Category Archives: Thoughts

Tomorrow’s not promised [video]

A few weeks ago, author and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk shared three words of inspiration to his followers… “YOU’RE GONNA DIE”.

We all get older and eventually die but what if that time was cut short? What if you died, tonight? Will you have been satisfied with the life that you’ve been living?

Watch the full video  below.

Which type of failure are you?

There are two types of failures in this world.

Failure that comes from ACTION, as in, starting to follow your passion and failing.

And failure that comes from INACTION, as in, not starting and never having a shot at success.

Let me tell you a quick story.

I hung out with one of my closest college friends, the other day. We originally met in 2008 and man, did this guy have a lot of passions. He was passionate about marketing, community service, dancing, cooking, and many more things. We always used to talk about our dreams; I was going to be a big time designer with a small team and he was going to be a famous Food Network chef or dancer with a unique 3-in-1 restaurant concept.

Here’s the thing though, my friend had no idea what it took to become a professional dancer or chef, let alone being a Food Network chef.

As the years went by, my friend kept on dancing and cooking. He still had no clue what he was going to do with his talents, but that didn’t stop him from working to get better. No matter how good he got, he kept on pushing himself to get better.

One day while watching Food Network’s ‘Chopped,’ he thought to himself, “I should apply to be on that show.” That same day, he decided he’d apply to be on Chopped.

Being that he was as good a dancer as he was a chef, he decided he’d try to stand out by branding himself as a ‘dancing chef.’ He even came up with a cool little name called 8 Count Kitchen (get it?).

After spending time applying to be on Chopped, making videos, and updating his social pages… he waited.

He waited some more  and waited some more…

Then the news finally came in…

He was NOT selected to be on the show.

After all of that work he put in, he still ended up failing.

The type of failure that comes from following your passion and failing.

 

Here’s the thing… I’m also a failure. I fail every single day. Heck, you’re probably a failure too.

Have you ever worked really hard for something and still end up failing?

It could be an exam for school, it could be a business venture or a loan…

You put in a lot of work and still fell short.

But–

There’s a difference between failure by action and failure by inaction. When you fail without trying, you never really had a chance of succeeding. Failure without action is permanent.

But when you fail taking action, you can actually DO something about it. You can dust yourself off, make a few changes, and try again, you can try a completely alternate route, you can work to get better and then try again…

Eventually, something will stick.

I’ve failed so many times in my career; making the wrong hiring decisions, running out of money, failing to meet deadlines, you name it, I’ve failed at it.

And that’s why  I’ve seen so many wins!

I don’t know about you, but, I’d rather fail 50x and win 1x rather than not try at all.

And let’s be honest, you’re a failure too. We all are.

The real question is, are you a failure because of your actions or are you a failure because of inaction?

Oh, and that friend I was talking about?

His name is Jermaine Wright. He currently runs a YouTube/Facebook cooking show called 8 Count Kitchen and this Sunday, February 14th at 10PM  est, you can catch him on the Season 2 premiere of Food Network’s All Star Academy.

Let’s fail more… until we start winning!  (DJ Khaled Voice)

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What are you failing at right now? Tweet me now and tell me about it!

When everything seems to be going wrong, try this 1 trick

This post is from my #quickthoughts series; my no-filter, no-proofread, no-spellcheck thoughts on the things happening around me. These thoughts are written as they happen and are intended to be transparent, personal, and (as the kids say) raw! Here goes… (don’t forget, no spellcheck)

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I’m currently writing this post from an airplane heading back to New York from Miami, Florida. Me and my wife (sitting to the right of me) celebrated our one year anniversary and her 24th birthday by taking a week “off “ from work and exploring Florida. We stayed at three (3) different places; Tampa, South Beach, and Downtown Miami (in that order).

I’m sitting here replaying this amazing trip in my head and the only thing I can think about is the fact that “everything truly does happen for a reason”.

This is a personal mantra of mine that I’ve been living by for years and it’s helped me to THINK before I overreact to every situation that I’m involved in. It’s made me change my mentality so much that instead of worrying, I start to EXPECT great things to happen as a result of things going wrong.

The next time something goes wrong (whether you left your suitcase at the wrong place, left your phone/wallet in a cab, traveled hours to find out the place you were going was closed), instead of spending time complaining, blaming people, and arguing, try adopting an ‘everything happens for a reason’ mentality. (If you’re religious, you know the saying “God works in mysterious ways”).

What does it mean to have an ‘everything happens for a reason’ mentality? It means to embrace the things that goes wrong and move on from them. It means to see every situation through and expect a good to come out of it.

Picture this scenario.

You went to sleep and your little sister came to your room after to play games on your phone. While using your phone, the battery dies, which leads to your alarm not being available to wake you up the next day. After waking up an hour late, you get dressed and head to work. When you get to the train station, you realize you missed your train and have to wait an additional hour. Once you finally get to work, you learned that since you were already on probation, you get fired.

Darn, that sucks!

And yes, you can spend days / weeks complaining about how your sister got you fired from your job, how much the train system sucks, etc.

Or, you can realize that ‘everything happens for a reason’.

As soon as you left your house, you saw your neighbor, greeted her and complimented her on her grass. While running to the train station, you saw a weird object on the sidewalk and placed it in the trash. While running up the stairs to your train, you realize the young lady next to you is also running for the same train and you both end up missing it. You both started venting to each other about how much the train system sucks, and it led to conversations about mutual friends, favorite bars, and the fact that you guys live 5 minutes apart.

Little did you know, the compliment to your neighbor earlier that day is the reason that she’s still alive today. Your acknowledgement gave her enough confidence to call the suicidal hotline and to seek help with her depression.

The weird object that you removed from the sidewalk and placed in the trash would’ve been in the way of little Jimmy who was riding his bike to school that day. His wheels would’ve collided with the weird item and lead to him falling off his bike and breaking his arm.

Oh, and that young lady you met who also missed the train, she just got out of a bad relationship. From your conversations with her, you end up asking her out on a date and the two of you become inseparable. A few years later… marriage, kids, house, family. You get the point!

Did your little sister really get you fired from your job? Or did her actions kickstart the life that you were too afraid to go find?

Everything truly does happen for a reason and the sooner you accept that fact, the sooner you can start having a different outlook on life and EXPECTING great things to come out of disastrous situations.

Sidenote: Is ‘disastrous’ a word? It sounds like a word and Pages (word processor) didn’t correct me. Plus there’s no internet on this flight so I can’t Google it. Anyways, back to the thought.

Yes, disastrous! I’d even boldly claim that there’s NO such thing as bad things happening; just things. And it’s the way we react to them that tells our fate.

During my trip, all of the things I mentioned above happened to me (not the story about the guy getting fired). I DID leave my suitcase in Tampa and realized it when I got to Miami (4 hours away). I DID travel for hours (two different days) trying to Jet-ski and both times they were fully-booked or canceled. I DID leave my phone inside an Uber (cab) while rushing to catch this plane. We DID have to leave our AirBnB apartment at 5AM because we learned that they had bed bugs -___- (thanks to Dahcia’s commitment to finding those little things that left bumps on her baby’s arm).

Sidenote: Dahcia (to my right) is fast asleep 🙂 … man I love that girl! btw, it’s her birthday TODAY. Okay, back to the thought.

Yes those things happened to us during our trip, but still, it was the BEST trip  I’ve ever taken.

Since I left my suitcase, I ended up contacting an old friend who lived about an hour away from Tampa and had plans on heading to Miami the next day with his girlfriend. We all spent a great deal of time together this weekend and catching up and none of it would’ve happened if I hadn’t left my suitcase.

After going around in circles trying to Jet-ski and being told the wrong information, it led us to a nice little quiet place where we were able to Jet-ski with no interruptions from the memorial day weekend Miami goers.

After the 2-hour long hassle of packing, washing/drying our clothes and leaving our bed-bug-infested apartment in South Beach, we ended up going to an amazing hotel in Downtown Miami (with a Jacuzzi, pool, basketball court, gym). Nick, my Tampa friend, wouldn’t take NO for answer and decided to pick us up at  5AM and bring us to his hotel room in Downtown Miami for the night/morning. The front-desk lady was nice enough to approve our request to change the room to a double and we stayed there the rest of the weekend.

Oh, and AirBnB? They refunded me fully for my booking which ended up saving me an extra $500 from the trip 🙂

I can go on for days but the moral of the story is clear, Everything happens for a reason!

Ps: My cellphone/wallet was returned to me just in time for the flight by the nice Uber driver who refused to take a tip from me!

All in all, it was a great trip!

Now here’s a challenge to you:
Think of somethings that may have went wrong last week. I bet if you really concentrate you can probably think of a few good things that happened as a result of that thing that went wrong.

Go ahead, try it!