My Headphones

I wake up and the first thing I do is grab my headphones. Comfortable and all mine, I have a playlist for any kind of mood. It puts me in my own world; me and my headphones. Started to block out the noise for the world, but they also help me fuel however I’m feeling. They always take it up a notch; my headphones basically talk to my soul when nobody else is there to talk to. Sometimes it feels that way. Every day the same; wake up, go down stairs, grab my lunch, walk to school, come home to the same cleaned room, throw my stuff down, sleep, then repeat. I live with my Dad but he doesn’t have time for me. Sometimes I don’t even think he knows I’m around…
The walk to school is the same every day as well; usually rainy and grey. Seems every day I walk this is the weather. I can’t remember a day I walked without the rain. I put my hoodie up to keep as much of the rain out of my face as possible, also with my headphones I can seclude myself in my own little world. Somewhere on my walk I realize these shoes are worn down from walking every day. I’d ask my dad but he probably wouldn’t want to hear it. Somewhere else down the block I notice it’s about time for new clothes as well, but that’s the same category as the shoes. I coast through school, one headphone in, that way I still hear what I feel like hearing and only partially catch the rest of the stuff. Sometimes I hear bits of the nonsense…something about happiness or change or some Kum Ba Yah nonsense…School ends, rain starts, and I head home.
There was a day though that something changed; the day my dad and I crossed paths. He caught me on a day when my music of choice wasn’t helping the situation. He said, “hey”, and I mumbled something back. Then he asked, “how ya been?”…. “Is this a joke?”, I asked, “I haven’t talked to you in how long and you ask how I’ve been? Like you even care”. He smiled, (which really ticked me off), “You really don’t think I care?”, he asked, “You couldn’t care less about what’s going on in my life”, I said while leaning back in my chair. I walk to school in the rain, in the same old clothes, in the same busted shoes and sit in my room and we don’t even talk.”….waiting for his response he began smiling again… “Have you noticed your lunch is there for you every day when you come downstairs?”…”yeah”, I said. “Do you realize I get up an extra hour everyday to make it for you…your favorite foods…I get up because I love you and want you to have what you like. Have you noticed something about your walk to school?”, he said. “Noticed what?”, I asked. “Have you noticed the new pairs of shoes by the door? Or the fact that you never have to dry off when you get to school? I walk with an umbrella over you every day; it’s my morning exercise but it’s the time I get with you…It may rain all around you but I make sure to keep you away from most of it, same for when you’re out of school.”, He said. “Why would you walk all the way to school?”, I asked. He replied, “Son my favorite part of my day is walking with you, keeping you safe through the storm. I also make your bed for you because I feel you have a lot going on so I clean up behind the scenes so that you don’t have to worry about those things. I’ve always been around but I just figured when you have your headphones on that you don’t want to talk. I know kids want their space but I’m always close and always around if you ever need to talk, and if you ever need anything all you have to do is ask.” It was then that I realized it wasn’t that my dad was ignoring me, He was just waiting on me to say I needed him and he was respecting the space I postured myself to receive…This man walked through storms with me, left gifts, made sure I ate the things I loved, and cleaned behind me to relieve stress. I had to have a moment of honesty with myself that if there was a gap with me and dad, it was because of me.
Many people walk through life like the boy with the headphones when it comes to God, only seeing their circumstances, their walk that feels alone, etc. Sadly they fail to realize there is a Heavenly Father that walks with you every step of the way and is just waiting for you to come to him to talk and tell him anything you need. Just like the father he will not force his way into your life, it’s up to you to come to him, and until then your will live through the perspective similar to the boy from the story. Please don’t let another day go by without starting a relationship talking to our Heavenly Father. He’s walking with you, waiting for you to put your headphones down, and talk to him.

Opposing Logic

There are times you will feel like the world only wants to take from you,
Give more.
There are time where it will seem there is no point in caring for others,
Care more
There will be times where it seems you won’t have time for others,
Give more of it.
There will be times it seems love only gets you hurt,
Love more.
There will be times life tries to take your smile away,
Smile more.
The world will be become serious in order to silence your laugh,
Laugh more
There will be things that come up to take away your focus,
Focus more.
You will feel that the information you’ve learned is for your own personal advantage
Teach others.
You will feel that you you barely have enough for you to survive or be happy,
Share more.
There will be times where you feel you are at your wits end about to lose it,
Practice patience.
There will be people who hurt you beyond understanding,
Practice forgiveness.
There will be circumstances that will seem impossible to overcome,
Overcome them anyway.
There will be times where average feels comfortable,
Leave your comfort zone
There will be people who want you to fit in with the norm of mediocrity,
Stand out.
There will be those who try to hinder your growth,
Grow anyway
There will be times you don’t feel qualified to bless others,
This is when you bless the most.

Love y’all, Stay blessed, Grow yourself

Quick Check Up…Awareness for yourself and others.

-Whats your definition of a friend?
-Whats your definition of a real friend?
-Whats your definition of a good friend.?
-Are you that for other people?
write down your 10 closest friends
-Now, how many of your close friends have told your they’ve prayed for you in the past week
-How many of them have given you a random compliment
-How many have asked “how can I help you this week” (towards your goal, or something of importance)?
-How many have asked “how can I help you”(at all in life)?
-How many times have you asked them those same questions?
-Beside the name of each individual what do you gain from the relationship (humor, education, networking, peace, etc)?
-what do they get from you.
-Whats something you’ve learned in the past week from each person?
(black and white answers)
-If you scrolled down the next 20-40 status’s on your news feed is it mostly positive or negative (this helps you see how your getting slightly influenced).
– If you listed of your 10 (but depending on if you have time 20+ people you talk to the most….and had to split them into positive or negative…which list Is longer?
Which side of the list would you be on?
-Do your close friends talk about helping other people, or themselves.
-Scale of 1 to 10. How much do they gossip
-How much do you?
-Do they sow positive or negative seeds?
– Are your friends givers or takers.
-When was the last time you’ve seen them go out of their way to do a good deed?
-When was the last time you have?
Just a quick check up on your association, and personal behavior. I hope yall take the time to try this. Its very eye opening. Be the Change you want to see in the world. Love yall, Stay blessed. Grow yourself.

In the Game, On the Bench, Or in the Stands

What’s your position in the “Game” of life? Quick video that goes over the different roles that people play in life when it comes to bringing the game together. A way to analyze it for yourself and make necessary adjustments.

Do You Know? Questions for Clarification

1.Do you know what an attack looks like?
– Can you recognize why certain things happen to upset you.
– Have you ever had bad things happen, just as life is going good.
– Do you know that you won’t simply be allowed to succeed.
– can you separate emotions in order to think clearly.
– Do you know if someone can flare up a certain emotion they can almost make you act however they want.
– Do you know that most bad decisions are made after an emotional attack.
– Do you know that a lot of great opportunities are missed bc of a lack of control after an attack.
– Have you realized that most attacks are never a physical one (meaning no physical harm done), only mentally and emotionally bc that’s where most people are the weakest.

2. Do you know that there’s an adversary
-Do you know there’s someone who’s against you.
-Do you know there’s someone willing to do anything to keep you drifting in life.
– Do you know it’s going to be a fight to protect your thoughts.
– Do you know there’s someone who influences people around you.
– Do you know there’s someone who wants you to live in fear.
– Do you know there someone who doesn’t ever want you to realize your self worth.
-Do you know there’s someone who wants you to live selfishly.
-Do you know there’s someone who will lie to you to keep you below your abilities.

3. Do you know he wants to keep you distracted
– Have you ever made a positive decision and immediately something goes wrong.
– Have you ever made a decision for long term great and been distracted by temporary good.
– Have close friends done or said hurtful things when you need them?
-Can you recognize a distraction.
-Can you stay focused on the big picture.
– Do you know that hell use family as a distraction.
– Do you know he will use friends as a distraction.
– Do you know that hanging around weak minded non-ambitious people increases your chance of issues. (Because their mind is easier for him to control)

4. Do you know that you playing average makes him happy
– Do you know a mind not focused on a major goal is easier to control.
– Do you know playing on a larger scale influences others to do the same.
– Do you know playing average allows others to do the same.
– Do you know he doesn’t want you at your potential.
– Do you know self confidence scares him bc he can’t fill your head with lies.

5. Do you know that he’s beatable.
– Do you know that he can’t control you if you live in faith.
– Do you know that if you make your self strong with the truth, he can’t prey on your weaknesses.
-Do you know he’s already been beaten.
– Do you know he only has the power you allow him to have in your life.
– Do you know knowing who you are beats him.
– Do you know that knowing who’s you are beats him.
-Do you know he can only distract your purpose, be he can’t stop it.
– Do you know that living in faith makes him powerless.
-Do you know that you are loved.
– Do you know that you are forgiven.
– Do you know that you are worth more then you could ever imagine.
– Do you know that there are plans for you to be prosperous and to live abundantly, and all you have to do is stay faithful.

Stay Blessed, Love y’all, Grow Yourself

Would your friends pass the test? A quick assessment of your close relationships.

What’s your definition of a good friend? What traits do you look for in your friendships? What qualifies someone as having the necessary credentials needed to qualify as a time consumer in your life? Have you ever asked yourself these questions? Even more importantly are you mature enough with yourself to be honest about the answer. If you wrote down 10 non-negotiable traits of a real friend, then filtered the people who occupy your time the most, how many people are still around? I think people become anchored back from reaching their potential simply because they either haven’t given any thought to, or won’t be honest about the fact that, they’ve spent most of their lives confusing a good friend…with a familiar face. And the reason is because they’ve allowed for the their lines of standards to be erased, and the places where they light of truth once illuminated has now become an inconsistent land of grey area. Have you ever heard the phrase “success leaves clues”? Meaning there are habits or actions that successful people do. Do you know that great relationships (not just spouse or boyfriend and girlfriend) leaves clues too? Do you know that bad ones do the same? There are tale tale signs that people demonstrate that should be a signal on wether or not they belong in your life. You will see things that I believe if you eliminate the grey area should tell you if should spend more or less time with these people. One thing you can never buy or get back is time. Life a marathon and you can either choose to spend your time running it joined with other runners,or with Anvils…one will encourage you and make the trip easier, the other will make the journey more difficult and severely slow you down (clue number one). Author Robb Thompson says “there is no such thing as a neutral relationship.Every relation you have is either a hinderance or a benefit to your life(notice no grey are). Ok so right there you have your filter. Write down your goal,whatever that is. Write down the necessary influence and thought process you think will need to get to that dream…….Are the people you spend majority of your time with the people who will assist you or motivate you to your goal. Are they pushing you forward,are pulling you back. If you had to list your friends on either side of the “YES OR NO” column (not the “but I’ve known them for a long time” or the “but that’s family” or “but that’s my booooyyy” column).If they had to go on one side or the other,what does your list look like? Here are some questions I think will help in recognize the signs relationships conducive for growth.

1.Do they support your goals.(yes or no)
-Do they encourage you or do do they tell you you can’t do something
-Do they speak life or death into your dreams.
-Do they show excitement when you talk about your dream.
-Are they understanding to the time,energy,effort needed to accomplish your dream.
-Do they guilt trip you when you have to dedicate time to accomplish you dream.
-Do they try to assist or distract from the task at hand?
-Do they speak highly or negatively about your goals?
-Do they instill faith or fear towards your dream.
-Do they focus on the obstacles in your way,or help you find ways around them?
-Do they use character,physical,mental,financial,emotional traits as reasons you can’t succeed.
-Do they support your competition?

I know many of you (if your like me the first time I did this) lost a lot of “close friends” in this part of the filtering process.

2.Are they walking in the same direction.(you’ll hardly ever see those known for being ambitious,around those known for being lazy)
-Do they have similar goals? (Disclaimer. Does not necessarily mean they are bad people if they don’t. This is just so your aware. There may be a difference in terrain, as long as its a similar direction.)
-Do they have goals?
-Do they have big goals
-Do they show the same level (or above) of passion and desire towards that goal.
-Do they spend time on y’all’s future or your past?

3.Do they respect you.
-Do they constant say things “they didn’t really mean” or bc “I was mad”? (Ps you’ll never immediately change the things you consistently tolerate.its ok to put your foot down)
-Do they consistently push your buttons ….on purpose?
-If they know something bothers you,how many times do you have ask them not to do something.

4.*******How are they when things aren’t convenient? **********
-Are they even still around
-Are they positive or negative
-Do they resort back to old habits
-Does “the other side” come out?
-Do they try to pull together,or is it every man for himself?

5.What do they bring to the table.(Disclaimer:Not using people. Friendships and good relationships are mutually beneficial. Parasitic relationships are one sided. So if your going to bring something of value to the relationships,evaluate what they bring)
-Do they help you grow
-Do they increase your knowledge, network, quality of life ect.
-Whats their attitude about bringing things to the table (generous,snobby,condescending ect)?
-Happiness or stress.

My best friend once said “If your going to leave crumbs or make a mess, then you might as well not even sit at the table”. Evaluate who you let sit at your table. Understand they will be a hinderance or a benefit. Again,doesn’t make them bad people, just may be people you have to either love at a distance,sparingly or may be someone to excuse from the table. Understand YOU BRING VALUE TO A RELATIONSHIP..So it’s only right that others contribute as we’ll.This post isn’t saying anyone’s better then anyone else. Just wrote this so that when you continue to see certain behavior you can decide of someone’s moving you in the right direction. Remember,you’ll always jump higher and run faster without the things that weight you down. You’ll fly once you remove the things that restrain your wings. And you’ll enjoy the peace and quiet once you eliminate all of the noise. Love y’all, Stay blessed, Grow yourself.