faith

Be Faithful Over Few

Water.jpg
Find something you’re truly passionate about.  I’m not talking about those fake passions where you do it when you feel like it.  I’m talking about that passion that represents your gift, that gift you do effortlessly without even thinking about it. 
— Akeem Haynes

 

There are times when we get caught up in the comparison complex. 

You know, that moment when it seems like things aren’t happening for you, or when you feel like you’re making no headway despite how much effort you’re putting in.

 That in and of itself can be draining and have you feeling discouraged.  There are many feelings in this world that can have us feeling down, and discouragement is definitely one of them.  When we become discouraged, we often suppress our feelings, and that discouragement can easily turn into bitterness and anger.   And, no matter where we direct these emotions, they always seem to come back to us and leave us feeling even worse.

 

How does one avoid this?

I’m glad you asked.  Great question by the way!

 

“Be faithful with a few things, and I will put you in charge of many things.” 

– MT 25:23

 

 —>

Before good things can come into your life, you must first be grateful for all that you already have.  Literally, take a moment, and look at what you have.  Whether you’re starting a business or trying to expand in an area or pursuing a dream, whatever aspiration that you have, you must first appreciate where you’re currently at in your journey.  

 

Once you acknowledge where you are, don’t look at the huge mountain in front of you.  Think about what the first few steps up the mountain will look like and be courageous enough to take them.   Break down that mountain and start climbing it one step at a time.

 

Trying to start a podcast?  You don’t need a mic to start.  Get some headphones, find a quiet space, and start speaking into your phone as if thousands are listening.

 

Trying to write a book?– Start with writing a page a day. Just one.  If you’re having a hard time committing to one page, write half a page. If that’s tough as well, commit to writing two or three times a week.  Be consistent and watch how much it adds up over time.

 

Trying to start a business?– Find something you’re truly passionate about.  I’m not talking about those fake passions where you do it when you feel like it.  I’m talking about that passion that represents your gift, that gift you do effortlessly without even thinking about it. Figure out what that gift is for you, develop a plan around it, and then figure out how you can turn it into a business. 

 

I could go on and on, but here’s my point:

 

Before anything can grow, you have to water the soil that’s in front of you.   You have to keep your ears open, your eyes locked in, and your head up so you can see where you’re going.

 

In due time, because you have been faithful with growing what you have, the Good Lord will elevate you to the level you’ve always dreamed of. 

 

You got this. 

 

Love, 

 

AK

 

You Can't Fall Off The Floor

Akeem-Haynes-3.jpg
I’ve realized it’s not the initial hit in life that keeps people stuck on the floor.  It’s the redundant thought of getting back up over and over and over again and possibly not have anything to show for it.
— Akeem Haynes

I was listening to a podcast featuring the CEO of Atom Factory, Troy Carter.  At one point, Troy was also the manager for hip-hop artist Eve and pop artist Lady Gaga.

 He’s a pretty well-known guy in the grand scheme of things.

 While his success was highlighted on the podcast, I drew towards his struggle and the moments that almost broke him.

 There was a part where he said, “My mother-in-law and my wife pawned their wedding rings so we could keep the house.”

 I felt every piece of that! 

 But what he said next made me reflect back on my own life.

 “It’s hard to fall lower than rock bottom.  After a certain point you realize that you can’t fall off the floor.”

 Powerful stuff.

 You may be on the floor right now, like really be on the floor. 

 I’m not sure what you’re going through or what you’re dealing with at this present season in your life.

 But let me share this- in order to physically get up you must first get up mentally and then emotionally.  Life often hits you without sending warning shots, and life’s blows don’t compromise any power.  Have you ever taken a blow so bad it felt like Mike Tyson himself delivered the blow?  I haven’t taken a hit by Mike, but I’ve seen videos . . . and it looks bad . . . realllllll bad.  

 Just like any blow, how do you pick yourself up after that?!

 I’ve realized it’s not the initial hit in life that keeps people stuck on the floor.  It’s the redundant thought of getting back up over and over and over again and possibly not have anything to show for it.

 I get it.   I wouldn’t blame anyone for stopping or letting the fight go. 

 However, I’ve also realized that more times than none, if you can find a way to be steadfast in your preparation and envision endless possibilities of what’s to come, you can keep finding a reason to get back up.  You don’t have to win every round to win the fight. 

 Take a breath.  Take a moment to be aware of everything around you.

 

Don’t focus on how much more you have to go.  Rather, focus on the strength you have and the direction you intend to move toward for the day. 

 

Every stage is necessary.  Even the toughest days we face serve a purpose for the next chapter in our lives.

 

Sometimes the only way to get ahead is to take a step backwards.  Oftentimes we just need a change of perspective to re-adjust the plan and press forward in a new direction. The plan may change, but the mission is still the same.

 

Keep pushing, keep striving, and fight the battles of today.

 

 

 

 

After all, you can’t fall off the floor.

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.

hero_Collateral-Beauty-2016-2.jpg

 

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

collateral-beauty-will-smith.jpg

 

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!

collateral_beauty_will_smith_helen_mirren_still_h_2016.jpg

 

 

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.”

b2216d5c8f29a24d1eb20a763bfb8320.jpg

 

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

The Race Is Not Given to The Swift

T & The hair.jpg
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 #2

Just Keep Walking

ws_Stretched_Road_1920x1080.jpg

 

 

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.

Sunday Reminder #1

IMG_4400.JPG

 

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

A Convo Between Two part 2-1

 

I’ve had the privilege of being involved meeting many different interesting people, and in this interview, I spoke to a reporter about the importance of owning your own personal story, he’s an established man in his own rights and we spoke for about an hour or so. Funny thing was the interview was only twenty minutes so we spent forty minutes off air just talking about everything. So, without rambling, here is a bit of how this conversation went.

 

.

 

.

 

.

 

Reporter: Here is what just crossed my mind. I haven’t seen you in person for a year now, but I’ve known you for five years now. I’ve watched you throughout high school when you were still a teenager, and now you have a full Goatee!

 

Akeem: haha! Man thank you for acknowledging that. People stay hating on my facial hair growth. It’s been a long time coming! I still can’t grow a beard though.

 

Reporter: I see everything. Now, A few years ago, I spoke with your mom Kim, and I asked her a question. I asked her “What does she see when she sees her son coming up to her?”. Do you know what she said?

 

Akeem: ah man, I have no idea.

 

Reporter: she said, “When I see Akeem, I think of hope.” Why do you think that is? What do you see yourself as?

 

Akeem: I don’t see myself as anything special by any means. But I do know that I have more responsibility than most people my age. As far as the word hope goes, yeah. I think that’s what I’ve always tried to represent. A sign of hope. Hope from a common ground. Yeah, I think that goes with me.

 

Reporter: I agree with her, I think hope is something that sticks with you. Like you, I was born in Jamaica myself, I wouldn’t say I grew up poor but we didn’t have much extra, at a young age my father would say to me, “A person needs to do more for themselves than anybody can do for them” and I didn’t understand why he was telling me this until I got older, and I realized that for the most part you are in control of your own life, yes you can’t control everything, but you can always control how you respond. To gain a certain amount of success, what do you think is one or two things you must do?

 

Akeem: Westmoreland Stand up!

 

Reporter: Yes bredda!

 

Akeem: You know, I’m no life guru or coach or any of that. But I think the main thing, is you must own your story. You must look at what’s going on in your circumstance and situations, and you must decide if you’re sick and tired of being where you are and what you’re going to do to change that. It all starts with a decision. Now of course once you decide that, it doesn’t mean life won’t punch you in the face, in fact that’s probably what’s going to happen sooner than later, all you can do when you decide, is say to yourself “no matter what, I’m going to get through this”.

 

Reporter: When you say owning your story, why do you think others don’t own theirs? Is it a bad thing if they don’t?

 

Akeem: There is this notion of “what’s cool “in society. Most people are trying to compete about who has it harder and sometimes I think people create this image of what they wish it was like instead of the reality of what it is. For someone who’s been through hard ships I can say first hand it’s not cool. It’s not cool to have one meal a day if that. It’s not cool to wake up without heat or lights or hot water in the house, it’s not cool to get kicked out of your home, it’s not cool to be homeless, Mark my words there's nothing fun about any of that. The story of “growing up with nothing and making it’ is extremely interesting, people have some remarkable stories out there, but struggling isn't fun, to the ones who haven’t grown up in it, be thankful and appreciate what you have. Every story is significant, we all just have different experiences. But for me, However, I wouldn’t change a single thing.

 

Reporter: You mentioned “Making it”. Did you always know there would be brighter days ahead? Most people say they do, but did you?

 

Akeem: I wouldn’t say I always believed, but I always had faith that it would get better. It’s hard man, cause when you’re going through something, it’s hard to focus on anything else other than that. But I’ve always had faith that it would get better, the funny thing about believing something is that it takes practice, like anything else, it takes practice to believe something will work out. But faith is seeing something even if you can’t make out the picture. So, I held my faith close to my heart until progress showed me how to believe.

 

Reporter: “I held my faith close to my heart until progress showed me how to believe”. I don’t think there is anything else that needs to be said.

 

Part 2 To be Continued…