Tag Archives: self improvement

3 Personality Traits I’m Proud Of…

This month I’m working my way through different writing prompts. All of the prompts are designed to make me think about who I am and share that so that my readers may get to know me better. Today’s prompt challenged me to think about my personality and the traits that make me the unique me that I am.

This was not easy at first, because I had to figure out the difference between personality and emotions. I tend to think of my personality at the emotions I am feeling at the time, but personality is more about who you are most of the time, regardless of emotions.

“I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well…” -Psalms 139:14

The three personality traits I am proud of is my spirituality, positivness and thinking. These three are the main part of who I am and come closer than anything that I can think of in expressing the real me.

I AM SPIRITUAL! This is really the foundation or my personality. Everything is planted and grows out of this part of my life. One of my favorite teachers used to say: “We spend most of our lives living as human beings looking to have a spiritual experience, when in reality we are spiritual beings getting to have a human experience.” I believe this is true and I work very intentionally to pay attention and tap into the reality that I am a spiritual being getting to have a human experience. This influences every other part of my life and more than anything else makes me the person that I am.

I AM POSITIVE! I have always tried to be positve, but it is a hard thing to maintain in such a negative world. We are surrounded by negativity and it is often attacking on all levels and from every angle. At some point in my life, I made the choice to choose positive over negative. That is basically our choice: We can live a positve life or a negative life and no one gets to decide for us. Each of us, have to decide for ourselves. I choose positve and it pays off for me everyday. The other benefit is the blessings it brings into my life, are blessings I can share with others.

I AM THINKING! I think all the time. I look at things from the inside – out and from the outside – in. For some folks, thinking can be a dangerous thing, but for me, I like to see things and figure out what is true and what is false.

My Earliest Childhood Memory!

I’ve been thinking for serveral days, trying to remember my earliest childhood memory. I remember when I was very young 1, 2 or 3 years old. I was riding a horse and every since then I have loved horses. I am not really sure if this is a memory of the actual event or a memory from a picture of the event, but I can still feel the excitement and fear that I felt sitting up on such a big animal.

I remember the church I grew up in and one man that would scare me to death when he would shout an “AMEN!” with his deep, loud voice. I remember sitting in church and rubbing the soft, cool fur on my Aunt Mag’s “Sunday Go To Church Coat”. I remember going back and standing right beside the preacher and shaking everyone’s hand as they left the Sunday morning service. I remember so many sweet people that taught me the stories of the Bible that would become the foundation for my life and living.

I also remember a lot of fun memories from K-5. I remember the playground and the giant sliding boards that would fry your legs and behind in the summer time. I remember the classroom centers and getting to pretend you were an adult. I remember the class next door had a hammock hanging in it and I thought that was the coolest thing ever.

I remember one of my good friends from 1st grade was an african american kid named Mark Coker and how some of the other kids made fun of him, because he would suck on his middle finger and pointer finger when he was nervous, which was pretty much all the time.

I remember when one of my school/church friends little brother Jeffery got cancer and lost all of his hair. Some of the other kids were bullying him and it hurt my heart so bad that I was ready to take them all on.

I remember Saturday trips to breakfast and yard sales with my Granny Earlene Davenport and hanging out at her flowershop during the week. I remember walking up the sidewalk to Jack Turner’s Barbershop and him pretending to give me a hair cut, just to make me feel like a big man. I remember Wilson’s Five & Dime Store and the neatest little toys and treasures we could find there.

I remember my Pa Albert Harvell and learning how to plant a garden, watch it grow and reap the benefits of hard work. I remember going in the house after snapping peas with my Grandma Sara Harvell and her teaching me how to make biscuits from scratch. One of my favorite memories from their house was the well house and the bucket you could run down and bring up with ice cold water. I especially remember my Pa’s “DIPPER” that hung above the sink, When ever he wanted a drink of water, he didn’t put it in a glass, insteead he ran it in the dipper and took a swig or two.

I have so many prescious memories. I could go on and on and on. That’s the funny thing about memories, once we take the time to start remembering, they come flooding back into our lives. And the beautiful thing is: As long as we are living, we still have the chance to keep making them and remembering them. Enjoy…

What’s In A Name?

My name is Michael Joe Harvell and I can’t think of a better name for myself.

One of my favorite country music singers is Johnny Cash and one of my favorite songs he sings is “A Boy Named Sue!” It’s a song all about a fatherless young man, whose father had named him Sue just before the father decided to disappear out of his life and into nowhere. The boy grew up hard, was made fun of, because of his name and had to get tough to survive. One day, he was sitting in a bar and met his Dad, the man who named him Sue. A fight ensued and son got the best of his Dad. The Dad said: “Before you kill me, let me tell you why I named you Sue!” “It was because I knew life was hard and tough and you were going to have to be to, if you were going to survive.”

Some times I wonder is the name making me or am I making the name and most days, I figure, it is probaby a little bit of both???

So let me share with you the story of how I got the name Michael Joe Harvell: I was born May 9, 1968. My parents could not agree on a name for me. My biological Dad wanted to name me: Ralph Maxwell Hiott III after himself and his Dad. My Mom wanted to name me Harry James Hiott; Harry after her favorite uncle and James after her Father. Neither would agree with the other on the name, so one day my biological Dad came to her with the idea of naming me “Michael Joe Hiott”, Michael after him, everyone called him Mike (I have no idea why?) And Joe after her, because her name was Martha Jo. So that became my name and a few years later, after a divorce, My Mom would remarry and the man she married would choose to adopt me, become my Dad and my last name would change to Harvell.

I have always felt I fit my name and my name fits me. I sometimes think that had I been named Ralph Maxwell Hiott III, I probably would have been a book worm, bratty and entitled. Had I been named Harry James Hiott, then I probably would have become a drugged up musician, looking for my next gig. Instead I was named Michael Joe and I really do feel like it’s who I am…

Michael in the Hebrew language means “One Who Is Like The Lord” and Joe in the American Dictionary means “An Average American”. I’ve always said this combination of names is my testimony in a nutshell: I am an average american, who is trying to be like the Lord…

So, I have enjoyed growing into being Michael Joe Harvell and have been blessed with a pretty amazing life, which I’m still living, learning and loving everyday…