Category Archives: Authentic

Roll ‘Em

The thing that I feel the most lucky and thankful for is my family and friends. But, a close second is that I get to wake up and love every second of what I do for work every day!

It’s easy to follow society’s plan, It goes something like this..

  1. Schooling
  2. Secondary Schooling
  3. Job/Career
  4. Find a Mate/Partner
  5. Co-Habitate
  6. Pets
  7. Pro-Create
  8. Save money
  9. Raise Family
  10. Retire
  11. Eventually punch the ticket..

While all of that sounds great it also sound a little cookie cutter and boring to the opportunistic mind of me and others like me. There are so many things each person should attempt to experience but in order to experience different is to explore different, think different, believe different and want different.

I believe I am different and therefore I behave differently resulting in a different sort of life experience for me. I am both happy and nervous by this state of being but that’s the point. Being nervous isn’t something society says is ok. We are supposed to make comfortable, calculated decisions for everything, REALLY? Nah! I say NAY!

I say make safe decisions and risky decisions combined. Put yourself in a situation to live differently than everyone else. Does that mean go out and buy a Lamborghini? Well maybe but that’s not my point. My point is to try things outside your comfort zone and you just might make your comfort zone a bit bigger.

Make a list of things you would like to try but never have and how you could try them safely. Then implement that list and try one at a time, see if anything changes?

Let me know what your list looks like!

“The only way that we can live, is if we grow. The only way that we can grow is if we change. The only way that we can change is if we learn. The only way we can learn is if we are exposed. And the only way that we can become exposed is if we throw ourselves out into the open. Do it. Throw yourself.”

~ C. JoyBell C.

 

11:11 & 11:11

With Thanksgiving just around the corner I started thinking about something that I do everyday and I feel pretty confident in assuming most of you out there do it too!

There is a fascination with 11:11 that many of us engage in and I’m pretty sure we don’t even know where it came from. According to Wiki there are a few different ideas as to what it is and what it means. Mostly revolving around superstitions, 11:11 to most of us has become a universal time to make a wish! You will see people locating the time and calling attention to it for those around to join in on making a wish together.

I don’t have any positive or negative opinions about this small phenomenon, rather I would like to add to it. What I began doing a few years ago was getting the most that I could out of the entertaining superstition and using the two 11:11’s that I see in my day for two different purposes.

If you know anything about me then you know I #MakeMoves and I’m constantly trying to raise the awareness of what joys and experiences we get to live daily! I feel that we can sometimes be a spoiled society, forget how well we might have things and get caught up on what we think we need or even sometimes what we think we deserve.

Myself included, I am regularly reminding myself of where I came from and what others have and more importantly, what others may not have. It’s a reality beyond my control and while I see the reasons for some misfortune I still use it to spawn a little humility for me.

So how does this apply to 11:11?

Well what I do is use 11:11 (am) as my time to make a wish. A more traditional new pair of shoes, maybe we are bidding for an event and I’m hopeful that we can beat out competition, etc.

But for 11:11 (pm) I started thinking of something I am GRATEFUL for… Maybe for a friend I have, a movie I recently saw, a new thing I learned, a place I went for the first time. There is a large list of things I can wish for and I take that opportunity every chance I get!

However that PM comes and I look to acknowledge something that I am lucky to have or anything I can be happy about. What’s cool about it is that it doesn’t have to be something taking place AT that time. Just anything I have encountered that day or in recent days that comes to mind.

I hope you try it out and see what comes up when you think of what you’re GRATEFUL for – I think it’s a great way to revisit what makes you work and things that help you on a daily basis.

Keep a balance. It’s necessary to have wishes and wants no matter how silly they may seem to others. Dreams, wishing and wanting is behind a lot of the drive that got me here. But remembering what I’m GRATEFUL for helps me stay focused on the important things…

Trust me there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for, it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with a list. This practice keeps me humble and appreciative of the things that I DO have and doesn’t allow me to get lost in Wants and Desires.

#MakeMoves #1111

6 Rules to Live Life

This isn’t really a movie review, but you can probably see I got something out of it and I think you should definitely check it out. It was one of those things.. I’m watching it and then I heard a line, cleaned my ear out and was like, “say what?!”

That sh*t was real!

The movie is People Like Us starring Chris Pine, Michelle Pfeiffer, Olivia Wilde, Elizabeth Banks and Jon Favreau. The cast should be enough for you all to watch it 😉 Real quick, the movie is about Chris Pine’s return home after his father dies and he finds out about a sister he never knew he had. Craziness ensues.

Seriously though: great talent, deep film, legit life lessons.

The following are 6 quotes from the movie that made an impact on me and I hope they will for all of you. I don’t want to add my own comments because I think they speak loudly on their own. Instead, I hope it sparks a discussion between us and between you and whoever friend/coworker/spouse, etc.

1) If you like something because you think other people will, it’s a sure bet that nobody will.

2) Most doors in the world are closed so if you find one that you want to get into, you sure as hell better have an interesting knock.

3) Everything that you think is important isn’t, and everything that you think isn’t important, is.

4) Don’t shit where you eat.

5) Lean into it, outcome doesn’t matter, be there for it.

6) Never sleep with someone who has more problems than you.

#NuffSaid Share this post on FB, Twitter, Pinterest. COMMENT. Let me know what YOU think!

Previous Posts related to Movies:

Movie Review: World War Z

Top Ten Worst Jobs In or On a Movie

Black Swan

MakeMoves: Post Roundup

I thought it might be cool to do a “roundup” post to make it easier to find certain types of posts. Today, I’m linking all of my Make Moves posts to really take all the work out of it for you 😉

MakeMoves – Straight to the point. Droppin knowledge. #MakeMoves.

How Do You Challenge Yourself to #MakeMoves? How do you challenge yourself? I write a lot about #MakeMoves and how I strive everyday to accomplish as much as i can and live as much as possible. But, how do I do that everyDAY? How do you?

Live, Laugh, Love – Looking to Summer 2013  A post to get the Summer started on the right track. But, useful for any time of year.

How to Start Making Moves with a TED Talk TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. There are a series of “talks” which are videos of speakers on the widest range of topics and each talk ranges from 3 min to 20 min. Let this one motivate you!

New Strategies for Every Excuse – I’m constantly reflecting on ways to make the most out of my day, my life, my company and I think the biggest thing I run into when I discuss #MakingMoves with others is that they don’t know how to start or where to start.

For some other reading/watching check out:

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die TED Talk 

Malcolm Gladwell: The unheard story of David and Goliath TED Talk (also new book of the same name out in stores)

The 25 Commandments of Self-Improvement from ThoughtCatalog

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As always let me know what YOU think!?!?!

Coming of Age

As I read through past blogs and notes, random thoughts and feelings I often wonder where I’m gonna end up. What’s at the end of my rainbow (or journey to sound more masculine 😉 ?) Am I gonna reach my full potential? Will I find a woman that takes my breath away like in the movies,) will I inspire thousands by teaching them to dance in Street Feet or to MakeMoves? Will I have a family of little Kupahs running about gnawing at my ankles? Who knows?!

What I have learned in my 30 year tenure is that no matter what I think I know… Two years pass and I realize all of the things I DIDN’T KNOW. Looking back: 20-22 clueless, 23-26 moron and & 28-30 infant! What’s exciting about this is that I’m always learning new things that allow me to take a step back and recognize my own growth. We are all today’s sum of past variables; and it’s important to remember that when making present decisions for tomorrow…

This thought came to me just about a year ago and I have been developing this for some time now.

The platform: First, you have to acknowledge the fact that you know more now/today than you did yesterday. Seems obvious right? Well take a second and think about how many times you have dated the same idiot, ate the same unhealthy thing, or landed yourself in the same financial stress after swearing you would never do THAT again? Well there you go.

The idea: To have a conversation with yourself today, from tomorrow’s you. You wanna read that through again? No problem! Try to think about what a Tomorrow’s version of you would say to a Today’s version of you. Take that advice and live it today for a better tomorrow. Don’t worry I’m gonna give examples.

Typically the worries of youth are whims of the old. What this means is that worldly problems of the inexperienced aren’t usually viewed the same by the mature. Just think of what it would be like if you told you what to do. Helping you steer clear of that girl/guy, take that job, buy that dress, pay that ticket, see that movie, or take that trip. There are some serious things too like, take on that mortgage, move to that place, see family more, invest in stocks (this I do NOT DO), or plan for your retirement instead of Foxwoods! These are some ideas and things I introduce to you from my mind and experience to yours.

I encourage you to take this trip and have this conversation with yourself. Challenge your own thinking and educate yourself from within. See what happens and let me know what things you have taught yourself, FROM YOURSELF!

Hope to hear some of those thoughts! #MAKEmoves

 

Some Days

Some days I want to be you

Some days I want what you have

Some days I wanna know who you know

Some days I wanna know what you know

 

Some days I want as much as you

Some days I wish I was

Some days I want to be there

Some days I think about it

Some days I wanna be part of it

Some days I wish I tried harder

Some days I own it

Some days are BAM!

Some days are UGH!

Some days I wish I found her

Some days I wish she found me

Some days I wish I didn’t

Some days I wish I did

Some days I wish I found

Some days I wish I kept

Some days I wish it was enough

Some days I think it’s too much…

There are days when I wish I could do something else, be someone else, live another life and then, I wake up and realize I have everything I could ever want right now in THESE days! I’m not cursed by wants, wishes & desires. I’m blessed by drive, ambition & direction. It is natural to want what you DON’T have but it is your LIFE to own and appreciate what you DO have.

#MakeMoves #NoNoise #KjSay

 

 

Kupah James 101: Handling Critics

In this world you have many different types of people: People with different personalities, views, thoughts and motivators. These people do not always get along and the reasons for this are as complicated as the variety of personalities that are out there.

Most of you that read my blog have hopefully, at some point, been moved, inspired and maybe even learned something new and exciting about yourself? That is the sole purpose of my blog and I’m so thankful to read some of your responses and comments via, text, email etc. because you are all making moves you are engaging yourselves into a new way of thinking and gaining momentum in a positive direction. Taking my thoughts to another level and making them your own actions is such an amazing feeling and iI’m encouraged to keep the positivity flowing while we spread this movement forward.

As you continue to grow and enhance your own lifestyle or work ethic you may notice that others around you will not always share in your new excitement. Confusion might strike as to why you are different “all of the sudden.” For example, if you radically change jobs for which you are required to be up earlier than normal, some friends will protest your new curfew and pressure you to stay with what’s “normal.” Or if you find yourself in a new relationship and can’t play with the homies everyday, there may be some tension towards the new boyfriend or girlfriend because of your absences.

I’m going to over generalize these groups of individuals as “Critics.” Critics are a person or persons who are not willing to grow WITH you, alongside you. Instead they could become jealous of your new direction, confused by your new behavior and take it as a personal insult. You might hear things like “You’ve been different since” or “All of the sudden you’re” maybe even “what happened to the old you.”

These are hurtful things to say to a person you care about and what you must understand is that they (critics) could be saying and doing these things from their own emotional place. They are feeling left out of your new direction and possible growth and don’t fully know how to express themselves. It’s unfortunate for you to have to take on more responsibility but you are going to have to attempt to comfort them.

  1. Remind them how much they mean to you.
  2. Communicate what you have been doing and how you are only trying to better yourself as a person to be a better friend, employee, son, daughter, etc.
  3. Sometimes just a sit down and an explanation might be all that’s necessary to untangle the thoughts that have spawned due to all the new activity.

I also want to make sure you know that it is absolutely imperative that you continue on the road you are on and you don’t go back to where you were. People will sometimes say “You forgot where you came from” and that should hurt. I personally have heard it from some of my closest friends and it stays with me and hurts everyday. But it’s not that I forget where I came from rather it’s I know what I’m worth and where I’m headed and pursuing that is the point of life: To move, grow, evolve, enhance, change, develop, inquire, build, format, lose, gain, eat, run, play, sleep, love and #MakeMoves.

I remember where I’m from every single day of my life. It’s what inspires me to move forward and get up and not quit and not take long breaks and not ever be satisfied. We live in a world where we can change our own stars and I don’t know about you but, I have already changed mine and I will not be denied my future because of Critics in my present who never understood my past.

Be aware of how changes in your life impact those around you and then address it (see 1-3 above.) Then, stay the course and trust yourself.

Thanks for reading the blog and following my thoughts. How do you handle critics? Any other ways you can think of?

New Strategies for Every Excuse

I’m constantly reflecting on ways to make the most out of my day, my life, my company and I think the biggest thing I run into when I discuss #MakingMoves with others is that they don’t know how to start or where to start. I’ve written a few blogs about that, but that doesn’t cover all of the other excuses. I say excuse, not to be harsh, but because that’s all it is and I think that can be more motivating for people. No one wants to be accused of making excuses!

So, today, let’s talk about strategies for every excuse; non-specific excuses, specific excuses including a few I hear most often.

What’s a non-specific excuse? I can’t, why should I, I don’t really need a change, I don’t even know what I want, why does it matter, it’s just how it is, I’m happy outside of work, so what does it matter if work is good? I’m happy at work, so what does it matter outside of that?

Well I’m here to tell you that you can, to be happier/make a difference to yourself or others/fulfillment/success, if you’re reading this, you probably do, you can still start somewhere, it matters because what you put out is received by others – negativity breeds negativity, happiness breeds happiness, it doesn’t have to be, you’re crazy.

The first strategy is just adopting a different general way of thinking; believing you can and wanting to. From there you can work into more specific strategies for more specific excuses 😉 Start by making a list of 5 positive things that will come from whatever change you’re looking for, then 5 things you could do to work towards that (ex: make this list, update your resume, get 30 minutes of extra sleep, drink more water, schedule one hour a week of you time to do something nice for yourself.)

Let that list create new habits and new things to look forward to and turn into 10 things, etc.

Specific excuses! We all know what these can be: I don’t have enough money, Its too late, people will be mad at me, people will think I’m crazy, what if I get rejected.

Rewind to previous paragraph: The first strategy is just adopting a different general way of thinking; believing you can and wanting to. This is the toughest thing to do with specific excuses, so if you can make it over that hump. Just trust that somehow you can do it and WANT to do it – you really can start seeing changes.

Another difficult strategy you NEED here is to……. Just start! It sounds so easy so it can’t be, right?! WRONG! Just start. Just show up at that fitness class, just step outside in your sneakers and you’re bound to start running. Maybe you aren’t the best, maybe you don’t run a mile, but you’ve started. Everything else will just come with time.

You want to go back to school? Just make an appointment with an advisor, chances are they’ll do the rest of the strategizing for you. You want to switch jobs? Just start looking at job postings. It’ll start being motivation enough to take the next step.

In this space it’s helpful to write down or think about or talk about some questions. What do I need to get the job I really want? (degree in something specific, a good reference, to finish my short story, etc) How do I increase my salary? (request a performance eval, submit for a promotion, think about a new job/career path) Be healthier! (Do I want to start with my diet or with exercise? What are some things about my grocery list I could start changing? How could I drink more water throughout the day? What types of exercise would I enjoy?)

From there you should have a pretty good list of starting points and how- tos!

Some takeaways from this post:

  • Believe/trust that you can make changes/achieve goals
  • Make a conscious decision to WANT to make      changes/achieve goals
  • Make a list!
  • Just START/Just SHOW UP
  • Flesh it out with questions

The best way of getting through that first one is to soul search and be honest with yourself. If you can’t be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with? Think about what excuses you’re telling yourself. Put them on paper or in the Notes app on your phone and look at them. Are they so big? Don’t you want to start erasing them? As scary or just lazy as you feel when looking at them.. think about how great it would feel if you could look back and say you got past them and started being happier.

Beauty, Brains and a Side of Fitness

The other day someone asked me what I look for in a companion and without hesitation I answered, “Beauty, Brains & a side of Fitness.” It came out so fast I had to say it more than once to make sure I was ok with my statement. If you know how my brain works then you would know that I was playing it over in my head looking for holes in my own thought process. LOL.

First, lets establish that while I have the definition of a wandering eye.. I do not try to wander… therefore that behavior isn’t my forte. Moving right along… I have many layers and if one were to pull back some of those seemingly complicated ones they would find that I can be one of the most easy going people you have ever met: Simple, direct and to the point with no secrets or nonsense in the background.

For example, when I say I like something…wait, are you ready for this? It may come as a surprise, but, it actually means I like something… OMG NO WAY. I would not waste the energy on the acting job I would have to commit to in trying to convince my audience of anything other than the truth. The same goes for things I do not like… Ladies I’m not other men therefore I cannot speak for them but, when I say I do not like something, it is NOT an invitation to seduce me into liking it. SAVE everyone’s time or either sneak it into my life and then I’ll pull the “I told you so” or, leave it be. I’m not one to rock boats or fix stuff that doesn’t appear to be broken. I eat chicken broccoli & ziti and many variations of this particular dish. So, in 24 months when I order it please do not assume I’m boring, rather be happy that we are out in public and still enjoying social events together instead of Bertolli Dinners which can be just as good in a time crunch.

I digress…

Shallow: probably the single most debated word/topic I discuss in addition to Cockiness and the true existence of Santa Claus (who I’m pretty sure still visits me once a year – now that guy MakesMOVES! Ha.) Anyway I state loud and clear that attractiveness (to me) is important when thinking about relationships. I do realize that all the glitz and glamour fades and that’s why I also have Brains on my list and as added security (a side of fitness) to me means that whatever is LOOKING good will look good just a little longer than the one who exercises the right to drive by the gym and wave. Made myself laugh on that one: true story.

Brains are absolutely necessary to keep my attention during conversations and social interactions with other people. Gossip Queens, FaceBook Addicts, Non-Voters, and Land of ‘living with your parents,’ doesn’t suit me very well. Please have an opinion about politics, religion, history, future, technology… Something other than what happened on Kardashians last week or who Justin Timberlake was caught with on a secluded island. Spare me! Not interested. Stimulate my mind and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

 

Side of Fitness is exactly that. I’m not looking to date a female version of myself. I respect all that and those women should be proud to work as hard as they do to reach the goals they have set for themselves. I just don’t want to put my hands on larger muscles than mine (know what I mean.) A side of fitness is just that “a side if fitness.” To me that means a woman who respects the body and likes to take care of it. I don’t just mean just physically either, I’m talking mental, emotional, and spiritual Fitness. Exercise the mind anyway you can. Utilizing a fitness center is really more about mental health anyway as it promotes dedication, drive, consistency and goal setting. Find the nearest gym, sign up and then find my match.com profile! Lol kidding. My account ran out so you will have to resort to just bumping into me on the street.

What does it for you? What do you seek in a companion, partner? What traits are important to you? What do you bring to the table and what advice can you give to others? Sharing is caring so leave a comment!

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How to Start Making Moves with a TED Talk

As I’m always calling out to the masses to #MakeMoves, I wanted to add a sort of Part 2 to my recent post, How Do You Challenge Yourself to Make Moves? Today’s post is a way to get you brainstorming on where to begin. I find that I can have pretty high expectations – which, for the record, I don’t think is a bad thing (How else are you going to fulfill your potential, continue to reach for the starts, and stay motivated?!) And, I think others in my life want to live their life to higher levels as well but don’t always know how to get the ball rolling. For some people and I’m sure there are a handful of you reading this, that are self-starters/self-motivators who can have a fire lit under you and just start MakingMoves.

For others, probably most, you know you want to get from Point A to Point B but you don’t know how, or you have a confidence issue that gets in your way. To help me help you, I’d like to introduce you to the TED Talks.

From their website, TED.com, the TED talks are described as: TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference on the West Coast each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.

There are a series of “talks” which are videos of speakers on the widest range of topics and each talk ranges from 3 min to 20 min. You can search by topic for whatever you might in the mood for; inspiring, funny, informative, etc. I can’t even make recommendations because there are already over 20 that I want to tell you about. Maybe that can be another blog post 😉

For right now, I want to focus on one in particular. It’s one of the shorter ones at 3:27 min. This TED talk is by Matt Cutts called, “Try Something New for 30 Days.” Basically he gave himself mini 30 day challenges to have fun, learn, try new things and create good habits.

Someone I know watched this and responded that, “I felt (and feel) so ready to just start doing the things I am capable of doing, working in the career I am meant to work in and living the life I want to be living. I am ready to start fulfilling my potential and want to just dive in, but I have to go through some motions of “stepping stones” and financial barriers on my way – in other words, reality. But it doesn’t mean you can’t do some things or accelerate yourself. When I watched that TED talk I felt like, ‘this was it, this is what I can do to start’ and I made a list of things that might make some good 30 day challenges and I started with things I’ve always meant to do or thought about doing.”

Again, I’m sure there are many of you that can relate to that. Well here is a tool: I challenge you to create a list of 30 day challenges and just start. Even if it’s something that isn’t directly related to a career you want or some big life change, it could be the small step forward that builds your confidence so that you can make changes and be happier and/or healthier. I’d love to hear what you come up with and to hear how you’re progressing!

Even if you decide to not take part in this challenge, spend some time on the TED website and I guarantee you will find at least one Talk that strikes a chord with you and inspires you to try something new or make a step forward (in other words MakeMoves.)

PLEASE comment, Tweet, FB me, subscribe – I can’t wait to hear what 30 day challenges you all are working on!