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

cards, chance, deck

“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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NOT QUITE THERE YET: ARE YOU NOT IN THE PLACE YOU WANT TO BE IN LIFE

daylight, grass, landscape

“The long arduous path that is success.”


Have you ever had the feeling like you’re not in the place you want to be in life? Like you should be or thought you would be a lot farther by this point? Well, I am about to turn thirty years of age and I am working toward a career as a writer. While working toward this career, I am working two part-time jobs. And that sounds fine when you are a twenty years old, but not when you are thirty. Because when you are thirty, you are supposed to be a certain place by this time. You should be on your way to finding your first starter home and thinking about children, not writing. But I am pursuing a career I love, rather than a job I have to go to everyday.

So here I sit, in this moment writing. And to cope with the long road to writing success, I try to observe those that started around my age. And you see they had their first success at about mid to late thirties. Now I gave myself a ten year time period to break in as a successful writer of screenplays, playwright, and novels; with a little lightweight film/theatre directing. Now that I have gotten myself out of the way, what are you pursuing that your life isn’t where you thought it would be? We have all these visions when we are children of the things we will do as adults. But when we become adults, everything is up in the air once you are in the world on your own.

And everything is really up in the air if you have no clue what you want to do with your life. You typically spend all your time working, then coming home and existing. So the days turn into weeks, then weeks to months, and months to years. And before you know it, life has past them by, and they have not attempted at anything in life. And that is the scary feeling people have of not quite being there yet. They even see people their age making life decisions, going in the right direction. Yet they are still not there themselves. So they find any reason to avoid people they know out of shame. Why, well because we always compare ourselves to people that are around our age.

But what happens once people younger than yourself start making moves in life beyond you. That’s when you really start to feel uncomfortable. Seeing a new younger generation making moves that you feel you have not made yet. And what’s crazy, that young age group will feel the same once they reach my age. See, in the end, we don’t want to live with the failures. But we also don’t want to live with the idea of people saying I told you so. Trying at something and constantly failing at it over and over again. But I remember reading a quote by Thomas Edison which stated, “Many of life’s failures didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” But the real question is, how do you know when you’re close?


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YOUR LIFE, YOUR PATH: HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY THROUGH ADULTHOOD

Man Standing on Brown Rocking Mountain Under Blue Sky and Yellow Sunlight

“Navigating life can be so tough.”


Living in real time, becoming an adult is seen as such a stretch in life when you’re a young kid. I still remember the days when my mother would walk in the house from work. I would be sitting in front of the television as she walked through the door. She’d head straight into the bathroom and get changed into her joggers andWoman in White Shirt Sleeping on Gray Fabric Sofa t-shirt. Coming back into the living room, she’d sit onto the couch and start to watch television as well. In that space and time, I knew my day would come to embark on my own journey in life. Yet at the time, I didn’t seem to quite know where that journey would lead. I just knew after age eighteen I would be out into the world.

 

 

Upon leaving high school, I went off to undergraduate school out of state, then transferring back home at the end of the first semester. After returning back home, I still didn’t quite know what I wanted to do in life, yet the timeachievement, cap, celebration was still ticking. My senior year was approaching and I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. But, I did have plans of going off to graduate school after undergrad. And then, May of 2011 was the year I would graduate college. I walked across that stage just as my two sisters had done in the past. And it would be just a few months later that I would be moving on. Moving out to New York City to attend graduate school for my MBA.

Now, did I really want to go off and work for an organization. Not really, so why did I attend graduate school for my Masters Degree? Well, coming out of undergrad, I started to write my very first screenplay. It was entitled, “Wood Road,” and would later be changed to “Retribution.” Not realizing Image result for screenplayhow hard it would be to write, it took me two and a half years to complete. Why, well for starters I didn’t attend film school. And second, I was so discouraged, I quit the first time writing for about one and half years. I just didn’t think I was good enough. Yet, I kept coming back to the script, time and time again. My mind could not focus, unless I was thinking about the script. Then I came back to the script, and finished it.

As I was writing the script, I started to write down all these ideas I had for screenplays. And the more I wrote, the more I realized this is what I wanted Railroad Tracks in Cityto do in life. So at the age of 24 years going on 25, I made the conscious decision to pursue a career as a screenwriter/filmmaker. And here is where
the path to success becomes quite murky. Because as a writer, there is no real path to take in life. It’s not like leaving med school, taking up a residency at a hospital. Or leaving law school getting recruited into a firm. There is no real time limit, nor a real guarantee of it working. All I knew is that I was new to this, don’t know if I’ll succeed, but I like it.

And from that point of liking it, I continued to write. Even writing and shooting my first short film, self-publishing two books, and starting a blog site. At an age where a lot of people are hanging on weekends at the club or Asphalt Road Near Trees Under White Sky at Daytimefocusing on a monogamous relationships, I am producing film, writing my books, and contributing to a blog. What’s tough is that who knows if I’ll succeed. And that is the scary part. No one wants to work toward something just for it blow up in the their faces. We work hard with the hopes of things panning out. And as much as you’re taught that your best may not be good enough, it still doesn’t sink into the mind. Not until you actually fail.

And in the end, that’s the hardest part about life, is the failure. The majority of people go to work, get their checks every two weeks, and live like this for life until retirement. Yet when you step outside that box and try something, you don’t want to be the one people laugh at for failing. You don’t want to Person Doing Cliff Diving during Daytimebe the one people said I told you so. What’s funny is that sometimes those people as well as others secretly wish they were you at times. Throwing yourself off a cliff; taking that leap of faith. But the way I see it, it’s better to jump and see what happens, than to never jump and wonder what could have been.


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MAKING YOUR OWN LUCK: HOW TO OPEN YOUR OWN DOORS TO SUCCESS

Image result for SUCCESS

“Don’t wait for someone else, you make you.”


So many people in the United States have a hard time securing themselves a spot in our economy. They live their daily lives not doing what it is they want to do. Working dead end jobs and working just to have enough money to exist. Then there are the people who step out into society and make things happen for themselves. And the question now stands, “What separates the people who stepped out versus the others? Was it some form of talent that the other didn’t possess, was it the opportunities, or was it the willingness to not give in and give up. The answer is all of the above. But more so, you have to be willing to make your own luck.

What does that mean to make your own luck? Especially in a society where we have become so dependent on one way of succeeding in America, now that focus has shifted. And if you can’t shift with the focus you get left behind. The factories where automobiles were manufactured is a prime example of the focus shifting and to a more automation driven workplace. People were so used to a daily task that when the task changed to a more informational base/engineering base, people have a hard time shifting. Others see this as how societies have always shifted. So they just roll with the punches. But what I just said is still not enough information to make your own luck.

Let’s say you have a skill in teaching. You know that finding a good teaching job is tough. There are so many internet web portals where teachers are making an extra income working for themselves. They are building their resumes this way until something comes along. Tutoring multiple students counts as work history. It will show not only can you command a student’s attention, but your initiative to put yourself out there proves you could make a good educator. Or, let’s say you want to get into the medical field at a great hospital. But getting a job at this hospital is so tough. Try to work at a small clinic and build credibility with a community. Or try working overseas at a clinic in a poor village. You are not making much money, but you will learn to appreciate patients and medicine outside the monetary until you can get to that point.

All of this is hard because people say things  like, “You have better opportunities because you grew up with money.” “I was born to a certain economic situation.” “I am a minority and no one will hire me.” Fine, let’s say I am empathetic to your plight, now what. What is expected next? And that’s just it, what next. You grew up poor, minority, and poor education system. But there has to be a what are you looking for in this momentary position. Meaning, I grew up poor, I am an adult now. What do you expect someone to do for you today? For instance, I grew up the first 18 years broke, I am 30 years old now. Now I have nothing to show, but it was because I grew up poor. Ok, today is Friday, what are you hoping to expect Monday morning. Most people will say a job.

Ok, we are getting somewhere, a job. Then I ask what can you do, what do you do, and what have you done lately. This is when you hear crickets. Because people say it’s hard to get a job when you need work experience to get a job. So with that said how do I make my own luck. Well for starters, work experience is not necessarily a paid employment position. And a job is an ambiguous term, what position and title. Like my previous post, I spoke about self awareness being needed to make your own luck. If you are aware of self, you know the job title, income range, time on average to attain what it is you want. With that said, you can make something out of what seems like nothing. But when you have no awareness of what you’re good at, what are you good for. “I want a job,” you say; then I say, “What are your skills?” Nothing formulates after that with some people.

In the end, making your own luck comes from self awareness, willingness to not give in, accepting failure, and willing to start from somewhere. People only look at the finished outcome and judge based on that alone. There is some regular man or woman walking the street now, and we see them as normal. Once they hit a stride in their careers, we go, how. What you should do is ask people on their path to something, then once you see the finished product you can understand how they got there. But as long as you go you’re successful, it’s this, you miss all that in between work when no one knew who they were. It was the in between work of failures, living broke, consistency that landed them on their success path. Because experience is a broad term, yet that is what they were gaining, experience. They didn’t have dollars, but they had experience over you.


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VICES: HOW THIS ACHILLES HILL CAN RUIN OUR LIVES

Related image

“How does it affect your life?”


Everyone has a vice in life that may or may not keep them from performing their daily duties in life. These vices can be something as simple as snacking on unhealthy food throughout the day or more severe like drugs. Where these vices come from, who really knows, but they are there. A lot of the time we can talk through these problems, then there are the times we have vices that are flat out impossible to have conversations around. Well, why, why is it so hard to have a conversation about that thing that is keeping you from living a life of morality? And a lot of it has to do with the shame associated with the vice.

That’s right shame, the shame that comes with the vice is so hard to talk about. Well, why is that? It’s because we have so many taboos associated with certain things that we can’t have conversations around the vice. For instance, what if the vice is watching porn. Who wants to say they indulge in watching pornography. No one wants to admit it, but we all know the names of some famous porn stars. We all watch, yet we are afraid of how others may receive it. But it is that same group of people who watch themselves. It’s almost as if we are all waiting to be judge by ourselves. We’re worried others may say, “That is wrong or that is immoral.” Yet they do it on some level as well. How about other vices we have as people that make it difficult to talk about.

Another common vice in society is drug use. And when I say drug use, I am not only referring to the narcotics such as Crack Cocaine, Cocaine, Heroin, and Marijuana. I am also referring to the more used prescription medicine. This is in use more than the heavy narcotics, but why. The reasons can be broad as to why. Some do it because it eases any physical pain, some do it to suppress some hidden emotion. And the reason behind the heavy use of the prescription is because there is also less taboo associated with prescription than heavy narcotics. Popping a Vicodin or drinking Oxycontin, people automatically think you are ill and need the drug. It’s a lot better than openly snorting Cocaine or shooting Heroin.

Now, we know the vice and why so many people have them. But what is it about the vice that makes it detrimental? And the detriment of the vice is when it starts to effect your daily life. Now consuming over the counter medicine can be a tricky one, but using heavier street narcotics is a no go. Watching porn is not immoral unless you’re watching underage or it gets in the way of your daily progress. Even alcohol consumption is fine until you decide to get in a car after drinking or you start to develop an illness from the alcohol. You see, in the end, what I’m trying to say is it’s all in moderation. Like I said before, prescription medicine is tricky, but street narcotics is never good in moderation. Other activities are fine in moderation as well. It’s all about balance, but when you’re out of balance, and the vice takes over your life. Then you’re going to start to develop problems that could effect your productivity.


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LIFE’S REAL: THE STRUGGLE OF FINDING JOBS FOR TODAY’S YOUNG GENERATION

Image result for generation y

“The tough times of a generation.”

You grow up and are taught in your life to get your education. Once you do get a degree, you get a job. Work five days per week until you’re 65 years of age, then retire until death. But since the 2008 economic meltdown, there has been a lot of adjustments. One of the adjustments is working less hours for less pay. Fewer opportunities and healthcare not available to you via your employer. But this is effecting no one more than the millennial generation. I, myself, am a member of this age group and let me tell it’s tough. But even though we are known as a generation that expects everything for nothing, the majority of us are not necessarily that way.

We are not dealing with the same playing field as our parents. I never thought the day would come where working part-time is commonplace. You feel lazy and unproductive, even when you’re a hard working male or female. It seems as if all your effort is never good enough. But is it all your fault or the society where we reside? In my opinion it is a combination of both us and the system. To what degree, I am unsure, but it’s both.

How is the society where we live? Well for starters, over the years, more and more jobs have been shipped outside the country. And with that are the opportunities for a younger up and coming generation. Financially for a company it makes sense to pay a foreigner $3 per hour instead of $30 for you and I. The only problem is that company’s expect American’s to fork over money for products and services. This creates a bind because if we are struggling as a country economically, then how do we really contribute? This has been a platform that the president elect Trump has campaigned for; job creation.

Now there is a keyword that we keep hearing; jobs. People say, we need more jobs. There are not enough jobs for young people trying to climb the socioeconomic ladder like there predecessors. But I ask, what is a job really? When you say, I need a job, what do you mean? Working fast food is a job, but it does not pay well. Some may say, they want good money. But once again, what does that mean; what is good money. Which brings me to another reason why my generation has it hard; no direction. Saying I want a good paying job making good  money is broad and ambiguous. It is not directed at any real goal. What job title, what salary range, what city, what benefits, what growth opportunities?

Now, what are the reasons we bring this hard life upon ourselves as a generation? We millennials, spend so much of our time having fun and not preparing for anything. But a major issue with our generation is that we are growing up in a now society. Anything we want we can click and get it instantly. But careers are not instant gratifiers. The road to success through your career is long and arduous. Gratification comes through years of labor day in and day out. It’s hard to reap the benefits when you want so much now.

So, in closing, we look at our lives and have fear about our futures. Fears about what’s to come, and the idea of not knowing is stressful. So many people who at my age would be on their own, still live in the house with their parents. Today’s parents never thought their children would be living at home at the age of thirty. But because of slim opportunities they’re back home. But is it all because of job lose, maybe, just maybe it’s skills. We have so many unqualified people, it makes the job hunt seem tougher than it really is. Whatever the case may be, if this trend continues, younger generations will be having fewer children and even fewer property owners will exist.