Thursday, May 31, 2012

Outsourcing our Lives

In America, one of the biggest issues that we've  faced in terms of job losses and creation over the years (if not couple of decades), has been the simple fact that  many of America's jobs have been shipped overseas, or outsourced. Whether liked or not, it is a part of business.

Oftentimes, we put our daily lives and routines in the hands of many outside factors. We continue to relegate the power we have within to other entities, thus losing the power to fully take control of our  own lives. In turn, we are outsourcing ourselves to many social, financial, moral, and  physical elements or barriers that prevents us from being who and what we want ourselves to be. This can be a depressing fact to consider because in many instances it brings us to realization that we are like puppets on a string. We lose control of our movements, and like a ventriloquist with a dummy doll, we lose control of our words.

The point I want to make is that we can't own ourselves if we keep outsourcing ourselves. We can't take control of our lives, if we keep giving our lives away. This blog was prompted by an article I read about Tiger Woods  for GOLF Magazine, and here is an excerpt, "By outsourcing his swing so readily -- he’s done it three times as a pro, five times overall, or six if you count the late Earl Woods as a coach -- Woods may be getting further away from owning his swing, not closer to it." I am not going to comment on Woods' swing because he has done more in golf than I would ever do (lol, I have many glitches in my swing if you wanna call it that). However, the meaning that I do get from that line is that the more you keep giving yourself away (outsourcing yourself to others), the further away you are from owning yourself.

Read more:

God Bless

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thank you veterans!!!!!!

Freedom is a God-given right that every man, woman and child should have a chance to experience throughout the world. However, such an assertion is not the reality that we wish for. Around the world, there are many places that are longing, struggling, and fighting to gain their freedom. Our country, the USA, is a country built on the foundation of freedom, and such freedoms are what make our country so great.

In exchange for such freedom, brave men and women have sacrificed their time, family and friends, and even their lives for us to be able to do some of the things that naturally we do not think twice about on a daily basis. The leisure walks in the park, the ability to worship, sun-tanning on the beach, protesting on Capitol Hill, obtaining higher education, etc. are a few of the many benefits that we experience daily that can be (and are) easily taken for granted.

My advisor, a US Marine, was deployed to Afghanistan for a full year to serve his country. The reality of the matter is that he had to leave is wife and five children behind. It was very hard for him because of how much he loved his family. When my older brother was born, my dad was stationed in Germany. He missed the birth of his first son. There are many stories like this across the country, and we should be truly thankful and feel blessed for those who are unselfishly sacrificing themselves for us.

Though this weekend celebrates those that made the ultimate sacrifice, I would like to express a most grateful thanks to all of those who put their lives on the line each and every day for the security and peace of our nation. I would also like to give thanks and send prayers to the families of those who have sons and daughters who are serving stateside or abroad and hope that soon you will be able to reunite with your loved ones. Prayers goes out to those who lost loved ones in the call of duty; may God provide you comfort and strength.

God Bless, God Bless America

Friday, May 18, 2012

Partly by Circumstance, Ultimately by Choice

There are many factors that play into the positioning that we are in in terms of life. Oftentimes, our  circumstances determine where we stand, what we do, how we think and what we say. It could be the hold of our jobs on our lives, the responsibility of providing for family, or the turmoil of life itself that has us sitting right where we do not want to be sitting. It is easy to point to the the underlying contributors and say "it is the fault of the neighborhood I grew up in," etc. etc., and such comments may be deemed as valid. Naturally, we seek validation from the sympathy of others or the realness of a situation. It is what we need to justify our inactivity. It acts as the notarized declaration that states that it is ok to remain in our states, because it is not our fault, anyway.

However, I am here to say that it is not ok. When I go through moments where I am explaining my plight, I sometimes feel guilty because deep down I know that I am dismissing some form of accountability on my end. But, why should I accept accountability when I have someone or something to push it off on? The answer is simple. It is because we are where we are in life partly by circumstance, but ultimately by choice. Excuses become the father of inactivity. The more we blame, the less we act.

I was watching my favorite show Shark Tank last week and there was one important message I took from the totality of the show. It was having accountabilty. It was during a discussion where an entrepreneur seeking funding told "the sharks" that his sells were down because he did not have the team to help take it to the next level and to get the word out there, and one of the sharks replied (paraphrasing) that he hates it when people say that they can't do this because of that. He was telling him that at some point he has to go out there and try to make it happen. The entrepreneur allowed his circumstance to influence a choice of not continuing to hustle.

Life is all about choices. Some circumstances are more dire than others, but then again we can't go anywhere if we do not start walking. If we allow our situations to determine the outcome of our choices that could in turn inhibit our progression, then it will determine the outcome of our lives.

God Bless

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Opportunity exists in the open space.  So, why are we continuing to fight for scraps in a congested and convoluted area. Riches aren't made in markets that are diluted. The gems are in the spaces of unknown  places. In the masses, there is no where to move or no where to look. In open areas, there is freedom to explore and discover. Understand why leaders are leaders. They are leaders because they stand alone. They do not occupy crowded arenas.

Comfort keeps people in occupied places. However, it takes a bit of vulnerability to extract change. It may take a little bit of uneasiness to make things happen. It may take finding a need to be met that separates you from needs being met.

Note that wherever ever you see failure there is opportunity for success.  Wherever there is wrong there is opportunity to make right. Wherever there is nothing there is opportunity for something. Follow the problems and discover the grand possibilities for success.

Let's not be claustrophic in our thoughts. Like an elevator that is crowded, open the door to our minds and recognize that the less traveled route is the least discovered.

Take advantage of your opportunities when they exist. Study the precedents of events and recognize what happens when you are too late. You miss out! 

God Bless

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Name of the Game: Protect your Vision

Chess is arguably the ultimate game of strategy. Likened to battle, its concepts are commonly intertwined with those of war. It is a game of tactic and maneuverability. More so than being able to read the opposition, one must be able to see multiple steps ahead while also being prepared to act upon the opposition’s counters. The objective is to protect the most sovereign piece on the board- the king. Though it may not be your most powerful piece, it is the most integral because its presence and positioning determines the strategy. Essentially, the king is the general. He is facilitating commands throughout the board in order to protect his kingdom while expanding his reign.

            When studying the styles of different chess players and dissecting the game of chess, it can be seen that this game is truly a game of vision. Those who can see further ahead are the most successful. By taking a satellite view of the chess board, one can appreciate all the possibilities that exist. A multitude of game plans can be extracted to achieve a particular goal. By moving your sights to the ground view, the possibilities don’t change but the perception does.

            Incarnate yourself into the piece of the king, and see yourself as the ruler of the kingdom. As ruler, you have many people who seek you for guidance and leadership. With such responsibility bestowed upon you, vision must be present. In respect to this   incarnation, a new concept can be applied to chess as it also applies to life. This new concept is to protect the vision.

            In many ways, chess is like life and at any moment one move can profoundly affect, not only your goals, but your vision. The first move made in chess, begins before a single piece is even touched. It is the recognition of the pieces around the king and their roles in respect to their positioning. Thus is the same in life, where as, you must have a keen awareness of those in your camp and the roles they play in respect to their relationship to you. The importance of this is crucial because these ties play a key part into the manifestation or demise of your vision.

            The next step is to be familiar with your landscape. It is of extreme importance to know your terrain, and to recognize your strong and weak points on the board. Familiarity in this sense allows you to attack and maneuver effectively and efficiently. To maintain vision you must know your surroundings- the physical and nonphysical. In all aspects of life, it is imperative that potential roadblocks and pitfalls are identified, and that opportunities are taken advantage of. With vision comes a sense of awareness that allows to you to understand that all that is visual may not be what it seems. Life is filled with metaphorical terrains, such as nature having its peaks and valleys, oceans and rivers; but having the ability to envision success on the other side (just as you can see the same across the chess board) allows for the appropriate path of getting there to unfold.

            As with anything in life you will be faced with opposition. Common physics asserts that every action has a reaction, and that any force placed on an object will exert an opposing force. The same applies in chess in which one move will, in response, result in an opposing move. From the offensive viewpoint, the opposition’s goal is to attack and impede progress. It blocks paths, marches inward, and takes prisoners all the while weakening the camp of its rival. The opposition obscures vision, and it destroys dreams. It prevents movement and it counters actions. Whether dealing with people or feat, your opponent possess the power of deceit and illusion that can stray you away from your goal, if you are not prepared and well-equipped.

            Even on the offensive front, the strategy is crucial. Each move opens up paths of maneuverability akin to lines of sight. Key pieces clear the way for success, and key people aide the growth of your vision. They encourage, support, and extend help to the success of your cause. To the contrary, there are pieces that are positioned in such a way that prohibits movement and traps you. They allow for the opposition to surround you.  There are people in your life that pose the same threat. They reside in your camp as friends and families but their actions and words inflict harm to your vision. They pull on you and prevent forward progression. They lack insight and bring forth no positive input. They deceive and place guilt upon you. However, in chess, pieces are sacrificed for the overall success of the game, and in life the same sacrifices are necessary for manifesting the vision.

            Ultimately, the objective of chess is to checkmate the king; meaning the king is captured and has no other move. When a king is in check, he is in direct line of danger, but has escape routes. He is threatened but not destroyed. With vision, there are people and obstacles that put you in check. They obscure your vision. They tell you that you can’t; you believe you can’t. Tasks become more difficult than they seem, but like the game of chess there are escape moves and it is up to you to prevent your vision from being destroyed or “checkmated.”

God Bless