Tag Archives: character

Trophies

“Society today won’t do anything unless there is an award involved or some kind of reward. They don’t want to make music unless they are going to get a million dollars or they are going to get a bunch of girls or gold chain or car…something that basically tells other people that they did something. People don’t just do it because they love it.”

– Apollo Brown via kevinnottingham.com

Live your life for you.

Not for others.

Trophies.

trophies

O.C. & Apollo Brown.

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Stay True

Two of the most influential people in my life are Warren Buffet and Jay-Z. On the surface it looks like these guys have nothing in common. Warren Buffet is in his mid-80’s, lives and grew up in Omaha, NE and is much more qualified to have a discussion about how much he loves drinking coke than how he came up on selling coke on the streets. As the world already knows, this is exactly how Jay-Z got his start in the Marcy Projects of the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn, NY.

Both of these moguls, though extremely different in some respects, are exactly alike in others. They have both found amazing success due to their discipline and mindset regardless of their backgrounds and the industries in which they operate. The stock and hip-hop markets can both be very fickle. Many participants in both are all about the flavor of the day or hot new trend.

Investors routinely deploy large sums of money in companies that appear to be riding the latest fad only to see valuations become unreasonable and result in a crash, as we saw with the dot-com bubble bursting in the early 2000’s. Similarly, record companies are known to spot a new style or hot rapper and push them for an album or two before the market loses interest.

At the other end of the spectrum there is Warren and Jay. Both have been around since they started their careers and are the epitome of consistency. Warren is famous for finding and purchasing undervalued companies and holding them. A bad day in the market means nothing because over the long-term the market has consistently risen and this is something Warren preaches in all of his interviews. Pay no mind to the daily ebbs and flows of the market, in the long run it will result in success (assuming a sound investment in the first place) and allow you to sleep at night. The majority of investors take a drastically different approach, looking to make a quick buck and capitalize on the short-term fluctuation of securities. This is more of a guessing game resulting in higher fees and frequent capital losses.

Jay’s first album, Reasonable Doubt, came out in 1996. Since then he put out an album a year through 2003’s The Black Album when he “retired”. After “un-retiring”, he then went on to release five more albums, with his latest 4:44 coming this year. On top of this, Jay has been involved in fashion, real estate, sports, sports clubs and streaming music services just to name a few. This type of consistent hard work, growth and amazing success is not something you see everyday.

Warren Buffett and Jay-Z are the models of consistency. These two have been able to stay true to themselves and stick to what they know over two very long and successful careers.

Apply this lesson in your life.

Be consistent in what you go after, how hard you work to get it and how you present yourself to others. With a disciplined approach and the right mindset, you will undoubtedly achieve success.

 


Be Easy

Life is filled with ups and downs, better times and harder times, good and bad everything. No one has it easy all the time and it is those who decide not to let the struggle get to them that come out on top in the end. Of course, some are dealt a much harder hand than others, but the proper tools are available to guide you to where you want to be regardless of where you come from.

Sometimes what is needed may be found in a book of philosophy. I’m currently reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to learn more about character, acceptance, focus and control…Sometimes what is needed may be found in the success stories of others who have gone through a similar struggle. It’s always helpful when you can learn about and relate to someone and what they’ve overcome in their lives…and sometimes what is needed may be found in the lyrics or music of a song. As is evident by the posts on this page, I commonly find inspiration and lessons in various types on music and I suggest listening to music a bit deeper to see if there are any lessons you may be able to take for yourself and apply to your own life.

I heard a song called “Be Easy” by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings the other day and it got me thinking. First of all, I love Sharon Jones and the classic soul vibe her and her band provide so it’s just a good, relaxing listen. The title of this particular song made me think of how important it is in life to “be easy” and not let any one thing affect you and your livelihood too much. Face it, you are going to go through rough times and things are not always going to go your way. You will be stressed at work. You will fight with a loved one. You will do some things that you will immediately regret.

Fortunately, for all of us, these things are just part of life. The downs that come with the ups. They are not things that happen only to you because the world hates you. Once you realize life is going to happen regardless of what you do, it will be easier to accept the fact that you can’t control everything. Control what you can, what is inside of you, and accept the rest as it is. Be the best person you can be – hard working, loving, respectful – and let everything else go. If you can do this, you should start to find that happiness you’ve been looking for. Realize that life will happen as it should and all you can do is be easy

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – “Be Easy”