Oops Mom and Dad, Sorry To Disappoint

Graduate from high school, go to college, spend four years trying to figure out what to do. Leave college get a job while working on your Masters Degree. Attain your degree, try to get a better job afterward. Settle into a job, wake up early in the A.M., get to work by 9:00 A.M. Work until your lunch break at 12:00 P.M. Come back form your lunch break, work until 5:00 P.M., then come home. Cook dinner, go to sleep; do this for five days per week. Wake up on Saturday and lounge around, or do shopping. On Sunday, go to church, leave service and go out to eat. Come home and rest until it’s time for you to go to sleep. You do this from your mid/late 20’s until you retire at age 65 years of age. Once you retire spend your days sitting in a rocking chair and then you die. You are expected to live like this and if you don’t, you’re considered irresponsible. But to me, I felt this was not how I want to live my life. I am embarking on my journey of prosperity as well as happiness. I wonder how may people are happy living their day-to-day existence.

My life is something different and sets me aside from the norm. I did all the things up until the point except after undergraduate school, putting myself on a collision course with another path. I graduated high school, went off to undergraduate school, but veered off course once I got to graduate school. Entering graduate school pursuing my MBA, I was still up in the air regarding my future. Finishing my first screenplay during this time period while going on job interviews made me realize my true passion. Filmmaking made me understand this is where I belong as well as writing my books. It gave me the ability to do something that I could not do on a daily job; and that was being honest and open. When you work a day, there is so much censorship that you don’t worry about being an independent writer. You are expected to put on a suit and tie, and conform to the control of a supervisor; who by the way has the freedom you are restricted form having. That freedom they have and control over your life made me realize the construct I would have to work within. It has nothing to do with real structure, but more about a few individuals having a position of control over the majority. And if you even question something you disagree with, you are reprimanded for insubordination for the questioning.

So what do parents have to do with all of this; simple, following your passion is highly discouraged. Parents want their children to go to school, get out, shut up, follow the status quo, get your pay check, and go home. But when you are unhappy regarding your situation, they are puzzled. Everyone expects you to fall in line, but can’t figure out why it’s so depressing. Unlike most, I have decided to follow my passion: filmmaking, writing novels, and photography. You would think people who be behind you, but you receive more discouragement than encouragement. What’s shocking is that your are not hanging around doing nothing, yet you are looked at as some young person wasting your life. Stepping out and creating a career rather than taking a job is seen as some sort of let down. You have not chosen the road most take and because of that you have failed; failed your parents, your family, your friends, and society. How come no one sees your vision? Why is it seen as a waste of life? Because people assume they can’t do it so you can’t, or the difficulty is such that most fail and few succeed.

The reason for the most part that parents are resistant is because taking a job is an easier way out. There is not only a plan, but a process from school to work to retirement. “Play life safe,” they tell you. The only problem with this, is that playing life safe won’t lead to satisfaction in life nor will it lead to higher returns in your career. It’s tough coming from parents because that is what they are suppose to do. It’s their job to be that overbearing because they have been through the greater portion of life. They know what comes with entering the world and what will be expected of you. What’s funny about all of this I have explained, is that in the end, they respect you more when you carve out your future. It’s confusing because not listening to your parents is a sign of disobedience, yet you have to veer off from their guidance sometimes. Why, well they are not living this life, you are. You have to do what makes you happy because your happiness is key to your stability both financially and economically. Trust me, when do succeed at what it is you’re pursuing, they will respect you more. They will know that what you have talked up is not just some pipe dream, but yet a future you have so diligently worked at. And for that they will say I am proud of you.

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Don’t Be Afraid, Just Leap

Standing on the edge of a cliff looking over into the distance, you observe the scenery. The waves ripple on the surface of the water in combination with the wind creating a cool breeze onto land. Down below waves collide with boulders projecting from the ground as well as in the water. Green moss and other plant life cluttered together, surrounding and growing on the boulders. Life from the sea emerges from the waters; some crawling onto land others popping their heads just enough to get a quick breathe of air before going back under. You take a deep breathe as you observe life around you, then you hear a noise from behind. You turn around to see someone running in your direction. You quickly move aside and the person leaps off the cliff. Your hands clasps together over your mouth and your eyes widen. The shock of what you have just leaves you concerned for their safety. You slowly creep toward the edge looking over, and you see them gliding safely with a parachute of their backs. You think to yourself, “Wow, how the hell did they do that?” “What would make them do something so crazy?” “But most of all, I wish I could do the same.” You know what I say, stop wishing and start living. Stop observing the scenery and get into the scenery. As you stand at the edge of the cliff, the base jumper gliding adds something that much more artistic to the backdrop.

These people are so inspiring; the jumpers. We think to ourselves I wish I could do that, I wish I had the courage to jump. But you can’t hope and wish, you have to just do it. See the fear comes from not succeeding and failing the first time you jump. We’re afraid of the bumps and bruises you’ll get when you jump. Let me tell you, the jumper got all those bumps and bruises at first as well. The problem is that we don’t see their bumps and bruises, we see the success of the jump. Sometimes we want to live vicariously through these people because they give us the opportunity to be dangerous without taking the risk ourselves. That’s fine and all, but we want to be more prosperous in life. And in order to prosper, you have to put yourself in position to make things happen; you have to create opportunity for yourself. This means putting yourself in harms way. And that’s when people have a hard time taking that leap of faith. No one wants to smash off the cliff, hit the rocks below, or risk drowning if falling into the water.

Well guess what, these are the risk that the jumper assessed and faced when jumping the first few times. Then, the more they jumped, the more successful they became. Something I hate to hear is, “I’m thinking about,” or “I’ve been meaning to.” Don’t think, do. You say, “Well I have to work a day job.” Fine, then work on your dream on your lunch breaks and in the evening when you get home. You say, “Ok, well I have children.” Fine, work on your goal during lunch break at work, then after your children have been put to sleep. You will be running off of limited sleep, but how bad do you want it. How bad do you want to parachute as well? “Well what about….” and that’s when I look you in the eyes and go, you really don’t want it do you? When you have so great you will do anything to protect it. When you are running on four to five hours of sleep and eating snacks on the go, that is when you will succeed. Don’t get me wrong, I understand your fears, most people can take fear, you don’t want to fall too low that you can’t get recover.

You know what, that is the worry of every successful person. Like I said before, putting yourself in harms way is what you have to do to succeed. Creating value for yourself can’t be done by hoping and wishing. You have to go out and jump; take that leap of faith. I gave you the encouragement to jump. Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go. Oh, you wondering where I’m going, I have a cliff to jump off of; bye.

Walk Away Slowly: Steps to Take When Leaving an Abusive Situation

There are women cross the country in abusive relationships, both verbal and physical. Having a boyfriend or husband that is mentally/physically abusive and/or controlling to the point it creates fear must be handled with care. It’s bad enough that you are being verbally attacked, but once it goes physical you have to learn to back away slowly. Any man who feels comfort in hitting his girlfriend/wife would take it even further eventually. But backing out quickly could put you as a woman in harms way as well. There are immediate means such as police restraining orders or breaking it off face to face. The first action could force him to leave temporarily, but at the end of the day, it’s only a warning and a sheet of paper. The second option of face to face break-ups could place you in an even more dangerous position. Because now he’s in front of you, meaning in arms length. If he’ll strike you in a relationship, then he’ll most definitely do so during a breakup. So as a woman, what do you do when you are with such an aggressive person. There is a third option of bringing others into the situation, but you only put their lives in jeopardy. So there leaves the fourth option; taking steps walk away slowly.

When stepping away from an abusive relationship, you want to do so slowly. What I mean is a multistep process of removing yourself from the person. As psychologically damaging as the abuser, you have to work to be even more psychological and manipulative. For example, a first step would be playing into the man’s control. You cater to the full extent, without question. You ask why, well because this will create distraction with the person. Cook, clean, do whatever to cater to the utmost of your ability and his ability. To him it may appear he has gained full control, but to you this is the first step in removing yourself away from him. This distraction is the time you need to engage in your next step, a plan. Devise a plan for your exit. This plan can come in the form saving money, searching for a new better paying job, and even scouting cities to completely remove yourself. For example, saving money; some women are with men so controlling they don’t even have a voice over their own finances. Learn a skill, a craft, a side gig to getaway for even a short time period. It could be I’m going to the grocery to store to pick up a few things, yet you’re making moves the whole time. Now this can get dicey, especially if he’s keeping tabs on long you’ve been gone. This might be a time to reach out to a trusted person. Anytime you need to run an errand, have them run the errand while you conduct business. An example would be a woman is with a guy who tells her be back in a few hours from running errands for the house. Her side gig is a beautician; meaning she has one hour to make her money, meanwhile her trusted friend is performing the errands. When that time is up, her and the friend meet, swap food, household products, or any other tangibles and proceed on. The errands are complete as her man demands, and she is able to make her money.

Leading into step three, is the saving of your money; bank it. The great thing about banks, is that they are confidential means of hiding money when you are with such an abusive partner. Open a bank account where you will be stashing your money. Oh and a bit of advice, try not to bank at the same institution as the household money. Because even though banks are confidential, they are not absolutely without flaw. You run the risk of someone telling your boyfriend/husband at the bank, “Hey, saw your wife today, or your girlfriend just left not that long ago.” This is not guaranteed to happen, but could potentially happen. Once you have chosen a banking institution begin to routinely dump money into the account. Don’t think of it as hiding money to escape an abusive relationship, think of it as a short term investment in your mental stability and safety. Changing the wording in addition to your thought process before the circumstance of leaving can create a more sense of urgency. When you can’t make a gig, and he gives you money for a task, learn to skim of top by lying. This tends to be a little more dangerous, but if it’s something he has no prior knowledge of it’s possible. What I’m saying is he gives you money to run an errand, you know a place to get it cheaper. All he knows that he sent you to get something for $50, gave you $50, but you know a place that sells it for $30. If the products look similar, buy the cheaper one, pocket the $20 left and save this amount. Remember $20 is nothing, but it’s an investment.

Step four, location scouting is a key aspect of leaving. Research locations where you want to live once you leave. Depending on your situation, it could be the same city, or more severe circumstances may force you to leave to an entirely different region of the country. Scouting can take place anywhere at anytime. The greatness of today’s society that is different than women of the past is the availability of the internet. The internet has made it possible to scout via anywhere. Now, scouting is so vital also if the woman has a child, especially by the man. The good aspect of not having a child is you’re scouting for you, but when a child is involved you’re scouting for two. As a side bar, when in an abusive relationship keep tabs on everything he is saying and doing to you. This means time, dates, what he said, what he did; everything. This way in your escape it’s easier to get away even with your child. As types of legal ramifications can occur with a child, so show proof of why you’re leaving and why your child is safer with you. Also while scouting, research jobs where you will be living, if a kid is involved schools, cost of living, and proximity of help in case the abuser tracks you down. Going down your checklist, nothing should be left to chance.

Step five, is the coming together of finances for moving. This is the stage when you put down the deposit of your apartment, gather furniture, if a child is involved prepare them for their new school, have moving trucks on stand by. All the appropriate essentials need to be in order for your exit, especially leading up to the day of departure. Clothing should be purchased you are in need of a new wardrobe as well as any other household needs. If you’ve save enough for a car, don’t leave in your new car, go to the car and meet it. You don’t want to leave and run the risk of someone telling you significant other, “Hey, I saw your girlfriend/wife leave a _____ car.” “It was a new _____, the color ____ and she had your kid with her.” You travel to the vehicle, then leave, cover your tracks.

Step six, the departure; leave as smooth as your exit plan. When I say smooth, you leave smooth. It should be as simple as getting up for work in the morning. If he leaves first perfect, if not, then you leave, know when he’s gone and return. Have it all planned how you will take your child away if that applies. By the way, the best time to leave with a kid is during the summer months. They are not in school and it’s easier to matriculate into somewhere new starting the year than in the middle of the year. Make sure clothing is near for easy access, and that’s all you leave with. Forget furniture, let him keep it, for you will have your own in route of your new place. Outside of clothing maybe a family heirloom or some photos. As part of the departure, when you leave make sure wherever you go, be sure to contact the police department immediately. Why, well because you inform them you have left your abuser, this way they know ahead of time in case he is successful at tracking you. Another thing, for the women with children, maintain all documents of times and dates of abuse; even photos if useful. Because once again, leaving with a child can cause a host of legal problems. Be prepared to show documents you have accrued, as well as expressing fear of going to police. It’s a gamble, but women have won these cases.

Step seven, is cutting ties with people who could put you in jeopardy of being harmed. People can’t help themselves, and may inadvertently lead him to your whereabouts. Only people who wholeheartedly trust, and under some circumstances you may have to leave everything behind; even some friends and family. Be prepared to do so, be prepared to start over. Remember that it’s for happiness, your happiness, and your emotional stability. Think about your child if there is a kid involved. And finally, always, always proceed with caution depending on the severity of your relationship. Stay safe and proceed forward.

DISHONESTY THE NEW HONESTY

Have you ever wondered why we find it so hard to speak from the heart? It’s almost like the lie sounds so much better than the truth. My understanding is that people tolerate the lie because they have a hard time accepting how someone genuinely feels about them. We want to believe things in life have changed, such as people’s feelings and views on life. For example, we are made to believe that racism has ended, but then when we hear open feelings regarding racism that sound antiquated, we quickly reject them as nonexistence. We want to believe that in our heart of heart that it has changed so we dismiss it or we attack the person. Now the attack of someone is quite interesting. Because instead of having an open conversation regarding the matter, we act as if we don’t want to uncover some internal emotion we may be hiding.

Even comedy has been much subject of debate for the content they present. What’s odd about people being offended by a joke is that what they find funny is offensive to someone else. It all comes down to good is good if it’s good for me. To believe that we live in a society where we want to control each others’ language, while saying things ourselves that someone doesn’t like it so pompous. What us as the individual so important, or better yet what is the rationale behind your words are not offensive but someone else should be silenced. For example, a public figure makes a comment people don’t like and demands are put forth to force an apology. While on the other hand disparaging remarks made about a group of people by that same group against the public figure and the cry of, “People should stop being so sensitive,” is heard. This is why everything is on the table. Everything in context should be discussed in both public and private forum.

Note that I said both public and private. Honest conversation even in private has caused controversy in society today. When things have gotten so bad that conversing at home could get you into trouble, sensitivity is out of home. Then, once everything is in the open, it’s hard to go backward. Once it’s out there for public consumption it takes on a life of its own, but why? Why is what someone says or does in the privacy of their home meant for public consumption? Since when is the discussions we have so important the world needs to know? Who has decided that we’re privy to someone else’s conversations; us that’s who.

That’s right us, the collective. We have moved into this weird area in society of self-policing each other. But we are not self-policing people for serious crimes that are a threat to society, but our language. We are willfully relinquishing our power, turning it over as if we being held at gun point. Why do people self-police language the way we’re doing today? My belief is that we want to act as if we are accomplishing something. Accomplishing something in a world where we are so irrelevant. I may not be able to effect change in my mediocre life, so why not complain a get this public figure to grovel. It means nothing, but at least I accomplished something. People need to not apology, and push back against the language. If not, eventually, then your language will be repressed. And by that time there will be nothing you can do because you have already given up control.

 

PATHS!

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“Which path would you choose?”


 The definition of a path is a track for the sole purpose of treading in a continuous movement. A path can be made for many uses. The most common uses for paths are used for the movement of vehicles, walking, and/or biking. But this post is not for describing the use of paths in the above context. I will be discussing the  various paths one takes in life toward their journey to success. My many paths in life have taken me from athletics to business to writing. I wanted to be an athlete in middle through high school, a business executive in undergraduate school, but ended up wanting a career in filmmaking after college. You may ask, what made me want to become a filmmaker? Let’s just say people you meet in life along the prepare introduce you to a lot. Some of you might want to know more about me, but this post is more about the paths anyone might take as oppose to centralizing the topic on myself.

First and foremost, most people start to think about their projected path  in life when they are in high school. This is the time period when you begin looking for the schools you would like to enroll in for college. Going to a good school can set you up for success in life or failure; or at least that’s what people want you to believe. So naturally, what do most high school students do; constantly stress about their grades. This is an aspect of getting into college, which is having a good GPA (grade point average). But having a good GPA is only a small portion of what it takes to get into college. There’s test scores, volunteer work, work experience, school clubs, and extra curricular activities like sports. Once you have checked all of the previous items off your list, you start to researching a variety of schools. Scouting schools can come in the form of having the school send brochures, visiting the campuses, and/or both. Once senior has arrived, you should already have in mind where you will be going or at least narrowed the down the choices.

Getting into the school is still only the beginning of the process of choosing a path in life. Once your high school graduation comes around, everyone will be talking about where they will be headed off to next semester. Some people will stay close to home, some may go out of state, others might take time off to save money, and you’ll always have the group that won’t attend college. Stepping on campus for the first time is a daunting situation. Just as you were in high school everything around you will appear big at first. You’ll find yourself asking random people how to get around. Some may assist you, knowing they understand the freshman experience, others may see you as more of a nuisance. All this work to get here and your path may still be the same coming from high school.

Once you settle on campus, not unpacking, I mean having spent time at the school; you start to get some understanding of what you want to do with the rest of your life. Traditionally, schools make you wait at least until your Sophomore year to declare a major. Now here is where your path could change once again from high school in college. At this point you are choosing a field of interest for once you graduate college. Declaring a major means that is the career you’re pursuing, or choosing a broad and ambiguous journey. So majoring in biology is not the same as majoring in communication. So, after this you choose that major, in your pursuit toward graduation.

Once you’ve reached graduation the next step is thinking to yourself should I go to graduate school school or go into the job market. If you choose work, you have only a limited time to find a job before the government starts hounding you about school debt. But if you think about choosing graduate school, it should be decision you decide in your junior to senior year. This process is like choosing a university to attend all over again. You get resume, letter of recommendations, grades/GPA, and standardized testing; plus any volunteer opportunities from school. And then if you are accepted, you have the daunting task of narrowing down the schools and maybe even cities to live in for grad school. In my case, I went straight to grad school after undergraduate school. My advice to any of you reading this, plan, plan, plan ahead. School will be over before you know it, life will be staring you in the face. You don’t want to be stuck without any options, but let it be known, whatever path you take be comfortable with your decision. The only regret will be if you live to the end of your life and are not satisfied with the decisions you made.

POVERTY IS MIND NOT JUST MONEY

When I was a child I use to think that poverty was the lack of income a household was able to bring in relative the number of people in a household. It wasn’t until I was an adult until I realized that poverty is more of a mind frame than the money in your pocket. Being raised in a single parent household, I initially didn’t realize I was impoverished. We always had food in the refrigerator, a roof over our heads, and clothes on my sisters and I backs. Before I go into the mind frame of a person, I will allow you to understand my background. Like I said, a mother who raised three children with less than $24,000 income plus a little child support. This qualified us by way of the government as an impoverished family. She made less money necessary to raise a family in the state of Wisconsin. Rent was about $450 – $500, not including utilities, plus food and putting clothes on our backs, she was broke a lot of times. How does the mind frame come into play if all I am focusing on is money?

Well, growing up in my mother’s house we would go grocery shopping. Once we returned home and unloaded the groceries into the refrigerator, she went to the phonebook. She took the phone and contacted the Chinese restaurant and some nights we agreed on pizza or sit down dining. How about that, food in the fridge and eating at a restaurant. Something seemed wrong with that picture once I became an adult. Why would someone order food at a restaurant and spend $30, $40, $50, or $60, when they have food in the fridge? Not only that, living already in poverty, why spend more money in such a useless manner? My mother was raised impoverished herself, and raised her kids the only way she knew how. The problem with doing what you know, is that fiscal responsibility must be more than just what I think I know. Like I said, poverty is a mind frame as well. She went to the grocery store at least once every two weeks. We could have saved an extra $1,000 a year in the household by not doing spending with food in the fridge.

Another way in which she would spend, is taking us to the clothing stores with child support. That in itself could have been cut down by shopping at less expensive stores. My mother wanted us to have a better life than herself so she overcompensated by spending unnecessary money we didn’t have. There is nothing wrong with wanting more for your children, but as time went on, I looked back and realized why this was a problem. In an impoverished community, yet you have new shoes on your feet. The utilities are due, but let’s make arrangements on bills to buy clothes. What this does is negatively effects your credit, thus making it harder to overcome your current economic situation. Had my mother have known by way of being taught about money, we could have had our own home. She could have been a home owner by cutting back on clothes for us as well as restaurant food with groceries at home. So I reiterate, poverty can be a mind frame and not just money.

With all that has been said, people all over the nation make these same mistakes. I live in Harlem, New York, and there are huge lines outside sneaker stores. People are living in a poverty, some homeless, but everyone has the latest technology and clothing. Now as an adult, I look at how I was raised and my current neighborhood, and think to myself. If I were to give everyone in this community $100,000; who would be broke by the end of the year and who would be doing fine. If you were to give $100,000 to a poor family right before Black Friday, I winder how much would go toward their bills versus Christmas gifts. Another move would be who would quit their jobs with a little more. Some people might stop working if you gave them $1 million. One million dollars is not enough to stop working for life, but to a poor person they might think they’re rich. This is why, for instance, the lottery effect exists so much among athletes. They make a substantial amount of money young, and die poor. These athletes don’t understand the value of a dollar, how to properly spend their dollar, nor do they know how their own money work. So, someone else watches their income at the same time they’re spending money. When you have never had money it’s hard to make money, and even harder to keep it when you get it; never knowing what it was like to have it.

In my opinion, the longer you take to build your wealth, the more likely you are to keep your money. You start to be more cognitive about the money you spend. You slowly come out of the poverty mind frame and become fiscally responsible. The problem is that you start to see the mistakes of those around you. They may not fully grasp the concept of fiscal spending or don’t care. These are people you slowly start to lose and at times distance yourselves from because of this mindset. They are the live for today and not tomorrow people. Eventually it manifests itself in the way they live their lives and look at themselves. So in my opinion, spend wisely like there is a tomorrow even if tomorrow never happens.

Politics Is High Level Pimping!

Better jobs, better education; get out there, vote, and make America better. These are the two phrases that we as the American people we hear on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis from politicians. In my opinion, both pimps and politicians are one of the same person. A pimp will tell a woman go stand on the street corner and turn a trick so we can get rich; “we can get rich.” For once, I would like to hear the truth behind the words of those I am suppose to trust. It’s hard to figure out what I frown on the most. Let’s start with the way the politician says better jobs. They say we need to create jobs, but since when do politicians create jobs. Don’t get me wrong, they design policy that allows for people to create jobs, but their legislature does not mean without proper legislature, they lose creativity. The politician serves as the hurdle a creative person must jump over to get to where they have to go in life.

And let’s not forget how politicians throw out how education is something we continue to need yet nothing really changes. Kids going to school and yet have nothing waiting for them as they leave school. But it doesn’t stop our politicians from furthering the encouragement of more school. You go for four years, then a few more years of graduate school, and in between this time gain work experience that only qualifies you for retail or fast food. How come we continue to allow them to play this game with us? We allow them to pimp us because  we either want to believe so bad or the fact that so many people are sheep.

And the healthcare speech is not any better. They stand up and speak about how they’re going to be tougher on the industry. Then they get elected and nothing changes; no matter what political party is in power. No one gets tough on insurance companies, but this guy stands up and promises. I just want for once, for someone to actually stand by their word on their campaign. All I know is the 2016 race is fast approaching and the leader of the free world appears to be one of these same old guys. But who knows, someone might just surprise us, or we will continue to be played by the game.

Until You Walked In Someone Else’s Shoes

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“Don’t be so quick to judge unless you know the journey.”


When you look at the picture before you, you may ask yourselves. Who is the man behind the shoes? Why are his feet so rugged? Where has he been and where is he going? What’s unfortunate about the photo above, is that we typically look at someone’s shoes and judge them by what’s on their feet. The thoughts that initially go through the mind is they must be broke. They must not care about the way they look. But, who ever said someone with rugged shoes don’t care about the way they look. There could be a number of reasons why their feet look the way that they do. I know me, for example, I go through multiple shoes per year. The reason being I walk a lot from work to business meetings to restaurants to home. With that much movement, anyone would purchase shoes throughout the year. There is a reason I do so much walking in the city of New York. I do my best thinking when I am walking around the city. As a first time author as well as a first time filmmaker, the year 2015 has been a busy year for my feet pounding the pavement.

Like the one shoes I bought this year; brown boots from the Amazon.com website. I still remember that  new smell and that new look. What I enjoyed most of all are the compliments for my new boots. After about a month or so, no one looked at my feet and what was once adulation from peers quickly went away. The loss of comments never effected me because the journey taken in these boots are more memorable than the compliments. Walking throughout the city in a fellowship program that I started earlier in the year is what I remember the most. I ran errands for the director/producer, helping him on various projects to the point I wore the bottoms away. This led to me buying another pair of boots, but this time black. These blacks boots were the same brand, just in a different color. I felt like a new man once again as I took my trek into the big city. Going from my job to my fellowship, the soles on these rapidly wore away. So from that point on, it was split toe flip flops sandals and dress shoes.

I often noticed people staring at my feet in sandals, almost wondering why I was not following the pack. Given it was the summer, all around me wore nice sneakers, loafers, and moccasins. Instead of paying for expensive designer shoes, my money went toward my short film I was working on. Oh, and the dress shoes, worn to the core, but the worn look was comforting. It reminded my of not only going to work, but kept me working toward something more. Nice new shoes are refreshing, but a new pair of shoes can in a way be connected contentment. Now, there is nothing wrong with being content, what I’m saying is that it keeps me hungry. When people get new clothes and new shoes, they don’t recognize their current situation, even if the situation is bad. For example, I see people living in poverty stricken communities, but everyone has new shoes. People seem to lose sight of their current position when they have new amenities. I stray from always buying new and keeping old to keep me pushing toward something more.

If by now, you’re still lost as to what I am talking about it’s all about the grind. When you look at someone’s shoes, you never know why they are wearing these shoes. It could be affordability, or it could even be for a purpose. In my case at times it has been affordability, but I also like to keep junk shoes and clothes around because it keeps me wanting more out of life. So why you’re concerned looking down, I am looking forward. Forward at what tomorrow will bring; forward at what life has to offer.

1987: What Can Happen In 365 Days

“1987”

“Were you here?”

1987 was not only the year I was born, but it was year a lot of events took place. As with any year, things take place that are burned into our minds that we never forget. You think to yourself, we as humans have evolved and inhabited this planet for hundreds and thousands of years. How come we can never have 365 days where nothing major happens? Like for instance, the beginning of the year we witnessed the Chadian-Libyan conflict battle in which a brigade was destroyed. That next week 16 people were killed in a train collision bound for Boston from Washington D.C. The rest of the month was no better, witnessing the suicide of  Pennsylvania Treasurer and the defunct of a long standing department store putting many out of jobs.

The month of February could have been promising, but the Unabomber placed a bomb causing injuries to the store owner. Then March was a jump from the previous month when an ocean liner capsizes killing 180 people. The very next day a reported massacre took place in China when nearly 20 Vietnamese were executed on Donggang Beach. Little happened April until mid-May when a United States military ship was hit with an air missile killing 47 sailors. But only 5 days later, the Hashimpura Massacre took place in India where nearly 40 people were rounded up and executed. June proved to be calm, and the majority of July; but then the last day of the month tragedy struck. 400 pilgrims were killed during conflict in Mecca in Saudi Arabia with security forces.

August was a month of even more tragedy than the past two months when the Hoddle Street Masacre took place by a 19 year and claimed the lives of 7 people. 7 days later, Northwest Airlines Flight 255 crashes on takeoff killing 156 people and one child surviving. 3 days later, yet another massacre in England, when a gunman opens fire, killing 16 people including himself. Over the next couple of months issues increased. From a hurricane that killed 23 people and a train collision claiming 102 lives in October; to 11 killed in a bombing in Ireland, 31 killed in London fire, a Typhoon killing over 1,000 people, 159 passengers killed in airline crash, and another airline flight killing 115. Coming into the month of December was another plane crash killing 43.

Now, as with all the bad, there is the good things that took place in a year; and this year is no exception. At the beginning of the year the Dow Jones rises 2,000 points for the first time, as well as scientist eyeing the first supernova in space. At the beginning of the spring, treatments were developed to fight the HIV/AIDS virus in the month of March. Over the next few months our economy was positively effected once again when the Dow Jones closed at 2500 points in the month of July. As the summer wound down, an artificial intelligence conference was held in September in New Mexico. The next month a rallying together of the first National Coming Out Day for Gays and Lesbians are held. Through all the good as well as the bad that took place in the year 1987, for the most part life remained normal. We all know too well the really bad things that happen in life and not the good. Maybe because these are the things that burn in the minds of people the most. But today is the year 2015, slowly approaching 2016; I wonder what the future will hold for mankind.

1% Isn’t About Money, It’s a State of Mind

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“What bracket are you in? What bracket do you think?”


Most of the general population feel that a person that lies in the 1% is someone who makes an income greater than anyone else, yet controls 90 plus percent of the wealth. This is true when looking at how much income someone has or their overall wealth. You’re considered a member of the 1% if you fall in the $300,000 plus bracket. This amount of income vary depending on what city you may live. If you live in a small Midwest town, then you’re doing very well, but in New York City, you’re still in the middle. One may think it’s crazy to consider anyone making this kind of money is middle class. People say if I had that kind of money, the things I could do. How do I feel sorry for an individual making this much money? I only make between 40k and 50k.

Well, in order to make that level of income there are certain skill sets you have to attain. For starters, there’s the environment where you come from or grow up. If you are from an impoverished community chances are you will have a harder time being a member of the 1%. On the other hand, individuals coming from a community where everyone is on average upper middle to upper class will have a higher chance of continuing this path. Why is this; why is it so hard to rise in economic status. One reason is that coming from a much higher income environment, you have opportunities not made available to someone from the lower class. Another reason there is such a vast difference is not only opportunities, but the thought process of the people around them. The mind frame of people in the 1% income is always about going forward, but the lower class can only se what’s in front of them.

So since we know the growing up aspect, what about the educational side of things. Some may believe all you have to do is go to college, get out, and get a high paying job with your degree. The problem with this is two things: 1) college degrees don’t equate to work experience and 2) a degree with no work experience from a job pertaining to your degree is meaningless. Basically what I am saying is that if you go to business school, but only work fast food or retail jobs in undergraduate school, this doesn’t equate to business experience. 99% thinking is what I just described, but 1% thinking is college degree, internships, resume, and references. It’s like applying to college all over again. The only people whose degree outright works for them are doctors and some attorneys. So when people say go to school get your degree, you only listen to them to get the piece of paper, but get involved in other activities as well. Remember that school is only a matriculation into a system of economy; ,meaning fall in line and get a job.

The next level is the job market, which is where one tends to rise in the rankings. Here is the place where people generate their connections and further build their networks. The workforce is also a place where someone can rise in their job if they know the right people. But how do you know the right people if you’re coming from the lower class. This is why it’s important to start building your network in college if you are from the lower class. This will help you land a great job after college by being linked to the right people. Now the right people are those who can help you get your foot in the door when landing that job out of college. Be prepared to kiss a lot of behind and schmoozing as well. Just working hard doesn’t work because the hardest working Americans usually are the poorest. Meaning going to work eight hours per day coming home and doing the same the next day for five days a week is not enough to persevere. You must do more, go to company events, socialize with upper management, get in where you fit in so to speak. Like I said before, prepare to do some serious schmoozing.

A lot of people want to excel and brings themselves up to another level. The only thing is that they don’t understand the many obstacles and games one must play to reach that next level. But with any level we reach, we aspire to move up to yet another place. With every level comes new hurdles and new barriers entry. So, let me ask you; you still think being 1% is about or how one thinks? Managing your money not letting your money manage you. All these things I named are what can either make you a one percenter or not. If you’re comfortable where you’re at fine, a lot of people are in this country. But if you’re not happy or not comfortable, get ready for the long road ahead of you.

Nature: Ever Wonder Their Intellectual Capabilities?

You ever wonder what the thought process of creatures living in the natural world might consist of on a daily basis? Better yet, do they think or operate on a much higher level than we do as humans? As people, we feel that we are the better species because of the infrastructure we manage to build or the many languages we are able to speak. Yet there is still the lingering question, “Are we really the most intelligent species on the planet?” Let’s take a look at the human species, at what we build and how we build things. If you look at a house for instance; over time, homes have taken on so many forms. In the beginning of time we aimed to make shelter out of the caves we dwelled in, but today homes are highly innovative. A home can consist of everything from a sewage system to expel waste, fully functional basements that are for entertaining, and back patio areas for preparing meals. If you are in the upper echelon of society one can even build a home theater in their home, a bowling alley, or a ball room for entertaining guest.

Crafting a home makes us highly skilled, but does that equate into intellect. I believe that humans in whatever time period are only as smart as the top few percent in the past before that period. Meaning, the ingenuity of the average person today, is an accomplishment equal to that of the smartest people in the past. Only a few chosen percent of people on earth are what I describes as possessing intellectual capital. The majority of people on earth are end users. So, with that said, I don’t feel we are the most intellectual, but when it comes to survival of the fittest, we can’t be overcame through battle by any other plant or animal. I don’t think we are the most fit to survive as humans, but higher on the food chain in case of times of conflict. But still, none of these things are intellect driven actions.

Well, intellect is defined as the ability to learn and reason. Wait a minute, humans are not the only ones that can learn and reason. To learn is to acquire knowledge and to reason is to make sense of something. This means viruses, plants, and animals are intellectual . Viruses are intellectual such as AIDS which can learn, it adapts, it mutates. It may not seem like an intellectual being, but it is one of the most deadly viruses known to man with no cure. I wonder what do they think about the world around them. Meaning if our planet is what we live in, then our bodies are a world of its own to viruses. AIDS attacks the body with a vengeance until we die, and then there is nothing to host off of anymore. I would compare this relationship to locust, except locust move on to the next crop field, while the viruses die. In addition, viruses make rational decisions and are quite calculated. They are rational decision makers because they attack the cells of the body for themselves to thrive off of to live. This is quite rational, now on the other hand, calculated decision making is what viruses do as well. AIDS attacks red blood cells, sending a signal to bring white blood cells, then the AIDS virus obliterates both cells; weakening the immune system.

The virus example makes them very intellectual in their pursuit to survive. But plants and animals are intellectual as well. Plants think and learn in ways that enable them to thrive in their ecosystem. For example, trees catch fire; while we call it a tragedy, trees need to do this, which is natural. Sometimes they need to clear the area for new life to come about. Animals learn and think by way of experiences and natural occurrences as well. Animals gathering food and hibernating makes them more intellectual than us as humans. When we see them gathering food, it’s cute and amusing, but by gathering these eatables they are ahead of us. We don’t start preparing until winter is almost here.

I guess these are lessons to be learned. When we observe nature, to us they are the lesser, but in reality they are fast at work. Only in times when we are not productive do we take a moment to acknowledge these creatures at work. Or maybe it’s just me noticing these things in our natural world. Maybe I’m the only one studying, wondering, hoping these plants and animals think and learn the same as we do.

Windows: Go Out, Don’t Just Look Out.

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What seems far-fetched is actually closer than you think.


Most of us spend our entire lives wondering what’s out there for us. We live our lives with the what ifs in life. What if I followed my passion? What if I asked that person out on a date? What if I would have applied to that school of my choice? We look from a far, not realizing how attainable the things we want most really are in life. The reason being that taking chances are scary because we fear failure. Failure makes us feel uncomfortable because no one wants to fall flat on their face. No one wants to look embarrassed in front of their family or peers. But like the best selling author Marianne Williamson once said, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.” “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” This quote is quite interesting because we think that most people fear failure as I explained previously, but Marianne opened my mind to the idea of success being terrifying.

Success is something we never consider when not attempting to act on our wants in life. Success is scary because the more you achieve the more people want from you. If you fail, people tend to fall way down; which is why we purposely sabotage ourselves sometimes. We don’t want to set ourselves up to fall too hard, so we ignore and put aside our possible achievements so as to not look too bad in front of others. The other reason to fear success is because we don’t want others around us to feel less than because their talents may not be up to par with ours. This is what Marianne Williamson meant by, “There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so others won’t feel insecure around you.”

Great quote, have you ever felt uncomfortable in an environment where people stare at you while someone praises your work or success? It can make the person being praised feel awkward because the people in their presence might not be at the same level of the praised. This feeling couldn’t be anymore wrong, actually most people are inspired by the praise the praised are getting. The confidence of as well of a successful person will give others the feeling that they can go out and achieve the same things as their counterparts. I myself have dealt with the idea of not wanting to achieve out of fear; fear of not continuously living up to everyone’s expectations, fear of running out of steam, and fear of people wanting something from me I am unable to provide for them.

We all have reasons for why we don’t pursue dreams, and sit on a window seal and watch others pursue from afar. Looking from far away seems a lot easier; there isn’t as many let downs in life. That’s right, play things safe, go to work, get your check every two weeks, and let that be it. But in the back of our minds we think what if. What if I pursue my dreams? Well the choice is yours, to pursue or not to pursue. But remember, no one is stopping you from pursuing your dreams. The only one that’s stopping you from doing anything is you.