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

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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

cards, chance, deck

“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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