POOR MAN’S HUNGER DRIVE: WHY PEOPLE FROM A CERTAIN SOCIOECONOMIC GRIND HARDER THAN OTHERS

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“A thick-skinned path to success is tough for people with soft skin.”


As a young man pursuing my career as a writer, photographer, and filmmaker; I will be going through these up and down periods in my life. But what has prepared me for that was growing up in a poor household. With everything that is a downside of life at the bottom, there is this upside. And that upside is that you have this willingness to succeed that no one else has in life. So many people who aim to succeed leave their parents house and return after college having to move back home. But there are the ones who moving back home is not an option because home is not available anymore. These are the students who take college more serious and work through school rather than indulge in a social life. They realize that there is no backup after college and must be working to attain something.

But what are some other reasons as to why the kids born into a household of substantial means don’t have the true grit as the poor. And it goes back to the adversity. When you watch professional athletes, a lot of the greats have come from these poverty stricken environments. They have all the odds stacked up against them and they fight like their lives depend on it. How many well to do kids fight like their lives depend on it? It’s because they work to succeed, but they have a support system there to aid them. When you don’t have anything, and you are put in a position where you’re forced to be better, then you may ultimately win. It has a lot to do with survival. If you took a person from the upper class and told them to hunt in the safari of Africa for food it would be harder than a homeless man not knowing where his next meal will come from.

In the end, for the reasons above are the main reasons why some people of wealth cut their children off financially. Because they want their children to know how to face adversity. What if the family fortune is lost for some reason or another. Then what you’ll have is a self-destruct kid. They have never known what it was like to hustle in life. Now they have to do something and don’t know where to start. So you must throw them out into society and make them fend for themselves. If not, then you’ll turn into an enabler and it could ultimately hurt the child in the end.


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

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“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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MAKE THEM CATCH YOU: HOW COMPROMISING YOURSELF FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS IS NOT SMART

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“Catch up or be left in the dust.”


Ever been running a race and there is someone who you know is in the race with you. You guys both are trying to win yet encourage each other. But you have to also keep in mind that there are others in this race running with the both of you. So if you are in 3rd place and your friend is in 5th, you want that 5th place friend to catch up. But remember, there is 4th between you both, 6th, 7th, and 8th place in the back. And that’s when you start to care less about the position your friend is in, and more about trying to win the race yourself. Because your goal is not to worry about the place where your friend is sitting, but more so where you need to be. And where you need to be, is moving yourself in position for the 1st place win.

See, you can’t think about the person in 5th place that you know. They have to be bent on catching up to you, otherwise, you have to let them lose. And this topic is not about participating in sports. This topic is about trying to run your race in life. I was watching an interview that Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg was apart of where he was discussing this same thing. He stated when he first entered the entertainment business, it was him and his friends. Then, as time progressed he stood tall and they never left their position. And the only way to be at their level was to come back down. And that’s when you start compromising your talents in this world. Which is a statement that I agree with wholeheartedly. You cannot make someone want to be something in life unless they are bent on going the distance themselves. Because you do more harm to them than help to them.

The way I see it, your 3rd place should make them motivated to run faster even if it’s only to finish strong 5th. Hey, and they might catch that 4th place person or even you. But if you drop back to help them, you’re now risking 4th catching you, and also 6th, 7th, and 8th. Now both of you guys are stuck in the back of the pack. And some people are comfortable in the back as long as there is someone there with them. Me, I am far from OK with being in the back of the pack. So in the end, the person who is running behind you have to have it in their mind to want to catch up in life. Because if you keep aiding them, they’ll never grow. They’ll always want you to carry them somewhere. Sometimes you just have to let them fail and keep moving.


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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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