foodforthought

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
akpicJPG.JPG

 

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:

 +

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

Thirty Shades Of Truths

 

 

beautiful-black-and-white-pictures-11.jpg

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

 

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
win-risk-lose-bet-yourself.jpg

 

 

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.

 

 

dice.jpg

-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.

 

9 Ways To Make The Most Out Of Your Life

______________________________________________________________

There is no easy way out of our circumstances. Sometimes you stick it out even when you want to give up because you know that on the other side is either a better situation or a better you.
-Krissi Dallas

______________________________________________________________

 

 

Life is unpredictable. Throughout the years, I've realized that a lot of the times, things never really turn out exactly like how we imagined it in our heads. Along the way something happens and we have to figure out why it happened and how we can get back on the right track. That's what makes life interesting isn't it? Very few things are certain or permanent. But it is in life's uncertainties that make us search for the things that will bring us happiness. 

 

No matter what, we have to find ways to make the most out of what comes our way and face the challenges that appear in front of us when we least expect it.

 

Always remember that even though we don't control the cards we are dealt, we can always control the cards that we play in our hands. 

 

Here are some ways to make the most out of each day;

 

1.   Wake Up And Be Grateful

 Focus on the things you are thankful for rather than the problems you are facing. Somedays will be tougher than others, but if you focus on the positives each day you wake up, the negatives will eventually get a little harder to see. I’m not saying the negatives won’t come, because they will, but your gratitude will help you look past the negatives and focus on the positives. Always remember, what you pay attention to grows.

2.   Engage In Purposeful Work  

 If it's something you enjoy, you probably won't consider it work. That's a great feeling, in reality, not many people can say that they are doing something they truly enjoy doing. Life is too short to not be involved with things you enjoy doing in everyday life. Even if it’s for a few moments out of your day, do something today that makes you feel good inside. And once you start today, I hope you have the courage to do it again the next day, and then the day after that. 

 

3.   Take Time To Be Still

This is something that I'm working on myself. I'm guilty of always doing something, and often-times I over work myself and put more stress on my mind and body. However, I'm learning not to overdo it, and to relax a bit and enjoy the down days. Oftentimes I need personal reminders than I'm not a robot. After all, even robots need to reset and update sometimes. Consider this your own self re-boot button. Sometimes less is more. 

4. Never Forget What You Represent

 The late Maya Angelou has a quote that says, "I come as one, but stand with 1000". Life's journey cannot be travelled alone, at some point someone has poured into you, someone has prayed for you and is still praying for you when you’re not praying for yourself. When you look at the things you've been through in your life, what is the main word that comes to your mind? What is one word that represents you the best? think about that. You must know what you represent in this world. If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. 

 

5. Don’t Take Everything Personal

You can’t take everything too serious, because if you do, you will be offended for the rest of your life. Don’t get caught up in this, pick your battles wisely. You honestly don’t have to attend every battle your invited too. It’s better to have peace within yourself than to be right for the wrong reasons.

6. Chase After Your Dreams

Everyone has a dream, and I truly believe that no dream is too big. And if you think your dream is too big I hope in reading this you realize differently. The last chapter of my book in Fear, Faith & Fruition. Is entitled Navy Seal, and the reason why I picked that title Is because I think navy seals are mentally some of the strongest people to walk this earth. They make up their mind before the mission starts that they are going to do whatever it takes no matter what to complete their task, and only when that task is complete can they rest and put their focus on something else. Even when they have setbacks, even when they have to take alternate routes, they adjust and create a new plan and then attack it with the same intensity. Like a navy seal, it’s imperative that you instill that mindset and go after your dreams and all that you desire. Mistakes will happen, you will fail, and you will fall on many of occasions. But you must get back up and create a new plan and continue to attack with the same intensity. That is how dreams are achieved. You won’t achieve anything if you aren’t willing to risk finding out how far you can and will go to achieve them.  As best selling author John Maxwell said, “Dreams don’t work unless you do”.

7. Find Your Why

Author Simon Sinek in his book “Start with why” says, “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. There are certain questions that you must ask yourself. And I think above all, we must always start with why. This is a powerful reasoning because I truly believe with a strong enough reason behind something, you will find a way to preserve and stretch yourself beyond what you ever thought you could. However, your why has to be deeper than external forces. If your why is based on something that is materialistic, you will not last. Because materialistic things can always be replaced and will often lead to settling for less than what you wanted. A why must be linked to what’s in your heart. When your why comes from deep within, you will try that much harder to breakdown every barrier than stands in your way. Figure out your why, and let it push and guide you each step of the way.

8. Keep Things In Perspective

Often, it's how we look at things that makes the biggest difference in how we react to circumstances. This is something that I’ve been working on the past few years much more closely myself. We always have to keep things in perspective. Because life is unpredictable and even when you know what’s next you never really know how it’s going to play out in your favor. Be aware, stay open to change. It’s not always about what’s in front of you, it’s about how you value what’s in front of you. Alphonse Karr says. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses”.

9. Sort Out Your Priorities  

 What you focus on grows stronger in your life.  At every moment, millions of little things compete for your attention. But at the end of the day, you can’t do everything that pops up in front of you. Whether you want to admit it or not, we work on high priority schedule. When something needs to get done, we do it. When something is due later, it gets done later. Understand that there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. Try not to confuse motion with progress. Make room for the things that are important to you, the things that are going to help you achieve your goals and aspirations. Sometimes this is going to mean saying no to the things you WANT to do, and yes to the things you NEED to do. 

 

Its On You..

Make the most out of each day. No day is promised and no day will ever be the same again. So you might as well find a way to live it fully and with full intentions. Everyday won't be perfect and it won't always be good.  Focus on having more good days than bad days and control what you can and don't waste energy on what you can't. And like August wilson says in his world renown play fences. "you've got to take the crooked with the straights."