Take “Never” Out Of Your Vocabulary

“Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you”. "I give up! I'm not going to bother anymore!" You've said things like that at some point, I'm sure. So have I. When you just can't seem to get something right, it seems a waste of time to try any more. We all have our ways of limiting what we think we can do and what we believe we can accomplish. When we limit our thinking we limit our growth and then we totally miss out on opportunities because we think we can NEVER do it. Never is such a discouraging word. Why do we say we’ll never do something? “I’ll NEVER lose weight.” “I’ll NEVER get a better job.” “I’ll NEVER graduate from college.” “I’ll NEVER be able to afford college/a house/to have kids.” “I’ll NEVER pay off this debt.” “I’ll NEVER be able to retire.” NEVER is a very narrow way of looking at things. That leads me to tell you, “NEVER SAY NEVER.” I know, I know. It’s a Justin Bieber album, but it’s actually a true statement. Thinking of the word “NEVER” with one of your dreams really isn’t going to help. It’s going to frustrate you and drag you down. If I thought to myself, “Ugh, I’m never going to be an article writer,” would I be here? Most definitely not. Achieving a goal is a wildly exhilarating thing. If you’re flirting with the idea of giving up, you could be throwing away something wonderful―your best future. “Character consists of what you do on the third and fourth tries.” ―James A. Michener There’s going to be anxiety about uncertainty and fear about failing, but push yourself to keep going. After all, you’ll never know how close you are to succeeding if you quit now. Resilient people are known for their grit and determination, an outlook that acknowledges that challenges lie ahead, but rather than fearing them, welcomes them and the growth that will surely accompany them. They are inclined to think ahead, display characteristics of optimism and positivity, and a refusal to capitulate to external pressures. “You just can’t beat the person who won’t give up.” ―Babe Ruth Resilience is all about positivity. We must try to actively bring positivity into our lives as it becomes a resource, a well from which we can draw strength in times of need. We must absorb all we can from the good things in our lives. All your life you wanted other people to believe in you and yet you do not belief in yourself. Now, hopefully you realize that you project into others what you feel inside. Therefore, if you want others to belief in you, first you have to belief in yourself. It doesn’t even have to be about your career. It can be with anything—friends, love, family, money, etc. Just always have hope, think positive and avoid being a Debbie Downer. Oh yeah, and NEVER SAY [...]

2018-02-09T20:45:52+00:00 By |

Knock Down Your Obstacles

“Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you”. If achieving goals were easy, everyone would do it quickly and without difficulty. Even if your vision is clear and you can articulate a detailed destiny, there are always obstacles in the path. An obstacle is an object, thing, action or situation that causes an obstruction. We stumble not because the goal is out of reach, but rather because of unexpected obstacles. When these obstacles arise they make the goal seem kind of improbable. The reason obstacles prevent us from moving forward toward the attainment of our goals is because of the thoughts that we allow ourselves to dwell upon. Thoughts like: I don’t have a degree. That’s the reason why I am not succeeding. I have 3 kids. I barely have time to do my business, so that’s the reason why there is no result. My parents did not teach me anything, so that’s the reason why I am not successful. My family does not believe in me, so that’s why I don’t create success. I work overtime including weekend. I barely have time for creating success. Realize, your obstacles or giants want you to surrender before you even try. They want you to keep making excuses that hinder your future progress. They want you to embrace your negative thoughts. They want you to disqualify yourself. Your giants want you to focus on your past, squander your present, and forfeit your future. One of my favorite stories of victory over a perceived insurmountable obstacle was David versus Goliath. Goliath was the obstacle that was standing in the way of Israel’s victory. He did not issue his challenge one time and then leave. For forty days, every morning and every evening he challenged the men of Israel. He intimidated them with such fear that they would run and hide when they heard his challenge. One day, a kid name David accepted the challenge. Instead of running in the opposite direction from his obstacle, he ran towards him. He did not just talk a good game about how he was going to defeat Goliath. His faith and determination showed through his actions. Everyone thought that David did not stand a chance against the giant, but they failed to realize that David was ready to knock down his Goliath. My question for you: Are you ready to knock down your Goliath? It is time to shut your mouth and put your faith in action. It is time to stop talking about what you dream of doing and develop a plan and execute it. Do not let storms or anyone tell you that you cannot do something in your life that you want to accomplish. This is what dreams are made of. Although it may be a cliché, it really is true that you can achieve whatever you want in life if you put your mind to it. Attitude is everything, and [...]

2018-02-09T20:52:12+00:00 By |

Are You a Risk Taker

“Hold up your cup. Here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you”. What is a Risk? You can say it’s a dark tunnel before you reach the end of it. It’s a storm before you can see a rainbow. In other words, it’s a path of uncertainties and insecurities before something great happens. Too many people “play it safe.” This is the playground of mediocrity. It’s where average people live. They color inside the lines and always play by the rules. They fear the unknown and rarely, if ever, venture outside the boundaries. People who “play it safe” are predictable. Their life is run by rules and routine. Their actions are often dictated by the opinions of others. This is the crowd that fights to keep things the same. Risk-takers, live in the realm of possibility and greatness. They are not afraid to live beyond the boundaries and to color outside the lines. To them, there is no such thing as failure; only experiments that didn’t work! Risk-takers are marked by a sense of adventure and passion. They care little for the accolades of the crowd. They are more focused on squeezing everything they can out of every moment. They are not afraid to “boldly go where no one has gone before.” For instance, several years ago I was asked by a friend of mine to go hiking in Southern California. He asked about twenty people to go with him. Everyone eventually backed out except me. That trip became one of the defining moments of my life. Why did I do it, but so many others backed out? Because I am a risk taker. Becoming a risk taker seems to have a negative connotation to it.  The word brings up images of danger, hazards or even loss. But no matter how dangerous the idea of risk taking is, there is an even greater danger of not taking risks. Risks are a key ingredient to living life to the fullest. Think about it. Try naming one historical figure that made a difference by playing it safe and being average. We are inspired by people who go beyond the norm and push the boundaries of possibility. Mediocrity, on the other hand, does not inspire. For example, Bill Gates has consistently made big moves to get what he wants. It is this bold, 'buy it or bury it,' risk-taking personality that has made Gates the success he is. Henry Ford would have never invented the automobile if he had paid attention to his critics. David would have never defeated Goliath if he had allowed his own family to discourage him. The list goes on and on.   If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary. – Jim Rohn Fortunately, the skills of becoming a successful risk taker can be learned. The first thing you need to do is make sure you’re looking at risk [...]

2018-02-09T20:44:13+00:00 By |

Be the Change

We all talk about change all the time. But what does change really mean? And can we really change? I mean, really change? I think we mean well, we talk big, but changing is much harder than we realize. The question is, once we know what it takes to change, will we really want to? Think about it this way: you want to change a habit (quit smoking/eating sugar/drinking coffee/complaining/etc.), so you start baby-stepping your way toward a more liberated (in your mind) life—healthier, cleaner, simpler. What happens, almost immediately? We begin to feel pangs of loss for that habit we’re trying to oust from our lives. We don’t realize how attached we are to the identity of that habit (identity of smoker, cynic, chocolate connoisseur, etc.) until we try to leave it behind. Suddenly, we’re Wile E. Coyote, hanging in space and, with the realization, plunging to the canyon below. Here’s what I think. We all vibrate (metaphorically or literally—depending on your philosophical perspective) at a very specific, single note. Our true, core selves are like a single guitar string that, when played, possesses a crystal clear and individual tone, unlike any other tone out there. But to hear this tone? That takes time—time with yourself, time meditating, time alone, time without the distraction of computer or television or music. And, man, that’s hard. When we feel the urge to change, I think it’s because we’re starting to hear that note above all the other noise; suddenly we want to silence everything else and let that note play. But once you begin to do that, you realize how fragile that single guitar string seems (even though it isn’t really fragile at all), how vulnerable it will be hanging out there on its own. That’s the moment when we give up; we decide quitting x or y is just too hard. We’ll try again next week, next year, or never. So what do we do? I don’t know, exactly. Listen to yourself, for starters. Imagine if we all began to listen to ourselves, our single note, blocking out everyone else’s noise. How inspired would we be to be true to ourselves, to let our note be heard? Then think of the people you’d invite into your circle. You’d decide by listening, right? Because you’d only want to include those notes creating interesting or harmonious chords when paired with your own true note. That’s when change—individual, local, and global—will happen. We all want to make music, but first we need silence; and then we need to listen. ~Amy Holt (originally published in elephant journal, writing as Amy Jirsa)

2018-01-16T15:52:19+00:00 By |

Don’t Let the Monster In

“Hold up your cup here is some positive tea that I want to pour out for you”. It is so easy to start thinking about all the things that are bad in the world from our economy to deranged killers in our world. How can we not have negative thoughts or feelings most of the time? This world is scary, crazy and it is hard not to think about all that could go wrong or bad.  In life, there may be times when negativity seems to surround you, suffocating your dreams and destroying your hope. When that happens, many go through their day being saturated with negativity and accepting it as a way of life. Recently I was around someone and every word out of his mouth was something negative. It drove me nearly insane and I realized at that moment, that it does make a huge difference on how you look at life, and how you express yourself to others.  This person could not say anything encouraging, positive or at all inspirational.  What purpose does being negative have?  NONE! Negative thoughts are sneaky little monsters, creeping into our minds, consistently trying to scare us away from the positive. Unfortunately, once we open the door to one negative thought, a bunch of others seem to sneak in. So how can you stop the negativity from taking over? Here are some things I try to remember and exhibit when I'm inclined or tempted to embrace negative thoughts: Have an attitude of expectancy. You will get what you expect. Complaining, blaming and criticizing aren’t going to change the situation. Regardless of the situation you face, your attitude is your choice. Remember, you can’t have a positive life with a negative attitude. Expect something great to happen for you every day and it will. Say aloud each time you’re tempted to embrace negativity, “Negativity you will not have me, I expect something great to happen for me today!” Spend more time with optimistic people. You are the average of the people you spend the most time with.  In other words, who you spend your time with has a great impact on the person you eventually become. If you are around negative people all the time, you will become negative instantly. Start spending time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded. Relationships should help you, not hurt you. Surround yourself with people who reflect the person you want to be. When you’re surrounded by wonderful optimistic people, you’re surrounded by life. You will find happiness, and you’ll find more peace in daily things. Focus on results. Once you’ve identified the problem, turn your thinking around. Don’t start thinking, I don’t want this. Instead, think, “This is where I’m at, but where do I want to be?” Start asking yourself questions like, “What do I want?” “What’s the solution?” “What could I do right now that would help me change my circumstances?” Don’t dwell too much on what went wrong.  Instead, focus on [...]

2018-01-14T19:01:10+00:00 By |

U Gotta Believe!

I live by and teach a saying that I coined at Florida State: “U Gotta Believe!” There’s no easier way to put it. You cannot ACHIEVE if you do not BELIEVE! Believe means “to have confidence in the TRUTH”. When you believe in something it gives you CONFIDENCE. People who lack belief will always mistake confidence for arrogance. I’ve always said don’t allow my confidence to offend your insecurity. For most of my life, especially during my playing career, people who did not know or believe in me called me COCKY, when I was just being CONFIDENT. (What in the world does “cocky” mean, anyway?) Please, never allow other people’s disbelief shake your confidence in the TRUTH of who you are.   Now, let me take you to school for a moment. The root word of confidence is CONFIDE. Sometimes you have to confide in yourself knowing that some people will never understand or appreciate you. (Now that was some real talk!) Please, listen! Your belief should never be tied to their agreement or approval. Stand firm in your belief – even if no one else believes in you. My problem early on with the media was that they were upset because I told them I was great…before they had a chance to, and they realized that I could care less about their opinion of me. Even Jesus had doubters, naysayers and haters, but that didn’t shake His belief in Himself and His assignment. DOUBTERS make you DOUBLE and HATERS make you GREATER!   Sometimes you have to believe even when all evidence suggests otherwise. (Honestly, that sounds like the definition of faith.) The true test of your belief is when you can believe with no proof! Let me explain. Anyone can believe when everything looks good, but it takes true belief to stand firm when you’re on shaky ground. And if you’ve lived long enough, you’ve come across some ground that’s shaky (and some people that are shady). You can touch your neighbor and say “amen” on that one! All of life’s challenges and obstacles are designed to shake your belief in some way. When your relationship goes bad it shakes your belief in true love and people. When you lose your job it shakes your belief in your own success and the fairness of life. When your plans fall through it shakes your belief in your future – distorting your focus.   Even if your belief has been SHAKEN…don’t let it get TAKEN! (WOW!) Hold on to your belief, like it’s a winning LOTTO ticket! Belief is the GPS that helps you navigate through the treacherous terrain of life. It’s hard to get lost when you find belief. If belief is our GPS, we have to follow the turn-by-turn directions like it’s voiced by James Earl Jones. We have to follow the directions of our GPS: God, Process, and Self. Here’s how:   Belief in God The first and most important step in [...]

2018-01-07T20:36:00+00:00 By |

Fill Your Cup Up With Positivity

How can you make your New Year resolutions stepping stones to a positively blazing and joyous year ahead? To start off, you can resolve to approach them positively. Negativity is painful. It drains your ability to get things done and makes you doubt everything, even yourself. Negativity affects a person’s wellbeing drastically. So, this year watch out and guard your own thought process. Think twice before you act. For instance, if you make a mistake, instead of castigating yourself, you should accept it and learn from it! Don’t let that one rotten banana ruin your year! Always remember that you are amazing in everything you do and it is okay to not be perfect in everything you do. When you frequently tell yourself or others that there’s no point in trying, that the world is out to get you and others are against you, in your mind, shout “STOP!” or “NOPE, we are not going down that path again!” as soon as thoughts of this kind starts to spin in your head. After you have disrupted the thoughts by shouting stop sit down and just be still. Breathe with your belly and focus on just inhaling and exhaling for a minute or two to calm your mind and body down. Being cool and calm – meditating – listening to music or just ask yourself questions: Am I doing the right thing? Am I being positive? Can help you regain the courage to start over by replacing the negative with the positive.  After that, continue the positive prelaunch by doing something you enjoy, hang out with your friends, families, or if you’re like me go exercise and block the negativity from reentering your mind. It is important that you understand and appreciate that your happiness lies within. Consider this – no one can make you unhappy if you have decided for sure that you will be happy in every situation. If you have made up your mind to be happy, you can always seek out the positive aspects of a situation and remain happy. Let’s be honest, this year may be challenging but solutions will come faster if you face them with a smile on your face. Begin looking at life half-full, rather than half-empty.  Begin looking for solutions to problems, rather than complaining about what is wrong. If it’s broke, go ahead and try to fix it. Instead of fretting over a set of new “New Year’s Resolutions”, a better alternative would be to declare a statement of “New Year Affirmations”. Instead of saying, “this year, I will try to be…” boldly declare to yourself the statement “this year, I am…” this is a better way to attack your goals. I want you to ask yourself this… “If this was the best year of my life, what would have to take place?” Think about this, and write it down. If you really want to achieve it, you can. There is no greater guarantee of a [...]

2018-01-08T19:10:56+00:00 By |

Throw Forward

A popular weekly feature on social networking sites such as Twitter and Instagram is “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT). Every Thursday people around the world, including me and my kids, post old pictures of themselves or photos that bring back memories from the past. Throwback Thursday has gained so much popularity that #TBT has become one of the most recognized hashtags in social media. Millions of people post their digital nostalgia each week as they look back to the relics of their past. This “digital nostalgia” is not only limited to social media. Mainstream media has been doing leveraging nostalgia for much of the past decade. Just take a look at the movies and TV shows that have been released, as well as the current fashion trends. They’re mostly remakes of old movies or superhero movies designed to appeal to the memories of those adults who used to read comic books under the covers with a flashlight when they were kids. Even many movie sequels have a throwback element to them. The current surprise box office hit is “Best Man Holiday”, a romantic comedy whose original installment was released nearly fifteen years ago. (By the way, I was supposed to be in that movie, but I had a scheduling conflict.) Everyone seems to want to throwback. Even in sports, the most popular (and most expensive) jerseys are usually the “throwbacks”. People want to buy the jerseys of players who are retired or of teams whose jerseys have changed over the years. They even sell throwback jerseys of ya boy, Prime. (Man, I feel old!!!) By the way, that Falcons red #21 throwback ain’t no joke! That would make someone a WONDERFUL Christmas gift! The point is, everyone seems to be infatuated with the PAST. Everyone seems to want to go back to “the good ol’ days”. Many want to keep going back to the PAST because their PRESENT seems so bleak. I believe there is a bit of escapism in this global “throwback” trend. Let me explain, if I don’t want to deal with the PAIN of my PRESENT, it’s easier to ROMANTICIZE about the JOYS of my PAST. There is at least one major problem with this, however. When we GLANCE back at our PAST, we usually GLOSS OVER our PAST. I love the simplicity of life when me and Mama’nem lived at 1625 Henderson in Ft. Myers, FL. It was great. My sister and I had a great childhood, although my mama worked her butt off to make ends meet. Now, I’m gonna gloss over the fact that we had so many roaches that the Roach Motel had no vacancy, and the rats ran better routes after 9pm than Calvin Johnson! We have a tendency to remember history the way we WANT to remember history. We have a habit of Photoshopping all the ugly parts out of the picture of our past. When we get lonely we remember how much we loved that man or [...]

2018-01-02T00:29:15+00:00 By |

The Ghost of Christmas Past

One of the most well-known Christmas stories is the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Scrooge is a Christmas-hating miser who is visited by three ghosts the night before Christmas to get him to change his ways. The first ghost to visit Mr. Scrooge is “The Ghost of Christmas Past”. This ghost takes Ebenezer back in time and shows him scenes from his past that turned him into the “Scrooge” he had become.   Like Ebenezer Scrooge, there are many of us who are haunted by the ghosts of our PAST. Unlike Ebenezer Scrooge, however, many of us don’t just visit our PAST…we have decided to live there. THE PAST IS THE WORST PLACE YOU COULD EVER LIVE! Some of you have gotten so comfortable there, you’re receiving mail. The past is nothing but a bad neighborhood, and to make matters worse, the rent is way too high. It’s expensive to live in the past! It’s dangerous to live there too. When you live in the past, you pay the price by losing out on opportunities in your present and endangering the dreams of your future.   This Christmas season is a great time to move past the Ghost of Christmas Past. Remember that your past is not your past if you refuse to get past it. The best way to get past your past is to open up the gift of hope. Hope is oftentimes all we have.  Our money may come up short, relationships may go astray, and things that we depended upon are no longer dependable. But hope is always there. Hope does not dwell on the past; it looks forward to the future. That’s why I don’t look back to the past for too long. I’m not focused on yesterday because I have so much to do today. When you hold on to hope, you can let go of the past. Hope is the ultimate “ghost buster”. It delivers you from the haunting of the ghosts of your past.   While your past is a GHOST…hope is a GIFT. Hope is the greatest gift you can find under the Christmas tree this year. (I know some of you ladies out there are saying, “Diamonds are good with me”, and the fellas are saying, “You don’t have to get me nothing, just help me take care of a few of these bills!”) Nevertheless, it’s time to stop being haunted by your past and start un-wrapping some hope! HOPE DOESN’T IGNORE YOUR PAST…IT JUST DOESN’T DWELL ON IT! Hope is what keeps you reaching forward instead of falling backwards. Hope is the gift that keeps on LIVING. More accurately, hope is the gift that keeps YOU living. (I KNOW that will bless you and others. You need to tweet that right now…I’ll wait!)   As long as you feed and nourish hope, hope will stay alive, and that same hope will keep YOU alive. I’ve dealt with the ignorance [...]

2018-01-02T00:29:37+00:00 By |