No one wants to be a failure in life. Whoever signs up to lose at something is more than likely off of their rocker. However, losses will come whether we like it or not. It’s just a fact of life. But losing isn’t final and we can find ways to succeed even when we don’t win the trophy we were hoping for. The key is to never give up and to be relentless in your pursuit of coming out on top. The longer you persevere and refuse to quit, you will begin to find creative ways to make it to the winners circle especially if you can’t make it there by taking the traditional route. What counts in the end is to keep going. Some people won’t respect your gifts, talents, personality, and abilities. But one thing no one will ever deny and something that everyone respects is work ethic. People with a strong work ethic will always find a way to get to their destination. A strong work ethic enables you to create momentum and it frees you from relying on other people to discover and cosign you. Winners constantly think about winning and are able to overcome the most difficult of odds to get to where they belong… the winners circle.
Great people have the ability to make things look easy. When we see the finished product, it’s easy for us to take for granted the amount of work that goes into to making that product what it is. That work is often very difficult because it requires consistent and intense effort. Sacrifice is also a significant part of becoming great at something. There are many things (and opportunities) that greatness requires that we give up in order to succeed in a specific area. I truly believe that greatness is possible for all of us to achieve. We just have to be willing to do the hard things that don’t gain recognition. We have to grind in the dark while no one is watching so we can execute at a high level when it’s game time.
For me, there aren’t many greater feelings than earning money doing something that I’m passionate about. It’s part of my happiness. No matter how busy I get, I always try to make room for the things I’m passionate about whether they earn income or not. Because my time is valuable, I have to put my time where there is a high potential return on investment (and that’s not just a financial return either). I’ve heard and read about several people who are high income earners but hate what they are doing. Money is only one part of the equation. It’s necessary to block sacred time out to do things that you love, and would do even if you didn’t get paid for it. But here’s the trick, if you do something you love (that provides some sort of service to humanity), more than likely you will become great at it and people will be willing to pay you for your passion. Win win situation right.
At the end of the day, working on your passions gives life to the soul and also gives you a deeper significance as a human being beyond just paying bills, sitting in traffic, and building someone else’s empire. You have to guard this time with your life because you will be a much happier, productive, and loving member of society if you are building something you can be proud of.
So dope! I was featured in Edmonds Community College’s newspaper- the Triton Review.
No one can beat you at being you. Sometimes we live in fear of missing out or giving up opportunities because we live from a place of scarcity rather than abundance. Because of this, we can find ourselves not being true to who we are and behaving certain ways in order to be liked, respected, and included. When we do this, we lose our essence and what makes us special. We then begin to live life from another script and not the one intended for us. If we are not careful, we will let our need to fit in dictate what we do, say, and the impact we ultimately have.
We have to dare to be ourselves… to write our own stories, or better yet, live out the one the Great Author originally purposed for us. Some people will be upset with you when you embark on this journey, but this isn’t their life. It’s yours and you alone will have to live with the decisions you made and the legacy you leave. If it’s in you to dream big, then dream big and live a large life. If that’s not your make-up, live according to the pattern that suits you best. Live a real life and not just from a material stand point. Dare to see yourself as your best self and attempt to live from that place even before you get there. Often times, there is a gravitational pull that tries to keep us where we are currently at. Fight to grow beyond this, no matter the cost. There is always a rich reward on the other side of this battle. Start writing out your story today.
Have you ever had an idea that you didn’t act on and then saw someone else do it? That has happened to me several times. I was telling my wife that at the beginning of last year I came up with an idea to pay for stuff with our phones. While I was jogging, I realized that if I wanted to buy something while I was out running, I’d be out of luck. Normally I only have my cell phone on me when I run, so I thought there should be a way to pay for things with your phone. And this was before this was a feature on our phones, as it is today. Even though I wasn’t able to execute this idea in a timely matter (I’m sure several other people smarter than I am had been working on this idea years before I thought of it), it was fun thinking about it and even realizing that it was a great idea when I begin to see commercials by different credit card companies offering this service.
It’s important to always be coming up with new ideas and implement the ones that you can. I have some ideas that came to me 10 years ago that I am just now starting to carry out. There are other ideas that I know are great, but I won’t act upon them because they are not my true passion (or I don’t have the current resources to carry them out). These are the types of ideas that I pass along to people that I think will take and run with them. Coming up with new ideas daily keeps you relevant and valuable, especially when you are able to execute on some. The more ideas that you deliberately come up with, the more easily they will come. Creativity begets more creativity.
2016 has been an incredible year for me. I reached so many milestones and accomplished a lot of things that I am proud of. However, the road hasn’t been easy (and still isn’t). There are many things that have happened to me throughout my life that, at one point, caused me to doubt myself and almost give up. I feel like this year was a critical turning point for me because the stakes in my personal life are higher now. I’m getting older and I’m married with children. Every decision that I make effects them and sacrifices that don’t pay off can take a toll on everyone. I’m steering a bigger ship and it’s not always possible to turn on a dime or at a moments notice. And sometimes, I’m not as consistent as I would like to be both in my career and in my family. I probably spend half of my day strategizing and calculating my next move for this very reason. There just isn’t enough time to do everything I’m passionate about!
I’ve lived and learned the concept of incremental progress. Incremental progress is making a resolution to do at least one thing a day (or week, month, etc.) that brings you closer to a goal. It may sound like a very minuscule thing, but it’s an unbelievably difficult practice to keep up (especially when you don’t see the payoff immediately). But this is where perseverance comes in. Perseverance is finding a way to keep going when you feel like you can’t. It takes a strong will to continue to move forward when you’re tired, life isn’t working how you want it to, and you are limited on resources. The benefit of persevering is that when you stay active (that is, keep going), you discover new ways to get closer to what you want. You begin to see what you are made of and will discover how bad you want what you want. I like how Eric Thomas puts it, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful.” Along the way, several people have come along and helped me in my pursuits without me even asking. I feel like this has happened because I prayed really hard for help and also because I refuse to quit. Some people just respected my grind and willingness to keep going. I’m stubborn as a mule when it comes to going after something I really want. It’s my gift and my curse.
Perhaps you haven’t arrived to the place in life that you feel you should be at. Life is a marathon and has a way or rewarding people that stick it out until the end of the race. I both challenge and encourage you to just put your head down and continue to stride forward. Sometimes, you just have to focus on the journey and not the destination. When you do this, I truly believe that you will land where you want, but you will also get some nice surprises along the way. My hope and prayer for you is that you will find material, mental, spiritual, and relational prosperity in 2017.
This past November, I had the tremendous honor of speaking and performing at Edmonds Community College. I spoke about Hip Hop as a Force for Social Change. The Triton Talks team captured the lecture, Q&A session, and interview. You can check out all of the footage below.
Q and A Session