Joy

Into The Mind - Part 1

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It’s cold.

 Not the, “Yeah, stupid, cause it’s winter time,” cold.

 It’s that, “Someone forgot to turn up the heat last night,” type of cold. 

 As I made my way down to the thermostat to confirm what I already knew, I moved the switch to turn up the heat.  

 The moment I finished doing so, my stomach started growling. 

 “Hmm…,” I thought. “Let me see what I have in this place to eat.  Some eggs, potatoes and toast sound wicked right now.”

 “But I probably shouldn’t because it’s 4:30 a.m.  I’ll just make some tea and eat some of these soda crackers.”

 “Wait…What’s the date? It’s the first of a new month, isn’t it?”

“Shoot.  Guess I’m not eating anytime soon.”

 “Why did I choose to fast again?”

 “Be disciplined, Akeem, be disciplined.”

 

 

What does it mean to be disciplined?

 

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines discipline as the following:  control gained by enforcing obedience or order.

 

That sounds very military esque.  Let’s not use that definition.

 

Let’s use some examples.  

 

I started fasting in September.  I usually fast from the 1stto the 5thof each month.  The time of my fast depends on what time I wake up. But I always fast for at least 12 hours. 

Example:  If I wake up at 4:30 a.m., I fast until at least 4:30pm.  However, I recently realized my math is a little off.  I don’t take into consideration that the last time I eat something is usually around 8:30 p.m. the night before.  So, I’m actually fasting for nearly 20 hours.  But that’s a softer issue. 

 

You may be asking, “Why are you fasting? Why so long?”

 


There are a few reasons, but I’ll drop the main two.

 1). To get closer to the Lord and hopefully hear His voice in my prayers. (I mean, if He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights, I figured the least I could do is five.)

 2). To gain deeper control of my flesh and my mind.  


 

During these 17-18 hours of fasting, some of my days look like this:  I work around food all day; I hit a gym session; I come home and go straight to writing or recording (visual or audio); I help my siblings with their homework; I get them showered up and start cooking while they are in the shower; I serve them their food; I jump in the shower myself, come back to the kitchen, get my food and finish it faster than the both of them. 

 

On these particular days, I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and don’t eat until 6:30 p.m.  And then I do it all over again the next day.  

 

You see, the average person doesn’t have a lot of discipline, not because they can’t have it, but because they don’t “feel like it.”  And when you don’t feel like doing something, every excuse in the book becomes acceptable.

 

But the truth is, you won’t always feel like doing certain things.

 

If you want to get to another level in your life, you can’t always focus on how you feel.  There are going to be some days when you just have to grind it out and get the task done. 

 

I remember training in Phoenix, and some days it would be so hot it didn’t make sense.  Not the type of heat that’s refreshing.   It was the type of heat that makes you question why you decided to live in this oven.

We would be doing block starts, and we would all false start after two seconds.  Not because we weren’t listening to the starter, but because our fingers would be on fire from the lava (track).   

 

Why am I telling you this?

 

Because if I did what I “felt like doing,” I wouldn’t have gone to train in that excessive heat.  

 

However, my desire to reach my goal was stronger than how I felt.  I knew if I didn’t train, running fast was not a reality.  

 

 

Some days are going to suck.  And you won’t always feel like doing the task in front of you.  

 

Life happens.  I get it.

 

But the days you don’t feel like doing what you need to do are the days you probably need to double down and do it, especially if it’s going to pay off on the back end.

 

Disciplining yourself isn’t the hard part.  

 

Reminding yourself everyday why it’s important is.

- Akeem

Blog edited by: Chanelle Price

Find the Collateral Beauty

 

I woke up one Saturday, sat up in bed, looked at my night table, and glanced at my phone’s display clock.

“3:13 a.m.”

One hour and thirty-five minutes before my alarm was set to go off.

 3:13 a.m.?  What a strange time to wake up.

 I tried to force myself back to sleep for a little longer, but I made it to 3:20 a.m. and said, “Well, I might as well get up.”

 I turned off my alarm and started my normal morning routine.

 Around 7:00 a.m., I opened my window and looked out only to see it was snowing.  This was interesting because the weather forecast did not call for snow that day. But then again, Calgary weather is often unpredictable.   I really don’t mind the snow, when I’m inside that is.

 I said to myself, “Well, if it’s snowing, I don’t plan on going outside today.”  I decided to find a movie to watch.  From the title of this piece, I’m sure you’ve guessed what movie I chose.

 It’s funny how you never really know you need something until after you receive it.  Collateral Beauty-was a much-needed reminder for me on this particular day.

With that being said, here are a few of my favorite moments from the movie.

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1). “I’m time.  You wrote me because you need me.  I’m a gift, and you’re wasting it!”

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This was a conversation Howard (the main character in the movie) had with “Time” who he’s been writing.

 

Meaning:

 Time. 

 

It’s the one thing we can never get back.  It’s the one thing we should cherish every moment of.  Yet, it’s not always easy to appreciate time, especially when we are going through trials and tribulations.  It’s important to evaluate where and how we are spending our time and energy.

We can always find time to do something depending on what we prioritize.  The things and areas you prioritize are what your time and energy will flow toward.

Like Solomon wrote in the bible:

There’s a time for everything. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

 

Someone once told me: “Time is currency, and it will put you in debt if you don’t appreciate the voices when they are there.”

Whatever season you are currently in, take a moment to figure out what your priorities are and where your energy is going. 

 

Time is only wasted if you don’t find the value in what, who or why you’re spending it. Just going through the motions of life is not the way our time is meant to be spent.

 

 

2).Brigitte: “People write letters to the universe all the time. Most don’t get a personal response, but you are.”

Howard: I don’t want this!

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Meaning: 

Be careful what you ask for.  

 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve prayed to the good Lord for some huge asks; things I know wouldn’t make sense to the average person; things that may seem impossible to some, but are more than possible to Him. 

Maybe you’ve asked for more patience, and then someone or something comes to stretch your patience. 

Maybe you’ve asked for a financial breakthrough, and then you get a notification that your credit card limit has been increased. 

Maybe you’ve asked for a huge amount of success in one area, and then you have to pick something in another area to sacrifice.

The point is, in order to attain what we ask for, we first have to go through certain tests. These tests develop our character and prepare us to keep what it is that we asked for.  

Continue to pray and ask for the things you desire; just make sure your motives and your heart are aligned as one.

 

 

3). Madeline: [to Howard] “You’ve been given a gift, this profound connection to everything. Just look for it, and I promise you it’s there, the collateral beauty.”

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Meaning:

 

We all have a God-given gift.  Every single one of us.  I’m not sure who’s going to read this today, but you have a gift. It’s hard to notice your gift when it’s not clear to see.  How do you find your gift?

 


Start with these three questions:

1). What’s the one thing I’m good at that comes easily to me?

2). What makes me different?

3). What’s the one common comment my friends/close circle say about me? (sometimes you don’t know what you’re good at until someone tells you)


 

I’ve heard so many people say, “I don’t have a gift.”

 

 I’ve never liked that statement.  Just because it can be hard to find something doesn’t mean it’s nonexistent. So, if you’ve said that before, don’t say it again.

 

Finding your gift will take time and patience.  Cultivating your gift will take effort and discipline.  I believe we are all called by the Creator to do something, and in order to operate in our calling, we first have to seek and find the gift inside of us.  When you find your gift, you will be called to leave a place of comfort.  In discomfort is where you truly figure out what you’ve been called to do.

 

The seed of my gift was planted when I was thirteen.  My gift became apparent when I was twenty.  I stepped into my calling at twenty-six.

 

Keep searching, keep listening, keep digging.

Your gift will make itself apparent in due time, if you haven’t found it already.

 

So... what is the meaning of collateral beauty?

 

 

I think it means no matter what goes on in our lives, if we search deep enough, there is always something to be grateful for, even when it hurts.

If you’ve seen the movie, What are some of the scenes or quotes that stuck out to you? Comment below and please let me know!

-Akeem

Blog Edited by: Chanelle Price

8 Tips to Start The New Year Right

Yeah.

So…

Okay,

I don’t really have an intro…let’s just get into it.

 

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1)  Don’t say, “New year, new me.”

 

Chances are if you’ve said this, in about a month or so you’ll probably go back to the old you.  Don’t be ashamed.  Just acknowledge this truth and find a way to fix it.

 

Fixing it:  FULLY commit to your goal for the new year.  It’s important to commit to it even on the days you don’t feel like it. It’s not always about what you feel like doing; it’s about committing to what you said you were going to do long after that good, motivating feeling is gone. Motivation doesn’t last but habits do.

 

2)  Do something you didn’t do last year.

 

Oftentimes we can catch ourselves saying, “I’ll do it tomorrow, or in a few days, or in a few weeks or months.”  It’s hard to get ahead if you keep putting it off until “tomorrow.”

 Fixing it:  I know it can be tough sometimes, but just be courageous TODAY and do something different.  Start today. Focus on the now, on this present moment.  Then tomorrow, take a deep breath and find that same courage.  And then find it again the day after that.  The time is now, and there is no time like the present to start something new.  In order to get somewhere, you have to leave somewhere. Get out into the unknown and leave the comfort!

 

3)  This is my year!

 

Last year wasn’t your year.  Or the year before that.  But this year!!!  Oh baby, this is the year.  I feel it! 

 Fixing it:  All it takes is a few small things to work in your favor to build that momentum. Once that momentum builds, you’ll start to get some wins in areas you probably didn’t think you would get just yet. That’s all success is- a lot of small wins stacked on top of each other.  You never know when things will come together, but no matter what, you must believe that your time and year is this present one because it is!  If not this year, then best believe 2020 is the one! Expect that breakthrough, believe in that breakthrough, claim that breakthrough.  You don’t have to tell the world, but you have to tell yourself.

 

4)  Know the difference between a need and a want.

 

It’s not always about what you want.  Everybody wants something, but do you need it? How do you know the difference?

Fixing it:  A need is something you cannot live without.  A want is something that will bring you instant joy & temporary happiness (that’s kinda deep and I wasn’t even trying to be).   Needs require a budget.  Wants have no expiration date. A need involves prioritizing your focus; a want involves how big your eyes get when you look at it. Put it this way, if you take care and focus on what you need right now, you’ll have what you want in due time, and probably in abundance because you taught yourself discipline.

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5)  Re-evaluate your circle.

 

Every year there is a meme that says, “If I don’t reply to you, I left you in last year,” (some of the memes are actually kind of funny). It’s not always about cutting people off; it’s about making sure those you surround yourself with aren’t just taking from your energy but are also adding to it.  Sometimes you have to make sure everyone in your circle is on the same page as you. 

Fixing it: Priorities change, you change, your goals and motivation change.  That’s called growth.  As an individual grows, so do certain things in his or her life.  We are a new person every single year which means we should raise our standards.  Oftentimes, when this happens, people naturally drift out of our live, and that’s okay.  Never apologize for growing into your full potential and having to leave some people behind, no matter who they are.   

 

Everybody wants to ride the wagon up the hill until the wheel falls off.  That’s when you’ll find out who’s there to help you push and who’s just there for the transportation.

 

6)  Get your nutrition right.

 

For real.  Don’t play with your body.  Amazon and ebay don’t sell bodies.  Trust me, I’ve checked.  You only get one body.  Just one! So take care of it.  If you take care of your body at the beginning stages of your life, your future body will thank you.

Fixing it:  Drink water, eat your veggies (broccoli won’t kill you).  Get that exercise in, even if you’re not really into exercising.  Just go for a walk.  You’d be surprised how good for your joints just plain walking is.  Don’t wait until it’s too late to realize you should have taken better care of yourself.  Exercise and nutrition are in your control.  Take control of them.  

 

7)  Don’t let your past keep you trapped.

 

“This is how my family has always done it. And this is probably how I’m going to do it.”  There’s nothing wrong with that.  But what if that’s not what’s best for you?

Fixing it:  Going against the grain is always tough. It’s not always comfortable or ideal, especially to those who know you well. (Quick story time!)

 

A few years ago, I was talking to an individual that I will call Achilles, and the conversation went like this: 

Achilles:  Man, I don’t even like what I’m majoring in at school.

Akeem:  You wait until 3 months before you graduate to have these thoughts?  Why’d you choose that major?

 Achilles:  I know right. Because my parents are engineers and so is my brother.  It only makes sense.

Akeem:  I get it. It’s in the family. S what’re you going to do?

 Achilles:  I’m going to finish, and then I’ll probably find a job in that field for a year, and then I’ll quit.  What would you do?

 Akeem:  Well, you should probably take some time and figure out what you really want to do.  Whatever you do, just don’t half-ass it.  People never forget a hard worker. 

 Achilles:  Yeah, that’s a good point. I’ll take some time to figure it out these next few months. You tryna go to Dairy Queen this week, though?

 

I heard Jim Carey once say, “You can fail at doing something you don’t like to do, so why not take a chance on doing something that you love to do?” 

 

8) Unwavering faith. 

 

Faith is believing in something you cannot see.  Faith is finding a reason to keep going even when you can’t see the path.  Faith is practicing your craft every single day when you don’t know when that opportunity might come.  Faith is wiping your tears and smiling at the same time.  Faith is understanding things will get worse before they get better.  Faith is encouraging others when you need encouragement yourself.  Faith is being positive when you don’t see anything to be positive about.  Faith is believing your breakthrough is just around the corner when the corners aren’t very wide.  Faith is believing God is working in your favor when it feels like He’s forgotten about you.


If you are reading this today, I am praying for you.  I hope this is the year you’ve been praying for.  I hope this is the year the seeds you planted will start to bear fruit.  I hope this is the year generational cycles are broken and a new generational cycle begins.  

 

I hope today is the day that it starts.

 

Leave a comment below and let me know which tip spoke to you.

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-Akeem

Blog edited by: Chanelle Price 

 

The Race Is Not Given to The Swift

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There are some things you’re just going to have to find a way to outlast.  And if you can find a way to outlast, you’ll not only come out a better version of yourself, but you’ll also realize you’re much stronger than you think.
— Akeem Haynes

 

I hear this saying often, but I never really understood what it meant.  After searching for the correct context in which this phrase is used, I was able to give meaning to it and put it into my own words.

 


Ecclesiastes 9:11 says: 

I have seen something else under the sun.

The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.


 

That man Solomon was deep! 

 

To me, Solomon is saying we need to find the strength and endurance to persevere through the tough times-the times when we feel like breaking, the times when we feel like giving up, the times when our faith is questioned, the times when our backs are up against the wall, the times when we feel alone, the times when we don’t feel like being positive, the times when fear and doubt creep in.

 

Oftentimes, when circumstances aren’t going in our favor, we question if things will ever get better, if things will ever change. 

 

Maybe you’re not where you want to be right now.  Maybe you’ve had a tough year.  I just want to remind you today that, despite what you may be going through, you’re still here.  And because you’re still here, there is a purpose behind your pain, struggle, and hardship. The greater the struggle, the greater the reward.

 

“The race is not given to the swift, only to those who endure it.”

 

There are some things you’re just going to have to find a way to outlast.  And if you can find a way to outlast, you’ll not only come out a better version of yourself, but you’ll also realize you’re much stronger than you think.

-Akeem

Blog Edited by: Chanelle Price

Figure It Out

The truth is we’ll never have it all together.  We’ll never have all the answers no matter what age we are. We just get a little more experienced each day and become better equipped to navigate life through the application of our knowledge and wisdom we’ve gained over the years.
— Akeem Haynes
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I’ve always been a thinker.  I spend a lot more time in my head than I probably should. I’m always searching for the meaning behind certain things in an attempt to define them for myself.  Being open minded towards everything allows me to gain different perspectives.  My beliefs and values are different from most people.  People may not agree with mine and vice versa.  But I’ve always been intrigued by other people’s thought processes.

 

You see, a person doesn’t have to agree with me because at the end of the day we are all entitled to our own opinions.  Nevertheless, it’s important to understand how others come to their different conclusions.

 

I like what Marcus Aurelius says in the book Meditations:

 

“If someone is able to show me that what I think or do is not right, I will happily change, for I seek the truth, by which no one was ever truly harmed. It is the person who continues in his self-deception and ignorance who is harmed.”

 

Life is about searching and digging deep within yourself to find your truth.  No matter how many opinions you may hear along the way, dare to define what life means to you.

 

Let’s begin, shall we.

 

Experiences + Knowledge + Wisdom + Application =

Every year there’s a special day we celebrate- the day we were born.  When we hit a certain age, our birthday becomes less about celebrating and partying and more about reflecting (nothing wrong with doing both of course!).  While on this day most people think about their success and accomplishments, I spend equal time thinking about the mistakes, failures, and lessons I’ve learned over the years.

 

It doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge where I am.  I just spend more time acknowledging the fact that I’m not where I once was.  I realized at an early age that you will learn more about life through your pain and hardships than your success will ever teach you. I’m not saying success doesn’t have its advantages. Everyone wants to win.  I’ve never wanted to lose at any point in my life.  We all want to be on top. However, I am saying the mistakes and hardships we experience offer invaluable lessons that we could learn no other way.

 

Have you heard this saying before?

“When you know better, you do better.”

 

It’s crazy when you really think about it.  We are all just trying to figure it out as we go, even if it may seem at times that we have it all together.

 

Let’s do this:

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Think about the people who raised you- your parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents, the Gorillas if you’re Tarzan, whomever.  As a child, we probably said to ourselves, “Man those people there, they got all the answers.  They know how to cook.  They clean after me.  They give me snacks.  They know how to speak eloquently.  They read words in those things called books.  Man, they are super people.”  And it may seem as so until you get older and you realize how easy they made it seem to “have all the answers.”

 

The truth is we’ll never have it all together.  We’ll never have all the answers no matter what age we are. We just get a little more experienced each day and become better equipped to navigate life through the application of our knowledge and wisdom we’ve gained over the years.

I had a conversation with a young man who was just about to go to university and he said to me:

“These years are going to be great.  I have everything figured out.   By the time I’m finished man, things are going to be booming!”

 

I smiled and asked him his age.

 

He answered, “Nineteen.”

 

I then said:

 

“Man, the cerebral cortex of a human being isn’t fully developed until around the age of 25.”  (I went to school too, man.)

 

He said, “Wait what?”

 

Learn what you can.   Take that knowledge, mixed with your values, beliefs, and the experiences you’ve had, and go define your truths.  Then, just do your best to make well-educated decisions and solve problems.  You may not have all the answers now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never find them.  

 

After all, we are all just trying to figure out this thing called life as we go.

- Akeem

Blog Edited by:Chanelle Price

Sunday Reminder #2

Just Keep Walking

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You know, sometimes it’s better to just start walking, rather than to sit and think about it. One of the hardest things to do, is just to start something. Whatever it is, having the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and fully commit to doing it takes a lot out of you.

 

Now once you start, I’m not saying it’s going to get easier, no no no that’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that you will start to gain confidence, and a flow and once you start getting in the flow of something you start to become consistent.

 

It always starts with you, we are the one common denominator in our success and failures, in our happiness and sadness, our problems and solutions, our fears and our dreams. 

 

The beautiful thing about one’s journey is that it only requires one person to believe, and one person to start. And that’s you, so just start walking towards that dream, start walking towards that goal, start walking towards that joy, start walking towards that destination.

 

Don’t worry about who’s going to join you, don’t worry about who’s going to walk with you, don’t worry about who’s not going to believe in your vision, don’t worry about who’s going to fall off along the way.

 

Just start walking, the right people when the time is right will walk with you. It’s better to be in company of those who want to see you do well with their actions, rather than those who say so with their words.

 

I’m going to continue walking no matter what,

 

And I hope that you do too.

 

Keep walking.

9 Things That Happen When You Chase Your Purpose

Most people will not chase their true best life simply because of how hard and unknown that territory is. When I was younger I did not understand it but now that I am older and I see and feel the cost of not sticking with your dream a lot more.

 

I started chasing my dream of helping help people with injuries and staying healthy in 2016, and not many good things have happened since then. Back in 2016, I had two jobs, 20k in the bank and my wife and I felt like we could do anything that we wanted. Now the picture is very different because dreams come at a steep cost and not many people like that price tag.  Here are something’s that will happen to you when you start going after what you want in life. 

 

1. Resistance Comes At You From Every Direction

Resistance consists of anything that distracts you from accomplishing what you want to. Sugar is resistance because it slows you down physically and mentally, a lack of hydration is resistance because you don’t have the energy levels to give to your dream. The opposition can come from people who discourage you because they make you doubt yourself. 

The list of things that can slow you down could go on forever. The important thing in dealing with resistance is changing your attitude about it. When I was training as a sprinter, my favorite workouts were resistance workouts. Whether it was running up the hill, pulling a sled, or being in the weight room, resistance would slow me down, but in the end, it helped me to run faster. 

When you get resistance in your life, you have to learn to smile, or it will wear you down. Resistance has one goal, and that is to get you to go the other way. The more you smile, the more you frustrate it.

 

2. You Learn The Truth About Obstacles

The truth about obstacles that they never tell you in school is that you need them. They are not here to hurt you; they are here to destroy the weak ones. The reason that being a doctor is worth it is because it is hard. In high school, it weeds out those with bad grades. In College, it asks you to take organic chemistry. Then it invites you to apply to med school and take the MCAT. If you are one of the few, who can get past that you get the honor of studying for at least four more years to call yourself a Dr. 

The truth about every obstacle is that a portion of people will NOT make it to the next level. Celebrate that! The fewer people that can hold on the more valuable the thing you are chasing becomes. If there is no difficulty, there is no value. The truth about obstacles is that with each one the importance of what you are pursuing increases. 

 

3. You Are Handed Every Reason to Quit

You will feel like some days the world is handing you a briefcase filled with $20,000 to quit. In the short run taking the money feels excellent. The second you quit life goes back to normal. You are an average member of society doing all the things you are supposed to do. Everyone gets off your back. You don't have to feel shame and, and everyone around you can exhale because your life looks the way it should. 

The thing that sucks about taking the money and quitting is that no one would be mad at you for it. If you take it, people would tell you they understand because they would quit too. 

When  Khohealth was starting to heat up, I was feeling great about what we were doing. We were in a better spot financially so I decided to fly to our developer from Denmark so we could work in the same place for once. When he got to the airport, he ended up getting arrested and detained for three weeks. I could not have one conversation with him, and we were at a critical point in what we were doing. Three weeks when you are in the heat of your dream. Everything in me was ready to quit, and you know what, everyone would have understood. 

Take the reasons to quit and throw them in the garbage if the long-term prospects don't look right. Here is what I mean, if someone gives you $20k to resign today, but in 5 years what you are working on will be worth $20 million is it still impressive? Focus on the long term and don't let the short-term stuff get you caught up. 

4. People Like Winners and You Won't Be Considered One For a While

When I made the 2012 Olympics, I learned my favorite lesson of life to date. When everyone found out I made the team, I was a winner, and they wanted to hold my hand. When I found out I was not going to get the opportunity to run, my life went back to how it was before. I don't blame anyone for leaving me hanging though because the world loves winners. Being around winners feels excellent!

When you start chasing your purpose, you will be a loser, and there is almost nothing you can do about it. Inside you will feel good, and you will feel like a winner on most days, but outwardly there will be no proof of success. Success starts with the struggle, but people forget that when they see the progress. The grind is not fun to study, but the rewards of success are. If you are brave enough to chase your dream, be prepared to be treated like a loser. Never believe that lie though! 

5. You Learn to Defend Your Dream

If I tried to take your phone right now, you would be mad, and you would fight for it back. If I stomped on your dream and wanted to kill it, you would probably start doubting yourself. Defending your ideas feels much harder because it is not a tangible thing. It is based on faith, and anything you believe in becomes easy for others to take shots at. 

The best thing you can do is learning to defend your dream. Don't let anyone in your mind without taking their dirty shoes off and getting their feet washed by Jesus himself. Anything less and they are getting smacked for even trying to walk in your head. Your dream is worth protecting with your life because it is yours and it was given to you for a reason. 

6. You Learn How Far You Can Push Yourself

When you think you have done your last rep in a workout, sometimes you are only halfway. To be a great athlete it requires learning that you have so much more left in the tank than you think. 

To achieve the success that made you click this article it requires you to take more punches, survive on less money, take more risk, get laughed at more times than you ever thought you could. You can handle more, and I encourage you to block out the negativity and focus in on your work. Everyone else is going to talk regardless stay focused on the long-term vision.

7. Shame Hits You and You Learn to Deal With

Shame is a horrible thing because it makes you want to stay inside and never leave your house. It is probably a precursor to depression because the feeling sucks. In the midst of chasing my dream, I recently got fired from my job. I did not care about the job, but your ego gets slapped, and shame tries to find its way in your heart. 

I had one day I felt it so heavy I just lied on the ground face down like what is wrong with me? I wish I could be normal and have standard $70k a year aspirations and do as I'm told and settled in on that and take my nice vacation once a year. I swear I wish I could want that but God put something different in me, and some days I hate that he did. 

As I was lying there feeling bad for myself, my daughter climbed on my back and started riding me like a pony which made me start laughing. I immediately was like “Ian get up and stop feeling bad for yourself and get back to work. There is no time for that right now. “

Shame is resistance it wants you to spend time distracted. If shame gets you, it knows that you will never achieve what you want. Forget what people think of you, get on your feet, hold yourself up with good posture and get back to work. Don't stop believing because of the last kick to the stomach. 

8.  Life Becomes a Canvas

When you start chasing your dream, you see glimpses of how life can be. We are given a paintbrush, and we can create life how we want it to look. The problem is resistance says no you can't. Resistance tells you to get your ass to the first job that you can get paid for. Smile and take those paychecks and do everything you can to please your boss. Miss, your kids, lives because you have to work and if you don't do it you are a shame. 

You slowly take your paintbrush, and you wash it off and put it back in the package. You became scared and worn down, and you can only see failure and the consequences of it. You get stuck in it so long that you can no longer remember your paintbrush or that you know how to paint. 

You have the power to create your life. It can work the way you want it to. If you like working in the morning, it can be that way. If you love 3 day weekends that can be every week, but it requires knowing what you want and then making the sacrifice to make it happen. That is it! 

9. Faith is Something Most People Don't Have A Lot Of

People will talk like they have the most faith in the world, but they don't. They have faith as long as they have security. Take security away from a person, and you will see how much faith they have. It is easy to have faith when your bank account looks the way you want it to, and everything is moving in the right direction. Can you have confidence when it feels like everything has been taken away from you? 

It is essential to understand this when you are chasing what you want. Most people want you is to stay within the lines of life that they stayed within. You step outside of those lines and you will get a scolding for it. The reason is due to fear and only fear. Others become scared that your life will not work out. Maybe you will lose your friends, your job, your family, and all your money if you keep working outside of the lines. 

Fear and faith are not friends at all. If you are acting out of fear, you will rarely get what you want. You will get whatever life throws you. When you are operating out of faith, you believe in the vision and dream. 

 

Never Forget - The Dream was given to you, so no one else needs to understand it or get it. Just keep doing you.

 

Ian warner is the founder of KhoHealth, as well as an Olympian and author.

Follow the link to find out more about Kho and how you can support!

https://khohealth.com/

Motivation Monday

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Last Monday, I was at the gym getting my swole on, right.  And in between sets I was taking my rest and trying to remember what I had in the fridge to eat once I got home. And my trainer (Drew Robertson) came over and we were talking (probably about food) and then another person come over and said, “I just can’t get going on Mondays, do you guys have that problem?”

 

My immediate response:

 

“Nah.”

 

But to be fair, I’ve never really thought about it until he mentioned it.  To me, the hardest day is Friday because your mind can be set on weekend mode and you can clock out Friday morning and end up not doing a single thing productive that day and waste it.  (I had a teammate in college who was the master of this.  Dude would clock out Thursday night!)

 

It can be dangerous because the weekend can slow up your momentum.

 

Like the man above, maybe Mondays are tough for you as well. So here are a few Monday Motivation tips that will hopefully improve your Mondays. (By the way, how many is a few? Because the other day I asked my little sister for a few of her skittles and she gave me like 2.  Did I get disrespected?)

 

But any who, let’s get into it.

 

 

 

Monday Motivation Tip #1

 The moment you wake up, try saying three things you are grateful for.  Then, after you say them out loud, write them down on a piece of paper and let it sit in a space where you can see it.  Then, before you head out the door, grab the paper and say them out loud one more time.  Doesn’t matter what day it is, no day will ever be the same.  So, appreciate the day that you have and make the most of it.  Don’t take it for granted. 

Monday Motivation Tip #2

Wake up on time and start with a good breakfast.  Don’t rush the morning.  Statistics show that in 2011 alone, 31 million people skipped breakfast.  I’m not the biggest breakfast person myself, but it does make a difference and you can feel it.  When you fuel your body with quality food, your mood will change throughout the day. People out here be ogre-ish when they don’t eat.   Don’t be an ogre anymore. 

Monday Motivation Tip #3

Start your day with something positive.  Listen to a podcast, listen to a talk, watch an inspirational video, listen to your favourite song, read a book, do something that pours into yourself.  Once you walk through the door, you can’t control what happens.  Along the way, something might disrupt your day, so you need to fill yourself up with so much positivity that if you do get disrupted, you’re not even sweating because you have all this positivity in you.

Monday Motivation Tip #4

Don’t check your phone first thing when you wake up.  Don’t even do it. Because once you do, you will be hooked to it.  And I’m telling you, the worst thing you can do for yourself when you wake up, is invest and look at somebody else’s life when you haven’t invested in your own life. Put the phone away and just take 20 minutes for yourself.

Monday Motivation Tip #5  

Why are you getting up?  No for real, ask yourself that.  The other day I woke up, glanced over at my watch on the dresser, and the time read 5:15am. The next time I glanced over, it said 5:50am. You might be asking, “What were you doing for 35 minutes?”

(Insert deep answer below)

 

I was looking at my ceiling….

 

I was like, “Man, I’m not feeling today.  This is stupid bruh. I should probably just throw in the towel and stop investing in myself like this. What’s the point?” 

And I remember those things going through my head, and then in walks my little sister, half asleep stumbling into the walls.  She came over and gave me a hug and said, “Good morning Akeem”.

 Immediately I told myself to give it a rest.  Suck it up and let’s conquer the day.

 Life has a way of reminding us the many reasons why we need to push through. 

 

Monday Motivation Tip #6

Whether you like Monday or you don’t, it’s still going to come.  It’s always going to be a day that is part of the week.  While you might wake up on Monday upset and mad at the world, Monday is all smiles and sunny and ready to go.  If your competitive like I know you are, you won’t let Monday shine brighter than you. Even if you don’t like Monday, you better compete with it and dominate the day so later that night you can say, “Monday, how does coming in second feel? ;)”

Monday Motivation Tip #7

Monday is the tone-setter.  If you start the week off in a bad mood, chances are Tuesday is going to be a write off as well, and unless your writing off your taxes, skipping a day doesn’t do your life any justice.  Momentum and energy is a powerful thing.  Set the tone early in the week.  Your days are more meaningful when you are intentional with each day.

Monday Motivation Tip # 8

Spread encouragement.  Start a group chat with some of your friends every Monday, and make it a habit of putting positivity in there.  Matter of fact, make that a requirement in order to enter the group chat. Your environment will change you long before you can change your environment. If your environment is already booming with positivity, it’s hard to be negative. Even the Grinch celebrated Christmas when he changed his environment (even if it was to ruin it initially).


Motivation doesn’t last so you need to find different ways to stay motivated. 

You may have heard about that cliché saying:

Don’t count the days, make the days count.”

Cliché statements are often the honest truths.  

 


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If you have a Monday Motivation routine, leave a comment below and let me know. 

 

 

 

-      Akeem Haynes

10 Things They Don’t Tell You Before You Graduate (University Addition)

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The other day, I went for a walk to my usual spot.  I call it my “thinking spot.”  When I got there, I sat on my bench and after five minutes started laughing. 

 

Now, before you call me crazy, hear me out!

 

 I was laughing because I was listening to a podcast and heard the individual say, “The moment you graduate, everything will fall into place because you will have a degree.”

 

HA! I’m sure you’re laughing too.  Or you’re just waiting for me to get to the point.

 

This point is this- that statement couldn’t be further from the truth!  A degree, in my opinion, is like a passport.  It has the ability to open different doors.  However, it doesn’t mean those doors will ever be opened.  And if they do open, you better seize the opportunity quickly! 

 

I graduated from The University of Alabama a semester early, and one thing that stuck out to me from my whole university experience was when my English professor said:

 

“You will learn more about life experiencing stuff than you will reading this English textbook.”

 

After my trip down memory road at my “thinking spot,” I made my way home.  When I got inside, I picked up my phone and hit my guy Ian.  I asked if he wanted to jump on this post with me.

 

I’ve always said I wish someone would have told me about university before I got there.  I would have done my best to take advantage of certain things a little bit better.

 

For those of you reading this who are about to enter that chapter in your life, I hope you write these down and keep them in mind...

 

Let’s begin.

 

 

 

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1). Saving Is More Important Than Earning

 

When you graduate college, the only thing on your mind is making that paper for the first time. What they don't tell you is that it doesn’t matter how much you earn, it matters how much you save.  Getting into the habit of saving is not about being rich. Saving money keeps you sane.  It grows your self-control.  And it allows you to have money ready for when opportunity strikes.

 

If you get a $20k raise, and you spend $20k more, you end up with more stuff but your bank account looks the same way. The key is when you start increasing your income, try and live like you are still a broke college student for as long as you can.  Doing this will allow you to build up a financial cushion.  And you can make much better choices with $20k sitting in the bank compared to having nothing.

 

 

2). Get Around Like-Minded People

 

It’s imperative that you get around like-minded people as early as you can. University is the one place where the majority of people get into debt, but very few people get out of that debt.  So, you might as well get around some people who actually want to pay off that debt. Why? Well because those people probably have some type of plan.  Those are the people that are going to make sure you think outside of the box, and they will start by holding you accountable.

 

It is hard to make friends once you graduate from college.  Your whole life can easily be spent with coworkers or your family.  You have to make an effort to build with like-minded people to have in-depth discussions with. These are the people who will challenge you to be better than what you currently are.  It is not easy to find people who challenge you because when most people see you messing up, they are happy about it.   They now have a chance to step their game up. When you are trying to advance your way of thinking, you need to be around people who think like you do in order to stay sane.

 

3). You Have To Do More Than What You Are Paid T0 Do

 

Do more than you are paid to do even when it hurts and it seems that life is unfair. Doing more than what you are paid to do is how you ensure you are always needed and practically irreplaceable.  There are not many people who will follow this.  Look for more opportunities to help and to give. If you want to receive more, it is imperative that you give more.  If you only look to do what your job title says and never anything more, you make yourself dispensable.

 

Do the extra.  When you do what others won’t do, you will get more than they get.  I’m not even talking about finances.  I’m talking about creating a lifestyle and building a character that gets noticed as soon as you walk in the room.  I think the one thing people forget is that you make money.  Don’t let the money make you.  When you make yourself non-disposable, you’ll always make money.

 

4). Knowing What You Want Matters More Than Working Hard

 

It does not matter how hard you work if you have no direction.  Before you do anything else, you have to decide exactly what you want from life.  What do you want, when do you want it, why do you want it and what is your plan to go and get it?

 

Doing this is like setting the destination in your GPS.  If you don't set a destination, how can you know the path to where you are going? School teaches us to drift.  It makes many people feel like it is okay to not have a plan.  It’s why people going to college “undecided” is perfectly fine. The message is, “Wake up and have no idea what you want to do!”  That’s fine as long as you can pay that $28,000 college bill :).  

 

“What if I don’t know what I want?”

 

Let me slide on this one Ian.

 

You know what you want.  Whether you say it out loud and believe it is a different thing. Everyone has an idea of what they would like their life to look like. For example, the moment you say,  “I want...” you have an idea.  You just aren’t being intentional with the description of that idea.  And If you don’t know the description and how you can make that idea manifest, you’ll get lost in-between your other ideas.  And you’ll just continue to answer.  “I don’t know”.  You do know.  Just take a little more time and be descriptive.  Write down your own personal goal dots, and then connect them.  (See what I did there?  You know, connect the dots?  Like the game?)

 

5). That Childhood Imagination Is The Worst Thing You Can Let Go Of

 

The computer I am typing on, my iPhone, your favorite app are all things that came from the imagination.  Someone had an idea that they took action on to create all of these products.  When you’re in school, you are taught there is an absolute path you must follow.  The people who are remembered in history never follow the same way. They walk to the beat of their own drum, letting their imagination and “out of the box” thinking lead them.

 

I feel you bro, but it’s Android phone and Mac computer over here! But listen, if you don’t realize the endless possibilities of what the mind can create, you aren’t dreaming enough. People have a way of downsizing your dreams, so don’t even sweat that.  They don’t see what you see, or believe what you believe.  People would rather tell you what you can’t do and belittle your ideas and aspirations rather than give you hope so when you fall the first few times, you’ll have the courage to get back up. So, if you’re reading this today, and you have some big aspirations, I believe in your idea. Whether you succeed or fail is up to God.  That’s his realm.  But if you don’t ever try and give your dream oxygen, it’ll never live.

 

6). You Have T0 Believe In You First

 

If you do not believe in you, no one else is going to.  Your new boss is not going to give you pep talks about how he thinks you can do it. Disney Land is Disney Land, and real life is real life.  Don't get them confused.  When you believe in yourself and put in massive action, you’ll produce results over time and others will slowly begin to understand.

 

You have to believe you are already at the table before you even sit down.  Know that you belong anywhere you so choose to be.  If you don’t think your worthy of something, you’ll never fully grasp it. 

 

7). You Have To Start From Where You Are

 

Imagination is great, BUT you still need to be real with yourself about where you are today.  Social media has made some people delusional because it’s cooler to act successful than it is to actually obtain success.  Look yourself in the mirror and understand that where you are today is the result of the choices you made yesterday.  If you don't like where you are then make some different decisions.  You can build an accurate roadmap to greatness if you don't have your current destination correct.

 

Everything that you do, or don’t do, has a positive or negative reaction. Look, I know your tired some days, but isn’t it worth being tired from giving everything you have towards progressing further?

 

8). Experience, Experience, Experience

 

This will probably be something you hear a lot about. 

“You’re not experienced enough” 

or 

“You lack experience”

 

It’s funny, you can go to school for a billion years and when you graduate, certain companies won’t even give you that “experience” you need in order to succeed in that particular field.  How do you gain experience?  Well, be aware and be open to what’s around you wherever you are.  Create your own experiences.  Things have evolved so much.  Nowadays, you can search and find some type of contact information to send an email to the companies and people you want to be involved with. The worst thing they can say is, “No.”  But if they are willing to have you there, you’ll be able to gain that experience.  Don’t wait until you graduate to find out you’re not qualified. Leave no stone unturned.  And if they won’t give you the experience, try to create it.

 

 

9). It’s better To Be Productive Than To Be Busy

 

According to everyone you meet, especially after you graduate, they are “busy.” “Extremely busy” at that.  But you know what I’ve realized?  Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re being productive.  Sometimes people confuse busyness with clutter. It’s not the hours you put in, but rather what you put in those hours.  You could be busy on paper for 15 hours straight.  But of those 15 hours, if only 4 of them were productive, you just wasted 11 hours.  People who are productive and efficient with the time they have will always overshadow those who grind all day.  Be careful not to confuse the two.  Being busy doesn’t always mean progress.

 

10).Work Harder On Yourself Than At Your Job

 

School is always teaching you to work hard.  The message engrained in your brain is that if you work hard at your job, great things will happen.  It reminds of the story of the two men who went to cut down trees.  One worked his butt off sawing down the trees for six hours.  The other man spent one hour sharpening his saw, and then spent only two hours cutting down the trees.

 

When you decide to work on yourself, you are like the person who sharpened his saw first.  By learning about yourself, reading, growing, forming positive habits, and a building a solid character, you give yourself better ingredients to succeed with.

 

*

 

I hope this has helped in one way or another.

 

Use your time wisely.   You will not be able to do everything, but you can spend time doing and investing in the right things.  And start by investing in yourself.

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Life experiences are what make our journey so much more meaningful.

 

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You can find Ian by clicking below:

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- Akeem

Thirty Shades Of Truths

 

 

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The biggest break is the one you will give yourself by choosing to believe in your vision, in what you love, and in the gifts you have to offer the waiting world.
— Leslie Odem Jr

 

I wrote the title for this post on my computer on Thursday, and didn't finish it until Sunday morning. For some reason my brain didn't want me to be great. Or perhaps, I just had a hard time quieting my mind throughout the past few days. Yeah thats probably it still.

My one sole wish for those reading this, would be that you sit with these truths above and let one of them speak to you. As I wrote them, a few of them re-spoke to me and I hope they do the same to you.

But nonetheless,

 

With 30 things to read, there really is no need for too big of an intro.

 

So, let’s get into it. 

 

*

 

 1). Focus on what's in front of you. We are humans, it is in our nature to try and control everything. But in reality, we control a small portion of our everyday lives. But we have to pour our energy into the things we can control. Only when we can do that, do we really start to see a shift in our progression. 

2). What’s for you, will be for you. Sometimes when we want something to happen for us so bad, and no matter how much we try to make it happen, for some reason it doesn’t come together. That’s not be coincidence, when something is for you the resistance will be minimal. 

3). True strength comes from realizing that you need help. Though you can do most things alone, it's hard to do everything alone. Everyone needs a little help on their way up.

4). There is a title for every chapter in your book of life. Ask yourself today which chapter you on are. And ask yourself, what comes next?

5). Distractions can come from all angles. But you have to guard your focus. Don’t let small inconsistencies disrupt your path and ultimately your growth.

6). It doesn’t matter what it is. If you aren’t confident about what you can do and achieve you’ll probably never achieve it. Be your biggest supporter and put the work in and continue pushing. Confidence is a powerful thing.

7). You are going to fail. But always remind yourself, that no single failure defines you as a failure. You only fail when you quit. Because when you quit you stop trying to get better and improve on what didn’t go right. Don’t worry about failing, use your failure as a guide to what work, and what didn’t work. Failure is inevitable, what you do next is optional.

8). Long before your dreams and aspirations come to life, you have to have a stubborn belief that you can get the things you want despite your circumstances.

9). Sometimes you have to be willing to make the hard decisions for the greater good. Not Because you always want to, but you know you need to.

10). Be selective in your battles. Oftentimes peace is better than always being right. You simply don’t need to attend every argument you’re invited too.

11). Don’t worry about being seen. Focus on progressing and growing in each aspect of your life. The work you do in the dark will one day come to the light.

12). Life’s test are unexpected and unpredictable. You’ll never fully be ready for it. But you made it this far for reason. Perhaps, your more prepared than you think.

13). No matter what happens in life, you’ve got to be able to believe, “This too shall pass,” and that if you keep persisting, you’ll find a way through.

14). Sometimes you have to take a step back and look at other options. You can’t solve a puzzle trying to force the pieces where they don’t fit.

15). You don’t have to have everything completely figured out to move forward. Somethings you will have to adjust on the go as you take that next step forward.

16). Know your circle. Relationships should help you grow, elevate you, challenge you, empower you, support you and be honest with you. If they aren’t helping you become a better person, then you need to make some serious decisions. You are the sum total of the people you surround yourself with, that’s not just a cliché statement, that’s an honest life truth. 

17). Learn to say no. If you always say yes, you will always be taken for granted. Simple as that.

18).  You attract what you want into your life. The way you carry yourself will always reveal how you want people to treat you. It’s never what people call you, it’s what you answer to.

19). Let go of the story why you haven’t accomplished certain things. You have to be honest with yourself about where you are right now. And that can be discouraging, I get it completely, but instead of complaining, start figuring out how you can get back on track. There is more than one path to get to your destination, you just have to complain less, and start doing more.

20). “They gave up on me” – I get it. But you know what, you are the one constant between trying to pursue a dream, and not even trying. And the beautiful thing about that, is that it only requires one person to believe. And that’s you. So, don’t get discouraged when people don’t see your vision, you will attract the ones that do as you continue pursuing your vision. Focus on proving yourself right, and less on proving them wrong.

21). “Woe is me” – If you always play the victim, you will only be seen as that. Nobody cares about what’s happened to you, they might be slightly concerned for a moment or so, but then life goes on. So, you’ve got to get up and use your pain to your advantage. Because after a while you are going to have to ask yourself, “what now?”. 

22). Be whole by yourself. Don’t give your happiness to anyone. That’s got to come from within, it’s got to come from inside of you. If you aren’t happy with yourself, every relationship you are involved in will not get a fair shot at flourishing. You have to be right within yourself, to add external value to others.

23). You are good at more than one thing. Don’t let your self-worth be consumed by a sport, or a job or one specific thing. Too many get into this hole, and the deeper you get into it, when you try and make a transition you become lost in who you were, instead of remembering who you are. Take the time to figure and nurture your many talents and gifts. We all have them, but you have to search and nurture them.

24). Own everything. Own it. Whenever something happens, before you look out, look within. Too many post the blame on other people and other things before they consider the fact that they might be the problem. 

25). Sometimes God needs you to live a scripture, and not preach one. Listen, sometimes you are going to have to go through some things that you don’t deserve to go through. Sometimes you’re going to feel like God skips your prayers. Sometimes you’re going to be put through more tests than others. Sometimes he needs you to stretch your faith further than you ever thought you could, so someone who might be trapped in the dark, can see the light through you and the way you carry yourself during your hardships.   

26). Don’t neglect your body. Exercise. Go for a walk. Take care of yourself. Eat the right foods, drink enough water, get the right nutrients in your body. Just because it makes your mind and soul feel good, doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for your body. Think moderation, not indulgence (all my desert lovers out there, including myself). 

27). The more you feed your mind the deeper the transformation will be. Just because you can relate to the weakness, doesn’t mean you have to adopt the mindset.

28). Be proud of who you are. No one can do you better than you. Be proud of all your accomplishments. Never settle for less than what you’ve worked for. You don’t have to be perfect, but you always have to give your best efforts. You owe that to yourself.

29). No matter how small you start, always dream big. There is nothing out of reach if you're willing to put in the work consistently, stay patient and make some sacrifices for it. Success is a decision, not a gift.

30). No matter what, you must keep going.  Even when it doesn’t seem like there is a way through, you must keep going and find that way. I recently read “A man’s search for meaning” by Victor Frankl. He said “A man can overcome anything, if he isn’t asked how”

 

 

I hope that one of those spoke to you in a way that makes you think. 

 

 

Your Turn…

 

In the comment section, I’d love to hear some of your own life truths that have helped you, or if you would like to email me them personally, I’d really like to hear some of them.

 

Akeeminspires@gmail.com

 

- Akeem

Blog Edited by: @Cpricerun