Friday, April 6, 2018
I find myself sitting here before sunrise trying to get my mind right for the day. I'm finally at a place where I can just relax and not worry about a thing. Honestly, I am feeling the best that I've been in the last several weeks. I feel like I'm finally starting to break free from a few things that have weighed me down. Although, I don't know how quickly I can be completely free, I know I'm on the right path. If I've learned anything, I know that life sometimes needs to break you down in order to get you back on track. Over the last couple of months, I've experienced every emotion that I could handle. I've been tested on many levels with my personal relationships, professional relationships, and the like. What I've grown to realize is that a lot of our misunderstandings result from an inability to see things from another's perspective. We can all sit here and say, "That we can understand what a person's going through and why they feel they way they do." And in most cases, I don't think that's true as I believe we often times blur the lines of empathy and understanding. Not really sure where I'm going with this, but I got quite a few things on the brain right now. Strictly from my perspective, I have quite a few layers to get through to understand how I feel. What I'm about to say, it's pretty much my reality so take it with a grain of salt. This is me: African American Male(black) Child of divorced parents Big Brother Uncle Godfather Moved to Germany at the age of 6 Returned to USA to live at 18 College Graduate Racially Profiled on more than one occasion This is merely a snapshot of a collection of things that have played a part in shaping my experiences in life. There are many things that I've done that people could relate to, but one can not relate to all. Much like myself, you have a lot that you've experienced that maybe people can't relate to. It's for this reason that I'll always say that unless you've been in a person's shoes or can see everything through their lenses that you can't appreciate why they feel the way they do. The older I get the more I'm learning to appreciate the the complete perspective of all situations. Whether it's parents, friends, or the like they can try to shield you from things based on their experiences, but there is a catch. The landscape that they experienced those things in might be slightly different and how you are affected just might not be the same. I say this in full confidence as it reminds me to think about the world we live in. On paper we live in a world where we are one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all. From my perspective, I understand the words yet my experiences still tell me that we still have work to do. One day I hope that many perspectives can change as people learn to understand that all of our experiences will never be the same. Unless you were in a position all your life where you were taught to be 10 times better, knew that you had to always have an edge, or knew that someone was always looking for a reason make you the example you just might not get it. As convoluted as my thoughts may be, I used myself as example of what many of us may go through trying to be understood. Without knowing how it feels to be passionate about some things based on experiencing them yourself and being directly impacted by them how would you understand? In the words of Bartholemew J. Simpson, "It's a Bart thing, and you wouldn't understand!" Any questions? As you go forward with your day, recall your experiences and think about who might understand your perspective and why. Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE network.
Thursday, April 5, 2018
As I sit here thinking about where I've been, I'm beating myself up because I'm far behind on my writing. I was reminded recently that I had a special gift and it's a part of my purpose. Walk in your purpose young man they said, so here I am. Not really sure the road that my thoughts are taking me right now, but I can tell you it's going to be interesting. Back in the day, all of America used to be tuned in to the show 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' and we can all remember those famous lifelines. Phone a friend, 50/50, & Ask the Audience. I am using this as an illustration of how most people deal with situations in this day and age. In some form or fashion we are using lifelines in a lot of our day to day activities/decisions. Lifeline: 1) a rope or line used for life-saving, typically one thrown to rescue some in difficulties in water or one used by sailors to secure themselves to a boat. 2) a thing on which someone or something depends on or which provides a means of escape from a difficult situation. As I think about the definition, I have thoughts that form in my head about our perspectives on lifelines. You have people that will reach out for a lifeline and those that will throw out a lifeline. There are times in life that you may find yourself in both roles. Phone A Friend Lifeline - We all have someone or several people that we can pickup the phone and reach out to when we have something going on that we feel we can't move forward without having them involved in the conversation. 50/50 Lifeline - You put yourself in a situation to where you've narrowed down your choices to make a decision, yet you still aren't quite sure which direction to go. You feel the need to reach out and get a little advice based on a couple options that could work for you. Ask the Audience Lifeline - In the age of social media, we find that a lot of people will put feelers out to see what people think about what they have going on. It's a safe way for some to ask for help or even check in to see if others have similar thoughts. Lifelines are an important part of our lives, but there are some that are very selective about giving/taking lifelines. I completely understand the reasoning in most cases, as I know some people who lowkey will give you a lifeline with strings attached. If you aren't doing it out of love, then I honestly don't want it. And then there are those that feel that they will take a lifeline from someone who is financially successful or known by the people. Essentially taking the lifeline because they believe it makes them accepted. Regardless of what you have going on in life right now, you'll always have the opportunity to give a lifeline to someone. Whether you believe it or not there's someone out here that needs that word of encouragement or that shoulder to lean on to regain balance. Or maybe it's you that needs the lifeline? Did you ever think that might be it? Answer that one and see what you got then.
Monday, April 3, 2017
Let's just say I'm overdue for sitting down to dump everything that's floating around in my head and hit the reset button to allow some new thoughts to come in. Over the course of 3 or 4 months, I've thought I was ready to let my thoughts flow but something always seemed to make me stumble unable to complete a thought. Within the last several days, I've experienced a few things that have influenced my thoughts more than normal lately. I'm sure this quote I used earlier, brought where I wanted to take my thoughts to fruition. "What do the right people want more than almost anything else? They want to be part of a winning team. They want to contribute to producing visible, tangible results. They want to feel the excitement of being involved in something that just flat out works." Jim Collins If you're anything like myself maybe you are thinking who are these right people?? Chances are you may know a few. Once you've identified what these people look like, would you be able to say that a lot of their characteristics are similar? While you ponder on that, it gets me to outlining my thoughts on the Purpose of Your Presence. Lately, I'm being directed to be more focused on seeing the whys in all of my interactions and activities. I'm trusting the design of my life and there's a learning opportunity in everything no matter how I feel about it. It seems like everything for me started to hit home while I was enjoying my birthday dinner with my brothers back in January. We were talking about life and I remember big brother saying, "Jr, be where your feet at!" In that moment, I understood it but it's taken me dealing with a few things after then to truly appreciate it's meaning. Doesn't matter how you spin it from Carpe Diem or Live in the Moment, it's a mindset about enjoying the moment as the next one just may not be the same. It's all about the power of choice and we can choose to enjoy the moment or choose to attempt to enjoy another one down the road. There's no better time than right now, but if you want to take the risk and wait then so be it. Take a look around you and tell me what you see. I'm willing to bet you can see those who are merely known by their presence and those that are remembered according to their purpose. Makes you wonder huh?? Are you known simply by your presence or your purpose? Or maybe you need to get back to me on that one? I'm challenging myself as I write this to do more than just be present. It's time to walk in your full purpose and have your presence felt. It's time out for merely being present and accounted for without living in your purpose. Maybe you're not in the right environment? Maybe you're not in the right job? Or maybe you're not in the right relationship? It's very possible to be present and not even being close to fulfilling your purpose. I believe in there being a reason for everything, but sometimes you have to have the courage to move differently just to be more purposeful. That's only if you truly desire to be. I can ask myself over and over why I'm here right now doing some of things the way that I do. I've come to realize daily as long as I'm challenging myself and others to think deeper that I'm living in my purpose. It was never about my physical presence, but how impactful the presence of my thoughts/words can be. It's been confirmed for me as when I'm silent those that appreciate my presence notice that they're missing something. I can only tell you from experience that you should live in the moment and move according to the design of your life as all things will fall into place. Sooner or later you'll fully realize the purpose of your presence and when it happens everything that you went through to get there will all make sense. Be where your feet at as you live life, be phenomenal, and enjoy the balance of your day!
Sunday, August 23, 2015
It's been a downright scorcher in the Valley for the last several weeks as we've been under a severe heat advisory. I'm not surprised that the heat has been turned up on me in a few areas of my life. I've had a few thoughts on the brain for at least 10-12 weeks that I was still having a little trouble wrapping my mind around fully. I think I've finally gotten through a few experiences that are finally going to allow me to make sense of everything. So basically my thoughts have been revolving around how acceptance & rejection exist in every aspect of our lives daily. Basically, I reached a point where I was starting to feel that I was experiencing a tremendous amount of personal/professional rejection. It would have been very easy to get into a funk about everything going on around me, but I transitioned into learning mode. Every experience for us is an opportunity to learn about ourselves or about others. Maybe, what was really going on was the fact that I've yet to fully realize who I am & what I should really be doing in life. I know what I'm passionate about, but I've still been hesitant about pursuing it 100%. I'm further convinced that I'm getting closer to breaking out of my cocoon to take flight as a wonderful butterfly. I just been over here marinating for a bit. Now I can tell you that my thoughts have been stuck on all things dealing with acceptance/rejection on many different levels for me personally as well as professionally. I've seriously transitioned from why not me to it's okay that they don't understand who I am. When the time is right and the opportunity presents itself, I'll be ready to embrace all that's for me. Acceptance/Rejection How often do you ask yourself why weren't you the chosen one? Did you ever stop to think that maybe you weren't chosen cause they couldn't handle all that you were? “One of the hardest things in life is watching the person you love, love someone else.” “Human beings, like plants, grow in the soil of acceptance, not in the atmosphere of rejection” John Powell How does it make you feel when you think you've been overlooked or passed over? It's okay to be disappointed, but how long do you stay there? “Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.” “It's easy to cry when you realize that everyone you love will reject you or die.” Chuck Palahniuk There will always be acceptance/rejection for you in life, but it's all about how you handle it. Did you realize that some of the most successful people of our time were rejected numerous times before their breakout moment? So rest assured that everything you're dealing with a test to ensure you're ready for all that is about to be bestowed upon you. “When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” Peace Pilgrim “I think all great innovations are built on rejections.” Louis Ferdinand Celine Are you in an environment to hold you down through it all? Are you aware of who your confidants are? Or do you have more constituents? “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” “I take rejection as someone blowing a bugle in my ear to wake me up and get going, rather than retreat.” Sylvester Stallone The more you experience, the more you begin to understand who you are. Life teaches us a lot and over time we better understand the timing of a lot of our moments of acceptance/rejection. “As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you - the first time around.” Oprah Winfrey “You've got to love this business. You have to be able to take rejection.” Jessica Biel Whether you're completely accepted by the masses should never matter cause you've got to own who you are. Hold yourself accountable before the world does and you'll find that life just feels better. How many times have you felt you were hitting the wall only to find that the greatest opportunity of your life was right around the corner? “There comes a time when you have to stand up and shout: This is me damn it! I look the way I look, think the way I think, feel the way I feel, love the way I love! I am a whole complex package. Take me... or leave me. Accept me - or walk away! Do not try to make me feel like less of a person, just because I don't fit your idea of who I should be and don't try to change me to fit your mold. If I need to change, I alone will make that decision. When you are strong enough to love yourself 100%, good and bad - you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.” Stacey Chartern There's a possibility that none of what you read resonated within your being, but there's still a small chance that one thing here touched you enough to make a small change. Here's to a great start to your week. Live life & be phenomenal.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
It's not quite summer yet, and it already feels like it's going to be quite a hot one in the Valley of the Sun. Although, it was a scorcher, it didn't stop it from being a great Saturday. I woke up feeling some type of way about a few things as a ton of things floated around my mind. I would say that it makes perfect sense at this time, because I have definitely been slacking in a few areas. Let's just say, I've been inspired again to sit down and put a few thoughts on paper. Seems as though I haven't actually written anything since last year, and I think it has a lot to do with where I am right now. Everything pretty much was put in perspective after hearing on more than one ocassion where are your thoughts and why haven't you written anything recently? The longer I live, the better I understand how important it is to have an amazing support system. I am beyond blessed in who I have decided to surround myself with and who has decided that I should be surround by them. Now that I've gotten that off my chest, maybe I should share what's been on my mind. It's funny how the simplest things make the most sense, but we often forget about how important being brilliant at the basics is. I was having a conversation yesterday with DNICE yesterday about discipline and it really had me thinking. What does discipline mean to you? How disciplined are you? "Lack of discipline leads to frustration and self-loathing" Marie Chapian "We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons." Jim Rohn So as I started to think about discipline, I began to wonder myself about how disciplined I was. I realized that I have not been disciplined enough to the things that will allow me to fulfill my purpose in life. What is it that causes us to lose our discipline? How do retrain ourselves to be disciplined? "It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled uss to follow through." Zig Ziglar "Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals." So now as my thoughts continue to form about being disciplined, seeing how it influences your successes personally and professionally, I think I've got the blueprint to life. What are we showing discipline to? Why are we disciplined to do some things and not others? What are the things that we should be the most disciplined at? "Discipline is remembering what you want." David Campbell "If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. This is the most basic kind of peace work." As simple as this statement may be it seems like it is a hard thing for us to do; KISS method "Keep it simple stupid!" Simplicity at it's finest and it's really hard to believe at times how simple life really can be if we allow it to be. Some of the most important lessons we could learn in life, we learned as children, but we aren't disciplined to practice those lessons all the time. The Golden Rule or "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," should be a part of our daily lives. Are you disciplined enough to follow the Golden Rule? "In your relationships with others, remember the basic and critically important rule. If you want to be loved, be lovable." "Consideration for others is the basic of a good life, a good society." Confucius I know for a fact that if I can get back to being brilliant at the basics I can see positive changes in my personal and professional life. I'm not going to say I am outright terrible, but I do believe if I get back to the core of what has made me who I am, then I'm on the right track. In terms of support system and our relationships, the people that care about us the most, won't hesitate to let us know that we aren't on our A game. How are you keeping yourself disciplined? Are you keeping yourself in the right environment to remain disciplined? "Many of life's circumstances are created by three basic choices, the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you choose to be with; and the laws you choose to obey." Charles Millhuff "Here is the basic rule for winning success. Let's mark it in the mind and remember it. The rule is: Success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be in is the support of other people." David Joseph Schwartz In this day and age, I do believe that our legacies will be defined according to the discipline we will be able to instill in our youth. We have to do a better job of teaching them to be brilliant at the basics and everything falls in line. Let us challenge the future leaders of tomorrow to think about about where they want to be and have the discipline to get them there. Well maybe first, we have to be disciplined enough to use our own talents wisely. "Discipline is the refining fire by which talent becomes ability." Roy Smith "One of the basic causes for all the trouble in the world today is that people talk too much and think too little. They act impulsively without thinking. I always try to think before I talk." Margaret Chase Smith Let today be the day that you are inspired to do something different than you did yesterday. Live life and be phenomenal in all you do.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Fall has arrived and we can all welcome the temperature change that this season brings. In just a matter of months 2013 will be history and I can only ask where did the year go. It seems like just yesterday, that we were embracing the new year. If you know me you know that it really doesn't take much for my mind to get to racing. For the last couple of days there have been some conversations and some things I've experienced that really made me say Hmmmmm. Somehow or another, actions and intentions have stuck in my head as I have developed some very deep thoughts on the subject. Take some time and think about this, "Why is it that you do what you do?" How do people view your intentions? How do people view your actions? Do you know how you lose your audience when your intentions and actions differ? “Good intentions are at least, the seed of good actions; and every one ought to sow them, and leave It to the soil and the seasons whether He or any other gather they fruit” William Temple “The more you are willing to accept responsibility for your actions, the more credibility you will have." Brian Koslow “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou “Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Watch your words, for they become actions. Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny." What is it that you said that you were going do but haven't yet? The intentions are there, but what is keeping you from taking action? Do you believe your intentions are self-serving? Or are they to serve others? “For an athlete to function properly, he must be intent. There has to be a definite purpose and goal if you are to progress. If you are not intent about what you are doing, you aren't able to resist the temptation to do something else that might be more fun at the moment." John Wooden “I never worry about action, but only about inaction." Winston Churchill “Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world." Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe Maybe you are like myself and life has taught you to be a little skeptical about people based on your past experiences. Am I the only one that has thoughts in the back of their mind when the phone rings or someone randomly stops in to say hello? I am really starting to think that I am not the only person that questions every little thing that people do as so many people are so self serving that it makes you want to distance yourself from them. Don't get me wrong, I do understand that you have to be self serving to a point because at the end of the day you have to lookout for yourself. “The man who is intent on making the most of his opportunities is too busy to bother about luck.” B. C. Forbes “Before speaking, consider the interpretation of your words as well as their intent.” Andrew Alden “A truth that's told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent." William Blake Believe it or not based on your purpose in life you can still be self serving and impact other people's lives positively. Self serving isn't always a bad thing as think of this example of your purpose in life is helping others and you create opportunities to give back and do things that make you feel good. When it's all said and done no person will be judged on his intentions, but our actions will be how we will be remembered. How does life look for you when your intentions and actions correspond with one another? How does life look for others when your intentions and actions match? “Let your intentions be good - embodied in good thoughts, cheerful words, and unselfish deeds - and the world will be to you a bright and happy place in which to work and play and serve" Grenville Kleiser “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me.” Erma Bombeck Look around and see who you have surrounded yourself with. Does your circle reflect the life that you are ready live? Are the people you have around you the right ones to check your intentions? Your actions?? “Sometimes the people whom we've know for only a short amount of time have a bigger impact on us than those we've known forever." “A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone's feelings unintentionally." Oscar Wilde This is the only life that you will ever be given, so go out and live it the best way you know how. Take chances and live with no regrets as it is your time as it always has been. Live life, be phenomenal, and remember #positivemovementsforwardalways. And I ask you again, "Why is it that you do what you do?" Maybe your answer is a little clearer now.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Thursday Morning Thoughts on Being at the Intersection of Anticipation, Preparation, and Determination 9/19/13
So this weekend was pretty amazing as this is truly one of my favorite times of the year. Cooler temperatures are ahead as well as football is starting to heat up. I can honestly say that both my Crimson Tide and Arizona Cardinals definitely gave me a reason to smile as they both were victorious. If you know anything about me there's nothing that I look forward to more than football season and football food. You should have known that I was going to work food in there one way or another. It's by no surprise that hearing all the hype and commentary before, during, and after the highly anticipated Alabama Vs Texas A&M football game put a few thoughts in my mind that had me in deep thought for awhile. Not really sure if I have connected all the pieces in my life right now that lead me to think about life at the intersection of anticipation, preparation, and determination. What are you anticipating? What are you prepared for? Why are you determined? “Such is the state of life, that none are happy but by the anticipation of change: the change itself is nothing; when we have made it, the next wish is to change again. The world is not yet exhausted; let me see something tomorrow which I never saw be" Samuel Johnson “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” “Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe." Gail Devers Believe it or not the concepts are probably intertwined in many aspects of our lives if we take a step back and look at things. Was it worth the anticipation? Were you prepared for it? How determined were you to see things through? “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race" Calvin Coolidge “Luck is a crossroad where preparation and opportunity meet” “Our and our behaviour are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based." Deepak Chopra Let's be honest, we all have the same amount of time in any given day, but how are you using your time? What is it that separates you from some of the most successful people in the world? Were they more prepared? “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” “If your're not practicing, somebody else is, somewhere, and he'll be ready to take your job."Brooks Robinson “An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing." Samuel Smiles Sometimes in life I have found that we have anticipated things that we may have been ill prepared for, but for one reason or another we remained determined to have those things. Maybe it worked out or maybe it didn't, but you can't say that there wasn't an opportunity to experience something that you could learn from. Do you ever think that maybe we focus so much on what didn't happen that we lose sight of what actually did? What does being at the intersection of anticipation, preparation, and determination mean to now? What have you realized or what are you starting to realize? “Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences." Norman Cousins “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." Albert Einstein “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity." Henry Hartman Stop and take a moment to appreciate this moment for what it actually is, cause no matter how bad you want to see it again you won't. Live life and enjoy every moment. I can't tell you enough to enjoy time you have with your family, friends, and those you care about as life is truly too short. I say this as I ask you to send prayers up for my friend Tammy and her family with the recent passing of her sister.