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The Pursuit of Passion (Excerpt)

The following is an excerpt from my new book “The Pursuit of Passion: How to Sequence your Life for Success”. This excerpt is highlighting chapter 9 in the book entitled “Mental Health”. If you have not done so, and are considering it, I would encourage you to purchase a copy of the book for yourself here. There is so much in there that will literally change your life; and you would be supporting this website in a tangible way so that I can continue to produce the relevant content that you love:

One of the ways to avoid the calamity of a bad decision is to be able to parse through what it is that your brain is telling you that you are receiving. This is called mindfulness. Wait! Do not put the book down yet! I know sometimes mindfulness can get a bad rep for being misused and overvalued however, this is in part because subscribers to mindfulness are more so parishioners of a ‘faith’; as opposed to users of a tool.

Within the context of psychology being mindful is a type of introspection that forces you to reflect on yourself within the framework of what you are currently experiencing as opposed to projecting – emoting for the sake of survival. Mindfulness is about looking at a subjective response objectively: “why in response to that did I do this or feel that?”. You live with you more than anyone else does, the least you can do is understand what makes you tick.

Why do you personally take offense when you hear a socially derogatory term? What would make you cross the street indiscriminately at the sight of a group of black men? What made you think that someone who was not talking about you actually was? Mindfulness is having a clear and rational consensus of self. Knowing who you are is deeper than knowing what you want, it’s about knowing why you want it.

As this relates to choice, and making better decisions, mindfulness can help on multiple fronts. Over a course of time being intrinsically self-aware lends itself to the decision-making process in that for starters, you will know how to say ‘no’. At some point in your walk, ‘no’ should become your best friend. Warren Buffett once said that saying ‘no’ is the secret to success.

‘No’ will keep you out of things that you have no business being a part of in the first place. It is important that ‘no’ is your friend and that you keep its number on speed dial. It’s not enough to know ‘no’, you have to be able to say it: “Sorry, I am unavailable on that day”, “no, that does not sound like a good idea to me”, or “I can’t today maybe next time”. This is about being lord over your time.

The only true currency that we have is our attention, and our attention costs us time. The phrase “pay attention” literally means give whatever that is in front of you your focus (focus being the commodity); and in exchange, that thing in front of you, is going to give you something worth your time. Some of us are losing our minds because we are giving our attention to the wrong things.

Why are you worried about that? Why are you spending time on that? Why are you focusing on this instead of that? “Seeing the bright side” is a literal life or death prognosis, that is, being able to do so versus an inability wherein.

Click here to download your copy of The Pursuit of Passion

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The Pursuit of Passion (Excerpt)

Over the next few days and possibly couple of weeks, I am going to be releasing content directly related to my new book “The Pursuit of Passion: How to Sequence your Life for Success“. There is some amazing content in there that I know your life is going to be changed by when you purchase your copy, if you have not already.

The following is an excerpt of out chapter 10 in the book entitled “Relationships”; let me know what you think in the comments section below. Enjoy:

I have talked about family; we have discussed friends, but now let’s talk about “the one”. Your significant other, your partner, your “better half”. This is the person that you morph your life together with, to create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. Some people get really attached in romantic relationships being so into the other person that they lose themselves.

Some know how to strike that healthy balance of care, support, and consideration that makes every day feel brand new. And some are literal thrill rides waiting to see which passenger will jump first. This is not a dating column or an intro lesson on marriage, but what I am trying to impress on you is that at this level, who you have in your life matters.

Beyond the vanity of sexual attraction who you have as your spouse can make all the difference in the trajectory of your life. In the Bible there is a story about this man named Job. He was a wise and faithful man who loved the Lord. One day he became a target for Satan and was left desolate and without any of his worldly possessions. Even still he (Job) remained committed to God to the point where his wife got so irritated with him that she said, “why don’t you just curse God and die”. Thank God Job did not listen to her because if he had his story would have turned out differently. The person who is in your corner should be in your corner.

Do not be unevenly yoked meaning, do not subjugate yourself to 70/30, 60/40, 80/20 relationships where you are always the one carrying the heavier load. Your romantic relationships should be one that is truly of mutual benefit. This is a testament of wholeness. You do not want to be in any position where someone is one foot in one foot out as it comes to you. Oh, but you love that person? It’s okay to love from a distance. 

This is one of the areas of traversing your road to success that a lot of people will trip up on. Just because you are growing does not mean you have to let go of those you love and care for. Truth be told anyone who leaves you was never for you in the first place. People come for reasons seasons and lifetimes, and too many times especially in our romantic life, we will give someone lifetime access that only deserved a season pass. You have to be able to compartmentalize what a person means to you. What do I mean? This may sound messed up, but ask yourself objectively, ‘how important is a specific relationship really?’.

Sometimes we tend to hold on to a relationship just because we have history via shared experiences. The issue that tends to pop up with this type of relationship however is, as one person grows the other person cannot or refuses to acknowledge that person’s growth. This leads to dissension because all of a sudden amicability goes out of the window and resentment begins to creep in. Treating the people in your life with a degree of objectivity also keeps them from lording over you. People who cannot go where you can, will try to keep you from going. Remember that you are responsible for your own quality of life – you only receive what you believe you are worthy of receiving. If you do not believe you can find someone better, you will not.

If you only believe that your ambition can only go as high as someone else’s ceiling for your life, then that will be your reality. No one should actively try or want to keep you from being all that you were created to be. Sometimes you have to stand in the gap for yourself, advocate for yourself, and find a degree of fidelity with yourself that will hold you and those you have or invite into your life to a high standard.

Click here and your copy today!

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How to Make your Dreams a Reality

My brand is all about helping people make their dreams a reality. I believe that it is possible for people to live in a state of perpetual prosperity. What I mean by that is, regardless of what your bank account may look like, and regardless of what your life circumstances may be, it is possible for you to experience the fullness of life.

Who you are is more important than what you do. We live in a society that praises the title. We gawk over the CEO, the President of something, and the billionaire, but walk pass and dismiss someone we determine in our own high mindedness is not of value. Aside from this line of thinking being erroneous it is hypocritical.

No one is perfect and we all fall short at something. Just the idea alone that we may snicker at someone that we deem less than reflects the inadequacies that we have festering in our own lives. I am a big fan of Jay Z and consider him one of my mentors, but I will be the first to tell you that he has never supported any of my dreams. Not that I expect him to, but rather to make the point that just because you look up to someone does not mean that they are looking down back at you.

When it comes to our every day lives, we get so caught up in the big moments and in the big breaks, when in fact 90% of our lived experience is mundane. Every day that you show up to work you are most likely participating in the same daily activities. My primary job is that I write. What I write about may change, but at the end of the day I still sit behind a screen and click keys on a keyboard.

Living a prosperous life is not about being better than your counterpart, having the greenest grass on the block, having more money than your friends, or living an over the top lifestyle. Living prosperously is about living a life that is in alignment with who you really are.

When you get up and look in the mirror are you happy with the person staring back at you. When you reflect on your life can you stand by your decisions? Unfortunately for a lot of us we have believed the lie that happiness is a pipe dream. We tend to associate how happy we are with how much money and material things that we have. The happiness barometer however, is not indicative to how much stuff you have, but rather, it is representative of your capacity to operate from a place of abundance.

The bible says that the secret to life is contentment. Being content means being able to live a full life no matter what you may be experiencing. This means that if you have a lot, you do not live frivolously, and if you have little, you do not live in a way that diminishes your quality of life.

What good is it to have all the money in the world, the newest cars, the biggest house, and coolest technology? For one, all that stuff is, is a more expensive bill every month. And secondly, if all it is doing is bringing more stress into your life, is it worth it? On the other end of that spectrum, if you do not have a lot, instead of focusing on what you do not have, focus on what you do have. When you shift your mindset from scarcity to abundance you will always have everything you need.

Living a life that perpetuates prosperity is about living within your means, but also having a vision for more. If you are alive that means you have purpose. Whether you are 18 or 81, if air still flows through your lungs there is something for you to accomplish on this planet.

And here is the kicker, whatever it is that is your mission in life, it is not even for you. No man is an island unto themselves, but also, no man solely lives for himself. Whatever you are called to do in this life, it is supposed to reverberate and impact a generation. Your vision should be big enough to include other people.   

Prosperity is not just about what you get, it is about what you do with what you get. Are you actively looking for people and communities to bless with your abundance? To whom much is given, much is required. The fact of the matter is, you may not have what you want in life because you are not being a good steward with what you already have.

If nothing else, you have a mind and a perspective: How are you stewarding the way you think? At this point we are not even talking about money. Is your thought life right? How do you think about yourself? What about the people you have been given?

It is not enough to be present if you do not have a presence. How are you leaving your mark in every moment that you enter into? Do you sow value into other peoples lives or are you too condescending to consider how your words and actions may impact someone else?

What I am talking about here are simple universal laws. The law of reciprocity states that what you do to/for someone else will be returned unto you. The law of attraction states that what you put out into the world gravitates towards you. in other words, we determine our lived experience every day just based on how we engage with the seemingly insignificant moments in our lives.

That is why I am careful with how I talk to other people. I consider the life of someone else. Have you ever truly empathized with someone? Tried imagining yourself in their circumstance? At the end of the day we are all human, which from the most basic sense means we all eat and we all use the bathroom. What good are you if you cannot even relate with someone on that level?

This is important in relation to your dreams being made manifest because at some point in your life, if you have not already, you will come across someone who does not look think or act like you. And the irony of life is, that same person will be the one who will be able to help you. How you consider someone within your same species (meaning they have two legs, two arms, ten fingers, ten toes, two eyes, one nose, and one mouth) will determine how far you go in your life.

We are living in a value economy. People determine your worth in their life based on what you bring to the table. I have said it before, and I will say it again, money in and of itself is not real. The only value money has is the agreed upon value that we as a society put on it.

If tomorrow everyone decided a piece of paper with a number printed on it no longer had any significant value, money would be worthless. Do not believe me? Look at countries where their money has been devalued; What would cost 1 USD in America might cost 1000 notes in another currency. The only thing that truly matters is who you are and what value you have as a person. What you do with that value in relation to other people ultimately determines your trajectory in life.

You make your dreams a reality by living with fidelity with yourself, adding value to other people’s lives, and operating from a place of abundance and not scarcity. And the key is to do this within the context of your vision. You cannot make your dream a reality if you do not have a dream. And it is not that you do not have a dream, what is more likely the issue is that you have repressed your dream.

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Society has waged war against individualism in the sense of having a unique desired outcome for yourself. Culture promotes individualism by encouraging us to live lives separate from one another. However, that is not true individuality. Individuality is that person who does not want to sell 40 hours of their existence every week to someone who tells them every day that they are replaceable.

From school age we are programed to dread Mondays, live for the weekend, and to force ourselves to do things that are not in alignment with who we are. How can someone be their best self when the world around them says that their best self is the wrong self. We praise people for working a 9 to 5 but mock those who follow their dream to start a business.  

Has your dream been mocked? Maybe that is why you have given up on it. Your dream could be anything, it does not have to be to start a business, but my question is, who told you that it could not be done? I have people who mock me to this day who consider it foolish of me to pursue my dreams to be a blogger and business investor.

The fact of the matter is, whenever you have a dream you will always have someone around who says it cannot be done. It is not because you cannot do it, it is because they cannot do it. Any negative thing that a person puts on you, is a reflection of the negativity that person harbors within themselves. Be careful with who you allow to tend the proverbial garden of your life. Not everyone that is with you is for you, consider Judas and Jesus.

The truth about your dreams is this: they would not have been given to you if they were not meant to be fulfilled through you. The word desire means of the father meaning, God actually wants to fulfill your dreams in your life. You must learn to live untethered to reality. Just because things look bleak around you does not mean that there is no hope for you. You are a spiritual being having a physical experience. Life does not affect you; you affect life.

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If you want to learn more and take this to the next level by discovering what exactly it is you should be doing to make your dreams a reality, sign up for my free Life Essentials course. In it I teach you how to be more mindful, how to navigate your relationships, connect with your spirituality, and manage your resources. The purpose of this course is to give you a blueprint on which you can build your dream reality around. Whatever your goal is, you can place it within this framework, and you will immediately start making significant strides towards success.

I do not believe you must wait for the most opportune time to start living the life you want. That is a lie that the world tells us. We are expected to deny ourselves and live below our own capabilities to pacify, build, and support someone else. You can start being 100% you today, stop making yourself wait. Because in reality, what are you waiting for? There is nothing and no one holding you back aside from yourself. Get out of your own way and stop waiting for permission from someone who may not even want to see you succeed. Commit to yourself before you commit to anyone else.

I want to hear form you! Leave a comment below if you found value in this post.

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Take Control of your Imagination

When did you stop using your imagination? Kind of a weird question I know, but if you were to take a moment to reflect, at what point did you decide that you no longer had any room for your imagination? The reason why I ask this is because a lot of us suffer from imagination deprivation.

What I mean is, at some point in our lives it becomes “uncool” or unbecoming for us to use our imagination. A lot of times this happens as we age and mature. We think that only kids can use their imagination, and that there is no room for it in adulthood. I am here to let you know that, that line of thinking is erroneous.

You see, you are a spiritual being having a physical experience. The majority of your life is not lived on the physical plane. On the first page and in the first sentence of the bible it says that in the beginning God created. This is an essential revelation because we are all derived from the same universal source.

What that means is, not only were we created by God/the universe, but we ourselves are creative beings. Creativity is a human’s superpower. Do not believe me? Look no further than our technological advances. It took some of the world’s most creative minds to get us to a place where nearly every person on the planet has a computer in their pocket.

Any and all art is an expression of creativity. From your favorite song to the most unique painting, it all is a product of creativity. The writing process is a creative process. Your favorite movie director is a creative. A chef is a creator. Whatever skill, job, or ability you can think of, it is rooted in creativity.

The source of your creative ability is grounded in your imagination. If you find yourself having a limited life experience might I suggest it is because you have put a limit on your imagination.

One of the unique attributes of children is their ability to engage with their imagination. Children can have fun doing almost anything. To them the world is limitless; they do not concern themselves with what they do not have, but rather, they immerse themselves in what they do have.

boy in white long sleeve shirt and green pants sitting on floor beside girl in red
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As we get older however, we begin to adopt a limited mindset that we call ‘realism’ and ‘pragmatism’. Now neither of these thought processes are disingenuous in and of themselves however, people tend to use them as a crutch as opposed to applying them as a perspective.

The clearest way you may see this play out in your life is when you think about all of the things that you cannot do. It is real easy for someone to say why they cannot do something and provide surface level legitimacy. The problem is, there is no intrinsic reason why people cannot do something aside from unbelief.

The fact of the matter is we only receive what we believe we are worthy of receiving. Too many people lack vision for themselves and operate on a seeing is believing agenda. What are you believing for if you are not seeing anything? Where there is no vision the people perish; if you cannot activate your creativity through imagination you literally stunt your own growth.

What happens is, people focus on the wrong questions. Stop asking yourself what if it does not happen and start asking yourself what if it does. Instead of listing why you cannot, ask yourself why not you and why not now?   

The key to taking control of your imagination is to suspend your unbelief. Instead of believing that something will not/cannot happen; trick yourself for a moment and consider that thing actually happening. Can you imagine an amazing life for yourself or is that too much of a task?

shallow focus photography of man wearing red polo shirt
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Do you dwell in the desires of your heart or are they distant dreams that only come up in casual conversation? The word desire means of the father in other words, that thing that you want, the universe wants you to have it. Life is conspiring on your behalf.

To tap into this truth, you must imagine what it looks like. We are co-creators with God. He wants to express himself through us, and the way he does that is through our creative abilities. God gives us the vision, but we form it. That is why my motto is from the soapbox to the stage. Success and fame have been put on my heart as an aspiration and desire. I cultivate that dream through the way in which I choose to pursue it.

Some people actively engage in not pursuing their dream because they believe it is unrealistic. The truth is however, the dream would not have been given to you if it was not meant to be fulfilled through you. when you use your imagination and engage with your creativity, you are living out the fullness of your life. This is why I created my Life Essentials Course, because I believe each and every one of us has the right to live out the totality of our lives.

When you suspend your unbelief, for a moment you transplant yourself into your desires. Regardless of whether it has yet to manifest in your life, the value is in the feeling.

cheerful woman on grass lawn in countryside
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Level two of living your dream life is embodying it. Just for a moment, what would it feel like to have all the money you could ever want? What would it mean to you to have that significant other enter your life today? How much better would your life be if your business took off by the time you finish reading this post?

Suspending your unbelief does not mean neglecting your reality, it means that even if just for a moment, you allow your mind to defy your reality. 95% of brain activity is unconscious meaning that, most of our waking experience is a by product of a deeply rooted subconscious belief.  

What if you could change your mind? How would that impact your behavior? What imprint would that leave on your spirit? This is what living in alignment is all about – having fidelity to yourself. Living in such a way that your mind body and spirit are in total synchronicity.

It all starts with your imagination. If you can take back control of your imagination you can tap into your creativity which will in turn, lead you to live out your desires. Stop allowing the world to dictate what you can and cannot believe. Most of your life is not even what you experience physically; What you experience physically reflects how you process things internally.

Instead of choosing to only see what is possible, start believing in what seems impossible. This is where the road to change starts; It is the difference between what you currently see, and what you believe could be.

I want to hear from you! Leave a comment below if you found value in this post.

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5 Ways to Combat Depression

Feeling depressed can be debilitating. It can make you feel as if you are in a void. Covered by a cloud of darkness and surrounded by a wave of emptiness. What makes it all the more abhorrent is that you cannot always differentiate that thought process from real life.

When I experience a depressed mood, it can sometimes take me a while to acknowledge that, that’s what is happening. As the lines between reality and perception start to blur, one’s resolve can start to shrink. When that happens one’s mind can be their biggest snare.

I was officially diagnosed with depression back in 2016, and since then, I have learned the skills and techniques necessary to combat some symptoms associated with it. While I do not think depression can be 100% overcome, I do think it can be managed well.

So well in fact, that you can drastically reduce your depressed moods. By learning how to incorporate the following techniques into your daily life, you can position yourself to receive everything life has for you on the other side of a depressed state.

1. Know your Enemy

One of the first pitfalls of depression is people do not know its characteristics. People can identify a depressed mood, but beyond ‘feeling sad’, your average person may be unable to effectively explain what that looks like. One of the reasons for this is because depression sometimes disguises itself as a lifestyle choice.

Being lethargic, unmotivated, or disinterested in something for example, can all come across by themselves as a person’s affect, however, in some cases those dispositions can be a perpetuated symptom of depression that has yet to be addressed.

You have to know what depression looks like and how it presents itself. There are various nuances of depression but the most common symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood
  • Flat affect
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Excessive guilt
  • Suicidal ideations

2. Get Active

Upon being able to acknowledge that you may be exhibiting symptoms of depression, the next essential is to get physically active.

You beat depression one symptom at a time.

Lethargy is the one symptom that can be most easily combated. One study showed that 15 minutes of physical activity [specifically running] can reduce one’s risk of major depression by 26%.

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Combating depression means combating lethargy with activity. Now this does not necessarily mean you have to run a 15 minute mile daily, but this does mean that at the very least, you should be going outside every day in some capacity and engaging in a significant Level of physical activity (running/hiking/bike riding/going on a long walk).

It has also been shown, that sunlight increases the level of serotonin in our brains which in addition to diminishing depressed mood also: regulates behaviors, appetite, sleep, memory, and sexual desires and functions.

3. Examine your Thoughts

Additionally, depression can have grave implications on one’s thought pattern. You may not always be able to control what you think, but you can learn how to identify when your thinking pattern may be off.

When you examine your thoughts you are questioning the validity of any renegade thought that may cross your mind. This technique is a bit more challenging as it does take a higher level of self-awareness however, by knowing why you may be thinking a certain way, you can come to understand why you may be feeling a particular way in response to your thoughts.

Examining your thoughts starts by you being able to identify when one of your thoughts is unrepresentative of your reality. If a person starts thinking or acting abnormally, by taking time to understand why, they can begin to start replacing those negative thoughts and behaviors with positive ones.

The effectiveness of this technique is amplified when its paired with an accountability partner. Sometimes we cannot see our own flaws, and by having someone who is willing to journey with us, they may be able to better pinpoint a potentially maladaptive behavior trait.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a mental health technique where one practices having a conscious awareness of oneself. At base level we should each know what makes us tick as individuals; mindfulness is knowing why that thing makes you tick; And why when it does, you tick in the way that you do. You are mindful when you are aware of your reasoning.

A bedrock way of developing a mindfulness habit is by being able to identify your triggers. Triggers are people, places, and things that elicit a negative response whether it be mentally, emotionally, or behaviorally.

Knowing what triggers you can give a wealth of insight. It helps to develop a framework necessary to protect against negative influences.

5. Speak to Someone

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Above all the other techniques, this is the most essential. When in a depressed state it is important to have a support system that you can turn to. This support system can be composed of friends and family, and if necessary, in can and should also include a licensed therapist.

Thankfully, there is a multitude of resources easily available so that individuals do not have to suffer in silence. As mentioned, depression can be very nuanced, and while these techniques may yield varying results depending on the severity of one’s symptoms, a mental health condition like major depressive disorder or persistent depressive disorder with any kind of comorbidity, is not something to be taken lightly.

Seeking proper help can acutely reduce a person’s chances of dying by suicide because of depression. Thankfully in 2020, the stigma associated with seeking professional mental health help has dwindled dramatically. In addition to it becoming a regular part of conversation, several online services and hotlines have also become mainstream.

Our lives are not as bleak as we may think while in a depressed state. The challenge however is in how you change how you feel about what you are experiencing. These techniques are what I found to be effective for me, however, there are a multitude of other ways one can actively combat depression.

You are filled with promise. Do your best every day to live out that promise to its fullest potential. Do not let depression be where your story ends.

Originally published June 22, 2020

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Top Five Lessons I Learned after One Year of Blogging

Today makes one year since I started this blog! It has been a long journey but an enjoyable one; and I want to share the top five lessons I have learned thus far. Let’s jump right in: 

Lesson #1: Be Yourself

Since blogging has come into my life, I am more myself today than ever before. The entire process of creating a blog from scratch forces the real you to come out whether you like it or not. This has been most evident for me in my writing. 

I often credit Createandgo for all of the progress I’ve had especially in the last few months (more on that later), and one thing Alex and Lauren teaches is to niche down until it hurts.

When I first started blogging I was writing about anything and everything that came to mind. 

For me it just made sense: “hey I need something to write about… Oh how about I write about this”. And in hindsight, there were some posts that I wrote and shared that I probably should not have (those are down now). 

But to be honest, It was tough to niche down at the very beginning. At first I considered this blog for lack of a better phrase, a ‘dumping ground’. My content back then was definitely more focused on me as opposed to a particular audience

Now I am super niched down. I went from talking about travel, sharing daily updates, weighing in on current events, working out, and everything else I could think of, to honing in on: the millennial lifestyle, Mindset, and Christianity. 

I became more myself through my writing because by pinpointing the topics I had a passion for, I gave my voice the runway it needed to mature.

Lesson #2: I am a Creator First and a People-Pleaser Second

Now, this is a lesson that I am still learning. It is a constant challenge for a multitude of reasons. On one hand I want people to read and enjoy my content but on the other hand, I want to stay true to myself. Sometimes the two are mutually exclusive especially when it comes to content. 

As a blogger, If someone were to ask me to write out a job description for what I do, I would say I am a creator. There is no difference between a writer, singer, actor/performer, youtube personality, photographer, director, or CEO for that matter when it comes to being a creator. Creativity is something that we all have, the difference is in how we apply it. 

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For me it just so happened that creating content in the form of written expression was what manifested in my life. 

Writing for me is a gift and is an intrinsic part of who I am. As such, as a content creator I have to constantly be aware of what I produce and why I produce it. 

I want what bloggers call: engaged readers. Having people engaged in your content is essential. Look at Kim Kardashian West for example. Her brand does so well because people are engaged with it. Everyone wants to keep up with the Kardashians in some way. 

As a blogger, I want people who want to keep up with my content. The key to doing so however is authenticity. If I were to put parameters around my creative abilities to create content that only garnered clicks, my content would be shallow. 

I can go through this process of unpacking my journey thus far because I allow myself to be myself

This is so essential because a lot of times especially as a creator, if you are not confident and resolute in your content, you will find yourself chasing the mob for approval. The problem with that is, if you focus on pleasing everyone, you end up pleasing no one. 

The perfect example of this, is the name of this blog: My Black Perspective. I anguish about changing the domain name to this website at least once a week, especially now that the blog is growing. Sometimes I feel as though the name of the blog can be a turn off to potential readers. 

Every time I think about changing the name however, I always check my motives. Do I want to change the name because it may actually benefit the website, or do I want to change the name because I think I might get more visitors. 

The sad truth about blogging is that most people that visit your website, are one time visitors. So for me I always rationalize by saying, if people do not want to engage with my black perspective, then those same people probably would not engage if it had a different name; because I would still be the one producing the content. 

You have to be able to draw a line in the sand between what you do for you/your business, and what you do for your audience; There has to be a healthy compromise

Lesson #3: Content is King 

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This one is a little bit of a no brainer, but particularly, if you are interested in starting your own blog/creative journey, content is king. As a creator, and especially as a blogger, it is my number one job to make sure that my content is always top tier.  

I currently publish my main content three times a week: Twice here on My Black Perspective, and once on Ken’s Corner where I publish my premium content on world news and events. Aside from my main content, I also produce content for my Instagram at least twice a week, as well as constantly generate new pins for Pinterest

I am also working on more guides/courses for subscribers to take advantage of. And I will be rolling out a online coaching business in the coming weeks. On top of all of that I also produce a newsletter every weekend that features amazing content. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, that I just opened an E-Store, click here to check it out!

I say all of that to say, a lot of time goes into blogging. It can be mentally taxing just based on volume of content. You have to find what works for you, and while I would not suggest three plus pieces of content every week to start; It’s important to know that the creative process never stops.

When I am not writing new posts, I am writing down new ideas – that may come up at the most random of times. Keep your notes app open or a notepad always available as a creator/blogger. It only takes one idea to be the right idea

Lesson #4 Be Ready and Willing to Adapt

Every blogger yearns for their first viral moment. That pin that gets shared thousands of times, that post that provokes high engagement, or that product that goes from dud to stud overnight. 

I have learned that those opportunities come from positioning. A lot of that success is from being in the right place at the right time. It is important to be willing to tweak or change your approach if for no other reason than for strategic advantage. 

Do not be afraid to reassess your strategy. 

When it came to my content I had to take a long hard look at myself and decide what was important and what was not. My Mindset content is a great example of this. 

When I first started this blog I had a general mental health category. After a few entries I was finding that I was struggling with creating content for this category because it did not fully convey the message I was trying to get across. I recently decided to change it to being a Mindset category because that fell more in alignment with the category’s purpose.

Is what you are doing in alignment with your purpose?

People that want to be successful in a certain area take actions that reflect that. As a blogger I focus on ways of building my brand within this stratosphere. If I were doing something that was not progressing me in this craft my efforts would be ineffective. 

Do not get so caught up doing things one way that you end up sabotaging yourself

This blog has gone through a multitude of changes, I mean just the number of themes alone that I have gone through would make your head spin. All adaptation is, is a reflection of maturity. If you are willing to change or adapt that means you are willing to grow

Lesson #5 The only way to Fail is to Quit

Blog, lessons, learn

A failure does not fail because they do not try. They fail because they decide to stop trying. If you are a blogger or some other type of creator, it is your duty to not quit. Any passionate creator will tell you that they cannot see themselves doing something that is not creating.

I used to get looked down upon for blogging by others all of the time, until I took a stand and said no – this is my passion, this is what gives me life, and this is what I am doing. 

Blogging took on a new gravitas in my life this year at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Back in March 2020 I decided to start working towards turning this blog into a business. Once I did, I got connected to blogging groups, Createandgo, and a plethora of other resources necessary to turn that dream into a reality. 

Since then it has been an up hill journey however, I do not see myself doing anything else with my life.  This is not something to be taken lightly, because some people can go a whole lifetime before they figure out what it is they want to do with their life. 

Do not let a desire for yourself fall by the waste side. Quitters never prosper. 

Which of these lessons resonated with you? Are you a blogger/content creator, if so what has your journey been like thus far?

Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!

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How to have a Healthy and Effective Work Life Balance that Yields RESULTS

Do you constantly feel as though you are low on energy? Do you want to pursue your dreams but life seems to always get in the way? I am going to show you how to start making your life reflect what is important to you.

For a lot of us, we fall victim to allowing people places and things dictate who we are, how we should behave, and the degree of impact our lives have. 

A good work life balance inverts that pattern of behaviorOnce we start allowing ourselves to dictate the impact we have on people places and things, now all of a sudden the ownness of our happiness is our responsibility.

There is no room for excuses in an effective work life balance

The easiest thing we can do is complain about why we are not where we want to be. An object in motion tends to stay in motion while an object that is not moving is likely not to moveA healthy work life balance is one that is in constant progressive motion. 

Before becoming a full time blogger, I was constantly exhausted from running the rat race. It took a pandemic and me being fed up with the life I was living while in corporate America before I was able to be real with myself and say, “hey something is not working”.

A lot of us are great at identifying the problem but are slow to execute on the changes necessary to improve our quality of life. This is called learned helplessness. Simply put, a person can get so used to being in a bad situation, that they do not think they deserve to be in a better one. 

By developing an effective work life balance you put yourself back in the driver seat of your life, and take away the power that any circumstance may try to impose on you.

Step one: fluid compartmentalization 

As we begin to dive in, know that this takes work because you are literally going to have to change how you see the world around you. This is an intense mental skill that affects how you think about things.

If you are expecting that your life will change instantaneously by applying these strategies you are greatly mistaken. Repetition is the mother of learning, so you have to ingrain these skills into your daily life before anything tangible will start to materialize… But I am a living witness that it is worth it

Fluid compartmentalization means that you can change your state of mind on the fly. As a business man I am constantly in different circles of people, and in situations that require different things from me at any given point. 

I live my life in such a way that I can be a comrade, confidant, investor, advisor, doer, activist, or whatever else that I need to be whenever I need to be it. Work is work, but work can sometimes come up outside of traditional work hours. 

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By being able to place every activity you engage in, within a certain box in your mind, you can assess who you need to be while doing that activity.

We sometimes allow certain areas of our lives to spill over into other areas… That has to stop. I used to get off from work at 5:30pm every day, and right after I would drive home and go back to work. I was letting a job dictate my life, the problem was, the job only saw my life as being worth a certain amount of money a year. 

Once I realized that I am worth way more than what some people I do not even know tried to tell me I am worth, I started reclaiming my most valuable commodity in time. Fluid compartmentalization allows me to tell my time where it’s going and how its going to be spent as opposed to the other way around. 

In the same way, now when I engage in whatever it is I choose to engage in, there is a different part of me that I allow to do that activity. “Blogger Ken” is different from “hanging out with friends Ken”, which is different from “me time Ken”. This is purposeful yet not stagnant

If I need business Ken at 4:25pm, guess who shows up at 4:25pm? Business Ken. If I need Ken who likes to workout to make himself present at 2:16am, guess who shows up at 2:16am, Ken who likes to workout. 

Living like this allows me to identify what is important in my life, how much energy I should give it, and whether or not what I am doing is truly adding value to me and or those around me. 

Step two: Do something you Enjoy 

Life balance, time, life, balance, work
Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com

When I was working a nine to five, I did not consider that time apart of my day. My job was what I had to do to generate income, it was not who I was. It is important that you make this distinction for yourself. 

It’s called work life balance because the two should be balanced out. Your work should be equivalent to your quality of life, and not solely monetarily

Any thing that you do for the primary purpose of making money will not satisfy you. I became an entrepreneur because my passion is in helping people first and foremost. I became a blogger because I discovered a passion for writing and I see it as an ideal method of expression. 

If you are not doing something you enjoy you become lifeless

I would literally work my full shift, do work at home if I had to and chose to, then “get my day started”. Getting my day started looked like going to the gym, writing a blog post, reading, working on my website’s SEO, and hanging out with friends and family. That’s what I valued so that is what I gave my time to. 

Once again this is not as easy as it sounds because there were days where I would be up until 3am completing whatever I had to accomplish on my personal to-do list. And there were weeks when I had the same to-do list for several days. 

However, I was intentional about what mattered to me because not only do I enjoy what I am doing in the form of blogging, but I also allowed myself to see the full potential in this opportunity.

Most of what I do boils down to practicality, and living a life that is not enjoyable is not practical to me.

Step three: Have a Regimen

To have a healthy and effective work life balance, you must have a reset button. This is an activity you do that puts you in a proper state of mind to conquer your day. 

My primary reset button is working out and showering. As simple as it sounds, I know that if I am unsettled in any area of my life, if I go through my regimen I will get back on track. 

I treat my life as if it was a conveyor belt. Regimen, work, time for others, time for me. I can tell people exactly where I am in my day in terms of how far along on my proverbial conveyor belt I am. 

Because I am mentally fluid when tackling various tasks, I can rise to any challenge that presents itself throughout the day without becoming overwhelmed or flustered. 

That’s the point of having a regimen: What do I have to do to make sure that I am always ready to be effective and impactful. 

And when I say regimen I mean a set routine of tasks that never change no matter how often you do them. I conduct my regimen in a certain way every day, the only thing that is likely to change is the time of day. 

You have to get so granular with your regimen that you are not able to sleep at night knowing that you did not complete it for that day, or that you missed/skipped a step. 

Additional tips and tricks 

While trying to apply these steps to your life to create a happy healthy and effective work life balance, here are a few things you should also be considering: 

What is your Goal

Life balance, time, life, balance, work
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What are you running towards? Do you have a vision for yourself 5 years from now? You cannot go where you cannot envision. I literally have journals filled with different nuances of the same vision. I know exactly what I am running towards, and here is the key: I am not willing to allow anyone or anything stop me from getting there

My future life is just that important to me. Do you have something that is so important to you that you will not let anything get in the way, not even yourself?

Time is Money

I do not intentionally waste my time anymore. People, places, and things do not get more time of me than I allow of them. My presence is a present

You have to become covetous of your time. It is literally the only thing we do not get more of. The richest people in the world will tell you, the thing that matters to them the most is their time. We can generate money, we cannot generate time. Everyone may not be able to get rich, but literally everyone dies

Once you realize that every time you wake up you are also another day, another hour, another minute, another second, and another millisecond closer to your literal death, meaning no more air traveling through your lungs; you will start acting as if your time matters more than what you feel like doing, who wants to see or talk to you, or how much money you do or do not make.

Me Time is Important

How do you revitalize your spirit? This is not the same as having a regimen. Spirit revitalization comes primarily from a hobbyWhat do you do for yourself that makes everything else that you do worth it?

I am thankful that my passion is my hobby and my business, however, that may not be the case for everyone. It was not always the case for me. I used to look forward to being able to play video games after a long day or going to the bar. Now, writing and having an impact on others is what replenishes me

Life balance, time, life, balance, work
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What is it that you enjoy doing: writing, taking pictures, drawing, sowing, bike riding, cooking, socializing… whatever it is do it every day at least for an hour. This is the art of making time for yourself

Are you important enough to yourself that you are willing to make time for you

There are times where I will purposefully not answer my phone because talking to someone or dealing with something is almost never as important as my me time. 

If you want a work life balance that is proactive and yields the results of the desired life that you want, organize every area of your life in a way that makes sense to you. Pursue work that you are passionate about and is meaningful to you; And set up a routine that will keep you on track no matter what life throws at you. 

Do you have a healthy work life balance, if so how do you maintain it, and if not what could you do to improve it? What is a hobby that you enjoy doing that recharges you? 

Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!

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Understanding My Creative Process

Originally Published August 17 2019

I believe that all of us are creatives. In fact, the bible tells us we are creative beings within the first verse of the book. When the bible introduces us to the character of God, the first thing it shows us is that God is a creative being:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth

Genesis 1:1

As beings who were first created (Genesis 1:26-27) then formed (Genesis 2:7), for the purpose of ruling over our creator’s creation, as a believer in Jesus Christ, it is safe to assume that human beings are creative beings, a power gifted to us from our heavenly father solely because of who He is.

On July 12 2019 I posted my very first blog entry entitled “A Letter to My Mother“. It along with, “Prayer of Consecration“, were part of a collection of pieces written and prepared for public consumption over the course of several months prior to release. On July 14 2019, I wrote my first official blog post entitled: Does College Still Have the Same Bang for it’s Buck.

I have come a long way since those first few posts, and now I want to take inventory of the impact that this experience is having on me, how I have come to understand myself as a creative being, and speak/write into existence my hopes for this blog’s future. I invite you to join me on this critical examination of myself and my work; and hope after reading you are inspired and edified.

Why I Create:

The purpose of this blog thus far has been solely to give flight to my voice. I am thankful because to that end I have been successful. I have been following the Create and Go model for creating and growing my blog and I am thankful that the fruits of my labor are evident.

From back to front, this blog has grown leaps and bounds in both depth and width.

This blog found me at a not good place in life, and manifested in the midst of personal chaos and turmoil, becoming in my mind a cornerstone.

While our creativeness is inherent, it is also discovered. They say we do not find our passions, but rather our passions find us… This was definitely the case for me and writing.

I have always been a good writer, but never thought about writing as an effective form of expression. The value writing has in my life is that, all I ever want in almost every capacity is to be acknowledged.

In today’s world acknowledgement comes through the form of accolades. But I do not believe that we are to pay more respect to the CEO than we do the doorman; And writing has showed me how to be both.

It was the piece of peace I was missing.

The sheer joy that oozes out of my being when I open my laptop and begin my writing process is like nothing I have ever experienced before.

It is amazing the shape things will take because what started out as a passion project project, is now turning into a business.

How I Create:

My creative process starts by me being in a state of “perpetual creativity”. I am always creating. I do not believe in isolating my creative abilities solely to my primary medium. This means that I create atmospheres, I create environments, and I create moments a lot more frequently than I create written content.

All of us do this exact same thing the difference is what we create when we are not focusing our creative energy. I have grown in this area by asking myself what kind of space do I reside in. As mentioned, writing is my main modal of creating, but when I am not focused on that creative process, I am focused on one equally as important to me: creating and perpetuating peace.

Having peace is essential to my writing process because I do not have to protect myself in my own peace. This is key in my writing because I do not and will not hold back or dilute my content for the purpose of pacifying others.

Most of my writing is done in comfort. If I am not comfortable about what I am writing, or where I am writing, that angst will come through in the content’s quality.

A lot of times for a post, I do not have a beginning middle or end in mind. Usually all I have is a topic and a title. Organization is a key factor for me so those two things are essentials. My standard for any piece of content I produce, written or otherwise, is that it has to be: Familiar, Relevant, and Informative.

My number one “rule” is write whatever comes to mind. I keep a multitude of writing spaces. I have to have quick access to writing something down. As quickly as an idea comes is as quickly as it leaves sometimes, so even ideas that I may not expand upon down the line; I write down anyway.

I give value to my content after it is created, with the expectation that it is naturally excellent.

The bible says that we should operate with a spirit of excellence (Proverbs 22:29) in all that we do, so I do the best I can to manifest that sentiment.

Entrepreneurship:

As I mentioned in “My Bout With Unemployment” I use to be a small business owner; and in fact, before this blog became “My Black Perspective”, it was going to be a blog that would support my small business. Little did I know going into this endeavor, that blogging is a small business all its own.

This blog has done a good a job at revealing different qualities in me. I have found that I enjoy the back-end of blogging just as much as I enjoy the front-end. I have found a way to place value on my own time, and through blogging, have been given the capacity to do so on my own terms.

Control of how we use our time is probably one of if not the highest form of creativity. I do not believe God created any of us, but definitely not me, to sell our most valuable commodity in time off to someone for minimum wage just so we can live as a slave to money and lifestyle.

Employment undercuts and undermines one’s individuality within the creative process, that’s why most people are actively disengaged at work.

The opportunity to be the captain of my own ship and not have it tied to my financial survival has been satiating. I check my stats all the time. Its rewarding to see this blog grow. I enjoy seeing the performance of a post. Not necessarily because I am going to change my approach in how write based on such information, but rather to see how that particular piece resonated with people.

Freedom for me starts here. Every time I get to share a perspective, that’s me becoming more free. I’ve recently been on a content creation binge, because of the value I place on myself as a creative being.

I am thankful that this blog is giving me the capacity I need to continue to grow.

I know I’m on the right path and that this blog is the foundation for some great things to come. This blog is going to out grow itself one day, and come what may I am going to stay true to myself and steadfast to the process. I will never be afraid to share my black perspective in whatever form it may take.

Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!

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Does College Still Have the Same Bang for it’s Buck

Originally posted July 14th 2019

As college students enter graduation season, a lot of them will be graduating into a work force a that is nonexistent. With the recent economic down turn, opportunities for post graduate employment have diminished. Because of this, some graduates will be left with an insurmountable amount of debt with no way of paying it back; Which begs the question: what good is a college degree?

Seven years ago I would have had a concrete and confident answer, now a days I am not so sure. Growing up, my initial motivation for wanting to go to college was I’d have an opportunity to get a better job, make more money over the course of my lifetime, and I’d get to do something I’m passionate about.

Since getting my masters however, I have yet to get the better job or the more money. And prior to starting this blog, I was not doing something I was passionate about. The world does not reward us just because we got an expensive piece of paper, this is more true now than ever before. So with no visible benefits from going to a glorified sleep away camp for four plus years what will students actually get from going to college?

The fact of the matter is, higher education institutions are failing to prepare the majority of their students for life in the real world. Most college graduates aside from engineers and medical students go into some type of sales/administrative role after they graduate.

College exacerbates the propaganda that is spoon fed to students while they are growing up, that they have to go to college after high school. And today’s employers proliferate that narrative by requiring applicants to have a degree. Most people today do not work in the same field they earned their degree in, and those that want to, do not always get the chance to because while they may have the degree they do not have the experience.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, the reported average cost a year for an instate student going to a public four year institution was just over $25,000, double for a private school. If the average college student after four years is coming out of school with between $100,000 – $200,000 dollars worth of debt, it should be standard practice not a program specific privilege to gain real world experience while in college.

And while students can find ways of reducing the cost of school through scholarships, living off campus, or getting an on campus job, the fact remains that students generally speaking, get less value for their dollar as it pertains to college; Not to mention, that your average college undergrad changes their major three times, prolonging their time and money spent at school.

The good thing is, the culture around college is shifting. Four year universities are not the definitive option they use to be. Community colleges are becoming more competitive everyday, and trades are becoming more appealing.

While there is still value in pursuing higher education, the decision to do so has to be better informed. Future students have to know what the actual return on their investment is going to be when they finally graduate, and determine whether or not college will be lucrative for them.

The best way to get a real bang for your buck from college is to use it as a catalysis for you passions. If a person is passionate enough about what they do/want to do, they can make their passions a career, and then truly enjoy the fruits of their labor, knowing the debt will have been worth it.

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For those students who are just hellbent on going to a four year college right out of high school, regardless of major, the best thing they can get other than the degree, is what I would call non-marketable experience. This is experience that a person may not be able to put on a resume but, they can apply it to everyday life.

This type of experience encompasses: leadership skills, diplomacy, networking skills, time management, conflict management, teamwork, sales skills, marketing, how to dress and carry oneself professionally, public speaking, interviewing skills, and healthy habits. These are all skills that are important in the real world, but cannot be explicitly stated on a resume.

While in college a person can learn these skills anywhere, as long as they put themselves in a position to do so. This is the true immediate value of going to college today. In short, new college students should make getting involved in extracurriculars a priority.

It’s time to get smarter about how we do college. Students need to be more educated on what making the decision to go means. College students will be in debt, may not gain any marketable experience, and may not even end up in their chosen career path. Is that worth going and getting a degree anyway?

Depends on what that person wants. People with college degrees will still have more opportunities over the course of their lifetime than those without, but college is not the only way to make it anymore, it never was, and its time to be upfront about the positives and negatives of that.

Students should do their research, and those in a position to advise should make every option known and appetizing for students. The military for example should not be presented to a high school student as a second to last choice if it’s a right first choice.

And for those students who do go to a four year college, they need to know its important to get some immediate value from their experience as a whole. The degree it will eventually pay off, but if that pay off is delayed they should have something to show for it other than just a piece of paper and an expensive bill.

Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!

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How to Survive the Coronavirus Quarantine

Originally posted March 26 2020

This coronavirus pandemic is draining. It feels as though no matter where we turn, the coronavirus scourge has permeated every single part of our lives. One cannot even go outside without being impacted by the eeriness of the atmosphere. And what was once a quick trip in going to a store, has now become a hassle and a production for individuals and families alike.

Most of the world is going into week six of quarantine and staying at home is becoming an arduous task in and of itself. A lot of us are starting to experience cabin fever, and as a result may also be experiencing diminished mental health. I know for me personally, last week in particular was like pulling teeth in terms of mustering up energy to be and stay productive.

Additionally, the isolation is starting to set in if it has not already. Because of how the virus has interrupted the business of our lives, we are being forced to spend more alone time with our thoughts. People who are not physically isolated may also be starting to experience an increasingly hostile home environment.

Week by week it seems as if the coronavirus is constantly changing our lives specifically: how we engage with others and how we engage with ourselves. As such, now is a great time to revisit the survival tool kit and see if there is anything we should be adding to our repertoire.

Focus on Yourself

Being forced to spend time with ourselves is a scary prospect for some. Some purposefully create a life that avoids them having to spend too much time with themselves.

Some of us have a hard time dealing with ourselves. We have traumas, moments in life that we may not be proud of, things about ourselves that we do not like, or a Pandora’s box of memories that we rather not open.

Regardless of how we may feel towards ourselves, the reality of our existence is, that no matter where we go, we always have to bring ourselves. The idea of self is pretty oxymoronic of a traditional interpretation in this time, where we are self-isolating and social distancing as a precaution for others.

coronavirus, focus, survival, quarentine
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(Join the newsletter today for more on mental health topics)

I would assert however, that in the same way that we are exercising social restraints for the benefit of each other, we should also be taking the time to work on ourselves for the same reason.

If we get better, the people around us can get better.

Now is a great time for us to work on ourselves. The implication behind this is a necessity to engage with ourselves, and to do so well.

How do you engage with yourself when we are not being over stimulated? Are those engagements healthy or self deprecating?

Now is a good time for us to ask ourselves: How a I growing as a person, and do I like who I am becoming?

Spend your Time Well

A major concern for everyone is time. The one thing that no one seems to have enough of is time. It is the only thing that we cannot buy more of; as such it is important that we value our time while under quarantine.

With most of us locked away in our homes it is easy for us to waste time watching television, and procrastinating; But what if we used this newfound gift of extra time on hour hands to do something constructive.

We will never find ourselves in this exact situation again where we have the majority of our time to ourselves. This is a unique circumstance with unique opportunities. Politicians like to say “never let a crisis go waste”; meaning, do not let this unique opportunity pass without getting something important on the agenda accomplished.

If some of us have been, now is the time to stop letting letting this crisis go to waste. We need to accomplish those things that are important to us that under normal circumstances, we would allow ourselves to put on the back burner.

Read that book, finish that project, complete that application, prepare that business plan, whatever it is; before this window of opportunity closes we should make sure we are capitalizing on this time.

Our time is more valuable now than ever before.

Invest

Now is a superb time to invest in the intangible, to invest in our relationships.

We all have the opportunity to have more accesses to our loved ones than usual. Speak regularly with friends and family. Social media as our primary mode of engagement is not going to cut it during this time of isolation.

No matter how disconnected we become with the advent of technology, at our core humans are social beings and its important for us to never forget that. Since being quarantined, I communicate with my close friends and family several times a week. I’ve even challenged myself to reach out to new people each week.

quarantine, survive, coronavirus, invest
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It is equally essential that we manage our investment portfolio well:

Do you have a regimen in place?

How do you spend your 24 hours and how is that benefiting you?

What is the desired ROI on your time after all of this is over?

All of these things are important and something that we would not normally take time to consider. I’ve been consistently working out at home, spending more time to take care of my health, and leaning into some of my favorite hobbies like cooking.

We have become use to allowing our schedules dictate our lives; but now is a good time to turn the auto pilot off and get back in control of our lives as best we can.

Protect your Mental Health

Depression and anxiety are two of the biggest mental health challenges most of us are facing right now. Social Isolation can take a huge toll on one’s mental health. Another side effect of social distancing is a lot of us are staying inside for most of our day.

Sunlight is thought to increase levels of serotonin in people while a lack of sunlight decreases it. A decrease in serotonin can contribute to depression.

Additionally, the 24-hour news cycle has become the 24/7 coronavirus live stream. While it is important for us to stay informed with what is going on regarding this virus, the news is also constantly exposing us to negative information that undoubtedly has a negative impact on our mental health.

We have to be disciplined enough to take care of our mental health because our current state of being is not conducive to positive mental health.

What we put into us influences what comes out of us. Avoid energy vampires. Do not allow someone else’s negativity to impact you in any way.

Depression can be insidious, and anxiety can be treacherous. I would encourage each of us in this time to identify mental health struggles that we may be facing and find the proper help.

quarantine, mental health, survival
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(Here are articles on battling anxiety and depression.)

We are experiencing unprecedented times and we are not out of the woods yet. It is important that we do what we have to do to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and those in need.

If we are not in a good place we cannot help others get to a better one.

Knowing how to survive this quarantine is essential and the benefits of doing even a portion of what is in this post will outlast immediate satisfaction and gratification. I implore each one of us to work on ourselves in this time so that we are all able to come out of this pandemic better then how we entered.  

Join the conversation and share your perspective in the comment section below!

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A Letter to my Mother

Dear Mom,

I miss you. Funny, how can I miss someone I don’t even know? You’re such a mystery to me. You know to this day, I still don’t know your cause of death. You’re like Pink Diamond and I’m Steven Universe. It’s a cartoon mom, no I’m not too old for cartoons, you’re never too old.

People tell me stories about you, and it’s always the same narrative: your mother had a great personality, she was a hard worker, she had an infectious laugh, she was a straight shooter, and she loved you very much.

I’ll be honest, those stories have gotten old.

I want to know about your life before me. Not to put you on blast but I know you were married before, and for a period of time estranged to the family. That’s the side of you I want to know about.

I know how you presented yourself to others but who were you really? Its been hard without you, mostly because I’ve been misunderstood by others and by myself.

Its been like putting a puzzle together without all the pieces. I will say though, I’ve lived a full life. It hasn’t all been extravagant, I’ve had my struggles with depression, suicidality, and substance abuse.

I’m glad you were not around to worry about me on all my drunk and blacked out nights, or when I went to Brazil and Asia on a wing and a prayer. I’m glad you didn’t see me when I was on life support with a tube down my throat; but I wish you saw me off to prom, or when I walked across the stage to get my degree.

I wish you could have heard me speak at church. I wish I could tell you all the cool stuff I’ve done over the last 18 years. There is still so much of my life that you’re going to miss out on and I don’t know how to reconcile with that.

I guess I miss you being here.

It’s been so long since you’ve passed, and I was so young, I hardly remember anything about you. I wonder what you’d say to me now, I literally have no idea what I’m doing these days. That being said God’s been holding me down, and until we meet again,

Happy Mother’s Day mom, I just wanted to let you know, I’m doing alright,

Love you.

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The Pursuit of Passion (Excerpt)

The following is another excerpt from my new book The Pursuit of Passion: How to Sequence your Life for Success. This Excerpt is from the third chapter in the book entitled “Fitness”. This chapter is all about how one of the secrets to success is being fit, not just physically; but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

If you have not done so yet, make sure you get your copy from the store. You can get a PDF version or you can order a copy and have it delivered to you. I promise you if you read this book in its entirety, your will fundamentally change for the better:

It’s Time to get Fit

Improving your fitness looks like taking consistent actions that will compound over time. Choosing to become consistent in the right habits is how you grow physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. This looks different for everyone, but the same principles apply. You want to make sure that you are constantly being attentive to your needs. This partially stems from your ability to be mindful (of which I will go over in depth in a later chapter); you want to become your own best problem solver.

The first thing you want to look for when growing your material health in this way is whether or not the totality of your being is in homeostasis. Homeostasis refers to a state of equilibrium. Typically, you do not come across these concepts unless you are taking/have taken an anatomy class however, being at a state of balance and rest does not only apply to your physiology.

Before you can begin to improve on your life, you must be willing to decipher and deal with the things holding your life back. This looks like addressing the key aspects of yourself and figuring out your status. Are you at peace in your mind, body, spirit, and emotions, or are there things in one or multiple areas of yourself that are causing a dissonance? 


Rooting out the problem impeding your growth can sometimes be an all-hands-on deck process. Sometimes we decide to tolerate something because we think that it will be easier than If we were to address it directly. The issue with avoidance in this way is, if you give your problem an inch, it will take a mile. The longer you take to address an area of conflict, the more contentious that aspect of your life will become. Eventually, if left unaddressed, what was once benign will have been given room to become malignant.

Problems that have been given time to fester in our lives unsurprisingly will sprout up new problems. If you find yourself looking at your life and realizing that you have little fires everywhere, the best way to manage them is one at a time. The first step to change is being willing to admit that a change is necessary. By submitting to that process, you will be allowing growth to take place. Once you are finally able to create a sense of peace for yourself, the next thing that you want to be able to do is build on it. 

book cover, The Pursuit of Passion chapter 3 fit

Click here to get your copy of The Pursuit of Passion Today!

How to Take Care of Yourself When you Feel like you are getting Sick

Originally Published October 31, 2020

In 2021 it seems like people are susceptible to getting sick from any and everything. Self care is something that is not in the realm of conscious conversation anymore because truth be told, a healthy person is not a profitable person. Drug companies cannot make money off of someone who is healthy because that person does not need their drugs.

In the midst of a global pandemic, the last thing anyone should want, is a compromised immune system. Aside from covid-19 we still have our seasonal regulars of the common cold, the flu, pneumonia, sore throat, strep throat, whooping cough, bronchitis, and more.

Thanks to the pandemic, people have grown more accustomed to safety measures like masks, gloves, frequent washing of hands, and disinfecting. However; how we take care of the inside of us is just as, if not more important than how we take care of the outside of us. What you ingest and how you maintain your body can have a lasting impact on your overall well-being; Especially as it relates to combating pathogens.

When it comes to maintaining my immune system strength, I believe in prevention versus treatment. There are things you could be doing today to give your immune system the daily boost that it needs to keep you strong and healthy. By the time you get sick its too late. If you want to be wealthy, health is wealth.

You cannot truly enjoy life and be in discomfort at the same time.

I want you to be amazing, and the basis for being amazing is being alive. I am passionate about health in this way because I come from a people who have been historically relegated to not having access to proper healthcare, or the awareness of suitable healthcare practices.

Here are ways you can stay healthy and nurse yourself back to health when you feel as though you are getting sick:

Learn to Identify the Symptoms

The first step in combating a sickness is knowing that you are coming down with something. I believe that this falls in the realm of common sense for most people, but it can be questionable at first to identify whether or not you are coming down with something or if you are just having a coughing or sneezing fit.

One of the telltale signs that you are coming down with something is a sore throat. A sore throat can come in many different variations: it could be the back of your throat, the side, when you swallow, or even an irritation or tingling that runs up to either one of your ears. Typically (see your doctor as it pertains to you) a sore throat is one notch down from a full blown cold.

In other cases, you could also find yourself very congested. Mucus build-up is another indicator that you are potentially coming down with something and should act accordingly. As it relates to Covid-19, the symptoms for that in particular can range anywhere from loss of taste and smell to diarrhea. In a case like that where anything abnormal could be a symptom it is imperative that you are cognizant of your own body.

The bottom line here is to be aware of yourself. Not every sickness will be obvious, but if you are noticing things like fatigue, feelings of lethargy, mucus build-up and the like (stuffy nose); Then being a little more concerned about your immune health in those moments would not necessarily be a bad assumption.

Detox

sliced lemon fruit in glass picher for a detox that helps when feeling sick
Photo by Julia Zolotova on Pexels.com

Right off the bat, the first thing I would encourage you to do is to get on a daily or semi daily detox. Detoxes are outstanding. They provide your body with a boost of nutrients. They flush out your body, and they promote a healthy immune system. For more on detoxes check out the post that I wrote explaining a few of my personal favorites.

Foods

There are some key food items and food groups you should both avoid and gravitate towards when you are feeling yourself starting to come down with a cold; The first of which being garlic.

Garlic

Garlic is a personal favorite and it is known for having medicinal properties. Raw garlic has allicin. It, along with other compounds in garlic give it its healing capabilities. It is encouraged that if you feel the sniffles coming on that you take a clove or two of raw fresh garlic. Just pop a clove in your mouth, and chew it up. Obviously, this is better done with dinner than with breakfast, however, doing so can reduce your chances of getting sick.

two white garlics that are good for when you feel sick
Photo by Isabella Mendes on Pexels.com

Hot food

Another good food category when you’re trying to prevent a cold is hot foods. This includes food dishes that use spicy seasoning, and hot peppers themselves. Eating spicy foods can help improve gut health including digestion; Allowing for you to be able to process nutrients more efficiently.  They also help keep your heart healthy, and they aid with pain relief.

hot peppers help reduce fever and sick symptoms
www.gurneys.com

Dairy

This is the one section of the grocery store that you want to avoid. That’s right no milk, no ice cream, no cheese, no yogurt. Nothing that is dairy based. The reason why you do not want to eat dairy when you are sick is because it can cause more mucus to build up in your system. Having copious amounts of mucus in your system is contrary to preventing or treating a cold.

This goes for soups too. Try to avoid soups that are made with dairy. Go for soups that are chicken broth, vegetable broth, or seafood broth based.

dairy products you should avoid when sick
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Vitamins

The next way to nurse yourself back to health when you are feeling yourself starting to get sick is to take a lot of vitamins. The most obvious one being vitamin C. Vitamin C is one of the core vitamins in our body that is responsible for a proper functioning immune system. It also plays an essential role in the repair and development of our body as well.

close up of oranges in a bowl that have vitamin c that help reduce fever and feeling sick
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Vitamin D is another good vitamin that helps with strengthening your immune system. Vitamin D supports your cells in fighting off various pathogens. It can also help lower your risk for respiratory infections.

Then there is Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that helps develop your immune cells. It is also valuable in combating inflammation in the body. It can also help protect against some respiratory tract infections including the common cold.

Mindset

The next thing that you want to employ when combating the onset of a cold is a proper mindset. Feeling sick/being sick sucks. However, one of the best ways you can help yourself is by willing yourself to do as much as you can. That ‘much’ does not have to be a lot but, it should be something you would classify as substantial. So not necessarily doing all of your regular daily activities, but rather, checking off one or two things from your to do list.

The key here is, if you can help it, you do not want to act as if you are sick. Please use common sense: quarantine yourself if necessary, make sure you take the proper precautions when in public, and wash your hands frequently but also; just because you may be coming down with something, does not mean that something should weigh you down.

woman in grey jacket sits on bed uses grey laptop doing work while feeling sick
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Activating your will power in these moments is really about asserting dominance over your circumstance. You may have a sickness, but that sickness does not have you. Keeping your mind in this type of proactive and positive mindset when dealing with any inconvenience, not just being sick, is valuable because you allow yourself to progress through the illness/situation.

You are not just allowing yourself to get/be sick, but you are actively trying to get better at the same time. Mind over matter is the game changer in almost all of life’s scenarios. Do not be afraid to indulge a little if you are feeling yourself come down with a cold. Take a longer shower, draw yourself a hot bath, make some soup from scratch, or put on a good movie. Treat yourself like The King or Queen that you are. It is in your weakness that you can get to see in full display how worthy you believe you are, by how you treat yourself.

A clean Environment

The next thing that is an absolute necessity when nursing yourself back to health, is a clean environment. The last thing that anyone should ever want, is to be in a dirty home while they are not feeling good. Not only is that unhealthy in and of itself, but that environment is not conducive to a proper recovery. 

Do what you can to give your space an extra thorough wipe down. Clean often, the areas of your home that you use regularly, and change your sheets and pillow cases frequently. Make sure you reduce clutter in your space as well.

Being in an environment that promotes good health is about it supporting all aspects of your health. Your space should be physically clean, there should be room for your mind to wander, meaning, nothing should be around that will overly stress you out; and you should have no pitfalls or temptations lying around/easily accessible.

photo of a clean living room
Photo by Jean van der Meulen on Pexels.com

Have things around you that are soothing. Low lights, fragrant candles, tea, and other things that will promote inner peace. Turn the television off, and read a book, do a puzzle, or work on a hobby. One good thing about not feeling well is that it will cause you to slow down.

If that happens do not feel as though you must be Superman or Wonder Woman – instead take a moment to enjoy the scenery. You are a spiritual being having a physical experience meaning everything happens for a reason. It is possible, that your physical sickness is a metaphor for spiritual healing that may need to take place as well. 

Medicine

medicine
Assorted pharmaceutical medicine pills, tablets and capsules over blue background

Ibuprofen

I have a minimalist ideology. I do not find value using a lot of over the counter medicines, and the ones I do use are intentional. My number one favorite fever reducer is Motrin. I believe in Motrin. Nine times out of ten Motrin works. Motrin is an over the counter ibuprofen that helps with inflammation, pain relief, and fever reduction.

I like Motrin so much because it is one of if not the strongest grade ibuprofen you can get over the counter. I value not having additives in whatever it is I put in my body, so if I can get something that is relatively pure, it is going to be higher on my list than another similar product. Ibuprofen is pretty easy to get over the counter and it has the same general health benefits across most producers of it.

Vapor Rub 

The next thing that you want to use to help nurse yourself back to health is vapor rub. This stuff is amazing. Vapor rub is a methanol ointment with a petroleum jelly like texture. Its most famous iteration is Vicks Brand VapoRub.

The primary use for vapor rub is its ability to alleviate pain and congestion. Common practice with vapor rub is to place the balm under your nose, on your chest, on your upper back if possible, and on and around your neck. After rubbing yourself down with the vapor rub, you want to cover the areas you put the salve on as you do not want those parts of your body to be openly exposed. Typically, this would be a before bed practice for me; At least that way, I can cover myself with my sheets or a blanket.

Cough and Cold Relief

You always should have a secret weapon in your arsenal. In situations where I feel myself either coming down with a cold or am full blown sick, my weapons of choice are Dayquil/Nyquil and Mucinex.  These are two cough and cold over the counter medicines that I personally find a lot of value in. Mucinex being my favorite of the two, is like a high powered cold and cough kicker.

If your system is gunked up, from my experience Mucinex can clean it out. Same goes for Dayquil/Nyquil. I am a little partial towards Day/Nyquil however, because I do not believe this product works as well for me as Mucinex, but it is a solid number two choice.

If you need near immediate relief, these are my suggested products for you. That being said, everyone is different, and you may need something stronger or weaker depending on your body, so keep that in mind when shopping these products.


photo of man wearing eyeglasses
Photo by fauxels on Pexels.com

Everything outlined in this post was done so with one goal in mind: to help you take control of your physical health. Yes, you should be working out as much as possible, and watching what you eat; all of those things contribute greatly to a healthy lifestyle.

Remedying and tending to your internal body parts however, is equally important to how you care for yourself externally. You probably will not want to workout if your immune system is compromised, and you will not feel like eating if you are really sick. Holistic health and wellness is about every part of you: your body, mind, resource, and environment.

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Love From a Distance

Have you ever had to distance yourself from someone that you care about? Sometimes in life we are exposed to something referred to as a “toxic relationship”. A toxic relationship as defined by the term coiner Dr. Lillian Glass, is “any relationship [between people who] don’t support each other, where there’s conflict and one seeks to undermine the other, where there’s competition, or where there’s disrespect and a lack of cohesiveness”. Toxic relationships are birthed out of a discrepancy between two or more party’s understanding of the concept of love.

Love is the same no matter how you encounter it, and we all demonstrate it in our lives to a varying degree. What happens is we become desensitized to what love really is because we live in a world where people declare that they “love” everyone and everything. The Bible tells us exactly what love is:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Ask yourself, did you really love that cup of coffee that you had, or did you just enjoy it? Do you love your phone or are you just grateful for it? Did you truly love that movie or did you just like how it made you feel? People are falling more in love with things and less in love with each other. The Bible also tells us that the love of many is growing cold as the years continue.

This implies two things, that one, there is a base level of love that we all individually and instinctively have, and two, people in the 1800s arguably had a higher capacity of love than we do today in the 2000s. I would argue that a possible reason for this, if it were found to be scientifically accurate through research and experimentation would be because people are simply just not as intertwined with each other as they once were.

In today’s world you are not obligated to know your neighbor. In fact, to a more or less degree, you are encouraged to not know your neighbor. The flavor of the day is isolation. We are constantly propagandized and radicalized to distance ourselves from our fellow human beings; and I am not talking about any old joe schmo, I am talking about your literal next-door neighbor, the person in front of you on the grocery line, or the person standing next to you as you wait for your deli sandwich. The fear of ‘stranger danger’ is at an all-time high.

And not to conflate two issues but I also think that it is interesting to note that at the same time, the United Sates in particular is experiencing a spike in crime like never before, and unhealthy conversations about race are being held in some of the highest institutions in the land.

Growing up, I was exposed to people being friendly with one another. It was never an event to strike up a conversation with someone that you did not know. Neighbors introduced themselves to one another and being actively engaged in a community was a desire and not a luxury.

Now obviously times have changed (as they do) and society just inherently functions differently, however, the question that I am posing is, what are the ramifications and implications of a society that is falling out of love with their fellow man (human) and falling in love with its merchandise?

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10 Inches

Part 1: Her.

It was a Friday night, and I, was, horny. I had a long week at work and my boss Jerry just finished getting on my last good nerve about a report that we both knew was perfect. I honestly think that he just wants to get in my pants, but sorry Jerry you’re not my type. I like my men big and strong – tall dark and handsome. All my girlfriends were married and quite frankly boring. Something happens to you after settling down – and I did not want that to happen to me.

I liked dressing up, looking and feeling beautiful. Do not get me wrong I love, appreciate, and respect modesty, but I am just not that kind of girl. I want to show off my curves and be admired for having them. I am all for respecting women but sometimes fellas, the secret part said out loud, we like being objectified – tastefully of course.

It was five o’clock and I was ready for my first drink of the night; But I am a lady, and you were not going to catch me at a bar before 9pm especially by myself. So, I waited. I have plenty of toys to keep me preoccupied. After four hours of nonstop orgasms, it was time for me to go get the real thing.

I put on my favorite skinny black dress, my VVS diamond earing necklace set, and of course my red bottoms. I was determined to catch me a man tonight – just the thought of Monday was stressing me out even though it was two days away; I needed a distraction.

I left my loft and headed for the club eager with anticipation to have a good time and dance and live it up like it was 1999. When I arrived, I immediately made my way to the dance floor and all my inhibitions went out of the window.  

The DJ was playing great music and my body could not help but move. Of course, I danced with men as they approached me, I am no prude. But I was selective in who I gave my ear too. I was in the middle of a dance when I saw him.

He looked like he was chiseled from marble. Every part of his body was sculpted, and he looked as though he was ready to burst out of his shirt. He was wearing a fitted button down, some nice slacks that made his ass look appetizing, and he had a smile to complement his pearly white teeth and noir skin that just made me quiver. I made sure that he noticed me and knew I was looking at him.

When our eyes met, he made his way towards me almost immediately, that made me weak. But I was not going to show that I was falling for him yet, it takes more than an expensive shirt and a gym membership to get my attention. As he approached me, I could feel my pussy start to get wet and I will be honest, I was a little embarrassed, but this was why I came out tonight; to meet someone who would make my heart race.

He finally got next to me and first thing that I noticed was the size of his body. He was so broad; it was almost intimidating, and I loved it. The second thing I noticed was the Louis Vuitton cologne he was wearing, Orage; he had good taste. He asked for a dance, and I obliged. Honestly though, he did not have to ask, but I appreciate a gentleman – and it was almost as if he knew that about me.

One dance turned into two which turned into five. Before I knew it, it was as if we were the only two people in the club. We still had not exchanged names at that point, but I did not care. I was grinding on him and to my surprise the bulge in his pants was huge! I still cannot tell you how big he is, it felt as though it kept going, but I am jumping ahead of myself. By this point in the night, you know I am aroused and ready to see what this man really was about.

He must have been a mind reader, because he looked me dead in the eyes and asked if he could buy me a drink. I agreed, and after getting our drinks, he guided me to a quiet part of the club where we sat and spoke about everything. I think we both equally impressed each other with the depth of conversation we had. We talked about everything, no topic was off limits, it was as if we had already known each other, and was just picking up from a conversation that we left off last time we saw each other – funny thing was, I never met this man before in my life; but I knew I was attracted to him.

Hours later it was closing time, the ice in my glass had melted and the bartenders were doing last call. I was waiting to see if we were going to continue the night, or if this was a Cinderella moment, and we had to part because the proverbial clock had struck twelve, and I am sure neither of us wanted our chariots to turn into pumpkins on us.

We decided to extend the night.

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Life Update

It is no secret that the last year of my life has been pretty hectic. It’s been literally a year almost to the day that I find myself on the path that I am currently on. I’ve been a little sporadic with publishing new content on here in part because I was struggling to just keep up in my life. I am not going to sing a sad song in this post, but I just want to make it clear that I have been and am still on a journey.

One of the biggest developments in that journey is my relocation to Texas. Yes, I transitioned out of my home state for greener pastures, and it has been a blessing. Honestly, it has been the peace of mind for me. The Bible tells us that different spiritual entities rule over different regions of the world and I truly believe that I have found where I belong.

I am not saying that where I left was bad, I am obviously still connected there with friends, family, and business ventures however, when you find what is for you, you have to go with what you know; and I knew that Texas was the place for me. It boiled down to peace of mind and fruitfulness. I needed to expand my horizons to somewhere I could actually grow. I felt suffocated in Jersey, and after a year of lies and betrayal from people I thought were in my corner I knew it was time for me to strike out on my own.

Other than my move, my focus has been on keeping the promises that I have made to myself. I have laid the foundation for an ecosystem of content that is both engaging and informational. I am growing in my detachment from things that do not matter and cultivating qualities in my life that transcend where I find myself as of the writing of this post.

One of the things that I have been dealing with on a rather interesting level is the concept of forgiveness. I have been working through this workbook on forgiving things that you cannot forget, and it has been changing my life in real time. Pobodies nerfect and I definitely fall in that category as it relates to some of the memories that haunt me. My life has not been all peaches and roses, and the part that always sticks in my craw are the things that not only I cannot change, but that I do not know the outcome to either.

It is an ongoing process, but I am learning to let go of what I cannot control and forgive myself specifically of hurt that I may have caused others. I am growing more sensitive in that way. I’m concerned with the condition of my fellow man in a way that I cannot say that I was entirely before. I also feel at the same time however, that I am becoming more masculine, and I love it!

friends sitting in a park
Photo by Mental Health America (MHA) on Pexels.com

One of the lies of society is how it tries to indoctrinate men in how they should think and act. I find it to be grievous because it is also pervasive. You will have people buying into these various character tropes and then trying to impose a certain type of behavior on the people in their sphere of influence.

It has happened to me several times before, where I would get criticized for not being like this or for not being enough of that; and it just gets to a point where enough becomes enough. We were not created to be clones, but individuals. Not to go too far down this rabbit hole, but I would despise it when (and still do) a person would go out of their way to act and be like someone else.

I understand that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – I am not talking about that. I am talking about someone trying to recreate themselves in the image of someone else. That has happened to me both directly and indirectly. Most recently, I had a friend of a friend literally refer to himself as me in front of me. And I was like, “but dude, you are you”.

I feel like people are taught to individuate in the wrong way. When you think of being an individual some of the first thoughts to come to your mind probably revolve around being able to stand on your own, being able to survive, being self-made, and so on. And while that is a form of individuality, true individuation is in being your own person in character not just in provision. The job you work, the money you make, the house you live in, none of those matters.

Who is better off for having met you? Who will be at your funeral and why? Life is not about what you do, because ultimately, we all do the same thing: eat, sleep, and work; but rather life is about who you are. That is where your individuality lies, in how you develop your character.

I also just published my first BOOK!

That’s right I am officially a published author. I am planning an official release for this website however it is currently out and available now in the Kindle Book store.

The book is entitled “The Pursuit of Passion: How to Sequence your Life for Success”. I used the pseudo name Tiffany Jerome as the books author for personal reasons, but nonetheless I am super excited about this venture I am taking.

The book is about making success tangible for you. And by that, I mean, realizing the totality of your potential. It covers a lot of what I talk about on this website but in much greater detail.

I consider it a textbook on success, a must read.

You will be hearing more about that and similar ventures soon, and if you do wind up buying a copy let me know! I would love to hear about how it changed your life.

Do you have faith to believe that the next part of your life is going to be better than the last? Because that is what I am believing for. I want to touch and agree with you, let me know what you are believing for in the comments section below or write me directly. I am building a community, a real one.

My motto here is change your mind change your habits change your beliefs change your life. I believe my content helps you do exactly that, because that is what it has been doing for me. I am my own client. Sometimes I will go through the archives of my posts and read one that stands out, and it will speak to me as if I wrote it yesterday.

I do not know if you know, but I also publish articles in a more regal form through my Kenscorner newsletter. Those articles are less self-help and more topical and current events related to show a different side of me, as well as to engage with a different type of audience and reader.

I guess what I am saying is, life is available to you. You do not have to go with the crowd, you do not have to settle where you are, and you do not have to give up on your dreams. Just because someone else counted you out, count yourself in. You do deserve to be where you are, you are better than what you were, and there is still more for you to do. Do not through in the towel yet.

I would love to hear from you, leave a comment in the section below!

How Sexual Repression is Degrading Society

Since the beginning of time, sex has been a domineering force in human existence. Traceable all the way back to the garden of eden, our susceptibility to sensuality has been weaponized in such a way to cause us to perpetually stumble and fall. Using the Bible as a historical precursor we can see that no good has ever come from society [other people] knowing what goes on in the privacy of our individual bed rooms. In the Bible there is a story of a woman who ‘was caught’ “in the act of committing adultery” (John 8:3). She was brought in the middle of a crowd where she could – and likely would have been publicly shamed, humiliated, and stoned to death (Leviticus 20:10).

The character of Jesus who was on the scene at the time famously stepped in on her behalf and said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” (John 8:7, King James Version). I am not adding an extra layer of justification on what took place on that day, maybe that woman did deserve to be stoned – however, the grace of Jesus in this moment is that her sex life was none of their business.

As a black man, who is yes in fact attracted to white women (and men), I am very familiar with the weaponization of my own sexuality. My people at the foundations of America were not only ostracized as less than human, but were also considered social pariah’s for our inclination towards a more hyper sexual orientation. Society was taught to fear the sexuality of black people [black men specifically] because we would rape their [white] women. I would be lying if I said that I did not like that trope – every stereotype is based in some truth, however, as is the case with Jesus and that woman, what we were and are attracted to should not be society’s business in the first place.

The same is true for the plight of homosexuals. When you consider the ancient Roman Empire, one of the distinctly obvious but far less scrutinized aspects of their civilization was the men’s proclivity for other men. In their time it was perfectly normal for patriarchs [heads of one’s own proverbial household] to take and lay with other men. I will not go as far as to say it was encouraged, however it was socially accepted as one’s own business and welcome within that society. It’s not until early America that we are able to see a society that is plainly oppressive to their queer community; Not to say this is where that started (more on that later) but rather as a more obvious precursor.

During World War 1 we saw a society in America that took a notable interest in the LGBTQ community and not necessarily for good reason. As is America’s history and appetite for subjugation, society sought a new people to tread on probably as a subconscious response to Abraham Lincoln’s freeing of the slaves in 1863. Here we find a similar issue of Straight [heterosexual] men in particular but not exclusively, bringing queer people to the emblematic town square (middle of the crowd) and declaring that they too should be “stoned to death”.

Homosexuals were considered to have a mental disorder, were not welcome in the United States Army at the time and were looked upon with disdain by their peers (fellow human beings). Once again, I am not implying proper or improper treatment of a persons or people group however what I am saying is – like with that woman, a person’s sexual orientation should not have been society’s business.

From this catalyst we see something taking place that should have never been an issue in the first place. The societal hatred of LGBTQ people at the early onset of America led to various movements being birthed where people who were attracted to the same sex began litigating an issue that should have never been in the court of public opinion. All of a sudden we have a society of people casting stones while reveling in their own sin – and people being put to death for something that if they could change it they would.

I believe this unhealthy interest in what goes on in someone else’s bed should be relegated to one’s own personal search history. As someone who is an aspiring adult film actor to a certain degree, I empathize with the fact that people are sexual beings and sometimes just need a release however, I also believe we as a society should take on Ancient Rome’s perspective and let them that wish to, do so without reproach.

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From the Perspective of Being Established

I feel like it’s been forever since I had the opportunity to sit down and create new content for you all. I have been away for good reason; It’s been a working sabbatical so to speak. In fact, this post marks a new chapter in this blog’s narrative. I want to talk about what it feels like to have and feel a sense of security. What does it mean to be established? What are the benefits thereof? And how does it make a difference?

I wanted to discuss this because of recent life experiences that when I should have turned tail and ran; I found something in me that was ‘sure’. Have you ever been leery in your decision-making process? Have you ever second guessed yourself? What do you do in those moments? I know for me those can be turbulent times: pacing the floor, trying to assess the “situation”. I can become a wreak when a moment that I am unexpecting pops up.

Have you ever been blindsided? You think that everything is going well, that all parties involved are in agreement, then all of a sudden out of nowhere CRASH! You get hit with something that caught you by surprise. Now all of a sudden you are Johnny on the spot and have to maneuver your way around something you did not think you would be in. It’s in these caught off guard moments where our character is truly tested. When the Holy Spirit sent Jesus to the wilderness to be tempted by the devil; I’m sure the devil waited until Jesus was tired before he tempted Him.

When you are prepared for something, you are fired up! You are ready to go, full of energy and excited to rise to the occasion. After a while however, the enthusiasm wear’s off. I am sure you are aware of this in your own life. You start the day bright eyed, and bushy tailed, but by 5pm the belt’s unbuckled, one shoe is off, and the make-up touch up is minimal. When your guard is down you let loose, and it is that place of vulnerability that is a petri dish for indecision. When you get caught off guard you get knocked off of your balance and have to revert to your survival tactics.

Your survival tactics are things you do in a perceived moment of crisis. Think of it like when a child throws a temper tantrum. What’s happening here is that child is expressing themselves in a way that they know will solicit a response from their parents. It’s a survival technique. Before they threw tantrums, they cried to get an adult in the room’s attention. As we get older those erratic behaviors become refined into defense mechanism that we will use to get out of or avoid something potentially harmful. These behaviors can take on many forms from the use of explicit and foul language, self-withdrawal, the intentional causing of a conflict (blowing things out proportion), projecting, and more. These are the way we learn to protect ourselves in a civil society.

Established means to be found of a firm or stable basis. You are a sound structure. You cannot be thrown off by the tempest of life. Being able to whether a storm is valuable because that is your individuality. When you are able to lead and not just follow you show yourself to be a free thinker. Freedom of thought is the beginning of knowledge. You are a spiritual being having a physical experience; but what tends to happen is, we get so caught up on the physical that we neglect the spiritual. When you focus on the spiritual aspect of yourself, you begin to learn things about you that are not in a textbook. They are not taught in 12th grade math class, and that are not loud in presentation.

Secular society would have you give your time and focus to apps, television programming, and social discord. But when you put focused effort into understanding the intricacies of you, that is when you will begin to build up and fortify your resolve. Being established is about knowing that you know that you know who you are. You do not have to stoop to a lower level, you know to just avoid that environment. You are not afraid to stand up for your conviction, even if it’s unconventional and not part of the popular social psyche. Being established is knowing that you have a firm and solid foundation.

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Are Siri and Alexa Becoming our New Best Friends?

In an increasingly isolated world where we are constantly normalizing decreased social interaction, if you were to take a moment and consider your own social dynamics and friend groups, you would probably discover the same thing that I have: your social life has likely drastically diminished. In a post pandemic world, as people try to put the pieces of their torn apart sense of normalcy back together in a way that fits their new reality, we are discovering new depths of loneliness and isolation. Do not believe me? Ask yourself: “When was the last time I had a full in-depth conversation with someone I would consider a complete stranger?”.

I am not suggesting that we should ignore the cornucopia of American society: ‘Stranger Danger’, however, what I am saying, is that gone are the days of just striking up a conversation with a random. Every day since the pandemic has started, I could probably count on one hand the number of meaningful conversations I have had over the last year with people outside of my immediate sphere of influence. And in a world that is increasingly propagandized with anti-social sentiment, filled with socially dependent humans, the question within its context becomes how do we satisfy our need for socialization in the 21st century?

Now I will say, that isolation and loneliness have varying trends among different people and age groups. Normally and historically every human being before they breathe their last breath on planet earth will experience some type of loneliness. In a lot of ways, the historical trend is rather cyclical: young adults tend to be lonelier than when they are in their late teens, and the elderly tend to be lonelier than when they were middle aged to advanced adults. When discussing loneliness, it is important to point this fact out as to not to distort its reality.

And while some people groups are just more likely to live lonely and isolated lives, the issue I am highlighting is more severe in that it is defying those trends. Last year over 60% of Americans identified as feeling lonely. That is a 7% increase over the last two years. In the study that uncovered this data, it was also found, that young people between the ages of 18-22 self-identified as being/feeling lonelier than those people ages 70+. The rhythm of this issue is changing meaning the ramifications thereof are also changing.

The main contributor to this global pattern interrupt that is taking place is obviously the times that we are living in. isolation has a direct causation of loneliness. A person who is in a room by themselves, is a person who is in a room by themselves. Solitary confinement in fact, is one of if not the cruelest forms of punishment. Humans are social beings. We require social interaction like we require food in our stomachs.

A Lack of social connection heightens health risks as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or having an alcohol use disorder. Social isolation has twice the impact on our mental and physical health than being obese. That’s right, you’re better off being medically overweight than feeling lonely. Additionally, you are more likely to die from social isolation than many other predominant physical health risks (think preexisting conditions). With this all being the case, what are we to do to mitigate our need to have a social life, while at the same time being socialized by society to not socialize?

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