Surety Insurance May Give You Peace of Mind

In a world where unforeseen consequences can lead to costly damages and potential lawsuits, managing your risks is an absolute must. When looking for ways to mitigate risk in an investment, such as a car, house, or expensive work of art, people often turn to major insurance companies. In theory, paying a little each month can protect you from sudden financial disaster in the future. While these companies have good intentions, the reality is often much less idyllic. Companies often try to deny claims or take forever to process payments, leaving you stuck with a mountain of debt while you try to keep your investments afloat.

Contract Work

Particularly in contract work, standard liability coverage often leaves much to be desired. When allowing a contractor to work in your home, install an air conditioner, or run new power lines, you are taking a huge leap of faith that the company will behave ethically and do their work up to code. While most reputable companies carry liability, there is simply no way to guarantee that their coverage will provide you with the compensation you need when their mistakes cost you thousands of dollars in damages. To mitigate this risk, surety insurance has become a preferred means of protecting your investment. This type of protection, often called surety bonds, offers a unique method of controlling the way funds are distributed in the event of a disaster. Rather than spreading settlement payout across a myriad of clients, surety insurance is a three-way agreement between a customer, a contractor, and their bondsman. With stricter guidelines and a clear understanding of responsibility, these bonds allow payment to be treated like a bank loan rather than a sudden cash windfall. By cutting out the major corporations, homeowners are able to hold contractors accountable and seek damages as soon as they know shoddy work has been performed rather than after catastrophe has struck.

Public Works

Surety insurance is also beneficial in the case of public works. When building a park, statue, or other municipal attraction, city and town governments rely on one major overseer to manage a large number of subcontractors. Often this primary job lead is the only point of contact for the various electricians, sculptors, and carpenters working on the job site every day. While this manager hires out the work and can make agreements for compensation on his own, he will not be the one receiving complaints should any subcontractors not receive their due. Dissatisfied workers will climb as far up the food chain as they can and head right for the biggest wallet. Liability protection held by a contractor won’t save the city in this instance; only a qualified bond will do the trick. The township can activate their agreement and settle payment directly with the workers without any scandal or lawyers whatsoever.

Whether you are building an addition to your home or rebuilding the town square, make the right decision and cover yourself with surety insurance.

When considering the benefits of surety insurance, Albuquerque residents can learn more safeguarding their investments at

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Secrets of Effective Business Communication

The ability to communicate well is one of the biggest factors in the success of any business organization. You can be an excellent designer, but if you are unable to promote your services and communicate effectively with clients and colleagues, then your potential is limited.

The main areas where communication is essential are:

  • Attracting potential clients
  • Customer service
  • Client meetings

1. Attracting Potential Clients: When you own any business, your livelihood depends on your ability to sell your services. You have to convince prospects that you are the best person for the job, and the following communication secrets in this article will help you do this:

  • Always ask Right Questions: To sell the services, you have to understand the client’s unique needs. And this can be done only by asking questions that get to the heart of the challenges they are facing. Understanding the problems of the problems, you can pitch your services as the best possible option for the client.
  • Communicate Professionally: Your professionalism can win you contracts and your communication skills add to the complete package. Proofread all your emails prior to sending and always use a business email address with a proper signature. Always speak articulately and competently at all times.

2. Customer service: Your clients want to feel that they are your priority. And you can make them feel so by providing exemplary customer service. Use the following communication-focused actions to improve your customer service.

  • Address Problems: If a client is not happy, don’t ignore their complaints. Simply ask them why they are unhappy and what you can do to fix the situation. Your willingness to face the problem head-on tells the client that you care about the project and their satisfaction.
  • Ask for Feedback: One method of maintaining long-term relationships with your clients is by keeping open lines of communication. It means you should keep on asking them for their input on how things are going and how they feel about the service you are providing. This can be done by inquiring at the end of a project, or during day-to-day conversations or through formal surveys.

3. Clients Meetings: Client meetings are an integral part of every successful business. Try the following tips to make your meetings as productive as possible:

  • Schedule and Prepare thoroughly: Schedule your meetings in advance to ensures that you and your clients have an adequate amount of uninterrupted time to speak. Take time to prepare an agenda that outlines focus points and sets a structure. Also, sharing the agenda for the meeting gives both you and the client an opportunity to fully prepare.
  • Speak, Pause and Listen: When you have several topics to discuss, rushing through them to get all of your ideas out may be tempting. But, this can cause confusion and makes the client feel that their input is not important. So, Just slow down and remember that communication is a two-way street. Develop a give-and-take that allows both parties to have their say.

Improving your communication skills is worth the time and effort, but you will be surprised by how much you benefit from more polished and professional interaction.

What do you think? What impact communication had on your business success?

Altura Communication Solutions is trusted as one of the leading providers of Communication Solutions helping to design, deploy and manage networks.

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Wardrobe Essentials – Women’s and Girl’s FASHION Guide

As the seasons change again, we think that it is important that we help you decide what to buy in upcoming sales if you don’t already own them. These are things that should be in your wardrobe, they don’t have to be expensive per say, but they are necessary if you take yourself as a fashionista. From scarves to belts and from dresses to bags whatever is needed should be there along with these essentials.

Here is the list of wardrobe essentials:

1. Dark Denim

Jeans are a must in any wardrobe, especially the dark ones. They work with any color or shirts, tee-shirts, blouses and also with any type of footwear. The best option is to go for skinny fit but you can choose boyfriend jeans or a straight fit as well. Add a belt to it and you are good to go.

2. Perfect White Tee

This is an essential according to every fashion expert in the world a plain white tee is whatever material you like is a choice you cannot go wrong with. You can go for a V-neck or a crew neck and pair it up with jeans, shorts, skirts whatever you like. They are comfortable and the perfect summer look, you can add a jacket on it if it’s a little chilly.

3. Flats

Well you have to walk right and for that what is better than flats. Now, there is a huge range of flats, it’s good to own a pair of ballet flats, a pair of studded flat sandals, a pair of flat boots whatever length you like and a pair of sporty beach slippers so that you are ready for absolutely any look.

4. Silk Blouse

This elevates your look can be paired with formal trousers and skirts or even with jeans. An embellished or metallic belt adds a jazzy touch to the look as well.

5. Black Dress

It does not have to be a little black dress always. It can be a midi or a knee length dress as well; it just has to be black. It can be plain with a cut design or have embellishments on it; that is up to you and your fashion style. Add a metallic belt to the dress of different size and make the dress go up a notch.

6. Leather Handbag

Leather is sophisticated and classy, so have a perfectly made leather handbag. It can be a messenger bag, a clutch, tote basically anything you need or like, it just has to be a leather one. The basic colors of brown as the best option and they can have prints on it as well.

7. Leather Jacket

A leather jacket is not just for the bikers and the tough gang. It is the perfect companion to your summer look be it jeans or a dress with boots and stockings. A leather jacket can be plain or have embellishments. Go for the classic shades of black and brown as they are universal and look perfect on anyone and on anything except for maybe cocktail dresses.

8. Striped Shirt

A stripped shirt is the perfect formal look that can be taken casual as well. It does look good with trousers and skirts but can also be paired with jeans and gives a formal yet laid back look. The color combination and type of stripes is completely on you and so is what you want to pair it with

9. Tailored Blazer

If you want to attain the perfect formal, business look, a well tailored blazer is a must. Go for solid colors like black, navy blue, grey, white before you go for bolder colors. It can be worn to work or business dinners and can be paired with trousers, skirts and dresses. You can add a leather handbag to complete the look.

10. Heels

As a woman, heels are a must in the wardrobe. They are classy and fun at the same time. There is a huge range of heels to choose from and if possible own one of each type. If not own the classic like pumps, stilettos and wedges to begin with. Heels go with literally anything you wear from jeans to shorts to skirts and dresses. The colors and patterns available are amazing so just own some.

Stock up on belts, leather handbags and wholesale jewelry from the wide range on

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Our Greatest Source of Strength

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. This is achieved when you go through hardships and decide not to surrender. Even if I find it very difficult to raise my kids financially but I am still very happy because all my hard works and patience paid off. All my efforts are worth it. Kids achieve much in their own little way.

I think it’s my personality to overcome things, learn from them and become stronger, both personally and professionally. To be honest, I welcome those hardships no matter how difficult. I like to do challenging tasks because it makes me braver in life. My perception of hardships is completely different from others. I’m not whining and moaning because of the hurdles I have in my life. The hardships that I encountered in the past help me succeed in every endeavor I take because whatever hardships there have been in my life I am still privileged because I am not afraid of what I do. I love my work very much. It is very challenging and mind-breaking but very satisfying since I love to explore the unknown. I love to do qualitative studies through grounded theories and case studies. The feeling is totally different when you know that you are able to formulate a theory out of the many concepts given to you by your subjects.

The reason why I become braver were the past experiences that I had in life. My willingness to compromise for the sake of my kids did no good to me. There was once in my life that I read in my daily horoscope that if I want to succeed, I need to stay away from people who only wants my downfall. Life might be so hard but it becomes harder when you are with people eaten by negativity.

Not that I blame others for my wrong decisions. I accept full responsibility to the consequence of my actions.It just happened that when you realized that history keeps on repeating itself, you are not learning at all.

I am really considerate. But sometimes, this trait becomes my weakness instead of my strength because it seems that people are taking advantage of it. There were even times that even if I am hurt, I still forgive because I am hoping that maybe CHANGE is coming.

What a wrong notion! Change begins in ourselves, not in others. We need to infuse life with action. WE HAVE TO MAKE IT HAPPEN!

This article is about how we can turn our hardships into our strength. Positive traits can also be our weakness but it does not mean that we cannot overcome this because life is what we make it.

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When Disaster Strikes, Not Everyone Is Surprised – Message to Humans Doomed to Repeat

Message to Humans Doomed to Repeat, don’t be so duped by politicians, or leadership who says; “no one saw this coming” after a terrible disaster, usually they are just covering up bad judgement and inept decision making – often conclusions which came out of a bureaucratic group think committee. No one wants to own up to their disregard for Murphy’s Law, Physics, Probability, or those who recommended against it. Our think tank over the years, has studied disasters of all types, natural and man-made, most of the deaths were preventable and most of the real problems were predicted and forewarned. Let’s talk.

And, can I recommend a few very interesting books to read? I recommend all of these books, yes, I’ve personally read them myself and thus, felt compelled to write this article + putting together my own experiences and observations in the real world. The books I’d like you to read are:

1.) “Flirting with Disaster – Why Accidents Are Rarely Accidental” by Marc Gerstein

2.) “Crashes, Crisis, and Calamities – How We Can Use Science to Read Early Warning Signs” by Len Fisher.

3.) “The Politics of Disasters – Katrina, Big Government, and a New Strategy for Future Crisis” by Marvin Olasky.

The last book is relevant to the upcoming 2015-2016 El Nino, which is said to be the strongest in 20 years and the Sacramento CA levees. Northern California got a lot of rain, but the snowpack was not at 200% of normal, luckily we dodged a bullet, in 2016 (we think, as we are still not out of the woods yet, as of writing this article). Still, that is a perfect example of poor decision making with government budgets and just hoping for the best. China’s Three Gorges Dam is another case in point, one year perhaps within this decade, it will probably fail – imagine the loss of life and damage – almost incomprehensible.

When it comes to disasters, this is an interesting topic when you study what happened and why in hindsight, whether from reading the NTSB air disasters report or those from space disasters like the Space Shuttle Columbia.

Our Think Tank does such research to separate the political scare tactics from the realities so as to know where to put our best efforts before a pre-cascading collapsing catastrophe strikes, and trust me “Black Swans” aside, it is rarely an event that totally blindsides us. The 2008 Economic Collapse was a series of missed opportunities to prevent the crisis. Beware humans, the laws of physics and laws of unintended consequences along with Murphy’s Law are all real.

Lance — out.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

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Understanding the Necessity of Acquiring Your Own Insurance Policy

Understanding Insurance Claims

An Insurance Plan can get us off our worries. May it be an Educational Plan, Health, Life, Auto, Accident or Retirement Insurance Plan. Living in a country where everything is fast-paced, having an Insurance Policy is a necessity. The absence of these much-needed Plans could cause you a lot of troubles. Imagine, what to do when someone in the family is sick? Paying your hospital bills could be worrisome and how would you send your children to school without an Educational Insurance?

Some people have different kinds of Insurance Plans to secure their life and that of their family. However, an insurance claim also provides negative feedbacks that discourages people from thinking of the necessity of acquiring an insurance Plan. Definitely, an Insurance Plan means benefits but somehow, claiming those benefits could be tedious and time-consuming. Insurance claims need not give us so much trouble if we just understand how Insurance companies work on our Insurance claims. So to fully understand issues and save us a lot of troubles claiming our insurance, let us take a look on this.

How to File Your 4 Important Insurance Claims

Filing your Auto Insurance Claim

1. Assess if the Claim is Worth the Trouble

Before filing for an auto insurance claim, decide if you want to file a claim or not. If you think you can afford to pay for the damage, no matter who is responsible for it, then try not to make any claim. What is important, according to a Personal Insurance Expert, you need to keep your Insurance Record clean.

2. Get the Accident Document

It is very important to document every detail of the accident and get witnesses to back up your story afterwards. A Police record on the scene is a relevant document you must have to support your claim.

3. File Claim Immediately

You don’t need to lose time in filing your claim. Question as to who is responsible will be taken care of by your Insurance Company.

4. Expect a Call Anytime

Expect a call from the other driver’s Insurance Company to interview you on your version of the incident. Make sure you document the conversation and don’t forget to ask the agent’s name.

5. Get Your Car Fixed

After your claim is approved, then you can have your car’s body fixed in case of a damage. The Insurance Company will assess the damage or ask you to send your car to any car shop of their choice to get it fixed.

How to File Your Home Insurance Claim

In case of a disaster which left you and your family homeless, file your Home Insurance Claim. As you file your claim, be sure to have your Insurance Policy with you. In case you were not able to have your copy available after the disaster, at least know and remember your Insurance Company’s name and contact numbers. It is not always relevant to remember only your agent’s name for sometimes, he could represent various companies.

Prepare a Quick Household Inventory

It’s always better to take a video of your whole household belongings every time you acquire a Home Insurance Plan. Keep a copy of this record and keep it in a safe-keeping vault outside of your house. It’s always advisable to keep a bank deposit box for important documents like Insurance Policies, Property Title, etc.

Notify Your Insurance Company ASAP

It is important to notify your Insurance Company as soon as possible for the reason that you may have to avail of the Loss-of-Use Benefit in your policy if you have this feature. This could cover living expenses outside of your home while it is being repaired such as hotel bills, meals and other cost of living expenses. This will entitle you to receive immediate cash needed for your bills.

Start Filing Your Claim

You can’t have your claim until you have everything properly documented. So, it would be hard for you to have a documented list of your household belongings if you don’t have access to your damaged home. Only when you can gain access to your home once again could you properly document it. While you are waiting for the approval of the claim, you may make minor repairs but be sure to record every disbursement you make. Don’t make any major repairs until your claim is approved.

How to Hire a Contractor for Insurance Claim

Find a reputable contractor to take care of your building or repair needs. A lot of contractors would always grab a chance like this to take advantage of your anxiety. They can always stretch your budget beyond the level of reasoning.

How to File a Life Insurance Claim

Filing for an Insurance Claim after the death of a loved is not really easy. However, it is at this point in life when you have to be practical. You need money more than anything to pay off the funeral cost, bills and even the family needs. It is hard to be left alone and face all these problems but you have to be thankful if the deceased love one had prepared you for times like this. As a survivor, we sometimes worry about things like these but a Life Insurance Plan is designed to give us less worries and ensures the deceased family that we won’t have to deal with the financial problem as we grieved over the loss of a loved one.

Find the Life Insurance Policy

The Policy is an important document granted to the Policy Holder. This is badly needed when filing for an Insurance claim. Be sure to look for it if the deceased party had failed to inform you where he had kept it. You may keep in mind that this is a very important document, so the keeper might have kept it in a place not easily seen or recognizable. You may look in a plastic container or any sealed container large enough to contain it. It could also be kept in a small drawer of a cabinet in your head board or lamp stand cabinet.

If you can’t find the Insurance Policy but you are sure that the decease is an Insurance Policy Holder, you may write to the American Council of Life Insurance (ACLI).For a small amount, the ACLI will conduct a search to find the Policy. The address is 101 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004-2500. Don’t forget to include a self-addressed, business-sized envelope.

Contact the Company’s Number Listed in the Policy

Try to contact immediately the contact number or numbers listed in the document. If you personally know the authorized representative or agent, you may as well contact him directly and tell him that you want to file a claim. The company’s agent will always be ready to assist you in your filing. He will be providing you with forms needed for the application. Wait for any instruction that the Insurance Company will provide you.

Fill-up the Necessary Forms and Submit Requirements

After receiving the necessary form needed for application in filing for the Insurance claim, fill it up with all the needed information. Provide also the other requirements needed upon submission. The Death Certificate is the very basic of all requirements you may need to provide together with your Application Form. Decide How you want to Receive the Proceeds from the Life Policy. You may choose to receive the proceeds in lump sum, or opt to receive it in a form of monthly pension or simply leave the money in deposit for it to earn interest and dividends.

Wait for the Release of the Funds

Expect that your fund’s approval for the claim will take more than a month to process as the Insurance Company still have to validate information relative to your application.

How to File Health for Medical Claims

If you have to pay for your medical bills, then you have to file for your Health Insurance Claim. Here are some helpful tips in making your claim:

Keep an Itemized Report

Be sure to obtain all receipts and necessary statement of accounts issued by the doctor or pharmacist. Summarize it, so it could be easily understood by the Insurance Evaluator. Attach it to your Application Form.

Fill-Up Your Claim Application Form

Contact your Health Insurance Company as soon as possible. You may get your Application Form directly from them after declaring your desire to file for a Health Insurance Claim. The Application Form is easy to fill-up but someone from the Insurance Company is sure to assist you if there are some items in the Application Form that you don’t understand.

Scan or Duplicate a Copy

After filling up your form and submitting to the Health Insurance Company, be sure to scan it or have your duplicate copy to keep. This will keep you from inconvenience in case of loss or error in filing. You can easily file it again when needed. Review Before Submission. File your claim as soon as possible. Ask for assistance or inquire for any additional instruction or requirements. Ask how long it will take you to wait for the result and be sure to make a note of it in your calendar. If they failed to contact you on the given date, be sure to contact your Health Insurance Agent immediately.

Filing for an insurance claim can be tedious but in today’s world where everything is fast-paced, having an Insurance Policy is becoming a necessity. Here is your guide on how to file your Insurance claim with lesser time, effort and troubles.

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The Rise of Telecommunications Services in the Developing World

Telecommunications services have become a ubiquitous presence in our modern times, with cell phones and computers as our main tools for communication. In the United States, Europe, and other developed nations, we seem to take for granted the access we have to these devices and the ease at which we can acquire them. For third world and developing nations, the availability of these services lags behind, which has a palpable effect on their economies and quality of life. Research, however, has indicated that these nations are catching up.

Consider that in 2005, about 2 billion people had a mobile or cellular subscription service. At the end of 2014, 7 billion people had some type of subscription, with 3.6 billion in the Asia/Pacific region alone. In terms of percentages, that is about 96 percent of the world’s population.

When viewed through the lens of developed versus developing nations, research indicates that there are 128 subscriptions per 100 people in developed nations, versus 89 per 100 people in developing countries. While there remains room for expansion in developing nations, the rate of subscription growth has reached its lowest levels in a decade, meaning the market is approaching a saturation point.

Telecommunications services also include access to the Internet, which has a much smaller reach when juxtaposed with cellular services. Three billion people are online, which represents about 40 percent of the world’s population. For developed nations, 78 per 100 people use the Internet, versus 32 per 100 people in developing nations. This is a much bigger gap than the one seen in cell phone usage, indicating these nations still have a long way to go. Of the 1.1 billion households not connected to the Internet, 90 percent are in developing countries.

How can these nations catch up? Luckily, due to the expansion of telecommunications services and companies, broadband prices have dropped significantly over the past decade. In obvious economic terms, the cheaper the product, the wider the accessibility. Africa is notably the farthest behind in terms of broadband connectivity, with the continent accounting for 0.5 percent of the world’s fixed broadband subscriptions.

Telecommunications companies are beginning to enter Africa, as many of its nations are emerging economic markets. With investment from the telecommunications industry, it is more than probable that access to the Internet will gradually climb similarly to that of the cellular market. While it is unlikely that these countries will reach the connectivity of the developed world, the level of infrastructure for communications will improve drastically with outside investments pouring in. Consider the case of Nigeria: about a decade ago, there were 100,000 phone lines, mostly landlines operated by the state-run company NITEL. That company folded, and now there are over 100 million mobile phone lines.

In a world where quick, easy, and mobile communication is the norm, it is important to these nations to reach modern levels of telecommunications. It is hugely significant for their economies and also for simple access to information. The Internet and cellular phones have condensed the size of the world, allowing us the ability to communicate with anyone at any time.

When looking for telecommunications services, Hackensack residents can learn more by visiting

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Front Load Your Future

Most people live their lives day-to-day. They plan what they must plan, but they only plan enough to get by, not to perfect a future outcome. Allow me to illustrate what I mean by using grocery shopping as an example. The average person will decide to grocery shop either because they ran out of milk or some other staple, or because it is Thursday, and they always shop for groceries on Thursday. How would a planner shop for groceries?

The planner knows what food that she has in the pantry, in the freezer, and in the refrigerator. She plans to use it up in an orderly fashion, for these reasons: What she has is freshest now. Age will not improve freshness, plus by waiting, she will incur a risk of spoilage. She has money tied up in purchased groceries. It is better to have an excess of money in the interest-bearing checking account, so she minimizes the type and the amount of groceries that she buys.

Which groceries does the planner buy? She knows the food groups, and she keeps up to speed on diet recommendations that will keep her family at the peak of health. She also keeps up with seasonal changes so that she is ready for the seasonal surges in fruits, vegetables, seafood, and other grocery items. She taps several information networks so that she can spot sales and it is the sales that often steer her one way or another on what to fix for dinner. She knows where the grocery stores are on her normal routes of travel to her job, her children’s school, church, her friend’s houses, and to the stores where she shops. She front loads all of this information so that she can duck in to the grocery stores, with the correct sale coupons, on her way home from where she has been.

The planner saves time and gas by timing these planned gathers of groceries. She shops after the kids are in school, before the afternoon rush hour, just after the butcher puts out the fresh meats, during her day off, and never on a holiday. She discusses her plans with her trusted friends, getting new ideas from them, and sometimes she offers to help them or she gains help from them. After all, different people have differing routes of travel.

Guess what? Grocery shopping is only one thing that she plans. She plans every aspect of her life, shaping her future the way she intends it to be. The outcome is better for her, for her family, her friends, and for the future of the greater community where she lives.

“Sharon Ann,”

Tony is a writer, an author of several published novels, and an independent publisher. In September 2012, he wrote and published the first of a three-book drama series, “A Voice from New Mill Creek: The Methodists,” as an e-book. In April, 2013, he released his second e-book and first romance novel, “Goodnight Paige.” In July, 2013, Tony released a guidebook titled “How Tony Wrote and Published Two Novels.” In May 2014, he published “The Star of India, “the second novel in the Voice From New Mill Creek drama series.

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You Are the Power Behind Your New Years Resolution

As you look ahead at the New Year, people inevitably ask you about your New Year’s resolutions. For many, weight loss, exercise or improving relationships are near the top of the list of responses. Generally, these resolutions reflect aspects of our lives that we are not happy with and the change in the calendar serves to remind us that time is running out. A smaller number of people respond to the prompt by making specific plans to affect the change. An even smaller number stick with the plans long enough to experience the benefit of the change.

Then there is the group who pretend they are above it all by separating themselves from reality. Their response to the question about New Year’s resolutions goes something like, “Oh, I don’t believe in resolutions. They don’t work anyway. Just put your intentions into the universe and you’ll be fine.” Really? No, I mean REALLY? There is a LOT wrong with this mindset.

The first and most obvious problem is that this person assumes no responsibility at all for his or her own actions, or in this case, inaction. Claiming that resolutions don’t work is like letting the battery run flat on your laptop computer and then declaring you don’t believe in batteries because they don’t work. Then, the mystical universe will come to the rescue. That’s like saying if you plug your laptop computer with its flat battery into the internet modem in your house then everything will magically start to work again. You behave as if these things are out of your control with the same level of mindlessness as you might approach a flat battery.

Resolution implies dogged determination; a desire to persevere until a goal is met. A resolution is not something you sign up for and then decide it does not work so you will discontinue the service. Either you have the determination, or you don’t – it is that simple. If you don’t, then you have chosen not to make a specific change, and therefore you have no resolution. That includes floating your good intentions out into the universe and hoping for the best. Where is the perseverance in that?

If you do have the determination, then you will set about to make specific plans and to change your actions and behaviors accordingly. There is no doubt that some change is difficult for a lot of people, which is why perseverance is required to see it through. If you start with a series of small steps that continue over time until the new behavior is learned and it becomes second nature, then you have a greater chance of being successful. Being accountable to a third party can also be helpful. Share your plans with an objective person who can act as your coach through the change process. Check-in with your coach routinely to share your progress and review the parts that challenge you. Sometimes the encouragement from someone else will help to keep your perspective balanced and to keep you motivated.

If you don’t believe in resolutions, then you must have difficulty accomplishing much in your life, as every goal and every milestone worth achieving requires determination and a plan to see it through. If you find yourself in this boat, look in the mirror to find out who is responsible for your wishful thinking and then decide to do something about that. You are the battery that needs to power the change and your family, friends and co-workers are the universe that can encourage and keep you motivated to succeed.

Patrick is a coach, speaker, and trainer to individuals and business leaders. He helps leaders to achieve success by clarifying their vision, strategic plans, leadership, change management, brand and marketing strategy. He helps individuals to remove self-limiting beliefs and fears that prevent them from acting on their goals and dreams. 615-261-8585

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England, 2016: Thirty-Year Reunion, College of Medicine, Class of 1986, Ibadan, Nigeria

The gathering took place on Friday, July 29th through Saturday, July 30th, 2016, at De Vere Venues, Staverton Park, Staverton, Northamptonshire, United Kingdom.

Days before the event, a final list of who would attend was sent out. Everyone wanted to look their best coming into the reunion to impress their colleagues, many of whom they had not seen for thirty years, since medical school graduation.

In Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Nigeria, and the United States of America, colleagues packed their bags. Anticipation reached a crescendo. The women purchased glittering dresses, and the men shaved and dyed their hair. Only Moses left his gray to run amok, for which he earned the Wisdom Hair award.

When we arrived at De Vere venues, matching all the names on the list to all the faces on the ground proved a task. Unless friends revealed themselves, they were strangers.

In the mid-afternoon of Saturday, Salako, Provost of the College of Medicine, on the speech podium, glanced at a man who had entered the auditorium. The man wore a brown-colored, dome-shaped hat. ‘The hat,’ the stranger confessed, ‘is hiding badly-dyed gray hair.’ Sympathy and laughter welcomed him.

Following the ‘Remember to give back to Alma Mata’ speech, people zigzagged across the hotel vestibule to search for classmates.

‘Have you seen Fred Akpochafo?’ asked a sharp-eyed, toothily smiling fellow of a bespectacled man with an easy smile and pumped-up speech. ‘I am Fred,’ the guy in glasses responded.

Upon mutual recognition, Chinwe Nwokoma and Fred mobbed each other in fifteen-minute bear hugs and handshakes, following which both men suffered elbow dislocation.

‘Did you see Ntekim Bassey?’ the guy with the badly-dyed hair asked Barry. A croaky voice answered, ‘I saw him half a second ago.’

The longer people conversed, the more certain they were that a particular voice belonged to a particular colleague.

Ayo and I had exchanged many e-mails but not until Saturday was I able to match the person to the name. Yet he remained fuzzy in my memory. We continued to trade jabs of handshakes and hugs throughout the evening, waiting for a complete memory download.

Each handshake tugged on the memory. Each hug recruited more sleeping neurons. Yes! He is Ayo, his voice never left. It was just hiding, somewhere in the nuggets of the hippocampus. The same experience happened with Benjamin Oke, I think.

More mind authentication lazily occurred when I saw Ajibola and Osahon, Mase and Mojisola, Adebayo, Prof. Musa, Pal Loolo, Man Jaji and Evelyn, Kehinde and Sammy Best, Chuks, Essein, Tony N. and Taiwo. Peter Olukowi almost slipped away. ‘My father is Henry Akpabio,’ said a boy to me.

People such as President Yemi, Obi, Abolade, Emeka, Bolo, Onome, Peter Eweje, Ngozi, and Vero, I will never forget.

By the evening of Saturday, seventy percent of the class had been identified. More discoveries continued during dinner. Sunday morning and afternoon saw new revelations.

If Leslie owned Friday night by his picture-perfect poses, then Goze held the Saturday night by his dancing. Austin, Bhardwaj, Yinka, Titi George, Dayo, Ifeoma, and Adanna tried so hard to match him. Had Roro or Olaopa been there they would have given him a run for his moves.

Nobody could get enough of one another. The fellow with the poorly-dyed hair hugged Emma Nnopu thirty times to make up for the thirty years they hadn’t seen each other.

During dinner time, more surprises snuck up like forgotten bills. Awards exchanged hands. A shower of money rained on a baby. Members of the Adanta dance group soar through the air like teenage eagles. An entertainer who transferred two fast-spinning aluminum basins from his pinky fingers to broomsticks kept us on our toes for seven hours.

Except for a cashew nut-colored mustache, Peter Olumese remained the same in physique and character and was rewarded. And for adulating Professor Cole, Leex and his party won a group contest.

‘There you are’ the man with the poorly-dyed hair said when he finally spotted Ntekim Bassey.

‘Anselm, you have been looking for me, I understand’, Bassey said.

‘Yes, I have not seen you in thirty years.’

Suddenly, torsos, hands, and shoulders came together multiple times. Except for ten, maybe fifteen pounds’ weight gain Ntekim had not changed a speck. Later, in an unchanging, even, confident tone he conversed with the ever-graceful Moji, O.

How Olamide and her team were able to stretch the funds to the level of fun we had is mind-boggling. Kudos!

Before the trip, I made name tags for each person on the list, not knowing the faces who would occupy so many labels. Not anymore. Every face is in my consciousness.

For two reasons, the event in London would be hard to beat. Dancing legs are yet to reach a breaking point, but will be there soon. Secondly, almost everybody has been discovered within fifteen years since the reunion began in Memphis, Tennessee. If colleagues yet to attend show up in the next event, then all bets are off.

Thanks to prayers, led by Morafa and Dave, all the heavenly stars aligned together in harmony.


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