KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF SUCCESS: WHY YOU SHOULD KEEP FIGHTING

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“Don’t walk away when success is on the other side.”


For the past 6.5 years I have been writing my screenplays, with the hopes of securing an agent. Now that I have more of a handle on my writing, I want to pursue an agent in the year 2018. But what I don’t want to do is quit when I am so close to doing what it is I want to do in life. I always remember the quote from Thomas Edison, “Many of life’s failures didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” I have used this quote in other prior posts as well. And that feeling that so many people get when they stop pursuing and see others doing what they wanted to do. It hurts because it makes them realize how they might have been able to win if they stuck it out. But instead they ran away because it became far too tough to continue. And why do so many stop short of their dreams in life.

Usually people stop pursuing because they are getting older and older and start to see their lives slipping away from them. They are pumped about their dream job at 20 years old, then 25 comes and they’re still pumped. But once 30 years of age hits, they start to get that feeling of it hasn’t happened by now. That feeling that everyone else is going on in life without you, but you are still dragging along. I myself, am 30 years old pursuing screenwriting/filmmaking and as a novelist, but I work retail and as an usher. Most people I know have already gotten married and started having children. But me, I am single and have no children; and from the looks of things, I won’t be having children and dating anytime soon. And in a life that is long, why do we have these ways of seeing the world as over at such a young age? It’s because we are on a clock that society has stated you should be doing certain things by a certain age.

But then again, why should we be doing certain things? What if you’re like me and don’t want to get married or have children? You tend to look at society from a totally different standpoint. To you, life is long and you have years to focus on building a family. Yet to those living by the societal standard, they must be married by a certain point, have children, have a career. And the question states, why? There is no scientific proof of the world not spinning on its axis if you don’t live your life by certain standards. I’s because we want to be accepted, even if it’s at the cost of not being happy. We would much rather exist in a world where we’re unhappy and fit the societal standard than to be dangerous on the outside of it. And in the end, that’s why we fall short of our success. We want to satisfy others and not ourselves. We want to fit into a group not build on something we love. It’s a lot of group think in order to be with the pack. And people want the group acceptance.


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MAKING GOOD MONEY: HOW COME PEOPLE DON’T HAVE A MORE DECLARATIVE CAREER EXPLANATION

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“We all want it, but what is good money?”


Ever hear people who are either unemployed or looking for work while on a job say they want to make good money. What exactly is a good job or good money? We all have a different perspective on what that means, but no one can define it in an entirety. So when I hear people say they need a “job” making “good” money I pause. For me, I am currently pursuing my goals of becoming a successful writer (screenplays, playwrights, novels, and blogger), filmmaker, photographer, and podcaster. I would like to make at least $60,000 per year as a start to work for myself. I have given myself 10 years to break into my career as a writer/filmmaker. I am currently at year five almost six. And there you have it, a nice basic understanding for what my goals are in a career. But I always hear these very vague ideas of what it is that people want from life.

I said in an earlier post that adults who need jobs are like crying babies. You can’t communicate with a baby when it’s crying because the baby can’t talk. Only problem with adults is that we can talk. And unlike the baby where you have to give the baby milk, rock the baby, and do all these activities to guess the problem, it’s not the case with adults. A fully grown adult should know more than a baby their problem that is bothering them. And that is the problem with the I need a good paying job inquiry. What job? Paying what? What time period to get to that point? What is your level of expertise? Is this something you really enjoy doing? Do you have the stomach to build in your career choice? So many people don’t know the answers to any of these questions because they lack self-awareness. And that is the main problem.

Because when trying to look for employment, you have to first acknowledge the skills you possess. You can’t just say I need a job and expect people to know your skills. I know what I am good at in this world. It’s not my job to know your strengths and weaknesses. It’s not my job to give you a certain level of skills. Your job is to show me what it is you can do. That is what I mean by self awareness. By a certain age, you should have some level of degree to which you know your skills. That’s why the whole find a job, get a job is very vague. If I realized that my skill is writing, then I am going to pursue my writing career. If there are other skills I have, I’ll pursue those as well. You should pursue whatever you find that is a skill of yours that you not only love, but in the long term can make an income performing.

In the end, not having a firm understanding of who you are is going to be the defining outcome. If you don’t know what you are good at then who does. It’s your brain, you know what your mind wraps around. And if your mind does not wrap around the concept of anything, you’re not going to be hired even if someone was offering jobs. You should know to some degree what career title you want, income associated, and years to rise to another position. And it all comes together in knowing how to put yourself in the know of whatever it is you want to do in life.


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WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE: THE REALIZATION YOU’RE NO LONGER IN SCHOOL

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“I just finished, now what do I do?”


You have worked from elementary school, through middle school, and coming through high school. You worked tirelessly to plan for college, you get accepted, and get into college. You go through college, and might even go through grad school. But now that you have completed school, or at least your formidable education, what now. Today, I am seeing so many students go back to school today. But what about the students who are no longer in school? What are they to do now? You graduated over the weekend, but there is no change to your life. You’re the same person you were before graduating. There is not this new physical form your body takes on now that you have graduated. What is the first move to make? What direction should you take in life? Are you sure you still want to do what you set out to do?

And that is when life sets in; you are on your own. You were told that the key to success in life is attaining a good education. But here you are Monday morning, working your job you once had, without anything special formulating in your life. Because for starters, attaining an education is more than just going to school. There is a lot of self-education in becoming successful in a career. Going to college alone is not enough to pull yourself up in life. You have to be willing to put yourself in the know of whatever it is you’re seeking to attain. I heard hip hop artist 50 Cent make a statement about school. He said, “If everything you needed to know about business were in those textbooks, the professor wouldn’t be teaching you.” “He’d be out generating wealth himself.” Now that’s not to say that the professor hates his job. It’s aiming at understanding taking full advantage of opportunities in front of you.

Basically what I am saying is that no one is going to teach you in society how to win. Why, well there isn’t a course you can teach, nor is there a conversation you can have, that is going to make you successful. It’s about working smart, consistent, planning, preparation, a little luck, and persistence. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, years of arduous and tedious work. It’s almost as if you have to kind of toss out some of the principles you were taught in school in regards to building a career. Because since it comes from your work ethic, there are things you can’t learn in school. There should be life courses in college that expose you to real world scenarios. Scenarios like real competition, failures, success, and building. But to the university, that is your job to build your own life, they just provide you with a basic template for life.

And in the end, that is the job of the collegiate institutions. Giving you the basics of what you have in store for you in life ahead. To you, you might think to yourself, $40,000 – $50,000 per  year does not sound basic. But that in itself is futile compared to the grand scheme of what life really cost. So to all who have graduated this year and are now in the real world, good luck grinding. Because there is no life book or class for the road ahead. Put yourself in the game, and take risk. Put yourself in harms way. (figuratively speaking)


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FIGURING OUT YOUR FUTURE: HOW PLANNING EARLY CAN AID IN YOUR FUTURE SUCCESS

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“Cross the bridge now, so you won’t have to worry later.”


We have all been told as it pertains to our futures to plan early on in life. Though planning does not guarantee that everything will go according to plan, but at least you have a template for how to move yourself ahead in life. If you don’t have a plan, you will find yourself in a rut, and can’t seem to get past wherever you’re currently at in your space in time. For example, you might sit down and create a laid out plan for after college while you’re in college. Does that mean once you graduate from undergraduate school you will have this great career. No, but it does mean that once your college years are over you have some type of road map for where you want to be in life. And back to the rut, what do I mean by the rut.

In my opinion regarding the rut, when you have not properly prepared for a future in whatever it is you want to do, you get down on yourself. And then you start to see people around moving in directions toward their perspective careers. Meaning if you want to get a job working for a great company, then you should mostly likely get yourself an internship in college. Connect with like minded people who you feel can aid you in your future growth. And that future growth will mean that you are setting yourself up for things to happen; success being one of those things. And if you are not setting yourself up for success, then I don’t know what you are setting yourself up for in life. Sounds like a lot of work, but that in a nutshell is life. A lot of work, a lot small victories, that will get you in the space where you want to be.

Some still might be a little shaken up regarding how do they move forward in life. Where do you really start when pursuing a career. Put it this way, if I want a job working in finance, and I am college student, the first thing I would do is read up on the economy. Learn to read the market, and also take courses that will aid in you graduating from college. That literally means majoring in economics or finance. But while in college, I would say you try your best to get an internship working in finance. Now does that mean you will be learning finance, chances are no. (Isn’t that a joke, not learning finance in a finance internship). But when you meet people in the financial world, they may refer you to other internships or even recommend you to jobs. Another “ship,” that would suit you would be a fellowship and an apprenticeship.

You want to also prepare yourself for graduate programs by taking standardized testing to get into a good grad school. Now, all of what I have said prior is real, but may not always work out that way. Because me for example, I went to grad school for my MBA, yet I am pursuing a career as a writer. So anything can happen along your journey, but even with my writing I have a plan. So in the end, plan, even if the plan does not pan out that way. Because it’s like the old saying, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.”


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FIVE IN THE STREET: HOW TO PLAY LIFE WITH HAND YOU’RE DEALT

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“Just because you were born at the bottom, doesn’t mean you have to stay at the bottom.”


For myself, as with many like myself, I am starting my life from humble beginnings. And when I say humble beginnings, I mean growing up poor. My mother is what you would call the working poor. Where one missed day of work, one sick day could have placed her, my two sisters, and myself in a homeless shelter, or worse in the street. But does that mean our lives have to stay that way? No, it does not. Because living in America, we have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. My two siblings are currently steadfast in their careers, and am actively pursuing my own path in life. So if you’ve been dealt a bad hand, how do you win with that hand?

Well, for starters, it comes by way of education. At a young age, my mother started to invest in our education. And when I say invest, she didn’t have money set aside for us as children. But she did make sure that the schools we went to were good enough and safe enough. She waited in lines to enroll us in school. She didn’t sleep in the bed and not make an effort to get us into a good school. She made it her mission, at times sacrificing her own well-being. Even though we were in public school, with my oldest sister attending private in high school, the schools were decent. The school wasn’t a place where all the kids were focused on being cool kids. You were encouraged to expand your mind past how you were being perceived by your peers. So you were able to focus on your education.

So now that education was taken care of, my mother cultivated a household where our minds could grow. At a young age she would take us to the library where we took part in various activities: reading, writing, and putting together puzzles (which was an activity I loved). We even had times on Friday nights when she would have long conversations with us about life. Little did I know those conversations and those weekend trips to the library were getting us prepared to deal in life. It taught me patients, hard work, persistence, and dedication. In addition, I also have to not forget those trips to the zoo and museums, where we were encouraged to have an open mind to many different cultures and experiences.

So now that my sisters and myself are adults we can pursue our own endeavors with the confidence needed up to this point to succeed. So what does all this have to do with winning with a bad hand; well, a lot. Everything that I was taught growing up, in combination with my own cultivated intellect, we have always been able to prosper. Now, everyone did not grow up in a household where their talents were nurtured. Some people have some very tough lives that are far beyond my life. But understand, that your story and my story is not unique. There is always someone that looks like you, and have come from where you have come from to succeed. So in the end, there is always going to be people dealt a bad hand. Some will overcome their struggle and others won’t. Sadly enough, that’s just some of the outcomes of life.


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THE WORLD OWES YOU NOTHING: WHY YOUR LIFE IS UP TO YOU

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“Your life: whatever comes of it is up to you.”


You want  something in life, you go for it. No one is going to give it to you and won’t care if you ever have it. So it’s your job to go into the world and make your own luck. Now, I could sit here and go through all the stories of how some people have it hard. Yet when it’s all said and done, everyone has something on their plate. And the world is just not interested in caring about whatever it is you’re going through in life. So where does that leave people who don’t have direction? It leaves them with their hands in the air. Because as an adult, you have to figure your life out.

Hey, easier said than done right? Well, in so many cases it’s actually wrong. I am in my late 20’s; actually I should just say thirty years of age by now. And I watch people my age go to the clubs and enjoy their lives. Yet I sit inside of a computer lab, typing away. Trying to come up with my next blog topic, my next screenplay idea, my next book, or my next anything that will make me a better writer. Meanwhile, so many guys my age do nothing. I don’t understand it, I just don’t. To me, my life is not moving as fast as I thought it would. So, in the moment, I feel like I am being just as unproductive as them. My life could turn out to be a dud just like the guy who sits around and does nothing.

And what’s scary, is that I could never achieve anything remotely close to the success I want in life. But that’s just life; there is no guarantee of making a living in society. I could put my life into my work and fail. But so many can’t stomach the idea of putting their all into something and it not pan out. They expect something to happen. They might ask, “How much time should I dedicate to doing this or that?” Or they’ll say, “So if I do everything you just said will it make me successful?” And real answer is, who knows. You have no clue what might transpire, but that’s actually what’s good about this roller coaster ride we call life. You might not even try that hard and win, or work your ass off and lose. There is no guarantee and no one owes you anything.

Because in the end, your life is whatever you make it. No one has to make things happen for you, that’s your job. Yes, there may be people who give you an opportunity along the way, but it’s not owed to you. You take it for what it’s worth and keep going. Because win or lose, your success in life will ultimately come down to how much you have prepared. And for those that haven’t prepared, it will show in their lives.


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FROM SUCCESS COMES GUILT: WHY DO PEOPLE FEEL DOWN ABOUT THEIR SUCCESS

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“I’m winning, but do I deserve it?”


You’re young, successful, and life couldn’t be any better. As a matter of fact, life is so good, you often feel like why are you coasting so easily. Now what’s interesting about that statement is that you built yourself to where you are in life. Yet when you look at your life, you have given so much to be where you’re at. Why are you feeling this weird sense of guilt, or undeserving feeling of you getting what you have today? It’s because when you see how the dynamics of how the world actually is built, you think to yourself, “How the hell did I get here?” But most of all, you’re seeing people around you work so hard, yet go nowhere.

Now, I also look at where you have come from as it pertains to your socioeconomic situation. If you grew up poor, and now you’re upper middle class, then you go back home and see poor people. People you know very well are hard working people. They’re not lazy, they’re not bulking the system, so why are they struggling and I am not? Why does it seem like money is coming to me so easily and they struggle to survive? You sit on the lakefront overlooking the landscape with your 5,000; 6,000; or 7,000 square foot house in the background. You look around and say to yourself, “Why me?”

But then you have to snap back to your senses and say, “Why not me?” Especially if you came from humble beginnings, you deserve to have what’s coming to you. But it’s sometimes more than just that in life. Sometimes, some of us are blessed with the ability to retain more knowledge, or just born with more knowledge. And that would mean you hit the genetic lottery. You are of the few that are able to use your mind to move yourself to another level. The things to some people that make no sense, flow through your mind perfectly. Now most would say, “Why don’t you share that knowledge?” And you do, hence, why you have so many people who struggle. Not because you shared your knowledge of success, but because how some of them receive the information.

You might share how you made it, and they ignore, or discredit what you’re saying. So it becomes tough to share with people sometimes because they have this disconnect that causing them to not want to accept the truth. Yet, you are of rational mind. So when two people of rational mind talk, yet only one can accept the rationale, then you have a disconnect. And in the end, that is why you shouldn’t feel hurt by where you are in life. Life is all about choices. Choices to listen, to work, to enjoy your life, and to part take in activities you shouldn’t do. And you should never feel like where you have come is some kind of mistake. Because there is always someone feeling and living worse off than you; so live life and enjoy.


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