Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Authentic Motivation - Update

"Authentic motivation know no fear. Authentic motivation moves forward in any economy,  under all circumstances" - Denise Wilmer Barreto, October 25, 2008 - Authentic Motivation

Today - I assert that authentic motivation actually physically and mentally breaks down the barriers between you and your goals. I defined motivation as "that which moves you" - positive or negative.

Circumstances motivate us, positively or negatively.

People motivate us, positively or negatively.

Most of all - you motivate yourself. 

So today  - five months and six days later - I challenge all who are struggling with their motivation to remember the very simple definition and go find what moves you and start honoring it today.

I am walking proof of taking the most challenging of situations  - facing them head-on  and channeling  the energy that you would normally use to complain, worry or doubt yourself - into a strategic plan for change. 

I am smiling tonight as a result.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Back in the Saddle.

Today was the first day back after an awesome spring break.

Waking up the kids was a bit of a challenge.

Making it through the first two hours - brutal - the coffee pot is on the fritz.

The familiar walk to my desk was fresh yet a mid-morning email jacked up my vacation high.

Meeting after meeting interrupted my smile and carefree easing back to work thoughts.

The after school/work rush has a new element - Evan's Monday night piano lesson.

8:30 p.m. I'm pooped and headed to bed.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Authentic Validation - Part One

In my young political life - I have been warned of  the "endorsement".

I have been told that it "does not mean anything."

So as I am barreling towards my first election day in less than two weeks - I was not at all looking for endorsements (or any press for that matter)  and had wiped them completely out of my mind.

Then last night during my periodic "Google" of my own name - I came across this.

I am humbled and validated all at once.

The true validation will come from the voters on April 7 but I cannot deny that I feel a bit validated now. Someone heard me. Someone "got" what I've been trying to say since November.

A political campaign is about your message. It's about your constituents - those you desire to serve. It's about making an impact in the most basic of ways - persuading others to trust you with their voice - their vote.

I've always read endorsements in the past and never really looked at them as dealbreakers on candidates I supported or were against. Endorsements either validate your choice or give you a reason to further your position in the opposite direction.

Today - this endorsement from the Daily Herald only deepens my drive to win. It fuels me to do more work in the final days to get the message out and earn a chance to serve.

I look forward to writing Part Two.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break Rules!

I am only off for part of this week but I tell you spring breaks rule!

I have taken a sweet nap every afternoon with Evan (while Emma reads wink, wink)

I spring cleaned the bathrooms, both kids rooms and my closet. Hope to get to the kitchen/dining room tomorrow.

I've made campaign calls during the day instead of at night in between all else.

We forgot Evan's first piano lesson (sorry dude) tonight.

We've been extra sweet to Isael who has strep throat.

Most of all, we've laughed and enjoyed each other.

People with school aged children are forced into spring break but we all should spring break. 

It's good for the soul.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Want Good Things In Your Life? Make Way!

If you want good things in your life - you had better make sure the path into your life is clean enough for the good things to enter.

We had part one of our annual spring family shopping trip this past Sunday. When we got home, I looked at my daughter's room and quickly told her - we need to have a cleaning session before we move any of the new clothes into her room. She was sour-faced but agreed that there was "no place" for the new clothes with all the winter clothes and clothes that she is sure to grow out of any day.

That got me to thinking.

Anything in life that we anticipate...

A new love

Renewed love with the one we are with

A new job or career path

Losing the last 20 lbs

Reconciliation with that estranged love one

Better relationship(s) with FILL-IN-THE-BLANK

Anything we anticipate - we must clean the path and make room in our life for the "new".

With that nugget, I need to go and start making a new path for a few of the things on my current list.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Authentic Exhilaration! -Part Two

This past week, I taught a class called Expert You - Discovering and Putting Your Passions To Work For You Today  to a wonderfully diverse group of women that make me want to add to my post from Feb 13. Then, I'd just spoken to middle school kids who were inquisitive, genuine and eager to put the  principles that I spoke about in practice.


My class Tuesday was exactly the same... only they were adults.. a few semi-retired. It was extremely interactive and introspective in a way that the middle school program was not. First, because there were only 10 of us for 1.5 hours total vs four 45 minute assemblies with 80 + middle schoolers. Second and probably most importantly,  because kids don't yet have the depth or experience as my partners in learning did Tuesday night. Additionally - it is equally if not MORE exhilarating to see light bulbs go off in adult eyes. You know that you have been relevant when a room of people from all kinds of backgrounds and paths come to the same conclusion - " I can take something from this and apply it to my life." No one said that but it was implied in the smiles and overtures to keep in touch.

On Feb 13 - I declared, "I've found my calling..."

Today on March 14 - my message has not changed but I would say that it is altered. 

Teaching and impacting people of all ages positively is my calling. 

What a journey.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Authentic Discussions: Race in America

There has been an extremely heightened awareness of race in our country in 2009. Not a week has gone by that I have not seen and/or heard the phrase "race card" in the media.

Now we all know that the media is all about ratings and keeping us hooked... whether it be to the tube or the RSS feed - they send us tantalizing sound bites constantly to lure us to a (more often than not) mediocre news piece.

Being in a political race for office myself in the state of Illinois makes me all the more aware of the issue of race. My village - Lake in the Hills, IL is in the North West suburbs of Chicago and boasts an increasingly diverse population over the last 10 years. I love connecting with the various people in our village, right now as I blog - I see the house of a Indian family on the court behind my street; one Mexican born family and a mixed race couple (White/Mexican) in the two houses directly behind us - the Blaxicans! (Again I quote my kids - they made that up themselves)

I have read countless articles and had many discussions with my core inner circle but I want to hear more. Yesterday, I read an article
that just laser focused in on all the points I try to make as I talk about race with my mostly White/Hispanic circle of close friends and acquaintances.

My view is this: We have come far in this country and we are to celebrate that. Mainly, because a core group of people made many sacrifices to advance the discussion/course of law over the last 40 years. Additionally, progress has been made because of the resilience of the majority of Black Americans to continue to hope in the midst of what appears, at times to be a very hopeless situation. Without the endurance, innovation and sense of humor to it all - Black America would have long ago perished under the pressure.

I am positive that with all the progress - we still need to press on to eradicate racial and social injustice for all people. It reminds me of something I always say and live by - "I stand up for what is right in a system that is flawed - even if I benefit from that system - I must take a stand." This applies at work. In my church. At the university I attend. Any organization or institution that I consider myself a member of is held to that standard. That includes, and especially applies, to our government. Hence - another reason I am running for office.

I don't believe in the whole "color-blind" statement at all because it's just not true. I do believe what the heart behind that statement is trying to convey but we must find ways to communicate better with one another and I am not speaking about PC talk. PC talk has ruined our country's dialogue on all topics. It has become a crutch by which to NOT express what we really mean but sugar coat true thoughts and feelings that need to be discussed.

I've also heard the phrase - "race fatigue" - the feeling that people are sick of discussing race because it has been such a hot topic since "44" began his presidential campaign two years ago. I can't even relate to that phrase and I am ever fascinated discussing this topic. I once heard someone say - "Only Black people care about race". Maybe that's true. We are usually among the only ones who have to worry about it being a factor in our lives so that make sense. Having married a Mexican in 2001 really heighten my awareness to issues that Mexican Americans face and that is NOT a separate topic. It is very much tied to the discussion at hand but the plight of the Mexican in America is another blog topic for the future...

So - tell me what you think!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Blog

Just want all to know that it is now necessary to host a different blog regarding my quest to win a seat on the Lake in the Hills Board of Trustees.

You can find it two ways...

www.denisewbarreto.com or http://denise-barreto.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lake in the Hills Trustee Race Update

It is exactly 5 weeks until the Consolidated Election on April 7.

We are in the home stretch of my quest to win a seat on the Lake in the Hills Board of Trustees. There are six candidates for three seats.

For the second weekend in a row with 22 degree temperatures - I was walking the streets of Lake in the Hills, IL talking to the electorate. It was as energizing as it was cold.

The most awesome thing about this race has been what people have asked and/or told me:

"What are you mad about?" was one of the questions I've fielded.

Honestly - nothing. I have always been an active participant in the democratic process - since 1989 when I first earned the right to vote and I voted for Dennis Hastert (R) for Congress and in my first presidential race in 1992 for William Jefferson Clinton (D). I love politics. I volunteered on the late John Stroger's first campaign for county board president in 1994 and then volunteered for then Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist re-election campaign in 1996.

Literally - I was asked to volunteer to canvass for a local candidate last September and while knocking on doors to ask strangers to vote for someone else - it occurred to me that I have the communication, interpersonal and business acumen to run for office myself. No axes to grind - no issues I'm pissed about - just a curiosity and desire to serve.

"What are you going to do for me?" was another question asked of me last weekend.

Well - I will represent your interests and do you know what that means? That means YOU have to know what you need... YOU have to learn the issues that face our village and let me know how YOU feel about them so as a Trustee I can make your voice heard.

My recent answer to a questionnaire for a local newspaper captures my thoughts best...

"If I am elected the best scenario at the end of my first term would be for more citizens of Lake in the Hills to be knowledgeable and involved in local issues. I want them to feel that the Board is approachable and that the monthly meetings we hold on Tuesdays and Thursdays are theirs - not the Village President or any of the Board of Trustees - but the citizens of Lake in the Hills."

"You're in marketing - doesn't that make you a 'stretcher of the truth'?" was my favorite question.

I actually paused before I answered. That is my favorite myth about marketing. That marketers are liars. One of my favorite marketers, Seth Godin has a book with that exact title but I disagree.

I believe that the best marketers have to have a great product or service to begin with otherwise their message falls flat. What difference does it make if there is a fabulous marketing campaign and strategy if there is no great product or service to back it up.

So - I answered that voter with this...

I am a proven leader. I am a proven change agent who loves the challenge of bringing divergent groups and/or opinions together to a solution to reach the desired results. I went on to list the various corporations that I have successfully led marketing efforts for who had major organizational/cultural changes during my tenure.

I shared about my family's decisions to move to this village back in 2002 . My desires as a parent for my children. I explained my concerns about our environment and what we can do to make it better and more healthy for future Americans. We shared our speculations about the empty houses in our community and the fate of the families that lost them.

That voter smiled and pledge their support.

My frozen feet warmed as I thought about what just happened... There was no big dramatic story - no promises of tax relief or sweeping changes to the Village of Lake in the Hills or its ordinances . Just a few minutes to introduce myself and my views about our community - and someone who barely wanted to open their door pledged a vote.

There is authenticity at its core - being me - I am gaining support door-by-door.

I'll keep you posted in these final weeks.