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Why the Wait?

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I had a conversation with a friend the other day and he was talking about getting married and do this and that with his new fiancee. As I continued to talk with him I finally asked him, ” how long have you been together?”. To my surprise he said four years. Then, he dropped another bomb on me and said that they had one kid together and now were expecting another. 

They were living together, shared bank accounts, rooms, and just about everything else imaginable known to a married couple. As I continued to probe some questions to him he finally began to realize that some of things that he was saying was just out of order. “Well, Ahmad what I’m thinking about doing is getting married when the time is right.” 

“Uhhh. What makes the time right? You already did all of the other permanent things. What’s the holdup now?”

He stopped and thought about it. Nothing seemed to ring a bell in his head. 

To interrupt his thought process and in hopes of fine tuning some common sense. I asked in a different way, ” what does the perfect time look like? Is it when the risks look as if they will be no more? Or, does it have to be when it doesn’t look so daunting?” The latter question was nothing but an interpretation of the former.

“Ahmad, I know what you’re saying and we’re going to be getting married in September.” That revelation told me that he was not one hundred percent comfortable with telling everyone, because of what they would think. 

As someone who studies the Bible it made me think of the Scripture in the book of James 4:15: “Your life is like the morning fog-it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” As I thought about it. It means that we do not have very long here on Earth. Most older people that I have the pleasure of speaking with. They always seem to say the same common theme: “All of those years flew by me. The older that I get, the faster time seems to go.”

Now this is not something that is just related to marriage, but to many of the meaningful aspects in our lives. Maybe it’s hitting the gym more often; maybe that trip you wanted to take; maybe to be married sometime down the road; and maybe to see that relative that you haven’t seen in awhile. How about getting that photo album together that you always wanted to have taken care of. Why the wait! Waiting is nothing but wasted time. Just sitting there in the air with many seconds of missed opportunities that will never come back again. 

I’m not immune to such a way of living. There are a lot of things that I wished that I could have done at a younger age; which now has become a past time that I am ineligible to do now. What about starting that business? It’s right there in front of you. Grab it, attack it, take it down. If it doesn’t work out, it simply wasn’t meant to be, but to not have the willingness to fail, there is nothing to pursue. Not taking the risk to fail is more detrimental than not trying. That is something that lasts forever. That’s a void that could never go away. It remains as space stored in your head, with the inevitable “What if?” The time here is not long, but very rich for opportunities to be taken advantage of. So if there is delay, I ask you as I asked the young man. “Why the Wait?”

What is God to A Non-Believer?

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My latest project is finally out. It’s a serious question that could prompt a lot more questions after my take on it through another famous character named Lionel. So if you are half as curious as the title please take a peek HERE

It’s only available on Amazon so it’s an easy find. If you have any questions or want to learn more about my position please ask away. Happy Reading.

 

What you do in the dark comes to light

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This post is going to focus on the process of being successful. Many pursuing a goal feel that there are some things that are just not worth going for anymore. If your gut feeling is telling you that there is something within you then you have to feed that hunger. There is nothing more painstaking than to let a dream linger around you and you have nothing to do with it. There are just some things that need to be done. That’s right it’s called taking care of business. Like I said before, easy is not an option. Expect hard and nothing else. I was doing some studying in the Bible and I read something that Jesus said the book of Matthew 6:6 “when you go to pray…pray in private and the Father will reward you with what is done in secret.” 

Reading that hit me like no other. It clearly explained to me what all successful people have done over time and time again. Anyone that is successful spends countless hours on their craft. When others are sleeping or thinking about sleeping they are working on their craft. For example, on Sunday afternoon when most people are taking it as a day to chill, my son and I hit the gym! It was out of the ordinary, but we want to put the work in so that we can be proud of the bodies that God has given us to train. It was out of the ordinary and the gym was empty. That was music to our ears. And I must tell you….looking in the mirror the following morning was living proof that we were doing something worthwhile. We didn’t go during the time when everyone else was in there to show off, we want to be different so we can’t do what everyone else does. In order to separate ourselves there needed to be something in place that would give us that lift. In other words we were in the dark. Putting in hard work, puts in the dark by default. There is no other option. When most people want to enjoy leisure we need to be working. It only takes a little bit of discipline. 

I looked at the length at some of J.K. Rowling’s books and I read an article about her work ethic. The whole Harry Potter thing took her 17 years to complete.  Yes that means from preschool until about high school to get that done. When most people would have been fed up she took no shorts in believing that she would get it done. Too easy. I continued to read this article and I learned that SHE LIKES TO WRITE THROUGH THE NIGHT. Do you see the pattern? Consumers embrace sleep….producers don’t. To obtain this type of energy you have to have some sort of passion there needs to not only be a way of working but there has to be a certain type of love to go along with it. Please do not take this to mean obsession. In other words, there has to be something that energizes you; that’s passion. I have no problem staying awake til about four in the morning researching new authors, music artists, or finishing a story. Then, turn around and wake up at 7 am to get my kids off to school. If you have a passion there is no reason that you will ever feel like a failure. To do something out of obligation, means that there will be some draining involved, but that has to be superseded with some passion that overwhelms your life. When you are happy you can do anything. Literally. At least you will think you can. And from experience there is no other feeling like it. I always wondered why professional athletes felt compelled to win multiple championships. My thinking was always that if they won it once why go through all of that grueling all over again in the next couple of months? The answer was simple, “There’s no other feeling than excelling at your passion”. To fulfill that long dreadful journey makes it so worth it in the end, even though during the process there are excuse voices in your head to tell you otherwise. Squash that; quickly! Those are voices that come up and tell you that you are wasting your time. 

Keep working in the night. Go to work tired. Let doubters tell you the reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Let them tell you how hard it is. Work through the night while they are out partying, drinking, watching television, and being entertained. You are a producer and that takes being awake and not being entertained. Stay in the dark, because what is done in the dark comes to light. Ask J.K. Rowling!

If you were to quit today

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Goals are precious. They’re sacred. No one posses them except you. Once they are obtained, they are yours to keep forever. The road along the way seems dark, bleak, and even unobtainable. Unfortunately, for most people when this part of the road is seen, there is a tendency to put everything on hold. 

Putting things on hold makes us stagnant, dull, and inept. Goals are great. They make us great. They separate us and helps us give value to the world. That goal may make us look so great, what if you were to stop? What a waste? After all of those hours thinking, fantasizing, and bragging to your closest friends about your anticipated feat. They might actually believe in your crazy idea. Those are people who support you no matter what. Even when you explain your goal, it feels good. But, there might be some doubt in the back of your mind. Shut this train of thought down! Quitting never could more demoralizing. Half of the time we talk ourselves into quitting. We look for affirmations of something being crazy, justifying why we didn’t pursue the dream that hour we were supposed to. 

Where is the glory in quitting? There isn’t any. Then all of the blood, sweat, and tears, will all be a waste of energy. It may take a week or a year. But, you will never get there by quitting. Maybe it’s that job you hate going to. Always reporting, always listening, always being told to do something. The focus should be on the income and the means of why you are doing what you are doing. Understand the “why”. Never forget it. Because once you do; you will be deterred by anything that steps in your way. All of that great emotional thought would be left there dead and nothing to show for the time that you invested in it. It’s yours. Keep it alive and DON’T LET IT DIE!

It’s here, did you get started?

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The chances are you did not. It’s the New Year and you are thinking of getting all of your year long goals started. I know it is technically still the holiday and there are things that you “need” to do in order to really get started. That sort of thought is just as asinine as I hear people talk about not going to church until they “get right”. Uh, duh…you go to church to get right! Another blog for another time.

If you are really looking to be successful there is no time like the present. When we hear people speak of the grind there are no holidays, there are no days off, there are no breaks. Anyone that wants to be successful has to be willing to get into this “loose screw” way of thinking. If everything was supposed to be different then everyone would do it. That’s what I call separation. You need to separate yourself from others who are not willing to put in the extra work or the extra mile in order to better themselves. It’s not a fad, but a lifestyle. I can remember watching Sean Puffy Combs on an MTV reality show and his understudies could not get over the fact that the man didn’t sleep….AT ALL! I watched Pastor Erik Thomas a couple of days ago and he spoke about consumers and producers. The producers were the ones that wanted to get out there and make money and exceed. The consumers were the ones who were always worried about how much sleep they were going to get and how much they could absorb. Consumers, loved to spend more than they made and that’s why they are always slaves to the lender.

Success doesn’t have a time table and it sure doesn’t have a perfect time to start. Ask anyone that has ever had the honor to serve in America’s wars. There was never a good time to deploy. They always happened when someone was in the middle of litigation, a relative was sick, or there was just a new promotion at their civilian job. Life is hard. Life is rough. It is something that we must accept and conquer. Remember just because we go through something, isn’t the time to throw in the towel but to get excited about the grinding process. The process is where all great recipes are made. The process it how all great cars are made. The process is how all great athletes are trained. The process is where we ultimately meet our Maker! So enjoy the process, no matter how dark, lonely, and cold it may be. But remember there is no process like yours. So take it. Own it. And above all else make sure that you enjoy it, because if you are willing to stick with it. The chances are highly in your favor to succeed. Ask anyone who ever quit. 

You have to be willing to hurt

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To breakthrough anything is more than painful and to be honest it downright sucks! I’m sitting here watching the Winter Olympic Trials and these guys are phenomenal. They wear these sophisticated blades to move from side to side miles at a time. Many have even sacrificed their livelihoods by moving across the country to train. That’s a pretty big step at such a young age and now that I think about it…I must have been crazy to tell my mom and dad that I was going to attend school the next fall 500 miles away from home. Not only did I tell them, but I actually did it!

There were so many things that could have gone wrong. I could have not graduated and been stuck. I could have gotten into an accident on the highway during many of my trips back and forth to visit. I could have been an inconvenience to everyone who ever supported my educational career. The same would have to go for all of these skaters here on television. What if it doesn’t work out? What if one of them didn’t place? Would all of those hours of training, time, and money be wasted? As for me on my journey…those things NEVER entered my mind. Which I am sure is the same mindset of all of these aspiring skaters. Will they all win? No. Will they all break records? No of course not. But, I could tell you that they are all on their way to something greater than where they were at the day before. Heck, most of them know that the chances are greater that they won’t make the Olympic team. Did I graduate at the time I originally wanted to? In my dreams, but guess what? I did it and I did it with literally tears, sweat, and more than a few disappointments. I endured it and I loved every second of it. There was nothing more satisfying than walking in that stadium and shaking the Dean’s hand. Even though there were a lot of us who graduated, there were a lot more that have attended and never graduated. 

I’m watching theses skaters wince, grimace, and grit their way through these tough rounds of qualifying and it looks like those that have accepted pain as part of the process are breezing through. 

As I have said plenty of times before. Pain is a prerequisite for success. If there is no degree being uncomfortable then there is absolutely no way that success is inevitable. There is nothing in the world that is more satisfying than a little pain to be overcome.

The same goes for relationships of people wanting to work on a successful marriage, someone trying to advance in their profession, or someone who just simply wants to move in a better direction in their lives. The saying is very true. “Pain is temporary. It may hurt. Fell uncomfortable for maybe a day, month or a year, but eventually it will subside.” Because it has to. It’s the law of success and ultimate achievement.

2014 Goal Setting

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If you are like everyone else…you forgot that today was Thursday. For those that went back to work today it definitely would have to feel like a Monday. Going back to work the day after the biggest holiday of the year has to be nothing less than demoralizing. Living in that fantasy land for just a few hours out of the year makes it really hard to snap back into reality. For some going back to work helps fight off that holiday weight gain. It’s wades off the temptation of snacking on all of those leftovers that just relish in your mouth…and when there’s nothing to do but listen to kids play with their new toys….you guessed it. It’s time to snack again.

But, what I really wanted to communicate today is to not to lose focus! Lose focus of what? I don’t know. That’s for you to decide. For me it’s to hit the gym a little harder this coming year and not to keep paying these monthly membership fees for nothing.  Ugh, how I kick myself every time that I see that fee on my bank statement! It’s not that I didn’t go, but I want to get every cent out it and then some! Thank you Groupon! But, we’re all getting older and we need to get ourselves into a discipline; notice that I didn’t say something that we enjoy. But, something that should become a part of our daily lives. Yes 2014 is for real and so is your aging body. It is not something to play with. Just take a look at some of those Facebook pictures of people that you went to school with. Not a pretty sight is it. Ok, some are the exception, but you get what I’m saying. The majority of us are in horrid shape and we are dying slowly.

Clearly I am focused on my physical health. If you ever knew about my family genetics you would know that I have every right to think and act the way that I do. I would suggest that a lot of us do more than a little bit of family research to know what you are potentially breeding. So what are your goals for the New Year?And not just the New Year….for the entire year! That’s more like it. DON’T wait until January 1st. Start now! Maybe there’s a debt that you have been putting off for a couple years that you finally want to stop hearing from collectors about. Write it on a big board where everyone can see and live every waking day to get it out of your face. I don’t care if you only subtract five dollars a week from it, work towards getting it done and set yourself a deadline.

Don’t make excuses, we’re experts at that and everyone has heard them. Look for excuses to get things done and not reasons why something can’t get done. Sure it may take some more time and effort. Ask any champion that has won anything and they will tell you that it was mandatory to put in more time than the person next to them. What are you willing to do to separate yourself from the crowd? I’m eager to hear. My new recreation started yesterday.

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