The Almighty Dollar: hurricanes are no match!

The Almighty Dollar :

Hurricanes are not match

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Hurricane Matthew, the biggest scare of 2016! At least here in Florida. People all along the coastline were urged to evacuate as President Obama declared a “state of emergency” for the Sunshine State. Reaching the status of a category 5 HURRICANE, by the time it struck Southern FL. It was still labeled a category 4. Wind speed was clocked in at over 140mph in some places as trees & power lines were ripped down while Matthew’s temper raged on. By this time, the death toll is approximately 852 known deaths! (And, unfortunately, that is only what they’ve discovered thus far!) The entire state, especially the eastern coastline, is holding their breath as Matthew moves North.

Thankfully, here in the Orlando area, we weren’t affected too bad – not nearly as bad as was predicted. We all expected the worst! I can remember flocks of people congestion gas stations & grocery stores. This was no little, rain storm forecast; this was not a light warning – this was real! However, by some saving grace, we were spared. Aside from some tree limbs tossed throughout the city & a few telephone lines needing repair, a power outage is the only major concern here in Central Florida. (600,000+ without power in Central Florida & 1 million+ without power statewide!) Local government that had imposed “mandatory driving restrictions” recently lifted those restrictions & people are back on the road commuting to wherever they are needed or feel safest. But the storm has all but ceased as the rain continues to fall & small gusts of wind taunt the city.

Nevertheless, no sooner than the restrictions had been lifted was a particular grocery store (whom I won’t name & completely throw under the bus) “open for business.” One the one hand, the urgency to act & open-up-shop can be seen from a business standpoint as smart & strategic for being the only store open, providing consumers relief in case of emergency necessities. This fills a need for those in desperation & generates revenue for themselves while other businesses are at a loss & closed until further notice. (Win-Win.) On the other hand, it is seen by a large part of the community as greed & selfishness that they would disregard the safety of their employees by forcing them into work in such risky conditions in order to increase profits. After all, the public was forewarned about the storm with ample time get all that they needed to endure the storm. And it’s not like it’s been a week – it has been less than a day since most stores have closed!!

Well, whether the store is right or wrong, one thing is certain: we are slave – both employee & employer – to the “almighty dollar.” The company opens up to acquire more revenue (whether out of desperation or greed); employees must abide to the orders of their employer or find themselves without a paycheck (which they need); some residents couldn’t afford to stock up on emergency supplies before the hurricane because they hadn’t had the money until today (since it is, for most people, “pay day”); & others, no matter what, simply can’t fight the urge to spend.

As I look out at the people running in & out of the store, staff steadily flowing in & out (a few delightful; most miserable), & the lights on with the welcome sign glowing in the window, while still so many are without power… I can’t help but think of an acronym from my childhood:

C. R. E. A. M.

“CASH RULES EVERYTHING AROUND ME”

Sad, but true. We are under the power of the “ALMIGHTY DOLLAR.”

 

((Please, comment below your thoughts on this article & whether you feel that the grocery store was right or wrong for opening.))

 

1 Timothy 6:6-10 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world & we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food & clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation & a trap and into many foolish & harmful desires that plunge people into ruin & destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith & pierced themselves with many griefs.” 

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I woke up to the nagging of an alarm clock.

 

BEEP ! BEEP ! BEEP ! BAM !

 

I slammed my hand down on the “OFF” button like a lumberjack with an ax.

 

Why did I set my alarm so early? And where did all of my motivation go? Before I could talk myself into going back to sleep, I grabbed my phone in an effort to keep a promise I made to myself the night before: first thing in the morning I will play a motivational YouTube video! And so, I did.

 

I went to YouTube, typed “motivational videos” in the search bar & played one that caught my eye. I set the phone back down on the nightstand & laid there staring at the ceiling. At first there was a speaker whom I hadn’t recognized. After him came world-renowned motivational guru, Les Brown. My eyes closed & I focus in on Mr. Brown’s voice & the message he was delivering. Then, one of my favorite motivators – Eric Thomas. At some point I started to lose my grip on consciousness & began drifting into unconsciousness. I’m convinced I even fell asleep for a brief moment.

 

Then, these word from ET pierced my sleep: ” I DARE YOU TO GET UP ! I DARE YOU TO GO TO WORK ON YOUR DREAMS !”

 

I shot straight up! That in itself was motivation sufficient for the day! And it came through at just the right time! How did ET know that I can’t turn down a dare for progress? Why would I? After all, it wouldn’t affect him if I didn’t, but would certainly benefit me in every way. First thing I did was grab my phone (yes, my phone) & headed to the the brightest room in the house. (That being the dining room, which thankfully has a large table, too. Haha.)

 

Here are the action steps I took, & why: First, I posted about the experience I just had while it was still fresh in my mind in order to motivate & inspire anyone whom would come across it; Secondly, I grabbed something to provide my body with physical energy & proper nutrition (after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day); Third, I went back to my phone, responding to texts, messages & comments, scrolling through & liking other peoples’ posts within my network, & posting content on Instagram in order to stay relevant with my followers, maintain & build relationship among friends, family & associates, & encourage people along in their journey of this little thing we call “LIFE”; Fourth, after all distractions had been removed (hunger, social media, exhaustion, etc.), I finally opened a self-development book – titled “Talk Like TED” – to invest into myself & learn all that I could within 20-30 minutes (because of course, feeding the mind is just as important as feeding the body); Lastly, I closed the book & got prepared for my morning/afternoon jog around my neighborhood.

 

By the time I was ready to walk out of the door for my daily jog, less than two hours had passed. The fact that I’d been so productive in such a short time, in turn, motivated me even further, & gave me even more confidence to run. After finishing my 5 laps around my neighborhood, I realized I’d beat my previous record & completed the jog in just shy of 45 minutes! Thinking back on my day up until this point, I felt incredibly ACCOMPLISHED!

 

So, why have I shared all of this with you? Because I won the DARE ! And here’s what I learned & want you to take away:

 

1) First & foremost, I made a commitment when I was in a positive state. Remember at the beginning when I said I made a promise to myself that I would play a motivational video in the morning to motivate myself to get up? I knew that waking up early is my weakness, so I made the comittment when I was in a position of strength that echoed in my mind when that time finally came around.

 

2) I GOT UP ! Literally. This one is extremely important! Too many people forget that an idea or goal requires more than just wishful thinking & prayer; it requires action!

 

3) Last but not least, I tackled the little tasks first & used the little accomplishments to motivate me even further to accomplish the bigger ones. Notice, I did the little things first – eating, posting on social media, etc. Then, as I got them out of the way, I set everything aside to read for a half hour. And once all of that was done, I faced the biggest obstacle – running. Running isn’t easy for me, it’s actually quite difficult. Mentally & physically. However, the more I create the habit of it, the easier it becomes. Nonetheless, I still had to build myself up, in terms of motivation, to face the challenge & achieve a big goal.

 

With all of that said, I hope this has motivated you to take some action towards your goals today, whether big or small. You can do it! I believe in you because I know all that I have overcome, & if I can do it, then you can, too! Now go out there & get it done!

 

I DARE YOU !