BOY YOU LOOK DIFFERENT: WHY OUR PHYSICAL APPEARANCE TAKE FORM OVER TIME

Blue Denim Jeans

“I don’t look different, it’s called life.”


When I wake up in the morning and look at myself, I always think, “Man, I have not changed that much since high school. Yeah, sure I’m more mature and I have learned to be a lot more responsible. But my physical appearance is not that much different. Yet when I look at people from my past years so far in life, they bare a totally different look than what I remembered. Maybe it’s because the person got pregnant and had a child. In that case, you will take on a new form, especially your physique. Or maybe the person got into a terrible accident or was stricken with some type of illness. Then there are the people who say screw it and let themselves go. Almost like why bother trying to keep myself together. Well, I have a few reasons why they are unrecognizable; and I have already touched on a few.

When you are young, especially in high school, you care more about what other people think. You’re active, which means you have not got into a rut. You are not fed up with the world because you have not stepped into the world. Yet the moment you leave high school, you take on your own mindset. You begin to hang around different people and your life begins to move around. Yes, granted in the four years preceding high school, you still are to an extent stuck into the mind-frame of high school. But as you come through those years, you start to notice people becoming someone you can’t familiarize yourself with anymore. From the way they talk to how their bodies take form. Then college end and you really start to not notice the person you once knew. And like I said before, physically they become unrecognizable. And what happens that causes this physical reaction?

Children. that’s right children. I know people who have already had children, so keeping yourself together becomes not as important once you become a parent. Unless you have a certain means of finances, it becomes quite difficult to care for yourself. You’re feeding the children, chasing the children, making sure the children stay out of trouble. So days to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years, and slowly but surely, they give up. Now, to play devil’s advocate if I may, I don’t think people just give up. I don’t think people want to work as hard as we have to in the first place. It’s just that we use so much of our outer to attract others to us, then we become what we really want to be eventually. Keeping yourself looking a certain way is work that does not pay. And it has already been a job since high school. So you figure why bother now.

See, in the end, we would all like to stay looking young and fresh. But it’s such a tough time trying to keep ourselves. Me, I have not gained much weight since high school. I have not had a rough life since high school; sure I work harder, but physically, I’m still me. I guess it’s tough once you become an adult with a full time job. You’re doing this and doing that, running here and there; you sort of lose sight of physical aspects of life like your own appearance. And then you fall into this world-wind of who cares.


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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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LIFE DEALT ME A BAD HAND OR DIDN’T IT: HOW PEOPLE USE EXCUSES AS TO WHY THEY’RE NOT SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE

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“I had this to do and that to do.”


All throughout life you hear people make statements regarding them getting the short end of the stick when trying to succeed in life. They’ll tell you all the reasons why things in life didn’t go their way. They had a rough childhood and didn’t have the support. Or even they might tell you how they had children at a young age and couldn’t pursue. They’ll tell you how much of your life was so much easier than their own. But they are telling you this in the moment. I have always wondered in the past tense, while living in real space and time, do people really have it hard as they say they do. Meaning, do people have the short end of the stick. Or do people make decisions in the moments, that define their entire existence on this Earth. Because there is a lot of that as well.

For example, someone will tell you at the age of 35 years old, that they can’t pursue because  they have a family to look after. They have 3 or 4 kids, and they have to be a parent. Then they’ll slip up and tell you the age of these kids. “Well, my oldest is 5 years old.” Then it hits you that they had an entire decade of life that they didn’t have children as a responsibility. Now, the person must come up with yet another excuse as to why. “Well, before I had kids I had to take care for my parent/s.” But when you start to press them on this, they begin to fall apart once again. And that’s when you realize you must end the conversation because this conversation is heading down the road of typical. The typical talking piece on not wanting to be held accountable for your actions. They want to hop and skip over every aspect of life that they have lived.

People make excuses because they have a hard time coming to terms with the idea that they have wasted so much time on doing nothing. They have laid back and enjoyed and indulged in the moment even to a point sometimes of overindulging. But instead of just saying I overindulged, they say all the things that never happened. So what it does is that the conversation becomes a waste of time itself. This person has a character flaw, and they’re trying to figure out ways around the truth which is accountability. I am able to be accountable because that’s how my mother raised my sisters and myself. And you want to tell people so bad to take responsibility for the fact that you are in this space and situation because of you. Yes, everyone has a story, but you can’t just use the story when you were also engaging in so many activities that contradicts your struggle at hand.

In the end, you will always have people who find it hard to admit they are where they are to an extent because of themselves. Yes, there are the case of people that have been given a bad hand. But there is always someone in your spot that made it out. Your story is not a unique situation to be in, in life. But putting in the time to get a better space mentally, physically, spiritually, and financially is what people don’t want to do. They don’t want to put in that time because they don’t want to deal with the idea of putting in their all and failing. Yet they’re putting their all into to nothing so far in life and it has gotten them nowhere. Why not try to put something in to see if formulates into something great?


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

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“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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MAKING YOUR OWN LUCK: HOW YOU CAN TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE

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“You might have been dealt a bad hand; use in to your advantage.”


Some great advice for life, is that no matter what your economic, social, academic, ethnic, gender background, you can overcome a bad situation, At times we feel like all hope is lost for the future. But little do we know that we may be in a better position than we realize. Like me for example, I grew up below the poverty level in the United States. But does that mean I have to always be in that position in my life. You can tailor make life to move yourself out of your current situation. Problem is that most people have a hard time moving themselves out of their bad positions.

See, in earlier posts I talked about putting yourself in the know. And most people say, “What is the know?” “The know of what?” I say, “Whatever it is you’re attaining to have in this world.” So many people want something out of life, such as a paycheck. Yet they don’t quite understand what it is they have to do to get there. They’ll say,” I need a good paying job that makes good money.” That sentence has no clear meaning to it. You have to know what career interest, what title, what pay range, and what time it could potentially take to get there. And this requires having a certain level of self-awareness. Lacking an understanding of self will make it hard to navigate the know. Because you don’t know what you’re good at, if anything at all.

So what do you have to do, you have to test out different things in life. For me, I tried multiple things before I realized I wanted to be a writer. I said to myself, “Faheem, you’re going to be a doctor.” Then I realized I don’t have the patience to deal with patients. So next I said, “You’re going to be an attorney.” And envisioned myself in a court room standing before the judge and jury. Then I realized I could never get a guilty person off or send an innocent person to jail. My big break came when I said that I would go into the business field, which is broad. And it wasn’t until I went for my MBA I realized I wanted to be a writer. Initially it was not knowing what I was doing, if ever I would be successful, but I knew I loved it.

The more I wrote, the more I became comfortable with talking about myself. And I don’t mean being into myself. I mean debriefing information, and being more transparent than before in life. So what did I do, I realized I had something, and could make it into a career. So since the year 2013, I have been writing screenplays, blogging, and my books. So what does all this have to do with making my own luck? I am putting myself in the know by researching, and continuing to learn to write. Making those moves to understand the career for you and knowing what you’re good at it. And also knowing when to make appropriate adjustments to the things you write. Because you’re not going to know everything, especially in the initial stage, yet you have to develop a feel for when things are going right or wrong.

See, in the end, you can make your own luck. You just have to be willing to put yourself in a certain mind frame. And with that mind frame, you start to understand and develop a sense of self. Once you know yourself, you can pursue your career endeavor. This way, you’re being not vague about what it is you want. Sadly enough, a lot of people will never find what they’re good at in life.


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