“I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves.” – Harriet Tubman.
July 4th is a national holiday commemorating the declaration of independence of the U.S. from the British Empire. A lot of Americans are celebrating today by having get-togethers, barbecues, going to beach, shooting fireworks, etc… However, the U.S. and a lot of Americans are still not truly independent. In the Bible, Proverbs 22:7 says, the borrower is the slave of the lender. How can you be independent when you’re $22 trillion in debt?
Sure we have some freedom but we don’t have it in all aspects of our lives. If you work at a job you hate but have to keep on going back to it, you’re not free. If you’re buried in debt and living paycheck to paycheck you’re not free. You have some freedom but real independence is when you have complete autonomy over your life and living out your purpose.
Our thoughts have power and are influenced by our environment. Be mindful of the company you keep, the things around you and what you ponder on. Our thoughts dictate our actions. When we fill our minds with bad thoughts, we are inviting bad things in our lives. As the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out. We can make a conscious effort to be positive and attract great things in our lives as long as we accompany it with actions toward our goals.
Let’s take a look at the Adam and Eve story for example. Satan approached Eve and got inside her thoughts and convinced her to try the forbidden fruit. Satan didn’t just shove it in her mouth and force her to eat it. The work was done through her thoughts. Satan manipulated her into wondering what it would be like to try the fruit and then she did the same to Adam. That’s why it’s important to be mindful of the company you keep. The wrong crowd and environment can influence us to do bad things. We can control our thoughts by choosing wisely who our friends are, the neighborhood we live in, our workplace, and what information we let inside our head.
If you watch the news every morning, you’re more likely to be in a depressed state of mind. The average person will tell you to watch the news to stay informed but in reality, you’re exposing your mind to depression. The news is designed to tell you bad news and make you depressed. That’s how they get their ratings. The news reporters will do anything to emphasize how bad things are to keep you watching. It is not a coincidence that local news airs in the morning before most people go to work and in the evening when most people get back from work. Why would you want to start your day with bad news and then end your day with bad news? People who make a habit of watching the news on a daily basis are putting themselves in a depressed state.
Your friends, your neighborhood, your workplace, the movies you watch and the music you listen to are all considered part of your personal media consumption. Time spent consuming media that does not add value to your life is not time well spent. Instead of letting non-productive content in your mind, read a book, take a course, or do a research on a topic you’re interested in. Limit your entertainment consumption and make it a habit to be involved in activities that would foster growth in your mind. That will lead to better thoughts, actions, habits, results, and future.
Most people find it hard to focus and don’t really know what it means to truly focus. Focus to me is Following One Course Until Success.
A few years ago, I was someone who would try my hands on many different things and as a result, I was not focused. I tried to do too much at once. I wanted to be a master of all trades to please all people. I thought that would be the way to provide value and generate more income. I was wrong in my approach. I had to think deep about what I was doing wrong. I knew I was talented but was not getting the results that I wanted. It wasn’t until I decided to focus on one thing that I started succeeding. I made a conscious decision to stop everything else and to dedicate a whole year at one thing and that’s when I started succeeding.
It took me about 4 years of trials and errors to figure that out. However, I have no regrets. The experience that I had during that 4 year stretch made me the person I am today. If it wasn’t for those experiences, I probably wouldn’t have the drive and motivation to take full advantage of the opportunity that I have in front of me today and excelling in.
I want to encourage everyone to find one thing that they want to succeed in and stay the course. Never quit when it’s something you want badly. Only exception is when you’re doing something that’s not according to God’s purpose for you or have no upward mobility. Never lie to yourself and say, if God wanted it for me, he would have made it easier or come naturally. That’s just an excuse! Success comes by overcoming. You have to find a way to overcome.
Not everyone gets to do what they are passionate about to make a living. Sometimes, you have to do something that makes sense financially and with that financial freedom you can pursue your passion. All you need is one thing. No need to juggle different things and try to be good at everything. Identity your one thing and focus on it. Remember, the man who chases two rabbits, catches neither. Stay FOCUS!!!
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” – Henry Thoreau.
Everyone had big dreams at some point in their lives. Sadly, not everyone accomplished them. They gave up and now the’re making up excuses to justify why they did not persist. Yes, life can knock you down but you’re supposed to get back up. If you don’t and decide to settle for a life of mediocrity, you’re living a life of quiet desperation.
Everyday there are people who complain about going to work because they don’t like their job but are happy when it’s Friday. Those people optimize their weekends and holidays. They’re miserable but they don’t have enough belief in themselves and guts to strive for what they really want by quitting that job or starting a business on the side. Instead, they’ve conformed to society, gave in to life’s circumstances and settled for a job they don’t like that has nothing to do with their purpose in life. Those people are living a life of quiet desperation. Meaning, they want to do something else or something more but they are refrained from taking that step because they are afraid.
A lot of people smoke, drink, and use drugs to relax and reduce their stress. What they’re really doing is quieting their desperation. Those people are either not where they want to be in life, in a bad relationship/marriage or they hate their job. Instead of finding a solution to get out of their present situation, they would rather take drugs, and engage in activities to quiet their desperation.
Success is managed frustration. When you’re frustrated it’s a sign that you need to find a solution and take action. Consumption of drugs and alcohol to make you relax in order to stay complacent is living a life of quiet desperation. That period of frustration needs to be used to be productive. Within every adversity or frustration is an opportunity. You’ll find it only if you manage your frustration well enough to look for it. You can’t do that if you’re under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Even if you don’t do drugs or drink you can still live a life of quiet desperation. If you come home from a job that you don’t like and all you want to do is watch TV or play video games, you’re living a life of quiet desperation. None of those activities will solve your problems. Therefore, don’t invest time in them. God created us for a purpose. It is our duty to find that purpose and fulfill it. Don’t just work to pay bills and die. Don’t let anyone who has given up on their dreams tell you, that’s just the way it is. It’s not. You just need to have the courage to be relentless in getting your way in life and not settle.
Netflix is a successful company because they help average people quiet their desperation. A lot of subscribers spend hours each week watching movies, or TV series on Netflix while they’re unhappy with their lives. What they’re doing is quieting their desperation. When they’re watching a movie or a TV show, they don’t have to think about their struggles. It makes them feel good not having to think about it. Feeling good is fine. But feeling great is better. You achieve greatness by finding solutions to solve a problem, not by using entertainment as a distraction.
If you don’t do what you want, you’re someone else’s slave. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years for a cause he believed in. He did not quiet his desperation. He fulfilled his purpose. Now that he has passed, he has a great legacy. He’s respected all over the world for his action, courage and accomplishment toward abolishing the South African apartheid system. If he didn’t persist and gave up, he would have lived a life of quiet desperation and he would’ve not be known as one of the greatest activists to ever live today.
It takes courage and sacrifice to pursue something great. Stop wasting years of your life doing things that don’t make you feel fulfilled or bring you happiness. Find work that is in line with your passion or allow you the flexibility to pursue your passion. Get what you want out of life instead of settling for mediocrity. The worse thing you can do is live a life of quiet desperation. Do something different, have faith and become who you were destined to be.
A selfish decision is when you decide to do something just for your own benefits and ignoring the wishes of others; When you put your own happiness first.
Traditional wisdom says to give, being selfish is not worth it and to put others first before your own. However, you have to be selfish at times. You have to put YOU first, your happiness, your dreams and goals, so that you can become what you were destined to be. You can’t be a people-pleaser all the time. There comes a time when you have to make a decision simply for yourself and stop caring what everyone else thinks. When you are ready to do that, that’s when you are ready to become all you were created to be.
Happiness and fulfillment are not achieved when you constantly care about what others think and when you let their opinions hold you back. It happens when you are secure to be on your own, ready to fly and leave the herd.
Most people are scared to live outside their comfort zone. They make decisions based on what’s familiar and safe. Anything great you want to accomplish is outside your comfort zone. That zone requires you to do something unusual. If it’s inside your comfort zone then you have the potential to do more and you need to increase your target.
You have to be willing to seek that uncomfortable moment. That moment when you need to make that very important phone call, go to that meeting, introducing yourself to that important person, have that difficult conversation, whatever it may be, you have to seek it. You can’t be afraid of the moment. You have to be prepared and ready to seize the opportunity when it comes. Be a person who comes through when the stakes are high. Be willing to work hard for what you want and don’t settle for a life of comfort and safety.
Unwillingness to be uncomfortable leads to a mediocre life. One who is pursuing greatness, have to be willing to sacrifice temporary comfort and embrace delayed gratification. Those are prerequisites to great accomplishments. Get out your comfort zone, strive for greatness, and make God proud by being all He created you to be.
Love is the greatest emotion of all. One can be inspired to do great things out of love. At the same time, love can break someone and eventually lead to their demise.
It’s important to understand how strong love is. Use the people you love as inspiration and do what you love. Be careful to not fall to your demise as a result of a heartbreak. Always bounce back stronger than ever before. A heartbreak or losing someone you love may be devastating but you can’t let that be the end of you. Be strong enough to use the pain as fuel to elevate yourself to a whole new level and become better than ever.
Love is a blessing and can sometimes be a curse. Love wisely!
Jealousy is a trait that exist in people. Friends, and family members can be jealous of you because of what you have and the position you’re in. Be mindful of that.
You can’t celebrate your victories with everyone. Some victories, you have to keep quiet. People will hate on you just because they’re not discipline and willing to do what’s necessary to succeed. You may have just accomplished something and you want to share it with the people you care about and are close to you but sometimes, those are the same people who will try to push you down with their negativity and jealousy. Sometimes the best thing to do is keep quiet and enjoy a silent victory.
When things aren’t going well in someone else’s life, they tend to hate on another person. Some of the most toxic people you will meet are those closest to you. They can be dream killers. You have to identify who those people are and be mindful of the information you share with them. You can continue to love them if they are family members but you have to set boundaries with them and not allow them to get in the way of your greatness.
Never judge a book by its cover. We should not be too quick to judge others. We don’t know WHO a person really is based on appearance. We should take the time to get to know people before we form an opinion of them.
Those are sayings that we’ve all heard before. It takes a very noble person to not judge or jump into conclusions. No matter how great and awesome you think you are, everyone you come in contact with is superior than you in one thing. Humble yourself and give everyone a chance. The person that you think is not worth your time might teach you something valuable that could change your life if you’re open minded and receptive.
When I was in high school I gained self-confidence by realizing and accepting that everyone is dealing with their own struggle, some that you can see and some you cannot. Knowing that gave me strength and hope to move forward in spite of whatever I thought I was lacking. No one has it together 100%. We’re all lacking something in our eyes but we can succeed in spite of that. Each one of us is blessed differently and were designed to serve a unique purpose. Never allow yourself to become jealous of another person. Each of us has our own struggle that we have to prevail through. Being jealous of another person is not going to help your situation. Instead, find out how they were able to overcome and use their story as inspiration for you to keep on moving forward at your own personal journey.
To conclude, don’t be someone who easily look for faults in others. Any fool can do that, it takes somebody special to find greatness. Take the time to find the greatness in everyone and help them build on it. Everyone was created for a purpose, look deeper than the surface.
When we decide to step outside of our apartment or house to drive somewhere, there will be stop signs, red lights and potholes on the road. It’s the same thing when we are striving to accomplish a goal or a dream. When we hit a stop sign or red light, we don’t turn around and change our mind about where we planned on going because of a red light or stop sign. However, we do plan for traffic. If we know there’s going to be traffic, we might plan to leave early, or wait for traffic to die down before we leave. It depends on the importance of the place we’re trying to get to.
When we’re going to work, it doesn’t matter if there’s traffic, we have to go. We just have to plan to leave early to make it there on time. We are also mentally ready to hit traffic. We have to use the same willpower we tapped into to wake up and go to a job for our personal goals. Be positive of the outcomes but be mentally prepared to maintain a positive attitude in the event of failures. Be ready to keep going forward. Never allow failure to discourage you or to quit. We may take a different route to get there if there are roadblocks, closures, traffic, but nevertheless, we should still aim to get to that final destination.
As long as we have a very good reason why to do something, we will be motivated to keep going. That’s why once you have your goals written down, you also have to write down your reasons why as well. Your reasons why will keep you going when things get tough. It will be a reminder. It will be your fuel. It’s easy to give up when something is not important. You have to constantly remind yourself of the reason why you started in the first place.
Real success is not achieved overnight. Never compare your journey to someone else’s. You have no idea what a person had to do or go through to get to where they’re at unless they’ve told you. It may seem that it should have been you in the position but that kind of thinking is not going to get you far. Jealousy is a trait of unsuccessful people and God wonderfully made you to serve a unique purpose. People with a success mindset are inspired by the accomplishments of others and energized to pursue their own goals.
Enjoy your journey to success no matter what obstacles you have to go through. Once you’re there, average people will look at you and say, you’re lucky and you’re an overnight success. The truth is, you just had the guts to work relentlessly harder than them over a long period of time despite setbacks and failures. Be one of those people who don’t give up and it will be rewarding in the end.