To the homies starting out – this ones for you:
So I’m at a point where I feel extremely confident in my abilities. There’s many reasons for that. I do hope to write about some of these things in a future post. However, in this post I want to speak to my… young social activitists… to the agents of community development and social justice. I don’t know what to call us. But collectively this is for yall.
I’ve always wanted to remain humble and remain hungry in this work. My taste has grown, but my hustle is very much still there. Hustle has gotten me everywhere. I don’t think I was always this person. But I’m starting to figure out what it means to make things happen for myself. To be in control of my own life. To be a leader. I’m writing this to those of you looking to step into yourself, and step into your leadership. These are just suggestions. I send them humbly and hope they serve you in some way whether you’re starting a business, writing a manuscript, pursuing a graduate degree or new career, or even trying to push yourself to the next level in your current career these are for you.
Write – Get a journal or notebook and write. Physically with a utensil. No, not on your ipad or laptop. Our brains can process and create information in many different formats. (computers, vocally, on our phones, mentally in our minds, etc…) However, writing is one of the oldest methods we’ve used to create and preserve our ideas in a memorable and maneuverable form. Writing helps us re-process information, and recommits our most important and valuable ideas to our memories. Keeping a journal will help you keep track of all of your ideas, all of your questions, all of your drawings, product names, to do lists, goals, short stories… Get a journal, and develop your own system of scribing.
Learn – Put yourself in situations where you’re forced to learn something new as often as possible. Everyday is not an exaggeration. It will be uncomfortable at first experiencing something… foreign. But as humans, our natural capacity is to adapt as best as we can to new situations. It is at this beginning point that we begin to decipher new behaviors and knowledge to navigate our lives. This is the number one development hack I could ever suggest.
Read – The brain is a muscle that should be regularly exercised and trained. One of the best ways is by reading. I know reading for many seems difficult. I wasn’t a reader until recently, maybe within the last 5 years or so. I used to be self conscious about the quirks I saw i my learning. Now, reading is the easiest and quickest method we can all use to uncover new and foreign material and concepts. With these, we’re better able to prime ourselves for new projects and experiences. If books aren’t where you’re at, start with professional magazines, scholarly articles, blogs. The more you read the more you’ll train yourself to be a super learner in your everyday life.
Find the history/Develop the future – Stop and reflect on the enormity that is the Earth, our Solar System, our galaxy and out beyond to our universe. Think about the depths of our ocean, and the secrets they still hold dear. Then, think about the many many people that have walked this Earth and managed to somehow create a space in time allowing you to exist. Connecting with those before me makes it very easy to act in the interests of those after me. Developing my most bountiful future is easy when I move with generations of mine along through time.
Create space for yourself – Be the change – Be the first – Decide that you’re on this journey for a reason. Know that there is space for your point of view. Appreciate what it takes to be the one to push your journey to the forefront of your life. People need to see your words, and witness your journey to see it lying within themselves. Be comfortable in your difference and allow it to pull you forward Be accepting of how just being the full you is a revolutionary act within itself. Allow it to alter your perspective, and opens infinite new doors and possibilities. All of this is yours, if you remember that you must take that first step to put yourself out there.
Be impressive – This one is something I’ve internalized for a really long time. For a multitude of reasons. LoL I feel like I say that with all of these points. But its true. My mentor once said he didn’t get down with Exceptional Negro syndrome. Being impressive is different, but very much a distant cousin of this same idea. In a nutshell, trust yourself by always pushing to deliver your best self. Begin internalizing that by always leaving it all on the court, you’ll move like a champion and person of value. For me, there is no greater competition than constantly pushing to out due myself. I’ve gotten to a point where I’m my biggest competition. And that pushes me even more because I know that even on my worst day, I can still muster up an even better performance than my last. Consistently push for your highest level of quality.
Produce – Create. Materialize. Make. Manufacture. I’m eternally grateful for my teaching skills. Because of them, I’ve learned my own ability to manufacture products that materialize in my mind, and out onto paper and into action and being. I re-conceptualized myself as an assembly line fine-tuned to create ever-exceptionalized product. That doesn’t look just one way. But find your way. Find your niche and actively seek to add value and material to that craft. Build something for yourself and for those coming. You can define what that means for yourself.
Work Ethic – Learn how to work even when you don’t want to. This doesn’t always have to be work work. It could be time you set aside to review your goals, reenergize your spirit, relieve your stress, whatever. Put in the hours and the time. Sometimes its as easy as setting a timer and only focusing on one specific thing until the buzzer rings. I’ve learned to listen to the voice in my head that tells me “Not right now, that can wait.” I’ve trained myself to recognize that voice as an immediate call to do the opposite. Anytime I actively decide not to use my time to improve my condition is time that I’m allowing myself to self-sabotage my success. With some mental reconfiguring I’ve started to take advantage of these opportunities about 7/10 times. Assess how well you push yourself to do the things you don’t want to do. Do even more of it.
Why not me – View your life as a masterful alignment of perfect situations (preparation) for the life you’re looking to lead. Every single thing that makes me quirky and different contributes in some way, shape, and form to my successful vision of myself within this very world I am given. This goes for the situations that bring me joy, and those that bring me strife. Having the resilience to utilize and overcome strife is… priceless. Understand that you are the perfect person, as you are, to bring about the change(s) you see in your mind. I pull true strength from realizing that certain situations can only be accomplished by me. And that by battling through them I’m getting even closer to completing some or even all of my goals.
Step into the hard decision – A long time ago I remember my pops telling me that one of the best ways to advance in life is to volunteer for the things that other people don’t want to do. We all value and rely on our comforts. But comfort is the easiest default in opposition to our growth. The two are adversarial in nature. Like microaggressions we experience small opportunities to figure out the hard stuff everyday. When you train yourself to step into that space(s)… you are undeniably providing yourself with the training and experience to adapt into a more capable you.