Friday, July 30, 2010

Not An Easy Road

Before I even begin with this week’s post.

Everyone by now knows that song “Billionaire” by Travie (real name Travis) McCoy right? Of course you do. Even if you didn’t want to know it you were forced to, like me. I hear that song consistently, continuously, constantly, every single day, just because someone in the office has it as their ringtone. So before I knew the song, I knew the song, if you know what I mean. Thanks to Facebook, people were making the intro and chorus their Facebook statuses long before I even heard about this song. Even long after, I didn’t pay much attention to it until two days ago I actually listened to the entire song and watched the video to see what the big deal was about with this song. I liked it to say the least, apart from the fact it is annoyingly catchy that you can’t help but listen, it is more so the story behind the song.

It is about 4 guys, excluding the artists, who find themselves struggling to achieve a goal they each have. One wants a new skateboard, one wants a tin of spray can to finish a mural, one needs a ride to get to somewhere, and one is an aspiring DJ (disc jockey). I want to pay particular attention to the guy who is the aspiring DJ. Notice in the video the aspiring DJ is trying to make his way, yet no one pays him any attention, outright ignores and scorns him, because…well…he’s a nobody, why should they care. Yet, as discouraged and frustrated as he is (seen by his facial expression) he doesn’t stop or gives up. He endures to the very end. Finally, he gets a chance and proves himself worthy, and now he’s the talk of the town playing at a big party and everyone knows him and loves him (notice all the girls now around him). It’s the fairy tale story we all love and wish we had, that happy ending.

Video Link:

Now to the post.

Everyone wants to be “the Billionaire, buy all the things they never had”. Not necessarily because they have a reason to want to become a Billionaire but because they see others having and living that lifestyle and wanting to have it as well. Why not, it’s a good look that looks good. Still, how many know what it really takes to become a Billionaire. When I speak about becoming a Billionaire I’m not necessarily referring only to that, but using it to show my point, it could be anything one wishes to achieve. The thing is becoming a Billionaire sounds all nice and well, but what sacrifices would you be willing to make to make it? How hard would you be willing to work to achieve it? How many times would you be willing to hear the word “No”, get discouraged, and still have the determination to continue despite every obvious negative outcome from every possible effort? Truth is not many of us could. It takes a strong will to sacrifice almost everything, work hard, be told “No”, get discouraged and yet still be willing to try. These are the things one has to consider before thinking “the life of a Billionaire is for me.”

I know this isn’t the usual cotton candy “yea go for it” message you’re use to, but it’s truth and reality that some people need to wake them up at times. Many people want this lifestyle and yet only a minute few will achieve it. Too often I see people saying how much they would love to be rich, or have what he/she has, yet when it comes down to putting in the actual work and hours to get it or achieve it all they do is grumble, whine and complain saying it’s too hard…what you thought it was going to be easy? Ask any successful person today who had to work for their achievements what they had to go through to get to where they are, and I guarantee you there were no easy roads there.

This is the underlying message that the song seeks to point out that I’m sure MANY people fail to realize. The fact wasn’t so much that in the end they achieved their respective goals, but the hard work, struggle, disappointment and heartache they had to go through and endure to finally get there in the end, simply because they wanted to be a Billionaire so … bad.

Just as the video showed with the aspiring DJ, most people never see a man in his struggle, they can only see the rewards of his end. This is why so many are drawn to the end without realizing the end comes at a price, which is the struggle and sacrifice.

So before you think you would like to become a Billionaire ask yourself “Would I be willing to do what it takes to make it happen?” If the answer is No maybe being a Billionaire isn’t for you.

Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, it just means realizing that it’s never going to be an easy road, but it is indeed more than possible to become who you want and what you want to achieve.

All the Best.

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Karma (Do Good for Goodness Sake)

We live in a world where everyone likes to feel important. Everyone likes to be praised for their goodwill and efforts, and to be honest nothing is wrong with that. After all you worked for it, you deserve it. Where I have a problem are those who want to feel important by letting others feel less than they are; that’s a huge no no for me. No matter how big you think you are, only one being is greatest and that is God. At the end of the day we are all human just the same.

So I was reading an email today and it demonstrated the power of karma in the world. The concept is simple, do good and good will come back to you.

I want to tell everyone two stories; both about my life that are true; I’ll try to make them as short as possible.

One night they had a sporting event at Jamaica’s National Stadium. After the event I went there to pick up my mother. I came to the end of the road where there was a police officer on a bike directing traffic. It seemed they had turned a two-way street into a one-way street for the night, but I was unaware of this. Little after the policeman began overreacting and starting cussing saying I should turn around and go the other way. Now knowing the delightful person I am, my philosophy is “If you want respect from others you have to be willing to respect them as well, no matter who they are.” So again I say, being the delightful person I am, I decided not to move because of the policeman’s behaviour. His reaction was he was going to shoot me if I didn’t move. My first reaction to this was to look the policeman dead in the eyes and just smiled, and continued smiling. Long and short I eventually moved the car. Some months later I heard that the said policeman had been arrested for criminal charges and is imprisoned to this day.

Story two.

First of all let me say how much I love Marketing, it’s my passion and my soul and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. When I decided to leave University at the end of my 3rd year doing IT (which I hate by the way), I decided to get really in depth with this Marketing thing. So I started doing freelance Marketing for start-up businesses, and by freelance I really mean free. I had gotten an opportunity to develop Marketing strategies for a reputable company in Jamaica and I was on my highest high. I spent hours on it, working diligently at it, and some nights didn’t even sleep until I had finished developing several strategies. A young man came to me, who is now a good friend of mine, asking if I would help him with his Marketing. He had a little start-up business, with no money, and no means of compensating me in any way for my time. To add another factor into the mix: compared to the other businesses I was doing Marketing for, his business was pretty much at the bottom of the barrel in terms of being established. My first reaction could have been, “well no, I don’t have time for your little business, I’m too busy and too important handling bigger clients.” However, my reaction was, “sure I’ll help you with your business.” He wasn’t compensating me for my time or effort, but I placed the most time and effort in his business than I did with anyone else’s (even to this day), because I saw where his business had the greatest need and I really wanted to see his business get to a higher level. There came a time when “freelancing” wasn’t really paying the bills and I had to seek employment. The first place I turned to was the reputable company I did Marketing for. Shockingly they turned down my request for employment. My now friend with the start-up business introduced me to the Managing Director of the company I now work for, and the job I’m in now is far better than what any other job could possibly offer me. I love it, it’s a great opportunity for growth with my career and I meet a lot of influential people; in a sense one would say it is a “God sent”.

Now what was the point of these stories? I am trying to show the strong and positive, or negative, influence karma has on our lives. When you treat people good and as your equal with respect, then the good comes back around in your life. When you choose to treat people with disrespect, unfairly, or less than they are, then it comes back to haunt you in the end.

Treat people with respect, honour them and cherish them, even if they are homeless people dressed in the dirtiest of garments, treat them better than how you would treat yourself.

If someone treats you less than you deserve to be treated there’s no reason to get upset or get revenge, just smile. Karma has a way of taking care of those who think themselves too highly for this world. I have seen it countless times in my life and in the lives of others, and this truth never fails.

This only shows that everyone should do good to others, not only for goodness sake, but for their own.

All the Best.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Bad Things, Good Reasons

Ever hear someone ask “Why does this always happen to me?” Truth is it doesn’t always happen to you, it always happens to everyone. Everyone at not once, but several points in their lives had some form of bad happen or bad experiences. Even the most successful people today had things go horribly wrong for them before they found that one thing that made things right.

Our circumstance is no different than any other person’s circumstance. It’s just that we tend to focus on the bad that happens to us and the good that happens to everyone else when things go wrong in our lives, hence why we think it always happens to us. If you think about it, have you ever taken the time to think about how things went wrong in your life when they final start going right? Have you ever taken the time to think about how things are going horribly wrong for other people when they are going right for you? This is because we tend to relish in the moments of success, and wallow in the moments of defeat, but never both at the same time.

How about this one, “Bad things happen to good people”, ever heard that one? Well allow me to introduce everyone to a new concept I want you to constantly envision and embrace “Bad things happen to good people for good reasons.” What this means is that just because the situation is bad doesn’t mean that there isn’t some underlying good that will result from that bad situation. In other words, when bad things happen it can be for a good reason.

Here’s the only drawback to this fact, not theory but fact, you’ll never know that it was for a good reason or what that good reason is until long after the bad situation has subsided or gone away. It’s life; it throws you to the sharks first then teaches you how to make sushi after, it’s the toughest teacher you’ll ever meet.

Now it is important to be able to know and understand the good reasons or results that will arise from a bad situation. This is so you can learn better approaches in dealing with bad situations, so they don’t affect you negatively. A bad situation:

Teaches patience

- It teaches us how to wait for the right opportunity that will yield the most desirable results

- It teaches us that even if we try an opportunity and it doesn’t work out, to wait longer for the next opportunity (no matter how long it may take)

- It teaches us that sometimes instead of pushing to find the opportunity, to just sit and wait patiently for it to come to us

- Most importantly it teaches that time is endless, and there is no set time for things to happen, only the perfect time

Teaches humility

- Sometimes the right success at the wrong time gives us a really big head, bad experiences reminds us that we are all human, and as quickly as we rise so quickly can we fall

- It teaches that no matter how great we think we are there is always someone greater, so everyone should be treated equally and with the same respect and consideration

Teaches a way to do it better

- Most times when we succeed the first or second time around we think that this is the best way to get it done, a bad experience trains us to always find a way to do it better than we thought it could have been done

- It teaches us that no matter how perfect it seems, there is always a better way to get it done so take the time to find it

Teaches how to accept failure and defeat

- Failure and defeat are two of the hardest things to accept in any aspect of life, bad experiences teaches us that life isn’t fair and that is the reality, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a way out for us

- It allows us to see that failure and defeat in life cannot be avoided so it conditions our mind to see them not as deterrents from our goals, but stepping stones to them

Teaches appreciation for success

- It teaches us how to appreciate success; this is important because we learn that the deeper the struggle the greater the feeling that will be had from relishing in the success of your labour

What everyone needs to learn, which is a very important lesson that we tend to forget, is that there is no such thing as a smooth bad-experience free life, and that there will be many rocky and difficult roads to travel.

As a matter of fact, there will be far more bad experiences than good ones, what makes the good ones so wonderful and so much better than the bad is the feeling that comes from knowing that you went through hell to get to where you are, and in the end found your blissful heaven.

All the Best.

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finding Peace With Your Past

Our past is the most frightening aspect of life to confront. Reason being our past is usually filled with painful memories that we wish to leave where it suggests…in the past.

How many times have you tried to block out your past only to have it resurface at some point later on in your life? How about turning a blind eye, ear, and mind to anything that reminds you of that painful experience?

Sadly, though past experiences are in the past they never tend to stay in the past. At some point they usual resurface and haunt us, reminding us of the very thing we try so hard to forget and ignore, hoping it will go away.

However, the past is like an enemy on the battlefield, it never goes away until you decide to confront it. Though this is necessary, many find it difficult to do out of fear or anger, so the thought is always “leave it and it will eventually go away, or work itself out”, but the truth is it never will. You have to be willing to face your fears and confront that past in order to rid yourself of that past. Only by accepting the truth, that your past experience happened, it happens to the best of us, then finding ways to work through it or come to terms with it, coming to some sort of closure, will you able to loose whatever control your past holds over your life; finally, laying your past to rest where it belongs, in the past.

If you had a bad past experience with someone, whether they hurt you or you hurt them, try to work things out and express how you feel or finding out how you made them feel, the important thing is to try to come to terms with it and try to finally put some sort of closure to it. When you choose to reconcile and confront someone from a bad past experience the benefit isn’t for them, it is for you. It helps to regain peace of mind so that you may live your present life fulfilled without hindrance from your past life.

Additionally, try to reconcile with yourself. Be willing to face and confront your own demons and issues from your past; the ones that are keeping you from living a happy life, the ones keeping you up at nights, the ones that make you cry or upset even when you really don’t want to be. Be willing to overcome the fear of thinking ‘dealing with it would be a lot harder than simply ignoring it’. By confronting them you not only help get over them, but also you help yourself grow and flourish as a person. Your strength and courage within grows, you learn from your past experiences, and most importantly you learn a lot more about yourself. You learn that you can do what you never thought possible, and become a person of strength you never thought you could.

Confronting your past isn’t as horrific as you may believe, whether you may realize it now or not, not confronting your past is really doing a lot more harm than good. The longer you take to come to some sort of closure with your past, the longer and harder it will be to do, and the longer you will live your life in anger and despair.

It will never get better by ignoring it, only by confronting it.

Reconcile with others for your peace of mind; reconcile with yourself to grow into a better person.

All the Best.

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