Thursday, January 14, 2010

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Haiti, I Don't Believe In Defeat (Read Time: 3 min.)

I was at the gym last night watching CNN. What was the title? HAITI QUAKE

It took so much in me to watch even part of the program. The horror of it was unbelievable. A country in shambles, dead bodies everywhere, no lights, families separated, people screaming and here are American reporters in J Crew T-shirts, lit up in a dark world by generators, talking about how horrific this must be for these people.

These people? THESE people?

Maybe it's the Haitian American in me but, last time I checked, as long as they're human, they're OUR PEOPLE.

But that's semantics.

What's real is that this earthquake, for all its physical brutality, is but a metaphor for the socioeconomic reality that Haitians have lived for decades. As long as the only homes, walls and lives that were crumbling were economic, we, in the greatest country in the world, could turn a blind eye to Haiti's poverty and pain.

Weren't we the ones turning away regfugees in boats not too long ago?
Weren't we the ones refusing to send troops when Haiti's corrupt military were wreaking havoc and killing innocent people?

Yes, Haiti's buildings, homes, palace and lives are crumbling but that is the tip of an iceberg we all knew was a long time in the making. How many people have to lose their lives before we, in the U.S., take off our rose-tinted glasses and really see?

Alas, I know that there is a miracle in EVERYTHING. Haitian people are strong. They will triumph through this and adopt, as they always have, the 'I don't believe in defeat' attitude.

The lesson?
Breakdowns ALWAYS lead to breakthroughs.
God does not fail. He IS in the middle of this. Let each of us use the Divine within to reach out and uplift one another.
If not now, when?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What Are You Waiting For? (Read Time: 2 min.)

Sometimes I find myself doing the "I'll do this when..." thing. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

"I'll start going to the gym next year."
"I'll go back to school when I have enough money."
"I'll pursue my passion when I retire."

There are an infinite number of "I'll do this when..." EXCUSES we can give ourselves that, from an unassuming perspective, appear completely rational and logical. The problem with living life on what I call a contingency basis is that life waits for no man. No moment (outside of the very one you're in right now) is promised to you.

Everything you will be is already within you. Everything you can be is already your choice to make in this moment. When you live off of the "shoulds" in life, you eliminate the power that comes with knowing that you could do things differently.

At the same time, it's not about jumping off the deep end and going for broke. When people go from working full time to quitting their jobs with no savings and starting a business, that's not living in the now. Living in the now is operating from a place that says "I can do ALL things and I'm doing this starting now and even one step closer to it makes all the difference." Can you feel how different that thinking is from "Gotta go 100% or 0! If I'm going to pursue my dream, it must be full force! It must be now!" One way is a peaceful journey; the other way is a pressured one.

I've done both and let me tell you when you rush your destiny, you almost always cut it short.

So what is the point of all of this?

In your lifetime, you have enough time to do ENOUGH. What you're here to do you have every ability to do. Living your dream requires patience, persistence, AND planning and that's where time management becomes so critical.

Stay Strong 2010 is dedicated to the teaching of staying power and this year's theme is PEACEFUL TIME MANAGEMENT. I'm not going to give you a daily or weekly planner. I'm not going to tell you things you don't already know. What I am going to do is teach you how to live in the most conscious, productive way possible so you begin (today) to master your time and, in doing so, master your life.

Stay tuned...