Living in the negative

Emotional needs are something that many people ignore. The five love languages can be ways that we have our emotional needs met. There’s a concept that Gary Chapman refers to as a love tank. The idea is that we function better when our emotional needs are bring met and our love tanks are full. Chapman asserts that one of the main problems in relationships is that couples don’t do the necessary things to ensure that their partner’s love tank is full. That being said, many people live in the negative in this context. This means that they exist by living off bare minimums emotionally. So their love tank is never full. Instead it’s just a little above empty and stays that way. The almost empty tank becomes their baseline because they’ve had to adjust multiple times. They are literally living in the negative because the amount of emotional needs being met is incongruent with the amount of emotional needs that exist. And this is one of the reasons people can be in relationships and friendships without ever shaking the alone feeling.

The other side of lonely part II

First, I guess I should preface this by saying that this is a continuation (ironically) from the post I wrote exactly a year ago today. For those who haven’t read the first post and are too busy to search my archives,  the basic assertion of the post was that sometimes our loneliest moments in life are when we are happy and don’t have anyone to share our happiness with. Fast forward to today, exactly a year later. In the last two weeks or so I’ve experienced the much anticipated results of the past two years of work towards various professional goals. The word “work” in the context pretty much means blood, sweat, and tears. While in some circles, these results might be called accomplishments, the truth is that they have come because of a consistent, dedicated, and focused effort toward goals. Fighting through lack of sleep, feeling stuck, and even being inconvenienced because I had priorities that I was not willing to budge on. While those days have not ended, I’ve reached a rest stop of sorts on the highway of my life. A chance to take a breather, refresh and reflect on the progress made towards the destination. As someone who works frequently with people who know how to talk a smooth game, I’m really big on the understanding piece. Anyone can say “congratulations,” but it’s a totally different thing to say that word with an informed understanding of the work and dedication that was necessary to reach that point. Words of affirmation or endorsement seem rather shallow when looking at it from that perspective. Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that many times these words of affirmation come from a good place and good gestures shouldn’t be ignored. Regardless of whether or not they are informed words of affirmation. However, it’s my opinion that while congratulations and words of affirmation after accomplishments can be great, there’s no substitute for these same words coming from someone (or some ones) who have an informed understanding of the journey as a whole. People who know the amount of work that was put into the endeavor and the setbacks, stressors, and discouragements that were overcome in order to make the goal a reality. 

20 Ways to Know You’re Succeeding

The title of this article really caught my attention. Mostly because I know a lot of people (myself included) who sometimes doubt their progress. The thing about progress is that when it happens really slowly it’s hard to tell that it’s actually occurring. One thing that stood out to me was the fact that you know you’re succeeding when you can celebrate the successes of others. So many people are unable to genuinely congratulate and give compliments because they are jealous or envious of the person they are congratulating. The thing about this is that it’s pretty easy to tell that someone isn’t genuine when they are congratulating you. Also, the one about goals you’ve accomplished stood out to me. It’s great to have goals but it’s even nicer to actually have them fulfilled. Overall, the article was a pretty good read. While I didn’t necessarily agree with all 20 points, there were some interesting concepts that made you think. 


Lately I’ve tried to make it a priority to be more social and have new experiences. So far this endeavor has been fairly successful. I’m someone who is pretty introverted at times. And while I wouldnt go as far to say that I’m anti social, I do enjoy being around people I know instead of making small talk with perfect strangers. There are a few situations that I’ve been in where I meet people and they are instantly my friends. These are rare occasions. Needless to say, I dread new social situations. And the word “dread” is a nice understatement. While I’m mature enough to recognize them as opportunities to grow, one hundred percent of the time I’d rather not be bothered. However, it is necessary to push beyond my feeling and just jump in feet first. I know many other people who feel the same way. Some push themselves and others just retreat further into their shell and never venture out. While I would much rather talk to a stadium of thousands than make small talk with a neighbor, I recognize the importance of making these connections. So the goal of new experiences and social situations remains but at least I’m making some kind of progress. At the end of the day, that’s what matters.

Making your own opportunity

One realization that I’ve come to recently is the fact that while we can sometimes make opportunities. There are some which are presented to us because we’ve done the necessary work behind the scenes. So many times people prepare to be reactive instead of proactive. Opportunities come and go. However, many times they come as the result of some type of preparation. Sometimes you have to work toward a possible opportunity with the full knowledge that you might not actually get the opportunity. You have to accept the risk that the opportunity may not be everything that you expected it to be. Strategizing, preparing, and working towards a chance at the opportunity can be tasks that may appear pointless. But it’s important to remember that sometimes opportunities come in proportion to the amount of preparation that happened beforehand. Many times I have to take a step back and remind myself that I’m in it for the long run. Similar to the way that people make long term investments, I think of this process as a test of endurance. Regardless of the outcome. There are many times where after investment, people discover that they are actually losing money in stocks or whatever they’ve invested in. However, instead of throwing in the towel, they remember that a loss is not necessarily permanent. Waiting something out, riding it through is sometimes necessary because a short term set back does not mean that the investment is bad or won’t give a good return. The opportunity may or may not come but it’s the process that creates an environment for growth. The planning, the strategy, the thought. You don’t want to miss the chance at an opportunity because you refused to get ready for it. 

The Ferguson Debate

I usually don’t comment on particular bits of news but this one has really caught my attention. There are so many opinions circulating around what happened. I’ll be brief sharing some of my thoughts. The truth of the matter in my opinion is that there is a lack of value on human life. This is a problem that happens all across the world. However it became especially apparent this past week. The fact of the matter is that we still live in a racial society. We are divided by class, economic status, education, skin tone, and a host of other things. Black people have been killed by people in authority of other races for centuries. Literally centuries. This stems from a lot of things and also mindsets that have not changed. It’s not a problem that’s getting better despite some claims that we live in a post-racial society. We don’t. Stories like this should serve as proof positive that society still has a huge problem with blacks. There is no reason why someone who has sworn to serve and protect to shoot someone who is unarmed 8 to 10 times. Driving, walking, running, playing music, or being out your house at night while black should not be an offense punishable by death. Ever. However, while the solution involves bringing attention to these murders, it also involves holding people accountable for their actions. Not excusing them because of some flimsy excuse about being threatened or reporting that the person killed was a “thug” or some other type of  evil person that apparently did not deserve to live. A black man who is pulled over by the police should not have to wonder if he’s about to die for some petty reason at the hands of the officer. It’s unfair, it’s inexcusable, it’s wrong and sadly, it’s becoming normal. This satirical article demonstrates a snippet of the experiences that black males face at the hands of some in authority. 

Ambition Isn’t Enough

I was recently having a conversation with someone about ambition and why it’s so rare in the world today. I like to ask people about their 5 and 10 year plans. Most of the time I just get a blank look in return but there are a few who can articulate the timeline of their goals. I think of ambition as a hunger or a push for more than what’s in the present. Ambition thinks long-term. I’ve met literally dozens of people who have had ambition that impressed me. They can communicate their ideas effectively and even put commas in the right place when writing. They constantly talk about their plans for the future. The families, the spouses, the jobs, and the dream life that they want to have. Their plans are flawless with timelines and dates by which they want to accomplish certain milestones. Yet, when you ask them about their actions and their implementation of their plan, they fall short. It’s easier to plan, strategize, manipulate, and set goals than it is to follow through on the implementation of them. Having ambition is great but it won’t do anything for you if you can’t put it into action. If you lack the follow through, the consistency, and the sheer determination to make your goals a reality you have wasted your time. There are so many innovators with ideas who will never do anything with them because they can’t follow through. You have to be able to not only plan to work but also to work your plan. I love having a 5 year plan and I use it to measure how I’m doing. But my 5 year plan means nothing if I’m not constantly making progress. If I don’t make daily steps towards fulfilling my yearly goals.  This is why it is so important to begin with the end in mind. Decide what you want and then work backwards. Break it up into small, manageable, and measurable pieces. But don’t fall into the trap of only planning. Take the next step and implement it. Work your plan and be consistent doing so. Someone once said that brilliance without discipline is mediocrity and that is certainly true. Too many people plan to fail because they fail to implement their plan. Don’t be one of them. 

I Believe

From the first time I heard this song I absolutely loved it. It also goes without saying that Brian is one of my absolute favorite male artists ever. The beauty in this song is in its simplicity. The melody tells the story without heavy instrumentation. It’s easy to hum and sing along to. Plus, the message is so nice and lovey dovey. It’s one of those songs that belong at a wedding and could have people wiping away happy tears. With so many songs on the airwaves today that make little to no sense, this one is a breath of fresh air. THIS, is real music. 

Maximum Benefit

The term “maximum benefit” often refers to the exhaustion of one’s health benefits of some sort. It can also refer to the ending of treatment because it has either been terminated successfully or it has ceased to be effective and there is a slim to none chance that the individual will benefit from further treatment. We’ve all had situations in our lives that have reached maximum benefit. One of the examples of this are old friends that you find yourself growing away from. It’s not that they’re bad people and it’s not that the friendship hasn’t been good. It’s just that the relationship has reached it’s maximum benefit. It can’t continue further without the expense of continuing growth. It’s at this point that a decision has to be made. Many times you just have to cut your losses and walk away because staying longer would no longer be beneficial in any capacity. This is a hard truth to accept. Especially if this relationship or friendship has become a habit. It’s not easy walking away from years of memories because you know you need to do something different. The familiar is comfortable but it creates a very small box that traps you. You can’t go any farther in the relationship because you’ve reached maximum benefit. It may not get worse but it most definitely won’t get any better. It’s in these situations that you need a paradigm shift, a change of perspective. Don’t stay in the same place or in the same relationship that has reached its maximum benefit. You’ll lose out on opportunities and better things because you couldn’t let go.