LOST IN A DAILY TRANCE: HOW WE WOULD RATHER DREAM THAN MAKE A MOVE ON THEM

Image result for collateral jamie foxx

“A dream is nothing but a dream without plan and execution.”


The above photo is of Academy Award winning actor Jamie Foxx. The photography is from the movie Collateral where he co-starred opposite Tom Cruise. His character was a man who would drive people around in his taxi cab, and during his lunch breaks, gaze at luxury vehicles. His character had dreams of running his own car service of luxury vehicles. It would be an experience and not just a ride. That was his dream until he ran into Tom Cruise, who was a villain in the movie. Cruise’s villainous character, unlike Foxx, was a doer. And for obvious reasons he had to be because he was a hired hitman. So his career revolved around standing by his word to get the job done right. So what does all this have to do with the topic at hand? Well Tom Cruise made Foxx’s character realize something about himself.

Cruise’s character gave Foxx a big ultimatum regarding his dreams and expectations in the world. Cruise let him know that the in reality he was never going to do what he set out to done anyways. Foxx would be in a trance with day time television and then one day he’d die. Die, never accomplishing or even setting out to do what he said he wanted to do in the first place. And that is what this topic is about today, not setting out to accomplish goals. These are the dreamers, the people who would rather dream about what they want then to go get it. And like Jamie Foxx’s character who fancied himself with Mercedes Benz booklets of their latest fleet with hopes of starting his own car service, we look and gaze at the imagery. But the fear of failure keeps us from making a move. Yet we fail anyways in life when we do nothing.

Then again, it is all about fear in life? Sometimes we don’t know how to start what we want to do. For me, pursuing a writing was a little more clear than for most. I put myself in the know, and I am currently pursuing. I have been actively writing since the age of 25 years old. So now, with six years of writing under my belt, I have four more years to break into writing my screenplays, playwrights, and novels. But like I said, I have been writing, even putting together a short film and currently working on the production for my second. So putting yourself in position to work toward what you want is not a guarantee, but it is a step in the right direction. And that is the hardest part for people to stomach. Not the putting yourself into position; but more so, putting yourself in harms way to accomplish anything in life.

In the end, you don’t want to deal with the idea that you might set out to accomplish something and fail in life. But that’s part of the climb is to fail in life. You can’t attain success until you’ve stared into the eyes of failure. Because once you stare down failure the worst is behind you. Especially for those of us who had to climb to attain what we have in this world. You have no other choice but to take the road no one wants to travel. And it’s that road that makes you appreciate so much when you finally get to where you have to go.


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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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GOING BACK HOME MIGHT NOT BE WORTH THE VISIT: HOW HATE IS DEEPER WHERE YOU’RE FROM THAN WHERE YOU LIVE NOW

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“Hey city, where is the support?”


The photo above is of my city; that’s right, my home town. The name of this small place is Racine, Wisconsin. Population 78,000; with that good ole Midwest feel. But this is not really about my small town. This topic is actually about any small town or even big city. Why, well the reason being that it’s hard to gain love and support from your home town at times. And you would think that your town or city is the happiest to see you doing well. But not necessarily so; sure you’re going to have the people who love you. But there are still so many people that don’t like you as well. I remember a former NBA basketball player by name of Caron Butler who is from our city would drive through during off season. No he still plays a role in the community, but that’s not the problem.

You see, the real problem is the people who remember what he used to be. When Caron was a youth, he found himself wrapped-up in the narcotics world. A world where at every step you could lose your life. But he managed to come out on top and land a college scholarship playing basketball at the University of Connecticut. After that, he was drafted in the first round by the Miami Heat, and was consistently showing his face in Racine, Wisconsin. Now, as a young boy in middle school, I was like, “Wow, this dude who is an All-Star came not only from my city, but grew up in my same neighborhood; and the same street. But with all the adulation came the people who show less love than the people who are out-of-towners. People from out of town respect his rise from the streets to the NBA. But the guys who didn’t make it out the streets, frowned and didn’t show love.

And that’s when it dawned on me, people that hate the most where you’re from remember a different you. But most of all, you remind them of the time they have wasted here on Earth. Your success is confirmation what they could have been. Since they didn’t want to listen, or put in the time, they now walk around angry. But you can’t be angry at anyone but yourself. Can’t blame a guy like Caron because he said to himself, “This life ain’t for me,” and removed himself from the streets. Yet it does not sink into the people’s head where you come from. When someone not from your town succeed, you can almost dismiss their grind as luck or they had something handed to them. But a guy who grew up with you hanging on the same block is impossible to ignore. And that’s when the taste of sour grapes sets into their mouths.

In the end, own up to your own mistakes in life. Don’t let life pass you by, then get angry once someone has made the appropriate adjustments to their lives. I will never understand why there is this feeling of someone’s success is someone else’s failure. I’m proud when I see people coming from nothing doing well in life. Because it could have just easily gone in the opposite direction.


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I’M NOT YOUR MOMMY AND DADDY: WHY THE WORLD OWES YOU NOTHING

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“Always got your hand out.”


In the household where I come from, I was under the impression that no one in this world owed you anything. As a child, my mother let us know that I am doing for you while you’re in this house. But the moment you become an adult, you’re on your own, unless you’re in school or making an effort to be something in life. Yet there was something my mother never wanted to do. She never wanted to start this whole road of something for nothing mindset. Because like I said, the world owes you nothing. Anything in this world you want, you had better be ready to go out and stake your own claim. But where does this entitlement come from in our society?

It hasn’t always been here like it is today. You had prior generations that went out and worked at a young age. As a matter of fact, you had kids in the early 1900’s working in coal minds side by side with their parents. Now days are spent playing video games on televisions or computers. Letting time pass you by while engaging in wasteful activities on cell phones. Which brings us to the first reason why people feel entitled. The technology in America has sped so much up, people think that there should be something allotted to them quick and instant. They don’t realize that the technology itself that speeds so much up took a lot of time to build. And when I say time, I mean some stuff as long as decades to build.

With the click of a mouse or the touch of the screen, we are instantly taken to our destination. That can make people think something should be given to them pretty fast. But it’s not just the technology that makes people think they are owed something. This same mind frame exist in the employment field as well. This whole my 75% is your 100%, and we all should be given something when we are clearly not putting in the same amount of work. A trend that has started from schools in children and has followed all the way into their adulthood. Now that you’re in the real world, you don’t realize that you’re not special. No one is going to hold you close and tell you everything is going to be alright. And that’s when you learn you’re not this beautiful and talented person, but more so that you are mundane because you have not put real time and energy into being great at what you do.

And you would think with what has been said so far, the owing stops there; no it doesn’t. People feel that you have made money, so it is your job to give them something. In their minds, “You have it, why not give me something.” Then they try to use the excuse of God blesses you to help other people. When in reality, that’s true, but there is something they are leaving out. God blesses people to help those who have made an initiative to put themselves in a better place. Giving people things without making them earn it causes you to be a crutch and it cripples them. It also creates a lack of respect that the person has for something you do give to them.

See, in the end, you want something in life, you have to be willing to go into the world and stake your own claim. Because the only person who has a stake in interest in you doing anything is you. I used to ask questions of the elders about back in their young days. I remember how my late grandmother would say growing up in the South, everybody had some plot of land. Didn’t matter how big or small, it still fed your family. And it was important you tended to your land since it depended on how you and your family ate. Because if your crop didn’t come through, your family didn’t eat. You were not owed anything and no one cared. Life was tough, but it was fair because we all have the capability to get out the bed and work. What’s that saying, we all have 24 hours in a day, what you choose to do with yours is your business.


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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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THE NOW: WHY DON’T SOME RECOGNIZE THE GRIND

adventure, cold, mountain

“Put the work in, and you’ll understand how you get there.”


No matter who it is, whether in the public eye or some average man or woman, dealing with the downsides of success is real. And when I say the downsides, I am referring to the people who try to make you feel some sort of penalty because you’ve made something of yourself. The people who see what you do as trivial. Something that can be easily accomplished with just a few quick steps. But what they don’t know is that you’ve been cultivating your craft in whatever you’ve been doing for quite some time. Toiling for years while everyone else was living their lives. So was it about your come up that make some express disdain?

One of the reasons is that it further magnifies how much they have wasted their own lives. If you start working toward your goals at age 21 or 22, and become very financially set by the age of 30/31, they can’t understand. They stand on the side trying to piece together what it was that set you over the top. Almost like it was this one thing you did that made you pop in your career. Notice I said started at age 22 and now you’re 30, 31, or even 32 years action, active, activityof age. All that time in between was the struggle years. The years that while others were enjoying their youth in their twenties, you were working. And now they see you, and it sets in how much time they’ve spent just sitting around. Now it’s hard to get in the game because you now know what could have been if you just buckled down initially.

But see, there’s more, there’s more that goes into people not being able to understand the grind. Another reason has to do with the cognitive abilities of the person pursuing their goals. The average person’s IQ is around 110, so some have a hard time believing we have these people with a 150, 160, or Midsection of Man Holding Hands over White Backgroundeven 200 IQ. And that biological factor is ingrained in some people where their brain processes information differently. They are able to wrap their minds around mathematics, science, sociology, business, and any other facet of productivity in society. And explaining the way their brains work is tough because how do you really explain why your mind understands what it does. No one can wrap their mind around their mind. It’s that certain aspects of life make sense to them and they run with it.

Which leads me into my next reason why some people can’t recognize the grind. The idea of trying and failing is something that eludes them. I myself am a person that is able to take my failure in stride and move on to create better things. Some sit on the side and say what you shouldn’t do, but they’re only projecting their feelings on to you. They’re telling you don’t do it, take it from someone whose been down the road. But what they’re actually saying is it didn’t work for me and I’m smarter than you. So I know it won’t work for you. Your ability to do something further they can’t makes them feel mundane and unaccomplished. Your potential success makes them feel bitter from not achieving their own goals out of life.

In the end, as with the people who respect your come up there will be the ones downing your come up. Instead of taking the blueprint and using it as a basic template to build something for themselves, they find any reason to say how it won’t work. And you can’t get through to these people because achievement, adventure, bravethey are looking for someone to subscribe to their bullshit. But why would I subscribe to your ideology if it’s gotten you nowhere. So I say to all successful people or those embarking on your journey keep working. Like Denzel Washington stated in a speech he gave at the NAACP Image Awards. “Keeping moving, keep growing, keep learning: see you at work.”


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THE POWER OF BROKE: EXERCISING YOUR ABILITY TO FIND OPPORTUNITY WHERE OTHERS CAN’T

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“Making yourself appear to have it, without really spending it.”


The above photo is of clothing co-founder Daymond Jones of the company FUBU and now co-host on ABC’s Shark Tank. He recently wrote a book entitled, “The Power of Broke.” The book opens people up to opportunities of making a living without having to believe they needed to be born into wealth. In reality, Jones himself was not born into wealth. He and a close group of friend built their business from scratch selling hats. The hats weren’t that great initially, but they kept on going. Eventually, FUBU became a major clothing brand. The brand was making at it’s height $300 million plus globally. The brand today is not what it was during that time period, yet Daymond has gone off to broker major business deals.

Now, what can the average person do, to build themselves, and practice their own power of broke? One way that the average Joe can exercise the power of broke is to cut back on spending more money, by purchasing products just as nice, but at a lower cost. One decision I make is buying shoes on Amazon from small retail stores on the internet. They are in the range of $30 – $50 per pair. I would usually go to the mall and purchase sneakers for $100 – $150 a pair. I have even bought clothing on the internet that is cheaper than buying in the store. I take my money that I would use for buying more and put it toward my goals. What else could this work in your life?

Another way of practicing the power of broke besides cutting back on the purchases you make, is to realize the opportunities when others don’t see them. If you do come from a humble background, you are in a very interesting position whether you know it or not. Number one, there is nowhere to go but up. But also, because whatever you do is more than what you started with. So if you only make a few hundred dollars a month, it’s a few more than when you first started. You can’t look at it like, “Oh, that’s nothing.” But a few hundred dollars extra could pay for a utility or some other payment for the household.

The last power that Daymond talked about was the idea of getting a mentor. Which is tough for a lot of people because it requires reaching out asking for the help. No one wants to reach out for help and get rejected. So a lot of times we try to build by ourselves, when in reality no one has built any form of success alone. Having someone to guide you along is very crucial in your success. You see, in the end, it’s hard to exercise the power of broke because we want to keep up with others or not be looked at a certain way by others. Yet, part of power is not caring what others have to say. And once you are able to let go of that fear, then you’ll become better off as well.


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