motivate

Figure It Out

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

 

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

 

I like what Marcus Aurelius says in the book Meditations:

 

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

 

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

 

Let’s begin, shall we.

 

Experiences + Knowledge + Wisdom + Application =

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

 

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

 

Have you heard this saying before?

“When you know better, you do better.”

 

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

 

Let’s do this:

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

 

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

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

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

 

I smiled and asked him his age.

 

He answered, “Nineteen.”

 

I then said:

 

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

 

He said, “Wait what?”

 

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

 

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

- Akeem

Blog Edited by:Chanelle Price

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

 

 

 

10 Things to Stop Wasting Time on

 

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“If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing." 
~ Margaret Thatcher”

 

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Last night I laid in my bed in the dark with my windows open. For twenty minutes, I just let my mind wonder and take me where it wanted too.

 

I started to think about a time when I was younger, my grandfather would always take me to go and fill a bucket with mangos after church. And during that time with him he would tell me stories of when he was a younger, he would tell me stories about how he met my grandmother, and how his dad use to take him to get mangos when he was my age. As a young kid your focus really isn’t on the stories but more on the mangoes because lets be serious, I was trying to get as many mangoes as I could I didn’t have all day. And as a bonus, he would let me eat as much as I wanted too that day as soon as we got home. I would eat mangoes until I started to feel sick.

However, I always listened even when he thought I wasn’t paying attention. Instantly I started to smile because those are the moments that will always stick with me. Good or bad, those times that bring us a moment of joy will always last a lifetime.

Often times we overlook the small joys of life that bring a smile to our faces and souls, we sometimes waste time on things that we really won’t remember a month from now, let alone a year from now. That’s what gave me the idea for this post.

 

Here are some things that helped me in my own exepreinces:

 

 

 

1). The desire for everything you don’t have. – No, you might not always get everything you want, but oftentimes if you take the time think about the things you do have, you will see that you have more than you need. We all have wants, but let’s not forget that there are lots of people in this world who don’t have what they need to survive everyday life, but you do. You might not have a lot right now, but nonetheless you should always be grateful for the things you do have.

 

2). Worrying about what everyone thinks and says about you. – Don’t take things too seriously. If you take the things people say about you too seriously you will be offended for the rest of your life. People are going to say what they want to say, and think what they want to think, at the end of the day, their words and opinions are just that, opinions. last time I checked opinions aren’t facts.

 

3). Everyone else’s definition of success and happiness. - You simply can’t base your idea of success and happiness on other people’s opinions and expectations. You have to decide what’s important for you, and what keeps the fire inside of you burning. No one can keep that flame alive but you.

 

4). Trying to impress everyone. – Truth is, no matter how you live somebody will be disappointed. That’s just the reality of what it is, one of the most liberating things we learn in life is that we don’t have to like everyone, everyone doesn’t have to like us, and that’s perfectly OK. Live YOUR life for you, and appreciate the ones who support your authenticity.

 

5). All the fears holding you back. – The only way to move past your fears is to face them. Whatever you don’t confront will find new ways to aggravate you over and over again. Oftentimes the best way to gain strength and self-confidence is to do what you’re afraid to do. Breakthroughs happen when you can find the courage to step outside of your comfort zone and step past your fears.

 

6). Holding on to Grudges – Grudges are for those who insist that they are owed something.  Forgiveness, however, is for those who are substantial enough to move on. Holding on to something you have no control over will continue to weigh you down

 

7). Thinking the perfect time will come. – If you always wait for the perfect timing you will miss out on the life you dream about. One day you should be able to look be and say “I really did live life” and not “I wish I would have done that”.  Perfection is a myth, time doesn’t wait, neither should you.

 

8). Regrets – try and do everything you said you would do. Before anything can happen, you must decide that you’re going to try. What will happen will happen along the way, but don’t sit back and watch life happen in front of you and you not have a say in what happens next. Leave no stone unturned, try every possible course of action in order to achieve something. No Regrets.

 

9). Past mistakes – Without a time machine there is no way we can go back in the past. Until one is built, don’t let your past mistakes have you doubting your present and harm your future. We all make mistakes and we all have flaws, the only way to figure out life is to make choices and act on our decisions. They might not always work out, but that’s something we have to live with. At the end of the day life goes on, use your mistakes to help you grow and hopefully help you make better choices for the future. Even though we may make mistakes along the way, we don’t have to be confined by them. Live, learn, and keep it moving.

 

10). Distractions - Be wise enough to walk away from the nonsense around you.  Focus on the positives, and soon the negatives will be harder to see. Always remember that what you pay attention too will grow. Be careful what you give your attention too.

 

Its On You..

Truth be told, time is something we can't get back. What you do with it is on you, but the fact that we cannot get it back should speak volume.  What do you need to prioritize in order to progress? What are you giving more time to that you shouldn't?

Leave a comment below, and share your thoughts.

 

A Convo Between Two Part 1

 

I always get a lot of question, whether it’s from reporters, or kids, or parents, friends, and people in general. I take a lot of pride in giving an honest answer each time, that’s what I will continue to do. I don’t believe in fabricating or gassing up something just because. Now, with that being said “A convo between two” is my way of sharing some of the questions I’ve been asked that turned into a conversation that can be taken in any range. Some of these convos might even be  what's going on instead my head (like you don't talk to yourself, don't judge me). I’m always grateful for good healthy conversations that I can learn something from. People always say that words don't mean anything, but in reality they do. Words can spark something within you at any moment. So with that being said, let’s start!

 

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Reporter: I heard a rather intriguing story about you through the grapevine, that I thought was truly remarkable.

Akeem: Hopefully it’s not anything crazy, ha!

Reporter: I spoke with an old football coach of yours, and he told me that, your first season playing football with the golden hawks, you didn’t get a chance to play due to a medical issue, you weren’t cleared to play in any games, yet you went to practice every day, you put on pads in practice, ran conditioning, did everything that everybody else did, but when it was time to play the game you went into the stands and watched and supported your team. Is that true?

Akeem: aw man, what coach sold me out like this? but yes, that’s true. In every sport, you must go get a physical done just to make sure that everything is okay. Nothing out of the ordinary, you know, regular stuff. But when I went to get the physical done and get checked up, the doctors were checking my heart beat and I guess they found an irregular heartbeat. i wasn’t sure what it meant, I just didn’t quite understand why it stopped me from playing, I mean I’ve been active in sports since I was nine- ten years old, so clearly, I was fine. But yeah, he didn’t clear me to play so I couldn’t play.

Reporter: Most people your age would stop playing right at that moment, they wouldn’t continue going to practice, why did you continue going to practice knowing you couldn’t play? What did you keep practicing?

Akeem:  Honestly, I learned more about football in that one year of not playing, than I did any year playing football. I think when your faced with adversity, you will be exposed to who you really are. Adversity creates your character, and it’s not exactly because of the circumstance, but rather how you respond to that moment that molds your character. I remember that night I talked with my mom, and she asked me what I wanted to do, and I told her I was still going to go as if I was going to play. Looking back at it now, I kept going back because that’s just who I am. Yeah it sucks that I couldn’t play, but my whole life has been a fight. You don’t give yourself a chance to win the fight of life if you stay down when you’ve been knocked down. You will lose every single time if you don’t try and get back up, no matter how hard you’ve been hit, you must get back up. It became bigger than football, I figured later in life I will have something on a way bigger scale that will set me back, and I’ll have to find a way to deal with that, I’ll have to find a way to get back up and keep moving.  

Reporter: “You don’t give yourself a chance to win the fight of life, if you stay down when you’ve been knocked down”. I liked how you worded that. Because it’s true. What’s something else that you learned that year?

Akeem: Patience sucks!!. Man, that was hard for me. To go to every game and watch your team lose by a touch down or field goal, the whole time I’m thinking, “I know I could have gotten us that win today!” little thoughts like that, but I couldn’t change that I had to accept it and deal with it. Patience is something that we have to make an intricate part of our lives,  9 times out of 10, things don’t always exactly work out the way we think it should. It just won’t happen. And we must learn to be okay with that. Learn to take things for what it is, not for how we want them to be. This isn’t like burger king, we can’t always have it our way. I learned to be adaptable and the importance on taking things one day at a time. Everyday won’t always be good, but the goal is to try and have more good days than bad days. And trust me, adversity will test you to see how bad you want what you say you want. So, I suggest forming a marriage with patience among other virtues.

Reporter: Remarkable Akeem, patience is something we all need to work on including myself. Are you sure you’re not older than 24?

Akeem: Haha, I appreciate the comment, I’ve been through a lot of experiences in my life, I try and take something from those moments. Age doesn’t mean much, hardships doesn’t care about your age.

Reporter: You can say that again. Akeem, it’s always a pleasure speaking with you. It’s very liberating and refreshing for me every time we get a chance to talk, I wish you nothing but the best on the track and off the track.

Akeem: It’s my pleasure, and thank you again for the kind words, I always appreciate your sincerity. Means more than you know.