Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Grind

Here is another Real Talk throwback.  Again, something I wrote in 2005, but I feel can be applicable today.  Enjoy, and have a great week.

Today, I invite you to take an inspirational walk with me.  A quick walk that will hopefully give you some perspective on this everyday grind, that we call life.  A walk that will not end when there are no longer words on this page, but a walk that will commence with that last period, and be something that you can take with you as you ‘grind’ this upcoming week.  During this particular walk, I would like to share with you, a personal conflict.  I feel that the picture I can paint for you on these walls may be a familiar picture…if not for you, for someone you know.

On the afternoon of November 19, 1977, I was awoken to the sights, sounds, and smells of a world that promised me that I had a purpose for being here.  Even though at that moment I could not grasp what my purpose was, the mere fact that I had crossed over in to this world and took my first breath, gave me and my family hope that I would someday realize that purpose.  So with that, my family and friends, fed and nurtured me so I could grow strong, physically and emotionally.  But the rest was up to me.  I could only be armed with so many tools, and they would prove to be useless, less I stepped up and decided to create something with those tools.

Fast forward twenty seven years later.  I have had the blessing of being armed with the most amazing tools.  My pockets are heavy with knowledge, and my feet are fueled with motivation to run in the direction of success.  Yet, I find that I am running in place.  Even though I have evaluated every possible direction, and weighed the pros and cons for every step, I remain in one spot.  Possibly because when I have headed toward success, an unforeseen obstacle (boss, bad day, negative people, etc…) chased me back to my spot.

Well recently, my feet have grown tired.  I have found that I can only run in place for so long before I begin to wear down the soles of my feet.  All of that pounding in one spot has deteriorated the ground that I once stood firmly on, and as it deteriorates, I’m beginning to feel as if I am sinking.  See, I could simply stop running, but then I would cease to matter…and eventually, I would cease to exist.  Or, I could continue running in place, as most people tend to do, and fall in to a hole that is impossible to get out of, watching all of my options disappear before my eyes.  Or I could choose the one and only option that makes sense.  I know it is easier to stop running, or to continue to run in place but the obvious choice clearly outshines these two options.

So, as we end our walk and the journey that waits us Monday morning steadily approaches, let’s remember that our purpose may not be found out this week, but the possibility of getting one step closer to that purpose, relies on those motivated feet of ours.  Whether you’re at work and your boss or one of your colleagues stresses you, or you’re at home and one of your family members gets in your way, or whatever the obstacle you encounter may be, take a moment to yourself, breathe deep and say;

“I’M GONNA DO GREAT THINGS”…  (whatever that may mean to you)

And really believe it.

Then continue to run for your success…the daily grind will be worth it, because it’s secondary.  The purpose of life is much bigger than that.  I wish you a good week…

You…The Great American (Real Talk – MLK Day version)

Today is a special day for many reasons.  You were able to wake up and enjoy it is one, but certainly it being Dr. Martin Luther King Jr day and the inauguration of our President… which is why I saved Real Talk for today.

As President Obama heads into his second term (something my parents would have never imagined considering the generation they grew up in) the country stands divided.  Not nearly as divided as the country Dr. King knew, but nevertheless, divided.  On one hand, it makes complete sense that we are divided.  We are a country faced with many issues like high unemployment rates and high taxes, skyrocketing healthcare costs, the war on terror, gun control and providing our children a better education so we can continue to compete with other nations.  The divide tells me that these are issues that the citizens of our country are taking very seriously, and they should.  The future of our country depends on solving these issues, and others as they arise, which will strengthen our foundation for generations to come.

The issue, on the other hand, is that the divide has not inspired solutions.  The world that Dr. King, and so many others, lived in was one full of challenges.  Dr. King, and those like him, saw those challenges and created solutions.  The greater good in the people of this nation, took to those solutions and created changes that continue to shape our great land.  Yes, Dr. King did a lot of talking, as a lot of us do today.  It’s certainly much easier today because of the many vehicles we have that allow us to talk…loudly and recklessly at times.  But don’t only remember Dr. King as a man with many words of wisdom.  He was a man of action.  He was a man of collaboration.  He was a man that looked for a solution whenever or wherever one needed to be found.  It’s that type of mentality that leads to a better country.  It’s that type of mentality that leads to a better state.  It’s that type of mentality that leads us to be better people.

I know that a King effort may not be needed on every issue, but the fact that we are all capable of effort is lost on some.  It sometimes seems as if all we know how to do is talk about an issue, and how wrong everyone else is for their stance on the issue, but we are not providing any productive dialogue.  If that’s you then either you be quiet while the do’ers try and do, or you begin to help find a solution.  I’m confident you will go with the latter because I have faith in us.  I believe that we can be the change that we seek.  I believe that if we begin to see the objects of our divide as the issue themselves and not the people trying to solve the issues, we will be much more productive.  We are all human and the large majority of us seek to do good, but that doesn’t mean that the quest to do good is always punctuated with a favorable outcome.  That’s why we must help each other, not stifle one another.

Not everyone can be Dr. King.  Not everyone can inspire a nation to see the err of its ways, and commit to changing those ways even when death might be the consequence.  That takes one hell of an individual.  But for every one of those King like individuals, there are 1000’s of others who can inspire their town…who can inspire their family and friends…who can inspire a small group of individuals with similar interests.  And the greater good within those people will take to the message, and tackle the issues, as long as the foundation of the inspiration is an open mind.  One that’s committed to respect, collaboration, and problem solving, and not endless complaining and name calling.  That’s all it takes.  Who knows, you may inspire the next Dr. King.

I close this by saying if there is an issue you feel strongly about, don’t wait for someone else to solve it.  From your kids school, to an issue at work, to an issue in your town.  You have a voice.  Sit back and do nothing, or contribute to the solution.  You have a choice.  Let’s honor the great American’s who came before us and made decisions that allow us to live freely in such a great country by being great American’s ourselves.

Thank you for joining me on another journey.  Have a great week!

We All Fail Sometimes

Failure is a part of life. It’s important that we recognize that one failure doesn’t equal the end of the world.  This concept is probably a very obvious one, but one that we tend to forget about as we inevitably encounter a failure.

The good thing is, if you have failed at something, and have a strong reaction (see Eli Manning above), you are likely someone who takes pride in what you do.  You want to do well, and you strive to do well on a regular basis.  That in and of itself is commendable, but naturally you will fail from time to time.

The best thing you can do is learn from your mistakes.  That is, figure out where you went wrong, and make dam sure you can’t go wrong in that same fashion again.  As you go through your week, note opportunities for improvement, in work, and in your personal life.  At the end of each day, think about how the day went.  What went wrong, and how can you improve?  What went well, and how can you make sure to do it well, every single time.  I’m realistic, you can’t do that every day, but make an effort to do it a few times this week.

Lastly, understand that even the best people fall short.  In sports, athletes fail in the national spotlight, as do politicians, and entertainers.  They are people who, in some cases, make a lot more money than we do and are deemed “smarter” or more “successful” than we are.  That is debatable I’m sure, but the point is that even they have failures and society understands that.  In many cases, we root for that person to succeed (just like the friends and family in your corner). You are not judged solely by the failure.  You are judged on how you handle your failure (as well as your successes).

So, if you are dealing with something right now, and you’re down on yourself because you screwed up….you can let it go…RIGHT NOW!  You can’t change yesterday, you can only influence the moments after this one.  And I don’t mean look like you let it go…by pretending it’s all gone and smiling like you’ve moved on, but still letting it eat at your insides.  I mean, really move on.  Accept it, learn from it, and start living in the now again.  That’s your goal for this week.  Welcome back to the future.  Until next time.

First Date Musts (For Men)

If you are single and dating, this is a must read.  All too often, we wonder what it is we need to do in order to attract the opposite sex.  There are too many variables to consider when it comes to attracting a woman (which I may cover at a later date), but if you have been lucky enough to get a date, there are only a few things you need to know in order to get a second date.  Do these things and you are almost guaranteed to see her again.  So without further delay.

1. Choose a thoughtful place for the date.  Dinner and a movie is for chumps (do people say chump anymore).  There’s comedy shows, adult arcades, etc…but if you really want to impress her, take her to a strip club.  Right off the bat she’ll be smitten by your appreciation of women.  In addition, your willingness to give charity to these young struggling women (who are obviously paying their way through school), highlights your giving nature.  Lastly, her self esteem will soar because she’ll immediately feel better about herself for not having to do such things for money; relying on her mind as opposed to her body, for profit.

2.

Don’t ask too many questions.  Women hate to feel like they are being interrogated.  If you ask too many questions she will feel as if you are being nosy, and immediately become insecure.  Furthermore, she’s going to feel that you have something to hide, which will make her suspicious.  You should only talk about yourself, and whenever she begins to talk about herself, direct the conversation back to you.  She’ll be relieved that you are so in touch with yourself and can articulate all of the great things about you so easily.  It makes the “what do I like about him” conversation with her girlfriends later, easier.

3.  At least twice during the date, you must call her the name of an ex-girlfriend.  On the surface, this may sound like a bad idea, but women want to know you have the ability to love.  What better way to show your ability than to show that you still have another woman on your mind.  She will find this endearing, and anxiously hope that she will one day be the woman you mistakenly call another woman.

4.

Be sure to compliment her on how she looks.  Not a subtle, “you look nice.”  Be very specific about a body part you are complimenting.  Chances are, she’s worked very hard to make herself look a certain way, and it’s almost rude to not point it out.  “Wow, you have huge perky breasts,” or “those lips look so good I can only imagine how they’d feel on every part of my body.”  These are the types of things she wants to hear.  It will make her feel as if all of her pre-date preparation was well worth it.

5.  At the end of the night, go in for a big wet tongue kiss.  Make sure you try to stick your tongue all the way down her throat, so to speak.  Tongue kissing is like the placement of the garter at a wedding.  The further you can get your tongue passed her lips, the more dates you guaranteed to have.  That may be an old wise tale, but the truth is, she wants to know if you like her.  You can tell her you like her, but actions speak louder than words.  A long wet tongue to the back of the throat is just the key.

If you’re feeling really connected, place your palm on her behind.  These acts together tell her that you like her, and you think she has a nice body.  She will feel well complimented and may invite you in at this point.  What you do from here, is up to you my friend.

BONUS

Get drunk.  A woman wants a manly man.  Manly men drink, and they drink a lot.  It must be beer, scotch, or hard liquor straight up.  No mixed drinks allowed.  Make sure she knows at the end of the date, she was on a date with a man!!!

Use these tips wisely, and you are well on your way to a second date.  You’re welcome!!

Self Diagnostic

In this journey of life, we spend a lot of time trying to find our way.  How can we be more successful, be a better parent, child, or worker?  When will I reach the goals I’ve set for myself?  Unfortunately, life flies by so quickly, that real strides toward those goals, on a day to day basis, can be almost impossible to reach.  Too many things happen in an instant.  Too many obstacles and unforeseen challenges throw themselves in our way.  Most importantly, a lot of us don’t know who we really are, or we fool ourselves into believing we are something we are not.

Then we read cliche sayings,  or look to others to say and do things that will inspire us to make the necessary changes.  It’s good, and even necessary, to find something to hold onto.  A saying is good fuel, but you have to take care of the vehicle receiving the fuel.  Understand its needs, and know how to maintain it.  A beat up car with a full tank of gas, that hasn’t had an oil change, or tune up is useless.  So how do you maintain your vehicle?

The first step is to do a full diagnostic.  This sounds difficult, and may seem as if requires a lot of energy or constant self awareness.  However, that’s not true.  There’s a saying that says, look in the mirror and see if you like what you see.  In my opinion, that’s not realistic.  That doesn’t allow you really get in touch with who you are.  So, who are you?  You are that person, that when laying down to sleep at night, that is consumed with thoughts of the day past and the days ahead.  When you are laying in a quiet room, with no distractions, you are your thoughts.  Are you happy with who you are?  Are you happy with how you have been handling your relationships; your job; your finances?  Can you, without outside judgement, eliminate the evil or self fulfilling thoughts and honestly think about your actions or inactions?  Can you think about all of this without making irrational excuses and say, I feel good about this or that?  That is who you are.

Some people meditate to get a bead on themselves.  It’s not an easy thing to do; I’ve tried.  But I can understand the concept.  Clear your mind of distractions and self evaluate.  If you feel good about who you are and what you have done to get closer to the person you want to be, then you are on the right path.  If you know you could do more; say more; act more…then it’s up to you to do the things that will allow for that.  But only you can be the true judge of that.

Along those same lines, if you are truly happy with yourself and truly happy with the energy you are putting out into the world (without hate, selfishness, etc…) and someone doesn’t accept you, then get rid of them.  Finding yourself includes accepting yourself.  The things you need to make better, make them better.  Don’t just go onto social networks and claim that today is a new day, and things will change.  It’s not that easy.  Evaluate how you feel about you regularly (daily may be too much).  Do the self diagnostic, and then begin to fix what you can.

Lastly, don’t try to fix everything at once.  Each area of improvement may require a few steps.  Identify the few things that you need to do, and work on each part.  Otherwise, you’re only setting yourself up for failure.

I hope this helps carry you through another week.  Thanks for walking with me even as I ramble; writing these words, are therapeutic for me.  Until next week.