Friday, October 5, 2012

Food For Thought: Life is Easy

Whoever thought of the phrase life is not easy was definitely a genius. We live in a world where we are told how to act, what to wear, and who to believe in, that we tend to forget our true selves. All we want is to fit in and be accepted by our peers so we choose to walk through fire to be liked.

Doesn't it seem harder to try and fit in then just being ourselves? Think about it...Your wasting your time watching these shows you don't like in order to be up to date on the latest TV gossip. You wear all this makeup in hopes to look like the woman in the magazines. You spend all your money keeping up with the latest technology and fashion. Without those things who would you be?

If someone decides not to like you based on your beliefs and decisions to better yourself, then chances are they were never your friends in the first place. It's good for you to know now before their true colors actually show.

We have to take out the NOT so the phrase will stand as Life is Easy. The only way life can be easy is by finding our true selves. This is not going to come from a TV show or with money, but from within ourselves. The best thing about finding your true self is it's free to do!

What can we do to find our true selves?

1.      Meditate- Get away from all the stresses in your world and go on a journey to find your inner self. You would be surprised how little a problem might seem after 5 minutes of meditation.

2.      Listen to your Gut- That vibe and gut reaction your feeling is happening for a reason. Listen to it even if your friends and family are pulling you in a different direction. Sometimes what is good for them is not good for you.

3.      Reconnect With Nature- Take a break from your schedule and enjoy the beauty that the world has to offer. We often spend too much time looking down at our phones than looking up at the sky.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I was talking on the phone yesterday with one of my friends that I haven’t heard from in a while.  He was lost in the world of drinking and drugging.  I honestly loved him too much to see him messing up his life.   We talked for a while about the things he’s been through and how he is leaving behind the people who were enabling his addiction.  It took him a while to realize he was in a bad place in life and knew he would never be able to get back the precious time that was wasted.  Even though he did waste time he continued to say, “At least now I know I have a chance to change my life and make it better.”

How many of us think that it’s too late to get out of the situation we’re in?  Whether it’s a dull job, a bad relationship, or hanging with a bad crowd; It’s hard for us to believe that the grass is greener on the other side.  Sometimes we give ourselves excuses as to why we need to stay in these situations such as “I have been here for so long.  This is all I know and nothing will be any better.”  We use excuses as a shield to cope with the situations we are in.  Excuse in my dictionary is a sugar coated substitute word for fear.
We fear change.  We fear the unknown because it is such a mystery and nothing is guaranteed, so we choose to stay with what we know.  Fear is a human emotion so of course we will run into it from time to time but God gave us another F word to conquer fear called FAITH.  Having faith gives us the power over fear.  With faith we believe that everything will eventually work out and we will become better people in the process.

It’s never too late to turn the page and start a new chapter in your life.  We can’t look to our friends and family, or other outside influences to do the changing for us. The change has to come from within ourselves taking a stand demanding enough is enough; I refuse to live like this.  Once you do start your next chapter you will begin to discover a new ability to change the lives of other people based on your story.  God has a plan for all of us.  He already knew the pitfalls and shortcomings we will experience before we even knew them ourselves. He uses those pitfalls and shortcomings as fuel for us to help guide other people out of their own dark pits.
I was so glad to hear from my friend yesterday.  Knowing what he’s been through and seeing how he would act out, I can tell he is growing mentally and spiritually.  There’s still a lot of growing to do but when he is good and able my friend wants to help out troubled youth in not making the same decisions he made in his life.  His story, combined with the countless number of stories out there gives me motivation and hope that the world can be a better place. 

We are not perfect, thank God for that!  If we were then what would we learn.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

World Humanitarian Day

Today we celebrate World Humanitarian Day.  This is a day where we raise awareness on various humanitarian causes around the world and find ways to get involved.  The day is also set up to honor the workers and those who died in the process to promote humanitarian change.  Today I urge you to become more aware of the issues that plague our beautiful planet and find a way to contribute.  Whether its spending your time, money, or spreading awareness, anything is better than nothing.  To celebrate World Humanitarian Day, Beyonce has released a new music video called, "I Was Here" from her album 4.  Check it out below and find ways to support the cause.


Don't know where to start?  Check out to find out ways you can get involved.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Christmas in July

I know the last thing you are thinking about this July is Christmas.  Why would you, it's 5 months away, right?  Christmas is the time of year when we tend to drastically go over our income.  The average American spends 40% more than what they earn during the holiday's.  The excuse we give ourselves to cope with the spending is, "Hey, its Christmas....I only do this once a year.", or "I want to show how much I love them."  So we spend our whole paychecks on gifts and when that is not enough we turn to the all mighty credit card to save the day. 
Here are some holiday statistics brought to you by
  • Americans spend $525 billion over the holiday season.
  • The average American spends a little under $1,200 during the holidays which includes gifts, food, and travel.
  • 23% of the $1,200 spent is paid through credit cards.
  • 1 out of 3 bankruptcies filed in March sited overspending on Christmas.
Is this what Christmas is really about?  Spoiling our kids with gifts we can't afford.  Are they even playing with the gifts that we bought them on Christmas today?  Do we really need to be competing with others to see who receives the best presents and buys the most expensive gifts?

Instead lets give gifts this Christmas that will touch people's hearts rather than damaging our wallets.  Find out what they really need in their life instead of what they want.  I rather my girlfriend give me boxers, socks, and wife-beaters for Christmas (I really need those) instead of going broke buying me that 50" 3-D flat screen TV that I want.  In this case I would be happy, she would be happy that I'm happy, and of course her wallet might even be happier.

But if you are the type that has to buy a lot of presents here are some tips:
  • Start Saving Money Today- People tend to spend the money that they make during November and December for the holidays.  Try to put money away now so when December comes you do not have to use all of your current monthly income on presents.  If you can save $50 a month for Christmas that is $250 you are starting with on your holiday budget.
  • Make a List- Make a list of the people you plan to give gifts to and also what type of gift you are planning to give them.  Start to research the price of the gift and then add up the cost of all the gifts together.  Maybe you can find something cheaper now then if you wait to buy it during the holiday's.
  • Secret Santa- Sometimes it could be a hassle to give all your co-workers or all your aunts, uncles, and cousins a gift.  Why not start a secret Santa?  This is when members of a group secretly give a present to a person that they are randomly assigned to.  You can set a price limit on how much you can spend on the gift.  In the end everyone will not feel left out if you do not give them a gift.
  • DO NOT USE YOUR CREDIT CARD!!!- This is the last but most important tip that I can give you.  The bottom line is you can not afford the gift you want to buy if you are thinking about using the credit card.  People usually spend 112% more when using their credit card than what they would if paid in cash.  How is this possible?  Buying that $500 Ipad on your credit card might make you feel happy in the short term but with the average credit card interest rate at about 15%, you have just added close to an extra $100 to your purchase.  So stay away from the credit cards during the holidays, no purchase is worth it. 


Sunday, July 22, 2012

College Grads Facing the Employment Blues

"Everyone keeps crossing their fingers for a new burst of hiring. And for those just starting out, a crystal ball would certainly help steer them on the right path.  But fortune tellers and fairy godmothers seem absent from the job-forecasting business, leaving some recent college grads regretting their choice of studies and wishing they had prepared for a "more practical" profession"

Say goodbye to the days where receiving that career job after college was a for sure bet.   Elizabeth G. Olson writes about the effects of the economy on recent graduates.  In order to survive in today's world we must adjust to the times.  If your about to go or are currently in college, begin researching the starting salary of the position you wish to be employed in.  Also, come back down to earth if you think your graduating college making a six figure salary.  But there is a silver lining within the job market.  Check out which job industries have been growing and are expected to grow till 2020. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Your Independence Day

Hello and Happy Independence Day! I know everyone will be enjoying the beaches, barbecue's, and fireworks on this beautiful day. July 4th is an important time in American society being that 236 years ago we broke away from the powers that held us back to usher in a new world, a new set of ideas and freedoms. Who would have known back in 1776 that the New World would be like it is today. No one could have imagined that America would be the most powerful country on the planet.

The founding fathers and our ancestors before us knew there was something wrong with the livelihood in which they were living. They had the courage to fight against the normalities they were accustomed to in hopes of a better world for themselves and future generations.

We all know there is something in our lives that might hold us back from reaching our full potential. Whether it's our friends, our livelihoods, or our careers. These troubles have always been around in our lives and we think that because they've been there for so long, we have to get use to living with it until we die. My friends, I would like to be the one to tell you how wrong you are. If our ancestors thought that way we would be drinking tea on this July 4th day instead of celebrating our Independence.

We must have courage to fight the norms of our everyday lives in hopes of a better future. Of course its not going to be easy, you know how many people died in the war against the British in our quest for Independence? Their deaths do not go in vain neither do your pitfalls along the way, for they are just moments to build your character for a better you. Through belief in a brighter future and faith that you will get to where you are going when the time is right, you will achieve what you set out to accomplish plus more. America just wanted to be broken off from Britain's authoritative rule and now they come to us looking for advice.

You already know what is holding you back from being the person you want to become. Today I challenge you to take the step and have the courage to fight for that goal, your dream, your belief. Nothing worthwhile in this world comes easy so embrace the struggles as character building lessons instead of giving up. Envision what you want to be and when the time is right you will become it. So celebrate life today knowing that a better you is just around the corner. Today, celebrate your Independence Day!

God Bless!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kicking the Habit

It is nothing new to know that we as humans are creatures of habit. What we might not know is that our spending is what paves the way for our habits to flourish. We are stuck in our ways and we vouch for them by saying, “This is how I always been and this is how I always will be.” By saying these words and spending that money we are unconsciously setting ourselves up for failure. Your words tell your brain that this habit will never change so you become a slave to your habit using money to fund them; until you hit that wall.

That cigarette you've been smoking has caused breathing problems and now you are dangerously unhealthy. That restaurant and take out food has caused you to be obese and more depressed. The shopping habit has caused you to be in a lot of debt and fearful of opening your bills. These habits are short term feel good remedies that has a significantly negative side effect when things come crashing down.

We need to be in control of our habits and not let them control us. The way we control them is by controlling our spending. Lets say a pack of cigarettes cost $6. If your a pack a day smoker you are wasting over $2,000 a year buying cigarettes. If you spend $7 a day eating out for lunch you are wasting over $1,800 a year. This is money that can be put into better use rather than damaging your body and wallet.


What is your habit? It could be anything from going out partying to having weekly visits at the movie theaters.  Whatever it is I want you to figure out how much money you spend on the habit. Find out the weekly or monthly cost for your habit then multiply the answer by 52 (the amount of weeks in a year) if your figuring the cost weekly or multiply by 12 if your figuring the cost monthly. The answer you receive will be the yearly amount of money you spend on the habit.

Now think about what you can do if that extra money was in your account. Would you use it to go on vacation, pay off debt, put a down payment on a car? Now find a picture that best represents your dream and paste it onto a shoebox. The shoebox and picture; or what I like to call a Dreambox are there to suppress the habit reminding you of your dream that you want to accomplish with the money from your habit.

Put the money you would be spending on the habit each day, week, or month into the Dreambox. So if your spending $50 a week at the bar take the $50 you would spend if you went and deposit it into the Dreambox each week.

Your new habit will now become saving for your dream. You will soon come to realize those habits do not define who you are and the reward for finding that out is making your dream come true. So I challenge each and everyone of you to think of a habit you would like to kick. Think of the money you would save if the habit was gone. Make a Dreambox and start the journey of building a better you.