We would also take this opportunity to lie in order to not get in any trouble even if we hurt someone else in the process. We would often try to deflect the mistake and maybe even blame it on others instead of admitting our fault. Or we would try to run from it or pretend it didn't happen in the hopes that no one would find out and we would escape punishment. I'm sure that I have done most if not all of these throughout my life and so did you.

The question comes in to how we should try and handle a mistake or a lack of proper judgment in order to make sure that it gets behind us as quick as possible. Knowing that you can't erase or change your past or what you did... how can you live for today to help get past the mistakes and transgressions against others that you commit or committed?

I've got 5 important things that you can do that may help you in your recovery process.

1) Own up to it! I know personally how hard it is to admit to our mistakes. It's mainly hard because we don't want to hurt people or get in trouble. We don't want to suffer the consequences for the errors in judgment that we’ve committed so we don't want to admit them. I know it can be hard but owning up to it and admitting what you did can help make the recovery easier and begin sooner.

2) Repair the relationship! Often times, when we make a mistake, we hurt someone in the process. It could be because of theft or maybe hurting someone else in a relationship. I know it can be hard to do and the hurt person may not invite or welcome it but it's very important to try and repair whatever relationship you injured.

3) Ask forgiveness! In trying to repair a relationship it would have to involve asking for forgiveness at some point. I'm sure that too would be hard for both parties involved but will help begin the healing process and be a step in the right direction.

4) Learn from your mistakes! A vital step in the process is learning from your mistakes. This too can be hard since many times it takes us multiple times to commit a mistake before we actually learn from it. If you don't learn from it then it is very hard to grow. Learning from past mistakes is a path in life that I wish more people would follow.

5) Move forward! It's so easy to dwell on past mistakes especially if the ones we harmed won't forgive us. It's so easy to want to look back at a poor decision and let it rule and control our lives. I will tell you, though, that a past mistake can effect your present day since you can't go back in time and change what you did. All you can do is look at yourself in the mirror and figure out what you can do today to try and rectify or repair your past error. You will never grow in life if you can't let go of past mistakes.

These 5 things won't necessarily get you through every mistake that you ever made, depending on how serious they were, but they can help you move forward in the healing process. Can a mistake follow you for a long time? Sure it can but if you never take any steps to fix it then it will follow you forever either physically or mentally.