Tag Archives: growth

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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Provoke Thought

Sometimes, your thoughts and emotions are going to flow naturally. If you’re a creative type, you’ll be able to write a story, take a picture or compose a song with little effort. Other times, it’s going to feel like it’s impossible and you’ll never be able to successfully create something full of emotion again. From what I’ve experienced, this unfortunately happens all too frequently.

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This is something that happens not only when you’re creating art but also in many other aspects of your life, whether it’s performing well at your job, maintaining your health or loving someone special. Some days are naturally going to be easier than others. You’ll wake up ready to go and everything will seem to go your way. On these days you’ll wonder why you ever struggle…and then it happens again.

On the tough days it’s important to remind yourself that struggling is a natural part of life. It’s those that are able to make a conscious decision to work through this struggle that are ultimately able to find success. If your spouse is just getting under your skin, start by taking a deep breath and realizing you’re in control. Realize how important this person is to you and make a conscious decision to love. Be open and honest about what may be bothering you and simply say “I love you.”

If you’re having a tough day at work, start by taking a deep breath and realizing you’re in control. You may not be in control of everything at work, in fact there may be very few things you are in control of. But most importantly, one thing you are in control of is yourself and your reactions to the things happening around. Don’t let something out of your control get under your skin. Focus on what you can control and do that the best you possibly can. Soon, you’ll find that the other things that were bothering you naturally fade away and improve due to your positive actions.

thought-leadership-crap

Whatever the case may be, you’re going to have good days and bad days. On the bad days, take a step back and find something that helps you provoke thought, regain control and right the ship. One thing that works in my life is music. Music can alter feelings and emotions almost immediately. A few beats below are some of my favorites to throw on to just get me thinking. Thinking about what’s going wrong, thinking about what’s going right…just thinking. Find what works for you and use that to gain control of your life and your happiness, especially on those tough days we all have.

J Dilla – “Feel The Beat”

DJ Premier – “B-Line”


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.

 


Comfort Zone

 

Chess Life

One of the hardest things to do in life is to step outside your comfort zone. We all like to be around people that we know well and do things that we’re very comfortable with. Being comfortable is a great feeling and one that you should be sure to enjoy when you have it. If we never stray from always seeking comfort, however, our growth will stagnate and over time, you will be less likely to accept new challenges. You will find yourself being comfortable, but never reaching your true potential. For some that is OK…for others, that is not an easy truth to accept. I tend to fall in the latter group.

Take time to reflect on your life and what you’ve accomplished to this point. Is that enough for you? Do you think you can achieve more? If you think you can, then you can. One way to start down the path of continued growth is to find ways of taking yourself out of your comfort zone. Seek new challenges at work and in your personal life. Doing new things will surely bring about fear, anxiety and a general feeling of being uncomfortable. As you learn more about these new experiences, however ,you will find that there is nothing to be afraid of. Knowledge overcomes fear and will lead to strength. In time, you will look back and be grateful that you accepted new challenges. You will realize that stepping out of your comfort zone has made you a stronger person, one that has overcome fear and replaced it with an excitement for becoming a better person in life.

“By deliberately putting yourself in situations where you have to face fear, you familiarize yourself with it and your anxiety grows less acute. The sensation of overcoming a deep-rooted fear in turn gives you confidence and presence of mind. The more conflicts and difficult situations you put yourself through, the more battle-tested your mind will be.” (Robert Greene, The 33 Strategies of War)

Ain’t nobody been where I’ve been…

They’re at a standstill…

I know that I ain’t got much time here…

Nas – “Let There Be Light”

 


Break The Law

It’s so easy to get used to what we do everyday, to get used to a routine.

Wake up.

Get ready. Commute. Work. Commute. Eat. Relax.

Go to sleep.

Repeat.

Sometimes we need to push ourselves to do something out of the norm, something that’s out of our daily routine. After you wake up, go out for a run before you get ready for work. Write down some thoughts that come to you while you’re working out. What I’ve found is that this is usually when I do my best thinking. The mind is fresh and it hasn’t yet been polluted with the stresses of the day. It may lead you to thinking more about your life and the lives of the people you love.

Are you really treating yourself and others the way you want to? 

It’s doing different things, maybe things that are typically out of your comfort zone, that start to provoke thinking differently. Maybe the situation I mentioned above is something you do everyday anyway, maybe it’s something you never do. What you should really start to think about is how you approach life and the things you find yourself doing all the time. Growth comes from doing something new and different, and that can only start with you. Know that it’s OK to do something out of the norm and “break the law” every now and then. Not in a literal sense, of course, but you probably wouldn’t have kept reading this blog if you thought of everything in a literal sense anyway…

Mac Miller – “Break The Law”