Paying it forward in real life

Posted in BlackBerry, BlackBerry Bold, Pay it forward, paying it forward, payingitforward, sharing the love, sharingthelove with tags , on April 12, 2010 by TferThomas

As you know, I am huge fan of paying it forward; in fact, I try to live my life with paying it forward.

A couple of weeks ago, an opportunity presented itself to actually pay it forward in person.

Quite often, when I stay in Melbourne, I walk between the apartment and the office (roughly a 20-25 minute walk), and the walk is the perfect time to mentally prepare myself for the new day. So, yes it can be said, I am in a world of my own, but seeing something jolted me out of my own pre-occupiedness… an iPhone sitting in the gutter.

Now we all know I am not a fan of the iPhone but the sight intrigued me…it was clear someone must have lost it.

I remembered that there most likely would be some sort of screen lock & that proved simple. I noted it said it was Sim card locked, so the owner must have reported it lost.

Now to find the owner (yes, why would I even consider keeping the iPhone (I have no need for one) or giving it to any number of friends/family who wanted one…never even considered it; it was always going to be handed back to the rightful owner). I know how much an inconvenience it is setting up a BlackBerry from scratch, so only can imagine the same would be said of an iPhone.

Eventually I found the contacts folder, and yes, as you would expect, found Mum (doesn’t everyone have Mum/Dad listed in their phone?). So I rang “Mum” and yes she had a son who owned an iPhone (seems he has a history of losing devices).

So Mum came to our office that afternoon and collected the iPhone. She was most appreciative, and she presented me with a home grown bottle of peach chutney to say thanks.

The son rang that afternoon, to express his gratitude. “There should be more people like you in the world” he said. I simply said that it was the only thing to do, but also that I much prefer BlackBerry to iPhone, so I was always going to give it back (hey, what else would you expect me to say?)…he took it very well.

So there you go…paying it forward in real life; it’s not that hard.

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Paying it forward …. twitter style

Posted in BlackBerry, BlackBerry Bold, payingitforward, sharingthelove, twitter on October 3, 2009 by TferThomas

The amazing thing about twitter, is the almost instantaneous nature of the conversation (or referred to as “tweets” from the twittersphere). The tweets are usually short and to the point, and really, how can they not be, when you are only allowed up to 140 characters per tweet?

So how does one pay it forward on twitter?

Firstly, paying it forward…

Paying it forward, if you weren’t sure, is a concept by which I try to live my life by, and I know others do the same. To pay it forward, simpl means helping out someone randomnly (unplanned) in a way that potentially may give that person the necessary leg up so that they can achieve something important in their life. To you it is nothing of any great significance, and doesn’t really cause you any discomfort, mentally, emotionally, physically, nor financially.

To the recipient however, your paying it forward may just be the missing piece in the puzzle for them to achieve something positive/life changing/life saving from their life, for their life. For example, placing some spare change into a parking meter, allows a person to park (they may actually have no money), and make that critical job interview on time, therefore win the interview process, get the job, and become employed for the first time in two years. What did it cost you…. $3.20 perhaps. But for them, that $3.20 helped them get their life back on track.

So, I understand the concept of paying it forward, now how can I pay it forward on twitter?

Twitter works on building a social/business network by finding people to follow, and people follow you….. and so it goes.

  • You can pay it forward by simply connecting two people, who may not know each other, together, and you have paid it forward, because you are the middle link.
  • Someone may be on hard times and needs that leg up…. you know someone who can assist, and by bringing them together, you have paid it forward.
  • You come across some information tweeted by someone you follow, and you think it is interesting enough to retweet (share it again)… this information then goes out to all of your followers, maybe onto someone who really needs this tweet… you have paid it forward.

Paying it forward on twitter can really work. What does it cost you? Apart from your time… nothing.
So, the next time you feel an urge to share the love, I have three words to share… Pay It Forward.

Thomas

Saying goodbye to a phenomenal man

Posted in compassion, Hindu, India, life guidance, Nameste, payingitforward, respect, sharing the love, sharingthelove on September 7, 2009 by TferThomas

This week marked the passing of a truly great man…someone most of you won’t know, and someone I had only know for a bit over 5 months.

My wife’s Mother’s brother-in-law, our Mosa, passed away peacefully (from all accounts; I wasn’t present) last Tuesday. And he will be missed.

Mosa was not only present at our Hindu wedding back in March, but more importantly, he was both our Pundit (Hindu Priest) and our Civil Celebrant…he performed our wedding ceremony, and it was the last one he performed.

I met him for the first time about an hour before our wedding, and he instantly made me relax. Suffering a rare skin disorder, Mosa was literally as white as me, which really took me by surprise, and it sort of enhanced his Pundit “aura” in my mind.

Mosa ensured I was fully aware of what would and was happening, every step of the way, and I know from my family and friends’ perspective (not to mention mine as well) this was hugely welcoming and comforting at the same time.

His keen sense of humour came into play a number of times during the ceremony (apparently my wife has to obey me! 😉 ), and his patience for a Gora like me right in the middle of a Hindu wedding, was much appreciated.

But it was the two days after spent in Mosa’s company that I was so lucky and fortunate to receive. For it was this time I was able to learn more about this great man’s 80+ years of life’s experiences…and there were many lessons learnt and still learning, as a direct result of our conversations, and time spent.

And it is not just me who obviously feels this way about Mosa…at his “public” funeral service, at least 500 people were in attendance, and the line of the people waiting to say goodbye seemingly took forever to run its course. He was well loved.

Mosa has gone to a better place, and we here are poorer for that. I now have someone else I can class as one of my life’s guidance counselors; even though he has passed on, his memories and advice live on.

God rest his soul

Nameste

#followfriday: my twitter list

Posted in BlackBerry, followfriday, payingitforward, Priority Management, twitter on August 1, 2009 by TferThomas

Followfriday is a phenomenon on twitter, and if you don’t know about it, you are either very new to twitter, or have been living under a rock. Basically, #followfriday (the hashtag is to assist with search visibility) is a process whereby twitter users recommend some of their followers for others to follow ….a sort of #sharingthelove or #payingitforward in the twitterverse.

There are various ways people undertake #followfriday:

  1. Mass blanket list of recommended followers with no background;
  2. Individual #followfriday recommendations with a tweet filled with why others should follow this person;
  3. Group #followfriday tweets (eg. a BlackBerry group of twitterers)… this is the option I used;
  4. Retweeting someone else’s list; either as a way of saying thank you, or a self-promoting exercise by someone trying to increase their friends on twitter; or
  5. Someone hijacking another’s #followfriday tweet and turning it into their own (this is maninly a sefl-promoting exercise to increase friend numbers).

Now remember, I am not condemning, nor condoning any of the afore mentioned methods, as I respect an “each to their own” process here. But I am changing mine… and the reasons are simple.

Currently in my work, I commute between Brisbane and Melbourne (two capital cities on the eastern seaboard of Australia), and the half the commutes are undertaken on a Friday, usually smack in the middle of #followfriday, so therefore I place a huge amount of pressure on myself to not only respond to everyone else’s tweets, but to get my #followfriday tweets out as well.

And so comes this blog post…. my #followfriday list recommendations. I will over time update the lists as my friends and followers evolve, but for now, this is the one.

Inspirational #followfriday twitterers:

Good friends #followfriday:

There are my good friends who don’t fit into my allotted categories….yet, and perhaps they never will, but one thing I know, they are there for me when I need them, and I am there for them:

iPhone friends/sparring partners #followfriday:

These are my iPhone friends (can a passionate BlackBerry user/abuser ever be friends with an iPhone user? Well, of course he/she can, and I am):

BlackBerry #followfriday legends:

These probably are my core group of twitter friends, mainly because they too are very passionate about BlackBerry devices, they are mobile (so are on twitter a lot of the time), and they are truly a helpful and friendly bunch (just don’t rubbish the BlackBerry without having very good evidence on your side) (in no particular order):

So this is my #followfriday list…. I will no doubt realise this isn’t a complete list and will make some adjustments as the upcoming weeks roll out.

I can wholeheartedly recommend any of these fabulous individuals. #payingitforward

Thomas

Another….paying it forward twitter style… a successful outcome

Posted in BlackBerry Bold, Pay it forward, paying it forward, twitter on July 8, 2009 by TferThomas

I talk (tweet?) to a diverse range of people on twitter, something I am really proud of. No two of my twitter friends are the same, which is just brilliant for me, as one of my initial main reasons for signing up to twitter in the first place, was to simply learn from people… something I am pleased to say, happens many times every single day.

As you may well know, I use a hashtag quite a bit, and that one is #payingitforward and i have explained my views on paying it forward and how I try to pay it forward in this blog.

One morning, I was DM’d on twitter by a gentleman in the United States with a proposal that he thought I may be interested in, and let’s be honest here, how many of these are simply “not my cup of tea” (I am sure you know what I mean)? Anyway, as is the case of the majority of these, I read them, check out any links and have a think. Yes or no, good or bad, interesting or not, they were the decisions to be made.

This one caught my eye… he was looking for a way to promote/introduce Australian artists in America, and whilst I didn’t have a clue as to how to do this, or even where I would start, I immediately thought of one avenue….

You see, I know people within a government department whose job it is is to promote the export of Australian goods/services/talent to overseas markets. Perfect!

So I asked him to forward me a quick outline to my gmail account & I passed it onto my contacts…. paid it forward.

That was a couple of weeks ago, and today got notification that yes the government department would love to assist and contact was made.

Regardless of the outcome, I know from within myself, I have paid it forward.

So as I sit here and type away (on a keyboard that is way bigger than my BlackBerry Bold’s qwerty keyboard), I feel a nice warm glow descend over me…. i have made a difference to someone else, and it literally cost me about 30 minutes of my time.

So, if ever you get the chance, go on, try paying it forward.

TferThomas

twitter: @TferThomas’ rules … Setting up your account

Posted in BlackBerry, SocialScope, tweet, twitbacks, twitter, twitterberry, twitterverse, ubertwitter, yatca on June 28, 2009 by TferThomas

One of the main things that keeps me constantly drawn to twitter, over most other social / business online sites, is the wide diversity of my friends on twitter, and the different approaches these people implement, to run their twitter lives.
That said, the following is an overview of my initial twitter rules of engagement… how I believe a twitter account should be set up.

SETTING UP YOUR ACCOUNT:

  1. HAVING A SIMPLE USERNAME: I have used TferThomas for a number of reasons; it includes my first name, I believe it is a little catchy, it is not embarrassing, it doesn’t make you believe I am something I am not, and I believe it is relatively easy to remember… all good networking positives.
  2. HAVE A GOOD PROFILE PHOTO: I use the photo above for basically everything I do online, for the following reasons; it is a happy photo, it display all of my face relatively close up, it represents a professional side of me (yet not coldly), it is a friendly photo… all good networking positives. The photo remains a constant for me, which makes it easy for my friends to find me in their twitter stream, especially my BlackBerry friends who are using one of the many BlackBerry twitter applications (SocialScope, yatca, Ubertwitter, twitterberry, etc) and as such the avatars are smaller.
  3. HAVE A BIO: A small summary of what you are about as your bio is probably one of the easiest, yet most effective way of convincing others to follow you. and it needs to be stated here, that your bio needs to actually reflect you… be yourself. If you are here to market, then say so. 140 characters per tweet does not leave any room for deceptive marketing. If you don’t have a bio, what are you actually hiding?
  4. INCLUDE A FULL LENGTH URL IN YOU BIO: nothing flags more as potential spam as a tinyurl or bit.ly URL in your bio. Including a full length URL will help encourage others to actually click on it, and get to know you that much more intimately.
  5. LOCATION: I believe it is more effective to have your actual location listed, and I am not talking micro-details. I show Brisbane, Australia as my location enabling my followers to know exactly where I am geographically, allowing them another choice.
  6. BACKGROUND: I use @twitbacks as the source of my backgrounds and happy to promote their services here. I believe having a non standard background is important from an attention grabbing perspective… ie. making your account stand out from the crowd. Remember twitter is all about rapid fire 140 character tweets, and the twitterverse moves quickly.

Anyway, that’s my thoughts on setting up a twitter account. Later, I shall pass on my thoughts about how to tweet, how to interact, and maintain your little part of the greater twitterverse.

Until then, be safe,

TferThomas

Learn to like yourself first….

Posted in BlackBerry, friends, improving one self, like myself, positive affirmation on June 14, 2009 by TferThomas

Many of you would have heard of the term “people pleaser” I am sure, but if you haven’t, allow me to explain. In my words, a “people pleaser” is a person whose main aim is to please others, and quite often, that is to the detriment of themselves (in other words, putting others’ needs and wants before their very own).

Now, I am no psychologist, but this is not good for your self esteem, your positiveness, your motivation to develop as an individual, or more importantly, to like yourself as a person. By concentrating on others, you are not focusing on yourself (and I don’t mean in a conceited way).

How can others like you, if you don’t like yourself?

You really need to understand who you actually are, accept who you are, and be the best person you can be, while all the time remembering who you are.

If you can’t be yourself, how can you strive to be a better person, or grow as the person you are? If you try to be someone you are not, you are not being true to yourself, and you simply cannot grow as the person you are.

But wait, what about striving to be a better person and so become a different person as a result? Sure this is fine, but in the end, you really don’t know how you will develop…. all the fun of developing yourself and going on life’s journey…. your journey. Note this clearly however, you do not know the end, or where you will end up…. if you think you do, then you are not being true to yourself.

Importantly, accept who you are and what your limitations are…. for me, I acknowledge the fact I am hopeless at most sports, not comfortable in fixing problems with Windows on my PC, but I know I am a hopeless romantic, I am a good listener, a reasonable networker, and a whiz on my BlackBerry. I have only listed a few things here, but you get the idea….

So one thing which helps me is to write down a list:

  • Things I am good at
  • Things I am not good at and will never be good at (normally, these are not important to me)
  • Things I am not good at but could become good at (my goals for improving myself)

Every month, review the list and map your development, watching how the first list (good at) increases while the last list (improving) reduces…. I am on my way to accepting myself as for who I am, which in turn, opens the door for other people to see me as “me”. Friendship may, or may not develop, but if it develops, it is real.

Hope this helps. My thoughts for now,

Thomas