Tag Archives: Hollywood

Celebrities among us…

23 Apr

This past weekend I attended a “wrap party” for a local film festival where a smattering of celebrities graced the event and gained local entourage and special treatment.  It must be life as normal for the celebrities who hailed from Hollywood, New York and elsewhere, but for local Florida residents, it was a chance to rub shoulders with some more rich and famous.

I came to be at this event by assisting with coordination and on site logistics and I greeted guests as they arrived at the event.  I am not one to fawn over celebrities (or even recognize less famous ones) so it was interesting to watch others who did. I believe that everyone, no matter their rank or whether they are  peers, strangers, or celebrities, deserve the same level of respect and courtesy (unless they violate that right).  But, this is not a universal stance.

I found it interesting to watch as various actors arrived with large entourage (who walked dutifully behind them) and who expected (and received) special treatment.  It seemed a bit excessive to see “herds” of ten or more being led into the event. (Sheep came to mind…)

At one point, a group of four drunken baseball fans showed up without passes and expected to waltz off the street and be admitted  as if the party was theirs. Without credentials or passes, they grudgingly left.  Two returned later after befriending an actor smoking on the sidewalk, and felt justified in waltzing in as his new best friends.

Who (and what) makes a Celebrity?

In the field of acting or sports – normal human beings are raised to icon-status with outrageous salaries and fame.  From relative obscurity they are catapulted into fame and fortune – with often more luck than stellar ability, and their meteoric rise often falls equally fast. Yet, their claim to fame (for however long) lies with what our society values and holds in high esteem entertainment as a chosen career, over and above professions or occupations that make a difference to others.   We seldom see doctors, health care workers or teachers (whose impact can be far greater than entertainment value) elevated to any sort of “special” status.

Everyday celebrities…

If one stopped to view life as a series of adventures and survival experiences, more of us and the people in our lives would become celebrities, and that might be good.  In my books, everyone who succeeds through life (through the good, the bad, and the ugly) deserves the same respect, honorable treatment, courtesy, love, and decency that award to celebrity.  We ought to be celebrating (and “celebritizing”) everyone when they succeed in life.

Celebrities are all around us – take a look at all the parents, caregivers, workers, friends and colleagues who choose to make a difference, yet whose lives are normal, everyday, and without fanfare.  Would it not make sense to spread the celebrity status around (and maybe gratitude?)

What do you think?  Can you think of someone you know who might deserve a bit of celebrity status today?

Have a good week.

Carol

IWF… the Forgotten Demographic

14 Mar

I  W  F

Invisible
White
Female

I will be the first to admit that I did not see it coming – the slow slide into invisibility that comes with being an over-40 female in America.  My first recognition came when I joined an online survey group offering to pay me for my opinion on a variety of social and retail trends (I quit after the first 20 surveys excluded me for not being in the 20-40 age bracket – the important demographic group).

Next came dining out alone at restaurants where maitre d’s look completely through me to seat couples or families in line behind me (perhaps I should tell him about my 20-30% tipping practice?)

Now I can add craft beer establishments to the list, where if I do not overtly flag someone down, I am unseen for at least 15 minutes (despite empty tables around me).  As an aside, craft beer is also a topic of a blog I write.

The media are no less kind to single white women (age is less relevent here) – especially if we are single mothers (a new target for a senator in WI), or ovulating (note to Rush Limbaugh and elected politicians:  why do we fund Viagra and not birth control?)

  What Happens when Women Age?

Have you heard the Hollywood saying about gender and aging?  Men become “distinguished” (think Sean Connery) and women just grow “old”. Perhaps a distinguished beard would render me less invisible?

Perhaps the invisibility comes from other characteristics?

Could it be that I am independent (my children are grown), or confident (talk about an intimidating trait!), or attractive (I stay in shape!), or financially stable (I pay my own way), or knowledgeable (I write several blogs – one professionally)? No, the people who do not see me do not know any of these things.

Yet, somehow, despite arriving at middle age with status, stature and bearing, these are not enough to ward off Invisibility… (I know it is not “Rejection” because I have not yet met the people to whom I am invisible!)

We are so politically correct in North America so as not to disenfranchise any minority group (if you are disabled+female+veteran+Asian descent you can write your own ticket) or god forbid, offend a member of any minority with a misplaced word – yet a huge majority group – Invisible White Females – is largely disregarded and forgotten.

(It is interesting to note that the average age of women in the US according to the 2010 census is 38, with a life expectancy of 80+ years.  We have a long time to be an IWF!)

What is YOUR Experience?

Certainly males are overlooked, disregarded, or downright ignored at times too, but in talking to colleagues, nothing quite compares to being an Invisible White Female as far as being a non-entity.

I feel like I am fading into the woodwork as I age… what is your experience?  What do YOU think?

Carol

Everyday “miracles” every day…

7 Jan

angelsWhen you hear the word “miracle” what comes to mind?  For me, the word traditionally conjures up choirs of seraphim enveloping an accident scene where victims walk unscathed out of a tangled car, or a hospital room where a once-paralyzed child walks down a long hallway with movie music trailing in the background.

This is the Hollywood version of miracles, but I’m finding that mini-miracles actually happen every day – if we only stop to recognize them.  Dictionary.com defines miracle as

World English Dictionary:  miracle (ˈmɪrək ə l)
n
1. an event that is contrary to the established laws of nature and attributed to a supernatural cause
2.

any amazing or wonderful event

3. a person or thing that is a marvelous example of something: the bridge was a miracle of engineering
4. short for miracle play
5. ( modifier ) being or seeming a miracle: a miracle cure

I’ve purposely highlighted #2 ANY AMAZING OR WONDERFUL EVENT because this is what everyday miracles are to me.  Somehow we often focus on what goes awry in our lives (someone cuts us off in traffic, a sales clerk is snarly, a family member disrespects us, or a friend doesn’t return our call) – and we lose sight of the many wondrous things that happen along the way.

I believe that we are conditioned for this with the way that our news, elected politicians, and general attention-seekers focus on the negative.  Additionally, when we have unrealistic expectations of others it is easier to be disappointed (when they don’t meet our expectations) than to be delighted with them.  For example, if someone disregards us, we get hurt (this inflicts a small scar on our psyche), but then don’t appreciate a later kindness.

But, we can change this whole situation by consciously changing our perspective:  1. Reduce expectations of others’  behavior; and 2. actively watch for the little moments of amazement and wonder in our everyday life!

Everyday miracles

Here’s a few examples of everyday miracles I have started to notice:

  • A friend calls unexpectedly to say hello just moments after I read an email about a contract being canceled;
  • An attendee at one of my international lectures sends an email to tell me how my speech gave him new ideas he can use at work;
  • A colleague in India offers encouragement and shares his own story of career frustration to boost my spirits;
  • I find a $20 bill in a coat pocket;
  • A friend follows through on a promise they made;
  • My son (22) calls to say thank you for something I’ve done;
  • A stranger compliments me on my shoes;
  • Someone lets me in ahead of the to a left turn lane;
  • Someone says that they understand how I feel and they mean it;
  • Someone sends supporting comments about reading my blog postings;
  • A stranger ahead of me pays for my highway toll;
  • My daughter sends me a card just because…

You might call these everyday occurrences and not miracles and you could be right.  Some might actually say that these are expectations of how others should behave.  I respectfully suggest that when we remove our expectations of others, things become much simpler.  As such, I prefer to assess these behaviors as everyday miracles every day — I am truly grateful for each and every one of them.

How to stay positive in this down economy where gloom and doom financial woes continue to plague our nation?  My solution is to seek positive signs from the universe that things will get better.  When they do (I’m optimistic) then it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy (and I’ll shout hurrah).  On the other hand, if it takes longer for positive things to happen, at least I can take solace in the fact that good things happen every day.

Wishing you a positive week!

p.s., I am actively seeking speaking opportunities worldwide, so if you know of anyone looking for a great speaker on technology or industry optimism topics, please ask them to contact me at dekkers@qualityplustech.com or carol@caroldekkers.com.  Thank you!

Carol

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Science and positive thinking… proof or poof?

4 Jan

For years I’ve read about the Power of Positive Thinking (along the lines of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale) and The Secret (the Law of Attraction), and I’ve seen how envisioning the future can become reality – it worked when I moved to the U.S. from Canada in the mid-1990’s and my business soared.

Lately, however, I have found that no matter how much I put into positive thinking and visioning, the results just do not seem to manifest in the same way as they once did. I can envision my future state with financial prosperity, abundant love, health, and the level of career success I want.  I can feel this future state with every sense of my being — and yet what worked to create reality does not seem to work today (or maybe I am more impatient as I get older).

While I understand that the subconscious and the universe manifests creation at its own pace (and not mine), I find it frustrating when I do not see any discernible change or progress towards my vision.  Given my engineering background, you may not be surprised that I would like some scientific proof that this positive thinking and energy is working.

In hindsight, 2010 was a mediocre year and I am grateful for my speaking engagements and new opportunities, but also frustrated that my consulting schedule was not chock full or that I made more progress towards financial freedom.  It can be tough to stay positive in a down economy and a dog-eat-dog world — you may have felt the same way in 2010.

Feeling frustrated with a lack of solid signs of progress, I was elated to come across the following video excerpt (from the documentary “What the Bleep Do We Know?” whereby a Japanese scientist Dr. Masuru Emoto has established a direct relationship between positive thinking energy and the formation of complex and elaborate water crystals exposed to it.  (I don’t know for certain if this is fact or fiction.)

The narrative explains that because our bodies are composed of over 60% water, positive thoughts will result in positive changes in our overall water-based physiology.  What do you think?

Is this scientific proof that positive thinking can immediately and positively affect our well-being – or is it an airy-fairy fictionalized stretch of someone’s imagination?

Watch the video (it’s less than 3 minutes long) and let me know what YOU think…

For me, this is immediate and positive proof that staying upbeat and optimistic (even when times are tough) can deliver immediate and positive results.  Even if it is Hollywood hocus-pocus it gives credence and power to my ongoing visioning and gives me hope that my tomorrows will be fruitful in the ways that my visions depict.

Have a great week!

p.s., I am seeking speaking opportunities worldwide for 2011 so if you hear of anyone needing a great speaker, please refer me and ask them to email me (dekkers@qualityplustech.com).

p.p.s., in 2011, I am clearing off my bookshelves and taking at least one book a week off the shelf to share with you. This week it is Zig Ziglar’s “See you at the Top”.  I will report on its high points and give you a short review later this week.

Regards,

Carol


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