STOLEN AMBITION: WHAT IF THE WOMEN OF THE PAST COULD HAVE HAD THE OPTIONS OF TODAY

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“What little they had made way for a lot today.”


My mother was born in the year 1960, making her the last of the baby boom generation. This was the first generation where men were coming home from the war and suburbs were being built up all across the country. Mass marketing and advertising was introduced and the influence of entertainment was taking hold. Why was so much going on during this time period? Well, it was because this was an era of mass population growth in the United States. Jobs were in abundance and the men who came home from World War 2 were settling in and with their wives building large families. But there was something else that was prevalent during this time period. And that is the fight which was taken to the streets by women all across the country along with the civil rights movements. Women were expected to act a certain way at times outside the realm of their choice.

It makes you think that what if these women were born in today’s society. How much would they have been able to accomplish had they had that push that women have today? My mother recently showed me a photo of her when she was a teenager running track and field. A sport that I took part in myself at a young age. Only difference between me and her is that, not only am I a man, but the encouragement I received was different than her generations. Girls were told to “shut up” and “keep quiet” when expressing their goals and ambitions. Ambition was for the boys, and staying at home was for the girls. It makes you think; how many of those house wives back decades ago often dreamed when being at home all day. What were their dreams when they would be cleaning floors or preparing meals for the family.

These were thoughts I never got a chance to ask my grandmother or great grandmother that I could ask my mother. I would have loved to ask my great grandmother, before you married my great grandfather what did you dream about in life. Because women today don’t have all these goals and women in the past didn’t have them. It’s just that women were not expected to do anything in life. I was an adult when my grandmother died, I wish I could have asked her what were her goals as well. Just so I could get some clarity into what life was like living with all of this bundled up inside. Asking them what it was like to not be able to do what you wanted to do.

See, in the end, so many young women say there is still a lot of work to accomplish for the women of today. But in the past, they had it much worse, even with the good times. I guess that’s why I push so heavy at my goals because my mother never got her chance to shine like she wanted at a young age. So many women at that time had so much potential to be great, but greatness was not an option. And for the ones who stood out front despite the lack of encouragement, it gave way to so many today.


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PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: WHY DO WE FEAR THE PURSUIT

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“Race to the finish line of life.”


As I have stated before in previous posts, I came to New York City from a small city in the Midwest. Population sat at around 80,000 people and very little diversity. Then after college, I decided to make the leap and come to the east coast. At first, I was just going to attend graduate school and get a job after that while writing my screenplays as a hobby. Yet while going for MBA, I realized that I wanted more from my writing. So much more that I kind of put my MBA studies on the back burner and focused on writing my scripts while working my part-time jobs. And since then, I have written close to ten full length feature scripts, two short film scripts that I shot into short films, self-published two books, and currently contributing to two blogs of mine. Am I close to my goal just yet, not quite. But I am a lot closer than I was five years ago.

The reason I am writing this posts is to try to give people an insight into not only my life goals, but following my vision. And I strongly encourage you to do the same. I’ve always wondered what is it that make people so afraid to pursue their dreams. Is just about the talent, or is it something more? Is it the fear of failure or worried what others will think of them? Maybe it’s the peer pressure or the push back from family. Whatever the case people are terrified to live their lives. They dread stepping out into the world and being the best them. And at times for good reason; who would want to pursue a career just to fall completely short of what they’ve always wanted. No one does. But how will you ever know if you never take the steps to pursuing your dreams. It’s a lot easier said than done; but is it really.

You see, society places these expectations on us to live by. And when you fall short of those expectations, then you have to hear about it. Hear about it in the form of, “I told you so.” And that’s the biggest pain that no one wants to endure. No one want to hear those words coming from another person’s mouth. So to keep from looking bad in front of others, we typically play life safe. Sitting back, we watch others who weren’t afraid, and say, “What if.” Or, “Had I have done this or that, how would my life have turned out.” Regrets are such a big part of life because you can never get that time back. Once tomorrow is upon us, yesterday is an event that will never be recovered. Just hope that the next day is better today and yesterday. But let’s say for instance, you do go for what’s yours in this world and by some chance you get yours.

For starters, don’t expect people to be happy for you. You’re going to get hate from all directions. But that is because they are the population of people who either lack the abilities that you have, project their poor decisions on to you, or they have allowed too much time to pass for them to pursue their own dreams. So in the end, your pursuit of happiness should never be linked to how someone else feels about you or a comparison to their position. Your road to success is your road to success. You could wake up tomorrow and hit the lotto, while the person above you could easily lose it all. And while I pursue my career endeavor, there is guarantee I’ll come out on the other side. But I and you will never know until you make the move to pursue.


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BLACK EXPECTATIONS: HOW LOW STANDARDS FOR BLACK MEN HAVE MADE ME PUSH BACK HARD

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“You’re supposed to fail!”


As a Black male in society, I have noticed something since I was a young boy. And that is that we are not only expected to fail, but almost encouraged to fail. And what it has done to me was turn me into an overachiever. Some might say, what is wrong with overachieving in society; well a lot. If you spend your time trying to be the best in your career pursuits, then where is the time for you to enjoy life around you. So what I have done in my 30 years so far on this Earth is utilize my time for not being what I am expected to be. Which is a baby daddy, I have no children; a criminal, I have no arrest record; a woman beater, I have never been in a relationship. What you’l wind-up doing is taking the odds against you to the extreme.

Well, if all is true, then what should be done by us as Black males. Should we disregard the stereotypes and live our lives? Or should we continue to forge ahead and fight for greatness. What’s scary is that once you die as a person, the only one that remembers you on a constant basis are those that love you most. People talk from time to time about the great things you have done, but does it matter. Does how much I work to combat stereotypes actually mean anything? Because what if 100 years from now, there is no disdain toward Black men, and what I have been living is something of the past? That would mean I gave up so much of my life for nothing. Instead, I could have been partying and enjoying every step of the way. But what about the flip side of things.

What if I continue on my path, and in time I do something great. Something so great that it completely alters the course of history forever. For example, what if Martin Luther King Jr. chose to be an academic instead of a Civil Rights leader. He might be some retired elderly man right now, still living in Atlanta, Georgia. Or what if Joan of Arc or William Wallace never stood up for what they believed; how would life have changed? So, in the end, there is something to me working and not enjoying in life. Maybe there is something that is indicative in me as a Black male that needs to be in society instead of out partying. I’m not saying that I am better or more special than the rest, but the ideas for society that I have make me realize that I am not supposed to fail. I am here for a reason, and that is to pass my gifts on to the world.


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THE KNOW: HOW POVERTY IS MORE OF A MIND FRAME THAN MONEY

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“Getting out, does not guarantee you’ll stay out.”


As a young man, I grew up under the poverty level here in the United States. Now, if you would have told me that at a young age, I would not have believed you. But once I became an adult, I decided to look back and research how much money my mother made on her job. And for a single
Related imageparent household making the income that my mother made, we were classified as an impoverished family. Yet, we always had food, clothing, and a roof over our heads. Little did I know, that my mother was one rainy day, one sick day, one bad break away from us being homeless. So is poverty about money alone or is it a mind frame?

I come from a family of poor people. And it’s generational poverty; whereas my mother and father were poor, their parents were poor, and so forth. As a matter of fact, my family on both mother and father side have been poor since slavery in America. So for well over 200 years of American history, we Related imagehave lived through poverty. Understandably so how we could have in the past given the historical accounts; both slavery and Jim Crow. And we can also point to other social-economic policies aimed at certain ethnic groups in certain communities. But that aim was mainly to aid White communities, and Black neighborhoods. Now, a large portion of White men and women are suffering.

So is it still about race, yes and no. I feel race can be used, yet it’s bigger than that today. The struggle is real and everyone is feeling it. So how, how do you bring yourself out of poverty? And my theory is that poverty is more than just not having money. It’s about knowing how money work and how Related imageyour money work. And that requires putting yourself in the know. And the know is whatever it is you’re seeking to accomplish in this world. For example, professional athletes make it financially out of poverty, yet their minds are still in poverty. So the majority of them wind-up broke after playing professional sports. Why, well because they don’t know anything about money.

Athletes are beneficiaries of the lottery effect , where they get overnight wealth. And lack of knowledge places them back into poverty. A lot of Americans don’t understand how, but more of them would do the same. Image result for lottoBecause it’s not only spending habits that land them back into poverty, it’s financial investors and managers mismanaging funds. So what about the American who does not get their start in sports/entertainment? Where do they look first when trying to overcome their struggle? And the tough question is, there is no one place to look. You have to adopt a certain mind frame for finding and making an income; as well as retaining a standard of living.

And in the end, that’s something that people cannot grasp hold of; the mind frame. You can’t teach it, and you can’t fully learn. You just have to have a mind that is built to understand how to put yourself in a know space. ThereRelated image will always be people giving you a blueprint. But you’re not supposed to just runaway with it, more so, you should be using it to build your own vision. Their blueprint is just a basic template to get you started. Yet people at times are even offset by the blueprint of another person. And often will reject you for offering the blueprint. Nonetheless, this getting out of poverty game is psychological. And if the mind is not right, neither will be your standard of living.


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MOTIVATIONAL: THE ROAD TO BUILDING MY PODCAST

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“The build is tough, yet well worth it.”

In the year 2016, I became I a big fan of the podcast show the Brilliant Idiots. For those of you who don’t know the Brilliant Idiots, it is a podcast show by the Breakfast Club’s Charlamagne tha God and comedian Andrew Schultz. Their podcast consist of topics that have to do with current events in America today. They cover topics ranging from their favorite musicians to the political landscape of our country. From monogamous relationships to how to inspire yourself. Through becoming a fan of this show, I have decided to create my own podcast. So at the end of 2016, I had already started writing down topics I want to cover for my show.

Now, you may ask, what are you possibly going to cover. I thought about covering some of the same topics. But once I soon realized how unhappy I would be trying to shift through all the bad stuff that goes on in our world to talk about. So I decided this year that I am going to make a scripted motivational and inspirational podcast show. I have a lot to write about in regards to how to motivate and inspire. Why, well because as a newly published novelist, blogger, and screenwriter, I am constantly trying to motivate myself more and more. The inspiration comes through me pursuing a goal that most see as just some dream I’m chasing. But I’m not chasing a dream, I’m chasing the pursuit of happiness.

Now, does that mean I am currently unhappy. No, I’m not where I would like to be in my career path, but not unhappy. If it weren’t for me trying to pursue a career as a writer, I probably would be miserable. So creating a free podcast show for people to tune in and hear words of motivation and inspiration not only helps them, but me as well. You see, in America today, we are currently enthralled with the new president Donald Trump. So he’s going to be in the media enough. And me having a topical podcast based around societal issues would mean following along with the traffic behind him. In my opinion, people need some type of motivation, and to feel inspired. So how do you get people to listen?

There are plenty of motivational and inspirational shows and books out there, so how do you get them to listen. You have to provide more than just the normal motivation. Meaning, you say the words to help people feel motivated, but my goal is a scripted motivational show based around writing out words of how to push in life and steps toward your goal. And since I am in lieu of my own goals, I feel that my motivation will inspire others. In the end, people need a reason to keep pushing. It’s hard when employment is so hard to come by. You have bills and families to care for. So, hopefully, I can use what drives me to propel others forward.

Up All Night: Why We Waste Our 20’s

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“What have you done with your 20’s?”

We Are Young is such a great song by the group FUN. It has so many meanings, but one sticks out to me. How much time we actually waste in our 20’s as we come through this decade is what I have gotten out of this song. It’s right in the chorus of this song, “So if by the time, the bar closes, and you feel like falling down, I’ll carry, you home, tonight.” That line brings up so many memories for so many young people who spend their 20’s bar hopping and hooking up. In your early 20’s, you are typically a college student. Study and attend classes four days out of the week, maybe hold down a part time job. Then from Thursday through Sunday, you party it up. Because then again, C’s get degrees.

Once out of school, you get a day job, working five days per week, eight hours per day. On Friday, you go out with friends, and lounge on Saturday because you’re too hung over from the night before. Hell, you might even go out Saturday night because when you’re young, whose thinking about church Sunday morning. Then Sunday night, hopefully your weekend hangover is wrapping up for the daily grind come Monday morning. Then, as you are nearing the end of your 20’s, life sinks into your brain. You go, what the hell did I do this entire decade.

The whole time you spent hooking up with random people and partying. But you never ceased the moments to pursue your career endeavors. Ten years is a long time, but from 19-29 years of age it goes by fast. This is why at the age of 20 I spent the next four years figuring out my three important keys to success in my life: what do I love, am I good at it, and can I sustain myself financially down the road. So at the age of 24 years, I decided I love writing/film making/producing; mainly screenwriting and novels, would be my career goals. So here I am at age 29 years old the end of this month, having spent the past nearly six years learning, working my craft.

Now I am in the process of building my audience: posting my daily blog post, pre-production for my next short film, and as well as finishing up my first novel and first book of short stories. All the while holding down multiple part-time gigs to support myself along the way. I look at my life and go, what did I do with my 20’s. I look at my crappy apartment and cheap clothing so monetary expenses can go toward more productive goals. I think to myself, “Wow, you should have just partied with everyone else.” “Because financially they are ahead of you.” True, but also false as well.

Having spent the greater portion of this decade putting in what is know as my 10,000 hours, my writing slowly paying off. Don’t get me wrong nothing is guaranteed, but the work is being put in in preparation of. I think to myself why aren’t more people in their 20’s putting in the time to pursue their career interests. Then it dawned on me that they don’t have any. Some would say that is a lack of drive and ambition, but not necessarily in your 20’s. Yes athletes and some entertainers who are 22 and 23 year old global brands are not the norm. Because they have usually spent from elementary school until their 20’s on their craft.

And that is what it all boils down to, purpose. There was a very well known book called, “Purpose Driven Life.” What is your purpose driven life? A lot of young people don’t know their purpose driven life. At the age of 24 years, I decided I would be a storyteller. I wrote down ideas and I am currently in the execution process of these ideas. Starting with my first novel, book of short stories, and my first short film that I wrote, directed, and produced; which I uploaded on YouTube. Scary thing about purpose, is that some people will live their entire lives not knowing their purpose on earth.

Why me at my age? Why did I figure this out so young? I don’t have life figured out, but I know to a great enough degree regarding my career. Is it chemical, how ones brain is wired? Or better yet, maybe it’s divine intervention. There are so many reasons that bring us to purpose, but my reason for coming to writing initially was internal. Writing was an escape from personal issues I faced. Started at age 22, and only did it become a viable career path once I hit 24/25 years of age.

So in the end, we don’t maliciously waste our 20’s, it’s a time you don’t know much about yourself. Your self awareness is not strong, so you can’t see your full self worth. I saw my worth and potential at such a young age, which is why I started before everyone else. But hopefully everyone else will as well. Because if your life revolves around living just for Friday and dreading to wake up Monday morning, you are not living a full life.

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.