VISIONARY: HOW YOU SEE LIFE SAYS A LOT ABOUT HOW FAR YOU MIGHT GO IN LIFE

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“Do you see life as a whole, or part of a whole?”


Since moving to New York City, I have consistently been motivated to become a working screenwriter/filmmaker and author. And how I see the world is why I feel ultimately I will succeed in my writing. So I view the world as a place that can only get better from where I was yesterday. So whatever I was doing last year is helping to set me up with what I am doing now, to succeed tomorrow. But what is it about some people who just don’t see the world in the most positive light? They only have something to say that is shrouded in hurt and pain. There is nothing they say that points to wanting a better life. Scary thing is that they would prefer you follow them and how they see the world. And God forbid you ignore their wishes and go off to become successful. They will come up with every reason as to why you were in a different position than themselves.

But truth be told, you don’t need to be born with money to propel yourself to the next level. Your mind frame says a lot about you; your vision of the world. The above photo is of a woman’s hands viewing the wide open landscape wit her hands creating a box. It’s something that directors do in movies to get the idea of something that is in frame that they want to convey in a film scene. But when they move their hands, they say action and role camera. Imagine walking around society looking through this box. That is how so many negative people see life because they refuse to move their hands to see the full landscape. Their boundaries are everything in the box and when you move outside the box, something must be wrong with you. How dare you operate outside the box.

Well, operating outside the box is the reason why the filmmaker was able to sit down and create the film. The in frame box gives you a more heightened sense of what is going in the movie scene. But in life there is so much more than the square your hands create. Now, can anyone drop their hands so they see the broad spectrum of life? Of course they can, but it requires giving up the way you currently think and feel. And no one wants to believe that their thought process is wrong. People want to believe that the reason for their lives going the way it’s going is forces, coincidentally enough, outside the box. But they don’t address what could be addressed because not addressing the truth head on allows them to be romanticized with their own bullshit. So they stay living in a trance, yet wonder why they go nowhere.

In the end, shifting your perception is what allows you to move forward in life. It’s like how people who live in poverty say that it’s easy to say when you have money. But it’s the mind that makes up the people moving into a more stable situation. If you are willing to put yourself in the know, you can have a lot. But the mind is not freely thinking enough because people cannot see past their current position.


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YOUR VISION NOT ANYONE ELSE’S: WHY THEY DON’T BELIEVE IN YOU

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“Don’t expect them to believe in you.”


Someone I work with today was informing me that they have had enough and it was time to pursue their purpose. They were about the quite work and embark on their journey to their own personal greatness. It struck me as odd because this was a person who worked a lot, but now they were quitting. But I am embarking on my own journey, and I don’t know what road it will take me down. And that’s when it hit me, I don’t know this person’s inner workings. Maybe they feel that they have it figured out and things are finally making sense inside of their heads. The pieces are starting to come together and everything is working out for the best. But what is it about the people who don’t see your vision? They can not see you past what you are in the moment, and it takes them longer. Sometimes they never turn around, and only live to see you falter.

The reason being is that they may now have passions of their own, or they might not want to see you above them. If you are working a dead-end job and someone is above you, why would they want to see you prevail in life. They might hate their job just as much as you hate yours, but at least they have the upper hand over you. What happens when you overshoot the runaway of what they expected. Your airplane was never supposed to have made it out of the gate. But you have managed to fly off the runway and into the sky. So much so that you are cruising at altitude while they are still at the terminal watching you soar in the air. And that is when it sinks into their head that they must try to say something, anything to get you to stop working.

Because if they give you the confidence to keep pushing, then what is there out here for them. And that’s when you learn that there are people who look at life in the scope of their failures is your success. If you doing so much and they are not where you are, then what does that say about them. So they have to bring you down a few pegs. But if your life is in so much of a wrecked place, do something about it. Don’t try to bring someone else down because you have not landed on your feet. You are not where you thought you would be by now, so in an attempt to not feel alone, you want to keep them where you are in life. This also falls into the whole crabs in a barrel mentality. You are fine by me, so long as we all are stuck in this one place together. And that’s when you have to make moves to separate yourself.

Because in the end, your personal growth is your growth. It’s not up to you to help another adult figure out their stuff in life. You are responsible for your own problems. So as you pursue your dreams, don’t listen to the crowd noise. Your main goal should be to try to tape into the minds of those that love and respect your vision. You are going to always have adversaries, that’s the nature of the game. Just as long as you meet your expectations, that’s all that truly matters.


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BREAKING FREE: MOVING AWAY TO GROW

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“Get away to grow up.”


In the year 2011, right after undergraduate school, I moved to New York City. Coming here for graduate school from Kenosha, Wisconsin was a new experience. You go from living on a rural campus to a major metropolitan hub. Yet graduate school wasn’t the only reason I decided to make the leap out on the East Coast. Another reason I chose to move to the East was because I needed to also be in a city where I could pursue my goals the best way I knew how to do so. And I also wanted to shape my identification. Growing up for me in a household where I was not only the only boy among siblings, but male in the house. And there are certain aspects of being a man that my mom and sisters don’t quite understand. So in my mind, it made perfect sense to create a whole new identity for myself and pursue my goals.

So I ask you, is there ever a moment in your life where feel you need to getaway to grow in life. Now don’t get me wrong, you are suppose to leave an environment in search of something better. Not run away from problems that you perceive to be external, but are really internal. Because internal problems only follow you wherever you go. I am referring to you having to leave because what the world has to offer you elsewhere is far too great to stay where you currently reside. And that could mean better schools, a better job, and overall better existence. For example, I come from a small city with a population of about 75,000 people. And now living in New York city, there are three to four times that many people in my Harlem neighborhood. So it has been a major leap in me getting acclimated to the city. But luckily for me, I have been here almost six years.

As for me taking the leap and living in a more open and conscious city, my mind has grown with it. So my writing has improved since leaving my small town. Now, does that mean I encourage everyone else to do the same; no. I just feel for me, the borough of Manhattan has an energy that inspires me to write everyday. Some days I will just walk around the high populated areas just to get in a mode and come back to the computer lab and write. So for you, a small town might be the place for you to push out the greatness that is inside of you. But moving away gives you a different perspective on how other people live their lives. You are given an open door into how others different from you think and feel. This may aid in your endeavors whatever they may be, to propel yourself forward in life.

In the end, moving away forces you to mature at a quicker rate than if you were at home. Because even  with a support system back home, you have to step up to the learning curve quick. For me, coming from small town Midwest and now in the Big Apple, you grow fast. If you don’t, you sink fast. The city will swallow you up and spit you out. And it is a true testament to how resilient you are in life.


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NOT QUITE THERE YET: ARE YOU NOT IN THE PLACE YOU WANT TO BE IN LIFE

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“The long arduous path that is success.”


Have you ever had the feeling like you’re not in the place you want to be in life? Like you should be or thought you would be a lot farther by this point? Well, I am about to turn thirty years of age and I am working toward a career as a writer. While working toward this career, I am working two part-time jobs. And that sounds fine when you are a twenty years old, but not when you are thirty. Because when you are thirty, you are supposed to be a certain place by this time. You should be on your way to finding your first starter home and thinking about children, not writing. But I am pursuing a career I love, rather than a job I have to go to everyday.

So here I sit, in this moment writing. And to cope with the long road to writing success, I try to observe those that started around my age. And you see they had their first success at about mid to late thirties. Now I gave myself a ten year time period to break in as a successful writer of screenplays, playwright, and novels; with a little lightweight film/theatre directing. Now that I have gotten myself out of the way, what are you pursuing that your life isn’t where you thought it would be? We have all these visions when we are children of the things we will do as adults. But when we become adults, everything is up in the air once you are in the world on your own.

And everything is really up in the air if you have no clue what you want to do with your life. You typically spend all your time working, then coming home and existing. So the days turn into weeks, then weeks to months, and months to years. And before you know it, life has past them by, and they have not attempted at anything in life. And that is the scary feeling people have of not quite being there yet. They even see people their age making life decisions, going in the right direction. Yet they are still not there themselves. So they find any reason to avoid people they know out of shame. Why, well because we always compare ourselves to people that are around our age.

But what happens once people younger than yourself start making moves in life beyond you. That’s when you really start to feel uncomfortable. Seeing a new younger generation making moves that you feel you have not made yet. And what’s crazy, that young age group will feel the same once they reach my age. See, in the end, we don’t want to live with the failures. But we also don’t want to live with the idea of people saying I told you so. Trying at something and constantly failing at it over and over again. But I remember reading a quote by Thomas Edison which stated, “Many of life’s failures didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” But the real question is, how do you know when you’re close?


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NO POINT TO PROVE: HOW HAVING SOMETHING TO LOSE IS BASED ON SOMETHING TO LOSE

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“Don’t feel you have to prove yourself to nobody’s.”


Having something to lose is really important in our society. Not just in our society today, in the past and in the future. So why do so many people operate with this mindset of I have noting to lose? They operate this way because they don’t see themselves going anywhere in life. And when they don’t see nothing for themselves, they could care less about you. I was just watching an interview that Jay Z conducted where he was talking about coming into the music industry for the first time. He thought then superstar Notorious B.I.G. was scared not to walk into a nightclub. But it wasn’t fear, Biggie had something to lose at that time.

And that is hard for people at the bottom or just getting into a position of power don’t realize. Having something to lose, meaning not just money, but a bigger picture. B.I.G. had a bigger vision than Jay Z was able to see at the time. Now that Jay is where he is now he understands the bigger picture. And income along with socioeconomic have a lot do with having something to lose. Like I recently said, not just money alone, but money is a motivator. Yes, there are things that are bigger than money, yet monetary decisions are closely related to having something to lose. But who with money is effected by this losing or winning in society. In my opinion, athletes and entertainers are two groups of people that largely fall into this category. And a lot of times it’s public figures from poor backgrounds.

For example, the NFL draft just took place this past weekend and there were a lot of athletes from underprivileged backgrounds. They don’t understand how their lives are about to change soon as they sign that contract. And I am not saying just going places without being noticed. I mean the people you associate with in life. Everything you do is under a microscope. So if people are around you, they have to shift how they behave to be in your environment now. And the question is are they willing to do so? Are they willing to change themselves to help you persevere? Because with them around, now you become a babysitter. Whatever they do, you take the punishment for. For instance, NFL player Adam “Pacman” Jones friend shoots someone at a nightclub. Adam is nowhere around, but the fact the guy is with you is enough for you to get punished.

If you told some of these guys that they now are responsible for whatever the people around them do, they would have second thoughts about being athletes. And the reason for this change is because you are not just some guy running a football. You’re not some musician making beats and singing, or acting in a movie. You become a brand, a figure for young people to look up to, and an investment for people who sign you to a contract. Some people say, I’m still me, but you’re not you anymore. You have this light on you, where you can’t be you. You are expected to be more than just you. Your morals and ethics go out the door, and it is more about the organization you represent; their morals.

In the end, your life will shift with every level of increase in life. You have no other choice, because with the good comes the downside. There is no all good in life. And change is can be hard, but not all change is bad. Sometimes growth is needed and must take place to make you a better you.


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WHEN TO SAY WHEN: HOW TO ELIMINATE PEOPLE WHO AREN’T IN YOUR BEST INTEREST

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“Know when to throw in the towel.”


Packing your bags and removing people from your life can be a very tough decision to make. Because at times these are people that are the closest to you. They are usually friends and even family. You have to cut people loose sometimes because they tend to be more of a burden and hindrance in your life than an advancement. But how do you know if the person or people in your life are becoming a ball and chain. Trust and believe, you’ll know, you may try to act like you don’t, but you’ll know. And for those of you who don’t know what I mean here are a few examples of the ball and chain. They are generally people who leach off of you, they’re me people who only care about themselves, the jealous types who hate on your success, and they’re people who make excuses as to what’s wrong with everyone else but themselves.

How do you rid yourself of the first type of person or people; the leach. The leach are the ones who want to live off of your shine and success. They don’t use you as an example where they want to be in their own lives. They say, you’re successful, why don’t you take care of me. But it’s not your job to care for them, better yet, it’s their job to play catch-up. And if they are not bent on catching up, you have to leave them behind. Easier to do with friends, but what about in the case of family. What happens when someone whose a family member becomes a burden. You give and give, and nothing transpires from it. They just look at your act of kindness as weakness. That’s when you must cut them off, until they are willing to change.

Now the next  group of people who you have to cut loose are the ones who only care about themselves. They live for them and only them, and could care less who it effects you. They’re the all about me people, which is a mental illness in itself. Doesn’t matter who has something else going on in their lives, it’s all about me. My issues, my life, and you should want to revolve your decisions around me. This ball and chain have to be gotten rid of so that you can focus on yourself. If you have nothing but me people around you, you spend time trying to appease them while your own life fails. So in the case of these type of people, cut them, and cut them fast.

Now the third group of people are the jealous types. These are the people who see you shining and they would love nothing more than to see you fall. Well, why would people close to you want to see you fail? It goes from a lack of self-worth within that person or people. They look at you and see what they could have been, and express disdain. These are the people who are worse than leaches and me groups. You have to watch this bunch closer than your enemies because they’re already in your camp. They might look at you and think, “They use to be right here with me.” “They don’t deserve what they have.” “If they have what they have, and started with me at the bottom, it means I wasted my life.” These are toxic people and are only going to hurt you in the end.

The last group are the I got the short end of the stick group. They’re the ones who blame everything and everybody else but themselves. The world is out to get me group, and they want you to correct their lives because of it. These people you have to leave behind because they become a hindrance on your progress. And they’re a hindrance because if all you hear is negativity from them all the time, then it’ll start to infiltrate your mind and taint your thinking. Before you know it, your life has fallen off from you trying to help them out. You see, in the end, you have so many people in your life you will lose along the way. It’s painful, but it’s part of your growth in this world. Everyone is not meant to be in your life. And sometimes its comes from the unlikeliest of places such as friends or family.