Developing Leadership Everyday by Victor E. Acevedo

victor e. acevedo

There is no question that leadership is something that we develop daily and not in a day. At a time in our culture where our collective patience is low and our need for instant convenience is high, will our leadership suffer?

Often, we want people to make changes in Washington or in our hometown – or in our own lives – but we don’t want the burden of those changes to fall on our shoulders. I wonder how growth can happen if we spend most of our time trying to avoid growing pains?

We were born imperfect humans but we expect ourselves and those around us, and more importantly, those we associate with to be totally perfect.  There are many negatives to this kind of thought process but one important result is our impact on leadership that we need to continuously develop.

Our complete want of instant gratification and our desire for no pain will create a generation of potential leaders with little strength. If strength in leadership does happen to develop, often our electorate will thwart any leadership decisions that cause us pain.

There is an old saying, the champions don’t become champions in the ring. They are only recognized in the ring. Leadership develops over time through daily action. Nobody is perfect, including myself, but I hope that in my life that I can continue to develop my own sense of personal leadership. This includes forgiving others and myself and continuing to find ways to make my tiny space here on this beautiful planet a better place.

I hope that we can find our way and continue to help those around us, to move forward daily, accept the challenges that are in front of us, and continue to live our lives like each hour mattered most.

Learning To Not Take Things Personally by Victor E. Acevedo

In life you will be some good people and some bad – and to be honest many good intentioned people as well. Often times even good people can say hurtful things and emotionally hold us back. Words are very powerful – they often cut both ways. What I’ve been focusing my attention is on simply not giving too much weight to the good and bad people say. In other words, learn to not take things too personally.

Now, if someone tells you something from the heart – it is always good to listen. Listening and reflecting on what someone who means a lot to you has to say is essential and important. But I think there is a benefit to allowing yourself to step back from the power of other people’s words and judgments. Continue reading

Accept The Opportunities In Your Life

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with some great people throughout my career. I have also have the opportunity to be a teacher of some really great students too. What I have learned is that the happiest of my colleagues and the most happiest of my students are those people who accept the opportunities they have in their life. Yeah, that sounds pretty simple, right?

Accepting the opportunities in your life – it appears – isn’t as easy as we might think. It means facing our fears, it means stop procrastinating, it means believing in ourselves. All those things can be high hurdles for many good people who want more out of life.

But it can be done. You can do it. It doesn’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to be perfect. Just go out and do what makes you happy. Go out and accept the opportunities that life brings you. Say YES to open doors. Take a chance. Fail. Fail Again. Smile. Fail. And in all that failure, will come living. Go out and live your life. Forget about what others are thinking. Forget what others are snickering at. Screw them. Accept the wonderful and beautiful opportunities that life has for you!

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It’s Not what People Call You – it’s What You Answer To – By Victor E. Acevedo

If you had time to live a bit you’ll understand what the title means and declares. It is good advice. In fact, I’d go on to say that it’s in my top 3 pointers (I can’t remember what the other two are at the moment). Just know, that it’s up there.

Let’s just take a look at the saying again for a moment:

It’s not what people call you – it’s what you answer to!

We are swimming in labels and names that people try to call us or stick us with – many of them negative. There are many reasons for this negative name calling. As kids, it might just be just to establish a pecking order. But when as adults it’s really often about gaining something. Marketers try to label us and then ask us to buy their solution.

Yet, what the statement is really saying is that we still have the power. The power always rests with us – it always has and it always will. And yet, somehow and somewhere we let these labels – or life itself – convince us that they are true and that we lost that power.

Join me in taking off those labels. Join me in remembering who you are and choosing who or what you answer to.

It’s exciting to know that we have a choice to decide who we are and the direction that our life goes in. But it really depends on us – and our actions. Something as strong and powerful as who we answer to matters. Let’s get started and remember:

It’s not what people call you – it’s what you answer to that’s important.


- By Victor E. Acevedo.

Looking For The Best in People

The older I get the more I have realized that people are generally good and that we all want to be loved and accepted.

We all want to be accepted – in spite of our shortcomings. We all want to be loved – despite the voices that tell us differently, right?

I have spent years – years! – trying to figure out people and the threats they may pose in my life. In turn I skipped out on the goodness that many people offer. Too bad, because there is so much goodness out there!

Over the last few years that has all changed. Slowly, I began to retrain myself to look for the good in people first. And you know what? It’s extremely liberating! Actually, it’s a little addicting!

Looking for the best in people really solidifies relationships. It also helps your peace of mind. It also trains us to be optimistic and stay hopeful.

I have always been an optimistic person. And I am usually good at looking out for the best in people. But I have decided to up the ante and really look – I mean really look for the best in people. When we train our minds and our hearts to do this – we become a bit more happier, we become a bit more humbler, and we become more helpful.


How to Improve Our Relationships (With Everyone) by Victor E. Acevedo

It’s Spring time which means a time of rebirth and renewal. I like to think that such renewal can occur between us and those we care about. Certainly, we can all strive to be better friends, spouses, and neighbors. No doubt in my life I wish I would have paid more attention to the small details that enrich our relationships. The good news is that it’s never too late to start fresh and help repair, heal, and nourish our relationships.

Over the last couple of years I have focused on daily steps that I can take every day to improve my relationships. I have come up with several tips that can help you in your relationships.

Be willing to change your mind – This means be more flexible. If you want to go to Place A for dinner but she/he wants to go to Place B. We open to other’s influence and be willing to change your mind. Flexibility and meeting people half way can pay off in many dividends.

Say Six Positive Things for Every Negative Thing – If we say six things for every criticism – we are able to focus on the positives a lot more and our criticism, when they occur, are more effective.

Spend happy time together doing things – Whether it means taking a way, going to the movies, or out to dinner – having fun time is important for sustaining relationships.

Make the most of your disagreements – While may never see eye-to-eye on everything we can make some positive gains on when we learn from our disagreements however intense they are. Staying positive, being open to learn from mistakes and forgive one another is essential to maintain a healthy relationship.

Staying Positive When Things Become Hectic by Victor E. Acevedo

Life is full of surprises. Ups and downs – and sometimes things can get hectic. When things become hectic it’s hard to keep your life together. Certainly, we know that a hectic life can spin out of control. But fortunately, there are few things that can help you stay positive while you get through this turbulent time.

Exercise – Daily exercise can help you de-stress.

Meditation and Prayer – Mediation can help decrease your cortisol levels.

Nutrition – Our diet is an important way to nourish our bodies

Sleep – Getting 6-8 hours of sleep when things get hectic can be tough, but in reality, Sleep can be an excellent way to rest our bodies and mind.

Laughter – Laughter is one of nature’s best remedies against stress.

You Get What You Look For by Victor E. Acevedo

The older I get the more I tend to gravitate towards cliché’s. Take for example, “You get what you look for.” This seems obvious right? You usually do get what you look for. The concept has really sunk deep down in my psyche the last few years because I believe it’s true.

The question becomes: what are you looking for? What are you really looking for – in life, your spouse, your friendships, etc.? What are you looking to find – because honestly, whatever it is you’ll most likely be successful. The truth is that we all have good and not so good qualities, traits, or characteristics. What we choose to focus on usually is what we’ll usually find – the good or the bad.

But the answer to that very simple question also tells us something about our mind-frame and where our heart is. Are we focused on someone faults? Are we focused on someone’s good qualities? Whether we looking for the good or bad in our friends, families, co-workers, or partners – we need to ask ourselves why?

Scientists usually set out and determine their “hypothesis” before they go looking for their answers. A hypothesis is a basic way to determine what you’re looking for – most likely they establish their hypothesis because they have a hunch – bases on their bias or prejudice.

Perhaps, there is a better way? Perhaps by focusing more on the good, we will not only find more “good” but we will also inspire it?  Good begets more goodness. Prejudicial hunches begets more judgment. I will tell you one thing – it doesn’t feel good to look for the bad in other people. It feels a whole lot better and even more productive to constantly look for the good.

Let’s spend more time looking for the good in those around us – and ourselves. I guarantee we will feel a lot better doing so.

Staying Positive in The Face of Adversity by Developing Self Confidence by Victor E. Acevedo

I like the words of Norman Vincent Peale when it comes to dealing with times of adversity.  Whether we are dealing with students, our family, or other life’s challenge, he keeps his advise simple: “Trust yourself. You cannot be successful or happy without the confidence in your own powers and abilities.”

As teachers or people who have reflected in life’s many challenges knows that sometimes attitudes are more important than facts. Sometimes creating excellent attitudes that are filled with confidence, hope, and enthusiasm can not only help us succeed in life, but also maintain or course during life’s occasional setbacks.

But how to do you get self confidence?

Mr. Peale suggests a couple of important steps including developing the mental mind-frame of success. This takes a bit of training, but teachers who have had a decent amount of education and success of their own can replicate, and even teach it. Additionally, whenever a negative thought or voice comes to mind, quickly replace it with a positive thought.

Norman Vincent Peale believed in God and he made it apart of his teachings. But he also believed in the power to “picture-ize” or visualize success. Training ourselves to visualize our success even in the most difficult times and when we face the most trying challenging, focusing on the visualizing success is essential.


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Springtime Represents a Renewal in our Faith and Friendship by Victor E. Acevedo

I took an early morning walk today. The air was clean. The sun was warm. The wind was cool. It is spring time and this morning’s walk helped me to shake off a bit of winter. The experience was simple but important to me because it affirmed a notion that we should all consider: Springtime should be a time that we renew are faith in ourselves and each other.

Some people like to do spring cleaning (I do), others like to put away the dark clothes, while others start thinking about their gardens – whichever way you choose to define it, Spring time is special.

I want to take this opportunity to encourage you to renew your faith in yourself. After the long winter, Spring is nature’s own clock that a new Season is here. Don’t fret about the past – mistakes or regrets – simply allow yourself to start fresh. That’s right – start over!

Make Amends with Those You Care About

Spring time is an excellent time to make amends with those who have hurt or disappointed us. When we forgive and put things behind us, I believe we’re able to make the most of our present. Living completely in the present is something that is ultimately intense and beautiful. Yet, we can’t really do that when we are holding on to the past so tightly.

It’s my goal this year to really focus on the present – that which is front of me. No doubt, I have spent a lot of time – many years actually – focused on my future or thing in my past. Really, they both serve as a distraction from what lay right before me.  Now, I am not saying that we shouldn’t plan for the future or shouldn’t remember the past – I think we should. However, we should spend more time enjoying those around us today. I think there is something beautiful about living in the moment – even though it gets relegated to doing something selfish.

Make Stronger Friendships

I think this includes making stronger friendships with family members too. We can always be better friends. We can always make room for another to sit at our table. Why not invite an old friend over for dinner? Lunch? If you live too far, sometimes a phone call would be a nice gesture. Sure we can buy ourselves another mocha or coffee, but why not buy a greeting card and mail it to your Mom?  These are just simple ideas that can make a big difference in someone’s life.

Let’s make this spring a spring of hope, renewal, friendship, and love.