Author: Ish'mael

Standards OR Fantasy

Of course! Have standards.

Matter of fact,

Lowering your standards is a bad habit. Stop it!

Referring to my previous post, Man of Your Dreams, some folks took issue with my musing. In that post, I shared a prevalent observation which was that many in my generation are looking for the perfect, got it all together other, the “designer spouse,” – the one!

And yes, I agreed they could be found in one place – in our dreams and fantasies.

Maybe that was too much. Was it?


In regards to that post, a close friend who was bothered by it asked a great question. In this post, I share some things we discussed.


My friend wanted to know –

Where do you draw the line between standards and accepting something less than what you hoped?

So, first, I apologize if my previous post made you think I was downplaying the idea of having standards. By no means.

In Man of Your Dreams, I wasn’t talking about standards. I was talking about fantasies. My point was that if someone we were looking for someone who had only the best qualities of the different types of people we have seen or dated, we won’t find them. If we were looking for that perfect one, it was pointless looking any farther than the fantasies in our heads

Having standards is awesome. I have them

But, if your standards are skewed by fantasies, then you may be passing up good matches because of skewed standards. No one can know but you. So, do you have standards or are your standards fantasies?

Another possibility might be that if you are young and are looking for a woman with enumerable grand qualities which don’t necessarily qualify as fantasy, then you may be looking for someone beyond your age group.

Or rather, you may be passing a good match, who is not there yet but would eventually become that type of person as you both grow in relationship or marriage.

Why? Because –

It takes time, crisis, and life experiences for people to become strong in many character traits and less of a handicap on their weak side.

So go easy on the people you meet. On the other hand –

Are you the type of person the one you are looking is looking for? Would you be the type of person the woman of your dreams would be looking for if you found them?


God’s blessings usually don’t always come the way we expect them.

What if your perfect match comes to you in a different color of skin, mindset, in difficulties, with a history…wrapped up in temporal difficulties? Obviously, it won’t be what you are looking for or the way you plan on seeing or experiencing them.

What then?

So yes. I think standards are great. But, if they are skewed by unrealistic expectations and fantasies, then the resulting search for a spouse might be a man or woman of your dreams. And funny thing is –

They are called man of your dreams or woman of your dreams for a reason. They live in your dreams.

But, here is one risk we many may fail to consider when searching endlessly for the person of their dreams.

If you keep passing up good guys/ladies and good matches hoping to find the perfect one in your continued search and plan on doing so till you find “The One,” then don’t forget to account for the following risk:

You may come to the age where you will be left with fewer and fewer good options options to chose from. 

Not making a choice is actually a choice. And if you don’t make one, someone else or something else will do it for you. Time and circumstances may do it for you


I may be wrong.

What do you think?


Please share in the comments

Man of Your Dreams

This is going to be an excellent year

What are you guys doing for Valentines day?

Well, I don’t know. I have no idea. I confess, I’m a romantic. But, somewhere between life and a hard place, I lost my mojo. I lost my M.O

I’m no Moto-Moto


I’m guessing you “love birds” are making last minute arrangements and wrapping up on your romance strategies with bags of roses, rings, necklaces, planned lush dinners, proposals…!

And then on Valentine’s day its…

Girls and free drinks, Singles and a few drinks, Guys and two things, Cuddles and Chick Flicks, Breakups and Karaokes, “will you marry me” and diamond rings, dates talking pet peeves…you know, the usual.

And then, there is “US.” Singles with little or no prospects who can’t stand the commercialization of love and loneliness.

Can I get a witness?


I have been wondering why some of “us” who have “the goods” are single and boy do I have some musings to share with you.

Because – LOVE.

It is breath-taking how many of “us” are looking for “The One,” the man or woman of their dreams. Thanks to popular culture, folks have been on a mission to find “The One”, the perfect match, a soul befitting of the fifty shades of grey.

And we can all tip our hats to TV ads, TV shows, and the mass commercialization of beauty, sex, and body parts for altering our perceptions of what is acceptable and what is not. These alongside others have unconsciously set us on a path to find the “designer spouse.”

Let me illustrate with a story* what a designer date/spouse is with some sneaky wisdom which is the point of this post. Catch it if you can.

A woman once came to see The Rebbe. She said to him, “My daughter is struggling to find a match.” The Rebbe asked, “Does she know what she is looking for in a husband?” This woman proceeded to share every imaginable quality. To which the Rebbe replied, “It sounds to me like you are describing at least three different boys.”

Get it?

Using another example, Jim who enumerates countless qualities he is looking for in a woman, is not looking for one woman. In reality, what he was saying is that –

he wants a beautiful woman with Lucy’s brains, Britney’s cute blue eyes, Ana’s perfect sexy body, Tina’s top model fashion style, Taisha’s black is gold attitude, Tina’s cooking skills….

In short,

If you are looking for someone who carries all the best qualities of the Ghost of Relationships Past, then yeah….you are looking for a designer partner.

So what’s the problem with that?

None at all! Except, if  like Jim, you are thinking along those lines, looking for that type of person, with all those endless qualities or the best qualities of your many ex, you won’t find them.

Scratch that.

You will find them – in your dreams.

I know I did.


They are called “man of your dreams” for a reason – Mendel Kalmenson

If you insist on looking for them, you will be cheating.

That’s because you are already in a relationship with the man/woman of your dreams. If you want to date, break up with the man or woman of your dreams first.

So, loosen up a little. Give people a break and just let people be people. You are one of them. Everyone has a past. And heads up from Caralyn, author of –

We are all recovering from something.

Yes, even you.

And by the way,

Even if someone has been a jerk, you have been too. Have mercy. You changed. What makes you think they can’t?

So – here’s a thought for you –

because – Season of Love.

When next you see that average Joe or pretty Sally at the store – go up to them. Compliment something about them and ask them out to coffee. Its simple.

Just say,  “Would you like to grab coffee sometime?”

They may turn out to be The Velvet heart shaped chocolate you have been looking for, wrapped in a freshly twisted candy wrapper called – current circumstances and temporal shortcomings which your righteous self might fail to perceive. Or they might bolt and never text you after the first date.

Who knows! You might ask in time to make that coffee date your valentines day special. Good luck. And…

Oh…don’t worry about me. I believe in miracles. I pray I am someone’s secret Valentine.  I may decide to be someone’s Prince Charming from the Hood. Ooouu…, there goes my mojo…it’s coming back to me…



Life is not full of surprises: I am. Are you?

Okay, I’m finished with my musings. 

But, I’m curious though_

– What are some of the qualities you are looking for in a potential date or spouse?

If you have ever had the “Designer-Date-man-of-your-dreams” syndrome, how do you overcome that in your mind and get back to dating real people? 

*Story taken from – Seeds of Wisdom,  by Mendel Kalmenson 

How to Touch People Deeply

This is going to be an excellent year.

This week I have been all about the intricacies of interactions and connections.

I wrote an article called Answer people not their Questions where I suggested that instead of just answering the questions people in our sphere of influence come to us with, we should see beyond that.

We should answer them in such a way that they feel deeply touched and become conduits for a nuclear explosion of positive influence.

This is important because people seldom fluently describe what they want to say. In fact, being able to say exactly what you want to say, feel, or want is a gift. Being able to clearly articulate an idea is considered gold according to the Book of Proverbs.

So, its no surprise that people ind it hard to say exactly what they want to say or describe exactly how they feel. What’s more, without sufficient information of what people who speak with us are going through, we will experience difficulty in discerning what is NOT being said by folks. And it may be difficult for us to touch them deeply.

And I mean s…o…u…l deep!

In fact, we may end up thinking of a way to answer people while they are still speaking. So, this has been on my mind.

Yes, as I wrote in Make the Most of Your Nuclear Reactions –

~ When people interact its like  A NUCLEAR REACTION ~ The Rebbe


Its not how many people you touch, but how deeply you touch them that determines your sphere of influence ~ Mendel Kalmenson

We can use open-ended questions to listen well and help folks open up (See – Make the Most of Your Nuclear Reactions).

But what exactly can we do to not only gather intel through open-ended questions, feel the story through listening, but also answer in a way that helps people to feel deeply touched?

Here is a thought I have been pondering. Continue reading “How to Touch People Deeply”

Make the Most of Your “Nuclear Reactions”

Hello folks,

This is going to be an excellent year

I have often said, success is not about the destination, and its not about the journey either. Its about THE PEOPLE on the way to your destination. Our dreams and visions are for the people. Through our interactions with them we get inspired to think, dream, and imagine.

To succeed, we find out what they want and serve them. Regardless of how talented and gifted we are, we still need to deal with people. And even after all the adventure is done, we are left with – people – the good, the bad, and the ugly. And we still need to deal with them.

But, I often think we forget just how powerful our interaction with people are.

So, here’s a perspective* from The Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of righteous memory –

You think that human interactions are like chemical reactions. When two elements interact, they result in the creation of a third compound. But people aren’t chemicals.

~ When people interact its like  A NUCLEAR REACTION ~

A nuclear reaction has a center, from which further reactions spread in all directions. As the outer rings of that sphere gets larger, the number of reactions grow exponentially.

Likewise, when you touch the heart of one person very deeply – even just for a moment – he in turn will touch many other people, triggering a nuclear explosion of positive influence.”

In short, Continue reading “Make the Most of Your “Nuclear Reactions””

Answer People NOT Questions

Hello folks,

This is going to be an excellent year.

When I was studying Torah (bible) with a Rabbi and while I was learning from Chabad in the Midwest, I came across a saying. And this quote has become one of my favorite and has been shaping my approach to communication since. It is –

A Rabbi answers questions but a Rebbe answers people.

A Rebbe is a Rabbi, but one who has an intimate connection to his God, his people, his people’s experiences, his community, his own experience, and a wealth of wisdom and insight from the God who made and knows the people.

For instance this is my version of a story of my favorite Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, taken from the book Seeds of Wisdom – 2, written by Mendel Kalmenson:

A young Rabbi who had a fledgling business came to see the Rebbe because he was feeling overwhelmed. He was hoping to find out where to cut back and where to focus. Instead, the Rebbe said to him,

Not only should you NOT cut back your activities, but you should increase your outreach efforts, your rabbinic work, and also your business.”

Now, tell me this. Did that answer the question? Did this answer even sound like it answered the person? Continue reading “Answer People NOT Questions”

The Search for Love is REAL

Hello fam,

I’ve been up and running, from North to South in Califonia and just returned to the villa. Personally, I prefer to sit down, reflect, and write. So, its been particularly difficult to set the mood and press some fresh spiritual and inspiration juice for you.


What’s up people?


Last weekend, I was in Orange County attending a Singles Life Workshop. And people, let me tell you – AMAZING! I was thinking I would walk into this event and meet 20-somethings and maybe, 30-somethings and maybe find a “pretty mama” but noooo….

I saw a few 20-somethings and 30’s to 60-somethings all over the place. I was like – Lord, have mercy…


Seriously! I was like…even the 40’s to 70’s are looking for love?

I thought folks in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s…would have it down by now. I thought they would have it all together. But nooo…both the men and women came with their own issues.

And boy, some of those ladies had that perfect 8, size 10…body…, tights, boots, heels and that Beyonce Knowles walk. And…I mean… Continue reading “The Search for Love is REAL”

The Frustration of NOT Being Heard

Hola…wonderful people!

This is going to be an excellent year

So, I just got back from a trip to San Jose and Redding where I reconnected with some friends, met people from several countries, and Cooked up a Storm Saturday night.

~ it was something.

I kept meeting and connecting with folks from Switzerland who kept inviting me to Switzerland. It was like God was saying – hey, I got a bag packing adventure for you in the Swiss Alps if you are interested.

In due time Jesus…in…due…time!

But most of all….I MISSED YOU GUYS….! It was just for a week, but it felt like a thousand…years…


Hiff hiff…

I just got back. I drove for 10 hours with some two cool and weird ladies who jammed to my Old Skool collection, yo. Wooo…freaked me out.

I’m okay…don’t panic.


On the trip last week with friends, one of my friends, Maria, took a risk. A BIG ONE. She shared the pains, difficulties, struggles, and hardships she was facing in trying to navigate her late twenties without close friends and an understanding community.

I could understand that. Its not easy finding friends in your late 20’s. Its difficult to date if you have standards. Its even more difficult when most of your friends are in different states. And painful when you are in a community but find it hard to become a part of that community.

You know, things some of you can relate to.

Well, Maria’s story was met with a current of brutal honesty, facts, and counsel which were ALL lacking in one thing – EMPATHY (Love and Understanding). And boy did it erupt into a minor argument of – spirituality.

And where was I? Continue reading “The Frustration of NOT Being Heard”

Dating Etiquette for the Social Media OBSESSED — BeautyBeyondBones

Part of fulfilling your destiny is finding someone amazing to spend the rest of your life with and build the vision the Good Lord ignites in you.

If you are a guy and looking, here are some pointers from one of my favorite bloggers.

I promise, you’ll love it.

Caralyn, writer behind Beauty Beyond Bones has this to say

Romance is a dying art. Truly. In the age of smart phones, Snapchat and communicating through emojis, dating is, frankly, limping along like a squirrel run over by a semi. Too much? Perhaps. But in this era of 140 character expression, chivalry has taken a hit. Which poses the question, what are we to expect…

via Dating Etiquette for the Social Media OBSESSED — BeautyBeyondBones


This is going to be an excellent year folks. Better believe it.

I want to tell you an interesting story. A short one.

Recently, I was introduced to a new customer. We became friends and on one of my visits, we shared stories. Turns out my new friend had been a missionary and returned from the field to do enter the market.

First, she engaged in civil service. She was a Data Entry personnel. She also formatted software codes. While at it, she realized she loved the idea of coding. She had a 6th sense for it. She became a software technician after obtaining college education. She then started her own business.

All this followed a discussion about – The Need to Bring Your Dreams to Life – for which I was looking for feedback. While she listened to a recording of it, she stopped. And with a heavy heart, she told me of an idea she once had to start and run a business project abroad which involved training young girls.

She knew it was inspiration from heaven. However, she did nothing and she was basically expressing regret. Here’ what happened. Continue reading “DON’T SAY IT!”

The Ultimate Test for 2018


How are you guys doing? I hope well.

Okay! Hands up if you have been worrying about…well…everything?

C’mon, don’t lie…

Well! STOP IT! (lol)

Seriously though, have your peace. I pray blessings over you. I pray for peace to flood your soul, for grace to be your own, and for a renewed strength to go your way in Jesus name.


For the past week, I have been reflecting about what would be one of the most important things to consider moving forward this new year. Though this is going to be an excellent year, I sense that the troubles and challenges we will be facing will be on a level that will require us to be grounded in this – one thing – I am about to share.

Let me do just that using a true story I came across in a book called – Translating God – by Shawn Bolz.

1 + 1 may reach the mind, but once upon a time reaches the heart  – Lou E.

So here it goes…

An enthusiastic young man, Dan, came to a conference of leaders where they were some leaders. He was excited about the opportunity to possibly be called up to speak even though he was not on the list. A discussion panel was being organized and Dan was hoping to fill in one more spot.

Dan went to see the head organizer, telling him of the numerous things he could do for everyone there, especially the head organizer himself. The head organizer had never met or heard of Dan. Certainly, he had talent. There was just one lingering possibility though.

And so, the organizer said to Dan, “Can I ask you some questions?”

Of course!” Dan replied.

Where did you go to celebrate Christmas last year?” the organizer asked.

Dan was confused since he had been expecting questions about what he could bring do or bring to the table.

Um, I don’t remember. I was invited over to a co-worker’s house.” Dan said.

Fantastic. Is this co-worker your closest friend?” asked the organizer. Continue reading “The Ultimate Test for 2018”