“Save something.”

hold on to your earnings

As you earn, you will be prompted to spend money. But remember something, as you age you will need to live on something for the days when you can longer earn. But in the paradigm of living we only think about the now. Yet what about the thought of tomorrow. You can’t just live frivolous and worry when that time comes. Because if that time comes and you have nothing then it becomes your own fault. Why do we do it? Why do we live like there is no tomorrow and only for today? And there is more to this than most people are willing to disuss.

your upbringing

How you were raised says a lot about how you look at money. When I grew up, it was all about paying bills then if you have more left over. But few think with this mindset. Especially if you grew up where money was not as cared for and respected. Yet even in a house where money was valued, some people still spend without thinking about tomorrow. Me, I’m always thinking about the machine collapsing in on me. Maybe because my mother lived off of why put off til tomorrow what can be done today. So my necessities havw always been number one.

keeping up with the joneses

We as people do not like being left out. And because of that we must spend to keep up with the crowd. But will the crowd be there when you falter due to your spending. You have to think about living another day. Live everyday as it’s your last is the dumbest concept. Or do people take that statement to literal. Because living everyday as your last does not mean spend your last. If means get up everyday being productive. Just in case this is your last day on Earth.

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Several 20 Us Dollar Banknotes

“Have you made it yet?”

get it how you get it

We all have this idea of what it means to start really making money. Some of us might look at $75,000 per year as getting money, others might say $500,000 a year is a lot. Then you have the few chosen people who say they would like to make $10 million per year is making a lot. And you know what, you would all be right. Because money is subjective, depending on who says money is what. But is there really a definitive amount of money which ones makes where you’ve made it. Because I have a definition for making it in America. That is the amount of money you make working, knowing that if you lost or left your job tomorrow you could survive for a lengthy period of time, typically months, and be fine without worry. Meaning, let’s say you lost your job tomorrow and was out of work for 6 months, do you make enough to save for anticipation of a six month leave?

buying goods and services

Can you measure how much you’ve made it by the things you’re able to afford? Because if you have enough money to buy a Rolls Royce, most people would say that you have arrived. But have you really made it based on the things you buy. You have billionaires who spend less than millionaires spend. But the billionaires have more, what does buying things have to do with it?Let’s say for a second that buying goods and services mean you have made it. Then with that said if you grew wanting certain things you could afford, then says you have arrived. You have made it to the point where your life is where you want it to be. Is there another measure of making it in America?

cash flow with a grin

What about making it based on your happiness through income. We have all heard money doesn’t bring happiness, but what about reaching at least a certain point. Money isn’t everything, but dough is important. But how important is money? There have been studies that have said that a person’s happiness changes little after making $60,000 to $70,000 in a year. Makes sense considering very little cost over that amount of money each year. So if two people are in a relationship making that much each, that’s a lot less problems to worry about in the household. And we all know finances is a major reason for breakups.

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Instagram Me: @theefaheemjackson

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“Keep going: never stop, never quit.”

We should all want to strive to be the best us we can possibly be in this world. Not just because we want to excel in our careers, or to make a lot of money. But we should strive because it internally makes us feel to good to achieve. Especially when the achievement comes from humble beginnings. What better way to go through life than to start at the bottom and build yourself to the top. And the top can be a very ambiguous word depending on the person pursuing the top. The top could be being one of the best school teachers in your school, or the top can mean the superintendent of the entire school board. The top could mean a head coach of a professional sports team, or the owner of the team.

But other ways you can reach the top is by means of mental greatness. Some people have average financial gains, but they have this mental awareness of who they are in life. That mental could be something connected to their spirituality. Reaching the highest level of spirituality is to some people what winning the Powerball lottery is to another. Well, is there ever a time where the mental is hard to achieve because something else internally is blocking that mental? And the answer is yes; there are plenty of instances where someone has a hard time with their mental greatness because of some extenuated circumstance they may be dealing with at the moment. Enternal issues such as Depression, stress, and anxiety can lead to you not being able to fully achieve such mental greatness.

Well, what about back to financial gains, what is wrong with wanting to reach a higher level of wealth? And the answer to that is nothing. There is nothing wrong with wanting to strive to attain a higher level of wealth for yourself. There are so many people who think chasing the almighty dollar can be a bad thing. I don’t think it is because everything is in context. If you want a nice estate, nice cars, vacations, then fine. It is a life that is well in reach. To me, it’s about how you’re going about attaining your wealth. If there are people you’re directly hurting to gain, such as selling drugs, then no. But if you start a company that grows into a multinational organization, then fine. Because you’re gaining wealth, but also, you’re employing people in the process.

In the end, striving to be the best you, you can be is very rewarding. It can come in both a financial, physical, and intangible form. You want to lose weight and that helps you become the best you, then pursue it. You want to gain wealth, pursue it. You want to be the best parent, pursue it. There are no guarantees, but the great thing about living in America is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And that’s the key word: pursuit. 

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Piles of U.s. Dollar Bills on Silver and White Suitcase

“Happiness is an internalized feeling due to_________.”

Growing up, my household was classified based on my mother’s yearly income as below the poverty level. I didn’t feel like an impoverished family, but we really were below the poverty level. To me, I thought poverty meant sleeping in the street or eating at a soup kitchen. I didn’t realize at my young age you could work and have a roof over your head, yet still be impoverished. This was hard for me to realize because so many around me were worse off than my sisters and myself. So in my life I wanted to be the opposite of poor which is rich. But as I came through my twenties, my views gave me a different perspective.

Coming into my twenties I started to realize what I really wanted out of life. I wanted to be able to have a voice to express my myself how I wanted. And that didn’t mean behaving like a loose cannon, not having regard for active, activity, beachanyone. Because at the end of the day we all have to answer to someone. I just wanted to express myself in the most rational way without having to choose a side in life and sticking to that side. In addition to that, I said if I could find a way to make at least $60,000 per year it would be enough to start my self employment journey. Now with that said, what does anything I have said in this passage have to do with money and happiness? A lot, there is a lot to be said about money and happiness.

Because notice above that I didn’t say I would be happier if I had more money. I said I would be happier having the ability to express myself and Full Frame Shot of Eyehave a salary to do so. Meaning anything beyond that point is just added bonus. But there is nothing that would make me happier having a lot of money if it weren’t aligned with what I want to do for a living. It’s much more than money. Because if it were only about money my professional choice would not be writing. If it’s about money, we all know you work hard and run to Wall Street. Stock Brokers, Hedge Fund Managers, or the guys in the tech space; you don’t choose to become a writer. Writing is something you love to do.

So what is it about people who think that if they had more money they would be happier? A lot of it has to do with their current quality of life. When you have money, it’s hard to explain to people who don’t have money how unhappy you could potentially be. They can only see their lives and anyone who is above them looks good. They can’t and most likely will never see it your way. But studies have been conducted on lottery winners who have won major jackpots. There are times their happiness actually decreased because they became more isolated and people were hitting them up for money all the time. So it actually produces diminishing returns over time.

In the end, quality of life is key to the happiness. But that is not just money alone that contributes to that good feeling. And also happiness is how you go about gaining your money. The climb is important because once you get to where you are, you can look over time at the build-up. Usually Man Standing on Brown Rocking Mountain Under Blue Sky and Yellow Sunlightpeople who got it all at once lose it as well. They’re not prepared to deal with the responsibilities of having money now. So before you make money, have an idea of what you truly want out of life. Money can buy you tangibles, but what keeps you going day in and day out is something different. 

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Image result for gold digger

“How do others around the globe see this term?”

The term gold digger has been used in the United States to mean women who are only with a man because of his finances. It’s to the point that women have to be impartial to a man’s income in this country because society have made women feel bad about wanting a man of higher means. But does that mean that she is a gold digger? Or could it mean that she is a woman who just prefers to be with a man who is going to be there for her financially? Well let’s observe the meaning of this term gold digger.

America is a very expensive place to live, especially if you’re living in a major metropolitan city. So wanting to be with someone of considerable means has validity to it. For example, living in New York City where the average rent is nearly $5,000 per month, it makes sense to choose a mate who makes a certain income. Opening a conversation regarding money is quite uncomfortable for a lot of people. How do you introduce money into the relationship? Simple, you just ask the question about the person’s finances once the relationship is getting serious. Now, right off the back, that is rude and disrespectful. But if you have been with someone for a year or more, money should be something that you and that person should be able to talk about.

Then what makes someone a gold digger? They are the types that not only want to be with someone just for money, but are looking for the payout after the breakup. Someone looking to be taken care of without any form of reciprocating for the other person. So the wanting to be with someone financially stable is normal, but it’s the selfish behavior that makes the person bad in their pursuit. When you are willing to go as far as to hurting the other person to get what you want, then it becomes problematic. Now my question is, do other countries look at this the way Americans do? And in my opinion, they don’t.

When looking at a foreign country where poverty exist, young women are encouraged to pursue the wealthiest. And wealth may be viewed as something different depending on the country. A small village in a foreign country might see wealth as the man with his own patch of farmland and livestock. Or it could be the guy with his own business that has made him quite successful. And if these places are built around that concept, why is it so wrong in America? A reason being is that we are so built around being sensitive to people’s plight, that you are shamed for having these viewpoints. And what it does is that women are forced to change their language and recontextualize their feelings, yet they feel another way behind the scenes.

In the end, the term gold digging can take on so many different meanings. Depending on where you live, it can be seen as a good thing or a bad thing. But the term gold digging is subjective depending on who is interpreting the term. But there is no slowing down, women will always judge men based on finances. And it has to do with the productivity of a man. Our productivity is based in part on how we earn in society. As for women, whatever you do in this world, don’t let it be for nothing. Now, if that something comes at the cost of self-respect, it’s up to you how far you’ll take it. Just be comfortable with the outfit, whatever that may be.

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Image result for popping bottles

“When trying to stunt hurts your bank account.”

All my life growing up, I used to hear how everyone was popping tags. Now that I am an adult, it’s popping tags and popping bottles. Totally fine when you Sean P Diddy Combs or Jay Z. But when you’re the average Joe, you can’t afford to live this way. Especially considering the average American makes less than $50,000 in a year. Meanwhile, living the popping tags and bottles lifestyle requires you to have at least ten times the $50,000 salary. And when I say ten times, I mean ten times after taxes. Hell, even the people making that amount of money tend to go bankrupt. Well, why are we killing ourselves to fit into our social circles.

One reason has to do with how we see ourselves. Kanye West stated in his lyrics from his song It All Falls Down. “I got a problem with spending before I get it.” “We all self-conscious, I’m just the first to admit it.” The self-esteem of people who seek validation from others. We buy things to hide the internal. As well as the external, so we go broke if we have to, to fit into circles. Another reason we live above our means is finding a potential mate.

Yes, it sounds crazy to spend money with the hopes of landing a date. But in a world where outer appearance is so judged, we don’t want to give people any reason to reject us. We take Instagram photos with hashtags that dont remotely represent the lifestyles we really have. All to gain the attention of the one we like. Yet when we get that person it becomes more work to satisfy them further. So, you go even further into debt to keep up something you couldn’t afford in the beginning.

But, there is another reason we fake popping tags and bottles. Sometimes you fake it until you make it. In today’s society, the idea of you having money is just as big, if not bigger than having money. Perceptions shape so much of who we are, that we would rather gain likes or follows via social media, than cultivating an audience for financial gain. For example, some young girl always posting photos of herself on some beautiful tropical island with the hashtag #livingthelife, #vacay, #funinthesun. People will follow off the idea that she actually is living a life that doesn’t really exist. Now, there is another side to this madness.

You have people with the money, who make more money off of showing off their lifestyle. For example, professional athlete Floyd Mayweather Jr. boasts his lifestyle on a daily. Even going as far as calling his promotional company, The Money Team. So, seeing the lifestyle and the company name, it allows people the opportunity to see that in order to do business with Floyd, you better come up with some big money. Because we’re used to throwing it away. It’s unconventional, but believe it or not, it actually works with some people.

In the end, people will always live a life higher than what they can afford. Trying to keep up and validating ourselves with tangibles is what we do. As long as we have a culture of spending via our music, film, television, and social media, we’ll always be in a race that will lead to a negative financial impact on our lives.


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“Why we are so romanticized with the baller lifestyle?”

Wake up at 7:00 A.M., and go get into the shower. Get dressed and prepare yourself for work. Leave the house by 8:00 A.M., and embark on your commute to work everyday. Get to work by 8:30 A.M. to 8:45 A.M. Do your usual hellos to your coworkers and get settled in. Work until 12:00 P.M. when you take your lunch break. Come back from lunch at 1:00 P.M. Work until 5:00 P.M. and leave work for the day. Get home by 6:00 P.M. so you can start cooking dinner. After dinner, you lie your head down at around 9:30 P.M./10:00 P.M.

The previous is 5 days per week. Hang out Friday night, slack off Saturday, and prepare next week on Sunday. All that has been stated is the definition of the real world. All those hopes and dreams of being this baller; living in a palatial mansion is a fallacy. Well why, why do so many live this daily mundane grind. For starters, a lot of people underestimate the time one must spend to get to that next level. And when I say next level, this could be ambiguous. The next level for some might be moving from poverty to middle class. And others it could be from middle to upper middle. But what about upper class. What about your dreams: the 10,000 sq. foot mansion with a fleet of luxury cars in the driveway, and a state of the art interior living space. In addition, what about your private Lear Jet which will take you to St. Tropez for the weekend.

Ha! What a joke. That lifestyle is possible, but like I said before, people underestimate the time it takes to climb. They don’t understand that working 8 hours per day, 5 days a week won’t get you there. They don’t realize that after everyone else goes home you must be still working. While they are in deep sleep, you are just about to lie down. But here is the kicker, you must wake when they do, if not before. So instead of the working 40 hours per week and sleep 56 hours per week. You are really working 63 to 100 hours per week and sleeping 35 hours. You must be thinking; WHAT THE HELL! 100 HOURS; GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!

But we call this the grind. Some people say, “I worked 6 hours today; #grinding.” Or they’ll say, “Did like 30 hours of work this week; #hustle.” Let me explain my daily regimen. I awake at 5:00 A.M., out the house by 5:30 A.M.. Walk sometimes, yep walk, to work which starts at 7:00 A.M. Get off the first part time job at 11:00 A.M. Afterward I am in the computer lab until 10:40 P.M. Sometimes I have a double shift from 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.; or a 3:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. then back to the lab until 10:40 P.M. When the week is done I usually have about 25 hours to 30 hours of a part time job. But my grind is well over 50 hours pursuing filmmaking and writing my books. So, I am typically working a good 80 plus hours in a week.

That means I do more in one week than you will in two. Why is that, because I understand something a lot of people my age don’t and that is that this American Dream everyone talks about is a heavy grind. Well, why is it so heavy. Uh, you don’t think you can work 40 hours per week and excel through the ranks, right. No, no, no; you must be still working while everyone else is relaxing. So by the time they realize it, you’re way past them. But it’s more than just talking about it, you have to put in the work. And this is the part where people fall flat.

This all sounds stressful, but why is it so hard when it looks so easy. Because that is the game, to make you think it’s easy. You can conquer the world. You can be successful beyond your wildest imagination. But the time will wear and tear on the average Joe. You see the internet has really shown us where we are in our lives. In the past, you had to seek out people to know where you stand financially. But now, one click in a Google search engine, and you are able to see how broke you really are in comparison to others. And this is the problem.

You see, America was not designed for everyone to be a baller. Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible, but highly improbable. America was designed to get a middle class paying job, pay your mortgage, car note, and feed your family. Then once your children went off to college, aid them in expenses. So, a strong America is a nation in the middle. Few poor, and a healthy amount rising into the upper class and there you have it. Entertainment has also added to the illusion because you go, “Wait a minute, Jennifer Lawrence was like 22 years old when she hit big with Hunger Games. But what you don’t see is the over 10 years she put in while other children were out playing.

And in the end, there you have it. We are disillusioned about our lives because we look at highly successful people in the now. And the now is the problem because we didn’t see the struggle on the way up. Just understand something, attempt the climb and make the journey. Scary thing is, there are no guarantees of success with all the grind. You may give it your all and still fail. No one wants to fail, but in order to win, you gotta be all in.