MAKE THEM CATCH YOU: HOW COMPROMISING YOURSELF FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS IS NOT SMART

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“Catch up or be left in the dust.”


Ever been running a race and there is someone who you know is in the race with you. You guys both are trying to win yet encourage each other. But you have to also keep in mind that there are others in this race running with the both of you. So if you are in 3rd place and your friend is in 5th, you want that 5th place friend to catch up. But remember, there is 4th between you both, 6th, 7th, and 8th place in the back. And that’s when you start to care less about the position your friend is in, and more about trying to win the race yourself. Because your goal is not to worry about the place where your friend is sitting, but more so where you need to be. And where you need to be, is moving yourself in position for the 1st place win.

See, you can’t think about the person in 5th place that you know. They have to be bent on catching up to you, otherwise, you have to let them lose. And this topic is not about participating in sports. This topic is about trying to run your race in life. I was watching an interview that Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg was apart of where he was discussing this same thing. He stated when he first entered the entertainment business, it was him and his friends. Then, as time progressed he stood tall and they never left their position. And the only way to be at their level was to come back down. And that’s when you start compromising your talents in this world. Which is a statement that I agree with wholeheartedly. You cannot make someone want to be something in life unless they are bent on going the distance themselves. Because you do more harm to them than help to them.

The way I see it, your 3rd place should make them motivated to run faster even if it’s only to finish strong 5th. Hey, and they might catch that 4th place person or even you. But if you drop back to help them, you’re now risking 4th catching you, and also 6th, 7th, and 8th. Now both of you guys are stuck in the back of the pack. And some people are comfortable in the back as long as there is someone there with them. Me, I am far from OK with being in the back of the pack. So in the end, the person who is running behind you have to have it in their mind to want to catch up in life. Because if you keep aiding them, they’ll never grow. They’ll always want you to carry them somewhere. Sometimes you just have to let them fail and keep moving.


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DOUBTERS: WHY YOU ACTUALLY NEED THE HATERS IN YOUR LIFE

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“You will never make it, so why try?”


We’re always taught in our lives to surround ourselves with good people.  Place yourself around those going in the same direction as you. But what happens when all of that is attempted to be derailed by someone who wants to kill your dreams. That means you have to work that much harder to make it happen yourself. Those dream killers are the doubters who either out loud or silently told you it would never happen. They are the ones who it didn’t work for them, and don’t want it to work for you. Where does it come from; why do they need to feel the need to bring you down? And why do you actually in a way need these type of people in your life.

Doubters are people who for a number of reasons may not want to see you succeed in your career of interests. You have the first group of doubters that are the ones that will tell you try something else. They are flat out not interested in anything you do. They see you in the present state and can’t see past that point. You’re perceived by them as a slacker or loser. So they can’t get around the loser that is you. So to them you’re going to always be what your are. Another group of doubters are the people whose careers didn’t pan out so they have to tell you how much it won’t work for you. To them, they couldn’t make it and there is no way you’re better than them. So they just know you’ll fail in life. And if you do succeed, they’ll find the most negative stuff to say about you.

The third group of doubters are the people who have their success and don’t want you to surpass them. To them, you are a threat and must be stopped. But they are not going to just stop you, they’ll be overly negative. The goal is to get you to quit because a lot of times you work for them. They are comfortable with you under them and can’t stand you above where they think you should be. Kind of how comedians have come out recently after Kevin Hart. They were fine when he was below them, now he’s way above them, and now there is every reason to say he doesn’t deserve it. But the last group of doubters are the flat out hate group. They usually have no real discernible talent, and need to bring you down. Because your success further shows how much of their life was a waste. Especially if they remember when both of you were at the bottom. It shows how much time they’ve wasted in their lives.

Now, with all that I have stated, why do we need these doubters? Well, first and foremost they push us to be better. There is no motivation like people telling you you’re not good enough. You work overtime to prove them wrong. But I think the biggest reason we need doubters is to gain an insight into the human psyche. People who doubt you expose aspects of their personality. And not because of criticism; but hate. Criticizing someone is fine when you have a solution to make a situation better. But hate for the sake of hate let’s you in on who the criticizers are internally. And in the end that’s the just of doubters. They have their own internal workings going on. But how they see you and who you really are is totally different. As long as you have self-awareness, what they say has no hold.


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AIM HIGH: ACHIEVING THE GREATEST YOU IN THIS WORLD

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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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CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM VS. OPINIONATED CONVERSATION: HOW TO GIVE ONE AND NOT THE OTHER

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“Know when you’re helping, know when you’re not.”


I love when someone brings insightfulness to me regarding something I am working on that could make my work better. Some bit of advice that I can take and run with toward the success that I want out of life. But there is a far cry between constructive criticism and someone giving some empty opinionated reason why they don’t like something you have done. There are skill that come with providing people with knowledge that is constructive. Meaning when you criticize, make sure you have a legitimate idea to make something better. Don’t just say I don’t like it. Otherwise, not only are you not helping, but you might make the situation worse.

Now, remember before I said there is a skill that comes with giving criticism. There is a way to approach telling someone that their idea is no good without telling them it’s no good. But remember also I said that you should provide a way to make it better. Meaning, let’s say you’re running a fast food restaurant, and you get two criticisms. The first person says the food sucked, and they had an awful time. This is not good enough insight into the restaurant. Then the other person say that my steak was not all the way cooked when I wanted it well done, and when I expressed my grievances the customer service showed little to no interest in aiding me. You see, one criticism is more direct than the other.

Now, here is another aspect of the criticism that is tricky to notice. There are people who will give you in depth criticism, yet it starts to play in the arena of petty. And these are the knick-picky people who will find any reasons to kill and idea. For example, they will do things like pick a word from a written piece of your material. Then they’re give a long drawn out excuse as to how you used the word in the wrong context. They’ll write this in a passive aggressive manner to undermine your accomplishments. Or, they’ll use big words that not even they use on a daily basis just to make themselves appear knowledgeable. So people can read with adulation, like, “Wow, they sure do have a base of vocabulary.

But, as I said earlier, there need to be a way to make things better. Even if you are a critic, you should have your criticism. But make sure to imply that it would have been great if  they would have done blank. Then you leave the possibility of the person reading and gaining some insight for the next time they are working on a project. People who don’t provide a way, even if the criticism is constructive, can quickly find themselves in the empty rhetoric category that is opinionated commentary. Learn to decipher between those that want to see you do better and those that could care less.

In the end, there are people who will always have something to say about your work. Whether it’s constructive or not, they’ll have something. And you just have to learn that it comes with the territory. Not everyone is going to like what you do. Some it’s about taste and preference and others it has to do with not liking you and your work. Whatever the case, believe in your own work and keep pushing forward. Yet, once you allow it to stifle your growth, then you have lost the fight.


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YOUR PLIGHT IS EVERYONE’S PLIGHT: HOW TO OVERCOME HARDSHIP IN A SOCIETY WITH ITS OWN ISSUES

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“I can’t make time for yours, when I have my own.”


Too often, we hear people say, that they have it hard in life because of some extenuating circumstance. They want people to be sensitive to their plight in life. But here is a short answer to how people feel regarding your plight in life, “No one cares.” And when I say that, it really isn’t in a way as to come off as condescending on someone else. It’s just that in life, everyone has something that they are trying to overcome. Your situation is not indicative of you, and the world doesn’t revolve around you. You might be going through something tragic in your life; but we all do.

So why do people feel it is society’s duty to correct something in their lives that happen to so many people everyday. One of the reasons is that it is harder to come out of the rut you’re in. You have been so down on yourself, that how do begin to get out of the rut. It’s like being trapped in a ten foot hole with no supplies to get out. Even if you try to jump as high as you possibly can the highest you can reach is eight of ten needed to get out the hole. So you tell people, be more sensitive to my situation. Fine, and you know what, if you were stuck in hole, people are more than willing to pull you out. But if all these people are around you stuck in holes, then you are lost in the struggle. So you have to find some type of way to get out.

Tough when you don’t have a discernible skill to dig yourself out. And here is another reason people cannot overcome their plight; no skills in life. If you are in the know or even willing to put yourself in the know of what you want, you can elevate yourself. It’s hard for people to see that who are suffering because they only see their current situation. And putting yourself in the know is difficult, but not impossible. Let’s say you want to be a doctor, but grew up in impoverished environments. What do you possibly know about becoming a physician, must less actually being a doctor. Well, you know that Google we use to look up all sorts of debauchery. It’s that same Google we can use to seek out information. Look up countless bits and pieces, and somewhere within the multitude of info is that truth. Me, I wanted to write screenplays, so I clicked how to write a screenplay. And for the past seven years I have wrote and researched how to get better at writing them.

So putting yourself in the know is another aspects of getting yourself out of situations you’re not happy with. Well what about ethnic, religious, or gender disparities that block you in life. And you know what, they exist and will always. But it’s like that old saying, “If someone made it that looks like you, it’s possible.” It’s not guaranteed, but possible. And in the end, that is the biggest issue in society. Everyone want a guarantee and nothing in life is guaranteed. You might work your whole life and never make it. So it’s really not the plight that’s the main concern. It’s putting your all into something and it going nowhere. That’s a reality, but those who are resilient reap rewards. Failure does not determine your outcome, but your willingness to persevere through adversity.  It’s like Denzel Washington stated in a speech, “Ease is a greater threat to progress in life than hardship.” “So keep striving keep pushing, and see you at work.”



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ETHNIC WORKAHOLISM: HOW RACIAL STEREOTYPES HAS EFFECTED BLACK PEOPLE’S WORK ETHIC

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“Living to work.”

As a child my mother would explain to me the hurdles in life I would have to overcome to succeed in America. Conversing with me about how people in society who may not like me simply because of their own beliefs towards those who look like myself. She wasn’t giving me this knowledge as a means to keep me from pursuing my goals in life. She just wanted me to be aware of the pitfalls I may come up against. Was she lying, no; everything I was taught growing up, I experienced. What has it done, it makes you work harder. Sounds fine right; wrong. If anything, your life becomes a job and not necessarily one to be enjoyed. Well, what do I mean by not enjoying your existence?

After leaving high school, I experienced more of what I was raised I would experience. What it now does it that you not only work harder, but it becomes an obsession. You live to work and not work to live. Meaning hard working Black people, especially males, you tend to work to combat something that is racially driven. You’re not working to pay bills, feed yourself & family, or even enjoy your life. You’re just working on a daily basis to combat stereotypes. Most of which state that Black people are lazy and don’t want to work. So, a lot of times your home life or social life fails. Then to add to it, if you work in a professional environment where you’re one of only Black people working there you have to put in more. Because when you screw up, it will catch more attention.

Well, why, why when we do achieve as Black people it’s usually on such a high level? The reason being that we are taught as children that if you’re not twice as good as your White counterparts in your pursuit in life, you’re not going to be successful. We are taught you have to be twice as good to be average. It’s the same reason why Black athletes succeed at such a high level, Black entertainers bring so much to entertainment, and in day to day society we have to go so hard. My pursuit in life is to be a writer for the most part. While the average White male or female want to write compelling material, my goal is to be above Ernest Hemingway or Edgar Allan Poe. It’s only to be average to their work because I have to, not because I choose to.

There are plenty of days, I wish I could be just a normal run of the mill guy. But my average is seen as below average on the charts. So I have to try to crush the past generations of White men and women’s work to be their equal. If they sold 1 million books, you aim at trying to sell 5 million. Because throughout American history, your 5 is their 1. Now, some can say that’s ridiculous, but look at the leaders. There have been some pretty average White men and women who have held very powerful positions. There have been some pretty average, even less than average films and television shows that have not performed well in theaters, yet were given the most credibility. But how many Black people in those same positions have been mediocre, and held top positions. The answer is none, why, because you can’t.

In the end, I’m not saying that I want to be a loser. But giving your life over to working in a world where no matter how hard you work it is still average compared to everyone else is not normal. You tend to lose the ability to build relationships with friends or monogamous relationships. Your time is spent combating more issues than building. So as for me, will I believe the idea that I don’t have to work that hard. No, because still to this day that is evident. I have to beat you (non-Black people) to be average or equal to you.

GROW UP KIDS: THE FAILURE TO LAUNCH FOR AMERICA’S YOUNG ADULTS

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“We are so not ready for the world.”

Generation Me, Generation Y, Generation Selfie! All three describe my generation of young people who are born between the mid 1980’s to the early 1990’s. We are the generation born into an era where everything is for mass consumption. We live record our lives and post to social media our innermost feelings. We determine how many friends we have by the number of followers we have on the internet. Our intimate relationships are initiated in a hurry and end rather quickly. But there is one main thing that makes us have it hard to cope in society. And that is the idea that a lot of time must be taken to build our careers. How do we cope in the real world with having to wait for success in such an immediate environment that we’re used to seeing?

The coping with a long arduous career climb, makes us jumpy when so much moves around you so fast? We work on a job for 6 months, and become discouraged for not advancing in our career. To a working adult in the their middle aged years, you realize that 6 months, hell, 6 years, you’re still not making too much of a difference. In a 10, 15, or 20 year span, you should see that progress with work. The road to success also is viewed by my age group as this jump straight into making a load of money. We have been told by our parents that we’re special our entire lives. Now we think the world owes us something.

Besides our parents and the speed of the environment around us, is there anything else that forces us to not have patience. Another has to do with age in general. We look at our young age, especially when you’re struggling, we think everything is worse than it is. Working toward a goal takes time, and by time I mean years. So the time between 20 years of age and 30 years of age seems tough. But if you started in your early 20’s then hopefully you’re breaking into your career much sooner. Yet, it’s much easier to say start early because when you’re young, you don’t know what you want out of life. There is no real self awareness in your life. So how do you launch yourself into the world?

Well, my story of how I launched myself is for starters moving to a different city. Living in a city that is different than where you grew up is a step forward. There are no friends nor family around, forcing you to grow up quicker on your own. You’ll get a chance to see that no freebies will be allotted to you. All special treatment is out the door and you’re expected to rise to the occasion. So without that safety net, you are forced to work things out over time. Now, there is nothing wrong with reaching back here and there for help when needed. But it is really important for you to be on your own.

So now what? Where do we go from here on out? In my opinion, everyone thinks that whatever generation is young will be doomed. And the previous generations feel they are better and we are worse. I think that once reality set in, a lot of things will change. It’s called paying rent, utilities, student loans, and healthcare. So, for the most part, a lot of what we are is nothing more than a phase. A phase that will past in order to coexist in the dominant society.