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Dr. J Thomas Smith

Source: Dr. J Thomas Smith / Radio One Houston

Getting excited over major elections is very normal. People support one candidate over another based on whom they prefer and identify with and how that individual’s policies could benefit them.

There are significant issues in local and state elections. They vary depending on the city or county in which you live. The key national issues include criminal justice and incarceration, cyber security, education and college affordability, the economy, the environment, health care and the cost of drugs, social security, Medicare and other entitlements, background checks for the purchase of firearms and religious issues including prospective Supreme Court nominees. It is imperative that we study the issues and be clear on our position and who best advocates for us.

Make no mistake, all of these are important issues that will affect society as a whole.  The election of Trump or Clinton will have a definite effect on the economy and the social issues in American society for many decades to come. Will either take these issues and craft achievable resolutions or will the issues  be made worse by the elected candidate?

Once you have done your work and determined who will be the best candidate for you, you’ve done all you can until you vote.  Early voting begins in Texas on October 24th. I encourage you to vote early and to take others to the polls with you.

Take Control of Your Life

Let’s face the truth. On November 9th, there will be a new administration headed for Washington, D.C. There will be nothing anyone can do about that for at least four years.  But we can do something about our personal circumstances.

Within the circumstances in which you find yourself, only YOU have control of how you navigate. The extent to which you progress will be determined by how quickly you accept and embrace this truth. Within the laws and the economy of the nation, you are the “captain of your fate.”  Do not put all of your faith in the new administration. Within the circumstances that you control, no one but you can make your life better or worse.

The moment you realize this truth, you will begin to reflect on what you can do for yourself.  That should put an end to your stress, too.  At that moment, YOU become the winner.  You win because you will have greater faith in yourself and your determination to succeed through hard work and continuous personal improvement. But, to stay in the game we have got to continuously improve in what we do and we have got to stay healthy. Let’s focus briefly on those two elements of your success plan.

Improve your skillsIf you focus on acquiring new skills, or improving the ones you have, you will have a greater opportunity to get a job — or a better job. This will enable you to provide a better life for yourself and your family. You might be able to start your own business and perhaps possess skills that put you in demand.

With a new focus, you will not need to concern yourself about jobs being moved to China, Mexico, Asia or anywhere else in the world. With proper skills, you will be able to make a living regardless of what happens to the economy.

Improve your healthIt doesn’t matter whether Trump or Clinton becomes president. If a person is obese and living an unhealthy lifestyle, they will still be the same in 2017. The only exception is that, if nothing changes, they may end up getting diabetes too.

Focus on your health and vote for the candidate whose health care policies will be most beneficial for you.  At the same time, keep in mind that you should do your best to be active and engage in clean eating. The burden is yours to be responsible for your own health.

Paying attention to one’s health is where a lot of people drop the ball. They allow their health to deteriorate to a point that has them in constant pain or discomfort.  Then they worry and get stressed out over medical bills and how Washington is not providing enough help.

Education Requires Effort

It is important that we embrace the concept of lifelong learning.  If you have children, lay the foundation for them to get a good education. Education requires effort and many young people today are so absorbed by superficial things that they disregard their academic studies or come to believe that it is not necessary.

Help your children to recognize the value of being well-prepared, well-educated and well-rounded persons who avoid short cuts. With the proper qualifications and credentials, life will be happier and flow smoother.  Those qualifications can’t be given to you, they must be earned.

Success is a Mindset

It does not matter who is in the Oval Office.  Successful people will consistently succeed and prosper using their own energy, creativity, effort and sacrifice. These are the individuals who feel no stress over what happens if a particular politician gets into office. They focus on the things that they do control

These people quietly do the best they can, moving forward with what they have from where they are.  Donald or Hillary will not be in power forever. However, what you do consistently, today and all of the tomorrows that follow will determine how good a life you will lead in the future. This is too important to place in any politicians hands.  Change your thinking and you will change your life.  You will eliminate the stress and be in control of your own life and destiny.

 J Thomas Smith is host of “Sunday Morning Live” on “The Real Sound of Htown” KMJQ/Majic 102.1 (9-11 cst). He is an attorneyauthorkeynote speaker and mental health consultant. Your comments are welcome at or Follow on Twitter @drjtsmith102 on and