Thoughts

8 Daily Affirmations

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Sometimes it’s tough to “stay positive.”

Some days it’s easier to stay in bed rather than face reality.

Sometimes you just want to grab a tub of ice cream and stay on the couch and watch the Harry Potter series all day. 

Okay, it may not be Harry Potter for you. Maybe it’s Disney movies or Real Housewives of Atlanta. And maybe it’s not ice cream for you. Maybe it’s pizza or candy. My point is that it’s hard to stay positive every single day. 

Zig Ziglar once said, “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.”

How you start your day is extremely important. And what you tell yourself each day shapes the direction of your life. If you can think positively on a consistent basis, you will train your mind to find the good in every moment, even the moments when it seems impossible to do so.

I decided to hit up my lady and compile a list of the daily affirmations that help us get through our days.

With that being said,

Let’s get into it ! 


 

1)   I WILL - Get up and show up 

You’re going to have to pay your dues.  Anything worth having is going to take time to get which means there are going to be times when your emotions get the best of you.  Some days you’ll be more tired than others; some days you won’t feel as creative or as productive as other days.  But no matter how you feel, pick yourself up and show up for that day.  Whatever tasks you have to tackle, find the strength to make it happen.  Get it done.  Because one thing I’ve realized is that the days you don’t feel like doing something are the days when you probably need to do it the most, especially if it’s going to get you closer to your dreams, goals and aspirations.  Do your best not to count the days; focus on making each day count. 

2). I am IMPORTANT  

Do you know you’re here for a reason?  Every single person on this planet has a purpose, including you!  Yes, YOU.  You may not feel like it.   You may not know what it is.  But I need you to understand, and I mean REALLY understand, that you are important. You are here to accomplish something no one else in this world can accomplish.  The very fact that you are alive right now reading this means God is not finished with you yet.  You matter. I don’t care what anyone else has told you, or even what you’ve told yourself.  From this second moving forward, I need you to know you are special. SO special.  There are gifts, talents, visions, ideas, goals, and dreams inside of you ready to unfold.  Take the time to figure out what they are.  Please!  The world needs what you have to offer. 

3). I MUST – Breathe

Sometimes we forget to breathe.  You might say, “How do we forget to breathe when that’s literally what gives us oxygen?”  What I mean is that we breathe for survival but not always to analyze our next move.  Oftentimes, life can become a lot to handle.  Oftentimes, life has a grip on us and we’re just trying to hold on, just trying to keep our heads above water and catch our breath.  I’ve realized that in the midst of these chaotic moments, if we can find a way to breathe, we eventually calm down and can figure out a solution to our problems.  It’s kind of like quicksand.  The more you fight, the quicker you sink.  But if you calm down, it takes the sand longer to overtake you. Don’t let life overtake you.  Take a deep breath, analyze the root of your problem, shift your perspective, and find a solution. 

4). I am LOVED 

Another way to say this affirmation is, “I love myself.”  Self-love is crucial.  CRUCIAL. You cannot receive or give love to others until you first learn to love yourself.  How do you fall in love with yourself?  By working on the second affirmation- I am important.  If you repeatedly remind yourself that God has a plan for your life; that you are here for a reason; that there is greatness inside of you; that you are amazing and special; that YOU ARE IMPORTANT, your self-love will slowly begin to grow and grow.  You can tell when you REALLY love yourself because everything about you changes. Your swag is different.  Your confidence is on a whole other level. You talk different.  You walk different.  You don’t care what other people think about you.  You don’t need compliments from other people to feel good about yourself.  You don’t need likes and comments under your Instagram posts to feel validated.  You don’t settle for less than what you deserve. You eliminate the people and things in your life that are distracting you from your purpose.  Because when you fall in love with yourself, you realize you deserve to live the BEST life you could possibly live.  Mannnnnn, let me tell you.  Do not take this affirmation lightly!  Work on it until you start to see some changes.  Self-love is not going to happen overnight, but it is SO worth the process.    

5). I WILL - Fully commit to it 

I’ve always been a forward thinker.  I’m always thinking long term, which has its advantages and disadvantages.   One advantage is that I can see my vision very clearly.  The dream. The final product.   I see it as clear as day.  It’s so clear I can grab it!  However, the disadvantage to this is that I often overlook certain steps.

I don’t believe starting is the hard part.  I think having the right emotional state and the right people around you will give you the boost you need to start whatever it is you want to do.   The hard part is finishing.  It’s hard to finish anything.  Not because we can’t, but because when we embark on a journey, life has a way of happening.  The moment you make up your mind to do something, life is going to test you to see how bad you really want it.   And it’s not always easy to fight when you have no fight left in you.  It’s not always easy to get back up when you’ve had countless setbacks.

Doubt and fear are always near us.  But you owe it to yourself to see how far you can go in this life, not for anybody else but yourself. You need to finish whatever it is that you’re doing.   It’s not even about the destination.  It’s about who you are as a person day in and day out.  Your character will always overshadow whether you reach it to the top or not.  I’ve climbed many mountains and fell short on a bunch of them.   But no matter how many times I fall short, I’ll never stop climbing.  I owe it to myself to finish whatever it is that I start. I dare you to finish. I dare you! See it all the way through, and watch what it does to your character along the way. 

6). I am STRONG

“But Chanelle, I don’t feel strong.”  I get it. Trust me.  I get it!  Life has a way of making us feel weak.  Tragedy, disappointment, pain, suffering, trial, tribulation- we all experience difficult circumstances.  And sometimes the burden feels too heavy to carry.  Job loss, a death in the family, a bad health diagnosis, financial hardship, marital problems, a disobedient child- the list of challenges we experience is endless.  But guess how I know you’re strong?  Because you’re here right now reading this.  When life knocked you down, you got back up.  Being strong doesn’t mean you won’t ever fall.  Being strong doesn’t mean you won’t ever feel like quitting.  The true sign of strength is getting up when everything in you wants to throw in the towel. The next time life throws you a curveball and you don’t know how you’re going to make it through, remind yourself of all the things in your life you’ve overcome.  You’ve gotten stronger and stronger because of everything you’ve been through.  Your strength is at a higher level than it was a few years ago, a few months ago, a few weeks ago, even a few days ago.  Stop believing the lies that you’re too weak to get through whatever you’re facing, that you can’t handle anymore hardship.  You CAN and you WILL. 

7). I MUST - Do better when I know better

I remember when I finished university at 22, and I had just written my first book.  After I got the physical copy of the book and saw all the mistakes in it, I thought, “Wow, I had no idea what I was doing.”  See, I didn’t get a professional editor.  I was trying to save money so I went with someone I knew had been an English teacher for decades.  Even though she did a good job editing my book, she didn’t have that professional eye for book editing, and that showed in my end product. 

For my second book, I hired a professional editor, and the result was a night and day difference.  All I did was make one small adjustment, and it made a huge impact.  Am I a genius?  Heck no.   I just learned from my experience.  I knew better, so I made a better choice.  It’s okay to make mistakes.  It’s okay to get it wrong.  We’re human. That’s going to happen.  Very few times do we ever get it right the first time.   Don’t take it to heart.  Progress with the knowledge you have.  Make better decisions with the lessons you’ve learned.  Once you know better, do better. 

8). I am BEAUTIFUL 

This affirmation is a little cheesy, but it’s one of my favorite, probably because it’s the one I struggle with most.  I have a hard time looking myself in the mirror and saying, “I am beautiful.” Like most people, when I look in the mirror, I focus on my flaws.  I focus on everything about myself I wish was different.  But recently I got fed up with myself.  “Chanelle, wishing you could change certain things about yourself is such a waste of time.  You are beautiful just the way you are.”  And I’m going to tell you the same thing:  You are beautiful just the way you are! It’s hard for us to recognize our own beauty because we are constantly comparing how we look to how other people look.   Nowadays, the comparison trap is so easy to fall into with social media.  It’s SO important to remember that another person’s beauty is not the absence of your own beauty.  And, this may sound a little cliché, but true beauty is found within.  A woman can be the most beautiful person in the world on the outside, but if she has a nasty personality, she’s ugly in my book.  Imagine a young boy coming up to you and asking, “Why am I so ugly.”  What would you say?   I imagine you would tell him he’s not ugly, that everyone is beautiful in their own special way, and that true beauty is determined by how you treat others.  I think it’s time for all of us to start taking our own advice.

  

Maybe you have some affirmations of your own. I would love to hear about them and see what type of thoughts get you through each day. Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know! 

Co-Written with 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

Sunday Reminder #1

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Every day you wake up, you get a different feeling. At least I know that I do, and sometimes that feeling depending on what we are dealing with, isn’t always the best feeling. Which is okay, nobody feels great every single day that they wake. 

Life has its way of weighing on us more than we would like it too. It’s not always easy to shake that feeling when your focus is elsewhere. It’s not always easy to be positive when the reality in front of us temporarily sucks. Notice I said temporarily.

In scary movies you can always tell when something is going to happen, usually the music gets louder and they zoom in on the angle and then some scary image pops out and surprises you, but generally you should know it’s coming.

But life isn’t always like that, sometimes it doesn’t send warning signs, it just “Pops out” and we are left to deal with it on the go. However, dealing with it as we go is always our best option. Either you deal with it, or it deals with you.

Problems don’t go away, but the experiences that comes with it as you work through the problems will allow you to find a better way to deal with them each time they arise. The one's who can stay calm during the chaos, will outlast it.

Dig deep today, no matter what it is that is in front of you, remind yourself that it is temporary, remind yourself that this too shall pass. When life forces you to dig deep, find a way to dig deeper. 

You can always stretch yourself more than you think, so dig deep and find a way to dig deeper and keep pressing forward.

 

And remember, 

This too, shall pass.

 

-      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.

 

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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. 

 

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 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

 

Four Things To Remember When Life Gets Tough

Life is unpredictable. 

 

You just never know how quickly the tide will turn and change the trajectory of where you were going.  

 

But at the same time, the things we go through are meant to create a stronger and much improved version of ourselves.

 

To never struggle is to never grow.

 


 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

— -Proverbs: 3:5-6

 

 

1)      Find Your Path

 

Be honest with yourself.  And that can mean many things and go many different ways.  But you have to be honest with where you are right now. Speaking from experience, this can be extremely eye-opening and discouraging. 

 

When I was 16, I wrote down about 10 things I wanted to accomplish by a certain age.  I would look at that paper almost every day, and to this day, out of those 10 things, I’ve achieved 2 of them.  A mere 20 percent!  Nevertheless, I’ve accomplished some things that I didn’t expect to.

 

Sometimes the initial path of our journey gets redirected to where we need to go, not where we want to go. 

 

What does that mean?

 

Well, it means that just because you aren’t where you want to be doesn’t mean you won’t end up back on the initial path you started. 

 

 

Ok, let me break it down mathematically really quickly.

1+3 = 4

2+2 = 4

0+4= 4

6-2 = 4

 

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There is more than one way to find the answer.  There are many different ways to get to where you want to go.  But if you don’t develop the skills you need along the way and learn how to get back on that path, you will continue to lose sight of the way.
— Akeem Haynes

 

 

 There is more than one way to find the answer.  There are many different ways to get to where you want to go.  But if you don’t develop the skills you need along the way and learn how to get back on that path, you will continue to lose sight of the way.

 

 

 

 

Embrace where you are.  Stay the course.  Try not to get discouraged.  Develop what you need to on the path you are on.

You will find your way back.  Just don’t stop walking.

 

 

*

 

 

 2) Watch Your Self-Talk

 

No, for real.  You’ve got to watch the things you say to yourself on an everyday basis. Especially when it gets tough. There is no way you will make it out of the hole if you keep digging it deeper.  Adjust what you say.  Don’t play with your words.

 

I never agreed with the saying, “Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you.”  That’s a lie. Words are powerful.  Because eventually, if you tell yourself something enough times, you will start to believe it, and your words will slowly begin to manifest physically.

 

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If you are going through a rough patch, tell yourself you’re going through a transition stage and you’re almost finished.  If you’re going through some financial stress, just say you’re in between funds right now and you’re about to be financially stable.  If you had a bad day, remind yourself that there really are no bad days, just character-building days.
— Akeem Haynes

 

 

If you are going through a rough patch, tell yourself you’re going through a transition stage and you’re almost finished.  If you’re going through some financial stress, just say you’re in between funds right now and you’re about to be financially stable.  If you had a bad day, remind yourself that there really are no bad days, just character-building days.

 

Change the things you say to yourself.   Speak life into yourself.  If you want to see change, you have to not only work for it physically, but you’ve got to put it out there in the universe.  

 

 

 

Words by themselves don’t hurt us.  Only when we give them meaning do they gain their power.

 

Watch what you say.

 

 

*

 

 

3) Trust Your Preparation To Pass The Test

 

When I was in school, up until about my last year in university, I would do well on the assignments and homework and projects.  But as soon as a test, mid-term or final exam came around, I wouldn’t do too well.  Not all the time, but for the most part, I just didn’t do well.

 

And the more I think about it now, straight up, I just didn’t prepare as well as I could have.  I’m not saying I didn’t study or take it seriously.  I just didn’t prepare as well as the other students who got the high scores. And because I didn’t feel confident in my preparation, my brain would be all over the place, and I’d second guess myself every time.

 

But I learned from that experience, and I now apply that lesson in my everyday life.

 

You can’t control everything, but no one can take away how hard you practice and the effort you put toward your craft and developing your all-around skillsets.

 

And when you feel like you’re ready for a breakthrough, that is when you will be tested to see if you are going to revert back to your old ways.

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When you haven’t prepared and prepped yourself for what’s to come, you may pass the assignments, but you’ll never pass the most important tests.
— Akeem Haynes

 

 

When you haven’t prepared and prepped yourself for what’s to come, you may pass the assignments, but you’ll never pass the most important tests.

  

 

 

*

 

 

4). Take The Good With The Bad

 

This is such a powerful statement.  You are still here.  You are still here.  YOU are still here. You are here for a reason, a purpose, a specific reason that God has intended for you.

 

Despite everything that you’ve been through, and might be going through at this moment, you are still here. That’s not by accident.  That’s not by chance.  Sometimes when we go through things, it’s not for us.  It’s to show someone watching that they can get through their own situation too.  Sometimes God doesn’t need us to preach a miracle.  He needs us to live in the present as an example of one.

 

Nothing goes unnoticed.   Sometimes we need to fall down in the fight of life so we can learn how to get back up on our feet.  That breakthrough you might be looking for is probably taking its sweet time, and I mean really taking its sweet time.  But that’s the reason you’ll appreciate it so much more when it does come.

 

Without the darkness, we wouldn’t appreciate the light as much.

 

If it didn’t rain, we wouldn’t be able to see the rainbow.

 

If we didn’t go through the bad, we wouldn’t truly appreciate the good. 

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Life has a way of findings its balance. Things can change at one glance. Your moment will come when you least expect it. But what you do while you wait will make the biggest difference, always.
— Akeem Haynes

 

 

Life has a way of findings its balance.  Things can change at one glance.  Your moment will come when you least expect it.  But what you do while you wait will make the biggest difference, always. 

 

 

 

Grow through it, you made it this far, don't stop progressing now. You've came to far. You've got this.

Stick with it. Push through.

- Akeem

The Lessons I've Learned From The Airport

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Airport Layover

 I dislike travelling as a whole. I enjoy new cities, and scenery, and culture and different atmospheres I enjoy that part, but I dislike actually flying, long road trips. All of that, its super quiet for me on that aspect.

Like if your trying to go on a road trip and you need someone to go, I’m probably not the best person to ask. However, I’ll come along, providing we are loaded up with snacks.

 

Matter of a fact I’m writing this at the airport as I’m waiting for my connecting flight.

 

Kind of ironic honestly, simply because of how much it relates to being patient.

 

 

 


Delayed

 

I’ve always somehow been portrayed as this patient person. And Truth is, by nature, I’m extremely impatient. I don’t like to wait. I’m a very punctual person, and the value of time is something I try not to waste or take for granted.  

 

But what happens when you have no choice but to be patient? 

 

I remember when I was coming back home during Christmas time when I was at school in Kansas, and on this particular trip my flight looked like this 

 

 Wichita to Houston, Houston to Edmonton, Edmonton to Calgary.

 

On paper I guess it doesn’t look that bad? however, I had a 4-hour layover in Edmonton, and the flight from Edmonton to Calgary was maybe 30 minutes once you’re up in the air.

 

I was beyond annoyed, tired, and all the above.

 

But It taught me a valuable lesson that day,

You don’t know how patient you can be, until being patient is all you can be.
— Akeem Haynes

 


 

 

Taxing

 

In 2016, on the way to the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, if memory serves me justice, I believe we had a night flight. After boarding the flight and putting my bags up. I sat in my seat and waited for the magical words. “Ladies and gentlemen, we are ready for take-off”

 

 I was already tired from the week of training and travelling back from London earlier in the week. So that made everything that much sweeter, I had everything planned out in my head. I was going to kick back and watch a couple movies, and let the movies tire out my eyes and I’ll be in deep REM sleep and when I wake up I’ll get there.

 

*Doses off*

 

10 minutes later….

 

I opened my eyes and realized I was still on the dang runaway!

 

My trip was ruined, I ended up staying up half the 9-hour flight. 

 

But in the midst of the stress, there was a lesson to be learned from it

 

Don’t get too ahead of yourself. 

 

 

*

 

 

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Sky High

 

This is the one part you have no control over whatsoever. Literally, all you can do is sit and occupy your time and let the pilots and steward & Stewardess do their job.

 

There’s always that stage in life, where it seems like you’re just going through the motions. You’re working towards something, but it can often feel redundant. Sometimes it can feel like you’re not making any progress. And as humans, we strive off progress, that’s what keeps us going.

 

When you’re in the air flying, and you have a long flight, it doesn’t feel like you’re moving or really covering any ground, until you get to your destination and you realize is was the complete opposite.

 

Here’s the lesson here:

 

It’s not how many hours you put into what you do, but rather what you put in those hours.

 

 


Landing

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen, Prepare for landing”

 

Those are sacred words when it comes to flying. It means the trip is almost done! 

 

I wish there was that announcement from the good Lord above that told us that our time was about to come. I imagine mine would go something like this.

 

“Aye akeem, just stay strong for two more weeks and then it’s your time my guy! the next week and a half I got to make tough, but don’t worry, you’re good, stay strong. Two weeks!”

 

See, that way I’m prepared. I know in exactly, two weeks I’ll be good!

 

But when you’re sitting in the sky on the plane, you don’t control the landing, you just got to have faith that you’ll get to the ground safely.

 

But you know what, 

sometimes the unknown is our strongest weapon. You don’t know what you don’t know, so you’ll just have to trust what you do and know that you are prepared for what’s to come.
— Akeem Haynes

 

 

 

-      Akeem

Always Bet On Yourself

I think a lot of people believe in themselves, but very few people are willing to risk everything, and put everything on themselves.
— Akeem Haynes
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It’s one thing to believe in yourself, but it’s another thing to bet on yourself. One is talk, and the other is the real deal. We’ve all heard that cliché statement “Put your money, where your mouth is.” In other terms, if you’re really about it, then be about it.

 

 

I think a lot of people believe in themselves, but very few people are willing to risk everything, put everything on themselves. 

 


Here’s the difference:

When you bet on you, you truly invest in yourself. Your faith is fortified because you found a way to see the light in the darkness. You know what you’re capable of because of the work and effort you put into everything you do. You don’t sweat what people say, because you live your truth. You don’t worry who’s against you, because God is with you.

 

You don’t worry about what you can’t control, because you’ve controlled your preparation. You don’t worry about falling, because you’ve fell so much you’ve learned how to get back up.

 

There’s a difference, and that difference, is that no matter who is against you, no matter the odds, no matter the logic, no matter how hard it can be and will get, you are still willing to bet on yourself to overcome it and find a way to progress forward with a positive attitude.


If you are reading this today, Always be willing to bet on yourself, through the highs and more importantly the low’s because no matter what project you are working on, you will always be your greatest investment and lifelong project.

Bet on you.

 

 

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-Akeem

 

 

 

The Past 5 Months

On the other side of fear are many things.  But one of the biggest drivers that always stops me from being afraid is this thing called regret.
— Akeem Haynes

Wait, what month is it?

 

It’s crazy to see how quickly 2018 has come. But then again, not really.  Time really does fly. But we always have to take a moment to enjoy what’s in front of us and how we’ve overcome some of the things that are now behind us. 

 

I've been getting a lot of questions over the past few months, regarding my writing and inconsistent blog posts and also when the next book is coming out, and of course football.

Why the hiatus?

 

And the answer is… (Insert Deep Answer Below)

 

I just have a lot going on right now. Ha!

 

And also, I’ve been doing different things that require a lot of my focus.

 

I think there is a big difference between being productive and being busy. I am busy, but I am also productive.  We often justify putting off the things we don’t want to do but know we need to do by saying we are “too busy.”  Oftentimes, being “too busy” is just an excuse.

 

(Who is this guy trying to tell me stuff, huh?)

 

More blog posts are coming, and so is the next book.

 

Question 2! (Or rather an opinion/comment I’ve been receiving)

 

“Why would you stop running track, when you’ve had so much success, to pursue football? You haven’t played in 8 years.  You won’t be very good.”

 

I guess the best way to answer this question is, “why not?” - For many, it was a surprise. To the people who really know me, it was just a matter of time.

 

Are the odds against me?

 

Of course.

 

Is it crazy?

 

Maybe.

 

Is it going to work out?

 

Maybe?

 

Is it going to be worth it?

 

Without a doubt.

 

Football has always been a dream of mine.  And I’ve always been a dream chaser.  I think most people don’t understand that certain opportunities aren’t always going to be there. I’m not getting any younger.  My body isn’t always going to be that of a 26-year-old. 

 

I can eat a pint of ice cream and my body will recover in 24hrs. (strawberry cheesecake in case you’re wondering)

 

I won’t be able to bounce back like that when I retire from sports. 

 

I am in the peak of my sports career. 

And here’s the other thing.

 

I don’t fear pursing football and failing at it. 

Ak Training.jpg

 

I fear not pursing it and living with the regret, wondering how it would have played out. 

 

On the other side of fear are many things.  But one of the biggest drivers that always stops me from being afraid is this thing called regret.

 

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, things I should have handled better.  But I don’t regret them.  I’ve had great moments, even if they didn’t end well.

 

I’ve learned from everything and tried to become a better person because of it.

 

I’m going to go in and do my absolute best, control what I can, learn everything I can, and give it my all.  I cannot control everything, and I won’t try to.

 

Just a thought.

 

Get around some good, positive, like-minded people.

 

I’m not the first to say this, and I definitely won’t be the last.

 

I’ve learned years ago to go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated. I’m so focused on positivity and progression that I don’t go around people who would drag that down.

 

Life is hard enough as it is, and you don’t need to make it any harder with being around negative minds because you will eventually and most likely consume what you’re around.

 

Whatever your dream is, get around people who have done it before.  Get around people who actually know what they’re talking about it.

 

Use your resources.  With technology nowadays, you can find almost anybody’s work, and most importantly, their interviews. Get out there and tap into how other people think.

 

Your brain is one of the greatest gifts you have.

 

And the one thing about humans is that if you can see it and understand it, you can achieve and create your own version of it.

 

Get around some good people, keep learning, keep reading, and keep growing.

 

Two Types Of Pain

Everybody hurts, everybody goes through something. Everybody. Life doesn’t throw warning signs, its unexpected and pain is pain. But the difference between pain that helps you press forward and the pain that keeps you down, is how you use that pain and the meaning you give behind it.
— Akeem Haynes

*

 

Sometimes bad things just happen. Point blank.

There isn’t always an explanation for why things happen.

We’ve all heard that saying “everything happens for a reason”. And as much true as that is, I believe that statement only applies 99% of the time. There is a 1 % chance that sometimes you just might get the short end of the stick.

 

I don’t mean to be negative or to sound pessimistic. I’m always overly optimistic and positive. But this is reality and that’s how it is sometimes. I was reminded of that this morning when a close friend of mine is going through a tragic moment with his family.

 

One thing I’ve realized, is that when things happen it changes you. There are two types of pain in this world. There is pain that teaches you a lesson, and there is pain that keeps you stuck in the past. But no matter which one, you will still hurt. You will still feel pain.

 

What do you do when you have these encounters with life?, When I was 14 I lost one of the people I cared about the most. I remember it like it was yesterday, I was at a friend’s house getting ready to go to football practice. And my phone rang, and it was my mom, at the beginning I couldn’t really hear what she was saying because she was crying.

 

But what I did make out after she calmed down a bit was this. “Akeem, your grandfather died today”. At the moment my heart froze, but for some reason I wasn’t showing any emotion. I believe it’s called “Shock” ha. I remember grabbing my stuff and heading home.

 

When I got home I dropped my stuff in the house and went and sat on the steps and waited. I feared that the worst was yet to happen. That was my mom’s dad. And I knew she wouldn’t take it well.

 

A few minutes later she came home. And as the car drove away, she saw me sitting on the steps, took 4-5 steps and dropped to her knees and screamed “why”. The only thing I could do, was hold her and let her know that everything was going to be okay.

 

And that’s when it hit me. See I had spoken to him a week before he passed away. And his last words to me was “when are you coming to see me?”. He would always ask me that because I made a promise after my mom and I left Jamaica. And when it hit me, that’s when I realized I broke my promise to him. That’s when I realized that I’d never hear, or see him anymore in my life. I promised him that before he passed away I would come back and see him. And at that moment, I realized that I will never be able to fulfil that promise, for the rest of my life, that will sit on my heart. And that’s when emotions took its course and I broke down in my room at 4am in the morning.

 

THE LESSON IN THE PAIN

 

I wanted to honor him. I wanted some way to apologize to him for not fulfilling that promise. I wanted something for him to see as he looked down on me.

 

The next morning before school, I grabbed a plain white shirt I had, grabbed a sharpie. And stared at the shirt for about 10 minutes and wrote.

 

“RIP Etel Samuels

Forgive me, for I have let you down. But I will never leave this earth without giving everything I have to it. In your name, I will live on this earth and earn and work for every single thing. I won’t let you again.”

 

And then I grabbed a white arm sleeve, and wrote down his name and the year he passed away.

 

I wore that shirt and that sleeve every single high school football game that year. And every time I felt tired, I’d look at that sleeve and found that energy I needed. We ended up winning the high school Championships that year and I ended up breaking the city record for touchdowns, rushing yards, receiving yards, kick return yards and Touch downs. Needless to say, I left everything I had on that field because of the pain that was left in my heart.

 

 

Recycle your pain. Everybody hurts, everybody goes through something. Everybody. Life doesn’t throw warning signs, its unexpected and pain is pain. But the difference between pain that helps you press forward and the pain that keeps you down, is how you use that pain and the meaning you give behind it. I used that pain to motivate me, I used that pain to dig deeper, I used that pain to flip on a switch that said “aye Akeem you got more in you. He’s watching you.”  I recycled my pain.

 

Recycle your pain! Some of you may be hurting right now, you may be going through something at this very moment. Don’t let that pain keep you down. It’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to feel a type of way about things, it’s okay to be down. But it’s not okay to stay there.

 

On the other side of that hurt, and pain is a smile. A new motivation, a new meaning, a new purpose behind why you do what you do.

 

Use your pain to make you better, not bitter. Use the pain to propel you forward, not de-gress your downwards. I know it’s not easy, I know it’s tough. But you must and you need too. There is someone out there that is watching you, there is someone out there looking up to you and saying “she/he is so strong. If they can get through it I know I can do too”.

 

On the other side of pain, is a smile. A smile that someone is watching.

 

And no it won’t be easy, and yes some days will be easier than others. But nonetheless, you got this and you can and will get through it.

 

You will get through it.

 

 

*

 

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Akeem Haynes