Enjoy

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Time, we all have the same amount, and we all wish we had more. It’s important that we use our time wisely. In this post i want to focus on the time we spend on our friendships. While there are five love languages, there is one currency of relationship and that is time. The time you put into a relationship will determine the strength and quality of it. I am at the age where life enters a critical transition. First, I’ve developed a few friendships that i know will be with me for life. Second, while I am still pretty young, I am also on that fence crossing over actual adulthood, and by actual adulthood i mean, providing. While it’s one thing to provide for myself, pay my bills, feed my stomach, it is another to provide for a wife, to provide for a family. Many of my friends are getting Married, engaged, or have found the man or woman of their dreams, while I, for the first time, am enjoying my season of singleness and investing time in the friends i know who will go through the rest of my life with me. The holiday season has done it’s share of throwing loneliness my way but I’ve managed to not let it affect me. I’ve learned to enjoy life. Enjoy life with the people you already have so you’ll be full of joy when the people meant to be in your life enter. Enjoy the little moments where words may not be said, but the time spent together, whether one on one or a group, time is time and use your time to make sure that it is spent edifying your relationships. Life is too short for us to hold grudges and harbor bitterness, disputes and disagreements will always be there, but those don’t define the relationship, how you handle those define the relationship.

No Holding Back

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We are entering the final few days of 2013. While the anticipation for the new year leaves us in excitement, one thing that stills my soul is reflecting on the past year. In my reflection i was brought to tears because the earlier months in the year and even sometimes towards the end I would see opportunity to give my all but I held back. As you know, I am a passionate lover of Jesus and my hearts desire is to pursue Him and experience His radical love. While I don’t live in regret, guilt, or shame, I am saddened because there were opportunities for me to reach the next level but i held back. I’ve learned that you spell faith R-I-S-K, risk. A comfortable life never gets us anywhere. In the midst of comfort stagnancy dwells and many times this last year I became stagnant. And you’re probably wondering, “If you don’t live in regret, guilt, or shame, why are you saddened at this?” And I am glad you’re wondering. And I’ll respond with this, In life, the only thing you ever have to lose is what you have to gain. If you never step out in risk you’ll never gain anything. Every situation in life is a situation where you’ll be taught something. And this situation taught me what life is like when you hold back, and that stagnant life isn’t the life I desire to pursue, but the life of risk and the life of faith is what i desire to pursue. And the only way I can do that is to live a life where no area in my life is held back. To give 111% percent on the field because everyone else is leaving 110%. My heart isn’t to out due anyone but my heart is to give it all and because 110% is a little cliche. 

This post almost sounds like a “this is my new years resolution” post, but it isn’t because as of 20 minutes ago, It started. And for you, all my readers, I want to encourage you not to make a resolution, but to have a vision for 2014. With out vision people perish. A resolution is sometimes shallow and has no purpose. But when you sit down and envision what you want to see in 2014 a fire will be sparked inside your heart to see this vision pass. Our generation is a show me generation, we’re done being told things, because for most of the world seeing it is believing. So when you see your vision for 2014, you’ll believe it and once you’ve seen it, write it down. Then you’ll be able to show it to your friends. And in my life this far I’ve learned that when you can get people to see your vision, they’ll support you. 

If there is one thing you can take from my time of reflection is to keep pressing onward. Life is to short to allow a single slip up to hold you back from your ultimate destiny. Your goals are achievable and your dreams are not impossible. The journey isn’t easy, but your vision gives purpose to your pain, to you struggle, and it’ll drive you. Don’t allow anyone to tell you “You’re the same old you and you will always be that!” because it isn’t true. Six years ago, i was a completely different from the man i am today, I lacked drive, I lacked morals, and I lacked vision. But before your eyes, I now stand as a man with passion, with vision, and with drive. Don’t be afraid to become great. Keep pressing the envelope and break those limitations.  

You’re a winner

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Today was very uneventful due to the fact that i was asked to stay at work because of all the people calling out. dear world, holiday or not, you can sacrifice fast food for some vegetables and you could probably stop drinking soda and drink water. It would be wonderful if you were healthy! /endrant. 

Today’s daily prompt is “You’re A Winner” asking me to describe what i’d do with after winning 1 billion dollars tax free. I figured this is a perfect prompt for me to let you all inside my brain just a little more. So let’s dive into this!

After starting this i realized that 1 billion dollars would be more than enough to fund this dream that I have, so after that, I’d invest in my family, I wouldn’t buy anyone any material item that isn’t profitable but I’d invest in their dreams and figure out a way for each of them to make money doing something they’re all strong in. Somethings I’d probably have going on would be a restaurant, a coffee shop, a LAN center, a music studio and farm land. After each of those, I only project I’d spend 1 million for each person dream, I’d donate a lot to the two churches that helped me become that man I am today. And then I’d probably still have a lot of money left and a lot of money incoming so I’d rest. 

Oh and I wouldn’t tell a single person about the money. And now I will explain my reason for that; Money isn’t evil, but people do evil things for the pursuit of money. I know that some people react to a wealthy person’s conversation differently, Their mind could be focused on “what can i get from this person, how can he help me?” The “me” mindset never helps anyone and as much as i enjoy helping people and giving to people, i refuse to allow someone to live in a “woe is me” mindset and feels that everyone should just give him or her everything leaving no room for his or her personal effort. Everyone is capable of success, but not everyone has been taught how to be successful. In the midst of the struggle you find purpose. Without the journey the destination has no value. With this said, if i showed up to someone and said “Hey I’ve got a billion dollars, how much do you want?” The money he/she asked for has no value because it cost him/her nothing. Now, if i went to someone and said “what are your dreams?” and continued to converse with him/her about it and exploring the depths of his/her heart and imagination. I’d be able to start a relationship where I’d be able to partner with this person instead of giving him/her everything with little to no contribution from his/her side. 

Ending this i realized this may not have made the most sense to everyone but in my mind it does. Hopefully you can understand how my brain processes things. These prompts are really fun because I get a topic and i get to write it makes me think and i enjoy thinking. 

Before the sun

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Before getting into what I want to write about, I’d like to give you all a little contextual information about my life. I am an avid gamer. I don’t view games in the same light as the older people in my life being a waste of time or lazy, I see it almost as a sport. there is a lazy side to it, your room is dirty, your gaming area is trashed, and you lack responsibility. In my life it isn’t like that, I feel like I am always busy working or serving at church that a lack of responsibility is way out of the picture. My view on video games is that they can be beneficial to your brain, for example, I don’t know if you’re an OG iPhone user as i am myself, back in the days before landscape mode texting and the GPS didn’t swivel around with a compass or tell you the direction you’re headed. Yes, the struggle was real for us pioneering the iPhone movement. You’re probably asking how this relates to the topic of video games. Well, I’ve been in cars where people tried to use the iPhone as their GPS and get frustrated at what they’re looking at and how it doesn’t talk to you. As a humble brag, I am really good at using the iPhone’s GPS and the reason behind this, Grand Theft Auto. Yeah, the mini map on there was no walk in the park but learning to use that really helped in real life. There are more examples that I’d like to defend my case of gaming, but I’d like to keep the ball rolling.

Now you know my view on video games, the good and the bad. After i finished school, I realized that there was nothing to fill my time with, especially in the summer when there is nothing to do ever, so i’d wake up and turn on my Xbox. I wouldn’t say that isolation was my goal, but i feel as if i isolated myself from a lot of friends over the summer due to me falling into the dark side of the gaming world. The bad thing about gaming is that the prime time for optimal competition is usually between the hours of 9 pm to 3 am PST. I feel this is due to all the great parents who give their children bed times but forget to check the age rating on games. So my summer consisted of late nights, sleeping at 2 am was probably average and it was always after midnight. I feel into the dark side, my room was messy and I stopped reading, it just got really bad. towards the end of October, i made a commitment to stay away from video games for a while get my life back in order and focus my attention back to things that i was passionate about, other than video games.During my fast from video games, I slowly starting moving closer to my normal sleeping schedule, sleeping between 11 pm and midnight.  

Now, two months later, 10 pm seems like a reasonable time for bed. A year ago if anyone told me this I’d call them a square and tell that person they’re crazy. But I don’t know if the reason i feel this way is because I am slowly maturing into a middle aged young man or if I’ve made myself so used to not playing video games that unless I am studying 10 pm is bed time. And with my job sometimes i work at 7 am sometimes i work at 2 pm, my starting time varies but i mainly stay around 7 am to 10 am start time. And lately it’s felt that no matter the hour i need to be at work, 10 pm is the time to sleep. 

Also, another reason that I enjoy sleeping at 10 pm is because the earlier you sleep, the earlier you’re awake. I love sleep dearly, but i despise sleeping in especially sleeping in past 9 am, it makes me feel as if the day has been wasted. But waking up early has great benefits, especially for introverts who need alone time or people who enjoy the serenity of everyone around them still being asleep. I’ve always lived by the saying “the early bird catches the worm.” For me to sleep in past 9 am is a crime to my health and my sanity. First because i feel anymore than 8 hours of sleep is too much and 6-7 hours are the ideal hours for me.

I strongly advise everyone to be in a routine of sleeping at a reasonable time and waking up early. First reason being, an adequate amount of sleep is crucial to a healthy life, while there is an adequate amount there also is such thing as an excess amount of sleep, you’ll know this exists because you’ll sleep 10-12 hours and feel as if your sleep was robbed, why? Your body needs nutrients and water, you’re going a long time with out water and one sign of being dehydrated is being tired or sleepy. My second reason for a great sleeping routine is in the morning, there is more time for you to have uninterrupted productivity, unless you plan on vacuuming your house or practicing drums. If you enjoy a great inspirational morning read, waking up early is the best thing for you, You’re dressed up and ready to go before anyone is awake giving you ample time to make a cup of coffee at home or go to your local coffee shop, drink a cup of coffee and read something inspirational, now on a side note, no matter what time you wake up, water should be the first drink of the day, it is a million times healthier for you than anything you can drink first thing in the morning, coffee has a reverse effect when you’re not properly hydrated. And my third but not last reason for a great sleeping schedule is you’ll never be late. I make it a point to wake up at least 2 hours before i have to be anywhere even if it takes only thirty minutes to get ready i like to ensure that i am fully awake, and that i arrive early. When i was younger a teacher once said, “You’re on time when you’re early and you’re late when you’re on time” and that has never left my heart. I also feel like it shows maturity when you make an effort to arrive someplace earlier than needed as well as it gives you less stress because you’ll never have to speed to get anywhere to get mad at traffic lights for being red for too long. 

I’d love to hear your views on sleep and sleeping in. Post a comment below and let us discuss!

Hustle

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I just finished a crazy day at work. One terrible thing about the holiday season is that people are always getting sick. To everyone who follows me my best suggestion to you is eat your vegetables and stay hydrated. I’ve learned this past year that it is important for our bodies to be getting nutrients only found in vegetables also to cut back on the meat (this sucks, but it is helpful). Daily vitamins don’t cut it, you need vegetables. Anyway I will stop with my rant there. 

Starting this blog i could’t decide the schedule of how often i wanted to post but when the first weekend came and i posted on Saturday and Sunday I decided that everyday i will post something. And i will by no means post something for the sake of posting but i will ensure that I am constantly delivering a quality read that you can take and be inspired. 

Back to the topic of work. At my job i feel as if my coworkers don’t have the passion or the drive that i do. I know some people feel that my boss favors me over them but i promise that i don’t suck up or do anything other than be a team player. My boss is well aware of my desire for promotion and development and her and i work on this stuff everyday i work. But recently things at work have been feeling like a downward spiral. Our store has only been open for 3 months and I can already tell that people there dislike each other and some people don’t even care for the team. These things make it feel as if I am the only person, other than my boss, who cares for our team and desires to see our team and store succeed. 

So as I was working I was feeling really down and discouraged but I worked quietly my brain was roaring. And in it’s roar, I came to realize that the work of others should not determine the quality of my work. I do realize that not everyone is as cheerful as I am and i do realize that not all people are as passionate about this job as i am but i refuse to allow a negative atmosphere to thrive any place i go to. So I’m making it a point to ensure that all my partners, passionate about the job or not, work in a negative atmosphere. I am going to do all i can to create an atmosphere full of joy at my workplace. 

Success is obtained through an atmosphere of joy. 

Rest

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Today is Christmas and my favorite part about Christmas is it is very relaxing. At our family we open gifts at midnight on Christmas day and when we wake up we just relax all day. I took advantage of this day being a guaranteed day off from work i used today to completely clean my room and do all my laundry. I feel really accomplished and feel ahead of the game because I get to spend the rest of my night hanging out with my family and playing video games with my younger brother.

Rest is your greatest weapon. Stay well rested.

Press on

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When you’re in search of watermelons and life hands you lemons, what do you do? 

I say watermelon because it is my favorite fruit and lemons are not my favorite fruit. I use this analogy to give you a visual example of what your goal is and what is being given to you, And when life throws things at me that I have no desire for I’ve learned that there is only one acceptable option, to press on.

Too often we settle for what life gives us instead of what we want in life. The defining points in our lives are not when we’ve made our greatest achievements but when we’ve reached our all time low. How we respond in the worst situations will show our true character. It’s easy to sit on top of a mountain but it isn’t easy to climb one. 

I could say 2013 hasn’t been my best friend. There were many times where i encountered heart breaking situations, hearing things i didn’t want to hear, felt as if everything i was doing was pointless, and wanted to give up. Starting at the beginning of the year my low kept going lower and lower until i decided to stop letting it fall like a landslide. Eight months ago, I made a decision to not settle for what life was giving me and to not end the year the way it started. As of today, I am having one of the best years I’ve had in a while. Six months ago, i completed bible college and became an ordained minister. This being one of my greatest achievements. And three months ago, I made a decision to pursue a higher position at my current job. This is only a portion of my life that has been getting better. The best part, is that i have wonderful friends who stand by me. Friends who hold me accountable to the person i was created to be. Friends who encourage me to break limitations and raise the bar.  Without them a lot of the good in my life never would’ve manifested, 

In your journey for watermelons, use the lemons life throws at you to make lemonade to refresh you throughout your journey. Don’t allow negative situations to hinder your growth as a person.