Tag Archives: Choice

His, Hers and the Truth

Ok here’s the scenario: a friend calls and tells you that his “Psycho Girlfriend” just did something psycho and he’s confused and doesn’t know what to do. He’s freaking out and all over the place trying to make a decision; Does he leave her, how to fix it, how could she be so crazy? All the while I’m sitting on the other end waiting for a pause… Once I hear it, I ask, “well what did you do?”

Now here’s where you have to pay attention. Am I A) Automatically blaming him for her actions, B) Not trusting him to tell me the truth, C) Secretly happy for his distress LOL ( #JuSayin people like that exist), or D) I want to hear more of this amazing story that just stopped me from MakingMoves to play counselor?

Well the answer is NONE OF THE ABOVE. I am asking because I believe in a few things, as you have come to realize through my blog, and one notion which I would like to share with you today is this: His, Hers & the Truth. Completely makes sense when you think about it.

So let’s break this down. People, when experiencing most things in life, view them through a skewed perspective (not surprising and not wrong either): their own. For example, a gentleman opening the door for an older lady can be viewed by one patron as a very nice young man who’s civil, kind, polite… While another patron, witnessing the very same thing, could think that he just opened the door to look good for the older lady’s younger attractive relative or friend who’s walking right behind them… See! Now even I don’t know what the TRUTH is, I’m merely establishing the fact that it is very easy to look at the same situation through completely different lenses.

When a person tells you a story I think you would be simple minded to just accept it at face value. If you think it’s rude to make such a judgmental statement please think of the closest people to you and identify the following: the negative Nancy, the drug addict, the drama queen, the over achiever, the leader, the follower, the successful one and so on. I promise you that each one of these individuals has their own set of beliefs and sees the world differently, so if your closest friends can have their own agendas, why wouldn’t a friend or, even better, a stranger?

What I am proposing here is taking a second to “Consider the Source” and remember that there is always His version of the truth, Her version of the truth and of THE TRUTH (which I have come to find is usually a combination of both over exaggerated stories.)

So the next time you get that 911 phone call, or hear a complete stranger tell you the facts of life, or hear about the newest non-sense. Consider the Source and always ask… is this His, Hers or the TRUTH.

Please help me get more subscribers! I get new ones every time I blog and I’m trying to increase. Also, if there is a topic you would like to hear my thoughts on, please reply or email me at MakeMoves@KupahJames.Com. See you next Week!

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.””

How to start being Happy

I talk a lot about happiness and positivity in my life and on this blog; How to identify it, how to keep it, the importance in spreading it, etc. I talk about those things in generalities and sometimes through stories. People have said they agree, they believe that too, they want to strive for happiness and positivity but they don’t always know how or where to begin. It can be hard to start somewhere positive and avoid the patterns of negativity or unhappiness that have been created out of habits. Habits of indifference, dirty looks, judgment, insecurity, laziness; all of the common things people do everyday and aren’t always aware that they’re doing.

How crazy is it that it can be HARD to be HAPPY or to be POSITIVE?! I don’t believe it should be, or that it really is.. I think people need to change their mindset and be proactive. To help get as many people started that truly want to be, I think you can begin with the fundamentals. The fundamentals that we’ve all learned or heard since we were kids: Manners and politeness (which lead to greater kindness.)

Not too long ago simple manners and politeness were standard teachings in households. Of course, this wasn’t/isn’t always the case, but for most, or at the very least it was expected in school. Somewhere down the road between suing each other, racial and cultural differences, rumors, social media bullying we have become so afraid to say anything to anyone. Sometimes when I say, “thank you” people are astonished that the words still exist. Seriously?!

People never seem afraid to point out when someone fails or makes a mistake, but rarely make the effort to say something nice or supportive. I’m confused, and slighted, that while we can tear people down daily, not too many people have the courage to pick people up. Should you quit your job to rush to the aid of a loved one having a bad day? No! Should you try to be a superhero and put your realistic needs and priorities aside? No! But, looking someone in the eye and genuinely saying, “Hey, I like that outfit,” “Nice job today,” “Congratulations on that man, that’s awesome,” “I appreciate you always being such a good friend,” can’t be so difficult!

I spend most of my day smiling and constantly thinking about forward progress. I’ve been on the other side of the tracks, I’ve made choices I don’t want to make again and I have no intentions of going backwards. So, when I meet people, my confidence and energy are obvious, in fact, there are many who feel that my ego and persona are overdeveloped. And that’s ok, but to most who just enjoy me as I am, the way I enjoy them, feel that I must know I’m doing ok, that I’m happy, that I’m confident in who I am and where I am in my life, so why tell me? “He already knows.”

The problem with this is that if everyone goes around thinking this exact same thing, this results in me, or anyone, walking around never hearing nice things from the ones that matter the most. Strangers or acquaintances will say positive comments all of the time, but the feeling in friendships becomes “there’s no need.” That’s unfortunate, not just individually, but collectively. Because we all need motivation, inspiration, support and we also need to hear it and feel it. Telling everyone you love, that you love them everyday could be a lot of work, but personally, I would rather spend significant time of my life making someone else’s better because POSITIVITY is just as potent and CONTAGIOUS as MISERY. The mind is a beautiful thing and we all have more power and abilities than we think.

So, back to the beginning: How to start?

Spend some time each day telling someone something encouraging or positive. Smile more. Say thank you! And, this is a challenge I have for all of you who really want to SEE the effects of this:

Next time you are out to eat and the server brings over your food, he/she will ask, “Can I get you anything else?” If there is something you need, then ask for it, but before they leave, complete your request with, “Can I have a smile?” I guarantee the person will not be able to refrain from smiling, even if it’s a little one, you’ll see it! It costs nothing, but could mean EVERYTHING.

Thank you all for the support and the smiles :)

Keep It Real..

Why do we do what we do? Does anyone really know? I know I have no idea but I’ll tell you what I do know: When I see something I want, I go for it and I have a natural drive to want more than what is necessary. Some view that as wrong while others salute me for it. I won’t make excuses for who I am, but, allow me to shed some light on the topic.

I do what I do for both selfish reasons and for comfort. I believe that knowledge allows for the ability to create things, have ideas, keep up with trends, etc; while talent usually dictates how well you might do at a particular job/career/hobby. Drive is the other motivating factor which will usually play a very important role in your success. You see we all are going to hit speed bumps in life. That’s LIFE. But sheer will and determination coupled with knowledge and talent (a natural or practiced skill) almost always will equal success. I know that success comes in different shapes and sizes. I respect that, I just want to be able to provide to others as well as myself, and I never bought into the “this or that” mentality (meaning you can have this Kupah or that Kupah.) My thought is, and always will be, “Why can’t I have them Both?” That mentality has worked for me so far, so why change it now? 

I want to share my knowledge and experiences with young adults and help them reach their goals as I am reaching mine. I want to see people feel better about themselves and I want each person to demand excellence for themselves and to never settle. I have lost friends because of my attitude and I will lose more in the future I’m sure, but a wise man once told me, “Say what you mean and mean what you say because those that Matter Dont Mind and those who Mind, Dont Matter”…..

I challenge all of you to wake up each day with intolerance to being lazy and sad. To smile with the purpose of infecting those around you with it and in turn make you smile even bigger. Tomorrow is a new day but it doesn’t have to be the same new day. It can always be a different one. I always try to teach and preach the importance of your choices. I choose to be happy, smile and be positive in my behavior. That’s why others around me smile etc. I’m incredibly thankful for my mentality and hope to continue learning and growing as a person so that I may keep helping others while finding my own way.

I changed what could have been written for me, and I believe anyone has that power. You must commit to a new way of thinking; That is the first step to what I have found to be happiness. 

How do you make yourself happy? I would love to hear how some of you do it! Let’s share ideas and spread the wealth of knowledge!

#MakeMoves and #KeepItKlassy

Like the blog? Share, Comment, Respond and SUBSCRIBE… See you next week!

Words of Wisdom

“People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.”
I have always had high goals and worked hard for success. Every step of the way I have wanted my friends and family to be there with me. I believe you should always want to share in celebration and success with the people important to you. It’s also important to have people to support you on the way to reaching those goals. I’ve been really lucky in those respects. But, like all things in life, it’s not always as easy as that and it doesn’t alway work out that way.
 
Don’t let that stop you or change you! Maintain positivity! Keep a positive focus on your goals and choices. Because most of all, I believe that positivity will bring positive outcomes. Your positive energy will infect others and set examples for those around you. It will only bring you more joy and more success. That’s the secret to my success and the most important piece of advice I can offer. So #MakeMoves and stay #Motivated! #Positivity is the Road to #Peace & #Prosperity
 

Steve Jobbs Commences…

Hey All,

Here’s a quick one which was shared with me from one of my Best Friends. It’s a great way to start off any day and believe me, it just became part of my presentation “Koreography of Life” Whether you are into technology or not, believe rumo-ville or not, stand outside of Apple Store on iPhone release day or watch 2-hr Keynotes from your desktop, iPad, iPod Touch, or iPhone; This guy has changed the way we do things. From Music to Interviews, Movies to Ringtones, Texting to Emails and Talking to Sharing; Steve Jobbs will go down in History for being one of the most monumental beings of “My Time” anyway. I’ve watched his Keynotes for the past 5 years and never heard him say anything as touching as what he says below. I hope you can take 2 minutes from your day to read this and let it digest just for a second. Swish it around and see what it does to your mindset.

I blog, tweet & Facebook because I love what I do for a living; whether I am watching a beautiful bride walk down the isle to “Canon in D”, Watch a Family up in chairs at a Mitzvah while everyone else is performing the “Hora”, or observing High School Seniors close a chapter in their lives only to begin a new one at a Prom. I work with the most talented people I can think and HELL yes I’m Biased but we all WALK THE WALK (thankfully because I do TALK) RollKall: Kupah James, Ms. Ana, Michelle D, Tarryn P, Kaz C, Anthony V, Shadi K, Kevin M and our new cast of Damien C, Lindsay S, Nikki R, Juan D, and there are more! We are dedicated and I believe I speak for all when I say we love what we do so thank all of you for giving us the platform to perform and provide amazing entertainment for parties of all shapes and sizes. If it wasn’t for many of you (especially ones reading this blog) we would not exist and I thank all of you for that.

Please enjoy the passage and take it with you today on Sept 8 2011. Its cold, rainy and dark outside. Operative word being “Outside”, Don’t ever let it be the case on the INSIDE. It Doesn’t have to be your mindset. Choose!

 

“Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” Steve Jobbs – Stanford University Commencement.

 

 

Can I have a smile?

So I was thinkin… (Uh-Oh)

People often say to me things like “You have too much energy and slow down, take a break or even a day off”. I hear this so much it almost becomes annoying. Key word being ALMOST…

Second, immediately following that comment is “Why are you always so happy or Don’t you ever have Bad Days?”.

I just wanted to express my thoughts about those comments. The energy that is inside of me is inexplainable, I have not yet been studied by those who contain the knowledge to tell me why I am an Off the Wall LUNATIC. So please allow this to be my warning, and disclaimer that I cannot help my energy level and no; I will not slow down or stop any time soon. Perhaps the real question you should be asking is why dont you do more with Yooooour life? Maybe that will give you a better answer and end-result.

As far my happiness? Happiness is not a pre-determined feeling that is planned out and has to be controlled by outside influences. Crazy I know huh? Happiness or the state of content is a CHOICE that one makes at the beginning of each day, remaining close to that decision allows that person to ignore drama infested gossip and life ending experiences. I choose this state of mind each and every day when I wake up and carry it with me through out. This allows me to focus on the important things that matter to me as well as those I care about. I absolutely have bad days like when my spiderman pj’s aren’t clean and I have a special somebody coming over. But I don’t let it change my universe or state of mind I just go with it and always tell myself someone has it worse than I do. Or… I just put on My Hulk or Iron Man ones (Depending on my mood)…

Back to the Happy thoughts why don’t you try it, see what happens. The worst that can happen is you smile for one extra second longer than usual… OH THE HORROR…. : P

This Note is not to anyone on my network of friends on Facebook, Twitter or who subscribe to my blog. This was just an outlet for my thoughts. Call it a public Journal… No secrets here. feel free to ignore, respond, or reject my thoughts

This is what I say to people who attempt to anger, upset or hurt me or my energy…

Anger ruins joy, steals the goodness of my mind. Forces my mouth to say terrible things. Overcoming anger brings peace of mind, leads to a mind w/o regret. If I overcome anger I will delightfully loved by everyone…