I’m Thinking Bigger in 2019

I recall people saying my father’s aspirations were too grandiose. And, it’s not hard to recall because, even today, 7 years after his passing, there are some who still say it. While I do agree that he had big dreams, as I work to bring my dreams to life, I can’t say they were “too” big. I don’t believe dreams can be too big. Now, sure, they can be poorly executed. We can try to skip necessary steps in the process (which usually leads to us missing a lesson that we will need down the road). But I don’t believe in dreaming too big anymore. As a matter of fact, it’s not illogical to believe that you can do anything. Do you want to know why? Because others have pushed the envelope of where humanity can go and those people are no more or less valuable to the world than you are.

From now on, I’m done thinking first class is as far as I’m going to get. I’m shooting for having the option to purchase the new BBJ777X. And it’s not all about the money or the status. It’s about not selling yourself short. Having the option is just that: an option. And I know it is one I can attain. But, to get there, I must take the steps: coach to business class to first class to 777X. There’s no elevator to the mansion in the sky (though there may be on one it).

It’s not about the plane. Or the cars or the houses or the trips. It’s about the journey that gets you to the point that you appreciate it. Set the goal but plan the steps as well.

 

Make embracing the process a priority.

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An Open Letter: This Thanks Is For You

Dear Everyone,
It is an empowering thing to see us breaking down society’s rules of what it means to be successful and, instead, define it as our happiness. Certainly, many of us stunt a bit on S.M. but we are making progress and that’s what matters. I love scrolling down my timeline and seeing my friends defining success and joy for themselves.

Whether they just got out the bing or started their own business or got a promotion or switched careers or decided to pursue dreams of spitting bars or finished reading a book or learned a new word or quit their job to travel the world, I’m happy for you. You may have just saved your first $100 or $100,000. I am happy for you. You may have just gotten engaged or announced you’re having a kid out of wedlock. I am happy for you. I am happy because I know that every step you take, even if it is a challenging one, is another step toward your destiny. You are going to be great and you’re getting greater each day you do something that causes love in and for yourself to grow.

Life is short. If you aren’t loving it, you’re wasting it.

Sincerely,
Deryle

You Are Young Enough to Change

I don’t know what age people become “too old” to change so I’ll say this: You are young enough to change for the better. As I prepare for the next step in my career, I’ve gotten some great advice from a few seasoned professionals who each said, “Whatever the next step is, life is too short to do something you’re good at but that makes you unhappy.” It’s the truth. I’m not saying that I am unhappy but there are days where I ask myself “How can I make the most out of my talents?”

Don’t just jump without thinking about it but don’t not think about it. What really gets your wheels turning? What do you go to bed thinking about and then wake up with on your mind? Answer those questions and figure out how you can make a career out of it. It could be in working for yourself or you could work for an already established entity. While the point isn’t necessarily ownership, it is certainly happiness and it’s not being a slave to any place or person.

No matter what stage you’re at in life, you owe it to yourself to start your days with a smile. Figure out how you can do that and do it. Yesterday is a memory, tomorrow is a fantasty. All we have is now.

By the way, taking that dope photo above? That made me happy.

 

Make following your dreams a priority.

Fear of a Unicorn

“Yesterday is a memory. Tomorrow is a dream. Right now is all there is.” — Anjan Basu

We cannot allow what may or may not come to hinder us from greatness. Like every unicorn, every tomorrow is something every living person imagines but no living person has ever seen.

The world could end tomorrow. Or, tomorrow you could find a mega millions lottery ticket. Aliens could invade the planet tomorrow and prove everything you think to be true wrong. What I’m saying is your idea could succeed or it could fail. But it will certainly fail if you don’t put in the time right now required for the former. Any combination of 8 million things could happen with every second that passes. All we have is right now..

I’m not saying don’t fear unicorns. There’s nothing wrong with fear. But when that fear prevents you from experiencing right now, you’re letting your imagination beat you.

 

Make living in reality a priority.

Rain or Shine, It Sings

As I write this on a dreary spring forward Sunday morning, I write with one thing in mind: Even on a rainy morning, a bird gives its all to sing. That bird doesn’t know if today is its final day to sing. It doesn’t know which note will be its last. It just knows that a part of its purpose is to sing its song from the tree in the morning and, therefore, it does just that.

How often do we shirk our responsibilities or our purposes because it’s raining? Whether we decide not to dress decently, at the very least, because of literal rain or we choose not to give our all because of a storm we are currently going through, we are disrespecting the Creator and all those who invested time, money, or energy into their belief that we could be something great.

You are important and the world needs your gifts, so don’t sell yourself short. Take that risk. Apply for that job. Let go of that comfortable thing that is only hindering you. Get up every day and sing your song. Live your purpose. The bird has a lot less to sing about than we do and, yet, he’s out here on this overcast Sunday. I’m willing to bet he’ll be out there with that same intensity on the next sunny Monday too.

 

Make being great every day a priority.

It’s OK to Want to Quit

… as long as you don’t quit.

For me, yesterday was one of those days that all dreamers have from time to time. I felt like I was underperforming. I don’t know if it’s because the anniversary of my dad’s death is around the corner or because I’m turning 30 or just because I looked at those running to my right and left instead of focusing on the finish line.

Whatever the reasoning, I didn’t feel that I was where I needed to be in life. I started thinking about all of the money I could make by giving up on my dreams. It would be much easier and more secure to do that but I know it wouldn’t be beneficial to me in the long run. I wouldn’t be happy and unhappy people make people unhappy.

So, no matter how difficult it may be, I’m committed to my dreams for as long as I can. If necessary, I will sacrifice my happiness for those I love, but at this point in time, I don’t have to so why should I?

 

Make your dreams a priority.

Is Your Blade Growing Dull?

When I was in undergrad, I intellectually stimulated almost every day. Sure, there were the Saturday nights when the most intellectual discussion was how fast can we finish the beers at the track team’s party (shoutout to the homie Devon Smith), but regular days consisted of my group tossing around ideas about how we would take over the world while either eating in the cafe, working off our cafe eating in the gym, or making sure we still had access to the cafe/gym next semester by sitting in the library to keep our scholarship dollars rolling in.

I miss those days — the days when we dreamt and planned more than we worked ourselves into an apathetic torpor. Whether the goal was entrepreneurship or figuring out how we would climb the corporate ladder or improving the quality of life for others, we used our minds in an unconventionally imaginative fashion.  Their iron sharpened mine and mine theirs.

I still talk to (but rarely see) many from my circle, as many of us have gotten bogged down in the mundane and monotonous movement from Monday to Friday, only to pray on Friday for the weekend to move in the slowest motion possible and, conversely, for Monday morning to prey on us as hard as we pray on Monday for Friday. This is week in and week out. We do it for the bills and the insurance, the 401(k) matches and the paid days of sick leave, benefits which ultimately catalyze the very mental health days that we end up taking and retirement we long for (because I am convinced that I will never truly want to retire from a passion but I’ll be in a hurry to leave a job). Security holds many of us hostage, which is ironic, because our “security” only secures the prison we have chosen for ourselves.

Instead of security, we should reach for risk, which lies in having those around you  keep you sharp and hungry and thinking outside of the box that would become a cell were you to think inside of it. To keep from being a prisoner of habit, you must have friends with whom you can toss ideas around over a glass of bourbon on the rocks or a good game of Spades. Those who remind you that you are not the smartest person in the room. A circle whose skill sets don’t mirror yours but, instead, complement them. People who specialize in various fields so that, when one of their clients/friends needs help in your field, you’re going to be the first to get the referral.

Today, I charge you to reconnect with an old friend who once inspired you. Whether they pushed you to strengthen yourself spiritually, financially, physically, professionally, or otherwise, give them a call or shoot them a text. See when you all can get together for coffee or lunch or a drink after work. If they’re in a different city, find a time when you all can meet somewhere just to catch up. While I love technology, there is something magical about tossing ideas across an actual table and working through a problem face to face. In short, allow their iron to sharpen yours and do the same for them. It’s the only way you’ll get out of this stagnant stupor that “security” supplies.

 

Make sharpening your sword a priority.