Category Archives: Inspiring

Live Laugh Love – Looking to Summer 2013

Summer is almost upon us and the warm weather usually brings out the smiles in us Bostonians. For some of us it is time of vacations, tanning, shorter work days and longer weekends, more time with a partner or the family, car washes and cook-outs.

For others it’s not as positive; unemployment is still very high, some individuals did not do the amount of work required to attain necessary certifications to properly move forward, some relationships are ending, homes have been lost and friends have gone different directions. With all of these things going on for many of us I think it is necessary to reflect inward instead of outward. To stop for a minute and attempt to assess your current situation and see it for what it really is, not for what you hope it to be. Then and only then, once you have seen what you have created or what your reality is – do you MakeMOVES and transform your reality into something you can accept or bring to the next level.

When thinking about reflecting on this, I think for me, the best thing about my life is that it is mine to live and do with it how I see fit. And yours is too! However you want to digest that depends on how you want your story to play out in the end. To help you think this through, I want to talk about the phrase, Live, Laugh and Love. Haven’t we all seen that on a card, tattoo, signage in a person’s home or keychain?

I challenge you to do three things:

LIVE a better, happier, substantial life. One in which you do the things you want to do, including sometimes things you don’t want to do. Do things NOW, patience is subjective and situational…Everything worth doing doesn’t have a calendar date but may have an expiration date so do it now and wait later. I really kinda like that last statement… “Do IT now and WAIT later.”

Laugh at yourself all day and every day. You should be the funniest person you have ever met in your life, when someone else laughs at you, laugh with them, watch comedies, remain light hearted and do not allow the weight of the world to eclipse the beauty of Laughter. If you know someone who is funnier than you, then dammit follow that person on twitter or instagram read their blog but whatever you do, LAUGH.

Love EVERYTHING, your enemy, your ex, your boss, gardens and rival sports teams. Love your family, pets, neighbors; even angry people on the road. Love long lines and traffic, dirty one dollar bills, allergies and mythical creatures that visit you in the night to talk about politics….(too much?) ok, let’s bring it back. LOVE everything because in everything is love or the potential for and/or to love. I don’t mean love like in the notebook (you must watch this movie) but love as an appreciation for the wonder that brought us here as a people and what makes this world go round. This earth, and all of us, will not be here forever. Play till the last second and love each success and defeat. Because when the game is over kids, it doesn’t matter what your win and loss percentage is…I promise you that. What matters is that you showed up prepared to play and had to courage to play (in case I lost you Playing means to LOVE).

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To simplify the above I received this passage below from a person close to me and it spawned this blog post so I thought I would add it at the bottom for you to enjoy. Take in the message from the above and below and let me know if you think differently? Which side of you do you feed and Why? Are you the best version of yourself? If not then let’s get you there through Living, Laughing and PLAYING (I mean LOVING)

Thanks for reading my blog! Please share it on FB, Twitter, and anywhere else. SUBSCRIBEEEEEE

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An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he told the young boy, “a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil, full of anger, sorrow, regret, greed, self-pity and false pride. The other is good, full of joy, peace, love, humility, kindness and faith.”

“This same fight is going on inside of you, grandson…and inside of every other person on this earth.”

The grandson ponders this for a moment and then asks, “Grandfather, which wolf will win?”

The old man smiled and simply said,

“The one you feed.”

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Subject for Debate

A friend of mine is reading a book and sent me this passage over the weekend. She thought it would be an interesting conversation topic for me LOL!

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“Our entire society’s based on discontent: people wanting more and more and more, being constantly dissatisfied with their homes, their bodies, their decor, their clothes, everything. Taking it for granted that that’s the whole point of life, never to be satisfied. If you’re perfectly happy with what you’ve got—specially if what you’ve got isn’t even all that spectacular—then you’re dangerous. You’re breaking all the rules, you’re undermining the sacred economy, you’re challenging every assumption that society’s built on………..

Throughout history—even a hundred years ago, even fifty—it was discontent that was considered the threat to society, the defiance of natural law, the danger that had to be exterminated at all costs. Now it’s contentment. What a strange reversal.”

French, Tana (2008-07-17). The Likeness: A Novel (p. 165). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.

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I think there are many things to be said on this subject. It’s a great subject for debate and I think it’s a matter of what you do with the choices you make. If you’re happy with what you have and you’re content, but what you have are the things you truly wanted, not just settling for not making an attempt at your dreams, then I think that can be more than enough for someone.

It’s true that society is based on discontent in the more shallow dissatisfactions described above, but also on deeper levels. I believe it comes down to wanting to live and feel your life. Reaching, changing, trying on new ideas, careers and experiences in search for that meaning and feeling of fulfillment. Maybe it’s something that’s never attainable and that’s the journey that your life is, or maybe it is and either some people find it and it just doesn’t look the same as mine would.

I definitely want more. More businesses, more fun, more money, more success, more clients, more travel, more homes, more people to share this with: more. And I make no apologies for that. It gives me fire, it makes me who I am.

The second part, about how this principle has changed throughout history I just find interesting! That’s so true! I don’t even know what to say – it speaks so much for itself. That is history in its finest form, that’s the anthropology and the evolution of humankind. Done and done.

I personally don’t fear contentment; I guess I kind of feel sorry for it #NoFilter. Again, I do think it works, if you find what you really wanted along. If all you really wanted was a happy relationship with a secure home and 2 vacations a year to places you’ve always wanted to see. And, that happens, then I support that. If you look around and tell yourself you can’t do this or that’s not realistic and just accept that defeat, I don’t.

Please share your thoughts and opinions!

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?

I have days like everyone else when I don’t want to leave my place and I just want to watch movies or play a game and ignore my phone. And, I definitely take time to do those things, but usually it will be a part of my day, not my entire day. So I don’t call them bad days I have unpleasant “Moments” lol these moment are part of life and I take them and do my best to find the good in every moment. Usually just by trying a little harder those moments become motivators and I continue on a better, happier, healthier path.

I focus on my goals. My goals exist for a reason, they’re things I WANT and ENJOY. This is motivation enough for me. I am very disciplined when it comes to reaching my goals, because my goals are pretty dope as it is! There are times when others will attempt to change my focus and provide unsolicited advice. It may sound a little harsh but I would implore you to not listen to these individuals. Yes, it is in a good nature that they are trying to help. But most cases people never fully understand all the variables and factors going into every/any situation therefore they advice, opinions and thoughts are off by default. It is no fault of theirs and if you tell them then for sure they will be insulted so stay focused on the goals and for goodness sake trust yourself. If you got yourself to Monday and Tuesday then there’s no reason why you can’t make through Wednesday and Thursday, Friday and the weekend will take care of itself. Lol.

I remind myself of how great it feels. It feels pretty amazing to look at what I’ve done in a day and FALL into bed with NO regrets. People want to know why I smile so much.. I’ve made moves all day and created my own happiness what?! It feels great to get new events, meet with new event planners, new clients, new equipment and at the end of the day it feels great doing what I love and even better people love WHAT I DO! So remind yourself of how great it feels to do something good for another or yourself. DO IT!

I know I only have me to blame. This sounds negative but stick with me. I’ve built my circumstances and I’m my own boss, if I stop and fail it’s on me. I not only let down myself but I let down those that support me and believe in me. It’s a big responsibility and enough to keep me moving. There are no excuses in the world of Entrepreneurship and I won’t make any. I come off harsh at time to those I care about and I can only hope they understand the pressure I am under to answer every question when it reaches my desk. I don’t think many understand and I don’t need you to. But My role is a role I welcome gladly, the good/perks and the whole bag that comes with it.

I want to be the change. How can I tell other people to #MakeMoves and to expect more of others, if I slack myself? Let’s face it, I talk about this all day long and I’m not about to be a hypocrite. Lead by example. I didn’t make it up but I remember that phrase in my head all day everyday. But know that if I get my job done you better get yours done as well. Accept responsibility for all not just the rewards.

 

When it’s hard, I try harder. If I am walking into undiscovered territory, I’m nervous (it DOES happen,) or maybe I’m not feeling 100% I just push forward. I usually end up meeting someone new, LEARNING something new, having a blast or challenging myself physically or mentally. People want to believe in other people so give them something to believe in. If you sound like your knees are trembling then that will show and then your message will get lost in the fray, but if you stand tall and look people in the eyes (STRUT) then with everything you got… Fake it till you make it! It works trust me (wink, wink.) You think I woke up one day and said “Oh, I wanna host events of the highest regard with celebrities and fancy venues, mitvahs and weddings at the State Room?” Haha. Not a chance… I faked it and made it. Period.

You might say, that all sounds great, but is it really a big deal to just say screw it once in awhile? No, it’s not a big deal. But, it’s a choice and it leads to other choices. Giving yourself a reason to dial it in is giving yourself a reason to sell yourself short. No debating about it. Still not convinced? Let’s try this, next time you want to take a “Day Off” think about some man or woman somewhere who isn’t and how much they are accomplishing in those hours you wanted to CHILL. Then, and only then if you still feel like your “Day Off” is justified then go nuts. But if you’re, like me or people that I MakeMoves with, then your picking up what I’m putting down.

How many of those days are enough days to get you off track? How many of those days are days that could have brought you that much closer to something? And honestly, how many of those days do you feel as good about yourself and energized in comparison with the days when you #MakeMoves?
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What are your motivators?

How do you challenge yourself?

 

Fruits of Labor Now Or Later?

MakeMoves everyone!

Like most things I write about this one comes from a conversation I was having with a dear friend whom I respect very much (DD.) We were discussing the wealthy and how many of them spend so much time building empires or their net worth that they neglect the freedoms they have created for themselves.

Allow me to explain. I am now 30 and I am always having conversations with others about how to save, invest & spend. Most people don’t know my entire history so let me share that I didn’t come from private schools, annual family vacations, toys or other luxuries. In fact I remember going food shopping with my mother and we had a little game where I would take my friends to the car when it was time to check out because I was young and embarrassed that we were paying with food stamps. So to avoid the awkwardness we would go start the car and wait there.

Please know that I am now a young entrepreneur who has been fortunate enough to change my situation dramatically from Buick’s Discover Boston to Boston’s Stuff Magazine Sexiest Entrepreneurs, to AOL’s Authentic. I have also been able to create fitness classes and work as a Peer Mentor to teens in the Norfolk County area.

The conflict I have is the ‘how much is too much’ to indulge with what I have built for myself. I currently have a company which supports my life and I’m fully self employed. I have no kids, wife, girlfriend, I don’t do drugs of any kind, zero drama (That’s right, I said it ZERO) yet sometimes I feel as if I shouldn’t be able to go to the movies twice in one week because it costs money?

Let me say this, I understand saving for the future is important and I have a retirement plan already in place. But if I can’t buy iPhone’s and go to the movies or order take out or drive something I like then WHAT IS THE POINT? I don’t want to be 60 and buy a convertible (LameSauce) I want to be 31 and drive a Bentley! Period! I don’t want to be 60 on a beach in Malibu looking at the young couples running around. I want to be the young couple running around being watched by the 60 yr old. Feel Me?

What I’m trying to say to all of you is what ever you like to do that makes you happy DO IT. And then DO IT AGAIN! Then talk about it with friends and DO IT AGAIN. Don’t wait for tomorrow or $100,000 of net worth. The movies are expensive but if you like Movies… Go to the Movies. If you’re a Gamer, GAME ON! You like Vacations? Then VACA! All I’m trying to say is that if you are a hard worker and you are doing what all adults are telling you to do all of the time you will miss what’s right in front of you which is Parks, Walks, Talk, Travels and experiences that don’t need Donald Trump’s Equity to do so either.

Live the life you have while you have the life to live it. Don’t wait until some bodily malfunction limits your comforts at a later time in life when you can enjoy the very same comforts right now.

Let me know what you like to do and what you do if Money wasn’t an object. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siu6JYqOZ0g&sns=em …)

New Year, New Me

It’s tough to ONLY think of 10 things that can be done for a new year. I don’t always think of a New Year’s resolution because anyone who knows me knows that I tend to wear my goals on my sleeve. With that said, I thought a lot about what I could do to be a better person and I was able to come up with a list far too long for any blog, so unfortunately, I’m only going to stick with 10! Sorry to disappoint! Below you will find 10 things I’m looking forward to working on in the New Year. Enjoy and please share some of your own too!

10) Read More; every time I have ever read anything I found myself learning something and I’m looking forward to learning more and broadening my horizons in literature.

9) Travel! With a little bit of planning I would like to get outside my comfort zone and see more of the world starting with my own neighboring states! With friends and family in Chicago, L.A, Miami, Delaware, Atlanta, NH & Texas I want to see all that they have to offer!

8. Money – No, no, not to make more, but learning how to use money, understand money, speak money, the list goes on. It’s been said that just about 2% of the population contain almost 90% of the Money! Why is that? Well I’m not an analyst but I do know some know how to use their earnings to make more earnings while some use their earnings to buy things they didn’t earn!

7) Get more organized! I can’t speak for anyone else but I’ll probably be working on this in every list! Lol. Becoming more organized has only given me the ability to be more productive and efficient. Therefore, it isn’t rocket science to think that continuing my organizing skills is necessary for greater success.

6) Friends, as previously stated in a FB post earlier this week. The company we keep is a representation of who we are (not to mention the most influential factor in how we behave.) I have won some and lost others. What remains is a young man taking a closer look at how I decide and who to surround myself with at all times. The drama setters, hypochondriacs, enablers, liars, jealous (aka haters) are all over the place. I’ll fight through the sea of nonsense and discover the true friends I have and allow them to help make me a better person.

5) Art of Silence; let’s start that one now buy letting YOU interpret it how you see fit. Sometimes remaining Silent is all you need to say.

4) Kupah goes to Boston. I’m moving to the city folks, ears and eyes open. If you know of any neighborhoods let me know. I’m finally moving into the City I have repped for so long; I can’t wait and I’m already excited!

3) Family – I’ve matured to understand family is first and I want to spend as much time as I can with my own! I have a sister and a mother, a barrage of cousins, aunts, uncles and so on. I will make more time to see them because one day it will be game over and there are no do-overs in the game of life.

2) Positivity, it has been mentioned by a small few that my energy and presence is infectious. I plan on trying to continue that trend and if ever possible spread more positivity throughout the land. Every smile counts! Trust me, every smile counts to someone!

1) MakeMoves; as the official creator of the dopest phrase out there, I’m saying MakeMoves is the universal phrase and can be used for thousands of reasons and purposes! For me, it simply acts as the conduit for my motivation. No parts or assembly required just MakeMoves! I intend on continuing the movement by expanding Klass Universal Entertainment and fulfilling all of the above. 2013 is here ladies and gentlemen… MAKEMOVES!

Top 10 Evaluations of Importance

Sup readers,

I realize that it’s an exciting time of the year again and there are tons of emotions, thoughts & feelings surrounding the holidays. I felt that rather than write my thoughts about the holidays or it’s season, I would write about something that relates.

There are so many things going on today that it is very easy to forget what is really important. I am not the one to tell you what is and what isn’t, however I am the guy that will proceed to share with you how I evaluate importance.

1) Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.

2) Say what you mean and mean what you say because those that matter, won’t mind and those that mind, don’t matter.

3) Believe in your own ability to have an opinion but, be open to listening to others’ thoughts without jumping ship from your own beliefs. We are all different and have different experiences.

4) Ask for help; that’s why we have friends and contacts! Thinking you can do everything yourself is naive in this day and age so pull over and ask someone for directions, save time.

5) When upset know when to table things and know when to bring them up. There are plenty of people complaining every single day. Are you one of them or the other kind that just tables it for later, if necessary, and keeps on making moves?

6) Sleep it off, whatever it is… Sick, upset, tired, achy, depressed, irritated… Doesn’t matter! Sleep it off. Take a nap, wake up and if you’re not feeling better then address it.

7) Say “Hi!” There are 80 different ways to communicate yet we never seem to get it right. How’s this possible?

8. This is very important! If you have something nice to say to a person, SAY IT. Stop assuming they “already know.” The problem is that everyone may think the very same thing and guess what, no one says it. Take responsibility for your thoughts and speak! I promise you your kind words will not go unnoticed.

9) Gossip, Twitter Terrorists, Rumors, Hearsay, Facebook are the end of the world and its Privacy! Yes there are filters and safety features but here is an idea…. DON’T PUT IT UP. Seriously! And for those who live and swear by getting your facts from FaceBook and Twitter, get a life… #NuffSaid.

10) To me the most important thing to round out this list, and please keep in mind that these are just what popped in my head while blogging, it is YOU! All You. You You You. Never forget there is a You and You cannot take care of anyone or anything if You haven’t first taken care of You.

All in all enjoy the following photo. This guy is kind of a big deal and I read this once a day to remind myself of the things that matter and especially of the things that don’t.

Talk to you soon! Always #MakeMoves not noise…

 

MakeMoves

Make the most of the situations that present themselves

Make the best decision based on the facts at that time

Make those around you better

Make acceptance speeches not excuses

Make smiles on the faces of others by MAKING SMILES ON YOUR FACE

Make no mistake about it, you will make mistakes

Make Love Not War

Make others come to your level do not let them take you down to theirs

Make your bed every morning

Make a meal for a loved one

Make a Stranger not a Stranger

Make a glass half empty, half full

Make time to make time

Make enough money to do something but not enough to do nothing

Make a sand castle

Make the effort

Make sacrifices

Make it count

Make it to live 100 years

Make a drawing of your dream house

Make it to your dream house

Make the world better when you leave it than it was when you arrived in it

Make a list

Make a wish

Make an enemy, a friend

Make a tragedy an opportunity

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Look I definitely don’t have all of the answers but I’m trying to learn a little more than nothing.

All I’m trying to do, and say, here is #MAKEMOVES!

My Crash Course in Politics for Dummies

Every election I read the same Facebook statuses and hear the same debates and I always have the same questions about what it all really means. There are some things I’ve always known about but other things where I definitely wanted to learn more. For any of you who were like me, I wanted to share some of what I found out and ask some interesting questions.

What is a Republican and Democrat? What are the differences between the parties, really?

The Republican party was founded in the 1850’s in support of anti-slavery movements. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president. They’ve always been a supporter of business, high wages, high profits for economic growth. Transition this to modern Republican politics that center on social conservatism, global democracy and economics that favor lower taxes and deregulating.

The Democratic party is one of the oldest political parties in the United States and the world, beginning in America, with Thomas Jefferson, an original supporter of States’ rights. Since the era of FDR they focus on social liberalism and progressive rights and now have the main influence of African-Americans. This includes affirmative action, balanced budget, “Third Way” economy (free enterprise system mixed with govt intervention to help poverty and social injustice with progressive taxation.)

A lot of big words and terms. Most of what I hear and read is that most people say they are fiscally conservative but socially democrat. Being a fiscal conservative according to Wikipedia means, “Fiscal conservatives often consider reduction of overall government spending and national debt as well as ensuring balanced budget of paramount importance. Free trade, deregulation of the economy, lower taxes, and other conservative policies are also often but not necessarily affiliated with fiscal conservatism.” Being socially democratic, for most people, tends to mean you support Gay rights, rights of minorities and ethnic groups and women’s rights. (This is all just a summary of some overall points.. for crash course purposes.)

For some reason it seems that it’s too difficult for everyone to work towards common goals or compromise. This is why I mainly avoid politics!

I’ve also found that there are a lot of groups from both sides that support certain issues and then everyone assumes ALL  democrats stand for this or ALL republicans stand for that. Or because some democrats said this, then by voting for Obama you’re against this or that, etc. We should all know better than that. We run into that in daily life between friends on ANY issue. People have opinions and there’s no ALL or ALWAYS or NEVER. Somehow we can’t bridge those communication gaps between each other or in politics. End result…… Nothing gets achieved.

In my opinion, these types of mixed messages are what has dominated politics in my lifetime. Now for some interesting questions!

  • I had seriously wondered about the black vote along the Republican and Democratic divide. People assume if you’re black you’re Democrat (and maybe you are) but I wondered if there were many black people that were Republican. I don’t know the exact answer to those statistics but it did really get me thinking. People assumed I was voting for Obama, and I did, of course I did! I’m black AND Puerto-rican, I came from a welfare home and struggled to get an education that was harder for me to achieve because of my ethnicities and socio-economic background. But, I also own my own business and am becoming more financially successful so was it just because I’m black/spanish? I don’t know. It was interesting to learn though that the black vote started out on the Republican side before FDR’s New Deal and the civil rights movement swung the group to the other side.

I think the answer is that, for more people it may not have to do with history or with how it affects the larger group of people in your demographic, whether that’s your ethnic group, women, business people, etc. I think people vote for themselves and what matters for them and their family individually.

  • Now for the one question I can’t seem to find a clear answer on from ANYONE is why people are SO private about who they vote for. Why is it such a secret? Seriously, it’s not even that it matters to me, I’m more curious about WHY you’d rather share the intimate details of your relationship than your presidential vote!

I’ve been told it’s to avoid getting dragged into an argument over it. For example, one friend told me that it’s just annoying to be supported or attacked over it by people that may not even fully know what they’re talking about or what they’re supporting or attacking. People start to use the blanket statements “well you must not support women’s rights!” or “you realize this is going to sink our economy and we’ll be the next Greece!” ….. Maybe it’s not worth the headache? (I did read on FB that someone was blocked because of something they posted in their status last night – really?!)

At the end of the day I see voting not as a stand for one thing or the other, but as the opportunity to have a choice and to have a voice. I think we take it for granted sometimes that it’s automatic that we can vote and have heated debates and fight on Facebook over these things. We all are allowed to choose, whatever we want, whoever we want and do so publicly. That’s an amazing thing and regardless of who you voted for, I think it’s awesome that you took advantage of that chance. #ThoughtsOfAThinker

I’d love to hear what you all think and if you have any answers to these questions?!

A story you should read..

There are so many things I can be grateful for in my life and I try my hardest to remember how hard others have had it in their lives before I think about my “have’s and have-nots.” I was thinking of a story I once heard,  and I felt compelled to share it with my readers, as I thought it was the perfect way to express how incredibly lucky I think I am in my life. So, please read it to the end and I hope that you can understand the lesson provided, but also look inside yourself and find this inspiring. When I heard this story, I was inspired and have been ever since.

“Like many families in the US, our ancestors are most likely from other parts of the world. Well that’s no different in this story: here was a Latin family whose dreams and aspirations were, like everyone else’s, about coming to America to find and hopefully live the American Dream. Dreams can sometimes turn into nightmares within a house hold and for the young girl of this story, that’s what happened. Very set in their ways, this family didn’t use words to express love and affection rather they “took care of business” and you should assume the rest. Living relatively modestly, this girl found herself on the other end of some really unhealthy and abusive experiences. At such a young age (6-12), you can imagine the developmental risks and implications of these interactions. All too familiar with local police she became a bit of a run away, learning about life on the streets and using the real (at time harsh) world as her classroom since she didn’t find any solace, comfort or place in a traditional learning environment. Burdened by family pressures while hardened by life lessons she met a man, she bared his children before she was even 20yrs of age. No education, no strong family ties and no wedding ring. Only promises of a future one day down the road. This man wasn’t exactly the knight in shining armor and he used manipulation and preyed on her love for him; eventually this lead to more abuse and mental deformations. After years of abuse and ridicule she found enough strength to take, what were now her children, and raise them on her own. With no career in sight and a measly G.E.D she made sure her children always had food on the table and clothes on their backs. They may not have had fancy toys and 20in rims but they had each other…

You must understand this story is already more than what some people have dealt with in their lives and trust me I realize that there is worse out there… Read On Please…

Relying on government aid and local town scholarships she was able to give her children the opportunities they needed to make friends and do most things other families and children were able to do. Yes their cereal had generic labels and cheese came in a block but to the outside world, the family took care of itself. Taking and applying some lessons she learned in her early days on the streets she taught her children respect, honor, values and morals. Her children both then had enough skills to finish college, have jobs/careers and are law abiding citizens. Her children say please and thank you to complete strangers. Her children are friendly with each other and love one another and communicate daily. Her children have no criminal records. Her children have never done drugs (WHAT???)! Her children love and support her to this day. This woman still struggles today with physical ailments and a personality disease that doesn’t always allow her to be happy or pleasant. She has fought with people, pushed them away and made some poor decisions because of this disease. She has lost loved ones because of this disease. She has limited options in life now because of this disease. Yet she still gets up every single morning and puts on a smile for a world which has not dealt her the best hand in life. I think about this woman and I need to make sure all my readers know how much I admire this woman for her fight when she could’ve quit. I admire her will when there was no way, I admire her optimism in the face of reality and I wish I had her strength to start over and lose and start over again.”

I want everyone, and I mean everyone, to know how much I love my mother. I’m so proud of her fight and will and the knowledge she provided to her children when she could’ve quit. I am so thankful for her sacrifices she made to raise two children in this difficult world. I love her with all of my heart and people sometimes ask me where I get my energy from and I would like to proudly admit that I get it from my momma!

Until next time!

“The Secret of Happiness” on my 30th Birthday

Good Morning – Today is my 30th Birthday! #KJ’s30 !

I don’t normally pay much attention to my birthdays, but I’ve been looking forward to this one. Not for a celebration or anything like that, but because this feels like a milestone for me.

I live my life happy, smiling, moving and with friends & family. I have a good life, but I have some big goals and opportunities ahead of me. For today’s blog, I wanted to share a story from the book ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho entitled, “the Secret of Happiness.” I’d love to hear how you all interpret it and what you can take away from it. For me, it’s inspiring and gives focus looking ahead at this next chapter of my life.

‘The Secret of Happiness:’

“A merchant sent his son to learn the Secret of Happiness from the wisest of men. The young man wandered through the desert for forty days until he reached a beautiful castle at the top of a mountain. There lived the sage that the young man was looking for.

However, instead of finding a holy man, our hero entered a room and saw a great deal of activity; merchants coming and going, people chatting in the corners, a small orchestra playing sweet melodies, and there was a table laden with the most delectable dishes of that part of the world.

The wise man talked to everybody, and the young man had to wait for two hours until it was time for his audience.

With considerable patience, the Sage listened attentively to the reason for the boy’s visit, but told him that at that moment he did not have the time to explain to him the Secret of Happiness.

He suggested that the young man take a stroll around his palace and come back in two hours’ time.

“However, I want to ask you a favor,” he added, handling the boy a teaspoon, in which he poured two drops of oil. “While you walk, carry this spoon and don’t let the oil spill.”

The young man began to climb up and down the palace staircases, always keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. At the end of two hours he returned to the presence of the wise man.

“So,” asked the sage, “did you see the Persian tapestries hanging in my dining room? Did you see the garden that the Master of Gardeners took ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?”

Embarrassed, the young man confessed that he had seen nothing. His only concern was not to spill the drops of oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.

“So, go back and see the wonders of my world,” said the wise man. “You can’t trust a man if you don’t know his house.”

Now more at ease, the young man took the spoon and strolled again through the palace, this time paying attention to all the works of art that hung from the ceiling and walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around the palace, the delicacy of the flowers, the taste with which each work of art was placed in its niche. Returning to the sage, he reported in detail all that he had seen.

“But where are the two drops of oil that I entrusted to you?” asked the sage.

Looking down at the spoon, the young man realized that he had spilled the oil.

“Well, that is the only advice I have to give you,” said the sage of sages. “The Secret of Happiness lies in looking at all the wonders of the world and never forgetting the two drops of oil in the spoon.””