Category Archives: Motivation

The Time is Now…

Whats up party people?! 

Kupah James here. Its been awhile since I’ve shared some of my thoughts w all you and I hope this message finds you well and in good health. As many of you know I have just returned from an amazing journey. A journey where I made new friends, connections and was also humbled by an experience for which I will take w me for the rest of my life. 

This message isn’t about what took place during my time over “There” lol. This message is a message I have been bringing for years and this is just another dose of #MakeMoves. I live laugh and love HARD. I make no apologies for that and NEVER WILL. I have lost friends and made family and relationship sacrifices to establish and maintain a life of happiness and healthiness that I chose. I have also given much of my time to the youth in hopes that they may one (soon) bypass me. I will continue to give and share and promote and talk and snapchat and blog and vlog and laugh and comment and #MakeMoves. lol. 

Whatever it is you are not happy with you must begin the process for which to change your stars. There isn’t any other way to do it. Man up, Buck up face yourself and get it done. There isn’t any time to waste on shoulda, coulda, wouldas. One of the most valuable lessons I have learned over the course of my life is the importance of “Time”. The discussion about “time” is for another day however the concept is one we can all relate too. Time and what we do w our time is truly wasted on the youth. So if we know this to be true, what are we waiting for? Large or small you have to make the effort to set goals and then reach them, PERIOD. Setting goals isn’t enough and if you don’t bang that bitch out then you will be left w your head hanging when it’s too late. Time is inevitable but it’s also flexible and can benefit those who put forth the blood sweat and tears to accomplish what other make excuses for. 

I leave you w a fist pump and a high five! Hope to see you at the end of your next journey cuz I’m about to embark on my next one. Stay tuned and stay positive always especially in the face of adversity! See you all soon! #MakeMoves 

Blog to Vlog…

Hi Everyone, It has been a few months since my last post and I wanted to first say Happy New Year (2015) to everyone. I also wanna express my extreme gratitude for each one of you for your support over the last few years following and reading my blog. I set out with the intention to give just a little insight into the life, dreams, motivations, fears, losses and achievements of my life. My hopes and aspirations are and were to help anyone out there looking for some optimism or a positive outlook on whatever their dreams and motives are/were.

I have received such good feedback and awesome suggestions over my time blogging and i hope to have reached you as much as possible and i thank you for this relationship we have built and maintained over the life span of my blog.

I am incredibly excited to announce that i am taking my blog to another level and migrating over to video! Video is overwhelmingly popular today and through years of great feedback many of you have sought after me making my blogs into videos. The sense is that my personality is one you enjoy and that i am able to connect a little better through video vs text. Obviously everyone isn’t saying this but I feel like its a great time to make the change and I hope you all enjoy my next stage along with me.

I have already begun making videos and you can find them all on Youtube Page. My goal is to first turn many of my blog entries into vlogs and of course mix in some other new, fresh material as well. I hope you continue to take this journey with me as I have enjoyed hearing from you. I look forward to more ideas and thoughts of all of you so please do not hesitate to reach out and let me know what you’re thinking.

MakeMoves@KupahJames.Com

#MakeMoves

#MOT1VATED

Kupah James Sig

Just this once…

Just this once you should try harder
Think first
Ask the question
Wait a Minute
Get it done
Move over
Sacrifice
Set a goal
Re-evaluate
Take an interest
Brush it off
Only take “yes” for answer
Hold your head high
Say “thank you”
Call back
Open a door
Smile
Make a wish
Drink a cocktail
Hit the gym
Wear different socks
Watch that movie
MakeMoves
Be Nice
Sit Down
Mind your own business
Not assume
Play your role
Visit a friend
Remember a loved one
Accept the universe

I haven’t written in awhile and wanted to drop a little bug in your ear! Hope you Try some of these and please email me with ideas for blogs and/or other things that I can add to this list?

KupahJamesSignatureredthumb

#MakeMoves

What’s it gonna be?

I look around and I continue to engage in conversations with others about the dangers of risks or financial security. These things have been personified as if they were actual living creatures underneath our beds at night whispering in our ears “Don’t Do It”, “It’s too hard”, “You’re not good enough”. Ugh NO!

All I have to say is.. let’s get to the point on this one.

  1. It’s a Lonely Road Untraveled. This means there’s no hand book, so stop looking around for one. Your friends and close ones aren’t gonna have all of the answers so do not blame them nor should you lean on them for what you need to figure out.
  2. It’s Uncharted Territory. This is the best thing about taking a new approach to life. It means you get to write your own story and be your own director. Isn’t that was life was meant to be?
  3. Freedom. I see no freedom or job security behind corporate contracts or 10 year tenure. It all sounds like boundaries and threats. Can and cannots, Red and Yellow tapes, procedures and policies… Are you yawning yet? Moving right along.
  4. This freedom will scare you at times. Hire an accountant, keep counsel with people you trust and keep doing your thing..
  5.  You can have it all but you cannot have ALL of IT – meaning you can reach for the stars and you just might collect one or two but you will not get there with everyone you started your journey with. I have unfortunately felt the sting of this and it HURTS. You will find new support and have to build a new team.
  6. You’ll start meeting more people who #MakeMoves like you! There will be other dreamers, believers and creators to keep you company.
  7. Nothing is immediate. There are no short sprints in this marathon only bumps and small victories which you will have to learn how to collect along the way and make them mean as much as they can in the moment while trucking along to the next one. Patience…..
  8. There will be Critics. Critics are a necessity and if you utilize critics in the right situation ((handling critics)) you will know just what to do with outside interference.
  9. Sacrifices will be made. Some will be rewarding and some will cause immense pain. What’s worse is that you may not know the outcome of a decision/sacrifice until further down this rabbit hole so “buck up,” stand tall and withstand whatever comes your way until the dust settles. Sometimes though you’ll just feel relief :)
  10. “It can’t rain all the time” (For you Sami). And it won’t. When it rains, it pours and when it stops rainbows follow, so weather the storm and take what it gives you. Strength, Resilience, Perseverance and a thicker skin.
  11. If they are not riding with you then they are simply not RIDING. Pull over and let them out nicely. If they are reluctant to get off then take the necessary measures. It’s hard enough traveling a road upwards with an RV on empty carrying too much of everyone’s baggage, egos, insecurities and doubts….. (Deep Breath) You don’t need anything extra making the trip more difficult than it already is. Besides you gotta have room for the ones you WILL meet along the way.
  12. Turn your fears into your strengths. Accurately assess yourself in a mirror and turn whatever you don’t like about yourself into the thing you love about yourself. I am a shy person and afraid of meeting women or speaking in front of large groups of people. This is FACT. So what do I do for a living? I now am a Motivational Speaker, Group Exercise Instructor and a Well Known Dj/Emcee. I haven’t addressed the meeting women thing however it hasn’t really negatively affected my social life thus far. But I’m working on it!

Some things to consider:

There will be some days that will trip you up.

When that happens, get inspired:

–          Coming of Age

–          Micro-SOFT takes new approach.. Should you?

And let go of every excuse.

KupahJamesSignatureredthumb

Tips for Running Motivation

I’m often asked for workout advice. This can range from what type of workouts they should do, how to lift weights, explain Street Feet, and about running. I have a love/hate relationship with running; there are many amazing benefits to CARDIO and running is an easy and effective cardio routine. But, sometimes getting out the door to run can be… Ehhh… not appealing.

So, I thought I would include some tips for running motivation, to get you out the door and #MakingFitnessFun! Some of these are my recommendations and some are what I’ve found to be a general consensus of my closest peeps.

  1. A DOPE Playlist – DUH! This one is super easy to overcome because you can just download the latest Street Feet mix 😉 #ShamelessPlug, #It’sFree. Here’s a link to my SoundCloud mixes
  2. Running with someone. Running with a friend is a great way of getting out the door to run. You’re more likely to show up if you have plans with someone, you can catch up with a friend, focus on conversation rather than making that next mile! And, if you don’t have a friend to run with, your dog can be a great running partner! Try to find someone who either keeps up or slows down. There’s nothing worse then running with someone on another level can completely defeat the purpose. Agree to a pace and distance ahead of time incase you get ahead or fall behind you know where a meeting place is.
  3. Use a training plan. There are so many training plans out there, a handful of my friends say they’ve had great success with Hal Higdon running plans. They’re structured for beginners, intermediate runners and more advanced. This helps you set goals and make appointments with yourself to stay accountable and make sure you fit it in to a busy schedule!
  4. Download some apps!There are now so many fitness related apps, some great ones for running include:
    1.  Map My Run, which will provide running routes for you nearby to eliminate that pressure, and you can share some great ones that you enjoy as well.
    2. RunKeeper. This app is awesome if you don’t have a running watch and want details about your run or are on a specific training plan. It tracks your distance, pace, time and heart rate. It measures your performance over time and gives you updates. Provides training plans for you! And, even syncs to your music.
    3. Nike + GPS. GPS, running watch all in one, another great app that syncs to your iPod and tracks your workouts.
    4. Couch to 5k. This app is modeled after the pretty well known Couch to 5k training plan that really outlines everything for you through your phone.
  5. Enter a race – That’s motivation for ya – spending money on a race gives you that financial incentive and a deadline!
  6. Setting your workout clothes out beforehand. This is a big one in my opinion, and is great for WORKOUT motivation, not specific to running. Especially if you exercise in the morning. When you don’t want to get out of bed, make it as easy on yourself as possible. Set everything you’ll need out the night before so you just roll out of bed and can go. You’ll also make sure you don’t forget anything. Put your socks in your shoes, set out your outfit, put your iPod and running watch (if you use these items) and any fuel (for long runs) with it! If you don’t want to carry a fanny pack while you run FINE. just bring ID and some cash and if possible pass by a convenient store during your run and hydrate there. Less to carry and squeeze a little break into your run.
  7. Think about how great it will feel when it’s over. Runner’s High is a real thing – no matter how short of a run, your endorphins get moving and you feel amazing. You’ll always feel accomplished once you’ve hit the pavement!

What did I miss? Obviously there are a bunch of different types of motivators– what are some of your favorites?

#MakeMoves

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

 

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?

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!

Guest Post: Review of Pure Barre

Hey Everyone, I’m Sami, a friend of Kupah’s and this week I am guest posting about a new (to me) fitness trend I’ve tried out – Barre classes. I have been spending a lot of time in the past 9 months really trying out some new areas of fitness to get into a better and more enjoyable routine. Barre seemed like it would be a natural fit for me and so far it’s been AMAZING! There are many different studios and variations of barre; The Bar Method, Physique 57, Figure 4, etc and Pure Barre –

Spotlight on: Pure Barre. The Pure Barre website describes the technique as follows:

Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time.   Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body…. The technique protects your joints as it does not involve any bouncing or jumping.  Each strength section of the workout is followed by a stretching section in order to create long, lean muscle without bulk.

The Pure Barre studio in Boston just opened in the winter; I purchased their opening special, 5 weeks unlimited for $100 and you could start anytime. As soon as I signed up I immediately began second guessing what I had just done. Full Disclosure: I get super self-conscious exercising in front of other people and now, not only did I just sign up for this – but on Newbury St everyone is bound to be a size 0, perfect looking specimen right?

I read multiple reviews so I would be fully prepared going in (all of which said the classes were amazing and there was nothing to be worried about.) I walked in RIGHT on time because I couldn’t find parking – stress level through the roof, and BOOM girl at the front desk super welcoming, telling me not to worry, showing me to the lockers, changing room, what gear to pick up (small red ball, resistance band and 2 small hand weights<2-3lbs>) and sent me on my way. Complete calming effect.

The instructor asked if there were any new people in class, I was the only one – score! (eye roll) The class started and just jumps right in! I just started moving and trying to keep up for the first few minutes. She didn’t go over technique specifically, but the beginning was easy enough to follow. While I was a little disoriented, this was actually great for 2 reasons; you’re not wasting time and there’s no time to be worried about if other people are looking at you or if you’re doing horribly.

The first section of abs was REALLY hard for me. I was thinking about just how awkward it would be if I walked out. Then before I could finish that thought, we were switching to arms and I was fine! This was the tone for the class; as it’s getting almost unbearable and you’re ready to quit, you’re doing a change in the movement or on to working the next area of your body.

There are constant changes flexing your foot, going up on your toes, moving to tempo and then you’re moving from abs to arms to legs/thighs to seat to abs and stretching in between each. This made the time FLY!

The instructor, Courtney, could not have been nicer. The instructors walk around and will help you with your form, you can’t hear what they’re saying to someone else, so it’s never embarrassing and she specifically left me alone quite a bit, I’m pretty sure it was because I was new and I think she didn’t want to mortify me; I totally appreciated this. When she did approach me, she would ask if I was feeling it in the part of my body we were working on and I would say yes or no and she’d advise accordingly. I thought this was a great teaching tool, rather than just saying, “you’re doing this wrong!”

Your muscles are supposed to be shaking and burning.. And you may wonder how intense this was.. I think the best way to explain my experience is that it felt like my legs disengaged from my body and Michael Flatley Lord of the Dance took over. But, this felt AMAZING! I enjoy feeling the burn when I exercise, whether or not it’s true, it makes me feel like I’m actually getting something out of my exercise.

I stayed after to ask for some pointers from Courtney who was more than happy to help and very encouraging. I’ve since taken a few other classes and honestly need to stress that the instructors have all been SO NICE! They’re helpful, they’ve shown me modifications and told me that it’s tough in the beginning and you just need to build up strength in certain areas.

I do want to add that they say you’ll start noticing changes in as little as 9 classes. I have finished 6 classes and do already see some small, but measurable changes; some lifting 😉 , I fit into a pair of pants I haven’t been able to wear for a year and my core is stronger – I can now complete ab work without stopping or modification!

Between instructors and other people in the classes, not one person has given off a negative or judgmental vibe. No one has been paying any attention to me; there are women of ALL shapes, sizes and age. I have never felt LESS self-conscious in my life.

I highly recommend Pure Barre for anyone looking to add some variety to their routine, or to ease into fitness. It doesn’t require knowledge of complex fitness moves (ex: Clamshells – what ARE those? Sounds like a sex position to me.) The movements are simple and small, they’re not strenuous but you will burn so good and FEEL your workout. If you’re like me and a million other women who feel self-conscious and insecure, you can check your fears at the door. Everyone is encouraging, positive and kind. Check out a class and let me know what you think!

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!