Monday, August 25, 2014

Make Your Own Challenge

Over the past couple of weeks, social media has been taking by storm by the Ice Bucket Challenge to find a cure for ALS. As of August 25, 2014, ice bucket donations have reached $79.7 million. ALS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a neurodegenerative disease that impacts the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. It is often referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease, after the baseball hall of famer and legend who eventually passed from complications of this disease. For more information on this disease and how you can join the cause visit ALS Association.

Not to take anything away from a wonderful cause, I ponder the question, "What challenges are we making in our own lives?" After following, as well as being a part of the challenge through my baseball team, I thought to myself how easy it is to rise to the challenge that someone else proposes but how we fail to challenge ourselves.

Where is our "Ice Bucket" challenge in our own lives? Maybe, we need to pour a bucket of water over our heads to get us to wake up and take control of our own lives. The problem that many of us are facing is that there is a quickness to jump on everyone else's cause in order to divert the attention away from their own issues.

The problem is that we are not challenging ourselves enough. We are not holding ourselves accountable enough. In fact, we are not making our own cause worthy enough.

When we can take the opportunity -whether to be a part of trend or not- to fight and support something meaningful, how come we fail to fight for our own cause for success? How come we do not withstand the discomfort of the chills of life in order to overcome obstacles? How come there is not a campaign going viral where people are pursuing their goals and not stopping until they reach the top?

How about we make our own challenge. Maybe we should call it the Now Challenge, or the Stop for Nothing Challenge, or even the Get Up and Do Something challenge. Because in order for us to have a greater impact on this world, we first have to discover and act in our own greatness.

God Bless

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Problem with the Corporate Ladder

I have my rock climbing shoes, my rope and harnesses. I got all the things necessary for my ascent to the top. Now, I am ready to start climbing in my life towards success, but on this climb I will not be using any ladder.

In many conversations, I hear people talking about climbing the ladder, whether it is the social ladder or the corporate ladder in life. They have it all planned out. This year I will be here and next year I will be there, so on and so on. There is nothing wrong, per se, with climbing the ladder except for the fact that it is always something that we have been taught to do. But there is one problem (that I will explain later).

A ladder is a series of bars or steps used for climbing (or descending) that are fixed between two upright lengths of metal, wood, or rope. There are all different types of ladders, and metaphorically it is easy to see how it can be used as a great comparison to show success or upward moving.

When I think of the corporate ladder, it reminds me of one of my favorite movies "Coming to America" where Eddie Murphy served as a mop boy at the McDonald's knockoff McDowell's. One of my favorite lines (and there were many) came from the coworker played by Louie Anderson, who said, "Hey, I started out mopping the floor just like you guys. But now... now I'm washing lettuce. Soon I'll be on fries; then the grill. In a year or two, I'll make assistant manager, and that's when the big bucks start rolling in."

And this is how we look at our own careers. Step by step, eventually waiting for the big pay day. Next it is the fries, then it's the grill. Ascending the corporate ladder lends to too many people having control of our careers and financial destiny. They tell us how far we go, and when they feel we have gone far enough, they can seal the top. What is even more disappointing is working extremely hard to move up only for your promotion to be given to someone else.

Well, let me explain why I am not a fan of the corporate ladder. Visualize a ladder standing upright. Now think about what you see.
In  most cases , it is leaning against something for support and by no means is there anything wrong with having support. But in our climb, we depend and lean on our jobs so much only to realize that when we get to the end of the ladder, we are confronted with a wall. Yep, the good ol' wall that tells us that that is as far as we are going to let you climb. The wall blocks us from getting to where we want to be in life.

Ultimately, what we all want is control of our lives. So we must start taking control of it. Do YOU continue to climb the ladder, or are YOU prepared to scale the wall? 

In the mean time, I plan on "rock climbing" my way to success. The only scary part would be looking down. YIKES!

God Bless and many success on your journeys.