In a perfect world, when you embark on your life's journey to become what you want to become, you would receive the support from your inner circle of family with that occasional nod of approval from your friends. Ideally, taking your knocks would be minimized to just losing a few dollars instead of a few thousand and the payoff would be substantial.
That would be in a perfect world.
We know that when you make the decision to live your dream, there will be more than enough people to voice their opinions about it, both pro and con. It's expected. But in many cases, you may hear more of the cons than you will the pros. You will hear people say things like, "Why do you want to do that?" or "You will never make money that way."
You will hear even more people say things like, "You should stick with what you know." or "You need to be concerned with getting a job and taking care of your family."
So what do you do when the naysayers speak? What do you do when they voice what you've probably already said to yourself a thousand times over?
The easy answer of course is to keep on pushing and ignore them. In theory, that sounds like the most viable thing to do. But we know that the human brain will hear and internalize negative comments before praise depending upon your background. It's easier to accept failure than success. It's easier to comprehend the inability to achieve a goal than to simply reach for it because if it were that easy, everyone would have done so and we would all be basking in the rays of success. Sometimes you have to reinforce what you believe and not what you hear. For myself, that meant planting images that would help me believe in my goal and keep me focused.
When I wrote my first novel, I would keep my dream alive by taking a normal paperback novel, wrapping it in white paper and writing the name of my book on the cover and placing it on my coffee table. Sometimes, I would look at it and imagine that it was my completed book. I would tune out the negative and immerse myself in my storyline; so much to the point that there wasn't any room for any comments that would derail my positive thought process.
Guard your dream as fiercely as you would guard your child. In many ways, your dream is your baby. If someone gives you a reason why you can't, you give them two as to why you can. If someone questions your ability to reach high, you can question if they have any dreams that have gone unfulfilled. If they admit it, ask them why they gave up so easily. They may see themselves in you. They may even be jealous.
You can entertain their thoughts, but you can throw wild parties for yours. Just remember that you will never know what could have been unless you do!
~ J.L. Whitehead
Monday, November 18, 2013
Fear is such a funny thing. I never thought that I was particularly fearful of success and I was certain that I possessed a talent that could take me far. I have had opportunities open before me...opportunities that I will always be grateful for. So I ask myself from time to time, what is it that holds me back from really grasping the brass ring?
And then I began to think of something that used to cross my mind from time to time. I wondered why some people that belonged to certain ethnicity's seem to target certain businesses and excel at them. I wondered why African Americans don't do the same thing. Why couldn't we own a franchise and turn it into our own empire the way that some other races of people seem to do?
We know that as a race , African Americans have been at the very top of the list of people that have experienced true disenfranchisement. We know that we have been trying to survive the best way that we can, sometimes by any means necessary. We also know that times have gotten better, but we still have to fight twice as hard to get ahead.
But with everything that I have done, all of the achievements that I have accomplished, I still think that what is hard-wired in my brain is to take the easy way out...not applying myself to the fullest extent.
I wonder what stops most of us from reaching out and grasping the brass ring. Is it fear of failure? Is it something more than than that? Do we believe the inner voice that tells us that we cannot and should not reach out for financial success? I'm not talking about the millions of authors out there who have already taken the leap of faith and wrote their books or started their business...I'm talking about the trillions of people who don't even bother. What is holding you back? What are you afraid of? Do you think that you can't do it or that you will fail?
Do you think that people won't have your back or will only be there for you when the money comes rolling in? I want you to think about this for a moment. If you have a dream, what would be the very first thing that you would do to accomplish it?
Would you write down your plan? Would you talk about it with friends and family? Would you spend some quiet time telling yourself that you can do it? What would you do? After all, a journey begins with that first step.
~ J.L. Whitehead
Sunday, November 10, 2013
I think that everyone has a cousin that felt more like a brother or sister...this is mine!
"Show Me Love"
Oh sweet girl, what you thought, what you perceived even if it was only your reality.
It certainly wasn't mine.
You thought somehow that you had wronged me...that maybe you hurt me,
that you had to repent of the pain that you thought you inflicted.
But what you don't know is that you've given me love
How I looked for and up to you.
How everytime I saw you, I knew that I was safe with you you.
Safe in the way that a younger brother could love his older sister.
You didn't know that my heart beat with pride when we walked to the store,
or to the avenue,
or the library.
...on sunny days or when it rained.
And I loved you.
You didn't know that the poor memories you gave me were all good.
You made me laugh and you showed me love.
You weren't any different than the average sister.
And the part that you don't know is that for those times,
You were mine.
Love you Family!
~ J.L. Whitehead
Written Friday, December 17, 2010
Friday, November 8, 2013
Bruthas - Book One
Bruthas - Book Two
I first encountered the subject of gender fluidity at my job about a year ago. I had been elected to participate in a three-panel discus...
I’ve been sitting in front of my computer staring at the blinking cursor for several minutes now wondering how I was going to say what’s...
Every time an incident takes place that shakes us to our core, one of the first things that I hear is “This isn’t America!” At one tim...