The Importance of Appreciation

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Appreciation sets up the foundation for abundance. When you are appreciative for what you have, however little or however much, you become more receptive to the notion that you can have and deserve more. This is because your attitude changes and the possibility for abundance to enter your life is maximized.

Abundance is something you tap into. Appreciation for what you have makes you more cheerful. When you feel good, you are more productive. Money doesn’t make people happy – happy makes money. A miserable human being isn’t someone that strangers want to be around, let alone would like to do business with – thus the opportunity for growth can be stalled until you find something to get more excited about.
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Being appreciative is not the same as contention. Being content is a prescription for stagnation. For some people it is perfectly fine to be content, no 80 year old man wants to keep his nose to the grindstone in the hopes of totally transforming his surroundings. Hopefully the majority of his work is done and he’s built a strong foundation of abundance during his more fruitful years on earth. But being young and content is a sure prescription for things to remain the same for months and years to come. Perish the thought of contention but show your appreciation for your girlfriend, for your friends, for your livelihood, and for your family.

Being appreciative also deters you from taking things for granted. Don’t appreciate your girlfriends cooking? Don’t worry, it’ll happen less and less. Don’t appreciate your son telling you about his day? It’s cool, he grow up thinking you don’t care. Don’t appreciate your buddy who helps you out from time to time when it’s tough to make ends meet? It’s okay, he’ll start thinking you’re a jerk and undeserving. These scenarios may seem extreme but at their essence, they are cause and effect.
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When you appreciate your woman, she in turn bestows her love upon you even more. When you appreciate your son sharing the highlights of his day with you, he continues to look to you for guidance and does things because he wants to make you proud; you could lay the foundation for you two to become best friends. When you appreciate your friends and your network, it grows and so does your influence through them. When you appreciate life, you discover all the things that make life worth living. You see more of the beauty that’s been hiding in plain sight. It’s a matter of perspective which influences your actions which determine your outcome.

Dream Chasers

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The People who dare to think they can change the world are usually the ones who go about doing it. The collective ideas of a small band, when in harmony- harness the power to change perceptions and outcomes. They are the ones who push us forward through small practical steps and big goals and dreams. They are they people who make us believe in our dreams and ourselves as we believe in their leadership and mission.
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The wild ones, the crazy bunch, the dreamers and the dream chasers. Nothing of significance is ever done in the world without these people. For better or worse, it takes a collective vision and unified minds on a common goal to bring about the change we all know is possible of ourselves. When we instill that vision of ourselves through each other- that brighter, shimmering faith of a new day -we plant the seeds that will one day grow into a tree of life or knowledge that others can eat from, find shelter in, and find the courage to plant their own ideas on new ground; foreign or domestic.
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We lay the foundation for the generation behind us to believe that what has been possible for us, can be possible for them and much more. An army is lead into battle with the strength of ten thousand when their morale is high and their personnel is low. One hundred unified, focused, driven warriors can accomplish more in one swoop than 300 hundred simply trying to fulfill their own selfish desires. Or ten thousand fools without a plan, or aim, or direction.

The power in organizing your thoughts, your mission, and your team gives you a multiplying effect. Ask General Napoleon, “The morale is to the physical as three to one” , and disrupting the culture, shaking up the status quo requires the same spiritual, intensity as storming the beaches of Normandy and digging a trench on the frontline.
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The world is ours and the future belongs to those who believe they have a place in it and would dare muster the gall to see their sound plans play-out through action. We are the people who dare to think we can change the world, and it’s for that reason that we will. We are relentless, we are unstoppable, we are fearless and we cannot lose. We’ve come from nothing and have already risen over the deficit we were born into. We may be small, but we have the power of the hulk. We’ll set new standards and raise precedents – letting the world know that we have brighter days ahead.

The Ability to Focus

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Every man and woman is given a mind that has the processing power of thousands of computers. What we choose to produce and focus our mind on makes all the difference in the outcomes of our lives. You may sharpen and strengthen your mind with books, through meetings, and by explaining and teaching all that you know. However much, or however little that may be; but your greatest achievements will be made through the laser like precision that your powerful mind can exert.

You will do yourself a great service to be well read in many subjects, and to be cultured in many areas, but your general education will be best served as the foundation for which you should build upon. There comes a time when you will have to focus your attention on a task, a project, an industry, or a skillset so that you can get the most out of it. And you certainly will get the most out of it. When you give your best at a thing, you see results that you would expect and that would be to your liking. Nearly every time that you give your entire focus and attention to the creation of something, you will be satisfied with what you have done.
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As your mind controls your hands and shapes the material you manipulate, or gives you the vision for which you go to work on creating, harnessing your capabilities on the task in front of you makes the masterpiece that brings awe and wonder into this world. Focusing requires mental strength, maybe the greatest mental strength that you can muster. It requires detaching from distractions, it means turning things off and tuning in. It requires that you be clear in what you want and that you move toward that direction.

Focus is the laser guided missile that hits it’s target with precision. It is the champion fighter’s crushing blow that lands perfectly on the chin of the contender, debilitating him and incapacitating him, leaving the true and worthy victor to his spoils. Focus is the strike of the rattler, and the crouch of the tiger before she pounces. Focusing is the superpower of your great mind and you can use it to form David from marble.
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Advice on Balance

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With continual self development and improvement always in mind, you’ll find yourself meeting more people, reaching new heights and acquiring your success on a more consistent basis. Your time will be divided between your family, your friends, and everything else you may love. You must always make time for yourself to continually learn, strategize, and maintain your health. After you have settled with yourself, who will you spend time with in order to keep yourself moving in the right headspace?

The expert people you want to hang with may not be readily available if they are in a position you’d like to be. Their time is valuable. Everyone seeks it. Because it has high value to you and all, it is a scarce resource. Surely you must take the time to form alliances with people more powerful, smarter, experienced, and ballsy. You will benefit from your associations and honest dealings with them should you actually get a piece of their time if you are prepared. It’s like reaching from where you are to where you want to be. You’ll do this because you will need to know what the playing field is like at that level. You will need to gather enough information to help you decide how you will prepare for it. Connecting with people at a higher level is parallel to peering into the future and knowing what to expect. It’s like acquiring intuition and insight the same as you might get from a book or class.
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Your colleagues may be on your level, their time may not be completely constrained and you may learn from them as well although likely not quite as much as you’d get from a seasoned mentor. Knocking back brews with your co-workers or getting lunch together is great. To be extremely ambitious though, you must realize that you may not always get what you need from your peers. Except for lateral movement and the opportunity to be kind, express your gratitude, and give so that they might advance, you are mostly going to be in some sort of complacent and comfort zone. No one grows in the comfort zone. It’s like the purgatory of success. Visit your peers and encourage them, but set a greater example by breaking out of the constrains and boundaries set around you.

Reaching back and spending time with people who are not and perhaps never will be at your level of success is equally important and vital to your development as well. This experience is more humbling, helps to keep you sharp and focused on your goal. If you relentlessly attack your goals with the same fervor you had as when you slept on the dusty futon in a friends apartment, then you will be able to continue the momentum needed to follow through on your plans. Consider it a necessary shock to your nervous system, your ideas, and what you consider your reality. You must not forget what it feels like to be behind, with your back to the wall. When you must burn the boats and the candles at both ends. Use these experiences to jettison you forward from time to time.

Each of these areas should perhaps be experienced equally if possible. In some ways these circumstances are inevitable. Bound to happen over and over again, you may bump into strangers from so many different walks of life and how you react in each situation could be the difference between your good fortune or your misfortune. Your time or your life.

Cheers

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Our country has been called the melting pot, but just where do we all go to stew? Rightly because of the dichotomy of our many walks of life and the different streets we live on boarded by the same neighborhood, our common areas tend to be the place we are best to hear an honest discussion. Consider yourself lucky if your neighborhood mimics a microcosm of society as a whole. Our news media repeats horrific stories and charged headlines nationwide with a blast radius so large that some topics are unavoidable.

Support of peaceful protesters and support of police don’t have to be exclusive to each other. The narrative of the media may attempt to divide us on a few issues. It may hope to bring awareness to key issues. But we as citizens must seek to find solutions. If you hang out in a “cop bar”, you are more likely to understand the pressures their job entails on a day to day basis. If you go to a pub frequented by politicians and businessman, you will also see as they unwind, let loose, and reveal themselves with their guard down. The same goes to bars which cater to many Millenials, you can bridge gaps just by being there during moments of unguarded conversation.
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“Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”, is one of my favorite quotes by Benjamin Franklin. A heroic figure that met in pubs with other great thinkers, our forefathers, who helped to establish this country- would discuss the conditions going on in the land and would eventually come to solutions for liberation of the people and preservation of our freedoms. Let us never be divided in this neighborhood, this city, or this great nation which we’ve inherited. Let us always feel free to discuss pressing issues, our viewpoints, and propose solutions so that we may all live a life free of tyranny, fear, and unjust accusation.

Brewing at home can polarize us, I found that the closest distance between two people is communication. Our community is also bound even tighter together when we see each other face to face and can talk about things that bother us throughout our day, include each other in our celebrations of merit, or just talk about things at the office. A beer in-betwen stories also isn’t a bad idea.

Stop and Frisk in Philadelphia is Bullshit.

Originally posted on Philly Law Blog:

Search and SeizureI was listening to my local NPR outlet this morning when a particular news story piqued my interest — the ACLU and Kairys Rudovsky Messing & Feinberg had just filed their Third Report to the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania regarding the monitoring of stop and frisk practices. I said to myself: “I need to get a copy of this report right away.”

Which I did. And I read it. And I got furious.

View original 818 more words

Generation Y not?

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Generation Y not? Instead of being labeled a generation of lazy, spoiled, and entitled people. Why not work to be labeled something greater? Why not seek to be an entire generation of people who are extremely productive, focused, or determined to bring justice and good into the world? It can’t possibly be that hard to shift our collective focus to ideas that make the world worth saving. Many parts of our society add to our miseducation. A degenerative quantity of entertainment runs rampant in our households, through our speakers and even sometimes through our personal apps on our computers and cell phones. Generation Y holds the greatest potential to focus our resource and consciousness on great feats like solar and alternative energy, universal healthcare, saving whales, addressing income inequality, discrimination, space exploration, and even ending world hunger.

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Our power relies deeply in our sheer numbers. Our collective facebook, instagram, selfie generation is about 30 % of the United States population. Our power however is often eroded by distractions like housewives, BET, Kimye’s baby, celebrity gossip, twerking, diamond chains, Sneaker releases, over-obsessions with body image, and general consumerism. In the wake of the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson on charges of murdering an unarmed Mike Brown in Ferguson County Missouri, I talked with a young lady while I was out who noticed I wasn’t having quite the best time “turning up”. My mind was elsewhere…in Ferguson. I told her that too often I think about these issues that go on in our country instead of blissfully partying away like I used to do. Her reply shocked me as she said, “Yeah, it’s sad but stuff happens more than often. I thought discrimination was over with after Martin Luther King, but I guess not.” In her reply, I saw the veil of social blindness caused by her miseducation.

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This selfie queen, beautiful, young, hookah smoking, mocha colored woman honestly believed that discrimination ended when Martin Luther King Jr. marched in Alabama. I did not judge her harshly, for if she is not self motivated, then where is she likely to find information concerning her generation and demographics position in the eyes of a demographic and generation that has power over hers. What does she focus her energy and attention on in her free time? How is her view of the world shaped? What influences her actions? A miseducation can surely happen by accident but a proper enlightenment must come by will. There is not a question of can we, but will we be a generation of enlightened citizens? Will we be willing to learn some basic things like the history of our origins, the importance of constantly learning, the value of financial literacy, the importance of acceptance and love we should give to ourselves, or the strength that we have when we work together.

As an avid reader, I have often read that the average American reads about a book a year, give or take 1 or 2 books. I only find fault when a person has no desire to learn or expand. Or when someone willingly doesn’t want to know more or assumes they have all the answers. Why not be a generation that’s knowledgeable and learns to cultivate the power to change the world? When we all collectively want something done, we represent an undeniable force. We can elect a candidate we believe in, we can support a business that has our best collective interest at heart, we sustain the programs that empower us with our attention, we stimulate our economy with the vote of our dollar. Or potential is limitless, but the key to unlocking the power within us is found through unplugging from things that distract us. We are a powerful generation, why not exercise our power for our advantage and the betterment of our communities, society, our nation and our planet? Generation Y not?
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